Sunday, August 30, 2009

Up In Smoke, Off To The Beach

This morning we woke up to see that our neighborhood had been flooded with smoke from The Station Fire. So we took the girls to Santa Monica for a day at the beach and to get away from the smoke. It was Maxine's first time at the beach and unfortunately she couldn't really enjoy the experience because she was fighting a head cold. After about an hour and a half we drove home. While on the 10 freeway in Downtown Los Angeles I snapped the above picture of The Station Fire. Those are not Mother Nature's clouds--that is all smoke. Amazingly huge, right?!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Pictures of "The Station Fire" *UPDATED*

Thursday evening I noticed how pretty the sky was. Thick smoke was pluming towards a vast pink sunset. Bright orange flames from the La Canada Fire, aka, The Station Fire, were visible to me as I drove around Altadena to find a good location to photograph this event. Of course I couldn't get very close but I got a few respectable shots. I saw others driving around taking pictures from their driver's seats. I made two or three stops, got out and tried to see the fire through trees and phone lines. This collage is a collection of the best shots I got that night.

This morning, 36 hours later, the fire has spread incredibly fast, moving southeast and is visible through my kitchen sink window. I saw flames. That white cloud-like shape is actually grey smoke. We're in the middle of a heatwave. This fire has the upper hand.

My house is deep enough into town that we are not in any danger but we know several families who are right there near the fire. Jose's mother has apparently packed a bag just in case she is told to evacuate. She lives in Altadena.

More local bloggers are talking about the fire here.


More pics from the past hour. The fire is still winning...

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mommy, Can I Have...?

I'm in a frustrated-and-bored-mommy mood. Motherhood is not always cute, rewarding and filled with afternoons making Rice Krispy Treats. Once in a while I exist, mindless in a sea of laundry, lacking the energy to say, "Before you get out the Thomas toys, first clean up Ponyville," and the house quickly overflows with every crappy toy anyone has ever given your children. And when the toys lose their charm in the owner's eyes, the kitchen drawers are a convenient resort for non-toy entertainment. More mess. The last thing I want to hear right now is, "Mommy, can I...?".
My least favorite question: "Mommy, can I have a snack?". When I've heard it 4 times in one hour after you didn't finish your lunch, it really extra bugs me.
When I'm busy driving, don't yell, "Uh-oh!!" from the backseat unless something bad has happened, like, you wet your pants or something.
If I have already told you, "No, you're not going to play video games today." Don't ask me again and again to play video games that same day.
Don't follow me around.
Don't make your sister cry.
I'm sorry that you have a kajillion toys and you're still bored.
Everything will be better when school is in session. For me and for the kids.
Rant over.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Maxine's New *Trick*

Look what our baby girl did tonight {click me}
<--She gets tired after walking practice.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

New Red Wagon

The girls' great-grandparents always have the best gift ideas. This year they gifted the girls a new Radio Flyer red wagon. It is exactly what they needed! The four of us went on a nice long evening walk on Monday. A little off the subject, but, isn't this the most pleasant August weather you've ever seen in Southern California?
That nice house in the top picture is a place where a lot of tv shows, commercials and movies are made. Obviously, it is very picturesque and quaint. I'm glad we don't have to walk very far away from our own neighborhood to see such interesting properties.
Thanks for the wagon, Grandma and Grandpa!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Our Baby at 12 Months

12 months is such an exciting age. Maxine does something new everyday. And she is so sweet. Here is an update on what she is like now.

She still takes two regular naps a day, usually 2 hours at a time. Her bedtime lately has been 10pm and she wakes up at 8am. Sometimes she wakes up at about 3am and cries but more often than not she will go back to sleep without us having to do anything. Raquel sleeps through everything!
Maxine is a fantastic little eater. She eats everything I put on her tray. Grandma Emma had given us a bunch of tomatoes from her garden and Maxine LOVED them, I mean, she kept shoveling them into her mouth this one time and that night, she vomitted in her crib--we think she probably had too many 'maters. I can't help but compare my two kids--When Raquel was this age she scared me because it looked like she wasn't eating anything. That worried me so much!
Maxine is showing a sudden interest in walking. This is big news. She has been so happy crawling for so long now. For some reason she loves to be up on her tip-toes--I think she's going to have to learn how to flatten her feet before she can walk unassisted. It's funny though because I see her up on the balls of her feet constantly and it makes me think she was made to wear high heels.
We still have Maxine on formula instead of Cow's milk. Her stomach is sensitive and the cow's milk was making her get car sick. Poor thing: both of her parents were car sick kiddos long ago and now we've passed it onto her.
As you know, she LOVES to dance!
A couple of days ago, Maxine and I were playing quietly in my room when suddenly she pointed to my eyeball and said, "Eye" clear as day. It really took me by surprise. This is not a body part we have practiced very often, like tummy and teeth. So for the past two days now we have been having fun saying "Eye" and pointing to eyes.
Maxine adores Raquel. And Raquel knows exactly how to make her baby sister crack up. When Maxine cracks up, we all crack up. She has such a funky laugh! It's definitely not a dainty or pretty laugh!
If you saw Jose playing with Maxine you might be frightened for her. He plays kinda rough and talks in a gruff voice with her, but guess what--she digs it. She is all smiles and giggles with Daddy. When I hear him drive into our driveway, I say, "Daddy's home!" and she stops what she's doing to look out a window or go towards the front door.
I have probably forgotten to mention something but the stuff I've told you is pretty cool, right?
Oh by the way, in the picture up top she had just eaten her dinner of teriyaki brocolli and chicken and I gave her a whole strawberry to try for the first time (they say a baby has to be 12 months old before they can have strawberries). At first she looked at it and didn't know if it was food or not. Then she sunk her teeth into and I think the juice she tasted surprised her, that's what she's doing in the second picture. She ended up loving it and ate the whole thing.
The end.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Night at Dodger Stadium

Maxine went to her first Dodger game in September of 2008 when she was barely two months old, documented here. Last night we took the girls to a game, which was Raquel's umpteenth Dodger game but only the second for little Maxine. She was such a trooper--stayed up til about 11:00pm, too excited to sleep. Raquel ate a Dodger Dog and shared some with Maxine. I brought with me my own microwaved popcorn and had a Diet Coke (sticking to my diet) but I did sneak one bite of Raquel's Dog. Raquel did a lot of cheering for our team but at about the 5th inning she started to grow tired of the whole experience, saying, "When can we leave?". Maxine had a moment of upset when she bumped her head and I thought, with all the crying she was doing, I might have to take her back to the car for a while. But fortunately she got over it, got her second wind and stayed cute the rest of the night. My favorite thing about last night was watching Maxine's face when the crowd would cheer, when a beach ball would bounce near us, and also watching her enjoy her first taste of Dodger Dog while sitting on Daddy's lap. And she did enjoy it.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Onion Breath

Grandma Emma gave me some of these really good onions that she received from a friend. I forget the name of them. Anyways, they're really good and sweet! I have had onion breath since she gave them to me yesterday :P Thanks a lot Granny Grunt!
Last night, Maxine astounded us. I got it on video.
Today after I did some early morning cleaning, I spent the afternoon catching up on other peoples' blogs. I would hate them to think I've been ignoring them. It's really nice to have time to do these sorts of things. Raquel went with Jose to his open house--from what I hear she was really a hands-on helper, showing people the rooms or entertaining children while parents looked around. I filled up a couple of lunch boxes for them and Jose sent me a text message that said, "What a great lunch!". That made my day.
Thanks for reading.