Tuesday, June 30, 2009

The Bucket List

I haven't watched that movie but it is on my list for this summer. Recently I was talking to someone about their list and started trying to come up with my own.

What is on your bucket list?

I think I need three: my dad died before my freshman year of high school so I feel like I need a list of things before my kids graduate - I get freaked out everytime I think about my oldest being in 6th grade. By the time I was in sixth grade I'd skied on two continents, lived in two countries other than the U.S. (I was born in the U.S.) learned a language fluently and was passable (well at least for buying candy) in another. I'd climbed on Roman ruins and old castles, gone on hikes in the Black Forest, visited the coast of Spain and Portugal... My sister and I will sometimes laugh and say everything interesting we did, we did before we were 25. (having kids excluded.)

There are a lot of things I want to do with my kids... I want to take them to the Grand Canyon for a donkey ride and white water rafting. I want to vacation at a Dude Ranch. I want to visit the 50 states with them. I want to take them surfing in Hawaii. I want to hike in Alaska with them. I want to take them skiing in the Alps....

this leads to the second bucket list... the if the heavens openned and I could afford everything on the list list! :-)
on that list we add riding horses across Mongolia, spending a summer in Australia, skiing in South America, spending some time in Italy (spending a LOT of time in Italy) cruising with National Geographic in the Galapagos Islands

and I need towork out the in between list (the more practical one) that isn't dependent on money trees and isn't trying to drag my kids along...

so really, what is on your list?

Monday, June 29, 2009

the Facebook Song

I haven't had nearly as exciting a dating life as this woman and so only one man really qualifies as having broken my heart. And well he did. But he wasn't/isn't a bad guy (is that me in denial?) it was college. Timing and all that. And him having lived in the real world already and me not even close and very sheltered. And well, distance. And so on.

But only a few days ago his name pops up in the Facebook "Suggestions" box. His name is unusual but not one of a kind and there are 10-20 guys out there with it (okay yes I have looked in the past) but he doesn't have any of the same friends as I have. We didn't go to school together. How creepy is it that Facebook knows I know him? Really? So I sent him an message on FB entitled "What the Hell?" as in, how does Facebook know? Really? That is creepy!!!

And then my friend Julie posts this gem:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S7MuwPlOiNQ
I will figure out how to post it. (why is this so hard for me?)


HILARIOUS!!! And luckily said man has the perfect sense of humor for this. He would also think it is hilarious.

{after some thought I figured one of us (me & the man again) must have the other ones email address and allowed FB to dig through them to find our friends for us. Probably me. When I first signed up. Which only works as a theory if he signed up more recently. But anyway.}

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Kids, Modeling, and so on

So was it last week? The week before? I took pictures for Outdoor Wednesday of my kids and the dirt pile. M-Lyons saw the camera and did the typical M-Lyons modeling show. I do not know where she gets this from... the poses! Honestly! And I keep thinking, is it totally abusive to send her photos off to an ad agency or a child modeling agency? And where do you even find a child modeling agency? And for that matter Dragon is rather cute himself. He could pay for his own schooling and Tim and I wouldn't have to argue about the cost any more! See- its bad - I'm trying to justify it!!!

In less than five minutes she ran through a gamut of stances and expressions all on her own.

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and this one! what on earth has she been watching???
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So since she is obviously going to be trouble already...

I don't know. What d'ya think? Are there such things as well balanced child models/actors or do they all turn into Britney Spears?

Suddenly I hit a wall

Friday I just "quit" and sat on the couch and read one of great grandma's fluff books while Tiger and Dragon read their own things next to me and Bitsy climbed all over all of us and M-Lyons looked at picture books. Tim flew home late at night and woke up in one of his "I cannot believe you let the house look like this moods" and spent the day scrubbing away. Which would be lovely if he didn't spend the whole time angry with me. He had all the kids scrubbing too and was mad at them as well. For some reason I'm exhausted and finally at 1 I went and laid down and didn't get back up until 5. I'm only up now because M-Lyons came to our bed to sleep and in her sleep she was pushing on me until I woke up.

