Saturday, December 26, 2009

Speaking of whipped cream

A few days ago Robert had a bake off. I would say it was against me, but it wasn't cause I didn't bake a single thing. No, it was his mom's butter cookie recipe (see below- it contains butter, but also margarine and/or lard) vs. Cook's Illustrated's.

The results aren't really the point here (but CI won, as I'd insisted it would. But I tried not to insist too loudly or too often cause I tend to be a kitchen control freak and then I feel vaguely guilty about it, esp when Robert is cooking and I'm backseat cooking and he gets all exasperated cause frankly I'm being a pain in the ass. Where was I?). The point is we now have a bunch of butter cookies in the freezer! And it occurred to me today that if I took one of those cookies, slathered it with raspberry jam and topped it off with a mountain of whipped cream I'd have a pretty freakin' tasty snack.

So now you know how I'm planning to spend my evening. That and knitting. Luckily I did some yoga with Liel a little earlier.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Top 10 Regulars

Lately (OK, fine, for most of my life) I've been giving some thought to my favorite foods. Normally when I make a top 10 favorite foods list it encompasses foods that are so delicious they transport the eater to some glorious pleasure palace of gluttony. I probably spend too much time wondering which is my favorite of the 7 deadly sins, too- but that's another blog post.

Anyway, as I was happily compiling my list (again) the other day I stopped and wondered: how much did I like artichokes? Would I, for instance, like to eat them every day? So I started compiling a new list, a list of foods that are delicious and enduring. Foods that I could eat daily (or nearly that). Basically it's not so much a top 10 list as an only 10 list. If you could only eat 10 foods (excluding condiments, spices, and booze), what would be on your list? Here's mine.

1. Potatoes. I like 'em baked, mashed, fried, scalloped, fried...

2. Lobster. It just never gets old!

3. Berries. This one might be a bit of a cheat, but if it has -berry attached to it's name I'm counting it for #3. Yum.

4. Salad. Yes, again with the cheating bit. Eh.

5. Corn. Fresh, in corn tortillas, masa, cornbread...

6. Beans.

7. Cheese.

8. Squash.

9. Onions.

10. Whipped Cream.

Crap. Crap crap crappity crap. I want beef on this list! But I can't decide what to eliminate in favor of beef. Maybe lobster, but that sure would be disappointing. I adore lobster, and really think i could eat it daily. But it's not as multi-purpose as beef. Sigh. Well, anyway, you get the picture. Try your list, it's harder than it looks!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

On noodles and preserved fish

Today we headed down to Sunset Park to celebrate a belated Hanukkah with Kenn and Giselle. En route we stopped off at Russ and Daughters to get Kenn's gift- a selection of pickled and smoked fish! Bet you're jealous now. No, really! Put your tongue back in your mouth and swallow your drool.

If you must know I got him pickled herring with onions, pickled herring in cream sauce, pickled herring with mustard/dill sauce, pickled Icelandic Schmaltz, smoked/peppered mackerel and 2 whole smoked chubs. I love the name of those last fish so, so much. Here's a gratuitous picture of them, courtesy of Russ and Daughters.

Sadly, when I jumped out of the car to cross Houston and get to the store I dropped my hat (hand knit, of course) and didn't realize until we were in Brooklyn :( I'm really hoping that at least someone else will find and use my lovely hat, but I suspect it's just gone to trash. And I only wore it twice! I suppose the upside is that I can always make another. Fortunately I have enough of the same yarn left to duplicate it! The color was awesome with the pink streaks in my hair.

Anyway we had a great visit with the fam. K and G enjoyed their gifts (or at least pretended to enjoy them), and we loved ours! Framed photos of the kids, Lincoln logs, aleph-beit magnets (Liel could pick out lamed after I showed it to her ONCE) and, get this, The Cat in the Hat and One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish IN YIDDISH. So, so awesome. I'm all about rescuing Yiddish from the jaws of extinction, and trying to keep it current. And, you know, learning it. I've wanted to learn for years, and even took a couple classes at our local Chabad. Sadly, I don't think I can learn Yiddish from two Dr. Seuss books, but hey, it's a start, right? Right.

Kenny had some fresh oysters that he got at a market near the South Street Seaport. What Kenny didn't have was an oyster/shellfish knife. But my brother is resourceful and determined. He opened them with a spatula! We squeezed some Meyer lemon juice on them, gave them a grind of pepper and mmmm. Delicious.

We also got noodles from LanZhou Noodles on 60th St and 8th Ave. Hand pulled noodles! The ones with duck were especially awesome. Kenny and Robert also picked up 30 dumplings from Family Dumpling on their way home, and those were g-o-n-e in record time. Sunset Park has its downsides for sure, but man, you can't argue with the food.

Monday, December 21, 2009

And the greens...

I just have to pop back in and say that the kale I cooked tonight was some of the best damn kale I've ever had, ever. And we used to grow kale back in the day, in our community garden in Goleta. Good kale. The stuff tonight was unreal tho! I could've eaten at least four times as much. It was Red Russian Kale too, which is my favorite.

My semi-gluttonous longing for more kale made me long for a backyard farm yet again. One day. One day.

Roasted Garlic

Right now I've got garlic roasting in my oven. Roasting garlic, as you probably know, turns it from sharp and spicy to soft and buttery. It's delicious on french bread, and even better with a little goat cheese. After I haul my ass off of the couch I'll saute some greens from our winter CSA, and voila! Rockin' winter dinner, which also happens to be healthy and reasonably eco-acceptable. That probably means I can count my day as a success, wouldn't you agree?

In homeschooling news, Robert sent me this NY Times article today. In short it says that our brains "get" math far earlier than previously thought, and reading (esp phonics) far later. It was kind of a duh moment for me, cause Zion and Liel have been patiently living this out for us for lo these 5 1/2 years, and yet, when I succumb to moments of fear with regard to our homeschooling/unschooling choices, it is always related to reading. Let me unpack that. Zion has been doing simple addition and subtraction in his head since he was about 18 months old. Liel also intuitively adds and subtracts (correctly, for the most part) with numbers from 1-10. Zion has a basic grasp of fractions and simple division. But, he can't read. Neither of them can. They both ADORE hearing stories (we've read The Hobbit 4 times this year alone), but haven't expressed much interest in learning to read themselves. And now many of my friends who's kids attend the local public school are delightedly reporting that their child is learning to read. (Actually, one of my dear friends was telling me the other day about how interested her kids, ages 5 and 7, are in opera. She took them to a shorter version of The Magic Flute recently and they were both on the edge of their seats, transfixed by what they were watching and hearing. Meanwhile, Zion's developmental news included the fact that he'd recently (and enthusiastically) begun picking his nose with both fingers at the same time.)

So sometimes I question my educational choices for the kids- at least, I question them emotionally, since intellectually I feel very comfortable with what we're doing and where we are.

But after reading the Times article I'm shifting gears a bit. Trying to worry less about reading and play more games with math. Run with the kid's cognitive development and all.

