Wednesday, December 30, 2009

An Important Lesson

Christmas was nice and quiet in my house. The kids were spoiled and I'm counting the days until school starts again.

I do think it's important that my children continue learning during vacation. I don't want them to be ignorant and lazy. Fortunately they have a natural curiosity about the world we live in.

Yesterday my six old asked me, "Mom, what are tighty whities?"

After choking on my tea I asked where he had heard it. It's in the commercial for the Disney movie "G-Force."

I reluctantly explained what "tighty whities" are. The next hour was filled with giggles and tattling. "Mom, he said tighty whities!"

Proud Parent Moment #643 is brought to you by Disney's G-Force.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Garden d'Lights

Last night we went to the Botanical garden that was decorated for Christmas. It was called "Garden d'Lights." It was beautiful. And crowded.

The kids were given a piece of paper with a list of animal to find in the garden. We found a spider, a slug, a monkey, 2 doves... all but the three geckos.

Here is a picture of my kids in the beginning, looking with amazement at one display.

The grapes were one of my favorites.

I also liked holding mars this big red ball.


After waiting a few minutes the kids were able to pose for 5 seconds in front of this tree.


Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Break

Today was the first official day off from school for winter break. I had little choice but to take my kids to run a few errands. I had to pick up a prescription, go to the grocery store and stop by the bank. 2 hours later I came home with 2 whiny kids, a bag of groceries, a migraine, a rented video game and a case of beer.

I was planning to rent the video game. We don't rent video games very often. I was surprised by how much it costs. $8.75. I gasped slightly when the cashier told me that amount. I handed over the money and commented that it was expensive. The cashier replied that he hears that a lot and then said, "It's not really that much when you consider that a new video game costs $65-70." Really?? Where does he shop?!

His comment made me wonder if I'm really that far out of touch. My husband always says how cheap I am. Is he right? So I went online and I checked. I couldn't find any Wii video games that were over $50. Well, there were some that came with an extra controller or a mat or those kinds of things, but nothing over $50 for just a game. In fact the game that my kids picked out was $16.97 new on Amazon.

After we came home my kids started playing the video game. It took about 3 seconds for the first fight to start. I didn't know that the game they picked out is a one-player game.

My husband opened a Netflix account last night. He said it would be nice to have during the break. It took me 30 minutes to figure out how to access the instant streaming section on our TV. The kids watched one movie for 5 minutes.

It wasn't long before I heard, "I'm bored."

Has anyone started a back-to-school countdown yet?

Friday, December 18, 2009

No More 5 Year Old

My youngest son turned 6 yesterday! I feel so old when I say that it feels like he was born yesterday. But somehow overnight he became 6.

Here are a few pictures from his birthday.

And here's one from his party with his friends last Saturday.





Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Good Morning

This morning I woke up at 5:46 when my 5 year old came into my room and said, "Mom, I wet the bed." I can't think of a better way to start the day.

I helped him get changed and put new bedding on his bed and tucked him back in. Then I crawled back into bed and laid there till my alarm went off just before 7:00. Then I said to my husband, "I can't believe our 5 year old wet the bed. He hasn't done that in a long time." Mr. Cookie was surprised to hear me say that. Somehow he managed to sleep through everything.

At 7:30 I discovered that my 7 year old had been watching TV and still wasn't dressed for school. His punishment is no TV after school today. He says, "I don't care. I have chess club and cub scouts today so no time for TV anyway." He was right.

My kids were ready for school 7 minutes before it was time to leave. That was 7 minutes of fighting and whining.

On the way to the bus stop there were still a few chunks of ice on the street. The ice is a magnet for my kids. They immediately ran to it. And fell. With wet pants, my kids finally got on the school and I happily waved good-bye.

I returned home to the huge pile of laundry including wet sheets and blankets. There is an equally huge pile of dirty dishes. I started to clear off the mountain that is taking over the counter. I opened the cabinet under the sink to put a wrapper in the trash. I found a tissue stuck to the inside of the cabinet door. A used tissue. A nice wet and sticky tissue.

That's just the first two hours of my day...

Monday, December 14, 2009

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

That's what my 5 year old said to me tonight. "Mom, are you ready for a challenge?"

I was cutting his toenails at the time so the question seemed out of the ordinary to me. But not to him. He said, "The big toenail is huge! It's a real challenge."

Sure enough, the big toenail was bigger than the others. Whew.... I'm glad to report that I was up for the challenge.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Winding Down

I know a few of you have been wondering if I'm still here. I'm happy to say that I survived my busy week. And with only one migraine.

I'm pretty sure I got an "A" on my Japanese final.

I didn't fall in my "Thriller" ice skating performance.




My son's 6th birthday went smoothly. The cake that I made was a big hit. In case you're not familar with Super Mario Brothers, the cake is the 1-up mushroom.

Today I wrapped presents and prepared packages to send to my in-laws in Japan.

I am looking forward to having a week with my kids in school and no classes for myself. Santa still has a some shopping to do! Then I'm going to hibernate until June.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Not Me

Some of my fellow bloggers participate in "Not Me" Mondays where you write about things that you would never do. I'm bad at keeping up with this. I did participate once here, but it was a Friday. And I'm doing another today.

I did not use the vacuum to clear off the kitchen table. Not for the stove either.

I did not send out a blank invitation to my son's birthday party on Saturday. What kind of absent minded mother would do a thing like that??

I did not actually consider using the glow in the dark pink silly putty for my son's birthday party. I know how much my boys love pink.

I am not dressing up as a zombie for my ice skating class's performance in the winter holiday show on Friday. And we are not skating to the traditional Christmas classic, Michael Jackson's Thriller.

I am not waiting for the last minute to start finish my Christmas shopping.

I did not eat almost every Christmas cookie that I baked.

I did not calculate what my grade in my Japanese class would be if I didn't take the final instead of actually studying for the final.

I was not secretly relieved when one box of Christmas decorations fell and a few were broken. What a shame that I wouldn't have to find an inconvenient place for that knickknack that an old co-worker gave me 9 years ago and I never always liked.

Yup, those are things that I would never do.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Busy Week

Things are little busy around here. My kids have school until the 18th. Then they are off until January 5th. That means Santa needs to finish her his shopping before the 18th. Santa just figured this out yesterday.

This week is also my last week for Japanese class. My final is tomorrow. I realized this on Sunday. I'm no where near ready.

Friday I'm in a Christmas show with my ice skating class. I need to finish my costume and I really need to practice. Especially stopping.

Saturday is my 5 year old's birthday party. He'll be 6 on the 17th. He wants a Super Mario brothers party. They don't sell Super Mario brother party items in stores. Super Mario brother party supplies are only available online. I ordered everything. They arrived today. Including pink glow in the dark putty eggs. I did not order pink. I called and they credited my account, but I'm still missing party favors. Pink putty eggs will not cut it, even if they do glow in the dark.

My husband's family live in Japan. We send them gifts once a year. At Christmas. In order to get there in time these have to mailed by Monday. This Monday. Again, I realized this just yesterday.

Before I can send the gifts, I need to take a Christmas picture and have cards made. My kids hate this. My husband says he'll take a picture this week. Ahem, moving right along...

My family live in Virginia, and Michigan. I need to send gifts there too. Of course I would need to figure what gifts to get first and then send them.

I know that by next week the rush will slow down. Then I get to spend 3 weeks home alone with my kids. Not totally alone. My husband will be here on the weekends and he is off 2 days for Christmas and 2 days for New Year's. But that still leaves a lot of time for just me and the kids. I need to plan some activities.

I think I'll add a stop at the liquor store on my next shopping trip.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Say That Again

Last night I went to a Pampered Chef party. One of my neighbors was there. She has a 10 year old daughter. My neighbor told me the funniest story about her daughter and I thought you might enjoy it.

On Thanksgiving my neighbor was getting the dinner started. It was early in the morning and her daughter saw the turkey getting ready for the oven. The daughter cried, "Mom, you're not cooking a turkey, are you?"

My neighbor looked kind of confused at her daughter and said, "It's Thanksgiving. Of course I'm cooking a turkey."

The daughter looked down and was very sad. Then she said, "But mom, I wanted to become a virgin!"

After pausing for a minute my neighbor said, "You mean a vegetarian, honey."

Thursday, December 3, 2009

More Holiday Confusion

As most of you know, my seven year old is studying the holidays at school. He's learning all kinds of new facts.

