Wednesday, July 22, 2009

An easy laugh

This is my new favorite website. If Brigham is not tired enough to get really weird and make me laugh, I have a new alternative.

And maybe, just maybe, I have a new goal besides having someone I love featured on America's Funniest Home Videos.

Monday, July 13, 2009

If Price Were No Object

This is the house I would live in. It is on my very favorite street in the entire DC metro area. You can't miss the virtual tour.

This is the mascara I would use:

This is the school I would send the boys to. I like a single-sex education, and I like the particular method of this school. Of course, I also love Fairfax Christian, so long as it remains what once was, even if it lacks the uniforms, that is where they would go for K-4. (I am very pro-uniform.)

I know I should have a car of choice, but in reality I don't know much about cars and don't have any real desires beyond a minivan (or maybe Suburban?). Leather interior is as far as I really get.

I told Brigham that if I lived in that house on Newark St that I would never have occassion to be irritable again. He doesn't believe me, but I would like him to call my bluff.

In the market for an alarm clock

Will has been my alarm clock for the past 20 months. He has never slept past 7:30 in his life. Until about 10 days ago, he woke up at least once a night, usually two, sometimes three and occassionally more. I do not say this to martyr myself; on the contrary, I admit it even though it embarrassingly reveals my poor skills at sleep training. I can give you all my excuses some other time.

My life transformed a week and a half or so ago when I had a conversation with Will about his night wakings. I told him that he was not to wake up anymore during the night. We read the two books in the Goodnight Moon (My World is the other book)series every night (and prenap) that week and I emphasized how contented the little bunny was in his bed and crib. Somehow, all of this worked from the first night of it. Will has been sleeping through ever since.

Saturday was a landmark day in our home. Andrew came in our room in bright sunlight and woke us up. I got in the shower, wondering what time it was, as I had my sister's baby shower to attend at 10, and some fruit salad to buy before that. I figured it was around 9, a typical wake up for Andrew, who goes to bed at 9 during the summer (the previous night he didnt go down until 10:30, though, for very important and justifiable reasons which I cannot recall). I marvelled that Will not only slept through the night, but slept in. We don't have a clock in our room. We have never needed one.

"Alexandra, it is 10:30!" Brigham exclaimed, ruining my leisurely shower. 10:30. Needless to say, I was an hour late for my sister's party.

I can tell she is going to be a great mom already. She wasn't even mad at me.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Local History: Sully Plantation

We went to Sully Plantation last month with my sister and her children. It may be dramatic, but not exaggerating, to say that the experience was such that "a more spiritual [wo]man than myself might have achieved levitation." (if you have not already read For Esmee With Love and Squalor, stop reading this and get your hands on the short story right now!)

We learned a lot. The kids learned that if they get too close to the well, a white haired man will come out and terrify them away, telling them that if they fell in there would be no way to get them out again.

My sister and I learned that the plantation was originally owned by Robert E. Lee's grandfather, Henry Lee II and later his uncle, Richard Bland Lee. We also learned that Henry Lee's wife and first lady of the home, Lucy Grymes, was reknowned for her great beauty (she was known as the Lowland Beauty). She received a marriage proposal from George Washington, but she considered him too poor to be suitable. She lived to see him become the nation's hero. Talk about a road not taken experience.

The kids seemed to absorb that the Lees lived with a white squirrel as a household pet. I am certain they at least took notice of the stuffed albino creature.

We saw all the bedrooms.
My favorite was the girls' (neices to the Lees) room; this photo does not capture why. The younger girl had carved her little name in the window, but the pane was later broken during restoration. It was the only pane of glass to break in the entire home. It is the window to the left.
Will loved the cradle in the master bedroom, so I had to get a shot of him showing it to me for the millionth time.

This is the downstairs study. Cordelia, the older niece, was married in this room and the room was set up as it was the day of her wedding. That green sofa was there that day, too. Don't you love it? I loved this room, and the original sofa and the wedding story and set-up made me love it more.

We learned that the schoolhouse was in a large room upstairs. They used the McGuffy Eclectic Readers, the same I used as a 4th grader at Fairfax Christian School.
(I recognized even then what a tremendous education that school was, and if it is still the same now as it was then, I will do whatever it takes to send my kids there.) Why would any school use anything aside from McGuffy's?

The kids got to try out the hornbooks, the slate boards etc.

We learned about making thread and yarn. This was Andrew's favorite room.
Lucy Gryme's wheel from the early 1700s is still there, too.

We talked about the contrast btwn the master house and the slave quarters.

We realized that our tour was way too long for little kids and that we lacked the skills to properly assist our guide in giving us a redacted version. His method of redaction was to go on and on and on about a few rooms and then not show us the kitchen at all
We learned that there is a Costco 5 minutes from the Plantation and it is a perfect place for 5 hungry boys, one other boy and a girl to eat lunch.
We will be back soon. Make that volunteer tour guide earn his money.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


We have been up to a lot and I have many photos to satisfy grandmaternal hearts, but I thought I would link to some thoughts I have been having on the political scene. I have always somewhat followed politics, but lately I have been feeling almost a basic free-floating anxiety about the state of affairs. The booming budget deficit, an impending man-made health care disaster (if it passes) . . . I feel like I am on a ship headed for a waterfall and everyone else on board is happily going along for the ride. Our poor children. I fear they will never recover from the disasters we are creating for them with our selfish and short-sighted political choices today.

Please, if you disagree with me, I would love to hear your words of comfort. I have truly never more wanted to be wrong. Read here, if interested.