adios, 2007


i barely knew thee, two-thousand-and-seven.

new year's eve :: rockin' sf style

NYE 2007
something new this year :: spending NYE at our friends JL+JP's place in san francisco. it was a last-minute trip; we basically invited ourselves over while JP was in a drunken stooper at the mermaid on christmas eve.
i'm really glad we went ... although i'm kind of afraid that maya's craziness may have scared JL+JP from someday having children of their own. for instance, maya dropped an entire plate of lemon bars on somebody's coach purse. and she randomly vomited in her sleep. fun times.
we didn't do any SF sightseeing since we were only there for a couple of days, and one of those days we were prepping for NYE dinner. in between basting the ham and trimming string beans, we played a lot of rock band. what can i say ... i luuuuurve that game!
playing rock band

ian was the drummer's helper
playing many many songs prevented me from imbibing too much. after all, you have to stay sober to hit those notes. ;) i think we are gonna have to get the game when it comes out for the wii.
thanks JL+JP for hosting us! (JL makes a mean ham and rib roast, btw.)


merry christmas!

christmas eve 2007

wishing you joy + happiness (and, yes, fun presents too) on this beautiful christmas day!

our kids were lucky to get so many fantastic presents again this year. highlights :: a real drum set for maya from our dear friends M, J + J; a tricycle for maya from her grandparents; a razor scooter for ian from my parents; legos and binoculars for ian; a yakamashii shirt by t&c for me from my sister; tons o' gift cards for jordan (and me) from his parents. thank you to everyone's generosity; we are truly blessed.


bah, humbug!

i am soooooo not in the holiday spirit this year. it's just not coming to me, that happy, twinkly, excitedness. and i feel like it's getting harder and harder to be festive this time of year. it's so stressful, ya know? when did it stop being fun?? oh yeah ... when i had to start buying the presents.

this year rupert and i decided to donate to one of my favorite charities instead of buying gifts. this went over surprisingly well, but i'm not sure it's something i will do every year because, quite frankly, i think it cost more than buying gifts (i'm a bargain shopper, after all). however, in the true spirit of giving and reducing waste and clutter, donating to a worthy cause is really the way to go.

unfortunately, my mother did not seem to agree with this and asked that my sisters and i chip in to buy something in particular for my dad. her reasoning? they already donated a lot this year. huh? is there a limit to donating? i wasn't aware of that.

eventually, i'd like the kids to choose a cause to call their own and work towards raising awareness and/or money. i've been very bad about public service lately, and i'm aiming to make it a part of our lives in 2008. a couple of years ago ian chose habitat as his charity (this was after katrina) and earlier this year we donated to nothing but nets. it's all fine and dandy to donate money but that's the easy part. being an active participant in a cause is so much harder and takes dedication, something we currently lack as a family. there's so much more we can do ... and should do.

one of my rie friends, K, has a charity event at her house every year. this year they'll be collecting toys for spark of love, inspired by her son's love of fire engines. her kids are both under the age of 2, but it's so wonderful that she somehow includes them, even at this young age. we will definitely be attending; it'll be a great opportunity for ian to get involved because i'm sure it's something he can empathize with (what kid wouldn't be devastated if he lost all of his toys in a fire?). plus, K secretly encouraged us to donate all of those noisy christmas presents we don't want! hee!

hmmm, it appears i have digressed from my original post about the holidays. what was it that i wanted to say? now i can't remember ... i guess my point was supposed to be that the holidays are getting too materialistic. i'm no christian and i don't believe in jesus, but christmas sure has strayed from its original significance. even hanukkah, which is what our family celebrates, isn't supposed to be about the presents; i believe that's a relatively new tradition. in all honesty, as much as i like getting stuff, i'm over the presents and having to spend time and money on purchasing gifts. i would much rather spend time with my family sans gift-giving and count my blessings. (what? that's what thanksgiving is for? oh come on, work with me people!)

in conclusion :: the holidays are fun while you're a kid, but not so much once you're an adult.

the end.


he has talent ... it just needs to be cultivated


one of rupert's photos from our trip to nyc was chosen to be included in the schmap new york guide's section on the central park carousel. the editors found it on my flickr page and contacted me about its possible inclusion in the guide, and today i got news that it's in the new "edition." you can see it here in the upper right corner by scrolling through until you get to the photo above.

