Archive for the ‘day to day’ Category


Ouch is my word for the week. I’ve been collecting ice hockey gear for a few months, with an eye toward pick-up hockey at the local rink where the kids have been taking lessons. Last week I finally found a pair of hockey pants that stayed up, so I had to go play hockey. I haven’t been in a game of hockey on a pond for almost ten years, and I have never played on an indoor rink. I had to youtube some slightly embarassing questions: How to put on a hockey helmet? How many players on a side? How to keep your socks up? How to play defense against faster skaters? And the list goes on. But at last I didn’t embarrass myself, despite not really knowing how to put my gear on, and the next morning I felt ok. I was shocked. But the second day I felt a lot less ok. But three days later I felt ok again. I skipped the second skate of the week because I also need to get running miles in before the Broad St 10 miler in two weeks, and I can’t run unless I can bend over to tie my shoes.

The weather finally turned around this week, and today was downright beautiful. I had a garden workday, which was nice and leisurely. Molly decided to take all the kids and Babbee to Germantown Mennonite for a hymn sing, and then from there to Costco. It has been said she’s insane. Surprisingly, to me anyway, church was much smoother than Costco. But then, Costco on a Sunday is hell, so I guess it figures.

A friend of ours held a birthday party for their five year old at a local pottery studio, and Molly took the young ones. I kept Silas because he had a stomach ache. Of course, once he realized he didn’t need to go to the party he started begging me to play hacky sack. Fortunately his hacky sack was leaking beads everywhere, so we didn’t play. My stiff hips wouldn’t have allowed it, anyway.

Earlier this afternoon all three kids were out playing in the backyard… they were wearing only boxer shorts and socks, because I’m the best dad. I peaked off the deck and Silas said, “Dad what are you doing in there?” I said I was cooking. He said “Maybe you should continue to do that.”  I laughed out loud, despite it being a punk thing to say.

Molly taught her last class of this academic year last week, so that might signify a more relaxed schedule. Might. But she’s running a concert this week with one hundred k-3rd graders, and that’s going to be madness, so I shouldn’t get ahead of myself.  We need to cache some serenity for that one.

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Back in like a lion

Yesterday we wore shorts, sandals, and it was 83 degrees. Today is rained sideways, blustered and settled in the lower 40s. I thought it was going to snow.

Molly and I discussed it, and we can’t remember anything important happening this week. A ton of laundry happened. Kids stayed up too late in the evenings.

I guess Silas did have PSSA testing- the first of two weeks- which sucks, but it was English Language Arts so didn’t suck too bad. This coming week is math- that’s going to suck.




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Second Easter

We had a lovely second Easter this afternoon up at my parents’ house. It also coincided with my niece’s birthday, so we had a cake, sugar-cured Virginia ham dinner, and an easter egg hunt. Watching the cousins playing together is the best. Silas doesn’t have an exact age-match-cousin, so he takes out some of his energy on my brother, who whoops him.  We had the same kind of ham at Christmas too, and on that occasion I ate so much that I didn’t want to eat again for a day and a half.  This time I was a bit more restrained. I must be wise now.

Yesterday we had a lovely dinner with some other friends… we’ve resolved to get together for a region-specific culinary event every month or two. Our first dinner was Ethiopian, which was awesome, and last night was Thai, and it was great as well. We have some talented friends.

I decided to shoot square format black and white today, for old time’s sake. I really enjoy it. I don’t enjoy that my software doesn’t enjoy processing it, so this blogging has taken me a little too long this evening.

Silas starts the PSSA testing tomorrow. It lasts on and off for three weeks, which is disgusting. Molly and I have been reiterating constantly that we want him to make a good effort, but that we don’t give a sh*t. We’ll see what this does to his mood over the next few days… anxious, bored, stir-crazy, unchanged, hungry… time will tell. But regardless, the PSSA’s are white nonsense.

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Happy Easter

For Easter we disappeared off the map for a few days. We made a much-needed escape from the city with a few good friends, and headed up to World’s End State Park, as we’ve done pretty often over the years.  We rented cabins as it was only March, after all, and since it just snowed this morning, and it’s April 2, we were definitely right to get the cabins. It was still chilly but we bought a big pile of firewood and did fine. We only had one injury, and it didn’t quite need stitches, and was incurred during an unsanctioned game of sleeping bag potato sack racing. People brought supplies for an Easter Egg hunt, so the kids didn’t miss out on that aspect of the holiday, anyway. Yesterday we took a nice hike. I chose the route, and chose it poorly. We ignored the signs labeling the High Rock Vista as “most difficult,” and went anyway. It was straight up for about half an hour. Then after the vista it dropped straight off the side for another sketchy half hour down, before leveling off. It was fun though, and we’d do it again. The kids didn’t know it was sketchy. We were going to stay another night, but I had slept so badly the first two nights that I was afraid I’d fall apart without a decent night sleep, so we drop home last night. I still haven’t quite recovered, plus I just realized I’m missing the ‘Nova game, so that’s enough blogging for the night. Go ‘Nova!

