Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Disabled for a Day!


Harrison spent the entire day today in a wheelchair. No, not because he was injured, but because he was participating in a class study of what it's like to be disabled. Another boy spent the day on crutches, another one in an arm sling, and yet another was blindfolded during lunch. Harrison's biggest challenge was maneuvering the wheelchair through the door to go to the bathroom. His teacher purposely failed to mention that the wheelchair had brakes, so each time he pushed the door open, the wheelchair pushed back. Finally, after he experienced the frustration of doing this, the teacher showed him how to use the brakes and he was able to push the door open and get to the bathroom. What a cool teacher and cool curriculum! Harrison loved it and can't wait to be on crutches and have his arm in a sling. Over the next two weeks all the kids will get to experience all the disabilities. Harrison is in an integrated classroom, meaning that about six of the kids in his class have special needs, so this was a great lesson to incorporate. Here he is in the wheelchair!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Happy Spring!


This pretty photo was taken by Jeff of a tulip in our front yard! I thought it was worth sharing!

Fun on the Beach!
















We played on the beach on Sunday before leaving.........

Makeovers
















Who takes their makeup to the beach? Hayley does! Here are the results of her makeovers....

Tattoos!
















I don't know what possessed me but I decided to draw a tattoo on Jeff's calf while we were camping (my sister Monica always said he needed a "big, fatty tattoo on his huge calf"). I drew a sun with Grayland '09 and Life is Good on it. Well, that took off from there and Hayley added a beer bottle with "Beer is Goooood" on it, then proceeded to draw tattoos on all the kids, and her own foot. I was the only one who escaped the Sharpie marker! Now we'll see how long these take to wear off!

Clams and Such
















We spent this past weekend in a yurt at Grayland State Park again, clamming, hanging out, reading, getting makeovers and tattoos (!) and having a fabulous dinner out. We packed a bit hastily for the trip, so I was planning on gourmet meals like peanut butter and jelly, but Jeff got a few beers in him and decided to take us out. We chose Bennett's because it looked like a family restaurant. I was expecting maybe chicken strips and fries, some burgers and a few pasta dishes. But nooooo...........once the specials were read, the kids fired off their orders and NONE of them ordered off the "kid" menu. Arlie downed a New York steak like a grown man. Harrison delighted over the halibut special - complete with fresh asparagus, Dungeness crab and shrimp. Hayley got the New York special, smothered with asparagus, crab and hollandaise sauce (Jeff did the same). Hannah got her coveted fish and chips and I went with seafood fettucini ("heart attack on a plate" Jeff calls it and advised me "you should never eat this dish after age 40"). I couldn't believe with what relish the kids finished off their dinners. It made the bill worth it (which was not as bad as expected). We passed the time on Saturday reading (me and Jeff), doing makeovers (Hayley with anyone who was willing - of course she brought her entire collection of makeup camping!), and drawing "tattoos" on each other (with a Sharpie marker). I got through almost half of the book I started that morning, which was delightful! On Sunday morning Jeff and I headed out early for some clamming. This was my first time going (who wants to get up early on a weekend to get cold, wet and sandy?). I walked along, helping him find the "holes" where the clams were hiding, and holding a bucket. He dug 30 clams (our limit) and then we headed back so he could collect the kids and get 30 more clams (their limits!). We did get 60 clams total which Jeff might have regretted a bit later, as it took him a few hours to clean them all! But the weather was good and we had a nice time just taking a break for the weekend. I'll post photos in this and a couple of other posts, as I can't upload more than 4 or 5 photos at a time on blogger (lame!).

Friday, April 24, 2009

Fly Like an Eagle!




Saw this eagle today at work....wow.....too bad the pictures don't do it justice!

Things you shouldn't wear after age 40.......

Not that I'm in any way qualified to dispense fashion advice, but the change in weather has prompted me to notice some fashion faux pas (how do you pluralize "faux pas"? And what does it mean anyway?) and I felt compelled to comment.

- Neon, Day-Glo, and otherwise flourescent clothing - remember circa 1981 when all things flourescent were the rage? Yeah. That was 1981. I saw a 40 something woman in a coffee shop this week with a neon pink sweater on. Not hot pink. Not bright pink or even magenta. The kind of pink that assaults the eyes and imparts a headache. Definitely a fashion don't!

