Tuesday, May 29, 2007

It's out!

After an awfully long wait, Owen finally lost his first tooth today!

It had been wiggling almost to horizontal for a while, and at lunch recess a friend told him to pull it out, and he did.

It didn't even hurt. There was a little blood so he got to go to the principal's office to rinse out his mouth and get a plastic baggie to put the tooth in.

I was a little worried when I saw it because it didn't have any roots on it, but apparently they dissolve.

Memorial Day weekend

Dan had to work all day Saturday and Sunday, so I took the kids to Berkeley on Saturday afternoon. We were planning to go to the beach on Sunday, but it was really foggy and cold - in the 50s - so we ended up going to the Lawrence Hall of Science on Sunday morning instead. The kids had a great time playing with various interactive things like a big plexiglass box with colored plastic balls inside that you can squirt water at to move them around and try to make them move up on some fountains.

Before we left on Sunday, Douglas was playing outside with the baseball bat, took a swing and lost control of the bat and it broke my mother's window by the booth in her kitchen. Oops. There was glass everywhere both inside and out.

Yesterday Dan didn't have to go to work until around 3 so we went for a hike in Cold Canyon, up in the hills west of Winters. These pictures are from our hike. It was very pretty there. The California buckeye was in bloom (you can see in the lower left of the second picture). We saw at least four different kinds of butterflies. Afterward we ate lunch at the Putah Creek Cafe in Winters, always a good place. To wrap up the afternoon when Dan left for work, the boys and I went to the pool.

Only a couple more weeks of school. The last day for Owen is June 14.

Friday, May 25, 2007


I went to the dentist this morning because I thought I was having a tooth problem. It turned out to be, instead, swollen sinuses that are pressing on the roots of my upper teeth on one side. Yuck. Pollen counts have been very high lately, particularly this week as it was quite windy for a few days and raised everything into the air.

Happy Memorial Day weekend. Dan is going to have to work all weekend, bummer. Hopefully the kids and I can do something fun to fill the time. We may head to the Bay Area.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Local food blogs

The Bee's "Taste" section this morning had an article about local food blogs. They mentioned one woman who writes a blog called "Everything Rachael Ray." According to the Bee, she literally never entered the fresh produce section of the grocery store, never ate broccoli, only had a tomato once, until seeing the ever-perky Rachael Ray on TV. Rachael changed her life. It was sort of an entertaining article.

I saw Julia's old friend Ariel Gore's book "The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show" on the New Books shelf at the library so I picked it up. It is interesting if a bit weird, about a young woman who has the ability to create stigmata in her own palms - just concentrates and the blood starts flowing - and joins a traveling circus-y sort of troupe to show it off. Then the LA Times writes a story about her and all hell breaks loose. (I just checked out her blog and she is apparently pregnant - interesting as I heard her on NPR say several years back, "I'll never have another baby from my body.")

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Spring Fling

The Spring Fling festival at Owen's school went well Saturday. The raffle is finally over with, what a relief! Owen had a baseball game in the middle of the event, so he and Dan (who was umpiring) had to miss out on a bit of it. He had another game Sunday and hit a triple.

Alisa, Paul and family came up Sunday morning which was fun. We got some strawberries from the wonderful strawberry stand west of town and took a little walk in the Arboretum. Found some large blue egg shells from the black crowned night herons (shown here) that are infesting the Arboretum's oak tree specimen collection.

Friday, May 18, 2007


Below are some pictures that I finally managed to upload from a trip to the arboretum and the trip to the A's last Sunday.

Owen and Douglas enjoyed some tree climbing (this was in a California buckeye in bloom) on the arboretum trip.

I don't know what this was; it was a large (maybe 10 foot) shrub with these whiteish poofy looking blooms on it. Interesting so I took a picture.

The kids in front of some Matijila poppies in bloom.

It was pretty there by the water.

Dan and Douglas at the A's game.

Here's the foul ball I managed to grab.

We had pretty good seats, more or less behind home plate. Owen was ecstatic to be there.

