Oct 31 2010

happy halloween

or, as josephine says, “happy!” it’s concise, joyful and holiday non-specific.

what? you don't carve pumpkins in the nude? you do if you have diaper rash and if your parents think you might want to play with pumpkin guts (which you don't).

so, obviously, josephine was a bunny.  my mom sent the thrifted jacket a few months back and i added some wire to the ears and made the giant carrot with fabric i already had.  done.  we went trick or treating in a neighborhood business district with dragon dylan and her parents.  josephine was so excited about people handing her little wrapped things.  she was trying to hold as many treats as possible and ended up with a stash of stuff in the corners of her stroller.  lucky for us, she doesn’t yet know that what’s inside the wrapper is better than the wrapper itself.

i had to restrain myself this year from going too crazy with her costume.  i even called ned at work on thursday to go over some ideas i’d had — some simple make-an-entire-costume-from-scratch-in-two-days ideas.  he urged me to stick with the little jacket.  and he was right. but i was taking notes tonight.  there were some kids wearing some mighty fantastic costumes.  next year…

Oct 27 2010

fading autumn sun

wintery weather has settled in over seattle.  we had a little respite from rain and gray this morning.  josephine and i strolled over to the lake to swing for a bit in the sunshine and say hello to the ducks.  but it was a brief break in the clouds; they have blown back in, have pulled up a chair and will make themselves comfortable (with a few lovely exceptions) until spring.  it’s not all that bad, but every fall it takes me some time to adjust to the wetness, to remember that it’s possible to get out and about without sunshine and dry skies.  and that nobody, save the wicked witch, ever died from getting a wet head.  (or wet feet and wet legs and wet socks and wet hands and wet shoes and wet jackets and and and…)  as i said, i need time to adjust.

on sunday late afternoon, in patchy drizzle, ned and i decided to indulge in what we’ve made into a fall tradition — a pumpkin spice latte.  with josephine cozy in her stroller under a blanket and the rain cover, we walked 20 minutes to a neighborhood coffee shop and were shocked to discover that they did not serve pumpkin spice lattes.  (the doughnut store across the street had just closed or i’m pretty sure we would have quickly revised the tradition to allow for a pumpkin doughnut.)  we were on a mission so we continued walking in the mist to the next neighborhood, a good 30 minute walk from our house.  we struck out a second time before finding a coffee shop that had pumpkin spice syrup.  (but even then the barista said that he hadn’t made a latte like that before.  c’mon, people!)  we sat in the warm cafe with our now-sleeping daughter tucked next to the couch and sipped our drinks and talked.  even though we agreed later that the lattes themselves tasted fairly awful (i think we’ll try the doughnuts next year… or week), it was worth the damp, chilly walk home.  and a good reminder of how it’s possible to do things in less than perfect weather.

and here are some reminders of the lovely fall weather we had before the gray made its arrival.

Oct 21 2010


Perhaps it’s because I don’t really have my finger on the pulse of the nation, maybe I’m a naive idealist out of touch with reality, but I have not, unlike many people, become disillusioned with the president.   I can still conjure up the feeling of elation when he won that November night.  And when we found out I was pregnant, I thought, “This baby was just biding its time; waiting to come into existence until after Bush was done being president and someone really great was in the White House.”  (Hm.  I don’t want to lead you astray — that was certainly not my first thought upon finding out I was pregnant.  Or second.  Or even hundredth.  But I did think it at some point.)

In today’s square, my calendar says “Obama at UW!”  I don’t often add exclamation points to items in my calendar but this one felt worthy.  Obama was in town campaigning for our incumbent senator Patty Murray who is neck and neck with a smarmy guy named Dino (please vote for Murray, Washingtonians!).  This morning, Josephine and I joined 13,000+ other people streaming towards the east end of campus.  We didn’t get up early enough to make it into the 10,000-seat arena where the main event was held, but we did get to join the 3,000 ushered into the football stadium’s overflow seating.  The cool thing about overflow seating?  The president made a personal appearance!  He said it was because he wanted to run up the tunnel onto the field but I think it’s because he knew it would make my day.  We were so close to him.  How close?  My friend Jen, who we were there with, said that even though she can’t really throw a football she probably could have thrown one to him from our seats (she actually said she could have hit him with a football, but it sounds rather violent when I type it out like that).

I suspect Josephine didn’t appreciate the magnitude of the event, intent as she was on eating her tortellini and pulling on the brim of my hat and yelling “hat! hat! hat!”  But she was there.  She saw the president.  And soon I’m going to get her to say “Obama.”

