Thursday, February 28, 2008

Boys Will Be Boys

No, I"m not talking about Shane. In particular.

Shane installed a keyed lock on his library door, as the little twisty locks the kids quickly learned how to unlock from the outside. they were pretty creative and I would find Kateri using various implements on locked doors: her toy dishes, a coin and any other skinny object. And she'd do it too.

I put the push button kind on our bedroom door so now there is a warning sound of attempted jabs with any stick like object and I can get to them before they get in. so far it works, as long as I remember to lock the door when I come out. I keep a little straightened paper clip above the door so I can get in easily.

Well, Pippin has fun trying anything on any lock. I don't let him play with keys so he invents things to unlock Shane's office. The other day I caught him carefully inserting a very small stick into the key hole. I rushed to stop him but just as I did He gave it a little turn and the stick snapped- with a peice inside the lock. Its small enough that I can't retreive it. But big enough that you can't get a key in all the way. I tried. Shane cringed when I told him that part, as I probably lodged it in there permanently. But its not like it could have been fixed anyway. I had even tried the vacuum hose on it. So now we just don't lock the library door.

Then yesterday the kids came down to tell me Pippin had stuck a small thing in the outlet. I ran up to cyril's room to see a tiny plastic thing just inside the socket. I'm just waiting for the day he finds a paper clip and tries to "un-lock" an outlet.

Luckily, the circuits trip very easily in this house. I discovered that when Kateri pried her nightlight out with a metal Curious George plate. She was fine and I only discovered it because her light wouldn't turn on and there were black spots on the outlet cover. And then she showed me the plate with two lines where the metal was marred.
When I was recounting Pip's escapades to Shane, he shook his head and queried what would possess him to do such things. I told him,

"He's a boy. His mission in life is to find a hole, and stick something in it."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

That's What Brothers Are For

It rained yesterday and the yard was pretty wet but the little kids still wanted to play outside. So I got them dressed, reminded them they were not to play with the hose, and turned them loose.
Not too much later I hear the hose running. So I sit Kateri down on the steps for a timeout. Pippin not knowing what to do by himself decides he'll share her fate and sits next to her. THe door was shut but I can only imagine the things they were conspiring about. Kateri didn't sit still so I had to bring her inside so I could watch her. Once she was done I told them they could go out but no hose.

"Why don't you guys find sticks and you can poke them through the fence. Maybe you'll find bugs or even birdies.'

"Maybe we can poke the birdies" Kateri says and starts laughing hysterically. "Come on Pippin. Let's get sticks."

Hopefully there weren't any birdies.

The play set comes a week from tomorrow. Then there is the set up but at least it is imminent. It would have been nice to have this week-end as Shane will be gone to Whistler and some major distraction for the kids would make it more pleasant.

I'm hoping it will help withe extra energy and thus bedtime too. Yesterday we decided we needed to start our morning workout earlier so the kids could sleep through some of it. We got up at 6:45 and 5 min in Kateri and Pippin got up. I was sure we'd have a nice early bedtime as I was able to keep Pippin from napping. But no. 8:00 and Pippin wanted to wrestle while I read 'Are You My Mother" for the third time. I really want to throw up when I hear about other kids older than he is taking two hour naps. And then going to bed. Ever. I try to console myslelf with thinking there must be something wrong with those kids. Because my bird-stabbing-butter-knife-weilding-kids are so perfectly normal.

Friday, February 22, 2008

If I Only Had a Brain....

But before I get to that....Kateri was combing her hair and decided it would be fun to comb it all forward. Can you tell which is which?

Ta da!
And here is what you get when one kid is cubing turkey and another is doing farm stamps.

So I decided I finally am ready to work on some window treatments for our bedroom. I felt overwhelmed when I thought of doing the whole house at once so I decided we'll just start with our room. It faces the woods so its not so much of a privacy issue but I'd like it to be darker and cozier. I figured I'd have Costco come out and give me some quotes first and then go from there. I'm leaning toward the wooden plantation shutters or something similar.