- Capris with shoes and socks. Now, this is adorable on a little girl. Their little stick-skinny legs ending in scrunchy socks and white Keds is endearing. But on a 40 something woman, those legs are inclined to look like two canned hams. The socks only serve to squinch in the ankles making the calves balloon. Instead, choose some tasteful flats.

- Pigtails. Unless you are going to or leaving from a yoga class (and the occasional foray out to a Starbucks or other coffee shop after, where people understand that you just came from yoga), skip the pigtails. They are not adorable on you (or me).

- Anything with writing on the butt. I know your butt is pink, I don't need your sweats to tell me that. And if I have to read "Hottie" in two words - as in "Hot" and "tie" because your butt cheeks are spreading the word apart, you're just too old and fat to wear sweats with butt lit.

- Jeans that show your butt crack. Or your undies. Or, worse, your thong! Besides, if you're over 40 chances are you need a little tummy control which can't be provided by low slung jeans.

- And lastly, it's all about the underwear. Anything that tightens, smooths, lifts, or contours in just the right places is worth it. Same with swimsuits. If you have to spend $100 on a swimsuit that makes you look a little less like a beached whale and a little more like a goddess, then so be it.

And that, my friends, is my fashion advice for today. Thank you for listening. :)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Between 1 and 5

I just hate it when you are waiting for a delivery and are told your "window" is from 1-5 p.m. What the hell is that? I'd like that job, thank you. "Mom, can you help me with my homework?" "Sure, honey, I'll be around between 1 and 5 to help you answer those questions!" Like I have all day to just sit around and wait for a very large and sweaty delivery man to drop an enormous box containing my treadmill (on top of a pallet, thank you very much for that piece of crap that I now have to burn). He didn't speak, only grunted "sign at the bottom" while sweat beads rolled down his cheeks. I took pity on him and offered up two water bottles, which he gratefully accepted. Oh, and the time? 4:45 p.m. Of course.

So, now we have this treadmill and our original plan was to put it in the garage. Until the instructions specifically said to keep it indoors and away from dust and dirt (well, hell, in my house there is dust and dirt INSIDE as well!) So, now we have this HUGE chunk of metal standing rather prominently in the family room. Obscuring the view of the room, which, in most cases wouldn't bother me (who wants to see old socks and empty DVD cases anyway?) but this thing is just so THERE! Very obvious and unsightly. We even had to move the recliner out of the room and since there's no other place to put it, we'll probably have to give it away! Not that this breaks my heart too much. I despise that recliner (and the matching black leather couch - SO "bachelor").

We decided an alternate plan would be to put it in the dining room (literally the ONLY other place in the house with enough space for this behemoth). However, after huffing and puffing to carry it inside and put it together, Jeff is about to explode (and I use that term literally, as his hernias are giving him fits after all that lifting!) so any moving of the treadmill won't happen soon. Also, we can't use it until we get some type of surge thing-a-ma-bob for the outlet. LAME!! I really hope we can get it up and running soon (and in a better place!) so it doesn't become yet another place to hang clothes, as many pieces of exercise equipment are doomed to be!

Ah well, I didn't feel much like running tonight anyway............

Spring in the Backyard!




Yes, it's officially spring here in Seattle. See?

Daddy and Me and a Tree


I just liked this photo - and it really shows how big Arlie is getting next to her daddy!

Tulip Trip - Part 3














Tulips and a big tree!

Tulip Trip - Part 2
















So, we finally found some tulips, after we spent most of our time at the street fair (Jeff's own version of hell!) Here are some of them...........

Tulip Trip - Part 1







Yesterday we had big plans - drive to the Tulip Festival in Skagit Valley and ride our bikes through fields carpeted with beautiful tulips, daffodils and lilies, then walk around the street fair and look at local wares. Well, that was the plan anyway. We drove up there (a little over an hour's drive) and drove, and drove, and drove, but alas, very few tulips were to be found! Mainly daffodils and only a smattering of tulips. We tried to find a place to pull over and park the car, so we could start our bike ride, but never really found a place. Plus, we argued a lot over which turns to take, etc. So, the only interesting thing that really caught my eye was a blue heron hiding in the grass, which I got out of the car to photograph (and promptly scared him away so my pictures didn't turn out so great). But here are the first photos of the day.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Is there really any other way to take it?


