July 30, 2007

oh brother

Living with a brother can sometimes be challenging as you will soon see. Miss O was trying to make her own movie but she kept getting distracted by her big brother. It didn't seem to phase her much though. Afterwards, I showed them both the video and they both laughed hysterically at Wonder Boy's cameos. Push play!

video

July 29, 2007

weekend wrap-up, boring but true

This weekend was mainly focused on cleaning up and getting organized. The house is cleaner but no where close to done or very organized (as it never will be).

Saturday, I worked out again after taking a break with my dear friend JS. It was nice to reconnect and catch up on each others lives while sweating. We got some things done around the house that we have been meaning to do forever, like hang pictures and clean up clutter. I am this close to just start taking crap to the goodwill. I can't get in control of it all and it's driving me mad. But there that "what if" always in the back of my mind. What if we could use that someday. Or what if we can sell it and make money. Yeah well, the what ifs never seem to come around. Maybe it's time to just let go and be rid of it once and for all.




Today I had lunch in honor of our friend, AD, with a lovely group of gals to celebrate the arrival of her newest family member. It was nice to get out, sit, chat and dine while laughing.

Other than that, our weekend was pretty uneventful. The days run into each other lately and I just seem to be hanging on for the ride. However, I do know one thing for sure . . . . Big Brother 8 is on tonight!!!!

July 28, 2007

here he is

So we did it, Wonder Boy is an official blogger. He is very excited and he can't wait to post all sorts of "griffinisms" for your enjoyment. Check it out!!

July 27, 2007

weigh in: week #25

Pounds lost: -1.4
Total loss: 15.6
Diet: Weight Watchers
Exercise: not much at the moment, chasing kids, trying to clean house

Yahoo!!! I finally reach the 15 pound mark. I joined ww with a friend and we sort of made a deal with each other that at each milestone we would do something, that doesn't involve food, to reward ourselves. It was pedicures at 10 pounds (although I never got around to doing that) and something at 15 pounds. I have forgotten what the treat for 15 pounds was because that was so long ago. I joined in February and it's taken me this long to finally reach that goal. Lots of ups and downs weight wise. This has motivated me to keep on, keeping on though so I set my next goal for 20 pounds lost. I'm just hoping it doesn't take me another six months to see it.

The ww leader gave us homework at the meeting on Tuesday. We are supposed to write down positive motivators for ourselves and tuck them into our weight watchers booklet sleeves so we can see them each week and remind ourselves why we are worth losing weight and getting healthy. So far, I'm stumped!! I guess I really want to lose weight and get healthy so that I can enjoy an active lifestyle with my children. I don't want to be "that fat mom" who is always tugging on her clothes and sweating. I want to be comfortable in my skin. That's a start I guess.

1. I'm worth it!
2. My health is worth it!

July 26, 2007

mantras and bandits

























My mantra has been found on a replica of a British WWII poster. I've had this little jewel curled up and stored for safe keeping quite a while now. I finally got it matted and framed and hung this week. I pondered over where to hang it. Ultimately, I decided my bedroom, over the changing table would be a fitting place. Because if there is a single place in my home in which one needs to "keep calm" and "carry on" it is at the changing table, in my bedroom!! I love the boldness and contrast of color against the sage green. It lifts my spirits.

























This little baby bandit has been driving Frieda the super mutt crazy today. There is a family of raccoons (one mama and four babes) living in the trees just behind our backyard fence line. We hear them chitter chatter at each other and fight with the squirrels often. Frieda is slowly driving herself mad over the situation assigning herself guard at the fence and whining desperately at night to be let out to bark at all nocturnal creatures. I heard her acting anxious this afternoon and after I heard the familiar "talk", I ran outside to see if I could see anything. This guy was staring down at me posing perfectly for a picture. They sure are cute little devils!

Wonder Boy took part in a half day taekwondo camp this morning. He had fun and it was nice to run an errand with one less kid. He has been begging us for his own blog and email address - so funny. I think on one hand, it would a great way for him to learn keyboarding skills and help with reading and writing, but on the other hand, I hesitate somewhat feeling like it's exploiting my child even more than I already have by posting pictures on my own blog. So I waver. For now he is in love with the online game This is Daniel Cook. He is obsessed with Canada and all people or things that come from Canada lately - I have no idea why.