Today my five is adding his own version of the classic Christmas carols. Maybe you already know, "Shrek the halls with bows of lolly... Fa la la la la la la la".

Or perhaps you can sing along to "Happy Hondakah"?

I must admit, I didn't understand what "Hondakah" was at first. My seven year old had to explain it. It turns out that my five year old likes Hondas and Hanukkah.

Should I be worried now?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Holidays Can be Confusing

Let me start off by saying that I don't consider myself to be a religious. I was raised Catholic and my husband was raised Buddhist. Now we are raising our kids to be good, honest, and respectful people. We do celebrate Christmas. My kids know we celebrate Christmas because it is Jesus' birthday. But that's about it.

Now my kids go to school and they are learning more about Christmas. They are also learning about Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

At Thanksgiving my five year old said, "When was the first Thanksgiving."

"I'm not sure," I replied.

"That's when the Indians shared their food with the pilgrims," my five year said.

My seven year old joined in, "The pilgrims came to America to get away from the mean king in England. He was trying to tell them what to do."

"That's right, honey." I said.

Then my seven year old thought for a minute and said, "So Thanksgiving is sorta like Hanukkah."

"Huh?" I asked.

He explained, "Yeah, the Jews wanted their freedom so they escaped from Minnesota."

After choking back the giggles, I tried to help him gain a little better understanding of Minnesota.

So should I be worried that my seven year old came home from school yesterday and said, "Guess what mom! I'm the leader of my Kwanzaa group at school! Do you think we can play dreidel?"

Merry Kwanakkamas to you!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Getting Organized... Or Not

I recently ordered some new shelves for the closet by the laundry room. And a new bookcase for my son's room. I even ordered a cart with shelves for the laundry room. I'm trying to get organized. I can't stand the clutter anymore. And I dread all of the holiday clutter that is soon to arrive. Oh, and my 5 year old has a birthday soon too. I don't know what he was thinking having a birthday so close to Christmas!

I sorted through some books and some toys. I cleared off the counter. My husband emptied everything from the closet, put the new shelves in and threw everything back in. Now I really have idea where anything is. And those books and toys that I went through... they are spread across the dining room floor. Some are for craigslist. Some for freecycle. Some will just be donated at the Salvation Army.

But for now, it's creating more clutter! And to make it worse, I can't find the envelope with the details of my son's birthday party. Did I mention what a bad idea it is for a kid to have a birthday in the middle of December?

My dream of being more organized is gone. In fact my dream of being organized is laughing at me. I really should have hibernated this year. Or flown south for the winter!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Passing On Traditions

Hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving!

We live in Seattle. My parents live near Washington D.C. My husband's family live in Japan. Our closest relative is my sister in Detroit. (No, I can't explain why she chose to live in Detroit, either.) So we have no family around for the holidays. We get together with some friends who also have no family close by. It was nice. We had the traditional Thanksgiving dinner of turkey (I'm a vegetarian) and rice noodles and egg rolls. Oh, did I mention the family that hosted is Chinese? Now you know why they have no family around either.

Yesterday we went to a hotel about 90 minutes from here that has an indoor water park. More on that in another post.

This afternoon we came home and unpacked. I started making dinner and my husband took out the outdoor Christmas lights from a box in the garage.

I can remember as a kid watching my father dig out the same box of lights from the previous year. He'd plug them in and only about half would work. This was back in the day with those big bulbs. It was easy to figure out which ones needed to be replaced because only those lights would not work. It wasn't the kind where a whole string of lights would stop working when one measly bulb was out.

Then it would be time to put the lights up outside. My father had one tree in front that he thought the lights should go on. My mother wanted them on the bush. And my older sister wanted them on the house by the front door. It was the same discussion every year...

Of course my father always won that discussion. The lights always went up on the small tree. The job of putting up the lights went to my younger sister and me since we were small enough to climb the small tree.

By the time the bulbs were replaced and the discussion had been resolved, it was always dark outside. And it was usually raining. At least that's how I remember it. So my sister and I would have to climb the small tree in the dark and rain with my family yelling watching and instructing us how to hang the lights. Ahhh... Great memories.

Now it's time to pass the same tradition on to my kids.

I leave the outside lights to my husband. He grew up in Japan and he missed out on so many years of Christmas light fun. I think he has some catching up to do. Now our kids want to help. They are old enough to get yelled at help with the lights. This afternoon my husband pulled out the box and plugged in the lights. A few sections weren't working. With some jiggling and persuasion more of the lights worked. The kids were told to find the lights that weren't lighting up and to replace them with those from another strand that were working. Simple, right? No.

It's almost 4 hours later. My husband has officially given up. The lights have won. He is going out tomorrow to buy new lights. I have learned to stay out of it. I didn't even bother to ask what kind of lights. I have no idea if he's planning to replace all of them or only try to find more bulbs to replace a few more. I'm not even convinced that he is certain what he will do when he goes shopping tomorrow.

It's nice to share the Christmas tradition of putting up the outdoor lights with my husband children. I'm sure it is something special that they will always remember.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

What is That?

The other day I took my 5 year old to the grocery store. I needed to buy eggs and butter. While I was putting the eggs in my cart my 5 year old said, "Mom, is that egg juice?"

I think I may have puked a little.

I looked up to see him pointing at Eggbeaters.

"Yes, honey. That is like egg juice."

Drink up!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How to Play Basketball

Yesterday at dinner I said, "Wow! Can you believe basketball practice starts on Monday?"

My teenager 7 year old shrugged.

My 5 year old shouted, "YES! I'm gonna kick the ball really hard!"

I immediately felt very sorry for his new coach.

It reminded me of my post, "How to Play Basketball" from January. Hope you enjoy it!




How To Play Basketball - according to my 5 year old son


Step 1. Be Prepared. Wear your uniform. Wear it over your clothes. Wear it at home. Wear it all weekend. Wear it to bed. You never know when the team may need you.


Step 2. Get the ball. Or wait patiently for someone to give you a turn. Either way is ok.


Step 3. Try to dribble. When the ball stops bouncing, pick it up with both hands and run.


Step 4. Shoot a basket. Take the ball with both hands (easy to do since that's part of step 3) and swing it between your legs. Stand under the basket and throw it into the air. The ball will enter the basket from the bottom. This is a technique that not even the pros use!


Step 5. Protect yourself. After making as basket, use your arms to cover your head. Duck and cower.


Step 6. Get Motivated. After the ball is safely in the hands of another player or coach and step 5 is complete, go to your mom and ask, "Did I do a good job?" She will always enthusiastically say "Yes!" Then get a hug and go back on the court.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Whatever You Want

Recently I picked out some new bedding for the master bedroom. Before I purchased it, I dragged my husband to the store to get his approval. He looked at it, shrugged and said, "Whatever you want is fine with me."

We bought it and brought it home.

The master bedroom has not been painted since we moved into this house three years ago. I want to paint it soon. I started looking at paint samples that will go well with the new bedding. I decided I want to paint the room a boring beige color with white trim (to match the rest of the house). I asked my husband what he thought. He said, "Whatever you want is fine with me."

I have already painted a few rooms in the house beige. So far each beige room is a different shade of beige.

I opened the bedding in the guestroom and took out the comforter. I thought the colors in the comforter went really well with the beige on the walls in the guestroom. I don't know why, but I asked for my husband's approval opinion. I didn't want to hear the same, "Whatever you want..." I was surprised when he said "The beige color in the guestroom is too purple."

Okay. I guess that's better than hearing, "whatever you want is fine with me." I'd rather know that he doesn't like that shade of beige very much before I paint the bedroom the same color.

I thought about the color a while. I looked at more paint samples. Then I thought, "The beige in my son's room is a nice color." So I asked my husband what he thought of that color. He said, "That beige is too dark."

Hmm... It doesn't look too dark in my son's room. But again, I guess it's good that he has told before I paint the bedroom that he doesn't like that color.

I looked at more paint samples. I searched for something beige that's not too purple and not too dark. I picked one that was very similar to a beige in the small downstairs bathroom. So again I asked my husband what he hated thought about that shade of beige. "That one seems too light" he said.

I think I may have liked it better when he said, "Whatever you want is fine with me."

