Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Running and Running

So within one week, I signed up to run as delegate to the Democratic Party in the CA State Assembly for AD16 (which is most of Oakland, Piedmont and Alameda) and...for my first 1/2 Marathon in March, 2011.

I am very excited about both. They both seemed impossible before jumping on board and now they both seem possible. I will start with the running. I have bad knees, I am not the athletic one in my family, I am too busy, I hate getting up so early, its uncomfortable. And yet...when I run, it feels good during the second 1/2 of the run and afterward I feel even better and proud of myself. And now I have cute running outfits as well (By cute I don't mean cheesy fluffy girly-not exactly) that glow in the dark, keep me warm and don't look so frumpy. Just because you feel like crap doesn't mean you have to look that way.

The second "running..." is for CA State delegate for the Democratic Party. Apparently the 16th AD is the most active of all 80 districts in the state, so competition is a bit high. I am excited to report that I got chosen to be on the Progressive Slate so we can run as a team supporting each other. The elections are January 8th and there is little time to get people to show up to vote. There are a few hurdles to overcome. Still pretty exciting....

Thursday, November 25, 2010


It all worked out. We worried, but in the end, we went to Disneyland, had a great time and avoided any further health hazards. No computer. No Ipad. An Iphone that had a fleeting battery life. Nice. We had two days straight of silly and tiring good fun. We arrived at the park at 8am and lasted well into the evening. The weather wasn't great but we bundled up in warm rain gear and went for it.We ran into a bunch of school mates of both kids...two families that we knew would be there and two families we ran into just by chance. Crazy. I even ran into a guy I just had a meeting with on the previous Saturday. Do you know how many people there are at Disneyland and California Adventure? Yes, tens of thousands daily.

A really fun family trip. So even though we met up with a few people we knew, we peeled off within the first few hours and continued our theme park experience on our own.

Disneyland was crowded. Even the rain didn't scare enough people off. Still worth it to see Small World, and some of the other classic rides. California Adventure was REALLY fun on the second day. I think there were less people overall, more space, and better food choices. We found an awesome ride with only a 5 minute wait so we did it twice. It was a water ride so we got pretty wet BUT it was fantastic-the kids got really giggly, we all got giggly and energized. Of course I ended up with motion sickness, but that's par for the course.

Although we didn't get to do all the cool big kid rides, we had a really nice time just following where the kids wanted to go. Aiden got to interact with a talking trash can, and Max and I got to see fireworks and Fantasmic WAY after his bedtime. A special treat for sure.

Friday, November 19, 2010

The Happiest Place On Earth!

The last time our family had the stomach flu was 4 yrs ago, on our trip to Disney World. I was on a work trip in Orlando with Aiden and BZ's Mom (who was taking care of Aiden during the day). Aiden was in a sling, not quite 1 years old, Max and BZ joined us after a stop in Texas, where they caught a terrible flu virus. Not the best way to experience Disney.

Two days ago, the flu came back. It was sudden. Aiden and Max were playing a little rough, Max's head smashed Aiden's....I heard screams-bloody nose. No big deal until three hours later when Aiden started throwing up, repeatedly. I thought it could be a concussion. At 11pm when he kept getting sick, I drove him to the ER. Apparently, his knock in the head was just coincidentally lined up with the stomach flu.

By 2am the doctor stopped the vomiting with a Chemotherapy drug (great). Of course he couldn't stop the OTHER stomach flu symptoms which has lead to about 300 loads of laundry. Aiden slept all last night until 2pm today. I think he's on the mend...

So here's the thing. We leave for their first visit to Disneyland Sunday morning. I am a bit concerned that one of the rest of us might come down with similar symptoms. This would be bad. It's bad enough that it will be raining during their first visit to Disneyland but hurling would make it impossible. Why the Disney-vomit connection?
The best laid plans...

Friday, November 12, 2010

Catch up

OK. So that last post was probably weird since I haven't posted anything for a while. Getting to see my holiday card in advance when you may not even be getting one (I have been known to not get them in the mail at all) might be obnoxious.

So I thought I'd follow up briefly with a catch up post.

Halloween was fun. Max made the cutest little Harry Potter, he'd been planning all year. His friend Izzy was so excited to have her hair died red to become Ginny Weasley (Harry's friend's sister).

Aiden turned 5 yrs old. So now he's no longer the 4 yr old in Kindergarten. He loves it most of the time except in the morning when he's got to go to school. We had a crazy exhausting party with too many 5 yr olds and just enough balloons to get in trouble. Everyone got a Captain Underpants book at the end to ensure potty humor in all of their homes as well as ours.

