Thursday, September 24, 2009

Three of the Best Years Ever

Today is e-baby's THIRD BIRTHDAY!

I love you than you can ever imagine, honeybunch!

I will write an update post later. Right now it's bedtime.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Beatles Rock Band, tomato sorbet, "Rosie" from Caillou, sweet pickles, Miracle Whip, the red-headed spokesmodel for Progressive insurance. There are a lot of things I have talked about NOT liking lately. To balance all that negativity, here are some things I like.

The sound of a good glockenspiel
Hugs from tiny children, pretty much any tiny children
Rain without thunder
Creamed tuna on toast
The first crisp day of fall
The "oyster" in a chicken
Making crafts with pipe cleaners and pliers
Watching George Hincapie in a bike race

OK, that's enough to bring the tao back into balance for now.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Random e-baby Quotes

Yesterday at work, e-baby called me on the phone from daycare. She talked for about 10 minutes straight, and I had a few chances to say "Oh, wow" and "OK, that's nice" while she rambled on. These one-sided conversations always make me laugh, and I had the presence of mind to transcribe about 30 seconds' worth of it for posterity. I'm blogging it here so I will be able to look back at it someday.

Make sure the rattles are clean enough for Austin to play with to introduce his playful mouth Oh. Oh. And make sure the pecils are opened up so I an finish the paperwork. Mommy, can you make sure the lamp at home is off and DOTi [dog we're dogsitting] is in her bed so no one can take her and give her a treat. Something is not defined in the matrix- the matrix is not defined. The matrix is locked up in our door and ice cream is good to eat...

And now I'm siting in the bathroom while e-baby takes a bath and I'm going to transcribe what I can from the current ramble...

Today, Lucy and Bananas the Gorilla are coming over today. Sally cat is sick today. Hmm. So umm, Huckle has to stay home with Sally Cat. But their mother is coming over today, since she's not sick. She's gonna make dinner for us. She loves broccoli mixed up in drinks. Huh. And when she'll put that on our plates, and we'll eat it AAALL UP with a spoon .Oh! She's at the door! Oh. You can be her, if you like, and I can be Huckle. And umm, uh, and after, then Austin can be Sally Cat, if he'd like. Mom! Mom! Something is not right with Lowly. And I think Sally Cay is asleep and I'm done with my bath.

That was so much fun, I might turn this into a Stuff my Toddler Says blog.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Big, Big, Big, Big World

The past few weeks have been a blur- I can hardly think where to begin to talk about what's been going on. I've got three big things going at work, and they all have deadlines during 4th quarter which also happens to be our busiest time of the year for teaching. This week I'm teaching and preparing materials for a new class, so keeping up with anything else is a challenge. Blogging is kind of last on my priority list now.

To help with the heavy lifting, SNG has been picking up the kids from daycare all week, which lets me stay at work until 6pm. It's surprising how much more work can be done in one hour- particularly if that hour happens to be after everyone else has gone home for the day. You don't realize how much those little interruptions get in the way of productivity until there aren't any interruptions. Maybe working from home wouldn't be so bad ater all...Naaah, I like my coworkers too much.

Tuesday was an exciting evening of doing something completely new and different. For you who don't know her, Peace owns a business teaching ASL to children, parents, caregivers, and health care workers. One of her teachers had an Introduction to Sign Language Workshop scheduled and had to cancel, but Peace and Fuzzy are out of town this week. Peace asked if I'd cover and I said OK, and Tuesday night found myself in front of a class of 15 or 20 parents talking about the benefits of signing with babies, and teaching a few of my favorite sing-and-sign songs. At first some of the parents were shy about singing out loud and signing, but by the 2nd song, the whole room was rocking with a cheerful chorus of Old McDonald! When we did Twinkle Twinkle Traffic Light, you'd have guessed it was a rave. I haven't had that much fun since the old days of teaching arobics. And I didn't have to wear spandex!

That same night PIC, LeBon and c-baby had a slumber party with us. Due to a scheduliong mix-up, the water and electricity at their new house didn't get turned on in time for move in, and so their misery was our company! The girls had a ball, and I always enjoy PIC and LeBon. It was so much fun I'm thinking we should let the girls have sleepovers more often.

And the news that has been eating at my brain non-stop for over a week is the big trip at Thanksgiving. I got an email that our colleagues in Australia needed someone to come teach a class that I teach, and one thing led to another, and now I'm scheduled to teach 4 days in Melbourne Thanksgiving week, and 5 days in Sydney the week after. SNG, the kids, and my parents will come along and we'll make a vacation of it. Now I'm trying to learn all I can about the where we're going. There are some awesome-looking side trips I want to take. Oooooh we're so excited! Not so much looking forward to that 30-hour trip each way, but the 3 weeks in between should be a blast.

