Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Day after Christmas and I'm sick. This is lame.
I just want to be in bed.

It would be nice if Bobby were home with me, but no - he's working on the jobsite in Big Bear.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas 2007

As has become the norm, Bobby and I came over to his parents' house on Christmas Eve and hung out for the day, had dinner with his extended family, and then stayed up watching movies while his siblings wrapped presents until 4am.

In the morning we held back, patiently waiting until we could pick Emma up at 10. When she arrived, she told us about the larger of the presents she'd received in the morning with her mom: a laptop and an iPod. She'd brought the laptop, it was one of those green One Laptop per Child ones they are distributing in impoverished nations. It's pretty cool actually.

Then the festivities began, and everyone started opening gifts. Emma added on to her booty with a load of toys and clothes, a Ninetendo DS, and another mp3 player. Bobby's big present was an XBox 360 complete with 2 extra controllers and Halo 3. He was pretty excited about it, and he and Brian almost immediately unpacked it and worked to set it up to play. Unfortunately, my big gift was still in the mail on the way here.

We stayed over for the rest of the day. Unfortunately, Bobby's mom had to work the night of Christmas Eve and of Christmas Day, so we were trying not to distrub her when she could get some sleep. No one really wanted to cook anything, so we drove around at lunch time looking for anywhere that was open. All we could find was a very crowded Jack-in-the-Box. But we made it through the day, and enjoyed each other's company into the evening...

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Baby Chase gets Baptized

Bobby wasn't going to be able to go, but I said I would.

His nephew Chase was being baptized today, so I woke up a little early, made myself presentable, and drove out to his parents' house to meet up with everyone. The baptism was scheduled for 11:30, so I gave myself plenty of time, and arrived there shortly before 11am.

When we finally made it out of the house it was 11:20, so we arrived at the church later than we should have, but then there was a hitch - the baptism ceremony was actually at 11am, not 11:30. Thankfully, Bobby's family has a strong relationship with the church and the preist, and he was willing to do a private ceremony for them right after the normal baptism ceremony.

Chase's sister Caelyn also participated. When the preist asked the child's name and the parents answered, Caelyn answered as well with a drawn out "Chaaaase."

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Failure to Appear

Though I went to bed late on Friday, Bobby and I again had a lot on our plate yesterday and had to be up early. My company's Christmas Party was that night, he had to work at the jobsite in Valencia, and its an Emma weekend.

I woke up around 7:45 yesterday and was not feeling well. I really hadn't had much to drink at the party, so it seemed really strange - I had no headache and did not feel dehydrated, but I was definitely nauseous.

Bobby was able to solicit his brother's help at the jobsite, and I agreed to watch the kids so they could do so. I had to return the chairs from the party, so after Josh and I spent a little time picking up the cups and bottles around the backyard, I used Brian's Jeep in the morning to take those back and headed out to Norco.

I spent most of the morning hanging out with the kids and Brian's wife. His sister's and Emma built a gingerbread house (I'd never done that before), and I was able to pawn off some leftover cookies from last night. As it grew later, I was still not feeling well. I'd been sick four times already, and was still feeling queasy. Emma was also not feeling well.

Emma sometimes feigns not feeling well when she is sad or misses her dad. He'd been working all day, and as it got later we realized that he wasn't going to be able to come out there to see her before we went to this party. I couldn't tell for sure exactly how bad she felt yet. Her aunt Erica was going to watch her that evening - they had planned to take her to a party with a bunch of other kids - but Emma claimed she wasn't feeling well enough to go. I hadn't been able to entice her to eat anything since breakfast. Her feeling sick coupled with my still feeling off, made me decide to just skip the party so we could stay home for the night.

I called Bobby and told him my plan, then I called my boss to tell him I just wouldn't be able to make it. Since Bobby and Brian were now not going to come there first, we packed all the kids in the Jeep and I started back towards our house. With Caelyn and Chase in their carseats in the back, Emma sat up front with me. We stopped to pick up some Sprite to calm our tummies.

It appears that wasn't enough though. Halfway home, Emma, who had been slumped over towards the center, sat up an vomited onto the center section. The cupholders (and the cups in them), the drive shaft, the e-brake,... all of it covered. At that moment I was really glad I had decided to skip the party. Once she was done, she looked up at me and asked, "Do you think Brian will be mad?"
"No honey, we'll clean it up." I could tell she was already feeling better, but she felt bad about the car. I tried to tell her we could make it so you'd never know it happened. We wound up busting into "This one time..." stories about being sick, and who took care of us, and that it never really mattered in the long run.

