Happy New Year

So. 2016. What can I say? It was long, it was complicated, and it more or less sucked.

“But you bought a house!”

Yes, we did. Which is pretty cool. But I’m full of all kinds of feelings about that one. We have a mortgage now, which is indeed better than paying rent, and our monthly payment is far less than our rent was. But having a mortgage feels heavy. Important. So adult.

And in order to buy this house, we had to leave my beloved San Francisco. Tucson is perfectly lovely, but it’s very different. I’m still getting used to it. And I don’t think I’ll ever feel so fulfilled in any other city ever. San Francisco was just so me, so wonderful. I fit in, and it was home.

Alas.

Like I said, Tucson is perfectly lovely. We have met some great people. And the cost of living just can’t be beat. There’s so much to do and see in the desert. And coyotes! In our front yard! The wildlife here is amazing, and it’s at your front door, sometimes literally. It’s good here. And someday, when I see a nice sunset or look down on a lovely cactus-dotted valley and smile, maybe my brain will stop saying, “But it’s not San Francisco.”

And you know what else? This house started falling apart on us almost immediately after we moved in. The plumbing needed a complete redo. There are leaks in the roof, there’s tons of water damage in the walls of the master bathroom. The fridge is probably 20 years old and it leaks. The weeds in the yard are out of control in the summer. Some itty bitty piece on the heating system broke on the coldest weekend of the whole year. Home ownership has its pluses, but damn it’s hard too.

“You celebrated a full year sober in 2016!”

Yes, yes I did. In April I celebrated one year sober. But again, mixed feelings. Sobriety is hard. Not super hard, and not hard all the time. There are peaks and valleys. But after going through all the difficult stuff I did this year, it has become painfully obvious to me that it’s a wet piece of paper towel between sobriety and falling off the wagon. It’s so tough. In a way that I won’t ever expect a non-addict to understand. I’m confident in my sobriety, and so happy to be sober, but, as a woman once said at an AA meeting, “Some days I feel 51% like not drinking and 49% like drinking.” And I think that sums it up perfectly. It’s a tightrope we walk as sober addicts. It’s a difficult existence. I’m not still riding on that one-year glee train, because I’m too focused on making it to two years and beyond. And “living life on life’s terms,” a common AA phrase. It just means confronting all of your problems, coupled with anxiety and depression and any other baggage you may carry, and just facing it head on. Taking a big bite out of it. Kicking its ass. It’s difficult all of the time, damn near impossible most of the time, and painful. So painful.

Ok. I’m bumming you out. I don’t mean to do that, ugh, sorry. So, 2016 wasn’t all bad, right?

Good stuff that happened in 2016:

  1. We got a kitten. And he’s adorable. He’s a handful, but he’s adorable.
  2. I grew stuff in my garden. I’m still figuring out the climate here, but I had some peppers, tomatoes, herbs, a cantaloupe and an acorn squash.
  3. The Cubs won the World Series! THE CUBS WON THE WORLD SERIES!!!
  4. My brother-in-law got married. And it was a wonderful celebration. And his new wife is just the best.
  5. We have made some new friends in Tucson, friends I think we will have for a long time.
  6. We participated in some fun neighborhood events. The 4th of July parade and picnic was really fun. Halloween is a very big deal in our neighborhood. And I made about $100 at the craft fair!
  7. Both boys love their schools and are doing very well. I was very worried about how they would transition, what the schools here would be like, and how Ferris would feel about mom and dad not working at school. But, things have been even better than my most optimistic thoughts.
  8. I’ve had a bunch of nothing-to-report dermatologist appointments. In March, I will be 4 years post-op, making it just one more year until the magical 5 year mark, when you can finally declare yourself “cancer-free.”
  9. No one in my family died this year. I know there are a whole bunch of folks out there, some I know personally, who can’t say the same thing. I need to remind myself more often that this is an amazing gift to be given: more days with people I love, more time to make sure they know I care about them. This cannot be taken for granted. The older I get, the more I’m realizing this.
  10. We had a great Thanksgiving and Christmas. We had family visiting for both, and celebrated with friends too. We hosted a big meal for both holidays, and it helped make this house feel just a smidge more like a home for me. As one of those weirdos who generally doesn’t enjoy that time of the year, I enjoyed this year’s festivities more than usual. Quite a bit.

