Thursday, February 21, 2013

My Brest Friends

On Tuesday I went to my first La Leche League meeting. It was a couple of towns over, near the hospital where I've decided to have the baby. The meeting was scheduled from 10:00-11:00, and it meets once a month. The meeting started late, and by 11:40 there was no sign whatsoever that they were wrapping up. We had to leave anyway, so I missed whatever time would have been dedicated to moms milling about and chatting. Actually, that was the part I was looking forward to the most!

I also missed a lot of the discussion because of having to watch Katie. She was really well behaved - at least, according to my standards, which have been adjusted to account for the fact that she is 2, as curious as anything, and super outgoing and friendly. She said (very loudly) "Hi!" to all the babies, assisted the other two toddlers in trying to destroy the mini blinds in the room, and delightedly kept asking me (loudly) to pour her more water from the refreshments table. She played with a train set that another kid had brought, and tried repeatedly to force-feed another kid the Cheerios he kept dropping out of his snack holder. (The kid's mom wasn't thrilled about this.)

So I didn't get a whole lot out of the meeting. I did get to tell my story of trying to breastfeed Katie, and got a few supportive murmurs and some advice from the leader. It was okay. I just don't think there's much for me there, especially if they only meet once a month. If I'm having the same trouble I had with Katie, I'll need help right away, and plenty of it! Luckily I have the number of a good lactation consultant who makes house calls.

I really hope things go better for me this time with breastfeeding! I've heard a lot of anecdotal evidence that second-time moms have an easier time, even ones who couldn't breastfeed their first kids. Let's hope that's true for me!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

OK, now I'm confused.

I was talking to a friend yesterday about something I read in a parenting book. Mayim Bialik, the actress best known for the titular role in the 80's sitcom Blossom, an also for her current role in The Big Bang Theory, has written a funny, interesting and engaging (if at times a tad preachy) book about attachment parenting. It's called "Beyond the Sling", and there were a couple of paragraphs in it that really resonated with me. And there were a few more towards the end that were just too sanctimonious. But all in all, I liked it and enjoyed reading it.

Anyway, the friend and I were discussing the fact that Mayim and her husband don't teach their kids (who I believe are both under the age of 6) anything that even resembles reading, writing or arithmetic, preferring exclusively play-based learning. They don't even sing the Alphabet Song! No books about letters, no teaching the kids to count, nothing. My friend mentioned that the Waldorf schools are structured the same way.

Then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, you have all these companies producing DVDs, games and toys devoted to teaching your child how to read, write, count, add, etc. I don't have an exact figure, but I think it's safe to say that these products represent a HUGE industry. Think of the LeapFrogs, the Baby Einsteins, and even the Fisher-Price toys that are emblazoned with letters and numbers, even though they're for ages 0-6 months. There are aisles and aisles of that stuff at Toys R Us!

The Waldorf camp, as far as I can tell, seems to think that it's best to focus on the spoken word, rather than reading and writing, for the first 6-7 years. They have lots of stories and poems that are read to the kids, as well as fairy tales and children's literature. The teachers do not read "dumbed down" versions of classic stories, they read the stories verbatim (which sounds to me like a great way to build vocabulary.) Then, in due time, they move on to reading and writing, when the children's brains are neurologically equipped to handle it.

This all sounds great, but Ack! I've been singing the alphabet song to Katie ever since she heard it for the first time on Pandora's toddler station. For a while I was even doing ASL finger spelling along with it. We've taught her to count to ten in English and Spanish (which is pretty much all the Spanish I know, incidentally.) True, it's quite obvious that the counting is just rote memorization, but that's why I think it's so cute. She always skips over 3-5 in English, and just 5 in Spanish (One, two, six, seven, eight, nine, TEN! and Uno, dos, tres, cuatro, seis, siete, ocho, nueve, DIEZ!)

And the worst part is, I don't have the heart to stop teaching her, at least the counting words. She loves to make a game of counting things, even though she clearly has no idea that the words actually correspond to the number of things. She just likes to point at stuff and count, in her cute little voice. Plus, counting is often a great distraction. If I'm trying to direct her attention away from something she shouldn't be doing, I'll often ask, "How many crackers do you have? or "How many crayons are there?" It works great, I can't give that up! Ditto colors - should I not be teaching her colors? I feel like we're always talking about colors, because she loves crayons and paint and Play-doh. Furthermore, if I don't teach her colors, how will I interact with her when it comes to artwork? Perhaps I should explain that a little more.

