Monday, March 30, 2009

Feel Like a Broken Record

Have you ever nagged to your husband about some work that needs to be done (which could only be done by HIM) to a point where you start to sound like a broken record? Of coarse not! Well, I have and I am getting tired of listening to myself.

My husband, while remodeling our basement into a living area (pictures of his amazing job to come soon), has done something to our central vacuum system which made the vacuum less effective than the broom. So, for about two months I have not been able to properly vacuum our house. This wouldn't have been too big of a problem if
1) dust from the work done downstairs would magically turn into purified air molecules
2) we haven't had people over every other day
3) one of my kids wasn't crawling
4) I wouldn't have the love affair I have with clean floors

Out of all the areas of the house I clean nothing gives me as much satisfaction as walking barefoot on squeaky clean floors. I don't love to clean them. I love to have them CLEAN. Even if the rest of the house is a mess, if the carpet is vacuumed and the wood and tile flooring is washed, the house feels clean to me. I've been missing that feeling the past two months.

My husband has been working 18 hour days the last two months as well. He leaves for work in the morning, comes home in the evening, and goes down to the basement to work until midnight. Bless his heart.

Somewhere in between these events, I've managed to squeeze in my nagging about the vacuum not working. I feel bad about it, but I just can't help my self! To vary sounding like a broken record, I had to be creative.

Once, I casually asked him to please vacuum our living room (with the broken vacuum) thinking that by doing so, he'll feel for what I've been going through (it currently takes me two uninterrupted hours to vacuum my house) and immediately turn his attention to fixing it.
He acknowledged my hardship but did not get to fixing it.

Another time, I mentioned (more like threatened) that tomorrow I will call for the company to come service it and silent lip pronounced the amount it will cost for them to come out.

He thought I was being funny and laughed.

Finally, just the other day, I called in the carpet cleaning company to clean our carpet and was so satisfied with having my floors clean again that I didn't even bite my lips too hard while writing them a check.

I now realize that this action of mine only bought him more time. I am truly a genius.

I have exhausted my ideas. I know that fixing it is not his priority as the deadline for finishing that project is approaching fast.

So I must suck it up and go find a broom. Or must I? Any other ideas, my fellow clever wives?

Friday, March 27, 2009

An Event-FULL Spring Break

Today marks the end of Spring Break. April will bring no holidays, no teacher inservice, no any other type of pleasant mess up to my every other day work schedule. Though the weather outside was very decemberish, we didn't let that spoil Spring Break for us. Instead, we went to the many indoor kid friendly places to say "Hi" to the entire Portland and get our wiggles out. Here are some pics from this week.

Disclaimer: I try not to overwhelm this blog with a lot of pics of my three blessings, but this post is an exception.

We started off with my kids all dressed up for church.

After service, we went over to my mom's house to celebrate my sisters belated B-day. She has lived a quarter of a century!


Being anxious to start off the holiday right, we head over to Portland Children's Museum. The kids had a blast there. They:

worked with clay

painted their faces

hung out at the tree house

played in the dig pit
and visited other exhibits.


We were fools to think that only us and some other few know of a relatively new (two years old or so) place in our area called JJ JUMP. This is a place with a lot of inflatables where kids jump till they can't anymore and come home to crash for a long nap. Today, though, I was anxious to get out of there more quickly than usual as the place has exceeded the maximum number of monkeys and did not feel safe anymore. Here are the kids catching a few jumps:
In the evening, my kids attacked my poor overworked husband. Nicolas thought it to be a good idea to pretend daddy is a horse:
Abby decided to join him:
Tim didn't want to be left out of the party:

He then could not stop showing his admiration for his dad and kept kissing him with his mouth open:
Till I flew him away to his crib


We hung out at home with our sweet niece Elizabeth.
She played with the kids while I payed some attention to the areas of the house neglected by me in the days prior. I also cooked a bit for a small group of friends we had over that night.

Because one day at home was all we could handle, we headed out to OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry).

Boy and his magnifying glass
Touching a reptile

The weather was decent enough to afterward play outside in our backyard on the play structure my husband built for them. It was wonderful to breathe in some fresh air!

Brotherly love

Today came the sweetest moment of the entire week. I put the babe for a nap and was busy doing something in the kitchen when I heard my daughter reading a book to my son. She would stop and ask him some comprehension questions and asked him to point to things in the book, and praise him for doing a good job all while wearing this atrocious black scarf with an orange feather and other accessory tucked into it! Nicolas went along with her for an entire half hour or so. It was one of those "aaaaaaah"moments and I was able to snap a few pics in between chuckles without them noticing.

After posting these pics and reliving this week, I am not a bit anxious to get back to the work-school-homework-cooking-cleaning-bill paying-business operations activities that take away from being my kids mom.

27 work days left till summer. Lord help me.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

McCafe Bugs Me

You probably know that McDonald's is now serving espresso for cheap. Their ads are all over town, some strategically placed near small local espresso huts. I don't know why but that bugs me. Granted, it is not the first time a multi-million dollar company is on its quest to eat up small businesses. But every time I pass their ads I get a bit irritated. Maybe its because we own a small business and know what it takes to build one up. Or maybe its because I am a coffee addict and I heart local espresso drive-throughs. I am not against capitalism or big business and I favor competition. But this is outright greedy! Don't they get enough millions from their "all natural fat" burgers? My heart aches for the small business owners who have invested so much into their little place and will probably loose their clients to the MickyD's.

