Friday, December 19, 2008

eLLE - 20 months

Dear Luciya,

Oh, hi!

I think you got scared of the dark tonight, for the first time. Your "baby," who has been sleeping in a little wooden cradle in your room and who you've begun placing on my lap, with her blankie, so that I can read her a story, was in Eryn's room, where you had left her earlier today. I was so impressed that you understood me when I said, "You left the baby in Sister's room, on the chair. Can you go get her?" You walked down the dark hallway, opened the door to her bedroom, which was also dark, and came running out of the room with Baby. I sat in the living room clapping, so proud of you for understanding what I said, when you burst into tears and came running toward me. I think walking into the pitch dark room was disorienting, and you got scared! Poor baby. We turned on all the lights ("yites") and I think you felt better after that.

"Yites" is a new word in your rapidly expanding vocabulary. Each day it seems you've learned another word, and you use it in just the right context. You've also begun to put together two-word "sentences," which include "baby book" (as in, Mommy sit in the chair and read a book to Baby, please), and "mo pees" (more please). "Please" kills me. I have been working with you on using "please," and getting you to understand that if you use it you'll get what you want, but now you'll stand at my feet and look up at me, pleading and lightly clapping your hands and say "pees?" You want me to pick you up, and since you know that please will work, I have to. You little trickster. My back is killing me lately!

Here are some words you know enough to use just about every day: hi, dada, mama, bye-bye, no, please, more, up, book, baby, dog, Mimi ("Mila"), purse, banana, fruit, apple, milk, snack, nuknuk, help, Tutu, shoes, hand, bubbles, ball, socks, shirt, pants, eye, eat. You also have funny words for things: "nini" means "gloves" (naturally), "bulilup" is "zipper" and if you say "a-a-a-a" you want to hand me something.

Oh, the "bulilup." You are obsessed with zippers. You must zip and unzip and zip and unzip, whether you're the one wearing the zipper or not. And even though the fleece footy jammies we put you in every night have a little snap-top over the zipper, eight mornings out of ten we find you in your crib with your jammies completely undone. Your Tutu and I got to enjoy round two of "Take-Off-My-Poopy-Diaper-And-Smear-Its-Contents-On-Every-Conceivable-Surface," and on two other occasions you've been bare-butted with just a wet diaper laying there. So, we've begun using packing tape on your diaper at night, since we can think of no other solution at this time (anything? Anyone?). I certainly hope this obsession passes soon.

"Hi" has got to be your most-used word of all. You and I get to the mall early to set up for Stroller Strides classes and you greet every passing mall walker (who knew there were so many mall walkers?) with a "hi!" You say it over and over, not skipping anyone. I have to admit, I think it's charming and adorable. I'd say most of the walkers do, too, though the Crotcheties certainly exist. You continue to be a better and better stroller-sitter, and you know the routine of cool-down at the end of the hour, and that as soon as we clap you're FREE! You start clapping before we do.

This month you saw your first video, a Baby Einstein from Aunty Danielle, which you watched in your Dada's truck on the drive back down from the mountains. While I certainly have mixed feeling about this (read: mostly negative feelings), you've shown that Dada's truck is the only place you have any interest in watching a screen, and Dada said you were excellent on the ride down, and intrigued by the singing puppets and animal footage, so if a half hour video in Dada's truck every once in a while is going to happen, I resign myself. We made it 20 months without screen time. Not too bad.

We leave in a few days to celebrate the holidays with your Grams and Grandpa Peter and Grandpa Dave and cousins and sister and Aunty and Uncle in Southern  California. We have a lot of flying ahead of us, a lot of flying out of cold and snowy weather (it's been coooold!), so I am praying that everything goes smoothly! We're so excited to spend some time with your dada's family, and then we're headed to Napa Valley for a few days to see Tutu and Uncle Adam and Aunty Danielle. What fun! And, I might say, what a nice way to ring in 2009, which is going to be the BEST. YEAR. EVERRRRRRRRR.

I love you, Luciya!


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

the making of a future chocoholic

Making brownies for Dada! Luciya had her first taste of the nectar of the gods. 

Sunday, December 14, 2008

your comment here

Leave a comment about the poll, if you'd like. Goodness knows we could use any sage advice right now!

another first

What's up, red suit? Yeah, you like my dress? It was my mom's.

Merry Christmas!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

itchy and scratchy

A couple nights ago something bit me on my butt while I was sleeping. A spider maybe? Anyway, I have a big ol' scratchy bite there now. This is relevant, I promise. Because isn't there a saying about a seven year itch?

Last night John and I celebrated 7 years of being together. 

Even though we finally heard back from the Lentzes yesterday (the people we bought the business from), and the news was not good, we took advantage of a night off and whooped it up downtown. Things will get better, because they simply have to. 

And if we can make it this long, and through this much, and still find ourselves so blessed and happy together, well, then, we win anyway. So there. 

It's funny to think that, after seven years, I'm still not as old as John was when we started dating! I was 23 and he was 31. I look at 23 year olds now and I think, little babies! What a cradle robber this guy is! But he must of done something right. He's done a lot of things right. I love you, Ton-Ton. Thanks for making me stronger. 

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

don't let the sun go down on me

Monday, December 1, 2008

eLLe - 19 months

Dear Luciya,

It's been the best of times, it's been the worst of times. 

I borrowed the essence of that sentence from a famous author, Dickens, I think. Maybe you will have to read him for school some day... that is, if by that point all reading materials aren't being transmitted electronically into a computerized wristband or something. (And if that is indeed the case, my dear, then you can rest assured that we'll be getting our hands on every book we can find and squiring ourselves away at Tutu's cabin - where we just enjoyed a lovely and relaxing Thanksgiving holiday - and there we'll hike along the river shores and read books all day long.)

