kcobweb: (red dress)
We had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday - I spent the first half cooking and half-watching the parade on TV with Elena (who really enjoyed it and seemed more annoyed by all the commercials than anything - SCORE!). We went over to [livejournal.com profile] kassrachel and [livejournal.com profile] yaoobruni's at mid-afternoon, and watched a bunch of football and ate amazing food and did general hanging out with them and their family. Elena played a lot with their Green Bay Packers matryoshkas and the Go game and stones, and read books, and was a good sport. I think she even ate some food this year, which is an improvement over last year..... It was a perfect way to spend Thanksgiving.

This morning, a friend of Elena's came over for a playdate - they just totally groove on each other's presence, so that's nice to see. He played a lot with our garbage truck and the letter refrigerator magnets, while his mom and I talked and Elena raced around. This afternoon, I've been trying to get a few things done while Elena naps, but mostly failing: when I tried to call my mother it said "the mailbox is full"; when I tried to do some work for school, the university library site seemed down (or sluggish, in the few moments it was up). Oh well. Instead, I flipped channels on TV and played some games on my computer, and feel pretty good about my day. But I do have a lot of work yet to do..... Alas.

(Elena is now kicking the wall above her bed - which is nearly directly overhead from where I am on the couch. I'll have to go get her momentarily.)
kcobweb: (Default)
Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] nadyezhda!

Happy birthday, [livejournal.com profile] cute_fuzzy_evil!

Elena told us both last night that when she grows up, she wants to be a doctor. No word yet on whether she will be the kind of doctor who gives shots. (She was up till nearly midnight, just NOT SLEEPING. Thank the gods she's in school today, because if she were home with me, I have a feeling it would be whininess galore.)

Also, a cool link for you. The accompanying link is pretty cool too. (scroll down for COOL MAPS)

Aaaaaaand, I should be working. Back in the breach, dear friends!
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
Elena had to get a flu shot today. I put off telling her until she was putting on her shoes, when I said "So, we're going to the doctor today."

Her instant response: "My ear feels better." (that was the cause of her last doctor visit) And then: "But I don't want to get a shot today."

Me: "You might need one. Shots make you healthy." I also promised her a SPECIAL TREAT if she was a good sport.

The 10 minutes in the car was filled with a series of statements about shots, including, "I don't *need* a shot*." Shots keep you healthy.
"I think the doctor doesn't *have* any shots today." Well, we'll see. (hee!)
"I don't *want* a shot." No one likes shots, but they keep you healthy.

When we got there, they whisked us right in. The nurse was great and did it quickly - she sat on my lap, with tears in her eyes (I think just from confronting the reality of the shot), and was a very good sport. Right before the nurse got out the needle, I said that the SPECIAL TREAT would be the two of us going out to lunch right after. She got a Snoopy bandaid on her arm and some princess stickers.

And then we went to Friendly's, because I knew the ice cream would make her happy. She looked at the pictures of food on the kids menu and picked out what she wanted. The waitress brought our food, and I looked at my girl, sitting on her side of the booth, eating her mac and cheese and french fries, drinking her milk, using her napkin, and carrying on a conversation with me. Wow - she's so big, and come so far in just the past year. Heck, past few months. We had a blast. We both ate big lunches and then split a peppermint chocolate sundae (actually quite good). Stuffed now.
kcobweb: (Default)
Yesterday, I led my first toddler story hour. Actually, it was a half-hour. )
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
Elena usually thinks that having her toenails cut is second only to the rack. (Not her fingernails - just her toes.) As a result, usually her toenails get very very long before we have to hold her down bodily and try to cut them. She recently noticed that I had painted mine, and I casually mentioned that if she let me cut her toenails, I would paint hers. Today we did it - she had almost no problem (mostly it tickled), and then I painted them. They are metallic silver, just like mine. It looks hilarious - such an odd color for small toes, somehow. But it WORKED. Woo. I win.

*************************

She is definitely [livejournal.com profile] galagan's child (note: this was not really in doubt anyway). She has spent most of today (when she thinks no one is looking at or listening to her) making up words to established song melodies - for much of the day, it has been the Sesame Street theme song. "I am a princess, and I am wea-a-a-aring a skirt, and now I'm going home....." Stuff like that. When she runs out of words for a moment, she'll go into what sounds like a little jazz skat repeating syllables (home-ome-ome-ome-ome). It's hilarious and so cute. And exactly what [livejournal.com profile] galagan does all the time too. It's not that I'm not musical - I hum or sing songs a LOT - but making up new words is definitely a [livejournal.com profile] galaganism.

