May 22 2015

Off to PA!

Category: Friends,Holidays,Sportsshisoneko @ 7:06 pm

We lucked out with the traffic, amazingly, and left right after picking up Tashi from school. 2hr 15min, which is something of a miracle on the Friday of Memorial Day weekend!

Some snaps from LAST Sunday—the penultimate kickball game—with Michael. The second shot I like because the person at bat (well, at kick) had just kicked and Rio realized he had to run to second base.


We have been enjoying husband being at home—last Friday (the 15th) was his last at HBO and Time Warner. The going-away party was Wednesday night—17.5 years!!!! (Of course, 17.) He starts with NBC in June… and Dan of Dan and Kim is also starting a new job in California (at a company named after a fruit). And Jenn is also starting a new job… lots of changes in June. We are excited for all! And very much especially for husband to have a NJ commute! (Yes, this means a second car.)

Anyway his being home meant I was able to spend a full day in NYC Thursday—seeing Ben (who told me to try meditation), Riza (who told me to try vermiculture), and attending a meeting that was followed by two other meetings (at which meditation came up again… but not worms. Still, a pattern!).

The cousins arrive momentarily!

May 17 2015

Extreme Green

Category: Friends,Health,Schoolshisoneko @ 12:05 am


That’s the color Tashi chose for the little rubber bands to go around her braces! That she got Saturday morning. Below, With her crazy scrape on her head that she got Tuesday at recess (I had to pick her up early when she complained of a headache):


Every time we go in, she gets to pick a new color. So expect a new color next month.

Here’s Rio at Thursday’s Touch-a-Truck with Erin and Luca (that they went to as an Ivy field trip—unlike in 2010 when I took the kids solo—! When we just moved here):



Photos courtesy Luca’s mom.

(See, from Sept 2010!)
didi was here!

Friday with Sophie and Aniela, taking a break after running around like lunatics on the playground after school:


Then we went to the library, where Rio wanted to get “The Foot Book” (Dr. Seuss). Not available, we put in a request, and so got “Fox in Socks,” which Rio is reading, word by word.


Tashi also got her own library card, when it emerged you can get a library card pretty much at birth. She was thrilled, to say the least.

On Saturday after swimming we met up with Tine and family to hike the silver trail at Ramapo:


That’s their dog Padmé in the back. Yes, after “Star Wars”!

May 13 2015

Happy Smothers Day!

Category: Activities,Birds,Holidaysshisoneko @ 9:16 pm

So said Rio to me, accidentally while going in for a hug, but I rather like it!


Thanks for all the Mother’s Day and birthday wishes! Not on the same day this year (thank goodness—that’s like overload) and we continued for the second year straight to do a walk/hike somewhere for Mom’s Day. It works out because it’s warm enough but not quite so hot or buggy out (and Graydon isn’t yet open). This time since we had a kickball game in the afternoon we went somewhere I’ve been meaning to check out, the Celery Farm in Allendale, which from looking online had some kind of loop path around wetlands and a pond and lots of birds. It was unclear how long the loop was but Apple’s Heart app tells me it was 1.75 miles—just enough in the growing a.m. heat. The earlier fog had completely burnt off.



Rio claimed to have wanted to walk more but I think it was a good distance and good length of time (roughly an hour) for a getting-hotter day. I’m glad husband got these carvings at a stop—with stairs to climb up to look for birds.


We saw a beaver, we think, and appropriate for Smothers Day, some geese and goslings (and unfortunately, later, also what looked like a goose nest with some unhatched, abandoned eggs).




I got some nice cards:



And an awesome coupon book for various things that Tashi and husband came up with. I have already used the one for “no siblings fighting.”

Later, at kickball, Team Green Giant kicked it:


While the girls did art on the blanket (kudos to Robin for always coming prepared each week!):


As for Monday, my birthday (so great to be 35 again!), I did work and laundry and explained to Tashi why it’s not necessarily polite to ask adults their ages. She said, O, that’s why Mrs. Buckler wouldn’t tell us!

By the way, if you’ve read this far down, the last post before this, WordPress tells me, was the 1,234th post. I have been practicing numbers—how to write and say—with Rio and we’ll see if he can do four digits as this is a good one! Happy Smothers Day to Popo and Roxana and Grise, too!

May 09 2015

Tennis and Mayfair

Category: Art,School,Sportsshisoneko @ 9:11 pm

We just wrapped up five weeks of tennis lessons (via the town) on Friday afternoons. The lessons were an hour each and pretty low-key. We’ll probably re-up in the fall—the last lesson this past Friday was pretty hot, with temps in the low 80s. (By contrast our first lesson was cold! In the upper 50s.)

