Monday, September 25, 2006

Visiting my peeps

I'm headed off tomorrow morning to hang with some old friends (pictured above) who live in Vegas. Hurray! But I'm leaving Saben for two whole days for the first time ever and its going to be so sad....yet fun. I'm also excited to try gambling for the first time ever. I have around ten grand to play with, but once I use it up, I will definitely stop, I don't want to be one of those people who throw away all their money on gambling. I was reading the fine print on my plane ticket today and thought I better post this in case my plane crashes:

PO BOX 150266 NASHVILLE TN 37215-0266

I just hope my death or dismemberment isn't done on purpose, I could lose my benefits and that would stink.
My husband's not so shabby either. I guess guts run in the family.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

This is my amazing sister Shauna. (Kyle's little sis actually)

Not only is she funny, smart and totally hot, she does stunt motorcycling. I don't really relate to the motorcycle bit, but I'm awfully impressed and just had to brag. And I did have a blast riding her little dirt bike once. If you ever meet her, be sure to ask her if she's ever dated a billionaire.


I went to buy bubble bath so I could take a nice relaxing bath. At the store, I had to pick between 3 types - stress relief, relaxation or calming bubble bath. The thought of trying to figure out which one of those synonyms I wanted made me feel so stressed out I didn't even buy any.

Friday, September 22, 2006


According to my rough estimates, about 50% of the people working in the construction/remodel/plumbing, etc business are complete morons. I know that if they were rocket scientists they'd be out building some of them durn rockets, but you'd at least expect them to be proficient at the nuances of their chosen professions. Take today for example.

We hired someone to saw up our concrete parking pad. I gave them the EXACT dimensions & they estimated it to cost $450. Six hours of sawin later, the bill came to $850. Apparently they charge by the foot, and the estimator "guessed" it to be about 150 ft instead of the actual 350 ft.

How the heck does a guy who's job it is to estimate screw that up so bad? He should have been able to estimate it exactly by doing a little math. Even I could have estimated it exactly if I'd been given their price per foot. For pete's sake. Anyways, we only paid $450 for it, so who am I to complain?

So far we have hired six people to work on our house for us. Three of them have made the stupidest mistakes ever, or had absolutely no clue what they were doing.

1. The concrete cutting estimator - story I just told

2. The "handyman" who told me he did plumbing and then spent 12 hours doing our plumbing completely wrong. Apparently the "guys at the hardware" store told him how to do it. I could have gone and asked the hardware store guys how to do it. Why would I hire someone to do that? It took the new plumber only 3 hours to redo it.

3. Then there was the "Concrete Guy" who told radically inappropriate jokes all the time and who didn't know how to read the concrete dye card to get the shade of gray we wanted. I read the dye card and saw we needed 6 bags of dye. He brought 4. They went to go get more, the concrete sat too long in the truck & the whole project went to hell immediately after. Did I mention this concrete was being poured directly onto our brand new kitchen cabinets? When I say going to hell, I really mean it. (it all turned out ok, it always does...right??)

Well this is the polar opposite of "small joys fridays", I prefer to call it "Trash Talkin Fridays." I hope you enjoyed it all the same and if you were unaware before, you have now been enlightened to the perils of hiring people to do your crap for you.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Rocket

Saben's First Birthday Party

Congrats to Miss Audrey who turned one last weekend! Saben had a blast at his first friend birthday party. Saben shares some pics and impressions of the party below.

"Yah, yah, it's your birthday, whoop-dee-doo.....I'm busy playing with this cool toy and rockin my new hairstyle."

"If you don't quit playing with my toy, I'm going to lay down and then ....lay here some more. Sharing is so overrated."

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Since Ms. Wallpaper is away and my kid doesn't talk yet, I will steal her kid's cuteness for my own blog...

Kari: Look at the pig Luke!
Luke: Look at the pig's hips!
Kari: Uh... yah, look at those...hips
Luke: She got her hips from her children.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Marge: Homer, is this the way you pictured married life?
Homer: Yah, pretty much... cept we drove around in a van solving mysteries.


