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Carine’s Blog

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  • Our Little Graduate

    Posted on Friday, May 16, 2014

    Our Little Graduate
    This week had us celebrating a most prestigious event-Aidan's kindergarten graduation!  It's always amazing to see how far a 5-year-old can come in a few short months.  Aidan is quite the personality.  He loves to be silly, make others laugh and somehow his favorite thing to do is make a face just as my camera is going into the click mode.

    If anyone has a need for a picture a la "Junie B Jones and the Monster Under the Bed", contact me-as I have numerous ones to put in your child/grandchild's room to scare them away!  (Junie B is a fun and imaginative kindergartener who's always in trouble and having a photo taken when she's not ready)

    Back to our now 6-year-old-soon-to-be-1st-grader.  Aidan is cuddly, handsome, smart and (for the moment) as honest as the day.  He'll accept blame for his "wrongs" but is quick to tell you what he hasn't done and who is the real culprit (usually, his older brother Dylan).

    Aidan's heart is as big as they come; he'll come to your aid faster than most kids his age.  He's always asking if he can help-even if it's getting the towels out of the dryer because grandma can no longer manage this trivial feat without her shoulder going into spasms.

    He loves to help cook.  Whether it's hamburgers on the grill with grandpa or brownies with grandma, Aidan will seek out a way to assist.

    When Aidan entered "real" school, he had a bit of a time learning the new rules, sitting still and listening to his hockey loving teacher, Mrs. Harsch (who is anything but!  This woman has the patience of a saint.  I know because I worked very hard at doing pre-school for over 10 years).

    As with everything, time helps.  Today, Aidan gets his "green" bears almost 100% of the time, he's doing his sight words and has shown his classmates the art of how to dance and sing with a side of comic relief.

    Summer's here (for some reason school goes on for another week) and I'm hoping to do a lot of fun things to get Aidan ready for first grade and Dylan ready for second, with a good amount of trips to both the swim park/pool and the splash pads.

    For now, this is the last kindergarten graduation ceremony I'll be able to enjoy with the right amount of tears until Jackson walks in with his paper hat in 6 years.  I don't want it to happen too fast though.  It seems as if it was just yesterday when we reveled in Dylan and Aidan's "firsts".   For that matter, it feels as if it were only a few moments ago that Steve and I were capturing every move Sarah and Adam made and cried in happiness over!

    It's okay by me to cry happy tears.  And I guess it's okay for Aidan to start reaching for a new chapter in his life of elementary school.  

    No longer a baby is he.


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  • Please, Save the Drama for YOUR momma

    Posted on Friday, May 9, 2014

    Please, Save the Drama for YOUR Momma

    Because it's Mother's Day weekend, I feel I have a right to say something to other moms:  Please, we all have "something"-so if you aren't my BFF or a family member, stop sharing your stories of angst with me!

    Why?  It's the same as posting your dirty laundry on social sites-NO ONE wants to hear about things such as:

    You're almost ex-husband who left you, has a new girlfriend and still finds time to verbally attack you every day via text or calls. If you go on to add that you have several diseases and have the need to run to Nepal and raise sheep, please it's not that I am hard-hearted Hannah, I've just got an overflowing "plate" of my own.  Besides, you're just using me to have someone listen to you.

    I, a total stranger, should not be privy to your health problems, your money problems or be told that you have a child in Joe Arpaio's jail and that they hate the pink underwear.

    To those who overshare to strangers such as myself, do you know that while I'm sitting there with my Chihuahua minding my own business that you are also sharing these highly private problems with all the people around us whom also don't know you-but they sure do know your deepest (and darkest) problems????

    Maybe it's my relaxed demeanor that brings drama to me!

    Another person struck up a monologue with me in a market over the corn box.  Started out with a simple, "Don't these first corn of the season look delicious?" to her segueing into a 15 minute tearful telling of how lonely she is now that her last child has flown the coop to work "all the way out in Scottsdale".