Since I am awake and it is quiet I posted a short bit on the blog I keep for Tim's company DataXstream LLC. I'm feeling rather good about that blog lately. I started in for him in December as sort of a moral boost. He'd been fighting the economy since last April and trying to keep the company n financial health and he was getting discouraged... so the blog was just a little thing to make him feel supported from home. Well apparently the clients, potential clients and past clients have given him good feedback about it. Enough so that he'll pass things along now in hopes that I'll get them out there. But then a week ago or so one of the sales guys was working with his foil at one of the partners and discussing company visibility. They ran some diagnostics test thing to see how often the websites get hits. Our blew theirs away in Tim's words. And the guy wanted to know how we got all the cross links. Tim said he thinks my little blog has a lot to do with the cross links (I link back to the site and to the partners and to the tradeshow sites and anything else I can think of.) So he was really pleased. It was particularly nice for me as people tend to think "oh isn't she a cute little bimbo" when someone (usually my husband) brings up that I do that for the team. Yes, people actually read it, thank you.

Thursday I was in to the eye doctor to get my contacts renewed and received un expected news. It appears that the doctor sees signs of macular degeneration and wanted to know more about family history. I sent out emails, all the aunts and uncles say they've not heard of any family history with that. So I don't know if it is an isolated issue or if it ties into psoriasis being an autoimmune disease. I made an appointment with my Naturopath and also with one of the women in my neighborhood. She is a nureo opthomologist (I think) and brilliant. I don't think this is her area but she ought to be able to get me started on where I need to go to learn about it. It really bummed me out Thursday. I don't want to have old lady eyes.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Swimming - it is summer!!!

Around here summer pretty much means swim team. The whole town swims. Almost all neighborhoods have a pool and a team and a good portion of the kids swim. I love swim team. It gives us just enough structure, Beanie hits the water at 9:15 AM. Tiger and Dragon are in at 10:15 until 11. I can walk from my house. We go Monday - Friday from the last day of school until the end of July. Meets are killer though. Monday night the kids were due at the pool at 4:45 PM for warm-up (I purposefully skip warm up. it wears them out!) and we get home around 9:45PM. And the parents take turns working the meets. Nutty. But gratifying.

Beanie got us started at the end of Kindergarten. Everybody on the bus was yapping about practice and she wanted to go... she is a tiny thing and not a competitive swimmer, which kills me because she loves it and she tries with everything she's got. She's just such a pip sqeak.



Tiger is competitive, and places consistently. He pulled off a nice time in his 25 meter breast stroke Monday night. A kid in the 9-10 year old bracket didn't show so coach grabbed Tiger and threw him back in for a 50 meter breast stroke swim. He pulled off second place. Not bad for an 8 yr old. (He DQ-ed on the turn but the judges didn't see it. I told his coaches they better team him to touch and turn properly if they are going to swim him up very often.)



Dragon is still a bit of a spaz in the water. He tries but he hasn't gotten his arms and legs all coordinated just yet. He'll get there though, and when he does, watch out. He is a long, wiry, strong kid. He is going to be fast when it all comes together.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Fun Night Out! (Woot!)

Yay! I got a 4 pm phone call from my husband at DataXstream LLC. Dave Moore (More, Mor...) is in town and we want to go out. Can you get a sitter? Normally this puts me in a mood. Hello? no. I cannot snap my fingers and have a babysitter materialize in thin air at 4 pm on a Friday night. Did a little brainstorming, and realized we will head out around 8 or so - so dealing with the kids shouldn't be a major part of the evening and I call one of the boys up the street. (I like these guys a lot, but I still have a daughter in diapers which they are not thrilled with.) Yes, one of them can watch my kids. Woohoo.

I am picked up by my husband at 7:30 PM (and I'm looking good thank you very much) and we go off to Paul's Deli. Paul's Deli needs its own post. It is a major landmark in this town. Wess and Dave are there talking - Hot Holly's all around with loaded fries and beer. Dave is a trip and they all three know each other from working together in Colorado. I am kept highly amused the entire time although that requires Wess stopping and translating geek to English from time to time.

