Sunday, December 31, 2006

if you don't know me by now...

carrie and kara had this posted -- i can't remember if i've done it before or not.

1. i knew rob was the one the day after i met him when he called me as soon as i got home from the first day of my 1st senior year of college - so, on august 29th, 1991.

2. i speak spanish fluently (well, more fluently when i've been speaking it a bit more, but it wouldn't take toooo much to really be fluent again), i can speak italian passingly if i need to, i can sign pretty well - especially after subbing a day or two w/mom's class.

3. i have an indescribable adoration for brendan frasier

4. i am a member of Alpha Xi Delta (beta class, theta beta)

5. i have visited every state west of the mississippi, plus new york, ohio, virginia, new york, maine, massachusetts, drove through new hampshire, was in the airport in georgia and in illinois. most of the western states i visited first w/my dad the summer my folks got divorced in 1976. we went on a huge monthlong camping trip (we didn't camp everywhere, but most of the places we did).

Saturday, December 30, 2006

a belated meme - 5 fave xmas songs

carrie tagged me while we were down at tamale day (which was WONDERFUL and FUN and SO good to see/be with family!! rob has a good rundown of it, so you can check out his blog).

List your 5 favorite Christmas songs. The 12th day of christmas isn't until the 6th of january, so there's still time should you like to participate

I'm going to do these in no particular order

1. Aspenglow by John Denver. Actually the entire album "A Rocky Mountain Christmas" is one of my favorites. and i've deleted "please daddy don't get drunk this christmas" from the iPod and our hard drive. i think john may have been working something out w/that one, but i don't like it. The last song on the album is a song for Zachary - his son. it's beautiful and wonderful.

2. Joy to the World - especially the Julie Andrews version. That whole album is a really good one too - another of my favorites.

3. Elf's Lament - this is from Barenaked for the Holidays - another really good album. This particular song is really funny and makes me laugh every time i hear it.

4. The Night Before Christmas - David Seville of chipmunks fame sings (er, is it really singing when you are talking?) it in a groovy way.

5. O Holy Night - this is a song i really didn't like at all as a kid, but i love it now.

there are many more. i love christmas music. i wish i could find the album by Harry Belafonte - i have some of the songs on tape, but the tape is really worn. Aye said the Donkey is lovely. i can't remember what it's really called, oh well.

Friday, December 22, 2006


It's IRENE BANINE, RENIEBEANIE, RENEBEAN's birthday today. She's SEVEN. Dear me how did that happen??? The years just seem to zoom, don't they? and because it's her birthday, you will all have to suffer through pictures...

here i am on december 17th, 1999. Irene was due on the 12th. it was another 5 days before i had her on the outside.
here's rob wheelng stuff to the OR. After much labor, Lima's heartrate was not recovering after contractions (she was lima in utero - we didn't know if we were having a boy or a girl). So, off to the OR we went. It all seemed to go very quickly. I got quite irritated by the massive contractions I was having b/c we'd already decided we weren't *DOING* it that way! heh. anyway, irene knew what was best b/c her cord was wrapped around her neck and through her legs. It would have been too exciting in a not very good way if we'd continued along the "natural" course.
look at that girlie of mine! this is the first time i saw her up close. she was nice and pink and got amazing APGARs for a c-section baby - she'd been working hard so she was all the things she needed to be - she got 9 and 10 for her apgar scores! she was 8 pounds 9 oz and was born at 10:04 pm
here we are - our first family portrait *beam* this is on christmas eve. TNT had their Christmas Story marathon going on - so we had 24 hours of knowing exactly what was on tv and i could watch it when i was nursing . it is the movie that always reminds me of this time. look at those pink toes -- and slightly yellow face -- the jaundice was quickly remedied after we got home.the hospital volunteers make these stockings for all the holiday babes. the 21st was the fullest brightest moon in some huge amount of years - so many babies were born - but irene was the only girl.
here we are - christmas day - getting ready to go home. my papoosed girlie in her special bonnet made for her by Janice Caspary.

and now we jump ahead almost 6 months -- here's my very happy very segmented girl. isn't she darling? the answer is yes, just in case you are in doubt *heh heh*and another 6 months later, it's irene's first birthday - here she is standing tall with her daddy.
and here she is in her christmas stocking -- what a difference 12 months makes!

christmas 2000

and here she is on december 12.

Happy birthday, baby girl.
I love you!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Going down for Tamale Day

This will be a quick post to let you know i'm still around *smile* but the kids and i are flying down to dad and moni's house today. the flight is our christmas present (mine and rob's) - how fabulous is that? so instead of taking 2 days to drive w/the kids (who, well and truly, are the most fabulous travelers!), we get to take the plane and will be there in 2 1/2 hours (we have a stop along the way). so YEA! more time to spend w/family that we don't get to see often enough (especially now that irene's in school!).

we're going down for the most special time of year there - Tamale Day! our whole family (and it's quite huge w/everyone there) gets together on saturday (after much prep work the previous days) and we make tens of dozens of tamales. then santa comes in teh evening and we sing and we just enjoy each others company. it's good.

last year we missed it b/c we had the incredibly awful diabetes scare w/rhys - we were in teh hospital for 2 days. not a primo time in our life. happily, it turned out that it was acute abdominal pain causing his sugars to spike in a big way. but b/c of that, we missed the trip.

irene will miss two days of school, but it's okay. she's finished her homework for the week and we have her work for the rest of the week.

i'll catch you all when i return.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

little miss elizabeth (UPDATE ADDED)

just a little request - my girlfriend, julie, just had a baby on the 5th. very healthy, very happy birth. today baby elizabeth is having some jaundice issues. if you've got energy to spare, can you send some to baby elizabeth in new jersey? and some calming energy to julie.


