Wednesday, June 28, 2006


some time ago, on DebR's blog, she'd mentioned margaritas. i told her about cuervo's new infused tequilas. really, i like them very very much. my favorite is the citrico. it's got just the right amount of lime flavor in it. so instead of making my usual margaritas (1 can frozen lime juice, 3/4 - 1 can tequila, a wee bit of triple sec, and a TON of ice, blended, with salt), i've been making them on the rocks. now i use (if it's just for me) 1 shot of citrico or oranjo, 1 shot of rose's lime juice, ice, club soda, and salt - i use sea salt that i have a little grinder for - it's groovy. it tastes delicious. and sometimes i need more lime juice, sometiems a little more tequila. i've also done the tropiña - it's okay. would probably be better if i had pinapple juice to go with it. when i had some of that, i used rose's grenadine instead of the lime juice. it was yummy.

so. go and get some. it's on sale at safeway through the end of today! if they don't have it, get a rain check for several.

in fact, i need to go and get some for our annual quilting week in so. cal. will be fun to share with cousin erica since the grandmothers of the children will be there -- perhaps they can help watch the babes while we have one each. that's about as much as it takes to get us both loopy. with the whole nursing thing, you don't drink much and she has a 1 year old so she's nursing a lot. i nurse just a little - well, not me, and not erica either. our boys. anyway, the point is, we're cheap dates *smile*
Rhys' b-day was pretty mellow and low key for the most part. my cousin erica came over with her two boys (1 year and almost 4) all the way from tracy (3 - 3 1/2 hours away) and spent the day with us which was wonderful. she dropped off her MIL and aunt-in-law at the nugget (aunt janet loves her keno!). we played and played with the kids, and didn't get to talk nearly as much as we wanted and all, you know. it was really good to see her. rhys opened some really groovy presents and talked to a few friends as well as papa and gramma and a little later uncle matt called too. he was happy it was finally "rhysie day" as he called it. we went to black rock pizza for dinner *yummmm!* and he had italian wedding cake for his b-day cake. erica and the boys picked up her MIL and AIL and on they went to tahoe where she was meeting her DH and FIL. anyway, we'll celebrate rhys a bit better on the sunday when my sister and her crew are here as well. crazy to think that he's three. and irene is 6 1/2. yeesh.

anyway, i saw this on wordnerd's blog (i got to her from dara)

1. Yourself: tired.
2. Your boyfriend/girlfriend: love
3. Your hair: brown
4. Your Mother: close
5. Your Father: far-ish
6. Your Favorite Item: books.
7. Your dream last night: weary
8. Your Favorite Drink: margarita
9. Your Dream Home: space
10. The Room You Are In: play
11* Your pleasure: family
12. Your fear: failure
13. Where you Want to be in Ten Years? MA’d
14. Who you hung out with last night: family
15. What You're Not: bored
16. Your Best Friends: true
17. One of Your Wish List Items: odyssey
18. Your Gender: girl
19. The Last Thing You Did: played
20. What You Are Wearing: clothing
21. Your favorite weather: breezy
22. Your Favorite Book? Eight
23.Last thing you ate? pizza
24. Your Life: good
25. Your mood: mellow
26. The last person you talked to on the phone: mom
27. Who are you thinking about right now? children

*special thanks to julie for pointing out there was no #11 and creating one for us all

Friday, June 23, 2006

ABC's of Me Meme

I saw this on DebR’s blog and again on JulieZS’s blog. so here I go :)

Accent - a California accent (grin). Like Julie, I’m also susceptible to accents.

Booze – margaritas – yum! vodka tonic, vodka collins, frangelico and tonic, yum yum yum. wine wise, I like reds. if I’m going to drink white, I like the sweet stuff – the rieslings, the gewertztraminers, the muscats

Chore I hate – putting away the folded clothes. folding socks. actually, many chores I do not like.

Dog/cat – we had two cats up until recently. we had to put down our merced kitty in may. cleo is still a bit out of sorts, but she’s doing fine. cleo and merced were siblings left in a box in the middle of I-5. my girlfriends and I rescued them (well, the sheriffs rescued them from the freeway. we took them home with us)

Essential electronics – digi cam, laptop, cell phone, some sort of music player, fans

Favorite perfume –hmmm – not sure. I don’t wear perfume very much. when I college, I exclusively wore Sand and Sable

Gold/silver - I like both. my wedding band and engagement ring are both gold

Hometown – is this where I was born, or where I lived the longest while growing up? I was born in The City of Orange, California. Lived in Riverside from 2 – 7. mom lived in oakland from 8 – 15, I lived in Redlands from 9 – 14, Hercules from 15 – 17 (though mom and ken still lived there while I was in college).

Insomnia –had it a LOT while pregnant w/irene. had it sometimes w/rhys. I still occasionally get it.

Job title - mama

Kid(s)- Two. irene turned 6 1/2 yesterday. Rhys will be THREE on Tuesday!

Living arrangements - well....we live in what will be a gated community. does it count for anything that we didn’t KNOW it would be gated when we bought it? it’s almost 1 year old. it’s two story w/4 bedrooms. the backyard is small, but it’s okay. we’re slowly meeting our neighbors. we have our little nuclear family and kitty.

Most admirable trait – hmm – maybe my optimism? or perhaps my perseverence? I don’t know...

Number of countries visited – 13 I think

Overnight hospital stays – 3. twice when I had my children, once when we thought rhys had diabetes. b/c of the latter visit, I always carry an extra pair of panties in the diaper bag (is it still called a diaper bag when your children no longer wear diapers?

