Here are the pictures I took on our trip to the Bay Area this past weekend. The first pictures are from Hoover Tower, which is on Stanford’s campus. Enjoy!
This past weekend, JB and I went to Palo Alto, CA to visit with my in-laws and as an added bonus, my SIL from New York (or da Bronx, as she says) was there, too. We opted for a 45 minute flight there over a 5+ hour car ride, and Little Miss was a perfect angel on the flight to California.
We had a relaxing weekend with a lot of family time, swimming, running, eating good food, a trip to the park, and an outing to the San Francisco Zoo.
Unfortunately, our return trip was the complete opposite of the first flight. Little Miss was tired and cranky when we arrived at the airport. She then decided to fill her diaper with a stinky present for us right as the pre-boarding for our flight started, and was pitching a fit about her unclean state. I convinced the gate attendent to let JB on the plane while we went to change her diaper. The fit got worse, and she started flailing the baby powder all over the place, so as I boarded the plane, both of us were covered in powder.
She was manageable until the plane started to descend. I handed her some milk to help with her ears, which she downed in about 10 seconds, and then we were left to deal with a kid that was already cranky and her ears were hurting. I have never seen such a fit from my child. We were definitely ”those people” that everyone hates having on the flight. Little Miss would not be comforted, and for about 20 minutes, she flailed, clenched her fists and SCREAMED at the top of her lungs. It was an impressive show. And I’m glad JB was there at least for moral support, as a few times, we just glanced at each other and had to laugh at this predicament.
The melt down subsided soon after we landed, and that’s when I said a blanket, “I’m sorry, everyone” to the people around me. People then began to comment on her amazing lung power. I said that yes, her strong lungs were going to give me hearing damage.
She fell asleep in the car on the way home from the airport (as it would have been way too easy for us if she had slept on the plane), and didn’t wake up for 12 hours. She was a much happier kid this morning, but I’m still feeling shell shocked, and am not sure we want to fly with her again for a very long time. I’ll post pictures later this week.
P.S. And want to know how hard I was kicking myself that I had forgotten her Tylenol at the in-laws house?! Knowing she was already tired and cranky, I would have dosed her before the flight as a preventative measure. But NO, I had a major lapse in memory and forgot the magic juice. Shame on the Mama.
Last week, I bragged to a co-worker that Little Miss had been on a well streak, and hadn’t been kicked out of daycare in almost two months. I even said, “knock on wood”, but there wasn’t any realy wood around for me to knock.
The next day, she got a stomach bug and was kicked out. That was Friday. We got her well Saturday, and then Sunday, she started getting some funky eye infection. Luckily, since it wasn’t pink eye, daycare didn’t kick her out, but I decided to take her to the doctor today. Turns out she has a staph infection on her eyelid.
As I dropped her back off at daycare after going to the doctor, a kid about 5 feet from her puked. Ah, the fun of daycare. I can’t help but wonder if the stomach flu is next on our menu.
Thanks to my SIL for taking these pics at the Donner Lake Triathlon.
This pic would have been perfect if I would have been able to stay out of the picture (I was trying to fix her hat).
Ah, the best laid plans of the parents can be foiled by the toddler. We had been planning a camping trip for weeks with some good friends. I found this awesome camping resort on a lake, and then on Sunday, we were going to meet up with my brother’s family at their condo for even more fun.
I had planned to take a half day on Friday to finish up my preparations. And then at 11am, I got the dreaded call from daycare. Turns out Little Miss had a stomach bug. So, despite the fact that we had non-refundable reservations and were completely packed, we stayed home. It was a good thing, as Little Miss was not in condition to go anywhere on Friday.
By Saturday night, she was back to her old self, and we ventured downtown for a free Latin Jazz outdoor concert featuring Pancho Sanchez. Little Miss danced a lot, spinning in circles and doing a great head bob. I had even thought to bring beer for us, but then we discovered two road blocks — no glass was allowed on the premesis and I had forgotten to pack a bottle opener.
JB purchased a cup for $1, and I went to a cheesy souvenier shop, where the cheapest bottle opener I could find was a $4 key chain. I figured, if we drank both beers I had brought, it would still have been cheaper than purchasing the $6 beers that were being sold at the venue. The first beer went down without a problem. JB poured the second one, and next thing we know, Little Miss had grabbed hold of the cup, and spilled it all over our feet. The entire beer. No, we haven’t taught her about party fouls yet. After all that effort, our tasty beer ended up making our feet sticky instead of warming our bellies. Darnit!
