Monday, December 29, 2008

The finished hat!

Little N likes her hat. It is a little large for her, but she will grow into it. She tested it out in the the snow for me over the weekend. It kept her warm and happy.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Little N's Mew hat

This project has taken a lot longer than it should have! I started this as a test knit in October. It was coming along nicely and then I tucked my daughter into bed, leaving the knitting in a bag on an end table.

I knew better.

I've lectured the kids 100 times and they knew better.

My husband didn't have to say I told you so.

I tempted the puppies and they have no will power.

I came out to find a pink spider web pulled across my living room, with one dog on either end of it. Even though there are two colors in the hat, the puppies thought that pink was the color for them. It had to be the pink, the one where I was really cutting it close if I had enough to finish the hat. Lucy had pieces of yarn around one paw and a piece sticking out of her mouth with her tail going 100 miles per hour. Max, well, max had what was left of the skein in his mouth with his tail going just as fast.

The puppies were willing to trade my project with a toy and Pete took them outside so I could pick up the living room. Pulling the yarn with the puppies inside... not a good idea.

I picked up the yarn and salvaged what I could from the original knitting. I had to pull out a few rows and luckily there was no damage to my needles. What was left of the ball of pink yarn, was a complete and utter loss.

My son and I stopped by the local yarn shop and found a skein of pink in the same dye lot, which meant I could finish the hat. However, I had to put the hat away. I just didn't want to deal with the knots.

Finally, my sad little hat, the one I promised to test out the pattern for, needed to get off my needles. I was able to get past the point where I had been prior to the puppy-tug-o-war event with what was left and started into the new skein.

Little N is very happy with her hat.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Happy 3rd Birthday, Little N

Today is Little N's 3rd birthday. Today's post will be a photo montage. Happy birthday, baby girl!

10 months old.

First birthday

15 months

Woodland park Zoo, Seattle

Family Vacation/Reunion

20 months

20 months

2nd birthday

Spring 2008

Last weekend at our home in Shoreline


Pumpkins... Momma, maybe if you weeded more they might grow...

Fall Rain

First snow, what a great birthday present!

Birthday party with friends in Seattle

Friday, December 12, 2008

Sick on her birthday

Of all the days to get sick, poor little N woke up from her nap not feeling well. I happened to be downstairs and when I heard her come out of her room and cry, it wasn't her normal, "I'm cranky-tired-hungry-healthy" cry. It was a sad, sick cry and it got me running.

I picked her up and without a word she proceeded to pull in tight and cry. Her little stomach made some awful sounds. I ran her to the bathroom and the inevitable happened, which seemed to upset her as much as it surprised her. We brushed her teeth and rinsed her mouth and I made a call to the boss that the day was done for me.

She's spent the remainder of the day on my lap or Pete's lap on the couch. She perked up a little for a bath and was pretty happy to get into her cozy footed jammies for the night.

Tomorrow is little N's 3rd birthday. Sadly, this means she will be sick on her actual birthday.

I am anticipating she will join us in bed this evening at some point.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

So Gross

Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that the imitation syrup no longer requires refrigeration? This grosses me out to no end! What have they added, what gives it a shelf life longer than most people will keep a bottle of syrup?

I spent 10-15 minutes reading labels at the store, trying to find one bottle of syrup that was brown sugar and water, the stuff we grew up on. But, instead, they all have long lists of ingredients I cannot pronounce. Can this stuff really be good for you?

It grosses me out enough that I started buying the real maple syrup for the kids. Big N and Little N are not very appreciative of the real stuff. They have no idea that their grandfather would hide his little bottle of real syrup in the back of the fridge so his kids wouldn't use it. Perhaps he knew we would appreciate it as much as Little N and Big N's expressions indicate it is not their favorite. They even like to tell me, it is not their favorite (exact words).

In my adult house, the fake stuff is hidden in the back of the fridge, by Pete, and he growls at me if I suggest that we stop buying the chemical stuff.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

2+2+2 = 6, but I have 5. Why?