*************************

The two of them are now playing with the Scrabble board, and she just requested assistance on spelling the sentence "I like the pig."

************************

She's wearing a small blanket tied around her middle (with a headscarf as a belt). It is her "princess" because wearing a skirt makes one a princess. Somehow, I escaped having to wear one today. It's the sort of thing that would embarrass many people to go out in public with her like that, but I'm really beyond caring what people think of how she's dressed. If you don't have kids, let me just say that toddlers are often very eccentric and demanding about their wardrobe. And you gotta pick your battles.
kcobweb: (Default)
Tonight at dinner there were some high points and low points. Elena said this, Elena said that.... )
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
Elena has known since the primaries who Barack Obama is. She recognizes his face, and will call out his whole name in a sing-songy way. For a while, early on, she often confused him with Larry Kudlow (who has a show on CNBC; yes, I have a 3-year-old who knows her CNBC television personalities) - but Obama and Kudlow have very very little in common as far as I can tell, so we quickly corrected her on that point. So she knew Obama and she also knew she kept hearing his name in connection with Hillary Clinton, so she'd talk about them together. Now, she knows that it's Obama and John McCain. I was watching CNN last weekend (or the one before) and they were showing various VP speeches, so now she kind of knows the names Joe Biden and Sarah Palin (though I'm not sure she'd recongize them in a pinch).

Often, in conversation, I have asked her which one she likes better, and she will always say "John McCain." And then, often, laughs. Is she messing with me intentionally? It's bizarre. I really don't think I've expressed much of a preference in her hearing, unless she's picking up on conversations [livejournal.com profile] galagan and I might have about 538.com or the newspaper or something.

She brought it up today - Barack Obama and John McCain. I mentioned again that they are running for President, and that tomorrow everyone - ahem, all the adults - gets to pick which one they like better. So I'll take her with me to the school and I'll vote and we get stickers... etc. etc. And then I asked her again: Which one do you like better?

E: John McCain.
me: Why do you like him?
E: He's better than me. *** [something a little garbled] Hillary Clinton.
Me: Hillary Clinton?
E: Yeah, Hillary Clinton's friend. He's Hillary Clinton's friend.

(I'm realizing now that she may have thought that Hillary was running against Obama and now McCain is, so they are on the same side. Or something - she's probably not too clear on this point. Or - OMG, is she a Hillary supporter who has thrown her lot in with McCain, as they'd hoped would happen among female voters????? *grin*)

me: Well, yes, but I think Hillary Clinton is also Barack Obama's friend. She likes Obama better.
E: [makes dubious noises, and then....] How about you? Do you like Joe Biden?
me: yes, yes I do. I've always kind of liked Joe Biden.

So there you have it. Apparently for Elena it's still all about Hillary Clinton. I wonder if she could even pick Hillary out of a lineup?? :)

I also realized that 4 years from now, she will be 7 1/2 and old enough to have some idea of what's really going on. I was nearly 8 at the time of the 1980 election and I remember John Anderson (?) running as an Independent and having opinions about Reagan and everything. I can't wait.
kcobweb: (Default)
Someone I've met locally a few times (who writes an awesome blog which *you* should read) just friended me on Facebook. I was scrolling idly through her profile page (procrastinating my homework, y'see) and I noticed a name I vaguely recognized. I click through, and it's someone I worked with 10 years ago at Planned Parenthood in Seattle! Small teeny tiny world.

Yes, I'm avoiding my homework. I was so diligent yesterday about avoiding this homework that I actually sat down and wrote a short paper instead (also due this weekend, so it totally needed to be done). So at least the paper is out of the way.... :) My homework's not so bad, really. We're doing Lexis-Nexis this week. If I need help, I can call my lawyer in (from the next room) and ask him. :)

Elena was going to be cat for Halloween until Tuesday night, when out of the blue she decided she wanted to be a fairy (this morning: "a PINK fairy"). I went to buy a few things, only to discover that Disney, having cornered the princess market, is now moving into the fairy market. Yup, there was DisneyFairyTM stuff *everywhere* (that Tinkerbell movie might have something to do with this). So I was very proud of myself that I managed to figure out how we'll cobble together an outfit that was never touched by Disney hands or marketers. Woo!!

