Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Communications and Social Change

If you're a small organization looking for market research or strategic planning, check out Communicating for Social Change, small business run by Dr. Anya Karavanov.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Family Bike Trip

We went on our first family bike trip yesterday. We haven't been biking since Theo was born, so now that Theo can ride on 2 wheels so well, Danielle and I replaced our rusted out, 15 year old bikes and we went out for a ride around the neighborhood. Luke got to ride in style in the trailer that our friends next door gave us.

Theo did great - he didn't complain once! We took frequent breaks for him and helped him along on some of the more steep hills. But overall, it was a great experience!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Culinary Experimentation

Tonight was a night of messing around in the kitchen, trying to recreate my all-time favorite sandwich, the Roasted Eggplant Sandwich from Angelico's in Tenleytown.

Here's my result:

It worked out really well - I roasted the eggplant, onions, tomatoes and red peppers on the charcoal grill. All except the onion was from the local farmer's market.

The bread was pizza dough that I made in the bread machine. It has a little feta and melted fresh mozzarella as well. The only thing missing from the real deal is the kalamata olives, mainly because Danielle hates olives.

Theo decided to have his own creation for dinner as well: a Grilled Macaroni and Cheese sandwich. NOT grilled cheese, mind you - this is mac and cheese in sandwich form:

Needless to say, he loved it.

Theo is the creator of many classic recipes, including Marshmallow Muffins - these are basically blueberry muffins where marshmallows have been inserted in the place of the berries.

Actually, he came up with a great recipe last week which has made it into our morning routine: Eggcakes. These are pancakes where scrambled eggs have been mixed in, much as other less creative types would mix in blueberries or chocolate chips. These are actually quite delicious, and rather healthy given his other culinary creations.

Lukie, not to be outdone by his older brother tonight, came up with this masterpiece:

Salmon on a Ritz cracker, which he immediately declared "Yummy!" despite the fact that he barely tolerates the taste of salmon.

It was fun, but we're all completely wiped out now.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Entering the Harry Potter Phase

Theo is enamored of Harry Potter. It is SO cool to see him become entralled by the world. We're reading the first book at night, and for the past week he cannot watch the first movie enough times to satisfy his curiosity about everything that is going on. Aunt Ileana provided a Professor Snape model wand, which he fell in love with, until he saw Quentin's Dumbledore wand. That came in the mail for Theo today, and he is keeping it at his bedside table, as he does with only the most precious of his possessions.

The coolest thing to come out of it is that he has suddenly decided that he needs to learn chess (since Harry, Ron and Hermione's knowledge of Wizard Chess figured prominently in Sorcerer's Stone). He sat attentive as I explained how each piece moved and then he surprised me at how well he picked it up.

Between exploring the world of Harry Potter, and getting his bike's training wheels taken off on Tuesday, it has been a busy week for my little big boy!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Another Luke Anecdote

He saw a daddy-longlegs spider for the first time today. Danielle told him what it was and he points to it and says "daddy!"
Later he sees another one. He points to it and says "Mommy spider!"

Luke anecdote

Grandma watched Luke yesterday while we went for a night out. She said
that Luke lined up all his cars around his iPod and proclaimed to
everyone, "Cars watching Cars!"

Cars is, of course, luke's movie of choice on the iPod.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Our First Tball Game

We're not supposed to keep score really, but each inning ends when a
team either makes 3 outs, or scores 6 runs, so scoring is necessary.
We just don't tell the kids about it.

Last night, these kids played like they've just been waiting for the
games to start all along. Hitting everything in sight, fielding ground
balls cleanly. Once we figure out how to throw the balls to the bases,
we'll be pros.

In the second inning last night, we got them out 3 times pretty
quickly, with little Billy making 2 consecutive unassisted forceouts
at 3rd base. The opposing coaches were shocked.

The other innings all involved batting around, although we did get
them out twice each time. So on the strength of that 2nd inning, I'm
quite sure we won the 3 inning, 90 minute game by a score of about

I could not be more proud of Theo today. He's not the best player on
the team by far but he tries harder and hustles more than anyone. He
runs after every ball- EVERY ball. There was one play where Theo was
playing next to the pitcher on the first base side. There was a ground
ball to SS which got through to left field. As the kids that were
playing on that side of the infield chased after it, all of a sudden
Theo comes streaking in to left field and almost makes the play. He's
wearing #2 (Jeter) and he's playing like it! He got a hit and scored in all 3 innings, mostly by pure grit & hustle.

The hardest part about coaching Tball is keeping the kids focused on
what is going on. It's a safety thing- kids just a few feet from the
batters box will suddenly be on the floor, facing the wrong way,
playing in the dirt. Seriously, they play in the dirt. It's a constant
struggle to keep them facing towards the batter so that they can, you
know, see where the ball is hit.

No such problems with Theo. He was in every play, running after every
ball. One time I admonished him because he was out of position,
talking to another kid. I found out later that he was explaining what
was going on to the other player.

So yesterday was one of those proud dad days that you can't compare
with anything else in life. I can't wait to see more...

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Playtime with Theo

This encapsulates so much of my playtime experience with Theo I just had to re-post it here. I did not write this, but it could very well be a scene from right out of our living room:


From Penny Arcade:

I don't mean to turn PA into an episode of Kids say the darnedest things but some of you might appreciate this. I was playing Star Wars with my son the other night when he said something funny. Little Gabe is obsessed with Star Wars and so much of our play time involves reenacting the movies. On this particular occasion he was playing the role of the emperor while I was Luke Skywalker. He had seated himself in my computer chair and when he spun around to face me I saw that he had placed a toy Lightsaber on the arm rest. He patted it gently and said "You want this don't you?" I could not help but laugh at how ridiculous the scene was. This bothered him and he told me not to laugh at him because he was the emperor and he was evil. "Yes I know." I told him and tried to get my act together but his little angry eyes underneath the hood of his Mickey Mouse sweatshirt made me laugh even more.

"I'm bad." he said and as if to prove it told me "I litter!"

"What?" I asked "What do you mean you litter?" He pushed back his hood and looked at me seriously "Well littering is against the law and the Emperor does all bad things right?" I imagined the Emperor stalking the halls of the Deathstar and munching on a snickers bar. He finishes the last bite and throws the crumpled wrapper over his shoulder. An Imperial Guard bends to snatch it up and the Emperor raises a hand. "Leave it." he croaks. The guard pauses, his red gloved hand shudders as it hovers over the bit of garbage lying there on the Deathstar's polished Durasteel floor. The emperor watches the guard's discomfort with growing satisfaction, a smile creasing his shriveled face. The Guard stands and follows the Emperor away and he can not help but spare a backwards glance at the trash he left behind. With the glance comes a thought, a thought he will never share out-loud but one that shakes him to his very core. "I serve a monster!"

I looked at my son and realized that in his five year old mind there is no gradient to evil. For him, the act of destroying Alderaan and littering are equal. The sort of person who could to one might easily do the other. I smiled at him "Of course he litters son. He litters all the time." He smiled knowingly and I reached out with the force to summon my Lightsaber.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Double Blizzard!

So after 30 inches of snow a few days ago, we're adding insult to injury with at least another foot in today's blizzard. I've been away from the house exactly once since last Friday (5 days ago!), and that was just to go to the store to stock up on groceries in between snowstorms!

They've closed down the schools for the whole week already, even though it's only Wednesday. We have found some creative ways to get out their energy, including foot races around the house and yoga.

We've got photos here.