Thursday, October 30, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part IV: The Ghost Train

Are you tired yet? See Busy Weekend posts I, II, and III. I can't believe it's Thursday night and I'm still posting about last weekend!

*****

After the sibling tour and class, Zander and I headed off to meet some friends for lunch and then to the Ghost Train, an annual event at Burke Lake Park. (Brad was at a Baltimore Ravens game with his stepfather.) We've done the Ghost Train at least once, possibly twice before, so we thought we knew what to expect. But, I did not expect the two-hour wait to ride!

The children were able to play on a playground, ride on a carousel, and jump around in a moon bounce while another parent and I traded off holding our place in line. So, the time went pretty quickly. The ride itself was fine, although Zander said it was "too scary" more than once and kept asking that I hold him tight. So far, only one nightmare has been attributed to it.

Here's a photo from the ride of the inside of a tunnel:


And now I'm going to bed.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part III: Sibling Tour and Class


On Sunday, Z and I headed off to take a class and tour of the hospital where his baby sister is set to be born. When we first told him about the class, Zander said he didn't need it and already knew how to be a big brother, but we eventually convinced him to attend.

With detailed directions on where in the hospital the class would take place (e-mailed directly from the childbirth education folks at the hospital), we navigated our way to the room just fine. But we ended up waiting there (along with another parent and child) for the teacher, who did not show.

Quick Aside
On a set of chairs toward the front of the room, there was a line of baby dolls. Zander told the other parent and child in the room that he didn't really like playing with baby dolls very much, but that he did have one at school named Clara. He went on to say that Clara was black so that's why she "sometimes smells like chocolate." Now, let me just say that Clara *is* a scented baby doll, but I still wasn't sure how to respond and felt especially on the spot, considering the other parent and child were also black.

Anyway, Z and I took a quick trip to the bathroom and when we returned, we noticed a tiny sign on the door (that had not been there before) saying, "Sibling Tour starts in lobby." Cue to me, fuming.

We then hustled to the lobby, but had just missed the instructor, who had already taken the rest of the class up to the postpartum area to show them a recovery room and the nursery. We ran to catch up and eventually did so. (One of the other families attending -- pregnant with their 3rd child -- knew that the class started in the lobby because they went through the same thing I did when they attended for their 2nd child. Another just happened to arrive late and stumbled upon the instructor in the lobby.)

Soon after viewing the nursery, we returned to the room we started in and each child was given one of the baby dolls on which to learn to swaddle. Zander didn't want to participate, so he sat back and watched. The instructor then read a book from circa 1952 about what happens when mommy and daddy go to the hospital: "Mommy won't have to cook or clean at all while she is in the hospital!" Good to know since I cook and clean so much at home.

Then the children colored a small booklet for their baby brother or sister, had a snack, and got a certificate of completion for the "Sibling Preparation Program." So, we're all set now. Nothing more to worry about.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part II: Boo at the Zoo

On Saturday night, we went to Boo at the Zoo (at the National Zoo) for the first time. Basically, zoo officials close the zoo to the general public and then re-open it to those who have tickets. Patrons can then trick-or-treat at different booths as well as see the animals.

Let me just say that it was raining. Hard. And there was a lot of walking and a lot of public restroom usage. And I'm 33.5 weeks pregnant. (Not that I'm counting or anything.) I'll take that medal now. Joking.

Being Called A Man
On line waiting to enter, I was trying to flag down my dear friend Laura. She said, "I'm crossing the street and see the line." I said, "I'm standing on line waving." She then said, "I only see a man waving in a burgundy and grey jacket" (or something to that effect). *I* was that man!

The good news is that the children truly had a blast despite the rain, which eventually stopped. Here's a photo of Zander (SuperWhy) and Champe (monkey) taking a break to enjoy some of the treats.

Losing Champe and the Imposter Monkey
As the night went on, however, it did what nights usually do...it got dark. And for a few minutes, we lost track of Champe. You can read the details on Laura's blog here. My heart didn't start beating in overdrive right away because I thought we had spotted him in the sea of people. I ran up to him from behind, yanked off his monkey hood, and then was really surprised to find that it was NOT Champe (as was the parent of the impostor monkey who said something like, "That one's mine!"). Oops. We found the real Champe a few moments later amid tears and immense relief.

*****
Next up, Sunday morning's activity -- Zander's "sibling tour" and class, held at the hospital where we hope to deliver baby #2.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Busy Weekend, Part I: Ellis Paul Concert

Another busy weekend here. Not sure anymore if I/we do these things because we like to or because I want something to blog about. I'm kidding. I think.

Our first activity on Saturday morning was a "family concert" at Jammin' Java by a folk-pop artist named Ellis Paul. Some months ago, I stumbled across his CD for children, called "Dragonfly Races" via one of those "if-you-like-so-and-so-you'll-like-so-and-so" links. Quiclky fell in love with the songs (as did Zander). I can't really explain why they move me so much. Could be pregnancy hormones, who knows. Here are some reviews (posted on the Ellis Paul website), which say it better than I ever could.

I was a tad embarrassed at the event, however, when Ellis Paul would announce the next song and Zander would pipe up from our seats, "I know this one" And then the next, "I know this one too!" Seriously, it happened at least five times. I was worried that the audience was getting annoyed. Brad says I need to stop worrying.

