October 2008 Archives

I voted

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I will be in Tokyo on Nov. 4th, so I went down to the city hall the other day, and voted. Whenever possible, I make a point of physically going to vote since I think it's important to show participation that way. The CA specific ballots were super long with a ton of issues coming up. Yes, I voted for Obama & Biden. And NO on Prop. 8.

yep, Dav did have a b-day

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Lest you think we forgot Dav's b-day several weeks back, he actually had a cupcake! Dav keeps telling me no celebration, etc. so I keep plans minor, but I got the cutest cupcakes from Citizen Cake...and [gasp] I even let Tesla have a little!

This was the Friday we planned to leave for Willits and Ukiah. We both came home early from work, planning to leave around 2 or 3. But by the time I fed Tesla, packed clothes/food/amenities, fed cats, ran an errand, etc. it was 4pm. So we decided to wait until after the commute rush and leave at 7pm. In the meantime, Michelle and Fia stopped by to give Dav a small gift, and we hung out. We had champagne. We had the cupcakes. Michelle took a picture of us.

Then my brother stopped by to give Dav some chocolates, Jeremy joined soon after, and we got hungry for dinner, and soon we were too relaxed to even consider driving. So we continued the evening, and it ended up being the perfectly low-key birthday that Dav likes - hanging out, talking with friends and family with no big fuss. Our goal next year is to distract Dav around early October so he will forget about his birthday. That would be the best gift, he said. So with Ian's, and Jeremy & Michelle's help next year, we may attempt a campaign to contact everyone we know to specifically not say anything. We'll see if that works...

FishPhone service

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Ever been at a restaurant or market about to order/buy fish, and wondered if that fish was over-fished or farmed in a polluting manner? The Blue Ocean Institute has a guide, and they are about to release a guide for sustainable sushi. But best of all, they have a FishPhone service:

To find out about your seafood choice, text 30644 with the message FISH and the name of the fish in question. We'll text you back with our assessment and better alternatives to fish with significant environmental concerns.
Very cool!

Pumpkin picking

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Toni and Aesha invited Michelle and Sofia, and Tesla and I on a girls only pumpkin picking outing to Half Moon Bay. We thought we'd hang out at the Half Moon Bay street festival, but it was way too crowded with no where to sit, so us mamas with 3 babies left pretty quickly. Instead, we stopped at a pumpkin patch, then went on a hay ride. We shared sushi rolls and wine during a break.

We had a blast although were exhausted by afternoon, but it was so worth it to see our gals playing together. For a while, Tesla couldn't get used to the fact that now she was a big girl and Aesha got the special treatment, but she and Fia had great adventures being outdoor together. I can totally see them as sisters!

From January 2007...

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Jeremy just emailed this precious picture to us. It's from January 2007, when we were making our hats for the annual Mad Hat party. Here, Sofia is 2 years 4 months. Telsa right now is 2 years 3 months. Incredible!

I want to nibble on Tesla! Her short hair an all. Oh, how I would love to hold that round Tesla again! Sofia too, now I can see still had toddler cute chub on her cheeks. I'm so used to her always seeming such a big girl to me, but both our girls have grown so much.

Raven

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Goodness, time flies. This was from weekends ago when Raven was visiting from Ptld for the Love Parade. We didn't go to the parade, but I got to hang out with Raven (we have same b-days!), she got to see Tesla. I loved catching up, and wanted to post these pics before too long! I only get to see her every once in a blue moon, but it's one of those relationships where that doesn't matter. We just pick right up where we last left off.

Tesla has an imaginary friend!

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I think...could be wrong, but sitting across her tiny table tonight as she ate dinner (first course was soup), she took a spoonful and pointed it to her right, looking off into space, saying, "no?" then ate the soup. She did this like 10 times, each time looking off to the right into space. I asked, "dare?" (who) but got no answer. Interesting...I of course didn't have my camera to video the exact moment, but the pic is while finishing that dinner.

Visiting Ukiah and Willits, CA

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We visited Mendicino county last weekend. It was beautiful, and I love getting out of the city and into nature. Plus, it was fun as a family to have so much time together exploring the towns, snuggling to sleep together, and taking walks.

Our impetus was to check out land, as in land we might want to buy. We've been talking about this for quite some time, but with our friends Rachel and Cesar moving to MA to live closer to land, we decided we should take active steps in researching areas. This is all very much in the research stage, and we have much to learn, but we were pleasantly surprised at not only the beauty, but the community of folks living up there. From a very brief first visit, my sense is people living there really love it, many are progressive, there's a strong sustainable living element, and lots of kids! Overall, it was a lovely weekend, and we'll be going up there more often as we continue to look.

We visited the Solar Living Institute that had a solar powered carousel. Here are Dav's pics.

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Update about those fits

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Since noticing Tesla having little fits, I felt that it wasn't just her...that she was definitely reacting to me. And I realized that she probably wanted more one-on-one time. Usually, when I come home from work with her, I'm rushing to accomplish a lot before her bedtime: feed cats, start dinner, feed her, feed us, maybe give her a bath, etc. I know I'm hustling her along, and that can't be fun, especially when she wants to have quality mama time.