    Really?  For those who have no idea-Scottsdale is a mere 30-50 miles (depends on what part of this lovely city) from Anthem/New River.   I extricated myself by saying I understand but I have to go pick up my grandkids.  When I turned she was still crying and blowing her nose.  Don't know how much longer she stood there waiting for someone to take my place-but my "mitzvah" (good deed) for the day was done.  

    Of course it is totally my bad because I didn't run like the wind after the she did her second sentence, but I wanted corn and then didn't want her to feel abandoned.  Took me 15 very generous minutes to think to myself that this wasn't something I could/would/should fix and why was I allowing this scenario to continue?

    As I said, maybe it's my demeanor or that fact that sometimes I'm stuck (the first woman finds me while I'm waiting for the grandkids to get out of school) until I find a way out that entails the stranger not being able to follow me.

    Enough, I've had my rant.  To anyone who sees themselves in these paragraphs, start thinking "Save the Drama for Yo' Momma", but not on Mother's Day-let her have that one day to NOT help anyone who's having some personal catastrophe.

    Now I want to take this moment to say Happy Mother's Day to my mom, sister, sister-in-law and daughter.  

    Here's a very special one to Sam who is celebrating her very first Mother's Day (plus the kids celebrated their 4th anniversary) this year!


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  • Blowin' in the Wind

    Posted on Friday, May 2, 2014

    Blowing in the Wind

    I've mentioned the fact that we live in an area that has the potential to be crazy windy. This past week was proof. In fact, I will tell you this amazing report:  Wednesday it was so windy that Sky Harbor International Airport clocked it at 52 MPH.

    Nothing to sneeze at-unless of course you are a member of my family, then that's all you seem to do in between blowing your nose.

    Not that we all didn't have allergies of the pollen kind in good ol' Orange County; we did, just not to the degree we have here.  Even Pepper (our 10-1/2 year old tabby) seems to be having quite the problem-and he's a 100% indoor cat!  Poor dear is sneezing his head off numerous times during the day AND the night.

    In fact, he got me good (warning:  major "EW" factor) the other day.  He's been pretty cuddly lately, even staying on my lap before Lucky (our 2 year old Chihuahua) snuggles down for a nap-but this day he couldn't just enjoy a nap.

    Nope, the little guy was totally asleep when he woke up, looked up at me with his huge green eyes and did IT:  He sneezed, 5 times, in my face.  Gross!  Then he closed his eyes and actually thought I'd let him go back to his nap!

    Lucky looked up and thought going back to her nap was on the docket as well.  Both were not happy when the foot rest on my La-Z-Boy went down with a rather noisy thump and I got up.  They stared at me in disbelief and followed me into the bathroom and watched me wash my face.

    Just writing this has me wincing.

    I couldn't be too mad at them, it wasn't a planned attack.  Also, Steve has been teasing me for at least a month about the 5 big boxes of tissues I've emptied.  He sneezes but doesn't seem to go through even ½ as many as I do.  Then there are the kids and the grandkids.  Poor Dylan, just walking to the mailbox with me is a futile event that requires him walking with the tissue box close at hand.  Aidan just looks bleary eyed.  

    Little Lucky hates that wind!  At 6.4 pounds you can only imagine what a feat it is for her to do her business (somehow she always holds up her two hind legs and balances on the front two) without serious injury!

    Thank goodness the weather reports are predicting the gales with demote themselves down to about 6-10 MPH by the time you read this blog-otherwise life around here  might just become what Bob Dylan predicted, "The answer my friend is blowing in the wind."


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  • Put Another Candle on The Birthday Cake

    Posted on Friday, April 25, 2014

    It's Birthday Season

    It's hard to believe that my "baby" just hit a milestone birthday-30!  Our daughter, Sarah will turn 32 this next week.
    Being birthday season, we also have both my sister-in-law, our brother-in-law Dave, our nephew Jonathon, my dad and our son-in-law Alex.
    But wait, there's more! We also have mother's day for the grandmas, our daughters (this is a special one as it will be Sam's first!) and sisters. We won't be celebrating with any of the extended family since they are now a full state away.
    Then we'll throw in Adam and Sam's 4th anniversary on the 10th of May.  Last but not least, Steve's sister and our brother-in-law will have their anniversary at the end of the month.  Again, we won't be joining in any celebration.

