Sunday, May 31, 2009

Urban Sandbox

We live in the city, my two sons, husband and I.  Behind our row house is Rockcreek park, loaded with foxes (yes!  I've seen them!), deer, and...da-da-daaaaa RACCOONS!!!  Those suckers are adorable as all get-out, but seriously reek a hell of a lot of havoc!

Their brazen too!  Christmas 2006 was a great example of just how brazen those little buggers are!  We had our entire family here, everyone from Montreal came down, my parents stayed in town instead of the usual trek to Memphis to visit our our back deck was constantly in use.  One evening everyone is out back and this little guy decides to mosey on up on the deck and check things out brushing past people's legs as he did:
Therefor anything we do or leave on the back deck we have to consider what the raccoons might do to it.  We bought an inflatable swimming pool for my son last summer, we have to empty it and place it in the basement each evening during the summer.

Likewise, any consideration for a sandbox for Peter would have to take into consideration what the raccoons would do to it...toilet? playground? who knows...

Now, I could go for something like this, offered by Pottery Barn Kids:
But at $450 (on sale), I'll pass.  If you're interested in this awesome sale, go here:|k to make your purchase.

But since this sand thing is likely a passing phase and definitely something he can get his fill of at the local playground, we didn't really need to go crazy.  So, I got creative.  I bought a sealable large plastic bin with wheels.  This way I can close it up so the raccoons won't destroy it and I can wheel it out of the way when it's not in use.  Space is a definite issue on our back deck.

Here are some pictures of Peter playing in (scratch that) next to his sandbox today.  Mr. Clean (his new nickname) does not like getting dirty and kept complaining the sand was all over him.  By the way, frequent beach-goers probably already know this, but to get sand off your legs, arms and out of crevices use a little baby powder and it all wipes away so easily!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Artomatic 2009 is here and I'm not there!

Well, Artomatic 2009 is here and I'm not participating AGAIN! I'm so sad. I really do miss creating my paintings and losing myself in thought over ideas for paintings and just spending countless hours in my studio just drinking wine, listening to my music and playing around with the paints... miss all that freedom! It seems I'm not nearly as creative when I have to schedule in time to be creative for a limited time. So...knowing that on Saturday from 2-4p.m. that my husband will have both children out of the house, for example, does not necessarily mean I will be creating a masterpiece (not that I think I ever HAVE created a masterpiece, but you get the idea).

Frankly, I never really did paint for success or with crazy dreams of making a fortune or gaining notoriety. I just liked to paint. I can't even use the phrase "I paint because it's such a good release"...really not true. So, here I am 2 and half years after my first son was born and I can't even tell you where my paints and canvases are...somewhere in the basement. The easel is easy enough to find, it sticks up over everything else in the basement. I presume my paints are close by.

Anyway, I got off on a tangent. If you don't know what Artomatic is it's basically a gathering of all local artists in a "found space" usually a building destined to be demolished, remodeled or recently built. Essentially a very large empty building. It's not a jurried exhibit and any artist can show...makes for some incredible stuff!! A real art free for all! Not just paintings, but sculptures, glass work, installations, dancers, musicians, everything creative you can think of! It opens tonight and runs through July 5th. Check out the calendar on their website for events:

Here are some photos from the last time I was in Artomatic (2004!):

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Kiss my boo-boo!!

It's feast or famine with me... two posts per day!!!

Our son, Peter, is two and a half years old.  He is in full investigative mode at this age - he's exploring his world.  As a result, we get lots of boobos.

Fingers pinched in doors, slammed inside boxes, and pinched in gears.  His tongue has been snapped closed in a small box.  His ear lobe got a nice little booboo when he decided the chip clip would be fun clipped there (fingers suffered that injury too).  With each instance comes the tears, the exclamation of "another boo boo again!!!"  and the request of "momma clean!" which does NOT mean to wash it off and put Neosporin on ...this makes him cry more, "Momma, clean!" means KISS it better.  I am to kiss the booboo all better.  Which of course I do.  

Hurt feelings constitute a booboo as well.  For instance, when he gets in trouble for oh say... beating the cat with a balloon, or hissing at the cat and giggling.  He'll cry after getting into trouble and say he has a booboo.  I guess, in a way, it's good he can recognize that hurt feelings are booboos too.

