11.29.2007

This Is Still A Long Week
So Soosan decided to take her clan on a Nice Vacation to Hawaii. While they've been romping around on the beach, we've been dealing with the BooBoo Fallout of their absence.

This translates to the easy part, us having to split our days and work from home part of each day so we can be with Val. That's no biggie.

The hard part is dealing with, I shit you not, a hundred times a day of her asking where the girls are, where Auntie is, noting that this outfit or that outfit came from the girls.

As an aside, sometimes she's a little stubborn. I know, she's our child, this was inevitable. We accept that. This stubborn-ness has been making getting her dressed a bit of a challenge. Until I realized that telling her she'll be wearing Riley's pajamas, or Sam's, then she LEAPS into whatever outfit it is.

However, this now makes her think that everything she has is from the girls, even the outfits that either Grandma had lovingly chosen. So we're working on that.

Since the girls aren't here, Val's been asking us to save things for them. A list will have to suffice since some items don't keep well:

  • Half a Fuffin
  • A single Candy Corn
  • Elmopolooza DVD
  • Green onion pancake
  • A half-eaten grape
  • 2 kinds of new Shock Doctor mouthguards, one for each girl
So there you have it.

About The Ears
The doc could see 'a little redness' but couldn't confirm an infection. Fine. I got antibiotics but she told me to wait to fill them since it might clear on it's own. We gave her some Tylenol that night and she slept hard for 13 hours (mostly in a row) so I'm thinking our wee one is on the mend.

Phew!

We did move her 18 month checkup back a week, just in case. There is no way in hell that I'll ever force a remotely not 100% healthy child to get vaccines. We'll just wait. The 'schedule' for vaccines? That isn't my schedule, it's the docs. And she can wait.

About The Eye
Not Val's, mine. I went back for my second set of zapping yesterday. The nice nurse decided to set the "laser" to the highest possible setting to get rid of my little dot once and for all.

Great, fine. Except that today? The spot under my eye is totally swollen. I'm having a hard time seeing. But my dot is less red, isn't that what matters?

Sigh.

On Another Note
We're playing a version of Ave Maria in band right now. Though my fellow sax players know only my disdain for slow pieces, this song doesn't fall into that category. It reminds me of my Grandma. Each and every time we play it, I'm near tears. And trying not to fuck it up.

Speaking of being near tears, today marks 6 years since Alice's passing. I have a lot more to say about that, I always will but for now, that's enough.

11.27.2007

Suckage
Yesterday, Val brought me a thing of Qtips and said 'ears,' pointing to her ear like she wanted me to use one. I just thought, oh wow, she's so smart, she knows what a Qtip is for!

So I sort of half tried to use one on her then gave up when she squirmed away.

Last night, she went down really easy around 11. I stayed up to watch TV for a little while. The moment I turned it off to go to bed, Val woke up crying.

We brought her back to bed with us, where she tossed and turned for an hour (now 2 am). Then I decided she was just being stubborn so I took her back to her crib and sat with her for another hour or more. She would not calm down, started screaming and pulling at her ear.

It took me a little while to figure it out, but finally we gave her some Tylenol and brought her back to our bed again and she finally went to sleep around 5 am.

I had to get up at 7:45 so I feel like total crap right now. But Val is still sleeping soundly, so that's good. We haven't had a night like this since she was itty bitty, I feel so bad for her.

We're going into the doc later this afternoon, hopefully they can give her some magic meds and make it all better right away.

Does it get much cuter than this?


IMG00684.JPG
Originally uploaded by gadgetgrrl
And no, I'm not talking about Susan.

11.25.2007

Thanksgiving Roundup
Wednesday, I was bound and determined to leave work early. And don't you know it, I actually did, my ass hitting the seat of my car around 11:30. Andrea got the afternoon off too so we wound up taking Val to the diaper days movie. The film was Enchanted, it was okay but it was great to see a flick with both of them and not have to worry about Val misbehaving.

We got some Kettle Korn and propped Val up on these rad little booster seats they had with her tupperware of Korn. She sat nicely for about 20 minutes, which for a one year old is pretty fantastic. She spent the rest of the movie running around, eating a ton of yogurt raisins, pretz and effectively reaffirming the theory that the best way to keep a toddler busy is with the Wide World of Snacks.

Couldn't tell you what we did afterwards, it's all a blur of couch-sitting.

