Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Lots to report

The latest news...Please welcome my nephew Sawyer Morgan, born yesterday December 28th, after about 36 hours of labor. My sister is a trooper and gave birth to this beautiful boy. He weighed 9 pounds 6 ounces and measured 22 inches long.
I met him briefly at the hospital, he is only a few hours old here. We will travel back up north this weekend so that the girls can meet him too.

Preparations for the holidays...
Here are Sofia and Maia in their ski clothes (well, the new stuff anyway). Neither had a suitable jacket or boots to wear in the snow so I had to go searching and found these at Lands' End at reasonable prices (if I had planned ahead a little better, I would have tried to find something on ebay). They had a great time sledding. Skiing wasn't as big a success this time due to bad weather on the day we went, but more on that later.
The annual xmas card production was so much fun. I did this card using Illustrator and then printed using the gocco printer.
And finally, some Christmas twirly skirts for my favorite little skirt wearers. They loved them. Some minor adjustments need to be made (Maia's is a little big around the waist), but overall they were fun and easy to make.

I'm going to get back to unpacking and laundry for now but hope to post soon about our journey up north to Truckee/Tahoe-Donner and the Bay Area. Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Big twirly skirt

Here we are in December and I'm full of things to talk about, but have little time to write about them. I'm down to the crunch time of gift making, card making (yay!), and cheer spreading. I refuse to get cranky about all the stuff I "have to do" because I love doing all of it, but some things have to give, like this blog. So I will tell this quick story and hopefully catch up with the rest later.

A while back I saw a skirt at Whole Foods that I thought looked really fun. Now I don't know about you, but I was having trouble with spending $68 on a skirt from the grocery store, even with all its sustainably-made credentials. But still, it was cute, so I kept looking at it and finally said to myself, I could totally make that. It was a dark gray, heavy jersey cotton. Enter my trip to LA.

Last Thursday I went to downtown LA to the garment district. I had tried to find some cotton jersey fabric on the internet - ordered some samples from a store in New York, and 4 weeks later, I got the samples but they weren't what I was looking for - I thought, this is silly, it's not that far to LA, so I went. I found exactly what I was looking for - a dark, gray, french terry - and it was organic, too. Bonus. Oh and surprisingly inexpensive.
So this is what I ended up with - it's my "I'm 38 years old and I can wear long twirly skirts if I want to skirt". The waist band is about 7 inches and tapered at the back with elastic to hold it up. The skirt is a full circle from one piece of fabric with the middle cut out. I haven't completed the hem yet. I was going to leave it unfinished but the fabric doesn't roll uniformly due to it being a full circle (get it?). Anyway, I'm going to afix some rolled fabric to the hem all the way around to get that unfinished look.
Here I am trying to photograph myself twirling - it didn't go over too well but hopefully you get the idea. I found a pretty pink heather jersey cotton at the same shop in LA and I plan to make a couple more twirly skirts for my favorite little skirt wearers. Better get busy, eh?

Monday, November 30, 2009


Now that we're back from Encinitas and Rocky seems to have recovered from her mysterious ailment (tongue biting with possible bladder infection on the side?), I can laugh about our Thanksgiving trip. You see, Wednesday night Rocky was not well and to be honest I was pretty sure we would wake up Thanksgiving morning to find her passed away. That didn't happen and since we couldn't leave our sick cat home alone and we didn't want to cancel our trip down south to Encinitas, we took her with us. It all seemed too much like a scene from a Vacation movie and I was afraid we were going to have to transport a dead cat back home. *shudder* Rocky spent the whole way down on my lap or at my feet just resting while I pet her and again, since I thought we might lose her, it seemed like the right thing to do. Turns out it was. By Friday morning she was perking up and by Saturday she seemed mostly back to her 14 year old self. She rode home in her carrier and is doing well.
We celebrated Chris' 40th on Friday with the Hillmans and the Helgrens. He did a nice long ride that morning, we ate a nice brunch made by his dad, and then I served his requested quiche dinner and his favorite grasshopper pie, whipped up by his mom and I.
I made this little painting for him using an ink resist technique I learned a few years ago from an illustration class. Other than the masking tape not working out and the ink spilling out onto the frame, I'm pleased with it and Chris enjoyed it, too. The scene is from a mountain biking relay race Chris did in August in Simi Valley.
This is the original photo. I messed with the contrast of the picture to get the basic look, painted the scene with gouache (everything including white areas and excepting black areas), let it dry and then covered the whole thing with India ink. After the ink dried, I rinsed it and magically, the ink on top of the painted areas washes away, leaving the unpainted areas black. Last I went back in with gouache and a black ink pen and retouched some areas. Now we just need to matte it so you won't be able to see the awful ink spillage - et voila, fini.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I've been working on some thankful thoughts for a while now. First, I will mention that our cat, Rocky, or Miss Cat as we sometimes call her, has not been well today and we're facing the possibility that she may have entered her last days. She has been with us for 14 years. I'm thankful for that. And if she goes on a few more days, weeks, months, years (?!), I'll be thankful for that too.

Babies! I'm thankful for babies. Erin and Tom are preparing to welcome their little Nova or Sawyer in December and we just learned this week that another niece or nephew is headed our way next summer. Yes, it's early on so I guess I'll leave it at that.

Good neighbors. There are good neighbors, like those who are mostly quiet, keep to themselves and don't seem to be bothered by any of our activities. And there are good neighbors, like the ones our kids want to invite to their birthday parties (even though they have no children), who invite us over for tea and dinner, who look out for us and call us when we've left the car door open in the driveway (yes, I've done that), and who think to send us a Thanksgiving card (yes, they did). Turns out we have both kinds. Good neighbors and good neighbors. I'm thankful for them.

Work. I seem to remember that a year ago I was thankful for the little bit of work that was coming my way. Not much has changed in the work department and considering how tough things are for some folks out there, I'm thankful for the work that I have. And I might as well be thankful for Chris' work too. I mean, really, that's what is keeping us afloat.

Projects. I have a few projects in the pipeline that I'm really excited about. It's great to be inspired with ideas. My only problem is finding time to do them all. Some vintage fabric came to me via a friend whose grandmother (in law) recently passed away. This fabric is gorgeous (the picture does not do it justice). It's pretty heavy and I'm pretty sure it's cotton. It apparently came from a dressmaker in Hawaii. I'm on the lookout for just the right dress or skirt to pattern after - thinking on the lines of a square neck, fitted a-line dress to the knee.

I'm still plugging away on the linen/wool sweater, there are booties (and now more booties!) to make, and there's that kitchen wall chalkboard frame I need to get back to.
Last, but certainly not least. I'm thankful for my friendship with Chris. Some time this year, Chris and I started to meet each other for lunch at our local Peet's coffee shop. It was probably around the time things had settled a bit with Maia's treatments and around the time work got reallllly slow for me. We always pack a lunch, order lattes and sit for an hour or so to talk. It's fun and good and nice. And I'm thankful for it.

On Friday, Chris turns 40. I'll be back around then to show you a little something I made for him. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Having a Thankful Day

But first, she sings! She really does sing! Of course we know Maia sings, we hear her all the time, but this time she sang at her school Thanksgiving Lunch. She knew all the words (of course she does), she sang so we could hear her, and she sang with a smile. So sweet. She sings - when she's good and ready to sing. And not a minute sooner. Little bugger.
After feasting at preschool, we're off to Sofia's school this evening for a Peace Feast. The Peace kids are preparing a Thanksgiving meal with the help of a mom/chef. I'm looking forward to it. This week has been difficult for Sofia. Her friend, "who I've know since I was 2", left her school to start at a different school. It all happened quickly (which is probably best) - he told her on Monday and his last day was Thursday. She's feels scared and sad and worried. I know this will pass and she'll make new friends, but it hurts to see her sad. Not to mention my carpool just disappeared. I knew it would end someday but I didn't expect it so soon. Oh well, that's ok. It does simplify things a bit - takes more of my time, sure - but I only have to worry about getting my two kids to and fro.

