Sunday, November 15, 2009

What has gotten into our child??

9:11 PM and he is in his "room", still going strong...

Instead of falling asleep, he has been reviewing, in detail, all the things he did this weekend. "party? party? party? happy birthday, happy birthday. Baba in the big bed. Play fox song? Make a long long traa-aain. Hank dump-a-cat food. Go to playground. Hear nice, nice music. Hankie play da nice nice music. Biddy bum bum, biddy bum bum! I going go sleep. Hi Raree, Hi Munchie, Hi Mommy!!"

A little bit later it was: " "no eat da froggie light. turn light ON, turn light oo-off. Hankie get down woo! Hankie stand UP!"

He's also discussed going to see the new house today, seeing Justin (our realtor), ringing the doorbell, and asking when he would see Auntie Erin and 'Giffin'.

Now the lights are on in there, and he's out of bed, playing with trains and talking and talking and talking. He's talking about how the pinata "fall down" yesterday at the party when "Thomas hit it", he's talking about how Obama "fall in yogurt and applesauce," which is what happened during breakfast this morning, and then "Obama take a shower", which he did. Now Hank is playing the piano.

It will be so, so nice to have a door on his room!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Train Cake

Train Cake, originally uploaded by allthingssara.


Train Cake, originally uploaded by allthingssara.


Balloons, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Hey Cupcake!

Hank is TWO!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Hank is TWO!

Hank is TWO!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Dear Hank,

Today is your second birthday and I think you have an idea of what that is all about this year! You've been interested in birthdays for months, now, what with the Happy Birthday Song being one of your favorites to sing, and repurposing all cone-shaped items as birthday hats that you place immediately on your head. I hope that I never forget the sweet little image of you dancing around our apartment with your megaphone on your head like a birthday hat singing "Happy Birthday" in total and complete delight.

We had such fun over the last couple of days. I loved making a cake for you that looked like a train -- we spent the afternoon and evening before your birthday at Geema and Geepop's house. You played with Geepop while Geema and I decorated your cake. Every so often you would run over to the counter to check on our progress. You would point excitedly, and burst out with a "that a for da birfday!" As the cake began to look like a train, you would scamper over and yell "Mama make a choo choo train!" and "Mama made it!!" Your happiness just made my heart warm.

Hank you are so, big and smart and sweet. We went to the doctor yesterday and found out that you are 31.2 pounds, 34.75 inches tall, and have 21 inch head. The doctor was very impressed with how many words you know and how well you understand and can communicate. We are always impressed with you and your smarts.

I often find myself looking at you these days and just marveling at the fact that you used to fit right inside me. I wonder, "how did you ever get in there??" And when I think about the changes you have been through in these short two years since the day you were born, I am really blown away. Your whole family is so proud of you -- you are smart and loving and learning new things all the time. Every week you seem more mature than the last one, so I am trying to soak up all the hugs and snuggles and "I love noos" I can get right now.

This morning you woke up still sleepy and needed some cuddling before launching into our day. We sat quietly on the floor in your room in the soft light of an overcast morning, you melted on to my lap and into my chest and we snuggled and I told you all about the morning two years ago when you were born. It was a sweet way to start your birthday.

I am truly lucky to be your mama.

Love, Love, Love,

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Catching Up on the Last Months....


...back on the grid.
We took a quick trip to Big Sur this weekend for a little break from the routine and some of the stress we've been experiencing over getting ready to close on the house and move, not to mention work stuff. There just hasn't been a lot of time for slowing down. Big Sur is the cure. We stayed a night at the Big Sur River Inn where Hank had a ball throwing rocks in the river. We also went for a "nature walk" to "find the ocean" at Andrew Molera State Park. Hank rode on my back the whole way, and it was so much fun to have his running commentary the whole time. He hadn't been up in a back-carry in a long time and we both really enjoyed it. I can't tell you how much I miss wearing him everyday and everywhere. He's always been so snuggly. Anyway, Hank loved the nature walk. Henry and I had to cross a river without a bridge twice and Hank thought it was a hoot! He kept cracking up and telling us about how "mama get wet!"

...Got rained off the playground!
...Sharing a pumpkin muffin with Hank outside of Arizmendi.

These two status updates were from my friday with Hank this week. It had been a long time since we had had a normal friday. Between work commitments, H1N1, and I can't even remember what, I think it had been four or five weeks since we'd had a normal friday. We had a really fun time, sharing breakfast outside a local cafe/bakery, and then going to a playground at Lake Temescal. While we were there the weather turned and it started raining pretty steadily. There were several toddlers enjoying the playground, and once the drizzle turned to flat out raindrops, all the moms were rushing around scooping up kids and sippy cups and dashing to cars. Hank thought it was so funny and kept saying it was like a shower.

... Wishes she could hide out in the Redwood Grove by the Transamerica Pyramid all day today.
This is a spot near my office. I love spending time there during lunch, especially on days when I feel like hiding. I admit I've been having some of those days again, but nothing I can't handle. I'm feeling pretty anxious about what my commute is going to be like once we move, and a lot of the other "unknowns" that we are facing are making me feel nervous these days. I'm just glad there is a calm spot near my office where I can take a break.

...The packing nightmare has begun!
We started packing and it is a mess around here. We haven't even done that much, yet there are already stacks of boxes here there and everywhere. We took an entire car load of books, clothes, and other household items to donate to the Oakland Museum White Elephant Sale. We haven't even been through the kitchen, the garage, the storage, or Hank's room yet, but we are committed to purging before we go.

...Of course NOW he's all about the banana costume!!
The day after Halloween Hank was finally ready to wear his banana costume, and boy was he cute in it. The Cutest Banana in the World.


...Hank's first honest to goodness trick or treat experience was a hit. We had a blast! Now Henry and I are home, and Hank is sleeping it off at Geema and Geepop's house.

...Loooooves acupuncture.
Need I say anything else? I started going regularly again after the miscarriage last winter. (man, was that nearly a year ago already? time flies...). It hasn't helped me get pregnant again, but I do think it helps me manage my stress and helps with some other issues, so I will keep going. I'm scared I won't be able to go at all once the house is bought, but I intend to keep seeing Amy as long as possible.

...9:00 am and we have already built a tent, made three long long trains, built towers and knocked them over, played with Obama and Darwin, hugged the cats until they ran away, tried on all the hats, and had a gorilla cheese sandwich.
This post pretty much summed up what life with Hank is like these days. We have a LOT of fun. He's really excited about his world -- everything is fun to him right now. He loves making a tent out of a blanket thrown over the dining table. He's constantly asking to "build a towa!" and "make a longlongtwain!" We stack the blocks as high and as precariously as we can and then Hank knocks them over with complete and total glee. To make a long, long train, we fish all the little wooden trains we have (approximately thirty, depending on how many we can find), and hook them all together in to, well, a long, long train. He knows the names of each type of train car we have (including the ones that are wooden letters on wheels -- he can pretty much spell his name with those). As for Obama and Darwin, well we have an action figure of each and he just loves them. He puts Darwin in the train and pushes him around. He likes to have dinner with Obama, saying over an over again "Obama have-a-dinnah!" He's got a few other favorite friends now as well, including Bankie (a blankie) and Touchdownbear (a teddy bear -- the name came from how Hank likes to watch the Cal Bear games with my dad and yell 'Touchdown! Bears!!!'). His other favorite toy these days is the ukulele. He likes to have me play it for him, and he likes to play it himself, and sing to us. I've taken videos of all the song he sings for us, and they are just precious to me. Precious. Even more precious is the fact that he's recently started singing along with us as we sing at the same time -- we sing together now and it is just dreamy and sweet and something I've always dreamed we would do. Sniff! Sometimes I play the uke and sing while he accompanies me on the maraca or harmonica. I think we should take it on the road! a fortune cookie tonight that told her that "redecorating is in your future". How true is that??
Now if only we could agree on paint colors, and which rooms really need it! loving that Hank's new BFFs are action figures of Charles Darwin and Obama. He calls them by name and has them play with each other.
See above!

...thought Hank was on the mend, but his fever came back with a vengeance tonight. :( debating how hot is too hot and about to call the advice nurse.
...I hate you, H1N1, and the home buying process, too. You both suck.

Poor little Hank came down with the dreaded Swine Flu last month. He had a horrible fever that would not let go for several days, we had to pay a visit to the emergency room, two chest xrays, ack! We are so glad he's better.

