thanksgiving yumminess

my habit of trying out new recipes for family gatherings kicked in again. this year for thanksgiving i made the pioneer woman's caramel pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake. the kids helped me a bit, which kept them occupied for awhile. i should really bake more with them.

packing in the gingersnap crust into the springform pan.
mixing the pumpkin cheesecake batter.

the end result caused some dripping and burning of the batter in the oven, but it sure is tasty (we have quite a bit left over). i didn't use nearly as much caramel as the recipe called for and rupert thought it was still too much. the caramel layer on top of the crushed gingersnap crystalized it to a pretty hard crust, which i like but it may be a bit too hard for some people.
it's clearly not an everyday food but for special occasions it's quite the treat.
caramel pumpkin gingersnap cheesecake


what?? he's a tween?!

the face of an 8-year-old

according to my parenting magazines, i'm now the mother of a tween. how did that happen? somehow eight years went flying by and my baby is a full-fledged boy with a capital "b". day by day he grows more independent and he's becoming his own person.

he's a fantastic big brother, although there are times when we hear a lot of yelling back and forth between the kids. he's an observant, bright kid, but he has his totally oblivious, "hello? are you on planet earth?" moments. he's well-behaved and mild-mannered, but he hasn't quite outgrown his only child, self-centered habits. we love him to bits, but he's a work-in-progress. no, i take that back. we, as his parents, are a work-in-progress.

i realize, watching him, that our nurturing is so crucial in these formative years. sure, by nature, he's a wonderful kid who will, no doubt, grow up to be a wonderful adult. but, as his parents, we need to set the example so that he can be a better adult than if he were left to his own devices. everyday is a new opportunity for us to be the best parents we can be so he can be the best kid he can be.

in some ways i feel bad for him, as i do with all first-born children, because they are the guinea pigs. mom and dad keep trying to figure things out, year after year. we mean well, really, we do, but we're bound to make mistakes. so, i apologize to ian for screwing up over and over again. and i'll probably keep on making mistakes even though i don't mean to. and, because he's a swell kid, he'll put up with me and rupert. thanks buddy! now, promise me you won't go crazy when you become a teenager.

ian getting a good whack at the pinata


happy birthday to my little girl

grandma + grandpa's bday gift to maya

it's kind of weird to think that this little being has been in our family for three years. it seems like the longest and shortest three years of my life. no doubt she challenges my patience and often brings the worst out of me, but it's true that she's also made me appreciate the job of parent so much more and i've become more introspective because of her.

i love her (even when i want to strangle her!) and am so looking forward to watching her grow up into a little lady (hopefully a more cooperative little lady).

happy birthday, maya!

with her brother

now comes the real work ...

president-elect obama

i am thrilled and so excited that barack obama is our next president. change is coming and it's inspiring to see that so many people (especially young people) are hopeful and dedicated to making this country better.

but president-elect obama has his work cut out for him. the world is watching him, there are plenty of americans who are waiting for him to make a mistake, and the hopes of many other americans lie with him. he faces so many challenges; truly, the presidential campaign will be nothing compared to the job of president.

still, i can't help but smile and think to myself, "GObama!"


36 months.

i love cupcakes!

maya @ 36 months :: november 4, 2008

  • rupert taught her how to play candyland (actually following the rules) and she, of course, was two-for-two the first time they played.
  • she's unchi-ing on her own a bit (harder unchi = uncomfortable unchi) but we still need the miralax.
  • she exclaimed "dude!" and smacked herself in the forehead in frustration while playing the tightrope walking on wii fit.
  • loves halloween :: every single time we pass a house with halloween decorations she yells, "halloween! halloween!". she even insisted, "halloween!" when we stopped at a light next to a derelict house.
  • really enjoyed trick-or-treating and getting candy; the costume not so much. we told her she couldn't get candy unless she wore her costume. as for trick-or-treating, we practiced beforehand what she had to say and she was pretty courageous about going up to scary-looking houses.
  • we're hearing a lot of "i not tired! i really not tired!" around naptime and bedtime, but she really still needs a nap ... i need her to nap!
  • i am blessed that my pta/mom friends are so generous with maya; they help me take care of her and don't mind when i bring her to pta stuff.
  • she enjoyed watching the new indiana jones and iron man movies. she can even identify robert downey jr. as iron man.
  • likes to be the little mermaid :: when her hair's wet she says, "little mermaid hair" and she was insistent that i acknowledge she was like the little mermaid when she put chapstick on her lips (i didn't quite understand that, but whatever).
  • finally starting to understand how the green lights + red lights work (which light to look at when we're waiting to cross the street).
  • she insists that i dakko her (pick her up) when we talk about going to her grandma's house because, "lucy lick me. lucy lick my face. i not like it." (lucy is my in-laws' dog)
  • interested in words and getting it that letters together make words that can be read.
  • really psyched about her birthday. she's been talking about it a lot without really knowing when her birthday is ... or how old she's going to be, for that matter. well, i guess we can work on that!
  • this has been going on for awhile, but she likes to use the pepper grinder and sprinkle a pinch of salt from the salt cellear to her eggs.