8:30 ish Wess leaves to go do his "Unpersons" show. I cannot tell you what this is. If I try I'll butcher the whole concept and Wess will make fun of me (if he ever hears about it. not like he reads this or anything) for some time. Go download and listen. If you speak geek, Wess is funny and smart. Dave goes with him - he gets to be Wess's guest on the show.

Tim and I decided to try to catch a movie. I haven't been out to a movie in a theater in a really long time. It costs $10.00! Hello, this is not a city! We decide to watch "The Proposal" because I am a Sandra Bullock fan.

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Okay it could have been the three beers (I'm a mommy now people - I don't drink three on a regular basis anymore) but I laughed, and I laughed and I had tears coming out of my eyes. The scenes between Sandra Bullock's character and Betty White were fabulous. Fabulous.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Regarding the Honda Minivan with the shattered window

I posted earlier about my shattered window

then on the 16th I posted an update to that post letting the blogosphere know that Honda was replacing the window. But I didn't have any more info than that and frankly I wanted to know if they offered or if it required pressure. (the first time around this particular game board it took a lot of pressure from us.)

this is my facebook conversation with my husband (and how sad is it that fb is where we exchange most of our information? but he travels, A LOT, and I don't need your judgement. its about the CAR. remember?)

Cailin Yates at 5:34am June 16
in all fairness I need to post that so I do need to know if you extorted their cooperation or if they gave it without hassle...

Timothy Yates at 7:24pm June 17
I applied a little pressure. I had a non engineering type talking to me and I got technical. I also pointed out all the blog postings that you dug up proving my knowledge of tempered glass. I also told them no more Honda's unless they made this right.

So I'm gonna go ahead and leave up the other blog post and all the links. Because if it requires a little arm twisting, well, I am all for twisting arms.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Outdoor Wednesday * shoveling dirt*


It is "Outdoor Wednesday" as hosted by a Southern Daydreamer


Our area, the Tidewater area of Virginia, has been competeing with the tropics lately. I am almost certain if we added up inches of rainfall we'd find ourselves awfully close to Tropical climate! And so, we've noticed a startling amount of erosion off the driveway and the back corner of the house. Enough that we figured we needed to take action.

So on Thursday we had dirt and rock delivered. They dumped 1/2 the load of dirt into the street because the TRUCK alone weighs 16 tons, with a full load of dirt it weighs close to 30. They were worried about cracking my driveway! So they dumped the dirt in the street and at the bottom of the driveway.

piles

Friday Dragon and his dad moved most of the dirt out of the street. Saturday, Dragon, Tiger, Bear and I moved dirt. From about 9:30 or 10 AM to about 3:00 PM. We did break for lunch and often for lemondade too.

Dragon with the dirt pile:
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Tiger with the dirt pile:
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M-Lyons and Bitsy "helping"
helpers

My husband spreading dirt on the incline. You do not get a feel for the steepness here, not even a clue.
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I have the strongest toughest kids on the planet. They worked hard, without whining, the entire time. WooHoo!

Nick Cave

I've been meaning to pick an "art day" to write about art or artsy things just to get that back into the fore front of my life. This will hopefully become a bit more of a habit.



Nick Cave is a Chicago based artist and the creator of SOUNDSUITS
I came across him in Departures The Culture Issue May/June 2009. I am fascinated by his designs.

there is a collection of wonderful images at Sweet Station

as well as this quote: ” I believe that the familiar must move towards the fantastic. I want to evoke feelings that are unnamed, that aren’t realized except in dreams.” - Nick Cave

from Departures: The artist has a much-talked-about show at Jack Shainman Gallery in New York, and he was a standout in the acclaimed "30 Americans" show of works by black artists recently at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami. Now the largest-ever exhibition of Cave's Soundsuits is at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Franciso through July 5.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Window Shattered in my Honda Minivan

June 16th:
My husband is traveling. He emailed me last night to let me know he'd been in touch with the dealership's service department and that Honda was replacing the window. He did not give me anymore details. So we will give them the benefit of the doubt and believe they chose to do the right thing for the right reasons.


this is not a finished post. I have pictures I need to load, and I am not done finding links. but it is getting to be time to make dinner and I'm kind of an instant gratification kind of person and so I'm going to go ahead and put this out there. For now...

