Monday, August 28, 2006

15 years

15 years ago, it was 1991. i'd returned from a year abroad (i lived in madrid) and was getting ready to start my (first) senior year in college the next day. i was almost 21. Chris and Josh (who i'd known since the first day in the dorms) were having a blow out LAST PARTY OF THE SUMMER party at their apartment. how could i say no to that? a party? with my friends? you betcha. josh and chris both worked at petaluma cinemas. josh as an assistant manager (is that what he was at the time? i think so) and chris as a projectionist. both of them had the night off, but many of their theater friends (and josh's girlfriend --- now wife) worked until past midnight.

around midnight, in walked in some of the friends. this very handsome and very tall guy walked in. i was smitten. right then and there. he'd brought some kahlua and something else...must've been baileys b/c he was going to make mudslides. i used all my feminine wiles on him.! i was being very interested in everything he had to say, found out his name, subtly found out if he had a girlfriend or not, asked him if i could have one of his drinks, made eye contact, did the touch the arm contact thing. i might have even TOSSED MY HAIR! oh my. basically, i was THROWING myself at him. did he notice? um...not so much. he was pleasant but he was being pleasant with everyone, not just me. i was one of very few girls in the room. michele was there - and maybe one other girl. not sure. so, i went on hitting on him, but also having fun and talking with my friends.

i realized that i should stay the night and all my books for the next day and my clothes were at my apartment. so, michele kindly offered to drive me there and back b/c i was just going to spend the night on the couch (my friends and i are and always have been VERY good about the designated driver thing). so the whole way to my apartment (maybe a mile?) she talked up rob. he definitely didn't have a girlfriend, definitely would be happy with a girlfriend and i should keep working on him. so, back to the apartment we went. more chatting, more trying to hit on rob. at one point, i realized he was gone -- actually, i do believe, i saw him walk out the door. his good friend mark had taken him outside. i found out later that what mark said to rob was something along the lines of "dude, that girl is hitting on you. in fact, she's hitting on you so hard that EVERYONE in the room knows it EXCEPT for you. so when we go back inside, sit next to her." so, that's what he did. unfortunately, chris and josh's apartment was suddenly seeming VERY VERY small and i'd had just that weeee bit too much to drink and was feeling hot and closed in. so, being VERY bold, i asked rob if he'd like to walk outside with me. happily for the sake of our children, he did. we've been together ever since.

needless to say, i owe mark in a big way. yes, eventually, rob and i would have found our way to each other. we'd have been at several things together b/c, like i said, josh and chris were (and are) good friends of mine as well as friends of rob's. but, b/c mark clued him in, it took much less time.

so that's the story of how i met the man of my dreams. my best friend, my other half, my lobster (any friends fan?), my love. we were married 4 years 2 months later.

i love you, rob

Saturday, August 26, 2006


i sometimes get it. have been getting it a bit more of late. not entirely sure why.
tonight is partly that i'm focusing some energy on a good friend of mine. surrounding her with love and positivity.

i have episodes of shows we watch on our iPod. it's about the only way i get to see some i use some of my insomnia time for that. tonight it was one episode of entourage and several episodes of Weeds. i liked it. but it's a bit disturbing. not the pot part of it - but the showing of several kids smoking pot. it's a bit worrysome (worriesome?). was it out there when i was in jr high and high school? yeah. i'm sure it was. and really, in the grand scheme of drugs? i'd much rather that than some of the other scary stuff out there. i think about the fact that i'm going ot have to teach irene to ALWAYS BRING her own drink - water/coke/whatever and HOLD it. with her hand OVER it so things don't get slipped in. paranoid much? yes. i am, damnit. but i hear just enough things that make me like that. irene's only 6...and yet, i worry. i worry about a lot of things over which i have no control. does every parent do this?

funny. the nights i have insomnia are the nights rhys seems to stay in his own bed longer. it's all balance. heh. heh.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

i forgot! big ol' rambly post about staying home and working

a few days ago, carrie commented: "I hope that I won't have to work so much whenever I choose to have children so I can really be good with them." and then i said something like - oh yeah, i wanted to write about that. and then i didn't.
so here i am.
writing about it.

when rob and i talked about having kids, we were hoping that maybe i could stay home. the more pregnant i became with irene (who was known as lima at that point in time - not the capital of peru, but rather, the bean), the more i felt i really needed to be home with her. i told head start that i'd be coming back when i went on maternity leave. but i didn't. rob had been with ILM for a little more than a year and things were going pretty well. we owned a home and our mortgage was actually less than the rent we'd been paying. so, i felt outstandingly lucky that i would indeed be able to stay home with her. when she was about 6 months old or so, head start asked if i could do some computer trainings. i got to bring irene with me. i got paid more per hour than i'd ever made actually working for them. but then, i wasn't working 40 hour weeks, so that's probably why. i did that for a while on an as needed basis. then when irene was almost 18 months, one of the teachers needed to have surgery. she worked in west marin and head start had a partnership with a preschool there. they asked if i could work for her. it was once/week and i didn't have to do too much of the paperwork nor did i need to do home visits. i was there primarily for the children (i speak spanish and most of the kids were children of mexican and south american immigrants). i was also there to help the parents when they needed it, but really, i was more the teacher than the home visitor. irene mostly stayed with rob's folks and she LOVED the time she got to spend with them almost as much as they loved spending time with her. so, from february until december (w/the summer off), i did that. Irene came with me some days and got to be in the toddler room. they had a wonderful teacher there. when the teacher came back, i stayed on for a bit more of the year to help out etc. then the toddler teacher was going to get married and Papermill Creek Children's Corner was in need of a toddler teacher - 5 days/week for one month, 5 - 6 hours/day. i brought irene with me most every day, and it's a good thing too. i spent all of my creative juices while working with 4-7 wonderful toddlers. the teacher decided she wasn't going to come back. (is this coherent?). they asked me if i could stay on. i said yes, but only twice/week. 5 days/week was wayyyyya too much for irene and too much for me too. we weren't living on easy street by any means, but we were getting by and having fun and were able to do some fun things as well.
so - that summer i got to teach twice/week and had a core group of 5 toddlers. they were really a fun group. 4 of them (including irene) were about 2 1/2 or so. we did tie dying and painting and playdough, some walks, and all sorts of fun projects. when the school year started, i got a co-teacher who worked 3 days/week and i did 2.

