Thursday, January 28, 2010

Story Time

Parker Charlie's Walks
(As far as we know, Daphne has never heard of Charlie Parker. She said she named her guy Parker Charlie because he likes to go to the park.)
By Daphne Claire Holt
(She hasn't quite figured out that you aren't supposed to separate words like that.)

There Parker Charlie goes to the park with his nephew to play! He's a mighty funny fellow!
(She didn't want to draw the nephew. She said the green things are the handlebars to his unicycle (which has two wheels and is going backwards), the purple things are pockets, and his belt came unfastened. I like his hat.)

Parker Charlie is going to the park with his dog named Bob. He likes to get pets on his head. He also really really likes to go up on his up and down board.
(Bob is a pug. And according to Daphne, an "up and down board" goes up and down like an elevator, not like a see-saw, and it does not have wheels).

On the way, Bob and Parker Charlie saw some bird and bug rectangles. "Hey! I don't know what those birds and bugs are doing!," said Parker Charlie. "Woof woof," said Bob.
(Don't ask me).

Here they go to the hot dog stand! They're going to have some hot dogs and lemonade.
(This looks a lot like Lesher's Hot Dog shop down the street, where we have eaten a few times. Now every time I drive by, it's closed. I don't know how it stays in business. The whole menu has only 4 items: Hot Dog #1, Hot Dog #2, and Hot Dog #3, and Hamburger. Don't bother asking for cheese. They don't have it.)

Parker Charlie and Bob are playing Hide 'n' Seek. Parker Charlie hit his hat into the sky. Can you find Parker Charlie? THE END
(Hint: Those are hands sticking out from behind the slide).

This is the "About the Author" section on the back. She was a little hesitant about giving her daddy credit for his help. I think that's the most fun Kev has had in a long time (besides playing Rock Band with me, of course).
So, there's Daphne's story. I really like it. It makes me laugh. I hope she will make more. If you have a kid who likes to make up stories, there is a place on line called Bare Books where you can get blank story books for kids to write/draw in. Maybe we'll get her some for her birthday.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Frog with Blue Spots and Purple Stripes

By Daphne.

I think I may embroider this on something.

A Blog to Get Things Going

I am blogging, but I'll admit my heart's not really in it. I've been putting it off. It's been a tough month, and I'm not in the mood. But I'm hoping that once I start, I'll get over the hump and post with better consistency. So here goes.

One good thing is that I'm knitting again. I'm working on this scarf (above) for my dad's birthday, which was yesterday. Needless to say, I didn't get it done in time. But I hope to finish it before too much longer, because winter should be back any day now. Yesterday, it was 63 degrees, but today when I picked up Daphne from school, there were snow flurries.

We celebrated my dad's birthday on Sunday, and there was pie:

My mom made it, and it was GOOD. Chocolate cream pie with meringue. I, on the other hand, did NOT make a pie, which is very disappointing because Saturday was National Pie Day and I had big plans. Unfortunately, Daphne had a bad cold over the weekend, and pie just didn't happen. In fact, dinner may not have happened, except Kev stepped up and made Guinness Beef Stew on Saturday and saved the day. Also GOOD. Anyway, I WILL make pie, but it will be late. Like the scarf. I never used to be late. Ever. I am diagnosing myself with adult onset ADD (most definitely without the "H"). I just can't seem to get organized or complete tasks efficiently anymore.

BUT, what I CAN do is play the drums on Rock Band. And, according to the game (which I am now very suspicious of), I can suddenly SING too. I got 100% on medium singing Fleetwood Mac "Go Your Own Way," and I KNOW I wasn't hitting those Lindsey Buckingham high notes. No wonder that poor girl who tried out for American Idol after practicing and getting high praise from Fake Simon on the A.I. video game thought she could sing. It's totally bogus. The drums, however, you can't really fake your way through. You either hit the beats or you don't. Man oh man, I love playing the drums on Rock Band. The only thing I don't like is that sometimes you have to play along with really horrible songs by bands like Motorhead and System of a Down and so forth. I can't sing, but at least I'm better than Lemmy. Good grief. Who LIKES that crap?

