Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all.
And to all, a good night.


Be Careful What You Ask For

me: "Don't leave your swimsuits on the floor - make sure you put them in the bathroom."

the girls:




Guess I forgot to mention the "hang up" and to include the "wet towels" as part of the deal.
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I need an adjective

Gee, has it really been 3 months? Guess so. Oh well - it's bound to happen from time to time.

My word of the day: Obstinate

obstinate - definition of obstinate by the Free Online Dictionary ...Stubbornly adhering to an attitude, opinion, or course of action; obdurate. 2. Difficult to manage, control, or subdue; refractory.
stubborn: tenaciously unwilling or marked by tenacious unwillingness to yield

That's what I thought I was until I actually looked up the word. Make no mistake - That definition definitely fits me. I do have those tendencies, but that's not what I am right now.

Right now, I have a rather unattractive bandage on my nose, since I had a "little surgery" done on Friday to remove some skin cancer (benign, but still needed removal). I've been told to "do nothing" this weekend. I laughed at the young lady giving me those instructions... but I did agree NOT to play soccer with the kids this weekend. I also agreed to stay inside and not get the damn thing wet or sweaty. No gym for me this weekend either. So what do you suppose I've been just dying to do? I want to go swimming. I want to dive down to the bottom of the deepest end and retrieve the toy thrown there. I want to go to the gym and do at least an hour of aerobics. Maybe even a spin class. Yeah - no sweat involved there! I want to run through the sprinklers!

Did I want to do any of these things during the summer when I had time and opportunity to do them? Not particularly. That's why I thought I was obstinate. Maybe I'm more oppositional - but that implies defiance against authorities. Nope - not that. So anyone have the right adjective for me?

Lovely, isn't it? No, that's NOT the adjective I'm looking for.


PB&J, please

I happen to be smack dab in the middle of the sandwich generation. But seeing as how I started over with a little one when my others were sorta kinda getting grown up, I inadvertantly extended the gooey part of this sandwich stuff a little longer.

Last week I left DH & LK to their own devices for a few days while I visited my dad and his wife in Phoenix. I purposefully scheduled the flight so that I wouldn't have to miss a baseball game, nerd that I am, and got into AZ around dinner time.

Somehow I made it to their house on my own. I guess it was probably when he called me to make sure I had the directions to his house that I've driven to oh, maybe 30 or 40 times...

That was probably why I was a little nervous flying out.

But I had no reason to be. Outside of some pretty significant short term memory loss
- he wondered if LK was "ours" now, forgetting that we adopted her more than 4 years ago, and
- he forgot that his granddaughter graduated from college 3 years ago and that he was there for it,
he was pretty much the same. Still plays tennis and bridge. No more golf, though I'm not really sure why. He still bowls, and emails sometimes even. And he's coming up on his 88th birthday.

He does, mostly, remember his grandkids - even the little ones. This can be explained by li'l sis' calendars she makes for him every year with pictures and important dates like birthdays listed on them. He keeps it right in front of his computer monitor. So he's doing pretty well, considering...

Then again consider this scene while we waited for the airport shuttle to pick me up -

Dad: "Do you have enough money?"
me : "Enough money for what?" (No one ever has enough money - everyone knows that!)
Dad: "You know, to get back home."
me : "Oh. That. Yeah, Dad, I think I have enough to get back home." (Bummer - I was hoping he was wondering if I had enough to put my Hoosier through college or something)

Still - I hope I'm in as good a shape as him when I'm 88.

Back to the other 1/2 of the sandwich - we've got an appointment with the school psychologist next week to discuss various things, including learning disabilities. Letcha know how that goes later...


Wish you were here

I'm working today, getting ready to take the rest of the week off. My mother's day present has landed at SFO and DH has picked her up. They find a nice little hangout (which I've been trying to get DH to go to for, oh about 3 years or so) and have a beer. I'm still working - in meetings all afternoon, feeling very sorry for myself, when I get this picture and email:

Wish you were here.


I hate him.


Uh... awkward moment...

