Monday, January 31, 2011


This product is horrible:

It is really fun to use at first, but then your child will be covered in waxy product and smear it everywhere. Follow that with "easy clean up." This is what happens when you spray cleaner on the window and use paper towels like instructed:

We can finally go to the park again now that the rain has moved on. Friends doing friend things:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Highs & Lows

We went to Pacifica to experience the rainbows:

There was a rainbow in the sky, but a storm in my heart. Our Eurovan now has a new family. They are Westfalia lovers so I know she will be in good hands. I miss that van terribly. Andrew is so relieved, but I am finding myself longing for all that VW vans represent (minus the dependent relationship one has with his mechanic):

The new owner flew to SF and then drove the Eurovan up to Seattle, Washington. I love how the van fits in so nicely. You can almost hear them talking to each other. I love how the new owner mentioned his mechanic like he is part of their family. Such a VW thing:

I am still mourning so posting a picture of our replacement (a minivan) might take a while.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Waiting eagerly for our friends to arrive:

Only good friends trudge through snowstorms to get to California. The poor travelers boarded their plane and sat on the tarmac for three hours before starting their six hour flight. The children did great and Carolyn now holds the title for "Best Mom Traveler." I promised her I would make it up to her with 70 degree weather. Now it is in the high 50's with a chance of rain. Please sunshine, don't let me down. It is so fun to see our baby boys do their similar baby boy things right next to each other. Scrumptious.

Blake is having a lot of fun with Elaine June. Today, they were pirates. Tomorrow, surfers (again, please sunshine, don't let me down):

This is what Carolyn and James looked like after I subjected them to an episode of Modern Family, Cougar Town, and then 1/3 of the Bachelor. I guess a good friend shouldn't make the mom of the year watch things like that, but hey, we needed a mini break from wrangling all those children.

Tuckered mom and baby:

It may be mayhem at times, but the energy of two, new families makes my heart glow.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Here is Round 2 from the Boardwalk. I love those photo booths and we haven't done one since Reade has been born. It is getting kind of squishy in those booths with four people now.

The four of us displaying our manners:

I was so excited family came so I could ride on a roller coaster. Andrew and I made a mini date of it and tested it out. What a cheap thrill. We grabbed David and Jessica because once wasn't enough.

I'm a screamer:

David and Andrew always keep calm:

Carolyn from NY is flying out to California to spend a couple of days with us. I CAN'T WAIT. It is always so much fun to see old friends and new babies.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Weekly Greens

A fellow PAMP'er (my mom's group) sent me the link to a great meal planning website called I hope to jump on that bandwagon.

Monday, January 24, 2011


The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk hosted the fourth annual Chocolate Festival this last Saturday. I met up with my friend Skyla and her friend Sara to indulge in some chocolate tasting. There were 29 vendors handing out samples ranging from pieces of chocolate bars to chocolate pork buns (think soy sauce and chocolate, not the best combo out there). There were tons of people so we spent most of our time squishing through crowds or waiting in line. Still worth it.

Waiting in line for a sample from The Buttery:

Nothing like hanging out with banana slugs:

Skyla had attended the festival before so she suggested bringing tupperware to hold all of our loot. I was worried about not having any chocolate to share with my family (who nicely took my kids to the beach while I was at the festival) because I kept eating the chocolate samples. By the twelfth sample, I hit a chocolate wall and could taste no further. So here are the goodies I couldn't stomach:

What a fun time. I hope they find a better way to accommodate the crowds and realize that soy sauce and lavender are not the best things to mix into chocolate.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Who loves Groupon? I do! I saw the Rennie Harris Puremovement deal on my Groupon list and couldn't resist getting $30 tickets for $15. I saw and Alvin Ailey performance when I lived in NY so I was interested in this type of dance. Rennie Harris' style is a combination of: hip hop, funk, african dance, jazz, and break dance. Although the style was a bit sharp for me, the show was executed well. Definitely worth the $15 tickets and ambiance of a Stanford theater.



