Jun 30, 2008

Dear Journal,

I've missed a few days, so I need to catch you up. (Pardon the improper grammar.)

Thursday: The movers came. All two of them. One of whom left early. I don't know WHY I thought they'd be finished by the end of the day (in time for our early Friday morning walk-through and closing.) (See Doug's blog for more details.) Evidently I'm a hopeless optimist.

Here's a brief summary of the day in numbers:
Minor heart attacks: 3-10
Number of rooms emptied of stuff: 0
Major panic attacks: 16
Emotional break-downs: 1-28
Large wooden crates filled: 7
Panicked phone calls to Doug: 317
Number of times the boys were helpful: 0
Number of times the boys were naughty: 6,438

(What do you do when your detergent is packed and you really hate hand-washing? Put dish soap in the dishwasher! It works like a charm!)

Lucky for us, we had a place to go this night so we didn't have to camp amidst the chaos; The family of our favorite RI babysitter, Jessica the Fearless! They, (the Magnanimous Millers) were also generous enough to host Doug's dad who arrived for his whirl-wind visit that night at midnight.

I hope you're appreciating all of this typing, because I'm very tired Journal!

Friday: The boys (fortunately) got to over-stay their welcome with my FABULOUS and LONG-SUFFERING friend Jenni for the day.

The walk-through was rescheduled for 3p.m. The moving company sent three movers this time and promised the house would be empty by 3:00.

The house was not empty at 3.
(when the buyers arrived for the walk-through.)

The house was still not empty at 3:30.
(when they did the walk-through anyway.)

For all I know, the house still isn't empty.
(I hope the buyers enjoy our stuff.)

The buyers had to do their walk-through in the midst of unfinished packing and stacked boxes.

Then we had to RUSH to pick up the kids,
RUSH back to The Magnanimous Millers to shower, change, and drop off the kids (again),
and RUSH to the graduation reception which started at 5:00p.m.

We barely made it on time. After that, it was smooth sailing and a wonderful evening filled with excessive hugging, (I'm not very good at social hugging. I never get the pressure right.) Shirley Temple's for the Mormons, tears, laughter, ceremony, funny stories, mocking of Douglas, more hugging, and finally a delish dinner at the famous restaurant, Hemenways, downstairs. (I got the Cashew Crusted Salmon with Pineapple Butter. It was VERY good.)We're really going to miss all the friends we've made here. Especially all of the above "co-residents". [See that guys in the top right corner? His name is Chad. He's super excited because Doug bequeathed him all his patients since they sorta look alike. (I hope I never have to type or think the word "bequeathed" ever again.)]

and now...
it's official.
(And yet for some reason he can't fathom, I still refuse to address him as "Doctor".)

And that's all for today, Journal.

More tomorrow.

Jun 29, 2008

We're HERE!

Here being Washington D.C.
(or thereabouts...)
(my sister is a security-phobe and does not want her exact location disclosed.)
(I'm very sensitive to those with mental illness.)


Right now I have to enjoy my last few hours with Doug before he leaves for BOOT CAMP!

Jun 25, 2008

Just One of Those Days

Movers #2 have come and gone. I awoke groggily this morning to the sound of knocking. "Uh oh!" I exclaimed while jumping out of bed. Sure enough, a quick peek out the window reveals a large moving van parked out front.


I yelled in the direction of the door, and ran back to my room to find some clothes.

When the moving company said they'd be here between 8-5, I did NOT expect 8 a.m. on the dot. In fact, last night when I went to bed leaving things only half ready, I envisioned a leisurely morning of organizing and an afternoon or evening visit from the movers.

No such luck.

And it would have to be one of the VERY rare occasions when all three boys choose to sleep in!

So, the two movers came in and set to work packing up the measly pile of stuff I left out last night. Remember, this is the stuff that's supposed to tide us over until our BIG shipment arrives. I'd piled up sheets, some basic kitchen stuff, and two small totes of toys. I'm pretty sure I forgot many, MANY things we'll need and want, but I threw in a few extra pillows, so at least I'll be sleeping well, if nothing else.

Almost as soon as they were here, they were gone taking our new desk-top computer with them and leaving me dazed and confused and new-computerless. (Fortunately, I still have the old barely functioning laptop.)

SO, time to move on with the day. I get the baby out of his high chair and take him down stairs to be placed in Maxwell's care. I need to put a few things away without Gabey's help. I set him down next to the big boys and start to walk away when I hear Sam exclaim "AHH! BLOW-OUT!".

Surprisingly clear and articulate for him!

I glance at Gabe and see nothing. I glance down at my shirt and see something. A whole lot of something. Covering me. It's amazing the smell didn't alert me, but my allergies are in full force and I'm a bit stuffy.

I grab Gabe and find the source of the destruction. It's sneaking out through the side of his diaper. Not taking the usual up-the-back route.


Good thing he's extremely good under pressure. He delivers the goods in under a minute.