This is one of the games they play—learning how to shuffle left and right by keeping the ball that’s rolled toward them between their feet.


Here is Tashi’s latest art class artwork—the fish is named Ice Cream, which Tashi says is because it has an open mouth:


Saturday was Mayfair (our third? We went for sure last year, and the year before). I put in two hours at two different bouncy houses, and then spent an hour helping out afterward cleaning up. This is one of the bounce houses—with Olaf from “Frozen” looking over Tashi’s shoulder. We totally lucked out with the cooler, cloudy weather day in the middle of the heat yesterday and predicted for tomorrow.


This photo is a late pickup of Rio at Ivy, after I’d spent most of the day this past Thursday in the city for work. If I come to pick him up too early he complains… and this was a late pickup day! He still complained. He’s doing some kind of science project with Scarlet, hence the glasses. I forget the other boy’s name.


Our new neighbors have moved in—two new families, both Indian, as it happens. And each with a child Rio’s age—so he’ll have two classmates, one a boy, one a girl. We hung out with them on the street this afternoon—nice to be able to do that again.

May 05 2015

Teacher Appreciation Week

Category: Friends,House,School,Sportsshisoneko @ 3:18 pm

It’s this week, did you know? Did you also know it’s a thing for class parents to decorate doors to show appreciation? I DID NOT! So when I signed up to be a class parent for Tashi, I had no idea it meant being crafty.


Of course, Pinterest etc. are all over this, but it’s pretty remarkable to get all the parents responding to us quickly for the flower centers as to why they liked Mrs. Buckler and her class. (Don’t worry, I checked—the teachers get gift cards at the end of the year!)

Then I had to figure out how to hang the thing on the door, as my co-parent was out of town. I have spent better Friday afternoons… especially after hoofing it to tennis and back—but the teachers loved it. Also it helped that the co-parent is an engineer by training, although we didn’t account for variations in door widths! (See below.)

I also did this library one—all by myself! (It helps to do it solo, after the kids are in bed, with a glass of wine. And with excellent color printouts courtesy of husband at work.) I wonder if this is resume-building material? Probably not!


Rio’s second kickball game was Sunday—and it was hot! I meant to post this team photo (we’ll get an actual professional one) that husband took before the first game. I just realized that six of the kids are half- or fully Asian.


Also Friday—our columns were installed! They won’t be this color—will be white.


And our deck was finished!


Fake wood, can you tell?

It was Amy’s birthday Monday—May the Fourth for Star Wars fans—and her party was Saturday:


They are shouting happy birthday to her—the smart birthday girl covered her ears!

Apr 29 2015


Category: Animals,Flowers,Sportsshisoneko @ 1:24 pm

Spring has sprung, nearly overnight—everything is in bloom as of the past week.


Which means I am dealing with allergies big time!

This Sunday also kicked off kickball. Here’s the team photo just before the first game:


Child wrangling before the photo:


The games are all at our school, so Tashi spend half of it on the playground. Team Green did all right, though some kids knew in traditional kickball you’re allowed to pick up the ball and pelt the runner before he gets on base! Rio did butt heads with another child on the field… but quickly recovered.


Rio was invited to a birthday party Saturday featuring exotic animals… it was super-cool! From Outragehisss Pets, where we’d been before with Dara but the home visit was much more intimate, for obvious reasons. (And when can you say you’ve had a boa constrictor in your living room!) I even touched a tarantula.



I was laughing though because Rio has had a crush on Lily since forever, and he was totally catching some snuggles with her on the couch on the pretext of hiding from the animals (also he pet all of them!).

Monday I was in the city most of the day, where I got hairs cut and hung out a bit with Jenn and the girls (age 2.5!) before an event downtown honoring Genevieve for her work with No Kid Hungry.


Apr 24 2015

Art, Music, Clock, Sun

Category: Art,Catsshisoneko @ 12:10 am

Yoshi checks out the Star Wars pencil holders:


And with the artist (all made for the “Repurposing Museum” at school—using toilet rolls and a sample fence board):


The tree coming out of Tashi’s head (from husband’s photo on the wall behind her) is a little funny.

Also, speaking of funny, a shot from the museum sister sent:


And speaking of art, here’s a recent one from Rio:


Figuring out this thing at the piano teacher’s:

And finally, the sun-worshipper:


Apr 21 2015

The Met and More

Category: Art,Family,Sportsshisoneko @ 8:59 pm


We met up with sister and family, and brother too up from Philly for the day, at their place in the city Sunday. It was immediately obvious that Rio and Rohan had gone to the same hairdresser that morning.