Thank goodness for our "pre-preschool", which is also a parenting class. On alternating weeks, I get to participate in a 45 minute group discussion with Katie's teacher, and we talk about all kinds of important developmental issues. We recently discussed children's art experience - whether we think it's important, what are the risks, etc. Turns out that my exclamations of delight over Katie's art projects were exactly the wrong thing to do! Seems that focusing on the end result ("It's so pretty!" or "What is it?") takes away the child's enjoyment of the process and makes them worry unnecessarily about the product. After all, if a piece of art can be "pretty", then it can also be "ugly", right? Why place judgments on a 2 year old's painting? She made it because it felt good to smear the paint on the paper, and to hold the brush in her hand, and to see how the colors blended together.

So now, I'm limiting myself to talking with Katie about how she made her art projects (Wow, it looks like you used a sponge to paint this one!" or "The blue paint goes way up high!") And yes, I feel like a bit of a moron talking like this, but it is hugely important to me to stay out of Katie's art experience, and just let her blossom and create, unfettered by my opinions about it. (Clearly I have some unresolved issues about my own stifled creativity, lol!)

But again, I digress. My point is, am I teaching Katie too much? I myself learned to read pretty early, but I think it was just from sheer enjoyment of all the books my parents read to me. They certainly never forced me to learn or made me watch videos about reading (those didn't exist yet anyway.) They just read me lots and lots of good books, mostly from a vast list that my mom found in a book on child-rearing. And that's how I plan to teach Katie to read - by reading to her. A lot. A LOT a lot. I already do read to her a lot, and it's probably my #1 favorite way to bond with her. We love to laugh at the pictures or recite the ones that rhyme. One of her favorites is "Make a Noise with Chimp and Zee," and we've read it so many times that we've both committed it to memory. Now we recite it in the car on the way to the grocery store or the park. Actually, I think the Waldorf people would approve of this as a building block to reading.

I can't see refusing to sing the Alphabet Song. Katie loves to sing! I can't see putting away her abacus until she's 7. Neither of us knows how to use the thing anyway, she just likes the feeling and sound of the wooden beads. I can't see getting rid of Richard Scarry's Best Word Book Ever, because, well, his illustrations make me sublimely happy, and Katie really enjoys pointing at pictures of things. I can't see stopping naming all of her body parts as I wash them in the bath, it's become a ritual! Which, by the way, totally embarrassed Anthony one day when he was on the phone, hearing Katie and Mama shout "Vagina, vagina, tushie, tushie, and BUTT BUTT BUTT"! (Yeah, we're not sure if those are really the appropriate words either, but it's far too late to change now.)

So am I messing up Katie's ability to learn with my well-meaning mommy meddling? I sure hope not. After all, I'm not quizzing her on this stuff. I'm just trying to interact with her as much as possible, narrate as much of our lives as possible, and name as many objects as possible. She seems to be absorbing it all quite well. If she learns to read early, well, I hope the studies about early readers doing poorly in school are overblown. Or that they only apply to kids whose parents were drill sergeants who insisted that they sit and learn to read and write instead of playing outside. (I'm looking at you, next-door-Piano-Nazi-neighbors! Man, we never EVER see those kids outside.)

What can I say? Always something new to fret about in the world of parenting. But I seriously wouldn't trade it for anything. :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Finally a postable pic!

You probably remember me complaining about how difficult it is to get a good picture of Katie, what with the goofy faces, the running around and the inconsistent lighting in our house. Well, I got one! Had to happen sooner or later, right?

This is her Fraulein Maria impression. I have confidence!

That is all. LOL!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day!

I have a really long (and probably boring) post that I've been ruminating on for days, but this one's gonna be quick. Guess what my wonderful husband got me for Valentine's Day, even though we had declared a "gift truce?"

The sweetest card EVER, and a Lego minifigure of my favorite baseball player, Andre Ethier! This may not seem so stupendous, but there are 2 things you should know about Ethier. 1) He plays for the Dodgers and Anthony is a lifelong Dodger-hater. 2) He's ridiculously handsome and Anthony knows I have a little crush on him.

What a guy!!!!!

Now I have to make sure I finish his Valentine's project today!!! I really bit off more than I could chew this time. This is the sort of project I could have knocked out in a couple of hours, before Katie. Since Katie,'s taken me more than a week and I still have so much left to do!

