Wednesday, February 28, 2007

These are all things Ori loves to do...sometimes at once ;) From E's list on her blog. Thanks E! I've added some of our own.
kneeding dough
bath time
sink time
reading books
cutting paper/pictures out of magazines
playing/gluing/stringing noodles
computer games
short walks
playing train
building forts
music games (like Freeze)
basketball with stuffed animals and a laundry basket
edible playdough - marzipan and food coloring
hide and seek (sort of)
nesting blocks
play food
tossing around a soft ball
dump salt
spoon rice
pour rice/corn kernels
eat eat eat eat eat!
sand play
snow play
rocking horse
climb (on the furniture)
make pancakes
handprint the windows
blow out candles/matches
cut with scissor

And this from A's blog: Thanks A!

Copy it into your own blog, erase my answers & write your own....then leave me a comment & I'll come read your ABC's! It's kinda fun.

1. A is for age: 39

2. B is for beer of choice: Pumpkin Spice

3. C is for career right now: SAHM, writer, coop coordinator (babysitting, food), Girl Scout volunteer (is that a CAREER? I spend a lot of time doing it!).

4. D is for your dog's name? Zami

5. E is for essential item you use everyday: toilet

6. F is for favorite TV show at the moment? none.

7. G is for favorite game: Crib

8. H is for Home town: Larchmont

9. I is for instruments you play? Conga drum

10. J is for favorite juice: carrot-apple

11. K is for whose butt you'd like to kick: I try not to be like that.

12. L is for last place you ate: at home

13. M is for marriage: yes

14. N is for your full name: Andrea Susan

15. O is for overnight hospital stays: yah, a few

16. P is for people you were with today: Both my kids, Jeanne Wilson, The Walter's kids (2 of them anyway), my husband for about 20 min.

17. Q is for quote: It doesn't matter how many say it cannot be done or how many people have tried it before; it's important to realize that whatever you're doing, it's your first attempt at it.
Author: Wally Amos American Businessman, Founder, Famous Amos Cookies

18. R is for Biggest Regret: That I didn't finish my PhD.

19. S is for status: In transition.

20. T is for time you woke up today: 6:32

21. U is for underwear you have on now: Black

22. V is for vegetable you love: Avocado, carrots

23. W is for worst habit: anything with chocolate in it, too harsh a critic, underestimating myself.

24. X is for x-rays you've had: mostly knee, spine and I had a TB x-ray.

25. Y is for yummy food you ate today: French dark chocolate. Tea. Broccoli frittata

26. Z is for zodiac sign? Aries.

Current mood: copycat

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Feb 2 2007

Feb 2 2007
Originally uploaded by newandytree1.
A big smooch from Ori to Chiara. Awwwww.... My little lothario!

I got the blues

this from J's blog. Thanks J!


You give your love and friendship unconditionally. You enjoy long, thoughtful conversations rich in philosophy and spirituality. You are very loyal and intuitive.

Find out your color at!

Blue's Good!

Ori's much better - we've been through about 4 days of no sleep and bad coughing. Hopefully that's it for the winter for the little fella! It seems he's been sick more often in his 2 years than Beca in all her eight! I guess that's just par for the birth order.

Vacation week - Beca has had a really nice break. She is off skiing at Butternut today, lucky kid! They get 40F weather, dry roads, and an awesome snowpack. Can you tell I'm somewhat jealous!? Nah, I wouldn't trade a sick day with my Ori for anything. ;-)

Friday, February 16, 2007

Train time?

Perhaps it's time. I had thought to wait, a bit. I thought he'd make it to three before needing it, before we had to clear space, make time, build and scrounge and reorganize. But I think Ori needs a train table. It's clear that having something at his own height would help him, and maybe JAC can build him something useful this weekend. But even if he can't, even if we do end up having to buy him something, I think it's sensible to get some furniture that he can really relate to, and make his day better. He's really got just this incredible amount of energy, running laps (11 before dinner), needing to be held and tickled and wrastled and vigilantly attended to. SO - we start on soemthing this weekend, and hopefully before the end of winter he has something!

In other news...

Beca has passed her 2nd white belt test, so will be wearing double stripes for the next couple of months while she learns the next katas. Yay Beca!

I've reconnected with the writing group I joined last fall, and I'm VERY excited! We meet next on Thursday. Yay Andy!

Ori is getting a nasty cold, I can just tell. He's up again now, so off I run. 24/7 the job is never done.