...Left the pumpkin patch south of half moon bay nearly two hours ago, and has finally reached 280.
We went pumpkin hunting in Half Moon Bay with our dear friends the Nolan Family again this year. What we didn't realize at the time that we made our plans was that it was the HMB Pumpkin Festival Weekend. We decided to brave it anyway, and we had a terrific time, until we started heading home and got stuck in the gnarliest traffic ever. It was so bad that I will never even consider going to the pumpkin festival again. No way no how... That being said, Hank LOVES pumpkins. He seriously thinks they are the greatest thing on earth. He cracks up when he sees them and just starts dancing. it is so cute. In fact, he loved the pumpkin display at our Whole Foods so much that he would try to climb it. When we would pass by the Whole Foods, he would wave at the storefront and call out, "pumpkins in the whole foods!". When they got rid of all the left over pumpkins after Halloween, he has missed seeing the pumpkins and makes sure I know how much. I finally had to suggest that the pumpkins were hiding. He nods is understanding, and murmurs contemplatively, "pumpkins hiiiiding...."

...Found out this afternoon that my old (horrible) employers are my new HOA's attorneys and has felt like hurling ever since.
Ugh. This almost torpedoed the whole deal for me. The thought of seeing Sandy Bonato in my neighborhood -- or even worse getting a LETTER from her about my landscaping!! -- just had me so incredibly upset, I can't begin to do it justice here on the blog. God that woman is just hateful. I don't even care if she sees this.

...just got back from taking Hank to his happiest place on earth -- Home Depot!!
You would have thought it was disneyland! Paint chips! Ceiling fans! Tile samples! Flooring! Lumber! So! Exciting!!

...And Henry are joining the ranks of homeowners. :)
Oh I just love our house. I can't wait to move in and make it a lovely, happy home.

... It must be fall! Pomegranates and persimmons have invaded Whole Foods.
I love fall. Love it. It is such a cozy time.


...Enjoying a new song Hank made up. It goes something like 'peanut boooy!! Peanut boooy!! Be bump bump bump!!!'
The singing is so, so wonderful! He loves to sing, and he can totally carry a tune! Good rhythm, too!

... As Tom Petty once said, the wai-ai-aiting is the hardest part.
I'm not sure what I was waiting for that day... response to an offer on a house? My hopes for a positive pregnancy test to be dashed once again? The BART train? I have no idea, but those are a few things that I wait for often.

...Laying in bed, trying to summon the energy to get up, listening to Hank who is in his room playing his harmonica (aka 'makaka')
I love my musical boy!

... Hank proclaims burmese food to be 'spicy!!'
I'm so glad Hank is an adventurous eater. He'll try just about anything, it is so great.
Hank throws rocks in the Big Sur River
Hank throws rocks in the Big Sur River

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Did I Mention We Bought A House?

From the street, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Huge news -- can't believe I've not entered this into the blog yet! It is already all over facebook, but not here in the Archive...

Yep, we bought a house. 4 bd, 3 bath, backyard with sandbox, play house, and hot tub, room for gardening, great room with hugely high ceilings. We close in a couple of weeks and move right before christmas! Very exciting and terrifying all at once. But oh, how our quality of life will improve just by having a room with a door for Hank and our own laundry facilities. I can hardly stand the wait.

10 Years of California!

On a walk, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Henry celebrated his 10 year anniversary of moving to California! We had a wonderful evening to celebrate -- a long walk in the Bay Lands at dusk, and Mexican food in Palo Alto for dinner.

Aiiieee!!! PUMPKINS!!!!

Aiiieee!!! PUMPKINS!!!!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

I think this picture speaks for itself.

Hank with Bankie and Touchdownbear

One of my very favorite views. Such big eyes!


Banana!!, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Hank picked this costume out before Halloween, but refused to wear it until after Halloween. The one time I got it on him before Halloween he just cried and cried. He was the World's Saddest Banana. :( Not anymore!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Happy Halloween!

Hank had a great time last night! We took him around in a stroller as he slept last year, so this was his first Official Trick or Treat! We went out to my parents' house at about 5 pm. I had stuffed all the costume alternatives into a tote bag (banana, dragon/dinosaur thing, daniel boone hat, wizard cape and hat, pumpkin hat) because he was still refusing to put any of our costumes on. I have an old wizard's hat from a halloween several years ago and he had been enjoying playing with that during the week. When I passed by a toy store yesterday afternoon I went in bought Hank a cape and a magic wand that lights up and makes a "woosh!" when you press a button thinking that maybe I'd be able to get him to wear the wizard hat and cape if I distracted him with the wand.

Well, that plan worked like a charm. After playing in the back yard and having some pizza for dinner we threw the cape and hat on Hank and gave him the wand and went outside to go up and down the street.

At first Hank wasn't really sure what to think. The first couple of houses we went to he just walked right inside! (I think he thought that we were house hunting?). But then he noticed that there were so many other people and kids out in the street, that everyone was wearing funny outfits, and that everyone was walking up to houses, getting to take candy from them, and going to the next house. Something clicked and he was off! He ran up and down the street from house to house just having a ball! He'd ring the doorbell, stand in front of the door until it was opened, hold out his little treat bag and say "twick oh tweet!", burst out with at "tank oo!!", and then scamper back into the street with all the other kids. Oh, it was such fun!

He managed to go to every single house on my parents' street with out wearing out. By the time we made it back to ring Geepop's doorbell, he was pretty tuckered out, but still wasn't quite ready to call it a night. We all sat on the front porch and handed out candy. Hank played with all the decorations that my dad had put up (they were all glowing under a black light), and then he sat quietly with us on the porch and enjoyed a huge lollypop. When that was done we took him inside and put him to bed.

It was such a lovely evening. Henry took tons of pictures and I hope they will be ready soon.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Sara is...

... way behind on the Blog, so she has copied and pasted all her facebook status updates for the last several weeks, annotated most of them to provide some measure of detail, and is going to post them all right here so as to try keep a continuous record of everything that has been going on lately!!


…had an actual conversation with Hank tonight about what he did at daycare during the day! (it went something like Me: Hank, what did you do today? Hank: “Cwisss!! (Chris = daycare provider) Me: did you go to Chris’ house? Hank: Yeaaaah. Cwisss house. Me: Did you play? Hank: Yeaaaaah. Mah-wee! (Molly – Hank’s new daycare pal). Me: Did you play with Molly? Hank: Hug Mah-wee!! Me: What are we doing now? Hank: Go see Daddy! Me: Yep, we are going to go see Daddy right now. Hank: Daddy! Me: And we’ll have some dinner. Hank: Chik-ken? Bakkawee? (broccoli) Haat dog? Di-Doo (Dinner). Turns out Hank is also picking up some Portuguese at daycare from the new assistant. Very cool!)

…is lugging a 70 pound suitcase to work on public transportation. Not recommended. (returning to my office the morning after my first trial! Well, that makes it sound more impressive than it was – the judge didn’t need to hear from the two witnesses I was supposed to question, so I spent the day as the document-finder and client-calmer. Still, it was a good experience).

…'bye bye, kite! Kite! Kite! Kite!' (We took Hank on a walk at the Berkeley Marina and he really enjoyed the kites. Next time we go there we’ll definitely take our own kite with us for him to play with).

…had a really nice time with Kim and Carey last night -- I can't believe they moved away seven years ago.

…had to give up on watching the Bill Moyers documentary on uninsured Americans -- much too sad. No one should find that she is suffering from stage 3c ovarian cancer before getting a diagnosis simply because she didn't have health insurance and doctors would see her. Please, please, please support healthcare reform in the U.S. (and contact your representatives to ask them to support reform, too). (bummed out to find out tonight that Senator Ted Kennedy passed away tonight, before any healthcare reform could be passed in his lifetime).

…is delighted that Project Runway is back on if for no other reason than I get to hear Henry do Heidi Klum impersonations all evening and he gets super catty. Mrow!

…is planning to settle a big case today and then come home and partake in three hours worth of Project Runway related goodness.

…has new glasses and can actually see up close for the first time in nearly two years.

…no! I do not want a Free Examiner!!! When in the last five months have I ever said, 'yes, I'd love a Free Examiner??' (on my way from BART to my office I pass by three corners where paper “boys” hand out free Examiner newspapers. I never, ever take them and it drives me crazy that these same three people who I pass by daily still thrust the Examiner in my face as I try to walk past).

…was “served” a cup of “coffee” by her 21 month old barista this morning. (Hank and I had our first tea party this morning! He came up to me repeatedly with a toy coffee cup and would hand to me, saying, ‘Mama, coffee!’, wait for me to pretend to drink it, and then we would repeat. Oh it was cute. It was the most delicious cip of coffee I've ever had).

