Saturday, November 26, 2011

What once was lost

About a month ago, I lost my wedding ring. It was a completely stupid, mundane, if befuddling sort of thing. I had gone riding in the morning. Took my rings off to ride, as I always do. Put them back on before driving home. Got home. Did a huge overhaul cleaning of our bedroom closet, which involved tossing out a huge garbage bag of junk that had accumulated in there. Finished up, looked down at my hands, noticed my ring was missing. And it isn't all that loose on me right now, so the idea that it would just slip off my hand and I wouldn't notice is a little unbelievable. I was a little afraid it had gotten somehow yanked off my finger with the garbage bag when I was throwing that away, but I still held out hope that it would turn up eventually. Almost every time I went into that closet (it's a small walk-in) over the past month, I've looked around a bit for it. No luck. I'd of course switched my other ring to my left hand, but it still feels really off-balance to only have a ring on one hand when you're accustomed to wearing them on both hands. I also tend to fiddle with my right-hand ring as a nervous habit, so that naked finger was another constant reminder. It really bummed me out.

Last night, Tom was looking for his iPod (which had gone missing after the kids had been playing with it...this happens from time to time, but we were having a tougher than usual time locating it). Out of desperation, he lifted up the couch to look underneath it.

"Oh. There's your ring."

I thought he was kidding. I scoffed, even. But indeed, he had found it! How in the hell it got from our bedroom closet out to the living room and underneath the couch - or how it even fell off my finger in the first place - is beyond me. But what a relief to have it back!

And then Tom found his iPod in a bin on a shelf this morning. So all's well that ends well. :)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving :)

Today started early. Like, before sun-up early, for me. Jenny left well before 5AM, planning to catch a 6:30 bus from Union Station in DC. Her plan was to bike to the local metro station and take the train into the city. We checked WMATA last night, and figured out when she would have to be there. Absolutely nothing on the website indicated in any way that the metro stations would all be closed for the holiday early this morning. Which they were.

By some miracle, I actually heard my phone (just set to vibrate, and sitting on a shelf all the way across the house from our bedroom) when Jenny called at about 5:25 for rescuing. She'd biked to two different metro stations, both of which were closed. (Weirdly, the escalators were turned on. Nice waste of energy there, WMATA.) This is precisely the sort of thing that tends to happen to me when I'm traveling - or, you know, trying to get anywhere with a time limit - so it was actually kind of a pleasant change to be the one coming to the rescue rather than the one desperately trying to fight the fates and get wherever on time.

Happily, we made it in time, and all was well. And I got to say one last bon voyage, which was nice. I'm glad it all worked out. And it gave me a super early jump start on the day - maybe a bit earlier than I would have wanted, but I can't really complain. ;)

After lazing around for several hours, I headed down to the pool to get some pre-feasting exercise. I ended up swimming just over a mile! Somehow I found myself in a rhythm and just kind of kept going. Of course, I had super wobbly legs when I finally stopped and got out of the pool - no great surprise - but I still felt pretty good about the whole thing.

We were invited over to Heather's house for Thanksgiving, where we had deep-fried turkey for the second year in a row. So tasty. Tom made the side dishes we were asked to bring (mashed potatoes & brussels sprouts). He confited garlic in olive oil & spices and added that to the potatoes. There were yams, parsnips, carrots, stuffing with two kinds of bread, cranberry sauce, apple sauce, and FIVE DIFFERENT PIES (apple, banana cream, bourbon-chocolate-pecan, blueberry, and pumpkin). It was quite the feast. It's always lovely to visit with friends, especially over a big, delicious meal. The kids were not exactly well-behaved at dinner (grr), but they were pretty cute and good the rest of the time. Soren adores Heather and consistently makes comments that sound an awful lot like he's trying to make a pass at her. A memorable one from one of our previous dinners: "Heather! Want to go inside the house stuff?" Hehe. Eleri was also a lot more talkative this time than the last time we were over there, so that's always fun. Less fun was her screaming meltdown at dinner over not being able to play peekaboo with the tablecloth, but that's another story. ;)

And now we're home, and they're asleep, and I'm going to roll myself into bed and hopefully enjoy a bit of a lie-in tomorrow. Poor Tom has to work, but he ought to get out early.

