Friday, July 30, 2010

hot days

If you haven't heard, we've been having a heat wave this July, the warmest July ever. On one of the 95 degree days, I asked Elizabeth to get dressed as we needed to walk to Target. This is what she came up with:

Toboggan (or ski cap for those not from PO), sunglasses, t-shirt, size 3 corduroy pants, and red flip flops. I hadn't even realized those pants were still stuffed in her dresser, and tried mightily to dissuade her, but she could not be dissuaded. From any of it. Even her stuffed kitty is wearing a coat. I knew the picture inside was of dubious quality, so I asked her to pose on the steps outside.

Well of course little mr me too noticed the posing and struck his own pose, which basically consists of lifting a shoulder and dropping his chin, like Elizabeth above, but with more awkward looking results:
He's getting there. He'll figure it out. After all kids, no matter how annoying they are (size 3 cords! in 95 degree weather! and toboggan!) fairly quickly learn how to appear charming.
I'm warming to my theme of eye rolling frustration with Elizabeth and her fashions. You know why the pants were still in her dresser even though they are a size 3? Because they'd never been worn.(*) A thrift store find, so not that huge a money waste, but she had refused to wear them for two years. 95 degrees out? Of course then they must be worn. That girl! Well, they are really cute. And they did match the shirt. Though I think I picked out the shirt after realizing she could not be dissuaded from the pants.

*ETA: Geez, my memory is failing! The very link in this post, about the toboggan story, contains a picture of her wearing the cords on inauguration day. It was a freaking freezing day, and we never went outside, so I guess it's accurate to say until the 95 degree July day at age 4.75, she's never worn the size 3 pants outside!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

the posing thing

I can tell you exactly when the posing for pics started. I had a work meeting in Cold Spring, NY, and Rich & co met me up there. The day after the meeting we explored the cute town and river and, well, I have no idea what happened but we started the trip with our newly-4 year old and ended the trip with a pre-teen pop princess. These pics are from the last weekend in September, 2009.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Andrew's personality continues to develop and flourish. He is so eager to be a big boy, to help, to be a part of things. Like Elizabeth, he's a bit of a mimic. After all, if she does something and we laugh and hug her, won't we laugh and hug him when he does it too?

Harkening back to the nice weather that began July (oh how I miss you!), the day after Teddy Roosevelt Island, we headed down to the Mall to check out the Tidal Basin, the Jefferson Memorial, and grab lunch at the golf course. I'll have to post pics from the whole day (in retrospect, perhaps the paddle boats were not the best idea), but for now a little story of my two posers.

A while ago, Elizabeth started posing when we pulled out the camera. No idea where it came from, but she juts out her hip and blinks her eyes and, well, poses. Like this:
And then she insisted on a photo of just her:
And then, well, then, Little Mr. Me Too wiggled out of Rich's grasp, ran up to the steps, and struck a pose. Joined by big sister before we snapped just him, but you can still see the hip jut:
More on this development to come!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


In early June, we spent some time on the beautiful Hood campus. There's no real need to mention it was a reunion weekend. And we really don't need to talk about porch parties, either.

Monday, July 19, 2010


Whoever named them sleep overs wasn't really aware of the primary activity, were they? There is precious little sleep that happens - up past midnight Friday, and just after 11 Saturday. But still, how fun to have a cousin close in age! And sleepovers work pretty well if Mommy and Daddy and Andrew are just down the hall.

Thanks Uncle Marc, Aunt Jen, and cousin S!

