ABCs and Play Doh


Yesterday we tried out Play Doh for the first time.  His auntie Holly brought him some Play Doh a couple of weeks ago, and we gave him a can of it in his Easter basket.  Yesterday afternoon, it just seemed like the right time to give it a go, so we pulled out a glass cutting board surface, and I explained to him that the Play Doh only goes on that surface, and we opened up the can. 


He didn't really get the concept right away, he just kept putting it in one container after another without really squishing it.  But I formed it into letters for him to guess, and animal shapes to play with, and although he didn't go crazy with it, he did seem interested.  Success was confirmed this morning – it was the first toy he went for after his bath!


My friend Charity tagged me on one of those meme's, and I'm always a sucker for them so, here we go.  I'm supposed to "tag" a bunch of people, but I hate doing that, so join in if you'd like, and let me know if you do!

A – Age: 30

B – Bed size: King

C – Chore you hate: putting away clean laundry

D – Dog's name: we don't have a dog.  We have a cat, his name is Rumpuss (like in Cats)

E – Essential start your day item: COFFEE.  in a pretty mug, on a pretty tray, with four small powdered doughnuts on a pretty plate.

F – Favorite color: red.  no, light blue.  no, green.  no, pink.  no, red, definitely red.  Today at least.

G – Gold or Silver: don't have much of either.  not really into fancy jewelry.  its all gifts or homemade, so I guess silver.

H – Height: 5' 10"

I – Instruments you play(ed): piano since I was 5 or so through college after which I haven't had a piano to play.  I miss it very very very badly.

J – Job title: Mom, retail/online store owner, artist

K – Kid(s): 1

L – Living arrangements: Married with children at our home in Everett

M – Mom's name: Esther

N – Nicknames: don't have any at all, except from my friends at my old work.

O – Overnight hospital stay other than giving birth: None

P – Pet Peeve: Losing things, especially when it is a book or toy I want to play with and I only have a little while to do so before I have to go somewhere or Ben wakes up.

Q – Quote: Seize the moment.  Remember all those women on the Titanic who waved off the dessert cart.  ~Erma Bombeck

R – Right or left handed: Right.

S – Siblings: 2 sisters, both married.

T – Time you wake up: between 8 and 9, depending on when I went to bed

U- Underwear: Um, usually.  (Gee, some of these questions are weird.)

V – Vegetable you dislike: can't really think of any.  Artichokes, I guess.  Older ones.  I like the hearts.

W – Ways you run late: don't understand the question.  Late is late, not sure there are different ways of being late.  I am typically late because it always takes me longer to get Ben, and then thus myself, ready than I think it will.

X – X-rays you've had: spinal

Y – Yummy food you make: hm….soups, bread, flank steak, cakes, cheesecake, pastas, tea party food

Z – Zoo favorite: I haven't been to the zoo in so long, I can't remember.  i remember being very fascinated with the gorillas.  so human-like.



and I have been taking evening walks in the neighborhood, every night so long
as it isn’t pouring, and as long as it is still light.  Our neighborhood is a wonderful mix of
houses, some run down a bit, and some painstakenly cared for.  I love both kinds equally, as almost all the
homes around here are very old, and thus even when run down they have great
character.  One of the several things I
badly miss about our Snohomish home is the neighborhood.  If you’ve followed the blog at all, you’ve
heard about it before. 


At the end of the
main street of Historic Snohomish is a small cul-de-sac of old, brightly
painted historic homes.  Behind them is a
garden, all netted together, full of plants I remember from my childhood.  If you live in one of those homes, you are
part of the Neighborhood, which I learned was a small community of people that
instantly became family and friends, the kind you would have last minute dinner
parties with, drink wine outside under the stars and flower, and slap
miquitos.  Indeed, we spent a few of the
wee hours of our labor with Ben wandering our neighbors’ back yards, because it
was such a lovely and peaceful place to experience excruciating pain, and
really the best part was knowing we were welcome.



it came to buy a home, we had to move, sadly. 
We have lived in Everett now for about a year and a half, and although I
know nothing will ever be like The Neighborhood, I think this place has
potential.  There seem to be plenty of storybook
characters living around here, some new to the area, and some who have been
here longer than I’ve been alive.  We
pass by a few of them as we are taking our walks, and we are starting to build
our own neighborhood personality as we chat with them.  


