ste_noni: (Default)
2012-06-24 09:45 pm

Small things

Today I picked out a window air conditioner, hauled it upstairs and installed it myself. Worth every penny and sweat drop to now be in bed and. comfortable. And the smoke from the fire is really thick. It reeks (is that spelled right? I cant remember) like an ashtray outside which just makes my little AC that much sweeter. 

What else can I say about the fire. It's huge and still 0% contained. No homes burned thankfully but 11,000 people evacuated. 

ste_noni: (Ellie)
2012-06-23 03:11 pm


About three hours ago, a forest fire started about 15 miles from my house.  It's in the mountains that are on the edge of Colorado Springs.  Supposedly 150 acres burning and the fire started just 3 hours ago.  It's not actually that close to my house, but because it's on a mountain, I can see the flames as well as the smoke.

I'm thankful for twitter and FB.  It's actually very easy to be updated with my phone.

I've been sort of mentally going through my list of what I would take with me - important papers, the dogs, a few clothes, baby pictures, my computer.  I doubt it will get that far - or if it does, it will mean that half the city is on fire.  But the fire crews are staging in a parking lot just a couple of blocks from my office, which is creepy.  The evacuation place is the high school just a couple of miles from here.  There are firetrucks driving from everywhere to the fire and police cars heading up the mountain.  It's 99 degrees out and very windy.

The good parts are that the whole state is already on fire so the firefighting assets are already in state and nearby, and Colorado has lots of experience fighting these fires.  They've already got helicopters and slurry bombers flying around.

There 's no point in being upset.  The worst case scenario would be that I take what I need with me, the house burns down, and we start over.  But the kids and I would all be okay and that's the most important thing.  But I'm still kind of anxious.

eta: proof that I'm anxious.  it just now occurred to me to look at what direction the fire is moving - thankfully it's moving mostly north which is not towards me.
ste_noni: (Default)
2012-05-04 01:28 pm


Sammy has thrush.  im typing with my left hand only because he is finally napping.  poor baby.  he has been so cranky and sad the last few days.  at least i know why.  ive only dealt with thrush once and ellie was much older.  we have the nytatin prescriptions for both of us.  any suggestions? do i need the purple stuff? im noy part of any bf or parenting comms any more but would love suggestions.
ste_noni: (Default)
2012-04-23 06:40 pm

Advice, please?

I am extremely conflict averse in my personal life, which is why I'm asking for advice here on how to handle this...

Before Sammy was born, I contacted a newborn photographer.  I sent her pictures of what I had done for Ellie and Frisco and explained that I wanted something not identical, but complementary.  My goal was to hang it all on the wall together and have it look nice.  Looking at her website, she did some stuff that was a little cutsier than I wanted (babies dressed as peapods, etc) and some stuff that was more cluttered (to me) but also she had some newborn pictures that fit what I was looking for.

The photo shoot went really well.  She wanted to do it when he was 5 days old and even though he didn't "pose" exactly the way she wanted, she sad she got some cute shots.  Two months later, I went to her studio to review the pictures.  She had a huge digital LCD TV to display the "proofs".  She sells her pictures in packages (not surprising) but doesn't do actually matting.  I guess she prefers "digital" matting, which to me looked like a cheap border.  Anyway, I ended up ordering all my prints separately except one "digital collage" because it fit with the package and I thought maybe it would look okay. The entire package was not quite but almost my monthly salary but it was worth it to me for a bunch of reasons.

Today I picked up the pictures.  The black and whites look really gray to me.  I'm not sure what could be done about that, but I guess it comes down to the fabrics she used in the background weren't 100% white so now, they look sort of gray.  However, she also used a sort of textured paper (that we never discussed) and this has the effect of making Sammy's skin look really wrinkled/textured.  Maybe it won't look that way once it's under glass?  The color pictures make his skin look really mottled and red.  I'm sure it was somewhat (because he was 5 days old) but it looks terribly unattractive and not cute at all.  Finally, I think I was really clear about my preference for real matting.  It took forever picking out the pictures because I wanted real matting.  So when I walk in, she has a beautiful, real matted, collection of 6 pictures of Sammy.  She tells me it wasn't available when I was in her office placing my order, but it became available after (this was like two weeks ago when I placed the order) and it was such a great product and he was so cute that she ordered one for herself to hang on her wall.  I can have one, too, for $500.  The one digital collage I did order from her looks like crap in comparison to what she has hanging on her wall.

