Wednesday, December 26, 2007

White Christmas

I don't have any pics because I don't have any USB cables here to hook my camera up here (note: put on packing list for next year), but Portland got a nice dusting of snow for Christmas Day. That was cool, although today A. tells us that snow gives him a headache. Good thing he lives most of the winter in California.

The boys are over at the uncle's house this morning, because their snow actually stuck, and I'm getting ready to walk BY MYSELF to get some coffee. The BY MYSELF and the COFFEE are the important parts of that sentence. It's been a very nice Christmas and a pretty fun trip, really, but I need a tiny bit of down time.

The only bummer is that A., like his mother, seems to be allergic to air. I can control my nose with a steroid spray, but my lungs feel like they're filled with smoke and my ears itch. Poor A. is too young for the spray and Claritin has limited efficacy, so he's getting drugged with benadryl every night. It helps him sleep but he still snores pretty loudly. One of us sleeps with him while the other parent sleeps across the hall in the tiny single bed. So at least one of us gets a good night's sleep. Tonight's my night -yay! And tomorrow we head home. I enjoyed Christmas more than usual this year, but I'm always glad when it's over and I can get back to my routine.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

This morning we headed out to the airport. On the shuttle from the parking garage, Ben ran a constant monologue for the rest of the passengers.

"Is this is a real bus? I like this bus. Oh, look at all these cars. And I see some airplanes. We're going on an airplane. We're going to drive the airplane. We're going to fly. I like this bus. This is a very nice bus."

Next to us was a couple with two boys about 6 and 8 years old. They sat slumped in their seats and didn't say a word.

"Someday, ours will be that quiet," I said to the mother.

"Yeah, it takes a while," she offered, watching the motormouth on my lap. I could tell she was thinking, "And, in your case, it may never happen."

Anyway, for the first time, we checked both car seats and didn't bring a stroller. I couldn't believe it. All four of us WALKED onto the plane by ourselves (before stepping onto the plane, Ben demanded to know who was going to drive this thing, but fortunately felt safe enough with my vague, "the pilot knows how to drive this plane" and didn't demand to meet him/her personally) and we all sat in our four respective seats. A. actually fell asleep with G., and Ben watched Little Einsteins on my iPod after several minutes of narrating everything happening outside his window. Loudly. I actually read a magazine. Even with a motormouth, it was soooo much easier.

And we're here in Portland. I have to figure out the wonders of Windows Vista so I can explain my MIL's new computer to her. And I'm going to bed. G'night.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

On the 11th Day of Christmas, My True Love Gave to Me...

I have a feeling I'm supposed to be doing something right now since Christmas is 6 days away and we leave for Portland in less than 3 days, but I'm brain dead from listening to people all day (why are people in therapy so doggone negative? Sheesh). So I'm going to do a meme from Sarah.

Age on my next birthday:

Place I'd like to travel:

Place I've been:

Favorite Food:

Place I was born:

Place I live:

Name of past pet:

My best friend's nickname:

My maiden name:
First Job:
(FYI: don't google "babysitter" images unless your safe search is on. Unless you want lots of porno pics that, as far as I can see, have nothing to do with babysitting.)

10 Frogs A-Leaping

A shorter video than yesterday's - the last verse of what we call the "my true love song." Watch how Ben knocks an ornament from the tree and then tries to deflect attention from himself with a loud "FIIIVE," like, "I couldn't have knocked that ornament down because look how loud I'm singing."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Thank Goodness Their Grandparents Think They're Cute

I tried to make a video of A. and Ben singing Christmas songs for the grandparents. Be sure to stay tuned for A.'s special Christmas message at the end. Christmas Crabs. And Ben's hungry.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Every Culture

...tries to claim Jesus as their own.

Few people realize that Jesus was actually Irish, and the three kings were leprechauns.

From: Bad Nativities

And thanks to Lindsey for the link.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Thanks, PBS

The downside of having a kid who doesn't watch commercial TV is that he doesn't ask for anything normal at Christmas time. His wish list includes a tree house (he wanted one of these for his birthday, too - we're working on it) and a "weather-thing" which he explained like this:

A: "It has mountains and you can make the clouds come out and rain, and then you can make them go away and make the sun shine."

Me: "Uh-huh. So does this all, like, happen inside a box?"

A: "No, it just happens wherever you are."

Me: "So you sort of make your own weather happen over the mountains?"

A: "Yep."

Me: "You know, buddy, I've never seen anything like that. I'm not sure Santa has something like that."

A (rolling eyes): "He could have his elves make it."

Duh. If you tell me the dude can get around the world in 24 hours, then he's gotta be able to make a small scale ecosystem, right? Pssshhh.

Hope he's not too disappointed when Santa brings him some Knex instead.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Our New Name for Corn Dogs

A: "Today, the kids that had hot lunch got corn-on-the-dogs."

Monday, December 10, 2007

I have 10 minutes, give or take a few, to read a book before I fall asleep at night, so it better be worthwhile. At the moment I'm reading Barbara Kingsolver's Animal, Vegetable, Miracle which is actually inspiring me to eat more vegetables, a miracle in itself.

Pre-children, a perfect afternoon for me would be spent rummaging around Green Apple Books in SF. It was right down the street from my office and had tons of nooks and crannies to explore. It had such a funky layout of levels and added-on rooms that people literally got lost in there.

I don't have that kind of time now, nor do I have a cool used bookstore in a convenient locale. My attempts to live within my means requires that I now use the public library. If I ever become a philanthropist, I'm giving money to the library. I think it's an enormously important community resource. Where else do you get to take something home for free, as long as you give it back when you're done?

Anyway, this is all to say that I don't have the time to browse bookstores, so I have a personal book-shopper. Her name is Jess and she has led me to at least 6 really good books this year:

Kate Atkinson: Behind the Scenes at the Museum, Case Histories

Stephanie Kallos: Broken for You

Geraldine Brooks: Year of Wonders

Nicole Krauss: The History of Love (I may have just found this on the New Releases bookshelf, I don't remember - but it's still on Jess' list)

Amy Krouse Rosenthal: Encyclopedia of an Ordinary Life

I liked them all, although I read 3 in a row that had at least one dead child as a central theme, and I try to avoid that whole subject.

It's so hard to recommend books, since what we like in a book is so idiosyncratic. I don't think I'll ever find a personal shopper who can find clothes to fit me (because, as the shortest-waisted person in the world, such clothes do not exist) but that's OK because having a personal book-shopper is more important. To me, anyway.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

My Kid Makes Me Laugh

Most kids, when confronted with a foam snowman kit, stick the pieces together.

A., however, prefers to take a deconstructionist approach:

Monday, December 03, 2007

One-Liner Updates

A's been doing some more decorating. (yes, our shower/tub is unfinished. It will be finished someday.)

The angel is ready for her free throw.

We have a huge tree.

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