Tuesday, July 29, 2008

And On the 11th Day, She Rested

Wow! That was fun!

My parents and nephew, Sam, left early this morning after a whirlwind trip through the touristy sites of San Diego! It was fun getting the kids out of the house nearly every day and off doing fun summer things.

I jokingly ordered an earthquake for my visitors before they left today, and it arrived about 4 hours after they took off! Ahhh, heck, I didn't feel it down here anyway, although lots of other folks did.

So let's see... we went to Old Town, the Midway, the Zoo, Sea World, a couple museums, heard some late night music at a coffeehouse, walked the boardwalk, drank some margaritas, took a harbor cruise, and just hung out together!

It was great getting to be around Sam again for the first time in nearly two years. I was his nanny when he was less than a year old, and now he is a young man of 14! He is secure with himself already, has a very dry and droll sense of humor, and is so easy going with Noah and the twins AND is an easy fit hanging with the adults. He can take a joke and gives as good as he gets. The kids just loved him.

So do I.

There is a boatload of photos over at my flickr page of their visit here. I haven't photoshopped any of them so they are off color and too dark or light in many cases, but I thought it would be fun for you all to see all the fun we had.

Oh, and if you want to read REAL blog posts about the things we did, you should head to my mom's blog.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ten Fun Filled Days of Adventure!!

So, my parents have arrived! And with them, is my brother's son, Sam, who is 14 years old and amazing. We are going to have a blast doing all the touristy things there are to do in San Diego.

We knew they would be a bit haggard on their first day in, so we kind of took it easy around the house, and went through the list of all the stuff to do here, which we wanted to do, what days to best do them, etc. We made a schedule. We have a plan of attack. Watch out, San Diego, here we come!

Our first couple days out, we decided to take it easy and ramp up to the big stuff. So we started with Balboa Park where we took in the Air and Space Museum (I wanted to see the Star Trek exhibit but no one else was into it... I am such a geek!) and also the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center which is an awesome hand-on museum for kids that Noah has been begging to go to since his first visit months ago.

We made home-made Shrinky Dinks there! Did you know you can use Sharpie Markers, #6 plastic (the kind of clear plastic boxes sandwiches and strawberries come in) and a toaster oven set to 350 degrees for 30 seconds to make Shrinky Dinks!??? I am SO gonna make some more of these!

Today, Michael had to work, and we decided just to do some shopping and we plan to see the sunset at Sunset Cliffs tonight. Tomorrow is a big day. Not for me, but for them...

Tomorrow is Viva le Mexico day!! The last two times my parents visited, I left Michael home with the twins and took Noah and my parents down to Ensenada for strong Margaritas, funky trinkets, and cheap lobster. But Michael has never had the opportunity to go. So this time I am going to stay home for a long day with the twins, while my family and my hubby head south for mucho fun south of the border.

I have (finally) added some pictures from their trip so far at my flickr site so that Sam's parents can see that we are feeding him and taking good care of him.

Can't Even Get It Together in my Second Life

Well, Blogher (the blogging conference for women in San Francisco) is over. I really want to make an effort to get there next year. Hoping its close. I did try to attend some of the events at the Second Life Blogher Conference. Second Life is an online world where you create an avatar (kind of an animated version of yourself) and move it around this online universe, interacting with other avatars controlled by other people. With my family arriving for their visit with us, I only was able to attend the late night parties. The one official event I got to was one of the keynote speeches which was being recorded at the actual conference and played via video "in world" had technical difficulties, so I saw nothing of the real conference.

I arrived at the final Second Life Blogher dance party just as it was ending, but one of the organizers Gidge Uriza, invited our avatars back to her house in Second Life, where we did some girl on girl wrestling (I lost badly) and some knife throwing. I had this awesome photograph of my avatar up on a spinning wheel, going round and round while Gidge threw knives at the balloons tacked to the wheel around my body. Alas, the picture didn't make it to my email address when I sent it so I have absolutely nothing to show for it.

I did have a nice time talking to the ladies, though. Gidge herself, whose First Life blog is called Live from the Wang of America has a pair of twin sons and an older son just like I do, so it was fun chatting a bit about our commonalities. She has some photos of the Second Life Conference here although none of them include her throwing knives at me.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

An Endless Supply

Noah: (looking out the window) Mama, do the plants ever run out of oxygen?

Mama: No, sweetie, they just keep making more and keep sending it out into the world.

Noah: I thought so. It's kind of like how you never run out of kisses and the sky never runs out of stars.

Mama: (!!!) ...Yeah, Baby, it's kinda like that.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

He's Got Mad Skillz!

