Once again, it's been months since I've update the site. Seems to be my pattern - I guess it has someting to do with being WAY TOO BUSY all the time.
The girls have had an awesome summer, including the following:
- Both girls spent 12 days away at Camp Newman. See pictures here.
- Katelyn went through a week's training at the Coyote Point Leadership Development Program, where she learned how to help teach kids about the museum's nature topics. Then she spent a week being an LIT, a Leader In Training, assisting at day camp for kindergarteners and other kids.
- Both girls spent a week at camp at Coyote Point, Haley in the Earth Explorers (including a river hike field trip) and Katelyn in Zoo U (including animal caretaking and an overnight at the museum).
- Both girls had 2 separate visits at Grandma Adrien's house. See pictures here from the beginning of the first visit, when I brough them down.
- Each girl spent one week, separately, at Aunt Susan & Uncle Joel's. Katelyn traveled from San Jose on Amtrak as an "unaccompanied minor". She had some excitement where just minutes after leaving San Jose there was a "suspicious package" on the tracks, causing a 4-hour delay while they removed it. What a way to start a trip!
In between they spent time swimming and having lots of other fun at A Child's Way. They were gracious enough to allow Katelyn to come back one last summer. They'll take kids up to age 13 as long as they have a prior relationship with them. Katelyn's work learning about teaching young kids made her a favorite with the kindergarteners there.
For me, the summer brought an agonizing time of not knowing if I'd have work, but then my contract was extended through next Februrary to work on the second release of the commercial department intranet makeover, so I'm happy about that. I've been slacking a bit, working fewer hours as I take a day off here and there for important things like Leather Levi Weekend (3 days off), Katelyn's school registration day, visiting Judy, and other assorted fun things.
Val is finding her job situation vastly improved from last year, due mostly to her new boss Andrew who not only treats her as a good manager is supposed to, but also really seems to respect her technical skills and is giving her the freedom to really act as a lead on her team. It's amazing how much feeling confident and respected in your job makes a difference in your overall outlook.
Katelyn is busy studying for her Bat Mitzvah (January 16th). She attends regular religious school every Sunday and meets with the Cantor every Thursday. Starting on 10/22, I (and hopefully Val) will be accompanying her to meetings with first Rabbi Ettlinger to discuss her Torah portion, and then with Rabbi Feder to discuss her sermon. Meanwhile I'm trying to plan the party and other related things, which is hectic. And now we're working on invitations, yarmulkes, etc.
Katelyn is also continuing her karate studies. She's enjoying being one of the senior green belts in her class, and is looking forward to getting her blue belt. Meanwhile she's early interim stripes on her green belt, so she's progressing well. The most important thing is that she really enjoys it, and it helps her keep strong, fit, and confident.
Haley continues to do really well in school, especially in Math, which she loves. She's our little engineer who asked for a rock tumbler and various other science-related things for her birthday. She's doing much better on her school behavior this year, having avoided getting in trouble most of the year so far. She's also re-started Irish Dance, which she really likes, although she still isn't interested in going to a feis (pronounced "fesh"), which is one of their competitions. Perhaps she will as she gets better at it. Haley continues to take piano lessons from Grandma Adrien. We'd hoped to get her started on another instrument but due to budget cutbacks they aren't offering music to 4th graders, only 5th and above, so it will wait until next year. She thinks she wants to play the drums.
September Madness hit us once again. We have this every year with birthdays (mine, Haley's, Glynis', various relatives of Joanie's), High Holy Days, the Folsom Street Fair, and the Heart Walk. All usually within a 2-week period. In order to make it all work we had to have Haley's birthday party on Saturday, September 19th, which is Glynis' birthday, which she graciously scaled back. So it went like this:
- Friday 9/18: Val & I had our regular Exiles program; Mom watched the kids.
