Archive for May, 2007

No Good

Posted by julie on Thursday, 31 May 2007, 22:26

Wynona, Cole, and Sylvan Can you imagine this trio in fourteen years? That’s Wynona (18 months), Cole (22 months), and Sylvan (20 months).

None, Tiger?

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 30 May 2007, 10:20

I have been negligent in posting, and I have a bunch of stuff that I’ll get up here sometime soon, but I just had to share this. I heard this on NPR, from a show that aired a couple of weeks ago. John Feinstein was plugging his new book about the PGA tour’s qualifying school. By way of trying to explain what makes PGA tour golfers better than the average duffer, or even a really good golfer, he explained something about Tiger Woods:

“Tiger Woods, in 2005, had 485 putts on tour of 5 feet or less. He missed none of them.”

None. None? I don’t even know what to compare that to. Maybe it’s like a basketball player who makes all of his free throws. Even the best free throw shooters make only 90% of their free throws, though.

That’s your amazing statistic for today.

Sylvan Bo Peep

Posted by julie on Saturday, 26 May 2007, 10:12

Sylvan Bo Peep

Just Breathing

Posted by julie on Thursday, 24 May 2007, 13:08

Sylvan and Mommy plant Grampa Dick's heirloom beansToday, there’s no reason to wax philosophical about why we exist. I know why. To take breaths on a day like today is pure pleasure. The sky is a clear, pale blue with cumulus clouds stacked up only around the edges. Plants are growing at an astonishing pace; I think our new brandywine tomato plant waiting to go into the garden has gotten six inches taller since Sunday. Walking to the grocery store at 10:30 last night, I felt just as lucky: light rain, bursting plant smells, knowledge that coffee ice cream was just around the corner.

Sylvan wears his construction helmet4/25 Update: And the day just got better. I run because it’s the only thing I’ve found that keeps me in great shape and keeps off the weight I’d necessarily gain from the coffee ice cream. But, yesterday, when I ran, most of my thoughts sounded like this: “Wow, this is a great running trail.” “The temperature is perfect.” “I feel strong.” “I love trail running.” The bigleaf maples, vine maples, and hazelnuts all leafed into the same bright, spring green, and, every once in a while, I’d get a Christmas-y waft (from true firs? Spruce?). It’s difficult not to sound sickeningly sweet and overly poetic on a day like yesterday.

Under the Moon

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 22 May 2007, 23:34

When I left for rehearsal this evening (for The Honka House, referred to as The Honka Divorce by one dancer’s husband, for the amount of time we spend rehearsing instead of in bed with our loved ones), Sylvan was running down the sidewalk, Chris a few steps behind. Sylvan said, “Unnie moon.” Chris allowed that Sylvan could try to travel under the crescent moon, but he might end up pretty far away after that trip. A few minutes ago, I returned from rehearsal and homework time, and both boys are tucked in bed. Logic prevailed or Sylvan got sleepy.

The other night, when Sylvan awoke for his 2 a.m. fried eggs, I sat in a chair facing him, and he put his bare feet against my shins. “Yummy yeggs,” he said, and, since his Ls become Ys, he meant my legs, not the eggs. He was right, actually; I had just shaved, and my legs were smooth and lovely. That comment made up for the mid-night snack.

Chris walked in from work the other evening and hugged me, Sylvan sitting in his high chair beside us. “Hug me!” he requested.

Last Thursday, Sylvan and I attended Eugene’s Public Works Day, where they let kids climb on big trucks and watch videos of snakes in the sewer. The video was lost on Sylvan, but, boy, did he appreciate “driving” the mowers, observing balloons flying from the cranes, and touching the tires on the firetrucks. We walked past a person in a frog costume, and Sylvan looked the frog up and down, pointed at its shoes, and said, “Rubbah dude,” because the frog was, in fact, wearing rubber-soled shoes. Then he continued into the shelter where the elementary kids were eating lunch. He climbed up into a chair next to one of the kids and said, “Nack.” Snacktime it was. Good thing I had peas in the car.

Happy Birthday: 20 Months

Posted by julie on Monday, 14 May 2007, 22:45

Dear Sylvan:

Sylvan loves the dunes!You’ve become quite a little boy — excuse me, big boy — in the last few months. This becomes especially apparent when we put you in a new situation and watch you dive right in. This past weekend, we went camping at the coast with friends, both new and old. Honeyman State Park, south of Florence, marks the northern end of Oregon’s treasure of sand dunes. You just loved the dunes! You asked politely to be removed from the backpack so you could walk by yourself: “Down Dilban. Down Dilban.” You climbed uphill, you scooted down the dunes on your bottom, you ran in circles, and you ended up with rather large amounts of sand in your diaper. Sand challenges adults who walk Chris and Sylvan take a self-portrait, but Sylvan's not sure it's a good idea.through it, and you just kept motoring, breathing hard when you reached the top, and making your steps smaller so that you wouldn’t tumble on the way down. Watching you hike made me think that we’ll be able to take you on short backpacking trips very soon; we’ll take a kid carrier, but you’ll be able to walk on your own. Our friend Kari, whose son, Cole, is a couple of months older than you, was surprised by your hiking ability. It’s true, you amaze me, but your ability and desire to walk comes with a price: wanderlust. While Cole and Wynona, the other toddler camping with us this weekend, snuggled with their parents around the campfire, you wandered off into the woods or down the road, looking for the next thing.

Songs continue to be one of the few things that will calm you; I often wipe your bottom while singing about little ducks. Your new favorite is “Wiggy, wiggy, wump, wump,” which is very fun for us to sing in public, since I sing the whole silly, nonsense song by myself, complete with hand motions, while you wait to jump in with your punchline: “Nobody home!”

