They’re Still Bouncing Up and Down

We had these new neighbors move in over the summer.  They wrote something on the local email list asking for help putting up their trampoline.  Her husband is away a lot so Daniel offered to help.  It was him and a few other guys and it took them hours and hours to finish putting it up. 

But it was sure worth it. Every time we look at our window – morning, noon or night, literally – there they are, bouncing around on it.  They have four kids ranging from around 7 to 14-years-old, but it’s not just those guys who are using it. Jayden was given a free pass (since his daddy was so helpful in its assembly), but he’s somewhat cautious (or as Daniel would say “a wimp”) so hasn’t taken them up on it yet.  Still, every time I look, there are at least 3 kids bouncing up and down. Even when I take Moo Choo (our dog) out for a walk before 7 am, there they are, jumping up and down on the trampoline.  Daniel often wondered how safe it was, but it does have a net so I’m hoping it’s okay and the company does have a good reputation for safety. For sure it has to be good for the mom who probably has her hands full, what with her husband traveling a lot for work.  I think he’s in the diamond business.  Either that, or gold; some kind of precious gem, I forget which exactly but he’s for sure never been seen on that trampoline!

Food Deliveries  

On the recommendation from a couple of our other neighbors (Kayla and Ruth), this Friday marked the first week of our family receiving an organic food delivery from Organics To You.  I was getting tired of reading about all the cancers that can be caused by non-organic produce and figured since it was so easy, why not check this company out? 

We started off with the Small Bin as we thought – from the description – that would cover our produce needs for the week.  At $33 I was impressed with the price and when it came I was delighted! I got apples, pears, oranges, satsumas, turnips, celeriac, onion, kale, carrots, beets, potatoes, leeks and broccoli.  I can use it all.  The fruits will go in Jayden’s lunch box and be available for him and Ethan as an afternoon snack and I’m planning on making a root vegetable soup with the turnips, celeriac, carrots, potatoes and leeks. The broccoli I’ll use for a quiche (Daniel just picked up some great dairy products over the weekend that I’m dying to try out) and the potatoes will be good for a meal of potatoes, beans and cheese or potatoes with tuna melt that Ethan simply gobbles up.  And if I have any leftover, I can always send it to the bouncing neighbors who must be working up a crazy appetite!  I’ll definitely be trying other baskets from this company in the future.

Money Matters

During my – many – years of dating, I tried to learn as much as I could about the theories of the opposite sex.  I read books like ‘Men Are From Mars; Women Are From Venus,’ by John Gray and ‘The Woman Men Adore…and Never Want to Leave’ by Bob Grant and a bunch of others along those lines.  And what I tired to fathom about different spending habits between men and women was that  the fairer sex liked to spend, whereas their hunter-gatherer partner, liked to save.  So I figured that since I wasn’t a spender, I wouldn’t have that challenge; my future husband and I would both be savers and there’d be nothing to fight about.

Ho, ho, ho, little did I know.  When I met Daniel I thought he was the total opposite of my father as he did like to spend (my father has always been cleverly frugal with his pennies).  What I didn’t realize until after we got married was that Daniel shared a lot of similarities with my father, except in the money realm. It hasn’t been easy trying to navigate finances with Daniel, but over the years we’ve been married, thankfully I’ve learned to relax a lot (although I do still get frustrated in this area at times). 

What is interesting to me is also, is what I have discovered on having spoken to my female (married) friends.  This stuff about financing, budgeting, and men and women’s stereotypical spending habits, is all a big myth and perhaps  just a nasty, manipulative way of keeping women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen while the men go out and spend, spend, spend.

As I was chatting to my girlfriend Kayla just yesterday, she said when she goes out “to spend money” it’s a lip-gloss and a pair of socks totaling $8.50.  But her husband Mike will come home with a Plasma TV for $800….hmmm, who’s the spender there?

It does seem therefore that “women shop, men buy.” Therefore, I have now decided that we need to break down the brainwashing that we’ve accepted for way too long that it is women who need to kick their compulsive spending habits in the butt and really give our men a talking-to on how to budget sensibly. 

I don’t fancy my chances with Daniel at home, but it’s definitely worth a try.  Watch this space for how it goes…

Jayden Jumping on the Bus!

So we took Jayden to his first theater performance last night.  Since it was his first time, we decided to splurge on three tickets at the Oregon Children’s Theatre.  Jayden’s been watching ‘Magic School Bus’ since my colleague Michelle (who happens to be half my age…now that’s enough to make you feel old!), recommended it as an educational show she’d grown up on.  So when I saw it playing at the theater, I suggested to Daniel it’d be a fun family outing. Well, for the three of us at least; we got a babysitter for Ethan who would have spent the entire evening throwing popcorn or screaming his head off.

We got there at 4: 30 (the show was scheduled to begin at 5) and of course Jayden immediately wanted to eat.  Thankfully, I’d bought some of his favorite snacks, so he was munching on apples and Cornflakes and then of course he got thirsty (I hadn’t thought that far ahead) so Daniel had to go locate some juice, but the only one he could find was mango and Jayden decided this was “ewww.”  Still, at least he didn’t spill it all over the chair or anything and we weren’t thrown out of the theatre, something for which I was thankful.

