Monday, October 29, 2007

This remind you of someone? AJS?

Kebab Koobideh
Originally uploaded by plhu
Auntie M. and I took Rosie and Dash to play in a wonderful outdoor park on Sundy before lunch. They both were running around everywhere and being so crazy-active that I was surprised to see Dash with tears in his eyes. Here's how our conversation went:

Me: Dash, are you sad?
Dash: No! Am angry!
Me: Why are you angry?
Dash: Have tears!
Me: Hmm, are you hungry for lunch?
Dash: YES!!!!

So, we left the park and took them to Moby Dick's House of Kebab, where I ordered Kubideh with rice and we had a side of hummous and bread. Rosie quietly consumed large quantities of rice, some bread and a much-cajoled sliver or two of Auntie M.'s chicken kebab. But after he gobbled up the bread, rice, and some kubideh (which I called "burger" for acceptance's sake), I got this unsolicited response from our boy:

Dash: Am happy! I am happy now!

(try to imagine a swaying happy-dance in his seat)

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Halloween Windows!

I found this crazy-wonderful idea at Aimee's site! Make cut-outs of Halloween-themed shapes, backlight your window (we have fabric pleated blinds that let light through) and you have a scary scene. I love it!

When I finally got my act together to cut out the shapes, I didn't have any reference shapes to trace, and very little time, so I just free-handed the shapes quickly and went for it. I tried to make a stencil-look for BOO on the ghost, but it looks a bit more like 300. Just imagine that it really says Boo, okay? Thanks.

Out with no kids!

Friday night, I went to see Tori Amos in concert at Constitution Hall, very spur-of-the-moment
and with girlfriends only. AJS watched the kids, fed them cookies and Apple Jacks and was upset that they didn't go to sleep until 10:45. All three of my girlfriends also have two kids and we were all delighted that our spouses agreed to watch them so we could go out together.

When Sheryl told us that she had won free tix through a radio station, we all jumped at the
opportunity. I still can't recall any show that I've seen between yesterday and 2002. Seriously!
I saw Billy Bragg @ the 9:30 Club while I was pregnant with Rosie (that's 5 years, for those of
you not keeping track). We all enjoyed the show, even though our vantage point mostly showed
the back of Tori's wig as she played her grand piano. Beautiful light show!

Thanks, girlfriends! We need to do this more often, but maybe earlier in the evening,
especially for those of us with child-induced sleep-deprivation.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Dash is 28 months today

Originally uploaded by nylonthread
Dash woke me up once in the night because he thought there was a cat on his nightlight; he woke up screaming in the morning because he thought there was a snake in his bed. We had to turn all the lights on and carefully go through his blankets to be sure.

There was a snake in his bed! It was a ty beanie baby green snake that we named "No Feet" after the Maurice Sendak snake; also, I showed Dash his articulated wooden snake (who is now named "Other No Feet") and Dash made sure there were introductions all around.

At 28 months, Dash is a very friendly boy "Hi! I'm Dash!", is sweet, goofy, and really helps curb the moodiness around the house. If AJS starts ranting about something, Dash recognises the escalating tones and says, "be quiet, Daddy." (It works!) He's very active and almost acrobatic (especially on couches), but still likes to be carried in the sling when he's tired. I prefer this to trying to carry him unsupported; if he needs to be carried, the sling is the best!

Dash loves his toys and other possessions and will hug them with a little squeak when he rediscovers them. One of his favorite stuffed animals, "Happy Duck," was found when we returned from our vacation and so named when he lovingly picked it up squeezed it tightly, saying "happy see duck!" I have given him lots of bird toys, so he has quite a collection of plush ducks, owls, parrots, and even an ostrich and an eagle.

Dash's best loved movies right now are "Here Come the ABCs" by TMBG, and "Mulan". His favorite foods are grapes, hot dogs, and noodles, but he is a pretty hearty eater with many foods. His vocabulary is really soaring! I really haven't been keeping track of it because he seems to understand most of what we're saying and is able to communicate his thoughts very well in extended complex sentences.

