Friday, July 29, 2011

7/29/2011 The girls are back!

I'm not crazy about it when the CDC asks us to pick up kids from somewhere other than their location, but it worked out today -- Gabriel's Archery Camp pickup was nearly within walking distance from the CDC's field trip from where they asked us to pick the kids up. So I picked up Gabriel first, then the other two.

So of course I think: all-three photo-op? Not really -- Gabriel had to trick Katrina into thinking something unexpected was behind me. She turns these situations from photo-ops into documentation moments, where the best I can do is record that they were all together.

The really good news for us this week: we get to rat-sit! Spot and Scabbers are back! Their true owners are going out of town for a week, and we gladly volunteered to rat-sit. The kids are thrilled, none moreso than Gabriel.

We're old hats with rats now; we know how to handle them and deal with the cage and all that. These two have grown a little, so may not fit into pockets quite the same way as before, but we'll manage (such as with bigger pockets).

It's so obvious we need our own pets. But with both parents working full-time and always feeling very on-the-edge, anything that needs more emotional maintenance than a cat (meaning: very little) wouldn't do well here. And school is starting in just a few weeks.

San Francisco seems a pretty dog-friendly city. I really enjoyed walking around during lunch breaks, touristing and immersing myself in the "city" world (though a completely different city world from New York). I saw a lot of dogs, and smiled at scenes like bored doormen in the high-class hotel district enjoying passersby with their dogs. I really liked walking around the city, especially with its beautiful hilltop views of thebay, but I also really liked seeing the normal scenes of normal life, including so many people passing their days and their lives with the companionship of a dog.

Rats are terrific pets for kids, and cats make the most sense for working parents, but there's no getting around that I've always been a dog person. Oh, if only. There are a lot of reasons for me to quit my job -- that could be one too!

But for the next week at least, we get to enjoy the company of two very funny friendly little girls!


Thursday, July 28, 2011

7/28/11 Dry girl

Katrina had a dry night!!!! This was the first time ever. OK, 3 wet nights since (in Pull-Ups of course), but that was still a huge milestone.

She also seems to be past the "leaking" problem for now, though I don't stick my nose in her underpants to check. But she's seemed to join the realm of the normal girls in that department.

Thanks to her brothers, I'm not concerned about night-training, though if I recall (and can you believe, it's been long enough that I can't?), Julian was "done" well before kindergarten. Gabriel, I recall VERY well, was so NOT; he was well into first-grade and it was a big struggle with a night-time alarm to try to get the idea across. I'm happy to say that my investment in this alarm has paid off -- at least 3 friends have used it! It's much too early for 4-yo Katrina, but wouldn't it be nice if she didn't need it.....

That would be the last foot in the world of babies/toddlers -- magical as it is, the real magic is in moving out of it and seeing your babies become kids -- without Pull-Ups!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

7/27/11 Conference in S.F.

Usually I love professional conferences, but this one was something of a snoozer. Still, I get a lot out of them and today was no exception. This conference had a "marketing" track and a "technical" track and to my amazement, the marketing track was much more interesting and pretty technical too. It got me excited about my work again, reminded me of how much is out there, how much I can do and contribute to my field -- I don't have to be oppressed by a hostile insecure manager who wants to keep me down and drive me out.

And nothing is more uplifting than a nice walk at lunchtime -- especially when you're in the Nob Hill section of San Francisco! Though I've lived in California for over 20 years, I really have only been to the city a handful of times, so I'm still in tourist mode here.

The fog had lifted, though a chilly wind reminded pedestrians of where they were, which in my case was at a nice summit with views of water on either side. I walked around the neighborhoods and took random pictures of interesting things. I'd say "stroll" but in San Francisco there's a whole lot of huffing uphill that makes it just not a stroll.

Standard architects will tell you that windows on a floor are all supposed to be at the same level -- obviously this house was built by a contrarian!

We were all coldy instructed to be back in the office tomorrow (the conference goes on for one more day), so it's back to the coal mines. But two days in the city goes a long way toward spirit revival!


Monday, July 25, 2011

7/25/11 Y camp again

Two pickups again this week....Gabriel at a Y camp; Julian and Katrina at the CDC. This is worse than last week in one way, because these two locations are far apart, but better in other ways because of no swim lessons (which Katrina is very sad about). To complicate matters, I'm driving to the city tomorrow for a conference. Brrr! High of 63 today in San Francisco -- and it's a COLD 63 up there!!


Sunday, July 24, 2011

7/24/2011 Swim Day

Not them -- me! I went swimming this morning, for sadly only the second time this summer. What a great way to think things through -- I did 1800 yards without stopping, and had time to squeeze in another 50 of butterfly and backstroke before lap swim time was over.

During that time, I gave a lot of thought to my work and life situation while in a semi-out-of-body trancelike state. Even running, which in many ways I like better, doesn't give me the same mental peace and sense of well-being that a good swim does afterward. I was in a decent mood all day, and had the energy and optimism to tackle a most dreadful and inertia-inducing task: resume updates.

Friday's Dilbert. This is so close to home that I wouldn't dare post it in my cubicle.

Last Friday was the kids' last "regular" swim lesson, but I think I will schedule a few one-off private lessons for them (and me!) in August, same place. I'm really happy we've found our swim-lesson place.

But I'm also happy there are no lessons next week. That will give me a little logistical relief, but not entirely, because Gabriel will be at a Y Archery camp while Julian and Katrina are at Collins. And I have a conference to attend in San Francisco for three days, that will make things extra-interesting, but I'm happy to be pulled out of my regular context.

Still, I could use one more weekend day and a few more good swims this week!