Monday, February 28, 2011

For those interested in Dylan's learnin' (I believe this club consists of: me; sometimes Aaron. this qualifies it to go on the internet, I guess), here are the four school options for her for next year:

-the public spanish immersion school
-one of the neighborhood public schools
-the charter school in the science museum
-a small private school in the city

I don't think we'll know which one until April or May. We're applying to the private school now as a backup plan if she doesn't get into any of the others (although I like it so much it's sort of tempting in any case. we're so used to handing over half our money to daycare anyway, maybe it's just a habit). Anyway, as part of the admissions process she has to spend a half day there this week without me. Aaron has helpfully been encouraging her:

"I spend half days without Mommy all the time! It's great! I really like it!"

We've continued to play The Game of Life with her on the ipad, thus creating a ruthless, moneygrubbing, babymongering monster. She plays us off one another and trash talks the entire game. I suppose I'll have to start picking on her, too.

Ollie's latest effort was to switch the radio from npr to a very conservative talk radio show.

My latest effort was to finishing painting a new room for Dylan. I discovered Aaron has a light fixture-changing function, so that's been fun. In this case we went for "boring" which is a vast improvement over "vintage barely functional."Dylan picked the color, so she's thrilled, but I think she's even more excited about the laundry chute.
There is now an ever-growing pile of dirty laundry/books/shoes on the stuff I have stored under the laundry chute in the basement.

Speaking of piling up, you know? Sometimes when we all go to the grocery store Dylan gets buried in food.

As I said to the girl in Ollie's glass who was not wearing pants this morning, happens to the best of us.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

the latest

I can't seem to get it together to post or respond to e-mail lately. Or bathe, but I suppose that's a separate issue.


Ollie's teachers told me they almost called me a couple days ago because he kept getting into so much trouble. They said at least he makes a characteristic hissing noise before he clobbers the other babies. It was noted that a call home for misbehavior is not usually warranted for one-year-olds. They were mostly laughing, I think. Today he hurled big wooden hunks of fake food at his baby cousin for playing with his toys. I think I'm going to start picking on him, or something. Oh, wait ("a doll, a doll...")


We're almost done with Dylan's room, which is going to be most excellent. Since it's looking like we're going to stick around this house for a few more years we're looking at it in a whole new light. We're starting with sprucing up both kids' rooms and getting a whole bunch of boring medium-big things like mattresses (most opaque consumer purchase ever, per consumer reports) and light fixtures and a new toilet. We're toying with finishing the basement, but may not have the collective stomach for it. I want to paint a bunch more rooms but Aaron has suggested that further painting projects be put on hold pending appropriate ventilation opportunities (= warmer than 19 degrees out).

There's a house down the road that seems PERFECT for us and continues to taunt us, but we keep going over things and it does seem like staying put for now is the right decision.


I've started working through the first set of Bob books with Dylan. She just seemed all of a sudden like she was really ready to pick up reading. It has been so cool. We've been doing one every couple days for the past few weeks and it's helped her put everything together. By everything I mean: three letter words with short vowel sounds, except "e" because I guess that comes later.


Snuffy and I ventured out into the snowstorm yesterday and covered 3.5 miles on cross country skis (me) or paws (Snuff. obviously) in like an hour and a half. Perhaps the DRIVING WINDS and RAGING SNOWSTORM could have been incorporated more thoroughly into the day's agenda? Maybe next time? Self?


Mat sat on the fat cat and the big pig but not the sad rat.


Rank lists were due this week. That is all.

Monday, February 21, 2011

a day in the life

Just thought I would give you more of a taste of Ollie at 15 months. He is a dastardly combination of really smart, oddly strong, and relentless. I am not kidding about the maniacal laugh. Today he:

-learned how to turn on speakerphone on the phone base, so he can make calls even when I confiscate the handset
-pushed the ENORMOUS cart halfway down the aisle at Lowe's while I was dealing with Dylan
-OPENED THE OVEN while I was cooking pizza at 475 degrees
-figured out how to not only mess with the volume on the stereo, which has long been a favorite way to get some instant attention, but also to turn ON the stereo, so turning it off in desperation will get you nowhere, MOTHER
-moved the kitchen stool over to the corner, climbed up on it, and used the vitamin containers now within reach as maracas
-used his puzzle rack as a stool to get to the Wii, which he dragged across the room
-rearranged the furniture more to his liking, which involved relocating the full sized chair so he could have access to Dylan's lair

I guess it's nice he's so...independent.

In his favor, he sings while getting his teeth brushed. This amuses me.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

and onward

I will now tell you where I have been: hanging out with Aaron. More specifically, playing games on the ipad. More specifically, playing: Life, Monopoly, Scrabble, and Trivial Pursuit. To answer the obvious question, we learned long ago that Risk is not good for our marriage. We also learned long ago that playing most of these games with two people is lame. It does not bother us anymore!

We did let Dylan play Life with us today. Tut, tut. Children having children. That kid is ruthless, I'll tell you what.

Other activities have included:
-(unsuccessfully) reining in Ollie (now with bonus climbing action and maniacal laugh)
-watching Ollie's desperate need for a nap fight it out with his desperate need to stuff his face as he nodded off during lunch today
-sanding and priming one of the bedrooms (now with less peeling paint action)
-and! making headway on our Life Decision Fest Extravaganza 2011.

To recap, here are the decisions up for review:
-City of Residence
-House of Residence
-Kate's Workplace
-Aaron's Workplace
-Ollie's Daycare
-Dylan's School

We are, it seems, leaning towards Boring and Practical. This means not really messing with 4-5 of those items. Awesome. We are, at least, changing Dylan's school. We totally don't have to! She could do Kindergarten there, thus not changing one single thing from our existence now except for making my schedule many many times worse.