Let’s make 2017 the best year yet. Hug your loved ones. Spend more time doing what you love. We’ll go through it together. Come what may, we have each other.

Bowie Approved

[NOTE: Giveaway has ended.]

Kindergarten is different from preschool in so many, many ways. He’s gone for twice the amount of hours per day. There’s homework. He’s dog tired when he gets home. But, the biggest difference for me as Mom is: lunches. Lots and lots of lunches.

Now, we could shell out the measly $3 a day for hot lunch, but that adds up. And if they’re serving something he doesn’t care for, then there’s no guarantee he will actually eat lunch. So, at least for now, I’m packing his lunch.

It’s hard to think of different lunch box combos and ideas every single day of the week. I mean, I have read countless blogs that are heavily focused on creative non-sandwich lunch ideas for kids. And I’ve studied them and pored over them. I think I’ve gotten the gist of it.

But I can’t always have all of those foods on hand at my disposal every morning. Usually I have a couple kinds of fruit, some crackers, maybe some meats and cheeses, and dinner leftovers (provided he actually liked and deigned to eat that dinner). And I mix and match all week and then try to get something different for the following week.

Even though I’m trying my best to give him variety, he’s still got a touch of the pickies, and we don’t go through food fast enough for me to have a zillion different options on hand all the time. So, I know he’s getting a little burnt out on certain stuff.

I usually stick one of his water bottles in there with just water in it, because milk will get too warm, he can’t have the amount sugar in a juice box (it affects his behavior), and soda isn’t allowed (not that I’d even give him soda at all, but you know, not an option). So, I was so excited to discover Drazil Kids Tea.

It’s got a healthy tea blend of Hibiscus, Rose Hips, Rooibos, Pomegranate, and fruit pieces, with a touch of juice for flavor (35% less sugar than a juice box), and best of all they come in easily packable individual serving sized boxes, like boxed juice. It’s packed with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, has no added sugar, no artificial flavors, and is caffeine free.

Bowie is a big fan of tea, he drinks all kinds of it all the time. When he was small, he would find my cups of cold Earl Grey around the house, abandoned and/or forgotten by me, and finish them, and then ask for more! So, I knew these would be right up his alley.

I toss them in two or three days a week. I vary it so he’s always pleasantly surprised, and it adds a little bit of fun to the monotonous packed lunch. Once in a while he will even thank me after school for putting one in his lunch.

Drazil is available in markets across Northern California, and is also available on Amazon.com.

It’s a great, delicious, nutritious way to add a little variety to their day. I approve. And so does Bowie!

And one of YOU, my lucky readers, can win some Drazil Kids Tea for free! Just:

1. Leave a comment below with your favorite lunch time ideas for kids.

2. Head to Facebook and “like” the Drazil Kids Tea page.

I will pick a reader at random to receive some Drazil! (Winner will be picked after 8pm Pacific Time, September 11, 2012. Winner will be notified shortly after.)

Good luck and thank you!

 

I was compensated for this post by Drazil Kids Tea, but all opinions are my own.

On Diapers. And the Environment.

What seems like a million billion years ago now, I was pregnant and mulling over having to cover another baby bum. I was also lamenting that we had used thousands (no exaggeration on that one) of Pampers for Bowie. We try to be as green as we can in our every day lives, but we had just let this one slip. I was on the hunt for a greener solution the second time around.

After a little digging, I came across the newly founded The Honest Co. which really is a great company all-around, and the diapers are better for baby and earth than conventional ones, but still getting tossed in the trash, all 5000 of them. Was there something else? Or was I being too optimistic?

Then, I mentioned The Honest Co. in a post, just in passing, and I was approached by the EarthBaby company recently to try their diapers, which are not only fully compostable, but a delivery person comes once a week, every week, to drop off diapers and wipes and take your old diapers away with them.

