Books of 2012: Reading Can Be Fun!

Fiction:
Divergent by Veronica Roth
Insurgent by Veronica Roth
Legend by Marie Lu
Pattern Recognition by William Gibson
World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks
Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn
Prodigal Summer by Barbara Kingsolver
Roots by Alex Haley
War of the Worlds by HG Wells
The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
Lillith’s Brood by Octavia Butler
Year of Wonders by Geraldine Brooks

Graphic Novels:
The Walking Dead Book 3
The Walking Dead Book 4
The Walking Dead Book 5

Nonfiction:
The Town that Food Saved by Ben Hewitt

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Move, Moving, Moved

So far, it’s been one hell of a year: birthdays, graduation, new job, cross-country move…you name, we’ve pretty much experienced it this year.

Now, after 2000 miles in a car with sick kids and anxious cats, we’re somewhat moved into a house in Montpelier. Josh busted his ass for 3 days and got all of our stuff in the house, but the kitchen is still in the middle of a renovation and it hasn’t had the past tenants dirt scrubbed from the bones. As a result, it’s been a slow, frustrating, expensive move-in. That said, the kids are settling in after having their world packed up and moved, and we may get a moment of respite in July when I’m between teaching gigs (a few weeks that I fully plan on enjoying).

As soon as I get my new camera lens (the old one broke days before the move), I’ll document some of our adventure. In the meantime, however, here are the highlights from the last few weeks:

Sleeping boys (beneath the piece of couch that never made it into the trailer).

  • Saying goodbye to Colorado and all those we love there.
  • Leaving while Eames is in the middle of the stomach flu. Diarrhea and road trips do not go together.
  • Having to hold Nico down to wash the poop off of him on the side of the highway. Twice.
  • Renting a motel room next a pimp and his girl in Davenport, IA.
  • Seeing Niagara Falls for the first time.
  • Watching Dashiell take his first real steps in Nebraska.
  • Jumping and wondering if I left a kid on top of the car or cut someone off every time another car honked at us. Thanks for the “Honk! Just Married” prompt on the side of the car, Rileys.
  • Saying goodbye to my Grandpa.
  • Staying with new friends while we wait for out place to open. And hoping our children don’t burn down the house in the process.
  • Unloading box after box after box and listening to Eames exclaim, “Whoa!!!!” as his old toys begin to reappear.
  • Showering after several days of moving with no working shower.
  • Seeing “Prometheus” and getting drinks at our new local bar for our honeymoon (thanks, Jill!).
  • Discovering wild strawberries in our backyard.
  • Noticing the silence of Vermont nights.
  • Seeing my very first firefly (which really do look like the ones in Pirates of the Caribbean).

Consider this blog post a “hello again, old friend.” Though I’ve been slacking thus far, I hope to document my new job, our new town, and our discovery of the East here regularly as these boys and I settle in our new life.

P.S. You may call me doctor.

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Seattle: The Food

Even though it’s been a few weeks, I do want to talk about our trip to Seattle. I only just got around to uploading the pictures from my camera and even that caused me undue stress, because I kept thinking that there were eighteen other things I should be doing. But tonight I am the sole adult in the house, and, though I wanted to get a bunch of cleaning done, I am instead doing what I feel like doing which is not much of anything really.

Heckler and Matt: Best Hosts Ever.

Speaking of adult time, our wonderful neighbors (with the help of Patty) watched the boys, so Josh could go to Seattle with me and it felt amazing to feel like just a couple again. Despite missing the kids deeply the first two days, I settled in and enjoyed our time. The food helped. How did I not know that Seattle has food to rival San Francisco? While I failed to get pictures at Pan Africa Market, Poppy, Japonessa, Wayward Cafe, and Pike Place Chowder, they were all well worth seeking out. Japonesse is in the heart of downtown and any visitor there should ask for the green roll. It’s not on the menu, but it’s vegan and absolutely delicious. My only complaint is that the roll is slightly too big, but it stayed together well, the rice was seasoned perfectly, and the proportion of veggies was great. Pike Place Chowder has one vegan option. It’s a coconut based chowder that’s filling (could use some lemongrass, but quibbles….) and hearty on a drizzly Seattle afternoon in the midst of Pike Place chaos. Poppy really deserves it’s own post, but without pictures I couldn’t do it justice. Poppy serves food thali-stlye, which is basically like Southern Indian tapas. The ingredients are seasonal and local and they happily accommodate vegans. What I really loved, though, were the simple flavors that were paired in unique ways. Each bite was a revelation. Seriously. And we have those two–yes, them, up there–to thank for the experience.

