Monday, December 29, 2008
I am now totally envious of the teaching space the teacher uses--it looks like an office, and has great Birth Atlas pictures adorning the walls. Oh, if I had a designated teaching space, I would have cervixes and uteruses (have no idea if that is the corecct plural usage) all over the walls...well, pictures of them, anyway.
The Bradley teacher is even talking about the antibiotic benefit of semen (intravaginally only, as far as I know)...and the prostaglandins. Yes! On national TV. Thank you.
Oh no. Baby is transverse; no surprise with her contraction pattern (3, 5, 7 & 10 mins part--sporadically) You know what that mean? Cesarean. 3 cesareans out of 18 births. Is that about a 16% cesarean rate?
Oy, when she's post-op, she is so shaky; post-surgery is no fun, for sure. They decided on the name Jordyn-Grace Makiya.
Gosh, I wonder if they'll have anymore kids. She's 42 now.
I guess we'll see, but I figure they can't be all that crazy if they take Bradley classes.
And yea for some Bradley publicity!
Friday, December 26, 2008
every other year.
Even numbered years are always weird for us at Christmastime because we only get the older two girls on odd numbered years.
This year, being an even numbered year, we were supposed to only have Maya on Christmas day. Paige ended up staying with us Christmas eve and Christmas day because her dad was in eastern WA with his parents, and the pass was a mess. She didn't feel comfortable driving over the pass in such poor conditions, and I don't blame her. Normally we would get Brittani the day after Christmas, but we actually got to pick her up at like 11am on Christmas day.
We stayed Christmas eve at my mom and dad's, like we always do. It was, as always, wonderful. We had the usual: prime rib, twice baked potatoes, veggies, salad, rolls... it's so yummy. We rocked hard at Rockband 2. Can I tell you, I think my brother, my sister and I missed our Partridge Family calling. We so rock hard. We could easily add Wayne to the mix, but there's only one guitar. He fills in, as does my mom. I guess they can take up the slack when we have to take potty breaks.
Maya, Sofia and Ben (my niece and nephew) were so excited, of course. My sister said Sofia and Maya woke her up at 2am to see if it was time to open gifts yet. Ha! They never went back to sleep. We all woke up at 6am; I can only imagine how long those 4 hours were for the girls. Torture.
Wayne and I really tried to keep Christmas low-key this year. We had less money to spend, and we cut out a few people we would normally buy gifts for. It sucked to have to do that, but I think a lot of people were having to tighten the purse strings this year. When we were shopping this year, I overheard more than a few people say that they had little or no money for the holidays this year. I am grateful that we were still able to provide our kids with a memorable holiday, even if it wasn't a holiday with endless gift-giving.
Maya's big gift this year was a Nintendo DS. She got several games to go with it. She also got a Barbie, and I told Wayne that I guess that may be the last Barbie we buy for her. She'll be 9 in October, and I think by next birthday and Christmas, she may be done with her Barbie phase. It makes me kind of sad, but also, I am ready to be RID of Barbies.
Maya left, Sofia right.
Paige's big gift was a pair of black paisley Uggs. They are too small, though, so I have to exchange them. I got them through www.zappos.com, so I need to send them back. Sending back is so much more difficult than just running it back to a store.
Brittani was the fun one to shop for this year. She has a goal of opening her own cookie shop one day, so we bought her a bunch of tools and accessories for baking. My favorite was the apron I bought for her on Etsy. Etsy is my new favorite place to window shop online.
You can find really cute aprons at the Boojiboo shop at Etsy. We put all of Brittani's cookie stuff in the footlocker-looking thing, and Wayne decorated it himself. he's very crafty, my husband. In fact, his dream right now is to own a Cricut. With a Cricut, oh the ways he could have decorated the footlocker...
One of my favorite gifts was a new camera strap that my mom and dad gave me:
Isn't it so cool?
They got it from www.myfunkycamera.com, which is where I got my last camera strap. The woman who makes the straps has improved them so much since I last bought one; she has:
- lengthened the strap
- lined the piece that is in direct contact with the neck with a microfiber fleece or something like that. It is so soft. I can wear the camera for hours now without my neck getting irritated or my neck hairs getting all knotted. Very nice.
- She has included a quick release option for an additional $5. Nice. Now I can get several different camera straps and change them quickly and easily.
Oh, but the day was not without drama. Paige has been very difficult lately; she is really difficult to live with. But I think that may be another post for another day. When I'm less angry. Though I have to admit that right now I'm just worried. She is working at Snoqualmie Summit this year, and while she was working tonight, chains became required on the pass. She wanted me to come get her, but I don't have chains either (and even if I had, I wouldn't have gone to get her, honestly). Who knows if we can even find chains now after this run of snow. Anyway, she headed to her grandparents' house, which is in Mattawa (E. Wa). That was easily two hours ago, and I haven't heard from her. I did call her dad and let him know to have her call me because she was really angry with me, and I have a feeling she won't call just to spite me. That's the way shes been lately. Hostile would be a very accurate description.
It really sucks.
Thursday, December 18, 2008
This week is an essential Get Shit Done week for me, and I haven't been able to do anything, really. I was able to go out on Tuesday and get some stuff done, and thank god we decided to do the girls' Santa picture that evening.
I still have a bunch of shopping to do, and I have no idea when I will be able to get it done.
I am crossing fingers and toes that there will be school tomorrow.
If there is school tomorrow, we'll have girl scouts right afterward, and Maya will be leaving early to attend a friend's winter recital. She goes every year to his winter and spring recital (he plays the violin), and they dress to the nines, which is funny because they are only 8. It's her fun night out. And she gets treated to ice cream. Bonus!
I have a cookie exchange tomorrow, and I am stressed out. Luckily I only have to make 7 dozen cookies instead of the original 13 dozen (Yikes!). If you need some performance anxiety in your life, participate in a cookie exchange. What if the cookie I make is the one sucky cookie that no one likes? What if it's UGLY? I have a vision in my mind's eye of how I want the cookies to look-- normally I just dust them with powdered sugar, but this time I am melting white and dark chocolate to drizzle over the top for a more artistic effect. However, I am not artistic, so we'll see how this works out for me.
