Somehow an e-mail from Santa just wouldn't be the same.
Sunday, December 09, 2012
Hard to believe he's grown from a little month-old butterball in my arms 3 years ago to that smiling kid next to Jason who knows every train in the Thomas and Friends world and who comes home every night and heads straight to his room to craft a new masterpiece before running to us to declare: "I built you a beautiful train track! Come see!" while dragging us by the hand to see for ourselves.
He loves climbing and jumping off of any stationary object and is impulsive and physical in ways that still surprise us, mainly because he's so different from his older sister. With her, we didn't child-proof anything, simply telling her: "Don't touch that." She'd nod solemnly and do so.
This guy? Left to his own devices, he'd touch, bang, throw and drop anything not nailed down, as if to say, "This? Don't touch this? Right here? Don't push it off the table like this?"
|12 months old and already into things|
I love you too, you little character! Happy birthday.
Thursday, December 06, 2012
Wednesday, December 05, 2012
Sunday, December 02, 2012
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Thursday, November 01, 2012
Wednesday, October 31, 2012
Oh, is running my rail yard through the kitchen while you try to cook dinner a problem?
I always joke that although we are blessed with a lot of space in our house, somehow everyone ends up within an arms length of me at all times. Guess this makes up for all those (happily) solitary days as an only child.
Thursday, October 25, 2012
Thursday, October 18, 2012
Thursday, October 11, 2012
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
So did it work? Yes, and it didn't stick to the crock at all, which was a risk a friend warned me about. Apparently PBS's America's Test Kitchen recommends creating a sling of foil to make crockpot lasagna. I liked the outcome, but will try the half-size version next time to see if that reduces my issues with the shape and depth. Still, it's nice to know I can use the crock option if needed. If you try it, let me know if it works for you.
Sunday, October 07, 2012
Thursday, October 04, 2012
Saturday, September 29, 2012
This was a fun exercise. I went back to 2010 and found a link to September 26 when I chronicled Ava's first foray into preschool.
It's funny to look back now at how small she was, how worried I was about whether we'd chosen the right school and how many pictures I took. We definitely picked the right place. Dylan is there now too and this is a good reminder that I need to get back on the stick with taking pictures so that they'll have them in the future. And so that I'll have them.
This one is in the works this week: my lasagna recipe, complete with tutorial. Cheesy, meaty goodness. Hope it makes you drool!
Friday, September 28, 2012
My husband and I dated for eight years, because, you know: you gotta be sure. Kidding. But we did take A WHILE to get engaged. We were enjoying our lives and careers, but finally decided to make it official and get married.
As we discussed wedding logistics and narrowed down our date choices, he said he really wanted to do it in the fall. Great! I did too. But what was his reason?
"Well, we met in the fall, so it always feels like "our" time of year, plus, fall is about change, like the changing of the seasons, and we're changing our relationship, making a lifetime commitment to each other. It just really feels appropriate."
Huh. Wow. I was just thinking it's more likely to still be a bit warm in the fall so I would be comfortable in my strapless dress. But what he said works too.
Our wedding was right at the start of fall, it was still warm, I was comfortable in my strapless dress, and eleven years later, fall still feels like "our" time of year.
Thursday, September 27, 2012
I grabbed this picture earlier this week. We've had a string of foggy mornings with pretty decent afternoons. I love summer and hot weather. But there's something to be said for these cool mornings: I'd rather the weather just skip the niceties and drop kick us right into the frost and fog of fall (say that four times fast!).
Wednesday, September 26, 2012
I'm doing the SITS Girls Fall Back Into Blogging event, with daily prompts and ideas for getting your blogging mojo back. Boy do I need it! So here goes. The first prompt is writing about your best school memory.
Unlike some other parts of the country where school starts in August (What the heck?! That's still prime summertime.), in the
There's back to (pre-)school for the kids, and also for me too in a way, since I serve on two schools' boards: my alma mater's and the kids' preschool. Ava's birthday is mid-month, followed by our anniversary. It's a bit crazy-making, but also exciting because my best school memory is...school itself!
Narrow it down to one memory?! That's like asking a chocolate lover what's their favorite chocolate memory. Or a parent which kid they love best. It. Can't. Be. Done. I have ALWAYS loved school. LOVED I tell ya!
The books, the assignments ("Is it okay if I read ahead?" Yeah: I was THAT kid.), my teachers, the schedule, the lockers, my friends, and even trying to decipher the intrigues of the popular cliques.
Unlike some folks, who found their school years to be something to be endured, I couldn't wait to get there every day, despite the two hour bus ride each way during middle and high school. I also had no angst about my place in the class or school hierarchy because I had my own "peeps," my own places to excel, and because there was so much that I loved about being at school that I really didn't dwell on the vagaries of the affections I elicited (or didn't) from my fellow hormone-addled classmates.
It probably helped that I was a happy, confident, and self-directed kid. Also, I was (and am) a realist. I knew there was no way to change my family's income or name, or the fact that we didn't use the word "summer" as a verb. Things were what they were, so I had to get on my life and revel in the parts where I had some control. Like studying and doing my best in class.
From a social standpoint, in the bell curve of class popularity, I probably fell squarely in the middle of the bell curve's hump: not popular, but far from an outcast. I was a nerd who played sports, I was smart, I fit in (at least with my friends) and I was among fellow school-loving, athletic and nerdy kids and had a tribe to call my own. It was a school that was very classically academically rigorous but that also gave students a bit of latitude in identifying and working on non-traditional academic pursuits too. Like helping Bill Gates to work on early computers during his time there. And look where that got us all: right here with me blogging and you reading, here on the interwebs, that's where.
