Monday, March 30, 2009

Over the hill

On Sunday two of my favorite friends, Dina and Susanne, and I hiked up the hills near our house. They hike all the time. Me, not to so much. Usually they give me 10 minutes advance notice before they're leaving and frankly, I need more mental preparation to exercise than just 10 minutes. I need hours. Days even! For this hike we had to drive to the start off point but it wasn't too far from our house.
The beginning of our hike starts off creeping under a barbed wire fence. Technically we're not supposed to be on the hills. We also saw what looked like monarch butterflies, but they could have been similar looking moths. It was the caterpillars that blew us away. I have pictures and a video down below.
What do 3 ladies talk about while on a 3 hour hike? You know, life insurance (my new hobby), sex, leg hair, pubic hair, vacations. The usual.

One of the views from the hill. I zoomed this one.

Way out there is the bay More bay Part of the city I live in
The thumb of our city Check out all these caterpillars!!!!!

There were hundreds and all on top of each other.

This is a steam train that runs on the weekends.

Dina and Susanne Creepy bones
Dina & Susanne
Susanne and I

Video of them dancing

Friday, March 27, 2009

Day 2 of New baby

Today is the first day my mom has met her new grandbaby. She's here for as long as Jen and Alan need her. Jen won't come home until Monday. Today Jen started on more pain meds and is doing much better. My mom says she looks a lot better and is certaintly feeling better. Here are a couple pics my brother has iphoned me.

This is Dayna. She's Todd's niece and also very close to Alan and Jennifer.

My mom and Allison

Thursday, March 26, 2009

I'm an Auntie!

Yesterday morning at 7am my brother and his wife Jennifer went to the hospital so she could be induced. After 24 hours she still couldn't dialate past 5 so they had to give her a c-section.

Meet Allison
Born 3/26/09
6lb 11oz
18.5" long

Thursday, March 19, 2009

We be ill'n

Shawna is sick again. She woke up Wednesday with a fever of 102.7 F but no other symptoms until today. Today she's coughing, sneezing, a major snot production company and still has a low fever. I brought her to Kathy's house today (sister in law) so I could come to work. Now that I'm not allowed to work from home (stupid new rule w/my new manager) I need to reserve as many PTO days as possible for my vacation to Cabo and all the company shut downs they have planned. Plus, when you give Shawna cold meds she's pretty much fine. Tomorrow I'm not sure what we'll do. I told Todd it's his turn to stay home. Kathy can't watch Shawna tomorrow. I'm basically trying to utilize my village.

Switching gears. I've taken 2 life insurance classes so far for my new part-time job. They're long (4 hours) with a total of 8 classes. The teacher, the Chad Meister (what he calls himself), is entertaining us (32 students) so it's not too bad. These are California regulated classes that you must take to get certified. Once certified I can schedule the exam in San Francisco. I have to present the certification at the time of the exam. These classes and the test are all free btw. The company I'm working for pays for it all. Sweet!

That's all for today.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Spring Cleaning

Last Friday Shawna's teacher instituted a stamp reward system for Shawna. If she participates in class she'll get stamps w/happy faces on them. 3 in a day means she did it all day. Friday she came home with 3 stamps! I asked her what she wants as a reward after receiving 15 stamps. She wants ice cream in a cone. The cone being the big deal.

Saturday was our first soccer games of the spring season. We got rained out 2 Saturday's ago. One of the parents took some pictures of Shawna's game and already loaded them on an internet site. Paula played really well. My mom, Paula and I went to Jennifer, my sister-in-law's baby shower during Shawna's game but I'm told she did well too.

Several of my aunts & cousins were at the baby shower. Alan and Jennifer had a small wedding. In order to do that you can't invite the DeMartini clan. We're a minimum of 50 all the way up to over 70 just on our own. Only one of Alan's aunts was invited to his wedding and that's because she's his Godmother. So, what this means is that Jennifer's friends and family were meeting some of the DeMartini's for the first time. Frequent Questions: Are there many of you? Answer: Oh yes. This is just a small sampling. My mom and two of her sisters were there. The one missing now lives in Florida. She was at the wedding. My pregnant cousin Kerry was also there. She's due in June. One thing you can count on when you have a large family is that someone is usually pregnant or not far from being pregnant.

