Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Summer continues...

Owen seemed to be outgrowing his bike so we got him a new one this week. He is very pleased with it.

He also, to our surprise, received a letter from the president. He had sent W an email, asking him to stop the war, a few months ago (also mentioning that he was 7 years old). I never expected anything to come of it, of course. Well, Monday afternoon we got a large envelope with a return address from the White House. Enclosed were a page long letter to Owen on Iraq policy signed by Bush's auto-pen, a page of stickers with pictures of Bush's dog reading "Barney thinks you did a great job!" and an 8x10" photo of Bush.

The kids had a good time punching the photo yesterday. I considered burning it, but that probably would damage our air quality.

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Owen started complaining of ear pain yesterday afternoon and went downhill fast. He was pretty miserable by late afternoon.

I called the advice nurse this morning the second they opened (10:30) and got a 1:00 appt. The kids and I got there at 1 (Dan is at work) and they didn't bother to call us back until 1:45 ... saw the doctor around 2:10. Bleck.

He has both swimmer's ear, which is an infection in the outer ear canal, and an inner ear infection so we get a fun double whammy of amoxicillin plus some drops for the swimmer's ear. We then got to drive back to Davis, go to Long's to drop the scrip, go home, back to Long's ... all with a miserable and cranky child. Here it is 5:00 and I finally was able to give him the amoxicillin.

It has been a long day.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Happy Thursday

Owen gets to go bowling at the student union with sports camp today.

Swimming is going well. Owen, at least, is really making progress. He's much better on the crawl and floating on his back. Douglas on the other hand still won't put his head under the water, but at least he's more comfortable about the idea of getting in the water than he was before.

Douglas is having a hard time being 4.5. He had a huge fit yesterday right before swimming which actually seemed to help - he let off some steam by doing it, and behaved for a change during swimming, which was good. His friend Tobin was there too which went well - an improvement over Sun. evening at the park when he (standing on some play equipment) kicked Tobin in the nose and gave him a bloody nose. Ouch.

Dan has been working a bazillion hours as the legislative session is winding down. Last night he got home at 2 am and the night before it was 1 am. He is pretty wiped. Tonight we will see him because Owen has guitar and Dan takes him to that.

A painter came yesterday to give me an estimate on the living room, and of course one thing leads to another and now there are various other little jobs he may work on. It is never ending with this house.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

The joker

The wily 4 year old played a joke on his brother this morning.

I put the kids in the car and gave Owen some sunscreen to put on en route to preschool and day camp. Then I went back in the house to grab something I had forgotten. Evidently while I was in the house Douglas said to Owen, "It's a good thing Tendil Tatterall invented sunscreen." So when I get back in the car Owen says, "Mom, did Tendil Tatterall invent sunscreen?" Douglas started to giggle.

Owen is in sports camp (offered by the city Parks & Rec) this week with a friend. They played field hockey yesterday and today are biking over to Rocknasium to do some wall climbing as part of the day. Should be fun.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Happy birthday Owen

Owen had a fun birthday. We went to the River Cats game on the evening of his birthday with his friend Jaden and his family. We had a good time, although Douglas was being a handful.

Yesterday I took the kids fishing - a first for all 3 of us. I don't know the first thing about fishing, but we got an inexpensive pole at the sporting goods store and did a bit of fishing at the arboretum. We tried to go again today but had a hard time finding a good place to do it.

These pictures are from this morning in Winters, a town about 15 minutes away. The bridge to the left goes across Putah Creek, which was where we were trying to fish, but Owen found the presence of bees too stressful. I guess we need to figure out a good place to do it if they are going to get into it.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Kids playing at Codornices Park in Berkeley on Saturday:

At Nana's house...

Owen and Nana

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

More smoke

The SacBee had an interesting story this morning about how the smoke we are experiencing now was normal in the 1800s, before they fought fires in the Sierra.

Analysis of tree rings and oral histories of American Indians and Euro-American surveyors suggests that the cobalt blue skies typifying the Sierra today were more the exception up through the 19th century.

The skies likely were smoky much of the summer and fall in the mountains and other remote and parched regions of California, where fires were largely ignored.

As C.H. Merriam, chief of the federal Division of Biological Survey, noted in 1898:

"Of the hundreds of persons who visit the Pacific slope in California every summer to see the mountains, few see more than the immediate foreground and a haze of smoke which even the strongest glass is unable to penetrate."

It's supposed to be over 106 today and the smoke is back, although evidently worse in the foothills than it is here in Davis. But the sky is hazy and we can smell it.

Owen is in the city's basketball camp in the mornings this week and really enjoyed it yesterday, but today woke up with a sore groin muscle. Hopefully he hasn't pulled it and is just feeling the effects of some different muscle group work.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Happy 4th of July

Our block held its annual 4th of July block party yesterday. We brought along this cake. It's a white cake with whipped cream (with mascarpone cheese) and berries. It was fun to make and was rapidly demolished at the party.

Our neighbors who usually bring along the fireworks did not make it this year - they were at the block party at their other house in Napa - so the usual highlight of the evening, at least on the block, didn't happen. We did go over to the junior high school to watch the fireworks, though, so that part was fun. The kids had a good time running around with the other kids from the block and eating a lot of junk.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

We can breathe again

The Delta breeze has sprung back up giving us pleasant dry weather and no more smoke. The sky is blue again. Unfortunately it is supposed to heat up by next week, but at least we're having a little breather.

This week Owen is in a science day camp at the local science museum (Explorit). He seemed to enjoy it yesterday.

The kids are starting private swimming lessons - a friend and I interviewed a bunch of students and hired someone to do lessons since the lessons through the city or other ones offered locally didn't seem to be doing too much. We started yesterday afternoon and it seemed to go pretty well. The teacher has access to an apartment complex pool that is little used and it seems like it's going to be a good place to do it. Plus there is a hot tub there, which they loved, and it is, of course, free, another big bonus.

A couple of kid stories:
At Yosemite, we were staying in the shadow of Half Dome - Curry Village was built right near it. There was a picture in the paper this weekend of a woman climbing Half Dome (which is almost vertical) who had had a heart transplant several years before. Dan showed it to the kids since we had just seen the mountain. Owen said, "Wow, that's amazing! That woman could climb Half Dome even though they cut out her heart and gave it to somebody else!"

Douglas also cracked me up this week by telling me, "Mom, I got a sprained idea."