Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Time with family

So I have lots of catching up to do once I have a chance to write down all the things that we have done. At the moment, we are in all family all the time mode. The kids are having an absolutely wonderful time hanging out and playing not only with all their aunts and their uncle but also all their extended family of aunts, uncles and grandparents.

Max is learning new words and phrases that I am sure we will hear about at his school when he dares to repeat them there! Maggie is just loving all the love and attention that she gets and gets to give especially to her youngest uncles who are 10 and 12. She practically tackles them in glee to give them hugs and kisses. Thank goodness they are both indulgent, kind and gentle.
It seems that Max isn't the only one who has a birthday around xmas as we have celebrated 3 other birthdays with our relatives.

I am sure there is more to write but I am going to keep short for the moment. Hopefully at some point I will do an overload of photos.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Snow Storm Las Vegas



Yesterday was a big day for me and the kids. I have seen snow here before in the north valley but never by us. I didn't really expect it and when Krismon called to ask if we had snow, at that point it was only rain. Around 2pm that changed to snow and it never stopped. It was the heavy, slushy fat snowflakes kind of snow. Maggie and I went out in the snow before picking up Max to take photos and then we hopped in the car and slowly drove to pick him up. He was excited to come home, get bundled up and play outside. He stayed out longer than Maggie before coming in.

Then this morning, Krismon and Max made a snowman to go next to our blow up Santa. It was great for the kids to have snow this year. I really hope we will get to have a couple of years of this so they can remember from year to year.

Love is a sense

Yesterday morning, Max was watching 'High Five'. They were talking about the senses. All of a sudden Max said that there was another sense, Love. He looked at me and said that it was another sense. It was really sweet.

Later I got some bad news about my mom and her cancer returning. She was clearly upset, I relayed this story to her and luckily it helped. Thank goodness for little boys with kind hearts.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Mapo Ramen

So today was an extra windy day. Airplanes are flying and landing in different patterns. There dirt storms galore out there.

Max had violin concert class today with other kids around his age. It was to go over how the kids would get on stage and at what point and what they should, or rather we as parents should, be listening for before getting them up and ready. On the way to class, I talked about how he is most likely going to be one of the older kids there with the most experience and to set a good example. He listened and behaved really well. I am thinking the eggs and bacon that we made a few hours prior to the class really did the trick. The protein seemed to allow him to focus better. Afterwards, we skedaddled to a birthday party which was to be a hiking party only to be redirected to the bowling alley because of the wind. The 5 minute conversation that we had outside the car really helped to clean my teeth because of the grit that scoured them.
We got to the bowling alley at Red rock casino, it was really nice, the whole place. We met up with his classmate and other friends. The kids had a great time and even we parents bowled as well. It was a fun hour or so. Then we went back in the car, Max took a brief nap on the drive home. We got home and couldn't keep him a sleep so he enjoyed some tv watching.
3:30, he went to another violin lesson. We were worried about the double practice in one day. He did well, even started a new song.
Today's temperature wasn't too bad but it is supposed to drop like a rock tonight and be cold for, I believe a solid week. They are even saying snow. I know, I know Vegas and snow doesn't compute but oh well. So to my mind, soup sounded really good. I thought maybe pho because then the kids could get noodles if they didn't want soup. Krismon was trying to think of other options when ramen came to mind. We haven't gone out for ramen in probably a year or two. So we headed out. We get there, get the kids food decided. Shrimp fried rice. I was looking at all the choices and under the ramen, I saw it.... Mapo ramen. Could it be true, could one of my favorite chinese foods really translate well to ramen? Should I even pursue something spicy when I know that I will have to take mylanta? Ummm heck yeah! So mapo is ground pork with tofu in a spicy sauce. It may not sound like much but it really is another one of those comfort foods that is so enjoyable. It tasted like heaven when it came out. Sooooo yummy and enjoyable. So that is my story of Mapo Ramen.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Not feeling it

I have wanted to write for several days but what to write. That has been the question on my mind. Maybe I could write about the turkey breast dinner I made last night..... yep okay that's a start.

Let the story begin. We went to walmart on Sunday. We saw that they were selling turkeys and we had already decided that we would start eating more turkeys since they are good for more than just one day a year. We found a turkey breast that was still attached to the bone and thought hmm maybe we could rotisserie it like we do whole chickens. It was thawed by yesterday and so I plied it with oil and a bbq spice mix. I got it set up in the machine and then took it back out again and turned it upside down and restarted it.
We had mango slices from costco that were going to go bad soon. They were definitely not our manilla mangos that we love so I figured the only hope for us eating them was to make some sort of dessert out of them. I made a mango peach crisp, much easier than cobbler. I got that going and made the rice. Right before everything was done and ready I sauteed some sugar snap peas and garlic and voila, our meal was done.
Unfortunately, Max fell asleep at some point upstairs. Maggie let me know and I finally after some time (heck I hate waking him up) I went to wake him up. I tried to be as gentle as possible. In the end, I tickled him slightly but then Maggie got in his face. He started kicking and crying. He is really not a happy waker upper from naps. I try to avoid letting him fall asleep in the afternoons when he gets home from school for fear that he will have a hard time falling asleep and sleeping late enough. I got him up, but I don't think he wanted to forgive me.
Later when he came downstairs, he wanted to watch more tv. It wasn't going to happen but I did get him settled with his photo album. Dinner time comes, he decides that he wants to play at being 'soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tiredddddddddddddddddddddddddd'. That means, he can't be responsible for himself or anything that he should be doing, like sitting at the table and eating. I uninvited him to the table. We sat down to eat, after a bit Krismon went over to talk to him. He came to the table and complained about eating. I had to walk away. I spent 2 hours on this meal off and on. Once Krismon got him to eat a piece of turkey or two, Max settled in to eat all his food and then some. He apologized for his behavior and thanked me for cooking. We all enjoyed the crisp with some whipped cream even Maggie our picky dessert eater.
No real moral to this story but it is rough to spend so much time trying to create a meal that everyone enjoys and then have it denigrated before it is even tried. I was having a hard time remembering my mantra last night, obviously.
Wondering what it is.... "Get over yourself" Max's problem wasn't with the meal or me, he would have found fault with just about anything because he was tired. I just couldn't get over myself to realize it then. Ah well. I guess there kind of is a bit of moral there.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Try to get through this post

And maybe it is too soon because it is so fresh.

We lost our Bubba dog today. We got married 9 years ago. In 2001, we got our first house. In March 2002, we got Bubba at humane society in Santa Clara. We got him neutered there. We brought him home and the next day, he got so sick. We didn't know where to take him so we took him back worried that it had something to do with the surgery. For over 2 days, they wouldn't tell us what was wrong with him. He had pneumonia and I think they were afraid that we wouldn't want him if he was sick. But we fell in love with him the first time we met him. He was friendly and lovable on the get go. We had him for a year before we got pregnant with Max. During that year, he would go often with us for my weekend work with Team In Training. He was the cycle team mascot and would ride with me in the car. He was a whore for a car ride. Our friend, Peggy, had a convertible and he would jump in ready to take off with her.

The more we got to know him, we came to find out he had behavioral problems with shadows and birds. We even took him to Davis to see a behaviorist so we could find out what to do to help him. He got over that for the most part.

We had a Bubba cam that we watched from work... It was a cult favorite among friends and family checking to see if he changed position on the couch or chair. And then if he disappeared out of the frame, we knew we would come home to some sort of carnage. He even had a following of rocket scientists at Stanford.

When we had Max, not long after, we moved to Vegas. The time here with him has been great and we had slowly started to venture out with him more again and do family outings like camping. He had the best bed because he had his dog bed in the mini van to sleep on while we slept in the tent. He loved road trips to visit family. My dad, absolutely, loved to visit and see Bubba and have Bubba come and visit him. He was a great early morning companion and always so happy to see us. He loved to go to CA and visit Krismon's family because he knew the amount people ensured that he would receive quite a bit of love.

This past year, he became Max's responsibility. We wanted Max to care and take care of him. He was learning with some prompting to feed him first thing. To let him outside. They liked to play together. Bubba was always just good for a hug and a kiss. Plus he did the best prom poses. I wish we had done a series of them with all the people in his life. He would sit and if you put arms around him he would lean back and it was cute.

Last night, we came home from a dinner out to find Bubba had gotten sick on the carpet and was outside laying down. Krismon got him to come inside, but I was worried. This morning Max fed him but Bubba didn't eat. Instead, I found him in the dining room laying on a kitchen rug I had left there. Bubba then went into the bathroom and laid down on the tile floor. Max and Maggie and I took him to the vet. They took his temp and he was so cold. They took him out of the room right away to do x rays and take blood. He had a tumor rupture last night and it was bleeding into his abdomen. He didn't really have a chance. The cancer had already spread to his lungs so it was really whether we wanted to prolong for us or do the right thing for him. I called Krismon and he came. It was hard, so hard to say goodbye. Krismon brought our camera so we could get a few more pictures with him. Of course, we look like train wrecks but... Krismon stayed with the kids while I went back with Bubba so I could be there for him in his passing and say one last good bye and give one last kiss.

