December 2007

Monthly Archive

berkeley-mas

Posted by lynn on 28 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina

Presents

Three Billy Goats Gruff

After our weekend-long extravaganza in San Jose, we decided to have a low-key Christmas day at our own home in Berkeley. I’d had visions of taking a mellow walk up in Tilden then coming home to a slow-cooked, one pot meal. Never mind that it’s the start of the rainy season and we don’t own a Crockpot. The holiday stars aligned, and we got Kai for the afternoon and evening to boot.

Jewel Lake on Christmas Day

Jewel Lake With Grandma + Grandpa

Jelly Bean enjoyed her second morning of opening holiday gifts, but this time without all the chaos. After a leisurely breakfast of coffee and muffins from a neighbor (thanks, Caryn!), we dressed her up in a fancy Santa hat and red sweater from Auntie Sharon. Grandma and Grandpa joined us for a drive up to the Little Farm and walk to Jewel Lake, which you can see from the photos is anything but jewel-like. It’s a nice walk, nontheless.

Winx Club

Meli Claus

We picked up Kai in time for a dinner of chicken and veggies in a pot. He could have cared less about the food but was ecstatic to find his last gift under the tree was the one he’d wanted most: a Winx Club video. My four-and-a-half-year-old stepson is fascinated with this Saturday morning entourage of little girl fairies who fight the evils of the cartoon universe. Of course we had to balance out his video collection with another Leap Frog “learn to read” DVD.

extendo-xmas

Posted by lynn on 28 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina

Weiss Family Christmas 2007

Twins + Grandpa

This year’s Christmas activities extended over a four day period, long enough that I’ll need to write two separate posts to get in just a few of my favorite photos.

We started our official holiday celebration early, with “first Christmas” in San Jose with my whole family over the weekend. We even had a special visit from Aunt Sharon and Uncle Ray, who hosted Christmas day for their family and ours the whole time I was growing up. Even though we weren’t in Clovis, their presence still provided a partial walk down memory lane.

Grandma

Auntie Sharon

Melina loved all the excitement of her first Christmas, but reveled most in eating any piece of wrapping or tissue paper she could get her hands on – and before we took it away!

Kai had a second helper in Lucas when he made coffee with Grandma Nancy in the morning. He also helped Grandpa Gary build a little table and chair set that he and Melina got for Christmas.

Twin nephew Noah spent his time sitting patiently by Grandpa’s new train set, waiting for it to start chugging along, while his brother Lucas was a moving near-two-year-old target.

Building With Grandpa

Two Chairs

We all got little sleep Saturday night (our personal Christmas Eve). The twins were teething (we think), Melina was a bit thrown by the porta crib, and Kai just couldn’t wait any longer for Santa to arrive. But it was all worth it and my folks took all the chaos in stride. Oddly enough, we’ll probably miss it when the kids get a little older – something I’m sure will happen in a flash.

happy holidays!

Posted by lynn on 21 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, friends

Happy Holidays 2007Peace. Love. Happiness.

Wishing you a happy holiday season
and all the best for 2008!

~ Joey, Lynn, Kai & Melina

six-month photo shoot

Posted by lynn on 18 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: melina

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I’ve always loved my parents’ hallway. Through its photos, it teaches me of an infancy I’m not able to remember. My favorites are the three-, six-, nine-, and twelve-month photo sequences of both my sister and me as babies. My mom had them taken at Sears or JC Penny, the only places to get a decent photo of your child in the 70s.

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In the back of my mind I’d wanted to do the same for Melina, but we missed the three-month shoot. I did get our act together for six-month photos, but Joey and I were disappointed at the cost for just 15 poses so don’t plan on returning.

Looking at the best of the bunch, I am glad we had the photos taken. But in the end, the “need” for Sears portraits simply isn’t as poignant as it was 30 years ago.

bathtub_crunched.jpgturtle_crunched.jpg Digital cameras allow us to take countless pictures ourselves and pick the best for show. Of course there’s also the small detail that our tiny craftsman has no hallway on which to hang them!

I’m only a few weeks late in posting my favorite photos from the shoot on December 2 – one day after Melina’s six-month birthday. Enjoy.

‘burbs holiday fest

Posted by lynn on 16 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: friends, melina

Pre-party With Daddy

Pre-party With Mama

Every year our friends Jenny and Pat host a holiday dinner out in the ‘burbs. They live on a cul-de-sac that turns into a “keeping up with the Joneses” fest of lights, blow-up penguins, and other holiday lawn toys each December. It feels fantastically American.

We decided it would be easier to take Melina with us than to worry about rushing home to a sitter. Auntie JennyDrinks! She could show off her holiday cute-stuff dress, play with everyone for a little while, then jammy up and go to sleep in a back room while we had our grown-up fun. Good plan, but after a brief “nap” in the guest room, Melina decided she didn’t want to miss out on the party.

She had fun getting passed around from big person to big person as we finished our dinner, and liked gnawing on everyone’s cloth napkins. TangerinesVisit From the HindmarshesAuntie Cia thought it would be fun to tuck some tangerines suggestively into the top of her shirt (mommy nipple, citrus navel, they all feel kinda the same don’t they?) but Melina was equally fascinated with the sequins covering the blouse. These days her world is just bursting with exciting new textures and toys.

Coincidentally, our family friends the Hindmarshes visited us in Berkeley earlier that afternoon. They live in Livermore – just down the road from Jenny and Pat’s place in Pleasanton!

