Tuesday, August 26, 2008

No Plastic Please

After reading a "green" article in our newspaper, I've decided to make an attempt at using less plastic bags. You know....bringing my own tote bag to the store, saving the environment, etc....

Christine and I had to kill some time at Target on Saturday. After getting some necessary items we were checking out. I told the cashier I didn't need a bag. I would just put everything in the bag I brought. She was obviously not a tree hugger. She could not believe that I would let my food items (in plastic containers) touch my other items. I told her it was fine, but she was not happy with me. This use of tote bags may be a little tougher than I thought. I didn't expect such a response from the cashier-honestly, what does it matter to her if the nail polish bottle is touching the cream cheese container?

Anyway...our Target experience was very exciting. For all you Biggest Loser fans out there...we saw Betty Sue! If you are not a fan like our family, Betty Sue was a contestant on the show and the mom of the eventual winner. If I didn't think Christine would have been completely mortified I would have made her stand next to her and taken a picture. She was out shopping with her grandkids (I'm assuming) and still has kept off the weight she lost on the show. The newest series of Biggest Loser is starting in September-Maggie keeps on asking when it's starting again. The kids love to watch the challenges and the weigh-ins.

I also just have to mention that Christine is quite the shopper. Although she has matured, that "I need it, pay" child is still in there. No tantrums about not getting everything she wants though. I did have to draw the line at the Franklin Covey planner. It was a really cute color, but no almost-12 year needs a planner like that. We were in there for an hour and Christine could have probably spent another hour in there!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Monsoon Excitement

We are just finishing up a little monsoon-still not sure why they just don't call them thunderstorms. I guess it's our only weather phenomenon so we have to make the most of it. The heat gets kind of boring after a while. It started storming when the girls were still at school. I thought about going to get them with an umbrella...the wind was blowing so hard I figured there was no reason for us all to be soaked. So, Andrew and I stayed in the confines of our nice dry house and waited for the girls to run in the door soaked. Soaked they were...they both needed to change when they got home.

Luckily the wind didn't get super bad until the girls were already in the house. Our trees fared well. Our neighbors trees were not so lucky. Steve has been trimming the trees a lot -oh, I forgot, my dad said they are not really trees. They are just large shrubs. Anyway, the trimming helped make it so the trees did not get blown over. The pool chairs are in the pool, but they can be fished out later.

I was worried about my "boom box". Andrew and I ran out and grabbed all the towels before the rain started, but I forgot about my radio. It has a cassette player and everything. I've had it since Christmas 1985-I know my mom has to be so proud that I have saved it-too bad I gave all my cassettes away! Anyway, we have used it even in Ohio as our outside music (and football) source. I realized as we were looking out the window at the chairs in the pool that the radio was still out there. I ran out to save it and so far, it is still working. I would hate to have to throw this one out!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

One last thought-Olympics!

Did you see the Women's 100 Hurdle finals? Lolo Jones was that close to gold and that pesky hurdle got in the way. I can not even imagine being her. She was just meters away and so far in front that there was no way anyone was going to catch her. Such a bummer! The only bright point-if there was one-is that she was classy enough to stop for the reporters and give an interview at what must have been an absolutely devastating time for her. She also had no excuses-just had a bad race and it happened at the worst possible time.

Michael Phelps was awesome. Goes without being said. Of course, "Greatest Olympic Athlete Ever" I'm not quite so sure about. Steve and I had a discussion the other night about this-yes, he does have more golds than anyone else, but no one else in any other sport can possibly win that many. He is definitely up there, but I'm not sure that he stands alone. If he can repeat...now that would be a different story.

And those little gymnasts. Amazing, as always. I don't think they will ever get the scoring system figured out so that it is truly fair. I think Nastia should have another gold, but what do I know. I can't imagine doing what those girls do. How they get their arms to twist the way they do in the uneven bars is painful to watch. I'm not sure I could ever be that flexible.

OK. Now I am REALLY going to bed.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Can't Sleep

After laying in bed for over a half an hour and not being able to sleep, I decided to just give in and blog for a half-hour. I'm sure I'm breaking the rules of every sleep center by spending time on the computer right before bed, but I also had a chai tea at 7PM so I am a complete lost cause for much sleep tonight. It's either that or my mouth throbbing that is possibly keeping me awake. I snuck a few potato chips before bed-not a good idea. One of those little suckers must have hit my stitches. Ouch! What's funny is that I called my running partner tonight and told her not to stay up too late and here I am wide awake at 11:45. That alarm going off at 5:28 is going to be a killer.

Anyway...I have lived through my gum surgery. I would definitely not recommend it for anyone. I had already told my periodontist-who wanted to do two surgeries on me-that if the first one was too painful that I would not be back for the second. I had already decided to not do the second one for other reasons, but after this surgery there is no way in hell that I would ever get back in that chair for another gum surgery. Honestly, I think my teeth falling out would be less painful.