rupert wasn't particularly impressed with this particular photo, especially since i loaded it up to flickr without editing it. i just wish he was more confident in his photo-taking skills. i would love for him to take a class someday and really make photography a hobby.

speaking of which, i'll be taking a photography class with karen russell at scrapbook oasis in february. can't wait! and what a great motivator to get our dear camera fixed.


shop updated



my etsy shop has been updated with a few girlie tagE*blankEs. they make great gifts for baby showers or the holidays. [sorry for this shameless plug ... and the many more to follow.]


moo cards = moo-velous!

moo cards

my moo cards finally arrived! i was getting worried because i ordered them the week before thanksgiving ... but no wonder it took so long :: they came all the way from allemagne (germany).

the mini cards are so darn cute. and they are tiny; much smaller than i expected. they come in a plastic box and each card measures 2.75" x 1"+. the paper it's printed on is nice and thick, and has a smooth texture to it. i'm impressed with the paper quality, but i wasn't 100% impressed with the print quality. some of the images look a little grainy and dark. the image looks better if it's large and up-close. but all-in-all i really like them.

i ordered one set to use as business cards for the stuff i sell at the sleepyhead paper designs etsy shop. can't wait for someone to order something so i can include the moo card. :)


25 months.

[photo coming soon]
maya @ 25 months :: december 4, 2007
  • she's the typical 2-year-old :: "i do it!" "my turn!"
  • is finally tall enough to easily turn doorknobs so she's into opening and closing doors throughout the house.
  • ian is really good at getting her to repeat words. for example, she repeats "chew-bacca!" really well.
  • whenever she knows she's done something bad, or doesn't want to look us directly in the eye, she pulls an "ostrich head in the sand" move :: she buries her face in any available soft surface (her blanket, the couch cushions, my shoulder) and won't look at you.
  • her favorite "blue's clues" episode by far is "blue goes to the doctor" because a "doctor maya" appears in it.
  • she's been waking up in the middle of the night (or really early morning) because her room is so cold. we give her a sip of milk, re-tuck her in, and then she'll sleep in longer than during the summer (7:30 instead of 6:00).
  • she's getting much better at putting puzzles together. half the time she's still trying to force pieces that don't fit but she's also capable of putting pieces together quite well.
  • we're getting back on track with the potty :: she lost interest for awhile and i was not about to force it on her. rupert has been very good about taking her when she asks to go on the potty ... because i sure as heck ain't gonna do it!


the shop is up and running ... sort of

as many of you know, i started making and selling tagE*blankEs in the spring. so many of you have supported this endeavor by either purchasing them and/or referring buyers to me ... thank you.

with everyone's encouragement i'm finally getting my act together to sell my products online. i'll have the tagEs and some stationery for sale at etsy, where crafters + artists sell their handmade goods. my site can be accessed @ sleepyheadpaper.etsy.com.

joyeux noel (merry christmas) card

currently (12.2.07) i only have one item up (a holiday card), but i'm almost ready to update the shop with some girly tagEs.

i hope you get a chance to check it out and tell people about my little shop. :)

and, now, back to our regularly scheduled programming

at the request of rupert i'm back ... although i'm not sure i have anything new to say ... hence the long absence from posting ...

november flew by in a hurry, didn't it? there was so much going on at breakneck speeds i can't say i got to savor the individual moments very much. even with the kids' birthdays, ian's soccer, and thanksgiving (and my brief bout of stomach flu) over, i can expect this month to whiz by too.

rupert's super-busy with final papers due this coming week, so he's been preoccupied with school (and rightly so). i knew school would take up much of his time and energy (for the next five years), but, frankly, i'm annoyed that he's not as available as he used to be (granted, he still pitches in a lot). more importantly, he's been writing his papers on the laptop, which means it's unavailable to me in the evenings. doesn't he know that a girl needs access to her laptop 24/7?! but maybe he got my subliminal bitter rays because now he's out in the garage/office using the desktop.

a huge thorn in my side is that we have three major malfunctions around the house :: the camera (that's a huge part of the reason why i haven't been blogging), the oven, and the shower plumbing. the shower has been unusable for at least a couple of years now (long story) so i won't dwell on that now. but the camera and the stove? i'm dying here; life is just not as enjoyable without them. the camera will have to get professionally fixed once i figure out the warranty. the oven, however, seems like something we could fix on our own (i think the gas ignitor needs replacing) ... will we though? we don't have a particularly good track record about getting things done in a timely manner. but what kind of winter would it be without baking and roasting food in the oven??

