Monday, May 24, 2010

Road Trip to Spokane (And #27)

Crossing number 27 off the list.

Thursday we headed out to Colville, just north of Spokane Washington. We planned a visit with some of the Mr.'s side of the family. It's been almost 2 years since our last visit! The weather forecast said rain all weekend, but it still turned out to be a beautiful! Here's the quick weekend re-cap!

We started out on Hwy 2, the scenic route across Washington!

Hwy 2 - heading to Colville

Beautiful rainbow - Hwy 2

An hour and a half into the trip, Cass begun asking the dreaded road trip question - "are we there yet?". We made a stop at this last photo to get out and stretch our legs, and Cass wanted to snap some shots of the rainbow too. It wasn't a very long stop as it was pretty cold! 

Charlie mowing the grass at Grandma's.

The kids and I headed out to enjoy the freshly cut grass and sunshine! As we headed inside, we found Mr. Puppy hanging on the clothes line! At first she thought it was Papa who put him up there, but later found out it was Grandma! haha.

Kaleb and the stubborn, I will dress myself MY way child -Cass!
Mr. Puppy!

A Japanese tag
We then spent much of the late afternoon going through photos and learning about Uncle Charlie's family history. This was much fun, as I love old photos and history!

Cass singing at Karoke night

We enjoyed a Saturday night filled with Karoke in town with family! It was exciting to see Cass get up there and sing a song she learned from preschool in front of everyone - what a brave girl! Kaleb enjoyed "singing" too with everyone! (see video clip above) Kaleb also enjoyed lots of walking around with Aunt Jan - this boy is going to be running in no time!

Aunt Jan walking with Kaleb
Stylish Cass in goggles - ready for a ride!

Charlie and Cass enjoyed a bit of 4-wheeling fun on Uncle Charlie's 4-wheeler this weekend too!

Ruth meeting Kaleb
We then polished off the weekend at lunch with an old friend.

I-90 heading home. Looking back at a wonderful weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Breathe...Breathe...Just Breathe...

All you can do is thinking, just's the only way I made it through the first part of my day!

I was up late chatting with the Mr. (who's in Pearl Harbor), and I still managed to get up on time this morning. Fixed a bottle for Kaleb, helped Cass get some breakfast, then off to shower! Just as I was about to dry my hair, I realized the plug wasn't working - a sinking uh-oh feeling over came me. This has happened before, so I pretty much knew what to do. The outdoor garage freezer, and the 3 bathrooms are on the same breaker. If too many things are plugged in, the breaker trips. Easy fix, you just reset it. So, back to my morning....

By this time I have my hair pined up, make up on, dressed in my shirt and jeans - no socks. I open the garage door to go reset the breaker, and I find the freezer door wide open. Instantly you hear, "CASSANDRA ISABEL, Garage now!". I'm completely raging with anger, and checking to see just how thawed the food is. In complete disgust, I close the freezer door - nothing survived! By now she's standing at the door, a few feet from me, saying over and over, "I'm sorry Mommy." Just as I'm about to take a step towards the door, I look down and there sits a small gray mouse - within inches of my feet! All you hear by now is screeching, screaming and me leaping to the top of the freezer! (No joking here, I was literally on top of the freezer.) I'm in full on panic mode, so overwhelmed I'm crying... Sitting on top of the freezer, trying to breathe and screaming to my daughter to get into the house, there's a mouse! There stands my daughter laughing...laughing hysterically at her Mother saying, "it's just a mouse, it isn't going to hurt you". Really? It's a mouse! I almost stepped on a mouse!! Throughout this entire ordeal the mouse hasn't moved (I think he was sick). It doesn't matter though, there's a mouse between me and the door and the only thing to do is leap, and close the door. All I needed was a safe place to sit and calm down...

There was no more venturing into the garage to reset the tripped breaker. No time, no patience, no strength...I was too overwhelmed. I headed back upstairs to find a new place to dry my hair, the hallway!

