Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Winner, winner. Chicken dinner.

Many of you interested in the results of our baby pool probably went and checked, oh, about 10 weeks ago to find out that our cousin Kristy is the winner. Congratulations, Kristy! Finally this weekend I had a few extra minutes to make the prize. I decided to go with onesie and football cookies. I still need some practice with the icing, but they tasted pretty good! They're on their way to Illinios now - hope you enjoy them!

Pumpkin decided to dress on Sunday to match the cookies. Silly girl.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Two Months!

Our little munchkin turned two months last week and this week had her two-month appointment at the pediatrician. She weighed in at 10 pounds, 15 ounces and is 24.25 inches, which puts our tall monkey in the 50th percentile for weight and the 97th percentile for height! She also got her first shots, which upset her a little at first, but she was asleep by the time we got to the parking lot and spent most of the rest of the afternoon snoozing on momma's desk. Now she is back to her smiling, drooling happy self!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Everything Changes

I'll admit it. I miss being a reporter. Before Pumpkin was born, when there was breaking news, it felt wrong to be sitting at a desk watching from the sidelines instead of jumping in my car and rushing to the scene. And then a few weeks ago, a gunman opened fire at an IHOP in Carson City. A year ago, I probably would have been covering the story, but on this day I sat at my desk, reading about it online, fighting back tears and wanting to go home and hold my sweet little girl in my arms. Having a baby is an amazing and wonderful and beautiful thing. But it can also be terrifying when you think about how many things in this world are out of your control.

Last week I was given passes to the air races through work. A local hospital is my client, and I went to the races twice to do social media related to its sponsorship of the event. The races are also a client of the agency I work for. I thought it would be fun to go walk around and see the planes on the weekend, but we ultimately decided it probably wasn't a good idea to take Pumpkin just yet, because of the noise and the heat. We could never have imagined the tragedy that would occur on Friday. To say it hit close to home is an understatement, but it was a much more personal and emotional event for many of my colleagues. On my way to pick up Pumpkin from daycare that evening, I wondered what it would still be like to be a reporter. I wondered what I would do on those days that turned into late nights, if I would still be able to do my job. And would I want to. I shudder to think of what I might have seen had I been sent to cover the story. I read the stories and I cry for the people affected. I am thankful not to have been there, thankful my coworkers were unharmed, thankful for friends and family from across the country who knew I'd been there the day before and reached out to make sure I was safe.

Thankful, especially, that Pumpkin was miles away from the accident, blissfully unaware of anything that happened, and that the only thing I had to do that night was bring her home and hold her in my arms.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Baby Boom

I had no idea when I was pregnant that little Pumpkin would be a part of a little Baby Boom for the QHS Class of '97, but there have been six other babies born to my classmates since December and two more who are expecting - and those are just the ones I know of. I guess nine babies maybe doesn't make a 'boom' - but considering that my graduating class had less than 90 people in it, it sure seems like it!

On her first trip to Quincy, Pumpkin got to meet the daughter of my friend Kasey, during lunch at the Polka Dot ...
And later that afternoon, she met the son of our friends Jed and Nicole. He has already asked Pumpkin to the prom ...

And last weekend, she met her new BFF, daughter of friends Chad and Theresa, at the Rib Cookoff ...
Hopefully she will get to meet some of the other Class of '97 offspring soon! Not to mention, the babies recently/soon-to-be born to several of our Yuma buddies! Pumpkin is in great company.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

There in Spirit

I like it when the people that I love like each other. Like, when Chris can hang out with my friends from high school and college, even when I'm not there. So even though it's kind of a bummer that our good Yuma buddies the Nevins and the Volkmanns get to live just an hour and a half away from each other on the east coast while we are still out in the wild west, it is nice to know that they get along quite famously with my sister and Miguel and they can all hang out. It's always fun to get picture texts or phone calls or have Skype dates when they are together ...

It's kind of hard to tell in this photo, but Michelle and Olivia joined my sister Marina, Dad and Deb for lunch and a day of sightseeing while Dad and Deb were visiting D.C. in May. Later that night, Benny and Miguel joined the group for dinner.

Marina and Olivia share the same birthday. This was the first time they met!
Sisters! Chris's sister Alison met up with Marina while she was in D.C. for work in July.

Marina and Miguel met up with Jeremy and Andrea in August to help welcome Jeremy into the 30 club.

We hope to take Pumpkin to visit all of these faces soon!

