Thursday, January 29, 2009

encore presentation of my left hand tonight...

Our good friend Josh Isaac's documentary, My Left Hand will screen tonight in an encore presentation at Congregation Beth Shalom in Seattle. If you're in town and haven't seen it, it's definitely worth seeing--especially if you've ever been affected by cancer.

I don't write much about Josh's battle because he does it so powerfully in his own blog. But this film is incredibly moving in that it truly captures his strength, perseverance, and even his sense of humor during his painful journey. Josh's voice is strong in this film and the experience is something you won't forget.

my left hand : A film by Joshua Isaac
Thursday, January 29, 7:00 pm
Congregation Beth Shalom 6800 35th Ave NE, Seattle
1-800-838-3006 or

If you can’t attend (or even if you can but want your own) you can purchase a copy of My Left Hand from the website. They’ll also try to sell a few at the screening minus the shipping and handling fees. And Josh is donating a portion of the funds from the sales to support the NW Sarcoma Foundation.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

spotlight on sienna... (aka naomi)

Because I've been so swamped with life in general, I thought I'd post this little interview with Naomi... Enjoy!

Interview with Naomi:

Me: Okay, Naomi... First, what is your name?

Naomi: Sienna. Girl Sienna.

Me: That's not your name. What's your real name?

Naomi: Noemi Bomi.

Me: What's your favorite thing to do?
Naomi: My favorite thing is about coloring.

Me: What's your favorite color?

Naomi: green marker

Me: What's your fave dinner?

Naomi: macaroni and cheese or noodles

Me: Those are the same things.

Naomi: Noooooooooo!

Me: How old are you?

Naomi: six

Me: How old am I?

Naomi: four and a half

Naomi's other faves:

Fave playmates: Naomi and Alexandra and Aviva or Fifi

Fave toy: pizza

What do big girls like to do? Play dress-up

Fave outfit: underwears

Special talent: Can fall asleep absolutely anywhere at anytime

Thursday, January 22, 2009

a little white lie about the tooth fairy...

Despite a large number of false alarms, Talia has her first real loose tooth.
She now pretty much always has her fingers in her mouth, trying to wiggle loose the tiny little tooth that is the size of a bitty grain of rice, and her excitement over this rite of passage has brought on the inevitable.

"Is the Tooth Fairy real?" She asked me last night.

With Samuel, I skirted the issue, careful not to lie to my firstborn. I was careful to practice the art of honest parenting.

"Do you want the Tooth Fairy to be real?" I'd asked him.
"Only if she is," he'd said.
"Well," I tried, "what do you think?"
"I think I wish she was real, but I know she's probably not."
"Hmmm," I nodded.
"And Mommy," he added, "I don't really want some strange fairy putting things under my pillow, so if she's real, I really want to know."

I knew how he felt. As a kid, when I'd lost a tooth at my cousin sister Princess Mikkimoto's house, it creeped me out so much to think about a little fairy messing around near my head while I slept that my lovely uncle graciously put the tooth under his pillow and the fairy left the treats there. I remember staying awake, listening for the fairy, or the dogs to bark at the fairy's arrival, and feeling guilty that I'd made Uncle Dick carry the burden of my weakness.

But there was a dollar under his pillow in the morning.

And I told Samuel that what he suspected about the fairy was the truth, despite my feeble attempts to keep the story alive by programming the Tooth Fairy's "cell phone number" onto my phone. Still, whenever he loses a tooth, he dutifully puts it under his pillow each time and is always pleased to see the fairy dust (glitter kept in my closet for each such occasion) and treat in the morning. I can tell that he's glad he knows the truth because that's what kind of a person he is, but that something in him still wishes he could believe the story.

So when Tali asked me about the Tooth Fairy. I did what I knew I should do for her.

I flat-out lied.

"Absolutely," I told her. "We should give her a call to let her know your tooth is loose so that she can get things ready."

"Oooooh! I'll write her a letter!" Tali said, always happy to utilize her new spelling skills. "And maybe when I lose the tooth, I'll leave her a treat, too, like kids leave for Santa Claus. I can leave some cookies under my pillow for her!"

"Um, Bunny... I don't think that's a great idea," I said, thinking about crumbs in bed.

"Oh, you're right," She agreed nodding. "Everyone knows Santa isn't real."

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

president obama is in the house... (the white house, that is...)

He had a very busy day, but that didn't stop President Barack H. Obama from stopping by my kids' school today for a little volunteer time. The kids were so excited to see him and even though he was in a hurry, he stayed to greet them hello on this special morning.

He even hung out for some photo opps...

He seemed a little stiff, but nerves will do that to a person, don't you think?

Later on, after the festivities and because we weren't invited to any of the official inaugural balls, we had our own ball with Rachel Maddow on the tube and some Obama cookies.

