Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Monday, July 27, 2009
Sunday, July 26, 2009
1:38 PM D had an accident in the living room.
5:15 PM D had an accident in the dining room, right after a too-fast trip to the bathroom.
To paraphrase a movie quote, we're going to need a bigger spray bottle of Resolve.
7:15 PM D had wet underpants, but managed to run to the potty to finish the job. His jeans stayed dry and there were no carpet puddles. Progress?
Saturday, July 25, 2009
Friday, July 24, 2009
In other "birds and bees" news, C had a pretty good answer for D when he asked her what an anther was. She learned a bunch at her garden camp in June.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Earlier today, C did physical therapy. The therapist reports that she has made a lot of progress and has met a number of goals. We'll make further plans in August.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Sunday, July 19, 2009
My cake back in June was chocolate orange, which inspired C to ask for chocolate mint. My husband and D did the work Friday while C and I were having a playdate at the children's museum. The base was the Hershey's Perfect Chocolate Cake recipe. They cut up chocolate mint patties and put them in the batter. Removing the cake layers from the pans was predictably difficult, especially given the gooiness of chocolate mint cake. As always, frosting covers a multitude of sins. (This was just plain fudgy chocolate frosting. My husband was trying to avoid excess mintiness.) C's chosen decoration for the top was the number 7 formed from green and white starlight mints. It was absolutely gorgeous, it tasted fabulous with the 1905 Vanilla, and I only wish there was more left.
Friday, July 17, 2009
Thursday, July 16, 2009
Having done our duty and seen all there was to see of the special events, the kids typed on mechanical typewriters, played with rubber stamps and visited with (i.e. annoyed) a molting iguana and a bullsnake. We also spent a long time outside the butterfly room. In over two years of being here, this was the most spectacular day I've ever seen at the butterfly room. There were caterpillars, chrysalises, and butterflies (monarchs, swallowtails, etc.) in great profusion.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
The only bright side to all of this is that after you first outfit a child, it's never going to be that expensive again all at once. From here on out, I'll be able to just fill in an outgrown item here and there for D, just as I already do for C.
Monday, July 13, 2009
I still love the historic neighborhood (particularly all the 1920s houses), but I'd like to live closer to campus. Unfortunately, the faculty neighborhood that I'm thinking of rarely has houses for sale and the last time there were houses for sale, they were about twice as much as I would like to pay.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
More seriously, on the previous Sunday at our own parish we had an Indian missionary priest (himself Indian) who talked about Catholics' work in India fighting the dowry system and trying to make sure that girls are educated as well as efforts to educate poorer Indians about their legal rights. Violent Hindu extremism is also an issue.
Today C and I went to the college gym again and C got to go up the vast three-story tall indoor climbing rock. She wore a harness and was tied to a staffer who was tied to the floor and she did very well. She had several tries and eventually went up something like 6-8 feet. She also had a couple of thrilling swings when she lost hold of the wall and went sailing across the rock face like a clock pendulum. She didn't like that, but she kept going.
Friday, July 10, 2009
Thursday, July 9, 2009
Wednesday, July 8, 2009
In other book news, I'd like to put in a plug for the American Girl library of how-to books. I'm glad to have escaped the gravitational pull of the American Girl doll empire, but I really like their nonfiction titles. We're working on friendship and social interaction skills with C, and we've gotten into a routine where I read to her from some book on the subject and we discuss it while I wash her hair (always a major undertaking). I've read her Laurie Krasny Brown and Marc Brown's How to Be a Friend (it's a kids' book with cartoons of dinosaurs), parts of Fred Frankel's Good Friends are Hard to Find, all of American Girl's Friends: Making Them & Keeping Them, and parts of American Girl's Smart Girl's Guide to Manners. I've also just ordered an American Girl book on doing well at school and I'm hoping that it will help C get off on the right foot with her 2nd grade teacher.
"I don't want to come back," she said after the lesson. That didn't surprise me. What did surprise me was the end of the sentence. "...next year." She's willing to accept the idea that she's in the class this summer and that she needs to stick with it. That's amazing progress. Incidentally, I picked up a flyer. Apparently, for $175, you can get a birthday package rental of a pavilion at the water park, 10 admissions, cake, ice cream sandwiches, pizza or hot dogs, drinks, a party hostess, etc. It sounds absolutely glorious. I've told C that she can have her party there next year if she can swim. She's interested, but unsure if she'll be able to swim.
Speaking of progress, I drove across town and out to the water park yesterday with the help of my husband and our GPS.
Monday, July 6, 2009
Patterns of Home is by the same three architects (Jacobson, Silverstein and Winslow) who produced the classic work A Pattern Language and it's supposed to be a streamlined update of that work. The "ten essentials" are: inhabiting the site, creating rooms outside and inside, sheltering roof, capturing light, proportion, flow, private edges/common core, refuge and outlook, places in between (which in my opinion repeats both private edges/common core and refuge and outlook) and composing with materials. On my first reading, I felt disappointed by the book, but I'm warming up to it as I skim through it again. I think the principles are very good, but the houses chosen to illustrate them don't always manage to. The beginning of the roof section is particularly unfortunate. It's full of exterior shots of busy rooflines and interior shots of cavernous rooms with the sort of soaring beamed ceilings that always make me think of winter heating bills and cobwebs. I'm glad I have the book, but any Susanka book will give you more consistently appealing photos.
What about The Farmhouse? With a lot of other books, I think "This is pretty, but it isn't my house and I don't belong there," but this book and these houses speak to me. There's something wonderfully elemental about the farmhouse. Farmhouses have clean, simple lines and uncomplicated floorplans but are very traditional. They are warm and welcoming with surfaces and floorplan that are oriented toward function. Interestingly, the stuff that I like about these American farmhouses is very similar to what I like about the Scandinavian homes that I've seen on the blogroll at thekitchendesigner.org.
The swim course was supposed to start today but we woke this morning to thunder and rain. The class today was canceled. That's the bad news. The good news is that it's 77 degrees outside now and we got free water for the lawn.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Oh, and he made lemon muffins last night and we watched Gran Torino.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
- flour tortillas
- bread machine white bread
- traditional challah bread
- pizza dough
So those are the recipes that HEB thinks will appeal to English-speaking Texan buyers of inexpensive bread flour. It is true that my husband wants to learn to make both tortillas and Indian nan, but I'm not sure that he's the demographic they have in mind.
While I'm talking about HEB, I'd like to rave a bit about their vintage-looking Texas-themed facial tissue boxes. They sell various facial tissue boxes with cowboys and horses and bluebonnets and old-time seed packages. They're the most beautiful disposable thing I've ever bought and I hope they keep making them.