Thursday, April 30, 2009

Happy birthday Lolli!

Thank you!
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
Half a decade. Can't believe the little girl now uses all her fingers on one hand to show her age. Wow - time sure flies by.

For the first time, she read her birthday card by herself as Air Boss, 'Shroom and I made it a point to write her individual notes in her card. The only word she had trouble with was "daughter."

This week also marked a small milestone for her. She had her kindergarten screening (called "kindergarten round-up" here) and was able to name her colors, count, say the alphabet and write her name. If she got turned away from school, it would have been my fault. School administrators had stamped my paperwork "incomplete" even though her medical & dental forms were present along with her birth certificate and two proofs of residency.

Alas, it was my driver's license which still had our old address. Even though we had updated the information online with the DMV, there was no sticker that was issued in the mail. We were instructed to simply write in the new address on the back of the card. Oops. Forgot to do that. Left me scrambling to find a permanent marker (no luck) and then furiously trying to scratch the address on the shiny card with a ball point pen, a roller ball, and finally a felt tip.

Messy, barely legible but good enough for a "pass". Phew! Lolli is now enrolled. Hate to think I would have to home school her just because I was inept at writing my address on my license.

Anyway, Lolli is now asleep after enjoying her birthday cake (which was simply a stack of "Fat Boy" ice cream sandwiches). Happy birthday Lolli!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Campus Tour & Doctor Drama

I signed up the family for a private tour of the Cal State school I'll be taking classes starting this summer. From what the tour guide told me, the 13,800 students (not sure if that's undergrad and grad combined but judging by the size of the campus, it may be everyone including faculty, administration, service providers, pets, daycare students, visitors and construction workers) are the most diverse university student body west of the Mississippi. Hmm. Interesting. Honestly, I didn't find the campus that diverse at all but then again, "diverse" may cover an over-represented ethnicity.

Nonetheless, Air Boss and I were amazed at how new the buildings were. I graduated from an east coast school where some buildings were almost as old as the US state in which they resided. To give you perspective, the oldest buildings at CSUDH were built in 1960 when the university was founded.

Anyway, the tour was short but I got a good sense of the campus. It felt nothing like undergrad so this will simply be a whole new experience with nothing to compare it to.

On a different note, Lolli had her annual physical and everything went fine except for the shot at the end. She screamed and screamed. Thrashed. Kicked. Negotiated. Thrashed some more. Sobbed. Nothing worked. She definitely gave the pediatrician a reason to contemplate early retirement. I thought these shots get easier as the kids get older.

Tomorrow we go back for a school required shot. I'm sure tomorrow will be another exciting day . . .

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Why do parents make their kids do silly things?!

Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
. . . so that we can thoroughly embarrass them at opportune moments . . . say, like when they get married.

Okay - so not fair. Half the kids aren't even ours but they're related so I guess that gives us enough "right" to exploit them (hopefully my brother- and sister-in-law aren't reading this and if so, er-- "thanks for a fun weekend with your kids!")

'Shroom and Lolli are having fun this weekend with their West Coast cousins (okay, I guess I can drill it down to "LA cousins"). Right now, the foursome are sleeping like Pocky sticks on a box (that would be "packed and parallel"). This second night of their weekend sleepover had them falling asleep much faster. Must have been the non-stop day that started at 6:30 this morning.

Tomorrow, we're going to hit the beach and enjoy the sand and the waves. Hopefully they'll sleep in a bit more because brunch at 7 AM doesn't quite sound brunchy to me.

Oh yes - the YMCA pose. For this young generation, YMCA is a place where you work out, take classes, and learn to swim. I don't think they've ever heard of the song - or the People from the Village. =)

[photo: taken on location at our local Costco]

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I've always wanted to be a ninja

Sanding Ninja
Originally uploaded by radioflyer007
Today was Day 1 of our spring break home makeover. The "to do" for this first day included sanding down the bathroom sink vanity and painting the vanity and walls. It would have been nice to have the kids' bathroom back online tonight for them to take their showers, but no such luck. They would have had to take their shower with the toilet tank in the tub with them.

Anyway, this photo was taken by Air Boss who thought I was totally "overdoing it" with the goggles and face mask. I tell you, there was dust EVERYWHERE and there was no bathroom door to close. I just don't find it fun to breathe in this stuff.

The funny thing about this bathroom is that we had picked a color that matched one of the multi-colored stripes on the shower curtain. All that careful planning was for nothing. When the blue paint went up on the walls, it looked strangely familiar. I peeked out the bathroom to the last room in the hall.


Looks just like the blue in Lolli's and 'Shroom's room. Hope they don't mistake the bathroom for the bedroom, or even worse, the other way around.

Stay tuned for the BEFORE and AFTER pictures.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Lolli's Artwork

As the saying goes, "the accorn doesn't fall too far from the tree."  One of Lolli's latest drawings shows that she's definitely daddy's little girl.

Interpretation of drawing:
Air Boss is in the cockpit (do helo's have cockpits?) with Lolli sitting behind pilot Air Boss.  Mommy is behind Lolli and we can't see 'Shroom because he's sitting on the other side of the helicopter.

Looks like Air Boss is practicing (or showing off) his hovering technique as the ground seems quite close to the skids.

At least we all look happy and not freaked out!

A Toro is not just a snowblower...

So, after taking a full year to take and pass my teaching exams, pull together my paperwork, get my fingerprints sent to the Dept. of Justice and FBI, get my forearm pumped with a "bubble" to confirm I didn't have tubercuolosis, and re-discover that I DID take a college level math class (thank goodness for those official transcripts!),  I have been accepted into a teaching program at Cal State University (Dominguez Hills).  The bottom of my acceptance letter said "GO TOROS!"

Huh? Go snowblowers?! 

Where I come from, a Toro is the trusted red snowblower that gets pulled out of the garage when the winter white stuff hits the pavement [I believe they also make lawnmowers too but somehow Toros remind me of just the snowblowers].

Anyway, I had shown the acceptance letter to Air Boss and told him, "somehow the acceptance thrill isn't quite the same as my undergrad acceptance."  Maybe I'm getting old and the emotions are wearing down.  Maybe I'm already old and the thrill and excitement of life just isn't there anymore.

Nonetheless, my level of excitement was short-lived as I quickly logged on to my newly activated student account and looked at the summer class schedule.  For the entire months of June, July and August, I'll have 16 hours of classroom instruction each week.  I'll get the last week of August off before the fall semester begins (yippee skippy - not).

I gave my children and husband sad kisses good-bye and tearful "it was nice knowing you" hugs.  I won't be able to sit down and eat dinner with them this summer and I won't be able to tuck my kids in bed at night.  If Air Boss and the kids go camping, most likely they'll have to go without me.  I didn't realize the sacrifices of teaching would start so soon.

"Can't you delay your start until the fall?"  Air Boss had asked me.

"Summer, fall, spring - I'm going to have to take these classes sometime," I countered.

"What's the big rush?  Aren't 10,000 teachers going to get laid off?"

Hmmm . . . pretty hard to argue with that logic.

Anyway, classes aside, I now know (as the brilliant scholar that I am now) that the Toros have nothing to do with blowing snow.  Yes, if it weren't for my years of high school Spanish--or more truthfully in this case, the obvious school mascot--I would still be scratching my head about the "Go Toros!" shout out.