Tag Archives: julia

I guess it’s just us chickens

One thing was very apparent to me, while I was in California visiting Julia. The girl has no time. With her demanding work, taking care of things around the house, raising her son, being involved in her delightful family, and keeping her persistant twin cats out of trouble, how she manages to be upright in heels most days is baffling. Now that she is about to start a new program to add to her already-impressive CV, she is about to have less-than-no time for anything. She might have to cut out petting her cats, hone her getting-dressed-while-driving skills, and install a hotplate in her car so she can make kasha on her commute home.

So, for now, she will be leaving our humble blog. I hold out the faintest flicker of hope that someday she’ll return or that we will be really lucky and she will post out of the blue someday just to surprise me. In the meantime, please wish her luck and extraordinary efficiency in all her projects.

I will keep posting, though I know I am not as funny and don’t have the crazy excel skills Julia has. I may have other writers post now and then, try not to freak out if things change going forward. Thank you for reading so far!

Wrap-up: The Julia Trip

We were in California for three whole weeks and yet, now that I’m home, it feels like it was only a few days!

We did a lot of cool things, my daughter and I, and I got to know Julia’s toddler too, which was wonderful. But of course Julia has a job that seems to think she needs to come in EVERY weekday for a LONG time. Can you believe that? I wanted to call them up and be all “do you KNOW that I’m here?!”

Anyway, I wanted to tell you about some of the fun things we did, so consider this your full report.

Weekend 1: We rode the little steam engine train at the park in Los Gatos and my daughter also had her first Carousel ride!

The Wildcat Railroad is a real miniature steam engine train. It chugs, it choos, it gets filled with water between trips.

Never too early to learn to keep your heels down…

We also went to the pool and some various playgrounds where our kids tried to dominate the sand toys of other children. Also, the both of the kids in the back seat going places? So fun. We pretty much had to sing OVER the crying.

Week 1: During the week, I played with my daughter at nearby playgrounds during the day and sometimes at Julia’s parents’ house. The weather was pretty amazing: cool in the mornings, warm-getting hot in the afternoons, mild in the evening, and cool at night. I could see myself in this!

Weekend 2: Julia’s mom had a really nice luncheon under the pergola. Not only was the food incredible and gorgeous (like eating in a catalog, people, Gary and Elaine would have been thrilled) but I am hoping to use the phrase “luncheon under the pergola” a lot more in my life. Also, Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread…sigh. I think we also went to the pool and played outside and the kids got very wet at the playground by Julia’s house. I can’t remember. They got wet frequently. They’re toddlers.

borrowing Julia’s sunhat

Week 2: I had trouble keeping my kid on Julia’s kid’s sleeping schedule, she seemed to drift to her home bedtimes despite the time difference. I spent a lot of time taking her to the playground, the grocery store, and trying to ignore the rising heat. We went into San Jose twice on the very convenient 81 bus where we visited the San Jose Museum of Art, the St Joseph Cathedral (for 55% of a mass), and ate really delicious vegan curry-things at the Karma Cafe. The Museum of Art had some really nice interactive programs. You could grab a shoulder bag with art supplies in it to take with you through the museum (my daughter colored) and there was also a pin-making exhibit as part of an artist’s “political campaign” piece. My daughter and I both made pins. There were extra-large “paper dolls” of famous politicians onto which you could put magnetic cut-out clothes, that was fun for her too. My favorite was the exhibit of drawings from Sandow Birk’s “Divine Comedy,” a re-imagining of Dante’s work in modern settings, mostly NYC and LA.

When it finally hit 100 F towards the end of the week, I was ready to take back all the nice things I said about California weather. Even so, 100 there is not like 100 here, it was less humid, they are better prepared for it, so it doesn’t seem quite SO bad, but my Scandinavian blood was hitting a mild simmer. At some point I made Julia a cherry pie, but we were trying not to turn on the oven, so many salads were made for dinner. I might blog about them at some point.

Weekend 3: Since I was leaving on Monday, we crammed a bunch of things into our last weekend. First, we took the kids to the San Jose Children’s Discovery Museum. It was fantastic. It had so much to do for all ages of kids, everything hands on, and each of our children found something to fixate on for long periods. I told Julia that they should just install Closed Circuit TV’s, lock the exits, and put in a wine bar where you can watch your kids on screen.

We had Julia’s parents over for dinner on the patio, Julia made some terrific food, also very photogenic (why didn’t I photograph the food?). My daughter finally started going to bed at something approaching the house bedtime, a day before we were leaving…

And we went to the beach! It was an abrupt change of weather, like I knew it would be, but wow. It really was. I forget all the time how much of a differential it is–it was very cool and refreshing 60 F. The kids got their toes wet, took naps, ate fish and chips with us and Julia’s parents on the warm sand. I sunburned my knees. Julia sunburned her nose. The kids were spared due to our diligent sunscreen applications and hat placements and re-placements. Go us!

My daughter and I had lots of good times and I’m SO glad I went. It was a trip that was a long time coming. I will miss the beach, the pool, the playgrounds, the fruit, Trader Joe’s and other fine supermarkets, and Julia’s dishwasher. But most of all, I’ll miss the little things like the kids playing in the bathtub together, learning stuff from each other, the singing of Russian children’s songs, making Julia dinner, and seeing her every night after the kids go to bed. If teleportation existed, you better believe we’d be kicking back almost every night around 9pm PST/12 EST with some vodka-limeade. Since it doesn’t, I hope that our continued electronic correspondance tides us over until the next time I can afford/bear the thought of flying across the continent that obnoxiously gets in the way of our mommy-fun-time.

Thanks Julia, miss you more than dishwashers…


After 2 loooong years apart, a baby and a major move each, Julia and I have finally been reunited!

My daughter and I landed in California on Wednesday afternoon (after an oh-so-delightful 5 hour flight that made me want to weep for the sad state of airline seat/leg room) and my daughter and Julia’s son met for the first time. They are pretty cute together. Even though Julia’s son is pretty shy, he’s been doing well with us around.

I think I can speak for both of us when I say that Julia and I are ecstatic to be back together; it has been way too long. She is a busy working mom so, she still has to go to work every weekday, but we are maximizing our evenings and weekends. I don’t think she’s joking when she asks me to move in and be her stay-at-home mom, but I am pretty sure she would find out how annoying I really am after a few weeks.

Today, we took the kids to ride a miniature steam-locomotive train (a “parovoz” in Russian, I have learned, I always learn new Russian words with Julia) and my daughter got to ride on her first Carousel. We went to the pool, the playground, ate dinner outside… it has been a lovely start to the visit.

I hope to keep up with posting while I’m here, but I might be off being fabulous. Hooray for bi-coastal friends.

True friends

I happened to catch a episode of “The Simpsons” a few weeks ago about Marge joining some mother’s group for socializing. I am not sure what the whole episode was about because I was in and out of the room, but there was one line at the end that was so true that I made my husband write it down. After Marge decides that the other women in her mom’s group are all really uptight bitches, she quits and Homer tells her:

“Maybe true friends aren’t women you randomly meet in a mommy-and-me class; they’re random people you meet in a college dorm!”

To Julia, my random true friend since 1998.

Look I know we are both pregnant, but we need to stop eating for a second and smell this candle. It's magical.