Monday, April 30, 2007

First Reader

My mom found this book First Reader by Phyllis Schlafly at the Goodwill. WHAT A STEAL. It's a $60 book! Sheesh, she paid a dollar. Maybe.

Anyway, I was searching Amazon and EBay for the workbook, no luck.

Its quite the book, takes kids through the paces of learning to read. By the time they make it through all 160 pages they have learned to read words like "completely, kangaroo, seventy, candidate and woodpecker".

I like how it is arranged, how it builds upon itself. Anyway, an Amazon search revealed a little more about the author (and what people think of her.) YIKES! Good thing I like to know for myself, I might not have given her a chance!

Apple Blossom "little weekend" was great! Can't wait to share a story or two. In fact there are exactly two I want to share and a bit of gossip (about me!) But it will have to wait until a more sober state. We are trying this new whisky... mmmmm. If I weren't so lazy, I might be an alcoholic. Truly. I LIKE the taste of most liquor. But once it is gone, its such a hassle to replace.

Friday, April 27, 2007


Lately Bubba is cracking me up with his awareness of things.

For example, we were outside a few nights ago, he and his grandpa had made a ramp for him to ride his bike over. I asked him how it worked and he says to me (with just enough sass that I know it came from Nickelodeon) "Watch. And. Learn." (On second thought, I am sure the sass is hereditary. No teaching needed.)

Today he was rolling a ball down the banister of the stairway. I mentioned it was rolling pretty far once it hit the ground. "Yeah, its going to the chop shop."

"Whats a chop shop?" I asked him

"It's where you chop it up melt it down and turn it into something else." He got that from the movie Robots. I sure am glad I don't have to teach him this stuff, that TV and movies are educating my son.

And his sense of smell has improved. When we got to the fat fest in the park yesterday, he stopped, took a deep breath, and said something like "mmmmm, it smells goooood here." That's my boy, he knows the good smells!

Each day during the Festival there is entertainment at Memorial Park (home of the fat fest) during the lunch and dinner hours. Yesterday was the kick off to the Festival and the entertainment at lunch was awarding local kids "Chief For A Day."

Each law enforcement agency, including the Sheriff offices, Wildlife, State Patrol and Police departments recognize a grade school kid as Chief. It always a neat event that chokes me up. I don't know exactly how the kids are chosen, but they all have some kind of disability or terminal illness. Local law enforcement take them for a ride in their police cars with lights and sirens through town and then do a presentation at the park. Each Chief recognizes their little chief (or "jefe" for the Hispanic community) and shares a little about the kids with the crowd.

As the Judge was swearing-in the kids she says to them "Kids I want you all to raise your right hands." Bubba puts both hands out in front of him, picks his right hand and raised it with the kids. It was priceless.

For my justification: we did sit and read for 15 minutes once this week and as we speak he is practicing writing vowels (yes he does know them) in lower case 4 times each.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

(Nearly) 100 things about me

My (nearly) 100

I must know for myself
I will go to the source of information if I feel it’s important
I don’t like to be told what to do
Or how to do it

I feel like I should explain things all the time
I am the best excuse maker

I am introspective
I am thoughtful
I can come up with advice for any occasion
I remember birthdays but seldom call or send a card
I used to remember special occasions and act on them once upon a time

I am initially quiet in a new group. Not because I am a snob, because I am observing
Once I get to know you, watch out!
I am resourceful

I enjoy religious stuff

Interestingly I have never found the need to question it (see #1)
I am sometimes judgmental
I hope I give everyone a fair chance
I find myself sometimes unable to express myself

Motherhood is the toughest job I have ever had
It is the most rewarding job I have ever had
It is both these things at the same time. A lot

I never did sports in school
I wanted to
I taught aerobics in my 20’s
I miss teaching aerobics
I miss being in shape
I trained for a triathlon
I broke my collarbone in a biking accident 6 weeks before the race
I would like to teach and train again

I am the oldest of 4
My youngest sister is 21 years younger than I am
She was born the year I got married
We celebrate 15 years this year

I am easily distracted
I start most stories with “So …”

Wow this is as hard as I thought it would be
I may have to come back to it later

I tend to obsess
About everything
I over think
But seldom over react

I am fairly mechanically inclined
If I set my mind to it

I lack discipline
I don’t apply myself
I have heard these things since I was 5 years old
They are true

(I came back to this later)

I am a copy cat
But not given to peer pressure
If I like someone else’s idea I will try it on for myself and decide if I like it
I give credit where credit is due