Despite our many failures, however, we did manage to get pictures of the brunch we had on our way out of town. After walking miles in many wrong directions, we managed to find Plum Bistro. I have to start by mentioning that they serve some of the best coffee I’ve ever had (hello, Stumptown Coffee!) in an individual french press. One of the great things about dining with Josh is that our tastes diverge greatly–especially when it comes to breakfast. He has a sweet tooth that is never satisfied, which means I can have one glorious bit that’ll do me just fine, and I can stick with the savory. Josh outdid himself this time and went with the tiramisu pancakes, while I decided on the tofu benedict. I can’t really explain this choice, since I never even liked eggs benedict, but it was a good choice:

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I can’t end this post, however, without mentioning what might just be my favorite bar. Ever. I thought the West End was nice with it’s bourbon selection and rooftop bar, but the grandaddy of whiskey bars has to be 9 Million in Unmarked Bills. It’s in the Fremont district of Seattle, across from the Lenin statue. As if that weren’t enough, they have elevated pub fare (hello, tempura brussels sprouts!), an impressive selection of whiskey (including two Japanese labels), a distinctly neighborly atmosphere, and the best bourbon recommendations I’ve ever gotten. The bar itself is dark, eclectic, and boasts a sit down Ms. Pac Man game. I would seriously live there if it were within commuting distance.

Home Sweet Home

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Books of 2011: Reading Can Be Fun!

Fiction:

The Golden Compass: Phillip Pullman
Cryptonomicon: Neil Stephenson
The Walking Dead (Book 1): Robert Kirkman
The Walking Dead (Book 2): Robert Kirkman
Wise Man’s Fear: Patrick Rothfuss
The Crippled God (Book 10 of the Malazan Book of the Fallen): Stephen Erikson
Wonderstruck: Brian Selznick
A Dance with Dragons:George RR Martin

Books I Re-Read:

A Clash of Kings: George RR Martin
A Storm of Swords: George RR Martin
A Feast for Crows: George RR Martin

Non-Fiction

It’s All About the Bike: Robert Penn
Bicycle Diaries: David Byrne
The Nasty Bits: Anthony Bourdain
At Home: A Short History of Private Life: Bill Bryson

Posted in Cults of Culture | 3 Comments

5 Months/29 Months

You know what happens when you only post two or three times a year? Shit changes. And, around here, boy does it ever.

At 5 months, Dashiell is growing into his nose. Seriously. Aside from the way his ears are tucked back noticeably close to his skull, the kid had a nose. But the rest of him is rounding out and growing rapidly (over 70th percentile in height and weight), while his nose stays the same.

Likes: Eames (he beams at him every time he sees him), faux-hawks, babbling, sitting in the high chair, laughing at Eames, sucking his thumb, rolling over, sleeping in late with Mommy, and his new teeth!


At 29 months, Eames is…still not really talking. Or, more accurately, only speaking in questions/exclamations: Whoa! Where is? Uh-oh! Wha’s that? Where! Tractor! Corri! Who’s that! Sit? Sit! He is also pretty much a holy terror each and every day. He has fallen 6 feet off a play structure, broken a window, broken a glass tabletop, torn the covers from several books, drawn on the walls, tackled the cats, and challenged us every chance he gets.