Wayne had to go to 2 stores to get my main ingredient-- candy cane kisses. Apparently candy cane kisses are all the rage this holiday season.
And then...how do I present the cookies? Box? Plate? Do I have to make it pretty and decorative? Can I just put them on a regular old plate?
Because I have a feeling that this isn't just a Cookie Exchange; I fear that this is really one of those suburban mom competitions that I don't know exist until I am in the throes of it. Then it's too late. My lameness is obvious to everyone.
I did find this site, which I will be reading over quite thoroughly today.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
I have my eye on another item at this Etsy store:
Ohmygosh, if those aren't the coolest aprons ever! I'm for sure putting one on my Christmas list; my current apron, which I use the heck out of, is just plain old boring red.
MommyDaddyBlog.com is giving away a Boojiboo Apron & Pillsbury Savoring the Moment Gift Bag as part of their Three Gs For The Holidays event! Click on over right now to get in on fun giveaways, get shopping ideas from their Gift Guide, and learn how you can help children in need this holiday season!
Consider this my contest entry :-)
Thursday, December 4, 2008
That has been the question I have been asking myself this week.
Paige is in senior health this year, and her teacher is a Mormon who teaches abstinence only--or predominantly--sex ed. To seniors. 17 and 18 years-old young adults who are coming up on 18 and 19 years of age. He's preaching abstinence to young adults who may be sexually active or have been sexually active.
It annoys me.
I asked Paige if he has mentioned safer sex. Yes, but really, the best choice is abstinence. What about Plan B, the morning after pill? Nope. He did mention, however, that 90% of women who have abortions are tormented by that decision for the rest of their lives, so of course adoption is the best choice.
I understand that his faith my be at odds with the facts of sexual reproduction and women's health in particular, so I question whether he should even be teaching the sex ed portion of health class. If he is going teach sex ed in a public high school, his teachings should be evidence based and not faith based.
I think that he doesn't realize that the students in his class find him to be ridiculous (though I am sure there are some who agree with him 100%) and when he shoves his faith based opinions down their throats, they stop listening to anything he has to say. He loses credibility.
These students are in their last year of high school, and the adult teaching sex to them still can't be real with them? Yes, it is true that abstinence is the one way to truly prevent an unwanted or unexpected pregnancy and STD/STI, but is abstinence a reality for the age range he is teaching? Probably not. They want to have sex. They will have sex. How can they have sex safely, and what can they do if they have a pregnancy scare or if they actually do become pregnant? What if they contract a STD/STI?
I so wish I could teach that class.
Some other teens...
What to Expect When You're Aborting
Pregnancy Options Workbook
Monday, November 24, 2008
SNL guys looking kinda hot. Yes, even Fred Armisen and Will Forte.
And Jason Sudeikis? Wow. Even Paige thought he looked really good, and to her, he's an old guy (he's 33). Seth Meyers is always adorable, and I love his hat.
I am so buying Wayne a sweater from Gap for Christmas.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
[Spoilers ahead, for those of you who haven't read this book]
When I began the last two chapters, Willy and Searchlight are racing in the annual dog sled race that Stone Fox always wins, and they are ahead of everyone. There is some business with Willy's grandpa getting out of bed to watch the race, so I inferred that the grandpa must be ill, which is why Willy is racing so hard.
Let me tell you: the teacher could have warned me how this books ends. I started to have one of the kids read, and as she was reading, I saw she was actually reading about Searchlight's sudden and unexpected death! I stopped her, so I could read it because I thought, how lovely...have the kid read about the dog dying.
So here I am, 37 years old, reading aloud to 1st and 2nd graders, trying not to cry as Little Willy holds his dog, who has collapsed from an exploding heart. Stone Fox ends up not being so stone afterall, as he does a very noble act to allow Little Willy and Searchlight to win the race. I was all wavery voiced, as we finished. One little girl was wiping tears from her eyes. It was so SAD! I only read two chapters; I can't imagine what it is like to read the whole book only to have the damn dog drop dead mere feet from the finish line.
It was a good book, though, from what I read; I kow Maya loved the book when her group was reading it.
I love sad books, though. Two of my favorite sad children's novels are:
Bridge to Terabithia is extremely sad, too, because it deals with the sudden and unexpected death of a best friend, and we get to see the boy in the story go through the stages of grief. Heartwrenching.
I've read both books to Maya...with a big box of Kleenex at my side. She cried at the end of Bridge to Terabithia, but I think she was a little young to get what happened in Where the Red Fern Grows. She was 4 or 5 at the time. Maybe I'll read it to her again.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Obama's election has me thrilled beyond belief. We had an Election Night party, which went well. I have pictures, but my computer has no room for more pictures. I need to dump my pictures onto my external hard drive before I put more on my computer. Such a hassle.
I am blown away at the hatred that is spewed about Obama; I hope that it dies down now that he has been elected so overwhelmingly. Even Elisabeth Hasslebeck was gracious when speaking of his win.
So much has happened since I've been so infrequently posting.
Maya had her 8th birthday party. She is now the same age Brittani was when Maya was born. It's so odd.
She actually turned 8 a few weeks prior, but we are slacker parents and procrastinated planning her party. It all worked out, though. Here are some pictures of Maya on her actual birthday.
This is what 8 looks like.
I made ice cream cone cupcakes for her class. She has another classmate who has the same birthday, so his mom brought in ice cream cups. Next year, since we know who our teacher and classmates will be, we know that there will be three kids in Maya's class who share the same birthday, so we three moms think we will do a "make your own sundae" bar. It should be fun.
She got a new bike!! Finally!!
So, about 6 days after Maya's birthday party, we had some Paige Drama. Paige is always so the drama.
We're in a really weird place with her right now...not so weird because I am sure MANY 18 year olds go through it with their parents, but it just isn't the same. She's asserting her status as "adult," though that status is really only for leaglpurposes. Aside from chronological age, she is not very adult or independent right now. She is no more independent than she was when she was 14, as far as I'm concerned. No job. No money. No responsibilities. No chores. Nothing.
So it's annoying when a kid is disrespectful and acts as though she is put out, mistreated and unloved, when that is obviously so not true.
