Friday, January 27, 2006

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Muppet by Ella

Muppet by Ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

henry edward

henry edward, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


What kind of nitwit spends eight hundred dollars on a stroller? A stroller.

sasha and ella

Back 40

Back 40, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

It was a cold morning, and last night the winds were so high I could hear this old house creaking as the windows rattled in their frames.There were some trees down on the way to school this morning. This smokehouse hasn't been used since before 1940, except as a home for our woodchuck.


hat, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This morning there was hat making and medieval music. Ella showed me the psaltery she made on monday, and they are preparing for a feast for the knights and damsels on friday.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Baby Boy

A Baby Boy for Anne and Rich, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

We got an email from Oregon that Grace has a baby brother. It seems he was nameless at the time of the email. He is twenty inches long and eight pounds, four oz. What a big baby for his tiny little mama.

Anne was with us when Ella was born, and I was with her when Grace was born.

Monday, January 23, 2006


The move is getting close. Closer than close as it is in progress. This house is mostly just furniture. There is nothing on the walls, all the books are moved, and the toys are all gone with the exception of a few baskets and some art supplies. I haven't packed the dining room or the kitchen cabinets.

On the other end, I've cleaned almost all the carpets. The living room has to be finished before the big finale on saturday. I bought four new smoke dectectors, three light fixtures, cabinet pulls for the kitchen and bathroom, and some tile for the kitchen counter. There are two countertops, and I got enough for the easy, perfectly rectangular one--no tile cutting needed. It is porcelain but looks like brown stone, Arezzo Gold for anyone spending as much time at Home Depot as I am. For the sink side I'm going to need some advice from someone who knows what they are doing. I would love a whole stainless countertop, but John thinks it would look mismatched with the stone. Cost is also a factor. If I can figure out how to tile it myself it will be better. The big 12" tiles are two dollars and we could accent with some tumbled stone tiles in brown tones around the sink with brown grout. I have watched too many home shows on cable.

Today I set up the broadband internet and reserved a huge moving truck--26 feet, one load, for saturday.

Baby is going to the doctor this afternoon. He is starting to act a little more like himself, but he spent most of the morning sobbing and coughing. He is still conjested and has a stuffy nose---a cold from Ella on top of the remnants of the Christmas cold. Both of them sounded like they had emphysema--just like every other kid at the preschool. Some of them were barking. Maybe they all have whooping cough. A ten minute steam in the bathrooom, some saline nasal spray, and a little nap have improved John's demeanor. Now I'm ready for bed, and it is two in the afternoon.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Muslim Barbie

Fulla is the new Muslim Barbie. She comes with modest dress, a headscarf, and has a pink felt prayer rug.

"Fulla is 11.5 inches tall, like Barbie, and has long black hair with dramatic burgundy streaks. But her look is more demure - a few mascaraed lashes frame big brown eyes and a hint of fuchsia tints her dainty mouth. She's also noticeably less bosomy than her Mattel counterpart. She's not only beautiful, but she's honest, loving, caring and respects her mother and father - things Muslim parents would like for their kids." This is a description from someone's ebay store.

Saturday, January 21, 2006


bananas!, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

running the world

running the world, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

morning playtime

toys, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

John is thrilled to manipulate and chew on toys. Snakey is back, for those of you who remember him from Ella's first year.

Things to Love about Ella's School

For show and tell yesterday Carter brought a sweet potato shaped like a heart.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

miss ella

miss ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sometimes a picture just captures the way that she really is.


ella, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

300th Birthday Party

300th Birthday Party, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Benjamin Franklin goes out to dinner on the occasion of his three hundredth birthday.(I tried to use my veto power on this one, but you can see that I lost!) Ella is also wearing her birthday party flower wreath, a purple satin party dress and striped tights. She had a few bits of quesadilla, and then decided to dance.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

5 weird things...

1. I have sarcodosis. I had my first major episode when Ella was one, but I know in retropspect that I've had the disease longer. I have lung, liver, and eye involvement. I don't have any symptoms now. There is no known cause or cure. Autoimmune diseases don't like to travel alone, so I have another one called morphea.
2. I do not believe in the death penalty.
3. I think the telephone is a priviledge not a given. I am hard core phone phobic. Recently I have contemplated talking to a doctor about this. I went so far as to pick up a pamphlet, but I didn't say anything to my doctor, leading me to believe that I also have some sort of social anxiety disorder.
4. Speaking of phobias, I think that most people are going to drop my children when they are holding them. I know intellectually that it isn't true, but I'm just waiting to hear the thunk of their little heads on the floor, and I wonder what I'll do when it happens.
5. I have been coloring my hair for twenty years, and I recently quit. I'm not really a redhead. Or any shade of gold or blonde. My hair is the color of an aging mouse. This isn't really weird I guess, but it is a strange process to be going through.

