The beds are made, the laundry going, but I have yet to do the dishes.

Or workout.

I do, however, have one very happy (and clean!) "butterfly princess" (we were butterfly fairies this morning).

I requested the bath; she countered with the promise of "beauty parlor," complete with a blow out and two coats of polish on her nails.

Miss Lu was so excited with the results she then requested a photo shoot. Monkey got involved too.

Total time: 1 hour and 15 minutes. But worth it :)


Abatootie and Single Ladies

Miss Lu decided tonight would be a good time to invent a new word: Abatootie. She ran around the house saying "abatootie" and laughing hysterically to anyone who would listen (or not). She was enjoying herself so much we decided to make an abatootie movie.

Afterwards, Lu felt the need to perform her version of Beyonce's "Single Ladies" song, which she 
was introduced to when I took her to see "Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquell" (no idea how 
to spell that—sorry!). She immediately fell in love with its infectious beat and repetitive lyricism. And 
now she sings and dances to it all the time. Here, she's actually trying to follow the song, but she has 
no compunction about making up her own lyrics to fit whatever the situation.

Lucy's aesthetic sensibilities continue to develop

Lucy's dance studio staged a production of Sleeping Beauty this week. Her classes have been a little different as they approached the performance date, and last week her teacher asked the students if they were all planning to come and see the performance. (We were, in fact, planning to go, but at the last minute Lucy decided she'd really rather play with a friend that invited her over, and Nick and I went down to a fairly nice bar [as far as these things go] in Santa Fe for free pool and food from the grill down stairs, courtesy of the LANL's postdoc association. We had a great time. But this really doesn't have much to do with Lucy or Sleeping Beauty.)

(image via Wikimedia; photo by Scillystuff)

Ok, back on track. This has more to do with Sleeping Beauty. I couldn't find a picture of the actual poster the dance studio used, but at contained an image similar to this one. And after class, I saw Lucy studying said poster with great intensity and seriousness. She touched the dancers carefully, then turned to me and said "Mommy, the boy ballerina has a beautiful front bum." I agreed, and then we moved on. If only this were the first time something like this had happened ... I keep thinking she'll grow out of it. Maybe we need to look into soccer this spring. Or karate. Or anything where they wear loose, baggy pants/shorts.

Food for thought

I've been following Jamie Oliver's career more closely for the past five years or so. Something about a chef with a passion for social change is appealing to me. I thought his TED presentation was pretty powerful. What I eat (and more often, how much) is something I'm always struggling with, but I thought Oliver's point regarding the loss of a home food culture was particularly important. It's strengthened my resolve to involve Lucy in cooking our meals, and made me proud of the various ways Nick finds to grow a portion of our food. 

Funny bone

These all made me laugh recently ...

1. The Daily Bunny: daily shots of, all together now—bunnies.

2. The NYT's Heads of State: hair portraits of our presidents. Who do you know?

3. (Warning: if you're not ok with slightly irreverent humor and/or lactation, skip this one). Behold, The Miracle of the Lactation.
(available here; by Alonso Cano c.1650)

Also known as "The Vision of St. Bernard." Apparently, St. Bernard knelt in prayer before a statue of the Virgin and asked her "Show yourself to be a mother." Why he was doubting her mothering abilities at this point in time, I don't know. But in response, the statue became alive just long enough to squirt some breast milk into his mouth. What's not to love about this?

4. These photos from Unhappy Hipsters, with their accompanying captions, elicited a chuckle. (As to the debate regarding whether U.H. is now "done" due to its increasing popularity, I vote no. It's been 2 months people.)

"She’d been begging her parents to swap out the gravel for a real lawn, with chairs and everything. She hadn’t counted on their literalism."

"Flipping the pages hurriedly, he sensed that the potted plants were advancing."

5. The Hill Hut. I know it's serious, but it makes me laugh all the same.

(found on Dinosaurs and Robots; images and full (serious) story at designboom)

Happy to see you

1. Pete Dugney's pothole gardens: "If we planted one of those in every hole, it would be like a forest on the road."

2. Ben Pranger's Vision Thing (2004–05); a braille installation that shows four generations of synonyms branching from the word "vision."

3. Karim Rashid's design for a reusable water bottle with a replaceable filter that removes chlorine and organic particulates from tap water. The filter lasts for about 2 months (40 gallons). And it's pretty.

4. Lítill's gorgeous (gorgeous!) terrariums.

5. Robert Wechsler's "Applied Geometry" print: "A circle made by following the natural curve in a line of shopping carts. Costco parking lot Goleta, CA. 6:00 am May 5, 2004."
(available here)


Resident artist

Miss Lu has been quite prolific the past few months. So I decided to curate her first art show. Click on the images to enlarge :)

Group 1: Variations on the Unicorn Theme

Group 2: Flowers and Fairies

(Both Lucy and I made Heart Fairies)

Group 3: People / Characters

(Notice the finely rendered Sponge Bob and pet in the center)

Group 4: Graphics

(This is the famed "Super 'S'" of which Lucy is quite proud. She even made it into a kite at one point)


How I woke up today

I emerged cautiously from the bedroom, sat down on the green couch, and was then squashed by an energetic bundle of purple flannel with crazy hair that excitedly asked "Hey Mom! Do you want to read some Super Duper Stories of Silliness with me?"

