...random experiences, observations and thoughts of my daily life as mommy...past journeys and dreams of journeys yet to be taken creating my life story as i go...


Sunday, February 28, 2010

story's second birthday party

the first guest arrived about 10 and the last left around 6...we are exhausted so i will do a photo tour of story's party tomorrow...off to bed...

Saturday, February 27, 2010

happy second birthday story!

i can't believe story turned two today...the time goes so much faster with the second...we are busy preparing for his birthday party tomorrow. we rented a jumpy house complete with climbing area and slide but of course our yard is a swamp and it is still raining so that is looking unlikely...instead i'm getting a bunch of helium balloons and blown up balloons and we are going to swim in them and throw them at one another (?) this was actually a blast at their cousin skye's second birthday party...seems a good age to play with balloons...we are also providing haystacks (the SDA subculture term for tortilla chips topped with pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomato, guacamole and salsa) and i ordered a super yummy and moist tres leches cake from the local mexican bakery. they will write "happy birthday story" and cover the cake with multi-colored confetti. our favors are bags of mixed balls (bouncy balls, rubber balls, squishy balls, hard plastic, you name it)...this photo with his sister was taken at his first birthday party last year...off to get ready, clean the house, put the kids to bed...hope to have lots of photos for tomorrow's post and then i will have posted every day for the month of february! yay!

Friday, February 26, 2010

"buh-bye"

i was trying to write a post last night on my iphone and it would only let me write titles and labels...so no, i'm not going anywhere (nor is this blog)...story just started saying "bye" to people...and saying "mah-mah...buh-bye?" when i'm on the phone...telling me to say bye...then we just said bye to my mom last night and headed back to san diego...

story was saying some other cute things i wanted to remember to write down like "bum-bum" for pumpkin...and i think i've written before that "twinkle twinkle little star" is his favorite song to sing...only he hums "dadden, dadden, dadden dad...dadden, dadden, dadden, dad..." hoping to get him to bed early tonight so he'll be ready for a fun filled full birthday party tomorrow...

Thursday, February 25, 2010

visiting my mom and preparing for story's party

i just can't get enough of baby shots of my children...hard to believe, story, newborn here, will be sea's age (2) on saturday. trying to plan his party and we have a jumpy house planned but rain is expected so maybe a house full of blown up balloons and helium balloons? will be hard with little and older children but we will make do...it is late and i'm still at my mom's...kids need to go to bed...i need to do laundry and work on the reunion plans...more when i have time...
my mom and sister took me out for indian food tonight for a belated birthday dinner...i love eating all different dishes with the naan and drinking mango lassis and chai tea with milk...end my meal with rice pudding of sorts with pistachios...yum! more later...here is my sister marci with story as a newborn...

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

sea sick story's second

sea had a fever last night and woke up still sick. she is in bed (unheard of for her during the day)...story turns 2 on saturday and i just sent out the evite for his party today (this was the photo i used)...i'm on my way to my mom's house to attend the reunion planning committee meeting and i'm irritable and tired so i'm off to pump up on something caffeinated and get some food (the first thing i usually try when i'm irritable) and will update after the meeting...

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Monday, February 22, 2010

playgroup gardening

today christina, one of the awesome moms in the monday playgroup i belong to offered to host playgroup at her house (we usually rotate parks)...it was rainy and cold earlier this morning but san diego really does want to be sunny all the time so by the time we got there it was quite warm...enough so that the kids spent most of the time helping her garden...the moms got to enjoy her homemade, delicious and healthy ethiopian food that included a cold lentil salad, warm flavorful lentils, cooked collard greens and a potato, carrot tumeric hash of sorts...so good together with the spongy "bread"...there were a lot of fun potluck items like fresh mango, homemade guacamole, flax seed and vegetable chips...i missed out on some homemade hot tea which i really should have asked for (christina offered but was so busy...i arrived late and she had already cooked and served everyone and hadn't eaten herself so i let it go)...but i always feel badly for hosts on events like this...we come and trash their house with way too many toys and then food and dishes...of course i justified i needed to go get story down for a nap but really i should have started cleaning early enough to help...off to cook dinner but i'll leave you with some photos...



looking for rolly pollies....




feeding friends chocolate bunny crackers...



they put the rolly pollies they found in the wheel barrow...