Pictured above are some of my Christmas gifts from Kev. The pot has gotten a LOT of use. The pannier is awesome, but I won't get to use it until spring. See those little hooks? It hooks right on my bike, and I'll be able to fill it with things like snacks and my camera and my new picnic quilt that my mom is making me and small knitting projects and whatever else one might take along on a bike ride. I can't wait. And last but not least, the fabulous daisy-printed thing, in case you can't tell, is a market cart. It's on wheels, so I can pull it all around town to the farmer's market or the grocery store and use it to carry things home. Yesterday, I got to use it for the first time. I promise you I had more style than anyone else at Safeway. OK, that's really not saying a whole lot, I guess. Safeway isn't really a very stylish place. But still. I love my market cart, and intend to use it regularly.

So, that's some of what's been going on around here. A couple funny Daphne notes: This morning, I went upstairs to get dressed, and I heard Daphne calling, MOM, with great urgency. So I called back down the steps, WHAT? And she hollered, "What are golashes?" Me: They're like rainboots. Her: When do you wear 'em? Me: Uh...when it rains. Long pause. Her: Do dogs wear 'em? Me: No. Her: OK. And that was that.

Then, she asked if she could make a Christmas list for next year. I said let's wait until after school, but she said, "Well, it's not a very long list." So I said OK and she dictated it to me:
  1. A BBBBIIIIGGGG wall with ropes for climbing and a helmet.
  2. A banana shirt.
  3. Balloons.
  4. The rest of the guys from Meet the Robinsons. (She already has the "Wilbur." And she already broke off one of his legs.)

I would like to visit Daphne's imagination for a while and see what goes on in there. She's so dang funny. The other morning, I went into her room when she woke up, and the first thing she said to me was not "Good morning Mommy," but, "I have a super large head." And she is making up a story that she's dictating to Kev about a guy named Parker Charlie (!) who has a pug named Bob, and who rides backwards through town on a two wheeled unicycle and always forgets to zip up his pants. So, I am very lucky and happy to get to spend time with my funny little kid. I need to remember this when she is having a meltdown or a moment (or two) of stubborness like she did today after school. There are times when we consider having her spend the teenage years in bootcamp. If she is this stubborn now, she will either outgrow it, or we're REALLY in for it. Let's hope she outgrows it. I don't think they let you bring your mommy with you to bootcamp.

OK, well, I feel sorta all nice and bloggy again, so I shall try to post again soon. Off to work on the scarf for a while. Or maybe practice my drumming skills. Sweet.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Chicken and Biscuits

Some food is very photogenic. This, well, not so much. However, MAN OH MAN was it tasty. Kev received this recipe from his sister, Kim, as part of his birthday gift, and yesterday it made it's Leesburg debut. I do not think the biscuits are supposed to sink. I would imagine that ideally, they sort of hover atop the creamy chicken goodness in the pot. But it was still really really good, and Daphne even liked it, so it is for sure going into the rotation. The best part is that we get to have the leftovers tomorrow night. Thanks, Aunt Kimmy.

In other food news, today is National Popcorn Day, so we'll probably have some tonight for a snack.

And as mentioned before, Saturday is National Pie Day. I still haven't decided what pie to make, but I've got time.

Today is like spring. I think it's in the very high 50s, so after school we went to the park with some of Daphne's classmates. It was good to be outside. Without a hat. It's been a long time. Winter is far from over, so this was a real treat. to be productive. Or maybe I'll just take a nap.