Now all three boys are in the tub and I'm awaiting my turn in the shower. I smell faintly of poo despite having removed all soiled clothing.

And I'm blogging.

Why? Because some things just need to recorded when they're fresh!

Or should I say, "ripe".

Jun 24, 2008

When It Rains It Pours

We want to leave Rhode Island with a bang and the weather is helping us with our goal! (Fortunately, it wasn't an Iowa-scale storm, this one was actually pretty fun.) It was so cool I don't even mind (too much) that it decimated my Rose bushes and about-to-bud Hydrangeas.

(This movie is kinda long, but the song makes it all worth it. And have you ever seen such huge hail?!?)

(Wondering why there's a sled out on the deck in the middle of June? Oh, that would be because the boys use it to "sled" down the hillside which is our back yard. Can you say erosion?)
Now I bring you my schedule for the week:

Today, the first movers came and removed everything going to "non-temp" storage. In other words, they took the stuff we're leaving in the states. All three mover-men were extremely jovial and efficient and didn't mind a little "help" from three grabby little boys. (Let's hope the next movers are as patient.)
Today I also packaged and mailed (with a little help from Doug) a crap-load of cookies and stuffed things. Ahh, the price of blog comments! (It's worth it.)

Oh, and today is also the day of "The Big Storm". (See movie above.)

Tomorrow, the second movers come to remove the "UB" shipment. That would be "unaccompanied baggage," fyi. (And f-my-i.) This is everything we'll need upon arrival, but is limited to bare necessities. (We're sending the new computer.)

Finally, on Thursday, we'll say good-bye to our "HHG's". (Household Goods.)
I didn't realize when Doug joined the A.F. that I'd be forced to familiarize myself with a whole alphabet soup of acronyms! It's like, tw! (totally whack) (...I just made that last part up.)
We will then be left with the clothes on our backs (and in our voluminous suitcases) and our good looks. We are planning to take refuge in the basement of our generous, wheel-chair bound babysitter. (We really were planning to go to a hotel. She insisted! And yes, this is just the beginning of my floor-space mooching. There will be much, much more in the days and weeks ahead!)

Friday is Doug's graduation. ("...and there was much rejoicing! Yaaaay!") I'm hoping my hair wont be orange by then, but let's get real; it probably will be. Doug's dad is coming in to town just for the occasion, (The graduation, not to see my hair-do.) and there will be extensive celebratory eating that night.

Saturday is our last day in Little Rhody!
You've been good to us, Rhode Island!
We'll miss you!!!

Stay tuned to find out where we'll be on SATURDAY NIGHT!!! You'll never guess so don't even try! (No. It's not Japan. Quit guessing. I told you not to guess.)

I'd tell ya right now, but I'm going to bed!


Jun 22, 2008

Pay It Forward!

I was one of the lucky winner's of Jessi's Pay-it-Forward exchange and am now doing my duty to pass the good fortune along.

Here is the deal: I will send a handmade gift to the first 3 people who leave a comment on my blog requesting to join this PIF exchange.
(It will probably be a silly stuffed monster. There may or may not be cookies.)
You will receive your gift within 365 days. (Probably closer to 7 since I plan to do this before moving.) The only thing you have to do in return is pay it forward by making the same promise on your blog.
Oh, and you have to be willing to give me your mailing address. I promise not to stalk you.
Sound fun? Then leave a comment!
The first three commentor's WIN!

Jun 21, 2008

Rhymes with "Great's"

Last night we went to dinner at the home of our very good friends. The very first week I went to church here, I met 'the husband'. For the sake of anonymity, we'll call him "Brother First-Counselor-in-the-Bishopric". He was very friendly, introduced me to various members of the ward, and immediately called me to be a primary teacher. (And yet we still became friends!)

His wife I got to know in a different way. We sat in front of their family in Sacrament Meeting a few times, and based solely on one sarcastic/hilarious comment she made, I knew we could be friends.  So I invited their family over for dinner.  When she took my side teasing Doug and laughed at his jokes, (which most people don't know are jokes) I knew we'd be BFF's
It's one of those rare and covetous situations where you and your husband get along with both husband and wife, and the kids all get along with each other. It doesn't happen very often and we're really going to miss them.

Anyway, before I get teary, I'm going to post some pics I took. I was really trying hard to take super cool/hip/edgy/artsy pics like my Cousin Wendy and Fab-Photog-Jen take. But as usual I only succeeded in making them look crooked and out of focus. 
Oh well. 

Here they are:

Babies:  Seth and Gabey

Sweet and funny Heather with brother Seth.  (Doug calls her 'Leather'.)
Joshua and Doug are always discussing similar books and authors they like.  Josh is a super smarty.
Isaiah is a very sweet kid and is always nice to my little boys.  And he's got a great sense of humor.
It's important to note that Leslie is older than Max.  But she still plays with him.  
She reminds me of me as a kid.  Only she's nicer.  But that is TOTALLY my childhood hairstyle.  Cute girl!
This is our most auspicious Good Luck Cookie with Japanese characters.  I may or may not have had more than two pieces.Thanks for the fun night!  Sorry for keeping you up so late.  We'll miss you guys!!!

