Sunday, November 29, 2009

Jack & Dean Christmas Gift Guide - UPDATE!

Update 12/17/09: Punching bag and gloves purchased for Dean!

Update 12/13/09: Battle Strikers for both boys are taken. Indiana Jones Legos taken for Jack and Darth Vader Legos taken for Dean.

Update 12/9/09: Swingball set and Hoodie for Jack are taken!


Update 12/4/09: Magic 8 Balls and books (Where the Sidewalk Ends and The 7 Year old Wonder) are taken!


I took the boys to Target today and asked them to point out things that they want for Christmas. Then I had a great idea to post their wishlist here for those who are looking for ideas. Please let me know if you intend to purchase an item on the list and I'll post an update. Isn't technology great?

Here's the list:

Swingball set
Lego Indiana Jones Fighter Plane Attack
Eyeclops Night Vision 2.0 Infrared Stealth Binoculars
Lego Anakin's Jedi Skyfighter
Battle Strikers Reload Striker "Skullor"
Virtual Speed Baseball
Magic 8 Ball
Hoodie sweatshirt with zipper - size small (6-7)
Game cartridges for Leap Frog DIDJ - they already have Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Sonic the Hedgehog
Where the Sidewalk Ends

Punching Bag and Gloves
Lego Star Wars Darth Vader TIE Fighter
Lego Star Wars Separatist Shuttle
Lego Space Police Space Container Heist
Lego Power Miners Rock Wrecker
Battle Strikers Reload Striker "Gauntlet"
Magic 8 Ball
Hoodie sweatshirt with zipper - size small (6-7)
Game cartridges for Leap Frog DIDJ - they already have Foster's Home for Imaginary Friends, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Sonic the Hedgehog
The Seven Year Old Wonder Book

I hope this list is helpful. Let me know if you plan to purchase an item from the list so I can post an update.

Happy shopping!

Friday, November 27, 2009


I guess I'm in a writerly mood today. I swear it's either feast or famine around here.

Anyway, here are 20 things I'm grateful for today:

  • Time. I spent several hours helping Dean put together his Lego City set and I didn't worry about what wasn't getting done.
  • Sleeping until 8:00am.
  • Coffee and cream.
  • Glorious weather that was neither too hot nor too cold.
  • That the idiot woman in the Lexus SUV finally heard all the shouting and slowed down before rounding the corner where my children and other hikers were standing. I'm grateful but I'd still like to drag her out of her car by her hair and scare the living hell out of her.
  • My breath which kept me calm even as an idiot woman barreled through a peaceful hiking canyon with no thought whatsoever as to who might be hiking.
  • My martial arts training which I thought might be used on the stupid woman in the lexus.
  • The first aid kit in the Hyundai which came in handy after Dean fell off his bike and skinned his knee.
  • Carney's! Almost helped me forget about the . . . nevermind.
  • Playing handball with Jack and getting my butt kicked.
  • Our vet who gives us a discount since we have to take Kate in monthly for her shot.
  • That my anxiety is under control. Maybe turkey is a natural remedy for anxiety?
  • That Tom is an excellent breakfast cook. A yummy frittata yesterday and egg-in-a-hole today with fried sausage. What will tomorrow morning bring?
  • 4 day weekends.
  • Ice cream, cookie dough, chocolate sauce, caramel sauce and peanuts.
  • Turkey carcass in my fridge that's just begging to be turned into soup.
  • That Jack puts himself to bed when he's tired.
  • My house. Though it's littered with toys and discarded shoes, it's ours and it's cozy and comfortable.
  • That Dean seemed to really hear me today when I told him that he's an amazing, incredible kid who is smart and brave.
  • My health. I'm feeling good and strong.


Grandma got them this gift and it was a huge hit. Don't they look big?

Dean made this face for every present he opened. He gets so excited.

Jack tends to be more reserved.

Bike riding in Franklin Canyon today. It was gorgeous.

After our hike, we went to Carney's for hot dogs and sodas. Yummm.

Lame November Recap

I certainly didn't mean to gloss over the boys' birthdays by just phoning in a picture.
They are 7 now. Totally 7. Roll their eyes, toss their hair, slump on the couch playing video games 7.

But they still need me to put together their Lego sets, so there's that.

Actually, I just like putting together their Lego sets and they let me think that they need the help.

We had a birthday party for them last week and I hired a "Mad Scientist" to entertain the kids. I'll try to post some pictures later. They had a really great time - no meltdowns!

I tested for my new belt last week. I now have just two more color belts to go and then I'll be devoting all of my training to getting ready for the black belt test in June.

Work. Bleah.