YEA they are back home. thanks for all the good thoughts! the bililights did their job - SO much faster than the biliblanket we did w/rhys. i am VERY happy that they are back home again.

dedicated reader and a plug for WORDS OF A FEATHER

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Literate Good Citizen

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

hmmm -- it's not showing the red for each of the different things -- so i'll just tell you.

i'm about 80% on the dedicated reader scale

i'm about 90% on the literate good citizen scale
about 75% on the obsessive compulsive bookworm scale
about 65% on the book snob scale
about 10% on the fad reader scale and
0% on the non-reader (surprise, right?)

i think the only reason it says i'm a book snob is that on the list of books where you are supposed to have read ALL of the books in one list, the only one that i'd read 4 of the 5 was the one that had: Moby Dick, Huckleberry Finn, Wuthering Heights, Great Expectations, The Great Gatsby

i have NOT read Moby Dick (i'm sorry, was never on the required reading lists....). i read the other books in school. i've read the great gatsby twice. i've read wuthering heights twice too. and i do like Literature (in my head i said that in a very english accent). but i don't read it all the time by any means.

and, like deb, i DO think that the world would be a better place if more people read a lot of books.

when i'm deeply depressed or upset in some way, i read books. i lose myself in them. in my freshman year of college, my boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me in a REALLY bad way. my mom came up to college and brought koko (see last post) and Lonesome Dove - she knew i'd need a book that was big and thick and also good. i enjoyed it. it probably wasn't a book i'd have gotten otherwise - well, maybe. but, it's just an example. and i do almost always have more than one book going. especially if i'm reading something scary.

speaking of books -- i will have to write a much bigger post about this, but i just got sent the most wonderful book by another author i know (it's really quite surprising to me how many authors i know). it's called Words of a Feather by Murray Suid (each of those underlines are a different link). it really is a fun book that looks at the etymology of words - some of them are excellent to use with primary grade kids, others are probably more for the high school set. if you like words, you will absolutely adore this book! it is a GREAT book to get someone for christmas!!!!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

k is for....

what? you don't REMEMBER the word play lists? i can't imagine why. i mean, it's only been a million and one months since i've done learn more about the personal alphabets, click here

kristen – that would be me. and really, i suppose you could say that it's a lot of other people about my age -- most of them spell their name kristin, not -en. what's funny is that my mom said she'd had my name picked out for a long time.

krickie/krick – my nickname. it’s one of those nicknames that only people who have known me since I was quite young can call me that. other people that try – well, it just sounds weird.

kris – what my roommates in spain called me — actually, it sounds more like krees – but that’s not even right b/c the r isn’t a hard r sound...anyway, there is also Kris who is my sister’s partner. some day when the PTB realize that love is love and everyone should be allowed to marry, she’ll be my sister-in-law.

karly – my darling 2 year old niece. she is dear and sweet and I miss not getting to see her and to see jake as often as we used to. jolie says that she is speaking full sentences and saying things like “I am going to put this down beside me” *beam*! as with jake, I was lucky enough and truly honored to be there when she was born.

kauaii – heh heh. we had one of those family trips to kauaii the summer before I started my senior year. mom and ken must’ve saved up for quite a while to take all of us there. anyway, it was one of those trips where just about everything went wrong. there were pieces of luggage lost, the black sand beach was actually ash-y, we took a way too long hike that was supposed to get us to the bottom of a beautiful waterfall...we ended up at the top where it was not so pretty. we did have quite a bit of fun along with the snafus and now it is very very funny. it could have been national lampoon’s hawaiian vacation.

kismet – I absolutely believe in kismet.

kiss – I love kisses. LOVE them.

kangaroo – what a cool animal the kangaroo is. when my gramma came back from her big trip to Australia, she brought me back the book Dot and the Kangaroo – a wonderful story. she also brought me a koala doll.

karma – something else in which my belief is firm. what comes around does go around. not always in the way you might think. put out good things and do good things, then good things come back to you. put out bad and it comes and bites you – hard!

kare kare – a song by Crowded House that I like a lot

Koko – my mom and stepdad have belonged to the Gorilla Foundation for as long as I can remember. mom and I went to one of their open house/meetings when I was in high school. when my boyfriend of 2 years broke up with me in college, mom sent me back to school w/their large koko stuffed animal. many tears went into that poor gorilla.

keep away - this is what basketball seems like to me. i don't like the game. partly b/c i'm short, i suppose, so that monkey in the middle/keep away kind of game just ends up making me very angry.

kilt - i love kilts on men. they look nice on women too, but i find them quite stunning on men. ken has some and i have a picture of him in it - lemme see if it will upload jeremy and ted (two of my brothers - both mcraes) wore kilts to my wedding. i've scanned those pictures but they're on a computer that doesn't want to connect to mine.

kettle corn - yum. just yum. i don't really like the microwavable kind. i like the kind you get at the farmers market. DIVINE!!!

keys - so happy to have found mine.

kiwi - i love kiwis (the fruit) and i find the bird quite facinating. i'd love to go to New Zealand. some day....

killer whale - when rob and i went to alaska w/rob's parents, we saw a pod of orcas swimming freely and happily. they were quite close to the boat we'd chartered. i will never ever forget it - all those dorsal fins straight up and happy. there were some babies and some HUGE ones and everything in between. it was like magic.

kindred spirit - i have some kindred spirits i've met, and some i know really well but have only met online. all of them are farther away than i'd like them to be. it's very special knowing that there is someone who understands where you are coming from and can totally relate b/c they do similar things.

karaoke - i really do enjoy some good fun karaoke. it's always more fun when a bit of alcohol is involved. i sang joy to the world (the 3 dog night version - not the xmas song) in a little town called Cowdenbeath when i was in scotland. i also sang it w/my sister at my bachelorette party in san francisco. my girlfriends did the signing for it -- very fun version of signing - the signs for boys and girls were particularly amusing.

kind - i think the world would be a better place if people placed kindness ahead of a lot of different things. i want my children to grow up to be kind people. sometimes i fail miserably at being kind. but i do try. i'm currently reading a book called _above all, be kind_. it's mostly quite good, but sometimes the author gets a bit onto her high horse...

kennebunkport - after our first two honeymoon destinations went up in hurricainitude, we chose to go to Maine. kennebunk was the first place we stayed. the bed and breakfast was divine - it's called "Captain Lord Mansion" - it was hugely romantic and the food was just lovely. I believe we stayed in the Regulator room. thanks, rob :)

knot - i need to learn how to make several different knots so that i can be a better girl scout leader.

knowledge - i strive to learn more whenever i can. i'm currently waiting to hear about grad school....i really loved college. didn't so much like the tests and whatnot, but i LOVED the learning.

kumquat - yummilicious! my gramma lala has a kumquat tree. i love those little tart citrus delights.

okay - i'm sure that there are more k words - but this is what i've got for now :) how long do you suppose it will take me to get L done???

