Archive for October, 2010

Kyle's Saturday morning soccer game with Mission Peak in the background (Kyle is directly in the middle of the picture to the left of the ref in yellow)

Drizzling clouds are gathering once again over Fremont and rain drops are falling on our heads! It has been so long since my car has been christened from above, that it actually took me a couple of minutes the other day, to figure out how to operate my windshield wipers again. Rainy days aren’t really getting me down, because, well, they are just a little too novel and actually, kind of a nice change of pace from endless days of sun shine. I like seeing rain dribble down window panes and I like going out of my way to “splash” into puddles that collect on the side walk. I also think it is quite lovely to hear the melodic “plink-plank-plonk” as the rain hits the roof and the gutters and gurgles down the drain spouts.

For the past nine months, here by the San Francisco Bay, we haven’t seen a drop of rain, so the overcast weather and falling temperatures are a great excuse (as if we actually needed an excuse) for us to cocoon on the couch and stay in on a Friday night. In fact, that is what we did last Friday; we cuddled up in front of a fire in the fireplace, lit a few candles and watched a marathon viewing of this season’s new show called “The Event”. Yes, we admit it! We all have slightly obsessive compulsive tendencies, including Francesa apparently, and ended up watching all five episodes available on HULU, one after the other, and enjoyed every darn minute of it! Sure we didn’t go to bed until after midnight, but we couldn’t help ourselves!

Rain showed up again on Saturday for Kyle’s soccer game, but we were undaunted and surprisingly cheery as we sat in Central Field and the first drops came splatting down on our heads. Instead of running for cover, we good-naturedly unfurled our umbrellas and quickly donned our rain jackets (and/or swim parkas) and continued to watch the match as the soccer players slid around on the slippery field. News alert! Francesca made it up and out of bed this Saturday to see Kyle’s final game of the season and in between texting on her iphone she got to see his team loose their game 2-1. Actually, it was Francesca who scored big time at the game as she was able to sell a few baked goods and holiday wreaths to some of the other parents, to support her high school drama club.

The rain took a small break Saturday night, but was back again late Sunday morning, upgrading itself from a pleasant drizzle to a pulsating down pour. Unphased by more precipitation, we continued our normal weekend plans. It didn’t stop us from swimming laps in the outdoor pool at the gym or from making a Costco run to stock up on groceries. And it certainly didn’t stop Francesca and me from getting our nails done. Yes, that’s what I said…getting our nails done! A rainy afternoon is actually a perfect time for us girls to sneak off and indulge ourselves by having our our toe nails painted fire engine red or by having pretty white flowers painted on “Irvington Blue” fingernails! Rainy days are also perfect excuses to bake home made bread and boil up a big pot of Ribollita Tuscan bean soup. Everyone knows that hot, stick to your ribs, comfort food, is an essential when it rains!

So, com’on! It’s okay by me! Bring it on! “Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain!”


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Things are definitly getting a little spooky around here as we head into October and autumn falls upon us. Pumpkins are popping up on the mantel piece, ghosts are lurking around our windows and horror of horrors … we are having breakfast-for-dinner!

The sneaky and treacherous fingers of darkness are advancing on us a little earlier each evening and tend to linger just a little longer on each misty and curiously cool morning to which we awaken. The teenagers, as well as the adults, are feeling the side effects, as we crawl out of our warm beds of hibernation, instead of vaulting out of them as we did last spring. (Ok, “vault of out of bed” isn’t quite the correct term to use when referring to teens, ok, or me either for that matter, but you get the idea!) We are beginning to feel the need to exchange our shorts and flip flops, for jeans and warmer jackets to confront the plunging temperatures.

Our daily schedules are getting more mysterious and complicated as well. Michael’s waterpolo games and practices continue at a relentless pace, filling entire weekends now with tournaments, team building events and preparations for the fast looming NCS championship games in November. Kyle’s soccer games keep us busy on Wednesday nights and Saturday mornings and practices are scheduled in between to prepare the team for the kick-or-treat playoff games at the end of October. Francesca’s drama practices are starting to heat up and are requiring more after school hours and entire weekend afternoons spent in Valla Halla, the High School’s Center for Performing Arts. We parents are flying willy nilly about, like witches on out of control brooms, from one planning meeting to the next.

With all this running around, what is a re-Sorceress mother to do for dinner? Well, breakfast-for-dinner is a mighty fine alternative to demon fast food, thinks this witchy woman! Plus, the boys love it. For Michael it beats picking skeleton bones out of his fish dinner, anytime of the day or night and Kyle is ghoulishly pleased, as only a small fiend can be. It may not be exactly the black cat’s meow, for Francesca, but she is learning to cope!

So, tonight mummy is conjuring up a stack of fluffy pancackes (blueberry to boot!), drowning them in sticky maple syrup, and pairing them with fried sausages and beaten eggs. Yes, we Americans, do love our eggs for breakfast even if they are being consumed at the witching hour! How bizzare! But, before you can say “BOO!” the family eerily materilizes for a hauntingly good meal. In record time, breakfast-for-dinner is inhaled and the kitchen chairs mysteriously empty of their occupants. One soul disappears to a swim event, another fades away to work on a science project, another flys away on a plane and yet another vanishes to nether regions of the house to work on pre-cal problems. And myself? I am off to wave my magic wand and make a new website appear out of thin air!

Pretty darn scary, wouldn’t you say? Yes, things are definitely a little spooky around here, this time of year!