Thanksgiving morning I watched a bit of the parade but you know what? It's actually sort of lame. Childhood memory #8005 debunked. But Val liked it so there ya go.

Due to a colossal scheduling error on my part we managed to miss thanksgiving dinner at Susan's. We suck, we so totally suck, though we did make it for dessert and in time to stuff the girls' backpacks full of the goodies we'd bought for their upcoming flight to Hawaii.

Friday I drove Soosan's clan to the airport, which was sad, so sad. I helped them get all their stuff to the ticket counter, then headed out, it was too sad. That, and really if you're not actually flying it's really lame to be at the going-away part of the airport. So I drove their giant car down to Belmont to meet Andrea and pick up Val so Andrea could skate. I ended up driving Val back to Soosan's house in their giant car, which was now minus the girls' carseats.

Val was quite confused about why her seat was the only one in the car, and really, none too pleased.

Note: I HAD NOT STRAPPED HER IN YET. I DID SHORTLY AFTER I TOOK THIS PICTURE. In case you were wondering.

She talked the whole way back to Auntie's house about the girls and put her feet up outside the seat where the girls' seats usually were. It seemed really lonely back there. When we got to Auntie's house, she refused to get in my car. We stood outside while she said 'Auntie? Riley? Sam?' over and over, arching her back and crying every time I tried to put her into her seat. It was so sad.

I should have started counting the number of times she's asked for them since they left, because it's getting to be quite a lot. This could be a rather long week...

Saturday, we took Val to the local children's museum, where she apparently had such a good time, she needed a 3.5 hour nap afterwards. Who knew?

In Thing News, apparently the gas main leak that was fixed last week still had Some Issues because Joe Trash smelled gas today. PG&E came back out and said yep, it still had some issues and I think did the work to fix them. Two different days Joe has had some guy out front moving rocks around, but there's no real progress on The Bricking.

We also did a bunch of shopping, I dare say we're like 40% done with our holiday buying frenzy. Woo hoo for that!

Val was super fun to be around this weekend, as usual. Her company just gets more and more fun. So when you ask me what I gave thanks for this year, it was most certainly for the chance to be her mom and feed her all the fuffins she wanted.

11.21.2007

Progress On The Thing
Would be none. We are back to a dirt-filled yard and a pile of bricks waiting to be bricked. The good news is that the new piping makes our water pressure a lot better (not that it was bad before) and the water coming out is a lot cleaner.

What I suppose is the bad news is realizing that we really should fork out for new plumbing inside the house. It's only bad because projects like that? They're not free.

11.19.2007

1 Thing= 10 Things
So our main man Joe Trash scored himself a ton of bricks a few weeks back. And he decided that since we've made no real progress on our front yard in a while, maybe he'd suggest to us that we pave that shit over. He'd only charge us for the labor, so sure, we said, why the hell not? That's Thing 1.

Later that week, a ton of bricks arrived in our yard. And we waited. And some moss grew over our lovely dirt. Until finally, last Friday, while I'm working from home, getting bombarded with work crap while trying to keep an eye on Val (who, btw was really fabulous) I hear a ruckus outside and there it is, Joe's hired help tearing up our yard. He's got his boombox set up in the driveway, pointing right into Val's room. (Note to self, our windows? They are thin.) That's Thing 2.

So I go out and ask him to turn it down or move it. To his credit, he did but still, I could hear his tunes plus the neighborhood bonus: the kids from across the street who do nothing but loiter on the street ALL DAY LONG hanging around whoever is doing Something Interesting.

Now, I get this. Life can be boring when you're a kid. And I've done my best to ignore these kids but somehow, having them shouting at the guy breaking up dirt in my yard while the music was playing, while I was being bombarded about work and while I was trying to keep an eye on Val, well, it was a little much. Especially when Val wouldn't nap and I had to call into a meeting, signing off when she bonked her head and started crying.

But hey, the dirt got broken up and our yard was (allegedly) ready for Bricking. That's Thing 3.

Saturday, we had a seriously lazy day, watching The Game (WOOO HOOO, GO BUCKEYES!) and not leaving the house till 6 pm. At some point, Joe and his main helper come to the door and explain about Thing 4, which is a giant trench in our front yard, exposing a pipe.

Thing 4? It's that our main water pipe is rotting and should probably be replaced. It seemed prudent to do this before bricking over the whole thing. Joe, of course, had a guy who had somehow come out to look at it and give us an estimate. $350 and he could do it the next day. Sigh, fine.