Our area has received an incredible amount of rain this year.  It seems to be a daily event, so we tarped the car before heading to swim practice (by bike) and sure enough it rained buckets.
car under tarp

From inside the car (we put the tarp on and THEN I thought about pictures for the blog.  Such a blog geek!)
car

This is the second time I've had a Honda Minivan inexplicably loose a window.

We think it switched temperatures too quickly this time, last time the car was less than 6 months old and moving when it happened and that we chalked up to manufacturor error... Interestingly BOTH times the dealership service department told us that it was a rock. The first time it happened I actually pulled out clear packing tape and taped the window and called the local police (and they gave me a written report) and asked them if there was an impact. They both said that based on the pattern of the shatter that there was NOT an impact that even a rock would have a point of impack that started the shatter pattern.

My husband drove my van to the dealer this morning and he pretty much got the same story I got with the first incident.

for kicks I decided see how many instances I could find. Particularly because the folks in the service department always play dumb about it:

my favorite so far:
from car complaints 2006 Honda Odyssey
My Honda Odyssey was parked outside and the back windshield exploded into millions of pieces. After calling to get a quote from a Louisiana Glass the guy Ken tells me this is the third Odyssey this week that the back windshield has exploded. One of the three Odysseys glass exploded twice in one week and the guy was driving when it happened. Glass flew 10 feet inside and outside. Honda is obviously not owning up to there faulty back window and will not cover it under warranty. This is a safety issue and Honda needs to step up.

same page:
I was at a red light with 2 cars in front of me. As the light turned green and I moved from brake to the gas pedal, I heard a loud pop. All of the sudden the windshield just shattered into tiny pieces. Nothing had hit the windshield. I brought my car to Pacific Honda (San Diego) to have the Service Manager look at it but it was like talking to a service apprentice. He took one short look at it and said it was not covered under warranty. My car is a 2006 Odyssey with 8,000 miles.

from:
http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p3.html
John of Clarksville, VA April 27, 2009

My wife and I were driving in perfect weather, light traffic, boom! My driver's side sliding glass door glass imploded. No evidence of foul play. Honda refuses to cover under warranty. This has been the worst Honda we have ever owned. Rattletrap since day one, ten service visits without resolution and now this.
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p3.html#ixzz0IFigUOG9&C

april 7, 2009 I was driving on Santa Monica Blvd and Van Ness when I noticed my rear window was fogged up so I turned on my defroster and the rear passengers smelled something burning then I opened my driver's window and a few seconds later after that, the rear window exploded. we thought someone shot a bullet into my car or that a bomb went off.

I immediately called the police after parking my car and they came in minutes. after examining all the information i gave them as to what happened, they determined that there was no gun shots or bombs, but that the window burst due to a short circuit from the car itself. Three weeks prior, my rear window shattered after I turned on the defroster, but I thought it was due to vandelism because I didn't realize that the defroster had anything to do with it.
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p4.html#ixzz0IFjWhBI0&C

I was driving along the freeway, no other cars were around and I wasn't going under an overpass, when I heard a loud pop. I slowed down then felt a draft through my moonroof shade. I pulled back the shade and my moonroof had a large hole in it and was shattered. I took my 2008 Accord to Honda the next morning where they took pictures and submitted them to the district manager. The district manager concluded that the break was caused by a rock that hit 3-4 days prior and then the recent cold temperatures in Phoenix caused it to break.

