Wednesday, August 30, 2006

First Day of School

First Day of School
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Aren't they wonderful? Ruthie is now 8 and started third grade. Gage is 6-1/2 and started first grade.

They are loving their teachers and reconnecting with good friends.

I have been spending my days in kindergarten this week. I'm helping the wonderful Mrs. Bruce this first week. It's fun and wonderful but a huge amount of work -- little ones have so much work to do in getting used to kindergarten.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


was the first day of school. Ruthie went to Mr Whiteman in 3rd grade. Gage went to Mr. Rus in 1st grade. I spent the morning in Kindergarten helping the best kindergarten teacher ever! She is the teacher both of my children had and I'm in awe of her and so thrilled that I get to learn from her. She is, of course, most grateful. The first few days of kindergarten are really, really hard work. I left with a migraine that lasted all night. It isn't that the children are terrible or anything like that. They are very, very sweet for the most part. However, there is nothing like spending the first morning of kindergarten watching all the different kids to give you a clear idea of why kids do better in school if they go to preschool.

One little boy had never been to preschool. He found everything about kindergarten frustrating and annoying. He was unhappy at the rules, didn't see any reason to listen to the teacher, got angry and whiney about everything, and required three times the intervention of any other child. Most of the kids went home very happy (but tired) at the end of kindergarten. This little boy went home puzzled, frustrated, and tired. Which isn't to say that every moment was negative. As I said, this teacher is awesome! I watched in amazement as she took a negative (his complete disregard of the bell she rang to get the kids' attention) into a positive by having him be the bell ringer. The look of joy and wonder on his face. Wow!

But, it was an exhausting day. Kindergarten is one of my favorite places to be and I love it there but never think that it doesn't require an amazing amount of energy to be there. My temple is throbbing just a little bit in writing about it. With any luck, today will go more smoothly. Fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

So, what's new with me? Wellllll,

does the word obsession mean anything? Because Greg and I are obsessed! So obsessed that I decided to make a seperate blog about it to spare the people who want to be comfortable with the delusion that my life is normal.

It's All About the Journey

In other news, school starts tomorrow. We are refinancing our house and the appraiser comes on Tuesday. We are finally finishing the trim on the outside addition. I have to get the rose garden (at least) looking lovely. I still have a ton of laundry and household stuff to do to get the house in order for the year.

But, today, we're going to go feed our obsession!

Friday, August 25, 2006

Warm ups at Soccer

Warm ups at Soccer
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
Tonight was the last night of Summer Soccer. Traditionally, the parents take the kids on in an end of session game. One might expect the parents to go easy on the little guys (this is the 6-8 year old group). Well, not these parents. We trounced the little blighters 6-3. Yours truly scored two goals! Gage scored one goal. Ruth did some great mid-field ball handling. It was really fun.

Gage had a hard time with the loss. But, that's what happens when you start the trash talk at home.

Gage to me -- "Mom, we're gonna kick your butts!"
Me -- "Gage, you can't talk that way to me."
Gage -- "But Mom, we ARE!"

Totally fun session! And, the kids are moving up to Intermediate in the Fall, I guess. Their coach is really pleased with how well they've progressed this summer. Yay!

Gage at SoccerGage is really loving soccer -- it's important to him and the highlight of his week.

Ruth enjoys it and is good at it. But, she doesn't live for it. Ruth at Soccer

Family Outing!

Family Outing!
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
We planned a final Summer Trip to Great America yesterday but Great America had other plans. They were closed. Sigh.

We decided to head over to Bonfante Gardens. I called them and it was open. Yay!

We had a great day. The kids got to play, ride, run, laugh.

I think one of my favorite moments was when we decided that we all needed a snack. We stopped at a Funnel Cake stand. Gage was tired and grumpy and announced that he was pretty sure he wouldn't like the funnel cakes or the ice cream but maybe he'd like the root beer float. Now, he's not much of an ice cream boy so we figured that part was true but not like a funnel cake, puhlease.

Of course, he took one look at it and said, "That looks good!" And, it was. It was a good day all around!


Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Google Strikes Again!


I'm not easily amazed -- or at least I don't think I am. But, I just tried out the simplest, most satisfying way to create and put up web pages imaginable -- GooglePages. It's beyond awesome.

Check out what I did in 5 minutes. [click]

I have loved Google for as long as it has existed but wow. They rockity-rock-rock. And, that's high praise coming from me!

More Procrastination

On my way to a serious blog addiction, but damn it's an easy way to maintain a website. Anyway, I used to have a website with pictures of my artistic efforts on it. But, I haven't had the time or effort for artistic lately. Still, I have the interest and desire. In experimenting with a new blog site (vox), I went ahead and set up a site just for me to talk about my artistic efforts. It's totally limited now but I'll play with it and add things as I procrastinate. Should be fun! It's certainly easy -- and free which works well with my budget!

Thanks just batty for letting me know about it. You are an awesome supporter of my procrastination efforts.

On the other hand, she's also let me know about Joe's Goals. This has helped me remember to do some of those little things we all want to do each day -- like drink water and exercise. Okay, it helped me to drink water . . . exercise, well, that might take something more direct -- can we add an electric shock component to Joe's Goals. If you aren't meeting your goal, your keyboard zaps you? That might work. Maybe.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Good news!

I had my meeting today and I'll be the Math Coordinator at my school next year. Yay! I'm happy about it. I'm also going to do student teaching in several different classrooms. So, I'm really happy about all that. Now I can relax and enjoy my summer.

Although, right now, I have a houseful of little girls which isn't particularly relaxing, I must say! :) We finally got Ruth's birthday part going on. She's having a slumber party and then a Build-A-Bear Workship visit with her friends. Yoicks! It's kind of crazy but they were all asleep finally by 10:30 or so. Man!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Shark Boy No More!

Freshly Lost Teeth
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
So, we went to the dentist today. Shark Boy got his two stubborn baby teeth pulled -- wow did they have long roots on them. Crazy!Gage's Teeth Still Smiling
Our dentist is awesome with kids and did a great job. Gage really seemed fine with it all. Hardest part was the numbness and drooling after it was all over. But, not to worry, he's still smiling! Another new smile!

Ruthie also went to the dentist. Had some surface cavities filled and then sealant.

Back to work!

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


I'm working through my coursework. Everything is due by tomorrow night at midnight. I will have it done but at this point its a race to the finish and I'm not sweating the details too much. I'd sell my soul for someone to take my kids away for the next two days but that isn't going to happen. Sigh.

Hope for the best. I'm still in my jammies and didn't even manage coffee this morning. Not a good sign. I just turned in one of the units so I took a break. I'm going to get dressed, do the dishes, make my coffee, and get back to work. Wheeeeeeeee!

Tomorrow, I have 8am dentist appts for the kids and then a meeting at 1pm with my principal to discuss what I can do at the school this coming year. Hopefully that all goes well. The rest of the time, I'm working on the chain gang.

Tote that barge. Lift that bail.

PS. Ruthie lost another tooth yesteday. She left the sweetest note for the ToothFairy. What a doll. Gage will be losing two teeth tomorrow (forcibly). The ToothFairy thing ALMOST makes up for the teeth-coming-out thing.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Camping Trip, Day Four (Packing Up and Saying Goodbye)

After an Ice Cream!Day Four. Our usual camping breakfast is "camping cereal" (ie. sugary cereal that I don't normally let the kids have) and bacon. We enjoyed this breakfast around our little table on this last morning. The other families were all packing up and heading out. We had inadvertently booked an extra day. We didn't want to spend Sunday night there but thought we'd take advantage of the extra day by staying all day and then driving home after dinner.

The last group headed off around noon. We teasingly called them The Clampetts because of their overloaded truck. We looked at each other for a few minutes in the sudden quiet of the camping area and decided to head down to Angel's Camp (about 25 miles). Greg wanted to take some pictures of Gold Country Architecture for his study of indiginous California architecture. We also figured we'd take the opportunity to get fast food for the kids. We ran into "The Clampetts" at the Burger King where we stopped. Too funny. We had lunch and then took off for a driving tour of Angel's Camp and then Murphy's. He got lots of nice detail shots.

