Monthly Round-up – May

by Wendy Copley on June 1, 2007

A few weeks ago, Ali Edwards posted a link on her blog to this monthly round-up idea. I thought it was an excellent idea, so I’ve been keeping a running record of the smaller things that have happened to us this month. I’m going to try to do it every month going forward.

What special days did I celebrate and how?

Mother’s Day was the 13th and we had Zach’s family over to our place for a BBQ. We ended up with quite a crowd. Erin, Bryan and Moke showed up first. And then Tom, Dee and Kitty came by a little later. Just as everyone was arriving, our neighbors Randolf and Lenni came by to see if Wyatt could play so we invited them to stay for dinner too. Lenni’s mom, Beate joined us a little later as well. We had a great dinner of grilled steaks and chicken, roasted asparagus and chipotle potatoes. The potatoes were good, but you couldn’t taste the chipotle at all. For dessert we had a big, delicious watermelon. I was thrilled to have such a yummy one so early in the season as watermelon is one of my favorites. Wyatt and Zach gave me a gift certificate for a fancy haircut for my Mother’s Day gift. I haven’t had a chance to use it yet, but I can’t wait because I’ve been wanting a haircut for a while now.

Zach’s birthday was the 22nd, the day after he returned from Montreal (see below). I got him a GPS for his birthday so he won’t get lost anymore. This will probably make his life about 50% better, because he gets lost a lot. I also hit Erin and Bryan up to babysit so Zach and I could go out for a birthday dinner. After much deliberation, we decided to go to Charlie’s restaurant, Cafe Rouge. We had an awesome dinner, complete with oysters, artichokes, and big steaks. Yummy — and so nice to get out by ourselves for a change.

Memorial Day was a little bit of a bust this year. We had a couple of invitations, but we’d been planning on going down to Santa Cruz with Erin and Bryan so we had to turn them down. We were going to visit Bon-Bon’s uncle’s farm and ride a train and what not, but we totally dropped the ball with the communication (Zach and I missed a crucial phone call from Erin) and with nap timing and whatnot we never got our act together enough to get down to SC. The day was saved though when Charlie decided to come over for grilled bratwurst at dinner time.

What fun things did I do with my friends and/or family?

Erin, Bryan and Mokey came over for dinner on the 2nd. Erin brought Moke over after Wyatt’s nap to help him get socialized. Wyatt is a little nervous around dogs, so we are also encouraging him to play with Mokey to get a little more comfortable. I stopped at TJ’s on the way home to pick up stuff for dinner and we ended up having a very similar dinner to the one we made for the Ponces on the Sunday before: grilled sausages, roasted veggies, grilled polenta, and green beans. I skipped the sausages for WW and just stuck with the polenta and veggies and it turned out to be a very filling, low points meal. I’ll definitely be having that again.

On the 7th, I went to see Will Shortz speak at Zellerbach hall in Berkeley with my friend Ellen from work. You can read a bit more about that here.

Wyatt and I went over to Manny and Allison’s for a barbecue on the 20th. Our friend Irwin and his son Janeil were there as well as Andy, Sara and their daughter Lula. The kids all had a good time playing together and Wyatt was all over Alex. He thinks he’s “loud” and hero-worships him.

Charlie came by for a surprise visit on the 25th. We were just about to sit down to dinner, so we invited him to eat with us. We were having barbecued shrimp, roasted veggies, rice and a bottle of rose which was pretty fancy for a weeknight dinner so he totally lucked out, if I do say so myself. We even had Zach’s birthday cheesecake for dessert. After dinner we sat around talking about the big trip to Europe he’s hoping to take in the next year or so and I tried to get him as fired up about it as possible. He’s hoping to travel around a bit and then get a job in a restaurant and work for a year or so. He’s 21, he’s got money in the bank and virtually no responsibilities (aside from his current job, of course) — I think he should just drop everything and go! I’m so excited for him at the thought of a trip like that. That’s something that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. I told him I’d be happy to help him plan his trip out because I love that stuff, so I might get to live vicariously through him.

What were my accomplishments this month?