Must stop blogging and clean the house now!  
Must stop blogging and organize the house now!  
Must stop blogging and get something done now!  
Must stop blogging!!!!

***Not a Mormon?  Want to know what a Bishopric is?  Click here!***

Jun 20, 2008

Lucky Me!

I feel like I've been flooded with love lately!!!  My friend Marni made us this cute little family picture as a going away present.  I love it!  (She's a Stampin' Up genius!!!)

Then, my friend Sara gave me these two ceramic art pieces made by her husband.  They have tiny silver hooks on them so they can be made into necklaces.  Have I ever mentioned my deep and abiding love of pottery and ceramics?  Yes.  Yes I have.  Sara's husband, Nathan, is an artistic GE.NI.US!!!  See his work here!  (And definitely click to enlarge the pictures!)

Next we have this beautiful, witty, truthful, and appropriate embroidery from Jessi.  She's "Paying it Forward".  (Which I will be doing shortly.)

And finally, my Mom delivered this H.C. from my sister Karie.  Karie bought it for me in New York City after I brought the boys down to visit.  It arrived on the hottest day of the year, so I waited approximately one day to try it.  And yes.  It's very good.  Very very very good.  Even in 90 degree weather! 
I love people!

Now two gifts for you in the form of great blog posts:  
1.  Doug wrote a hilarious ode to his car the other day.  I was actually laughing.  Out loud.  
2.  And then today my sister Laura wrote about some service given to flood victims HERE which made me feel good.  (Sad, but good!)

Well, our indoor thermometer says it's only 75 in here so I'm gonna go make some Hot Chocolate now.

Have a FABULOUS day!

Jun 18, 2008

On The Move

It’s the beginning of the end. This is our last 'real' week in Rhode Island. Yesterday we went strawberry picking one last time, today we're headed to Costco (it's in Massachusetts) to exchange our vacuum, and tomorrow I have 500 Snickerdoodles to make. (Cross your fingers for a nice, cold day!) Saturday we’ll get in one last trip to the Spray Park at the Y, and Sunday will be our last week at church. (In Rhode Island, anyway.)

Next week is when things start to get really crazy. Doug will be working as usual, and I will be left to deal with the movers. Three entirely different sets of movers who will come on different days and be packing things to be sent to different locations.

My job will be to supervise, but I can’t, for liability reasons, help pack or move anything.
That’s right. We're moving half way around the world and I don’t have to lift a finger. I should be happy, but instead I’m getting a little panicky.

Usually, this close to a move, we’re pretty organized. Most of our stuff has been packed and only the dregs are left. There is always last minute shoving into anonymous boxes, but for the most part, things are carefully packed and well labeled at least a little bit in advance. This time, I was told the movers had to do all the packing. So even things I would have liked to have packed away are still sitting un-touched on their shelves. Labels that would have been typed on the computer and printed, do not exist.

All of this I can handle. But there is one thing I worry about. I mentioned above that we have three different movers coming. This is because one shipment will be sent to “non-temp storage”. This is stuff that will stay here in the US that we wont need in Japan. (Some people store large appliances, etc. I’m just leaving some of my 10,000 books.) Next is the “slow boat” shipment. This is for the majority of your stuff but also big items like furniture. Finally there is the last (fast boat?) shipment. This needs to encompass everything you’ll need right away. Some bedding, dishes, a crib for the baby, toiletries etc.

All these shipments are independent (obviously) from the stuff we need for the month of July. (Doug will be at COT in Alabama, me and the boys will be at my friend's house in Florida.) My biggest worry is how to sort everything out!

I can just imagine what it will be like when the movers arrive:

Fast Shipment Packers: “So, Mrs. Dub, you said to pack these books, right?”

Me: “No, not all the books. Can you please just take the ones appropriate for beginning readers and… SAM! STOP WASTING THAT PACKING TAPE!!!! Sorry. Just the books for grades K-3. And I guess maybe of few ‘older’ books for read-aloud's. MAX! PUT DOWN THAT BOX CUTTER!!! And WHERE is Gabey? You were supposed to be watching him! Is the baby gate still up? SAM PUT THE BABY GATE UP BEFORE GABE FALLS TO HIS DEATH!!! Okay, so the books. Just take them all. In fact, just pack all the books in all the rooms.. I’ll sort ‘em out later. Excuse me, I have to save my child’s life now.”

--Two months later in Japan--

Doug: “Emily, how come we have all the leather bound classics you were supposed to leave in storage and we don’t have any sheets, towels or underwear?”

Me: “Um, what are you say...?? Hey! Look over there!!!”

Wish me luck!!!