Phobias – heights, and something happening to my kids

Quote – You can’t always get what you want...and sometimes you just have to let art FLOW over you (both were in the big chill – and yes, I know the first one is The Rolling Stones

Religion – I feel that I am a very spiritual person and I’ve been to many different kinds of churches. I’ve taken what I like from each and added some paganism to it as well.

Siblings – 4. one sister, 3 brothers (it’s a his mine and ours kind of thing, but they are all my sibs!)

Time you usually wake - at the crack of the ass of dawn when one or both kids wake me up. left to my own devices? probably once I was finally well rested, I’d wake up between 7 and 8.

Unusual talent – er...i have no idea — rob, what is an unusual talent I have?

Vegetable I refuse to eat - julie wrote “How about canned peas. Can't stand them, the smell, the flavor, the texture, ewwwww.” and I have to say, I completely agree

Worst habit – not getting things into the mail. I will have something for someone ahead of time and not get it into the freakin’ mailbox or to the post office!

X-rays – of my own? just one or two, I think. once when I had pneumonia a few years ago, and when I was little and the docs were trying to figure out why I was wetting the bed. I still remember how awful it felt to have the glow-y stuff injected into me. I remember the tears eking (eeking? ekeing?) out of my eyes.

Yummy foods I make –triple chocolate bundt cake and cheese and mushroom soufflé

Zodiac - Virgo

F is for...

what is this Wordplay thing? well, wordplay is this cool personal alphabet/dictionary doodah that Laume is hosting. hosting? i don't know what to call what she's doing, but she's doing it. if you want to know more about it click here. i'm way behind everyone, but it's fun. join in if you'd like.

family – my family is HUGELY important to me. I have a fairly large and convoluted family due to divorce and remarriage, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. had divorce not happened, not only would I not have 2 of my brothers and my sister and other family members as well, but it’s doubtful that I’d have met rob. but besides that, my family makes me happy. nothing makes me feel safer than to have rob wrap his arms around me. and nothing can melt my heart or make me feel better than having my kids tell me that they love me.

friends – friends are the family that I have chosen. I’m slowly, very slowly, making friends here in sparks. most (but by no means all) of my friends are back in the bay area. friends can cheer you up when you are down. they can commiserate with you in so many situations. they let you know that you are not the only one going through the hard times, and they lift you up. they share in your joy and you get to share in theirs. it would be a sad place without friends.

fall – one of my favorite times of year. rob and I were married in autumn – october 28, 1995

fuckadoodledoo and fuckityfuckfuck! - two of my favorite swearing phrases. both are from 4 weddings and a funeral

fornication under consent of the king
– apparently, this is a false entymology

fantastic – I like this word. on Tuesday we watched the new queer eye for the straight guy and the straight guy said fantastic SO much w/a sort of jersey accent. it was very funny. perhaps you had to see it.

four – while 3 used to be the magic number in our family, irene decided that we should make a song called Four is the Magic Number when rhys was born.

42 – the meaning of life.

fabulous – I DO use this word a lot.

france – I saw the paris train station, but didn’t have time to actually go into paris.

fluckaducka and frickafrackafrucka – two phrases I use when I’d rather be using the other, but have children around. I also use them a lot when I’m instant messaging.

fairies – we are big fairy believers in this house. most especially miss irene. the fairies sometimes leave little gifts for her. the fairies even put some fairy dust onto her walls!

fun – everyone needs to have fun. it’s one of those MUST HAVE kind of things.

french – a language I don’t speak...well, I can say a few things. but not enough to really do anything.

foreign languages – I *do* speak spanish and I can get by in italian. I can also sign. I can sign better than I can read sign...but when I’m w/mom’s deaf class, I get better.

foreign lands – I think that it is very important for everyone to go to another country. I was lucky enough to be able to do this through international programs in college. I feel it is important to do it if you can b/c everyone needs a change in perspective. the US is NOT the only place in the world. and it’s good to see how others view us. I’m sorry to say that, more often than not, I was embarrassed by the americans I saw in europe. they were rude and demanding and felt that people needed to speak to them in english. argh. when I went to spain, the first gulf war started. I have different views of that war than many of my contemporaries. it was one of the things that sort of led to my reverse culture shock when I came home. anyway, other countries have SO MUCH to offer everyone. so, if you can swing it, do it! I’m hoping that we’ll be able to send both kids to another country when they are in college for a year. then we can visit them and see what they are seeing and get new points of view.

a flea and a fly in a flue, were imprisoned, so what could they do. said the flea let us fly, said they fly let us flee, so they both flew away through the flue. this is a limerick I remember from 6th grade. just up there. taking up space in my brain. (i remembered it a little wrong -- it's so they flew through a flaw in the flue)

flu – it scares me a little more than it used to. I get a little freaked out when I hear about the pandemics. not so much worrying for me, but rather, worrying about my children and rob.

frantic – since having children, many things make me frantic. my mind can just run away with me. so many scary things in this world that can happen.

free – we are still free. but will we still have our freedoms in the coming years? they seem to be shrinking.

father – rob is an amazing father. it is fun to watch him with rhys and irene. he can be very silly with them and he can love them right up and squish and squeeze them and and and and. he’s just wonderful. I’m lucky lucky lucky that we found each other. so are the kiddos.