Without going into details, Paige decided to not go to Wayne's birthday dinner and the pumpkin patch beforehand, and it turned into a HUGE blowout, and she left to party for the weekend with no parents breathing down her neck. So apparently we are in this place where Paige wants to live "independently" while being completely supported by her parents. Ha. Isn't that funny?
You know how when you were a teenager, you thought to yourself, "I am never going to say that/do that when I have kids..." well, I am convinced that since all kids do the same stupid things, parents always end up saying the same stupid things. It doesn't change. What I am trying to say is that I now find myself saying things I swore I'd NEVER say. Like: "If you live under OUR roof, there will be certain expectations of you..."
She was back after the weekend was over. Of course.
I am fairly certain that to everyone she spoke to, she portrayed herself as the victim and not as the instigator. I don't understand how we can love someone so much and so unconditionally, and she can be so hateful towards us. It is exhausting and hurtful. I can't wait until she's beyond the "I hate my parents; they're f'ing idiots" phase of her life.
Yesterday Wayne and I celebrated our anniversary. 4 years ago we married in New Orleans. It was such a blast. We've been together for 12 years now, and it really just feels like a blip in time.
Wayne always goes all out for our anniversary; usually we stay in a cabin for the weekend and have a day at the spa, but this year money is tight, so no cabin and spa for us. Instead, Wayne created a spa in our bedroom. It was so cool! He cranked on the space heater to make it nice and warm in the room, heated some stones, had some nice massage oil and even spread rosepetals on the sheets, so I got a heated stone massage! It was lovely.
Last night we went to dinner:
I love The Melting Pot. And Wayne, too.
It was a great anniversary.
Saturday Maya has her first swim meet. I thought she would only swim the 25 yd freestyle, but nooooooo...they have her signed up for back AND breast, too!! Back is no problem, but BREAST???? I am so worried. And she has to dive off the platform. She has never done that before, so I don't know what's going to happen. It should be interesting.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I went to the store yesterday, and the shelves that held Mother's Circus Animal Cookies looked like locusts had come through. There was not even a single bag left.
I called Wayne, and he stopped by another store on his way home and bought SIX bags of the Halloween Circus Animal Cookies, which aren't quite as good as the pink and white version, but it will do.
Today I checked eBay just for the heck of it, and there are a lot of Mother's Circus Animal Cookies listed.
Check it out.
There's a bag of the Halloween cookies going for $20/bag. I think we might sell our unopened 5 bags on eBay and make some money!! The profits could pay for a date night!
It makes me, sad, though that the pink and white cookies, which I always thought were so pretty, are going to be non-existent. There are cheap imitations, but they just aren't the same.
Monday, October 13, 2008
But here's the pattern:
I'm making the red/blue one; the other one is more complicated, and I just don't want to deal with it. The material Maya chose is gorgeous. I want a skirt made out of it; I'll post pictures soon.
I cut out the pattern tonight; tomorrow I plan to pin. I'll cut tomorrow evening, and I bet I can sew on Thursday (Wednesday is insane).
Damn. I feel so domestic.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
It was a fairly frugal dance:
Dress: borrowed from a friend $0
Cash for pictures: $60
She hated her hair, but I thought it looked cute. She wanted it to look like this:
And it didn't.
But she still looked lovely:
Tyler & Paige
Paige & Maddi
Paige actually did really well this time. She didn't stress, and she wasn't mean to me; it was a nice change. The last dance I fronted money for was Homecoming 2006...Sophomore Edition; she was awful. Severe emphasis on AWFUL. She gets mean, condescending, snippy, disrespectful and at times cruel. It makes me really want to kick her hiney.
After that homecoming, I told her...never again. I'm not paying money for you to treat me like shit, but it is her senior year, and she tried to be very frugal. I think it also helped that her date was a guy that she is very familiar and comfortable with. He seems like a nice enough guy.
Next up is Senior Ball, and I hope she'll have a job by then to help pay for part of it because that can be a really pricey event.
I also had a candle party last night, and I felt like it was a success. My main goal was just to cook some nice Autumnal foods and be with women whose company I enjoy; the candles are nice to have lit through the rooms, and I really need some seasonal candles. I know other people do, too, which is why I even had the candle party in play.
I made some great food, and it was all from scratch, baby:
- Squash soup
- Bread (that was store-bought)
- Spinach, gorgonzola, apple, sugared pecan salad (I call it my Bradley salad because a Bradley grandma gave me the recipe)
- Pumpkin bread
- Carmel (caramel?) apple cheesecake
- Pomegranate martinis
I wish I had taken a picture because it was my very first cheesecake, and I was very proud of how it turned out.
We plan to have an Election Night party (Go Obama!!), and I think I'll make a red, white and blue cheesecake for the evening.
The cheesecake was a very different flavor and texture, but it was good. And no crack in the top! Yea! It looks complicated, but it was super easy to make.
Here's the recipe, via Bobby Flay on Food Network:
Caramel Apple Cheescake
8 whole graham crackers
1 cup lightly toasted walnuts, divided
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
1 tablespoon orange zest
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature (recommended: Philadelphia)
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons packed light muscovado sugar (I used brown sugar)
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 large vanilla bean, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 recipe Apple Mixture, recipe follows
1 recipe Apple Caramel Sauce, recipe follows
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place the graham crackers, 1/2 cup of the walnuts and brown sugar in a food processor and process until finely ground. With the motor running, add the butter through the feed tube and process until the mixture just comes together. Spray the bottom and side of the pan with cooking spray. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven until lightly golden brown and just set, about 8 minutes. Remove to a baking rack and let cool completely.
Combine 1/4 cup of the sugar and the orange zest in a food processor and process until combined.
Place the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand fixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the orange sugar, remaining granulated sugar, and light muscovado sugar and beat again until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs, 1 at a time and mix until just incorporated, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl. Add the vanilla seeds and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the salt and heavy cream and mix until just combined.
Scrape the mixture into the prepared pan. Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of heavy duty aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour hot tap water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake until the sides of the cake are slightly puffed and set and the center still jiggles, about 55 minutes.
