Saturday, January 31, 2009
Friday, January 30, 2009
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
This robot that transforms into a car has axles and wheels that spin. The ink on his hands is a permanent fixture these days. As soon as I get it all scrubbed off, he dives into a new project with little regard for keeping the ink on the paper. I'm totally okay with that. I did hide the Sharpies, though!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Pretty much since birth I've been telling Benjamin that he is going to be a pediatric cardiothoracic surgeon when he grows up so he can save the lives of little children like himself who need heart surgery (I narrow it down and say I want him to practice at Stanford where he had his heart surgery, but you know, he could practice at Cedars or UCLA if he had to). Despite my not-to-subtle attempts to sway his mind toward going into medicine (which would be a first for our family of artists), when I ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, he says Ben 10, a fictitious cartoon character. So this week when he said "doctor", I had to carefully document it!
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Yes, now smile! I actually got quite teary when the helicopter arose from the lawn carrying the now former President Bush. We were in the hospital going through the experience of having our first child just days after the 2000 election. I was in the hospital a full week (complications) and when we were finally released to go home, it was still a toss up over who would be Commander in Chief! It's hard to believe it's been eight years, but I've got the tall, lanky boy to prove it.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Sunday, January 18, 2009
Wayfarer's Chapel, designed by Lloyd Wright, son of Frank Lloyd Wright sits perched on the hill overlooking the ocean. Made of glass and surrounded by trees, flowers, and the ocean, there are few other places so filled with peace! Well, at least until our boys got there and enjoyed running along the grassy terrace behind the chapel...
The roads that wrap around the Palos Verdes Peninsula are constantly moving as the hills are pushed up or the cliffs crumble. It feels like a very bumpy roller coaster ride and the boys enjoyed hanging their heads out the window to catch the ocean air rushing by and throwing their arms in the air as we descended each giant dip in the road.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
Monday, January 12, 2009
1. The pantry got finished because the boys were totally occupied and having fun.
2. I was able to send the whole lot of boys down the street to play so I could pick up the living room in peace.
3. Our neighbor, after viewing the disaster of our kitchen while in the thick of building, declared that we were welcome to come to dinner at their house where they were grilling up carne asada. There nothing like going to bed on a Saturday night and turning out the light in the living room and being greeted with a sight like this!
Sweet dreams indeed!
Sunday, January 11, 2009
Nathan had been praying every night for a pet. Amazingly, both Michael and I won a Beta fish at a banquet. Maybe not the pet he'd been praying for! I was upset because they'd used the fish as the table centerpieces and I felt it was horrible to use a live animal as decor. After all, we wouldn't put a puppy in a cage on a table and call it a theme, right? When we came home with the two fish, our boys were thrilled. Nathan named his Scruffy, and Benjamin called his Tuna. In a sad twist, Nathan's died just two weeks later. We held a small burial in the back yard and Nathan cried for a solid 24 hours. Benjamin renamed his fish Scruffy-Tuna in honor of the departed Beta and declared he would share with his brother. Scruffy-Tuna has lived a pampered life on the ledge over our stove top, being lovingly fed each day by Michael or the boys. The last couple of weeks he didn't look so good, and didn't seem interested in his food at all. Mike discovered the loss last night, and we broke the news to the boys this afternoon.
We held another burial, this one marked with far more tears from both boys. We all saw Marley and Me right after Christmas, so the boys got to see a family crying in grief over the loss of a pet, and they responded similarly. Especially little Ben, who was simply heartbroken. His constant tearful refrain was, "Now I don't have a pet!"
Not content to simply bury the fish, Benjamin gave each of us a sheet of paper and asked us to create something nice in honor of Scruffy-Tuna. We did, and then Ben placed them on the ground above the fish.
Nathan drew Scruffy-Tuna wearing a white robe and halo, and proving that he is a normal eight year old boy, a gun shooting the devil as Scruffy ascends to fish heaven. He wrote: Dear Scruffy, I hope you like heaven, have a good time, from Nathan. Michael also went with the heaven theme and actually drew Scruffy on his journey from his bowl into the pearly gates! Benjamin created a three dimensional sad snowman out of cotton balls because, "Scruffy-Tuna would like that." My contribution is lame compared to their heartfelt artwork!
