Sunday, December 31, 2006

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

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

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

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

3. i have an indescribable adoration for brendan frasier

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

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

Saturday, December 30, 2006

a belated meme - 5 fave xmas songs

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

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

I'm going to do these in no particular order

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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 22, 2006


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

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

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

christmas 2000

and here she is on december 12.

Happy birthday, baby girl.
I love you!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Going down for Tamale Day

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

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

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

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

i'll catch you all when i return.


Saturday, December 09, 2006

little miss elizabeth (UPDATE ADDED)

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


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

dedicated reader and a plug for WORDS OF A FEATHER

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

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

Literate Good Citizen

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm

Book Snob

Fad Reader


What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

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

i'm about 80% on the dedicated reader scale

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thursday, December 07, 2006

k is for....

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

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

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

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

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

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

kismet – I absolutely believe in kismet.

kiss – I love kisses. LOVE them.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

keys - so happy to have found mine.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

holiday edition of...

getting to know you :)

Holiday Edition of Getting to Know Your Friends:

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

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

NAME: kristen

1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? hot chocolate!

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

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

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

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

6. What is your favorite holiday dish? tamales

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Friday, December 01, 2006

good to know

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

You paid attention during 91% of high school!

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

Do you deserve your high school diploma?
Create a Quiz

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

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

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