Jun 16, 2008

Good Times

This morning my Mom and (new husband) John left.  We've had a really fun week with them, but it went by too fast!  Fortunately, we were able to have lots of fun AND exploit their generosity quite a bit while they were here, so at least there's that.

For example, on Saturday Doug and I were able to experience something we'd all but forgotten about:  Peace and Quiet!  
Oh, and a date with free babysitting for a WHOLE DAY!  

That's right, Fae and John offered to babysit for us for the day while we visited Block Island:  the very last place on our Rhode Island 'to see and do' list.  We've been wanting to visit ever since we got here, but we'd never gotten around to it.  You should have SEEN how happy Doug was when the offer of babysitting was made and he could contemplate a kid-free day!

So Saturday morning we packed up a big back-pack and set off for the ferry that would deposit us on the island.  (Which is 12 miles from shore and takes about an hour to reach.)  It was then that Doug discovered something he NEVER would have noticed had kids been in tow.  He has some really long leg hairs.

Yep.  That's right.  As we sat peacefully on the ferry staring at the beautiful scenery and talking to each other about things of no consequence, Doug found an extremely long leg hair sticking off of his knee.  He soon realized that MOST of his leg hairs are that long when stretched out!  
 And to think.  Without Faezer and John, it would never have been possible to make such a
 startling discovery!
Anyway, once on the island we did another thing we've always wanted to do but can't do with kids.  We rented a SCOOTER!  It was a blast.  We scooted all around the whole island, saw both lighthouses in residence, and played on some gorgeous beaches.  (Eventually finding the perfect beach to ostensibly read our books, but really to fall asleep upon.)  The weather was perfect, the scenery was serene, and the food was fab.  We couldn't have asked for a better day.  

(Please pardon my glorious pasty white-ness.  I don't get out much.)
Meantime, back at the ranch (er, house) Faezerator was finishing up some other slave labor (besides babysitting) foisted upon her by moi.  Friday we had started a sewing project which was nearly complete, and by the time we got home, she had finished it.  (Pretty freaking amazing considering the boys were in residence.)  

So, here's how sewing projects go down around here:  I have an idea or inspiration.  Sometimes I even start the project and then give up part way through.  Next, Fae-bomb and I go to Jo-Ann's and buy too much stuff.  Then, I act like I'm going to help and assist but really just supervise and make the occasional suggestion.  Finally, Faezer does all the work and creates a thing of beauty. 

It's a tried and true formula, and it's always been successful.  Even with her new husband along, she still managed to work some sewing magic by doing all my mending, (even the mending I didn't know I had) and creating these awesome monster toys for the boys!  (Inspired by this blog post.)
Max's is a Pirate Monster, Sam's is a Sheriff Monster(green tag) who sticks his tongue out at 'scary' monsters, and Gabey's is just plain cute and even has a red heart on it's bum.  The boys love them and Sam has been carrying his around non-stop and sleeping with it.  (For the record, I did design the patterns, and I cut out some felt, and I made the pirate patch ALL BY MYSELF!)

All in all, it was a wildly successful day.  We had a fantastic time visiting Block Island, and the boys were (reportedly) very happy and well behaved at home.  Fae and John survived, but may or may not offer to babysit anyone's kids again ever.  (Sorry siblings!)

Thanks again Mom and John!  It was great seeing you!  We hope you'll make it to see us in Japan (or Hawaii)!  

And I promise if you do, I'll keep the sewing and babysitting to a minimum!

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day to my Dad, and my Father-in-law!!!  I'm sorry you didn't get a gift, but if it's any consolation, neither did my own husband!

Aside from Egg's Benedict for breakfast, and Chicken Kiev for dinner, this is all Doug got yesterday;

To Doug on Father's Day:  
(It's a poem, people!)

I wanted to hide it,
but I just can’t deny it,

I guess I’ll be clear...
I really dropped the ball this year!

My plan was to make you a marvelous craft
with help from the boys, (instead of taking a nap).

Maybe something with plaster and hand prints and paint,
And enough sparkly glitter to make a man faint!

But my big plans fell through
and with the house being messy too,

I moved on to the next idea...
Maybe something from Ikea?

No, that wont do,
And it’s so far away, too!

Then I considered a gift from Deseret Book,
but forgot the title you wanted and didn’t bother to look.

I really wanted a mousepad, for your new computer
and figured with MY face on it, it couldn’t be cuter!

But with shipping and handling and other delay’s,
it wouldn’t have gotten here for 7 to 10 days.

All of the sudden, epiphany!
I decided “I’ll play him a symphony!”

(On my violin!)

But where to begin?
I haven’t played music
since who-knows-when?

A painting was out, since we know how THAT goes,
It’s more likely you’ll get me to suck on your toes!

But then on came the light,
that would make everything right!

I said to myself, “I’ll write him a poem!
For I can do that
right here at home!

And the best part of all is that he’ll never know
that his REAL gift, was a big ‘No Show’!!!”

So this is the present you’re getting from me.
It didn’t cost anything, so I hope now you’ll see,
a gift that costs cash is always more fun!