There is no way to prove or disprove the rock theory, but I don't recall hearing any rocks hitting my car recently. I have family that live in North Dakota and no one that I know there has had any issues with windows shattering and they do have frigid temperatures. I think Honda could at least come up with a probable reason as to the shattering because 40 degree temperatures shouldn't cause things like that. I feel that it is very poor of Honda not to consider a factory or manufacturing flaw in this matter. The whole thing seems like a safety issue to me, if the shade had been open, I could have been hurt. Moonroofs should be designed to withstand rock chips as are other windows on cars
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p6.html#ixzz0IFkpKPPs&C

purchased a 2008 honda accord ex that apparently has several manufactering defects. for instance, windshield suddenly cracks after the defrost was turned on, back brakes worn prematurely, noisy cabin

replaced at customers expense
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p6.html#ixzz0IFlMMXRU&C


I went into work and parked right by the side entrance, at 10:30a the facilities guy came out and told me my back window had shattered. before i went into work the back window was fine and in a matter of 3 hours it had completed shattered into numerous little pieces. I called Honda in San Diego Mission Valley adn they were extremely rude= offering no help to find someone to help me and said a back window would never shatter unless it was hit VERY hard. i think its a defect in the glass- or due to the defrost because i had it on that morning due to fog from a rain.

i had to get it replaced- 430.00 and Honda was so rude and unhelpful. why do i have a warranty??
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_p8.html#ixzz0IFm5EjLo&C


http://www.preludeonline.com/f61/rear-window-shattered-today-213241/


http://www.elementownersclub.com/forums/showthread.php?t=44986
I closed my passenger door this morning and the big long window on the passenger side shattered. The dealer said the only way that would or could have happened is if someone repeatedly slammed the door. No one has slammed the door once let alone repeatedly, in fact I closed the door rather gingerly this morning, imagine my surprise. I don’t know what I expected them to say. Anyway, what is that window called, quarter glass?

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_windshield.html
Monique of Avenel NJ (7/6/03):
On August 24, 2002 I leased a brand-new 2002 Honda Accord Coupe LX. I was so excited, but I didn't know what I was in for! I didn't have much to complain about except for a few creaks and rattles when going over bumps and cheap tires but besides that nothing major. That is until sometime in early April when I came home, parked my car, went in the house and took a nap. Three hours later I woke up to find my neighbors watching my rear windshield shattering into millions of pieces, although the glass itself was still in place. It hadn't fallen through yet.
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_windshield.html#ixzz0IFax8007&C
On June 5, 2003 at about 7am I started my car and turned on my rear defrost because it was raining and my windows were foggy. Immediately after turning on my rear defrost I heard that oh too familiar cracking noise coming from the passenger side of my back windshield -- the same sound I heard the first time I came outside to find my windshield shattering on its own. So I turned it off and it stopped.
Read more: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/automotive/honda_windshield.html#ixzz0IFarW1Hk&C

here we have a list of shattered sunroofs WHILE DRIVING! from honda!
http://www.carcomplaints.com/Honda/Accord/2004/windows_windshield/sunroof_shattered_while_driving.shtml

they are having a contest and I really need this...



How To Enter:
1. Blog about your favourite Group here at sassymamas AT your Personal Blog Site:
*Include sassy link & sassy button (get from our front page, right column)...of course this button was created by Miss Rae-Ann!
*include a link to the The Button Box: http://raeannsbuttonbox.blogspot.com/



2. Post your blog link as your Entry in comments below
3. Enter as many times as you like (eg. 2 different blog posts = 2 entries)

If you don't have a Blog, enter by:

4. Tweeting on twitter about this Contest, using this tweet

@sassymamas Win a Blog Button + Header Pack from http://raeannsbuttonbox.blogspot.com/ Join 4 free @http://www.sassy-mamas.com/

5. Copy your tweet & post it as your entry below

6. Enter as many times as you like using one or both of the above methods!

7. Contest closes at 11.59pm on 17th June (USA EST)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

eczema, skin disorders, discrimination

this is scheduled to go onto my other blog tomorrow, the other one being the mostly psoriasis, eczema, autoimmune disorder, hormones or anything having to do with alternative medicine that I find interesting blog...

I received a phone call this evening from a relative.  Her husband has eczema.  He works at Starbucks.  He is required to keep his hands clean.  {we hope right!}  Due to his eczema he has prescription cleansers and disinfectants that he uses to keep his hands clean.  His immediate supervisor at work has repeatedly thrown out his prescription cleansers and demanded that he use the cleansers provided by Starbucks.  He has provided this supervisor with a doctor's note.  This evening the supervisor wrote him up for not meeting hygienic standards, sent him home and told him that he would be contacted by Starbucks's legal representative tomorrow.  He should not return to work until told to do so.