in other news, my sister is finally coming home from hawaii on the 4th. yay -- a free babysitter!

and, of course, chanukah and christmas are coming up ... or, as we call it around here, chanumas. it's rather sad that i dread this time of year :: the stress of trying to get gifts for everyone, dreading all the beeping, flashing toys the kids will get, and the pounds i'll gain from all the eating. i can't remember when the holidays became more of a chore than a joy for me. alas, i guess it's the apathy that comes with age.

this year, however, i intend to minimize some of the stress by making donations in people's names instead of getting them gifts. [i probably just ruined the "surprise" for my in-laws before they open their gifts.] and i intend to enforce the "one toy in, one toy out" rule with the kids' gifts. [ian is reading over my shoulder as i type this and he may not be so happy with this rule ... but that's what mama has planned for your old toys, little dude!]

i've finally gotten around to purging some things that weren't necessarily in the way but were taking up room :: old snacks on the top shelf (some of the stuff was like three years old!), the many unused mugs we have, and old clothes i just don't need/wear. it hasn't made a dent in the clutter around here but it's definitely a start. next stop :: ian's old clothes and maya's infant toys.
we don't have any travel plans this winter break, so i intend to take it easy and maybe get some crafting done. (see the next post.)

update complete. over and out.


what kind of fortune is this?!

(thank goodness i wasn't the one who got it. ian was the lucky recipient.)




no wonder i feel old ... ian is now 7! how did that happen? the little boy i thought would always be my baby is not really that little anymore. he's at that age where he's almost independent but he still needs his mama to be in the background ... just in case.

i think most parents are sad and reluctant to let go of their maturing children, but i'm eager for ian to find himself and become self-confident. i admit i was a helicopter parent during his younger years and, combined with his sensitive and cautious nature, he's grown up to be remarkably similar to me :: thin skinned, hypersensitive to criticism and errors, and easy to cry. these traits won't serve him well as he grows up so, lately, i've been trying to toughen him up a bit. i want him to live life to the fullest. that's what i'm working towards in the coming year. i hope he's receptive to my new parenting goal.

i really have very little to complain about. we are blessed to have him as our son, and there's no greater compliment than when our friends only have good things to say about him and continue to invite him over to their house. he's sweet and sensitive, gentle and serious, inquisitive and smart, fun-loving and hardworking. and what a great big brother he is! i hope he knows that, no matter what, we love him dearly.

happy birthday, ian!

bowling birthday "party" with his buds A and A


the big 0-2 :: maya @ 24 months

blowing out the candles
maya @ 2 years old :: november 4, 2007

  • as of 11.05.07 :: 22 pounds, 4 ounces (4th %ile), 31 inches (1st %ile)
  • it seems like she has a crush on ian's best friend, A. she always tries to sit next to him or kiss him when he comes over to our house. rupert commented that, "maya's going to be one of those girls who gets crushes on her brother's friends." i think he's worried already ...
  • likes to pick up "wan wan's unch" with a plastic bag.
  • had her first modeling "job" for the tag toys catalog (if you click on the catalog link you'll see maya on the cover and on page 41).
  • her bowel movements are getting a tad bit more regular (twice a week as opposed to once a week).
  • instead of "no thank you" she says "no please"
  • she unlocks the car door on her side
  • her blue's clues obsession continues :: her first full sentence was, "i wanna watch blue clue;" sort of sings the blue's clues song; and every paw print (or hand print, even) she sees is a clue.
  • trying to figure out how to count with her fingers.
  • her favorite food is clearly rice; she screams for it at meals ("wice! wice!") and devours it by the fistful.
  • likes it when we play guitar hero II and asks us for "tar"
  • dances in her car seat, and insists we acknowledge her "dance dance." if the song is not danceable she demands we change the playlist.
  • every hour she screams, "eat! eat!" but isn't very good at telling us what she wants to eat :: "what do you want to eat?" "yes."
  • she asks, "what?" with the inflection and pronunciation of an old eastern european lady :: "vaat??"
  • juice boxes are a piece of cake :: she can get the straw out of its packaging and puncture the straw hole, all without spilling.
  • she's always been into peeling labels and stickers, but now she's into peeling the wrappers off of crayons.
  • i'm beginning to think she doesn't like chocolate -- what's wrong with her?!