But there is one memory that stick out in my mind as pretty great about my school years. In high school, I took Graphics (or art as it was called in most schools) with a great teacher who was renown for his unconventional approach that drew on his experience in a number of disciplines, including being a Unitarian minister. Students were allowed to draw on the walls of the studio, which were painted over every year to allow the new class to leave their marks. We learned to draw live nude models, which I drew with a discrete black bar over the naughty bits, enacting my own self-censoring.
I was no artistic standout, but he made each student feel like they were. And he taught us techniques that enabled us to strengthen whatever artistic abilities we had.
One winter, he gave us an assignment to draw a interesting Santa Claus. I decided to do a funky Santa. Not funky like smelly: funky like platforms, bell bottoms, gold chains (it was the mid-1980s and hip hop was just getting big, after all), and an afro, complete with the afro pick in the shape of a Black Power fist. The next day, he called me in to his office.
No. He got teary as he told me that my goofy picture, done on a whim to amuse myself and complete my homework, had moved him deeply. It turned out that he had an adopted daughter who was African American. Seeing my Santa, in all its funky glory and all my obvious joy at creating an image that reflected my reality and worldview and that didn't fit the cookie cutter mold of what was expected, gave him hope that his daughter would also someday be comfortable creating art that reflected her reality and complexity as an African American girl with a white dad. And he thanked me for sharing my vision of what could be, not just what we were used to. How's that for making a nerdy little girl feel that she had something amazing to contribute to the world?
Now that I'm shepherding Ava and Dylan into their school age years, I want them to have similarly powerful experiences and mentors; to have grownups in their lives - besides their mom and dad and grandparents - who let them know that they have something unique to contribute to the world, but that they have to work hard to hone whatever talents they have.
I want to facilitate their love for learning, nurture their natural interests and provide an outlet for - and celebration of - their own wacky funky-Santa-like ideas. I want to model for them the need to push their personal boundaries and be lifelong learners in a way that is not dependent upon being in a classroom. After all, I have to prepare them for a world I may never see, but in which I want them to excel. Hopefully, they will also come to love - LOVE! - school the way I did.
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Friday, September 14, 2012
Monday, September 10, 2012
Sunday, September 09, 2012
Rough day on the parenting front. I don't drink, but tonight trading sparkling cider for sparkling lemonade.
On a related note: does the French Foreign Legion have a minimum age or potty training requirement for inductees?
Thursday, September 06, 2012
Wednesday, September 05, 2012
Monday, September 03, 2012
Friday, August 31, 2012
Sunday, August 19, 2012
Tuesday, August 14, 2012
Sunday, August 12, 2012
Friday, August 03, 2012
Wednesday, August 01, 2012
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Friday, July 27, 2012
Dress: H & M
Capri leggings with lace: Gap Kids
Backpack: Barbie from Target
Hair: ponytails by Nana
Take-and-Toss Cup: Target
Shirt: DKNY from Ross
Jeans: Paper Denim Cloth from Ross (marked down from $58 to $9.99!)
Hair: fro-hawk by Dad
Friday, July 20, 2012
Monday, July 02, 2012
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Friday, June 08, 2012
Friday, June 01, 2012
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Sunday, May 06, 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012
Friday, April 20, 2012
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Monday, April 16, 2012
With this weekend's warm (for Spring in Seattle) weather, I felt compelled to finally secure a tricycle for Dylan and bicycle for Ava. I'd been checking Craigslist for weeks and finally found a tricycle in good condition, at the right price, the right distance and from a seller who actually responded in a timely manner. Really: what is up with listing something for sale on a service that used email for communication, then not responding to email?!
The two biggest selling points on the trike? A parent's push/steer bar and a "trunk" on the back just perfect for holding a few Thomas and other assorted mini trains.
While Dylan at first didn't seem to understand that it was for him, he soon jumped right on and was thrilled with his new wheels. So was I, because it means that I can now rollerblade alongside them instead of hunching over Dylan's scooter to push him along. Goodbye back pain, hello independent riders.
In contrast to Dylan's quiet joy, Ava's bicycle-induced squeals were so loud dolphins at Sea World said, "What the...?"
What's funny is that since being released from speech therapy, his word count and complexity have continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Still, some things he says are not so clear, like his name. But other times, he clearly articulates phrases like "Wake up Daddy" and "Ava: what the heck!" That one threw me for a loop tonight.
He's also clearly catching on to the verbal wackiness that ensues around here. We've always played this ridiculous game where we insert the sound "shhhh" into an otherwise normal sentence as if we really have something important to convey. It started out as a bedtime thing when one of us was trying to go to sleep and the other was piping up with some question or comment about the day. The sleepy one would finally say something like, "That's a great question. Let me check my shhhh!" As in, "Shush. I'm trying to sleep."
We did it with Ava too, and it has become an occasional bedtime game. Like, "Okay, it's time to lay down and put your head on your shhh!" or "Oh man, Ava what is all that in your hair?! It looks like you fell in shhhh!" Any permutation is guaranteed to elicit peals of laughter.
Recently, as we tucked Dylan in, he piped up, "Mommy: I said shhhh!" Whaaat?! His proclamations are so unexpected that they crack us up every time. This kid, like his sister, is a hilarious character in his own way and I love watching him develop.
Sunday, April 08, 2012
Saturday, April 07, 2012
Thursday, April 05, 2012
Which means this pre-loved shirt we received, though apparently part of one of the most beloved Japanese cartoon shows ever, will be donated.
Extreme? Maybe. Ridiculous? No more ridiculous than Geraldo saying Trayvon's hoodie got him killed - a statement for which he later apologized directly to Trayvon's parents.
NPR's Michel Martin wrote a great piece that captures the fear many parents of color feel for their sons as they reach the teen years: Trayvon was scared too.