He is playing very independently these days, thankfully!!! When we visit friends' houses and there are other kids his age, I'm letting him play fairly unsupervised and only intervening if there's an altercation. This is a fabulous development for me, socially! I can actually carry on a conversation with friends and the kids don't need my constant attention.

Dash is very cuddly and affectionate, too. He gives the cutest "fish-kisses" and usually has my lipstick all over him when he heads into school, where Rosie is fine with one kiss, Dash wants multiple kisses when they drop me off at the train station in the mornings.

I love you, little guy!

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Junior and Dash

Junior is AJS's bunny. Junior shared AJS's crib when he was a babe, which gives the bunny about 38 years on Dash.

Even so, Dash seems to enjoy his company. Junior, you've still got the magic!

Up close and personal with C.P. Huntington

Okay, I'll fess up; C.P.'s not really a person. The Central Pacific Huntington was the miniature train that we rode today at Burke Lake Park. The kids seemed to enjoy themselves and I can only hope it took the edge off of the train jonesing that they've had all week, dropping me off at the Metro station.

Originally uploaded by nylonthread

The ride included many nice "trainy" touches: a tunnel, a trestle, a signal station, many twists and turns through the woods and out into open areas, including nice views of the lake. I have no idea what everyone is looking at in the photo with Dash and AJS. It must have been somewhat awe-inspiring, given the look on the face of the guy sitting behind Dash. What do you think? Glinda the Good Fairy descending from the sky, surrounded by bubbles? Maybe God came out from behind a cloud and was waving? I'll never know—I was looking through the camera lens, and AJS was looking at me.

Both Rosie and Dash met the Train Engineer, authentically outfitted in blue and white striped hat and overalls. He was gray-haired and friendly and gave all the kids small bags of candy at the end of the ride.

Next, Rosie and I rode the carousel. Her pony was white and she loved her. Ahh, what a beautiful day! And it was much too short.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Freaky rainstorm

Right now it is raining to hard and the wind is blowing so crazy that
I'm afraid our rickety metal gazebo is going to collapse.

Also, our power has gone on and off three times in a row. It's off right
now, and I'm still blogging. How, you ask? I blog from the phone!


Belated Dover Design Thursday

William Tell Apples.jpg
Originally uploaded by nylonthread
Firstly, I apologize for not posting this yesterday -- I was exhausted by the time I got home and didn't have time to get to the computer before I fell asleep.

Secondly, you know, I had always thought that William Tell was an irresponsible show-off who recklessly endangered his child, thinking that he was such a great archer, he could shoot an apple of his son's head. Obviously, I never read the disputedly true story of William Tell, where he is a legendary hero. According to Wikipedia,

"William Tell from B├╝rglen was known as an expert marksman with the crossbow. At the time, the Habsburg emperors were seeking to dominate Uri. Hermann Gessler, the newly appointed Austrian Vogt of Altdorf raised a pole in the village's central square with his hat on top and demanded that all the local townsfolk bow before it. As Tell passed by without bowing, he was arrested. He received the punishment of being forced to shoot an apple off the head of his son, Walter, or else both would be executed."

Interesting trivia: This story was a favorite of Adolf Hitler's.

Anyway, I guess it's one way to advertise your apples for sale, but it still looks to me like Mr. Tell is about to kill his child. A little too much tension for me when I'm at point-of-purchase in the produce section.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rosie freaked me out this morning.

toddler bed
Originally uploaded by Hey Cookie
It's the second day on my new commute and it seemed like I had it all under control. I had a shower, got dressed, then went to get Rosie started. I usually open her door, show her the clothes we picked out last night, then suggest that she get dressed, fully expecting that when I come back in three minutes that she'll still be in bed.

That's what I was expecting to do. I opened her door, glanced at her bed, no Rosie. I looked on her floor (where she goes to sleep sometimes if she wet the bed), no Rosie. I looked in her wardrobe (where she sometimes threatens to spend the night), no Rosie. I glance into our bedroom, thinking that she magically slipped behind me while I was crossing the hallway, and nope.

In the 5 seconds it took me to get to Dash's room, I had all these thoughts shoot through my head, like, maybe she was abducted in the night? what will I tell AJS? how the hell would that have happened? wouldn't we have heard it?