not my calling

O+A @ veterans park in westminster

for some crazy reason i was asked to photograph a wedding last night. no doubt about it, i was nervous about such a huge responsibility. i only took the job under the condition that i couldn't be held responsible for the results!

i do love taking pictures but i know nothing about the technicalities involved in professional photography. i read up a bit before the wedding, in hopes of gaining new skills, but i think that just made me more nervous and flustered.

and, sure enough, the outdoor pictures came out nicely but the indoor ceremony shots (of all things) came out not-so-good. i feel so horrible about not getting good pictures of their important moments. thankfully, i know other people were taking pictures of what i botched, but that doesn't minimize the guilt i feel for accepting money for a job not-well-done.

on top of all of that my beloved camera stopped working half way through the reception! i desperately called rupert to have him look through the manual but there was nothing in there about what the camera was doing. so i had to borrow a point-and-shoot digital camera and i'm really not sure how well those pictures came out. i was lucky that the bride was not a bridezilla and totally rolled with the punches about the technical difficulties.

in any case, i just wanted to congratulate O+A on their marriage, to thank them for using me as their photographer, and to apologize for messing it up!

p.s. rupert was is upset that our camera is not working properly ... especially today of all days :: maya's second birthday.


a little treat for me + maya

i had reason to go to plaza el segundo near my house today and i broke down and bought myself a pinkberry for the first time.
the second i tasted it i knew this was my kind of flavor. it was distinctly reminiscent of the japanese drinkable yogurt i love so much. but the more i tasted it i realized it wasn't just that. it also tastes like calpico (or, calpis, as it's known in japan).
i got mine plain with no toppings, and even the small was large enough for me and maya. for $2.50 it wasn't bad ... i think i'll be heading back over there with ian (who's a calpico fan) real soon.


i saw lamar odom yesterday

unfortunately, it was right after his car accident that left him with a minor concussion ...

the accident happened at the major intersection near my house and i happened to get stuck at the light right next to the stuck lady's car. i just have to say that for someone who just suffered a minor concussion lamar odom looked like he was being really helpful, which was nice to see.

and, just fyi (in case you read the article), downey is not near hawthorne.


lots o' scrappin' going on

i've been productive on one front :: scrapbooking. i can't tell you exactly why but i have the scrappin' bug and i've been fairly preoccupied with making pages. as usual, not all of them are completed at this point but i wanted to showcase them ... [click on each picture to see a bigger image]





new + improved 7 random facts


i'm going for fairly simple designs (i.e., not too time consuming) that use what i have at home. i'm really trying to use up my ginormous stash of scrapbooking supplies.

i have a few more layouts that are not ready to be seen so i'll upload those once they're done. thanks for looking. :)


here's what we'll be doing tonight

we'll be sitting in the dark for one hour tonight, from 8 to 9pm, to support lights out la.

rupert often rolls his eyes (not to my face, though) when i hear about eco-friendly ideas for us to do. he's not completely happy with my composting (it attracts fruit flies), he sighs when i yell at him to recycle every last scrap of paper that passes through his hands, and he worries about our bank account when i pledge to buy more organic and local foods.

but i think it's important to do what we can and to teach the kids how easily we can adopt eco-living. we can't, and we won't, go completely green; however, it's crucial that we take action in the areas we're willing to make changes.

from what i can tell rupert has that "what can one family do?" mindset. and that is clearly the very first thing we can change. by making an effort to change the future, i am attempting to make the world not so bleak for the kids. and if i instill that mindset and way of living into ian and maya, hopefully they will do their part to make my grandkids' world a better place. i am hoping that rupert understands why i want us to be proactive on this front. when we change our lives, we change the lives of others. when we show others how easy it is to make changes, and they adopt those changes, even one family can make a difference.

anyway, back to lights out la :: it's only one hour on one night. it really isn't a huge sacrifice (although rupert did ask if the tv counted as "light"!). if we throw away that "what can one family do?" mentality and just do it we're well on our way to helping our community.

so, flip that switch at 8pm ... go for a night walk, light some candles for a romantic evening, turn in early, tell ghost stories. do something different for 60 minutes. it may very well be the first hour of the rest of your eco-friendly lifetime.


blast from the past

i ran into the mom of my best friend from 6th grade today. she's a teacher at the middle school across the street from my house. i'd been keeping an eye out for her on my walks to ian's school and, sure enough, i saw her directing traffic this afternoon.

