Friday, July 31, 2009

HP and the hurd of teenie boppers

I caught the latest Harry Potter a bit ago and was one of the oldest people there. I forgot that the 7:00 PM show on Saturday night was probably the best time for teens to catch the movie with a date. And, that is exactly what it was.

The entire theater was filled with giggling, gum popping, cooler than cool, hand holding, blushing, goofing teens and it was one of the cutest things I have seen in a while.

As the lights dimmed and the previews rolled, peals of screams ala Beatles erupted when the Twilight sequel trailer was shown. Literally screaming and swooning especially when darling Jacob AKA the werewolf had his shirt off. Except for the high pitched shrieks too close to my ear, I felt like I was getting a very entertaining peak view into the lives and habits of the Vashon teen.

So, yes, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince was good. Very, very good. As good as the rest. They keep on cranking out excellent flicks. Can you say, "Cash Cow"? I won't ruin it for anyone who hasn't seen it or read the book.

But, because of all the young throbbing hormones in the theater and all the young throbbing hormones in the movie, I sure felt smuggly "been there, done that" old. Not old in a bummer kind of way but old in a "thank god I don't have to live through all that again" way.

At least something comes with age.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Middle aged dads pose nude for calendar to raise money for local schools

I love this! Remember when I was trying to recently rattle this community about creative school district fund raising ideas?

I think this counts as one!

$20 a pop? I am down for one. Anyone else? Place your orders!

From the Vashon Beachcomber:

When Islander Scott Benner had his portrait taken last month, he didn’t spend much time deciding what to wear. After all, his outfit consisted of a red bow tie, a tweed hat and nothing more.

He’s one of 12 Island dads and professionals who shed their suits and posed nude for an Island cause this summer.

Dubbed “the DreamBoats,” the men are featured in the pages of a 2010 calendar that will be sold at $20 a pop to benefit the Vashon Island School District. (A launch party is planned for Sept. 3.)

Each photo shows a different Island man in the buff, with an accessory or two representing his interests and conveniently covering his personal areas. The photos were taken outdoors by Island photographer Rebecca Douglas and show off not only the beauty of the male models, but of Vashon Island.

The men, and a trio of women who are “producing” the calendar, are hoping to raise $10,000 for a school system that has struggled mightily to forego layoffs this year and even put out a plea to parents to help keep a few teachers on staff.

“It’s nice to have this as a fun way to support the schools in an otherwise dreary financial environment for the district,” said Benner, 43, a financial planner and lawyer. “It was a lot of fun, actually. ... I haven’t done something like that before, and probably won’t again.”

Organizers point out, however, that the school district had nothing to do with the idea and doesn’t endorse the project in any way.

The calendar “was a really organic idea that came out of an unusual, creative bunch of morning banter on the way to work one day,” said Scott Harris, 38, one of the men who will grace the pages of the calendar.

He and others who ride the Vashon-Seattle passenger-only ferry came up with the idea of a “Real Men of Vashon” calendar at first as a joke, and then the idea gathered momentum when the commuters and friends realized they had a marketable idea."

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Whiner warning!

I read yesterday that we are currently in the midst of a record breaking 5 day forecast. Apparently it hasn't been this hot since 1981.

What the heck was I doing in 1981? Lord knows. I don't particularly remember it being really hot but I am sure it must have been.

Supposedly the forecast if for 100 degrees tomorrow! And, in case you don't know, the entire NW melts a little bit and a slows to a gooy pace at high temps. Due to the usual maritime weather, no one has air conditioning. We just suffer.

Last night we used a combination of multiple fans, frozen ice packs and bags of ice wrapped in dishtowels to cool down for sleep. Wet wash cloths on a forehead or on a bare belly helps too. Some where in the night it cools down but not a lot.

I feel for the kids upstairs, I remember many a hot night when our bedroom was up there. But, now we are on the northern, shady side of the house and our bedroom stays pretty cool. Thankfully.

Not much we can do but whine and hang at the pool.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Boxers or briefs?

Jake has a great story about one of my favorite writers, Kurt Vonnegut. While Jake was in college at Tufts, Vonnegut came to speak and somehow it was arranged that a bunch of college kids (Jake included) would get to have dinner with him.

Now, Kurt Vonnegut is a cult hero, even at that time in the early 80's. Slaughterhouse 5 blew everyone's socks off but all his books are a great read. Plus he was such rye, funny fellow whose social commentary was wonderfully irreverent and deliciously kooky. Needless to say, he was adored by the college kid circuit.

