Saturday Night Movies

We have routines in our house. One of them is a different movie every Saturday night. Movies start at 8pm PST. The boys get a treat and a beverage during the movie. It’s kind of a big deal.

They start asking on Wednesdays what the week’s movie will be. I started Christmas movies last month. Last week’s movie was “Nativity Story”. It was a bigger hit than I expected. They all liked it and nothing negative was said. Most of the movies are rated PG. Anything above that gets screened and discussed between David and I.

The boys watch a lot of news programs so we aren’t too worried about the violence factor. They have been taught what is real versus what is fake and anytime we watch something that has violence, we talk with the boys about it.

They know to be quiet, like in the theater, during the movie. We get the occasional question but they understand by watching that their questions will be answered in time. The only question tonight has been if they can have some more hot cocoa.

Mesmerized

Sometimes I worry they will have nightmares from some of the movies but I’ve figured out they are always the heroes in their dreams. They’re good boys and very rarely act out as bad guys.

I have to figure out what movie we’ll be watching next Saturday. My in laws will be here and I plan on reading the last bit of The Christmasaurus that night. That’s a cute story for another blog.

The Grinch

I’ve never been a huge fan of Christmas and it’s only gotten worse. I do participate for the sake of the kids. The older ones don’t believe in Santa Claus but the two littles are borderline on their beliefs.

Christmas can truly be a magical time of year. I just think it’s more commercialized than ever. We live during a time when people think they are entitled. Gimme, gimme, gimme. I wasn’t raised in believing Christmas is about what you can get but rather, what can you give. I love to give. I love spoiling others. I am doing something different for the boys this year. The three little ones are going shopping with me, one-on-one, for their siblings. They have been very excited about it. We go to lunch or dinner and then spend a few hours shopping.

Sometimes we cannot find what we are looking for in the stores. That’s where Amazon comes in. The packages have been hitting the doorstep and it’s been great. I’ve had the boys truly think about what they want to give. Although they all wrote out wishlists, but I used them as ideas and not specific gifts. I’ve already taken JR and JJ out.

JR is the adventurous one when it comes to food. We drove down to Portland and went to Marrakech with my future MIL. We had a good time.

JR

JR had originally ordered chicken with honey but he didn’t like it. Roxie ordered the lamb skewers and offered to swap with JR. He loved the lamb. He loved almost all of the food. The eggplant salad wasn’t his thing though. I’m very proud that he tried something new.

He wasn’t a big fan of the dancer but he’s 9.

I took JJ to MOD pizza. Then he was able to find everything he wanted to get his brothers at the store. Except one gift. All of the gifts have arrived so far from Amazon. I’ll probably start wrapping this weekend. I didn’t get any pictures of JJ though. I forgot. Shame on me. I’m a bad mom.

Next up to shop is DJ. I plan to take him to Fujiyama and the mall. It should be an adventure!

Speed Up, Slow Down!

What is wrong with people? A few weeks ago, I was driving on the freeway and all of a sudden, I couldn’t see the headlights of the car behind me. She was honking her horn at me, implying that I needed to speed up or get out of her way. I can only go as fast as the vehicle in front of me, lady.

It’s ridiculous. As soon as she could fly by me, she stuck her arm out the window and gave me the sign that I was “number 1”. Yeesh. I know I’m number 1 according to my family but I didn’t need a finger to prove it.

Driving makes me anxious. Sometimes being a passenger makes me nervous. It’s not the driver. It’s all the other people out there who think they can drive. I’ll admit, I’m not the most perfect driver in the world, but I’m also not one to cause an accident or create road rage. I especially get anxious when I can’t see headlights behind me and I have to slow down around curves.

Now, let’s talk about the weather. My dad was in the car business. He did body repair. He always said the worst time for accidents was the first nice day of weather in the spring. It makes sense. The roads are dry and the weather is nice. People think the roads have become a race track. BAM!!! The front end of your car doesn’t look good wrapped around that pole or in the back of that truck.

People are more cautious during weather changes but they still don’t seem to be aware of the road. Wet leaves on the pavement, fresh grass clippings, debris across the road way, and tractor-trailers passing, all make the road hazardous. I had a bus coming towards me one day earlier this year and a rock hit my windshield. Scared the crap out of me and Sean. Windshield was fixed so all is well there.

I think one of my biggest fears while driving is being unaware and unable to stop to avoid an accident. It scares the heck out of me. Vehicles are weapons and can cause mass destruction. A car parked on the side of the road without anyone behind the wheel can do no harm. However, once that key is turned in the ignition, it can become a deadly weapon.

I am always on the lookout for other drivers. I cannot promise that other drivers are watching out for me. I watch for traffic patterns and erratic behaviors, like a car constantly changing lanes, to create awareness of my surroundings. You never know what is going through someone’s mind when they are driving but you can figure out who is distracted while driving.

