Thursday, October 22, 2009


  • I’ve been using every available computer time for the past 8 days in creating the first of 3 photo books. I’m in the zone! The first one is the largest—about 300 pictures from my trip to NYC and Paris with my niece. I haven't tried other products, but sh*tterfly is making it easy to artistic. Boy, are my nieces going to be excited at Christmas! I can hardly keep it a secret.

  • Last Sunday, we went to a pumpkin patch. T played on all the slides and jumpy houses until he was covered in sweat and smiles. And we found two perfect pumpkins for carving! (pictures to follow)

  • The slug comes occasionally, but doesn’t seem to get much done on the club house. Hence, reinforcing the nick name. But it’s too late in the progress/process to hire someone else. I’m getting sooo tired of this project. (pictures to follow soon-ish)

  • T will be a zombie for Halloween. I usually dress up too, but I think I’ll just be wearing a black T-shirt that says “Happy Halloween” this year. Maybe I’ll paint a pumpkin on my face….

  • I’m really digging the volunteer time at T’s school. I work with 5th graders (about 10 years old) with reading—and most need help. It’s so rewarding to see the improvements. And I’m finding and donating clothing items and other sundries to the Student Store. Mom has been EXCELLENT at scouring Goodwill and Savers stores for cheap items. This is a store where kids can spend their “Tiger Tickets” for merchandise. They earn the Tiger Tickets with good behavior and making good choices. Plus, I’m still in T’s class, mostly helping the readers with the greatest need.

  • My brother still has not looked for a job. I’ve given him until April 1st to pull it together, but either way, he’ll be finding a new place to live. Tough love, baby.

  • I did a voice over for a presentation on infertility for those that are looking to start treatment. I was a little nervous and sometimes I stuttered, but, it turned out pretty nice. Now, not only can I be found on the Internet, but one can also hear my voice (even though I’m anonymously speaking!). Well, I know it’s me. :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The Tooth Fairy And The Storm

Everyday, all day, T asks to play a game--any game. If there's no game handy, he'll make up a game with a handful of rules that I have to pay attention to, but not necessarily him (since it's his game, he argues). Oh and sometimes I get to make up a rule too, but he gets veto power if he would rather another rule take it's place.

His favorite games lately are "Two square" which is really taking turns hitting a a big rubber ball on a wall. And lots of "rock, paper, scissors" (aka ro-sham-bo)to determine who gets to serve this time. Often we have to do this multiple times to see who wins twice. He also loves "Hang man", which is great for learning about spelling and penmanship. And it works during car rides too. Then there's any kind of cards. He's great at dealing and getting better at shuffling. Again, the rules might change as we go along, but he's pretty good at remembering the changes and reminding ME of them too. Often. He loves to be in charge and in control. Hmmmm. Where does he get that from? He also loves to play games on That's such a great site for kids. He really doesn't need me to play, but loves having my attention and the inevitable and frequent cheering I always do.

Where is she going with this?, you might be thinking...

Anyway....yesterday we were playing Two Square up against the garage door. Whenever we play, he's come to know that there is always something I have to do and play time will be cut shorter than he wants (Someone has to clean the house and cook dinner, not that he cares.). This time we were using a soccer ball as the favorite rubber ball popped under the stress of finding a big fat thorn on our lemon tree. I was able to play much longer this time because in my mind I knew I was going to make some sort of dinner out of the odd ends of left overs. (It ended up being Tuna Melts with tomatoes--yummy!) After a good long time of play, Oma drove up for a visit. It's always fun when my mom comes. We all decided to take a break and have a cup of tea. Mom also brought a dark chocolate bar to share along side the tea. In short time, tea was served and the bar pieced out. I barely sat down to chit chat with mom, when suddenly T yelled out "Mom!" He was sitting on the couch (against my better judgement because I could immediately see the tea being spilled all over) watching The Aristocats while he kept one ear on our conversation with his tea cup balanced on a pillow on his lap. What happened???, I think, as my mind races a thousand directions.

Well, thank goodness the tea (tepid with milk and sugar, btw) was still clutched properly in his little fingers. But the other hand was on his mouth along with a curious look on his face. Apparently he had bitten into the square of chocolate and that was all it took to knock out that slightly wiggly tooth he's had. It was nearly out. Oh, I could hardly stand it. I wanted to just yank it, but he said, "No. I can do it." The more he touched it the more it bled. And I SO wanted to "help" him. My brother said he'd give him a dollar if T could pull it out. And then my mom chimed in and said she would pony up a dollar too. Well, now it's ON! He put his tea carefully on the table and went to the bathroom mirror to check it out. Yep. It was nearly out. T was excited but also fearful of potential pain...and blood. I said I just want to feel it (but I guess he knows me by now), so he reminded me, again, that he could do it. Oooooo. Ok, hands off.

