Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year's Eve

Home alone at 9 p.m. with the kids in bed. Mick's picking up neighbors from the airport. Maybe he'll be back by 10 and we can stay up to just get crazy -- maybe play a word game or something.

Went to the DeYoung Museum today with Amy, a friend here in Sausalito (her twins are in Dane's kindergarten class). We caught the very last day of the very last city for The Quilts of Gee's Bend Exhibit -- which was gorgeous, inspiring, moving. Between the crafts(wo)manship, the history of the region and its poverty, the singing, and the female camaraderie it was a treasure to carry forward with me.

Perhaps I'll write more when I'm feeling more articulate.

For now, I'll pick up my newest book interest: The Gift of Travel: The Best of Travelers' Tales, an anthology of excellent travel essays.

Anyway, Happy New Year everybody. Sorry I didn't do Christmas cards -- Dane got the flu the day we were supposed to take pictures for them and with Mick's intense schedule after that we sort of never recovered. (Of course, it didn't occur to me to do something different than I'd planned.) Maybe we'll do the traditional President's Day card or something.

Happy, Happy New Year. (This officially marks the halfway point for dental school for us, by the way. Almost too cool for school...)

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Two Kids, One Box of Peanuts
(Ignore the Mess)

Friday, December 29, 2006


Thursday, December 28, 2006

A Day at the Lawrence Hall of Science at Berkeley

What's pictured here, in no particular order: the kids and...

*The skin wall -- complete with moles, hairs, pimples, and bruises

*The burping machine

*The digestive process -- in the mouth, down the esophagus, into the stomach, and out the intestines

*Body Pinball

*A cool snake and snake shirt (photographed just for Jan/Grammy)

*A giant game of Operation

*A building created from a blueprint (alas, not part of grossology exhibit)

*A flower created by Aubrey (also not gross)

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

At Yerba Buena Gardens

Friday afternoon, December 23rd. Skated for an hour to Christmas music with about 200 other people. Aubs held on to one of us or the wall. Dane skated solo (what a tiger!) and came away with a terrific knot/scrape on his head after a brain-rattling face-plant. (You can kind of see it under his bangs on the left side of his face in the bottom Starbucks pix.)

Starbucks afterward for hot drinks.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Merry Christmas Eve!

We LOVE the Jammies, Mema!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Hey, Everybody -- Time for a big EXHALE...

He took them!

Mick feels pretty miserable about the whole process but is glad they're done.

Now he's doing some retail therapy up north before he heads home, looking for gifts he and Santa are in cahoots on.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

National Dental Boards I
Mick takes his first set of National Boards tomorrow at 9 a.m. He’ll drive about an hour north of here in the morning to set himself up for his day-long written test. He’s been studying like a mad dog – studying at all hours of the night, napping at all hours of the day (since he’s such a night owl) – and he’s still skeptical that he’s going to know enough.

In spite of his skepticism, I’m glad he’s taking it now, instead of putting it off. He’s at the point where (a) he just needs to know where he stands in his knowledge (he can re-take sections if need be – but let’s hope he won’t need to!), and (b) he needs to have a break from dentistry and studying.

At this point, he’ll get a full weekoff before school starts up again on the 2nd.

While Mick Takes The Boards
Dane’s friend from school, Marcus, will spend the day with us. We’ll grab him at 9:30 tomorrow morning and head to the Lawrence Hall of Science where there’s a Grossology exhibit. (I’m sure there’ll be more to post after that exhibit!)

Dane & Aubrey Get Farmed Out For The Day
Marcus’s mom, Lu, took Dane and Marcus on the ferry to San Francisco. There, they went to the Hyatt to find a Christmas Wonderland. I guess the place was decked out and the kids had a blast.

Another mom, Amy, and her twins, Mia and Nick (also in Dane’s class), went on the adventure as well.

They played barefoot in Buena Vista Park (no, it wasn’t warm at all!), fed seagulls, and saw a seal. Needless to say, he had a great time. In fact, when he saw the pictures Amy emailed me, he said, “That’s what I’m talking about, Mom.”

Aubrey got to spend the afternoon with her friend Katie Javadi, playing moms and dress-up.

Mick studied; I worked on some writing.

The Kids Saw Santa On Saturday

At their turn, the kids gave Santa some gingerbread cookies they'd made. When Dane showed him that his g-bread guy's foot cracked off, Santa said it was okay since he knew how to repair cookies at the North Pole. After all, the reindeer step on and break a lot of Mrs. Clause's cookies.