I am sure the kids were a bit little dazzled by this special dinner guest. So, inevitably during the evening most of the kids were asking asked him all sorts of heavy literary questions perhaps attempting to make a good impression. Vonnegut took it in stride and chatted the kids up despite the academic, somewhat dry conversation.

When there was a minor lull in the conversation, Jake pipes up, " I have a question for you Mr. Vonnegut; boxers or briefs?"

With a sparkle in his eyes and without missing a beat, he said "Now that is a good questions; briefs, of course!" Needless to say, everyone thought it was hilarious and that little ice breaker completely swept out the stodginess for the rest of the evening.

I love that story.

And, it sort of got me thinking; how does a guy decide between boxers or briefs?

Is it a family thing? Dad wore boxers, so son wears boxers? Or Dad wore boxers so I wear briefs?

Is it a learned thing? Boxers are hipper then briefs?

Or is it a genuine personal instinct and preference? Which one just feels best?

I actually can't believe I am thinking about this right now. But I am raising a boy who is on the cusp of making his decision. Can anyone fill me in?

Shea doesn't seem to care that much right now. I have a good sampling at the ready. Do I just keep a good variety of both on hand until he says something about it to me?

Strangely, women don't have this complication. Oh yes, there are plenty of options in the undergarment department but they are all just panties. Thong or no thong? Sorry, not comparable.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Slightly awkward introductions

"What you name is?" Shea pointedly asks a lady or a child, anyone that interests him.

With a big strong voice, he says "My... Shea. This mommy." He points up at me, keeping me within "hide behind the leg" reach.

Slightly embarrassed, I smile and make some comment about my name being "mom" and try to nonchalantly move on.

These aren't long conversations for Shea but they are frequent. At a typical day at Granny's Thrift Store, he may introduce himself 5-6 times.

On one hand, I am thrilled that he has the words and the sequencing to be able to introduce himself. Most people are enchanted if not a little flummoxed by such a formal introduction from a small child. If the chemistry is right, he flirts and chats it up with them about...who knows...this and that. Sometimes they can't quite understand what he is saying and they look to me to translate.

Sometimes I can see it in there eyes that they are wondering what is amiss. And, I have to admit, it is hard to see.

So, I paste on a seasoned grin, keep an ear open and spin off in the direction of the...let me see; Don't I need some shorts?

He is old enough to engage and have chats with people.

Wow. We have come a long way.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Mail box burgle

I guess I have been lulled into a false sense of security. Something about the rural, bucolic island has made me forget about vandals and thieves. In the city, I wasn't such an easy target but, I guess, I am here.

Sometime on Sunday, someone stole a bunch of mail out of my mail box. It is located on a pretty busy road, right in front of my house. I had the red flag up to let my wonderful mail lady know I had some outgoing.

And, I sure did. A big fat pile of bills went out and some monthly reports to my clients. My mail lady came to our house yesterday to let us know what went out unharmed and what was damaged. The thieves had opened up a bunch of mail and taken the checks!

And, because my banking life is sort of complicated, they were able to get checks from 3 different accounts.


So, I spent the day placing stop orders on checks, opening new accounts, getting ready to close the accounts that they got the checks from. I mean, they have my name, address, account number and signature!

I guess if they really wanted to wreak some havoc, they sure could.

But, the silver lining is my banker folks were very helpful and waived the multiple stop payment fees. Nice to know that they can do that at the branch. Be sure and ask if they do not offer if this ever happens to you.

They also have gone a long way toward convincing me to do on-line banking from now on instead of checks. I am such a dinosaur about this sort of thing or as marketing folks describe it as "a late adopter". I think I will take this as a signal that it is indeed time.

And, my mail lady says, "Don't put the red flag up. I will check your box each day but we don't need to broadcast to the scumbags that there is mail in there."

Wow. Good idea. What a target I am!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Super Spud!

Man alive! These fingerling spuds are almost without parallel. I feel that I have been blind but now I can see! Ok. Admittedly over the top

We are talking a potato flavor so mild, delicious and creamy that it seems like a different thing all together.

Molly dug me up a good handsome pile yet she wants nothing to do with my GGF's super easy roasted potatoes. Huh? Kids and their palettes are so weird.

But she did show interest in my family famous mashed. She was on a mission and did it all herself. Watching Molly actually peeling potatoes hit me hard tonight and I had to take a picture. Look at that concentration. She says she wants to be a chef when she grows up; a pastry chef. And/or a writer. And/or an artist. And/or maybe a veterinarian.