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

holiday edition of...

getting to know you :)

Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends:

Welcome to the 2006 Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends!

You know the drill. Highlight, copy, and paste and change my answers to your answers. Be sure to let me know in the comments if you do it too.

NAME: kristen

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? hot chocolate!

2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Santa leaves unwrapped and wrapped presents

3. Colored lights on tree/house colored or white? both

4. Do you hang mistletoe? usually (irene called it Missing Toe when she was little)

5. When do you put your decorations up? after Thanksgiving — that’s what we try to do — usually everything is done by the 2nd week of december

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? tamales

7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child: christmas memories? watching and helping my dad put up the christmas lights the day after thansgiving, going and looking at the christmas lights around town, with mom it was always getting out the special ornaments and getting a new special ornament. getting out the creches, opening the amazing stockings

8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? I don’t know that I ever believed in the actual Santa Claus – even as a child, but when moni and dad got married, I knew that my new cousins all believed w/o a doubt and I never told them what I knew. that said, I absolutely believe in the spirit of santa claus. both of my children know for fact that santa exists and that we can help him in different ways.

9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? We often do Christmas Eve w/mom and ken and open presents with them at that time. we also did christmas eve whenever we were alone – but once we had kids, we do the main event on christmas morning.

10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? lights, special ornaments, lights, more special ornaments, did I already say lights?

11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? love it to play in, but not loving the shoveling – haha! I’m sticking with marilyn’s answer!!

12. Can you ice skate? yes. I haven’t gone since I was 9 or 10 though. so I’m just going on the assumption that I can still do it...

13. Do you remember your favorite gift? from when I was a little girl? I don’t remember a particular favorite...i can’t remember if I got the handmade dollhouse for christmas or not – and one year I got fashion plates that were lots of fun. I always got several books which I loved – and still do. oh! mom made me a wonderful soft bear one year – very black very velvety. I named him grendel.

14. What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? being with love ones and sharing the magic of christmas w/irene and rhys

15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? russian tea cakes, I think. or maybe eskimo cookies. or my gramma florence's overnight cookies.

16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? hmmm...making tamales w/my family in southern california, and picking out/decorating the christmas tree w/all of our special ornaments, watching rob make pull apart with irene. I suspect that he might let rhys help this year. in fact, it will probably be extra special b/c we’ll be in lodi w/his folks and he can make them with his mom!

17. What tops your tree? the angel that my mom made when I was 3 or 4. I can still remember watching her make it. it’s one of the most special things on our tree and it makes me hugely happy.

18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving ? giving

19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Joy to the World (especially the julie andrews version)

20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? not really a fan of the candy cane...unless it’s flavored in some other way other than peppermint


ugh. yesterday i lost my keys. well, they were lost before that, i just didn't quite realize it. totally and completely LOST. well and truly L.O.S.T.

when did i discover that? oh, that would be at 8:50 am. oh, what's that, you say? that's the time i'm supposed to get irene to school? why, by george, you're right! so, i then looked for rob's keys. he rarely takes them b/c w/the prius, there's one key that you just need to have in your pocket or backpack and the car starts w/o a key. nope. he took them to work today. they are in his backpack. delightful. it's now almost 9. i've looked in all the usual places. no keys. called the neighbor - they are not going to school today. carp. called ken. he was at the car place, but if i didn't find someone else to take her, he'd pick her up and take her after he was done. called irina - PHEW! bless her fabulousness, she came and picked up irene and took her to school. i think irene was only about 1/2 hour late. i had called school to let them know irene would be late. i sent a note with her saying that i had well and truly lost my keys and it was not irene's fault she was late. irene was also going to need to take the bus home. not something that pleased her b/c she was going to do it by herself. happily, she got Prilla (the amazon price for this doll is insane! i got two in a box for 12.00!) in her advent stocking, b/c i allowed her to take Prilla to school to keep her company on the bus.

after getting irene off with irina to school, i proceeded to look in all sorts of places for the keys. i looked through the laundry, i looked in the freezer, i looked in the bathroom, the
bedroom, the junk drawers, the present drawer, the bags i'd gone through the previous day, the garage, i wiggled and jiggled the trash can b/c i'd dumped a ton of various and sundry non recycleable objects in there on sunday while rob and i were moving things in the garage (YEA we can fit both cars into the garage!!). still nothing. i looked in rhys' room, my room, irene's room, the office. i looked in the under the stairs area, i looked through boxes. i looked through all the christmas carpolio that is in boxes in our front room. i looked briefly through my girl scout box. nothing. nothing nothing. in between times, i did stuff on teh computer, fed rhys, played w/rhys, and tried not to think about it. i sent up a prayer to st. anthony (i firmly believe that it doesn't matter that i'm not catholic and not organized religionish!). i looked SW from where i thought i might have lost them as per dara who had done a divination for me (btw, do go and see the wonderful picture of dara and the delightful miss sadie on her blog - it's really wonderful).

rhys and i picked irene up from the bus - she asked me if i'd found my keys. still nothing in that department, though i *DID* find an extra Rav4 key that i didn't realize we had - but i didn't find that until it was too late to p/u irene. by the time rob got home, i was so totally and completely exhausted. i fell asleep briefly while putting rhys to bed, then ended up going to bed at 9. this is pretty unheard of for rob and me. we usually go to bed closer to 11:00.

rob left his keys here for me to get copies made. i took irene to school w/those keys. i had my girl scout leader mentor and her daughter (who, funnily enough, is named Reese, so when our kids are together, we have two rhys/reeses) coming over so we could brainstorm about World Thinking Day . so, soon after Reba arrived, i went to get out one of my brownie books. guess what was inside of my big notebook? the one i'd had rob get out on saturday so he could give me a phone number? if you guessed MY FREAKIN' KEYS, you win the prize! phew! what an amazing thing. the minute men had taken them. or, perhaps, the fairies. i'm just glad they were returned. i'm still going to make copies of my keys b/c it's good to have a spare set. JUST IN CASE!

okay, i need to shower and figure out what we're doing in brownies today :)

Friday, December 01, 2006

good to know

I'm not sure which ones i got wrong, but it was a fun little quiz.

