Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Productive. Ish.


I learned how to say "I suck at speaking portuguese" in portuguese.

Our wonderful orthodontist called and gave me a list of good orthodontists in Brasilia, one of which was trained at the University of Washington. I know UW happens to train excellent architects and at least one is a good kisser. Not that I will be kissing the orthodontist. Ahem.

I ordered some anti-gravity loungers to bring with us to post.

Googled 'anti-gravity bra'. Disappointed with results.

I visualized having a pool and sitting in said lounger with a cocktail, watching the Brazilian pool boy.

I wondered if I can still have a Brazilian pool boy if we don't have a pool.

Googled "brazilian wax".  Don't do it.

I ordered school uniforms for my kids. Grace is gonna be mad.

Googled 'how to make your own salami without using nitrates'. Olivia will just have to learn to live without. Ew.

I watched puppies in real time:

Broadcasting Live with Ustream.TV

I downloaded and printed all the forms for the kids' new school, which starts August 4. Then I looked at the stack and saw everything I need to include, wept, and crawled back into bed.

I looked at the puppies some more.

Googled 'Brazilian pool boy', then clicked on 'images'. Do it.

Got confirmation that I am signed up for my Security Overseas training. Checked to make sure I still have a supply of Xanax for that.

I lined up all my boots and thought about what I was going to do with them. Started to get a little choked up, so went back to the puppies.

Ate a little chocolate bunny ass. Shhhhh.

Decided to comb my hair so I could venture out to the drycleaners, but it looked like this, so I wept and went back to bed. Thanks, Virginia humidity.

Monday, April 25, 2011


We got the official handshake, and we won't be going to India or Laos as we originally thought. They (State)  had us down for New Delhi up until a week ago, and then some things happened, and we are thrilled to be heading tooooooooooo.......

Brasilia, Brazil!

If we can get everything in order (unlikely), we will be heading back to Spokane/Seattle in eight weeks and go straight to post from there. We are all really excited. Jack wasn't too happy at first.  I told him he just didn't know anything about Brazil, and he should go and Google, say, "Brazilian beaches".  He did, and has been grinning and ready to go ever since. 

Meanwhile, I will be tackling  these:
Okay, I won't be reading the Hannah Montana 'Greetings from Brazil', but I will be studying this, so I know what to say when I break my toe again:

PS. If anyone has info on orthodontics in Brasilia I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, April 24, 2011


My teenager enjoying FFF (Forced Family Fun).

Peeps'n Ears for breakfast.

The Easter Bunny always brings books layered between the candy.

Olivia is not picking up dog poop, but hunting for eggs in the backyard.

More FFF.  We put a dollar in most of the eggs for a little incentive.

The always lovely Nora came as incentive for us to get out of our pjs and drink champagne.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Out and About

We've been partying like it's 1999 this spring break. That is, if "partying" means not getting out of our pjs/yoga pants, lying around reading and eating sugar cereal. I'm kind of a food nazi on school days-no sugar, power smoothies and homemade breakfasts and whole grain lunches every day, blahblahblah-aren't you jealous of my kids? On vacations and holidays, though, I usually buy about five boxes of forbidden cereal and let the kids eat it all day until it's gone. That way, they don't feel deprived, but more importantly, I feel like I'm on vacation, too, because they never ask me to make them a sandwich or oatmeal. It's a win-win, even for the dentist!

We did go to FSI to meet daddy and do a little research (my God, why is the Overseas Briefing Center always so frigging hot?) . We also went to the National Aquarium in DC, but the kids were rather underwhelmed, aside from enjoying the feeding frenzy in the piranha tank. They were more interested in the brown, stinky, flooded Potomac.

Yesterday, I braved Tyson's Corner Mall (that's like Bellevue Square on steroids and doubled for you Seattle friends) with the kids to buy summer clothes. Now, historically I'm cheap when it comes to summer clothes. It never got very warm in the Pacific Northwest and when it did, it was only for  a small period of time. The kids have only ever needed one swimsuit and a few pairs of shorts. But we're looking down the barrel of at least two years of summer weather and I needed to get a lot of stuff for my money. I handed Jack $150 in cash and told him to come back with a few pairs of shorts, swim trunks and some t-shirts while I shopped with the younger kids. After about an hour, Jack called and said he needed more money. The swim trunks he bought were $50 and all the other shorts were that much, too. What the what?  I told him to get his ass to Old Navy or I would come and shop with him, and stand outside the dressing room talking really loud about how CUTE THOSE SHORTS LOOK ON HIM AND OH MY GOSH DON'T YOU LOOK HANDSOME! So, yes, he now has a pair of $50 swim trunks but also several pairs of cheap Old Navy shorts and a t-shirt with the Guinness logo on the front. Sigh.

Last night was date night. The kids had Cinnamon Toast Crunch and Apple Jacks for dinner while Mitch and I went to a dinner show called  Medieval Madness. Let it be said that this is not, nor has ever been, my scene. But I love my dorky husband who has a deep appreciation for all things medieval (more of a historical interest, not in a play-in-the-woods-dressed-up-like-a-knight-going-to-medieval-fairs kind of way), so when a Groupon came up for half price tickets, I bought them as a surprise, hoping he'd take me to a drag show in return (I loves me some drag queens). The seating was side-by-side at room-length tables, so we got to know our neighbors quickly and intimately. There were little bowls of nibbles all along the table. Which we were meant to share. With bare hands. This is the point at which I learned we would be enjoying the ENTIRE meal with no eating implements of any kind. A germophobe's dream come true. I quickly downed two glasses of wine, hoping to kill any bugs that might be swirling around in my gut as a result of this unsavory practice. They began the performance, which involved a King and Queen and swords and fake accents and whatnot. I couldn't watch the show because I had to keep my eye on everyone's dirty hands and the food. Yes, I am a most excellent date. The food was three courses of meat (sausages, giant hunks of very tender beef, and chicken drumsticks), giant raviolis (ravioli? raviolii?), some kind of cinnamon carrot stick things, and cake for dessert. All with bare hands. There was also a never-ending supply of ale and singing wenches. Am I glad we went? Sure. Would I do it again? My belly, head, and nerves vote no. The woman sitting to my right, near the end of the show said, "My mom and I have bets on whether or not you guys are newlyweds because you're so cozy with each other".  She was surprised to know that we've been married for 16 years. What I didn't tell her was that I was an agoraphobic germaphobe and had been attempting to hide in my husband's pocket.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

