February 2, 2015

40 Memories

Friday is my 40th Birthday... Whoa!

I'm commemorating my 40th by posting the first 40 memories of my 40 years that come to mind... in no particular order.  Three people besides me will read at most 5 of these items.  

1) Picking out my dog Abbey (12 years ago) 
2) Picking out my dog Sunny (30 years ago probably)
3) My messy bedroom as a kid (not that it is much neater now)
4) The table made out of a door my dad made for me (thanks Dad!)
5) Playing softball as a kid on the Kittens (dark blue - how is that number 5 on my list?  Same four bases! Sheesh!)
6) Playing at the neighborhood park with my sis and friends (Murphy Park - back in my day they could flood the field in winter and it would stay ice for us to skate on)
7) My Apple 2c computer and dot matrix printer (didn't help me proofread papers sadly)
8) Living in University of Illinois dorm with bestie Carolyn!  
9) Late night pizza orders (gee why do they call it Freshman 15?)
10) Spring Break in Panama City with Hinchey, CC, and Gibson 
11) Spring Break in Park City with Radovich, Cindy, Melanie, Rachel, Jill and dear lord I can't remember everyone that went!
12) Long weekend in Vegas with Carolyn, CC, and Gibson (Was Katie there?)
13) Seeing the Allman Brothers! (Twice, one of the times we ran out of gas coming home... that sucked)
14) Seeing Paul McCartney (8/2014 in Missoula, MT-- what's with me and the Beatles)
15) Getting married at the Brookfield Zoo (6/25/2005 remember it actually cooled off and was a lovely evening.  yep approaching 10 yrs)
16) 3 week honeymoon in Italy! (the next summer)
17) Mini-moon in Chicago for 3 days (thanks B for booking the room for us!) 
18) Moving/driving to Seattle (7/2005 - packed to the gills with dog and treasures in Silver Ford Escape)
19) Meeting C at Fiesta Cafe (too bad we didn't start dating for 2 more years, 4/1997)
20) ZEKE! (3/2009, wait I'm a mom!  That's crazy talk.. ps this could be a whole separate list like so many of these)
21) My first day as a high school math teacher (8/1999, holy shit!)
22) My last day teaching at Hinsdale Central High School (Talk about emotional!) (6/2005)
23) Coaching volleyball and the thrill of winning a game (and the crush of losing a game) (99-02)
24) Watching Z work so hard to try and crawl forward to get the remote (09/2009)
25) The first time I heard Z telling a story and realizing he has a lot of my personality 
26) Making a pizza with C at Pizza Hut (probably 7/1997, pitter patter went my little heart)
27) Being a Snowball Leader in high school (true story)
28) Going to the Nutcracker with B (we think 3 times)
29) Tennis lessons with B as kids (Why did we fight? Also, Project SAM drama camp "Free to be You and Me!")
30) Long weekend in New Orleans with C (I'm going to guess 12/2002 but really no clue)
31) Road trip with B to Houston, New Orleans, Beale Street (06/1994 ish or was it when B got her MS in 96?)
32) Road trip with C for Kat and Ed's wedding then Katie and Tom's wedding (Summer 2003 I think, I should know this -- too much fun)
33) 10 days in Brazil with Dad and B (Summer 98)
34) Summer in Virginia Beach with Grandma Sherwin and Grandpa E (Summer 1984 I think)
35) Z's first day of Kindergarten (9/2014)
36) First learning to ski (Kathy! Winter 1992 with Kat's sister Sophie)
37) First meeting the PEPs gang... our kids (and us) will all grow up together (05/2009)
38) Buying our first house and brand new car together (condo 2002, house 2009, car 2014)
39) Seeing a bear in the wild (which for me seems to be every time I go for a hike, first time was summer 2004)
40) Being home after school but Z is over at a friend's house playing (09/2014)

Thanks!  I love having this little space in the world to call my own.  :)  This list is just the tip of the iceberg.  I'll share 45 more in 5 years ha! Amazing the memories I have and terrifying the memories I can't conjure up.  Naturally, I have lots of sad memories too but didn't want to come off sounding like a Super Bowl ad. 

January 26, 2015

The kid's funny!

This weekend Z and I went to the local toy store to get birthday presents for two of his buddies.  In the store they had one of these indoor pogo stick toys out for kids to try.  He hopped around the entire store the whole time we were there.  This is one of those cutesy shops where they wrap the gifts for you.  So dreamy!  Ok I'm going to stand here and let my kid destroy your store while you wrap my presents... Thanks... yes you have a nice day too :)  Fortunately, the pogo stick thingy kept him from destroying the store this time.

