Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas and the holidays in general can be a bit tiring.
But, they are also exciting. I love watching the kids open their gifts.
All the classic stuff like race tracks and tents and even light sabers (the new classic).

Some gifts can be practical, like shelving, for example.
Not very fun to unwrap but pretty great when the closet is redone and I can find things. I suppose its like getting a scarf gift as a kid.Or a new book...until its read.

I love the holidays. Even with all the craziness. Its great having all the family time, seeing friends, eating lots of desserts. Now that the gift giving is over and we've all slowed down, its nice just to hang. And reflect. And rest.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Eve

Last night, Max and I went to get my parents at the airport. He brought his wand along just in case.

Tonight, we hung our socks up on the fireplace waiting for Santa's magic. We can't wait until morning. Based on the giggles and screams from the other room, the morning may be a long way off.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Ho ho ho and a Happy Hanukkah!

Hanukkah. Night 2. Time to decorate the tree. What fun, I love the holidays.

Wait, its time now to light the menorah...and then of course there's the Chanukah gelt and latkes and jelly donuts....mmmm.

OK. Completely out of order but I thought I should add a picture from this past weekend, truly the first day of the holidays...a night out with BZ. We were at a wedding party in downtown SF and there was a photo booth and alcohol and well, the rest is history. Or, at least a few silly pictures.

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Yes. It's the 1st night of Chanukah but not for these other kids.
Their moms are out at a spa night. This is my holiday spirit. The only
one missing is the baby. She's in my lap. Getting my fill of baby
smells. It should hold me for a while.

Sunday, December 14, 2008


I am being relocated to Fresno. To keep my job, I need to be willing to be based in Fresno, CA. Translation: Find a small share for weekdays to commute back and forth from.

Yesterday, our family took a road trip to Fresno to see the different neighborhoods, meet a few prospective home shares and to play miniature golf.

All in all, a successful but very long trip.

It was good just to see the reality of this Fresno chapter of my work life. I resent being pulled away from the family but am grateful for a paycheck (and so is BZ).

We got home just in time for a friend to drop off his kids to watch for the evening. Actually, he dropped them off for a sleepover, which I admit, was a HUGE surprise. No problem, it was my kid who vomited the next morning, not his.

A long day.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Our gingerbread house

Max and Aiden make the house with a bit of parental
supervision..."stop licking your fingers Aiden!"

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Montclair stroll

Hangin with the Bank bear...not a great photo but a great time.

Our little Oakland district had an evening of holiday cheer (and shopping).

The kids saw Santa but chose not to do the lap dance, we got cookies in every store, hot was fun seeing friends and classmates in the streets and, I have to was great seeing stores getting customers...

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Serving my country

Monday, back to school. Tuesday, Jury Duty.

There is an art to avoiding service. I have not yet mastered that art. I now know what I should have done, but it won't help me this time. I report to the courthouse downtown at 8:30 am. Not an easy place to find parking.

I am serving my community. This is a good thing. Within a week, I find out if I am still employed for next year. This is a bad thing. The timing is a bit stressful but perhaps its an opportunity in disguise. You know, giving to others, community, service with a smile...

Monday, December 1, 2008

Rounding out the holidays

I forgot to mention that I had a great time with my nephew Sam and niece Tess (Emma was in Chicago playing Hockey). We hiked down to the little village by way of a great wooded path with fantastic climbing trees.
Even Aiden got into the act. Max observed, and then fought off a few pesky dragons.

They left Sunday at 5 am and by 10am, the boys and I were playing miniature golf.

This was the first time that Aiden got into the act. He loved it. And the coolest thing of all was at the end of the course, the "19th hole." This is the final one that takes your ball (ending the game). If you get your ball into the impossible small pipe at the end of the path, you win a free game. By the luck of Zeus, Max nailed it, setting off a string of crazy sirens that nearly gave me a heart attack. We screamed and yelled and picked up our free pass. A great way to end a holiday weekend.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

An early birthday

My sister and family visited yesterday. We celebrated her birthday
with a very chocolate cake. Yum. Aiden helped blow out the one polite

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy First Thanksgiving Holden!
Holden is a very lucky boy. Holden is not in the hospital anymore, he has the most dedicated and loving parents, Tod and Linda and he has SO many aunties and uncles. We have been waiting a long time for this little fella. Holden, you remind me of what I am thankful for. For being alive and having friends and family, and my health (mostly).