Does anyone else see a problem with this?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

We Feel RRRRRRRICH! Part 2

Our bank finally credited us the amount for the coins. The bank we took it to does not have a counter anymore. They put the coins in the bag and send them somewhere else to be counted. I would feel better if the coins were counted in front of me. Not that I don't trust the bank. Actually I don't. I used to work at one and have witnessed mistakes being made by tellers and others. Anyhow, we got a credit of



Which is not a humongous amount, but enough inspiration to keep feeding that pig!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Total Momsense!

What does a mom say in the 24 hour period? Apparently a lot! No wonder kids get annoyed by us!

This woman has nailed it. Watch this video, it is perhaps the funniest mom song out there.

I'm The Mom!

Friday, March 13, 2009

One Woman Circus

Picture a circus. Here comes a clown. The clown is funny looking alright, cracks a few jokes, falls a few times. The crowd laughs. Then, the clown leaves, changes, and comes out as an acrobat. The acrobat makes somersaults and other stunts. The crowd is pleased but not impressed. The acrobat leaves, changes and comes out on a unicycle. She rides around the arena a few times, but forgets what it is that she needs to do to and rides back behind the curtain. She then comes out with trained animals and starts showing them off, but mixes up the cues and confuses the animals. She picks them up and leaves the arena in embarrassment. The crowd is enraged. The quality of the performance is poor as it is a one woman circus. The woman took on too many roles, too many responsibilities. She was a fool to think that she could find a balance and stay organized. She is confused, dazed, disconcerted, and exhausted.

Thus I find my self sitting at my work desk at 6am. One hour before I am supposed to because my brain was too fried to check my alarm clock this morning.

And that, my friends, is not funny.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Trash or Treasure?

Not to long ago, my husband bought this chest from a client who was cleaning out her house to put on the market.

He liked it because of the intensive hand carving and the amazing artistic detail.

The inside of it smells like cedar and is very pleasant to inhale. The odor reminds me that of a spa.

His client told him that her ex-husband brought it home from his trip to Singapore. The chest was dusty but otherwise appeared unused as there were wood chips on the bottom of it. When we brought it home, I searched the net to find if it has any historical significance, but had a difficult time finding info. One source suggested that these chests were very popular after WW2 and were shipped to the US in large quantities. And that these chests are not made anymore. I also found similar chests on sale on e-bay and were shocked to see them on sale for an ungodly price of $2,000! Who would pay that much for a chest in such economy as this unless it is a true treasure?

But, the woman sold it to us for...$100 and left us speculating if perhaps this is "trash" after all.

So, we now have this piece of furniture for which we are yet to find a good spot. I want to know if there is a story behind these chests. I am secretly hoping to learn that we are owners (for the very first time) of an original piece of art and that they don't currently sell these in large quantities at Ross. Do any of you own one of these or know someone who does?

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Baby On The Baby Grand

We have an aspiring pianist at our house. He is drawn to the piano like a magnet to piece of metal. Whenever he is "in the area" he never misses a chance to pull himself up to play/bang on the piano and sing.

When we pulled him aside and posed him next to the upper octaves, it was clear to us that base tones are his preference. Singing soprano does not appeal to him.

So we picked him up and placed him on the piano bench. Just look at that posture.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Please hold your applause until the end of the composition.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I Am Leaving....

I've been informed today that there will not be a job for me at my current placement next year. No, I didn't get fired or laid off, but I've been asked to pack up and leave. To a different school within our district, that is.

I won't elaborate on the boring details, but basically our school district's budget is short several million dollars and the admin is currently working on ways to make up for it, staff reduction being one of them.

When I first heard of possibilities of staff reduction in our department, I had a feeling that I would be a good candidate. I am not a coach or a club leader, and do not serve on any committees. I come to work at 7am, leave at 3pm every other day. In other words, my attachment to that place is minimal. So, when I got a sweet email from my principle asking to meet with me, I knew it was time.

It was cruel of her to tell me two days in advance about the meeting. I was thinking, speculating, preparing myself mentally for this conversation til exhaustion. I thought about the possibility of lay off and imagined myself a stay at home mom again. Sweet thoughts came to mind.

So the meeting came and I learned that she is very sad to part with me, but you know, she doesn't have a choice. She said that if anything ever opens up, she will welcome me back with open arms. She sounded sincere.

But in the mean time, I am to think about the job they do have for me next year...that of an elementary ESL teacher. Me, an elementary teacher? It has never appealed to me to voluntary take on this kind of endeavor. After volunteering for a few hours in my daughter's kindergarten class, my opinion of elementary teachers being made of different flesh and bones than the rest of us, proved right.

Though I know very little about teaching little kids, working with pre-teen minds and attitudes doesn't sound awful to me. This is my opportunity to acquire new skills and who knows, maybe fall in love with teaching again. It is ironic that this comes to me at such a time as described in this post.

However, the second option to this involuntary transfer would be to voluntary leave. So, I've got some decisions to make.

But for now, I know that I am leaving, just don't know where to.