Saturday, February 28, 2009

Thursday PM--Sidewalk Chalk and Bike Rides

All of these photos show Will as much older than I see him.
The weather was so nice that day. I was eager for Will to wake up so we could go outside and take advantage. Will declared, "Purple!" as he grabbed the chalk in his left hand and drew a line with it. (He was just repeating after me, but it was really cute.)
The boys were thrilled about the sidewalk chalk (a thrift store purchase).

We miss you!

Thursday morning--at the park

Andrew was still recovering from his earache and cough, so I kept him home again. Well, I kept him out of school. We still got out.
We played our Shark Game. That jungle gym pictured here is the boat in shark infested waters. Andrew is usually the captain of the boat, but he broke role to get the game exciting again. I am surprised by how nimble Will looks in the background, running.
The boys love the swings. They took turns trying to kick me while I pushed them and prentended to be injured and fall down. Remember when Andrew stopped enjoying swings when he was about a year old bc my dad pushed him really high once?
I wish I had better captured Will's happiness on the swings. He was laughing, he was so overjoyed.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Weekend Last Fall: Lincoln Memorial

It was unseasonably warm that Saturday. We drove the long way to the zoo and looked at a DC neighborhood we thought might be affordable and safe (but it really is not either one).
We ate at a Burger King, in the booth made into a car.
We stopped at the Lincoln Memorial on the way home. It went from grey and windy to a sudden downpour. Will and I waited while you ran with Andrew for the car. We all got absolutely soaked. Will and I followed Andrew's lead on the ride-home outfit and I just hoped we didn't get stopped. We picked up Katie on the way out of town.

I think the boys already look older now than they did in these photos.

I am so glad we didn't forget our camera that day.

Working From Home

This was taken the day Will and I came home from the hospital last month. Brigham kicked us out of the house within 5 minutes of the taking of this photo. He actually went outside and started the car. I guess my dreams of Brigham working from home are dead.

Conversations with Will

Will has learned a new word. He looked me straight in the eye with his huge round blues in his little narrow face and said, "Tube," clutching at the tube coming from his nose. Then, "Nose." This was shortly followed by, "Dadda," and rounded off with "In." He may have been speaking the way I communicated as a missionary in Chile, but he got his point across. Yes, Will, Daddy jams a tube up your nose and down your throat.

Oh, when I got in his face to take this photo this morning he looked at me and said, "cheese!"

Andrew is still sick and Will is coughing, too, but they are on the mend and I think I will take them to the park anyway. 60 degrees can only be salubrious.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Andrew could correctly identify his father but had to be informed that the blonde toddler was Uncle Josh. I think Brigham and Josh look they are each modeling for a different side of the family, Brig for the Cannons and Josh for the Barneys. I just want to put Josh in leiderhosen and be done with it!

Thanks, Sarah, for sending me this photo!

Friday, February 20, 2009

In January, for the price of a small piece of furniture, Brig took Andrew to Monstor Jam at the Verizon Center.
Andrew wanted to drive there in the Suburban, a vehicle worthy of its own post. We convinced him that it was too big to park, a reason that appealed to Andrew.
Monstor Jam was a nice opportunity for Brig and Andrew to spend some father-son time together,
to introduce Andrew to new Monstor Truck characters with less offensive names (like Superman, as opposed to Gravedigger, pictured at top),
and lessen Andrew's obsession wih the trucks by scaring him just a little bit.
As a side note, Andrew's haircut was perfect for the occassion.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"An economic crisis is a terrible thing to waste."

Who do you think said the above quote? Would you believe President Obama's chief of staff? I think it is very telling.

Why labor over stating anything more when Sowell has said it so beautifully for me.
The big story last week was the incredible Congressional rush to pass a bill that was more than a thousand pages long in just two days— after which it sat on the President's desk for three days while the Obamas were away on a holiday.

There is the same complete inconsistency in the bill itself. Despite the urgency in President Obama's rhetoric, as well as in Congress' haste in passing a bill which few— if any— members had time to read, much less consider, most of the actual spending will take place next year, at the earliest.

Not even the most Alice-in-Wonderland actions will arouse the suspicions of those who have what William James once called "the will to believe."

Nowhere was that will to believe greater than in the election of Barack Obama to be President of the United States, not on the basis of any actual accomplishment, but as the repository of hopes and symbolism. His supporters among the voters and in the media are not going to stop believing now.

It will take a lot more than blatant inconsistency for the faithful to lose faith. It may take catastrophe— and there may well be catastrophe.

For some, even catastrophe under Obama can be blamed on George Bush. After all, Franklin D. Roosevelt was elected to an unprecedented third term in 1940, after two terms in which the unemployment rate never fell below 10 percent and was above 20 percent for 21 consecutive months.

FDR also inspired the will to believe— and he also had Herbert Hoover on whom to blame all the country's troubles.

It may seem strange, to those who never lived through those times, that someone could be President of the United States for eight straight years and nevertheless escape responsibility for mass unemployment by blaming his long-departed predecessor. But we may yet see a re-run of that scenario in our own time.