family advocate – this was my title at head start at one point. I helped families to set realistic goals and tried to help them reach those goals. I gave them resources that they might not know about. I listened to what was happening with their families. once I facilitated between two parents going through a rough patch in their marriage. most of the time it felt like I was making a difference.

fiction – I love reading fiction. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. I would LOVE to be a sorceress.

fake – I don’t like it when people are fake. I try hard not to be fake. I think I mostly succeed.

fake it til you make it – this IS something that I sometimes do.

fashion – definitely NOT a slave to fashion – or grands or anything else.

fatigue – someday I hope I will not be quite so tired as I seem to be these days. much of this has to do with children that wake up very very early int e morning and parents who go to bed late late at night...

fat – would anyone like some? I’d be happy to share *smile*

fats – for a while, I was trying to seriously curtail my fat intake. some things are fine low fat, but other things are just not worth it. and everyone’s body NEEEEEDS some fats. so now I am trying to use fats but good ones. I’m trying to look at the whole picture of the food. not JUST the fat.

flowers – I love sweet peas and gerber daisies. actually, I like most flowers :) but sweet peas and gerbers are my favorites. as I said earlier, rob and I got married in late october. mom grew and babied some sweet peas and carried the few that lived on the plane with her from ohio so that I could have at least one sweet pea in my wedding bouquet

fate – I do believe in fate, but I also think that we can create our own fates and that nothing is set in stone.

February – my dad was born in February – on Lincoln’s b-day, as a matter of fact. and do you know there are TWO Rs in febRuaRy? not everyone does. similarly, not everyone knows that there are 2 Rs in libRaRy.

feminist – yes, I am very much a feminist and because I put the two things together, i’ll say here that I firmly believe in things like freedom of choice (choice being the operative word here).

fetal hearbeat – hearing irene’s and rhys’ heartbeats for the first time was like magic.

feng shui – I would like to make our home a bit more feng shui friendly

french fries – yummmmmmmm especially the ones from in and out

film – we just recently had a lot of our 8 mm film put onto DVD. very fun to see

fruit – I love fruit. almost every kind of fruit. I’m not a huge fan of cantelope and honeydew, but I DO love other melons...and berries...and citrus...and and and :)

Finn Brothers – Neil and Tim. their music means a lot toLink me. I can’t hear them without thinking of rob, and of our relationship.

fingernails – I still bite mine. the only time in my life that I didn’t was when I was engaged and newly married. crazy, huh?

fireplace – I love fires in a fireplace. I also love campfires. should have put that in my C list. our fireplace is a gas one. I’d rather it weren’t, but I do understand that it is better for the environment, but I love being able to put my feet practically INTO the fire. while camping, I have burnt the soles of my shoes more than once.

fire engine – I have a deeper appreciation for fire engines since having rhys.

fireworks – I LOVE watching fireworks. we had a wonderful time seeing the fireworks for harborfest w/lydia and her family in norfolk, va

frogs – I love frogs. the sound of bullfrogs makes me very happy. rob can make a really good bullfrog sound. I sang Jeremiah was a Bullfrog with my sister at a karaoke bar for my bachelorette party. my girlfriends, Judy and Chrissy did the hand motions for it. and speaking of jeremiah was a bullfrog – jeremy’s nickname was bullfrog. mom wanted to name him jeremiah, but my gramma said that she couldn’t do such a thing.

family fun – a magazine that I really enjoy. it has lots of fun ideas

fabric – how could we make quilts without wonderful fabric? this year at the Romig Quilting Gathering (the grannies, my cousins, mom, me, mom’s best friend, the kids) we’re doing a quilt for me and rob!!! to say I’m excited is an understatement. we’ve been doing this for 8 years and I don’t think anyone realized that no one in my family had one yet – and gramma is now 91 and we don’t know if she’ll be able to quilt next year or not. so YEA!

finito – the end of f today

Monday, June 19, 2006

shangri-la/lizard brain

so, a very good friend convinced me that i should try this easy peasy shangri-la diet with her. from what i understand, you fast for two 2 hour blocks each day at the exact same time. after the 1st hour, you ingest a tablespoon of oil or a tablespoon of sugar. well, shazaam! that's easy enough, you do the sugar, right? of course you do. well, suppppooooosedly, if you decide to do the sugar, you could go into liver failure. hmmm. okay.

so, what's this supposed to do? it's supposed to reset your lizard brain. yeah, i don't get that part either. but it's supposed to make you feel full quicker.

so, i tried it. all we had, oil wise was extra virgin olive oil. i only just barely got it down. i only JUST avoided refunding it all. it was gross and heinous and it made me not want anything at all with oil in it ever ever. so i thought i'd wait until i got some more organic virgin unrefined coconut oil b/c it's got a slight coconut taste to it. well, it was better than the olive, but still, burping up coconut oil for 3 hours is just not fun. so, i'm going to skip this one. i do, however, wish my dear friend all the positivities in the world and i know she will be svelte in no time at all. i will continue to be a bit roundish. i am walking though. so that's something.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

The Countdown Meme

i got this from DebR's blog

TEN random things you might not know about me:
1. I have two Bachelors degrees
2. One is in Spanish Literature and Culture
3.The other is in Psychology w/an emphasis in research
4. I decided to go for the Spanish BA when I realized that I could get most of the major done during my year in Spain
5. I have 4 siblings
6. I have visited 27 states (if I counted correctly) including alaska and hawaii
7. I used to have a recurring nightmare at least twice/month. I rarely get it anymore.
8. The first concert I went to (w/o parents) was Berlin (their love life tour). Talk Talk was the opening band and they got an encore! it was at the Warfield in San Francisco and I went with my sister
9. The first concert I remember seeing was a big family affair at The Paramount (I think) in oakland (?). it was The Irish Rovers
10. It took me very little time (less than 1 week) to know that rob was The One.