again, i feel like i'm totally lucky that i didn't (and don't) HAVE to work. and when i DID work i was able to bring irene (and later rhys) WITH me to work.

gads. is ANY of this making sense? i hope so.

now i occasionally substitute. when rob was working at the tv station, i would sub on mondays and fridays. we definitely needed more than just rob's income. i LOVED subbing. when rob got the job at IGT, subbing was a good thing, but not quite as necessary. and it really can only happen if i have someone to watch rhys b/c it's not worth paying someone to watch him b/c i'd be paying a sitter basically what i made that day.

i am hoping to finish my grad school application soon and will get a teaching credential (hopefully in 0-5 special ed). i'll probably go back to work part time when rhys gets into 1st grade (yes, sooner, if i have to). but when the kids get into middle school, i really feel i need to be home when they get home. my child development professor really REALLLLY instilled in me the importance of being home during the teen years. she said something to the effect of "as important as it is to try and be there for the first three years of life, it is as important or MORE important to be there during the middle school/high school years." so hopefully things will continue to go as they are now and i'll be able to be here for them. to know where they are when school is over.

do i sometimes miss working? yes. do i sometimes want a little bit of a respite? of course. but then, sometimes when i get that, i start to miss them. *smile*

i might end up deleting this post tomorrow if it's really too's late and i'm tired.

oh!!! and i also want to say that i'm not being on my soapbox about being a stay at home or work at home mom or dad!! i know how lucky i am to be able to be home with the kids. i really REALLY do!! i KNOW how hard it is and how much things cost and how many families HAVE to have both parents working.


friday through tuesday

on friday evening, rob subbed in a softball game. b/c it was friday and therefore NOT a school night, we all went. it was very fun. rob has a bit about it on his blog though you might have to scroll down for the weekend news. the kids had a blast b/c there were a few other kids there near their ages. lots of running and fun ensued (sp?) and they just had a hugely good time. the mom (and the mom's friend) there had similar ideas about how far the children could go and that was nice. we all were sort of keeping eyes on them. afterwards, we tried to find a geocache, but couldn't. ah well. rob and irene had better luck on saturday. they found 4 of 5 caches! not too shabby. i went shopping at a local kid's store - it's similar to stores i've seen in san anselmo (this means some very pricey stuff, but also some really unique stuff) - they were having a good sale. yea! i found something VERY fun and VERY cute for miss karly who will turn 2 while we're at disneyland (november 9), and a few other things as well. i just have a few things to take back. got home and cleaned the house a bit. later on the kids went down the street to play with some neighbors. we went down there a bit later as well. the neighbors are nice. they are from mississippi. by sheer coincidence, they left mississippi on the same day katrina hit. crazy, huh?

OH! and there was a wee bitty toad in our backyard (today i saw a baby jackrabbit!). i got to show it to the kids, then i put it back where i found it.

while we were down the street, moni and dad called. they'd arrived in town earlier than expected b/c of a flat tire on their trailer. they took an amazing trip through alaska with something like 30 other people? maybe 30 other truck/trailers? not entirely sure now that i think of it...rhys and irene were VERY excited that they were going to see Papa and Gramma the following morning.

i continued de-cluttering my closet a bit that evening. i also had insomnia which is fun, so rather than wake up rob, i went downstairs and switched some of the kids books - hmm. that doesn't make so much sense, does it? what i did, was remove some of the books that have been out for a long time and put up some books that had previously been put away for a while. gosh i would dearly love to have the built in bookshelves we had in our rohnert park house. we had allllllll of our books out (there were a LOT of shelves). i also moved some other things around and found more things to donate to the friends of multiple society (i'd just given a few ginormous bags of my clothes and kid toys to big brothers and big sisters the previous week) and finally went to bed around 4.

moni and dad got here on sunday morning and we had a lovely day. mostly we just hung out and relaxed. rob took dad to do some geocache maintenance and then came back. we had dinner at black rock (yum!). we came home and irene showed off her bike riding and reading skills (yes, yes, two separate things, not one and the same) and then rhys wanted papa and gramma to come up to his room, so they played a bit w/space stuff.

it's serious work - this space stuff!

Papa and Gramma playing space guys and space shuttles with Rhys

Monday was Moni and Dad's 29th anniversary! to celebrate moni took me to get a pedicure - she got one too. her toes are Chick Flick Cherry and mine are well crumb. i can't find my color -- it was something like feels like falling in love. it's bright opalescenty fuschia-y. it was lovely and such a nice and relaxing gift.

while we were getting pampered, irene was in school and dad was playing with rhys. they put together most (if not all) of rhys' puzzles and made chalk drawings on the driveway and read books and just really had a very good time. they had to go and get the trailer some new tires and rhys needed to nap. i gave them directions to irene's school so they could see it as well. they thought it was a very nice school and met the principal. they also gave a donation to the school - how cool is that? apparently they had talked about wanting to do that when they retired - donate money to their grandchildren's schools.

they came back in the evening and dad got to listen to irene read. they then went out to dinner at the steakhouse to really celebrate their anniversary. they should have gotten home yesterday. it was a really lovely visit. the kids were both sad that papa and gramma had to go.

on tuesday, irene's front tooth FINALLLLLLY fell out! phew! we also had dinner at mom and ken's so she got to show it off to them.

what you can't quite tell from this picture is that she is also missing a tooth on each side of her bottom front teeth, and her other top front tooth is VERY loose. the teeth on either side of the top fronts are ALSO loose! oh my!!

so, tomorrow i will tell you about how i realized my mind is lost. gone. outta here!