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Snow day

And so our third of fourth Northeaster came to pass, and dumped about 8 inches of wet snow on us, canceling school on Wednesday. We were due more snow that night, but it didn’t show up, thank goodness. The next day went up to 45 , so the snow melted off by the weekend. We got some sledding done down at the park, and it was mostly fun. We did have to drag  the two littles all the way home on a sled, but we didn’t have to carry them, so I was at peace with it. The walk back is always traumatic because they’re never ready to go home until they’re too tired to walk home.

Earlier in the week I shot photos for a group who were raising  money for the National Down Syndrome Society- they ran a relay from Washington DC to New York City, and I took pictures of the Philadelphia leg. It was a little chaotic but we did alright, they ran right through the storm on Wednesday, and I heard afterward they raised $100k.

Our friend Trent from Madison stayed with us a few days this week, along with a co-worker of his, and they attended the public library convention in town. They were working long hours but we still got some quality time in. They were operating a cool installation called “Lovey Town” as representatives of the Madison public libraries- I attached a cute little photo down below.

This weekend we had the pleasure of a visit from Molly’s Uncle Timothy and her cousin Maddy, who is on an east-side college tour. Molly arranged some meetings for her on campus, and we had a nice albeit short visit. We bought in a bunch of cheese steaks from Jim’s Steaks, which is a pretty legendary place on 62nd St. They were good, but getting them take-out takes a lot of “it” out of them. My favorite steaks are the ones we make ourselves, on Aversa rolls, with double cheese- that’s hard to beat (but it makes a dang mess.)

I’m already a day late on this blog, and I’m starting to drag, so it’s time to let it go. Eliza has spring break tomorrow (she only has school about 5 hours a week!) so I need to think of some plans. Getting things done will not be part of that plan.



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End of an era

What’s more significant, an era or an epoch? Whichever one is grander, is the one we’re now entering. The lesser of the two is the one we’re leaving. Anyway, Eliza decided she’s done with diapers. That means our family might be done with diapers. Wow. I still can’t believe it.  And I think our household stock was down to 7 nappies or something, so it was almost perfect. That stubborn little girl finally made up her mind to be “a big girl.”

The rest of the week pails in comparison. We did visit the Franklin Institute with Eliza and one of her friends. It was fun. The science was lost on the kids, but the museum is full of buttons which do things, and we all know that’s the absolute best.

The weather improved every day, and Saturday morning I installed a cold frame on my garden box and planted some seeds. So… we’re getting 3-5 inches of snow Tuesday as the third northeaster of the year is coming at us. It’s supposed to snow Wednesday as well. I have a photoshoot Tuesday morning, documenting a group of runners who are going from DC to NYC in 2.5 days. I guess I’m going to leapfrog them on my bike and car in the snow as they pass through the area. Rude. It’ll be a story to tell, I guess.

Not many pictures to show for this week, but I assure you, this week did happen.


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Our neighbor Roger’s tree fell down last week in the big northeaster (the first northeaster, not the second or pending third.) On Monday they got an arborist out there with two giant cranes, a huge wood chipper, and a big black truck whose purpose remains unknown to me. I had no idea how they were going to take that tree down without crushing any number of things, but they nailed it. They hung parts of the tree from one crane, while men worked from a basket on the other, and they installed a huge jack under the trunk of the tree about half way up it’s length. Monday evening they spent figuring out how they were going to do it, then Tuesday they worked all the way into the late evening under floodlights eventually. The northeaster was coming that night and they obviously wanted to get out of there. I set up a time lapse sequence with my camera, shooting from our second floor. Google photos would only let me use 50 frames (I took over 150.)

The previously mentioned northeaster did arrive, raining at night and turning into slush mid-morning. It dumped six inches of slush on us, which was quite gross. But we didn’t lose power and nothing fell on us. The kids got Wednesday off school and a late start Thursday, so that pleased them. The snow was a slushy mess though, so we were mostly stuck inside. Tough life. They’re talking about another northeaster now, but I think it’s just going to graze us tomorrow night.

I caught a garter snake at Heinz nature preserve today. That means it’s officially spring, no exceptions.

Eliza was rewarded today with an ice cream cup, and it was related to poop- I’ll leave you to ponder why.

And yesterday we said goodbye to our friend Juri; she stayed with us for the last month while she studied English at Penn. Lovely person. And this evening Chen hopped on a plane back to China. So we’re once again a household of six, and we can be just a little bit lazier about making nutritious dinners (or at least pretty-looking dinners, using clean tableware etc.)

We’re off to an early bed now… since daylight savings kicked in today. Wrenching the kids out of bed tomorrow might be agonizing, but here’s to hoping.


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