Monday, July 7, 2008


I need to copy my posts to my hard drive so they don't lost forever. Maybe I should find a way to back up my blogs.

Monday, May 12, 2008


I'm downsizing. I've found that nearly everything I want to write about would fit nicely on my homeschool blog. Those few things that don't can easily be incorporated into the homeschool blog under the categories of Toddler-schooling (posts about Josh) and Daily Grind (posts about life in general). So, I'm saying goodbye to this blog and concentrating on Homeschool Distractions. See you there.

Friday, April 25, 2008

India Mahal Restaurant

Do NOT patronize the Indian Mahal Restaurant!

Indian Mahal Restaurant
823 Pacific Ave.
Tacoma, WA

This morning, I took my children over to Ever After, a gift store located immediately next door to the Indian Mahal Restaurnt. While waiting for Ever After to open, I took note of the restaurant. My husband recently tried Indian food and mentioned liking it. I thought about coming back with the family soon to try it out. After my experience with the owner today, I will never step foot into that restaurant and I hope you won't either. This man should not be in business working with the public nor does he deserve your hard earned money.

Like I said, we went to Ever After this morning. While there, my son told me he needed to throw up. I quickly asked if they had a restroom and was directed to the back door and down the hallway. We made a fast beeline there, leaving my daughter in the store (it felt very safe) with our things. My son ended up throwing up on the floor of the hallway. After cleaning it up, we went to leave and found the door back into Ever After was locked from the other side. Oops! So, I tried the next closest door which ended up leading to India Mahal's dining area. I just thought we could quickly walk through. No big deal. We walked about 10 steps through when my son realized he didn't have his bag so we turned back.

When we got to the hallway door, the restaurant owner came at me (in an aggressive stance) and yelled at me, "What are you doing in my restaurant?" I calmly explained that I was shopping next door and my son got sick and needed to use the restroom but we got locked into the hallway so we tried the closest door to get out. He responded by backing me back into the hallway and yelling at me to get out of his restaurant. I, getting a bit angry at this point, asked him if I should just be locked in the hallway all day. He yelled back, that it wasn't his problem and blocked the doorway so I couldn't leave. I can't remember everything he said (other than to repeated say "It's not my problem.") but I don't back down, even from a 6 foot tall man yelling at me while I'm holding a baby and trying to keep my 6 year old away from him so at this point I asked him why he was being such a ________. He didn't answer. He just screamed at me to stay out of his restaurant and it wasn't his problem. I told him I would be informing everyone I knew and the world, via the Internet, not to visit his precious restaurant. What a jerk!

He continued yelling at me and blocking the door to his restaurant and was between me and the locked door to the store I had come from so I had to find another exit. I ended up having to walk, with my toddler and sick son, around the block to get back to the store where my 8 year old daughter was waiting for us. The employees/owners (I'm not sure which they were) apologized for the door being locked and for my unlucky run in with their neighbor. The male employee explained that this guy is always unpleasant and that he had a major run in with him too. He had been in the bathroom and there was pounding on the door. When he opened the door, the restaurant owner began yelling at him and actually grabbed and shook him. Meanwhile, the female employee/owner had to call the police. They ended up filing assault charges against the guy. I'd say he definitely has a problem!

So, PLEASE, don't patronize this restaurant! If you have a blog and are local, please pick up this story and spread the word.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Hate It When They Do That

My husband showed an interest in I am Legend when we initially saw the trailers for it on TV back when it was in the theater. I was interested as well as I like sci-fi. I was interested in the whole idea of being the only person left alive and how the character would deal with that. So, when I rented a couple of movies yesterday, I picked this one up.

Now, before watching this movie, I knew about the virus-mutated-vampire people. I knew that the main character had run-ins with these mutants. I expected that some parts might be scary because of that. I don't do suspense or scary well. Not at all. However, seeing that the movie was only I rated PG-13, I thought I'd be ok.

Well, I survived the movie...barely. I'm not sure how because that was the scariest movie I have seen in a long time. Throughout most of the movie, I sat there watching the movie terrified. My body tensed. My chest tightened. My hands flew to cover my eyes. I jumped. I even screamed...loudly...twice. I felt like I would suffer a heart attack at any moment.

To rate this movie PG-13 is wrong. It deserves no less than an R rating. The only reason I can think of to explain why it was only rated PG-13 is that there weren't that many violent scenes; however, the suspense was so thick that it gets you worked up so that when those violent scenes do finally show up, it sends you over the edge. Things like that need to be taken in consideration when rating movies so that people like me can be adequately prepared or stay away altogether.

I've noticed this trend of underrating movies. G movies are hard to come by because nearly all children's movies are now PG. PG movies now come with content that is inappropriate for children. PG-13 movies contain content that should only be found in adult movies. Rated R is the old X in some movies. Yet movies that genuinely do fit into the different ratings molds are mixed in with the ones that don't. This means the ratings mean little anymore. If we can't trust the ratings, how are we suppose to know what is safe to watch?

Friday, April 11, 2008

There's a Problem

So there we were testing out our new couches by watching the movie Enchanted. We were all sitting together on the sofa when Sammy got up, got his favorite football blanket, and headed over to the love seat to lay down. Then out in the darkness (we had the lights off), Sammy solemnly says, "Mommy, there's a problem with our new couches."

Concerned, I asked, "What?"

"They don't match my football blanket."

Great Weather Equals Indoor Work

I don't know why it works like this for me but every time I have something I must accomplish indoors and actually do well at accomplishing a lot indoors, it is a gorgeous, must-be-outside day. Today I had to commit to staying home because our new couches were scheduled to arrive. This is the first time we have made a major furniture purchase. The only other major furniture purchase we've made was 9 years ago when we bought our queen bed mattresses. So, getting brand new couches was a big deal. We were excited.