I don’t text while driving either. I might check my phone while at a stop light though. Again, I’m using my ability to be aware. One time, I sat at a red light that had turned green for longer than usual. There were cars behind me. Nobody honked, thank goodness. Next thing I know, a car ran the red light. If I had gone, I would have been hit, guaranteed. I could see the person in the car behind me (rear view mirror) shaking their head. My heart was pounding. I was okay to drive but a little shaky.

Moral of the story: be aware of the weapon that you drive. Be aware and considerate of others, especially when driving.

She was here…

Then she was gone! The week Leslie was here was way too short. I miss my best friend.

I picked her up from SeaTac and we set off for Forks. The drive on the 101 was beautiful and we couldn’t have asked for a better day for the long drive. Our first stop was for food in Sequim. I don’t remember the name of the place but it was on the Main Street. We enjoyed some delicious middle eastern food. Then we walked for a bit and stopped in a shop that sold loose leave teas. I bought a very sweet Earl Grey crème called “Mount Olympus”. Afterwards, we headed over to a coffee shop called Rebel Heart. The coffees were very yummy. Back into the car and onto the 101!

Our next stop was in Forks. She wanted to see the Pacific Ocean so First Beach was it for the view.

I recognized the place as it was seen in the movie “The Goonies”. We didn’t quite make it to La Push as planned but that’s okay. We continued on the 101 into Aberdeen. Poor girl was tired so she fell asleep while I got lost. Navigation got messed up so I had missed a turn.

We got home much later than planned. Jack in the Box was dinner. She met the boys and they loved her. Even more so after they found out she plays Pokémon Go. What can I say? We’re hooked!

The next day we didn’t do much of anything other than chill and I introduced her to good coffee. Anything is better than Starbucks, imho. We took the boys to see The Rise of Gru. We all had a good time. The boys tried boba tea for the first time at the mall.

Thursday I had a doctor’s appointment and we had sushi after that. The boys needed to burn off some energy so I grabbed the Defy passes and off we went. Leslie and I jumped until our legs felt like jello and we were out of breath. We both got stuck in the cube pits. I don’t know where the boys get their energy from but I couldn’t last jumping the entire 1.5 hours!

Friday we were to the Space Needle in Seattle. While standing at the kiosk to purchase tickets, a couple of girls came up to us and asked if we wanted their tickets. Um, yes, please! They didn’t want anything for them so we felt blessed. Tickets for the space needle are not cheap and I was grateful for these girls. (Photo dump below)

Mt Ranier
Here, hold my overpriced beer!

The views are breathtaking! No, I’m not just talking about us either. I took a lot of photos and some of them were submitted to my credit union for their calendar photo contest.

We had to pick David up at SeaTac and for the little time left before that, we went down to Pike Place Market to look around. I figured out that driving in Seattle terrifies me. We had some piroshkis as a snack. I miss having those from back in Michigan. It was also Pokémon Go Fest in Seattle so we caught a lot of critters.

After picking David up, we went to Claim Jumper for dinner. Then endured the crazy drive home. I was happy and grateful to have my entire family under one roof. Only person missing was Bentley. He would have loved it but I appreciated the much needed girl time with Leslie.

Fresh farmer’s market finds

Saturday we went to the farmer’s market in downtown Olympia. Leslie bought some handmade soaps and a bunch of lavender. We also sampled the wines they proffered. Sunday, Declan’s birthday party at Defy was a blast.

Jurassic Park for my favorite dinosaur!

Monday came around and we just relaxed before taking Leslie to the airport. I cried most of the way there. I wasn’t ready for her to go!

I know she’ll be back and she’ll bring Carter and Bentley with her. I miss my babes!

A Simple Picture

A picture speaks 1000 words, right?

I was once asked why I take so many pictures. As a former photographer, I love the sound of the click of a camera. I love hearing the whirring noise the flash makes as it charges with power. I love the artistic end results that cannot be seen until the final product is produced.

So why do I take so many pictures? It’s simple. One day, my memory will fail. As age progresses, I may not remember the people I love. I may not be able to conjure up the images of the places I’ve been or the things I’ve done. Well, some things I may not want to remember. That could be a good thing.

I want my best friend to sit across from me and show me those pictures I’ve taken. Perhaps it will trigger my memory and I will remember how my time was spent. I will cherish my days now, while I can remember those minute moments. I will remember when she and I played hooky from work to take much needed drive to clear my head. I will remember our trip to southern Illinois and how we went exploring. I will remember. For now.

Metropolis

My best friend will be here in Seattle in less than 3 weeks. I want to make her trip a memorable one. I already know I’m going to take lots of pictures.

Because I want to remember. I need to remember. The pictures I take will trigger my memory. Time is not favorable to everyone.

