Saturday, January 24, 2009

[day 24 ... january 24]

It's not such a healthy habit, but yes, we are definitely into our after-dinner desserts around here. The little guys typically have a small serving of chocolate chips (one of the few kinds of chocolate that Cory can have) or cookies.

But the big boys are majorly into ice cream. And they don't want just a few small scoops. No, they're growing boys and go for the EXTRA LARGE servings. I prefer a smaller amount of a really good ice cream, like Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch (yum!) or a nice chocolate chip mint (Bryer's is my fave). But at the rate Kellen and Tynor go through ice cream, I do not buy them anything premium very often! Once in awhile I splurge on Hagaan Dazs bars (vanilla with dark chocolate), which if nothing else, keeps the serving to just one bar! But the "usual" ice cream available (until it's all gone, and then there isn't anymore for awhile) is a tub of generic vanilla.

Being a nice mom, though, I do buy Tillamook sometimes when it's on sale. Tillamook Mudslide is our favorite flavor, and boy, is it good. While it lasts...

Friday, January 23, 2009

[day 23 ... january 23]

I took a half-day off from work today, as I needed to run Niall up to Bothell for some tests. These are the first screening tests (evaluation of grade-level skills) for applying to the Northshore gifted program for 3rd - 6th graders. I'm not planning to send him to the program, at this point, but I want to see if it's an option.

Since I was heading to Little School at lunchtime anyway, I went a few minutes early to join the younger kids for Friday singalong. Cory's class has been studying fruits and vegetables, including a little song they've learned about "Five a day, the rainbow way," and they were going to sing the song in front of all the classes as part of singalong. They were so cute up there, decorated with their own fruit or vegetable sign (Cory was a carrot), singing their song and doing their little hand motions. They also each introduced themselves and said what their fruit or vegetable was, and afterwards they all bowed. Just darling. I'm really glad I was able to be there. It was fun to sing the songs with them too!

[day 22 ... january 22]

Difficult day at work today: layoffs were announced for the first time in Microsoft's history, along with other cutbacks. Luckily, I wasn't one of those cut - a major relief. But the atmosphere around work is subdued and anxious. People are walking on eggshells. More cutbacks and reorgs are coming, and that's about all we know. It's going to be a long 18 months while they get the ship squared away.

I had lunch with my friends Leslie and Mary today - something we've been trying to organize since before Christmas. Always one thing and another has gotten in the way. It was great to see them and dish about all the latest changes in our lives, the inauguration, the economy, and of course, the big announcements at work today. We met at the Building 25 cafeteria (across the street from their building; a short drive from where I work) and all decided on fabulously delicious Shamiana (Indian food restaurant that makes and serves some of their dishes at this on-campus cafeteria). I had my absolute favorite (which they happened to be serving today): Chicken Tikka Masala. Oh, so good!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

[day 21 ... january 21]

Today it's back to the mundane, though we're still feeling that glow from yesterday (at least I am!) Picked up Cory and Niall from school and took Cory to the dentist for a 6-month checkup. After going to a pediatric dentist office in Bellevue for awhile that was like a factory (crank those kids through as fast as you can, rush them along, don't give them the fun stuff to do if they aren't paying attention enough so you can jam through the cleaning on time), we switched to this much calmer, more easygoing ped office right here in town. So much better.

Here Cory is waiting for his x-rays to be taken. That was the trickiest part, with those nasty films they still have to put in that are way too big for preschoolers (IMHO). But Cory was a trooper and they were able to get some good pics without too much hassle.

Cory actually looked forward to going in and everyone was calm and kind, joking and relaxed. What a difference in attitude between here and the pediatric dentistry factory!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

[day 20 ... january 20]

"We are the change we've been looking for." I hope that change has finally begun in earnest! Actually, for the past few weeks, it has already felt like Obama was assuming the presidential mantle, as W faded away into a corner. But it's glorious to see our man of the hour finally take his rightful place!

I kept Niall and Cory home from school for a bit this morning so we could watch the swearing-in ceremony together. I didn't want to miss seeing this historic event live, and if we'd followed our usual schedule, I would be driving from school to work just as Obama was taking the oath of office.

The boys were mildly interested. Cory wanted to know why there was a color guard and why there were men with guns lining the hallway where people walked on their way to the podium area. And then why were they firing canons after Obama was sworn in? Niall wanted to know who the various dignitaries were and what would happen if Obama wasn't sworn in by exactly noon ("We won't have a president for a few minutes, Mom!"). They both are eager to go to D.C. and see the Washington Memorial and the Capitol and the White House for themselves. Cory: "Can we fly there tomorrow?" Niall: "Can we go into the White House? Will Obama be there?" I do plan to take them there, but...not tomorrow. :-)

I can truly hardly believe this day is finally here. At each step of the journey, I really couldn't believe that Obama had really done it: when he won Iowa, persevered through Super Tuesday, steadily won the votes he needed to gain the nomination, and then carried the day on Election Night. I guess I just didn't have that kind of confidence in the American people, especially after Bush was re-elected in 2004.

But - he actually made it. He's our president now. An amazing feat for a truly remarkable man.

Monday, January 19, 2009

[day 19 ... january 19]

You might think from the first 18 days of this project that I have only two sons. But no, really, the older two do flit in and out of our lives periodically, and today I spied them playing football on the PS2 in the family room and took a few photos. Game-playing is usually reserved for the TV room but they apparently decided they wanted to take a spin on the bigger screen for the afternoon since they were home for MLK Day today. They were having a fine time. It's really good to see them enjoying each other's company so much these days.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

[day 18 ... january 18]

Cory had a great idea this morning: "Let's go to Bothell Landing today!" We haven't been anywhere in ages, with all the snow over the holidays and then the lousy weather since, plus illnesses to boot. Today was another gorgeous sunny day, so it sounded like a fine plan to me.

Bothell Landing has a great play structure and the setting is beautiful: right along the Sammamish Slough (which is still running pretty fast but not as swiftly as in the photo the other day), with lots of trails, paths along the water, an ampitheatre, original settler buildings with small museums instead. It's fun to play, explore, walk, see birds, throw things in the water.

We started with playtime on the climber, as we usually do, and then walked down to the water to see the ducks (we don't feed them since it's strongly discouraged - it's terrible for the bird population) and on to the boardwalk over the wetlands.

Finally, we walked down the trail along the river, tossed sticks and rocks in to see the splashes and watch the sticks float along. A man came floating gently along in his kayak, not paddling, just letting the water carry him slowly along. Looked like a fine way to spend the afternoon.

Across the water on the bike trail, we could see fast cyclist speeding along, people walking with strollers and kids on bikes with training wheels - a whole assortment of people out enjoying the beautiful day just as we were.