July 31, 2009

Ms Forty-two roads

It's funny how long I had to ponder the right title for this post - it was going to be about Anna, and she usually calls me "Mr. Forty-two roads." She is the more... mannered, well-read, politically/socially savvy of the two of us, and I usually rely on her to tell me how to address invitations and thank you cards and the like. So, I throw this out there, for those avid readers who are following the blog - if you notice the title before she does, and "Ms Forty-two roads" is better than "Mrs Forty-two roads," please vote now and I'll quickly retract. I'm thinking Ms sounds more polite, but Mrs is more accurate, right? Maybe I should go with future-doctor forty-two roads? But then, I should be Dr. Forty-two roads, and I don't get that... hmm - please, chime in!

[Editors note: At the behest of "spotgirl," the first commenter (thanks spot), the title has been changed to Miss... I will continue to respond to this crude polling tool...]

Anyway, this post is about her. Anna's been doing a great job during a really busy and stressful time, and Jake and Lara are thriving, the house and crafts are great, and she's even progressing (at a fierce rate) on her dissertation. She's pretty amazing, and I just wanted to re-iterate that to you all who probably already know that.

Thanks for listening!
Dr/Mr Forty-two roads.

July 29, 2009

Kitchens Galore!

Amanda's Colorful Kitchen

A super-adorable kitchen from Amanda, whose sense of color is making me pretty jealous!

July 27, 2009

Alice's La cuisine de Prune

Alice's La cuisine de Prune

A cute kitchen from Alice in France. I really dig the stripes and the little red handle!

July 21, 2009

Happy 2 Month Birthday, Little Guy!



At two months, Jakey is smiley, happy, and curious. He is almost completely able to hold his head by himself. He loves his sister and watches her whenever she is near him. Yesterday, I caught her singing to him and trying to swaddle him in a little blanket, all of which attention woke him right up. He is a much lighter sleeper than Lara was at his age, so it looks like we're in for another year of watching TV on mute with the captions on, much as it annoys everyone who comes to visit. That's ok - you've got cutie Jakey to look at instead!

July 20, 2009

Pheww!

I don't write often here about my grad school work, what with this being a cozy hiding place from life's various stressors, but... whoo-hoo, people! Yesterday I finished editing the first chapter of my dissertation! (The chapters are all written - now they need to be rewritten, and then I will be able to defend and get my degree.) That is also why I've been away from the bloggie a bit - well, that, and a lovely trip to Boston with my mom to see my grandma:



and to show Jakey off to the rest of the family, including his uncle (well, cousin once removed, technically, I guess) Phil:



I came back to lovely weather, a beautiful and happy family, and a weekend of picnics:

July 12, 2009

Cardboard Awesomeness

Just got photos of a few new cardboard pieces - you guys totally rock in the creativity department.

First, a great black and white kitchen from Cecily.

And, a fantabulous blue washer and dryer from Andrea (love, LOVE, the Maytag logo):

Andrea's washer 2

Andrea's washer 1

July 11, 2009

Flouncey Flowery

I bought this skirt from the clearance rack at T.J. Maxx a while ago - it was enormous but I loved the print.

flouncy skirt (before)

Finally this morning I took a spare ten minutes to cut off the top, sew a small channel for a quarter inch elastic, and make myself a cute little flouncy flowery skirt.

flouncy skirt (after)

Lara is totally fascinated by the sewing machine... but still far too little to muck around with it. Soon enough!

July 10, 2009

The Good Life

The big people surround me. The polka-dotty one is my favorite and gets all my smiles. She giggles, but I am mostly sleepy.



Also, you know what's funny? When the food one hovers over me with a camera trying to catch a laugh. I humor her because she seems to be trying so hard. Ha - "humor her" - see what I did there?

July 10 - 1

July 9, 2009

July 6, 2009

My Two Smalls



I don't have siblings, and thus am completely fascinated by the idea that the quintessential experience of Lara and Jake's family life is something that I can only vaguely guess at. I can predict the certainty of joys and frustrations of needing to carve out a niche role in the family structure; of navigating the complexities of sharing and the ins and outs of mine, yours, ours; of the stresses and victories of inevitable comparison. It reminds me a little of the thoughts I had when Lara started nursery school - that she was about to start her own life, with a daily set of experiences that I would not share. But this time my exclusion is so much more profound because even with constant presence I cannot really know what it is like to have a brother.

Right now Lara's relationship with Jake is heavily imitative of our relationship with him. For instance, he hates the car with a passion and her responses to the stress of his screaming are filled with the vocabulary I have given her (partially in an attempt to keep it neutral, but still give her room to complain). Already though they are forming their own connection. She keeps a close watch on me as we leave the house to make sure I haven't forgotten any of his accouterments. And yesterday in the car we were treated to a vision of the future: "Hey that's my toy! Daddy that's mine! Jakey touched it!" "Honey, that's ok, it's still your toy." "But he already touched it with his hand!" Of course, in order for him to have reached it in the first place, she must have been putting it in his hand to play with.

July 5, 2009

Happy 4th of July!

A pretty much perfect day yesterday. We spent the morning in blissful weather at the Morris Arboretum, which is a totally captivating and magical place. They just built a new exhibit for kids called the "Tree Adventure," which is so enormous that we only made it through the first part (and which I would never have found out about without this fantastic blog of things to do around Philly).

The bridge to the suspended walkways where we learned about trees and what they do:



Looking through the binoculars at the tree canopy:



The outside and the inside of the human-sized bird's nest:





Checking out how squirrels feel running along the branches of trees on the suspended net:



After being in the treetops, we wandered a little bit around the arboretum itself, until Lara discovered this beautiful symmetrical garden:



I love that she is now a posing master, and when I asked her to walk forward and turn around to the camera she instantly did her best photo-ready turn:



Afterwards, we found a meadow with several curved metal sculptures, behind which a bluegrass band was just about to start playing.



We sat for a while and listened. So peaceful and happy.



The afternoon was all about an amazing pool party at a friend's house.



Misha won the parent award by getting Lara to actually go in the pool and swim around! She needed no such convincing to go in the moon bounce (oh yeah, it was that kind of party, people) or devour three cupcakes.

July 1, 2009

Home At Last

Welcome Home banner

Mr. Forty-Two Roads is back from his conference in Switzerland! We made him a banner - Lara colored in some letters, painted others, and made collages inside the rest. This is a really great project to do with a kid missing a parent who is away!