Wednesday, April 30, 2008

I might be crazy

Actually, I'm pretty sure I am. It hit me today at lunch when my phone rang. I answered,


"hey Nani, what are you doing?"- it was my sister Tirzah.

"having lunch. At Claim Jumper's"

"Wow, that's crazy"

"Yeah, I know"

"Did Shane have the day off?"

"No. its just us"

"Yeah, that's pretty crazy"

"Yeah, that's me."

To make it more crazy I went on to tell the rest of our morning. We started at the toy store where Cyril thought he might burn up his weeding money and I had to get Pippin a boat just like Cyril's. Then Kateri, who had been in charge of the bag left it in front of the gumball machines- she was so overcome with the baseball sized balls of goo- and I didn't discover it until we were getting in the car. So we headed back in and a lovely lady exiting the store offered us a short cut by holding the automatic-sensored door open. Which was really nice until she walked out and I realized there was another door to get through and no sensor on our side as it was the exit door and we were stuck in this little glass limbo. On the other side I could see our bag and people milling about but no one getting quite close enough to set the door off. I think they too were overcome by the $1 gumballs. Finally, I gave up and went around to the front, got the bag, and made it back to the car.

I had planned on stopping across the street at the mall for some face cream- it's never too early to start warding off wrinkles- and told Audrey we could check the other toy store over there for horses as the toy store was still out. She was pleased. But not when we discovered the store was no longer in the mall. But I figured while we were there I'd let the kids tire themselves out,so we criss-crossed through the mall looking at things. Kateri likes to push Pippin's stroller which is great. He will cheerfully stay in it if she is pushing. BUt not for me. I guess he likes the anticipation and possibility of running into things. And it wears her out- she didn't fall asleep until almost midnight last night.

We did stop at the Disney store where they had kids sunglasses for $3. Cyril got a pair and if one gets one they all get them. At least they were on sale. All through the mall the kids were amazed at how awesome everything looked and marvelling at colors and light.

So when we didn't find the toy store that wasn't there and things were starting to come apart, I mentioned lunch and things started to improve. Between bites of pizza and fries Audrey even declared,

"Mama time is just about as good as Papa time."

Just goes to show you, crazy people are fun too.

Kateri was the only one who would pose for a picture- no surprises here- and after one click she went into her model mode. We will be sure to keep her away from the likes of Annie Leibovitz. Creeps. All of them. But I don't suppose anyone will come in with guns blazing, hordes of CPS workers and declare a jihad for the victim child, who would then be put in a foster home environment about as familiar as Pluto so everyone can go home feeling they've done their duty "for the children". But I"d better not go there now. We are still in the midst of our day and I have only finished half my latte so I'll save that rant for another day. But it will come.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

We have Sun

At least for the moment. We decided after banana muffins this morning to have a reverse day. It seemed mot very fair to keep the kids inside when it was sunny out so I let them out to play. The sun is playing peek-a-boo but at least it comes out and its not raining. Shane and Ron got most of the play set done this week-end. It jsut needs the swings and then we can put down all the rubber mulch sitting in our driveway. It really needs it as the dirt is mostly clay so the water stays for a long time and they get pretty muddy. And who need extra laundry. I guess we could just wait until its warm enough and go aboriginal. But some are getting a little old for that.

I was getting Pippin dressed to go out and he says to me,

"Did you hear my bip?"

"Your bip?" I asked.

"No, bup".

"You burped?"


"What do you say Pippin?"

"Thank you mom."

And off he went to play.

Cyril was entertained all day Saturday by a tree. He used a rope an fashioned a a little pulley to raise and lower himself. He was quite pleased and said he was going to sleep there. He didn't though.

Shane brought back some strawberry plants and I think six rosemary and lavender. I am really excited to start working on the yard. The kids wanted to plant the strawberries right away- in the middle of the yard. I told them we have to do some weeding and planning first. They were not so thrilled. I offered- stupidly- to pay $.10 a weed. Yesterday alone racked up a $30.00 bill. I told them there was going to be a pay cut and they've been playing in the fort since. They've taken out blankets to hang on the doors and windows and are having a great time and getting along nicely. Just what the playset was intended for.

Friday, April 25, 2008

A Night At The Salish

Shane and I got to get away for a night- again- thanks to the bravery Trudy and Ron-again. It was amazing and becasue we'd already done it knew how to better allocate the time. We got there early and had a bite in the Attic Bistro at a little table overlooking the falls. I forgot my camera but the view was incredible- as were the meat, cheese, and fruit platters we enjoyed with some 2005 Fedelitas Merlot. Then we headed down for a hot rocks massage and some mineral pool soaking. On our way out we decided we'd do it again in the morning before checking out. Only this time we chose the Swedish massage.