By now, thanks to the mouse...I'm running late, but still in good time. I decided to take the truck today since it has GPS, and I always find myself lost. After the day/week I've had, I wasn't interested in getting lost. I haven't driven, or even moved the Tahoe since Charlie left, so who knew I was going to hop inside and find the battery dead! I've jumped my car before, but I was pretty nervous about the truck since I'm not familiar with it, and it's so tall too! I heard the neighbor boys outside, so I darted next door asking our neighbor Bill if he would come help me out. Thankfully, I live next door to the kindest neighbors!! He helped me get it started, and while he was over...I couldn't help but ask him how he felt about mice. My angle worked out perfectly, and in no time he grabbed a rag and picked up the mouse (which still hadn't moved). I can't even express how amazing this made me feel...the relief to come home to a garage without a dead/sick mouse!
What on earth is with guys who have no fear of rodents?? He just picked it up in a rag, Ewwww! Then he asked if I wanted to see it?! Double Ewwww. I'm going to already have nightmares from nearly stepping on one, you think I want to look at it?? Oh no thank you! But thanks for removing him, he's all yours!

Note to self: Wear shoes boots when entering the garage!

Finally, we are in the truck and on our way! The sun is shining, a bit on the warm side... Cass looking out the window, "look Mom, the cows". Driving, kids are quite...all is well. A frapp sounds good about now, but no time...I'm officially running late! Then......crap! It pops in my head, I didn't pack a bottle. I'm do you forget to pack the bottle? Seriously, all things packed, but the bottle! Ugh......time to turn around.

I arrived 1 hour and 35 minutes late, starving and thirsty! Just as I pulled into the driveway, the garage opens and out comes Grandma. Puzzled as to what on earth happened, and why I was so late. It was a quick, are you? Where do you want to eat?? We were all starving - except Kaleb. He was doing pretty good.
She introduced me to this amazing little restaurant in Tacoma, called Tijuana Taco. If you love Mexican food, I highly recommend this place! I don't eat out much, and it's a good thing this place is an hour away. If not, I would visit all too often.  

Considering my crazy morning, I'm not surprised I forgot the camera! I also don't know why my damn Blackberry takes such crappy photos too! I've seen cheaper phones take much better photos...bummer! But, here's us today. Excuse the poor quality camera phone photos...

First Mother's Day with my little man!
Sixth Mother's Day with my beautiful daughter!
serious little man who needs a haircut.
I'm so proud of Kaleb! He mastered crawling up that step in the background of the photo above.

Ok! Now before I end this incredibly long blog, what would a visit to Tacoma be without donuts from Krispy Kreme?! Due to extreme bumper to bumper traffic, we had no other choice than to stop for a 1/2 dozen! Yummm. Now this is how you end and interesting, yet wonderful Mother's Day with my sweet kiddos and Grandma Jenkins! I hope you all had a fabulous day.

Donuts from Krispy Kreme! 

-chocolate iced w/ sprinkles, chocolate fudge cake, s'mores, glazed raspberry filled, glazed chocolate cake x2-

Friday, May 7, 2010

He has teeth!

After what I still believe was the worst week of my life, these two little toofers popped through! It's taken me weeks to get him to allow me a photo. So here we are, his first two teeth.

Mother's Day Tea

It's been a busy week with the Mr. out to sea, but yesterday I enjoyed a Mother's Day tea at Cass' preschool. Since this is her first year in school, it was our first Mother's Day tea.
Kaleb, Cass and I at our first tea!

We brought our own tea cups, so it was kinda fun to finally use the tea cups with our china set! We've only had it set since the Mr. and I got, 6 years! As all the parents showed up, each child came to get their parent and escort them in, cute! I was so excited to see Cass so lit up with excitement.

As I sat down I saw this beautiful drawing, a flower pin, a plate of cookies, and a wrapped gift.

I'm the one standing by the rainbow! :)

They had water for the kids, but I was shocked to see so many kids drinking tea - including mine! However, she admits she doesn't like tea at all! haha.