NINE places I've visited:
1. Madrid, Spain
2. 3 of the Gallego provinces in Spain
3. The Big Island
4. Venice, Italy
5.Cowdenbeath, Scotland
6. Bonn, Germany
7. Kennebunk, Maine (honeymoon)
8. Norfolk, Virginia
9. Every state west of the Mississippi

EIGHT ways to win my heart:
1. love me despite my odd quirks and clutter
2. treat my children like people and in a kind manner (which is not to say that they cannot be reprimended when necessary)
3. cook a lovely meal and clean afterwards
4. clean my house and help me figure out an organization system that will work for me
5. fold AND put away clothes
6. match the socks – heh heh
7. Laugh and have fun
8. Listen when I talk - really, truly LISTEN. (ooh, this is a good one. stolen from DebR)

SEVEN things I want to do before I die:
1. Go to New Zealand.
2. Take my children and Rob to Spain and show them the places I loved
3. Get my masters and teaching credential
4. Make a difference
5. meet DebR.
6. Drive across the country and see the sights along the way
7. See the wonderful people my children become and truly get to know the children they may have

SIX things I'm afraid of:
1. something bad happening to the kids
2. something bad happening to rob
3. heights
4. infidelity
5. someone I love being hurt in a big bad way
6. apparently airplanes, though I still take them

FIVE things I don't like:
1. Politics
2. mean and hatelful people
3. most news – I give the station 3 stories to say something that isn’t awful...
4. basketball
5. our current administration

FOUR ways to turn me off:
1. being mean
2. being hurtful to those I love
3. talking politics (especially if you put down what I believe)
4. telling me “we need to talk”

THREE things I do every day:
1. tell rhys, irene, and rob that I love them the mostest
2. check e-mail
3. make a mess (stolen straight from Julie ZS, but oh so true!)

TWO things that make me happy:
1. holding rob’s hand
2.being with my children and being present in the moment.

ONE thing on my mind right now:
1. what is the world going to be like when my kids become adults. will we be more aware and doing more to help the earth, or will we be hurting her as much as we are now. will the u.s. still be a democracy? will we still have our rights?

Saturday, June 17, 2006

A trip across the country

I hope I remember everything...
Rhys is still waking up at 5:00 am, so the brain is a bit slow

now, onto the story.

Last Thursday found mom, the kids, and me at the airport veddddy early in the morning. I was pretty nervous. Rhys had never flown before and was very excited, as was Irene. I was a jittery mess. I haven’t always been twitchy about planes, but it’s gotten progressively worse since having kids. Lovely. and just to jump forward a wee bit, I’d like to thank Jaye SO SO SO much for giving me her bottle of rescue remedy. I hadn’t even THOUGHT about taking it along with us – how did it not even cross my mind? I just don’t know but I am greatful and beyond to jaye b/c the trip home was MUCH better mentally than the trip there. and truly? I had no more nails to eat/chew off...back to the story...we hoped that the middle seats in our rows would be empty so that the kids would have more wiggle room. that didn’t happen, so the kids were both by windows and mom and I had the middle seats. I think that this added to my anxiety. I did not have both of my babes w/in arms reach. yes, irene was very safely and very happily sitting with mom. yes, mom is extremely capable and wonderful and would, of course, put on the oxygen mask, but she wasn’t within my reach. gah! just thinking about it now makes my heart hurt. we were a little smarter on the way back. boy do I just ramble here and there. we got to atlanta for our lovely 3 hour layover. happily, the kids played on a little step2 play structure for a good 45 minutes or so and then we headed over to our gate and irene found a new friend who played w/irene for the rest of the time.

I really have to say that I have two amazing travelers. I brought goodies for them to do and they were happy and then some with their gifties and irene colored and played happily the entire trip. rhys did too. I am blessed and lucky.

the trip to norfolk (that’s NAHfuk, if you’re wondering how to say it) was uneventful. the person WAITING for us, in norfolk was our very beloved and much adored Lydia. Can I just say how much I love her? she’s so wonderful and fun and brilliant and full of life and joy and real and and and...i’m just lucky to have her as such a good friend. Lydia and I hadn’t seen each other since mom’s mastectomy to rid her of breast cancer FIVE YEARS AGO (it’ll be 5 years for mom on june 19). she had been in pennsylvania and just hopped in her car w/18 month old benny, and zooomed to columbus, ohio where the babies entertained mom and provided good joy therapy for her. lydia and I talked into the night the two days whe was with us and we just clicked like we knew we would. she is convinced (and has convinced me) that we were married in our previous life. so — since seeing each other, our oldest children have aged and are now 6 1/2, and we’ve both had a second child and have had little time to actually talk on the phone without having to get off quickly b/c some child is needing his/her mother RIGHT THIS MINUTE or was just SO good to SEE her and give her a giant hug and to introduce rhys to her and for her to see how irene had grown. and, of course, it had seemed as if no time had passed. we clicked easily and there was never ever an awkward moment.

we got to lydia’s and my children were overjoyed b/c benny was still awake. oh how benny has grown! his red hair and blue eyes and his freckles – LOVE his freckles! he has them all over his little nose and cheeks. I wish I could remember exactly what he said to irene when we arrived. he gave her a great sweet hug and said something to the effect of “I’m so glad you are here so I can see you” but it was sweeter than that. we also got to meet dan who is funny with a great dry sense of humor. he was very generous letting us come and barge into their house w/2 more children to add to the mix. dan is good. we like dan.