And then we ate them... Yummy Baracko-cookies... (Okay, Naomi licked hers, but it seems generally wrong to talk about licking presidents)Rock on #44!...

It was an amazing day... Besides being pretty much glued to CNN all day, I can't get over what Obama's election means for our country and I seriously have hope for our future. It was such an intensely positive day--everyone seemed so happy and together in their optimisim. Truly, it feels like a real person who understands real issues became president today.
Hope may actually be more than a tagline...

Monday, January 19, 2009

two days in a row to make a person feel uncharacteristically patriotic...

"Hey Mama," Talia asks me. "What do you think Martin Luther King would say about BarackObama being president tomorrow?" In our house, Barack Obama has become one word.

"I think he'd be pretty proud of him. What do you think?

"I think he'd be so happy and proud of him, his eyes would get all wet and he'd cry like you did at my Oneg," Talia says.

I laugh. "I think you're probably right."

"I think BarackObama planned to become president so close to Martin Luther King's birthday. He's got real good timing, don't you think?"

"Yup," I tell her. "Tomorrow couldn't be a better day for him to become our president."


Thursday, January 15, 2009

i've been punk'd...

Late last summer, I replaced our old crumbling outdoor path lights with some new solar-powered lights. Remove Formatting from selectionI thought it would be the green thing to do. They looked great and for the first two weeks, they worked perfectly. We were perfectly illuminated.

And then the sun went away and the lights have been dark ever since...

Which leads me to the next three questions (yes, I've been practicing my counting):

1. Seriously, what kind of a tool brain would sell solar powered outdoor lighting in Seattle, the city that spends 10 and a half months a year soaking wet and in the dark? (Oh wait, don't answer that. It was Target...)

2. What kind of a bigger tool brain forgets that they get about six weeks a year of sun and then goes out and buys said solar lighting?

3. And why is it that waaaaaay too many Seattle-ites are using this lighting? There are a countless number of houses with dark pathways like ours, and I never noticed them until ours went dark. Did everyone catch the same stupid end of season sale that I did?

Sigh... I think all this darkness is getting to me.

Monday, January 12, 2009

naomi defends against the dark forces of evil, i mean winter...

I didn't mean to let so much time slip by between blog posts, but it seems like the darkest of winter crazies has hit my family big time.

I know that I complain about Winter every year, and every year it seems unbelievably darker and wetter and sometimes even colder (remember Siberia? Oh wait, that was Seattle in June, which just felt like Winter, but wasn't actually) than any year in the history of anywhere. And maybe I'm still recovering from three weeks of being snowed in during Winter break.

But people, there is not enough coffee in the world to wake me up when the sun won't shine. I am truly a California girl at heart.

And so I've been slogging through these days, not fully awake, not fully tuned in, and slinging back mug after mug of coffee. (Note to self: Despite the fact that there isn't enough sun to fully wake up at any part of the day, you will still get that unfortunate caffeine edginess.)

And really, it's not just me.
The kids are waking up later and later, and coming home from school exhausted. They're also developing dark circles under their eyes (perhaps a sign of early onset rickets?) and they're unusually crabby and whiny.

If not rickets, maybe we're all just coming down off the holidays... In complete darkness.

We're going to have to find some ways to get through this season, considering we're only in January. One of my friends who grew up in Minnesota suggested framing one's face in tinfoil to ensure you get the brightest of any rays possible. I'm sure she was kidding, but um, don't laugh if you see me decked out in Reynold's Wrap.

At least we have Naomi to defend us...

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

sometimes you just have to do what you can to round those kids up...*

wordless wednesday

*Not even one child was harmed during this round-up...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

what wii did during our winter break...

The kids are back to school (thank goodness Sunday's Seattle snow didn't terrify Seattle schools into calling another snowday on Monday--my gaskets have been preserved) and we're very slowly working our way back into a normal, regular schedule. Last night after dinner, baths, and homework, we even got the kids to bed at a halfway decent hour--which is also pretty normal.

The only spur sticking out of our totally well-greased machine of a schedule (I'm cracking myself up here) is that after almost three weeks of no school, the kids are resistant to going back to the no screen time during the school week rule.

They watched a lot of television and played a lot of Wii during their snowdays and winter break. A lot. There's been a whole new population explosion of Miis on our Wii, and after discovering the Wii Fit, the kids have started complaining about getting antsy without their morning workout. Huh. And that bouncy little Wii medley? We all know that by heart now. Naomi was humming it to herself in the bathtub last night.

It is my fault they got out of control.
In attempt to get some work done, I knew it'd be easy to put on the Tinkerbell video, give the girls a bowl of popcorn, and know that an hour and 22 minutes was take care of. And all of them like the Wii. And Samuel did learn some interesting things about Native American history on Google (though I did have to do some supervising--who would've thought that searching on "Squanto" would bring up sexy photos?) Seriously, that was one long winter break with some serious cabin fever...