Sunday morning rolls around, I get up early, do all my water-requiring tasks, then meet the guy. There's this long discussion about how to get the materials. The guy (whose name I don't catch because he doesn't offer it) doesn't seem to have a bank account (???) so how does he get the materials when he doesn't have a credit card or cash to buy them.

Personally, I don't feel that's my concern. It's my expectation that the person I'm hiring to do the work will bring whatever parts are necessary to do the work, then charge me for their time and for the materials. But this guy and some of Joe's other guys don't work that way so I'm trying to adjust.

So after far too much deliberation and a great moment where I raised my hand and shooed our little spectators away, it was decided that I'd pay him his full estimated amount, and he'd somehow rope his daughters into getting money to buy parts, then come back and do the work.

We go out for lunch, then come back 3 hours later (we did some other stuff too, we're not slow eaters) to find 0 progress and 0 plumber. That's Thing 5, the day of stress that I'd just written the man a check and he'd taken off.

But today, he did return after I went to work. Apparently while he was working, Andrea heard a strike, then a hiss. Oops, looks like our gas main was a little too close to the water main. Thing 6.

PG&E came out en masse and fixed the gas leak. But they're going to charge the plumber for the fix even though it was not to code (FYI 'code' is at least 2 feet apart). So he's going to fight it, but that makes Thing 7.

The good news is that he was able to do the repair (I think), clearing the way for the continued slow progress on the Great Bricking Over Of 2007.

I guess that's only 7 things. 8 could be the dillweed who parked in front of my driveway when I was trying to go to work this morning. Our street only has parking on one side, so people often try to squish more than one car in front of our house. FYI, it doesn't work. One will invariably block our neighbors driveway or ours. Fortunately Next Door Nanette was walking out at the same time and guided me out. And even more fortunately, my car is skinny so I made it, no problem.

But it's time for some evasive action, like painting the curb or the street or something. Because if you call the cops, they won't tow. They just say 'can you find out whose car it is and ask them to move it?'

11.16.2007

Gymnastics Fun
As you may know, Fridays I work from home. As you may also know, some Fridays are better than others when it comes to how much work I have left to do and how crabbity Val is.

In a vain attempt to combat the crabbiness and work towards a toddler who naps nicely while I work a little, I signed her up for gymnastics classes at the place near our house. Today was our first class.

We did some things with stuffed animals, we climbed on and over some stuff, she jumped on a trampoline, she went on the rings for a split second and she ended the day by playing in a pit of foam blocks. I think the blocks were her favorite. She also got some bitchin handstamps, which she also loved.

The teacher is a nice young lassie who speaks to the kids in that shrill voice some adults think kids respond to. Val's not heard that sort of voice much so she didn't really follow the nice lady's instructions too well. Oh yeah, and she's 1, so directions? Not her best event.

She was nice enough and the other two kids were nice enough so I think we'll go back (today was the free lesson, before you're totally sucked in). It may be quite some time before she does any of the stuff the way she's asked to but I so don't care about that. All I wanted was a chance for her to run around and quite possibly tired herself out so she'd nap while I worked.

Today that was not the case. Work has been nonstop since 8 am. Of course all that drama stopped a little bit ago and Val is finally asleep, after I'm done doing work. Perfecto!

11.15.2007

Well, Boy Howdy!
We took Val back to the cardiologist today. We were supposed to go 3 months ago, but since all they're doing at this point is watching the stupid thing, I figured it would be worth giving it some extra time to close on it's own.

Can I just say how much I hate that office? It's all shiny and nice, with a giant playhouse full of great toys, all paid for by the broken hearts of little children. Including mine.

Every time we go, and every time I've thought of that tiny hole in her heart, I've wondered what I possibly could have done to cause it. Dare I say a pregnancy was never so planned, so carefully thought out as my pregnancy with Val? How could it be that even with all the effort and love that went into getting my A+ in gestation, she still emerged reluctantly, and with a hole in her heart?

So back we went. I wasn't expecting any change, I thought this was it, she'd have this thing forever.

But no, we got lucky today.

It's closed. We never have to go back to that place again.

This year, if you ask me what I'm giving thanks for, I'll tell you. It's for a little tiny hole in a little tiny heart in a little tiny girl growing closed.

11.14.2007

In Hockey News
I am suddenly averaging a point per game. Goals, assists, the works. Though the assist I got in Sunday's Maroon game was because I totally stole the puck from Heather. Sorry about that.