Hope you all have a wonderful Mother's Day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The squirrel incident(s)...

This afternoon I noticed one of the squirrels who attacks the house was back and at it full swing. I could hear him scratching in the living room wall. As I got into the room, I was able to pin point his location - right next to the fireplace. I ran outside looking to see if he was just outside, or really in the wall. When I was outside, I could hear him, but not see him.

It was awhile later when I was on the phone with my Mom and I heard what sounded like a nut falling, then a loud thump on what seemed like metal from the fireplace. I paused, remained very still, gasped, completely in fear...freaking out. (I have these images of one popping out of the fireplace, or chewing a hole through the wall.)

Now, in the past I've contacted our landlord about previous squirrel issues, but they didn't take me seriously. This time, I wanted some sort of proof so they would quickly send help! With my fear of squirrels, and the Mr. out to sea...there is nothing I can/am willing to do.

Let me fill you in on how I investigate...white curtain rod in one hand, and camera in the other! I'm no fool, I believe these crazy wild creatures want revenge for the two deaths of their fellow squirrel friends - more about that later. The first several times I went outside, I used the front door and walked around to the back of the house. However, while on the phone with my Mom, I noticed the clawing much louder - I could hear him from the kitchen. I grabbed the curtain with my shoes, and scooted out the door to the deck. I could hear him, but it took a bit to locate him (I wasn't wearing my glasses). Once I pin pointed the sound, I noticed a small hole under the gutter, then...a foot with claws popped out! I freaked out...OMG...I was totally right in where I believed he was! Creepy, was official. There's a trapped squirrel. Now, to run back inside and grab the camera! I snapped a couple shots, and video then time to run back inside.

I'll back track a little here.... Years ago I told my husband I thought we may have a rat in the wall! I was terrified of the digging/scratching sound I could hear at the top of the wall/roof area in the living room. Since I'm the kind of person who needs answers, and answers now...I did the first thing that came to mind. I got out the tripod and video camera, then took it outside and set it up. I aimed it toward the holes at the roof line where I could hear the scratching.  Here's a photo from today, since it will take me too long to locate the original photo and video clip. But, the holes I'm talking about are the three round holes which are covered by what I think is chicken wire. So, I let the video run for some time, waiting and hoping he would show himself - which he did! I was so proud, I captured my first culprit on video!

Some days I would listen to him running across the living room. This went on for weeks before I noticed him over towards the front door - at the drainage pipe from the gutter. Apparently one fell into the pipe, and you could hear him trying to run up it. Ah...I can still hear it in my head years later!! When I contacted the landlord about all this, they told us to just do what we need to get them out. They weren't going to send anyone. I was pissed, but what can you do. It's not our house... Charlie unhooked the elbow to the drainage pipe, and waited until he left the roof crawl space area, and closed up the remaining holes at the roof line. Then, for a few days we had to listen to him screaming outside! No joke, an awful loud squealing as he tried chewing at the chicken wire over the closed holes. He wasn't afraid of me either. I would run out there banging things, hollering to shoo him away - all I got in return was an evil eyed look from him! When the screaming stopped, we noticed he managed to loosen the staples from the chicken wire, and get back in! At this point, I'm so angry I could shoot him! Once again, my poor husband had to wait until he left, and close up the hole again. This went on one more time, on this time once he got in he started working at another hole from the inside out!

Finally, all holes were closed and we headed out of town on a camping trip, only to come home and discover our unwanted house guest had returned! This time we had no idea how he got in, each hole was still secured, but he was working pretty hard getting the wire loose. Any other hole, and he might have lived...but he picked the hole with the longest wire. After some intense squirrel screeching, I ventured outside to check things out. I noticed his nose and teeth were stuck in the wire, he was bleeding. It was a tragic experience, on I wish I could block out! Perhaps I did not like Mr. squirrel, and at one point I threatened to shoot him, I really wouldn't have though...he's just a poor little creature who drove me insane some days. Sadly, there was nothing we could do. By time Charlie was able to get to him he had died...

