Thursday, February 28, 2008

Everyone's favorite subject

As I may have mentioned, Aaron and Dylan are now on a health insurance plan where, in exchange for very little in premiums, they get very little in benefits. Along with this insurance plan we are allowed the privilege of putting money into a Health Savings Account, which we are encouraged to get used to using to pay our medical bills. The HSA comes with a debit card that you are supposed to use to pay for medical stuff, but we don't quite have the hang of that yet so last night I was trying to figure out how to get money out of the HSA for things we have already paid for (including, most recently, antibiotics for both Dylan AND Kate). I was anticipating endless forms to mail in, but I was incorrect. The real answer: go to an ATM and use the debit card to take out cash. I am all over that one.


This monkey (the blue one) substituted for Bears Bear one day this week when I whisked them away to wash them and didn't get them dry in time for daycare. I tried to wash one last week, but Dylan saw me and ran after me sobbing BEAR BEAR so I had to hand him over. No one was able to separate the baby from the monkey the entire day, not for meals or naps or anything.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Your participation required

They sent out a notice today asking for suggestions to rename daycare! Everyone must give ideas! They gave absolutely no guidelines, so go nuts.

UPDATE: On second thought, I will give you some guidelines. I think something to do with the university would be good. It has up through kindergarten, so it has to be something to do with school or learning, not just daycare. That's it for now.


Did I mention I got to go skiing last weekend? I did, and it was really fun except for the festering sinus infection I had at the time. For some reason Aaron took the opportunity to get some more use out of Dylan's Halloween costume. If our Marriage Motto weren't already "We Don't Share Desserts," "Don't Ask Questions" would be a good contender.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The reluctant vegan

The people who wrote the cupcake book also have a cooking blog. That combined with the overripe bananas taunting me this morning inspired a loaf of vegan banana bread. It was GREAT and you couldn't tell it was vegan at all and I was going to trick Aaron and give him some and then when he said how good it was I would be like, well it was vegan! But instead the first thing out of his mouth when I shoved a piece at him was, is this vegan? Dylan also thwarted me and took only one bite of it even though last time I made banana bread all she wanted to do all day was stuff it in her chubby face. I will soldier on though, as I am still excited to make her stuff she's not allergic to.


A lot of baby information sources talk about learning to read your child's hunger and tired cues. I will thusly give you one of Dylan's tired cues: she happily flops around on the floor on her back like...some kind of weird animal that flops around on its back when it's tired.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Sunny days

I keep getting creepy spam comments, so I've been toying with having comments e-mailed to me for approval before they're posted. I don't like it, so I think instead I'll try doing the thing where you have to type in the things before your comment gets approved. We'll see how that goes or if it proves too much for my intrepid readers.


People usually think of winter here as gloomy, but I think we get more nice days than we get credit for. This winter, though, I can verify has been long and gloomy without very much snow to brighten things up. We had a couple sunny days this weekend and I got a little camera happy and there you have it.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Food Update

We are deep in the realm of Crazy Picky Toddler Eatingdom. It's not quite what I expected. I thought there would be a short list of acceptable foods, some items that would occasionally be okay, and then most other things would be met with disdain. Instead, we have total unpredictability, and there's no easy way out since the only things Dylan always always wants to eat are yogurt and eggs, which I think are part of her allergy problem and I am trying to be stricter about not giving her. She doesn't seem to want many other typical kid foods, she doesn't want to eat the same few things all the time, yet she is usually not into trying new things. This week's Palatable Menu was all new foods and consisted of crushed walnuts, meatball sub, and fresh squeezed blood orange juice. That last one may have just been the novelty of the little Wegman's tasting cup, but she went on to drink half the bottle that I excitedly bought when she deigned to look at the tasting cup, and this is not a child who ever wants juice of any kind.

The other day I met an adult who seems to have the same dairy issue as Dylan (lots of amens when I talked about the eye bags). She said allergists don't seem to know much about it. She loaned me a few dairy-free cookbooks, including one that consists entirely of vegan cupcake and frosting recipes. Which brings us here:Then here:
And here:
They're really good if you don't mind the appalling baking powder aftertaste.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

We have a snow bunny

And a snow dog

Friday, February 22, 2008

Thursday, February 21, 2008


I just got to eat dinner with Dr. Don Francis.

And now, may I present Yoga With Dylan

Wednesday, February 20, 2008


This is the third night in a row one source or another has told us there would be a lunar eclipse around 10pm. I don't know what to believe anymore.


If you read the comments you may have noticed on last Friday's post that someone asked about the weird puff ball thing. That story starts four years ago during a family trip to France. Aaron wasn't with us, but he was working at the bakery at the time and asked his boss where we should go to get the best bread in Paris.