Big N has come across a math problem he couldn't explain.

"Mommy. Why do I have only 2 grandpas and 3 grandmas? Did my grandpa die?"

I think he was working on this question for a while and it was a tough one to answer. I don't want to scare him and I was not ready or even expecting the death conversation.

As the conversation unfolded, I think he was mixing up who my grandfather was and how all the relatives fit into the family tree. It was like he was trying to fill in a row of pegs and couldn't figure out which peg went where. We've spoken about my grandpa to him in the recent past. There are photos of Big N with my grandpa and he asks who he is and why he never sees him. Perhaps in his mind, the pieces fit together that this grandfather must belong to one of his grandmothers.

We talked about what death means and how you can't see that person anymore. It is ok to miss them. I answered his questions as honestly as I could and tried to keep the explanations concise and exact. I was worried that saying someone was gone would be confusing to him, because there are people that are gone, but they come back and would he think if I made an offhand comment that someone was gone that he might never see them again?

We talked about it and I explained that he was here when he was a baby and he loved him very much. He is not here any more, but he will always love him even though we can't see him.

Big N seemed ok with this explanation.

"Mommy, if he was your grandpa, then he is a daddy. Who is his little girl?"

"My Mommy."

Big N giggled at this point. "Your mommy isn't a little girl! She's as old as you are!"

When did it become ok to steal?

We paid early in June to sign big N up for preschool. The owner took our money and we set up work schedules and visits to Grandma to accommodate the schedule. Then, right before the classes start, the owner changed the schedule multiple times and the school no longer worked with our schedule. We had to scramble to find something else. I explained our situation and asked for the money back over the phone, twice, and she agreed to mail a check. She never sent it. I called again a few months later and left a message. Again, nothing. I finally drafted a letter outlining the facts with a time frame to respond and I sat on it for a bit. I emailed her once more and she tells a story about mailing a check, for a different amount, to the wrong address.

The fact remains, she kept our money for six months with no attempt to return it. And now she wants us to pay for her canceled check fee for a check she never wrote. Did she lose the registration paper work with our address? Did she toss it out when we left assuming she could keep our tuition?

1. She charged us $180 for tuition, but she says she wrote a check for $160.
2. She got wishy-washy and changed her schedule 2 times within 2 weeks of the start of preschool, and she wants to hold us to a contract that she herself did not intend to keep.

No, I'm sorry. Stealing is stealing. Holding onto money that is not yours, ignoring requests and phone calls and then lying about it is wrong. Either she really is disorganized or she is stealing. However, the simplest solution is typically the correct one.

This is for a preschool? Are you kidding me? Seriously?

What ever happened to honoring your commitments or doing what you said you would do.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


Little N enjoys playing dress-up. Her newest version of playing dress-up involves multiple changes of clothes through out the night. She will come out in various states of dress, or undress, asking for help. Last night, she hit a snag. She found a pair of footed jammies Grandma had given her for next winter. She managed to get into the box of the next size up of clothes I had in the back of the closet.

During her third wardrobe change into the big jammies, she came out to ask for help as she had somehow managed to get the feet twisted around and behind her body. The the right foot of the jammies was facing up on her left foot. With the left foot of the jammies twisted and trailing dangerously behind her, she promptly shut the door on the empty foot and tried to run down the hall.

This did not go over well with little N.

She pulled and tugged and pulled some more, leaning her whole body forward trying to figure out what kept her from running down the hall. She then let the entire world know that this did not fit into her plans for the evening of staying awake.

I peaked down the hall to see what was causing her so much distress to see her arms reaching out as she tried to get away from that door. It took a while to calm her down, but she did finally go back to bed and managed to stay in bed for the night in the same jammies.

She still wanted to wear the big jammies this evening. I am hoping she might leave them on tonight, but I'm sure that will not be the case.

Little N modeling her big girl jammies.


My son caught me off guard this afternoon. He came upstairs and asked me point blank, "Mommy, do you want another baby?"

