Entries in The Next Generation (64)


May's Gift

Annette tagged me with a photo meme, asking what the sixth picture in my sixth folder was. Here it is: James and Tess holding newly-brought-home Baby Anne back in May.

It's amazing to me how much James and Tess look alike in this photo, which is something I hadn't really considered before. I usually group James, Hope, and Anne in the 'looking like me' camp and Tess, Christian, and Daniel in the 'looking like Patrick' camp. It's fascinating how kids can look like both their parents when the parents don't resemble one another at all.

Also, Anne is huge now, and a fuzzy blonde to boot; all that dark hair she came with is gone. Oy, those kids: they're so delicious. I'd better stop, before I start crooning "Sunrise, Sunset" and weeping into my tea.

Thanks for the tag, Annette! I tag in turn Jenna, Kim, and Charrette.


There Is a Doctor in the House

A couple of weeks ago at the dinner table, seven-year-old Tess was talking about Dr. Steele, her beloved eye doctor. Dr. Steele is one of the world's leading pediatric ophthalmic surgeons; he's done Tess's two surgeries, and she has seen him regularly since she was about two years old. He's handsome, kind, and has a fabulously high-tech Manhattan office.

Our twice-yearly visits to him usually follow this agenda: a) a movie in the car (we only use the DVD player on trips of an hour or longer); b) Tess's choice of candy from the newsstand down the street from the office; c) seeing the good doctor himself; d) getting a beany baby-like toy from his special drawer as a souvenir; e) lunch at Dallas BBQ across the street afterward; and f) a quick trip to the American Museum of Natural History on the way home. Tess loves everything about Dr. Steele (and our elaborate visiting ritual); she plans to become an eye doctor precisely so that she can join his practice in about twenty years.

Anyway, Tess was chattering about her next visit to Dr. Steele, how glad she is that he is her doctor, and how she couldn't wait to see him again, etc.

Four-year-old Daniel, clearly not wanting to be outdone, said, "I have a doctor, too."

We all looked at him; this was news to the entire family.

Daniel smiled and declared with perfect confidence, "His name is Dr. Seuss."


Oui, Chef!

Well, what a blast I had today. For the past couple of years, we've been giving the big kids events instead of stuff for their birthdays, and today James and I enjoyed his most recent gift. We spent six hours at the New York City branch of the Culinary Institute of America enjoying the semi-private tutelage of a team of chefs. It was a class for parents and teens--twelve students in all--with the theme "Thanksgiving Favorites," and it was fantastic.

We had a workshop on knife skills; I've always wanted to learn how to dice, chop, and mince like the pros! We made apple pie, duchesse potatoes, green beans in a butter pistachio sauce, and the central jewel in the crown: a turkey breast that we boned, butterflied, stuffed, rolled, wrapped in bacon, and roasted. Afterwards we got to eat the products of our labors: heaven!

James soaked it all in and was a terrific student. Near the end of our cooking time, the chefs were counting down the minutes until we had to plate our creations, and it felt just like we were in Kitchen Stadium. Some of the other kids got a bit snippy under stress, but not James. He stayed calm and cool as he piped the last few of his potato rosettes and finished the pistachio sauce. I was and am immensely proud. We're both excited to try some new things at Thanksgiving this year!


My (Guitar) Hero


Is it Wordless Wednesday yet?