Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Two year olds are utterly insane

Fletcher is particularly insane these days.  I kind of hate to say it, but until very recently Fletcher has been 'the easy one'.  She was always chipper and cheerful and generally good natured.  Gryphon, on the other hand, has been the more 'difficult child', if one had to put a name on it.  But over the last six weeks or so, the roles have completely reversed!  I'm not sure what triggered it, but suffice to say that Gryphon is now pretty responsive, helpful, adorable and happy, while Fletcher screams bloody murder if I choose the wrong shoes for her, throws a screaming fit if I ask that she accompany me from point A to point B and she doesn't particularly want to at that moment, and at completely inopportune moments looks at me over her shoulder with a cheeky grin and sprints away.
So, as I said, she is insane.  And when she's not getting enough attention, she gets certifiable, albeit sometimes in a terribly adorable way.  Tonight, as Gryphon was finishing her dinner, Fletcher was running around being, well, just goofy.  But Gryphon and I were chatting about her day at school, so nobody was paying attention to Fletcher's goofiness.  So of course, she felt the need to ratchet it up a notch.
So she ran full tilt from the living room to the dining room, with her eyes squeezed shut.  Inevitably, she ran full tilt straight into the wall.  
She screamed bloody murder of course.  And it was all I could do not to laugh.  I picked her up and cuddled her, calming her down after about five minutes of hugs and attention.  I explained to Gryphon that this was an object lesson - Do Not Run With Your Eyes Closed.  Period.  She asked "Did Fletcher really run into the wall because her eyes were closed?" 
"Why yes", I said.
Gryphon looked at me a moment, and with a slight grin, said, "Mommy, I saw you smiling."

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Parents are stupid

Today was a glorious fall day.  One of those days that you wait all summer for, a day that you dream about in the depth of cold and grey March.  All four of us spent hours at the local farmers' market, parents drinking too much coffee and letting the girls get too dirty.  Follow that with a birthday party for a friend of the girls, the fence getting fixed, and an amazing dinner with our best of grown-up friends, and all in all it was a day that you want to bottle up and put in your pocket and sell for millions of dollars.
But a day like that makes for very tired girls.
After a near total meltdown and a promise that Darling Husband would carry all 45 pounds of Gryphon home, we set off for home at 10pm (BAD MOMMY).  While we were walking, Gryphon inquired about why there was a cat walking down the sidewalk without its family all alone AT NIGHT.  Darling Husband started to explain "cats see really well at night, kind of like people see during the day, so their night is like our day, their day is like our -"
Gryphon interrupts and deadpans "Oh, cats are nocturnal."
Um, yeah.  

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Sisters, revealed










The looks on their faces are truly priceless, don't you think?







Thursday, September 10, 2009

It's official. . .

Fletcher is taking this whole potty thing very seriously now.  
The one drawback of her wonderful new trick, though, is that whenever I go to the bathroom now, she comes running in, watches me pee, and then proclaims with great gusto, "I'm so PROUD of you!!!!!"

Monday, September 7, 2009

Toes!

I hope that Fletcher doesn't start sucking her big toe as much as Gryphon sucks her thumb.  That would get uncomfortable.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Little bit lonely. . .

So, Darling Husband has been gone for almost seven days now.  While I have missed him every day since his departure, it has been over the last two days that I have been REALLY pining for him.  On Monday afternoon he exited the overly interconnected world [yes, I am aware of the irony of calling this time we live in 'overly interconnected' on a blog] and entered the weird wonderful world of Burning Man  - there is no cell phone, interwebs or gmail on the Playa.  
Well, almost.  Or mostly.  There was a flurry of worry as early arrivals reported some cell service in Black Rock City, but in the end it appears that the arrival of the masses again made direct contact with the outside world nearly impossible.   
This made me think about how technology has so indelibly changed our society.  There are all of these wonderful tools to stay connected with the people around us, but in addition to making it harder to escape our past, it is also as if we have forgotten how to really truly miss people.  Because, well, technically, they are always  in our pocket.  Experiencing a week of no contact what so ever puts old love letters, written during periods of months or even years of absence, after which time a reunion could not be promised, in perspective. . . 
*  *  *  *  *
While awaiting your return (in one piece I hope), my dearest Ben, I am merely a spectator, hanging out above your world in the desert.  Even though you cannot call out to me, I can peek at the happenings on the Playa.  Indeed, when the server is not overloaded with spectators like me, I hope that maybe I will catch a glimpse of you among the great unwashed.  As I write, evening is arriving in Black Rock City.  Enjoy the crazy night, my darling.