At dinner, we asked Max what was the best thing about Bubba. He said, taking care of him. I can't even tell you how great that was to hear. And he talked about taking Bubba camping and how great he was to have on the trips.

He was loved and he will be missed.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

I know what you are thinking

Two posts in one day what has the world come to that she would write two posts. I mean really.

I came up with this theory as I was curling my hair and putting on make up for a dinner out tonight. The more prego I get, the more vain I get. I start taking better care of my hair usually or I should say that I do more with it. I, also, tend to then wear more make up and care about that aspect of my appearance. As my body seems to blossom out of all control, I feel this need to at least control some aspect of my appearance so that I can feel good about myself.

Anyone else have this experience?

I am sure I probably thought about this too the last time I was pregnant. But who remembers, I mean I must have forgotten since I said that the last pregnancy would be the last. hmmmm. I guess what they say is true about forgetting all the things we had said the last time around....

Why do socks end up on the floor?

Can anyone answer this mysterious question for me? I would love to know why kids do this. And I am pretty sure that when I was a kid, I did the exact same thing. Why oh why even when it is cold out, the socks still come off when they get home while I have socks and slippers on and I am baking a baby so I am not exactly cold.

It is just one of those that I don't understand but would like to figure out why it is so hard to take the socks off and put them in the laundry hamper or even the basket in the laundry room where I stick the dirty kitchen towels. Did I mention that the laundry room is where all the shoes are and coats and bags?

Any explanations? Anyone with similar experiences. And you don't have to limit it to your children. wink wink.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

It's a...

Boy! Yep on May 31st we are looking at adding more testosterone to our household. He did not want to sit still for the ultrasound so the technician kept having to move and freeze and move and freeze. I am scared for what we are in for. We, also, learned that instead of the June 12th estimation that we get to move it up a few weeks, happy for me but who knows if Maggie shall be so happy about that in future years!

We got to the ultrasound practice and of course, being the mean mom, I would not let them have the suckers they have there until the end. Yes, I am that mean especially to myself! What was I thinking withholding them was pure torture and then because I had made the decision, I kept to it which was even more torturous for everyone involved.

What truly has me frightened is that this kid was moving that much inside what do we have in store for ourselves when he makes it into the outside world?!

So.... any name suggestions?

Friday, November 28, 2008

A day late but here goes

HAPPY THANKSGIVING! I hope you all had a great day yesterday. We did once the kids both took naps. Boy did Max need one. If and when we would say no to a request, he would throw a fit. Argh was that painful. It took a good half hour to calm him down. And then another 10 to convince him to close his eyes that if he didn't fall asleep within 5 minutes that we would leave his room. Once he settled down, he was out in 15 seconds I believe and then slept 3 hours. He was like a new person when he awoke. I think the best part was that he truly wanted to help me make all the sides for Thanksgiving dinner. The only one that I vetoed help on was the stuffing since I was a little nervous making it. My mom usually makes it every year not I.

My sister in law, Kat, showed up around 5pm with her friend having driven 9 hours from San Francisco. The kids were happy to see the both of them and ready to eat or so we thought. Maggie ended up not eating much but Max ate, giggled, played, ate some more. We did the store bought thing for dessert and we all enjoyed the smoked turkey that Krismon made. A friend from work, Aki, came to dinner as well and Maggie made sure that he sat next to her. The kids have him wrapped around their little fingers. He is so great with them. He plays with them, lets them climb all over him and he listens to them. They kept him in their room before bed for an extra 5 to 10 minutes. I hazard a guess that he enjoys his time with them as well.

Today, Kat and her friend are off to camp in Death Valley and in their place we have some more friends coming to stay. They have a daughter 6 months younger than Max and another daughter who is 9 months old. The kids all get along. The baby takes it all in stride which is great. It looks to be a fun weekend for all of us. Krismon does have to work today, Chris offered to watch all the kids so Jehan and I could go shopping. I would hope that he could watch 4 kids since he is a captain in the army! lol Anyways he is great with kids and I know mine love to play with him.

So that is what we have in store.... Oh and it has been raining so I am glad we have some movies the kids haven't seen before.

Monday, November 24, 2008

I do believe I give up

I want to post every day truly I do but sometimes time runs out on me. I had this up since yesterday but just did not find the necessary time to put thoughts down. I got carried away with laundry and cleaning out a closet that I neglected to really clean the house and instead went ahead killed my back the end of the day.

Okay so I was writing this yesterday and still I didn't finish it. UGH what is up? I think I officially give up. I have not been able to stay on top of my blogging.

Yesterday Max's school had their Thanksgiving feast. I had Maggie go to Shelby's house so that I could attend and spend some time with Max. It was nice. I got to meet Max's best friend's parents. Max has been invited to go to his birthday hike at Red Rock about a week before his own birthday. They are a year apart in age but you can tell these kids care about each other. Max makes sure we pack no peanuts in his lunch so he can sit with his friend. And his friend upon seeing him everyday picks him up in a bear hug. His parents worried about him picking Max up so I asked Max if it was okay. Max assured us that it was just fine. This is his first real best friend. I think the concept of friends took longer for him or else he just observed more until he made up his mind. Maggie has all sorts of friends and has for quite some time. Hers though is a blanket statement for the most part. She can name some friends and has been asking for a play date with one of her friends which I found to be quite great.

Okay my duty is done for the day. Got to go.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yesterday in review

Maggie and I ran errands, enjoyed bread at the bread place, bought a new twin mattress for Max. Came home, napped a sleeping Maggie. My parents came around 1pm. Maggie woke up about an hour later. My dad took a nap, my mom and Maggie and I went and picked Max up from school which is always a treat for him and my mom.
At 5:30, we all piled in a car and headed over to our friend, Lisa's house. She held a bbq in honor of the baby. I think she wants the baby to be as big of a meat eater as Maggie is! lol. We had kielbasa, grilled chicken, 2 kinds of hamburgers (mine was well done of course) a stuffed pork roast or something like that. Steak was also on the menu but it would be a travesty to grill it to well done so I skipped on that. She had great sides as well and we brought the cheesecake. Got to love costco for getting cheesecake. She got her stuff at Whole Foods so you know that was all good. It was such an enjoyable evening that we didn't leave until an hour and a half after the kids bedtime. Sorry kids.... They were having a great time. Max loves making up games and getting adults involved. Lisa has a pool table so there were infinite possibilities of games. Of course, we paid the piper. Max has been getting a dry hacking cough that is worse at night and in the morning. He ended up on the blow up mattress in our room with vicks rub and the vicks dry machine as well as a humidier and cholorseptic spray on his throat around 11:30. Maggie did not follow suit until 4:30. I let her sleep next to me which meant that she was all up in my stuff! Argh with a huge lip before the side of the bed, while I was squashed with a tiny corner of the pillow.

So last night did have one teachable moment that went pretty well. Max jumped off the stairs into our friend, Millie's arms. He hit his toe and it hurt. Krismon was trying to heck I don't know the term. He suggested that if Max finished his cheesecake he would feel better. A few people laughed. Instead of finding it funny, Max thought that they were laughing at him. I saw him feel even worse at that point and we talked a bit so I could ask him how he felt. I gave him empathy but that didn't fulfill his need because he needed to hear from Krismon and to have others understand how he felt. I quickly explained and Krismon went to him to talk to him. It felt good to be able to help him voice his feelings and dispel some of the negativity from the situation. So that was that.

Oh and yesterday was our 9th wedding anniversary too. Though we tend to celebrate our marriage more when we eloped to Vegas. lol

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Here goes

I am 10weeks and 6 days pregnant! We had our first doctor's appt yesterday. The ultrasound showed more detail than I am used to when they are this tiny. On Sunday, I will fall into the high risk category when I turn 35. YEE to the HAW. So that means on Dec. 3rd, we will get confirmation of our little one's gender.

Before you ask, yes, we plan to find out. Why? Well, we have each of the last two times. This time around each child wants the sibling of their same gender. I want to know so that I can help whichever child it is over their disappointment and get them excited about the newest member to come. Maggie may be a little more difficult because she tends to be stubborn. Not sure who she gets that from.... lol.

Already, I am having the lovely heartburn and sleep issues. This morning I woke up at 4am and could not for the life of me get back to sleep. At 5, I called it quits on trying for more sleep and made coffee. Maggie joined me about 20 minutes later and Max 10 til 6. Maggie and I chatted about if the baby was a boy would she be okay. She was a little stubborn but I talked about how much she loves my friend's baby, Sam. She seemed to start to come around a little. I think Max would be fine either way but eh, who knows we shall see in two weeks. And no, there is only one.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

No words

Not sure what to write. Didn't write yesterday. My mind is a blank canvas. I am sleepy. Hmm maybe I will add more later.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Yesterday

Was an especially good day for the kiddos. Max did a decent job focusing at his violin lesson. They both ended up napping a long with Krismon. We had some friends from the Bay Area come over. They are in town for a conference. My kids love their kids and we enjoy getting together. It was pizza and Kung Fu panda time. Well that was after the kids took apart the play room upstairs, nothing like 5 kids and 5 adults together to have a good time in a house.