Thursday, August 17, 2006


irene recovered quickly. yea. i asked her if she'd talked to miss graham. she said that she had not. now she wants to get to school first so that she can be in the front. hmmm. the problem is, she's often having fun crafting/creating/drawing here at home and wants to go to school a little later.

rhys and i worked on the letter A a bit today. it's funny - poor second kid. with irene, i had all the time in the world and she knew her alphabet and knew which letter was which before she was 3. part of this was because of africa school which was very fun and worked so well and lydia and i had a fabbo time working on it on our opposite coasts. i tried valiantly to do south america school w/irene and rhys this has not gone well. i just couldn't figure out the time to do it. maybe if i had started it THIS year w/irene in school all day, it would have worked better. who knows. maybe i'll try it over again. so, rhys knows lots of stuff that irene might not have when she was 3, but there are so many things i'd done w/irene by this time that i've NOT done with rhys. ugh, the guilt. it's hard when i want to be able to do everything and it just doesn't seem to happen. i miss having our super rockin' cool patio w/patio cover in rohnert park. we painted almost every single day and it didn't matter that the paint got on the ground. we could paint in the noonday sun b/c we had the patio cover. rhys doesn't get that opportunity so much. also, we had hardwood floors in Rohnert Park. here we have carpet. biocolors are not easy to get out of anything - ESPECIALLY carpet and clothing...

so, today rhys and i worked on A. he pasted and we painted and we played with playdough. it was fun. does rhys recognize A? i don't know for sure. i think he was tired of me asking him about it. he wanted to make H and B and S and "spaters" (not sure what those are exactly - some sort of space thing he's made up). we had fun. THAT is what really matters.

the end.


we had a great morning this morning. irene made breakfast for me and rhys, then i made breakfast for her. she was dressed and ready to go and there was no moaning, no groaning about the things she needed to do. she played very nicely with rhys and was very complimentary of his drawings (often she'll look at his stuff and say THAT'S not how you draw an xyz...). we got to school before the first bell rang, she had put her backpack in line, it was all quite good. the bell rang and she ran and was the first person to the line.
well. the kids put their backpacks on the line and apparently that's where they get to stand. irene has always put her backpack down, but never really cared where it was and always picked it up and went to the end of the line if that's when she got TO the line. the boys that were in the front of the line told her she was cutting in line and she had to go to the back of the line. "you can't stand there, see? my backpack is right here! you can't cut in line, you have to go BACK!"

i was just going to help mediate the situation when she decided to move to the back of the line. she'd gone two steps and her little face crumpled in a puddle of tears that she was trying to hold back. i very nicely told the little boys in the front of the line that irene hadn't understood that because backpacks were there, even though no kids were there, the backpacks were holding the places. they were quite nice and said "oh" b/c they really didn't get that irene didn't know. how could she possibly not KNOW those rules? well, b/c she has a sense of fairness and didn't see any person in the line.

i gave her huge hugs and gentle words and sent her into the class. i hope she bounced back okay. it's no fun to see your child so sad and not be able to stay with her and fix it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

a little of this and a little of that

today is picture day for irene. she has lost another tooth (last year she had lost her first tooth just in time for pictures). so she now has two adult teeth (the bottom two) and two empty spaces on each side. she also has two very very loose top teeth and the two next to them are a little loose. should be fun to see how her smile changes in the next few months *beam*

she's continuing to truly enjoy first grade and her reading abilities are jumping in leaps and bounds. it's so fun to listen to her read. what's most interesting is listening to her read these complicated words that don't follow the rules of english - like "although" or "should" or "photograph" and then will stumble over "door." it's been such a joy to watch that little click go off in her brain that sort of put everything together for her. she started truly reading in the last month or so of kindergarten. so that means she's only been realllly reading for 3 months. prior to that, she mostly just wanted to know what everything said - right then. without having to think about it. she could read, but often got frustrated pretty easily. there is very little frustration right now. it's amazing.

rhys and irene finally had their first appointment with a doctor here in town. it's been more than a year since their last appointment (with doctor eric in petaluma....our wonderful family doctor. his wife was my midwife). both kids are very healthy and dr. thomas (that's her last name) was quite good with them. it's a very very small office that is all done in a Finding Nemo theme. all of the rooms are different - we were in the Sports and Fun room, but there is also a Shapes and Colors room. there might be another, i'm not sure.

now we need to find a doctor for me and rob...we'd hoped for a family practitioner again b/c it was nice having one doctor who knew the whole picture, not just a part of the picture. the doc we wanted (also dr thomas, but not the same dr thomas) isn't currently taking new patients with our insurance. i'll try again at some point and see if it's Great-West time or not.

what a bland post for today. but i need to get a shower while the kids eat some breakfast.

oh! rob did a really good blow by blow of our camping trip, so you can check it out there.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

quizes that go together, right?

Your Candy Heart Says "First Kiss"

You're a true romantic who brings an innocent hope to each new relationship.
You see the good in every person you date, and you relish each step of falling in love.

Your ideal Valentine's Day date: a romantic dinner your sweetie cooks for you

Your flirting style: friendly and sweet

What turns you off: cynics who don't believe in romance

Why you're hot: you always keep the romance alive
What Does Your Candy Heart Say?

actually, my ideal valentine's day date was in 1995 when rob and i went to dinner in san francisco at the only place close i could find that didn't take reservations, then go across the bay to houlihans in sausalito for after dinner drinks and dessert, then walking along the bay and having him propose to me. doesn't get much better than that.

Your Heart Is Pink

In relationships, you like to play innocent - even though you aren't.
Each time you fall in love, it's like falling for the first time.

Your flirting style: Coy

Your lucky first date: Picnic in the park

Your dream lover: Is both caring and dominant

What you bring to relationships: Romance

going to vote in the primaries this morning. and so, i'll leave you with this last quiz:

You strongly reject traditional values.
Above everything else, you value honesty.
For you, morality and truth are one and the same.

You hate to be thought of as weak or insecure.
You abhor hypocrisy and have troubles with authority.
You are impulsive and somewhat unpredictable.

i don't really have problems with authority...well, i'm not enamoured of the president, so perhaps i do. you'd have to ask rob if i'm impulsive and unpredictable. i think sometimes i'm impulsive, but i don't really think i'm unpredictable.

