Nov 26 2015

Tart, Turkey

Category: Birds,Cats,Family,Food,Holidaysshisoneko @ 8:35 pm

Round one is the red, Pink Lady:


Square is the green, Golden Delicious:


Rustic apple tart, courtesy Mark Bittman, made Tuesday evening (till nearly midnight). Drive down Wednesday post-school, the hardest part was driving into the very low sun. But, left at 140pm, arrive 351pm. Not bad, all things considered!

Eat, sleep, soccer (aka devices first thing in the morning—they are way into a Google Earth flight simulator—harder than it looks!):


Owl craft using toilet paper rolls:


And… another craft using spoons and such:


Check out her earlobes!


(They are magnetic, a really awesome birthday gift from Amy, via Amazon.)

Global warming! I mean, beautiful out for Thanksgiving!


Brother is back from Spain and ready to practice Spanish with the extended family over Christmas. Even managed to stay up through late movie Wednesday night, the new Bond (Spectre, reminding me, and no one else, of Burma’s SLORC). Here’s a family Lego tripod photo pre-early dinner/late lunch (dunch? linner?):


Owly place settings being well documented:




Popo did a great job personalizing them!


On Wednesday, Yoshi by the car. Amber’ll look after her while we’re away.


We are off to Alex’s wedding on Black Friday, leaving the kids in PA. Wish us luck (all of us)!

Nov 22 2015

Weekend Before Turkey Day

Category: Art,Friends,Health,Home,Sports,Wineshisoneko @ 10:10 pm

Last soccer game! Earlier than usual but even by 230pm the sun was so low in the sky. We lucked out with the weather though throughout, and while I’m not positive Tashi will do soccer again she did block and kick. As another mom pointed out, this is a team sport with a measure of chaos; in other team sports, you get individual turns (at bat, etc.). So, we’ll see.


Doing flips (as husband pointed out, not long for this—he’ll be too heavy!):


We had the rest of the day mellow at home, including the cutting of Tashi’s hair (“three inches”! Might be a little more… since we all remembering being scarred by hair cuts gone too short!). (And yah, that’s a haul of vino.)


Rio with his finished Lego (lots of tears before we found it—we forgot to wrap and give to him for birthday after buying it on eBay after seeing it at Liam’s house—then occasionally while building it, but then all smiles!):


Rio’s turkey day art—when he first gave it to me, I wondered who Sam Wickes was.


Then we had parents-only wine club dinner chez Amber (ragu!). Speaking of, she’s been on a publicity spree, spreading her mission of greater diversity and work-family balance! Here she is writing in AdAge and appearing in the Times! (What is a bit remarkable is that her dad also appeared earlier in the paper earlier this year!) Not to mention ancillary press in 201 Magazine and Business Insider.

Sunday we saw Dan and Kim, back for a week for Thanksgiving. But I forgot to take photos! Rio wasn’t feeling so hot but we’re hoping a good night’s sleep does the trick.

Nov 18 2015

School Pix, Stats, et Solidarité

Category: Family,Photography,School,Videoshisoneko @ 10:10 pm

As I like to say, coming soon via an envelope to you!



Both not so bad, all things considered. You’ll recall Tashi’s last year I had to, um, see if there were other options. (I admit Rio’s hair could be better!)

I forgot to list stats from their annuals before we went to Woodstock (and done separately, two days in a row).

Tashi: height 50 inches, weight 50 pounds (tracking 50th percentile)
Rio: height 43 inches, weight 39.5 pounds (still 10th percentile for height, 30th for weight)

Surprisingly, they both passed their eye exams! I am skeptical about Tashi… and even Rio’s color recognition.

Unrelatedly, the absolute best video to come out of the Paris attacks… the look the boy gives his dad at the end! (Also his French—parfait! They are Vietnamese, according to a little google digging.)

If the above doesn’t work, please clink this link. The video is at the top. I promise it’s worth it.

Perspective, right? Our friends who live in Paris—Lisa and Emily’s sister Jen and Bruno’s dad’s friends—are thankfully all fine.

I should mention a couple things the cousins said when they were “slumming it” with us in the ‘burbs last weekend (their other cousins live the high life in London!): “Our entire apartment could fit in your basement” (Ro) and “This train station is so clean! You could eat off it!” (Jun).