Then we went down for dinner and this time I brought my camera to get pictures of the courses.I don't know why but I can't put captions under the pictures but here is a list of the dishes- also it started wiht the dish after our picture but anyway here they are:

First we were brought a thinly sliced scallop with a ginger mango sauce to "tickle the palate" the waiter told us. We were tickled. Its the one on the green long dish.

Next we enjoyed a lobster-brandy soup. It was so rich I could only eat a few spoonfuls.

We moved on to an apple-almond-frissee which was very tasty and a nice light departure after the soup.

Then came the Blue Hawaiian prawns with ginger.

Finally, we had a cool palate cleanser of green apple sorbet and fruit. I thought the presention was neat and very needed to prepare for the next course of...

Kobe beef cheeks with a burgoine - I know I didn't spell that right-sauce, mashed potatoes, and a horseradish cappuccino.

This time for dessert we had a green apple something- which of course we could only taste with our coffee.

And somewhere in the line-up was gnocchi with prosciutto which I somehow left out.

We decided the next morning to just order in which was really cozy. And the to the spa again and after check out we stopped in the Bistro for lunch and had apricot-ginger polenta with chicken and Shane had very tender lamb and we shared a bowl of red pepper tomato soup which was heavenly with the bread and european style butter.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Kateri Stories

Every day I marvel at Kateri. Today she decided to empty the dishwasher. She grabbed a towel, flung it over her shoulder, and stared pulling dishes out. All the while attending to the other duties of running a household. Pippin came up and asked for milk in his bottle.

"You want milk Pippin? I"ll get you milk." She opened the fridge and saw the big gallon jug of milk on the top shelf out of reach. Not to be thwarted she turned to Pips and said,

"Actwully, do you want ice water Pippin?" She can reach the dispenser on the fridge. I don't know if she changed his mind or not and it didn't really matter. I saw the bottle of water waiting on the counter for him.

For her next trick, she beat me to the phone when it rang. Usually, it friends and family who would know it was Kateri and if it Tirzah or Grandma I have to wait my turn. I couldn't tell who it was from her conversation which went like this,

"Huddo, huddo" maybe a few more times.


"NO, who is dis?"

She laughed, said something unintelligible and repeated her interrogation.

At that point I was able to get to her. I intervened and found the pharmacist on the other end of the line laughing hysterically. She had to ask some questions about a refill but had to keep pausing to laugh and finished the call with,

"That was great. That just made my evening." I told her to call anytime.

Little Lost Lamb

The search continues for Lambie- Cyril's favorite toy when he was little. We left him at the house in Hatteras one year. It was pretty crazy when we discovered he was not packed and had to frantically search a 6,000 sq foot house for a 5" little lamb. We didnt' find him and 2yrs later are still searching. I found a website that posts wanted ads for lost toys here and posted an ad there but thought I'd add one here in the event anyone has information about the whereabouts of this lamb.
He was maybe 5"- could be a little less- had plush head and I think feet, with beans in the body. I can't remember the brand. We got him for Easter in 2003.. His face and feet were tan terry-cloth and his fur was more cottony than silky ,but after so many trips through the wash you can't tell how he started out. He had pink thread mouth and nose- already gone in this picture. I've found some similar ones but they are ususally bigger than he was and the feet are different. His were fabric soles on the back and fabric mitts on the front. I'd like to find an exact one to return home after circumnavigating the globe- like the gnome in Amelie- but Shane says we could try out a big one and say he grew up. Maybe I should add a finder's fee and put out posters. Not sure why I can't quite let him go. Not sure who was more attached to him. Lesson for next time- if they really like it, buy extras.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


This was from a couple week-ends ago. It was memorable because at 6:30 in the morning, Pippin woke up and said,

"Mommy, I'm hungry".

"Come snuggle mommy and we'll get up in a minute"I said, trying to buy a few more minutes.

"But Mommy, I'm STAHVEEN" hr insisted. So we got up and made him three pieces of toast and warm milk. Kateri came down soon after and ate two cartons of vanilla yogurt. I guess they were both growing. On a normal day they get up between 7:30 and 8:00. But I was able to manage because I had 1/2 and 1/2 for a latte and the Wall Street Journal has a Saturday edition.
This morning Kateri came into the library at 7:30 carrying her new notebook.

"Mom, can we do letters now?"

"Why don't we get some breakfast first and then we can do some letters" I suggested.

"How bout we do letters first and then breakfast" she answered.

I guess I can't complain when they want to work. I helped her with one page and then I got up to make breakfast. She came in a little later and had gone through all the letters from E-Y. We didn't get to go over the sounds as she wrote them but I was impressed with her work. I might have to get a few more of these as they only have one page per letter.