And, when I got to Dash's room, I found Dash AND Rosie both asleep in Dash's crib.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Commuting trials

Originally uploaded by zlguocius
Hey, I'm blogging from Flickr!! Thanx Kelly!

With my impending job relocation, we've been preparing the kids with tales of how I will be dropped off at the train station before they get dropped off at school. We even drove by the station to show them where Mommy will be getting on a train.

Even so, this morning when we arrived, I gave both kids kisses, hugs and said, "Bye! I'm getting on the train now!" Dash was still asking, "Dash go train ride?" Rosie understood better and asked me, "Can we have a little train ride later when we pick you up?" (Answer to both questions: sorry, no.)

But AJS told me that Dash freaked out when I left the car. It was "Wan. Mommee. Train. RIGHT! NOW!" in tearful screams all the way over to daycare.

When this is more routine, I hope he chills out.

New jay-o-bee 4 me

Hey all, I'm blogging from my phone again, because I am at my new job,
where pretty much everything is firewalled. I can look at text on other
people's blogs, but can't comment or see their photos. I have no excuses
to not be productive here.

I guess I'll be checking around in the evening? Maybe I'll figure out
how to post photos from my phone or try out a flickr link (Kelly's
suggestion). See you later!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Dover Design Thursday!

Today, I give you peacocks (because Dash loves them; they are beautiful, delicate and curious birds):

In Greek mythology, Hera, the Queen of the Olympian gods and goddesses, commanded Argus to watch over Io. Io was a woman with whom Zeus - the ruler of the Olympians - had conducted a passionate love affair. However, in order to protect his mistress from the wrath of his wife, Zeus had transformed Io into a heifer. So Hera, who was quite clever, had Argus guard her rival, the heifer Io. Zeus was not pleased. He sent the god Hermes to dispatch the monster. Hermes managed to subdue Argus, and here the details differ depending on the source of the myth. Some sources suggest that Hermes lulled Argus to sleep, while others state that Hermes killed the monster.

So in the end, the nearly perfect guard creature was defeated by the wit and cunning of Hermes. Hera paid tribute to Argus by placing his eyes into the tail of the peacock, her favorite bird. In this way, Argus was immortalized, his eyes adorning the feathers of Hera's peacock.

According to some superstitions, the "eyes" on the peacock's feathers are the "evil eye" so, if you place peacock feathers in your home you will never have privacy. Kelly, I don't think that applies for paintings of peacocks, but with kids, who has any privacy anyway?

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

More dancing!

I think I'm actually starting to pick up on the class structure now, which is something that wasn't happening earlier. I was relying entirely on mimicking the instructor and the other students and am pretty good at this. I've done pretty well the past several years in step-aerobics classes, where you just follow the calls the trainer makes. The problems occur when Mrs. H (the teacher) switches the classroom around and makes the back line (where I am) move to the front, without demonstrating. With nobody to mimic, I floundered.

I failed horribly when Mrs. H asked the class to recap the combination from last month all in one swoop, without any brush-up. I thought we were done with September! It's October! It was like a pop quiz where you have to stand up in front of the class and dance your way through a book you didn't read. Anyway, she made some disappointed noises (nobody really did that well) and went on to October's combo. YES!

This one is more my type of dancing! Strong arm movements, street dance styling, decent music (the last dance used a campy song from the Hairspray soundtrack), and quick spins -- I can totally rock this. The ballet moves with delicate fluidity aren't coming so naturally just yet. The aerobics and strength work that I've done have trained away those smooth arcs and I'm making more jerky motions than I used to.

You know, the main reason I stopped taking dance classes back in high school is because (note here: I know you read my blog, mom and dad, but this is how I remember it) my parents *thought* I wasn't going to the classes (I biked or sometimes drove myself there, so they weren't dropping me off) and they stopped paying for it. I recall being horrified when they told me this and I tried to convince them that I wasn't a typical slacker-teen and I'd made it to every class they paid for! There were a couple of classes that I missed for whatever reason (too much homework? too much teenage angst?) but the studio allowed me to make them up by taking a class on a different day. I wound up taking a couple of ballet classes that I wouldn't have tried otherwise. It was a good mix. But whatever, I got through it by going to dance clubs all around Chicagoland every weekend.