I think it was about midnight when we all got to bed. sadie was such a sweet thing and let us use her room. rhys slept with me in the double, irene and mom in the queen. it was cozy and very comfy. felt good to let my head hit the pillow.

the kids, miraculously, slept in until 8:00 (of course, that’s only 5:00 pacific time), so I got 8 hours (minus waking up at various times). the kids and I headed downstairs and the children all had a little romp around and checked out this and that and we had breakfast. OH!!! and miss sadie grace - what a little piece of deliciousness she is!!! she is wee and bitty and has the sweetest little "i'll do anything for you" voice. she is darling and beyond and i think i could eat her up in one wee little bite! came down at some point and then we started getting ready to head down to richmond for the mavfest. we headed out around 9:30 and got to Joyce’s really REALLY wonderful quilt shop (Quilting Adventures) around 11:00. we were barely in the door when the wonderful hugs began. Pamela was just like I’d imagined she’d be, but even better and more. she’s exuberant and glowing and just bursting with joy. she was wonderful with the children. she had fabrics and batting for irene and benny to use to make a fish (or a fairy, as the case turned out to be for irene). she had them pick out 3 fabrics for their designs...benny had his 3. I think irene had a bit of every single fabric available. rhys and sadie were delighted to run around joyce’s shop. they ran and ran and ran around the holder for the books. joyce was just lovely. so kind and gentle and very understanding w/the aforementioned running children. her shop is so beautiful. the fabrics there are bright and vibrant and I think that i’d’ve been happy to own every single fabric she has in her shop. it’s like she’s bought the fabrics that please her and that she’d want in her stash. phoebe was very fun and happy and great with the kids and I loved seeing what she was doing with her fabric. her overalls were FFFFFAAAAABBBBULOUS!!! Sage was just bursting with a glowing – does that make sense? you could just see how beautiful she is inside and out. I didn’t get enough of a chance to talk to her or to her beautiful girls, but it was nice to know they were there and all having fun. I also didn’t get much of a chance to talk to billie and her daughter, chrissie, but they looked happy. of course, how could any of us NOT look happy. we were all having fun. becky was in the back sewing away when we arrived. she had found some very sweet ballerina fabric for irene. irene was delighted to meet her after I told her that it was becky who had given her the dream pillow that she used every single night for about 2 1/2 years. she still has it and sometimes uses it. it was fantastic to get to meet joan too. we didn’t have much of a chance to talk (children sometimes divide ones attention a little too much...). she was making a cool face with some really cool lip fabric. we really like the magnet that she gave us. jaye was also there. HOORAY, I say! she and I have been missing each other much too often – trying to figure out how to get together. we hadn’t seen each other since rhys was quite bitty. it was funny that we both had to cross the country in order to be able to see each other, but there you go :) I’ve already told you of her amazing gift of the rescue remedy. jaye is so calming and lovely and good through and through and if you have the chance to meet her, you should jump at it. gads, I hope I didn’t miss anyone...if I did, please know it’s the lack of sleep!! so, when benny’s fish was finished, and irene’s fairy was started, lydia and I decided that the better part of valor was to head out and see if we could find Maymont Park. we found it with no problem, but we didn’t find the animals. what we DID find were the italian and japanese gardens. we got there around 1:30 and we were shocked when we left to discover it was *4:00* (dan had suggested we get out of dodge by 3:30 so that we could miss the traffic). the gardens were really beautiful and the children were delighted by every little thing – from the sprinklers at the italian gardens, to the koi, to the stepping stones, flowers, and the wee bitty turtle we saw. at one point irene said “it’s SO full of LIFE here!” and indeed it was. rhys was thrilled to see lots of dragon flies and was SO proud of himself when he walked on the stepping stones. anyway, we left there and got back to the store where the mavs had a cake for lydia (made by sage’s song bird, I believe) and sang happy birthday (even though, as benny pointed out, it was NOT her birthday anymore — giggle). the boys played a bit more with pamela’s fans...until they started using them as swords again – d’oh! I have no idea what time we actually got on the road, but I think we got home around 9:00 and had pizza for dinner. irene slept that night in benny’s really cool room (he’s got glowing planets hanging from the ceiling and glow in the dark stars and a fairy light). I think they finally really went to sleep around 10:30. rhys was asleep a bit before that, and miraculously, I didn’t fall asleep with him, so I went downstairs and had some lovely adult time. ahhhhhh.

(i don't know if the pictures are working, so i'm just going to send you to the links of millions of pictures: first batch 2nd batch last batch

are you all getting bored yet? I hope not...i have many more days to go!