When Aubrey asked for a dolly for Christmas, he looked at her and pointed to me: “I gave your mommy a dolly for Christmas one year, too.”

Her eyes lit up. “He did, Mommy?”

As I nodded my head, Santa asked me, “Do you still have it?”

Trying not to turn into a sappy ball of mush, I said, “Yes, I do…”

Aubrey asked, “You do? Which one is it?”

“Um, the little tiny one, from Mema’s, that we like to dress in its tiny baby clothes…”

She smiled at me with huge, excited eyes; Dane smiled up at Santa.

These are just my personal digital pics; we get to pick up the free professional ones this week.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Dane and Bike Dino-Squeaker

Sunday, December 17, 2006


It’s 7:15 and pitch black outside. We’ve had a long, busy day and we’re ready for the kids to go to bed.

“Time for bed,” Mick says. “It’s late.”

It’s actually still an hour before their usual bedtime, but the kids can’t tell time yet – at least not on our dining room clock with the Roman numerals, and they don’t think to look at the other clocks – so they don’t catch us in the lie.

In fact, they agree. Dane says, “Yeah, it’s dark – it must be like midnight or something.”

Aubrey says, “Whoa…”

Mick and I slowly nod our heads in unison and within fifteen minutes the kids’ teeth are brushed, their jammies are on, and they’re tucked in their beds.

So, I wonder, how long can we get away with this stuff? Will it come back to haunt us, like bad Karma? Or, are we simply employing the Darwinian tools of parental survival?

What was I told as a child that I later figured out to be bogus? Did my aunt really see Santa flying over my rooftop when she arrived late one Christmas Eve? Didn’t that gorgeous wool coat my mother made for my cousin Karen, the one she needed me to try on for the finishing touches, actually turn out to be my gift? And wouldn’t a childhood habit of drinking coffee surely have stunted my growth? (Okay, the verdict’s still out on that one, but at least my pre-pubescent self was spared the jitters, the teeth stains and the stale breath of a forty-year-old.)

Yes, knowledge is power. And in this case, I’m lucky enough to be the one to possess it. Besides, some day, soon enough, Dane and Aubrey will have it, too.

But for now, it’s 8 o’clock, and through their door I hear even breaths and an occasional snore – sounds that provide me with the smug knowledge that once in a while it’s not so bad that they’re in the dark.

Friday, December 15, 2006

Anjie's Holiday Art

Holiday Excitement

Watching The Muppets Take Manhattan

Rudolph - by Aubrey

Snowman - by Dane
(Yes, we had a conversation about yellow snow)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Rough Day

I generally feel up to handling rough days, and, honestly, I don't have very many of them, but let me just take one itty bitty moment to be a whining wimp.

Here are the things that suck today:
*Single parenting for the umteenth day in a row with very little relief

*Mick took his last two finals today (rough for him) and is eating Japanese food at his friend Takashi's house to celebrate (good for him; lame for me)

*Mick still has to study for and take his boards next week (rough for both of us)

*Hauling laundry three flights down to the laundry room (then up) ; especially rough when I've taken a monster bag of back-bugging 5 loads with me, only one washer's available, one dryer is broken, and three other people are edging in on our shared turf

*There are still four loads of laundry to do

*A pile of wet laundry is on my bathroom floor and will have to get dried tomorrow; it'll be really rough if it's mildewy

*Little teeny tiny ants have invaded our bathroom

I'll stop there, but, really, I could go on.

I'll end with something nicer.

Here are the things that didn't suck today:

*The kids and I left the van at home this morning, and left the house early to walk in the rain to school and stomp in puddles

*I ran (figuratively) some errands on foot after dropping off Dane and got a solid hour and a half of walking in before 9 a.m. (no, Aubrey didn't have to walk -- I brought a jogger)

*Mick finished his finals

*The kids and I baked 25 of Aunty Gladys's sugar cookies in the shapes of Christmas trees for Dane's class to frost and splash M&Ms on tomorrow as the last day before break

*The kids cut out teddy bears and gingerbread men and trees and snowmen and decorated them with icing while listening to Jingle Bell Rock over and over and over again

*In 25 minutes the house will be mine and I'll get to read a book and write in my notebook for as long as I can stay awake

I'm sure you've had enough of me for now.

Good night.

Some Winter Concert Photos
(sorry, the photos formatted funny)

*Aubrey and Dane with Ashton, a friend and Willow Creek fourth grader.

