Sunday, January 27, 2008


I promised a picture of the birthday invite and what ever happened to those canisters and I completely forgot to post them. Here they are. (I'm noticing that I tend to draw out Dash's birthday doings over, like 30 posts. I'll do better next year.)

Friday, January 18, 2008


I started this post on Friday--Dash's actual birthday. But then I had to go clean something or buy something or string something with silver garland. I dunno. Maybe I'm a crappy blogger and birthday chronicler. But I throw an AWESOME second birthday party. Here's the bday post, followed by the party recap.


In the last year I dropped a few pounds, lost two assistants, got new brakes and tires, read a couple of books and learned how to sew a chain and blanket stitch.

In the last year you learned to walk and then run, began to speak so that we could understand you, learned the alphabet, the names of nearly every animal in the wild and how to climb stairs, grew five inches but not much hair. You are a marvel.


The party was better than I ever could have expected, but you'll have to take my word for it because we were having too much fun to take many pictures. I decorated the house with shiny silver garland, but the effect was more "Studio 54" than "2nd Birthday Robot Party." We ate tofu corn dogs & "chicken" nuggets, mini-tacos & pizzas. I made sugar cookies shaped like "D"s & "2"s and covered them with sparkly sanding sugar. The cake was chocolate raspberry and came from the market and I'm not apologizing for that because planning this party nearly killed me and baking a cake would undoubtedly have done me in.

It was a perfect mild day, so Josh strung the yard with red paper lanterns and we hung a gigantic robot pinata from a tree. We heaped toys and bikes and wagons on the lawn and set up the robot craft table outside. There were a total of about 30 guests, 1/3 of whom were kids. Can I say how freaking amazing it is to have that many kids running wild in our house? I loved every minute of it and didn't freak out once about what was happening to our floors (well, until the next morning when I about lost my mind, but only Dash & Josh were there to witness that).

At the end--after the pinata-bashing, the cake, the video and many goodbyes--our closest friends sat around to help open gifts and wrap up the night the best way we knew how. Guitar Hero.

Happy birthday, little man. Here's to 100 more.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008


Sometimes it's just important to me to write things down. I'm hopeless at keeping up with the obscenely expensive baby book I had to have, so I write them here. Boring, I'm sure, to all but me and mine, but it is called "Little Dash" after all.

* Dash's relationship with Santa has become more complex. There was the terror that grew into obsession that has now evolved into something slightly bizarre. He still talks about Santa all the time. But now, when he sees a man, any man, with a white beard, there is sheer terror. He clings to my leg and refuses to pass. We tell him that it's not Santa, but he cannot be convinced. You'd think this ought not be a major issue, but somehow we keep seeing old guys with white beards all over the place. And hey, Old-Guys-With-White-Beards? If you're gonna rock the Santa whiskers, you're kinda obligated not to be a grumpy asshole to little kids. Okay? Okay.

* I have many "favorite" rituals with Dash. I love scooping him out of bed in the mornings and holding him on my lap like a baby while he drinks his first sippy cup of milk of the day. I love pulling his socks down below his heels so he can pull them the rest of the way off. This, weirdly, cracks him the hell up. I love when he wants to be chased around the house, and so stands and repeats "go-na-getch-ah!" (I screech, "ah-mon-a-getcha! ah-mon-a-getcha!" when I chase him) until I'm motivated to act. Or when he wants to play peek-a-boo so hides his face and asks, ever so quietly, "where Dashy go?" Oh, or having him demand to be read the same book twice (or more times) in a row before bed. But I think my very most favorite, the one that I know will go the way of the dinosaurs long before I'm ready, is when Josh undresses him for his bath and sends him out to "show Mommy your tushy." And the baby, in all his birthday-suited glory, comes running, laughing, into the kitchen to show me his tushy. There is no more glorious sight than its wobbly little jiggle as he runs back out again to his bath.

* When it's time to go to bed, Dash demands to be put down with whatever he happens to be holding at the time (plus a stuffed elephant that is the only constant toy). This usually consists of some hard and/or pointy and/or sharp thing like two, always two, plastic tigers or scuba divers, a Santa figurine, Mr. Potato Head or a remote control, plus his two favorite Eric Carle board books (Brown Bear, Brown Bear... and Panda Bear, Panda Bear...), plus whatever book we read at bedtime (never one of the Carle books), and his nana (security blanket). In addition, once he's laid down, we cover him with another, thick sleeping blanket. That's a lot of shit in a little crib, and you'd think it'd be a lot for a not-quite-two-year-old to keep track of, but just try to sneak one little thing out and he'll pop up like a gopher and start looking around for whatever is missing. He'll not only ascertain that one of the Carle books is gone, but he'll know which one (in the pitch dark, mind you). Weird little hoarder.

