Thursday, December 31, 2009

way to end things

We certainly know how to end the year with a bang. Two bangs in fact (but I'll tell it to you in three):

1. Not only do I have pneumonia, I also have acute bronchitis. Who knew my bronchi were so cute! I have tons of lovely meds to take and thankfully my live-in doctor explained to me how to use them, because my doctor I saw today certainly did not. She also decided I did not have pneumonia and said "you go and have a chest x-ray and I'll prove to you that you are not sick. You don't look sick." Can I help how vivacious I look? No. Forgive me for putting on real clothes and make-up to go out in public, Ms. Doctor, whom I am not excited to follow-up with in the next two weeks. As it turns out, the radiologist did find that there was in fact pneumonia. Hmph.

2. Nate is on call beginning last night all the way to Monday morning. We knew this was coming because he was off for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is generally no problem, we just make no serious plans and are flexible. Having two cars makes this a little more liveable, but...

3. Ooops. While getting off the ramp to come home this afternoon, Nate's car decided it was done and completely stopped working. This is the car we acquired during our famous car incident in 2007. It currently has its bumper held up with industrial-strength twisty-ties (Nate is confident this has nothing to do with the car's refusal to work). AAA came and towed her away. We're hoping whatever it is, she can be coaxed into working for the next 6 months. Otherwise we'll have to make some rash decisions, and you know how much we love to do that.

Needless to say, we are ready to welcome 2010. In fact I think we're having New Year's Day dinner tonight, instead of tomorrow - just to show the New Year how wonderful we think it will be. Its got to be the New Year somewhere, right?

Wishing all of you clear lungs, unrestricted bronchi, and cars that work,

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

ocean-front property

In Arizona!!!

After much debate, many discussions, some fact-finding missions, a few treks across the desert, heart-burn, and early stages of pneumonia, we finally came to a conclusion. Any of the jobs we were contemplating would be fine, but only one would put us near family; and that is something we've wanted for years.

So sometime this coming summer (most likely in July) we'll be moving somewhere in the greater-Phoenix area (because that's what you want to be doing in Phoenix in the summer - moving in the 115 degree heat, right?) We're excited for this new chapter. In the meantime we'll remind you, you've got 6 more months to come and visit us in San Diego, after that you might as well come on over to the desert. I hear its blooming as a rose.

Monday, December 28, 2009

hot news

First of all - I'm on the mend.

Secondly - we've made The Decision.

Can you guess what it is?

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

the present

Yesterday, (after weeks of feeling not so good, coughing like crazy, but still determined to carry on because its Christmas y'know and someone has to do it (and do it right), and get the kids to their grandparents' house on Monday (which consisted of a 7 hour drive - I still think I deserve a medal for that one - it should say "I'm an over-determined Mom and you need to make me take a nap") I finally went to the doctor (they have those here in Phoenix) and after 3 minutes of being with me he said:

"You have pneumonia."

He also told me I coughed a rib out of place. Nice.

He then wrote me for some meds, including a zippy cough syrup that I am still hungover from (but it was worth it), and told me I should lay low.

Nate comes in tonight. He can do the rest of Christmas. And fortunately, he is very happy to do so. Jimmy is hanging out with his grandpa today (they went to the kids' gym and will run Christmas errands and probably eat chicken nuggets). Grace is at the Princess and the Frog with Nana. Later she'll meet up with my brother's family and have a sleepover with Jenna.

As for me, I'm finally going to take a nap.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

so tinsel

Grace and I saw the Nutcracker today! It was only planned yesterday and I am so thrilled we got to go. Grace loved it. During the Arabian Coffee movement she leaned over and in only a whisper that a kid could do (y'know, the kind the whole theater can hear) she said, "Mom, This Is AWESOME!!" And, well, it was.