…is soliciting opinions on net books. Anyone have one and want to tell me about it? (my laptop has been exhibiting signs that it is on its last legs…. Of course after posting this query I found out the the new and improved version of the laptop that I already own can be purchased for less than half of what I paid for this one. Vaio, I remain committed to thee).

…et famille have made it back from Pinecrest - we are sleepy, sundrenched, dirty, and happy! As a bonus, got to have dinner with a friend from high school -- Jeremy! -- who I hadn't seen in 16 or 17 years. (We had a delightful long weekend camping trip at Pinecrest. I’m so excited to share this place with my family, that my family used to share with me. We camped with Melissa and Emmett and 7 yr old Thomas and the 14 month old Lillie and Liam. The kids had a great time together – Thomas played so well with Hank, it was really impressive. The kids discovered that our tent, complete with our queen size air mattress essentially became a bounce house. Hank bounced in the tent endlessly, chanting ‘bouncy bounce! Bouncy bounce! Tent!! Tent!!’ He also go to meet a little bat, and he’s still talking about it. Very cute. He wouldn’t wear his shoes the entire weekend. It has been a couple of weeks since we’ve been back now, and I think his feet are still dirty).

…cannot believe that her personal "to do" list consists primarily of self-care-type things that are long over due: get a haircut, get new glasses, get teeth cleaned. Anyone else feel like they have been ignoring themselves? (I’m sure I’m not the only working mom who feels this way. When did I become a Zero on my priorities list? I still haven’t managed to get a haircut of make a dentist appointment, but I did manage to get my eyes checked and get new glasses since posting this update).

…and Hank spent the day with Carol and Beck, taking BART on a field trip to SFO. Surprising how few planes one can actually see at the airport.

…et famille tried to have a cultural experience tonight, but ended up at the playground instead. (We went to see the SF Mime Troupe’s newest show, because Henry wanted to go see it. As we approached, a little bit late, we could hear that the show was already in session. Henry said “do you hear singing? Mimes don’t sing!” He thought it was mimes – like Marcel Marceau. Hank wasn’t interested at all, either, so we went down the road to the play ground for a while).

…John Hughes died. :( I know what movies I am watching this weekend.

…I'm not too surprised that this Morris House alumna took the "What Smith Stereotype Are You" quiz, and found out she is a Green Streeter. Once a Green Streeter, always a Green Streeter...

…is wondering why they don't write songs like Eye Of The Tiger anymore.

…just scrolled through her list of friends here on facebook, and is feeling grateful to have found a place to mingle and reconnect with all these wonderful people she has known throughout her life.

…is in her office, and trying to get things done, while listening to an NPR podcast about naps.

…is thinking fondly of all the wonderful handmade things that Hank snuggled down with to sleep last night, all the lovely people who made those things, and is thinking she might give her etsy shop one more shot.

…Is listening as Henry wrangles Hank through a morning tantrum, so that I can hang out in bed little longer. Thanks Daddy!

…Target is Hank's favorite new playground. Toys!! Escalators!! (Henry taught him to up and down the escalator and he just loved it. He is especially cute riding down the escalator. He sits quietly on the step right above him and stands up and the escalator reaches the bottom and hops off yelling ‘uppy down!! Gain again!!’).

…is taking Hank on a playdate with a mom she's never met before, and is feeling like she's going on a blind date. (This was a little weird, but I really wanted to get Hank together with a friend of his from daycare who, at the time, he was talking about constantly. We’ll probably do it again, but I’m going to make sure the dads come, too).

JULY 2009
…is thinking about all the great goodnight songs that are out there but is still so stuck on the Counting Crows that she has to hum "Goodnight Elisabeth" tonight. Goodnight!

…just had her first professional interaction with a former professor! It was a treat to talk to Susan Rutberg again after all these years.

…is incredibly happy for a friend today.

…desperately needs a corner to herself that no cats can access.

…is mandoline, banjo, accordion, stand up bass, organ, guitars, conga drums, pianos, and a whole lot of rock and roll.

…is waiting for the show to start at the Greek

…is on her way out to see the Counting Crows. ROCK!!!

…feels like such a 'mom' today -- she actually hired a babysitter.

…is feeling grateful for her loving family and lovely friends. I get so much out of all of you. Hugs and kisses.

…wants to know why everyone on this train is so damn stinky.

…enjoyed the O'Keefe and Adams exhibit at the MOMA yesterday, but was blown away by the Richard Avedon retrospective.

…is waiting for her hot tub and massage.

…is headed to the county fair today

…Hank just said 'i love you mommy!'

…earlier fears were unfounded. Hank's first trip to the exploratorium was terrific. He's in the back seat, now, chanting "fun today! Fun today!". Hoping we started a life time love of experiential education today.

…reports that Hank now knows he has TWO sets of grandparents, and cannot believe his luck!

…just updated her blog while riding in the car. Yay for mobility!

…wishes her compatriots would pack things up and call it a night around here. It sounds like afganistan. (this was late in the night on 4th of July).

…is enjoying an old fashioned parade in downtown orinda with her mama and her kiddo.

JUNE 2009

…has failed in her lunch time attempt to remedy her shoe issues.

…was proud to join so many wonderful people at Pride. It was an honor to share the day with them.

…doesn't know if she should be impressed or horrified that when Hank came up asking for a new diaper, it was because he had somehow managed to take a dirty one off and leave it on the hallway floor without taking off his pants.

…is gonna blame it on the boogie. (Michael Jackson died. Now they have ruled it a homicide!).

…is eagerly awaiting Henry's victorious return from the Apple store. (He was victorious and we are now addicted to our iPhones).

…is listening to her overtired boy cry and cry and cry instead of sleep. It was so much nicer listening to him sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star earlier this evening. Sigh. (We never tire of listening to Hank sing. It is just wonderful how musical he is).

…is so grateful to have seen so many of her old teachers tonight. (We went to a party at my high school to celebrate the retirement and career of the head of the school, who was Dean when I was a student there. So many of our old teachers were there and it was such a treat to see them again).

…is wondering just what to expect at a first-time home buyer's seminar...

…had the best time at the Drive In last night. Finally -- another place we go to a movie without needing to get a sitter! (Hank’s first drive in movie was the latest Pixar confection, ‘Up!’. We kind of thought that he’d fall asleep in the back of the car, but no – he loved watching the movie, and when he did grow bored, he loved playing in the car. What’s not to like?)

…and Henry just survived Hank's first epic tantrum. Holy cow.

MAY 2009

…wishes that each day could hold as much beauty as the weekend did. (it was a beautiful long weekend in Yosemite with Branwyn, Stephen, Allyndreth, and David. What fun!! Marmots!)

…three years ago tomorrow. Loves to Henry!

…a sad, sad day for the East Bay. :( Both Speakeasy theaters are now closed. (these are the theaters that held Baby Brigade and had a full dinner menu and beer. We miss the theaters so much!)

Sunday, July 19, 2009


Spending the afternoon in Tiburon today. It is breezy and blue and just delicious. We had a fun lunch at Sam's Cafe, where Hank sharpened his fork skills. We were planning to go over to Angel Island, but opted for a stroll over here instead.

--- Posting while on the go.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A day at the fair

Hits: the baby animals, the chickens (hank found the chickens hysterical!), all the colorful lights after dark

Misses: Hank did NOT enjoy his first carnival rides :(. I felt terrible.

--- Posting while on the go.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


--- Posting while on the go.

Friday, July 10, 2009

More Hank-isms

"oh my gooooood!"
"dada farted"
"dada no do it, mama do it!"

--- Posting while on the go.

Technology is our friend

Jus testing out an application I found for my iPhone that let's me upload blog posts from my phone. Looks like I can even take pictures from this application and post them from here. This is great! Maybe I'll be able to keep the blog more current!

--- Posting while on the go.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

100,000 Miles

100,000 Miles, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

I completely forgot! my car turned 100,000 miles a couple of weeks ago! How cool is that? I was driving along on the Bay Bridge. I am glad there weren't any CHP around, because I have a feeling that taking photos while driving is frowned upon.

First Bubble Bath

First Bubble Bath, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

SF Pride

SF Pride, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

SF Pride

SF Pride, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Father's Day

Father's Day, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Nap Time

Nap Time, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Nap Time

Nap Time, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Monthly update

Good god, has it been a month?? Practically.... Updating the blog has just taken a back burner lately, which is unfortunate, seeing as pretty much every day Hank does something neat-o that makes me think "oo, I need to write that down in the blog!"

So, without further ado, some highlights from the last few weeks!

Hank has learned to sing! His faves are Twinkle Twinkle Little Star (to which he's got his own words, but they include "winkle winky", E-I-E-I-O (Old MacDonald), ABC (he can get up to G, and then just repeats that over and over again), and Happy Birthday (which he sings all the time).