- Saturday 9/19:
- Up early for Rosh Hashonah services, 9:30-11:00
- Prep for the party
- Haley's party 3:30-6
- Sushi delivered for everyone who stayed (11 of us) after that
- Sunday 9/20: Kathie & Joanie take the kids to the Heart Walk
- Friday 9/25:
- Haley's Birthday: We had Owen from the East Bay Vivarium over (same as Katelyn's party last year) to present reptiles and other animals. It was awesome, as usual! Click here for photos.
- Val & I helped set up, run, and tear down our club's yearly Meet & Greet
- Saturday 9/26: Joanie's family birthdays
- Sunday 9/27: Val & I spent most of the day at our club's booth at the Folsom Street Fair
- Monday 9/28: Up early for Yom Kippor services, 9:30-11, after which Haley went to school, Val went to work (and continued fasting) and Katelyn & I stayed home to fast.
- Tuesday 9/29: My Birthday. Family dinner out.
- Wednesday 9/30: I left in the morning to fly to Tucson for the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. An AMAZING conference which I got to attend due to Deanna Kosaraju. She is the VP of Events for the Anita Borg Institute, the sponsor of the conference. Her husband is a colleague of Val's, and when we discussed the conference at the Triton holiday party in December she offered to comp me to the conference. Yay! (Check out their new Video, "I Am A Technical Woman"... click here to learn more and download.) I arrived back home on Saturday 10/3.
Needless to say, the last couple of weeks have been EXHAUSTING, but fun.
Other interesting and notable things we've done since I've last written:
- Kathie and I rode the kids on the motorcycles in the SF Pride parade on 6/28. We've done this every year since the kids were in utero. See pictures here.
- I once again attended the Desire weekend for women in Palm Springs June 12-14.
- Kathie took the kids horseback riding on 6/28, finally using the coupon I'd purchased at a silent auction 2 years ago. See pictures here.
- Val & I celebrated July 4th at Glynis & Susan's with BBW, fireworks, and poker. The kids were away at camp.
- Val & I both spent time helping out our friend Jay as he recoved from surgery in early July.
- Kathie & I took the girls up to see Judy July 18-20. See pictures here.
- Judy came down for a visit and the 5 of us went to the California Academy of Sciences on 7/24. We learned that:
- You have to get there very early or be willing to stand on a very long line in order to see he planetarium show (we didn't)
- They have a very good cafeteria, although it's quite expensive.
- It's hard to see everything in one day (we didn't).
- Between Judy and Val and myself we take waaaaay too many pictures! Click here to see the culled-down set of pics.
- I attended a Giants game with my team from work on 7/29.
- Val & I once again attended Leather Levi Weekend (LLW) at the Saratoga Springs Resort 8/6-9.
- The kids and I attended Adrian's birthday party on 8/29. This was particularly notable for me because it was a bowling party. I hadn't been bowling since I started having shoulder trouble, but I was able to bowl two games! However the next day, although my shoulder was fine, I apparently had strained my gluteous maximus (butt) muscle, so I was a bit sore.
- The kids and I attended the picnic for Katelyn's Dojo on 8/30.
- Val & I took Mom & Ed to see Beach Blanket Babylon on 9/5. This was Mom's birthday present... only 6 months late!
- I've continued mentoring with Menttium, meeting with my mentee Nancy approximately once a month.
- I helped my friend Michelle with her portfolio & resume after she got laid off from Intuit.
- I've continued my socializing with my Menttium peer group, every few months.
- Val & I continued lots of activities with The Exiles.
We've also continued to have fun with visiting friends or having them over. In particular:
- Jann & Trev visited on 6/20.
- Jennifer & Selena visited on 7/5, 8/22
- I continued regular lunches with Freda.
- Liza & Jody visited on 8/23, but our reciprocal visit to their house on 9/26 had to be cancelled due to illness.
- Val & I visited with Scooter, along with Beth, Jess, and Bear, on 8/30. While there, we realized that we'd completely missed our wedding anniversary the day before!!!
- Lea visited on 9/11.