Thursday, June 24, 2010

Soo Bahk Do Kid

Thanks to the new Karate Kid movie a local TV reporter, supposedly the funny guy for Channel 2's morning news, called Brian on Tuesday to see if he could spotlight his school the next morning. The kids were excited, coming to a practice the night before and waking up at 5 to be on TV. During the newscast they would check in and Bri would answer questions and the kids gave demonstrations. I'm not sure how long the link will work, but here it is:

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day Weekend

I figured it was a perfect present to let Bri's wildest dreams come true and go camping. I knew I would be forfeiting a night's sleep, but it was totally worth it. It was our first time since having kids. Eli loved it, practically giddy the whole time, and Esme was her patient self. Eli decided the animal sitings were his favorites. We asked him on the drive there and he was hoping to see a giraffe. He had to settle for big horn sheep, deer, chipmonks, deer, ducks, and more deer. We even saw a hawk dive and catch a fish.The highlights for me were: a quiet campground with a view, renting a boat, making fireballs... I mean smores, swinging in the hammock, and, most importantly, not seeing 1 mosquito.

Bri loves good family time out in nature. He had to do all the work setting up, cooking, and packing up while I watched the kids, but he didn't mind. He's a hard worker and happy to serve. He always wants us with him. A great trait he inherited from his dad. When he's not working, we're his favorite company. When there's something he wants to do, he tries to find a way for us to come -like ocean fishing with his parents in Oregon in August or a nationals event for his martial arts in New Jersey in July. If I want to get out to do something I try and find a way to go kidless. Don't tell them I said that. Bri's the best. What's more flattering than being someone's preferred groupie.

Is it any wonder we count the hours until he gets home every day?

Friday, June 18, 2010

I Stayed Up Past Midnight

I must've been excited about finishing these little shoes for Esme. I've been dreaming of making some since I ran into a few free patterns, but was driven to make them since my cheapness has been keeping me from buying the pricey shoes that I like. After 3 hours adjusting the pattern, unpicking several mistakes, and learning as I went, she has slippers that fit just right but won't make me cry when she grows out of them in a month.

I used this pattern (and this video) but narrowed and lengthened the sole about half an inch. They are lined with soft microfleece (diaper scraps) and the outside is heavy twill (sling scraps). Next I plan on picking up a leather coat at the thrift store and making these cute ones and if I get really into, these reversible kimono-style ones. I wonder how long I can go on making her shoes. Luckily she's technically a baby for at least one more year.

If anyone knows of a way to get some traction on the bottom, like the rubber writing on the bottom of socks, please let me know. I've already thought of going to Home Depot for some adhesive something, but that stuff probably isn't non-toxic. Then I thought of sewing a rubber band along the bottom. See. I clearly need help before my ideas get any more ridiculous. Rubber cement?...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Eating Our Greens

Last Tuesday we got our first box of our share from the farm. Eli was more excited than us, playing with the onion scape (tall, hollow shoot holding the onion's flower) like a sword. Everything was green except for a few small parsnips. This week's was the same, with a couple extra types of lettuce and collard greens and kale. It's all so beautiful I feel bad wilting it away in the pan.

We've been eating lots of green and learning how to use all parts of the plant. Watercress stems in soup, Crysanthemum leaf tea, oven roasted chicken over a bed of onion scapes. Tonight they'll be in the potato gratin, along with plenty of fresh tarragon. The salads have been my favorite, so many types, each with their own flavor and texture. Even our ice cream was green, made with fresh mint.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Cute Baby Warning

Before you think it's all fun and games having the most adorable baby in the world, I should give you a heads up before you try to go and get your own.

*She will make you look hideous in comparison if you pose for a picture with her.

*She will slow your errand-running with countless strangers stopping to compliment her cuteness. (Like the time I arrived at the airline front desk to get my boarding pass when my flight was already boarding and the counter ladies-who I thought were going to tell me I was too late for my flight-made me stop so they could oogle over Esme.)

*Instead of being excited for baby's bedtime and the peace that follows, you will miss her and wish she didn't have to sleep so much.

*Your house will get dirty as you prefer to play and cuddle her rather than ignoring her to get work done.

*Your computer will get slow, bogged down with the myriads of home videos and digital pictures necessary to record each sweet stage.

*You will fight with your husband at church over who gets to take her to their class.

*And, to end with one that my husband hasn't quite gotten around to, she will make you want one more. But not for a long time so you can spend as much time with her as possible before the throwing up starts.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Tuesday, June 8, 2010


May 23rd at 9 p.m. my sweet little grandpa's 30 year battle with Parkinson's ended. I was trying to get out to California during those last days to say good-bye , but he went quickly and we ended up going for a funeral instead. I was sad that I never knew the vibrant, healthy, friendly, selfless Gramps that all the others remembered. I was sad he had a great-granddaughter that he never met. Sad that the last time I saw him was a year and a half ago and I'm not even sure if he knew we were there because he couldn't talk or open his eyes. Everyone was relieved that his suffering was over, but for me it was sad thinking that a tiny box of ashes was all that was left, on this earth, at least.

But the thoughts keeping me awake since 4 this morning have also reminded me that he is more than a few ashes. Grandma and Gramps have 6 children (5 living), 11 grandchildren, and 6 great-grandchildren. He had numberless friends. And left us all with fond memories.

My Mother With Her Mother And Siblings
(Thanks to my brother-in-law for getting everyone to smile by coming up in a Mets shirt in front of a bunch of Dodger fans)

I was lucky enough to stay with my grandparents 7 years ago, the long summer after my sophomore year. I meant to go to help out, although I only ended up doing easy things, like help to roll him over in bed, help get him into a wheel chair, answer his calls, or feed him meals. There was a lot of hope that summer.

Insisting to Stand For Picture With Grandma

He'd had a new type of brain surgery that was getting others out of wheel chairs and walking. Three kinds of therapists were coming to the house and after they left I would work with him on the stretching and exercises they gave him for homework. But he didn't improve the way we wished.

Happy Newlyweds In The 50's
(I have to resort to trickery to get a natural picture of grandma, usually zooming out to get her in a shot she doesn't think she's in. )

Taking care of someone who can't do anything for themselves is very humbling, for both of you. Some days were better than others, but I could still see glimpses of the old Gramps I never really knew. He loved and requested simple things. Extra dessert, to hold grandma's hand, refried beans, to read him the newspaper, put Judge Judy on the TV at 3.

I have more faint memories from long ago, like walking around the block with him and being sent into neighbors' back yards to pick avocados and citrus fruits he was sure they wouldn't mind sharing, even if they weren't home. Or going to the store and waiting while he complimented a lady on her dress or caught up with a friend, which were many since the sociable man was born and raised in the same town.

I love you and miss you Gramps and am glad your in a place without suffering, emotional or physical. In the mean time, I will remember you warmly when I look down at the hands I inherited from you.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

7 Months

Posting late, but at least the pictures were taken on her 7 month birthday. Uncle Mike holding her in my grandma's back yard in California. Every day she gets sweeter. Not sure how that's possible.

She isn't clingy, happy to be held by others. If they can hold on, she's so wiggly. And that tongue! She sticks it out constantly lately.