So today, I had a couple of requests for booboo kisses:

I come home from a doc appointment and am greeted by my son who has fresh booboos on his FACE!  I swear, I leave him with my husband for just a couple of hours and ... 

Well, it's not my husband's fault.  As you all know, we live in Washington, DC.  In fact, we live just a short 10 minute walk to the National Zoo, which is free.  So trips to the zoo are almost a daily occurence for us.  Today, my husband made a trip with our two year old to the zoo.  Peter likes to ride in his stroller and hop in and out to look the animals.  He's very, very good about letting us know he wants out and waiting for the stroller to stop before getting out.  So, we never strap him in.  Today my husband was trucking along with my son in the stroller and hit a stroller-wheel sized pot hole, the stroller came to a dead stop and ejected my son straight out of it on to his face!!!  He managed to escape the whole thing with a scrape on the chin and nothing worse.  So, another request to "Clean it" (again, this means Kiss it) came when I got home today - it seems the request can be made hours after the event.

Later on this afternoon I am changing what has to be a world record of a poop diaper when I see he has developed quite a red butt.  He's been battling some stomach issues lately and the constant poopy diapers and wiping his butt has taken its toll.  I reach for the Desitin and notice a split second too late that he actual has some broken skin...on goes the Desitin, out comes the screaming ... "Mama!!  Boo boo again!!! CLEAN IT!!"; "No, honey," I say, "Mamma can't kiss this booboo better."  "CLEAN IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"  More tears.  So, being the good mother I am... NO! I didn't kiss it... I made the kissy sound and just tapped his sore little buttocks with my finger.  Poor kid...poor me... what? you thought I'd honor my sons's request to kiss his butt?!  Trust me that's not happening now or later in life when he makes the same request as a teenager for difference reasons!   

By the way, you get some very interesting image results when you Google images for "kiss, boo boo"  so, yeah, no photo on this one.....     :|

J'adore Bento Boxes!!!

Bento Boxes are the new cool lunch boxes (think Star Wars lunch boxes of the 70s)...  These things are the cutest and I'm on the prowl to find the cutest one for my son to take to Summer Camp in July.

I'm loving this website that also offers cute matching bags and thermoses:

Cute stuff!!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I don't juggle, but I think I'm doing a good job of it

I posted this on Facebook about my day today and thought it was a good post here too:


- Get up to screaming baby, nurse him.
- Go downstairs to find hubby working and 2 year old tearing up living room.
- Ignore mess in living room and start making coffee.
- Ignore 2 year old sitting on foot and gripping leg while I walk around kitchen.
- Make waffles with two your old sitting on foot and holding leg while walk around kitchen.

~~~~drink some coffee!~~~~~~~

- Two year old tugging on shirt and constantly repeating "Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!""Go bye-bye to Zoom!" (zoom is his word for Zoo)
- Announce to family waffles are ready
- Two year old screams in joy over syrup and wakes up 2 month old
- Eat half my waffles because two year old has eaten other half

~~~~drink some MORE coffee!~~~~~~~

- Nurse baby again
- pack up kids and head to bookstore because it's raining and hubby needs quiet time to work on slides for office
- realize I'm hungry and head to Maggiano's for lunch where idiot teenager or college student tells me they don't allow strollers in the restaurant and offers to put my baby in a high chair.
- explain to idiot teenager/college student that my baby is only two months old and can not sit in a high chair yet.
- finally realize that idiot teenager/college student is not going to let me eat in the restaurant despite it being 2pm and totally empty.
- walk down to Clydes
- get crayons and books out for 2 year old to play with while I nurse the baby and eat a hamburger at the same time
- walk back to car to drive to grocery store
- arrive at store and have to use bathroom, unload both kids from shopping cart to use bathroom
- come out of bathroom to find shopping cart gone
- go back to front of store and get another cart
- get shopping done and come back to car to find some asshole has parked their minivan so close to the car that I can't get in, let alone wedge the baby & carseat in.
- security guard offers to watch the baby while I back the car out.
- get in car from passenger side and back out.
- put baby in back seat of car while asshole in SUV honks and security guard goes back to tell him to chill
- drive home
- in 10 mins it took to drive home 2 year old has fallen asleep because we missed his nap with this little outting
- sit in car and wait to let 2 year old sleep
- baby gets hungry and cries and wakes up 2 year old.
- get out of car and wait for traffic to die down enough to open car door and get screaming baby out.
- walk around to other side to get toddler, groceries and my bag out of the car
- waddle across the street holding hand of toddler and his balloon (procured at grocery store) in one hand, the car seat with screaming baby and 4 bags of groceries in the other
- get in house put away groceries (baby still screaming and hungry)
- sit on couch and nurse baby
- log on to facebook.