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sick Again

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. My 5 year old has been sick. Again. He came home from school on Tuesday with a fever of 102.4 and said his throat hurt and didn't have any appetite. My husband took him to the pediatrician the next day. They did a test in the office and said it wasn't strep throat. It was just a virus that we had to wait out.

We waited. We went through lots of Tylenol. On Friday morning his fever was down to 99.5. That's the lowest it was all week without any medicine. By Friday night his temperature was normal. He was eating dinner.

Then the phone rang during dinner. It was a nurse at the pediatrician's office. She was calling to say that the lab results showed that my 5 year old did have strep throat. She wanted to call in a prescription to the pharmacy. She was surprised when I said that wasn't necessary. Actually it was necessary 5 days ago! But by the time she called he was feeling much better.

I understand that sometimes those instant tests can give false negatives. But if they suspect a false negative do they have to wait that long??

Today my 5 year old is feeling like his usual self. He's back to fighting with his older brother.

Now I'm holding my breath and hoping that no one gets sick for Thanksgiving :S

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

The Letter I

My 5 year old learned about the letter "I" in kindergarten today. They talked about things that start with the letter "I" like inchworm and igloo. Then they were given a paper where they were supposed to draw 4 things that start with "I" and write their names.

Here's what my son drew.
In case you can't read kindergarten writing, the box on the top left has a picture of Idaho. The box on the top right is Illinois. On the bottom there is an inchworm on the left and Indiana on the right.

A while ago we had a conversation about the letter "I" here. Who knew that "I" would become such a popular letter for places.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ouch!

Saturday night we hired a babysitter. She arrived at 5:45. My husband and I were supposed to leave the house at 6:00pm. At 5:59 my 7 year old ran through the hallway and fell. On his face. Hard.

We stayed a little longer to make sure he was ok, but we still went out.
These pictures were taken the next day.
He is feeling much better now, but he still looks like he was on the losing side of a boxing match. Ouch!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Found the Perfect Gift

As I mentioned earlier, I already did a little Christmas shopping. I have asked my husband if there is anything he wants for Christmas. He never answered.

He jokes that he will be buying me a Snuggie for Christmas. I can't help but laugh when I see those.

Now I have found the perfect gift for him.

Yes, that is an Obama Chia pet.

I think it would be great for his office (because I wouldn't keep it in my house).

I can already see his face light up on Christmas morning.

You can order your own here. Better hurry before they sell out.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

It's Official

I'm the meanest mom ever. At least according to my 5 year old son. That's what he told me this morning. Actually, I think his exact words were, "You're the meanest mom I ever had."

What did I do that was so awful? Like all mean moms, I made my son stand next to me at the bus stop, of course. Now, I don't normally force my kids to stand next to me at the bus stop. This morning my 5 year old wasn't behaving at the bus stop. He pushed another kid. I called his name and he ignored me. So I pulled him aside and he still ignored me. And that earned him some time standing next to me at the bus stop.

He did not like standing next to me. He screamed. He cried. He stomped his feet. He punched me. It brought back fond nightmares memories of when he was two years old. After what seemed like an eternity my 5 year old said, "You're the meanest mom I ever had!" I couldn't help but smile and think to myself, "I'm the only mom you ever had." But it didn't seem like a good time to point that out.

I started thinking that it would be kind of nice if he had a different mother right now so I wouldn't have to deal with this. I wondered if I could sell him to the black market in some far away country where they use child labor. How much do you get for a 5 year old anyway? He's healthy, has some muscle... I wondered if I would get enough for a vacation to... My daydream was interrupted and I was brought back to reality with a loud cry, "I want to leave NOW!" screamed at the top of my 5 year old's lungs. I'm pretty sure he woke up any neighbors who were trying to sleep in this morning.

Eventually he did calm down. He got on the bus and I waved good-bye. Then I went for my usual walk up the hill. Today I didn't stop when I got to the top of the hill. I kept on walking. I walked farther than I ever had. Then I ran back home. I feel better. But I'm still dreading 3:00 when school gets out.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

No School

My kids were off from school today and yesterday. Today is Veterans day. Happy Veterans Day! I'm not sure why the kids had off yesterday. I think the teachers were just tired of my kids.

It's hard to find things to do with the kids when there is no school. Yesterday we went to the library in the morning. My first grader did his homework. A friend came over to play in the afternoon. My kids still complained that they were bored.

This morning my kids woke up "bored." I gave them haircuts. I helped them make cookies. We ate lunch and then went to Chuck E. Cheese (I hate that place). We came home at 4:00. At 4:01 I heard, "I'm bored." I almost screamed. Instead I opened a beer and started eating the cookies.

I felt better. At least for a minute. Ok, maybe 5 minutes.

But that's not the point. The point is, why do we make cookies and the kids don't eat them? I end up eating them.

Two weeks ago my kids convinced me to buy cheetos at the grocery store. I don't usually buy these. I couldn't remember the last time I bought cheetos. So I bought them. My kids ate them once. The bag is still in the cabinet. I feel bad just throwing them away. So what do you think is happening to that bag? Well, I discovered that Cheetos goes well with beer and homemade cookies.

I don't get it! Why don't my kids finish the junk food that they make me get?

I feel silly saying, "Hey kids, you can't leave the table until you finish all of the cheetos!"

Oh well, it's a dirty job, but someone's got to do it.

Monday, November 9, 2009

I Took the Plunge

I did it. I started my Christmas shopping. I wasn't planning on it. I went shopping for winter coats for my kids and Christmas decorations were everywhere. Christmas music was playing everywhere. The mall was packed. And Christmas sales were everywhere. For an entire hour, I believed it was December 24th.

So I took the plunge. I bought a few Christmas presents for my kids.

Then I came home and realized that I need to hide these presents for seven weeks. Seven!! This is not going to be easy.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Seattle Rain

We're getting some stormy weather here in Seattle. The television evening news stated that some places had record breaking rainfall amounts. My 7 year old overheard this and asked, "Mom, does that mean there is a new high score?" I think we may need to cut back on video game time.

This proud parent moment is brought to you by Nintendo.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Good Bye Soccer Season

Both of my boys played soccer this fall. The season ended last week. No more soccer practice until next year. They had their end of the season parties and got their trophies. Everything is done.

Here's my 5 year old getting his trophy from his coach.


And here's my 7 year old showing off his soccer ball trophy that his friends signed.

So why do I still have a car filled with soccer equipment? There are goalie gloves that seem to have taken a permanent spot on the backseat. The gloves feel right at home with 3 soccer balls rolling around. Yes, I said 3 soccer balls. I have no idea how I ended up with 3 soccer balls in my car. I only have 2 kids!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Sick

On Thursday my 5 year old came home from school with a fever of 102.5. I took him to the clinic that night. They said he probably has swine flu.

This was really bad timing. Friday was his classroom Halloween party. He couldn't go. Friday was my husband's office trick-or-treating and Halloween party. My son couldn't go. Friday night was the school Halloween Bingo event. My son couldn't go to that either.

Since my son was home sick on Friday that meant I couldn't help with the school Halloween parties that I had previously signed up to help with. And I couldn't help to set up for the school Halloween Bingo, that one that I was chairing and that I had been planning for the last month.

My 5 year old was feeling better on Saturday and he was able to go trick-or-treating in our neighborhood. By Saturday night he had passed his flu germs onto me. So now it's my turn to be sick.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

From The Backseat

I was driving the kids to soccer the other day. It's already dark here at 6 pm but the field is lit. This is the conversation I heard coming from the backseat:


7 year old big brother: I can see a planet in the sky.

5 year old little brother: Where?! I want to see it too.

Big bro: Oh, too late. It already moved.

Little bro: I can see the moon.

Big bro: Where? I don't see it.

Little bro: Oh, too late. It already moved.


We had a very busy solar system that night.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

First and Last

Today my 5 year old lost his first tooth.

Today was also his last soccer game of the season. Don't worry, he lost his tooth at school, not at the game. He was so proud. He's not a baby anymore.

It was my turn to bring snack for his soccer team. I made cupcakes as a treat since it was their last game. It is amazing how many 5 year olds will drop a cupcake as soon as it is placed in the hands. When I picked them off the ground they looked like they were covered with black sprinkles. Yummy! Good thing I made extra.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Blah Blah

Thank you to Funny in My Mind who gave me this award. If you haven't checked out her blog, you should.




And now to pass it on to some of my commentators who always make my day. Go check out their blogs too!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Nelson Who?