Live streaming video by Ustream

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Singalong

The girls and I have a long standing habit of playing big loud music in the car in the morning on the way to school - bands like Radiohead and Powderfinger.  Lately we have been thrashing Muse, the 'biggest band America doesn't know anything about', really REALLY loudly.  Fletcher has taken to one particular song, and belts it out at the top of her lungs, plus undertakes a whiplash inducing head banging stint at the appropriate musical moment.  Watch, listen and imagine.  
Knights of Cydonia Live at Wembley (Fletcher usually really gets going at about the 3:00 minute mark):

Monday, August 31, 2009

The tooth fairy is scary

Today was Gryphon's first day of kindergarten.  In preparation, last night we picked out her clothes, packed up her backpack, talked about what she would take for lunch, and just generally got ourselves overly excited.  When morning finally came, it was lovely and cool outside - it FELT like the first day of school should. . . except of course that Gryphon awoke with a full on case of the Gryphon grumpy's.  She's been feeling badly on and off for a few days, with minor fevers now and again mainly in the afternoon, but I hadn't thought much of it.  In fact, I was convinced that at least some it it was growing pains (see the last paragraph here).  So, like a good mother, I doped her up on Tylenol, fed her, clothed her, and sent her on her way.

With the morning to ourselves, Fletcher and I had a grand old time.  Which led to her going to nap a bit late, which meant of course that she got pretty pissy when I had to wake her up from nap a bit early.  All because selfish mommy needed to get mason jars from Logan Hardware (thanks for the tip Lana ) in order to jam and can some of the big bag of beautiful peaches  I bought last weekend from the Bloomingdale Farmer's Market .  
I know, I digress, but for a good reason.  Outside the hardware store was a street musician playing the saxophone.  Fletcher was enthralled.  I mean really enthralled.  We stopped to listen for a second on our way in to the store, and on our way out Fletcher dropped a dollar in his case.  At which point he stopped what he was doing, said thank you, then serenaded her with a wonderful rendition of 'Summertime'.  She was glued to the spot, swaying with the music.  A whole crew of folks stopped and watched because really, it was a great image.  (Of course, my camera was in the car.)  And, like a good little audience member, she applauded when he finished.
Tangent complete.
So off we went to pick up Gryphon.  And out she came with another case of the grumpy's, and a fever to boot.  Her loose tooth was hurting, her head was hurting, and she was a tired tired girl.  So, like a good mother, I doped her up with Tylenol again, called the pediatrician and left a message, and tried to figure out a way to get her to get that damned tooth out of her mouth!  I kept worrying that it was going to fall out at some inopportune moment and she would either swallow it, choke on it, or lose it.  So, the google on the interwebs became my guide. . . ah the stupidity.  Finally I stumbled upon this page, with a passel of generally irrelevant suggestions considering how far gone this tooth looked.  But suggestion number four proved to be a winner.  
Offer your child some salt water to swish around their mouth. If the tooth is already very loose, it may fall out. Play a game of swish and spit with plain water, flouride mouth rinse or salt water.
Now we know that Gryphon has some serious phobias.  Anything that tastes remotely of any  flavor, other than something sweet, is totally off the cards, so we used plain old tap water.
And voila!  
So, I'm thinking, whew, excellent, great, done, maybe she'll be all fine tomorrow.  Then the pediatrician's office calls and says, "It sounds like she might have a tooth abscess.  You should bring her in.  Now."  And I get paranoid and darling Cecily takes Fletcher, and Gryphon and I undertake what is generally considered a trip designed to turn even the sanest one of you into a lunatic - that is, the drive from central DC to Falls Church, VA, via I395S and I66W, at 5:30pm on a weekday.  The 11 mile trip took just under an hour.  And several minutes off my projected lifespan.
So, long and short, we didn't have an abscess, but a sore throat instead.  But no strep throat, apparently, which is a really good thing, because then all the good mother crap I've been tossing around would have been a real crock, because who send their kid to the first day of kindergarten with strep throat?  Definitely not a good mother. . . 
The cherry on top of this sundae of a day - which, you'll remember, included the first day of kindergarten, a serenade by a saxophonist, a fever of nearly 103 (oh, I hadn't quite mentioned that, huh?), a mad dash to the pediatrician -  is that Gryphon is apparently afraid of the tooth fairy.  She grilled me in the car on the way back from the pediatrician, "But, what IS the tooth fairy?  How does she know to come?  Do girls get girl tooth fairies and boys get boy tooth fairies?  What is she going to do to me?  How will I know she has come?  No, really mommy, WHAT IS SHE GOING TO DO TO ME?????"  Given that my mother wrote and illustrated a book about the tooth fairy that Gryphon and I have read together countless times, Gryphon's freak out was a bit of a shock.


