Saturday, December 29, 2007

Look what Grayson got for Christmas



Mama's got a bone to pick with Santa. Just because it was on the wish list, didn't mean the man in red needed to deliver ...

Pedigree, history and parentage are all unknown, but to one certain 6-year-old, this scruffy looking mutt is definitely best in show.

Next on the list is finding a suitable name for this dog of dubious descent to call his own. Contenders include: Otto, Farley, MacIntosh, Ruff, Scruffy, Rufus, Artie, Honus, and Speed Bump (Rob's contribution). All suggestions (except those referring to car tire obstacles) will be considered!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Christmas in Bakersfield




Let me tell ya, the Bakersfield Zoo knows how to do Christmas. More than 2 million lights make it look like Disneyland, Central Valley-style! Perhaps a little more dirt, a few more flies, and with that signature bovine scent. But still something to see if you happen to be passing through on your way to another Christmas destination. And the apple dumplings weren't too bad either...

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Christmas Letter

WHAT WE LOVED IN 2007

GRAYSON: The quarter vending machines at the movie theater, raviolis, holding my breath for a really long time, spikey hair, recess
JANICE: Family bike rides, "Shadow of the Wind" by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, Mr. Clean Magic Erasers, Thanksgiving in Oregon, the Westmont students and alumni who care for my children
ROB: Lots of rental cars, Wrigley Field, riding Space Mountain with Grayson, the Fat Tire brewery, "Travels with Charley" by John Steinbeck, victory over the gophers in the yard
LUCIE: Mom's high heels, doggy kisses, my big brother, Tic Tacs, Chapstick

Wishing you lots to love about 2008,

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Six-year-olds and Santa


Six is a magical year for Christmas. Reindeer on the roof, sleighs that fly around the world, jolly men who vaporize into your house looking for cookies, not to mention the sack full of presents! This is the stuff of six-year-old fantasies. Even cookie baking is a grand adventure, for you never know when the gingerbread men are going to make their move and come bursting from the oven. Luckily they only bake for 8 minutes, which isn't too long to have a sentry stationed at the oven door. And even that, it seems, isn't enough. One minute our gingerbread cookies were cooling on the rack, and the next they were arranged on a plate on the table. How this could have happened, we may never know. The fact that I was holding a spatula just seconds after the miracle occurred doesn't diminish the mystery one bit. This miracle on Wagner Street has led to some interesting bedtime ponderings: if the gingerbread men hadn't been decorated with eyes yet, how did they see where they were going? Did they prop each other up to get on the table? Do gingerbread men have knees?? O ye of little faith ...

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Lions and tigers and .... dolphins!


Las Vegas is not my scene. I don't own a velor track suit, or ride in a motorized scooter, or dance on poles. There is one place, though, where I definitely fit in: Siegfried & Roy's Secret Garden. No, not because I like over-styled gay men with thick accents. I just like their animals!

As part of the conference I am attending, The Mirage offered us a behind-the-scenes after-hours tour of the Siegfried & Roy dolphin habitat and white tiger garden. While the boys' fascination with all things white is somewhat mysterious, the animals themselves are spectacular. The lions absolutely glowed bright white against the green sod and black night, glaring at us with disdain in their obvious superiority. You could literally see their white breath as they panted in the cool night air. The snow white tiger was standing on his two hind paws, scratching his chin on the uppermost branch of a tree. This was only 10-feet away from me, and the tiger stood at least that tall with his massive jaws and paws. I couldn't help but think of poor Roy's throat...

We were sitting poolside as the dolphins ran through their repertoire of tricks. Afterwards, they swam along the side of the tank and examined us with their sideways eye as we leaned over the edge to stare back. I could've reached out and touched any of them, except for the mama dolphin who kept her 6-month-old calf a safe distance away.

I finally found my niche in Vegas, even though the entertainment still isn't fully clothed.