Monday, December 28, 2009

Play tent

Sidamo and Nora's big gift this Christmas was a play tent I made for them. They love, love, love it, but I'm not feeling the love right now. Instead of springing the $12.95 for a pattern, I decided to call upon my ancient (and inadequate) geometry skills to design the tent myself. To be fair, the tent itself actually did turn out pretty nice. It's a uniform and appropriate shape, and with the exception of the bottom hem which remains to be done, it looks almost professional.


Until you put it up, that is. At that point, you realize I didn't quite think through the whole upright factor. It bunches and falls and requires almost constant adult supervision, which is kinda contrary to the purpose of a dedicated play space for kids.


Right now I'm thinking I'll construct a base out of PVC (I know, I know) and joiners. Then at the top I need to do something to secure the tent pole sleeves to the poles, and something to hold the poles themselves together more precisely. Until then, the cool new Christmas gift lives in the closet.


But at least they had a morning of fun with it, and I learned some lessons for next year. That's worth something, right?

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Eve Day

The morning of Christmas Eve, we went down to Greg's sister's house for a lovely brunch with her family and Greg's dad and grandma. Yummy food, good company, and gifts galore made for a very merry start to the holiday weekend.

Apologies for the photographic overload, but when you have a fancy new camera and the most photogenic children ever born (sorry, everyone else's parents), it's just sort of unavoidable.

 Grandpa and Memphis

Scarlett and Sidamo
Scarlett very intent on something
Sidamo similarly focused
Seriously, enough with the flash
Drooling in anticipation

What can I get in exchange for this kiss?



Opening the little barn from Grandpa. HUGE hit.
 Here she's screaming, "Yeah!!!" after I asked whether we should open it.
Taking notes for next year.

Indoor bobsledding

Fa la la



Tuesday, December 22, 2009


It's relevant to this story that I'm vegetarian, and my policy with the kids is that when they truly understand the animal/meat connection, they can decide whether they want to eat meat. Until then, they're vegetarian by default. Sidamo has been working hard on understanding the animal/meat connection lately, and I try to engage him in the conversation without imposing any of my judgments on the issue, since I really and truly don't care whether other people eat meat. Honest. I want it to be a completely personal decision for the kids, and I don't plan to try to influence it in any way.

Today, walking home from school, Sidamo and I were talking (at length) about why dogs like to chase cats, how some dogs mistake cats for food, and how it's really not a nice idea for dogs to eat cats, since cats are people's pets, and people would be sad if their pets were eaten.

Sidamo: Yeah, but dogs can eat other kinds of meat, like people eat. People mostly eat cows, and also pigs, and also chickens, but mostly pigs. And also buffalo, like Daisy ate for dinner and also for breakfast. [ed's note: Very sweet that he remembers Daisy's last meals.]

Me: You're talking a lot about meat. Are you feeling curious about it?

Sidamo: Yeah, I'd like to try to eat meat.

Me: When do you think you'd like to try it?

Sidamo: Tomorrow. 

Me: Hmm. What kind of meat do you want to try?

Sidamo: Cat.

So if anyone knows of any cage-free, free-range, hormone-free cat farms, wouldja let me know?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Documentation for MOTY application

Thank you, Sidamo, for catching this on film. It will certainly make my Mom of the Year application more compelling.







My spy

Sidamo helped Greg wrap presents this weekend, and Greg explained to him that the purpose of wrapping paper with decorations on it is to trick people into thinking that the gift is whatever is depicted on the wrapping paper. So today, Sidamo pointed to a gift they wrapped for me in paper with stockings and mittens on it and said, "Some wrapping paper has stockings and gloves. And I can tell you, 'That present is stockings and gloves! But not boots.' That's what I can say, so you think it's stockings and gloves, but not boots."

So I think it's safe to say I'm getting those Uggs I asked for.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Just in time for his 4th birthday

I finished Sidamo's baby blanket. While it's not exactly on time, it is pretty neat to look at the first rows and remember knitting them while waiting for Sidamo, imagining bundling up the tiny little guy I knew only from that single picture. I added a few extra rows toward the end to account for the fact that he's not so tiny anymore.

Still, he loves the blanket, thanks me for it nightly, and doesn't seem to mind that I missed my deadline by, oh, two-and-a-half years.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Enjoy me

OK, one more thing, before I forget.

This weekend, over a plate of fries, Sidamo said, "Mommy, if I made myself into french fries, you could enjoy me with ketchup."

Hilarious. I love that he said, "enjoy me," not "eat me," or "slather me," or any of the other phrasings I could imagine his actually having heard in our house. Maybe it's all the Bittman he's been reading.

Oh, and we also got our first "Whatever" this weekend. So he's officially a pre-teen.

Happy Birthday to Damo!

Sidamo turned 4 on Thursday. How on earth did that happen? When we met him 2.5 years ago, he was about the same age Nora is now, and now he's an enormous grown-up kid who talks (back) all the time, jokes incessantly, is starting to read and write, and has strong opinions about just about everything.

We went up to Aspen to celebrate, and I'm a little spent after being hit with some sort of a stomach bug, which seems to be our Aspen tradition. (The good news is that this time I'm absolutely positive it's not the kind of bug that take's 9 months to clear up.)

Photos to come when I have the energy to plug in a USB cable, but in the meantime, Happy Birthday, my crazy little man! (And also, please slow down. I'm not ready to be the mother of a high-schooler.)

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Art penpals

Thanks, Jayme, for telling us about The Artful Parent's new art penpal project. I signed Sidamo and Nora up, and we're sending off our first masterpieces today. With each, we're sending a letter. Sidamo dictated his, and it reads:

Dear Ava,

I'm Sidamo, your penpal. Hi. Hello. Howee. I like to watch football [ed's note: he hates football]. I like to play banjo and guitar [ed's note: he has never played either]. Also play Jenga. 

My family is Mommy and Daddy and Nora. They give me hugs and kisses.

I'm 3. I'll be 4 on December 10. I'm happy to be a penpal.

I made you a painting using red and also green and yellow and blue. 


For Nora's letter I had to use my imagination, since if left to her it would just be a long string of woofs and owies. Here's what she sent:

Dear Ishaan,

I'm Nora, your new art penpal. I'm 17 months old, and I have a big brother named Sidamo and a dog named Saffron. I like apples, cheese, beets, baby dolls, and football.

Here's a fingerpainting I made for you!


[ed's note: Looking back, I realize that signing off with "Best" is a dead giveaway that this was written by someone a little less carefree than a 17-month-old.]

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where I spent Black Friday


For family. For friends. For abundance. For love. For forgiveness. For good fortune.

For my countless blessings, I am thankful.