You can see a Quicktime video of Ellis Paul singing "Dragonfly Races" from his website.

And here is a photo from the concert:

Next up, a post about Saturday night's activity -- our first excursion to Boo at the Zoo in a torrential downpour (including being told I look like a man by one of my closest friends AND losing one the children we went with -- for maybe a minute or two, but still scary).

Thursday, October 23, 2008

The Sprinkler Room

We passed this door after dinner the other night. Zander asked, "Is that where they put sprinkles on cakes?" (or something to that effect -- I did not write it down, so I'm not 100% sure, but you get the gist of his question). Brought back images of the original Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, which I loved.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Disney Princesses

They are what I stay up at night worrying about these days. Okay, they are only *one* of the things I worry about. And, I know that just by posting it here, karma dictates that this little girl we will meet in the next two months or so will be enthralled with Disney Princesses. Our house will be inundated with them, just as it is with Thomas trains. But, try as I might, I cannot find as many things inherently wrong with the Thomas craze when compared to the Disney Princess phenomena.

I mean no offense or judgement if you are already immersed in the princess culture. Before I had children, I actually thought things like "I would never do that with my kids." But now, I know better. Heck, I even sometimes think, "We'll see...that might work just perfect with my kids." But, as someone who has struggled with body image issues most of her life, I want to avoid that for our daughter, and I see the princess culture as one of many pervasive and often blatant messages in our culture that girls have to look (and be) a certain way in order to be accepted.

Note: This video, part of the "Target Women" series, is a satirical look at Disney Princesses, and truth be told -- gives me hope. Target Women is a recurring segment on Current TV's weekly television show, infoMania. In each episode, Sarah Haskins takes a look at the often-ridiculous way the media reaches out to women. For more episodes of Target Women, see this link.


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's a little boy in a costume two weeks before Halloween!

On Sunday, Zander spent the entire day in his SuperWhy costume (one of two Halloween costumes this year -- long story). The day included a trip to 7-Eleven (to satisfy pregnancy-related slurpee obsession mentioned here), to a bagel shop, a playground, out for an Italian dinner, and finally to a WalMart.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Our Little Hula Hooper...Not Quite Yet

Quick video (taken by a friend) of Zander trying his hand at hula hooping while at the Claude Moore Market Fair over the weekend.


This is what my family does for fun these days

They put big balls under their shirts and walk around pretending to be me. Ha ha.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Sunday was a beautiful day for carving pumpkins.

Here is Brad and Zander's finished product:

And here is mine:

Monday, October 13, 2008

Keeping Up

We accompanied some friends to our first Renaissance Festival on Saturday. It was pretty darn cool. However, soon after Brad did this...

...I felt compelled to keep up and did this:

Little did I know that it would require me to walk around the festival (attended by thousands of people) for over an hour belly exposed to allow the henna tattoo to dry. I seriously haven't gotten that much attention in years.

P.S. Must give credit where credit it due -- to Kirsten and Maritta -- two younger, much more hip women who had gotten henna tattoos before I did. They stayed with me, cheered me on, and documented the occasion for the blog.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Oh Deer!

This guy and two of his friends came to visit us early morning the day before yesterday...

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Hamming it up on Yom Kippur

Get it -- "hamming it up?" Yom Kippur is the most solemn of the Jewish high holy days. Many fast all day...and most certainly do not eat ham! I crack myself up.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Diagonal, Horizontal, and Vertical

While looking at the mezuzah on the doorpost of his bedroom:

Zander: "Why is the mezuzah tilted? Why is it diagonal and not horizontal or vertical?"

The answer (compliments of Wikipedia): "Ashkenazi Jews and Spanish and Portuguese Jews tilt the mezuzah so that the top slants toward the room into which the door opens. This is done to accommodate the variant opinions of the medieval Rabbis Rashi and Rabbeinu Tam as to whether it should be placed horizontally or vertically, and also to imply that God and the Torah (which the mezuzah symbolizes) are entering the room. Most Sephardim and other non-Ashkenazi Jews affix the mezuzah vertically." More info on how and where to affix a mezuzah can be found here.

What I said: "Time for bed!"

P.S. I would be remiss if I did not mention that Brad did the research and put up the mezuzahs in our home.

P.P.S. The photo at the top is NOT of the mezuzah on Zander's doorpost.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G

Last night Zander spelled out this sentence:

I l-o-v-e D-a-d a-n-d M-o-m a-n-d b-a-b-y.

Why he spelled it instead of saying it, I'm not sure. But, sweet any way you look at it.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Photo Collage...

...from an excursion to Burke Nursery's Fall Festival and Pumpkin Playground this weekend:




Only drawback was the porta-potties. I am not a fan of them. Is anyone really? But, especially not a fan of them when pregnant.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Waterproofing

Work on the waterproofing of our basement officially began this week (after the flooding mentioned here, here, and here), although Brad has been working to make the area accessible for a few weeks.

This is good news since I *really* want it completed before the baby is born. Sounds easy considering I'm not due until December, however, the cement actually has to cure for at least 30 days and then we need to apply a concrete sealer before putting down carpet. And then we need to schlep everything back down there.

For the record, here is a photo taken of part of the basement soon after we moved in -- new carpet, new walls, and new paint -- hadn't even unpacked everything yet:

And here are some photos taken from today: