Jun 30, 2009

Early Morning Pondering

I know I should turn around.  I know I should stand up right this minute and walk into the kitchen.  I know when I do, I'll find a big mess...which is only getting worse by the second.  

And yet here I sit.

Both Sam and Gabe are there.  Just behind me.  Watching one of the stupider morning cartoon offerings on AFN kids.  (Rags?  Wags?  It's some hideously ugly singing dog.  The boys really like it.  shudder.)  

Sam is actually in plain view.   (If I bother to swivel in my chair.)   He's closer to the TV playing with a large hammer and some colorful Japanese masking tape*.  He (probably) wont dare to hammer anything too hard.  At least not until I'm in the shower...

Gabe is the one I'm more worried about.  He's around the corner (where I can't see him) in the vicinity of an open box of granola, the Kashi Strawberry Bars, (I highly recommend) and probably numerous other sticky items left out after breakfast.

There are crunching noises, crinkling noises, spilling noises, messy messy messy noises...
I really should go in there.

But this is what I don't hear:

Whining noises.
Fighting noises.
Begging/Pleading/Badgering/Pestering noises.

So I'm just going to sit here a little while longer.

*sigh*

Motherhood is full of tough choices.

Today, I'll take the mess.





*I saw on Oh Happy Day that colorful Japanese masking tape is super "rad" or something.  So when I saw it at the 100 Yen store, I bought it.  
Now I don't know what to do with it.  
Turns out, masking tape isn't good for a whole heck of a lot.  

P.S.  If you have a really girlie girlie-girl--or even a grubby little boy--you'll want to check out my latest review over at www.gratuitousreviews.blogspot.com.



Jun 25, 2009

For My Dad...

Who wants me to post more regularly!

video

Krissy:  This is a video of us visiting Statue of Liberty park.  It is excellently made by moi.

Jun 24, 2009

Happy Dad's Day

Happy (very belated) Father's Day to all you dads and dads-to-be out there.  I hope your wife loved you enough to get up (sorta) early and make you this Heavenly Delight:


Things I learned from my dad, known as Dale-Bud

*Support young entrepreneurs/generosity:  
Always stop and purchase something--for more than the cost--at the neighborhood lemonade stand.

*Love of books:
"Seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."D&C 88:118  This scripture was inscribed on the book plates my dad put in all his books.  My mom was the one who read to me and with me, but my dad provided the in-home library.

*Love of travel and culture:
Dale took me to Europe on a business trip with him when I was 13 and I loved every minute of it.  We went to England, Scotland and France.  While he went to meetings, I took cabs and buses to see the sights.  I still remember the stares I would got hopping out of the taxi by myself at the castle in Edinburgh.   We also took many family vacations to Mexico and I love that country too.

*Love of parties/Hospitality:
We always had visitors--many times they were strangers--staying at our house and we always had a good time.  We were known for our pool parties, extensive Disney movie collection, and my Mom's cooking.
(Wanna come visit?  I have two kiddie pools out back and I make a mean Crepe.)

Things I love about Doug, my Baby-Daddy:

*He's a great dad who honors his Priesthood and is slow to anger.  

*Plus, he's sorta funny and very good looking.  

*Plus, he supports my Pottery habit.  

*Plus, he takes one or more child with him whenever he runs errands.  (That's huge, people.) 

*Plus, he can cook and take great pictures.  And I hear he's a great kid dentist.

Things I love about Doug's dad, James:

*He loves me unconditionally.  I felt like he accepted me into the family right when he met me, despite the fact that I was wearing five earrings and a toe ring.  (and probably too short of shorts.)  

*Plus, sometimes I can make him laugh out loud.  And you KNOW you're funny if you can get Jim to laugh out loud.  (Although whether or not he's laughing with me or at me is unknown.)

Jun 16, 2009

Frozen Assets - Update

Let's not dwell on the negative.

Like the $3 I sorta accidentally spent on iTunes.