Even better, today we get to spend much of our time with them again while Michelle goes to conference stuff. Can you imagine 2 toddlers and a preschooler stuck in a hotel room all day? It doesn't paint a pretty picture. Or taking them out into a casino area or even the mall areas? I would go mad and have to be carted away.


So this didn't get done yesterday. I admit while watching Peter Pan, I crashed out. Krismon even took a picture of me asleep on the floor with my head on the floor pillow. Max and M had fun watching. The twins and their dad crashed out on one sofa. Maggie slept in her room. Once everyone was up and moving it was off to the mall and CPK for M's birthday party. There were 8 kids total and then about as many adults. We sat down and ate, then the kids ran around in the mall like crazy pent up kids scaring all the single and childless couples who would get sneers and looks of disgust on their faces as our kids wove in and around them. It was fashion show mall and our kids were doing a good job of walking the runway. lol. We did at one point get them to play duck, duck, duck, duck, duck........ they were pretty young so they weren't wanting to get to the goose anytime soon. And when our party broke up, a sign of relief was audibly heard from the fashionable people who were scared and nervous that the kids would rub something off on them. hehe.

It was great fun seeing our friends and it gave Max a chance to steal kisses which made him happy! Now we just need to plan the wedding.....

Friday, November 14, 2008

The weiner mobile

If I was an Oscar Meyer Weiner... Go ahead hum the song in your head for a few moments. Yes, I did get to see it today. Crazy me, I decided to take the kids and go birthday gift shopping. It was an open air mini mall. We went to a few stores. I had the stroller so I could contain at least one. That worked pretty well until we got to Gymboree. Darn, I knew I should have strapped Maggie down. She is the main culprit of uncooperativeness. hmm guess that is not really a word but you get the point. She was running around while I searched for the perfect gift for this little girl. When it was all said and done, I got it done and we headed off to get an early lunch. Again, I should have strapped her in. I pretty much figured out what I wanted. Max was taking forever to decide and Maggie decided it would be fun to run away from the counter. Already frazzled, I am sure that I was a delight to all patrons and employees at Panera. I kept my voice low and expressed my frustration as simply as possible. Max did make up his mind and got soup and we paid and made our way to where we would sit. I was glad that Maggie did not fight me about the highchair. We ate and shared our food and ate. We packed up, got in the car and started to head home. We were close to Krismon's office.

He called and asked where we were at. I explained where we were, he said get on over and come check out the weiner mobile. We got there a couple minutes later, parked and the kids saw their Papa and ran to him and hugged him and a co worker, Lisa. She was delighted since sometimes they go into their shy modes. We got a couple of photos, they got to go inside. They even got videoed by Brett at Zappos tv. We went in the office for a bit, the kids handed out more hugs before we took Krismon out to lunch.

The kids, obviously, don't really understand the significance of the weiner mobile but it was fun to show them and they did enjoy the ketchup and mustard seats in the car or truck or whatever it really is. And I do have a photos but am lazy. Maybe I will post with just a picture after this so you can all see and believe.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mom and Daughter time

So part of our time together was going to Joanns for crafty supplies. The sculpty clay was on sale and at some point, I am determined to be a crafty mama. Just don't hold your breath, please.... We went and got some and one kit as well. A friend of mine made this excellently crafty xmas tree last year with different ornaments on it for each day leading up to xmas. I so wanted to make it and we had a craft night planned and then I was too tuckered out. It was pretty sucky because she is really truly a talented person. She makes the best baked goods as well. And she is completely underappreciated for that talent since her husband doesn't have a baked sweet tooth. I don't hold it against him but wow I wish that she lived closer so that I could get more of those baked goods. Anyways, I digress. Psst and it isn't only the sweet baked goods that she is fabulous at. Not by a long shot, she makes the best savory stuff as well. Hmm I better email her about this post so she knows that I am truly in awe of her talents. Maybe she will bake me something... Okay I should have left that to myself.

So we go the clay and now what. I better figure out something to do so that it doesn't just dry in a clump of nothingness. Plus I was thinking it would be a great way for the kids to make their gifts for family. So here is hoping that some sort of creative bug climbs up my ahem....

After Joanns, we made our trip to Costco. It is so much nicer going there with just one child. No fights no running opposite directions. We got to go around, giggle, pick up the necessities like milk and fruit and cereal. It went pretty quick and was she happy to get to the end, you betcha! In our family, that means more often than not, hotdog time. I gave her most of the dog since I had had something not too long before that. Then we deviated from the norm and got a churro. Those things are sinful. They are more doughy than donuts and just sooooooo yummy. We even managed to save some for Max. What good women we are!

After that it was off to home and nap time. But I am enjoying this time with her more and more, getting out and talking and giggling and seeing who can out 'I love you' more. Do you know that game? I say, 'Guess what?' and Maggie responds, 'I love you!' It started in the car because I would say both parts and now she beats me to the punchline and then we have to go back and forth and sometimes we say, 'No, I love you' or 'I love you more' or 'I love you too too too.' She just giggles. I know this time will pass and that she will get older and get to a point where she might say the opposite instead so I want to relish this time with her now.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

ARGH I missed a day AGAIN!

Yikes what is up with me and not posting daily like I said I would. I think I need my hands smacked.

We are still fighting that daily battle or I should say that nightly battle. They seem to be going to sleep easier but they are both becoming problem night time sleepers. And Krismon has been taking pity on me and dealing with them mostly. Last night, I couldn't even say exactly what happened. Max ended up on the air mattress at some point and then around 3am, Krismon took him to the bathroom only to notice Maggie was on the mattress as well. And she had stolen his covers so he was cold. So then Krismon had to truck it upstairs to grab another pillow and blanket to cover Max in. Around 5am, Maggie woke up and had wet the mattress. I stripped her down and brought her to bed with me until around 5:30 when she started getting noisy and I needed to get up to get somewhere by around 7am. I really wish I could have let the boys sleep in longer but that was not in their cards. I left the kids in Krismon capable hands while I went to my meeting. Sure enough, later when I saw Maggie at playgroup, I could tell he had dressed her. I asked if she had been good for him and she looked at me very innocently and said yes. Now if she could just be good for us at night or rather him....
And if Max could just learn to wake up and go back to sleep until 6am. Ah the world would be a much better place.

Hmmm maybe we need to start including those tidbits in our prayers until they come true. Or is that like jinxing yourself. I just saw a movie where this little girl is told not to dream about bunnies and to keep saying it over and over and over again. Reverse psychology to get rid of the monster dreams so should we be doing the reverse instead? Something to ponder

Monday, November 10, 2008

Before I check out for the night

I pondered all day what I would write.
Would it be thoughtful?
Could I be thankful?
Now I am just silly
because it is chilly
Will this ever end?
Hmmm you better hope so.....

This was one of those blah days. I did stuff but it was mostly groceries, cleaning, laundry, a little more reading, taking one to ballet class, picking one up from school, walking to pick one up from ballet class, struggling to figure out what to make for dinner, dinner made, tired and cranky boy, unpleasant dining experience with said boy and figidy(sp?) girl, bath time battles and giggles, bed time reading, prayers and gratitude. Ahhhhh.

And now I can go lay in my bed. Good night

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Almost every weekend

I am not sure what it is well actually I am pretty sure what it is but every weekend, I get completely wiped out. I spent most of yesterday on the couch with a tummy ache that just would not go away. My poor belly is just not enjoying certain foods right now. I think yesterday it reacted to the chili from the night before. I might need to start taking beano or something. Yes this certainly is a pretty subject to discuss on a blog! lol.

Maggie and I did go out for a bit yesterday to the mall. I have to tell you that I am really starting to enjoy our outings together. While she is not quite as independent as Max, her vocabulary and personality make it much easier for us to communicate and enjoy our time together. I feel like I have neglected her in ways that I didn't with Max when Max was her age. And yes, I know that a certain amount of that is normal but I am hoping to change that so she can a wide variety of experiences like Max had.

Here is hoping today that I feel better and that we can have fun as a family doing something.

PS the kids watched Peter Pan last night for the first time and LOVED it. Maggie was thrilled to see tinkerbell in action. I almost feel bad that we didn't have her go as tinkerbell for halloween. There is always next year if she so desires.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A no go on Yesterday

Why you may ask? For no good reason, other than I went to a playgroup that turned into a marathon. The kids were having fun, I was hanging out with friends there seemed to be no reason to leave right away. Of course, when I got home, I was wiped out. Maggie crashed in the car, Max was still a chatter box keeping me company on the drive home. The rest of the day seemed a blur. I don't really remember what I did except that I watched Oprah and made a really benign Turkey Chili for supper. The kids went to bed and I followed suit not long after. That sadly is what most of my days seem to be. But oh I forgot the kids were up by around 4am which meant I didn't really sleep much after that time either and for some reason not know to me, that didn't end up bothering much. Crazy huh?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The post that goes no where

Because that is where my mind is today. I feel like a blank slate. I have a thought, think I should go with it and then poof it is gone. The only thing to stay consistent is my desire for soup in a bread bowl. Kind of sad, huh? I think it is because it finally got chilly here and my toes still have yet to warm up. I have been in comfort food mode now for a few days which can not be good nutritionally. Not that that has stopped me.