Both of my grandmothers had a form of dementia. While I anticipate the possibility of it being genetic, I may get lucky and be as sharp as a tack when I am 80. I took a lot of pictures of my maternal grandmother before she left this earth.

Weeks before I said goodbye

Having these pictures mean the world to me. I plan to do a post of my grandma D soon. Right now it’s just too hard. I don’t really have any pictures of my paternal grandma. I didn’t see her as often as I lived in California before she passed.

But pictures are precious memories of what has passed. You can see and feel the emotions found in a single photograph. Hope is the picture of the future and if the future doesn’t go as hoped, it’s okay. It just means different memories will have passed.

Grandma and I

I will remember, Grandma. You may not have but I do and will.

A picture will always tell the story.

Celebration of Two

Today I took JR out to celebrate our combined birthdays. We went to lunch at Fujiyama’s. It’s like a Benihana to reference what my readers are more familiar with. David came with us at JR’s request.

Another couple sat at the table with their daughter, who was about JR’s age. We all chatted back and forth while the chef was getting ready. JR is getting better about telling the server what he wants to eat.

All JR talked about was eating the fried rice.

The chef teased him and only gave him a little bit of rice at first. Then after serving the rice to everyone else, he filled JR’s plate. He ate nearly all of it! Then asked me to save mine for him.

That’s fine. I’m not a big rice eater. I got his vegetables and the yum yum sauce was amazing! JR and David had chicken and I had steak. The place was pricey but well worth it and I stayed within my budget.

Volcano
Volcano eruptus!

JR loved seeing the chef’s tricks and the hibachi being set on fire. I wish I had gotten a video of his face when the chef first lit it! It was priceless! He was so amazed by it all and enjoyed trying new foods.

We had a lot of fun!

At the end, the staff sang Happy Birthday to us. I gave my cake to the little girl. I’m stuffed.

Happy birthday, sweetheart. Bonus mom loves you very much!

Another Year

Around the sun.

I meant to write this yesterday but time keeps on slipping, slipping into the future…

Yesterday was my birthday. I celebrated the 24th anniversary of my 25th year. The celebration actually started Friday at work. One of my coworkers, D, decorated my desk. Then I was called into my supervisors office for my coworkers to sing happy birthday to me and there was a cake. I knew D had planned the whole thing because everything was lemons.

There was a lemon cake. A hat with lemons all over it and a yellow Gerbera daisy pot. I had also gotten Lemonheads (the candy). And of course, balloons!

I’ve never really had my coworkers do anything for me at work. I stopped asking for my birthday off because I never really got it unless it was my actual day off. I work Monday through Friday so this year I had my birthday off.

I woke up yesterday morning to a flood of people wishing me happy birthday via text. David wished me a happy birthday too and asked if I wanted to go to breakfast. I hadn’t fully decided upon going out to breakfast so I asked if we could do like a brunch or lunch instead. We went to BJ’s brewhouse and restaurant. I got my favorite, avocado eggrolls. Unfortunately, David started feeling really sick so we ended up just going home where I’ve binged watched Downton Abbey in order to prepare for the new movie that comes out next weekend.

JR‘s birthday is on the 26 and he has a party planned at a local jump spot on Sunday. I am taking him to a Japanese restaurant on Saturday to celebrate both of our birthdays. It should be a fun time!

Anyhow, here’s to another trip around the sun and to whatever the future may bring!

Time to Grow

A while back, while we were still in the apartment, JR brought home a plant he had grown from seed. Unfortunately, the plant met a horrible demise that resulted in tears from JR. He accidentally overwatered it. Those tears broke my heart and I promised him that we would have a garden for him at the new house.

Today, we started that garden. First, I set up the AeroGarden. In that, we have mint, dill, thyme, curly parsley, and two types of basil.

Next, we set up a seed starter set.

JR helped put the soil into the pods, then put the seeds in. I made the labels since we didn’t want any surprises. JR said the soil felt “gross” but he is so excited to harvest what we are growing.

His only complaint is that I forgot to get bacon seeds. It’s a joke. He knows that bacon comes from pigs. We are growing two of his favorite fruits, watermelon and strawberries. We are also growing ingredients to make spaghetti sauce. My amazing MIL (for lack of a better way to describe my relationship with her), Roxanne, and I have discussed spending a weekend in my kitchen jarring delicious foods for future consumption. It is our intent to do salsas, soups, sauces, and some other forms of delectable goodies. I am so ready for it!

I’m a huge vegetable eater. I’m doing my best to encourage the boys to eat them too. I try to have vegetables with every meal. David would eat corn every night if I allowed it. But no. We need a variety for growth and health reasons. Tonight I’m making steak with bacon wrapped asparagus and rice. Tomorrow for dinner is barbecue ribs with fries and salad.