Not so flattering picture, but we both had rhythm in our souls at that moment:

The Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet Cheesecake dessert finished off a great date night (only 630 calories!). Don't worry, I didn't finish it all and I didn't take home the rest:

Friday, January 21, 2011


Thank you Sandra Mora for letting me borrow your photo.

I went to a Registered Dietitian the other day in hopes of finding someone who will both police my sugar cravings, as well as hold me accountable for what I feed myself and my dependents. The only dietitian I could find specializes in diabetes management. That was fine with me because cutting sugar is a goal of mine. Here are the three nuggets of information I gained from the appointment:

1. Preeclampsia is not linked to diet (so far there is no good evidence).

2. It is okay to have a sweet tooth. Just don't eat the sweet stuff instead of a meal. That is my problem. I tend to stand at the pantry, deem lunch too much effort, and stick my hand into a bag of spice drops and call it lunch. Not good.

3. Meal planning is the way to go. I have resisted meal planning for unknown reasons. I have no idea why I dislike the idea of being tied to certain meals throughout the week. A mother in my mom's group suggested a website where they provide you with the grocery list and then the recipes. I will share that once she sends me the link.

I don't feel like a changed person, but it is nice to get rid of some of the pressure I was saddling myself with. I can't believe I am falling into that stereotype of busy mom who doesn't have time for good meals. People might suggest time management websites, but until there is a column for "kids screaming/resisting/barfing on themselves at my feet while I am trying to get out the door" then I don't even want to bother.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Our friend recommended Roger Reynolds Nursery as a fun place to visit. I was excited to explore a new nursery with the boys. They have a magical redwood grove at the back of the property. It felt nice to look up and realize there is a lot more to the world than my own, little thoughts. I found the exact plants I was wanting too. Exciting.

Up to the sky:

Blake playing with the man made chess board:

Acting like an ant on the ground:

My son is becoming a man. This morning he ran around the house in his knight uniform slaying dragons (his own words). He brought me the slain dragon and told me to put it on the table. I put it on the table (I was feeding Reade) and then he walked over to the table and said, "You [meaning him] cut head off." Then, with his sword he proceeded to cut the head off the dragon. Imagine lots of low grunts and slow movements like he was using a butter knife to finish the dragon off. He smiled, walked away, and started the game all over again. I wish I drank coffee.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Reade (Eight Months)

(okay, today is his 9 month birthday, but cut me some slack! We have been busy this weekend so maybe I should turn these into "what Reade has done in the last month.")

At 8 Months I:
* can crawl
* pulled myself up on things and cruised a bit before I crawled
* say "mah mah mah" "da da da" and "buh buh buh"
* squeal like a high pitched pig when upset or wanting something
* eat three, full meals a day
* eat my mom's homemade baby food, but eat jarred veggies because she can't keep up
* am almost 20 pounds
* go to bed at 8pm and wake up at 5am for a feeding and then go back to sleep
* put my hands in my mouth when I want to nurse
* still don't have teeth
* actually wrestle with my brother
* yell in a happy way when I hear my brother
* stick out my tongue in a funny, pointy way
* let my mom walk about six feet away from me
* now feel "stranger danger"
* have a juicy, plump body my mother goes crazy for
* roll during diaper changes
* love my immediate and extended family and get lots of joy from seeing them

Check out my Seven Month photo

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Three day weekends are great for an impromptu front yard project. I blogged about my front yard a while ago and have finally had it with the juniper. One thing led to another and here we are, knee deep in soil, pavers, and new plants. The neighborhood kids flocked to our dirt patch and showed me how much fun kids can have playing in the dirt. All of them would yell with delight each time they discovered weird things like centipedes or pulled out odd shaped roots. Too bad we can't keep it a dirt patch! Off to sleep so we can get back to it tomorrow.

Hard work:

Little helper (I think the neighbors were a bit taken back by how dirty I let Reade get):

Thank goodness Andrew's parents have a truck:

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here is a mother. Here is one of the top role models in society today. Do I love her? Yes. Do I wish I was her? Yes. Some people would say I am following a pipe dream not set in reality. Then why did I open this email tonight and wince? Dreams might be closer than we realize. The worst part is, these are things I think of often.

