A montessori guide (her) and a design snob (him) make for two very busy and opinionated parents! This blog is about their daily lives raising their family, Re-arranging the furniture and tackling home-improvement projects.
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
is this real?
T and I were watching the inauguration on TV this evening. i taped it at school this morning as i watched it with my class so T could watch it tonight
We had our own watching party this evening with AK, even though he kept turning off the TV. We ordered pizza and had a good time. We even ordered Hawaian BBQ pizza (get it...)
T kept saying, "is this real?" "is this really happening" "black people are only president in the movies!" Wow, she's right, they are always making the president a black person or a woman.
Today we went downtown for the MLK march. Tony and Natascha joined us with their daughters and we had a great time and a very long walk. We started on UT's campus and then headed to the capitol. then it was on to houston Tilloston university. then it was back to UT where are car was.
We stopped at "THE BLUE DAIHLA BISTRO" it was really good. highly recommend it. its right by the OBAMA store wich was so packed it had a line out the door for the whole time we were there.
T tricked out AK's wagon, and what a great job she did. She put a pic of obama on the end and MLK on the front, add some pinwheels, some red white and blue tape, and throw in some instruments for AK. I designed matching t-shirts for me and ak inspired by Shepard Fairey's hope poster of obama. We also printed them out and put pics on the wagon.
later we met up with more friends! and ak was too excited and had to march (or run) along
So the other day i had to stay home with ak because he was sick. We were confined upstairs as to keep him away from T's kids downstairs. It was time to bust out the m-audio keyboard, which only works with the computer. i had been saving it for a time like this.
Now i started showing ak the yanni dvd (a guilty pleasure) way back as a way to introduce him to orchestral music, (violins and such). He has been asking for a piano for some time so when he saw me bust out with the keyboard he got fired up. naturally now he wants to play along with yanni.
with guitar, keyboar, or djembe, (daddy's djembe of course, never his)
but now its AK on his trike and me or mom walking behind. i saw this atrocity the other day. im not sure whats going on here. Was someone so lazy that they didnt want to bother throwing the bag of mulch away so they just threw it in with the mulch? or were they so clever as to use the plastic bag as a weed blanket, or where they just too ghetto to realize that neither are acceptable norms.
We ate the last of the tamales that my mom and grandma made for xmas for us. aK loves tamales. here he is downing the last one.
So T bought me a djembe for christmas. I have been wanting one for years, but the one i wanted is expensive, and have never had that kinda money laying around. and at this point i would be very happy with a good "starter" djembe. a DJEMBE is a hand drum that originated in africa. DJEM is a type of tree that they are originally made from and BE means goat, for the goatskin that is used as a head.
I not only wanted one for me, but i also wanted one for AK, so we could learn together. I knew that he would want one of his own and would never let me have a turn if we didnt get one for him.
So we had to budget that in to the gift as well. I am very happy with my Toca Canon Djembe. its has a 14inch head and is big. prolly the biggest that i have seen. it has a synthetic shell and sounds surprisingly good for its pricepoint. its also rope tuned. giving it a more authentic look. they are just as much decoration as function. ak's is a REMO. Remo makes an awesome kids line of percussion instruments that are very durable and sound great. they arent cheap though. i had seen his djembe at Tommys drum shop and guessed it to be 30 bucks, but it was double that. sounds great though.
AK still likes to play mine though, so his just sits there. No, not really, but it was like that at first. now he gets into it, because he can strap his around his neck and dance around the house. he also likes to take it on the trail when we go running. he beats it as we run along and it makes for a nice little horn to alert people that they are about to get passed on the left. much more pleasant than "beep beep"
new years eve had us attending FIRST NIGHT AUSTIN!
What is that you ask? (copied from website) First Night Austin is a public celebration of the arts that revives the ancient tradition of marking the passage of time with art, ritual, and festivity. It is a family-friendly, affordable, and alcohol free New Year's Eve festival. a cherished tradition for Austin that celebrates the culturally rich and artistically diverse place we call home.
We checked out a few artistic installations before heading to the congress First Street bridge to check out the parade.
The first installation was a gazebo full of lights and wind chimes.
we also saw a bamboo tunnel filled with shifting lights,
an interactive bell tower,
a fireman and fire truck.
and then the parade.
we then went to the resolution clock tower to watch it burn. people posted resolutions on it all day and at 8:30 it went off in a blaze of fireworks and flames. (i did not take this photo)
this was the "family finale" and it was pretty cool, it got a little scary when the sky was filled with embers. Big blazing embers. i thought akello might see the fireman get to work there for a second. Now AK wants to burn his clock, and all the clocks in the house.