I was a little surprised by the question and wondering where this conversation was going. I tried to reassure him by telling him I was very happy with the two babies I have and I gave him a big hug and let him spin in my desk chair. Always a hit.

We've been talking about babies at our house, Baby N is at our house with her mommy and both of Nate's good friends, B and P are big sisters. He's seen and heard a lot about babies recently.

"But, Mommy, if you had another baby, we could baby-sit for you."

You just give me the hard sell, kid. Can I quote you on this when you are old enough to baby sit? At this point, I played a little dirty and suggested that he talk to his daddy about another baby.

Big N ran downstairs and I could hear him reporting the conversation, "Mommy said I should to talk to daddy about another baby."

Sorry, Pete.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Baby sweater and a hat for the big sister

Big N and Little N's good friend and former neighbor, B, is now a big sister. Her little sister C, was born in mid November.

Of course, this called for some knitting on my part. A new baby is a fun person to knit for. The look great in whatever you make them and the projects tend to go fast. Big N helped me pick out the yarn we used for the baby sweater, even though it took some work to point him away from the shiny green yarn. It was fun to get the kids involved in the gifts, especially considering how much the kid's care about the people we were giving the gifts to.

The hat was actually a pattern test I did for the designer. I had originally intended this as an adult gift, but big N informed me that the color was more to B's liking. The pattern was a little confusing, but once all the repeats worked out, it came out beautiful. The only problem is the pattern missed a few rows and the final hat was child size. This worked nicely with Big N's color plan, as the hat now could go to B.

Big N modeling B's big sister hat, in Cascade 220 Heathers

B's little sister, C, was due in November and her parents decided to wait until then to find out whether baby C was a girl or a boy. This made it easy to avoid the typical baby pastels, which was fine with me. We picked a nice holiday color, red for her sweater and some pretty buttons, picked by little N, that either a baby boy or a baby girl could wear.

Wee Welcome set in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino.

And, yes, it made my day when our friends told me that baby C wore the red sweater home. I'm easy to please.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Girlie morning

I have never really been a girlie-girl, whatever that means. I don't paint my nails, I forget to maintain my haircuts, I'm more into easy than anything else. But, I do actually own some nail polish and little N noticed it in my cabinet.

Pete and Big N had gone out looking for an open barber shop, which left little N and I to a girlie morning. We had a blast painting her nails. She was very thrilled with the pink color and enjoyed looking at her fingers.

I will say that the fast drying polish is preferable for an almost 3 year old.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Work Hazard

I have a new work hazard. This is the keyboard attack cat. She doesn't like when I type and prefers sitting on the "esc" key.

This post will have to be shorter then I intended as she randomly nibbles on my hand when I get too close to her belly.

I think she is trying to tell me that she doesn't like hiding from the puppies in my office. Either that, or she thinks it is time to call it a day.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Inherited trait

I feel like my father.

I am running around turning off lights and grumbling about the electrical bill.

This must be an inherited trait. Thanks, Dad.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

She won't be able to make any noise

We stopped by a nice little toy store about 45 minutes from home. Little N had her heart set on a kazoo. Pete was convinced that she wouldn't be able to make a sound out of it and talked me into buying it.

The little microphone on the camera does not do it justice.

Moving forward

I've been trying to figure out what I want to do and my answer came in the form of a 2 year old little girl tip-toeing into my office after taking off most of her clothes during her nap. She was proud of herself and I may never find her socks. M was trying to convince Big N to rest and Little N seized the moment to sneak by the door of the playroom.

She came up the stairs so softly that I thought a cat was looking for a back rub. She peaked around the door frame and grinned when I finally noticed her. She hopped up over the last step, thundering across the room to me, crawling into my lap and asking me to cuddle.

There is nothing that compares to spending extra time with my kids and to be able to do so AND to continue working is not something everyone can do.

I am not ready to say good-bye to little interruptions and farm the kids off to a day care. I am really not ready to say good-bye to my job, I like what I do, most of the time.