I don't think we will be getting another pet in the immediate future. Michael is allergic to cats, our rental agreement prohibits dogs, and fuzzy rodents or scaly reptiles are not something I want to have in my house voluntarily. Mr. Rock is still Nathan's big obsession, so we may have to come up with some other inanimate object for Ben. We'll see.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
The surprise is if you eat something I've prepared, you are likely to say that it tastes delicious and that you really enjoyed it, and ask for the recipe. I can be a great cook when I put my mind to it. But the effort involved is overwhelming in the worst possible way. Especially when a meal that has taken so long to prepare is consumed in mere minutes by my hungry boys, husband included.
In these rough economic times, eating out has become a luxury. One of my New Year's Resolutions is to eat at home more often. So I'm trying. Really hard. Last night I made Mexican Lasagna from a recipe I received at my bridal shower almost 14 years ago. It's really good. And I know this because Nathan and Ben were positively singing my praises. They all but licked their plates clean. Nathan declared it to be the very best meal he'd ever eaten. Tonight I made an Italian chicken recipe that has mozzarella, tomatoes, and chunks of sourdough bread. When Nat looked at it, he said "yuck". When I told him what was in it (all his favorites), he changed his tune and took a bite, declaring it to be the best meal ever. And then he paid me a lovely compliment. He said that my cooking was completely out of this world! I got all warm and fuzzy feeling, and then he said it was so out of this world, it went to outer space where even the aliens ate it, loved it, and sent back down to earth for seconds. Golly! High praise indeed! From an eight year old, anyway! Hmmm, just wait until he tries my Slimy Green Burritos, a meal so incredibly tasty that Michael long ago composed a theme song for it. Yeah, it's really that good.
I guess the key to me enjoying cooking involves people singing happy songs about it!
Friday, January 9, 2009
Today is the birthday of Michael's youngest sibling, his sister Heidi. She lives in Virginia with her hubby Clay and two of our nieces.
Between Michael and I, there are over a dozen birthdays that fall in the months of December and January in our two families. Which is why when we were planning our wedding we chose June for our big day. As far as you could get from the rest of the reasons to celebrate! Of course, WE were the ones who later blew it and ended up having a son born at the end of June! Oh well. Despite what they say, you really can't plan these things!
Happy Birthday Heidi!
Thursday, January 8, 2009
When told that we had prevailed in our quest for justice (the fair return of his cash), Nathan jumped in the air and shouted YES! Then he said, and I quote- Now I love the Government! You just have to know how to work it!
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
Happy Birthday Grandma! We love you!
Monday, January 5, 2009
Sunday, January 4, 2009
Saturday, January 3, 2009
Friday, January 2, 2009
1. See at least one live show each month. More is better.
2. Eat at home more often.
3. Get rid of at least one black plastic trash bag or one giant box of accumulated and unwanted “stuff” every single week.
4. Design and create new creative opportunities for the boys/family/myself each month (writing, painting, sewing, etc.).
5. Make significant progress towards eliminating our financial obligations.
1. Learn to fly
2. Learn to teleport
3. Learn to stop time
1. Eat more pizza.
2. Get better at math.
3. Get better at playing the electric guitar.
1. I know everything already.
Notice how we chose things that are actually attainable in an effort to be successful!
Happy New Year!
Thursday, January 1, 2009
In college, when my insomnia was particularly disturbing, I would drive my little red pickup to the departures level and park at the curb near the international terminal. In the peaceful hours of the night I would daydream about being on the huge planes headed for far off destinations. Rarely has anything been so soothing to my wandering soul. Nowadays if you so much as tap your brakes the airport police descend and tell you to keep moving, which means no time for daydreaming at the airport!
With the disappointment of our aborted move to Macau still so fresh and raw, it is proving far more difficult to stay in one place than it's ever been to move around.
I'm trying to take comfort that for all the planes that are leaving LAX, there are just as many arriving to this grand city. And in 2009, I will attempt to find contentment where we are instead of desperately longing to be elsewhere. For the time being.
As Chinese New Year approaches (February 10th this year), we bid a fond farewell to the Year of the Dragon. My oldest son was born in the Ye...
Michael and I got to jump on a plane from Shanghai to Los Angeles to attend a four day conference on leadership, creativity, and humanity tw...
This festive greeting was over four years in the making! Christmas cards are a big deal for me. Though we move a lot, our annual Ch...