For the first time, I thought, "she could be a chef". For not the first time, I thought, "she could do anything she really wants to do."

And the mashed? Sublime! And, mighty filling. That is all she had for dinner.

Strawberry Festival: henna tatoos and fancy hats

I think I have discovered my new annual Strawberry Festival routine; just don't go until Sunday.

There is something about that long hot Saturday "festival-ing" that I find just exhausting. Usually by Sunday I am toast and don't want to have anything to do with it until the next year.

This year I simply ignored it until Sunday. Molly spent the day with friends on Saturday, Jake, Shea and I just hung around here at home relaxing. It was good.

Molly wanted to get a henna tattoo so we went early afternoon Sunday. By that time it wasn't as crowded, everything was winding down and I was cranked and ready to go.

It was a fun thing to do. A nice lady squeezed out henna goo from a tiny, tiny pastry bag. She was wicked fast. We both got one. Here they are with the goo still on. We had to "not get it wet until tomorrow AM" which was nearly impossible for me. It turned out ok though.

We moseyed around, visited with folks we knew, Molly got shaved ice and then I saw them. I thought it was just a bunch of sun hats at first.

There is so much CRAP at these fairs, it is mostly just a bunch of imports pawned off cheap. But at closer look, then even closer inspection; I realized she was a milliner. A good old fashioned milliner. Not to be over the top all of a sudden on you folks but: Isn't it sad that we so rarely see people making something with their hands?

She was looking through a catalog with many, many different kinds of ribbons. Her hats were...well...irresistible and I some how tried to justify this early b-day gift for miss Molly. We spent a long time visiting and trying to find the perfect one; I think we found it.

It was good, in fact the best festival so far.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I don't have much of a relationship with my father. In fact, I would probably admit to no relationship and some might even say we are estranged. Although, that term seems to connote some sort of cataclysmic occurrence which breaks the relationship or puts it under severe stress. That isn't what happened. We just drifted physically and emotionally apart and neither of us seemed to care enough to stop it.

I know. Save this stuff for the shrink couch! I don't mean to be whiney, it really is just what it is but it does make me sad for what might have been. We all have our own side of the story and I am sure he does too although I have never heard it. All you can do is shrug.

My point is I always wanted to make sure that my kids had a father, someone physically and emotional available and approachable who could openly profess all that unconditional love that parents are supposed to dump on their kids.

Well. Jake is a committed, loving dad. He is there for the kids. Physically and emotionally. He doesn't hover but encourages them to reach. I look at Molly and Jake and I see pals. And, I am so very grateful.

Sometimes the best therapy is just seeing the pattern change and creating a very different reality for the next generation.

Flower frolic

Daylilies. Perennial, full sun, drought hardy, mid-summer bloom. Literally a bazillion different colors and sizes to choose from.

I have never been able to keep my daylilies in the ground long enough to be able to get a huge excellent clump with lots of blooms. I had usually dug them, and split them up to propogate before they could really mature. Until this year.

Give them a bit of water and you will get more and longer lasting blooms.

Dalias. Perrenial, tubor, mid-full sun, likes a bit of water. Again, a bazillion colors are available to choose from.

When I lived in W. Seattle, there was a little bungalow near a pizza restaurant that Jake and I would go to every Friday night before we were blessed/encumbered with child. It was obviously an older lady's house and she had about 80 different kinds of Dalia planted in rigid rows in front of her house. Most of them were those incredably huge, head sized blooms that were almost too heavy for the stalk. I remember she had little "crutches" set up for them so they could hold their blooms up. So, I was dazzled and relieved when I made friends with The Dalia Guy here on Vashon Island. I had him come over with a few of his favorites and they are all wonderful and only one was the obscenely huge variety. I prefer the kind with blooms all over the plant. Nuff said.

Monarda or Bee Balm. Perennial, full sun, drought hardy, bee friendly.

This flower gets my most excellent summer cut flower award this year. The blooms are almost architectural in their complexity and very unusual in a bouquet. They do come in several shades. I have a red and a mauve that really has to be one the most beautiful flowers in the garden. It stands upright about 3 or so feet and makes an impressive display. The initial plant will spread well and becomes a big clump. It took a serious hit and I lost a bit after our tough winter but it seems to have bounced back.

Affirmative action vs. the status quo

Friday, July 17, 2009

Padded training bras?

