Friday, September 28, 2007

Small talk with my husband

Me: Have you noticed that Lamby is looking a little raggedy lately? [Lamby is one of Zander's loveys* mentioned in this post and seen in this this post.]

Brad: Do you think it’s drugs?

* A lovey, also known as a transitional object, is something that a child uses to aid their feeling of security. A perfect example of a lovey is the Linus’ blanket in Peanuts. Not all children have a lovey, but studies show that more than half of all toddlers do have a special blanket, doll, or stuffed animal. Text copied from this website.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

‘Shout out’ #1: To the newest member of the Mitchell Family

Born last night (at home)! It’s likely that once they get some sleep under their belts (in maybe four months), Laura will post some information here.

What follows is actually text from a card that we were given after Zander’s birth. We were so moved by it, that we saved it. So, welcome ‘No Name’ Mitchell, you are in good hands.

There’s so much in the world to see.
So many things to know.
Reach for the stars.
Be loved.
Be well.
Hello, sweet boy.
Hello.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Do you see states at work?

Frequently at dinner as we reconnect, Brad, Zander, and I talk about our respective days. We ask Zander what he did and who he saw at school and he usually asks us who we saw at work. (Since he has been to both of our offices for short visits recently, he is particularly interested in this.) If we leave someone out, he’ll say, “What about Jeff?” etc. Here's how it went last night:

Zander: Who did you see at work today mama?

Me: Crystal, Ishita, Paul, Joni, Sarah, and Virginia. [I usually refer to "Virginia" by her nickname "Gina."]

Zander (giggling): No, you don’t see states at work!

Zander (pause, more giggling): Did you see South Carolina too?!

*******
I have no clue why he chose South Carolina, instead of say, a state he has visited.

"Bomping the Sound Barrier"


"What?" I ask incredulously. "That doesn't look like bomping the sound barrier to you?"

This is one of Z's recent drawings from school. His teacher asks the children to describe their drawings/painting/artwork and then she writes down the child's interpretation. (Documenting children's learning is part of the Reggio Emilia approach of the preschool he attends.)

And why does our three-year-old even know about the sound barrier? Probably because of a few trips to the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the National Air and Space Museum and the book Grandma Susan bought him there. Although I'm pretty sure he thinks it is something that actually breaks and shatters into pieces.

"Bomping," which is a combination of "bonking" and "bumping," is not in the dictionary. Not yet, that is.

Monday, September 24, 2007

When Good Things Happen to Good Places

Many, many, many (kidding) years ago, Brad’s oldest sister (Jenna) and her husband (Kevin) met at a Quaker boarding and school in Newtown, PA. I think they were age sixteen or thereabouts. Fast forward a few decades to the year 2000 when they moved their family from 28th and Park in New York City and returned to Newtown. That’s when I started to learn about the George School (GS).

Not knowing much about Quakers, I was a little nervous about their move as I thought their new lifestyle would bring with it horse-drawn buggies and one room schoolhouses). I was, of course, confusing the Quakers with the Amish. (Hey, at least they both have a large presence in Pennsylvania.) Anyway, Jenna now works in the admissions office of GS, their family lives on campus, their oldest son (Ruben) graduated from GS in 2006 and attends an unnamed prestigious university, and their younger son (Logan) just started his sophomore year at GS.

Through this exposure, I’ve learned that the George School is a very special place for people, regardless of religious affiliation (or lack thereof). This blurb from the “About GS” page on their website pretty much sums it up:

…values of tolerance, equality, and social justice serve a diverse student body…high academic standards in an atmosphere characterized by respect for the individual, honesty, and cooperation.
Last week they received a whopping $128 million donation from an alumna. This video from the CBS Evening News sums it up and includes a sound bite from our nephew, Logan.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Yom Kippur 2007

Knowing that seeing Zander all dressed up like this would make me both happy and sad, Brad sent Zander downstairs with this to say: "Don't worry mommy. I'm not growing up too fast." Yes, sweetie, you are. And we're loving every minute of it. (Well, except for the obstinate "I'll-do-it-myself" times and the insistence not to poop in the potty times.)




Friday, September 21, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame, Part II

...and tangentially related to this post of Brad's. Below is a clip of Zander singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" from October 2006 at our old townhouse in Burke, VA. He's singing to his beloved Lamby, who just so happens to be napping in the colandar. (What? Your stuffed animals don't sleep in kitchen gadgets?)

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

The photo on the left (below) is from Monday night's Washington Nationals game. As some of this blog's long-time readers know, we share season tickets to "Nats" games. Whenever possible, Brad and Zander go to the games and I get a pedicure stay home and work really hard scrubbing the floors and cleaning the toilets. Sometimes I slave in the kitchen too.