I brought my MP3 player so I could listen to my music, but I could still hear what was going on. I also kept my eyes closed. I did open them one time and it was not a pretty sight. Seeing that scalpel come toward my mouth is going to be a vision that won't leave my brain for a long time. I don't want to gross anyone out with the gory details. A funny thought did cross my mind when I was sitting in the dentist chair though-they need a seat belt for that thing. Wouldn't that make it a real torture chamber? Actually, I was thinking that because when he started the surgery he tipped the chair so that I was almost upside down. I was hoping that I wouldn't slide out!

I have learned to get very creative with soft food. After the first two days of just yogurt and some ramen noodles I was getting really hungry. (Oh-and some mashed potatoes that didn't quite agree with the vicadin.) Other soft foods-scrambled eggs, baked potatoes, peaches, ice cream (with some chocolate syrup-my personal favorite), sloppy joes (just the mix, not the bun), spaghetti...I did try my cereal this morning-Honey Bunches of Oats. The problem with that is that I like the almond kind and those little pieces are a little tough to swallow. I have definitely learned that I would not make it very long as an anorexic.

A funny story to share. Andrew is going through a whiny stage-at least I hope it is a stage, because I can't take it much longer. The other night at the dinner table he started fake crying and whining. Then he asked me if I knew why he was crying. My thought was "Because you are trying to get on my last nerve", but I didn't say it. I just asked him why he was crying. He told me it was because he missed Nala. Ah...isn't he just a sweetheart. Of course, Christine jumped in at that moment -"Can we get a hamster?" I just laughed at that. I accused them both of setting the whole thing up. The answer was of course not to their liking. We then had to discuss why we could not get a hamster or dog or cat...or any other animal they could think of. They swore that they would take care of any pet we got-walk it, clean up poop, clean cages...sorry. Not buying it. I know it would be something for me to do. Steve was not home yet to back me up on this. I think we will remain petless for a while. This is honestly the longest we've been petless since we were married, but Arizona climate is not the kindest to animals.

Another funny story that I have to share. As I was on my quest to find soft food in out pantry I found some tuna. So, I thought I would make tuna salad. Another yummy soft food. We had no relish, but I thought-not a problem. I know we have an unopened jar of Miracle Whip in here somewhere. I pulled out this Miracle Whip and the expiration date was 2005. Yes-we moved here in 2006 and we moved with us an expired jar of Miracle Whip! Scary, huh? I wonder if the movers noticed and just didn't say anything. Never fear though-I did find a brand spanking new jar of Miracle Whip that I was able to use. I did empty out the gross one and put the jar into recycling-I blame it all on the habits I was taught by my mother...I also found a can of vegetable soup that was a month away from the expiration date and that was pretty nasty too. Now that I blame on the weather here in Arizona. We would go through tons of soup in Ohio, so I bought a lot when we first got here. The problem is, it is never really "soup weather", so I'm not finding a huge need for those cans of soup. So, gum surgery has resulted in a cleaner pantry for the Orr family.

OK. My half-hour is up. Time for me to try to fall asleep again. Night all!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Last Supper

Yes...I am preparing my last supper. Well, I may be slightly exaggerating.... See, tomorrow I go in for dental surgery. Ugh! Going to the dentist for a cleaning is enough of a white knuckle experience for me. Dental surgery is the worst torture I can think of. I am having this little ligament cut that is pulling my gums off my teeth. Also, they are taking a skin graft off the roof of my mouth to replace a spot where my gums have receded. Sounds lovely, huh? There also are two other spots that they want to "fix"-read more skin grafts from the roof of my mouth.

A friend of mine had me go see her dad, who I didn't know was a retired dentist. He told me the ligament being cut was necessary, the rest is not entirely necessary and my teeth won't fall out just because my gums have receded. That was all I needed to hear-I am definitely not getting it all done if it's not really necessary. Why put myself through the torture? There is actually a much less painful way to do the whole procedure-using cadaver or fake tissue-but our insurance won't cover it. It's even less expensive, but when I called them about it they told me that does not have any bearing on how they decide what is covered. Why would they possibly cover a procedure that is less painful, costs less and has the same outcome?

I'm sure I am just being a baby about the whole thing. Although, when I picked up the medicine that my periodontist wanted me to have I was a little shocked-he gave me 30 vicadin! I hope I'm not in enough pain to have to take them all! Another prescription was some rinse that I have to use-the pharmacist told me it may stain my teeth and alter my taste. Sounds lovely. Of course, the staining will come off with regular cleanings by my dentist. (yeh! More visits to the dentist.) Hence, the reason for my last supper-stuffed peppers. Yum! The office manager at the periodontist also told me to have a good breakfast because I probably won't feel like eating for a while-so I may have a stuffed pepper for breakfast, too.