Childhood crushes

I am watching Robin Hood right now with my friend's kids and it made me remember what a huge crush I had on Robin Hood when I was a kid. Yes, the disney version where he is played animated fox. I think the Robin Hood fox is the most handsome cartoon character ever. And he has such a great voice in the movie. And of course the Maid Marian fox is gorgeous too. Luke thinks she's pretty cute anyways. Does anyone else have crushes on cartoon characters???

ps. Don't worry Misha, we fast forwarded through every mildly suspenseful part. I just assumed disney was great for kids, but that shows what an idiot I am. How the heck do you explain taxation without representation to a nearly 5 year old?????

Thursday, September 14, 2006


Day 1
Beauty is finding a recipe for triple chocolate chip cookies that has the audacity to force one and three quarter pounds of chocolate into just 32 cookies.

Beauty is a cool cloudy fall afternoon and a warm cozy kitchen that reeks of chocolate.

Day 2
Beauty is having a terrible no good very bad day and remembering there is an obscenely chocolately cookie waiting for you in the freezer.

Beauty is a woman's intuition that somehow knew triple chocolate chip cookies were going to be needed in the very near future.

(beauty the theme from mama says om this week)

Tiny steps towards mutiny

Recently, Saben's favorite part of the day is diaper changing time. It's not that my son particularly relishes a clean bum, he just really enjoys kicking me. The moment I lay him on the changing table, the games begin. His little legs thrash around aiming straight for my midsection, chest and hands as they try to get to his diaper. Awful, unruly behavior to be sure... except for the joyous giggles and twinkling eyes that accompany it.

Patty cake? Boring. Tickle games? eh. Trying to kick the daylights out of mommy? Hilarious. I can just imagine myself in some public bathroom in a few months where my son is pounding my midsection while I struggle to secure his diaper and people shaking their heads wondering why moms today don't discipline and actually let kids kick them.

It's not that I don't want it to stop, I sure don't find it particularly hilarious. But whenever I say no, he looks so confused for a second. The giggles die, the eyes look sad. And then he shrugs and lands a solid one on my arm, laughing again. I even tried gently flicking his little legs in a moment of frustration. (or maybe not so gently after he delivers a blow to the gut) The instant change from glee to heartbreak killed me.

Saben's favorite things

These are a few of Saben's favorite things right now....

His "Shapes" book. He has ten books in this series that all look quite similar, but the shapes one is his favorite. He brings it to me at least ten times a day saying "ship". Which brings us to....

The word "Oval" Saben loves to open the shapes book to the oval page and then he will say "Oval" about ten times, quite proud of himself. The best part was when he pointed to a giant letter "O" in a magazine I was reading and said "Oval" And the way he sticks his lips out in a pucker when he says it.

Along the same lines, his favorite toy is the new shape sorter I got for him when Kyle was gone for twelve days. He is very good at it and loves taking all the blocks out & then putting them back in at least 5-10 times a day.

A tie with the shape sorter is his Retro Rocket. In the last week, he suddenly figured out how to kick his legs to make it go, so he'll take off down the sidewalk which is down hill and we'll go all the way around the block. He's taken quite a few spills on it because he zips down that hill, but so far no major injuries. Do kids need helmets for Retro Rockets???

His favorite food right now is huge bowls of cereal. We finally gave up on the tiny kid bowls and offer it in our normal dishes, about the same amount I'd pour for myself, with milk. He gets milk all over his pajamas each morning, but he eats the whole thing and often asks for more.

Saben's favorite toy he doesn't own is a bike. It amazes me that somehow he already loves bikes. Kyle has ridden around the block holding Saben quite a few times, and that was enough to start it all. We were in a toy store yesterday and he saw a little bike, two wheels, no training wheels or pedals, and he went nuts. I had to let him out of the stroller and he insisted on getting on it. No surprises what he's getting from us for Christmas this year.

He is also into watching Baby Einstein videos sitting in the exer-saucer he is way too big for, playing with keys in the car (still), hitting Roxxy and sitting in the car grocery carts.

Lately, Saben hates washing his hands, sharing, having kids visit us, getting put in his carseat without getting to play with the keys and carrott soup or any meat or veggies.