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

85-100% You must be an autodidact, because American high schools don't get scores that high! Good show, old chap!

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

oh my! and this is what it says underneath the box at the website:

Thank you for scoring highly on this quiz, there is sweet hope for the future. If you did not score high, please join the Volunteer for Human Extinction Movement. Either way, share your results with your friends so they can take this quiz and test their knowledge!

"Do you deserve your high school diploma?" was created by jahnet of theyellowleaf

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

carrie tagged me for weird stuff

I was tagged by carrie. Here are the rules:

Each player of this game starts with the “6 weird things about you”. People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says “you are tagged” in their comments and tell them to read your blog.

1. I belch like a man (it’s true, but this is courtesy of rob – giggle!)

2. while I like being adventurous, I’d be perfectly happy just staying at home and not seeing people other than my family for days on end.

3. some people would think it’s weird that I nursed rhys until he was older than 3...before I had kids, it seemed weird to me too.

4. I am left handed. rob is left handed. neither of our kids are, though rhys seems to be ambidextrous, so we have hope. at one point, I lived with 4 sorority sisters. 3 of us were left handed and two of us were dating left handed guys (rob was one of them)

5.rob says that b/c I like american dreamer, I’m weird. now, people like debR will back me up when I say – pshaw! it is NOT weird! -- so, instead, I’ll go with this one – I’ve never smoked pot. yes, I DID go to college. I even graduated from college. yes, I’ve gotten a contact high. yes, most of my friends smoked it at least once. none of them pressured me to try it. I had cool friends.

6. since having kids, I’ve gotten a bit more phobic about things like flying and heights. when trying to cross the golden gate bridge w/rob and the kids (rhys was teeny), I had my first ever panic attack. it was an odd thing to know – KNOW – in my head that everything was okay and that the gaps in the bridge through which a 2 year old had slipped several years before had been fixed, my reaction was still one of complete and absurd panic. I was having those thoughts of the wind swooping up my kids over the side. stupid. yes. and yet.

and, b/c I’m one to break the rules, I’m not going to list the names of folks I want to do this...but if you want to do it, that would be fun. and you know that really, i'd like everyone to do it so i can go and read weird things about you! let me know when you do it so I can go and read them :)


carrie nailed me. so here i am. it's not that i don't want to blog, i just don't always have the time and energy...bad kristen, no biscuit.

there is a lot i want to blog - but i need to head to bed early. i'm subbing tomorrow and thursday and it's snowing and dangme cold. i'm subbing for 2nd graders. i've made a word search puzzle for them that i think is easy enough - hopefully not too easy.

today was a brownie meeting. i have a new co-leader. i think we're going to get together for coffee on friday - at least that's my hope. today seemed like less fun than it should have been. i need to work on that. hopefully beth and i can figure out some fun things.

jolie and the kids were up for ken's b-day - i started a post for that and didn't finish it. crap. anyway, we got to see them at dinner and traded some gifties for the advent stockings and a few other things. someday we'll get to sit and talk and have a real discussion for more than 3 minutes *smile*

jolie and karly (karly turned 2 on the 9th)

jake, jolie, and karly

jake and jolie

all these pictures were taken by rhys

we had a wonderful thanksgiving. my SIL, Connie and her 16 year old, alana were here here with their 2 dogs (styx and tabby - both border collies). Ken came for football and dinner also. it was a primarily organic and/or grassfed dinner which made everyone happy. i was delighted with our turkey from wild oats - i was very concerned about cooking it correctly - i was quite pleased that it was cooked quite well and was still juicy - yea! connie and alana brought apple pie (alana's favorite), yams, stuffing (bread), red wine, and i'm sure i'm forgetting something...OH! ham for the next morning and the green beans). ken brought some lovely french white wine, and i made pumpkin pie, stuffing (oatmeal), the turkey, salad, green beans, and rob made yummy dinner rolls as well as cinnamon rolls for the next morning. i'd hoped to have dinner ready at 3....well, we ate at 4. not so bad. we had some yummy appetizers, so everyone survived.

the kids' table.

the big kids' table

on saturday, rob, connie, and alana went geocache-ing. connie has a 4 wheel drive f250 (it's biodiesal - cool, huh?) so they were able to easily get where rob wanted to go. they found something insane like SIX caches. they also had a lot of fun.

alana on a cold hill

here she might be signing the log - there's connie's truck behind her
it may look like dancing, but there is a string that alana is holding - it was part of the cache. connie is in red watching the dance. *smile*
rob with 12 angry men. the dvd, not actual people shrunken down to surprisingly small size

on saturday and sunday rob also put up the outside lights - outside of our house looks great! inside, not so much, but at some point it will be christmasized.

and, just b/c, here is a picture of irene
and, i just want to say that i love my daughters sense of style. it always puts a smile on my face. under the purple sweater she has another sweater that also has stripes of various colors.

and now, i need to think about bed b/c it's going to be icy and scary driving tomorrow to get way across town.

and thanks again to carrie - everyone should go and give her some love b/c she helps to keep me blogging :)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

b/c i'm lame and can't figure out how to get a new blogger picture - i want to get one just from my computer but it only lets me have a url...will this work? who knows.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Rob has a pretty good rundown of day one and how we got there...if you remember, rhys was sick. then irene was sick. did i mention that previously? she was 1/2 day behind rhys. on tuesday, everyone laid low. i was exhausted b/c i'd slept with rhys - slept? did i say slept? yeah. that would be overstating the fact that i occasionally closed my eyes. whenever i did that and sort of began to actually fall asleep, rhys would moan and need me to be awake to rub his little tum. so, i was not in my normal wide awake mode when i was supposed to be packing...packing didn't really happen until after rob got home. whoops. i just couldn't focus. and on top of that, every time that i DID try to go and pack, one or both of the kids would need me. ah well. we finally did manage to get to Pat and Bob's in Lodi. Pat had made her delicious vegetable soup. Rhys didn't want much of it, but Irene enjoyed it. so did the rest of us. i took rhys up to go to sleep and both of us fell asleep mere minutes after i finished reading Fox in Socks.