Yesterday morning when I went in to your room to get you up, I was immediately struck by two things: first, that you appeared to be naked from the waist up - from what I could see above the crib railing - and second, the whole room stunk to high heavens. Sure enough, upon closer inspection I saw that you'd unzipped your jammies, pulled them off, removed your poopy diaper, and proceeded to smear its contents all over your bed, your hair, your blankie, the curtains, the crib.... I had to fetch your dada from where he was raking leaves outside so that he could come help me out by (laughing, and) plopping your crusty, stinky little body in the bath. (I took a picture of the funny fiasco, but wouldn't dare post it on the blog. Some nutball stranger might, you know, go off on a tangent.)

Earlier this month we went to see Dr. Angie for your 18 month checkup. You charmed the pants off her when, in response to a question about how we spend our days I mentioned the word "dance" and you stopped what you were doing to shake your little booty for a while. Dance and dance, la la la, it's what we love to do! You are 26 pounds and - suddenly - 33 inches long. I had suspected you were going through a growth spurt, but indeed, you shot from the 50th percentile for height to the 80th, in under 6 months. Maybe you won't be inheriting your dada's stubby legs after all! Or, maybe this is the last growth spurt we'll see for another 5 years. Who knows. 

After the doctor's appointment, we went to the mall so that I could map out some indoor routes for Stroller Strides, and there we shared a large soft pretzel. I was dipping my pieces into some mustard, and you immediately caught on. And since then, Deary, you will not eat a morsel of food unless you have something in which to dip it. I have had to get creative in this area, and in the last week or so you have dipped your eggs in syrup, your apples in hummus, and your peanut butter and jelly sandwich in ranch dressing. I realized a few days ago, however, that the best dip I could offer you is pureed baby food (duh!), and you're pleased as punch to dip your carrot slices into... blended carrots. That's how you roll.

Another mealtime tradition we taught you once and which you've grown to love, is toasting. "Cheers"ing. You hold your sippy cup up to my drink, or your dada's or your tutu's and say "deesh," which means "cheers." And hen you drink up. If you drink to fast or find yourself having a choking fit for whatever reason, you dada has taught you to hold both hands in the air. So now you'll sometimes "fake cough" and hold up your arms.

You are so observant and sharp, we've really got to watch what we say lately. Your dada and I have taken to spelling words in front of you, because if you hear anything that sounds like "snack," or "nuknuk," or any of the myriad words you understand (and are beginning to say!) so completely, you won't let the subject drop. 

You took your first bad tumble on some pavement a couple weeks ago, which resulted in a goose egg on your forehead, scraped knuckles on your right hand and a nasty little scratch on the palm of your left. I know that scratch on your palm has been bothering you, because you'll whimper and hold it out to me for a kiss. You first owie! After that fall you cried and cried, and you opened your mouth so wide that I noticed a huge molar digging its way up into your bottom gums. Talk about owie! You've got another sprouting on the other side. But you've still be cheery and cheeky, and sleeping just fine. I had to actually go in and wake you up this morning at 9:30 - after 15 hours of sleep! I was worried, but of course you were chipper and ready to face the day, and of course right now you're refusing to go down for a nap. Makes sense, I guess. 

Your looks are changing so much. Your hair keeps growing and growing, and I finally gave in the other day an cut some bangs for you, since your hair is constantly in your face and you refuse to leave clips or ties in for too long. You also haven't worn earrings for over a month now, because you started ripping them out. We even bought some screw-back earrings that took a lot of struggle to put in, and you managed to rip those out, too! So, you're unadorned. For now. 

In looking at the pictures of you that I am posting this month, I'm noticing that you're all bundled up. It's coooooold! That's one of your new favorite words, and you say it just like that. I'll open the freezer door and you'll stand in front of it and say "cooooooold!" I think you like that it makes us laugh. You're pretty keen on that, and quite the little charmer. At a recent class at the Little Gym, the instructor asked you to give her a high five during circle time. You ignored her, but you proceeded to go around the entire circle and shake hands with or give high fives to every single mother seated there (there were about 15). It stopped the class so that they could all ooh and ahh over your charms. My little budding politician.

I can't help but feel that the "worst of times" business is making itself felt to you. This country as a whole has been experiencing some pretty terrifying and uncertain times, and your daddy and I are struggling with our own difficulties. However, we were all witness this month to an historic Presidential election that I know you will grow to recognize as an incredible truth, and hopefully a sign of better things to come. I am just so thankful for you,  and your health and happiness. You are truly the best thing that has happened to me and I know that if the world could just look through your big, happy eyes for a while it would be such a better place. We have so much to be grateful for, little girl.

I love you, Luciya!


Sunday, November 30, 2008

c'mon, december! woo-woo-woo...

I'm rooting for you, December. You're the last chance 2008 has to turn this spooky-dooky folly that so many of us are feeling on its ear. Stay with us, December 2008. Make my predictions come true. You're strong, December! You're nobody's fool! It's up to you. I have faith. This may very well be the best December ever.

P.S. Will everyone please send healing thoughts to my new Boise friend Christina tomorrow? Thanks.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

oh, NOW you tell me!

My horoscope today:


If you are considering a career move or a new business partnership, talk to your friends and business associates. Get everything checked out. Have everything written down and make a formal agreement. This is not a time for "handshake" deals. Misunderstandings are a real possibility."


Saturday, November 22, 2008

meh. feh.

So, most of you know what's going on. 

