Friday, February 29, 2008

Lump Day and Cognitive Stuff

That is what I called it to Ron. Wow, did I ever come home from CA drained! There were some good parts to the trip, especially getting to spend alot of time with Sarah, but as always, having Orion at my mom's was a bit of strain. There is not much for him to do there and he gets into stuff that is a problem. Not to mention my mom must have said 50 times that she was never going to see us again and she was never going to see the new baby. I am still not really sure what is going on with her cancer. Apparently several doctors have told her she is beyond help, but now a new one wants to do a bunch of tests and work up a treatment plan. So I don't know what to think.

We pretty much lumped out on the couch all day while Orion watched TV or played video games, and I caught up on email and such. Since it was pretty uneventful, I figure this is a good time to post about some stuff Orion has been into lately. Both of these have been going on for awhile, but I just haven't gotten around to posting about them.

The first is rhyming. Orion LOVES to make rhymes. Sometimes it will be a series of short, real words or sometimes he will come up with several multisyllabic nonsense words. Both are pretty cute. :)

The other thing is a bit newer. He is recently fascinated with the concept of counting backwards. He asks me alot to count back from a certain number and is working on doing it himself. Neato keen. :D

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Last day in CA

Rose decided to come to Simi and see us one last time since we didn't have to head to the airport until about 2. We had been talking about checking out the big duck pond, so we stole some bread from my parents and headed over there. This place is cool because there are so many types of water birds. Along with the ducks you usually see in CA, there are wood ducks as well, and a couple different types of geese.

"Wow, would you look at all these ducks!" (And pigeons and geese). He has on Grandma's visor. "May I have some bread please, Grandma?"
If you look closely at this one, you can see bread pieces flying through the air.

With his own piece, carefully tearing off small pieces.

Then we had a nice little picnic near the playground. Rose and I ate while Orion alternated between sliding and coming over for bites.

Back to Simi and off to the airport. The trip home was pretty much like the trip to CA, except we sat closer to the front. Because of this, I was more tuned into what was going on in the whole plane. I am not sure if the other flight was like this, but these attendants kept pushing the free beer and wine! Gotta love Alaska Airlines. There were some happy folks on there by the time we landed! It was pretty funny.

Daddy met us at the airport and we dragged our tired butts home. Ron had cleaned the kitchen, although he kept telling me he hadn't. And he installed a water purifier on our faucet. Both nice surprises!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Is this really our last full day?

This trip did seem to go SO much faster, although it was really only a couple days shorter than the last two. Today was planned for mostly downtime, packing and laundry. But we also had dinner with my brother planned as we hadn't even seen him yet. Orion and I headed over there in the late afternoon to hang out a bit with Lisa and play with the dogs, which he always enjoys.

After Chuck got home from work, we decided on Thai food and headed out. What an interesting evening ensued.... Dinner was nothing out of the ordinary, except for Orion being a little monkey and not wanting to stay in his seat. Oh wait, that isn't out of the ordinary haha. The real adventure came when we tried to go home. We had taken one car, so I needed to drop Chuck and Lisa back at home, but we couldn't get there! My brother doesn't live in the best of neighborhoods, and apparently there was some major police activity going on as they had the streets blocked off for a really large radius. They weren't even letting people walk in! I offered to take them someplace to wait, but my brother thought he knew of a place they could hop a fence and get in. What the heck! I wouldn't have wanted to go in there if it was me! I wasn't really comfortable with that, but that is what he wanted to do. I told him to call me when they got in or call back if they couldn't, and I haven't heard from them yet. Wonder if they are sitting in a Denny's somewhere....

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The Ghetto Mansion and Farmer's Market

What a long day this was... and these aren't even all the pictures!

First stop - "The Ghetto Mansion", or at least that is what Katie calls it. The place is in the Bel Air area, and really quite beautiful. It is not the owner's regular home, however, so it is very sparsely furnished and not in great repair. Even after asking lots of questions, I still don't quite understand, but there doesn't seem to be anything shady about it. Basically this rich music producer lets several people live here for free that work for him in various capacities. Sarah does some PR and event planning type work for him. She has a room with a lock on it and a key to the main house, so it seems legit. She was also talking about how several parents have been to visit, so it is not like anybody is trying to hide anything. Leave it to Sarah to sniff out a mansion to live in for free LOL

Here is the entrance. Oh my lord, the kitchen.
The pic above Sarah's bed. <3 One thing I turned her on to we still have in common. She has never lost her love on Audrey, and especially Breakfast at Tiffany's.
The view from the house down toward the pool and spa. If you look closely, you will see Orion jumping over the little waterfall coming out of the spa. And yes, there was somebody down there with him. Even I am not that CC. But he didn't fall in - thank goodness as the pool is one of those things that is not kept up, as you can see.
Orion on the wall between spa and pool.
The lovely pool. It would be pretty if it was a pond. He should just throw some turtles and fish in there haha.
The house from the pool. Ah, lovely architecture.

Then we picked up Josh and headed to the Farmer's Market. I hadn't been there in years, and wow, how it has changed! Well, the area anyway. The old part is still there and cool and funky, but there is a whole new outdoor mall area called The Grove. It kindof reminded me of Citywalk. The rest of the pictures are all Sarah. She was still working on her color assignment, but took a bazillion of her brother. She sure does love him. :sniff:

The boy loves a fountain.