I was a little skeptical at first about the whole process. I can’t remember why now, it’s all been going so smoothly. I think first and foremost I wondered if I could keep a bag of stinky diapers around my house for a whole week without it getting to me. Answer: a week goes a lot faster than you think. (Duh.) We’ve yet to encounter an odor problem.

I also wondered about the quality of the diapers. They’re meant to be composted, after all, so how sturdy could they possibly be? And to be truthful, they are slightly more delicate than the average disposable diaper. A few times, I had the tabs come off when I was struggling to fasten them to a squirmy little baby. But, once they are on, they stay on, and we haven’t had one rip while actually on the baby.

I also wondered how well they’d hold in the…stuff. If they’re made to be fully compostable, the absorbent materials must be sub-standard, right? Well, so far, not so. We haven’t had a single leak. In fact, we’ve even had issues with Ferris peeing through diapers overnight (the Honest diapers) so we got a box of conventional branded diapers made especially for overnight. The other night I forgot to put an overnight one on, and he wore an Earth Baby diaper all night, no issues, no leaks. Color me impressed.

I also didn’t want the hassles of a delivery service. Having to deal with a stranger and coordinating drop off and pick up times and blah blah blah. But with EarthBaby, you leave your diapers on your stoop the morning of your delivery day, they come by and take them and leave the new diapers and wipes. No appointments, no doorbells, nothing. And if you forget to leave your dirty ones out, you’ll still get your new ones, you just leave the dirty ones the next week.

I was also concerned about cost. I was getting this bundle deal from The Honest Co. and when I priced it all out, it seemed marginally more expensive than conventional diapers, but cheaper than most other delivery services. So I punched the numbers again for this post, and the difference was a couple of dollars per month. The two services are essentially the same price, and one service takes my dirty diapers and composts them. I think we know who comes out ahead here.

And I know some of you are thinking, well why can’t I just toss them into my green bin? The answer to that is right on their FAQ page:

Human waste composting is a very different process than curbside composting for kitchen scraps, lawn trimmings and cardboard. Please do not put soiled diapers in your city composting bin as it contaminates their composting stream.

And for the truly green among us who are composting in their backyard:

Reaching the high temperatures required to kill harmful bacteria and pathogens found in human waste is difficult and inconsistent when using common home composting techniques. To ensure that the soil produced when our products are composted is 100% safe, we only offer our diapers and wipes as part of our inclusive service whereby the products are composted in our regulated industrial composting facility.

So, there it is folks. EarthBaby in a nutshell. Great product, convenient process, friendly customer service. Unfortunately, however, they currently only deliver to homes in the San Francisco Bay Area. But that’s where many of my readers are! So I just had to spread the good word anyway.

The company has offered my readers one month of service, one pack of diapers and one pack of wipes FREE with this coupon code: VERYBLOGGY13 If you live in the Bay Area, please take advantage!

If you’re on the hunt for a great diapering solution, I highly recommend EarthBaby!

Disclaimer: I was compensated by Earth Baby with product for this post, however all opinions are my own.

Year in Review 2012

My yearly wrap-up post. You can see my answers for years past here, here and here.

1. What did you this year that you’d never done before?

Natural childbirth. Parented two sons! Monitored my blood sugar. Lost 30 pounds. Toured elementary schools.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

I didn’t make any last year. I feel like they put too much pressure on us. But, if I can make some really general ones: try to keep the house cleaner, work on being a better mom.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Not this year, thank goodness.

4. What would you like to have in 2013 that you lacked in 2012?

Savings. A good dermatologist.

5. What dates from 2012 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

The day our sweet Ferris joined the bunch, of course!

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Giving birth. With no pain meds. That was amazingly empowering.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Letting all of Bowie’s hard work at the OT go to hell when his little brother was born. I didn’t keep up my end of the bargain and he fell apart. We’re back on the right path, but I really set us back.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing major. Not even having the baby! That was actually pretty easy.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

The replacement stroller for the travel system we had used for Bowie. The old stroller was usable, but really beat up, and I tossed and turned at night trying to decide whether or not to spend the $150, and I finally did and I’M SO GLAD.

