Thursday, December 27, 2007
I hope Santa was good to you too! We are stretching out the holiday like a Stretch Armstrong doll of old. Chris opened his presents on Christmas morning. But the rest(Kyle and Erin)waited until Wednesday evening when Kyle came home from his holiday with his Dad. And tomorrow we head down to Santa Cruz for an extended weekend and Christmas with the in-laws.
And look here - another gift for you. There should be more matching outfits in 2008! Enjoy.
Monday, December 24, 2007
And when I was a kid, lo so many years ago, we watched the Bing Crosby Christmas Special every year. And I remember seeing this duet with Bing and David Bowie in '77 - loved it then and love it now. Enjoy!
And sing along. At the top of your lungs! Until the kids promise to clean their rooms just to get you to stop! Ho Ho Ho. Good times.
And a Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Dawn - Santa's favorite elf (where do you think the name elfini came from?!)
p.s. Remind me next year to ask Santa for some water-proof mascara in my stocking.
Wednesday, December 19, 2007
We have been promising Kyle that we would set up his computer downstairs on the homework desk for ages now. (“His” computer meaning my old Dell from the time before Chris) We also needed to get me a computer of my own as I was hogging Chris’s machine, affectionately called "our" computer, with all my photo work. And not only was I hogging all the computer time, I was bitching about said computer. Loudly. To anyone who would listen. Because Chris’s computer is old and slow and just couldn’t handle my photo editing software or the amount of photos I was storing on the hard drive. The computer would constantly lock up causing much cursing. It would take me forever just to edit a few pictures. There was much unhappiness. And there was talk of a laptop and monitor. But then in one of those manna from heaven moments – we were sent home from Santa Cruz with one of the in-law’s extra computers. (The move of their permanent residence to Santa Cruz where they already had the weekend place produced a lot of ‘we have 2 of these now – take this home.’ Ask me about all my new kitchen gear!) And suddenly we had enough machines for everyone. And without the cost of a laptop to worry about, Chris splurged on my new monitor!
Behold! The Samsung SyncMaster 245BW.
Oh yes, it is the Maserati of monitors and I couldn’t be happier!
And to bring the computer up to speed, Chris ordered a new video card, added a gig of memory and a second extra large hard drive. And my computer goes vroom. I can now get through a batch of photos in no time! Life is good!
I think Chris would put it this way:
New monitor and graphics card… $$$.$$
Chair, floor mat and mouse… $$$.$$
Getting her off my computer… Priceless
Friday, December 14, 2007
I finished reading Charlie Wilson’s War a couple months ago. And now it’s going to be a movie. I feel so hip and happening, wow and now.
I first heard about the movie on Thanksgiving Day when Chris saw a preview on TV. He said Tom Hanks was in it. Tom Hanks as Charlie Wilson?? At first I just couldn’t see it. But slowing I started to warm to the idea. And then I watched the preview online and yes - Tom Hanks as Charlie. It works. And Julia Roberts as Joanne, the Texas Socialite? Well that works too. I’m still not completely sold on Philip Seymour Hoffman as CIA-man Gust but I’m keeping an open mind.
And this morning on NPR's Fresh Air, they aired a previously recorded interview with the author George Crile (he passed away last year) and another one with Charlie Wilson from ’03. Take a listen – very interesting stuff.
Strange, I just googled Charlie Wilson’s War so I could create some links for you, and I found this quote from The Chicago Sun-Times regarding the Golden Globe nominations:
"Charlie Wilson's War,'' the much-hyped satire starring Oscar winners Tom Hanks and Julia Roberts (opening next Friday), led the pack in comedy/musical categories -- snaring five nominations, including a nod for best actor to Hanks and supporting actress to Roberts."
Comedy/Musical category? Really?! Will we see the mujahedeen form a chorus line and start singing the praises of Allah and the Oerlikon while congress does the Can-Can?
God I hope so.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I met Katie while she was vending at Kyle’s school’s Harvest Festival – where I saw this lap blanket: How could I resist?! I couldn’t. And Erin has been chewing on it - I mean loving it - ever since. And it turns out that Katie lives on the street behind me. Howdy neighbor! And she invited me to the open house she had in October, where I met more neighbors. And I scored an invitation to the neighborhood cookie exchange party. Have cookies will party. So I was suddenly faced with baking cookies. 6 dozen cookies. And it was Cook’s Illustrated’s Holiday Baking issue to the rescue. The weekend before the party we were in Santa Cruz so I enlisted P (mother-in-law most extraordinaire) to help me make some sample batches. So we baked.
We made Sugar Cookies: And Italian Almond Macaroons:
So I felt relatively prepared to tackle this whole baking thing solo the next Saturday. In fact, I felt so confident in my abilities (ok, all my bravado was hinged on my trust in Cook’s Illustrated to get me through it) that I decided to make a variation on the Italian Almond Macaroons. So without a net but with my apron on, I made 3 batches of Fudge Almond Macaroons!
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Julie gave us her version of the holiday spirit. Well Little Miss Bad Home Cooking, I'll see your Bourbon Balls and raise you these!
Classic. Christmas just wouldn't be the same without 'em.
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Sunday, December 02, 2007
These are the 2 she selected:
The first one is a tile shop in Rosarito, Mexico. The second photo is the side door at The Buttery in Santa Cruz. Not a bad way to start the weekend eh? But because the universe is always seeking harmony, my joy was short lived.
