Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Beautiful Girl!

Today is my niece's birthday. She is the big 1. Happy Birthday Lila! We love you!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


Over the weekend, Ted and I took the kids sledding. They had a blast! Elle, usually the daredevil, was too scared to try it. But, I have to say, the rest of them are pretty gutsy...they were hauling and caught some serious air... and survived some serious wipe outs! Max especially loved it!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My mom, the democrat!

Election year will always be exciting to me...It will also always remind me of my mom. She loved politics and I can remember how excited she'd get during every election. Early in the morning, before the sun, she would take me (still in pajamas) with her to the polling place. My parents would let me stay up late that night and color in red or blue on my little US map as the states came in throughout the night. My mom was a passionate and life-long democrat. Living through and being personally touched by issues like civil rights and vietnam made her quite opinionated and she didn't hide which way her political views swayed. I, like her, have become quite a political junkie. I love all things politics and while she may have been dissappointed that I fall more toward the center than left, she was always proud that she was able to instill a sense of excitement and responsibility to be part of the political process. I am sorry that she didn't live long enough to vote in this election. Although, I am not sure which way she would have gone...Hillary or Barack. But, if a democrat does win this election, I'm sure she will have had a hand in it!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Are we loving our animals to death?

elle, with the sole surving rat, remi! We wish him good luck!

Please don't call Sheriff Joe! Just two weeks after the loss of Gromit, we have another dead rat. Templeton, our recently purchased and seemingly healthy new pet got sick and died. I have to ask, "Are we loving our pets to death?" I grew up in a family that adored animals. From a young age I considered animals part of the family. My mom had a pet raccoon growing up and my dad had a pet monkey named Fred that he ordered from the back of a magazine and picked up at the airport. Yes, these animals were wild, uncontrollable, probably disease-infested, and had no business living with humans. But, in the great tradition of stupid pet owners, my mom and dad thought, "It will be fun." Well, I blame genetics. I, too, MUST bring animals into my home. After countless aggressive, gravely ill, and painfully ignorant animals that have come in and out of my life, I still can't fight the urge! So, when I read about "the joy a rat could bring" to my life I thought, "Who couldn't use some more joy?" And...I have to say, if they would quit dropping dead on us, we could really love these little guys. They are cute, cuddly, full of personality, and seem to actually love us back. So, here's to Remi...the last lone survivor. May his life be least 6 months.

Monday, January 7, 2008

De-bunking the Myth

Thoreau wrote, "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I know that I do. Over the weekend, I found myself endlessly complaining that my late-night blog surfing had begun to put me in a "desperate" funk...desperate to live in a squeaky clean house with my squeaky clean children. Because, apparently, that is exactly how most wives and moms live! After whining to my sister that my new hobby of blog surfing has made me feel less than adequate, she turned to me with an "are you that stupid?" look and quickly pointed out that nobody puts pictures up of their "messy" lives. Well, I am here to air my dirty laundry(literally) and to de-bunk the myth. Today's forecast of rain has forced me to tackle the disaster that my home has become...a toy room that I cleverly explain to guests is "in the middle of re-organization" , unmade beds (are there really people who actually make their bed every day?), unfolded laundry (who needs a laundry basket when you've got a couch), and Christmas toys still in the living room 2 wks later (I think the toys are actually afraid to make the dangerous trek to the "scary" toy room to live for eternity in the fisher-price abyss, never to be seen again.) Yes, my life is messy. I will skip doing dishes to play Battleship with my 6yr old and I will save baths for another day so the kids can dig for worms in the mud ...and because I am desperate to make myself feel better, I will conveniently assume that all moms are less perfect than they appear!

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

A New Year

New Year's Eve was so much fun. Ted had a party at his house. That night has never been one that I really enjoyed that much, but this New Years was great. It was nice to end such a difficult year feeling happy. Thanks for watching the kids, Dad! A Look Back at 2007...

January~ My mom was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and had major surgery. My niece, Lila was born. She was born with a cleft palette. But, otherwise healthy and beautiful.
February~ We celebrated my birthday at my mom's bedside in the hospital. She was so worried about not being able to shop for me and sent out my sister to buy my gifts...cute clothes and shoes!
March~My mom continued to recover from surgery. Max played t-ball.
April~My mom began chemo. She was told it was mild, wouldn't get sick or lose any hair. She did both.
May~ Bri and I suprised my mom with a Mother's Day trip to Vegas to see Celine Dion. It turned out to be one of the best trips of my life. We had fun listening to cover bands, drinking foo-foo drinks, while my mom and sister laughed at me because I can't say "no" to anybody...not even sleezy, drunk, toothless, old men that want to dance. We laughed alot. We didn't know how little time we had left with her and I will always cherish those two days. I also began dating Ted this month. My family got sick of hearing me talk about this cute guy in my neighborhood and convinced me to ask him out.
June~ We went to Disneyland. We had a great time, but the beach is always my favorite part of a cali trip. I love swimming in the ocean! I think if I had been raised near water and had good beach hair I could have made a great surfer chick. Maybe someday I'll get to live on the beach!
July~We learned my mom's cancer had spread and she had less than six months. She stopped chemo and we tried our best to support her, while emotionally preparing to lose her.
August~Max played soccer and my dad, Bri, and I spent as much time as possible with my mom. In those last couple of months with her, I can gladly say that we laughed as often as we cried.
September~ On the evening of Sept. 8, my mom passed away. This was easily the most difficult and painful night of my life. The rest of September was a blur.
October~ Still feeling in a state of shock , I tried to get into fall (my favorite time of year) and enjoy it with the kids.
November~ Ted and I flew to Paris where we drank bottles of wine in quaint cafes along tree lit, cobble stone, rain soaked streets and fell in love with the city. (If you've never been, go!)
December~ The hardest time since my mom passed away. (My mom gave Christmas its sparkle!) Christmas Eve has been the same for the four of us since I can remember. The tradition of El Charro, Christmas pajamas, and a video was so important to my mom. We tried our best without her, but her absence was heart-wrenching. Still, I got through the holidays. Hopefully, next year will be easier...