With the Joshster. I think I said about 10 times that day, "Thank God for Josh." It was such a cool place and I had fun checking it out, but Orion also thought it was great to take off down the aisles at top speed. I don't think I could have handled it on my own, but Josh was more than happy to chase him, carry him, ride him on his shoulders and play airplane with him... for hours. He even took him to the potty once and came back with a report about how he thought he had to poop but changed him mind LOL. That kid will make a great father some day. It seems weird to hope you daughter's boyfriend when she is 19 will be the one she sticks with, but dang, this kid is a good one.

Couple "color shots". I thought this one was funny in a way because Sarah is totally obsessed with artichokes, like that will be her whole dinner.
And this one was just cool.
The Sorbet Series. So much cuteness it was hard to choose, and this is only about half what she took.

And away they go. My little photographer, even thinking about the Rule of Thirds when taking a shoulder ride shot. :)
There were so many more shots from today, but I don't have them yet. Sarah ended up keeping the disc and is supposed to download them later. We were at the apartment for awhile while she shot a few more pics on the roof and went out to try to get the pictures put on a disc, but she couldn't find a place. We ended up not even heading back to my mom's until well past dark. Long, long day, but fun! Hopefully I will be able to add the other pics soon.

Monday, February 25, 2008

My Talented Daughter

Sarah has always been a triple threat - smart, pretty and artistic. She was good in English and Math. She can sing, dance, act, draw and is a pretty darn good photographer. Her scrapbook pages and collages are amazing. And she also inherited my insane organizational flair. I don't think there is a gift the child doesn't have. Not that I think she has always put them to the best use, as if my opinion really matters haha, but lately she has been getting more focused.

She took painting and photography the year she came to high school in Oregon. I wanted her to enjoy it and take it easy, so I pretty much let her take whatever she wanted as long as it was going to get her to graduation. No surprise to me - she ended up having both a painting and photograph land in shows. Now she is taking more art in community college and talking about transferring to an arts school. There is a local place that has even offered to show and sell her paintings if she puts some more together! And she is back in photography this semester. When she was a kid, I used to give her disposables to use when I went shooting, and I was amazed even back then at what an eye she had! This could really be something for her if she sticks with it I think.

Which leads me to my CA Monday post. She and Josh were hanging out until Katie showed up. They figured they would work on their first assignment, which was to shoot color. It was pretty vague. The only thing the teacher said was no flowers.

Hanging out... Orion at the piano.
I took this because I love color shadows.
Here is Sarah with a disposable my mom gave her, asking her to take some pics of Orion.
Shadow face. I was trying to get a cute shot of him but not wanting to get up and move LOL. I was kindof annoyed at the shadow, and then I thought, why not just shoot the shadow! So it isn't a great picture, but it made it more interesting to me to think it was on purpose instead of just a crap picture haha.
Model boy.
I also took this of the underside of the slide. I think Sarah was using Katie's camera at this point.
I found this bottle for them to shoot and then I found the cig package. Thought they made a nice still life together.
The rest are shots Sarah took with my camera while I went to my mom's store with her. None of them have been cropped or edited in any way. She took a bunch, but these are my faves. She loved this one because she was all excited about the little sun sparkles she got.
Nice composition I thought.
I adore this one because Josh totally rocked the, "Yeah, check out my cool ride," look. Not sure if that is what they were going for, but I thought it was hilarious.
Going for an unusual shot of Josh.
Top of a gnome statue.
She is on her way to stardom, dontcha think? ;)

Tonight, Josh and Sarah went back to LA with Katie, and tomorrow, we are off to see "the mansion" and go to the Farmer's Market for more shooting!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Busy Sunday

Long day - lots of pictures! Our first adventure was driving down to Sarah's place. We made great time, so we were able to go in. She has a cute little single with her boyfriend, Josh. I had never met him, but heard lots about him, and he turned out to be a great guy! Polite, helpful, just an all around sweetie. And Orion loved him.

Here is the view from their balcony. You can almost see the whole Hollywood sign!And looking down.... I had asked jokingly if they have any good neighbors to watch, and they said yes! This is the window of an older lady they said does yoga and aerobics late at night. They even have a name for her - Delilah.
View to the right. Josh is from Indiana and thought it was somebody's big mansion, so I had to make fun of him for that. For the rest of you not from LA, that is the Griffith Park Observatory. And he is into acting. I was all, "Didn't you see Rebel Without a Cause?!"
Sarah has come full circle. :) We used to have a book about Goddesses when she was growing up, and she always loved Sarasvati because her name was so close I think. Now she is all back into Eastern spirituality.
Orion, thrilled with gift they bought him. It was a Diego themed Easter basket, so it had a bug catching net, binoculars, compass, safari looking hat and the bug house he is playing with here.
The view from the roof, in the other direction toward downtown.
How adorable is Sarah's boyfriend?
Sarah being the teen model.
Elevator door on the roof. Just thought this was an interesting shot.
Then we were off on the long drive to Port Hueneme. Christina was happy to see Sarah as always.
The birthday boy.
Loved this picture. He was looking annoyed because mom was just cleaning lipstick off his cheek, but it made for an interesting, moody looking shot.
OK, favorite shot I have taken in a long time!
Boys busy at work.
And men busy at work. Well, man anyway. Mike is a BBQ virtuoso.
A pensive Sarah and her red wine.
Josh filling up Orion's Pez dispenser.

Pinata time!
Orion taking a whack. He had pretty good aim!
Sarah watching and leaning back from the stick.
Looking up at Josh. Just liked this shot of her and was annoyed with myself I had the focus wrong.

Let the big kid take a turn!
But it took Dad to make short business of it in the end.
Candy Melee!
The points of the pinata made great hats.

Sarah and Josh came back to Simi with me, so my mom was thrilled. They plan to spend the night and do some photography for Sarah's class tomorrow.