Yesterday evening I made a startling discovery. Aries are bad! I know, I was surprised too. After all Aries are a fellow Fire Sign – very compatible with Leos. I’ve always had good experiences with Aries. Hell, I married one. But these encounters have all been with adult Aries. Apparently the Aries baby is an altogether different beast.
First you’ve got a baby. Babies have no self-control, are just beginning to learn about cause and effect, don’t yet understand that their little razor teeth can rend flesh from bones. Then you have Aries. The Ram. What do rams do besides scamper about the narrow ledges on a mountain face? (Hi Chris!) They butt heads!
And apparently our baby Erin is the uber-Aries Baby.
Check out exhibit A: That is some forehead. And Erin’s first and preferred method of showing affection is the forehead to forehead press. Which can be quite sweet when you see her coming and she’s moving slow. But if she catches you off guard – watch out! I’ve already gotten a split lip. And last night she caught me on the bridge of the nose. She didn’t even hit me that hard, but damn… I was seeing stars. I now understand what it means to have ‘your bell rung’. I must say, I don’t like it. I was still dazed when I went to bed.
So, consider this fair warning to all you little head butters –if you give your mommy a concussion, good luck keeping your name off the black market baby listings.
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
As always, Thanksgiving at Rita’s was wonderful. The table looked fabulous and the food was even better. I have got to get her recipe for Onion Soup – it is worth a 3 hour drive any day! There was the traditional game of Bocce Ball before dinner. Kyle won and it turns out he is not very humble. I think I heard him telling Chris that he ‘creamed’ us. Nice. We spent the night in Fresno and then drove to Santa Cruz for the rest of the weekend. More pictures too follow. And tales of baking!
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Whew, that was close. And now I’ve really got to get back to it. Those clowns aren’t going to pack themselves.
Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
Wednesday, November 14, 2007
An Artichoke Frittata:
My favorite Bad Home Cook took a stab at the Artichoke Fritatta recipe I sent her (read all about it here!) so the last time I made one I took some photos. Kyle thought it very strange that I was taking pictures of my food.
This is not a Knit Blog Ver 2.0
A Umbilical Cord Hat~
And what all the fashion forward babies are wearing this season:
There are more photo's of Grandpa's Little Model on Flickr here. And I'll try to get a picture of the aforementioned tooth. Actually - teeth! I noticed the second one poking through this morning.
*Heh - Kyle, who is too nosey for his own good and reading over my shoulder, just started singing "(This is Not a) Love Song" He gets it! I'm so proud.
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Question – do you find your head moving while you watch that video? Do you end up feeling a bit queasy? Maybe it’s just me.
The bouncy baby Bean is 7 months old today! 7 months old. Damn. And she’s starting to show her age. She no longer wants to lay back and chill in her bouncy chair. No, she sits straight up in it. And the swing – not so much any more. Either the batteries have died or she is just too heavy for that poor little motor. And speaking of heavy – guess who is just 2 ½ pounds shy of the weight limit for her infant car seat? And then try to guess who got a new car seat last weekend. And don’t even get me started on that little tooth that she has been biting me with!
And we’ve moved up to the next size diapers. She was wearing Pampers Swaddlers 2-3s. Yeah, I had wondered what was up with the 2-3 combo size - are they for the indecisive parent? For the parent in denial? There are no other combo diapers sizes so why the 2-3 overlap? Well, now I know. Pampers size 3 diapers are not a part of the Swaddler family. They belong in the Cruisers camp. Cruisers! Yeah – that implies a baby on the move. I do not want to be giving my baby any green lights in regards to her impending mobility. Swaddlers = good. A nice wrapped up baby isn’t going anywhere. But Cruisers? With the pictures of the babies crawling and toddling around right on the box? Bad Pampers! Stop giving my impressionable baby ideas!
So yes - that answer is Parents in Denial.
Luckily Erin hasn’t started crawling yet. But hey – the day is still young. And even without the crawling proper, that girl manages to get around. There is the forearm drag and the ever popular roll. Last night she rolled right out of the room.
So yeah, its time to start the baby-proofing. We’ve already lower the crib mattress. Next is gate shopping. Hey – that reminds me of the best Halloween costume idea I saw this year. Small kid was dressed up as a doggie and the mommy had that doggie on a leash!
Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Monday, November 05, 2007
Not only did we survive our Friday night adventure with every screaming little girl in the greater Sacramento area - I think I can safely say that we enjoyed ourselves. Disney puts on a good show. And when you are viewing it from the comforts of a center court suite, well what is there to complain about?! Oh wait, I have got a complaint – I’m sore! You try holding a bouncing 18 pound 6 month old for 2+ hours. Whereas Kyle sat staring with apt attention through out the show, Erin was all about the dancing! That girl was into it! And by the end of the night my neck and shoulders were not happy. Chris held her as much as she would allow and his biceps aren’t letting him forget that night either. So, two thumbs up for High School Musical on Ice. Now take those thumbs and apply to my shoulders and commence rubbing!
And if you are like me and have no clue as to what High School Musical is about - think Grease, but without all the sexual innuendo. And no Sha-Na-Na.
I teased Kyle that I would buy the soundtrack so we could listen to it to and from school and he didn’t even protest. Scary. Actually I think he would put up with just about anything if it meant he didn’t have to listen to NPR everyday.
Speaking of the news - what happened in Pakistan over the weekend?! I tune out for 2 days and this morning I have no idea what is going on. Hmm, I think I’ll keep it that way for a little longer. I need to keep my head clear for this evening’s romp thought our Flex Spending Account projections for next year. Big fun.
Friday, November 02, 2007
And today, like a dead fish, I will go with the flow.