I called Bobby and warned him so he could get out whatever was necessary to clean up. When we arrived Bobby dutifully cleaned up after his daughter while I got Emma to wash up and started her clothes in the wash. Brian was, as I expected, understanding.

We decided that the best thing to do for the evening was watch a movie together, so we set up the air mattress in the room we'd moved the plasma into for the party. I'd rented Bridge to Terabithia on Netflix, and though Emma had already seen it, she wanted to watch it anyway. She fell asleep for a bit on the couch while we were setting up, even though it was only 8:30pm or so. But she woke back up and said she still wanted to watch the movie. Poor girl was sick once more during the film, but when it was over she was sound asleep.

First thing this morning, Emma was hungry. I took that as a sign she was feeling much better...

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Casino Holiday Party 2007

Well, we did it. The party was a success and is now over.

The patio heaters were a huge hit. We bought 2 at Costco on Monday night because we wanted to keep the party on the back patio if possible, but it's been a little chilly lately (OK, chilly for California). With their help we were able to keep the back patio warm enough. I was still running around at around 9pm getting ready and getting something for Bobby and I to eat, but few people show up that early anyway.

Bobby and his friends played a few songs for us, and then Steve took over and did an awesome job as our DJ. As for the Casino part: we sold a stack of chips for $5, and at the end of the night, the person with the most chips got to take the money home (we hosts were exempt). The craps table and blackjack were the big hits. I rolled at the craps table for what seemed like 30 minutes or so, and the house had to restock with chips 3 times during my run. Too bad I haven't had such luck in Vegas... yet anyway.

The party finally started winding down after 2am, and the last of our guests just went home. I'm exhausted, and tomorrow is going to be another long day...

Friday, December 14, 2007

Crazy Week

One thing Bobby and I seem to excel at is piling way more onto our plate than we can handle. This week we've been in at a dead run for what seems like non-stop. Aside from our normal working too much, we've purchased and assembled patio heaters for our party (don't be fooled - each one took about an hour to assemble), put up all our ourdoor Christmas lights (twice, because I blew the fuse the first time around by stringing too many strings together), and finished a majority of our Christmas shopping. Bobby has also taken the rest of his finals and practiced with his psuedoband. Last night after dropping Emma off we were up until around midnight still setting up.

Today I spent the morning searching for some chairs to rent last minute, and I left work early to finish shopping for supplies, food, and some drinks. And to get home and finish setting up. I'm amazed at how much still needs to be done. Thankfully some friends are showing up I can pass the torch to so I can get ready. And eat.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Skipping the Show

In June of last year, Bobby and I had a disappointing episode with a comedian we were both big fans of - Dane Cook. We had signed up for what was supposed to be a free show, but turned out to be a waste of good time, sitting in the heat for nothing. After the non-event I was very angry, and I have to admit the situation damaged my appreciation for his comedy as well. I didn't want to watch if someone had his stand up on, I stopped listening to his CDs. I was done.

A few days later I received another email from Dane (or the person that sends his emails) saying that he was very sorry that his team had handled the situation so badly - that he had known nothing as it was a surprise from him. He wanted to make up for the mishap and would email about a show in the area in the future that would be free to any that had been mislead as we had.

After a time, I had given up on the idea of reparations, and I haven't watched his stand up or listened to his CD since. Finally in October of this year - yes 16 months later, I received the email about the free show. I wasn't sure I even wanted to go, but Bobby said he would like to, so I sent our RSVP.

The show was for the Honda Center tonight. But Bobby has his final project due in the morning and some bids for work he needs to do, and I still have so much Christmas shopping, and cleaning up for the party, and just household chores that have been piling up because I've been working so much. We decided not to go.

But the tickets were supposedly good seats valued at $100 and it seemed a shame to let them go to waste. Bobby's friend Jon called, and I told Bobby to see if Jon wanted the tickets - he did. I'm still waiting to hear how the show was. But I'm not sorry I missed it...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Spa Day

"So you just... sit there?"

Bobby's sister-in-law is an esthetician at a day spa that I worked at a few years ago. She had some free passes that were expiring at the end of the year and invited us for a spa day. Bobby had never been to a spa before and I was trying to explain what one would do at a spa. He wasn't sure he was going to go, and I was trying to convince him. He was having a hard time grasping the idea of doing nothing.

