Monday, October 20, 2008

A few more pictures because I'm new to Picasa and am figuring it out. Here's me and Mark at the best cupcake and coffee store in DC. There may be one better, but they're closed on Mondays so this one wins by default.
Here's the Newseum, one of the newer museums and not one of the free ones. It'll cost you $20 to see this view and a whole lot of news articles, pictures and films. We spent 4 hours here.
We practiced posing using everything I learned from watching Tyra Banks' America's Next Top Model. Look for us next season as the older plus sized models.
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Sunday, October 19, 2008

New and old friends

I met these guys shortly after arriving in DC. They seemed friendly but a little stressed.

And these are my hosts and guides. They have a beautiful apartment with an amazing view of the Washington Monument in the Adams Morgan area. We've been walking a lot through the trees and museums and cupcake shops and cafes. We are in the midst of conducting an unscientific ranking of cupcakes and have a few more species to capture and catalog. But I can say already that the Baked and Wired latte is the best I've had since San Francisco.

We've visited the Portrait Gallery which has great exhibits including a collection of genre mixing hip hop portraits complete with family crests and an inner courtyard that had a Hogwarts like ceiling that reflects the current weather. And had amazing Peking duck (better than any duck I had when I lived in Peking) with other old friends whom I'm not sure I can name because they work for the government:

But the most amazing thing about being here is all of the things I've almost forgotten about life without little children. We use multiple pieces of breakable dishes and can leave them on the table. We can walk more than a block without one of us asking to be carried. We can wander through museums without anyone shrieking to see how well the echo carries or jumping off the couches or pretending to shoot the exhibits. We can linger in cafes and restaurants and have actual conversations. We can shop. I'm soaking it all up with the fall air.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The conspiracy against packing

I'm packing for a 5-day trip to Washington DC to visit a couple of old friends. It's a little tough to concentrate because I'm still getting over a cold and have that cottony head feeling. I keep hoping that another cup of tea will help.

And the dog goes off like an oversensitive car alarm every time her nemesis, the tightwrope walking squirrel goes by. The boys are entertaining themselves which is great/scary. I love that they can play together without something electronic but it can very easily devolve into small dangers. Like when Aldo sat on Owen's head because they were hiding under the covers on our bed. Or when Aldo refuses to believe that the Magic Grow transportation vehicles capsules aren't vitamins.

It sounds like this:

Harriet: Bark Bark Bark Whine Bark Woof Woof Woof
Me: It's just a squirrel. How many times do we have to go through this?
Harriet: Bark Bark (jump) Whine (run around in circles)
Aldo: Mouth closed, suspiciously quiet, one red capsule missing
Me: Spit it out! Not food! Spit it out!
Harriet: Bark Whine
Owen: Spit it out Aldo!

I guess that's why Magic Grow capsules are labeled 4+

I'm flying Virgin Air which is new for me. I studied their website to try to figure out what I was supposed to bring to fully take advantage of their in flight entertainment system. Isn't Linux Lucy's little brother on Peanuts?

And now that I've acquired a handbag, I want to be a handbag user and take it as my carry-on. But it won't fit my laptop, so...?

But the biggest roadblock for me is not being able to picture the weather. Low 60's during the day and 40's at night. That sounds cold to me in San Diego, but is it long sleeve cold, sweatshirt cold, jacket cold or hat and everything cold. In the midst of Santa Ana's, it's hard to even imagine wanting to wear socks. I think I have a pretty good imagination, but I really have no concept of cold when it's hot. I may be borrowing a lot of clothes from Janet.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Balloons and Bubbles

We've survived another birthday party. The water table filled with bubble liquid and bubble wands worked great with the slight wind. I had one party crasher (friend of a friend) who "earned her keep" as she said by face painting. Green kitty cat faces, ladybugs and spiders were the most requested. The balloons got tangled up, but the kids liked them anyhow.
I think we had about 25 adults and 28 kids, so Aldo has a car full of gifts. We've let him open the two giant ones from his grandma and uncle so far and that's about all the excitement and newness we need for a while. Oh, and Aunt Chloe gave Aldo a clucking chicken flashlight that they both love.

Aldo had a great time and totally knew it was his party. But he melted down before we could get to his cake. He cried and I had to ask Owen and the rest of the kids to help blow out the candle. One kid threw up on the grass (cousin Ryan) and now I think the kids and I have a cold. But overall, a successful party. We gave the leftover sandwiches to the homeless guys in the park "Thanks man, tell your kid happy birthday," and I've cooked most of the vegetable plate into last night's chicken stew. I think I'll make broccoli potato cheddar soup with the broccoli. I'd have to say that without wind, a helium balloon tied to a mini vial of bubble liquid is a good favor for a 2-year-old party. Oh, and it turns out that you really can make workable bubble liquid from dish soap, water and glycerin and it's almost as good.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

2 hours to party

The big party for the two-year-old is starting in 2 hours. I thought there might be a traffic problem because 3,500 people are walking for the frogs starting half an hour ago about three blocks from party central. But Greg says it's fine.

The weather was looking like it was going to be way too hot. And then it changed to way too cold (for San Diego, that's about 65 degrees) but now it's looking perfect.

Our refrigerator looks like a clown car packed with two fruit and vegetable platters, a sandwich tray, a wrap tray and a cake. My car truck is stuffed with 10 helium balloons struggling to be free.

We're missing our cake decorator who moved to Mississippi last year, so we have a simple CostCo cake. I'm sure it'll be tasty, but nothing like the spectacular jungle scene we had last year.

Time to get the guest of honor ready to go. He's very excited about "Me party."

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Aldo has been experimenting in the bathroom

He loves brushing his teeth, okay, well, sucking the tasty blue gel off of the brush is what he loves, but close enough. And we recently found evidence that he's branching out trying to find new "flavors." His tooth brush was covered in my undereye concealer and his brother's smelled distinctly of my Curls Rock! hair gel. Ugh.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Yearbook Yourself

says this is my yearbook portrait from 1960. I am amused.