Man, Halloween totally snuck up on me this year. We didn’t even get a pumpkin! I’m not sure how that happened. But there we were the day before Halloween – no pumpkin and no candy. So the decision was made – keep the house dark, lock the door and the 4 of us will go Trick or Treating. And even thought I only let Kyle carry a standard issue plastic pumpkin, we still ended up with a bulging grocery bag full of candy! And Kyle hasn’t been allowed to eat any of it! Yup. That is how mean a mom I am.
Ok, I do have a soft squishy caramel center (hence the diet) and I will let Kyle pick a handful of his favorite candy before I donate the rest to…. Hey little reader – want some candy?!
Another holiday celebration I am going to have to miss again is Dia de los Muertos! And why can't I go to this afternoon’s festivities? Because we are going to see Disney’s High School Musical on Ice! That’s right – on Ice. Tonight. At Arco Arena. Can you sense my excitement?
Luckily we only found out about this thrilling opportunity yesterday afternoon. I mean really, just imagine the state I would be in if I had had weeks to look forward to this! As it is I still might put in an emergency call to Stacy. For moral support of course.
But this is a Chris work function thing where clients will be schmoozed. A company higher-up moved/relocated/or some such thing to Chris’s office and brought an Arco Arena box with him. Or should I say private suite complete with catering and a hostess! So, all that is making my first ice show a bit more palatable. It also means that we will probably have many more opportunities to attend events in the future. I’m crossing my fingers for the monster trucks!
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Cynthia did come over last Sunday afternoon and a wonderful time was had by all. And by “all” I mean Cynthia, me and Erin. (Hey – remind me to tell you about Erin one of these days. Yikes.) Cynthia came in, sat down and gave Erin a mini back massage and a friend was made for life. She didn’t rub my back though – I’m thinking of cuttin’ her loose.
Ha! I would never cut someone loose who comes over to visit and then allows me to spend time taking pictures and then editing those pictures on the computer. Sure, she had her own selfish reasons (she wanted photos taken for her new blog profile) but whatever, I got to play with my camera and talk endlessly about photography. Fun for me!! She claimed to enjoy it too but we’ll see. If it takes her another 6+ months to come over again, well, then we’ll know the truth won’t we?
Another reason to keep her around is that she actually reads this blog. (At least she read up before coming over. Hey, I’ll take it.) And the book exchanges! She asked me about the books I’ve been reading and wanted to borrow a couple. So she left with a CD of portraits and 2 books. Overthrow and Legacy of Ashes: the History of the CIA. Oh dear. I’m really not sure that was such a good idea. She has a tender heart and I’m afraid even though she wants to know… well…she couldn’t stomach The Sandman books I lent her and those are fiction – how will she handle such a horrifying reality?! True, there are no graphic pictures but she’s an artist and the words will paint their own gruesome images. Hmm, maybe I’m concerned for nothing and she’ll take the recklessness with other peoples lives in stride. Maybe her walls won’t end up with dents in the plaster (that CIA book is big and heavy!). Maybe after the first book she’ll decide she’s just not as masochistic as I am and call it a day.
But maybe the bug will bite her too and then I can borrow her books. And when that happens I’ve got a list to give her.
Monday, October 29, 2007
Before that, we had an apartment in Fair Oaks Village amongst the trees and the chickens. And we had the Fair Oaks Library! Which being in Sacramento County meant that it was a part of the Sacramento Public Library system. I could order any book on-line and have it delivered to our local branch. So very convenient. And boy howdy did we check out books. Life was good.
But Lincoln, Stinkin’ Lincoln, had only one old library located downtown in an historic building. All very small town quaint but the one time I went there it just didn’t live up to my snobby former big city library expectations. All of the books seemed old and it was just to cramped in there. I instead went back to spending all my hard earned cash at Borders. And our bookcases overfloweth.
All that is going to change now that the new Twelve Bridges Library is open! It's right around the corner from our house. And is part of a larger joint project with the Western Placer Unified School District and Sierra College. Someday there will be a new Lincoln High School and a second campus for Sierra College. And this library will serve them both. But more importantly it will serve me. And Kyle. Who has become a voracious reader. We have to tell him to put down the book and turn off his light every evening. I'm so proud.
We have been watching the construction for the past year and it finally opened on the 20th. Last Friday, after Kyle’s haircut, we went in. First off, the building is wonderful – spacious and full of light. The shelves are still fairly empty but I have high hopes and advise you to sell any Border’s stock you have. They are going to miss me!
I checked out some photography books because I’m still reading Charlie Wilson’s War* but I can always look at pretty pictures. And Kyle found this:
I’m raising that kid right after all.
*I’m enjoying the book but am bit disappointed that I don’t hate Wilson yet. Not even a little bit. And he’s from Texas! Strange.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
I’ve wanted to put up a new post since last week but I had nothing. I blame the migraine that had me in bed for 2 days. Hey! – did you get the postcard I sent? The one that said “Greetings from Vicodinland”? No? Oh well, I was in no shape to be trying to figure out the new cost of postcard stamps anyways. I’m feeling better now. Thanks.
Now, as I was saying before I was so rudely interrupted – I wanted to write, I had some things to write about. But no. Nothing. It just wasn’t there. I don’t know how you people who write with deadlines looming over your heads do it. This is why I didn’t want to go into the graphic arts way back in college. Deadlines. My creativity just doesn’t work that way. (On re-reading that I kind of come off as one of those snooty fine artist types looking down their long noses at the wannabes who just don’t get it. Wow, these shoes feel good!)
