Thursday, March 27, 2008

Off to Vegas

Tim's sister is here for a week, and we are taking advantage of her visit and heading to Vegas for 4 days of house-hunting. The girls are doing great with her so far, so we are hopeful that they will be angels for her the whole time we are gone. I'm sure they will have tons of fun while we are gone; we haven't done much around here lately, so I bet they will enjoy Buji's energy. I would post some pictures, but we got a new camera and I don't know how to download photos yet...

I had to take Claire to get some blood work done today, and for the second time, she didn't make a peep when they put the needle in. She sat there calmly and just watched them draw blood. Amazing.

Hope you all have a good weekend!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Serenade

Kate's sudden "change of the week" this week was to add performance singing to her list of things to do. My little American Idol decided she could perform in front of the camera and loved to laugh and watch herself on the video afterwards. She had so much fun she agreed to sing the same two songs to her aunt over the phone, but with a little less confidence. We had a fun Easter weekend learning the difference between plastic eggs and real ones. Learning that "my basket" does not mean you get to eat all of the candy today. Learning you can't take eggs from other kids and call it "sharing".

So, for your pleasure here are two songs Kate makes her daddy sing all the time. I love the looks on her face!


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!


Easter basket.


While this year's church service was not as unique as last year's, we did make it through almost half of it, and both girls behaved better than ever. Afterwards, Jess and her family came over for Easter brunch and some egg hunting. Claire found the first egg, mostly because Kate had found her Easter basket and was obsessed with eating as much candy as she could before we took it away from her. We are fairly certain that we found all hidden eggs, and hope that we won't be smelling rotting cackleberries for weeks to come. I'm sure that would help sell our home.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Silly us

My friend, Camille, our kids, and I were planning a trip to the zoo this morning. We're both hoping to wear the children out of their fascination with the zoo before it gets too bloody hot to spend more than 3 minutes out in the sun. Being that it is late March, we are almost there already.

I arrived first, with Kate and Claire in the backseat joyfully telling me about all the animals they were going to see (okay, fine, it was just Kate saying the names of animals, but Claire was energetically yelling 'puppy' over and over again, like she does). I could barely get into the parking lot, there were so many cars there. There were also many signs telling me that the parking lot was full, and that spillover parking for the baseball game was just down the street. I was trying not to get peeved about all the baseball fans parking in my the zoo parking lot, while I slowly drove down each (of 4) aisle(s), desperately seeking a parking spot. As a last ditch effort, I drove down the aisle closest to the zoo entrance, and counted 11 free parking spots. I have noticed that there are consistently 11 free spaces there, and always thought that they were handicap spots. Not so. They are for Alternative Fuel Vehicles. ELEVEN parking spaces for Alternative Fuel Vehicles, and probably 40 spaces for Regular Fuel Vehicles. And those AFV spots are Always Empty. Are you kidding me? How about 11 parking spots for new moms? Or moms with more than 2 or 3 or 4 kids? Or something more reasonable that will actually get some use?

Anyway, I quickly called Camille to see if she had left her house yet. Luckily she had not, and we headed over to her house where there was no baseball game and where spring break was not a concern. There the girls played with her kids, Max and Emiliana, and we had some good mom talk. Thanks, Camille!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

My morning

  • Pick up youngest toddler to smooch her cheek, and smell the sweet scent of coffee. Why do you smell like coffee, Claire Bear?
  • Go in search of missing coffee cup.
  • Find it, and a bookcase covered in sticky mess. Every Single Book now smells of coffee, which may be a good thing.
  • Spend valuable minutes wiping up sugary morning stimulant.

  • Finally finish with that task, speed down hallway to return cleaning supplies to laundry room, and find mess made by eldest toddler.
  • Hastily tape envelope back together after realizing I do not have an extra one on hand.
  • Wait impatiently for 11am to roll around so I can leave children with babysitter for 60 minutes of peace.

How is your day going?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Coloring eggs

Kate misunderstands what I mean about putting the egg in the cup.

Claire LOVES coloring Easter eggs.

And who could, or would want to, forget about last year's coloring of the eggs? It wouldn't be a holiday if there wasn't a mess.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Things I Love