This is last night's dinner. You can't see the broiled chicken breast underneath but its there, topped with mango, bleu cheese, bacon and a basil vinagrette. Very tasty. And of course our old standby Root:1 Cabernet.
Speaking of wine, we are going to be staying at the Salish again and I'm looking forward to the Snoqualmie Reserve we had last time. We can only find the 2004 in the stores now- after Shane bought all the 2003s he could find- but I am hoping the Lodge will still have some. We decided to use our free night- and of course we booked massages and dinner so it was well worth their while to offer it-and have some time before Shane leaves for Tahiti. It worked with Grandma's schedule so when she offered we grabbed it. It helps get through some rough spots to remember it some days.
Some funny kid conversations
Kateri -Cyril, can you pass me the bottle?
Cyril slides it across the table.
Kateri- NO, not like that, like this.
Cyril- You can't tell me how to do it. You're not my mother.
Kateri- No, a mother means a sweet bird.
Cyril- NO it doesn't. It means your mother. Like you're my mother.
Kateri- I mam?
I was explaining to Kateri how nice it will be for her when she learns all her letters. She got all animated and had an amazed look on her face and said,
"Then I can write? and I will be big like you and I can have e-mail? and I can drive, and do the dishes, and drink why-un?"
Because I know my letters.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


I'm not sure what I was thinking today, but I ended up taking the kids to toysrus and the mall. Actually, I was thinking Cyril really wanted a dinosaur he saw there before and had been saving up for it and I told him this morning I would take him. And then I was thinking, while we are out I should go by L'Occitane and get some bath soap and another shaker for shakes and then I might get some face powder because sometimes I like to dress up.

The dinosaur Cyril wanted was not there but he found a T-Rex skelton you can assemble so he got that and Audrey added to her herds of horses. And I actually found something useful- some work books for Kateri and Cyril for writing. I was getting tired of making dots and printing things out so these were perfect.

Kateri was thrilled. She loves pens and paper and doing writing exercises. She did amazing when I sat down with her and traced and then wrote on her own very well. If she started in the wrong spot she would drape over her page laughing "That's not how you do it Ooops"

Unlike Cyril, who if I reminded him to start at two o'clock would take the opportunity to defend his individualism and vehemently respond,

"You can't just make your kids do their letters just like yours. Not everyone's has to be the same."

I think he is the kind of student the schools would suggest medicating. Some days it does sound tempting. Some days it is difficult and other days its completely entertaining. Like when we were walking throught the grocery store and he was carrying a baguette and suddenly went all raptor like- laying the bread across his forearms and hunching over like a t-rex while baring his teeth to the other customers. I never know when or what mood will strike him until it does.

Cyril was upset I didn't take a picture of him while he was working and was sure it was because I didn't like him. I gently reminded him of the many occasions when I pull out the camera and he hides and protests- "No, you can't take my picture"
So here is Cyril helping with the hasbrowns. I think he is really growing. Yesterday he ate 5 slices of pizza for lunch. Today for dinner he had hashbrowns, then scrambled egg whites, and an orange, and then asked for toast.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


Some random pictures of the kids recent activities:

Pippin's recipe for orange juice- first mangle the orange slice over an empty cup, then put the slice in your mouth
And shoot the little bit of liquid in your cup. Repeat with remaining slices being sure to spread the peel and juice across as much of the table and floor as you can. A bath is definitely in order.
The stock market has been unpredictable lately. Kateri and Pippin have been busy managing their portfolios. Kateri actually prefers investing in gold, because then she can wear it too. I think Pippin has his money on Scooby Snacks. That or the Hair Club for Men.
Pippin offered to take out the garbage the other day. He didn't get very far. It was cute when he was getting ready and put on my shoes to head out to the garbage cans.
We actually had a really beautiful day last week. I think it got up into the mid 70s. I had forgotten how nice the sun is. WE spent all day outside- Shane and Ron worked on the playset and the kids running around like they'd never seen the sun. Cyril and Audrey found some caterpillars and made a little box for them. Audrey declared it was the "best day of her life". Pippin found a little baby fern and insisted it was also caterpillar. I asked if he wanted to make a house for it and he cupped his hands around it and said " I could be a little house". It was pretty cute. He carried it around, tried to fix it when its tail fell off, and put it by his plate at dinner time.
At which time he fell asleep. So I put him on the couch while we finished eating and then to bed for the night. I love the summer days when they are so worn out from so much fun. Unfortuanteyl it has been raining since Sunday. Yesterday we even had some thunder and hail. Ahhhh... Springtime in Seattle. Its a grey thing.

