Monday, December 31, 2007

Happy New Year and birthday wishes

On the 30th, we had a dinner party. A few colleagues, friends and amazing vegetarian lasagna, best I've ever had. Paul was the chef of the evening (the guy at the head of the table). The conversation veered into some dicey topics like the military and religion but all seemed to survive. I get a bit nervous mixing my different worlds...and yet it worked. I even got to add table leaves, 3 of them.

On the 31st, Sushi. We made celebratory sushi for dinner. I glopped up the sushi rice, dang. I should have read the fine print. I should have enlisted Paul. It all tasted great anyway, just a bit sticky.

9pm PST/12am EST: We were banging pots and pans and screaming Happy New Year. I love celebrating with New York. I get to go to bed earlier and still get to see the ball drop. Where the hell is Dick Clark? I know he was celebrating somewhere, but not with Carson Daly on CNBC. By the way, who the hell is Carson Daly?

Happy Birthday Christine!!!!!!! Did you make it to midnight?

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Vacation time

Its great to take a week off of work at the holidays. Not that it has been restful in the least. To give a brief review, we got ready for Christmas on Christmas eve, decorating our Ficus tree. I tried to go get a tree but Max didn't want me to get a "killed" tree. Dang it BZ!

Every year we seem to acquire more Santa hats and now we have one for each family member as well as a few others in case someone stops by and feels left out.
Aiden got sick Christmas eve-night, or at least, had a troublesome sleep, so, we were up with him trading off hours of rest. And was Christmas morning and Max woke excited to see if Santa had actually come.

Ah, the magic of Christmas (translation: big pile of presents and stockings by the fireplace). Even though Max had rewritten his Santa list on Christmas Eve (much to my horror), he still proclaimed this the "Best Christmas Ever!"

In the afternoon, my cousin Pat and family came over for a holiday feast. Always fun.
Alison and Kathryn (in background of above photo) have gotten all grown up, its completely crazy. They have well thought out political views. And they don't just agree with their parents. They each have well thought out ideas and positions....this may seem obvious, like, of course, but to me its amazing since time has gotten way out of hand.

Elisabeth and family arrived about an hour after Pat and family left. I think they stayed for about...21 hours, but who's counting? It was GREAT to see them, just too short. I always end up feeling like I need at least a few days more. The kids just get bigger, smarter and more fun.

By Boxing Day afternoon, Liz and family had departed and we were wrecked.

The next day we began a 3-day trip to Napa, by way of Six Flags. We joined friends of ours and had a great time. We went to Discovery Kingdom, The Jelly Belly Factory and saw The Old Faithful Geyser in Calistoga.

We are finally home. Its nice to be back. What a whirlwind.

I read Good Night Moon to Aiden tonight and he held my hand, saying the words with me and waving goodbye to each page of the book. He loves going to bed almost as much as I do. I love the ritual. He added a new element tonight after I turned out the light. He started singing Twinkle, Twinkle and I joined him. At the end of the song, he clapped his hands and said, "Good night, mommy." So this is my new cue to leave the room. OK.

Tomorrow, a dinner party. What was I thinking?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Sinuses and a sock

I have never had a sinus infection before. I know, yucky subject. But I have to say after 3or 4 days of being in hell, I must write about it. I feel like my head is in a vice, being tightened. My right jaw throbs painfully, worse than a toothache. I am not big on drugs or anything but about 4 or 5 days ago, I thought maybe a bit of Acetametiphen might be a fine idea, just to cut the edge. Nothing. Then the Ibuprofin, nothing. then the Cold medicine with way too much crap in it, nothing. Dang.

Friday, I went to Kaiser, out of desperation, and the doctor gave me a whole host of drugs, "just in case." I haven't ripped into the antibiotics yet but I broke down and took the Codeine to sleep. I also started the Sudafed and the saline spray. NOTHING. FUCK. IT HURTS.

I am clearly a wimp.

To distract myself, I parent. I take care of children, play, make them food, knit a sock. I knit a sock!!! After the world's worst sock knitting class at the beginning of the month, I figured out, with web help, how to make a sock. So it is MUCH bigger than expected but it will make a great slipper for ME.

My head is still in a vice but my foot is happy. Maybe I should put the sock on my head.

Monday, December 17, 2007

O Christmas Tree O christmas tree...

Here's what Danny Seo says...go with a live tree. He makes a good case, here's an excerpt:

Choose a live tree. Believe it or not, I lived on a Christmas tree farm for three years of my life. Even though I didn’t work on the farm, I did learn more about evergreen trees than any person should ever really know. The greenest choice when it comes to real vs. fake is choose a live tree. You see, these farms are using land that’s unsuitable for most crops, except hardy trees. So they’re saving land from development. Plus the trees provide habitat for wildlife and help combat global warming while looking all so charming and idyllic. And unlike a fake tree which is made from petroleum based materials and shipped from overseas, these trees are renewable and easily recyclable.

Well? I'd love your opinion, and, I am still waiting to hear about protecting the ornaments. One idea is to avoid all thinking.

Gotta go, kids returning soon and I need to jump back into my sick bed so no one thinks I'm recovered (i.e. able to do things for others).

Sunday, December 16, 2007

In conclusion

The Dreidel went back to Big Spring. It was packed in BZ's mom's carry on. Unbelievable. I don't know how the decision got made but I was told they wanted it for next year's big Hanukah celebration in Texas. I suppose it'll get more TLC in their home.

Now that it is gone, I miss it. Really. I could say, "Yes, but can you beat this?" And nothing could come close. Ah well. It was good for a laugh.