    Earlier in the week I made out my list of needed cards to create courtesy of our membership with American Greetings and I began to make the cards.  I start with Adam who begins the line-up and work down the rather long list.
    I was successful in getting his and Sarah's completed and moved on to #3 when something went awry.
    Technology reared its ugly little head at me AGAIN! The outside of the card made it through perfectly. I put it back in to print the other side and the printer made a few grunts but refused to do its job.
    With Pepper enjoying some cuddle time on my lap I carefully rolled my way over to see in the little box: cartridge is either missing or disconnected.
    Really? Because you were working just fine for 2-1/2 cards worth and nothing has changed!
    So much for getting this job tended to and finished. I sent a text message to Steve. Not that he can do anything from 32 miles away, but I'm finding that if I don't do things like this I'll totally forget about these nagging problems by the time he comes home in the evenings.
    Sigh. I thought I'd just create the 10 cards that I am personally responsible for getting done and ready to drop at the post office-but no. I actually don't have the ones I will need for our ritual Birthday Bash dinner.
    Besides our busy "birthday and more" events, our Dylan is having a special moment in school.  He is in the Mandarin Program and this week the 1st graders were having a "naming ceremony".  The kids will all be given Chinese names that the teachers have decided describes them the best.   It is a rather interesting notion that the same kids who are having a time of understanding the concepts of adding and subtracting and learning the difference between nouns and predicates  are more than capable of counting and writing in a language as difficult as Chinese.

    The ceremony was short and sweet.  Don't ask me to tell you the phonetically aloud name, but it means:  virtuous and hard working.
    Being a former teacher I applaud the teaching staff and all the hard work that must go into teaching young antsy kids all the various subjects in two and very different cultures. Supposedly the kids who have the fortitude to keep themselves in the program through the end of el-hi will be given scholarships to the local Arizona Universities.
    Should be very interesting to witness the coming years with the kids and their progression and if the promised monies will actually be forthcoming.

    Later we went to dinner where Aidan and a ceramic plate collided.  He didn't get dinner-neither did mom and dad.  The bridge of his nose was gushing blood all over him!  Luckily that new trauma center opened up literally across the street.
    They all came back in time to say goodbye to Sam, Adam and Jackson. We stayed with Sarah and the boys while they re-ordered. Dyl had stayed with us (no sense him being in the hospital!). The doctors used some super glue and Terri strips.
    One thing about Aidan-he's one tough little trouper.

    Now I won't "see" you until May so I'll wish you a wonderful end to April and enjoy the spring weather!


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  • Got a Question?

    Posted on Friday, April 18, 2014

    So You've Got a Question?

    I haven't done a "Things You Didn't Know" blog in a while and since I couldn't really think of much to write about this week-here it is!

    But first, I'd be remiss to not do my yearly "Birthday and Anniversary" run-down:
    We just celebrated our 33rd Anniversary.  Our son Adam is not only turning the BIG 30 but he and Sam are having their 4th anniversary!  Plus this will be their first year as parents. (Sam's very first Mother's Day!).  Our daughter Sarah is turning 32 and her husband will be 33.  Followed by my sister-in-law, brother-in-law, my dad, our youngest nephew and the above sister-in-law's anniversary rounding out the month.