I called and answered a few questions and was doing pretty well for also being in the midst of having the painters here and trying to keep the Israelis and Palestinians at a ceasefire long enough for me to hear the very patient man on the other end. But then he asked for my phone number and I immediately said, as if I really knew what I was talking about ( for privacy purposes the following numbers are completely made up-whether or not I intended to)


He asked about the windows and then said he'd have someone call me at 425-713-2738.

Hearing it back, I realized I'd given him Shane's work number so I said,

"Ummm actually, let me give you a better number."

"OK' he said.

"Its 391-1908" I said, feeling still not quite convinced myself.

"Not a problem" he continued typing the wrong number in again.

"Actually, that's not it either. Ummm its ...39....."

"8?" he finally volunteered.

"Yes. It's 398...." I choked up again and blanked.

"Is it the number you are calling from now?" he offered, "The one I see on my screen? 398-8109?"

"Yes, that's it exactly. thank you."

"No problem" he said.

I was really worried he would write me off as a nut case and I'd never hear back. But luckily I got another chance to prove myself when he asked for my address and I was able to quickly and accurately give it to him.

I'm not sure what it is with numbers. A couple years ago I left a message with my midwife and gave her someone else's number. When she finally called my cel phone she said she had called the number I left and it was someone else. but amazingly it was someone who knew us. So if yoru number starts with 425-39.... and you got a call from Heike, sorry. And I can't promise it won't happen again. But I'll try. And if a guy named Erik shows up to measure your windows, just commit me.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Oh, Papa, please can we get a swing set?

Actually, that was me yesterday after dragging Pippin home from the nearby school playground. His arguments were pretty convincing because Shane promptly decided "absolutely". Just some cute Pippin pictures. He found Audrey's little snow hat from 9 years ago. Kind of blurry but cute.

So here is the kids new play structure. I am really looking forward to just letting them out the door for hours of fun this summer. Of course there is still the assembly and all that but they are pretty excited. And by the time it is up and ready we should be out of the constant rainy season and into the mostly rainy season. But it has a roof so they can still play hideout and other quiet outdoor games. I can't wait. I thought the shingled roof and chimney were cute.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Boys' Montana Trip

Once again, Shane headed out to Georgetown Lake, MT for some great snowkiting. They have a rodeo there every February when the lake is really solid and everybody comes and kites. I guess. I've never gone but this was Shane's third trip out there. This was also the only year he was there for the rodeo. Lodgings were filled up quickly but he was able to get this cozy little cabin not too far from the lake. It was cute enough that I might consider going some year. His dad went with him and they picked up his brother Cameron and roommate in Spokane.
Da boys- Shane,Ron, Cameron

Shane kept forgetting to take off his sunglasses so he rode around with glasses and goggles. Just in case.
He says it was freezing and he'd have to stop to get his hands a little warmer so he could feel them. I think I'd be back at the cabin building up the fire and making hot chocolate. I can't stand the cold, but to each his own.

Can you tell it was a boys only trip?

We were very happy to have Shane home again yesterday. He was so eager he got everyone up and running and out the door some time after 4am. It worked and arrived before 2pm. He was pretty tired and sore- the wind did pick up and sometimes was a little too strong for the bigger kites. But he got some good runs in and when the wind died they'd head up to the slopes and snowboard. Its always good to have backup options.

I don't have any pictures from our week-end. We went to my brother's birthday- its amazing my baby brother is 14 now. The kids were delightes when we walked in the gate and found a "bun rabbit" in a cage . They had great fun petting, feeding, taking it for walks, and who even know what else. But it was alive when we left so it must have been ok.

It was cute when Sandor (14) picked up Pippin. Cyprian took Sandor's face between his hands and said "You're just so cute". I guess that was his birthday gift.

Then after we got in the car the kids were recounting how much fun they had had. Kateri grins and says, "I like Kevin. He's my friend."

