Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A follow-up to the choking incident

So, if you recall, dear readers, back in January, a "friend" from Rosie's class tried to choke her over a trivial incident. I was informed by the daycare director yesterday that the boy's behavior had not improved adequately over the past month-plus, and he had been disenrolled. Whew.

AJS can take his boxing gloves off now! His first response when he heard about the choking was, "can I punch the kid out?"

Monday, February 26, 2007

Dash tells knock-knock jokes! And the snowlady.

Well, almost. We were trying to get him to tell us his name for Rosie this weekend, but he just kept saying "na--na". Before committing to this as his name for Rosie, I remembered that Rosie and James Michael, a neighbor, were telling each other knock-knock jokes and Dash may have overheard. AJS investigated this theory, asking, "Who's there?" to get the satisfying answer of "Dad-da!"

Rosie and I made a snow-lady yesterday! Dash almost helped, but really mostly stood there crying to be picked up. Rosie and I had a great time, though. The lady had the traditionally tri-segmented snowball body, with oatmeal-raisin cookies for eyes (thanks to AJS for repurposing those tasty cookies, Kelly!) and a carrot for a nose. I gave her stick arms, a red berry scarf, and a black wool hat; AJS gave her a curved-stick smile. And Rosie didn't want to go back inside, despite the wetness, a thoroughly chilled mother, and dwindling light. Fun times.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thinking about nicer weather...

Even though we're just in a mini-thaw and there's plenty of winter-weather to come, I'm starting to think about springtime, playing in the backyard with the kids, and making our yard a nicer place to hang. It has a lot going for it, so far: excellent multi-level deck with built-in slide, a large grassy area, a patio set with a canopied gazebo, a kamado grill, a kiddie swing, and a small kiddie playhouse (a super-basic version of this).

What it desperately needs is more regular yard care (so weeds aren't growing through the kiddie playhouse), maybe a mosquito magnet, a less-dilapidated sandbox (or at least new sand), and a playset with more activities for our growing kids. Something like the Little Tikes playset my neighbors have, I think.

I just recall many, many times during last summer that I didn't go outside because there were too many weeds, too many mosquitos, and lack of fun things to play on. I'd really like to while away the summer evenings while sittin and sipping wine with AJS on the deck while the kids wear themselves out on the playset, KWIM?!?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Hey, Bulldog!

Yesterday's mini-vignette: Rosie says, "Hey daddy, listen: it's the Submarine song! [singing] You can talk to me, you can talk to me-ee, if you're lonely you can talk to me! [trails off, comes back strong] You can talk to me, you can talk to me-ee, if you're lonely you can talk to me!" [repeat until insane]

And so, now what's in my head and won't go away? The worst thing is, I'm horrible with remembering lyrics, so I can't remember any other words to this song, either...

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Happy Birthday Rowan! And Dash is a sweet, demanding boy.

[portrait of Rowan, courtesy AJS]

Today we went to Rowan's birthday party, where we all had a great time! A rockabilly-style musician played kid-friendly music and all the kids (and some parents) were rocking out to it. He calls himself "Uncle Rock" and used to play for the Fleshtones, from what I understand. Dash was just mesmerised by "Uncle Rock" and would just walk up within 5 to 10 feet of him and stare (as with yesterday's event, my kids didn't really participate by dancing or following along with others). Again, excellent cake!!! At the party, Dash found a juice box with Elmo (a latest favorite) pictured on it and I found him shortly afterwards expressing his love by giving the icon fervent kisses. What a sweetie!

After we were home, Dash crashed out for a few hours and when he woke up he called for Dad-da! Dad-da! He and I met up with AJS in the kitchen, but Dash wasn't interested in a hug. He looked at AJS, and pointed at the oven, saying without words, the OVEN. NOW. COOK FOR ME. And then wanted to monitor the entire cooking process to be sure that his food was on its way. What a darling boy!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

My kids aren't joiners...(neither is AJS)

We just came back from a "Gymboree" birthday party for a classmate of Dash's. Rosie warmed up to the place right away, surprisingly, and we were more shocked that Dash (Mr. fun & happiness) was clingy and took his time before trying out the play equipment. AJS was horrified when an employee came out, put on some loud music and organized everyone to sing along and follow choreographed hand movements. When they brought out the clown, it took all of my persuasiveness (and calculated evasion) to keep him from bolting.

