Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A Walk in the Rain

The longest recorded hand-holding stroll -- I think I took pics every step they took together.

{a look back }

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Apple Picking

Big excitement for Des and his preschool class -- they went applepicking! Took a bus to the country, boarded a hayride to the orchard, picked apples, had a picnic, and made it back to the city in time for his full preschool schedule. I dropped him off at the school early in the morning, which meant Zoe and I had till late afternoon before we had to be back. So the first thing on my mind was lets head downtown! We met Jessica and Noah for playtime in Union Square and a trip to Trader Joes!!! Fun times.

Des had some of his usual motion sickness on the way there but they were ready with a bag (!) He managed to eat apples non-stop while there in addition to his lunch. Once we met up he was still eating them and I swear he polished off another 5 before I convinced him he was going to get a stomach ache!

Outside the bus

On the bus with my friend Laura and her son Alex

The hayride!

Kids! Kids! Kids!

Des enjoying the scenery

Ahhh. . . a country lane in New York

Picking apples with buddy Devon

This week they've made apple boats and apple crisp in class.


Afternoon's with Zoe

Des is going to preschool daily which means Zoe and I have 2.5 hours together 5-days a week! Sometimes she falls asleep, or we run errands, get busy on domestics, read, or I take a nap myself. But most days we spend playing and exploring things together.

We are spending a lot of time walking. Here we are one afternoon walking to Preschool with our friend Porter.

Yes! Now mom is mine-all-mine!

I love my brother, but it's nice to have a break!

Having friends is fun!

Zoe loves to play with Loretta. After dropping Des off at school on another afternoon, the three of us went to the playground!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Family Time - Cookies!

Sunday. Something was different about this Sunday.

Nathan came back around 6pm and we joined forces for a large Broccoli Rabe dinner, new recipe, and then N8 and Des decided they wanted to make cookies. Nathan has *never* had the inclination to make cookies himself -- he has inclinations occasionally on my behalf though. So they got to work but it became clear that they really needed some help and soon I was interpreting the recipe for them (Eryn, we're still making your cookies!) Then before long Zoe pulled up a chair and I realized that the 4 of us were all side-by-side, totally engaged in this yummy project and I was smilingsmilingsmiling and feeling joyjoyjoy!! Des&I have cooked together frequently but to have Nathan&Zoe there working with us was so cool!!

Most of you know our crazy schedule, it's either NPJ with the babes or me. Having the four of us together, at one time, engaged in stuff, happens infrequently. So moments like these are priceless. So simple, so mundane but totally blissful.

Comic Relief

Thanks to Leila for bringing up Ali G amid our non-stop, political, social, intellectual, spiritual conversations these past few weeks.

She's given me so much to think about and then from time to time there is humor.

These series of clips have to be my favorite of what I've viewed so far on the Ali G YouTube assortment. They are sports related and I'm the last person you'll find watching/talking about sports. Nevertheless, funny is funny.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Of Persian Persuasion

Reading through some blogs tonight and was provoked into thinking more on that crazy week of the opening of the United Nations General Assembly and especially the visit by Iran's President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

The hardest part of that week was having a close relative of a dear friend of mine remark that we should just "nuke" Iran before their nuclear program develops full scale. I know people feel this way, but hearing someone say it, over a nice dinner, someone who is actually sort of a government person, completely rattled me.

Here's where I'm coming from: I love that part of the world. I love the Arab world, I love the South Asian world, I love the Persian world. I simply have a soft spot, in general, for the Muslim world. I love their history, I love their spiritual truths, I love their art, I love their music, I love their food, I love their films, and all these things have created a lovelovelove for the people. I have only been to one little city in the Arabian/Persian Gulf, but I dream all the time of going to others throughout.

So, specifically, about Iran. I know Persians. I love Persians. It seems to me that our media, our government cannot bring us any depth beyond what to fear, what to protect, what to defend. OUR INTERESTS. The President of Iran seems for most important purposes a loathsome creature. But more intriguing that week, in and around the U.N., was what Persians were saying about him and why. The Iranian diaspora is coming from a different place -- than the US media/government -- they condemn Ahmadinejad out of fear and love for their country, their people. Why is he evil in our eyes? Are we concerned more for our nuclear monopoly/safety or for the dignity/freedom of the Persian people? What are the motives for the U.S. abhorrence of Iran's leadership? Where will that lead our actions? Will it be positive/constructive for the average Iranian?

Does it make us love the Iranian people?

I just don't understand the math -- so we punish Iran with nuclear weapons for wanting to have nuclear weapons, ostensibly to protect themselves from being destroyed by said nuclear weapons. Are they not permitted to defend themselves? We are likely a real threat, especially when one considers that the only country in the world to have ever used the nuclear bomb on another country has been the United States. We are rather threatening. Should we really be telling others not to have bombs themselves?

