Monday, April 21, 2008

Right Turn Ahead

This weekend we went to the Poppy Preserve in Lancaster CA to see the wild golden poppies. Now in my minds eye I thought there would be a plethora of of poppies and it would be beautiful but nothing truly prepared me for the sight. We loaded up the car and packed all the camera gear into the back of the car went and got raped at the gas station. Brad programmed the address into the gps and we had her (gypsy) tell us where to go. Now we often refer to days like this as going on a photo safari but it has never really been much of a safari before. We got off the freeway and headed up the small road to the poppy reserve. As we got closer we started to see splashes of color along the road and grew excited. Then we got to an old rusty farm and we had to stop and take pictures but it was mutually decided that we would continue on and see the reserve and then stop at the farm on the way home. So we continued up the hill. We were now at breath taking gold fields and sure enough Gypsy told us to turn right. Now this was a narrow barely paved road that looked ominous. There was old discarded furniture and Lord knows what else along the side of the road. I asked Brad if I should continue on the road because it just seemed wrong. He showed me that we were in the green area of the reserve according to Gypsy and this is where she told us to drive. so onward I drove thankful for my little SUV. Within minutes the paved road ended and we were on a quarry of dirt roads. We were driving right through the middle of the poppies (on dirt roads) and the view was incredible.

The Road less travelled

For Dad

Brad was so excited that we were really off roading our SUV but still we were searching for the entrance to the preserve. We finally got right up to the area that is the preserve and realized that we would have to go back to the main road and go down a bit more to get to the real entrance. We got there and parked and started out to get the boy his midday meal. We fed the boy and had him bundled up tight and started to push the stroller to the trails. It was so cold and windy though that it was really uncomfortable and I began to worry that it wasn't safe for the baby. We both decided that perhaps hiking the trails wasn't the best plan. So we loaded back into the car and moved all the camera equipment to the front seat with Brad and went back to the dirt roads to continue our safari. We drove up the hill as far as we could and would stop from time to time for pictures. I had to get at least one picture of Elijah in the middle of the poppy fields so I got him out of the car and woke him up and sat him in the poppies. He didn't enjoy that part of the day as much as we did.

Elijah at the Poppy Preserve

I don't much care for this wind

So we finished up and headed down the hill. We stopped at the farm and got some great pictures. We took turns going in to take pictures while the other stayed in the car with the boy. I went first and so when I came back I took pictures of Brad taking pictures from the drivers seat.

Brad and the tractor

SO we finished the day off driving through the back roads back to civilization and had dinner at Claim Jumper. It was a great day and we hope that we will make it a tradition that E and whoever else comes along will enjoy as part of their childhood. I know that I look back on the adventures like this my parents drag us on (sometimes while we screamed, pouted, and fought in the backseat of the car) as some of my favorite memories and I hope that we can create that for our family. I hope that they find the adventure in the little things and are able to always see the beauty. Most of all I hope they learn that sometimes the adventure is all in the getting there.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Things that make you say Duh

The other day while surfing the net I glanced at what was at that moment the top news story. The story was that scientists have predicted that there will be a big earthquake in California. Now being a Californian this is something I am always aware of and if we can now predict them it will help our sanity a lot. So I click on the article only to find that they say we are going to have a 6 or higher earthquake in the next 30 years they are 99.97% sure. Really I am 35 years old and there have been at least 3 earthquakes that are above that I remember so telling me some time in the next 30 years there will be another really isn't shocker. Please don't bother me with this nonsense until you can give me more precise details.

My mom has made it home from her European trip. She had a great time and is probably still sitting at her computer sifting through photos of her adventures. Hell I may even have to set her up on flickr so she can share some of these pictures.

