Archive for the ‘day to day’ Category

I guess that was winter

For better or worse, it looks like spring weather is coming our way. By Tuesday it might hit 70. Yesterday it snowed an inch or two.  The kids are going to freak out, I’m sure. Last week sickness ran amok in our house (not the flu thankfully) but now they’ve recovered and they’re going to bounce off the walls. Tomorrow all three kids are home with me due to Presidents Day, so that’ll be something.

Speaking of something, check out the face painting down below. Amazing, especially given it was just a three-year old’s birthday party. Molly and I throw such crap parties by comparison; arguably we just don’t even throw parties. Sorry not sorry. While Molly had the kids at the birthday party I was scraping the stairs in our spooky hidden staircase, which we hope one day isn’t spooky. When Molly came home she held the big ladder for me as I patched some weak spots up in our gutter. The fun never stops.

Today we had the pleasure of seeing Becca and Jacob again up at my parents’ house. All the cousins got to romp down the creek and had slush-ball fights. Silas was of course over-exuberant and in the end dad had to shove a big pile of snow down Silas’s pants. He deserved it.

I bought a bunch of plant seeds a few weeks ago; I was excited to get them started early this year. But I haven’t started them yet, and now it looks like I may as well just wait until Tuesday and plant them in the ground (not actually, but almost.) Anyway, if you’re up in the northeast I hope you get some fresh air and sun this week; I certainly plan to.


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The kids almost nuked my computer yesterday, reverting it back to a 2014 version of itself. Lightroom couldn’t open my Lightroom catalogue, since my Lightroom catalogue didn’t exist in 2014. It was a Dr Who-worthy software-time-space continuum anomaly. It frustrated me for an hour and by the time I solved the riddle I was too tired to blog. But here I am, back in business, and fresh from ordering a 5tb hard drive; yesterday was a reminder to get my digital house back in order. There will be great moving of files, time machine backups, and gnashing of teeth this week.

Boy… so last week we attended the Eagles parade, partly because we were excited, and partly out of obligation. The kids were excited, until we got there, at which point they realized there was no circus tent and cotton candy, and they immediately said almost in unison “I want to go home.” But we stayed for an hour, standing in enormous crowds in the mud until the Eagles buses drove by about a quarter mile away, and we decided to leave. It was a pretty pleasant bike ride, at least. By the time the Eagles took the stage and made their statements we were home watching from the couch.

The other big news this week was the arrival of our two students from Japan and China. Juri and Chen are lovely and fun to have around. We’ve only known each other for two days, but that’s enough to tell they’re good people. For the next month we’ll have a full house. Silas and Asher will have ball-playing opponents and Eliza has two new friends. When she first heard Juri’s name (roughly pronounced Julie) she immediately made a doody joke.

Just before they arrived, I finished my bookcase restoration project (seen below supporting the tv,) which took me about a billion hours longer than I expected. Then Thursday night I found a bathroom vanity on craigslist which was exactly what I’d been searching for all year (passively.) My friend Derek helped me pick it up in South Philly that night and demo’ing the old one and installing the new one took approximately another billion hours. But now it’s done and we’re all happy with it.

Oh, and Silas’s school is putting on a version of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and they held auditions. We’re very proud and amused to announce that Silas will be playing Augustus Gloop. He kind of looks like Charlie Bucket actually, with his long hair and face, but giving him that many lines and asking him to be serious would be very sketchy casting at this point in his youth.


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I’m a little nervous coming into this game… though I’m a casual fan at best. In many ways I’m proud of Philly, and Philly deserves a win. I don’t know what’s going to happen out there if they win though- it’s going to be absolute madness. The rain might dampen things, but not by much.

The kids are in the funny habit now of changing into their pajamas at the first reasonable instant. Reasonable just means they have to be home, regardless of the time. I haven’t been able to supply a good excuse, so they’ve spent about 15 hours a day running around in footy pajamas. Eliza will wear them out into the world as long as we “hide them.”