Sunday, February 21, 2010

organizing and creating meaningful space

last night i uploaded a quick "sunset" photo right before midnight...kind of looked like a shooting star...something to wish on, focus on the future...but mainly manuel and i were working on so many projects i didn't have time to blog any more...this was one of the projects we completed...sea had this wooden box that held her wooden dolls and their magnetic clothes and it was getting too messy to put back together so we made it into a shadow box on her wall...some of the meaningful toys inside include her favorite childhood book "guess how much i love you," huckle the cat from the richard scarry series (our family's favorite), a watering can and handpainted dinosaur from two different coop preschool classes,the little green froggy my dad bought her specifically so she could pull it out of his shirt pocket when she was just under 1 years old, a little teddy bear from my childhood that was in newborn photos with both sea and story, more richard scarry figures like lowly worm, huckle cat, bananas gorilla and mr. frumble (who always loses his hat)...and finally, "marigold" the little orange "fairy" doll in the middle that story brought his sister when he was born...sea threw her on the ground and had a tantrum about not wanting her (or her brother for that matter) but later was grateful story brought her this friend (and later, that she had him, too)...

ok those are just a few connections i have with these toys on display...i'm sure sea has more and i'm glad we organized and displayed them in a prominent and meaningful way in her bedroom...

off for more productivity...updates on reunion planning later...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

clean up

these aren't really photos of my children cleaning up (i don't think i have a fast enough shutter speed to catch when that happens...j/k) just playing blocks together...i wanted to get in a quick post because i anticipate tonight we will have a low key family night and/or clean up (go through drawers, files, cupboards, etc) so i thought this would be an appropriate quick topic and free me up to not come up with something more meaningful tonight...

on an unrelated note...i have committed to going on a "brisk" walk every morning when i first wake up...today was my first day and it felt great!

so now i will leave humming "clean up, clean up...every body every where....clean up, clean up, everybody do their share..."...oh, one slightly related thing is people who applied to kindergartens are starting to find out...san diego cooperative charter in particular...they are big on educating children as part of something "whole", outside of themselves, part of a community, etc. so i just thought about the idea of participating in that education both in school and at home...of course we haven't found out if we got in there...

sea is riding round and round and round and round more times than i can type....trike around a couch in our front room...story is nursing and playing with my other milkey...waiting for daddy so we can go get some dinner...
ooh i love these kids...and the dots and colors, too...

Thursday, February 18, 2010

reunion brainstorm and generalized anxiety

this photo was taken december, 2006, a few months after my dad passed away. i was wearing a "virginia is for lovers" shirt that was either his when he was younger or he got on a trip there (he grew up in virginia and we visited there every summer when i was growing up) and so that was a nice tribute to him coupled with the red/green color combo for the holidays (a photo from this series was used for our holiday card in 2006...you can see downtown san diego in the background and the harbor to the right). this photo was taken on shelter island...or actually, on harbor island, which is where he thought shelter island was. he always talked about taking a walk there, to appreciate the view, the harbor, the sailboats...and when he came to visit us i always intended to do this for him and everyone else's needs always got put before my dad's (he liked it this way...and he had walked on this island many times, just wanted us to experience it with him)...anyway, i didn't mean to free associate back to him and the loss and my sadness and longing but well, i guess i'm feeling emotionally unstable and anxious so it makes sense that i would free associate back there.

i actually chose this photo for this post because i'm spent most of the morning researching venues for our 20 year high school reunion and one of the spots is on this island. i went to high school 1.5 hours northeast of san diego but the committee wants to check out san diego and orange county beaches as more of a "destination" celebration instead of the smoggy, hot, densely populated area that is the inland empire (where i went to school). i'm torn. i think people coming back to the place where they went to school might actually want to visit said school, remember places they went, see how the area has changed, go to church at the local church (i went to a private christian school), visit family still in the area, use said family for child care...these are the pros to the inland empire (IE) but i can see the pros to san diego (SD)...mild climate when it is in the 90's or 100's in the IE, clear blue instead of smoggy skies, beaches everywhere, the zoo, cultural things to see and do, etc. that is san diego so people traveling could make more of a family vacation of the reunion and justify the costs to get out here....what do you think? would you want to go back to an undesirable area where you went to school or somewhere a couple hours away that was more desirable/beach?