The baby shower cake was made by one of Alan and Jenn's friends. Her husband is an officer like Alan. The cake had a tiny patrol car in a decorated neighborhood w/a call sheet laying over one part that announced there was a missing infant weighing approximately 8 lbs, wearing her birthday suit. It went on to describe other baby-ish things like her eyes are blue. Everyone loved the cake. It also tasted fantastic! We played some fun games and Jennifer received so many great things she told Alan this baby will never be naked. LOL

We had to leave in time so I could get home by 5pm. Todd and I needed to go to our schools crab feed & auction. We arranged to sit at a table along with some of our favorite friends. There was 11 of us I think. I went to all the silent auction items and anything I liked I bid on. Mostly I was trying to up the bids so they'd go for a high price. At the end of the night I only won two things and paid a fortune! I decided to bid on a parking space. I know that might seem stupid to most of you, but if you know me, know how often I'm tardy or almost late we are on a daily basis you know I need it!

There are 2 parking spaces closest to the school that if you win them you get them starting today (Monday after crab feed) until the next crab feed/auction. Today I was so excited knowing I had a front spot. As I drove into my space it was heavenly. Paula commented how we still had 2 minutes and we were so close. Woo hoo! I also won a family fun pack to the Oakland Zoo.

Sunday I cleaned my house. Boring right? I decided my laundry room needed a spring cleaning. If you have one how often do you clean your laundry room? I never did and boy did it show. Todd lifted the dryer up so I could vacuum underneath. The floor underneath it was covered with 1/4 of a inch of dust and lint. We found missing socks, money and other things behind the machines. Inside the tube that goes to the outside had sand stuck in it, among more lint. I also dusted all the blinds in my house. Those things were nasty too. We leave our windows open most of the time which adds to the normal dust that forms on a regular basis.

It's such a nice feeling to have a clean house.

I'll leave you with some pics of Shawna in her first soccer game. She's wearing the pink headband.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Shawna's report card email

HI Mrs. Teacher,

I saw Shawna’s report card. Below are my comments.

1: Reading: She just doesn’t get it. Even simple sight words are tough for her. She also gets frustrated that she can’t figure it out so she gives up and doesn’t want to try. I tell her to use the “sound-abet” as guidance but even that isn’t working. The need for glasses probably put her behind. Maybe the tutoring will help. What is your take on this whole thing? Also, keep in mind that Todd, his dad, brother, niece and nephew are all dyslexic when it comes to letters. We’ve kept a close eye on Paula and she seems to be okay. It’s possible Shawna is affected.

2: Writing: We will work on this one.

3: Participation: I asked her today why she had a needs improvement in music for participation. She says she doesn’t like the songs. I told her she has to sing anyway. If you can give me other specifics I can speak to her on them. In general I did mention again she needs to participate in class.

4. Glasses: She is new w/the glasses and takes them off in obscure locations. I didn’t notice a couple times before school that they weren’t in her case and I couldn’t locate them. (after school they were found in her share bag and next to my pillow in my room) We do have a Face or Case rule. She’ll get better with them and so will we.

5: Homework: Generally Todd is very good about this one. Last week someone put their things in her backpack while in extended care. When sorting it out somehow her folder got put into that person’s backpack.

6: Listening: I tell her everyday on the way to school to be a good listener. Since age 2 she chatters non-stop.

I’m open to any ideas or guidance you want to share with me. I probably missed something important above. I’m going off memory of what the report said.


Dear Mrs. Shawna's Mom

Thank you for your message.

1. Reading: At the beginning of the year Shawna was able to name most letters and keep up with us. But as the year has progressed, her attention has lessened, and probably her frustration increased. Shawna tries to go to the bathroom a lot. This seems to be an avoidance tactic.
I will have Mrs. Resource Teacher take a further look at her next week. For the peer tutoring, she gave the 8th grader a very very hard time last week. This week she seemed to be doing better with a different 8th grader, for the first few minutes I was there. Miss Assistant Teacher will let me know in the morning.

2. Writing: Please keep working on writing her name neatly, spelling her last name, and getting the letters to sit on the line.

3. Participation: She has very little during Music class, and often does not want to participate in other subject areas too, story time, repeating rhymes, saying prayers, answering a question, ... This is probably the area to focus on. She can do and she can participate. You told me at the fall conference that she said everything was boring. Please ask her what part of school she does like, and let me know so that we can capitalize on that.

4. Glasses: If she could wear them all the time it would be very very helpful. It must be confusing to see clearly sometimes and not others. Students in her situation usually do much better if they wear their glasses consistently.

5. Homework is every Wed. due back Thurs. so help her to become accountable for it. After she does her homework, she should be the one who puts it in her folder and into her backpack. She can handle that responsibility.

6. Listening involves eyes and ears and active participation.
Tomorrow morning I will start a little stamp chart, where I will stamp each box for the morning, mid morning, and afternoon, for her participation in class. You may choose to do with this chart as you wish, setting a possible goal of 12 out of 15 for the week could earn a fun activity at home ?

Let me talk to Mrs. Resource Teacher next week and I will get back to you on her reading.

