Friday, May 30, 2008

Do I look like a Mommy?

Liel wanted to wear one of my bras today. Happily, she accepted a green bikini top. "Happily" because she wore it (quite proudly- "I'm wearing a bra!") to Zion's preschool this morning.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


OK, first off, I am a semi-moron when it comes to sewing. I can mend things, thread my ancient machine and use it in a very basic capacity. And that's it. I don't like pinning, or pressing, can't cut in a straight line, have a difficult time sewing a straight line and trouble visualizing what I'm doing or need to do. All of which is meant to explain why it took me 3 hours the other night to turn a pair of Robert's old jeans into a skirt for me. I'm sure someone like Becka could do it in about 15 minutes, but there I was staring at the cut up denim with my mouth open like a slack-jawed yokel, and wondering why Becka doesn't live closer to me (you know, so she can sew my clothes in her spare time!).

Upside: I did create a functional piece of clothing! I was scared to try it on my old jeans (cause they do fit me, if not overly well), but luckily R had a pair with a hole in the butt he let me use as my guinea pig. Actually, I haven't mended the hole yet, and I wore them all over Manhattan yesterday. Hmm. Good thing it's small!

Someday I may actually take pictures of this skirt (I'm wearing it right now), and I may even make a second one when I'm feeling brave again.

Monday, May 26, 2008

A Happy Monday in Manhattan

My friend Pete was in town this weekend for his annual drinking and bowling binge with his high school buddies. Today was allotted as my day with him (he lives in Miami), so bright and early this morning we all headed to Manhattan. Robert and the kids got off the train at Central Park and I went on to pick Pete up and get him fed and caffeinated. Then we walked to the park and met up with Robert and the kids. We headed to the Lower East Side for Vietnamese lunch, and then on to Il Laboratorio del Gelato (best. gelato. ever.). Pete got green apple sorbet and milk chocolate gelato and we got toasted coconut gelato, lime-mint sorbet and olive oil gelato. Yep- olive oil gelato. It rocked my world. In fact, it rocked it so hard I think I'm still feeling the aftershocks. That was one delicious ice cream.

The kids wanted to play so we walked to their favorite LES park. When we got there we discovered a bike polo tournament in progress! It was a gorgeous day, perfect weather, and we just hung out and watched them play for over an hour. Here are me and Pete, Zion, and assorted shots of bike polo players.

There were teams from NY, DC, Boston, Richmond and Ottawa playing (probably more, but those are the only ones we saw play. We wouldn't have even known that, but a guy from one of the Boston teams was standing next to us an filled us in a bit on game play and how the tournament was going). Zion enjoyed picking a team for each game (they lasted 8 minutes or until one team scored 5 points, whichever came first) and shouting "Gooooaaaaallll!" with his hands up in the air when they scored.

Eventually the kids tired out and Pete had a plane to catch so we had to say good bye. Liel fell asleep in the mei tai on the train- possibly the last time she'll ever sleep in a mei tai given her age, increased walking, and size. It was very bittersweet for me, and I loved up every second of it. A beautiful way to end a lovely day :)

Friday, May 23, 2008

Long overdue

I haven't posted pics of the kids in a while, so here you go!

Zion, enjoying some soy ice cream on the deck. Robert and I foolishly bought only TWO sky chairs. We never get to sit in them anymore. Sadly, we don't really have room to hang more on our deck.

Liel and I before Shabbos last week. She decided she wanted to wear a scarf, like me.

Kids, couch, and strawberries series. Of particular note: Liel ate strawberries!! For those of you who don't know, Liel almost never eats fresh fruit. And yesterday she ate a lot of strawberries. She hasn't eaten any today, however. She did the same thing last summer with blueberries...ate a bunch one day, and hasn't eaten them since. Someday, right?

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Not favorite things

Robert is outside with the kids, grilling chicken and asparagus (it's quite cool and windy, but at least it's sunny!). A moment ago he came rushing in with Liel, who had announced her need to potty mere seconds before she really HAD to go, and had peed in her pants as a result. I took over and got Liel clean and into dry underwear. Liel headed for the deck.