Happy Thanksgiving, one and all!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Bye Jenny :(

Hard to believe Jenny's spent nearly 3 weeks with us! It's gone by really quickly, and we've all enjoyed having her around. She's heading out early tomorrow morning and will be continuing (somewhat sporadically) to blog about her travels - you can follow along here.

Yesterday Eleri was sounding quite a bit better, so we braved a trek through the rain to the zoo in the morning to check out the Small Mammal and Ape Houses. It was pretty neat. Those were the two houses I still hadn't been inside, so it was cool to finally get to see them. There were lots of interesting critters in the Mammal House (tamarins, mole rats, elephant-nosed shrews, meerkats, an armadillo, and many more), though the kids were a little manic and more interested in running down the corridors than looking at everything. Ah well. The gorillas were also pretty amazing to see, in the Ape House. One of them was right up against the window the whole time we were there, face-to-face with us. It was really something.

This afternoon we went to the American History Museum. Jenny wanted to check out the First Ladies exhibit (which had been closed the last time she'd gone to the museum), so the kids & I hung out in the little interactive kid zone/play area while she did that. It was a blustery walk to the museum & back to the car, but fortunately not rainy. We managed to score a parking space right on Constitution Avenue, so we had a nice stroll along the edge of the Mall. (Well, there was more hustle than a stroll implies, but you get the picture.) I hate to say it, but even with all the holiday traffic, it was kind of nice to just drive into the city rather than deal with the whole production that is taking the metro with the kids. Not so very environmentally friendly of me, but oh well.

Tom got out of work early for the holiday weekend and made delicious orzo with salsa cruda for dinner. Yum. I managed to drag myself to the gym afterward (Hey ML! I'm up to a mile and a half on the erg, clocking just over 12 minutes! I'm sure that's actually pretty pathetic, but it's quite a step up from where I started, just a couple months ago).

Anyway. The kids were super sweet saying goodbye to Jenny tonight before bed. They're going to miss her (we all will), but I know we'll all look forward to reading about her travels. She's off to New Zealand next month; I'm so jealous! It's been great getting to know her better, and I know we'll stay in touch.

Another Soren guest post

Handing over the keyboard to the lad this morning. Here goes.

* * * *


* * * *

This has been another Soren guest post. Have a lovely day.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Round & round it goes

So, Eleri gave her cold to Soren. She got better while he descended into Snotland. Now he's on the mend and Eleri is back to hacking and being a snot faucet. Oy. I forsee a long and disgusting winter ahead of us.


Let's see, weekend. The weekend went by really fast. Did a bunch of chores, watched some television, generally took it easy. Sunday evening Jenny watched the kids again so Tom & I could go have another dinner together. Two dinners out in two weeks! We are incredibly fortunate.

Soren's liking his swim lessons and getting more comfortable with the water each time. Eleri would desperately like to take lessons too, but I'm having trouble finding any that are scheduled at a reasonable time. Might just have to wait until Spring, but try to take her to the pool here more often in the meantime.

Oh, I forgot about Friday. On Friday, Soren's class had a little music performance and cookie reception at the end of the school day. It was super cute, all the little dudes & dudettes sitting and singing Thanksgiving songs. Afterward, I let Eleri out of the stroller, and she enjoyed the heck out of herself, playing in the classroom. I took some video, which I will eventually get around to uploading.

Later in the afternoon, we went to the park. The days have been getting colder (and wet, more and more often), but the park is always popular, even if a few extra layers of clothes are required. ;)

Ugh, poor Eleri. She keeps waking herself up, crying a bit, going back to sleep, repeating the cycle. I suspect it's going to be a rough night. Perhaps I ought to get off the computer and try to rest while I can.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Greetings from the TB ward

So much for my "post every day this month" plan. I've also fallen way behind (like, four or five days!) on my daily kid pictures. Oh well. I'm ready to just call this week a wash and try to get back on track next week.

It's been a bit plague-y around here. Eleri was sick last week, and then of course Soren caught it. Lots of snot, and lots of hacking. His cough was about at its worst on Monday, though fortunately it's improved since then. Tuesday we were home almost all day, with one brief library trip to keep the madness at bay. Yesterday and today were rainy days, so we're going on four days with no playground excursions or time spent running around outside for either of the kids. It's not a huge surprise that they're becoming maniacs.

Yesterday (Wednesday), I ran a 5k on the treadmill in the evening, the first one under 30:00 in a while (just 40 seconds under, but I'll take it). This morning Jenny and the kids and I drove through the drizzle up to Annapolis, where it was cold and very quiet, but neat. It's an interesting historical site, with quite a few original buildings from the 17th, 18th & 19th centuries. Soren desperately wanted to go on a boat, any boat, or a raft, or a dinghy, or pleasepleaseplease that boat over there? I had something of a death grip on his hand as we walked along by the waterfront, where there was of course not a guard rail in sight. We walked and walked, got some tasty crepes for lunch, and were back home by early afternoon.

I left Soren and Jenny to play at home and took Eleri back out with me to do some grocery shopping. She's gotten so much grabbier at the store, and I made the mistake of parking her too close to the pasta sauces while I was looking for noodles. Crash! I was lucky she only managed to knock down one jar, but ugh. Not our finest moment. She fell asleep on the drive home, stayed asleep through being transferred to the stroller in the blustery 42 degree afternoon, and then continued sleeping in the stroller for almost another hour, while I made dinner and Soren played not very quietly in the same room. Tired girl!

I went and rode Vanya this evening. It was another really chilly night at the barn, but we had a good ride. Vanya's an interesting horse in that he is not shy about letting me know when I'm pissing him off (usually by getting into a tug of war with his mouth), so he's helping me remember to ride with softer hands even when I don't have an instructor there to remind me. It's not ideal, because of course I should be good enough to not piss him off in the first place, but at least I'm not likely to continue making the same mistakes all the time.

Anyway, that's about all I've got for now. Yawn. Off to bed.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Double feature

Since I yet again didn't get a post up yesterday, I'll do a double post today.

Date Night! Huzzah!

Yesterday, Jenny headed into DC to check out some museums & see the sights. Soren had swim class in the morning, and then after lunch Tom and the kids watched a soccer game while I had some glorious time to myself. I picked up this book (about drawing) from the library several weeks ago, since I have been interested in improving my drawing ability for a while now. So I took advantage of my available quiet time to work through the book a bit. I discovered a heretofore unrealized affinity for drawing with a charcoal pencil. (It's really fun!) After an hour or so, I worked on Eleri's stocking for a little while. It's coming along - slowly, but I think I'll just barely get it done in time for Christmas - and I'm enjoying it. Jenny returned from her outing, I went to exercise at the gym, and then Tom & I got to go out for dinner by ourselves while Jenny watched the kids! Yay! It was really nice. (I mean, duh, of course it was nice.) Tasty food, tasty beers, good times. (And no loud live music.) ;)

It's all happening at the zoo

We had a lazy morning. After lunch, Tom took the kids to do the grocery shopping, and then after they got back, we all went to the zoo! Tom hadn't been yet (we just never seem to get around to it on the weekends), so he enjoyed it. It was chilly, so a lot of the animals were hiding indoors. We got to see one of the elephants pretty close-up (she was breaking apart and eating a pumpkin), and one of the pandas was making laps around the indoor panda habitat. Eleri was super excited about the panda; every time the it came into view she would shout, "HI Panda!" and give a huge grin. It was adorable. Sadly, we didn't realize until too late that all the buildings close early this time of year, so we missed out on the Small Mammal, Ape, Invertebrate & Reptile Houses. Oh well. We will have to return again soon. They had set up most of the Zoo Lights displays, and I'd really like to check that out this year.

We were really hungry by the time we headed home, so we decided to pick up pizzas for dinner. Nom nom nom.