Shout out to Snapdoodle Toy Store

Toy online

Z is a crazy kid.  I've met kids that are mellow and ease into activities, they admit when they are tired, they settle in with a toy for hours on end.  Not Z.  He's high energy with two modes: crazy and asleep.  That's it.  Unless the TV is on.

So naturally we bought this awesome toy!  He's boinging all over the house and having a blast.  Bubbe comes over to watch him Saturday night.  Thanks Bubbe!  Z is bouncing every which way and says, "Bubbe, you want to try it?  It has a 250 lb weight limit so you can."  She quickly replies no thanks.  He says, "well, how much do you weigh"  Pause.  I say, "Z it is an unwritten rule that we don't ask women what they weigh.  It isn't nice. You can ask men what they weigh.  Men don't mind telling you."  He bounces a couple times and replies, "Ok, I'll ask Daddy what Bubbe weighs!"  and bounces off.  The kid's funny!

January 22, 2015

Happy 2015

Picture an old cheesy movie where you cut to a clock and watch the hands spin and spin and spin... 2.5 years later.

Happy 2015!  Just wanted to pop in and drop a quick update.

Z-man is in Kindergarten and pretty much the best kid ever... except when he's a little stinker.  :)
C has a new gig this school year as a part-time principal and part-time teacher in an alternative school.  Good experience but quite challenging at times to say the least.
I'm still a db developer.  My team has gone through lots of changes but we're all trying our best to roll with it.

Our dog Abbey is 12 and seems to be slowing down in that oh shit I've got an old dog, when did this happen kind of way.

We went gluten free in 2014 (or was it 2013). C was on a real hard cider kick for a good long while.  Then slowly but surely we got back on the wheat train and C back on the IPA.

My dad was diagnosed with a slow growing leukemia called CLL Jan 2014.  He had months and months of treatment and is now in remission!  Lots of family and friend support there. Cancer is a bitch and a half.

We OD'd on pizza making.  Just couldn't gear up to make pizza.  Let's be real our oven sucks.  It barely gets to 450 degrees.  So we took a LONG break.  Now a days we are in a happy medium.  Some Sunday mornings or Sat nights I'll make a batch of dough.  Then Sunday afternoon I'll bake up the sausage and grate the cheese and we'll invite Mom, Dad, or some friends over.  Or just make pizza for us.  No biggie. No fan fare.  We use store bought pizza sauce.  (Lucini Pizza Sauce is the best!!!)  Z will top his own pizza but C stretches out the dough for him.

I hope you are all doing well!!!

September 11, 2012

Reading is so important

This weekend Z-Man got a care package from my grandma!  Can I get a GOOO Grandma!!  It had paints and crayons and coloring books and a sweet letter telling Z to share his supplies with his friends.  So awesome!

In addition to the art supplies were a ton of books!  No one's complaining.  Mostly Halloween books which Z is big time into.  He has even tried on his Simba costume from last year to see if he can be him again this year.  (Too small).

So last night Z is getting ready for bed and I tell him to pick a book to read.  He proudly chooses a Winnie the Pooh book as pictured below.

First, I gotta tell you this thing is over 40 pages!  No Cat in the Hat style 40 pages where there's a line or two on each page.  No Doctor!  This guy has a long paragraph on each and every page.  Grandma is really testing my reading skills.

Walt Disney's Winnie the Pooh and a day for Eeyore

So we're reading this book and after two pages I'm saying things like, "Maybe tonight we only read this one book?"  and "I'm thinking maybe we read about half this book so we can read another book?"

Z has some mad negotiation skills so he's already countering with, "How about we read a couple more pages and then we're good and Daddy reads another book?"  All while patting my hand loveingly.  Sometimes he is just too much!

C is in our room next door folding laundry.  (Gotta love a man that will fold laundry!  Love you C)  I'm reading about Pooh and this pine cone that fell on his head and he going to do something else and suddenly the pine cone falls in the water.  Oh Pooh is on a bridge over the water btw.

Pooh notices the pine cone was on one side of the bridge and then magically came out the other side!  So he decides to make a game of throwing pine cones over the bridge to see them float in the water and he's going to call it "Pooh Sticks".  I cannot make this stuff up!

