Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Fashion Dysmorphic Disorder

I'll get to that Christmas post shortly, but I just can't pass up the opportunity to share with you a gem I just unearthed when organizing my office.

At the end of the summer, Sidamo attended a week-long day camp for Ethiopian adoptees. There were very few highlights from the week, but this was one. Actually, it's probably the one. There was a table set up with people shapes, as well as fabric, paper, yarn, etc., so the kids could make replicas of their unique families. In the time it took others to create their entire (often very large) families, Sidamo created this. His image of himself.

Someday this boy will shop for his own clothing. Some parents might fear such a day, but I just can't help but be excited by all the blogging opportunities it will present.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas Eve

All wrapped up in their mama-made jammies, full of a lovely dinner (eaten on our fancy plates, by candlelight), the kids wrote their note to Santa and stole downstairs for one more very close inspection of the tree.

They went to bed whispering and wondering about whether Santa would come through on their only two requests: a sparkly car (for Nora) and a sparkly Mater tow-truck (for Damo). I can still remember that feeling—holed up with my sister Caity in her bedroom, filled with anticipation, convincing each other and ourselves that we heard hoofbeats on the roof, begging for the hours to pass and sleep to come. This was the first year I've felt that vicarious joy and anticipation from our two. Moreso from Sidamo, of course, but Nora too seems to get it in a way that Sidamo didn't at her age. The precocious nature of younger siblings, I suppose.

I'll do another post with some gift reviews. There were some big hits and some spectacular duds (note: before you quadruple a recipe, try it out first), but really none of it mattered. It was a beautiful couple of days, filled with lots of warmth, family time, creativity, and kindness. Oh, and 60-degree weather. (Sorry east-coasters.) Really, that's just about as perfect a holiday as anyone could ask for. Despite what the photo below tells you.


I took the kids skating last week for their first time, and they surprised the ice out of me by pushing off my supporting (hovering) hands and skating independently. I guess nothing should surprise me with these two competent little souls.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dino Damo's 5th birthday


Happy number 5 to my budding explorer. Here's to many more years of curiosity, passion, and discovery.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Why should a not-yet-5-year-old wear my super-sexy leather boots better than I do? This kid is destined for stardom, as you can see.

Monday, December 6, 2010


We went to the art museum with the fam yesterday, and the kids spent most of their time dressing up as Egyptian royalty. Clearly they were born in the wrong era; elaborate headdress and jewel-laden collars just don't go over like they used to.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Handmade holidays

When I first suggested to Greg that we exchange only handmade holiday gifts this year, he asked, "Do you really think you have the electronic skills necessary to make me a Blu-Ray player?" He was a little skeptical about the idea, and I figured I was probably in it alone. When I suggested he make Sidamo a solar system mobile, he nearly stalled out on the specifics—wondering how he'd fashion a sun that's exactly 277 times the size of Mercury, for example. (Greg is, to put it mildly, a perfectionist. He sometimes has trouble starting a project if he can't see the path to a perfect end result.) But today he turned his agonizing into action and began the creation of what will surely be the coolest model solar system this side of the asteroid belt.

Meanwhile, I finally finished knitting Socktopus for Nora. Whew. I started this about a year and a half ago and got stuck at the heel of the first leg. After watching a few tutorials on how to wrap and turn, I cobbled together some cute—if imperfect—feet. I'm glad Socktopus isn't actually relying on my knitting skills to keep his feet warm in the cold seas, because I definitely didn't get it quite right. Still, it's a sweet little toy, and I am beyond relieved to be done with it. 

The little guy below is not exactly a holiday gift, in that Sidamo requested it today and we made it together. He wanted an elf to live in the little elfin forest he created yesterday at a local Waldorf holiday festival. It's far less menacing than it looks here, and I'll probably knit a little hat to sweeten it up a bit. What I liked about this project was that it was totally free-form and gave Sidamo an opportunity to practice sewing. And poking himself with needles. He's getting very proficient in at least one of those two skills, but I won't say which.

Also on the list for this year (some are for Sidamo's birthday; some are for Christmas):
  • A paleontologist toolkit for Sidamo, with a Dino Damo's Field Guide, a head lamp, some dino bones, info cards on dinosaurs, and a few other odds and ends. He's enthralled with dinosaurs right now, so I think this one will be a hit. 
  • Bubble bath, using recipes based on these.
  • Knitted hats, probably, though I already gave Nora the one I made for her. Plus, boring.
  • Random art supplies. 
  • A few books (not homemade), which I'll try to list in another post. 
I have almost exactly no ideas for Nora, so if you have any, pass them along. Sidamo has such intense interests that it's easy to come up with fun ideas for him. Nora, on the other hand, would be content with a Costco-sized box of Cheerios. Hmm, I might have just decided what's going in her stocking.