Thursday, June 28, 2007


I've always loved the concept of "cleaning up before the housekeeper comes." Be sure and get everything nice and tidy before someone comes to clean your house, so that person won't think you are slobs. Yeah. That makes sense. And yet, I spent the majority of this day in pre-cleaning mode. But it's a little different than you may think. We are having our carpets and sofas professionally cleaned tomorrow, and so I was busy trying to get the floors and sofas vacuumed and the smaller furniture moved so that the cleaning process can go as smoothly as possible tomorrow. Basically, I took care of the big chunks. Hopefully, Steam Express will take care of the rest. Now, I must rest my tired body and mind. Until Sunday evening...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Two For One

You'd think that attending two Portuguese classes in one night would make you double-good at Portuguese. You'd be wrong. I decided to sit in on Jeff's Portuguese II class tonight after my class, since the kids aren't here and since I wanted to test drive it before I sign up for that session in the Fall. Now my brain is fried and I'm definitely none the wiser. It was way, way over my head. And sitting in on the class means participating in the class, so I was quite embarrassed when it was my turn to read. I must discipline myself to study more.
And speaking of reading and ignorance, I simply must share these stats with all of you that Jeff posted on his brand new blog. It's shocking and appalling. The data is quoted by Para Publishing, who is quoting Jerrold Jenkins:
--58% of the US adult population never reads another book after high school.
--42% of college graduates never read another book.
--80% of US families did not buy or read a book last year.
--70% of US adults have not been in a bookstore in the last five years.
--57% of new books are not read to completion.
--the average person stops reading a book on page 18.
I'm proud to say that I am not helping to make up these statistics. I absolutely love books--I love to read them, to hold them, to smell them, literally everything about them. And I think everyone should be able to find some book that they can enjoy past page 18! Here are some of my favorites:
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Lord Of The Flies byWilliam Golding
Of Mice And Men by John Steinbeck
A Woman Of Independent Means by Elizabeth Forsythe Hailey
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard
The Devil In The White City: Murder, Magic andMadness at the Fair That Changed America by Erik Larson

That is just to name a few. I am currently reading My Gal Sunday by Mary Higgins Clark. I urge you not to be a statistic. Pick up a book and read it to completion. Do it for yourself, and do it for America.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Sound Of Silence

The kids are staying with Jeff's parents all week, making it very quiet around our house indeed! This is a situation I'm not the least bit used to, and so every once in a while, I imagine that I hear the children playing or talking or laughing or screaming or whatever. It's weird--the silence and the imaginings. Jeff and I have tried to make the most of our kid-free time. We saw a movie and went out for dinner on Sunday night. We had a quick bite to eat together before Portuguese class last night. And tonight we went out to dinner and then did a little shopping--long after the "normal" hours for those events. I also did some shopping during the day today--the kind that just can't be done with two little ones tagging along. And yesterday afternoon, I took full advantage of the silence (and the rainstorm) to read a little of my book and nap away my migraine. We talked to the kids last night, and they are having a blast. And the grandparents are thrilled beyond belief to have the kids there. It's definitley a win-win-win. But on this end it's definitely a silent victory.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Going Postal

A few days ago I drove by my neighbors' house and saw that their brick mailbox had been knocked over and was lying flat in the yard. I thought maybe they were thinking of replacing it or, at the very worst, some teenagers in the neighborhood knocked it over for fun. Well, today I had a chance to get the story from my neighbor directly. She said they were sitting in their livingroom one day when they suddenly heard a loud crash outside. They immediately hopped up to look out the window and saw the mailman parked just in little past their mailbox. He sat there for a minute and then just went on. (At the time, the mailbox hadn't actually fallen over, but sometime in the night it did). The next time that mailman came by, they noticed a large, supicious-looking dent in the bumper of the mail truck. They have since contacted the post office and have been told that the mailman says he didn't do it, and it's pretty much his word against theirs. The problem with the mailman's story is that I have personally seen him run into another neighbor's mailbox, knock it over and leave it. Unbelievable, right?! You always kind of think of your postman as a "good guy." I guess that just isn't always the case. I do think I'll start parking my van a little closer to the house. Our house is the last house on the mail route and the mailman turns around in our driveway. I hate to think of the bruise he'll leave on Minnie, if we aren't careful.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

You Can't Give Panties For A Gift

Apparently, when Ruth was staying with my parents, my mom commented on Ruth's fancy panties. Ruth proudly told her they were new. And so Mom asked her if she got them for her birthday. Ruth was absolutely appalled and said, "You can't get panties for your birthday!!" So, today we were out shopping for a birthday gift for my mother-in-law, and I was asking Ruth if she had any ideas. She offered up a few and then said, "Well, I know one thing: We can't give her panties, because you can't give panties to someone for their birthday!!" So, no panties for birthdays, got it?!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

A Boy By Any Other Name...