Your first question is perhaps "Why Pooh Sticks"?  Oh the book answers that...  Pooh reasons it is easier to carry a handful of sticks than and armload of pine cones to the bridge so immediately alters his game (as well as the name of said game).

I am reading this to my son.  I slow down to look at what I just read.  "Pooh Sticks"  I pause.  C hollers from the other room, "What's the game called?"  That's when I just lost it and start giggling like a 13 year old boy making fart sounds with his buddy.

This is probably 100% an inside joke but C and I say "Oh Pooh Sticks" all the time.  Well, less now that Z is around and we don't want him to say it around his teachers and then we have to endure that conversation.

So I cannot get through the rest of the page.  I mean tears were streaming down my face!  It doesn't help that Pooh's friends join in and each get their own stick to throw into the water to play the game.

Oh and I can hear C in the next room crying laughing as well.  Neither one of us can stop laughing.  Then I look at Z and he's just patiently looking at the pictures in the book.

Remember when your teacher would tell you to stop laughing and that just made it even harder to stop?  That was me.  Just trying like crazy to not find Pooh Sticks so funny.  Especially since ultimately it really isn't that funny.

Now I'm trying to choke out innocent lines in the book like "I expect my stick's stuck." and just laughing and laughing.  The joke, if you can call it that, is completely lost on poor little Z man who finally says, "Why are you laughing so hard Mommy?"

Eventually, I regain my composure and get through my laughing/crying fit and am able to finish the page. PHEW!  Then Eeyore enters the story and things turn dark pretty quickly as you can imagine.  We got halfway through it and will finish it tonight.  Thrilling conclusion!

So there you have it.  Thanks Grandma!  Not only did you give Z a great gift but you gave C and I a good solid 5 minutes of belly aching, tear streaming laughter.  I can't remember the last time I laughed that hard at something so downright silly.  When was the last time you found your "Child within"?

September 6, 2012

Horsing around

"Mommy can you come play with me?" Such sweet words can melt my heart. At times they can also sting when I really need to start dinner or wrap up something for work.

Usually I'm on board. The other day we were playing with all his horses. He has A LOT of horses. A couple have seen better days.  My sister, the Queen, gave Z a cute set of horses for his second birthday. There were a dozen or so and plastic covered with fur. Just the right size and super cute. Z plays with them all the time.

He is now three and a half.  The other day as we played with all his horses I said, "hmmm maybe we should get rid of some of these horses that are looking king of yucky?"

He said, "Which ones?  Why?"  So I pointed out two and said they just weren't doing too well. One had most of the fur peeled off and looked like it had fur leg warmers.  The other had half legs (C's attempt to even out the legs when one broke).  See photo above with one sort of normal looking horse and the two other horses.

He said, "No Mommy. Maybe the horses are saying 'I like having no fur and short legs." 

Well ok. We'll keep the horses. Never too old to learn from a child. 

August 31, 2012

Silver Sliver

All families have traditions.  Some are pretty standard like baking certain cookies around the holidays.  Others can be weird clever zany unique like the Silver Sliver.  When I was kid my grandparents always had coffeecake for dessert after dinner at their house.  Most people in the world cut at least a one inch slice of coffeecake.  Not my family.

For some reason we would sliver the thing to death!  I'm sure it started out innocently enough with Grandma asking my dad or grandpa if they wanted a piece and they said, "Maybe just a sliver."  (With hand in the air and thumb and pointer finger gesturing a tiny amount).

August 28, 2012

Summer 2012: recap

Guess where I am on this lovely August summer Saturday?  Work.  Yes, that's right work.  I just glanced out my window (I mean work window) at Mt Rainier which is some consolation I guess.  Let's not forget my tummy is also packed with Specialties egg and cheese sandwich, fruit, BRIE (Like good ooey gooey Brie), and coffee. 

So, is this the recap of summer 2012?  Kind of.  I remember back in school teachers would assign papers with a page minimum and I always hated that.  Well, in general I hated writing papers but then to require it be FIVE WHOLE PAGES!  Geez!  I could pretty much get in and out stating what I needed to in one page. Heck, one paragraph.  Succinct.  Then I had to BS the other four pages and wonder why I got a C on the paper.  What's proof reading anyway? 

So yeah "What I did this summer" could be summed up thusly; work, layers, t-ball, walking, zoo, Chelan, Chicago, and love.  Save and print.  Mr. Claudon would be so proud.