Previous business owners formed a competing property management company under a fake name. Took more than half our clients.

We've met with a local lawyer and sent out a demand letter. Should hear back within the next week.

To top everything off, our heater broke yesterday. The part has been ordered but won't arrive til Tuesday. We have three space heaters pumping at full blast.  It snowed today. I was  ch-ch-chilled to the b-b-b-bone.

I do feel better, though, about the comment that "Anonymous" left on a post for Luciya's 8-month birthday.  It's at the bottom of the page. Yay, cyberspace!!

I know she turned 19 months old two days ago. Post is coming. She's fabulous. 

If you read this blog and I know you, I love you. You are a good person and I'm so thankful to have you in my life. You keep my faith in fairness and goodness and all that I believe we should hold dear as Americans and as humans alive.


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

misty mountain hop

John, Luciya and I got away to the mountains this weekend and spent Sunday night at Tutu's beautiful cabin in Garden Valley. It was just what the doctor ordered - crisp, cold air, silence, and snuggling by the fire. We brought ATVs up and zoomed around the area and took long walks in the stillness. Thanks for the getaway, Tutu! We are renewed.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

gimme some sugar

Things are really stinky right now. Or, as Luciya would say... "caca."

We have entered the strangest level of discomfort and HELL with our new business. In the first week of November (our official first week), we lost about 10 clients, who own approximately 23 properties between them.

That's MORE THAN HALF of the the monthly income we were expecting. 

To top it off, the previous company owners (who took a full month's worth of "consulting fees," as well as the remainder of what we owed them for the business, from the security deposits bank account), are telling us, via nasty emails, that it is all our fault that we lost those clients. Basically, the previous owners have taken the money and run.

Then tonight I received a nasty email from one of the clients we lost. Help me, I'm not used to this negativity. Nor am I good at handling it. I don't know whether to cry, or get mad, or try and take the high road and say screw it, so what if we're going to be bringing in $2100 less a month than we've been budgeting for, it's time to take the high road and make this the best damn property management business in the state. We'll hold off on the big, life changing plans we've started to make. We'll get through it.

But I'm suddenly swamped with trying to figure out this new software, and refund thousands and thousands and thousands of dollars worth of security deposits, and trying to wrap my head around WHAT WENT WRONG. I'm literally flabbergasted. I have no idea what is happening. 

AND we ordered business cards and brochures from Staples and they are the biggest lumps of crap I have ever seen. The borders are crooked, the ink is fuzzy, and the paper is flimsy. We have to return them.

AND the vacuum cleaner is broken. I love to vacuum. It soothes me. And goodness knows this house could use a good once-over. 

And meanwhile I know sweet Luciya can feel the angst in the house; she's jumpy and clingy. Mama could really use some love right now. I just try.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


I'm inspired to be a better person. To be patriotic - a word that until now has had a sour taste. 




Thursday, October 30, 2008

on a lighter note...

wonderfall from shemmy on Vimeo.


The election next week is the greatest of my generation, and I am honored to be able to go and cast my vote. This country, though faced with some very serious shit right now, is also facing a glimmer of something we ALL can believe in: hope for change. I know these words sounds almost cliche now; they've been run through the wringer in Senator Obama's campaign. But after eight years of uncertainty, disappointment, loss, and fear... well, I'd say change is a good thing. Who wouldn't?

A recent email message I received from a Republican voter was loaded with religious banter. And while I was raised a Christian, and while my belief in a higher power is strong and true, and while I know a number of delightful, passionate, loving people who consider themselves Christians, I do not believe religion should be a basis upon which to decree the law from the utmost seat of power in this country. I believe religion and politics should remain two separate entities. Yes, the Bible has some very important messages of hope and love and faith. But show me the passage where Jesus says abortion should be illegal, and the choice should be in the hands of a man. Show me where he says that because two people love and support and cherish each other dearly, but happen to be of the same sex, they have no right to be together in matrimony. Show me the passage where Jesus supported senseless wars and turned one sword into 5,000 so his people could teach a lesson or two to the enemies with a different belief system.

The Constitution, that great American document upon which this nation was founded, specifically outlines the separation of church and state. But unfortunately, this line seems to have blurred among certain candidates, and they feel it's appropriate to shove Christian doctrine into the political spectrum of this strong, free, multi-ethnic melting pot of a country. Want to bring the Bible into the school system? Awesome. But let's also bring in the Bhagavad-Gita, the Torah, the Koran, the Tao Te Ching, the scriptures of Buddha, and the Book of Mormon. Because according to these powerful founding words, all men are created equal.

So my question is: Who Would Jesus Vote For?

Did Jesus say, hoard your wealth? Did Jesus say, shun your neighbor because he couldn't afford to go to college and therefore has an underpaying job and can't afford his own health insurance?

No. Jesus said, help the less fortunate. Jesus said, love thy neighbor.

To me, God is not some omnipotent white bearded old man on a cloud throne, doling out punishment with his index finger from up on high. To me, God is the strength and the light that exists within each of us. God is the feeling of hope.

And to me, hope for this country begins with Barack Obama.

There is one person for who I am casting my vote next Tuesday, because she will have to wait 17 years until she has the opportunity to do so.

She is the one who will be paying for this senseless war. She is the one who will not know Social Security benefits. She is the one for whom health care and higher education should be a right, not a privilege.

Vote Obama 2008, and may peace prevail on Earth.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

eLLe - 18 months

Dear Luciya,

First off, let's start by wishing a very happy, special birthday to Aunty Clancy.


Did you know that you and she share half-birthdays? Interesting, no? Which would mean that -- holy schnikeys -- you're A YEAR AND A HALF OLD. How? When? Whoooooo?

