Monday, May 26, 2008

Chabot Day 2

Max was devastated that Chabot closed right after the Martian landing last night. He wanted to play in the kids room, he wanted to enjoy the museum and all the activities. Bummer.

Today, we went back. Max played video games and ran around all the cool planet and space activities with his buddy, George...Aiden tried to take off to Mars.
A good time for all. By the end of the day, Aiden had to be taken out kicking and screaming. Literally. "No more learning for you little fella! Time to go home to watch TV!"

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Martian Landing

Today we watched the Phoenix Mars Lander land on Mars. Unbelievable. Actually, we just watched all the scientists at their computers watching the screens and listening in. 5 years ago, this landing failed, so there was a lot riding on it. Super science cool.

When the announcer announced that the Phoenix had landed safely, the Mission Control guys all whooped and hollered, hugged and laughed, and then we did too. Here in Oakland, at Chabot Space and Science Center.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

A new face

So I am back from my trip to NY and NJ. I had a great visit with my parents.

We got to hang out which is really nice. As much as I missed the was really nice to just hang, knit, and have meaningful conversations.

We went to Cold Spring, NY for a nice French lunch, and to the Palisades Mall to hang out at Barnes & Noble. Don't ask. Besides being one of the biggest malls in the country it is also one of the ugliest. It was all fun.

I returned home Thursday at 3am. Thursday was my birthday. I got greeted at 7am with two smiley boys. By 7:30am, BZ joined in. He sort of smiled too. It was a lovely, laid back birthday, we even had chocolate cake. We re-lit the candles three times so everyone could have a chance blowing out the candles.

Today I had a birthday brunch with a few friends at Citron. Monica, Gwen, Christine and LISA. Lisa points out that she has never been featured on my blog so this paragraph is dedicated especially to her. Heck, the whole blog can be dedicated to Lisa today. She drove the furthest to come celebrate so there you have it. The following picture was taken by a young woman named Rachel who was dining with her mother, who volunteered her to take a picture of us. She may have been embarrassed but she did a lovely job:

Friday, May 16, 2008

A good day

Have you read the news? The California State court overturned the ban on Gay marriage!!

Wahoo! Read all about it....

What is really awesome is that 6 of the seven judges who made the decision were Republican appointees, not freak progressives, and yet, a majority agreed that separate but still not equal.

There is plenty of terrible news to choose from but today, I just want a little smile. Even if its temporary. Even if they strike it down again, today, I will be happy for marriage equality.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

This morning, Max came into our room a bit after 7am. He had a big grin, "Did I sleep the whole night in my bed?" And for the most part he did. He woke up after a huge Aiden coughing fit, and came in with growing pains....but with a bit of help from BZ, he was asleep again til morning.

Both boys slept well in their own beds, No night frights. How cool is that for Mother's Day? So I need to change our morning itinerary a bit. Make an apple pie, go to the bookstore for two new books and go to the farmer's market. Maybe go play in the school playground.

I feel so content. This morning, I told Max about the day I passed out/found out that I was pregnant with him and how happy that made me. I also told him the story of the night/morning (5:20am) he was born. It started with sushi, and ended with a of the happiest moments of my life. He loves the whole drawn out story, especially when I tell him about when I finally got to meet him:

Finally, they wheel me into my post-delivery room, BZ is waiting with Max in arms. He lays Max down on my tummy. Max squirms his way up my tummy and finds a breast to nurse on. I see his sweet little head and his unbelievable tiny fingers and arms, and whisper, " Oh Max, I've been waiting for you my whole life."

As I retold this story this morning, I got all teary. Max then teared up and said, "Oh mommy, I am so happy. I am so happy I climbed up you and nursed, I am getting tears too." He then gave me a big smiley hug. We then laughed about how late Aiden was in deciding to join the world, and then how fast he came on the scene when he was ready (1 1/2 hours, allowing just enough time to get to the hospital, and into an ugly gown). He was so fast, he didn't get a cone head.
Happy Mother's Day!!

Saturday, May 10, 2008


1. Sleep

OK, many things on my mind. The first, not surprisingly, is sleep. Or, lack of. Max is learning how to sleep in his bed. For the whole night. We are learning about what scares him and trying to eliminate some of that fear. We are rewarding him with books. A great side effect, is that Aiden wants to be like his big brother, so he wants to be in his own bed as well.

I will admit that Max still visits us in the night, but we bring him back, and he goes back to sleep pretty quickly. Aiden, not so easy BUT I see the light at the end of the tunnel. I can hang out after kid bedtime and actually read a book, knit, or talk with BZ while he tries to read. Its very refreshing. There is also tons more space in our bed. Wow.

5/11 update: Both boys slept through the night in their own beds. Hurray, 2 books!

2. Anniversary

BZ dreads the month of May. He feels overwhelmed by the pressure of the trifecta. Mother's Day, Wedding anniversary, my birthday. I LOVE May. Usually. Last year, we had to have a do-over for all of May. BZ got overwhelmed building his studio and that was that. I was hurt. On my birthday, he gave me two books, with wrapping paper draped over them. So, I got my gift at 7am and that was it for the day. No further reference to speak of. At dinner, Max asked where my birthday cake was.....that's when I got really sad. I would have had one if I went to get it for myself.

