Wednesday, August 29, 2007

birthday indulgence

From January at her cousin's birthday party. You don't need the sound for this - you'll only hear the indulgent audience making silly comments and laughing.


Tuesday, August 28, 2007


Scroll down below the Nadine post to see a very short video of toddler dancing. I had saved it as a draft before I posted the memorial post, and when I published it it went to its original place in the chronology. In the video you'll hear E words "button" and "bips". I have no idea what "bips" means.

Monday, August 27, 2007

we miss you, Nadine

this is the 2nd anniversary of the death of our beloved Nadine, the quirkiest cat I've ever known

Sunday, August 26, 2007

video comes to Dandelions blog!

Yay, Blogger lets you upload video now! In case you can't tell what's going on here, E is dancing and gets distracted by her zipper and belly button.

new hat and giraffe

David took E to the park this morning and took these pictures. The new yellow hat is from my old friend Sue in London. The toy giraffe tucked protectively into the crook of E's arm is from my new friend Lea in the Netherlands. Both gifts were hits. E adores hats. And the giraffe, she immediately discovered, has a fuzzy tail.

wish I knew what she's looking at here...

Oh, maybe it's this... uh, ...turkey?-duck?-type-thing. Poor critter.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

wash less, drink more

I drive by one of our city's reservoirs every day, and it is dramatically visibly lower each day. More mud, more wading birds, browner water. Our state is in a drought. My farmer relatives are suffering more than the suburbanites who worry about their lawns. I do my part: I don't wash cars, water plants or lawns, wash patio furniture or vinyl siding. I don't wash the pets, don't wash the windows or the porch, don't really wash much of anything in my life - just clothes, bodies, and dishes. And I do those as little as I can get away with!

Of course I was already living this low-wash lifestyle before the drought, just now I can act all noble about it. A neighboring city has been under voluntary water restrictions for weeks and yet they managed to hit an all-time daily water usage record just yesterday - which was a Tuesday. What's up with that? Washing all the back-to-school clothes? Everyone trying to get their cars clean before the water runs out?

Please, y'all, join me in changing the social image: I hereby declare dirty cars and brown lawns badges of honor representing ecologic and economic responsibility. If we all can let go of the fear that we will be maligned by our neighbors and co-workers for such things, we can free up mental energy to worry about much more significant things! And we can save water. If our cities can't clean and pump enough water for us to drink, life is going to start costing a LOT more. I know my city sometimes "buys" water from other communities, but then those communities have less. It angers me that my city wants to attract new jobs and new residents when they have so much trouble supplying water for those here already. Where is it all going to come from? It costs money to ship it down here from the melting polar ice caps, never mind the additional greenhouse gases that result which make our weather problems worse! Do people ever think about the domino effects?


Living in C.H.A.O.S.?

Can't Have Anyone Over Syndrome?

FlyLady has helped me in the past, and I think it's time I joined her again. She has an extremely structured system, but structure really helps with overwhelm.

One of the key principles is "baby steps" - doing 15 minutes of something tedious a day. She talks about decluttering your house, but I also find it a helpful principle for other chores sometimes. Each week there's a particular "zone" to focus on, which helps when you don't know where to start. I made up my own zones for dealing with my office too. The house zones are listed at this link: . My office zones are as follows: 1= left side of the desk, 2=right side of the desk, 3=bookcase and file drawers, 4=floor and walls, 5=email & voicemail boxes.

coming home to the me-ooh

These are from the night I got home from my trip, with E and her cousin in matching dresses and matching behaviors.

I think E missed May-mee, the me-ooh, while she was at Grandpa and Grandma's.
You can see the cat's ears are back, but she didn't run or scratch.

kissing cousins? No, both are laying their heads down on the soft, tolerant cat.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Cat woke me up 20 minutes before the alarm - don't you hate that??
Here's a random picture. E is in her high chair right now, eating a pop tart with her purple blanket in her lap - not a good precedent but under pressure to get to work on time I'm easier to "bargain" with.

Monday, August 20, 2007

10 minutes ago

sleeping in her nest of baby afghans
(the purple one is her best friend)

Thursday, August 16, 2007

what is she thinking?

