Tuesday, May 29, 2007


Well, this past weekend was memorial day weekend; I planned to continue reading Flags of Our Fathers in honor of the holiday, but I didn't pick it up once. Excellent book, but I just can't read lately.

Friday we went with Maya's class to NW Trek for an all day field trip. Northwest Trek is a standard field trip for this area. Wayne and I have each gone a ton of times with the older kids and at least three times with Maya, but it is still fun. Gorgeous day. Maya was map obsessed the entire time. She had to have a map in hand at all times, and she was constantly trying to navigate us in circles (wonder where she gets that?).
Like her shades? I think she looks like a Pink Lady.

We had such a treat this weekend-- Maya stayed with my parents Friday and Saturday night. This doesn't happen often-- maybe twice a year-- and she loves it.

Friday we watched a Masters of Horror flick, and it was laaame. Sick Girl. I think my expectations were too high.

Saturday we went to Folklife with Brittani.

International Fountain:

Good food at Folklife. Wayne eats from The Horn of Africa It appeared to be worth the 45minute wait in line.

Brittani also spent a lot of time in line...waiting for a henna tattoo.
Over an hour.
Folklife is really about waiting in lines.

Worth the wait?

Oh, and in case you didn't know:

We met up with our friend Dryke and his daughter Laura, who is just over a year old. Renae, mother of Laura and spouse to Dryke and friend of mine, had to work. We missed her. It was a beautiful day and we had a lot of fun.

Wayne is forever banned from taking pictures. See why:

But Laura seems to like hip hop. Really. She does.

More pictures:

After Folklife, we took Brittani to dinner at Bahama Breeze. She'd never been there before; she really liked it.

Sunday was chill. We made a really nice dinner (manicotti, my Bradley spinach salad and Commander's garlic bread). Hot tub with maya, who was ultra clingy because she missed us.

Monday we spend hundreds of dollars on paint. Yes, paint. Behr was having a rebate sale thing, so we bought 10 gallons of interior paint and 5 gallons of sealant for our deck and fence. That was one spendy trip to Home Depot. BUT... my family room-kitchen will be painted. I also bought a qt. of dark brown paint for the wart of a mantle that we have for our fireplace. I also got paint for the girls' bathroom. Now we will only need to paint the formal living-dining areas and the upstairs hallway (need to pick colors!) and our bedroom, for which we have the paint but not the time to slap it on the walls.

I will be painting the downstairs mostly myself, I think, because Wayne is occupied with his numerous jobs for sometime to come.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

a song

I heard this song on XM the other day; I haven't heard it in for-ever. I went to the concert for this album when I was pregnant with Paige. i still have the concert tshirt somewhere, even though I only ever wore it as a nightshirt (and later my kids wore it for the same purpose).

Some songs, when you hear them, take you instantly back to a particular moment or phase in your life. I think I'll start posting songs/videos on occassion that do that for me. For some reason, when I heard this one the other day, I wanted to cry a little. I still do, actually.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

dude, I rock

My full time job is being a mom, which is a career choice that isn't largely respected. I am taken for granted, just as many moms are taken for granted by those close to them. I think my husband absolutely admires what I do for our family, and he is always quick to compliment me on what an awesome woman I am as well as a great mom and perfect wife :-) Not perfect like June Cleaver or her more contemporary example, Bree Van de Camp, but our family's loosely defined version of perfect.

It's really not all that often that I get positive feedback from the people around me about my job performance. I don't get annual reviews or raises (or paid, period); I don't earn incentives or financial bonuses. Sometimes it's difficult to tell if I am doing okay. The big review will be if my kids grow up to be contributing members of society who are happy and healthy in body, mind and soul. That review is a few years in my future.

My other job, which is very part-time, is as a Bradley Method Natural Childbirth Educator and Doula. I thoroughly enjoy it, and it allows me to have contact with young couples who are, most often, just beginning their families. They have a huge impact on me and my family just by being present in my home one night a week for twelve weeks. They spend about thirty hours learning how to give birth without unnecessary medications and interventions; they learn how to be positive and optimistic about childbirth, which is generally an event which is surrounded by negativity-- until the baby is finally in arms. Labor is simply seen as a horrible experience that only the foolish endure. They spend time focusing on this one short moment of time, which can have a huge effect on the lives of their babies.

