Showing posts from May, 2009


Go see this movie! Splurge and see it in 3-D! Kids will love it! Adults will love it! Even adults without kids will love it! We just got back and I'm carefully rearranging my list of favorite Disney and Disney-Pixar films to fit this one up at the top. Plus, there was a trailer for the Toy Story 3 movie, coming out in June 2010. Quick, I know it's late, but it's a Friday night and they have late shows... go grab the kids and get to the theater to see Up!

Might as well laugh

Although melancholy by nature, I do love to laugh. More than anything. I love to be around people who make me laugh. I love to point out the obscure things that pop up in our daily lives that are worthy of a good giggle. I love to make my kids laugh. A recording of Ben laughing is the ring tone on my cell phone. And I love that my boys regularly do things that make me laugh, every single day.

As we work on getting my new computer hard drive up and running, there are all these little quirky things that keep happening. And my dear husband has given up quite a lot of sleep to get these quirks straightened out. I'm flexible and trying to roll with it so I can get my work done and just jot down the weird things that pop up to be dealt with later.

The most noticeable thing is how my email seems to have taken on a mind of its own. I have four work email addresses, three personal ones, and one junk mail address. In a single day I get around 50 to 60 emails in total, which I think is somewha…

Technical Difficulty

Wow! On top of an already busy month, my computer hard drive gave up on me, causing a small amount of panic. Do not fret, it appears that all data was recovered and my techie husband was able to get it all back on the new shiny new hard drive now safely residing inside my computer.
But just in case that wasn't enough drama (can you really ever have enough drama? I'm from the school of thought that says no), Michael's work laptop also did a little funky dance of its own. Thankfully it was under warranty and he was shipped a brand new laptop. Which sounds nice at first, but you have to know Mike makes his computers do a ton of stuff, just short of jumping through rings of real fire. So to get it set up how he needs it to be means putting in some serious hours.
Just for the added fun, and by "fun" I mean "temporary torture while Heather figures out how to work this thing", we also went and got a network back up thingy (oooh! So technical!) that is constantl…

The Gap

Over the weekend we went on a road trip to Northern California. A great time was had by all, but especially the boys because they got to swim in the hotel pool. While splashing about, Benjamin smacked his mouth on the metal handrail. I heard it, then I saw his hand go to his mouth and come away with a small white pearly tooth. He shook the tooth off his hand, into the water, while his mouth filled with blood. I left Ben to Daddy and took off after that tooth. It was a front, top, baby tooth, and unfortunately, it was the absolutely least wiggly one of all. Oh well. When Nathan lost his two top front teeth, the enormous grown up permanent teeth were fully in place within 7 days. I have exactly two photos of him without his front teeth! I don't think we'll be seeing Ben's grown up tooth there any time soon, there's nothing but gum!

Nate the Great

On Monday Nathan was honored at the all-school assembly with a special award for "Outstanding Artist and Creativity". He was bursting with pride when I picked him up from school, pulling out his certificate and prize (dinner at the Lazy Dog Cafe). I was so proud of him!

All year I've watched as other kids were recognized for things like "Outstanding Citizenship," "Perfect Attendance," and "Top Math Scores," and I'm confident that one day we'll see Benjamin up there getting one of those. But I've always felt a little twinge inside when I thought of our first born being left out of that circle, as Nathan is an intelligent kid, but not a stellar student in the traditional sense. He was once the recipient of a hand-me-down tee that said "I tried to be good but I got bored"... it was the perfect description of Nathan (when he grew out of it I gave it away as it doesn't suit Benjamin's personality at all). He's …

May Madness

I don't know why, but the month of May is always our busiest. A quick peek at our last four years of giant wall calenders confirms that it isn't just this particular May where we are double and even -gasp!- triple booked for several events and appointments. For whatever reason, this one just feels even more unusually packed.

It's not all drudgery and doctor appointments, we've got plenty of fun packed in, like back-to-back road trip weekends and show tickets every week, and random house guests here and there. But there is just no blank white space for chilling out! So I'm grabbing it where I can, which is generally really, really late at night! At some point I'll get back to the blog and fill in all the details of our crazy fun month, but not right now! There are people to pick up from the airport right now! So check back soon! In the meantime, we are packing up the car and getting ready to hit the road! Woo-hoo!

N is for Nathan


To My Mom

I love you.
Thank you for everything you've done, I wouldn't be me without you!
You are the best Mom ever!
Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

What a perfect Mother's Day! I was showered with so much love! Roses, chosen by Benjamin! Handmade card from Nathan!