Saturday – BOAT DAY! it was a bit windy, but cap’n dan said that we could go boating anyway. HOORAY! we didn’t get to go on the chesapeake (it was WAY WAY BIG TIME CHOPPY), so we went to Broad Bay. it was a lovely warm day and all the kids were life vested and having fun. irene tried out the tube w/benny – it has a bottom to it – not like a donut – and she liked it at the beginning, but I think the thought of the jellyfish (of which there are a bizillion in the bay) got into her head and she was worried. so we pulled her in and let benny go very fast. at some point, rhys got his wish to help dan drive the boat. HEAVEN ON EARTH for that little boy of mine...a bit later irene decided she wanted to try again if I went with her, so out we went. she had a BLAST! then rhys wanted to do it, so we switched kids and I stayed where I was. he had fun too – was giggly at times and sometimes he was more interested in the little bit of water in the bottom of the tube. when we got out (oh so gracefully did I get out --- HA!!! I am so funny!), benny and irene went out again. it was all great. they both had SUCH fun...then the wind did funny things and the kids ended up knocking into a pylong and the hearts of the two mothers on the boats STOPPED and we were both ready to dive into the jellyfish infested water before the kids could hit the water. happily, they were both safely inside the tube, though a bit shaken. got irene into the boat, benny wanted to stay. after fierce “thank god you are okay” hugs, she told me she wanted to go back into the tube with benny...and so they did. brave children. I think that lydia and I were still filled with lactic acid and much anxiety, so we were brave too. we got a late start back to richmond after dropping off cap’n dan, but jaye stayed until we got there so that mom wasn’t stranded. it was fun hearing about the class on our drive home. we had a little glitch in the getting home plans when some car apparently stalled and was blocking several lanes of the tunnel we needed to go through in order to get back to norfolk. dan wasn’t home to give us alternate possibilities. rob WAS home and helped us out. THEN, mom found.....a MAP! in the car and lydia trusted me (silly girl) to navigate us home. we managed to get home with few problems and the roast that lydia had put in before we headed to richmond was done but we needed to head out to the harborfest fireworks (the kids were REALLLLLY wanting/needing to see them and b/c they were CRAZY good in the car, we needed to let it happen for them), so we quick like bunnies got some picnicky things together so the kids wouldn’t starve, then we headed out to find a good spot to watch the fireworks. dan found us an AWESOME place to watch the fireworks. I don’t know that rhys had ever seen them before – at least not big ones like that. I think he was asleep last year on july 4. what a GREAT display of fireworks! it was SO worth the craziness to get there. the kids had fun, the adults had fun, and it was all very good. we got home and got the kids to bed and then ate our dinner. oh my DOG that was a good roast. lydia = gooooood cook! I think I went to bed around 12:30 or so...

Sunday – rhys and I went to church w/lydia and the kids. irene and mom stayed home (irene woke up quite late and just wanted to stay put – who can blame her?). I made the mistake of leaving rhys in the nursery w/sadie while I went upstairs w/lydia to the preschool Sunday school class. hindsight and all, I really should have brought him with me....but he was happy to be there and didn’t seem to mind when I left...then, when we were heading into the church, the woman who runs the nursery found me and told me rhys was screaming. oh my poor little love. he was sobbing. he found a little hideyhole and was just sobbing. “I was never going to see you again, mama” yes, that killed me dead and I was crying too. bad bad mama. he wanted nothing to do w/going into the church, so we stayed a bit outside of the church while rhys worked on calming down. it happened eventually and he was more than happy to go to the meet and eat afterwards and have cookies and help sadie by giving her some cookies too. we went home and we just had a relaxing day at home – with the kids playing in the NEW PLAYHOUSE that benny got for his 50 days of violin practice challenge. the kids had a reallllly good time playing together in it. at one point irene decided that it needed a was not really fun for anyone but irene until she made the password “well of COURSE we’re going to throw poo at them!” which is a line from madagascar. THEN it was CRAZY fun and the kids were giggling up a storm. lydia and I drank some coffee and blew bubbles for the kids and visitied and occasionally moderated various situations. it was good to have a day of not driving anywhere since we’d been in the car so so much the previous days. benny and irene tried to sleep together again...didn’t work at irene came down the stairs and into bed after a bit.

Monday we decided to go to the aquarium b/c it was raining. for a very good description of the aquarium, go to lydia’s homeschool blog. there were a zillion and 3 people there, but it was still fun. the kids all really liked the iMAX movie Deep Sea in 3D. I wasn’t sure how irene would do as she’s, um, tentative? sensitive? to movies. she’s also very much sound sensitive, so even when she likes the movie, she watches them in the theater w/her fingers in her ears. anyway, there were only a few parts that she didn’t like. and a few parts that rhys didn’t like. rhys just got very tense and had a racing heart on the parts that were scary. After that we went through the aquarium and saw all there was to be seen. we went home – rhys had fallen asleep in the car and, amazingly, transferred upstairs to bed for a nap while lydia got out her guitar, benny got his violin and we had the box of musical instruments and boas for dancing. it was fun and beyond to listen to the songs that lydia had written for south america school. she needs to make a cd b/c they are fun and interactive and catchy (do you hear that, m’dear??). irene danced her heart out, sadie played several different instruments, finally settling on the bells, and benny played his violin and then the bongos. WAY fun! WAY cool! then we went outside and played in the playhouse some more – drizzle be damned. Joanna (lydia’s sister – aka Ahno) brought dinner that night – it was scrumdiliumptious! the kids took forever and a day to go to sleep. well and truly. I started putting rhys down at 9 and the big kids were going down at the same time. rhys was finally asleeeeep asleep at 10:30. I think the big kids were asleep just before that. lydia was upstairs w/them making sure they actually slept. eventually, we two got to go downstairs and have some champagne. mom and dan were also downstairs. we watched a perfectly AWFUL show called _how to get the guy_ awful awful awful but fun to be catty :) eventually we headed up to bed.

