Monday, July 31, 2006

the times

The LA Times is interviewing Tony Blair in a few days and has asked readers to submit questions. What would you ask Tony?

Amusing quote on the upcoming CA visit: "Tony Blair is to make a joint appearance in California with Arnie "The Governator" Schwarzenegger, a menacing hulk with limited English and a reputation for getting frisky with female colleagues. Sounds like a busman's holiday for the man who usually hangs out with [deputy prime minister and admitted adulterer] John Prescott." — Jonathan Guthrie in the Financial Times, July 28

In other news, we're down to waking up three times a night with the tiny one. Very doable. Again, I don't know how people have kids when they're in their 40s. A colleague of my mother's had twins at 46. She and her husband hired a live-in nanny to wake up in the middle of the night, etc. I guess there's more than one way to be a mom.

Last but not least, the first trimester of school starts in 20 minutes. I'm so glad not to be teaching right now. My first run as a stay-at-home mom was tough; this time I feel a lot better about it. Maybe the stress of this particular school has something to do with that. Either way, I'm glad for the opportunity to get to know these kids better and to catch up on my quota of bad TV and silly novels.

Friday, July 28, 2006

to pee or not to pee

You'd be shocked how many parents post photos of their toddlers sitting joyfully naked on a potty chair. I'm going to restrain myself at least another week or two before I'll go there. I have to leave L a little dignity.

She's trying to potty train herself. I think if I see her running naked through the house again or using up another box of wipes on her bilingual Elmo doll, I'm going to restrain them both in carseats (she and John, Elmo has to stay home) and drive around the block until my other half gets home. This may be a long summer.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

did you feel it?

I love the USGS. Not only does my "uncle" Bruce work there (my third (?) cousin who flies to Hawaii on a regular basis), but they have a great website for earthquakes.

I come from the midwest where earthquakes are to be feared. They were predicted with apocalyptic consequencees and 99.9% inaccuracy. Give me a tornado any day; at least we had a basement in which to hide.

The best way I've learned to deal with earthquakes is to be hyper-aware of them. (I'm even one of the rare people in California who bought earthquake insurance on our house.) Now every time a large truck rumbles up the street, I run to check USGS to see if it was an earthquake. So far I've reported feeling two, taking my time to try to be accurate about whether or not picture frames rattled.

It's a cool idea--not just to make the site as accurate as possible in relaying information but also to include the interactive component of gathering information from readers.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

on bellies and buttons

For the first time in months, my outie is back to an innie.

John lost his belly button cord yesterday. I felt terrible seeing the little stains of blood on his shirt when I pulled it up to change his diaper. As ridiculous as it sounds, my first reaction was to try to put it back.

Did Adam have a navel? Probably so.

Monday, July 24, 2006


My electric bill was a full digit more than I expected. Unfortunately, that extra digit wasn't a 1. Maybe I can teach L how to wave one of those huge fans around.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Thanks everyone for all the kind wishes and words! Posted by Picasa

pink hat

  Posted by Picasa

Thursday, July 20, 2006

the art of catnaps

The nice thing about Headline News is that it cycles. So when you fall asleep on the couch, you can wake back up 10 minutes later and not really have missed anything.

John is gradually learning the difference between day and night. I'm gradually learning how to catnap in the middle of the day despite background noises of a boisterous toddler.

Quick notes about his birth: We drove to the hospital to be induced in the middle of the night between Sunday and Monday. The huge fires in California are just 20 minutes away from us, so we watched the eerie dry lightning storm on the way. As for the delivery itself, all went very smoothly. I even decided to forego an epidural and didn't regret it. My husband was a fabulous partner through the whole thing--not a surprise. At one point early on, we turned on the TV for a distraction and got to see the live landing of the Discovery. It was a perfect prelude.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

the baby and his big sister

8:46 a.m.
6 lb 11 oz
18 1/2 in.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

off to have a baby

We're going in at 1 a.m. tonight/Mon. morning to induce labor. So there are good things still happening in the world, just in case you began to wonder.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

when an escalation becomes a war

Regardless of which country engineered the violence,
regardless of which senseless act angered the other nation first,
regardless of how many victims are on either side of the border,
regardless of when war is officially declared,
Israel and Lebanon are in a mess of trouble.

I'm glued to CNN, and I feel like I walked into Hamlet in the middle of the second act. I'm not sure which country is Rosencrantz and which is Gildenstern.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


The city formerly known as Bombay was the target of multiple train explosions today. An acquaintance from the city said he was surprised the number of deaths was under 200 given the time of day and traffic in the area. He made calls to all friends and family and luckily those he knows are safe. The attacks ride on the heels of the London bombing anniversary, yet speculation points to groups concerned with Kashmir not Iraq or the U.S.

A friend is planning to spend several days in Mumbai this summer; I hope this doesn't make her reconsider the vacation. It's easy to write but hard to actually live without fear of terrorists.

Just today I was talking (in a very different context) with someone about our memory's amazing capability to forget pain. You remember feeling pain, but the pain itself cannot be recalled; instead, we are left with fear, which is sometimes far worse.

Inside North Korea

Interesting documentary on the History Channel yesterday, which goes by this title. North Korea fascinates and concerns me.

Saturday, July 08, 2006


"You're depressed. Let's go to the casino." And so my Friday night started.

Pregnancy blues were getting me down, and even though my mother-in-law was babysitting L (who is well on the road to recovery) I could think of no place I wanted to go. Enter the husband.

We live within easy driving distance of a handful of casinos, and not-so-easy driving distance of Vegas. Not having been gambling since Mystic Lake in Minnesota, I thought the idea had some vague appeal to it. Every so often you have to take advantage of places that don't let in people under 18 (or is it 21 here in CA?).

I'm proud to say that I won the race to lose my $10 faster than him. He, on the other hand, came out about $50 ahead and paid for our buffet dinner of prime rib.

Casinos these days are pretty well made to cater to your indulgences. This particular casino hotel was advertising "European rose mud pedicures." It was as if they just threw together random words that appealed to women in a marketing test. Despite the obvious addictions--money, alcohol, cigarettes, food, and hourly grand prize drawings--I was impressed to see two well-stocked desert and coffee bars on the gambling floor. Glass cases were loaded with cheesecakes and chocolate truffles, complete with a neon sign in sprawling cursive: "indulge."

Now that was a good idea.

Friday, July 07, 2006


Moose or Reindeer?

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

next year

Missed the fireworks again this year. Though L probably would have enjoyed them, she came down with a fever. It would be cruel to wake up a sick kid, drag her through traffic in a long car ride, and park in a hot car to watch things go boom in the sky. I'm holding out for next year.

To the rest, happy Independence Day.

Monday, July 03, 2006

the gentle art of waiting

I wonder which will come first: my baby or Mexico's president. 14 days + or -. A zillion little things to do, 3 zillion more to anticipate.

I'm small for 38 weeks--3 weeks behind and lost 2 pounds in a week to be exact. Yet John's growth is still within normal according to the spontaneous ultrasound I had today. It's a good sign that my doctor has pull when I can get an ultrasound literally within 7 minutes of seeing him.

In the menatime, I should eat more protein, the nurse tells me. Good thing we just got our grill hooked up.