Handmade card from Benjamin!
Crafty goodness! A trip to Barnes and Noble, by myself! BBQ beef ribs made by master griller Mike (and he cleaned all the dishes too)!
Cake! My favorite!The annual photo of Mom with the boys!
And a nap, curled up on our bed while the boys were being exceptionally quiet! There is no greater day than this! Hope your Mother's Day was especially special!

Mother's Day Tea

Every year Mrs. Kajikawa puts on a Mother's Day Tea hosted by the Kindergartners in her class. I was thrilled to participate back in 2007 when Nathan was a Kinder, and even more excited this year. None of the other seven kindergarten classes do anything like this. It takes a ton of work. The children learn good manners, and seat their moms as they enter, serve her tea and cookies, present her with gifts and cards, and then perform six songs and a couple of poems. My heart was fluttery at how earnestly the children attempted to be on their best behavior and sing their hearts out.

They also do a couple of special projects. First, the kids do some special art which is sent out and put on a plate. The second is a portrait of Mom, painted by the student. The kids get to mix the paint to the appropriate skin color, hair color, and choose a color for Mom's shirt and any embellishment, like a necklace. I've had Nathan's plate hanging in my kitchen the last two years, and…

Three Years

36 months.

156 weeks.

1,095 days.

26,280 hours.

1,576,800 minutes.

94,608,000 seconds.

Half of Benjamin's life.

The longest we have ever lived anywhere.

What a record for us, the people who pride ourselves on being nomads.

Our neighbor, who believes us to be the best neighbors on Earth despite our wily kids who constantly throw balls over her fence, play loudly in the back yard, and ride their scooters in her driveway, bought us an ice cream cake to mark this incredible milestone.

Wow! Now what???

George Lucas

The big report for second graders is the "Someone Famous" report. It involves finding three resources and taking notes which are used to create a written report, a detailed visual report, and finally an oral report where the students dress up as their famous person and give the report as that person. Nathan chose George Lucas. This ended up being an inspired choice as the parallels between George's childhood and Nathan's (so far) are quite pronounced. Both love comic books. George's dad actually had to build a shed to contain his collection! Both were intelligent but lackluster students, with wild imaginations. And both are creative but with a definite flair for technology. Today we all got up early to begin the transformation of Nathan as a eight year old boy into George, a 65 year old man. Nathan was most excited about the fact that he got to wear a real beard and mustache, applied with spirit gum. I also added some silver and grey hair color and did my best t…

Lock Down

Since becoming a parent I cannot watch television or films where there are children in any type of danger. I can't handle injustice towards kids to be used as "entertainment." I can't even handle the news when they report a child abduction or other crime against a young person. There's this fierce, protective part of me that never surfaced until I was responsible for protecting children of my own. But what happens when there is no way you can protect them?
We live very close to our boys' school, right around the corner. If we climb over our back wall and walk through our back neighbor's yard, we'd be in front of the kindergarten playground. Being this close, we hear the school bell ringing throughout the day. Today was hot, and I was expecting our new oven to be delivered so I was waiting at home with every window and door flung wide open. Close to 11:30 a.m., I heard the school's fire alarm bell ringing. They have regular fire drills, so it's…

Lucas Grabeel

Okay, so this really doesn't have too much to do with my kids, but here it is anyway. I'm a huge fan of Disney's High School Musical movies. I'm a huge fan of musicals in general! I've been a theater junkie since age 5 when my parents took me to see Peter Pan starring Sandy Duncan at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. We sat in the back row in the highest balcony as far from the stage as you can get without being outside, but the magic pixie dust of live entertainment still made it's way up to my seat. I was smitten. More than smitten, I was obsessed. I can recall that matinee show with perfect clarity, including the intermission when I looked up at a bored usher and told her I wanted her job when I grew up so I could be around the theater all the time! My parents saw this love of theater blossoming within me, and despite several lean years, they always managed to find money to take me and my little brother to see professional theater, most often at the Glenda…

Free Comic Book Day

When Michael and I married and moved in together, he brought with him dozens of crates filled with his substantial comic book collection. It's art, it's literature, he said, when I raised my brow at the sheer amount of books he'd amassed in high school. At one point in our early years, Mike took a big chunk of those comic books and sold them to a comic book store. He came home with a giant wad of cash. This really surprised me! He saved several crates of his favorites to share with our future children.
Last year, Michael started reading to the boys from his collection, starting with old X-Men comics, which they loved, and then followed it up with some Spiderman. Nathan loved it so much he started making his own comics. Today Michael took the boys to a special yearly event called Free Comic Book Day. Participating comic book stores give away copies of books to everyone who comes into their store. Mike mapped out four stores in our area and took the boys to all of them, taking…