Thursday, August 28, 2008

Happy Anniversary!

Today is hubby and my anniversary. 15 years of wedded bliss. Yay for us. How sad is it I don't have any pictures of us?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Which Came First, the Nut or the Hole?

Seriously, which one? Is it a tree that bears acorns out of it's trunk? A drilling squirrel? A symbiotic relationship between an ADHD riddled woodpecker and a happy little chipmunk?

I mean, that's a hell of a lot of nuts,...

I know it wasn't this squirrel, because I was watching her like a hawk while we went camping. More on that later. After I recover.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Why Work When You Can Make Others Toil?

Here is a fine article to end your work week with,... And you think I'm a little adventurous? SNORT! The first article by Lawrence Kent is a friend we met in Cairo, Egypt who is also our middle son's Godfather.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Monday, August 18, 2008


We have successfully completed our first day of school. I say 'our' because it requires probably more foresight and get-it-togetherness on my part than on any of the three kids I deposited seconds before the tardy bell rang this morning. Which is unfortunate, because I seem to be all out of both foresight and get-it-togetherness.

The 10 signs it's the first day of school:

10. The baby is up most of the night, meaning more than one pot of coffee will be required in the morning to get my engine revved.

9. When the baby is magically sleeping, one of the other four children will be awake with various requests; water, lights on, what time is it, is it really school tomorrow, chase away the scary dreams,... etc,.. AD INFINITUM.

8. We seem to be out of honey for the peanut butter and honey sandwiches.

7. Which is good because we are also out of bread. (Didn't someone tell me today was the first day of school so I could plan ahead?)

6. Jared has a bloody nose.

5. Zach wakes up with a stuffy one.

4. Sabrina spills an entire Costco sized bag of Fruit Loops on the kitchen floor.

3. Sabrina's hair is now no longer white blond; it is green; good thing we will not be going into the pool every waking minute,... time to unchlorine-ate ourselves.

2. The jogging stroller has a flat tire, which I don't realize until after I've hauled it out of the Suburban, put it together strapped two babies in it,.. ARGH!

1. The bell rings, we go to the playground and I only have TWO children. I can do two children blind folded with my hands tied behind my back.....

So we go to Costco of course, since I seem to not have anthing in my house anyone will eat. Now, I KNOW all those savvy Costco shoppers are eyeballing my overflowing cart just wishing they could have an American Express bill as big as mine.

We get the most incompentent boxer yet. Even the cashier tells her, 'this lady got it all in the cart, why can't you?" Exactly. But I won't let on that I do have several years and many continents of strategic do-not-go-over-the-weight-or-dimension-limit suitcase packing on my side. We end up with two carts and she has to help me push them out.

The screamin' Ia doesn't appreciate the cashier's attempt to talk her up and starts SCREAMING which puts the boxer completely over the edge. Had to take some time out to console the boxer that the baby will be okay, and yes I do have a Suburban outside so we can fit all those darned boxes into the back.

Boys survived school; only time will tell if I survive back to school night. By the look of the take home 'have your mom sign this before you come back to school tomorrow' packets, it's going to be a long year.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

10 Signs It's Back To School Time!

10. My spirits are lifting.

9. It's 100 degrees outside.

8. The boys are bored with the pool. BORED!

7. I've actually organized the boy's toys. No more inter-toy co-habitating; the cars stay in the car bin; the action figures in the action figure bin.

6. I sold my left kidney on eBay to buy new shoes for the boys.

5. They are actually interested in eating peanut butter again

4. The oldest has almost finished the entire Harry Potter series.

3. Could it be possible that Zach is running out of animal facts to amaze me with? When he starts asking if fish have tongues, it's time to send him to an authority; a teacher.

2. Football is in full swing; basketball and baseball sign-ups are on my calendar as is CCD, Parish council meetings have begun, ARGH!

