Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Sunday, August 29, 2010

Friday, August 27, 2010


face paint + popcorn

uncle tom + dismembered arm

living armchair + hdtv

the littlest groupie

ollie drumstick + rock band drumstick = drumstick*(ollie + rock band)

= satisfaction

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Here, there, everywhere

Thank you all for the thoughtful responses to the princess stuff. A couple more thoughts. My feelings about this are certainly tied in with reading this new york times magazine article from 2006 that has a lot of similar discussion, but also goes into the relatively recent inception of the disney princess collective as a brilliant marketing idea. It really is not so much a thing about Dylan wanting to be girly as it is a feeling that I am hand delivering her to a large company at age 3. I also feel like this is the first of many things that is billed as a choice for girls that does not really have the air of "voluntary" about it.

On another note, here is a man who could certainly pull off a tiara.

His hair is starting to curl up in the back, as is his destiny. Speaking of Ollie, I would like him more currently had he not gotten up at 5am. Actually, that would have been okay. It was getting ME up at 5am that I have the problem with. Got that, Ollie?

And a glimpse at Daddy/Dylan yoga.

Oh, and the swimming! After several mediocre-bordering-on-painful lessons we decided to just teach her ourselves for a bit. It went really well so now I've failed to learn my lesson and signed her up to try again with the outsourcing of the swim teaching to a college student starting in a few weeks.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tour de Kitchen: a Slight Variant of the What I Had For Breakfast Genre

Dylan had a sleepover in Tully this weekend. We took full advantage and participated in such activities as synchronized ellipticalling and a leisurely hour contemplating how to spend a gift certificate at Beers of the World. What? There's another kid, you say? Whatever, he's portable and doesn't know how to whine yet.

Here are our spoils from the beer store. We got a bunch of individual bottles. Yesterday was Laos night. This evening was a Canandaigua porter. We're old people who share a beer between us with dinner. My left turn signal is on right now, in fact.

Moving to the outside of the fridge, we have a precious gem from our special snowflake. I walked in to daycare one day and they had a bowl of fake fruit in the middle of the table and the kids were sketching it with crayons. I'm still giggling about it, but actually I was sort of impressed with the level of recognizability. Left to her own devices Dylan generally chooses abstract themes for her art, so when she occasionally brings home something like a drawing of our whole family with faces and limbs and everything it causes me to ask if one of her friends gave it to her.

That monkey from Kansas City keeps climbing back in the window. Speaking of Kansas City, we were supposed to use it to get to know the programs we're interested in, but Aaron used it to get to know Kansas City and has made his decision that that's where we should go. He's simple, that one.

Let's see. On the left here we have what looks like a disposable cup that is not disposable. It has been billed, in our house, as a Big Girl Sippy Cup, to assuage the existential pain that accompanies being too old to be allowed to use an actual sippy cup. Next is my lunch box because no one feeds me lunch on my current rotation, although I have taken to eating neither lunch nor breakfast and just munching all morning because I work better if I eat one bite per thought processed. Above that is a toy I rinsed off weeks ago and hung up to dry that has been hanging out there ever since. Moving right you'll see the masking tape I use to label Ollie's bottles every day. One day they came home with big red intimidating BREAST MILK stickers on them, but they did not supply me with any additional BIOHAZARD labeling items so I stick with the masking tape. In the middle of the counter you'll find the wegmans whole wheat pitas that I like to make pizzas out of. They have a ridiculous amount of fiber and you can taste it. I must keep getting them out of pure habit. Behind that are some CSA veggies I havn't gotten around to using yet. Adjacent to the veggies we have the toaster, which we have resentfully used for the several years since since the death of Toasty, our beloved toaster oven. You probably heard us wax rhapsodic about him if you visited the house circa 2005-2007. On the far right is a selection of vitamins that may or may not provide health benefits. Who knows?

Starting again on the left we find the microwave. Although purchased in the modern era, it takes up enough space to suggest a direct lineage from the early behemoths. The sippy cup in the foreground likely made its way to the counter after 70 repetitions of being thrown to the floor by Ollie and retrieved by me. Dylan told me I should just stop giving it back to him. Right on, super preschool nanny. Behind that is our Cookie Maker 3000. I don't know if it's ever been used for anything else. Wait, I do know. It has not. The silver cylinder thing is an olive oil micronizer from Nana that I use to correct family members as needed. One squirt for sass, two for impertinence, three for back talk. Impudence? That's a paddling. The plant is a cutting from an old family plant that I'm slightly successfully nursing back to health after a brief illness. The water bottle behind it is also in disrepair. The liquid soaps on the ledge have ingredients I don't like, yet I can't bring myself to switch before we use them up. On top of the microwave is the bottle warmer-upper that will only be in use for three more months not that anyone's counting. The same three months will also see the joyous retirement of like 800 other pumping and bottling supplies. I am weary of my milk processing duties, although once we cut out the middleman I don't mind it. I nursed Dylan for a full year older than this current baby is now. Good lord.

The key elements to notice here are: 1)the cloth wall hanging I brought back from South Africa in 2005 that I'm still in love with, 2)the child's menorah, ready for use at a moment's notice, 3)the box of cheerios that I use in a steady stream to appease ollie, who starts yelling urgently the minute he sees the glint of yellow box, and 4)the speakers that Aaron wired into the kitchen to allow me to feed my npr habit at all times. Good on you, Aaron.

You know I could keep going, but I'll spare us all. Last up we have the High Chair Bandit. He'll steal yer cheerios just as soon as look at you. I caught him doing this himself but I was too slow on the draw so I had to recreate it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Teeth 3&4

have arrived also. I agree, Ollie, get it all over with at once.

Other things about Ollie

His person has always been shaped like a football. Handy for tucking underneath your arm and making a quick getaway.

After his initial six months of digestive unpleasantness, he is now comically regular. Every morning I plunk him in his high chair and five minutes later he's loudly and enthusiastically working on his morning...project.

His talons grow at the speed of sound. The better for scratching up your face with, my dear.

After an initial lack of interest in stairs, he's all over that.

He plays like a cat with a ball of yarn. He's always tooling around the downstairs batting at toys. (evidence)

If I say, "I'm going to get you" he crawls away as fast as his now-fat little legs can carry him. (evidence)

He thinks the volume knob on the radio is the best toy. I contend it is not.

He still does sad-crawling. That's when he's crying while slowly plodding after me to get me to pick him up. I find it hilarious. Sorry about that, baby.

He does this thing that looks like he's developed a tic but really he's dancing.

I will go try to get a video for you now, of the cat thing. [NOW UPDATED WITH VIDEOS]

Friday, August 20, 2010

Now I've gone and got myself all riled up

Ollie is still doing great at daycare. One thing that is nice, about Ollie, in daycare, is that he is a boy. No one cares what he wears. In fact, today I did not even go so far as to put pants on him. I did put pants on myself, but only because I had to go to work. No one cares about his hair. Mostly they just find him charming, and nod approvingly at his lightning-fast crawling, his endless appetite, and his ceaseless quest for destruction. And that is that, and it's all very straightforward.


I have been working on Dylan to be polite when people say hi to her, and not just burrow her head down. She's hit or miss with this. If she's in a good mood she'll cheerfully great anyone, but in the mornings she's shy and sleepy. The other day I asked if she would say hi when people talked to her at school that morning and she said, yes, today, but not tomorrow. She repeated this to her teacher, and added, sort of jokingly, tomorrow I will be a MONSTER. Her teacher, who I really like, said, how about if you be a princess instead?

This had been relentless for her, since she was a baby. Her clothes get commented on every day. Her hair gets done at least once a week. Her (delightful) teachers in her two-year-old class took great pleasure in picking out pink cups for all the girls. That is a done deal. Pink is her very favorite color now and forever. And she's starting to figure out that I've been getting her the wrong pink. It's not the dark shade, mixed with yellow stripes or brown polka dots. It's light pink, mixed with lace or fairy wings, that she's supposed to like.

Some of this stuff has undoubtedly been good for her. She is excellent at navigating relationships with friends and can get along with any kid of any age, and pretty much likes every kid she meets. BUT OH MY GOD THE PRINCESS STUFF. This is not just some kind of pet peeve of mind. I really think it is an unequivocally negative influence for the girls. It models bossiness and idealizes clothing and beauty and finding the right man and having everyone do what you want. Maybe they don't all take every one of those messages away from this stuff, but it sucks to expose them to something where you are hoping they don't take too much away from it. I also think it plugs them right into all the next stage of media stuff that sucks for girls.

I am frustrated because it seems like few people will back me up on this. [Besides Aaron. Who is such a feminist that he one time told me he didn't think the characters in the Simpsons were set up to let the female voice actors shine enough.] Just like we can decide to be a tolerant society, but still not be tolerant of bigotry, we can be supportive of Dylan's likes and interests, but still do our best not to encourage THIS interest. It is a cheap and easy way to make her exceedingly happy, but many many things make her exceedingly happy. Give her a tiny little lollipop and she's set for like an hour.

Also, this is my kid and she has to live with me. It's best for everyone if she's not constantly nattering on about something that makes me livid. Although she is absolutely fixated on being Ariel for Halloween. We all know how I feel about Halloween and now with two (2!) children to dress up the possibilities are endless. But even I do not have it in me to forbid her from being what she wants to be for Halloween. I often suggest alternatives, but so far it's not working. I don't think the Little Mermaid is so bad, per se, but I try to play into the whole princess complex as little as possible. Ollie will obviously have to be Sebastian. But honestly, that doesn't make me less serious about this.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

dylan would like to please take your order

let's start with the specials

might i suggest the meat pizza?

okay, let me get all that down

an excellent choice, sir. fillet of fish it is.

i will let you in on a little secret. the chef, he is brilliant, but a little off-kilter.

oh. there he is now. he's young, i know, but he knows his purees like nobody's business.

he likes to check in with the guests personally.

his process is a bit nontraditional, but i can guarantee he never sends out a dish he hasn't tasted.

can i help you find something chef?

his seasonings are very important to him

he's got a bit of an attitude, though. he always threatens to walk if things don't go exactly how he wants them. some call him a bit of a baby. he doesn't like it when i say that though.

...and now he's going out back for a smoke. i apologize, sir. your dinner may be a bit delayed. there is a price to be paid for brilliance.

liner notes
1) dylan's birthday present involves a hodgepodge of items from a restaurant supply store. the internet is awesome.
2) chef ollie spent the last two days cutting his second tooth. he thinks this will expand his range, culinary-wise.
3) in order to personalize the dining experience, the chef very clearly and very personally referred to Dada this evening.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

clearinghouse: a little blurry photography for you

candyland: you know it's so much better with four people


kitchen set: still in use one year later

Sunday, August 15, 2010

weekend so far

I already experienced Ollie as a parasitic growth. Now it's Aaron's turn.

Ollie, noooooo!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Rivulet of Conscious

Ollie does high fives now. Awesome.

THE YARD...my dream of home ownership involves having a landlord. Who is not me.

Orthopedics. Done. I worked with the shoulder guy, the knee guy, the foot and ankle guy, the sports guy, the spine guy, the cancer guy, and the emergency department. I am now hyperaware of the impact of every footstep when I'm running.

Ultimate season. Done. So hot. So humid. Frustratingly, I am actually a better athlete now than when I actually got to play sports all the time.

Dylan wants to play board games and card games constantly. I am too impatient, but it seems to work for Aaron. In fact, it may be right his speed. I know I'll come down one day and he'll have hands set up for Ollie and Snuffy.

New vegetarian-ish restaurant in town! So excellent. Between that and the cupcake places we're having a renaissance around here.

- Posted from my iPhone because Dylan took my computer

Location:Raleigh St,Rochester,United States

Monday, August 09, 2010

100% up too late yet still writing blog posts. yes 10pm is too late. shut up.

Here is the thing about a baby with a bedtime. You think you will get some time to yourself in the evening. In fact, you may or may not get time to yourself in the evening as there is a 40% chance of the baby requiring more care before you actually get yourself to bed. Plus another 25% chance of the baby waking up just as you are 75% asleep. They have sleep-dar.

Our particular baby is slightly making up for this issue by commencing to wave as well as clap. He kept yelling at me from across the room and I'd look up and he'd be mashing his paw open and shut at me. I swear he's also starting to sign "more." Maybe this time we'll get around to learning a few other signs. Dylan asked today if Ollie was teaching me sign language.

I am on orthopaedics currently. Motto: we have a diphthong, sometimes.

like drinking from a fire hose, only with running instead of drinking and it's an actual fire hose