Ok. I probably shouldn't even get started on the sexualization of our young kids. You know, the thong underwear for 7 year olds and the little kids t-shirts that say, "little hottie", etc.

I know I am sounding like a prudish matron but come on! Padded training bras!?

While at Target to expand our big boy underwear selection, I thought I would kill two birds and pick up some back to school unmentionables for Molly.

How was I to know that the majority of the bras for her age and size were all padded. I had to really search for the good old fashioned, put what you really got into it, regular bra.

At the time, I exchanged some eye ball rolling with a fellow mom of a tween who was doing a similar search but I can't seem to let it move out of my brain pan.

Do our kids need to be little hottie's even before they hit puberty? Who is this for? Is it for them? Or is it for us, the parents? Or, is it just the ugly impersonal maw of consumerism tenderizing their youngest victims? Yes. And it's very icky.

It reminds me of those weird "Little princess" pageants that were all the rage in the 90's. Maybe they still are, I have no idea because I could never find any wisdom in decking out your 4 year old in sequins and eye make-up and teach her to walk in high heels on a stage. Yuck! Who knew there is probably thong underwear and a padded bra underneath the whole outfit.

Again, who do they do it for? The parents, of course but why would they do it? Are these basically stage parents who want to hit a "Hannah Montana-Brittney Spears" jackpot? Highly likely. And, if we are honest with ourselves, how did that work our for old Brittney?

I know, I know. That is a lot of musing brought on by a little girl's padded bra. But, it makes me take a second long look at my own pre-pubescent non-padded daughter. For right now, she is dressed in the middle school uni-sex uniform; baggy basketball shorts and a t-shirt.

How long will that last? I wish it was up to me.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Welcome to my jungle

The view from on top of the garden house, basically up in the trees where Shea does circus tricks, shows a jungle of green and splotches of color. Only up close do you notice bush beans about to explode, tomatoes and peppers coming along and Raspberries that need some picking. Salad is fading fast and mustard and broccoli are going to seed and I will probably let them.

I picked my first zucchini, manageably sized for a -not-zucchini bread-purpose. BTW - feel free to share recipes!

This is a high summer garden and I document it because this weekend is our little town's "high summer" festival, The Strawberry Festival, this year the 100th year on Vashon Island. A completely different kind of jungle.

We will be bombarded by thousands of brautwurst eating, this and that buying, porta-potty using multitudes from all over heck. Or as us locals describe them as the "touristas".

Now, don't get me wrong. If you catch me at the right time, I can wax enthusiastic about Vashon better than our local Chamber of Commerce.

I really like it that all these folks come here and spend their money. Thank you, come again. Maybe it is all those years in retail. It is so nice when folks come on over, pay for stuff, then leave. An industry is born. Bless their hearts.

Since we moved here, we talked and talked about what to sell, how to cash in on our little summer Cash Cow. We debated lots; curb side Strawberry Shortcake, Bratwurst wagon? Since we live so close to town or practically on the parade route, it's not a bad idea but we have yet to "go anywhere near there".

Our Festival experience usually starts Friday night with rides, Saturday 11 AM for the parade - anyone can be in the parade and you don't really need a good reason.

Molly usually wants to go off and be a kid after the parade which has a lot to do with walking around without the parents and having money in your pocket to buy snacks.

Of course, after the parade I usually want to go home. Crowds are not my favorite and prolonged exposure has been known to put me in foul spirits. I have learned to appreciate festival from my own house. Nicely stocked so that a grocery run won't be needed, where I can see plenty of wacky craziness (vintage cars and motorcycles, fire trucks, colorful floats, art cars, horse and buggy, you name it) cruising along on the road right in front of my house.

I am so getting to be such a geezer! But, not as bad as some who skip town completely during festival.

This year Molly is threatening to busk; she hasn't yet tried it at festival and has been such a summer time kid that she hasn't even practiced so who knows if that will come off or not.

Stay tuned...

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Potty talk: an apology

I dearly hope this will be the last time that I apologize for being potty training obsessed. I know that I will read back some day and think, "Sheesh, Shell, too much potty talk! How over the top mommy can you get?".

In fact, all this detail may bite me someday if Shea ever reads back.

But I am euphoric because for 2 solid years I have been twitting about this and probably longer. I genuinely felt I was going to be searching out larger and larger pull ups for my kid. I mean he's 5+!

So, now that it is happening? I want every post to be a potty post. I want to give excruciating detail, like:

Today, I took Shea to the city in big boy pants. He peed at Bubbles. AND, he pooped in the restroom at TARGET!!!!

