Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Julia's Imagination Koan

Guest post from Jeff...

Last night I read "Froggy's Halloween" to Julia while putting her to bed. One page showed Froggy lying in bed surrounded by goblins and witches and monsters. The story described how Froggy imagined he was surrounded by these spooky creatures.

Julia expressed concern for Froggy, and I told her not to worry: that the monsters were only in Froggy's imagination. Julia pondered this for a moment and then challenged: "If they're only in his imagination, how come we can see them in the picture?"

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Dove Onslaught

This video is a must-see for mothers of young daughters. Its part of a very cool campaign from Dove. There are several other related videos which you will find if you click on the You Tube logo in the lower right, and look at the list of related videos on that page.

I hope I can keep Julia protected somehow from all of this. Seems like a huge challenge.

Our remodel project begins!

I alternate between excitement and terror, but one way or the other, our remodel has begun. We hired the architect firm Zak Johnson Architects. Kelly will be our main architect, and we really hit it off with her in the interview. She is a mom with young kids, so she really understands how a busy kid-friendly house needs to work.

The first step was a detailed measuring of our house, inside and out, down to the last closet. She'll turn that into a computerized drawing. Next she'll head to the city to investigate any zoning and lot restrictions. She'll bring the drawing and information to our big meeting November 2nd where we'll go over our long wish list, room by room. From there she'll work on several alternate layouts. Once we pick a general direction we move into refinement and detailed construction-ready docs. Then comes the part where we open up the piggy bank, hold it upside down and shake it, and shake it, and shake it.......

In preparation for our big meeting on November 2nd she asked us to put together a scrapbook of pictures from magazines of homes and rooms we like. I've got a big binder filled with pictures but mostly of interiors. I want to have pictures of exteriors of homes too, so that she gets a sense for the style we like. So my Mom gave me a tour of her neighborhood yesterday (after our cooking class) and I took some pictures of some of the houses that most appealed to me. She took me to two in particular that I just loved. They look like little jewels. Here is the first:

Unfortunately it turns out Jeff isn't a fan, so our house probably won't turn out like this. But even if we end up opting for a completely different style, I think the following characteristics are universal and can apply to our house too: attention to detail, a mix of materials, a certain neatness, and a gorgeous front door.

And here is the second, which I suspect is attractive largely because of the landscaping which is georgous (the owner is a landscape architect.) I'll post more pictures of the yard in a future post.

Again, Jeff wasn't a fan of the half-timbered look, nor the storm shutters (which I loved, darn it). But he did like the front door. And you can't really see it here, but on the left those windows are actually a pair of French doors which open to a tiny patio with room for a table and chairs. It is hard to see it unless you're really looking, because of the well planned landscaping which screens it nicely. That idea may be applicable to our house, again regardless of the style we end up choosing.

A cullinary birthday celebration

No, not my, birthday. My Mom's birthday, which was back in July. I gave her a cooking class, but it took us this long to schedule it. We went yesterday, to the Draeger's Cooking School, and had a wonderful time at the Margarita Madness Enchilada Party class. Delicious recipes that seem much less intimidating now that we've taken part under the supervision of experts. I think a margarita enchilada party is in my future! Thanks, Mom, for sharing such a nice afternoon together!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Julia swims!

Click on the play button to see a very brief movie of Julia swimming.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

My Mom

This picture of me and my Mom was taken last weekend when we were visiting Pastorino's Farm. Isn't my Mom darling? Such a cute picture of her with that happy smile. I love you Mom! : )
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Friday, October 05, 2007

Benne's visit

Benne came by for her weekly visit this morning. I made the mistake of taking the crew to the grocery store, instead of my usual online grocery order. Even with Benne's very capable extra pair of hands, it was a challenge. Julia was in rare form today, being quite difficult so I can't say anybody had a ton of fun except for Andrew of course. But it felt great to get all the groceries done, with even a meal plan for the week, so I'm confident we can live without another shopping outing for at least a week and a half. Many thanks to Benne for her infinite patience and assistance! Things improved once we got home, where we had a very nice lunch and then Benne read some stories before naptime.

Tonight, in recognition of Dad's birthday, we are having a very special treat. Jeff and I and Andrea and Craig have arranged for babysitters so that we can meet up with Mom and Dad for a special adults-only dinner at a nice restaurant in Woodside, the Village Pub. We are really looking forward to having some grown-up conversation with a quiet and peaceful backdrop, something we don't get to enjoy much these days. It should be a nice treat for everyone.
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