Lastly I am going to do a shameless product plug for no apparent reason. We have a Ceiva picture frame and love love love it. It is a digital picture frame that can be updated over the internet. It uses a dial up connection to download pictures and add it to your frame. No computer knowledge is needed. We have them for Brad's grandma and grandpa both in nursing homes. They love that they get new pictures of the baby from across the country daily (or whenever we send them) Anyway the frames have become so popular in our family that everyone has one except my oldest brother. My Mom every time I talk to her comments on the frame and then says "I need to get one for A" Anyway I have no affiliation with the company nor am I receiving anything for saying this but if you have people that are nagging that they want pictures this is a great way to always have fresh pictures displayed.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

The Dope and the Pope

So I was trying to watch the news yesterday and it was being interrupted by the Pope celebration at the white house. At the end of the Pope's Speech the President stood and turned to the Pope and said "stay here there will be one more song" The tone in which the president said it seemed some what condescending, like you are talking to a senile old fool. Then they both sat in the chairs and waited for the song. There was a long pause of weird silence while the song did not in fact start. I started to giggle look yet again it is Our Dope with their Pope. The song did eventually start but I couldn't help but wonder if the choir was scrambling to sing something anything there because they weren't suppose to sing something but the President said there was a song so they had to sing something. Then the more I sat there the madder I started to get. How much of our tax dollars were going to pay for this religious leader to be in our country and visit our leaders. Excuse me but don't we have a separation of church and state. Do we roll out the carpet and allow all other religious leaders private counsel with the Dope, no. I have never seen such elaborate ceremony for a world leader either so arguing that he runs a nation doesn't hold water with me either. I am sorry but we are at war and our dollar is very weak we do not have the extra money to be carelessly tossing at a religious group. I am sorry but any other religion that wants to have their leader come to the US or their state or wherever is responsible to foot the bill of what that will cost. Including travel and security. It just rubs my nerves to see this visit and think about the money we are wasting.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Changes are going on!

Ok I only have a minute because I really should be going to bed but if you notice my blog has gone through a bit a a face lift tonight. I have updated my links and added some features like a new slideshow. I hope that I have linked all the regulars that still come around these parts and have a site to link to. If I missed you drop me a comment and I will add you post haste. I had been extremely lazy and everything around here was grossly out of date so I hope this more accurately represents me now. Well it is bed time so I need to go. I will try to fit a post into my schedule tomorrow but I wouldn't hold my breath if I was you.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

My weekend in Pictures

We were going to go to a chocolate expo today at the Queen Mary as my birthday weekend day of fun. It was a great plan but then last night they cancelled the event? What were we to do, you can't promise a birthday girl a day of chocolate and then take it back wars have started over less. So Brad came up with a plan, he would create a special day of chocolate just for me. So we loaded up the boy.

We are going on an adventure

And headed out the door. we went to visit this friendly little man:

Beard Papa

and ordered this:

Strawberry Eclair

Yummy. Practically heaven. Then we were leaving there and we had a minor mishap with a bad parker. He sraped the whole rear side of my car with his car. No big deal really though there was no body damage and a simple paint job should fix it all up. So we continued on our way to the first shop.

The Look

They had a coffee vodka chocolate that could get you drunk in no time. We bought some chocolate covered pomegrante from here and again were on our way. We then walked to the next spot which was ok but not really noteworthy. So we got back in the car and tried to go to the next place. There was no parking and after a couple of attempts we decided that we could skip them. So downtown we went. We found these:

The Look

The most unique flavors were a korean garlic truffle that Brad tried and a basil dark chocolate truffle that we both tried. They were surprisingly good and we left there happy on chocolately bliss. We also learned that these chocolates are sold at a wine bar in our little downtown area just a couple of blocks from home. By now we were over due for lunch and the boy needed to be fed and I needed something a little healthier. We stopped at California Chicken Cafe and had salads while the boy nursed and then dined on sweet potatoes, and then a prune apple combo. It sounds gross to me but he liked it so we will leave it alone. We got back on the road and headed to the next place where we found this:

The Look

This was probably our favorite over all chocolate place of the day. They had unique flavor combos and were very friendly. Our favorite was a Sea salt honey peanut butter chocolate truffle. Yummy! We ended up ordering chocolate covered matzah from them that I will pick up Friday and try to resist trying everything in the store while I am there. We then got in the car and went to one more chocolate place before heading home tired and chocolatey. The place was ok but not quite up to the caliber of the other places we went to though out the day. Brad and I thought we were tired but apparently our adventure tuckered the boy out as well. He nursed and then played for a little but then whined for a nap. I layed him down in his pack and play and he went off to dream land. I expected him to wake up by 8 to have his last nursing and solid foods of the day. At 9:30 I decided to wake him up. I looked in at the pack in play and he looked as if he had been on a bender. We did take pictures but they are still on the camera. I picked him up and he pouted and fought to stay asleep with all his might but eventually he woke up and we were able to feed him. We gave him his dinner and let him play so hopefully he got retired enough to sleep through the night. Only time will tell. All in all it was a great adventure and we had a lot of chocolate.