And if you are lucky...

maybe next year...

you’ll get one.

Jun 13, 2008

Just So You Know

Just in case you were tempted to highly commend and then rent and then watch Juno with your mom, I don't recommend it.  It has way more swearing and waaaaaay more, um, s.e.x. than you remember.  Trust me on this.  

(Despite my complete discomfort throughout the entire movie, I still cried at the end.  Again.  Doug left half-way through to go to bed.  Wuss.)

In other news, while Fae and John were in Newport checkin' out the Mansions yesterday, Doug and I went on our...

First Ever Family Kayaking Expedition


The whole fam-dam went...  
In tiny, rocky, tippy, none-too-staple, self-propelled water-craft.

For once I did not stay home with the baby, generously sacrificing my own pleasure so my husband could go have fun with the big boys.  
(Actually, I just like staying home so I can watch Law & Order re-runs in peace while Gabe sleeps!)

Neither Gabe, nor I, had been in a kayak before.   
(Except maybe I got in Travis's kayak in the Old Mill pool.  Don't remember.  Did I, Anna?)

As (is not) usual on our adventures, I had to carry most of the weight with both big boys in my Kayak.  Doug was in a smaller craft with Gabey-Baby.  (Probably for the best since both Gabe and I have about equal swimming skills.) 

The whole thing was actually Sam's idea.  Around 2:00 p.m., he came strutting out of his room dressed in swim trunks, his life jacket, and goggles.  

I asked what he was doing and he said;
"I want to go on a Kayak with Daddy!"  
And that was that.   
(How do you say 'no' to a boy who is looking at you imploringly from beneath ill-fitting swim goggles?!?  You don't.)
So when Daddy came home, we all went on a Kayak.

And I actually had fun!  
And we didn't capsize! 
And I didn't run out of strength and strand us in the middle of the bay forcing an emergency rescue by helicopter!  (One of the many defects of my kind:  weak arms.) 

It was a successful evening by all accounts!  (Also, extremely beautiful!  Have you SEEN where I LIVE???)

I'm just getting better and better at this Mom o' Boys/Sporty-Mom stuff!!!  One day, I may actually learn to throw something and hit my target! (which, incidentally, is Doug.)  Or I might be able to watch more than 36 seconds of a football game on T.V.!  

The possibilities are limitless!!!  

(In the mean time though, if any of you with little girls would like to invite me over for a tea-party, I'd be thrilled to attend!)  

Post Script:  The kayaks were borrowed from our generous and fabulous neighbors Art and Doris who are both in their mid to late 80's, and both way more hard-core than me.

Jun 11, 2008

Snickerdoodle Winners Announced!!!

I have many "issues".  One is indecisiveness.  Another is fear of inadvertently hurting someones feelings.  (I have no problem hurting your feelings on purpose.)  Another issue is my tendency to procrastinate anything I "HAVE" to do.  These uh, "special traits" don't lend themselves to being great at judging contests.  So I'm a few days late, but today is the day.  The day I will announce the winner(s) of the delicious Snickerdoodles.  Yes.  There will be more than one winner.  (See issue number 1 above.)

So.  Here's the deal.  I tried to pawn the judging off on my mom and Doug, but we couldn't all agree on one, so we have multiple winners

Fae chose her winner based on actual usefulness/thoughtfulness:
(*drumroll please!*)
Jennifer from Connecticut who said;
"I remember when Courtney and I became good friends well.  It was when she called me from Costco out of the blue just to see if she could pick anything up for me..."
Something anyone can do, but it means a lot.  Good one Jen!

Honorable Mentions by Fae:
Marissa (You mentioned her Taco Stuff!)
Shelly  (My mom couldn't believe it when I told her you were the 15-year-old Shelly from S.F.!  She thinks you're very intelligent and astute for your age.)
Jonas Family (1st comment of several.) ;)
Marissa, Shelly, and Jenny.  You are all awarded a Virtual Snickerdoodle!  Enjoy!!!

Next up, Doug's selections were based more on their humor factor.  He couldn't decide so he'll be helping me roll the 10,000 little beasts in cinnamon because we're giving them to both of his winners:

Suz who recommended baking cakes and sticking random carrots in them.  Your comment completely baffled my mom ("She says 'cheerio'... is she English?") but Doug thought it was hilarious.

And Marissa.  Doug likes your Karate Party idea.  As do we all.  And it's so very fitting.

Finally, my pick.  I'm eliminating the three previous winners so that at least narrows it down.  Honestly, you guys really did give some excellent advice and gave me lots to consider.  But I'm going to go with a late entry.  (I can do that, it's my contest.)

Mandi-Baby left her comment under the "Hairy Situation" post and I think I'm actually going to take her advice.  Here it is:
Offer your talents willingly. Be open about yourself and the fun things you have done, the music you listen to, whatever, (people like to know you are cool) but also ASK others what they like and listen as they speak. Everyone's favorite subject is themselves. 
(ain't that the truth!)