And with that, another weekend's in the books. Tomorrow it's back to work, school, and routine.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Frigid Horse-a-palooza

It was a cold and windy day today! Brr! Happily, Tom was able to accompany us for preschool drop-off this morning. It was nice for him to get to see Soren in his element at school. Then he did some grocery shopping while I took Eleri to her class. She was even more clingy than usual during the running-around parts, but she really loves the singing and coloring. And bubbles. And when the teacher handed out stickers at the end of class, Eleri said a nice and clear "thank you," which may have been the first time the teacher's heard her say anything.

We came home, Tom started chili in the crock pot, and then I went back to pick up Soren. Lunch, a bit of downtime playing with the kiddos, and then in the afternoon I took Jenny along to the barn. Well, barnS. First we went to exercise N's horses. It hadn't gotten any warmer by afternoon, but at least it wasn't quite as windy out at the barn. Then we went to the other barn for my lesson. Where it was even colder. My teeth were actually chattering when I was waiting to mount. At least once I was on the horse I warmed up fairly quickly. There were eight people in my lesson tonight (eight!) which is really a lot for the little indoor arena. Everyone did a fairly impressive job maintaining spacing and not killing each other.

Anyway, it was the most horsing I've done in a long while (lunge one horse and ride two, back to back to back), and it was pretty fun despite the cold. Tom's chili and cornbread were a most welcome delight when we returned home for dinner. And then he made stuffed puff pastries for dessert. Hell yeah.

All right, off to bed.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Eleri and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Poor Eleri.

The "terrible twos" have been flirting with the idea of making an appearance for a little while now. She's been getting progressively more touchy about things, more insistent about the things she wants, less willing to share or take turns, and demonstratively disappointed when things don't go her way. It's the nature of toddlerhood, I realize. However, knowing it's coming - and knowing it's perfectly normal - doesn't really make it any more pleasant.

Yesterday morning we packed a lunch and metroed into the city to check out the Textile Museum. It was a brisk day, with rain clouds threatening to make things more interesting for us. We were somewhat prepared for the weather (sweaters plus rain coats, but no gloves or hats, which would have been nice), and it was at least toasty warm the whole way in on the train.

We located the Textile Museum, which is kind of on the edge of Embassy Row, so we got to see a few embassies and neat flags on our way. Once inside the (not especially stroller-friendly) building, we'd spent maybe five minutes looking at the first exhibit when I noticed that El had removed one shoe and sock. DC has a somewhat inane rule/law/ordinance/whatever about requiring shoes in all public buildings, even on little kids. And there was a guard right in the corner of the room, getting ready to come over and give me a talking-to about the lass's newly naked foot. So I tried calmly explaining to Eleri that she had to have her sock and shoe back on, which led to her kicking and flailing in the stroller, escalating to a 10 or 15 minute long meltdown. During which I wrestled her sock and shoe back on, wheeled her out into a corner by the staircase, started trying to remove her sweater (because at this point she'd worked herself up so much she was getting overwarm), which pissed her off anew, tried to abandon sweater removal, to which she also objected, hauled her upstairs to the kid-friendly "learning zone," and tried distracting her with all the things to touch and play with. All the while I also tried all the "magical tantrum-halting" tricks (validating her feelings, asking her to calm down and use her words, yada yada), none of which seemed to do much of anything. Eventually she managed to calm down, and actually seemed to enjoy herself for a short while, scribbling on graph paper, arranging magnets, feeling different textiles and generally tooling around the big open room.

There was actually not a lot to the museum. Two or three rooms of displays, plus the "learning zone" room. There were some interesting things to see (neat woven art of Central Africa, some very detailed embroidery) but I guess I just expected there to be a bit more to the place. Oh well. At least we were through it fairly quickly, and then we headed across the street to a park for lunch. It was not exactly picnic weather, but we hunkered down and chowed our food, and then the kids played at a playground for a little while. There was a group of kids there (they were old enough that they should have been in school, so I'm guessing it was some sort of homeschool group), and none of them wanted to play with Soren. Poor guy. He kept asking me where the other 3 year-olds were. ("I need 3 year-olds!") He eventually deigned to play with Eleri, and soon we were on our way again, endeavoring to get out of the cold for a bit.