By the way, I brought this black bean salad to the lunch. Yummmmmy. The dressing is super tasty.

I have more to post - some cutie patootie little booties I've been working on for one special little baby coming to us in December. But must be off for now.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Trying Something New

I found this nifty little feature in Blogger that allows me to send email notifications when I write a post. If you are reading this you may have gotten such an email. I started blogging way back when as a way to keep in touch with family, post pics of the kids, and then later I added my creative endeavors. I've met a few people along the way and I have my favorites over there on the the right side, but I still like the idea of keeping in touch with family. It's sort of like reading my journal without all the really juicy details, not that there are any :)

If you'd rather not receive such an email, please let me know. Just send an email or post a comment. I promise not to be offended.

Speaking of my favorite bloggers, JCHandmade (also known as Jennifer) just posted that she was diagnosed with MS this week. The news brought me such sadness and I felt a little silly being so sad for someone I don't know in person. But I do know we have quite a few things in common. She's about my age, she has two little girls (hers are twins), she knits and sews and blogs (in fact she's somewhat of a creative blogging rockstar), she enjoys cooking good food for her family, she's a progressive thinker, and she plays in a rock band in her free time. Ok, well I don't play in a rock band. She said they caught it early and she is keeping a positive attitude but I'm guessing there may be some tough days ahead. I'll be thinking about her.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Yummiest Thing I've Ever Made

Grandma and Grandad came over for belated birthday celebration, on their way (further) up north. They promised a pizza dinner, and I made the belated chocolate mousse that Sofia had requested for her birthday. The mousse recipe called for Candied Orange Peel as an accompaniment. As has been my habit this week, (ahem) I failed to read the recipe thoroughly, and missed the part about soaking the peel in salted water for 4 hours.

Can't start the candied orange peel at 5 o'clock and expect it to be ready for the mousse at 7, now can you?

So anyway, it was done late, and Maia didn't taste it until this morning. But when she did, she said, "Mommy, this is the yummiest thing you've ever made". It is candy. Pure candy. So what if it's made from real organic orange peels, it's also soaked and cooked in sugar and then rolled in more sugar. I swear it tastes like Trix cereal. Not that I've tasted that for about 20 years but it brought back memories. So here's the recipe, it's from a Williams Sonoma cookbook.

Candied Orange Peel

2 oranges, preferably with thick skin
1 T sea salt
1 c sugar, plus extra for coating
1/2 c water
3 T light corn syrup
  • Cut around circumference of each orange cutting only through the peel, then make a second cut perpendicular to the first through the stem and blossom end. Remove the peel in 4 segments (now you have 8 orange peel pieces).
  • In a small bowl, soak the peel pieces in the salt and just enough water to cover for 4 hours.
  • Drain the peel and place in a small saucepan. Add water to cover and bring to a boil over med-high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Drain and repeat the process. (Why? I have no idea... ) Drain and set aside to cool. Cut into 1/4 inch strips.
  • In a small saucepan, over med. heat, combine the 1 cup sugar, 1/2 cup water, and 3T corn syrup. Heat, stirring, until the mixture comes to a boil and the sugar is dissolved. Add the peel strips, reduce heat to low, and cook slowly until the peel is translucent and the syrup registers 230 degrees F on a candy thermometer. Do not allow to caramelize.
  • Transfer peels to a wire rack to drain (better put something under it), without touching eachother. While still warm, roll the peels in sugar on a plate and then place on a piece of wax paper to finish cooling and drying. Store in a covered container in a cool place for up to several weeks.
Yeah, like it'll last that long around here.