What was I saying? Oh yeah, posting. I only bother to start typing after the post has written itself in my head. I edit in my sleep! And this is the problem. Saturday morning, early Saturday morning when I should have been sleeping, I caught my brain composing blog entries. And not just one – I had written at least 3! Can I remember them now? Not really. I remember the subject matter of a couple of them but not all the witty lines that were flowing out of my skull instead of the usual weird dreams I should have been having at that hour. And please don’t suggest I keep a pen and paper next to the bed. That’s never gonna happen. But hey, if making that suggestion means you actually comment on this blog – Please! By all means comment away. It’s awful lonely here.
But even after your welcome comments, I won’t do it. At those times I am desperately trying to shut my brain off so I can go back to sleep! The last thing I want to do is wake up entirely and start writing. As I’ve told Julie so many times – I don’t write. It ain't my thing. But I do enjoy keeping this blog. And I’ve kept it up for well over a year. Even through the pregnancy when I did absolutely nothing. Amazing. And look, I’ve babbled for 4 paragraphs and haven’t really told you anything. Maybe I can write! Ha! (That might not really be all that funny but I was amused. And my dad once told me that as look as I’m amused that’s all that’s important. And that may be a bit of a simplification but it worked for me when he said it and it’s working for me now!)
Maybe I should stop drinking coffee now. I’m sure there was a point to this…but what was it?
Sleep blog subjects: There was a post about The Ex Issue. I don’t think I’ll actually write this one up. The jist of it was that when you (this you is general not specific to any one person) ask my why I married Wes that makes me feel bad. Its like you are calling me stupid. I know that’s not the intention but that’s how it feels to me. Hey, I’m not the only person who has married someone who was ultimately wrong for him or her. I could try to explain it but I don’t feel like it. I was a different person then. It happened. Everyone makes mistakes. This is bringing me down and I’ll probably start sleep walking tonight to delete it.
There was a post about my new favorite TV show. I’ll save that one. And Erin is now 6 and a half months old and there is lots to say about that! I’ve also got a post brewing on the back burner about my dad. I just need to get the pictures from Michigan finished for that one.
Pictures! That is what I need to be working on while all this caffeine is zipping around my head. I’ve got the MI photos to finish. The car show photos from way back when. Last weekends Santa Cruz shots. Good gravy Mabel – I’ve got to get on it! And Cynthia will be here in an hour and I still haven’t gotten to the grocery store* this weekend.
*I could also tell you about the diet Chris and I are on. And all the damn cooking I’ve been doing. But not now. No time. Go here to see what the lovely Julie T has to say about it. Now she can write. I've got the books to prove it!
Friday, October 19, 2007
I went to a baby shower in Fresno last weekend. Chris’s cousin Gavin and his lovely wife Susan are expecting their first baby in December. More babies are a good thing. I hope they have lots of babies. Me? I’m done. I’ve told you that. Stop asking!
As always these photos are pulled from the set on Flickr. Enjoy.
Now I have to go home and pack for another weekend trip to Santa Cruz. Yeah! I don’t have to drive!! And I hear that Grandpa, who didn’t get his baby fix last weekend, is starting to twitch. And we can’t have that now can we?
And after bathing the baby at Aunt Rita’s last weekend, Grandma P went out and bought everything she’ll ever need and more to give Erin baths. Good. I’ve let her get extra dirty this week.
Friday, October 12, 2007
Monday, October 08, 2007
And, not only did I finish the huge and horrifying CIA book, I’m almost done with Licensed to Kill about the contractors of the private security industry. And I am already scouting Amazon for the next book to read. Chris suggested it might be time for some nice light fiction but I don’t think I’m ready for that yet. I can see him shaking his head now but I can't help it - I'm into it.
Although I’m not sure which trail I want to follow – stick with the CIA? Get the new Blackwater book? George Tenet’s autobiography? Or should I leave the current war on terror for the cold war and read about Cuba or the Kennedy’s? Maybe even delve back into Russia. So many choices – what’s a girl to do?!
I'm going to the bookstore this afternoon. Got any suggestions?
Update: I bought Charlie Wilson’s War. I like having someone specific to direct my ire at. As Chris says, let’s hope I never need to go to Washington D.C. because if I ever have to fly into the Dull-ass Airport my head will probably explode.
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Sure, it was a Marriott and my family was there, but hey - you take what you can get right?
The trick is not to plan anything! I called the Sain't as we were driving into the city. (Hey, I might not stop by to see you but I always call as I drive through. And I wave.) I wanted him to look out a window at the mighty fine sunset that was going on. But not only was he not near a west-facing window, he was down the bay in Fremont. Which puts him driving by our SFO hotel on his was home. And imagine that, he actually stopped by! So, I got to hang with another Detroiter* before we even left California. Fun for me. And then I saw my Aunt who lives Sacramento while I was in Detroit. So it goes.
* Sure, after 17 years he could be considered a former Detroiter but I'm counting it. We never really loose those mid-west sensibilities. Or accents.
Tuesday, October 02, 2007
And check out the new photo widget I found*. Very cool. Just click the large image to advance to the next photo. I am all about making things easy for you! Of course these photos are up on Flickr also.
And you'll never guess who else stopped by. Stay tuned for a special guest appearance!
* If the photos aren't showing up on your computer you might need to install the Flash Player plugin. Here is the link: http://www.adobe.com/products/flashplayer/
Monday, October 01, 2007
I came, I saw, I ______
a. took a gazillion pictures.
c. hightailed it back to Cali and the dry heat.
d. All of the above.