Hey, Happy Thanksgiving! That was yesterday. My phone died so I didn't call anyone and I spent most of the day cleaning up the house (finally) and making the turkey. Mmm, the turkey was phenom. So was the gravy. We went to the Sullivans for dinner. Colleen provided all the sides and we did the turkey and gravy. Which was phenom. Oh, I already said that. Well, it's true.

We just finished brunch and now we're going to Franklin Canyon so the boys can ride their bikes around the lake and we can give the dogs a little exercise.

Oh, before I forget. Have you visited Mackin Ink? You should. Besides pulling together the most beautiful images, she writes the most lovely words about her girlies three. Really makes me wish I would see more of the Peter Pan in the shenanigans of my fearless duo.

Ok, I'm off for a hike in the canyon.


Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Birthday boy!


Birthday boy!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

A Poem by Dean

Dean wrote his first poem over the weekend.
Here it is:

My Dog

I have a dog
I like to pet
He waits and waits for me
He jumps and jumps
And then I throw the frisbee

Where to Begin?

To say we've been busy is to vastly understate it.

This is the last week of my Mondo Beyondo class. The first week was absolute heaven but life has interfered since then and I haven't devoted the time, energy and focus to it like I wanted to. It's okay because the lessons will still be there after the 5 weeks is over so I can do them when I can really spend time on them. At the same time it's a little disappointing because I had so hoped to have some sort of magnificent revelation about myself and my biggest dreams. No such revelation yet. Although, I found myself saying something out loud the other day that I've only really dreamt about so maybe it's working on the most subconscious of levels.

This Friday and Saturday I will be participating in an Inspired Work program with 5 other lucky people. Carolyn (my old boss) did this same program in October and came away from it completely energized, excited and focused. I'm hoping for the same. Then Saturday night we (my handsome spouse and I) will be attending the Princess and the Frog wrap party. Sunday is gloriously open on our calendar and I will be protecting that time with all the ferocity of a lioness protecting her cubs.

Yesterday I took the boys to the doctor to get their seasonal flu vaccines and the h1n1 vaccine. The waiting room was full of sickly looking children bundled up in blankets with bed head, sniffly noses and hacking coughs. I signed us in and then promptly asked to move to the infant area where the healthy people can wait for their turn. We moved to a room pretty quickly where Jack suddenly started complaining of a headache. I touched him and he felt warm. Glassy eyes were noted. The nurse took his temp and it was normal but he wasn't looking good to me. I waited until the last second and then decided not to give him the h1n1 (they were out of seasonal flu vaccs). Dean took his shot like a trooper - didn't even cry. He was so brave. We left there and headed to the school where I dropped off Dean. I checked Jack's temp when we got home and it was 100.2 degrees. So glad I went with my gut on that one. This came on so fast with him. He was fine when he woke up but when he complains of a headache, it usually means he has a fever coming on. It came down quickly with a dose of tylenol and we've been cycling through medication ever since. He's home again today and feels fine as long as he has the medicine in him. I hope this cycles through soon and he can go back to school tomorrow. Dean hasn't caught it so far.

I tested last Saturday for my next belt level and my friend Priscilla was in attendance to witness it. She took lots of pictures which she's going to put on a disk and she took video of my sparring. As soon as I get it I'll post the video here and maybe a few pictures too. I had a great test, despite my nervousness. I get so nerved up for the tests. I know all my technique but there's something about being there on the mat in front of the masters and grandmaster that gets my adrenaline pumping. I have to learn to control that before my black belt test because all that tension is exhausting and the black belt test is a two day test. I don't want to waste my energy on needless tension.

I am really looking forward to Thanksgiving. Studio is closed for 4 days so my email can't stack up. Four days of relaxing with my family and friends, eating good food, drinking good wine. We have plans on the day of and the Saturday after and I think I'm going to keep the other days open so we can just relax. I need time to breathe and think.

Work is going as fine as it can be, I guess. It's a little weird being in meetings discussing processes which once implemented will likely make my job obsolete but I'm doing my best to remain positive and helpful.

The boys are turning 7 in just a couple of weeks. How is that possible? I vacillate between being completely in love with them one moment and then wanting to throttle them the next. They are by turns loving, hateful, affectionate, pouty, excited, bored, maddening, intoxicating - sometimes within 5 minutes. Their reading comprehension is growing exponentially as is their spelling ability. Dean is struggling with math and Jack struggles with his printing. Jack just needs to take his time and one of these days I swear I'm going to hear a clicking sound when working with Dean on his math problems. Until then, I need to stay as patient as possible even when I have to explain how to reach the sum of 9 + 5 for the 100th time. I've managed to stay relatively organized despite the mountain of papers that come home each day. I like both of their teachers and think they are in the right classes.

That's enough for now, right?