Thursday, July 30, 2009

JULY 20th: Germy Feather

IMG00654.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When did it become germy and gross to play with feathers? I remember finding feathers as a little girl. It would be a rare treasure, a real find. I would feel the soft down against my lips (YUCK!). I would run the feather the right way and the wrong way through my fist (YUCK AGAIN). I clearly remember the feeling of pinching a feather between my fingers and feeling the fibers twists sideways. It's hard to explain, but they are like a series of flat strands that are all lined up on the center vein of the feather. If you squeeze and roll gently enough, they all tip, just so, and you can feel them click sideways. Weird memory. Gross memory.

Anyhow, I found a feather and the only way I would pick it up was to gingerly between two fingers, like I was holding a piece of rotten food, and immediately put it down and scrub my hands with soap and hot water. Far different from the loving caress I used to give it...YUCK!

JULY 19th: This Just Says it All

IMG00680.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

See Mommy? She is calm and relaxed, all smoothed from sleep.
See Liam? He is not.
Enough said.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

JULY 18th: Wimming at the Wake

IMG00643.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Liam's new favorite pastime. He adores paddling around in the water. For now, he has a life jacket or water wings on...for now.

JULY 17th: THIS Defiant Side!

IMG00641.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

See, this is what he looks like when he is dramatically throwing a fit. The conversation goes something like this:
Me: "Liam, you cannot put that button in your mouth." (seriously? you're three)


Me: "You will choke and it is not safe."

Liam: "MOMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WANT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! BUTTON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

Me: "Screaming will get you nowhere, boy, it's not how I operate."

Liam: throws himself to the ground in paroxysms of wailing.

Me (under my breath): "oh joy."

July 16th: Reading without Words

IMG00640.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Liam is so quiet in the car when he has his binky and his Thomas book. He just "reads" back there so nicely. He can be a happy little guy when he wants to be. ONLY sometimes and ONLY when he wants to be. Lately, we have seen some wholly defiant behavior come out. the good news is that the doctor assures me that boys are only like this from the age of three to four. DARNIT, I thought he said that about girls! Maybe girls were the ones who had a real "terrible two" period, but honestly? Liam's almost threes sucked. I am not looking forward to the next year if they are going to be like the last month. Oh well, it's a damn good thing he likes to nuggle me!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

JULY 15th: Forbidden Fruit

IMG00587.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

When we drove from bush to bush on our berry forage on Saturday, we came upon the last bush on our trip which I had talked up. "This one has the sweetest berries, I swear." We had no sooner picked our first berry off this bush, which was growing, just like all the others on the side of the road apparently wild, when a man in a red sports car pulled up beside our car. He shouted at me in the drivers seat, "I didn't plant those berries so strangers could stop and pick them, I planted them for the birds!" At first, I thought he was joking, but the realized he was dead serious. We hightailed it out of there.

I was indignant for hours. "How, sir, are we supposed to differentiate the berry bush you planted from all the berry bushes that grow wild?"

"If the birds wanted your darn berries, that bush would have been picked clean in an instant. Birds can make light work of a single blackberry bush!"

Anyhow, everyday last week when I did my walk, I had to grab a handful of the forbidden fruit. I felt rebellious. I felt victorious. I felt sinful. I felt like Eve.

JULY 14th: Operation Tucker them Out

IMG00602.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I came down after a nap and found this. Elena had zonked out in mid mouse stroke. Her computer was still talking to her emphatically, "Click the Letter A..." You can't really see here, but her mouse is slung over her shoulder and she is wrapped up in it. I tried to extricate her, but couldn't. She slept through much hubbub all around her. Liam waking up, the tv being clicked on, conversations happening, and many cooking sounds. I was preparing a picnic for the concert in the park. It was great that she got a nap in because the concert lasts until nine or ten o'clock.

JULY 13th: Memories of Grandma

IMG00592.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

So, when I was little, I spent a lot of time with my Grandma and Grandpa Sassano at their house on Cindy Way in Chappaqua, NY. When I was picking out a card for Grandma's birthday at Rite-Aid, I found one that played "Heat Wave" when you opened it. It immediately transported me back to being four, sitting in the kitchen after a relaxed breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa. On a shelf above the toaster, which almost exclusively toasted rye toast, was this radio. It played a station out of New York City that played all 1950's hits. Sweet Talking Guy, Stop in the Name of Love, Poison Ivy...all songs I remember.

After breakfast, Grandma would start her "chores." I remember her doing tons of laundry, making all the beds, straightening, folding, and even sewing. All with a soundtrack broadcast by this radio.

JULY 12th: Lake Views

IMG00583.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Sometimes, when I am lying on the ground in the sun and I catch a glimpse of my boy's foot above me in a mesh chair and the sun is just so, I find it beautiful and I snap a picture. Summer is good for appreciating new and different angles.

JULY 11th: Foraging

IMG00570.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Here I am in the reeds hunting down blackberries. I don't normally use pictures taken by other people in my 365 project, but I make an exception today because this so sums up the day. I took the kids to my office park where there are berries growing wild everywhere. My goal was to take them to all the berry bushes I pass when I walk at lunch every day. My secondary goal was to clock my walk which meant taking the car through the woods (as I walk through a gravel path in the woods that's somewhat car friendly). Anyhow, it was a big hit...even though the red raspberries weren't yet ready and we had to really get into the weeds to find the black ones.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

JULY 10th: My Commute

IMG00562.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

Isn't this a beautiful thing to see on your way into work? After I pass through this chapel of trees, I come to a farm stand where I stop as often as I can for fresh tomatoes, corn and berries. I love working in the "country."

JULY 9th: Concert in the Park AGAIN

IMG00536.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This really is our favorite thing to do. We enjoy going to Ballard Park for the Chirp concerts immensely.

Picnic - check.

Wine - check.

Romping - check.

And, in this record-setting cold July. Sweatshirts? Check!

JULY 8th: The Painted House

IMG00565.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I pass this house on my walk and everyday I think, I know what my kids would say about this house. They would say, "Look Mom!! Look at that cool house over's such a bright yellow."

How do I know this is what they would think? Well, it seems that anyone who got a sale on paint at Home Depot or Lowes, and paints their house an unconventional color, is a big hit with the under five year old set. There is a purple house down in Norwalk we sometimes pass and from the back seat I hear, with a voice of awe and pure joy, "looooooooooook at that beeeeeeeeeautiful purple house." It's the color Pepto Bismol would be if Pepto Bismol were purple. it's breathtaking, that's for sure.

JULY 7th: Avery

July 4 to July 9 075, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This week we are lucky enough to be pet sitting for my sister's little Italian greyhound, Avery. Elena takes her job of making sure Avery has food very seriously. She is a kid who is cut out for responsibility.

JULY 6th: I Love Summer

July 4 to July 9 068, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

But sometimes, it makes me feel like I have a few too many adult beverage evenings! I start to salivate around four o'clock on my days at home with the kids (Tuesdays and Thursdays) and by five I am standing with bottle in hand ready to pour. Happy Hour!

JULY 5th: Honorable Mention

July 4 to July 9 021, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I had to post this pic from the day before because LOOK at these kiddos! How stinkin' cute are they? They are playing a rudimentary game of peek-a-boo around a pole at Tanglewood. It really just shows so much about each of them and their relationship, this one picture.

Of Liam, it shows his current passion for eating EVERYTHING. I am thinking that he is just plain orally fixated. Yesterday, for example, he ate a bead. I wouldn't think this was a problem, except the bead was the size of a nickel and I heard him choking from the other room. When I asked him, "Where is the bead now?" He answered that is was in his froat...sigh.

Of Elena, it exemplifies her style of pack-ratting Everything goes with her, everywhere, always. See the backpack on her back? There are not enough packs, bags and cases to support her habit of saving every scrap of junk and carting it around. She always has items in her hands and arms as well, because they can't be contained by their container. It's really how she rolls.

So, imagine if you will the collusion of these two traits. Elena finding and hoarding small pieces of treasure and junk and Liam eating it all. It's hard to stay on top of it.

Thursday, July 09, 2009

JULY 4th: Diana Krall at Tanglewood

IMG00491.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

We had plans for a quiet evening concert to see Diana Krall on July 4th. We had planned a picnic, wine and quiet. We planned on staying for, and enjoying (an important point), the fireworks after the show. We had even planned on staying in the Tanglewood area. All these wonderful plans predicated on the kids going to their dad's house for the evening. Well, that didn't happen, so we had to create a Plan B.

Plan B was still the concert. Still a picnic. Still enjoyable. Not quiet. Not relaxing. With kids. And, turns out, one of our party did not enjoy fireworks one iota. So, even that, which I thought might be the redeeming facet of the evening for the kids, was a bust. I spent the day cranky and tired...and the next one too. I celebrated our country's independence, while very aware of my lack of the same.

Friday, July 03, 2009


BOJ, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

OK, couple of funny things about this one. Number one, this is Dad relaxing after a frantic first couple of weeks on the job as "Shelf Genie." On a bright note, he has done REALLY well with the franchise so far...he has had 15 meetings and closed 14 of them to date. He's incredible, this Shelf Genie of ours...but, he's tired. Here, though you can't tell, he is probably snoozing in his seat gazing out at the lake. Next to him is his newly acquired relaxation aid, BOJ, or black-out-juice. This moniker is said really very tongue in cheek since almost any sweet beverage, since his gastric bypass, will zonk him out. This juice is not completely innocent, however, it is laced with rum. Ahhhhh...sweet relaxation.

Today, when he arrived at the lake, he told us that a mere quarter mile from arriving to sit in repose, an accident occurred right in front of him. He said all he could think of was how he was trapped and how much he was looking forward to just sitting and staring at the open water with his BOJ in hand. Poor dear. (I also feel sorry for the people who were actually IN an accident). Luckily, he managed to think quickly, spin the car around and take an alternate route to not waste more than a moment on the pesky likes of an accident.


July 3 002, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

This was a picture Elena drew for her dad's birthday today. I just love the intricacy of it. Her detail is coming so far! But, of particular interest in this picture is the self-portrait she drew in the middle. It appears she has bridged into being able to draw all the body parts correctly. Gone are the days of floating heads with jutting legs and arms. Gone are the truncated torsos and misproportioned leg lengths. It seems she is starting to notice how bodies are really put together, and is able to represent them figuratively. Bravo Elena...and happy birthday Patrick!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

JULY 1st: The Garlic Scape

IMG00379.jpg, originally uploaded by Kikigill.

I am intrigued, always, by new food items. As I head home from work, I pass a farm stand, Holbrook Farm. It's a lovely farm and the owners are just as lovely. They introduced me to this interesting "vegetable." Apparently, garlic scapes are merely the tops of the garlic plant...the shoots that will one day flower. Apparently, it behooves the farmer to cut the scape so that flowering doesn't draw all the plant's energy away from the bulb...or something like that.

There are recipes and blogs citing the utilization of this beautiful green all over the internet, but mostly I just thought the scape was as pretty as a cut flower.