Tuesday...our last day...
Tuesday broke w/the sun shining VERY brightly – PERFECT DAY FOR SUN PAINTS!!! so we had some breakfast and then headed upstairs to the porch and had the big kids start working on the shirts. the little ones soon got into the action and great fun was had by one and all (especially when we got smart and put shoes on so our feet didn’t get hot and blistery). we also painted a big ginormous piece of muslin to make some memory fabric. all of the kids participated in that as well and we have lots of really neat drawings of thngs we did. benny drew the sunpainting and his special pamela fish, irene drew tubing and the waterfall, sadie drew the boat, and rhys drew Rocket, space rocks and saturn. the rest of us didn’t remember that part of the trip, but I’m thinking perhaps he was thinking about sadie’s very most favorite show, Little Einsteins. or he was just thinking about rockets and space rocks and saturn, oh my! ;)

benny had his last violin lesson of the year (school year), so we stayed home while benny et al headed off to the lesson. they came back, we finished packing, and all too soon it was time to leave. I had been taking the rescue remedy since the morning every few hours. that helped the anxiety. anyway, lydia took us to the airport and we bravely said our goodbyes. rhys was sad and said he was going to miss his friends. irene did too, but she also decided that benny is going to come here sometime soon and will get to sleep in her fairy room. I let them know how much I’m going to miss my friend too. we are NOT going to let another 5 years go by before seeing each other this time around. gads! if we did that, irene and benny would be....gulp! 11 1/2!!! and the babies would be almost 8! ack!!! and I’ll be almost 40...yikes.

tropical storm albert didn’t affect us as much as we’d feared when we got to atlanta – phew! we did have some bumpy bits during the flight. we were in between cloud layers – above was the storm, below was regular cloud cover. the last bit of trip again found us with a 3rd person in each row. it was frustrating b/c the rows behind both me and mom had that magical empty middle seat. grr argh! but the people who would have been in the middle were okay with window seats and so I had irene by me and rhys close. rhys lost it at one point and needed to be by me. I felt awful. both my kids just really needed to snuggle with me and I could only do it for one. irene was very helpful and moved over by mom, but I had her sit on the aisle so she was sort of sitting next to me. I could reach her and sort of snuggle her a bit. she was very tired and eventually fell asleep. rhys was tired but didn’t fall asleep until about 1 hour before landing. it was quite bouncy as we headed into reno. not really the most fun, but I survived it.

rob and ken were waiting for us just outside of security – yea! my luggage was about the last off the plane apparently, so we didn’t head for home until 11:00 or so. irene was exhausted and happily went right to bed. rhys finally fell asleep at about!!

so...did you make it? wow! you deserve some sort of a medal b/c this was l.o.n.g.

the end.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

3 things

i owe a big huge post about visiting lydia in virginia - the trip was amazing and special and beyond - but here is this. tomorrow i'm hoping to have a bit of the jetlag gone...

From Lydia:

THREE NAMES YOU GO BY: Mama, Kristen, Krickie

THREE SCREEN NAMES YOU HAVE HAD: kristenirene, KISDbyRPD, Irenesmama

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF: my nose, my eyes, my lefthandedness

THREE PHYSICAL THINGS YOU DON'T LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF: my flippy bit of hair (only one side flips up - the other side flips down), my apple shape (was SO much happier as a pear), my dry dry skin

THREE PARTS OF YOUR HERITAGE: only 3? scandinavian, german, english

THREE THINGS THAT SCARE YOU: apparently flying scares me...The Hills Have Eyes (i saw the guy on the cover - the bald scary guy who was also in Weird Science? - at a 4th of July fireworks thing in sonoma. he scared the bejezus out of me just SEEEEEEING him), and just about anything my imagination can think of that would possibly harm my children (my imagination is way too active)

THREE OF YOUR EVERYDAY ESSENTIALS: the internet, kisses from my children, talking to rob

THREE THINGS YOU ARE WEARING RIGHT NOW: glasses, a tankish nightgown, blue paisley panties

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE BANDS: erasure, crowded house, split enz

THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE SONGS: en la gloria by erasure, she goes on by crowded house, message to my girl by split enz


TWO TRUTHS AND A LIE (in no particular order): i love to travel, i have 2 degrees, i speak fluent italian


THREE OF YOUR FAVORITE HOBBIES: hobbies? what are those? oh...right...reading, camping, quilting

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO REALLY BADLY RIGHT NOW: sleep until I feel like waking up (exactly this - stolen completely from lydia) - can i put that down three times? convince all my friends to move here, invent the tesseract as madeline l'engle describes it

THREE CAREERS YOU'RE CONSIDERING/YOU'VE CONSIDERED/ARE DOING: teacher, child psychologist, special ed 0-5 specialist

THREE PLACES YOU WANT TO GO ON VACATION: Madrid/Galicia, New Zealand/Australia, the carribean

THREE KIDS' NAMES YOU LIKE: besides my own kids' names? lukas, grace, henry

THREE THINGS YOU WANT TO DO BEFORE YOU DIE: travel more the world, learn more languages, make a difference

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A GIRL: I have no income, I don't know how to fix cars, and I cry for no reason

THREE WAYS THAT YOU ARE STEREOTYPICALLY A BOY: I like football, i love camping, i can name a huge amount of different types of construction vehicles.

i'm going to go w/DebR's way of tagging -- if it sounds like fun to you, then join in :)

Monday, June 05, 2006

Irene's "Polem"

(special thanks to Lydia! YEA YOU for knowing where to find this! You're the BEST!)