Monday, August 14, 2006

lighting a candle

my mom's best friend is having surgery today. she called mom the other day to tell her she has uterine cancer and 8/14 was going to be when just about all those innards are removed. merilyn is one of these people who is special to the nth degree. she always had time for me when i needed to talk when my parents were getting divorced and after. she can see multiple sides of many situations. she can hear a problem and know the solution. she's a beautiful woman inside and out. i haven't seen her for a few years b/c we didn't get to go to quilting week last year and this past year, mer couldn't come. i'm confident the surgery is going to go well...because it has to. i can't imagine the alternatives.

cancer seems to be all around right now and it's just making me angry and then some. i'm sure there are very bad people who have it, but it seems to me that it's the good people that get it.

*update* surgery apparently went well this morning. i don't know if she has to do any chemo or not.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

and we're baaaaack!

(is jimmy fallon in your head now?)

rob's got a bit of video from our camping trip on his blog. you can find it here. you can here our voices on it and see the children in action. you can even hear rhys' "action music" toward the end of the video.

we had a really wonderful time at emerald bay with our friends, the myers. tanya and i have been friends since early 1998 and irene and rose have been friends since the moment rose was born. we don't get to see them nearly as often as we'd like, but it's wonderful when we can get together. max was just adorable. he's toddling around already (he'll be one in october). we weren't able to see the cool meteor shower even though i was actually awake when it was happening. the full moon was just too bright. we *did* get to see a million trillion stars. boy were they beautiful.

lydia - i've got some pictures up on our website that show some bears that are akin to the norfolk mermaids. we were driving as i was taking the pictures, but it was fun to see them.

Friday, August 11, 2006

...tired of being admired...

so, debR asked why the previous post reminded me of Madeline Kahn. it's b/c of the song she sings in Blazing Saddles. she plays Lili Van Shtupp and sings the song "I'm Tired....Tired of being admired" and was nominated an academy award for it (thanks rob for that info). she's very dietrich-esque.

we're getting ready for a quick camping trip at Emerald Bay. we're going with our good friends, The Myers family. i don't think rob has seen them in more than a year. could that be right? we last saw them (we being the kids and i) in may. we are greatly looking forward to the trip. our whole family hasn't been on a camping trip since the february before rhys was born! the kids and i had an overnight camping trip in the palomar mountains with my cousin and her boys. but it was just overnight and the bugs were overwhelming for the mamas. the temps are supposed to be in the mid-60s to mid-70s during the day, and 40s at night. i'm looking forward to cool weather!

have a great weekend everyone.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

i'm tired....

so now i have madeline kahn in my head. i miss her. what a funny and delightful actress. ovarian cancer = baaaaad!

i had a lovely bout of insomnia last night. it's not so bad if i didn't have to get up early in the morning. of course, instead of doing things like cleaning the house, emptying the dishwasher, folding some clothes, i did none of this. i did change rhys' bed as he drank a bit too much water last night, apparently. i just should have listened to my gut when he woke up the first time around 11:00 and taken him to the bathroom. ah well. bad mama.

i need to get a few more things from the store for our camping trip, then do some packing. tomorrow i'll do more, including getting the hobo dinners ready. and i need to figure out what time i can take irene out of story time today. let me rephrase that. no going to borders for storytime. we will indeed read stories here.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

j is for...

i know, it's crazy, isn't it? another wordplay! whew! c'mon! don't you see how fun it is? hmmm, i should have had exclamation point under e, huh?!?

june – the biggest birthday month for our family. the most important june birthday for “our small family” (as irene refers to us) is rhys’ birthday. june 27. that just happens to also be my nephew jake’s b-day as well. jake is exactly 10 years older than rhys. cool, huh? I called to make sure it was okay w/jake before rhys was born (rhys was a scheduled c-section). not sure what I’d’ve done if he’d said no, since that’s when my midwife and the surgeon could do it. so – let’s go to the beginning of the month and please don’t let me forget anyone!! eek! june 1, melissa (rob’s middle oldest sister) and my cousin, garrett (8), june 2, nephew ben (19) and brand new baby nephew, simon. june 3, judy. june 8th, lydia. june 9, cousin cameron (just turned 1). flag day, anna. june 16, gramma lala. june 18, niece alana (16!), irene’s 1/2 birthday party is always somewhere in there. june 24 mom and ken’s anniversary, the 27th, rhys, his b-day buddy on the east coast, andrew, and jake (13), on the 30th, FIL, Bob!

July – another biggie in the birthday department. 1st mom and irene’s best friend, rose (6), 5th is niece tricia (27), 6th frederick (5), 7th is josh (this was rhys’ original due date as well), 11th is BIL, Chuck and twin cousins Anna and Jason (3), 15th – alaska, 18th – michele, 28th – cindy.

January – my sister’s birthday is on the 5th and nephew’s birthday is on the 20th. it just so happens that both of them have J names (see next entry)!

Jolie and Jake – my sister and her son. Jolie lives in oakland with her partner, Kris and Karly (who will, of course, make an appearance when I do k!) as well as Jake, of course! when our brother ted has his birthday in november, jolie, ted, and I are all 1 year apart. this year will find us 37, 36, and 35. this is through the magic of divorce and re-marriage *grin*. so, while technically, they are step-sibs, I don’t think of them like that and I very rarely refer to them as such. I wish that we were able to see each other more often. jolie is a very calming force and is an amazing mother. very patient, very loving, very calm.

Jake – our OTHER nephew who is 13 (big jake). he (and his family) live in texas. we don’t see them nearly often enough, but when we do get together, it’s wonderful.

Jeremy and Jesse – my little (30) brother and his wife. they live in colorado and we don’t get to see them nearly often enough. they have andrew (6), kaitlyn (2 1/2), and baby simon (2 months).

Justie – a sweet 10 year old on our street who loves and adores rhys and irene. she comes over a lot and helps us in many ways. we’re going to be very very sad when she moves.

joshilyn jackson (the h in her name is silent, so it sounds like josssssssilyn, just so's ya know) - amazing writer and someone I can claim to know – even if it’s just in the yahoogroups way. but we’ve only got 1 degree of separation b/c she’s best friends w/lydia. if you don’t own her books (gods in Alabama and the new one Between, Georgia), get thee to the bookstore and buy them or to the library and borrow them! they are very good. VERY VERY GOOD!!! and her blog is hugely fun and funny.

joseph – our friend’s chrissy and bob’s new baby boy.

