Saturday, February 18, 2006


I Bet We Will Catch Him

So, my credit union was robbed yesterday. The police have asked us not to share any information so that is all I will say - except that nobody was hurt and the guy must not have understood what all those bulbs in the ceiling are. We have great footage of him. The police have given the footage to the local news stations and asked them to run 'help us catch this robber' segments.

The ironic thing is (I realize my story is actually not ironic, but I am holding out hope that if enough of us misuse the term ironic, that it will eventually come to represent the nuance that I am trying to convey). So, the ironic thing is that our credit union was robbed at the exact same moment that our house was being cleaned.

Not catching the irony yet? The last time we had our house cleaned, we also had our bank account cleaned out. A few weeks after we reported the incident, they actually got the gal! Dave had to pick her out of a line up. He said that he never thought it would be looking at a line up of gray hair ladies to verify a thief, but he did. Thanks to the tenacity of my credit union's internal security officers and to the Edmonds Police Department, we caught her and we will probably be prosecuting her soon.

So, after the positive identification of her (Bank of America has her on tape depositing our checks), I called the cleaning service and let them know what was going on. The owner felt horrible. I told her that I sympathized with her, after all, you can only screen employees so much and you never know which ones might be bad apples. After a few moments of us both feeling good, I suggested we get a free cleaning service. She agreed.

Yesterday was the day we got our free cleaning service to make up for the $2500 that was stolen from us (well, from the credit union, since they reimbursed us). While that was happening, the credit union was robbed.

Here is why I think we will catch him - my credit union hates thieves. I didn't realize how personally the staff here takes theft until I was an active participant in the fraud process. Unlike many of the big banks who view this kind of stuff as a cost of doing business, we are small and new to open membership and just about every employee takes this stuff personally. Combine that with a police force that is super responsive (I can write a whole other blog on how much I love the Edmonds Police Force). I think we will catch him.

Oh yeah, that and we have great shots of his mug.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006


A Valentine For My Family

Dear Bekah and Lexie –

Instead of a card this Valentines Day, I would am sending you a letter about love and luck.

Let me start with your great grandparents. You are lucky to have such remarkable and loving people as great grandparents. Great Grandma and Grandpa Storm visit you every time you are in Kennewick. They watch the website and hang pictures of you in their house. Grandpa Stukel hears about you all the way in Gregory and cares very much for you and all of his grandchildren. I am sad that you never got to meet Great Grandma Margaret or Great Grandma and Grandpa Lee and Drummond. You have inherited good things from all sides of your family.

You also have exceptional grandparents. Most importantly, Grandma and Grandpa Drummond and Nanna and Poppa Storm raised your father and me in households that were solid, stable and loving. They laid the foundation for the environment you are living in now. If you ever show appreciation for the gifts your father and I give you, you must first show appreciation to your grandparents. Your grandparents are like all good grandparents. They dote on you, spoil you, brag to their friends about you. But make no mistake; nothing comes before your health or well- being to them. Their love for you is genuine and very deep.

You are lucky to have two aunts, Aunt Stacey and Aunt Kate, who are active participants in your daily lives. They have two wonderful boyfriends – Aram and Stephen – who love to play with you and often help take care of you. Stacey and Kate are smart, strong, sensible women. They make great role models for you and I hope you grow up in their likeness.

Your Aunt Katie, Uncle Rob and Cousin Nolan live far away, but they watch over you and care about you very much. When you are older, you will realize that few people are as talented and accomplished as they are. I am sure you will have a sense of pride in being related to such impressive people.

We are also lucky to have a few close friends that live near us – the Wards, the Solies and Sherry Steckly. We see them often and they help us as if they were our family.

And then there is your father. Your father gets up with you when you cry at night. He dresses you every morning. He feeds both of you your breakfast and cooks your dinners in the evening. Your father washes your clothes, schedules the baby sitters and changes most of your diapers (and now takes you to the potty). When you are old enough to read this, it may not seem like much. But believe me, even by today’s standards, your father is an amazing caregiver. He is also guiding you by example. He is teaching you how to be a kind person, how to live life to its fullest, how to follow your dreams and how to have fun. The world revolves around his little girls. The sun rises and sets with his little girls on his mind. Your father is a devoted daddy. For this I love him.

Lastly, there is me. Never forget that I love you very much and always will.

I can’t know what the future will bring. But one thing is certain – right now you live in a household full of love, wonderment, and adventure. You laugh more than you cry. You are two very happy little girls. I can see it in everything you do.

We are lucky to have a family that loves us so much. Happy Valentines Day, my little angels.

