Thursday, February 28, 2008

Monday, February 25, 2008

Papa's Pictures

Mimi and Papa came for a visit this weekend. They haven't seen a whole lot of snow this season so they were all, "It's snowing!!!" and Brian and I and the kids were all, "And?" and then we were all, "We're over it."

But they weren't. So Papa even went OUTSIDE with the camera. Svea ran around the room in circles saying, "I want hims to come inside! I want hims to come inside!" because DUH who goes out in the snow? Not us.

It's not that we are against snow. It's the ICE we have a problem with. It's the frozen stuff that prevents driving anywhere and making snowballs we can throw and yell KA-POW. It's the clear stuff that makes branches freeze and fall off trees, sounding like gun fire we don't like.

So I didn't even think about getting out my camera until today when, ironically, the snow started melting and the trees could stand upright again.

We all still made it to chapel on Sunday, thank goodness. Even our friends from across town.

Henry prides himself on being the first up the steps.

Will the preacher's kid be a preacher someday? Ummmmm...don't get me started on that one.

Perhaps he'll marry one.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Way We Roll

In our house, everyone plays many roles. Even the toys.
The Lord of the Rings chess set, which once wore football helmets, now is learning the games of baseball, soccer, and hockey - all complete with bands for the halftime show and an audience.

Henry has been helping draw the various fields and rinks required for our multitalented chess pieces:

There has also been funny conversations around here as Henry continues to assert himself as the Leader Sibling and Svea counters as the I Don't Care Sibling.

I heard Henry tell Svea when I was out of the room, "Hush, Svea. That's just too darn loud."
(I have never said that phrase in my life)

Then Henry yelled in the car while eating a snack, "STOP. BITING. ME!" Then he looked at me calmly and said, "I was just talking to my mouth."

I looked up in the playroom and Svea was holding the Jesus Action Figure With the Moving Arms and sniffing his bum. She looked at me and said, "Jesus has a poopy."

Who's changing that one?

Henry was in Time Out the other morning (I'm pretty sure before 8am) for talking back to me and I asked him if he was ready to get up and be nice. He replied, "Yes, Mommy. I'm ready to stop talking to your back."

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Hide and Seek. Period.

I really hate the game Hide and Seek.
I don't use "hate" a lot, but I'm sure about this one. I refuse to play it with Henry and Svea.
Luckily we have friends who will and, of course, their father.

I remember as a child, there was a hallway in our house that connected a den to a bathroom and held the stairwell to the finished basement. The washer and dryer were in this hallway as well as a hamper with a flat backside so it fit against the wall. All this in a space of about 4 feet by 3 feet. I would hide INSIDE that clothes hamper, with DIRTY CLOTHES in it, about a foot and a half from the top of the stairs.
I cannot believe I am even alive. The thought of that tiny space inches from stairs makes me short of breath and totally nauseous at the thought of Henry or Svea doing it.
Not only does the danger in the game lurk for me (especially with the heard-it-from-a-friend-of-a-friend-whose-kid-hid-in-a-freezer stories), I can't deal with the idea that a kid would never be found.

The thrill of being sought just never outweighed that possibility of being forgotten.

With all of these anxieties in tow, which maybe should have come up in our wedding vows, I,Husband has come up with an audible version of Hide and Seek that requires the Hider (at this point, always Daddy) to make a silly noise every few seconds while the Seekers (Henry and Svea) run like mad searching for him. I can handle being in the house during this game at least.

But I'm still not playing.

Thanks, Babs.

Babs in Babsland gave a shout out to the photo workshop and even included her reject pictures.

Thanks again for being a part of it all.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

New Curtain

Since the photo workshop, I can't stop rearranging pictures and frames in my house.

And I just don't have enough frames. So I made a curtain with some jewelry wire.

I've seen this done in different ways with different wires so I can't take total credit for the idea, but I had a great time doing it. And I get to see all the photos I think about without having to hunt down the album. Nice.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Yesterday was Daddy's birthday and the kids "made" him cupcakes (thank you, Mimi) and drew cards for him.

Henry's card had a spider, a spider web and a moose floating along a wavy stream of good aroma from something that was baking. He saw that on Mickey Mouse.

Svea's card had a few long lines and then a bunch of tiny dots which were mosquitos that say Bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Eesh Ahkaveesh

Lilah came over the other day.

She is our dear friend who is bilingual - English and Hebrew. She is almost 3 and switches easily between the languages without regard to her listener's language skills. She's awesome.

She has taught us new words like "mime" for water (of course, I am spelling these phonetically since I have no working knowledge of Hebrew except that it is read right to left and uses totally different characters than English's roman ones).

Eesh Ahkaveesh is Spiderman. We use that one a lot.

"Ode" means more and "bavah kashah" is you're welcome. Or thank you. I forget.

My favorite is when Menachem (Lilah's Dad, or "Abba") is here and calls Lilah "Yaffa Shalee" which means "my beauty" and she comes running. Melts my heart every time.

So when Lilah got here, she and Svea promptly set up the Napping Game. I LOVE that one.
It didn't last long as it was soon time to play the Stamping Game. Lilah loves stamps and is very good at them while Svea could care less and is NOT very good at them. She lingers between stamp pad and paper so the ink dries and does a puny print so she gives up. She gets another stamp out of the box then puts it upside down in the ink pad which just about sends her mother into fits.

Henry did NOT want to do stamps, but wanted to outline his Eesh Ahkaveesh on his own paper. While I was watching him do that, I listened to Lilah speak to Svea in Hebrew - something like, "Ach eeeeem shama cavah?" and Svea's responses of, "Oh, a BEAM Lilah. I seeeeeee."

Total entertainment for me.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Snowed-In Crafts

Still really snowy and icy around here. These are the hedges next to our house, which are usually twice as high:

And here are the most recent crafts due to the weighted-down weather around here:

Henry wants a motorcycle for his birthday. Just like Uncle Brad's, which is a BMW - without macaroni glued to it, I hope.

And the kites made out of stickers with marker scribble tails on them (Henry designed these all on his own).

We go to bed singing Mary Poppin's "Let's go fly a kite...up to the highest height..."

Polling Around Here

This new poll question was definitely one of those moments when I looked around slowly and couldn't believe my life and the words that have to come out of my mouth.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Freezing Snow

We're in the middle of our biggest winter storm in Svea's lifetime. And she STILL won't throw a snowball.

We ventured out into the white this morning only to find a layer of ice on top of all the fluffy snow. The only way to safely move was to scoot your feet as if ice skating.

As we scooted along, the freezing sprinkle continued and we could hear branches cracking and falling off trees. After some fell near us, we didn't think we'd be able to skate fast enough out of their way and decided to throw snowballs for a bit.

Except you couldn't really pack a frozen ball, so we ended up kicking or breaking off chunks and throwing them. Snowchunks.

Svea just held her snowchunk, finally dropping it in effort to keep her balance as we slip-skated home. Henry said after about 20 minutes, "I don't want to do this anymore."

So we came in and had some hot chocolate.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Photography Workshop I

So we had an idea in October.
Walking along Navy Pier while in Chicago for a wedding, I, Husband and I tried to think of a way to bring our creative friends in town together, survive the winter doldrums, and then have a party. We decided on a 3-part photography workshop:
1. The Assignment
2. The Critique
3. The Show

I made up a little flyer to hand out and then emailed some folks to see if anyone was interested. Fifteen people showed up for the Assignment and for 45 minutes, we discussed the parameters. Everyone had one week to take no fewer than 100 photos. Each person would then choose five of those photos, one to fit in each of the following categories: Prospect, Refuge, Peril, Enticement and Complex Order (or Order & Complexity). I got those concepts from Origins of Architectural Pleasure by Grant Hildebrand.

Once the five were chosen, each person got 8x10 prints to bring to the Critique.

The Critique took about 3 hours (14 women, 1 man, and 75 prints - we had a lot to discuss) and was scheduled for the Saturday following the Assignment.

When the photographer hung his/her prints, there was a round of comments, then a round of questions, then the photographer had some time to discuss each shot.

Then we all chose 2 of everyone's 5.

The following week, I collected 2 mattes, 2 frames, and $5 from everyone and I, Husband and I rearranged our house into an amateur gallery. I, Husband made cherry wood strips for our wall of Peril (he also made an amazing iPod mix for during the show):

I hung the Prospect walls at diagonals:

the Complex Order wall randomly:

and the Enticement wall in a circle (all with Debbie's help, or course):

Refuge went side by side:

This photo in the Refuge category won the prize for The Most Discussed. Or maybe we could say it generated the most lewd comments. It was a hit, regardless.

Ruth made us quite the spread (chocolate was the theme) and we had three kinds of bubbly to sip.

Another requirement to attend the Show was that everyone must wear all black. We looked like movie stars, or musicians fresh from the Philharmonic, or amateurs who like to have a good time. It was the most fun I have had in a really long time.

I was so proud of the work and the time everyone gave this project, and of how amazing all of the photos were.
ALL of us work. ALL of us have things to do other than look at our lives through a lens (or LCD screen) while considering architectural concepts. However, ALL of us needed the chance to see and feel differently about our daily lives, even if for just a few hours.

Leta wrote a little ditty about it and has some great pics up on her site. Barbara also took part, and was a great sport even though she has to wear black all the time in the Philharmonic.

After everyone left Saturday night, I stayed up for another hour to absorb all of the energy and excitement. And to stare at all the photographs for the hundredth time. Such talent, such creativity, such fun...I'm already scheming the next one...

(more pictures here)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So What Exactly Am I Teaching This Kid?

Laptop - check.

Video camera - check.

Desk/workshop area - check.

Cell phone - check.

Talking nonsense in the cell phone - check.