Tag Archives: levi

Think it over

Did you ever have to carry around an egg or a sack of flour when you were in school, to teach you about the responsibilities of having a baby? Not sure if that ever deterred anyone from being a teen parent, but the times have changed. Nowadays, kids care for robot babies (“Baby Think It Over“) to encourage them to think about their decisions and the consequences. Thus, Levi brought home Levi Jr.

At first, Levi was filled with delight. He was excited about the project, and discussed what he would name the baby, and what gender he would get. He told us that he did not want to go out to a restaurant because he would be embarrassed if his robot baby cried in public. So, we stayed in. Levi Jr. slept for about 2 hours, and then the fun began. Levi, Sr. did a good job trying to keep up with the baby’s extensive feeding schedule, obscure demands, and shrill wailing, but the sleep deprivation and frustration were evident in the morning. He was quite surprised to learn that babies eat for more than three minutes at a time. By the end of the project, he was convinced that he should wait a long, long, long, long time before taking on the responsibility of a real human baby. We might never be grandparents thanks to this project. Just one more way we are different from Sarah Palin!

Our friend, Lisa, lent Levi a sling so he could practice babywearing with Levi Jr. The plastic baby didn’t squish up like a real baby, but the effect was still pretty hilarious.

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Autumnal

Levi is six feet tall, taller than his mom now. High school life suits him. Flannel shirt season suits him.

He’s reading The Count of Monte Cristo for school. It’s the first time he’s read a book for school that I haven’t read before. I hope the wikipedia entry is good so I can hold up my end of the conversation. I have an idea that we should make vegetarian monte cristo sandwiches when this 1500 page book is finally finished, but Levi says that monte cristo sandwiches are just too much. For those of you who have never had one, the monte cristo varies regionally but usually includes some sort of ham and turkey and swiss cheese on french toast bread. It is often accompanied by a side of jam, powdered sugar, clotted cream, yogurt, maple syrup or sweet mustard sauce. I heard people in NY actually eat it with thousand island dressing but that seems too gross to comprehend. No one in our family has ever eaten one, so we’re all hypothesizing about the ridiculousness. I think there is potential. The Chicago Diner serves a vegetarian (with a vegan option) monte cristo, and I fully believe that they wouldn’t serve it if it wasn’t delicious, so I think it could be great. It could be like Man versus Food, but Gay Vegetarians and a Teenage Son vs. Food. Or it could be disgusting.

We do love weird sandwiches around here lately. We like the peanut satay sandwich a lot, although I know it might be challenging to make if you live in England where they aren’t big on quality peanut butter. If you’re on this side of the ocean, however, you have no excuse not to make this… except extraordinary peanut allergies. This sandwich is magic.

I’m also completely obsessed with the grilled kimcheese sandwich that Krista discovered. It’s spicy. It’s cheesy. I never imagined such a simple, weird ingredient combo bringing so much joy to my face. I have dreams about this sandwich. I wish we ate it every week.

Martha Stewart had a crazy weird grilled cheese sandwich feature in her magazine last month, and I would like to cook straight through it except for the meaty options. I’m not sure what it is about the autumn leaves hitting the ground, but it makes me start to wonder if manchego is a good pairing for grilled pears or what would happen if Gruyère met pesto or arugula, but it happens. Please share your favorite weird/simple sandwiches with me.

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Back to school

This morning, the day started much earlier than his mornings have for the last three months. Here’s a yawning teenager on his way to the bus stop. A six foot tall high school student with new boots and summer reading!! Egads! Everything is happening so fast!

xoxo,
Jess

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He’s Fourteen!

It’s everyone’s favorite holiday weekend in July, when you can listen to the police scanner and hear all about mailbox fires, car explosions, juggalo complaints, intoxicated drivers and 1,000,000,000 fireworks violations. In our family, however, we have a birthday to celebrate, and it’s not America’s birthday.