Turn the heat off and prop the door open with a wooden spoon and allow the cake to cook in the water bath for 1 hour. Remove the cake to a baking rack and allow to cool to room temperature for 2 hours. Cover the cake and refrigerate for at least 4 hours and up to 24 hours until chilled through.
Top with the warm apple topping, drizzle liberally with the caramel sauce and sprinkle with the remaining toasted walnuts. Serve additional sauce on the side.
2 cups apple juice
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 vanilla bean, reserved from the cheesecake mixture
1 tablespoon cold butter
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
3 Fuji apples, peeled, seeded and thinly sliced
1/4 cup apple brandy (recommended: Calvados) I used cheap Apple Jack brandy because Calvados was $50 for a bottle.
Bring apple juice, sugar and vanilla bean to a boil in a large saute pan over high heat and cook until slightly thickened and reduced to 1/2 cup. Stir in the butter until melted. Add the apples and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly caramelized and soft. Add the apple brandy and cook until reduced by 1/2. Transfer the apples to a plate and let cool slightly.
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons apple brandy (recommended: Calvados)
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Place sugar and water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat (do not stir), swirling the pot occasionally to even out the color, until amber in color, 10 to 12 minutes.
While the caramel is cooking. Place the heavy cream in a small pan and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and keep warm.
When the caramel has reached the desired color, slowly whisk in the heavy cream and salt and whisk until smooth. Remove from the heat and stir in the apple brandy and vanilla extract. Keep warm.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
I've been talking and talking and talking about applying as a substitute paraeducator with the school district, and I finally finished my cover letter and resume last week. I was waiting for my transcripts from TCC to complete my resume, and guess what?
I only need a 100 level math and a natural science (with lab) class to get my Associate's degree.
Two measley classes.
I am thinking about taking chemistry online, and then that leaves math. Good ol' math. I dropped my last math class twice and never did complete it, and that was math 99, I believe. I still didn't make it to 100 level math in 2 years. That is how bad I am with math.
So my conundrum is, do I bite the bullet and take those last two classes, or do I just stay this close to to finishing. Well, finishing that step anyway.
And then I found what I want to go on to afterwards:
I just paid off my piddly little student loan in August, and I really don't want to get another one going; however, with only about $1,000, I can be half-way towards a BA. A full quarter of classes at UW-Tacoma is $2, 244, which would end up being a $20,000 endeavor, if my poor math skills are at all accurate this time.
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Paige is starting her senior year (!)
Brittani is a junior this year,
and Maya is now a big 2nd grader-- the big kid in her 1-2 multi-age classroom.
Wayne and I went out for coffee after we took Maya to school, and we were talking about how in just two more years, only Maya will be heading off to school in early September. Paige and Brittani will hopefully be in college, so they would begin in late September.
Okay, now on to the big stuff: the whole freaking Sarah Palin thing, which has been making me CRAZY since last week.
My initial reaction when Wayne awoke me with the news on Friday that McCain had made his choice: good for McCain for being bold enough to choose a woman as his VP. Then I was irritated as hell that the first female VP could be a woman whose political stance tends to be unfriendly towards women, children and families. Oy. Those crazy Hillary supporters will now go to McCain just because the VP has a vagina.
I won't sway from Obama-Biden because they support policies that I believe in. I am pro-choice, and I want that protected for generations to come; I want a national health care system that will provide care for ALL Americans regardless of income. Health care should be accessible for every one of us; we shouldn't be bankrupted due to medical bills that can amount into the hundreds of thousands of dollars; we shouldn't have to avoid getting care because we can't afford a $100+ doctor visit (see this episode of 20/20).
I feel like we could probably skedaddle out of Iraq sooner rather than later, and tons of money that could be allotted towards health care and education is being diverted to war funds. I'm really not an expert on governmental spending, but I am smart enough to know that war is costly in many ways.
The thing that has been driving me absolutely insane when I listen to liberals on the radio is that they are focusing on the wrong things when discussing Palin. They shouldn't worry about her lack of experience or be so sexist as to suggest (or outright state) that she cannot be a good mother and a good politician. They must not be able to hear what they sound like. It's sick. How long have women had to hear such things? Decades. Generations, even. But from liberal Democrats??? It is, quite simply, embarrassing. Do women need to wait until their children are grown before they can pursue positions in male-dominated careers? Do women need to choose which is more important: career or family, while men can have both. That doesn't sound like equal rights to me. That doesn't sound like a liberal perspective to me, either. Who are these people?
I have heard liberals on talk shows even say that Palin should not have birthed the most recent addition to the Palin family. Sick. As a woman who is pro-CHOICE, I support women who choose to birth and those who choose to abort, but I would never suggest that a woman should have aborted her child or that she should have kept a child that she aborted. I swear, some of these people are just so freaking flustered that McCain chose a woman, while Hillary is left hanging, that they will attack like mad dogs.
And of course, Monday a bomb was dropped: Sarah Palin's 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, is 5 months pregnant.
Sarah Palin is obviously an unfit mother who cannot even manage her family properly, so how do we entrust her to help run a country???
Teenagers get pregnant. Teenagers who live in places like Alaska get pregnant. I wonder what the teen pregnancy rate is in Alaska. There are certain places where there is nothing for teenagers to do but drink beer and have sex. I lived in a place like that when I was a teenager, and I imagine that Alaska is similar. Oh, I found a document, and Alaska and Washington have similar teen pregnancy rates, and they are pretty much in the middle for the nation. North Dakota with the lowest and DC has the highest, which kind of goes against my rural areas = more sex and beer theory. Oh well, I never claimed to have any idea of what I'm talking about.
Here's the link, btw.
My grandpa told me once that it was partly my parents responsibility that I was pregnant at age 18 (almost 19 and a high school graduate). What??? Um, my parents were nowhere near me when I conceived Paige. Ew. Granted, they never did have the "use condoms, oral contraception" talk with me, but I already knew about those things; I didn't value what they had to say at that point anyway. There comes a point in the teen years when a parent has no control over what's going on in the teenager's life. That's when you hope that you have instilled some good sense in the kid, but sometimes horniness wins out over good sense. I would have to say that 98% of the time horniness will win out over good sense, and then all that's left is the guilt afterwards. Well, sometimes there's pregnancy and/or disease afterwards, too.
