Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Unwanted hiatus

I'm currently in the midst of taking the qualifying exam to become a PhD candidate. 

It's 8 hours a day and I'm in my 5th day.  blah. 

As soon as I recover, I'll be back to posting.

In happier days...

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Desmond's perfect room

Billy and I have a long way to go before we buy a house. But that doesn't mean that I'm not thinking about what each room in our house is going to look like. Especially Desmond's room.

I was on my way to the bathroom on the second floor of Sam Weller's Bookstore when I happened across these books:
The Young Children's Encyclopedia
I remember having these as a kid and devouring them on the weekends.  I would sit on the floor by myself and just pour over them, taking in the information and the illustrations.  When Billy was a kid, he would walk to the library every day in the summer with his sister.  We are both very lucky that we were raised in houses where our parents really put reading up on a pedestal and made it enjoyable and gratifying for us.  All the parenting books I read always say to start reading to your baby as soon as you can so that they associate reading with pleasant feelings.  We try to read to Desmond as much as we can, but, I'm not gonna lie, there are times when days go by and I haven't picked up a book to read to him.  However, if I had this book, I would read it to him morning and night:

Julia Yu has taken the classic children's book, Goodnight Moon, and changed it to Goodnight Dune, based on Frank Herbert's sci-fi/fantasy masterpiece Dune.  As some of you may know, I'm a huge sci-fi/fantasy geek and The Dune prequels and sequels are some of the best reading I've ever done.  I hope to impart this love of reading any genre, but specifically sci-fi/fantasy, to Desmond.  And what better way to start than with a book like this???

Anyway, as I'm trolling around the internet, I find such amazing images of children's rooms that I'd like to incorporate into Des's room once we buy a house.  I would love to fill his room with tons and tons of books and toys that encourage open-ended play.  We have lots of toys for Desmond and while they're fantastic and Desmond loves them, I think that most of them are created for one thing only (!!!Push my buttons!!!...)  I would love to give him a space where he could daydream and play by himself for stretches at a time (partly for my own sanity but also for his intellectual and psychological development).  

Beautiful Rainbow music maker from Fat Brain Toys.
Learning about your body, from Fat Brain Toys.
This is such an adorable room.  Everything is set at the height of the little toddler: the mat on the floor for napping, the mirror at her level, the books within easy reach.  Perfect!  SOURCE

It pains me to see books painted on and not used for reading, but I think this is such a great idea for those books that you can pick up on the side of the road or at a flea market.  I would love to have some fantastic children cartoon characters painted on them. 
I also love quirky old public health posters, like these:

We actually have this poster in our changing room.  Desmond loves looking at it and touching it.  We jokingly refer to the baby in the poster as Des's girlfriend (yes, he's got many).

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Desmond kissing his girlfriend Sherrie

My son is a ladies' man.

Pretty soon, he'll be sipping some Courvoisier out of his bottle.  Watch out!

Sherrie, Desmond's wondering why you haven't called him back.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Trip to New Orleans

My goodness, how I love this city.  I don't know what it is, maybe the weather, the damp air that hangs around, the Spanish moss, shotgun houses.  It's definitely the food and drinks.  The city, rife with eclectic Spanish, French, and African history, enchants me each time I visit.  I can't wait to visit again.

I just bought a new DSLR camera (Canon) and took it with me on the trip and used it for the first time.  So, all of these pictures are sort of the first-time-user frenzy kind. 

My brother Andrew and Sister-in-law Stephanie in Ocean Springs
Waiting for the parade to start
Desmond's first time in a stroller.
Getting ready to go to the jazz brunch.
Jazz Brunch at Ralph's on the Park
Desmond heading in for the kiss with Sherrie.
He's got game.
This is my most favorite picture of him.
Desmond loves Cajun food: seafood gumbo, jambalaya, crawfish juice...
Balconies in the French Quarter.
Cathedral at Jackson Square
Jazz at Preservation Hall
Bye New Orleans!