I've been running more regularly and have decided to run a 1/2 Marathon at the end of March. I know....probably not the best idea for my knees but I sure like a huge goal.
So there you go. Oh and maybe next post I can rant about our new TV. Its really big and it gives me motion sickness. No kidding. Apparently, we now only need one remote for everything. Weird. I never knew how to use all the other remotes anyway. Did I mention I barely watch TV more than once a week? I'll have to have the kids show me how it works...after I take Dramamine.

2010 Schultz-Lewis holiday card

I ordered our holiday cards. This is the earliest ever for me. But there was this great "deal." I love to save money as I spend it. Ask BZ. So as I ordered the cards, I found three deals and for some crazy reason, they allowed me to take advantage of 20% off, $10 off and free shipping. Crazy. And, I love the card.

Joy Love Story Holiday
Shop hundreds of holiday photo cards at Shutterfly.
View the entire collection of cards.

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Done. I finished my CORE (Communities of Oakland Respond to Emergencies) training. Yesterday was the final hands-on training with the Firefighters at their Oakland Training Center. Amazing. We got to practice what we've been learning over the past month: disaster first aid, search and rescue, putting out fires, "cribbing," lifts...and then we got to go through a post-earthquake simulation exercise.
There were about 8 volunteers playing victims of the disaster, made up in some pretty gross bloody-type makeup. I happened to get assigned to the First Aid tent and was to perform triage and first aid as best I could on those that got brought in. The guy pictured was all bandaged up rocking in a corner for most of the time.

Its hard to explain how cool it is to be training by the city to help in an emergency. These firefighters were amazing, fun, funny, super smart....and so generous with their time.
During the classroom training, there was a whole lot of information shared and most of it was stressful. Learning about how to take care of the most number of people rather than one individual. Leaving people for dead if they aren't breathing within a few tries. Learning that in a major earthquake, there will be dead people and that we will probably see them. Dealing with so much pain and destruction...but also, learning how to organize with neighbors in advance so that for most situations, you are pretty prepared.

The hands-on training felt pretty empowering. I was pretty good at putting out fires and search and rescue. Not sure how it would play out in real life though. I still have lots of reviewing to do. And although I don't have an extra minute, I find this all very energizing. I can't wait for graduation on November 17th. We each get a bright green CORE hardhat, vest and name tag to make it official. Yes, completely geeky, but I can't wait.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Several strong reasons to VOTE in November

I just returned from a Barbara Boxer Fundraising event. It inspired me. I got to hear from:
  • Senator Kirsten Gillibrand from New York, awesome progressive, young and aggressive, is one of the key supporters of LBGT rights legislation
  • Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, my new heroine-she's just a rock star-funny, a natural speaker, holds no punches, you may have heard her on the Rachel Maddow show
  • Senator Maria Cantwell of Washington- I'm embarassed to say, I wasn't familiar with her but now I know to look out for her, I liked her a lot.
  • Senator Mark Begich of Alaska (yes, he's a Democrat and fights for Global Warming legislation)
  • Host and Senator Dianne Feinstein, California,
got to meet her and although I've often shake my fist at her lack of progressive stances on issues, she has been a staunch supporter of a woman's right to choose, environmental protection legislation, corporate regulations and most of the areas that I support. It was an honor to meet her.

Here is why I support Senator Barbara Boxer:
  • Chairs the Environment and Public Works Committee- has fought on all fronts to end off shore drilling, continue to block drilling from the coast of CA, has passed legislation to increase Wilderness Areas....on and on
  • Strongly supports the repeal of DADT
  • Supports ending tax breaks for offshoring jobs
  • Supported and helped pass the biggest middle class tax cuts bill in our country's history
  • Supports the small business jobs bill, which is currently being blocked by Republicans
  • Continually supports a woman's right to controlling her own body and health care needs, in fact she said that she would fight for a woman's right to choose, "as long as there is a breathe in my body..."
  • She recently helped pass a bill adding thousands of teachers back into the school systems, paid for by ending those tax breaks to companies shipping jobs overseas

I always vote, but now I am inspired to vote-will you vote? Will your family and friends vote? Its the most American thing we can do.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


When I go away on business, I enjoy alone time in my hotel room but I really love calling home and giggling over Skype with the boys. Sweet.

Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Day Weekend

A very busy weekend for sure. Why do I over plan? Why?

Saturday morning: Ran a 10K. Who'd have guessed I'd pay to run 6.2 miles on purpose? I did it, I ran the whole way in 1:03. For me, this is success. Of course, by late afternoon, I felt pretty sore. Here's Amy and I posing with our cheesy ribbons.
Saturday afternoon: Went to Aladdin with the kids. A musical that the kids loved and we grownups could enjoy without cringing. Usually "family theater" is awful. This was not. This was one of the best I've seen at Berkeley Playhouse. Below is Aiden posing with the Genie.
Saturday night: 2 Ibuprofen and passed out.