As many of my faithful readers know, I'm taking a Japanese class at the local community college. Yesterday my sensei taught how to make a negative sentence. For example, "I am not a teacher."

Sense decided to play a game where she taped a card with the name of a famous person on the back of each student. Then us, students, were supposed to go around and ask questions. The questions were limited to:

Am I woman?

Am I man?

Am I singer?

Am I an athlete?

Am I a politician?

Am I a movie star?

Sensei had posted lists of famous people in each category. So once you figured out the right gender and category you could go to the list and start guessing names. I thought it was a neat idea. Turns out that underneath this blogging mom, there is an inner golf star trying to get out. I was Tiger Woods. You can see the resemblance, no?

At the end of the game, one person still hadn't figured out who the person taped to her back was. She was at list of singers. But her person wasn't a singer. It was Nelson Mandela. Can you believe someone in the class told her Nelson Mandela was a singer?! I turned to the student sitting next to me and said that, "Can you believe someone thought Nelson..." Before I could finish he said, "Wait, wasn't Nelson Mandela an athlete?"



When I got home and started to tell this story to my husband his reaction was, "Who is Nelson Mandela?"

Really?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I'm Not From Around Here

It's raining. According to the weather guesser man, it's not supposed to stop raining until about next May or so. I live in Seattle. It happens that way every winter.

I moved here three years ago from New Jersey. It rains in New Jersey. For a day or two at a time. And when it does, everyone goes inside. Or if we need to go somewhere, we get our umbrellas and go.

Not in Seattle.

The rain doesn't stop people in Seattle. No one goes inside when it rains. I even got a letter from the school principal making sure that parents (especially those that moved here from New Jersey) knew that the kids will be playing outside during recess even if it is raining. The school does have some covered areas outside for the kids to play under, but my kids like to get wet. A slide with a puddle at the bottom is irresistible to my 5 year old. So my kids are soaked after recess.

No one in Seattle uses umbrellas. Using an umbrella here is like wearing a huge sign that says, "I'm a tourist."

People don't stop when it rains. They still go jogging. They still bike to work. They still go outside for recess.

Not me. I got all ready to go running this morning. It hadn't started to rain until five minutes before it was time to leave. Then it started. So I took the kids to the bus stop. And I brought my tourist umbrella with me. Sure enough none of the other kids or moms at the bus stop had umbrellas. I wonder if they have some secret duck-like hair that is inbred in the local Seattle population... Running will have to wait until tomorrow or maybe till May.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Places That Start with the Letter "I"

Today while I was driving my 7 year old home from soccer practice he asked me, "Mom, which license plate has black on top, and some white and starts with an 'I' and is a short name? And it wasn't Idaho."

I gave the best answer I could. "I don't know."

"It must be Iran," he said confidently.

"I don't think it was Iran, honey. Do you think it said Illinois instead?"

"Oh yeah, maybe Illinois," he said.

Illinois. Iran. Close enough, right?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

An Expanding Vocabulary

Tonight my husband and I played Scrabble Jr. with our boys, ages 5 and 7. The 5 year old lined up his letters and spelled out the word, "hot." My 7 noticed it and pointed it out. Then he asked, "I wonder if he means hot temperature hot, or hot like a lady hot?"

My husband and I exchanged glances that asked the same silent question, "hot like a lady hot?"

So I asked, "Honey, what do you mean, 'hot like a lady'?"

"You know mom, like a good looking woman."


Now my husband and I knew he knew what he was talking about, but we weren't ready for the 5 year old to join in. "Like a beautiful woman," my 5 year old said.

Then my 5 year added an "E" to his row of letters and said "See mom, now it's H-O-T-E, hottie!"

My husband and I couldn't hold back our laughter.

Vocabulary and spelling lessons all in one night!

This proud parent moment is brought to you Milton Bradley.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Not Sure I Can Do This

I'm feeling a little old lately.

I didn't have a birthday or anything.

It's my husband's fault.

Isn't it always his fault?

He made me get a new cell phone.

I barely new how to work my old cell phone.

The phone that I had for the last two years.

It took me one year just to get comfortable checking the voicemail.

Seriously.

For the first year, my friends knew not to leave me a message. I never checked it.

My husband would pick up my phone every once in a while and say, "did you know that you have a message here?"

"Oh?"

He would retrieve the message and listen to it and then say, "This message is a month old!"

"Oh."

Now I have to start all over with a new phone. More buttons and icons and things that I don't even know the names of. I feel old... help!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Quick Geography Lesson

Yesterday my 7 year old asked me, "Mom, where's Argentina?"

"It's in South America."

"Oh, that's the license plate I saw yesterday with daddy" he said.

"Really? Daddy said it was Arkansas" I replied.

"Yeah, that's what it was."

Pause...

"Mom, Where's Arkansas?"

"It's in the middle of the United States" I said.

"Oh."

Geography lesson? Check.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Already??

In August we went back to school shopping. I bought my second grader several pairs of pants. He is a little hard to shop and he hates shopping so when we found a style that he likes and that fit him, we bought 3 pairs in different colors. He wore a pair this morning to school.


Notice anything?
You can see the tops of his socks!
Did I mention that I bought these pants in August? And that I bought 3 pairs?
That's it. No more food for him!

Friday, October 9, 2009

What Do You Do?

Last night my kids' school had a movie night. My kids watched 2 minutes of the movie and ran around for the remaining 1 hour and 58 minutes.

I chatted with a few other parents that also made the mistake of attending this event. One mom I had met briefly last summer when our kids were in swimming lessons together. Now our younger boys are in the same kindergarten class. She asked what I do for a living. I explained that I'm a "stay at home mom." I hate the word "housewife." She talked about her job as a police office in the domestic violence unit. She had a lot more to talk about than I did.

Then I chatted with another friend who had recently hurt her feet and hadn't been able to walk for the last week. What happened to her? She was out in a boat with her husband and it capsized. She swam to shore and her husband couldn't make it. He was hanging on to part of the boat. She ran across a shore covered in oyster shells and cut her feet pretty bad. Then she got another boat and paddled back out to her husband and brought him back to shore where paramedics where waiting. They were both treated for hypothermia and she needed 10 stitches in her feet from the shells.

What I had I been doing in the last week? Oh, nothing, just listening to school nurses and teachers lecture me about pencil tip erasers.

And just to update my faithful readers on the pencil tip erasers (because yes, there is always an update). Today my kids built a mini golf course out of hot wheels tracks. They decided you have to purchase a ball to use on the course just like at the real mini golf place. And what does one use to purchase a mini golf ball? Why, a pencil tip eraser of course!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Eraser Saga Continues

Today I had a message from the school nurse on my cell phone. My kids were fine. She was calling to tell me what a bad parent I am.

My 5 year old was in her office this morning because he put a pencil eraser up his nose and couldn't get it out. Luckily the nurse was able to get it out. But as the nurse said, kids shouldn't be putting things inside their noses. Apparently I'm not good at teaching this lesson at home. Ya know, because I'm busy showing my kids great places to stick pencil erasers.

In case you have missed my previous posts about pencil erasers (and yes, there are more than one) you can catch up here, here, and here. To summarize earlier this school year my 7 year old son stuck a pencil eraser in his year and it involved a trip to the school nurse, the ER and the ENT. Oh, and now we have a collection of pencil tip erasers and a cup full of pencils without erasers.

When I got home there were two messages on the machine. One from the nurse (I assume she had tried to the house number first). And another from my son's teacher. Apparently the teacher didn't want to miss out on the opportunity to let me know what a bad parent I am because when I returned her call that was all she had to say.

So whenever you get invited over to dinner at the Cookie household please make sure you bring your own pencil tip eraser for some after dinner fun of "where can we stick the eraser this time." And be forewarned that if you don't bring your own, you might to get a used one.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Where Does He Get It From?

This afternoon my 5 year old came up to me and said, "Mom, my teacher says I'm very smart."

I smiled and started to say, "She's right, honey."

But before I could finish my 7 year interrupted by saying to his brother, "You get it from me."

Another proud parent moment.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

New Baby Gag Gift?

*Warning* Put down whatever you are eating before reading.

This post is a little graphic. Not for those with weak stomachs.


I found this new idea for a baby gift while I was reading new blog.



Cute, huh? Until you find out what it's made out of.