I made an impulse purchase this week…unusual right? But I’ve been talking about playing pick-up ice hockey at the local rink for a while now. I went and checked it out the other day, and walked away saying “no freaking way.” They are an experienced bunch of guys, and I am not. But I bought some shin guards, hockey pants, and gloves from some dude on Facebook anyway. I still need a helmet. Then I need to decide whether I’m actually going to show up.

We worked our tails off today…next weekend the exchange students are showing up and we need to make it look like adults live here. I still have a dumpster-saved book case down in the foyer, awaiting some stain and polyurethane. When I pulled it out of the dumpster I didn’t think it was going to take 30 hours to fix it up. Alright, the Eagles are on the 1, and I’m too nervous to write anything else. Fly Eagles Fly!

update: The Eagles did it. Amazing. Molly and Silas were truly surprised when I ripped off my shirt and spiked it to the floor




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A blog post usually has a title. This post is titled “Title.”  Just a weird late January week where the mercury hit almost 60 yesterday. Molly and I went jogging in tank-tops. At least my rain barrel has almost entirely thawed and maybe I can lift it back up on its platform soon. Of course, Babbee said that we’re getting a few inches of snow this week, so I don’t know what to think. We finally took down the Christmas tree today. We had the ambitious goal of shoving the entire tree down in the basement without disassembling it. The laws of physics prevented this from happening.

As you can see below we had Beiler’s Donuts after ice skating Saturday. It’s a new tradition, and I think we’ll keep it. Molly and I had the Nutella covered cream donuts which were, as you can imagine, really good.

I asked Molly what happened this week, because I’m coming up empty… she said that this morning she asked Eliza what she wanted to be when she grows up. She said “An adult, like you and daddy.”  Right now she’s a weasel, but I guess she has time to grow out of that.


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I punctuate that as if I cared a lot. I care a little. It’s an underdog story (assuming the Eagles don’t blow this lead.) I look forward to the footage of our city’s youth trying to climb the light posts which were greased with crisco earlier today…greased to keep them from being climbed in the event of a Philly win.  Silas just stormed off to his bedroom- he’s been rooting passionately for the Vikings since he found out they were a football team during the first quarter of this game. He just finished reading “How to Train your Dragon,” which is about Vikings (and dragons) so I think that’s why he took to them so quickly. I should warn him against bad-mouthing the Eagles before he goes into school tomorrow…

Molly took Eliza and Asher out on their new bikes today… Eliza on her 12″ pedal bike and Asher on Silas’s previous 20″ bmx bike. Asher took right to it and is very excited that he can attack even larger bumps and “mountains” with this new bigger bike. Eliza did ok but it was her first ten minutes on a pedal bike so she’s still cautious. We get a few 50 degree days in a row after such a cold month and we’re all in full spring-anticipation mode. I’m excited for gardening this spring, which is still a long long ways away.

We rode our bikes yesterday… to the Women’s March. We skated in the morning, and by the time we got to the Art Museum for the rally the crowd was dwindling, but we figure it’s at least worth it to introduce the kids to the fight. And it was a nice bike ride.

Since I have a glass of bubbly water in front of my now I’m reminded of a funny little lark from the past week… we have a Sodastream machine, and I used to refill the co2 tanks at an Army Surplus store up near my parents’ house. They can refill them with the equipment they use to fill paintball gun cartridges. Anyway… that was a pain in the butt. Recently I read about refilling the tanks using dry ice (which is frozen co2) I found Continental Carbonics a few miles from here and bought ten pounds of dry ice. You can unscrew the Sodastream canisters, fill them with 400 grams of dry ice, screw them back together, and there you go (once the ice evaporates.) Pretty fun little experiment, and now that I know the tricks I’m sure I’ll do it again. That’s me being my special kind of cheap geek.