so i have taken it upon myself to research different hotels in san diego. before i go into that search, i wanted to try and make a statement about my state of mind. two nights ago i went to bed early. it felt great. giving up whatever used to be a priority for what should be a priority more often...sleep. and it paid off. i woke up so refreshed i was almost literally skipping through the house. manuel noticed and chuckled at my perma-grin smile and energy usually achieved by coffee...i was ecstatic about this natural high and spent much of the day picking up the house (and re-picking it up as is my life of allowing free spirited children to run lose) without concern...happy in fact that i was productive and could accomplish so much...that of course was yesterday. today i feel like i have bi-polar disorder (and i don't mean to make light of this as i have relatives and friends who do have this) i was so irritable, frustrated, angry, depressed, exhausted...in part because i went to bed late and the children are both under the weather and woke up early (6 instead of their usual 8)...i am NOT a morning person...every little task about my day was driving me crazy and brushing kids' hair (or my own), washing off their faces, picking up anything seemed unbearable...i was going somewhere with this story...i think it should probably just be that i need more sleep and need to re-arrange my priorities...but i ate too much chocolate as my short-term solution and whether it "worked" on whatever level or not, i believed in this cure and the placebo effect was good enough...

story just woke up, i'm waiting on a plumber for a clogged toilet/shower and made the brilliant decision to do a load of laundry...of course that line is shared by the same clog...kids both begging to go play outside in the yard missing a fence (blown down in a past storm)...story is still sick and it is starting to get overcast so i don't even want to go supervise them out there...story is talking about a "bumbee" (like bumblebee...what he calls all bugs), he is now pulling over sea saying "nee, nee" to show her the bug...if i keep observing a few more minutes they will cheer me up, pull me out of my funk...now sea is making her body into a bridge between the couch and baby door inside the sliding door...story was having fun going underneath her until she decided to become a draw bridge or crash down on him over and over...story is figuring out how to un-childproof the gate..."MAHHHH-ma" he calls and tries to pull me over to see the bumbee...i love how he says "mumgee" when he wants to drink milkies...he just pointed to his sister's nose and said "no..."...i always forget to write these little things down...but i do feel cheered up...kids are off to draw together...with the forbidden "permanent ink" pens instead of the crayons, colored pens, colored pencils, chalk and regular pens in their craft bin...but sea is making up songs and singing to herself and story is happy to be included in her schemes so for now i'm ok with it...sea is now talking to herself telling a story about what she is drawing and story is rummaging through my top desk drawer finding random things like ear plugs and trying to hold them up to me to show me what he thinks they are...he, too, is humming a song only in his head...i'm grateful for these sounds of contentment...their belief that life is much simpler and happier than i am trying to make it when i get so self-absorbed...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

too busy

just a quick note as i'm still trying to post daily...tonight i was on the phone, e-mail, facebook etc. with committee members finalizing details and then sending out a save-the-date message for our 20 year high school reunion...still would love any feedback on reunions attended or what you would hope to gain from going to yours...i promise to write more on this soon...oh, and check all your blogs tomorrow...

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

random lion photo

i am a bad blogger tonight. i found this random photo of myself as a child sitting on a lion and don't have a story or reason for posting it other than i'm still under the weather and going to bed and just getting in a quick post for NABLOPOMO...i also apologize for not "following" many of my fellow blogger friends recently...i declined hosting co-op preschool tomorrow so we could lay low and catch up so i will have high hopes i'll have more then...

Monday, February 15, 2010

my birthday and perspective on life

i guess i'm just a few months older than sea is now in this photo (sea turns 5 in july)...

i usually get quite self-absorbed, reflective, analytical...trying to make connections to the past and ideals for the future and sum up where my life is at NOW on each and every birthday...i had such a wonderfully lovely day with dear friends enjoying a potluck brunch with our children all scampering around and playing and then when they left our family all napping on our couch in a sunny window before heading outside to the 75+ degree san diego weather...hanging out in lawn chairs with other friends, more children playing tag in the grass...then they took us out to an italian dinner...pillow bumps with sea and story (they like to bump mommy and daddy over, too) a couple stories before bed and then down time reading e-mails and birthday wishes on facebook...

and then i read my dearest childhood friend's grandmother died today...rose...she used to bake the most amazing authentic italian eggplant parmesan and beam when i would eat helping after helping (on top of being delicious i had a very fast metabolism in those days)...and suddenly i stopped letting the world revolve around me and paused to think of my friend's loss and the loss to so many...the loss to me and losing a part of my history with her...i know there is a reason i am drawn to existentialism and the idea of focusing on life each and every moment because we all die someday but then when i am struck by loss this knowledge sinks in a little more...sits with me as something i can feel, experience...not just believe in...so go, squeeze those you love a little tighter, hold on to what you have, say the words you might not get to someday...i miss you rose...