Yes, we are home safe and sound. Erin did great on the trip and Kyle only ended up grounded for a week. My family is well and I’m glad we decided to go to Michigan and not Florida again. My only complaint would be about the weather. Hot and humid is no way to live.
I’ll post more soon – complete with photos! In the meantime, I want to thank Brady and Michele for their hospitality and BBQ chicken! And Eric for his stellar tour guide services. Next time we’ll all go bowling. A/C and beer! You’ll be here next month right?!
Monday, September 17, 2007
Yes, that's my neck. Pretty isn't it?! That's a souvenir from the Urgent Care where I spent Friday evening after being rear-ended at a stop sign 2 blocks from my house late Friday afternoon. So not happy about that. (But I'm pretty pleased with the length of that run-on sentence!)
We were supposed to go downtown and see Jersey Boys Friday night! I'm still disappointed that we had to miss it. They would have sang this:
But this one is even better!
I will admit that I’m a bit stressed about traveling with a 5 month old. The logistics of packing all the baby-crap we’re gonna need makes my head hurt. (Hey I’ve got a new Motrin prescription, that will come in handy – oh! I also need to pick up my migraine medicine refill at the store) So, much to do. And Kyle needs new shoes.
Is that song still stuck in your head? Sorry. Let me make it up to you, here are some Erin pics from yesterday. Enjoy!
Thursday, September 13, 2007
Friday, September 07, 2007
And shame on me. Here I was plugging Kyle's new Flickr account but I never mentioned that Chris has one too. Don't worry, I'll make it up to him somehow. So, if you want to see photos from dive trips, dead fish, or Tino lubing up - go to Chris's Flickr account and enjoy.
We are staying in town this weekend so I hope to catch up on my photos. I am woefully behind. And it would be nice to be current before we leave for Detroit in 2 weeks!
Thursday, September 06, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Anyways, last Saturday there was a Hot Rod show at the local bowling alley. And apparently I am now the kind of person that goes to car shows. Hey! Come back here! You’re cashing those checks every month – you will be my friend even if I start going to cat shows!! As I was saying, there was a car show so I grabbed my camera and I grabbed Kyle and off we went for some mother/son/camera bonding.
3 hours later, our memory cards full, we stumbled back in the door tired, thirsty and on the verge of collapse. Ok, maybe that was just me. It was hot. We forgot hats. I was wearing jeans because I knew I would be kneeling on asphalt. But it was all worth it – wait til you see the pictures! And you’ll have to wait because I’m about 3 weeks behind. And Chris is about to put a limit on my computer time. Big and mean I tell ya.
And Kyle – that little brat – has some great shots as always. But he spent the rest of the weekend cursing me for getting him into photography. Oh yeah, I’m wicked bad. Meanest mom ever if you’re going to believe the rumors. I’m so awful that after much pestering by Kyle, I spent my Monday afternoon setting him up with his own Flickr account.
So, go check out Kyle’s photos! And leave him a comment or two – it will make his day.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
That also means I can’t mention Kyle.
What does that leave? ERIN! Or Rolie Polie Olie as the case may be.
Yes, the rolling from back to front has been perfected. And that girl is fast. She’s over in the blink of an eye. In the beginning she would roll over onto her stomach and then quickly become frustrated at being on her stomach. So, we would put her back on her back. She would immediately roll onto her stomach again. And then be pissed off about it. Again. I’m pretty sure this would have gone on indefinitely if we hadn’t gotten tired and strapped her back into her bouncy chair.
But apparently the view from ankle-level is pretty darn good and she is now more than happy to stay on her stomach. I guess she finally has the strength to hold up that large melon-head. She can now hold a perfect cobra pose for 5 complete breathes effortlessly. Which is probably more than can be said about me. Sigh.
Speaking of my little yoga-savant, when Erin is forced to spend time on her back she is in Ardha Ananda Balasana – Half Happy Baby Pose. Her left foot is her new best friend. And she’s got a death grip on it! And I’m sure it’s only a half pose because the other hand must be in her mouth for complete baby bliss.
Wait until she manages to get a foot to her mouth –oh the unbridled toe chewing joy. I’m sure that’s what she’s thinking when we catch her staring intently at one of those chubby little piggys. “Mmm foot…must taste.” What I don’t know is how she'll squeeze a foot into her mouth when she’s already got her whole fist shoved in there! And I’ve caught her on several occasions sneaking a thumb in there right next to the nipple when I’m giving her a bottle. And hey baby – it’s a little difficult to feed you when you’re trying to roll over on my lap! Eyes forward soldier. Jeez.
Erin has also discovered that all that time spent pumping her leg in the air like she was kick-starting a motorcycle was great practice for splashing in the bath. And she has recently begun swinging her arm down in a knee-slapping motion (if she can manage to time the arm motion with the leg-pump into a proper knee-slap, I’m going to ship her off to Tennessee. Yeehaw!). The point being we are going to have to find a new location for bath-time or our carpet is never going to dry.
"Hi. My name is Erin. I'm 4 1/2 months old and an Aries. I like long walks in my stroller and being held high in the air by my daddy. My hobbies include drooling, puking on my mommy, and watching TV with my big brother. My dislikes are mean people and wet diapers."
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Our friend Jen watches Erin while I’m at work. And it seems to be working out just fine. Erin is getting loved on by Jen, her 15 month old granddaughter Isabella and a puppy. Not a bad way to spend the day.