So, Gryphon's newly lost tooth is currently under MY pillow.  I hope the tooth fairy brings ME something.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Butterflies

We went to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History last wednesday, and Gryphon came prepared for the Butterfly Pavilion with her magnifying glass.  This picture made me smile.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Potty time! Excellent!

Several months ago, Fletcher showed signs of being ready to potty train.  If I let her walk around naked, she would come tell me to put her 'britches' on her when she needed to pee.  So I started putting her on the potty and reading books to her.  And she wouldn't go.  And she wouldn't go.  And she wouldn't go.  Then she started to get resentful of getting put on the potty, and would hop off and pee on the floor.  So, we stopped.  

But lately she's shown an interest again. . . so we've been talking about the potty.  Today, SHE DID IT.  Peed on the potty!  Woo hoo!  Awesome!  Excitement!  

Now, one might think that I am excited because my darling lady is hitting a monumental milestone, learning new things, and growing up.  Or maybe that I was tired of changing diapers all the time - which is true, but when you've been doing it for five years straight like I have, you have it down to an art form.  

But no.  Really, I am just so excited at the prospect of not spending hundreds and hundreds of dollars a year on diapers.  

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Catch up

Yes, I have been a slacker.  Apologies.  Six weeks without writing is a bit of a problem.  See, I have all of these incidents in my head that I MEANT to write about, ideas that I've MEANT to flesh out, pictures that I've MEANT to post.  And with each one that passes that I don't get around to posting, it becomes more difficult to write the next one, because I think "Oh!  I should write about that thing that happened three weeks ago that I meant to write about then before I write about the thing that happened today!"  And then I write about neither.

So, I'm here to play catch up.  In brief:
  • Both girls are swimming.  Like fish.  Underwater.  And Fletcher still has no fear.
  • Gryphon went to Nana and Monkey's house for a week.  She had lots of fun and rode a horse and went to the safari park and went to a 3D movie and generally got to do whatever she wanted which was awesome until she came back.  Real life catching up with her, like not being able to do pretty much exactly what she wanted to do exactly when she wanted to do it was a bitch.  But considering the amount of fun she had, I say it was worth it.
  • Fletcher gave up her dummy.  Actually, I think in the end it was me that gave it up.  Amusingly, she did not seem to have much of a problem letting it go.  Apparently it was just my addiction to being able to instantly quiet her down on the bus or in the museum that kept it around.  As a result though, she's talking.  A lot.  And singing.  A lot.
  • Gryphon was back at school camp for two weeks.  Chinese is coming along incredibly.  She keeps translating things for me.  
  • Fletcher lives on a pure protein and carbohydrate diet.  It is beginning to worry me.
  • Gryphon has her first loose tooth.  A very loose tooth.  Is there some sort of initiation process with kids where they are taught by their slightly older peers that when a tooth is really loose, it is really cool to wiggle it, push it, click it, and generally go bizarre things with it using their tongue?
  • Fletcher saw her first movie in a movie theater yesterday.  Ponyo.  Go see it.  It will make you smile.
  • I might have a part-time work at home gig managing a Capitol Hill dog walking service.  Maybe.  Woo hoo!
  • The part-time gig is important because man the economy sucks and our house value has plummeted and we need the cash!
  • Darling Husband leaves for Burning Man on Friday morning.  I have a week of just me and the girls, the first day of kindergarten, and maybe a job starting, all without adult backup.  Yikes!
  • My dad had a hole drilled in his head this morning.  We don't know yet what they found.  
OK, there.  That is my update.  I will be more prolific moving forward.