So, today started with the delivery company calling at 8am to give me the delivery window. It turned out that they wanted to delivery between 9am and noon. Aaack! That was in an hour. I jumped off the couch, got dressed, and got started on cleaning up. I wanted needed to clean up the living room before they got here. I also wanted to move the old couches and vacuum under them very well before they got here with the new ones.

So, here's what I accomplished this morning...

I took the feet off the old couches and moved them outside. I had help with the love seat (a friend stopped by unexpectedly and I put him to work). The sofa I moved myself. Then I had the kids clean up all the stuff we found under the sofa. They also helped me clean up the mess we found in and around the corner table. Then I rolled up the throw rug and vacuumed really well, including using the attachment to clean along the wall where the animal fur likes to collect - Yuck! While I was in a roll, I got out the windex (I use it for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G) and cleaned the baseboards. With my friend's help, I removed the old weatherstipping from the door frame because it was coming apart, leaving sharp points sticking out and I didn't want it to rip my new couches. It was also a safety hazard. While I had the door open, I swept the front porch.

Then the couches were delivered. After getting them in place, I put the tables back in place (we have a corner table, coffee table, and sofa table), and the rug back in place. I vacuumed the throw rug really well too. Then I got out the furniture oil and made them look all nice again. After that, I went through Josh's toy basket. I tossed a few items, boxed up a few baby toys, and had Sammy put away a few other things that made it into the basket. I washed the crystal fruit bowl that I keep on the sofa table between the living and dining rooms. I replaced one of the picture frames and left the others off it because they've been knocked off the table too many times and need new glass now. I also cleaned the window trim and the picture frame. I switched out the two plants. I took one from my bedroom and put it on the corner table instead because it has a really nice pot. The one that was on the corner table got put in the hanger instead.

I love my new, clean living room! And the new couches, of course. Here's what my living room looks like right now. When it gets messy again, I'll just come here and stare at the photo and sigh. : )

I'm thinking we may have to eat a late lunch and then spend a little time outside in our oh-so-rare sunshine. Except I kind of want to stay inside and enjoy my clean living room and maybe get some of the other rooms clean too. Experience tells me that if I stay inside today with the intention to being outside tomorrow, tomorrow will be rainy and yucky outside.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

What a Privilege

So, there we were sitting on the couch together watching TV. The show ends and it is time to go to bed. Mika announces that she wants to sleep with me. I tell her, "Sorry, Daddy's sleeping with me." Scott walks into the room and I tell him that Mika wants to sleep with me. So, she looks up at him and tries to convince him to give her his spot in the bed. What wonderful incentive does she give him?

That he could sleep on our old, ripped, yucky, uncomfortable couch one last time before our new one arrive tomorrow.

What a privilege!

And he's such a great daddy that he agrees to sleep on the couch. Sammy sees sleeping on the couch a privilege. He'll be using the loveseat to "camp out" with daddy tonight.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


What happens when you take a small-for-his-age 6 year old little boy and give him this kind of day:

9am-10am -- Take him to Home Depot to make a planter box and buy potting soil and flowers for the box.

10:00am-10:45am -- Travel home, change clothes, and eat lunch.

11:00am-12:00pm -- Take regular taekwondo class.

12:00pm-2:00pm -- Sparring (taekwondo) class which includes 45 minutes of intense aerobic workout followed by sparring with various partners. Today was his first sparring class.

2:00pm-2:30pm -- Leave class and travel home.

2:30pm-4:00pm -- Play games on the computer.

4:00pm-5:30pm -- Take dog to the dog park with daddy.

Well, what happens? Do you know?

He eats 4 large slices of pizza for dinner, of course! He was hungry!

Friday, April 4, 2008

Why He's the Hugest

When I see an average-size newborn, I think she can't possibly be full term. At 7 pounds, a baby just looks tiny to me. And any older baby who started at a 7 pounder looks tiny to me. Why is that? Because all mine were huge at birth and two continued to stay quite large for the first year.

Mika was born at 8lbs 10oz and stayed in the 95th percentile for the first year of life. She quickly slowed down and slimmed down after that. She's remained slim, making it hard to find pants for her. Currently (age 8), she should wear a 7 for length but 7 slims are so big on her they fall off so she wears highwaters instead.

Sammy was born at 9lbs 2oz but grew at a much slower rate so he quickly slimmed down. He became a small toddler and preschooler. Most of this was due to undiagnosed lactose intolerance. Once we discovered the problem, he began to slowly gain weight and is now a smallish 6 year old and a size 5 fits him loosely.

Josh beats them all for size. He entered this world at 9lbs 4oz and has gained weight steadily. He remains in the 95th percentile with a head circumference slightly above the 100th percentile. At 13 months old, he is wears size 2T. His pants are starting to get too snug in the waist but are still on the long side. So, how does he manage to stay so big when he's so active climbing everything? He eats, of course. Here's a typical day (up until 1:30pm is today's actual schedule):

6am - wake up mom, nurse me

7am - wake up mom, if you don't I'll sit on your head, oh and change my wet diaper since it is filled to capacity and may leak very soon if you don't.

8am - I'm hungry. (eats 1/3 cup dry Cheerios)

8:30am - change my poopy diaper, nurse me

9am - I'm hungry (eats 1/4 - 1/3 cup cereal in milk)

9:30am - change my poopy diaper, I'm tired, nurse me (he really nurses, gulping down milk not just pacifying)

11:00am - nurse me

12:00pm - I'm hungry (eats a graham cracker)

1:00pm - I'm hungry (eats 1/4 cup roasted chicken with 1/4 cup mashed potatoes)

3:00pm - I'm tired, nurse me (another real nursing complete with lots of gulping of milk)

5:00pm - I'm hungry (how about another graham cracker since mommy has nothing else to offer you)

6:30pm - I'm hungry (eats dinner with us...maybe 1/2 cup or more worth of food)

7:00pm - Oooh, are you eating dessert, give me some, then nurse me

8:30pm - I'm tired, change diaper, nurse me

I'm not sure how many more diapers I'll change between now (2pm) and when he falls asleep for the night (around 8:30pm).