Luckily, Bristol Palin has a ton of resources to help her with this whole having a baby thing. It really ain't no thang, her pregnancy. She will, most likely, turn out normal...as will her kid.
One thing that irritated me today when watching Good Morning America: they showed a picture of Bristol Palin wearing a basketball jersey that said JUNEAU across the front (like a high school photo--not a current photo). How annoying.
I hope the media begins to steer away from thrashing on Sarah Palin for being a woman and instead focus on the issues that really matter.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
On August 17, 2008 at 3:15pm PDT, my eldest daughter, Paige Johanna, will be 18. Eighteen. Eighteen... She will be embarking on her 19th year of life. I don't know where the time has gone.
Paige came into this world at 6lbs8ozs and 18 3/4 inches long. I nursed her, held her and absorbed her sweet baby smell; we slept in the same bed for almost 5 years, and she was always rubbing my ear. It was an unusual comforting technique. We grew a lot together, and she has become a remarkable young woman. I love her immensely, and I can't believe she's eighteen and a senior in high school.
Happy Birthday, Paige.
Friday, August 8, 2008
Actually, we don't start until September 3rd, but damn if that isn't coming up really quickly!
I have so much on my plate this year, and I'm already stressing out.
- I am the class rep for Maya's 1st-2nd grade co-op class, and we have a new teacher who hasn't worked co-op before. She and I are kind of like the blind leading the blind at this point. As the class rep, I am her right hand woman, and I will help pretty much with every aspect of parent-classroom relations. Oy. The upside? I won't worry about meeting my minimum volunteer hour requirement.
- A friend and I have decided to lead a Brownie troop this year. At our homes. We'll meet twice a month on Fridays after school. We will transport the kids from school to the meeting. Sus and I met yesterday to plan out our entire year or Girl Scout meetings, and I feel a sense of relief knowing that one task is done. If the dang service unit would get going on our paperwork and stuff, we could actually proceed further. We'd like to have our parent meeting the end of September, but who knows if all our ducks will be in a row by then.
- I will still be teaching once a week, and I am considering teaching out of a local birth center. Other Bradley teachers and I are considering co-teaching at the facility, but I am also very interested in teaching somewhere other than my home. I'd also like to do more births.
- Maya has begun swim team in a town nearby--about 15 miles from our home. It's 3 to 5 days a week, but we will start her at 5 days a week (the exception: GS weeks). I think her practice is at 5pm. Ugh. That is such a sucky time. We won't get home until 6:15-6:30. It takes a long time to travel 15 miles when one lives out here. We think we will have her stop ice skating until after the beginning of 2009; she loves it so much that I hate for her to have to miss it, but we need to see where this swim thing is going. We have our eyes on the 2016 Olympics, you know :-)
- I will be getting a job. For sure. I haven't had to juggle job, kids and home since, oh, 1999? To say I'm stressed out at the idea is a major understatement. I'm hoping to work as a para at Maya's school, which would really be helpful considering I have to transport her to school because we are off the bus route. Plus we carpool with a friend, and I want to help make things easy for her.
Luckily, Paige is licensed to drive, so I will probably have her help me get Maya to swim on Mondays since I teach that night, and Wayne often isn't home before my class begins. Class and swim conflict, so it will be up to Paige to get Maya to swim once a week. I'm sure I'll hear about it plenty.
Brittani will be licensed in January or February, so there's even more help. She drove for the first time today; Wayne said she did really well and that she seemed confient. She even drove across Meridian!
We have our trip to Disneyland in February, and once we get that out of the way, we'll plan a trip to Mexico, I think. Just me and Wayne. Iguess we'll go to South Carolina this next summer, though. Maybe in 2010 we can get to Mexico. Ugh.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Thank god for a/c because then we can have pasta for dinner. No one without a/c would even consider hot pasta for dinner on a 90 degree day.
So as I'm cooking, I think, "I have been cooking this recipe for forever. It is the easiest dinner to make when you, say, just walked in the door from running your kid(s) around all day. I need to submit this recipe to What's Cooking Wednesday." I am a What's Cooking Wednesday Weirgin no more.
Creamy Pesto Pasta with Chicken
(I double this recipe for my family of 5 and will usually have one serving left over)
12 oz penne pasta
2 boneless chicken breast halves
4 tsp dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh chopped basil
2 cloves of minced garlic
2 T oil
1/2 of an 8oz pkg of cream cheese
1/2 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan
1/3 cup dry wine ( I use white cooking wine)
1/4 cup snipped parsley
1/3 cup water
Boil pasta. Drain. Keep warm.
Cube and saute chicken in oil until cooked through. Remove from pan and set aside.
In the same skillet cook basil and garlic in drippings (or oil) for 1 minute on medium heat. Reduce heat. Add cream cheese, cottage cheese and parmesan cheese. Heat and stir until fairly smooth. Stir in wine, parsley and water. Cook, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until slightly thickened. Add cooked chicken. Serve over hot pasta.
When we eat this, we buy a bagged salad and some veggies to add to the salad and a loaf of garlic bread. The whole meal takes less than half an hour for prep and cooking.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
It was all my fault.
I was using my Ped-Egg yesterday to slough off some more of my oh-so-horrid heels, and I was making great progress. In fact, as I was making great progress, I thought, I need to measure the progress in tablespoons, or I need to photograph the great progress.
Anyway, my progress was too great, apparently, and now both of my heels hurt like hell. They hurt to walk on; they hurt to touch; they hurt when I put on my shoes and rode my bike today. It pretty much sucks.
That said, I will still use my Ped-Egg, but I will use it a bit more conservatively...once I heal.
Even bigger news:
Brittani turned 16 today; she finally got her permit. We've been putting off having two licensed teen drivers in our family; we simply can't afford the premiums that come along with it. Our insurance just went down after a year of insane premiums. Ugh.
She is also being a very responsible young woman and is already applying for jobs. GASP I may have an employed teenager in my home before too long!!! I am so excited, and I know she will be soooo thrilled to have her own money to do play with.
