Monday, February 26, 2007

Mac and Pie

For anyone who cares about our super snazzy new computer: Mac, it got mailed back to Apple today. We realized that even after hooking it up to an ethernet cable, (initially it was wireless) even after making a few system adjustments, the wait-time on web-browsing took (WAY!!!) too long. Apparently their software is known for being twice as slow with internet stuff. An article my husband found in Wired mag talked about people who replace $400 PC's with new fancy Macs and they sit and wait longer for web pages to load than they did with their cheaper PC. Is this right? Depends on your priorities. My husband felt sick reading the article, but also like he wouldn't have truly believed how slow it was until he actually had it in front of him.

Big sigh. That Mac was probably going to give us a TON of other goodness, but you have to think about what you're going to be using it for. Given that my time on the computer is precious, whatever computer we buy must posses high speed internet prowess or we're going to be let down. When you're shelling out more mulah than normal on an item, you really need to get exactly everything you want.

I didn't have Mac long enough to fall completely in love, but still, the girls and I were having a heck of a time with the photo booth software and the ladybug wallpaper. I still believe in Macs, but feel like we can get what we want with a PC too. I seriously surfed faster on my ole dino.

In a mid afternoon creativity burst, perhaps even in a move of mourning, I made a kickass chocolate cream pie today. If you haven't seen the Pie Pie Pie book pictured above,get a copy. (I found mine at New Seasons). Pie. Just say the word, Pie. It makes everything better.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Hallmark, Schmallmark

Jooge had her first ever Valentine Party at school yesterday. Everyone sat in a circle on the rug, their valentine envelope in their laps. Her teacher taught them to say, "Thanks" to each person after she opened their valentine. (I read the names so she knew). Witnessing her party reminded me of how it all starts out. When you're young and getting all that love in the form of little peices of paper, stickers, and treats, it's enough.

I hope my girls will learn the secret of recapturing that warm and fuzzy envelope of love by doing things for themselves on Valentines Day (or any day for that matter). If they are the kind of girls that appreciate apple blossoms instead of roses, I hope they will learn to buy them for themselves. And maybe, just maybe they will find Valentines in the uncommon and ordinary, like Naomi Shihab Nye writes about in her poem Valentine for Earnest Mann:

Once I knew a man who gave his wife
two skunks for a valentine.
He couldn't understand why she was crying.
"I thought they had such beautiful eyes."
And he was serious.
He was a serious man
who lived in a serious way.
Nothing was ugly
just because the world said so.
He really liked those skunks.
So, he reinvented them
as valentines and they became beautiful.
At least, to him.
And the poems that had been hiding
in the eyes of the skunks for centuries
crawled out and curled up at his feet.

Maybe if we reinvent whatever our lives give us
we find poems. Check your garage, the odd sock
in your drawer, the person you almost like, but not quite.
And let me know.

Look around folks and may the Valentines hiding everywhere (but in the local Hallmark!) find YOU!

Monday, February 12, 2007

Our Latest and Greatest

Here are Jooge and Avery about a year ago. I'm relying on old photographs because our camera is away at the shop hopefully being restored to working order.

My parents popped up yesterday for some time with us. My husband and I took a much-needed "date afternoon" which we filled with a tasty lunch (oh my gosh we had the BEST salad with strawberries and spinich and candied walnuts!!!) and some browsing at a book store. We are getting a new computer and I am beyond pumped. My husband made Mole for us all for dinner with this radish/onion/lime juice side salad. Oh my gosh, so tasty. We also booked my parents for a weekend away for the two of us in March. Lucky us. It's so important to do and the last overnight getaway we took together was probably when we went and stayed at a cabin on Mount Hood when I was pregnant with Avery.
Last night we also watched Little Miss Sunshine, which I've been wanting to see forever. I thought it was brilliant. I was laughing/crying at the very end. I'm always surprised by that kind of reaction, the pure intensity of being moved to laugh and cry all at once. I have only ever done it one other time when watching a movie. But we really enjoyed it. And the soundtrack was really good. I especially loved the song at the very end by Sufjan Stevens. I love that band.
Julia's cheek is healing fine. Both kids are doing some really amusing things these days. Like Jooge when she watches something will get such a bang out of it she will just burst out in a huge laugh. I love hearing her do that. I love that she's establishing a sense of humor. She is always hearty about expressing any emotion but the humor is the best. Lately there's been lots of tandem trips to the potty. I will hear,"I have to go potty, Bub, come on!" and feel a mixture of "No prob" and "Hmm...will there be funny business?" Avery is now also saying, "I have to go potty" and she actually goes. When I read them a book and say the author, Jooge will say, "Is she a girl or a boy?"(This happens every time without fail). Now Avery is also doing it too, right after her sister: " Ishegiraboy?" Funny. They've both got coughs and diarrhea, never a welcome guest. Avery is Miss Independent, which makes my job a challenge when it's time to put her in the carseat or help her get dressed.