We applied for Jambuca's passport last week. He's such a character! He's quite mobile now with his funny inchworm crawl, and you have to lock up anything edible. The other day he ate e-baby's dinner roll, he has taken waffle fries from SNG, and he will stuff his face with corn puffs. He's still as happy as ever, and a little more fun for his sister to play with.

Aaaaand now, without proofreading, I'm hitting Publish. Good night, blogworld.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Three Disconnected Blog Topics

1) One of my favorite things to do on a weekend is to do an inventory of our produce and make something that uses as much of it as possible at the same time. Lately SNG’s been doing green curry vegetables, but this week was my turn to do some cooking. And I’m proud to report this recipe, which consists entirely of stuff from our CSA farm and stuff from my front yard. A recipe for Creole Ratatouille from Richard & Rima Collins’ (now out-of-print but still most excellent) cookbook provided the general inspiration. Like most of my cooking, I pulled a lot of it out of the seat of my pants.

4 T butter (aww, come on, do it)
4 shallots, peeled and sliced
4 small green onions, sliced
3c. fresh small okra, sliced
6 bell peppers, seeded and julienned (I told you, I have to use up this stuff and the farmer’s gone nvts with the peppers)
2 tomatoes, sliced
large bunch of fresh basil, chopped rough
a pinch each of Konriko/Tony’s, salt, and sugar to taste, or several drops of Tabasco

In a big pan, sautee everything in the order shown above, 5 min on shallots/onions, 10 min on okra/peppers, 5 more minutes on everything else, then cover and cook low heat 10 or 15 more minutes. Serve over rice (or couscous, which is all I had in the pantry today).

2) I want to get some opinions about Moon Sand, as compared to Play-Doh , Silly Putty, and good ol’ modeling clay. I like Play-Doh as a toy, but it dries and since I keep it outside in the gazebo, even sealed cans of Play-Doh sometimes die out there in the heat. So I decided to get some Moon Sand and try it out. It claims to never dry out and be easy to clean up. I trust they’re right about it never drying out, but easy clean up? We only used it outside and it was messy by backyard standards. I also got some Silly Putty, and it has some excellent tactile properties but it doesn’t mold and it REALLY doesn’t come out of wool carpet. And it doesn’t pick up newspaper cartoons anymore! WTF?

So if you have/are/play with kids, what do you think? Moon Sand? Play-Doh? Other toys of that kind that I don’t know about? I vaguely recall seeing something that was like tiny foam-looking balls that could be shaped and molded. Anyone familiar with those? What do you like best and why? What do you hate most and why?

3) SNG is a magician. E-baby is transfixed. He can make things disappear. His magical reappearing trick uses the incantation “Hey, look over THERE!!”

Friday, September 4, 2009

My Seven Month Old Piggy

Today is Jambuca's 7-month-day and poor guy's been sick since Wednesday. SNG and e-baby are visiting the grandparents for a couple of days in New Bern so that Jambuca can be quarantined. It gets boring not going anywhere, so we had lunch at Sonic. What a lovely place, where you can eat in your car, be served by a high school kid on skates, eat tater tots, and enjoy some of the finest cool summer weather ever.

He's been doing the cutest little crawl thing the past few days- it's something like an inchworm, where he pulls his knees up to his chest, and then slides his hands out. Then he does a belly flop to recover, and then he pulls his knees up and starts it all over again.

He's also begun to communicate his food preferences. Last night I was feeding him peas and farmer's market blend. A couple of times, after a few spoonfuls of peas, he indicated his preference by leaning toward the jar of farmer's market blend. Maybe you had to be there, but I thought it was cool.

But mostly this week is about trying to make him feel better. He's lost his voice and so when his fever goes up and he cries, it's a whimper. When he coughs, it hurts, and he looks at me with a pathetic "Why does this hurt, mommy?" look on his face. I wish I could take all that misery from him.

Later this month is e-baby's 3rd birthday. We'll have a party, but I'm not sure where yet. She will also be moving to the pre-school around her birthday, and I can't wait to see how she does in the new environment. The preschool classes are mixed 3-5 year lds, and the Montessori philosophy means there are areas of the classroom for each subject, such as math, geography, language, etc. I'll write all about it once she starts, I'm sure.

OK, off to watch TV. With Jambuca sleeping and everyone else out of town, I can watch all kids of junk TV!! Woo!