And take the garlic out of the oven before it burns. Burnt garlic probably isn't that good for growing brains.

PS. Robert is on the phone with his mom getting her sugar cookie recipe. "We don't have margarine to mix in with the butter though", he said. "What else could we use? No, we don't have lard, either".

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Do you knit? Or know someone who knits? If so, check out this amazing give-away! I am digging on both the prize and the concept- need something to really help me return to blogging, and a contest on my blog would surely help! Perhaps a little back to school something- stay tuned! :)

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Watch that boy

Yesterday Zion had a friend over to play. A girl friend. He was very solicitous of her- when they went outside to play he offered to bring her snack out for her in case she got hungry. When they were swinging on the deck chairs he offered to get her shoes so she wouldn't get splinters. And then he suggested that she could sit on his lap in the chair. She did.

I was cracking up listening to all of this, but I was also amazed by Zion's apparently instinctual ability to turn on the charm. Cause let me tell you, he does not behave that way with his sister, nor with his boy friends. He only trots that stuff out for the girls. And he must do it well, cause not only was E pleased yesterday- the mothers of girls in his preschool class have told us that "all the girls love him", his teachers, if you recall, referred to his "harem", and G's mom reported that G said, "All the girls at Zion's new school will look at him and go [insert sound that is a cross between a swooing Ooooo and the screaming of Beatles fans]!"

I hear a lot of people talking about needing to watch out for their pretty daughters when they become teenagers. Without engaging the cultural double standards that lead to a great deal of that fear I'd just like to say...I think I may have to watch out for my son! He definitely likes the girlies.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Pie revolution

Yesterday Kenny came up to hang out and have a belated birthday meal with us. At his request I made a fresh (uncooked- at least the fruit part!) blueberry pie. And it was SO GOOD! He and I immediately started brainstorming other summer fruit pies that could be made this way (3/4's of the fruit is left raw, 1/4 is cooked into a glaze, pie is open topped). Strawberry, peach, apricot, boysen/black/raspberry, sweet cherries...strawberries with a rhubarb glaze...yummmmm. I can't wait til our next open air bake sale so I can buy some other fruits to experiment with! Eating the tests will be so very very delicious...

Here's a pic of yesterday's pie after we'd eaten some of it :)

A very tiny picture. Blame Kenny's iphone!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Farmer's Market and Real Estate

You've all heard me rant about the local farmer's market. Last year we had two whole farmers there. This year? Down to one! Holy crap. We're up to 3 bakeries however. Perhaps they should rename it the Open Air Bake Sale. That'd be more accurate, any way.

However, despite the total suckassity of the farmer's market, we've realized we LIKE living in New York. We like our friends, our town, our social life...and nearly everything else aside from the long winter and the aforementioned market. So we're taking a deep breath and looking at buying a house (well, to be perfectly honest we've already done that. As you'll see). The downturn in the real estate market has def been our friend, though we're wishing it would get a bit more friendly, if you take my meaning. Still not a lot around here that one could conceivably buy on a single professor's income- at least not without doing a lot of work. And since neither of us are overly handy that would = more money for us. Which we don't have. Vicious circle.

We did put one offer in on a house here. The house was great- but it was across the street from the thruway. When we came to our senses with regard to that (and the life-long damaged lungs it would give our children) we withdrew our offer. At least we realized it before we'd bought the damn thing, right? Talk about decisions you'd live to regret.

So now we're just waiting to find out if the housing market LIKE-likes us or not. Cause the farmer's market clearly doesn't...

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Shrieky- McShriekerson

So, Liel has started doing this "zero-to-shrieking" thing. It's really annoying (and painful on the ears). One moment she and her brother are playing, more or less happily. The next? He's displeased her in some way (usually deserved- he grabbed a toy out of her hand, for example), and she's making sounds usually associated with a boiling tea kettle. Or dog whistles.

If we ignore it (yeah, we're working on more hands off parenting. no, it's not lazy at all, why do you ask?), one of two things happens. Usually Zion makes a teeny attempt to pacify her, and usually that works. She instantly returns to her sunny, smiling self. Sometimes, however, if Zion is annoyed himself, or tired, or sick, he continues on his destructive course, and Liel continues on hers. At this point Robert or I feel obliged to stop knitting/reading/eating/drinking/talking, put on our Stern Parent Voice and demand that they explain what's been going on. After this, the cycle is free to repeat itself.

Parenting small children can really give one an appreciation for a cyclical view of history.

Monday, July 6, 2009


It's come to my attention that people actually read this blog. From time to time ;) So for you, oh best beloved, I will post. Now and then.

Look! I finished a sweater! If you're not on Facebook, you might not know that. Or have seen it (*cough*mom*cough*).

I finished a *different* sweater today. No pics yet tho. I'll post them here tomorrow, most likely. Rest assured, is very cute.

Also, Facebook may be becoming sentient. I've now heard two reports of it suggesting friends for people who they actually KNOW but have no friends, workplaces, or schools in common with. Watch your back, yo.

Potterwatch, over and out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Am I missing something??

This morning a friend of mine posted an article on Facebook from NPR titled "Good for you, good for the earth" and it advocates eating more vegetable and less meat/animal products. In fact, the author recommends eating vegan before 6pm, an approach he calls "VB6".

And that's all fine and good. I am totally on board with eating fewer animal products- better for us, better for the earth.

The author helpfully includes 4 recipes at the end of the article. But here's the kicker- 3 of the 4 contain meat or other animal products. And the 4th is BREAD, something that's fairly easy to come by in a vegan form. Um, hello? NPR? Anyone home?? Your article advocating vegan eating doesn't actually contain vegan recipes in any meaningful sense. Way to confuse people who may not be clear on exactly what "vegan" is, and way to flat out not help folks who may be interested in incorporating more vegan dishes into their meals, but don't know where to start.

I feel like I'm taking crazy pills.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009


I've been really fucking sick, which has sucked. I'm on the mend I was able to make sweet potato biscuits with Liel while Zion was at school. And I only sneezed like 50 times while making them! (Don't worry, I didn't sneeze IN the biscuits.) They turned out pretty well too- esp with jam on them. Which, I know, kinda defeats the purpose of making something with added health benefits like sweet potato biscuits. But...well, I like them that way :P

Ugh. Still a bit sick for blogging apparently. *sneeze*

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sheep to Shawl

Yesterday we went to Sleepy Hollow with some friends so we could check out the "Sheep to Shawl" festival. It was...well, it was like Rhinebeck, if Rhinebeck were very small and had very little to see and hardly anyone there. There was one yarn vendor, a demonstration on dying yarn with plants, a sheep shearing exhibition, some spinning wheels (2), carding and a sheep dog show that was actually with ducks and MC'd by a very, VERY chatty dog handler. Holy crap, I thought he'd never stop talking and make with the animal herding.

Then we had yummy Chinese food in Tarrytown. All in all a nice day!

Liel and I watching the wool carding.

Zion and M trying a little carding themselves.