Last summer, Ruth took the idea into her head to start calling Weston "West." She kept that up for several months and then decided to start calling him "Weh." Both of these nicknames really got on my nerves, but I saw very quickly that the more I would try to correct her, the more exciting it was for her to call him by those names, so I dropped my attempts of correction. But in the last few weeks, she has started calling him "Wel," and that one I just cannot tolerate at all. So today I quit biting my tongue and told her in no uncertain terms that she could not use that nickname. And then I told her if she kept it up I was going to start calling her by some name that wasn't anything like her real name. She didn't like that idea one bit, and I think she got the point. No wonder Weston doesn't know how to say his own name. He doesn't even know what it is!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Little Blessings

Minnie (our van) heard about AhRoi's problem and became very sympathetic--to the point of death. The kids and I were out running some errands today and came back to the van at one point to find the battery completely dead. Instead of becoming frustrated, I decided it was a good time to count my little blessings. So here they are:

1. It was near the end of the workday so we didn't have to wait too long for our knight in shining armor to arrive.

2. One of the stores had a kid-sized table and piles of books for us to read while we waited for Jeff.

3. That store also had a nice bathroom and a Coke machine--and I actually had enough change to purchase something.

4. I actually made it out of the house with a sippy cup, snacks, an extra diaper and plenty of wipes.

5. We did get the car started and made it back home.

6. Jeff got the computer to cooperate so I could share our little blessings with all of you.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Near Death Experience

Well, my right-hand man--my e-mailer of e-mails, blogger of blogs, keeper of schedules, planner of vacations, finder of information, connection to the world--seems to be trying to die on me. Or maybe he's just had a stroke, because certain parts of him are just not working. And even my computer guy (a.k.a Jeff) doesn't know what the problem is. This makes me very, very sad. I depend on AhRoi too much for him to leave me. It's a miracle I'm even getting to post this blog tonight. That's one of the functions affected by the stroke, along with some other internet access. My e-mail program still seems to be working fine and my Skype phone is working as well as it ever has--but that's a whole other story. I will try to keep the blogs coming, but I just never know if AhRoi will be up for it. And some nights it's just not worth trying to rouse him. Don't forget about me if I disappear for awhile. I love you all...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Go, Spurs, Go

I like sports fine, but I'm not usually too much for watching them on TV. I make an exception for basketball, especially the NBA finals, especially when the Spurs are playing. They were really on fire the first half, and I look forward to seeing how the second half comes out. They are a great team and very fun to watch.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Sure Plays A Mean Pinball

Well, with a quaratine in place at our house, we had to come up with some creative things to do today, and one of them was dragging out the old-school 8 bit Nintendo. We played Mario Bros., Mike Tyson's Punch Out, some pinball game, Mega Man III and my personal favorite, Rad Racer-- some with a little more coaxing of the old machine than others. Ruth loses interest in these old games very quickly, and I'm not really too far behind her. But Jeff really loves them. You can just see on his face and hear in his commentary that he's 10 again. We should all have something in our lives that take us back like that. Ruth and I also found refuge in the equally old-school game of Yahtzee. The girl is good. I have never played that game with her that she hasn't beat the pants off me, and today was no exception. Our quaratine is still on for tomorrow, so we'll see what else we can come up with for entertainment.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Friday Updates

1. I reported that Jeff and Ruth were sick. Well, that remains. But, after seperate trips to seperate doctors in seperate towns, we now we know what they have (kind of) and they are being treated. Turns out Ruth has Strep Throat, without ever actually manifesting a sore throat of any kind. And Jeff has something that definitely ends with "itis," but due to a slight language barrier between doctor and patient, we aren't quite sure what the first part of that is. They will be laying low another couple of days for sure.

2. I reported that Weston (or possibly Weston's mom) was disappointed in the selection of boy's sandals. Well, this morning he found a pair he liked,that fit, that looked manly, and have at least as good a chance as any other pair of not stinking to high heaven like the previous out-grown ones.