In Murphys [click], we stopped and walked the main street looking in shop windows. The kids were pretty antsy after all that car time. We rewarded them with ice cream at the Peppermint Stick Ice Cream Parlour. Delish!

We headed back to camp later than we thought but still had time to head down to the beach Greg found at the river the day before. The water was icy cold but everyone (except me) went in over their heads. We lounged and played and explored. The kids built sand castles.Almost ready to go

As we were leaving, I saw three Ravens coming to clean the beach from other families. They were clearly a baby and two parents. I got some pictures but no good ones, I fear.

Back at camp, we finished camping while the kids played in the fort they made in the gully near our site and then curled up on our bed and read their books. Greg gave them a real thrill and let them ride in the 5th wheel (up on the bed where they were totally safe) over to the bathroom. We went potty and loaded up in the truck and headed off just as it got dark. The kids were asleep before we got to Murphys where we got gas and headed out.

We pulled into Boulder Creek around 12:30am. Yawn. But, boy is that they way to do the trip. The kids sleep, Greg drives, I talk. It's a good thing!

More Photos [click]

Camping Trip, Day Three (Hiking and Other Adventures)

Day Three dawned with a communal breakfast. I provided eggs and we also had sausage and bacon and it was very nice. I got myself a french press so that I could have good coffee but I didn't quite get it down. Still, it was caffeine and I wasn't in the mood to be picky.

A group headed off on a hike around noon. Greg and Ruth were among them. Gage and I hung out in camp and chatted with others who stayed behind. Finally, I sat down to get some studying done. But, with impecable timing, the alarm I set went off and it was time to go get the hikers. They had hiked nearly 4 miles uphill to the Visitor's Center. Gage and I headed off in the truck and we found them with almost no difficulty. We visited the Visitors Center. Gage's favorite thing was a box that said, "Caution, Baby Rattler Inside." Of course, when you open it, a baby rattle is shaking like crazy. He was pretty disappointed that it wasn't a baby snake, I'll tell you. I got to spend time with E (the 10 year old girl) looking at butterflies. We identified the beautiful white butterflies that we had seen around camp as being Pine Butterflies [click]. They were very friendly butterflies and often landed on us. We also watched a slide show/movie about the history of the park. The kids seemed to enjoy it. While we were walking on one of the trails, we heard a talk by some volunteers. While they were talking, I saw a Brown Creeper [click] in one of the trees.

Back at camp, I continued relaxing. Greg and some others went down to check out the river. Ruthie curled up in our bed in the 5th wheel reading -- it had been a long hike. When everyone got back from the river, we loaded up into cars again and headed off to Mercer's Caverns [click]. We took M and E in our truck with us. Mercer's Caverns is a beautiful cavern in the gold country that was discovered by a Mr Mercer while he was prospecting for gold. It is unlike other caverns we've been to in the past in that it is almost completely vertical. You go down 16 stories underground. Now, I didn't think about this too much. I figured I could handle it. The kids were pretty excited. Ruthie ran ahead with B and C and never really looked back. Gage, on the other hand, had a REALLY hard time. He didn't like the stairs at all. Now, neither did I -- I have a pretty good fear of heights and we've figured out that Gage does too. This was hard on both of us. Greg left Ruthie being watched by the other parents and came back to help me with Gage. He went behind and I went in front and Gage felt much safer. Some of the stairs were little more than ladders. It was rough but damned if he didn't do it. He was super proud of himself but at the end, when we say the daylight, he said, "I hate this cave. I never want to do this again. It was cool but it was scary!" Well said, little man, well said! I don't think I can adequately describe how scared he was -- he was whimpering and I gather that the look on his face would have sent me straight into tears. I kept waiting for it to level out into a big cavern but it didn't -- it was basically spelunking by ladder. Cool cave and I'm glad I did it but WOW it was rough on all of us.