Friday, July 16, 2010

It's Her World

It's Elizabeth's world, we're just living in it. A recent sampling:

From last night:
Elizabeth, looking at a picture of an ad on my computer: Who’s that lady? My sister?
Me: what?
E: No, Aggie (our deceased dog) is my real sister
M: What about Harrison? (Our cat)
E: Harrison is my real brother
Daddy: What about Andrew?
E: Andrew is my assistant

When my sister was about Elizabeth's age, she developed another persona. She popped out the dark lenses on a pair of sunglasses, and when she put those on, she was no longer JB, average 4 year old, she was JenniWilson, secretary (and how fun when I went to college to befriend someone with that same name!). She spoke in a lofty, haughty tone and carried herself in an entirely different way. Elizabeth has developed her own fake persona voice, though right now there's no alternate person, just the voice. You must read the exchange below in your haughtiest voice.

This morning, trying to get her to get dressed, I showed her at least 3 tops that she grandly rejected before accepting the fourth. Then, the shorts:

Me: How about these, they match.
E: No. No, those shorts are not good. They are too strong (I think she meant stiff?) for me to pull my panties out of my butt.

I went through a pile of papers I had gathered up and found a sticky note where I had jotted two words: brown and stylish. And so was reminded of a story from a few months ago, one night eating dinner.

E: general chatter about one of her friends at school, one we weren't sure we knew
Daddy: What does he look like?
E: He looks like President Obama. Brown and stylish.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Andrew is, as always, a funny little guy. His love of all things sports related continues unabated.

Ball was one of the first words he learned, and it was usually accompanied by the signal for touchdown - two hands raised in the air. He's beginning to figure out there are different types of sports, though he almost always calls all sports still bup-ball. But he's figuring out that each sport is played differently. Football still yields the touchdown signal, and he's started sorta saying touchdown too. Basketball has him making a swish motion as if the ball is going through a net. And now with the world cup on, when he sees soccer he'll kick with his foot. Some might say calling soccer football is more accurate, of course, but we are an American football loving family, and Andrew just continues that tradition.

A couple of weeks ago we went to a Nationals game with a 4:35 first pitch. Even though it was 98 degrees, it was perfect. One section of the stands is in shade in the afternoon, it also happened to be $1 kids ticket night (under 2 years old is free, but otherwise kids pay adult prices), there are plenty of concessions, and Strasburg was pitching (and despite getting the L, he had 10 strikeouts and set the record for most Ks in 4 games for a rookie).

Andrew enjoyed watching, though at one point got a little grumpy. So I pulled him onto my lap and started a little play by play, in my best Chuck Thompson/Jon Miller (sigh) voice. The batter steps into the box. Pitcher receives the signal from the catcher, nods, checks the runner on first, sets, here's the windup and the pitch, high and outside, ball 1. Etc.

After an inning of this, Andrew pushed himself off my lap, and started showing me his windup! He would stare down at the field and just throw his right arm out in what I guess you could call a side arm pitch. Very cute.

Elizabeth also had a great time watching, though she is more a fan, at once fascinated and yet terrified, of the big-headed Presidents.

We got there late and it was too hot and not enough time to move around much, but as we were leaving she spotted the kid area.

We went back on July 3rd, again a late afternoon game (4:10), again Strasburg pitching, but this time got standing room only seats that allowed us to explore the stadium a little more. There's a lot to do there, but all in all I think seats are better - even though there are a ton of attractions and food outside of the seating, there's not a great way to follow the game, presumably to keep people in the seats cheering for the home team. For those keeping track, the Nats were down at the end of the 8th, it was hot, and the kids were tired. We left with the hordes of others streaming out. After all the Nats were 0-39 when losing going into the 9th. So of course they stage their only successful comeback and win the game.

He's taken to carrying around baseballs (and footballs, too, but baseballs fit in the hand better). We still rock Andrew to sleep at night, and I'll just admit I get a little stir crazy rocking in darkened room. So I've been turning on the nightly Nats game, and we'll watch a bit before he snuggles in, baseball in hand, and drifts off. I have to admit it's kind of nice watching baseball again. This week, with the allstar break, he's been grabbing the TV remote and trying to get me to turn on baseball for him to watch and getting angry when I turn on music. Oh, and his bedtime story? Well, we got one of the free booklets about the Nats and we have to page through it with him (several times) while he points out the balls, bats (bap!) and gloves.