Tonight we are planning to eat a lovely turkey breast that didn't finish roasting last night until after we ate and pairing that with some mash potatoes and salad. It makes me feel much more midwestern, you know, meat and potatoes. lol.

Okay so maybe I will have more to write later that will go somewhere but as of now. poooooof

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

I cried, I cried, I cried

I didn't wail and moan but tears did slide out of my eyes. Heck, I am still tearing up today. I do not agree in every way with Obama but I do believe that "YES WE CAN". I, now, know that my children if they desire to be President of the United States have that opportunity. That was part of the hope that he gave me. Even now it is hard to write with tears in my eyes. I feel like now every opportunity is fully available.

This morning, Max actually ended up sleeping in. When he came down, he plopped on the couch to watch tv. He did not get to stay up and watch the results with us. I brought him over the newspaper and said would you like to see a picture of our newly elected president. I set the newspaper down in front of him. He gasped, I asked him to read the headline. He read out loud, "Change is coming to America!" I add the exclamation point because that was how excited he was. He highfived me and then stood up and wanted to high five me again. I know that he doesn't exactly know what all Obama stands for and he supports him in many ways because he is my candidate of choice and because I took him to some of the rallies. I want him to have the next four years or more to really learn about this president and to see how our country works to support him and to support each other.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

When will it be over?

I am just waiting waiting waiting and wanting the results to be known....


And did you watch Oprah. 109 yr old woman who has been voting since the vote was legalized in the 60s. Her kids and grandkids and great grandkids are voting. It was so cool to hear her history and know how historic it must be for her.

That's all I got right now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Yeah yeah yeah I know

I broke my own intent and on the second day too! All I can say in my defense is that yesterday was not a good day and I was afraid of how my post would sound coming out. It was rough, rough, rough.... Just ask my children and my husband.


Today on the other hand, much much better. In fact, the kids actually let us sleep until 6am and I do believe that Maggie did not come down once. Do I expect this to be the norm yet? No but maybe we can continue working toward complete night independence. I think the kids actually ended up sleeping in Maggie's bed together. Oh course, Max is a convoluted sleeper so he slept the opposite direction. lol.

This morning, Krismon made us all pancakes. The lovely man even made the kids mickey mouse pancakes. He sure is a softy. Then we had the kids second ever dentist appt. Man were they troopers. Max acted like an old pro get films done and his teeth cleaned. Maggie sat nicely holding my hand while getting her teeth cleaned and check. The dentist and hygienists were impressed and happy that they were the first appts of the day. I think it felt like it was a good start to their day. We dropped Max off at school happy as a clam. Maggie and I went home ate a snack, took a break and then headed out shopping. We finished shopping at Costco and got a hot dog. Maggie can eat. After having her half, she wanted to get another one and not eat the fro yo. I love that we went to costco so that I could pick up something for dinner and not even have to think. Ahhh that was nice. She took a good long nap and then soon we will head out to ballet. Then I get Max for about an hour. It should be nice to spend a little time together. So here is hoping that all our good moods last and that we get to enjoy the rest of the day together. I am certainly planning to stay optimistic and enjoy my kids.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo

I am hopping on the bandwagon and am going to try and post everyday for an entire month. I have a hard time coming up with posts sometimes but I am hoping to overcome writers block on those days by writing anything in desperation. Thanks Gen for writing your post. http://insanityenjoyed.blogspot.com/2008/11/all-month-long.html

I enjoy reading blogs and sometimes I am even good at writing comments so here is hoping that I can make this kind of commitment to the blog and that people will actually read it. lol.....

Anyone else care to join me?

Anyone else ready for Tuesday to come and go, so that hopefully some of the vitriol will die down? I have this dream that in not too many years we will have a system that recognizes more than the two parties that we currently see posting so many negative ads. I would like to see the other parties in our country get a chance to debate on a national level with the dems and the repubs. I would love to feel confident voting for the candidate that I feel best represents me and what I would like to see for my country and my people. Right now, we still seem to be playing this game of fitting a ball into a square hole and we just use brute force to get it through. I did vote for Barack and I feel confident in his abilities and his capacity to govern but.... When I did a little on line test of the issues that are important to me and how I would vote the issues, Ralph Nader came up as my true candidate. I was a little surprised but not really. Did I believe that I could vote for him? no Why not? Because Sarah Palin scares me a lot a lot a lot a lot a lot, well you get the idea. Having two more supreme court justices end up being conservative, scares the holy heck out of me. I believe in choice and I believe that only God has the right to judge if what a woman did or did not do was right or wrong. Just like only God has the right to judge if homosexuality is wrong. I know, I know my high horse. To get back to the subject, I really do hope that in so many number of years that our system can evolve to include more parties and more points of view so that more of us can vote for who we want as opposed to voting against who we don't want which was the case in 2004. Hmm I think I better change my standing to independent after this election is done.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Mom, what's mulitiplication?

That's the question Max asked me last week. At least, I think it was last week when I picked him up from school and we were on our to go get his sister. He knows addition, kind of knows subtraction but I don't even think he is supposed to learn multiplication for a few years. Anyways, in the car, I was trying to figure out a good way to explain it to him and drive at the same time. Thank goodness for red lights. It gave me a chance to use my hands to give him some examples. You know like 3 x 2 = 6. I held up both hands showing 3 fingers. I asked him how many times I showed the number 3 and what number did that create. He kind of caught on and we did a few of those type of examples. It was interesting to try and teach him and I even talked to his teacher about it.

Fast forward to today. He was doing a worksheet and he needed to count his teeth. He came up to me and said '10 two times is 20= multiplication.' I just wasn't expecting it. It is nice to see that he was listening and comprehending what I said. He is growing up so fast.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

We voted as a family today

Well at least 3 of us did. My husband is waiting for November 4th to cast his first ballot. But more on that later.

Max has been asking since the early voting began when we would go vote. He had already voted in school and Obama had won in his classroom 10:3. We went to the rallies during the primaries and he chanted with everyone else, OBAMA. OBAMA waving the sign in the air. He has been excited about the process even if he hasn't completely understood it.

It's kind of like the Reagan/Carter campaigns. I was so sure Carter was going to win because my parents supported him so much while the neighbor kid, friend of mine was so sure Reagan was going to win because his Dad was a staunch Republican. Billy didn't lord it over me too much when Reagan won but that is the first election I remember. That began my love affair with politics and the process. Well and those saturday morning in between cartoons, cartoon that would tell us what a bill is. You know schoolhouse rocks! I need to get those for my kids, hmmm I digress. It is nice to see Max following in my footsteps to the point of wanting to have his vote count because we voted as a family.

We voted at the grocery store when I picked him up from school. We had to stand in line for our turn and we chatted with our neighbors in line. It was nice, there were no questions of who people were voting for just excitement and a sense of how important it is to get out and vote. We got up to the table so I could get my electronic card. I always knew Costco was a handy place because that was the card I used to id myself, lol! I gave my address and signed on the dotted line. We went for the short wait to get to the booth. The election workers gave the kids, the I voted stickers. They allowed me to take a chair over to the booth so the kids could stand on it and watch me vote. For some reason, Max missed my first vote so he did not see me touch the screen and cast that momentous vote for Obama. So much hope was cast with that ballot.

We want our kids to grow up knowing that if they dream and work for it, it could be theirs. That now includes the highest post in the land and I hope that I am not speaking too soon.

I have always felt that voting was such a privilege and so important that I have never understood those who don't vote. There are so many places in the world where that right and privilege don't exist that it is hard to imagine that our own citizens take it fore granted.

My husband got his citizenship, I think it has been 2 years now. This is the first election that he is voting in. But before this election when we were still living in CA, right after Max was born, there was a March voting. I don't even remember anymore for what. He asked me if I was going to vote, my mom was visiting, and I said nah, I am too tired. He looked at me and said, 'I can't vote. It is your duty as a citizen to vote, now go, it won't take long.' If not those words, exactly it was something close to them. He reminded me of how important my job as a citizen of this country is. If we don't cast our ballot what right do we have to complain about our government?

Anyway, I am excited for the 4th and I hope that he takes Max with him to the booth so that Max can vote again. I hope he will tell me who he voted for on that day.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

My day of nothing

Seriously, I am still in my pjs and it is after 4pm. I don't know why I can't seem to get dressed on get on with my day. Maggie is half dressed. Max is dressed warmly because he has a cold.

I did accomplish finishing a book. I have let the kids way tooo toooo much tv. This day has been a crowning glory of under achievement.