Paige, on the other hand, will be 18 in three weeks and has shown no inclination towards being employed. I don't quite know how I can describe my intense frustration at this situation with any brevity. Any person who has talked to me in the past year has heard allll about it, though.
Monday, July 21, 2008
I have found my solution:
I know you've probably seen the commercial. It's an ergonomically designed cheese grater for the feet, and it works wonders.
I got it for $9.99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond (that place really does have everything). I probably could have bought a cheese grater, but I don't think cheese graters are ergonomically designed for grating feet.
Go, buy it...you won't regret it.
Saturday, July 19, 2008
I've never made jam before, so hit the canning aisle at Winco and bought 12 jars/lids, pectin, a funnel and other jam making supplies (~$25).
When we go to the market today, guess what?
No more strawberries. I missed my window of opportunity.
A decision had to be made right then:
do I proceed making jam from a berry that I would prefer seeded? My options were blackberries or marionberries. I bought a full flat of marionberries ($24).
Marionberries mean seeds, though, which I didn't want in my jam. That meant I needed to buy a food mill ($30). I also needed to buy more sugar because jam-making requires a lot of sugar.
See my goodies below: (borrowed the canner fom my mom)
My mom came over and was my hand model. She has great hands.
Anyway, here is my mom grinding the washed berries in the brand spankin' new food mill.
It worked well. I had little confidence in its ability to deseed the berries, but it worked amazingly well.
You can see 5 3/4 c. of fruit in the background and 8 cups of sugar in the foreground.
We didn't know whether to count the foam as "fruit" or not, but we decided it looked more fruity than foamy to us, so fruit it was.
We put it on to cook:
Here's some free advice:
when cooking jam, it's probably best to use a spoon that does not have a metal handle. Jam cooking gets really, really, really hot. Unfortunately, the longest spoon I own thatw on't be forever dyed red is a metal handled spoon.
The jam became the most beautiful reddish purple color as it cooked. So pretty.
Pour into jars:
Lid 'em and bathe 'em:
But damn, this was good shan jam!!
All in all it cost about $80 to jar 22 8 oz jars of jam, but I have grand plans for blueberry jam, raspberry jam and I may even do some pickling of green beans. I plan to get my money's worth from my supplies.
Wayne and my friend Stacy both joked that I sound like I've aged a few or four decades. Wayne said I really sounded old when I said I wanted to give jam away as Christmas gifts, but then I reminded him that we are on a very tight holiday budget this year. Yes, I guess I am old if I am thinking about Christmas in July. Ugh.
Anyway, jam making wasn't as difficult as I expected it to be. It was really fun, but it helped that my mom was here to keep me company. Solo jam cooking may not be quite as enjoyable, but I bet the reward is still just as sweet.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
It started with a bike ride last Wednesday with the MOES group that has kept me entertained and socialized this past school year; we went on the Foothills Trail with our kids, so it was a very slow ride with many stops for water and food.
It was a lot of fun, though, and I told Wayne we should go there together sometime.
So Friday we loaded up our bikes, and off we went.
We took Maya, of course, and she was such a little trooper. Her bike is too small and since it's a kid's bike, it has no gears or anything fancy to, say, help her up hills. We tackled one little hill, and she did it without stopping. She was very proud of herself--and this was around 2.75 miles into our ride. We ended up riding 6 miles with her that day.
Sunday Wayne and I went back again (sans Maya) and rode 15 miles. I was seriously ready to die at about mile 5. Wayne left me in the dust, which was good because otherwise I wouldn't have kept going. I had to catch up with the twit :-)
By 7.5 miles, which is when we turned around and headed back, I was magenta in the face (I turn red from exertion); we were stopped in front of a smoothie stand, but neither of us had any money (!!!!), so back we went the way we came. Smoothieless. Such a bummer.
Did I mention it was about 87 degrees out during this excursion?
I went fairly slowly. I was passed by old people and small children several times.
But we (I) made it back alive, and I actually enjoyed it--once it was over. I told Wayne that I was really proud of myself because I pushed through the hard parts; I'm really bad at pushing through. Usually I hit a hard part, and I say, "Okay, enough!"
Then today I met a friend there again, and we rode about 5 miles. It was easier for me today than it has been any of the other days.
How cool are we?
Wayne and I plan to go back again tomorrow for another long ride; he wants to go like 20-something miles tomorrow, but I'm afraid I just don't have the endurance (stamina?) for that.
Thursday, July 10, 2008
Wayne is by far the bigger Foo fan; I really like them, but I don't listen to the CDs over and over again in the car and on my iPod. In fact, I thought I might have missed this concert due to a birth, but the baby was born 10 days early (EDD was 7/7). Nice. I'm so gald that I didn't have to miss the concert or the birth.
So we got the tickets the day they went on sale, and we chose "Best Available," which gave us seats directly across the arena from the stage, which didn't seem like very good seats to either of us. I told Wayne to buy tickets in what looked like the best section and we'd sell the "Best Available" tickets. Well, Wayne didn't want to do that, so we kept the tickets we were initially issued.
They were the best tickets.
There was the mainstage, which did seem far away, but we had such a great view of it. I'm getting old and greatly myopic, so I can't see much anyway unless it's in my face. There was a catwalk from the mainstage towards our part of the arena as well with a big circular thing at the end. It looked like a trampoline to me, and I had visions of Dave bouncing on it while playing his guitar. That would have been fun.
Instead, a stage dropped from the ceiling onto the trampoline thing and our friends Foo performed an acoustic set right in front of us. We could have spit on Dave and hit him square on the face. It was amazing. They were so close.
It was awesome because we missed their acoustic show at the Paramount when they were touring for Skin and Bones; this was up close and personal and acoustic, so it was a good substitute for that missed show (I tell myself). And Pat Smear was there. I thought I saw him earlier on the mainstage, but I may have been wrong because I didn't see him on the mainstage after the small stage acoustic set.
The girl next to me was getting some sweet pictures and video with her camera (I so should have brought my camera!!). My phone camera sucks, so I'm not going to bother posting the crappy pictures I took or the even crappier video. I'm going to check youtube later today to see if some good video gets uploaded, and then I'll embed here.
They totally topped the last show, though. And the people around us actually stood up and moved to the music. Cant wait for the next show...