Who knew that playing center would somehow suit me so well?

11.12.2007

Weekend Fun
In the spirit of More Frequent Blogging, I offer you a few glimpses into my weekend. Friday was a Big Day, indeed. Andrea got her Lasik surgery in the early afternoon and by evening was seeing better than the rest of us, able to hang out with Val while I subbed Maroon. People have told her it would be life-changing but so far I think she's just happy with it, not like HOLYSHITTHISISTHEGREATESTTHINGEVER.

If you ask me, that's because we already have the greatest thing ever:

Saturday, we were all set to take her to the kid's museum near our house when Sue SMSed me about her new trampoline. Did we want to come for a jump?

Do we? Do we? Hells yeah. So we finished up lunch and headed over. Val had a blast on the thing, even if she gave me a thousand little heart attacks as she almost ran off the edge.

I must take a moment to add that at the time, I was wearing my New Favorite Running Shoes, the Asics Gel Kayano. This shoe had taunted me for literally a decade, but it's $135 pricetag coupled with the fact that I don't run made it hard for me to shell out the cash for. But earlier this summer, Andrea found it on sale for like $54 and OMG I do adore them. We should have bought 10 pairs at that price. Sigh.

Sunday I played again, this time with my own team. We squeaked out a win (2-1) and dare I say, we have a really solid group this season. Really low-key bunch of folks, too, so I'm having a blast.

It's now almost Christmas again so the Christmas music I have on my ipod all year is now in season. Woo.

Sorry this was so jumbled. Please take comfort in the fact that the jumbledness accurately reflects my mood.

11.09.2007

Team Building
Yesterday my entire giant team at work went to SF for this scavenger hunt thing. Before it started, I helped a co-worker install a carseat for his soon-to-be-born son. It was the Maxi-Cosi and can I just say, that thing is no good as far as installing it correctly. The LATCH could only be adjusted on one side so it was pretty much impossible to get it as tight as it needed to be. Blech.

I hear it looks great with the Quinny stroller but um, I think getting the damn thing in your car correctly is a shitload more important.

But enough about that.

Normally during offsites, I hang back and snark about the event with Bubbles. But now Bubbles has left the building (and the state) so I was on my own. So I decided to just go with it and do my best. And you know? I had an okay time. The hunt was a little too long -- 17 questions over 4 hours -- but it was okay. The team had dinner and drinks afterwards, I skipped that part and headed home.

So that's where I was yesterday. Today is Andrea's Lasik day, here's hoping that it all goes smoothly and she sees great and feels great right afterwards!

11.07.2007

No Doubt, This Will Seem Strange
But if you buy something off eBay and you want it to be shipped overnight, wouldn't it be wise to pay via an instant payment method instead of an e-Check that will take 3 days to clear?

That's what I thought too, but my buyer didn't have the same thinking.

I Have Been Zapped!
So at lunch today, instead of meeting a friend I went back to the swankass dermatology place for my Zapping. Note/reminder: the mole thingie (some sort of angioma, stoma, thoma or some thing or another ending in 'oma') was on my cheek. Not my ass.

Anyhoo, the "laser" nurse was like oh, that one on the left, that's pretty big. It's gonna take two treatments so you'll have to come back. Okay, fine. She noticed the smaller one on my other (not ass) cheek and threw in a zap on that bad boy for free.

Go me, rocking the free "laser" treatments! She gave me some really sexy goggles to wear, slathered some "laser-proof" gel on my cheeks, laid me down, dimmed the lights and went to work.

In case you were wondering, the "laser" is not a flashlight mounted on the heads of mutant sea bass, the way Austin Powers would have you believe. I'm not sure what it is, but I do know that the machine has a pretty good hum to it and the zap! of the "laser" is more startling than I expected. Like little teeny lightning bolts on my face. I jumped every time.

Afterwards, she asked me what my nationality is. I was like um, honky? I mean seriously, I'm white. What else is there to it? Apparently, with the whole 'working on your skin' thing they were looking for a little more granularity than 'honky' so when she guessed Irish/English, I just said yes. Because that stuff is still a mystery to me.

But now the initial treatment is done and so far, it looks pretty much the same. I'm eager to see how it looks after it's healed a bit, hopefully it'll look, well, gone.

It amused me to be in a place where the price list for Botox was proudly displayed. Talk about feeling like a poser.

