Monday, March 29, 2010

Bunny Wreath

Miss Brenda sent us a bunny craft idea. Here's a pic of our bunny wreath.

Easter Box

The Easter box from Mom and Grandmommy arrived last week.

Hannah and Elijah are having tons of fun rolling the eggs around and playing with their Easter loot. Thanks Mom and Grandmommy! Love you!

St. Patrick's Day

My mom and grandmother sent a box of goodies for St. Patrick's Day. It arrived the very morning of the 17th. This was also a co-op day so Hannah got to share her loot with her friends. Good times!

Hannah looks like a gangsta leprechaun.

Hannah signs "I love you" to Grandma Cheryl and Greatmother.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Why chain stores are held in contempt

I'm not really sure what qualifies as a chain store. It seems to be ok to have more than one location of a family owned business. I think it's when the family incorporates their business and issues stock that they become outcasts, but I am still trying to get the details straight. At any rate, shopping at a chain store is a rookie move around here. If you do it, wear a disguise while inside the business, and quickly get your purchases into an earth friendly reusable bag so no one sees the evidence of your venture into the Dark Side. Whole Foods and Trader Joes do seem to be exceptions to this rule. So you won't need a disguise there. You can even use your earth friendly reusable bag that says "Whole Foods" all over it, pretty much anywhere without fear of retribution.

So now for an explanation, as I understand it, of why chain stores are the devil. Even though this is a BIG city with over 8 million people living here, it's actually a conglomerate of neighborhoods and tight knit communities. Families live in the same place, sometimes under the same roof, for generations and if you live here very long, you will get to the point where you can't walk to the end of the street without seeing someone you know.

So these families are also business owners. For instance, Has Beans (my coffee shop) is owned by Peggy. Jacky (the soul of Has Beans and everyone's favorite barista) is Peg's step-daughter. Jack was raised in a coffee shop and she will stop, mid conversation, with 25 other things going on, to say "what brew just went empty?" Because her ear is trained to hear when the carafes start going dry. And then, quick as a rabbit, she refills the french roast or whatever it was so we don't go without. So you see, if Starbucks were to install a store across the street from Has Beans, the locals would feel like Starbucks was attacking poor Jacky and they'd protest and put fliers up. It would be chaos. We want our coffee served to us in dark little shops with 20 year old books on the shelves, 3 outlets (for laptops), and most importantly, JACKY.

Other family shops we have a duty to patronize:
La Boulangerie Lopez - used to be "Lopez Bakery," a little shop that sold Mexican pastries, so small you could hardly even turn around in it and only one customer at a time would fit in the store. But I think that at least one of Senora Lopez's 7 kids took some business classes and expanded the place to something that might rival "Le Madeleine." It's not uncommon to go in there after the evening rush and see several of the Lopez sibs eating dinner at a couple of tables they've pushed together. They make the youngest, "Pollito (little chicken)," get up to wait on regular customers.

Enzo's: Hannah likes to go there to see the owner's 6 year old bus the table when we're through. Then she is very happy to give him a dollar. Don't worry the 6 year old bus boy gets to run around outside and play plenty. But he also likes to get a dollar here and there.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Zigo Giveaway!

You know how I am always trying to win a Zigo? Well here I go again. Check out this blog for a chance to win.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Hannah and the teenagers

Hannah loves teenagers. We went ice skating with some folks from co-op. Joy is kind and sweet. She really lives up to her name. I should send these pics to Sun Chips and Minutemaid because they look like commercials for either.




This is Hannah with Joy and Hannah K, another sweet teen from co-op.

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Moxie Spot

We went to the Moxie Spot, a great little place in Brooklyn. There are 2 floors of fun toys, games, and crafts, but the first floor often fills up with strollers. They have sing alongs and theme nights - great family fun. I was thinking that this would be a fun concept in Dallas, but I realized no one there would care. It's basically a playroom. Dallas folks don't need to go to a playroom and pay a cover charge for their kids to do crafts. They already have a playroom, if not 2, one for toys and crafts, and a media room for watching movies and playing the Wii. But it certainly is a great concept here. We went on a sing along day. It was so sweet and cute, like being on the set of Sesame Street.

See the Hannah size door. She is having a great time.
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Elijah in the Bumbo




My Artists

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Hannah's favorite thing is stuffing things in bags. Why not make alphabetizing fun? She's always making lists of words she wants to write on cards and then alphabetize. Good times.

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Friday, March 12, 2010

North Face

When I first got here and I noticed everyone has at least one North Face product, I thought they had all been conned into paying more for some over-hyped fashion statement. Not so. Backpacks and overcoats here work overtime. They carry everything you need to have with you for the day. For students, they are a must. They must be durable and roomy enough to carry your stuff, while having enough pockets to allow easy access to that stuff and they need to be comfortable enough that you're not hating life by the time you get to your destination. I get it now. And I must say that I love my North Face backpack (thanks Carel family).

Ugly Boots

I get why ladies here wear those ridiculous ugly boots. It's to keep your feet warm and dry! I was dead set against wearing those things. I don't even wear close-toed shoes in Dallas. But snow + pedestrian lifestyle = Amber wearing ugly boots.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


I get why you would want a doorman. Last week our building's buzzer was broken. This was SUPER frustrating. I realized that my across the hall neighbor and I are the de-facto doormen for our building. This is because we live on the first floor and if the buzzer doesn't work, it is apparently the custom to bang on the first floor window to get let in. Some delivery folks didn't do that though and people had to chase their packages all over the city. If you are a pedestrian, there's a REASON you paid to have your stuff shipped to your apartment. It's because you don't have a way to get it home from the store or from UPS's distribution center. So I put a note on the door telling people to knock on the window. Now I notice every time FedEx, UPS, USPS, and other delivery folks dial my apartment to get buzzed in. I am the doorman and Lord help us all if I am not home.

I'm Walkin' Here!

I'm walkin' here. I've heard it mimicked plenty of times, but I didn't know the origin of the phrase until someone mentioned it last weekend. I yell at drivers whose cars come to rest in crosswalks all the time. But I say "I guess I'll just walk out here in traffic with my BABY and my LITTLE GIRL! Sometimes they actually back up. Most of the time, they ignore me.

I get it now

A couple times a month Paul and I see some NY thing that movies or TV shows set in NY reference and we say "I get it now." I am thinking this will be an ongoing "I get it now" list like the Stuff White People Like list.

#1. I'm walkin' here!

#2. Doormen

#3. Ugly Boots

#4. The North Face

#5. Strollers

#6. Why Chain Stores Are Held in Contempt