Monthly Archives: April 2011

Let those eyes sparkle and shine

We’re going to skip the past few days of the blog challenge in order to return to the main topic of this blog- Curly. When I first started the April Blog Challenge I thought, when the challenge ends, Curly will be turning two years old. That’s in 5 days. It’s a little surreal to think that we’re going to have a 2 year old…that we’re starting to get into the counting of his years. It’s just the start (or perhaps the continuation) of time whooshing by. The passage of time goes by ever faster when you watch a child grow and change in front of your eyes.

In just the past two weeks, coincidentally, Curly has started talking a lot more. He will even talk to strangers around him to point out things or show someone a “boo boo.” When we put him to bed at night, he says “Bye, Mommy…Na-night…I-uh-you.” He thinks every Muppet-looking character is “Elmo!” Now that it’s getting warmer, he spots our bare feet and fetches our shoes thinking we’ve forgotten to put them on. He cuddles with the stuffed puppy and teddy bear he sleeps with every night and converses with them in gibberish. He seems to enjoy sitting on his little potty and has even peed in it on a few occasions (to our utter surprise and delight). Whenever he hears the noise of a vehicle outside, he excitedly calls out “Choo choo!”, “Pane!” or “Copta!” Every time we put dinner in front of him, he adamantly says ‘No” but can be found finishing it all a few minutes later. His attention span for books and television is about 10-15 minutes. Sadly, his attention span for cuddling is about 10 seconds, although he’ll occasionally give us a hug or kiss out of the blue. His tantrums are short-lived and he’s gotten much better at controlling his emotions although frustration can be frequent. He enjoys showing off his toys to new people or handing them books to read to him. He loves to run around like a wild man, but will usually climb right up into his stroller if offered. He loves to point out bugs (“buh!”) and it’s a toss-up as to whether he’ll feel comfortable touching them (and putting them into the garbage at home) or watching and keeping his distance. He tries to make friends with every dog he meets.

He is so different from the baby who turned one last year, and yet the same…our sweet, silly, fun-loving, observant, sensitive Curly boy.

Blog Challenge, Days 21 & 22

Favorite City

Nutella’s favorite city is NYC for all the reasons that people tend to love NYC.

Me, I’m split between Philadelphia and Provincetown, and I could definitely be happy living in Provincetown (just not in the winter).

Favorite Vacation

Our favorite vacation was a whirlwind week-long trip to London in 2007. It was my first overseas trip and since I love British history, I could. not. wait. We saw as much as we could and our feet were SO sore from all the walking we did (because there was a Tube strike during part of our trip). We took three guided walking tours including one ghost tour, rode the Eye, toured Hampton Court and the Tower of London, took a day trip to the Cotswolds, walked around Oxford University (where Nutella studied abroad in college), explored Hyde Park, saw a show at the Globe theatre, visited the Victoria & Albert museum, shopped at Harrod’s, etc. It was amazing, although we kind of needed another vacation afterwards!

The Londoners were kind to us and one of the funnier stories we came back with was when we were riding the Tube, a young man who heard us talking asked if he “detected an American accent.” When we responded affirmatively, he went on and on about how he loves America and spent 3 weeks here, mostly in Texas, which is his favorite. Especially the site of the Alamo. When we got off at our stop, he yelled “God Bless America!”

Click through for some pictures we took…

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Blog Challenge, Days 14 & 15

A picture you love

Quick background- We were visiting with a friend and went to see her horse and had our chihuahua with us. When our dog first saw the horses waaaay out in the field, she started whining because she wanted to meet them. Our friend started calling the horses over. As they got closer and closer, our little ~8 pound dog started getting less confident upon seeing how big they were. Our friend’s horse stuck her head over the fence and we lifted our dog so they could be level with one another. Our dog’s eyes practically bugged out of her head upon being sniffed by the horse. Her expression always makes me laugh.



Bible verse Shakespearean verse 

“Make me a willow cabin at your gate
And call upon my soul within the house,
Write loyal cantons of contemnèd love
And sing them loud even in the dead of night,
Hallow your name to the reverberate hills
And make the babbling Gossip of the Air
Cry out “Olivia!” O, you should not rest
Between the elements of air and earth,
But you should pity me.

– Viola, Twelfth Night

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Blog Challenge, Days 12 & 13

What You Believe

Nutella isn’t huge on these meme things, so I’m just answering this one with regards to myself.