Breathing A Little Easier
Work has been better. There's still a little attitude going around but my workload has slowed down and I'm in a better place about it all.

In case you were wondering.

11.06.2007

Trying To Be A Better Blogger
In the spirit of that thing where people post every day for a month, I offer you my own version: I'll post every day I'm at my desk. Unless I figure out how to get blogging from my sidekick again, then you people are in for a treat.

But for now... here are some Things I've Been Thinking About.

I started playing center about a month ago. I've tried this in the past with rather dismal results (highlight: a coach who yelled "If you're going to spend your whole time playing D, just play D." I played D from then on.) but since I didn't get K, my true love all-time bestest D pair on my team, I'm staging my own little protest. If K isn't there, I'm not playing D for my team.

And holy shit, spank me on the red pants and call me Betty, I'm actually doing okay at playing center. I've scored a total of 4 goals this season, 3 of which were while playing center. Not too shabby. I'm getting patient with the puck, I'm not covering back much more than I should but I do pick up a man when I need to. Really, I think it's going okay, more smooth than I ever would have expected it to.

The best part? Aside from missing playing with K, I'm having more damn fun playing hockey than I've had in a long time. And dare I say, me and J picked an excellent, excellent team this year.

Other things On My Mind: at my recent checkup, my doc noticed a mole that looked a little odd so she referred my ass to a dermatologist. So I dutifully trotted off to get that shit looked at.

Good news, it's nothing! Better news? For $100, they will fry this little red dot off of my face. I'm trying to find a good picture of it, but so far I can't. You'll just have to trust me. It's annoying and needs to vamanos. And tomorrow, it will! Poof! Like magic, it will be gone.

I'm getting close to accepting the fact that my parents just don't listen to me. On some things, sure, but on other things like simple requests to not be disturbed between x time and y time (and there is a HUGE variety of X and Y) their listening comprehension just falls short.

Right, it does mean that they're really not calling me Liz very much. This is exacerbated by the fact that when my mom talks, she says my name with almost every sentence. I think that's why it annoys me so damn much that she's not calling me Liz, because like 15 times in any given conversation I hear That Other Name I Don't Like As Much.

11.05.2007

Coulda Been Worse
In the spirit of people who say the wrong things, this weekend we actually ran into a curious type who had some manners! I was searching in vain for a pair of our favorite jeans for Val at Pumpkin Patch. (This is unrelated but still I will share with you...) They didn't have her size. Fine. But wait, the unhelpful manager said they actually have boxes of stuff in the back. It's just not unpacked and they don't know what's in it. Huh? So, they called another store. To get the pair the other store had to me would cost me $8 in shipping.

Whatever happened to store-to-store transfers? In my retail days, we routinely did this at no cost to the customer. But fine, I'll look on their website. Oh wait, that's SO poorly designed I've now got a headache.

So there are no additional jeans for Val at the moment, though we love them so.

Anyhoo, the nice but not helpful saleswoman says 'Is she your only child?'

And then, to Andrea 'She's got your eyes!'

We did not engage. We just said thanks and moved right along.

Fwiw, that was a very appropriate series of comments. For once.

11.02.2007

Cranky Pants
I'm working from home today with the company of one cranky toddler. I laid down with her for a quick nap, 3 hours later we both woke up.

Gotta go, she's crabbing at me again.

11.01.2007

I Still Miss Her
Alice's 18th birthday was last week. Happy birthday baby girl, I still miss you like crazy. I'm pretty sure I always will.

I still can't look at the sign on the building just off the onramp where I got on 101 to rush to the vet that day, only to call and tell them to stop doing CPR when I was halfway there. I pass that place at least once a week on the way to hockey and even now I avert my gaze. I drove in the carpool lane the whole way down 101, then 85 to this strange vet's office. I arrived to find her body placed inside a box of high-calorie dog food. That was the only time I've driven illegally in the carpool lane.

I think of my mother, who hit Every Single Light on the way to the hospital the morning her father died. She stopped and waited, even though that time wasted at stoplights probably caused her to miss his last breath. But he taught her that you follow the rules, so she did. So I do today, except that one day when Alice died. I rushed because it seemed the only thing I could do.

I still can feel her paw in my hand when I drive. She used to sit in the front seat of my passat and we'd hold hands on the way to work.

Her picture is on our fridge, Val knows who she is. Doggie! Alish!

Yes, baby girl, meet my firstborn, who watches over us all now.