(mr.) jones – a song I greatly enjoy by the talking heads

judgement – I try not to have judgement about people who do things differently. I don’t always succeed, but I do try. i hope that people don't judge me before knowing me and who i am or what i'm about.

jellyfish – jellyfish are SO cool. the first time I saw them free floating (meaning not in an aquarium) was when we were in alaska (which reminds me of another J word!). I got to see them again when we were in virginia with lydia and her family. cap’n dan took us out on broad bay and there are lots of little jellyfish there.

juneau – before I was pregnant with irene, pat and bob (my mother and father-in-law) invited rob and I to go on a boating trip in alaska. we’d start in juneau and go around admiralty island. when we went, I was 5 months pregnant with irene. we had an amazing and wonderful time. pat and bob rented a boat that slept 4 quite comfortably. it was on that trip that rob felt irene move for the first time. I woke him up to feel her (we didn’t know irene was a her). because I was pregnant, I didn’t get to take full advantage of the natural hot springs, but when we were in tenakee, I *did* go into the hot spring there. I submerged my whole pregnant body in, stayed for a minute, then came out. I love hot HOT water, so I could have stayed in there for a very long time, if I hadn’t been pregnant. we also got to see orcas! IN THE OCEAN, IN THE WILD orcas! an entire pod of them. huge ginormous ones and a few young ones too. it is one of the highlights of my life. it was magical. while in tenakee, we went into a little shop that had wonderful prints by Rie Muñoz. I bought several art cards by her. I really love her works of art. she has some books that I might look into getting. my grandmother has one of her prints called “The Storyteller” that she bought when she was in Alaska 15 or more years ago.

juggle – I wish I could truly juggle. I can only pretend juggle.

jump – I used to jump rope all the time as a kid. I was pretty good too.

johnny jump ups – we have several of these sweet little mini pansies that have volunteered in our garden. I did not know that they are edible. and I thought I had a picture of mine to put in here...but, alack! alas! it is not so.

jazz – I’m really not a fan. rob is. my dad is. rob’s dad is too.

juniper – not my favorite bush. I used to get prickly from going into it to grab a ball that had gone astray when I lived in Redlands w/Moni and Dad. in rohnert park, we had 3 juniper tree kind of things. rob and I spent several hours removing them. in their place, we put a beautiful housewarming gift – a cecil bruner rose. loved it very much and it was quite wonderful in its production of lovely pink roses that smelled SOOOO good.

The Juniper Tree and other fairy tales by the brothers Grimm (my review is the last one when you follow the link) – interesting. when I went to find it on amazon, it has a new cover. illustrations are by maurice sendak. mom and ken got me this book when they were on their honeymoon in monterey 28 years ago. I still have it. I even know exactly where it is.

jack-o-lantern – I have so many memories surrounding the creating of jack-o-lanterns. many of them include my dad. I can remember when we lived in riverside – so I was either 3 or 4. I remember him having me taste the pumpkin flesh. I still taste it. he’d have me draw my face – er – the face of the jack-o-lantern on a piece of newspaper and pick my favorite, and then we’d draw it on the pumpkin and dad would cut it out. the first jack-o-lantern that we did with irene (not including the one we did FOR irene when she was 10 months) she drew the face and we did our very best to cut it out just like she did it. I think we did a pretty good job. the rule at our house in picking pumpkins is that you must be able to carry it. this could be something we begin to regret as the kids get stronger *smile*

jam and jelly – I love apricot jam. rob loves blackberry jam. I don’t like strawberry jam. don’t know if rob does, but neither of the kids do. I like most jellies and jams.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

happy birthday and happy anniversary

Happy birthday to Lucy. She's 6 today. chances are, they don't check out my blog, but that's okay :) and Happy Anniversary to George and Janice. i'm thinking they have been married for 34 or 35 years now - maybe more. They are the fabulous parents to one of my very dear friends, chrissy :)

now on to boring stuff. irene came home one day last week w/just the wee smidgens of a cold. you know, just a wee little thing. slightly runny nose, but no big deal. she was over it in minutes. *I* however, got totally hit, crushed, dead on with one whopper of a cold a few days later. ugh. am hoping that i didn't get pat sick, or bob either for taht matter, while they were here. it was so odd. i was fine, and them BOOOOOM! felt like i'd been dragged through the depths of hell by my head. fun.

am still sick. but way better today than yesterday or sunday.

that's it from here.

lydia - i hope you're having fun. you need to moblog more pix! please :)

Monday, August 07, 2006

I is for...

oh my dog! two of these wordplays in one week? that's right, my friends, two in one week. remember, i'm trying to catch up to debR and deirdre and everyone else doing you want to play? want to know more? you can check out laume's wordplay ( i have a little doohickey on the right side that says wordplay - you can click on that or on the word wordplay. it really is fun, so play!

Irene - first and foremost, irene is my 6 1/2 year old preciocious and joyful and sometimes exhasperating daughter. it's hard to remember what life was like before her. she's a joy and delight and is loving 1st grade. irene is also my middle name. and my mother's middle name, and oma vicki's (mom's cousin - like an aunt). we all have that name b/c of my great grandmother, Irene Peace Romig. I was born on her birthday.

internet - i think i was in college when i first did internet kind of stuff - and that was more listserve than anythning else. rob had prodigy and i utilized one of the groups to find out as much as i could about OCD. my co-worker's daughter was suddenly dealing with it and we were trying to get info. that was in 1992. it's been amazing to watch the changes. i think the internet, for the most part, is really wonderful. i don't look forward to the monitoring that will need to be done when irene gets a little older, but i can't imagine not having it for long periods of time.

