Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Funniest Thing I've Seen All Day

Gavin is an attention getter, people tend to notice him. He's got a huge head, a compact body, a tiny nub of a tail, and bat ears. He's ridiculously adorable and hilarious. Gavin is not the type of dog you see all the time, and a lot of times people have never seen anything like him.

We think he's perfect, but the reaction from others is varied. Some think he's the cutest thing they've ever seen, some wonder what's wrong with him. We've had people stop their cars to get a better look, and once a man on a bike almost crashed when he rode past. The other day while we were out for a walk a man stopped and said, "That's the funniest thing I've seen all day." We laughed and agreed with him, Gavin is the funniest thing we see everyday.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oh, the Places You'll Go

At the library the other day it hit me, my kids are no longer little kids. This may not seem like groundbreaking information, but it has come as quite a shock.

At the Danville Library if you turn to the right, you go to the children’s section, to the left is the young adult section and the main part of the library. When we first started going to the library, it was all about going to the right. The three of us would sit at the little tables and I would read picture books to Dane while Dagny worked her way through the easy readers. Then it was Dane’s turn with the easy readers and Dagny went off exploring in the stacks. Dagny would often come back with a book and read it to Dane while I sat blissfully reading a book of my own. Dane eventually went on to bigger books of his own, and we went on like that for many years. Then a change started to occur.

Uh, mom? We don't fit in these chairs anymore

Dagny started making forays into the “other” side of the library. The kids section couldn’t contain her, she was looking for something more. She found what she wanted to the left, and rarely veered to the right again. This was all well and good until this week when I noticed we hadn’t been to the kid’s section for a while, Dane had followed Dagny to the left.

Watching them both head off in the same direction is when I realized that I no longer have little kids. I’m sure I should have seen this coming and prepared myself, but here I am, blind sided by the fact that I am now the mother of two “young adults”. The days of Dr. Seuss and The Berenstain Bears are long gone.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Too Much of a Good Thing

I have not done any of this

Because we got one of these

I apologize for any inconvenience, I promise that I will return to my regularly scheduled program just as soon as I have mastered this

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Oscar Night

I only have two words to say about the Oscars

Hugh Jackman

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sight and Sound

What I'm reading, watching and listening to

I grew up in the 80’s and I love Morrissey, I admit it. This is his new album and it reminds me of the good old days before The Smiths broke up.

Dagny is studying American History so we thought we’d give this mini-series a try. We enjoyed everything about it. The sets, the costumes, the cast, the attention to detail; it was outstanding. We were entertained and educated.

From the opening line of The Meaning of Night by Michael Cox I was hooked; After killing the red-haired man, I took myself off to Quinn’s for an oyster supper... You know right away that the lead character is a murderer yet you still find yourself rooting for him. I was enthralled from beginning to end.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Novel Idea

Blogging must look like a lot of fun, because Dagny has been watching me and has decided to create a blog of her own. She doesn’t want to write about the mundane details of her life, she'll leave that to me; she is going to review books. She’s got a couple of entries posted and as her mother and teacher I must say, I’m pretty impressed. Not just with the content, but that she put the whole thing together all by herself. I think she might be better at this blogging business than I am. The name of her blog is A Novel Idea, check it out.

Dagny has always enjoyed sharing her love of books

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Is It Just Me?

These are our cars. Steve has a Prius, I have a 4Runner. I love my car, but most of the time I end up driving Steve’s car. Steve used to have a Celica, which I never drove, but now that his car is more environmentally friendly than mine I find that I drive his car more often than I drive my own.

The Prius has what is known as a “smart key” which means the car just knows when the key is near and the doors will unlock. The car will start if the key is merely in the car, no need for inserting or turning. My car does not have a smart key. You actually have to press a button to unlock the doors and put the key in the ignition. It’s primitive, I know. It can be quite schizophrenic going back and forth between the two cars. The other day the kids and I were in my car and they couldn’t figure out why it was taking so long to get going. It was because I was trying to start my car without putting a key in the ignition. I often forget which car I’m driving and end up wandering aimlessly around parking lots. (This only happens when I’m by myself; the kids always know what car we drove and where we parked. I love that about them.) Once I came out of a store laden with heavy packages and stood next to a silver Prius. I waited for the doors to unlock but they didn’t. I realized it wasn’t my car, so I found another silver Prius and stood next to it. Nope, not my car either. After the third silver Prius it dawned on me that I hadn’t even driven the Prius, I had driven my car. I learned a valuable lesson that day, there are too many silver Prius' in the world. Or at least in Northern California.