Friday, September 08, 2006


For those of you who were perplexed by the post below, here are some pics of my garden to enjoy instead.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


This is a picture of us and some good friends from Oregon who came up to visit us recently. We took a trip out to go hiking around Mount Baker. Our friends moved out here from Manhattan a couple years ago, so they weren't sure what to wear to go hiking, but they were clever enough to pick something attractive, yet cool & loose fitting for the hike. Unfortunately his shoes were a bit uncomfortable, but that was ok, he just took them off & hiked in his socks instead.

The trip was so beautiful, we enjoyed the cool crisp fall air, the brilliantly clear skies and the moutain glowing on the horizon. When we got home, I cooked an amazing dinner and then we smoked our Egyptian water pipe and played games until 2am. The next morning, Saben slept till 10am, so we all got to sleep in. It was one of the funnest weekends I've ever had in my entire life.

Robies Warning

Robies are not appropriate footwear for riding rocketships. Just one trip around the block is enough to nearly wear them through.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


The father in the family who just rented the house across the street from ours likes to do yoga. I am sure you can imagine my amused delight when he chose to do it in his front yard rather than in the solitude of his new home. The whole world (including traffic on our not so quiet street) gets to relax with him while he performs downward facing dog, bum pointed directly at our dining room window.

The renters behind our house also enjoy their front yard. However, they prefer to get high & then hang out for hours, throwing machetes & throwing stars at a chunk of wood. Apparently their toilet doesn't work so well, instead they go on the wheel of the truck they have parked out front. Since they rarely bug us and are actually quite friendly, we prefer to politely overlook the people going in & out of their house all day for short five minute visits. But we do affectionately refer to them as "the drug dealers".

To the left of our house is a sweet nice lady with an old gray muzzled dog and two cats that like to use my garden as a litter box. She is easy to get along with and we chat occaisionally. Six months ago she drove through our yard and my beloved garden, before hurtling down the street & crashing into 7 cars in the busy intersection down the road. Apparently she passed out behind the wheel after taking some prescription meds.

You think Seattle has character? Try moving to Bellingham!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Long Lost Love

Jerusalem, old quarter

In book club, we are reading "From Beirut to Jerusalem", by Thomas Friedman. It was my pick, prompted by the recent turmoil in Lebanon and by another member of the book club who has close ties to the region.

I started re-reading it last night (for the third time) and it brought back so many memories, I was overwhelmed (momentarily) by .... homesickness? Friedman introduces the book by describing how he fell in love with Israel, and then Cairo. Parts of his story are so similar to my own "romance" with the region, and it is a strange feeling to be brought back to that moment of first love when I am so incredibly far from it right now. It's like a whole different person experienced those lovely moments.

My first morning, on my first trip to any middle eastern country, waking up in the old muslim quarter of Jerusalem to the calls of the minaret, walking the old worn stones that make up the passages of the old city, smelling the spices, animals, breads baking... women in hijbab, men praying in yarmulkes. I was blown away. I think it was only later, studying in Cairo that I really thought to myself that I could live there and be pretty darn happy. Maybe I never got over the honeymoon, but every day I walked out my apartment door (for three months), I was so happy and thankful to be there.


Those were the blissful days, before 911, before the Iraq war, before Israel erupted in violence again. Before having a husband and son to love, before the fear of losing them, or myself, had ever really entered into my world.

I dream someday of living amongst the spice smells, the animal sweat, and the old worn stones again. Speaking fluent arabic to my friends who wear hijab. Then I get distracted by my reality dream - that sometime in the next 30 minutes my son will quit his blasted screaming and take his darn nap.

"Jar Guy"

I wish I could take credit for finding these two gems myself, but I got them from the Yahoo 9. I've never checked out "The 9", but who in their right mind wouldn't click on a picture of a baby wearing a toupee? Click on the picture, you won't be sorry. This is the only photo I could get downloaded, the other ones are way funnier.

Then there was this too! I have my baby shower gifts all picked out for the year now. This one is a tool you use to convert a regular hotdog into a fabulously exciting octodog. Fun to make, Fun to eat.... who can argue with that?