Sunday, April 04, 2010

~Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.~

Last night while hiding Easter baskets I found a the white container of these:

It was really sticky and smelly.

It was near Ratchet's stuff so I assumed it was his. When I opened it, the contents looked like a thick chocolate and chunky. And it was REALLY stinky.

This morning the Bear asked MonaLisa about it. She said it was Ratchet's and she knew what was in it and then fled the scene.

Then we asked Ratchet about it. He said it was a pear. Really? There were NO indications that it was related to a pear. As I was about to lecture him on how gross it was, how unsanitary, how just EEEEWWWW. He told us what it was.

Any guesses?

Trust me you'd be wrong.

Turns out it was an experiment.

What type of experiment you wonder?

He was learning to . . .


For some reason the Bear didn't approve when I cracked up. But seriously, what 9-year-old does that (actually it was old enough he probably started it when he was 8)?

Then he tells us he was reading in the Nonfiction Science section of the library and learned all about composting. He thought it was a great idea and thought he should learn how.

I love that kid.

He's amazing.

And he does my green heart good.

We have since explained that composting should always be done outdoors and next time he goes to gramper's house he can probably even stir theirs.

Many of you know that I'm a "Recycling Nut." (I took my soda can home from the car dealership last week because they didn't have recycling. I gather the paper from baby shower games and make sure it's recycled--if there is no recycling available, I'll take it home. And when I was in New Orleans right after Hurricane Katrina, I was tempted to bring all my in-laws recycling home with me--they were lucky to be getting trash pick up at the time.) But if you worked in an environmental engineering firm and edited reports about the remediation of landfills, you'd be one too.

When Ratchet was little he would hold up an item to be discarded and ask, "Is this trash or acycling?"

Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.

Saturday, March 06, 2010

My Best Friend's Wedding, er My Brother-in-Law's Birthday~

My sister-in-law, D, wanted to do something special for her husband's 50th birthday. Today we had a party for him at Azteca. To his dismay we reenacted the restaurant scene from "My Best Friend's Wedding."

My in-laws CAN sing. Every one of them.

D is the one singing the main part. M, her husband, is the one in red next to her (we seated him in a spot where he couldn't run). The parts sung by the "vengeful slut" cousins are our 16-year-old niece, who has an AMAZING voice, and my most endearing husband doing an excellent falsetto. (Oh and videography from our 13-year-old nephew.)

Here is the video from youtube. Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009


Today I saw the doctor who's doing my hysterectomy and finalized the details. I became nervous.

Today I took Ratchet to occupational therapy and we worked on riding his bike; so many sequences. I became excited.

Today I found out why Ratchet hates math so much. I became furious.

Today I was able to chat via Facebook with my friend serving in Iraq. I became excited.

Today I'm safe and free because of people like him. His Facebook posts often talk about combat, barely being missed by snipers, and watching soldiers die. And I ended my day grateful.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

~The Best Laid Plans . . .~

How my day was scheduled:

8am--Fence people coming to remove fence; get kids ready for school
8:45am--Take kids to school
9am--Shower, eat breakfast, make shopping list
10:30am--Run errands
2pm--Home, put away groceries; clean house
3:30pm--pick up kids from school
4pm--Haircut for Ratchet
5pm--Pick up the Bear from work; go to dinner
6pm or so--Go to Reflections of Christ exhibit (our postponed FHE)
8pm--Kids to bed; finish up day.

How my day happened:

8:15am--doorbell rings and wakes me; remember fence people; walk around yard with them in my pajamas; get mud on stairs from MY shoes.
8:45am--realize fence people are parked behind me and I can't get out of garage; look for Ratchet's jacket while waiting for them.
8:55am--drop kids off as first bell rings; park down street from house and walk home still in my pajamas.
9am--Eat breakfast; start menu.
11am--Finish menu (apparently my brain will not turn on today); shower.
12:55pm--Leave for errands; wonder where the last hour went.
1:10pm--Arrive at Costco.
1:30pm--Leave Costco (I'm serious-I'm a fast Costco shopper).
1:31pm--Realize I locked keys in car, look for spare; realize I've also locked both spares in the car; try to decide if I should laugh or cry.
1:32pm--Call the Bear; I'm at the Costco north of us-closest bus drops off 1.5 miles away; still trying to decide if I should laugh or cry.
1:35pm--Call Julie since she works nearby; she agrees to come get me.
1:40pm--Realize my house key is locked in the car and that on my list of things to buy is battery for the garage key pad; yep, I've also locked myself out of the house; call the Bear, he'll catch the bus but won't be home until 3:15pm.
2pm--Julie picks me up; drives me home; Julie waits for the Bear with me while we try to break into house; the good news: we can't break into my house (we even took the cover off the key pad hoping that my camera batteries would fit--they don't); reschedule Ratchet's haircut.
3:05pm--The Bear arrives home and opens the door for me and DOESN'T mock me at all (I LOVE HIM); we realize I won't be able to get my car and have time to pick up kids; the Bear walks to the school to walk them home, it RAINED on them (I really LOVE him).
3:30pm--Julie decides she doesn't want to work anymore today (I'm not a good influence); we stop and lock up her office, go to Costco to get my car, agree to meet at Target to go shopping.
3:45pm--Get to Target, Julie's not in front so I go to the restroom; get text from Julie as I enter the stall, "I'm here, but I went to the restroom," I say, "Julie," she says, "Oh, hi." That still cracks me up. Get everything from my list at Target including Ratchet's Nintendo DS (we agreed to pay half, he paid the other half).
5pm--Finally home. Still have no groceries. However, I now have three car keys in my purse and have replaced the battery for the garage keypad.

