the sundry colorful tales that compose our days.

Archive for February, 2009

movie night: kiki’s delivery service


At the end of every week, we have the joy of saying to Elliot, “Elliot, today’s Friday…”  The eyes widen, the grin spreads, the face beams.  “MOVIE NIGHT!!” she says.


short: michael jackson

(turn your volume up)

It all started so innocently.  A little girl heard a little boy singing a novelty Christmas song.  “Who’s singing?”

The answer to that question has resulted in three months of obsession with the King of Pop.  The most common words to come out of Elliot’s mouth used to be “Please tell me a story!”  That record has been broken by the sheer volume of “I wanna listen to Michael Jackson”s.  In fact, she requests a Michael Jackson cameo in every story we tell.  I made the mistake of speaking in the character of Michael Jackson during one of these stories.  Now it’s expected.

We don’t give in to every MJ request, but when you yourself remember the magic of being little and hearing Michael singing We Are The World and, to this day, feel a thrill at the opening bass stomps of Beat It, it’s hard to say no.  It has also provided a motivating reward for good behavior.  Elliot and Sarah dance to Beat It every night before bed, provided Elliot helps clean up first (the choreography of this dance they made up can be seen in parts of the movie below.)

Yes, Michael has joined the ranks of Peter Pan and Henry & Grisha as her best imaginary friends.  She’s often overheard playing with him and has several toys named after him.

Thankfully, she knows nothing of post Thriller Michael Jackson . . .

This all leads up to this last saturday, when Elliot asked if we could make a movie about Michael Jackson.  So, I present to you her opus: Michael Jackson!

(I’m scared of windowsills and the rain, too–it’s an understandable fear.)

heart sonoma: bike rides to vella


We’ve lived in Sonoma seven years.  And I think it wasn’t until our second or third year here that we learned of Vella Cheese.  Those were two or three years we’ll never get back.


of doilies, kitty umbrellas and chocolate strawberries


Valentine’s Days, for better or for worse, have come and gone.  But none are as fun as the ones we’ve shared with Elliot.  She steals our hearts and replaces them with some kind of magical intoxication.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

click through for more photos from today . . .


short: Elliot just walked. Peter took a picture.

The second of two videos from last summer’s visit to Orcas Island.  Cookie decorating.  Sound of Music sing-alonging. Beach playing. Yard wandering.  It doesn’t get any better than this.  Except when the sun is setting . . .

(Does everyone agree it’s a pleasure to play with clean sand?)

short: Elliot has a baby rabbit. Peter has a chipmunk.

Here’s a compendium of moments from last summer’s stay in Black Butte Ranch, OR with Grandmere and Poppa.  Elliot delighted in the bike rides, the various swimming pools and simply playing outside.  But, as you can see, she had a particular passion for distributing baby animals to everyone.

Click through for some photos Sarah took during the trip . . .

(So So the mouse loves to eat couscous while listening to Yo-Yo Ma and talking about Boutros Boutros-Ghali.)


a morning with Jack and Charlie


We invited Elliot’s good friend from school Jack (4) and his brother Charlie (2) over to play this morning.  Elliot was so excited they were coming and waited patiently by the front window to watch for them.  After they arrived, with their mother (our friend–and fellow designerKendra), our cozy little condo was filled with the delightful sounds of screaming, running, laughing, little voices.  We think they played with every single toy at least once and Miette several times.  Miette voiced some complaints, yet never attempted escape!

Click through for some more photos of the morning . . .


Girl friends

Elliot adores miette. She loves her to pieces. Sometimes literally. That cat puts up with so much affectionate abuse. And keeps coming back for more. Even after meowing bloody murder. I couldn’t resist posting these photos of them sharing the bed. How does one stop taking pictures of the cutest girl in the world sleeping?


hunting for mean pirates


Along with Elliot’s recent interest in dressing herself (mostly in scarves and headbands and necklaces), she has an obsession with Pirates.  Chalk that up to recently having Peter Pan read to her (and her Peter Pan fascination in general.)  I discovered her, the other day, walking around in an original outfit carrying her toy trumpet with a glockenspiel mallet sticking out of it and a bell shaker hanging from it.  She explained that she was hunting for mean pirates, so she could save Peter Pan, and her contraption was a “shooter” and the bell shaker was a “lantern lighting the way.”

Sarah and I do not know where she comes up with these things.  In fact, we try to dissuade her from using her “shooter” even on mean pirates or bad animals by saying things like, “Oh, we don’t like shooters and we don’t want any animals or people to be shot!”  To which Elliot assures us she’ll only shoot “mean pirates and animals with no mommies or babies.”  I suppose if she’s still interested in “shooters” when she’s old enough to comprehend death and killing, we’ll be concerned.  Until then, we hope it’s just a curious phase.

Click through for a few more photos of her pirate hunt . . .


heart sonoma: train town (or “it’s just a statue, Meema” or “my horse is named Clopster”)


Elliot loves feeding goats.  She loves riding on trains.  She loves going on the roller coaster and on the airplanes and on the carousel.  She loves Train Town.  So when my parents visited this last weekend, we decided to spend part of a day there (sans poor Dampa, who had caught the flu.)  In fact, we love it so much, too, that we might’ve gone there even without a tot in tow.

Click through to see more . . .