the hightlight of the next day's drive was rhys throwing up. wheee. i'd had a waterproof sheet on top of both kids b/c we were in the prius and i didn't want them to get syrup on the new car...the kids were watching a video and suddenly, there went the 4 bites of pancake. on rhys, his carseat, the sheet, computer. for whatever reason, the incident happened in the middle of NOWHERE and there wasn't much of a shoulder, so rob couldn't safely stop on the side of the road to do all we had to, miles and miles down the road (shades of trying to find a toilet on our way from richmond back to norfolk) we were finally able to stop and clean up the boy, sort of clean up the carseat, and get back into the car. yes the computer works. i had an extra flannel - hmmm - what to call it? not so much a receiving blanket as it's lovely and big (it was a gift from Jaye when rhys was born - it's large and serves MANY purposes for us), so we put that on top of the car seat and continued on our way. rhys quickly fell asleep for most of the rest of the trip. at some point, irene switched to pat and bob's car (smart girl!). we got to our hotel (Paradise Pier!) around 5. We had a fabulous view of California Adventure

it was actually light out - but this was the first picture we took. nice view, huh? we were VEDDDDY excited and happy with it.

rhys didn't make it for dinner, so everyone else had dinner while rhys and i went upstairs. they brought my dinner up for me and rhys had his toast. i think he had 3 bites of it.

the next morning was DISNEYLAND DAY!!!

irene had been all set to go on a million of the scarier rides, then changed her mind when it came down to it..."i'll do it tomorrow" was her mantra....but we didn't realize at ALL what the next day would bring. so, pat, rob, rhys and i did pirates while bob stayed w/irene. we went on several of our favorite rides. at one point irene thought she really needed to be back at the hotel (that tells you just how carpy she was feeling!). so we started to head back...then she rallied soon after i realized i needed my wallet.

more rides, more fun, no real awful lines. nightmare before christmas'd haunted mansion ROCKS in a BIG giant way. i went on it w/Bob and Rhys and once w/rob while pat and bob took the kids on the jungle cruise. we had dinner at the mexican place by Thunder Mountain Railroad -- it had broken down. it opened just as we were getting ready to leave, so rob and i hopped on (no line!) while, again, P&B watched the kids. then it was on to see about the parade. pat and irene stayed and saved our place for that while rhys and bob went on the paddle boat and roba nd i went on to space mountain. MAN that is a great ride. i've always liked it, but now it has rockin' music, it's faster, and it's DARKer. fabbo fun.

the parade was the same one we'd seen back in march. it was just as good. the fireworks got cancelled which was a bummer. of course, they weren't s'posed to happen until 9:30 anyway (well past when our kids fall asleep). we went back to our hotel and the kids fell asleep pretty quickly. rhys had fallen asleep on the way out of disneyland. irene was out before rob and i headed out for disneyland. pat watched the children for us while we had a wonderful time back at disneyland. it was so much fun to just go. we got some coffee, went on splash mountain (oh my dog did i get wet! i was in the very front. S.O.A.K.I.N.G. that's what i was. but it was great fun. from there we went to indiana jones and then back to space mountain. after that we perused various shops. we then walked back to our hotel and relieved grammie from babysitting duty and thanked her profusely. it was great fun to be able to go back.

here are some pictures from the day:
our hotel had a character breakfast - we'd all forgotten about i was upstairs until rob called and said BRING THE CAMERA!!!

irene and daisy :)
daisy was very sweet and funny. rhys had quite the cowlick and she kept trying to press it down. it didn't work.

isn't this a fun picture of pat and bob with pluto?
irene, rhys and MICKEY! (the spot on rhys' leg is actually the remnants of a halloween tattoo)

not the very best of pat, but here are bob, irene, and pat on peter pan. the camera didn't want to take multiple pix at that point. dadgum!

here are rob, rhys, and I - the "cast member" took this for us
on the train with gramps

gramps and rhys in a funny toon town car
two silly children in goofy's house

pat and bob are sitting in front of the fountain at toon town. and in the foreground, you can see rob in the rust sweatshirt and galaxy quest hat. and if you click on it, you can see rhysie behind rob - in an orange shirt.

just before the parade started (irene and rhys anxiously looking for that first float)

day two of disneyland was less than perfect. when we made the reservations (several months ago), we were trying to figure out a time to go that would work for everyone and that was during irene's time off track. halloween didn't work b/c pat and bob were just returning from hawaii. there needed to be a bit of a break for them before traveling again. the following week (which is this week) didn't work b/c rob has to go to las vegas for a big gaming convention thingy. rob doesn't have a lot of vacation days, so our thinking was that if we went on thurs/fri, he'd only miss 3 days. well....friday was veteren's day. well, not really, but that's the day that all the schools got off. i have never NEVER seen disneyland so busy. just getting in caused my heart to beat a bit faster - and not in a good way. when pat, bob and i went to new orlean's square to find something, i was ready to pass out. the line for pirates was already more than 1 hour long - and they were putting up ropes from the outside of pirates practically to the water! by the time that pat and i were done, i'd say the line was at least 2 hours. so, we decided to head to it's a small world. it had just opened up on friday - newly winterized (holiday-ized). we were going to get in line and our friends, judy, dustin, and their daughter, abby could meet us in line. well, par for the course, it had broken down. we decided to wait there anyway and maybe it would open. about 10 minutes after judy et al arrived (it took them about 2 hours from their hotel door to us -- and their hotel was only 5 minutes away!), the ride opened! so we were able to hop on. to hear irene tell it, we had waited all day for that ride. it wasn't working properly for the 1st half of the ride, but they let us ride it a second time. so we got 2 rides for the wait of 1. that was nice. if only we'd known that we could have done multiple fast passes, maybe we'd have done more stuff. but probably not. we headed over to california adventure for lunch - took judy, rob and bob about 40 minutes to get lunch. took dustin even longer to get the kids' lunch. after that, rob took irene and rhys (rhys was just done and done in) back to the hotel. bob went with them. the rest of us headed back to disneyland to do a little bit of shopping. about an hour later - maybe a bit longer? we headed back towards the hotel. pat opted to wait for the return crew and sat and people watched for a while. rhys was still sleeping, irene was frustrated and upset that she'd gone on so few rides. i think all of us were feeling that. i stayed w/rhys. judy et al stayed with me to keep me company. the rest of the crew headed back to california adventure and went on Soaring Over California. Irene loved it just as much as before. Pat and Bob really liked it as well. they then went on the jellyfish ride (an up and down kind of ride - similar to the parachutes at knott's berry farm - but smaller - for littler kids) and then had dinner. rob had told irene that after dinner they could go on everything she wanted for as long as she wanted. the poor sweet thing fell asleep at dinner and could NOT be woken up for anything. the next morning she woke up crying b/c she didn't get to go on all the rides she wanted to go on. poor beanie.