Idea stolen borrowed from Elizabeth:

getting hugs from my girls; driving with the sunroof open and music on; Tim wearing cologne; watching funny movies; mexican food; cheese; falling asleep; watching my kids sleep; cooking; watching a movie while sprawled on the sofa with Tim; thunderstorms; Rush Limbaugh; sushi; rocking Claire to sleep; swing dancing; salsa dancing; raspberries; decorating cakes; eating cake with buttercream frosting; Hong Kong; running in a light mist; running in warm fall sun; autumn; sailing; having all the laundry done; sitting outside on a warm Tucson night drinking a margarita; Ronald Reagan; flying; Boise; fresh snow; hot showers; John Cusack; Jennifer Aniston; Battlestar Galactica; Europe; red; my sister; going wine tasting; visiting friends; laughing so hard I cry; small towns in France; leather car seats; reading a great book; the south island of New Zealand; comments on my blog; reading friends' blogs; when Claire grabs onto me tight, and pats my back; when Kate says cute things like "Mommy, I'll be right back", and "Maybe watch Max & Ruby?"; going new places; crepes; coffee; being home alone; gardening; the smell of lilies; Halloween; looking at new houses; Seattle in the summer; a comfortable bed; making breakfast in the spring or fall with the windows open and a cool breeze mixing with the smell of coffee and melting butter; strawberries; London; ice cream; chasing Kate and Claire; my girl friends; vacations.

What do you love?

Friday, March 14, 2008

Moment of weakness

Super sick Spice fell asleep watching DORA. Must be ill.

Messy Spice: blame my sister for the chalk all over my pants?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Why I'm really glad I have a washing machine

It was 12:30am. I was sound asleep, dreaming of macaroni and cheese. Wha? Kate woke up screaming, and I rolled over to check the clock. I promptly pulled the covers up over my head to try and drown out the racket. Tim, who has not yet caught up on his sleep, bolted upright in bed. He was up before he was awake, and stumbled to Kate's room. How nice to have him home again, I thought.

I usually ignore the random cries in the night, unless they persist for longer than a few minutes. Luckily, Tim did not, and a few minutes later I heard him open her bedroom door and call in an urgent voice: Jen, I need you. Uh-oh. To put it succinctly, Kate had vomited all over her bed, and was distressed by the mess. I'm pretty sure we were just able to change the sheets this time around, calm her down, give her some water, and go back to bed.

Then, at 2am, more screaming. More vomit, this time requiring a bath, another change of sheets and yet more jammies. I started a load of laundry, adding a generous sprinkling of baking soda, silently thankful that I have a washing machine. It's times like these that, for some reason, I always think of my Gramma and wonder how the heck she managed things like this back in the 1940s with no washing machine, and probably less assistance from her husband than I get from Tim, who is incredibly helpful. I don't know why I always think of her, but it never fails to amaze me what our grandparents' generation must have had to deal with decades ago when they didn't have some of the modern cleaning marvels that we have now. Can you imagine running out of toddler sheets (oh, I bet they didn't have those!) at 2am and running downstairs to the basement to do some laundry by hand? And then having to wait until the next morning to go hang it up to dry outside?

We all went back to bed until the next round of the barf toss started at about 4:30am.

I had hoped that Kate would sleep in to make up for all her lost sleep throughout the night, but she was up just before 7am, mostly because of more vomit. She threw up, or tried to, every few hours almost all day today, and took about 6 hours worth of naps. Right before bedtime, she seemed to gain some of her strength back, and was even speaking with some of her famous voice inflection. So far the rest of us are fine, minus the lack of sleep.

House update:

Bars removed, new paint applied.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Just photos

Playing at the park, fascinated by the bolt.


With Daddy at Heritage.

Target, let's learn a lesson in customer service

I got my Dad a subscription to Popular Mechanics magazine for Christmas. By the way, have you ever read this magazine? I know it's not the typical chic mag, but it's really interesting!

Back to the subject. I paid the bill online through my bank in January, and then I got my first delinquent notice last month. I got another one yesterday, so I called them this morning to work out the problem so my Dad wouldn't stop receiving his gift. Although it was somewhat challenging to contact them (no phone number on the invoice? phone number buried in annoying web tree online?), I did speak with someone after waiting just a few minutes on hold, and told her my saga. She looked it up and although she didn't find my payment, she said that she had a feeling the check got destroyed in some of their "equipment." I'm not sure what that means, exactly, or why they would have check-destroying machinery, but she immediately credited my account, and the problem is fixed. I didn't have to find a gift receipt, and she didn't tell me that she would be happy to credit my account in 6 months; she just fixed the problem and voila! Happy customer. Target, what lessons can you take away from this situation?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Cute little ones

Claire goes shopping, and makes sure to take her purse (Kate's lunchbox) and her cell phone with her:

Kate is unsure what her cookie is called:

Oh! And the new entryway:

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Sorry about the Camera...

Yes, I borrowed the camera this weekend. If only the battery would last a little longer you would have some stuff to see.

Maybe it's time for a new camera?! I'm home now, and its nice to see you and the kids again!
Love Ya,

Best in show?

I feel like I've been planning a party for royalty. Cleaning, painting, touching up scuffed walls, removing excess furniture and toys, weeding, trimming trees, scrubbing the oven. Today was our Open House. Today was also the last day of the Heritage Festival. What this means is that Tim has been home for approximately 5-6 hours a day for the past 2 weeks, and most of that time has been spent sleeping. I thought Darci was exaggerating last year when she said that I should just pretend that he was TDY. But she WASN'T. Anyway.

