Oct 30 2011

searching for spooky

josephine has become very interested in skeletons.  she learned about them listening to a song (featured on the post about our visit to the pumpkin patch).  how do you explain what a skeleton is to a 2-year-old?  i told her that her skeleton is her bones, which are under her skin, holding her body together.  now when you ask where her skeleton is, she pokes at her boney wrist.

we saw some skeleton halloween decorations on a porch a few weeks back.  josephine was fascinated and for the rest of our walk asked for “more skeletons! more skeletons!”  so we’ve been keeping an eye out for skeletons, ghosts, pumpkins and spiders.  she and ned saw a rather gory skull when they were out one afternoon and she decided it was so spooky that she should sing “kookaburra” to it.

ned got off work early one evening last week and we invited matt, allison and eli to join us on a neighborhood walk to find fun halloween decorations.  i must say we were all quite disappointed with our neighborhood’s lack of halloween spirit, but it was nice to get outside in the golden hour amidst the bright leaves.

inspired by the dearth of decorations (or, rather, uninspired by their nonexistence), i made us a spooky spider web on our sliding glass door.  and yes, i know that’s not at all what a spider looks like.  they’re a new species.

Oct 27 2011

with apologies to ryan

josephine: aaarch-i-tect… arch-i-teeeect… architect!

ned: architect?  what does an architect do?

josephine: makes barrettes and picks up garbage.

Oct 25 2011

don’t mess with mama

josephine and i went with allison and eli to story time at a nearby library branch this morning.  today the children’s librarian was reading some halloween-themed books.  one of them was about a little mummy who was playing hide-and-seek with his mom (mama mummy).  in the course of looking for her, he encountered all sorts of creepy creatures (a ghost, a swamp monster, dracula) and josephine grew more and more concerned about this mummy who couldn’t find mama mummy.  the little mummy wasn’t scared until he saw a tiny little mouse.  the librarian paused the story to turn the page and kids waited to see what happened to the mummy who was scared of the mouse; the room was silent. in that moment, poor little stressed-out josephine said, loudly, “the mouse can help the mummy find his mama!”  of course the mama mummy was found on the next page.  josephine credits the mouse, who actually was the opposite of helpful, in aiding the mummy in finding his mama.

Oct 24 2011

music class

monday is music class day and has been for over a year.  anne and meera found this lovely music class last fall and we hopped on the bandwagon.  we’ve since brought sydney and carrie aboard, too.  it’s a very low-key event — the teacher plays her guitar and teaches us infinitely-adaptable and simple songs, the kids get to shake bells and play recorders and dance and pat their knees to the beat and try out a little violin.  we’ve made new friends through the class and, as you’ll see in the little video at the end, love singing songs we’ve learned no matter where we are.

(it’s funny to me that the kids are not super-smiley in the photos because there’s a joyous feel to the class.  there’s also a lot of paying attention and concentration and i think that’s what’s captured here.)

Oct 19 2011

things i’m enjoying (a new occasional series)

did you ever notice that the only person i write about is josephine?  what about me?!  perhaps i just need a different outlet (a twitter account, maybe), but until i have one, i’m going to start a new little blog series called “things i’m enjoying” where i get to talk about me me me for just a few lines.

things i’m enjoying:

goodwill.  i more than enjoy goodwill.  i love it.  is it pathetic that when ned got home tonight i handed over josephine and went to goodwill?  when i could have gone to any other place in the city?  (or just stayed home with my family?) i was looking for fabric to make josephine’s halloween costume (which i found) and i also found a pair of my-size dansko sandals in great shape for $5.  and a bunch of other things.  that store is fantastic, but it has ruined me for shopping anywhere where clothes cost more than $7 and toys cost more than $5.  so basically i can only shop at goodwill forever.

learning embroidery.  josephine’s not the only person around here who needs to exercise her brain.  i just started working on this project and i am really really enjoying trying something new.  it helps that the something new is small and can be done at home while the toddler is sleeping.  i’m not quite ready to something new like rock climbing; this, however, is doable.  i love the mental break of sitting in a quiet apartment, immersing myself in figuring out these stitches.  i’ve completed 7.5 letters so far and i think i will frame it for josephine’s room when i’m done.