We took refuge in a Starbucks just as it was starting to rain. We got the weasels a kids' hot chocolate (so, not too hot) to share, and they were not nearly as impressed by it as I expected. Eleri seemed to like it all right, but Soren kept making faces after each sip. (Yes, I tried it, and it was definitely not overly warm.) Oh well. The cold and rain scared us off from doing any further adventuring through the city, so we got back on the train and headed homeward. We did some grocery shopping, and it was really only mid-afternoon by the time we got back to the apartment.

Almost immediately upon arrival, Eleri had another sobbing meltdown (I think this one was provoked by having to take off her shoes and/or coat), and it again took a loooooong time to calm her. Soren, thankfully, was able to help Jenny in the kitchen with dinner prep, and by all reports was incredibly well-behaved and helpful. So huzzah, little lad. Eleri, meanwhile, continued to cry the cries of one with a broken heart, while I snuggled her on my lap. I'm not sure what else to do. I obviously don't want to encourage the tantrums, but it feels callous to just ignore her until she decides to calm down. I don't think quiet hugs are a bridge too far, in this case.

There was at least one more meltdown before bedtime, and another at bedtime. She ended up getting so worked up she needed to be rocked to sleep. (And again today for a nap, and rocked to calm tonight at for bed, though I was able to set her down awake this time at least.) I feel for her - it's tough to discover that life's unfair - but holy crap is the drama tiresome.

Anyway. Since I'm not willing or able to just give her whatever she wants at all times, there will undoubtedly be more meltdowns in the coming days and weeks. I hope not months. We'll get through it, of course. Not much choice.

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Guest Post by Soren

I'm just going to take dictation for Soren for a few minutes. Let's see where this goes.

* * * * *

What are you writing? Can I help you do your blog post? You should write about me falling in the parking lot and hurting my head. On January. (whispering) January, February, March, April, May, June, July.

Now my question is gonna on December I'm going to fall and hurt my head on the um, uh, the TV! Break my head on the TV. Because it's very sharp! The TV. Is very sharp.

Now I'll say...that...I'm...a squirrel! Dressed up, as a...ocean! I mean, or a...plane?! Can I have a fire hat? So that I can put out the fires? A real one!

Can I have a camera? Please? To take a picture of you.

I would like to write the blog post with you. I'm going to type whatever you say. Whatever Ellie says.

(Taking over typing.)


(That took about 10 minutes. He's really amused by holding down the keys and then saying things like, "Oh no! That's too many Fs!" I'm resuming typing control.)

A control tower radio can tell that cars can stay off the runway. And only planes can go on the runway. Baggage trains can move the baggage around, so that they can put it in the plane. (Who drives the baggage train?) Uh, workers. I mean two workers of the airport. I'm gonna push the little dot (period).

Can you type what I say? Can you give me a push the caps you want to get upper case or lower case letters? Okay, caps it's off. Now lower case letters.

Um, oh gums! (He means vitamins, which Tom just brought over.) Can you let me push one button?


Let's talk about...a fire engine. That it has a big ladder. And also firefighters go in it. Nothing else. I want to only talk about it. Sometimes they go in the midnight...and June-July are nights...and also February, March, April, May, June, July are nights. Yes, it's night for all those months. On November and December are nights too!

(Misc. noises and sound effects.)

Can I, uh, what were you typing? What's that? Why were you typing that? I like to (make sound effects).

Yes, we're about done. Can I have some yogurt? Uh, I mean, can I have...can I push a button? One button. Called...would you like upper case letters or lower case letters?


We're about done? No, we're ABOUT done. I'd like four stuff to say. I mean, I want five minutes. My five stuff.

1) A fire engine has a ladder.

2) A mail truck has mail.

3) A truck with a fire hose can spray stuff out.

4) A truck with deliveries can deliver stuff to people. Like cans, to play with. And little stuffs to cook with. And nothing else.

5) A thing that crashes into another car...has...broken a car! Let's push the dot.