And then, suddenly, it was out. In his little hand. Baby tooth #5. He was so proud. See...

And he received his booty of $2 for his courage. He asked if he could put it in his piggy bank and, of course, I said yes. He doesn't really have to ask but it makes it more ceremonious if everyone comes to watch. He placed the treasured tooth in his silver tooth box and placed it under his pillow. Surely, the tooth fairy will come tonight and then he'll get even MORE money!
T decided he didn't want to eat any more of that chocolate. Clearly, it was too hard for his little teeth. But he finished his tea. And the next cup too.

But what about the storm? It's coming.

For days we've been warned by every meteorologist about the coming storm. It's a doozy. The first one of the season and it's going to be dumping MAJOR rain. It's coming from the North, so it'll be colder than normal and it's mixing with tail of a typhoon from the South, so LOTS and LOTS of rain. Well, that's good news for our perpetually parched earth. We are always being reminded to conserve water--shorter showers, grass is not as thirsty as you think, please plant drought-friendly plants, etc. So rain is welcome, right? But oh! This will be a BIG storm, so get ready. Pick up your sand bags, clear the gutters, don't drive if you don't have to. It was so nice on Monday--the calm before the storm. By the evening the big dark clouds were rolling in off the Pacific Ocean, just like the satellite pictures predicted. It was kinda cool to anticipate. I kept looking outside to see if it hit yet. I put the boy to bed at the usual time, and sat down at my computer to organize and arrange my pictures. I have 3 projects I am making myself do--online prepared scrap books. I've procrastinated enough! It's my first time, but I've seen others do it and it turns out really nice. Two books will be on the vacations I've taken each of my nieces (Paris and then Kauai), which I'm very late in creating. And the third one is for my son. I plan to make a homemade book with pictures and narration on "THE STORY OF ME, and how I came to be.". It's a convoluted story and I want it to be told like a children's bedtime story, to be enjoyed with actual pictures of me and all the people who were key in each stage of the challenges I'd overcome to create him. And of course, lots of pictures of him. In my mind, it's beautiful. Hopefully, it will be just as nice in reality.
Anyway...I went to bed way after midnight. No storm yet.

But by morning it was raging!! I know--rain is no big deal to most of the world, but we Californians are wimps. We don't get much for weather (which is why we all love to live here) so when we get RAIN that looks like it's coming down in BUCKETS--dense enough to see the wind gust and's something to stare at in awe and amazement. All kinds of road problems ensue, power outages, flash flood warnings, downed trees, and mud slides. It's something we should be better prepared for, but every year, we have the same troubles. I love the smell outside when it rains. Everything seems and clean. I was enjoying this storm.

T woke up a little earlier than usual for school. Immediately he started playing a game--and goading me into playing too. This time: hang-man, while I fixed his lunch and our breakfasts. Suddenly, he twists around and says, "Mama! I wonder if the tooth fairy came!!!"

Oh crap.

I'd been so busy with all the pictures and uploading and arranging, that I totally forgot to be the Tooth Fairy!

Think. Quickly!

"Um,' really stormy out and it's been that way all night. I know sometimes the Tooth Fairy can't make it in really rainy, stormy weather."
"But, she's invisible!" he says.
"Well, when it rains a lot her wings get wet and she can't fly."


He says, after the slightest pause..."Well, let's go check!"


So we both go and find the little silver box under his pillow. And, wouldn't you know it? The tooth was still in the box. (I felt awful. Bad mama. Bad, bad mama.)

But T just shrugs and says, "Well, that's OK. I already have 2 dollars, so I that's alright."

"Yeah", I say, "But more money is even better! I bet she'll come tonight, if the weather is better." He agrees, but he's not phased or upset. But I am.

The storm seems to have passed now, and the weather is agreeable for the Tooth Fairy to make it to our house. She's coming tonight. For sure.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

A Letter From My Son

Last Sunday, while in the shower (scrubbing my filthy-but-thank-god-he's-home cat), my son came to me and said, "Mama, when you are done with your shower, come and look at what I did on the computer." He seemed quite proud of himself. I told him I would be there soon.