italy - i loved italy. i REALLLLLLY loved venice. wowsers was it wonderful. i'd planned to spend several days in florence and only one in venice. florence was disappointing to me. i had such high high expectations for it, that, in hindsight, i don't think it ever could have measured up. i loved the art and the museums, but decided to cut that trip short and head to venice. i was in love. i stayed there for 5 days, i think. i stayed at a girls' hostel run by nuns. we had to be out by 10:00 am and in by 10:00 pm. i met some other fun girls there and we had a fabbo time. rome was outstanding too. i was only there for one day, but i did indeed see the sistine chapel. holy cow. just thinking about how long michelangelo was on his back painting and painting. oh my. pompeii was cool and eerie but i really liked it.

ice cream - for several years after returning from europe, i was ruined for ice cream b/c i'd had the most amazing gelato in italy. now i enjoy ice cream again. and rob is the most wonderful ever b/c when he has ice cream like ben and jerry's coffee heath bar crunch, he will give me one of his big ginormous pieces of the heath bar crunch. THAT is true love. *smile*

iced coffee - i love iced coffee. i will often make my own. i haven't been having so much coffee lately for whatever reason, but i do enjoy iced coffee. usually, if i'm getting a coffee, i'll get an iced hazelnut latte. yum. i had my first iced coffee in spain. it was the coolest. you got your little tazo of coffee (read espresso), you doctored it up w/sugar, then you put it into the big brandy snifter that was filled with ice, so you got some hot and cold. SO freakin' good!

indigo - i like the color indigo and i like the word as well

idyllic - isn't that a pretty word? isn't it a nice thing to which i can aspire? an idyllic setting?

insomnia - something from which i occasionally suffer. i had it a lot when i was pregnant with irene. it worked out okay b/c my mom was in ohio at the time and we'd IM at 2:30 am for me, 5:30 for her. i still have it - but like i said, it's an occasional thing these days. phew!

IM (instant messanger) - i have iChat which uses ichat and aim. i like it and have it on most of the time, even when i'm not actually AT my computer. i also have yahoo messenger

ibook, ipod, imac - all things i've owned or own. while i have used PCs, i really am an apple girl. mom and ken bought the apple 2 and the apple 2+, the apple 2e, apple 2g, i took the apple 2c w/me to college and when they bought the next new computer, i got my first imac. that was my last year in college.

imagination - both of my children have the most amazing and wonderful imaginations. mine is pretty good as well, but i love their imaginary friends (more on that below) it's fun to listen to them talking and makign up stories - especially when they think no one is listening.

imaginary friends - Irene's first one was square circle - she was from another planet also called earth, but it was triangular. prince charmings (yes, charmingS, not charming) would bring her here on his rocketship. The imaginary friend that has stayed w/us is Shainda. What is especially interesting is that we were recently looking at some old video and on easter when irene was 2 and a wee bit, she mentioned the name SHAINDA. I didn't recall that when Shainda appeared soon after rhys was born. Rhys' imaginary friends are harry - who is usually a red pterydactile - and hamren or harren or something in between, it's hard to understand that particular name. But his first friend, was shainda also. he sort of took her on at one point.

inspire - i hope that i inspire people occasionally. i get inspired by watching my kids, by Rob, other people in my family, my sister (who is the most amazing mother in the world - very very calm. very very patient. it's a thing of beauty to watch her), friends, the list goes on.

iñigo montoya & “inconceivable!” - both from The Princess Bride - both a wonderful book and movie. i've watched and read them both over and over again (probably watched the move more than i've read the book). several of the things in this book are part of our family's lexicon - ROAS is one - "i think this word does not mean what you think it mean" is another.

ips beetle - were it not for this book (which i love and which has hidden beatles songs in most, if not all, of the pictures), i would not know what an ips beetle is.

iberia (airline and peninsula) - i flew on iberia when i went for my year in spain. lovely airline. even coach class got groovy footy slippers and stuffs. the peninsula is wonderful and amazing and fabulous and and and....can you tell that spain had a major impact on my life? i believe that if it's at all possible, every college student should spend a minimum of 6 months, if not a year, in another country. it's good to know how the US is viewed elsewhere and to get some different ideas and cultures and learn a new language/dialect/whatever.

“ice is nice!” - hee hee. anyone seen Real Genius? if you haven't, you should. Rob named one of his kitties Lazlo after Lazlo Hollyfeld.

ichthyosaurus - rhys is very into dinosaurs right now. i'm pretty good at identifying the different kinds now.

icing - yummmmmmmm. especially when it's ganache, or dark chocolate. my MIL makes a chocolate frosting that is TOO DIE FOR.

illustrators – edward gorey ,the guy who did the dahl books, angelina ballerina, stella blackstone, peter sís, peter reynolds, maurice sendak, etienne delessert, and so so many more.

Ish - this is another book by Peter Reynolds who wrote The Dot (a must have!) and it's very sweet and rings so true about how someones unkind word can stifle your art, but then, someone else sees it in a different way and shows you how special it is. RUN and BUY IT! or at least get it from your library :)

impatiant - i used to be much more patient. i started losing my patients when i was pregnant with rhys and irene was 3. i'm still mostly patient, but not nearly as patient as i'd like to be.

impatiens - sweet little flowers

∞+∞ - something I sometimes write after I love you when I am signing off a note to rob

Io - besides being in greek mythology (that zeus - he did love him some women!), it's also a moon around jupiter, which is another of rhys' obsessions.

irish music - i grew up listening to irish music. for my 22nd birthday (still one of my very best birthdays), we went to a local pub (me, rob, and girlfriend judy) where they had a live irish folk singer. i had everyone banging on the bar or clapping at the appropriate times. i really love irish music and the feelings it evokes for me. it's very homey.

iris - when we lived in rohnert park, we had hundreds of iris that would come up in our yard. well, maybe not quite hundreds, but many and many and many. it was fun to watch them all pop open.

irreplaceable – I have a several things that are irreplaceable, but I’ll name just a few. one is
the ring I wear on a necklace. it used to belong to my father in law. my mother in law wore it and I can recall only a few times she wasn’t wearing it. it has an R on it. she gave it to me when rhys was born. I don’t think I’ve taken it off since she gave it to me. it is hugely special to me. something else are my grandmother schoenmann’s pearls. my uncle had my (step)grandmother get them for me when I announced my engagement to rob. I wore them for our wedding. they are really beautiful. there is also my engagement ring that rob picked out by himself – an emerald with 8 little diamonds around it. it’s beautiful and I love it. he gave me an emerald pendant on a chain as a wedding present (note to self - I need to get the chain fixed for that) and emerald earrings for one of our dating anniversaries. and no, it’s not my birthstone. my birthstone is the sapphire - which i also like very very much. I just love emeralds.