Sylvan shows off his artwork.While this next behavior isn’t new, I don’t want to forget that, when you’re in Daddy’s arms and you ask him to run, you tuck your arms behind your back. To make yourself more aerodynamic, of course.

It’s official: your memory is better than mine. When we walked past a very specific azalea a block down from the library, you told me, “Doggie was.” I looked around, not seeing a dog but thinking you’d said something about a dog. You repeated yourself, “Doggie was.” Oh, right, that’s where the little white dog was sniffing the bushes a week ago. You even managed to use the correct verb tense.

I also really appreciate that I’m a dancer to you. You notice when I’m wearing dance clothes, ready to go to rehearsal. You laugh when I practice in the kitchen. And you say “Bye, Mommy” repeatedly as I walk out the door, ready to dance the evening away — away from you. That’s okay, though; I know you’ll be dancing, too.


I Feel Pretty

Posted by julie on Sunday, 13 May 2007, 22:14

Sylvan is ready for his senior portrait.

Snow Frolic

Posted by julie on Monday, 7 May 2007, 13:31

Wendy, Sylvan, Julie, and Chris from the top of Willamette Pass ski area.While the temperature climbed to 70 degrees in Eugene yesterday, Wendy, Chris, Sylvan, and I decided we should celebrate the last of the snow. My requests: views, snow, and real exercise. We found all three. From Willamette Pass, we hiked straight up the mostly melted-out ski runs on the south side of the mountain, over the still-matted grass and scrubby, blooming manzanita. We gained 1500 feet in about a mile, not including our personal switchbacks. We found one frisbee golf disc, one black glove, one full bottle of Mirror Pond Pale Ale, a dozen or so empty beer cans, one Tactics Board Shop sticker (used), one Skoal container (mint flavor), and two piles of elk droppings. Chris, who said he was feeling “tired,” carried the 25-pound boy with his 10-pound backpack, along with five or so pounds of other stuff. When the slope increased up the double-diamond run at the top, I ducked into the trees; the Plavix is throwing off my equilibrium, and gazing down the ski slope didn’t help.

Sylvan tries on Wendy's sunglasses.  They work.Poor Sylvan, whose parents don’t take care of him, told us that he was developing snow blindness. “Sunglasses,” he pleaded. “Too bright.” Well, Sylvan has never kept sunglasses on, so, although we had some in the diaper bag in the car, they were, well, in the diaper bag in the car. Good thing Wendy is nicer than Mom and Dad; she offered Sylvan her sunglasses: “I have brown eyes; I’ll be fine. Sunglasses bother me anyway.” Sylvan said thank you in his usual manner, five minutes later. The true thanks were in the very real appreciation he demonstrated by keeping the sunglasses on.

Sylvan tries out the snow at 6600 feet.We picknicked at the conveniently-located picnic tables at the top of the chairlift, feasting on Wendy’s corn muffins with raspberries. Yumm. Sylvan stretched his legs, walking quite assuredly over the snow. And he ate peas. He didn’t notice the views to the south: Diamond Peak, who never showed her summit through the clouds but allowed us to see her ski-able-looking lower reaches; Odell Butte, Cowhorn Mountain, and other assorted small mountains – Lakeview, Red Top, Sawtooth, and many we didn’t identify; and Odell Lake, host to enough motorcraft that we may have missed a fishing derby.

Then, yippee-skippy!, I slid down the mountain! Well, I butt-glissaded down three slopes. Gosh, I love that. But I might have to invest in some Kevlar-seated trousers. We headed down some southeast-facing slopes, still covered with snow. Wendy and Chris snowshoed down to the base, but the snow was firm enough that I didn’t sink without snowshoes, and, occasionally, I could run and sli-i-i-i-ide.

Sylvan shows us where his hat was.Sylvan wants to share a couple of his experiences with you. There were puddles in the parking lot! And a frontloader! And he saw a waterfall on the way home. A waterfall! He said it was “hot” because the mist at the bottom looked like steam. He also wants you to know how tall you have to be to ride the carnival rides.

A trucky coincidence

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 5 May 2007, 6:44

Sometimes, after breakfast in the morning, Sylvan likes to look at pictures of trucks. Thanks to Google Images, it’s not hard to find as many pictures of trucks as we need.

Our two favorite truck pages are the World War II trucks in Iceland and the Volvo trucks background screens. The WWII trucks are fun because they go through the river, get wet, and require the wearing of helmets, all things that Sylvan can identify with confidence.

One of the better Volvo images is this one, of a red truck under a bridge:
Red Volvo Truck

A few weeks ago, I was looking at the image with Sylvan, wondering where the picture was taken. I thought it might be somewhere in Europe, but there’s an English-language sign visible. Somewhere old, anyway.

Two days after contemplating the location of that picture, I ended up in Savannah for a conference. I stayed in a big hotel right on the Savannah River. My window faced east, downstream and onto Savannah’s old, cobblestoned, waterfront roads. Upon awaking the first morning and opening the window’s curtains, I was pleasantly surprised to see this familiar scene immediately below my window:

Savannah bridge

Blame it on the Bossa Nova

Posted by julie on Friday, 4 May 2007, 15:36

Last night, during Date Night, Chris and I went to see our favorite local singer, Laura Kemp. Laura is a folksie who has decided that she wants to create a repertoire of jazz standards. She sang three quite beautifully, with just a little folk twang. During “My Funny Valentine,” I was so inspired by shoulder-twitching rhythm set up by the upright bass that I leaned over to Chris and asked, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a button in your house for bossa nova?”

Ever amused, he said, “What, so you could just hit the button and have a bossa nova beat?”


“That would be great when guests come over: ‘What’s that button for?’ ‘Oh, that? That’s my bossa nova.’”