* * * * *

Well that was fun. ;) Good night, all.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

This & That

I'm not going to lie. Having English Jenny around is a little like having a Mary Poppins, without the singing.

(Actually, it's not that much like it. But the thought has crossed my mind on more than one occasion, when she's playing with the kids. What can I say? You all know I am easily amused.)

Eleri is getting more and more talkative every day. I need to video her more often. Or, you know, at all. (Bad mommy.)

We had A over for a little while today. I took all the kids to the playground, where Soren & A spent a good 20 minutes playing some sort of rescue game that involved running up and down the play structure stairs over, and over, and over, and over again. Any game that requires that much exertion is a fantastic game, as far as I'm concerned. Of course, it meant that the boys were a little extra whiny when it was time to head home for lunch, but they're whiny regardless of when we leave. I'll take a bit of extra whining in exchange for a reduced level of maniacal running around in the afternoon.

Then again, I was yet again barely able to handle Soren's constant stream of noise and inane questions this afternoon ("Why does that stop sign say stop on it?" et cetera). Grr. I realize that's more my problem than his, but I think the fact that he was worn out from the morning's running around made him a bit more verbally manic, if that makes any sense. Surely there's got to be a perfect balance to be found somewhere, but I certainly haven't found it yet. ;)

He is really thrilled to be getting back to school tomorrow though. So I'm glad about that.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Out & About

Since there was no school today, we met A and his mom at Fort Ward Park late in the morning. We were joined by another family we know, and the kids ran themselves in circles for about two hours. Then we continued on our way to give Jenny a brief tour of Old Town. We parked down by the waterfront and checked out The Torpedo Factory, which is one of the local art galleries. It's actually made up of a bunch of individual stalls, each housing one or two artists' workspace and small shop. It's kind of a neat setup. And yes, the name comes from the fact that the building housing the gallery was indeed originally a manufacturing facility for torpedoes, mostly for WWII. (Neat summary of the building's history here.)

Both the kids were rather entertained by the big free-for-all chalk wall right at the Torpedo Factory's entrance. Eleri was at a bit of a disadvantage, sitting in the stroller, but she scribbled gamely for a bit and then decided she'd like to try tasting the chalk instead. (It was quickly deemed "asgusting.") Continuing on into the gallery itself, Soren of course wanted badly to touch everything and kind of flop around, which is not precisely the best practice in the stalls housing glass sculptures or $4500 original paintings. He was genuinely interested in a lot of it, though, which I'm glad about. He just needs a setting more agreeable to his tactile 3 y.o. nature.

We did make it through all 3 floors though. Soren was maybe the most excited about the elevator, which was huge and contained several big rolling carts. Hehe. After we finished our tour, we continued on our way and walked through several blocks of Old Town. It's about as historical as things get, architecturally, around here, so it's always neat to wander and look around. We fully tuckered out both kids, though. Even though Eleri didn't have to do any walking, I guess she'd worn herself out at the park, because she passed out in the stroller on the way to the car. Soren nodded off before we were halfway home. Hehe. It's always kind of nice when silence falls over the back seat of the car. ;)

I know I haven't been posting pictures here lately, but I have still been taking them (almost) every day. One of these days I'll get caught up with posting again. One thing at a time, for now.

Sunday, November 06, 2011


As per usual, we had a ton of food at Max & Agnes's house. We ordered dinner from Nando's Peri Peri (a Portuguese chicken place), and everything was delicious. We got chicken in three different flavors, mashed potatoes, corn, butternut squash, peas, coleslaw, and pita slices with red pepper dip. Plus, Alice had brought over a pumpkin pie, so we all had a bit of that for dessert. I'm glad I did so much at the gym this morning in preparation. ;)

On the way to the city, we got on the freeway just as a secret service convoy was driving past. I think that's maybe the first time I've seen a full-on convoy (including multiple big black SUVs with the rear windows rolled down to reveal heavily armed dudes) since we've lived here. So that was amusing. I'll have to check the news and see if the president had an event in southern-Northern Virginia this afternoon. Hehe.