Multi-chinned Oma, lovely Jen and skeptical Josephine

There he is! Oh, and Patty Murray, too.

An un-zoomed view to show how close we were

Lucky baby! That could have been Josephine (had we been in the front row).

P.S. Capital letters make a rare appearance on the blog.  Maybe they’ll be back…

Oct 17 2010

a whole lotta pumpkins

and sunshine and friends and a little bit of corn, too.  (click on each picture for a bigger version.)

Oct 13 2010

weekend with the grandparents

it’s been over a week since the last post but i have a good excuse–we had company.  grandparent company, to be exact.  ned’s parents, josephine’s gigi and papa, were in town and we had a delightful time hitting the city (and the olympic peninsula) with them and watching them enjoy josephine and her them.

on friday, we toured benaroya hall, home to the seattle symphony.  the tour was less of an actual, go-places-see-things tour and more of a sit-on-a-bench-and-learn-things affair, but they were very interesting things.  and we got to watch an organ rehearsal in the concert hall that looked a bit more like a canoodling session between the teacher and the student (who were speaking french, to add to the romantic quality of it all).  josephine enjoyed the huge windows looking down on traffic, buses and all sorts of people she could say “hi! hi! hi!” to.

we hit the olympic sculpture park…

…before getting ice cream at molly moon’s.  i know you probably won’t miss pictures of us eating ice cream, but i do feel bad that i didn’t take any photos while we had dinner that night with ned’s great-aunt and cousin.  josephine tried and loved her first bites of coleslaw.  who knew.

saturday, we all squeezed into the car and headed, via ferry, to port townsend on the peninsula.  ned’s mom’s college roommate lives there and the two hadn’t seen each other in 35 years.   after lunch, the old friends caught up while ned and i tried to keep josephine from destroying the house and from cracking her head open on the edge of the glass coffee table that she loved slapping with her hands.  while we were there, josephine had her first attempt at stairs and crawled quite handily up half a flight.

on sunday, after a fun but chilly swim at gigi and papa’s hotel pool, we went on a tour of theo chocolate factory.  i’ve been wanting to do this for years and now don’t know why i waited so long.  a factory that smells like chocolate and all the samples you care to eat — what more could one want?  a baby in a hairnet, perhaps?

see the chocolate bars? they're heading into the wrapping room.

thanks for coming to visit us, gigi and papa!

and for forgiving me for posting pictures of you in hairnets on the internet.

Oct 5 2010

doubling up

my friend anne and i have taken our friendship to a new level. we are now, i think, the mom-friend equivalent of going steady: we co-own a double stroller. we have just started a little baby-swap each week which means two things. the first is that i have two one-year-olds for a few hours a week. the second is that i have a few hours of no-baby bliss once a week.* both are welcome additions to the week.

inaugural ride! a definite sucess.

meera and josephine are pals, in as much as one-year-olds can be pals.  they get excited to see each other at music class and when one arrives at the other’s house.  they sit quietly and don’t kick each other in the stroller.  but it’s tough to watch someone else playing with your toys, and i have to say that josephine has a harder time with that than meera.  when we were at meera’s house a few weeks back, meera was playing with a cassette tape (remember those?) that josephine just had to have.  even with a room full of fun toys, it was a tape that they were squabbling over.  so it will take a little time to figure out how best to distract each girl from whatever the other one is playing with and prevent the high-pitched screeches that josephine is getting good at.  i know, i know — hard to believe she’s not an angel all the time, right?

josephine and i are also watching our friend anna on monday afternoons.  anna’s going to become a big sister in a few months and so she’s practicing out her skills on josephine.  she does pretty well although, again, the whole sharing thing could be easier.  (side note: our little friend dylan is the best sharer i know.  she always brings a few toys along to show josephine and usually has an extra toy or two with her when she meets up with any friend, just in case they need something to play with, too.  she’s incredibly generous and i hope josephine takes note.)  anna’s wild about the double stroller.  we were leaving the house and i had told her she could ride in the stroller with josephine and she was so excited.  i was putting josephine in the ergo just to get her downstairs and lug the stroller out of the car and anna grew very concerned and said, “why are you putting her in the ergo?  i thought we were going to ride in the stroller together…”

*ok, i’ll be honest.  i spent my first baby-free swap time doing work.  but it was really really nice to know i had a big chunk of time to work and that a little wail from the next room wasn’t going to pull me away prematurely.