So far today (2pm), he's also drank 11 oz of water.

Is it just me, or does this seem like a lot of eating and drinking going on for a 13 month old?

Thursday, April 3, 2008

That was Easy

"That was easy!"
"That was easy!"
"That was easy!"

Josh sure does like our easy button from Staples.

"That was easy!"
"That was easy!"

So does our dog, Sybil. She found the easy button on the floor where Josh left it after pushing it a dozen times and used her nose to push it twice. She does this. She likes to play with Josh's other toys, too. So, if you ever spend the night here, don't be surprised if you hear, "Let's go to the store. Vroooom" or "Escuela, escuela". It's just the dog playing with the toys.

"That was easy!"

There goes the dog again....

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Telling Kids to Pick Up

I have been blessed with a toddler who touches everything in some way. He pushes buttons, removes DVD's from shelves, and explores just about anything (and I mean ANYTHING) he can get his little hands on. Because of this, he is often inspecting, carrying around, and playing with the older kids' stuff. You all know how much we have to tell kids to put their stuff away. I have a new way of doing it that may actually sink in.

For example:
Mika left her expensive, but much enjoyed, Barbie Girl MP3 player on the coffee table. Josh, of course, spotted it and decided to pick it up, shake it, and carry it around. I called to Mika, who was upstairs, "Did you really mean to leave your MP3 player for Josh to play with?" She promptly, without any whining at all, came downstairs to get it and put it away. ~smile

Sunday, March 30, 2008

What's Next?

It seems as if weekly Josh is giving me even more cause for concern for our future as his parents. If you'll recall, he's only just turned 13 months old but already he:

-- Began walking steadily at 10 months of age and now almost runs

-- Communicates his basic wants and needs clearly (nonverbally)

-- Climbs a variety of objects including the huge rock at Woodland Park Zoo

-- Climbing the back of sofa so he can turn the lights on and off

-- Climbing the back of the sofa so he can try to unlock and open the front door

-- Can climb the stairs, both up and down, without assistance

-- Uses the dog as a step stool to our taller couch

-- Understands that GameCube controllers don't work if not plugged in

-- Eats just about everything and anything

-- Dunks his cookie in milk (after all, he did see me do it...once)

-- Presses just about every button he sees and figured out how to open the DVD players (both the tv one and the laptop one)

-- Climbs down off our bed

So, we have a few new tricks he's added to his reportoire lately. They include...

-- Carrying the step stool around the house and using it to try to reach things

-- Bringing us a diaper after he's had a bowel movement

-- Requesting tylinol (nonverbally, of course) for his aching teeth

-- Clapping at appropriate moments during a play (live theater)

-- Getting kleenix and wiping his own nose

-- Bringing us his coat when he wants to wear it

-- Colors with crayons, pencils, and pens on paper (and my coffee table)

If he's like this now, what can we expect when he is two and three years old?

Saturday, March 29, 2008

He's da Man!

We went to a free children's concert up in Seattle today. It turned out to be "underwhelming and unimpressive" to use my husband's words. On the drive home, I was having trouble keeping awake. When we arrived home, Josh was asleep so I headed upstairs with him to get him back to sleep and promptly passed out with him.

Well, while I snoozed (during a time I should have been cleaning up, washing dishes, and cooking dinner) my husband took care of things. He bought and replaced my right blinker for me (it was out) and he headed to the store for diapers (we were down to 3) and frozen lasagna (yum) for dinner.

It's he just wonderful?

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A Morning in the Life of...

Just a few happenings in our house this morning (before 9am):

Yesterday, we woke up to a sunny, spring day. By evening it was cloudy, cold, and snowing. Huh? This morning we woke up to snow on the ground. Huh? It's spring! We barely get any snow during the winter much less during the spring. This doesn't look like global warming to me, more like global cooling. The kids got dressed early and headed out to play in the snow before it melted entirely. Strange, strange weather.

I caught the two boys sitting together on the couch. This is a very rare occasion because Josh is usually bullying his older brother. So, I handed the camera to Mika and asked her to snap a photo. It's it cute how they both happen to be holding their chins the same way?

After he tired of hanging out with Sammy, Josh resumed his favorite activity...trying to break his neck. The kid is only 13 months old (tomorrow) but he thinks he is 2 already. One of his new favorite activities is to climb onto the couch (something he's known how to do for a while now) and then climb up the corner where the arm and back meet so he can reach the light switch, doorknob, and deadbolt key.

On a similar topic, we've quit gating the stairs. He climbs them so well, we aren't even worried about him falling any more. He gets to the top and then complains until we come get him down. He does know how to climb down the stairs as well...he just doesn't want to.

And the paw print on the couch? That was put there years ago. All I'll say is DON'T leave latex wall paint uncovered when you own kittens and you need to nurse your child down for a nap in another room.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Movie Review: Mr. Nice Guy

The acting is horrible.
The story line is absurd.
The scenes are pretty insane.

But it's hilarious.

Diana, a television reporter, is in possession of a video showing a cocaine deal gone wrong and the bad guys are after her. As she frantic flees, tape in hand, she bumps into Jackie Chan who is playing a famous Chinese cook named Jackie. Being the nice guy that he is, he helps her out. Without knowing what's happening, Jackie finds himself in the middle of a battle between an Italian mob and a street gang known as the Demons. Neither group will give up until they have that tape, providing plenty of opportunities for Jackie's amazing martial arts and acrobatic skills to be put to use for our enjoyment in his characteristically humorous way.

In this house, we love a good Jackie Chan movie. As with any of his other movies, you'll have plenty of opportunities to see his comical looks of confusion as he jumps, spins, climbs, falls, and fights his way through unexpected situations. His humor is evident through out the movie and his martial arts and acrobatic skills are well-used. If you enjoy this type of movie, you'll enjoy Mr. Nice Guy.

