Tuesday, June 30, 2009

off to camp and rock and roll...

Oh my gosh, if I don't finally post this post, I'll be writing an essay about what I did on my summer vacation.

It's just that this unemployed nothing to do summer has gotten itself very busy.

Sam is off to camp. Though, because he's pretty much the easiest kid in the family, life is just quieter, not less hectic. But even Tali says that she's totally bored without someone to pinch and fight with. Nice.

We spent the day last Thursday packing and gathering his stuff and while it was admirable that Sam wanted to pack his own bags, when I did my minor last minute check, I discovered he'd paid no attention to the numbers of items the camp suggested he bring. As in, instead of ten shirts, he packed five.

"You only have five shirts and it says ten," I say. "What are you going to do for the second half of camp?"

"You don't need to change your shirt everyday at camp," Sam tells me. "You're supposed to be dirty at camp."

"You don't know how dirty you're going to get. What if run you out of shirts?"

"Mom, last year I wore the same shirt practically everyday. I don't need so many of them. It just wastes water in washing them," he says, though I threw in five more shirts. And, oddly, when I look at the camp photos online, he seems to be wearing pretty much the same shirt everyday. What a sweet guy to be saving his mom the laundry and mother earth her water? Hmmm...

Also, last weekend I ran the Seattle Rock and Roll marathon and hit my goal time of under two hours at 1:57. I was pretty psyched and it was great to run with the group I'd been training with. There were 25,000 people running this race, but I think it was fairly well planned because it didn't feel like that many people.

This is us at 4am catching the shuttle to Tukwila, which for you out of towners is absolutely NOT Seattle.

Then, while the shuttles worked their way back to Seattle, we ran back. But it really was a nice route.

Here we are after the race. Note the team shirt not sponsored by Nike--just printed on their shirts. On the back we printed "Run like a Mutha..." which spurred a lot of conversation behind our backs while we ran.

"What's a Moota?" one woman asked. We didn't tell her that we'd used the spelling "Mutha" because Mitch didn't want to run with a shirt that said he ran like a mother.

Off to go send a care package like a good mother... Though at this point I'm sending it next day so that he at least gets it before he gets on the bus to come home.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

getting ready to rock and roll...

This weekend I'm running the innaugural Seattle Rock n' Roll half marathon. It'll be my third half marathon over this past year and I'm truly excited about it, which is absolutely and totally shocking to me. I'm the girl who quit Little League at nine because even though I was the only girl to make it to the Mustang league, I, um, ran the bases backwards during my first practice and promptly quit the game for good when nobody could stop laughing. I pretty much gave up on any attempt at being athletic and totally succumbed to being the bookish nerdy girl. So the fact that I actually like running for long periods of time, and that I totally crave it when I can't run, is truly mindblowing to me.

So today I took Sam and Tali with me to pick up my bib and race packet. I thought they'd be bored, but they totally got into it. They made signs to hold up for me during the race (nevermind the fact that they won't actually be at the race since Sam will be at camp and Tali will probably be home happily playing Polly Pockets), and then went from booth to booth trying out samples and picking up swag and candy. My friend, Lani, and her two year old, Judah, came, too. And though Judah was on the brink of meltdown because he was missing naptime, Lani handed him a couple of sample Gu jelly blocks and he perked right up. Who knew there was another good use for those protein shots? Hmmm, I see an amazing marketing opportunity out there...


If you're in the Emerald City (or even if you're not), check out these fun things to do with the kids this week in Seattle on my Examiner's column...

Friday, June 19, 2009

first sam is nine...

My boy is nine.

It seems so old. In the past, the kids' birthdays have always seemed like sort of my own celebration, too--my anniversary on becoming a parent. But somehow, Sam now seems to have come into his own birthday. He owns it now that he seems so old. And after spending the day with him talking, lunching and shopping for skateboards, I thought to myself that nine must be the best age ever, which is a thought I've had almost every year about Samuel.

I used to think that everyone thought that about their kid's age--every year is the best one--but having three, I've come to find that even though I love each kid dearly, it's just not all that true that every year is as enjoyable as others. And so it seems that my first gets a perk to counteract the fact that he's our test run in parenting. Because he reaches each age first, it's new and exciting and well, Sam has hit each with grace.

But mostly, I love hanging out with that kid. He's incredibly funny and sharp, and his humour is a bit mischevious, which is something I totally appreciate. He loves his baby sister so dearly that he is absolute putty in her chubby hands. And though they bicker, Sam and Tali are buddies.

His freckles and smile just send me and Sam's artistic talent constantly amazes me. And after falling in love with writing stories this year, I love to see him delve into a novel and then figure out how to write the sequels to the stories he finds end too quickly.

So happy birthday to my best and favorite son (as he likes to call himself)... Nine is going to be great for you--I can't wait to see what you do with it!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

visit my new seattle children's examiner column...

Come visit my new Seattle Children's Examiner column to read about some affordable birthday venues for your kids! I'll be posting there often on a variety of topics regarding kids in Seattle so check back often. And even if you're not in Seattle, you might just find something that useful. (Or at least see someone you're related to in the photos--if I can ever figure out how to get them to show up correctly!)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

today it's an ipod--what will it be tomorrow?