We made it out to the Met, where I wanted to show the kids the Egypt exhibit (the Temple of Dendur etc.). We sort of raced through it, although husband and Rio, separated from the larger group, did get to stop and really look at things. Some sample Rio questions: “What does that sign say? What is this one Daddy? Why did they draw these? Is someone still in there?” Tashi did notice an owl, which Rohan said stood in for a vowel in hieroglyphs. (Except maybe I misheard him, as it seems to stand for M—he may have meant a bird in profile.)

I appreciated that the guard, in addition to acknowledging the 19th century graffiti including by someone who also wrote he was from NY, pointed out the graffito in Arabic.


After Egypt we did a little arms and armors with cool samurai swords and (truly beautiful) old guns and even a helmet worn by someone on Henry VIII’s side during the meeting at Calais (the stuff of Hilary Mantel). Also, armor with the blue and red silk still apparent for the 5-year-old Infante Luis, Prince of Asturias (how crazy is it that I can link to these things!).

It would be good to go back and pick one exhibit we all want to go to, maybe Greece, and really look at everything together. Especially as we can get in via a corporate membership (and the suggested donation is $25/adult—I remember paying $6!). Rio and Tashi managed to walk to the museum and back, from their apartment six long crosstown blocks away, which still is remarkable to me. And in what must be a good sign, Rio complained mightily when it was time to leave at nearly 4pm. “WHY? But I JUST got here!!” [shriek shriek] Kids made off with a growling Chewy toy.

The day before on Saturday, we walked even more, in warmer weather, for the kickoff of the baseball/softball season in town, in a parade. The parade is a crazy event we have bumped into before because it blocked off streets en route to Kumon or swimming. This year we were in it for the first time, and literally the entire village is IN the parade, with a dozen or so actual spectators. Rio is doing kickball with the Little Ivy team. It is our first official foray into the town’s organized sports industrial complex… wish us luck.


It meant getting out to the train station at 830am and waiting for the parade to start at 9am. We did not wake up early enough for coffee at home and I was in dire need. Yes, family walks alongside too, so Tashi and teammate Luca’s family all walked too. (And like I said, along with everyone else!) Luca’s dad is the coach. Afterward, we had swimming and then went to my new Thai friend’s house for Thai food plus climbing dome and trampoline (both of which I started to think we needed, till I saw how expensive they are). I also got to see Tish for dinner here in town too Saturday night. Yay! Games start Sunday! Someone described it as herding cats. We shall see!

Apr 16 2015

Expo Insanity

Category: Music,School,Videoshisoneko @ 9:56 pm

The International Expo was this week. I see from last year I wrote NOT to get involved with the evening portion. O well, so much for that. I ended helping to run the thing (half of us Asian). Here is the Latin dance dress rehearsal:


Rio outside on the playground:


Then the night of… Tashi was busy filling out her passport and getting flag stickers (for which I ordered extra Korea stickers, overnight, after it emerged that Korea was presenting in virtually every class—26 students in the school!). She was nervous about the dance. (Yes, she is wearing her swimsuit as part of the costume!)


And given the mere handful of rehearsals—not all of which all of us attended—they did pretty well. Plus, you can get a sense of some of the crowd chaos here. Which I, and a few other co-chairs and volunteers, tried unsuccessfully to tamp down.

The show ended by 830pm, amazingly, and we got this snap after the show—two tired kids. Though it’s hard to tell, I did update this board to incorporate “the arts,” this year’s theme:


Meanwhile, more performances! We switched to a new piano teacher, Kubo-sensei, who does a kind of modified Yamaha method, and who immediately put Rio on two hands. Here he is practicing “Ode to Joy”:

And Tashi, for the first time since we started piano, is excited to play—the song probably helps. Here she is practicing.

The breath beforehand! Neither kid knew I was filming them practice.

Apr 13 2015

Crocuses, Finally, Yay!

Category: Art,Flowersshisoneko @ 9:05 pm

Under the Ivy sign, planted in Roger’s memory:


Also at our house! Which is still a mess in front, so this is the side yard (facing south):


I have been bonkers busy with the Int’l Expo this week, spending most of my time at school (which has lousy connectivity). I’ll post photos of the main event that is Wednesday day and night. In the meantime, welcome home to Baba, from Asia, and some Rio artwork:



This dino is eating another dino, and the little figure by the front foot is Rio, for scale:


Some Star Wars origami, inspired by the books!



Tashi’s self-portrait:


And finally this funny one that Rio spotted at Trader Joe’s—can you see the owl budgie?


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