Jeff was just going through his mail on his desk and said (looking at a magazine) "Oh, look here's an article about obesity drugs! Do you want to read it and learn something?" I mean, really? How else should I have taken that (how did I take it you may ask? By being offended and hurt because 1. I know I'm overweight, and 2. He's usually much more supportive than that)? He said "you took it the wrong way" but I'm not seeing any other way to take that. I guess it's time to look into bulimia or perhaps a nice bout of anorexia would suit me? Geesh, he's not exactly going to make the cover of Men's Health anytime soon. I recently read an article that said overweight women have more sex. And I'm thinking, really? And why? Maybe because they already know they are overweight so they just focus on being themselves instead of obsessing over every cellulite dimple? And those guys who always say "Oh, sure she's gained a few pounds, but I don't pay attention to that - I love my wife no matter what she weighs." Really? Do they? Maybe, but is it like you love your grandma even though she has an ample butt and wears flour sack frocks over her lumps and bumps? Or do they really love their wives in a husbandly kind of way, as in, my wife is someone I'm proud to be with? I have gained a lot of weight over the past three years, partly due to poor eating and exercise habits and the emotional eating wrought by a painful divorce, but mostly due to antianxiety medication that caused me to pile on the pounds, even though I was stepping up my exercise and eating healthier. Am I doing everything I can to lose weight? No. I'm not on a diet program, I visit Starbucks a couple times a week and indulge in a pastry, sometimes I eat more than one chocolate chip cookie. But I try to exercise regularly and I know I need to lose weight and I'm trying. It's not easy, as anyone who has tried to lose weight knows. It's a struggle, made even harder by bad genes (my whole family is overweight!) Seems everywhere you turn, everyone is trying to lose a few (or many) pounds, and it's hard! I WANT to be fit and healthy, and at a nice weight where my clothes fit comfortably. I'm not obsessed with being a certain weight or a certain size. I just want to feel strong and healthy. And most of the time I do. But what I don't need is a reminder from my husband that I'm fat. Or pressure to take drugs or have surgery to remedy that situation. Geesh..........

Countrified Girls!











Hannah and Arlie dressed up as country girls, posing for some bubble pictures (I was practicing with my camera, trying to get some cool shots, which ended up being mostly funny shots!)

Hoedown Throwdown!











Hannah and Arlie doing the Hoedown Throwdown from the new Hannah Montana movie (which neither of them have seen yet, but lo, the power of the internet!)

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Random musings............

Heard outside my window just now: "And the body was decomposing.........". Hmmm....not what you'd expect to year when your 10 year old is playing outside. Except that said 10 year old is totally obsessed with "24" which is a completely inappropriate show for someone his age, but tell that to his dad.

Why am I the only one who picks up candy wrappers off the floor or pulls the rug straight after the dogs mess it up running into the house like the crazed maniacs they are? I have actually conducted some (not scientific) experiments. Rug askew? Two full days before I straightened it. Candy wrapper on floor? Four days till I picked it up. Someone (Jeff) put an empty garbage bag box on the floor, supposedly to take out to the recycle bin. But no, I tripped over it twice and stubbed my toe on it once before walking it out to the recycle bin. Earlier, I told the kids to make the dogs shut up. This involved yelling only (not the actual use of any limbs). Harrison said "I'm busy" Seriously? No wonder I'm so tired.

Hayley just popped her head in my room and said "do you happen to have a spare copy of 'A Tale of Two Cities' laying around in here?" I mean, to her credit, I WAS an English major, but really? It's not like I keep classics "just in case". Then she said she needed it tomorrow. Hmmm....not my problem. I already did tenth grade.

Shade barks his stupid head off constantly, even on a nice day when it's sunny. Jeff yells at him and says he is going to kill him but he never does. Promises, promises.

Jeff doesn't even know what grade his kid is in. Men are so lame like that!

Ok, that's all for now.

Monday, April 13, 2009