Tim got home at about 10pm last night, and pulled into the driveway to see me up on a ladder removing the jail bars from our kitchen windows. "What the HECK are you doing?" Yeah, well, you can't really get everything done during naps. And I was so sick of those bars! I do not know what Tucson's fascination was with bars on house windows during the 1970s, but Yuck. Of course, not yuck enough for me to have removed them before our house went on the market. Also, I see why they call them security bars. What criminal is going to spend that much time taking the bars off the window in order to break in?

It took about an hour (see also: vice grips, 3" rusted security bolts, me placed precariously on a ladder, and 40 pound bars), but I got the bars off the two kitchen windows, and what do you know there are mountains outside! What a view.

I have gotten a lot done this week. I repainted the entryway wall from brown to blue. I would show you pictures, but I think my husband took the camera to work again today. The wall looks okay. It is lighter than I had wanted, and too fleshy-/peachy-brown for my taste, but I was at Lowe's by myself and didn't have time to take a sample home with me and let me see the color hanging on my wall under various lighting conditions. It looks better at night, when it is darker, and I guess the main thing is that it is no longer blue. I miss the blue, but it's not going to be my home for much longer, now is it? *crosses fingers*

I also painted the master bathroom; it had 2 similarly-entryway blue walls before and now it is all cream. All but one of our strollers (oops, make that 2 - I always forget about the double single jogging stroller in the backyard) are in the storage unit, I pruned the palm tree and manicured the gravel in the front yard, and weeded the backyard.

Today was the grand finale: the Open House. I'm not a real estate agent, and I'm not sure how you run these things, but wouldn't you advertise your event or something? To make it worth your while? Maybe our agent did. I don't know. All I know is that she was here for 3 hours this afternoon, and 2 buyers and another agent came through. That's it. THAT'S IT. Deep breath. Apparently one of the buyers is the father of our new neighbors and he wants to live close to his daughter and her sons? Sounds sketchy to me, but if he wants to buy the house, be my guest. You can't get much closer to your kids that right next door.

So, I planned for a huge party and no one came. I feel a little like a loser. A really tired loser.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Advice needed re: biting

Kate's new thing is biting. She bites her sister several times a day now, and I just don't know how to stop her from doing it. She has had timeouts. She had been yelled at, scolded, and chastised. And she is still biting Claire. I am at wit's end. Suggestions?

Also, the kiddos slept in past 6:30am this morning (unlike yesterday), so I feel much more rested. Thank GOD, because with all that is going on right now, sleep deprivation is NOT something I want to deal with! We are in the final days of Heritage Festival stuff, too, so I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and am able to see Tim slowly chugging towards me back home for more than 6 hours a day. Yahoo!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Nap, interrupted

Grrrrr. I give up. I think I did manage to get 15-20 minutes of uninterrupted sleep over the past hour and a half, but after 3 phone calls waking me up, I am out of bed. Napping whilst trying to sell one's house: challenging.

The first: "Hola! Tu esta...blah blah spanish...Disneyland! blah blah spanish..." Me: click.

The second: "Hello?" "Hey Jen! I thought I'd call from my desk phone and give my cell phone a break. There's gonna be more stuff delivered to the house tomorrow for Heritage Festival....Whatcha doin? Are you napping? I'm sorry...." (Tim calling to chat for a minute since we haven't seen each other awake for more than a few minutes this week.)

The third: "Hi, this is Michelle from blah blah day school and I'm sorry but your child has been injured." Ack! Not that I thought my child had been hurt (both are safely sleeping in their rooms), but that the school called me and not the kid's mom? I hope it was just a mixed up number and that they have the correct one.

So I bought some entryway paint earlier today, but haven't had a chance to start on that project (see above: too damn tired). Hopefully tonight after the kids are asleep I can at least get a coat on the wall. We are having an open house this weekend, so I sort of need to get all my major projects done NOW. No pressure or anything.

Not the best time to grocery shop

We went to Costco today right before lunch. I gave Kate a choice: Costco or storytime at the library. She chose Costco.


Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Busy bees

Painting the bathroom (today: cream; last week: bright blue). Going to the zoo. Visiting the Desert Museum. Going to Jessica's and Dana's houses for lunch. Doctor appointments. A jewelry-making squadron coffee where I made Sheila's necklace and a few other pieces. Cleaning, endless cleaning. It's been sort of busy around here lately.

This is not going well.

We made it around the block like this. It's a single stroller. It was a tight squeeze.

Claire likes the anteater puppies. ALL animals are puppies.

Our train trip around the lake at the zoo.

Reagan and Kate feed the ducks.

Sitting on the peacock.


Daddy took a day off on Saturday and we went to the Desert Museum.

Claire plays in her favorite room. I'm ready for my bath, mom!