Update: What follows is the post I wrote on Monday, to which I attempted to paste some photos, causing my C: drive to get corrupted or crash or whatever it is doing. We are up and running (well, at least jogging slowly) on our spare system until my computer genius husband figures out what is going wrong. At least I can post photos to my blog again...

Michael often has to work on weekend days, and I had the kids to myself this Sunday. I really needed to get us up and out of the house as we had spent much of the week around the house.

I'm getting kind of bored of our neighborhood park, too, so I tossed them all in the back of the van and we headed down the road to a nice park with a playground and lots of shade trees.

Playgrounds are becoming much more fun now that the twins don't just wander away in different directions, not even noticing that they are leaving you far behind. They are finally developing that instinct to stay nearby and are even less likely to fall off play structures. It used to be all about preventing head wounds and was like herding cats. Now, I can spend a bit more time sitting in the shade and enjoying their playfulness than ever before.

I brought my camera along and got a couple good shots of each kid. Then, Noah asked if he could take some pictures. His grandparents got him one of those rugged kid cameras which is built really well, but I have to admit I am disappointed at the quality of the digital images it makes. It's kind of fallen by the wayside.

So with much insistence on carefulness and what not to touch, and how running with the camera is not allowed, I turned my beloved Digital Rebel over to my five year old son and told him to shoot away.

And I have to admit, while its hard for my Most Awesome Of Lenses to take a bad shot, Noah took some really fantastic pictures which I am posting here today. I did fix these up in Photoshop but I did not crop anything. All cropping was done by him in the camera.

I took the shots of Luka in my sunglasses and Noah's blue tongue, but the others on this page were taken by Noah. I have to say, I usually hate photographs of myself, but I think these shots are pretty darn great! Perhaps the best shots of me taken this year!

I may have to take my friend Wannabe Hippie's advice, and forgo the Fisher Price camera for something more breakable but with more quality.

I think he deserves it.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Badness or Why This is No Longer a Photoblog

You were just getting used to having me back here at the 'ol blog, weren't you?

Well, it seems we may have to part ways again in the near future. A little hiatus as it were.

See, last night I photoshopped some really awesome pictures for my blog and went to bed. When I woke up this morning and wrote the post and went to attach the pictures, my screen blinked out.


I restarted the computer and when I went to attach the photos to the blog post again, I found that those photos weren't there anymore. The OTHER photos in the folder were there... just not the ones that I had previously attempted to attach.

And then the screen blinked out again.


I restarted the computer and without getting online I just went to that folder and sure enough the photos I spent two hours shopping were gone. It was a folder with every picture I had ever put on my blog, and it seemed MANY of the pictures were now gone... but as I looked at it, I realized that they were listed alphabetically and only the ones named A-G still existed. H-Z were missing!

Would you believe that LAST NIGHT I backed up all my photos onto a now-safely-unplugged backup drive?? LAST NIGHT!! About 14 hours before the cascade of crashiness began! So, all I really lost was the photoshopping of about six photographs. Two hours work.

I can't even get Photoshop to come up right now because each click on the computer takes 10 minutes to follow through.

I did an all-day virus scan and nothing turned up. Tonight I am limping through my files and random ones say they are now empty and that my C Drive is not formatted and would I like to format it!?? YIKES!

Would you believe I took photos of my Hubby's cousin's wedding a couple weekends ago and have been preparing them for the happy couple, and when I went to check on them tonight, they were all gone! (Don't freak, Mima, they are safe on the backup drive! But like I said, I backed them up last night!)

So you aren't going to get a happy blog post today about going to the park with my kids and letting Noah borrow my camera. You aren't going to hear about how my day started... with the fall of the nest and loss of eggs of the mama bird on my front porch. Or the cute thing Noah said the other day, or Ethan's little milestone...

Not in the next couple days at least. Because I will be spending my spare time backing up anything else I can get my hands on before my husband pulls the cloth up over the face of our C drive, (and the J drive for that matter) in the coming days.

He served us well, our little hard drive. He is still limping along for now. But his time is short. We will miss him.

Good night, sweet prince, And flights of angels sing thee to thy rest!

Sunday, July 13, 2008


I set the plate down in front of Noah wondering if I had given him too much. Would I be tossing some of his uneaten leftovers in the garbage or would I be eating it myself to prevent the waste? It was just a 3/4 size bologna and cheese sandwich and 4 apple slices covered in peanut butter, but still. If you know my son, you know what I mean.

I busied myself while he ate, trying to get some things done, and we chatted about our day.

And that's when it happened...

Out of the blue... like it happened every day.

He asked for more.


For those of you who know my son, I will allow you this moment to pull yourselves off the floor and take a breath. For those of you less familiar with his habits, I must let you know that he is five and a half and wears size 3T pants. He shares shorts with Ethan who is 2. He weighs about 37 pounds soaking wet.

And he never asks for more.

