Nov 28 2010

at the library

a few weeks ago, before the snow and cold, josephine and i needed to get out of the house and out of the rain. we headed for the library, with a detour to see the ducks at the lake. she’s exploring what’s around her more and more and is so excited to have new things to touch and move and (much to my dismay) sometimes taste.

Nov 22 2010

Oh, the weather outside is frightful

As we’re in the midst of an honest-to-goodness blizzard here in Seattle, I thought it might be an appropriate time to reveal a timely family secret. Ned loves holiday music. I’m not talking about classical music or anything refined. We’re not going to the symphony to hear whatever symphonies play this time of year. Oh, no. I know the holiday season has arrived when Ned tunes the radio dial to a station that refers to itself as “warm” and usually plays soft rock and other “warm music.” During November and December, this station plays “continuous Christmas favorites.” Continuous. There just aren’t that many Christmas songs out there. I tolerate this music up to a point. By the third version of any one song (or the first version of “Little Drummer Boy”), I make him turn it off. But, inevitably, our evenings in late November/early December are “warmed” by schmaltzy “favorites.” (This station is on a preset on the radio in the kitchen. Preset number 25. Get it? Because Christmas is on the 25th of December?) And don’t even get me started on Delilah, the evening host, who reads tear-jerker letters from listeners who request songs for loved ones. Maybe I’ll request a song for Ned this year…

The other night, Ned was waltzing around the apartment with Josephine, humming something that morphed into “Winter Wonderland.” His eyes suddenly lit up and he danced Josephine over to the radio, switched from NPR to preset number 25, and “Winter Wonderland” was playing, almost exactly in sync with what Ned was singing. A Christmas miracle?

We enjoyed our own little winter wonderland today, before the winds picked up and the weather got blustery and blizzardy and frigid. Josephine, Anna and I walked to Anne and Meera’s house for lunch. I’m not sure we’ll be getting out tomorrow, what with roads slick with ice and temperatures in the teens. The winds buffeting the windows now make me appreciate this morning’s quiet snowfall all the more.

little snow bunnies (mummies?)

Nov 19 2010

2 NPR items

1. one of ned’s coworkers has really figured out what makes him tick. a month or so ago, ned was grousing to her about something or another and she said, “i know why you’re cranky. it’s pledge week.” and she was right.

2. when the “all things considered” hosts introduce themselves, josephine responds “block!” when melissa block says her name.

Nov 11 2010

twin falls

today i am grateful for mid-week federal holidays.  having ned home today meant that i was able to slip out of the house for an early breakfast with one of my dearest friends.   to be able to talk for an hour and half with no children to interrupt us was blissful.  of course, we talked mainly about the children that, had they been there, would have made it impossible to talk.  but we finished sentences!  and thoughts.  and didn’t have to wipe any noses or stop anyone from throwing anything anywhere.  it was such a needed little break.

later this morning, ned and i pulled things together to go on a short hike.  other than the trip to glacier, we haven’t gone hiking (outside of wooded city parks) with josephine.  we didn’t expect it would take us this long to get our act together.  (what happened to our summer?)  so off we went.  josephine fell asleep somewhere between here and there and, as we are loath to disturb anything resembling functional sleep, we let her continue to snooze while we packed up the gear and ate half of the food we’d brought along and read through the hiking book.  several times.  finally, we both climbed in the back seat and had started to doze off ourselves when she woke up.  i pulled her on to my lap (which she calls a “yap”) to nurse her.  i was snuggled next to ned and the car was warm and we were all drowsy and relaxed and i could have gone home happy right then and there.  those few moments would have been worth the drive.

but there was hiking to be done.  as we changed josephine’s diaper and zipped her into her cozy fleece suit, it started to sprinkle.  undaunted pacific northwesterners, we added another layer and set off.

the woods were luminous in the rain.

the water glowed.

we reached the series of waterfalls and they elicited a “woah” from all three of us.

the wet weather made me think of my great uncle who lives on the oregon coast.  my mom once asked him if the rain ever gets him down.  if it does, he told her, he just goes for a walk in the woods and sees all the beautiful green moss and ferns that the rains bring and he feels grateful and the rain is easier to bear.

it’s a good trick.

Nov 9 2010

if only blogging was an immune-booster

The scene: An evening in early November. Two parents, exhausted from three weeks of poor sleep due to a teething-then-sick child, sit down for dinner. Said exhausting child tries, for the billionth time, to push her high chair over while sitting in it.

Husband (to Wife): How are you feeling?

Wife: Oh, my throat’s still sore and I’m congested, but I don’t think it’s going to turn into a full-blown cold.  How are you?

Husband: Same as you, I think.  Feeling like crap but not really fully sick.

Wife: Awesome.

Child: Awesome!

Husband: Did you hear the thing on NPR* about immunity?

Wife: Nope.

Husband: They were talking about studies that showed ways to boost your immunity.  The main thing they found to be effective was 20-30 minutes of cardiovascular activity five days a week.

Wife (declared mortal enemy of cardiovascular activity): Oh, helpful.

Husband: Oh, and sleep.  Being well-rested is also really important.

Wife and Husband: HA HA HA HA HA!  HA!  ha.

The end.


*I think 20% of our evening conversations start this way.  If you’re looking for conversation starters, try listening to NPR all day long.  (Ned is insisting that I’m grossly exaggerating here.  But have you had a conversation with him lately?)

Nov 5 2010

a bit more sun

i should complain about the weather here more often (because that’s what you come here for, right?). we had three beautiful days this week — one broke the all-time high temp record for november. and that was after a record-breaking amount of rain on monday.

to celebrate the first day of sunshine, josephine and i went to the zoo. when i was young, the minnesota zoo was expensive and a long drive from home. trips there didn’t happen often and were a big, exciting deal. when we went to the seattle zoo on josephine’s birthday, we bought a membership so she and i could go whenever we want. as soon as i get over the idea of going to the zoo being a major outing, i think we’re going to put that pass to good use . the zoo’s a short drive from our house and it’s so very nice and non-busy on school days. we were there for a couple hours on tuesday and had some of the animals all to ourselves. like this dancing elephant:

he danced! he was eating his straw and kicking his two front legs back and forth in a lumbering yet graceful way.

despite the dancing, i was most amazed by the grizzlies. when we were in glacier, we worried about seeing/secretly wanted to see grizzly bears. seeing these bears at the zoo made me realize how horrifying seeing them on the trail without a thick wall of glass between us would have been.

i’m tempted to be dramatic and say that josephine caught a monkey flu or a giraffe plague there, but i think she just has a plain old cold. it’s kept us from really enjoying the other two sunny days this week, but i’m keeping faith that there will be more. (sunny days, not colds.)

in other news, josephine is talking more than a teenager with her own phone line in her room (and yes, i realize that’s a totally outdated analogy and should be more along the lines of talking more than a teenager with an unlimited texting plan, but i’m old). i made a new page you can click on at the top called “josephine says” where i’m attempting to keep track of her words and sounds. for a while i was most entertained by her enthusiasm when she said “butt!” during diaper changes but now i’m most enjoying it when she answers a question with a proper “yes.” she draws it out a little so it’s “yeeeaass” and she recently added a very slow, purposeful head-nod to go along with it. she’ll answer questions like “did you have good dreams last night?” or “would you like to dance to some music?” and it just kills me.