Monday, February 25, 2013

Year of the Snake

Sheer coincidence - this post has nothing at all to do with Chinese New Year.

We're closing in on 1 week of this:

Which leaves me a LOT of time to do this:

That, my friends, is some sort of Lego Ninjago snake motorcycle known as Lasha's Bite Cycle.  I know nothing more about it except that that little thing has 250 pieces.  Usually I like building Lego sets with Joseph, not for him, since we get to spend lots of time together and it helps his fine motor skills, but he was desperate to play with this one and I was just....sitting there.  Let's see if it stays together longer than it took me to assemble it.

Friday, February 22, 2013

The Boy With the Dragon Tattoo

After the Chinese New Year parade we fought our way through the crowds to the Chinese Cultural Center on H Street on the good advice that there were fun kid activities going on, including face painting.  Joseph had seen a kid with a dragon on his face and was desperate to get one of his own.

Had to be among the best $3 we've ever spent.

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Now that am homebound for a few weeks I can catch up on all kinds of things, like blog posts.  Silver lining!  I never got around to posting about Chinese New Year, which was on February 10.  We spontaneously decided to take advantage of the cultural diversity city living has to offer and hopped on the Metro to ring in the year of the snake at the parade in Chinatown. We dragged along Benjamin and his dad too.

I bet the boys would have been happy with just with the train ride and a $1 box of snappers.  The popping sound is supposed to scare off evil spirits.  We had front row seats on the curb right outside the Gallery Place station and had a great view of the parade.

There were lots and lots and lots of lion dances (which most people assume are dragons, but they look very different), and they got right up in our face.  Some got a little too close for comfort and Joseph finally had to hide behind Brent for a little while.

We also liked the martial arts demo, and since Joseph is currently obsessed with being a ninja, we've been looking into trying out a local Tae Kwan Do studio.

The dragon dances did soon follow.  Joseph's favorite was the shiny green and gold dragon.  Not as scary since you can see the many people underneath holding up the sticks, unlike the 2 people hiding inside the lion, I guess.

Rosie's mom at school gave the kids an interesting lesson about some of the symbolism.  Each year one of 12 animals is assigned as a patron, this year's being the snake.  Joseph was born in 2007 during the year of the pig.  Tradition holds that children born under the pig's patronage will benefit from the animal's image as fat, happy and prosperous, and will be honest and hardworking.  You can't argue with that!  2007 also happened to be a year of the golden pig, which happens every 60 years and showers extra-powerful blessings on those born during its passage.  Folklore has it that a child born in the year of the golden pig will experience a prosperous and healthy life. I'm all for that!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


We've heard a few rave reviews recently about the renovated outdoor play space at Beauvoir (the National Cathedral elementary school) and went to check it out on Sunday morning with Joseph's classmate, Skyler, and his mom, Patricia.  It is truly amazing!  Super fun zip line we all enjoyed:

And then there's this crazy fast giant pyramid slide that Joseph refused to do once he saw Skyler come whipping out the other end:

So I thought I'd be a good dad and climb up there to show him how safe and fun it was......turns out, Not. So. Much.  I jammed my foot into the ground at full speed and torqued my leg, and knew almost instantly that I broke something.  Luckily Joseph was unfazed by the event.  He casually asked if I was dying and then insisted I get him his water bottle, after which he ran off to play with Skyler while Patricia tried to get me an ambulance.  After trying to call Brent I had nothing else to do so I took a picture of the slide from where I was lying on the ground.  In retrospect that seems kind of insane!  I eventually made my way to the ER at Georgetown University Hospital.

I managed to break my right ankle pretty thoroughly in 3 places, which is called a trimalleolar fracture.  Unfortunately it required surgery to heal properly, but the orthopedic docs said it's pretty much a "bread and butter" procedure for them.  I had to be admitted overnight to be added onto the OR schedule for the next day.  Very surreal being a patient at the hospital Brent and I trained at years ago.  Almost immediately I was flooded with calls and texts of love and support, and even some flowers from my little one.

I had my surgery with a permanent metal plate and a whole bunch of screws on Monday afternoon, and was out the door on Tuesday after lunch.  I never did find out what that green button with the frowny face was for.  It's probably better that way.

Hope it's not too gory to see X-rays.  The 1st one shows some pretty obvious breaks, then next 2 are post-op shots of my hardware.

Now it's 2 weeks of complete bed rest, a follow up with the orthopedist, then 12 or more weeks of absolutely no weight bearing with an air cast or boot.  It's my right foot, so that means no driving either! Both literally and figuratively, I'm definitely screwed.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sweet Hearts

for all of our sweethearts!

Pink polka dot sugar cookies for Joseph's classmates, and red velvet cheesecake brownies for Zara's Valentine dance party.  There are so many sweet things one can do with a heart shaped cookie cutter!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Mission Accomplished

In a move very uncharacteristic of me, I let Joseph pick out his own Valentine cards this year.  I showed him a bunch I thought he would like and he chose one that reflected his current fascination with robots and Transformers.  (I should add that I was floored when he passed on anything containing rocket ships or outer space because we have to save those for his next birthday party.....which was still six months away.  I have either created a monster or taught him well!)

They were already personalized but we still set out to stamp and sign and sticker them up for a little extra fun.

Then "we" had to make a mailbox for all the Valentine cards his classmates were going to deliver.

Everything was sent in to school yesterday in a basket along with a sweet treat from me.

Mission accomplished, indeed!
Hope y'all had a wonderful Valentine's day!