Uncle Kevin is pretty fun. The weather was absolutely amazing and the kids were able to play outside all day. It felt warm in the sun. Yesterday was just as nice. But today we are back to misty, damp, gray Seattle weather.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Kids Games and fuzzy pictures

My camera has these phases it goes through, one of them being it only takes really fuzzy pictures for awhile. Apparently that is the phase we are in now. Sorry. I know its hard on the eyes.
This was a drama class Kateri was teaching. She is such the drama queen, although I suppose most 4 year old girls are.
Arms and legs flailing she'd whimper " No Papa, don't leave" whimper ,whimper, sob.
then she'd look at Pippin.

Cyprian would dutifully copy her arms and legs moving in lame puppy dog mode while he'd emit a muffled "Haaaa Papa, waah, mmmmmm."
Then he'd look to Kateri for approval, she'd offer pointers and he'd try again. I thought 'at least they are working together'. The other day I discovered another new game of theirs. I was so pleased because they were all four playing nicely in the other room. Cyril came into the kitchen and started rooting around the drawers pulling out cooking tools. I thought I should peek on them so I went out to check. They had made a wall of pillows on the couch behind which lay Kateri looking sad and wounded. I asked what they were playing. Audrey answered
"We're playing retarded cow. Kateri is the cow and we have to give her shots"
I thought wow, that is so not P.C. Then I explained they might get better results in curing a sick cow instead. Audrey said" Ok lets play sick cow. Cyril, hand me the spatula."

I suppose they could do mad cow. But I'm afraid they'd try to put her down.

Shane and I commuted out Valentine's Day to the 13th because he was going to be leaving for Montana the next day. He brought me a huge bouquet of lilies- pink and white ones- and we went to Girardi's for dinner while the kids stayed home with Grandma and Grandpa. It was nice and the restaurant was not crowded- though Patrick told me they were completely booked the next night. And now I can enjoy watching the lilies open over the next week too.

He ended up not leaving until 4am this morning anyway but I'm glad we went out when we did. He called to ask me to check the weather and wind forcast out there near Anaconda. I e-mailed him the bleak news that the best wind was not until tomorrow at 10:00pm and it was only 9mph. He said yes, all the kiters there for the rodeo were just sitting around the frozen lake....waiting. And freezing. Then he told me there are some not so forzen areas some people had found with markers. I asked if they were markers or memorials. But he assured me it is much more solid out in the middle.There are some slopes nearby if they get too bored. Shane rented a cabin and they had built a nice big fire and had some movies and he's there with Cameron and Ron and Cameron's roommate so maybe it can be cozy guy time. but maybe he'll decide to come home early instead. That would be fun. I'll suggest it next time he can get a cel phone signal and calls again.
Audrey and Cyril had dentist appointments last week. Audrey needed some work and they were able to take care of some of it right away, which was really nice. She was pretty numb on her left side. I took a picture of her smiling. It was a pretty rough introductionto our new dentist. That and the itty bitty parking lot. all the stalls were made for mini european cars with a max width of 2 feet. I was so suprised when I had to turn around - can you say 50 point turn- and successfully backed into a spot. I thought I'd just stay but on either side of me there was literally 6 inces of clearance. No one would be able to open a door. I very gingerly pulled out and found a spot elsewhere. I couldn't beleive I didn't hit anything. I was pretty prepared to leave my name and number on somebody's windshield.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Message for GG

Sorry its a day late. The kids wanted to send you a personalized birthday "card" so here it is.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