I keep waiting for a good night's sleep. I think I have a long wait ahead...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sick all weekend

Do they take pity? nope, were they bored mindless? yep, was the house a mess by the Sunday evening? yes. did they give me hugs because they knew I was sick? yes. Did Max bring me toast and water and give me kisses? yes. Did I feel bad that I got sick right after Krismon got back from his conference? nope. I was so thankful he was home. It was a rough weekend that I pretty much spent completely in bed sick as a dog.

I am still recovering from it and am hoping to be back to my cheerful self before tomorrow just so I can move on with my week.

Friday, October 17, 2008

IBM conference

So somehow my husband one the prize a trip to North Carolina to deliver a presentation at a golfing conference. In all actuality, I am really pleased for him. I think this was a great opportunity and he and a co worker were the youngest people there. But that meant that I was home with the kids. Now don't feel too sorry for me, heck I know some of you out there have husbands who travel a whole lot more than mine. I did have school and friend to watch the kids while I worked from home and had a break from the kids. It was more the night times that I was dreading.
Maggie has been in the habit of going to sleep in her room and then somehow ending up in our bed and sleeping with us the rest of the night if we don't wake up and take her back to their room.
Max has always been an early riser and lately it has seemingly been earlier than usual.
Last night was no exception except that even when Maggie was making noises at 3 something in the morning, it did not wake me enough to start me thinking and I continued to sleep fairly peacefully until almost 6am when an awake boy and dog sought to wake me up and in the aftermath wake Maggie up as well. I kind of headed them off which gave Maggie an extra 10 minutes or so.
Anyways, I am really looking forward to picking Krismon up from the airport this evening. We talked about it last night and are keeping the kids up an extra hour or so, so he can see them. It was nice to know that he missed them so much.

Yesterday was his presentation. I picked Max up from school and on the way to go and get Maggie we talked about it. I was setting the scene... stage, jumbotron (sp?), etc. Max from the backseat asks, "Is papa nervous?" I don't know why that still seems so profound to me but it is. It was a sign that he understood the feeling on some level and could, I believe, empathize. I might be making this all up in my head but it just seemed so grown up coming from a 4 yo. Anyway, I answered saying yes I believe he was when we skyped the night before. He did say yesterday when I spoke to him later in the evening that the presentation went well and he had people come up and talk to him about later. I couldn't have been more happy for him. He said the stage was so well lit that he couldn't see people in the audience and that helped relax him.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

And his education has begun

Well it began this summer when he called someone stupid at school. Ah the joys of picking your child up from school to be informed that he is calling someone names and using the word in the proper context! Yippeee.

Yesterday was so much fun, hearing about his growing vocabulary and the new signs he is learning. The new sign he called it 'the shark.' Sounds powerful, right? Alas, it is what we in the biz call 'the bird.' He showed it to his father first and then his father suggested that he show it to me so I could see this lovely new sign that he had learned from an older child at his school. Now I understand that this was bound to happen. Heck, I had a mouth like a trucker when I was in third grade, at least, when my parents weren't around. His friends in school on the playground were kind enough to teach him both butthead and buttcrack. I feel so psyched that he is building his knowledge and sharing it with us and Maggie. Just what I want my 2 yo to hear. It's bad enough that we taught her 'bootie' and that she likes to both say it and shake it. argh. Okay so some lessons we learn the hard way....

We had the discussion of appropriate vs inappropriate words and behaviour. Has he gotten it completely? Welllllll he kind of knows because he hasn't done it in earshot of his teachers and thankfully he must know that isn't something to add into his everyday sentence structure but can we expect more... Heck yes

And oh did I tell you about him chasing the girls trying to kiss them? Hmm now that was two weeks ago and he got talked to by two teachers to get him to stop. He had his uncles wanting to live vicariously through him because he had the girls giggling and running. He still fondly remembers that time two weeks ago when he wanted to kiss the girls.

Can you tell I am worried what the future will be like?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Nonviolent Communication

So I have been reading a book by Marshall Rosenberg. It is a really powerful book with tough concepts. It's about changing the way we think when it comes to our interactions with others. I would actually put it up there with Oprah's favorite book "A New Earth" except that the practical applications, I believe, are more.

I say tough concepts but they aren't really.... They are very easy to understand and practical for use until you are in a situation with oh say your kids. I really dislike the push/pull of power struggles and I don't want my kids to grow up feeling like an iron fist is being wielded. I am not talking about physical abuse or mental abuse for that matter. I want them to have respect for everything around them including themselves but I feel that I am failing in this aspect. I know for respect to be given, it also needs to be reciprocated. This is a tough idea. As a parent, we get used to the idea that we can tell/make our kids do what we want them to do but what does this really do for them except to try and make them obedient kids and then have them rebel later on.

Okay so to get back to the Rosenberg. He has for 4 part approach. To take directly from the book, page 7 "NVC Process
The concrete actions we observe that affect our well-being.
How we feel in relation to what we observe.
The needs, values, desires, etc that create our feelings.
The concrete actions we request in order to enrich our lives."

My example of this.... Say I ask Max to unload the dishwasher but he isn't doing it in a timely manner.

Instead of exploding or getting more irritated. I need to observe my feelings, see the prior statement. Then ask myself what needs of mine are not being met (this was a big revelation to me, because I had considered the feelings part and sometimes I could observe my feelings as if slightly disconnected from myself except it wouldn't stop me from still spouting off at the mouth) And then make the request that expressed my needs and not as much my feelings unless I was truly being responsible to my feelings. So my request might be, 'Max, I need you to feel ownership of this household which means contributing to the upkeep and care of our home by emptying the dishwasher.' What I need to let go of is that he might not do it in my timetable every time but if there are distractions, I might need to try and clear those (ie tv playing at same time).

Now being responsible for my feelings isn't a new concept to me because it was something my parents pounded, I mean, taught us from a fairly early age. Someone can't make you feel anything. We choose to feel the way we do. What Rosenberg does is take it a step further and say because some need is not being met. I am still trying to understand how I can express this for myself. The feeling he speaks to is anger and its derivatives. How often do we say or heard said 'He, she, it makes me so angry....' We need to step back and really look at why we are feeling this way and how we can change our perception. Our best bet is to stop and breathe as Rosenberg says in the book so we can gain more perspective and really translate to ourselves what we are feeling.

Okay I got to cut this short and get out of here. Maybe I will have more to write later but I really want to take on the challenge of getting my family on the nvc bandwagon.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Why so early?

I am still trying to figure out why my children like to punish me and wake me before the sun is up in any way shape or form. Everyday is a challenge it feels like and a hope. Please, please, please sleep until 6am. Please, please, please Maggie don't come to our room and climb in our bed and practically lay on top of me leaving me so little room that I am hanging off the edge of the bed.

Can you guess that this is one of those days? We let Max sleep on the blow up mattress in our room last night because he did not get a time out all day. We want to let them do this one night a week just for fun. Maggie decided to throw my cell phone so she opted out on the sleeping on the mattress with Max. So instead, at 4:30 this morning she came down and climbed in with us and then realized Max was down there and insisted on a pillow so she could join him. I should have known even in my foggy sleep state that this was bad news.

Fast forward to an hour later and I have had enough of Maggie going back and forth and climbing on me. I decide she is going back to her room and get out of bed to take her. When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a Maxwell out of bed. I think I say something to the effect of you better had just gone to the bathroom and are going back to bed and move Maggie along.

I take her upstairs, potty her, throw her in her room where she cries and cries and cries. And did I mention that she cries? I try to lay down in the guest room since it is close but after a bit find I am now to wound up. But during this time, Max makes his way up the stairs at which point I say something to the effect that he better get back to bed or all his privileges will be taken away for the day.

Now, Max knows and understands the reward system and so he is easier but it gets really hard with Maggie to get her to stop sleeping in our bed. We just end up so tired for days trying to deal with her.

I guess it is something I need to recommit myself to. I just miss when she was a baby and slept at least 12 hours a night.

Friday, October 3, 2008

End of year frugality

I bet you know what is coming. Given our economic climate, I want to scale back not only on our spending but really determine a budget based solely on his salary. My friend talked of the 80/20 rule. Use 80 percent of the salary for expenses and debt and split the 20 between charity and savings.

I want for us to really build our savings and get our spending under control. Who knows how long our economy will look like this? While we should have seen this coming, I didn't. And I feel like that is saying something since in I lived when the silicon valley bubble burst in 2000 and seemed to take forever to recover. It was a few hard years and now the circle is radiating from NY out and hurting even more people.

I really hate the idea that we are bailing out big companies and hope that the ceos and executives who were among the problem are not compensated for what they have done to our economy. It's crazy to look at what these people make and then see what their decisions have done. I feel like they should have to give money back for those decisions. I know off on a tangent.

So again back to the reason I am here. I have tried in the past to do months of frugality and been successful but this time around, I really believe it has to change even more. And darn it, that means that I need to get creative not only with dinners, but with kids crafts, with my (lack of) exercise routine. Thank goodness the weather is changing and soon I will be able to take the kids on nature walks again after school. That will be a nice change from coming home and doing snack and then trying to come up with something to do that doesn't involve tv time but that usually wins out in the end.