TJ, FDR, and Nike

We took the youngest kids to a few monuments this morning. The teenager stayed home to mow the lawn with the lawnmower we bought him as a gift for getting good grades (no need to tell me how lucky he is, I'm pretty sure he knows). First stop was the Jefferson Memorial. But first, I need to make a confession.
I did something I'm not proud of. Something I've never even considered doing before, but it was Sunday morning and I didn't think anyone would be out and about. My knee was really bugging me. I knew it was a long walk to the memorials. I was sure no one would notice. I made Mitch swear not to take any photos of me.

I wore....Nikes. Ugly ones that I use for exercise. And you know, my feet were really comfortable, if incredibly unattractive.  I'm not saying I'd do it again, and I still fell off the sidewalk (it wasn't my fault-someone left a big pile of air right in the middle of the path). I am aware that it's a slippery slope from wearing athletic shoes in public to matching husband and wife jackets from Costco, but what can I say? Maybe I just need a new pair of shoes.

The next stop was the FDR Memorial. This was my favorite memorial that we've been to in DC.  Here are the kids with Eleanor. Henry appears to be irreverently picking her pocket.

Listening to a Fireside chat.

                                                  Doing time in the bread line.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little

I have seen war. I have seen war on land and sea. I have seen blood running from the wounded. I have seen the dead in the mud. I have seen cities destroyed. I have seen children starving. I have seen the agony of mothers and wives. I hate war.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Hey, monkey, you could make yourself blind doing that!

Last week, Mitch went with Henry's class on a field trip to Colonial Williamsburg on chartered luxury bus. They visited Jamestown and Yorktown and I'm told it was an amazing field trip, apart from the kid barfing on the bus (but it wasn't our kid, so still a win!). Mitch always goes on the kids' long school field trips (this one was six hours round trip) because I hate being trapped on a bus with a bunch of loud kids get carsick. Also, they left at 6am and didn't get home until 8pm, and I'm allergic to being in public for that length of time. I start going crazy and smearing lipstick all over my face, and nobody needs to see that.

Today it was my turn to chaperone a field trip. I went with the second graders to the National Zoo.  I had four lovely girls in my group, two of whom were mine, none of whom barfed (woot!).  They were able to observe two giant chameleons mating and a golden lion tamarin, um, uh, ......enjoying himself. Right in front of the glass. The girls were frozen for but a moment before it completely registered, when luckily I spotted a giant rat thingie with his tail partly cut off, so was able to distract them pretty quickly. Thanks for the education, National Zoo!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Today is the first day in about a month that I am feeling pretty good, and everyone else around here seems to be on the mend, too (I totally just knocked on my wooden headboard--yes, I AM in bed. Just because I feel good doesn't mean I'm going to forsake my heavenly bed. Gah.). Aside from a plague of locusts, we've had pretty much everything around here, and to top it off, I had some pesky moles removed in anticipation of poor healthcare in a developing country. That, combined with burns from my pink oven and cuts from fishing broken glass out of the garbage disposal, has had me feeling a little, uh, prickly? I'm not sure of the word to use, but Mitch did gingerly peck me on top of the head before bed last night and say "Goodnight, my oozing pustule."  Hope that helps with the imagery.  You're welcome.

Grace has recovered from her scahlet fevah and is well enough to be crafting up a storm. Although I bought the girls beautiful handcrafted butterfly nets last year, she thought she should have a homemade one. Pipe cleaners,  a roll of string, and 3/4 roll of scotch tape and I could have saved thirty bucks:
The tape serves the dual purpose of holding the tiny pieces of string together PLUS stickily trapping anything she might catch. Brilliant.

Before we moved out here she made me a swiffer out of balsa wood, craft sticks, painters tape, and an old wash cloth. You had to hold each piece together while "swiffering" because the tape was a little loose. I always take pictures of her creations, because those LAME movers somehow always tend to "lose"  her mountains of crafted goodness.  In much the same way that the dog "ate" the skanky Bratz doll with see-through panties that she got from a friend.

I love that she is so creative, I just can't possibly keep everything she makes. We buy scotch tape by the case at Costco and keep the art bins full of sticks, soft wood, pipe cleaners, glue, construction paper, and string to keep her happily crafting away. However, I do feel a little guilty that those, uh, 'movers' keep losing her stuff, but all it usually takes to get her over it is to suggest she make something new and show her some puff paints or new polymer clay I've bought and off she happily trots. When Mitch lamented that HE didn't get a homemade swiffer, she made him a cardboard toolbox complete with  cardboard tools and and a cardboard hard hat for the job site. I have a picture of him modeling it, but he's not wearing a shirt in the photo and this is a family blog, despite the occasional cussing you may see (hear? read? whatev.).

We are anxiously awaiting to see if the government is going to shut down on Friday. I'm frankly a little miffed that they didn't plan it for next Friday to coincide with spring break. Why does no one think of my needs?

Anyhoodle, I gotta go change my bandages. You're welcome again!