The backstory: About ten years ago, I made a cute present for my Aunt Gayle's birthday. I'd read the idea somewhere and thought it was perfect for her. Aunt Gayle was a wonderful person, but she was a little hard to please when it came to presents. So I found an empty glass jar, and filled it with 52 little slips of paper, one for each week. On each slip, I wrote a fond memory I had of growing up with her and Uncle Ralph. She absolutely loved it - she'd read them on Sundays and looked forward to it every week. How cute is that?

Last Valentine's Day, I decided to do the same thing for Anthony, except the theme was "I Love Anthony Because He..." and each of the 52 slips filled in the blank. It wasn't hard to come up with that many reasons, but it was kind of fiddly printing the page and cutting it into little strips with a baby on my hip. I rolled each strip into a little tiny scroll and miraculously, they all fit into a baby food jar. I labeled the jar with the strips and gave him a second jar in which to put the ones he'd read.

Well, Tuesday nights have a little extra cause for celebration around here, because we totally look forward to reading those strips together. At one point we got a bit behind, so we've been catching up this week and it's been so much fun!

This year I've changed the theme to "Remember When...", similar to the one I did for Aunt Gayle. Some are totally inside jokes or *ahem* private, but here's a sample:

Remember when we used to sit in different computer labs and "chat" each other instead of studying?
Remember when we used to get late-night french fries and milkshakes at Golden Bear cafe?
Remember when you used to come with me to capture and kill bugs for Entomology lab? True love...
Remember when I used to sleep in my clothes when I stayed over in your room so you wouldn't think I was "easy?"

LOL!!! We're going to have a lot of fun reading these together, if I can manage to get the whole thing finished. For some crazy reason, I decided to cut each memory out and glue it to a piece of red, pink or purple card stock. It's taking FOREVER!!! Wish me luck!

Hubba hubba. Go Dodgers!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

But I was using my whole a$s!

Quick post - after today's failed haircut experience, I had a half hour to kill and I needed a little pick-me-up. Luckily we were about 2 miles away from Michaels. Now, Michaels is a dismal, poorly-lit, poorly-run store, but it is a treasure trove for crafty types like me. I also forgot they have an entire aisle devoted to Crayola, and ever since I bought Katie an easel, I've been itching to get her some more crayons for it. Washable of course!

We bought crayons and sidewalk chalk (which I plan to use in the garage if it's raining) and then inspiration struck. Why not do a Valentine's Day-themed felt project for our door? For Christmas, I made Katie a little tree out of green felt, with felt ornaments to decorate it. I thought this might keep her away from the real tree. (Hah!) I got the idea from Pinterest:

So why not a big heart? A few dollars later (and a very sore finger from a LOT of cutting), voila!

Near-instant Valentine's fun! And yes, it was hastily done and rather half-assed. Who cares? Katie is 2 and she loves it! :)

P.S. I am now marveling at what a luxury it is to have just one kid. I've got to get as many crafts done as I possibly can before the baby comes! My days of 2-hour breaks (while Katie naps) are numbered. I've heard from many a mother of 2 that they just *never* seem to nap at the same time! And when they do, it's a small miracle. :)

Hair salon fail! (non-epic)

Hi Folks,

Just a minor fail today. Nothing catastrophic. Katie's bangs are way out of control, to the point that she's constantly having to sweep them out of her face. That would be OK, but her hands are nearly always covered in some sort of goo: Play-doh, oatmeal, peanut butter, moon sand, paint, or just plain old dirt. It makes for a very wobegone-looking child. Add to that a sleep-deprived pregnant mama who's been wearing the same clothes for 3 days, and we are quite a sight.

Anyway - today I just didn't feel like running any of our usual errands. We're only somewhat low on milk, we have makings for Dada's sandwiches, and (gasp) I actually have meals planned for the rest of the week. Sure, some of them are Trader Joe's freezer meals, but let's not split hairs. So we didn't really need to go grocery shopping. I figured I'd save the library for tomorrow, since it's supposed to rain. It was too cold for the park (I hear you chortling, readers in snow country!) I was casting about for outing ideas when it hit me:

"Katie, would you like to get your hair cut today? They might have a hair dryer you could play with!"

Katie looked at me, and said "Yes!" (Ok, granted, she probably understood "play" and "hair dryer" out of all those words, but still.) And off we went to the new kids' hair salon that's been so highly recommended. Katie's previous (and diastrous) haircuts were at a different salon, so I'd been asking around for other ideas.

