Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Happenings

Woah, Things have been a little text heavy around here for the last couple of days.  And there is an important post to be written about pants (which will seem totally crazy unless you are mormon--and even then it might seem totally crazy) but let's save those deep thoughts for another day. 

Fair warning that there are going to be lots of pictures of my kids in the next little minute and you're going to be tempted to think that I am a better mom than I am.  

Do you ever read mommy blogs and think, "who is this woman?"  I do.  In blogs art projects seemore amazing than they are and every mother is perfectly patient and spends 3-4 hours a day spending individual time with her kids--playing meaningfully.  Just so that you know who you are dealing with, I do not.  These pictures are all of fun things we've done recently but really, most days the hubbs comes home to a house that looks like a tornado hit and with a look of panic in my eyes I hand him the baby.  Last night we were having friends to dinner and 30 minutes before they were to arrive Claire woke up Noah and he cried for the next 30 min.  The hubbs arrived 10 minutes before they did and I handed him the baby and said, "give him a bath." When he suggested that maybe he should straighten up I said, "No. What I need you to do is bath the baby."  

my tone wasn't particularly friendly.

Just so we're perfectly clear.

Noah's favorite game is one where we give one of his cheeks several kisses in a row.  He sequeels with delight and turns toward you.  You then switch over and kiss the other cheek.  This game is fraught with danger as it is often very slobbery and sometimes you get spit-up on.  Totally worth it.

Totally secure in his masculinity.  We borrowed a couple of baby jump suites from a dear friend who has a little girl.  This is the least girly of the two.
Last week we make cookies with friends.  Totally unsanitary and totally delicious.  At one point Claire was eating sprinkles out of a bowl with her tongue.

Oh yes we did this.  The REAL Santa Claus at THE Macy's. 

This is Claire crying while she sits next to the man himself. 30 min of waiting in line, 3 minutes  with the big man and tears.  To hear her tell the story is hilarious because she'll be the first to admit that she does not like Santa and he makes her cry.

There are actually 3 family members in this picture.  I don't know if you can see that Claire has baby Dora tucked under her arm.  She takes her everywhere.

At the Rockafeller Center.  Dora is riding in her baby carrier

Walking in the city with Claire is a total joy.  She dances and sings the WHOLE time.

Riding the train with these two isn't too bad either

And last but not least is the craziest house I have ever seen.  It's like Liberace owns a house in the Bronx.  I can't even explain it to you and pictures don't do it justice but there are tons of animatronic doll, really loud music and the house is bright pink.  His neighbors must hate them

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Welcome to Yonkers

Monday as I was stepping in the shower (right around 2 in the afternoon) I looked out the little window in the shower (we can talk about how odd it is that every shower in this house has a small window another time) and in that section of glass underneath the blind I glanced and saw two kids at a house down the  hill from ours.  After a few minutes of watching them it dawned on me that they were stealing a bike from the neighbor's yard.  This neighbor isn't really a neighbor.  I have a good view of their house but they actually live on another block.  I thought that maybe it was just one of the kids who lives there (like most houses around here it's a multi-family home) but after just a minute or two of watching I realized that was probably not the case.

I froze.  I was in the shower and I didn't know what to do.

Earlier this month a man was pushed in front of a subway train by a deranged homeless man.  There were people on the platform who did nothing to help him.  He was killed.  A photographer took a picture of it happening and sold it to the Times.  It makes me sick.  I am still furious that no one tried to help him. On Monday--looking out the window of my shower I had a little more compassion for them.  I didn't know what was happening and I didn't know how to help.

Then I realized that I want to live in a neighborhood where people help one another.  Where, if someone sees another person stealing your bike (or even just behaving suspiciously) they call the police.  So I did that.  I stepped out of the shower and called the police (I have never called the police in my life).

Looking back at the experience I am sorry I didn't do more.  Shower or not, sleeping babies or not, I should have opened the window and started yelling and telling them I was calling the police.  And now I know better.  I am determined that even if I don't know how to act I'm going to do something.  I will not be part of a world where people who are pushed in front of trains are not helped.

Nobody makes a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little
--Edmond Burke 

Monday, December 17, 2012

So Sad

I have been so sad.  And so teary.

I read that quote by morgan Freeman that's been floating around facebook about how one of the problems with our national response to tragedies like this is that we talk and talk and talk about the perpetrators which in a sense makes them more "famous" than that victims.  I resolved to learn the names of the people and children who lost their lives and do my best to forget the name of the man who did it.

You should read this.  It's a brief bio of each of them.  It's not easy but it's worth it. You will cry when you see their gap-tooth grins.

And, if you are looking, here are ways to help and support the families.

You can also write a letter of support and love and prayer to the school and parents.