If you showed up on the first Sunday and said "hey! I am having a moving in party and I make killer cupcakes! I would die if you/your family wasn't there!" People would show up. Sure some people would eat the cupcakes and leave but others will stick around and they now 1)know where you live, 2) know you have skills. These are perfect situations to start friends. People can now stop by just whenever and feel welcome in your home and who doesn't like a friend to cook and bake with? Those are my FAVORITE friends!
(I can do this.  I can make cupcakes and I love hosting parties!!!)

or...you know...whatever other skills you have be it numbchuck skills, computer hacking skills, you know... skills! People like friends with skills!
(Oh, I've got skills...)

Whatever it be, be open, inviting, and upbeat. It hasn't failed me yet!

She gets extra points for referencing Napolean Dynamite.  Sure, he's so 3 years ago, but I still love him, alright?  ("I see you're drinking 1%.  Is that 'cause you think you're fat?")

If you're a winner, (in this contest.  Not in life in general.) please email me at emilydeon(at)gmail(dot)com with your mailing address and I'll send you your cookies...eventually.  (And hey, let me know if you're allergic to cinnamon, yo!  I can diversify!)

If you're a (sore) loser (Diane) and/or just really want some cookies (Jenny Jonas, Kim B.),  send me your mailing address and maybe we'll take pity on you and send you some too.  (But not as many as we'll send the winners.  There must be some justice!)  
Thanks for participating everyone; for the great advice, and all the laughs!!!

Jun 10, 2008


It's so hot here, I can't even think up a clever title for this post.  
It's so hot and HUMID here that my head feels like it's going to implode from the pressure.
It's so hot that cooking AND cleaning are just plain out of the question  
It's so hot here that yesterday when the boys WANTED to go outside to play in the yard, I WOULDN'T LET them.  (95 degrees with 75-100% humidity)

It's so hot here that they CANCELLED SCHOOL today!

(But I didn't know that.)
(Until after I got back from dropping-off Max.)
(I thought we had just missed the bus.)
(Doug had to go back and pick him up.)
(I wasn't leaving the house in my robe and flip-flops AGAIN!)
(No.  I don't have any shame or self-respect.) 
(I dyed my own hair, didn't I?)

In other news, FAEZER arrived last night with her new husband John.  (That's my mom, for those of you who are new to the blog.)  I think at the moment they're napping in self-defense against the heat.  

I think I'll do the same.
(Take a nap, that is.)

Did I mention that it's so hot?

P.S.  Contest winners announced soon...when my head isn't about to implode.
P.P.S.  Yes.  My hair is still a strange shade of yellow/orange/brass.

Jun 9, 2008

Hairy Situation

Do you have sorta darkish/lightish mousy brown hair?  Have you ever thought to yourself, "I've tried everything else.  Why not try going blonde just once?!?"

Did you have to talk yourself into it because you knew better.  Because the voices in your head were saying "Don't color your hair yourself!  Go to a salon...the stuff you buy at the store is crap!!!  It'll never work!"  
But then you weighed the $7 box against a $75 salon visit and decided to give it a try...
...and then you ended up with this...
...which isn't exactly blonde.  

So you tried one more time...('cause why the heck not?)

...and then you ended up with this:

...which still has no resemblance to the color on the box...

Well?  Have you???

I have!

And I don't recommend it.

P.S.  Contest winners announced soon!

Jun 6, 2008

Movie Review - August Rush

Doug and I just finished watching AUGUST RUSH and I'm just gonna be honest here;

I just don't even know what else to say. I just loved it, alright?! Sure. All you professional film critics out there are going to shoot me down, but I don't even care.

Furthermore, I now have a crush on Jonathan Rhys Meyers who has an extremely sweet Irish accent and an awesome singing voice! (I looked it up and it really was him singing...not a voice-over.)
(Yes, John Cusack. You're still #1. Quit being such a girl!)

Anyway, part-way through the movie, Doug looked over at me and said; "You wish you'd married someone with musical talent! DON'T YOU!?!?" In a very accusatory manner. I didn't like his tone at all. And my answer is irrelevant.

The fact is...
wait...what were we talking about?

--Hey! Look over there!!!--

So anyway, let's just say I do have a great appreciation for musical talent. I started violin lessons at the tender age of three and took private lessons for 10 years. "Wow! You must be really good if you took lessons for that long!" you say. "Well, no." I say. "You'd be quite wrong about that." Much like my less-than-stellar college career, so was my violin career. The word "mediocre" comes to mind. Oh, and my mom saying (very truthfully) "Are you content with being mediocre? Because that's the kind of player you'll be if you don't practice." And I was, and I was.

My point here is (I think) that although I'm not doing any performing these days, (thank goodness!) I still love classical music and have a great appreciation for it. Especially stringed instruments. (Featured heavily in this film.) Also, I like rock music. And pretty music. And music played in Central Park by Grifters music.