Then, last summer I left an old kitchen trash can on the back deck. It rained a lot, so there was quite a bit afternoon when Charlie was cleaning up he noticed inside was a dead squirrel.

So, now perhaps you see why I am completely terrified of squirrels and believe they are trying to get revenge on the loss of their friends!

RIP my unwanted squirrel guests, I hope help arrives soon to successfully release your friend!
-Sincerely, the angry tenant lady whom you drove inane

Before I leave you, I want to share a piece of artwork my daughter made! Love artwork from the mind of a 5 year old... Do you see how round I am? What am I trying to do, smoke him out?? - notice the smoke in chimney! The small round circles at my feet are the previous nuts she left out for the squirrel - he must be hungry, and they love nuts she said.

Mommy taking a photo of the trapped squirrel in the wall!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

29 Things to do before I turn 30

Birthdays are nature's way of telling us to eat more cake.

My cake - decorated by Cass

1. Weekend getaway with the Mr.
2. Go on a picnic
3. Make a fondant cake
4. Pay for a strangers meal
5. Read 5 books - in progress
6. Get into shape and start running
7. Start a 365 photo project
8. Make kitchen curtains
9. DIY wood-working project
10. Grow an indoor herb garden
11. Go on 8 dates with the Mr. - in progress
12. Take an overnight trip by myself
13. Stay at a bed & breakfast
14. Buy a large (living) indoor plant
15. Visit family & friends in Texas
16. Take the kids to the beach
17. Make both kids a quilt
18. Go to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
19. Build a snowman with my family
20. Visit Portland and eat at Fuddruckers - Fuddruckers
21. Make 10 new alcoholic drinks - in progress
22. Go to a Seahawks game
23. Clean out & organize the garage
24. Send someone a surprise
25. Start a family tradition
26. Make my own Christmas cards
27. Take a road trip - Road trip to Spokane
28. Golf with the Mr.
29. Watch the sunrise

My 29 things blog was inspired by Charisse, at Oh Me, Oh My.

As the Mr. headed out to sea - the day before my birthday, he wished me a happy birthday and said, "You're a young 29". Thanks hun! He knows how difficult this year is for me, it's the last year I'll say I'm in my 20's!

Yesterday I celebrated my 29th birthday, it was a fabulous day!

I arranged to take the kids to Seattle and meet up with family, but after such a long week I decided to reschedule. I needed a day of just relaxing, so relaxing is what I did. Cass woke me up with lots of Happy Birthday love, then we had breakfast and started our day - which I let her plan. We made cake, played, drew pictures, painted crafts, took photos, and ordered Chinese take-out! She even washed the dishes!!

The crafts we made. 
The plaques are: Papa, Cass, Kaleb, Mommy! We plan to embellish the birdhouse and the barn soon. We were just too exhausted.

Chinese take-out.
Ordering take-out is a terrible weakness of mine while he's out to sea! Usually I order much more, but with the whole "eating better" thing I'm working on, I figured less food = less left overs = less bad food for me to eat. ha!

Note: Photo taken after we dug in - we were too hungry to plate up and photograph!

After dinner, it was time for cake! As I was out of the room, Cass decided to surprise me with cutting the cake herself! HA. I walked into the kitchen to see this proud 5 year old kneeling on a chair at the table with a butter knife, pie spatula with a huge hole in the middle of the cake! I hear, "look Mom! I cut the cake and I added hearts"! At this point I'm smiling from ear to ear and laughing hysterically at my sweet child! How do you continue to hide the fact that you hate those nasty little valentine hearts with such a passion??

Cake after a 5 year old digs in!

My first photo at 29! Do I look younger yet?

This sweet boy of mine decided as a birthday gift to Mommy, he would start crawling around. Maybe not full on crawling, but it's a good army crawl across a room!