Thursday, December 04, 2014

Andre

Another December, another step I take to ensure that no woman will ever measure up to Dash's sainted mother.

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Solstice Invitations

I've been escalating my Solstice invitation game each year. If things continue the way they're going, I'm going to have to hire a skywriter soon.
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I made these guys out of wooden balls (heads), clothespins (bodies) and doll stands (feet). They all have pipe cleaner arms, and I hand-painted their hair, faces and striped tights. 
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I made their clothes templates out of card stock, then just assembly-lined the felt pieces. Everything is attached by hot glue and although I burned off all of my fingerprints, I think the little pom pom buttons were worth my small sacrifice.
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Each elf is clutching a snowball in one hand and a tiny, cork-stoppered bottle in the other.
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In each bottle is an itty little scroll...
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...tied up with striped string.
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I included a small magnifying glass with each elf, to help the kids read the tiny print on the scroll.

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I made up the poem. It's not that great, but it gets the point across.

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Here's the text:
The days have grown short
And the nights have grown long
But that won't stop us from singing a song
For we know that Solstice will soon be here
And, soon after, the Sun will appear
So please celebrate with us
We'll feast and we'll toast
We'll share this day with those we love the most!

Yay! Solstice!

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Gobble Gobble Muthafuckaz


I like to joke about how I'm a poor Soviet immigrant, ignorant of the ways of my shrewd American friends and neighbors (despite the fact that I've been here since I was 4 years old and have no memory of ever living in Russia). But I was raised by Russian immigrants, so there is some stuff that feels completely new about creating our own American family traditions.

Thanksgiving has always been a REALLY big deal for my family growing up. In addition to giving thanks for our more abstract blessings, we used the day to enumerate the many, very real, very specific blessings we received after coming to this country--things like being able to discuss our government without worry of being jailed. The ability to go to the store and just buy a pineapple if we felt like it. Living without fear that our home would be burned down because we are Jewish.

So creating our own new Thanksgiving traditions has been an important and beautiful (and maybe sometimes fraught) opportunity for us to imbue the day with meaning for our family and our loved ones. One of the most meaningful steps we've taken in that direction is to open our home to our beloved friends as well as family. Since we three are only children, I think it may be more natural, possibly more important, for us to build families of friends around us. And so every year, when the head count grows, when the kids' table gets more crowded and more raucous, I count one more thing to be thankful for: the blessing of friends who honor us by sharing this most important day at our table.

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Some street hockey to get them good and hungry (and sweaty) before dinner.
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Kids' table "centerpiece." (I try. I really do.)


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Dash spent the day with our beloved Verlaques while Josh and I prepped dinner. They made these excellent pine cone turkeys. Will is thankful for, among other things, cheese.
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Dash is grateful for, among other things, "my personality." It's nice that we won't have to worry about confidence issues with him.
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The calm before the storm. (This year I finally came to my senses and rented tables, chairs and tablecloths. Not having to cobble together seating out of fifteen rickety card tables and dozens of borrowed & mismatched chairs was another thing I was very thankful for this year.)

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I love that you can just stick a couple of hydrangea stems into a vase and it looks like you know what you're doing.
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These potatoes, tagged by Josh, were tight. You make regular mashed potatoes, but then mix in some caramelized onions that you've pureed with a stick of butter. Then add Parmesan. You can only eat them once a year if you want to live past 50, but damn, that day is a good day.
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It's time to baste the turkey, son.
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Look at this mahogany miracle. Josh's turkey game was on point this year.
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Victory.



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The kids table, right before they started throwing food at each other.

Monday, December 01, 2014

Saying Thanks

We made our second annual pilgrimage to our local fire station to thank the firefighters for all they do to keep our community safe (and maybe sneak in a small lesson about gratitude for the smalls).

Except the boys completely ditched our entire cookie-baking and card-making effort (as Samantha was giddy to point out to the firemen). So while the girls got to lick the spoons and taste the cookies before we packed them up, the boys got dick. Ungrateful little turds (I say it with love).

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Here's Lucy's lovely card.

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And the front of Samantha's.

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And this is one of my top ten things that has ever happened ("p.s. Dash and Will and Ben did not help make the cookies.")

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Then we delivered the still-warm cookies and the stood there batting our eyelashes until the lovely firemen gave us a tour of the firehouse.

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Friday, November 21, 2014

Go Kings Go!

You know what I always say: the next best thing to being rich is having rich friends. That said, look what we got for freeeeeeeeeee.

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15th row, bitchez!

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See if you can spot the crazy person in this pic. (Trick question, they're all crazy.)

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Kings win!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Yes

When your child asks you to sew him a snuggie then you damn well sew him a snuggie.
ESPECIALLY if you can do it out of Lucha Libre fleece.

Friday, November 07, 2014

All Hallows

Before you have a kid, you hope and pray that they'll be funny and weird and that they'll have funny and weird friends. That they'll let their freak flags fly. That they'll embrace and encourage all the unusual things about themselves and about one another.

Check and check.

Halloween 2014
That's my son, the Halloween cactus, and his best friend, the Halloween tumbleweed. Because of course.

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But they come by it honestly. Those are their fathers (plus another neighbor-dad), dressed in their soccer ref uniforms and wigs. I don't know why.

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I helped make Lucy's Weeping Angel costume. We used a gray sheet and stone spray paint for the dress and cardboard and more stone spray paint for the wings.

Halloween 2014
Here's a better shot of the wings (please to ignore the crazed person hiding behind her, I think he had too much candy earlier in the day). I think the rounded top part of the wings was a particular stroke of genius on my part (if I may say so my own self. ahem). It's pipe insulation that I split in half lengthwise & painted.

Halloween 2014
And of course it wouldn't be Halloween without our beloved nieces (Sky is Stitch--I made her tutu & knitted her legwarmers and I'm 99% sure she hated all of it but I forced her to wear it anyway because I am a mean aunty).

Halloween 2014
What? I don't see anything.

Halloween 2014
Here are our delicious neighbors. Come on, the baby is a marshmallow and the toddler is a Hershey bar. Together they make a s'more. I just can't even.

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Here's the whole neighborhood pack before the candy begging started in earnest.

These are just the best days.

(Sorry about all the weird filters, I stole a bunch of these off the neighborhood Facebook page and they came pre-greenified).