We went to get our Mezzanine level tickets at the Will Call window. We were prepared with our binoculars. (I thought we'd appreciate them being in the second row of the balcony). The woman at the window said, "Do you want better seats? Just say yes." We got 5th row Center!!! We were so close I could see a thread hanging off a dancer's costume. It was fantastic! When we sat down I said to Grace that I had never had such good seats before, she leaned over and said, "Me neither!"

After the ballet they had a Sugar Plum Party where you could go and meet the dancers. We saw the darling Bon Bons, Clara and the Prince (Grace's favorite, I think her new career goals involve being Clara at some point), a Flower, Dew Drop, and the Sugar Plum Fairy! She told the Flower she thought she was a great dancer. She told Clara and the Prince she loved the show. And she told the Sugar Plum Fairy that she "did a pretty good job." Seriously, right before I took this picture she told the principal dancer that she did a "pretty good job." It was so tinsel.

Love it!
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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

the cut

This picture did not make the Christmas card. Its not the best picture of any of us, but its Nate's favorite. I think because it somehow sums up our little family so well.

We've been making some big decisions around here - mainly about the next step, the next job, and where we'll be. Each choice has great benefits. Each choice has consequences. Keep us in your prayers, won't you? We sure would appreciate it.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

8 days of lights and potato pancakes

As many of you know, it is Hanukkah! To celebrate this ancient holiday, Nate thought it would be fantastic to make potato pancakes. I thought it only appropriate to serve a pork roast along side those fried latkes. I suspect this may embody any chutzpah I have. I hope this isn't blasphemous to any of my readers and that you might just say I'm a bit goyish.

I am on the mend, but have been stuck inside for far too long. This has given me ample opportunity to study the Yiddish handbook.


Friday, December 11, 2009

my boy

Jimmy has decided to sit by me and watch a movie. And he insists on holding my hand. This is making me feel less Grinchy by the minute.

The Grinch

I'm sorry to report to you Mr. Grinch has found his way into my home. Instead of stealing our decorations, he had pity on us, as we really don't have many. But instead he brought a doozy of a sinus infection. Its very hard to remain Christmas-y when I feel my head will burst into two. Its also hard to think of things to blog about other than how horrible I feel. If you find it in your heart, please entice the Grinch away from here. He's been here much too long and needs to go elsewhere (or at least have his change of heart pronto).

Friday, December 4, 2009

when daddy's away...

Poor Nate is freezing in Salt Lake this weekend. Some people are 'freezing' here in San Diego, too. Though I must point out these people are not us. Its been in the low to mid-sixties here and frankly I think its perfect. Lots of folks who live here though are putting on their parkas (for real). Many have turned on their heat. Our home has been a comfortable 65 and I love it.

To party on this Friday night in the absence of The Great Defender of Fun, the kids and I ordered pizza, have watched many an episode of Little Einsteins (well, I read a book instead), and washed it all down with a shared slice of chocolate cake (or brown cake, whatever you want to call it).

Tomorrow will involve wearing pajamas most of the morning, a Christmas movie, pizza leftovers, four fabulous hours either spent with a babysitter (if you are James or Grace) or Christmas shopping (if you are me), dinner with the other Pages in town, and hopefully some on time bedtimes for one and all.

What are you doing this weekend?

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

the turkey did me in

We had a fantastic Thanksgiving. Giving Thanks has tired me out. I'm hoping to catch up soon.

Thursday, November 19, 2009


Rain or snow, sleet or fog, this boy here is always on the job.

Sometimes there are railway emergencies that need to be tended to stat.

At least he attended to business before he tended to train business.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Jimmy' girl and Jon's girl

We dropped Grace off at school this morning. As soon as the door was closed and we began to drive Jimmy said, "I aldeready miss Gracie. I aldeready miss my girl."

I suppose they've had a lot of bonding time lately. You can't help but feel close to those you conk out with in the back seat of the car strapped into car seats attempting to catch flies while your parents zoom through the desert in the night hoping to reach your Nana's house before your mom resorts to singing Bon Jovi songs to keep herself an attentive driver.

