Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Sally and Samuel waiting in line for the Winnie the Pooh ride at Disneyland. Posted by Picasa

So Much For Plans

We had such a great weekend planned. We were going to Disneyland and California Adventure for three days, staying at one of the Disney hotels for two nights, with over 30 people from Stuart's family.

Such great, great plans.

They started to go wrong when Sally threw up early Saturday morning.

Things went worse when it became clear that she had the flu.

I almost gave up completely when Stuart got sick on Sunday morning.

I tried to make the best of things. Samuel and I managed to make it to the parks all three days, and we were able to see the family and ride a few rides. Sally even made it to the park and had some fun.

But now she's gotten worse again. She's not throwing up, but I have a lot of laundry to do. (Can you read between the lines? Poor girl.) It's raining buckets, and I am calling everything off today. Going nowhere except to the store for supplies, which are running low. Everyone will nap today. It's required.

My towel is thrown in. I'm done. Posting will be sparse this week. Pray for my little girl.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) My favorite yogurt flavor is french vanilla.
(2) I like french vanilla creamer in my coffee.
(3) My favorite desserts are chocolate.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Conversations with Sally

While doing homework:
Sally: "Three plus five, that's eight."
Me: "Good."
Sally: several problems later "Five plus three, easy, that's eight." (she writes it down and then looks at me) "That's commutative property."
Me: "You know commutative property?"
Sally: "Yeah, it's easy."

Conversations with Samuel

Samuel: (in a conspiratorial whisper) "Jared got a new game last night."
Me: "Really?"
Samuel: "Yeah, it's Duck Duck Goose!"
Me: "You mean Battleship?"
Samuel: "Yeah, that."

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

On The Way To School

I love watching the people that walk their kids to school.

There is one woman who must work, because she is always dressed very nicely with shoes with heels, and she walks her son to school. They are long huggers, standing by the gate saying goodbye with a long long hug. She turns to walk home, and he always looks back twice, sometimes three times. "Bye Mom!" or "I love you, Mom!" He's so sweet.

There is a man who walks his two sons to school. He wears a t-shirt, jeans, and sneakers everyday. He must work at home, or be the elusive SAHD (stay at home dad). He has kind eyes, and is always telling his sons to move over, to watch out for other people, to be polite. I'm sure his wife and I would hit it off right away.

There is a little girl who I was worried about her weight, until I saw her grandma walking her to school. They are exactly the same - bodies shaped like barrels, with small skinny legs. They are sweet to watch, because they are two of a kind.

There is a little girl who is walked to school by her mother and grandmother, one on each side, both holding her hands and dreading the moment that they must say goodbye to her, but smiling and putting on a cheerful attitude for the girl, who seems to love school. I wonder about their story.

There are two kids, a brother and sister, who live in an apartment across the street from our neighborhood. I know they must have it tough, because they told me one day that they have lived in a shelter. I used to worry about them, because they walk to school alone, and they look like they rolled out of bed and threw some clothes on. But one day after school, I saw the boy with his mother, and his face broke out into a smile when he saw her, and she ran to give him a huge hug. Their love for each other is strong. I don't worry about them anymore. Their mother loves them.

I could go on and on. The crossing guard. The young mom with three kids who seems way too skinny and tired, carrying her newborn. The coffee mugs and sweat suit moms. The dads on their way to work, dressed in shirts and ties and often already on their phones. I love watching them and wondering about their lives.

I wonder who watches me.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Two Year Old Blind Spots

We are in the annoying stage of the Two Year Old where they cannot see things right in front of them.
Me: "Hand me your shoe."
Samuel: "Where is it?"
Me: "Right there." I point to a spot on the floor, between us.
Samuel: "Where?"
Me: "There."
Samuel: looking all around the room "Where is it? Shoe? Where are you?"
Me: "It is right there on the floor."
Samuel: "Where?"
Me: quickly losing it "There. Right. There. In. Front. Of. You."
Samuel: "Oh, there it is!"

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Movie Quote!

"No, Elvis is not dead; he just went home."

Friday, February 17, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

Last week, the hills in North Orange County were on fire. This was the surreal skies outside my house. Check out the yellowish tones of the sidewalk. It was so strange. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Three Things Thursday

(1) I try to put up a new post Monday through Friday. Thursdays and Fridays are easier since I've started TTT and FFF.

(2) Sometimes I will pre-write my posts. Some days, I have several stories or ideas to write about, and some days I have nothing. I get the best feedback on stories about the kids. Looking back through the archives, my favorite posts are the conversations with Sally or Samuel.