Okay, okay, once more, dear friends, into the breach!
kcobweb: (Default)
Apple-picking has become a fall tradition for us, since we moved to New England. Usually, my mom visits this time of year, and we go with her.

oct08 015

For comparison, and because I love all these photos click for older pics )
kcobweb: (Default)
I don't get much of a traditional Saturday these days - I work all morning, and then dick around for half the rest of the day - but today was a really nice day. We went hiking! We were going to get up early, but had stayed up late, so we got a later start than originally planned. We went up Pine Cobble, and actually made it all the way to the top. With a 3-year-old in tow, that's saying something. I hadn't been all the way to the top in quite a few years. It was such a gorgeous day and the foliage and views were spectacular.

Elena was moderately good, but she had several stubborn bits. My favorite part was when she insisted that we all sit down in the trail and then started conducting a circle a la her teachers. "Now Lambs," she'll say. She is currently in the Lamb class at school. "Lambs, what is this?" We'd say "A rock". Then she'd turn to [livejournal.com profile] galagan, "What's your name? Okay, [livejournal.com profile] galagan, here's the rock. Now give it a soft pat. Now touch it like this." Then he had to pass it to me and I had to do the same. We did this in several iterations.

(She's been on a big kick of this lately - where she is the teacher and running us through school routines. The other day we went on a walk around the neighborhood holding onto a rope just like you see bands of preschoolers do. She insisted on leading, and would announce, "okay, Lambs, let's walk now!")

Near the top she started complaining that her feet hurt. She was wearing an older pair of sneakers (which I've now decided I'd better retire). Actually, my boots were hurting me too. On the way down, she was clearly getting tired, yet somehow, she took no nap when we got home. We're all exhausted tonight - I definitely want to go to bed early tonight. First: sitting in the family room, fire in the stove, M*A*S*H* on TV, cookies and a cup of tea - and a little school reading.
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
* We went to Pennsylvania last weekend and it was fun. We got to hang out and Elena wasn't too awful, and the drive was very pretty.

* Mom and I made feta!! We were determined to make cheese, and then I realized that I didn't have all the proper stuff for a simple mozzarella - so we went for feta instead. It took nearly twice as long as the directions implied (read: all day), and ended up pretty soft, but it has good flavor. It's like thick cottage cheese, and I think we'll just be drizzling it on everything for a while. :) (And now I've got the citric acid I need to make mozzarella too.)

* Mom left this morning - it was a long visit, and I enjoyed it, but I'm also ready to get back to my regular life and to establish some kind of a student routine.

* OMG, I'm a student. :)

* I got my new computer!! (Can't you tell that these words look extra-shiny?) I still need to transfer a few things over, but it's been *great* and I am so pleased!

* Elena is reading, bit by bit. A week ago, she looked up at my Rosie the Riveter poster on the wall, and said (unsolicited) "Can. Can do it. We can do it." That's not something I've been reading to her. We just got the book Ten Apples Up On Top, and after a couple of readings, she sat down and started her way through it. Then we realized that she really was reading and not just reciting, because she was carefully going word by word, and when she got to a word she didn't know, she'd sort of hum: "Ten apples up on top. We are not *hmmm* to stop." [going] I told her she could ask me, and then she'd ask about words she didn't recognize - sometimes adding, "You already told me that word!" It was pretty amazingly cool. She hasn't read another book (or even that book) like that in front of me, but it was great to watch her do that.
kcobweb: (Default)
I wanted to mention that my new job basically means I'm going to start mainlining children's literature (and YA too). You all knew that, right? I've been told that when things are slow, I'm welcome to browse the collection so I can get to know what we have and where it is. But while shelving I found a handful of books I want to read - some old favorites, some new award-winners..... If anybody has recs of something you think I should read, I'm always up for that. But - whee! This part will be *fun*!