My relative wanted to know if I have ever received such treatment and did I know what could be done about it?

I went surfing at the National Psoriasis Foundation.
and found the following:

Although the National Psoriasis Foundation does not provide legal advice, we have put together basic information about the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). These two pages can point you in the direction of powerful information that will help with most employment related issues.

Discrimination and FMLA rights
Discrimination and ADA rights
External links

U.S. Department of Labor: Family and Medical Leave Act
U.S. Department of Justice: Americans with Disabilities Act
U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy
What to do if you think you have been discriminated against.
US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
This Web site can provide you with additional information on discrimination due to a disability and how to file a discrimination charge.


If you follow the link to the United States Department of Labor "What to do if you think you have been discriminated against" you find: STEP 1:

Investigate the laws that prohibit employment-related discrimination on the basis of disability. Note which laws cover public sector employers, which cover private sector employers, and the applicable time limits for filing claims. The primary laws include:

  • Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (P.L. 101-336) prohibits private sectoremployers (including employment agencies and labor unions) and state and local government agencies that employ 15 or more individuals from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in all aspects of employment. Title II of the ADA provides the same protection to employees of state and local government agencies regardless of the number of employees such agencies employ. Persons who have been discriminated against on the basis of a perceived disability or record of having a disability also are covered by the ADA.

If you follow the link toDiscrimination and ADA rights you'll find: ADA rights

Being considered "disabled" under the ADA is different than qualifying for disability benefits from the Social Security Administration. The Americans with Disabilities Act prevents your employer from discriminating against you if you can successfully perform the essential functions of your job.

Your employer must make a "reasonable accommodation" to your known disability if it would not impose an "undue hardship" on your employer's business. The law defines undue hardship as an action requiring significant difficulty or expense. The law takes into consideration an employer's size, financial resources, etc.

Examples of reasonable accommodation include: modified work schedules, extra leave (above and beyond sick leave), uniform/dress code changes, etc.

Learn more

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Eating is a Political Act


that is the title of a page at Stonyfield Farms' Website.

SYNOPSIS
In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli--the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults

Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farms' Gary Hirschberg and Polyface Farms' Joe Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising -- and often shocking truths -- about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

Why did I check it out this evening? Because the seal on my yogurt was a little different, it said something about a movie, called "Food Inc." I can only hope it is going to be to the Super Market what "SuperSize Me" was to McDonalds.

Official Food, Inc. Movie Site - Hungry For Change? - Sign the Petition

Shared via AddThis

Monday, June 8, 2009

Blue Monday at Preschool



Blue Monday is hosted by Smiling Sally

My Blue Monday is all about Preschool at Mother's Day Out. I've been long term subbing at the two year old's room's assistant since March, on Mondays and Wednesday's, In two weeks I'll stop for the summer and then I'll be back in the fall. Last week our craft centered around blue birds and I read them "Blueberries for Sal" at snack time.

My girl's and their bluebirds:
Bluebird craft
they are not quite "blue"!

blueberries for sal
A delightful book!

And then at the grocery store there were blueberies on special!!!
blueberry breakfast
my kids thought it was funny that I was taking pictures of my breakfast!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Crazy Mommies, check in

So... I decided I would check in weekly with my updates...

I only ran three times this week. Tuesday, Friday and Sunday. Friday's run was HORRIBLE. I was discouraged, but this morning's was better.

Saturday I took my first bike ride in a really long time. I think I made it about 2 miles. I was pulling the kiddie trailer with the 4 year old and the 2 year old in it. They weigh a combined 60 to 70 lbs. The 4 year old is a major whiner in the trailer. I do not like biking. It feels like parts of me are being flossed, parts that should be left alone!!

I didn't get any swims in... lots of thunder this week.

Hydration is a huge component. I am not good about drinking enough during the day.
Going to bed on time is also going to make or break me.

My friend Chris has a training book I picked up last night... hoping it helps.

(Days later... this was an add that showed up in my side bar. Triatholon suits on sale at Orca Tri Apparel 50% off
Where Triathlon Wetsuits cost less! Zoot Sugoi and TYR priced to Sale... in case anybody else is joining the crazy mommies)

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Friday, WHAT A MESS! traffic and musings on beauty queens

So we learned of the following event through our Children's Home Society and Family Services (CHSFS) Newsletter:



Joy Hodges was crowned Miss District of Columbia US 09 (Miss United States Pageant) in April 2009. She was adopted from Thailand as a young child and during her one year reign will be devoting her time and influence to CHSFS, our mentorship program, and the needs of children worldwide. From her past experience, Joy strongly believes in the importance of community support in the lives and development of adopted children. We are excited about her commitment to our mission!
Joy will be in our Silver Spring office with a professional photographer who will be taking pictures for use in her public appearances throughout her reign. We are asking our families to bring their children to meet Miss D.C.! Light refreshments will be served.


8555 16th Street, Suite 600
Silver Spring, Maryland
Friday, June 5
3:30PM-5:00PM

I hemmed and hawed about attending this event. I am not sure how I feel about beauty queens. I looked up the Miss United States Pageant and it looks like they are requested to parade around in an evening gown, a bikini, and then submit to an interview. This sounds like "women as objects" kind of stuff to me. The lack of a talent portion is also hard for me to wrap my head around.

But.

I complain that there are a lack of Asian parts on T.V. (aside from the required kung fu guy) and in other areas. Dolls are mostly white. I remember feeling frustrated that "pretty" when I was growing up meant blond hair and blue eyes and high cheek bones. There were no Barbies that looked like me. (I wasn't that into Barbie - I liked her clothes though. But as an example) Even today there are the odd, required, meet that quota, kind of representations but finding good regular representations is pretty much limited to cartoons. Little Einsteins does a great job. So does Sid the Science kid. So... with that in mind, maybe I can see this in a more positive light.

And then there is the basic, my kids complain because people think they look weird. "You have weird eyes." So if the beauty queens have "weird eyes" then maybe their eyes are not so weird?

I get over myself and call and RSVP.

Friday I bathe the kids, get hair cuts (they are photographing the kids with Miss D.C.) pack a change of clothes so they'll be fresh when we get there, and leave noon-ish. We hit Fredericksburg around 1:30 and stop for lunch. It is Friday, it is raining but we are doing okay time wise so I let them get out for lunch. We leave Fredericksburg around 2 ish. At 4:30 we are still on 95, not yet on the beltway and I'm freaking out. Plus we are running out of gas. Thank goodness I am lucky enough to drive a Honda and it has GPS and it will search for gas along my route. It routes me to a gas station. At 4:51 we turn onto 16th Street. We drive past the building because it is in a weird spot, you cannot see the building number and there is ahuge sign advertising it is for lease and obstructing any other information. Probably 4:55 I realize I've passed it. City driving, I turn around at the stop light, meanwhile calling information to try to call the A.S.I.A office to let them know we are almost there. I flip around, illegally, and drive back. I see a black SUV pulling out of the parking lot. OH PLEASE! I have to pass it because of the divide, hit the light, flip around in another parking lot, pull out in city traffic at 5 PM and go back to the light so I can turn back onto 16th street and pull in. We are out of the car at 5:08 and get into the elevator and up we go.

Sue sees us, and exclaims "Oh!" Miss D.C. has just left. They try to call her and cannot get through.

Sue and Anna consult. Can they take us out for drinks or something? They realize the kids ar fried and invite them in. They have crafts, medals, and crowns with sequins and stickers. They order pizza and get out: Tinker toys, a parachute and pencils so that Anna can teach us a Korean game. They put on Youtube and we dance to videos of Madagascar while we wait for pizza.

I am so incredibly impressed with their care, and generosity of their time. I know it was 5 PM on a Friday. They have families waiting for them for dinner and Friday night plans. They give them up to entertain my kids. We leave at 7 PM. My kids had a great time. And I am reminded why I like this agency so very much.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Green Gift Bags

(or shoot me, please! I don't have time for this!)