So I decided to include her in my activities...have her give the spoon cat food and feed them, have her watch me while I cook, have her help clean up. She seemed to enjoy that.

Tonight, we went out to dinner. When we came home, daddy gave her a bath (no shoes needed!), and we had about an hour before bedtime, so we played. I read to her on the sofa, I held her while she drank milk, and was with her 100%. When I said it was bedtime, she didn't resist at all. We held hands, walked down the hallway, said nighty to daddy, and down she went to bed. I lay next to her to snuggle, and it was her who said, "light off." No resistance whatsoever. Lesson learned: more undivided time with Tesla!

Shoes in the bath

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Recently, Tesla has been having strange fits...where she basically loses it when we push to do something, like eat, take a bath, change diaper, or leave the house. Very much like a tantrum for sure, but it seemed that even she was surprised, and then worn out by it so much that she'd be in a daze after the fit.

I've been quite perplexed, trying to figure out what it is that ticks her off, and what we can do to help. It's not so much about communication since in the midst of a fit, her demands would be contradicting, like, "I want this!!" but then, "no, don't like that!!" Once in the middle of it, we basically had to sit by her calmly, waiting for her to get through it.

Today, I wanted to give her a bath, and was pretty careful in my approach. I realized that she's been obsessed about her shoes, so much that we've been letting her wear them in the house (big no no chez nous) and even once, I let her wear them to bed. It suddenly dawned on me that pretty much each time she had a fit, it was because she was engrossed on putting on/off her shoes "by herself" (she would announce, "I did it" when she got her shoes on), and I interrupted her with my need to get her to eat or take a bath. So...I decided to let her take a bath - which last time resulted in a 45 minute fit where both Dav and I consoled her the whole time - with her shoes.

Voila. Easy bath. Yes, her shoes were in there. All wet. And tub water no longer squeaky clean. But no fuss. And when she came out, she forgot about her shoes. And we got her to sleep in her crib vs. our bed which she has been taking a liking to.

Never imagined that I'd have my baby take a bath with shoes on...but Tesla tells us her way.

Birthdays!

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Tesla's second cousin Ava had her 2nd birthday. This was while we were still at Burning Man. These pictures are from Ava's mommy, and since we missed the party, I was glad to have these. I just love how Tesla gets to grow up with her cousins, and enjoy being spoiled as part of the youngest generation of the giant Callaghan family.
Being cared for by granny and Uncle Ed, and the 3 cousins (Ava is far left) riding the merry-go-round
Tesla doesn't look particularly chirpy with granny and auntie Anna, but I think she was just camera-tired ; )
Tesla and her cousins!
Cousin Maria-Rose had her b-day too. I particularly love the pictures of Tesla with her great-grandmother, and the one of Ava kissing Tesla.
Rachel and Cesar are moving to Massachusetts. It's difficult to see them go, and I've been in denial. That's a whole other story for another post. However, while their house was open for viewing to buyers, they rented the most adorable cabin up in Russian River and we got to spend 2 luxurious nights with them (hot tub, Rachel's cooking, fresh air, Russian River right by). For one afternoon/evening dinner, Brian & Tameeza, Kerry and their friend joined too. Overall, it was a very relaxing weekend with nature and friends.
The river was just a block from the cabin. Tesla thoroughly enjoyed splashing around, and we didn't have to worry too much because it was shallow and calm. You can see this in the first pic where Cesar and Dav are looking at something in the hills while Tesla is thigh-deep in the water.
Tesla eating breakfast with a make-shift bib, and a mirror portrait of Tesla on my back as I tried to lull her to sleep even though she wanted so much to hang out with everyone.
Dinner table set, and the lovely dinner Rachel cooked.
A super friendly Korean exchange student ,who had arrived in CA just a week earlier, stopped by our beach to say hi in his canoe (he was with friends just a few beaches up). Tesla was initially hesitant, but she got in and tried rowing a bit.

The last pic is the kitchen window view of the hill and roots. Very solid and comforting.

And here are some cute videos of Tesla having so much fun at the river beach. And morning in the cabin while Tesla eats breakfast.

[update] And here is a video Dav took of Rachel and I cooking together. No sound, unfortunately, but I'm very happy Dav caught us two having a great time together.

This visit was before Tesla got sick, and I wonder if she got some bug from splashing in the river water. Plus, one time she was completely wet around sun down and shivered, "coooold" when I peeled off her clothes for something dry.

Animal theme Sofia birthday

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Catch-up again from a while ago, but here are few pics from Fia's fabulous birthday bash. The theme was animal costumes, so I glued leftover fur we had (being us, we have tons) to Tesla's clothes, and voila. She didn't seem to mind. I wore my giraffe outfit, and Dav was a dinosaur. I have other pictures, but they are of all the kids running around naked in the kiddy pool so those are private :)

Be sure to click on the cake that Michelle made to see the details. See the furry ears on the barbie? So much fun to do such things for kids!