(this is the third time I have tried to complete my 100)

I am easily entertained
I don’t care to go to movies, if we are going to send some time together, lets spend time TOGETHER

I love to eat out
Someone serving me, cleaning up, just making sure I am taken care of, bring it on!
I am polite and tip well

I don’t care to clean but I like things tidy
I have a girl that cleans for me

(fourth try)
I don’t think of myself as pretty, but I catch people looking at me often
Unless I am dressed frumpy
Then I get treated a lot different

Finding out about someone’s past trauma rarely surprises me
I seem to know things about people before they tell me
It is sometimes a burden, I can tell someone needs to talk but I don’t know how to draw them out

I am mostly insecure
I struggle with being to selfish
I know myself pretty well
I am open to self exploration to get to know me better

I have a lot of great ideas
I don’t know how to express them well or see them through

I am easily disappointed
I keep my expectations low
I learned this early in life

There you go. Thats nearly 100 things about me.
(It took me nearly 3 months)

Now, can anyone tell me how to put it in the side bar? Or in my profile?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


We went to the park yesterday. What fun we had! It was at probably high 70's, clear blue sky, no wind. Ahhh. Both the kids soaked themselves in the river which might be 40 degrees right now. Bubba waded, well you can see how deep and played in the rocks with a little girl he met at the park. Punkin head decided she was not afraid of the water and crawled right on in. It was a funny experience for me. Bubba was this little fraidy cat of everything, and here was Punkin Head going balls to the wall to find out about it. They are so different!

We went to the play area after the water and I realized, for the second time this week, how far behind (physically) Punkin Head really is. Twice this week people have guessed her to be 8-10 months old because she still has a cute, fat baby face. Not to mention the lady who guessed her to be 10 months old had a kid born just days before Punkin Head who was running all over playing. (sigh.) I try not to worry, I really do, and I think I do a good job of not getting defensive about her, but alright, already . . .

So the best part of the park was that My Honey went with us. As I was getting ready to pick up Bubba from school, I almost called and invited him to come along but I thought that would be just mean "hey, wanna skip work and go to the park?" As if. On our way to school he called me to see what we were doing, I told him we were on the way to get Bubba. "Oh, I thought you might want to visit me at work." So I told him we could, but we were going to the park first, "do you want to come?" I teased, because the last thing he would do is leave work in the middle of the day. "Sure, I will be there at 3." And he was. It was a fun treat.

p.s. Happy 100th post to me. Its nice that Blogger tracks these things, I would never have known. To celebrate, I will finally post "nearly 100 things about me." Its been a work in progress. I think I only have 70-something.

Monday, April 23, 2007

That time of year again

Apple Blossom is here. I can't wait for the fat fest in the park, it starts Thursday. Its the greasiest food ever all in one place for 10 delicious days. Funnel cakes, elephant ears, corn dogs, Piroshky's, you name it, it will be here Thursday. Then the Kids Parade on Saturday. I asked Bubba a month back if he wanted to be in the parade. He told me no, he wanted to watch it. A few days later he told me he changed his mind he wanted to be in the parade, so I signed him up. A week or so after that we have the following conversation on our way to school:

B: Mom, I've been thinking
M: Yeah, Bubba, about what?
B: I've been thinking I don't want you to ride on the float with me.
M: (after I take a deep, deep breath and wipe away a tear) Really? So you want me to walk beside he float?
B: No Mom, I want to do it alone.

M: (nearly hyperventilating) Alright, you mean you want me to watch you go by? Not sit with you or walk along?
B: Yep.

AS IF. Little does he know I will be there every step of the way.
I know, I know, he's getting older, I should let him grow up. But not this year. He's still my Little Bubba. Maybe next year.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Its a wrap

The rest of the week was just as nice as Wednesday.
Friday a massage
Saturday's baby shower: good event. Not the great success I wanted it to be, but it was good. We had tried to get a masseuse hired to do a chair massage for everyone, and it didn't work out. But the rest of the thing was good.

  • Here's an interesting side note of my life: I called 3 people to do the chair massage . . . I actually talked to them, in person, it wasn't like I left a message. All of them said they would get back to me, only one did. All of them are people I know and see on a regular basis, not just a business I called out of the blue. I get really bummed about myself when these things happen. And I kid you not, this kind of thing happens ALL THE TIME. It always has . . .