But today, the clouds broke open and the angels began to sing.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Want a Boost of Happiness?

An old friend sent me the link to this awesome little video. It totally made me smile!

You can watch it here on my blog, but I HIGHLY recommend that you double-click on the video which will take you to YouTube and then click on the words...

"Watch in High Quality"

...just below the video.

Enjoy! 10 Million viewers of the video can't be wrong!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Has Your Heart Grown Fonder Yet?


Come here often?

Oh… you do?

I guess I would know that if *I* came here a little more often, huh? You might have noticed my absence in the past couple weeks. I have spent what little free time I have working with a friend on a project of hers, dealing with the media and information and rumor control for a big funky yearly festival of sorts we both usually attend (but didn't this year). But that is winding down now, and I can now give you all the love and devotion that you all so richly deserve.

That is, between working on the photos of a wedding I photographed last weekend, shuttling my kids to appointments, planning vacations (two of them!) and just, well, maybe I will toss in a little parenting here and there as well.

Life here is busy…

Noah is winding up kindergarten. He is reading “level 6” books and they start first grade at "level 7". He can write full sentences with creative spelling, knows the cycles of evaporation and condensation and can tell you all the layers of the earth. He has seen baby chicks born, dried his own raisins, seen a couple plays, been to a couple museums, learned a few circus tricks, and how to play well with others.


Ethan’s language skills are taking off and he is perhaps as big a fan of Super Mario as Noah is, and this only because he loves to watch his older brother play video games. I am doomed, I think, to a boy’s world of video games and competitions. Even though he was the twin born first, is bigger and has better language skills than Luka, he is a bit of a follower, copying things Luka does (except things that will hurt him) and saying words the way Luka says them even though he knows the proper pronunciation. He is the sweetest little guy and knows how to use his facial expressions like a master, to flirt, to sway your opinion, or show you he is sorry.

Luka, finally, is occasionally putting two words together. Yesterday he said, “more toys!”. Yeah, I AM doomed. His favorite words are “Sure!” and “k’you!!!!” which is short for “thank you”. He also likes to wag his finger at people and say, “No! no! no! no! no!” My brave boy has also become fearful of loud noises but still jumps off the back of the couch. He loves Indian food.

Michael bought a bicycle and sometimes rides to work now for exercise, although that adds to his time away from home, which has gotten longer since they added patients to his work load for the past month. Hopefully, that is going back to “normal” soon.

Me, I am looking forward to my parents and my brother’s son arriving in a little more than a week! I plan to show my nephew (who is 14 now!) a grand time, and do some relaxing. Michael has taken a couple days off during that week to spend some time being “touristy” with us. Gonna see some museums, hang at the beach, wander down into Mexico, and maybe see a play.

In late August, we are throwing the family into the ‘ole minivan and taking our first real family-of-five vacation together to Yosemite! (Yeah, it was gonna be Big Sur, but, well… that’s all on fire and stuff). We would like to become a camping family and plant our feet in nature as often as possible, but at two and a half, we aren’t ready for herding the twins while cooking over campfires. So we are getting a cabin.

One with walls.

So, that is what we are up to, and have planned for the future. I think we are all caught up now. Sorry it’s been so long.

So… ‘we good now?

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Lately, I have been listening to the audio book versions of the classic DUNE series by Frank Herbert. It seems Mr. Herbert passed away just before writing the last book of the series, leaving the epic story with a cliffhanger.

A few years ago, Herbert’s son Brian found his father's old floppy discs with outlines and notes of how he planned to end the series in one final book. Brian decided to take those notes, and with his writing partner, Kevin J. Anderson, complete the series himself. Before doing so, though, he wrote a trilogy of prequels to the series (two of them actually!). I was really skeptical that they would stand up to his father’s talent (a master of sci-fi) but I was surprised how much I really loved them!

Since the Dune series is so epic in scope, I thought I would go back and listen to the whole thing again before tackling the finale (which became so long, Brian Herbert split it into TWO books). I am two thirds the way through the last book his father wrote, and excited to see how it all ends.

It’s funny; I used to make fun of my brother after he got an iPod and began listening to audio books like an addicted fiend. When you walked up to him and began talking it would take quite awhile before you realized he couldn’t hear a word you are saying.

Now, I have become just like him, realizing that I can get my house work done while doing something entertaining, walking around with wires hanging all about me! I do have to keep a vigilant eye on the baby monitors, though, while listening, since I can’t hear the kids if they wake up and call. But I have been loving how I can plow through books now.

Although the stack of unread paperbacks on my “to be read” shelf are looking somewhat forlorn lately.

LOVE This!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Wordless Wednesday: A Sky Writer's Resignation

You can see links to more Wordless Wednesday participants here and here.