Thursday, September 27, 2007

10 years...

Today is my 10th Wedding Anniversary.
SM and I have been kind of thinking back this week.. "10 years ago today we were:"
Why does that seem so long ago?
I think becoming a parent ages you in ways you don't expect. I don't feel "old", but seeing my babies grow up SO quickly has a strange affect on the way I see things. Certain situations have alot more meaning than they used to. Flying alone, for example, all I can do is think about how said it would be not to be able to watch my children continue to grow. Good grief, 10 years ago I was just excited to get where I was going.
I'm leaving early today, gonna go on a mini-getaway to celebrate, but I'll leave you with this statement that a co-worker left me with the other day that made me PAINFULLY aware of my age.
The freshmen entering college this year were born in 1989.
until next time....
happy anniversary babe

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Fall is here... and with it comes the fall TV LINEUP!

I was just reading a post on Seattle Mom Blogs and it inspired me.
SM and I spent the last two nights trying to work out all the shows we need to TiVo/DVR this season. We always start with a pretty wide net, and the first few weeks of Sept/Oct are spent auditing all the new shows. Considering our available TV watching time, shows get cut back pretty quickly.
So far so good, we've only watched a couple though. Which brings up the question - WHY aren't there any decent shows on TUESDAYS???!!! What's up with that? We were so excited to watch some new fall tv last night and ended up watching Dancing With the Stars. I mean, it's ok every once in a while, but sheesh!
Tonight - Bionic Woman! Can't wait. This summer was spent catching up on 3 seasons' worth of Battlestar Gallactica and it'll be cool to see Starbuck in a new role. Man I hope this show is good - we need another good strong female-led show now that Alias is off the air.
I'm also going to turn this post into a total RANT about the new Comcast DVR setup. It's possibly the absolute WORST UI that has ever gotten through to the public. Choosing shows to start recording is nearly impossible. After SM said "did they even test this with a HUMAN BEING before they released it?!?" for the 3rd time, I took over. With no luck. We both work in the technology industry. He works with Mobile Devices at The Evil Empire and I'm a Web Developer for The Mouse. We've done this before. We've had a TiVo for 5 years.
I don't hate much in this life - I have a pretty easy, sheltered, happy life.
I hate Comcast and their DVR UI.
We might just have to shell out for the new HD TiVo just to preserve our sanity.

OK, deep cleansing breath...
Let's hope for some good shows this season!!
and since the Mariners have just been mathematically eliminated from post-season play... GO SEAHAWKS!

until next time...

I heart TiVo!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Biz Travel: The Great Escape? or Horror Flick?

This is going to probably be a short post, but I feel like it's one I'm going to come back to often.
I just got back from a business trip to NY (as you might notice from my lack of posts over the last week). I might be a little jaded writing this, so here's your fair warning. This particular trip was wall-to-wall work. I spent so much time in conference rooms and steakhouses that I really don't see why we couldn't have just gone to middle-of-nowhere USA. OK - I guess George Stephanopoulos and Diane Sawyer only make appearances for the NY crowd, but other than that.... well, you know what I mean.
Usually when I have a trip to a large city, I'm able to squeak in a little "tourist" time to enjoy where I am and do a little shopping and hopefully visit with friends. Somehow I have friends in quite a few major cities, so that usually works out great since I don't travel much for fun right now. This time - it was all work, all the time. The only bright side was the 10-minute powershop in H&M at 9pm on my way from a work dinner to a post-work dinner gathering.
Every night I called home.
I called home in time to have my daughter repeat "Mamma... Mamma... Mamma" over and over into the phone (with a button pushed for good measure) and to have my son say his "Good Nights" mostly in tears because he missed his Mom.
Traveling for work is officially over for me.
It used to be the coolest thing since sliced bread.
Since a Mouse paid for my $300+/night hotel in the middle of Manhattan while I got to eat at the coolest little spots in the city - found by the friend I was able to meet up with during my extra night stay.
For my SMate, it seems to be pure punishment. Lots of coordination and the stress level so high that it's hard to enjoy the fact that he gets all that time with the kiddos to himself.
Funny how you change, and how your perspective changes.
Now I just want him to go out of town so I get the kiddos all to MYself.
Now that's just plain weird.
or is it?
until next time.....
biz travel stinks

Friday, September 21, 2007

MotherTalk Blog Tour: BOB Books

A day late, not a good start to my second Review for MotherTalk, but luckily for kids and moms everywhere, it's not because of the books. I'm the late one, so let's just get to reviewing!