Sunday, January 17, 2010


Things have gotten almost back to normal around here, and Christmas is sort of a distant memory. Even so, I've managed to stay pretty busy. Last Wednesday night, I went to dinner with some of the other mommies from Daphne's preschool. It was a fun night out and I hope we do it again sometime. I ordered some tapas, and the food was pretty good, but not great. It made me miss Cafe Madrid. Oh man. I REALLY miss Cafe Madrid. And La Duni. And Gloria's. And Legal Gounds. And barbeque.
I really shouldn't complain so much about missing the restaurants in Dallas. Leesburg has some great places. Friday night, Daphne spent the night at Grandma and Grandpa's, so Kev and I walked right down the street to the coffee shop (Shoes) which now has an evening menu. I got some polenta with mushroom cream sauce and it was GREAT, and Kev really liked his beef stew (although it can't have been as good as the Guinness one). Then we came home and played Rock Band until way past our usual bedtime. Good times. Thanks, Mom and Dad and Jeff, for babysitting. I have moved up to "medium" on drums, and still usually get in the 90s (except on that dang Pinball's baffling!). And since we won the plane, we get to play Europe.
Daphne and I have been going to Parent and Child yoga class on Fridays at the rec center. It is pretty fun, and Daphne's really good at it. She is a good listener and tries really hard. Next month, she starts a little 6 week ballet class. We'll see how it goes.
Yesterday, Kev and I (finally) unpacked a bunch of pictures that have been sitting in the dining room in huge cardboard boxes for a year. We hung up a few which made quite a difference. But the biggest improvement is having a box-free dining room. I wish there was a way to make money playing Rock Band so we could make all the home improvements we want to make. But that's OK. One step at a time. We're going to live here forever, after all.
And I finally managed to start knitting again after a long dry spell. Hooray. In fact, I think that's what I will do now.
PS. Project Runway and American Idol are back! Yes!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Crafty New Year

I am excited to tell you that everyone in the family is getting all arts-and-crafty. Daphne pretty much ONLY wants to do arts and crafts. She got lots of craft supplies for Christmas and is speedily using them up. She took a picture of some of her creations (above). I may have to snag the ROCK necklace to wear to the Loons gigs during Rock Band. (We are getting good. We won a plane!)

Kev is also getting into the act. He got a linoleum block carving/printing starter kit for Christmas, and below is his first print:

Pretty cool, huh? I love it. I have all kinds of ideas for his future carvings. Birds, owls, a silhouette of Daphne maybe. Limitless possibilities. I'm glad he likes doing it.
Meanwhile, my dad has started oil painting. He just started last week, and he's already knocked out four paintings! Here is one with some people you might recognize:

Isn't that great?! I have requested one of our old house in Texas when he has time. I also think he should paint a picture of the Zesto. The best thing is that he really seems to enjoy painting. I wish I could paint. I think I would be terrible at it. I don't have the patience.
Finally, my mom has started quilting. She started a couple months before the move, and I think she has finished almost four. She made Daphne a nice warm fleece snowman quilt, and a smaller one that matches for Daphne's "guys":

She's working on one for me but I haven't gotten to see it yet. I think I get to help pick out the backing this week sometime. She also made me this apron for Christmas:

She gave it to me along with this book. It's a perfect pie-baking apron, and just in time too because January 23 is National Pie Day. I told Kev I want to make one pie each month this year, and then make a pie calendar at the end of the year. He said we will gain 20 pounds if I do that. But I still might. It's not like we have to eat the whole pies by ourselves. I'm sure we could find people to help us. Who doesn't like pie?
So, anyway, everyone is making things! It's so great! I suppose Jeff will be next. I wonder what he will do. Macrame, perhaps? Needlepoint?
Everyone is making things except for me. Ugh. I have a really bad case of knitter's block at the moment. I think I just need to pick up my needles and do SOMETHING to get back in the groove. Maybe a washcloth or something simple.
First though, chores. Better get going.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Chicken Littles

School was closed on the last day before the holiday break due to Blizzard '09, so today, Daphne's preschool class had its make-up Christmas party. Actually, they aren't allowed to call it a Christmas party. It's a winter party. In any case, I love the little parties they have at school, because they let the parents come for the last hour of class for a craft (see the antler hats) and a snack, and then the kids put on a little show. It is the cutest thing ever to watch. All the kids are so different. Some just sort of stand there like deer (or in this case reindeer) in headlights. Some cry. Some get really into it and have a blast. Daphne is always very serious. Today's grand finale was the Chicken Dance. I am pleased the school is getting an early start in preparing our children for all the future company picnics, wedding receptions, and polka festivals they will be attending in their lives. Very practical. They also sang Five Little Monkeys and recited a few poems. Party day is so great. The next one is the Valentine's Day party, which they are allowed to call a Valentine's Day party. I hope they learn the Electric Slide!

Before the party, I went to Shoes for coffee with a couple of other mommies from Daphne's class. What a nice treat. I feel like I have been going non-stop for so long, and it was nice to sit still and have adult conversation for a couple hours.