Thanks to Jon, we successfully navigated an unmarked detour (realizing the big trucks are most likely headed to the interstate, I stuck with them (and several other cars decided to stick with me) and wouldn't you know my new truck driving friends lead us straight through desert farmland right to the interstate - love those truckers, they won't lead you astray) and pulled into the drive right around midnight.

As a side note, during the next few days Grace sang "Never Say Goodbye" a lot.

More details and facts from our fact finding trip are bound to appear on this blog at least sometime in the future.
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

in transit or J is no van gogh

J: I not go to preschool.
Me: Its Tuesday and we go to preschool on Tuesdays.
J: I not want to go to preschool AGAIN!!!!!!
Me: Why not? Its fun! And you can see your teacher. She's so nice.
J: No, she bad.
Me: She's bad?! How come?
J: I. DON'T. WANT. TO. PAINT!!!!!!!!

We arrive in his classroom -

Teacher: Hi Jimmy! Its so good to see you! Do you want to paint?!
Me: Uhh, no. He rather emphatically explained he was not interested in painting.
Teacher: Uhh...
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talk about trouble...

These five wild ones met and havoc wrecked all over Peach Tree Lane last week. May I say, these darling trouble makers make mischief look good!

We somehow managed to coerce them into some family pictures. That is a significant accomplishment. I think you should all take note of that!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Monday, November 2, 2009

hanging in the family tree

What happens when the entire family gets together for 24 hours? Hilarity, fun, wild times, tasty food, trick or treating cousins, grown ups in coustume, and very tired (but happy) kids.
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Friday, October 30, 2009

we want facts and we will find them

Tonight begins the beginning of another fact finding mission. As you may remember, our stint here in San Diego is most likely temporary. There are a few places on our short list and two of them happen to be in Phoenix and Dallas.

Tonight we trek east to Phoenix. The great thing about this is that our entire families (both Pages and Morrisons) will be within 1 hour and 10 minutes of each other. So we'll be doing Page stuff on Saturday and Morrison stuff on Sunday.

Later on in the week, Nate and I will visit the great state of Texas to see what its all about. Should be interesting.

I'll try and keep you posted.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

emergency preparedness

This past Monday night, Grace was in charge of our family lesson. She was supposed to teach us all about being prepared for emergencies, what emergencies are, and things we can do to be safe. This was done in light of a recent church activity for the children on the same subject. The following is her lesson she wrote out. I wanted to share it with you so you can feel just as safe as we do:

Today I will talk to you about emergencys.
Emergencys are great danager.
There could be a fire tomarrow!
You never know when a emergency comes!
Like an earthquake or a tsunanis or a fire or an
They can cause trouble.

Whatever you do, don't get
near them!
They can hurt you.
Reilly bad.
Relly super, superduper bad!!!!!

Raise your hand if you want to do an activity.

An activity?! I sure hope the activity involves putting us all in the middle of a danger-free zone with our 72 hour kits, haz mat outfits, swine flu masks, and gallons upon gallons of water. Well, and a little chocolate wouldn't hurt either.


Super J (revisited), Witchy Woman, Leopard Girl
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Monday, October 26, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a taste for work

Obviously Gracie thinks this gal is something special. Well she sure is! Besides being our favorite grandma in Chicago, my mom, and the go-to-gal for all things Beatles and/or chocolate, she is a published author! Mom has been a career coach and resume writer for years. She and two of her colleagues have put some of their wisdom and best practices into print. And if that isn't enough, there are some tasty dishes to cook up to help you along the process of job seeking.

A Taste for Work is a delicous read. And if you aren't in the market for work, you certainly are for some serious chocolate cake. See, this book fits all your needs. Click here to get your needs met!

Way to go Mom!! We're so proud of you!!!

Sunday, October 18, 2009


What do you mean there are four whole quarters to this game?!
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Monday, October 12, 2009

neither by plane nor by train

This is me on a date. I thought I cleaned up rather nicely.