10. Where did most of your money go?

Two nights in the hospital. Oy vey.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

The new year. Being pregnant. Having the baby. Bowie’s improved behavior.

12. What song will always remind you of 2012?

Any K Ishibashi, specifically Bright Whites. Apparently, I found out later, that’s what Brien had playing on his iPad when Ferris was born. I didn’t know that, and after the fact I was like, “I really like this music! Why do I really like this music?”

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

a) SO MUCH HAPPIER. Little Ferris was already with us when we welcomed in 2012, but we didn’t know that yet. And I was really a wreck. 2011 had dealt me a horrible hand, and I was so ready for a new start. Little did I know, a few days later I’d get the ultimate fresh start!

b) SO MUCH THINNER! Gestational diabetes is like, the best diet. Now for the task of actually keeping it off.

c) Poorer. For a few reasons. It sucks.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Saving money (see above). Talking to family.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Losing my temper with Bowie. I try really, really hard, but I always end up cracking once in a while.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

With friends and family, huddled inside out of the pouring rain. There was much wine, many laughs and great gifts.

17. What was your favorite TV program?

Mad Men. Parenthood. The New Girl. How I Met Your Mother. 30 Rock.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old are you?

I turned 33 this year. I had a quiet, uneventful birthday at home. But, it was a good one.

And winner for most exciting moment of 2012:

Year in Review 2010

A questionnaire that I filled out last year, and I think serves as a great way to sum up the year in one small-ish post.

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?

Interviewed at preschools, started potty training someone, collected unemployment checks, had my dad visit in San Francisco, enjoyed Brussels sprouts (who knew?)

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Hubbs and I resolved to pay off the car, which we successfully did. We also resolved to move into a cheaper house, which we did. I, however, was not all that successful at losing weight (though I have recently dropped 5 pounds). I had also resolved to sort of come to terms with being laid off and…I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Oh! We went to the dentist, all of us! That was a big one for me.

3. Did anyone close to you die?

Fortunately, no. Though, my Great Great Aunt Frannie passed away this year at the ripe old age of 100, and though we were not “close”, she will surely be missed.

4. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?

More money in savings, maybe another kiddo, Bowie in a preschool, more writing work. A pedicure would be nice.

5. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Bowie’s second birthday, because we were visiting in Wisconsin, and a lot of family and friends joined us to celebrate. It was a lot of fun. Also, the week we moved, because it was really dramatic for a lot of reasons. And Christmas Eve, that was sooooo fun.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting Bowie into preschool! I was such a nervous wreck about the whole process, and felt like I was a bad parent that had put it off too long. And I was all, “he’ll get in later, it’s no problem.” But, secretly I was longing for the free time.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I expected a lot from myself. And I could have done it, I really could have. But, I had a lot of hurdles: depression, chronic pain, time. Maybe next year. But I’m done being so hard on myself.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing outside the normal stuff.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

Bowie’s drum set. And his tricycle. And my G2 haha.

10. Where did most of your money go?

Rent, car payments, diapers, milk, fixing my phone, fixing my camera.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?

Moving. We found an awesome house, cheaper rent and a great neighborhood. It was a good move for us.

Edit: My good pal Dawn reminded me of our trip to Paris. DUH. We certainly got excited about that, and had an amazing time.

12. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Pretty much anything by the Avett Brothers. For better or worse.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:

a) happier or sadder?

b) thinner or fatter?

c) richer or poorer?

a) Much, much happier. Getting laid off was such a blow to the ego. But, as time moves on, so do I.

b) About the same, honestly. I’ve been down a bit, up a bit, but I think I’m pretty much the same right now.

c) Richer. Paid off medical bills that were haunting us. Paid off our car. Found a cheaper house. It’s been so great.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?

Spending more one-on-one time with Bowie. He’s starting preschool soon, and then he’ll be grown up before I know it. Also, spending time with family far away. It’s so difficult to get out there, be we really should try more often.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?