i had to stop and say hello; i probably hadn't seen her in 15 years but she remembered me. she gave me a quick update about my friend, which has prompted me to get back in touch with her. rupert's not much for reminiscing but i can't help but want to know what's happened to the people who were so integral to me in my younger days.


blog action day :: think globally, eat locally

okay, so i had this long-ish post for blog action day. the theme this year is the environment, not surprisingly. but i was really unhappy with where the post was going and the writing was just not coming to me. so here's a quick recap of what i was trying to say ::

agribusiness farming methods = bad
transporting food from all over = bad
organic food = good
local + organic foods = better

how does that relate to the environment? read about local foods here and here. [i got the idea for this post from reading animal, vegetable, miracle by barbara kingsolver. thanks to my bil's girlfriend for recommending i read it.]

p.s. i enjoyed where ali edwards took her blog action day post :: can scrapbooking be green? being a paper whore i'm starting to feel extremely guilty about the amount of paper and packaging that goes into my hobby.

[10.17.07 update :: you have to check out the statistics from blog action day. over 23,000 posts were written specifically for the day. amazing.]

goody-two-shoes just like his mama

gawd, i hate to admit this, but i'm tickled pink that ian received the first student success award of the year for his class ... for the third year in a row. isn't that the shallowest thing to be proud of?

but it makes me smile to think that his teacher recognizes his citizenship + academic achievements so early on in the year, and that he is a good role model for the rest of the kids in his class.

yay ian!

maya's first "job"

trying to get just the right shot

a friend and neighbor of ours works at tag toys, an educational toy company. she asked me if maya can come to take some pictures for their catalog since they were looking for a cover shot. all the kids in the neighborhood have been in the catalog but they're all in elementary school (or older) now so she needed a little one.

maya seemed comfortable when we got there since she was surrounded by toys but when it came to actually taking a shot she was either too concentrated on playing (serious look) or gave us her fake smile (which actually made her look sort of angry).

after taking a few dozen photos i think they decided on using the first shot they took ... go figure!

[edited 11.16.07 :: the catalog's ready! maya's on the cover and page 41]

this is where i realized she can sort of count to 2. she was playing with a toy that you had to insert the number of rods the card displays, and she was counting, "one and two" as she put the rods into the hole.


changes, yes. fresh start, not so much.

i was purposely vague in one of my previous posts about making october fresh start month. mainly because i have no clue as to what kind of changes i should be making.

i know for certain that rupert needs quiet time alone to get his schoolwork done. i also need to understand that sometimes he'll come home late from school or work. but other than that what can i do to make our family life better without sacrificing my own sanity?

here are some things on my "i really have to put effort into this" list ::
  • saving money + not spending what we have :: this is going to be really hard for me; i'm the spender of the family.
  • purging unwanted + un-needed items :: giving them a second life by donating them.
  • making more meals at home with fresh ingredients :: including the kids in our food choices + preparation.
  • work first, play second :: getting my priorities straight and taking care of business first.

i shouldn't have to make a list and remind myself of these things; they should come naturally to me as a stay-at-home mom. however, i foresee having to come back to this list daily to make sure i'm putting my family first.

he had me convinced

ian's new talent :: losing things that aren't lost.

on wednesday we went to the park after school. on the way home, i asked him if he had his lunch box and he answered in the affirmative. but when we got home he couldn't find it. i was annoyed, for obvious reasons, but we went back to the park to look for it.

ian remembered that he threw it under a tree when we first got to the park. "why would you throw it under a tree when you left your backpack with me?!" i asked him. "i don't know," was the reply. "are you sure you left it under the tree?" i asked him a couple more times just to be sure because i didn't remember seeing him with a lunchbox in his hands on the walk to the park. "yes, i'm sure," he said with conviction.

so, off he goes looking for the lunchbox under the tree. it's nowhere to be seen. he runs around and around the park looking for it to no avail. from a distance i can see the worried look he's getting, and he's almost on the verge of tears.

to be honest, at that point i was super-annoyed. and i can get pretty nasty when i'm super-annoyed. but i held my tongue; if i have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. i knew he felt bad about it, so we could talk about it when i was less annoyed. but i knew i was going to make him pay for the new lunchbox if it came to that.

but, lo and behold, the next day after school ian comes up to me and says, "oh yeah, about that lunchbox. it turns out i left it at school ..." after all that drama he didn't even have the lunchbox at the park. it's one thing to think that you left it somewhere at the park, but he was so sure that he threw it under a tree. he "lost" it at such a specific place how could i not have believed he left if there??