so, all in all, it was a good trip. just disappointing that last day. now we know for sure that we really need to do the midweek thing. tuesdays are still the best days to go (in my opinion). but do not EVER EVER EVER go on a holiday. my word. just crazy.

and the pix for day two are on a different computer. sorry about that.

the kids are feeling ever so much better and we're back to the normal stuff.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006


if you haven't already done it,

we're losing rights right and left, but we still have this! GO AND DO IT!!!! NOW!!!! and if you've already done it, GOOD ON YA! Voting is important. I really don't care about those people who say "my vote doesn't really count" IT DOES!!!! i don't want to hear ANYONE bitching to me about the state of our country unless they get off of their duffs and VOTE! THEN you can bitch and moan all you want.

we now have TWO sick kids in the house (though rhys is seeming MUCH better today - KNOCK WOOD, THROW SALT!)
. We leave this afternoon for Lodi and then tomorrow we make the trek w/pat and bob to DISNEYLAND. All kids WILL BE BETTER! that's the law.

i'm making phone calls until we leave to make sure that people are voting and if they can't get to the polls that they have a ride to them. the race here in washoe county, and, in fact, ALL of nevada is well and truly neck and neck. we have early voting, so i voted last week. i went on sunday w/our precinct administrator (that's the wrong title -- i can't remember exactly what it is) and put those voter door hangers on doors of those people we knew hadn't yet voted.

more when i get back (unless there is wi-fi and i'm not exhausted...then i might try to post).

now stop reading and run to the polls! *smile*

Monday, November 06, 2006

Somebody's sick. We must be going on a trip.

we have a great big great and wonderful trip planned. we leave tomorrow to go to Lodi and spend the night at rob's folks house, then all of us will caravan in our priuses to The Paradise Pier hotel and spend the next two days at disneyland w/grammie and gramps (pat and bob - rob's parents). it will be wonderful and fabulous. my girlfriend, judy, and her family will meet us there on friday and we're going to have lunch at the blue bayou.

so this morning, everyone woke up feeling fine. no problems. i was upstairs folding a mountain of laundry. rob had left for work. suddenly, rhys was NOT feeling well. i came downstairs after he called for me - cleaned him up, took him upstairs to get a bath and freshen up a bit more. got out of the tub, more runs, and some throwing up. joy.

it truly is astounding how often this happens. murphey likes us, i guess. right now i'm trying to get a wee bit of chamomile tea down him and a little bit of cracker. it's no fun throwing up bile, right? it is my fervent hope that this is just a wee little bug that is over today.

Friday, November 03, 2006

more halloween

Okay -- here are my halloweenees. I thought i had more of irene -- but it might be that they were from earlier in the week...usually rob goes as a gorilla, but that costume is apparently quite hot. this year he decided to go as Static Cling. I was Super Mama. you can see a wee bit of me in the picture of rhys with his sucker.

I found more. Here is our garage -- until 10/30 when the wind whipped through our area and destroyed our people :( but it was fun to have them up for a while.

and here is irene as tinkerbell
and irene WITH her tinkerbell.

and, because i just found it recently and had scanned it, and it was from halloween, i thought i'd show you this one:
i believe this was 1992. rob and i had been dating for just over 1 year. i was a biker babe (obviously) and am drinking beer, so i must've already been tipsy. i'm wearing rob's fabulous leather jacket and a leotard from HIGH SCHOOL (what better to show the cleavage?!?). Rob was in our friend Chris' chaps etc. do you like my tattoo? and my beauty mark? how about that wildly toussled big hair? nice, huh? i can't remember where we were -- i don't think it was rob's place, but i can't remember where it was. someplace in rohnert park.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

More pictures will be forthcoming

I could have sworn i told blogger to put this in the middle - whatever.

here are various stages of pumpkinness. it took quite a while to do and i'm tired b/c it's late. i'll do the outfits tomorrow.

hallween was wonderful and fun. rhys was TOTALLY into it this year. Irene, of course was into it as well. last year, rhys went along for the ride. this year he practically RAN to every house. it was great fun to watch. i was going to stay home and give out the candy this year...then saw the sheer excitement in his eyes and rob and i both decided to leave the candy out w/a note and all of us would go around our neighborhood.

irene was tinkerbell. rhys was Super Rhys Fairy - or Super Fairy Rhys. totally what he wanted to be. i had a great buzz lightyear costume from a friend. he was completely uninterested. he wanted a mask. he wanted wings. he wanted a cape. so that's what we did.

now, i need to head to bed. but i have to say that the kids and i had a lovely day in susanville with laume, her daughter, and 3 grandbabies!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006


i want to post about my anniversary (it was on saturday - 11 years *beam*) and about the fun day we all had and my darling children and the pretty fall colors. but right now, this will have to suffice...

You Are Cameo

You are understanding and very empathetic.
You don't tend to have acquaintances. Everyone is your friend.
And all of your friends tend to be friends. You have a knack for bringing very different people together.