Monday, November 02, 2009

A Very Happy 7th Birthday

Sofia invited a few friends over for her Kings and Queens Brunch. The crowns were lovely but I didn't expect the kids to wear them much. One friend wore hers the entire time and she was an adorable queen. The crowns were made using a process similar to that described at Bitterbetty's blog here.
The kids seemed to enjoy the restaurant-like party. I took their drink orders, brought them drinks, took their food orders and helped Chris briefly in the kitchen. Then we played a few rounds of 20 questions while waiting for their food. They were very polite (mostly) and I had fun being their server. Chris did an excellent job preparing the food. We served it all at once and most of the kids cleared their plates - those who didn't had eyes bigger than their stomachs ;)
After the party, she opened some presents. Part of Sofia's gift from us was her own knitting basket with a starter skein of red wool and size 8 needles. We also gave her three horse books. Her face says it all. She was very happy.
We spent the afternoon working on a puzzle and rounded the day off with a movie and bean and cheese burritos for dinner (Sofia's request).
I've heard 7 is about the right time to learn knitting. She has been asking for a couple years for me to teach her but I have held her off. We started a simple garter stitch scarf. I was a little nervous about teaching her to knit because I'm not the most patient teacher and she's not the most patient apprentice. That and I'm left handed and she is not, so I am learning to knit right handed along with her. She seems to be picking it up pretty well.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We did our Halloween preview photoshoot this afternoon.
I may switch Maia to a long sleeve white shirt and leggings so that she won't be confused for a penguin angel - seriously, a passing neighbor said that (??) Anyway, they both love their costumes, and that is really all that matters.
Oh my goodness, you put a little lipstick on her and she looks 15. Yikes!

Meanwhile, after my last post, Regina gave me a tip to look at these crowns by Bitterbetty. I took one look and knew I had to make them for Sofia's party. I had been planning something less spectacular, like a couple steps up from a 1970s Burger King crown, but her tutorial seemed pretty simple, so I went for it. I ended up deviating from her process because I couldn't find the right gold leafing powder, but I ended up with something very similar. And again, Sofia loves them, so there you go.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Halloween and Birthday Preparations

Any guesses what Sofia is going to be?

Maia is going to be a white dove. She had originally wanted to be a robin and I'm not sure what changed her mind, but it's pretty much the same costume, different color. I'm hoping to be done this weekend so I can move on to preparations for Sofia's birthday party the day after Halloween.

We are going to have a Kings and Queens Brunch. There will be just a couple friends and Maia. I'm thinking of making crowns, but they're going to have to be pretty simple. Then they will have brunch, restaurant style with a menu, a couple games and we'll call it a party. Sofia has requested chocolate mousse. Oh my. Where does she get these ideas?

After Chris' backpacking weekend extragavanza I was looking at my pictures from my Summer Field trip back in 1994. I decided to scan my favorites in for archiving purposes. It's funny how few pictures there are from those film days. We spent 8 weeks in the Inyo National Forest near Treasure Lakes, and then Saddlerock Lake. Chris came up at least a couple times and we climbed Hurd Peak during a break. We also took a side trip to "Dogtown", the family vacation house that is no longer, near Coulterville. I really enjoyed the scenery while I was up there but I spent a lot of time writing to Chris about how miserable I was. I ran across those letters recently too. Tee hee. So silly. Anyway, here are the pictures.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Mountain mom

Mountain mom
Originally uploaded by Berinder
Chris and a couple friends went backpacking this weekend to Matlock Lake, Kearsarge Pass, and Mt. something or other (eastern Sierra out of Independence). Bobby (one of his companions) titled this "Mountain Mom", which seems pretty fitting. Chris was my savior in college when I had to prepare for the 8-week summer field camp in the Sierras. Chris' companions, although not lacking enthusiasm, did lack some experience and perhaps there was a little figurative hand holding. Chris is also the voice of reason, which apparently came in handy, too. There are more pictures here and here.

Makes me want to go. Who wants to babysit?

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Baby Shower

And they're off! Phew! I feel like I'm in the land of many unfinished projects. It feels good to get one done. It was a short and sweet print job. Only 30 invitations and only two screens. I'm pleased with the turnout. I did the drawing in Illustrator, separated the color, printed each in black and then burned the screens. The photo is a little goofy because I had to smudge so many things out. You know, privacy issues. This is the internet afterall. So this morning Sofia came to me with this heart and asked me to write down the names of the people I love. I was making lunches and running late (what else is new) and asked her to please put it on my desk so I could do it later. A few minutes later she came back with something written on the back and she read it to me.