So; it is the end of the school year here in the USA and teacher gifts are in order. As I sell Arbonne I am naturally giving Arbonne products to my children's teachers this year. After all, they ARE spa quality, fabulous products... but I digress.

So I bough the majority of our teachers (who are all ladies this year) the Shea Butter Hand Care Duo which is a new but highly popular hand wash and hand cream set. Less intimate than buying them actually cleansers & moisturizers for their faces, but very nice.



For some reason, gift wrapping presented a problem. I don't know, I am balking lately at paying for gift wrap. 9 out of 10 people shred the stuff and throw it out... I wanted to find or make some "paper" but never quite got to it. Have I mentioned I'm beyond busy? Anyway, ..

THis evening I decided to throw together gift bags out of some old fabrics sitting in the basemet.



I didn't have time to draw out a pattern so I looked at the Farm Fresh "green" grocery bag for Ideas... but it serves its purpose and maybe, if you keep it, you can use it as a gfit bag again.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Crazy Mommies

Well after the "snake handling" post and the "crickets" post I'm guessing you've already figured the people in the white jackets are on their way. Now you know for sure.

There is a group of girls (mommies) from preschool and PCS who are training for a 1/2 a triathalon. I find out while at swim practice last week that there is a different group of girls in the neighborhood, on the swim team, training for same event. Patriot something or other in September? or something.

When I was in college I wanted to run a triatholon. Never did. Never even came close. But now I am surrounded by all these women training and my competitive blood is running hot. So I have not made ANY KIND of announcement or agreement or anything...

but Friday last week I ran 4 miles. Then I swam laps for a good 15 minutes without stopping. I think I swam 30 laps (at 25 meters each) which gives me 750 meeters. The goal (if one were training for a 1/2 triatholon) is 80 laps.
Saturday I ran 4 miles.
Sunday I swam 40 laps. That is 1000 meters. Without stopping. yay me.
I took today, Monday, off.

So I'm thinking once a week I need to record my workouts to keep me honest.

and we will see, if I get to where it looks even close to feasibly without death involved I might just try it. Although there is something about swimming a mile in the James River that sets me back. I've never gone in that river without comming out with an ear infection... but anyway

Monday, June 1, 2009

Most Amazing Mom Award

goes to me. I'll find a cute graphic later.

I was at the pet store, Saturday I guess, and while buying nasty things to feed the lizards decided to ask about the Hognose snake sitting up there in my daughter's bedroom. It seems about 4 or 5 weeks ago it scared her and she hasn't picked it up since and I only knew because I noticed the cage needed cleaning... So I ask "How many of you are into reptiles?" All three Petsmart people look at me and say "I am." Good.

So here is the deal. My daughter is in the HERP club and I said she could bring home this snake over winter break. Only the teacher has been ill and needed surgery and rumor has it he is not returning to school and yes well, the snake is still in my house. And my daughter did fine with it until recently when it frightened her.

"So I know the bearded dragons need interaction or they will get depressed." I say, "does the Hognose care?"

"Well" Petsmart girl explains, "you need to handle it daily or it will start to protect it's cage and then you have a problem."

Oh great.

They ask how long we've had it. I explain. How long has it been since the snake has been handled? I explain.

"You need to do something NOW." They say. "If you don't have a problem yet you will soon."

Fabulous.

They tell me to use gloves, "just in case." {sales girl actually says, if it is biting it will bite the glove and not you" does she know how long it will take me to work with snakes again if it bites? Does she know I don't want to touch a "happy" "well adjusted" "likes people" snake let alone one that might bite???}

I return home with goodies for animals and then my daugter feeds the snake. We wait two days {Petsmart people say LEAVE SNAKE ALONE for 2 days after eating} and I don't have work gloves so I use oven mitts. Hognose isn't sure about that but allows me to pick it up. I carry it to the tub and my daughter has her feet bare and already in there. I place snake in tub with my daughter. It explores the tub and seems to like the warmth of my daughters feet.

After a few minutes she gets some of her bravery back and carries it to the terranium to put it away.

Do I have to do this again tomorrow?