Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Did I forget to mention...

that today was also my birthday?

And what a lovely birthday it was.

I could have slept in. But I couldn't. Which is very strange for me. I was way too excited about mine and Large S's birthday...or maybe I was just a little stressed about the pictures that I needed to take of Large S and whether or not any of them would turn out.
I got to take a shower. In the morning. Right after I got out of bed. Even though I also took one yesterday! It was lovely.

Then my dear friend came over and took pictures of Large S. I figured that with her excellent camera skills and faster camera plus my OK camera skills, would surely result in some decent pictures of Large S on his first birthday. I was right (see previous post).

And as if that wasn't enough of a birthday present, she then took me out to lunch! Can you believe it!? What a great friend! Theric got stuck at home with all the children, so it was not just lunch but a quiet, calm, adult conversation type lunch!

We went Gregoire in Berkeley. Charming and delicious. We had crispy potato puffs and the Prosciutto sandwich. I am salivating just thinking about that lunch. The potato puffs are brilliant. Should you ever come visit, we must go there and have some.

If you want to salivate too, go take a gander. I love their logo--isn't it cute!

After lunch we walked over to Andronico's and bought Mint It's-it, my favorite ice cream novelty. Mmmmmmm.......... Back to my house to relieve Theric from child watching (four total, two 4 year-olds, one 2 year-old, and one 1 year-old). Thank you Theric!

I played with Large S and Big O a bit and then declared that I was tired and would like a nap. Theric got the boys ready and left the house for a walk, I took a nap--zzzzzzz--The boys returned. The nap ended but was very refreshing.

Next I took up my visiting teacher's offer to watch my kids for my birthday. We dropped them off at her house, where there was a kiddie pool set up--what fun! Then walked to Solano to find a present for Large S and dinner. It's so nice to be able to just walk with your spouse sans children; holding hands, talking, or not talking--what a nice gift.

We got some great books for Large S then after strolling Solano decided on Barney's. I did not need to eat anything after the great lunch I had, but Theric was very hungry and I knew Barney's would be good. It was good--but maybe not the smartest or healthiest choice. But hey, it's my birthday!!!

We walked quickly back, picked up the kids, chatted with my visiting teacher and her husband (thanks you guys) then rushed back home for birthday pie.

Yep, pie. Theric and Big O got me an apricot and olallieberry pie from Fatapples.

This pie was delicious. I can't wait to have a slice for breakfast tomorrow!

Next came presents.

The Big O spent most of today begging either for pie: "Mommy can we have your pie now!!!!!? When are we going to eat pie!!??" or for present opening: "Mommy, when are we going to open your presents!? Can we open presents NOW?! PUH--LEEEEZZZZZE?"

Finally, the time had come!!!

I got

, ,, , and .

Great presents!

Thank you family, what a wonderful birthday.

And a final great big thank you to my mom for giving me a birthday--love you mom!

Behold! Large S is One!

Rollover each picture to read captions.

Many many thanks to 'sposita for taking these pictures.

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Large S! You are now one year old.

I cannot believe how quickly this year has gone by and how much you have grown.

You started out like this:

And now you look like this:

You also do a lot neat stuff that you couldn't do before, like crawl super fast, stand unsupported for brief moments, you say 'mama' and 'dada', you love putting the ball in the baseball mitt and you seem to say 'hello!' to us each morning when we get you out of your crib.

You are so much fun. We love you more than you may ever know.

Congratulations on surviving your first year of life on earth!

Happy first birthday. Now let's eat some cake!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

New Favorite Snack

Have you tried these?

Oh my, they arrr delicious.

They are currently at Costco in a double pack. I bought some a week or two ago because I thought they would be a good snack for the kids. I opened one of the ten-ounce bags yesterday during lunch.

I thought they were amazingly tasty. Light and cheesy with a great crunch. I thought that the boys would love them but no--the Big O tried one and declared them yucky; Large S stuck one in his mouth and spit it out. I keep trying to get Large S to change his mind about them but am not having any luck. He picks them up off his tray, looks at them, then drops them on the floor.

I, however, have declared them my new favorite snack. That ten-ounce bag? It's empty. I ate pretty much all of it, I am somewhat ashamed to say. Theric ate some, but I ate most of those ten ounces. I guess I can now declare myself a 'Bootyhead'.

They're good, addictive even. I highly recommend them.

Plus, they might make your four-year-old say things like:

"That's a pirate." "What's a Pirate?" "What do Pirates do?" "Are Pirates good guys or bad guys?" "Why are they bad guys?" "That Pirate has a long sword." "Why do Pirates have parrots?"

Seriously, why do Pirates have parrots?

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The Thteeds Loved WALL-E

Go see it now, it's great!

Oh wait, that's have to wait till June 27.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Rational Water Rationing

Today the Governator declared that California is now officially in a state of drought.

Thanks, Arnold. Glad to know that now most of my fellow Californians may now be trying to conserve water like I have been doing for the last month.

Last month my water utility put all of its customers on water rationing.

Single-family households are rationed to 100 gallons per day.

When this news came I looked at our last bill to see how much water we have been using: 187 gallons per day!


How to cut 87 gallons from each day's usage?

1. Lawn. Stop watering lawn twice a week. Water only once a week and only the part in the front of the house. Let back lawn die. (I'm all for not watering the lawn, but my parents own the property and have asked that we try to keep at least the front lawn alive. I felt it was best to agree to this.)

2. Doing Dishes. We have no dishwasher and so do dishes by hand. This task is now done with two basins instead of one; I no longer feel that my dishes are getting really clean. Left-over water is carried out to back lawn and dumped there. Not sure if this is helping or hurting the back lawn.

3. Waiting for water to get hot. Either buck up and wash in cold water or, when washing hands or face, capture all cold water in a small bowl, then pour into gallon jugs. On average it takes a gallon and a half of water (!) before the water gets warm enough to wash with. This excess water is used to water the vegetable garden.

4. Streamline showers and save all the water. Plug tub, turn on water. While standing outside the tub, waiting for water to get warm, get hair wet with the hand-held shower head. When water is warm, step in, get rest of body wet. Turn off water. Shampoo, lather, soap up. Turn water on. Rinse hair and body. Turn water off. Conditioner. Turn water on. Rinse. Turn water off. Wash face and anything else that needs washing that you may have missed. Try to not be grossed out by the water that has now reached your ankles (this is the day's second shower, husband having showered earlier). Turn water on. Final rinse. Turn water off. Get out of shower. Taking a shower using this method must use less water, though it does not seem to take any less time. Also, only shower every other with stinkiness.

5. The toilet. If it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down. And when it is brown, scoop shower water into large pot (3 gallons?), remove lid from toilet, flush. Pour shower water into tank to keep tank from filling with fresh water. Curiously, the water from the showers has proven to be exactly the amount of water needed for toilet-flushing.

Result? Hopefully all this effort will cut the excess 87 gallons per day. But since our water utility bills us only three times a year, there is no way to know if our efforts are working. Frustrating. It is hard to sustain these efforts when I do not even know if they are making a difference. Hear that, EBMUD! I need feedback if you want me to keep this up! Otherwise I might just go back to flushing the toilet and showering with the tub unplugged!

The other result is that my bathroom has gallon jugs and a huge ole pot of water on its floor. Which makes using the bathroom hard as this room is narrow. Also, lots of puddles. And we must always keep the door shut, otherwise Large S will speed on into the bathroom and play in the big pot of wateror, if you have left the pot full of water on the toilet seat or on the stool, Large S may push it off. Flooding the bathroom and soaking himself. Or drowning. Great.

Plus, dead lawn.