That picture of you and Clance was taken on that grand and whirlwind day, the day your daddy and I got married. And while that whole spectacle is now behind us (it's been nearly a month, which just blows my mind... and a giant THANK YOU to all of you who came to help us rejoice!), we are still not slowing down a bit. No siree. 

For starters, you are 18 months old. And this is supposed to be some kind of baby golden age, a milestone, a smack-dab testament to toddlerhood... and you certainly are not disappointing us. 

Where to begin.

For starters, your language acquisition is astounding. You repeating - or trying to repeat - the things your daddy and Tutu and Grams and I say. And it seems like, out of nowhere, this talking thing is no big whoop. You're now saying things like "me" and "mo" (more) and "pees" (please) and the biggest to date is "no." "No" like you mean it. Gone is the na-na-na babble; the other day I asked if you were done with your lunch and you looked at me pointedly and said "NO." As in N-O. As in, don't even think about taking that tray away from my high chair woman; even though you know I'd grab another handful of diced carrots or a noodle as you were taking it away, I am certainly not done. No.

You've also grown like the proverbial weed in the last few weeks, and your dada and I were kicking ourselves the other day when, after it SNOWED in Boise two days after we returned from our honeymoon and we decided to treat you to a new winter wardrobe at the Carter's outlet, we got home with our bundle of size 18-month clothing and realized that the majority of it is too small. Weren't you just swimming in size 18 month a couple weeks ago? Darn it!

Speaking of the honeymoon, which was luscious and relaxing and warm and sleepy and delicious, and which gave you and your Grams a chance to bond and giggle and get to know one another (thanks again, Grams!), we have decided that we are never again going to leave you for 9 days. Too long. Too far. I felt hollow without you around. And that moment we first laid eyes on each other, when I stepped in to your room as you were waking up from your nap, was surreal for both of us. We just stared at each other for a moment, and your face fell in confusion, and I said "it's Mama!" and you lit up like the sun. I'll never forget that happy moment. You literally light up my life.

And you're so funny lately! You're quite the ham. You love to cover an object with a blanket and then turn to me, palms up: where is it? You'll throw a scarf over your head and run around the room, and emulate the way I tickle you. You love to laugh, and you love for your dada and me to make you laugh. You're tickly and giggly and scrumptious. 

The past few weeks have been absolutely glorious, your mama's favorite season. The weather is crisp and clear and scented with fallen yellow leaves and pumpkin spice. We've taken advantage of the clean air and the changing colors and headed out to the parks and to the pumpkin patch. There, we took a hay ride and fed the goats and you rode on a pony and - such a big girl! - rode on the "cow train" all by yourself as the tractor looped around a dusty spot among the corn stalks. Of course, you nearly gave us a heart attack when you went to stand up in your cow-painted barrel, and I nearly ran to stop the train, but you sat back down, secure in your seat belt, and waved to us as you passed.

We are really having to watch ourselves lately, as you've become quite the little ape and have learned to imitate us around the house and in what we say. Today the song "Damn, I Wish I Was Your Lover" was on the radio in the car and your dada belted out the first word and sure enough from the back seat we heard "dam!!!!" But you're learning good things, too, like the fact that garbage goes into the rubbish can. you can even discern what would be considered garbage and you'll pick up a miniscule crumb from the floor, toddle over to the can, lift the lid, and drop it inside. This afternoon you dropped your sippy cup and some milk spilled out on to the floor. No big deal (don't cry over it, hee hee), but the next thing we knew you had gone and retrieved the kitchen towel hanging on the stove and bent over to wipe it up! We were both amazed. You've also already shown signs of inheriting the somewhat anal-retentive organizing habits of your dada and me, and when we get you up from a nap or in the morning, you're careful to put your soft bunny, baby, and gnome rattle in the proper order in the corner of your crib.

You're still an amazing sleeper, sleeping 6:30 pm - 8:00 am daily, with a 2 hour nap. And when you're awake, you've taken to running from point A to point B... running. Vroom! Later!

The biggest, hugest, change of all, I think, is that tonight is the fourth night in a row that you've gone down WITHOUT A BOTTLE. Seriously! The doctor said she wanted you off the bottle by 18 months, and I kind of balked at that because A) whatever, and B) it was one of my favorite parts of the day, rocking you with your bottle of warm milk, but true to your adaptable and resilient nature, this transition proved to be no big deal, and each night you've gone down fine and have slept through the night! And, as an added bonus, you haven't been peeing through your nighttime diapers. That was getting old.

All in all, girl, though you actually slapped my face today and said "no" because we actually had to wait in line for the carousel ride (more on that interesting - and a bit frightening - development late), you are a totally magical and special child, and I am so darned proud of you.

I love you, Luciya!


Thursday, October 16, 2008

reception and honeymoon pictures!

Wedding pics are finally coming in... I picked up the photos from the disposable cameras on the tables at the reception and have posted them on the site link below.

We have also put up pictures from our honeymoon at the Tides Zihuatanejo: Glorious, romantic, secluded, warm.... a perfect honeymoon retreat!

Thanks so much to everyone who came to the wedding and contributed to our honeymoon registry! We had a fabulous time.

I have posted more honeymoon pics and will be posting more as they come in on this site.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

not to be confused with l.a.

Last night we decided to watch one of my favorite movies of all time, The Shawshank Redemption. Mostly because it's a really good movie, but really because now that we've been to Zihuatanejo, and that's the place they mention and eventually wind up in, we wanted to watch it again. And you know that last scene? When Morgan Freeman walks up to Tim Robbins on the beach in Zihuatanejo? And Tim Robbins is sanding the old fishing boat? That's not really Zihuatanejo. 