Divine Miss O is settling into her new role as a four year old these days. She is growing taller and smarter and sometimes sweeter by the minute. She adores her brother but doesn't take any guff from the big cheese. Her obsession with horses has grown as well after camp grandma. We are trying to talk grandma into adopting a Shetland pony for Miss O . . . . . . Miss O is already convinced it's a done deal.

Baby Love is full of sweetness and curiosity. Her favorite things to do is yell "hi" at innocent passerby, get into the garbage, climb the stairs and do everything her big sibs do. She is working on putting shoes on her feet. She thinks just about any shoe is meant to go on her foot as she will grab her tootsie by the ankle and try to attach shoes to them. However, she has forgotten one minor detail that WALKING is an important component for wearing shoes. She is getting closer though and her lovely PT, Ms. Beth, keeps telling me she has everything there to walk, we just have to wait until she is ready. Baby Love is slow and steady when it comes to reaching milestones. She just doesn't do things half-assed, she makes sure she has all the tools in place before hand.

I'm slowly getting myself organized to teach preschool this fall. I'm excited about getting my toes wet in the working world again. The job is very part-time but the situation is perfect. Wonder Boy will go to full-day kindergarten, Miss O will go to her preschool three mornings a week, and Baby Love and I will teach school those same mornings.

I'm in full party planning mode at the moment, gathering dinosaur ideas and getting favors put together. I do love it so!! Maybe that's my dream job . . . . planning kid birthday parties?? Hmmmm, maybe!

My house looks like it threw up on itself so I must go busy myself with something beneficial to our living situation. Blah!!

July 25, 2007

mama got bloggin'

My mom started a blog - check it out. I think all my friends and family should start blogging!! It's fun!!

July 24, 2007

keep on rockin' on

check out this three kid band - push play

video

at it again



















One of my favorite things to do is planning kid birthday parties. I love it! This year we decided on kid-focused parties for Miss O and Wonder Boy and it's been fun to plan for a small group rather than a big ole bbq which is what we've always done in the past. I get caught up in the themes and the decorations and the possibilities and the fun. Wonder Boy decided on a dinosaur birthday party for his sixth. What better way to celebrate the dino-mite day than at the Burke Museum. I'll be sending out these to the little paleontologists very soon. I just finished. I think they turned out pretty cute. I would love them more if I had a bone snap instead of the star, but I thought of that cute little detail too late. Oh well!

look out Daniel Cook

video

here's wonder boy - push play

July 23, 2007

octopoda

Picture for a minute, if you will, an innocent octopus floating along beautiful coral keeping a close eye on her three adopted (because we know reproduction is cause for death of these gentle beasts) octopi while stretching an arm out for this task and that. Blissfully. Unaware. Getting pulled in many different directions, here and there, taking care of this and that. Some arms are stretched straight out past their max and others are intertwined and woven around things taken to heart. Unbeknowst to the massive invertebrate, Mr. Sushi Suzuki is following close behind with his large meat cleaver when all the sudden . . . . . . CHOP! The octopuses arm is severed just between the sixth and seventh suction cup and what's left is snapped back. CHOP! CHOP! Mr. Suzuki is quick. He has a restaurant to run after all. The octopus desperately tries to recoil her remaining arms. CHOP! CHOP! SNAP! SNAP! SNAP! She scampers to gather up her octopi and letting loose a cloud of dark ink to disappear within so that to rehabilitate and heal. Only to slowly stretch out her arms one by one after the water has cleared. This time she's more reluctant but before she knows it, seven of her arms are at their max once again; some around projects, some around octopi, some around the things she loves, but with more protection always an arm wrapped tightly around one of her three hearts. Will she ever learn?



Are you still with me? This, for lack of a better analogy, is how I've been feeling lately. Very emotional. Very hormonal. I read my friend's blog this morning on obsession/irritation and oh how it hit home. Her words rang so true with me and I have been pondering the difficulties of parenting and living life ever since. Why do we try so hard to paint a picture of perfection when inside we are screaming for help and comfort? Or is it that everyone else has it all figured out and those who are struggling, are only missing a very important piece? If only it were that easy. Wonder Boy is going through some major growing pains right now. His behavior has been taxing and tiring and extreme. I'm at my wits' end.