I believe the children are our future…teach them well and let them lead the way…wait…

  • I’m agnostic and don’t believe people can really know one way or the other about the existence of…whatever you want to call it.
  • I believe organized religion has created many more problems than solutions.
  • I don’t believe in the concept of soul mates. I think there are at least a few people in this enormous world that one can build wonderful relationships with, but it’s a matter of luck, maturity, communication, chemistry and compromise among other things, to make it work.
  • I don’t believe that people are inherently good (or evil)…I believe people are very much animalistic in nature. Sure, we can think and plan, but we’re always trying to balance that out with our base needs and desires.
  • I 100% believe in a woman’s right to choose, although late term abortions disturb me.
  • I believe the priorities of the American people in general are off.
  • I believe in love.
  • I believe I should stop there for now.

Goals

I had a quick conversation with Nutella about this to see if I could mesh our goals together, and I believe (heh) I can.

  • Travel more
  • Enjoy our careers (which she is currently having trouble with)
  • Never stop learning
  • Always be there for our son, watch him grow, teach him, learn from him
  • Create (art, music, theatre, etc)
  • Be as happy as we can and make any changes necessary to accomplish that

Blog Challenge, Days 10 & 11

Something you’re afraid of

Strawberry- Something Very Bad happening to my loved ones (but overall I don’t think on it much) and any creature with over 6 legs *shiver*

Nutella- Needles

Favorite TV shows

These days we’re usually watching reality tv like Top Chef, Top Design Star and Survivor as well as premium shows like Nurse Jackie, United States of Tara, Boardwalk Empire, and The Borgias. We’ve always loved us some good dramas a la True Blood, Rome, Carnivale, Deadwood, Mad Men, Sopranos, Queer as Folk and Big Love. I tend to watch more tv than Nutella…she only watches about half of what I listed. I also like The Office and Modern Family, both of which she hates (!).

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Blog Challenge, Day 8

A Place You’ve Traveled To – Dominican Republic

This past December, we took a cruise to the Southern Caribbean, and one of the places we visited was the Dominican Republic. Overall, the island is not necessarily the safest for tourists, as there is a lot of poverty and desperate people (however, if you grow sugar, coffee, tobacco or tropical fruit there and have the connections to export it, chances are you’re doing ok comparatively). That said, if you’re on a cruise ship and landing at the port of Samana, you need to have an activity planned or basically you’re just going to walk around while people try and sell you stuff. We decided that that was the port we wanted to have an adventure at, while Nutella’s parents took Curly with them on an excursion to a beach. We were free!

We had booked a day-long (9-4) tour with an American-expatriate now living in the DR. He had set up his own little business doing such excursions and had made several great connections with the locals in a mutually supportive venture. After we arrived and met up with our tour group, we all piled into an open-air bus and took a very rocky trip to get to the horses, which was our next mode of transportation. We all hopped up onto our horses and began our trek to see the ‘real’ Dominican Republic.

After an hour ride through the lush environment, we made it to our first stop. A local man and our tour guide had us sample many different fruits- coconut, papaya, grapefruit, orange, pineapple. Then sweet ‘johnny cake’ bread with coconut jelly. He let us tour a kitchen and see how the stove worked. The visit ended with delicious local coffee, black with raw sugar (it didn’t even need milk).

We got back on the horses for another 30 min ride to a beach. The beach we arrived at felt untouched.

There were picnic tables set up nearby and some locals were having a barbeque for us. We ate chicken, rice & pigeon peas, raw coleslaw, potato & carrot salad and mahi mahi. They poured rum straight into a coconut for us and dropped in a straw. Life is really good when you’re sipping from a coconut on a remote beach.

After our meal and more cofee, we walked on the beach for a bit before we got back on bus to visit a plantation. There were so many wonderful things growing- bananas, pineapple, plaintains, coffee, cacao, avocado, oranges, paprika, mangoes, peppercorn, sweet peppers, cilantro, yams, clove, sugar cane, starfruit and cherries. We were given an education on local farming and told about a drink with supposedly medicinal powers called ‘mama juana’, a mixture of rum, wine, honey, and certain leaves. We all took a shot which knocked us upside the head. And then we had MORE coffee, this time with hot chocolate mixed in. Locals were selling things and we personally bought coffee (a large stash since it was so good), a carved wooden turtle, mounds of unsweetened chocolate and cinnamon sticks. Then we began our hike to a waterfall.

Just as we began our walk, a swarm of local teen girls “assisted” us by taking our arms during the slippery and/or steep areas…whether you wanted them to or not. It was quite strange, but it’s their livelihood. We gave them a couple dollars each at the end. We arrived at the waterfall and had a lovely, albeit cold swim. A few of us, myself included, swam underneath and behind it.

Then it was back on bus to drive to the port. One of the passengers had brought school supplies and candy to give to the kids, and we threw candy to the children we saw at every house we passed on the ride back. They were all delighted, although it was hard to see them living in such squalor.

So yeah…that was a place we traveled to, and had such an incredible experience we’ll never forget it.