I suggested he come, bring the laptop, and if he got bored, he and his brother could leave us girls at the spa and we'd meet them at their parents' house afterwords. That sounded reasonable to him, so we got ready to go.

We'd had a late start on the day, so we didn't make it out to the spa until around 2pm. Brian and Jess were further behind us, so we went down to the massage building to see if they had anything open. They did, so we each had a 20 minute massage while we waited for the others.

The massage was nice, and brought me back to when I was working there. The winter months can be slow, so I had many a free massages. I haven't been able to schedule them more often than twice a year or so lately, so this was welcome.

Bobby came out in a daze. He'd been working so much lately between the business and school that he barely had time to sleep enough, let alone relax. He and his massage therapist had clearly bonded - they went in strangers and came out buddies. I think even if he didn't enjoy the rest of the day he would have been happy.

Brian and Jess were there when we came out, and we hurried to change and get in one of the hot pools. It was rather cool out, and running around in a bathing suit wasn't ideal, but a hot spa is lovely on a cold day. We sat in the spa and chatted for a bit, and then headed to the Grotto.

In the Grotto they paint your body with this sea kelp clay, and then you sit in a warmed room while the clay is supposed to hydrate your skin. Even if you don't believe in the benefits of the treatment, it's kinda fun being coated in green mud. Kinda makes you feel like a kid playing in the mud.

In the next room there are showers to clean off the kelp. Each shower has three heads, so the water hits you from different angles. These showers are the ones that inspired my Gma to have multiple shower heads in her shower when she remodeled the house we now live in. The next room is a "relaxation room" where they have apples and hot tea. I never cared much for that particular room, but I love the tea.

Next up we went to the locker rooms and we sat in our respective steam rooms and/or hot tubs for a bit before making our way out front. It was a brief stay, but everyone had a good time - even if we didn't really "do" anything at all.

Friday, December 7, 2007

Party Supplies

We're having a holiday party this Friday, and Bobby and his friend wanted to do a casino-holiday party.

First they looked into having a company come out with the tables and the dealers and everything, but the first quote they got was $1,300, and I was not down for that. We were looking into other options, and Bobby was looking around on CraigsList for supplies. Bobby found a craps table for $300 and was thinking about buying it. That didn't sound like a good idea to me (where would I store it?), but Bobby was insistant that we have craps at our casino party.

Today I decided to see what I could find on CraigsList myself. I searched for "craps table" and the first listing was for not just a craps table, but a craps table, two blackjack tables, a roulette wheel, a bingo ball holder, 8 decks of cards, and 2000 chips. All for $190. The first line of the post read "Must sell by Dec. 7th."

I became very excited. I sent the poster an email, and she called me back right away - yes it was still available. I knew Bobby would have to bring the truck out to pick it up, so I asked if we could come by this evening to look at it.

Then I set out trying to get ahold of Bobby. He didn't answer. He has a smartphone, so instead of leaving a voicemail I sent him an email, knowing he'd check that first. He was in the middle of final presentations for class, so I didn't hear back from him for about 2 hours. He was as excited as I was about my find, but it would be a few hours before he could get out there.

When he got there and checked out the stuff, Bobby called to give me the story. The craps table was good, but the blackjack tables were just peices of plywood with the felt on top. All were to be set on top of an existing table rather than being tables themselves. The roulette wheel was plastic, as were the chips. I said I would rather buy this set than the $300 craps table, if only because this craps table would be easily stored, and the blackjack stuff we could just toss later.

Not the most amazing find, but sufficient for our needs.


In case you didn't know, I work for a buyside advisor to private equity funds. We basically search for private companies for funds to buy. The tell us what they like, we go find it and find out if these companies are interested in talking. If the fund buys the company, we get a fee, and I get a peice of that fee.

Last year we signed up a deal under Letter Of Intent. That meant that the fund intended to buy the company, and at that point the lawyers and accountants work to verify all the financial information. The deal was set to close in November.

But there was a complication it was pushed off. Again and again and again. Today it closed. over a year later than the original close date. Now I get to decide what to do with the bonus.

Busy Week

This week has been one of the busiest weeks I've ever had at work. We've been making the switch from an old Novell server to a new MS Small Business Server. Not only did we move over all the files, but we set up Exchange Server and 16 new desktops - and we are changing from Office 2000 to Office 2007. That's a lot of change to happen at once.