3. I reported that Weston had a minor "yeast infection." That's true, but what he really has is "jock itch." My mom said, "I knew he was a big boy. I just didn't know he was that big." We picked up some cream for him so that little problem should go away before too long.

4. I reported that Ruth would be attending art camp this week. She did, and she enjoyed it very much. She finished up today with a parade and reception, which parents and grandparents were invited to attend. The theme of the camp was "Asia," and they really made some neat things, including homemade paper, masks, paper lanterns, headbands and many paintings and drawings.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Weston Report

Weston had his 18 month check-up today and the doctor's exact words were, "Well, I guess he's just perfect." I've thought so all along, but it's nice to have that motherly intuition confirmed. As soon as we got in the elevator to go up to her office, Weston was intent on charming the socks of every person he saw...and that certainly didn't stop with the doctor or her nurse. He was melting hearts with his smile and his many blown kisses. He is 33 1/2 in. tall (80th percentile) and weighed 28 pounds (also 80th percentile). And, aside from a small yeast infection, he was in perfect health. He's getting so big and we're so proud of him.

Wednesday, June 06, 2007


Jeff had originally planned to work from home today. Instead, he spent most of the day on the couch--hot, then cold, asleep, then barely awake, headachy, and general body achy. This afternoon, he finally took his temperature and found it to be 102.9. Yuk! Then, my mom called around 7:30 to say that Ruth was sick, running a temperature of 102.9 and that she had had a headache and been very tired when Mom picked her up from camp. (Fortunately, she seemed not to have the fever until later in the afternoon). Double yuk! Obviously, Jeff and Ruth somehow came down with the same thing without even being in the same town. I just hope Weston and I don't come down with it tomorrow. The bright spot in the day was getting have lunch with Jeff's aunt...I just really hope she didn't pick up any of these icky germs.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Little Boys Need Shoes, Too

Weston and I were on a mission today (whether Weston realized it or not) to find him some new sandals, because his little feet are just getting too big for the ones he has now. And what I want to know is why on earth should there be fifty choices of girls' sandals and one, maybe two, for boys?! I mean, little boys need shoes, too. It's just not right. Jeff said, "Well, we men just don't care that much about shoes," which may be true, but wake-up and smell the dollars you sellers of shoes, we mammas (read "purchasers of shoes) do care! And we want choices!

Monday, June 04, 2007

Stretching The Old Brain

I attended my first Portuguese class this evening, and I really enjoyed it. I went in to it a little nervous that it would be a bit over my head and a little overwhelming, but it was just the right pace for me. And I must admit that for this near-thirty, stay-at-home mom it was nice to stretch my brain a bit in a non-child dominated environment. Jeff is taking another stab at Portuguese II, but I'm sure it won't be any problem for him as he's practically a professional translator. Well, at least he's the only one who could even come close when a Brazilian visitor showed up at church on Sunday. I'm so glad I let him talk me into taking the class. Maybe someday (a long, long time from now), I can pinch-hit as the church translator.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Quiet Night At Home

Ruth left this afternoon to spend the week with Nana and Papa. She will be attending Art Camp and enjoying the exclusive attentions of her grandparents while partaking in lots of other fun activities, I'm sure. Weston was absolutely exhausted by 6:00 this evening, so off to bed he went. Jeff and I had dinner by ourselves at the very adult dinnertime of 6:30. Then, we each retreated to our respected flopping places and dug into our respective books. So, aside from the thunder that has been rocking the house for the last few hours, it's been really quiet around here. And, I have to say, it's been kind of nice.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

Pain In The Neck

And it's not Jeff, in case you were wondering. I woke up this moring with a terrible crick in my neck that I haven't been able to shake all day. I'm planning to go to bed here in a few minutes, and I really hope it will disappear while I'm sleeping.

Friday, June 01, 2007

My Little Cuddle Bug

I have never really been what you might call a "cuddler". I guess I have never been able to be still long enough. Jeff has been working on me for almost 9 years, and I really have gotten better. But what has really worked on me is this adorable little boy who lives in my house. He is just such a little cuddle bug. Today when I got him up from his nap, I took him into my room and laid down with him on my bed. He just laid his head down on my chest and rubbed my arm with these sweet little strokes for about 10 solid minutes. Then, he sat up for a few minutes and then tackled me with the biggest bear hug. He did that several more times before he was really ready to get up and go play. So, so sweet. It definitely makes me want to be a cuddler.