From the parents group I belong to (over 3,000 members):

Mother's Night Out
When: Jan. 22nd 7-10pm

* Looking your best for 2011 by (omitted name), professional image and style consultant

Wine appreciation by (omitted name), mom, lead for (omitted company) and a gal with great sense of humor
- Wine for your health: Calories & carbs, benefits and justifications
- What's in a glass? Selecting the right glass for the job, why it matters and when it doesn't
- Selecting wines: Price, Preference, and Pairing
- Leftover wine: Don't let it go to waste!

Girl Friend's Guide to Plastic Surgery by (omitted name), a Stanford and fellowship trained Plastic Surgeon, mother of three, private practice for over a decade. She believes in education and subtle, natural looking results. Come and ask your questions about anything from noninvasive ways to surgeries. She will be honest and informative.

Dance moves for 2011 - get your groove back(no dance skills required) by (omitted name), dance instructor

Light dinner and drinks served

I am trying really hard to love this area, but it is slowly dragging me into the "should be" category instead of the "can be" way of thinking. It is up to me to put down the wine glass, forego the plastic surgery pamphlets, and walk right by the Sephora store at the mall. Then what? What the heck am I supposed to do with my time/energy. I hope I figure that out before my sons really understand the world around them.

By the way, the new season of the Bachelor started (wink, wink).

Monday, January 10, 2011


I am blessed that these two things were in my life tonight.

Chocolates from Paris:

Chocolate cake from America:

Only nine days until I meet with a nutritionist to curb my sugar cravings/eating habits. Yeah, good luck with that. Thank goodness I only have to pay a $10 copay. I figure it is worth a shot.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Farm To Parking Lot

Oh, the experience of a farm in a parking lot. So much to ogle.

Hot chocolate because it was cold:

Mmm, temptation:

Better choices:

Land 'O honey:

Back at G'parent's house. Ellen made some yummy toast with fresh bread, tomatoes, and cheese. Relaxed minds and tummies:

Saturday, January 8, 2011


They are now brothers. They have always been brothers, but these days are filled with two-way conversations and actions. I just sit back (and intervene when needed) and watch the show. Their connection makes me smile.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Drive By Beaching

We took the van to the mechanics this morning for one last (minor) thing to be done before we sell it. That meant we had to drop Andrew off at work on our way back to Palo Alto. The kids were all dressed, fed, and antsy from being in the car so I decided to push the envelope and keep driving to the beach. What a great winter trip to the beach. The waves were so big they were crashing onto the sidewalks. It was great to teach Blake the difference between the winter ocean and the summer ocean.

It was gorgeous:

Reade touching his own version of the beach:


We ate at a cute cafe, combed the beach, and then headed to the local library to read some stories about the ocean. I love old, small libraries with adorable children's sections:

The beach air helped clear my head a bit.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A Quilt In Action

Reade loves the quilt his grandmother made him. It is so colorful, useful, and comfy.

Showing his delight:

Blake also loves it and has it on his bed (breaking it in for Reade):

Ellen made Blake a matching pillow with the transporter print on the inside. Blake insisted it be turned inside out and uses it every night. Will this turn into that one item that creates meltdowns on the days it has to be washed? Giraffe-y and dolly posing as Blake:

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Christmas Quilt

Here is the quilt I made for my sister for Christmas. While it may not be the most pleasing thing to look at, it has wonderful memories sewn together. My Nana let me rifle through her remnant stash so each piece of fabric (minus the new edging) meant the world to me. There were scraps from the clothing she made us when we were kids, as well as left overs from homemade clothing still hanging in her closet. Sewing this quilt was like opening a treasure chest in my heart. I hope my sister enjoys it as much as I do.

One side:

and the other:

Tomorrow, I will showcase the wonderful quilt Ellen made for Reade (does it matter if Blake uses it every day?). Now that quilt is so pleasing on the eyes. Reade used one hand to steady himself on Blake's bed this morning and one hand to rub his quilt. It was so adorable to watch his tiny hand explore the quilt in the exact way Ellen had in mind.