Monday, February 16, 2009


The kids and I read the book Coraline several years ago and we’ve been looking forward to the movie ever since we heard they were making it. We were worried, because we rarely like movie adaptations of our favorite books. Not so with Coraline, the movie is nothing short of magical. But, it's a magical tale with a sinister edge. It's genuinely frightening. The movie is visually stunning, the stop-motion animation is just plain jaw dropping. Coraline is a remarkable feat of imagination by the filmmakers, and of course, by the author Neil Gaiman. Two thumbs up from all of us.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

My Funny Valentine

We are a bit unconventional in our celebration of Valentines Day. Steve and I don’t celebrate alone as a couple, we celebrate as a family. That decision was made many years ago and is due to our resentment that society and Hallmark get to decide when we are supposed to express our love for each other. The kids give us a reason to celebrate V-Day because kids make the whole silly holiday worth celebrating. I’m thinking we only have a few more years where the kids are going to hang out with us on V -Day, I’m going to enjoy it while it lasts.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Sight and Sound

What I'm reading, watching and listening to

Love is in the air and that means I'm listening to Ella. Her version of My Funny Valentine is the best of all time

They are down to the final four on Top Chef and Dagny and I are loving it. Go Carla!

Just finished reading The Book of Lost things by John Connolly. It's a book about childhood, but not necessarily a book for kids. It deals with themes of loss, and it's haunting and thoughtful. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Baked With Love

For Dagny’s birthday last year she decided that she wanted red velvet cupcakes. I thought, no problem, and went off to order them from the bakery. It was then that she let me know that she not only wanted the cupcakes, she wanted us to make them. As everyone knows, despite my fascination with the Food Network, I don’t really cook. Since it was the child’s birthday I decided to humor her and we ended up finding a recipe and making the cupcakes. We made several dozen and she took them to her dance class to share. Turns out, the cupcakes were amazing and they are now legendary. This week it's her dance teacher’s birthday, and it was suggested to me that I bring red velvet cupcakes to her party. Why, you ask? Because somehow I managed to trick everyone into thinking I know how to bake. We made the cupcakes, took them to the party, and everyone loved them. I am unaccustomed to hearing praise about my cooking skills so all in all it was a pretty gratifying experience.

Dagny filling the muffin cups, the batter looks like a crime scene.

Cooked and cooling

Finished product

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Things I Love

In the spirit of Valentines Day I will share some things that I love. We’ve already established that I love my kids, my husband, the dog and my iPhone. (not necessarily in that order) Here are a few more things that I adore -

The Container Store - it’s unnatural and possibly unhealthy to love a store so much, but I can’t help it. I love a place that's all about organization

My closet - It’s bigger than my first apartment

GPS - My life is so much better when I'm not lost all the time

My shoes - I have a lot of shoes and they're displayed in lovely rows on shelves so I can see them. Sometimes I go in my closet just to be with them, it's my happy place

Netflix - I love movies, and Netflix sends them right to my house and lets me keep them as long as I want

Used book stores - I love all book stores, but I really love used book stores. I could, and frequently do, spend hours there

Pedicures – No words can describe the bliss of relaxing in a massage chair for an hour and then walking out with pretty toes

Peppermint Mochas - They're the reason I spend so much money at Starbucks. Totally decadent and they make me feel all Christmassy

Living near San Francisco - Easy access to one of the most beautiful cities in the world is one of the reasons I love living in California

My scrapbook room – I designed it, so I think it's absolutely perfect, and I got to spend lots of time at the Container Store while buying all my organizational accessories

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Actually Used To Be Employed

I was at the store the other day and I noticed a man looking at me. This is not an altogether uncommon occurrence, but after a minute it was obvious he wasn’t trying to hit on me, he was trying to figure out how he knew me. Turns out he did know me; I used to be his son's Gymboree teacher. When Dagny was a baby I started taking her to Gymboree class, and that eventually led to me working there. I taught classes on Saturdays for several years. It was challenging and very rewarding, and a lot of fun. There were fringe benefits to the job, like all the wonderful women I worked with, all the parents and kids I met, not to mention the discount at the Gymboree clothing store. (Dagny and Dane were the best dressed kids ever) I talked to the dad for a while and I was touched that he remembered me, and it made me remember how much I enjoyed my time among the gainfully employed.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

To Flush, Or Not To Flush

California is having a drought. We’ve been asked to do all we can to conserve water. There are obvious things you can do, like not letting the water run while you brush your teeth, and decreasing your landscape watering. Another thing that is suggested is to not flush the toilet every time you use it. After years of asking my kids if they remembered to flush, now I find myself reminding them not to. I’m just trying to do my part, one flush at a time.