BZ's parents are in town and we've been sightseeing. We went to the auto show:
You may notice that this picture is taken at Ford and there are no cars but...Max was cuter than the Fords, believe me.

We then went to go see the waterfalls at Yerba Buena Gardens:

These are a must if you have never gone. You walk behind the falls and read along one of MLK, Jrs. speeches, probably one of the most famous. Its very moving. The sound of the water is really loud and by the time you get to the end of the speech, "like mighty waters" it really gets you. I needed that. I am thankful for this beautiful memorial.

Then, when we were really tired, we went across the street to the Jewish Museum, which I have never been in before:

Beautiful. Great exhibits, some very cool interactive stuff that the kids could participate in. A great find and I can't wait to go back.

I am thankful for my family. I have been having a pretty difficult time lately, mainly just stress about the unknown which although understandable, kind of a waste of energy and emotion. I have so much to be thankful for instead of focusing on what I may lose. So there.

Today, I will begin to pick myself up, shake of the heaviness and eat some turkey. With my family.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Cafe Trieste

Tonight, I went out. I put on slightly more makeup, I did my hair slightly differently, I wore a blouse with more of a neckline. Not that you can see any of this in the photo from the end of the evening but I thought I would tell you that I veered from my normal comfortable Friday night activity (staying home with the kids). I needed to shake off my mood of doom.

Sometimes its important to just get out of the house. Here was my excuse. Monica was performing and BZ and Pam joined in (Pam got lost in the photo, too bad).

Its nice to get lost in good music. Its nice to not think about all the muck that clogs up my brain and stresses my stomach. You listen to songs about the world, beauty, violence, love...and for a moment it just puts everything in perspective.

We are about to give thanks officially next week and I have decided I might need to start early to get my mind off of myself and all the negative. There are so many things to be thankful for.

As I listened to Monica sing, I remembered that she is the one who introduced me to BZ at the Noe Valley Ministry. Kim was with me. I met Monica through Tom. I sat next to Tom tonight and got to remember meeting him at a birthday party in Point Reyes (Nigel's). He led an expedition through the woods while recited bad poetry and carrying a big stick.

Tonight, I am grateful for friendship. And now I must go to bed.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Out with the old

Getting the old one out was not so easy. Short of taking the door off, we had to take the couch apart. And for those of you familiar with our ol' couch, it would seem easy as it was already falling apart, rather "ripping" apart at the seams and everywhere else. It was not easy but it was done and it currently sits behind our house. At some point we need to get it down to street level. Any ideas are welcome. Its heavy. Need a free couch? 86" wide, comfy and ugly. Oh, we do have a cover for it that works if you don't have kids or pets leaping up and down on it. Spread the word.Here's the new couch, er, sofa. Terrible picture since I didn't have the patience to wait for the right lighting. I bought it from a guy in Pleasanton who is moving to Sacramento and needs to downsize quickly. Amazingly, he has a 4yr old and a 6 yr old and this "sofa" still looks brand new! He told me the rule in their apartment was that the kids could only go on the leather couch, not this one. My question is, how does he get them to follow that rule?

That is all I got for today. Dragging the big ugly couch out, carrying the new "sofa" up the side of the house (by the way, its several flights up), in the back door...well we did it and now I am tired.

Regrets? I missed the H8 protest today since the sofa purchase took way more time than planned. I chose a couch over human rights. Sigh.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Aiden is 3 years old

Yes. Aiden is 3. All he wanted was family and a dinosaur cake. For weeks he's been asking for his dinosaur cake. Well, He finally got it, he even helped decorate it.

We also went to go see Madagascar 2: Escape from Africa (or something like that). It was great. It was fun, the kids giggled alot, ate popcorn and red vines...what is better than that?