We are going to find someone else who can come to the house. I just hope the relationship goes even half as well as our current one.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Now what??

Our nanny is exploring another route in her life and we are very happy for her. I can think of nothing I can do to convince her to stay and from previous conversations, I feel she has been thinking about this for more than a few weeks. Anything I can offer or any additional benefits will not make her love a job she isn't really loving.

But, now what? What do we do as a family?

When it came to leaving Seattle, it felt awful taking the kids away from Mari's. They miss her, they bonded well with her, and I see a lot of that love and care in their eyes when they talk about nanny M. I just don't want to break their hearts, again. Both kids had been with Mari 5 days a week since they were very young. My son started at Mari's when he was 13 months old and my daughter started when she was 4 months old. Mari's home was their second home and taking the kids out of that home was hard on the entire family. And now, I feel as if I set it up to happen to them, again.

One of the reasons we decided to hire a nanny instead of sending the kids to a day care was to allow me to see them more often. Not to mention, it was important to me that the kids could learn to bond with an adult outside of their family. I think having someone they trust and care about in their life other than just mom and dad is important. It allows them to feel comfortable with people outside their home and expands their world in a positive way. I didn't want to hire 3 college students that came in on a rotating basis, a new group every quarter. I wanted one person who they could see on a consistent basis and really get to know and care about. We did succeed at that. At the same time, I love having the kids nearby, hearing their giggles and even their cries drift upstairs to my office.

The situation is making me rethink working from home -- if this home office thing is for me. However, this thought process implies a decision that could not have come at a worse time. I'm not ready to give it all up, but I do feel somewhat disenchanted with whomever told the little girls of my childhood we could have it all. It really does not feel like I have it all... unless having it all meant, guilt, lack of sleep and disappointment in what I haven't had time to do.

The last few months have been good, even if I sound uncertain with where we are at this very moment. I'm not disappointed in M, in finding what she wants to do with her life, I'm sad for the kids and scared of the unknown.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Go back to bed!

Little N has always stretched out her bed time. She will get up many times after we have tucked her in and see if she can talk us into letting her stay up. This evening, was no exception.

Over the baby monitor I heard whispering and rustling, usually an indication that we will see a small child in a minute or so. The rustling stops and is followed by the creak of the door. This time, I heard something new. Big N says to Little N, "Mommy is just going to tell you to go back to bed. Go back to Bed!"

Little N ignored him and came out attempting her usual stall tactic. She was one of the following: thirsty, hungry, not thirsty, not hungry, tired, not tired, scared, chased by dinosaurs, looking for a hug (this one usually works for her, I am a push over at times), wanting to tell me "something." The list goes on.

I repeated what Big N had said, "Go back to bed," and she sulked and stomped back to the bed room.

Over the monitor, I heard Big N tell her, "I TOLD you! Now, go back to bed!"

Jack O lanterns and Christmas trees

It is the day before Halloween and the month of October has flown by. We have yet to carve our pumpkins, let alone finish putting up the decorations Big N picked out. He has noticed, which means I cannot forget to put them up or I will have them up for Thanksgiving. This evening will be busy as we try to finish decorating and carve 2 of the pumpkins for the kids.

With so much to do, it is surprising that I am still thinking of what happened on my way home. Yesterday evening I stopped for gas just east of Seattle, well past the Bellevue traffic jam. I am predictable and I picked this gas station because it is cheap and it has a coffee stand. Pete should be able to tell you which gas station just from that statement. I of course went inside to grab a cup of coffee. I was in a hurry, which is nothing new for me. I am always in a hurry. I wanted to get home and I was already late enough that I would miss the kid's bedtime. I was running through my mental list of things I needed to get done around the house and not really listening to the barista or the background chatter as I smiled and nodded, ordering my usual. I had to remember to set out Big N's frogie Halloween costume so he could wear it to preschool. We need to pick up a little candy in case we get a few trick or treaters that brave the walk down the dark gravel road to our house. As I was waiting for my Mocha and adding to my list, a beautiful male voice sang "the First Noel" over the store stereo.