If you knew me before '90, you knew me as a die hard Orioles fan. Even though FSU had/has a great baseball team, my group was never into it, and I embraced college football whole-heartedly. The strike in the early 90s killed my love of pro baseball. We can get through two world wars without a canceled series but greed? A strike, a wasted season, no world series? uh uh. I was done, and even Ripken couldn't bring me back. I turned my back on baseball and haven't watched a game in years. This Nats thing, though.....I might slowly be working my way back. I can't root for the Orioles anymore, sad to say. Angelos, you are a hated man. My family - still die hards - will disown me. But watching the Nats....I don't know. I don't know if I can get into the National League. It feels weird. (I don't know who to hate or who to tolerate or who to root for. American League East I still have down cold, but this national league stuff is weirding me out. Plus why is the pitcheer batting? I mgiht be the only (former) die hard baseball fan who defends the designated hitter).

There is one more 4:35 first pitch, September 23, the day after E's birthday, against Houston. I think we'll be there. There are a few fun promos left in the season (bobble heads, backpacks and the like) so maybe we'll try an evening game, too. Sept 6 (Mets, 1:05 - Labor Day) and September 12 (Florida, 1:35) are the remaining $1 kids days, which unfortunately is right at nap time.

Meanwhile, college football kicks off September 2nd!

Monday, July 12, 2010

more extended family

I realized after posting the last pic I should have put up some of the most recent extended family pics, just as a comparison.

My sister, brother, me, Andrew, and cousin E.

My mom and her two brothers.
And finally, I love this picture. My cousin D's youngest son, which means he and Elizabeth are second cousins. It's probably the blondish hair and blue eyes, but I see a family resemblance (the cheeks, the chins, the coloring....).

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Time goes by

One of my uncles has, at 78, just acquired e-mail and learned to use a scanner, so we get near daily treats. Most often recycled jokes, but he sends gems too, old stories and photos, so you have to open the e-mails. Thought I would share this one, from the wedding of one of my cousins in 1996. There have been a number of additions (4 spouses and 10 more children), and sadly two losses, but this is the last time my mother's family gathered all together for fun.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

hidden places

When I was first thinking about maternity leave with Elizabeth, I reasoned, ok, 16 weeks off work, what better time to explore places in DC I've never been, or rarely have a chance to visit? I'm sure it's no surprise to anyone to learn that I went to the National Gallery of Art once, an afternoon movie matinee twice, and, um, that's about it.

Topping my original list was Theodore Roosevelt Island. I drive past it probably once a week and have never been. So, last Thursday was a gorgeous day (sandwiched inbetween the earlier in the week brutal heat and this week's even more brutal heat) and Gee was off, so I loaded up the two and headed out.

A guy walked past us on the bridge, said 'I like the glasses' and kept walking.

The island seems like a pretty standard nature walk. I checked out the map and noticed there was a plaza in the middle of the island, so we headed there. And then, WOW. Who knew?

It was seriously awesome, in a kind of Planet of the Apes/Atlas Shrugged way, given there were these huge fountains, bridges, and ponds that must be gorgeous when working, but were very cool when just exploring.

Andrew thoroughly enjoyed himself, though he got bored walking and wanted to be carried (little did I know the paths are wide and smooth and a stroller would have been fine). Elizabeth was worried: why are we going into the woods without Daddy? What if there are foxes? I am scared....

Also, notice in the top pictures the Bloomingdale's bag? She insisted. Since she was very young we've never been able to leave the house without something (or, too often, too many somethings) clutched in her hands. This time the bag held a small stuffed kitty, a small stuffed doggie, some toys for the dog and kitty, and her water bottle. I was stuck carrying the bag within a minute.

I've got to get that girl out into nature (such as it was 100 yards from one of the busiest highways in DC) more often!