The movie is rated PG-13. The rating is necessary due to violence (fighting, guns, and explosions) and some foul language. However, the comical nature of Jackie Chan's movies really tones it down for me and I feel I'm watching a comedy more than a violent, action film.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Family Game Night

The kids requested a family game night Thursday but it wasn't a good time so I promised we'd do it Friday and do it special. And so we did.

First, we had a fun dinner that we do on rare occasions. It's not healthy but we enjoy it. We had a variety of finger foods: dinosaur-shaped chicken nuggets, seasoned curly fries, pizza rolls, taquitos, and jalepeno poppers. I didn't do as much variety as I usually do but it was enough. In addition to that, I let each child have a full can of soda to enjoy while we played games. Normally, when they get soda, they have to share a can.

Once we got the food out of the way, we pulled out a game of their choice. They chose Hungry Hippos first.

Josh wanted to get in on the action so I sat him in front of me and helped him work our hippo. He thought it was lots of fun.

It didn't take him long to figure it out and be able to it all on his own. In fact, he refused to share his hippo with me once he got it down.

Sometimes he'd quit feeding his hippo. The older kids, however, weren't quitting for anything. See how intent they are?

Here's everyone, even Josh, in the midst of an intense game. Meanwhile, I was snapping photos and baking a carrot cake. We sampled the recipe recently featured on Pioneer Woman Cooks. My daughter thinks her recipes are awesome, especially her mashed potatoes.

After we tired of Hungry Hippos, we had some cake and played a mean game of Sorry. Mika won. I came in second. Then Sam and Scott spent forever pacing their last piece back and forth, up and down the final home stretch. They'd go up 2, up 1, back 4, up five, back 1, up 1, back 4, up 2, up 3, back 1 and so on and so on and so on until Sammy finally made it home. Scott kept drawing cards. I'm happy to say that he finally, many cards later, drew a series that got him home.

It was a great night. Lots of fun and laughter and not too many issues with poor sportsmanship and tears.

Do you have family game nights? What are your favorite games to play?

Not Totally Lost

I've been more and more absent from this blog. The truth is that homeschooling is so ingrained to the way we live that most of my posts end up on my homeschooling blog. So, I've basically decided to focus most of my efforts on that blog. For the time being, I'm still keeping this blog live because every now and then I want to post something not related to homeschooling...and I'm trying really hard to keep that one on topic.

So, I'll be around. I probably have a post coming this weekend but it's after 1am and I need to get to bed. My baby will be walking me up in just under 6 hours.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Blessed Warmth

Scott was correct; it was our thermostat that was broken. Our local hardware store, the tiny family-owned one, had exactly the right thermostat that we needed. Scott came home with it, hooked it up, turned the furnace back on, and we had heat again. Yea!

It's COLD in here!

Yesterday evening while cooking dinner, I felt cold so I went to check the heat. Our thermostat is a turn dial that easily gets bumped and turned down (or way up) by accident. When I reached the thermostat, I saw that it was already turned up to our preferred temperature of 70 degrees but the house was only at 62 degrees. I turned it way up and the heat didn't click on. It was then that I realized I had been checking the heat all day and the temperature had been going down all day.

I asked my husband to check it out. He played it it for a while and then went down into our cellar and played with the furnace for a while. Then he got online and researched it for a while. Back and forth he went: computer, thermostat, computer, furnace, computer. He finally concluded that he thought it was either a specific part on the furnace or the thermostat itself. Off to Home Depot he went. He arrived home with two parts.

First, he installed the furnace part; it was the cheapest fix. It didn't do it. So, he started to install the thermostat only to find it wouldn't work. The thermostat requires a three-wire set up and ours only has a two-wire set up. Back to Home Depot he went only to return at 9pm with news that Home Depot didn't carry any two-wire thermostats. We'd just have to bundle up for the night.

Fortunately for us, our bedrooms upstairs have their own cadet heaters and don't use the forced air heat from the furnace. We were nice and warm in our rooms last night but when we came downstairs it was only 57 degrees in our house. Today's high is 48 so I'm expected it to continue to get colder in our house. You see, we have 17 single-pane windows on the first floor of our house letting in all that cold air.

We are hoping the little, local, family-owned hardware store will have a thermostat that will work. They often carry parts for older homes (ours is 88 years old) that the big stores don't carry. In the meantime, send some warmth our way, will ya?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

She did it!

I kind of got fed up with Mika's fear of water touching her face Tuesday and that started a change reaction of things that got her over the hump with her fear. After her teacher commenting, yet again, about getting her goggles I finally took her to Target to buy some. I explained to Mika that I didn't want to buy her goggles because I didn't think she would use them. I expected her to hate how they feel on her face and not want to wear them. I also suspected that she would still refuse to put her face in the water even with the goggles protecting her eyes. She promised me that she would use them so I spent the money on bought them.

The very next class, she refused to put her face in the water, to even see if the goggles would work. Well, I was NOT happy about that. So, I threatened to pull her out of class if she wasn't going to learn and to make her work off the cost of the goggles. She was NOT happy about that. Scott talked to her and she promised him she would do a bob to her eyebrows. Today was the day she had to do that.

This morning before leaving for class, I looked up and called another pool that does swimming instruction and talked to them about how they would handle her fear. They work with the kids to get them through the fears quickly. They said they'd have her swimming, face in water, within a month at the longest. I explained to Mika what they told me about how they do it and she wasn't thrilled about that.

So, we went to the Y. She did her required 1 bob. After class, they have free swim. During free swim I told her I would pay her a quarter for every bob she did. Guess what? She did 7 more bobs, some of them were very good with her entire head under water. She now knows that she can do it and is looking forward to showing her teacher (she was absent today) next week.