Current mood: sensitively aware

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Snow what's happening!?

Well it's finally come our way...SNOW! It's wet and cold and gloriously white and fluffy. Ahhhh - the kids were out in it for hours today! Ori had a wonderful time, although he did get cranky eventually. The snow is deep enough that he really had trouble walking in it (the 47 layers didn't help much, either!), and when he fell he couldn't get up.
Beca was great with him, enjoying his wonderment. Then she and the other kids went off to play, without a second thought for the struggling little toddler down the road a ways, slow and red faced and whiney. So he and I blew snow. Our snow, road snow, the Reeds snow. Didn't matter much! We both enjoyed it. That was at about 12:30. By 4pm you couldn't tell it had been blown (or shovelled) and the drifts were above Ori's head! Yippeeee! Tomorrow I'll take him and Zami over to the round-about and see about some sledding. :D Other gratis snow pictures:

The first is at about noon, the second at about 4pm. It looks darker than it was in that picture. I used the flash (which made the light on the car reflect and seem as if it was on, but that truck hasn't been started since August!), and a high ASA, next time I'll try the night feature on the camera. D'oh!

Our meal planning is working wonderfully! I love this site, with all their recipes (I still use the internet and my own stuff too, but they have all the basics right there for me), and other tools for healthy eating. I think we eat mostly the same, but being able to look at the menu over a week, month etc. allows me to really see where we're deficient. I think we should be eating more fish than we do, right now it's about 1x/week, and I think twice a week would be better. Anyway, it's a lot of fun to use, and is helping keep me organized!

In other news, JAC sent me an email about a good job (for him) that is in Banff! Woohoo! We'd both really like to get back to Canada, perhaps a bit further west than Banff, but that's a really nice little town, and the skiing is phenomenal! If Beca shows any promise of improvement, it might be worth looking into ski team for her (although it's a LOT of schlepping!). Living somewhere there are lots of kids doing that might be more motivating for her. He hasn't applied, and I'm not sure he will, but it's a start, anyway! He's really quite happy with his position here, although I think he'd like to be doing more actual research than he is able to do right now. Hopefully he'll be able to slide more of that into his future schedule.

Lisa had a boy! We've all had fun lurking at DeadFrog waiting to hear. Once I heard there was a storm coming, I knew he'd be born. Such a baby thing to do! Get themselves born when no one can move their cars lol! Beautiful home birth, by the sounds of it.

Current mood: snuggly and happy

Monday, February 12, 2007

Hey – I took this cool personality test today, this is what it had to say. Interesting…

I am direct, self-reliant, self-confident, and protective.
How to get along with me:
Stand up for yourself... and me.
Be confident, strong, and direct.
Don't gossip about me or betray my trust.
Be vulnerable and share your feelings. See and acknowledge my tender, vulnerable side.
Give me space to be alone.
Acknowledge the contributions I make, but don't flatter me.
I often speak in an assertive way. Don't automatically assume it's a personal attack.
When I scream, curse, and stomp around, try to remember that's just the way I am.

There are some things that you love about me:
being independent and self-reliant
being able to take charge and meet challenges head on
being courageous, straightforward, and honest
getting all the enjoyment I can out of life
supporting, empowering, and protecting those close to me
upholding just causes

There are some things that are Hard about me:
I can overwhelm people with my bluntness; scare them away when I don't intend to.
I am often restless and impatient with others' incompetence
And frequently never forget injuries or injustices.
I put too much pressure on myself and tend to get high blood pressure when things don't go right

I am truly loyal, caring, involved, and devoted which doesn’t mean I can’t sometimes be overprotective, demanding, controlling, and rigid.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Working for a living

We've both, JAC and I, been working on the house. I've painted up the bedroom, almost finished now. And he's re-piped the upstairs pipes that go through the kitchen so that we can vent the stove outside. BIG job made bigger by recalcitrant pipes and even more reticent water in the pipes. So now we have these:
Which took two trips to the hardware store and many many hours, and a very sore thumb from swatting at things in frustration. Poor JAC. Although I got less done in the paint department, it was seriously less frustrating. I had kids only for a small part of it, while he had kids for nearly all his work, and I got to watch season two of Northern Exposure during mine. Part of the painting operation has included restructuring of the room, including setting up the dvd player we've had for several months (on sale at Best Buy just after x-mas) and clearing out a lot of garbage that hadn't seen light in 2 or more years. Clearly not going to be missed!