Monday, October 6, 2008

Dear Luciya

My heart misses you so badly.

It´s not so much guilt for leaving you for 9 days (which we have no plans to ever do again!) so much as a longing to be with you. I want to see the little dimples on your knuckles and make you laugh by kissing your tummy. You´re fun. I love being with you, and I cannot wait to see you in 2 short days.

I think this is the first vacation I´ve been on where I´m actually looking forward to coming home!! Not that we´ve been miserable. By any means. We have found the most blissful location ever, and we have already decided that we will return one day.

On Friday your dada and I rented a wave runner and zipped around Zihua bay for a half hour. Your dada says I was a scary fast dirver. I thought it was fun! We returned to the centro that afternoon and I bought you the cutest little outfit. I can wait to see you in it!

On Saturday we went to a sleepy little fishing village about 45 minutes away called Barra de Potosi. There we sat along the beach and drank a few cold beers before meeting a young man who took us on his little motor boat on a tour of the swampy green lagoon. It was very jungly - hot and still and sticky and green, with little fishermen in their little boats catching all kinds of fish with their nets. We had lunch afterwards at one of the waterfront (literally - water.front.) restuarants and I ordered garlic shrimp, and there they were, heads and eyes and shells and legs and poop and all. I couldn´t do it, darling. I tried. I had a few. And were you there I probably would have had more, because I plan to encourage you to at least try everything once.

On Sunday your dada and I treated ourselves to a couples´massage that was just heavenly. we were scrubbed down with coconut scented sea salts and massaged for an hour after that. That night we had a delicious fresh seafood meal overlooking the pacific from the high balocny of a restaurant called Kau Kan. ¡Muy rico!

The massage was so good we decided we deserved another one today. Unlike your dada, who practially snores throughout the whole thing, I have a hard time turning my mind off, and so during the massages I tried to think on the happist times of my life. What kept coming to me was when I was pregnant with you, and we would go walking alomst every day in the pine forests of Olinda. Those we such safe and happy times. Oh my goodness, I cannot wait to squeeze you!!

Today we are going to go back in to town, after we finish a few piña coladas on the beach. It´s a beautiful day. The nightly thunderstorms leave the mornings steamy and refreshingly warm, and today the skies are the bluest they´ve been.

We leave tomorrow for LA, and then fly to Boise on Wednesday. Our plane lands during your nap, and Im hoping that when Tutu drops us off at the house I will be there when you wake up. I´m going to tiptoe in and I keep trying to imagine your reaction. Will you be confused? Happy? Angry with me? Looking for your Grams? Or will everything be just like normal, and you´ll squawk and hug me and run off to play.

I can´t wait to find out.

See you soon, mi amor.....

I love you Luciya!

Thursday, October 2, 2008


Yesterday we decided to explore the sweet little town of Zihuatanejo. We had our cab drop us off at the artisan´s market, and I think I made it about 37 minutes before I was begging John to sit down for a icy cold beer. This humidity thing is so intense! Your shirt is sticking to your body within seconds of stepping outside, and the air is thick and heavy. It carries with it, though the scent of dried palapa palms and gardenias. And it´s really not a bad excuse to have a frosty Negra Modelo con limon.

We stopped for a beer at a bar called Bandidos, where we were the only customers there and where we got to know our sweet little English-speaking server named David. He recommended some places to go shopping (which we did - hooray for silver!), and told us that his friend had a small fishing boat (or panga) that we could go out on the next day (today) for a rate far less than what the hotel would have booked for us. So we said yes, bring it on!!

We wandered around the town for another hour or so and had lunch at the tamale place, which was awesome. By this time my hair was doing the Monica thing (from ¨Friends¨- remember when they went to the Caribbean?) and there was a permantent pool of sweat on my upper lip so we can back to the hotel around 4:30, intent on chilling by the pool for a while. We woke up in our bed about 2 hours later after a delicious nap! Then we ventured all the way over t0 the tequila bar and met out new BFF Pablo, the bartender, and had some of the best margaritas I´ve ever had. While we were playing cards and eating a dinner of fresh ceviche and shirmp quesadillas, we heard that the turtles were porbably going to be coming up on the beach soon to lay their eggs. Turns out they come up during the rainy season (July - Spetmeber) and lay their eggs in the same spot every year. The hotel employees then gather the eggs (usually around 100 per turtle) and place them in a guarded hole in the sand until they are ready to be released, thus enhancing their chance of survival (though still only about 10 in 100 will make it once hatched).

We were so stoked and told the employees patrolling the beach to please notify us if they saw a turtle. Sure enough, at about 10 pm they called us from the bar and we and about 4 other vacationers hurried behind the man to see the tired turtle making her way back into the surf, slowly but surely. The men found where she had dug a hole about 2 feet deep and laid all her eggs. They asked me if I{d like to help retrieve them!! What an unfogettable experience, kneeling in the sand and gently schooping still-warm turtle eggs from their lair and into a bucket. They look exactly like ping pong balls, but they give to the touch. I was nervous but the men assured me the shells were very tough. Most of the others there took a turn scooping out the eggs. All in all, there we 91 eggs that this sweet old turtle (they can live to be over 100) had laid in the sand. The employees took the eggs to the guarded nest where they will hatch in about 45 days and then be released into the sea.

About an hour later we were informed that another turtle had made her way up the beach and indeed not only one but two turtle had come up, side by side, and were slowly digging their holes very close to the resort wall. They used their back flippers to flick the sand away left and right, and they seemed so tired, straining their wrinkly necks and pausing often. I gave them good energy. I feel ya, sisters. Can you imagine how light they feel after dropping off 100 eggs?! They´re practically skipping back into the water, feeling 50 pounds lighter!