    Now for the questions.  I'll answer them and would love you to copy/paste it and answer them in the comments!
    1-What's my favorite color? Black. I'm not Goth, but black is classy, sassy and easily be for casual or dressing up.
    2-What's my favorite pass time? Being with my family, friends and doing something as simple as taking a long walk in the wash. Never know what you find! I shared the photos of everything from birds' nests in cacti to oddly shaped hot air balloons.
    3-Do I miss having a beach? Yes. I love the smell of the water; love the relaxing atmosphere and just reading on the sand. On the flip of that though-I have more than enough sand here, I'm very relaxed about 80% of the time and I do have a pool/waterpark at my complete disposal.
    4-Where is your favorite destination for a vacation? Caribbean, hands down.
    5-If you could have a "coffee" date with anyone who would it be? Not sure, several people come to mind! Imagine interviewing FDR or JFK? I've spoken with Teddy K. and while a great speaker he was a tad self-involved for my taste.
    6-Do you ever look back and wonder if you took the "right" road? No. While there have been many challenges with all aspects of life, I do like where I am and more importantly who I am. A different road would have changed all of what I love about life.
    7-Favorite breakfast? I love having whole wheat toast with chunky peanut butter, sliced bananas and a drizzle of honey. My second favorite is hot 9-grain cereal with berries on the side.
    8-Taking a cue from Patricia Davis who wrote a blog to her younger self that was picked up all over the country, I guess I'd tell myself that I shouldn't allow people's perception of my being a "goody two shoes" to reach for the stars instead of passing on events that would have been amazing to witness.

    That's all I'm able to think about-what about you?


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  • Creepy Desert Crawlies

    Posted on Friday, April 11, 2014

    Creepy Crawlies

    My apologies to our grandson Dylan, 7, who just loves bugs.  If he finds one-he does what he thinks is saving their lives.  This means that IF he somehow finds an earthworm here in the hot desert-he removes it from the dirt and puts it in the sun to "dry up and get his vitamin D".  

    Don't you love kids?

    Anyway, this week's blog is NOT about saving bugs.  Nope, not even a little bit.  I'm incredibly allergic to spiders.  Therefore our youngest, Adam has unfortunately gotten this rather horrible gene.  A couple of months back, both Steve and I got "bit" by some spider.  Steve took a Benadryl and the itching stopped and the "red" went away by that evening.

    I, on the other hand, had 5 bites that swelled up, turned beet red and then had streaks shooting out in every direction.  It killed pain wise.  I had an epidural the next morning and the doctor asked about my arm.  After I told him about my prior afternoon, he told me bluntly, "I'm not comfortable with this-promise me you will either go immediately to urgent care or to your GP."

    When I got to the GP-the PA proceeded to give me a shot in the rear of an antibiotic, then a written prescription and told me to get more ice on it and stay "put" for the day.  Good thing I had that epidural in the shoulder of that arm.  It was quite the fun few days for me.

    We have a pest control service for just this reason AND because we live in a desert where scorpions are literally everywhere.

     Back to the latest creepy crawly event.  We were out with our friends for breakfast and we were discussing that even with our services, glue boxes and such that with the return of our 85+ degree days we had seen a few dead scorpions and what we were doing to protect ourselves.

    I shared that Steve was refusing to wear the slippers I bought him because they "make my feet sweat". Our friend Al pointed out that sweaty feet were better than stung feet.  Steve said "we've only had the couple of dead ones, I'm not worried."

    That phrase came back to haunt him on Sunday night.  Yep, he was checking out the guest bathroom to be sure the grandkids didn't make a mess of the new faucet he installed and next thing-yelling at 11:15!

    I got right onto the internet and found the steps to treatment.  Got a bleach soaked cotton ball and taped it on for 5 minutes (kill the outside venom and stop it from spreading further), wash with soap and water, gave him both Benadryl and Naprosyn, elevated the foot and applied ice packs in 10 minute intervals.

    Thankfully Steve was already on Keflex for some mole removals.  His foot was both in pain and numb, said it felt as if he stepped on a nail.  Next morning it was the same so we went to immediate care.  The attending PA told him that all the right steps had been done and he should just keep them up for a day or two.

    We also called the pest control people.  It was time for our quarterly service.  Probably the reason that for the first time in our 16 months here that this was the first live critter that invaded the house.

    He used my car at work the next day-as driving a stick shift was just not in the proverbial cards.

    Once things settled down I asked him if he had learned anything important from this experience?

    His answer?  "I guess I should always wear something on my feet".  And then my ever-lovin' husband still left his slippers untouched in the closet.

    Sigh.


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