1. My oldest has resorted to this to pass the time:
I say, let the schooling begin!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Birthday Cake Remix

Okay, so I'm really just thinking about Coldstone Ice Cream. Why do I do that when I have SIX QUARTS of home made ice cream in my freezer. (very yummy, thanks hubby, for the black market version of Cherry Garcia. Yummy.) With all that ice cream crammed in the freezer my monthly Costco run to score valuable discounted food items for this family of seven has been postponed until at least four quarts are gnawed out of my fridge. So, we are down to eating:

1. grilled cheese sandwiches made with either velveta or Havarti cheese

2. pancakes from a mix

3. left over fried rice

4. go gurt

And that is all, my friends.

Anyhoo, it was a very pleasant little birthday. I managed to get through it without feeling too fat, old or boring. I did get my coveted handbag. Phone calls, friends came over. Lemon cake and Thai food. Yes, it's all about the fatty stuff you can eat on your birthday, but hasn't it always been that way? So nice and friendly. That is until my children became involved. And my children's gifts.

Gift 1:

This is the handmade craft by the kindergartner-on-the-cusp-of-first-gradedom. The "I'll teach that kid to read so he doesn't have to live with me for the rest of my life if it seriously kills me child." The boy who really can not care less about what he looks like and will, I guarantee it, be the first to walk down the aisle with no underwear, mismatched socks, his zipper down and his shirt on inside out and backwards.

So when he lifted up this creation - all anatomically correct - two legs! two arms! hair (who cares if he only cared enough to put enough dark construction paper to show the world my roots and not the $100 glistening blond dye job I get every other month,..) and check out that bicep by the way,...

But let's take a closer look at that pompon belly button that must be after the tummy tuck he is hinting I need since it's a little higher than on your average mom. Or it's my mono-boob. Not sure, really, except perhaps after I'm finished nursing this fifth kid, I'll invest in some unmentionables that lift and separate, as my seven year old seems to be hinting I need it. Oh, and that little black circle in my tummy? It's Sophia. So, for his little life span I have been pregnant for about 90% of it. He sees me as some eternally pregnant human being. God help me.

Gift 2:

This is from my loving eleven year old who is about to become a tween. You can tell by his so funny sense of humor, no?

Gift 3:

Then there is my sweet little middle boy. And the front of the card has my first favorite dinosaur:

The inside has my second favorit dinosaur:

and the back cover has my favorite mammal (a horse):

So, then all us adults were commiserating about how tough it is to get old and I told a story about an unsettling event at football practice the other night: as I was hoofing it up the big hill to the practice gates, cell phone firmly glued to my ear, an obnoxious, obviously nearsited and non-too-bright little punk, er, I mean boy had the audacity to ask me, "Are you Jason's Grandma?"

I flashed him the mommy glare, of which he paid no mind and continued to ask me, "Aare you Jason's Grandma?" "Are you?" "Are you Jason's GRANDMAAAWWW??"

To which I curtly replied; "No. I. Am. Not." and stomped away in a huff.

So, on that eve of the first day of the rest of my life being a 39 year old I find this on my pillow:

So, let me just tell you this once, my dear little boys. Listen close: This year for Christmas? Your gifts will be highly dense and leave a dark, carbony residue.

Love, mommy.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

In Memory of Shirley Case

I'm very saddened to report that a woman working in Afghanistan with the International Rescue Committee was killed, along with two other expats, in an ambush attack yesterday. I didn't know Shirley, but my husband and good friend 'Pak Goreng did. I think she worked at CARE in Banda Aceh while we were there. Hubby and 'Pak and another of our friends (and fellow CRS worker) went jogging together on the beach.

News reports say Shirley was in Afghanistan to help teach disabled children. I'm so very sorry and my heart goes out to her family and friends.

International Aid workers are an amazing contingent of selfless, brave people who work tirelessly and in sometimes in the most dangerous and awful conditions. I'm certain the work Shirley has done has positively affected many people, and she will be deeply missed.

More info.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Well, Happy Birthday to Me

Yep, another year. I hate birthdays, I don't do them well. I'm not very gracious and I hate to ask anyone to do anything for me, so this one day out of the year is always a bit difficult. Plus, I'm 39 today for heaven's sake. One more year til I'm 40, and I know 40 is the new 30, but I still feel reeeeaaaaaally old. But I won't dwell on the weight I want to loose, the book I want to write, the places I want to visit, ... I won't. Promise.

