Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wearing mommy's duds

The ensemble Rosie is modeling today is a pink cardigan with pink ribbon edging (adult-S), black satin slip (adult-S), red sparkle shoes (yellow socks) and a lovely white satin sash for a belt.


All articles (minus shoes/socks) courtesy of
nylonthread's closet.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Happy birthday Grandma Sheila!

Wasn't it a beautiful weekend? We spent most of it outside, barbecuing, gardening, enjoying our friends' company, and going out with Grandma Sheila, Grandaddy Jim, & Auntie M for Sheila's birthday. The picture is me with the kids right next to the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Old Town Alexandria. We just had lunch at Bilbo BagginsRestaurant and then went for a walk in the lovely weather. The kids got balloons from a sidewalk vendor, the parrots were out, and a few buskers gave us a soundtrack. Dash had a great time looking at all the boats on the waterfront; Rosie loved her pink and purple balloon.

If only all weekends were three days! This was only the icing on the cake--I got so much done.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Meet me at Crafty Bastards this year!!

CRAFTY BASTARDS!!!! I don't remember why I missed it for the last four years (probably didn't know what I'd be missing), but I want to write it in PEN on my digital calendar next month.

The Washington City Paper says this about the festival:

To celebrate Crafty Bastards' fifth anniversary, we are doubling the awesome factor with TWO festivals in 2008! Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 28 and Sunday, September 28. [Go to CP's page] to learn more about Crafty Bastards, including event history, press, photos and video from previous shows.

We are pleased to present the Crafty Bastards vendors for June 28 in Silver Spring, MD! Start making those shopping lists! Entertainment and workshops schedules will be posted in June.

Vendor applications for the September 28 Crafty Bastards in Washington, DC will be available later this month. Join the email list and read the Crafty blog to stay on top of all the crafty happenings.

Join the email list and read the Crafty blog to stay on top of all the crafty happenings.

Maybe I'll try signing up to be a vendor in the Sept fest!

Who's coming in June?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Making keepsakes with baby clothes

Some of Rosie's cutest dresses or Dash's sweetest shirts from various ages are still in a closet because I just can't bear to part with them. What to do? The idea that's stuck with me for years was that I'd make throw pillows out of the dresses/shirts, and now I finally got around to putting one together!

Here's a pillow I made of a 3T dress that Rosie and KellyO's Thea both wore. I took it apart by the seams, cut it to fit a 12" by 12" pillow form (from Joann Fabrics), added beaded fringe (from Michael's), then sewed in the front and back yokes from the dress for added details. The yoke with button holes used to hold the straps that went over her shoulders; now they hold the pillow in.

Didn't she look adorable when she still fit in it? And now she loves that she has a special pillow of her pretty dress. Kelly, if you have a pic of Thea in it, I would LOVE to post it, too.

Let me know how you've repurposed treasured baby things!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Biked 2 home!

Book Meme

Book Stack
Originally uploaded by toxophilite
I was tagged! with this list of the top 100 or so books most often marked as “unread” by LibraryThing’s users. Rules: bold the books you have read, underline the ones you read for school, italicize the ones you started but didn’t finish.

I have to mention here that I am a reader of SciFi and Fantasy. I read, but my picks are clearly off the beaten genre. The reason I have started and not finished so many of these books is that Monkeyrotica is an English major and avid book buyer; we have many of these books lying around the house. When I get tired of reading my Orson Scott Card alt. fiction novel for the 5 time, I try a taste of something different.

Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell
Anna Karenina
Crime and Punishment
One Hundred Years of Solitude
Wuthering Heights
The Silmarillion
Life of Pi : a novel
The Name of the Rose
Don Quixote
Moby Dick
Madame Bovary
The Odyssey
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
The Tale of Two Cities
The Brothers Karamazov
Guns, Germs, and Steel
War and Peace
Vanity Fair
The Time Traveler’s Wife
The Iliad
The Blind Assassin
The Kite Runner
Mrs. Dalloway
Great Expectations
American Gods
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
Atlas Shrugged
Reading Lolita in Tehran : a memoir in books
Memoirs of a Geisha
Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West
The Canterbury Tales
The Historian : a novel
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man
Love in the Time of Cholera
Brave New World
The Fountainhead
Foucault’s Pendulum
The Count of Monte Cristo
A Clockwork Orange
Anansi Boys
The Once and Future King
The Grapes of Wrath
The Poisonwood Bible
Angels & Demons
The Satanic Verses
Sense and Sensibility
The Picture of Dorian Gray
Mansfield Park
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
To the Lighthouse
Tess of the D’Urbervilles
Oliver Twist
Gulliver’s Travels
Les Misérables
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
The Prince
The Sound and the Fury
Angela’s Ashes : a memoir
The God of Small Things
A People’s History of the United States : 1492-present
A Confederacy of Dunces
A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Unbearable Lightness of Being
The Scarlet Letter
Eats, Shoots & Leaves
The Mists of Avalon
Oryx and Crake
Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed
Cloud Atlas
The Confusion
Northanger Abbey
The Catcher in the Rye
On the Road
The Hunchback of Notre Dame
Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance : an inquiry into values
The Aeneid
Watership Down
Gravity’s Rainbow
The Hobbit
In Cold Blood : a true account of a multiple murder and its consequences
White Teeth
Treasure Island
David Copperfield

I rocked (splashed?) bike to work day!

This was my first official
sponsored bike to work day, woo!
Monkeyrotica tried to talk me out
of it with the bad weather forecast
and all, but there was no way short
of lightning that would keep me from
my free t-shirt. Yeah, it was wet, but
I have very good rain gear thanks to
a cycling trip across Ireland a while
back (I swear it rains in Eire once a
day, just to keep things emerald
green). With the biking leg of my
commute in place, it make my
morning a bit more of an odessey
than usual, but it wasn't bad! in
addition to the free shirt, I also
snagged a bagel, water bottle, lip
balm & other misc at the B2WD pit
stop. I got to work a little late, but
I feel great!

I'll be trying it again on a nicer day.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Rarely do international detention issues hit home

Prison blues
Originally uploaded by funkindrum
The New York Times has an article today on an acquaintance of mine who got in a bad situation. I've met this Italian lawyer—my parents live across the street from his girlfriend. His English is not very good, but he did goof around with my kids and played tennis with my dad often last summer.

From my brief encounters with him, I thought he was such a sweet guy. How awful for him that he was jailed for 10 days; the NYT reports that:

"On April 29, when Mr. Salerno, 35, presented his passport at Washington Dulles International Airport, a Customs and Border Protection agent refused to let him into the United States. And after hours of questioning, agents would not let him travel back to Rome, either; over his protests in fractured English, he said, they insisted that he had expressed a fear of returning to Italy and had asked for asylum."

I am glad that he was released and on his way home. We all hope that he'll be back for more visits.

Later in the article, it's funny that they mention that Domenico was a "summer attraction" in my parents' neighborhood... he's quite, ahm, easy on the eyes. Few Americans can get away with just wearing a snug bathing suit all summer.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

I'm registered for DC's Bike to Work Day

Bike to Work Day 2007
Originally uploaded by IntangibleArts
Monkey's on board, so I'll be joining hordes of cycle-commuters on Friday for's Bike to Work Day. And I hear some of you thinking, "WTF? She's biking all 27 miles to her office?" To that I say, fear not. I'm biking just the 7 miles to get to a subway station on the Blue Line, locking up my bike, and Metroing the rest of the way.

I haven't tried this in a while, so I'm not really sure how long it will take me to get to Braddock Road Station; I vaguely recall that it's about 30 minutes? Since my cycling outings are few and far between these days, I might give myself a little more time to get there. Especially because there is a organized "pit stop" in Old Town at Market Square! I'll have to stop there for a few minutes and grab a snack.

Wish me luck! Thank goodness I have access to showers at the office.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I'm going to pretend I was on this beach, instead.

Magic Hour on Mother’s Day
Originally uploaded by tomhide
Compared to this poor woman's Mother's Day, I'll take mine, hands down. It was okay, just ended badly. Thanks to my mom and Auntie M, who went out to lunch with me & the kids, and thanks to Monkeyrotica for cooking us breakfast & dinner and doing lots of chores (without being asked)!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Dash's buddy Matthew's got a new baby sister!!