We also have a somewhat busy weekend. Christine has a birthday party Friday and Saturday evening. Maggie has a birthday party Saturday afternoon and wants to go to the Ice Cream Social at the school Friday night. Also, dive-in movie at the club Saturday is "Nim's Island." Steve will be busy transporting! All that wouldn't be so bad except for the fact that Christine promised a friend of mine that she would babysit for her twins that are Andrew's age. She was already planning on bringing the kids here because I didn't want Christine to have them for a such a long time-my friend and her husband DJ weddings and normally their Grandma watches them, but she is out of town. Well, Christine said she would do it and then got invited to this party. I had told her she could leave for just an hour or so to go to the party. Steve thinks we should let her go longer-he doesn't think having the twins is a big deal. I'm picturing something like "Kindergarten Cop"-you know, the movie with Arnold.

Monday, August 11, 2008

First Day Art Project

Because Andrew is asleep, I figured I should get this on while I have the time.

Before and After School

School Day's

Today was Andrew's first day of preschool. I'll see how the day goes when I pick him up. He was excited to go and have me leave. We went for Meet the Teacher last week and I stayed. He was looking forward to getting to stay without me.

Things have been crazy lately. I am still trying to get used to the school routine. It's nice that they are in school when it's so hot, but our weekends are so crazy that it's hard to get everything organized. Hopefully, now that I have a few hours each week with no kids we'll get things back on track.

Also, adding to the craziness are some things I "volunteered" to do without thinking. The one position I honestly went back and checked my emails to see if I really did say that I would do it. I am now Site Organizer for our school for Girl Scouts. I volunteered not realizing everything I have to do. It's just going to be a little crazy for about a month. It's just amazing how many Girl Scout emails I get daily now. I am in charge of placing all the girls that want to be in Girl Scouts in to troops and also starting new troops when necessary. Because we are a fairly new school and there was no site organizer last year we have tons of girls interested. I have moms to lead the 1st, 3rd and 4th graders. I also have some moms on the fence about kindergarten. Now I just have to take care of the 2nd, 5th and 6th graders. I am also leading Maggie's troop this year and we are trying to get that up and running. It may have to wait a few weeks until I have all these other troops in place.

I picked Andrew up from school. He seemed to have a good day. They did this really cute project that he brought home. There is a picture that he drew on the bottom and then his hand print is on the top with a poem. I'll have to try to take a picture of it-he drew his picture in yellow crayon, so I'm not sure if it will show up in the picture. Of course, he has been healthy for months and now that school is starting he has a runny nose. I can also tell he must be a little miserable because he sounds stuffed up when he talks. Maggie also did not sound great this morning. She had planned on staying home, but when I got home from bringing Andrew she told me she felt like she could go. No phone calls yet from the school, so she must be OK.

Something that we never had to worry about in Ohio-cockroaches and scorpions. Steve said there was a little roach in the shower the other morning-must have come up through the drain. Gross! I have been closing our drains but I am going to have to get something to put over the drain in our shower. The next time the exterminator comes I am letting him spray in the house. Also, I'm on the look out for scorpions. Friends of mine have had them, but we haven't had any trouble and the people that have had them don't live that close to us. Well, Friday morning when I walked the girls outside my neighbor two houses down said she stepped on one Thursday night IN HER HOUSE. She said it was on the carpet and she didn't even see it. So, she was stung several times and when she called poison control they told her it could hurt for up to a month. (I immediately went in the house and vacuumed all of our carpets.) You can't really exterminate for scorpions. You just exterminate for the bugs they like to eat-mostly crickets. I have seen a few crickets around our house-outside, not inside-, but not too many. I'm hoping we are not going to see any scorpions. The joys of living in a warm climate!

More Rocky Point

On the 4th, we hung out at the beach for a long time in the morning. Went up the room for a late lunch and then everyone crashed-except, of course, Steve. He is not a napper like the rest of us. We had an early dinner before we headed back down to the beach. The kids were playing on the beach and in the water-having a great time. We had someone take our family picture-the only one with all of us in it. These kids pointed out the jelly fish in the sand-pretty little, not like the huge jelly fish in Myrtle Beach and it had a blue tint to it. Well, Maggie was avoiding stepping on the seaweed and ended up stepping on the jelly fish. I was up under the umbrella reading and all of a sudden, I hear Maggie screaming and crying and Steve was carrying her. We had a cooler with us so we started putting ice on it. Andrew was so concerned about his big sister. The boys that warned us about the jelly fish had the remedy to pee on it. That was not going to be happening. They also said you could put ammonia or Windex on it-I always carry that to the beach with me.