Last week I was teaching class 6, which is all about 2nd and 3rd stages of labor. I was having a really off night, and two of my couples did not show up for class. It was just a weird night. I didn't feel as though I taught the material well, and I felt crappy about it all week long.

This Monday I was feeling very "on" again, even though the same two couples did not show up for class (ugh). I apologized to my class for the previous week's poorly taught class, and they all said they didn't notice I was at all off. I have a coach and mom pair in class who are mother and daughter. The mom used to teach Bradley in the 1970s into the 1980s, and she said I am the best Bradley teacher she has seen, and she has observed many teachers.

Her daughter insisted that she speaks highly of my teaching skills even when I am not around to hear it.

They really made my night. This is an interesting class because it is comprised of a former Bradley teacher and her daughter (the daughter's DH is at sea with the Navy), another Bradley teacher's daughter and her DH, two former classmates' referrals and one couple who have friends who took another ex-Bradley teacher's classes, but she's no longer teaching, so they are taking my class. Like, this a real "the pressure's on" kind of class. I have some new things I'm trying, and they seem receptive.

Oh, and the first birth from my previous class occurred kast week. One week ago. Waterbirth at the birthing inn in Tacoma with a midwife who has always been really great to my students. It's always a huge relief when my students choose her as their care provider (along with a handful of other LMs who I think totally rock).

Um, oh another reason I rock (this blog has taken me 4 days to compose): my awesome baking skills. I made caramel brownies using a recipe I found online. Delicious. Maya's Daisy troop decided to have a lemonade stand to earn money for their bridging ceremony. We made baked goods to sell with the lemonade. The girls earned at least $100. Amazing.

Now I am off to catch up on Heroes.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Mother's Day 2007

I had a great Mother's Day.

We had my mom and dad over for brunch; Wayne made croissant french toast, which is so delicious! He served it with sausage patties, vanilla yogurt with strawberries and strawberry puree. We also had mimosas. Yum.

Wayne bought calla lilies as a centerpiece, and my mom brought some pretty tulips that perfectly complemented the calla lilies.

My gift from Wayne and the kids is an awesome gas fire pit thingy.

They also bought the makings for s'mores. I love s'mores, and now I don't have to go camping to have an excuse to make them.

For dinner, we went to my aunt's house. We had a really nice time. My sister didn't show (so her kids weren't there), and neither of my cousins made an appearance either. I think my grandma, my mom and my aunt were a bit bummed. My aunt did get to spend the day with her granddaughter, though, and I guess they had a nice day. And of course, I had Paige and Maya with me (and Wayne, too), and my brother was there.

If my kids ever ditch for Mother's Day, I will not be a happy camper. Unless, of course, they are geographically unable to be with me. You know, like they can't afford to fly to Mexico to visit us at our villa. I always feel bad for Wayne and his mom; she lives in Louisiana, and both of her sons live in other states (South Carolina and Washington). Her mom passed away right between my MILs birthday and Mother's Day (5/5/02), so May is a really difficult month for my MIL.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

For Sale: Hi-5 Tickets!

I am selling three tickets that I bought for the Hi-5 show at The Moore Theater in Seattle on Saturday, August 11, 2007 at 4:00pm.
The seats are located Main Right/Row P1/Seats 4-6. I am selling them for face value + the service charges I paid for a total of $118.60.

If you are interested, contact me.

Friday, May 11, 2007

REVIEW: Flying Tomato--Graham

Wayne, Maya and I tried a new rstaurant tonight, so I decided to do a little review. I've never done a restaurant review before, so bear with me.

The restaurant is Flying Tomato and it located in Graham, which is a short hop from our house. Convenient, so they gain points just for location. Graham doesn't have much to offer in the way of good food, so I know lots of people who have been anticipating the opening of Flying Tomato.

We got there at about 6:45 or so, and we had about a 15 minute wait. My only complaint about the reception area is that I stood right at the desk for, oh, 4 minutes or so before anyone even acknowledged me, even though there were three employees there at any given time. A polite, "Hello, our hostess will be right with you" would have been wonderful.