* Dash has become obsessed with bicycles. He points them out every time he spies one, and the worst Target-tantrum to date was caused by our refusing to let him "ride" a full-sized bicycle. We had placed him on the seat for fun (rookie mistake) and he was seriously pissed that we wouldn't let go of him. The other day we had lunch at Chili's (classy) and they had mounted a bike on the wall above the hostess station. Dash was compelled to climb out of the booth about 100 times just to marvel at it. We hadn't planned on getting him a bike until he was three, but (shhhh) looks like this will be his year.

Sunday, January 06, 2008



Here is an important piece of advice that I hope you'll treasure and remember your whole life:

When it's raining and you notice that water is dripping down the walls and through the ceiling and from the window casings, go ahead and take a look at the rain gutters before spending any money on roofers. Are they clogged? Have you ever cleaned them in the two years you've been in your new house? Is water just dumping over the sides and into your house?

Go ahead and give them a cleaning.

All fixed? Good.

You're welcome.

Mom & Dad

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Dash, version 2.0

Last year, after I went completely overboard for Dash's first birthday party, I swore: never again. I kept up that refrain through the whole of 2007. We would keep it small and simple this year. No theme, no favors. Just a small gathering of our closest family and friends to drink a little champagne, eat a little cake and congratulate the child on another year done.


I'm not sure how these things get away from me so fast. I swear to God, I was--just two weeks ago--talking to Aunty J about heading over to Costco for some mini corn dogs and maybe a few bagel pizzas. Things have progressed a mite since then.

We'll have a robot theme. There will be about 30 guests, 10 of whom are children. Here's where we are so far:

We'll need something for the littles to do, so I decided on robot stick puppets. This was so awesome to plan and shop for and execute that I want to keep doing it. Pirates! Literary Figures! US Presidents! You know, whatever the kids are into that year.

Here are the basic, unadorned robot shapes. They are felt with adhesive backing, so the kids will peel them, stick two together (each shape has a mate so they'll match perfectly) on a tongue depressor and get to work decorating.

The little buckets were on sale at Michael's for $1 each. I filled them with googly eyes of assorted sizes, adhesive sparkly stars in silver and gold, silver pipe cleaners cut into 3 inch lengths (for arms and legs), and adhesive-backed felt I cut into tons of shapes .
Here's a close-up of the felt shapes because my fingers hurt from all of the cutting and I want more bang for my buck on them.

I made a prototype so the kids can get an idea of the grand plan. I'm pretty sure Dash will destroy it well before his birthday, though. I handed it to him this evening to see if it would play, and found him 10 minutes later brushing its "teeth" with his new toothbrush.

I think the favor bags will be pretty sick, too. These are the actual bags. They're silver paper, $0.59 each at Target. I printed out the main image from the invitations (to be posted later as I accidentally deleted the only picture I had of them and don't have another to photograph) on label paper, cut them out & stuck them on each bag. Inside each bag will be:

I bought some magnet "paper" and printed out robot images I found online (along with some pix of Robo-Dash for the grandparents). I also printed some of our favorite family photos on the scrap pieces and they're currently adorning our fridge. This is awesome stuff, this magnet paper.

I got it in my head that I could find some foil-wrapped robot chocolates online for the favor bags. Nothing. It is absurdly impossible to find anything robot-related in the world of candy favors. But, lookit what I did find:

Robot candy molds. Less than $2 each, and including the wrappers, lolly sticks & twist ties, I think I paid $10--tops. It was a wee bit of work--heat up some chocolate chips, spoon them into molds, tap, freeze, unmold & wrap--but the fact that they're the cutest robots ever, cost less than a box of See's for, like, 40 lollies and I could control the quality of the chocolate? Worth it 100 times over.

Also in the favor bags will be one of these adorable things. I found them on Etsy. They're by a 7-year-old boy who finances his Lego habit by drawing amazing robots and having his mom print them as cards and sell them.

I'll include a bundle of Crayons so the kids can color them if they so choose.

And, finally, there will be a small sheet of "Build Your Own Robot" stickers because they are cute and 20 of them cost me about $2 on Ebay.

Ok. Well. That'll do it for today. But there will be more. There will be a video. And a good picture of the invitation. There will be the cake and, ohh, what will the cookies look like?

And, finally, something great will happen to these:

What? Well, you'll have to check back to find out.