Worrying. I lay awake many nights worrying about things that either I can’t do a damn thing about, or will eventually resolve themselves anyway. I need to stop “sweating the small stuff”. And procrastinating. It’s true, I do work best under deadline, but not all things in life work this way.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

The night before, Brien put together Bowie’s flashy new tricycle, and on Christmas he woke up early and we urged him to go look in the living room. He stood there and stared at it in a daze for a moment, and didn’t leave it alone for the rest of the day. We were so NOT going to do this Santa Claus thing, but it was so damn fun.

17. What was your favorite TV program?

We were so happy to see the Apprentice come back this year. We were also dedicated LOST fans again, but now that show is over *sniff*. New shows I am hooked on this year: Parenthood, Modern Family, Raising Hope. And, as always, How I Met Your Mother.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?

This year I turned 31, and it was so uneventful that I can’t for the life of me remember what we did. I probably made dinner.

Happy 2011 everyone, hope it’s a winner!

1. What did you do in 2010 that you’d never done before?
Interviewed at preschools, started potty training someone, collected unemployment checks, had my dad visit in San Francisco, enjoyed Brussels sprouts (who knew?)

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?

Hubbs and I resolved to pay off the car, which we successfully did. We also resolved to move into a cheaper house, which we did. I, however, was not all that successful at losing weight (though I have recently dropped 5 pounds). I had also resolved to sort of come to terms with being laid off and…I don’t think I’m quite there yet.

Oh! We went to the dentist, all of us! That was a big one for me.
3. Did anyone close to you die?
Fortunately, no. Though, my Great Great Aunt Frannie passed away this year at the ripe old age of 100, and though we were not “close”, she will surely be missed.

4. What would you like to have in 2011 that you lacked in 2010?
More money in savings, maybe another kiddo, Bowie in a preschool, more writing work. A pedicure would be nice.

5. What dates from 2010 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?

Bowie’s second birthday, because we were visiting in Wisconsin, and a lot of family and friends joined us to celebrate. It was a lot of fun. Also, the week we moved, because it was really dramatic for a lot of reasons. And Christmas Eve, that was sooooo fun.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?

Getting Bowie into preschool! I was such a nervous wreck about the whole process, and felt like I was a bad parent that had put it off too long. And I was all, “he’ll get in later, it’s no problem.” But, secretly I was longing for the free time.

7. What was your biggest failure?

Weight loss. I expected a lot from myself. And I could have done it, I really could have. But, I had a lot of hurdles: depression, chronic pain, time. Maybe next year. But I’m done being so hard on myself.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?

Nothing outside the normal stuff.

9. What was the best thing you bought?

Bowie’s drum set. And his tricycle. And my G2 haha.

10. Where did most of your money go?
Rent, car payments, diapers, milk, fixing my phone, fixing my camera.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Moving. We found an awesome house, cheaper rent and a great neighborhood. It was a good move for us.

12. What song will always remind you of 2010?

Pretty much anything by the Avett Brothers. For better or worse.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a) Much, much happier. Getting laid off was such a blow to the ego. But, as time moves on, so do I.

b) About the same, honestly. I’ve been down a bit, up a bit, but I think I’m pretty much the same right now.

c) Richer. Paid off medical bills that were haunting us. Paid off our car. Found a cheaper house. It’s been so great.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Spending more one-on-one time with Bowie. He’s starting preschool soon, and then he’ll be grown up before I know it. Also, spending time with family far away. It’s so difficult to get out there, be we really should try more often.

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Worrying. I lay awake many nights worrying about things that either I can’t do a damn thing about, or will eventually resolve themselves anyway. I need to stop “sweating the small stuff”. And procrastinating. It’s true, I do work best under deadline, but not all things in life work this way.

16. How did you spend Christmas?

The night before, Brien put together Bowie’s flashy new tricycle, and on Christmas he woke up early and we urged him to go look in the living room. He stood there and stared at it in a daze for a moment, and didn’t leave it alone for the rest of the day. We were so NOT going to do this Santa Claus thing, but it was so damn fun.

17. What was your favorite TV program?
We were so happy to see the Apprentice come back this year. We were also dedicated LOST fans again, but now that show is over *sniff*. New shows I am hooked on this year: Parenthood, Modern Family, Raising Hope. And, as always, How I Met Your Mother.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
This year I turned 31, and it was so uneventful that I can’t for the life of me remember what we did. I probably made dinner.

Year in Review 2009

Questionnaire courtesy of a blog gal pal.

1. What did you do in 2009 that you’d never done before?
Fed someone a banana whilst wiping his butt. Started a blog. Got laid off. Weaned a baby. And I absolutely have to poach this answer, because it also was my first time too: Cleaned poop out of a tub.

2. Did you keep your new year’s resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I make birthday resolutions in lieu of new year’s (see 30 Things), and I kept a lot of them. Really, more than I thought I could. And I still have 3 months to do the rest. I’m sure I’ll make more for next year.

3. Did anyone close to you die?
My husband’s Uncle George died suddenly in August. That was a rough one for us all. Picturing him and Harry Caray enjoying a beer together.

4. What would you like to have in 2010 that you lacked in 2009?
A better idea of how, when and where we might be able to purchase our own home. A wide-open, blank canvas future isn’t as fun as it sounds in this department.

5. What dates from 2009 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Well, Bowie’s birthday obviously. It was the most amazing/scary/happy/heartbreaking thing to watch my firstborn turn a year old. Also, our anniversary. We went to Michael Mina and it was fabulous. Every year, I know more and more that we were meant to be together.

6. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
I came to terms with a lot of my demons. Things that had been scraping at the back of my brain for a long time. Turning 30 and becoming a mom will do that to you.

7. What was your biggest failure?
Development of my career. I got laid off, which really wasn’t my fault, but in the aftermath my career seems to be at a complete standstill.

8. Did you suffer illness or injury?
My arthritic knee bothered me for the bulk of the year, but I went in November and had a cortisone shot, which has helped a lot. Also, just a few weeks ago ! I had the bunion on my right foot removed after years of pain. At the moment, I’m still stiff and recovering, but I can already tell it was a good move. And no serious illnesses, thank effing God.

9. What was the best thing you bought?
Me Talk Pretty One Day. I hadn’t read David Sedaris before, but now I’m 5 books in, and he’s hands down my favorite author. But my proudest purchase is the pair of Old Navy jeans I got at a St. Vinny’s in Wisconsin. Price? $3. I just LOVE a good bargain.

10. Where did most of your money go?
Rent. Medical bills. Whole milk.

11. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Bowie learning to walk and learning to talk. It’s amazing watching him develop. Also, the great number of Etsy sales I’ve had this year. Loving it.

12. What song will always remind you of 2009?
Haha, anything by Laurie Berkner or the cast of Yo Gabba Gabba. I don’t listen to a lot of modern music, so nothing’s really going to stick out for me.

13. Compared to this time last year, are you:
a) happier or sadder?
b) thinner or fatter?
c) richer or poorer?

a) Happier. I’ve resolved issues with family, I’ve settled comfortably into motherhood and I’ve been relieved of a job that was a weight around my ankle, but got to leave with a severance.

b) Fatter, much to my dismay. I haven’t had the time or energy for a real workout regimen, and I’ve been eating horribly. I guess one of my resolutions could be to lose some weight. I’m at a healthy weight, but I’m out of shape. So, just like 10 pounds would do it. But I’ve never dieted before, so I have no idea what I’m in for. And I assume it’s much easier said than done.

c) Poorer. Because I lost my job. But, we’re doing okay.

14. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Gotten out and explored more of this magical city I live in!

15. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Spent money, wish I could save more. It’s as if I have a genetic disorder.

16. How did you spend Christmas?
Brien’s family flew to San Francisco. It was great having them here. I think everyone had a really great time.

17. What was your favorite TV program?
We’re TV addicts. But this year, our favorite shows were LOST, Idol, Pawn Stars, Mythbusters, 30 Rock, The Office, Top Chef, Chopped, Rescue Me and Weeds.

18. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you?
I turned 30, and I spent the evening at home with my husband and son. It’s exactly where I wanted to be. We went out for dinner a week later or so.