he's a (book) smart kid but sometimes he's such a space cadet. so now i have to add "forgets something in one place and thinks he lost it somewhere else" to the list of absentminded things he does.

someone's showing me they're ready for a dog


not that i'm going to let her get a dog, but it's more effort than i've seen either of the boys show!

last week maya got into our plastic bag drawer and pulled out a produce bag. the first thing she did with it? went straight to her wooden dog toy and pretended to pick up poop! she must've been really paying attention during her walks with my mother-in-law and her dog.

i noticed today that the "poop" she picked up was a little brown stuffed animal kitten. how appropriate.

(and, don't worry, she's always supervised when she has the plastic bag and we take it away from her after she's done picking up "dog poop.")


remember how i said rupert cannot seem to find anything in front of his face? i just needed to give you an example :: for the last two nights, at maya's bedtime, he comes out of her room looking for daisy. daisy is another hand-me-down stuffie from ian; it's a duck from the jane simmons series of picture books.

both nights he claims to have looked in maya's crib before coming out of her room. and both nights guess where i found daisy? in the crib! how is it even possible that two nights in a row he cannot find a duck in a crib that measures no more than 2x4 feet?? i just don't get it!

effer dare :: 7 random facts


this one came from the effer dares book; it's also part of the last scrapper standing challenge this week. i'm not participating in the challenge, but i thought i would make the layout anyway.

my challenge to myself was to use a larger piece of patterned paper. i'm usually really stingy with my patterned paper and i can only bear to part with a small portion of a 12x12 sheet. this time around i used a 6.5x9 piece of the red patterned paper ... although i must admit i cut out portions of the patterned paper under the 7 card and photo so i can use them for something else.

cardstock :: bazzill
patterned paper :: cosmo cricket
7 card :: target
stickers :: ki memories, ek success, k&co
stamps :: autumn leaves (numbers and bracket), purple onion (decorative)
wooden 6 :: lil davis
other :: labels, label maker (dymo), ledger paper (making memories), graph paper, elmo rubon, stamping ink

knott's berry farm mini album

knott's berry farm mini album

my second mini album :: done! and i think i like it better than my first one.

it's 6x6 in size with a transparency cover. i held it together with four 10mm jump rings, which i probably have to close better since the transparency page keeps slipping out.

there's very minimal journaling on this one since it's just pictures from a day at knott's berry farm. but it was our first outing as a family to an amusement park and i had too many pictures for a regular layout.

i also wanted to keep practicing my sticker layering technique, which i did on the front cover. and i really like that i finally used one of the calendar pages from real simple magazine, which i've been stealing from my mil's issues for the last year.


you know you've made it when the simpsons parody you

we love the simpsons at our house. and tonight's episode, midnight towboy, really hit home :: marge hires a c.r.i.e. method counselor to help maggie become an independent baby. um, hello ... that's totally a parody of rie, the class i take maya to!

of course, the c.r.i.e. counselor wasn't exactly like a rie educarer, but it was pretty darn funny, especially since rie isn't very mainstream and not a lot of people know about it.

p.s. rie doesn't believe that "hugs are drugs" ... just so you know, we're okay with hugging our children!

p.p.s. i'm a pretty firm believer in the rie method (although i don't subscribe to everything); it's the way i'm raising both ian and maya. if you're in the los angeles area and have an infant, i highly recommend checking out our rie associate, karen, or reading your self-confident baby (which, i must admit, i haven't read).

if your kid is impressionable ...

... don't watch nacho libre.

we rented it from the library yesterday and while we were watching it maya was going crazy :: laughing at the two furry little people, saying, "ow!" during the wrestling scenes, and practicing her moves on rupert.

to top it all off, i wasn't particularly amused. it was no school of rock.