Fourteen years ago on this very day, Krista gave birth to a 9 lb 9 oz bouncing baby boy. Today, we had a breakfast of fresh donuts, and who could ask for more than that? But the day got better. His dad dropped by for a minute, and we all watched Levi open his birthday gifts. We had lunch at his favorite pizza place, and visited some of our friends around town. We ate dinner with his dad at one of our treasured local eateries, and ate black forest cake (his special birthday cake request) from one of our favorite local bakers. We’re having his kid party (paintball, i think? something gun-related?) later in the month, but it was delightful to spend a day with our little family and to fête our boy on the most beautiful summer day of the year.

Happy Birthday, Kiddo. Here’s hoping 14 is the best year yet!

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good day sunshine

When we woke up early yesterday morning, we thought the excitement of our day was going to be Levi’s 8th grade graduation.

They fed us a mostly inedible breakfast (fruit is not supposed to taste like that) and we squirmed in the bleachers for what seemed like an eternity to our butts. Bless their hearts, his school isn’t full of the biggest talents. A bunch of kids sang really off-key. A girl played a cello piece and missed several notes. It was a really appropriate end to middle school, the most awkward period of anyone’s life. And Levi got his promotion certificate.

Then he took off for the water park with his friends and we had a day mostly to ourselves. Jess had the day off and I only had a two hour training class later in the day. So of course we went out for some real breakfast and power shopping. I was determined to finally get something to deal with our lawn. We may regret the work commitment, but we settled on this:

While we ran around to three different stores before finding a good deal on the mower, we managed to FINALLY find a new washer that fits in our laundry closet and is energy and water efficient. Have we not blogged about this dilemma yet? To sum it up, our 10 year-old, front-loading washer busted and the super efficient models they make nowadays are freaking huge. Don’t you think it is kind of ironic that in order to own the most efficient laundry machines of 2010 you have to live in a giant house? If you live a simple lifestyle in a tiny house, you have to pay more money for a less efficient machine that fits in your space. GAH. Anyway, we finally found something reasonably efficient that fits. At that moment, as we sat in Home Depot, the ceiling opened up and a giant rainbow streamed across the sky and angels started singing HALLELUJAH! The only downside is that I only get one more date with the Ms. Pacman machine at the laundromat.

We headed home feeling very pleased with ourselves, and I assembled our human-powered lawn mower while Jess puttered around in the backyard. I got the thing together and mowed about 3 rows of our lawn before Jess called me to the backyard. She had just sprained her wrist during yard work the day before and there was a bit of urgency to her voice, so I put down the mower and headed to the backyard. Jess looked at me wide-eyed and said ominously, “Something is going on with the bees.”

I looked up and our backyard was literally abuzz. There were bees everywhere. I know we have a lot of bees, but we don’t usually see so many all at once. They were everywhere. They seemed to be mostly converging over the gigantic laurel between our yard and the neighbors. “Oh god, I hope the neighbors don’t see that,” I thought. And Jess tried to convince me to come back there. I’m happy to participate in the beekeeping, but I don’t have a suit or veil. Levi and I normally just cover up really well and pull our hoodie strings tight. I was not about to walk into a sea of bees without protection.

Jess was in a daze and a bit of denial. My little walking bee-encyclopedia didn’t even have her bee suit on! I told her to go get her veil. “I’m pretty sure your bees are swarming. And I’m going to go back to mowing the lawn.”

To be continued…

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Top of the Rock

I’m still trying to finish up our vacation round up, but I am losing at this game. Some of my favorite photos happened at the end of our trip, so I don’t want to skip them. So, one morning we woke up & wanted to go to the Museum of Modern Art. I had a problem with my sinuses, allergies, head, face, nose, and thinking capacity, so I navigated us to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which is not the same thing. Usually I am a reasonably good navigator, but this was a total failure on my part. Then we made our way to MOMA, only to find that the Tim Burton exhibit tickets were sold out.