I spent a lot of time in the pool this weekend, as I am contemplating doing a 2.7 mile open water swim in 3 weeks. I was able to get my yardage up to 3500 yards yesterday, and I figure if I can swim 4,000 yards non-stop, I should have no problem with the swim. For those of you non-swimmers, I did 140 laps yesterday. Woo!
**Edited to add: After the concert on Saturday, JB decided he needed dessert. That is how we ended up walking through a casino at 10pm with our 17 month old. Classy, I know. And to the woman who looked at my daughter disapprovingly and then looked at her watch to imply we had her out way too late, I say a few things: 1. Bite me. 2. Just because we had a kid doesn’t mean we can’t have a life and 3. Keeping her up late meant we all got to sleep until 9am the next morning, so once again 4. Bite me.
Vegas mom gets placenta back – to eat
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A judge has ordered a southern Nevada hospital to return a placenta to a mother who sued to retrieve the afterbirth for her own consumption.
Clark County District Court Judge Susan Johnson granted a preliminary injunction Tuesday, ordering Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center to return the placenta to Anne Swanson.
Hospital officials said they will comply.
The hospital had refused to give the uterine lining to Swanson following the April 12 Caesarian birth of her daughter, with officials calling it contaminated biohazardous waste. The organ is currently frozen.
Yet another fire has been burning on the outskirts of Reno this week, and this one I can see from my office. It is 2,900 acres and only 5% contained right now… So sad. Here is what it looked like yesterday from my office.
This article blew my mind. And to think it happened in the city where I live…
Pair pleads guilty to neglect charges
Addiction to the Internet and the online version of the fantasy role-playing game “Dungeons & Dragons” is what led a Reno couple to nearly starve to death their young children, authorities said.
Michael and Iana Straw,
25 and 23, are accused of losing themselves in a virtual world of monster-slaying missions while their children suffered starvation and sickness.
One child is 11 months, and the other nearly 2 years old.
Friday morning, the Straws pleaded guilty to two counts of child neglect. Both face a maximum 12-year sentence. Through jail officials, they declined an interview for this article. Their attorneys in the public defender’s office could not be reached.
While child abuse because of methamphetamine addiction or alcoholism is common in Washoe County, abuse rooted in computer and video game addiction is rare, said Deputy District Attorney Kelli Ann Viloria, who is prosecuting the Straws.
Last month, addiction experts at an American Medical Association meeting backed away from a proposal to designate video game addiction as a mental disorder, saying it had to be studied further. Some said the issue is similar to alcoholism while others said there was no concrete evidence it’s a psychological disease.
Patrick Killen, spokesman for Nevada Child Abuse Prevention, said video game addiction’s correlation to child abuse is “a new spin on an old problem.” He said there has not been much research on how it impacts child abuse but said it likely goes unreported.
Killen explained that child neglect cases comprise most of the child abuse cases in the state and mistakenly are considered less serious than actual physical abuse inflicted upon a child.
“As we become more technologically advanced, there’s more distractions,” Killen said. “It’s easy for someone to get addicted to something and neglect their children. Whether it’s video games or meth, it’s a serious issue, and Nevada needs to become more aware of it.”
The Straw case was cracked open after a neighbor complained to police about a baby’s constant crying. An officer’s visit prompted social workers to investigate and ultimately take the children to the hospital where doctors said they were severely malnourished and were on the verge of death, police said.
Both children are in foster care and are doing well and gaining weight, Viloria said.
Michael Straw in September received a $50,000 inheritance which he spent by December on computer equipment and a large plasma television screen that displayed their video games, namely Dungeons & Dragons, authorities said. A relative told law enforcement that Michael Straw met his wife online when she was 16, and both were obsessed with computers and the Internet.
“Instead of providing health care or food for their children, they bought computer equipment,” Viloria said.
According to court records, Michael Straw said he was an unemployed cashier while his wife worked for a temporary staffing agency doing warehouse work.
Their daughter, who weighed six pounds at birth, weighed 10 pounds, could not lift her head or sit up because she had no muscle development when social workers found her.
