Tuesday, October 20, 2009


"Ugh.  I don't kiss you with lipstick on Mama."

How quickly we move from "I will still love you even when I am a man."

FYI.  I don't wear lipstick at 6 a.m.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Collector

There is a rock on my dresser. From where I am sitting on the couch, I can see a rock on the bookcase in the hall. There is a rock on the kitchen table. There are several in the car. Everywhere we go, Duncan needs to pick up a rock. "It's for my collection, Mama." I have read that three is the age for this kind of thing, and it's interesting that the desire to amass objects of a similar kind can begin so early. I suppose it could be worse than rocks. It could be yarn or shoes...or Vera Bradley bags.


Two weekends ago, we went apple picking at Ellsworth Hill Orchard and Berry Farm in Sharon, CT. It doesn't provide the "agriventure" experience of Barton Orchards, where we like to go for the whole "fall festival" feel, but it's nearby, and it's our "go-to" apple farm. We picked apples and blueberries in record speed; the sun had come out after a few days of rain, and the farm was covered in gnats. Duncan likes picking, but he likes eating even more. I love watching a kid eat apples like candy! The blueberries are in the freezer, and we've been eating apples regularly. As soon as I get a few free moments, I'll make some apple sauce for the freezer. You just can't beat an apple orchard on an Indian Summer day, even if you have to battle the gnats to get to the apples!

Friday, October 9, 2009

I Heart Duncan

A picture is worth a thousand words.  One of Duncan's teachers took this at preschool - probably way back in February.  It's one of my favorite pictures of him.  Sorry I only just got around to scanning it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Duncan thought this was an exhibit in the museum. I snapped the photo because he is probably right; in the not-too-distant future, pay phones will go the way of typewriters, manual cameras, and Kodak slide film as we replace them with newer, more exciting technology. Much as the children I teach do not remember record players, cassette tapes, or VHS tapes (and don't get me started on The Beatles), a child born in 2006 recognizes a wireless phone and a cell phone but has no context for a pay phone. How many years will it be before we are fitted with microchips in the backs of our necks?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Word to the Wise

We learned a valuable lesson at the American Museum of Natural History. We had lunch at the museum cafe, and when we paid at the register, we let Duncan select his own drink. The cafe had a nice selection of Vitamin Waters, and we assumed they would be harmless. Duncan drank his with lunch as Jamie and I drank Diet Coke, and we continued with our day. At some point later, as I was carrying the Vitamin Water bottle around, I looked at the ingredients. I'm not sure you can see them on this photo, but bold as day, it says CAFFEINE. I wondered if Duncan would have difficulty sleeping that night, and indeed he did. Of course, the stimulation of a day with the dinosaurs could easily have kept him awake until close to 10 p.m., but I have a feeling the caffeine had a lot to do with it. Lesson learned:  read labels.

Monday, October 5, 2009

'Dem Bones, 'Dem Bones, 'Dem Dino Bones

A boy must have his dinosaurs. One of our more exciting excursions this summer was to the American Museum of Natural History. The dinosaurs were our first order of business. Since the museum is too big to see in one day we settled on just two other exhibits to visit - the frog exhibit and an exhibit of extreme mammals that included the biggest and smallest mammals, mammals that can fly, mammals that lay eggs, and other mammalian oddities. Duncan adored the dinosaurs; his favorites at the time were flying dinosaurs, and we found a few of those. The T-Rex and the long necks (allosaurs, brontosaurs, brachiosaurs, barosaurs) were also among the favored dinos. What I found most interesting was the range of dinosaur sizes and exhibits about how the skeletons were reconstructed. Unfortunately, Duncan's passion did NOT also lend us the time to read all the literature, but as he grows older, I'm sure we'll get to do that as well. The frogs were numerous:  colorful; camouflaged; minuscule; shiny; wet; dry; fat; huge; squat. Name an adjective, and there was a frog to modify. The exhibit was crowded and difficult to maneuver on that day in mid-summer, but it was well worth the extra admission fee. By the time we hit the extreme mammals, Duncan was finished for the day. The extreme mammals also included less common animals, and we didn't have time to read about them so they did not live up to our hype. We stopped at the barosaurs again in the lobby and then headed home. It was a long day of cars, trains, and subways, but walking in the footprints of the dinosaurs made it worthwhile.