Friday, February 15, 2008

keen and unkeen

Yesterday, I took the kids to REI. The purpose of the trip was to buy Charlie some new slippers for Valentine's Day, but it turned in to a shoe shopping event for the children. Because once I saw that Keen shoes were marked down as much as 50%, I couldn't resist buying a pair.

Or two.

Or three.

Unfortunately, only the red pair were on sale and Elizabeth and Carolyn insisted on having pink and purple, respectively.

I also bought a couple pairs of Merrell slip ons (marked from $40.00 to $16.83), because I have discovered that buying shoes that your children can put on themselves is a good thing.

A really good thing.

Particularly, once they learn how to put the correct shoe on the correct foot.

I've also discovered that when it comes to shoes, it's better not to go cheap. Actually, that philosophy applies to anything important.

After I spent a long and miserably cold night in a $35.00 Coleman sleeping bag on my first geology field trip, I quickly learned that you get what you pay for.

I would prefer that our children out grow their shoes before they fall apart - and even though our kids play hard - I suspect that the $15.00 red Keen's I picked up yesterday will still be intact for Henry to wear. Hopefully, the $44.00 purple and pink Keen's will still fit the girls when they are in first grade (because I bought two sizes larger and their feet grow slowly). But if not, I'll save them for my granddaughters. Or baby #5. If it's a girl.

Speaking of great shoe deals, I also picked Henry up a pair of moccasins through LL Bean this past week. Considering I just spent $14.00 on a pair of Target Robeez knock-offs, I was pleased that I found these LL Bean Robeez knock-offs for only $8.95.


The only reason we ventured out yesterday - even though the sky was totally ominous - is because I trusted the weather forecast that predicted "Partly cloudy, warm in afternoon." It was only when we were walking from REI to the Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory that the winds kicked in, the skies opened up, the temperature dropped 15 degrees and we were pelted with driving rain and hail. During the news last night, the meteorologist indicated that the conditions yesterday were from the worst storm of the season. There were hundreds of vehicles stranded on icy roads in our east county.

With an average temperature of 70 degrees and less than 9-inches of rain a year, just about every day, a weather forecaster in San Diego could predict "Partly cloudy, warm in afternoon" and they would be correct. So, I think that this 'storm of the season' that they missed by a mile yesterday, just goes to show that the meteorologists in San Diego are sleeping on the job.

If I hadn't been stranded in a chocolate store waiting for the storm to pass, believe you me, I'd be writing a letter to someone. Anyone.

How dare it rain in San Diego, when I'm not expecting it to rain!! That's almost as bad as expecting to find a brand new carton of Haagen Dazs ice cream in your freezer and instead, finding a frost covered carton of nonfat lime sherbet.


I'm still sick although definitely on the mend. Even though I've had what I think is the flu for the past twelve days, I am standing by Zicam. My neighbor had similar symptoms, and she has been sick for almost five weeks. She missed an entire week of work and a month after her symptoms started, still sounds like she is going to cough up a lung.


According to Charlie, he simply told William "You are a big boy now and I don't want to change your diapers anymore. You need to go pee-pee and poo-poo in the potty. You can only wear a diaper when you go to sleep for a nap or at night. The rest of the time you are going to wear big boy underwear. Ready? Set! Go!"

And that was that. Although why it didn't work for me when I told him that exact same thing is a mystery. For the most part, William is doing great, although he is in the bathroom at least five times more frequently than the girls.

But potty training isn't over, yet. My moment of glory from the other day was short lived, since all three of the kids pooped in their underwear the very next day. I have taken to putting them all in Pull-Ups for nap time and then putting a pair of underwear on over their Pull-Up, so that following the nap, I immediately remove the Pull-Up without having to get them fully dressed again. Considering it takes me about three minutes per child to get them dressed ... I've started knitting again with all my free time.


The couch in the picture I took yesterday isn't new - it's the infrequently sat upon and hence infrequently photographed couch from our living room. But speaking of couches...

My mother, who rents an ocean-front condo and spends the winter months in Florida with her fiancé, Jim, is currently hosting my sister, Beth, and her seven-year-old son from Massachusetts for the week. Because my father is in the midst of his second divorce from a 25-year marriage and has been having some significant health challenges lately, my sister invited my father to come along with her on the trip to Florida. Of course this invitation was extended only after it was cleared with my mother.