You are probably thinking, "I thought you were working? What's up blogging while at work?"  Yeah you got me there.  I'm at work but choosing not to work.  Get it?  Need more?  OK.  So I'm a database developer in case you didn't know.  My team works on projects for several months in a play environment (Or in this case 6 months) and then during off-hours we release everything we have worked on to the live environment for others to enjoy.  Often we can release Friday evening but this is a biggie so we are releasing on a Saturday.  So I'm here at work at 7am to who knows when waiting for everything to release and be checked.  As Mom and Dad so often used to say to my sis and me, "No Comment."

Moving on...  Seattle has had mild summer weather.  Upper 70s would be considered a hot day here.  It took until mid-July to really get to these kind of temps.  There have been some days in the 80s and even a few days in the 90s (which I thankfully missed).  Truth?  I like upper 70s just fine so really no complaints from me.  Pretty much summer in Seattle is all about wearing/bringing plenty of layers.

Z-man is all about the sprinkler and slip and slide (Yep they still make them!).  Our yard is all shade by 4pm so it can be pretty chilly back there for slipping and sliding.  Poor guy.  Summers are for kids and to not have good hot days to run through the sprinkler sucks.  He doesn't care though.  True to a Seattle kid he's ready to take his shirt off once it is over 50 degrees. "Mom, I'm sweaty" which means he wants to take his shirt off.  Let's not even talk about his "Summer feet."   I'm pretty sure he could walk on glass without injury.

Our neighbor coached a T-ball team and Z was on the team!  He was a purple pirate dragon.  Get this, the kid bats lefty. My man!  He had a game once a week and the kids and parents had a blast.  The kids took turns playing in the dirt or chasing the ball as a pack for two whole innings.  It was adorable.  He's looking to be a slugger and is my child when he gets mad if he doesn't like his hit.

In the Spring Emily gave me a FitBit which is a fancy schmancy pedometer.  I aim for 10,000 steps per day.  Having a desk job means I was getting about 2000 - 3000 steps per day.  Now, I'm taking a couple 10-15 minute walks per work day and it is making such a difference.  Not only am I more fit but clearing my head really helps me be more productive at work.

My sister-in-law, Katherine, told me about MyFitnessPal app for my phone (and online).  I am pleased to report I have logged most or all of my food into this app for over 130 days in a row!  Wah-huh?  I've never done anything for that long in my life!  The app syncs with the FitBit which is super awesome!  I'm loving this routine and it is the easiest "Diet" I've ever been on.  Finally able to report my favorite pair of pre-prego jeans from 3.5 years ago finally fits!

Seattle's zoo, Woodlawn Park Zoo, has ZooTunes in the summer.  Super kid-friendly concerts that start at 6 and end by 9pm.  They are on the lawn and you bring a blanket and picnic.  Too fun and I always wish I could go to more shows.  This year we saw Ziggy Marley one night and then Steve Earle and Los Lobos another night.  FUN! 

Finally in August I took a week off of work.  We went to Lake Chelan for four days with my sister and her family, my dad and J-Mo, and my brother-in-law and sister-in-law.  It was in the upper 90s (Eastern Washington is a high desert) so the water felt amazing! 

The second half of my week off we flew into Chicago to celebrate my in-laws 40th wedding anniversary.  WOW!  40 years!  It was a really fun weekend and we saw almost everyone but sadly not nearly everyone.  There are MANY people on my hit list next visit.  Too many to name but you know who you are! We had pizza three times, Chicago hot dog, bags upon bags of Oke Doke cheese popcorn, Italian beef twice, and White Castle sliders once (once is really enough, oh boy!).  C even had a pizza puff which I snagged a bite.  Drool pizza puff.  So wrong yet so right.  I had to be rolled onto the airplane and am not even upset about it.  That's what Chicago does to you.

Now, we are back home and Z and C have been best buds for the whole week and then part of next week.  It is really awesome to see how close they are.  This morning as I tiptoed out of the house for work the boys were still asleep in bed and looked so cute and peaceful.  Did I mention Z comes into our bed several nights a week at about 3-4 in the morning.  Mostly he's a snuggler so it is ok but the nights he is a kicker can be rough.  So yeah I love my boys more than anything and can't wait to be with them.  SOON!

I hope you had a nice summer.  Tell me all about it!!!  Bring on the fall fun!