When I make vegetables, I try making them a different way each time. That way the boys can figure out how they like them. I’m also taking a cue from my sister in love, Rob’s Surf Reports’ wife. She offers my nieces dessert if they’ve tried everything on their plate. I typically only do dessert once a week but I’m going to try it more often when the boys get new foods. I bought popsicles but tonight will be microwave s’mores!

JR is so proud of his new garden. I can’t wait until he can taste the products of his efforts.

I know my dad would be proud. He has such an impressive knowledge of soil and how to grow a garden. I also know that if it fails, that it’s okay and to try again.

Grow little seeds! Sprout and produce!

Frozen Pain

For the past few months, I have had some sharp pains during certain movements in my left arm. A few weeks ago, the pain became a constant throbbing, with bolts of lightning shooting from the humeral head into my neck. It caused a number of headaches and a ton of discomfort. Last week, I broke down and saw an orthopedic specialist. At that point the pain had become excruciating.

Sometimes the slightest amount of movement caused pain. I can’t hook my bra behind me. I can’t use my left arm to brush my hair. I use my right arm to get pots and pans and to reach up to grab dishes. I can’t carry bags with any weight on my left arm. It even hurts to hold my water cup.

Crazy, right? All I remember is going to bed with a fully functioning shoulder and waking up with it frozen. Every movement caused some degree of pain. I’ve cried because of how much it hurts. I had no clue what was going on with it. I hid my pain. My patients don’t need to know that I’m hurting and can’t hold my stethoscope.

I got to see Dr. Christ at Oly Orthopaedics and after the X-rays, he told me I had what is known as a “frozen shoulder”. Well that’s a relief! However, it doesn’t solve the problem.

Crying in pain after the x-rays

He suggested doing a cortisone shot. It’s done under imaging as the shot goes directly into the joint. At first I nixed this option because of how I react on steroids. While we were discussing options to thaw my shoulder, I reconsidered since it’s an injection and not oral medication. I’m waiting for a PA to be approved for it.

Another option was physical therapy. These are exercises I know I can do at home rather than take time off work. Not working makes it difficult to pay bills. I’ve decided to do the injection, chiropractic care, and massage therapy. I wonder if hot stone massages will do the trick. I just have to work it all into my budget and time management.

Now that I have resolutions, I’m going to work on getting my shoulder back to where it was. Functioning! Another issue is that my hand will go numb or spasm violently. Shaking might be a more appropriate term though. I’m doing some stretching and resistance exercises and it does help. I’m gauging my progress by what I can do. The hardest part is working through the pain.

I have to push through the pain. It sucks and a lot of tears are being shed. I keep hoping that I will go to bed one night and wake up with a fully restored shoulder. Dr. Christ said it could be a year or more before it functions like normal again. I am impatient and don’t want to wait that long. I have things I want to do!

Ain’t nobody got time for dis!

TMI Warning ( for the guys)

I’m going to talk about about something most don’t talk about… period! Bad pun! But today, I’m talking about periods. That thing that makes women miserable for about a week once a month.

I hate having my period. The messiness, the tampons, the pads, the hormones, the gosh awful mood swings. It is annoying more than anything. We can blame Eve for Mother Nature’s monthly torment if we like.

Normally when something new comes out, I wait for someone I know to tell me about their own experience with a product. There’s this clothing item called a “period” panty that has been trending on various social medias. I first saw them on Instagram. I dismissed them, thinking that there is no way possible that those things would or could eliminate the need for pads or tampons.

I found myself in Victoria’s Secret last weekend. They had a pair on display. I decided to check them out. A salesgirl came up and ask if I had ever tried them. I told her no but I was curious about them and how they worked.

She explained about her personal use of them (after asking if I was comfortable talking about it – of course I am!). She showed me the multiple layers of protection and told me that I would want the same size as my regular underwear to prevent any leakage.

There are actually 4 layers of protection. I bought two pairs of the shorties. They are washable and comfortable to wear. I did get a little annoyed with the shorties rolling up on my legs. I wish they had longer legs. Seamless would be nice too so they don’t show under my pants or scrubs. If you go to the website, there are videos that show how they work, kind of like the paper towel or toilet paper commercials that demonstrate absorbency.

Today, after I took JR to see The Batman, we walked over to the store and I bought 3 more pairs. They are amazing and do work like the salesgirl said! I haven’t used any hygiene products this period. I know it sounds unsanitary, but there is no odor and I don’t feel the wetness. They’re not messy and the bathroom trash is still empty. I have washed them and they came out looking new. I can’t help but wonder how much money I’ll be saving since I haven’t bought any pads or tampons.

I’ve worn them overnight with no issues too. They are impressive! I was a bit worried with having a heavy period as well but they survived the test!

I wonder if they will make a swimsuit bottom for periods… that would be fantastic!

#shamelessplug