Now for Christmas. And speaking of, what do we do about the tree? We have a debate over whether or not dragging in a dead tree for a week or two is un-green or if it could be made part of the whole sustainability deal (i.e. tree farms-grow trees for Xmas, always have trees growing, produces H2O, etc)? BZ is really against supporting the murder of innocent trees. He was very excited to see Tod and Linda going with Tinsel.

I grew up with Christmas trees. We would drive somewhere far away, in the woods, and cut down a tree. My dad would then put it on the back porch until Christmas eve. On Christmas eve he would spend hours setting it up in the stand, cutting it down to fit in the room (the trees were always ridiculously tall) and stringing the lights. We could then put up the decorations. I love the decorations. I still have some of those from my childhood as well as ones that I have collected over the last 20+ years. I love the smell of the tree, the crazy ornaments, and memories of Mahalia Jackson singing Silent Night.

Perhaps a live potted tree? Expensive. A table top? Can't do it. First of all, it would just be an invitation to Aiden to climb up and knock it over. Second of all, there is no second of all, I don't want a stinking table top tree. I have high ceilings, I want to use them.

Finally, if we do get a tree (of any sort) How do we convince our 2 year old to not knock down the tree, or pull down the lights or break ornaments? Friends say, just let them know the rules, "Just say no."

To which Aiden will respond, "Sorry." And continue on.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Out of gas

Literally. Yesterday, I yacked on the phone in a parking lot for, clearly, way too long. I pulled out of my spot, noticed "low fuel" and looked around for a gas station. Less than 30 seconds later, the steering wheel locked up and that was that. The car stopped, blocking the exit (completely) from a shopping area. It mainly irritated the drive-thru Starbuck's patrons who were forced to go around the back way to exit.

Lame. Out of gas in a brand new car on the way to a dealership. They mocked me. And they mocked me some more.

In other unrelated news, I saw Project Runway. Wow. Reality TV. The fun part was hanging out with the neighbor gals. Odd to hang out across the street with an actual cocktail, getting to cuss and giggle, and scream at the TV. All the while, BZ and boys leaping around across the street (I could actually see them from the neighbor's living room window, leaping).

Time to sleep. I am really running on low.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The big surprise

BZ's parents called a few weeks ago to say, " A big box is coming. Open it immediately and plug it in." We were very curious. My mind was working overtime, what could it be?

A big screen TV? A Wii game player? These are things our family dreams of in the plug-in category. We then calmed ourselves down, remembering that BZ's parents are practical folks who don't like to waste money. They helped buy us a refrigerator, dining chairs, a college fund.

Think. What could it be? Ugh. Right. They are coming for Hanukah. Its gotta be some giant light up menorah or Star of David to twinkle in the window. Crap. Well, the kids will love it.

We were on the right track. It arrived today. It is literally 6 feet tall. Actually it is more than 6 feet tall when completely pumped up.

This definitely calls for a "Dear Lord..."

But wait, there's more...

So my question is, where should we put it? Did I mention that the Dreidel goes up and down? That we live on a steep slope? I need some suggestions. Really.

Damned hats

Yesterday I was ill. Was it the curse of the too-big-hat? Perhaps.

I took pictures to show evidence of my knitting problem. Some of you have been saying I am too hard on myself...see for yourself, I am not hard enough, apparently.

Let's go over a brief history of my hat making and perhaps I can figure out where I have gone so wrong.

My first hat:

The first hat was a small pink hat with lace and it worked well, except it was big enough for a football player.

I washed the hell out of it and brought it down to size for a toddler. Check.

Next hat:
Max really wanted a cool hat that his mommy made. So I began. It was fall, so, we picked fall colors. I lost my place at one point and messed up some stitches but, what the hell, its for a 4-yr old.

When I finally finished...I could clearly see that it could fit yet another football player (with a giant head).

So, I just gave it to BZ, who, BTW, loves it. Very Rasta.

Next hat:
I will learn from my mistakes.

Time for sweet little Aiden. I have learned to stick to cotton so it isn't "itchy." His hat actually fits, wow!

But, he loves to pull apart the pom-pom. Shit. Still cute. Hard to get a photo, he doesn't actually like wearing the hat...details...

Most recent hat:
December 1 was my sister's birthday-Happy birthday, Elisabeth!

Her kids all play ice hockey, it is very cold at ice hockey rinks, very cold. It seems there are games and practices 7 days a week. Elisabeth must have a very chilly head. Ahah!

I made a big fat hat this weekend. It worked except the stitching at the top is ugly. BUT the hat is warm and cozy.

Lessons learned:
1. Follow directions, don't make them up
2. When making up directions, make it much smaller than you think you should
3. Follow directions, any directions

So what about that too-big Max hat?

Well, BZ can make anything look cool. Well, almost anything.

Go dog, go!

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Making a hat

Warning: Today's blog is about knitting gone bad. If this is offensive (or boring) to you, read no further.

The thing about knitting is that it is not a perfect science. It can be very emotional. It can be completely deflating. I was very proud of my little red hat until I finished. For the last several inches I was thinking that I should probably start decreasing and just end the hat before it goes the way of the others (above picture, this is where I should have stopped). No, I followed the length-of-your-hand rule and made a tall goofy hat...AGAIN!! Crap. I suppose it should be the length of the wearer's hand and not mine.

The red hat is now in the washing machine getting the crap kicked out of it, and hopefully a few inches. Pictures will come later. Maybe.

I need coffee. Waaaah.