Thank you,
Mrs. Teacher

Hi Mrs. Teacher,
I really liked and appreciate your input.

This morning I asked Shawna what are her favorite activities in school? She immediately said being on the computer. Her next favorite was sharing. I probed more. She likes arts & craft's, she also likes the sound books that you read to them. Not the sound-a-bet (she was clear about that) but the sound books that each have their own letter. ???
That's as much as I got out of her.

Thanks for all your help. I think she'll like the stamps for participation.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

In honor of St. Patties day next week I went green on my template. Are you feeling the spirit?

So I have news! Huge news! So huge that I want to scream it from the rooftops. I'll have to scream it out into the Internet instead.

I reserved our timeshare in Cabo AND booked my airfare! Not only that, Todd isn't coming. Instead my friend Kim is coming w/me. A girls trip! Squealing with glee. Actually, she's meeting me there. She needs to take one airline due to free miles, while I'm taking another one for the same reason. Anything to save a buck.

We go in October. Right now October seems years away. I know it will be here before I know it, but I need a tropical vacation now. Yesterday in fact.

Yesterday the girls brought home report cards. Paula's was stellar. She just needs to work on her writing. Everything else was great. Shawna's on the other hand didn't go so well. Lots of needs improvement. Reading, writing, listening, participation. I'm not completely surprised. Although "needs improvement on participation in Music" was a surprise. What kid doesn't love music class? When I asked Shawna about it she said the songs are boring. I guess the kids raise their hands and pick songs they like. Many of the kids choose Christmas songs. Shawna raises her hand but doesn't gets picked. She wants a bird song. Either way I told her she needs to sing no matter what the song. I emailed her teacher too, for guidance. Shawna is in tutoring once a week. I'm not sure that will fix the problem. She'll also have summer school so that should help. I reminded her teacher that dyslexia runs in Todd's family. The fact she needed glasses didn't help either. Am I grasping? Yes. When kid #2 is so different from kid #1 I have to wonder if it's anything else other than just slower learner vs. fast learner. I'm fine either way, I just want to know the reason.

Did anyone else notice it seemed like a full moon last night when in fact, the 10th was a new moon?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Friday night reunion

In high school I was really close to a guy named Aran. He and I were always just friends. Never any kind of sexual interest for either of us. His mom really liked me. That was huge considering she doesn't even like the mother of his 4 sons. He's an only child and kind of reserved. I'm the opposite of reserved so we clicked. He's a mechanical freak. Always wrenching on cars. Even today he's a plumbing contractor. He had a 55 Chevy. That thing was so cool. And FAST. And Loud. He also had a flat top ? Volkswagon he overturned one day smashing his fingers big time. He had to wear finger mittins. His mom drove a VW bug. When I dated Todd, my husband, back then at the end of high school, he and Aran could really relate because Todd had a '67 VW bug and is also a mechanical freak. They got along really well.

Later Aran got into the low rider trucks. (This was the early 80's) I remember going with him to Tahoe w/his truck club. He had a motorcycle too. He dated a friend of mine named Lisa for awhile. Aran and I used to call each other sister and brother. (I had a real life brother but he was useless!) When my first serious boyfriend in high school took away my virginity while we were drunk and in the back of car, Aran had something to say to him about it. I didn't often put him in a position to need to stand up for me but I knew he would in a heartbeat. That went for most of the guys I hung around with back then.

First off let me say that I've always been more comfortable around guys than girls. I always had girl friends, but I was more comfortable around guys. And guys were comfortable around me. It wasn't until I lived with 3 other girls in my 20's that I became more comfortable and understood them better. Shoot, I learned to understand myself better too in those 4 years.

Aran and I are back in contact thanks to Facebook. He wanted to get together with some of the old high school gang. This would include Terence (my 1st serious boyfriend), Aaron (very close friend who I work with now part-time and guy I dated on and off for years), Kirby (friend and backdoor neighbor growing up). There were others too but either I'm not in contact w/them or they don't live here anymore. Terence was on a plane coming home from Singapore so he couldn't make it but Aaron, Kirby, Aran and I sat caught up on Friday night. I'll post some pics of us from Aaron's cell phone.

I stole this picture from Aaron's facebook. This is him and his wife. Use binoculars if you must.

This is Kirby, aka Steve. He's single, never married, and lives with his parents! I asked Aaron the other night if he likes girls, cuz, you know. How would you know?! Apparently he lived w/a woman for many years and is now back at home w/his parents. He needs to get an apartment. FAST.

This is Aran, my bro. He has 4 sons, ages 17 - 8 years old.
And for you non-car folks, this is a 55 Chevy. Aran's was bondo'd out and all grey in color but the shape is same. Can you imagine how COOL it was to drive around in one?