See what I mean?

Oh well, I know you are all a forgiving bunch. And, I want all those other twitting mothers (and dads) out there who are so very worried that their kid will never get it; to just hang in there.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I am here because of you, mom.


Big boy potty: reaching for the stars

Today Shea has ESY (Summer School) for the morning. Only 1 1/2 hours.

I thought today I would try something a little different; bring him to school with no pull up, just big boy pants and put his potty chair in the little bathroom there.

I thought I would talk it through and make it sounds pretty exciting then do the same for the teachers.

I mean, it's only an hour and a half!

He is doing so well here at home I thought I should reach for the stars a bit.

Wish us luck!

Update: He stayed dry and held it for the whole time. But, then had an accident on the playground. It's ok. That is pretty darn good control.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Autistic parent sues California Department of Managed Health Care

Could this be a sea change?

It seems more and more folks are stepping up and calling foul on not covering needed therapies for autistic kids.

Too loud to ignore, they won't be able to do it anymore.

From the

The mother of an autistic child joined Consumer Watchdog and its attorneys today to announce a lawsuit against the California Department of Managed Health Care (”DMHC”), the Schwarzenegger Administration agency responsible for regulating many of California’s health insurers. The suit alleges that the DMHC has wrongfully allowed insurance companies to refuse to pay for autism treatments, resulting in the denial of critically needed, medically necessary treatment for autistic children.

The suit, filed by Consumer Watchdog and Strumwasser & Woocher LLP, alleges that the DMHC, and its Director Cindy Ehnes, recently changed the state agency’s policy to permit insurers to deny coverage for Applied Behavioral Analysis (”ABA”), an essential treatment for autism, in plain violation of the California Mental Health Parity Act. That law requires health insurers to cover and pay for all medically necessary treatments for autism, including ABA. If successful, the suit would require the DMHC to bar insurers from refusing to cover medically necessary ABA treatments. The suit also seeks to compel the DMHC to turn over records that would expose the full extent of the DMHC’s violations of the California Mental Health Parity Act and the Knox-Keene Act.

“Californians, including those stricken by autism, and their parents and caregivers, expect regulators to enforce the law, not to side with insurance companies seeking to boost their profits by denying patients the care they need,” said Harvey Rosenfield, founder of the non-profit advocacy group Consumer Watchdog and author of the landmark insurance reform initiative Proposition 103. “Governor Schwarzenegger, a longtime and vocal supporter of the Special Olympics and developmentally disabled children, will now have to explain in court why his administration is allowing health insurers to evade state mental health laws and shift health care costs to already beleaguered taxpayers.”

Blue Cross Settles $1 million autism suit

Over 100 families to recover autism therapy fees after Blue Cross refused claims.


Detroit, MI(–Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan settled with about 100 plaintiff’s for $1 million in Detroit’s U.S. District Court regarding unpaid autism therapy. According to the Attorney General, families paid $10,000 for behavioral therapy treatments at Beaumont Hospital for their young autistic children. The parents and families of the autistic kids paid $10,000 for the specialized, needed therapy. The settlement will help families who paid for the costly treatment at Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, since 2003.

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan will now offer the behavioral treatment for young autistic children who are covered under their parent’s group mental health policies provided by employers. The insurance coverage will be available to children between the ages of 2 and 5 years old for up to 12 weeks of treatment. This is only applicable if the parent’s employer offers mental health coverage through Blue Cross. news for Michigan insurance litigation lawyers.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Garden update - mid July

Ripe Raspberries! I have never grown Raspberries before and they are such a treat. They are, of course, so much better than anything you can buy. Something about pulling them right off and popping them in your mouth.

Likewise with Blueberries! This will be our 2nd summer for Blueberries. We planted out 15 one gallon pots in a designated area with individual deer cages around each plant. They are still little bushes but they are cranking out the berries and seem pretty darn happy. I dream blissfully about 4 ft. high and wide blueberry bushes with hundreds of berries. Plenty to eat our fill, share or sell.

Potatoes! I harvested the first potatoes today to make my GGF's super easy roast potatoes for dinner. I started digging under the plants and eventually decided to just pull up one on the end of the row. I got a good handful or 2 of beautiful small delicate potatoes, plenty for roasted/herbed potatoes for dinner.