So although we'd paid for today, we didn't go skiing. B was disapointed, but I just did not want to commit to a whole day on the slopes when I'd already taken the room apart (but not put back together) and JAC had the pipes in disarray and no water in the whole house to deal with. So we skipped skiing and instead she played at Merishka's and did this:
Feeling a bit sad for herself, eh? Well, she mostly got away with not working on her math homework, and watching silly TV shows like the cooking channel and Real Simple on PBS. Poor thing. :P

Today was easier to live in the moment, harder to let the moments pass. My children are growing up and away before my eyes...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

In the moment

My thoughts tend toward the patchyness of the snow on the lawn, the patches of ice along the edge of the road, waiting to grab my tires when I move aaaaall the way over for a car taking up 53% of the road, toward friendships that seem less than solid, but prove to have the unbelievable strength of a guatamalan hammock. I find myself waking up at 1:48am to march downstairs, turn off our computer. The interesting part is that none of this brings me actual pleasure - but I live in the moment. There is no ease in living in the moment, many moments of my day. I find tremendous pleasure in looking back upon the mountain of laundry that is now clean and folded and packed into 3 large hip-hugger baskets. I look forward to Rebecca's piano recital, and to skiing this weekend (assuming it warms up a few degrees). I think about large drifts of snow, that wonderous crunch underfoot walking the dog under stars that are just the exact same size as the snowflakes landing upon my glasses lense. But picking up the turds that he drops? The endless messes that I am not only on my hands and knees laboring over, but the ones I can satisfactorily think back upon, or grieve over, and those that I can hear occurring in a room I can't be in while I rock rhythmically, eyes closed, thinking my own personal thoughts, until I remember I'm slopping up honey nut cheerios into the dustpan. Living in the moment is often difficult.

Late in the afternoon, things seem to come to a head. The girl is home from school, the boy is awake from his nap. She is often tired and hungry and has no interest in homework or anything requiring her to plant herself anywhere for more than 4 minutes at a time. He is often grumpy and hungry and has no interest in anything that might require him to plant himself by himself for more than 4 minutes at a time. Therefore, I rarely get 4 minutes to myself between 4 and 8pm. Unless I have someplace to be; meeting, perhaps. Or a class that I can't take because there is no guarantee that I will make it to the next meeting. My increasing commitments to guiding, to the co-op, and to myself make this not impossible, but difficult. However, occasionally I can slip away from him, and from her, for a few hours. And in that time, I do enjoy the minutes, the moments, and the minutae of being me in a time, and a place, that also has him, and her, and them. It makes me feel glad to be, glad to have my own body, satisfied that my being me is of benefit to someone, right now.

Jerry has morning bus duty. I make the lunch the night before (usually), and leave it in the fridge. I sneak off into O's room early, when he wakes - usually sometime between 4 and 6am. I close the door quietly, and later, at just before 7am, I can hear the heavy tred of my sweet and very hard working partner clomp down the hallway and down each of the 13 stairs to the main floor. There he will wash the dishes left over from the night before, bang some pots, slam some cabinets, clink some glassware. He also makes some oatmeal, hot and delicious, loads it up with organic sugar and milk, and he and she (who has tred almost silently down the hall after pretending to brush her teeth and neglecting to wash her face) will sit together in that early morning moment and pass father - daughter secrets. The moment passes quickly, a few minutes at most, and then the yellow metal of every child's dreams, or nightmares, rolls up with lights flashing, and out she flies, from the mouth of our garage, down the glissade of the driveway and into the mawl of the bus and into her own moments that are separate forever from ours. We miss her every minute, until she is home, when we don't miss her, we are simply with her.

This laptop is runing out of juice, and though I am enjoying this moment, it's late and time for the moment to move into the bed.

Mood: thoughtful.

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Winter hues

Refusing to be bogged into the blues by habituation, I am truly enjoying random acts of weirdness that keep us uplifted these dark days. Moon sand, though messy, is a fun and liberating toyaster.
A good day to do it is the day AFTER you've washed all your vacuum filters, not that same day. Lesson learned. Ori doesn't speak well of it's taste, but even he got into shaping it in the little molds we found hither and yon - hither being the easy bake oven, yon being all over the kitchen. Beca has been thinking about and working on her story for the Reading Rainbow contest (6 weeks and counting). Very good for HER! And I - I got Adobe Photoshop idiot's edition and have been playing around with it. Still (after all these years) too much the goof and never enough of the hard core editor in it for me, it's a lot easier than some of the stuff I've been sketching with, and a TON more productive. Now to figure out some interesting ways of using it...