We arrived three minutes after the salon opened, but somehow a stylist was already finishing up a little boy's haircut. I sat with Katie and we talked about how nice and still the boy was sitting in the big chair, and we watched with glee as the stylist got out a pink hairdryer to blow away the extra bits of hair when she was done. There was nobody else in the salon, and, judging from the ample parking out front, nobody else in the entire downtown area.

"Do you have an appointment?" asked the stylist. (I think she's actually the owner.) We didn't have an appointment, but the place was a ghost town. Plus, there was an enormous sign on their window proclaiming "WALK INS WELCOME!" So far, I wasn't feeling particularly welcome. But, undaunted, I said, "No, we don't." The stylist/owner seemed to sigh a little, then said, "OK, have her come sit down."

At this point I thought it prudent to briefly explain that Katie is going through a stage where she's a little wary of strangers. (I didn't mention the previous haircuts with screaming and angry puking.) I asked if Katie could sit on my lap for the haircut, since that's probably the only way it would work. They stylist said no, it would be best for her to sit by herself so she could cut the back of her hair. (Really? No?) So I gamely asked Katie, "Want to climb up and sit in the big girl chair, sweetie?" (Usually climbing is a big enticement.) "No!" OK then, haircut-nazi-lady, she's gonna have to sit in my lap. I swear I saw an eye-roll at this point.

I sat down in the chair and pulled Katie onto my lap. She was OK for a few seconds, distracted by the flat-screen TV in front of her. But then the stylist tried to put a smock over me. "NO! NO! NO!" Katie wiggled down off my lap. I explained that Mama was wearing a pretty purple dress. This seemed to mollify her a little, and I was able to sit her back on my lap. But then the stylist brought out Katie's smock, with cute little animals on it. "NO!!!! NO!!!!" I decided to pull the plug at this point. The lady hadn't even tried to go near her with scissors, and she was already starting to freak out. "Sorry," I said, "she just isn't comfortable with strangers. Do you have kids?" The stylist said "Yes." "Did they ever go through a stage like that?" I asked. "No," she said emphatically.

Well! Needless to say we high-tailed it out of there. Wow, for a place that only does kids' haircuts, you'd think there would be a bit more friendliness. Or warmth. Or some attempt to engage Katie in conversation. Not so much as a "Hi, what's your name!" Doesn't that just crack you up? I've never seen anything like it.

I guess it's back to the original salon! Hope they've forgotten all about Katie's angry-puking incidents. Maybe we'll go under an assumed name. LOL!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Katie's easel

Despite our general malaise over the 49ers loss, everything is officially back to normal in our household. Anthony made it back from Vegas, exhausted and hoarse but otherwise fine. I'm washing the secondhand-cigarette-smoke "Vegas funk" out of his clothes right now. Katie had a minor meltdown when he came back, and I have a weird feeling she'd been saving up all of her sad feelings about him being gone. Well, she let us have it - LOUDLY - for about 20 minutes yesterday. I just held her and walked with her and let her scream it all out. Boy, was she mad! But after she was done crying, all was forgiven and we went back to our normal routine.

But before Anthony's return yesterday, I had to deal with something I'd been dreading for weeks: my turn for snack duty at Katie's pre-preschool. Snack duty is kind of a big deal. You have to bring four separate choices for the kids, plus a snack for the grownups. Everything has to be nut-free, of course, even though I'm pretty sure none of the kids has allergies. Pretty much every week, the kid whose parent's job it is to make snack has a total meltdown because the snack parent disappears into the kitchen and pretty much stays there the entire class. I wondered, what is involved with snack prep that it takes 45 minutes to set up and 45 minutes to clean up?

Turns out, it just takes a really long time. First you have to unload the dishwasher that was run by the previous class. That's fine, except I ended up opening every single drawer and cabinet, trying to figure out where everything goes. Which takes quite a bit of time! Then I could only find two of the serving trays we normally use, and after searching high and low, realized that there *are* only two even though there are three trays to prepare. The third tray is a flimsy piece of plastic that looks like it was meant to be disposable. Anyway, I somehow figured out where all the dishes went, filled the three trays with goldfish crackers, blueberries, blackberries and shredded cheese, filled three pitchers with water (hope tap was OK, because I didn't know if the bottled water was for our class or not), cut 15 or so croissants in half for the adults and tossed them into a serving basket, and started making trips to the classroom. Four trips later and I thought I had it made.