We then changed, picked up Julie, went to dinner and then went to the exhibit. And walked back in the door at 7:59pm. I'm back on track but so very far behind.

What I was reminded of today:
  • I have the BEST husband in the world, sorry ladies.
  • Julie ROCKS--I knew that, but you should all know.
  • If you have two spare car keys, don't leave them both in the car. Duh.
  • Hide a housekey somewhere nearby. And replace batteries as they die (it's been dead for months, but ironically today was the first day I put it on my list--of course, I then forgot to look at it to see what kind of battery to buy).
  • Breathe.
  • The world will not end because I make mistakes.
  • I have great friends.

So, do I have any volunteers willing to hold onto spare car and/or housekeys for me? Be forewarned, you may be required to pick me up from some random location at a completely inconvenient time.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

~Random Conversations with Complete Strangers~

After Timeout for Women at Benaroya Hall, my friend, Julie, sister-in-law, DeeAnn, and I went down to the Market (that's Pike Place Market for you tourists) to get doughnuts.

Doughnut Guy (DG): Are you a librarian?

Me: No.

DG: What do you do?

Me: I'm a seamstress.

DG: What do you make?

Me: I do alterations and costumes.

DG: Cool.

And then he gave us extra doughnuts.

Friday, March 06, 2009

~Know When to Walk Away, Know When to Run~

Who knew I would ever be able to quote Kenny Rogers in my blog?

But seriously, at which point should I have walked/ran out the door?

A few weeks ago I took MonaLisa in for her annual eye exam. The good news was that since she started doing the Computer Orthoptics program, she no longer has double vision. Which means she's no longer far-sighted and no longer needs glasses. The bad news was that she failed her glaucoma test, again. She went to a pediatric ophthalmologist (Dr. E) last year who did some tests and said she was fine.

So, this is where my frustration began. Dr. E had sent our optometrist (Dr. G) somebody else's chart notes. That's just my assumption, the notes did have MonaLisa's name on them, but the tests I was supposedly told to come back and get in a month were done at the only appointment I took her too. Granted, I wasn't impressed with Dr. E to begin with, but I never thought he'd send the wrong notes. I didn't want to go back to him, but his partner (Dr. H) and Dr. G's partner were old friends. So, I agreed to see Dr. H.

The next day Dr. H's office called (I could tell by caller ID) and asked for "Rebecca." I said there was no Rebecca there, but there was a Becky. And the receptionist said, "Oh, that must be the OTHER name she goes by." And I said, "No, my name is Becky." And she said, "Well, can I talk to her?" What part of MY name is Becky did she miss?

I set up an appointment with Dr. H. Although she totally discouraged that and was insisting that MonaLisa see Dr. E. After a few minutes of back and forth I convinced her to set up the appointment with Dr. H. Then I ask her to send me the paperwork so I can fill it out in advance. She gives me the website and tells me to do it online. Sounds good, right?

I fill out the paperwork online. It took me OVER AN HOUR!!! The program was horrible.

On the day of the appointment (March 2), I notice there is no suite number on the business card. So, I call the number and get the holiday recording saying when they were going to be out of the office over Christmas and New Years.

We arrive at the building. I can't find the office on the sign in the lobby. Then I notice there is a small typed paper beneath the sign saying they are on the fourth floor. We take the elevator to the fourth floor. We can't find a sign for their office ANYWHERE. Finally I go into a very empty looking office with a woman on the phone. I stand at the desk, not saying a word. She is obviously ON HOLD. She says to me, "Excuse me, but I'm on the phone. I'll help you in a few minutes." And I say, I don't even know if I'm in the right place. She says the name of the practice and I say okay and sit down.