Sandy Hook Elementary School
12 Dickenson Drive
Newton, CT 06482

Monday, December 10, 2012

Operating Instructions

As soon as Noah wakes up we're headed to the post office to post presents to our family that lives abroad.  And later this week we're going to post similar packages to our family in Utah too.  This year everybody is getting the same present (adults and children alike) and as I'm sure that your packages will be arriving without any kind of card, you're going to need instructions.  Since this has become a hugely popular toy at our house I thought I would post it here because, let's face it, you're probably going to want to make this too. Take them to your family Christmas party and I assure you will be reach most beloved Aunt/Uncle status.  I took them to Thanksgiving and suddenly I have a million friends who are under the age of 6.

Dear Family,
This is what will be arriving in your mailboxes
Those of you who are not getting a baggie in the mailbox but are making your own will need the following supplies.  A glue gun, 7-8 popsicle sticks, a milk jug lid (or any other kind of lid), 4 rubber bands and as many pom poms as you think are necessary.

Start out by making a stack of 5-7 popsicle sticks and securely rubber-banding the ends--like so. (sorry about that made up verb)

Place two popsicle sticks on either side of your stack.

And rubber band them around the stack.  You need to cross in front of the sticks both directions (so there is a little x on the front of the sticks to keep it secure)

This is what it looked like after 1 rubber band.  Use another and do the same thing.  The more of the bands that you put on the point of your launcher the farther your launcher will launch things.  This is a trade-off though because it also makes in harder to launch.  This one here that ended up with 6 or 7 rounds around the tip was easy enough for Claire to launch and still sent them quite a ways.   

Here is what it looks like after two rubber bands.  Warning: In the picture the center stack is turned the wrong way.  It should be turned so that the top of the sticks are parallel to the floor.  I didn't notice that it got turned around so all of the pictures from this point out show it the wrong way.  Sorry.  It will still work if you leave it this way your trajectory is just better if you have a higher cross beam.

Now you glue-gun on whatever kind of cap you have making sure that you leave enough space on the end of the stick for your finger to press down. (those of you getting a bag will not need to glue gun on your cap as I did it for you)

Add a pom pom and...


Claire's new passion is photography so after I took a picture of her she insisted on taking one of me.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

The Christmas Story

This week we had a family lesson about Christmas and I had a little stroke of brilliance.

A couple of popsicle sticks, 2 lbs of rice and some amateur drawings that took 10 min.

Brilliant.  She knows everyone's name (though explaining Joseph is kind of a trick.  Not Jesus' dad but also, in a way, Jesus' dad--we just stuck with dad for this year and next year we'll tackle the whole Son of God issue).  We played with them lots of times but now the playing had degraded to this.

I'm still calling it a success.  10 min of cleaning in exchange for 40 min of quiet play by herself.  Totally worth it.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A new way of doing things

I was a freshman in college when my RA was in the bathroom while I was washing my face.  She saw what I was doing (filling the sink with water) and she said, "so that's how you do it."  It sounds crazy but until that moment I don't know that I had considered that there were other ways to wash a face (some other day we can talk about my freshman RA Bridget--though I will probably need to work through it with a counselor first.  Worst. RA. Ever.  She dropped out of school the next year and I heard that she became a crack whore.  I'm not using that term in any kind of metaphorical way.  From what I understand she literally was selling herself to cover the cost of her drug addiction.)

I thought of that conversation two weeks ago when I was washing my face.  For years I have been splashing my face with water, putting on soap and then splashing the soap away when I'm done washing.  I normally don't wait for the water to warm up because I feel like such a water waster.  There is something about growing up in the desert that stamps you forever in the way you use water.  It's all I can do to not harass the hubbs when he lets it run in the morning to get warm so he can shave.  I feel like the tap is on forever and it takes control to not run over to the tap and turn it off because he is wasting so much water (I feel like people who didn't grow up in the desert don't have this compulsion.  The hubbs (who grew up in Oregon) used to leave the water running while he brushed his teeth.  When I asked if he had just skipped every elementary school assembly about saving water he looked at me like I was a crazy person.)

With the colder New York temperatures the whole splashing my face with water wasn't working for me and I found myself just not washing my face at night (which was leading to some serious breakout problems).  So I changed. I picked up a wash cloth, got it wet, put the soap on an rubbed my face.  When I was done I rinsed the cloth and wiped my face again.  Easy, no drip, no cold.  maybe not as effective as the way I used to do things but so much more likely to happen which, in a round about kind of way, makes it actually more effective.

That's it.  A mundane story acting for a somewhat mundane metaphor -we can change.  There are different ways of doing even the simplest tasks and we have to find what works for us.

And moisturize. Which has nothing to do with this post but is always good to remember.

Monday, December 3, 2012


my new running regime is going great.

As long as you and Ryan can agree on this.