So, I'm upset but I'm not really sure what to ask for.  I could ask her to reprint everything on regular paper (no texture).  I'm not sure anything can be done about the excessive gray.  I don't know if I should say anything about the colored pictures but I doubt I will ever hang them because Sammy looks so *red* and mottled. I would totally be willing to buy what she has hanging on her wall because it was beautiful.  BUT, I'm annoyed because we talked about my strong preference for real matting and what she has looks so much like what I have for the other kids.  I can't believe she wouldn't have called and asked.  What a great way to make $500 extra?

What should I do? What would be fair? Other advice?
ste_noni: (Default)
2012-02-29 06:13 pm

San Francisco

 I already posted on but Sammy and I are headed to SF Mar 22-27. Joe is taking the other kids to FL and I don't want to stay home. But also I want to see the ocean. 

But mostly I would love to meet any SF people in the area who are free. 
ste_noni: (Ellie)
2012-02-12 11:45 am


I don't really frequent parenting boards anymore, but I'd love insight from anyone here...this post mentions baby poop...feel free to skip )

ste_noni: (Ellie feet)
2012-01-22 11:38 am


Sammy was born yesterday at 12:03pm.  I want to write up a longer birth story soon, but the summary version is that after weeks of having "achy" type contractions, they started feeling more like cramps yesterday early in the morning.  Frisco had a good week at school and his reward was a trip to Duncan Donuts.  He was supposed to be with Joe all day so we went very early.  While there, I had to apologize to my mom because i felt like I was being crabby due to the cramping.  Once I heard myself apologize, I realized that i was probably in labor because I had made a similar apology just before Frisco was born.  Anyway, the kids went with Joe and I laid down on the couch.  I was about 10 minutes into Hunt for Red October when I felt this weird pop/punch inside.  No gush, but I got up after about a minute and yes, my water had broken.  My mom arrived after 15 minutes or so and the contractions intensified.  

By 11:24, I called my midwife and asked her to come.  She got there at about 11:50.  While I was waiting for her, I started having a lot of serious contractions and really doubting my decision to do this at home. I should have known it was transition, but transition is so sneaky that I just couldn't believe I could already be there.  Jan, the midwife, got upstairs and I started feeling pushing-type contractions.  I rolled over onto my hands/knees (couldn't get to the plastic and didn't care) and out he came on the third push.  He came out all at once.  I picked him up, rubbed him off, and just sat and looked at him.  He started crying immediately.

I'm still sort of in shock that he is actually here.  It happened so fast - but also slow because the contractions went on for at least 2 weeks prior.  When I have some time, I want to write up the fuller version while the events are still fresh in my memory.
ste_noni: (Default)
2012-01-16 01:53 pm

Nursing Tops

I'm passing the time until the baby comes by looking for nursing tops online.  Everything I'm finding looks so frumpy.  Any suggestions on cute places to find nursing tops?  I am mostly looking for things that are somewhat casual, but also anything I can wear to work.
ste_noni: (Default)
2011-08-29 02:48 pm
Entry tags:

(no subject)

It seems I'm having a boy.  I'm very excited about that because I had this sort of dream a few weeks ago where, when I woke up, I just knew it was a boy and I was supposed to name him Samuel.  It probably doesn't hurt that I've been watching a lot of SPN, or that Samuel also works well in Spanish, but when I woke up, I was thinking about the biblical story of Samuel - how Hannah wanted a child and couldn't have one.  And then God answered her prayer and she named him Samuel, meaning "God has heard."  Because I wanted this baby for a long time and had given up on having a third, and then he just sort of showed up in a way that should have been very difficult.

The cool thing about my advanced maternal age is that the did a complete genetic screen and the ultrasound was very in depth.  We got to see lots of the baby's organs and bones.  In particular, I loved the radius/ulna.  It looked just like a regular skeleton, but tiny.  He was very active and looked healthy.

I humored the doctor by listening to his recommendation about having the baby born between 39-40 weeks because...okay, honestly I didn't really get what he was saying .  Something about being older, increased risk of something, and so on.  But absent a major medical problem, this little one will come when he is ready.