I don't think that paragraph flowed very well, but in a nutshell, my parents who have been divorced for 28-years are now spending a week together in Florida. I don't know if I'm more impressed with Jim who is allowing my mother's first husband to sleep on the pull-out ... of if I'm more impressed with my mother who is welcoming my father in to her life after everything that she has been through. They are both remarkable. And I'm just as proud of my father for going on this trip because he really needed a good change of scenery.

Hopefully, it will be a good week for everyone.

I had more to write about but the kids are now up from their nap.

I've got to go pull off Pull-Ups.


  1. I don't know you, in fact I'm not even sure who directed me to your blog but you bring me laughter and joy on a daily basis. Are you pregnant with baby number five?

  2. Uhmmm Child # 5? was that a HINT?
    BLESS your Mama!

  3. ann (fchen)2/15/08, 8:23 PM

    i'm not sure i've ever commented, but WOW, that is an awesome story about your parents. it's just so CIVIL.
    your children are beautiful!

  4. Yeah, cough it up Jen, "Or baby #5. If it's a girl." You can't just throw that out there and expect us not to jump on it...

    I've got baby fever but can't quite pull the trigger, so to speak.

    Oh and nice shoe sale! I must go to REI. Peanut has to be scrunching her toes up at this point.

  5. My mother has a story that kind of relates to yours in regards to your parents reuniting. My grandparents divorced when my mom started college. Six years ago, my grandmother was found unconscious in the parking lot outside of her condo in Florida and was in a coma until she was removed from life support. My mom, grandfather, and all three of my mom's sisters traveled from all of the US to say goodbye one last time. It was the first time in over 20 years that they had all been together again. I think it was such an exceptional display of my grandfather's character to travel over 1,000 miles to say goodbye to his ex-wife and mother of this children and especially to support his daughters through that hard time.

  6. curious also if baby #5 is on the way already? sorry for prying into your life...but with how often i read your blog, and how you make me laugh, we may as well be best buds...(I completely understand that is one-sided) :)

  7. I have to admit I was really excited about your shoe deal until you mentioned baby #5. Barely could pay attention to the rest of the post. I skipped ahead to see if there was an announcement near the end. Hope all is well. I thoroughly enjoy reading your blog. A constant lurker.

  8. Child number 5! I'm feeling baby fever as well. They are so cute when they are little. And so funny when they are 3 1/2 *ava's age*

    My stepmom came with me to my mom's house with her new husband for a week in the summer after I turned 19. I thought that was the coolest thing. They even shared a bed that night. Her other kids couldn't believe that she got along with her. But hey my mom and her had no beef, they just happened to have been married to the same guy. It's nice for the kids when the parents are civil and I bet your dad is having a blast.


  9. While it is cute to see that the kids have a shoe fetish, and you would think that's what this post was about and while you tried to fend us off with other tells (by the way I've always thought you had amazing parents!) #5??????????? I too had to skip to the end and check to make sure that I had not missed an important post!!!!!

  10. #5?!?!?!?!!

  11. I'm certain you had the flu. It's really bad in California right now according to the news.

    I agree that you can't scimp on good shoes. "I" buy the shoes at our house.

    I used to do the same thing with diapers under the underwear during naptimes. Super duper time saver!

    And bless your mom's heart for having the forgivness and love in her heart to open her home to your father. My mother did the same for my father and would even have him and whatever wife he happened to be married to over for Christmas every year. Of course, this was really so we could all make fun of the new wife when they left. But your mom is a real trooper and very generous of heart.

  12. Ok, was that baby #5 as in...distant future?? Or as in...right now??? Come on, you have to tell us. We're dying here!

  13. Hi, I jave never heard of those shoes before. We dont have an rei here. I live in Northern Ca. Do you know where else that they might have them? I love them they are adorable. I think that they might be too heavy for my little guy because of his foot deformity but My 4 year old princess would love them.

  14. Influenza (respiratory) has been spreading like wildfire around here this year. The flu shot was missing the strain that caught on, or wasn't strong enough for full protection, I forget which.

    I also have been sick for what feels like forever, 2 weeks and one day, but I'm down now to fatigue and occasional coughing.

    I'm absolutely sure that zicam kept me from the serious sinus infections I always, 100% of the time get from anything like this. I didn't use it as long as I should have or maybe I'd be better by now.

  15. Baby #5, are you trying to slip something past us???

    I have 2 pair of Keens that I wear all the time. Great, great shoes.

  16. You can't just slip in #5 - and NOT expect us to wonder... ;)