history in the making

ian voted too ...

the day is finally here :: election day! we headed out as a family this morning to our polling place (conveniently located across the street) and participated in this historic election. while rupert voted the kids used the practice inkadot machine to mark their own ballots. when we got home maya proudly put her ballot on the fridge and ian penciled in "obama" on his "i voted" sticker and went to school with it on his shirt.


getting on my soapbox

P's "no on 8 + obama" pumpkin
i normally wouldn't do this, but i've been thinking a lot about prop 8 and i just couldn't not say anything. as i drive around my neighborhood and see all the "vote yes on 8" lawn signs i get this gut-wrenching feeling that's a mixture of disgust, anger, and sadness. i can't articulate very well why it makes me so upset but i'm gonna give it a try ...
if you've watched the commercials, i'm sure you're aware that what no-voters are asking for is that all people be treated equally in regards to civil marriages. to be treated equally in the eye of the law, not in god's eyes. that's a whole other issue altogether. whatever your religious beliefs, or your opinion on gay marriage, does it sincerely seem right to you that the law would discriminate in this way? the law, theoretically, does not discriminate against people because of their race, religion, gender, age, national origin, ability/disability -- characteristics that are inherent to us. to me, sexual orientation isn't any different than those other characteristics; it's a part of a person but it's not the entire person. yet, we're willing to flat out declare in the law books that it's okay to discriminate against gays (who are said to make up 2~7% of the population) because of one part of their lives.
not even a lifetime ago i would probably have been prevented from marrying rupert. after all, interracial marriage only became legal in 1967. i couldn't imagine not being able to marry simply because i was born with one skin color and the one i love was born with a different skin color. does my skin color have anything to do with my ability to love my spouse and honor my marriage vows? in the same vein, does a person's sexual orientation have anything to do with his/her ability to be a good spouse? i don't think so. it's silly and ridiculous that the prerequisite for marriage be that a penis and a vagina be involved.
if prop 8 passes we would be discriminating against people in this state solely on their choice of who they love. we would be perpetuating intolerance (because that's what it is) to future generations, telling our children that if you're gay you're treated differently and if you're not gay it's okay to treat gays differently.

what is a "traditional marriage" anyway? the definition of "traditional" is evolving and i would venture to say that most reasonable people in this country don't subscribe to what history and/or the bible considered traditional. we no longer have polygamy or levirate marriage and a husband doesn't consider his wife chattel. why would we then base legislation on some bible literalists who are selectively choosing which passages in the bible to follow?
i don't understand why we would even consider the religious beliefs of a portion of the population be made into law for the entire population. i'm not politically naive, but whatever happened to separation of church and state? i don't care what people believe privately and religiously (although i don't understand it) but i do care very much that their religious beliefs not be forced on the rest of us as law.

but putting aside religion and law, i have to think of the actual people this proposition would affect. i personally only know one gay couple, and i was lucky enough to attend their marriage ceremony in july. i cannot imagine taking that day away from them. taking the affirmation of their love away. taking their joy away. it makes me sick that some people are unremorseful about taking away that special bond of matrimony from gay couples who finally were able to marry. can you imagine going up to a heterosexual married couple and telling them, "your marriage is wrong and the law no longer recognizes you as married."? it would be unimaginable but people are willing, no, eager, to do exactly that to their fellow human beings. it's just not right.

please please consider what i've said and vote NO on proposition 8.
[edited 12.4.08 :: this video says it all.]