Liel ran around (when she wasn't whining).

And Zion was impressed by the cows :)

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

First Tooth

Yep, Zion is a big boy now!!

Monday, April 6, 2009

I'll have candy all the time...

I just made the most amazing marshmallows ever. EVER! In the history of the world. I don't know what I did wrong last time, but these ones don't smell icky. They smell like vanilla heaven! Vanilla heaven rolled in toasted coconut. I was like a 2 year old licking the bowl and the beater and the spatula after I put them in the pan to cool- marshmallow fluff on my hands and face.

Tomorrow: Lemon marshmallows!

And Becka, these are nothing, nothing like the ones in the store. Though you might not like them anyway cause they aren't crunchy?

Hooray for me!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

I want candy...

I made the mistake of browsing Foodzie and Etsy yesterday, looking at candy and pickles (not at the same time!). Now I am in lust for marshmallows! My friend Julie chastised me for even thinking about buying marshmallows that someone else had made- didn't I know how easy and delicious it was to make my own??

Um, yes. Kind of. I've made marshmallows once before. I hear they were pretty good too. But I could barely stand to eat them and when I did, I wished I hadn't. Turns out that hot gelatin smells rank. Really, really nasty. And even though the smell fades I could still smell it on my marshmallows- or at least I thought I could. So, that pretty much sucked.

But I'm nothing if not easy to shame into DIY-ness. So now I find myself childless on a Sunday afternoon (Robert took them hiking) and contemplating the creation of marshmallows. Again. Luckily (??) I'm fresh out of corn syrup and probably low on gelatin (I'm so lazy that I haven't gotten to the kitchen to look yet. Yet.), so I'll either have to wait or walk to the (overpriced) store in the village.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I've been on a bit of an eating marathon the past two days. Anything that is tasty and not nailed down is ending up in my tummy. I need something like this to slow me down!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Sometimes, I heart NY

Every so often New York does something that I just love. Yesterday was one of those experiences. Our friend Ethan DJs with actual records at Heather's Bar in Manhattan on Sunday evenings every couple of months. We've known about this for nearly a year, but hadn't been able to attend one until yesterday. And it was really the perfect one for us to start with as he was playing swing and big band music :)

The bar is in the East Village, one of the hipper (and therefore more expensive- though certainly not at the top of that list) neighborhoods in Manhattan. It is also kinda grungy because, let's face it, while NY has cleaned up a lot in the past decade it's still a pretty filthy city. So we're walking to the bar and it's gray and cold and there's trash all around and some boarded up windows and graffiti and also commerce and college kids.

Speaking of kids, did I mention that we had ours with us? Cause that is what is cool about 78rpm Sundays and Heather's as far as I'm concerned- it's a family (and family friendly) place. When we got there Ethan and Amanda were setting up and their 3 year old son was racing up and down in the bar and climbing on the bar stools. Our kids joined right in (except the climbing part. They aren't climbers). Soon HeatherTheOwner arrived with her nephew (nearly 4) and the next time I blinked we'd been joined by a 1 year old and a 2 year old. More little kids and babies arrived as the event progressed. The kids danced, played outside on the sidewalk (under the watchful eye of at least one parent), got Shirley Temples and orange juice at the bar (Dre, the bartender, introduced Zion and Liel to the joy of OJ with a splash of cranberry juice an a slice of lime), and painted pictures at a table right in the middle of things. When they (and we) got hungry we ordered arepas from a nearby restaurant and they were delivered to the bar. Z and L snarfed those right up, lemme tell ya! Towards the end of the evening our friend Vanessa stopped by (thanks to some prodding on my part- she apparently had a pukey evening on 5" heels the night before and wasn't sure she felt up to an outing at a drinking establishment. But, about 5 minutes after arriving she was at the bar ordering a soothing soothing Guiness so clearly it all worked out). So chalk one up for "I heart NY".

Robert and Vanessa.

Ethan and Amanda.

Liel and M playing in the bar.

Zion playing on the sidewalk (friends not pictured, lol).

Me with the kids, looking awesome. Sigh! :)

Sunday, March 29, 2009


This morning Liel jumped up and down and all around me. I asked her if she was practicing her dancing (we're going to a swing event this evening DJ'd by a friend of ours in Manhattan), and she said, "No! I am hopping around because I am so happy that you are my mommy!"

I felt a lot better after that :) (And the really yummy artisan-ish Earl Gray tea I got from my awesome Bitchcake swap partner didn't hurt, either.)

Now if I could just do something about the gray today... and yeah, I know that yesterdray was gorgeous and sunny. I didn't say I'd totally finished whining you know ;)

Saturday, March 28, 2009

It burns

I'm burned out. I'm tired. I'm emotionally drained. I know it'll come back, but right now I do NOT have much parenting mojo. I want to be away.

It burns.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

My Juno

I finished my Juno Regina stole! In fact, I finished it about a week ago. But then I had to block it (that's getting it wet and pinning it out flat to dry. Knitted lace does not look pretty until it has been blocked!). And get Robert to take pictures. He's really not a sufficiently enthusiastic photographer of my knitting. I know its kind of lame to complain since he DOES take pictures for me, but really- he clearly dislikes the task. Perhaps if I modeled it nude? Except for the knitted garment? But then I wouldn't want to post the pics on Ravelry or my blog. So I guess I'll have to stick with unenthusiastic :)

And with that, here's Juno!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Once I start...

I can't stop! More pictures. Of Zion as a newborn,

of the shoes we bought this weekend at the Fluevog sale,

and of me and Liel on the train.

Baby Big Boy part 2

Now with pictures! At Rika's request :)

Here's my boy on the day of his birth:

And 2 days old, relaxing.

And here his was yesterday, handing out his special birthday snack at preschool:

Dressed up in his new armor:

And from this weekend, pushing his sister in the swings:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Baby Big Boy

Yep. Today is my babybigboy's birthday. Zion is 5! He's in bed now (playing) but he told us that he had "a very happy day". This morning he got a Thing action figure (that's one of the Fantastic Four for you non-comic book fans), then went to school. Robert came at snack time with banana bread that I'd baked this morning (Liel and I were supposed to go too but Liel's cold was rather nasty so we decided not to expose Zion's entire class) and stayed to play and read a story to the class at storytime.

After school Zion's friend Johnny came over and they played for nearly 3 1/2 solid hours. What's extra awesome about Zion + Johnny is that they play SO well together- no supervision or intervention needed. And they have tons of fun.

When Johnny left Zion opened the rest of gifts, all of which were hits. And then, finally, it was the moment he's been waiting for...well, for a long time. We sat down together and watched Star Wars. We told him he could watch it when he turned 5, and he's been eagerly anticipating it, especially as his birthday approached. I'm not sure how much of it he got, but it was probably a fair bit since he's a bright kid and I narrated some of the less clear parts to him. I know it's incredibly geeky, but sitting snuggled up with my kids (yes, Liel got to watch it at age 3. There are benefits to being the younger sibling sometimes, what can I say?) as they heard the Star Wars music and saw the words scrolling across the screen for the first time (I read them aloud for them)? SO AWESOME. Loved it.