GGF's Easy Roasted Herb Potatoes

Fingerling potatoes, sliced into 1/2 - 1 inch pieces
Splash or two of olive oil, stir to cover all pieces with oil
Herb du Provance or herbs of choice chopped up and added to mixture
Garlic or sprinkle or garlic salt
Salt and pepper

Roast at 375 for 15 or so minutes. I just use my toaster oven and it works great.

They were so darn yummy I am having a hard time describing. But, something about how smooth and creamy the texture was and the almost non-existent potato skin made a big impression.

Flowers on the beans. Peas, peas, and tons of peas. I still have lettuce, mustard and kale.

Corn is about 3 -4 ft. high now with the pumpkins going to town as well. We are going to have some serious pumpkins this year.

There are a couple of summer squashes that are almost ready to pick. I better not space out too long and watch them turn into huge unusable blimps.

We even had a little summer thundershower with a little rain this afternoon. Cool.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Good day

Shea and I had the nicest day together on our big city Friday-go-to-see Bubble. We weren't tempted to pummel each other once! And, lately that is a big improvement.

He was sweet tempered all day. Saying please and thank you and being particularly compliant and easy to be around. And, I dragged him all over heck to boot. Well, the paint store and Costco. But believe me that is enough with all the road work happening in SODO. Sheesh.

Got to Madrona in plenty of time to walk in the trail park; a little neighborhood pocket park with some sweet trails planted with NW natives and sporting breathtaking views of Lake Washington.

Bubble is blown away at Shea's reading. Aren't we all.

It was hot but all the ferries behaved. Beautiful, blue skied summer day in the NW.

Lucky, lucky life.

Little guy-1, United-0

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Sure fire summer salad: black eyed pea, corn & roasted red pepper

I have to share this recipe for a cool summer salad that is healthy and delicious. And, it's easy. Don't get intimidated by roasting the red pepper. If I can do it, you can do it.

4 cans Black eyed peas
several stalks celery
bunch green onions
2 red peppers
1 small bag of frozen corn
Italian dressing
Handful of parsley

Roast red peppers over open flame on gas cook top or bbq. I just lay them right onto the burner and rotate them often so that the entire surface gets black. When fully blackened pop them both into a brown paper bag and roll up the top. Let sit for 10 minutes.


Finely chop celery, green onions and parsley, put into large bowl. Open and drain the 4 cans of black eyed peas reserving a little of the liquid and add peas to the bowl. Add small bag of frozen corn.

After peppers have sat for 10 minutes in brown paper bag, remove them. They should be floppy from steaming inside the bag. Core them, get rid of seeds and any tough ribs, cut into thin strips and dice. Add to bowl.

Splash Italian dressing over all ingredients, stir well. Add a little black eyed pea liquid if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and chill.

This recipe makes a big whopping bowl, enough for a party or plenty to share.

Crowd pleaser!

Chance; my little wizzer

I would like to welcome old pal, Mitch, as a guest blogger! It appears obvious that all my potty training talk inspired him to share this story.

Thanks Mitch!


As you have all heard “time” has a way of easing what at one time may have been an embarrassing moment and changing it to something we can actually laugh at and share with others who may be going through rough times.

Years ago… before the really cool pull-ups….The time of the Underoo’s, you know, “Underroos are fun to wear…Something super new in underwear”…Okay maybe not that long ago but sounded good didn’t it!

My wife and I were in the midst of potty training our son Chance and were in the mode of continually asking, “hey bud do you need to go potty” and his response was usually “Nope”, (and we would wonder to ourselves how can a kid so long with out going to the bathroom?) and he would continue on doing what ever he was doing, but we kept him in ear shot or line of sight….At least most of the time.

Well on one of those days that kind of fell into the “we kept him in ear shot or line of sight” and “At least most of the time”, I was working in my garage, head under hood of my continually broken (as my wife would say “You had to have it”) Italian sports car. I get a phone call from my next door neighbor, “Hey Mitch do you have any idea where Chance is?” my response of course, “Ya he is right hereeeee” (Head looking around and to my head under the hood amazement he was not), His response, “Nice try, you might want to look in the front yard but be quiet about it so you do not scare him”. I came around the corner and Chance was standing on the huge boulder in our garden pants to ankles (Booty free to the wind ) and was peeing on the Alaska weeping cedar (And thinking to my self now I know he does not really go along time with out going pee he gives it to Nature) .