I got parent hacked! Geeky, I know, but I was excited. They linked to my post on Wyatt’s Special Distraction book.

What were this month’s disappointments?

I didn’t really have any. Yay, me!

What books and/or magazines did I read this month?

The Salaryman’s Wife When we were visiting Adam and Riko, Adam recommended the Rei Shimura mystery series to me and let me borrow his copy of The Salaryman’s Wife (Sujata Massey is the author). I started reading it at the beginning of the month and was instantly hooked. Before I even finished the first one, I logged onto Paperback Swap and ordered all the rest of the books in the series. Of course, the fourth one came first, then the third and then finally the second one got to me. I dove right in when it came and now I’m on the third book. The series focuses on Rei, a half-Japanese, half-American woman in her late 20’s living in Tokyo. She speaks fluent Japanese, but she grew up in America so it’s interesting to hear her perspective on Japanese culture. The mysteries tend to focus on one or two areas of Japanese culture in each book — corporate life, ikebana (flower arranging), Zen Buddism, etc. I imagine I’ll finish the series in the next few weeks.

What movies and/or tv shows did I watch this month?

We watched a lot of tv this month because we’d been letting it pile up a bit. It’s always nice to be able to binge on shows, especially now that all the exciting season finales are going on. Lost finally got good again and the finale was the best episode in a long while. Two of our favorite shows Veronica Mars (mine) and Jericho (Zach’s) had very exciting cliff-hangers in their last episodes, but that was a bit frustrating since they subsequently got canceled and we’ll never know how they turn out. And then we come to The Sopranos, probably our favorite show of all time. We still have two episodes left before the series is completely over and we can’t wait to see how the show turns out. The longer I watch, the more likely I think it is that Tony is going to end up dead, but the longer the show goes on, the more it seems like he deserves that fate. They have done an excellent job of slowly making him look like a monster again and now there is very little to like about him. It’s such an excellent show.

What new foods, recipes or restaurants did I try this month?

My new favorite WW food is roasted zucchini, peppers and cherry tomatoes. I chop everything up (except the tomatoes), toss with a little bit of olive oil, spread them out on a cookie sheet and roast in a 400 degree oven for about a half hour. So yummy and I can eat a ton for only a point or two (for the oil).

What special or unusual purchases did I make?

I bought Zach a GPS for his birthday.

What illnesses or health concerns did I have?

I had routine doctor and dentist appointments this month. Both were fairly uneventful, but the dentist did tell me that I have “beautiful gums.” That’s always a lovely compliment.

I got sick after our Memorial day cook-out. I felt like I ate too much at dinner, but otherwise things were going OK until I woke up at 3 a.m. that night with a bad stomach-ache. I laid there for a bit, feeling really bad and then I threw up a bunch of times. I didn’t feel up to going to work the next day, so I took a sick day. My stomach still felt queasy yesterday (three days later), but I think I’m doing better today.

Anything else noteworthy to record?

Our family had a couple of pretty big things happen this month. The biggest event was that Zach went to Montreal for five days for an unconference. He just wrote up a big blog post about his trip that you can read here. That meant that Wyatt and I were completely on our own for five days — the longest time we’ve ever gone without Zach. The first day was pretty normal because it was a Thursday, one of Wyatt’s regular baby school days. I then took the Friday and Monday off work to watch him. I was pretty nervous about going that long without Zach to help me, but it ended up going very well. It was hard not to have any breaks, of course, and absolutely exhausting, but in some ways it was easier too. When you’re by yourself, you’re the final decision maker so I found myself being a lot more decisive about parenting decisions than usual. Since I couldn’t ask Zach, “What do you think?” I just immediately did what I thought. It sure did streamline stuff.

The other big events happened at my work. My immediate boss, my VP and Nolo’s CEO all resigned within a three week period. As you can imagine, that shook things up at my job quite a bit, but I’m hoping that things will settle down a bit more in the coming month.

Well, that’s it. My nutshell version of the month turned out to be a pretty big nutshell. I think next month I’ll have to try to write about these things a bit more as they happen instead of saving them all up for the end of the month.

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