"Irene's Polem"

the sun is coming up
the sky is looking blue
the coconuts are blooming
the STRAWBERRIES are blooming
and it's ALL TO ME

the fairies are waking up
the fairies are reading books
the fairies are happy
the fairies are playing
the fairies are playing so much
the kids are happy and playing too
the fairies are jenning kenning lenning
the wind is coming and the baby fairies are staying at home
but the fairies are never ever going to go away
never ever gever fever glever jever never

the moon is coming up
the sun is going away
and the clouds are going
the stars are coming out
the wishing star is the very first and brightest star at night

never ever go away from the baseball,
stay there at night when you want to play
just stay and play
no matter what,
it's ALL TO ME

Thursday, June 01, 2006

E is for...

it's that time again...WORDPLAY. Wordplay is this cool personal alphabet/dictionary doodah that Laume is hosting. hosting? i don't know what to call what she's doing, but she's doing it. if you want to know more about it click here. i'm way behind everyone, but it's fun. join in the fun if you'd like.
debR is on the letter K
is on the letter J
is on the letter E (just like me!)
Laume (the starter of all of this) is on the letter F
Diana is on the letter E (also like me *smile*)

so, c'mon! PLAY with us :)

exxxxxcellent! this word, along with absolutely, is one that I use...a’s a very good word, I think. and I do ten to use lots of xxxxs in it when I say it

(the)Eight – by Katherine Neville (look, I like it so much, I even used capital letters!). this book is, hands down, one of my very most favorite books. it’s got historical references, it uses music and math, and logic, and chess, and and and – it’s just wonderful. I’ve read it several millions of times. so has my sister. it’s one that I’ve bought a number of times because I give it to people. I’ve given it to friends going off to europe or other fun places as something to read on the trip or on the plane. then they can pass it on to another traveler.

Europe – I lived in Madrid, Spain for nearly a year. I loved it. no – I REALLY loved it. I feel, if it is at all possible, everyone should spend a good chunk of time in another country. it’s a realllllly good shift in perspective on life and on people and it’s good to know and to realize, the US is NOT the end all be all in this great big world. there were many times I was mortified to be american. I am not surprised at The Ugly American stereotype b/c I’ve seen it. up close and personal. it isn’t called ugly for nothing.

“Engage!” - Star Trek, the next generation is SO my favorite of all the star treks. LOVE picard.

energy – can I just bottle up all the energy in rhys and irene and make it into an elixer?

eclipse – eclipses are SO cool. I can remember my dad waking me up one time to see a lunar eclipse. a
nd I remember in school when there were solar eclipses making those special boxes so you could see it as a shadow and not burn your retinas to all hell.

encircle – this word sort of embodies the earth mother vision for me. w/mother earth wrapping her arms around us all

ectoplasm – c’mon – isn’t that a cool word? does it make YOU think of ghostbusters?

(the) exorcist – VERY scary book. also quite a scary movie

endomorph – I used to be pretty solidly in the mesomoph category...but since having the kids, I’m probably more endomorphic. *bleh* I’m working on changing that. slowly.

eddies – I like seeing little eddies in the water. very cool

emerald – I love emeralds. my Engagement ring is an emerald. rob picked it out his own self. it’s beautiful and I love it. it’s extra special to me b/c he chose it. I just recently got it back from the jewelers. it needed to be re-tipped and one of the diamonds surrounding it had come out and gotten lost. when it came back to me, it looked like the day he first put it on my finger (valentine’s day, 1995 – in sausalito. underneath a full moon. with the bridge lit up. next to the bay.

earth – it’s quite a good planet. I wish we’d all be better to it. I wish nevada had a better recycling program. when we’re doing things like leaving lights on that don’t need to be on, we refer to it as hurting the earth. it’s what I’ve always said w/irene. there are ways to be good to the earth and things that hurt the earth. we try very hard to do what we can to be good to the earth. we’ve been plantning things and hoping they’ll be happy and grow, we’ve just recently gotten a new prius. we recycle what we can.

egrets – I love egrets. there were many of them all over in sonoma and marin county. also in the delta. they are just beautiful.

enchilada – my gramma lala makes the most amazing enchiladas. so does my step-mom, moni. they made them for me when I was down in march and irene proclaimed them “the best wrapped food I’ve ever had!” tee hee hee

exclamation points – love! to! use! them! do I over use them?!?!? of course! do I care?!? heck no!

ellipses...another form of punctuation I tend to use and over use...but I don’t use them to eliminate words...i just use them as long pauses...

erotica - a mighty fine genre. there are many bodice rippers that are quite definitely in the erotica camp. and e is a fine time to plug my friend, Alison.

erasure – one of my favorite bands. I saw them first when they opened for Duran Duran. my boyfriend of the time was WAY there to see Duran Duran. I was there to see Erasure. Vince Clark is a musical genius and amazing on keyboards [he was originally
in Depeche Mode – Just Can’t Get Enough was pure Vince, then in Yazoo (yaz here in the states)] and Andy Bell — gosh, you really have to see him b/c he’s wonderful. We saw them at the Shoreline and he was in a flaming red unitard kind of thing. he was streaking back and forth across the stage. the place I saw them that was THE VERY BEST EVER was at The Filmore. very small venue. was so close, he could drip sweat on me (stop saying eeeeeew!). i can't believe i'm not finding their homepage...grrrr.

(the) End – I think I have no more at this time, so I will say this is the End of E for me