Or the $300 I spent on the ITT tour to Mt. Fuji*.  (You have to pay now to go in August.)


Let's talk about the positive. Or rather the negative amount I've spent on other trifles.

Here's what I haven't spent money on this month:

I haven't purchased any books on Amazon. Not even "The Kids N Clay Ceramics Book" for $15.25 or used copy of "Bleak House" Norton Critical Edition for $2.44.  (But I will!  Oh yes, I will...)

I didn't buy any new shoes from Target's 75% off section.

I haven't mailed any packages or love boxes...not even the three baby gifts I need to send.

I haven't gone out to lunch or dinner--not even to celebrate Max's last day of school last week.

I've refrained from scowering clearance clothing racks.

The 100 Yen Store has been completely neglected.

The Bunny Store is dead to me.


Yes, I'm that good.  

The problem is, I'm done being good now.  This month is dragging on far too long.  I have needs!  I need to get these packages mailed and off my counter!  I need to read Bleak House**!
THESE ARE REAL NEEDS, PEOPLE!

But Doug isn't letting up.  He's STRICT!  He's the no-spending Nazi!  He wont budge!!!

And so I plod on.  Thriftily pinching my pennies and pining away for July.

I don't know if this experiment is teaching me the lesson it's supposed to be teaching.   But I'll persevere.  

*sigh*

But nobody said I had to like it!!!



*Yes.  I'm planning to drag my sorry butt up to the top of Mt. Fuji (with some lady friends from church) even if it kills me.  Which it most assuredly will.  Doug talked me into it.  I don't know what I was thinking.  I'm going to go cry now.

**My sister Jenny got me the BBC mini-series "Bleak House" by Charles Dickens (on DVD) for my birthday.  Doug and I just watched it together (over the course of a week) and LOVED it.  But now I MUST read the book to find out all the juicy details that were left out!!!  (Though Jenny said they did a great job staying true to the book.)  Like I said, "need" not "want".  Yes, I know they probably have it at the library, but I can't highlight library books or write notes in the margins, now can I?!?!?!


Jun 14, 2009

10 (or so) Rules for Little Boys

(Fabulous photo by Jen Lee Photography)

You may recall
around two years ago, when I was just starting to adjust to life as the mother of three boys.  I made myself a few rules to make me more accepting and effective at my job.  

Well, I think I've been doing alright...
  • I hardly even flinch at three little bodies storming in the back door covered with mud.  
  • I actually purchased Nerf guns for the boys and I don't swear (out loud) when a dart hits me in the head at point blank range!  (Doug!!!)
  • I've ceded the fight to (most) potty words and just let them fly on by unacknowledged.
  • I haven't purchased any girl stuff since...well...since Target last month.  But the amount has GREATLY DECREASED!  GIVE ME A BREAK!!!
With that said, though, I think it's time I made a few more rules.  Rules the BOYS need to follow if they want a sane, functioning mom still coherent enough at the end of the day to read a bed time story.  

I'm going to limit this list to ten because, lets face it, most people can't even hack all ten of the Ten Commandments.  I don't want to push my luck.

Rules For Little Boys Who Want Sane Mothers

I'll start with the most important.
#1.  No letting stinkers while sitting on, or near, Mom.  I don't even care if you call them farts.  Just don't let them in my immediate vicinity.   Especially when I'm holding you lovingly on my lap and you let one rip that rattles my bones.  (Sorry to use such coarse language, but the subject matter demands it.)

#2.  I know you are going to get dirty playing outside in the large mud pit you dug with the neighbor boys.   I know you are going to track some (a lot) of that dirt inside.  But please, please stop dragging your pitch-black hands along every.single.white.surface. in the house on your way from the back door to the bathtub.      
FOR THE LOVE OF HUMANITY!

#3.  I'm glad you have friends.  I'm grateful for all the cute little neighbor kids you have to play with.  But please don't offer all 50 of them them water and granola bars and then send them into the house--separately--at two minute intervals.