We had hamburgers (Zion's choice) for dinner, which I felt was appropriate since that was the first food I ate after his birth 5 years ago. His birth feels like it has been more present in my mind this year than in others. I'm not sure why- the nice round number 5? Or maybe because he's really such a person now. A person who understands and looks forward to his birthday. A person who, when he heard Obi-Wan's disembodied voice for the first time after his run in with Darth Vader's lightsaber, said, "that's his spirit talking". A person who was willing to share some of his brand new Star Wars figures with his little sister. A person who, in short, is just really bright and sweet (mostly. but you know, we're none of us perfect...) and fun to be around. 5 years ago I was exhausted and wobbly and bleeding and amazed at the baby I had grown, and he watches Star Wars and tells me his birthday cake is beautiful and complains about brushing his teeth. 5 years ago he changed my world, and now I am amazed, daily, at the boy I've grown and love.

PS- here a description of Zion by one of his friends. "Well, first of all he is 5. He likes to fight so I'll get us some swords. He likes to wrestle so we can wrestle down the hill, but you'll have to catch us at the bottom. He is fun. I'll introduce you to him."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Oh weekend my weekend

First an update on Liel. I talked to one of her teachers about helping Liel learn to join other kid's games. She was very receptive and reassuring because, frankly, she's awesome. And I arranged a playdate! Kind of more with my friend (the mama) then Liel's (the son) but hey. And Liel was pleased when I told her Nicholas was coming over after school. As if that weren't enough, she was actually playing with other kids on the playground when I got to school for pickup! So, that was all pretty good. I know she'll learn. This is just a first for us cause Zion's learning to play issue was about learning to compromise- he'd rather have played by himself than change his game AT ALL. Different kids different challenges, I know :)

On Sunday we're having a birthday party for Zion. He wasn't interested in having a friend party (this was the first year we'd offered and he'd never asked) because he's really really excited about watching Star Wars on his birthday. He thought having a party might get in the way of his One True Goal, you see. But, he did want to see Aunt Giselle and Uncle Kenny so they're coming up for blueberry grunt and whatever else my big boy thinks would be tasty.

I didn't have any particular plans for tomorrow. Until my friend Julie told me about the NYC Fluevog sale. It's a one weekend sale, and they're digging out all the leftover vintage fluevogs from storage and selling them cheap. Resistance was futile. Bright and early tomorrow morning Robert and the kids and I are headed down to Manhattan for shoes, gelato and candy. Probably lunch, too. I'm meeting a knitting friend at the shoe store and we're going to see a couple other friends too.

Speaking of knitting, I'm on the 6th chart of Juno! Realllly hoping I can finish this weekend...

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Social anxiety

I don't really have social anxiety :) But I am feeling kind of socially awkward tonight so you get to be the lucky recipients of my stressed out typing!

Liel is the 2nd youngest kid in her preschool class (the youngest is a week younger than she, the oldest nearly a year older). Her teachers told us that her interactive play skills are lagging behind her classmates, though they are not inappropriate for her age (cause, again, she's so much younger than many/most of them). But the thing is...Liel can and does play interactively. At home. With Zion. But at school she is shy. So shy. And it doesn't help that her tentative early attempts to play with her classmates were, in some cases, met with preschool hostilty. Nothing personal, I'm sure, but it was very upsetting for her.

So, she likes school. Or rather she likes parts of it. She loves the crafts, and painting, and playing with the puzzles (by herself) and building with blocks (by herself) and running around on the playground (by herself). But aside from a handful of days when she's had successful social interactions with her classmates any mention of "friends" or "playing with friends" causes her to go quiet and snuffle on Fluffy.

Tonight she told me, in a sad little voice, that she wasn't going to play with anyone at school tomorrow. I asked her if that was because she was having trouble figuring out how to join in her friends games and she eventually admitted that that was (at least part) of the problem. I was trying to spin it in a way where no one is to blame, see? Anyway, I asked her if she'd like her teachers to help her with that and she said yes. I'm really hoping they can- there are 16 or 17 3-4 year olds in her class and even with 3 adults that's a lot to keep track of.

And Robert pointed out that we should be more proactive here too, because although Liel has been at her preschool for 6 months now she has never had anyone over to play- nor has anyone asked her to come over. Bad mama and daddy. She's more comfortable at home and I think it would help her learn to play with kids at school if she could play with them at home first. And, I must admit, part of me feels a little rejected- for both of us. How come no one wants to set up playdates with us? (Yes, yes, I know I haven't set any up either! But I didn't say it was rational :))

If I try to stay calm about it I know that it took Zion a while to start playing with his classmates at school, too, and to have them over to play and vice versa. Our preschool starts at age 2, but we choose to start our kids at 3, so there is an existing social structure among kids AND parents that we have to negotiate. It took a while in Zion's class, too. Damn Northeasterners. As my friend K says, "In California people will meet you and be like, 'I love you! Let's be best friends. But if you screw with me, I'll hate you forever. But I don't think you will cause you are so sweet!' and in New York people meet you and go, 'You're gonna screw me, aren't you??' and then, a year later, 'Well, I still think you're gonna screw me. But...have a sandwhich.' and finally, "I guess you're not going to screw me. So...we can be friends'." I takes a while.

But it doesn't make me feel better right now. I don't want Liel to feel sad.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Kids are in bed. Ah, silence.

It has been an odd week at our house, and will continue to be a bit off kilter for a few more days. On Tuesday night I went out with a friend after the kids were in bed, so R and I didn't hang out that night. On Wednesdays he teaches late so I'm always on my own with the kids- that part was normal. But again, R and I didn't get to hang out. Today R is having dinner with an old friend in Manhattan was just me and the kids again. And R and I won't get to hang out. Tomorrow it's our turn to be helping in Liel's classroom...which really means it's my turn. That's not a crack at Robert at all, but Liel would probably freak the fuck out if he went instead of me. She's in a bit of a mommy phase (tho it does seem to be letting up a bit). Soooo again we won't see each other (and classroom participation days come about once a month for us with 2 kids in the school. So not that often, yk?).

Sunday Robert is giving a talk at a church in Dutchess county, so he'll be gone a chunk of the day. And I'm pretty sure that Monday night is the monthly board meeting for the preschool. Man, I'm tired just thinking about it! And yes, I know I am a total wuss, especially compared to single parents.

Anyway. Sara, my friend Jill got the hat, sorry! Buzz me if you want to talk knitting tho, OK?

There was more. But I forget.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009


I haz hat for someone locally! Anyone want a gray-ish purple super soft wool hat? Fresh off the needles, just isn't what I was wanting when I started knitting :) Let me know if I actually knit it for you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Contest results!

I've added it all up boys and girls, and the results for Contest 09 are in! There were a lucky 13 entries that actually had correct responses.

