Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Thank you, Jojo the bunny.

Originally uploaded by threeredtrees
Dash has been getting up several nights in a row with bad dreams. When I go to check on him, he's already packed to head off with me to mommy-daddy bed, complete with a toy, his night-night (Taggie), and sippycup-o-H20. I've been giving in, because this was a somewhat new phenomenon, but on the 4th night in a row, I took some action.

When I tucked him in, I remembered to wish him good dreams. He told me, no mommy, I'm having bad dreams. So, I grabbed Jojo the bunny (a random toy in his crib [yep, still in a crib] that is occasionally a favorite). I told him that Jojo was a special bunny that chases all the bad dreams away and he wouldn't have any tonight, because Jojo was on watch. Dash said, Yay! and hugged Jojo tight.

I woke him up this morning (no nighttime interruptions!) and asked if he'd had any bad dreams? No! Dash said, Jojo was a good bunny and sent them away! Jojo was such a star this morning, he went to school with Dash so he could tell all his teachers and friends about him.

Jojo, keep it up, buddy. I'm counting on you.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


A lovely gift from my adorable pal, Melissa. When I put it on this
morning, Rosie asked me, "Mommy, why are you wearing your special pin on
an everyday?"

Because I love it!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Happy birthday to me

Okay, 38 is now here, with the passing of my birthday this past Friday. So why did I post a photo of Anthony Bourdain, you may ask? Well, I'll get to that in a minute.

I slacked off until the last minute deciding what/where/when I wanted to do birthday celebrating. So much so that Monkeyrotica made other plans for my birthday proper. No problem! I had a lovely time out with my parents, Auntie M., Rosie and Dash. We dined at Rustico where after the quickest glance at the kids menu, I knew instantly what my tots would be eating: Dash= hotdog/Rosie= pasta w/butter. I had the lovely baked mac & cheese with roasted mushrooms, pancetta & English peas (though we all wondered what exactly made them English). We all baked ourselves in the window seat, where even though it was tinted, plenty of heat came through. Next time we should all wear tanktops and shorts or phone first to see if their blinds have come in. Kimberly was our fabulous waitress, who indulged us by fawning over Dash's silly comments (after receiving an adult-size water glass) like, "I think I need a small, small cup because I have teeny, tiny hands!"

Saturday, after our neighbor's son, Bram, came over for babysitting (sorry won't be available next weekend, he's going away to violin camp)—he was awesome, and I will absolutely use him again!!—Monkey and I headed off for Old Town. Our destination was PX, but since you can't drink several cocktails into the evening without having something in your stomach, we drifted over to The Majestic. We were thinking about going to Eamonn's first for fish and chips, but weren't sure we'd have enough time and it seemed too hot with sun streaming through their large storefront (I think I'd just been recounting the Rustico experience). It might have been crowded in there, too (alluding to Bourdain sighting to follow), but we'd already discounted going there, and didn't give it much of a glance. At Majestic, I had a glass of Cab, and the antipasti platter with some crusty bread and Monkey enjoyed their limeade with fried oysters. All delightful! When our reservation hour neared, we headed down the road to PX.

PX was pretty empty at 6:15, so after giving our greetings to Todd Thrasher, the "liquid savant/master alchemist" behind the bar, Monkey and I enjoyed ourselves in the blue room while we waited for our first cocktail order to arrive. I had the sparkling mojito, he had a Basil cocktail--very nice. When Kelly arrived, she was beside herself, the "Smoker's Delight" was such a wonderful mix of flavors! I asked Todd to come back and talk with her when he had a minute; I know how proud he is of his expertise and willingness to discuss, so a short while later he came by. He spoke of distilling flavors down to essences and then adding them to the cocktails, using eyedroppers to apply just the right intensity. We enjoyed each other's company for a while, and he mentioned that Tony Bourdain was downstairs at Eamonn's and he was at PX even though it was supposed to be his night off. He was called away and promised to come back to chat more. Our pal Don arrived and we all were having a delightful time with our drinks and exchanging tastes (Don had the "O" and the "Pump" drinks, I believe; the pump was mixed with homemade gingerale and will be the next drink I try when we go again). I went to check on Todd in case he was available to continue our conversation when I saw that Bourdain was at the bar with his entourage.

Maybe I was a wee tipsy, but I assessed the situation, then announced, "Mr. Bourdain, are you monopolizing our Todd Thrasher?" He smiled and laughed a bit. Then I said to Todd Thrasher, "why Todd, you have a celebrity in your midst!" One of Tony's entourage quipped, "Todd is a celebrity in his own right!" I had to agree. That's when I leaned in and told Bourdain that I was celebrating my birthday that night with Todd's fabulous cocktails! He smiled again and wished me a happy birthday. Woot. I was just some crazy drinker with a french twist, a flapper-style black beaded dress (with 8" fringe), red jet beaded jewelry and silver-lame strappy heels. He turned back to the entourage.

Kelly made BFF with another guest in the blue room who traded her his Smoker's Delight for her 2nd drink, which wasn't nearly as fabulous. Thank you, Mr. Generous, whoever you are! Our birthday cakes arrived (they must be pre-ordered, as they are delivered from Eve) with candles on each—I blew out all four (no, I won't tell you what I wished). That confection was wonderful, just perfectly, meltingly sweet icing and fluffy yellow cake-ness inside.