And now, some pictures Read more... )
kcobweb: (red dress)
* [livejournal.com profile] galagan is back from the Yukon, and had a great time. Perhaps if you all clamor, he will write up more of it in his LJ. Go, clamor. Show him the love. :)

* Elena was beyond thrilled that her daddy came back. I wish I could say that her behavior has turned around completely - but she's still acting up terribly. Mainly testing every limit she can think of / find. Also, she's having terrible trouble with petty decisions: I will ask something simple like "do you want the pink skirt or the blue skirt?" and she will change her mind 14 times, then say "blue". Then as I start to put the blue skirt on her, she *screams*, "NO, PINK! PINK! PINK!" I reach for the pink.... well, we go through several iterations of this, until everyone's exhausted. Then we go on to the next decision..... :( Srsly, it sucks. We've tried calmly explaining to her that she just has to pick, and we don't *care* which skirt she wears (or whatever) but thus far, that hasn't really worked. She has a temper and she's easily frustrated. In short: there's a lot of yelling (from everyone, unfortunately) going on.

* I have been waiting to submit my other school applications until I get my letters from my second reference. I've started feeling really impatient..... This afternoon, I got an email from her assistant that they've been put in the mail; they should be here in a few days, and I can package them up with my other stuff and send them off. And then do more waiting.

* Synchronized diving rocks! Stupid beach volleyball does not.

* In 10 days, I get to go ALL BY MYSELF for a long weekend to my cousin's wedding. Woo!

Just now:

Aug. 7th, 2008 01:18 pm
kcobweb: (EK-3y)
I hear the sound of a drawer opening, so I call out:

Hey, what are you doing?

E: I'm getting the turkey baster.

She comes into the family room, waving it in the air wildly.

Me: What are you doing now?

E: I'm going to baste you. Still waving wildly, though from 10 feet away.

I start laughing.


E: Does that tickle?
kcobweb: (Default)
We're back..... Our visit was a whirlwind - friends to meet, pictures to take, lots of food. My sister finally announced to the room at large that she and her boy are talking about marriage (her admitting that just may be one of the signs of the apocalypse). My dad's cabin did not burn down and appears to be safe. I got to talk a little to [livejournal.com profile] galagan and he is doing well and having fun in the Yukon. Our trip back yesterday was pretty smooth, and Elena behaved amazingly well: "I sat in my seat and wore my seatbelt and sat still." We got home late and I got an email that said I got into my safety school (translation: I will definitely be going to library school - now it's just a matter of when and *where*). I still am waiting on a recommendation before I can send in the other applications (and get into the programs I actually *want*). I haven't had a decent night's sleep in a week - even last night, after we got back, my brain was....exceedingly boingy and Would. Not. Shut. Up. [livejournal.com profile] scottahill and Jen are here tonight with the cutest little button of a baby Miriam, and she's been crawling all around and flinging Elena's toys happily.
kcobweb: (Default)
If you're a Westerner, you're used to this. It happens, sooner or later...... My dad called this morning after being evacuated from his beloved cabin. There's a wildfire up the valley from him, and the news reports say it's burning out of control. The news story says that they can't fight it, because the ground is too rugged. My dad sounded pretty despondent. When the phone rang, I was figuring out what I'm doing each day of my visit, and which day I might be able to go up there. Now, it's unclear if we'll be allowed up there, or if there will be anything left to see. :(

Of course, here it's raining. The irony - we don't need it, and they do. I'd like to package up this storm and send it, by express mail to the West Fork of Rock Creek, plz. Without the lightning perhaps, because they don't need to risk it.

Checking the weather reports..... it's gonna be hot while we're there. Not ghastly, but enough to make me crabby. [livejournal.com profile] galagan called last night from Whitehorse and said the sun was shining and it was in the low 60s..... So jealous.

Elena is having a rough time dealing with separation from her daddy. She mentions him multiple times a day (now often in the context of "Daddy misses me"). She has not gone down to bed (nap-time or night-time) once without a screaming fit since he left. She wants another book, or she wants to play more, or she wants other pajamas..... Really, she wants her Daddy.

Right now, I'm picking up toys before [livejournal.com profile] xen_opus and JB arrive, because this place looks like a disaster movie hit it.

And for those of you on Facebook - is there something in the water lately, or *what*? Or is it just me? I've had a million new friends added in the past few days (some which I instigated, some I did not). The new crop includes some of my favorite people from high school, so that's kind of awesome.