I don't think I've written any of these down, but Hank has his own words for a few things:
Dinner = dih doo
Grandpa = Gee Pa
Guitar = gihtee
Bath = Bah too

Learning and Growing
So we've been trying to establish a habit in Hank of brushing his teeth. Now that he's got some, we think we ought to do what we can to keep them nice. He was not in to it at first, but once he realized that he'd get to stand at the sink and play with water he took to it like a duck to water.

Hank is learning his colors -- it is so cool!

He's also learning his ABCs, and brings alphabet books up to us chanting "ABC! ABC! ABC!"

He's obsessed with books - we are CONSTANTLY reading.

I'd say the biggest adventure Hank had in the last few weeks was going to the SF Pride March a couple of weekends ago. We rode BART to the City and met up with friends to march in the parade with Equality California. People kept thinking that my friend Torey, her son, Hank, and I were a family. When I would explain that I was actually straight and just there to show some support and solidarity for marriage equality, I was always blown away with the gratitude people would offer me in return. It was really rewarding to be part of the march. Bonus that Hank had an awesome time -- there were so many people to talk to and wave at, and all the noise! It was so exciting. We wrapped the day up with a lot of wonderful run-around time in the beautiful Yerba Buena Gardens. It was a terrific day.

On Tuesday Henry picked up Hank from daycare and brought him to the City to meet me for dinner. After a long walk and having some food, Hank got to run around like a maniac at Justin Herman Plaza, down by the Embarcadero. This boy just loves to run around in circles -- he just lights right up, giggles the whole time, running in circles. Cute as a button. We loved having a family night in the City.

Hank has a real friend
This is what I've really been wanting to record -- Hank has his first real friend, Zach, who he loves, adores, and talks about all the time. He's always asking for Zach, and I hear that Zach is equally in love with Hank. They play at daycare together and apparantly they are quite a hoot when they are together. I had our DCP slip Zach's mom our contact info so we can start getting them together on the side, and I am really looking forward to our first playdate. Those kids are going to be so excited when they see each other at the playground!

Non-Hank News
Henry and I joined the cult of the iPhone. And ohhhhh.... is it a nice cult to be in. My only complaint is that when I take the photos and videos off the phone and put them on my computer, they wind up upside-down and completely out of order. Last night I spent well over an hour placing all the photos in order and fixing the alignment, and then when I did the upload, everything turned upside down and I had to waste another half hour fixing the rotation! I haven't even tried to get things back in chronological order. And don't get me started on the videos. I didn't even bother with the upload because I couldn't turn them right side up!! I guess this is going to force me to use youtube, something I've been avoiding, because I can barely keep up with this blog and flickr. Who needs one more thing to maintain?

Things have been so non-stop lately. I keep hoping that they will slow down, which I know is unrealistic. I'm still not used to a commute adding so much time to my day, and I'm starting to think I'll never get used to it. I really miss the 15 minute drive.... Now my day is usually about 11 hours long, from leaving in the morning to getting home in the afternoon. I just don't think I'll ever be able to get used to that... sigh. Enough moaning, I've got videos to upload.

Friday, June 12, 2009


Oh I love fridays. They make all the stress of the rest of the week seem totally worth it. Even though Hank has started to have some pretty loud and intense tantrums, I still really love having a dedicated Hank day. This morning he was hanging out in our bed with me sing-songing "Kisses! Kisses! Kisses!" over and over and over again, and coming over for hugs and kisses. It was so sweet.

I'm so glad we've got such a sweet boy. He's so SWEET and NICE and HAPPY, we have such a good time. :)

He's so talkative -- I know I write that a lot in this blog, but it seems that he keeps getting more and more so. One of this week's gems came when I was trying to warm him up to the idea of getting ready for bed. I asked him, "Hank! Are you sleepy?" He cackled, as if that were the funniest thing he'd ever heard, and then said, "I NOT seepy!!" and then ran off cackling.

He's also saying lots of things like "Mama got it!" when I've picked something up.

This has nothing to do with talking, but he's figured out how to open the fridge and the first thing he does in the morning is run into the kitchen, pull the fridge open, and then get out whatever it is he wants to eat. This morning he showed up in our bedroom with a huge tub of yogurt (hello, giant mess waiting to happen!) and a box of his beloved blueberries. He always leaves the fridge open, of course. But if we ask him if he left it open, he runs back to the kitchen and shuts it.

He's going to get so mad in the morning when he finds out we put a baby lock on the fridge.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Have teeth, will brush.

Hank brushing his teeth, originally uploaded by hjw3001.

Now that Hank has ten teeth, we thought it might be time to bust out a toothbrush! Before bedtime Hank climbs up to the bathroom sink on a little stool and "brushes" his teeth and plays with the running water. He loves it.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Hiiiiiiiii, Marmot!!!

Yosemite May 2009, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Ahhhhh..... we just got back from Yosemite. It was so incredibly lovely, just bursting with water and growth, flowers everywhere, grasses as tall as we stand. It was impossible for me to come home without dwelling some on what I can do in my daily life to make each day, in some small way at least, revolve around something beautiful.

Don't get me wrong, my family is beautiful, and my life very much revolves around them. I'm thinking more along the lines of beauty in my career. That's where it is lacking. This is not a new train of thought for me, just one that I seem to be hopping on more and more lately, hoping that eventually I will reach a sensible destination, one where it all becomes a bit more clear, and my professional skills and my personal drives finally, once and for all, coincide in to a career alternative that is not only lucrative, but deeply, personally satisfying.

I tend to always find myself thinking about these things on my way home from places like Yosemite, from weekends like we just spent -- a weekend with family and friends so close they should be family. I wonder about my personal priorities and struggle with how out-of-line I feel they are with the professional choices I've made thus far. I wonder if it is too much for me to ask. I hope it is not too much for me to ask.


Anyway, marmots... yes, marmots. This weekend we headed up to Yosemite to meet up with my dear friend Bran and her husband Stephen who are visiting from England. Bran's sister and her husband came, too, and we had a really fun couple of days, adventuring through the beautiful scenery that is Yosemite in the Springtime.

We spent one day making our way up to Toulumne Meadows, making a stop at Olmstead Point, a spot that overlooks the entire valley, set atop sheer, glaciated granite. Every time we've ever passed by Olmstead Point I've commented to Henry, "If I were a marmot, I would totally hang out here."

Well, yesterday up at Olmstead Point there were several marmots. I hadn't seen a marmot since I was in high school, traipsing through the Eastern Sierras on the Athenian Wilderness Experience. I remember always being impressed with the way marmots would just hang out on their sunny rocks, and sort of wave us along as we headed down the John Muir Trail. These marmots were no different. It didn't even faze them when Hank, in his extreme excitement, squealed with joy and tried desperately to get close enough to them to hug them.

I told Hank that the animals were marmots and he started pointing and exclaiming, "Hiiiiiiii, marmot!!! Hiiiiiii marmot!!!" And when we left, it was, "Bye Bye, marmot!!!! Bye Bye, marmot!!!!" And the rest of the afternoon and evening, it was "Marmot, marmot, marmot." etc. Cute! Our little junior ranger...

Anyway, this weekend was really special for me. I was so happy for Hank to finally get to meet Branwyn. We tried all weekend to et Hank to say "Hiiii, Branwyn!", but he would get all shy. Of course, now that we are home and Branwyn is not here, he keeps saying, "Branwyn, Branwyn, Branwyn!". Hank LOOOOVES Branwyn. And the little London bus she brought him. He pushed it all over the apartment tonight, saying "buh -- choo choo -- buh". I just warmed my heart when Hank chose to hold Bran's hand on a walk today instead of mine -- it was so cute! And the way he hugged Bran and Al both goodbye today. It was like he knew they are basically family to me, and that they are his aunties.

The reason we went all the way up to Touolumne was so that we could hike a ways up the Lyell River Canyon, a part of the John Muir Trail I hiked on AWE. I hadn't been back there since then -- so almost 20 years now. (holy cow). I was so glad to find the trail head and hike part of the way again. Every time I am in Yosemite I think about that trip and things I saw and experienced that I can't imagine ever experiencing again. There are so many memories from that trip that I still hold dear. I'll have to write them down one of these days, but it isn't going to be tonight. Maybe one evening, soon, I'll be able to do it.