The fun thing about birthdays? And Mother's Day and all that - is the fun stuff your kids do. I love the sounds of the morning of :(because thinking ahead isn't something you do until well into your thirties.)

"Do we have any glue?"

"What do you mean we're out of pipe cleaners?"

"Oh, man, am I ever gonna use some googly eyes for this!"

"Mom, what's your favorite kind of dinosaur?"

"Mom, what's your favorite color?"

"Mom, what's your favorite kind of mammal?"

"Mom, what's your second favorite kind of dinosaur?"

And can someone please tell me why, oh why, the Crayola marker I gave to the Screamin' Ia to keep her from screamin' - the Crayola marker my seven year old can't get open, well, the 8 month old can? She must have some kind of suction power going on, because that lid popped off in the second it took me to return the milk to the fridge. And is blue dye toxic do you think? At least it's water soluble. Thank goodness.

Happy Birthday!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Ocean '08

Beach babe

We had a fantastic time at the So Cal beach on Saturday. Much uhm,.. how do I say it,.. WARMER than up in Washington. I could actually not wear a sweatshirt.

Jared catchin' the big one,...

The boys knocked themselves out body surfing, boogy boarding, attempting to skimboard on a 30 degree beach and tackle football. The B was having what the commercials call ' a problem in irregularity' and that took up most of her day. She's a hanger-outer and basically shadows me all day long. Which makes we unpleasantly aware of my slovenly desires, like to sit my booty down on a lawn chair and read magazines all day, instead of frolick in the waves and build sandcastles. At least I have the screamin' Ia to help me relax, as in, "Oh, I'll totally help you hack down that kelp forest Zach, so you can take it home, just as soon as I sit my booty down and nurse the baby."

Sea water has nothin' on hairgel.

Going to Newport Beach, where we used to live B.C. (before children) always makes me wistful and want to sell all the properties, the furniture and cash out the 401(K) to live in a little ramshackled one bedroom cottage by the beach.

Cutie baby. I have to ask, however, where is my chin???

We were even adventurous to look online at properies. Found one - 6 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, 2300 ft2 and $8M. Perfect for us,.. except for the $8M part.


Friday, August 8, 2008

There Has Been A Change in the Alliance Now That Sister Has Gone to the Dark Side,...

So, the toddler is flexing her girlie muscle and her biggest fan, her oldest brother can't seem to take it. You see, we were at Toys R Us today and while we talked her into the Muno guitar (from Yo Gabba Gabba, c'mon, don't you have many episodes on your iPOD so the 2 year old is QUIET during the three day car ride back and forth to California??? Please see Exhibit A:)

Exhbit A: (And the only reason she has on the retro earphones is because her ears are too dainty for the adult sized earbuds. Thank goodness for that, really.)

Anyway, while biggest brother and I talked her into the Muno guitar, she flung that out of the cart like a hot potato when she ran into a whole pack full of sparkly purse, car keys, sun glasses, rings, bracelets, money, cell phone and credit card. Please see Exhibit B:

So the poor oldest brother has had to resort to bonding in the most earnest way with the littlest sister:
Now, can't you just see some meat soaked pants coming out of that relationship? (Go watch Cheaper By the Dozen again if you don't get it)
I think someone is looking up to her biggest brother,...
We pause for a moment of awwww,...

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Kyle Turns Seven!!!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday dear Kyle,...
Happy Birthday to you!

The ultimate in first grader cakes - triple decker - marble cake, middle tier made of homemade cookies and cream icecream, two tubs of Betty Crocker vanilla frosting and carefully placed oreos, sour gummy worms and candy corn.

And a handmade picture of a go-cart, thus making this a 'go-cart cake'.

This just sums it up, doesn't it? How fun is it to see a kid get what his heart desires,...

The best part about having siblings? Playing with their presents,...

