Friday, February 26, 2010

For JC and her daughter (and eM in NYC, from Blueberry)

Blueberry and I were supposed to be in NYC this weekend. We planned to visit my friend and the fabulous little eM. We didn't make it - it snowed so hard in the city that flights have been cancelled for two days. But, I wanted a taste of I made my way down to the college campus and walked out on the lake. Look at what I found! Dr. LaBootie, under the water! I took a picture of this especially for you, M.

I can't wait for March when I will be in California and I can meet you, M, and your little brother and see your mom again. And eM and ML, Blueberry and I will be in NYC in the spring when we can buy hot dogs from vendors and spend our day in the park.
p.s. good luck explaining this one, JC!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

Lalibela, Ethiopia
*this was a fascinating place where nuns live - all in little homes carved into the caves with front doors facing out onto this corridor - stunning in every way - and sacred*

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Iditarod Dog

This little pal, Iditarod Dog, belonged to big sister, Songbird. I arrived home tonight from a long long day at work (including a meeting with 2 different sets of parents about super tough kids) and my little boy immediately asked for his boots to go outside. We 3 trekked outside in the dusk with dog and frisbees and had a little outside time before that dreaded dinner prep. Our progress here is that Bluebery can now trek around a bit in the snow. He's gaining some stamina and some love of the winter snow. Success.

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Chopping Block

30 Days of Nothing helped our family return to weekly menu planning. We've found it takes a lot of the stress of nightly dinner out of our evenings. Duh! It wasn't like we didn't know this, but our discipline was lacking. Sometimes Mr. Silly Pants and I aren't as good at being cooperatively organized as we could be, or as I imgagine we actually are. I think I am seeing this piece more clearly now. We kinda stink at the day to day cooperative stuff. We're pretty good at our own stuff. Perhaps we needed to muddle through some struggles in our daily lives (schedule) to get a little closer to 'smooth.' We both admit, it has been stressful to add a little whirling dirvish into our daily lives - precious, amazing, delightful, AND STRESSFUL! Blueberry requires cooperation and communication - no more fending for ourselves and then coming together at the end of the day. We changed the deal with marriage and little boy.
Honestly,  it's not just about getting our evenings in order - there IS Blueberry. Add to "the boy" effect that  I have been cooking for my family for many many years - um, like 21 to be exact - and there should be no surprise when I state, I'm just pretty darn tired of the work of family dinner. Frankly, I'm burned out on dinner cooking (that must be a thyroid of 9 talking). It seems the structural parts of this marriage and family have me right back in the thick of prepping the family meal for my husband's arrival home after work. I work part time - I'm home first, I'm home more, I'm home longer. I KNOW it makes sense to prepare the provisions most of the time. But, I don't exactly enjoy the dinner duties. Nope, I don't.

Tonight's meal was chicken salad the easy way; Organic Girl lettuce with our veges added and some breasts of chicken grilled up and added to the bowl. It's an easy dinner designed for tonight because I worked today, because Mr. Silly Pants and I try to eat a good salad meal at least once a week, and because our veges and greens are best at the start of the week before the wilt has set in.
The key is to make the prepping of dinner something that Blueberry and I enjoy doing together. This isn't easy for me; I'm sometimes about just getting the job done, I'm not too happy about dinner cooking anyway, I'm tired (9 again), and a toddler at the chopping block isn't exactly an efficient or even pleasant use of time. Yet, if we're going to eat as a family and eat at a reasonable time (say, 6:15-6:30) I have to figure out how to include our son in cooking dinner. (This is one place I feel the lack of sibs in the house, to be honest). 

Chef Blueberry and I got to work tonight and chopped and diced our little hearts out. His favorite addition was the handful of cashews; which he mostly crammed hungrily in his mouth
ate, although he added a few to our burgeoning bowl of greens and veges.

Frankly, if I can learn how to handle the slow pace, the dropped whisks and spatulas, the saliva licked fingertips touching every food item and adding some half-way chewed items back to the bowl, the yells for "more", the little legs trying to inconspicuously crawl up onto the chopping block to reach the olive oil and last night's bottle of wine, and the danger of topples off his chair along with accompanying's all good!

Tonight worked. If' I'm smart and pay attention, tomorrow night will too. Maybe?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday Snapshot

Guest House: Addis Ababa 2008

Friday, February 12, 2010

Olympic Hopefuls

There is an inspiring story here about Ethiopia's ONLY winter Olympic athlete, Robel Teklemariam. And here he is training in the beautiful hills of Addis Ababa. This guy is an inspiration - he IS the Ethiopian ski team. When he enters the venue tonight with the Ethiopian flag, I'm go to stand up and cheer loudly and from the heart. Robel is going to rock da house!

In honor of Robel, a group of amazing mom's are on board with beginning the training for our children to become Ethiopia's first Olympic bobsled team. We started today. What's unique about this team is that they are a mixed gender team - and they ROCK! Meltdowns over lost mittens, snowy tumbles, wet diapers, and hungry tummies are NOTHING compared to the determination of these future OLYMPIANS!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


I always give my students a simple "get to know you" survey when the semester begins. I ask them 3 things. The abbreviated version is as follows:
1.If it were possible to go back to one particular event in history, what would it be?
2.If you could travel to one place in the world, where would you go?
3.Tell me something more about YOU

I am always so amazed and pleased about the amount of great (and sometimes very detailed) information I get from my 9th graders on this "interest survey." I tell them I care about the things that interest them, and I tell them I read these very carefully and with great attention to learn a bit about "who" they are. My earnestness must really impress them, because I find I learn something about each and every student.

I'm reading the surveys tonight. It hasn't been a very good day for me. But, tonight this answer just had me howling (remember, I am feeling totally in the DUMPS, (read previous post)so this just made me laugh out loud and smile): "Oh, wait! I'll add a p.s. P.S. I think I'm going to really enjoy this class. A number of my friends have actually compared me to you because I'm kind of a feminist and I have very strong views and opinions on things."

And I ask you, is she talking about moi?

I got words on Wordless Wednesday

Yep, I got words on Wordless Wednesday. I've been in the grip of trying to get my thryoid on track. It's been about 12 months of trying. Monday I scooted into the lab for a quick blood draw. I knew something was up then the results didn't come up on my chart mid-day - I should have access to 'normal' labs in real time - so the delay let me know something was up. UP UP UP. Dang, I'm at a TSH of 9 - which is the highest my TSH has been (that I know of) - which means that I've got a hypo-thyroid deal goin' on. And my racoon eyes? Yeah, now we know why I look like I have 2 black eyes. And my malaise? 9 - check. And my constant low level body ache? It's 9. Feeling like my view is always blurry? Um.....9

Somehow knowing I'm at 9 brought the roof down - like HELL YES I FEEL LIKE CRAP. I'm trying to recover from the crush of admitting how freakin' shitty I actually feel. I'll be back when I'm back...until then, no promises.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Winter Racquet Sports

Actually, it was the end of January. I don't want to deceive you. We bundled and trundled through the backyard to play tennis. Yes, I said TENNIS. Blueberry was game. It was his idea; he knows the courts in the backyard are for tennis and he knows the balloons we hit around the house are poor substitutes for the 'real thing.'
Showing his forehand grip
You can see it was *mostly* fun, although walking in a marshmallow snow suit and boots on icy snow isn't always successful. Oh, and Herbie joined us for some frenetic frisbee chewing. It's life in Wisconsin, what can I say?
prepping for his Nike "Just Do It" campaign

Showing off his pearly whites (and his age)