Owen playing guitar.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Whale watching in West Sacramento

The kids and I managed to see the whales yesterday! Before I left work at 1 pm I checked the Sacramento Bee website, and it had a map indicating the whales were somewhat down the deep water ship channel in West Sac. So I went to what I thought was the closest location, involving a hike about a mile down one of the gravel levee roads (featuring no shade whatsoever, and with my carrying Douglas most of the way). Unfortunately it turned out I (and/or the Bee map) was wrong about the whales' location, so we had to hike back and then drive a few blocks to the Port of Sacramento ("Serving the Rice Industry"), where they gave us more accurate directions. From there it was a short drive to an impromptu parking lot and then another half mile hike or so to the ship channel where the whales were swimming around. We stood on the levee with a couple hundred others and watched their fins arise out of the water from time to time. Nifty. Douglas, however, was disappointed that he didn't get to see the whales' whole bodies. I'm not sure what he was expecting. We were pretty wiped out by the time we got home.

The picture above is from the Bee website; the whales were too far away for me to be able to get a good picture of them. It shows the mother humpback whale, who has a gash on her back likely from a boat's propeller. The baby also has a gash. They are hoping to use friendly whale noises downstream and unfriendly noises upstream to guide them down the river into the Bay and hopefully out to the ocean again.

I rode my bike in today and saw a first - someone riding her bike wearing spike heels. You see lots of bikes here, but not a lot of heels, and they don't seem like the best combination.

Owen's guitar playing is already significantly better than Dan's or mine. He can easily read music and play a tune. Last night he was working on "Cockles and Mussels" (aka Molly Malone) which was immediately recognizable as such. Also has Old McDonald, Amazing Grace (notes - he already learned the chords to that), and others this week. I think tonight's lesson should go well.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Stuck whales

A mother and baby humpback whale traveled up the Sacramento River and appear to be stuck. I may take the kids down to the Delta to see them after school if they are still there.

*** Update: the whales have not been spotted today, so I guess we won't be heading down there after all.

Yesterday the boys participated in a study through the UC Davis Children's Thinking Lab to study how their eyes track a computer screen while they are trying to figure out the answer to different puzzles. They enjoyed it (and got a few toys at the end as a gift). The puzzle Douglas was doing involved looking at cards that were red with a star in the middle or blue with a circle, and first he had to sort them by color and then again sort cards by the shape. The researcher told me typically 3 year olds can't do that - they can't look at the same object twice in two different ways - but he managed to get them all right. I heard the researcher saying between every one, "Now remember, stars go here and circles go here" so I figured he was getting them all wrong, but apparently that is just part of their standard script for the study. Anyway, they thought it was fun.

The big school "spring fling" with carnival, silent auction, and raffle is this Saturday. Raffle proceeds are now just short of $12,000. Not too bad.

Monday, May 14, 2007


We went to see the A's yesterday. Douglas and I had to leave by around the 5th inning since he was too bored, but I managed to grab a foul ball before we left, which was pretty cool. Dan and Owen in particular were thrilled. Owen got a hold of the ball and wouldn't let it go. It was hit by Indians right fielder Casey Blake. The A's won a very exciting game in the 9th inning - first hitting a 2 run homer to tie the game and then a 3 run homer to win. I have some pictures from the game which I need to upload.

On Saturday I ran in the Race for the Cure in Sacramento. It was a mad scene! My race number was 24,014 if that gives an idea of how many people there were. Most of those were not running; there was a 5k run, a 5k walk and a 1 mile walk. I managed to finish in ... about 15 minutes longer than it took me to run a 5k in high school. Ugh. That afternoon was beautiful and we spent it at the park.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Badminton season opens

I managed to get the badminton net up in the back yard yesterday afternoon so Owen and I played a bit. Douglas decided to get his underwear on to play after coming out onto the deck wearing nothing but a fireman's hat. Owen suggested that might not be a good costume for a firefighter as he would get burned.

Poor Dan got home at 2:30 am last night. Too much work. Hopefully things should be a little better in the coming week.

This Saturday I am running in the Komen Breast Cancer Foundation's Race for the Cure in Sacramento. It'll be my first 5k since high school, probably. I went to pick up my number and t-shirt yesterday. The race map looks like we are just going to run around the Cal Expo parking lot, which doesn't seem very thrilling. Several years ago Dan and I participated in a walk for something (I forget what) that was in a very pretty neighborhood of Sacramento, including the CSUS campus. No doubt this will be much less appealing. It starts at 7:45 am on Saturday so I'll need to be out of the house by 7 at the latest to get there and park and get ready.