But what am I complaining about? They put me through college! And you better believe I went to those classes. So, I'm going to pay more attention this time around, practice, and remember the combinations from class to class! For sure, it's on my dollar-bill this time. And, I'm trying to set a good example for Rosie, who is in Mrs. H's ballet class on Saturdays. Woot!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Road rage

AJS and I saw this crazy car accident this weekend. Luckily, nobody was hurt, but everyone involved needs their heads checked.

So, I notice a car tailgaiting me and when I can, I pull into the right lane. This red truck whizzes past me, closely followed by a white Lexus SUV. When there was a small opening, the Lexus swerves into the right lane, hits the gas, then oh-so-tightly! swerves back into the left lane to cut off the red truck! I swear, there was only a few inches in between them.

From there, the red truck stays on the Lexus, just inches away, when the Lexus makes a crazy right turn --from the LEFT lane-- to exit onto a side street. Too late and enraged, the red truck tries to follow the Lexus (for retribution?) and loses control.

The red truck does a 180 to land rearward into a copse of bushes and small trees. The Lexus got the F out of there.

And so did we. Yikes!

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Our boys

Like father, like son.

They luuuuvs them a good sit!

Kelly and Liam.
Sue and Daniel.

Feel the love...

It just pulsates from the screen, doesn't it?

Yep, you're very welcome.

Weirdo housekeeping tip #23

If you're vacuuming a light-colored carpet and aren't sure your Hoover picked up all the debris, just turn your blacklights on! They'll highlight every crumb (as well as kill bacteria). Happy vacuuming!

Ms. Nylon

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Thursday is Dover Picture Day!

Kelly's "happy birthday mom" post, featuring a Dover Design Sampler image of a Marc Chagall painting inspired this post (and I have serial intentions!). I get the Dover sampler weekly and download every last JPEG they send.

The images are beautiful, weird, historic, cute, or sometimes just confusing. Here is one that caught my eye for you today:

While we were visiting with AJS's mom (Grandma I-ko, to Dash) last weekend, he brought out this wonderful tome of Vintage Advertising cuts that had belonged to his dad. It was gorgeous! It was such a fantastic snapshot of Victorian design sensibilities, for fashion and graphics, I just wanted to rush home, scan each page and create an online archive. But, who has time for that sort of thing? There were all sorts of corset ads, not unlike this one, that AJS said he quizzically (or lasciviously) viewed many a time as a young boy.

Corsets are just fascinating creations altogether...they are just one of many, many fashion items that you only need to give a sideways glance and label, "a woman did not have anything to do with this idea."

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

2nd night of dance class!

In case you were wondering, I'm continuing with the dance instruction, despite all the teeny teens who are mostly named Ellie. Last night was class number two, and thank all that's holy, the teacher started a new dance combo, because I couldn't fight my way through the one from the previous class and of course all the other girls knew it because they'd been practicing it for weeks.

So, I'm not only at a disadvantage for not dancing (in a structured setting) for 20 years, I've also come into the class five weeks late. But look, really, I'm not here to learn to be a Dancah! Or perform, I just like the movement. Dancing and moving your body fluidly is just not accepted at all in any other part of an adult's life. Even going to dance clubs downtown these days I feel like I'm too old to be going out there with those early-20-somethings. I try to dance at home and get, "MoooOOooom!" If I tried to dance at work, I'd probably be taken aside for a mental consult. You know what I mean. There's that guy I used to see on the Metro subway platforms, doing little toe-kicks or pirouettes when he was in the mood; I don't want to be him.

BTW, I saw my neighbor picking up his daughter for the class before mine. I said hi, and told him that I was taking the next class (Samantha had already waved at me). He got this Rodney Daingerfield look and said, "Um, hey, can I stay and watch?!?" More next week!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The fly

Growing up, my dad always had a little game with us if a bug got in the house or if a bee was following us around. He would ask, "Who's fly is this? Is this your pet fly? You need to take your pet out of the house," etc. And my sister and I'd be all indignant, "Noo-wuh! I don't have any pet bugs, EWWW!"