The waiting area is crowded and chilly. Actually, the whole restaurant is quite cold, but that may be by design. We were quick to shovel our food and get out of there because I was freezing my ass off.

The decor is clean. Concrete floors and exposed ceilings, which also contributes to the chill. The colors are your typical colors seen in any Italian restaurant these days: reds, oranges, yellows. There are 6lb tomato cans all over, and they use those to set the pizza upon at your table. The tables are covered in red and white checked cloths with white butcher paper over top. Maya loves that because it gives her a huge canvas upon which to create her latest masterpiece. The crayons were a variety of colors, which is a nice change. At a lot of restaurants the kids get a cup (or an tomato paste can, in this case) which is filled with only green and blue crayons. Several of them. Is it so hard to give a kid a rainbow of color crayons?

The pizza is wood fired, which we love (The Rock is the best pizza around). There is also a good selection of entrees and salads and appetizers.

We ordered calimari, which was served with aioli. Love aioli. It was really good. It had the rings and the bodies. We like the bodies. The serving was smaller than what we get at other restaurants, but that was okay. One does not need to fill up on appetizer. It was just the three of us, so if we have the other two girls, we will definitely need to order two orders of calimari.

Our server, Aubrey, brought us bread after the appetizer. It was really good and tatsed freshly baked. It was cold; I think it would have been better heated up just a bit. It's served with garlic butter, which has chunks of garlic in it. It was really good.

Wayne ordered the Sicilian pizza ($13.99); I ordered the flying parm (chicken parm)($14.99); Maya ordered spaghetti with meat sauce.

Wayne said the pizza was awesome. Nice thin crust and the meats were good. he said the sauce was excellent. He said it was only missing the fresh basil that is apparently usually found on a Sicilian pizza.

My chicken parm was HUGE. It was easily two nights worth of dinner. The sauce was so good; it tasted like it was homemade. The chicken parm wasn't salty. A lot of Italian places have really salty chicken parm. I wish they had frshly grated parmesan to put on pasta, but they have good ol' Kraft that you shake out of a glass container.

Maya had spaghetti, which was a massive portion. Easily three meals for her. The same tasty sauce.

We were all very satisfied with our meal. I have no idea how much it cost, though, since Wayne picked up the bill. I'll add that info later.

We skipped dessert, but the choices were typical Italian restaurant fare. I don't know how much was house made and how much is brought in.

There is a bar. Yea! It's small, but it was busy. People in Puyallup/Graham must like to drink :-) Wayne ordered his usual: vodka martini, dirty on the rocks. He had two, and they were also huge. Sometimes they are served in glasses not much bigger than a shot glass, so the huge glasses were a surprise.

Our server was really nice. the restaurant has been open for two weeks, and she has been a waitress for exactly two weeks. She seemed a bit afraid of screwing up, but she was very competent and checked in with us a lot.

We will definitely be back, and I can't wait to try the pizza. The margherita is always a favorite of mine, but they have a Thai pizza that looks interesting. The lasagna takes two days to make, so it is probably really good; everyone knows that lasagna is better the second day.

Oh, and they do delivery!

Flying Tomato Italian Grill
(253) 875-0770


Friday, Friday, Friday.
Oh, how I love thee.
Sleeping in on Saturday,
I look forward to it
so expectantly.

yeah, I just made that up. I am so gifted.

Today was Muffins with Mom at Maya's kindergarten. It was wonderful. They made muffins for us and we had apple juice. They each made us a handprint tile, which turned out beautifully. The end of the morning, they performed "What a Wonderful World" for us singing and signing. It was so... adorable! All the moms were crying. Ugh. Tug, tug. That would be my heartstrings.

Can I say, I love Mother's Day.

This is the one day of the year where my kids all show appreciation for what I do, and they all do it at the same time. It's amazing. And Wayne, of course, is sure to make me feel quite doted upon.

It's also a time for me to really honor and respect my mom's and grandma's legacy of mothering. I'm fortunate to still have both my mom and grandma still here with me. I have friends who are not so fortunate, and Mother's Day now holds a bit of sadness for them.