(3) This is my 769th post.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

No Secrets Here

At dinner:
Samuel: "Daddy, we got you punchy!"
Me: "Shhhh! That was supposed to be a secret!"
A few minutes later:
Me: "After dinner, we have a surprise for you, Stuart."
Sally: "Um, Mom, I have something to tell you and you're gonna be mad." (Note to kids: do not start conversations with your parents this way) Sally cups her hands around her mouth as to tell me a secret. "I already told Daddy that we got him a punching bag for a present. I'm sorry. But I made him promise to act real surprised and be happy. I'm sorry I told. I just had to tell him."
Me: (mumbling) "It's a good thing I didn't buy it early . . . you people are terrible secret keepers."

Happy Valentine's Day, Sweetie.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

The Cuteness of The Boy

Samuel is getting very resourceful. A few days ago, I found him rinsing off dirty dishes in the sink. Actually, he was playing in the water, but he tried to make me think he was working.

On Monday, Stuart told me he found Samuel in the kitchen, helping himself to the cookies. I think I asked him if he punished Samuel. I either asked it out loud, or my look asked it, because he told me that Samuel was using a Valentine's Day card for a plate, and it was so cute that it was making Stuart weak.

I know how he feels. Yesterday, I asked why my bedroom door was closed. Sally told me she didn't close it. "Me did it," Samuel said. Why did you close my door, Son? "Me eating chocolates in there!" He snagged some of Sally's Valentine's Day candy and hid to eat it, but didn't think to not tell us all about it. The look on his face, the pride at his own cleverness, just took my breath away.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Vegas Rules?

We just returned from a weekend in Las Vegas. While our washing machine is vigorously cleaning all the stale smoky smells out of our clothes, I'm going through a bijillion emails. It was fun to hang out with Stu's sister and niece and dad, but if I never go to Las Vegas again, I won't be sad about it. Everywhere I looked, there seemed to be half naked women - in person, on taxis, on billboards, in lights . . . perhaps it just seems worse when you are with your kids, and you are seeing things through their eyes. Sally's best comment: she said to her Auntie Tami, "I guess there are just different rules in Las Vegas." She came to this conclusion after she saw several people playing poker while we were going to get some coffee and donuts, and exclaimed, "Ai-ya! Why would people be playing poker this early in the morning?"

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Movie Quote Answers

(1) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
(2) Tommy Boy
(3) So I Married An Ax Murderer
(4) A Few Good Men
(5) Grease
(6) Tommy Boy
(7) Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
(8) Anchorman
(9) You've Got Mail
(10) My Cousin Vinnie

And the WINNERS are:
(1) Julia
(2) Julia
(3) Amber J
(4) MrsFish (although AmberJ gets an honorable mention, because it may have been in the Breakfast Club. i don't remember.)
(5) ---
(6) ---
(7) AmberJ
(8) Julia
(9) MrsFish
(10) Julia

Congrats, peeps. We'll play again another day!

Three Things Thursday

(1) My daughter sleeps like the dead. She can fall asleep almost anywhere, and she'll talk to you while you carry her to her room, and never remembers it in the morning.

(2) My son is a light sleeper. If he falls asleep somewhere and has to be carried to his bed, he will wake up to tell you to take off his socks.

(3) I am a light sleeper, and I almost always remember my dreams. In my favorite dream, I met Tom Cruise in a video rental store, where I got his autograph. As I was leaving the store, I turned around and shouted TOM CRUISE ROCKS! and he looked at me and said Thanks, Sheila. I ran out of the store like a madwoman screaming Tom Cruise Knows My Name! Tom Cruise Knows My Name! I woke up smiling. (This when I was still a fan, before he split from Nicole and became a crazy person.) My husband's favorite dream of mine involved me eating the most wonderful white chocolate macademia nut cookie. It was a huge cookie, and it was still warm. He woke me up before I finished it, and I told him, SSSSSHHHH, Eating A Big Cookie. I tried to get back to the dream, but it was already gone.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006


I've been thinking that I want to teach my kids some practical life skills. They know how to clean a bathroom, and they are very good at windows and mirrors. They can even clean the wood floors. (Anything with a spray bottle is fun.) But I'm thinking that laundry, food prep, setting the table, cleaning the kitchen, that type of thing, Sally might be ready for. She's old enough to follow directions, tall enough to reach things. So I broached the subject with her yesterday.
Me: "So Sally, I was thinking I would like to teach you some new things. Would you like to learn how to work the washer and dryer, or how to make dinner?"
Sally: "I want to learn how to take care of animals."
Me: "Oh." (a little discouraging, but I'm determined to be positive) "Ok, well, you could be in charge of the dog. Feed him, give him fresh water every day, clean up his poops."
Sally: "No, I want to learn how to take care of animals at the ZOO."
Me: "Oh. We don't have a zoo." (now my fun spin on learning something new is starting to backfire in a big way) (there is a long pause)
Samuel: (very quietly) "Me do it."
Me: "You want to be in charge of the dog?"
Samuel: "Yes. Me do the poops." (He pauses for a moment, then continues with the following very long, very unnecessary explaination of his understanding of the job.) "Simba do wots of poops, big poops (here he gestures with his hands), wittle poops, wots of poops, but you no eat the poops. Dey yucky. Simba eat dog food. Simba do wots of poops. Me clean them up." (he then gets a far-off look in his eyes, like he has said something deep and meaningful and needs to ponder it for a moment. then he looks at me and smiles, and then walks away. who is this kid?)