Lesbopooloza, 2007!
The instant we stepped off the plane in Anaheim, we saw first some young trendy dyke go by. Hello, my Sapphic Sister, how are you?

Right after that, the older (than the aforementioned young trendy dyke) dyke who was working some stand said 'cute baby!' Thanks, we said and kept walking. Since, you know, we'd JUST gotten off a plane and were wrangling stroller, carseat, toddler and carryon luggage. Not exactly the time to strike up a conversation.

But no, the womon, she wanted to know more. "Who's the mom?"

In unison, we said 'we both are!' and kept walking. Because I got it, this woman, she had more shit to ask and I was trying desperately to avoid what was coming next.

But no. That could not be avoided.

"That's not what I'm asking"

Look lady, we may be sapphic sisters and all but that doesn't make your question any one bit more your business.

So I told her, we don't share that and kept walking.

But she kept talking and finally I said, that's her story, when she's older and if she chooses to, she can share that with you herself.

What I didn't follow up with was, NOW LEAVE US THE FUCK ALONE.

I have a feeling that no matter what we come up with for an answer, those who lack a certain baseline level of social skills will always struggle with our family makeup. It's time to just accept that and learn to walk away.

It's sort of funny because obviously you all know who carried Val, everyone we know in person knows this too. But when it comes to real live strangers (different than You People here inside the computer) it's just too personal to share.

I know, my boundaries are little fuzzy sometimes.

Because I Owe You A Post...
I know, I know. I've become one of those bloggers you detest, the kind who only posts every now and then. Blame it on work because it's true. I've been so busy these last couple of months that I've hardly had enough time to pee at work, let alone blog or be anywhere interesting on the internet.

But, right now, for the moment, I have a little downtime. And I'll be using that downtime to share some recent events with you, in no particular order.

Last week, we went to Disneyland! Yes, I hear you when you say 'but Liz, you just went to DisneyWorld in September.' And you're right, we did. But that didn't stop us from having a fabulous time in Anaheim just the same. Though I love love love the World, there's something a lot less complex about Disneyland. It's all right there, no getting in your car to park hop. We know we'll be going back within the next year, probably the next few months, so there's less pressure to Do Everything. Since it's smaller, there's less Everything to do (i.e. no resorts to eat tasty meals at, no waterparks to work in, no 4 major theme parks to visit, etc, etc) so it is an easier short trip.

This is not to say that I don't adore The World. Because, God, yes, I sure as hell do. It is truly My Happy Place. But not for a 4 day trip.

We went to Disneyland from Saturday - Tuesday. That's a configuration we hadn't tried before and man, I think it's the right one. Our flight down was about 2/3 full, which meant we could bring Val's carseat onto the plane.

That? The Best Thing Ever. She was contained, in a place she knew and our biggest worry was how to pick up all the toys and shit she dropped on the floor. Though I'm not looking forward to having to buy her a ticket when she turns 2, every flight from that point on will involve child strapped into carseat. Man, it just ruled.

When we arrived, I had to install her travel carseat into our fine Dodge Caliber. That could not have sucked any more than it did. It took 40 minutes and 4 attempts and in the end, I caved. She rode forward-facing for the trip because I just could not get a good rear-facing install.

We cheaped out when we bought the travel carseat and got a Roundabout. These are just fine if you have a Saturday afternoon in your driveway to install them but not so much if you're rushing at an airport while your child is melting down. So, I happened to see an ad for a Marathon (bigger, easier to install) and bought one. I guess it's my Christmas present to myself -- easier carseat installs when we travel.

Anyone looking for a new carseat? We have a barely used Roundabout in excellent condition that needs a new home....

Our time at Disney was really nice, laid back and fun. Val continues to LOVE the Tiki room. She shouts TIKI! TIKI! as soon as the music starts. We enjoyed that one 3 times. She also loves Dumbo and 'horse' (aka the carousel) so those were also visited more than once. We also enjoyed a side trip to Knott's, which was also fun even though Val could only go on a handful of rides.

Whee!

On the way home, I was thinking, man that was pretty much a perfect trip. And then our pilot said 'hey folks, we can't land right now because there's been a major earthquake in San Jose and they have to inspect the runway.'

Major? And then no more details? WTF???

So for 20 long minutes we circled again until finally we headed in for a landing. When I saw cars driving through the El Pollo Loco near our house, I knew everything was okay.

I think that's all for now. I'll try to be better soon.