There has been a lot of talk around our house about what Samuel wants for his birthday. Though it's a bit indulgent, my kids know that their birthdays are the one day a year where I'll finagle and wrassle whatever to figure out how to make things go their way (within reason, of course!). So after the kid got over the fact that we absolutely will not buy him an iPhone (seriously???), he lowered his expectations and told us he wanted an iPod.

Okay, I can get into that--he can listen to music in his room, or in the car... And nine years old seems to be about the time where a kid gets pretty interested in their own music. But then he started talking about being able to download movies on the Nano and play games, and the truth is, I just don't want him downloading movies or games so that he can sneak off to his room and watch in private. Partly it's because I totally don't trust his own judgement as to what is okay and not okay to watch, but it's also that I want him hanging out with the rest of the family, too. And seriously, the kid has a Wii and a DS. Why does he need another form factor to play games on?

So after much discussion with his grandparents, we all agreed that a Shuffle would be the best move. Super cute, no screen, lots of music. And the other day, a package arrived for Sam in the mail from his Saba Moty and Grandma Myra. When he saw the Apple box he was ecstatic. And then he noticed there wasn't a screen on the shuffle.

"Um, there's no screen," he said.

"You don't need a screen to listen to music," I said, holding tight.

"Hey, you're right!" He grabbed the shuffle to charge it and then listened to the songs his Saba recorded on the shuffle of his own music over and over until he went to bed.

The next morning he wanted to download music from iTunes.

"I need an email address," Sam told me as he maneuvered through the site.

"No, you don't," I told him. I'm picturing him receiving spam about xxx enlargements and not being able to filter that from real email, whatever that is when you're nine years old.

"But how else will I buy music?"

"You don't have a credit card," I said. "You need one to buy music, so until you have one, you have to ask Daddy or me. An email address isn't going to help you with that."

"Okay," he said thoughtfully. "I need a credit card."

"What you need is a full-time job," I told him. "But you can't have that yet, either."

I'm bracing myself... The tween years are approaching.

Friday, June 12, 2009

have I mentioned how badly I need to go back to work?

This was last night's accomplishment. My parents must be so proud...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

i'm bedazzled by bejeweled...

So, you know how much fun it is to work on coverletters and resumes? Well it's such titilating entertainment that I've taken to rewarding myself with playing Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook every time I finish one.

And then every time I half finish one.

And then every time I work for ten minutes without stopping.

And then today, I gave up and gave myself an hour to play the blasted one minute game, which means I probably played at least 50 rounds.

Can you say pathetic?

That game is video crack. I can't stop, and all those sparkly jewels flying around (I like the diamonds best...) You just know there are subliminal messages entering your brain when you hit that five in a row blitz.

But also, I'm a bit of a competitive person and this is what really drives me:

Once I got ahead of Princess Mikkimoto and Aunt Princess Mikkimoto, I stopped playing and went back to working nicely on my um, work. I thought to myself that I should do a screenshot of the score because it's rare that I have a higher score than them, but then chided myself for being totally superficial and ridiculous.

But then later this evening, I went back to check on my status and as you can see, Princess has beat me again. Sigh... How does one get so good at Bejewelled? I ask you?

(Seriously, I need to get back to work before I lose my mind completely...)

Monday, June 08, 2009

if a blog falls in a forest...

Yesterday's NY Times had a piece in the Sunday Styles section about the multitudes of blogs started lovingly and then left cruely abandoned in the vast ethers of the WWW to just fester and mold away, creating ghost towns of outdated personal information that nobody will ever peruse.

But then, one of the kids was in the middle of tattling on someone else at the moment I started the article and then there was screaming for some reason or another so I abandoned the piece, but it got me thinking about how so many people I know dropped their blogs for tweets (twits?) and about how bad I've been about blogging lately.

The truth is, I've just been totally busy, but in all that busyness, I haven't really had much to write about, either. I guess I've been a bit down about this not working thing--a reliable source tells me that I did the exact same thing last summer, too--and have felt totally uninterested in adding my blahs to the moldy blogs already on the Internets.

Or maybe I just needed a little break. But either way, I'm back. For now.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

naomi rose is three???!!!

How can it be that my curliest of girlies, my sunny pie o' my sky is three years old already?!
It feels like just yesterday I was doing anything I could think of to go into labor, and not so long ago that she was this caramelly chewy little baby. And now? Well, she's still caramelly and chewy for sure, but she's got this spicy streak that rivals her big sister's. Nothing gets past Naomi and nobody takes advantage of the girl and if you ask her how old she is, she'll stick three chubby fingers in your face and defiantly say "Three" as if she just dares you to challenge how big girl that makes her.

There is something about Naomi that is just sunny and happy, and even though she is typically little sister shrieky when necessary, she can easily be distracted from a bad mood. She loves to sing and dance and the girl can play for hours on her own in the backyard making up her own imaginary stories while her brother and sister run around her, playing their own wild games.

We had a little party for her on Sunday and her two little friends, Sophie and Rina, came over to hula with her. Though the party was dominated by older siblings and cousins, these three just took it all in, hung out, and enjoyed themselves.

Even though she'd been sick all week before her birthday and wasn't really feeli ng one hundred percent for her little luau, Naomi was enthralled with this first birthday that she'd been able to look forward to. When we asked what she thought about her birthday, she replied using her very serious voice and calling me by the name she uses when she's being most serious, "Mommy Rose, I think that was the best birthday ever."

Happy Birthday, Noemi! We love you...