Placenta.

gags

I first found it at Antoinette's blog, Inner Medley. Go check it out. (She promises it's not gross every day.)

And if you have to order your own pattern, or you just can't believe that this is real, you can check it out here.

Am I the only one totally grossed out??? Sandy, do you sew?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Find a Penny Pick It Up

Yesterday I took my kids to Target. In front of the store my 7 year old son found a penny. He picked it up and looked at it closely. Then he said to me very excitedly, "Wow mom! This penny is from 1971! That is really old."

Yup, that's sooo old.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Hugs and the Flu

Yesterday while I was on campus walking to my class there were a few tables set up with signs and balloons and such. One was sponsored by "Campus Events" and had a huge sign that said, "Free Hugs." Next to it was a smaller booth. That booth had a box with a sign that said, "Free flu care kits."

Get your flu kit and your free hug at the same time. Very efficient, no?

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Always Something To Learn

Thanks for your encouragement in taking the Japanese class. I do have my reasons for wanting to learn Japanese. I guess I assumed that everyone knows that my husband is Japanese. I do already know some Japanese. But I'm not sure that the Japanese I know will help me in this class. I know things like Japanese cartoon characters, and phrases like, "I need to go potty" and "Where are the diapers?" These aren't in the textbook. I checked.

I don't really need to know that much Japanese. Yes, I do travel to Japan. But when I go to Japan, I bring my own personal translator with me, my husband. Granted being able to survive in Japan and being to communicate are different. I would also like my children to continue speaking Japanese because we spent a lot of money sending them to Japanese preschool and the older one already forgets most of it it's an important part of their heritage and I don't like wasting money .

I do know how to say a few other things in Japanese. And I can understand more than I can say. But it doesn't always work as planned. This past spring my family and I went to Okinawa. We stayed at a beautiful hotel with a private beach. We decided to try the jet skis. We had to go two at a time. My 5 year old and I went first with the jet ski instructor. Then my husband and my 7 year old with the same jet ski instructor. My 5 year old and I waited on the beach while they took their 20 minute ride. Not more than 2 minutes had passed when my 5 year old turned to me and said, "I need to go potty." We were on the beach. There was no bathroom. The nearest building was where we paid for the jet skis and there was no bathroom there, but we could ask where the bathroom is. At this point I considered sending him into the ocean to go potty. But I quickly changed my mind. My 5 year has been going to Japanese school for 2 years. This is a resort where most employees speak English. Surely we could find a bathroom without the help of my usual translator.

My 5 year old and I walked up to the jet ski rental counter and I told my son to ask where the bathroom was. He wouldn't do it! He made me do it. So I asked. And the guy understood me! It would have been perfect if only I could have understood his answer. He pointed up a hill and toward a building. I went to the building. And then found a map with the bathroom located on the second floor. I later found out that the man at the jet ski counter said, "follow that path up the hill to the building and take the elevator to the second floor."

That reminds of another woman I met once who considered herself fluent in Japanese and was proven wrong by a little girl. This woman was a businesswoman. She worked in Japan and handled many contracts and meetings without any trouble. One day she was with some friends at the store. She was asked to watch one of her friend's little girl who was only about 3 years old. The little girl said something to the businesswoman. But the businesswoman did not understand the little girl. The businesswoman tried a few times to get the girl to speak more slowly and tried asking questions to figure out what the girl needed but in the end she ran out of time. The little girl had wet her pants. The little girl was saying that she needed to go "potty." She was using the child's word for "potty" as opposed to a more adult word like bathroom. So the woman did not understand. "Potty" is not in most textbooks and not used in most business meetings or contracts.

Just when you think you know it all a little girl can teach you something.

Monday, September 28, 2009

The New Girl At School

I enrolled in a class at the local community college. I'm taking Japanese now. Today was the first day.

When I enrolled in this class I had to send over transcripts to make sure I met the prerequisites for the class. I felt really old digging up those artifacts. But somehow I managed to get accepted into the college and I found my way through the new computer system and enrolled in the class.

This morning I started to get a little nervous. I don't know my way around campus. Where do I park? Will I be able to find the classroom? What if the other kids don't like me? What if the school nurse from my kids' school tries call me during class (As if that would ever happen!)? Typical first day concerns. Nothing really to worry about. Then as I'm walking out the door to leave for my class I realize that maybe I have a real concern. I realize that I don't have a notebook or a pen. Ok, maybe I do have something to worry about.

I don't think I'm ready for this.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

One is Never Enough

My 7 year old son has started a new collection. Some of you may wonder what a 7 year old would be interested in collecting these days. He already has a collection of Pokemon cards. And a rock collection, hot wheels, quarters and other things. But I was surprised by his latest collection.

Yup, he has collected three erasers from the tops of pencils. That may be strange enough for a normal 7 year old. But if you've been reading my blog, you might remember that it was only 2 weeks ago when my son stuck this same kind of pencil eraser in his eraser (You can read the post here). The school nurse couldn't get it out. The ER doctor couldn't' get out. The ENT almost couldn't get out.

So why not have a collection of them, right?

Friday, September 25, 2009

My Teenage Son

The weather has started changing here. The leaves are beginning to show some fall colors. The nights are getting chilly. The daytime highs are dropping. Fall is in the air.

My kids are skeptical. They want to wear shorts every day. I let it go for a while. But now it's officially fall. And the high yesterday was in the 60's. I explained these things to my kids and they both agreed to wear long pants to school. They got up and got themselves dressed. I commented at breakfast on what a good job they did following directions and getting themselves dressed appropriately for the fall weather.

I sent them off to school as normal.

I picked them up at the bus stop in the afternoon. My 5 year old was wearing shorts. Huh?

I asked him why he was wearing shorts. He laughed and said, "Ha, ha. Tricked you. I put shorts on under my pants and took off my pants when I go to school."

When did my 5 year old turn 15?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Priorities

This morning my 5 year old ran ahead to the bus stop. My 7 year old stayed behind and walked with me. My 7 year old turned to me and said, "Mom, I don't know why he is running. He is using up all of his energy running and won't have any energy to talk when he gets to the bus stop."

My 7 year old does have his priorities.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Adventures

Last night I put the kids to bed. Then my husband and I sat on the couch to watch some TV before going to bed ourselves. (I don't know why The Biggest Loser is so addictive, but it is.) Around 9pm, we heard our 5 year get up, go to the bathroom and go back to bed. I said to my husband, "Isn't it nice that our son is old enough to wake up and go to the bathroom all by himself?"

I was wrong.

Around 10pm I went upstairs and went into the bathroom. I found my 5 year's pajama shirt in the toilet. The bottoms were in the trashcan. The bath mats were soaked. What happened in there??? I'm starting to think that my kids like to come up with new ways to surprise me. I really thought he was just going to the bathroom. I guess had gone to the bathroom, but this is not what I had expected.

I went into my son's room. He was sound asleep and soaking wet. My husband I changed his clothes and changed his bedding and took his temperature. He didn't have a fever. That was a relief.

This morning I asked my son what happened last night. He looked at me and said, "Mom, I don't know. I woke up this morning and my clothes were changed!" He was very surprised.

Perhaps he was sleepwalking?

These kids really do like to find new ways to keep me busy every day.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Another One Down

We're dropping like flies here. Today it's my husband's turn. Well actually I'm a day behind in blogging. Yesterday was his turn. Yesterday he stayed home from work with a fever and a sore throat. I drove him to the doctor (just like any one of my other children). He has strep. Now is on antibiotics and is home again today.

Any guesses as to who will be next?

I am beginning to feel like a sitting duck.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Tis the Season

My 5 year old has seasonal allergies. For whatever reason his allergies are worse this year than usual. His regular allergy medicine doesn't seem to be working as well. He goes to the school nurse almost every day. His teacher sends me notes home letting me know. I hear him coughing. I give him medicine. I know. But what else can I do? I already worry that I'm overdosing him.

After a week of his coughing getting worse, not better, yesterday I made a call and took him to the pediatrician. The pediatrician checked his ears. All clear. He checked his nose. All clear. He checked his throat. Not all clear. He decided to a strept test (which came back negative).

The pediatrician moved on to my son's chest. He listened for a while and finally decided that he heard some wheezing and prescribed an inhaler. And since the strept test came back negative, my son had no fever, and no one else in my house was sick, my son was given a clean bill of health.