It was on our walk yesterday as we were exchanging
gardening ideas with a couple who had just torn out part of their yard that I
realized that unlike Snohomish where we moved into an instant neighborhood,
here we’d have to make our own.  I have
heard enough comments from various folks to know that the desire to actually
know each others’ names and be welcome in each others’ yards is actually there,
just no one has really started working toward it yet. 


Having grown up in the middle of nowhere, I
had no neighbors, so I’m not really sure how to go about it.  Chris, of course, doesn’t have a shy bone in
his body.  He can talk to anybody, and I
mean anybody.  Me, I speak in food, among
other things.  Maybe I’ll drop off some
cookie gifts and see where it leads us….


Useless Things

Chris takes the camera to work with him almost every day, so I don't
often get a chance these days to snap many shots.  He did leave it
yesterday, though, and I took some random pics of our morning.


Ben was working very hard, as usual.


I was not.


I have started painting again, a bit.  Nothing fancy or museum worthy, but fun things that bring out that child-like spirit that has very unfortunately been buried lately under adult concerns.

My mother told us a couple weeks ago that we were living a wretched existence (I love my mom).  And at that moment, she was right.  We have this tendency to run around like chickens with our head's cut off whenever life gets a little tough, as if our sheer effort is going to make the difference.  Every single time we do that, sacrificing everything from time with each other to sleep to even eating, we suffer worse than the original problems in the first place, so I can't really figure out why we end up doing it again later.  Silly us.


But, that's what friends and moms are for, to tell us when we are being idiots.  So, lately I've been spending a little bit of each day (naptime) doing some completely useless things, to relieve myself from having spent so much time doing useful things.  Well, when I say "useless" in this context, I mean things that don't have anything to do with any of our businesses, or cleaning the house, or things like that.  I think the things I am doing ARE useful, but in more personal ways, like, um, helping me to not go insane.  Insane in this context just isn't a good thing, so the other day I painted an elephant.  Yesterday I painted a house and put glitter on its roof.  Today…well, today I'm blogging.  During naptime I may actually get outside and plant my flowers before they decide that the little 4 inch plastic containers they came in are their permanent homes, and die out of misery…

What we’re watching


Tonight we're watching Cirque du Soleil's Varekai before Ben's bedtime.  We don't have a TV, and haven't used our cable service since moving in here a year and half ago, so we really don't watch any TV.  However, we have a few concert-type DVDs that we do love to watch, Cirque du Soleil being one of them.  We have a projector that blows it up on our wall, and it takes up the whole wall.  This is right across from two large windows that face the street, so anyone that drives by gets glimpses of really rather interesting characters.  The Skywatcher is one of our favorites.


He is one of the "clowns" of the show, and always reminds me of my friend Evan.  Not that my friend typically wears grass pants or walks around in an oversized hampster ball, but I just imagine that he could play The Skywalker's kind of character.  (Sorry, Evan – but it really is a compliment!  The act is very good and fun).

I think what Ben likes the most about these shows (we have three) is the music.  He has responded to music from the moment he was born, and has been dancing since before he could walk.  He'd lay on the floor on his tummy, bouncing and slapping to the music (often he even claps to the right time).  Not long after he learned to walk, then run, he added jumping to his musical routine.  He responds most especially in this respect to the group Celtic Woman, specifically the fiddle player, Maidread.


The moment she comes out and starts playing, he is spinning, waving his arms, and jumping into the air, not unlike what I imagine primitive tribal dances to be.  I've considered videoing this reacting and emailing it over to them to see what a big little fan they have, which I really won't, but I'd still love to get it captured for our own watching later.  His joy at the music is so sincere and uninhibited, I always think of that famous "…dance like no one is watching…" quote.  How wonderful to be a child, not even remotely concerned about what other people must think you look like, as you're dancing to your heart's content.  We could all learn a lesson from that, I guess.

Anyway, I really just meant to pop in and say hi, and share what we were watching tonight.  We never get sick of these concerts, though we watch them over and over.  It is our evening wind-down time.  Sometimes we sit and watch, and sometimes we play.  And, of course, we always dance… (Though I'm always sure to close the blinds first).