Listening to "No-oh-ell-el, No-oh-elll..." I realized I was staring at a small teddy bear on the counter. The little bear was wearing an orange sweater with a black jack o lantern smile on the front, the price tag attached to his left ear. Here was this beautiful Christmas song, one of my favorites, the warm tenor tone punctuating the fake cobwebs and plastic spiders on the wall. It was out of place. Forced. Fake.

It is fall and the forces that be, the companies and stores that see Christmas as a boost to their bottom line, are trying to start off their Christmas season with a bang. They want us to think about Christmas. Perhaps the longer we think about Christmas, the more we will spend on Christmas. The more we spend, the better their end of year will be.

I'm not ready for Halloween, I'm really not ready for Thanksgiving, but Christmas, I don't even want to think about buying for Christmas.

We're rushed enough, why can't we enjoy the season as it comes instead of trying to hurry up the Christmas spending?

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Apples from our tree

It is really cold at night now and we had not picked the apples from our tree. Big N helped Pete finish that today. The puppies even helped, but they have been stealing the low hanging apples for weeks now.

We were surprised with the amount of apples off of the little tree!

Big N was fascinated with the size variation among the apples. He found one that he could fit in his hand. The tiny apple made his day, he put it in his pocket and kept it warm when he was helping daddy pick apples. Big N was very concerned about the little apple. He went to great lengths to tell me his apple would need a lot of sunlight and fresh water so it could grow as big as the rest of the apples. We talked some about what it meant to pick the apples from the tree and he was sad for the apple.

Little N helped me make apple sauce with the apples that didn't look as pretty. She ate a few that I cut up and hit the button on the food processor once I had cooked down the apples.

Big N gave the apple sauce a try this evening. He gave two thumbs up on taste. The sauce has a really strong apple flavor compared to commercially made apple sauce.

I also had to make an apple pie.

I'm sure that is surprising to everyone who reads this blog.

Little N helped me roll out the crust.

It has been a great, apple filled day.

More apple sauce and perhaps another pie for the freezer tomorrow.

Friday, October 24, 2008

I only made one cupcake

I just had enough batter for one cupcake.

I think they were very happy with only having one cupcake.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Finished Projects!

I can finally talk about two of my most recent gift projects as they were both gifted.

First, I finished the Wee Welcome set sweater for baby J who was born on September 4th. I only hope it still fit him when he received it.

I used Debbie Bliss baby cashmerino in a grey blue with a chocolate trim. The buttons were a perfect match to the blue with a slight brown tint. I thought the little stars were super cute. I just hope baby wears it at least once.

The buttons are actually knit into the sweater. Not only was this easier to finish the project, but I felt it was safer for a baby as they are really secure on the sweater.

The second project was a birthday gift for our nanny, M. My daughter insisted on being my model, of course she loves to wear every hat before it even comes off the needles. She took it pretty well when I explained that this one wasn't for her.

I think this was my favorite hat so far! I love the way the Xs at the top melt into the decreases. The pattern really is well designed.

It's Apple Time!

And, yes, that means it is apple pie time.

The apples on the tree are ripe. I kept trying them here and there over the last few weeks and they were super tart. The puppies even sampled the ones that fell off the tree, using them as chew toys. As of this week our apples are red and delicious. I think I'm in love with our apple tree. I wonder if I can talk Pete into planting a few more. One tree is just not enough apples for pies in the freezer.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Second Guesses

So many times growing up, the big changes happened whether you wanted them to or not. Your family moved and you had no say in the decision. It was happening. It was easy to adapt even if you missed your friends, your life, your bedroom with the blue walls.