Her teacher and a couple of the lifeguards and I all agree, she would be able to actually swim if she'd just get over the whole face in the water thing. She's got the kick and arm strokes down good. We explained that to her; that she CAN swim IF she wanted to. Hopefully, she'll move along and progress quickly now that she knows she can get her face wet.

On a side note, Sammy found out today he can swim underwater. He doesn't get far or go fast but he does swim. Oh, and he loves putting his face underwater with his goggles.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy March 7th Day

Recently my husband, Scott, informed us that he will no longer be having birthdays. So, I'm here to tell you all that today, March 7th, is NOT my husband's birthday. We will NOT be baking him a birthday cake today and we will NOT be taking him out to Red Robin for our traditional birthday dinner out. I am also NOT suggesting you visit his blog and wish him a happy birthday. His blog is NOT A Place Where You Can Wish Him a Happy Birthday.

Maybe we CAN wish him a Happy March 7th Day instead!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Josh's New Shoes

Look who's wearing shoes! I thought I would post a follow up to yesterday's Works For Me Wednesday -Backwards Edition post. I followed a couple of your suggestions and look what happened. Whoo hoo!

I moved on the ideas I got faster than expected because we were outside playing today and I found small pieces of broken glass spread over a 25 foot length of our sidewalk. Who's knows how many pieces are in the grass. After sweeping up what I could find, I decided to try Target again. They were actually well stocked and we had 4 choices of designs in his size for the Robeez knockoffs. We chose a brown shoe with a giraffe.

Here's how it went down. First I tried on a pair of 18-24 months. It was quite an ordeal as he began screaming the second I started putting the first one on him. It's hard to get shoes, of any kind, on a violently kicking foot! They were obviously too big and would trip him up. I was shocked because his 18-24 month sized socks are too small for him and slip down his feet. So, I got a pair of 12-18 month size and tried them on him. Once again, the screaming, shaking, fit began the second I started trying them on him. But I persisted and got them on him. We were sitting on the floor, in the middle of the aisle. I just held him and told him it would be ok as he screamed, then cried, then sobbed, then whined. It took about 10 minutes for the hysterics to calm down but I just held him. Finally, he looked as if he'd survived the ordeal. An employee walked by and helped me cut the plastic thingy holding the two shoes together and we tossed the bag they came in into the cart. I had to carry him for several more minutes while we walked around the store. When we got the swim/pool area, I put him down on the ground because I had to help my other children with trying on swim goggles. Several times he noticed he was wearing shoes and would starting crying/whining again. Then he stood up and started walking. He whines a few more times but has been ok since then.

I wonder what will happen when I try to put them on him tomorrow. Will he scream or whine or will he be ok? We'll see tomorrow.

Oh, and if looks out of it, he is. He was up a lot last night with a really stuffed up nose and wasn't his normal self today.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

WFMW - Toddler and Shoes

I'm so glad it is a backwards edition for Works for Me Wednesday because I have a problem. See this little guy?

That's Josh. He turned 1 just last Friday. He walks. He walks a lot. He can walk 1/4 mile. He also climbs...stairs, couches, tables, and large rocks at Woodland Park Zoo.
This photo was taken at Woodland Park Zoo. He walked most of the day there. I picked him up to lift up high enough to see animals and when he decided he'd rather go somewhere other than where I was going. What do you see on his feet? Are there any shoes protecting those feet walking on that concrete? No! There aren't! Why is that you ask. It's because he won't wear them. Oh I've tried putting shoes on his feet. He screams loud enough for the entire store to here him while violently shaking his feet trying to get them off. Apparently, he also cannot stand or walk with those awful things on his feet. I've tried getting him to stand with them on; he just fell as if I was trying to make a newborn stand straight out of the womb and continued screaming and shaking his feet. I also tried getting him the really soft infant shoes but I can't find anybody that carries them in his size...size 5.
I've had a couple of people suggest Robeez. Anyone use those? How would they stand up to a toddler that walks and climbs as much as Josh does? The only place local that I can find that sells the larger sizes is Nordstroms; I want to know how they'll hold up before I spend $40 on a pair of infant/toddler shoes that will only last a couple of months before he outgrows them.
Also, do you have any other ideas for this problem of mine? If you've experienced this problem, what did you do? If you haven't, what would you try?
Find links to other questions and their answers at Rocks in My Dryer.