We sent our mini-swap off last week. It was a lot of fun, combining my creative impulse to make stuff and my love of putting together stuff for someone else. Melissa was kind and took a photo of our stuff when it came. The dino was a project I also made for Jooge for Christmas. It's pretty rich when it's done but the stuffing part is laborious. (Is that a word?) We are eagerly awaiting our package from she and Sam. You can see a picture of what they are sending us here. It looks sooo good! We can't wait. I am excited about everything (check out that butterfly bag! Jooge is going to flip!) but especially can't wait to see the book Snowy and Chinook. It looks ADORABLE and I've never seen it before.
We've been trying to get outside daily for sanity checks now that winter is in full swing. I read an article in Wondertime magazine by Richard Louv and then my Sun came and there was another article that was even longer and better about Louv, focusing on the importance of time in nature for kids. He has written a book about how our kids are nature deficient. I know that being out in nature makes everything better for us.
My aunt Mary reminded me that Ikea's walls have been erected in Portland. Pretty pleased with that possibility. Though my husband "hates Ikea" we are not out of cheap furniture mode around here.
So that's our latest and greatest for now. Happy Monday!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Hello Dear Crocus!

These. These are what February is all about to me. They appear and I get giddy because 1)they remind me of my childhood and 2)they are like tiny flags advertising the coming of spring. Where we live, in the Pacific NW, they aren't shy about revealing themselves right about now. Happy bloom spotting!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Real Stories From the ER

Yesterday, I had just woken up from an abnormally peaceful nap when Julia came wailing upstairs covered. in. blood.

First of all, the shock of this, I cannot tell you how adrenalin filled my veins. Yet somehow all you can do is jump to action. The first thing your brain is screaming is, "WHAT? What happened?"
I wrapped her into my body. There was blood on her face, arm, hands, hair. She wouldn't let me clean her up.

She had been doing dance moves on the hardwood floors and smacked her face on a coffee table. My husband had just predicted, minutes before the accident, that the coffee table was going to seriously injure someone. He had always hated it, always wanted it gone. He was angry at me because of the table. Anger on top of worry on top of panic. Layers of awful.

As I attempted to soothe the Jooge I was able to see that she had a nice slice into her cheek. It was very clear that we were going to need to make our first ever visit to the ER. It took us awhile to calm her down. There was a viewing of the Lorax to distract. No bake cookies cajoled her into an "adventure" in the car. Our pediatrician sent us to Legacy Emanuel in Portland, though that was one of the furthest hospitals from our house. My husband stayed home with Avery and his visiting parents and my sister-in-law accompanied us, doing kind things like praising my parallel parking. We were seen pretty quickly and did not have to witness any terrible sights in the ER. Had her accident happened the night before we would have been facing the full moon ER chock full of nuts. Had it happened today we would have been standing in line between the victims of household violence common to Superbowl Sunday.

The possibility that she would need stitches (and to be sedated) was quite real. She was semi-cooperative and still blood-stained when the doctor came in and checked her out. He was calm and matter of fact. He had me clean Jooge up and then squirted water in her wound to irrigate it. After more waiting, a complimentary coloring book and the donning of some clear plastic glasses, he applied glue to her laceration, sealing it off with a slick circle. It was a huge relief to be done but of course they still had to take her blood pressure. That's when she began to wail. The mini cuff they finally found squeezed her tightly. She was so ready to be done.

And so, our week ended with a bang. Or, a thud. Well, more like a whack. Our beautiful Julia is sporting a glued circle the size of a nickel on her right cheek. For the first time the thing we were afraid of happened. I am more jumpy and paranoid about the next potential injury.

But she's okay. And when I first saw all the blood, okay seemed worlds away.