A few minutes ago I realized from the chirping of the birds that they've all returned to the yard..that sound is even better than hearing the planes ovehead preparing to drop water and fire retardent. And finally the Santa Annas are gone even though the newscasters announced as such a bit sooner than we, in the midst of them, realized! We were very, very lucky that the fire burned the way it did. Of course, the story isn't the same for everyone. One positive thing ..turns out the breakin at a friend's we talked about was probably the National Guard checking for people staying behind in that neighborhood since their car was left in the driveway. (The screen was slit and nothing seems to be missing) The cleanup will take a long, long time but everyone has some experience with that and today in Alpine at least we are having the kind of day that makes people flock to California.
We (me, Ryan, Lauren & Jake) are not near any fires & we're fine. If you ever hear of Sony Studios being in flames, then worry about us. Otherwise, we're sandwiched between 3 fire stations, the trucks from which are annoying, but the sirens are reassuring.
My parents, though, are in Alpine. The western part of their town has been evacuated. They sent me these 2 pictures, taken yesterday and tonight, of the view from their front yard:
Since the wind has changed direction, they're worried about the fire now jumping the freeway and heading towards them. I've been telling them for 3 days to come here, but now they can't without difficulty because so many roads are closed. They were going to drive out to El Centro and Palm Springs and then head west, but 8 East was closed. 5 North is closed. They would have to find some way of getting to 15 north, parts of which are closed. And the information on local road closures is very incomplete.
So, they're sticking it out at home. For now, they have power and they have internet access. The car is loaded up and ready to leave at any moment. My dad's friend Paul and his wife are out of town, but have a house near Rancho Bernardo. Their area was evacuated & apparently Paul got a call on his cell phone that his home was being burglarized but the alarm company was not allowed into the area to investigate. So I guess, good news, bad news. The house is still standing, but his stuff is looted!
It has been in the 90's here. Lauren is running around in only a diaper, except when we have to go out, and now I'm glad I didn't give away her entire summer wardrobe just yet. The air quality is very poor. LAUSD has canceled outdoor recess for its schools. We missed farmers' market because we didn't feel like making the trek. So, we've been cooped up inside and going a little stir crazy. Tomorrow I'll have to plan some kind of air-conditioned adventure...
Today we were at Mr. Bones pumpkin patch. We went with Alex & Jill and Laurel & Jill's sister Megan. While there, we saw a line of paparazzi at the fence (see top pic) and then we found out why! Alex Duffy was there with his family. Yes, THE Alex Duffy of The Alex Duffy show fame. We took some up close shots of him, his wife and child. Didn't get up the courage to ask for his autograph though.
Oh, and Mark Wahlberg and family were there, and also him and her, but I'm sure they were just there for Alex.
Man, it is boring here at the moment! I finished a bunch of work this week and have no new assignments at the moment. I have a ton of things around the house I *should* be doing, but not feeling like doing them. Lauren is asleep, having an early nap. We were supposed to have friends over to play, but never heard back from them. So I kept Friday unscheduled, and now although the world is my oyster, I can't think of a thing to do. Well, I can't do anything anyway until she wakes up. I kind of want to cook something, but if she wakes up suddenly and I have half a recipe done, that will be impossible to finish. I think I'm all caught up on reading my friends' blogs. I guess I could do something work-related yet not work, like download new updates & software, clean out my spam, even do an online training class or two. But again, Lauren might wake up any time and then I'd have been interupted and feel resentful.
Usually when I am bored like this and can't think of anything good to do, I end up shopping. Dangerous for my wallet! Oh, last night we had a really funny exchange when Lauren took my wallet and I caught her looking through it going, "money? money?" (I had only a few dollars in there and no shiny coins.) So, I took it away and put it in my purse, on the table behind the couch, and then went back to emailing. I looked over a minute later and she had the wallet again! Me: "How did you get that?" Lauren: "I take it". Me: "Yeah, but how did you get up there and get it?" Lauren: "I no tell you!"