VAL- 9 correct (or mostly correct) answers!
BECKA- 9 correct (or mostly correct)!

We have a tie! Bec and Val, pls let me know if you prefer the mittens or hat. If you both want the same thing I'll do a random drawing :)

ROBERT - 8 correct

SKYE- 5 correct

DEIRDRE and ROBIN- 4 correct

MEL and SARA- 2 correct

STACIE and MARCIA- 1 correct

And I think that's everyone :) Thanks for playing! And be sure to tune in next year for another (hopefully more frequently updated :P) installment of Blog Contest!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

And you may say to yourself: this is not my beautiful wife!

Man, I really fell down on the contest this year, right? Well, one more try before the month is out!

I've been majorly stressing over this whole Japan thing. And I think, think that we aren't going to go after all. It doesn't feel FUN! It feels like work and stress. So, fuck that. We can go when it's fun. In the meantime, California awaits. Just gotta figure out our housing situation there. Know anyone who wants to swap for a month in the Hudson Valley?

Speaking of the Hudson Valley- I appreciated having a proper winter this year, but I'm realllly ready for spring now. Cold is good for wearing stuff I've knit, but it's also, well, cold. My poor body wants to put on a little extra layer of fat for protection! And frankly, I think chocolate wants me too also. Why else would it be so tempting and delicious?

Finally, I'm working on a new tattoo plan. I'm excited, but I'd be over the moon if I felt really good about the artist. I want Karen in Texas to do it, but, well, she's in Texas. Talked to a guy here about it today and he seems nice enough, but the promised phone call from the appointment maker hasn't materialized. There are some artists I'd be thrilled with in Manhattan, but I'm going to need 3-4 sessions to complete this baby and I know I won't want to haul my ass down there. What's a girl to do?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Don't know what a sliderule is for

I sold a lot of yarn this week- 7 skeins! Think that's not a lot? Well it takes me approximately 6 hours to create 1 skein. So that's a whole week's worth of work, and I've been scrambling to put more stuff up in my shop. Not that I'm complaining...I'm thrilled that people like and buy my handspun yarn!

Yesterday we went to Harlem with a friend and had chicken and waffles. YUM. Seriously, why don't we go more often? It was all of a 40 min trip. And I really like fried chicken. Or nearly anything fried, really. We also ordered some fresh lemonade, which the kids enthusiastically guzzled. After his second sip Zion cheerfully announced that, "Lemonade is fucking delicious!". Our (childless) friend said it was the cutest thing she'd ever heard.

We also had a fun time keeping a watchful eye on our bank this week. They misplaced a check I deposited at the beginning of the month, and that took a few phone calls and trips to the bank to resolve. Happily it is resolved now, according to the letter they mailed me. The banker says the money will show up in my account on Monday, so I'll reserve final judgment until then. That'll teach me to go to human teller instead of an ATM.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Streets are uneven, when you're down

Don't worry, I'm not actually down :) Well, maybe just a little, because the kids have been sick. Again. I can't wait for spring!! Poor Zion has such a bad cough...he was lucky to go 2 minutes without coughing today, and I wish I were exaggerating. Exhausting for him, me, and Liel. I made him a cough syrup out of apple cider vinegar, honey, water, cayenne, and ginger. At first he complained about it burning his throat (it does a bit- I tried it first) but when it became apparent that it actually gave him a few minutes of rest from the coughing he started telling me how much he liked, "the spicy cough medicine".

So anyway, as you probably guessed we didn't do much today. I skeined some yarn, spun some yarn, read some stories, made some soup. I talked to Leslie, and discovered both kids had fallen asleep, a clear indicator of their health. We didn't even get any good mail! Though yesterday's haul (including the roving I'm currently spinning) ought to have made up for that. How quickly I forget the mail of yesterday...

We had to turn down two social engagements today, too! I don't think we've ever even been OFFERED two social engagements on the same day since we've lived here. Wait- does that make us sound like social lepers?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Why don't we do it in the road?

Pop culture trash bitch-fest here. WHY oh why does the Bachelor (the TV show, not the guy) insist on playing "craaaaaazy person!" kinda music when anyone with New Age spiritual beliefs starts talking about them? Why? Is it SO hard to show a little tolerance? Or, barring that (cause I like to make fun of others as much as the next girl), is it so hard to give everyone crap? Cause when someone announces that s/he is a virgin saving him/herself for marriage (yes, there have been both genders of this type on the show), or when someone's dad starts quoting the Bible and explaining how Jesus is the only way the producers do not play the "I'm a crazy whack-job!" music. No, thier beliefs are treated with respect. But when a bachelorette explains her use of positive visualization, or a mom talks about past lives all bets are off.

Phew, glad I got that out of my system ;) And yes, for the record, I was raised New Age, lmao.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Just me and my horsie and a quart of beer

Yesterday's was tricksy, no? Most of you know the's by the Counting Crows. Yesterday's- not today's, lol. Today's I made easier ;)

Since yesterday I've finished the Twilight series (unless she publishes more of course. And I expect she will). I read #4 today and all you FB users will have to forgive my bragging again, but I read it at 125 pages an hour! That's fast, even for me. I thought I averaged about 100 pages an hour. Now I'll want to keep better track. Cause I'm a dork like that.

Anyway, I don't want to say too much about Twilight since I know some of you have read any/all but are planning to. So there. I am glad to have that crack out of my hair tho ;) Now I can go back to my normal addictions, like spinning and knitting. So much more productive! I have a thing at the end, instead of a headful of someone else's stories :P

Oh and wanna hear something else odd? Zion appears to have independently invented the idea of a cloaking device for spaceships. We've never read or shown him anything with this idea in it and he suggested it to Robert today. Kinda dorky, but cool.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

We just look a lot better in blue light

Happy Valentine's Day! I hope you all did something happy and pleasing today :)

I spent the morning reading the 3rd Twilight book. So far the first is def my favorite...but, they all have that enjoyable, anguished teen love thing going on that most of us can related to. If your teen love was unbelievably gorgeous, superhumanly strong, and wickedly dangerous, that is. Rawr.

After my bout of self indulgence I took the kids to a Valentine's Day party at our friends house so Robert could get a well deserved rest and do some work. That paper he's giving in Japan isn't writing itself, you know ;) The party was fabulous, loud, sweet, had plenty of wine available, and nearly all my favorite people in town were there so it was a good time. One friend, who travels often with her children (ages 6 and 4 years) assured me that the 14 hour flight to Tokyo would be "no problem". Her kids have rather different personalities than mine, but I did feel somewhat hopeful after talking to her. Shortly afterwards I mentioned the trip to another friend. He looked slightly horrified and said, "That flight is gonna be hell". How can you argue with a father of 4?

Speaking of hell (it's loosely related, trust me!), Zion has been forming "best friend" bonds among his various toys and action figures lately. This morning he showed Robert two Lego knights who are, apparently, best friends. "See, this one follows this other one around a lot", Zion explained. "Kind of like a pet. Or a demon".