pinterest: have you seen this?  the site describes itself as an “online pinboard” and that’s pretty much what it is.  i think of it as a visual version of my bookmarks folder.  when you get an account, you get a little “pin it” button for your browser and when you see something you like you can “pin” the picture into your board and it’s there when you want to refer back to it and/or for other people to look at.  i just started my account and have so far moved quilts i’ve had bookmarked as pretty to a board and have moved some of my bookmarked recipes over, too.  clearly i have ambitions for more pinning. i have not yet jumped down the rabbit hole that is browsing other people’s boards. could be dangerous.

thinking of little kitchen tasks for josephine. (ok, apparently i can’t write a post about me without mentioning that kid about 20 times.) she’s up for helping in any way possible in the kitchen and so it’s fun to give her little projects while i work on making lunch or getting dinner together.  yesterday, she helped dump the flour in the bowl for the pizza dough and then watched the mixer get to work.  today, she scrubbed potatoes for soup.  she’s also very good at washing kale in the salad spinner. and getting water everywhere.

thanks for indulging me.  back with more josephine-centric stories soon.

Oct 17 2011

when life gives you october, pick pumpkins

same place, same friends as last year.  (i love the cart photos as child-size comparison tools!) same lovely time. (but not, i am assured, the same pumpkins.)

a soundtrack, courtesy of caspar babypants:  Them Bones

Oct 12 2011


today is my sister maeta’s birthday.  she’s much younger than me, which means she’s turning a ridiculously young 25.  i left for college when she was nine and in my head she’s still that nine-year-old.  certainly not a quarter-century-old married home-owner, launching her career as a nurse.  (in some ways, she’s got more of her sh*t together than i do.)  she came to visit last weekend and, simply put, josephine fell in love with her.  the two of them have definitely bonded during past visits, (i can’t resist! look at the cute!)

but something really clicked for josephine this time.   within maeta’s first few hours here, josephine was climbing onto her lap and giving maeta hugs, something she is usually pretty stingy with.  by their second day together, josephine was saying “favorite auntie” while hugging maeta’s legs.  (christina, i think you’ll have to make a visit to seattle if you want to challenge maeta for favorite auntie status…)  it was incredibly sweet to behold; both to see josephine give so much love to someone other than ned and me, and to know that she was giving it to someone who totally appreciated and reciprocated it.

we ladies took off for a night to vancouver, canada–josephine’s first international trip–and i benefited immensely from their BFF status, as it gave me a bit of freedom that i do not usually have single-parenting it away from home.

this photo makes me laugh--the expressions i caught make it look like maeta's the mean mom and josephine's the chastized child. neither is the case.

we stayed in a hotel room with a king bed that was quickly dubbed "the tickle bed." it was so fluffy and comfortable, none of us really wanted to leave it.

the room also had a wall of floor-to-ceiling windows looking out into downtown vancouver. thank you, hotwire.

back in seattle, we hit the park and the zoo.  josephine got a little halloween practice in.

ned and i even got a date night while auntie and jojo played at home and enjoyed their shared favorite meal–pesto pasta.  they are peas in a pod, those two.

happy birthday, maeta.  we miss you here.  we are sad you’re no longer in the “yiving yoom” when we get up in the morning.  and it would be really nice if there was someone else who could read curious george goes to the hospital to josephine for the billionth time…

Oct 11 2011

the other morning, at breakfast

josephine: you know what mint tea doos, mama?

me: what?

josephine: it steeps!

Oct 3 2011

goodbye, summer, we hardly knew ye

the weather forecast graphics for the next week involve lots of clouds with unhappy, rainy faces and temperatures in the 60s.  we could be surprised (please, please surprise us), but i think autumn is here.  which makes me realize that there’s some summer fun i still haven’t shared with you.  one very summery day involved a field trip to the farm we get our CSA box (weekly delivery of veggies) from. they have an open house each year and, though we’ve been members for multiple years now, we’ve only gone one other time.  this year, we dragged allison, matt and eli along, convincing them that tromping through sunny fields on a 90+ degree day would be fun.  and it was.  the kids loved harvesting basil and got all pink-cheeked and sweaty (as did the adults, but it wasn’t as cute on us).  and you know what was even more fun?  more fun even than drinking straight out of the hose? jumping in the river afterward.

(were there not freaky weirdos out there on the internet, i would share the uncropped version of that last photo and you, like me, might just fall over from cuteness overload.)