We rewarded his bravery with a toy at the gift shop -- of course Ruthie got one too. We also got cool drinks because despite the 55 degree constant temperature in the cavern, all that climbing out meant that we were hot and sweaty when we hit the 90 degree air outside. While we were waiting, I saw an Anna's Hummingbird [click] sipping from their feeder.

Dinner that night was another communal effort. My part in it was the appetizers. Every family brought their own meat. We had skirt steak that had been marinating in Soy Vay [click] since Wednesday night. I brought chicken strips for the kids. We do them on the grill and then they eat which is always a nice change. The steak was delicious. Other offerings were a baked potato bar, cesear's salad, chili, and delicious desserts.

We again played games by the fire and drank too much red wine! Good times!

More Photos [click]

Camping Trip, Day Two (A Day on the Lake)

The planned activity for Day Two was a trip to New Melones Lake [click], a reservoir about 45 minutes from where we were camping. I suspected (and later confirmed) that New Melones was created when a larger dam was put up that drowned Melones Lake. These are lakes on the Calaveras River that were created by damming the river. We went with all our families and rented two patio boats for the day. We hauled all our gear (tables, food, towels, cameras, clothing, various and sundry floating devices) out there and got read for a day of fun. A patio boat is like a floating deck with a roof on it but no sides. There is an open deck at the front with a ladder for coming in and out of the water. The marina provides a bbq grill and a full tank of gas and you are off!

The first excitement was hauling all our gear down to the boat. We figured out that putting it all into our truck and then backing the truck down the boat ramp would be a good plan so we did that and then I parked the truck and walked back down. The marina had a couple of hand carts for hauling the gear. It is amazing the amount of stuff that 5 families think they need for the day.

Our cast of characters includes: our family -- the kids are 8 and 6. The F family whose son is 13 and daughter is 9. The H family who has one daughter who is 10. The B-G family with one son who is 8. And, the W-H family with one son who is 12. Each fmaily has both sets of parents with it -- so you can see why we need two patio boats! As we were loading up and going to the bathroom and getting everything ready, Greg was appointed as one of the drivers for the day. He went into the Marina store and found a terry cloth captain's hat and felt that he HAD to buy it. So, he was officially The Skipper for the day and we dubbed our boat, "A Boat Full of Gilligans." It seemed appropriate!

We headed off and found a little inlet where we could pull up kind of on shore and swim for awhile. The water was pretty warm here and most people were in the water in short order. The dads and kids headed off to swim to a nearby island and those of us still on the boats cracked open beers and got the boats organized. Later, we found a great spot to bbq in another part of the lake and had a great hamburger lunch. Everyone brought something different -- we did the hamburger patties and buns, others brought vegies and fruit, chips, and dessert. Great meal!

After lunch, we found another great place to park -- more out in the middle (away from the mud!) and everyone (but me) swam. It was delightful. Seriously -- I'm fine with not swimming. The kids would jump in off the dock and swim around. We had plenty of adult supervision and floaties and life jackets. All the kids are strong swimmers anyway so that was fine. It was a great way to spend the day.

I saw some amazing birds out there -- Great Blue Herons [click], Pileated Woodpeckers [click], and a young Bald Eagle [click] were among the ones that I identified. I also saw several smaller woodpeckers and various other water birds that I couldn't id.

At the end of the day, we headed back to camp and hung out and relaxed. We ate dinner and hung out making s'mores and chatting. While I was getting dinner ready, I stepped out of the 5th wheel around dusk to the most amazing sight. Right in front of our door was a small grove of trees -- a couple of Douglas Firs and a couple of Giant Sequoias. Dancing around in the middle of this grove were about 12 bats. They were swirling all around the space right at eye level. I could see them easily because there was another trailer behind them. It was just magical. I called one of the kids to see them that night and more of us saw them the next night but those moments when I was alone watching them . . . wow!

We were playing a really fun game in camp called 31 [click]. This, of course, was played into the late evening with much consumption of red wine by the adults after the kids went to bed.

More Photos [click]

Camping Trip, Day One (Burning Down the House!)