Thursday, February 12, 2009

She'll only come out at night

For those 8 of you who aren't on Facebook, here's my news for the day: I'm reading the Twilight series. Holy shit, that's some good, clean, mindless fun. At least, the first book was. The second is a little too mystery-ish for me. That, and not enough tortured vampire lust. Makes me wonder how I've lived all this time without some tortured vampire lust of my own. Am I missing out on something? The books clearly point to "yes".

Which brings me to interesting fact #2 (c'mon, you know my love affair with vampire lust books is interesting!): apparently most men do not believe a woman when told that they are attractive. However, a far greater percentage- perhaps even a majority, my memory is weak (but I bet Robert will correct me in the comments :P)- will believe a woman when told that they are dangerous. Dangerous, vampires, all adds up, methinks. Deliciously, I might add.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The good people of the world are washing their cars

So, no more book clues, I think, yesterday's didn't work out so well :) Back to music! It's in the post title, as usual.

This morning as I was getting ready to walk the kids to school Zion came in and said, "Mommy, Liel drew on the wall."

I came skidding out into the hall, and yes, he was correct- purple crayon on the wall. "Liel", I said, "Is it OK to draw on the wall?"

"I didn't!", she howled. "Zion did." This, I knew, was about as likely as pigs flying. Zion has little interest in crayons or markers and has some of that first-born rule lovingness in him.

"Liel", I said. "Is it OK to draw on the wall?"

Liel threw herself on the floor. "Zion drew on the wall!", she wailed.

"She also drew on your bookshelf", Zion interjected helpfully. "But, that's OK because the bookshelf is dark".

"What?!" Rushed over to book shelf. Yes indeed, one shelf with a large patch of blue crayon, another with a small area of black crayon, and a third with a dash of green marker. "That isn't OK, either! Crayons and markers are for paper, not walls, or furniture, or clothes."

"Zion did it!", Liel shrieked.

"Liel", I tried again, "I know that you are sorry and wishing you hadn't drawn on the wall and the bookshelf, but that doesn't mean that Zion did it. Now, is it OK to draw on the wall?"

It's a wonder we made it to school on time.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Isn't it pretty to think so?

Good morning! Today's clue (hopefully today's FIRST clue, but I'm learning not to make these kinds of promises) is in the post title BUT! I have a hint for you: this is from a BOOK, not a song.

Last night was the monthly board meeting for the nursery school co-op to which we belong. I'm feeling fretful about the board next year as 7 of the 10 board members will be leaving. And thus far no one has stepped up to replace them! I mean, I know we have some months yet, but geez. Nerve wracking. I seem to be more anxious about this than anyone else, so hopefully their zen is correct (and will rub off on me). In the meantime I suppose I should start accosting other parents in the halls and insisting that they tell me which position I can count on them to fill. After all, some of the positions are more labor intensive than others! Yup. This sounds like a good strategy to me.

After Zion is done with school today we're going out to buy Valentine making supplies. And yes, I realize we are rather behind on this, especially since we have so much far-flung family who surely deserve Valentines. And they will get them, just several days after the holiday has past. I like to think that will make my children's creations all the more special, cause I'm good at finding the positive spin like that.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

I walk through her hills cause she knows who I am

Today was a total tease as far as weather goes. We've been promised this warm up. It was going to be in the 50s! Robert tells me it was in the 60s in Chicago yesterday! And it was sunny here. So this afternoon we took the kids outside to walk to the park. We got as far as next door before we realized we didn't have Fluffy. Robert ran back to get him while the kids and I continued up the block. 4 houses further on and the wind was so biting that Zion announced he was cold, and wanted to go back for his down coat (he had on a wool sweater and a windproof, fleece lined jacket). So we went back just as Robert came out with fluffy and we all put more clothes on.

But it was STILL freezing. And yes, I know I'm a total wuss about cold. But the wind! So we just went to the track up the block and visited the flock of Canadian geese who were browsing around for bugs there. That was fun until I noticed that that there was goose shit everywhere. After that it was pretty gross, and cold. Did I mention cold? Then Liel dropped Fluffy and since the whole field was apparently nothing but one big goose toilet he fell in goose poop. Much to our surprise she immediately agreed to my suggestion that he should be washed and Robert shooed my off home with Fluffy in hand before Liel could change her mind. I was delighted. I got to be warm AND wash Fluffy, who had really been needing it for a while.

She was surprisingly patient during Fluffy's wash/dry time. Normally she spends the whole time he's in the wash asking when he will be done and moping around the door to the downstairs. Today she played with play-doh (she made footprints in the play-doh with every toy she could find) and we read poetry. Around dinner time she got a bit antsy, but not too badly. And after dinner it was wicked cute to watch her rush downstairs and come bounding up squealing, "Fluffy jumped into my arms!"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

How bizarre

I thought you all loved me. *Sniffle* and now no one except Val (who clearly DOES love me...kisses to Val!) is playing my game? *sigh*

OK, got that out of my system :) Sorry I forgot to post another entry yesterday! It was a day full of small business. First off it was our turn in Zion's classroom, as I bitched about on Thursday. It was really fun being in his classroom (it always is) but it eats up the entire morning, yk? Then I had to run to Target for my meds, which I narrowly managed to get since it turns out that the entire pharmacy shuts down for lunch. Who knew?? By then it was 2pm and my fundamental laziness kicked in. So we decided to go to the new burger joint in town (the Nyack Burger Hop! Such a nostalgic name! LOL) for dinner. It was good...but slow. But, it's new, so I imagine and hope it will speed up. Also annoying: no pickles. Who gives me burgers with no pickles (and, I was told there would be pickles! Feeling a little like Milton now... :P)?? Of course, they would've paled compared to Erica's so I probably shouldn't complain.

All of this reminds me: I need to order meat from Alan! Oh Alan, how we love you and your tasty, tasty cows....

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bow down before the one you serve

Late tonight! My boy is sick- ear infection, I think. He was really sick mostly while Robert was at work. At bedtime he was feeling a little better so we'll see if school is in the cards tomorrow or not. Annoyingly someone (me) will have to go to school tomorrow whether or not Zion does cause it's our participation day. I gotta tell you, as much as I love the fact that our nursery school HAS mandatory parent participation, it's kinda wearing on me a bit this year with 2 kids at the school. Seems like I'm in there ever other week. And it's going to be that often if we go to Japan cause I'll have to swap our May and June days for days in April and March. Meh. At least when we homeschool I won't have to actually GO anywhere to participate.

Also, to clarify: you don't have to be the first person to post the correct answer. If you know, post! You'll get credit :)

PS I really really want one of these bags from Bayan Hippo. I'm just sayin'. Really. A lot.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

It might not be that bad, you were the best I ever had

Did I say I'd post in the mornings? Cause I must have meant afternoons :P

Robin asked about lifelines yesterday and I did allow them last year. So I'll allow them again this year! Only rule is that you must TALK to your lifeline- no emailing/iming/texting, k?