I waited for him to finish and crawl down off the rock and asked him "What's up with peeing on the tree", he said "I learned it from Papa" (Outta the mouth of babes) later I called my dad and asked what was up with that? He said that my Mother yells at him (my dad) for tracking grass into the house when he mows so he uses the back yard trees (Way to much information I know but part of the story!) So I explained to Chance in my best Dadonese voice, "I really appreciate the peeing outside buddy and I think for a boy it is actually pretty cool, but in the front yard where the entire cul-de-sac could see may not be the best place"

(While in the corner of my eye I see my neighbor who called laughing in his front window). Well I thought that would emphasize the use of the inside bathroom and no more worries…. (One week later) I hear my wife calling for me from inside the house, (Of course my head under the hood and working on the car she has grown to loath), “Mitchell Allen do you have any idea where your son is”…..Standard response “Ya he is right hereeeee”, (Knowing in my “I am in so much trouble” mind, because I really had no idea and by the tone she does). I walk into the house, travel to the kitchen, head hung low waiting for the “Hell” I knew was awaiting me. To my surprise there stood my very pregnant wife with a grin from ear to ear, “Oh my GOD isn’t he just the cutest” as I follow her eyes from our kitchen through the window, there again in his glory, stands Chance my little whizzer peeing on the little cedar in the back yard, smiling at us, so proud of himself…. I thought when I spoke with him just a week earlier that I had implied to him to use the inside bathroom (Oops there was my mistake assumed a 2 and ½ year old spoke and fully understood Dadonese {which as all Dads need to understand when assume is broken down the word assume puts the ass into the u and the me}) He was the smarter one he did exactly what I asked, he just moved to the cedar in the backyard and out of the cul-de-sac!… My wife was right he is the cutest!........ And lucky for me that day Chances charm and cuteness kept me outta the dog house and made me realize it was time to close the cars hood and go play with my son!

I Love that kid!!!!

On a final note:
For the guy readers who only saw “Italian Sports Car”, if you ever…ever… think about buying the (You had to have it!) one of the fastest cars you have ever driven, massive horse power, quickest turning, Stop on a dime, gas guzzlers built in Maranello, Italy, think again….(Buy German!!!!)… Just kidding. Never let your hobbies or work keep you from the most important things in the world…Your Family. (I will save that explanation for another Blog)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

United Airlines breaks guitars

From the Huffingtonpost:

Hell hath no fury like a customer scorned. The LA Times reports that one United Airlines passenger was so dismayed over a guitar broken by United staffers that he's writ his anger across the web.

Dave Carroll
was flying from Nova Scotia to Nebraska and had his Taylor guitar ruined. After a protracted attempt to get United to pay for the damage, Carroll struck back.

Breaking News! Glacier told to stop work on dock

Wow, some damn good news finally!

Glacier; like a cockroach on a wedding cake!

From the Beachie:

Public Lands Commissioner Peter Goldmark said he has “grave concerns” about the environmental impact of Glacier Northwest’s barge-loading facility off of Maury Island and asked the corporation on Tuesday to “cease operations” until several questions can be answered.

The corporation’s 305-foot pier would extend over a state-owned aquatic reserve, governed by a management plan crafted by the state Department of Natural Resources in 2004. Late last year, Goldmark’s predecessor Doug Sutherland issued Glacier a 30-year lease to the aquatic reserve, giving the corporation one of the last green lights it needed to begin building the controversial pier.

But Goldmark, in a two-page letter to Glacier issued late Tuesday, said his staff has carefully reviewed the lease and determined the company “has not submitted sufficient information to demonstrate lease compliance.”

One of DNR’s highest priorities is protection of Puget Sound, Goldmark told Glacier in his letter, adding, “I have grave concerns about how your dock and gravel-loading operation may affect the health of Puget Sound and (the Maury Island Environmental Aquatic) Reserve.”

In a statement issued to the press, the newly elected commissioner said it’s not clear “how or if (Glacier) will implement and monitor actions to ensure compliance within the existing lease. I have asked the company to cease operations on the site until these questions are answered.”

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Congratulations Senator Al Franken.

I heard he is using the late great Senator Paul Wellstone's desk in his new office.

Go get 'em Al!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Hard work

When Shea was younger than 3 or so he had no words. He grunted, pointed, squeaked and was mono-syllabic. He made a sound that I always visualized as "ACK" or sometimes "OCK". Remember Bill the cat? Didn't he say "ACK!"?

I remember Shea would make these 'hard work' sounds; like grunting from exertion.

Even when something wasn't really heavy or hard to do, he would make the sound for added emphasis? Or maybe because it was just a comfortable, easy sound for him to make.