And, we're off. We left the house at 8:25 am -- we were due out at 8am to meet the deadline imposed by our friends and organizers. This trip is an annual get together of our friends from high school. Usually six families come together and camp, this year we only had five. The organizers this year are the high-energy ones in the group. They planned activities for every spare minute. Greg and I are more of the sit by the campfire in a hammock and snooze type of campers but we brought Greg's new camping hammock and figured we could always rebel if we needed to!

So, we leave and head off. We run into one of the families on the road. They had rented an RV for the trip and we ended up traveling together. There was lots of cell phone discussions about who was where on the road.

The big excitement on the trip was when we were leaving the tiny town of Copperopolis (this trip was in the California Gold Country). Greg heard the engine ticking like it needed oil so we pulled over to put oil in right away. So, at a wide spot in the road, we got the stuff out and proceeded to fill it up with a couple of quarts of oil. For some reason, Greg used the paper funnels he had from a gas station instead of the various choices he had of plastic funnels. Anyway, the paper funnel collapsed, oil spilled on the block, the funnel fell on the block and . . . combustion. Flames!

We stood there staring at it for what felt like about 3 minutes but I'm sure was more like an 1/8 of a second before we both sprinted for the back of the truck where the "truckbox" has a fire extinguisher. It was on Greg's side and he got it out and used it and the flames were out. Once he had it out, I decided I'd better walk away. I walked around the truck on Greg's side -- I could hear the spray of the fire extinguisher and didn't hear Greg yelling explitives so I didn't run around and grab the kids out of the truck. I walked back to our friend's RV where they were waiting behind us. They couldn't see any of this because the 5th wheel blocks their view. They did, however, see us both get out of the truck and walk to the front and then moments later we both ran back to the truck and then back to the front. They didn't know what was going on. The kids, meanwhile, could see everything through the opening at the bottom of the open hood. Gage described it as cool! But later told someone that it was pretty scary! Thankfully, there was no apparent damage to the truck and we headed off for an uneventful rest of the trip.

Setting up camp was delightful. We stayed at Calaveras Big Trees State Park [click] in Sierra Nevada mountains. We had a nice spot sort of away from everyone else but nearby. We got set up and then had the fun of visiting everyone else's camps -- the kids love that the best about group camping trips. They get to go see how Auntie L sets up her tent area and what Uncle B's RV looks like. Once everyone arrived, we picked a communal campsite and moved a table or two, set up all the chairs and Greg's hammock, and settled in for some conversation, good food, and a few well earned beers.

I heard
Common Ravens [click] calling when we arrived. I also saw Steller's Jays [click] and a Winter Wren [click]. Before bed, I saw a young Varied Thrush [click] as well who was completely unconcerned about my presence in our campsite. I had to laugh because we drove all that way to hang out near the Redwoods (okay, ours are Coastal Redwoods [click] and these were the Giant Redwoods [click]) and look at birds that I can see in my own backyard!

More Photos [click]

Monday, August 14, 2006

We're home.

All are safe and well. Our house and dogs survived. The birds were awaiting food (except the not greedy hummers who hadn't finished all their food first). We had lots of adventures. I saw lots of birds. Details will follow.

This morning, both kids let me know non-verbally what they missed the most about being home. They were both up first thing playing ToonTown [click]! Hilarious!

Greg and I missed our hot shower and waterbed. We enjoyed both last night! Woke up feeling pretty darn good!

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Off on a camping weekend!

Hurrah! We're mostly packed up in our 5th Wheel trailer. The kids and Greg powerwashed it and the truck today. Greg vacuumed the truck inside. I cooked up a storm. It's all going to be grand. We will be gone until Sunday! Can't wait!


Wednesday, August 9, 2006

Little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails.

Gage - Lego Master-in-TrainingOh, my son is adorable. Loving, kind, sweet, funny, tough, obsessed with good guys and bad guys, cars, Lego, etc.

He recently complained that he hadn't gotten any mail recently. I pointed out that you have to write letters to get them. So, we decided that on Tuesdays, we'd write letters to someone we loved. Ruthie jumped right in and wrote a letter to Mimi and Bumpa. Gage did too but then his letter became a book and he was really going to town. I gave him my stapler and let him have at it.