23 months.

nap time :: 10.04.07

maya @ 23 months :: 10.04.2007

  • her affirmative "yeah" has turned into an emphatic "yes" or a very polite "yes mama". she also says, "otay" instead of "okay."
  • has fallen on her head multiple times this month, mainly due to her attempts at going up and down stairs unassisted.
  • we're finally potty training ... wait, is that the un-pc term? um, she's becoming toilet aware?? most of the time she sits on it and nothing happens, but she's peed in it a few times (the first time was on september 19). funny story :: after grandma took maya off the toilet because she didn't pee, and then went off to find a diaper for her, maya peed in the hallway and then proceeded to slip in her own pee, fall down in her pee, and hit her head.
  • when she really wants something she will say, "peeze" (please).
  • this month she's gotten to be more conversational :: "where ____ go?"; "wadoin? (what are you doing?)"; "what dat?"; "all gone"; and her absolute favorite, "i did it!"
  • the little girls she sees at ian's school always want to pick her up or drag her around, but because she's in such an independent phase she absolutely hates it.
  • she's obsessed with watching ian's old blues clues videos (with steve); no more watching sesame street, unfortunately. at this rate her birthday party theme will be blues clues, just like it was for ian's 2nd birthday ... but she's not having a birthday party, is she?
  • she's always liked blankets but lately she's constantly dragging around her dog and monkey baby gap blankets (also hand-me-downs from ian).
  • knows the way to jiji+baba's house :: when we drive towards their house she yells out, "baba! jiji!"
  • loves having banana snack time at rie class :: five minutes into the class she goes up to the teacher and asks, "nana?"
  • she loves her baby doll, hannah. she's been carrying her around and sleeping with her for awhile but now she pretend plays with her, giving her milk from a small wooden milk carton.
  • she brings her plate into the kitchen after she's done eating ... ian won't even do that.
  • she learned to say "au revoir" on her own when we leave ian's french class.


changes are a-brewin'

today is rupert's first day of school; he starts his phd program at ucla in social research methodology. doesn't it sound riveting? it's in the education department but i don't know what exactly he'll be studying (much like his job at the school district).

being the worrier that he is, he's already stressed out about it ... and he still has four or five more years to go! the first day of school for me was always exciting, even in graduate school. new school supplies, the syllabus, making new friends (and enemies) -- it was always a fresh start.

so i've decided to make october our fresh start month. the plan is to implement small changes around here to make this transitional time easier for everyone. i think this will mean a huge effort on my part but i'm hoping, at the same time, that it will be a motivator for me :: to get off my ass and do whatever is necessary to support rupert as he starts a new chapter in his life.

let's see how things progress, shall we?

[no picture today because rupert absolutely refused to let me take a picture of him before he left for campus. he's a party-pooper.]



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i finished this one super-quick :: i found the photos while i was cleaning up my desk so i decided to find a two-photo layout in a sb magazine and scraplift it. this one came from creating keepsakes (september 07 issue, pg. 51). it's from my friend's J's birthday.

my dear

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i started this layout at my friend J's crop last weekend. i realized i've done a lot of anniversary layouts ... more than the kids' birthday layouts! the "my dear" letterpress card is from hello lucky and it looks really yellow in the scan, but it's actually green.

i don't know if i should add more journaling ... i was trying to layer stickers but i'm not sure i accomplished the right amount of layering; it looks a little skimpy to me. what do you think?


why my children are just like their father ...

they can't find anything even when it's right in front of their faces.

maya :: "where baby (her doll) go?" --> it's sitting on the couch right in front of her face.

ian :: "i can't find my french homework." --> after 10 minutes of looking through all the crap in his room, and rupert going to the car to look for it, it was right next to his french folder right in front of his face. i found it in less than 10 seconds.

rupert :: "where's _______ [fill in the blank here because there are too many things he can't find that are right in front of his face.]?"

my first time surfing

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cardstock :: bazzill basics
patterned paper :: flair designs, scenic route
letter rubons :: reminisce
letter stickers :: ek success
journaling stamp :: autumn leaves
other :: stamping ink

the last thing i have to add to this layout is the location (san onofre) and date (summer of 1995 or '96 ... anybody have an idea??).


argentina day 3 :: puerto piramides + peninsula valdes :: august 26, 2007

we both slept better (we must've been really tired), and i even woke up before our wake-up call (which we've had to rely on since the hotels here don't have clocks in the rooms). breakfast at the hotel was buffet style with what we've come to recognize as very argentinian morning staples :: coffee, tea, yogurt, fruit salad, ham + cheese, medialunas + assorted pastries. i, of course, had the medialunas. this buffet also had scrambled eggs and bacon, which i filled up on. i also found yerba mate in a tea bag, which i took as a souvenir. (i found out later it's not real mate.)

the village of puerto pirámides as seen from the water
the tour bus picked us up at 8.30am (with a bunch of other spanish-speaking tourists), and we drove quite a long distance to puerto pirámides at the end of the isthmus right before the actual peninsula. it's a very cute village known for whale-watching and diving. there are only six authorized whale-watching boat operatores and they are only allowed to have one of their boats out at a time. this helps to protect the whales and it's never crowded out in the water.

our whale-watching boat tractors to haul the boats in + out of the water

our one-hour whale-watching boar ride was another thrilling experience. the boat itself is not very large and sits fairly low in the water, so when the whales come up to the boat -- and they come really close -- you could almost reach out and touch them (but you're not allowed to).