#4.  Could we please try to keep the visits to the Vice Principle at a minimum?  This type of thing tends to ware on a mother's parenting self-esteem.

#5.  Please quit telling everyone about my parenting indiscretions.  Or I'll tell everyone that YOU pick your nose!

#6  There will be no more licensed "Lightning McQueen/Cars" clothing after the age of five, Sammy.  I have my limits.  Start getting used to the idea.

#7.  There will be no more help with wiping your bum after the age of five, Sammy.  I have my limits.  Start getting used to the idea.  

#7a.  And while we're on the subject, ALL BOYS MUST WASH HANDS BEFORE LEAVING THE BATHROOM!!!  I don't care if you didn't get pee-pees on them.  JUST DO IT!!!

#8  Must you let your personality deteriorate so severely after being weened from the binky?  I mean, first Sam, now Gabe!   It's only a binky!  It's not Prozac!  You can still be happy without it!!!  

(sorry.  That wasn't really a rule.)

real #8  No fighting in the car.  We will pull over and make you walk.  We've done it before, we'll do it again.

#9  No complaining about gifts or I'll take them back and I WONT feel the slightest bit guilty!

#10  I am allowed to listen to something other than the HSM sound track and Scripture Scouts in your presence.  Yes, I am.            YES I AM!!!

Okay, two more "bonus rules".  But really, more like helpful hints!  I can't help myself.  (I'll bet Moses got a few too, he just forgot to write them down.)
#11.  If you bite me, I'll bite you back.  I just decided that right this second.  Don't test me.  I'll do it.

#12.  Don't repeat yourself more than ten times.  If I haven't answered or acknowledged you by number ten, you can be assured I've tuned you out and I'm not listening.  Got it?  (HEY!  Did you hear that?  LISTEN TO ME WHEN I TALK TO YOU!!!)

Well, that should do it.  I'm confident now that these rules have been established things will start running a lot more smoothly around here!

I've just got to get this list engraved in stone--or maybe cross stitched into a Sampler--for display on the wall.  

Wish me luck!

Moderate THIS!

***  
I turned "comment moderation" on for comments made on posts that are over 10 days old.  Just so I'll know when someone comments on an old post so I can read it.  (I don't routinely check for comments on old posts and don't want to enable the feature that has all comments e-mailed to me.)  

There is no comment censorship enforced.  (Unless--say--you're a potty mouth.  Because we all know that I'm the only one authorized to swear around here--and only in foreign languages!  Bugger and Bloody=foreign)  

Oh, or if you post my super secret last name.  Then I'll change it to Dub and re-post your comment.

But usually, I just let you comment freely!

Because I'm confident in the knowledge that if you're reading it's because you love me and you'll mostly only leave REALLY NICE COMMENTS telling me what adorable children I have and how great my hair looks in its natural dish-water-colored un-coifed state!!!  

Does that answer your question 'mCcarthy lives in 2009'?  (And when you say you're one of my 'bigger' fans, is that by weight or volume?)

***
And now I'll ask again:
Any comments?
***

Jun 10, 2009

Swimming in Japan

Cam's Swimming birthday party was a few weeks ago and the boys were invited so Mom and Dad came too.  (Actually, in hindsight, maybe only Max was invited.  Hmmm...)

Where?  Misawa City Pool

Swim caps are required.  As are pre-swim showers.  Much cleaner and more hygienic than American pools.  Plus, isn't Gabe the cutest little pin head ever?
The boys ponder the awesome water slide in anticipation!
We know that even though he had to be carried up the stairs kicking, screaming and flailing wildly--and then forced to ride down with Daddy--that deep down Sam thought the water slide was really fun.

Ice cream is available for a buck twenty.  I tried the Sweet Potato--because of peer pressure.  It didn't suck.  But I wont be getting it again...
Happy Birthday Caml!!!  Thanks for letting us crash your party!!!

Jun 8, 2009

Quick Favor

Hi!  Could either one or six of you please sign up to "follow" this blog?  It would really help my OCD if I could have even little rows of five-each down there on my sidebar.

