Sunday, January 13, 2013


Elizabeth and I woke up in the local science museum on her birthday; we'd been there as part of a Girl Scouts camp-in. We left a little after 7:00 and headed straight to Krispy Kreme.

Elizabeth said that she wanted to go rollerskating later in the day. She got rollerskates for Christmas and has become obsessed. We feel like we are living in a house with Tootie from the Facts of Life:

It's just Elizabeth's preferred means of getting around the house. We have to make her take them off to come to the dinner table, get in the bath, sleep. BUT . . . as we've pointed out to some of our other children who shall remain nameless and who tend to want to give up any new activity they try if they aren't automatically perfect at it . . . Elizabeth is a poster child for the power of consistent practice. She could barely inch around on them when she first laced them up on Christmas morning, and after wearing them around the house literally every day since then, she has gotten really good at it!

I took the girls skating over Christmas break while David and Jacob were camping with Cub Scouts, and we had so much fun! I decided that this was something really fun and active that we could do together regularly, so I went out and got skates for Jacob, Caroline and myself. I didn't get any for David, because somebody needs to sit with the bags. Haha -- just kidding. He has a bit of a track record of winding up with crutches and assorted other orthopedic equipment when he partakes in activities such as this (bad knees), so I decided that I'd let him make the call about whether he wanted to try it. So far, he's happy doling out the quarters when the kids need a break from skating.

I was actually a fairly proficient skater back in the day. I grew up rollerskating in late elementary school and middle school, and then in college I started rollerblading after reading somewhere that rollerblading improves your skiing (it totally does!) I didn't rollerblade (or ski) much after college. Then just last year, in the midst of major decluttering, I finally got rid of my rollerblades. I figured that if I hadn't used them in 19 years I probably was not going to use them (that's my own personal variation to the professional organizers' "6 month rule.") I stupidly did not think about the fact that I had kids about to hit prime rollerskating age. I swear, decluttering somehow always backfires on me. Oh well -- it's probably for the best. I'm sure rollerblade technology has come a long way in the past 20 years, and mine were so old that they were probably made of twigs and acorns foraged from the woods. In any event, the new wheels are pretty sweet!

One thing about going to the roller rink is that the experience of going to the roller rink has not changed AT ALL in the past 30 years. The video games are the same:

They played Thriller and When I Hear Music by Debbie Deb. I was one happy girl. I just pretended that the Kavu bag hung across my body was actually a Jordache purse and I swear it could have been 1983.

Oh! And the kids had fun too. I got Jacob rollerblades instead of rollerskates, and he is doing really great on them, even if he doesn't think he is.

I think Elizabeth had a great birthday. We did everything she wanted to do, and because she is Elizabeth, the things she wanted to do were really fun. We ended the day with cupcakes arranged in the shape of an "8":

Happy birthday to my sweet, fun, creative, tenderhearted, smart, beautiful Elizabeth!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

When I hear Rick Astley, it makes me dance

One Christmas present that's been getting a lot of play over Christmas break is the Just Dance 4 Xbox game:

Why yes, that is Psy. This game has been really fun for all of us -- it has a pretty diverse mix of music, and while I expected the kids to like certain songs on it (Call Me Maybe), others of their favorites have been a pleasant surprise (Istanbul/They Might Be Giants). One that the girls are playing all. the. time. is Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. I was peeling potatoes in the kitchen with David earlier when I heard it emanating from the basement for the 15th time this weekend, and I commented to him, "geez, they love them some Rick Astley." He replied, "they are 8 and 5 year old girls, of course they love Rick Astley." I never knew that that was his fan base! The game graphics for Never Gonna Give You Up are pretty trippy; it's like telling your friend about that weird dream you had the other night:

"I'm in this city, like a Gotham or a Metropolis, when everything starts hitting the fan. Random fires breaking out. The freaking Titanic sinking in the middle of the city. UFOs. And then just when it seems like it can't get any worse, here comes Godzilla. I remember being immobilized by fear - couldn't move, couldn't talk, couldn't scream. Then of a sudden I see this bona fide superhero on the roof of one of the buildings -- cape, mask, tights, the works -- and this wave of relief washes over me. Only then I realize that something isn't right -- the city is burning around him and dude is completely oblivious because he is too busy dancing to Rick Astley's Never Gonna Give You Up. And then I woke up."

Caroline explained it to me when I joined her on the sofa to watch Elizabeth dance: "He's not doing his job. He's supposed to save the town, but he's dancing instead." There is no way to know if he'd be a competent superhero if it weren't for that Rick Astley kryponite.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

the kids have been getting into my grocery list again

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Happy New Year!

Elizabeth, who has inherited the sentimentality gene from me for sure, has preserved the last of Christmas 2012:

{sidenote: I'm proud of her proper use of the apostrophe. I fear that this younger generation has a sinister grand plan to eliminate apostrophes--or only use them in places where they do not belong-- which pains the language geek in me. So I'm always happy when I see them used and used correctly}. Anyway, we had a really great Christmas. Elizabeth was really worried that Santa was going to be overloaded with cookies, so she wanted to set out a hamburger for him instead. Jacob, the purist, was horrified by this idea. In the end, in an effort to keep the peace, we set out cookies AND grilled up a quick burger for Santa (we didn't have any buns so we had improvise).

Also, in our house we apparently can't just mix up a blend of oats and glitter and set them out for the reindeer, nosiree, we need to set the table for them (also Elizabeth-driven, in case it's not obvious):

Hopefully since the reindeer had placecards they were able to figure out whose glittered oatmeal was whose.

I love getting ready for Christmas, and I love Christmas, but I really don't love the aftermath of Christmas, which is where we are right now. I never like seeing January magazines show up in my mailbox in mid-December -- they always seem kind of depressing compared to the December issue. Case in point:

December 2012:

January 2013:

First, in December we are just not worried about lightening up our comfort foods. Bring on the full-fat layer cake with sugared snowflakes. Second, the January cover reminds us that we seek comfort foods in January mostly because it's January; i.e., cold and dreary and not Christmas anymore.

But Januarys are much more fun than they used to be ever since having a baby (Elizabeth) in January! Also, who doesn't love the promise of a new year, a clean slate and all that? I kind of went back and forth in my mind about whether 2012 was extraordinarily unlucky or extraordinarily lucky, but eh, in the end I'm going to go with lucky. It was actually a great year, at least if you take out mid-July to mid-September, which pretty much sucked, I'm not gonna lie (even my optimism has its limits!) but the other months more than made up for that little stretch.

But . . . I had this nagging feeling that I forgot to eat black eyed peas on New Year's Day 2012, and I wanted to make darn sure that I didn't make that mistake again, juuuuust in case. So I made a hoppin' john for New Year's dinner.

Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2013!!