And my mom and grandma are sane, which is a nice perk. Like, we don't have this crazy dysfunctional relationship that makes me cringe when I think of them, which I know is the type of relationship that some women have with their moms.

This year for Mother's Day, I invited my mom and dad over for brunch (croissant french toast, sausage, vanilla yogurt with strawberry sauce, and mimosas (or just plain ol' OJ); in the afternoon, we go to my aunt's house for Mom's Day Dinner.


Today Paige and I went to Oasis for coffee when she got home from school. It was really nice to just spend an hour chatting with her about stuff that doesn't lead to disagreement :-) No, we haven't been disagreeing lately. Sometimes we drive each other crazy, but since we started this new philosophy on parenting, life has been so much easier. We took the ever present power struggles away from our relationships with our kids. Have you ever thought of the difficulties you might have with your kids and how a power struggle is often at the very core of those difficulties. It's amazing how once you eliminate the power struggle, life becomes so much calmer. Again, I cannot encourage you enough to look into Positive Discipline. It has truly changed the dynamics within my family.

I think of all the spanking I used to do and the yelling and the pulling out of my hair and on and on and on, and it is so peaceful around here now. It was so easy to implement, too. The older kids think it's a pain in the ass sometimes, but they are sooo cooperative. We definitely have moments where lids are flipped but the difference is how we (Wayne and I) react.

Look for a class near you. You will not regret it. If you are in Pierce County, I know where you can take the whole series for only $10. Amazing!


Maya started swimming this week. She looks awesome. She was in level three when she stopped swimming last summer, but I backed her down to level 2 since she's been out of it for so ling. Level 3 kids have to swim the LENGTH of the pool, which is really hard when you are only 6 and haven't been swimming in 9-10 months.

She is in a class with 5 other kids and only 1 teacher. She gets very little swim time, so I think we may do private lessons again. It just sucks to have her sitting on the wall bobbing and kicking the whole time when I know she is capable of much more. She is the only kid in her class who doesn't need the teacher to keep his hand on her while she swims. I can't wait for them to start the crawl and back strokes. She's got a kick ass backstroke. Her crawl isn't bad either, but she needs to work on her side breathing.


Well, I am going to play Tile Tower on Webkinz now.

I'm listening to a really awesome podcast-- This American Life-- my all-time favorite NPR program. I love NPR. Anyway, Check it out, if you haven't already.

OH!OH!OH! I almost forgot: Wayne and I bought tickets for the Hi-5 show that is coming to town in August. Maya doesn't know yet. She will be ecstatic. Make sure the volume is up on your computer, if you click the Hi-5 link.

Monday, May 7, 2007

boggy uterus

I had my first pelvic/pap in years today. I think it's been two years. maybe three.
I went to a DO, and she is okay. She is not nearly as thorough in her care as the midwives I've seen inthe past. I think I need to go ahead and find a ND or go back to the midwife I saw years ago.

First of all, the room where I was examined was freaking freezing. Like, goosebumpy and nipply cold, which is so wrong. The exam room should be, at the very least, warm. She has Gardasil stuff all over the dang room. It's a bit much.

Although, she did use an actual cloth hospital gown instead of a paper gown and a cotton sheet as the lap cover instead of a paper sheet. Not quite as nice as the fluffy warmed towels that the midwife uses for her pelvic exams, but better than paper.

The Dr says I have a boggy uterus, and she wants me to have a transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound. I've never had a transvag u/s and hoped to get through my life without one. I have a history of fibroids that are just there with no real effect, but she thinks that may be what is causing my werid periods.

I told Wayne that I am at that useless uterus age, which means that I am done having children, so why not just have the damn uterus taken out. The uterus becomes a disposable organ, but that is not how I see it at all. I like having my uterus, even if it is a bit erratic.

I have to admit that I am suspicious of any Dr who only spends 5-10 minutes examining me. I didn't make the appt for the u/s yet. I am on the fence about it. I might not get it done; sometimes more information isn't the best thing.

I have to clean the house now. Class tonight.