.... whew.....

Monday, May 25, 2009

Baker, Baker, Bake me a Cake...

I'm baaaacck!...  :) After being quiet, so to speak, for a month here I am with two posts in one day!  Woot!

So, I just posted about my parents' bday party and how I paid to have a cake made.  I was somewhat disappointed by this cake... I mean... I COULD HAVE MADE THAT CAKE!  Or so I think...So $160 for a cake that freakin' simple looking..hmmm... can I do it?  There must be a reason I was charged so much for a simingly simple cake.  

I'm putting my money where my mouth is.  It is my goal to create such a simple cake, smooth sides and hopefully the way I would've wanted it for my parents' bday and we'll see where it goes from there...

Photos to come...


Unemployed, but busy!

I've been pretty lax in posting lately.  Mostly because of, well, life!  Why has an unemployed woman been too busy to post?  Well....

I've been planning a 110th Birthday party for my parents; they turn 50 and 60 years old this month.  Their birthdays are only one day (and 10 years) apart hence the 110th bday party - cool huh?!  The party was this past Saturday and I think it was a success.  I had a cake made, I hired a group of drummers to come in (this was the coolest part of the party), and decided to bring the food in myself (can you say Costco?!).  The drum circle made the party a success, since the bulk of the guests were research scientists I was concerned they would all be a bit too reserved to join in on the drumming fun - but that was no issue at all, everyone had a blast!

THEN, my husband has been battling some work-visa issues - I think I've mentioned that he's Canadian, if not, well now you know!  So basically the renewal of his TN-visa was denied (we weren't surprised by that); it was denied a bit faster than we expected though.  We had already applied for a change in status since he's married to an American (me) and we are just waiting for that application to go through.  BUT...he's not allowed to work until either the change of status comes through or his application for a right to work comes through...whatever comes first.  So...VACATION TIME!!  

That leads to the OTHER thing I've been doing.  I've been spending time researching beach houses.  We really, really want the classic beach cottage type thing (ala old Hollywood) where you walk out your back door into the surf...I haven't been able to find anything like that on the East coast.  There are tons of cottages like that in California, however but we're not willing to fly all that way.  So, we may settle for a lake.  Still researching that one...

The other thing that has been filling my days is figuring out Paul's eating/sleeping patterns.  I guess they are still in flux, because he randomly sleeps for 6 hour stints - sometimes at night, sometimes mid-day.  I can't get this kid into a pattern for anything.  This equates to one tired mama!!

I can't be too angry with Paul though, because he's giving out the coos and smiles like crazy!  I love that he'll break into a huge smile the minute I walk into his line of sight...LOVE IT!  I haven't thought to get the camera out to catch it.  You can see my little man smile and coo at the video camera below.  We've seen him actually laugh a couple of times now too.  Mark was tickeling Peter while we were on the metro and everytime Peter laughed, so did was great!  The guy sitting behind us was very amused and kept laughing as well!  

Finally, all of this "research" is interrupted by my determination that everyday (no matter the weather) the boys and I get out of the house for some type of activity even if it's just to walk the block.  A few days ago we went to the Air and Space Museum where Peter went balistic playing in the hands on physics area.  Yeah.  He's a genius.  He'll be attending MIT for sure!  The day before that we walked to the Zoo (again).  The Zoo is by far the most requested outting.  The day before that we hit the Botanic Gardens and their kids' area courtyard again.  That was a big outting/walk.

So, life is busy in the Golden/Kushnir household.  Busy, but fun!