As for that thing that I wanted to write about today that I couldn't write about because there was the giant backlog of things that I hadn't gotten around to write about that I somehow managed to put into bullet points above?

Gryphon looks positively chubby at the moment.  Like, stocky.  Now, compared to other children, she still looks like a wisp of a child, but for her, she looks huge!  And she's been taking naps for the last two days.  Unbidden, just put herself down for naps.  And she told me yesterday that her body hurt.  You know what this means don't you?  Sometime in the next couple weeks I expect that she will, overnight, grow three inches.  

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Red Letter Day!

I love having a free pool one block from our house.  It means that with no more planning than "hey, girls, get your bathing suits on" we can take a nice dip on a nice day.  Our pool isn't fancy, in fact it could use some work, but hey, a pool is a pool, right?
So normally we go straight for the baby pool when we get there (it is a pretty good baby pool - sloped entrance, good size, depth from a few inches up to one and a half feet), put our bags down, and hop in.  Then, after awhile, Fletcher decides she wants to jump in the big pool.  Gryphon sometimes comes with us, or, if she's found a friend in the little pool, stays there while Fletcher jumps into the big pool.  Gryphon is not a fan of jumping in the pool, and has not been a fan of going under water.  Indeed, she has been a bit skittish in the water.  She would grab on to the closest adult, all arms and legs, squeezing like a boa constrictor.  This year, she's been taking more chances, has put her face in, and generally has been a bit more confident.  But as a rule, she has preferred to stay in the baby pool.
A note on Fletcher jumping:  SHE HAS NO FEAR. None.  Period.  At all.  She jumps in, I let her go under, and pull her up only after she kicks her feet.  In reality, she usually comes almost all the way up on her own.  She also likes to try to get away from me.  Yes, she tries to push me away while in four or five feet of water.  And yes, she is only two and a half.  So sometimes I let her get away, just to remind her that she probably should indeed have just a little tiny bit of fear, to be on the safe side.  
But I digress. . . 
Today, Gryphon came to the big pool.  She held onto the side while Fletcher jumped in.  And then, at a point when I wasn't totally paying attention, said something along the lines of "Mama, I'm going to really try it today."  And before I had a chance to comprehend. . . 

SHE LET GO OF THE WALL AND SWAM!!! 

Out she went, about five feet or so, and turned around and swam back to me!  I was so excited!  I was giggly!  I said to the two young men sitting on the side of the pool "Hey! Did you see that? She swam!  That was her first time!"  They looked at me with that look of slight disdain that only a teenager can muster, with a little bit of humor thrown in for good measure.  I then told every lifeguard, and the pool manager too!  I'm still a little bit giddy!
Needless to say, Fletcher then wanted to go back to the baby pool and Gryphon wouldn't get out of the big pool.  It looks like our pool habits will be changing. 
After another half hour of swimming (which included of course baby sister trying even harder to get away from me and swim on her own, because FIFFIN did it - I wouldn't put it past Fletcher to be swimming on her own by the end of summer), we came home and, as is our usual practice, sat on the front stoop and ate popsicles.  

Ah, summer.

Oh, and as a slightly sad, for no good reason, postscript:  When we left the pool, Fletcher said "Mama, carry me."  Now this shouldn't seem like such a big deal, but it was to me.  Up until then, she had always said "carry you" as in my question "do you want me to carry you?"  So she's starting to figure out pronouns, it seems.  And growing up.  