Her hair was matted with cat urine and she had an infection in her mouth, dry skin and was so dehydrated at that point she could not cry or urinate.
Her brother also was severely starved. His lack of muscle development caused him difficulty in walking.
Neither child had received immunizations, and the baby had not received any medical care since her birth, police said.
According to a police report, when the officer responded to the neighbor’s complaint, the inside of the Straw’s apartment was filled with trash bags of garbage, and pathways were made to navigate around the home. It smelled like garbage, and there were several cats inside.
The children were dressed only in diapers. Iana Straw said her baby cried so much because she was premature. Dirty dishes and food were found in the kitchen. The refrigerator and cupboards contained food and formula for the children.
“They had food, they just chose not to give it to their kids because they were too busy playing video games,” Viloria said.
Social workers told the Straws they needed to leave the home so it could be cleaned. They stayed at a motel. When social workers checked on the couple two days after the officer’s visit, they immediately removed the children and took them to the hospital.
When questioned at the hospital, the couple claimed the children ate a lot, so much that Viloria said it would have been impossible for children in their condition to have consumed that much food or formula.
Source: Reno Gazette Journal
Well, Team Rebellin completed the Donner Lake Triathlon. I honestly have to say I’m impressed with my husband’s ability to do a 25 mile bike and 6.5 mile run without any training whatsoever. We were competing against three person relays, so needless to say, our standings were anything but impressive, but we finished! No training! We did a triathlon on a whim!
My brother, on the other hand, did train for this event, and finished second in his age division, in a field of 55 men. It was seriously impressive watching him, and I had to wonder why he got the good triathlon genes in the family instead of me.
The swim was a lot of fun. The water wasn’t nearly as cold as I had feared, and the competitors spread out almost right away, so I didn’t have to worry about running into other swimmers very much… Except for the two people that cut me off and then stopped to get their barings, causing me to almost collide with their rear ends. But I didn’t! Anyway, my time was 27 minutes 59 seconds, which beat my goal time of 30 minutes.
Donner Lake is a beautiful venue for such a race, and I really enjoyed spending the day there. I also got to hang out with my sister-in-law and two nephews, which was a great added bonus.
I was proud that I was able to pull off a 1 mile swim without really training for it, and I felt strong the entire way. However, seeing the competitors around me competing in the whole triathlon made me feel like a couch potato in comparison. For instance, two women participated in BOTH the sprint triathlon and the International length triathlon. And won! That is just showing off, now, isn’t it?! And how about the woman that came to claim her medal while carrying her ONE MONTH OLD BABY! It’s just not right!!! One month after I gave birth, there was no way in hell I could have even considered doing a triathlon, despite working out every day up to the day I checked into the hospital. And she won!
My sister-in-law tried to remind me that those women had to be obsessive-compulsive, and I have to agree, but still! I thought I was in shape, but these people take fitness to a whole new level. I have to admit that I pushed myself a bit extra on the treadmill at the gym today, as I was motivated by them to up the ante.
I took a bunch of great pictures, which I will post within the next day. Until then, over and out from the captain of Team Rebellin.
P.S. My hubby wore spandex for the first time since I’ve known him, and I have to admit he looked REALLY good in it!
Stemming from an innocent email conversation between myself, Brother G, and JB yesterday, as of 11:00 last night, JB decided that he and I would form Team Rebellin and compete in the Donner Lake Triathlon this weekend, an International length triathlon.
Don’t people usually train for such events?
After we signed up online, he poured himself a drink to help with “carbo loading”. We had considered naming our two person team “Team Taper”, considering our entire training regime was a taper, but I liked the sound of Rebellin (wonder why).
So, at the crack of dawn on Sunday, I’ll be jumping into a frigid lake to swim 1.5 K (about the distance of the Alcatraz Shark Fest I did several years ago) without any training under my belt. Sure, I’ve been swimming every weekend, but those workouts weren’t nearly as serious as they would have been had I known I’d be competing this weekend. The relays start after all of the individuals have started, meaning I’ll get to swim through all of the – ahem – “gapers” that are trailing behind in the individual race.
Oh, well, it should be a hoot. JB has never done a triathlon, so I’m sure to be entertained as I cheer him on the 24.8 mile bike and the 6.5 mile run. I’m also excited to see Brother G in action, as the man regularly wins his division in triathlons. I’d win these races, too, if they’d just remove the running and the biking! Ha!!!
This should make for some fun pictures and a great story.
Another fire started on the outskirts of Reno, and we awoke to a cloud of smoke over the city. In the 5.5 years I’ve lived here, I’ve never seen a summer with so much smoke. It’s like we’re living in LA with all their smog. And when you have a toddler with asthma, it’s very disconcerting and limits our activities.
This fire season is going to be horrible. Snow pack was at 25% of normal, and with this heat wave, the whole state is a tinderbox. Very depressing.
So did everyone catch the Live Earth concert this past weekend? I was glad to see Global Warming getting the amount of press that the event generated in recent weeks. It has been a year since I saw An Inconvenient Truth, which turned out to be a life changing event for me. Not a day goes by when I don’t think about my impact on Global Warming, and what is already happening to our Earth.
So many people deny Global Warming, but seriously, have you watched the news lately? Record temps and drought in the West… Flooding in the South. Forest fires a plenty. All of these are symptoms of Global Warming.
I know I’m going to get some of my friends and family all riled up about this again, with them claiming I’ve gone off the deep end in my tree hugging, but I firmly believe that if each of us considers our own carbon footprint, and we focus on what we can do to reduce that footprint, we can make a massive difference.
In the past year, we have made changes in our lifestyle to help reduce our carbon footprint. I’ll share with you our actions, and perhaps you can find more here.
Here are our efforts in the past year:
- Traded in my two gas guzzler vehicles for a newer, more fuel efficient vehicle. (Yes I should have purchased a Hybrid, but had to make a few concessions for our needs.)
- Replaced almost all of the light bulbs in our house with compact fluorescent light bulbs. The only ones that aren’t compact fluorescent are the recessed lighting for which there isn’t a CFC option.
- Moved our thermostat up in the summer and down in the winter. This summer, we have been using fans to cool the house at night instead of the air conditioner. In the desert, where temps drop drastically at night, this is pretty efficient at cooling the house. We also use ceiling fans to regulate the temperature before the air conditioning.
- Replaced our air filters in the house regularly.
- Turn off or unplug electrical devices that aren’t in use. (This is one the hubby and I fight over, as it drives him batty when I unplug cell phone chargers, the toaster, etc.)
- Only run the dishwasher with a full load.
- Planted 5 trees in our yard, and purchased 100 trees through American Forests. For just $1, American Forests will plant a tree. Each tree will help offset the carbon emissions you create. Go buy trees!
- Recycle more. In fact, the hubby would tell you I take recycling to an insane extreme, but I try to recycle all that I can. Nevada isn’t anywhere near where California is in regards to a recycling program. In California, you get a recycling container that is as bigger than your trash container, and you don’t have to sort it. (At least that is how it is where my in-laws live).
- Signed up for GreenDimes, which is supposed to reduce junk mail 70-90% in a year.
- Purchase eco-friendly products, such as recycled paper products (napkins, paper towels, toilet paper) and laundry detergent and soaps.
- Purchase organic foods more. Organic soils capture and store carbon dioxide at much higher levels than soils from conventional farms.
- Be conscious of product packaging, and buy products with least amount of packaging.
- Reduce the amount of baggies, foil and plastic wrap we use by utilizing reusable food storage containers.
- We have replaced many of our window coverings with shutters, which are the most insulating option available.
- We are making plans to insulate our attic to make the house more energy efficient.
That’s all I can think of right now, and there is so much more I could be doing. Yes, I know I’m evil for using disposable diapers and living in a sizable house, but I’ve made an effort to off-set my short comings by donations and efforts in other areas.
What have you done to reduce your carbon footprint? Share with me in the comments! I hope I’ve shared a few ideas of small changes you can make that don’t make a big impact on your lifestyle.
For the first time this summer, Little Miss enjoyed her time in the pool. Does it still count if it’s the kiddie pool in our back yard? We beat the record heat this weekend by hanging out in the pool together. She had a ball. FINALLY. Now if only we can get her to like the real pool!
Yesterday after work, I picked up Little Miss and headed to the grocery store. She was tired and cranky, and kept signing for milk. Of course, I didn’t have any milk. We also didn’t have any food for dinner, so I was wanting to get in and out of the grocery store fast.