Love is beauty
Love is kindness
Wonderful things happen to lovers
Love is kissing and hugging
and happiness
Love is snow and sparkles too
It is two people getting married when grown

I don't have to tell you how neat I think Sofia is and how wonderful an artist she is. Now she's a poet too.

Monday, October 05, 2009

Is it wrong...

to love this so much? I had to go to Paper Source this weekend. I know, twist my arm. Turns out, this particular store is just a couple miles away and has been open for months, maybe even a year, but it was my first trip there. I could probably spend hours in there looking at all the pretty things and could probably spend a bundle too. But I didn't. I did buy the above "Shape + Color Guide" along with some notecard paper for baby shower invites. I'm doing a gocco print and I'm going to try embossing powder for the first time. I'll post pics as soon as they've been sent out...

Remember when I said if I got busy with work that I'd still have time to get it all done? Well, I'm being put to the test. I've got a fast turn around work project this week (paid work, yay!), a pumpkin patch field trip, two school newsletters, a camping weekend complete with inlaws coming, and baby shower invitations to get out. Let's just say there won't be any homemade yogurt at our house this week.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Oooooo, ahhhh, camera stuff

We decided to replace our 50 mm lens that was stolen from our car over a year ago. I had volunteered to take some photos at Sofia's school and realized that it would definitely come in handy. We also took the plunge and bought a nice flash. We're calling them our early birthday presents, to the tune of a couple months early. That's ok, we'll still be enjoying them when our birthdays roll around (Chris and I have birthdays a week apart). So here are my first victims...

Look at this face... don't you want to squeeze it?

And this one... she wasn't cooperating, go figure. These were shot indoors in daylight, no flash.

Here is Miss Cat, with the flash bouncing off the ceiling, nighttime.

Here's another one of Miss Rocky, with flash to the face. I had to include it for obvious reasons.

And here I am with and without flash, daytime. Having fun.

Oh, and here's a funny. The other night in the shower, Maia looks at me longingly and says, "Mama, will I have long boobies when I grow up?" Yes, my dear, I'm afraid you will.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Painting on the Wall!

But first, Kid Art. I put some notes on the flickr site.
And next, I had to go to the office on Monday to help transition a project from a manager who is leaving to another manager. While I was there, my work status came up, as it does nearly every time I'm in the office. So, you're not ready to come back full time? In my mind, I was laughing hysterically and thinking, "no, it'll be about 14 more years before I want to come back full time". But I simply said, no, not yet. Then on Wednesday, I had another work meeting and this time, someone else says, "Are you coming back full time?" Uh, no, where did you hear that?

I've tried to write about all my thoughts about work a couple times, and it always sounds whiny and annoying. So, I scrapped it. Suffice it to say that all this is on my mind, my choices and priorities, and that same yucky feeling I've had since Sofia was born that I'm not giving work what they want.

Then, I found out today that the daughter of a principal at work has several autoimmune diseases. Her mother (my co-worker), wrote me to offer support in response to something I had said about Maia. It was very nice of her, and a little surprising since I haven't worked with her much. She mentioned that she and her daughter's doctors feel environmental triggers are causing a rise in the incidence of autoimmune diseases.

Even though our focus and Maia's doctors' focus has been on her treatment, I think and wonder a lot about the "why" of all this. What triggered her body's immune system to go haywire? What are we going to find out in 10, 20, 30 years from now that we didn't realize? Is it the non-stick cookware? The flame retardant bedding? Something in the water? Is it some random food allergy? Or a weird vaccine ingredient? All of the above? I wonder if anyone's researching this.