This morning while the kids were at school I did a little work on my newest lace project- the Juno Regina Stole from knitty. Ganked pic:

I'm knitting mine in a gorgeous green yarn (Wollmeise in Farn for you yarnies out there), and loving it, tho I have QUITE a long way to go yet. Speaking of lace, here's a pic of the shawl I asked for yarn opinions on last month! Sorry the pics are kinda crappy- I don't have one of me wearing it yet. I'm enjoying lace knitting more than I have in the past- in part because I'm knitting in fingering weight yarn (as opposed to laceweight) and in part because I've figured out which patterns are most likely to drive me batshit crazy, and I avoid them.

Wow that picture really leaves a lot to be desired. I'll try to get an action shot this weekend!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Oh Lord, Won't You Buy Me A Mercedes Benz

There's your clue for the day, kids :)

Actually, I don't really care about Mercedes. What I *would* like are some tickets to Japan! After 24 hours it's become clear that going without the kids isn't going to happen. I just don't want to leave them, and it's not clear we could actually get anyone to stay with them for a week anyway. So it's either Robert going to Japan alone, or all of us. If we all go we'll probably try to roll it into our already-planned trip to CA in June. I hope y'all like reading my angst filled musings on this subject cause I can assure that you will see them a lot until this whole thing is resolved ;)

In other news Liel has recently dubbed herself "Fluffy's mommy". In addition to being adorable she's also carrying on a family tradition; her Aunt Giselle titled herself, "Dolly mama" when she was a wee lass. Only this apparently came out "Dodgey mama" in her baby voice, and she insisted upon being addressed that way. That's one of those things that makes you feel all warm and cozy, isn't it? On the way to Trader Joe's today Liel informed me that, "there are TWO mommies in our family", because she is Fluffy's mommy. Then she rattled off an extended narrative about Fluffy's mommy and her exploits, but I didn't catch much of it over the noise of the car. I'm sure it was terribly cute.

Monday, February 2, 2009

I'm big in Japan

The title of this post is entry #2, which catches us up contest-wise (good thing I didn't forget the month for longer!).

I forgot to note that aside from today answers will need to be in before I post a new entry. I'll generally do this in the morning.

The Japan thing is really on my mind right now. Robert just had a paper accepted for a conference in Kobe in May. He's going to try to get funding from the college for his trip, and he asked me today if the kids and I wanted to come along and spend a week in Japan. The college will NOT pay for this (they probably won't even pay for R's entire trip; going to Japan is expensive).

The options, as I see them, are: 1. stay home with the kids 2. go to Japan with the kids 3. go to Japan without the kids. I'm not entirely satisfied with any of them, though for very different reasons. 1. isn't great because I love love love to travel and haven't been anywhere in ages. I'd be a little envious if Robert got to go to Japan without me. 2. isn't great because holy crap, it's expensive to fly 4 people to Japan! Plus I wonder how much the kids will really get out of such a trip. Is the money worth it? 3. isn't great because I don't want to be away from my kids for that long! And they only even have a babysitter maybe once a year, and have never spent a night away from both of us (actually, they've never spent a night away from me). I'm pretty sure Robert will veto this idea anyway, on the grounds that he isn't comfortable being so far away from our kids when they are so little.

What to do, what to do...


Here it is! The first in the contest. Please don't look at other people's comments until after you've posted yours, OK?

Wait, what?! aka, the Rulebook

As I was sitting here just now a little voice in my head (oh come on, I know you have them too!) said, "Oh crap, it's February!". So then I said, "Oh crap!" too. I missed a whole contest day! So, to make up for it, I'm going to post two entries or whatever they are today. OK?

So, here's the deal for this year's February contest. We all need a little something in February, right? Up here in cold land its....cold. And will be cold for this month, and next month, too. But we are tired of the cold! I know those of you in warmer climates don't suffer this particular horror, but I love you anyway. Enter: The February Dodge a Wrench Contest! Each day I will post something for you to guess at. It could be song lyrics, a movie quote, a work of get the idea. If you know what the thing in question is, post the answer (or as much information as you can) in a comment. Please, for the love of whatever it is that you love, do not Google to find the answer. I might not be able to tell (or CAN I??), but it's bad karma, yo. Play honest.

Ideally I'd like to see song title/movie title/artwork title and artist/actor in the answer. If you only know part of the answer, go ahead and post that...I do give partial credit. At the end of the month I go through and tally up who got the most right answers and that person gets...a prize! Her choice of the hat or fingerless mitts I posted last month. If a boy happens to win (and I'm downing on boys, it's just that 95% of my loyal readers are girls), I will do something else for him- knit him a manly hat, most likely. The second place winner will get whatever the first place winner doesn't choose.

Good? Good. First entry coming up!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


The street that runs parallel to ours is called Sickle Avenue. There are some really pretty houses on it (prettier than our street), but every time I try to even imagine living in one of them (since around here imagining is all I can do!) I run up against the name of the street. Sickle? Like, sick? Sickle cell anemia? Not pleasant images, even if the tool with the same name isn't half bad. And I hear that houses on streets with less appealing names tend to sit on the market longer, and sell for less money than their counterparts with more poetic monikers.

Anyway...this article from the New York times combines my love of juvenile humor and odd place names. Enjoy!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Contest's a-comin'- Part 2!

Another prize spoiler! I still don't have the contest nailed down, but fresh off the needles I offer another prize for you darlings:

Fingerless gloves are a staple in my wardrobe (just ask Robert how many pairs I have!). They are cute, useful, and keep my hands surprisingly warm. I hope you love them, too!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Weird genetics

When I was a little kid I used to make up songs quite a bit (at least, if the cassette tape evidence is to be trusted). They were not lyrical or musical masterpieces; just sing-songy accounts of the details of my preschool life. A verse that sticks out in my mind (thanks to the aforementioned cassette tapes) went: "I'm a little girl/I drink water/From a bottle/Every, every second day".

I should be up for a grammy, right?

Anyway, Liel has started doing the very same thing. Pretty odd. Hilarious, too. Yesterday I overheard her singing: "Oy-Boy did something mean/To his sister/And his mother and father/Told him not to".

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Sometimes, he listens

Nearly every night as we sit down to dinner Robert says, "Thank you for making dinner, sweetheart". I love it, and really appreciate that he takes the time to acknowledge my cooking every day. It's amazing.

The kids, in contrast, tend to sit down and say, "Can I have ketchup?", or "What is this? I don't liiiike it!". The answer to the first question is generally yes, and the second tends to get a reply of, "Yes, you do actually, but it doesn't matter because that's what's for dinner so you need to eat it anyway".

As of today we are back in the semester schedule which means Robert is not home for dinner or bedtime on Wednesday nights. When I brought dinner out tonight Zion said, "Mmmm, yummy. Thank you for making dinner, mommy!" I almost fell over with delight, but showered him with kisses instead.

Monday, January 19, 2009

This mortal coil

We try to strike a matter of fact tone when discussing death (animal/meat or human) with the kids. After all, we reason, death is a normal part of life, and nothing that needs to be scarier or sadder than it already is.