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like yesterday we saw lots of moms and calves, sometimes a couple of sets together. carina, our guide, had told us they were very curious, and sure enough, if we stopped the boat for awhile they whales would come up to us. once again i couldn't stop taking pictures. and i think the whales like getting their picture taken.
they would show us their wide tails, glide by the boat over and over, stick out their heads high, and swim under the boat.
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the water is fairly clear so you could see the white of their bellies and their tails underwater as they swam next to us. i was amazed by their size and gentleness the entire time.

after we left puerto pirámides it was another long ride to punta delgada at the southeastern point of península valdés, where the elephant seals and our hotel are. Y and i were glad our tour included a night's stay here because everyone else on our bus was returning to puerto madryn that day. península valdés is larger and farther than we had expected; because of the road conditions it's a good two-hour drive back to the city.


we first had lnch at the hotel. the lamb i ordered was really good; we saw it being grilled over an open fire right in the restaurant. we ordered a side of mashed potatoes but we probably should've orderd a salad since we were not eating a lot of veggies on this trip.

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afterwards we trekked down the cliff for the main attraction :: the elephant seals. the males were just arriving on shore to wait for the females, but it wasn't high season yet so we were able to walk near them. needless to say, they are gigantic! we saw some females and they are considerably smaller than the males.

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you can only get so close to these huge animals; the rule is to stay at least 20 meters away. most of the time the males are quite still to preserve energy, so they don't pose a huge threat to us. but you could kind of see that they were weary of our presence. (when a larger tour group came down they were getting really close to one of the males and he moved away into the water.)

some of the large males cried out really loudly; it almost sounded like a lion roaring. the ones in the water would also blow bubbles with their large noses. although these males were just lying there you could see they had bloody scratch marks from fighting.

the elephant seals weren't the only animals we saw. some sea lions were sunbathing on a rock nearby. according to roxana, our guide from the hotel, elephant seals and sea lions coexist quite peacefully. (we saw this later at a different beach where the two were swimming side by side.) sadly, we also saw a beached whale and a couple of dead penguins.

during high season the beach is covered with elephant seals and the males are much more aggressive because they are trying to mate. had we come then we wouldn't have been able to walk so close to them.

our hotel is the faro punta delgada, an old navy building and still-used lighthouse. it turns out we are the only guests staying at the hotel that night! we have the whole place to ourselves, which is almost a very odd feeling. roxana also said that they've only had a handful of americans stay here since she started working here. the guest registry showed that most guests are from europe. that was very weird to us because this is such a tranquil place and there is so much nature to admire. instead of rushing through on a day trip i'm really glad we have extra time to explore and relax.

roxana took us on a drive to the edge of the property at sundown (after Y and i saw the top of the lighthouse). the employees and people from nearby estancias were happy beachse they had just caught and killed a feral dog that had been terrorizing sheep. carina had mentioned this dog on our drive over, saying it had killed 60 sheep just for the sake of killing. roxana said that number had gone up to 100.

the owner and some employees were on horseback when we happened upon them on our drive. they were the ones who had found and captured the dog. the horse the owner was riding was a beautiful reddish brown; its build was stockier and thicker than other horses i'd seen before. we're supposed to go horseback riding in the morning so we'll have to see if we can ride the patagonian way.

dinner wasn't going to be served until 8pm so we stuck around the main building to wait. after browsing the gift shop, alejandra, an employee, showed us the pub, which is also the game room. we played pool and alejandra and martin, another employee, asked if they could join us. with so few guests they probably didn't have a lot to do. it was really fun playing with the locals and becoming friendly with them.

dinner was also strange because there was only one table set ... just for us. the rest of the dining room was empty. they even built a fire in the wood burning stove behind us.

i had a risoto de mariscos with local seafood and Y had spinach ravioli. the homemade flan i had afterwards was also really good. as we walked to our room we could see the night sky filled with stars we can't see in the northern hemisphere.