After lunch, he was supposed to finish up the book. But, he said he wanted to take a break. Okay, I said. And then he said he wanted to play on the computer. I asked to see the book then. Okay, he said, "Come on." "Can you bring it to me?" I asked. "Uh, no." "Why not?" "Uh, I hurt myself."


Figured it out in one. Stapler injury.

He probably was playing with it after he got tired of stapling his book shut and he stapled his finger.

The thing is that he didn't want to tell me. (That's how I know it wasn't pure accident.) He pulled the staple out and band-aided it without telling me. He was scared he'd be in trouble, scared of the blood, and just scared.

Oh, my mother heart just melted.

I sent Ruthie to get the ointment and a fresh band-aid. I held him and cuddled him and asked him if he'd done it on purpose. "No," he said with a look of stunned surprise. "Then why would you be in trouble?" "I dunno."

So, we had a talk about why Moms and Dads need to know when someone hurts himself. And, why it's better to tell Mom and/or Dad even if someone hurt himself doing something they shouldn't be doing.

I think he got it because when I took Ruthie to her music lesson, he told Dad what he'd done and showed him the now no longer bleeding injury.

And, I am left with the image of him pulling a staple out of his sweet little thumb.


Monday, August 7, 2006

A fun, rowdy night at my house

We had our BBQ tonight. Really a fun evening. Too much food. Too much wine. Games and silliness. Kids from first grade to 6th grade running rampant throughout the house. Wild.

We spent all day cleaning house -- we need to entertain more often! We actually were done about an hour early and had time to do some fiddly things which was nice. The kids worked hard with me which was nice. Greg got a ton done as well even though he had to do some work and go to a meeting with an architectural client. Wheeee!

This morning I woke up to that odd combination of a huge mess and yet a clean house. The kitchen was full of dishes needing to be done but the rest of the house needed only a quick tidy up. Very cool.

Now our focus as a family shifts to getting ready for our camping trip -- we're going with the same gang of people that were at the BBQ so it's extra good for the kids and everyone to get together.

I talked to my advisor and got good news -- I am able to do the Math Coordinator position as and classroom observations, lessons as needed, etc. So, that was great news! I am so happy. If the Math job doesn't work out, I can sub instead which is just fine. Yay!

So, moving forward one step at a time!

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Magical Night on a local farm

Went to a CD Release party at a nearby farm tonight. The band is Absinthe Glow [click] and I can't really recommend their music because we had to go when it started. Gage was tired and he gets really sensitive to loud noises when he's tired. Soooo, we left when the music started. But what a magical place -- I know these people because their daughter was in my class. They live on a beautiful old farm in the hills. They play their music in the old barn. It was lit up with candles and strings of lights. They had a theme of a 1930's carnivale. It was amazing. Two girls were telling fortunes. They had sangria and lemonade. Snacks and caramel apples (which Ruthie loved). It was simply magical. I wish we could have stayed.

We are having a bbq here tomorrow and Ruthie wants to dress as a fortune teller -- like the girls did at this party -- I tried telling her that our party won't be that kind of party. But, she's going to do the decorating. She's disappointed though. I guess we need to do a BIG deal party sometime where her creative spirit can be set loose!

Friday, August 4, 2006

My recipe for happy children!

How to make children happy!


  • 2 1/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour [click]
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract [click]
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Chocolate Chips
  • 1 cup (1/2 pkg) Heath Toffee Morsels
PREHEAT oven to 375° F.
COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate and toffee. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto Silpat lined cookie sheets.
BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on cookie sheet for as long as your children can stand it. Then move to wire rack to cool completely. Give your children a warm cookie on a napkin with a glass of milk.