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Irvington Homecoming 2010


Francesca and Casey


It is Irvington’s Homecoming weekend and the kids are having a blast. All week long at the high school they have been celebrating school and class spirit week by dressing up in costume and parading around the hall ways as little old men, divas from the 20’s, greaser dudes from the 50s and hippies from the 60s.

Friday night culminated in the fancy dress homecoming ball where semi formal attire was required. Francesca looked fantastic in her short navy blue chiffon gown with rhinestone belt. Michael unfortunately was the pumpkin that stayed home from the ball, as he was busy preparing for his SAT college prep exam on Saturday.

Francesca and Lauren got together before the dance for a lovely salmon dinner prepared specially for the girls by Mark and Lunette Rawlin. We took a lot of pictures and then the girls whisked themselves off to the dance to make sure they made the 7:30 entrance deadline. Francesca met up with other friends at the dance and from what she tells me she had a great time. She kicked of her fancy shoes and danced the night away with her girl friends!

Saturday night we attended the Irvington Homecoming football game. The stands were packed with enthusiastic Irvington students and parents who cheered on the team and applauded the band and cheerleaders during half time. Stephen Langford was selected homecoming king and Jenny looked dazzling as she participated with the other homecoming king and queen candidate parents during the half time ceremonies! Despite Irvington loosing the game we all had a pretty great time! Go Vikings!Francesca and SarahIrvington dance
the Irvington dance

the fans

the football game
the cheerleaders (not quite Glee material)
the marching band
the homecoming court king and queen candidatesHomecoming king Steven and his mom Jenny!


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So much drama!

Bella notizia! Great news! Francesca has a part in the high school fall production of “A Christmas Carol”! She auditioned while we were in Italy, reading for several parts, but in the end snagged the role of the “School Master”. Seventy kids tried out and forty kids got roles. We are so proud of our girl! Francesca’s part occurs in the first act and pertains to Scrooge’s boyhood past. I believe she has a whole page of dialogue! How cool is that? But, holy moly! after the drama meeting tonight for parents it becomes increasingly apparent how much work is involved in putting on an Irvington drama production. Rehearsals begin on Wednesday and continue everyday for hours on end, all the way through to opening night on December 3rd! After that the kids will be performing practically non stop, for two weeks straight. So, mark your calendars folks and buy your tickets early! Seats will be going fast! As a new drama mom I get to get involved as well…can you say “set designs”?

Meanwhile, update on the soccer and waterpolo fronts…Kyle continues to play well and Team Rage is on a winning streak. Michael’s waterpolo team is practically undefeated having won 8 out of 9 games. Sports are grand…but drama is well…so much more dramatic!

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It is a week before Irvington’s homecoming dance and where do I find myself? Smack dab in the middle of Macy’s Junior department in Valley Fair with Francesca searching through the racks and racks of frilly, foaming, sparkly, sequined, rhinstone incrusted, lace bestowed frilly frocks in search of the perfect dress for her first homecoming dance. I couldn’t be happier. In tow with us is Sarah Laus, friend and fellow drama student buddy, who has been enlisted to give Francesca suitable female peer advice, as we hunt down the ultimate dream dress.

At first Francesca is a bit tentative in her choices as she carefully eyes the dress racks bursting with colorful satin and organza gowns. Clearly this is new territory for her as well. We start by playing a game, thumbs up or thumbs down as Lisa and I pull out dresses for her consideration. Sort of a “warm/cold” game to test the waters and  get a feel for the kind of dress, color and style that she prefers. But after several stalled attempts, and many thumbs down, Sarah and I come to the conclusion that Francesca needs to shake things up a bit and get a little crazy. So, without further ado we take immediate action to push her outside of her comfort zone. We tell her that she is in America now and living the vida loca not the vita bella! Not allowing her to turn tail and run, we start pulling out all sorts of dresses, ones  that are colorful, sleek and shiny, as well as ones that are flounced and ruffley with big taffeta petticoats, and proceed to hand them over to her. Pretty soon her armload grows so big that we can barely see her cute little glasses over the pile of glittery feminine finery.

Ok, time for the dressing room…and we push her toward the cubicles and tell her she now has to put on a fashion show for us so that we can determine which is indeed the best choice. Ta dah! After trying on eight dresses we find a winner. Her final selection a very cute navy chiffon concoction with a empire waist line, complete with a flattering rhinestone inlay under the bodice. Yes! Inspite of her reluctance to wear a bit of flash she has selected a dress that does indeed have a bit of shimmer and shine.

Next stop, well after a piece of disgusting mall pizza, we arrive at DSW (for those not in the know – the Designer Shoe Warehouse) to find a pair of pumps to match the dress. Again, after listlessly sorting through the lame-o aisle that displays the simple no-nonsense flats, we get Francesca to try on a pair of  heels (okay small heels) with adorable details that set the shoes a part from the norm.

Mission accomplished! Dress…check. Shoes…check. Accessories…ah, accessories! I told Francesca I will open up my closet and we can pick an evening bag, a wrap and some “jewels” to finish up her outfit. Now, I tell ya’ how much fun was that…especially for one who more accustomed to slapping down a deposit for a black and white tux and merely adjusting a clip on bow tie. Me thinks it is much more fun to go dressy dress shopping!

Hang on tight…no peeking! Next week the girl, the dress and the shoes will be revealed.

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