I've been thinking about my grandmother a lot lately too. I stumbled across chocolate orange sticks at Trader Joe's, Grandma Donna's favorite candy, and I had to buy them selfishly keeping them all to myself. Being reminded of her with every bite. We drove up to the Skagit Valley Fair Grounds Saturday afternoon to support my mom in her business endeavors only to be reminded of grandma again while spying some turquoise jewelry across the exhibitors hall telling myself I need to buy Baby Love a piece of turquoise jewelry one day in honor of her great grandma since they share the same birthday.



Zina Linnik was found dead. I knew they wouldn't find her alive but I had hoped they would. This adds to my stress for reasons that scare me too much. It forces emotions to bubble up to the surface as much as I try not to think about it. The disgusting convicted sex offender, Terapon Dang Adhahn, is found guilty along with several other crimes against children. (Update: I just saw a blurb on tv tonight that he will not be sentenced to death again. OUTRAGE!) Why this trash was not put to death the first time they convicted him is beyond me and makes me sick. Our justice system is severally flawed!



I was reminded of my paternal grandmother today too. More old emotions bubbling up to the surface. My half-sister left a note in my mom's mail box informing me of her impending move to Georgia and telling me to contact an aunt. An aunt I've not spoken with in years . . . . . . longer even than I've not spoken to my father. She is in charge of dividing my grandmother's belongings and in the will she wanted a piece of jewelry to be given to each granddaughter. A title I have long given up so I was surprised to be included in the list. The conversation was strained and awkward and difficult. I feel like the McGuire clan are all angry at me for cutting ties and making it on my own not to be drowned by drugs and keeping afloat with education. I don't know how to feel or what to do with it all. I tend to just put it aside and not think about it much except for rainy days when I find myself lost in thought.



My spirits were uplifted when I found a handwritten, four page letter from my long time friend from Australia in my mailbox this afternoon. We met in high school as she was a foreign exchange student and we haven't seen each other in person since she flew back home. She wrote of her first time mum adventures and her one year old son. Her journey back to work and the remodels to her home. I found comfort in her familiar penmanship and her signature "heart" + "smiley face" = "peace sign" that I haven't seen for many years. I neatly folded her letter back up and slid it into the pink envelope in which it came. What perfect timing she'll never know she had.



Finally, as I try not to leave my tentacles dangling, I will leave you with a sweet, dirty cat face from the company picnic yesterday and my mom doing what she does best at the Skagit Valley Fairgrounds.



July 17, 2007

more pix from camp grandma






Baby Love was getting to know Missy up close and personal. She now says "hee haw" in honor of the horses. Grandma is determined to turn the girls into horse folks.

peeves

One thing that I absolutely can not stand, along with bike riders who insist on riding right on the white line instead of in the middle of the 4 foot bike path, people who talk on their cell phones while ordering fast food or coffees, people who don't drive completely into the turn lane when making a left hand turn, and menstrual cycles, is ungracious children. I don't mean kids who don't say "please" and "thank you". I mean kids who are rude. It totally drives me crazy when little spoiled, bratty kids show their true colors which isn't hard for kids to do. Kids are kids and they come out shining whether or not you are ready for it and I love that about kids. I really do. And I know there's also that age old question of nature vs. nurture. And I do like to believe that kids are just born how they are in some respects because God knows my Mr. Wonder Boy is completely high maintenance. . . . . . .in a brilliant way of course. But we as parents need to take our jobs so very seriously. I try my hardest to shape Wonder Boy, Miss O and Baby Love into kind and likable people. Sometimes I am rewarded when they use their manners or offer to help the neighbors or open the door to strangers and welcome them into our very messy house (to my horror). And, yes sometimes I am put on the spot and embarrassed by their behavior. But dammit I do take my roll as their mother seriously. We always, always talk about the behaviors that are not ok. I do the best I can and I can only hope my kids are "good" people when they are not in my presence. Unfortunately, not everyone takes their job as seriously. I was faced with the two most unthoughtful, rude children I have ever had the pleasure of meeting in a long, long time this weekend. To tell the truth, I felt a little like throwing up. I couldn't believe their hurtful comments and snide remarks. The worse part, they live across the street from us. It makes me wonder really how much of that is nature. Obviously these kids have been molded and their attitudes are learned behaviors. Sad!