Here's some video though until I find better stuff:
Start of the show:
Dave is funny:
And they did, too. They played from about 8:45-11:20. The encore was 5 songs. I don't know how they play so hard for so long for so many nights in a row. No wonder he weighs about 120lbs.
Found a video of the small stage:
and when they raised the house lights, it was way cool.
This was the end of the small stage set...Dave started there and ended back on the main. Where they rocked hard.
Hopefully more people post some good video soon.
[Edited to add some videos]
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Young men and women are embarking upon the next phase of life: adulthood.
Parents are proud, as they proclaim all across their vehicles, "PROUD PARENT OF AN ERHS GRAD" "WE R PROUD OF U BECKY"
Honestly, I hope to be one of those parents next year. Cheesy as hell, I know, but dammit! This getting a kid to graduation gig is difficult... thirteen (or more) years of homework hassles, conferences, volunteering, projects that make you want to pull your hair out... I can't wait for it to all be over, and I think I will be thrilled enough to just have to print it across every window of my car in bright green writing.
Amidst the proud parents of high school grads, I saw this yesterday morning:
And this that same morning:
I really think this is a little much. No. It's way too much. Over the top. What the hell are these parents thinking??? Dear lord, you have survived two years of two or three days a week preschool...or five days a week of half days for one year of kindergarten. The kids now know their colors, shapes and may know how to read somewhat fluently and write somewhat legibly. They still eat boogers, suck thumbs, wipe their noses on their sleeves and probably color outside the lines. Some may even still wear pull-ups at bedtime. They are adorable children, likely. Adore them. Embrace them.
But heaping that kind of praise on kids and making a preschool or kindergarten graduation an event that requires such a proclamation is quite possibly going to end up biting you in the ass later-- you know, when they are 16 and want that Super Sweet Sixteen party...no, I'm pretty sure it will bite you in the ass sooner than that. So just stop the trend before it runs like wildfire through my suburbia.
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I can't tell you how many times I have heard, "If Obama gets the nom, I'm voting for McCain." Or "I would rather not vote at all than vote for Obama"
It makes me so sad. This whole Democratic nomination campaign has been very divisive, and it is going to cause another Republican to just ease his way into the presidency. I support Hillary, but I like Obama, too. I would be pleased to have either person as the Democratic nominee and as the next President. I have to admit, though, that the Hillary supporters who are so anti-Obama are starting to turn me off of Hill; I feel like they are trying to blackmail the DNC into nominating Clinton. "We are the voters, and if you don't vote the way we want, fuck you...we'll vote for McCain..or no one!!" That's showing 'em!
I'm not an expert when it comes to politics at all, but from what I can gather from Clinton and Obama, their differences are subtle. I think he may be a little more liberal than she...she plays it a little safer than he does.
I really don't understand what the Obama haters, who happen to be Clinton lovers, find so revolting about him as a candidate. I keep coming back to two things: his ancestry and, well, his ethnicity. His father, who is now deceased and who did not raise him, was Muslim. He also was a black man from Africa.
Obama is Christian, though in a country where there should be a separation of church and state, I don't see why his faith is a concern; and even if he were Muslim, that is a honorable faith. Who decided that Christianity is the one true religion?
Obama is multi-ethnic...part black. Believe it or not, I think that is the unspoken concern for a lot of Clinton supporters. They may not be ready to see a darker skinned person heading our country, but it is so not cool to say that out loud. One would not like to be perceived as racist, after all.
Did you see this woman?:
Ick. How embarrassing.
I know that when McCain saw that video, he did a little jig; he is so happy to have Democrats like that acting the fool.
I just wish that the process would move on, so we can get a nominee that is able to begin to campaign against McCain and for him/herself. They are wasting money campaigning against each other-- the election is in five months! That's not a lot of time to raise more money and embark on a healthy campaign, especially when you consider that McCain is able to raise funds and focus on his strategy against the Dems now...not later.
Hopefully supposed-Democrats will not dismiss Obama simply because they are pissy about Hillary not getting the nom (if that is what happens). It's like 2 year olds having a tantrum. "I'm taking my truck and I'm going home."
I am fairly certain that if Obama gets the nom and the supposed Democrats continue to be petty and whiney that they--the supposed Democrats-- will kill the party's chances this election. How good will that feel in the end? Will they feel they have done the right thing? Imagine this country in 4 or 8 more years with a Republican at the helm. Is that really what they want to see? Are these people, these Democrats who are ready to turn their back on their party, are they living in the same economy I'm living in? Are they reading about the same war I'm reading about? Do they hear about the same dead and injured soldiers and civilians that I hear about? Do they not see the limitations that people have in their health care choices?
Really, knowing all that they know, seeing all they see, hearing all they hear, they would vote for McCain or no one at all rather than place a vote for Obama ? Out of spite?
Are they looking at the big picture?
I think not.
So, my friends and family who count yourselves as Democrats...
don't abandon the party when your support is needed now more than ever.
Obama. Clinton. Either one is a strong candidate; we are fortunate to have two very passionate and energetic people to choose from, and we really need to embrace this moment.
It's an amazing time to be a Democrat!
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Oh, what a wonderful memorial weekend of merriment we had!
Wayne and went to the Sasquatch Music Festival again this year. We went in 2006, and it was just awesome.
(The Gorge. Gorgeous)
Last year's line-up--aside from the Beastie Boys-- was unispiring and didn't seem worth the cash the festival eats. Actually, scratch that. I just looked last year's line-up over again, and it looks really good! I don't know why I thought it was so bad. Hm. Anyway.
This year was, quite simply, AMAZING.
We drove out early and arrived at The Gorge at about 9:30am. We had prepared the night before by making sandwiches, baking brownies, chopping fruit and putting food in clear plastic bags. We had a wonderful assortment of goodies to last us the entire three days without having to spend a dime at the greasy, nasty, expensive food stands in the venue.
We felt so smart and well-prepared.
(Me. Wayne. Happily preparing)
We also got early access passes, so we were able to enter a full fifteen minutes before the rest of the General Admission (GA) crowd. It really does make a difference--especially if you want to sit on the terraced area rather than the sprawling lawn hill.