So cool to hear words from our daughter that give us an inkling what she's thinking! Today in the car on the way home, she was talking to herself (I think) and I heard "Mommy, ...Daddy, ...Gah-mee." Like a little inventory. (Gah-mee is her generic word for "grandparent".) And later I think I heard "kiss... Daddy".

This morning when we left she had marched up to the side of the bed and directed a big "mm-AH" in the general direction of David's sleepy head; then we walked down the hall. Halfway down she suddenly turned around, and marched back in to kiss him again, trying really hard to reach up to his face. I followed and lifted her up so she could reach. Then she was satisfied.

It was so sweet.


I'm sleeping well now that I went back on my caffeine restrictions (2 cups before lunchtime). E is gradually giving up her naps. She still gets very tired, will lie on the floor even, but when you put her in the crib she gets enough of a second wind to stay awake talking to herself for an hour.

Speaking of talking, E somehow found the selection of ring-tones in my cell phone menu. The other day she was sitting in her red chair holding the phone up to her ear like a boom box, bouncing up and down to one of the ring-tones.

skateboarding lessons

On my trip I took a long walk around Brussels on a Saturday morning. Found a nice quiet church to rest in and when I emerged I saw a skateboard park next door. I spent time watching the families there. All the kids were serious about their practice. None were experts. It was a really nice, relaxed atmosphere. No yelling, no hot-dogging, just working on their techniques.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

a few pictures from my trip

A cartoon mural on a street in Brussels. The city has dozens of them - you can go on a walking tour of them all.

A park in Brussels - remains of a "grotto" (cave) in the back. Used to be a monastery here, I think.
Beach volleyball tournament at the Munich airport!

Monday, August 13, 2007

Hawaiian dress

E is wearing a dress that Marie brought her back from Hawaii. This was at the airport when I left for my trip.

my welcome

When my family picked me up from the airport, E was very sleepy. She stared at me as I walked up to them, then recognition dawned, a slight smile, and without removing her thumb from her mouth she leaned into my arms from her dad's.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Dave's last blogging

This is my last blog post now that Sarah has returned. But, since she's currently passed out from jet-lag, I'll post some pictures from the airport while we waited for her delayed plane to arrive.

Playing in the fountain.

For some reason the Greensboro airport has an old-timey porch set up with a bunch of rocking chairs. Not sure if they're just for display, but one end of the porch was open, so all the kids tried it out.

E's cousin, MC, guards the Coke machine.

E finds something peculiar about her shoes.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Mommy Returns!

Friday, August 10, 2007

More from Raleigh...

Discussing who's driving the farm truck.

Writing a letter home?

Playing on the couch.

I hope this isn't a new trick E has picked up.

Grandpa gone wild!

Remember, always chew on your toothbrush before going to bed!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Pictures from a week in Raleigh

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Fun with Crayons

E has been playing with crayons a lot the last few days. She even started scribbling in a book of mine... while I was reading it.

But, drawing with crayons on paper is so last week. There must be something else to draw on.

Pay attention now...

Hey, this works too! Beeeeeeeee!!!

Enough drawing for one day, I think I'll read this book.

Look, it can be a hat, or a pterodactyl, or a broach....


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Friday, August 03, 2007

hello from Belgium

I am having a good time here. They tell me I brought the sunshine -- the weather has been cold and rainy for weeks and weeks. It's nice short sleeves weather, whatever that translates to in Fahrenheit or Celsius. I've been so busy working I haven't done much touristy stuff yet, but I'm getting ready to.

Thanks for blogging, David.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

More from the museum.

E and Mommy at the airport before Sarah departs.

After we leave the airport, E is very upset that mommy is going to be gone for 2 whole weeks.

Later, after a nap, we head over to the Children's Museum to see how the painting has turned out.
Here's Dave's friend Dave trying to finish up the painted wall. (David switches from 1st to 3rd person if it's funnier that way.)

E quickly makes friends with Kathryn and Susan who are overseeing this project.

E tries on a big hat.

E helps Susan pull masking tape off the floor.

My Tape! Where's the gash can?

The best thing about being in the Children's Museum after hours is that you can play with the little wooden trains with no interference!

Well, almost none.
Shortly after this, E makes a gigantic poop and daddy discovers that the fully equipped diaper bag only has 3 wipes in it.

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