The answer was, unequivocally, Poilane, which we dutifully searched out and purchased many products from. We mentioned that we had been sent there by a baker in New York, and were quickly ushered into the basement to see where the magic happens.
While we were browsing around sniffing at all the lovely baked goods, Tommy reached his large hand up to paw at one of their signature loaves of bread. With one voice my mom, Annie, and I admonished him not to get his mitts all over the products. Meanwhile he had pulled one down to show us that it was actually a pillow that looked EXACTLY like the bread. We immediately bought one to bring back to Aaron's boss, but Aaron developed a sentimental attachment to it and we could never quite give it away.

The next year we ended up back in France, this time with Aaron, and to his delight were able to bring him to the scene of the deliciousness. On that trip we noticed a whole other room with a chandelier made out of bread.It was especially nice to have Aaron with us because it meant I didn't have to smuggle him back a chocolate croissant, which can really butter up one's luggage.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Earning her keep, or not

A couple weeks ago I put Dylan in charge of feeding Snuffy. It was awesome. I had to but announce, "Time to feed Snuffy!" and Dylan would run into the kitchen, get his bowl, stand by the food holding the bowl while I scooped, then carefully place the food in its spot, stand back, and watch approvingly while he ate.

No longer. Now she runs the other direction, uses the bowl as an instrument,
chases Snuffy around if he doesn't eat promptly enough, and generally introduces a spirit of evil to the process. After what she served up this morning, I knew it was time to remove her entirely from feeding detail.

Speaking of evil and dog-feeding, I recently received this photo from Snuffy's (official) puppyhood a couple years ago. Also prominently featured: my butt.We left him and Mochi in the kitchen at Mochi's house and went out to eat. When we came back we all decided to sneak around and peek in the back door to see the cute puppies playing together. Instead, we came upon utter mayhem. They had managed to bump open the door with Mochi's food bucket and ate all of it, not to mention destroying the rest of the kitchen. We think of it as Snuffy's youthful bender indiscretion and use it to embarrass him when he gets too big for his britches.

I recently received another reminder the of same era, which makes me wonder exactly how long Aaron and Annabelle have been dating. Also, how long Annabelle has been "borrowing" our crepe pan. Also, when Aaron became a cartoon.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I just handed my pinball crown to him

Have I mentioned my pinball habit? Yesterday I was out to lunch with some friends near Rochester's One and Only Gaming Center when I revealed that, and I can't believe I'm telling the Internet this, Aaron and I used to go there all the time to play the Lord of The Rings pinball game. We only stopped going, not because we noticed we were wasting out lives, but because they got rid of that machine and got the Addams Family and who needs Elvira when you can have Frodo, am I right?

Anyway, after the big reveal my friend's eyes lit up like, ahem, a pinball machine and we soon found ourselves pumping quarters into Johnny Depp and his pirate buddies. Parlay! There are actually only one or two pinball games tucked into a marginalized corner of the Center because most of the focus is on sleek instruments of high end computer gaming. I'll leave it to you to imagine the main clientele.

One of my friends was not the pinball wizard that we all imagine ourselves to be, and was hitting both flippers at once. She was appropriately mocked, and we all enjoyed ourselves. We switched to playing the neighboring Fish Tails game, and that was when the problems started. With the first double-flipper flap the game had the pinball equivalent of the blue screen of death and we were forced to call over the guy working there to help us. He had a magical key that he had only to turn to create as many credits as he deigned. 1! 2! That's it, because we had only put 75 cents into it in the first place.

After the rescue, the nice young man hung about watching us play, and after a few minutes had some pointers. He spoke to my friend, "You see what you're doing there? You're hitting both flippers every time. You may want to hit only one at a time because..." and then want on to explain the strategic advantages of his way of doing things. "Thanks," said my friend, "I'll keep that in mind." Then the game died again and we left and we totally didn't start giggling until we were outside.

Look! I have a cute rockin' baby! That has got to have some kind of redemptive value, right?

Friday, February 15, 2008

A la mode

Dylan has switched from total and utter destruction mode to organized chaos mode, leaving signature pockets of clutter around for us to stumble upon. Or, conversely, swiping our stuff so that we never stumble upon it again.
Dylan also has another setting: Fabulous, No Pictures Please

And, complex creature that she is, still a third version where she tries to defy me but doesn't really know how that works. For example, she knows there is no hitting, but doesn't realize that hitting involves actually contacting one's victim. Instead she flaps her arm at me and I have to ask her if she is hitting and if she nods then I put her down and make her sit and walk away from her. Which doesn't really work because she doesn't like it when I do that and understands it is a punishment, but a few minutes later usually goes and sits in the same spot and looks around like, here I am again, what of it? In that case she gets thrown in with the others.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


The car drama continued into the morning, and had me out in the driveway at seven with a hair dryer trying to defrost the hood enough to open. The roadside assistance guy laughed at me and got the hood to open immediately, which I am positive was a result of my efforts, but he seemed to think was a matter of course. Dylan and I are getting better, but we're both still a little dazed.


In case you thought the week was a total wash, check out our Fancy New Fridge!

Our old one was so old and grubby that we got about the cheapest one possible and it still seems like we are living in the lap of fridge luxury. Aaron and I tussled over who got to put away the groceries this week.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

It's Timeline Time!