The game just ended and fireworks are blowing up out there. Going to be a crazy night (not in our neck of West Philly though.)



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I missed yesterday’s post due to excessive socializing (game night, yeah!) and tonight it looks like I’m blowing it because Adobe is being a jerk. We’ll see if I can get my photos processed or not. Yeah! I got it.

Eliza had a few playdates this week with a friend-  they’re so much easier when they’re together- and one day we even went to the zoo, as the temperature finally rose up above zero. By Friday it was 60 and raining. Several weeks ago, when the cold snap hit, I realized that I’d forgotten to empty my rain barrel, when we heard a loud crash in the alley. The barrel had frozen solid, the bottom had rounded out, and it rolled right off it’s cinder block base. I don’t think it cracked thankfully, but that bottoms never going to be flat again I imaging. Anyway, it warmed up enough that I was able to drain some water out of it and almost get it upright again (almost.) Now it’s cold again- so much for that.

The kids had their second skating lesson this week. We finally got their skate situation dialed in, and they stayed on the ice much longer than I expected. Eliza, who had spent much of Week 1 chilling her bottom on the ice, was flying all over the place by the end of the class; she didn’t come off the ice once. I was amazed. Unfortunately the ice up at my parents’ house broke up during the heavy rain on Friday- maybe we’ll get another chance to skate outside this year, but the odds aren’t great.

We had a three day weekend, as many people did, and we were lucky enough to have friends over both Saturday and Sunday nights… Saturday we had an Ethiopian potluck, which was just awesome. A lady makes injera just a few blocks down the street, and the recipes for the side dishes are all ridiculously easy, but taste soooo good. I was proud that I didn’t eat myself sick. Asher loved the sweet split yellow-peas, and Silas of course loved the ripping hot red lentil dish. We’re doing that again for sure.

Today was MLK day of service, and I spent most of the day at our elementary school. I went off-script and decided to go home and get my tools and cut a piece of wood to replace a door jam that had been mauled by the firefighters when they visited our school last year (visited to put out a bathroom fire.)  It had been bugging me for so long. It felt great to pry the old one off, install a new one, and paint it all pretty. I probably could have been doing that to one of my own doors at home, but that wouldn’t be service, would it.

I’ll just leave this here…

I’ve got a funny video of Eliza skating, but something’s up with the Youtube and it isn’t loading. I’ll try again later.

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The heatiators (Asher’s word) were working hard this week, since we’ve had the coldest weather since I don’t know when. I remember enough of our Wisconsin days that I wasn’t too impressed, but it was pretty chilly. We took the kids out to sled one day, and it was fun. The snow was fast and there weren’t many kids out. Our old Flexible Flyer was quick. Asher would only descend backwards, because sledding forward was too scary. The kids’ schools were closed Thursday and Friday, which tested my patience, but Molly took Friday off work and we had fun.

Saturday ice skating lessons started up again, and Eliza joined the boys. Though she spent much of her “lesson” laying on the ice, I was surprised she stayed on the ice in any angle of repose. A bunch of our friends are bringing their kids as well, so it will be a good scene.

The quotes from Fabulous Mr Fox continued to spice up our conversations this week. Last week Asher tossed out “I guess he’s just…different” when Silas jogged by flamboyantly. This week Asher casually said “comme ci, comme ca,” although he didn’t use it quite right. Eliza of course said “I’ll peel the cuss out of those apples.” Silas yelled “You wrote a bad song, Petey” just to make everybody laugh.

“Room on the Broom” has been a staple of our family library (both printed and film) for a few years now. Laying in bed several days ago Eliza requested that we read it again. I couldn’t find the book so I asked her to tell me the story… she blurted out a few surprisingly accurate lines from the beginning of the story, but then Asher took over.. He recited the entire story, word for word, missing only a few, and remembering some amazingly idiosyncratic phrases. Eliza drifted off to sleep half way through, but I was mesmerized. Kids’ minds…. mine blown.

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