Wow - in 48 hours I will be..... the gods willing..... just arriving in Billings.
kcobweb: (E-tongue)
Elena went to her first dance class yesterday!! [livejournal.com profile] kouredios mentioned that they were going to do it, and my brain started ticking...... One of my big childhood regrets is that I never took dance - I did piano, and Girl Scouts, and lots of music, and later lots of theater. But I think I would have liked dance, and it would have gotten my nose out of my books and convinced me that moving and using my body was okay/fun, and that a sedentary life isn't always the way to go. And I just wish I knew more about it, generally. So I'm living vicariously through my child I signed Elena up.

I like the description of the class too, because it emphasizes that these are just 3- and 4-year-olds. Much of the class is designed to teach them how to *be* in a dance class - wait your turn, copy what the teacher is doing, be a part of a group, etc. All good lessons, for dance class *and* beyond.

Predictably, she didn't want me to leave the room - or to let go of my hand for a while. With anything new, she always needs to stand back and observe for a while, and see how it works - and only once she's comfortable will she join in. It was an hour-long class. By midway through she was occasionally leaving my side; by the end, I had managed to edge most of the way out the studio door to the waiting area.

She loves to run and jump: it will be interesting to see if these new ways of moving connect with her.

Also: soooooo cute in her little pink leotard and pink tights. I will need to get some pictures of that.

********************

Tonight, I get to go see She Loves Me at WTF! Woo!!

********************

What should I have for lunch? We have some yummy leftovers in the fridge, but I'm getting tired of them (after multiple days). Hmmmm. Time to go root around in the cupboards.
kcobweb: (Default)
For the 4th of July, we went to our small town parade (finally - we've missed the others since moving here) - it was lovely and great fun.

July 4th parade 2

We chilled out the rest of the day, and then kind of skipped the whole fireworks thing because we hate America we are heretics *and* terrorists we just aren't big fans, generally (loud noises and flashing lights? not my very favorite thing ever). Maybe next year we'll keep Elena up and take her to see them.....

Saturday I watched the women's Wimbledon final (yay Venus!), and then um. There was *lots* of reading. And I got a weird stomach/full-body ache in the evening, but that passed and I had a decent night. I hate getting weird random pains; I suspect it's related to getting old.

Today we went hiking in Hopkins Forest, which was beautiful. I am so used to hiking in the West, in rather arid conditions - so hiking in the East in a deciduous forest, with plants and flowers and creeks everywhere, always seems like such a *novelty* to me. Elena did a really good job - she spent a lot of time being the leader, running off ahead and shouting over her shoulder "follow me!" It's so nice to see that. I watched some of the much-delayed Wimbledon men's final - alas, my boyfriend Roger lost.... (I have crushes on all my favorite men's tennis players - Federer is my main favorite now, but I also like James Blake, who is my "other boyfriend" for these purposes. I had a crush on Sampras too.... Courier.... Chang....) We went out for sandwiches tonight for dinner (I am having my usual summer I-don't-know-what-to-make-for-dinner malaise) - and afterwards went over to Windsor Lake and waded in the lake and played on the playground. Elena has been begging for some playground time for the last few days..... so it was nice to do that. Then we came home and she had a meltdown over bedtime stories. :)

Time now for ice cream and more Bone, and perhaps some bad TV in the background: right now I'm half-listening to "The Singing Office" (I think that's what it's called). I wish they'd walk into [livejournal.com profile] sanj's office, for example, and let her blow us away. This seems right up her alley. :)
kcobweb: (Default)
* I am clearly in a cooking *mood*. Last night I was craving some sort of grain salad, and couldn't find a recipe that fit what I was imagining, so I made up a recipe from thin air, which I practically never do. I am usually tied to the words written down on paper. Anyway, it is bulgur, canned white beans, steamed green beans, bell pepper, olive oil, red wine vinegar, and lots of lemon zest and is super-tasty. And now I am bringing a brine to a boil, which will then cool overnight, and tomorrow will be put into jars with dill and garlic cloves and cucumbers: Cold Brine Dill Pickles! Yay!

* I did a bit of practice for the icky GRE writing section. It did not totally suck. I just need to remember how to write coherent grammatical statements, yo.

* Mmmm, how did it get to be the end of June already? That's just crazy talk.

* I also realized that I haven't done an Elena post in a while, so the rest goes behind a cut )

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