5:30AM: Dylan fever --> Dylan up --> Kate up --> 5:45AM: Snuffy & Aaron up --> 5:46AM everyone back down

6:30AM: Dylan up --> Kate up --> Snuffy up

7:00AM: Frantically text Snuffy's girlfriend to come over to keep dog out of hair

7:15AM: Aaron up (grudgingly)


8:01AM: Dada?

8:05AM: DADA?

8:10AM: Dylan breakfast = two bites of peanut butter

8:15AM: Whip up sick day self pity cake

8:45AM: It worked! Mochi arrives

9:20AM: Realize it's not just Dylan who is sick --> pout

10:30AM - 12:00PM: Make Aaron come home and watch Dylan while I try and fail to do one of my interviews at the clinic


12:15PM: Dylan down for nap --> workworkworkworkwork

1:30PM: Dylan up

2:00PM: Offer lunch --> Dylan eats two bites of peanut butter
2:00PM: Do not attempt previously planned interview at clinic

2:01 - bedtime: Dylan cranky from a) fever and b) not eating

2:30PM: Interpreter calls to push back interview scheduled for later in the afternoon

3:00 - 4:00PM: Very Important conference call
3:00 - 4:00PM: Dylan whines, clings, and yells --> judicious use of mute button

4:59PM: Kate takes Snuffy out for a trudge through the tundra
5:00PM: Interpreter calls house to cancel interview (tally for the day: 0 for 4)

5:15PM: Delicious quesadillas for Kate & Aaron; Dylan declines food

5:30PM: Attempt to drop car off for oil change --> car fails to start

6:15PM: Dylan desperately points to her crib
6:16PM: Dylan asleep

6:30PM: Aaron purchases fancy car charger thingy that plugs into formerly known as cigarette lighter thingy

6:45PM: Determine that new car charger does not hold any charge for any amount of time

7:00PM: Determine that Lowes does not sell automotive equipment of any kind, despite jumper cables on offer on website

7:30PM: Kate exchanges car charger and buys longer jumper cables

8:00PM: Try to open icy icy hood --> fail

8:30PM: Start charging car charger in hopes that it will be charged and work tomorrow with no need to open hood

9:00PM: Aaron notes miniscule amount of cake remaining --> manages to dodge uppercut

Tell me this child is not some kind of evil elf

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008

Hello? HELLO?

Yesterday I answered the house phone to a friendly and familiar "hi." A lot of people start out phone calls this way, and usually I can figure out who it is within a sentence or two. I kept saying hello, and I heard some background noise, but there wasn't another word on the other end. I figured it was just a bad connection and waited for it to clear up a bit. Clear up it did when Dylan wandered around the corner intently pushing buttons on the cell phone.

This kind of thing has been happening a lot lately because she is suddenly tall enough to reach all sorts of things that I had considered safe. For example, she has made it her life's work to get her hands on the lens cover every time I take out the camera. Which isn't that often or anything. Yesterday, much to her joy, she succeeded. Would I like it back?
Too bad.
Okay, here it is.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Q & A: Curling

Q: Can you tell me what qualifies you to inform the Internet about curling?
A: I spent an hour at the Rochester Curling Club last weekend.

Q: Did you actually participate in the sport?
A: No.

Q: Does a curling club resemble nothing so much as a bowling alley?
A: Yes.

Q: With a cozy bar prominently placed in the observation area?
A: Mm hm.

Q: So beer is an important part of the sport?
A: As far as I can tell, yes. At least, we started drinking before noon during my tenure at the RCC.

Q: What about television, is that somehow involved, according to the promotional brochure from 1994?
A: Yes.

Q: Does that same brochure suggest that the 1998 olympics will do wonders for the sport?
A: Yes.

Q: Has borne out and then some?
A: Yes.

Q: What kind of equipment is needed to curl?
A: Actually, it turns out I have been in uniform for curling my whole life. Running shoes, sweat pants, a warm yet not bulky sweater, and a toque.

Q: Is "to curl" the correct verb to use?
A: I don't know. Perhaps you could ask uncle google.

Q: Does curling, despite its humble roots, have designs on world domination?
A: So it appears.

Q: Can you give us information on the recent "Stick Delivery Rule Change"?
A: Of course! From the Grand National Curling News, Vol. 20 No. 1: "No major rule change has been made without some controversy, and the new World Curling Federation (WCF) proposed rule for the stick delivery release point is no exception...The WCF has received numerous complaints from member countries that stick curlers have an advantage over slide curlers and has been asked to devise a rule that removes this advantage. The claimed advantage is that stick curlers can more easily release the stone at the hog line and deliver a heavier take-out shot than can slide curlers. The rule proposed by the WCF requires that the rock must leave the stick before the curler's lead foot crosses the tee line." There you have it.

Q: Is bonspiel the name for a full day of curling?
A: You bet.

Q: Will this get me anywhere with the ladies?
A: That is for you to decide.

Q: Thank you for sharing your expertise.
A: I live to serve.