July 14, 2007

note from camp grandma

hi mommy i mis yoo but i im havie fun i imu going to the gadr bi

(wonder boy typed and sent this to me via email all by himself)

camp grandma













July 11, 2007

water baby

video

The weather is hot, hot, hot today!! I bought one of those little kiddie pools on the way home this afternoon. Filled it with cold water and threw the kids in. Baby Love had a blast!!

July 9, 2007

five for five

That's five 5ks in five months! I joined the Joints in Motion team along side three great women to raise money for the Arthritis Foundation. We each had a fundraising goal of $500 but by the generosity of my wonderful friends and family, I managed to raise $600. Thank you, thank you!!

I am so very grateful to these three lively, funny, smart women for the experience. Without them, I wouldn't have pushed myself to do more (like running). It was a wonderful adventure!! I hope they all know I enjoy their friendships, their laughter, their wit, their support and their smiles. Thank you EA, EE and HG from the bottom of my heart!! I had a blast and I will cherish the memories always!












5k #1 - St. Patty's Day Dash

March 11, 2007 - Seattle WA













5K #2 - Skagit Valley Tulip Run

April 7, 2007 - Mount Vernon WA












5k #3 - NikeTown

May 12, 2007 - Seattle WA













5k #4 - Sounds to Narrows Run

June 9, 2007 - Tacoma WA












5k #5 - Seafair Run

July 8, 2007 - Bellevue WA

July 8, 2007

we'll make a boat nut out of you






Our fab friends took us out on their boat last night to tour Lake Washington and go to dinner. It was great fun and the weather was perfect.

Here's my party of five about to embark on the cruise.








Wonder Boy and his friend "M" had lots of fun together being silly and becoming experts on boating and all things boats. The Divine Miss O took in the sights having a grand time.







Mt. Rainier





















Seattle Space Needle






Oh! And here's Bill Gates' (Microsoft) house. There was a man out on the dock with binoculars patrolling the waters and keeping a close eye on passer-bys. Funny!

July 6, 2007

going to the zoo




We went to the Cougar Mountain Zoo in Issaquah WA today. It's small and simple but we love it. We normally go every year in December for the Rainier Festival to see Santa and his rainier. When we read in the Sammamish Review this week that they have baby Bengal tigers, we had to see them. It was a nice way to burn some day light and get out of the house. However, I should have know, that everyone else in Sammamish read that same article and decided to join us.

Here's Paco - he flirted and chatted us up for a long time. The neat thing about the Macaws at this zoo is that they are not in cages. They hang out under little shaded umbrellas with swings and posts. It was cool to see these big birds right there in front of you.










The kids enjoyed feeding the alpacas and this cute guy that I never figure out what sort of animal he was (but he looked like some sort of deer). Oh! And what zoo isn't complete with giant dinosaur statues??





But these little guys were the star of the show and who we went to the zoo to see. Bengal Tiger cubs - the only two in Washington state right now. They were smaller than I expected and feisty as ever. The played and wrestled and growled. Lots of fun to watch!




















And finally, I'll leave with you this picture because I love it so. It happened quite by accident that I snapped it when I did. There are no phony poses or cheesy smiles but rather this picture froze a moment in time that really show cases each of my children's personalities. They are truly individuals, each with their own shine. (Which is so weird to think about since all three came from the same place, from the same two people. Amazing how that happens!)

Wonder Boy the forever character full of life and questions, pushing the envelope at every turn. The Divine Miss O hamming it up for the camera always posing and flashing her dimples, never to be overlooked. And Baby Love, mild tempered and laid back observing the world from a far. I hope they always know how lucky they are to have each other in their lives.

weigh in: week # 23

Pounds Lost: -4
Total Loss: -14.2
Diet: weight watchers
Exercise: walking, hot yoga, 5k training

It's been a while since I've posted the Friday weigh in. And, if you have been following my journey, you'll know I have been fighting these four pounds for several weeks now. This morning when I stepped on our home scale naked, having just peed and not eaten anything, I saw a number I haven't seen in a long time (since before kids) so I'm feeling positive. It looks like I'm starting to out run Buddha for a change and he is having a hard time keeping up (the fat bastard!) . . . . . either that or the weight loss fairy is finally deciding that I have suffered long enough and she is granting my wish of excessive weight loss. Then hopefully, in inmydreams land, the tummy tuck fairy and the insurance fairy can have a meeting with J to work out an arrangement. Wink, wink!!