Monday, May 11, 2009

A Huge Weekend for Hank

Hank started things up with a bang on Saturday morning by climbing out of his crib. I came in to get him up, and he was sitting on the floor, happily reading his books! As you can imagine, I was completely floored... We weren't sure what to do -- try to teach him to climb out safely and climb back in, try to teach him to just stay in and not climb out at all, or convert the crib to a big boy bed and kiss those beautiful baby days goodbye.*

So, we decided to convert the crib into a toddler bed and see what happened. I took Hank to Babies R Us where we bought an exorbitantly priced bed rail, and came home and set it up. This also meant that we had to re-install the gate that Hank had managed to knock out of the wall a couple of weeks before, because if Hank gets out of bed, he'd be able to roam freely in the apartment and while we are pretty Hank proof, I wouldn't say the entire apartment in infallible, so up went the gate.

He's done really well with his bed. At first he wasn't really sure what to make of the whole thing. He came in, took one look at what was once his crib, and actually started crying! But he took to it really quickly and now were getting started on Hank's third night in his bed.

If that wasn't enough on Sunday, Mother's Day, Hank said "I Love You!" for the first time, complete with throwing himself into my lap/arms for a huge hug and snuggle fest. It was so incredibly sweet.

And now today, we see that he's popped at least two more teeth -- both on the bottom -- one next to the front teeth and one molar.

*I know he's still a baby in so many ways, but when you do something like put your boy to sleep in a bed instead of a crib, those snuggly wuggly days just seem to get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror -- they really feel like they are slipping away. I've been really teary over the whole thing -- so proud of him, so nostalgic for the little tiny guy he once was, so excited for what's to come.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

I love photos!

I'm finally uploading all of April's photos and videos to flickr. Seeing them reminds me of how much Hank changes, and how quickly! There are pictures taken of him on Easter saturday when we went on a wee egg hunt organized by my friend Betsey. We were having the hunt in a regional park out in some open space and it was a short hike to get to the spot. We decided not to bother with the stroller because we weren't sure how far we were going to have to go or what the surface would be like. Hank ended up walking/running the entire way -- I'm sure he covered at least a mile on his tiny little feet. He was so tired at the end of it all, but hated to be torn away. The boy just loves to mooooove.

Another nice memory of the last few weeks is reading "Where The Wild Things Are" to Hank for the first time. He pulled it out of a pile of books I've been keeping aside (read: so that he won't destroy them) and brought it to me. He loved the artwork and I keep finding it mew places around the house now that he's been introduced. Time to get a copy of "In the Night Kitchen" and let the Maurice Sendak love begin.

Hank actually really loves books and reading. He has me read to him often during the day, and I also catch him lounging on a big comfy pillow I made for him with a book. Sometimes it is one of his books, but more often than not he's pulled a novel off the shelf, or a phrase book (because the travel shelf is right near his pillow). My favorite when when I caught him reading Chairman Mao's little red book. Ha!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Bringing home the bacon...

I've been back at work for a few weeks now, and I won't lie, there have been some really hard days, days when I find myself really questioning if it is all worth it -- building/having/starting a career, trying to have it "all" and not really even knowing what "all" is... Today was one of those days. I spent all day running to catch up and feeling like nothing I do is ever good enough, that work suffers, home suffers, nothing thrives the way it should or could. I put Hank to bed this evening and rested my hand on his tummy and he laid there looking up at me with his sweet, sleepy face and I just felt myself begging -- 'let me do right by you, little mister. I hope I do right by you.' Motherhood is a terribly challenging job. and sometimes I worry I'm not good at it.


April was a really fun month. We took a vacation! We've been places together before, but this was our first real family vacation. We roadtripped down the coast to San Diego, saw my sweet friend Jessica get married, and went east to the desert. Hank did great -- he was a real trooper. Considering how much time we spent in the car, he was remarkably pleasant and happy the whole time. Some favorite moments that I'm afraid I'll forget:

-- running on the beach in Cambria. Hank's first really trip to the beach. He flirted with the waves, dug in the sand, explored the seaweed, and ran and ran and ran. It was lovely.

-- hotels. Hank LOVES hotels! LOVES them. Loves jumping on the beds, playing with the fans, opening and closing the doors, fiddling with the corded phones.

-- Henry all dressed up. He wore a tuxedo to the wedding and looked dashing. It was nice to have a grown up, dressed up evening, leaving Hank with a sitter.

-- ice cream bar. In Borrego Springs, temperature 104 degrees, I left Hank and Henry in the car for a moment while I ran into a five and dime to buy a couple of postcards. It was soooo hot, and we had just completed a four mile hike to an oasis. we'd made one quick stop for popsicles already, and when I got back to the car, Henry had given Hank his ice cream bar. Needless to say, Hank and the carseat were both drenched in melted ice cream and Hank could not have been happier. Henry had even asked him at one point if he could have a bite, and Hank said "NO!"

-- driving to Big Sur through Fort Hunter-Ligget. This has got to be one of the most beautiful pieces of California, if not the entire United States and it is right in our back yard. You cut over to Hwy 1 from 101 right over the Los Padres mountains. We wound our way through these wonderful roads -- flowers and trees and streams and meadows, climbing all the while, when suddenly the earth just opened up and we were on top of the world -- all we could see in front of us and below was the Pacific Ocean and all we could think was "how in the world are we going to get down there from way up here??" It was amazing.

-- stopping in Julian, CA for lunch. This is a really cute, quaint little western town with lots of shops and restaurants on a main drag, very popular with bikers. we had lunch and then walked up the road a bit to meet a huge horse. I bent down to help Hank meet the horse and next thing I knew the horse had decided that my hair was lunch. Just a little scary. A moment later, it had decided that HANK'S hair was lunch!

-- Scripps Aquarium in San Diego. You have not experienced joy until you have visited an aquarium with a toddler. Sardines!! Sardines!!! Tide pool!!! TIDE POOL!! SARDIIIINES!! Oh he had so much fun he hardly knew what hit him.

There were so many other nice things that happened this April -- a lovely Easter Egg hunt out in Briones Regional Park with friends, a potluck dinner at Katie's, lots of lovely time with family, Henry's birthday, but a lot details have already slipped away. I wish I had more time to keep the blog up to date, but I guess this will have to do. I've taken tons of pictures, too. I just need to liberate them from my camera. Once I do, I'm sure they will bring back some of the memories that have already faded.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Round and round...

Merry Go Round, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

that's kind of how I felt this week -- on a revolving merry go round that would stop for a couple of hours at night for some sleep and then it was back up at the crack of dawn to catch the train into the city, get to work, and do it all over again...

the first week back at work went pretty well, I think. Everyone is friendly and the clients have interesting issues and problems and I was certainly good and busy. It was hard not being able to pick Hank up until 6 pm, though. He had some really long days in daycare.

But today was friday which meant funtime with mama. It was a really lovely day.

Some highlights:

1 -- first FIVE word sentence: I Want Make Car Go. He also said to us 'I want my Gitee (guitar)", and then followed me into the living room to retrieve it. Also, today was the first time that when I said 'Hi, Hank!' he responded by saying 'Hi!' instead of looking at me blankly, or saying 'bye bye' or 'no'.

2 -- first drink at Starbucks. He got a huge cup of milk. It had a lid, but unlike his sippy cups, when this one hit the ground, it was milk all over the place. Fortunately we were on the street, and not indoors. We were with my friends Erin and Wyeth and their awesome kiddos, and we were just cracking up. Hank started to cry and one of us shrieked 'don't cry over spilled milk!' and it was all over... we were cracking up! and then the kids were cracking up... it was so funny.

Actually, we spent two hours this afternoon just cracking up as we strolled up and down Solano Ave. I just love these ladies -- they are my Musketeers. We have such a good time together.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Hank has managed to cram himself into a shoebox. Cute!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

March Wrap Up

Before we get much further into April that is....

First, I've got lots of new pictures to share but they are stuck in my camera. My laptop is dying a slow painful death, and I can't get it to stay turned on long enough for me to plug in my camera's memory card and download -- and the upload -- the photos to flickr. I'm so annoyed. Maybe it is time to revert to film and just get the pictured developed... I still haven't managed to make any progress on Hank's baby book, largely because I stilll haven't gotten all the pictures printed out. (this is a project I embarked on in OCTOBER... it is now APRIL... Maybe the longer I wait the less important it will become and I can just put it all in a shoebox and forget about it? Archiving in a digital age is tricky, for an old fashioned girl like me.). So, long story short, there are pictures, they are a-comin', just check back. When you do, you will see lovely pictures of my birthday, the new furniture set up in the apartment, and pictures of Hank exploring and exploring and exploring.