We've gotten some good skiing in, and give our thanks and mechanical prayers that the snowmakers keep doing their metalically snowy thing! The coverage is not bad, though the lower mountains don't have much in the way of trail variety. Typical to east coast fashion, the trails are blazing in the AM and icy in the PM. Ah well...once you've got the turn-twist-slow-recover move down, it's a snap.

JAC is MUCH better. Still coughing sporadically, I think he's really and truly over the hump on this viral episplemetic. And we are all otherwise extremely healthy! YAY! I'd like for us to enjoy it for a WHILE, now...sigh. Knowing all too well that between toddler time and art class, we're bound and determined to catch some new invasive.

On the needles is the tanklet in Patagonian cotton for Beca. I couldn't find a terrific trim, so I got a terrific color in a merino that will be soft for her, and not stretch out - which is for me, of course! I finished the caliometry in the varigated felting wool, and it's lovely!
If it felts well, I'll send it on to Jo-Anne (to whom I can never ever repay knitting debts for that georgeous sweater set for O last year!). I think it will look smashing on the beach with the wind whipping in from White Rock, and it will help her keep an eye on her ever growing pack of he-wolves! Oh how I miss you guys! Next is either a bag for me...I'd really like that...or more likely longies for Ori.

The weather is cold cold cold again. I'm not going to complain, this is the warmest winter on record here, I think. Certainly the least precip (of COURSE it is! The Bilzzak's are just pining away for snow), and again, you won't hear a hint of complaint about that either. Anymore. I mean again. Cough cough. I should really go gargle, something is stuck in my throat...

Mary and Bob have returned safely from St. Johns, tanned and relaxed. Bob never even returned my call today. Huh. I suppose Winnie deserved a good long walk in the park, and perhaps there was a letter or two needing some attention. But OH! The rejection. :D Good thing I really had nothing of great excitement to share!

WHMS is looking good for next year. Well, from our perspective, anyway. Andrew is, I think, a much tougher teacher than Sandy (or heaven's above, than Julie, the smooshmallow teacher of the year! Who doesn't love a smooshmallow teacher!). Tim has moved on to Math classes of more import, and Olga is filling in for the remainder of the year. Beca doesn't like Andrew or Olga, or Sandy either. All of them have deigned to "speak" with her about getting her work done, and sitting still for 10 or more minutes consecutively. Well, so be it. I think she is learning a ton right now (absorbant mind or no), and is now working on compound multiplication problems and fractions (though early stages there, yet), sentance deconstruction and she finished her Rhino project right in the nick of time. It looks darned good! I helped her with her essay, but hardly at all with her diorama. And I'm glad. Although she still brings it up occasionally, I can't really see her happy in a public school at this point, she is still unable to self-guide or achieve task completion without adult supervision. Hopefully next year's bigger class will help her to find her 'place' and build some social esteem. It's all in her control now.

Ori is doing wonderfully! He is two with a vengence, and his vocabulary seems to double weekly. Today, in trying to coax a bit more food down him at dinner, he said "No thanks. You eat it. You eat it mama." And I did. And he asked "Is it good?" And I said "Yes. It's very good." (it was) So he took back his fork and said "Ok, I'll eat some." And he did. Imagine my surprise! He will leave things around, take them apart, and certainly climb and open anything to see what's to be found. But when asked, he quite obediently will put things away, or try to put them back together, and will always stop when asked. He's a bit sly - he'll stop and wait inconspicuously until there's a quiet moment, and then - even half an hour or an hour later - he'll be back on top of the chair trying to open the drawers above the computer table! So keeping an eye on him has truly turned into a full time job. He's made a teency bit of progress with potty learning, going in the potty (pee and poop) when asked. But he hasn't yet taken the feeling of having to go to the potty and put it together with actually sitting his sweet smelling little tush onto the potty.

In other news: Naja had her baby (a girl!), and Lisa hasn't. Brig and I are considering Aikido classes ourselves, or a digital photoraphy class (if there's still room). There's an incredible writing workshop in Troy on the 3rd or 4th of March, which - if it's the 3rd is out, but if it's the 4th is a possibility for me. :D Keep your fingers crossed!

Enough from me - keep warm out there and send some snow, if you have any to spare (NOT complaining lol!). Peace all...

Current mood: uplifted