My 5 year old used the inhaler at 1pm. At 8pm he suddenly had a fever of 101.4. I called the office hoping to speak with the doctor on call. A nurse called me back. She reviewed his age, weight etc. Then reviewed his symptoms, the allergies, coughing, the medication, new inhaler, the doctor's specific request not to give him any additional medications. After all of that do you know what she said? She said, "Give him some honey and a warm shower."

I wanted to reach the phone and strangle her.

Honey and a warm shower???

I'm calling to find out #1 if it is possible if my son is having a reaction to this new inhaler and #2 if I should even continue using this new inhaler and #3 what else I can give to help his fever and you suggest "Honey and warm shower?"

I wanted to tell her what she can with that honey and her warm shower.

But I didn't. I re-asked questions 1-3.

Luckily my son is much better today. No thanks to the worthless nurse. Oh, and I didn't try her honey or warm shower suggestion. Go figure.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Family Portrait

Recently my family had our family portrait done my a local artist. He's a new, young, up and coming artist. I'm sure one day his artwork will fill all of the galleries. Right now his work is featured mostly on the Famous Fridge or at Grandma's house.

I like his perception of how skinny my thighs are. And those Rockettes have nothing on me. I'm all legs.

And apparently my family has some kind of skin condition that is turning us all blue. Could it be swine flu?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

That Rocks

This week my kids got a new bus taking them home from school. My kindergartner was very excited to tell me all about it.

"Mom, now we're the first stop. And the new bus driver goes so fast. She does 50 miles per hour down the hill. She rocks!"

Just what a mom wants to hear about the new bus driver.

Monday, September 14, 2009

More House Painting

It's four days later and I still haven't made a final decision for a paint color. I thought I had a few days ago, but I was wrong.

The painter wrote down my selection, went to the store, bought the paint and came to the house to put up a sample on the house. Before he even made it back to the house, I called to tell him that I changed my mind about the door color. But I thought I was certain about the house color. Then my husband saw it and he wasn't so certain. This morning my husband looked at again. He said it's too light. But I don't want something too dark. So he says, "Whatever you want." Which in marriage translates too, "You decide, so I can blame you for the next 10 years for choosing the wrong color."

Now I know what color is too light. That would be the color that the painter put on our house as a sample. And I know what color is too dark. That would be the color of the house across the street. And I have three inches of colors to choose from. (See my earlier post if you have no idea what I'm talking about.) So I have a plan. I'm going to my three inches of colors and compare them to the other houses. Do you think the neighbors will mind if I go up to their houses with samples of paint? Probably not when I kindly explain that I don't want to make the same mistake by selecting the wrong house color, right?

I''m beginning to run out of time...

Friday, September 11, 2009

Remembering 9/11

I feel fortunate. Fortunate that my husband hadn't left for work that day. Fortunate that he didn't even work downtown. Fortunate that my father wasn't at the pentagon that day. Fortunate that no one I knew was hurt.

On 9/11/2001 I was pregnant. I lived in north Jersey and my husband worked in NYC. He was getting ready to take the bus into the city. We had the TV on and were watching the news when we saw a plane crash into the tower. We didn't think much of it. Surely it was an accident. My husband left for work and started to walk to the bus stop. A neighbor told him that all the tunnels were closed and he came back.

We continued watching the news and saw the other plane hit the tower and knew it was no accident. When the tower collapsed, we lost our TV signal. That was our local antenna on top. It took a few hours for us to find out what was going on.

My parents live in Virginia, a few miles from the pentagon. My father often has government contracts and has visited the pentagon in the past.

My parents were afraid of my husband being in the city in that morning and we worried about my parents too. I do feel fortunate that my family is safe.

That night my house filled with smoke. The smoke stayed for a week.

There were military personnel with guns at tunnels and bridges. It felt like a war zone.

My town was a NYC commuter town. Lots of people never came back that day. So many funerals. There were cars that never left the commuter parking lots. They marked the tires with chalk. One line for each day they didn't return. No one wanted to tow them. No one wanted to give up hope.

It didn't take long for Missing Posters to go up. So many people went missing on 9/11. Lots of people were searing for someone who never came home that day. No one wanted to give up hope.

It also didn't take long for the cars that had chalk lines on the tires to also have flowers placed on the windshields. And flowers were placed on the fences along the sidewalks by route 3, the main road into NYC.

Everyone knew someone who was gone. Everyone knew someone who didn't come back that day.

New Yorkers (and East Coast people) get a bad reputation around Seattle for being rude and uncaring, but they do look out for each other. There is an inexplicable bond. Almost a kinship. Lots of New Yorkers came to help during that time.

Those armed military personnel became comforting. They stayed there for a very long time. By Christmas we were waving to them as we passed by. We were glad they were there. They had become a part of our town.

I no longer live near NYC. I'm near Seattle now. Things are different here. No one talks about which neighbor didn't come back on 9/11. No one talks about the client who worked in the tower and never made it to the meeting. Or their favorite restaurant that used to be a block away from the towers. Or how they moved to the suburbs because they were forced to move out their apartment after 9/11 when the section of the city they lived in was closed for months. There are no newspaper clippings hanging up at the local pizza place with pictures of the towers burnings because of the quote underneath from the fireman was the owner's nephew.

Things are not the same here.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Choosing a Color

Thanks for all the well wishes for my son. The ENT was able to get the eraser out of my son's ear. He almost gave up. After about 5 minutes of trying the ENT looked at me and started talking about scheduling surgery for tomorrow. I started to blank out and strongly suggest that he try again. This time I held my son and encouraged him to stay still. It worked. The eraser came out! The doctor asked if we wanted to take the eraser home. Is he crazy?! No thanks. Now my son can no longer say, "sorry mom, I can't hear you, I have an eraser in my ear." He did try this several times. He did not, however, get away with it.


My 7 year old liked going to the ENT. The ENT's office was right down the hall from the doctor he went to when he broke his arm back in February.


This week we're getting the exterior of our house painted. Today the painters finished the pressure washing, scraping and caulking. I need to decide on a color. Here are my choices.






That's 2.5 inches of colors! The kids think black would be nice.


I was looking at some of the names. Check out these pinks.


Can you read the names? The lightest pink is "Romantic." The next is"Second Honeymoon." The third is "Tingle." Do you see a theme here? The next is "Want it." I was a little afraid to read the next one, "Whistler." Then comes, "Bohemian" and "Attitude." Who comes up with these names?! The next set of pinks has "Excite" and "Betrothed."

I was thinking of getting a more neutral earth tone tan color. I can choose, "Crumbled wall." Is that a prediction? Not a very good thing to put on your house, I would think. Or how about "Pot hole?" I can imagine the conversation now.
Neighbor: "Is that the newest color pot hole on your house? "
Me: "Yes, it is."
Neighbor: "Wow! It looks great! Just like a real pot hole!"

They also have a brownish-tan called, "Dotcom." I'm not sure if that's good or bad.

I'm leaning toward one called, "Deck chair." It's a nice brown. Neutral. Earth-toned. Peaceful. Non-kinky. Respectable name that I can tell my neighbors. Deck chair it is.

Neighbor: "Wow! Did you just get your house painted? It looks great."
Me: "Thanks. It's Deck chair."
Neighbor : (Not going to say anything because it's obvious that they are both looking at a house and not a deck a chair. Cookie has completely lost it.)

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Four Days

Four Days.

That's how many long my kids have been in school. Today I got a call from the school asking me to come pick up my son. My 7 year old had put a pencil eraser in his ear and it would not come out.

It only took my son four days of being in school before I got a call asking me to pick him up and take him to the E.R.

Do you know those signs that factories use to keep track of how many days they've been "accident free"? I think I need one of those for my house. It would look nice on the fridge. This morning it would say, "4 Days." Tonight it would be "0 Days."

The E.R. could not remove the eraser. Tomorrow I will be taking my 7 year old to an ENT. The E.R. doctor wrote a prescription for one sedative. I think my son and I should split it. Only seems fair.

Can't wait to see what my kids come up with in four more days....

Learning To Swing

This weekend my 7 year old wanted to learn how to swing. Some of his friends can swing on the playground at school without any help and he wanted to be able to join them. We went to the park and practiced. After about 15 minutes he got the hang of it. Once he got about 5 feet high he jumped off. "That was fun" he announced.

And he did it again. Only the next time he went higher.

He got back on the swing. He went just a little bit higher still and jumped off yet again.