Because I am nerdy like that, they also gave me a copy of the baby's family tree that the genetic counselor made.  It's cool because it goes all the way back to the baby's great grandparents.
ste_noni: (Default)
2011-08-07 07:22 am
Entry tags:

Adventures in Film

Being a Mac person, I started playing with iMovie about 11 years ago after we got a video camera at our wedding. It helped a lot that 7 months after we got married we moved to Brazil where Joe got paid to travel all over South America and was supposed to document his trips. We had lots of fun making little movies about our trips and on the way, I learned the importance of, for example, getting a shot of your airplane to show leaving/arriving, leaving a little bit at the beginning and end of your shots for transitions and so on. At the time, iMovie had very little in the way of audio controls so that was a limitation but also made the entire project easier. I dabbled with Final Cut Pro a few times.

But about the time I was looking into Final Cut, I was also starting law school and not taking vacations that were really movie-worthy any more. And around this time, I started watching Buffy. I think I watched every episode about 3 times - once for the story, once to enjoy the themes ans structure, and usually by the third time, I was appreciating camera angles and transitions and staging and so on. The whole experience made me realize that I had about zero interest in being an actor but that I would love the work involved in making a movie.

Does anyone remember Project Greenlight with Ben Affleck? I loved that show. But having kids and relationship stress dramatically shifted my interests and priorities in the last few years. Plus actually being a lawyer usually meant that work was challenging enough that work plus the kids took up any energy I had.

On a separate note, I've been watching SPN a lot lately (I had started S1 in January and then got bogged down in S3, I think.) and, because Buffistas have spicy brains, I've also been reading through the 14,000+ posts in the SPN thread since the beginning on S5. Which means that I have been dipping my toes some into the behind the scenes stuff of TV again - watching con videos and listening to the actors and writers discuss their craft.

All of that is introduction to say that I filmed a commercial for my law firm on Friday. (I should add here that I live in a small down and the commercial will air on Univision so it really was not that expensive.) The commercial is, of course, 30 seconds. Nothing, right? We had one camerman/producer, the account/network person, me and my paralegal. The entire thing was so nerve wracking!

To cut myself a little slack, I know a huge part of my particular problem was that it was in Spanish which is hard for me to memorize in. But still, I realized today that regardless of any behind the camera interest I might have, I DO NOT have the personality of an actor. I just am way too self-conscious. I was supposed to be pretending to talk on the phone and during the first take, I realized that I was making stupid faces because I was pretending. So on the second take, I tried to focus on an actual conversation but I still felt excessively animated. I think maybe I got it on the third take. And then I had to actually say a couple of lines and it was so hard to remember what to say and smile and have my arms int he right place, etc. And at the end, J and I said something together and one would screw up and then the other one would and so on. I think we got it after 2-3 takes, but still, the whole thing was stressful.

After we were all done, I insisted on going and having a nicer than normal lunch because I was just worn out. From a 30 second commercial. So if I ever leave the law business and become a documentary film maker, it will be strictly behind the camera!
ste_noni: (Default)
2011-07-01 07:44 pm


My parents live north of Jemez Springs. The fire at Los Alamos is close. When the wind changes, it smells like a burned out campfire here. But until now, we were safe because of the way the fire burned. It would basically have to burn over itself to get to us. 

But this afternoon, they set a backfire that got out of control. And now a fire is raging down a beautiful canon that has a gorgeous hot springs. It's only a few miles from my patents church and another 10 or so from the house. My mom sort of already had stuff ready and we just made a quick list. But how do you sleep knowing a wildfire could be coming your way. 
ste_noni: (Default)
2011-02-03 08:38 pm

Prius trouble?

I love my Prius. It is the perfect car for me. Today, however, I was driving home and is was slightly snowing. Suddenly, the highway traffic was all braking and my car wouldn't stop. I pulled into the shoulder and hit the brakes. I expected to crash because I was driving fast on the shoulder in snow. But I did not lose control at all. I couldn't stop but the ABS didn't kick in and there was no fishtailing or skidding. I just couldn't stop. Eventually, the brakes kicked in and I managed to stop. But it was still very scary.
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-12-08 12:35 pm

I'm Ethical!

I finally passed the ethics exam (MPRE)!  My score went up by 28 points.  I'm not exactly sure how/why, but either way, it's good!
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-12-01 05:54 am
Entry tags:


I know I have shared this online several times, but when I was so depressed after my first miscarriage, it was Buffy that pulled me out of it. It's almost embarrassing to admit, but I've gotten over that part because Buffy really was that awesome of a show.  I was discussing Pangs elsewhere online and that led me to download and watch (with Ellie) Becoming, both parts, on Monday night.  I knew Ellie would love Buffy because she loves karate and even the scary stuff is not too scary.