(i did not take this photo)
New years day had us at my parents for lunch
and then home for dinner.
before we had dinner we used a smudge stick of sage to shoo-away the evil spirits. shoo spirits! shoo!
t and i did our tradition of taking out our resolution box and going thru it, adding more. i like this, cuss we totally forget what we put in the box from a year ago. Sometimes you will pull out a card and itll say, "work at a school closer to home" and then you can say yay! i did it! and sometimes itll be like something that you could now care less about. Two other notable "wins" were....move the shed, and build the trail in the backyard. yay! we wont talk about the losses. haha!
today ak asked me where is motorcycle toy was, and i told him it was in his room, and he trailed off while saying, "yeah, ok" in a very, "whatever dad, you dont have a clue where any of my toys are, you just want me to leave the room" kind of way. it was hilarious.
dont worry, ill spare you the black and white before pic of me holding a newspaper with my gut sticking out after i just woke up. instead ill post my pre-test results:
there are 4 excersises with this thing. Pullups, pushups, dips, and situps.
i tried to do it with akhanging around, but he makes me crack up too much and i cant concentrate. He wants to do the excersises too. its too cute to watch him do pushups. and when i do pull ups he wants to help and will get under me and push me up.
he's quite the trainer, "up! down! up down!" he yells.
so i can do 8 situps, 8 pullups, 25 dips, and 20 pushups. This is to exhaustion, so as to track my progress a year from now. I weigh 177lbs today.
yesterday was a beautiful day. We packed it up and went to the park for a picknic. there was a bagpipe player there practicing. sounded neat.
"whats that sound coming from!"
Ak was covering his ears but still clapped and said yay after he finished, dont know if thats just cuss he stopped playing in this instance.
finally, an affordable paint with no VOC's thats down the road at home depot. Last time we painted the nursery i had to drive to ecowise which was way down south for every painting trip and wait for the hippies to quit bitching about the environment and mix my paint.
AK's room used to be the office and so he inherited a sophisticated gray when we decided to move him in and designate his nursery as a play room. It didn't look like the usual toddlers room and his friend's were starting to talk around the water cooler at school.
T had a vision and knew that she wanted to paint it green. I was ambivalent on this one and went ahead, as long as i could change out those miniblinds for some 2 inch faux wood blinds. with this new paint color, I really wanted to get new birch doors and get rid of the dark wood doors, but that's going to have to wait.
His room is so much better. Much more toddler-esque. This redo was long over due! I also gave him a chance to re-decorate his room, asking some leading questions i must admit.
"we just repainted the room ak! lets redecorate, how bout putting the clock here? how does that look? you like that?" "yeah!" he would reply.
i didnt win every point though, he did insist that his "animals of africa" collage go above the closet doors.
when we first deco'd the room he wanted everything up high, unusually high, but, that was his choice as weird as it looked.
Good choice on the green T! You will notice that like all good before and after pics, i trashed his room for the before pic and took a crappy photo, just like they do in those weight loss pics. Not only do they loose weight, but they get a tan too!
anyway, i also added a new nightlight from ikea as well as some lucky bamboo in an ikea vase for the windowsill
on top of upgrading the blinds i also upgraded the light switch to one that he could control.
Now they make these kind of switches but they don't sell them at Home depot or lowes which i was surprised to find out, so i made one using a key ring and a replacement wand for some blinds.
I drilled a hole through the light switch, put the keyring through the hole and then attached the blind wand. wallah!
this is a big montessori thing, having the child being able to control as much as possible in their environment. T drew the line at the Beyonce poster though. She says that i told him to say that. Sooo not true.
heres ak figurin out how the doorknobs work....back to babysr'us.
so neither T or I have been camping since grade school but our friends the mclaughlins probably have REI edition wedding bands so when they invited us to join them for a night at INKS lake state park, we thought it would be fun. We almost didnt go cuss the weather was acting funny, but we were too excited not to make the short drive which is an hour and a half norhwest of austin near a town called burnet.
we saw this sign on the way to the park
All we had to bring was blankets. So we did, i wish i would have brought some pants though.
we had lunch upon arrival to a beautiful campsite. then we took a nice hike and explored.
ak is a pretty good hiker. My freind had one of those fancy backpacks for his son to go hiking with, good thing i didnt have one, cuss akello only wanted to hike when we were on the trail. He let me put him in the ghetto backpack (my shoulders) once we got off the trail
we roasted turkey sausages and made smores, all that stuff.
fun turned to miserable once we killed the fire and settled into our side of the "duplex tent" that they had pitched lake-side the day prior to us arriving. The temperature was already dropping fast come dinnertime, but was still bearable.
but once the sun went down and we bedded down, it became so cold, that t and i were miserable even though we were sleeping in our clothes, and jackets, and breathing on ak to keep him warm. and then it started to rain. oh my gatos! where's a freakin ton-ton when you need one!
when will this night be over. my feet were freezing. in fact they are still dethawing. If i was alone, i would have already gone to the car to sleep in the cargo space with the car running, heater full blast.
ahhh, finally, here comes the sun
the next morning we thought the mclaughlins were eating this stuff up, but they opened up the zip door and said, "this sucks, lets drive into town and get breakfast, screw this camping business." turns out they were cold too.
truth be told i think ak was happy the entire time along with his pal E. Akello even had a record sleep time ...from 7 to 8!!! unheard of!
We had a great time even with the temp, but from now on, we are strictly cabin campers.