Tuesday, October 31, 2006


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

You Are Cameo

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

life, headaches, and other ramblings

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

okay - gotta go.

Friday, October 20, 2006

when do kids get to be kids?

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

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

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

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

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

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

things need to change.

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

Monday, October 16, 2006

whoops! it's been a week.

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

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

the trees are really in cool colors right now.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Monday, October 09, 2006

a meme from debR

i got this from DebR and this is what she says about it:

I got this meme from Mim at R*S*V*P. The object of the meme is to answer each and every question with either "yes" or "no." No "maybes", no stories, no explanations or equivocations. ACK!
she *did* however put some question marks on hers -- i'm doing that too - either to the ones i don't remember exactly if it was me or someone else, or if the question just seems vague to me - i mean, when talking about playing chicken - are they talking about in the pool? are they talking about in a car? or is it just any kind of chicken? hmmmm....

anyway, here is mine.

Have you ever:
1. Taken a picture completely naked? yes
2. Danced in front of a mirror naked? yes
3. Told a lie? yes
4. Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back? yes
5. Been arrested? no
6. Seen someone die? no
7. Kissed a picture? yes
8. Slept in until 5pm? no
9. Had sex at work (on the clock)? no
10. Fallen asleep at work/school? yes
11. Held a snake? yes
12. Ran a red light? yes
13. Been suspended from school? no
14. Pole danced? no
15. Been fired from a job? yes
16. Sang karaoke? yes
17. Done something you told yourself you wouldn't? yes
18. Laughed until something you were drinking came out your nose? no
19. Laughed until you peed? yes
20. Caught a snowflake on your tongue? yes
21. Kissed in the rain? yes
22. Had sex in the rain? no
23. Sang in the shower? yes
24. Gave your private parts a nickname? no
25. Ever gone to school/work without underwear? yes
26. Sat on a roof top? yes
27. Played chicken? no (?)
28. Been pushed into a pool with all your clothes on? yes (?)
29. Broken a bone? no
30. Flashed someone? yes
31. Mooned someone? yes
32. Shaved your head? no
33. Slept naked? yes
34. Blacked out from drinking? no
35. Played a prank on someone? yes
36. Had a gym membership? yes
37. Felt like killing someone? yes
38. Cried over someone you were in love with? yes
39. Had Mexican jumping beans for pets? yes
40. Been in a band? yes
41. Shot a gun? no
42. Shot a bow and arrow? yes
43. Played strip poker? no
44. Donated Blood? yes
45. Ever jump out of an airplane? no
46. Been to more than 10 countries? yes

Monday, October 02, 2006

Rob's Birthday Weekend

I'm sorry, I'm sorry! the news wasn't so fit to print last week for the most part...or rather, perhaps i wasn't so fit to print it. still working on that heavy feeling - but i think this weekend did a lot to help that.

My amazingly wonderful and handsome husband turned 40 on Saturday. We had a low key but very fun party for him at a local park. What was incredibly fabulous is that some of our friends from california were able to come, some of our family from california were able to come, some friends and family from here, and, the surprise to end all surprises, Debbie, Rob's oldest sister, flew out from texas to be here. to say that rob was deeply touched would be an understatement. I think having our friends and family here was good for the soul - mine as well as rob's. it was really fun to watch all the kids having a wonderful time playing together with a minimum of hurt feelings etc. Bob brought a bacci ball (bocci?) set and he and rob played along with several of the kids. it was a joy to watch them all laughing and having fun.