We visit LK's birth dad oh, once or twice a year or so. Whenever he gets out of jail or treatment. It's been about a year. I know cuz the last time we saw him, we brought a baseball, bat and gloves to a park and watched them play a little baseball. So he called a few weeks ago saying he was out of jail and going into treatment. Then a couple of weeks ago he called saying he could start having visitors. Next thing I know, he's living at his sister's house, which means he left the treatment facility.

Fortunately, LK's old enough to actually talk on the phone with him now, which is easier than telling him she didn't want to talk to him like I had to do when she was a toddler and didn't want to talk to anyone on the phone, let alone him. I envision more of that reluctance in future years, but we're not there yet.

We are happy to see him, and LK knows when a visit is scheduled. Our visits are fine - no conflict, lots of play, lots of compliments to her, lots of catching him up on pictures, activities and so on. Then we say goodbye, figuring we'll see him once or twice and then not at all for another year or so.

So here's the situation - this whole weekend, LK's been touchy, pouty and prone to sulkiness. She does this now and then, and gets her feelings hurt easily. She doesn't stand up for herself much and just kinds of shuts down. Her teacher is working on this with us. LK also misreads situations frequently and takes offense when there was really no sign of any. But she actually sat out an inning of her game this weekend to pout because someone sat next to someone else. Then when she went back in, she made two outs, pouting all the while. It's like she dissolves into this puddle of mush that is somehow weirdly functional. It seemed more pronounced this time than usual.

What seems to be the key difference here? Maybe the scheduled visit? Does it weigh on her mind when she knows we're going to see him? Is that the X factor that makes her so fragile at times? Seems likely - or is that just me trying to assign a logical reason to something that might just be a typical little 1st grader grumpiness?

So what to do? I don't want to avoid the visits - I think in the long run, it's better for her to know that he wanted to maintain contact - at least in whatever way he can. And that we were always open to that. But I hate like heck to see her fall apart so easily.

There's always this awkward moment at the end of our visit when we say goodbye and he gives her a kiss. We all know he expects one from her too, but she's so not there. He gets a little half hearted hug, but that's about all. Sigh...
I guess awkward moments are a given, and so are the labile, fragile occasional weekends. At least for a while.

btw - the visit was fine, she beat him at air hockey and we ate pretty crappy pizza and ended up with about 17 bouncy balls. Oh, and the awkward moment when he gave her a kiss and then said, "Where's mine?". After the halfhearted hug he got instead, we were off to see "Earth" with her Brownie troop, where she sulked for about an hour before perking up and having fun with a friend who stuck it out with her. What a weekend.

At least we got to see Baby G on Saturday! Check out the preshus feets... and face...


Blog again... I'm bored

That was the text message I got a day or two ago from BK.
Nevermind that he is in college, with no lack of homework or studying to do. But I do remember the days. I did many things to avoid my books back then. My sister (I lived in a room attached to their house for most of my freshman year. My parents didn't exactly trust me in a dorm, but that's another post for another day.) always knew when it was finals time because there would be fresh baked cookies or brownies in the kitchen. I know all about procrastination.
Speaking of cookies...

Easter was quietly nice. Lunasea and family came over and no one ended up looking like a monkey or a saloon trollop. There was a little consternation about the fact that the boys fully intended to leave with the eggs they found in the easter egg hunt LK helped me set up for them. I guess she forgot to tell them the rules of engagment - that the cereal was theirs to keep, but she wanted the eggs back. Oh, and some of the candy too. But it took her about 30 seconds to realize we still had a lot of candy, so it was really just fine. I was proud of her for that.
Speaking of Easter...

DH is so excited that his new found passion for hockey has paid off! Finally one of his teams does good. The Sharks win the President's Cup - not with the win he'd hoped for to end the season, but they set themselves up in a position where that wasn't necessary, and that was almost as sweet.
Oh, did I say hockey?

(these two will be one of the longest standing couples in HS in a few years)

So what to do when bored? I'm betting he won't ask me to blog again for a while. But it was pretty fun to reminisce a little, at his expense perhaps, but it's still fun.

So, BK - I can think of things you might do - go kick a soccer ball around!

Do some handstands!

Or maybe just take a nap...

Love you!


I want one of these

what to do...what to do...