Of course.
(Feb. 2010)


Home cubed

I'm intrigued by these 12x12 (and 10x10) prefab home "cubes" made by Twelve Cubed. I don't know where I'd put my books ... but they appeal to my inner hermit. 

Role reversal?

In an effort to move forward from Leclerc's (now nostalgic and) rather black and white view of the feminist question, I recalled reading this article from the New York Times a few weeks ago. Essentially, it reports  on the effects of the shift to having women working outside the home on a marriage (they are, for the most part, fairly positive, but only when the husband takes on some of the previously "feminine" responsibilities [and the wife lets them go]). 

"And the blurring of traditional gender roles appears to have a positive effect. Lynn Prince Cooke, a sociology professor at the University of Kent in England, has found that American couples who share employment and housework responsibilities are less likely to divorce compared with couples where the man is the sole breadwinner."

Those French gals ...

Here's the deal. I think Christine Delphy's critique of Annie Leclerc's Parole de femme, is, for the most part, correct.  And yet, I cannot help it: there's an aesthetic pull in Leclerc's prose that I enjoy, and fall sway to at times.

It is not sweeping the floors or wiping the baby's bottom that is menial and degrading, it is sweeping while worrying about all the ironing still to be done; ironing while saying to yourself that the evening meal will never be ready on time; seeing forever postponed the moment when there will at last be time to look after the children, to tend to them, to change them, to water them, to carry them clasped in your arms, to put laughter in their voices and questions on their lips ...

What is humiliating is having to do things that no man would deign to do, doing things that at least half of humanity looks down upon, or doesn't look at at all.

What is exhausting, arduous and harrowing, is that these tasks, by virtue of being degraded disdained, are left exclusively to women, and that women are worn out as a result, truly ensnared in a mechanism of necessities from which they have no means of escape.

If the true value, the high value, of this labour was recognized, it would be loved, it would be chosen, it would be coveted as much by men as by women. 

Dinner tonight

Menu: homemade hawaiian pizza with salad and steamed broccoli

Conversation: The Usual ... with a bit of Lu thrown in for fun
1. "Okey Dokey" was said 5 times
2. "Oh, I love to eat little trees" was said twice (little trees = broccoli)
3. (referring to the salad) "Hey, the red leaves come from red trees and the green leaves come from green trees, right? Because people like to eat trees."
4. "I'm the cookie getter! Here Mom, I'll bring you one!" (selects cookie and heads back to the table) "Oh, here, I'll break it in half so you can share!"


Things Lu said on our trip to Española tonight

"Well, I have a large mouth. That's why I can be loud and not get tired."

"Oh! I see Taco Bell! Are we still in New Mexico?"

"Guess what? I know the difference between baby Spanish and baby English! In Spanish, babies say 'la la loo la' and in English babies say 'goo goo ga ga.'"

Glad we have that cleared up.

(Miss Lu at 2 weeks, well on her way to mastering baby English)

Blood and Milk

Sometimes, I feel like this poem by Sharlee Mullins Glenn. Today is one of those days.

Blood and Milk
by Sharlee Mullins Glenn

I dreamed of Oxford . . .
(spires, a thousand spires, endless lectures, musty halls
a solitary self in a Bodleian expanse
A good life my dear Wormwood. An orderly life.)

then awakened to laundry
and things to be wiped
countertops, noses, bottoms)
How did this happen? And when, exactly?

Time flows, it flows, it flows
and there are choices to be made:

left or right?
paper or plastic?
blood or milk?

There's freedom in the bleeding;
bondage in the milk—do not be deceived.

Ah, but it's an empty freedom; a holy bondage,
A sweet and holy bondage.

Five times I chose the chains, those tender chains,
(though once will bind you just as well!)
and checked the crimson flow.
Suckled while dreaming of Trinity Term
but awakened, always awakened, to the laundry
and to that small and cherished captor at my breast.

(originally published in Segullah 1.2 (Fall 2005))

(image from David Iliff)


Pen of my dreams

This fulfills my geeky and my artistic needs in one fell swoop.

It's a color-picking pen. An RGB color sensor "reads" the color you pick, then translates it using an RGB in cartridge.

(images via paper tastebuds)

I'm speechless in its awesomeness.


Baby hungry

This would probably put me over the edge :)


Relationship advice

Lucy helped Uncle Steven clean out the truck yesterday. They are pretty good buddies.

Which is probably why she gave him the following words of wisdom before he left on his date last night: "Don't kiss her!"

When asked why not, she told him that she wanted to still see him around Nana's house. As in, she's not so keen on the idea of Uncle getting married.

Update: The next morning, Nana asked Uncle if he'd kissed the girl. When he answered "No," Lucy grinned, gave Nana a big thumbs up, then gave her a high five, and then gave her a "hooked pinkies" handshake. Needles to say, Miss Lu was pleased with the results of last night's date.

Names matter

Miss Lu opened the door; Nana's friend Maggie stood outside.

"Is your Grandma home?" asked Maggie.

"No," answered Lu.

Maggie was a bit concerned, until Nana appeared at the top of the stairs. Lu is quite clear on the difference between Nanas and Grandmas.