October 31, 2010

Second children

I know it's something everyone acknowledges, but when you scroll back and see all the photos, logs, journals, and documentation of every little accomplishment Lara had as a baby-turning-toddler, and compare that to the lack thereof for Jakey, it makes me feel a little guilty.

He's awesome, and is just the nicest little guy - Jakey is 17 months old, and can say:
"Da-deeeee" (when I call as I'm coming home from work, or in pictures, or definitely in person... but the best is when I walk in the door at the end of the day and he weeble-wobbles over chanting it again and again as he runs up for an after-work hug!)
"Mom-meeee," (no commentary, because this is a sore point; he says this a lot, but Anna is not convinced that he says it specifically for her. No commentary from me.)
"Wah-wuh" (Lara),
"Bauuuu" (Ball... you'll notice Jakey drags out the ends of words often)
"Caaaaah" (Car, a la Boston)
"Uh-oh" (probably his most used phrase, and usually followed by "Owww" whether there was an injury or not... he seems to realize those words frequently go together)
"Naaaaan" (I thought this was naan, as in, the Indian bread, which Jakey likes, but Anna and Jakey have convinced me that he is saying "no")
Jakey's version of yes/affirmative/definitely is an excited "yayayayayayayaah" until he gets what he's clamoring for. It works.
"Naaaaai" (Good night, usually as part of the little song we sing to put him to bed.)
One of the best is: "Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmooooaah" - a very slow, drawn out, "more." That one is inescapable, and sounds like it's from an inescapable little monster. He's the best!

He says a ton of other things, too - he can repeat just about anything, and often "gets it," whether it's words or other - he has been seen getting his cup and toddling up to the refrigerator and pushing it against the water filter dispenser, often with some "Uh-oh, owwww" to follow. He says boy and girl, blue.... I'm sure I'm forgetting many. He also recognizes a ridiculous amount of things, like nearly all his body parts, and knows what nearly every animal says. He can't say "horse," but Jakey has "neigh" down pat, for instance. In fact, this afternoon we were in the kitchen and Jakey started going "meow, meow, meow" insistently, so we glanced around, and sure enough, in the backyard was a cat! As it bolted away at the ensuing attention, Jakey waved and gave it a dutiful "bye byeeeee!" Plus he's incredibly responsible. We can be across the house and say "Jakey, take your shoes and put them away," and he'll go carry them all the way to the shoe rack, find some spots for them, and slot them in just how they belong. He's very good at "put it back," and helps clean up. He's clearly in love with his sister, and he's very huggy and affectionate.

Oops, we just got trick-or-treaters, and now there are tears that we're giving away - and not receiving - candy yet. Gotta get into costume and take them out!

Oh, and Jakey loves dancing, but much like his dad he's got one move. His is cuter.
Jakey we love you!

October 25, 2010

The Annual Birthday Book

I love that we've really committed to this a-book-a-birthday tradition for the kids! True, it's a bit hardcore, but we have so much fun putting them together, and they'll eventually appreciate the effort, right? In any case, here is Lara's 5th Birthday Book, "Sparkles and Glitter at the Art Museum". (Oh, and, Lara actually made up Sparkles and Glitter herself, and they currently star in many before-bed stories.)

Tip: use the bottom right button (the square with arrows pointing into the corners) to make this widget full-screen - you can see more of the book and read the text better that way!

October 21, 2010

Oodles of Thanks...

... to Blurb.com which just featured all the forty-two roads cardboard creations on their site. Awww, I love getting virtual warm fuzzies!

Oh, and, it's a totally awesome site even when it's not featuring me, so check it out.

October 20, 2010


Toast, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts with lemon and garlic

Toast with heirloom tomato slices and scrumptious Brussels sprouts with garlic and lemon.

This is my favorite way to make Brussels sprouts so far, I think. Heat a half-inch of water in a pan. When it's boiling, add halved Brussels sprouts and cook until the water has evaporated (5-8 minutes?). Add 4-5 minced garlic cloves, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Saute until the garlic and sprouts start to brown. Turn off heat source, and squeeze juice from half a lemon over the pan. Toss, eat.