I tend to hang out for awhile at Jen’s before taking Erin home. Why not eh? It’s a nice way to shift from work-mode to Mom and the couches are comfortable. And Jen is a hoot! The only kink in the happiness chain is the TV. When I get there, it’s usually around 2:15 and the Gilmore Girls are on. oh my god. Have you seen this show? I want to hurt those people! I’m not sure what it is – the writing? the actors? the small town lunacy? a bad combination of all of the above? but it makes me twitch. And not in a good way. I want to grab these people by the hair and knock their heads together! Ugh. Does this show affect others this way? Is that the point? I know there are people out there that loved this show. Please tell me why. It has actually caused me to have a very violent dream involving a potato peeler!
So, I hang out with Jen until those crazy Gilmore Girls drive me out the door. And after half a dozen weeks of being back at work, I find myself knowing far too much about the Gilmore’s world. I want to ignore it but it’s like a car crash – I’m fascinated and repulsed at the same time.
But what’s really disconcerting is that when I drop Erin off in the morning – the same Gilmore Girls episode I saw the previous afternoon is on the TV!!! Invariably at the point in the show that sent my on my agitated way the day before! It's some sort of weird Gilmore time warp from hell! And that’s no way to start your day.
I’m worried about Jen in her 24/7 Gilmore world. She might need to get out more.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
Fortunately by noon on Sunday I was feeling semi-human again so Chris, Erin and I took a drive up to Auburn to see the Heart Shrine Relic Tour.
"A precious collection of sacred relics of the Buddha and many other Buddhist masters is currently touring the world.
This is a rare opportunity to view these relics, which were found among the cremation ashes of Buddhist masters. They resemble beautiful, pearl-like crystals. Buddhists believe relics embody the master’s spiritual qualities of compassion and wisdom and are deliberately produced by the master at his death.
The relics are clearly visible inside display cases that encircle a life-size, golden statue of the Maitreya Buddha. Visitors may participate in a Blessing Ceremony where the relics of the Buddha are gently placed on the crown of the visitor’s head as a personal blessing."
There were gorgeous Thangkas hanging all around the hall.
I know it's out of focus - I was trying to not use the flash.
We circumambulated. We got blessed. And my head felt better. That is until I had to coordinate the Kyle transfer with the ex. He was harshin' my blessing buzz hard man.
For more information visit the Maitreya Project.
It's all about the loving-kindness baby!
Om Mani Padme Hum
*Bonus blessings if you know what movie that is from.
Here's another clue: "My hair!"
Monday, August 13, 2007
Erin is 4 months old today. She’s weighing in at 15 lbs 3 oz and is 24” long. And to my surprise her head is not off the charts big but only in the 75 percentile on the growth chart. How could that be? I think the doctor would have re-measured had he seen this picture -
Damn. That’s a big head. You should see what it looks like printed as an 8x10 glossy. Click on the photo to see for yourself!
I mentioned below somewhere that Erin started rolling over a couple weeks ago. Well, this morning on the exam table we noticed that she has begun to pull herself forward by little smidges. Now I’ve seen how fast smidges can grow and I’ve got to tell you - we are scared. The Dr says she looks and behaves like a 6 month old. At her 2 month visit he said she looked and acted like a 4 month old so we are obviously in trouble here.
And speaking of big kids in trouble – Kyle starts school next week. And he is looking forward to it! I give those positive school feelings a week at best. (remember - he was bored with summer vacation by day 3) But this year he’ll be in 5 grade. Top dog at the elementary school since 6th grade is at the middle school. And 9th will be in High School. Does that seem wrong to anyone else? Are all school systems like this now?
But what he’s really looking forward to is that this year he’ll get to ride his bike to school. Except on band days when he’ll have a big ol’ case to lug around. Oh yeah, he no longer wants to play the saxophone. He wants to play the bass. Not the stand up bass - the electric bass. I know, WTF? How is that they have no string instruments in the band but offer the electric bass? Another thing I just don’t get. And can you rent a bass? Of course not. We have to buy a bass and a small amplifier. And I do want Kyle to play in the band but this is edging it into uncomfortable territory for me. He is already telling me about his friend who plays the guitar and wants Kyle to join his band! I’ve been there and seen that. And I want to scream NoNoNo forget it. No music for you! Of any kind. Danger Danger Will Robinson. But stopping him from playing an instrument in school is not going to stop him from playing in a rock band later is that’s what he really wants to do.
So what can I do? Buy him a bass and hope for the best? Amplify my acoustic and ask to sit in with his band? Hmm...not a bad idea. That should burst his rock-n-roll dreams-
"...and on rhythm guitar - my mom"
Monday, August 06, 2007
There are so many great photographs - enjoy! But don't blame me if you get in trouble because you suppose to be working - I'm innocently unpacking boxes in the back room and will deny everything.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
See those 2 new badges to the right? I have submitted those photos to JPG Magazine. And if my photos were to get enough votes, they would be published in the next issue. How cool would that be?!
So click on those pictures and vote vote vote! I’ll lower taxes. I’ll fix Social Security. I’ll balance the budget. I am not a crook.
Update Aug 9th: Voting has now closed so I've removed the badges. Thanks for your support!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
The worst part of this is that it is ruining NPR for me. I can no longer listen blithely as I drive to and fro. Not any more. Now my brain screams “Liars!” “Don’t believe the hype” etc. to every story out of Washington. It’s kind of annoying. Yes brain, I know, now please use your inside-my-head voice.