Sunday small group at our house.
I did kind of loose my mind on Sunday evening. I didn't eat the best lunch (cheese & popcorn with a diet coke chaser) and then gorged on the cheesecake brownies I baked for group. Yeah, that's not enough good calories for me. So I was a screaming, impatient mess. I stopped myself and counted to 10 many, many times.

(It's Monday now) I did remember to at a healthier lunch today; salad, ham & cheese sandwich. Hopefully I will have a better afternoon today. Maybe we will plant a garden. I have been toying with it. Radishes, lettuce, cucumbers. Like last year. Only this year will I actually work in it or not??

Have I mentioned that me and My Honey are leaving town for a long weekend in less than 2 weeks? I am so looking forward to it. 3 nights away. Me, Him, the beach and a one bedroom cottage. Could there be anything better? Not that I can think of. Well, okay, if it were at an exotic location with white sand and 90 degrees, that would be better. But I will take what I can get so, San Juan Islands it is.

Thursday, April 19, 2007


Yesterday was a great day.

I made it out the door in time for Bible study. Had lunch in the park with a group of ladies after dropping Bubba off at pre-school, went to work (where I was bored, bored, bored) and then home to bed. It was nice to get back into a Wednesday routine.

Today I am working on the crepes for the baby shower Saturday, will take Bubba to pre-school, maybe eat in the park again because it was so nice yesterday, go to work where I will hopefully get to do something (Wednesdays we are dreadfully overstaffed) and then home. Not a bad day either.

At the Chiropractor office on Tuesday we read The Giving Tree in the waiting room. That book chokes me up every time. I think its fear. Fear that I will end up like the tree. Or the boy. I am not sure. Sometimes I feel like the tree: I wish that someone would just like me for me, not for what I can do for them. Sometimes I feel like the boy: Have I liked people for what they can do, not who they are? I think finding the balance is hard. (Yeah I am in kind of a deep place today.)

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The're baaaack

So what did I get accomplished while the family was away? NOTHING
No laundry was washed, dried, or put away.
No dishes washed (not that there were any, I took my meals at work)
Nothing was picked up (again, nothing to pick up, it was just me)
No cleaning.
No nothing.
Best of all no guilt.

So I have spent the last two days cleaning up the whirlwind that is my family returning from a few days away. Someone sent a bag of doll stuff, we now have more Barbie in our house than I EVER had when I was a kid. Of course there was laundry, snacks to put away, and, oh yeah, I am supposed to assist with a baby shower Saturday. Which means I have food to prepare, gifts to purchase, games to come up with and lists to make. Lists and lists.

I do have one great story to tell about a midnight noise I heard in my house while they were gone, but I will need a few free minutes and no baby shower stuff bouncing inside my head.
Has anyone ever made a diaper cake before? I am going to give it my best try. Wish me luck.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Alone Sat pm

It's still very quiet at my house. The only noise right now is the refrigerator humming and the dog biting her nails. Yes, our dog bites her nails. Probably because we don't walk her. How inhumane I know. I am just not an animal lover, I tolerate them.

Theres a story: How We Got Our Dog.
I worked at the YMCA for several years. My boss was looking for a dog for her mother. She found one for free in the paper, had the owner bring her by the Y so she could take a look. The dog ended up being too big for her mom, she was looking for a "lap dog." But, for some reason, I thought the dog should go home with me. I called My Honey, asked him what he thought, and then brought the dog home anyway. Naughty me.

Luckily, Rudy has been a great dog. She doesn't mind being home alone, she doesn't need a lot of attention and she is good with the kids. She does dig in the yard, bark at strange people and tear up my garden. But for some reason, we keep her. Earlier this week she got out when I took out the trash and when she came back she smelled really bad. I thought it would go away, like she stepped in something. Turned out she rubbed herself in some other dog's shit. Nice Rudy. So I had to give her a bath.

She isn't a big dog, just 40 pounds or so, but I don't like giving her a bath. Unfortunately, I had no choice. Not only did I have to give her a bath, I had to do it with both kids home and awake. Bubba was occupied by the TV, but Punkin Head had to be entertained while I was bathing the dog. I am quite the Super Mom.

My Honey called tonight while I was at work, it was slow enough I could talk for awhile. They are having a good time. The kids have been good, the party for Great-Grandma was nice. She is getting pretty frail though. He took a bunch of pictures, I can't wait to see them.

(I did end up going to my Auntie's house. She and I went out to breakfast. When I dropped her off after breakfast, hot guy was going out to his rig.)

Alone Sat am

Its 9:30.
I woke up, then lay in bed day dreaming in the quiet for a couple hours.

