Archive for August, 2005

A Happy Birthday

August 30, 2005

Thanks for all of the happy birthday wishes. Aside from Chuck E Cheese it was a pretty good day. Of course it was so *hot* that Chuck E Cheese wasn’t even that bad; at least it was air conditioned and it was during the hottest part of the day.

After the kid’s party we went home and I ordered myself my birthday present; a digital camera. I got the Canon Elph 4 mega-pixel model. It should arrive in a few days; I can’t wait! I also got a gift certificate to European Cross Stitch so now I have to decide what to buy with it.

My mom and a friend of hers came down for the weekend and stayed at the hotel where Jay’s golf course is. Luke and I went to swim in the pool Saturday afternoon and then I went home to get ready for dinner. Jay had a gift certificate to El Bizcocho; a 5 star restaurant at the hotel. The chefs are French trained and it has won a number of awards in San Diego. My mom watched Luke for the evening.

It was amazing!! Oh my goodness it was the most incredible meal I have ever had. I had a lobster brioche appetizer (and I don’t even eat seafood but it was incredible). Then a belgian endive salad and Jay and I got the chateaubriand tableside carving for two. The restaurant manager picked our wine for us; we had a great sauvignon blanc with the appetizer course and split a bottle of pinot noir with the rest of the meal. It was divine. And then came dessert…oh dessert. I had a grand marnier souffle, Jay had a bavarian cream with lime and raspberry thing (mille feuille or something like that?) and they brought out a chocolate cheesecake thing with a candle inside a blackberry for my birthday. It was all wonderful. There was so much food, but it was spread out over three hours. A real event!

In a way I feel so gluttonous, and it bothers me that there are people that are so wealthy that they eat like that all the time. Anyway, it was a really wonderful night and I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon. It was one of the better birthdays I’ve had, for sure.

I did make it to the gym last night; it’s been so hot that all I’ve wanted to do is stay as still as possible (oh how I wish we had A/C). At least the gym is air conditioned; even at 8:40 last night it was so hot when I went home.

Not much else is going on aside work of course. And I’ve been glued to the news in horror watching hurricane Katrina batter the south. I know a couple people down there and have a friend whose family is still in New Orleans (well, they evacuated though). I can’t believe the extent of the damage and I know we’re only just starting to see it. My heart and prayers go out to all those who are affected. Our gas jumped from $2.74/gallon on Sunday to $2.83/gallon on Monday (for the cheap stuff) so we’re feeling the impact here a bit, but I know that is nothing compared to losing everything you have and being stuck in a shelter, unable to see what remains if anything.


Birthdays and Legoland

August 26, 2005

So it’s been nine days since I last wrote. I have now finished all of the Harry Potter books and last night we watched the first movie. Jay doesn’t really “get” it but oh well, I should be used to that by now. Luke really enjoyed it. Having read the books, I was a little worried about him being scared by some parts. There was one point where I told him it would be scary and put my hand over his eyes and he pushed my hand away and–very disdainfully–said “Mommy, it’s only pretend, you don’t have to cover my eyes”. Kids! So I let him watch it. He didn’t thrash around at night or have any nightmares and he’s excited to see the next one tonight. I am too. 🙂

Tomorrow is my 27th birthday. I can’t believe I’m going to be 27 already. 27 sounds so much older to me than 26; I guess it’s because I consider it “late 20’s” as opposed to “mid 20’s”. I don’t have any real plans for my birthday. I’m taking Luke to his best friend’s birthday party (at Chuck E Cheese, yuck) and my mom is coming down (oh goody). She’ll be staying at the hotel at least, so that is a relief. She wanted to come down and I have a hard time saying no unless I have a good excuse. Our relationship is complicated, and I have a very hard time being around her for long periods of time, but she *is* my mother so I know I should try. Jay and I are going to go out to dinner tomorrow night and she’s going to watch Luke.

I finally went back to the gym last night for the first time in over a week. On Wednesday of last week I got stung by something-a wasp or bee or something-and I had a terrible reaction to it. It wasn’t a systemic reaction (thank goodness) but it was a “severe localized reaction” and I could barely walk. That made Legoland on Saturday very interesting (painful) but it doesn’t hurt anymore. It still itches like mad occasionally though.

As I said we went to Legoland on Saturday. My youngest brother, Michael, came down for his birthday (which was the previous weekend). He is the one who has given us his old Star Wars legos and he always enjoyed Legos. I bought season passes for myself and Luke while we were there so I got two free tickets. With the passes you get free parking and 25% off of food so it actually ends up being a reasonable excursion. My brother loved it; I’m sure a lot of 22 year olds wouldn’t, but the miniland USA is just incredible and he could appreciate the work that went into the Cape Canaveral section (among others). New York City is amazing; there is a working subway and central park, grand central station, etc. My favorite is probably San Francisco since I love the real place so much.

So I expect we’ll be going to Legoland a lot more frequently in the future. It’s a good place for Luke to go and run around, and I admit I enjoy it too.