We had a do-over in June. We got a friend to watch the kids for an overnight, our first overnight without them. Somehow, we ended up in this lousy burger joint to get a quick dinner before going to Spiderman 2. I remember sitting in this horrible place and thinking, this is not exactly what I had in mind. I was so disappointed but didn't want to say anything and sound like a princess. After about three minutes, BZ looked at me and said, "This is all wrong."

We left the burger joint, blew off the movie, checked into our hotel, went for a cheap dinner of pasta and wine and just hung out the rest of the evening by ourselves, without the kids. It was lovely.

So this year, on May Day, I saw the beginning of the Trifecta panic entering BZ's body. Our relationship is in a different place than a year ago. We can discuss the panic out in the open and laugh about it, even if it remains.

This year, I think we have it handled: For Mother's Day, I think I will bake a pie. For my birthday, we will probably go see Billy perform at Yoshi's. And for our anniversary, we'll grab some sushi and then go see Ironman. Silly, good fun.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Follow up recipe

OK, here's the recipe (someone else posted it online, so I stole it from them):

Pistachio Bread

From James Beard's Beard on Bread
Makes 1 ring loaf

1 package active dry yeast
Granulated sugar
1/4 cup warm water (100 to 115 degrees, approximately)
1 cup warm milk
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) softened butter
2 teaspoons salt
3 to 4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup shelled, salted pistachio nuts, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten

Combine the yeast, 1 tablespoon sugar, and water in a large mixing bowl and allow to proof. Then add milk, the softened butter, the salt and 1/2 cup sugar to the yeast mixture. Add the flour, cup by cup, beating well after each addition. (this dough is easy to handle but will be a little sticky at this stage.) Turn out on a lightly floured board and knead for a good 10 minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Form into a ball, place in a buttered bowl, and turn to coat the surface with butter. Cover with plastic wrap and set in a warm, draft-free spot to double in bulk.

Punch the dough down and turn out on a floured board. Let rest for a few minutes, then roll into a rectangle about 18 x 12 inches. Brush the surface with melted butter and sprinkle with 1/3 cup additional sugar and the coarsely chopped pistachio nuts. Beginning with the long edge of the rectangle, roll up the dough like a jelly roll, pressing each seam as you do so. Join the ends of the roll and pinch together to form a ring.

Place the ring carefully on a buttered baking sheet. Slice two-thirds of the way down into the ring, at 3/4-inch intervals. Twist each slice to the right so that the interior of the slice is now facing upwards. Let the ring rise in a warm, draft-free place until almost doubled in size. Brush the entire surface with beaten egg, then bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 35 minutes until nicely browned. Cool on a rack before serving.

We love homemade

Yesterday was a slow day. I stayed home with Aiden, who was yet again, not feeling so well. I knit, I baked, I snuggled.

When Aiden fell asleep for his first of many naps, I made pistachio bread. This is the pistachio bread my Uncle Jim used to make for Thanksgiving each year. Over the past few weeks, I've been thinking about my uncle, my family...and yummy bread.

I clearly didn't get the camera out in time to get the whole loaf but you get the idea. It was delicious.

This week, I plan on making an apple-pear pie. The apples, pears and yes, the pistachios, all come from a local organic farm. It just adds to that homemade good feeling.

We also organized drawers in the kids' room. I found the sweater that my mom knit for Max and started to put it in Aiden's drawer. Max stopped me and asked, "What's that?" I told him Nanny made it for him but now it might be a bit small. He insisted on putting it on. He said he loved it and it fit just right. He wore it to his friend's house yesterday and he wore it to school today. He is really proud of his homemade sweater. Aiden will have to wait a bit longer after all. Time to start knitting, are you listening?

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Max woke me up this morning with a big smile. I was in the middle of a very disturbing dream about escaping hot lava on the freeway. I was stuck in traffic and all around us the roads and mountain area was breaking up with black lava pouring out. I was driving with someone else...luckily, Max woke me.

I told him I had a dream about hot lava and it was scary. He smiled and told me that he had a great dream about a unicorn. He got to ride the unicorn who took him to play in the snow. Then the unicorn brought him home and turned into his pet. He told me his whole family was in his dream...including all his cousins and, including his new found cousins, Ellie and James. He explained that he meant Ellie the girl, not Ellie the stuffed elephant. That can be confusing.

Max also shared that he had a scary dream when we first moved to this house. He and his daddy were being chased around by a terrible monster. The monster burned daddy up, and Max, woke up in the middle of the night all freaked out. Now that he is so happy, he has happy dreams. He told me that the brain just mixes all this stuff up in your head which is weird since it has no eyes or a mouth to tell you. That's how dreams are made.

Although my eyes were still closed through all of this conversation, he continued. He told me that the planets were beautiful and that they (the planets) dreamed about flowers and the earth. And, that he still believed Pluto was a planet even though THEY (scientists) say its not. Its just an icy rock but he wants it to be a planet still. I agree.
I grew up with Pluto as a planet, and by golly, its still a planet for me. Even if its not. Max explained that Pluto was not a meteor since meteors "banded" to the earth and Pluto doesn't do that. Huh? He kinda knows his stuff. My eyes begin to open.

He's off to wake Daddy.

Friday, May 2, 2008


This is some good living right here. You want comic relief to these primaries, then check this video out!

If you are a Star Wars geek, you will LOVE it. Silly good fun. Enjoy!