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Our little forks. (This photo goes with the story below.) Posted by Picasa

My Friend's Daughter

I was putting clean spoons and forks away yesterday when I remembered this cute story about Sherry's daughter, Ellie. When their family was visiting us one August, we invited the kids to have dinner with us. I set a little table up for them, and they were all so great. I have big forks and little forks; the little forks have shorter tines, and the left side has a little notch at the top so you can easily tell which ones are the little forks. About half way through dinner, I look over at Ellie, who has stopped eating and is looking incrediously at her fork. "Ellie, is everything ok?"

With a look of wonder mixed with regret, she told me, "I think I chewed a hole in your fork."

Monday, February 06, 2006


I'm normally not a big fan of those slideshow websites, but this one I like so much that I'm posting the link here. Maybe it's because I just love that song. Enjoy. (Thanks, Aunt Chris, for the email.)

Sunday, February 05, 2006

It's Movie Quote Time!

I'm copying Julia here and sharing with you some of my favorite movie quotes. Play along and guess what movies they are from. Answers posted on Friday! Ready, set, GO!

(1) "You're really weird." (and from the same movie, "I never thought we'd have so much in common.")

(2) "Take asprin for headaches, Midol for cramps."

(3) "He's gonna cry himself to sleep on his huge pillow."

(4) "Are we clear?" "Crystal."

(5) "It's a dessert wine."

(6) "I'm picking up on your sarcasm." "I should think so; I'm laying it on pretty thick."

(7) "Nazis. I hate these guys."

(8) "That aroma is quite pungent."

(9) "Just like Elizabeth. Elizabeth Bennet in Pride and Prejudice. She was too proud. Or was she prejudiced and Mr. Darcy was too proud?"

(10) "She's my fiancée." "Well, that would certainly explain the hostility."

Friday, February 03, 2006

Favorite Foto Friday

Sally and Samuel during our Chinese New Year dinner. We made red paper lanterns, and Dad made fried wonton and wonton soup. We also had potstickers and spring rolls. On the table, if you look close, you can see strawberry and chocolate poxy cookies. You can't see, but it's there, the Chinese New Year book that Uncle Jon got for the kids. We read that together. Then the kids colored printouts of a Year of the Dog picture. We had fun. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Three Things Thursday

Today's Theme: Three Favorite Books (fiction)

(1) Life of Pi by Yann Martel ~ Yes, this book has crept up to the number one spot. I love this book. I am finding that the more I think about it, the more I like it. If you have not read it, please read it, then email me! If you don't like it before we chat, you will love it two to three days after we talk. So that I don't spoil it for you, it's the story of Pi, a young man who is shipwrecked and must survive on a lifeboat with a tiger. Imagry, symbolism, themes - I'd do a whole research project on this book if I was still in school.

(2) The Red Tent by Anita Diamant ~ Only the greatest chick-lit ever written! A fictionalized version of the story of Jacob, Leah, and Rachel, as told by Dinah (daughter of Jacob and Leah). Sisterhood at it's best.

(3) Franny and Zooey by J. D. Salinger ~ I've read this book at least ten times. I would love to see a play (not a movie) of the bathroom scene, where Zooey is in the bathtub, with the shower curtain closed, and his mother, Mrs. Glass, comes in and has a long chat with him. It's such a great scene. And poor little Franny, with her clueless boyfriend, and all the complicated feelings of their relationship, written down in black and white. It's close to genuis, that's all. I'd love to see Seymour and Buddy's quote wall. It all seems so real to me. But please don't talk to me about Franny being pregnant, because I just don't buy it. A big thanks to Mr. B. for giving me this book in freshman English in college.

(I have lots and lots more book stuff at my other blog, Sheila's Bookshelf.)

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

This is the large poster that we got for our room. I love the way it looks with the blue walls. I love blue. Posted by Picasa

Calling All Art Critics

All right, kids, this one you must leave a comment, because I need advice! I have three Georgia O'Keeffe prints that I am going to hang in my bedroom. The problem is the one in the middle of the first picture, on the left of the lower one. It's called "Black Hollyhock, Blue Larkspur". It's usually hung with the blue flowers on the left. But I really want to hang it with the blue flowers on the bottom, so all three prints go the same way. What do you think? Am I violating some unwritten artistic law if I just hang it the way I want?

This is the way they "should" be hung. Posted by Picasa

This is the way I want to hang them. Posted by Picasa