Any crafty ideas, dinner ideas, any ideas at all from frugally gifted people?.......

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Camping in a lightening storm

Yes that was our weekend last. Fun, fun, fun oh and did I mention fun.....

I am not sarcastic in the least. We got up to the mountain Friday and got set up. We ate our chili the kids got bored with us. They were so excited to be there, they wanted to go and visit all the other campers. The bathrooms were locked for the season so we had to make due with port a potties (more on that later). The first night was okay except none of us got a whole lotta sleep. We were truly hoping that we would since the second night, Saturday, was when our friends would be coming up to camp and bbq with us. We brought a ton of meat (we have a ton left over). We had one friend get lost drive the wrong direction and almost to Utah (slight exaggeration) before coming the right way. We had rain off and on during the morning until around 1pm when we had a thunderstorm. All I can say is Thank God for dvd players!!! The kids watched a dvd while we listened to npr. One friend, John, showed up towards the end of the storm. The kids were so happy to have someone besides us around! They ran races and walked about. We started to prepare for the arrival of others. We did not have as many people show as we thought. Max crapped out at 6pm. I had to carry him into the tent and lay him in his sleeping bag. He fell in love with his bag that night since it kept him wrapped up like a cocoon. I got to stay out with Maggie until around 7:30-8pm. Then she wanted to go to sleep. We were just getting ready when her favorite person showed up, Nick. She gave a few more hugs and included Chris in them and then we were off to bed to share her sleeping bag which was larger than mine. We got it with the idea in mind that she might never let us sleep on our own and that she wouldn't be conscious enough to keep herself warm. We snuggled in and slept right away.

Around 2am, the storm started. I think we were all pretty much awake except maybe Maggie. You could see the flashes of lightening. I could tell that Krismon and I were thinking the same thing, crap are we going to have to make a run for the car! Luckily the lightening passed below us on the mountain and we were okay. But before it was gone, I became a mama sandwich when Max climbed up on the blowup mattress with Maggie and I. Afterwards, he rolled back down to his beloved sleeping bag to talk with Krismon about thunder and lightening while Maggie and I went back to sleep. Ah did that feel good.

The next morning, all was well and wet. We ran to get the kids pottied and had to skip using the women's because of the mess in there. I will not describe it further, but it was not pretty and Maggie wouldn't even step foot inside and she is 2!

We made breakfast for the bunch, let the kids wake up their uncles. They fell in love with Uncle Chris that day. He played hide and seek and spy games. Even Uncle Nick got in on the act and played with them while we were decamping. Now we know we can get through a lot with our kids since we got through the weekend. We, also, learned that we need to figure out more good outdoorsy type toys or games so they won't ditch us for those fun campers! lol

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Where did I go?

I know it has been a long time since I have been on. Not good really but life seems to have gotten in the way of my trying to blog and keep up with blogs.

1st- We had sickness. I posted about Maggie but then Krismon got some form of the virus and then I got another. Mine involved these migraine like headaches that migrain medicine couldn't solve.

2nd- We had family come for a visit. Good news though because of the sickness, I actually looked for a primary care physician for my husband and I. Now we just need to go get physicals. I guess with family visiting, I figured out how to no longer be sick. It was a whirlwind visit. I might write a post on that later.

3rd- We have a camping trip this weekend to celebrate Krismon's birthday which was yesterday. And I have had a fever for 3 days. I think it broke last night. Krismon covered me in a blanket. I think out of annoyance that he was getting up with the kids if they woke up at night. So in desperation, he wanted to break that fever so that I could be the one to get up with the kids.

So those are the many reasons why I haven't been on and now I better publish before something interrupts this post.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Why we love bass pro shops

It has taxidermy. Now before you get all grossed out and believe me I was the first time I thought about going there... It is really cool. It is a gigantic store and it has animals from all over the world stuffed all the way up to a giraffe.

They have party boats that you can get on and check out. Now I would not buy one because I don't want to be tied down to going to a lake every week to get my money out of it but it did bring back memories of fishing on our little pontoon in mn every summer and jumping off it to go swimming. These were just a tiny bit nicer and bigger with a few more amenities. How about a ton more of everything.

Yesterday when we went, we went with some friends who had not been before. You could see their eyes light up with enjoyment taking in everything from the gigantic fishtanks to the gun range to the camping equipment. My eyes lit up at the fact that the kids were outnumbered. I knew that I wouldn't be quite so frazzled at the end of our time there because Krismon and I wouldn't be the only set of eyes on the kids.

It is one of those excess stores so I generally look but don't touch. Besides the fact that I am trying to bring down my and the families eco footprint. Okay so I haven't made concrete plans for how to do that besides recycling as much as I can.

Hmmm how did this change? Anyways back to the store. The animals are really pretty cool to go and look at and show the kids up close because they aren't likely to see many of these animals that close or I wouldn't want them to. So if you are ever near a bass pro shop, I suggest you check it out and take your kids.

Friday, September 5, 2008

My poor sick kid

Well to be truthful, she is not really sick today. I feel bad though because Wednesday, we went to a playdate and she was ultra cranky. We left earlier than usual and she slept hard. Krismon brought home dinner, she did not eat.... Okay this is the part where you cover your ears or rather your eyes or click somewhere else. She ended up tossing her cookies on the table. Poor thing.

The funny part, if there is one, Max, ironstomach(his new nickname), just kept on eating. We cleaned the table up and got Maggie cleaned up. She ended up tossing more cookies over the night and slept with us. Yesterday was not much better. She didn't eat so there wasn't much to get rid of and she slept quite a bit. She ate a bit. She slept in our room on a blow up bed. Tonight though she will be sleeping in her bed (though check back with me tomorrow, we are both too big of softies with her.)

Today, she ate. And Max is now stitchless thanks to our hmmm what was it at least an hour or more wait for them to be removed. Know how long it took for them to be gone? I would hazard a guess that our ped was with us a total of 15 min. I think I need to find a new practice. Either that or start billing him for all the extra time that I have to spend keeping my kids entertained while waiting. On the drive home, Maggie fell asleep and slept 3 or so hours.

And she shared so nicely with her friend, Sierra! At least she shared something instead of screeching. Oh wait she did that too...

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Sloppy Joes

So this seems like a right of passage if you are kid, you need to eat a sloppy joe. Well I am planning to make it for dinner. In fact, I have everything cut up ready to go down the the garlic smelly fingers. But am I doing it on the buns, nope... I am planning for it to go on rice so that if it is sloppy it is in a bowl. Yes, I await the applause now....

I am just feeling the rice for dinner vibe tonight. We did sandwiches last night so here is hoping this recipe goes over well since they barely ate last night.

Well that was a big hit. Maggie and Max had at least two helpings. Maggie felt that the rice was just for decoration to show off the redness of the sloppy joe. Max gobbled that down, some leftover fried rice, some leftover sweet potatoes that had too much pepper and at some fruit. I call that a successful dinner especially since Maggie had it dribbling down her naked belly.

What did you say? Why was she nakey? She was playing in the water and stripped herself of her wet clothes. Feeling confident in herself, she decided to keep the birthday suit for dinner and be formal.

So my pictures are of the leftovers. I made ground turkey joes and used whatever amount comes in the prepacked servings. I figured they would like it but I didn't realize what a hit it would be. Here is the link for the recipe. http://www.elise.com/recipes/archives/007320sloppy_joes.php It was yummylicious.

This second picture is just to give you the scope of how little was left. The green tupperware is rice.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Feminine Mistake

Marketplace money did a feature on Leslie Bennetts book with above title. As I was reading the interview, I got interrupted by a phone call with a friend. Before going into anything else, we started to talk about our take on this. We both agreed that the author made very valid points. Points that I, as a stay at home mom, am just starting to explore. It isn't a mistake to stay home, it is a mistake to stay complacent believing that just keeping house (I know just is riling) is enough. It isn't, the reality is that many scenarios can play out in one's lifetime and if we aren't prepared, life can be pretty unforgiving. Hmmm okay so that wasn't very clear but I imagine you get my gist. Divorce, death, serious illness to name a few scenarios can occur pushing a stay at home mom back into the workforce before being ready or prepared to take over that aspect of the financial reins.

Now that my youngest is two and I am starting my coaching business, I am beginning to see how much more I need to learn. It isn't enough that he has a 401k or that we IRAs. We need to make more plans for a future and the steps we need to take to bring those plans to fruition. But beyond that, is figuring out emergency funds so that we can be safeguarded as well. Anyway, can you tell that I need to see a financial planner so that I can get my finances more under control. I want my kids to want but I don't want them to need. And right now, I think we are leaning to far to the want side. Okay well enough of my spouting.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Guess What?

This is something I like to ask the kids in the car as we are driving here and there.

Maggie has caught on after some time. I, generally, flash the 'i love you' sign to them and say it. So now, she says it before I do and just giggles waiting.