Speaking of J, he went to the doctor this morning and he's lost 16 pounds since his last visit six months ago. He's been trying to lose weight to lower his blood pressure and doing the weight watchers diet vicariously. Go J!

July 5, 2007

kindergarten or bust

Wonder Boy will soon be embarking on a whole new adventure this fall . . . . . all-day kindergarten. I'm so thrilled for him and I know he will thrive in the all-day environment. We received the school supply list and my excitement for shopping for crayons and markers quickly turned into disbelief. I can't believe some of the requests the school/teachers are asking of the parents. . . . . this, in addition to the extra 200 bucks a month we will be paying for the all-day status.

3 boxes of crayola only 24-count crayons
1 subject notebook
1 pair of Fiskar only brand scissors
5 plain pocket folders in 1 red, 1 blue, 1 yellow, 1 green and 1 of choice
1 large box of tissues
2 packages of crayola only markers (1 fat, 1 skinny)
18 LARGE glue sticks (Elmer's only)
1 roll of paper towels
2 boxes of baby wipes
1 small water bottle
2 packages of yellow #2 pencils
2 bottles of hand sanitizer
1 pencil grip (only found at a store in Bellevue)
2 reams of 20# weight copy paper
1 set of headphones.

Seriously? I'm surprised they didn't ask for a pint of blood and a prescription dose of ritalin just to have on hand. After all, you can never be too prepared. I think some of the requests are ridiculous. This is a public school mind you. And, again, each family is paying an extra 200 dollars a month for our children to attend all-day kindergarten. Not to mention the money the school is allocated from the state and levies, etc. What the heck do we need to be sending in 2 reams of copy paper and a roll of paper towels plus baby wipes and 2 bottles of hand sanitizer for? The school is supplied with regular good ole' fashioned brown paper towels and a sink with soap AAAAANNNNDDD water in each classroom . . . . . what is wrong with that. Kids can't belly up to the sink and wash their hands anymore? And copy paper????? Don't forget the 18 glue sticks . . . . ahem, Elmer's only. Do the math on that one. If say 20 kids, give or take, each come with 18 glue sticks . . . . . 18 x 20 = 360. I strongly believe that a classroom of kids could never, ever get through three hundred and sixty glue sticks in a year. Come on!

Someone told me that the extra money was for the teachers' salaries working full day rather than half day. No, no, no . . . . the teachers get paid the same amount from the same payroll whether they have two half-day classes or one full-day. How much they get paid just depends on their contract and bargaining skills. I feel like the requests are a little out of control and I have my panties in a bunch because of it. However, I'll suck it up and try to find all the supplies at the cheapest price-point I can so that I'm not to ruffle any feathers. I don't want to be "that mom" right out of the gate.

I can't say I'm not a little disappointed however. Coming from a background of kindergarten teacher myself, I never asked for these sorts of supplies. The most I asked for was toilet paper rolls. All the supplies were paid for out of the school's pocket book. And I always bought my own baby wipes and hand sanitizer at my own expense if I wanted them. In the words of John Stossel "Give me a Break!"

i heart lazy mornings

We are loving the cooler temps breezing through the windows this morning. Two out of four of us are actually dressed. Wonder Boy is outside working on a wood truck building kit and totally digging it. The Divine Miss O is playing with playdoh and her plastic horses (aka hee haws). Baby Love is crawling and cruising around content with her toys, dry diaper and full belly. Peace!

I woke up with a full blown cold yesterday. Blah! I thought the 24 hour hotline nurse was crazy when she told me the headache I had had for a week might be from a sinus infection. Sometimes you can get a sinus infection and not even know it. Now it all makes sense . . . . she was probably right. Who knew you could get a cold in the summer. I guess those little germies don't care what season it is.