Uh-oh.

I have a feeling I'm going to get a call from the nurse's office this week.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Mom Vs The Kindergarten Tag

In case you missed my last post about my son's first day of kindergarten, I'll summarize. I forgot to send him to school with his important bus tag. The tag that kindergartners are supposed to wear around their necks for the first 2 weeks of school. The tag that has the classroom information, their bus information and their home information. When I realized this I stopped what I was doing, I went to the school and I dropped it off in his classroom.

So when I picked my kindergartner up at the bus stop that afternoon, I was expecting him to come off the bus wearing that oh-so-important tag. He wasn't. I asked him where the tag was.

It was in his backpack.

The next morning I had him put it on as we left the house. It was back in his backpack when he got to the bus stop. And it has remained in his backpack all week.

I think the tag may have won this round.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of Kindergarten

Today is the First day of school and that means the first day of kindergarten for my 5 year old. I walked both kids down to the bus stop. I took a few pictures. I came home and had some coffee, checked some emails and stared my cleaning. First on my list of chores was to go through the pile of school papers that had been sitting in the drawer all summer. Yes, that would be the pile of papers from last school year. And while I'm not admitting to anything here, it may or may not have included a few papers from my second graders preschool days. Ahem... Anyway, first let me just offer an explanation or excuse for why I put this off for so long. (Those of you with school age probably use this same excuse.) You can't go through these papers with kids in the house. They want to keep everything. You can't throw away any of the 10 pages where they practiced writing the number one. Each paper is very important to them. Or the 26 pages or leaf rubbings. So you keep them in a drawer until the kids are gone and then you pick a select few to keep and toss the remaining 2.5 billion into the recycling bin.

While I'm sorting through the papers from last year (like I said, I'm not admitting to having papers from 3 years ago) the phone rings. It's my friend who also has a child starting kindergarten today. She calls to tell me that she forgot to send her child to school with the tag that has her bus information on it. You know, the tag that the school printed up, laminated, sent home a week ago and requested that kindergartners where it to school every day for the first two weeks. How cold she forget?!

I look down on the counter. There is my child's tag too. Oops. I guess I'll be stopping by the school to drop it off. After I finish sorting through the rest of the school papers.

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Monday, August 31, 2009

Twas The Night Before School Starts

Twas the night before school starts, when all through the place

No parent could keep a smile from their happy face;

The backpacks were ready by the door with care

In hopes that the school bus soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of recess danced in their heads;

There was a summer’s worth of cleaning waiting to be done

But better things first like blogging and emailing everyone

Prepared with my coffee and my computer too

I had blogs to catch up and writing to do.

When all of a sudden there came a little ding,

I clicked on the pop to see what it could bring.

Away from the blogs it felt like I ran,

Over the summer, I've assumed my kids attention span.

With the familiar pop-up window, the friendly gem

I knew in a moment it must be IM

This new chatting on facebook cannot be good.

I already spend more time online than I probably should.

Tomorrow when that school bus finally takes the kids away

After a few minutes of celebration, plenty of things to fill my day

Yes, the cleaning, the laundry, the dishes galore

Gardening, sewing, washing the floor

Going to the salon, the mall, and Starbucks too

Painting my toenails, reading my book, so much to do.

Walking the kids to bus stop tomorrow,

is filled with excitement but no sorrow!

The kids climb aboard and wave from their seats

As the bus drives away from the end of the street,

Cries will be heard from moms full of cheer

“Happy first day of school to all and to all a good year.”

Friday, August 28, 2009

A Special Fan

Yesterday was another hot day here. It was in the upper 80's and I turned on the fan to cool things off. The fan gave up. It died. It lived a good long life. I think it was over 10 years old. But it's still August. I can't be without a fan.


I felt a bit like a betrayer this morning when I went out to buy a new fan. Is it wrong to replace my old fan so fast? With more hot weather coming, I don't think so.




So today, I bought this.


This fan is special. A 20 inch box fan with 3 speed settings and a carry handie for convenience. You could search for years and never find a carry handie. Really! How often does one find a carry handie on their fan?!


Yup, it's made in China.


Yup, it was the only fan left in the store.


I hope it works.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Translation Please

We're home now after spending a week in Virginia visiting my parents.
Tonight I made tacos for dinner. My 5 year old said, "Mom, I really like it when you put potatoes and whip cream on my tacos."
As yummy as potatoes and whip cream mixed with hot sauce and cheese sounds, what he meant was tomatoes and sour cream. Or at least I think that's what he meant.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Is that a what?

Today we went to the National Aquarium in Baltimore. There was a little girl in front of me about 5 years old. I heard her ask her mother, "Mom, is that a walrus????!"
Her mother very sweetly replied, "No honey, that's a catfish."
The two can so easily be confused, can't they?
We return home to Seattle tomorrow. And I can't wait.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Quick Note

We arrived safely in Virginia late last night after a long day of traveling. I felt sorry for the woman across the aisle from me. She was alone with three children. The airplane had 6 seats across separated by one aisle. So the woman took one row with two young toddlers on either side of her and her 7 year old sat on the aisle seat across from her. I sat in the seat behind the 7 year old. And older woman happened to sit next to the 7 year old. That older woman was an angel. She should have been paid millions for what she endured during the flight.
The 7 year told her all kinds of things. About her father and about her biological father. About her house that isn't really house because it's a trailer and she has no curtains on her windows. The 7 year old wanted to write a story but she couldn't write. So the 7 year old drew pictures and the lady was nice enough to write the words. Then the 7 year old said, "And let's not make this a short story. It needs to be nice and long for my daddy." And she wasn't kidding.
Later in the flight, the 7 year old started singing. First she sang songs like, "It's raining, It's pouring." Then she started just singing and even admitted that she was making up words that weren't even real words. "La Ti Da.."
Do you know how long a flight from Seattle to Virginia is?
As the plane started to descend the little girl commented that her ears were starting to bother her and that she couldn't hear. But then she quickly recovered and said, "It's ok, I can still talk." Oh...
Even my own 7 year, who was sitting 2 rows behind with my husband, commented on how annoying this other 7 year old was.
Really, this woman should have been paid millions. And I don't think the other mom even thanked her. But I did.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Some Days

Some days there isn't much going on worth blogging about. Today is one of those days. The kids aren't doing much more than their usual fighting and whining. Nothing seems out of the ordinary. The conversations in my house seem strangely normal. Even my husband is well behaved.


I look to the neighbors for something blog-worthy. Nothing.


You would think I would be happy to have a peaceful, uneventful day. Instead I'm slightly disappointed to have nothing to blog about.


I'm sure Hallmark will have a new sympathy card for that soon.

But not to worry. I'm leaving to visit my parents in Virginia in a few hours. We'll be gone for 6 days. I'm sure the week will be filled with many blog-worthy adventures.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Recycling

Earlier this summer we rented a small house house in a state park. We spent two nights there. The first day we arrived I put some bottles into the recycling on the back porch. I met the park ranger while I was outside. I introduced myself and we chatted for a few minutes. Then she said that she asked when we arrived. I told her that it was our first day there. She opened the recycling container and said she would be back to empty it. Ok.
I went back inside. Then I looked through the window and I noticed that the park ranger was emptying the recycling the container like she said and it was full. Very full. Full with wine bottles! And didn't I just tell her that I was only here one day? I swear those weren't mine. Not even one of them. I had only put water bottles in the recycling. I was very jealous of the people who had stayed in the house before us!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Something Different

My husband bought this book in Japan. It is filled with pictures where are you supposed to find the differences between the two pictures. We have similar things in the US. I figured you don't have to be able to read to find the differences in the pictures, so I took the book with me when I dragged the kids with me to get the oil changed one day.
At the top of the page, the picture is divided into sections. I knew that we were supposed to one find thing different in each of the sections at the top of the page but no matter how hard we looked we could never find something different in every section. Can you guess why?