There have been some kinks along the way, and our email was down Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. And for some reason our phones were down on Monday. When stuff stops working, I'm the first person in the office that everyone calls. I was working late and pretty stressed out most of the week. Yesterday was the first day that went relatively smoothly, so now I'm catching up on my normal work.

Hopefully I can relax this weekend...

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Christmas Decorating

Bobby, Emma, and I bought our first Christmas tree together last night. And lights, and ornaments, and garland, and everything. We went down to Home Depot together and debated the Douglas Fir / Noble Fir choices - Bobby prefers the smell of the Douglas Fir, but I thought the Nobles would last longer. I figured 6-7 feet, Bobby wanted 8-9 feet. I finally convinced him that an 8-9 foot tree wouldn't really fit where we decided our tree would go, and Emma liked the color of the Nobles better, so we bought a 6-7 foot Noble.

We went inside to see what kind of decorations Home Depot had, but aside from the bubbler lights, I wasn't really impressed. We decided to go to Target instead. Inside Target we debated all the kinds of lights and ornaments. Should we get stockings? Santa would be coming to Bobby's parents', not our house, so did it matter? Emma picked one out for herself, but we didn't bother this time around. We loaded up the cart with lights for the tree, and lights for the front of the house, and lights for the back patio. Target didn't have bubbler lights though, and I wanted some, so we stopped at Home Depot one more time to pick those up.

Bubbler lights always make me think of my dad. He loves those things. We've always had them on the tree, even when some of them went out and we couldn't find replacement bulbs. They were his special lights. I had to have some to remind me of home.

I had to call my dad to ask if we needed to trim the bottom of the trunk before putting the tree in the (new) stand. This was my first time. Kinda silly that at 28 I still have to call my parents and ask how to do simple stuff.

Emma and I put on the lights, but as with most kids, she lost interest after a few ornaments, so I finished up. Then this morning, Bobby and I put up a few strings over some of the doorways in the house. Unfortunately we didn't have time to put up the outside lights, so that will have to wait until after his finals.

Bobby left a little while ago to take Emma home; now I'm off to work...

Saturday, December 1, 2007


My dad called me the other night to ask if I could watch my nephew this morning. My sister had a funeral to go to, and my dad had some work to do on the brewery. My nephew is very high energy, so watching him can be somewhat draining. He's also deaf, and though he can hear some with the help of his cochlear implant, our communication is definitely affected, which also makes watching him a bit draining. But we were spending the morning at Bobby's parents' house where there are kids' toys, and Malachy adores Bobby's sister. I knew that with the help that we could handle him for the morning.

Bobby and I picked Emma up this morning and went to his parents' house. Malachy had just been dropped off, and he spent the morning following Emma around. He discovered the cabinet with all the DVDs and promptly pulled out the Incredibles and wanted to put it on. He sat down in the middle of the living room floor, looked at Emma, and patted the floor next to him. She sat down, and he flipped around to laying on the floor, chin in hands, glanced over at Emma and gave a big smile. He was clearly a bit smitten.

The morning was good, and a little before it was time to leave, Brian brought Caelyn and Chase over. Caelyn just stared at him in wonderment. Malachy sat in the little doll stroller, and Caelyn pushed him around; they stared out the sliding glass door at Emma, and then Caelyn walked up to where Malachy was sitting in the stroller, grabbed his head, and planted a kiss on him. Not a little kiss either - she just held there until I started worrying that she was going to bite him (she does that sometimes). The whole situation was like one of those images you see on those black & white cards with the kids in grown up clothes.

They chased each other around the couch for a bit, and as Malachy and Caelyn both tend to do, they got a little wild. It was approaching the time we had to leave and I was starting to worry that I would have trouble pulling Malachy away. But I grabbed on to him, made him look at me, and signed "You & me, go see grandpa."

His eyes got big, he smiled with excitement, and signed back, "Grandpa?" I nodded.

He was off the couch and zipping up his sweater and getting his backpack before I had time to gather my things. He was not about to be the one holding us back from seeing grandpa. When we all piled into the car and he realized Emma was coming too, he gave another big smile. Quite the ladies' man today.

When we got to the house, Emma wanted to play Lego Star Wars, and Malachy grabbed one of the controllers. They are wireless and we left his turned off, but he sat there playing with the buttons and playing right alongside her. When my dad met us at our house, he tapped Malachy on the shoulder, and Malachy dropped his controller and ran into my dad's arms. He didn't care if he stayed with us or if they left, as long as he got to stay with grandpa...