Later, at 3 1/2 he would say his first word "up" while lying on his back and pushing Bubbles hands up with his feet. "UP!" Hard work, guttural, deep from inside his torso.

From that day on, little by little, it has come. Sounds, words and phrases; they are there, accumulate quickly and are still coming. Even though, at times they sure are hard to pin down.

The other day Bubble said she only imagines he will need Speech for another 2 years or so. I had been thinking 5 more years. She said that he will probably need help with some school work or extra tutoring down the road but, honestly, who doesn't? That we can sure do.

Now, he still makes the hard work noise not just for emphasis, but to ham it up or to make a joke or to act like a super hero.

Which he is.

Potty training: but don't jinx it!

I am reluctant to even mention how good the potty training is going.

Just when I start bragging, Shea will have a relapse.

But the direction is good. Improvements are being made. The last 2 weeks have been pivotal.

Underwear aren't totally disturbing and automatically ignored. He is flirting with the concept of keeping underwear on, around his ankles during a potty trip. Although, he is still taking them completely off before, he is having fewer and fewer accidents.

We even took the potty chair with us for a little dinner gathering at a friends house the other night.

I feel like I am tip toeing through eggshells, quietly nurturing this new attitude and aptitude.

But inside I am yodeling from the tallest peak!

"He's potty training! He's potty training!" Hurrah!

Have I bought my last Costco size box of Pull ups? Well, maybe not.

But Hurrah anyway!

Side ways compliments

This week is tennis camp for Molly. This will be her third year and despite her lack of athletic interest, she is hanging in there with tennis so far.

She over heard one of the other kids at the camp today say, "Molly isn't half bad."

Molly thought it was rude, was kind of embarrassed and was getting ready to be annoyed but I called it a sideways compliment and that seemed to defuse it for the time being.

Sometimes in life there is a lot of those. You know, sideways compliments? You sort of sit back and say, "hmmm...".

It's good to let some of that stuff just roll right off.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Good bye, Sarah.

Don't let the door knob hit ya...

I just had to pull this out for nostalgic sake. This video is the best Sarah Palin related commentary I have seen.

Friday, July 3, 2009

ESY - Extended School Year

They changed the name.

It is really "Summer school" but that had too many connotations or someone decided to call it something else. But, ESY is Summer School.

I don't have a lot of experience with ESY except to know to officially ask for it at your IEP meeting. Especially when they are little. Insist.

I don't know how much they HAVE to legally offer. In fact, if there are any legal types out there be sure to let me know. Of course,what they do end up offering isn't much.

But Shea starts his next week.

For 2 weeks in July & August, they meet 9:00 - 10:30 Tues & Thurs. 12 hours total. Not much time but appreciated anyway.

We are really missing out beloved "Laurie's Playground" or Shea OT once a week. Maybe that is one of the problems with the hitting and acting out.

We've have a great Summer School teacher who likes to focus on social skills only all summer. It helped a lot last year and we are fortunate to have her again. She is also the gal who happens to live down the street from me with horses and a barn and does therapeutic riding with special kids. Shea might like it now

Summer is a scrum. Lots to do in a very long day. But it is warm, hot even (sorry Holli) and we are having fun.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A nod to "Food, inc."

I would really like to see this movie, Food, Inc. I have heard wonderful things about it.

Depressing and disgusting issue but we need to think about it as a people.

"In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that has been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, herbicide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of E. coli—the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults."

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Study confirms increase in wheat gluten disorder

When we discovered that Shea was allergic to wheat/gluten and a whole host of other things, I was quite literally floored.

But, as this study confirms, it is pretty common these days. Although Shea is not a celiac, we can certainly benefit from all the amazing products out there these days due to just how common it is.

And, by the way, Shea - off wheat - is like a different kid; cognitively, behaviorally and, of course, verbally.

From the

A Minnesota study using frozen blood samples taken from Air Force recruits 50 years ago has found that intolerance of wheat gluten, a debilitating digestive condition, is four times more common today than it was in the 1950s.

The findings contradict the prevailing belief that a sharp increase in diagnoses of wheat gluten intolerance has come about because of greater awareness and detection, and raises questions about whether dramatic changes in the American diet have played a role.

"It's become much more common," said Dr. Joseph Murray, the Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist who led the study. No one knows why, he said, but one reason might be rapid changes in eating habits and food processing over the last half century.

"Fifty years is way too fast for human genetics to have changed," Murray said. "Which tells us it has to be a pervasive environmental influence."

Related Posts with Thumbnails