So yeah. I liked the movie.

It was clean, fanciful, musical, it had an engaging plot, and it had a happy ending. Can't ask for much more than that. (Well, many of you can, but I don't bother to.)

PLUS, (as an aside) I happen to even know a real live musical prodigy. He (who will remain nameless for Doug's sake) sat down at the piano at the age of 13 and taught himself to play. Although he can't read music, he can play the piano beautifully, by ear, with improvisation, any Depeche Mode song you can name. (And I can name quite a few.) And lots from Toad the Wet Sprocket, too. And any other song he's ever heard. And that is just cool. It doesn't even matter if you like those bands! (Dave!) It's still cool!!!

So alright. Do I wish Doug could do that? Maybe a tiny bit. But I wish I could do it too and I wish my kids could do it and everyone else in the world could too, AND I wish we all had Grand Piano's to play on. So it's not like I'm unfair or anything. I just like music. And Irish accents.

And I liked August Rush.
And that's all I'm going to say about that!

Jun 4, 2008

The Men in My Life

Just a few of the things you're missing if you don't live with 4 boys!

Last night when Doug came home, he had a bouquet of flowers and the "Juno" soundtrack for me. Just because! And to think...all I had done for him was mock him on my blog! (He--obviously--hadn't read it yet.) Whoops! (See his rebuttal here.) I should mention that despite my mockery, I really do think he's the ideal husband. And I'm super lucky I tricked him into marrying me! (Long courtships are for suckers!)
When we took our friends to the airport the other day, all the kids were sad to be leaving each other but Bella looked especially sad. Then, on the drive, I looked in the rear view mirror to see Max with his arm around her running his hand comfortingly over her hair. It was so cute and yet startlingly grown-up all at the same time. I didn't know whether to laugh or cry!
Yesterday morning, Sam marched into my room proclaiming this:
S: You weewee wet me down, Mom!
Me: What Sam?
S: You weewee wet me down!!!
Me: I really let you down?
Me: Why? How did I let you down?
S: Cause I miss da M*'s!!! (Fake sobs.)
Me: Yeah. I miss the M*'s too.
(I love that Sammy-Boy!)
Tomorrow Max has his "Kindergarten Celebration" at school. When he brought home the flyer he asked if I would be able to be there. I said, yes, of course, I would be there.
He replied (with slight hostility);
"Good! I didn't want to practice all those songs for nothing!!!"
Gabe had his one year check-up a few days ago. (Yes, a month late! Lay off, alright?!?) He weighs 22'9" (25%), and is 30.75 inches long (75%).

Although he is still the cutest baby on the face of the planet, (sorry baby friends) he has recently started shrieking loudly if he doesn't get the toy he wants or if a big brother takes something from him. Not only that, but lately during diaper changes, he's been testing out some acrobatic feats worthy of Cirque du Soleil. He can twist out of my grasp in seconds which may or may not lead to me muttering potty words under my breath whilst swatting erratically at his retreating poop-covered bum. (Don't even try to defend him, Mom!)

This means we will shortly be changing his nickname from "Angel Baby" to "Senor Diablo" or something of the sort. Any suggestions? It has to be catchy!
Last thing: I've been a little worried about Sam lately. He's very averse to change and we've got LOTS in our immediate future. So I've been trying to talk to him about Japan to prepare him and get him ready for the transition. But he's still not entirely 'with me' because whenever he gets upset he starts crying and yells; "and I NOT going to move to Disney Woad! Neva eva eva! It's too fa away and I hate it!"
Alright Sammy. I promise we'll never ever ever move to Disney World. But we will be in Florida for the month of July. I hope that's alright. And does this also mean Tokyo Disney is out?
And one more last thing. You STILL have a chance to win homemade Snickerdoodles if you comment on yesterday's post and leave me some brilliant advice. The competition is stiff, but give it a try anyway. The contest will end on Sunday!
the end.

Jun 3, 2008

Make People Like Me and Win a Prize!

Yesterday we took our good friends the M*'s to the airport. My friend Diane will be back at the end of the month for graduation but the kids are gone for good.

It's the beginning of the end and I'm bummed about it. From this point on, we'll be saying a lot of good-byes. Good bye to work friends, church friends, family, and school friends. And in a few short weeks, sometime in the middle of August, we'll arrive in Japan and start the whole process of making new friends all over again.

And that stinks. Wanna know why? Because to know is to love us. But to first meet us, is usually to feel slightly disturbed and uncomfortable; possible frightened by us. Not ideal for the making of first impressions.

Here are a few of the more annoying character traits we possess which may or may not scare off potential friends:

1. We're chronically late. Especially to church.
1a. This is all my fault and I take full responsiblity.
1aa. Sunday is the one day of the week I bother to do all of the following things: *Take a shower. *Blow dry and style my hair. *Apply make-up. *Coordinate a matching outfit comprised of a clean and wrinkle free clothing. *Shave my legs.
(Every other day, you may get up to three of those things, but it's a crap-shoot. Only on Sunday do I go all out. And it's hard when sleeping in until the last possible minute.)
1aaa. I don't always shave my legs.