Can anyone tell that my husband solved the mystery? Because the answer is "C". "C" is the section that doesn't have anything different. So if I could have read the directions I wouldn't haven't kept looking (and made my kids keep looking) for something different in every section. At least my husband had a good laugh at my frustration. Now to go through the book in the trash.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Bring Your Own

Usually I write about the funny things my kids do. I think spending so much time with my kids this summer, is causing their behavior to wear off on me.
Yesterday I went to the grocery store. I needed to buy milk and bread. I got a few other things. I put everything on the belt at the checkout. Then I put my green cloth bag in front of my groceries. I noticed that it wasn't empty. There was something inside. I opened it. It was garlic.
I had bought garlic earlier in the week. I used the last of it when I made spaghetti. I don't use garlic every day so I didn't need it right away. I guess when I emptied the bag, I took everything else out of the bag and since the garlic was small and light I didn't notice it in the bottom of my bag. So now I was at the check out with my stowaway garlic that I had bought earlier in the week. I didn't want to attempt to explain to the checker why I had brought my own garlic to the store.
Can you imagine? "I uh brought my own garlic with me because I wanted it to see the world and know what it was like at other grocery stores." So I just put it on the belt with the rest of my groceries. For $0.50 it was worth my dignity. Except that I had purchased it at different grocery store and the produce bag was slightly different than the store I was currently in. I'm sure the checker snickered when she rang up the garlic. Luckily she didn't question me. I was so embarrassed I couldn't even look at her.
As soon as I got home, I made sure that the garlic was put away safely with the onions.
Am I the only who does things like this?
Does any else take garlic on field trips and bring garlic to the store with them so they can pay for it again?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Free Samples

Dear Quality Health,
Thank you for that lovely spam email offering me a free sample of the new Honey nut cheerios cereal bar simply by clicking on the link in the email and connecting to your website. The picture looked delicious! Then when I clicked on the link, there was no free sample, just a survey. So I typed "free sample" into the search box at the top of the screen on your website. What a great list of "free samples" you have!
I found urine samples and stool samples and even biopsy samples. Just so you know, I have boys. I get enough urine and stool samples. And I'm not really interested in any biopsy samples. In fact after reading about all of the samples on your website, I'm no longer interested in that free Honey Nut Cheerios bar sample either.
Thanks Anyway,
Cookie

Signs That Summer Vacation Is A Little Too Long

1. You think that ice cream is an appropriate breakfast because it contains milk. And strawberry ice cream counts as fruit too!
2. You stop asking the kids not to fight and start asking them not to fight on the couch because blood stains don't come out.
3. You're on a first name basis with the people at the McDonald's drive thru.
4. The people at the McDonald's Drive thru aren't on a first name basis with you.
5. Spraying the kids outside with the hose has replaced giving them a bath.
6. You've finished buying all of the back to school supplies a month before school actually starts.
7. You start a petition for the school year to start in July.
8. You have bought 29 pairs of goggles and only have 2 kids that use them.
9. There are 5 buckets filled with dirt, sand, grass, weeds, seeds, shells, sand dollars, rocks and other collections on the deck, but not a single bucket available to take to the beach.
10. Your body goes into involuntary convulsions at the when you hear the first syllable of the word "boring"

Monday, August 10, 2009

Secret Super Powers

I have super powers. It's a secret, so don't tell anyone.
I can make it rain. All I have to do is sign my kids up for summer camp and magically it rains. I'm not kidding. I have signed my kids up for camp twice this summer. The first time it rained. It hasn't rained since. Not one drop. Finally the second week that I chose for camp is here and guess what. It's raining. Am I talented, or what? I know you are jealous.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Lunch Time

Today at lunch I heard my 7 year old say to his little 5 year old brother, "Let me know when you're all done lunch."
My 5 year old asked, "Why?"
"Because I'm going to eat your lunch when I'm done with mine."

You'd think I don't feed them enough! Then when I asked my 7 year old if he was still hungry and if I should prepare him something else to eat he said, "no."

Some days you just can't win.

Did I mention that there are only 23 days until school starts?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Can I Use the Tweezers???

The other day my 7 year old said, "Mom, can use the tweezers?"
"Why?" I asked, a little afraid of what his answer might be.
"Because I want to go in the woods in the back yard and there is a prickle bush in the way" was his logical reply.
I looked down from the vegetables I was chopping for dinner and saw that he was actually holding the hedge clippers. That makes more sense. "Go ahead. Just make sure and you put them back in the garage where you found them when you are done. And honey, those are hedge clippers, not tweezers."
"Oh" he said and took off.
Now it makes a lot more sense why when my 5 year old started screaming last week when got splinter and I asked for the tweezers to get it out!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Lemonade Stand

I wish I could have taken a picture of this to share with you. But it wasn't my kids selling lemonade that I'm writing about. It was the kids who live about a block away. My neighborhood is a dead end. It is made up of one main road that has 5 small roads coming off of it. Each of those 5 roads ends in a cul de sac. I live in the third cul de sac. The lemonade stand was in the fourth cul de sac. At least the kids who selling the lemonade live in the fourth cul de sac.
My 5 year old was playing outside in front of my house today. He came running inside asking me for a quarter to buy some lemonade from his friends who live in the next cul de sac. He decided it would be best to take two quarters since his brother was outside too and would also want some lemonade. I asked my son, "did you leave our cul de sac?" Because surely the only way to buy lemonade would be to pass by the lemonade stand in front of their house, right? He assured me he hadn't.
I looked outside. The kids from the next cul de sac has set up their lemonade stand at the end of my driveway.
I get that these things happen. I get that kids wander sometimes. Parents lose track of their kids when go outside to play. It has happened to me before. My kids go outside to play and next thing I know my neighbor across the street is calling to ask if it's ok if my kids have a Popsicle. But that wasn't the case this time. This time the father was with the kids. In fact he was pulling the cooler for the kids to sell their lemonade at the end of my driveway. I'm not kidding.
So I was chatting with my good friend and next door neighbor, who also had to get a quarter for her son to have some convenient lemonade, and we decided that tomorrow we're going to sell something in their cul de sac. We just haven't decided what to sell yet. Classy, I know.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Ice Cave

I took this picture today. Do you know what my 7 year old is doing? He's getting ready to throw a snowball. What a difference from a few days ago when it was over 100 degrees here.

Today we hiked the Ice Cave trail in the Mt. Baker National Forest. If you live in the Seattle Area, it's well worth the drive and the hike. The kids had a blast. They walked on the snow. The slid on the snow. The fell on the snow. The threw snowballs. They even shivered! All on the first day of August.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Quote of the Day

Today I overheard my 5 year old talking to his friend who lives next door. He was telling his friend about the summer reading club at the library. Yesterday we stopped by (for an hour with just about every other person) and he got his prize for completing 1000 minutes of reading this summer. He showed his friend the prize (an art set) and asked his friend if he was doing the summer reading club.
Friend: "No, I don't really go to libraries."
My 5 year old: "We only go when our books are overdue."

Proud Parent Moment #530 is brought to you by your local library.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

You Know It's Hot When...

Ok, so most of you may have heard that Seattle is getting a record breaking heat wave this week. Today was over 100 degrees. We don't have air conditioning. We have only 2 fans in our house. We stopped by a few stores to by fans for the kids rooms today. Every store is sold out. We're dying. Today was the hottest day ever for Seattle. I saw on TV last night that Seattle was hotter than Miami, hotter than Phoenix, hotter than Houston, even hotter than hell. Ok, maybe they didn't say that. I think the only city that was hotter was Vegas.
I've been busy this week trying to come up with things to do to keep the kids cool. Today we went to the science center. We spent the whole day in the nicely air conditioned buildings watching IMAX movies and looking at bugs. Yesterday we went to the movies and then to a water park in the afternoon. On Monday we went to the beach. Tomorrow is still supposed to reach 90 something. I thought about going bowling, but that would only last an hour. Maybe see another movie... again... So I started to come up with this list:
You know it's hot when:
1. You think spending an afternoon in the nicely air conditioned ER might not be such a bad idea.
2. The string cheese that you packed for the kids snack has liquefied (Yuck!).
3. The stores have sold out of window fans.
4. The stores have sold out window air conditioners.
5. The stores are still packed with people even though there is nothing left to buy because the stores themselves are air conditioned.
6. A root canal is starting to sound good because then you could lay down for a few hours in the air conditioned office.
7. It might finally be time to join an air conditioned gym.
8. Your house is 90 degrees inside and that's still cooler than the outside temperature of 100.
9. You stick your feet in the tub while giving your kids a bath to help them cool down.
10. After taking a shower you go to put on your lotion as you usually do but this time when you squeeze some into your hands, it's warm.
11. Adults actually go in the water sprinklers at the water spray park.



Hope you're staying cool!