In news:

My 36th birthday has come and gone. I think this means that I have officially begun moving towards middle aged. Bleh. But what are you gonna do, right? Henry planned a really lovely day in Golden Gate park with a picnic at Stowe Lake, and trip in the the deYoung museum to take in the Warhol exhibit and a photography exhibit, and tea in the Japanese tea garden. Hank was with my parents. We went back to Oakland at dinner time and went to Holly's Mandarin (the BEST chinese food in the Bay Area), and my family joined us -- even Evan. It was such a great day.

I got a new job -- it starts on Monday. My dalliance with unemployment is over and back to the workforce I go. I admit to having lixed feelings about the whole thing. I think the job will be fine -- I'll be doing the same stuff I've been doing for the last several years, just somewhere else. The people all seem friendly enough. It is in the City. I just am a bix anxious of course about the impact of the schedule on our home life. It is still a part time job, but more hours than I was working when I got laid off, so Hank is going to be in day care for longer hours than he was before. I'm sure he'll do fine, but I'm going to miss him, and miss our afternoon playground runs, and I don't know when groceries are going to be bought or meals cooked, or mail responded to, stuff like that. I don't know when I'm going to get exercise, or have 45 minutes to myself, or practice ukulele, or make it to ukulele class. I don't know. I pretty much like my life the way it is and I hate changes, but here we go anyway. I'm just keeping an open mind, trusting that we'll be able to balance everything, and that we'll all thrive as a result.

Hank is so funny these days. He understands everything, knows who people are, and communicates so well. So, in Hank news.
1. Hank has discovered the Wonderful World of Condiments. I wish I had pictures of these two meals, but I don't so my memories will just have to suffice. On Thursday he discovered ketchup. He ate a whole plate of fries with ketchup. He kept dipping the fries in the ketchup and licking it off. Rinse and repeat. He was covered in ketchup and so, so happy. On friday night he discovered salsa. His kids meal at the local taqueria came with a small dish of fresh salsa. He locked on to this dish and kept scooping little bits out and eating it -- he ate the whole bowl of salsa that way, becoming increasingly giddy and happy with himself. By the end he had a beard made of cilantro, but by and large, all the salsa was consumed, along with most of a taco, beans, rice, and a slice of balogna. This is not a condiment, but he has also discovered apples and he looooves them, gets so happy when one is handed to him.

2. Hank has discovered how to make music. He strumms the guitar (which he calls a 'gitee'), plucks the ukulele, and bangs on his little piano. He is craaaazy for the gitee. I'm currently awaiting a box from Amazon containing Hank's very own gitee so we can stop worrying about him causing damage to Henry's!

3. We had an actual conversation yesterday! We were getting ready to leave Melissa's apartment where he'd been playing with Lillie and Liam, and it went something like this:
Me: Hank, I think it is time to go.
Hank: (waving at me) 'bye bye'
Me: do you want me to go home?
Hank: no
Me: do you want to go home?
Hank: no
Me: do you want to go home and see Daddy?
Hank: (with a goofy smile) Daaaaadddyyyy

He's also started to learn his ABCs which toally thorws me for a loop.

I guess that's enough for now. It is pretty hard to compress a month into one post, but at least I've managed to capture a little bit here. Hank is awake and has gone from babbling to whining and is now nearly crying so I think it is time to hit 'publish' and get up. Poor kid!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nap Time Blues (Mommy's, that is...)

Dear Hank --

Why. WHY? Why won't you nap at home? I've been hiding in the back, listening to you NOT nap for the last twenty minutes. Why do I have to put you in the car and drive you around to get a nap out of you? Why, when you are clearly tired and sleepy, won't you just lie down in your little bed and go to sleep right there? Why, why, why? I haven't got it in me today to drive around for twenty minutes and then be stuck in the car while you sleep for the next 90, so please oh please just fall asleep in your nice little crib and we can all just call it a day.


Monday, March 9, 2009

Gata gata paragata*

*'Gone, gone, completely gone' -- part of the chant that accompanies the mizuko jizo ceremony.

Yesterday we went out the the Green Gulch Zen Center in Marin County for an afternoon mizuko jizo ceremony. This is a Buddhist tradition of remembrance for children who have either not made it into life or who have died shortly after being born. We went to put a 'close' on our own experience with the miscarriage in December.

It was a very quiet experience. It took place part in a yurt and part outdoors in a lovely garden. In the yurt there were altars with statues of deities from numerous religious and spiritual traditions whose purpose is to watch over children. In the yurt, two female priests dressed in flowing black robes led us through a period of quiet contemplation during which each participant created an offering to leave for Jizo, the buddhist deity in charge of lost children. They provided red cloth, rosemary (the herb of remembrance), fresh wildflowers, needles and thread, and other supplies that we used to make our offerings. We made offerings to Jizo and prayer sticks, that would later be hung in a tree for the wind to carry away.

I spent much of the quiet/creation time feeling somewhat disconnected to what I was trying to accomplish, but when it came time to leave our offerings, and the lovely priests led us in the chant that I quoted above, I finally felt a sense of release that I think I had been hoping to feel for months. The words 'gata gata paragata' -- 'gone, gone, completely gone' hit me deeply and I remembered looking at the ultrasound and just blurting out 'it's gone!' and the sadness that followed that knowing. But in feeling these words again, a sense of realization washed over me that this experience really had been completely beyond my control, and with that release came one last explosion of grief and then, as the priests led us all in a procession down to the jizo garden, a calm sense of peace, acceptance, and opening filled me.

We walked to the jizo garden, which was tucked away behind a stand of bamboo, nestled in among the zen center's rows of lettuce, beets, fruit trees, and other crops. As we walked, the priest at the front of the procession rang a singing bowl, and the other rang an enormous bell that was hanging from a tree that we passed by. We ended in the garden where we all left a second offering in a large tree that was strewn with past offerings, all slowly being scattered into the wind. The sun was at a perfect bright angle, and everything around us was blue and vibrant green, and we were remembering these losses in a place that was simply abundant with life, regeneration, and renewal. The earth at our feet was exploding in food.

The most poignant moment of all this for me was when we, as a procession, crossed a small bridge that covered a fast flowing stream, racing to the ocean. The sun was glittering on the surface of the water, making it silver. The crossing struck me deeply because of the buddhist tradition that we flow in and out of an ocean of life, for many years the ocean deposits us, wave by wave, and then for many years, it slowly sweeps us back. While I'm not a religious person, I really like this idea, and I was glad that the water figured into our experience.

I am so grateful that we went to this ceremony. Neither of us think very much of the miscarriage anymore, but clearly a closure of sorts was still useful for us both. I was so sad to see so many people there -- there were lots of heartbroken people with us in that yurt, and we couldn't help but wonder on the way home how many of them were there for losses like ours, and how many had actually lost a flesh and blood child? I can't imagine the pain, and I don't want to. But I do hope that those families have found some peace.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Busy Bees

Some highlights of the last few weeks (which have had us running around like chickens with our heads cut off)...

We managed to pull off one more weekend getaway with our friends Melissa, Emmett and their kids. Despite Hank having an ear infection and some truly horrific weather, we still managed to have a really lovely time. Yosemite Valley was still blanketed in snow from a storm a few days earlier, and there wasn't any rain on Saturday. So that afternoon we were able to take all the kids out for a brief hike (Hank cried the whole time, I felt terrible!!), and over to a fantastic sledding hill alongside the road up to Mirror Lake. The hill was crawling with sledders, and it was really fun to be out there. Hank wasn't sure at first what to make of the whole snow thing, but after a little time he realized that falling into it wasn't so bad, and if he picked up a chunk and chewed on it, it even soothed his poor little teething gums. So, in the end, snow was a hit.

My favorite part of the weekend came at the end of the afternoon when we were strolling the Village. Everyone else was in the bookstore, and I was pushing Hank around outside in his stroller. There was a commotion up ahead as people started darting across the path with their cameras out. I pushed Hank over to see what the fuss was and it was a large buck, with a beautiful rack of antlers -- something I'd never seen. The buck started moving towards a nearby meadow, and Hank and I followed quietly behind it, trying to get a better look. After a few minutes the buck stopped to munch at a bush, and Hank and I got to get a really good view. We were no more than 10 feet away from it, and we could even hear it chewing. Hank, who was pretty sleepy, lifted his hand and pointed at the buck, and then fell fast asleep. It was a nice little moment to share, just the two of us.

So Hank finally got a real, big boy haircut. I'm going to try to rustle up a photo to put here, but long gone is the mop-top-fifth-beatle look. I was pretty sad when we got home from the haircut place, but the new cut has grown on me, and he looks cute as can be. And it is so much easier to wash.

Hank gives hugs now!! It is so, so sweet, just melts me. ooo! I have waited so long for this, and it was worth it.