As an adult, you have to make the big decisions and live with the result of that decision. You have guilt, doubt and second guessing. Something along the way pops up that you don't really appreciate and the grass seems a lot greener when you picture it as it was. The other night, we found out that one of our neighbors owns the home that is keg-party central at Central. I sat up in my office and listened to the boom-boom-boom along with the large crowd chatter drifting softly through the chill of the night air. It was dulled by the distance, an overtone to the silence we have grown to appreciate and enjoy. I wondered if this was better or worse than the neighbor's truck outside my former bedroom window at 5AM slowly winding up as it started spewing exhaust through our open window. In all honesty, the kegger was the quieter of the two, but I was missing the truck that was never more than 10 feet from my head that evening. I was missing what listening to that loud truck meant.

I ache for my kids who just miss their friends. Every time they ask to see Peyton or Brenna, I have to answer to their disappointed faces. Big N will beg me to continue driving to Mari's instead of taking him to preschool in the morning. It has been 4 months and I am the woman keeping him away from his friends, the friends he misses more than his little 4 year old vocabulary is able to explain.

I know we made the right decision for our family. I have spent more time with the kids during their waking hours in the past 4 months than the entire previous year. Big N has already told me he likes that I am upstairs during the day. My husband has spent more time with the kids, too. However, I miss Seattle. I miss being able to go to the zoo on a rainy Saturday without much planning because you know its just drizzle and if it gets bad, you can go again next Saturday. I never realized how much I appreciated being able to go shopping after 5PM on a weeknight. I really, really miss the self-service center at the post office on 145th.

It's nice here, the people are wonderful, but its not home, yet. I'm sure it will be at some point, but it's coming a lot slower than I would like.

Kids playing in a moving box on the patio that Pete built.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Knit Coffee Sleeve

keep my coffee warm!

This was a fun, fast project I knit for a friend of mine! I can talk about it now that I have given it to her. She brings me coffee beans once in a while and I always appreciate them. I love coffee beans.

The pattern was free on the web. I had just a little bit of the wool yarn left in my stash. Now that it is complete, it looks like I have enough for a few more.

I will have to make another one and try felting it. It also might be fun to embellish it with buttons.

In case you wondered, Pete rolled his eyes when I explained what it was.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Night Terrors

My daughter, little N, is having horrible night terrors. She has never been a good sleeper, but lately she wakes up inconsolable. Her eyes are open, but she isn't awake. We end up carting her off to our room and trying to reason with her. First off, reasoning with a 2 1/2 year old is fun all by itself, but trying to reason with a child who is not awake is a whole new concept. I think it might be easier to reason with the puppies while they each have one of my shoes and are running down the hall.

She is so tired in the morning and appears to have no memory of the middle of the night. She wakes up so happy.

Little N went through something very similar last spring before we moved. It seemed to stop for a short while but has become a regular thing. It is back with a vengeance, if anything the current incidents are harder because she is bigger and kicks a lot harder in her sleep. She will end up on the floor in front of her bed sitting up, trying to keep herself from going back to sleep.

I just wish I knew what was scary. She mentioned a purple dinosaur and then it was horses. Its hard to not know how to help her.

There does seem to be a pattern to her waking, it is typically between 1AM and 2AM that it happens. I might try waking her up before hand to see if I can break the pattern. Perhaps bring her a cup of milk and cuddle with her for a bit and perhaps distract her enough to keep it from happening.

Hopefully someone will get some sleep in our house!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Back in the saddle

My husband has found a friend for me. He set up a time with his co-worker, G, so I can go bike riding. She rides every where, which means I am going to be sore when I'm done. I've hardly been on my bike in years, so I'm nervous and somewhat excited.

Pete even managed to talk me into upgrading my road bike a few weeks ago. I had really put my last one through a lot of miles, all before my daughter was born.

Hopefully I get the bike a little dirty and it's a route with a tail wind -- considering it isn't possible to find a route without a wind in this city.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dental Pain

I will admit it, I am contemplating adult orthodontics. I have looked into getting this done twice in the past, but could not afford it. I mentioned it to our new dentist during my routine cleaning and he suggests I make a consultation appointment to go over our options. That appointment was today.

I arrived, checked in and sat down to read. I waited only long enough to get through the first paragraph of an article in some magazine from last spring before I was called from the waiting room. The hygienist who greeted me at the door to the office turned and started walking towards the back of the office and I followed. We walked past a row of chairs and the dentist waved as he is hovering over patient just as I was shown to my chair at the end of the row.

The hygienist got right to work as soon as I sat down. She proceeded to take molds of my mouth, photos of my teeth and X-rays of my head. This took almost 45 minutes. I was slightly surprised that they went ahead with this step without any mention of the cost, time involved or what the actual process was, but I let them do their thing. After an hour and a half of molds and waiting, photos and waiting, X-rays and waiting followed by more waiting, the dentist finally comes to my chair to see me. He looks in my mouth for a long 30 seconds and says we're good to go. He starts to leave and I stand up still wondering when the consultation portion of the appointment was going to happen. I mention that I'd like to go over costs, meaning what the different options were. He points to the young woman who has been helping me and says she'll go over it.

I follow the hygienist as she leads me to the front desk. She smiles and walks away. At this point the receptionist takes over and I am presented with a bill to sign saying I agree thousands of dollars with the option for a payment plan. She starts to go over the payment options and the possibility of 11.9% interest. At this point I am very upset. I look at the receptionist, as the hygienist is long gone, and I ask her what this is for. She looks a little confused. I explain that I don't even know what they are planning for my teeth. She looks around and walks to a small office to find the hygienist. She comes back less than a minute later and relays the information back to me. He wants to put braces on my 6 front teeth. The hygienist walks back to the desk, perhaps I was making a scene, and attempts to help the receptionist answer my questions. I finally ask why there are no other options and she tells me this is the best way.

Oh no you didn't. You did not decide what the best and ONLY medical option is for me.

You are not on the patient side of the desk, I am, and these are my teeth.

I ask her again about other options and she says I can get veneers and have all my teeth ground out. The hygienist and the receptionist look at each other and nod about the awful thought of grinding down your teeth to get straight teeth.

At this point, I am mad. I know there are other options that do not involve tooth destruction. I also know that I would like to know what it would cost to straiten all my teeth, not just the six in front that the dentist assumes are all I care about, but that is apparently a well guarded secret.

I should be allowed to ask my questions from the dentist, not the receptionist. It is his degree on the wall over her head, not hers. I have other questions and concerns related to my teeth and past dental history, but the dentist was long gone and his office door shuts behind me as this is going on.

At this point I think I will have to find a new dentist. If the doctor is too busy to go over his treatment plan for me, with me, then we have a problem. Perhaps he assumes I cannot make my own medical decisions. How could I trust this man to outline any issues with my kid's teeth?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sick and a bed hog

Little N has a monster cold. This came on really fast on Saturday, surprising us around 2PM and getting worse. We were on our way to Seattle and I initially thought she was having sinus problems due to the pressure changes as we drove over the pass. She and I both have sinus problems after a drive to or from Seattle. It dawned on me that it might be something else when we arrived at our friend's home and her eyes were red along with the runny nose. Our friends were ok with it, but I still feel guilty bringing a sick child to their home.

Little N is mostly happy, especially during the day, but at night she is not a happy camper. Around midnight or 1 AM she ends up outside our door with her sad, whole body sobs. She will ask for a tissue, or complain about her dreams and dinosaurs being scary. The last time, she walked into our room without either of us noticing the door opening. I woke up lying on my side to see her nose to nose with me. "Mommy, I miss you!" enunciated with a loud sob as she wiped her nose on her sleeve and reached up for a hug. She of course had a high fever and we gave her some acetaminophen, a glass of water and a hug to make her comfortable. She just wants to cuddle in with you, which is normal little N behavior, but we usually can convince her to eventually go back to her bed. While she isn't feeling well, our bed is the only place she wants to be. She tends to get a little too comfortable once she falls asleep, taking over our entire bed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Pickle tasting

My sister living in Baltimore came out to visit. In her honer, we opened one of the pickle jars from my pickle experiment and they were way too salty. I would suggest cutting the salt in the recipe at least in half if not more. I'm not sure what to think. I made a second batch last weekend where I added a ton more dill, but the salt level was the same as my first batch.

I guess I will just have to try to make them again.

Monday, August 18, 2008

My clutter busters

With two kids and two working adults, we are fighting a never ending battle against clutter. The mail, books, toys, it all ends up on the nearest flat surface. It drives me crazy! I think the puppies agree, they are making an attempt to help attack our clutter problem.

First, they would pick up items you left on the floor and take care of them for you. Shoes, toys, my knitting, these were all painful learning experiences as the puppies chewed their opinion on where things did or did not belong. As the puppies grew taller, their world expanded with them. They moved on and worked at clearing anything and everything that was left on the seat of the couch. They are now working on my end tables. My end tables have not been this clear since we put our house on the market and had to keep them clear.

At least I finally have someone who helps fight my clutter battle.

Max, the clutter buster

The kids staged a revolt this evening. They loaded up their toy shopping cart full of toys and pushed it into the living room with the one squeaky wheel loudly complaining about the weight of the toys piled as high as the kids could see. Both kids have been cordoned off in the play area, formerly known as a dining room, as the puppies became more interested in their toys. The baby gates I had planed on giving away have once again returned to the inside of the house. The kids walked out with their heavily loaded shopping cart and Big N appeared to have been selected as the spokesperson for the revolt. Big N stood as tall as he could and says sternly to the puppies, "We should be able to play in the living room!" Little N seconds the argument, "Yeah!" with her hands in fists on her hips and her feet firmly placed shoulder width apart.

I explained once more that the puppies did not understand and would want to share their toys. The kids sadly pushed their shopping cart to their bedroom as the squeaky wheel complained down the hall. Just before they shut the door, I heard a defeated Big N call out "No, Puppies!"

Friday, August 15, 2008

Play Structure

Pete finished the play structure this evening. He still has a few things left to do, but Big N was ok with trying it out this evening.

Big N LOVES the scope. The entire play structure is second to the scope as far as Big N is concerned. He's ok with the slide, the rock climbing wall is tolerable, and the swings, well, they are ok. It's all about the scope.

Big N's eye through the scope

A truly beautiful bike ride

As many of you know, we have recently moved 2 hours east of Seattle, to Ellensburg, WA. It is warmer, sunnier, windier and there are a lot of really nice people in the area. Not to mention, you don't sit in a parked car on the interstate unless you take a trip to Seattle. Seattle is a beautiful city to bike in, but Central Washington will give it a big run for the money!

Two weekends ago, Pete took me on a ride from Ellensburg to Thorp and back. I will admit, it has been at least a year since I've been on my bike. The last time I rode, I biked to work in 2007 from Shoreline to Lynnwood. That wasn't a regular occurrence because it was impossible to coordinate day care pick up and a bike ride home.

We started off at the KOA, right off of the interstate I-90 exit. We headed over the Yakima river and biked along a road bordering farms, a golf course and a wide irrigation canal. We followed this to Thorp, going over the interstate at the Fruit stand. We than continued to go west, coming up on the Yakima river after you pass the old Thorp Mill. There was a "slight" headwind, which convinced me I was in much worse shape than I thought, but it was something you could deal with, even after not being a bike saddle for over a year. Once you turned on the canyon road, heading back towards Ellensburg, the wind was at your back. It was a fun coast home.

I hope to do this again, perhaps I'll even set up this ride with Cascade.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My parent's addition

My parents are in the process of adding a sun room to the back of their house. Big N was helping Grandpa last Wednesday. In fact, I think he was such a big help that he really got Grandpa's project going.
Before my son helped

After both kids helped

Big N was busy measuring and hammering for Grandpa. It sounds like both kids help to get a lot of work done on the addition in the two days they were out.

It's not like I would exaggerate the abilities of a 2 and 4 year old.