Jayden overall seemed to enjoy the performance, but I think he’s become so spoilt with the Disney movies he watches nightly as I try to navigate what’s new in the world of Asia finance (a long story; some possible business venture my brother and I are trying to start; one of our many attempts at making some much needed money), that he was a bit bored.  It got me thinking that perhaps he’s stopped enjoying the basic loves in childhood and that it could be my fault because I let him watch too much TV. Hmmm, something to consider, but I see I am digressing.
Anyway, at the end of the show, I asked him if he had enjoyed it and he said in his all-too-cute voice (I must get Daniel to record that at some point), he replied with a smile, “it was fun mommy; can we do it again?”  So I was happy.  And then afterwards, as a treat, we went for bagels and cream-cheese – Jayden’s favorite – at the Portland Bagel Co. and I had the yummiest sandwich with my favorite topping – Tillamook Cheddar and Egg.  Yum; the whole evening was worth it just for that!

My Maddening Migraines


So, before I got pregnant (which was later in life) I used to get a migraine about once every few months.  Then, in my pregnancy with Jayden, they got even worse.  But miraculously, apart from on the day of his circumcision a week after he was born, my headaches all but stopped!  Now, although the pregnancy with Ethan a few years later was very much wanted (all the doctors said I was “over the hill” – biologically-speaking at the ripe young age of 39 and probably entering the menopause, or, at least, peri-menopause, yes, lovely), it wasn’t easy on my body at all. I felt the age difference and also could hardly move. Now, of course that wasn’t helped by the fact that in the seventh month I broke my ankle and was put in a cast, but I see I am once again digressing…

Back to the migraines…I thought they would be there again in the second pregnancy but they weren’t and of course I was delighted. Again, about a week after the birth, I had one huge attack and then nothing.  But now, here I am, Ethan is 13 months (approaching 14 months actually) and my headaches have started again.  I get one about every 2 weeks and since I am very against medication (I have no idea why really) I try to manage them by sleeping with an aromatherapy hot pack on my head (which had also worked in the past).  Unfortunately last night when I tried this, I woke up a couple of hours later and it was way worse so I took a Migraleve (that I’d ordered online as it had been highly recommended by a fellow sufferer) which had also helped pre-pregnancy, and thankfully I woke up this morning feeling fine, but somewhat tender.

So now I’m wondering what my next step should be.  I used to do a lot of Chinese medicine for all of my aches and pains but I am so busy (in a fun way) with the kids and work and shopping and swimming and trying to think of extra ways to make money (I’ll discuss the Asia finance idea at some point when I understand it myself a bit more), that I’d rather just pop a pill.  I’m just wondering if that’s the best way to deal with it all. I definitely don’t want to go to a doctor, as, quite frankly, I’d rather have my teeth pulled.

…But implants and dentists has to put aside as a post for another time… It’s time to get on with the laundry and the dishes.  So  I leave you with these thoughts and wish you a Happy Wednesday! It’s the middle of the week, do something exciting that takes you away from being in the middle… be at the top…if only just for today…

Self-Closing Drawers for Peace at Home

My husband – Daniel – and I, have been arguing (well, not exactly arguing, more, shall we say, not quite agreeing) on the drawer “situation” in our house.  He complains that I never close them.  I say that it’s really not such a big deal, and, truthfully, the junk he daily leaves on the dining room table is way more offensive than a few drawers that aren’t quite shut all the way.  And then what started as a mild disagreement spirals and we end up talking about our finances and blah, blah, blah.

So given that Christmas is coming up and he really is the most impossible person to buy a gift for (given that as soon as Apple comes up with anything new he’s the first one in the line waiting to make the purchase, such as the iPhone 4S – although why he needs yet another addition of what just to me looks like a phone, is anyone’s guess), I figured the whole drawer-closing stress in our house should come to an end with an appropriate gift.

So, I started looking online for a solution – hubby would be proud – my first attempt is to go all tekkie, instead of browsing the pages of a Radio Shack catalogue.  I just Googled “drawer closer” and came up with two pretty awesome product ideas.

First, there’s the drawer that is designed to close on its own, specifically for kitchen drawers.  You start closing it and then it does the rest of the job itself!  So even if I don’t quite close the drawer, I don’t need to worry as this self-closing drawer takes over for me.  As well, there are smaller, cheaper, perhaps less invasive products that could be used for any drawers, which would mean we wouldn’t have to renovate the house by putting in new drawers, to make peace in our happy home.  These are being sold by Woodcraft and look really neat.

So I was really thrilled that I had this thought.  And I was excited to purchase the inserts from Woodcraft. Until I realized I may actually have to bring the hubby in on it all for installation. Sigh.  That made me a little sad.  But there again, I could always try figuring it out myself and see where I get; you never know, I may even be a dab hand at Mrs. Fixit and that would make hubby really proud!  It could be a jolly old Christmas after all…Santa Claus is on his way!