The same man (who was quickly becoming my friend - we all love that I{m rambling away in Spanish over here) let me know that a batch of baby turtles had hatched and would be released tonight. Ummm, have you ever held a just-hatched baby turtle while standing on a warm beach at night? I highly recommend it. These things were so effing cute!! I gave mine a little blessing that she may live a long a successful life. They will be letting this batch go tonight, I{ll be sure to let you know how it goes!!

So anyway.... we woke up early this morning. 6 am. Whoo, that´s early. Still dark. Our new friend David was waiting for us in the lobby and he took us by cab to the pier to wait for his friend. We bought 18 beers at the little market and John got a bolillo with chorizo and eggs. We were so excited, even though we had quite the thunderstorm last night and I was a leeeetle bit worried about the conditions of the water.

Man, I have never been so queasy. Even the one time I got seasick, when I was 8 months pregnant on a catamaran on Maui, I ralphed and quickly got it overwith. Not today, my friends. I am still relling a little from the rough seas and the tiny boat, the smell of gasoline and of the raw fish used for bait. Even David got very ¨mareado¨(seasick), and we spent the majority of the morning dozing on and off in the swells. I couldn´t even put down water, let alone beer or food.

We eventually (well, after 5 hours and no catches) told the captain that we´d like to just turn around and go back in (this was supposed to be an all-day excursion, with the fish we caught prepared fresh for us on the Isalnd of Ixtapa). No, thanks. We haven´t caught anything and I{m turning green over here. John perked up eventually, but for a while there he was Queasy Queaserton, the mayor of Queasyville, and I was his faithful sidekick Queasles the stomach-turning clown. Thankfully, neither of us puked, and it was nice to walk on dry land again.

So now, we´re just relaxing poolside with our water and books. We managed to get down some sandwiched for lunch and it´s time to do nothing but CHILLAX.

Not too hard to do.



Today I am (pick one):

A. Sticky Vicky

B. Sweaty Betty

C. Clammy Pammy

D. Frizzy Izzy

E. All of the above

(Answer: E)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

two tickets to paradise

Yay yay yay!!

We¨re married! And we had the most fabulous wedding ever. The weather was amazing, the yard looked beautiful, and about 70 friends and family were there to share the love.

John and I arrived in Zihuatanejo, Mexico yesterday afternoon and let me say, it doesn¨t suck. We got off the plane and were struck by humid air so thick we started sweating immediately. But the rains of September bring an incredible lushness to this place and it felt like we were landing in the Land of the Lost. I managed not to go crazy with anticipation as we waited for the ONE customs agent to look at our passports and then the other (single) agent to make sure we weren´t smuggling any livestock into the country. We finally got out cab to the resort, and I immediately jumped in to practicing my Spanish with him. I have been loving the opportunity to ramble in Spanish again!! It just seems to come back to me when I am in this marvelous country. Our driver shared some ideas of where to visit while in town, including a restaurant with 130 types of tamales. Don´t think we won´t be going there!!

When we got to the hotel (The Tides) we were instantly struck by the beauty of the architecture and the layout. What an amazing place! Stone paths weave around through the various bungalows. There are 3 pools (one of which is an infinity pool overlooking the gentle Pacific), 2 restaurants and 3 bars (one of which is a tequila bar, which is literally just steps from our room).

Oh my goodness, our room is delightful! The king size bed is up a flight of wooden stairs on a balcony with a stained glass window. The bed has romantic mosquito netting draped around it and a mirror about the headboard (natch). There was a welcome message on the pillow written in flower petals.

We went to the pool behind our room to sit at the swim up bar a drink a couple pina coladas. We met another honeymooning couple (I think we comprise about 85% of the guest population here) from Boston and chatted for a while. Then we freshed up for dinner and went to one of the on site restaurants, La Marea, where we were seated at a little beach side table and were serenaded by the crashing waves and a guy who played the guitar in the sand while simultaneaouly playing some Peruvian flutes around his neck and thumping a drum on the ground with his beaded foot. He came up to our table and asked for any requests. Since he had done a Simon and Garfunkle tune earlier (Ï´d rather be a hammer than a nail...¨I love Simon and Garfunkle!) I requested another song by the duo (I was on the spot, okay!). So, we were serenaded by ¨The Sound of Silence.¨In a way, I guess it´s appropriate.

Our dinner was amazing an culminated in a fiery coffee drink that took about 5 minutes for the waiter to prepare tableside. Yummy!

We then went for a romantic walk on the dark beach, and we were amazed at how warm the sand and water were!! It was like bath water. Absoultely lovely.

This morning wwe awoke to coffee laid out on our patio table and then ventured to the restaurant for breakfast, where we sat overlooking the calm waters of the bay.

Today we´re off to explore the town. What am I doing sitting in the business center?!

Hope you´re all well.......

Saturday, September 27, 2008

quickly, before i pass out

I'm about to walk down the aisle!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

8 days to go. just breathe.....

Ton Ton: "You need to learn to roll with the punches."

Emily: "You need to learn not to punch!!"

eLLe - 17 months

Dear Luciya,

Here are some comments I've heard recently from other parents at the park, parents at Little Gym, and even your nanny, who recently quit because it was too stressful!

"She is feisty!"

"She is stubborn!"

"You're going to have your hands full!"

"You do have your hands full!"

"She is fearless!"

My response, for the most part, is "I know... good thing she's so sweet!" 