My beautiful daughter and her night time escapades

Pop Star Puppy
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
This is NOT sleepwalking behavior but how can you
not love the "puppy lips" she's giving!
Last night, Ruth came out around midnight. She was half-asleep and drowsy. Greg and I were playing Toontown [click] and I wanted to show her a new feature that had been added to the game. She had to go potty while it was loading and then she came back in tears. I finally realized that she'd been sleep-walking again, wasn't half-asleep and drowsy but totally asleep and unaware. She'd woken up while going potty and been pretty scared about the whole deal. Poor thing. Took quite awhile to calm her down! Greg and I had no idea she was sleepwalking -- she hasn't done it in ages.

The first time we knew something was up about her sleeping was when she was like 11 months old. She had a night terror episode. Well, I'd imagine that the terror was more for Greg and I than her since we'll never forget it and she doesn't remember it. She woke up (we thought) screaming her head off. Terrified, frantic screaming. We were SO freaked out. Let me tell you folks that holding your sweet angel girl in your arms, whispering, "It's okay, Mommy's here" in her arms and knowing that she's not hearing you, not soothed, not comforted, not responding is not a fun thing. Greg suggested that we put on her Baby Mozart video. I looked at him with all the disbelief I could muster thinking, "As if!" and said, "Fine, go ahead." So, he did. And, within three notes, she was sitting on my lap laughing at the tv screen.


Since then, we've had many episodes of sleepwalking. She'd come out while I was working on the computer and we'd talk but I'd realize that her responses were gibberish and I'd carry her "not all there" form back to bed and tuck her in. Last night was different -- she wasn't speaking gibberish -- she wasn't saying much but she seemed fully interactive. But, clearly, she wasn't fully interactive.

They never stop surprising us, do they?

Thursday, August 3, 2006

I'm a benevolent dreamer!

Gander needs a new home!

Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
So, it's official. I'm actively looking for a home for this wonderful boy. I feel so badly about it but he deserves better than we can provide right now. Anyone interested in a 3 year old, sweet, loving, big oaf who happens to suffer from epilepsy, please let me know. We are in the greater SF bay area. I am only asking a donation to the local Labrador Rescue [click] of $100. I hope the discount will offset the price of neutering him and possible medication if that becomes necessary in the future. Direct questions to me at lizalee at

Wednesday, August 2, 2006

While I was studying . . .

steller's jay
Originally uploaded by egret's nest.
I also kept my camera with it's telephoto lens in my lap. I'm not a good photographer but I still had fun playing with it. This gorgeous and sassy Steller's Jay came to visit.

While Greg was chatting with me, a group of chickadees flew into the feeders and started squabling over position. One was so flustered that it flew over and landed on Greg. I don't know which of them was more surprised. Brazen things!

It is lovely to do my schoolwork out on my deck in the dappled sunlight with birds lighting around me for company.

There are more pictures up at Flickr -- they aren't great but still they are there!

Tuesday, August 1, 2006

Career Status

Okay, so after a day of being super sad, I'm feeling better now. Still don't want to talk about it much but there you go.

Here's the deal . . .

-I don't have my full credential yet -- just my Intern Credential
-I have minimal experience.
-The principal's job is to do the best she can for the school.
-She never promised me a job -- in fact, she has said several times to me in a pointed manner to finish my credential.
-Yes, I wanted this job but . . . I've said all along that it wasn't guaranteed and if someone more qualified applied I probably wouldn't get it.

So, someone more qualified applied and I didn't get it. It sucks but I'm not angry or bitter about it. Disappointed and sad but that's it. Really.

So, next steps.

I'm still checking job listings but there are not really any teaching jobs in the country right now and I can only look in this county because of my credential program. And, I don't really want to commute anyway . . . :)

My advisor is out of town until Saturday. I will find out from her what my student teaching options are and then I'll look at my other options. I could do substitute teaching and may well choose to do that in addition to my student teaching. We'll see.

Greg -- no surprise here -- has been AWESOME. He told me before the interview that it just didn't matter because regardless we'd make it work. Yesterday, he told me that he honestly hoped that I didn't get a full-time job at a different school because it would be way better for our family if I were home more and working part-time. I feel the same way but felt guilty about possibly not bringing in as much money and not having benefits. He's a great husband!!!

Thanks for the love and support!