Now I have a few more hours to kill before work. I think I will shower, then treat myself to some kind of delicious breakfast that someone else makes, serves me and then cleans up! Biscuits, hash browns & gravy anyone? Or maybe some kind of crepes? Maybe, just maybe, I will see if my Auntie wants to go with me, probably not, I am kind of liking the alone-ness.
Although, there is this hot guy that lives in her building. . .

Friday, April 13, 2007


The whole fam-damily is leaving town today.

My Honey is taking the kids to my dads for the night. On Saturday they are going to his grandmas 90th birthday party (at least that's how old they think she is) then back to my dads for the night and home on Sunday.

I can't go because of work. Too short of notice to get the weekend off, so I get to be alone in our house.

I don't think I have had the pleasure in the 4 years we have lived here to be totally alone overnight except maybe once. Ahhhh. The quiet, the clean (thanks to my Girl Thursday).

Can you imagine?
What will I do with myself?
I don't know either.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Found Objects

Bubba, Punkin Head and I were in the yard the other day. Bubba wanted to go in the house to get some glue "so I can glue the grass." Alright. So there he was gluing the grass - literally, holding the big bottle of Elmer's above the grass, gluing the grass. I suggested we might like to glue things to paper instead. These are what we came up with. (The top one is his, the bottom one is mine).

In their hands

Well, unless it goes to arbitration, I am done with this seniority thing. I presented my case to the board in an executive session yesterday. They deliberated for 45 minutes, invited me back in and told me that they were deferring their decision until they could meet with the guild for some negotiation.

I think in plain English that it means they see my point and want to try to work something out so I don't lose 21 months of seniority. What it means is that the guild doesn't win! Yay me!! One of the Board members told me "you won your argument" the Director told me I did a nice job, very professional, unemotional, straightforward etc. And other staff said they heard from the director what a great job I did.

All I can says is "whew" I am glad its over (for now) and that I kept on keeping on. Not getting bullied by the guild. You know, that organization that isn't supposed to discriminate against employees, yeah that one. (okay, oops, I got sarcastic)

Yay me. Now I just have to sit tight and wait for the Board to do what ever it is they will do.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

What now?

First things first:
It is national Telecommunicator Week. What is that you ask? Glad you asked! It's kind of like national Grandparents Day; a reason to thank and celebrate telecommunicators. What is a Telecommunicator you ask? Your local police department, sheriffs office and state or highway patrol have them, we are mostly known as Dispatchers. If you can, send a note to thank your local dispatchers for all their hard work round the clock. They deserve it. I took my son to our office yesterday, he gave a sticker to everyone working and said "thanks for being a good dispatcher" it was really cute.

My disposition didn't improve any after a nap or better food (you were right on Seeker). I continued to be Mrs. Cranky Pants all weekend. We made it through, but it wasn't our best weekend ever.

The kids continue to be sick. Runny nose and stuff like that. I think they have some mild allergies, everything is in bloom around here but it's getting old wiping runny noses. Not to mention the consistency of baby snot. Its like rubber cement. And it just keeps coming out her nose.

My Honey:
My Honey was also sick this past week. It started with some back pain and then worked its way into indigestion. For most relatively healthy 39 year olds it wouldn't raise red flags, but My Honey had a heart attack 2 years and a week ago. His main symptom? BACK PAIN. He was not your classic heart attack in many ways; 37 years old, no chest pain, no difficulty breathing. So we have watched his back pain all week and then throw nausea/indigestion on top of it and we were both a little stressed. So we visited the ER last night. 2 1/2 hours later we left with a prescription for a pretty heavy duty pain killer and the relief that his heart continues to work fine. We decided it would be really convenient if there was an EKG machine at Safeway like the blood pressure machines so we could just drive down and check his rhythms. Not likely to happen any time soon is it?

I am still in the midst of this seniority battle with the employee guild at work. I have to present my case to the Board of Directors tomorrow. *deep breath* It probably won't get me the 21 months back, but at least I followed through and didn't let them bully me.

Saturday, April 07, 2007


I don't know what is wrong with me but nothing, NOTHING, is making me feel good today. Not even robbing my kids' Ester basket and eating the chocolate crunch eggs. I am finding myself irritated with everything.

I was a good wife and mother today. I gave up MY massage to My Honey so he could get his shoulder worked on (yeah, I know I am the BEST WIFE EVER.) I even let him go golfing. ("Let him go" is really not what I mean, but you know...) I took the kids to an Easter egg hunt, I am trying to be nice to everyone but its just not in me today.