"Where are you going?", I asked. A mama's gotta check, after all.

Liel stopped. "Outside".

"If you're going outside you need pants", I said, quite reasonably.

Liel scrunched up her face. "Nooooo", she said, "Pants-es are not my favorite."

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

What I've been doing

OK, I suppose the time has come to admit to this. I've been playing World of Warcraft. For those of you who aren't really in the whole role playing/online gaming/MMPORG scene (like me, frankly), WoW is more or less Dungeons and Dragons online with cool graphics, other players, and some unique features. I'm going to assume you all know what D&D is. I didn't actually know about the game at all until some time in college- must've been that rock I was living under. You know, the one with all the cool kids ;)

(Side note: I realized last night that I have never had a relationship of any significance with a boy who has not been a gamer at some point in time. In fact, I think they've all played D&D. Robert was highly amused by this realization. "Now who's a dork?", he laughed. "You are", I said. "YOU are the one who played D&D!")

Anyway, Robert is doing research on the game and actually attended a conference there a week or two ago. It was all super legit, co-sponsored by Science magazine and all. So we bought the game (for work, see?) and Robert started playing so he could attend the conference (it was online, in WoW). A week or so later I started playing, and I am surprised by how much fun it is. And I'm not only a role playing gamer, I'm not a video gamer, either. So I hope you'll all take this into consideration, as Robert and I really, really really want RL friends to play with :D

In case you're the type who revels in the nerdy details of other people's lives I'll tell you that my character is a Blood Elf, her class is Hunter, and she has a pet lion/lynx named Kitty. Robert has two characters, a Tauren (minotaur type) Hunter and an Orc Warlock. Both kids are interested in the game (especially Zion, but Liel loves Kitty), and love to play imaginary WoW games whenever they can't watch us play the real thing. As you might guess, Zion plays his imaginary games most of the time, since he's only allowed to watch 15-30 minutes of WoW a day. Media is tricky stuff. We really limit what the kids are allowed to rot their brains with because, well, it rots their brains. We had a zero TV/movie policy for nearly 4 years. A few months ago we decided to allow 15-30 minutes of movie 3 times a week, and now we've added WoW. I don't see us adding anything more, and I'm glad the commercial aspect of the media is still absent from their lives, but I'm still kind of ambivalent about the entire media category.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Just a few quick notes on things I have bought recently, or wish to purchase. Cause I know y'all await my cool suggestions with bated breath!

1. littleflowers. OK, so Nicole has some new products and wow. Her Adzuki Rose Micro Exfoliate is hands down my favorite facial cleanser ever. My skin really does glow! Just a little, but still...I never thought my skin would actually glow. And it smells kind of like dirt, too, which I love. The Floral Toner is wonderful, and if you like cleansing oils her is a must. So that's the latest from there!

2. Yarnzilla. She's having a sale on one of my top 3 yarns! Most of her stock is cleared out, but I've never seen Malabrigo priced so low. I bought some, and I already want more. Please save me from myself and buy it all up! You can either knit it yourself (I'm happy to teach!) or send it to me, lol.

3. Loreto. This is a new-to-me Etsy shop. She blends perfumes, and what's particularly cool about her shop is that she does custom blends for a super reasonable price. Being the indecisive creature that I am I have about 12 blends I'd like to see. Unfortunately, even at super reasonable prices 12 blends is too much. So I decided to buy a sample pack of her own creations, just to check our her perfumer vibe (you know, in case that would help me decide). I got a 5 pack and chose Neroli ("An amazing orange blossom fragrance which is equal parts exotic, refreshing and sexy. Includes top notes of Orange and Lemon. Middle note is Neroli and nothing else. Base note is Patchouli."), Cherry Blossom ("A straightforward Cherry Blossom fragrance with Bergamot, Rosewood and Sandalwood to liven it up."), Yellow Rose ("An exciting twist on the classic rose fragrance. Fresh, fruity and alive with top notes of: Peach, Honeysuckle, Lemon and Bergamot. Middle notes of Rose and Vanilla. Base notes of Amber and Oakmoss."), Liquid Sunshine ("A vibrant and exciting citrus fragrance containing top notes of Orange, Lemon, Lemongrass, Grapefruit, Lime, Bergamot and Clary Sage. Middle notes of Neroli, Basil, and Mandarin. Base notes of Patchouli, Musk and Amber.") and Sensual ("A deep, heady, exotic scent with top notes of Orange. Middle notes of Vanilla, and Ylang Ylang. Base notes of Sandalwood and Patchouli."). Yellow Rose was ick on me, but the rest were nice (cherry blossom), super nice (liquid sunshine, neroli) and amazing (sensual).