and there you have it.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

a quickie for lydia

just in case she's already in south carolina (last i checked, they are in NC) and NEEEDS to know what's going on *smile*

the in-laws are coming today for an overnight visit, so i'm in the midst of cleaning (taking a smalllll break w/a little boy over my shoulder -- no, really, head dangling over me backwardsly).

went today to our last make-up saturday class for the kiddos..."um, kristen?" says coach shandley (sp?) "i don't have irene listed in today's class"
D'OH!!! LAST week was their last saturday make-up class. shazaaaam. so i had two sad children, but didn't have the 32.00 to have them in a drop in class. after next weekend, we can switch from tuesday nights to saturday morning gym classes for both of them. fewer people in irene's class, more kids in rhys' class, less grumpy daughter on tuesday evenings.

went to a local farmer's market since class wasn't going to happen. got some amazing lemonade from Smiley Tongue - lemme see if they have a website...nope, not that i see. too bad. it's lavender lemonade. it's yummy. it's spendy. but i can make 1 qt into 2 by adding water w/o changing the taste. yea.

also got some organic corn and yellow zucchini - or as rob called it "straight crooknecked squash" and a watermelon that while not strictly organic, is grown w/o herbacides or pestacides. so yea.

and, ken just bought a new computer, so i get to switch from mom's cool computer to ken's even cooler computer! woohoo!!! very excited! so i will switch the info from mom's powerbook g4 to ken's bigger, thinner, faster, newer powerbook g4. YEAH BABY! i'm veddddy lucky.

oh, and rhys' word for wasps, is waps,

gotta head back to the cleaning/straightening/creating the illusion that we have less clutter than we actually do.

wish me luck.

Friday, August 04, 2006


why is it that people (no, i don't mean ALLLLL people, i mean SOME people) go insane here in the states when on a magazine go ape over the fact that there is a baby latched onto a breast? DUDE! GET OVER IT! the baby is EATING. it is NOT sexual and if it makes you uncomfortable, LOOK AWAY! i just don't get it. why does the US push formula so much? is nursing easy? not at the beginning. at least not for every mother. do some mothers truly have lactating issues? yes. but for most of us moms, this is something do-able. it's FREE. do you know how much formula costs? ugh ugh ugh! i'm so tired of people saying that "it's disgusting" to nurse and that "it's sexual." some people are just plain ignorant.

grr argh! i wonder if HATHOR knows about this yet....

my brain pattern...? and this morning.

Your Brain's Pattern

You have a tempered, reasonable way of thinking.
You tend to take every new idea in, and meld it with your world view.
For you, everything is always changing. Each moment is different.
Your thinking process tends to be very natural - with no beginnings or endings.

hmmm, i don't know that i'm always tempered and reasonable in my thinking, but i do take in new ideas and meld them w/my world view.

we had a rough morning this morning. not all of it. it wasn't such a big deal that irene and rhys were both up at 6:15. that's par for the course. my kids just don't sleep in. not when they go down at 11:30 pm, not when they go to sleep at 7:30 pm. they get up between 6 and 7. usually 6:15 - 6:30. when they aren't awake by 7:15, i start doing breathing checks.
irene is feeling a bit puny. has a runny nose and is sometimes coughing. that is probably why she had the meltdown this morning over brushing her hair.

for those of you that don't know it, irene has curly hair. it's not as curly here in the dry heat of sparks as it was in the cool air of sonoma county, but it's curly. and it loves geting snarlies (or, as my MIL calls them, bad fairies). today she didn't want to brush her hair. in kindergarten, i had other battles and wasn't willing to do the hair battle, so sometimes it was brushed, sometimes not so much. this year, the battle is hair. it must be brushed before she goes to school. i touched the brush to her hair and the crying started. the brush, mind you, wasn't actually BRUSHING yet, but she thought it was, and so, therefore, it must hurt. yeesh. then she threw a few things backwards at me and i told her she needed to go to her room. she. said. no.

yeah, that's not okay with me! so i let her know she did not get to have her cookies (a very special treat that she's not gotten yet) in her lunch. i went and took them out and told her to get upstairs or she'd lose other things - things near and dear to her heart. so up she went. sobbing hysterical all the way....bleh. nothing says good mom like hearing that, right?

i got rhys and justie (justie is our delightful 10 year old neighbor who is very sweet w/the kids and they adore her) into the car, got the car started, and had irene come down. she was still crying (still that fakey cry with a few tears). by the time we got to school, she was over it. it's amazing to me how quickly kids get over things. irene was telling me she loved me and that i was the best. very nice :) but why can't *I* get over things as quickly. today i was, but other times, i need time to calm down.

ah well.

that's it for this rambly mama. got to get ready to go to story time at the library.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

the past two years - the scary and sometimes fun roller coaster

rob just wrote a really good post that pretty much describes our past two years. it's funny b/c i was just thinking today that - wholy carpe carp, batman! we've been in sparks for nearly 2 years now. do i think of myself as a nevadan? er, um, well, no. i'm 3rd generation californian, so that's hard to take out of the girl. but we're slowly getting our feet planted here. irene is happy in her school, we've met a few friends, both kids are loving their gymnastics classes, and we don't have to get in a plane to see most of our friends and family, and we have space for when they come to see us!!

so - go and check out rob's blog here. he's quite an eloquent writer and often is much better putting things into words than i am.

*beam* i just loves me that man of mine!

h is for...