Trust. It is a big deal difference.
(The Hill viewed from up top)
We got the tippy toppest tier of the terraced area, which put our heads right against the main pathway. Not so good planning there.
BUT still great.
(Notice the people walking right by Wayne's head. Check out the bitchen camera strap).
It was a beautiful day. Sunny, warm. Perfect. Our feet were happy.
The bands play on three stages-- Sasquatch! Stage; Wookie Stage; Yeti Stage.
Day One (bands we saw are in blue):
The New Pornographers
Crudo (featuring Mike Patton & Dan The Automator)
Vince Mira with the Roy Kay Trio
Throw Me The Statue
The Shaky Hands
I wish we had seen The Shaky Hands and The National, but the bands we did see were great.
I was ecstatic to see The Breeders. I love, love, love the Deal sisters, and I was thrilled beyond measure to see them live. They really are fucking awesome.
REM was overwhelming for me; like, I have never seen REM live, and I just couldn't believe I was actually seeing them there right in front of my face. As amazing and awesome as that was, the next night damn near made me cry with joy.
Pictures from day one (we bought a new point-n-shoot for this trip because I was afraid they wouldn't let me take in my DSLR):
The Breeders (we were still trying to figure out the settings on the new camera)
Kim on the left Kelley on the right.
Clouds rolling in. Sun going away.
The one picture we have of REM's performance:
We stayed that night at a Super 8 in Ellensburg, and it was okay. In fact, I was impressed at how clean it was; I would definitely stay there again, if we were going to see a concert at the gorge.
It was a little harder to get up and moving, but we were in the early entry line by 10:15 (GA gates were supposed to open at 11 but were actually open at 11:30 all three days). We got a better place on the terrace (nobody walking right by our heads...no fear of drinks spilled on our heads). We stopped at Fred Meyer in Ellensburg before we got to the gorge and bought sandwiches, St. Arbucks and strawberries with non-dairy creamer. We still had left-over food from the day before as well.
Death Cab For Cutie
Michael Franti & Spearhead
The Presidents of the United States of America
Cold War Kids
Tegan & Sara
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Mates of State
The Heavenly States
What Made Milwaukee Famous
The Morning Benders
I wish we'd also seen:
The weather wasn't as nice, but we did get a nice spot on the terrace.
Look at those clouds in the background!
Brownies!! I really do make the best ;-) It's all about the butter you use.
It rained a lot this day, and my suggestions for having a dry time at the gorge will be forthcoming.
Me. Wayne. Warm. Dry.
The Presidents of the United States of America. They are a favorite of our whole family, and I get warm fuzzies when I listen to them. You would also see me sporting a HUGE grin.
I love this picture.
The one semi-decent picture we have of The Cure.
The Cure made me cry. As awesome as it was to see REM, I was waaaayyyy more into The Cure when I was a teenager. Never ever in my mind did I imagine that I would have an opportunity to see them live, but omg, there they were right in front of me. I so wanted to be down on the floor, but I can't hang with those crazy kids. I am, quite honestly, too damn old.
The Cure ended the show with my all time favorite (well, one of them) song, and I was like, NO WAY!! Wonderful. Brilliant. Fantabulous.
Setlist: Underneath The Stars, Prayers For Rain, A Night Like This, The End of the World, Lovesong, To Wish Impossible Things, Pictures Of You, Lullaby, Fascination Street, The Perfect Boy, Hot Hot Hot, alt.end, Sleep When I'm Dead, Push, Inbetween Days, Just Like Heaven, A Letter To Elise, From the Edge of the Deep Green Sea, The Only One, The Walk, Shake Dog Shake, Never Enough, Wrong Number, One Hundred Years, Baby Rag Dog Book
1st encore: A Forest
2nd encore: Boys Don't Cry, Jumping Someone Else's Train, Grinding Halt, 10:15 Saturday Night, Killing An Arab
Total = 31 songs.Back to the Super 8 that night; we upgraded to a 2 queen room because Paige's friends were crashing with us and the night before they had to sleep on our floor.
The Flaming Lips U.F.O. Show
The Mars Volta
Flight Of The Conchords
Rodrigo Y Gabriela
Built To Spill
The Cave Singers
The Little Ones
Thao with the Get Down Stay Down
Kay Kay & His Weathered Underground
The Choir Practice
Back in the early entry line at 9:30. Front of the line, baby. Thanks, esurance. When we got there, there was a line of people, but they were all in the wrong line. We probably should have let them all in front of us, but it's not our fault that they can't read the huge "ESURANCE EARLY ENTRY LINE" sign.
We had a National Geographic Experience while waiting in line:
a green snake ate a mouse right in front of us. It was sick. While the mouse was half in (tail and back feet hanging out of the snake's mouth), he was squeaking like crazy. It was really...gross.
Though we were first in line, I don't run to get a seat. Wayne got held up at security because he had a girl check his bags who happened to be working her first day, and she wasn't sure what to do. The guy who checked my bag barely peeked, but Wayne had to take everything out, unroll our pads and shake out the blankets... it was really frustrating for him-- and for the people behind him.
Nonetheless, I staked out the best spot we had for the entire weekend. Sweet.
I still needed the umbrella...
to provide some shade. When the sun is out, the sun is really out, and there is nowhere to hide. Unless you have a big soccer umbrella.
I forgot to mention my favorite indulgence of the entire weekend:
Vanilla Coke Slushies.
$5 a pop. I had one each day. That was the only thing I bought from a stand at the gorge. Wayne spent $24 on TWO beers on Saturday, but the beer was too pricey to drink more than that. It was only Heineken, too.
We didn't really move off the main stage this day.
It was good to just chill.
Have you seen the Flaming Lips live?
They are a trip:
A Wayne in a bubble.
We headed home right after the concert, and we arrived home at about 3am. Not bad. The show was out around midnight, I think.
My favorites the third day were definitely
Flight of the Concord
Rodrigo y Gabriela
The Flaming Lips.
I wish I'd skipped:
I wish I'd seen:
anyone but Mars Volta
All in all, this Sasquatch! Festival was totally worth the money. I hope they have a great line-up next year, too, because I really, really, really love Sasquatch.