Steve went to the bar to see if they had any medical information. The medical guy that came out to look at Maggie’s foot spoke no English. He looked at me when I talked to him like I would look at him if he spoke all Spanish to me. Anyway, his med kit did not even have band aids in it. I had probably brought more medical supplies with me than what he had in the med kit-another difference between the US and Mexico. He did bring a squirt bottle of ammonia-at least I think that’s what it was. He squirted that on Maggie’s foot which only made her scream and cry more. After he left, I just told Steve we needed to go up to the room and check on the internet what to do. Luckily, his blackberry was getting internet connection -what did we do before all these technical gadgets?

Of course, when we checked on-line they said you do NOT use urine or ammonia-so much for that “Friends” episode. The correct thing to do is to put the affected area in the hottest water the person can stand-we should have stayed at the pool and stuck Maggie’s foot in the hot tub. Since we were up in our room we just stuck her foot in the tub. She said it felt a lot better. That’s the photo of her sitting on the edge of the tub with her foot sticking out of the water.

We headed down to the beach as it was getting dark. Setting off fireworks is legal in Mexico, so it was a free for all on the beach. Fireworks were going off to the north and south of us and also right in front of us. There were probably a few people setting them off who shouldn’t have been. We tried to keep our distance. I don’t remember exactly what Andrew did to annoy me, but he ended up back in the room. Of course, he was just exhausted. He fell asleep pretty fast. The girls loved it. Maggie said the fireworks were her favorite part of the trip-after getting stung by the jelly fish, of course.

Saturday was our last day on the beach. The girls got their hair braided in the morning. There was a little argument with the girls on the beach-not our girls, the girls that were doing the braiding. I had agreed with one girl the day before that she could do the girls’ hair and Steve agreed with another girl, thinking that she was the other girls’ sister. I just told them they could each do one of the girls. Josephine, who did Maggie’s hair, was not happy. Even though I do not understand Spanish, I know what she was saying to the other girl was not nice. I talked a little with the girls that did Christine's hair. They were 17 and 15 I think-and of course I waited so long to do this that I can't remember their names. Their family had moved to Rocky Point from Acapulco-scary, that they thought their life would be better at Rocky Point.
The girls thought they were very cool with their hair done.

While the girls got their hair done, Steve got Andrew this Batman kite. The little boys would make them for you on the beach. It actually worked pretty good. There are just so many strings I'm not sure if we'll be able to use it a lot at home without it getting all tangled.

We hung out at the pool most of our last day. We got the chairs right by the beach. I just could not take another day of peddlers. I will be more prepared for our next trip. I know that they probably love Americans coming down and it has created many jobs for them, but on the other hand I wonder what they think of Americans in general. Probably the worst display of Americanism was the college guys on the beach bonging beers (our children didn't notice them) while this Mexican boy sat off in the distance waiting to gather up their cans.

Anyway...enough about that.

Our final morning when Steve went down to start loading the car-our battery was dead. Just our luck! I continued to pack our stuff up as I thought about what we were going to do if we couldn't get it jumped-or if the battery was just completely dead and we would be stuck in Mexico needing a new car battery. Luckily, Steve found a guy at the pool that had jumper cables. Then someone was parked illegally so they couldn't get the cables to reach because this other car was in the way. Never fear though, a couple that we had talked to on the beach was walking their dogs and they had cables so they connected them all and got our car jumped. I was a little worried that when we stopped for gas-so much cheaper in Mexico it's unbelievable-that the car wouldn't start back up again.

As we took the highway back to the US, there was a random Mexican federali checkpoint. Luckily, we were not picked. They were out there with their machine guns around their neck, going through people's trunks and glove compartments. I wasn't worried about us having anything illegal. I was just worried about us having to get out of the car and stand in the heat while they checked our vehicle. I'm not sure our children would have understood to keep their mouths shut.

At the border we sat for about an hour to get back in to the US. This was another spot that the Mexicans make so much money. They have you trapped and they just walk up and down the road selling stuff. We got through the border with no trouble-they did ask if we had ham in our cooler. Not sure what was up with that.

We did have a funny moment at the US border patrol checkpoint further into Arizona. They stopped us. Asked both Steve and I if were US citizens. Then-the funniest thing-was they asked if the kids were ours. I was honestly so tempted to act surprised that their were kids in the back of our van, but I knew I shouldn't. The border patrol agents seemed to think it was a ridiculous question too-considering our toe head children. They probably have to ask everyone the same questions or it would be considered profiling.

Overall, we had a great trip. We will definitely be going back sometime. I want to go when it's cooler and Steve wants to go when it's still warm. The kids would probably have more fun when it's warm, so that's when we will probably go.