McDonalds. Yes. McDonalds had a Madagascar prize in the Happy Meal. Life is good. And for those of you who may sit in judgement, it's not like my kids eat the food, they just like the toy prize. And you have to admit, the fries are good.

Wasteful? Nah. I make the sacrifice for the health of my children and eat whatever they have left in the cute little box.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kindergartner's Response to Obama's Victory - YAY OBAMA!

Amy just posted this...very funny! Watch her 3 year old in the background.

One follow up note from her Dad…

When asked this morning who was elected President last night, her 5-year old memory for facts and figures shined though:

“George Washington?”

Good news/bad news

So crazily enough, those conservative scoundrels took advantage of an election that they knew their candidates would lose. They placed some of the most conservative Ballot measures on to the ballots and won on almost all of them.

Check out CNN's ballot results across the country on banning gay marriage, banning gay couples from adopting a child, ending Affirmative Action....

Really upsetting.

So today I am so proud and happy about our new president-elect AND I am appalled that there are still so many people scared of giving people equal rights, constitutional rights.

There are no appropriate pictures to post on this. Well, maybe one last celebratory photo to end on a more positive note:

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

We did it

When the day began, I told Max that this was the day that we vote for Barack Obama and decide who will be president. Driving him to school, we hit lots of local traffic, mostly those going to local polling places. Right before we got to the school, there was a minor car accident in front of me. The guilty driver zoomed off without taking responsibility. I shared my dismay with Max who asked, "Is that guy voting for McCain?" I think I have taken my brainwashing too far.

I spent most of the day at the Oakland Convention Center as a Phone Bank Captain. It was fun and exciting. There were so many volunteers streaming through all day and into the early evening.

BZ joined me for the celebration. Really amazing. And driving home, drivers were honking like after a Superbowl game. I never had done that before. I highly recommend it. Its awesome to just sit on the horn like that and have people respond in kind.

Monday, November 3, 2008

One more day

Just one more day and Madelyn Dunham would have most likely seen her grandson become President of the United States. Heartbreaking.

I have voted. I have made calls. I will make more calls. I have given money, I have the T-shirt. I have the other t-shirt. I believe in Obama and what he stands for. This is truly our time to take back our country. And all I can say is, if he can get even a percentage of what he's been promising done, we will be in much better hands.

My prayers, as awkward as they may be, go to his family. My prayers also go for the rest of us who have put our faith in him as our next leader. May you be who you say you will be.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween

Although I may have lost my job this week, I will find out soon, we still must get ready to trick or treat. It suddenly feels very scary which is appropriate for the day.
This is our young Jedi...

And this is our dragon...again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

World's Greatest Dad

That is what his shirt says and I have to agree.He is making Max's costume. Max wants to be Obi-Wan Kenobi. Check it out. So his computer is down and he uses mine for research and finds: How To Sew and How to make a Jedi Robe.

He bought material, did his research, cut and started sewing. BZ is sewing using his little sewing repair kit that he has probably owned for over a decade.

Pretty great, huh? Jedi pictures to come....

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Andy, this is for you!

So the day began with a black sharpie pen. Aiden has been a kitty cat lately, and Max thought he'd help out. I wonder how many days until the ink is all the way off? They are best buddies these days...very sweet.

Speaking of best buddies...I got a call from one of my best friends in High School, who lives in Rockridge...crazy. And crazier, another close childhood friend (who I knew since 10 yrs old) was visiting her from LA. So, I grabbed the kids and BZ today and met up with Maggie and Liz and their kids at Frog Park. We got to catch up a bit with updates from the past 20 plus years. I haven't seen either of them in over 20 years!! Lots of memories. Maggie has a 4.5 yr old and Liz has four kids that span 1 to 15 years old. She's been married over 24 years, amazing.

We finally had to break up the reunion so Maggie could get to the airport and I could get to the phone bank. I swear it won't be another 20 years now that we are reconnected. I sure hope not.

And the over-crowded weekend finally comes to a close. After dinner and a very quick bathtime, the cowboy and batman have an ice pop duel. A sweet ending to a really neat day.