And for posterity's sake, I've added a photo of Zander's first-ever baseball game (the Baltimore Orioles when he was two months old).

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kid Rock

No, not THAT Kid Rock.

This morning I was awakened by a phone call from my wife (who was on her way into work early). Only, it was not her but it was Genevieve (of Choo Choo Soul) singing loudly about jumping up. I thought Jill was being cute until it continued for over three minutes. Hmmm, what was the real story here – Jill was listening to kid’s music loudly even when Zander and I were still at home in bed. It turns out she had 'accidentally' called home when trying to turn her phone to vibrate (so her kid-rock session was uninterrupted?!?!?).

The importance of music in my life has transitioned into Zander and Jill’s fully now. He listens to music constantly and is a lyric-learning fiend. She has embraced kid’s music entirely; there is no room in the CD changer for grown-up music anymore, just a 15 CD rotation of Milkshake, Laurie Berkner, Cathy Fink and Marcie Marxer, and others.

We have even been stretched from singing bedtime songs (which is already quite a stretch if you have ever heard either of us sing) to singing made up bedtime songs on demand. As we have become better at rambling through these sing-song stories, Zander has become better at setting the plot line. Some of his recent song requests, for example, are “Connen, Monnen and Bonnen (three made up friends who go on adventures) go to Alaska in a one-gear mail truck” and “CM&B ride a train at night with a police car on the roof that falls and gets dirty." These may seem easy to write on-the-fly lyrics to, but it is a real skill. Jill excels at the story part and I pride myself on hooking together the occasional rhyme. Zander just listens as if our creation always was and always will be like some old standard. Help us if he ever wants the exact same thing twice.

For me, few things compare to hearing Z sing songs and seeing his love for music. You can see video of him singing on stage here. Below is a photo of him and Elizabeth waiting patiently for the band to come out at a Milkshake concert (in June 2007).


And there's a photo posted here of him and Champe transfixed at a Cathy and Marcy show (in April 2007).

Follow-up to yesterday's grumpy post

At least I am not alone. According to this article in today's Washington Post, the D.C.-area is tied (with San Francisco and Atlanta) for 2nd worst traffic in the country. (Los Angeles is first.) For some reason, knowing this makes me feel better -- as if I thought I was imagining it before.

P.S. Notice new poll to the right. You don't have to be Jewish to vote! These religions/beliefs are also eligible: Atheism, Baha'i, Buddhism, Candomblé, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Jehovah's Witnesses, Judaism, Mormon, Paganism, Rastafari, Santeria, Shinto, Sikhism, Taoism, Unitarianism, and of course, Zoroastrianism.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I live 12.1 miles from my office...

...so why has it been taking me over an hour, sometimes and hour and a half, to get there for the past two weeks?! Where have all these people come from since after Labor Day and where are they going? If you're trying to get a hold of me, try my cell, because I'm probably stuck in traffic.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Waking a Sleeping Giant


Exactly how my husband and son ended up at a party mesmerized by the video game Guitar Hero, is a long story. I have to admit, I thought this day would eventually come – just not for about six more years.

Just playing the game awakened something in Brad which had been snoozing for the past few years. When we left, he said he needed an Xbox because his PlayStation 2 wasn’t cool enough was broken.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Dad's Day Out

Brad, Fred, and Todd enjoy the final wakeboard-outing for the season. Keep the ibuprofen handy...





Thursday, September 13, 2007

Me and My Aunt Janet



Yesterday was a crazy morning. I did a maquest to the wrong address that sent me and my sister on a journey through Northern Virginia trying to find the location where Kol Ami, the Northern Virginia Reconstructionist Community, was holding their Rosh Hashanah children's service. (I had mapquested to the location for Yom Kippur services.) After some patient, turn-by-turn instructions via telephone from my mom in Florida, we all got there safely and (almost) on time. Still not sure why I didn't take the new GPS thingy with me that Brad bought on Woot. Oh well. Now we know where to go for Yom Kippur.

The highlight for me was seeing Zander and Aunt Janet together. The sushi lunch Janet and I had after we dropped Zander at school wasn't bad either. The above photos are a bit grainy because, in all the confusion, I left the camera at home. These are from my phone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In Honor of Rosh Hashanah 2007

Also known as the Jewish New Year. L'Shana Tova!

Bellies and baby carrots

My dear, sweet child keeps coming up to me, patting me on the stomach, and saying, “There’s a baby in your belly!” Although I realize he is probably doing this because at least four women he knows ARE pregnant and not because of the size of my stomach, it is still disconcerting. (Most certainly there is not a baby in there.) Thankfully, last night at dinner, Zander told Brad that there was a baby in his belly too. We're both on diets -- go figure.