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Childrearing via Craigslist

My friend Geoff forwarded a link today to one of the most bizarre Craigslist ads I have ever seen:
---------------------------------------------

Actor needed for emotional role – One day high pay


Date: 2009-04-17, 12:52PM EDT

My deceased aunt gave my two kids a Cocker Spaniel a few months back. The dog has been a terror and become overwhelming for me. I am a single father raising two young children. I cannot face telling the kids that the dog must go. I have found a good home for the dog, and just need someone to transport the dog, and play the villain. 

Premise: You will be the dog walker hired by daddy (me) to walk Skittles. I will introduce you to the kids, and you will tell them you are going to help Skittles get her exercise when Daddy is too busy to walk her. At that point you will walk Skittles to your car and take her to her new family 20 minutes from my place. Then return holding just a leash. The story will be that Skittles broke free of the leash and took off. At this point prepare for crying, things being thrown at you, and possibly cursing. My kids are young and dramatic, their girls. 

Pay will be $500. The job will take roughly 2 hours at best. 

This job is ideal for an actor looking to diversify their role base, or someone who genuinely likes to make children cry. Acting experience is a plus, but not necessary. Please inform me of any prior experience in this kind of situation. 
  • Location: DC, MD, VA
  • it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests
  • Compensation:
---------------------------------------------
I wonder if this dad overwhelmed dad ever found an actor to fit the bill?  

But more importantly, doesn't this seem like a bit of a parenting cop-out?  I mean, really.  We had a dog.  We couldn't care for him anymore because he needed more attention and space to run than we could provide.  We explained that to the girls (who were four and one at the time).  And they missed him, but they got over it.  Life lesson taught, life lesson learned.  (Admit your mistakes when you get in over your head, and do something about it.)  

Such an elaborate plan, just to not have to tell kids the truth.  But maybe I am being to hard on him.  Thoughts?

Friday, June 19, 2009

As for more life changes. . .

WHAT?!?!?!?!?!
Several weeks ago, Darling Husband and I made a pretty big decision.  Really, a pretty HUMUNGOUS decision.  The kind of decision that generally speaking makes people's jaws go slack (right before they shout 'WHAT?').
We are moving.  Again.  And not just moving to another suburb, another state, or across the country.  We are moving back to Australia.  
I am aware that I cannot drop that bomb without further explanation.  In brief:
1)  Quitting my job put some things in perspective for me about life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
2)  Darling Husband is not too thrilled with his job, either.  (UNDERSTATEMENT!)
3)  The economy in the dear ol' US of A sucks.  But even during this global economic meltdown, Australia's economy is kind of like an economy on antidepressants:  although it is harder to make gobs and gobs of money than in the US, but nobody is going to totally fall off a cliff financially.*  
4)  Everyone in Australia has access to healthcare.
5)  There is no gay marriage debate in Australia.  It is a non-issue, because domestic partnerships are legally binding for both heterosexual and queer relationships.
6)  The Australian government actually invests in parks, social services, renewable energy, and oh so much more.  In other words, many of the things that I fight to get the US political machine to take care of here, they are already done in Australia.  (I know, it is not perfect!  Cop-out?  I don't really think so. . .)
7)  Having worked on the Obama Campaign last year, I think I saw too much of the sausage being made, so to speak.  I'm tired of fighting for proper governance and government, when I have the option of living somewhere where the fight is already MUCH further along.  
8)  Our Dear Daughters are beginning to show signs of really needing a slower lifestyle.  A more mellow lifestyle.  For that matter, so are we.
This list will continue to grow. . . but that at least provides a taste of the reasons. . . 

WHERE????
Bellingen, NSW.  Again, jaws tend to go pretty slack at that announcement.  For now I will say that we found it nearly eight years ago now, by accident (Darling Husband was driving from Canberra to Brisbane, which is a REALLY LONG WAY, and found Bellingen on the way.  He stayed for a night, and fell in love.  We went back together maybe a year later.  And fell in love with it again.  More on why, and what we intend to do there, later.  For now, just imagine living in a lush river valley, with pristine surf beach 25 kilometers to the east and rainforest 25 kilometers to the west, only a 40 minute drive from a city of 70,000 people with an airport and a university. 