I've been taking Hank to swimming lessons on and off since he was 6 months old and this weekend, for the first time, he actually seemed to like it! Usually he clings to me for dear life and it is a bit like taking a cat swimming. This time he really enjoyed himself and it was more like taking an otter swimming.

Teeth Watch
We're up to four, now. The fourth one came in while we were in Yosemite -- no wonder he was so upset on our hike, and was loving eating the snow...

Friday, February 13, 2009


Playground, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

See? I promised I'd take some more pictures! This is one of my favorite of Hank's many faces. Cute as can be.

Hank's been up to all kinds of no good lately -- he loves to hurl things to the floor and then exclaim 'uh oh!', and he's learned to turn the light on in his room, just as he is supposed to be falling asleep. (that one was pretty funny actually -- he discovered the light switch, flipped it to the 'on' position, and made this horrible face when the light burst on -- now he knows, the switch makes light, and he'll point at the switch, and then point at the light, and so on and so forth). He's absolutely button and switch obsessed, and he's managed to tear several keys off my computer keyboard. Thank goodness Henry was able to reattach them, or I would have been down an 'S', 'Z', 'ctrl', and 'shift' at a minimum...

What else has he been up to? Oh -- he finally learned how to pet the cats and not annoy, hurt, or damage them! That was huge! It makes him so, so happy to pet the cats and have them stick around for the love. So great.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Toothwatch, 2009

Toothwatch 2009 continued today following a particularly brutal 2:30 am wake up that could only be soothed with Tylenol. In the light of day I noticed Hank's two front, bottom teeth poking through. Later in the day I believe I found a third tooth poking through on the bottom, bringing the grand total to four. Wow! He'll be all caught up to his younger friends in no time!

Some fun milestones to report. In the last couple of weeks Hank has done some funny things. At the ripe old age of 14 months...

1 -- Riding on a carousel without sitting on someone's lap. He sat on the horse (well, the pig), and held on to the pole, and went up and down as the carousel went round and round. I had my hand lightly on his back, but basically he did it all himself. He didn't look scared, but he was holding on to that pole for dear life -- his little finger tips were white, he was gripping so hard!

2 -- First time picking out produce at the grocery store. He pointed out the fruit and vegetables he wanted me to get for him. Blueberries, bananas, pears, and sweet potato. He practically threw himself out of the cart trying to get at the bananas (he often eats three a day).

3 -- First time walking in a parking lot (while holding my hand of course), into a building, waiting for the elevator, and riding in the elevator without being in a stroller or held. Very cool!

4 -- Putting two and two together -- looking through his books, Hank now notices things that are similar from page to page. Of particular curiosity to him is an illustration of the moon that comes up a few times in one book. We'll get to a page with the moon on it, it will capture his attention, and then he will flip through the book until he finds another page with the moon on it, pointing enthusiastically all the while. He does this with an animal book as well, in which he will often pick out all the pictures of cats, and then all the cat-like animals (the lion, the tiger) as well. Really, really cool!

5 -- First time tattling on something/someone else -- today Hank tattled on the diaper pail (after it fell on him when he pulled it over on top of him), and on Munchie. I hear a crash and a cry, and then all of a sudden Hank is behind me with a very sad look on his face, blinking back tears, urging me to come see the 'perp'. He points at the guilty party and looks at me to make sure I know who 'did it'. Mommy's little tattle tail...

Sorry there haven't been many pictures lately. Hank is totally obsessed with the camera and whenever I try to take a picture he notices immediately and becomes transfixed by the camera, and does whatever he can to take it away from me and smack it against the floor. Thus, the camera has been put away for a little while...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

President Obama!

inauguration 005, originally uploaded by allthingssara.

Today we had the good luck to be able to all go together to a local BBQ joint to witness the inauguration of President Barack Obama. My mom and dad met up with us at our apartment at 7:30 this morning, and we had a raucous car ride into downtown Oakland -- there was a lot of excitement in the air. Everett & Jones, the local BBQ place, was hosting a free breakfast and several hundred people were there, crowded into the restaurant, to watch the proceedings together. There were old people, young people, black, white, asian, middle eastern, pretty much every kind of person you can imagine was present and accounted for, and everyone was pretty excited. We met our friends Torey and David down there, too, with their little baby boy, and we shared a bench with a view of a large screen. There was lots of cheering for the Obamas and the Bidens, and lots of boo-hissing for the outgoing administration, and plenty of tears. Torey and I were a complete mess while Aretha Franklin sang 'My Country Tis of Thee'. Everyone in the place went NUTS when the newscasters broke into Itzak Perleman and YoYo Ma's beautiful performance of John Williams' setting of 'Simple Gifts' (to which I walked down the aisle at my wedding) at noon to announce that even though the oath had not yet been administered, because the moment of noon had passed, Obama was officially the president. Talk about exciting.

There was a great buzz everywhere we went for the rest of the day. People all around me just seemed happy and there was lots of greeting strangers in the street with smiles and hellos. Much more than usual. We were all really happy to have been able to celebrate with family and friends at a big community event.

Later in the day I went to the grocery store. When I was checking out the girl bagging my groceries grumpily commented to the equally grumpy checker something to the effect of, 'they all seem to think Obama is, like, god or something, but nothing's really going to change.'. It happened so fast, as I was placing my bags in the stroller, that I didn't say anything, but as I walked home I started feeling kind of annoyed by the comment. I mean, can't we have one measly day to celebrate this massive milestone in our history without the cynicism? I'm pretty excited about Obama and the potential of this administration, but I don't have any delusions -- I mean there's only so much one person can do. Nevertheless, he's given me and the rest of his supporters a lot of hope. Anyway, I thought about the bagger and the checker my whole walk home. After getting inside and putting everything away, I was looking over my receipt. I noticed that the checker's name was 'Hope'. Ironic.

We spent the rest of the afternoon watching MSNBC coverage (how much do we love Keith Olberman and Rachel Maddow??), and rebroadcasts of the speech and poem (because I missed those -- Hank had had enough by the time those started!) (I LOVED the speech - especially the commitments made to science and the acknowledgment of us Americans who are 'nonbelievers' -- what a change already!), and enjoying the memories surrounding this day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


One more quick post before calling it a day over here... To celebrate his 14 month-iversary today, Hank sprouted two teeth! For real! He's finally got teeth! And they are so cute! Exclamation point! Finally! Finally! He's like a REAL boy! We haven't managed to snap a photo yet, but we'll capture them on 'film' as soon as we can. They are coming in on top, I think the canines. Looks like teeny tiny fangs. I think I'll call him 'Fang' until more come in. I can't believe he's been working on these since he was 3 1/2 months old. Finally!

Now if he would just give me a kiss, I would be in heaven this week.

Nothing Says 'Happy New Year' Like Burning Things

CIMG9137, originally uploaded by douray.

Last saturday night Henry and I took Hank and several dried up xmas trees to Ocean Beach for the annual tree burning. My parents met us down there with their xmas tree, so including the ones we picked up on the street outside our building, I think we had five or six trees to burn. We got to the beach right at dusk, as the nearly full moon was rising over the edge of Golden Gate Park. All the fire rings were already taken, so we joined another group at theirs and pretty soon trees were going up in flames (FWOOOSH!!) all around us. It was super fun.

Hank has been super awesome the last couple of weeks -- he's so busy, all the time. His need to explore is on an all time high. Henry and I took him to Ikea last night to have meatballs and buy a curtain rod, and we turned him loose in the sofa department. We let him run amok, climbing here, running there, for quite sometime -- until it was clear that he was becoming a danger to himself or others, at which time we had no choice but to put him on stroller arrest.

My favorite thing he's done lately is give me a real live, honest to goodness hug. I'm still waiting on a sloppy kiss from him, and those pesky teeth, but I'll happily settle on a hug from my big boy.

Friday, January 2, 2009

To everything, Turn, Turn, Turn...

So I was saying that a lot has been going on these last several weeks. In addition to some really great stuff, we've been nursing some disappointment and the sadness too. I've been debating whether or not I wanted to post anything at all about it, but what is the point of keeping a diary and leaving an important event out? So in the interest of honoring our the experience and loss, I'm posting what is probably going to be a long and possibly graphic story.

I was hoping that I would be making a post right about now announcing the impending arrival of our second child, but sadly I won't be able to make that announcement at this time. We learned I was pregnant about a week before thanksgiving. We were pretty stunned -- I had just barely recovered from my gallbladder removal (done in the hopes that any subsequent pregnancies would be easier for me), and we had just started trying. It was clear from the get go that it was going to be very different than Hank's pregnancy -- I wasn't experiencing physical symptoms, had nearly no morning sickness, and all of this left me feeling a little worried, and not really believing I was pregnant. Nevertheless, a few nights before thanksgiving, with all our family members crowded around a cozy table at a local italian restaurant, we decided to announce that I was pregnant. It was a wonderful treat to share the news with everyone at once, and made for a very bright spot in our thanksgiving week., and even though things have not worked out, I don't regret making that announcement for a second.

Things kept cooking, but I continued to not believe I was pregnant, and even forget that I was pregnant. I rarely felt sick, and felt kind of relieved when I did feel my stomach turning. I never developed my Super Sonic Sense of Smell, kept forgetting to call and make my first prenatal appointment, and I didn't have any heartburn. The only 'symptom' (if you can call it that), was blind rage and cravings for weird foods like doritos and bread and butter pickles. (in fact, I joked that I should have known I was pregnant when I nearly ripped the head off a postal clerk who refused to release a package sent for Hank's birthday to me because Hank and I did not share a last name, and then went straight to safeway for a bag of doritos -- something I haven't wanted to eat in years).

Anyway, fast forward a few weeks (and if you don't want to read about things like blood, clots, and cramps, maybe skip the rest of this?), I started spotting brown blood. This is pretty normal in early pregnancy, but it made me uncomfortable, and when it didn't stop after several days, I called kaiser and wouldn't let up until they made an appointment for me to come inthe next day. At that appointment I had an ultrasound and we saw the eggsac and the embryo inside, a flickering heartbeat. The doctor measured it and said that it was measuring a perfect six weeks, four days gestation, exactly right for when we think I ovulated. Needless to say the ultrasound gave us some degree of reassurance, and we left the appointment feeling like we might actually be headed towards having another baby.

The spotting continued for another day or two, and then finally stopped. I was relieved. I managed to forget about it and we started preparing for Christmas. In the middle of that week I had a horrible, horrible dream in which we learned I was actually carrying two embryos and that one wasn’t going to survive, so we were going to have to have that one removed. We ended up in a horrible place with blood all over the floor, and the surgeon removed both embryos, without telling us. On the way out, I realized what had happened and I was heartbroken. I woke up certain something was wrong with the pregnancy. But there was no spotting and I think I actually had some morning sickness that day, so I remained confident.

That weekend we went out to do our Christmas shopping. We were feeling good, having a nice time, got a lot done, but when we got home, I was spotting again, much heavier than any of the previous times, and I got very, very worried. If it had been the same as the initial incidents, I probably wouldn’t have thought too much of it, but this was like losing my mucus plug before Hank was born. I was very worried, so we called Kaiser. It was a Saturday and the advice nurse was no help. She actually told me that it would be inappropriate for me to go to the emergency room for this, that they wouldn’t do an ultrasound to check on the pregnancy. (I found this hard to believe but we decided to stay home, anyway).

The next day I was still spotting brown, but we decided to go about our plans. I went out to Orinda to make cookies with my mom and our cousin Joyce, and Henry took Hank to the city to see an exhibit with our friends David and Torey and their little baby boy. In the early afternoon the spotting changed to bright red and heavy. It was clear to me right then that this was definitely a miscarriage.

Henry came to the house with Hank. We left him with my parents and went back to our apartment to wait it all out. I called the advice nurse again, who repeated that the emergency room wasn’t a good place to go during a miscarriage, as they would probably just have me sit around and wait for a loooong time, so home was the best place to be. Over the course of the evening the bleeding came heavier, clots started passing. It was very sad.

The next day, Monday, I was finally able to be seen by a doctor at the ob/gyn clinic. They did an ultrasound and immediately when we saw the screen I said, ‘it’s gone.’. It was gone. Just gone. To my eye, there was an empty, empty uterus. Nothing left.

The doctors who diagnosed the miscarriage were terrific with us – very kind and comforting. One of them said that all we could do was go on home, take to each other and love each other. While the last two of those instructions were a given, we weren’t quite sure about going home, so we went to a matinee. It was pouring rain and so, so cold.

In retrospect I can’t help saying that I knew there was something wrong with this pregnancy from the get-go. It just seemed to come from out of the blue, and I never felt much of a connection. Also, the heartbeat, even though we saw it, just seemed slow to me – slower than what I remembered seeing of Hank’s heartbeat when he was just an embryo. The doctor didn’t make any comment on it, but I still feel like it was slow. Fortunately the miscarriage was early enough that I didn’t have to have a D&C, and I was able to just let it happen naturally. It took several days for the bleeding to stop, and for the clots to stop coming.

We were really, really sad for several days, but this probably happened because of a chromosomal defect, and I would rather have my body sort it out early on than be faced with a horrible decision, or worse, down the road. I’m just glad that I’ve got a great husband and a fabulous toddler who make me feel as though if this is all I am going to get in the family department, then I am set for life, because I don’t know where I would be without these two.

A week after the miscarriage we headed to NY for a week for Christmas. While we were there we did so many things that really restored us and helped get back to feeling so much better. We took Hank for pictures with Santa – I had desperately hoped that Hank would scream and be scared of Santa this year, but no dice. He was pleasant as he could possibly be, and after an initial quizzical glance at Santa, smiled for his picture and had a great time. He definitely was on Santa’s ‘nice’ list after that!

The next couple of days Henry and I left Hank with Henry’s parents and we headed into Manhattan to explore and reconnect. The first day we went in we did the nicest thing I think I have done in months – we hiked in the snow and crisp, sunny day through Central Park’s Ramble, a wooded area surrounding a lake, with tons of birds and animals roaming about. In fact at one point I turned to Henry and asked him, ‘are there Cardinals in NY?’, because it just seemed like a perfect place to see a bright red bird. Almost as if on cue, a small flock of cardinals descended into a tree right in front of us!! I couldn’t believe my eyes! We finished that day off with a trip to the Guggenheim to see the art, walk the spiral, and enjoy a holiday concert. It was lovely. We got back to New Hyde Park feeling like new people. We went back into Manhattan the next day to recreate the first time we went into the city together. We started at Rockefeller Center where we enjoyed trendy cupcakes while watching the skaters (and hoped for a Tina Fey sighting!! No dice), then we meandered up Fifth Avenue, stopping in to lots of the high end stores to ogle pricey items, and get my engagement ring cleaned at Tiffany. We even braved FAO Schwarz to buy a couple of Christmas presents for Hank. That place was a madhouse, but so fun! You can actually make your own Muppet there! We finished the day off with hot chocolates in a hansom cab ride at dusk, as the lights of the city came on all around us. After that we zipped over to the Times Square area to go to one of Henry’s favorite old haunts, Ollie’s Chinese Restaurant – it was terrific.

Christmas eve and day were mellow and lovely – time with family, and Henry’s friend Steven and Christina were able to come by a couple of times too. The day after we took Hank to a petting zoo where Hank was attacked by goats and a llama (I’m still surprised we got out of there with all of Hank’s fingers intact), and took a train ride with his daddy. And of course Hank spent countless hours going UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN and UP and DOWN the stairs, over and over and over again. He only had one bad fall, after which I was certain we were headed to the emergency room, but fortunately he bounced right back after the tears were moped up (mostly mine!!).

Now we’re back home and getting back into a routine. We are feeling pretty much recovered from everything, but I still have sad moments (like when I saw a baby wearing the same kind of hat that we lost the day the miscarriage started – I almost demanded the mother to tell me where she had gotten the hat! Can you imagine??), but for the most part the experience has become just that – an experience. Granted, an experience that we would have preferred to skip altogether, but an experience that is part of our lives, and now we can move on.

And of course while all this has been going on, I've also been trying to start a business of my own and sort out a mess with the EDD (my boss denied my unemployment claim after laying me off -- we have to have a hearing on it! It has been such a huge stress). So we've had quite a lot on our plates. The last few months of this year have been pretty rough, so I for one, am happy to see a new year come in to play right now.

Thanks for reading, and for those of you reading who were supporting us through the whole thing, thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is so incredibly good to have friends and family who are so kind and I can only hope that we are able to give back half as much as we receive from you.

Now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’m going to go roughhouse a bit with my little guy! He is so, so much fun these days and he has no idea what comfort he’s given us both recently. He’s getting more and more verbal – he points at things as says ‘oh! Wa dat??’ {oh what’s that, or I want that, depending on inflection and tone) and ‘oba deh’ (over there) and ‘aw doh’ (all done). Oh and he runs from place to place now and wears real shoes. When did my baby become a toddler?? Shocking. His latest thing is climbing in and out of a giant suitcase over and over again. Sometimes I give him a book, his wooden tomato, and a blankie, and he just kills time in there with those things. Pretty cute. Must take some pictures.