Wizard Chess

29 11 2010

Chess, originally uploaded by B.K. Dewey.

One of Patrick’s teachers sometimes calls him “Weasley” — which makes sense if you’ve both read Harry Potter and seen Patrick’s hair in real life. Here he is, learning to play Wizard Chess.

White Thanksgiving 2010

26 11 2010

Things I’m thankful for, this week:

  • White Thanksgivings and fireplaces. We’re getting festive early this year!
  • Lazy mornings with kids in matching pajamas.
    • Snow that doesn’t linger like an uninvited guest.
    • Spending Thanksgiving with friends, and in a house that can handle lots of hyperactive kids.

I hope everybody had a great Thanksgiving!

Matching Pajamas

Snow… before Thanksgiving?

22 11 2010

Just yesterday morning, I remarked to Molly how great the Japanese maple in our back yard looked. All of the leaves had turned bright orange, as if it was burning from within. Autumn was still strutting its stuff.

Then things started to change. The afternoon brought colder air and lazy flurries from the sky. It’s the best kind of early winter weather, I think, because it looks great but doesn’t snarl up traffic. While the forecast called for a few days of unusually cold weather, we went to bed Sunday night confident that any moisture in the air would pass us by.

Wrong. It’s been snowing all day today, and I’d say we have about 1-2 inches of unexpected accumulation in our back yard. The kids have been unbelievably excited. Alex is now convinced that Santa will come any day. I can’t convince him that snow doesn’t make December 25th come any faster… to him, “snow” means “Christmas.” No matter. Today, everybody’s happy. We’ve got a fire in the fireplace, and Fall has unequivocally given way to Winter.

Fall Meets Winter

Continuing Education

14 11 2010

For those who don’t know, I’m finally learning how to take pictures. More specifically, I’m taking the Black and White 1 photography class at the Photo Center Northwest. I took a workshop there two years ago (which was enough to get my picture on their website), and I’ve been looking forward to taking the full class ever since. I like the darkroom! It’s quiet and meditative. And it has nothing to do with computers! I work with computers… does my hobby need to involve computers, too?

Another neat thing about black and white photography: you must make prints. Lots and lots of prints. Each tweak you want to make to the photo means another sheet of paper in the developer tray. Yes, it’s expensive, but it’s also tangible. I have 338 digital photos from our recent vacation to Paris, but the only prints I have hanging on our wall are seven black and white photos from the three rolls of film I exposed on the trip. I haven’t gotten around to printing any of the digital pictures, and who knows when I will.

If you wonder why there have been so many black and white photos on my photostream recently, you now know why! Here are the three prints I had to make for this week’s assignment, which was about “light and shadow.”

On Top of the World

To Infinity...!

Shadow, Curves

Sick Day

2 11 2010

Welcome to the cold and flu season!

With Patrick, colds turn into ear and eye infections. This was such a common occurrence last year that our pediatrician referred us to the Ear, Nose, and Throat practice at Children’s Hospital. They checked Patrick out in early October and determined he’s allergic to something. Nobody knows what, and they don’t recommend tests at his age, but they can see his nasal passages were inflamed. That keeps things from draining as they should, and thus the infections. He’s now on a regimen of antihistamines, and they’re going to check him out again in January.

However, nobody was surprised when his first cold of the season moved to his eyes. The hard-and-fast rule of daycare: Don’t come in with an eye infection without antibiotics. So today was a sick day for Patrick & me.

The good news? The doctor checked him out and his ears are clear. Maybe it’s the antihistamines, or maybe it’s just him getting bigger, or maybe it was luck. Patrick also didn’t have a fever and was in good spirits throughout the day. If it wasn’t for the runny nose and goopy eye, you wouldn’t know he was sick. So I took him out to enjoy some of the fall colors in the morning. We’ve had two storms blow through in the past week, so the fall leaves are disappearing, but there was still plenty of color in the arboretum. It was as good a sick day as you could ask for.

Autumn Boy

In the Arboretum

More Halloween Photos

1 11 2010

I went through my Halloween photos tonight, and three looked good and summarize our Halloween experience.

First, we really didn’t get into the Halloween spirit this year. The past two years, we had fun adventures to nearby pumpkin patches. This year, the kids went to a pumpkin patch… in St. Louis. (Molly & I ate croissants instead.) Sunday morning, we realized: We don’t have a pumpkin! So off to QFC, which thankfully had a few pumpkins left. Alex liked looking at the “ghost pumpkins” more than he did the large orange ones.

Ghost Pumpkins

This year, Patrick was much more interested in pumpkin carving than he was last year. Here he is, helping mamma plan the jack-o-lantern’s face:

Make an eye there!

When it came time to trick-or-treat, though, it was a repeat of 2009. Alex was in his same costume. Earlier, he wanted to be a Storm Trooper for Halloween. However, he’s also been pretending to be a lion for the past four or five weeks, so when Molly found out last year’s costume mostly fit, it wasn’t hard to convince him to be a lion again. He had a great time trick-or-treating through the neighborhood. Here he is, before going out on the prowl:


Patrick, however, refused to put on his costume (just like Alex at one year old) and stayed home instead of trick-or-treating. Something tells me that won’t happen again next year!