We also bumped into another high school classmate on our way out of the restaurant. Danny was on a date. Sadly, many of our classmates are divorced now. It's like an epidemic these days.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

I'm normal. Sort of.

Quick update. My mammogram tests came back normal. Yay! I go back in 1 year.

Shawna's glasses are missing. Again. Todd thinks they might be in her share bag. Well, that's a great place for them. Too bad I didn't know that this morning as we're heading out the door to school.

Somehow Todd or I have to make it to the soccer office by tomorrow between 10am - 3pm to buy the girls their uniforms. That should be easy. NOT. Their first games are this Saturday. Nothing like waiting till the last minute. In our defense, they provided us with zero info on uniforms because apparently, most of the girls are return players from fall season so they're using the same uniforms.

My body is achy. Not sick achy but PMS achy. I hate that.

I'm going to attach a blurry picture of my friend Kim and me at a Lacrosse game for the Stealth. She's gorgeous. WTF is up w/all my chins???

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is it a lizard?

I'm watching my neighbors house for a few days. They have 2 cats I'm in charge of right now. One cat, Stewart, is notorious for bringing home presents. The last time I watched their house he brought in a bird. It was dead by the time I saw it, but it lay in their inside entry way with feathers everywhere. Nice.

Last night I'm sitting on their couch watching something I Tivo'd (knowing I'd be there an hour to visit w/the cats). I see something moving along the wall over by the entry way. It was almost slithering. I'm thinking Snake? I see Stewart over there too so I go to investigate. It's a lizard. It wasn't a green lizard, it was more yellow in color and almost transparent which creeped me out. I'm used to green lizards. It was trying to make it's way behind the shelves so I grab it. Ick! It didn't look well. I noticed a puncture wound on it's right middle side with blood coming out. The cat is freaking out now. He wants me to drop his toy. I opened up the front door and tossed the lizard into the bushes and quickly shut the door so Stewart couldn't retrieve it. Stewart is meowing like crazy. After I washed my hands I called the girls because that's what I do when their pets leaves me presents. I got Dina's cell phone voice message system. They owe me.

Edited to add a photo I found online. He kind of looked like this gecko so as my commenter said, I think it was a gecko.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Jerry's Surprise Party

Whoa Nelly! I had a crazy night on Friday. We spent Friday evening with our old neighbors, Jerry & Olga, who are also Shawna's God Parents. Jerry turned 45 so Olga had a surprise party for him at a place called City Beach. City Beach is a very diverse place. They have rock climbing, volleyball, billiards, bar, dancing, restaurant, arcade games and more. I drank about a 100 glasses of wine (exaggerating, sort of). Part of the birthday party package included 2 drink tickets per person. Olga had extras which she kept handing me (when I wasn't reaching into her bra to get out more) when I'd be low in my glass. At the same time Jerry showed up tipsy. He'd been out having dinner and drinks beforehand. We were posing for someone taking pictures. Jerry pulled down the neck of his shirt for some reason, so I stuck out my tongue towards his hairy chest. Jerry had me recreate that pose several times. I think (know) I was scaring a woman who is the admin for our preschool. There is no way she's ever letting me near her husband. haha

In addition, Olga and I felt the need to do some dirty dancing. Together. Some of the night is a blur. Like after the cab dropped us off at home when Todd told me I needed to take Susie and Dina's garage door opener down to their house because Keenan, Susie's son, was visiting on a break from the Marines and needed to get into the house. Dina & Susie were camping so I was in charge of feeding their cats. I guess Susie called Todd while we were out and told Todd that Keenan was coming. I did not remember any of this on Saturday. In fact, on our way to pick up my minivan later in the day, we drove by Susie and Dina’s house and Todd said he’d seen Jessica (Keenan's girlfriend) but not Keenan and I was like "Keenan isn't here." We had a back and forth conversation about what I did with the garage door opener. haha I did finally recreate (imagine) where I'd put the opener and had vague memories of walking stumbling down to their house.

My memory lapse continued, but not just about Friday night. I was so tired (hung over) that when I received a phone call from our Crab Feed chairperson asking who was selling Crab Feed/Auction tickets that night outside the 5:00pm mass I had completely forgotten I was in charge of the volunteers. Oops. I guess I’m selling them. So I called Todd telling him I’d be gone for dinner. He and the girls were at a park at that point. It all worked out though. I went to church that night to confess (forget) my sins. Afterwards I sold 1 whole ticket. Sunday night I did the same thing only I sold 3 tickets! (Other volunteers sold something like 45 tickets that day at earlier masses so it wasn’t all bad). While I was waiting for mass to finish the sky was gorgeous. I took a picture with my camera phone. Look at the awesome color in the sky.