So anyway, about painting on the wall. I painted the chalkboard (big mess now cleaned up) and now I'm working on a faux gold frame around it. It's a little tongue in cheek but I like it so far. And painting on the wall is fun. But shhh, don't tell my kids, they might get some crazy ideas. I'm also practicing my chalkboard writing a la Trader Joe's. Hopefully it'll be done soon, so go ahead, hold your breath.
And finally, I'm having a little autumn envy. Many in the blogosphere are basking in their autumn wonderfulness. I used to love autumn, the cooler weather, the crisp air, putting on a sweater... granted, where I grew up, it was not the traditional northeast autumn and we had a spell of "Indian Summer" as it was called, but it was a different season for sure. But here? Autumn is all about blazing hot, dry, hills on fire. So I'm having a little autumn envy. I know, it's only the first week, quit complaining. Ok.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moving On

We seem to be past the worst of the pneumonia with small improvements every day. Maia is back at school, although I had to bring her home early yesterday because her chest was hurting. Despite that, her breathing has been improving every day (less gurgling) and there has been less coughing at night. I just don't want her to end up in the hospital, so we're taking one day at a time.

This has been my first week with some child-free moments in quite a while and I'm determined not to get bogged down in the depressing under-employed state of things. I took on a small job at Maia's school doing the newsletter and other paperwork. The hours are minimal and the pay low, but there is a generous tuition discount that makes it worthwhile. It will give me some structure to my week and if my other job picks up (can't get any slower for me), I will still have plenty of time to get it all done.

My mom visited last week so that we could work on a top secret project together. It's going to be *great* but I can't share it - yet. While she was here, I was cringing at the state of her room. It is our guest room slash sewing stash slash Chris' cycling gear slash art supplies slash knitting stash slash what ever else doesn't have a place - you get the picture. So after she left I tackled the clutter, organized the closet, and hung a couple pictures. The result is several bags of giveaway, a couple boxes of books to donate, much fabric to give away, a box of cassette tapes to record digitally, and a much. cleaner. room. Now my mom has to come back before it gets cluttery again.

Well, I'm going to wrap up this boring no pictures post and run off to work on my kitchen wall chalk board. I spray painted chalkboard paint directly on the wall yesterday (bad idea, too messy, don't do it, use the brush-on paint) and now I'm figuring out some sort of border.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Maia's Off to School

Maia's first day of school was yesterday and went very well. She immediately ran off with her friends without a kiss or goodbye. Oh well, that's fine. I'm glad she's happy there. Unfortunately she's home today with possible pneumonia - yep, that's right. Goodness, we're having fun. Hopefully, the antibiotics will kick in soon and she'll be back in the swing soon (haha, literally). Other than the nasty sounding chest and cough, she's in good spirits.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Bike MS

We did a little Bike MS photoshoot this weekend. Maia can be a bit of a pain about photos, especially when you really need her to smile for the camera. I won't repeat here what we were saying to finally get her to laugh and smile, it was on the verge of potty talk (the things we'll do for a picture!).

Chris will be riding the Southern California Bike MS charity ride October 3 and 4 put on by the Multiple Sclerosis Society. It's a total of 160 miles. This is his second year and this year he'll ride with his cycling club, Fast Friday. Last year at this time, we didn't know that Maia had an autoimmune disease. We were still wandering through the red tape at Kaiser trying to figure it out, although we had pretty much given up on our doctors and had decided to move on. Now that we know, we have found that Maia's treatment is similar to that of other autoimmune diseases. It seems even more fitting to try to raise money and awareness for research that may eventually help Maia and people like her. For more information on how to support Chris and the MS Society, check out Chris' Bike MS page.
Ahhh, I love it when I have an idea and I'm actually able to get it done in one day. I made this tote today for Sofia to carry her ballet stuff. It's lined and cute and just what I had in mind. It's made of scraps from recent skirt and dress projects. She had her first ballet class last week and she really enjoyed it. Now she's all outfitted with a blue leotard, pink tights, pink slippers, and a really cool tote!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

2nd Grader

Wow, who could imagine having a second grader. She looks so grown up. She's wearing her new uniform, which is basically khaki bottoms and several different colored shirts for the tops. We were not proponents of going to uniforms for many reasons that I won't go into because, well, it doesn't matter at this point.

