Stop Crying

23 Oct

Whenever we go places, I like to help Michaela get into the spirit of things by getting books that describe the culture or history or *something* of the place we’re going, or by doing things to help us understand the culture. When we went to Greece, we started reading Greek myths. For our Panama Canal cruise, we practiced our Spanish. In preparation for our trip to Japan, I bought “Sadako and the Thousand Paper Cranes” by Eleano Coerr.

Did you ever read that when you were a kid?

It’s the story of a girl who died from leukemia after being exposed to radiation in the US bombing of Hiroshima. She hoped that making 1,000 paper cranes would lead to a miracle recovery; unfortunately, that didn’t happen and she died at the age of 12.

The book is for children age 8 and up, but I knew Michaela could handle it. We read its nine chapters over two nights, with me reading aloud and her following along. It’s a sad book – this poor girl is slowly sapped of her energy and vigor, her family struggles with the impending loss, and it is symbolic of all the horror and waste of war – so I cried in parts as I read it.

Michaela, though? Totally fine.

Michaela: “Mom, why are you crying?”

Me: “Because it’s sad.”

Michaela: “Yeah, okay. Stop crying.”

She totally understood the book and what was going on. She just was perturbed by my emotional state. #SoWeird

We’re Going to Japan!

23 Oct

For my birthday, one of the gifts Mike gave me was a subscription to a flight deals service/website. We get multiple emails each day with deals to go all over the world at really low prices. It really is a great gift for someone like me, who has the travel bug!

There were some good deals to China, but that country isn’t really at the top of my list. Mike was very interested, though, and I suggested maybe we could do Japan as a compromise. He’d still get to visit Asia, we’d go someone cool and international, and we’d get to see if Michaela’s interest in Japan is a real thing. When a deal came through that would allow the three of us to travel nonstop, roundtrip, direct from San Diego, to Tokyo for about $500 per person, we were sold.

So we’re going to Japan in March! Spring break will include cherry blossoms, sushi, and bullet trains!

Matte rarenai… Google Translate says that means “I can’t wait!”

Mom of the Year

5 Oct

Mike is out of town for the week, so Michaela and I are enjoying lots of together time.

I dropped Michaela at school on Monday, and picked her up. I wrangled dinner, oversaw doing of homework, and put her to bed.

I dropped her off at school on Tuesday, and picked her up. I wrangled dinner, oversaw doing of homework, and put her to bed.

I dropped her off at school today (Wednesday), and picked her up. I wrangled dinner, oversaw doing of homework, and put her to bed.

Do you see where this is going?

I also happen to have a nasty head cold. I stayed home from work yesterday, spending the day in bed drinking tea and napping (and participating in a three-hour conference call for work and watching old sitcoms on Netflix). Today, I stayed home from work, but that’s because it was Michaela’s jog-a-thon. So I dragged my sick self to school and ran and walked laps with her before coming home to collapse, before getting Michaela from school and collapsing again while she was at her piano lesson.

Now it’s after 5 o’clock and I’m kinda dying. My head hurts. My eyes are watering. My nose is running. I just want to lay down and sleep.

Instead, I’m propped up on the couch, watching Michaela watch Kids YouTube on her tablet. She took off her pants and underwear and is feeding herself grapes by the handful.

If there was an actual Mom of the Year award program, I’m pretty sure this would disqualify me from ever having a shot at winning. But you do what you gotta do, I guess.

And Mike will be back… on Saturday afternoon.

A Rare Appearance

2 Oct

In spite of the URL of this blog including “Mike,” he doesn’t make too many appearances here. I have probably written 99.9% of our blog posts since we started the blog 10-plus years ago (!!!), and certainly since Michaela was born, most of the pix I post here are of her. That’s why I thought it’d be fun to share a quick selfie we took at an event we went to recently.


Putting the “Mike” in “Mike and Music dot com” since February 2006.


2 Oct

Mike, Michaela and I went out for breakfast this morning to Snooze, a place where the brunch line is directly proportional to the deliciousness of the food. Because we were up early this morning, we were able to get seated after only about a 25 minute wait.

Michaela started coloring the kids’ meal sheet, and it wasn’t until very late in our meal that I really looked at it. The picture was of Antigua, Guatemala– a place we visited earlier this year!


We walked along that very street and strolled under that very arch. In fact, we bought Michaela a jumper made of traditional Guatemalan textiles in a store that was roughly where the bacon is (on the right side of the picture, in the foreground).