Well, that summarizes my week I suppose. I am trying to decide now what to order from European Cross Stitch for my birthday. I’m leaning towards the kits for Mini J and Celtic Quilt but it’s subject to change. I plan to get the Medieval Town Mandala, Japanese Garden, and anything else that’s coming up soon also. I still need to live to be 300 to finish it all.

Harry Potter and Swim Lessons

August 17, 2005

The title pretty much sums up what I’ve been doing for the past week. I have FINALLY decided that it’s “okay” to read something even if “everybody else is” so I recently bought the first fice Harry Potter books. They’re good! I guess I shouldn’t be that surprised since nearly everyone I know has said that, but I was reluctant to jump on the bandwagon, I guess. Well, I stand corrected. I started reading the first one Tuesday of last week and by Friday night had finished the first two. I read the third one Saturday and I now have about 100 pages left of the fourth. My co-worker has lent me the sixth one also. Now I’ll be stuck waiting around for book 7 like everyone else. I am really enjoying the series, though; I can’t remember the last time I read a book that went so quickly! I read all 400-ish pages of book 3 saturday in addition to doing three loads of laundry, cooking breakfast and lunch for DS, cleaning the kitchen, taking DS to the pool, AND going out to dinner for 2.5 hours with DH and a couple he had been teaching to golf. Whew!

The only other thing I’ve been doing beside reading, working, and the occasional stitch or two is taking Luke to swimming lessons. He’s been going twice a week to private lessons for the last several weeks. At the beginning of the summer he wouldn’t go past the second step (even though he can reach the bottom of the 3′ side, easily, since he’s 44″ tall) or put his face underwater. He’s been making progress over the last month; he’s been putting his head under for awhile and playing around a lot more, actually letting go of the wall and all. Well, I took him to the pool on Saturday and he started swimming. Swimming! With his arms and his head under the water and everything. During his swim lesson on Monday he swam into the middle of the pool (not just along the wall like he did over the weekend) and he jumped off the diving board by himself. Twice! Towards the end of the lesson his instructor tried to get him to jump from the edge of the pool (he’s always been afraid to do it; this was just before the diving board). He finally did, and swam out to me and then back to the wall. For the next hour he jumped in and swam to me probably 20 times. It’s amazing; I hoped he would learn to swim this summer but I had my doubts a couple times!

Yesterday was the first time we hadn’t been to the pool in 5 days; I’ve been taking him to the pool 5-6 times a week for the last few weeks. It’s all he wants to do, except play with his Star Wars legos. I’ve gotten really, really sick of going to the pool, but seeing him jump in and swim all by himself makes it totally worth it.

Well, so that’s what I’ve been up to for the last week. Oh yes, and I bought a bunch of stitching stash on Friday (so much for the “wagon”). I ordered the two upcoming Just Nan shop exclusives at The Silver Needle, as well as another one that’s coming out soon, some fabric at Silkweaver, a few patterns at Stitching Bits and Bobs (including Fish City and the new TW), the finishing kit for Mermaid Treasure Box, and I signed up for two more Chatelaine groups. None of it has arrived yet, but I’m looking forward to packages in the mail. The fabric from SW is for Fish City and a baby sampler I need to start ASAP. Like I didn’t already have enough projects to last well into retirement (and beyond…) oh well.

Movies, Movies

August 9, 2005

I haven’t had a lot to write about lately. I guess I’ve been busy working, stitching, and trying to get back on the damn diet/exercise thing. I have seen some movies lately though, and so I thought I’d write about that. When I was pregnant with Luke, Jay and I used to go see movies all the time. At least once a week. Of course this was five years ago now; movies were a lot less expensive. I also still had a student ID since I had just graduated from college and a ticket was just $5.75. That sure has changed; we took Luke to his first movie over the weekend and a “bargain matinee” ticket was $6.50 and a children’s ticket was $6. We won’t even go see a movie in the evening anymore; I am NOT paying $9 for general admission when I can wait a few months and watch it at home on my fancy tv with the ability to pause and stitch.

So, Luke went to his friend’s house two weekends ago and Jay and I went to see Wedding Crashers. It was entertaining. I like Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson, so I enjoyed it. Some parts were just dumb, but overall it was fun. This past Sunday Jay and I took Luke to see Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. I’d have rather his first movie had been something like Madagascar, but it wasn’t showing anymore. Oh well. I think he may have been a bit scared at times but he seemed to really enjoy it. He kept looking over at me and smiling and he was so good and quiet the whole time. During his bath that night he was acting things out with his toys. I was stitching in the bathroom so I was listening more than watching, but I heard “Willy Wonka” and “chocolate waterfall” at different points.

Last night after Luke was in bed we decided to watch Thirteen since it was on HBO On Demand. Wow, that was a dark movie. How terrifying it is to be a parent and imagine your child going down such a path. I hope and pray that I will raise my son well and that he will be a strong person able to avoid peer pressure and its potentially devastating consequences.

Well, this is a moderately short entry but it’s something at least. Back to work!

Adventures in Family

August 2, 2005

So I’m back from vacation. On the first night at the house in Bodega Bay my dad called it an “adventure in family” and it seemed appropriate to title this entry as such. More on that in a bit.

