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Month: November 2007

Happy Birthday Lizzie!

Happy Birthday Lizzie!

For you who didn’t already know, yesterday was Lizzie’s birthday, and since I assume she has no intention of publishing this to the world, I thought I would.

It was a good day for us all. I unfortunately had to go to work so Lizzie spent the morning interviewing a woman for a story that she is planning on writing for her class. It sounds like it went very well and I look forward to reading the final product. She also took advantage of a couple of coupons that we got when we bought her coat last week and purchased herself a new skirt and blouse. They are really nice, super cute and she practically stole them to boot.

I was able to beg my way out of work 30 minutes early and we met up near Grand Central for the evening. Every year the Rockefeller Center has a huge Christmas tree out front. The lighting of this tree is a huge deal and we thought, since it took place on Lizzie’s big day, we should brave the crowds and take a look. And crowds there were! It seemed like half of the city squeezed themselves into the 2 block radius around the Rock. We arrived around 6:15ish and after maneuvering ourselves through a couple of detours we finally got a look at the tree. Here is what it looked like unlit:We then found out that the officially lighting would not happen until 9:00 so we took advantage of the time and went to dinner. After roaming the streets for a while we found a nice little Indian restaurant. The food was great and the waiter was really nice. He helped us a lot with Simon by getting him a highchair, tying a napkin around his (rather thick) neck for a bib, and even giving us some rice pudding to feed him. Simon seemed to like it, but not as much as the Mango smoothie, which we where told was “good for him.”

Finally, it was time to head back to the tree. Once again, we pushed and shoved, but when we got within about 10 feet of being able to see it we found we could go no farther. Simon had fallen asleep in his bjorn but we still though it best to get him out of there before we were compressed to death. While making our way to another view-point we heard a group count down and then a large cheer. At first we felt like we had just missed new years, but then realized that the tree would probably stay plugged in long enough for us to get a gander. It took us another 5-10 minutes, but this is what we saw:After admiring the sparkly lights for a bit we found the subway and enjoyed a fairly non-eventful ride home (except for the guy who had a funny accent and looked like an elf drawn in anime style). Now it was time for me to make a cake. Lizzie likes chocolate, so I tried a recipe that I found on Williams-Sonoma’s website. Here it is:We didn’t have any really nice souffle dishes, but I managed by using a couple small pyrex bowls and two small casserole dishes. The recipe for the cakes specifically said to serve them immediately. Not wanting to disappoint Williams-Sonoma and hoping to get to bed sometime last night I opened to box and threw in the candles. At first I was happy because I didn’t have to count (1 box = Lizzie’s age), but after they started falling over everywhere I got a little nervous. I thought that the inside of the cake was just too gooey for them to stay up straight until I took one out in order to use it to light the rest and the entire bottom third was melted off. It turns out that not only a burning wick, but also a hot molten cake will melt a candle. I quickly finished the job and Lizzie quickly blew them out. Luckily, I had made a few small cakes and we still had plenty of unwaxed goodness (topped with ice cream) to enjoy before licking our spoons and calling it a day.Happy birthday Lizzie. I love you.

All We Want for Christmas

All We Want for Christmas

You can see how excited Simon was that his Cougars beat Utah this weekend. He got so into the fight song once the game was over. You should hear that boy sing! Okay, so he doesn’t really sing, but he likes it when we do. The boy stayed up until midnight last night, woke up at 3:00 and was finished sleeping by 7:30. As I write this he is super tired and will not sleep. I don’t know if this picture gives us a hint as to what is going on; it looks like it could be teething . . . . Of course we have thought hat before, but so far he’s still all gums.I can only hope those pearly whites push their way through soon. Maybe we should start singing “All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth” just to give him a little bit of encouragement.

In your mind’s eye

In your mind’s eye

We didn’t go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade like we wanted to. Reason #1: We were baking pies until 3:00 last night. Reason #2: A certain little frog woke up at 3:00 and wanted to play for an hour or so. We probably could have wrapped him up and rocked him to sleep, but in our weariness letting him play somehow made more sense. Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

It was probably for the best that we didn’t go because we did have a turkey to roast before our dinner with the other lonely members of our branch at 5:30. We also had potatoes to mash, corn to boil, and stuffing to prepare (thanks, StoveTop). By 4:30 we were ready to go and another branch member picked us up and drove us to the church. We remembered all the food, serving utensils, plates, cups, napkins, spices and even games (which we didn’t play), but we forgot the camera. So sorry for no pictures to show you the lovely bird or beautiful apple pie or the wonderful people we shared the holiday with.