On this particular occasion, we were meeting some ENT friends to ferry across the harbor, eat dinner and ferry back. Due to some major miscommunication we arrived at the wrong ferry crossing, took a peddle-taxi (you know, the kind with guy who rides a bike with you in a trailer attached) to the other ferry location, missed that ferry, then took a cab across the harbor to the 'island' (sorry, its really a peninsula, but island does sound much cooler). At this point we finally met up with the friends, had dinner, and then took another ferry back to our car.

Lessons learned:

1. Nate and I should really get out more. Its a lot of fun.
2. When someone tells you there is only one ferry, they are probably wrong (I feel I must clarify that neither Nate nor I were the ones to make that claim).
3. Fancy restaurants aren't always what they are cracked up to be. This one was beautiful, the food isn't even worth discussing.
4. Peddle taxis aren't as much fun as one would think. You never know when the driver might hit a curb (or something else).
5. Ferry boats are lots of fun (and so very inexpensive). We are certainly going to do that again. Prepare yourselves (those of you who choose to visit us), you will find yourself on a ferry for sure!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

conversation tactics

If only you were pool-side today. You would have heard the following interchange:

Grace: "Mom, you look like a short, fat woman underwater! No, really!"
Me: "Uh, thanks."

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday check-in

Thought you should all know I am quite content with life at the moment. Grace is having picture day at school and there was no argument over hair or clothes. Nate is happy, he gets to do a great case this afternoon. Jimmy is sleeping on the living room floor (at least its a nap, even if its not in his bed). And I actually went to the temple this morning. I suppose it has helped me put things in perspective.

Hoping all of you have found contentment this afternoon.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

the apple didn't fall far from the tree

This young gentleman takes a bit after his mother. He loathes change, thus his dislike for preschool. I think someone should write a picture book version of "Who Moved my Cheese?" Perhaps it could be called, "Who Moved my Cheese-Stick?"

He loves his teacher and calls her "my girl, Mrs. ___." She's joined the ranks of "my girl.." with Grace and I. She should take note of the company she keeps in that category. He has friends at school. He is excited to check on the preschool pet turtle, Frankie. He is happy to play with the toys and even does the art project. He participates at circle time. He sings the songs. But he doesn't ever want to go back.

There's another little guy having a harder adjustment. Apparently last week this guy just started crying. Jimmy walked up to him and gave him a big hug to "feel him better."

He may not eat any vegetables, but at least he's empathetic.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

hacking or stuffy? come to SD

This is the best weekend in San Diego to choke on a fish bone, stick some tiny legos up your nose, or tell you mother you stuck a dried bean down your ear about a month ago.

Its the national ENT academy meeting! Right here at the convention center. (I think it has had just enough time to recover from comic com, they've cleared out all of the Spock impersonators - well at least the ones that aren't Elvis on the weekend and the Storm Troopers have headed up the coast to San Fransisco).

Woo hoo

Actually, I do think its rather cool because several friends and acquaintances are making their way to this fine city and we get to see them and visit!

Last night Nate got to play chauffeur and tour guide to some serious fancy-pants ENTs. In his car (well, really mine. I just didn't think the Fancies would appreciate being driven in a car with its front bumper being held up by industrial-strength (read: those annoying ones that you wrestle with on Christmas morning which are binding your child's new toy to its original packaging) twisty-ties), what was I saying? Oh right, in his car was a fancy doctor from the UK, one from Germany and one from New Zealand. His favorite line of the night was as he was driving them back to their various hotels, they passed the temple on Hwy 5. Dr New Zealand said, "is that there the Mormon temple?" Nate responded in the affirmative. Then Dr NZ said, "Crikey."