Teacher Donna asked me if snack was all ready, and I said yes. I tried to get Katie right into line for hand washing, so we could avoid the crowd that quickly forms, but she suddenly got very interested in putting a dolly on a swing set in the playhouse. By the time we got her hands washed, Teacher Donna said something like, "Here, Katie, can you share this towel with Mommy? You guys need to get inside to help with snack!" Oh, I guess I'm not supposed to be out here washing my kid's hands. Oops. Inside the snack room, the tables hadn't been sanitized because someone forgot to put the sanitizer back on its usual shelf. Great. So I couldn't put out the food. Then, once someone found the sanitizer and started cleaning, the president of the school said, "Kim, did you want me to grab the plates for you?" OMG, plates!! Dang it, I thought I'd remembered everything. I even remembered napkins for the grownups and a brown paper bag for composting. Gaaaah! I told the president "Yes, THANK YOU!!!" and she totally saved my bacon by dashing to the kitchen to get the plates. All in all, it went fine, but it sure wasn't easy!

The most amazing and wonderful part, though, is that Katie was SUPER AWESOME the whole time and didn't even miss me. Lucky for us, the easel was set up with lots of paints. One of the moms told me that Katie painted the entire morning while I was making snack! (Again, her clothes are rock-solid proof.) At one point, as I was dashing from the snack room back to the kitchen, I managed to snap a picture of her, mid-stroke:

See? She couldn't care less what Mama's up to, when there are paints around!
Teacher Donna was sitting nearby, helping with another project, and I leaned in and said, "That settles it, we're buying Katie an easel tomorrow!" She laughed and said "Yes, she really loves to paint!" So today, that's just what we did. We went back to the local school supply store, armed with a 15% coupon, and bought their double-sided easel. It barely fit in the car! Setting up an unassembled easel with the help of a 2 year old was no small feat. I truly don't know how I managed it! The guy at the store said, "Oh, it's easy, it just goes together with these small wing nuts." True, it did - but keeping said wing nuts out of your toddler's mouth while holding the two legs of the easel and the chalkboard surface together at the same time...I don't know how I did it. But I did. And Katie is enthralled with it. So far, since it's set up indoors, we're only doing crayons (washable ones!) But as soon as the weather improves, I can't wait to buy a bunch of paints!!! Wheeeeeeeeee!

First crayon masterpiece!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Gridiron agony and moon sand revisited

Oh, it was awful. The 49ers were just dismal in the Super Bowl. I don't know how, but Joe Flacco made some incredible passes even though I thought our defensive line did a good job of putting pressure on him. He'd be microseconds away from being sacked, and he'd throw it up in the air and somehow, SOMEHOW, find an unguarded receiver. Over and over and over again. Seriously, what happened to our secondary? Those guys couldn't break up a pass if their lives depended on it. Sigh.

The Super Bowl started at 3:30 Pacific time, which is a difficult time of day to watch football around here. When games start at 10:30, we can record the game and watch the whole thing during Katie's nap. Then the only problem is turning off all electronic devices so no one spoils the game for us.

But today, Katie woke up at 3, so I had to just let her watch the game with me. Actually, for the first 30 minutes, she stayed upstairs in her room, playing. I like this arrangement because we have the baby monitor on down here, so I can hear what she's saying. She's pretty good about tipping me off when she's going to do something naughty, like "Katie climbing!" Once I heard a weird whooshing noise that sounded suspiciously like toilet water being swirled and splashed. I took the stairs two at a time, but it was just Katie making swooshing noises with her mouth. WHEW!

As I've mentioned before, Katie is a lot of fun to watch football games with, but I am not crazy about her seeing all the commercials. She's only somewhat interested in football and can usually keep playing while it's on in the background. But when commercials come on, she gets that creepy glassy-eyed stare that is the #1 reason I don't usually let her watch TV at all. It really gives me the willies. So today I encouraged her to play outside with her Moon Sand while I tried to fast-forward through the commercials, the halftime show, and the game analysis.

After about 15 minutes I went outside to check on her. I can see her through the den window but there's some junk in the way so I couldn't see exactly what she was doing. Turns out, she was doing the exact opposite of my instruction to "keep the moon sand in the sand table." Clearly I have to be there every second, reminding her. Duh, she's two, I should have known that. Moon sand was in her playhouse sink. In the water table. In a bucket. In her play frying pan. Squished into the patio. And, the piece de resistance, as I opened the screen door I caught her in the act of tipping the entire plastic bin over on its side, spilling the moon sand everywhere. Sigh.