I only picked up this book because the one I wanted on the history of the CIA won’t be published until next month. By the time I finish that book I should be certifiable. This is the kind of stuff that will push me right over the edge. Soon I’ll be roaming the streets babbling to myself. Hmm, I’ll need to relocate to Santa Cruz – they embrace the weird and might not even notice me. And I’ve got a place to stay there. Hey, I might be willing to stand on a corner bad mouthing the government by day but I’m not going to give up a comfy bed at night – I ain’t that crazy.
On a more happy healthy hale and hardy* note – yesterday was my wedding anniversary. Chris and I have been married 2 (insert “wonderful” or the synonym of your choice here) years. Now others might get all lovey dovey and tell you how wonderful their husband is and how much they love him and can’t imagine life without him blah blah blah. But not me. I don’t do sappy. As true as it all is, putting it into eloquent words with violins playing softly in the background is just… icky. Chris knows how I feel about him. And I know how he feels about me when he makes me go to sleep at a reasonable hour every night completely against my will. So, no cards, no flowers, no trips to Hallmark – maker of fine holidays everywhere. You know, if Hallmark had better lobbyists, they could get Sweetest Day declared a national holiday and sell more cards on the west coast.
See? No good can come from reading.
Now I’ve got to go and practice snapping my fingers.
* this is the standard answer you’ll get from my dad when asked how he is. As Chris says – I didn’t have a chance.
Thursday, July 12, 2007
It is with a very sad heart that I inform you that I have returned to work. Yes, it’s true. None of my whining or complaining could prevent the inevitable. But I sure tried. So now I’m back. And I don’t like it. Nothing is as I left it! While I was gone my Canadian company was bought by a nice big American company. Now this does have its benefits (Yay! State taxes are being withheld from my paychecks!) but it also means that I don’t know who does what in the corporate office anymore – especially since there are now at least 3 of them! We had 2 new regional managers join our team. Plus our office expanded into the suite next door to make room for a new training center. Now this wouldn’t have been a problem except my desk has been moved and I lost my window! The view to the outside world that I have fought tooth and nail to keep for over 7 years? Gone. Damn.
And it is hard to get back into the rhythm of an office. My brain hasn’t had to function in this way for over 4 months. Trying to do more than one thing at a time - hey what’s the hurry? Trying to make sense of the 10 things the boss just asked me to do - I have no idea what he is talking about. Trying to remember how to put someone into our voicemail system - sure, that doesn’t sound difficult to you but you haven’t met our mailbox system. It entails hitting at least 23 buttons in a very specific order! Thank god Sharon was there to talk me through it. She basically has had to retrain me. Well at least tell me where everything has been moved to. I still haven't seen my utility knife. And I might need it if I decide to stage a bloody coup to get a window.
Kyle is now half way through the first week of his annual 2 week southern California vacation. He is currently camping at Lake San Antoine and wake boarding every day. Next week he’ll go down to Oxnard for a few days and then on to Calabasas in the hills above Malibu. I’m sure I have mentioned before how he suffers. He’ll suffer riding the horses. Suffer cruising around on the quad or driving the golf cart. And don’t forget the surfing! How could life be so cruel?!! Poor baby.
But I had better stop thinking about him lest I begin to suffer. Moving on.
Tomorrow – Friday the 13th! – Erin will be 3 months old.* She has changed so much. Not only is she huge, she’s funny. (Lookin') She’s smiling and laughing all the time now (especially for her daddy). And she tells the most amusing stories! She’s also learning to use her hands as something other than little flying fists of fury. She now will grab hold of what ever happens to cross her open palm. And half the time the seized object will make it to her mouth. This child is truly amazing.
But her first love is still the ceiling fans, especially the one above our bed that she flirts with every night. She’ll notice it and a huge smile spreads across her face and she’ll coo. Then she’ll turn her head and give “fanny” a sideways glace and a cheeky smile. It’s big love I tell ya'.
Man, I already feel like I’m falling behind on everything. I have a million and two photos to upload to Flickr. I haven’t told you about Eric’s visit. Hmm, I think I’ll save that for one of my famous photo-heavy entries. There. Now you have a reason to get up in the morning. I also have photos that need to be printed, matted and framed. So much to do! And we are going to Santa Cruz this weekend, which will put me even farther behind. I could use a vacation!
* Chris made a point of mentioning that the van is 4 months old today since we got it one month and one day before Erin was born. Geek.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Paula’s visit was great (although too short). And she came packin’ the lastest issue of Cooks Illustrated with the intent to make us blueberry scones. Being an Italian mother, P’s philosophy is “Food is love”. Well. Love is many things but it ain’t food. Food is fuel. Love is a many splendor thing. Love makes the world go round. Love will keep us together. Love will tear us apart. Love hurts. All you need is love. Modern love. Tainted love. Chains of love. Love me tender. Love potion #9. Love is in the air. Love is a battlefield. Love is like oxygen. Higher love. Endless Love. Crazy little thing called love. See? Not one word about food.
But do you want to know what I love? Those blueberry scones! Oh my god they were good. So good that it might just be worth the time and mess to make a batch myself. Especially since you can make them beforehand, toss ‘em in the freezer and then put them in the oven on a Sunday morning while the coffee is still brewing. Hmm, might be a project for tomorrow.
What else do I love? Cooks Illustrated!!* Do you know about this magazine?! It’s fantastic. Not only does it tell you what and how to do things, it also tells you what not to do. As in: don’t try doing it this way - we did and it sucked. Now that’s handy. And tips like: freeze the stick of butter and then grate it with a cheese grater. Who would have thought of that? (All Executive Chiefs are requested to keep their mouths shut!) Chris actually got the issues from ’05 and ’06 hardbound from his mom for Christmas. But it wasn’t until this week that I pulled them out and looked through them. Oh the scientific kitchen joy. Tuesday night I made their pan-roasted potatoes to have with our White Sea bass**. Again – oh my god they were good.