REALLY? what the heck kind of orange is that? it looks PINK to me. not ORANGE! sheesh. and i LOVE the color orange. oh well. i don't think that *everyone* is my friend. that used to be the way i thought of everyone, but now i *do* have some acquaintances. but my friends, well, there's nothing i wouldn't do for them. my friends are bosom friends that i love greatly and deeply. i am lucky to have good friends. i wish i had more good friends that lived close, but it will come in time.

the other thing i need to do is comment on my comments from my last post. gads, i'm just sucking here, huh? i need to make a big S.F. for rhys' SUPER FAIRY costume. Irene's costume is all ready to go. I'm going to be Super Mama, apparently. Rob will be a gorilla. he thought, perhaps he'd wear a tie this year as well. *smile*

and, b/c it's my new favorite picture that has my heart all over it, i'll share it with you:
this is by the truckee river in reno. the trees were amazing and there is my little family - those that i love most and best in all the world. i love watching rob with them. well and truly, i am lucky.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

life, headaches, and other ramblings

just babbling so i have something on here to delight you poor souls that read this. i've been slipping a bit into the odd depression thing again. i've also had a few really awful headaches. they are similar to migraines, but, when i was tested for migraines in college, i was told that they are just muscle tension headaches. i guess i should try doing the exercises for those again...i think a little of it all could be hormonal, but it seems like it's more than that. i've never really been a depressed kind of person. i'm definitely a glass half full kind of girl. at least one person even commented on it saying that she'd never heard me sound low. i'm sure that much of it is the political state of our country. it's deeply upsetting to me. the amount of killing and dying going on in iraq, afghanastan, darfur (sp?), it's just awful. and so much of it just seems for naught.


i have phone numbers of many people in our district to call and remind them to vote vote vote! don't listen to the ads on TV telling you that it doesn't matter, the Republicans are going to stay in power and even gain power in the house and senate. that gives me a bit of hope. here, they are haranguing (sp?) jack carter b/c he's moved around a lot - moved to different states, etc. um, didn't many of the bush's do that? and really, don't people MOVE?? my SIL has moved several times, to different states. rob's folks have as well. in fact, they also moved to a different country. rob and i have moved all over the place and to a different state, and we've both lived in different countries. so does that mean that if we wanted to run for office that we shouldn't b/c we've moved around? what's THAT about?? grrrrrrr

irene's investiture was this past weekend. she's officially a brownie now :) yea! she and i had a lot of fun at the GSSN (girl scouts of the sierra nevada) 70th b-day party. one service unit even had a fashion show of GS uniforms over the past 70 years. i got to show irene what MY brownie uniform and junior uniforms looked like. :) it was cute.

i've also been tearing apart our garage and getting things freecycled. there was a fair bit of fabric that i realized just weren't me and i wasn't going to use. they are now with someone who is going to turn them into quilts and blankets for little ones. i've given a lot of the children's books that just weren't beloved by my kids to someone who was so happy to have them. i've given away a number of baby things including a lot of little people stuff. that was hard b/c it's just one more thing that is telling me my babies are not so much babies anymore.

rob's really busy at work - IGT is stuff ready for the big gaming convention thing in Las Vegas next month.

thursday is the last day of school for irene - she has break from nevada day (being celebrated on 10/27 this year - although halloween is when nv became a state. funny that i know that but i have no clue when california became a state) until the monday after thanksgiving.

irene got her report card and is just shining in class. yea! her reading is just really amazing to me. and she's learning the joys of reading to herself when she's in bed. i LOVE that. i hope that doesn't come across as i love that she can read to herself so we don't have to - b/c, good lord! that's not even CLOSE to the case. we still read to her and with her and i hope to do that for a long time. i'm looking forward to sharing so many books with her. but now, she'll just pick up a book and start reading it.

we just took another step w/rhys and took down his high chair (he was eating at the table, not using the tray part - but we were getting him closer to the table) and he's sitting in a big chair now. we're getting ready to make another big kid step w/rhys - he has a queen mattress in his room right now (all the better for those that sleep w/him on occasion), but we're getting ready to put him in a twin bed. we'll use the frame/headboard/etc that was his gramps' bed and has also been used lovingly by his cousins.

i have a quilt i need to sandwich/baste/and quilt - don't think it's going to happen before the baby is born. damn. the house is still a mess b/c of all the tearing apart i've been's at times like this that i wish i had rhys in preschool - but so many of the ones i've seen/heard of/looked at the webpage - are WAY WAY WAY too religious for us. i want the preschools we had in petaluma and the one where i taught in point reyes. bleh. oh well.

we have brownies today. wonder what we'll have for dinner. hmmmm.....last night it was yummy pancakes (buckwheat, flax, chocochips, bisquick - kids love 'em). that means they have pancakes for the rest of the week in teh mornings. i LOVE that! it's something they love and it's easy for me to not have to fight w/them over what we're having for breakfast.

okay - gotta go.

Friday, October 20, 2006

when do kids get to be kids?

check this out (rob just sent it to me)...the title is "Playing tag now a no-no at some US schools." Do you know why? because the schools are afraid that parents will sue! how insane is that? why are we such a sue happy country? i do know that kids can get hurt playing tag. but, c'mon, kids can break a bone or bonk their head from just walking.

at van gorder elementary (where irene went last year), they don't have swings. why? b/c they are DANGEROUS (cue ominous music). the thing that first caught irene's attention and made her love her new school (which is older than van gorder)? SWINGS. the school has 3 areas with swings - one for each playground area.

when i was in elementary school, we had 3 recesses. the first and last were 15 minutes. the lunchtime recess was 45 minutes (and that included eating lunch). now, irene has 2 recesses - one 15 minute one and lunch recess which, i think, is 20 minutes or so. no child left behind has just totally screwed so many things. many teachers are teaching only to the testing and many "specials" are being cut b/c the kids need to be having more more more academics. was my schooling so awful? did i end up stupid b/c i had extra recesses? because teachers didn't teach just to the test? no. no child left behind has also made it so that even if a school is doing well, if it doesn't continue to get better and better test scores, it goes on The Watch List. spanish springs is one of those schools on the watch list. we got sent a letter from the school district showing where SS is as compared w/other schools in the district. they were at or above all of the other schools in every area. and yet, they are on the watch list.

i truly appreciated irene's teacher last year - mrs romaggi had the kids doing art almost EVERY SINGLE DAY. and the art was always related to language arts or math. do you see what she did?? she ... COMBINED art WITH learning. what's that??? they were LEARNING THROUGH PLAY? what a CONCEPT! how DEVELOPMENTALLY APPROPRIATE! geez. stuff that teachers already know.