I'm feeling the time change this evening. Definitely ready for bed, despite the relatively early hour on the clock. Soren doesn't have school tomorrow (teacher in-service, so we'll have to come up with something entertaining to do.

Puddle of failsauce

Heh. Well, I'd say a few days in a row of blogging is at least an improvement over my posting frequency of late.

We've got a house guest for a little while - Jenny - a friend of Marcy's from England. She's in the middle of a bike tour of the US and is spending some time in DC, checking out the sights. The kids are already very big fans of hers, and we've had a nice time visiting in the evenings (hence the couple-day posting failure).

Friday we did end up staying at the playground for about an hour after Soren's school day was over. So that was good. The kiddos had a nice time running and playing. Soren especially loves playing with the kids in the two 4 y.o. classes (they stay an hour later than the 3 y.o.s, so they're out at the playground after Soren's class gets released), so he was extra happy about the opportunity to do that. Our guest arrived later in the afternoon, and then I went to my riding lesson. It was a cold evening! Brr. Decent lesson though, so that was good.

Yesterday was quite a busy one. Soren had soccer in the morning, followed up by swimming, and then we all went to a birthday party for one of his preschool friends. Jenny made us a fabulous lasagna dinner, which Eleri polished off with her usual gusto. She'd been eating less well while she was a bit under the weather, but the past few days she's been back to her usual level of gustatory enthusiasm.

Today the kids woke us up at their normal hour. Minus one, of course, because we've reverted to standard time. So we were all up and at em at 7 rather than 8. I remember when the Fall time change meant sleeping an extra hour that first morning. Now it just means we get our morning chores done an hour early. ;) I dealt with the laundry, went to the gym (ran 20 minutes, rowed 10, ran 10 more, total of 5k running and 2k rowing), all before lunchtime! After lunch, we took the kids to the park, where they ran and ran. Now we're getting ready to have dinner with Max, Agnes & Alice, giving Jenny her first glimpse of DC proper. Should be a fun evening. :)

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Blogger ate my homework

I wrote a post late last night - and then another one - on my iPod. Blogger hiccuped both times I went to publish, and I was too tired for a third attempt. I'll get something more substantive posted a little later today.

Thursday, November 03, 2011


Today was not particularly worth blogging about. I woke up with no patience and it just went downhill from there, with the whining and the not listening and the maniacal (albeit happy) screaming while I was on the phone. (The kids were screaming, not me. Just in case that wasn't clear.) The tiny bright spot of the day was that the kids were snot-free....well, sufficiently we were able to meet some friends at the playground late in the afternoon. Eleri fell asleep in the car when we were about 5 minutes away, so I sat with her while Soren - literally - ran around in circles with A for a good 20 minutes. He was SO happy. I eventually woke Eleri up, and though it took her a bit of time to decide she could tolerate being awake, she eventually had a grand time playing too.

It's pretty unpleasant being so short of temper all day long. I'm hoping for better things tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Two days into November

Not a lot to write about Tuesday. Laundry, brief excursion to the park, dinner, swimming. I will say, of our trip to the park, that the kids were incredibly cute playing together so nicely. We hung out for about an hour and had the place to ourselves. I'm sure Soren would have preferred to have some more company, but sometimes it's awfully convenient to have a ready-made playmate. Eleri was enthusiastically following along with all of Soren's firefighter games. They were running together back & forth across the basketball court. At one point they were (giggling all the while) collecting sticks and putting them in a big pile.

This morning, we dropped Soren at school and then did our Wednesday walking. It was pretty brisk out when we started, but it warmed up reasonably fast. Soren had a good day at school, but Eleri was rockin' the green snot a bit, so we skipped the playground again. I'll be glad when we can hang out and play after school once more (and I have no doubt the kids will be glad too). Poor El, despite still being a bit under the weather, desperately wants to run and play and wipe her snotty nose on everything. She's on the mend though, so I'm really hopeful that by Friday they'll get to hang out at the rec center playground.