A huge Strings welcome to Danielle!! We can already tell that she'll be well taken care of, courtesy her big brother.

Lots of love to our friends & their extended family!! We can't wait to meet her.

For Ikiko, my MIL

She wanted turquoise origami crane earrings, so happy mother's day,
Ikiko! Monkeyrotica will drop them off tomorrow while he's visiting wif
his mum. Wish her my best, Monkey!

Thursday, May 08, 2008

This is what sunscreen does to Dash.

I'm not sure how well you all can see this, but Dash's face is all red and swollen around his poor nose & cheeks. It's hot to touch, has hives and is itchy (per the rubbing of eyes and scraping "with my claws" of the neck).

Despite not filling out a sunscreen authorization form, one of his teachers applied an unknown block to his sensitive little face. I haven't found much luck with a sunscreen yet that doesn't make his skin react. His doctor (that we saw today, because he also has a fever & threw up at school—allergy symptoms?) only suggested I go to "food allergy network" online and check around in the forums.

Anyone have some suggestions of mildest blocks to try? We had some luck with Neutrogena last year.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Jerky guy taking up two seats on Metro

Ok, first time sending two pics at once from the phone, so here goes.

I'm riding a very crowded train, and this guy is taking up two seats while playing a video game with headphones on. He has a bunch of mail filling the seat next to him and acts like I'm not there when I ask to sit down.

F-ing Jerk.

Tetris on my mind

tetris en la carretera
Originally uploaded by Senechaux
I'm really not much of a video game person these days. The shooting, flying, maze-following games never did much for me, but there were a handful of puzzle-style ones that, back in the day when I had free time to play video games (OMG, I can't even remember when that was!), I couldn't tear myself away. These were Tetris, 3-D Tetris (that had another name), Jewel Box (some kind of Tetris rip-off), and Mah Jongg solitaire.

Monkeyrotica (a.k.a. AJS; I might as well just start calling him by his chosen online moniker), hummer of Tetris tunes while I load the dishwasher, found this delightfully silly Tetris theme video for me. Thanks, man-o-mine! That really lightened up my morning. And those goofballs are talented!!

As for the rest of my blogging pals, what were/are your favorite video games? Do you still play?

Sunday, May 04, 2008

AJS made this much minestrone

And this was the remainder after we had friends and their kids over for
lunch AND dinner today. He put crazy amounts of ingredients in it. At a
glance, it appears to contain pinto beans, hominy, string beans, pink
beans, red beans, peas, lima beans, black eyed peas, lentils, potatoes,
carrots, turnips, parsnips, zucchini, cabbage, 3 kinds of hard cheese,
macaroni, celery, onions, tomatoes, and well, I'm sure I'm missing
something. No meat in this one.

AJS, you rock the kitchen.

Wrekehavoc hangs wit da Strings

Wrekehavoc, hellboy & BC came over for dinner! I was so happy to see you
all (minus BS, sadly). We had such a nice relaxing time with our friends
on another day of gloriously delightful weather. Thanks to BC for
watering my raspberry bushes (and hellboy). You all are welcome at our
abode any time, doods.

Friday, May 02, 2008

Rosie's first sleepover

Guest 4 at sleepover
Originally uploaded by KiwiGirlSteph
Tonight Rosie will be sleeping at her daycare-friend CeCe's house. First Sleepover!! CeCe's parents, Heather and Steve, have graciously invited all of us over for dinner, which should make the evening go more smoothly, I hope. We can get her all settled after dinner and be on our way with Dash.

Rosie seems totally excited about the idea and unless CeCe's cat jumps on her in the middle of the night, or she has a bad dream, she should be fine. Dash will probably want to stay, too, so we'll be playing the whole event by ear as we go. We were reading a book called Froggy's Sleepover that addressed some anxieties and we talked about what Froggy and his friend could have done better, so she's just as prepared as she can be, right? The book gave me some ideas of what she ought to pack, i.e., Froggy forgot his "huggy" and his toothbrush, & had to go home to retrieve them.

The best advice I've gotten so far is to just play it cool, exude confidence in her abilities to have fun with her friend, and assure her that we'll be seeing her in the morning! I'll be sure to posts pics soon. Wish us luck!
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