The highlight of the afternoon, IMO, was the cake! The birthday boy's parents are N'Awlins transplants and they had an authentic Mardi Gras King Cake for dessert... Oooooh, heaven!

Both kids really enjoyed the running around and climbing on soft play shapes; despite not participating in the sing-a-longs, they did have a lot of fun. We were not the first to leave, but may send regrets on the next invite to a Gymboree event.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Day. Gotta love it!

Yesterday, daycare was closed, the roads were nasty and icy (no plows in our neighborhood), so AJS and I had quality time with the kids and could watch them under a microscope. Dash is now a week shy of 20 months and Rosie is 4 years, 3 months.

Rosie likes to have animated playtime, where she makes up dialogues between her toys; I've been wondering about some of her catch-phrases, like, "his eyes were bigger than flashlights!" or "then, we'll have to slice off your head"? (Me: shaking head.) She loves to play with Dash and we hear a lot of "c'mon Dash!" and "follow me!", but we also hear a fair amount of "get Dash away!" One of her favorite shows on Noggin is "Little Bear," which we watched yesterday. There was a very sweet episode in which Little Bear was making drawings of all the things he loved about his mother, and during the show, I got plenty of hugs and kisses! One of the special favorites of Little Bear is Mother Bear's chocolate cake, so we spent some of the afternoon making guess what? Chocolate cupcakes. Yummy.

Dash is picking up lots of new words. Using "please" is something we've been drilling into Rosie for months, and while it's not sinking in much with her, Dash has started to say "peesh" which is the cutest. Other words are mom-ma, dad-da, duck, car, up, on, off, book, boot (all shoes), boown (balloon), booboo, BYE!!! (at top volume), ree (read), baish (water), moo (milk), laliesh (olives), heesh (cheese), caak (clock), cack (crackers), cowk (chocolate), haaiiee (in a whisper, means quiet), Momo (Elmo), Bawa (Dora), and a few more that I'm not remembering right now. Somehow, a name for Rosie hasn't materialized. Maybe since she is available for him most of the time, he hasn't needed to identify her with his words?

Yesterday, Rosie and Dash had several campouts (lights out, flashlights on), colored and painted together, and watched a little television together. Later on, Rosie and I went to her grandparents' house for some one-on-one playtime with Grandma. Quite a busy Valentine's Day. Romantic, though? Not by most definitions.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Counterpoint, in a fashion

During college, I began to be frustrated with the dating scene. And, it may come as a surprise to my parents, but I was becoming aware that my dad worked with several young men, good-looking, well-paid engineer types who were single, and also had contact with the upstanding well-educated male children of his colleagues.

After some frustratingly bad dates, I started thinking, wouldn't all this be easier if there were arranged marriages? My parents could identify a good match for me, I'd be set financially (potentially), and I'd have much less worry and effort to put into the whole soul-mate-searching thing.

Then, I put that out of my head. I had the right to marry whom I wanted, and I ought to exercise that priviledge! I found my life partner, and later this year, we will be celebrating 10 years of marriage, 15 years together.

I'm saddened that the government isn't allowing a random selection of Americans (10%?) the same choices and options that I have.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Freedom to marry week

If you know me at all, you know that I don't pay much attention to the politics stuff, despite living in DC and metro area. So, this just comes straight from the heart.

I married who I wanted to marry. If somebody had suggested to me that I couldn't marry my chosen, I would have been righteously pissed off. The fact that people are doing just that today does upset me a great deal. Are we in the dark ages? In India or other third-world country, with
arranged marriages? Just where do all these people come from, that they think they have the right to keep other human beings, Americans even, from pursuing happiness? Married couples have different rights to benefits than singles; why shouldn't any couple who are living together and committed to each other get those rights and benefits? Seriously?