this year, irene has a teacher who pushes them to be their best, but not in a scary bad way. miss graham is wonderful and irene comes home from school just beaming and goes to school telling me how much she loves it. she's doing well in math, fantastic in reading and spelling, and she's a good friend as well. she has swings and some bars to play on which makes her happy. she gets to run and have fun. and they do some coloring most every day. it doesn't feel, to me, like miss graham is teaching to the tests. this could have to do with the fact that she's been teaching for 20 years (which is amazing to me, b/c she looks younger than me!) and knows what really works for getting kids to learn.

it's really not an easy thing to be a new teacher these days. you aren't tenured, you're not getting paid much, mr. bush's no child left behind has made all sorts of things more difficult for them as well.

things need to change.

we need to stop sueing everyone and everything at the drop of a hat. we need to get rid of no child left behind, b/c it seems to leave many children behind. we need to LET TEACHERS TEACH! and we need to PAY teachers! i can tell you that as a sub, i make a whopping 10.50/hour. yeehaw. i don't think that new teachers make too much more than that.

Monday, October 16, 2006

whoops! it's been a week.

thanks to carrie for bonking me on the head and reminding me that i've disappeared. the thing is, i get so bummed when the blogs i enjoy are not updated regularly. i'm constantly impressed with DebR who posts nearly every single day. when she doesn't post for a few days and she hasn't told us she's going to be gone, i worry *smile*

so -- let's see...a quick view of our past week...on monday, rhys and i went for a walk. it wasn't such a great healthy quick walk for me as rhys wanted to walk on his own rather than hang out in the stroller. we went looking at all the groovy trees and colored leaves. this is one thing that i DO really like about nevada. we didn't have the changing colors of leaves to this extent in petaluma or rohnert park.
Rhys on our walk. it looks like he's doing itsy bitsy spider, but i don't think he is.
some really cool colors in the trees on our walk

the trees are really in cool colors right now.

this is our flowering flame pear tree in the front yard.

tuesday was brownies. it was also the pumpkin patch field trip. rhys got to come as well b/c i was driving myself. we successfully went through the corn maze. this year the corn stalks were at least 8 feet high (it's really hard for me to judge heights b/c i'm short - 5'). I'd heard from someone the key to getting through the maze, but there were many points when i began to doubt. it was still a lot of walking. i was surprised. by the end of it, our group of girls were tired out and wanting to be done with it. i was tired too as i had to hold rhys for most of it. and take pictures too, of course.

rhys waits for renebean's bus to arrive. what's that? who made that amazing and wonderful jacket? why, none other than Lydia the Amazing! she made it for HER baby boy when he was a wee bairn. then, when we visited her this past june, she gave rhys this one and a few others!!! we are very very lucky!
here it is from the back. SO amazingly fabulous!
Camille and Irene making sure they stick's THIS for a halloween sheep???
here are the 4 girls in the corn maze.

we got back from the pumpkin patch and had to zoom home (we being rhys & I) so that i could finish up the things i needed for brownies. our brownie meeting went pretty well. i didn't have enough planned for them to do. they are FAST with EVERYTHING. yeesh. so i need to work on that. perhaps if i have twice as much stuff as i'd think they can do, we'll have enough for them to do w/o any "OH CARP! WHAT NOW?"

zoomed home after brownies and got myself a little something to eat before i had to zoom to another girl scout meeting -- this one was the service unit meeting. it was over around 8ish. came home and was very tired and a bit overwhelmed!

thursday found rhys & i on our way to borders for TEACHER DISCOUNT DAYS! we got a few things for beanie that will be a surprise for her b-day or christmas. i got some other fun stuff as well. i love going to book stores. i love looking for children's books. it's a gift for me as well as them as i'm one of the folks that often reads the books. over and over again. and again. *smile* it also just so happened that we were there for the 1/monthly story time at borders. they used to do it weekly. we didn't get to go all the time b/c it's in reno and we can't always get there in time from school (we're a good 1/2 hour or so from most every place outside of sparks). the new story time reader is really great. they had a few that were okay, but not stellar. this woman (donna) is very animated in her reading. we like that more than deadpan readings. after a bit, we headed back to school for my volunteer day.

friday was a 1/2 day for irene. we came home and made some witches, then went back to borders b/c it was reception/raffle sign up etc time for teachers from 5 - 8. mom met us there and then a bit later, we met rob at On the Border for dinner. it was yummy. rob then took the kids back home w/him and mom and i went back to borders to wander and look. it was lovely.

saturday found us at gymnastics in the a.m. and then to the pumpkin party the D.R. Horton was putting on for our development. but it was really less than fabulous this year b/c our development has only a few houses left. so, we walked to the next D.R. Horton development a few blocks away. it was much more happening there. the kids had fun. that was what mattered.
hmm - i'll try and post the pix again tomorrow. blogger is being less than helpful with them right now...after that fun, the kids made cookies w/nana. they had a fabulous time and we have amazingly delicious cookies...well, there are two left. we did share a few of them...

sunday was the Meridian Gold Run For Education. it was fun. irene ran probably at least 1 mile even though it was a 1/2 mile run - she ran back and forth and zig zagged. rhys ran on rob's shoulders until the last quarter mile, then he and i ran together while rob and irene finished the race together. it was all good and fun until the crazy speakers by the bounce houses were on full tilt. it was so unbelievably loud. it was for the BMX thingy that was happening after the run. they apparently believed that it was really smart to have the speakers by where the littlest kids were rather than over by where the BMX stuff was happening. :( we left b/c it was so loud. i'm sorry, but holy moly! having 125 decibels of screaming "DAN WEED IS HERE!! WOOHOO!!! LET'S GIVE IT UP FOR HIM!!!!" did me in. it also did in the kids and rob. so, we went to mom and ken's to wait for a guy to show up and buy some tires. he never showed up. how rude is that?? it was pretty darned rude, that's how rude.

it's 1/2 days all week for irene - conferences are happening. i need to get back to borders this week b/c **trumpets and fanfare commence** i WON something at the raffle. no idea what it is yet. but yea me! :) irene's conference is tomorrow. rob's getting off work early for it. yea rob!

and so, you are now caught up. and again, i'll try for pix again tomorrow.