I'd really appreciate it!  Thanks!!!
(If eleven more of you want to follow, that's fine too!)

Sincerely,
Emily-Has-Issues Dub

Jun 5, 2009

Dear You

Dear "yournoseyneighbor", who are you?

Dear Lacey, I need your e-mail address so I can answer your PCS questions!

Dear First Time Commentors,  Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment!  I LOVE COMMENTS!!!  And I've probably already stopped by and browsed your blog even if I haven't commented yet.

Dear Loyal Commentors,  I love you.  A lot.  (You don't have to be too concerned...I am all the way in Japan, after all.)  

Dear Everyone Else,  Any comments?

Jun 2, 2009

Spending Freeze = Brr Cold

It started with an article in Reader's Digest.  (One of the perks of military life=free Reader's Digest)  It describes one family's "No-Buy Experiment":  A quest to live one whole month without spending any money.  It was a great article and I mentioned to Doug maybe we should try it sometime.  (Him="YIPEE!")   Later, I read that my friends did something similar.  I was definitely intrigued, but still not quite motivated.

And then we went to Hawaii.  ($$$)

And I went to Costco AND Target.  (And thoroughly enjoyed both trips:  $$$$$.)

And now I'm motivated.

So we're trying it.

One whole month without spending money.  

Except not really.

We're not doing it quite the same.  We didn't plan ahead so we're still going to have to get groceries and diapers.  But the goal is, nothing extra!!!

  • No on-line shopping at Amazon.
  • No unnecessary BX purchases.
  • No eating out.
  • No on-line shopping at Target.
  • No 100 Yen store. (No 100 Yen Store???!!??)
  • And finally,
  • No on-line shopping.  Period.  (!!!!)

Flashback to Monday; the first day of the month.  Doug had the day off.  We went to the BX to cancel Max's school lunch account.  (He was buying hot lunch just to get the dessert.  Even on days he had a sack lunch.)

On the way in, we walked past Cinnabon.  All of the sudden, I have an overwhelmingly desperate desire for some warm gooey goodness.  Never before had a carton full of saturated fat and high fructose corn syrup seemed so tempting.  The smell almost overwhelmed me.  But alas...I had to walk right on by.  (Fortunately Doug was there to keep me strong.)  

We walked into the main store.  (It's sort of like a Mervyn's...not quite as nice as, say, Kohl's, and nowhere even in the same galaxy as Target.  And yet they sell Coach bags.  So bizarre.) 

Doug headed to Customer Service to take care of the school lunch account.  I took Gabey back to look at the toys.  Soon it was time to go.  And I was empty handed.  It felt very strange.  Very uncomfortable.  I didn't like it at all.  It's not even a place I love to shop, but to leave without buying something felt all wrong!  Doug grabbed my arm and pulled.  It was painful on so many levels.

And then we got in the car.  We had time to kill before Sam got out of school.  It would have been the perfect time to drive off-base for some Ramen and Gyoza with only ONE kid in tow.  But alas.  We were destined for PB&J's at home.  The rest of the day passed in a blur of self-deprivation and self-pity.  

Pathetic, I know, but I never claimed to be a saint!  (Genius, yes! Hard-core Athlete with lightning reflexes?  Of course.  Saint?  No.)

It is now day 4 and I'm staying strong.  I've found it helps to stay in the house but away from the computer.  The trampoline has been a safe-haven, for example.  (Ahh, the trampoline.  One of the best investments we ever made!!!)

I'm a little afraid of going to the grocery store--I don't want to go overboard--but eventually I'm going to have to test my resolve and see if it's possible for me to just buy the necessities.  (i.e. no stock piles of food storage Nutella.)
I'll let you know how it goes.

In the mean time though, I think I'm going to go make Cinnamon Rolls.
Like I said...
I'm no saint.

To cheer me up, tell me some of your tips and tricks for saving money.  I need all the help I can get!!!