October 19, 2010


This year featured the first annual Halloween pumpkin Jack-o-Lantern extravaganza at our house. Misha and Lara had a blast sawing their way through two of these suckers:

Oooooooohooohooohoooo spooky!

We ended up with three awesome pumpkins - traditional, winky, and cat:

And it's a good thing we took this picture when we did because not three days later, they are totally destroyed and eaten by squirrels. Is there some trick we're missing to making them squirrel-proof? Or is this just the fate of carved pumpkins everywhere? And also - are there carving tools that are built to last? Where would one buy them?

October 18, 2010

And Many More

So, I turned 33 on Friday, which is funny since I don't feel a day over 32. Ha! My lovely, lovely family made me the perfect day, complete with gorgeous callas (aka my favorite flowers):

an amazing card from Lara:

and this scrumptious chocolate cake, complete with icing overload and an inscription that reads "Mommy's Cake We Love You) courtesy of my delightful daughter:

Yay! Very happy day.

October 17, 2010

Trick or Treat!

Boy, Halloween starts early around here! Which I can really get behind, as someone who insists on making the costumes for the kids. Because otherwise, what have you got? All that effort for something worn for an hour or two one night? Lame.

But, yes, Halloween started this weekend as we made our glorious debut at the annual Boo at the Zoo. It was awesome enough that we went both days! Now that's the kind of costume-money's-worth I'm talking about.

costume - blue dinosaur

Jakey was a blue stegosaurus - aka blue sewn-together sweats with felt triangles sewn on the back. My theory for tiny tot costumes is three-fold: 1) it has to be something warm, 2) it has be comfortable, and its elements must be ignorable by the wearer, and 3) tiny tots are cute in and of themselves, so whatever you cobble together will add to the cuteness. So no need to torture anyone. I felt terrible for an 18 month old I saw today in full-on Captain Jack Sparrow regalia. With a tricorn hat. To which dreadlocks were attached. Who was screaming bloody murder at having to wear this thing. Seriously, relax, people, there's plenty of time for that...

... like say when the kid is about to turn 5 and is totally psyched to have the full costume get-up. Presenting the Dread Pirate Captain Lara!

costume - pirate

Complete with felt admiral's hat, cardboard cutlass with wire-wrapped handle, cardboard belt buckle, and the most fearsome scowl this side of the Seven Seas. Not to toot my own horn, but this costume rocks. Plus Lara and I made the cutlass together, and we even drew a pirate treasure map (complete with burned edges and coffee-dyed old-timey appearance). Lara also requested a parrot, a peg leg, a hook hand, and an eye patch, but those were vetoed for safety and feasibility reasons. We decided that she is portraying an early-career pirate, who has yet to lose various body parts, and who is still training her pet bird to sit calmly on her shoulder.

costume - pirate & dino

October 13, 2010

October 12, 2010

Weekend in Alexandria

Gorgeous, gorgeous few days with my mom. On Saturday we went to Alexandria's old town to look at ducks and boats in the water.

Jakey and his regular enginerding hobby. Give him a few small plastic containers and lids, and he's a happy man.

Lara climbed to the top of this giant anchor all by herself. She may well be the first person in either of our families to be able to climb the rope in gym class. Actually, do they still do that? I'm guessing probably not...

My mom, herding cats. This is the closest we came to a picture of the three of them together. But still, nice field, cute little runners.

It is now almost impossible to take a picture of Lara if she knows the camera is there because her dramactressing immediately takes over. Here we have: surprised, happy, sad, and... shy? It's like one of Howard Schatz's "In Character" photographs!

October 6, 2010

New Stencil Portrait

Stencil Painting - Lara pushing Jakey

Lara pushing Jakey in the stroller last winter. Oh my gosh, I love these little guys!