WHEN?!?!?!?!
One year - summer 2010.  It will take that long to get our lives in order, on both sides of the Pacific.  

The funny thing is that when we came to the US back in 2004, we came with a specific purpose.  That purpose was for Darling Husband to experience living in the US (since he hadn't, and I had spent three years in Australia) so that we would then be able to TOGETHER make a decision about where we wanted to settle, and where we wanted the kids to grow up.  And we had gotten so caught up in just trying to LIVE, that we had almost forgotten about our stated purpose.  I'm glad we remembered.

So, from here on out, we have a brand new goal to strive for.  And I intend to document, in gory detail, all of the insanity involved in moving countries (which, by the way, I have done THREE TIMES ALREADY**, but never, of course, with two children in tow).  Enjoy the ride!


* More on this later.
** 1998 - USA to China, 2000 - China to Australia, 2004 - Australia to USA

Monday, June 8, 2009

Officially Unemployed, and other assorted life changes

I have been officially unemployed (well, at least not pulling a paycheck), since June 1.  This is a very Very VERY strange transition to experience.  I spent last week TRULY unemployed - both Darling Girls were still in school and day care respectively.  Unfortunately, my newfound freedom proved to be a bit too free, and I did not do half of the tasks that I had set for myself.  Starting today, Miss Fletcher is with me full-time.  It is such a wonderful opportunity to spend time with her, time that I did not have with Gryphon. . . 

I struggle to find the right balance of tasks, schedules, etc.  Without a schedule imposed upon me by the daily grind of a 9-5 office job, I have the opportunity to schedule my life ALL BY MYSELF!  But I'm not sure how. . .  

How much time do I spend reading the news everyday, and writing, in order to keep myself engaged in my chosen field, in the hopes of actually pulling in a few contracts to actually earn some money?  How much time do I spend on the house everyday (cleaning and laundry, not to mention reorganizing, stripping paint, repainting, etc)?  And how much time do I spend just focused on Fletcher (and eventually, Gryphon too)?  

I have been mulling over undertaking a research/writing project over the next month or two, specifically on this topic.  It is about the process that people undertake on a daily basis of moving between worlds.  Some people go to work, and put on a persona - one very separate from who they are at home.  Some people are lucky and have made work for themselves that allows for them to not endure a forced split personality.  Some people, like me, feel schizophrenic half the time, trying to move between, for instance, motherhood, politics, work, neighborhood, etc, etc.  Not sure how this is going to work. . . I'll keep you posted.

On my schedule for today:  laundry.

Friday, May 15, 2009

the human body

Gryphon has taken a keen interest of late in the body and its various functions.  The questions that I have been asked:

Mommy, why can I only see where I am? (This one took me awhile to understand, but it became a good lesson in imagination and empathy.)

Mommy, what makes freckles come out from the inside of people?  (Skin is a fascinating organ, you know.)

Mommy, what is the little thing that's like a penis in my private place? (!!!!!)

Mommy, how come bones bend? (They don't!  You have joints!  This was a blessedly easy one to answer.)

And that is just a sampling.  Whew.  I'm exhausted.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

rainbow chocolate cookies

In the car coming home from school today, Gryphon started telling me all about someplace she could get 'rainbow chocolate cookies' - talking the way only a five year old can (and I must admit that I was only somewhat listening. . . BAD MOMMY!).  

When she finally drew my attention away from the bad drivers that make up the norm in my dear DC, she was saying "Mommy, the tower!  You have to take me to the tower!  Isabella told me that she had 'rainbow chocolate cookies' at the place with the tower, and that there is one more left JUST FOR ME!"

"What tower are you talking about, honey?" I answered.

"The tower, Mommy!" Apparently I was being dense.  "The tower back there, Mommy!"

"Which one???"  I looked out my rear view mirror trying to figure out where she was talking about.