Yesterday, I took down Christmas, which was exhausting. I still need to take down the lights and disassemble the tree, but the hardest part is over. The worst thing about taking down Christmas is having to repeatedly go into the basement. Our basement is functional but creepy. And due to recent incedents, I am a little paranoid about the possibility of meeting up with some sort of nasty critter while I'm down there. to enjoy a little Tara Time while Daphne sleeps off the party. Perhaps I'll knit!

Monday, January 04, 2010

Bowling Slowly

Yesterday we went bowling. Bowling with Daphne requires a great deal of patience. It generally takes about 90 seconds for her ball to mosey down the lane. You can hear the guy in the next lane comment, "It's amazing it knocks any over." She watches it very intently as it makes its way to the pins. She beat me in the second game, but I think the scoring machine made some errors. Plus, my "Drummer's Arm" was acting up.

Yesterday was fun. We went out to breakfast, then there was bowling, reading, a nap (for me!), Rock Band, arts and crafts, and leftover jambalaya. I am glad we aren't a football family.

Saturday, January 02, 2010

A Few Things Worth Mentioning Before Moving On...

So, for Christmas, Kev conspired with my parents and Jeff to get us a Wii with Rock Band 2 and the Beatles Rock Band game. This has already provided hours of fun for our whole family, including Daphne. The whole gift thing is such a Christmas conundrum. While each year I hope to downsize all the gift-giving, I must admit that I got really excited about getting Rock Band and all the other great gifts I received this year. It's just FUN to get nice gifts. And it's fun to GIVE them, too. But really, I think next year we all have to find a way to cut back. Christmas isn't about the presents, and I don't want Daphne to think it is.

Anyway, there she is, singing Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. She does well with the really repetative songs. I think she got like 29% on this one! We told her to just be loud, and if she doesn't know the words, to sing "watermelon watermelon watermelon..." It's pretty fun to watch her. (And a note to my friend Emily, we most definitely will not be letting her do "Happiness is a Warm Gun." I don't even let her watch Phineas and Ferb!) I like playing drums best. And Kev is getting really good at guitar. We formed a band called The Loons and are currently on tour. We have already won a van and a bus and made enough money for my character to buy some cool orange western boots. Then, I had to stop playing for a couple days because I got "Drummer's Arm." I'm pretty sure real musicians don't have to use Bengay after one afternoon of rock. It's pretty embarrassing.

During our trip to New York, Kev and I got a chance to go out to the movies with some good friends while his parents babysat the Peanut. We saw Up in the Air and I highly recommend it based on the following:

  • (Ridiculously long and loud) car chases -0.
  • Senseless violence - 0.
  • Aliens/monsters - 0.
  • Silly Hollywood convenient plot devices and predictable sappy endings -0.
  • Cameos by the great Young MC singing Bust a Move (OK smawdy, go to a pawdy) - 1
  • Clooney is just good.

If you like good music, check out the Kings of Convenience if you haven't already. Simon and Garfunkle meets Belle and Sebastian. Good stuff.

A note about Althea's hat. People are now saying she bought it from a street vendor in NYC, where these hats are all the rage on the subway. So disappointing, Althea. We thought you were one of us. I still want to knit one, though. And also one like Jovie has at the end of Elf when she sings Santa Claus is Coming to Town.

I am reading The Bicycle Diaries by David Byrne. So far, it's very good. In fact, I am going to go read it now...

Tomorrow, we bowl.

Friday, January 01, 2010


It's not Christmas until somebody moves the window angels around. This year it was more difficult. They were taped down. But someone was determined.

And so, we start another year. That's good. I'm ready. The last month of 2009 was crazy and stressful and fun. There was a blizzard. There were several different Christmas celebrations. There was travel, but not on a plane! There was family, friends, and food. There were movies and restaurants. There were gifts. And gifts. And gifts. So much for down-sizing Christmas. There were birthdays. There was family game time. There was snow on Christmas day. And there was one very excited little Peanut. But now, I'm ready for some normal. I don't even think I am going to have the usual post-Christmas let-down this year.

If you'd like to see pictures from the past few weeks, there are plenty on Flickr. And Daphne got a camera for Christmas, so she now has her own flickr page here. (She took the LEON picture above). I love her pictures. Many of them are blurry and strange, but they give you an idea of how she sees the world.

I hope you all had a good Christmas, too.

OK. On with 2010.

That seems so Sci-Fi.