Wednesday: the New Monday

I meant to post on Monday, but life doesn't have a pause button, so here I am. Two days later. Finally sitting down.

This is the week of the ESRI International User Conference down in San Diego, and since I am gainfully employed by said company, I've spent a couple of days down there, yes, wearing grown up clothes, makeup and speaking in coherent sentences. What a joy! And to be in the middle of 14,000 people who use our software to do such amazing things, is a real treat.

I suspected the kids would be fine without their mother for a few long hours for two days. Hubby did the single parent thing on Sunday while I was down interviewing big wigs like the Director of the National Geodetic Survey for NOAA, the Remote Sensing Program Manager for the USDA, the Communications Director for SPOT Image and the Director General of the Forest Survey of India. Always the one to do better than me, he took the five kids to Macaroni Grill for lunch. Had a blast. Got the accolades from everyone in the restaurant about what a great dad he is. Yes, it's true.

They had a blast and I enjoyed my time with adults.

I've been published again, this time in Imaging Notes. Maybe my company will keep me around for a few more months,..

Quote of the week:

I had the kitchen garbage can pulled out so the B could see in.

"Oh, poop," she exclaimed.

"No," I corrected, "Those are coffee grounds."

"Coffee poop?"

"Yep, coffee poop." (couldn't have thought of a better descriptor).

Oh, and the big news? We have MORE BABY RATS. Yes, you heard me correctly. This happened on Monday. How,..?!?!? What the #)($U*(*#? Yes, that's what I said to. Then Zach informed me that his rat Skittles has been having 'play dates' with Daisy and Peak. I explained that NO PLAY DATES are allowed. Skittles can play with you only. No more conjugal visits with the girl rats unless it is specifically planned. Gads.

And when my mother in law and I went in for mani-pedis the other weekend, I wasn't paying attention and the pedicurist attacked the bottom of my foot trying to massage me. I have the most sensitive feet in the universe and about jumped out of my massage chair. Ever since, I've had some sort of awful pain near my arch that is starting to thwart my running endeavors. I'm fine in a shoe and running, but it's the barefootedness and directly after the run that makes me want to chop off the foot. Add that to achey knees and I think I'm actually starting to fall apart.

Then I ran into an old buddy of mine at the conference, who is a big lover of running and is doing crazy stuff like running 8 hours in a row. I'm afraid if I attempted such a thing my legs would just fall off at the hip flexor. They would just snap and I'd fall in a puddle. Not to mention my other friend Teri who has told the world that not only did she run 6 miles IN A ROW, but one of those miles was less than seven minutes. Show off. (Teri, I tried linking to you, but your blog has mysteriously disappeared,.. )

And the biggest news, in the spirit of last does not make least, KYLE IS SEVEN! Wow. So, we had our usual ice cream for breakfast and Rob decorated his bed and chair. Traditions, you know. Kyle asked for an ice cream cake, so we made home made cookies and cream icecream and have a triple decker cake hangin' in the freezer ready for tonight. (the middle layer is icecream). Had to eat a lot of mini corn dogs, taquitos and dinosaur chicken nuggets to fit that bad boy in there. We're going to the local pizza joint with friends for an early dinner, home for presentes, daddy is taking him to the driving range during football and then we'll have cake which not only has icecream and two tubs of frosting, but a large amount of sour gummy worms, oreos and candy corn, .. right before bed time. Should go really smoothly, the bedtime routine. I'll post pics tonight or tomorrow.


Friday, August 1, 2008

Evidence that California Sunshine Makes You Youthful

Hubby's mom. Ignore the screaming baby,...

Hubby's dad. Don'y you think they should just move on down? Or model for some sort of AARP brochures? Maybe I'll send these pictures in,...

And hubby and Fi Fi, as I now call her.

Of course, no activity is complete without including a rat or two,... Do rats enjoy boogie boarding? Not so much.

Pool partay. Where was mommy you ask? She was at work. From 7 til 12. And since mommy 'got out of the house' hubby thought he should get a turn too,.. golfing,... I'm sorry, I do love my job, but work v. golfing???? Whaaaa???