2. We're sarcastic.
2a. This is mostly Doug's problem. I mean "special trait". When we meet new people together, the first thing I say is "Don't take anything he says seriously. He's just kidding. He's very sarcastic." This may or may not prevent that person from being offended at the first thing out of his mouth. Or they may or may not think I'm just being sarcastic.

3. We're a bit messy.
3a. Doug truly believes he's a neat-nick. But he's not, and neither am I. And surprisingly, neither are our kids. So our house may appear a little cluttered, though I like to think of it as "alternatively styled".
3aaa. At least I keep my Ikea dishes in Rainbow order!

4. Our boys are not always calm and don't always play well with others.
4a. Some might use the word "naughty".
4aa. Some might also use "out-of-control, undisciplined, demonic little terrors." But they would be wrong because our boys are NOT that little.

5. I'm bossy and opinionated and I probably over-share far too early in every relationship. That's just part of my charm.

You're probably thinking; "That's not MY problem with the Dubs. MY problem is that they have terrible breathe and they're close-talkers!"

Whatever the case, we do have some redeeming qualities; We're good at making yummy breakfasts, and we like to do fun stuff! And sometimes Doug is really funny when he tries. (And after I've coached him a little.)

But we still need a little help. So here is what I want to know;

*What do you look for in potential friends?
*What attracks you to someone, (or to a couple) that makes you want to get to know him/her (or them) better?
*What are your friend turn-offs?
* Can you, personally, be bought with baked-goods? If so, what kinds?
As an added incentive for you to comment, the person to leave the BEST ADVICE (as determined by Doug and I) will win some HOMEMADE SNICKERDOODLES!!! Because until I know better, I'll just keeping using this method to win friends and influence people. GOOD LUCK!

(Please feel free to comment even if you're a lurker. We need all the help we can get!!! Who know's if people in Japan can be bought with Snickerdoodles!?!?)

(FYI, you do NOT need an account to comment. Just check the "name" circle and type in your name.)

Jun 2, 2008

Sweet Samuel

I realize that I haven't been talking-up my kids much lately on Ye Olde Blahg and I need to remedy that. Poor Sammy-Boy has been endlessly defamed in print (even if it was totally justified, the punk) so I thought I'd give him a little praise today.

Dear Sammy,

(Sorry, I mean Sammy-boy. You don't let us call you anything different!) Since I've recently reported some of your naughtier escapades on this blog, I thought I'd mention a few of the MANY things I love about you.

Right now, you're sitting on the floor in the midst of your beloved train tracks. You love train tracks, and race tracks, and trains, and race cars and vehicles of all kinds. And you're singing and talking to yourself. Right now you're singing "Me and My Yama...goin' to da Dentist todaaaaaaaay!" (See Doug's blog for the original version.) After singing a few bars, you'll switch to a dialogue between your cars and trains and maybe a pirate toy or two. Sometimes the cars sound suspiciously like your Mom. ie. "No! Dat was a BAD KOICE! You go to yo woom!" Sometimes they sound like pirates "AWOAH (arr!) MATEY! Shhwap da deck! Fight! Fight! Ging ging! Ging ging! (those are sword noises.)

I love that you're so content to entertain yourself in the mornings while Max is at school. It makes my life a whole lot easier. And gives me time for really important stuff. Like blogging. And I love it that you give Max a big hug when he does get home. Even if he doesn't want one.

I also love that you're pretty patient with your baby brother. Sure, you'll growl in his face if he messes up your train tracks. But you do love him a lot and always try to cheer him up when he's crying. (Even when you're the one who made him cry by growling in his face.)

Sam, I love your tender heart. I know I shouldn't, but I love it when you come home from preschool and tell me "I had a hawd day!" "Why, Sammy?" "Because it was so fwustwating! And embewassing! And I didn't want to be anybodies fwend!" And then we talk about what you did and you get all happy again and say you had a "Gwate day!"

I love that you get scared a lot. I know it's Maxwell's fault for sneaking up on you and ROARing really loud, but I can't help but laugh when a Backyardigan's episode makes you hide behind a chair while you force yourself to tremble dramatically.

I even sorta love it when you sneak. I know I got a little mad when I found you, a steak knife, and my half-eaten 5th Avenue candy bar in a pile of crumbs hiding in my bedroom. But that was more because I really wanted that 5th Avenue. If you'd stolen Daddy's candy bar, I probably would have just laughed. (But lay off the steak knives okay?! I'll show you how to open a candy wrapper if it'll prevent your fingers from being severed.)

Well Sam, I could go on all day. But you just went in my room, and I don't want you to find the Graham Crackers in my church bag. You could lose a finger.

Love you, Buddy!


P.S. Thank you for finally consenting to take a bath. You smell much better now.