We drove to my mom’s house Friday night, where we proceeded to stay up too late hanging out with my brothers. Saturday morning we were only half an hour into the drive when Luke threw up all over the car…yuck! By the way, the Harley dealer in Carpenteria was wonderful. They let us use their place to clean up Luke and the car.

We finally got to San Francisco at 4pm and spent the night at Jay’s best friend’s place in the city. He lives in this really old victorian (in a tiny studio) that had old glass doorknobs and I thought was just a gorgeous place. The building owner turned out to be, um, abrasive though. In fact, I had been composing a blog entry in my head about how much I loved San Francisco, and Luke was playing quietly with his legos (Jay and his friend were golfing) when she came up to the door and yelled at us for being “loud all night” according to another tenant. Um, yeah, we were there from 4-6 sitting on the couch chatting, then we went out and didn’t get back until 10:45 and were asleep within 20 minutes. I was freaked out by it, and by the fact that I was about to leave to visit Rani in Hayward. Panic attacks while driving in a strange city are not fun.

I had a great visit with Rani and Ann (you two have got the cutest kids!!). Now I have several projects I really want to start after seeing their finishes that they brought. I managed to survive driving over the San Mateo bridge twice (I really hate bridges over water) but I never did get over to meet Tien like I hoped (if you read this, I’m really sorry!).

When we got back to the city, Jay said that there was a group of people that came in at 2-3am (hence the “loud all night” I guess?) but that it was on the floor above us. Well, the building owner stopped us as we were loading up the car and apologized for being rude to us earlier. She seemed like she was something of a busybody and I think since she didn’t know Jay’s friend was having people over she freaked. Anyway, I felt vindicated. It was amusing because I am the quiet one that has called the cops on loud parties in the past. That’s right, I’m a loud partier all night. Ha! Those days are long behind me…

Sunday evening we drove up to Bodega Bay. Desite my aunt’s terrible directions (in case you’re wondering there is no exit for the 1 at Santa Rosa off the 101) we did eventually get there. The house, well, was a shock. There was nowhere near enough room for everyone and it seemed especially unfair that the cost was divided evenly when there were three bedrooms, my aunt and uncle had one to themselves for half the trip, and we got relegated to the downstairs living room sleeper sofa. Also there was a family invited that is a friend of my other aunt’s and there was not enough room and they got a bedroom. Yes, they ended up being really nice, but they offered not to come if there wasn’t enough room and my aunts insisted there was. Well yeah, for them, upstairs in the comfy rooms! There was just a real lack of consideration, and it didn’t go unnoticed by others (like my cousin from Hawaii who slept on a cot when she paid the same for the house and had to pay for airfare too).

If we go on the group trip next year we will definitely be getting our own accomodations, I don’t care if it’s more expensive!! It wasn’t just the rooms that were awful; there was also a lack of consideration in general. My dad and brother slept on the couches in the living room. Well, they were up until everyone else went to bed, often well after 12, and then my aunt would get up at 6am with other people and they would sit in the room and talk talk talk. Oh, and you could hear everything downstairs; if I hadn’t brought earplugs I’d have gone nuts.

It was a strange trip for me; I’ve always loved my dad’s side of the family, but a lot of things bugged me. My grandmother is 88 and she was really short-tempered (or you could even say bitchy without being off-base). I love her dearly, but she kept getting after Luke for various things and he was really quite well behaved. He is just a 4 year old boy with a lot of energy. Oh yes, and then there was the television. Jay sat in the corner watching tv occasionally, and if he got up to use the bathroom or anything my aunt would turn it off or turn the volume all the way down. But of course when she wanted to watch something it was all the way up.

I just got the impression this year that it wasn’t really a “family” vacation; rather, it was my aunt’s vacation and we were kind of invited along but no one was treated fairly.

It wasn’t all bad though; it was nice to see everyone. My really cool uncle came down from Washington with the boat he built five years ago. He designed and built a 15′ turn of the century design sailboat and it is amazing. Luke absolutely loved it and we took him out on it three different days. I also visited Fort Ross with my dad and brother and it was pretty amazing. It’s this little Russian settlement from the 1800’s and there is still a fair bit intact.

Jay and I ate at The Tides one morning, which is the location where they filmed part of The Birds (the gas station fire, for anyone who has seen it). I haven’t seen the movie but I have to now that I’ve been there.

We left Bodega Bay Thursday afternoon and had dinner with another of Jay’s friends in SF. Then we spent the night in Castro Valley with *another* of his friends who just had a baby (they also have a boy Luke’s age). The boys had a great time playing and I was sorry to leave Friday morning.

After a long, arduous drive we got home late Friday night. I was pretty under the weather Saturday and Sunday so I basically sat home and stitched. I have finished part 3 of Alpine Garden now and am on part 4. I was sad to miss Terri’s GTG on Saturday, but I wasn’t feeling well and I just couldn’t make the drive. Sorry, Terri! I really wanted to see everyone, too. Well, next time I guess.

So that’s my long story from last week. Now it’s back to work; I have to leave early today to take Luke to his swimming lesson.