I'm still trying to catch up to DebR (hahaha! like that’ll happen! she’s on t right now) and other folks doing Laume's WordPlay. anyway, come on and play! it's fun! i love seeing what other people have in their own personal dictionary.

honey – I love honey. when I was pregnant with irene, local honey was the only thing that helped the allergies that I suddenly had. prior to irene, I’d never had seasonal allergies. I was VERY pleased to find that the local honey helped me. something else I love about was one of the desserts we’d have in spain. honey on fresh french bread. Y.U.M! I stil love that. in fact, I had it for dinner the other night – honey on a cibatta roll that had been toasted. delish! it’s also good with peanut butter mixed together. and on popcorn with a bit of salt. and and and :)

henry – a name we were toying with when I was pg w/rhys. we didn’t find out w/either child what we were having before hand. irene, at the time, pronounced it “hengery” and she would say it a lot b/c ‘hengery’ is angelina ballerina’s little cousin and angelina ballerina was her favorite little mouse and her favorite set of books for several years. lydia felt we were obligated to name a boy henry b/c, c’mon! Hank De Haan! no one’s gonna mess with Hank De Haan! *smile*

hay – when we lived in sonoma county, we saw a LOT of trucks carrying millions of bales of hay. I would make a wish on them. still do. (I think the rhyme is something like “see a truck carrying hay, make a wish and look away”)

house and home – we’ve owned three now. I like our new house a lot. the painting we have done so far is fun. our home in rohnert park is one of my favorites. it was funky and had a great yard and a wonderful patio cover and my swing. I am sure that part of it is that it was our first house and I got pregnant with both children there. we took ownership of it on our 3rd anniversary. our petaluma house was cool (the upstairs was all the master “suite”) but I get sad more often than not when I think about it b/c we hadn’t planned on leaving it when we did. THIS house has a really cool backyard. it’s not as big as I’d like it to be and we don’t have a patio cover (yet?), but I really like our rock wall (they mistakenly call it a retaining wall, but they didn’t put it together very well, so it doesn’t so much retain) with all the flowers and plants and tree that we’ve planted in it.

hawaii – rhys calls it wah-ah-ee in 3 very very distinct syllables (“let’s go to wa-ah-ee. there are VOLCANOS there!”). irene has wanted to go there since she was 4. rob and I went together in 1994 b/c I was presenting a paper w/my friend and co-author kelly at the WPA which just HAPPENED to be on The Big Island! we had an amazing time. we were snorkling and ended up right by where a family of sea turtles was eating! there was a small one and some very big ones, just about 10 feet out into the ocean. my sister, jolie, wants to run the honolulu marathon in a year, so we’re hoping we can go at that time and cheer her on as well as enjoy hawaii with the kids.

hephalumps – pooh’s word for elephants. hephalumps and bumbershoots. I think that’s one of the chapters in the book.

help – something I like to do for people, and something I tend to forget to ask for.

haggis – does anyone (besides the scots) really like this??

honeysuckle – I love the smell of honeysuckle. surprisingly, mom has some honeysuckle that the previous owner planted that has NO SCENT AT ALL! very odd.

heart – I tend to think with my heart rather than my head in many situations.

husband – I feel enormously lucky to have such a wonderful husband. he is my best friend and my soul mate and the one who balances me and grounds me when I’m going crazy out of my head with worry, fear, anxiousness etc. on august 28th, rob and I will have been together for FIFTEEN years! on october 28th, we’ll have been married for 11. we met at a friend’s house around midnight. it was the night before school started and I had just returned from spain 2 months before. he sat down and I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. he had no idea that I was hitting on him. it took one of his friends taking him outside to explain that everyone in the room knew I was hitting on rob EXCEPT for rob, and that when they went back inside, rob needed to sit next to me. needless to say, mark is uncle mark to the kids and is also one of my very good friends too (though we don’t see him or his wife nearly enough). anyway, rob and I have been together ever since that night.

habitat for humanity – a charity that I support when I can

hanging butt flies – I don’t know what these are really called, but it’s what I call them. these are the flies that circle around often in groups of 2 or more. they fly quite slowly and their rear ends hang down. I’m watching 2 of them in my house right now.

hake – an atlantic ocean white fleshed fish – it’s similar to cod. in spain it’s called merluza (that’s merlutha, to non castillian spanish speakers *wink*). it was a staple in our house and we had lots of reallllly good meals with it. I haven’t had it since being in spain. I need to look for it so I can make a yummy merluza dish that i’ve been craving.

history – I love world history. I am not so very fond of american history. it makes me angry more often than not b/c of all the really heinous ways we’ve treated the native americans, the africans, ourselves. I don’t know that I’ve ever been so angry and horrified in a movie as when I saw GLORY. it’s an outstanding movie that I think everyone should see, but I can’t watch it very often. it makes my blood boil and makes me cry and cry.

halloween – halloween is very fun. I love dressing up and dressing up the kids. I don’t so much dress up anymore. but as a kid, it was one of my very favorite things. when we lived in riverside, I can remember (in my 5 – 7 year old kid memory) that everyone really did it up for halloween. lots of cool houses and props and such. don’t get that so much these days.

happy – I would say, that mostly, I am a pretty happy person :)

hate – in our house, we do our very best not to say this word. the kids know that it’s a word that causes hurt and pain. if there weren’t such rabid hate in the world, we’d probably be in a better place than we are right now (that’s the global we, not the royal we).

hezbollah – anyone know the correct pronunciation? it’s interesting to listen to reporters talking about it and in 5 minutes they’ve pronounced it in several different ways.

health – I need to work on mine. I’m relatively healthy now, but not at a healthy weight. I don’t have healthy exercise habits. it’s something I’m trying to change.

heat – dear me! it’s finally broken here (for the most part), but the east coast now has it and also has the humidity! ick ick yuck!

hollyhocks – we have some growing in our backyard b/c mom gave us a bunch of seeds that the kids threw around. can’t wait until next year when they do more than just a little mound.

heaven – my cousin’s husband recently explained heaven to his son as being the place where our thoughts and feelings go after we die. I like that explanation.

hell – according to the baptists that came to our house, that’s where I’m going b/c I tend to believe that most religions have the same beginnings and are all quite similar and so, we are all one.

hippie – I’m definitely more hippie than hip. I think that some of the folks that live around us think we’re way hippie-ish b/c we try to eat organic foods when we can and we have a prius, and we try to be good to the earth and not use so many bleachy, chemically things.

if I think of more, I’ll add them later.