Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Josie says, "Hold on tight!"

Lucy says, "Giddy-up!"

With the Butterflies

After making bird feeders and butterfly feeders with families at the L.A. county museum of natural history, we took the girls to the butterflies in flight pavilion. They loved it and Lucy was even patient enough to have several butterflies land on her.

With the Dinosaurs

Here we are with the dinosaurs. Lucy is actual hiding behind me. Can you spot her shoes and hands? I am holding one of the infamous butterfly feeders that we made with kids at the museum.

I had to give a talk at the Los Angeles County Museum of Natural History two weeks ago on Sunday. I also made pine cone bird feeders, butterfly feeders, and planted native plants with about 150 families. Mitch brought the girls down and they toured the museum. They loved it. They loved all the old fashioned dioramas.

At the Beach

Josie before eating sand

Josie after eating sand.

Lucy loves drama but doesn't like the camera.

Josie LOVES the beach.

Two weekends ago I took the girls to the beach by myself on Friday. We have a great kid beach in Ventura. I never thought that some of the best features of a beach would be: a life guard, a swimming area, and the ocean behind a breakwater with a very shallow sandy beach. Although this is not the beach that I would take out of town guests to without small children because it looks straight at a breakwater/jetty thing and not the open ocean, it is the perfect beach for little kids. Especially for single moms with little kids. We brought Matt, Denise and Casey here when they were visiting and Casey loved. My biggest triumphs were that I put the beach umbrella up by myself (hey, it is a stiff s.o.b. and it was windy), and that no one was injured or ate anything dead washed up on the beach. Yes, there was probably a lot more sand transported home in underpants and hair than if Mitch had been on the job. But we had a grand time.

Here I am, not looking stylish but at least preventing sun burn in Mitch's hat.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

So Behind...

Josie with frosting and new "mom's birthday" princess dress up.

Backyard preparation for the little house.

Lucy making my cupcakes. Nice tiara.

So much has happened since my last post. I may just have to skip ahead. Mitch has been hard at work dismantling our backyard in preparation for the great little house building project of 2009. He has single-handedly destroyed much of the living vegetation in the backyard to make room for the proposed 10 by 10 structure. We have strayed quite a bit from our original concept as we have been busily acquiring random bits and pieces to use from Craigs List. The current ingredient list includes glass sliding doors with lots of little panes of glass, a single door with a big pane of glass, a second door that we will use for a window, and some plywood. We are working on getting some bamboo flooring cheap as well. Jim and Barb arrive next week to help out with the project. I have my fingers crossed that a miracle will occur and we will be able to get most of it built while they are here (note that the baseboard trim for our dining nook floor that we didn't do while they were here working 5 years ago is still not done...).

I took a week-long trip to the desert for work. It was very hot, very empty, and quite threatened by weeds.

We took Josie to the surgeon and he is convinced that her surgery was a success and just needs a couple more months to get up and running. We shall see. For now, on with the anti-biotics.

I applied for and did not get a new job as the Chief of Interpretation for our park. I am disappointed but remain hopeful that eventually something better will come along. Of course it sucks to not get picked, too much like kickball in grade school, or maybe even dodgeball where they kick balls at you in front of a wall...

I'm having a rather uneventful birthday full of work for the man. I did get in some good cuddling with the girls and had some delicious cupcakes thanks to Mitch and Lucy. I'm looking for some good birthday traditions so if you have any, let me know. This year I joined Matt Baldwin's Infinite Jest project for my birthday. You should too, join that is, not for your birthday. It's not too late to become a part of Infinite Summer.

More some about my trivial life some other day.

Mitch is tired after all the shrubbery removal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rob's Surprise Party

We spent last weekend in San Diego at Rob's surprise 40th birthday party. Thanks to Becca's awesome planning the party was actually a surprise. I am terrible at keeping secrets so I am ultra relieved that I didn't give it away by accident. I won't even mention the total number of times that I almost wrote about going to San Diego for the weekend on this blog.

Rob was definitely surprised. It was a great weekend. Fun to see everyone and great for Lucy to be surrounded by so many friends on her fourth birthday. Becca planned a whole weekend of meals and outings that were kid friendly and even one night out where we had a *gasp* baby sitter. Josie only yelled for forty five minutes. But at least I wasn't there to hear it...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Check out our new weed website:

This is our new citizen science early detection weed program. People take the pictures with their cellphones and when the cellphones are plugged in and charging they upload the photos automatically.

Lucy's Many Birthdays

We had the first of Lucy's many birthday celebrations last Saturday. Lucy's actual birthday is this coming Saturday but we are going to be out of town that day so we had an early party for her last weekend. Lucy and I made the invitations together and then Lucy gave them to all her friends. Seth and Elise were privileged to be the only adults with no kids that were invited.

We had the party at Marina Park. Despite some challenges (May gray weather, a puddle of death right next to the picnic table, another birthday party with a jumper and pirate costumes) all the kids still had a fantastic time. Lucy loved playing with all her friends, making kites, eating pizza, eating cupcakes, and of course, the PRESENTS!!

Lucy loved all her presents. We have been reading all her new books constantly. Her two favorite presents were a pink sleeping beauty dress with LIGHTS on it (seriously, it has a battery pack) courtesy of Rick, Sarah, Jonas and Elliot and FOUR pairs of plastic high heeled princess shoes courtesy of Ryan, Mary, Dylan and Evan.

It is really nice to have such a nice group of little people and parents to keep us all company.

Lucy's next birthday party will be on Friday when we let her open her family gifts from Grandpa Jim and Grandma Jo and Grandpa Tom and Grandma Sue and us. Then on her actual birthday we'll eat a few more cupcakes and give her a couple of small gifts.

Rock on with the birthdays!

The invitation