Nov 15 2015

Birthday Party Madness!

Category: Family,Friends,Homeshisoneko @ 10:16 pm

After last year’s off-site party we brought it back home again this year. We think more fun to have at home, even if it’s a bit more hectic!

The cupcakes finished the night before (while listening to the horrific news out of Paris)—the Harry Potter–themed cupcakes (those are quidditch golden snitches in case you can’t tell!).

after making

Pre-party (we still had swimming for the both of them and Tashi had her soccer game). Popo and Gonggong and sister and boys arrived a little earlier:


The Hogwarts substitute teacher, Professor Fischer (Tashi: “Fischer? Can’t you think of a better name?”).


Rapt crowd!

learning magic

Older kids:


Adults upstairs, forgetting there were 19 kids downstairs (Rio represented by about a third of them)!


Postshow pizza:


Cake (post-pizza):


I think Tashi had one of each of the types I made! And also all the candy corn beaks went missing:


cupcake crowd

Tine’s husband Daragh (in the yellow) ran from Fair Lawn, in the dark:


Morning after!


a.m. sun


The Star Wars Operation game was a hit (from our friend, mom of twins, who works at the Met Opera):



Today we had an early birthday dinner—at Rumba Cubana with birthday singing and tres leches birthday cake.

Nov 13 2015

Two Teeth Down…

Category: Healthshisoneko @ 7:14 pm

Lost on Wednesday!


Nov 08 2015


Category: Friends,Sports,Travel,Videoshisoneko @ 8:50 pm

Photos from our long weekend in Woodstock! The amazing view from the front porch:


Birch trees, one of many:


Rock, lichen:


Cool driftwood:


Chess on the front porch (we lucked out with the weather! Daytime temps reaching 70!):


Playing with fluffy seeds (like giant dandelions):



Pingpong, in the great room:


Front of house:


Counting rings:


The monastery where we visited last year and again this year—last year it snowed! This year we were in shorts. Inside the monastery:


Where we bought candles/made a donation for the kids’ birthdays—butter lamps! The teen boy monk who showed us around let Rio and Tashi each pour their own, and then light them with an efficient, scary, small butane lighter:


Then we walked uphill for nearly 2 miles… to an abandoned, never-built shell of a grand hotel on the top of Overlook Mountain. It was two hours round trip, in the fading light toward the end:


Hot tubbing:


More front yard action:


Proof I was there!


Salamanders Tashi found at Matt and Steph’s, where husband cooked picadillo using beef and bacon ground meat from Applestone Meat (based in Accord, pronounced ACK-cord, not ah-CORD, as I thought!). Tashi really, really, really wanted to keep them… but we did catch and release and let them go after one escaped off the dining room table when we were outside. She really wants a pet. Hamster, or maybe we can convince her to do a yellow- or red-foot turtle (advice from Josh and Jess, see below):


Bonfire post-dinner:


We got home late, 10pm Saturday, and Sunday morning they barely slept in… so the next night they were in bed at 630pm! Sunday we went to visit Josh (post-shoulder surgery, for carpal syndrome) and Jess, who had a house full of family, and then to Roost again. In fact we didn’t go to new places, other than Shindig, when Oriole9 was closed, and Pondicherry, where we got the Nepal-made fox hat for Tashi (and got to talk about Tashi’s name with the French-German proprietor). The teen monk’s reaction to Tashi’s name: “That is good.”

Screeching Sunday:

Nov 07 2015

Tashi Is 8!

Category: Holidays,Travelshisoneko @ 11:47 am

We are up in Woodstock again for the long NJ weekend (statewide teachers’ conference). I’ll post more photos later—the internets is slow—but here’s one from our monastery visit yesterday (followed by a hike uphill for nearly two miles!):

Screen shot 2015-11-07 at 11.44.58 AM

We are spending the morning playing pingpong in the house! More later; thank you for all the birthday wishes to both kids!

Nov 03 2015

Rio Is 6!

Category: Art,Health,Holidays,Schoolshisoneko @ 10:45 pm

And… I brought him to the ped for his annual! He kept his crown on.


He is tracking 10 percent height and weight: 43 inches; 39.5 lbs. Iron levels good! 13.5, and no sign of diabetes (he peed into a cup). Vision and hearing all good too. Unclear if he is definitely not color blind, but apparently he isn’t.

