holiday card 2008

once again we decided to forgo the paper card and go electronic (to save paper, money, and time). i'm pretty sure i was able to email this out to all of our friends + family who have email addresses, but in case i forgot anyone ... enjoy! (you'll notice rupert's and my names are replaced in the brackets.)

holiday card collage

Season's greetings, friends + family! We are a tad late in getting out our holiday well-wishes, but we are sending happy thoughts your way.

Having two kids makes the years go by faster and faster ... or maybe it's just because we're getting older? Whatever the reason, 2008 sped by and I'm actually surprised that 2009 is just a couple of days away. We had some exciting goings-on this year, mostly good and one a little nerve-wracking.

The kids continue to grow at an astounding pace. Maya turned three in November and, even after three years, we're still not sure where her personality comes from. She is strong-willed and has quite the independent streak. She's outgoing and fun-loving, but she's also trouble! I guess a good way to describe her is as a princess-loving tomboy. One thing I can say, she keeps us on our toes. Now, if only I knew how to harness her energy in a more positive way ...

Ian started third grade in September and is doing so well. He reads well above grade level and started the GATE program at school. He continues with his French lessons, and I think the language is starting to sink in. I predict just a few more years before he can take us around France! He still loves to play (and watch) sports; he finished his fourth season playing soccer and will play baseball in the spring. But first comes basketball (with [rupert] as his coach). To counterbalance outdoor activities, Ian also enjoys playing video games, especially on the Nintendo DS he got for Hanukkah.

[rupert] is in his second year of the PhD program at UCLA. He received a fellowship, which enabled him to stop working at Los Angeles Unified School District at the end of summer (the timing couldn't have been better, actually, with layoffs and such). He works part-time on campus, which means he doesn't have to drive between Westwood and downtown everyday. Our big scare came midyear when the doctor found that the right side of [rupert]'s thyroid was really enlarged. It was so large, in fact, that the endocrinologist was surprised he wasn't having problems breathing and swallowing. Long story short, [rupert] now only has half a thyroid, and -- thankfully -- the growth was benign.

As for me, most of the year passed without much incident. Until very recently the highlights of the year were two weekend getaways [rupert] and I went on without the kids (to NYC and Chicago) for family weddings. But then, just a few weeks ago, I got a job as the librarian at the elementary school I used to work at before Maya was born. I only worked one week before winter break started, but it is the best job I could ask for at this stage in my life. Now that I'm working, Maya will start preschool in January. We spent some time at the preschool yesterday and she seemed to enjoy it very much, but we'll have to see how she adjusts. Hopefully it will be a win-win situation for all of us.

Wishing you many delightful joys and wonderful discoveries in 2009,
[yucaree], [rupert], ian + maya


holiday presents

it's been awhile since i made anything, and what better time than at hanukkah/christmas? i "made" scarves for the young ladies in our family and a couple of our friends. i use quotes around the word made because i don't feel like i actually made anything :: i cut out fleece into long rectangles and then i painted designs on them. (i found a tutorial at curbly.com via the craftzine blog.) making the templates and cutting them out was rather time consuming but they came out fairly nicely. the lighter colored fleece came out better, i think.

A + D wearing the scarves i made

for my sisters i painted trees and a lotus flower; for rupert's cousins the design was trees, a bird, and lotus; and for our friends i did a fork + knife design and cephalopods.