Tonight Zion overheard Robert and I discussing someone who was somewhat recently deceased. "Daddy?", he said, "When are you going to die?"

This isn't the first time he's asked such a question and I answered like I always do (even though the question wasn't directed at me. Notice that? Never miss a chance to give your opinion!). "Not for a long while, sweetie", I said. "Most men in this country live into their 70's, and Daddy is only in his 30's. So he's probably got 40 years or so, and that's quite a long time, especially in terms of your life reference".

"When will Ajax die?", Zion asked.

"Pretty soon", Robert said. I looked at him funny- Ajax is 5 years old.

"Not that soon", I pointed out.

"Yeah, in about 10 years", R agreed. I guess we have a different perception of time. Mine's right, of course.

Zion stared at us thoughtfully. "After Ajax dies", he said, and I mentally flipped through the list of possible endings to this sentence- can we get a rabbit? a dog? another cat? But no..."can we keep him? As a decoration?"

Robert and I struggled not to laugh, which lasted about a millisecond before we burst out snorting.

"Um, what kind of decoration?", I asked. "Were you envisioning his whole body or just his head?"

"Just his head", Zion said.

"Well", said Robert, "If you really want to do that when Ajax dies maybe we'll talk to a taxidermist. That's a person who takes dead animals and turns them into..."

"Decorations", I said, helpfully.

"Yeah.", said Robert.

Zion seemed satisfied. And we moved on. When Robert and I relived the hilarity later on we discovered that while I had envisioned Ajax's head mounted like a trophy Robert had envisioned it stuffed and...just loose, like a ball. That Zion might toss to one of his friends, who would catch it not realizing what it was. Kid comes by it naturally, I guess.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Planning ahead

One of Zion's best friends is a girl at his preschool, G. He and G play really well together and G has recently told both her mom and Zion that she plans to marry Zion. Robert and I are all for this (when the kids are in their 20s of course!), cause we adore G and her family.

This morning when Zion was getting ready for school I had to send him back to put a sweater on because it's 15 degrees out and even the 2 block walk is chilly then you know? He came out with the pirate sweater I knit for him last year, complaining that it was too small and didn't belong in his drawer. He asked Liel if she wanted it, and she complained that she didn't like orange (the kids got up at 6am today, can you tell? I can!). I told her it was fine, she didn't have to take the sweater; we could send it to someone else. Then, as I stared at the sweater (the first one I knit for Zion!) I got a little nostalgic and said, "Actually Zion, maybe we'll keep this one and your kids can have it some day".

Zion looked at the sweater appraisingly. "Yes", he said, "G and I might want this for our children".

I looked at Robert, who was behind Zion and totally cracking up. Mistake! Then I found it harder not to smile. "OK, good", I said.

Zion took the sweater over to Robert. "Mommy thinks we should keep this so G and I can give it to our children", he explained, "and I think that sounds about right."

G-d willing!!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Gender play

Without going into too much controversy I think we can all agree that boys and girls are different, right? The nature of this difference...or perhaps the nurture...remains up for grabs, but it's still there, the difference.

Robert and Zion began reading some of R's old X-Men comic books a couple months ago. Zion was entranced and they read most days. For Hanukkah we bought several X-Man action figures, including his most dearly beloved, Wolverine.

Liel was interested in the X-Men comic books too, but being 3 her attention span is shorter and she stuck around for far shorter periods of reading time than her brother. Still, she developed a fondness for certain X-Men as well, most notably Phoenix/Jean Gray. So we bought her a Phoenix action figure for Hanukkah.

As the weeks have gone by a very distinct difference in Zion and Liel's play with the X-Men toys has developed. Zion plays with them more or less the way you might expect. Wolverine fights people, snickts his claws, brawls, kills, and usually defeats evil. Zion also liks to mix things up by playing bad guys and they behave in a nearly indentical manner (he also gives them powers they don't actually posses in the Marvel canon, annoying the crap out of his father who plays these games with him daily). Liel's Phoenix does some fighting too, but mostly? She is a social creature. She has parties (and not just Phoenix, Liel had a tea party for the Hulk and Colasses), lives with people, sleeps, gets up, eats breakfast. Liel is so interested in the relationships that Phoenix forms that she now owns Cyclops (Phoenix's boyfriend/husband in the comic books) as well. When we play make believe games involving family members as X-Men (Zion is Wolverine, naturally. Liel is Phoenix. Robert is Colasses (Zion chose this) and I am Storm) Zion likes us to hunt bad guys and fight. Liel will sidle up to me and say, "Hello! I'm Phoenix! What's your name?".

To which I reply, "I'm Storm!", and make some suggestion of what we might do (always enthusiastically accepted and rarely acted upon. Mostly she likes to repeat this introduction).

Today I said, "Hi Phoenix! I'm Storm. Do you have any super powers?"

"Huh!", said Liel, in her little piping voice. "I can crush people with my mind! Do you have an extra bed I can use?"

Contest's a-comin'

I'm going to do another contest this February! I haven't decided on the details yet...might be a 90's song lyrics event, or quotes from movies, or trivia about books, or a "name that piece of art" deal. Or a combination!

But I finished at least one of the prizes for the contest this morning!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Food laws

I made chicken fried steak for dinner tonight. Liel (much like my brother) has always been a huge carnivore. She plowed right into her steak.

As dinner was winding down she said, "Mommy, we can still eat meat, even though it is delicious!"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

A 2 cup day

Pretty much every morning I have a cup of tea. I can't have it right when I wake up (meds) and I can function without it, but I like having it. I'd have more, but I fear caffeine addiction. When the post-apocalyptic future comes those withdrawls would hurt!

Some days, though, I just need more caffeine. Today is one of those days (and for no good reason, I might add. Slept a usual amount, nothing too tiring or stressful going on...), and my second cup of tea is brewing on the counter right now. I always hesitate a bit before I make a second cup. Am I going down a path I'd best avoid?

As I was standing in the kitchen having these thoughts a few minutes ago I suddenly realized how totally lame they are. I mean, seriously, give me a fucking break. Or stop my descent into lameness. Both would actually be best, don't you think? Here I am, 32 years old and fretting about whether or not two cups of tea in a day is too much caffeine. Man, my substance/health questions used to be so much cooler. Edgier. Next thing you know I'll be afeared of spicy food, or "allergic" to vegetables.

I think the first step is to drink more wine. Robert will be pleased (if I actually manage it, that is. Did I mention that I tend to get sleepy after a glass of wine? Unless I keep up a good pace of drinking, I'll be passed out on the couch in no time)!

Jebus, man. 2 cups of tea?? I reckon I could get my ass kicked for worrying about something like that.

Friday, January 2, 2009

What a girl needs

Robert is playing some game with the kids that involves them pretending to be in eggs and him hatching them.

Suddenly, from their room, I heard Liel shouting, "Diamonds! Give me diamonds, daddy! DIAMONDS!"