Because you are sweet, my little muffin top. You're darling, and precious, and oh so curious. And believe me, I'd rather have a feisty, fearless, fabulously flamboyant toddler over a lump of doughbaby any day of the week!

(Okay, sometimes it's a little scary how confident and coordinated you are. Yesterday your Dada turned around to find you had climbed up the rungs of the barstool and were standing on top of it! And you nearly gave your Tutu a coronary the day before that, when she turned around to find you at the top of an easy chair, with your hands planted on a railing about 30 feet above the wood floors below. We literally can't take our eyes of you for a second!)

This afternoon you and I walked around in back yard for a while, under a sky that was threatening rain with heavy, gray clouds (Yes, thunderstorms are predicted for this weekend, but we all know that they're clearing the way for a GORGEOUS, PERFECT weekend next week!!!) We sat down in the grass and shared a sun-warm peach off the tree. We passed it back and forth, taking turns getting syrupy-sticky (you won; we had to put you in the bath afterwards) and feeding each other bites. It was such a sweet little moment, just the two of us - me and my full-fledged toddler of a 17-month-old baby girl. 

After that we had a few errands to run (I'm so sorry about all these errands, little one, but as soon as this big party comes to pass, I have a feeling we'll have a little more down time). After our last stop at the discount wedding & party supply store, where you received a bright purple balloon, I realized it was your dinner time so we went next door to the smoothie bar and I delighted in watching you drink your fruits through a straw. This is a new accomplishment of yours - drinking through a straw - and it's pretty cool. We shared a grilled tuna wrap and an endearing moment, since you went straight to the chair at the little table after I'd ordered, and we sat facing each other, me tearing off pieces of spinach tortilla and you with your chin barely above the table rim. You're getting to be such a big girl! And even though part of me was recently missing the baby of a year ago, I had to admit that sharing this day with you was pretty cool.

I realized tonight that I don't have any recent pictures of you (these are from last month_ -- our camera broke over Labor Day weekend and it's still in the shop. It's been a bummer not having it, because of course you've been up to some world-class Cuteness Shenanigans and I've missed the opportunity to get any of it on film. Er, memory card. Whatever. You're still doing the turn-up-palms-and-shrug  thing when we're looking for something and you don't know (or pretend to not know) where it is. You've started initiating hide-and-seek and peekaboo, and the other day the three of us were driving in the car and you starting shrieking "Dada! Dada!" and when we both turned around you had your blanket over your head and were waiting for us to say, "Where's Luciya?"

Dada is one of just a few words in your vocabulary. You have about five others that we hear when you're not shrieking and squawking for what you want, which are (in order of popularity):

- "Uh oh!" (When you drop something - intentionally or not)

- "Na-na!" (Which generally means "snack," though it also stands for "banana" and "night-night," and when it means "snack" you usually smack your lips for emphasis)

- "Buh-ba" ("Bye bye"; you say it all the time - to your bottle before bed and to the barristas at the drive-thru coffee place - always accompanied by a wave; not to be confused with "baba," which is "bottle" or "bubbles") 

- "Bhuuf" ("Poop." Hooray!)

- "Hiya!" (Accompanied with a kicking motion; I taught you that)

- "Hiiiiiiieee" (This is my favorite, and you looove to great people. And dogs. And your reflection in the mirror)

You're great at repeating things, like "bath" and "mama" and "hat" and "dog," but you generally don't use these words unless prompted. The next couple months are supposed to be huge for language acquisition, so we'll see. I do have to admit that while you are able to make yourself pretty clear as to your needs and wants (which are generally one in the same), I'm looking forward to the day when you can actually USE YOUR WORDS. Ah, my ears smile just thinking about it. 

You've gotten pretty good at running, oftentimes bent at the waist with your arms stuck out behind you, ala Superwoman. You're still a good eater, though you're starting to show signs of pickiness, especially when it comes to vegetables. You're still sleeping at least 13 hours at night with a 2-3 hour nap each day, which is so incredible. You've calmed down A LOT at Stroller Strides and are no longer the sobby freakmobile clawing desperately at the stroller straps (thank God that phase is over!). You love to read books and are a dance machine, boogying your little butt whenever so much as a hint of a rhythm comes your way. And your joy is absolutely contagious, and I know your energy has a lot to do with why I haven't lost my mind in the last few weeks.

Another thing parent strangers have been saying to me lately is, "This is such a fun age."

I couldn't agree more.

I love you, Luciya!


Thursday, September 18, 2008

bittersweet surrender

We posted this ad a couple days ago on craigslist:

We are looking for a new home for our sweet and adorable 6 month old Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix. She is a bright, beautiful girl named Harley. We're just coming to terms with the fact that we don't have the time, energy, or patience to give her the training she needs to be the very best dog she can. 

She has had 3 training sessions and is responding very well -- she can come, sit, and stay with one-on-one practice. She is awesome with other dogs and great around kids (mine is 16 months old). 

She just has way too much energy right now and since we're planning a wedding, going on a honeymoon for 9 days (and would have to board her) and starting a new business, we just don't think we're giving her the right environment. Plus, our older, mellow dog is wondering where all her attention went! 

We bought her from a breeder for $200 and she has received most of her shots and some training. We are asking a small rehoming fee of $50, which includes food, a collar, papers, and toys. 

SO, if you're interested or know anyone who might be, I'd really like to find Harley a nice, loving home. Please contact me here and I can send pictures, more info, etc. Serious inquiries only please -- it is very important to me that she gets the love she deserves!!! 

Last night, her new owner came over, fell in love, and took her away.