"Mommy!"  True five year old exasperation!  "The big tower building where the baby Jesus is supposed to live!"

Ah, the perspective of a child living in a decidedly non-religious household in a hyper-religious world.


 

Friday, April 10, 2009

A four year old's take on the daily news

Remember what the headline news was this morning?  

After rushing around (because I woke up late, ugh!) to gather all of the random detritus that the girls seem to need to go to school (backpack? check.  lunchbox? check.  bunny? check.  juice? check. etc, etc, etc) we managed to pack ourselves into the car at 8:00am.  The car radio was tuned to NPR, and the headline news was being read as I turned the car on, and as I tempted fate trying to pull out of my parking spot, trying not to get hit by a speeding gravel truck, Gryphon exclaimed:

"PIRATES?!?!?!?!  What??  FOUR pirates??!!??!!??!!  Do they have SWORDS??!!??!!??!!"  

Sunday, March 1, 2009

ABCs

So, I believe this one pretty much speaks, or sings, for itself.


video

Thursday, February 26, 2009

For Grandma Donna

Grandma Donna - 

We have been thinking about you all week and hope you feel better soon!!!

Much love,

Elizabeth and the girls (and Ben too!)


video

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Welcome to Washington, now give up your constitutional rights

Senate Bill 160 will come to a vote Tuesday - PLEASE GIVE ME MY RIGHTS AS A US CITIZEN!

Call your congressman/woman via the congressional switchboard at 202 225 3121.  

In particular, if you are from North Carolina, please call NC Senator Kay Hagen's office at 202 224 6432.  She is reportedly undecided on DC Voting Rights.

The vote is Tuesday.  

I want my voice!  I can see the Capitol Building from my house,  but have no one therein with a vote (Eleanor Holmes Norton does her best, but how much can she do without a VOTE?!?!?!)

Come on people, let's make this happen!!!!!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day

After dinner tonight, Gryphon asked me for 'a treat'.  I presented her with the CUTEST heart shaped sugar cookie that we brought home from a Valentine's Day Tea Party with some of her school friends.  

Now, if you aren't aware, Gryphon is a Very Picky Eater.  Always.  If a chicken nugget is too brown, she will not eat it.  If a blueberry is slightly squishy, she will not eat it.  If a carrot is not long and thin, she will not eat it.  If a sandwich is not cut in the right way (and the right way is different each day), she will not eat it.  If a cookie is broken, she will not eat it.  You get the idea.  

And most pertinent to this story, she usually likes to eat just the icing off cake, cupcakes, iced cookies, etc.  

So after bringing her the cookie I went back to the kitchen to clean up.   All the sudden I heard Gryphon's anguished cry from the dining room.  'What's wrong?' I asked as I made my way back to the dining room.  'I was trying to eat the icing off the cookie, but I couldn't get it off.  The cookie keeps breaking!

'My HEART is BROKEN!!!!!!'

Needless to say, Gryphon did not finish her cookie.
  

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

a coating of winter

So, after a nice day of snowfall, Our Fair City awoke today to a nasty coating of ice. While all the schools in the surrounding suburbs were closed because of the weather, DCPS called a two hour delay.

What did our new Commander in Chief think of all this hoopla in Our Fair City? Per the Christian Science Monitor:

At a photo op before his meeting Wednesday morning with business leaders, [President Obama] joked about how DC schools can’t handle wintry weather, according to a press pool report. Think again, Mr. President. Unlike the surrounding jurisdictions, which closed schools because of icy conditions, DC public schools were open for business, after a two-hour delay.
But Obama’s children, who attend the private Sidwell Friends, didn’t have school.
“My children’s school was canceled today, because of what? Some ice?” he said to laughter, according to an unofficial transcript of his remarks provided by Jon Ward of the Washington Times. “As my children pointed out, in Chicago, school is never canceled,” and kids even go out for recess on snow days, he added, to more laughter.


My response, Mr. President?

Should the US Congress deign to provide the citizens of the District of Columbia, who incidentally suffer abiding in the same city as the federal legislature without having any representation therein, funds the procurement and maintenance of appropriate snow and removal machinery in the next budget that, for some twisted region, lawmakers from across the country have control over, then maybe we can talk! Harumph!