Sunday, February 14, 2010

happy heart day!

this photo was taken on sea's 1st valentine's day...she was just over 6 months old and wearing one of my little dresses that i wore in the 70's...i just wanted to write a short post to say how much i love my life and my family...particularly my husband and children...

i had to pause for this moment of gratitude, today, on valentine's day, as i'm still up every hour swimming in my head cold, fever, aches, sore muscles, headache...etc. self-absorption "poor me"...i'm really not a very good patient...i usually drink a LOT of water, pound odwalla superfood and mo' beta and anything with loads of vitamin c and get as much rest as possible. only i haven't been able to sleep...so on one of my pounding drinks and potty breaks before returning to sleep i thought i'd get in a quick post with hopefully my focus on the right thing...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

sick

very sick. went to bed at 8 p.m. and been sleeping all day sick...fever that won't quit, runny nose that won't stop, aches, chills, pains...no appetite...haven't eaten all day...back to bed...

Friday, February 12, 2010

happy birthday daddy!


hanging out instead of blogging...

Thursday, February 11, 2010

nurturing marriage

i'm going to have to do a "stay tuned until later" post...i don't usually like these but i'm just running out of time to do this post...i went to a very inspirational meeting that included practical tips on nurturing marriage...good timing with manuel's birthday tomorrow...valentine's day this weekend...my birthday monday...sorry to leave you hanging...this photo was taken on our honeymoon in the cook islands (self-portrait)...i'll blog soon on all that i learned...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

pink fingernail polish

today our neighbor claire came over to play. she is a couple years older than sea (in first grade down the street where sea may start kindergarten in the fall)...she had her nails painted so sea begged her to go home and bring back some pink nail polish and do her nails...i love this next shot with sea in her too tight (too small) orange pants, pig tails...waiting patiently while claire concentrates on doing her nails...

remember sea does not usually hold still for anything so she REALLY wanted pink nails...

admiring them and even letting them dry...
and then her toes...
i have much more meaningful things to blog about but am just so tired...so i thought these were cute photos and i could get the ideas down quickly...i should add that i'm very "hippy" or "earthy" or "natural" and own nothing like this myself...no make-up (ok, maybe tinted lip gloss) and was just thinking how in part i went that way because my mom would say things to me like how i needed to wear make-up to look pretty (she would correct me now and say "prettier" but you get the point) so because i tell sea she doesn't need anything to be prettier she will probably try to rebel or be her own person and become way into these things...or not...i like to think i'm helping us both me more balanced about these things...

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

toes

so i was in the car headed to my mom's house...to attend mom's network...a meeting at my mom's church that includes lots of yummy potluck food (homemade muffins, egg casseroles, crepes, you name it), free child care for 3 hours (!!!), a devotion, book reviews and give aways (i've won two books the times i've gone) and then a main speaker. but it was pouring down rain...poor visibility, dark, and i was a little tired. so i turned around and came home (very unlike me...i guess when you become a mom even if you are naturally spontaneous safety takes precedence)...sea was shocked...sure i made a mistake and i would keep going to "mimi's house"...story fell asleep before we turned off my street (no nap today)...so as we were driving home sea said "mommy? how come you sing 'hit the road jack, don't you come back...' and you are coming back?" which made me chuckle...this is a short post because i just sent out an evite for our birthday brunch (potluck style) this coming monday (manuel's birthday is friday and mine is monday...day after valentine's day...long weekend...i'll be curious to see who makes it) and i am in full gear trying to at least pick a date and venue for my 20 year reunion...so i leave you with my children's adorable toes...if you love the photo as much as i do you HAVE to click on the short video to watch me nibbling on both of their toes...story has an infectious laugh...
video

Monday, February 8, 2010

quotas and coffee ramblings

getting in a quick post to meet my nablopomo quota...more meaningful posts when i have more energy and time...

i'm having one of those days where i'm just really behind on everything...just cleaned up breakfast and lunch messes are already taking over when i should be thinking about dinner...clothes should have been dried and piling up to be folded...bed only half-made, bills strewn around the room (i was looking for our home warranty's number to call in a claim about water damage that pushed up our hardwood floors in the living room)...been on the phone with hotel banquet managers about our reunion...again, talking quotas...how many people do i expect to come? what is the room capacity? price per person? how many people would also want to stay at the hotel? how do you guesstimate these things? going back and forth on dates and everyone has some reason a date doesn't work for them so now we have to decide how to decide whose needs are most important or how to choose? sea and story having a particularly difficult time sharing or getting along...so many "to do" lists i can't even find where i wrote them down (my husband used to joke i bought all these great books on organizing my life and the irony of course was that i was too disorganized to even FIND where i'd put them in order to begin...)