Also at dinner last night:
Me: I forgot to pick-up some baby carrots.
Zander (thinking for a moment): Can you get some daddy carrots too?

Monday, September 10, 2007

The "guys" in Zander's bed



Zander calls them "guys," but they are really stuffed animals. The photo doesn't do it justice, so here's a list:

1) Home Taggies (his favorite ‘lovey', a must-have. Note: the pattern shown is different from the one Z has. We call this one "home" taggies because he also has a "school taggies.");
2) and 3) Hippo #1 and Hippo #2 (they are twins, of course);
4) Doxie (compliments of Grandma Susan, looks a little like our dog Samson, who died a year and a half ago);
5) Lamby (a favorite, for which I’ve lost our back-up. It is has now been “retired” by TY and costs $35 bucks, so let's just not lose this one);
6) Darby (a giant stuffed dog, compliments of Aunt Janet);
7) Bobo (actually a pig, compliments of Colorado cousins Ben and Nathan);
8) Roosty (a rooster, compliments of same cousins as above);
9) Krokree (A dog made at Build-a-Bear during his friend Macy's birthday party. Zander just happened to pick THIS wedding outfit for him (or her?), earning Krokree the nickname "Tranny Bear" by Brad. See photos below);
10) Whale (a freebie from some random medical conference, compliments of Grandpa Mickey)
11) Lucky (a plush black dog named after the real Lucky in La Jolla and compliments of Grandma Joan);
12) Big kangaroo (another one compliments of Aunt Janet);
13) Little kangaroo (not sure where we got this one);
14) Caterpillar (a mini replica of the protagonist in this story);
15) Little puppy (self-explanatory);
16) Long dog (also resembling Samson);
17) Random stuffed bear;
18) Blanky (random extra blanket with animals on it);
19) Blue Blanky (random – you got it – blue blanket); and
20) Baseball quilt (compliments of Grandma Joan);

Of course, there is also a pillow and a comforter.

Here's what Krokree and Long Dog do when we're not around:


And because I have nothing else to do with my time:

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Alles Gute zum Geburtstag!

It was Tine's 20th birthday today. Tine is the German au pair of our friends, the Mitchells.

So those of us of the female persuasion just HAD to join her for her first-ever official manicure/pedicure and then just HAD to meet up with the rest of the gang for her first-ever official sushi dinner. Tine has posted some photos on her blog here. Pictured at the restaurant are Laura (very pregnant), Tine (very 20), and Champe (very cute). Happy Birthday Tine!

P.S. Who knew there were 15 other ways to say "Happy Birthday" in German?

Saturday, September 8, 2007

The fun just never stops

We took a trip back to the old haunt for the annual Burke Centre Festival followed by a short nap (Zander's-not ours), and then off to a friend's 3rd birthday party (Zander's-not ours), which was complete with a pinata and fireworks.

I had to think about the irony of how often we tell kids NOT to hit things with sticks and here we were, blindfolding them, spinning them around a few times, putting a big stick in their hands, and yelling at them to swing harder. Needless to say, Zander looooooved it.

Here are some pics from the festival:





And one from Coral's birthday party:




Thursday, September 6, 2007

Avoid Hawaii at all costs...

...unless you want to get pregnant. Huh? Zander's preschool teacher announced to the class that she is expecting. She asked how the children thought the baby got into the mommy's tummy. Each had his or her own explanation. Zander said something about "the mommy flies by the little state of Hawaii and the baby plops into the mommy's tummy." See his drawing of this below.

We have no idea where he got this misconception, but it might have something to do with a fascination with the United States. (More on that soon.)

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Knock Knock!

Here's the joke, origins unknown:

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Boo.
Boo who?
Don't cry [insert name of knock-ee here].

Here's how it goes in our house (and in the car, and at the grocery store, and just about anywhere else we go):

Zander: Knock-knock.
Brad (or me): Who's there?
Zander: Say boo.
Brad: Boo.
Zander: Say boo-hoo.
Brad: Boo-hoo.
Zander (laughing): Don't cry daddy!

For a whole bunch more, visit this site. Your preschooler will appreciate it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The stuff life is made of

Beach, pool, family, birthday celebrations, a decadent and leisurely sushi dinner (sans kids), some outlet shopping, and Captain Underpants.


And also, highlights of Funland, including the inevitable meltdown at the end. (Warning: Not recommended for viewers who get nauseous easily (aka Susan B.))

Monday, September 3, 2007

Cousins

From L to R: Zander (age 3), Fin (age 2; almost 3), Sam (age 6)