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November 29, 2010

Requiem for a Couch

Our pull-out couch came to us unexpectedly. About nine years ago, Joel's grandmother, Nana, sent us some money out of the blue. We took this money and went to Cost Plus World Market, your shopping choice for international foods, beverages, and home decor. For some reason, amongst the aisles of "Japanese canned foods useful for daring your friends to eat" and "wine made from the finest German milk chocolate" was this couch.

"Is this couch somehow cultural?" we asked ourselves.
"No doubt," we replied. "And look, we can afford it with our Nana money!"

The couch seemed indeed to be cultural. Perhaps fashioned by Scandinavian elves, it was oddly-shaped, amazingly light (Joel could literally put it on his back and move it from room to room), and mysteriously comfortable. Despite being only five feet long, it was eminently nappable.

Also, according to Ophelia, eminently delicious.

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Ophelia spent her first six months learning to adjust to family life. Gradually, her tendency to steal and destroy the treasured personal items of the people who feed her, walk her, and shower affection upon her has waned, but she couldn't go a day without taking a few bites of couch. So, this past summer, we moved the couch out into the backyard for one last golden hour of lounging, then took it to the dump.

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November 26, 2010

Happy Birthday, Aimee!

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The cake: Ginger berry trifle lemon magic trifle, with lots of whipped cream (in her new dish that is specifically for trifle)!

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The gift: A new down comforter. There were three levels of down comforters to chose from: Warm, Warmer, and Warmest. Adelaide and I chose Warmest, which was described as being for "Sleepers that keep their bedrooms below 62 degrees." Cozy.

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The party: A low key affair, limited to very close family and pets. Though any party that includes Wild Man Henry Miron and his endless array of apparently sober tricks is one to be remembered.

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November 21, 2010

Early Thanksgiving

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The turkey was brined. The potatoes, mashed. The table, laid. The blessings, spoken. The leftovers, frozen.

We decided to celebrate Thanksgiving a little earlier this year, owing to my work commitments at the hospital [Joel, with his snarky MD, is off the hook from Thursday to Sunday; Me, with my altruistic RN, I'll be working 40 hours between Thursday and Sunday.]. We prepared the feast, minus a few dishes, on Sunday afternoon; the first time that Joel and I prepared Thanksgiving alone - without the encouraging help of our parents or siblings.

We had plenty: the turkey, the stuffing, the cranberries, the mashed potatoes. But my favorite was the turkey:

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Everyone (except Adelaide) oohed and ahhed as the beast in all its glory was pulled from the oven.

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After waiting the requisite 15 minutes for juice redistribution, Henry pulled his ice cream spoon from the drawer and helped to carve the bird.

We are saving one piece of Thanksgiving for its special day ... This year, Joel - our crust maker extraordinaire - will make our very own homemade pumpkin pie for Thursday night.

November 16, 2010

Tot Time!

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"What is Tot Time?" Adelaide asked me this morning as we zoomed down a foggy highway toward the Scanlon Recreation Center and Gym. [Aside: Adelaide also observed, "This fog is like a cozy gray blanket all over Iowa City."]

"Tot Time," I replied, "is a specific time of day when little kids can play with all kinds of fun toys at the big gym."

"Tot!" announced Henry, anxious to be a part of the conversation.

We shook our sillies out for an hour and a half at Tot Time with bikes, balls, and bouncy castles.

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Adelaide has struggled when riding her own tricycle at home, but today, quickly mastered a Big Wheel and zip-zap-zopped around the gym under her own power. I mostly caught sight of her back, but every once and a while would catch a glimpse of her proud, smiling face as she artfully darted in and out and around grown-ups and little kids and babies.

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Hal could not stay out of the bouncing castles. One of his favorite games at home is jumping on his bed, and so the castle's grand scale allowed for even more bouncy fun. True to form, he was all-business, rarely smiling, but shrieking and throwing himself into the pillowy fray again and again and again.

Thank you, Tot Time. I am looking forward to a good naptime.

November 11, 2010

A Life Made Simple With A Snip, Snip

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Hey! It's easier to do our favorite things, like bake cookies, when our hair doesn't flop into our eyes all of the time!

November 6, 2010

Riddle me this, papa.

Aimee, perhaps at random, perhaps with a deeper parental plan than I am privy to, recently borrowed from the library a child's book of Halloween riddles. Essentially a picture book, it had one riddle for every four pages; the question with an elaborate illustration was on the first two pages, and the solution on the second pair. Unexpectedly to me, Adelaide loved it, memorized the questions and solutions within a few reads, and has now taken to springing absurd riddles on me. A sampling of tonight's stumpers:

What does a tree say when it has a star on its top?

I sure love that smell of burning!

What does a cat say when it goes to the movies?

Please pass the dog-corn!

What does a frying pan say at Thanksgiving?

Don't just burn me, make more food!

November 4, 2010

A bee! A bee!

Tonight, while I was giving Henry his bath, he dropped his bath toys, pointed at my pant leg and exclaimed, "A bee! A bee!"
I looked at my pants in confusion. "What bee?" I asked him.
He pointed and repeated, "A bee!"
I looked again, and then I saw it: an orange Asian beetle, crawling along a fold in my jeans.
And so it was, on this day, that Henry told me something that I didn't know. I can't wait to hear what he has to teach me tomorrow, and all the days that I have left.