Thursday, September 21, 2006

A brush with celebrity

I hope this is the closest I ever get to a California Highway Police officer. I had the opportunity to meet Ponch, er, Erik Estrada, the 58-year-old CHiPs star today, and he was very friendly, gracious and a lot of fun. Here's how it happened: You may have seen them: 30-minute infomercials with Erik Estrada selling beautiful lots in places like ... Bella Vista, Arkansas ... Horseshoe Bay, Texas ... maybe even California Pines, well, in California (big surprise). This land is sold by the company I am currently working for, NRPI, or National Recreational Properties, Inc. As NRPI's official spokesman, Erik not only gushes on about the wonderful opportunities NRPI land provides, but today he spared a moment to greet each of the 300-plus people working in the corporate office. My friend, Nan, and I posed for pics like teenage girls with their favorite rock star, as did most of the NRPI employees. While the fun only lasted for about 10 minutes, I'll always have these pictures to remember Erik by.

Fun facts about Erik Estrada (courtesy of

Birth name: Henry Enrique Estrada
Birthdate: March 16, 1949
Birthplace: New York, NY
CHiPs started in 1977 and he left in 1981 over a contract dispute.
He is Puerto Rican by ethnicity, but doesn't speak Spanish (Which I found particularly amusing after one employee kept chattering to him in Spanish and he just kept nodding. Now I know why.)
He's been married three times and has three kids.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Moody blues

While I thought I'd make the most of the Kodak moment the boys made playing on the floor, Will had other ideas. He's usually game for a photo opp, but today he just didn't feel like smiling, he said. So, Xan and Rodney are looking pretty happy, but Will apparently didn't have a reason to smile today. Poor kid. Maybe this scrapbooking mama has flashed a camera at him a few too many times.

Nahhhh ...

Tooth trouble

Xan is now 5 months old and officially teething. Rodney discovered that Xan has his top right one coming in - I kept feeling for the standard bottom tooth! So much for being "normal" and getting one of the bottom ones first!
Xan can now log roll everywhere. He's mastering the art of sitting up without keeling over and can manage to "tripod" for about 10 seconds at a time. At that point he arches his back and falls over, with a surprised look on his face every time. I suspect he will be sitting up before October comes around.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Keep that baby clean!

Grandpa Mark put Will to work washing his car this morning. His - meaning WILL'S! This 1967 aqua blue Ford Mustang is a family heirmloom that my Grandma Ginia bought off the lot in 1966. My Mom drove it in 1969 for her driver's test and the car was later traded in in the early 70's.
A guy a year ahead of me in high school owned the car in the early 1990's and my mom told him that if he ever wanted to sell it, to let her know. A few years down the road, the guys showed up, ready to sell. Mom has kept the driver's side door all these years as a momento and tried the key in the door. It worked better than the key the guy had!
Mom said that the oldest grandchild would inherit the car at 16. Will knows that car is his and is very protective of it. Grandpa can only drive it as long as he knows he's just borrowing it. There aren't any cool, contemporary bells and whistles on it, so we'll see how cool Will thinks it is in 12 years!

Monday, September 04, 2006

More beach photos

This web site had issues trying to upload my photos all at once, so here are some more beach photos. Rodney's playing pack mule, bringing all our beach gear to the shoreline and Will had plenty of fun slinging mud (even though he was told not to.)

Life's a Beach

Neither Rodney nor I had been to a beach in our bathing suits since the late 90's, so we figured it was about time. So, yesterday, we packed up the boys and all the beach gear (i.e., toys, ice chest full of goodies, EZ-Up, beach umbrella, towels, diaper bag, sunscreen) and headed for the the coast. Rodney had the idea of going to the Del Mar beach on Camp Pendleton and it sounded like a great way to beat the holiday crowds. It turned out to be a great idea! We arrived about 10 a.m., got a front-row parking space and our choice of a piece of sand to make our home for the day.
Will had told us the night before that we WAS NOT going to play in the sand or go in the water. He turned out to be a big liar. He found a friend named Luke, discovered sand crabs, helped dig a hole and rolled around in the water until his fingers pruned and his chin was chattering. He did manage to get a bit sunburned despite the 30 SPF sunscreen Mom put on him, but his plight was not nearly as bad as his father's.
Fair-skinned Rodney can't wear shoes today because his feet and shins are burnt so badly. You can see on his chest where he missed with the sunscreen, and he smells like a baby's butt. He keeps putting the soothing baby lotion on to the point where he smells up whichever room he is in.
I got a tad bit sunburned, but thanks to my hardy complexion, most of it had already faded to tan. Our friend Michi stopped by for a couple of hours and I had a great time introducing the kids (and Rodney) to the ins and outs of navigating the beach. I had hoped Will would have shown a bit more than the 2 minutes of interest he showed in the sand crabs I dug up for him, but you can't have it all, I guess.
Xan had the most amusing reaction to the beach - at least for me. I took him down to the water so he could experience it. The moment some of the cold ocean water splashed his toes, he screamed and started crying. Wondering if he'd get used to it and calm down, I kept him out to get splashed a bit. He did not calm down, in fact he caught on quickly that when he saw a whitewash wave go by, he'd probably get splashed. So he looked down and kept an eye on the waves. Any time a wave would pass - whether it would splash him or not - he'd scream and start crying again! This little guy is a fast learner. After a few minutes, Mommy took him back, wrapped him up in a towel and he napped for two and a half hours. Had to recover from the shock to his system!

Xan gets into his food

Xan has discovered the delights of "real" food and eats anything Gerber produces - he's not finicky at all - YET. He's a bit messy, but most of the food does manage to get swallowed.
He seems to get messier when Daddy feeds him, but, of course, I'm sure Rodney would deny it.

The Boys are back in town

Rodney, Will and Xan arrived home Thursday night after an uneventful trip. They were all a little tired - except for Xan, who managed to sleep through most of the two flights. Welcome home, Boys!