One of our neighbors on our street has a 21 year old daughter who lives there on and off with her boyfriend. This boyfriend is somewhat preferable to the previous boyfriend, who was openly dealing drugs out of the house, but they do have a pit bull, which is not thrilling. Neither of them works, they just lie around all day and sponge off her mother. She did have a friend who was apparently hooking out of the house while the mother was at work, but I haven't seen her in a while. It seems that all their friends have disappeared. This week we found out they are expecting a baby in early September. The only potential upside is that maybe they'll get rid of the pit before the baby comes. I feel sorry for the baby, who I can imagine already is not going to have the best life.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


I took the kids to the UC Davis Rec Pool yesterday, which they loved. It was 93 or something like that. We had a good day. Owen practiced his guitar and did well - he is learning "Ode to Joy" among other things (such as "Jimmy Crack Corn"). Then after supper we went to the drugstore and picked up "Battleship" which he has played at a couple of friends' houses and enjoyed. It's that old game that involves saying "You sunk my battleship!" Douglas thinks it's cool too, but he can't figure out where G-5 is or any of those other details.

Yesterday Douglas said apropos of nothing, "If we go to a wedding, bring some snacks for me, ok? Because I'm not going to want to eat the food they have there. And I don't know how to do the chicken dance at the wedding." Random thoughts from Planet 3 Year Old.

Happy upcoming mother's day to all you mamas out there!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Warming up

It's supposed to be 91 today. I biked in with both kids so hopefully it won't be too horrendously hot this afternoon.

Dan had a ton of work to do this weekend (35 bill analyses... ack!) so I took the kids to Berkeley after Owen's baseball game on Saturday afternoon. We had some delicious New York style pizza at Gioia for dinner. The owner was raised in Park Slope, so he knows his pizza.

Sunday morning we met my friend and her boys at Codornices Park, across from the Berkeley Rose Garden. It has some fun stuff like a big cement slide down a hill, a creek to play in (they really enjoyed that) and a wooden imitation cable car, which Douglas loved. It has a tunnel under the road to the Rose Garden, so the kids enjoyed running through that and yelling "Echo!" It was a little too dark for Douglas though, who got scared and needed "Uppy." He is certainly getting heavy.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Busy, busy

Things have been crazy this week. Douglas enjoyed Goal Getters yesterday. It's quite chilly for some reason so he was a little cold in the shorts he put on backwards.

I knew there was a reason we disliked Adam Sandler...

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Poor Dan...

At his desk until midnight last night, or something like that, and looks like more of the same for tonight, and next week will probably be more of the same. Bleck.

The kids and a friend and I went to the park yesterday. Owen and his friend played basketball. They can actually make a shot in the real hoop once in a while. They were pretending to be the Tarheels and Michigan State. Tarheels won, of course.

It's raining today. Well, we need it as snowpack is 29 percent of normal statewide. It's too late for snow, unfortunately, but it may help the reservoirs a bit at least.

Yesterday there were a lot of thrills on campus as the only public meeting on the Real ID requirement by Homeland Security was held here. Why, I don't know. There were apparently supposed to be 10 nationwide and all of the other 9 were cancelled. Plus, the food service workers were striking, and others were striking in support of undocumented immigrants. Also, the Campus Republicans held a "Illegal Immigrant Capture the Flag" game with some playing the part of immigrants and others playing the part of border security. Har de har har. There were various arrests, chanting, barriers, etc. Quite a bit of excitement for our sleepy little campus.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007


The boys and I went to one of the city pools yesterday, which opened up in the past week or so. They had loads of fun splashing around. Three other kids from Owen's class happened to be there too so he enjoyed playing with them. We also stopped at the local strawberry stand which recently opened for the season and they made their way through two baskets of strawberries. Douglas needs some more fruit/vegetables he'll eat, so it's good they're coming back into season.

Poor Dan is working like crazy. He'll be late for the next few nights. Too many bills to get through.