So we're thinking here - my project is stalled in a "capital freeze", DH's job is definitely considered tenuous in this economy. This might be the time to make the big jump. DH thinks maybe Montana. I think Pacific NW would be ok cuz we have family there and Lil Sis will probably end up there someday anyway. Just don't know if I can handle the rain... Either place, we could get a very nice pad for what our house will still go for here.
So whaddaya think? Any suggestions or advice?


Freakin' Hilarious

Gay Scientists have located the Christian gene.
Take a look:

(stolen from a friend I am so excited to have heard from again!)



Main Entry: con·found·ed
Pronunciation: [kon-foun-did, kuhn-] \kən-ˈfau̇n-dəd, (ˌ)kän-ˈ, ˈkän-ˌ\
Function: adjective
Date: 14th century
1 : confused , perplexed
2 : damned
— con·found·ed·ly adverb


What a great word.


I have too much to blog!

M&M are moving out of their apartment. I took G. for them while they cleaned and got a decent night's sleep. Then I went with M. to have pictures taken of little G. on Sunday. The first picture was the only one where he really smiled. But that one picture was totally worth it. The boys were moving the last of the stuff to storage, but were able to meet up with us by the time we were picking out the package, and that was fun too.

Apparently LK thought that whole process was fun, so she created a photo shoot of her own, using our semi-adopted dog, Zen. What a trooper that dog is. I posted the full album on facebook, but just imagine every type of sporting equipment we might have and then a little more and you have the idea of the photo shoot. Great idea!

And then, last night LK decided to make dinner for us. She made nachos, warmed up leftover pizza and we were not to touch these buns until we were completely done.

When we were really really done, this is what we got inside the buns:

Gotta love it.


My Love/Hate Relationship with Facebook

"During the last 24 hours you were compared 3 times. You won in 1 of them." (That's supposed to make me feel good?)

"Check here against whom you won in 'who is a better public speaker'. 2 hours ago" (Oh good. I'm a better public speaker than somebody else. Why do I feel like such a dork?)

"NOTE: Check your NEW ranking!8:08pm" (I just can't figure out what's in it for anyone.)

"Someone voted for you!9:16am" (And I STILL don't know what for.)

In the last few months since I opened my facebook account, I've found myself drawn to it often. All my nieces and nephews have kindly agreed to be my friends and we joke back and forth now and then. I feel more in touch with them. My own children have also agreed to be my friend which means I get to keep in touch with them in a more fun way than I would otherwise. I've connected with an old high school friend or two (and I do mean OLD!!) and even have parents of LK's friends on my list. I get reminded of birthdays. And I get the right days for birthdays too! I get to see pictures of trips, parties, babies and other cool stuff. And I have to say, when I've got a scrabble game or even sudoku (DDD whups my ass on this every time, even though I consider myself a pretty fair sudoku player), I look forward to signing on at least once a day to keep the game going.

But I hate the stupid little notifications for things that if you bite, you have to load and then you get something stupid in return. Like when you "poke" someone. Just dumb. This whole voting thing. I never win popularity contests. Never have, never will. People seem to like me - they just don't vote for me (despite the vote above that if I wanted to find out what it was for I'd have to load some stupid program that would make me feel bad because I got one vote and all my other friends got 537 votes). These things are just meant to make me feel bad. No thanks.

So I enjoy FB for many reasons and determine to ignore the chain letters, stupid notifications for stupid things and anything that won't make me smile. Anyone for a game of Scrabble?


How old am I again?

All this birthday and holiday talk.
I have to remember how old I am again.

I have a confession:

I have a crush. Maybe it's a mommy crush. Nothin' romantic about it - I just think this kid is SO FREAKIN CUTE! I love his Disney movies - I even watch the HSM movies willingly because HELLO - Corbin BLEU!!!

And now I find out he will be doing a little mini-concert after the High School Musical on Ice show THAT I ALREADY HAVE TICKETS TO!!!!!

OMG!!! Best keep me a few rows back and chair nearby so I won't hurt anyone when I faint.


Another celebration. Why not?

Today is Adoption day, otherwise known as "Gotcha" day.