100 Things About Me

I've been avoiding posting even though I've had many reasons to post. Why? Because this is my 100th post and I had to find time to write it before I could post the other things. Since today is Backwards Works for Me, and I have a question I need to ask, I'm left with needing to find time NOW! So here it goes...
  1. I've been thinking this post to death, like I usually do, trying to figure out what to say.
  2. I'm going to just go with the flow, like I usually do when I'm done thinking something to death.
  3. I'm very indecisive; I can't even choose something on a restaurant menu so I resort to eeny, meeny, miney, mo.
  4. That has led to some interesting dinners at our house.
  5. I am so picky that I fear other people's cooking because I've offended a host more than once by not liking the food.
  6. I threw up someone's cooking once because I didn't like it that much; it was stuffed grape leaves. I won't touch grape leaves now.
  7. Being picky makes weight loss tricky because I cannot follow meal plans.
  8. I'm about 50 pounds overweight but most people don't believe me because I carry it well (in person not in photos).
  9. Despite being overweight (and old-feeling), I'm pretty athletic when I want to be.
  10. I take taekwondo classes 3 times a week with my son.
  11. I love that I'm learning to defend myself.
  12. I can't wait to get to black belt and to learn a more painful martial art--like hapkido or aikido.
  13. My fantasy is to be a female Steven Seagal...those who'd do my kids or me out!
  14. I quit taking my kids on hikes or nature walks because I'm afraid of running into a bad person where there's no help around.
  15. I quit letterboxing for the same reason.
  16. Now I create letterboxes and plant them temporarily at the retreat center for retreats I go on twice a year.
  17. I'm easily distracted.
  18. I forget things often.
  19. I lose my keys constantly; once I lost them for 2 1/2 months.
  20. I never worry when I lose my keys because I know they are in the house somewhere.
  21. I just use my spare set until I find them.
  22. I thought about getting a spare set for my spare set in case I lose those too.
  23. I once had to have the car dealership make me a new key for my car and bring it to me because I lost my only one.
  24. I can't eat cilantro; it tastes strongly like soap.
  25. My husband didn't believe me that I could taste it in anything so he told me the green stuff on my plate was parsley; my first bite resulted in a contorted face of disgust. He believes me now.
  26. I'm a cat person; I've had 12 cats in my life (Midnight, Charlie, Sandy, Stubbles, Kitty, Tigger, Pandro, Abby, Ally, Angie, Smokey, Gracie).
  27. Kitty was and will always be my favorite.
  28. I love the way Tigger smells; I smell the scruff of her neck all the time.
  29. I'm not a dog person.
  30. I caught 7 stray dogs one year.
  31. I found the owners for 6 of them.
  32. Now I have two large dogs of my own.
  33. I often wish I didn't have dogs; but I'm glad I have their protection.
  34. I like gardens and flowerbeds; I hate gardening.
  35. I love clean and tidy homes.
  36. My home is cluttered and messy.
  37. I want my home to be clean and tidy but I tend to put things wherever rather than away.
  38. I often I can't find things because I sometimes choose unusual homes for things.
  39. When I finally find the item, I'm confused as to why I would have put it there.
  40. It's especially hard to find things when I put them somewhere where they'll be safe and won't get lost.
  41. Cleaning a home is especially difficult when you are easily distracted; I may never finish a task I started but I do start 10 other tasks that I also don't finish.
  42. I named this blog after my husband teasing me about being distracted by shiny things; "Ooh, Shiny!" he teased.
  43. I actually get distracted by anything, not just shiny things.
  44. This post is distracting me f
  45. I got un-distracted on #44 and finished what I should have been doing.
  46. That's the way my life is every day...moving from one distraction to another.
  47. Having a schedule/routine has alluded me my whole life.
  48. I took birth control pills for 6 years; I missed 3-5 pills every month of those 6 years.
  49. I love the sunshine.
  50. I have a split personality: my winter self and my summer self.
  51. I love my summer self because I'm happy, full of energy, and get a lot done.
  52. My winter self is low on energy, somewhat down, and gets little done.
  53. I used to suffer from chronic depression that was sometimes severe.
  54. I've been depression and medication free for about 3 1/2 years now.
  55. I love playing fun music loudly.
  56. Especially 80's music.
  57. And dancing around silly with my kids.
  58. We haven't done that in a long time; I think we will today.
  59. Sometimes, especially in the car, I can't stand having the radio on.
  60. I usually prefer to drive in silence (my husband probably won't believe that one).
  61. My favorite color is plum (a specific type of purple for you guys out there).
  62. I do not care for other types of purple though.
  63. My favorite decorating scheme is called "romantic" according to a website I found once.
  64. My ideal room is sage with white trim and pink, floral accents or sage with white trim and plum accents.
  65. I'm not fashionable; I usually start liking a fashion after it has gone out of style.
  66. I prefer to just wear jeans, tennis shoes, and a comfortable cotton shirt.
  67. I like how I look with my hair done and makeup but a rarely take the time to do it; its just not that important to me.
  68. If I'm having a bad day, the best way to fix that is to do my hair, pluck my eyebrows, put makeup on, and change into nicer casual clothes.
  69. I love cold cereal.
  70. I love baked goods: cake, cookies, donuts, muffins, brownies, cheesecake, etc.
  71. I like to slightly overcook my cookies so they'll soak up the milk when I dunk them.
  72. I love oreos.
  73. The Olive Garden is my favorite restaurant; the salad, the bread sticks, the chicken parmesan, the lasagna, the fettuccine alfredo, the manicotti, the desserts...
  74. I make my favorite lasagna...from scratch with double the cheese called for in the original recipe I started with.
  75. I love cheese, but only certain kinds: cheddar, mozzarella, string, Monterey jack, cream cheese.
  76. I can't stand the fancy cheeses or anything with mold in it.
  77. I enjoy simple food.
  78. I do not generally like gourmet meals.
  79. I love crafts; I scrapbook, knit, crochet, create DVD slide shows, designed my blogs, made wreaths, and tried many other things including basket weaving.
  80. I can usually figure out how to do almost anything with a book, the Internet, or just thinking about it.
  81. I love learning new things; this makes homeschooling lots of fun for me, at least.
  82. I love going on day trips; homeschooling gives me a convenient excuse to go lots of places.
  83. I do not like going places overnight; I get homesick.
  84. I'm ok on overnight trips if I'm having fun every minute of the time I'm gone like at Disneyland or my retreats.
  85. I love roller coasters and thrill rides.
  86. I love white water rafting, the wilder the better; I want to raft a class 5 rapid some day. (this hardest passable rapid)
  87. I love downhill skiing. When I first started, I was terrified now I love it. I'd love to get to the point I can ski expert level runs some day.
  88. I haven't skied since before I got married. It's been 11 years.
  89. Now I have a bad knee and I'm afraid I'll never be able to ski again.
  90. I hurt my knee taking ice skating lessons with my daughter; overweight mothers shouldn't forget to remove their blade guards before stepping on the ice.
  91. I used to play volleyball every weekend at the beach. I was pretty good. I have only played volleyball once since I moved to Washington in 1992; there just aren't many beach volleyball games in Tacoma.
  92. I love the piano. I started teaching myself to play a couple of years ago and am starting up teaching myself again.
  93. I love "chick flicks."
  94. My favorite genre of books are science fiction and romance.
  95. My kids amaze me; they are all so smart.
  96. I like taking my kids with me most places; they are so well-behaved it is easy to have them along.
  97. I look forward to park days and summer reading club activities (puppet shows, music shows, etc.) just as much as my kids.
  98. I don't read very much even though I love it; I tend to get lost in the book and everything is neglected until I finish the book.
  99. I'm very extroverted. My energy stores are filled by being around other people and I lose energy by being alone too long.
  100. I worry too much about what other people think...maybe you'll think my list is silly.