Sunday morning: Slept 9 and 1/2 hours!! A record. Got the crazy idea to go pick tomatoes on a farm. So we did. We picked tomatoes and peaches and nectarines. Lots.
Sunday evening: Supposed to be at book group. Instead, date night at home. Rented Julie and Julia-loved it.

Monday Morning: Started tomato sauce...

Monday afternoon: Continued tomato sauce...I am covered in tomatoes. So is the kitchen.
Monday evening: Attempted canning of tomato sauce and since it is still Monday evening...barely, I am now reconsidering the effort. Lots of work for four jars of sauce. Did I mention I started with 22 lbs of tomatoes?

Monday, July 26, 2010

Oakland A's and the 5K

Last week, we went to an A's game...on a school night. I dragged the kids along on a spur of the moment whim. My friend, Adrienne, and her kids, were visiting just for the evening and they wanted to see a game. So that is exactly what we did. It was fun and cold and and exhausting.

Before this spur of the moment decision, I had asked a colleague if he knew how to get good seats to an A's game. So the day after this late night bleacher seat game, I get a call saying I now have really good seats to two day games. On the house. Wow. So for a family that doesn't follow sports, this is pretty incredible. A bit embarrassing really. Three games in 3 weeks? We're going to start looking like fans or something. I think we all deserve at least an A's hat or shirt or something. Maybe one of those giant foam hands?

On Sunday, I ran in the SF Marathon Progressive 5K. I had been feeling pretty awful since the baseball game at the beginning of the week, but somehow I rallied and had a great run, it was really fun and I beat my time by 3 minutes running a 10:07 pace (fast for me). I was the 4th fastest 46 yr old (there were 19 of us). I'm pictured with younger friends Angelica (ran faster than me by a minute, while limping with a bad knee for over a mile), and Andrea, who killed it at around 24 minutes.

And then, Sunday afternoon, A's Game #2. We won 6-4, a VERY exciting game.

On entry, we each got a free A's jersey, with some pitcher guy Anderson's name on the back.

We celebrated when we got home. Strawberry shortcake...always in good taste.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Chilly Legoland

We planned for this vacation for almost a year. A couple of days at Legoland and the rest of the time playing in the sand, jumping in the waves and even soaking up some rays.

This past week was probably one of the coldest and most overcast San Diego County has experienced in years. BUMMER.

When we first arrived, we went to the beach just to check it out. We didn't put on bathing suits, it seemed too chilly. The kids still had a fantastic time.

Although it got a bit cooler and drizzled the next morning, Legoland was still a hit.

So one of the sweetest moments was on one of the rides in a boat that circled Mini Land USA. A boy on either side...I love those little hands...

It was too cold to return to the beach on our non-Legoland day so we ended up at the Discovery Center in Santa Ana. We all loved it. Sure enough, the sun came out in the afternoon. Very promising.

Our final day was back at Legoland, as well as the new Legoland Waterpark. It was about 62 degrees out. We kept hoping by afternoon the sun would come back out. But it did not. So at 2pm, we entered the water park, put on suits, wrapped ourselves in giant towels and shivered our way through the next few hours. The kids had a blast. I got a runny nose.

The only way back into warm clothes was bribing the kids with an ice cream cone. This finally worked.

Great to have a vacation. Wish it were longer and warmer.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Between Sonoma and Legoland

Last weekend, BZ and I went up to Sonoma. Without kids. We visited Viansa where we got married 8 years ago, tasted some wine, ate delicious grilled pizza.

We checked into our fancy hotel, The Lodge at Sonoma, and were upgraded to a cottage (very cool!!!) was the "accessible" room. So that translated as no view, and a bathroom with many rails to hold onto. Interestingly, there were no towel racks near the sink. I wonder, do people in wheel chairs not use towels?

On Saturday, we went on a hike, saw the last half of the World Cup game (USA v Ghana) and finished the afternoon off reading by the pool.

Early evening, we scurried off to Petaluma to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops (BZ moaning the entire time..."not a jug band!!!").

Sunday I ran 3.5 miles and earned the right to a big fat breakfast at The Black Bear Diner. I love Diners. Big ridiculous food that you cannot finish. BZ ordered a senior meal. I'm not kidding.

Our weekend getaway was relaxing, romantic, silly and fun. Immediately upon our return home, my jaw clenched, my fatigue rolled back in and I sunk into a real life funk. How do I hold onto that relaxed happy feeling when I am home? How do I hold onto that relaxed feeling while juggling kids and work and meals and the rest?

In two more days I get another shot at this life lesson, we begin our official family vacation, driving down to San Diego and Legoland. Here's the test. A week away to relax, have fun, reconnect with my family...fully. And when I return, will it be possible to hold onto some of that relaxed state?