“hot flashes” cold + a carousel ride

Posted by lynn on 12 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, kai, melina, writing

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The title of this post makes little sense but I like the way the words flow. And it does hold meaning.

I topped off our first of two whirlwind weekends with a reading at the Ferry Building (SF) for my story in the anthology “Hot Flashes: Sexy Little Stories and Poems.” The reading went fine and I was able to have dinner with a fellow writer who has twin 10-month-old boys. Needless to say we had plenty to discuss. Unfortunately, with my lingering cold and the cool, dry weather, I woke up Tuesday morning with no voice. Almost two days later I can still only manage a loud whisper.

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It’s not slowing me – or us – down. Last night we picked up both kids from daycare and headed to the Winter Wonderland in Tilden Park. Melina fell asleep on the winding ride, but was all smiles after being woken by the lights in the North Pole display and the music and laughter coming from the huge carousel. She took her first ride on an actual animal (as opposed to a bench) while Kai and Joey watched from the sidelines. Kai still has carousel phobia, so his ticket went unused.

’tis the season

Posted by lynn on 09 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, friends, kai, melina

Yoga Babes Holiday Party

Gabe + Meli

Like so many folks this time of year, we had a busy weekend planned. Melina and I had a yoga moms holiday party Friday afternoon, followed immediately by picking up Joey and Kai for a potluck with my Berkeley moms group. Saturday we had a kindergarten fair for Kai, a hypnobirthing reunion brunch, and a trip to Roseville in the evening for the Hams’ annual winetasting party. That’s four parties in just a little over 24 hours.

Christmas Tree

My First Shopping Cart Ride

As if that weren’t enough, we wanted to squeeze in decorating our tree as a family. I had visions of hanging ornaments, listening to Elvis sing Christmas tunes (I thank my buddy Rich for that), and sipping hot cocoa or peppermint tea – one of my favorites that Kai also recently discovered. For a brief delusional moment I thought we might also have time to bake some gingerbread.

By Saturday afternoon both Joey and I realized we hadn’t showered in two days, and we hadn’t bathed either kid. Our garbage cans still sat on the curb from their Thursday morning pickup. And dishes from the workweek filled the sink.

I Can Sit!

Little Farm With Daddy

He was the first to say “no” to driving to Roseville that evening. I was bummed but reluctantly agreed. We both needed to come up for air then settle into some downtime.

We did decorate the tree together – Kai had a blast as Melina watched from her Jumparoo – and lit up our masterpiece just in time for the electricity to go out. Elvis grew silent and Kai kept pushing buttons and flipping switches in the hopes of getting the DVD player to play Frosty the Snowman. It didn’t come on in time for him to watch, but did in time for a quiet dinner at home after he was back at his mom’s and Joey and I had the space to unwind.

And now here I sit on a surprisingly mellow Sunday afternoon, sipping peppermint tea and listening to Elvis as I type my blog, Joey surfs the Web, and the Jelly Bean naps. Clutter still fills the house, but we’re at peace.

happy birthday and a half

Posted by lynn on 04 Dec 2007 | Tagged as: family, friends, melina

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Last saturday we held a double celebration at our house: my birthday and melina’s half birthday. We had a good mix of friends new and old, some parents, some not, and of course a handful of babies and preschoolers. Joey and Kai were the official party hosts and ended up baking me not one but three of my all time favorite: pumpkin pie. Now that I’ve had a few days to digest all that pie and recover from entertaining such a cross-section of guests, I’ll post a few pics and write a quick update.

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I can’t believe our little girl is already six months, sitting up in a high chair sampling solids, and quite literally half-way to being a toddler. She looks more like a little person every day. As for development:

- She sits up on her own for long stretches, though I still surround her with pillows or my own legs for the eventual tumble.sharemyjumparoo.jpg
- She grabs with intent, and will set down one toy to pick up another.
- She could care less about rolling over, but looks like she wants desperately to crawl. She does this move where she’ll go from sitting to falling on her tummy to stretching out her arms and legs like she’s trying to swim towards a toy that’s just out of reach.balin_kris_george.jpg
- She makes the coolest, happiest sounds. Our favorites are the vibrating bubble lips (called raspberries) as she tries to sound out the “p” and “b” sounds – or at least I like to believe that’s what she’s trying to do!
- Our little girl LOVES to eat. So far only avocado has gotten a huge squishy face of disgust. Unfortunately, all food might not like her. She’s had a few rashes so we’re still monitoring new foods pretty closely. We’re hoping the rashes were just coincidental, and I’m sure her tastebuds are too.
- She’s as good natured as always. grandpa.jpg The other day she had on a knit cap while sitting in her carseat. When we stopped the car we noticed it had fallen over her eyes. She was bobbling her head around and grabbing at the hat, probably thinking “who turned out the lights and how do I move this thing around?” but didn’t make a peep of complaint!

Melina also did much better at daycare her second week. She was extremely happy each day when we dropped her off AND picked her up. 6months.jpgAfter the first successful day and evening I suddenly realized I hadn’t heard my little girl cry in over 24 hours. I was happy for her contentment but ironically a little sad for myself. All babies cry. I knew she had at some point during the day. I just hadn’t been there to hear it. I’m doing better with this now, and appreciate my time with her so much more than I did even three weeks ago. Poor Joey, though – we usually pick her up from daycare together but I still won’t let him carry her to the car. Once I have her in my arms I don’t want to let her go. One day, Joey, one day…