Then it is my turn to say, 'I love you.' And then I go on to say, 'You tricked me.' Okay who knows where I got that from. I don't think I meant to say that but oh that is what came out. So now, she giggles again and says 'I tricked you!' She loves this little car game of ours. It makes me feel so good and I love to see her try and make the sign as well.

And then there is Max who likes to correct her sign or just say 'Mom (or Mama depending on his mood) she holding up all 5 fingers. To which I reply, 'That's okay, I know what she means.' And then he adds in his 'I love you's as well.

When we were in the Philippines, their great Grandfather would say 'I love you too too too.' The youngest of the grandkids would say this to him and he loved it. His english, not so good, but I wouldn't expect an 85 yr old to know English when he doesn't need to. My kids were kind of confused by him saying this, but now all of a sudden they have jumped on his bandwagon. I just really wish that they could say it to him so that he knew that they understood.
I loved that they got to have so much time with him. Max loved hanging out in his room and watching tv with him.

The case of the 1000lb pig

While we were in CA, we went to the San Mateo County Fair with two of my sisters in law. I have not been to a county fair in forever. I kept having flashbacks to my childhood of going to our county fair and I think we even went to the state fair once or twice. I thought it would be fun for the kids to go and see the rides, food and animals.

We got there and of course, I had no cash. Hmmm Thankfully they take credit cards for the entrance fee and one of my s-i-l had cash to cover us. We walked around first to get the lay of the land.

After we got the lay of the land we headed over to see the animals starting with the camels... Did you catch that? Yep I wrote camels. That was a new one for me being an iowa girl, I didn't really think of camels as being farm animals. Maybe that was my limiting perspective. The camels seemed a little warm and were pretty drowsy in their pen. The kids got to ride a couple of play tractors. And before you get up in arms, I know the gender universe got the better of me and I stuck my kids on the ahem 'gender appropriate colored' tractors. Ugh. Even though Max loves pink.

After that we got to check out some sheep and a cow. And a pony. And some ducks, turkeys (they were pretty magnificent to look at.) Then there were the porkers, I mean pigs and the show cows. It was great to get up so close to the animals and watch the 4H kids taking care of their livestock for the judging. I think I pointed that out to the kids as we walked. After that were the chickens and rabbits. It was really fun to see so many animals.Then it was time for funnel cake. The kids have not had funnel cake before so we were looking forward to initiating them to the funnel cake. They thoroughly enjoyed it. As we finished, a little 3 man band was setting up and playing. Max just stood there in awe watching them play. Usually he is all dancing and enjoying the music physically. This time, he was stock still, open mouthed just watching them play. I could see the wheels in his mind turning and registering that if he continues with violin, he could play like they do and have others enjoy his music. It was cool to watch.

After that, it was time for the merry go round. The kids love this and I like that it doesn't make me ill!

Oh I guess I should explain the title... Before we got the funnel cake, we saw a booth saying they had a 1000 lb pig. You had to pay $1 to see it. They, also, had a tiny baby pot belly pig that we could see. Well, Max decided he needed to see the pig while the rest of us were 'eh'. So we paid and he went back. When he came back out, his eyes were wide and we asked if it was big. He just nodded. The money guy grinned.


PS... Nope I did not get a picture, I did not go back there remember?

Sunday, August 24, 2008

16 Stitches

Not 10, not 11, nope he got all the way to 16, lucky boy! Our weekend started out innocent enough. We were going camping, in fact, we were supposed to go camping on Friday but plane delays kept us from leaving that day. (Okay, so I had no desire to set up a tent at after 9pm and try and feed two children while interacting with the other families along on the trip besides my husband flying in from Kentucky with little sleep while he was away. Hmm that seems awfully long to be bracketed!) So we leave bright and early.
Max wakes us up at 5:10am and we hit the road by 5:50am. We pull into the campsite a little after 9am. We get the site set up and the Krismon takes the kids fishing. I get to mingle and visit and relax a bit before they come back hot and bothered needing water.
The ranger comes by and tells some of the others in our group about an old abandoned homestead that we can get to off road. Around 1 or so everyone except Krismon and the dogs leave to go and check it out. It was pretty darn cool. There were two houses and one chicken coop. And a dog house or something like it. We did pretty good looking around and then the guys went up behind the house.Max decided to follow and I didn't notice the barb wire. Do you know where this is leading? Yes, he asked to follow and I said he needed to wait for an adult. Did he? Nope

I could end it there and just leave you in suspense but I won't. He sliced his left leg open on barbed wire, yep a pretty proud moment for me. I, then, handed over the honking camera and ran up to him and carried him down the hill. We got over to everyone else and poured water and I was just amazed. Okay more like I wanted to break down and start weeping like he was doing but I held it together for him. Now, you may ask, where was Maggie during all this. Thankfully, she was asleep in the car unaware of anything wrong. We got back to the car, my friend, Michelle and her husband, Bill, thankfully had butterfly bandages so that we could close up the wound. Then they drove as quickly as the rough road permitted to get us back to the campsite. And they had a gps that found us the closest hospital. We drove Max to this little hospital. We had to burrito wrap him and hold him while they numbed his leg and gave him the stitches and voola!

The rest is history. Yeah right. We went back to the camp. We ate, we let the kids stay up way to late. We got to relive the moment when Max had a nightmare that took forever to wake him from and then we were up around 6am.
Still and all it was fun. It was nice to relax with friends to sleep under the beautiful stars and to walk down to the water and watch the birds in the sky before the sun truly breaks.

Did you think that was all? We guess again... While we were gone to the ER, Maggie decided to run on gravel err I mean fall on her face in the gravel so she could get road rash on her pretty pucker, cheeks, etc. Ah she is fine and truly it helps give her that rough tomboy image that she so craves as she pours dirt in her friends' hair!

The end...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Bay Area drive

So we have been visiting the relatives since late last Wednesday... So yes we were crazy.

Let me explain. I had scheduled to have the kids, okay my, playgroup at my house. I had only expected about 4 moms and maybe double that in kids. I ended up with a houseful of moms and kids. It was a great time, all ages, it felt like. The kids had a ton of fun and so did I. I had all the bags packed and ready to go just not in the car. After playgroup, a couple of friends stayed and kept me company until I was packed and ready to go. We hopped in the car, grabbed Krismon from work and were out of Vegas by 2:30pm. The trip went well since the kids were tuckered. That is until after we stopped for dinner and Maggie blew chunks. Yep, salsa and milk do not mix well in the stomach, poor girl. We got her cleaned and the seat cleaned as best as possible. She pretty much passed out for the rest of the trip. Max got incredibly whiney at one point and then he dropped off. Ahhhh was that nice. We even got in before midnight. We each ended up with a kid once we got to my in laws but that was fine. One good thing came out of poor Maggie's getting sick... The car seat had a crack so we tossed the whole sucker, they don't recycle. So she has a brand spanking new car seat with a cup holder to boot.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Water aerobics with the over 55 set

Last Friday on my vacay with my mom, we went down to do water aerobics in the community pool. It was a great time. I so thoroughly enjoyed myself. The candor, the laughter, the goofiness and just plain fun. It makes me look forward to getting older when I see the interaction and how un-self conscious they are. I know there is a better word for it but lack of sleep from sick dog is inhibiting my brain. Our class was doing all the exercises and enjoying themselves at the same time. I was the youngest by more than 2o years but felt at ease because they were so comfortable with themselves. It was a pretty amazing experience which kept me entertained for the whole 60 minutes. I was happy to contribute how to make bacon in the oven which went over well. And who knows how we got on that subject....

And then the next class showed up with their drill Sargent of an instructor and the fun got sucked out of the pool area. We were shushed on our way out which made us all giggle!

Friday, August 1, 2008

walmart, Walmart, WALMART!!!!

So this getaway was supposed to be about painting and relaxing and just grooving without the kids and hubby. Now we did do some of all of that but each day a certain amount of time has been spent in, you guessed it, walmart. Now that time spent probably wouldn't have seemed like much if yesterday's visit hadn't last a few hours! Yes, that is right, we were in there longer than I think I have ever been in walmart total. We would fabric that would work perfect in my house as curtains but they did not have enough so they called around to other stores and kept disappearing into the back. Now, granted they were just as frustrated because they kept getting hung up on in other stores but I have this feeling we should have just called it a day long before we got to the point where we thought a rescue crew was going to need to be called in to get us out of there.

I did leave with two good things, knitting needles and thread. Last night, my mom and her friend taught me how to knit simply and so I have been working on a scarf for the kids. Hopefully, I will be able to figure out how to make a second scarf so they don't have to fight over the one. And now I know what everyone will get for xmas! lol So watch out world I am adding to the collection of knitted scarves...

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

I am off to be a daughter instead of a mom

Later today, I will be flying out to Phoenix to visit my parents. Tomorrow my mom and I set off for a few days of painting, sleeping, hiking, wining(not really a verb but you get the idea) without my kids or my husband. I have been looking forward to the time away to catch up on sleep to relax. I really am looking forward to painting and just exploring some me time and some me and my mom time. I am hoping to come back in a zen state where my children will pick up on my vibe and suddenly become easygoing, laid back kids. Who wants to take bets? lol

I am sure they will have a grand time without me. My mil is here to help out and they are in day school camp this week. I am so thankful that my mil was able to come and help and I am sure this is a relief to my husband.