So much for moon sand. I managed to get some of it back into its plastic bag, but most of the stuff on the ground had dirt and bits of bark in it. After spending a good 20 minutes sweeping the patio and wiping down Katie's toys, I'm feeling kind of done with moon sand for a while. Maybe I'll try making colored rice instead.

Anyway, sigh - 49ers, you had a spectacular season, sorry it had to end that way. Looking forward to next season!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

The Vegas Trip, Part 1

So it turns out that rooting for the 49ers all season backfired on me. For more than 10 years, Anthony and a bunch of his friends have gone to Las Vegas for the Super Bowl. No, the Super Bowl isn't held in Vegas, it's just (apparently) a good place to watch sports. (And strippers. Ugh.) Before we were married, I was pretty much OK with him going. After we were married, I started to get a little huffy about it. The February after Katie was born (2011), I was glad that Anthony volunteered to skip it, because I would have had to put my foot down and that probably would have gotten ugly.

But he went last year, much to my dismay. As always, he came back utterly exhausted. We'd finally gotten Katie to sleep through the night at that point but we ourselves still weren't sleeping well. Let's just say going to Vegas and staying in a hotel room with 3 other guys, drinking, gambling and staying out till all hours of the night didn't help his sleeping problem at all. So this year after Christmas I asked him whether he'd be going to Vegas in 2013, and he said "nah."

And then the Niners pulled off a spectacular finish to their season, thanks to the on-field antics of Colin Kaepernick, who is a "double threat" with his arm and his ability to rush. Before we knew it, the Niners were going to the Super Bowl! As the clock ran out on the NFC Championship game, I looked at Anthony and said, "You want to go to Vegas, don't you?" Sigh. I couldn't say no - Anthony loves the Niners as much as I love the Dodgers, maybe even more. And the Niners haven't had a prayer of going to the Super Bowl for a really long time. And I knew Anthony would rather watch the game in a sports bar surrounded by his friends than on the couch with me and Katie - me asking inane questions about penalties and Katie climbing all over him during critical plays.

So we decided he'd go. He booked a ridiculously priced last-minute full-fare ticket to Vegas. I didn't even ask him how much it cost - I don't want to know. And then, two nights ago, he dropped another bombshell. His brother is flying his Cessna to Vegas and asked Anthony if he wanted to come along. OMG.

Anthony's brother is a fun guy. He's a bit of a daredevil - drives fast cars and all that. Eight or so years ago, he had a Mooney. I won't mince words here - he crashed it, simple as that. Ironically, he was on his way back from a flight training course in which they learned how to safely evacuate the aircraft in the event of a crash. Came in handy that day! He walked away unharmed, but the memory of the charred interior of the plane is still etched in my mind.

However, my dad is a private pilot and I've flown with him umpteen times. I know that flying a small plane really isn't that dangerous - it just seems like it because there's a lot of media coverage when something goes wrong. But the difference between flying with my dad and flying with Anthony' brother is...well, my dad's been flying for over 50 years. He's meticulous about safety and flight planning. He pays close attention to weather, makes sure not to exceed baggage weight limits, and spends what seems like an inordinate amount of time on his pre-flight check. My dad won't fly into certain airports if the runway isn't long enough. (I can't remember why, but this is important when landing a twin-engine plane.) Once when we were flying to Mammoth Mountain to ski, I noticed a thin trail of oil leaking from one engine. My dad turned the plane right around and we went back home. It turned out to be something minor that wouldn't have affected our flight, but he just doesn't take chances.

Anthony's brother, on the other hand...well, I've never flown with him so I don't know if he's meticulous. But nothing else about his personality screams "safety first." And then there's that crash! Officially it was ruled to be not his fault, but Mooneys have a reputation for being "too much plane" for their owners. They're often bought by inexperienced pilots because they're flashy and very fast. Too fast, for some. So I'm glad that today Anthony is flying in a Cessna. My dad has owned several over the years, and they've been very reliable.

Anyway - I just got a text, they landed safely! YAY! Come to think of it, Anthony is a brilliant tactician. I'm so relieved that he's OK that I don't even care about the strip clubs awaiting him! Smart man! LOL.

GO 49ERS!!!