******all pictures in this post are courtesy of Brad Herman, I did not shoot even one of them so should not be given any artistic credit. I will take credit for boy cuteness though as I did create him. ******

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Year Older

Today is my 35th birthday. I am feeling old. Not because I am bothered by a number on the calendar but because the day was or is so unremarkable. I remember days gone by when the day was so exciting and held so much promise but today was just whatever. So anyway I figured as long as I am here throwing a whatever party I would make a list of things that are irritating because as my husband will tell you I live to criticize others.

*If you are only planning to drive the speed limit or less why are you taking up space in the carpool lane?

*Do not slow to a near stop to merge onto the freeway, merge at freeway speeds or else you are risking your life and the lives of the cars behind you that have to slow to your speed.

*If there is no stop sign when you enter the parking lot but the other 3 sides have one, you have the right of way so use it.

*When I am out in public with the boy and he is asleep it is not the time to continue to peer in or touch him or talk to him. If he is asleep in public it is a rare thing and if you wake him I am likely to punch you.

*If you call a house and hear a baby crying or screaming it is probably a bad time, when they tell you specifically it is a bad time hang up they aren't listening to you anymore anyway.

*Stop telling me about celebs in trouble I don't care.

*Stop asking if I would like help to my car with the groceries, seriously if I can't make it to the car with the cart you already supplied me how an I going to get the groceries to the house from the car?

Ok I could go on but I really should wake up the boy and feed him before it is too late. See ya!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Always Something There to Remind Me


We went to a new Dr. on Monday and had Elijah's 6 month check up. What a world of difference this Dr. made. He made me at ease with the slow rate that E is gaining weight. He said that E is following a curve and that as long as he continues to gain along that curve we shouldn't worry. He said he would worry more about gaining too much weight to fast which is what I had been saying. Anyway the whole thing brought an interesting revelation to me. There are so many decisions you have to make about your child before you ever meet them and know what decision you should be making. It is kind of like studying for an anatomy test with chemistry notes, it is all still science but not the science you need to help you with the subject you need, no matter how good those notes are. I mean I did all the research on how to get a Dr and what questions to ask and for all that research the original Dr seemed ideal. We could not have scripted a better text book example of Dr offices and yet they were so wrong for us. The new Dr would have failed our test via research and so we would not have considered them but at the end of the day they listened to me and treated us like humans not cogs on a conveyer belt. The problem with this is that a lot of Doctors will only take babies at birth and then after that moment they don't take transfers. Now I think this is stupid and dangerous, come on you can't decide on the right Dr. for the next 18 years before you have met the kid that will be their patient. Anyway it isn't just that there are so many decisions you have to make before you ever have a kid and often you don't have all the information to make that decision at the time. A chase in point here is strollers, it seemed so simple you buy a car seat and then you buy a stroller from the same company so they click together. Which is fine in theory but then you think that is the way it has to be done but chances are that might not be the way you should go. What are you going to do with the stroller? Are you taking a stroller fitness class? Are you going to have more than 1 kid. The next thing you know you have several different strollers and you are switching them out depending on your days events. Really for me the stroller from the car seat company wasn't the right choice but I didn't know that then. All in all I feel like parenthood has made me revert back to that scared 5 year old that was too afraid to talk in class and prove how stupid I really am. I thought I had conquered those demons after I was held back in Kindergarten but here they are right in my face almost 30 years later. I swear I have never felt this small and insecure about every choice I make since I was that shaky first time kindergartener. So I can only hope that when Brad and I have a second I can feel the surge of confidence I had the second time I started Kindergarten. I knew I had been there before and that I knew things I didn't know the first time and a lot more than the other kid's in my class. Some how I doubt it, I think each kid will bring around different situations that make you feel small and scared and incapable. I think now that confident parents are either liars or are to naive to know that they should be scared. I am betting though that under it all we all feel like we are still playing at house and hoping that somehow everything will work out in the end. There are no right answers only thing I can do is try to make the best choices with whatever facts I have at the time even if that means throwing out all the research and advice that I have been given.