Monday, February 13, 2006



Since we are on the topic of boogers, I must tell another Bekah booger story.

First, I have to believe that I am like most mothers with my overwhelming urge to keep my children’s noses visibly clean. I imagine, however, many mothers (at least the ones with their act together) reach for a sterile tissue at each cleaning and then wash their hands in warm soapy water for a full round of Happy Birthday. I, on the other hand, have grown my pinky nail a bit longer for this task. I generally discard the evidence on Dave when he isn’t looking.

The other day, I was playing with the girls on the floor and I noticed a booger in Lexie’s nose. As I tried to nab the little offender, she squirmed away. I tried again and she started to fuss. Bekah looks at me seriously and asks “Mommy, do you like getting boogers out of our noses?”

She has no idea how complicated that question is.

(note for clarity to the reader – my working definition of ‘booger’ is anything in the crispy category. I would not dream of touching ‘snot’ with my bare hands. Anything green or slimy gets the tissue. However, in the spirit of full disclosure, in the event that the nose discharge is clear and small – the kind that is unnamed, we just say, you have a runny nose - and I am in a hurry or particularly lazy, I will sometimes offer up a sleeve. Let the record show, Bekah hates wiping her runny nose on my sleeve.)


She Likes to Push My Buttons

I laughed the first time I heard this saying “Of course your mother knows how to push all of your buttons – she installed them”.

I am starting to think this mother / daughter button pushing may be more symbiotic than I realized. I think Bekah likes to push my buttons. (The more experienced mothers reading this blog are probably laughing at this point).

My first inclination of this came when she was about 15 months old. When I would put her in her car seat after shopping, she would fix her gaze about six inches over my shoulder and grin broadly and say “hi!” If you have ever put a kid in a car seat, you know how vulnerable you are in those minutes while your stance is awkward, your head is such that you can’t hear anything behind you and your attention is completely absorbed. The first time she did it, I just about jumped out of my skin. I whipped around, prepared to activate mamma bear ferocity but saw nothing. After that, I would play it cool and glance over my shoulder, but I am convinced she knew it made me shiver each time she did it.

On Saturday, we were at the Seattle Symphony. We were all dressed up, sitting with all the other dressed up families, waiting for the show to start. Bekah was standing on the chair next to me (all kids stand at the Tiny Tots Symphony). She bends down and whispers in my ear “mommy, you have a booger”. I immediately swipe at my nose and ask her (as if she is a girlfriend or something), “is it gone?” She bends down so she can look UP my nose and says, ‘no, its wite dare’ and points up my nose. So I get out a Kleenex (we have all been through this scenario before so you know the drill).

She wasn’t through though. “mommy, you have a booger”. I decide to call her bluff. “No I don’t honey. Let’s talk about the symphony.” She bends down again. “Its wite dare”.

“Let’s practice the symphony song” (don’t they always say to just divert your child’s attention?)
“It’s a booger mommy. Wite dare”
“Honey, go sit with your daddy”

Saturday, February 11, 2006


It’s Official

Lexie is the cutest baby ever. Sorry to all my other friends who have babies, but it is true.

Yesterday, as I walked into her day care, the two teachers frantically started pantomiming the universal sign language for ‘be quiet’ and the ‘look over there’. I stayed quiet and looked over and there was little Lexie, sound asleep in the swinging chair – singing!

The teachers said they have never seen anything like it. She was singing in her sleep. Not real words, of course (because she can’t talk yet), but coo-ing, giggling, nonstop singing sounds.

Lexie sings in her sleep.


Bekah Visits Her New School

We have had the girls on a waiting list for a day care in downtown Edmonds since July. Right now, we are taking them to two different day cares that are on opposite sides the town. And it isn’t even the town we live in! Daycare drop offs and pick ups take at least an hour each time. It stinks.

I have been pretty tenacious about consistently calling our new day care to see if spots are open. Finally, two weeks ago, the director reluctantly asked if I thought Bekah would be OK in the three-year old class. There was a four-day-a-week spot coming open February 13.

I nodded my head vigorously and told her how well potty trained she is and how rough and tumble she is. I assured her she could hold her own. These are all positively (partially) true statements.

We agreed that we would bring Bekah in when I stopped by to pick up the paper work. She could visit the class room and we could get a feel for if it might be overwhelming for her.

Ah, my little darling. When we entered the classroom, there were about 15 three year olds sitting in a circle playing some sort of game. Without even a glance our way, Bekah walked up to the group and said proudly ‘hello my new friends’. The director looked at me and Dave, laughed, and said, ‘I think she’ll be just fine’.

Now if we can just get the potty training out of the way……

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