Tonight we're meeting up with the family that has graciously offered to host our belongings we left behind in St Louis. Trouble is, it seems that its up to me to figure out where we're going to dinner. That will be four adults: two eager to discuss an assortment of doctorly things, two who are weary from child-related things, and four kids: one exhausted from not sleeping well last night, one thrilled with life and needing to tell everyone everything about her world in the 2nd grade, and two zonked from a day's adventure at Sea World. Any suggestions?!

ps did I mention its Endoscopy Day? Where's your party hat?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

we're certainly not in Kansas anymore

I realized tonight that I don't live on the outskirts of what most people would really categorize as a ghetto. This came to my attention as Nate and I were sitting on our balcony which overlooks an under-used fire alley (this is a paved driveway to the main road (and really, it is not main but there are actual cars that drive on it) that is blocked off for traffic and fire and other emergency personnel can use it in case of well, a fire or emergency).

As we sat there an individual (cloaked in black I might add) walked up the drive to the gate and retrieved paper bags (grocery variety). This person (it was difficult to determine gender) then took the bags and hid them behind the bushes lining the drive. Our balcony light was out (its easier to see the stars if there are any, but alas there were not) and no one else was around. We were the only witnesses to this incident.

What could be in those bags? Well certainly drugs. It must be some crazy covert operation and anytime now someone will nonchalantly walk up the drive and pick up the bags. Action needed to be taken.

Armed with a flashlight Nate set out on a most dangerous task - to investigate the illicit bags and retrieve my goggles I left behind at the pool (well, he was going out anyway, so I asked him if he wouldn't mind getting those). He hopped the fence and investigated. What did he find you might ask? Bags of weed? (there is a lot of that here) How about some harder stuff?

No. It is just grocery sacks full of empty bottles. Call off the narcotic squad. Don't worry about those overhead helicopters either (those are just from Miramar). We just have empty bottles in totally recyclable paper sacks behind some bushes.

Although, they are quite serious about their recycling here, I bet the Reuse, Renew Recycle Squad is on its way. I'll keep an eye out for their green lights and sirens.

more visits

This past weekend we welcomed yet another visitor, my mom. We shopped, we dined, we visited (and that was just all on Friday). She had to go back home today. Sure makes me realize how far away we are. I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving when she and Dad will come back and visit.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

me gusta mucho

Thanks to Gina for finding this gem. It reminds me of the 4 excellerated Spanish classes I took and how un pocito I recuerdo.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

rock on

One begins early in life to live up to his name.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Nate and I are mean parents. We insisted our children go outside today and and walk on the nature path in the sunshine and 68 degree weather. We're just terrible.

Friday, September 18, 2009

so worth it

According to my scientific research, jarred spaghetti sauce and pasta will only delight individuals who are 7 years old and under. If you aim to please a more mature crowd, please go ahead and make your own sauce. You'll be so thankful you did and you will not be tempted to order some take-out after the children are in bed.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

date night

A few weeks ago Nate and Grace went on a date to check out the 'Owl Prowl.' Sadly the owls were not to be seen (they saw 3 bats instead). Grace loved it. I wish I had a picture of the two of them sporting their binoculars. This one with their matching yogurt cups will have to do.

Once upon a time...

In a land far, far away a Nana, an Aunt, some cousins, and long-lost forever friends came to visit.

There were -

Lots of cheese sticks...

Stories to read...

Bonfires on the beach...

Old memories and old companions...

Marshmallow maneuvers...

Sandy s'mores...

Very filthy little boys...

Beach snuggling...

Dramatic moments...

and some sight-seeing...

After several days of fun and sun the visitors road off into the sunset.

I am still hoping for a fairy godmother to come and help me with my tangle of laundry and linens!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

we're still here

Life has been moving at a fast pace. This is good for many reasons. However, the laundry, dishes, cleaning (unfortunately all necessities of life) are backed up. We are beyond exhausted. But - we've had lots of fun. I'll have to tell you about sometime when I wake up.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


We are tough - grrrrrrrr

We are intrigued and delighted by nature

We are generally not afraid to touch slimy things

The buzz of a helicopter in the air is music to our ears

We take crab and sea anemone hunting (ahem, searching) seriously

It often involves sticks

Tide-pooling is a lot of fun, but tide-pooling with your brother and his kids is even better.