i've been borderline addicted to coffee which, i know, many people are...but i don't like things to control me...even substances...so as much as i enjoy coffee, i usually stop drinking it when i feel like i have to have a cup in order to feel ok or not get headaches or whatever...but today i caved and had a cup just to get by...that is the other problem with this addiction, i want to enjoy and savor the cup like it is special and makes me feel more energized, not like i need it to function...

really i just think i need more sleep...so some things have to go...it probably should be blogging or facebook or e-mails or spreading myself way to thin all over the place...but these things motivate me to do the mundane daily stuff...guess coffee will have to be my motivator in the short-term...still welcoming any advice on high school reunions...

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"football football" superbowl memories

today we watched the new orleans saints beat the indianapolis colts in the superbowl. just our family...very low key with pizza, cupcakes, a little red wine, lots of snacks and playing thrown in...this photo above was taken in 1998 when the broncos beat the packers in their first superbowl win. i had just started dating manuel a couple years prior and we were living in sacramento...i was waiting tables at piatti (one more football memory is that i was working for a LOT of superbowls...it was my chance to trade shifts and to get something else i needed off) and we put a little money on the game and made over $1000 because the spread was so off...we don't gamble much and i'm not normally a huge football fan...but football has always been synonymous with family for me...

growing up my dad was a huge redskins fan. when i was 11 years old i painted a huge "hail to the redskins" sign in maroon and bright yellow poster paint and put it up on our garage in southern california...they beat the dolphins that year in the superbowl (1983) and i remember my dad getting a lot of phone calls and singing "hail to the redskins...hail, victory...hail to the redskins...fight for victory..." every time he answered the phone even if the caller was not calling for that reason...he continued the song with something like "we will fight them we will beat them we will heap big score...fight on...fight on...til you have won! oh, braves of washington...RAH! RAH! RAH!" i can still hear his super excited off-key shouts with the lyrics changing almost every time (he didn't think the exact words were as important as the spirit and volume) and i'm ecstatic to realize that i'm smiling and remembering these things fondly...my dad has been gone for 3.5 years and i have not been dealing with it well...felt overwhelmingly depressed thinking about him, looking at photos, trying to imagine how life would be if he could be here for so many little things...and i'm happy to report that this "football memories" post is also one of realizing i have some resolution with losing my dad...it will never be "ok" but at least i realize i can be happy about fond memories from the past and actually feel positively recalling them instead of the ache of intense loss...i'm getting way off tangent but had to get that off my chest...or share my joy in the realization...so back to my dad and growing up singing that song and cheering for the redskins as a child...turns out they LOST the superbowl to the l.a. raiders (remember, i grew up 1 hour east of l.a.) the following 1984 superbowl so you can only imagine the phone calls we got then...i think the redskins are the only team with a song, though...then they won again in 1988 (against the broncos of all teams) when i was a sophomore in high school...then they won again in 1992 when i was in my second year of college.

...once manuel and i started dating i adopted the broncos as my secondary team. his family is originally from denver so he grew up with the entire family very involved in every broncos game...we have continued this somewhat as you can see in my little photo tribute with sea and story dressed in broncos gear below...i still cheer for the redskins if we happen to be watching them play...and sometimes i cheer for the san diego chargers (we've lived here in san diego for 5 years now)...they've gotten so close to the superbowl but not quite...but mostly i just enjoy the traditions and family together time of "football football" as sea and story refer to it...
sea just over a year old...



story about 6 months old...
i guess i uploaded these out of chronological order...this is sea again...one something...she still loves that little car and zooms around on it or pushes her brother or vice versa...seeing this monkey reminded me that story really loved the commercial with the life sized stuffed monkey (the one with red "lips" on his/her bottom) that was driving around in a car...he also started practicing "phonics" saying "Buh...buh...buh..." and then added his usual "nana" and was saying banana with a pause in between over and over...so proud of himself and for making the connection with the monkey...
sea again about a year old...
story with poppy...
story with daddy...making a cute face he still makes just before breaking in to a huge smile...
oh, here's one...
i LOVE toes...
squeezing up sea and story...

thanks for taking this trip down memory lane with me...