I decided now that LK is starting to understand and even talk about being adopted, I wanted to start a new tradition with her where we would go and have a fancy lunch on adoption day. With tablecloths and dressing up and all that high-falutin'-ness. Something we just don't do much of at all... I would pick her up at school at lunch time and we'd take BART into the city and go to some fancy schmancy place. Just us. And maybe DH if he could.

Here's one side of the conversation:

"We're gonna do WHAT?"

"Why again?"

"You know, sometimes I like hamburgers."

"How about we don't go to OUR Taco Bell - how about we go to one that's far away?"

"I like that place where they give you balls of dough and they have that machine." (El Machino at Chevy's fine and fancy Tex Mex...)

"But I want to go play with my friends."

"I NEVER get to play with my friends."

"I think I don't want to go somewhere where we have to get on a freeway."

"I already had lunch."

We settled on the cafe at our nearby Nordstrom's. Not exactly tablecloths, but maybe we'll work up to that.


Another place I loved, but didn't help stay in business

I always hate it when I really love a store, but it's not on the beaten path for me, so I just don't visit it as often as I'd like. And then they go out of business. I feel like it's my personal fault for not going out of my way to patronize them.
I'm sorry I didn't do more to keep you in business, Elephant Pharmacy - you were awesome.


And the Birthday Season Ends

There are plenty of family birthdays throughout the year, but mid November - mid February are so particularly painful joyful as they encompass every one of my immediate-immediate family birthdays and Christmas (and nearly all the plain old immediate ones too) that once LK has her birthday in mid February I am completely birthday'd out. You should see my calendar - it's ridiculous.

It used to be that I could sort of relax in early January, since the only immediate family birthday to plan any kind of celebration for was my own, but with the addition of LK, I must carry on with my primary birthday celebrator duties until today. I don't really mind, because I truly love birthdays, but I get pretty wiped out. Just not as young as I used to be, I guess.

So today is LK's 7th birthday. She would celebrate by riding her brand new gorgeous bike (one that actually fits her) around the neighborhood if it weren't raining cats and dogs outside. Can't complain, because we need the rain badly, but it does make the excitement of a new bike dim just a bit. But we've got some family and friends coming over to have some pizza with us this evening, and she's invited her beloved teacher, so she's one happy birthday girl.

Enjoy your special day, not-so-little one. I love watching you grow up. I love the tenderness you show your nephew, even if his parents get a little uncomfortable by it. I love that you continue to develop a relationship with your biological siblings, and that you cherish it. I love that you love your other big brothers and sister more than just about anything in the whole wide world. I love the happiness in your face when you see them after a long time apart. I don't always love the resistance and stubborness you show me frequently, but I understand that both of those qualities will be important for you in coming years. I love watching you play soccer and other sports that you love. I love the snuggles when we read stories or watch a movie together. And most of all, I love you.

Happy Birthday.

More Inventive Kidness

Found this morning:
One travel pillow performing baby doll "boppy" duties.
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Another mondegreen

Submitted by our 10 year old neighbor:

Improving on perfection - that's what that is...
although, I always thought we were singing to Jose.
"Jose, can you see by the dawn's surly light?" and
"...Jose, does that star spangled banner yet wave?"

Shown up by a 10 year old.



How I know I'm exhausted.

- I drove by 2640 College Ave and went at least a mile past it before I knew I'd gone too far.
- I was sitting next to a neighbor and friend of mine at a show today and could not come up with her name.
- I had to back up my audiobook several times because I kept losing my concentration.
- No interest in cake or anything else with an ounce of sugar.
- No interest in food of any kind.
- one word: Crankypants.
- Can't sleep.

It's aggravating.


That's Weird

So about a week ago, I had a birthday. It was a lovely day, nice sunny weather, not too cold... I had my choice of what to do for the day so we went out to Half Moon Bay to see the waves. Hoped to see some surfers too, but while the waves looked plenty big to me, they weren't nearly big enough, I guess. It was a possible "Mavericks" weekend, but again, not quite big enough waves, so no Mavericks. That was good for us, since the traffic is nuts when the surfers are there.

I talked to my in-laws, got a message from my big sis and dad and talked to 3/4 of my children (the 1/4 is in the doghouse for a while). AND I had a great birthday dinner cooked by my baby sis, Lunasea. None of that was weird at all.