Last night, Krismon and Max went to toys r us and got Maggie a water table. She is our water baby. She loves to wash her hands, take baths, brush teeth so we are hoping that this is going to give her some good constructive playtime with water. And hopefully keep her a little cooler while she plays outside.

Monday, July 28, 2008

sophisticated and then there is me

I doubt I would win the sophisticated of the year award. I show heart and heck I love to dress up but I feel like a pretender to the throne when I am at a shindig. I think it comes from being home so often with munchkins whose idea of a conversation is to detail what they ate at the table and what they did in the bathroom. Well okay so Max is past that point and we can have some interesting conversations but it is not the same as if I had continued to work and socialize more.

I have a feeling though that some of it stems from being the youngest in the family and wanting to always be more mature so that my sisters would like and play with me. Okay, I know that sounds pretty darn silly but I am sure there is a hint of truth in that.

Last night was the company party at Rain at the Palms. It was fun to get dressed up and look nice. And this was the first time that we got a room so that we could stay out and wake up when we wanted to vs when our kids decide to wake us up. I enjoyed seeing the people I know but there were a heck of a lot of people I don't know and I am sure because of the sheer volume of people moving around that I missed seeing some of the people I do know as well.

So it is cool to see these clubs in Vegas that I wouldn't pay to go to but I am really turning into an old fart when I would rather be able to talk to people than have my eardrums blown out by the sound of the music. Thank goodness they opened the pool area up for the party so that we could sit in the cabanas and talk a little easier. The music was still loud but not ear splitting. Even given that we had a room by 11:30pm, I was pretty well petered out. I think we were both running on almost empty after having had little to no sleep the night before.

I will tell you all that the rooms at palms place are NICE! We really enjoyed staying and I wish we could have stayed more than 1 night there. It was a great way to get some much needed rest and a joy to wake up on our own.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

We are no longer virgins!

Did I stump you? I mean how could I have kids then. Nope, my name is not Mary. But we did go camping for the first time as a family last night up at mt. Charleston. Thank goodness we went with 5 or more other families. The kids had the best time but... of course, there has to be a but. Maggie caught a cold. Her nose was running all sorts of green stuff and she has a tooth coming out. The start of her two year molars. And on top of that was the excitement of something new so she peed through so many pairs of undies and pants, argh.

She was a regular irregular peer yesterday. I think she became the 'ah there she goes again' girl. We even washed out some of her clothes and bbqed them so that if she needed more today, we would have them. Of course, this morning, she played and played in the water until she was thoroughly soaked so there is no knowing if she was just wet with water or...

She was one of the first banished to her tent for sleep. She cried and cried until Krismon went in and laid with her. And then she did not want to be under blankets, she ended up in the sleeping bag with me in the middle of the night with the coldest feet I have ever felt. Can you see the bags under my eyes? And then as soon as the sun came up around 5:30am, they were both up. We were able to kind of keep them quiet until we saw some of our friends emerge. It then became a free for all for my kids to wake just about everyone up. I tried to let the others sleep, really I did. But thank goodness they woke up since our car could not power our percolator. At least, their voices are still sweet and nice as they went around the camp visiting the others.

The food from camping was great. The big plus were the smores last night and the kids getting to roast marshmallows. I don't know who was more excited me or them. It was fun and we survived so hopefully this will be a start.

Now we just have to see if anyone else will want to camp with us..... Any takers?

Friday, July 25, 2008

My Turn

I am looking at my dog, Bubba, at the moment laying on his back paws in the air secure in his doghood. The kids are watching thomas because I couldn't stand the whines and screams any longer. I know, it is my bad momma moment relying on the tv to keep my kids in line. They seem to act so well when the tv is on. Makes you wonder if maybe big brother hasn't already started delivering something through the tv to get our kids to sit in such a stupor.

So this seemed to be my day of lavish self care. I got my eyebrows waxed and dyed. I got my toesys done. They are really red. I thought about work but didn't accomplish much more than a half hearted research on the internet. In stead, shhh don't tell my husband, I got sucked into a book and read it. On top of that, I noshed my way through the day. I know slap the handcuffs on now for wasting my day! It felt pretty glorious given the past week of recent nighttime visits from little Maggie. She is wearing us both down.

Man both kids look super tired. I swear Max is ready to pass out where he is sitting. No more time to sit down and blog. I got to get the dinner show on the road.

It's our poster

Max wants to write a guest blog so he has named this post and I shall be transcribing his words....

I love my mom. I love her so much that I love her to all the planets and back.

My day, I had a fun day that I had a really fun day. My class was so busy. My class had fun. I learned how to play nicely. I enjoyed my lunch so much. I ate everything.

Maggie didn't cry at all.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Schedules, Chores, Rewards, Oh MY!

So do you ever feel overwhelmed by everything that you need to get done each day? Well, I figured out the answer. KIDS!

It started at an early age. It was all about getting Max to pick up his toys. Yes, we used the silly Barney song that is wayyyyy tooo catchyyyy. You don't even have to have watched the show to know the song it seems. Maggie is slowly learning to put away toys but is not as eager as Max. I believe this is because she bats her eyes and he puts them away. HA. No she just pretends like she doesn't understand english anymore and runs into the other room, at which point, Max kind of looks around and says, 'alright, I will put away the toys.' The only way she understands putting away toys or doing other unpleasant to her things is through manipulation. Okay I know that sounds bad but we are trying to get her to understand that Casa Ongbongan isn't a free ride. She has to contribute to receive. lol.

For Max, life has progressed to him having daily chores. I love these chores because they involve the care of our dog Bubba. Max is the one to feed him and let him in and out of the house. Maggie wants to take on the feeding chore and tries to get her hands in his food any chance she can so that Bubba will love her more! Max gets the newspaper in the morning and yes I have had to tell him before that wearing clothes is important when he goes to the front of our house. He likes to make me nervous and stay outside to watch the ants climbing in and out of our garbage can. (hmm, maybe I should be calling the pest control guy!) He empties what he can in the dishwasher. I know I am such a mean mama, but I will turn him into someone's good husband! I don't think my mom started us quite this early but heck the sooner they learn, the less I will have to do! And you know, they say it is good to give kids ownership so they can feel proud of what they accomplish.

Don't get me wrong, I believe they should play to and have fun but there has to be some balance so they can learn responsibility and respect.

For Max's accomplishments, he gets to choose to watch tv and choose to play on the computer or spend one on one time with one of his parents. Maggie hasn't quite gotten the whole rewards thing but we will work on that.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Wetlands Park



Who knew that in the middle to end of July that we would actually be able to go to a park and not die of the heat?! And can you believe this park exists in Las Vegas?


Max, full of suggestions boy, asked if we could go on Sunday morning. So even though it took a bit, we got out the door early and over to the park.

They have been doing construction in the park so this past spring you could not do their whole circular cemented route. That has been completed and has this cool new bridge that I am sure will cross to a whole other part of the park once that gets completed.

I didn't think we would get to see any wildlife out there but Krismon captured a rabbit and a crane on our camera. I was happy to get out with the kids until the flat tire came along from the thorn! argh.



It was at the bridge that we noticed said thorn protruding from the wheel. After which point, Krismon became the driver. (side note- We even did a potty stop for Maggie and she went. It amazes me and I know it does all of you that she has started using public places.)

Saturday, July 19, 2008

So I just live in the show

but I am the writer too so I guess I can take time to not only write about the kids but also about myself. My world for the last 4 or more years has revolved around the kids, caring for them, entertaining them, teaching them, doing fun stuff with them and socializing them in a playgroup. I have loved this and enjoyed the time spent with them and the friends that I have made through playgroup as well as in the classes that I have had the kids and I take.

Now I am stepping outside my comfort zone. Over the past year or so, I have taken a coaching course through Coach U. The program has taught me a lot and now I need to use what I have learned. Heck, I was supposed to be using it the entire time I was in classes but intimidated myself out of really pushing myself into getting clients paid or pro bono. It is tough after such an extended period of time away from the paid work force to get out there and not only network but self promote.

Krismon is completely behind me on this venture. Heck, he would love it if I became a self made millionaire and he could stay home with the kids! He is a better cook and we could then hire someone to clean the house. Am I getting ahead of myself? It is great to have someone so close really believe in you and push you to be your best. I think that is something he has always done and I have done that for him.

I do desire to coach others and I know that I can do a good job of it, once I get over myself and just get out there. So if you know anyone who needs coaching, professional, personal, parent, I am the woman for you or them... Just send them to my professional site. www.kiss-coaching.com
It doesn't look too pretty yet but I am working on it, just like I am trying to wrap my head around this blog and all the nifty things I can do with it, I am trying to figure out all the right things I can add to the site. Heck if you have any ideas send them my way, I am not one to mind some constructive criticism or help.

See I really am trying to do the self promotion...