What a small world!

Girls’ Tripping

25 Sep

I went on my sixth annual girls’ trip this weekend. It was everything it should be– full of fun, food, drinks, shopping, laughter, and more. Each year, we pick a different city and then three of my college friends and I converge there. We’ve hit some fun spots:

2016 – Portland


2015 – Las Vegas


2014 – San Francisco


2013 – Oxnard/Santa Barbara

Apparently we didn’t take a group picture this year?!?

2012 – Palm Springs


2011 – Chicago


Where will 2017 take us? We’ve talked about Scottsdale, Lake Tahoe, Cabo San Lucas, Seattle, and Denver. All I know is, the last weekend of September 2017, I’ll be hanging with my friends and celebrating our seventh annual trip!

Checking in on 40 Before 40

18 Sep

I turned 37 last week, so it seems as good a time as any to report on my “40 Before 40” list progress.

Granted, I still only have 37 items on my list… I have to think of a few more “to dos,” and they need to be ones I can do in the next few years!

I’ve done (or can no longer do, as in the case of seeing Prince in concert) 11 of the 37 items. That means I have quite a lot to do still! Better get busy!

Chef Michaela

18 Sep

At a previous visit to The Melting Pot (fondue restaurant), I got on their “Club Fondue” list and started getting emails about different events and deals they have at our local restaurant. Michaela and I, and some of her friends from Girl Scouts and their moms, went to a special storytime event a few months ago that was really awesome, so when I saw a note about a kids’ cooking class, I was in. I asked my friend Ruch if she and her daughters wanted to go and it was on.

We showed up at the restaurant a couple of minutes early and were treated to drinks. The kids all got Melting Pot aprons and chefs hats and then were herded into the kitchen to wash their hands and prep items for the first part of the day… chocolate fondue! While Ruch and I sipped our drinks, our three girls piled plates with pineapple, strawberries, banana chunks, pound cake wedges, brownie bites, chocolate- and graham cracker-covered marshmallows, and more. They came back to the table and we all gorged ourselves on the yummy treats. Then it was time for the girls to start the lesson part of the day. They went into a special room and made all these adorable things out of dessert items… while Ruch and I continued to chat and sip our drinks.

The kids learned to make chocolate-covered cherry mice with almond slice ears…



And tuxedo strawberries, and fancy garnished marshmallows.




We got to take all the treats home, plus the apron and hats, melting chocolates, and special color-changing cups. We also each got a coupon for a free dessert fondue course on our next visit, and they said if we come back – anytime in the future – with the kids in their Melting Pot aprons, the kids will get to go into the kitchen to “help.”

All that for only $20 per kid and $15 per adult. It was awesome! We all enjoyed it, as this picture shows.




Happy birthday to me!

15 Sep

Yesterday was my birthday… I’m officially 37 years old.

Mike had to leave at the crack of dawn so was gone when I got up.

I woke to snuggles from Michaela and an urgent request that I go out to the dining room for a surprise. When I got there, there were a couple of wrapped presents and a card. Michaela was excited about the card, which was the same one she got me last year (“I knew you liked it last year, so I got it for you this year, too!”). The gifts were a necklace (“I picked it out for you myself because I know your favorite color is blue!”) and the board game Mancala (“I learned how to play at [my after school program] and it’s really fun! We can play together!”). It was great.

I headed to work and was surprised to find that my team had gone all out. They put up a happy birthday banner and decorated my office; made beautiful, gorgeous cupcakes; decorated our office mascot; got me flowers and a card and my favorite drink from Starbucks. They made me feel very loved! I try to be a good supervisor and mentor, and things like that make me feel like maybe I’m not doing such an awful job at it.

I had to leave work early to pick up Michaela from school. She went to my parents’ while I ran some errands before Mike and I met for dinner. We had a light, leisurely meal and then headed to a Rob Thomas and Counting Crows concert.

It was a beautiful night to be at an outdoor venue for a concert. The bands sounded great and played a lot of favorites.

Not a bad way to start a new year!

Writing Assignment

11 Sep


I can write my name. My age is 6. My favorite crayon is purple. I love my mom and dad. I love doing art. I love [not sure what this says. Mike couldn’t make it out, and Michaela couldn’t, either, when I asked her after back-to-school night]. I love Rey Dog.