I'm glad that is done!

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Kennel Up Josh!

Ok, this was humorous. This evening we were eating dinner at the "little table," otherwise known as the coffee table. The dogs were doing their usual thing; crowding under the table hoping for someone to drop a morsel of food. They were in the way and quite annoying, as usual. So I ordered them out and told them to kennel. What do you think happened?

Zach, our older dog, immediately headed for the kennel and laid down. Sybil started for the kennel but turned back hoping we'd forget we sent her away. And Josh, my darling 1 year old baby, turned and headed for the kennel. By the time we got Sybil to go to the kennel is was a bit too crowded with Zach and Josh hanging out together.

I've never taught Josh to kennel up! Honest!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Happy Birthday Josh!

My baby turned one today! It's been a full year, that's for sure. Here's a recap:

  1. Josh was born 2 weeks late. No matter what we did, he wouldn't come out.
  2. He was a big boy, weighing at 9lb 4oz.
  3. He's still a big boy; he weighs about 24-25 pounds and wears between 18-24 months clothing.
  4. Two weeks later, he developed his first fever leading us to the ER.
  5. We didn't come home for 8 days.
  6. He had a kidney infection.
  7. And RSV.
  8. It was heartbreaking watching him lay there on oxygen, struggling to breathe, and unable to eat.
  9. But he got better and regained the pound he had lost
  10. He began sitting unsupported at 4 months.
  11. One day when he was 4 months old, he insisted on drinking from my water bottle.
  12. He's loved water ever since, especially if it is in a water bottle or grown up glass.
  13. He began eating at 4 months old.
  14. He began eating table food around the same time; he'd get furious with us if we withheld our food from him.
  15. He has always had a special fondness for his big sister.
  16. He loves to terrorize his big brother.
  17. He began crawling around 6 months old.
  18. But he never crawled normally; he crawls on one knee and one foot.
  19. His favorite activity is removing every DVD, VHS tape, and GameCube game off the shelf.
  20. He began walking at 10 months old.
  21. Now he walks like it is nothing.
  22. His ability to communicate nonverbally is amazing; we almost always know what he wants.
  23. He giggles when you verify what he wants by asking him and you've gotten it right; it is his way of saying, "Yes."
  24. He has the greatest smile.
  25. He loves the GameCube and can't be fooled if you give him a controller that isn't plugged in; he'll try to plug it in.
  26. He loves the cats; the cats don't love him.
  27. The dogs love him because he'll give them any snack that he doesn't want.
  28. He walked 2 laps on the the indoor track at the YMCA 2 days ago.
  29. He also climbs...the dog, people, the couch.
  30. He can climb to the top of our stairs before we know he is missing.
  31. Then he stands at the top making a sound that seems to mean, "Mom, I'm ready to come down now. Please come get me."
  32. He also knows how to get off our bed without getting hurt.
  33. He refuses to wear shoes; he cries loudly and shakes his feet violently trying to remove them. He seems unable to stand or walk while wearing shoes.
  34. He figured out that he can stand in the grocery cart seat today.
  35. And wouldn't sit no matter what I did so I had to carry him.
  36. He's my favorite child.
  37. Actually, they are all my favorite child.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

WFMW - Bromelain

When I was pregnant with my first child, my midwife introduced us to Bromelain, a digestive enzyme made from pineapples. That was over 8 years ago and bromelain continues to be a staple in our home because of its effectiveness in treating pain and swelling. I am so excited about how bromelain has eliminated my need for ibuprofen, saved both my husband and I from surgery, and cured our pain, that I tell everyone I see that may benefit from it.

We first heard about bromelain, my husband was suffering from severe pain in the tendon that moves the thumb. It rendered his hand nearly useless and he was under the care of his primary physician. His doctor prescribed two prescription anti-inflammatory drugs and gave him a brace to wear on his wrist. After four months, he experienced serious side effects from the medicine but no relief to the tendonitis. Our midwife suggested he try bromelain which can be bought at a health food store or other store that sells natural supplements (Fred Meyer, Super Supplements). Three weeks later, he had regained use of his hand, no longer needed the brace, and was pain free. We were sold.

During my pregnancy, I dealt with a flare up of my carpel tunnel, a condition I had suffered from for several years. I took large dosages of ibuprofen regularly and wore braces on both wrists. As soon as I delivered and my baby was a few weeks old, I began using bromelain too. I experienced no side effects and noticed none in my nursing baby. What I did notice was that my carpal tunnel appeared to be cured.

I mentioned that I keep bromelain as a staple in my house. This is because we haven't stopped the repetitive motions that caused our problems in the first place. I still type a lot, knit, crochet, write, and all the other repetitive motions that cause carpel tunnel. So, I still get flare ups. However, now that the initial problem has been taken care of, I find that if I begin treating it with bromelain when I first notice the first twinges in my wrists, it only takes a couple of days for it to go away again for another half year to a year.

It is generally considered safe at recommended dosages; however, there are precautions. Because it is a natural blood thinner (like aspirin), it should not be used by people who are taking blood thinners. It should also not be used by people who are allergic in pineapples.

The side effects, if you are not allergic to it, are mild if you have them at all. They include include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and heavy menstrual flow. I've experienced loose stools and heavier than normal menstrual flow but only when I was taking a very high dosage and it didn't bother me.