I picked up a few items, and Little Miss started having a melt down, so I left without getting food for dinner. On my way home, I called JB and said, “I went to the grocery store to pick up something for dinner, but they didn’t have any food.”
I didn’t even realize what I had said until JB repeated back to me, “they didn’t have any food?”
Shows how frazzled a screaming toddler can make a person.
We celebrated the 4th of July by hopping on our road bikes and biking from Squaw Valley to Tahoe City. It was a nice day, and I thought of plenty of things to blog about on the ride, but I just don’t have the time or motivation for that now. I’ll leave you with a few pics.
Here are JB and Little Miss at our rest stop, where I shared my ice cream with Little Miss. It wouldn’t be 4th of July without ice cream!
And here is Little Miss modeling her new bike helmet and her belly button. She’s pretty proud of that belly.
Note: She had been wearing some adorable sandals that gave her blisters on her heels, hence why she is barefoot.
This is how my day went yesterday.
8:30 am — Arrive to work late because Little Miss stayed up late the night before and we all overslept.
8:30 – 4:30 — Attend meeting after meeting, and watch the email flood into my Inbox.
4:30 – 5:45 — Deal with the most burning issues in my Inbox.
5:50 — Pick up Little Miss from daycare.
6:10 – 7:00 — Take Little Miss grocery shopping with me, where she decides to start SCREAMING at the top of her lungs because it is just SO MUCH FUN, and it is so funny to watch Mommy react. I endure the stares of other shoppers, and the bagger questions my disciplinary tactics for this, which have included ignoring the screams, telling her to use her “indoor voice” (ha), saying “that hurts Mommy’s ears”, and then finally, I cover her mouth with my hand as she screams, and then she discovers that she can bite me. FUN!
7:10 — Arrive home from grocery shopping and call JB to tell him to get home ASAP. Start putting groceries away, and Little Miss starts to have a melt down as I put dinner in front of her.
7:30 — Off to bed she goes. I lay on the couch for about 45 minutes recovering from my long day as JB finished putting the groceries away.
9:30 — She’s up! And this kid is WIRED. We read books, we play, she does little dances.
10:00 — bath time.
10:30 — Back to bed she goes. She doesn’t agree with this decision. Let the screaming commence. This time, it’s not for the fun of it, and it escalates.
11:00 — When I discover that she doesn’t want to be rocked, I put her in the jog stroller for my old standby for getting her to sleep. She enjoys the late night walk for about five minutes, when she starts wailing. People come to their windows to see where the racket is coming from. I end up taking her out of the stroller and carrying her as I push the stroller back home.
11:15 — Rocking her to sleep finally works. She falls asleep on top of me, and I’m too tired to move.
11:30 — Finally put her in bed. Share a glass of wine with the hubby as we watch a bit of TV.
12:00 — Collapse into bed.
Is it any wonder I’m tired? The root of my problem is that Little Miss still needs two naps a day, but she only gets one in the toddler room at daycare. Hence, she’s really tired when I get her, and I am trying to determine if she should get early evening naps, or just go to bed earlier. Last night, I wasn’t sure if she’d be down for good at 7:30, and she wasn’t, so perhaps that’s not the answer. Ugha. If this keeps up, I may start to flex my schedule so that I can put her down for an afternoon nap!
Yesterday we made our first trip of the summer up to the beach of Lake Tahoe. We went to Commons Beach in Tahoe City on the North Shore to enjoy a free concert in the afternoon. It was a really nice venue. The beach was nice, also had a grassed area, and a play set for the kids. Little Miss loved the playground and the music, and waving to all of her fans (everyone is a fan, don’t you know), but she still had major issues with the sand and water. It is pure baby torture to make her touch either.
We’re still working on it.
We headed to the pool on Saturday with her Aunt, Uncle and two girl cousins. I thought that perhaps if she saw her cousins having fun in the pool, she’d get over her issues. Think again! It’s battle of the wills here, and I think Momma has the upper hand. Let’s hope, at least.
Here are a few photos from the beach yesterday.
Little Miss enjoyes a cool drink on the beach.
As for the fire at South Lake Tahoe, last I heard it was 85% contained. From where we were yesterday, you couldn’t see any evidence of a fire, and thankfully, there wasn’t a layer of ash on the water, as I had heard last week. The water is still a bit cold for swimming, though. It needs a few more weeks before I can do my open water swimming.