Therein ends today's consumer report.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The not-so-Farmer's Market, and mail

Today marked the annual opening of the Nyack Farmer's Market (or, as it's known in our house, the Luxury Goods Market). Let me paint a picture or three for you. 1. When I was a kid (before high school, so in the 1980s) my parents would often shop at the fledgling Ventura Farmer's Market. Summers on the central coast can be gray and cool, and Farmer's Markets weren't really hip in the 80s, but there were at least 10 different farmers selling produce there every week. There was usually a band or two playing too, and my dad would often stop to listen, clap, or, if possible, join in. 2. In graduate school Robert and I went to the Santa Barbara Farmer's Market every week. The SB market was a particularly nice one, and there were over 50 different farmers who sold there. One time we bought a baby grape vine of unknown type. The farmer assured us it was "One of five delicious varieties!". 3. The first place we took Zion after he was born was the Ojai Farmer's Market. He was 2 weeks old, and rode in the sling the whole time. The farmers from whom we regularly bought (and had lovely friendly relationships with) were delighted to see him (and to a lesser degree, us), and showered us with gifts including free strawberries and handmade beeswax candles.

Now, as far as I can tell the emphasis at a good Farmer's Market should be on farmers. Other items, such as bread, flowers, plants, and fish are nice bonuses, but they aren't what farmers usually produce (at least not as a main event) so....yeah.

Fast forward to now. I live in Nyack. And to put it bluntly, the Nyack Farmer's Market sucks. There is literally one, yes ONE farmer who comes (later in the season there are sometimes two, it must be admitted). There is are people who sell pickles, meat, wine, jam, oils and vinegars, plants, cheese, two bakeries farmer. It makes me want to cry. Hell, it probably makes Little Baby Jesus cry. The kids and I went today and the grand sum total of all local produce available to us at our Farmer's Market was: apples (last seasons, obviously), rhubarb, and some weak looking asparagus. Did I mention the crying? Thank G-d for the asparagus, or I probably would've broken down right there. And I can't lie, I was looking forward to that rhubarb something fierce. Counting days and all.

Now I don't mean to disparage the effort of the organizers, or of the vendors at the market (most/all of whom sell a fine product). The market is better than nothing. But it's also why we buy shares in the Hawthorne Valley Farm CSA. I suspect there's not enough local support for local food (surprising, since Nyack is kinda upscale, kinda trendy, kinda hippie- just the demographic for local food, I'd think)- Hawthorne Valley used to have a drop off site in our county, but quit it last year since there weren't enough members. Work to be done...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

What college students should learn, and why we all have new toothbrushes today.

This morning the kids were writing reminders on their hands of things their imaginary lion friends needed to do. Zion wrote that Asalan needed to go to Trader Joe's and get a pumpkin, and then go teach his students to be fierce. Catching the spirit of the game, Liel enthusiastically wrote that Lion-the-lion needed to teach his students to catch bats. That'd be a hell of a college curriculum- being fierce and catching bats! Step right up! Get yer bats and fierceness right here! Fresh from the lions!

But I'm sure what you're all wondering about is the toothbrushes. How, you probably wonder, does an entire family end up in desperate need of new toothbrushes ASAP? Well, let me tell you! Last night around bedtime Zion headed to the bathroom. He used the facilities and then called Robert in to hold the toilet paper while he tore it (our toilet paper holder is conveniently located on the opposite wall from the toilet, about 2 feet off the ground. It would be difficult and irritating for an adult to reach, and impossible for a child. So we keep the TP on the bathroom counter, which also kinda sucks. But less.). Zion finished wiping, climbed down, and headed to the sink to wash his hands. Robert leaned over towards the sink to put the soap in Zion's reach and made a kind of sweeping movement with his arm as he straightened up, knocking our loaded toothbrush holder into the toilet. The unflushed toilet. So yeah, new toothbrushes all around!