In the evening I got to go back out to the barn and ride Vanya. I sure do like being able to do that on a regular basis. There's a lot this horse can teach me, and it's a lot of fun in the process. :)

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Just a bit more from the annals of Eleri cuteness. When she's playing peekaboo, she says, "Wheeeere's Mommy? There it is! Mommy." Similarly, when she's looking for something..."There it is! Book." or "There it is! Leo." And, in the same vein, she also says, "I see it! Doggie." or "I see it! Daddy." I'm not sure where she picked up this particular construction, but it's adorable.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Happy Halloween!

And happy November! As is my sporadic custom, I have once again fiddled with the blog template. Just color & font changes this time. When I was in the dorms at college, I rearranged my room at least once per term; it's less reasonable to rearrange a whole apartment without a really good reason, so now I just tweak my blog design when I'm feeling that itch to change everything around. ;)


Yesterday, as you know, was Halloween. Soren had a parade and party at school, so Eleri and I stuck around for the first half of the morning to watch and take pictures. The lass is still not feeling super great, but she was an incredibly good sport to just chill in the stroller the whole time, in costume no less (one minor meltdown, quite a bit of distraction-by-ipod). She was wearing the puppy dog suit Soren wore last year. Soren was delighted by all of the Halloween goings-on. This was the first year he really picked out his own costume. The decision process went something like this:

"Firefighter! Ooh, no, UPS man. No, a pilot! No! A mailman. Yeah, a mailman! No, maybe I want to be a pilot after all. Yes, definitely pilot. Pilot!"

(Paraphrased, of course, and condensed...we were looking at costumes online, and he more or less wanted to be everything the first time he saw it...hehe. But he started with firefighter, and in the end it came down to a decision between mailman and pilot.)

Anyway. It was very much a DIY costume situation, since we kind of waited til the last minute, and of course the pilot costumes in his size were only available online, and the shipping cost almost as much as the costume itself. So instead we found a pilot hat for $9 and free shipping (thanks, Amazon Prime!), and you already know about the making of the epaulets.

The preschool parade was just about as cute as you could imagine, and Soren was thrilled to show off his outfit. The parents were invited into the classroom afterward, for a couple of songs, and then about half of us stuck around to help with the games. Carnival-style stuff at a toddler level, pretty danged adorable. And then they all got to dance around on a tarp, stomping saltine crackers underfoot to the accompaniment of "The Monster Mash." They got goodie bags and got to go trick-or-treating through the front offices of the rec center. It was very exciting.

After school, we took it way easy so Eleri could get some rest. She ended up actually taking a nap and slept for a good 2 hours. Soren watched some Fireman Sam while I worked on putting together this plush alphabet for Eleri. It's a bit of a cross-country joint craft project between myself and FarmerMegan; I cut out all the squares and drew the letters, and now I'm going to mail them to Meg, who will do the sewing and then mail them back to me. Fun! Eleri was still asleep by the time I'd finished, so Soren & I put together the little $1 wooden sailboat kit we'd picked up at the craft store last week. It was messy (there was painting involved) but he seemed to enjoy himself.

Tom got home and finished cooking the dinner I'd started, while I went to the gym. Run, row, run, blagh. Very tiring, but a good workout. After dinner, Soren & I went trick-or-treating in our building while Tom & Eleri stayed home to hand out candy. We only went to 3 floors, but there was a surprising lack of participation among residents. (People here indicate willingness to have trick-or-treaters by hanging an orange flyer on their door, and ours was the only orange flyer on our entire floor.) But it was just enough trick-or-treating for a little dude, and then we came back home and handed out candy to other kids. Soren stepped up as primary candy distributor, still wearing his own costume, so that was very cute. At one point, a group of middle-school boys came by, and they were all oohing and aahing at Soren. One of them said, "Aw, you're so cute! You don't have to give me any candy. Here! I'll give you some candy!" and reached into his bag to put a pack of M&Ms in our bowl. Which was strange, but kind of adorable at the same time. Not your standard early-teen boy behavior.

Miraculously, we managed to keep our kids from ingesting a ton of sugar right before bed (they actually only had one piece of candy each) but there was still a bit of the whole spin-up-and-melt-down thing happening. Not too much, happily. And then they both slept really well all night. ;)