I discovered that the lovely Meshelle Armstrong was at the bar that evening, and with an adorable new coif! We had some giddy chatter in which she revealed that her family was on a cruise when they heard that No Reservations was planning to feature their restaurant, so they had to cut their trip short. She came back to chat with Monkey and my friends and we promised again to get our kids together for a playdate.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Weekend recap, out of order

vanilla ice cream
Originally uploaded by fruitcakey
A highlight from the weekend: No vanilla for Dash. We had lunch at Union Street Public House in Alexandria after a long morning walk at the National Zoo. We treated the kids with ice cream at the end of the meal and figured that since Dash couldn't decide between vanilla and chocolate (Rosie was all about the chocolate), we'd get one of each. I totally misinterpreted Dash's indecision: he wanted this "ice cream," not vanilla- or chocolate-whatever. Akio and I were forced (arms twisted) to eat the vanilla, since Dash acted like we were spooning castor oil at him, with the thrashing, screaming, and hands-over-the-mouth. He doesn't have any idea what he was missing.

Friday afternoon, I took the kids on a rare rush-hour train ride on Metro, just seven stops on the Yellow Line. The kids loved the train ride and I hope nobody was too annoyed by Dash's constant commentary, i.e. "now we're in ANOTHER tunnel!!" We met up with Monkeyrotica and then headed by car to Bethesda, where our friends Lauren and David had invited us to David's opening at Fraser Gallery. Rosie and Dash were only interested in the fruit skewers (no art appreciation yet), and I was just floored, as always, by David's beautiful craftsmanship and articulation of concepts that cruise the border from uncomfortable to S&M.

A second highlight: Rosie is a sprinter!! Saturday night, after a day of staying out of the heat and getting a little stir-crazy, I fulfilled a promise to Rosie that we would go for a walk after dinner. I put Dash to bed and even though if was past 8:30, I figured that we could make up the lost sleep the next morning. The walk turned into a full-out sprint, with me barely able to keep up, for almost the full .8 mile to the park! She then climbed and played on the equipment for about 10 minutes (I insisted that we leave before dark), when she sprinted off to head back home again. About halfway back, she described a pain in her side which I was able to identify as a "side-stitch;" it was a teaching moment! If we keep this up, I'll need to get some better running shoes.

Side note: she was running in her seemingly inadequate faux-crocs, while I had pseudo running shoes, mary-jane style.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Right round, like a record baby...

[skkkkkrrrreeeaattccccchhhh, sound of needle scraping across Dead or Alive vinyl]

Well no, not really. Rosie, like most of us, was painfully unskilled her first time out on her new inline skates. Karen and I held her up and got her around the rink once and then she'd had it. I'm planning to keep up with it and get her out on them more. Skating is so freeing! She will be a great partner to skate with when she gets better.

This was shot at the Anacostia Skate Park in SE DC. It was actually a pretty awesome location. Hardly anyone was skating and we had the rink almost to ourselves. They rent rollerskates (old school), but you can bring your own if you have 'em.

Monday, July 07, 2008

My love-hate relationship with our dishwasher

Originally uploaded by embleton
I won't go into any long-winded diatribe here, just the basics.

We are a family of four.

Monkeyrotica likes to cook—a lot. We like to eat the food he cooks.

Cooking and eating generate lots of dirty dishes, pots, utensils, and other miscellaneous containers.

Therefore, it behooves me, the cleaner-upper of everything household related, to use our three-year-old automatic dishwasher. I count on this.

But then, this happened. Almost a month ago. A Sears-sanctioned repair guy came out and found NOTHING wrong. He blamed me, ME, in fact, for setting the dishwasher to run 2 cycles at the same time (?!?!?! HTF would/could I do that?).

What's the big deal today? It happened again last night. Thankfully, I'd set the thing to run right after dinner and Monkeyrotica checked the flood before it created more than a minor puddle in the basement.

This means that I don't have a dishwasher for the rest of the week. At the very least. A different, non-Sears-affiliated, repair-company representative is coming to give me a second opinion on Friday.

If they find nothing wrong as well? We will be shopping for a new dishwasher. I can't handle a thing in my house that intermittently creates mass destruction and mayhem, unexpectedly, on a whim.

Anyone have recommendations? Don't say Kenmore.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

They got me dead on.

Ah, how I wish I could afford this clever cleaning company...

Junk mail. It's usually not this entertaining.

Tolerance at the RiteAid

Kids at Play
Originally uploaded by jeridaking
Last night we stopped at the RiteAid to pick up some Rx of mine. There wasn't much of a wait, but even so, Mr. Monkey was getting anxious to leave and the kids were getting rambunctious.

It was that silly, high-pitched, giggling rambunctiousness that accompanies running in circles around the aisles and squeezing together tightly to hide from Monkey. I couldn't help but smile at their silliness, but tried to swallow my joy in their delightful sibling-happiness because we were in a public place.

I became the mom, shushing them and using an affected threatening tone to get them to quiet down while I was with the cashier. She stopped me. Turning to look at the pharmacy staff, none of whom were American-born, I saw that they were all smiling outright.

The cashier ringing me up said to me, "They are happy! They should be expressing their happiness while they are children. One day they will be adults and have the world to weigh them down."

Isn't that the truth?

I thanked them for appreciating my kids' behavior and we were on our way. It occurred to me that 90% of the people who come to the pharmacy are probably unwell, depressed, or angry at something (their insurance, maybe?), and that laughing, happy kids just might be a welcome break to a pharmacist's day.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Switcheroo, After

The new table!! And five of the eight new chairs. Why five? Monkeyrotica said something about Elijah...  

If it's not apparent to you, I'm 99% certain that the pink/green/cream floral motif on the chairs' upholstery doesn't go with everything else. I'll try to get on that soon. Though I've never tried reupholstering anything, I do have a staple gun and several friends have assured me it's pretty easy.

You can see that all the rest of the furniture have found new homes. All of it. I don't think a single item remained in its original spot, although we moved one piece to three places then settled on it 2 or three inches from where it was before, but at a 90 degree turn. I really like it! And the kids do too. They're having more trouble getting in and out of the chairs, but that's fine for now. Feng Shui = good.
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