Friday, May 9, 2008

By request

It has come to my attention that certain readers of my blog (*cough*Julie*cough*) would like to see less yarn and more child. While I may not really understand how someone can actually request less yarn p0rn, I can certainly appreciate wanting to see more of my beautiful offspring. So, without further ado, here are some pictures from the past few weeks.

Kenny and Zion in the yard before Seder. Aren't they a colorful combination? You can't see Kenny's shirts well, but he told us that another friend had told him he looked like a Rocket Pop, and well, he kinda did!

Liel, with sunglasses that she put on herself. Very proudly.

Zion and his friend reading together on the couch.

Zion up a tree!

Lots of Zion this time. More of Liel to come! She's adorable in her summer clothes (mainly courtesy of Annemarie and Adelaide), lemme tell ya.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Saftey First

You may not know this, but we have an ice axe on our wall. Robert bought it back in grad school- he and Vogelman! were going to hike Mt. Whitney and there was a chance of the trail being icy and well, he wanted an ice axe. As it turned out the trail wasn't icy and the ice axe was never used. But it has adorned our living room wall ever since.

Today the kids were asking about the ice axe, and if they could use it next winter when there was ice (Zion: maybe, with adult help. Liel: Um, no.). They wanted to know exactly how and why daddy had thought he might use the ice axe, so I explained about the hiking trip with Uncle Vogelman! and it being difficult to walk on ice, and if there was ice on the trail how breaking it up with the axe might be both useful and safer for Daddy.

Liel frowned. "Or", she said, "Daddy could hold Uncle Vogelman's! hand!"

Sunday, May 4, 2008

I haz socks!

I finished my first pair of socks today. I never had any interest in knitting socks- sock yarn can be quite pricey, and the stitches are so tiny (usually around 8 to an inch) that measurable progress is slow. And frankly, I like my progress quick!

But then one day, as I was innocently browsing yarns on Ravelry I came across this gorgeous Chewy Spaghetti sock yarn for sale in someone's stash. I mean, isn't it just beautiful??

I had to have it. So I bought it and vowed to make socks. Or something. And here they are! Aren't they spiffy? Comfortable, too. I didn't time it exactly, but I figure they took me around 12 hours total to complete. You can see why there's not a big business in hand knit socks, despite their awesome awesomeness!

I even have enough yarn leftover to make a matching pair for Liel. I don't have the sock knitting bug (yet?), but I like it well enough. Which is good, since I've somehow managed to by several more skeins of sock yarn. No, really, they just fell into my cart! And they were on sale! And they looked up at me with these big weepy eyes! "Don't put us back tonight, Jovi! Hold us a little longer, Jovi!" What was I supposed to do??

Friday, May 2, 2008


OK, so you all know how much I love and advocate for fresh, DIY food. I mean, I posted a while back about the ease of making your own pita bread, right? So here's my confession: I make pita bread, but I use a boxed mix for falafel. hangs head How embarrassing is that?!

Or at least I used to. For some reason when faced with dinner choices last night I decided to try making my own fresh falafel. I still have a couple boxes of my favorite mix, but didn't really feel like using them. So I read a couple falafel recipes and set some chick peas to soak. And kids, let me tell you: this is EASY. I'll admit it, making pita bread is more work than buying it. But making fresh falafel isn't any more work than using the boxed mix. All you need to do is soak chick peas (overnight, or do a quick soak which is what I did. I never plan ahead enough for an overnight soak!). Drain them, and put them in a food processor. Add fresh herbs (I used cilantro, parsley and green onions that grown unbidden in our yard), garlic, and salt. Grind it all up. That's it. And they are superfly tasty. Robert declared it the best falafel he'd ever had, and I have to agree. We're not true falafel aficionados, but we have been around the falafel block a few times, so take that as you will.

You really gotta try it, trust me.