This is Peace Montessori's 3rd year and as expected each new year brings changes and hopefully improvements. They've hired 3 new teachers who already seem to be working well as a team and making some positive additions. I'm most excited about the Peace curriculum, which will include conflict resolution, community building, and non-violent communication. Imagine that, teaching Peace. I love it. I have to admit I pretty much wanted to sign up for the school when I heard it was going to be called Peace Montessori, but of course there's more to it than a name and these teachers seem to be committed to providing an education befitting a school called Peace.

In a strange scheduling mismatch, Maia doesn't start school until the 9th of September, which means she will be missing her sister and looking for things to do. Chris is going to take her camping for a night, a promise he made to her last winter when he took Sofia skiing. Right now though, she isn't feeling well. She's had a nasty cough for over a week and last night she started to have some stomach issues (i.e. no one got enough sleep). Could be a virus I guess, but I can't help worry a little. Some. Ok, a lot. Is her medicine making her stomach upset? Is her cough related to scleroderma? I know it's unlikely from what I've read, but still. Then there's all the talk about H1N1. Now we have to get another vaccine? Of course, right? What if she gets swine flu? Turns out I have a lot on my mind regarding Maia. The pokes aren't going so well lately either. Four weeks in a row, she has protested quite dramatically, which makes things difficult. Chris has to restrain her and she's so tense. I suppose these phases are to be expected but it's not fun. Edited to say: Ok, so I talked to the ped rheumy fellow today and he didn't seem too concerned about the cough. Amazing what I can conjure up in my mind. Probably should have kept it to myself.

Work? What work? I'm trying to stay positive, but geez, this is ridiculous. So, I have been working on this (from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing):I meant to have two slippers ready for Sofia's first day of school (they are allowed to bring slippers to school to wear in the classroom). But I had to fiddle with the pattern, which is sized for adults, and unfortunately, I didn't fiddle enough. I finished one and it is too big. Argh. But, the good news is, I have plenty of fabric and now that I've done the pattern once, doing it again won't be hard. Famous. Last. Words.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


August 12, 1995 was a really hot day in Napa Valley, hence the shine.
We've only changed a bit.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Summer's Winding Down for Us

After our last visit to the ped rheumy (pediatric rheumatologist), we decided to try decreasing PT (physical therapy) to once a week. When we started all this back in January, it didn't occur to me that driving 15 miles to Agoura twice a week would start to get really old, really fast. The condition was that we would do some type of PT activities at home. So the first week I was rather unorganized which led to Maia not cooperating, me getting frustrated and giving up and doing a yoga video, which wasn't exactly what I had in mind. Then last week I got more organized and purchased a couple of really useful props and we ended up with a 20 minute session that is really all I could hope for...

We did a little competition where we picked up little metal balls with our toes and then there was walking around with a big elastic strap around our feet so that we had to try hard to press our legs apart. Finally, I made a little obstacle course where there was plenty of balancing, bending, and turning. Sofia joined in the fun. Hopefully it will be enough to keep the progress we've made and maybe even make some more.

Here we are at the Getty Center yesterday. We were a little surprised that they've increased the parking fee to $15 but all in all still a very affordable and fun-for-all afternoon. We like to walk up the hill (forgoing the tram) and I'm happy to report that Maia walked the whole way up - something she couldn't have done last summer. We tried to recreate this picture from couple years ago... my, my, my how we've grown. Sofia's going to be taller than me any minute now.
We have a friend turning 5 this week, so I whipped up a peasant skirt and a little head scarf for her. The scarf pattern is from Heather Ross' Weekend Sewing. I made the top a little less wide and shortened the elastic to fit a child's head. Sofia is modeling for me and it seems to fit her fine. She and Maia have put in several orders for their own scarves and I have a few to make for myself, too.

And last, this bird has been coming around lately. I've seen them before but rarely. Any guesses you birders out there?