Bubba sitting at the table for the past 45 minutes trying to eat lunch while he sings away is BOTHERING ME. I finally set a timer for 15 minutes. "Eat by the time this goes off or you don't get any of your candy." He almost got it eaten, so I let him have the candy because I have been so mean to him today. Heaven help me. And now he is SHARING HIS CANDY with me. I am such a bad mom. I don't deserve this. Then he gave me the last one, a green one, "because its one of your favorite colors." Isn't he a gem? I don't deserve him.

It may be the transition to working nights again. Not seeing the family. Its a tough one. Its not like I haven't been here before. It used to be my favorite shift; go in at 1 pm and get off at 11 pm. Its busy at work, I get to see the kids in the morning but I miss My Honey. I guess I miss the team work of childcare. Its a tough job alone. I don't know how the single moms with more than one kid do it.

I don't know, we are going to go take a nap. Maybe in an hour I will feel better?

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

New Specs

Okay, so maybe they aren't "trendy" just plain ol specs with a little color.


I was pretty accurate, Bubba lasted about 5 minutes into the baseball game. I lasted 3 innings. I think it was all the advertising at the beginning. The start time for the game was 3:35 the first pitch didn't get thrown until at least 3:45. And I have no idea how it ended. (Seattle 4, Oakland 0). They have a great young pitcher, Felix Hernandez. WOW.

So after all my annual check ups last month everything is fine. I also got my eyes checked for the first time in several many years. I started to have them checked after I started to work on computers a lot. I have not needed glasses until this year. Its only for when I read and use the computer (so far). It seems like its about time. The whole family wears glasses, from grandparents on down to my siblings. Not me. Until now. So I picked out some kind of trendy frames (I think) and they are in today.

Sometimes I am so amazed that people actually read blogs. At times I feel like all I am doing is blathering on like a fool about stuff that, well its really not that interesting is it? But some of you keep coming back. Thanks!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Free Time

I don't quite know what to do? (Cut my fingernails, I had 17 typo's in just the first 5 words)
Bubba is at a friends house, Punkin Head is sleeping, I have FREE TIME.

There's always laundry, cleaning, eating. Yeah, eating. That sounds good I didn't have breakfast. But what else? I read all the blogs I love, I could surf for other things.

If I had planned better, I would have had a babysitter here when Bubba was gone so I could leave. Oh well, it's still QUIET. Except the dog snoring in the sun. I wish it were warm enough to snore in the sun outside, but for some reason we are in the midst of a cold front and there goes spring for a few days.

Bubba found a baseball cap in his room yesterday. He has several but hardly wears them so when he came downstairs wearing his Mariners cap it was really cute. Not only that, it was near opening day of the season, which he had no clue about. So I told him he had made a good choice in caps, baseball season starts tomorrow and the Mariners will be playing. "I want to go to the game" he tells me. I wish I had thought of it, that would have been a fun spring break activity. Instead we're going to watch it on TV. For the 10 minutes he's interested anyway. I hope I can answer his questions about batting, running, pitching, rules and all that. I never watched baseball (or any other sports stuff) until I was married and then I just learned the rules by accident. I have no idea about strategy though. How do you teach that stuff if you don't know or understand it?? Leave it to the men.

Punkin Head is making progress toward walking. Slowly but surely. She is already "late" but not where there is any concern. Give it 6 weeks (she'll be 18 months) and then they may start to test her to make sure she is okay. Her progress gives me hope though. She is actually pulling herself up to standing now (huge progress from sitting on her butt holding her arms up and saying "uuuuuuuhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!" in baby-whine.) And she can side step if she chooses. She isn't standing without holding onto something yet, she doesn't seem to have figured out balance, so we shall see.

I taught her to say "help" in sign language last week. This is helping with the baby-whine. Her other sign language words include please, more and all done. Her word-words are coming along. She has been saying "whoo-zat?" (who's that) when I walk into her room in the mornings. She will also point to her nose and say "wha-zis?" (whats this) which is pretty cute. She can say nose, dad, Harry, dog, Rudy, woof-woof, bye bye, bottle and hello (as she holds her hand to her cheek like she is answering the phone). She can identify her belly, nose, ears, eyes, toes and mouth. I think she's pretty smart. She just doesn't walk.

I turned down the supervisor position at the end of January and have been fighting with the employee guild ever since for seniority. What a PITA. The last thing I can do is plead my case before the Board. I am on the agenda for the April meeting.