JL wearing the fork + knife scarf i made JP wearing the cephalopod scarf i made


a little hint as to what's to come

i made some hanukkah/christmas presents for my sisters (including rupert's sister) and rupert's cousins. here's a little sneak peak ...

guess what i'm making as gifts?


happy hanukkah!

happy first night of hanukkah!

hanukkah 2008 :: night 1

the kids came home with quite a stash of goodies from our family hanukkah dinner at my in-laws' house. what can i say? they're super lucky :: 1) they get to celebrate both hanukkah and christmas; 2) most of our family is local so they give them tons o' presents; 3) they are the only two little kids in the family at the moment, which means they are the beneficiaries of most people's "oh, that's so cute/fun/interesting/unique!" shopping; and 4) our families don't seem to know when to stop shopping!

i know, i sound ungrateful, don't i? it's definitely not that we don't appreciate the gifts or the show of love from the family. it's more of a "we can't/don't know how to control the clutter at our house" issue. i am we are going to have to make a concerted effort to implement, and execute, a one-thing-in-one-thing-out policy. literally, the kids have no more space in their rooms for even one more thing. (not surprisingly, i said the exact same thing last year. wanna make a bet i'll be saying it again next year?)

and because we're boring people, rupert and i did the donation thing again for gifts to our family. it may seem like we don't go through the same kind of stress and hassle of shopping for the holidays but it doesn't mean we love our families any less. ;)


working 9 to 5, what a way to make a living!

i got a job! you heard me right ... a bonafide, (hourly) wage-paying, tax-deducting, people-interacting job. i'm now the library media specialist at the elementary school i used to work at before maya was born.

i can't even begin to tell you how thrilled i am about being employed; not just having a job, having this job. now, let me make something very clear :: i am not anywhere near as accomplished or knowledgeable as the previous librarian, my friend B. but i can't help but think that i was meant to have this particular job. the timing is perfect (me wanting to get out of the house and maya needing to start preschool), i'm familiar with the school, the hours are good (part-time during school hours), and i'm surrounded by books all day long. i almost don't even care that my hourly wage isn't even half of what i make at my tutoring gig!

i finished my first week of work and -- there's no other way to say it -- i'm in love with my job. there's tons to do and learn but everything is a joy. how lucky am i?

(i'm working on a website for the library; it still needs some sprucing up.)


37 months.

maya @ 37th months :: december 4, 2008

  • confused the show "pushing daisies" with literally pushing her stuffed duck daisy.
  • when she doesn't want to walk anymore we hear a lot of "my leg broken" and "so much walking"

  • wanna get her to do something? tell her dr. burgett wants her to behave :: "my doctor said?"

  • actually unchi-ing on her own (sans miralax) almost everyday. hallelujah!

  • when she wants to show you something, she requests that you "close your eye ... open your eye!" i always find it funny that she uses the singular.

  • starting to do some "chores" :: wanting to help in the kitchen, using the handheld vacuum.

  • favorite movie :: the nightmare before christmas (she loves jack)

  • rupert instituted a rewards jar with skittles in it but, to be honest, it wasn't very well-thought out so it hasn't been particularly effective. we're going to have to come up with something better.


weekend in the windy city

rupert's family gave us another reason to travel this year; another cousin got married. luckily, my parents were willing to watch the kids again so we took off for the windy city last weekend.

we made it to chicago just in time for the rehearsal dinner. the bitter cold was a shocker, even though we were preparing ourselves for it. after dinner rupert and i went for a walk in millennium park (across the street from our hotel) and came back with red cheeks and painful ears and fingers.

self-portrait reflection with the jay pritzker pavilion in the background

the following day was actually quite lovely, as long as you had your coat on. we went back to the park to take pictures of cloud gate, and then took a leisurely walk towards the river so we could have brunch at frontera grill. with our tummies full we walked to paper source, the museum of contemporary art, and then headed back to get ready for the wedding.

under the huppah
the wedding took place at our hotel, and it was a beautiful ceremony. rupert and his brother were recruited to be huppah holders at the last minute so i delegated myself photographer. at the reception the food was pretty good (great cocktail hour); it was quite an impressive wedding.
the following morning there was a post-wedding breakfast hosted by rupert's parents, where we finally got to meet rupert's cousin's new baby. with just a few hours before our flight home rupert and i dashed across the street for a quick walk-through of the art institute.
i had a horrible flight home but i won't recount it here because i don't want to remember it. if it weren't for that flight the weekend would've been almost perfect.