So, it was just natural for me when I had this chat with Dash this morning, only it backfired:

Me: (changing Dash's diaper, fly buzzes nearby) Hey, there's
a fly here! Dash, is this your fly-friend?
Dash: Yeah. My fly-friend.
Me: Well, your fly-friend is being a pest. AJS! Dash has a fly!
AJS: Okay, I'll come kill that fly! (Has magazine rolled up and ready)
Dash: (face collapses into quivering lip and droopy eyes) NO! No kill! My fly-friend!! Mine! Friend!
(AJS & I start laughing.)
AJS: Aw, our sweet little Buddhist!

Monday, October 01, 2007

Head not screwed on right & anniversary recap (buried within).

[just read the text in green if you want to learn how our anniversary dinner went.]

So, on Saturday afternoon, we were preparing for our wonderful evening out at Restaurant Eve, anticipating delicious tastiness and enjoying each other's company for our 10th anniversary. I took the kids over to my parents' so I could clean the house a bit before the sitter showed up (and just because the house needed it, of course), and while cleaning, what I witnessed across the street just messed with my head. Not for any rational reason, mind you. I glanced out the window and saw that my neighbors kitty-corner across the street were having an outdoor wedding (a second wedding for both bride and groom). Nice, no problem, only that I wasn't even aware of their wedding date but had talked with the bride about her engagement, etc.

It's what I saw next that got me all wiggy: my other neighbors, directly across, left their house all dressed up, heading to the wedding; then, my other neighbors, next door to me, the same; more neighbors two doors down, across the street, the same; even more two doors down, my side, the same; more from one block over, the same. Basically, everyone within three houses over from the bride's house was invited to this wedding EXCEPT US. Now, I might be PMS-ing, or just reverting back to some childhood issues of being ostracised, but this reeeeeallly bothered me.

I know it's totally illogical!! I know!! I don't even know her husband-to-be's name! We've invited her over to our place for parties, but she's declined every time and never invited us over (although her daughter comes over to play with Rosie and has been to birthday parties at our house, solo). AND, I HAD PLANS. We had reservations and were celebrating our anniversary. On top of this, I am a busy person with lots of friends and family, all local, so I really don't need to be best buds with my neighbors. I just experienced this overwhelming feeling of being cut out of something, blacklisted from some club that I never knew existed, etc. and I got kinda weepy.

AJS kept telling me that I was being ridiculous, and I know that I was. I picked up the kids, the sitter showed up, and we went out and really had a lovely dinner. I tried not to let the neighbor's wedding interfere, but it kept creeping in. We had delightful cocktails, oxtail ravioli for my appetizer, and wrapped Arctic char with pesto and Swiss chard for me. Jasmine tea and mango sorbet for dessert; all were just enough food to satisfy completely.

The next day, decided to have some closure in my own way. I went out and bought a lovely wedding card along with a gift card and dropped it off at their house, with a nice note. For further peace of mind, one of my neighbors who attended the wedding (and who knows I have exclusion issues) told me that she and the other neighbors were invited because the bride let her children pick two friends each whom they wanted to invite, which pretty much accounts for four of the houses around me. AND EVERYONE ELSE WAS CLOSE FRIENDS AND FAMILY!! Gah (banging head). Not peripheral like me who knows her name, email address and maybe five other things about her. Rosie doesn't play at their house because they have a large dog, so isn't close to their daughter; Kate is about four years older as well.

I just don't really get how my mind works sometimes. I wish I could just reassure it and it would shut up about this kind of stuff and not take it personally.

Candidate Calculator

I'm one of the least political people you'll find in the D.C. area. I feel lucky if I even know whether there's an election coming up, much less who's running in it. Kelly sometimes keeps me apprised, since she's exceptionally good at tracking candidates/issues, and AJS is also much more on top of it than me.

Someone sent me this calculator, where you can answer yes/no/unsure to different hot-button issues and it'll tell you which candidate you're most in alignment with. According to my results today (which included a lot of unsures), I should consider voting for Sen Joe Biden. Good, Bad? I'll have to do more research (or ask Kelly for help).
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