But when they start getting antsy for the screens, it makes me nervous. For someone who is definitely drawn to technology and video games herself, maybe it's hypocritical of me to feel so skeptical about the draw. We all know that moderation is good, too much television is bad for multiple reasons, but what about something like that Wii? They're interacting with each other, they're getting physical activity, especially with the Wii Fit, and they're even using their imaginations as they role play with some of the games.

Yesterday, on an NPR story about the closing of the Woolworth's stores, a woman was talking about how her childhood memories included buying a bag of broken biscuits from Woolworth's and taking them home to eat with her brother in a tent they'd made in the living room out of sheets.

Which got me thinking...
My kids don't make tents out of sheets. And at the risk of becoming a cliche, I used to love making tents out of sheets. I also used to love to play outside, which is something my kids don't do much of because of all the rain. And I walked to school. Or at least to the bus stop.

And even though Samuel loves the Wii Fit and loves to jump and do all the physical activities, and is even very interested in what makes a body healthy and how much activity needs to go into that, I feel a bit sad when he talks about taking an early morning "jog" around Lake Wii.

But I guess the thing I worry most about is are they losing those wonderful make-believe games they loved to play just a few years ago, especially Samuel, because the video games are so much more attractive? Or is he simply outgrowing them?

For now we'll experiment by taking away the DS and putting away the Wii controllers during the week so that he's freer to do the other things he enjoys. And our normal schedule doesn't really involve a lot of time around the house, anyway, so it's a pretty natural change.

But after the kids go to bed, I'll bet there will be some Wii Fitting going on. Boaz has some pretty slick hula hooping moves...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

finders, keepers...

The other day, as we were hanging out in the lobby of the Embassy Suites in Portland, waiting to check out, a woman set down a bunch of shopping bags near us and Tali gasped.

"Look, Momma! Same, same!" She squealed, pointing to a Nordstrom bag and then the little Nordstrom card she was holding.

While we all checked our wallets to make sure we hadn't lost our credit cards, I saw that it was a Nordstrom gift card, all glittery and shiny in it's consumer possibilities. "Hey Tal, where did you get that?"

"I found it on the street. Can I keep it? Please, please, please... It's so shiny and I could play store with it."

"I don't know," I said. "Let's see if it's been used or not. It might be a gift card with money on it."

She understands this immediately and starts chanting "I'm rich, I'm rich, I'm rich! I can buy anything I want!"

So today as we're getting ready to go to the grocery store, I call up Nordys and find out there is $200 on the card. I didn't really expect that much and while I doubt my five year old has any concept how much that is, we all spent a good thirty minutes trying to figure out what she'd buy with her newfound riches. And then T remembered a purse she'd seen awhile back that was shaped like a pug, but with handles and a zipper down its back. A beautiful puggy purse with a sparkly pink collar (and you know how we feel about sparkly collars in this house) wearing a price tag of $40 which had previously earned her only a palm on her forehead to see if she was burning a fever or just indeed truly crazy. And now she wanted that purse badly.

"So can we go?" she asked hopefully.

But here's the thing. I'm a total and utter goody-goody. I kept trying to picture the person who lost the card--some guy who bought it for his wife at the last minute, or some college student who was just psyched to be able to buy some ridiculously priced jeans, and I couldn't quite help thinking that if it were me, I'd try pretty hard to figure out a way to get it back.

So I call up Nordstrom's customer service department and tell the guy on the other end that my five year old daughter found this giftcard and we were wondering if it were at all possible to trace who it belonged to.

"Ma'am, it's like cash," he tells me when I reluctantly give him the account number. "This was purchased at a grocery store so it'd be hard to track."

"But what if someone had their receipt?" I asked.

"Well, I'm still not sure they'd be able to track it. You have to have the card number on it."

"So... There's nothing we can do about it?" I ask. There are serious groans from the kids who are standing around me.

"Well, if it makes you feel better, I could put a hold on it."

"Hmmm," I say. "I'm not sure that would make me feel better."

"Since you told me it wasn't yours, that's probably what I should do," he tells me, making me feel like a total imbecile for a number of reasons, including pushing him to put a hold on it.

"We can't keep it, can we," Tali says knowingly when I hang up the phone.

"Nope," I tell her. "Really, it's not ours."

"If we kept it, would it be like stealing? Could they send a five year old to jail?" She seems both worried and excited at the same time.

"Here's the thing," I tell her, after assuring her that nobody will be putting her in jail, "as much as I'd love to go on a shopping spree with you, it doesn't feel right to me to spend that money. What do you think?"

Tali actually looks relieved for a second. "It's not ours," she says. "But I really, really, really want it," she manages to get out before she starts crying. The truth is too much for her at the moment. But it isn't a sad or tantrum-y cry--it's just an overwhelmed cry. And I'm so proud of her.

But boy, I know how she feels... And if you see any sparkly puggy purses on sale, let me know.