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


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


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.