It is truly a bittersweet feeling: on the one hand, I find myself thinking that I could have done more, done better, put up with her, learned to love her. But then I think about the pissing all over the house, the incesant barking, the pee trips in the middle of the night, the way she maniacally jumped up on us all the time and chewed up the flowers out of the flower beds and dug holes in the lawn. 

And I think we made the right decision. 

I hope so. 

So long, sweet Harley. May you get the attention and love you deserve, and may you grow to be a loyal and well-behaved dog. Maybe we'll meet again some day.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

my OTHER other project

Our wedding is in 13 days. Gah. But things are really coming together. It is going to be at our home and most everything is getting done in-house. I've finished the flowers, the favors, and the necklaces for the bridesmaids and am in the process of stringing more outside lights. I'm tallying the final guest count (probably around 80, which I think is just perfect) and I've got to take my dress and the groomsmens' shirts in to the cleaner. We're finalizing the rentals and weeding the flower beds. I need to get to work on the programs. It's going to be a really fun party, and if thee weather behaves anything like it has been for the past couple days, we're stoked. It's gorgeous. (BTW, if you're reading this you've probably received your wedding invitation. If you think I may have forgotten to send you one, please let me know! You can also leave your RSVP here, too.) 

In other impending news, John and I will officially take over Arrow Rock Property Management as of November 1st, when it will become ArrowRock Property Services, Inc. (We're official and legit and everything!)

In my spare time have been dawdling and teaching myself to make websites with iWeb. I did my mom's a few months back and have been working recently on the new site for ArrowRock.

Please click here to see it or you can visit at your leisure. I'd love any feedback. As you can see, it is still a major work in progress, and I'm making changes all the time. I'm still not sure about the wording on the first page and the design, so any suggestions are gladly welcomed!

Hope everyone is doing well.

dead ringer

Friday, September 12, 2008

eLLe - sweet 16 months, part II

Oh, Bubba

Your seventeenth month was not very welcoming.

I know... Grrrr. For starters, or maybe for starters and middles and everything in between, you're teething. I mean, teething. I had no idea teething could really be so bad. You've had your two little friends, Pokey and Buddy, in your bottom gums since month 11. And then suddenly four top teeth are descending from your upper gums and two more are protruding on the bottom. And you're a mess. And suddenly your mouth has eight teeth instead of two. And then you had a runny nose that lasted for about 2 weeks. But, because of this runny nose, you've learned to use a tissue to blow your nose, and it's actually quite hilarious.

I'm sorry I am so late in writing this post. I've been kind of preoccupied. With the wedding. Which is two weeks from tomorrow. As you know, sine you've been living in Tissue Paper Wonderland for the last six months, I'm doing almost everything myself for this wedding, which is going to be in our backyard. The invites, save-the-dates, flowers, favors, gifts, programs... anyhoodle, I've been busy. And I've been putting of the blog. But I'm back.

I have to admit that as excited as I am about the wedding and the following honeymoon to Mexico (hooray!), I find that I can't think about it too long or I get really sad. About leaving you for nine days. You're going to be awesome and amazing for your Grams, who is coming up from San Diego to stay with you, but I feel the pain of missing you for so long is going to make things really difficult. So I guess I should think about it more, and think about how much fun you're going to have with Grams and with Tutu, and how they're going to shove you into my arms at the end of nine days, and then go take a long nap.

Because you're a fireball. You're a nonstop motor boat steam engine firecracker bucking bronc. Your days are filled with exploration, games, screeching, and learning, and you fall asleep readily each evening at 6:45 and don't wake up for 13 hours or more.

You still nap every day for a couple hours, too, which is what you're doing right now. You still take your binky to sleep, and you are officially attached to your green "blanky."

Over Labor Day weekend we went with our friends the Highlands and their son, Jenner (your future husband) to their family's acreage in Eastern Oregon. We went last year, too, when the two of you were only a few months old and we plopped you in a playpen during the day and used the generator in the evenings to listen for you on our baby monitors. This year was quite different, with the two of you walking around in the dirt, but we had so much fun.

You are still not using many words, which isn't to say you're not communicating. Oh yes, you get your point across very well. Besides the squawking, you've learned gestures, my favorite of which is when you turn your palms face-up and shrug when I ask "Where is it?" And while there are some thing about you I can't understand, like why you grab a fistful of food and then run your hands through your hair, or why you like to poop in a fresh diaper that I've just finished fastening, I can certainly understand your wants and needs, and which game you'd like to play next.

And the night before last you initiated a game which still brings happy tears to my eyes when I think about it. You were in the tub, splashing around as is your favorite thing to do,
when you hefted the soaking washcloth over to where a rubber ball was floating. You placed the washcloth over the ball and picked up both items in one arm. Then you looked at me and turned your other palm up, and I realized we were playing Where's The Ball? and so I asked you that very question and you let the ball drop from the cloth and squealed with delight. We were playing peek-a-boo! And you kept doing this again and again, always hefting the big washcloth because it kept getting more sodden, and sometimes you couldn't quite cover the ball, or the ball was just on top, but each time you'd turn to me without a sound and make that gesture, and I'd say, "Where's the ball?"

That very same day you made another remarkable achievement: you told me you pooped! I've been working on bringing attention to the fact that you're pooping each time it's obvious that you are, and the other day you stood there are grunted for a bit then turned to me and said "bhuuf," which, naturally, is "poop," and then you led me into your bedroom and waited next to the changing table for me to hoist you up and change you. Time to get a potty seat!

My Luciya, I hope you know that even though I have been busy as a squirrel in an autumn oak tree the last few weeks, it is you who brings me sanity and joy and strength and calm. And you don't even know it.

I love you, Luciya!!