THe kids had dentist appts and Kateri was thrilled because she got to go too. She just loves those kinds of things- especially since she'd been watching the big kids go. They gave her a pair of sunglasses and little toys when she was done. They get little tokens and can use them on little gumball machines filled with bouncy balls, rings, and sticky little monkeys that leave oily stains on flat paint and are very sticky. I had to get the ladder and a broom to take down the one I had confiscated- but was found and launched up onto the big wall in the living room. It left a mark "much like a seahorse" Audrey decided.
Kateri was so tickled with her visit she repaid the dentist by lifting a small doll from the waiting room. Unfortunately, I had a similar penchant for pinching when I was young and my mom learned to pat me down before we left friends houses after some experiences of finding various pretty objects upon returning home from a visit. Luckily, we go back to the dentist to have a chipped tooth filled on the 2nd so returning it will be easy. And I'll pat her down before we leave.

Monday, April 7, 2008

More week-end pictures

Granner Selby

Great Aunt Adele

Cyril having fun with the camera and his shark.

Week-end Trip

As is our custom, we took a surprise visit to Eastern Washington to visit realatives this week-end. It wasn't too much of a surprise as Shane has been wanting to get out there, but in the past every time we even consider going, somebody gets sick, which would mean we couldn't visit the aged realatives which is the whole point of going. So this time we just snuck out and zipped over the mountains last minute and it worked.

We tried a new hotel this time and it was conveniently located next door to Anthony's. So in the evening we headed over there for dinner. Kateri ordered crab and then asked to see the wine list. All the kids were bummed they didn't get crab legs- they only had whole dungeness availble- so Pippin ordered lobster. He really did ask for it. We told the waitress they would be just fine with fetuccini and broccoli. Shane chose the wine- a Nelm's Road 2006 Cabernet. It was very tasty and one we'd get again. Its fun just trying something new. And then having it work out. Or not.
We ordered an appetizer and Pippin went for the coconut prawns. Then I remembered, we had discovered during lent, that he has an issue with shell fish. On two separate occasions he threw up after dinner. Both times I was all prepared to take on the flu for a week. but both times it was just one purge. And both times were after seafood- crab one week - tiger prawns the next. He was very sad when I took the skewer away from him. He is fine with fish but it is sad because he really likes crab and shrimp.
Kateri completely in her element and looking forward to swimming in the pool after dinner. Which we all did until it closed at 11:00. After a bath the kids passed out. As did we.
We visited Gran and had lunch with her. The kids enjoyed coloring some books she got out for them. Then we headed to Great Aunt Adele's where the kids had a great time playing with her wheel chair and asked if we could get one at home.
Our final stop was to the park to meet up with the cousins and get some energy out before heading home.

Friday, April 4, 2008


I made the mistake of stopping at Target to grab wrapping paper the other day and happened into the Target Experience I hear about- you go in for just one thing and all of a sudden you've spent $85. Once I got in I remembered all kinds of things I needed - yoga block and mat, lunch containers for Shane, shampoo etc. And Kateri had carried her $2 all through toys'r'us looking for anything so we stopped in the $1 section for her to shop. And then we found dinosaurs. I only got one for Pippin but the big kids kept playing with it at home so today I decided to take them in and they could each spend $4 on whatever they wanted.

Not wanting them to just expect things for nothing, I gave them a list of jobs, what they were worth, and said they could choose up to $4 each. I've never seen such industrious happy workers. And for $16- plus tax- the floors got swept and washed, the living room vacuumed, and the dishes done. No they are not for hire. Besides, that would be child-labor. Or as I see it- a fair exchange for room and board. Currently, they are still paying down their labor and delivery bills. Mine, not the midwives. So, we packed up and headed to target and they picked and chose, re-thought, traded, and finally we headed to the register. Where they each wanted to pay separately with their own $1 bills. The cashier was very patient and understanding. And the kids were happy as they marched out the store with their goodie bags.
After much deliberation, Kateri finally settled on her four items. A little purse, some pink note cards, a dinosaur picture with markers, and a striped headband, which is not quite up to the job of containg her locks.
You can see Audrey in the background washing dishes.

Cyril set up all the dinosaurs on rug he just vacuumed.
Audrey and Cyril chose dinosaurs and a butter fly net each. And for my very bad part, I only chose dinosaurs for Pippin. You can imagine how it went when we got home. I locked myself up in the bathroom and beat myself up for being such an idiot. Here, I had envisioned an afternoon of dinosaur playing in our nice clean house and instead Pippin was just heartbroken he did not have a butter fly net too.
I figured there was only one peaceful way out. Bribery. Actually, it was a business proposition. I offered either of the big kids $2 for their net. And another trip to Target some time. Cyril was quicker on the buzzer and said he'd do it. Then started listing all the other things he might pick out after replacing his butter-flly net.

Looking back I'm not sure it was the best deal on my end. I suppose its a good lesson to be more cautious when you feel in a desparate situation. I wonder if going back to Target was worth it.

I think I'll go lock myself in the bathroom now.