Tonight I made Pasta Caprese. I don’t want to keep repeating myself, so I’ll just say it was delicious. And easy! The trick? Freeze the mozzarella for 10 minutes before adding it to the pasta. No more rubbery inedible cheese. It was perfect. I’m hooked.
I would type out the recipe for you a la Bad Home Cooking, but you’ll have to leave a comment and ask for it. I’ve only got one more week of maternity leave and someone has got to save Zelda!
*I know, you told me about it first Sain’t – and you were right. It is perfect for Chris. And it turns out that it’s perfect for me too! (Chris says I have an engineer’s brain. I’m not sure how I feel about that)
** Chris has a recipe for WSB that is called Sex Sauce. And yes, it is worthy of the name. Let me know if you want that recipe too.
Kyle has turned out to be a great big brother. Man does he love and fuss over Erin. He has even changed diapers without being asked! He’s been lucky so far and has only opened wet diapers. I’m afraid his first encounter with the other kind will make him gun shy about the solo changes. (Notice that I’m not mentioning poop directly. This ain’t that kind of blog)
Siblings-a-gogo (or should that be gah gah?)
And of course there are more at Flickr. Lots more. In fact I had a hard time limiting myself to the dozen I added. Those kids are cute!
Man, I need to get out of town again. But not this weekend. Tomorrow we are finally going to have that abalone I've been requesting the last 2 months. Jeez. And as a special bonus - my friend Eric is in town!!!
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
It’s that time of year again – Chris’ annual spearfishing trip in SoCal. He leaves tonight after a work function downtown and will be gone until Monday morning around 5am. Until then it’s just me and the kids.
Pray for us.
And pray for fish! White Sea Bass and Yellowtail – yum.
Actually, the 4 days without Chris shouldn’t be too awful* – his mom is coming up for a few days to help out and this is Kyle’s weekend at his dads. The only tough part will be taking care of the baby solo at night. Although… if I have to go downstairs to get the bottle, I won’t be left upstairs with the screaming baby as I usually am. That might not be so bad. Erin is going to cry whether I am there or not – why should I suffer too?! Hmm… I just might talk to Chris about switching jobs when he gets back. I’ll go get the bottle while he changes Erin and then tries in vain to comfort her until the bottle is in her mouth and all is right with the world again.
Kyle has camp again tomorrow so I was going to try and get back to the gym (I’ve gone twice now -yeah me!) but I just got a call from my doctor’s office and now I have an appointment at noon. Fun for me. I’ll guess the gym will just have to wait until Friday. Bummer.
Speaking of bummers – and this is a big one - I just looked at a calendar. Oh my god. I only have 2½ weeks left of maternity leave! That’s not enough time! I don’t want to go back to work. I’ve got things to do! I haven’t played ANY Zelda yet. My canvas sits untouched. I still can’t fit into my clothes – I’ll have nothing to wear! I am not happy. Now we must pray for a miracle. Forget the brownies - send lotto tickets!
*besides missing the hell out of him. And that whole staying up too late each night while he is gone thing. And then there is the small problem of not wanting to share the bed again when he gets back. It really doesn’t take long to get use to sleeping in the middle of the bed does it?
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I’ve had migraines since I was a kid, but they were thankfully infrequent. One, maybe two a year. However, after Kyle was born I became the migraine queen! It was bad. Really bad. Headaches would pursue me for days on end until I was searching the house for a gun bad. Although they got better after I left the ex. Imagine that.
Alas (Alas?! yep, that is the cue for you to start feeling bad for me) over the last couple weeks I’ve been getting reacquainted with my old friend Maxalt the Migraine Medicine. Regrettably, after 9 months of not being able to take any (and luckily not really needing to) I have gotten out of the habit of carrying a pill in my purse, one in the car, and one taped to my forehead at all times! So today, by the time I got home from taking Kyle to his first day of STAR Summer Camp, getting an estimate on my car (another story for another time) and taking Erin to her 2 month check-up, well…I was screwed. I had missed the window for maximum Maxalt effectiveness. I didn’t start to feel better until around dinnertime. Which is far too long a stay in headache hell. (Thank you again Chris for picking up Kyle and going to the grocery store. You rock! Hey – Chris Rock. Ha. Wait. I was picturing Chris Tucker. He’s the one I like - especially in The Fifth Element. I can always watch that movie. There really is nothing I like better than hearing a grown man scream like a little girl! What? …I’m rambling? …sorry)
The point was that I’m finally feeling semi-human again. And that Erin is 2 months old. And she weighs 12 pounds! And she is perfect. (We though so, but its nice to have medical validation no?) And that I’m pretty sure my children are trying to kill me. And after all I’ve done for them what with the gift of life and all. How rude.
So I’ll call in a refill on my prescription and start stashing pills around town again. Moving on.
As promised: Back in Black
And who needs cable when there is a sleeping baby to watch?!
And even a little of this!
Don't look at me like that (HA!)- you know that's funny. I especially like the middle one! Go ahead, scroll back up, I'll wait. Hehe... Yup. I'm feeling better.
Now before you get your knickers in a twist – remember that I am the meanest mom ever. And that these kids (together with my hormones) are conspiring against me. And that paybacks are a bitch. Especially when you have a digital camera and an internet connection.