(Thanks to my pal Ian Livingston for the photo!)

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

an aside. . .

After this incredible day (again, I promise, I'll write the story soon!) during which the girls both wanted a piece of me all day, both wanted me to hold them, both wanted me to push their respective strollers, etc, Husband Ben suggested that I change my subtitle from 'so much to do, so little time' to 'so much to do, so little me'.  

Good idea!  Thank you Husband.

Inauguration Insanity pt. 2

YES WE DID!

Way in the back - never actually did see the Capital Building in person except from our own upstairs windows, but who cares?!?!

More on the trek later.

For now, just look at these smiles - all because we FINALLY have a NEW PRESIDENT!!!!!!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Inauguration Insanity pt. 1

Obamamania is afoot!

My Dear City has become a complete madhouse, and I love it.

Yesterday Husband Ben, Neighbor Hugh and I left the girls at home with Nana and toodled on down to brave the COLD and the INSANITY that was the "We Are One" concert on the mall. First we went to wait for a bus, but a taxi came by at such a seredipitous moment that we just couldn't resist.

Given that we were leaving the house at 12:30pm, we knew that we would not get close to the action. Plus we were pretty sure that several flasks of Jamesons Irish Whiskey, although medicinal in purpose,
would be frowned upon at the security checkpoint.

So we stayed way Way WAY in the Way WAY back behind the last jumbotron. The mood was pretty awesome - even back there - and when Bishop Robinson gave his opening prayer even the least religious among us was moved to tears. (ASIDE: If you didn't hear, there's been an uproar about the fact that
HBO didn't broadcast the prayer, which pissed a lot of people, including me, off!)

Anyway, we hung out between the Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial under the watchful eye of these guys.

One of the most fascinating parts of the whole show, though, was Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen's version of "This Land Is Your Land". We all grew up with the song, we all learned it in elementary school. But really, we only learned the refrain and first verse. They sang, and got the crowd singing along (!), and sang at least four verses of the song including the alternate verses. . . the one that goes 'There was a big high wall there that tried to stop me/Sign was painted, it said private property/But on the back side it didn't say nothing/That side was made for you and me.' People so easily forget that
Woody Guthrie was not only a famous folk singer, but also had extremely left politics. . . but I digress. . .

Then of course, the the big man himself, THE O, spoke to the probably three quarter of a million people gathered:

(See there, on the jumbotron? I think you might be able to see a speck way Way WAY far away on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial. . . if you squint really hard.)

The music and the speeches were great, but really, it was all about the crowd. There was sheer joy and incredible excitement on everybody's faces, in every direction. And when it was over, the departure took on the pallor of a stampeding herd of wildebeests.

By now slightly tipsy (remember the Jamesons?) we made our way home. Husband Ben had to work today (!!!!!), so we left him home with Nana and the girls and went out to the AWESOME Burning Bush party in my neighborhood. (Cecily sums it up just about right
here.) CATHARSIS!

Needless to say, I came home about three sheets to the wind sometime after 2am. It appears that Obamamania has made me stop acting like a mommy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Conversations I

Gryphon: "So Mommy do you know what sp- spa- spontaneous combustion means?"

Wow! They went to the Air and Space Museum today - they must have learned something about engines or something! That's really cool. . . I can't wait to hear her answer!

Me: "Tell me what it means, honey!"

Gryphon: "It means that we stand up really tall and then Ms. Lacey says 'SPONTANEOUS COMBUSTION' and then we all jump around like crazy kids and explode."

Ah.

yes we can

As we hurried down the sidewalk, scurrying through the cold to across the street before the light changed, the older man, a stranger, trotting beside me broke into a crooked smile and said "Yes we can."

"Yes we can," I responded.

Once we were safely across he said, "Do you think it will really get better?"

"It has to," I said.

"I'm one of the little people," he said, "I've lost almost all of my 401K - and there wasn't very much to begin with. You're right, it has to get better."

yes we can