Monday, September 5, 2011


Yesterday, for Labor Day, the LA Times had a story on Angelinos' first jobs. I've been working since I was 13 or 14, so after reading the article I thought it might be fun to compile a list of all the jobs I've had. It might be confusing as some of these overlapped with each other, but trust me, I really did have all of these jobs.
  • Office Assistant: When I was in junior high I started helping out in the office of the tax consultant my mom worked for, mostly when they had big monthly mailings. I would copy, sort, stuff envelopes, run the postage machine and occasionally answer the phone.
  • Busser: In high school I bussed tables at a restaurant called The Airport Steakhouse, and sometimes waited tables, and later - very briefly - at another restaurant called Mt. Tomba.
  • Movie theater cashier: Every summer we would visit my Dad in LA for a few weeks. One summer when I was 16 I worked at one of my uncle's theaters selling tickets and working at the concession stand.
  • Operator: My junior and senior years in high school I worked for the school district, answering the telephones and as an assistant to the administrative assistant to the curriculum department. The "D.O." (district office) was in the old county school house with a bell. The rope to ring the bell was in the curriculum director's office and I liked to ring it any chance I got.
  • Barista: A friend of a friend from Quincy owned a coffee shop in Monterey, so when I moved there for junior college, she hired me to work at the shop.
  • Barista again: From the first Monterey coffee shop, I moved to another on Cannery Row where I was getting more hours, but I hated it.
  • Hotel PBX Operator: The owner of coffee shop #1 also worked The Monterey Plaza Hotel on Cannery Row. When they had an opening, she suggested I work there where I would make more money and be eligible for benefits. I worked as a PBX Operator at first, then front desk agent, then spa receptionist. I loved the free spa treatments but after the hustle and bustle of the front desk, I was bored.
  • Toy Store Manager: There was a toy store in the same building as coffee shop #2. The owners asked if I'd like to come work for them. They later said they thought they could trust me because I didn't give away things for free like the young employees at other Cannery Row businesses did. I worked there for five years, eventually becoming manager of three stores by the same owner.
  • Hotel Reservations Agent: When I left the Plaza, I took a job in reservations at Quail Lodge in Carmel Valley. Once Bill Murray called to make his own reservation and I answered the phone.
  • Sales Assistant: When I moved to San Jose, many of my former coworkers from Quail Lodge were working at a hotel/conference center called the Hayes Mansion and so they hired me to work as the sales assistant in the morning and I had classes in the afternoon.
  • Waitress: I wasn't making quite enough money part time at the Hayes Mansion so I started waitressing at The Old Spaghetti Factory.
  • Newspaper Intern: After a year in San Jose, I returned to Monterey for the summer to intern at the Monterey County Herald in the sports section.
  • Spartan Daily Editor: Back at San Jose State in the fall I was managing editor for the campus newspaper, and executive editor in the spring semester.
  • Newspaper Intern: After graduation I did a Chips Quinn Internship in the news section at the Wenatchee World in Wenatchee, Wash. - the buckle of the power belt of the great northwest. I learned a lot about apples.
  • Assistant Theater Manager: After my internship and before I found a real newspaper job, I again worked at one of my uncle's theaters - this one in San Diego. This job only lasted three or four weeks before I was offered a job as ...
  • Reporter: I applied to papers all over the country and my first offer came from The Sun in Yuma, Ariz. I accepted on the spot. This, of course, is the decision that changed my life since that is where Chris and I met. I at first was a features writer and then became the education reporter.
  • Bath and Body Works: I got a job here as a seasonal employee to make some extra money in Yuma, and continued on for a few months when they needed extra help rearranging the store for new product and displays.
  • Waitress: On nights when I wasn't covering school board meetings, I was waiting tables at Julieanna's Patio Cafe, one of Yuma's nicer restaurants. I miss the tortilla soup.
  • Education Reporter: From Yuma I moved to the East Valley Tribune outside of Phoenix where I also covered education.
  • Breaking News/Multimedia Reporter: After Chris got a job at the Reno Gazette-Journal, I applied and was also offered a job. I started in features, but was quickly moved to the breaking news team, later laid off and then rehired again part time.
  • Graduate Assistant: In grad school at UNR, I helped produce content for the journalism school's website.
  • Social Media Coordinator: And now, of course, I do social media for a firm in Reno.
So, that's more than 20 jobs! Wow, that doesn't even include odd jobs like modeling for a slot machine, working for a vendor during races at Laguna Seca, or helping out with the high school journalism institute.

What was the oddest or funnest job you've had?