Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Countdown to Halloween: Ding, ding, ding!!! At last!

Festivities at Lumbini began at 10:30 today. The kids trick or treated in Little Toyko and because he is in the big kid class now they went last, after the preschool classes. Theron is the Spiderman sitting down in the group picture.
Miss Leslie asked them "What do you say when you get the candy?" and they all said "Thank you!" and Theron pipes up, "Or arrigato!"
Theron's friend Jonathan was also Spiderman and his favorite friend Alan was Batman. They had a grand time until he and Batman had a falling out and that's when I think things started to go downhill. It wasn't terrible but there was just a little too much excitement and he was having a little trouble controlling himself. Right now he is back in costume, helping Daddy distribute candy. He says his favorite part of the day was when he got grape Nerds in his bag. My favorite part of the day is that Theron doesn't care much for chocolate. Ashley's favorite part of the day was the hope of setting his computer up with voice recognition software, but there are still some kinks to work out.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Countdown to Halloween: 2 more sleeps. Are we so excited?!

Well, the time finally came to carve the pumpkins. Theron's pumpkin - the squat dark orange one, based on his own design.

It has been a busy weekend. Saturday we all went to a carnival-themed birthday party for one of Theron's classmates. Saturday night I went out with the girls to see ESG (a sister band from the Bronx, first formed in the early 80's that now includes 2 of their daughters). Our tickets said 8:00, but they changed the venue and when we got to the next place we were told the doors didn't open until 9:00. By 9:30 even 25 year old Elly exclaimed 'It's past our bedtime!'. By the time the two opening bands were done and we waited almost an hour for ESG it was midnight. It was very fun but I had to take 2 naps today. Ashley spent the weekend recovering from a punishing work schedule that has lasted for at least the last month. Ash has been husband and daddy extraordinaire, present wrapper, and pumpkin technical support.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Countdown to Halloween: 5 days

We took the bag of candy we were required to submit for the Halloween party in to school today and left it on the teacher's desk. Theron was proud to report and demonstrate that when Miss Leslie asked who left it he raised his hand and said it was him. He wants to bring candy for Mr Rodney, the security guard, who gives him and the other kids a treat just about every day.

Theron is doing great with reading. We finished James and the Giant Peach last week. It has been so fun to see him laughing himself silly while we're on pages where there are no pictures, just his vivid imagination. He likes to read to me now, from his simpler books.

Monday, October 23, 2006

Countdown to Halloween - 8 days

The boys were on their own this weekend while I, my boss, and my colleague Rebecca went to Tucson for a conservation conference. It was interesting, but it was most fun seeing certain old friends. I love Tucson, it is so pretty, cactii and palo verde trees and rock gardens. Really lovely. Rebecca and I both got in trouble at security over the new fluids/gels regulations. I found myself forced to mouth off to the lady and ended up having my bags dumped and searched. Rebecca was told her shampoo and toothpaste were illegal and they were confiscated. On the way back we almost didn't make the plane because our flight was cancelled and we had to wait for volunteers to give up seats. It was a long, long day. Anyway, the boys were fine and the house was cleaner than I left it.
I had my cello lesson tonight and I learn a little more each time, but it is very humbling. My last teacher emphasized notes in tune. This teacher feels it is more important to first get the rhythm correct. It will be slow and I guess that's okay.
I heard a GREAT interview tonight on Fresh Air - it's ALWAYS great, of course, but this particular interview with Andre Benjamin, aka Andre 3000 from the hip hop duo Outkast was especially hard to turn off after parking the car. I'm going to listen to the rest of it later - have a listen.