The BOB Books are amazing. I have a 4+ yr-old son and he's just starting to get good with his letters. The first set of books are so simple that he was actually starting to pick out the words on his own (when he was patient enough) by the end of the first one. These books provided me my first opportunity to see my son read successfully, on his own, and watch his excitement build as he realized, by the third word, that he was, in fact, reading.

Set 1 of the Books are truly for beginning readers. The way each set is organized is specific, and really interesting. Being MUCH older than four, I tend to forget how much benefit little ones receive through repetition. It might drive me absolutely bananas to read the fact that Mat and Sam sat 10 different ways, but as soon as Milo looked at the words and actually read "Mat sat. Sam sat." it was like a light bulb went off in BOTH our heads. I'm pretty sure we both saw them switch on as well.

Each book in the set gets progressively more difficult. They're color-coded so parents can see that as each book of the same color is a baby step further, each color is a larger step further. The set comes with a parent-card to assist us in our efforts. Plus, it all comes in a handy-dandy little box.

The tough part for me now, as a parent watching my son attempting to read, is learning patience, both for me - when he says he doesn't know a letter that he just identified the page before - and for him - when he just says what he sees in the pictures rather than taking the time to attempt to read the words.
Patience is the key, with all facets of parenting, really. But realizing first-hand how proud he was when he read on his own, and also how frustrated he got when suddenly those same words weren't recognizable, is proving that the tools you use are nearly as important as that patience.

I worried about the simplicity of the books. My son is absolutely obsessed with comic books, most I think because he can "read" the pictures without having to be able to read the words. But they're so complicated, so many story lines and characters to follow. I thought for sure he'd look at Mat and Dot and instantly toss them aside with boredom. Luckily, the fact that he wasn't overwhelmed with words and letters gave him the inspiration and excitement to keep reading about the rag and the dog and the hat and the cat.

Quite frankly, it inspired and excited me as well.
Can't ask for much more than that.

until next time....
teach your kids to read... with BOB

Monday, September 17, 2007

We heart the Puyallup

Yesterday marked our 3rd year in a row "Doing the Puyallup" with the kid(s). Last year Roxie would have only been 5 months old, so she stayed with Grandma & Grandad. This year, however, we all went together. It was fantastic.

and the best part....

They were totally knocked out on the way home.
We played all the games, like we usually do, but this time we didn't come home with nearly as much stuff.
Milo won himself this crazy blue Nemo squeaky hammer thing and then convinced Rich to buy him a giant blow-up unicorn on a stick. He also went fishing and won himself a little blue doggie and then won Roxie a little red one.
Even better, SM knocked all the cans off the table to win Roxie a big(ish) black & brown doggie.
Even Mamma got into the act and won the ski-ball triple crown horse racing game and got Milo & Roxie a lion and a tiger which both went to school with them today to have for naptime.
Too much fun.
And next year, when I tell SM that the first thing we need to do is get our pics taken in the photo booth, he'd better listen!
until next time...
there's still time for you to do the puyallup!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Love this blog

I met this woman through a long-time friend of mine that I used to work with. She's obviously a very good writer, and is also "a writer". I read her blog pretty often, it's called "Happily Even After" and I LOVE the name.
She just posted this and I'm amazed. "Partners Play on the Same Team".
These particular words from her "Mr. R" were significant.
Mr. R: Well, maybe. But I'm not really the type to complain. Still I had issues that were building up, so, yeah, part of it was that I had to spill my complaints every now and then, too. But more than that, I think I realized that your wanting to talk through our issues all the time wasn't a bad thing. I mean, you weren't complaining just to hurt or annoy me. I realized we were actually supposed to get somewhere in those conversations.
Mr. R: Like on each other's side. I think that was the big breakthrough. When I realized I had to be on your side. And you had to be on mine. That by talking about our issues, we could actually be on one side--OUR side.
I think I need that tattooed somewhere, or on a T-Shirt. And no, it's not just because the "man" in the relationship said it - I'm not pulling one of those "Finally, a man who understands something all women already to" or some crap like that. I really mean that sounds like something everyone in a marriage should remember.
We play on the same team.
We ought to act like it - and truly want the other person in the relationship to win as much as we want ourselves to win.
Why is that so hard to remember??
until next time....

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

ByeBye Binkie!

So long, farewell, adios, see ya, buhbye BINKIE!

Yesterday was Roxie's first day in the Toddler Room. She had a rough first start. From SM: "Ugghh…drop off was a wreck. No one was in the toddler room, Milo wanted a toy (Roxie had her puppy), and Roxie lost her tuna salad when we dropped her off in the infant room. I could hear her crying when I was driving away."
Not exactly ideal.
When I got there to pick her up though, her sheet noted that she was "happy today". It also turns out that they didn't have a binkie for her so they just went about the day without it. She napped fine. Woke up fine. Didn't ask for it once.
So you know what we did? We made it disappear. It no longer exists... never did. And she's fine.
My hero? Supernanny. Her and Roxie's new Toddler Teacher Olga.
Bye Bye Binkies... forever.
my my how time flies.

until next time....

Monday, September 10, 2007

SMate, the kids, and the zoo

I had to work all day Sunday, so my fabulous SM took the kiddos to the zoo. It was a gorgeous day in Seattle, sunny - 60's/70's and they got there before the zoo opened. He said they were terrific together, all riding around in a wagon with their drinks and their snacks. They'd stop at an exhibit, hop out of the wagon, wave at the animals and then hop back in. They got there when all the animals were getting breakfast, so they all snacked together.
Milo was SO excited to tell me about the hedgehog he got to see. He's obsessed with them since he love the Sonic the Hedgehog comics so much. He decided he wanted one as a pet even though they're not very good pets. They also got stopped on one of their routes by a line of giraffes. They scared Roxie a bit, but as Milo told the story "they were on their way to their play area". Love the world through the eyes of a 4yr old.
They also got to see an area where they had owls sitting on logs all in a line. Roxie is totally loving owls right now so SM said she went wild for it. Even came home with her own little stuffed owl.
The heartbreaker to all of this is SM said that on the way into the zoo from the parking lot, he held Milo's hand and Milo held Roxie's hand and they all walked in together... holding hands.
And I missed it.
until next time....
the times they are a changin

Sunday, September 9, 2007

the end of summer is near...

Well - the end of summer is getting closer and closer.
Luckily, in the NorthWest, we generally get to enjoy a nice Indian Summer in September, and that's certainly been the case this weekend. We went out on Bella Pesche (my parents' boat) yesterday and it was pretty crowded on the lake. There was a little sailboat race going on, there were lots of boats out for the UW game, and there were TONS of waves. We shut down the motors to lunch off the beach at Magnuson and traveled quite a ways back south while we were there. It was nice though, Roxie actually laid down and took a nap and it was a nice farewell to the boat for the year, although I still hold out hope for one more ride.
I have to work today, Sunday, which is a total bummer, but necessary evil. SMate took the kids to the zoo by himself. Now THAT will be something to blog about.
until next time...
enjoy those last rays and bask in them
the rain is on its way

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My "Team Captain"

I had a true "proud mamma" moment last night.
We had a T-Ball Banquet last night - kind of an "end of the season bash". Our Coach brought food, drinks and even a T-Ball cake - it was great. She also blew up a bunch of balloons and the kids ran around for pretty much the full hour throwing the balloons into the air and into the fan to watch them blow all around the room.
That's not the "proud" part, however.
At the end of the banquet she passed out awards. Yes, one month of T-Ball at the Community Center with the most patient, nice coach, and she ALSO gave a different award to each kid that played. She got up front and told a story of why she chose each award for each particular child. There were a few that didn't make it to the banquet, so just before she gave out the last award (and no, Milo hadn't gotten his yet) she went through and announced the awards for those who weren't there. Milo was getting nervous - "why I don't get an award? why am I last?" etc.
I'm tearing up already... he got the "Team Captain" award!
Paraphrasing because I was so excited for him that I forgot to really listen - "He was always ready to go and was ready to play any position I gave him and..." well, I have a terrible memory. But he was so excited, he RAN up to the front, got his award and then RAN right back to the table shouting "thank you!" over his shoulder because I reminded him to.
Well, no more T-Ball 'til next year, and the classes during the week were a little tough, so we're going to sign up for swim lessons (or try to) for next session. But, soccer starts early next year, so we just might have to give that a shot.
'til next time
- Team Captain's Mom