*Ashton's brother is Xavier, who's a kindergartner with Dane, pictured here with Aubrey and Ashton. (Xavier and Ashton live in Marin City too; their cousin Shewanna rides in our van to school the days we don't ride bikes.)

*Dane and Aubrey with Dariana, fellow kindergartener, recently from Romania.

*Dane singing Feliz Navidad at the end of the concert; his buddy Josh is right next to him and teacher Miss Perez is singing there too.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Eine Deutsche Kinder
Mick auf zwei und zwanzig Monaten
Fröhliche Weihnachten!

Monday, December 11, 2006

Baroque Northwest's Mediterraneo: From Byzantium to Iberia
A 'ONCE-REMOVED' REVIEW by Anjie Reynolds

Okay, okay, okay. I wasn't there -- but I really wish I had been!
I wanted to hear what the Seattle Post-Intelligencer calls Baroque Northwest's "stylish playing, excellent precision, and understanding of baroque conventions."
And I really, really wanted to hear, yet again, what Elizabeth Widel of The Chronical calls Karen Urlie's voice: "one of the most exquisite soprano instruments I've ever heard, on records or off..."
As it were, Mike and Jan Reynolds were there to report on Karen's vocal performance with Baroque Northwest last Saturday night. Here's what they had to say:
The Sound
She met the difficult challenge seemingly easily, like a warm knife cutting butter.
Considering the very low range the final piece required, this soprano demonstrated wonderful control of her voice. It was angelic.
The Group
Karen was introduced very kindly and with great credibility by the leader of the group, Kim. Karen was the only one performing that's from Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Two others were from California and one from Texas and another from not-sure-where.
One works at Pacific Lutheran University as the head of the Lute & Guitar program. Another is heavily immersed in the 'early musicians'; he must have played more than a half-dozen historical stringed instruments. And he had the perfect voice -- a mix between Jewish and Muslim prayer callers. Incredibly beautiful. Like Karen, perfect.
The Instruments
The Ud (oud), viola da gambo, psaltery, lute, baroque guitar, vihuela and the 'common' theorbo were played.
The Diva's Attire (Couldn't leave this out now, could I???)
She wore a long black skirt, spiffy black heels, and a beautiful jacket in dark colors with some gold thread throughout. Classy.
A heartfelt thanks to Mike and Jan, specials to the Brag Page.
My apologies for the asterisks; blogger wasn't letting me have separate paragraphs today without them.

This has been another edition of NETTY'S BRAG PAGE. (C) 2006

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Dr. Mick and PatientOne of Mick's patients showed up at the
clinic as a teddy bear last week.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Winter Concert -- Kindergarten Hambone

Hambone, Hambone, have you heard? Tofu aint nothin but bean curd!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sometimes it feels like I'm in someone else's
dream and I'm going to fall out of it.
-Aubrey, age 4

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


Photo by Aubrey.

Aubrey in her fuzzy Christmas dress;
Dane in his new cammie hat (and gloves).

Mick the student, holding personally designed fake teeth.
(Click on the teeth label right below then scroll down.)

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Person With the Walking House - by Aubrey
(watercolor and pencil)

Ice Skater - by Dane
(colored markers)

Saturday, December 02, 2006

(from 11/30/06)

“Hold me?” Aubrey whispers from a pile of blankets in the middle of the hide-a-bed. She’s been out here in the living room for 24 hours now with a flu bug.

First, she’d been pale and stoic, retching so often over a 7-hour period that I quit counting after she hit the double digits.

Next, she and I spent a steel-bar-in-the-back kind of night side-by-side on the hide-a-bed while Mick and Dane slept together in the master bedroom, steering clear of our makeshift infirmary.

Today, with cheeks flushed and forehead hot, she’s laid on the hide-a-bed alternating between short naps and long stares at different objects in the room—-the Christmas tree, the guitar, the fish tank—-, scaring me with the questions she whispers: “Are the fish going to live very long? And if they die, are we just going to get new ones?”

Between cups of coffee and trips to the laundry room, I lean over her and kiss her warm cheeks.

“Hold me, momma?”

There it is again.

I sweep aside the blankets, stack some pillows behind me, and stretch my body the length of the bed.

“Come here, darlin’,” I say quietly, pulling her toward me and curling her against me. And with her head tucked under my chin, her ear to my chest, we’re back to that familiar position we established in her infancy--back to the ultimate comfort, that first whisper, the heartbeat.