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Man

It’s hard to pin down exactly what makes Steve so awesome. It could be his sense of humor or that he’s such a great Dad. Maybe it’s the fact that he continues to put up with me year after year.

Some things you may not know about the awesomeness that is Steve -

grew up in Walnut Creek

played soccer all his life, currently goalie in an indoor league

is a danger to himself and others on the soccer field

lived in Hawaii

has one brother

saying he's a fan of Lord of The Rings would be an understatement

collects swords

fan of the NFL and English Premier League football

coffee connoisseur

loves Kansas City style BBQ

favorite holiday is Halloween

can shower, dress and groom himself in less than 10 minutes

cancer survivor

works for the Bank of America

best friend is a dog

video game superstar

has a degree in Chemical Engineering

loves peanut M&M's

ultra competitive

hates talking on the phone

zombie movie afficianado

will never forgive George Lucas for the Star Wars prequels

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Fine Art

Gavin immortalized on canvas

I have a friend who is not only a talented artist, but a lovely person as well. She painted this picture of Gavin and gave it to me as a gift. I just love how she captured not only his looks, but his personality. I think she's amazing.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sight and Sound

What I'm reading, watching, and listening to

Dagny is currently in a production of Fiddler on the Roof so the Fiddler soundtrack is in heavy rotation

So happy that the new season of Lost started. Love it.

The author of one of my new favorite books recommended I read The Book of Law trilogy by Joe Abercrombie. Surprised at how much I enjoyed them.

Dancing Through Life

My first born, my daughter, and the one who taught me how to be a mother. She talked before she could walk, she planned her first birthday party herself, her pre-school teacher nick-named her the CEO. She’s one smart cookie. Some other things of interest about Dagny-

triple threat–singer/actor/dancer

voracious reader

loves musicals

danced Hula/Tahitian since she was 7

has written a book

would eat sushi everyday if she could

complete know- it –all

wants to own a chinchilla

thinks flip-flops are always appropriate footwear

Vive la France

Gavin is a French Bulldog. A few of his favorite things are; being adored, being the center of attention, sitting on Steve’s lap, sleeping on Dane’s bed, sleeping in general, snoring, chewing on his toys, greeting you when you come home, and going for walks so he can be admired by strangers.

The only thing Gavin doesn’t enjoy is being left alone. If he gets lonely he makes a sound that is somewhere between a baby crying and a pig squealing. It is not nice to listen to, especially at night. That is why it's best to never leave him by himself, which is all right with us.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I shall call him... mini-me

My son is amazingly goofy and possibly the most stubborn person on the planet. He's actually a lot like me. I love that he always likes to sit next to me when we watch movies and that he still lets me hold his hand when we're out walking. A few more interesting facts about Dane -

born athlete
considers Ranch Dressing a food group
11 years old
will beat you every time at Mario Kart
loves Anime
favorite book is The Hobbit
oddly talented at hula-hooping
always hungry

3 years old

Soul Mate

I believe that you can have more than one great love in your life, and I've found my new soul mate. His name is iPhone. I had a passing fling with a pink RAZR flip phone, but now I know what real love is.

He is everything I've ever wanted in a partner. He goes everywhere with me, we're interested in all the same things, he knows all my favorite songs, and he has the answers to all my questions. He can be serious and helpful, but he also knows when it's time to play and have fun. He completes me.

I will love him forever, or at least until Apple comes out with an upgrade.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

7 Facts

I will get the ball rolling around here
with 7 random facts about myself

  • the youngest of 7 kids
  • can't parallel park
  • been married for 17 years
  • adore flannel pajamas
  • mother of a teenager
  • complete technology junkie
  • love Kate Spade handbags

To Blog or not to Blog

I've been resistant to jump into the blogging party for various reasons, but I've decided now is the time to take the plunge. So put on your party hats and turn up the music, lets have some fun!