You are currently browsing the monthly archive for August 2011.


This is a picture I took of Charlie Ramos’ Aunt Lois when we went to help him pull things out of his house after the great engineering failure that caused the flooding of New Orleans in 2005.  Aunt Lois was one of my all-time favorite people and subject of many eccentric but lovable character stories.  I love the colors of the ruin and the mold and the deep sadness that follows behind the smile. 

Charlie’s house has been completely rebuilt, his neighborhood is coming back and Aunt Lois has been gone for a few years now.  Everyone wore her favorite color, lavender, to her funeral.  Deep sadness behind the lavender smiles.


Jim has been obsessed with getting the boys to try hot cereal.

Every kind of hot cereal.

Here’s what we’ve been serving this week.

Note the phrase  “Whole Grain” in the title.

And on the back of this package…  “Buckwheat is a fruit, not a grain…”   Did they have to put “whole grain” on the front just to get us granola stalinists (thanks Alan!) to make the purchase?

I don’t know what to say about this one.

The 7 grain is currently banned at our house.  I have to hide it in an undisclosed location, because Jim will seek it out anyway, despite the ban.

I hear it tastes really good, but here is what it looks like going in and coming out.  For two kids in diapers, it takes a whisk broom and a playskool chisel to get it off their butts.  So it’s banned until everyone is on their own, so to speak.

Here is the norm, and the only one I’ll cook in the morning, mostly because I love to hear the kids request their “Oat meow.”  They’re going to think I’m hard of hearing because I keep asking them to repeat themselves.  (Remind me to show you the video where I get them to ask for a “Popsicle” over and over again).

But there was one more experiment…

The great grain experiment  of 2011 ended right here.  Even the everyvore (aka dog we house, clothe and feed) turned up his big black nose at the bulgur!

Since the kids are home this week recovering from minor surgeries, we’ve watched more television than usual.  Make no mistake, no matter what I’ve spouted in the past, or whatever lies I’m telling to your face, my kids watch some television almost every day.

These shows are my favs and gags and have nothing to do with what the kids like for the most part.  They are spread among PBS, Disney Junior and Nick Jr. which are all commercial free.  Special shout out to Nick Jr. for the fabulous in between moments of song, dance and puzzle time!

Glue your little brain molecules to these:

  • Little Einsteins – perfection – the Sucre of kids shows. It features a great work of art and a classical piece of music in every episode. My kids are listening and liking Beethoven and Dvořák and getting exposed to Gustav Klimt!
  • Phineas and Ferb – in every science fiction movie, it all comes down to the evil character and this show has the best.  Dr. Heinz Doofenshmirtz, the head of Doofenshmirtz Evil Incorporated wants to wreak havoc on the “tri-state area” and has great end of show explosion lines like, “I used to have goals.”  The references and details in this show are incredible, the songs are hilarious and it’s always fresh.  Like watching the Colbert Report and trying to keep up  mentally to get all the jokes.
  • Timmy Time – this was our first kids show discovery and I was so excited to see such quality.  From the Wallace and Gromit folks, this is extraordinarily cute and great for when my kids didn’t understand so much English as all the farm animals only grunt, squeak, meow or moo.  Some adult friends accidentally caught one of these and couldn’t pull themselves away.
  • Super Why – this is Art’s (3yo) favorite superhero, and what literacy-freak mom wouldn’t want to have a caped reading avenger for her child.  Superhero shoes, cape and goggles on the way
  • Wild Kratts – perfect blend of Wild Kingdom, Crocodile Hunter and Wonder Twin powers activate!

Sorry baby, the cable just went out:

  • Dora the Explorer – from my neice’s conversations about camping with me, I really thought I would like this – camping, espanol, girl power – what more could you ask for in a kids show? Unfortunately, it is beyond excruciating with the extra repetition and high-pitched scream-chants… ” Chocolate lake, troll bridge, cupcake mountain!! Chocolate lake, troll bridge, cupcake mountain!! Chocolate lake, troll bridge, cupcake mountain!!!” (I am not making this level up)
  • Agent Oso – I would have blown this ridiculous bear off long ago, but it’s the first show that Art and I communicated with while in Russia, and each episode has a knock off 007 title (Gold Feather, The Chairs are Not Enough, Quantum of Celery etc.). Plus Jim says he learns things like how to use chopsticks.
  • Jake and the Neverland Pirates – Captain Hook steals something, kids get it back, meaningless coin acquisition (like the points on Who’s Line is it Anyway), the end. New episode, repeat.
  • Jungle Junction – it’s a show that teaches kids about road signs.  Which I could tolerate except for the character of Zooter – her voice and teeth just freak me out.
  • Backyardigans – I got all kinds of flak for posting on fb how somnambulicious this little show is, but I don’t care.  Could they dance or sing any slower?
  • Wonderpets – they sing so long about how they’re going to save some animal that in most cases, that little bird would have slipped off the log and drowned long ago.  We do sing Teamwork off key and often to make each other laugh though.

ps – we caught a Barney and Friends and I didn’t hate it (except for the voice) sssshhhhhhh