I am not a medical doctor so take my recommendation as cautiously as you would if someone were to recommend any other supplement or drug. Many medical doctors are not educated in the use of natural supplements and will steer you to prescription medicines instead. Any good naturopath should be able to answer your questions and help you out though. I only share about this because I hate to see people having to go through life with those annoying wrist braces on or having surgeries that they don't need.

Bromelain works for me and my husband.

For more tips, visit Rocks in My Dryer.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

GG Totals - February 24, 2008

I haven't been talking about the Grocery Game lately because I haven't been doing much shopping. With my husband's job transition, we've been short on money which means we've been living out of our existing stockpile and only buying necessities (milk, cheese, produce) each week. Well, our stockpile is depleted to the point that I had to finally to some major grocery shopping.

Of course, shopping with the Grocery Game makes it so much more fun. I had amazing savings at one store because I was picking up only the very best of sales there. At my other store my savings was less spectacular because I was buying both sale items and necessities for the week.

Want to know how I did? Here are my totals:

Shelf price: $209.85
Amount paid: $120.77
Amount saved: $89.18
Percent saved: 42%

Shelf price: $227.40
Amount paid: $87.50
Amount saved: $139.90
Percent saved: 62%

So, in the end I bought $437.25 worth of groceries for only $208.27. That's $229.08 I got to keep in my bank account. I love it!

The Albertson's checker was impressed when she saw that I was buying name brand shampoo and conditioner for $0.02 and $0.03 a bottle. I thought it was pretty impressive, too.

Friday, February 22, 2008

New Design!

I'm excited about my new blog design. Isn't it great?

I can't decide which I like better: this one or the one over at Homeschool Distractions. Of course, they are both pretty much identical (to keep them consistent) except for the color scheme.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

13 Google Searches

I've forgotten about Thursday Thirteen for a couple of weeks now. I had a good excuse last week. It's time to jump back on the band wagon with a fun one. Thirteen Google searches that brought people to my site.

Have you ever looked at how people find your site? Some of the google searches make sense. Some make you wonder how your site got put on the list that Google brought up. Some are just plain odd and make you wonder what the searcher was thinking.

1. Stuffed Animal Storage - This or some variation of it is by far the most popular search term bringing people to this blog. It's all because of this post where I posted about how I store my daughter's many stuffed animals.

2. Shiny Kids Clothes - Some poor kid out there is stuck going outside to play in his shiny clothes. The glare from the sun reflecting off of his clothing is too much for his friends and one by one they chose not to play with him anymore while he wonders, quite sadly, why no one wants to play with him. It's the clothes mom!

3. House to Hold Stuffed Animals - I'm sorry but if you have to buy a whole house just to hold your kids' stuffed animals, you have too many! Declutter mom, declutter!

4. Pictures of Children in Shiny Shorts - What is it with the kids in shiny clothes? This one just sounds like a pedophile to me. Why do you want to see photos of kids at all, let alone in shorts, especially shiny ones? And how does this have anything to do with my blog?

5. The More I Lover Her the More I Want to Move Away From Her - Seriously, I think you need a shrink to answer this question, not the web. And again, how does this have anything to do with my blog?

6. Photos of Naked Swimming Lessons in YMCA - Huh? I seriously doubt the YMCA provides swimming lessons to naked individuals. And why are you looking for this anyway? Ok, so I googled it and apparently they used to require swimming nude...before the YMCA became a co-ed place. But I'm still left with the nagging question: Why are you looking for photos of this?

7. Chocolate Distractions - I find chocolate quite distracting, too, especially to diets. Today, for instance, we had chocolate chocolate chip waffles with chocolate milk for breakfast.

8. Steak Apple - Now is this a steak that taste like an apple or an apple that tastes like a steak?

9. Get Skinny While Breastfeeding - Now if I knew how to do this, I'd be skinny. Unfortunately, my 5 years worth of breastfeeding haven't helped me any in this area so you've come to the wrong place for information on this.

10. Blockbuster Changed My Account - You bet they did. That's why I wrote this post and why I'm no longer a customer there.

11. Watching TV While Breastfeeding - Is this a question? It's not like watching TV takes a whole lot of effort or coordination. Since you're just sitting there while your child is nursing, why not turn on the TV and veg out for a little while.

12. Science Experiments for Kids With Just Household Items With Out Suscribing - That's a long one. I find shorter phrases yield better results especially if the spelling is correct. Try "kitchen experiments for kids".

13. Free Fun for Kids in Tacoma - I'm glad this one is working because I now know that all the research I do so I can post my Tacoma Kids Weekly at Homeschool Distractions is not in vain.

Visit other Thirteeners here.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

WFMW - Wedge Pillow

I'm all out of organizing tips for now. Since my family just got over the flu, I have a illness related tip.

A good friend of mine gave me one of these when I was pregnant with Josh:

It is a wedge pillow designed for sufferers of acid reflux. She had bought an extra one and found she didn't need it. When she heard that I have horrible heart burn when I'm pregnant, she gave me her extra and boy am I so grateful she did...for many reasons.

This pillow is awesome for heart burn. With my first two pregnancies, I had such a hard time falling asleep because of the terrible heart burn I suffered. I would be woken up in the middle of the night with reflux (stomach acid coming up). This last pregnancy I had NONE of that, not a single bad night. I attribute that to the pillow.

It is also wonderful to have around for sick kids. All three of my kids have used the pillow on more than one occasion. It's great for when their little noses get stuffy. You know how they can breathe better when elevated? Well, if you have one of these pillows, they can sleep the whole night elevated. Having this pillow has improved the quality and quantity of sleep both my sick child and I get when they are sick. I love it.

When it isn't in use, I simply slide it under my bed. They aren't cheap but now that I know about them, I'd pay the money to have one. There are several different ones available at a range of costs. I can't vouch for the comfort of the others but mine looks just like the one at this link:

Check out Rocks in my Dryer for more great tips.