Monday, June 29, 2009

Betsy Ross Would Be Proud

One morning a few weeks ago I was walking by the girls' bathroom when Ava called out to me and asked me to come in. She was getting ready to brush her teeth.

"Look Dad," she said. "See what I do with the toothpaste? I use the different colors to make an American flag. Isn't that cool?"

I have no idea what compelled her to do this, it happened well before any talk of Independence Day or Old Glory occurred in our house, although she has been enjoying the new season of Army Wives.

Whatever the motivation, it seemed like a perfect image to kick off a week that ends with July 4 and a long weekend that has always been my favorite of the year, because it falls right around my birthday.

Unfortunately that day is seeming less and less a motivation to celebrate, although I have to admit having the opportunity clearly beats the alternative.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Friday, June 26, 2009

This Week's Big Development

Today is Madison's last day in her K-2 school, she's "graduating" and next year will be in a building that is grades 3-5. At some point over the last month or so (and after a few hundred heartfelt requests) she and Gwen worked out a plan to pierce her ears as an element of this passage, so that by the time she gets to her "big" school next year she'll be through the process with these initial earrings and able to appropriately accessorize.

Needless to say it was a pretty big moment, and something she was looking forward to and talking about for weeks. It also gave us the chance to apply some extremely powerful non-seasonal Shock And Awe, in the form of threats to cancel the piercing appointment, and of course we like to use every option currently available in our parenting arsenal.

This was not a development I particularly relished, and I actually felt a little bit sad about it as we ticked down the days to last Saturday, when Gwen and my sister went with Madison - who by all accounts was extremely brave and smiled through the whole event at a local jewelry store. Perfect little ears getting a hole punched in them, for the purposes of adornment, was not high on my agenda.

But it was something she wanted, many others in her world had already blazed the relatively harmless trail, and even though it caused my mind to fast-forward for a minute to boys, and cars, college graduation, getting married and moving out, I somehow got through it, and with the exception of these colorful little chips now hanging from our 8-year-old's ears, our world is pretty much the same.

For the moment.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Arthur Avenue Redux

We marked Father's Day this year with a family excursion to Arthur Avenue in the Bronx. Managed to hit all the personal favorites, Ravioli and fresh pasta stock-up at Borgatti's (yes, we brought coolers), Madonia Brother's for bread, another extraordinary lunch of pizza and salad at Mario's. Unfortunately we discovered that Teitel Brothers is closed on Sunday, so no Fulvi Pecorino Romano, but it was still a great day. And, this time, I brought my camera.

[Mario's exterior, close-up of the menu that does not include any mention of what can only be considered one of the best pizzas you will ever have in your life, and owner Joseph Migliucci (through a glass window) making one of the aforementioned pizzas. Shhhh...]

[The boxes of Borgatti's insane ravioli that are now safely ensconced in our fridge and freezer, alone, were worth the trip. Bought enough to share with a few fortunate friends and neighbors, and also some of the homemade pasta, which starts off as large sheets that are then custom cut to five designated thicknesses. Here we see our personal semolina concierge standing over a mound of #5.]

[Ridiculous bread. Ridiculous.]

[Stopped off, again, to light a candle and say a prayer at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church.]

[Only negative of the day was discovering that Teitel Brothers isn't open on Sunday. Oh well, just another excuse to get back there soon. And we will.]

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Hosta La Vista

At least a half dozen different kinds of Hostas growing outside at the moment, and we're not complaining. It's like someone detonated a green bomb, and we're partial to green around here.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Shades Of June

Same flower/bud combo, separated by about 10 hours. I asked Gwen to pick her favorite but she liked them both, so here they are.