It felt like a “Plan B” kind of day, so we decided to scrap our plans entirely and go to the Top of the Rock, which is of course, the top of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, or the GE building which, I don’t know if you know, was one of the most thrilling buildings in NYC because that’s where 30 Rock takes place. Yes, Liz Lemon is probably Levi’s favorite television heroine. So, Top of the Rock is basically an observation deck on the top of this building. It’s supposed to be a better view than the Empire State Building because you can actually see the Empire State Building as part of the skyline. Also, there was no line and no waiting.

So, we pay an obscene amount of money, hustle past the Swarovski 3-story crystal chandelier in the Rockefeller atrium, and get in an elevator that plays music and videos on the ceiling and transports you up 67 floors. It was kind of scary, like being in a rave that is flying into outer space. (Actually, I am pretty sure that I was the only person afraid of this elevator.)

From the 67th floor, you can take stairs and escalators, finally arriving on the 70th floor. Once you are at the top, there’s a gorgeous view of New York, way up high above the taxis and vomit and mountains of garbage and greasy, shit-stained subways. It’s the alter ego of NYC – totally quiet, like being in an empty cathedral. We stared at the skyline forever, in every direction.



Top of the Rock has plenty of the ubiquitous coin-op telescopes that you find at touristy sites.


I had some marginal success taking a photo through the telescope viewer. This is the Chrysler building partially obscured by the Metlife building.

We had lunch at Vegetarian Paradise 2, which was good but not as great as Red Bamboo. Then we rushed back to our hotel to host a pool party for our friend Ellen & her two sons, Banjo & Caleb. We were so distracted by the pool and sauna, we forgot to take any pictures of the pool party. We ate pizza for dinner, again, because so far as I can tell, NYC is all about eating pizza for as many meals as possible.

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The Weekly Levi

With one of NYC’s finest near 34th Street.

This style of photo is kind of a tradition on my side of the family. I have a suspicion that it started with my Aunt Lynne. I think there are photos of my brother & i posing with NYPD at various ages & stages of our childhood. Clearly Levi was baffled by this, but he was a good sport nonethless.

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Wait, he’s going to HIGH SCHOOL?

Guess who’s officially registered for high school? My brain is having a hard time with the concept of this guy being in this school. As icing on the cake, when I got out my camera for this photo, his eyes rolled right out of his head and he said, “You have got to be kidding.

So Adolescent.

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kid art

Levi’s doodling during brunch this weekend. Krista added the “LEVI RULES.” You have to admit, it’s pretty awesome.

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Levi’s taste buds

I talked Levi into weekend brunch Saturday morning. When Krista is working the weekends, it is tough to get enough momentum going to get us out of the house. Levi and I are people prone to lounging in pajamas together and watching British comedy on the Roku. There’s nothing inherently wrong with lounging in pajamas and watching television on weekend mornings, and I know I will treasure those moments when they are gone, but it is nice to occasionally get up and greet the day. Anyway, this weekend we set out for New Moon, a little breakfast café in downtown Olympia. Krista & I go there for our child-free breakfast dates on week days, not for any reason but just out of habit. As a result, Levi hasn’t been there in a loooong time. He ordered a sandwich with avocado, tomato, red onion, smoked Gouda, a thin layer of hummus and a little chipotle mayo. It sounded delicious to me, but I was a little worried how he would react (namely to the spicy chipotle mayo). My worrying was for naught, however. His face lit up when he bit in, and every bite was accompanied by an exclamation. “This is amazing!” followed by, “Truly remarkable flavor!” followed by, “The depth of the flavor just keeps going and going!” and “This is a flavor EXPLOSION!” and then finally, “I think I love chipotle. I am ready to eat more spicy food! Jalapeños! Habaneros! Chiles!” Even his taste buds are growing up, you guys! I was looking at a picture from him this weekend, his dimples on display and his socks falling down. Krista commented, “Isn’t it so weird that someday he is going to look SO YOUNG in this picture?”

And if you want to watch adorable small creatures grow up faster than Levi, you can watch the Shiba Inu puppy cam, where the 1 week old puppies are already starting to grow up. I love the puppy cam. It is at least 75% of the adorable wonderfulness of live in-person puppies, with 0% of the work. They are starting to crawl around!

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