As you all know I am officially in Christmas shopping mode, so I was delighted to browse the SkyMall magazine, looking for treasures, like this grumpy golfer wine caddy

And this lovely hidden toilet paper holder. You can paint it to match your brown bathroom. Is the bathroom brown to match the fake dead flower arrangement or the other way around?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

13 days to Halloween:

Today I picked out the candy we have to take to Theron's school for their Halloween celebration. I hate feeling like my choice of candy is a reflection on me. I want to do it right. Plus I just don't know what the kids want. I know what I want. I browsed Kmart - they had some funny gummy candies called Body Parts - eyeballs, teeth, noses - and they come in a coffin-shaped box. I couldn't do it because to me they didn't look like they would taste good, but maybe I'm wrong and maybe the kids don't care anyway. I ended up getting Nerds because they come in cute white and orange boxes. The parents at his school are kind of competitive. He's had some pretty impressive gift bags celebrating his classmates' birthdays. Look at these beautiful gummy candies he recently got:

My dad sent me the obituary of my Grandma Hope's first cousin, Chuck Rio (Danny Flores), who was famous for writing and performing the song "Tequila". This is what he didn't tell me, listen to this, "In 1957, Flores was playing with rockabilly singer Dave Burgess in a group called the Champs - named for Gene Autry's horse, Champion - for Autry's Challenge record label" !!! I am speechless - I have been six degrees separated from Gene Autry all this time and I did not know it! He performed as Chuck Rio and the Champs.

Here's a nice picture Theron did today. He draws a lot, everyday. He is a true artist. I'm curious why he misspelled "Green" because he's known that word for a long time. Oh, well, he's doing a lot of writing currently.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Countdown to Halloween:

Theron had a good day. We went to the dermatologist this morning to figure out what those things are on his face - just warts. No biggie. The doctor was great and Theron agreed to the treatment. I think he was just happy there were no shots involved. When they called us to come in Theron said , "How do they know my name???" and everyone in the waiting room cracked up.

He and Ashley decorated the front of the house for Halloween. Theron's had his Spiderman costume out for days, ready to go. He wants me to put it on a hanger and take it to school.


Today's Harvest.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Ashley and Theron took a trip to the zoo today.

Here are some pictures Theron took himself.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

The letter "V"

Here is Theron's homework from the other night. He had to practice the letter "v" and on the back he had to draw 6 things that start with "v". He did vacation, visit, vitamins, vanish, volume, and villian - he thought of them all by himself. He said he knew how to write "hi" because it is on the show he likes "Hi 5".

Vegetables: The garden is getting its Fall makeover. I put lettuce in the raised bed and we're planning for snap peas, but there are still a bunch of things left over that are producing. The zucchini, of course. The beets are still going, as are the bell peppers and the jalapenos. Oh, and there is one watermelon that will make it to the finish line. The zucchini is so funny - I'm glad we only planted one. The day before I got sick, I watered the garden, picked everything that was ready and then didn't see it again for a week. In one week the zucchini to the right (17") and another just like it were ready to be picked. One week. I asked Ashley if I should take them to work and he said "No! It's embarrassing! They're inedible." We just ate all the ones to the left for dinner tonight.

Visitors: We had a tour today with some senior architecture students. They were politely interested in everything. When we got to the floor where the archaeological collection has recently been removed one of them noticed what looks like an old briefcase in a corner. They asked what it was and I explained that a lot of objects had been stored in things like grubby old cigar boxes. Then they really got interested - they wanted to know what happened to them. I said I think they were probably thrown away, and that's when the ruckus began. They finally settled down when I told them that maybe they had been kept - I frankly don't know - but they were ready to start looking in the dumpster.

We've actually found quite a few things like that. There was a trunk, not locked but sealed as tight as a mummy's tomb, that smelled like a litter box. It was full of random artifacts. I guess the cigar boxes aren't that bad - If we did keep them they would make good hostess gifts - one for you, and you. For this crowd it would have made their whole day. You should have seen how buoyant they were at the very idea.

Vexed: Theron got a timeout before we left for school today because he backed-talked. Then he pointed his Green Lantern ring and me and said BZZZZZZZZ. Nice try, superhero, have a seat.