I don't think it's right or fair. I could say more, but I know that I'm not being terribly eloquent here and I haven't read other essays or brilliant rhetoric on the topic to bolster the range of my argument. So let's just hope that I do just that and if I post again on this topic, I'll have something more, um, thought-provoking to say.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Weird incident of the day

I was wearing my 1960's-era vintage faux cheetah coat to work today, mostly because it's warmer and longer than my regular coat. And because it was so cold, I decided to ride Metro for one stop instead of walk the exposed 15 minutes across the pentagon reservation.

Anyway, as I was walking down the escalator onto the train platform, this guy was giving me an odd look that made me wonder if I knew him. As I passed him, he muttered, "can't breathe!" and then hawked phlegm loudly and acted like he was going to spit on my coat! (I'm pretty sure he kept it in.) Gross.

It's faux, dammit! Get a clue.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Who does more?

AJS and I are working parents and both feel like we are contributing equally to the household; wait, I think we actually both think we are doing MORE than the other. But, because it's been on my mind a lot lately, and I do think it's worth having on the record, here's my take.

AJS daily/weekly/periodic tasks:
packing breakfasts & lunches
driving our carpool weekdays
grocery shopping/meal planning
taking bagged trash & recycling out
shoveling snow
washing cars
mowing the lawn

Nylonthread's daily/weekly/periodic tasks:
dressing the kids
putting both kids to bed
diapering Dash (every diaper)
washing dishes
laundering clothes
feeding/entertaining/bathing the parrot
bathing both kids
picking up after kids
paying bills/budgeting
driving on weekends
bagging trash for garbage day
cleaning all of the house
arranging for babysitters
shopping for kids' clothing
filing mail & paperwork
cleaning birdcage
taking parrot to vet
handling investments
weeding & watering plants

Shared tasks:
entertaining the kids
taking kids to doctor's appointments
picking up prescriptions/administering meds
shopping for household items

Now I grant that while AJS's task list is shorter, many of AJS's tasks are daily and time-intensive, albiet my longer list has its share of daily items, more items are bi-weekly or periodic. Still, is it even? Hard to say. My guess is that we'll still both think that we are doing more than the other.


This morning was a wonderful change from most mornings with Rosie. The usual scene is: I wake Rosie up, she whines about wanting more sleep, she whines about wanting to wear a different outfit; outright cries about not being able to bring favorite toy X to school; you get the picture. Also, put in mind that we wake her at 6:30 a.m. which, in a perfect world, is much too early.

I woke her up today by saying, "Rosie, it snowed last night! You wanna go and see?" She popped right up, smiling, and said, "I LOVE SNOW!!" She hopped out of her room and happily greeted AJS, who was shoveling outside the front door.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Kenmore ovens use shatterglass!

And, why do I know this, you ask? Well, under the most understandable circumstances, AJS accidentally dropped his freshly made, lovingly toasted, eagerly anticipated sandwich face down on the floor, which in turn caused him to grab the closest large object and throw it. This was of course after making sure no small humans were in range, I'm sure. In the sandwich's case, it was a metal stepstool which connected squarely and at close range with our stove door. Crash! Smash! Neatly cubed glass. (Well, with pointy shards, too.)

The replacement costs $214.97 directly from Sears; I found it elsewhere online for $147.62. We won't be using the oven until this weekend, at best. :-(

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Better late than never?

Here are photos of Rosie and Dash from their, um, October 2006 photo session. I know, I know, where have they been? I think the proofs showed up in November, then pics arrived in December, then I was handing them out to relatives, and I finally brought them into work to scan them in January, so, now it's February and they're scanned. Whew!!

I almost didn't buy this print of Rosie and Dash, mostly because Dash looks half-comatose; but then I DID buy it because he looks half-comatose! It just makes me laugh so much every time I look at it! I crack up and think, couldn't SOMEBODY have helped him shut his mouth? or pulled his socks up? In one of the proofs, Rosie was actually helping hold him up. The teachers told me that he was about to go down for a nap when they pulled him for the shoot. He's dead tired, poor little guy...

And Rosie just looks gorgeous by herself!

you already knew this, but it's official...

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