I also was served breakfast in bed, which in previous years was reserved for Mother's Day alone. With breakfast, I got a couple of birthday cards. A very nice one from LK and this one from DH. He actually bought it before my birthday, which was pretty amazing in itself. He liked the sentiment. The print is pretty small in the picture, so let me tell you what it says.

"I love the days when we never get around to shoes..."
the inside reads, "...when all we get around to is us." Happy Anniversary

So he crosses out the Anniversary part and prints "Birthday" above it. Very proud of himself for picking it for the sentiment and molding it to the occasion.

LK looks at the picture and says, "That's weird."
DH: "Why?"
LK: "They're both girls"
DH: "Hunh?"
LK: "Look."
DH: "Uh Oh."

So I got a lesbian anniversary card for my birthday. How many of you can say that?
I know. I am special.


Martin and Me

A piece of schoolwork came home last night with LK. A comparison of MLK and her. It had the typical stuff, name, birthday, hometown, brothers and sisters, favorite games. Stuff like that. But what I liked most was the "Dream for the Future" section. MLK's was "Fairness for all". LK's was "Pick up gorbich".

Dream big, little one.

In twenty years or so, when you see her driving one of those big green or blue trucks around or hoisting cans on her back, give her a wave, OK?


One Concern or maybe One Reaction

Such a momentous occasion. I have a concern though.

There is such a focus on the African American aspect of this inauguration. And while I don't disagree with that fact and that we are breaking new ground and we've come a long way and all that, I keep seeing the comments from the "guys on the street" saying how proud they are to be an African American. That they never thought they'd live to see the day...

I think that's fabulous, and it's great to have that kind of pride after all these years. And I love it that little kids see that the sky's the limit - they really can do or be anything they strive for and their skin color doesn't need to be a barrier, but it feels a little funny to me. I'm an American. I don't consider myself a white or caucasian American, and I'm extremely proud today, but it feels less progressive to me that the focus is so much on the race of the president and the race of the celebrants. I believe we haven't come as far as we might think. We elected the best and the brightest candidate. I did not care what color s/he came in when I cast my vote. Clearly some did, but with the numbers involved in this election, plenty of people cast their vote as I did.

When we can say we are proud to be Americans. Collectively. Without reference to background or color... THEN we will have come a long way.

Photo credit according to SFGate.com: Getty Images/Mark Wilson



Hadn't heard the term used quite this way before. Cougars. But apparently it's been around a while and has quite a following.

Turns out if you google it there are clubs and Cougars and Cubs websites and lots of other stuff. Most of the pictures are Ashton and Demi, natch, but there are lots of other celebrity examples and non celebrity too, natch.

To each his or her own, of course, and I guess it's clear what my preference is, but can anyone else say "Ewwwww"?

Global Warming ummm Cooling ummm Warming ummm Cooling

(written on 1/14/09, but obviously not posted)
For the following cities, all followed via DH’s beloved i-phone (I think he loves it more than me…) the temperature last evening:
New York, NY 12
Manchester, VT -2
Bloomington, IN 6

If live in one of the above areas, please stop reading and don’t look at the picture below.
At my house in lovely Cali, it was 70 degrees yesterday evening. Se.ven.ty. DH barbequed some steaks. It felt for all the world like a lovely summer evening, but for the winter darkness. It is a little harder to BBQ in the dark. You can’t see what you’re doing all that well.

Our steaks were a bit charbroiled, but oh, they were good.
And once again, I am reminded that I love where I live.


It's GS Cookie time again

Here we go. Once again, I have a Brownie in the house. That means cookie sales. In another GS experience a long time ago, I once volunteered to be the "cookie mom". Never again. Despite very careful accounting (I thought), that volunteer position cost me somewhere around $50. I never could figure out how that happened.

So I'm not cookie mom this time (or ever again), but LK will be selling cookies in the neighborhood and I imagine I'll be taking the order sheet into my office, as will DH. The hard part for me to swallow (haha) is that they are now charging $4 a box for these things. I used to buy 10 boxes easy - maybe more if another cute little brownie came to my door after I'd filled my quota. I'd freeze some and we'd share and eat some. It worked well. But at $4 a box, maybe we'll just cut back on the calories, y'know? Who needs all that sugar anyway?