MIL, Pat and Debbie made a very yummy cake - the frosting is the most amazing part of the cake. it's probably 12 pounds of chocolate and then 12 pounds of butter. SO yummy! they also helped so much by bringing the paper and plastic goods, some bread and brie (i had bought one triangle of brie, but was worried it wouldn't be enough). i made aram sandwiches - veggie ones and turkey ones. i should have made 2 batches of the veggie sandwiches as those went like gangbusters. i was delighted at how easy they were to make. i bought lavash from trader joes, some light cream cheese, sun dried tomatoes that i blended into small pieces, then i put fresh basil, fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, and roasted bell peppers on them (the turkey ones had turkey - obviously *smile*). i rolled them up and then cut them into 6 circles. they turned out really well. i was quite pleased with them and with myself. i also made a yummy salad w/very cute little tiny mozzarella balls in them. we had various snacks and fruit to keep everyone pretty happy (at least that was the hope). I think we were successful.

the park was perfect, the soccer games had just ended when we got there to set up. the weather was *supposed* to have been in the 90s. happily, it was overcast and probably in the high 70s lower 80s. delightful. the wind was only bad a few times. the kids had a fabulous time at the park - they played and played and played. there were 8 kids ranging from 15 months to almost 7. i tried to be a good hostess and hopefully was successful. sometimes i had my eye mostly on where rhys was, sometimes i was able to talk to our friends and family. jolie and my cousin, erica watched the kids a lot of the time - i thank them very much for doing that.
it was pretty windy, so we were all trying to keep the 40 candles lit.bob and pat watching the fun

i love this picture w/all the kids anxiously awaiting their slice of cake

we got home close to 5:45 i think. Erica, Vicki, and Erica's boys were staying with us. i got the kids fed (the adults were all still pretty full) and erica got them bathed, then i put rhys down, vicki read to irene, erica was getting her boys down. Vicki then offered to watch the kids while rob and i went out to the casino to gamble w/our friends, bob, mark, and celeste. we found a 5.00 black jack table that was empty so all 5 of us got to play. it was such fun! rob and i started w/20.00 and i had 60.00 in my pocket when i finished playing. i think for the night we ended 40.00 up - so that's pretty darn good! and to have fun and get to chat w/your friends as your playing - what a delight! it was 12:45 am when we got home. i don't think we've stayed out that late since rhys was born. bob got rob a fabulous frufru cup to hold onto filled w/a margarita. mark later refilled it for him, so rob was feeling no pain.

the next day we had brunch at the el dorado. it was delicious and there were about a million things from which to choose. i think all the kids greatly enjoyed their meals - pancakes and bacon for rhys, french toast, bacon, and pancakes. both followed it up with ice cream - heh heh.

we all greatly enjoyed one another's company. it was so special to have debbie there. as rob says, it's never enough time. erica, vicki, and the boys headed out a bit before we did, so we said our goodbyes as they headed for tracy. soon after taking some fun pictures, it was time for debbie, pat, and bob (rob's dad, not our friend) headed back to lodi. mark, celeste, bob, rob, the kids and i stuck around for a bit longer. bob and rob had found the green stamps slots so they went there, the kids and i stayed and watched a rhythmic gymnast at circus circus. she was pretty darned amazing! irene loved it. after that, we went looking for rob et al. found them, i talked to them a few minutes and then got a bit busted for corrupting the minors. irene, rhys and i went outside (the slot machine was fairly close to the door) and proceeded to dance to Joy to the World (3 dog night, not the christmas song) on the sidewalk outside. we were probably pretty funny to watch, but i didn't care - and the kids sure didn't care. mark and celeste found us and we went up and got some coffee (vanilla milks for the kiddos). rob and bob eventually found us and then it was time to say our goodbyes. it was really a wonderful visit and my children, i'm happy to say, were quite delightful and polite when we were at brunch and in the casino.

we came back home and relaxed. it was a good weekend. i feel grateful for my friends and my family and rob and i both feel well loved :)
not the best picture ever of us, but that's okay. l-r
pat, debbie, irene, rob, rhys, bob, celeste, mark, and bob
3 friends
now THIS is more like it.

and THIS is just hillarious. we'd been seeing these crazy posters all over - sigfried looks looney, roy looks completely cg and darren romeo looks absurd. so mark, bob and rob decided to recreate it. they did a pretty good job. hee hee!