If we did have our camera, however, you would see Simon gumming on some corn on the cob and the mess that his efforts left on the carpet under my chair. You would see Micah carving the turkey as a people queued up behind him to get their share. You would see me scooping cranberry sauce out of a can and stirring it up so it looked like it didn’t come out of a can (not that anybody was fooled . . .). You would see us standing by the door looking out at the pouring rain at 5:30, wondering if anybody was really going to make it. You would see black faces, brown faces, white faces sitting, smiling, laughing together. You would see 18 friends we hardly know enjoying the plenty we had because we each brought a little bit to the table.

And then you would see us back at home, dishes piled in the sink, baby asleep in his crib, giving thanks that tomorrow is another day off.

In your mind's eye

In your mind's eye

We didn’t go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade like we wanted to. Reason #1: We were baking pies until 3:00 last night. Reason #2: A certain little frog woke up at 3:00 and wanted to play for an hour or so. We probably could have wrapped him up and rocked him to sleep, but in our weariness letting him play somehow made more sense. Don’t ask why, I don’t know.

It was probably for the best that we didn’t go because we did have a turkey to roast before our dinner with the other lonely members of our branch at 5:30. We also had potatoes to mash, corn to boil, and stuffing to prepare (thanks, StoveTop). By 4:30 we were ready to go and another branch member picked us up and drove us to the church. We remembered all the food, serving utensils, plates, cups, napkins, spices and even games (which we didn’t play), but we forgot the camera. So sorry for no pictures to show you the lovely bird or beautiful apple pie or the wonderful people we shared the holiday with.

If we did have our camera, however, you would see Simon gumming on some corn on the cob and the mess that his efforts left on the carpet under my chair. You would see Micah carving the turkey as a people queued up behind him to get their share. You would see me scooping cranberry sauce out of a can and stirring it up so it looked like it didn’t come out of a can (not that anybody was fooled . . .). You would see us standing by the door looking out at the pouring rain at 5:30, wondering if anybody was really going to make it. You would see black faces, brown faces, white faces sitting, smiling, laughing together. You would see 18 friends we hardly know enjoying the plenty we had because we each brought a little bit to the table.

And then you would see us back at home, dishes piled in the sink, baby asleep in his crib, giving thanks that tomorrow is another day off.

Balancing the Scales

Balancing the Scales

I look at my list of things to do in the next two weeks and this is what I see:

  1. talk to someone at the FDA
  2. call five universities to find out about their avian flu plans
  3. read a book and write a 500 word response
  4. read 4 articles and prepare a mini-lecture
  5. find out what “quarantine” means, legally and practically speaking
  6. talk to several experts about avian flu and how it might spread to the US
  7. plan and prepare a Thanksgiving dinner for 12 single men from our branch and our family
  8. take care of a small child
  9. find several insurance experts to talk to
  10. talk to more student families about affordable insurance
  11. plan and make meals
  12. do the dishes
  13. clean the bathroom
  14. finalize Christmas travel plans

And then I think, “Wait a second! How did ‘Take care of a small child’ get to be #8 on the list?” So I stop stressing and pick up the boy and let him fall asleep on my lap while I take a minute to relax and blog about keeping my perspective, and my priorities, in line. (And I do it with one hand tied behind his back. So to speak.)

The Burning Bush

The Burning Bush

Okay, it’s not a bush. It’s a tree. And it isn’t on fire, it’s just aflame with the spirit of Fall. I love that it is right outside our window. It is helping me make up for the autumns we missed in Hawaii.
We’ve been trying to get out to enjoy the foliage so last week we went to the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens. We loved the herb garden, the Japanese garden, and the bonsai greenhouse the most.

We celebrated the season today by watching the most boring rivalry football game I can remember. How many times did OSU and Michigan punt the ball back and forth? I ended up reading a text book through most of the game, such was the excitement on the field. But we made buckeyes anyway, most of which we ended up taking to the branch Thanksgiving dinner this evening. The kids had a great time playing with Simon and pinning the tail feathers on the turkey. I spent the evening trying to keep smiling through all of the pictures that people were taking of Simon. I tell you, that kid is going to have a complex. We can’t go anywhere without people telling us he should be modeling or in commercials. I almost feel like we’re wasting an opportunity here, but he’s young. There’s still time. Maybe you’ll see his face on the cover of American Baby before too long.

Side note: My dad’s picture was on the front page of The New York Times this week. Can you guess which one he is?