The Last of the Teenagers

It seems I've had a teenager in my house nearly all my life. In fact, my first teenager hit those magic digits only 15 years ago. But since then, we've never been without at least one. This is our last year with a teenager for a while. BK is 19 today. And LK is just coming up on her 7th bday. We've got a few years in between to draw a nice deep breath before she gets there.

The last of the teenage years. Not gonna write a big old thing for him this year - like his older brother and sister, he'll just need to wait until he is two dimes and a nickel for that. But I will wish him a VERY Happy Birthday, and hope that he doesn't freeze to death in the midwest over the winter, and that he figures out how to bring school, family, work and girlfriend into balance this year. Oh yeah - and that he enjoys the last year of his teens as much or more than the rest of them all together.

Happy Birthday BK. We love you!


The First Quarter

Well, you'd think, with two weeks off work I'd have time to get to this little site here and throw some cute little shenanigans at you wouldn't you? I thought so too. So much that I even mentioned this blog in my Christmas card this year. Oops.

Speaking of late... (we were, weren't we?) It's 11pm and since a little missy was born at 10:35 pm on January 3, 1984, it's not really late, but as it's nearly midnight, signaling the 4th of January and a different child's birthday; this post feels late.

Twenty-five years ago... it seems so long ago, and yet perhaps it was yesterday. This was before it was de rigueur to know your unborn child's sex and name. I had a newly 3 year old boy who I was convinced would be a girl before I heard "it's a boy" and went into momentary shock. I was not going to be unprepared this time. I thought it would be awfully nice to have a girl, but another boy would be fine too. In fact - I was pretty sure I'd be handing down clothes and toys to our second son anytime. I'd been on bedrest for a couple of weeks before Christmas, and was just released to "light activity". I'd had a doctor appointment that day and stopped at Venture (the local Target) for a few things before going home. I had collected several items when I started feeling some pretty strong contractions. I figured I could just finish grabbing a few more things and then head home to wait it out there. I never got to the checkout. Fast and furious this baby wanted out. I was only at 37 weeks, so I was not in as much of a hurry. Besides, I'd just slipped on some ice and fell HARD on New Year's Eve, so I wasn't very comfortable to begin with. I'm pretty sure a broken coccyx (look it up) was involved. I wanted some healing time before having to use that part of my anatomy for childbirth. OK - it's not really involved, but let me tell you sitting after childbirth is not all that fun, and if you add the tailbone aspect to it (ok you don't have to look it up anymore), it's that much less comfortable.

Anyhooo, leaving the 1/2 full cart in the middle of an aisle (sorry Venture staff), I hustled myself and my toddler out to the car and drove home. We didn't have cell phones, so it was all up to me and it never occurred to me that maybe I shouldn't have been driving with contractions coming at me that frequently. I called DH from home and told him he'd better come home RIGHT AFTER WORK because I was pretty sure I'd need to go to the hospital tonight. He did, we dropped toddler off at a neighbor's house and off we went. Got there about 7pm or so and had a baby at 10:35. Went home the next day and started pacing the floors with a screaming baby.

She was my first experience at colic. She was also my headstrong "I'll do it MYSELF" girl, making every excursion much, much longer since she had to get her own snowsuit on. Or her own shoes. Or her own anything. And THEN she'd have to go to the bathroom. AAAAAAAAAHHHH!

She delighted us with songs at an early age. She still does. She embarassed us when we flew with her because we were poor (and cheap) and did not want to buy an extra ticket for her. She was 18 months old, potty trained and speaking in full sentences. She was also not terribly tiny. The flight attendents were understandably suspicious, and we felt like we should travel with her birth certificate so they'd know we weren't cheating.

She was bright, eager to please, eager to have fun, always had a couple handfuls of friends, but she was always true to herself. She's had a rivalry or two along the way, making things interesting and a little uncomfortable at times. But she's never done something because it's the easy thing. She's made deliberate choices and they've always made us proud. It's been such fun watching her grow from a headstrong baby to a lovely independent woman who is an incredible daughter, sister, friend and aunt and is a quarter of a century old today.

Happy Birthday, DDD. Love you SOOOO MUCH!