Speaking of yesterday, Happy 4th of July!! I hope you all enjoyed America's birthday. J took Wonder Boy and Miss O to see Ratatouille while Baby Love napped and I hung out sneezing my brains out and blowing my nose. We tried taking the kids out to ride bikes mid-afternoon but that quickly turned into a disaster. For some reason both kids have decided that riding bikes is too scary and they whine, cry and throw fits about it the entire time. It drives me crazy!!! Something that is meant to be fun and good exercise turns into a nightmare for all the neighbors to witness. We'll have to keep practicing I suppose. We did eat a delish dinner and put the kids to bed at normal time. J got Wonder Boy up when the Sammamish fireworks started and they stood outside to watch them. It looked like it was big show. And it was neat that we were able to see most of it from our house without fighting the crowds.

My cousin, Andy, is joining the army this month. My little cousin who I used to babysit. My little cousin whose diaper I changed. My little cousin who I would load up on my uncle's quad and ride around the fields. My little cousin I would walk down to the bay with. My little baby cousin who all the sudden turned into a man when I wasn't looking and joined the army. I'm afraid for him to tell the truth. He wants to go to school to become a nurse and this was his best option I guess. I just hope he is safe and comes home in one piece!

July 3, 2007

summer lovin'





mama got business

Check out my mom's website.

red is the new tan

I took the kids outside to ride bikes and play in the cal-de-sac yesterday afternoon and I got fried!! It always takes me off guard after months and months of rain and overcast, the first few sunny days and my super pale skin instantly goes from white to red in the matter of seconds. My arms hurt and my forehead is itchy. Ouch! Luckily the kids were fine. Even with wonder boy's red hair and fair completion, he only came inside with a slightly pink nose. It must be because kids run around that the sun's rays don't have a chance to concentrate on their constant moving body parts. It does much better focusing all it's strength on the dumb-ass that stands out there in one spot with no sunblock chatting with the neighbors. I bought some sensitive sunblock this morning for my face - hopefully, I've learned my lesson and this sunblock won't clog my pores.

Baby Love had her therapy this morning. Now that school is out for summer, it was the first day of PT when I had all the kids. I had talked to Ms. Beth prior and asked if I could leave Baby Love with her, while the kids and I took a little walk around. She said "no problem!" However, I forgot to clear it with Baby Love and once she figured out we were gone, it really ticked her off. When we walked in the room at pick up time, all I heard was major crying. I peeked around the corner and Ms. Beth was holding Baby Love, trying to console her while she was taking in those big gulps of air (you know, those uncontrollable gasps you take after you've been crying really hard for a long time). My heart sank. I felt terrible.

I have weight watchers tonight and I'm afraid to eat. I worked out so hard last week and was so disappointed by the 2 pounds weight gain. I've done a little walking this week and managed to make some point friendly meals, so I'm curious to see what will happen.

The pace of this week is very slow. I don't have much going on which is major change from the weeks in the month of June. We had somethings scheduled almost every second of the day and it was really wearing me out. J has tomorrow off and we have no real plans for the 4th. We might go boating with our fab friends or we might take part in the neighborhood bike parade and bbq or we might continue getting things organized around the house. Our neighborhood brings in big dumpsters every year for all the neighbors to throw junk away. It is so cool!! We are having a big neighborhood garage sale the same weekend, so what doesn't sale, will get tossed. We've been in need of a major overhaul for a long time!!

Okay, that's all from here for now. Have a lovely Tuesday and Happy Fourth of July!

July 2, 2007

likeable person





Miss O had a birthday three weeks ago and like magic, some switch, somewhere in little girl land, was flipped. My sweet, easy going, mild tempered little person disappeared and I've been left with a wild, screeching, temper tantrum throwing four year old I don't recognize. The littlest thing will set her off and she'll swing into this very unlikable behavior on a whim. It is driving me crazy!!! I was having fun with the camera this morning, taking some pics and recording some video with The Divine Miss O. Just the very act of saying "okay, say goodbye to the camera, I'm going to turn it off now" made Miss O turn into something that wasn't very divine and I find myself being completely dumbfounded when she does it. All I have ever wanted for my kids (besides good educations, loads of money and being happy) was to be likable people. Wonder Boy has always, always challenged me and the world around him and now that he is creeping into six, I thought things were mellowing out. I thought I had it easy with Miss O but I'm afraid she has been stock piling and she's hitting me all at once with everything she's got.