Volvo: Did we tell you Rose was violated? Some junkie broke her window and stole the cheapo radio. The cop said they use them like $20's out of the atm. Ashley had to take the whole day off work, but he got a better radio - with a detachable face.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Night of Music:

It is Monday night in Echo Park and there is a live mariachi band playing on the porch of the house 5 doors up. Ordinarily I wouldn't think, oh, you know what would make me so happy? - mariachi music - but that's what happened. How can a live trumpet not make you happy? So I was so happy when I packed up my cello and went to my first lesson with a new teacher. Then I got there and found out they had double booked the time slot. Fortunately they rightly concluded that I had booked the time first and the other person was late anyway and I feel guilty but I concede defeat all the time. Anyway, I was back to being happy again because I learned so much - I learned a completely different way to hold my cello, to hold the bow, and to place my fingers. Then he played a Bach sonata on my cello with my bow and I COULDN'T BELIEVE it was the same instrument. So there is hope.

Some of you asked for more pictures. Here are a few. This is Theron Underwear Arms. I have no idea why. He just came out like this and asked me to take his picture.

I'm not really sure why but underwear have been the theme of the summer.

So, there you go. Now it's bedtime!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Highlights of the weekend:

Ashley devised two mobile butcher block type units for the kitchen using kitchen cabinet pieces from Ikea with a butcher block top that he cut in two himself to maximum efficiency. Now we have 7 extra kitchen drawers and two work surfaces - yay Ashley!

Theron, through absolutely no prompting on my part, picked out an orange stacking drawer at the Container Store. Though I must say it is very difficult to get out of that place empty handed.
He has started two chapter books: Trumpet of the Swan and James and the Giant Peach. He's doing just great using his imagination where there are no pictures. And then we kicked the soccer ball around a lot.

I'm looking forward to starting cello lessons with a new instructor tomorrow after work.

Oh, if I haven't mentioned this already, we are ready for Christmas lists ANYTIME. I am working on getting our lists on WishList.com and I would encourage you all to do the same and invite us to view it. You can make a list so that you can add to it, but you can hide the ability to see whether your guests have reserved or purchased the items - they, of course, can see this part. I am determined to finish shopping early this year so we can enjoy the season visiting with friends and family, baking cookies, and decorating the house. Not sitting by the mailbox or splurging on rush deliveries. We even bought wrapping paper at Ikea the other day. We can hate that Christmas is so commercial and that the Christmas tent at Ikea is already up even though it is not even Halloween, but we are going down that road anyway, and if there are ways to be prepared early, well, we're there.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Welcome to our family blog. We are out of touch with our loved ones too much of the time - join our mundane existence in sparkling detail!
This month we are in recovery from a stomach flu that attacked each of us in turn: first Theron, then mommy, then daddy. Each of us were sick for a week. The only perk was the hope of losing some useless water weight and maybe a few pounds of actual fat, but after we felt better we could not stop eating. In fact now our stomachs were wracked with pain if lunch was 5 minutes late.

Last night I had to work an event for my museum and was on my feet till almost 11, the bones in my feet beginning to poke through the soles of my adorable shoes. Today I went for a foot massage at the Thai spa RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER from where we live. I highly recommend it and I hope that next time any of you come to visit you go yourselves. I went for a body massage last weekend - one hour $40. Unbelievable. However, next time I would only do 30 minutes because it was a little too intense for me. I think I like massages that just feel good. She put her whole body into it - her elbows were in my back, she walked on me, and she sat on my butt and pushed which made my spine sound like a bundle of breaking twigs. I felt okay unless someone touched me for about a day, but I actually do think it did something good because I had blotches on my skin from when I was sick and they started to fade.

Theron is reading like crazy - he calls it spelling , "Let me spell that for you". He loves kindergarten. Here he is in his classroom last month:

He and I finished our first chapter book. We read Stuart Little. We're on our way to the library right now to pick out another. Any suggestions for good chapter books? Stuart was actually pretty good because the chapters sort of went together, but they were sometimes single stories, which made it easy to stop after one.

Ashley has been working hard on home improvements. He's in there putting together something from Ikea, although the sounds coming from the living room lead me to believe we may not have the right thing - again. Ashley had to go do a return today because they gave him some of what he asked for and some not.