I walked into the kitchen the other day and found Kateri doing dishes. There had been a pile stacked on the counter and when she saw them she knew exactly what to do. She loaded them like this
closed the door adnd turned it on. I was impressed with her work. The only problem was they had been clean dishes stacked waiting for me to dty them and by turning on the dishwashe they got sprayed with the dirty water that will not drain and hasn't for several days. So I had to clean them again. It was very thoughtful of her though.
I discovered the issue on Friday when after running a load it did not drain. I tried the override stop and drain sequence but no potato. Just soapy water. So I called up the friendly people at Bosch to see what they would suggest I do. Apparently the parts are still covered under warranty- its only 1 1/2 years old- so they said they could send someone out. I asked how much the labor part of the bill would be and he. "You know what, I'll just make a note here and we'll cover that too." I was really impressed. I am seriously thinking of trashing my stinky GE wash machine which only produces stinky laundry and getting a Bosch instead. And telling them why. The service center called to schedule an appointment and unfortunately can't come until next Thursday. So we'll be Little House on the Prarie-ing it until them. My hands get really dry and burned a lot. But I did discover a use for the washer in the mean time. It makes a handy drying rack if I leave the door open and the racks pulled out. And there is heater vent in front of the sink so it gets warm air throughout the day.
So my lovely front loading GE washing machine-After only a couple months the laundry started to smell foul and the laundry room like dry rot. After numerous service visits- at least we were still under the service warranty period- the best I got was- use hot water, every once in awhile run a hot water cycle ( no clothes) and add vinegar and bleach and baking soda and add the extra rinse option to every load and only use 1 tablespoon of detergent. And to leave the door open after every load and to change it right away. I was already doing the last two suggestions.
I had a really hard time feeling like my washer was energy efficient and a water saver. Or a time saver. And still after doing all that the t-shirts come out smelling awful. The laundry room did get better though. I was getting Pippin dressed for bed the other night and as I was putting on his shirt he sniffed and made a funny face. Already knowing what was wrong I asked him,
"What is it Pippin?'
"What's that smell?" he asked scrunching up his nose.
"What does it smell like?"
"Poop" he said.
I changed his PJ's but I waited until he spilled milk on them. The first set is usually not the ones he ends up wearing to bed.
I think I'll include that in my break up letter to GE, maybe along with a sample. Its not like I want to keep the clothes. And no, bleach doesn't work in small enough amounts to not dis-color the clothes. And besides I don't want a high maintenance washer. I have four kids.
This was a funny Cyril line.
Audrey read the joke on her cheese stick wrapper out loud. It said,
"What bird cries the most?"
"the female" Cyril answerered.
I'm not sure where he got that. I don't cry and amongst the four kids I think Cyril is a pretty good contender. I thought it was funny though.
The Bluebird was the real answer. I guessed it.

Friday, February 1, 2008

Mend on Friday....

The last couple days, my cousin Ambry has been over to work on the baptismal dress for their baby.( Which is turning out very cute despite my erronious pinning) The kids got all excited about sewing so today we got out some felt and they each did a little project. Kateri made a little purse. She was very patient and excited as she stitched the sides with my oversight.

Audrey made a little purse all by herself with a flap and a button.

Cyril made a scabbard. then decided, because he couldn't find a sword ,it was a quiver. He says he loves sewing. He was actually the one agitating this morning for a sewing project which got them all started.

Pippinof course wanted to join in. so I gave him a box of colorful pins and George to use a a in cushion. I have a feeling somewhere in the jungles of Africa there is a monkey in a lot of pain.

Kateri and Pippin wanted to dance and since Kateri put on a dress, Pippin had to as well.

A little up-date on our Salish get-away: After we got home I wrote an e-mail to the General Manager thanking him for the lovely parts of our stay but that we felt a little short changed when it came to the rest and relaxation part and would he mind giving us another go at it, which I was actually surprised they had not offered.

He wrote back a very nice letter saying a good nights sleep should be a part of any hotel's offering. He was sorry about our experience but we should get over it and move on. Just kidding about the last part. He is sending a certificate for a night's stay. And I am really excited to have another get away to look forward to. And aside from the getting sleep, I think it will be better as we know we like eating in the Bistro better than the Dining room and will probably skip the fire part if it is windy. WE haven't picked a time yet.

I was really pleased with his response and feel that I can in very good conscience recommend the Lodge. Although you may have to ask for it.