Nothing in the amateurish way the current administration has begun suggests that they have mastered even the mechanics of governing, much less the complexities of the huge national problems looming ahead, at home and abroad.

The multiple Cabinet nominees withdrawing before their nomination can come to a vote in the Senate are just one example of this amateurism.

Another example was the Secretary of the Treasury holding a much heralded unveiling of his recovery plan, only to publicly embarrass himself and the administration when his speech made painfully clear that there is no plan, but only pious hopes. The plunge in the stock market after his speech suggests how much confidence he inspired.

There is far more to fear from this administration than its amateurism in governing. The urgency with which it has rushed through a monumental spending bill, whose actual spending will not be completed even after 2010, ought to set off alarm bells among those who are not in thrall to the euphoria of Obama's presidency.

The urgency was real, even if the reason given was phony. President Obama's chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel, let slip a valuable clue when he said that a crisis should not go to waste, that a crisis is an opportunity to do things that you could not do otherwise.

Think about the utter cynicism of that. During a crisis, a panicked public will let you get away with things you couldn't get away with otherwise.

A corollary of that is that you had better act quickly while the crisis is at hand, without Congressional hearings or public debates about what you are doing. Above all, you must act before the economy begins to recover on its own.

The party line is that the market has failed so disastrously that only the government can save us. It is proclaimed in Washington and echoed in the media.

The last thing the administration can risk is delay that could allow the market to begin recovering on its own. That would undermine, if not destroy, a golden opportunity to restructure the American economy in ways that would allow politicians to micro-manage other sectors of the economy the way they have micro-managed the housing market into disaster.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Night Sledding (Jan 27)

On the occassion of the first snowfall of the season, I attempted to take the kids sledding. It took too long getting out the door and Will fell asleep in the car, so we aborted the trip.
We went again post-nap pre-dinner. When we arrived at the spot recommended by a friend, I realized that I had been there once before, almost two years ago. I was in Fairfax, getting bar application things done. I was pregnant with Will and Andrew was just an 18 month old baby. It was a hot day and the large brick building overlooking our sledding spot had been a construction zone of endless fascination to Andrew. It was strange to be back there on such a different day, such a different point in my life, even if only two years separated the two me's.
Will was not very excited about sledding. He tolerated it at best, but mainly he hated it. Andrew was in heaven. So was I.
We sledded next to a patch of kids. I had the impression it was a group of family friends or neighbors. We parallel sledded, but that was enough to make Andrew feel included and excited. He chose the sledding spot. When we got home, I asked Andrew what his favorite part about sledding had been.

"The kids," he replied, even though we had not spoken to a single one.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Licking a razorblade does not constitute an emergency

We were making Valentines card tonight when Andrew disappeared to brush his teeth (he flosses now, too, thanks to a preschool lesson). I helped him get the bubblegum toothpaste on the brush and returned to Will. 20 minutes after Andrew returned he decided to show me his tongue. Covered in blood.
"What happened?"

"I licked a razor."

"Why, Andrew? When? WHere was the razor?"

"I don't know, honey. It had bubblegum on it." (toothpaste)

So, if your child licks a razor blade, do the following:

1) Ice wrapped in a napkin or cloth
2) Pressure
3) TV to keep him applying that ice forcefully
4) Expect it to bleed a lot but it won't hurt
5) Don't worry, in 30 minutes he will be playing in boxes with his brother
and providing neigh neigh rides as well. Then he will take a bath with goggles on.

Monday, February 09, 2009

At the Horse Show, Frying Pan Park Jan 2009

It was such a cold and grey day, but there was something lovely (to plagiarize) about it.
We came because Will loves loves loves "Neigh-Neighs!" They were holding a Jumper Horse show, but it was sort of boring. (The smallest jumps were earliest, and we were there very early.)
Andrew kept refusing to wear his coat. He took it off at every opportunity, even though he was almost crying from cold. He could not love us dear so much loved he not showing off his Adidas track suit more. Will slept the whole way home.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Brigham came home and told me that John Updike had died. It felt strange to think that he was no longer a part of the world that he described so well. He wrote a book of poems called "A Child's Calendar," one poem per month. When I learned of its existence I bought it sight unseen. I have not regretted it. Here is my favorite.


The stripped and shapely
Maple grieves
The loss of her
Departed leaves.

The ground is hard,
As hard as stone.
The year is old,
The birds are flown.

And yet the world,
Displays a certain

The beauty of
The bone. Tall God
Must see our souls
This way, and nod.

Give thanks: we do,
Each in his place
Around the table
During grace.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

December 12, Puddle Jumping

Will was desperate to wear rain boots like Andrew. Luckily, they were where I could find them.
Will wanted to run through, and initially was thrilled. When I caught a photo of him, though, it was after he touched the water with his hand. He didn't like that much for some reason.

I could barely drag Andrew back inside. December in Virginia.