A few minutes later, he escorted me towards to computer screen. And this is what he typed, all by himself. He even opened a new Word document, all on his own.

I love you mom because you are sweet to me and you are not being mean to me. the end thank you. because you are being nice to me. ok its the end. bye bye. Seallater. ok now i am done.

I love you. ok iam done.

Pretty good for a 6 year old!
What a little angel. It's moments like this that make up for all the difficult times when I'm scratching my head for the next best disciplinary action I can take to get his behavior to improve.

I think we're doing OK.

ok i am done.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


My kitty has been found!!!!
I worked all day today and went straight over to my parents to pick up my son.
After dinner, we headed home.
When we arrived, there was a note taped on my front door that read:
"Good news! Hans has been found! He is being housed at Mimi's house. Love, Pat and Jen."
Mimi lives 2 doors down from us!
I freaked out and immediately started squealing that Hans had been found. T thought I was hurt at first and then he was just as giddy as I was. We took off running down the street to collect our kitty cat. But Mimi wasn't home. Bummer. But I can't blame a girl for going out on a Saturday night! I left her a note that she should call me when she gets in and that we were SO HAPPY Hans was found!
In the mean time I went to my neighbors, Pat and Jen, to get the scoop. Apparently Hans has spent the majority of the past 6 days in the backyard of my other neighbor--2 doors down and across the street. Bob had noticed him in his backyard last Sunday (the day he went missing) and then he was gone a couple days, but came back. Bob didn't know he was missing. I hadn't gone out to blanket the street and had only told 4-5 neighbors so far. I had planned to go door-to-door tomorrow and put the word out to look for a cat I was sure would be dead (or near dead) at this point. Today Bob became curious about this kitty hanging out in his backyard and decided to pick up the cat and look at the collar ID. Then he walked to the front. My other neighbors suddenly started chatting "There's Hans! He's been missing!" Bob hadn't realized I was missing my pet. Apparently, Hans was loving all the attention, according to Pat and Jen.
Mimi called me a little later and I came over to get him. His paw pads are a little worn and he's very, very skinny--but he seems totally fine. Mimi said he ate a whole bowl of cat food at her house. When I saw him he just sat there in the middle of Mimi's room. But after 30 seconds or so, he walked over to me--and I scooped him and up!
I'm SO happy my neighbors were all looking out for me and my kitty.
Finally, I know what happened to Hans. He survived for 7 nights and 6 days on his own, just a stone's throw from home. I don't think he had any food, but must have found enough water to keep him alive. He did much better than I thought he would.
Big, big sigh.....
Welcome home Hans.
The pressure over my heart is lifted and life in our house is as it was.
Darn good.


Nada. No kitty.
I've posted on Craig's list, the Humane Society and 2 different Animal shelters. I've visited the shelters too--he's not there.
It's been 6 nights and he's still missing. I imagine the worst--either some psychopath is torturing him to death or he's been killed by a car. He had a collar on so if someone with a heart found him, they'd have called me by now. I wish I'd had him "chipped". Then I could rest assured that if any shelter found him, they could easily reunite us.
What ever has happened, I need to know. I need to see his body, so I can know the last place he went to.
I used to think of my cat as just a cat--plucked out of a litter of other cats. Same blank look on his face as every other cat and behaved not unlike a ba-zillion other cats in personality. But after searching through SO many cats, I've realized that MY cat was very unique. A needle in a haystack. And no other cat will do. Finding HIM and only him will be able to quell this empty pressure sitting on my heart. I can't stop glancing everywhere when I drive through my neighborhood. I need to find him.
I'm losing hope that he might just wander back to home, but please. Let me find him SOMEwhere.
T is not upset at all, though. His first response to realizing Hans was gone was, "Well, I guess we just have to get another one!" He just doesn't seem to care one way or another. I think he's concerned that I might be sad over our missing pet (although I noticed he calls Hans "your cat", instead of owning him also). The truth is he's been more fearful of being nipped by our cat than had the opportunity to bond with him. Only once was he brave enough to allow Hans to sit on his lap. I took pictures of the event--not thinking it wouldn't ever happen again. T is afraid of all animals and goes into a near panic if a dog wants to play and chases him or gets too close and tries to lick him. I think he's settling down now and doesn't panic quite so quickly, but it's a slow process.