Lauren had her 18 month checkup appointment today & got 2 shots (flu & MMR). I also got a flu shot there, so we can have the same immunities at the same time and also, just for my own convenience.
She weighs 29 pounds, 5 1/2 ounces and is 32 1/2 inches long. Her head circumference is 19 inches. She's slowed down a lot in growth and is now at about 75% for height, 95% for weight. I did one of those online calculators to see how tall she would grow to be, and it predicted 5' 5". I'm 5' 9" and Ryan is 5' 11". Then the calculator said something like "Don't believe us? Plug in your own parents' info for your height!" so I did, and according to them, I should be 5' 5" as well. (My grandma was also tall but she doesn't figure in to their calculations). So, it's anyone's guess at this point.
Another thing I've heard is that you take a baby's height at age 2 and double it, and that's what they'll be as an adult. If my mom had better records of this kind of thing, we could test it with me, but she didn't fill out my baby book very much after the early days. So, anyone out there have their own baby books and care to test the theory? How many inches tall were you at 24 months and how about now? Do comment, please.
This morning, Ryan & I decided we would take Lauren to a pumpkin patch. I remembered seeing one in the Valley last year when we got off on an exit by mistake so I tried to find it on pumpkinpatchesandmore.org . I found something off of 405 which turned out not to be it, we later realized the one we saw last year was probably off of 101. If anyone knows where this is, please comment. Anyway, the one we did go to was soooo not worth the drive. When we arrived, Lauren had fallen asleep in the car. So we each took turns watching her and scoping out the place. $5 for little bags of kettle corn, $4 admission to the "fun area", not to mention, pumpkins themselves were about $12 for the little ones, and up! Oh, and you couldn't pick a pumpkin where it was growing, to see the fields you had to get out your wallet yet again & pay for a train ride! Such a tourist trap. Luckily, Lauren's young enough not to know what we had intended to do with her Sunday afternoon, so we got back in the car and left.
I remembered that there was another pumpkin patch on 23rd and Wilshire, so we tried to go to that one, only it turned out to be not open yet for the season. So, instead we stopped at Co-Opportunity to pick up some groceries (rolled rye, Mona, for the bread!) . It was there that Lauren saw her little "punt-in", the price of which was not marked, but we figured, it was the Co-op so it would probably be cheap. Turns out, she selected an organic pie-pumpkin which cost $16.60. Thus making the tourist trap place ones look like a bargain. But I guess it was good that it's organic, because she began kissing the pumpkin as soon as it was in the cart. :)
Yes, bored with English, Lauren has started creating her own language. Yesterday, she started calling milk, which she *can* pronounce perfectly, "Muw COOOOO". As in, "muw COOO, please!". She also announced to me, proudly, "My name is hip-hop!". She brought her new doll and informed me, "this is Nance." I don't know where she gets these things! And she can say "love you too" on the phone. She loves to have animated conversations on the phone with Papa and Nonna, complete with inflections and questions and prolonged good-byes.
She's also in a climbing phase, and a dancing phase. She likes to get on her "stage" and shuffle her feet around and do the happy dance. The stage is usually the plastic storage box where we keep Jake's dog food, but it can be any platform.
We took her to the San Gennaro festival yesterday, and the Greek festival a few weeks ago. She had a great time at both! She loves to be around people and out in public. Her favorite food is pizza, which she will request by name. But also, oddly, rice. Today when we went out to lunch, she asked for "wice, please" but she got an omelette instead.
She's up to some other interesting stuff as well, but I'm tired and don't feel like writing about it. May edit this post later. Certainly'll add a photo.
Frequently tired mother to a happy 7 year old daughter and 2 year old son. Wife to a worthsmith who argues for a living. Employee to a really cool un-Lumberg boss at a large Office-space-esque institution of higher learning. Currently stationed at home, working from my laptop. Condo dweller in the heart of screenland who misses NY & snow.