This is...not what we thought we would be doing. I flew all over the country looking at programs and we've looked all over the area at houses and we thought about all sorts of other stuff. We have good reasons for doing what we're doing. All the options were good options. But we're feeling grown up and responsible and sort of lame (board games aside).

Monday, February 14, 2011

February ramblings

Let's see...where we were?

Right, right. Interminable winter. I LOVE winter. I've been out skiing, of the flat and sloped varieties, way more this year than any since we moved here. But honestly, Enough.

This month in medical school we are doing a fake research project in a group of seven. Unrelatedly: I am grumpy.

Our input as to where to go next year is due the 23rd of this month. The results, I believe, are announced St Patrick's Day. If we stick around we've got it down to four schools for Dylan, but we won't know which one until April or May. We may switch Ollie's daycare, or not, depending on where Dylan ends up. We're also looking at houses, in several cities. There's one here we like a lot, but we think it's overpriced by tens of thousands of dollars, so we're not sure what to do. Their realtor told us they were "talking price reduction." To summarize: indecision all around.

Ollie. So cheerful. So snuggly. He's always plonking his round little self on my lap with a book. He also licks my face, which I think means kiss, or maybe salt deprivation. Yet he's SO BAD. He is ceaselessly destructive. We are having to babyproof all this stuff Dylan never thought to get into. And he is SO DRAMATIC about everything. I always suspected Dylan was an oddly reasonable toddler, and I was totally right. Ollie, like Snuffy, has a total pouty breakdown when even one family member leaves the house. He points and demands things all the time and starts crying immediately if he doesn't get it. On the other hand, he stops pretty easily if you distract him. Dylan hasn't ever been able to calm herself down once she gets going. Like right now, for example! And now! And now.

Dylan, and I have to express my sincere appreciation for daycare at this point, successfully had her first actual ski lesson last weekend. She was shorter than any other kid in the class by a full head and didn't have enough mass to keep up without lengthy boosts from the instructors on the flat parts (which I know, obviously, via my perch in the trees) and cried at least a couple times (I witnessed a rescue by a couple kind strangers at one point, BUT DIDN'T SWOOP IN) and I still got her back begging for just three more runs. Being a child of mine and Aaron's she certainly has the instinct to be really shy, but I think the constant socialization has really done a lot for her.

And now...here's a little photo segment I like to call, Who can use what to blackmail who?

We've moved beyond "Ollie wants a doll"

Starved for attention, the children transferred their affections to Vinny, the Vat of Vinegar

The mouth of a muppet. Try not to look at the camera-wielding maniac in the background

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

In the News/"News"

Heh. I find it's nice, on occasion, to outsource making fun of one's husband.

And your children's potential future educators. Go team!

I thought this review was pretty entertaining.

From the New Yorker, we thought this might be a reasonable job description for me.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

more weighty, weighty topics

Here's an article about Disney getting their stuff to parents in the hospital when their babies are born. When Ollie was born the hospital photographer took his pictures, which we didn't even buy, but ever since then the marketing company mentioned in this article has been emailing me and sending me stuff specific to how old Ollie is. I don't think companies should be able to mine the information of new parents and babies like that. When Ollie was born I was often alone with him, with no one who wasn't delirious to figure out for me whether I was signing a birth certificate or a promise to buy a lifetime supply of tiaras. I go through them so fast, you know. I don't even think I gave that photographer any of my information myself, since I didn't want to buy the pictures.

Saturday, February 05, 2011

sunrise, sunset

I finished reading Mary Poppins to Dylan a while back, and since then she has been pressuring me to Find More Chapter Books! to read at bedtime. I think most actual chapter books are still too dense for her, but there is a whole line of "chapter books," apparently designed for her demographic, where the chapters are like three pages long. And so it was that I found myself reading The Adventures of Captain Underpants this evening. I have never seen that child laugh so much in my life (Pair with: Tigger jammies). Anyone else need "wedgie" defined for them?


what's up, here, to a man

I have been remiss. I have failed to acknowledge the starting of the Birthday Era, lo this February the 1st.

I decadently gave Aaron a real etch-a-sketch as a picture frame.
He was pandered to, never fear. Let the six months of festivities begin!



First of all, he looks FANTASTIC in a snowsuit.

He also loves playing in the snow more than I would have imagined for a person of his stature.
He has outgrown all the hats Dylan was wearing when she was like a year older.

He is SO ATTACHED to Aaron. Not in a clingy way, more in a HI DADDY way. He will shuffle his puffball self halfway down the block for a hug if he sees him coming.

He will also reliably eject whatever food is in his mouth if you offer him something better, just for your information. Dylan is still pleased to have him as a plaything. Just this morning they made me cupcake soup for breakfast, so I view their collaboration as highly fruitful.


We took Dylan skiing again last weekend.

It's so awesome. We took her on the chair lift for the first time and she made it down from the top of Bristol. She now has stopping action.

I think of her as someone who is not into...discomfort. Or adversity. But she's actually sort of a trooper.

And sassy, you know.


Here's Snuffy, also looking fabulous. Work it, Snuffy.


Let's see, what am I up to? Putting my outerwear on the dog. Planting the baby in a snowbank. Crafting gifts for my husband. Dragging Dylan out in the snow. Attending lecture. Trying to make decisions about: city of residence, program of training, school for Dylan, daycare for Ollie, and what house to buy, if any. So, to summarize: I am often grumpy. Some of this is fun, but it will be really nice to stop reshuffling every aspect of our lives.