There were eight people in the waiting room and four chairs. MonaLisa sat on my lap.

The lady gets off the phone. She calls me over. I tell her my daughter's name and who I'm there to see. Then I notice she is working out of a handwritten appointment book and that my daughter's name is on a little sticky note at the top of the page. It wasn't written in as an appointment.

She hands me a clipboard and tells me to fill out the forms. I tell her I did it online and it took me over an hour and I wasn't doing it again. She says I must not have sent it. I tell her received an e-mail confirmation and that she needs to find it.

She sends me to another waiting room. Oh, good. More chairs. Nope. It's an open area with boxes of toys and books scattered all over the floor and four more chairs. Eventually there are 13 of us in this waiting area.

At this point I call the Bear. I tell him I'm ready to walk out. He says I should at least meet the doctor and see if I like her. Okay.

50 minutes after MonaLisa's "appointment" time a guy in a lab coat approaches us and asks who we are there to see. I tell him Dr. H. and he takes us back to a room and says he'll go get the chart. He comes back with an EMPTY folder. He starts to treat us as if this were an annual eye exam. I tell him we're there because she failed the glaucoma test. So, completely on my word, he starts the process.

Sidenote: ever since MonaLisa had to have complete eye make-up done at her first dance studio--we're talking liquid eyeliner and full mascara on a three-year-old (yes, we were told, they're supposed to look like hookers)--she's freaked out when you come near her eyes. So, I already knew it would not be a good experience.

First eyedrops. Yeah, that was fun. Then he tries to put a hand held machine on her eyeball. Not gonna happen. Guess, he'll let the doctor do it. Isn't that why we were there?

Finally Dr. H comes in. She doesn't have the "chart." I tell her why we're there and what her assistant has done. Again, she takes my word. She can't get the machine near MonaLisa's eye. She decides to do it a different way. With a bigger machine and a bright light. Because that's better?

She decides she'll just dilate MonaLisa's eyes and look at her nerves and see if there's damage. After more eyedrops I ask her how accurate that is. Well, it's NOT AT ALL.

I start to have a talk with MonaLisa about how she really needs to relax and let her do the test and what can I do to help her get through it. Then Dr. H tells her she's too old too be acting like she is and she is wasting everyone's time. (At this point we're 90 minutes past the time of her appointment--yeah, we're wasting her time.)

After some deep breathing and calming conversation MonaLisa's ready for the test. By now we need new numbing drops. So, after more deep breathing and calming conversation the test is done. 20 is the highest it should be. 33 was her score at Dr. G's office. 9 was her score with Dr. H.
Dr. H leaves the room. She returns 20 minutes later. She looks at MonaLisa's optic nerves. We're told since there was such a discrepancy in the eye pressure tests we need to come back in 6 months. I tell Dr. H it's not going to happen. We'll find a more professional office. She's COMPLETELY surprised. She asks what happened. I tell her the gist. She tells me that it was their first day in that office, the furniture company went bankrupt and took all their money, and that their computers and fax machines weren't set up yet. Although putting a sign on their door would be a great idea.

I tell her that I have a job due in two hours and since I've been in her office for 2 hours and 20 minutes I won't have time to finish it. And she offers to WRITE ME A NOTE.

Um, yeah. The job I have is altering the clothes for a woman who is going to visit her daughter in a religious community and has a specific dress code. She's getting on a plane and a note WILL NOT help. (By this point in the story the Bear is almost in tears, he's laughing so hard. I'm not amused until he points out how funny it would be for Cheryl to hand the note to the person at the gate--at which point St. Peter pops into my head--and explain that it's a note from her seamstress's daughter's ophthalmologist about why she doesn't have the proper attire and after traveling 1500 miles, could she still see her daughter? Yes, I suppose that is pretty funny.)

As I leave the office, there were two women at the front desk and before the door closes I hear one of them say, "That's the bitch I was telling you about." (You all know I have no qualms about getting people fired for extraordinarily bad service, but I figured they were a perfect match.)

But, seriously, at what point should I have walked out?

And do any of you know a good pediatric ophthalmologist? I only have six months to find one.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Help!!! I Need Music

I got a new MP3 player for Christmas. I know I'm not cool because it's not an iPod, but it works for me and MonaLisa. (Mine's red; we got MonaLisa got the blue one.)

But, it holds 16 times more music than my previous one. So, I need music. What are the must haves on your music lists?