I HATE all this, I really do. No one should have the bomb. I love America. We should be nuclear free, that should be our pride in the world. We should lead with the most astounding non-violent act: Get rid of it, get rid of fear, initiate peace and reconciliation.

The great American Thomas Paine, who proposed so many revolutionary ideas for this country (including it's name!), said this:

The world is my country,
all mankind are my brethren,
and to do good is my religion.


Film, art, music, literature inform me a great deal when I want to understand a culture/people – watch _Children of Heaven_ by Majid Majidi. He’s made numerous, unspeakably lovely films about his people. Ahmadinejad should not be the only face/voice/instrument one thinks of when Iran is mentioned.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Desi Candor

Zoe? Do you like the beverage I made for you? Zoe? Do you love it? Can I give you a hug? (No response from her) Zoe? Can I give you a kiss? Argh! You gave me a slap?! Argh! Are you gonna throw eggs at my face too?!

I’m drawing a letter for Thomas to remind him that I love him.

It’s the season of Falling.

I’m mad cause I didn’t get any sleep – daddy was snoring louder.

Zoe dances like a bus.

I’m the Prophet, follow me Zo!

Me: I wonder what time it is?
Des: I think it’s time to go outside and get me a toy.

Will dad still be here when I grow up like another dad and my sons come?

Mom! I was in like a girl dream!
(He was frightened!)

When I was a baby I wanted my name to be The Marshmallow Kid.

I’m stuck here, I can’t move – like a wall or a ceiling!

What a beautiful juice (then he took a long swig and sighed deeply)

Mom, can you make some North Pole Salad?

I want Zoe to ride in the Ogre (he meant Ergo)

That’s an important box mom. It has important papers in it that says: Go to Mars.

I’m making something special for Heidi. I miss her. It makes me sad when Heidi’s not around. It’s not fun when Heidi’s not around.

I’ll go inside and cheer her up (Zoe had just woken from her nap and was crying)

Zoe was relentlessly trying to eat all of Desi’s cereal when he finally snapped, “No more naughty babe!”

I love her cute little arm.

I poked her madly.

When I’m big I’ll walk around town.

Mom? I want more fun-ness.

Can you help me eat this so I can be strong and beautiful?

I’m refreshing!

Me: You’re cute.
Des: Thanks! Thanks for noticing that I’m cute!

You’re fun Zo!

Des: I think Zo wants to be like me. Zo, do you want to be like me?
Zo: Nonononono!
Des: Zo don’t you want to be like me?
Zo: No! ME!
Des: She said, ‘No ME!’ She talks now! She didn’t when she was a baby.

You will be the bum leader, Zoe will be the teacher, and I'll be the consonants.

It smells like Heidi's place. Isn't it great to think of Heidi? And smelling her apartment?

My boyfriend likes ballerinas.

After telling Des that he was going to spend the weeked with Heidi he said, "I'm gonna scream and cry out of loveness and cheer!"

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Preschool, Climbing Trees and Ponytails

Preschool has started 5-days a week now, though there are plenty of Jewish holidays to shorten the week. Des is now attending the Y in our neighborhood for 2.5 hours a day. The walk takes us about 30-minutes and that's x 4 (!) I'm getting a lot of extra exercise and Zoe is getting a lot of extra stroller time ( and not always happy about it.)

Des really enjoys his time in class and is quite proud to show the art projects from the day. I love it and think that he is so ready for this. It's a miracle we got into the class really or rather its a miracle we found a class that was still only half full and for his age group and in the neighborhood.

Many of our friends had their babes on waiting lists for the schools in the Bronx. I wasn't sure how to proceed knowing that we'd be leaving the country and thinking we could continue to do our co-op preschool arrangement. Just days before the school year began our friend Natasha mentioned her son's preschool (the Y) and that there was still space and to contact them about it. Suddenly it all clicked and I knew what I should do and, most importantly, I felt like doing it. So DPJ was able to start the second day of the school year and he's so acclimated that I'm shocked he hasn't once (not yet) rebelled against going. Des and Porter B. have become fast buddies and the teachers there are so nice! Today one of them hugged Des and actually told him she loved him. They are going apple picking this month too!! AWESOME!

So Natasha and I stopped by a great climbing tree on the way back from preschool one afternoon and the babes really had a great time being monkeys. Even Zoe continues to be fearless and ape like the boys. This was also a big day as she kept the ponytails in her hair for longer that 2 minutes (they were in for 3 hours or more!) What can I say, this was a triumph!

While we're on topic: the pic above of Desi in ponytail glory was not the first day of preschool -- though wouldn't that have been funny!? It's actually from a recent Sunday, before church, when he decided to help coax Zoe into keeping her pony-do in and, well, he got a little too into it. I negotiated for only the walk to church and then a full removal of all hairbands once we reach the font of the church bldg. By the time we got there he complied without incident declaring that, "ponytails are for girls anyway." I marvel that he can sometimes reach these conclusions without my hinting at them.