Saturday, February 27, 2010

Tea Party in the Non Pejorative Sense

Starbucks is problematic in a lot of ways but they do make very nice mugs. A few years ago I fell in love with a set and ran around to the various Oakland/Bloomfield Starbucks snapping them up when they hit the sale table. I ended up with a set of 6 and 3 little tiny ones that came filled with that hard candy no one eats

That should tell you I have a weakness for china and the like. Last year I found a fantastic Lustreware teapot in one of the strange thriftstores around West Penn. I think I got it for $3 or something insane like that.

Today was the day to get them out and have Hot Chocolate with the boy

He wasn't too sure at first--he had a bad hot chocolate experience when he was drinking from a bottle (Physics: not my area of expertise). He finally tried it, tho and then got really into me pouring more for him. I didn't capture it in these photos but the little tiny rim of his cup gave him a fantastic Salvador Dali Hot Chocolate Moustache.

A few cups into our party, he got up from the table, ran out of the room and came back wearing this:
Sometimes you get a little sign that you're raising your kid right.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snowday #5 Continued: An Invitation to the Donner Party

Considering this was the 5th (6th? 7th?) day Donny and I have been trapped in the house together, its amazing I held out this long. A couple of weeks ago I took the boy to Super Cuts where he's gotten some good haircuts fairly cheap. I'm trying to get out of the habit of longwinded bitching so let me just say this last time I took him they were understaffed, had quoted me an appointment time that was an hour and a half off and, by the time I put him in the stylist's chair he was not having it. Plus, I don't need some 20 something chippy giving my kid a sucker and then yanking it out of his mouth saying, "Oh no. I don't play that--you only get the sucker if you're good."

I'll stop now.

ANYhow, I spent a little time during the kid's nap looking up advice online about how to cut his hair. I watched a couple of videos and it seemed like something I could do. And, really: how much worse could it look?

Here is Donovan with the prerequisite bribe: a sucker. The sucker is a good bribe for many things but haircuts? I had to rinse it off 3 different times because it got so much hair on it.

The boy was not happy. In fact, at the very end, I had to get him in a headlock so I could make sure that BOTH ears were cut out as opposed to just one. One is much more neatly done but at least he won't look quite as lopsided.
It's not done--there was no way I was going to get the front without him going grande mal tantrum on me--but I must say it looks a sight better than it did when we started.

I have half a mind to mail that Super Cuts stylist the hairy sucker.

I gave him the traditional apres trim shower to get off all the little tiny hairs and that seemed to retore his good mood

If this snow doesn't abate soon, he and I are going to end up giving each other manicures. Or I'll make him a pageant gown out of vintage table linens and teach him how to sing, "I Want to Be a Cowboy's Sweetheart."

Snowday: 5 for 5!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Rosetta Stone?

Donovan has been talking alot more. Not that we've been able to figure out what he's saying, but he's been a classic chatterbox for the past month or so.

Last night I had first shift (as Mike and I call it) and was laying down with the kid in our bed before taking him to his. We were laying in the dark and he was prattling away when I heard him say, "edamame." A lightbulb went off and I realized he was talking about what he'd had for dinner. When I asked what else he'd had he said, "Hmmm...cheese!" Which is true. Once I cracked the code I was able to tease out a number of topics from the babbling, including the fact that he had eaten cookies, he came upstairs with Mama, Daddy was downstairs, he and Mama were in the big bed and Mama had taken her glasses off. After a little while I put him in his crib and he ended up fussing so much that Mike took over. He had the same experience but he noticed that Donny was linking all his thoughts together with, "and then..." which, to me, is super exciting. Actual conversation! Bring it on, kid, bring it on!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Snowday #3

Note the kid's hair helmet. Last time we went to get it cut, it was a bad scene. Plans of a second try were thwarted by snow. I may need to either 1) cut it my own damn self or 2) train it into those long Fauntleroy curls boy used to have back when they wore dresses. My Dad used to tell a story I never really understood about having those curls when he went to school and having to go outside and pee on the coal pile because everyone thought he was a girl and would'nt let him in the boy's bathroom. I guess it makes sense now that I'm 43 but, as a 7 year old getting that as a bedtime story from her Dad at 11:30pm when he got home from working second shift, it was confusing...

Monday, February 8, 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010


The weather reporters in Pittsburgh are known for their doomsday takes on just about everything. Its very much a War of the Worlds type thing, but in the form of a five day forecast. My conspiracy theory is that they know there is a high concentration of old people in Pittsburgh and old people tend to take the weather reports very seriously. Thus, not being all that old, I usually listen to the weather and then cut their forecasts in half.

This time, tho, it actually was doomsday. The snow started yesterday and when we woke up today, it was ENORMOUS. I have'nt seen snow like this since I was a kid in Ohio--easily 2 feet of undrifted piles and piles of snow. The birdbath next door looked like there was a huge coconut cake sitting on it. And you couldnt open the frontdoor all the way for all the snow on the porch.

Whole Foods was closed so all three of us got to have a snow day. It turned out to be very traditionally gendered: I cooked, baked and cleaned, Mike shoveled the snow and took the boy out to play. Which was fine with me, since I had a cold from walking thru the snow last night. Here are some shots from Snowpocolypse 2010 on Polish Hill:

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dang--Where Was I Going?...

God Lord but its been awhile! My apologies.

Since the last time I wrote a whole lot has happened--namely, Donovan was accepted into the Pittsburgh Montessori PreK Program. That is the only magnet Pre-K program in all of the Pittsburgh School District.

Now that I'm typing this, I'm wondering if I've blogged about it already or just told so many people that it seems like everyone should know. In case I'm repeating myself here I'll just touch on the major points 1) its an excellent program 2) in a beautiful old school building 3) in a lovely neighborhood near Sheryl's restaurant and down the street from Mike's store, plus 4) ITS FREE!!! Oh, Be Joyful, its FREE. Come September I will stop writing a check for EXACTLY HALF OF MY TAKE HOME PAY to Waldorf. Don't get me wrong, Waldorf. We love you, we really, really do. But honestly, what do you expect? We've got bills to pay, honey, its not you, its us.

So Donovan starts Montessori in September and finishes his first phase of (also free) occupational and speech therapy come his birthday in April. The next phase will just be speech therapy and will continue over the summer and into his schooltime.

He's talking really well, tho still not really making conversation. He is making jokes, however. I've been trying to teach him to say "Yes, Mother Dear" but he will only reply, "NO Mother DEEEEEEAAAAR!" The bolding of that word was to imply that he shrieks it very high and shrill. May not sound funny but his timing is pretty sharp.

I personally have some schemes that I'm scheming that, if luck is on my side, may lead to some nice changes. Sorry to be so cagey but its a little early to give too many details--and, no, its not another kid so you can dispense with that theory. Unless perhaps you'd like to have the Gestational Diabetes for me. Then we can talk. ANYhow, one thing I will divulge is that 2010 is the year of trying to live Frugally. Or Downshifting. Or Voluntary Simplicity. Or whatever you want to call it. I'm trying to figure out how to get more out of life, cut down on stress and not spend as much money as stupidly as I've been known to do in the past. With the exception of last night when the premenstrual craving for a buffalo chicken pizza proved too strong, I've been doing well. Mike's in all this with me but he's already very frugal so he's being supportive and I'm being radical. Kind of like I'm Emma Goldman and he's Alexander Berkman. Sort of.

Speaking of anarchist farming collectives, here are some photos of the kid playing with The Funny Farm, a belated but now beloved Christmas gift from his Aunt Shirley and Uncle Becky"a/>