Tashi I brought the next day (after swapping her aftercare from Tuesday to Monday so I could do modified home day for Rio’s birthday, and after going into the city for one meeting in the morning—I rode my bike, in a skirt, to the bus stop since it’s unseasonably warm!). She’s tracking 50 percent height, and 40 percent weight: 50 inches, 53 lbs. Everything else also normal (iron was lower than Rio’s, oddly: 12.5; and I think eventually she definitely will need glasses! She struggled a little with her left eye but apparently it’s within normal ranges.

For Rio’s aftercare class on his birthday, I did an origami craft (as with Tashi) at Ivy: Origami Yoda! And I read a couple Ace Landers Lego Star Wars books.


He freaked out a little when his Yoda’s smile was “bad” (lots of tears) but we quickly made a new one and all seemed okay!

I meant to post this earlier too—family Halloween photo.


No, I wasn’t a unicorn! I was a figment of your imagination.

Nov 01 2015

Halloween Magic!

Category: Art,Friends,Holidays,Schoolshisoneko @ 9:44 pm

Wizard, after biking back to school in costume (minus the cloak of course!):


Magician, pre-parade:


Rio’s drawing of his costume (and creative spelling). I like the bunny detail!


The hat is genius, a late Amazon Prime purchase (thanks to sister for reminding me! I ordered Monday, it arrived Wednesday), with a bunny that is attached via Velcro and also can be hidden in a compartment inside the hat! Pretty great for under $20 and arriving in two days. Yay Prime!

Hogwarts in 2F! A Harry and two Hermiones:


After the Travell parade, we biked to the Ivy one:


There were the most parents I’d ever seen at the Ivy parade, perhaps owing to it being a Friday afternoon plus a beautiful fall day. Husband took a snap at Roger’s gazebo:


Saturday was two separate tantrums taking up the morning (Tashi, she was overhot) and afternoon (Rio, I repurposed his pumpkin without asking first). Long day when Halloween’s on a weekend and beforehand we still had swimming and soccer (her team won!). Still, it’s a perfect setup for family trick or treating. We met up with the gang to do our street and a block over.


The kids seriously last less than an hour, even though they are older—the candy bin gets too heavy!


You’ll recall this stoop we take photos on every year! For the first time, there’s the homeowner too! Click for snaps from 2014, 2013, not 2012 because of Hurricane Sandy, and 2011.

We also managed a group snap here at the house across from Amber’s:


Then it was all-you-can-eat candy, pizza, and adult bevs and snacks chez Amber. Tashi is a pro at this point at spotting safe candy, though this means she goes through a lot of lollies, Skittles, and the like. She also has the challenge of braces this year!

We stayed later than usual, because Tashi and Rio were pretty silent between the TV and candy gorging in the basement. We were the last family to leave, which never happens as usually one or both is freaking out. They kind of slept in, with the time change, but Tashi in particular was very cranky all day Sunday although she would not admit it. She had a Brownies food drive for a half hour midday, and then the weather cleared up and became so warm we played soccer outside, as well as badminton, and even biked to the Duck Pond playground. The flip side of being able to sleep in is having an extra hour in the day before bedtime.

This is the pumpkin repurposing that caused great tears… I neglected to check with Rio before using it. But, I really wanted a sign and candy holder I didn’t care about losing after our bowl got taken last year! We also turned off the lights when we left the house for when it got dark later. I know, not very festive, but I was nervous about marauding older kids later at night.


And finally Rio’s autumn art (not repurposed!):


Oct 30 2015

Yoshi Wants In

Category: Catsshisoneko @ 9:17 pm

Yoshi’s in the New Yorker! Yoshi’s in the New Yorker! Yoshi’s in the New Yorker! I think it’s online only (still—swoon!!!), and I’LL TAKE IT as fulfilling a lifelong fantasy to be in the New Yorker. I mean, for any member of immediate or extended family or friends to be in the New Yorker.

#peterarkle #allblackcats #yoshi

It’s part of Amy and Peter’s Kickstarter–funded book “All Black Cats Are Not Alike”—click on the link here to see the excerpt!

And this, on the day after National Cat Day! As Houzz put it: “Ask not what your cat can do for you (because it will ignore you) but what you can do for your cat.”

Up next: Halloween–apalooza, two days of it, starting Friday and into Saturday!

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