Watching it made me want to talk about it again.  I really think this is my favorite TV episode ever.  It really is a good story but having watching it dozens of times, I just love how Joss structured it.  

In case anyone hasn't seen it, here's summary:

Buffy's previously awesome boyfriend, Angel, has turned evil.  Not just annoying or not calling her, but actually killing one of her teachers.  And so she's been feeling alone and overwhelmed, knowing that she will have to deal with him. By the beginning of Becoming, she has realized that she will have to fight him and kill him.  And she's ready.  And then she finds something that might bring him back - make him good again - but it may be too late.  And then one by one, stuff starts falling apart around her.  [SPOILER!!!!!]  Her friend Kendra is killed by Angel's vampires, Giles is kidnapped by Angel, she is blamed for Kendra's murder, she is expelled from school, and finally, her mom tells her "If you walk out that door, don't come back!".  I don't know how many legs her tripod has, but they are all kicked out from under her. 

There are some hilarious moments in between all this and I'm sure the first time I saw it, I loved getting Angel's backstory.  But the best part of the whole story comes when she is finally fighting Angel.  He is taunting her about how everything she loves and care about is gone, and when you take away all that, what is left?  And he goes to stab her with the sword, and she answers "me" and stops the sword with her hands.  I'm totally not doing it justice, but it is...I can never find quite the right word...but it is something like inspiring. 

And I haven't even talked about the end, which just gutted me the first time around and still can make me teary at times.  Buffy deals with a lot of blows later on in her life, but I always think of this moment as the first loss of innocence/hardening of the shell around her.  By the time Once More With Feeling comes along, her "going through the motions" about saving world over and over seem so real and earned.  Okay, I think I'm starting to sound like a crazy person to someone who hasn't watched this show.  And work is calling.

Watching it Monday night made me love Buffy all over again.  I haven't even mentioned Spike, but he has some great scenes in Becoming. 

ste_noni: (dreams)
2010-11-13 11:36 am


I am wearing a pair of size 10 jeans that haven't fit since I bought them accidentally two years ago.
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-10-21 06:04 am


I am making a playlist called hope. Any suggestions?
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-06-02 10:05 am

Birthday Party

Ellie's birthday party is on Saturday. I invited all 22 kids in her class plus one other friend's little girl. Two people have RSVP'd they are coming and 3 have said they are not. What is wrong with the other 15+ people? How hard is it to pick up the phone?

I'm trying to look at this as a lesson in going with the flow. Leaf on the wind and all that.
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-05-30 04:22 pm

(no subject)

I have de-friended some people over on LJ who I am reading here in part of an effort to get me to click here first.
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-03-16 09:44 am

A shock

I just got a facebook message from my friend's wife that he died in a car accident yesterday.  My age, three kids ages 5-12.  We were buddies in Korea.  I had a huge crush on him when we met but over time, we became close friends.  He lives just a bit south of us but I hadn't seen him in years.  We had tried to get together a few times but he was sick or we were sick, or he and Joe were travelling, etc.

I'm now kicking myself for not seeing him.  He came to see me the day Joe deployed the first time.  I looked awful - I'd eaten pounds of chocolate and was wearing old yucky sweats, but he cheered me up.  We closed down many clubs in Korea back in the day.  I'm so sad for his wife and children but I'm sad for me too.  His death doesn't change the past, but it does sort of end it.
ste_noni: (Default)
2010-03-01 08:35 pm


I went through my closet today getting ready for my new job.  It's really obvious that I have lived in a warm climate/been pregnant/in school for the last several years.  I have exactly three pair of pants that fit me well.  (I actually have more pairs but I've gained a few pounds since I started studying for the bar in January.)  I have plenty of short sleeved or light weight clothes but maybe 10 or less long sleeve, warm tops.  I have plenty of sweaters, but most of them are from my pre-baby days, meaning my boobs were smaller and they are now too tight to be comfortable for me.  I have tons of open toed shoes and plenty of boots, but not a single pair of heeled, dressy shoes.  I have dressy pants shoes, but not a single pair I could wear with a dress in winter.

In the past, I loved to shop at the Limited.   I liked their style and their pants fit me well.  (I have a very hard time finding stuff long enough since I'm 5'9" and a half.)  But they stopped carrying size 14 a few years ago and I'm honestly probably a size above that at the moment anyway.  So, now I need to find a new source for clothes.