BUT, THE LOVE. Eames asks about Dashiell first thing every morning. he stops to kiss him constantly throughout the day. He says, “hiiiiiiiiiiiiii!” about 2 inches from Dashiell’s face every time he walks by. He tries to give him toys and teach him to not suck his thumb. He lays down on the ground face-to-face with Dashiell and laughs until Dashiell laughs and they simply lay there laughing at each other. When Dashiell cries, he makes monkey sounds at him, trying to soothe him and make him laugh. He is a good big brother.

Oh, and have I mentioned he likes to ride his bike? Sometimes just a block and sometimes he goes for miles…..

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9 Weeks/26 Months

Time is going by so fast and having Dashiell around has made me realize how much I’ve forgotten about Eames (and let’s not even talk about Aspen) when he was this age–and it’s only been 2 years (maybe I should’ve treated my brain better!). So, I wanted to post a little update about all the fun/cute/amazing/annoying stuff the boys are up to in this month of July 2011:

Dashiell is getting bigger everyday. Sometimes I swear he’s noticeably bigger by the time night rolls around. He wasn’t into the pacifier, so we stopped trying to force it on him and he just recently has started to find his own hands. You can hear him slurping on his fingers from across the room. He’s holding up his head like a champ and I can now carry him on my hip facing outward, though he’s still a bit of a bobble head. And, he loves to be cuddled and talked to, rewarding me with a big smile when I lean in and say hi.

He's already used to having his picture taken.

Speaking of greetings, Eames likes to lean in, putting all his weight on Dashiell, and say in a breathy voice, “hiiiiiii….”, which I suspect is his imitation of me. Then he gives Dashiell a kiss. Often these kisses are uncomfortably long. We like to say he’s making out with his brother. And, he can’t walk by Dashiell without stopping to give him a kiss.

A kissing break at the park.

Luckily for Eames, he is unbelievably sweet and cute sometimes, because he’s often also a terror. I didn’t know that being two was quite so hard. On parents. He throws some spectacular tantrums, including the one in the middle of a super hip vegan restaurant in LA–the one with only 7 tables. Said tantrums always include screaming and crying, but my favorite part is when he back-dives on to the ground (I can’t believe he hasn’t cracked open his head yet) and then uses his legs to propel himself across the floor with every scream. It’s awesome.

I’m hoping the tantrums will be improved by the fact that Eames is FINALLY starting to talk. In addition to “mommy”, “daddy”, Dashiell (or dash-dash), and “NO”, he says “bye” to everything and everyone, stares longingly out the door saying “Korri” (our neighbor whom he loves), shouts “trash truck” and runs to the window when he hears a big truck outside, and uses about 10 other words here and there (done, down, kitty, shoe, Simi, shower, where is it?, that one…). He also has about 15 signs now, the best of which is “love”. Perhaps the all-time best word–verbal or sign–is when he heard me say “shit” one day and proceeded to repeat it under his breath about 10 times, while he walked around in circles.

Making love to the camera.

Last, we took both boys to their very first drive-in movie: Cars 2. The movie itself left much to be desired, but the whole experience was amazing. The vanagon is the best drive-in movie car ever. Eames stayed awake for the whole thing, before promptly falling asleep as soon as we headed home. It made a nice start to the Colorado Drive-in Tour of 2011.

Waiting for sunset...

Being ever so patient.

9 Weeks/26 Months in short:

Dashiell LOVES cuddling with mommy, falling asleep on daddy, Eames’s bedtime, sleeping through the night (10-4ish), long walks, showers, and intimate conversation. He DOES NOT like having his head touched or being left in the basement.

Please don't leave me in the basement.

Eames LOVES tomatoes, anything with wheels, the neighbor kids–especially Korri, chipotle ranch dressing, playing in the water, being naked, the Christmas cat, poop scooping, pretending to shoot anyone or anything, and sleeping in his big boy bed. He DOES NOT like getting his diaper changed, hipster restaurants, the vacuum, or staying in bed past 7am (though putting a fan in his room has worked wonders for his morning wake up time).

He can now reach the counter, which means it's open season on tomatoes.

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Happy Father’s Day…

…because I never even imagined a life like this:


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