Thanks for the traffic thoughts Cait. I want my beloved to list 5 weird things about himself on his blog BECAUSE HE WANTS US TO TAKE A STATUE OF BENJAMIN FRANKLIN OUT TO DINNER TONIGHT. And we live in a small town. Steve isn't writing anything here lately, so I'd love to hear five strange things from him.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Moving and Rice Cereal

I was glad to see monday after a weekend of moving our book collection to the new house. I once accused my mother of decorating with books, and apparently the acorn doesn't fall far from the tree. The kids books are neatly arranged in their bookcases. This was all thanks to John's parents and their nine passenger wagon big enough to hold some awesome IKEA book cases that are five feet wide and square. They spent the whole weekend driving back and forth between the cow town and the new town (13 miles). Now our old house is echoing. In two weeks we'll make the big break and start sleeping over there.

Thank you to the one person who responded to my delurk post. ONE. I saw a similar post on a very popular site got 419 responses. What the heck. It is obvious that I am unpopular. Nah, I do this for me. And the grandmas. And the friends. And for Monica, the one nice stranger who piped up.

John just ate a tiny bit of rice cereal. He rejected it last week 100% when it was mixed with formula. I tried breastmilk and he only halfway gave me the yucky face. One would think it would take more food to support a twenty two pound sugarlump, but, then again, I am generally starving.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Come on out of the woodwork...

I saw somewhere that it is DELURKING week. As a major lurker myself, I'm trying to say hi and offer up to the internets my new find---Hyland's teething tablets. I think they might work for just about anything as I'm fairly sure they must secretly be a narcotic. The trick is that they are homeopathic narcotics. Give a few to a screaming baby who is trying to eat his own hands, and pretty soon he settles down for a snooze. I put a few under my tongue for good measure. I think a few with a glass of shiraz might be just what the doctor ordered.

What I'm getting at is I'd love to have some comments. Just say hi. Say anything. I'm dying to know who is from Encinitas, California. Anyone have any moving tips? Decorating ideas?I'd love to talk about countertops. What is the cheapest way to cover up butt-ugly tile from the eighties?


ellajohn, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


ellajohn, originally uploaded by ellajohn.


baby, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Roll Over, Roll Over

Baby John rolled over today!

Ella let Sophie use her chapstick and now our noses are running.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

My man is so hot in an easter bonnet

five months old today

five months old today, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Donkey Hokey

Ella chose a video at the library...Nureyev's Don Quixote ballet. She watched it today and later told her Granny all about "Donkey Hokey".

Friday, January 06, 2006

Rock and Roll

She is using a hair clip as a pick. No, that isnt' lipstick. It is a combination of chapstick and organic ketchup.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

lala sandeater

lala sandeater, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

This is from August 2003 when Cait came out to Portland to visit us.

brown and blue

brown and blue, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

red tulips

red tulips, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

It is time to post some new year's resolutions. I'm a little late, but I've been thinking about it. I am turning forty this spring. This list might take me a few days.

1. Embrace optimism.
2. Get healthier.I would like to lose twenty five pounds by the time I turn forty.
3. Stay better connected with old friends and make new ones.
4. Become a part of a community of neighbors and friends. We are moving into our new house this month, a place we will live in for a few years.
5. Make our new house a home that accommodates the child world and the grownup world.
6. Find a babysitter. Maybe start a babysitting co-op.
7. Quit giving J the eye...or just give him the other eye.

8.I feel that being a parent is something that I'm pretty good at. When I say I want to be a better parent I mean that I want to make homemade playdoh, finally make blue glittery flubber for ella, do more projects that involve large quantities of glitter, glue, wet paint, and anything else messy. I want to sing more songs, better and louder. I want to go on more walks with them and read them more books. I want to help them write books and draw the pictures. I want to paint castle architecture on the wall of the playroom. I want Ella to love broccoli again. I want to bake more bread with her.

9. I am going to let go of the feeling of impending doom. I think it is genetic, and I'm going to beat it.

more later....

hayden dancing

hayden dancing, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

I just took a shower. I generally put this bouncy seat right in the wide open doorway and turn up the morning classical show on NPR. This morning he was absolutely gleeful over a Hayden symphony, waving arms, wiggling toes, and bouncing.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

my son the flirty austrian mountainclimber

crafty girl


grampy and ella on new years 2006


woods, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Boys at a party

Boys at a party, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Sandy and John

Sandy and John, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Self Portrait

Self Portrait, originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Jumbo's Home Cookin' Ladies Room


I think I have to approach it chronologically as it was long and multi- faceted. We rolled out of the mountains on 460 on the 23rd, passing Santa Claus on his motorcycle. We stopped at Jumbo's Home Cookin so that I could nurse the baby. Ella and John had pie, and I took my favorite picture of the holiday season in the ladies room.

On Christmas Eve we drank a lot of coffee. Ella danced the Nutcracker, and went on a hike to find my special rock on the other side of the creek. It is a huge rock big enough for two people to sit on where I used to read as a child. She and John hiked around until it was almost completely dark. She then decorated the Christmas tree and put out our collection of porcelain angels, something that I used to do every year. She, however, did it in her underwear. She put out cookies and milk for Santa and went to bed pretty early. On Christmas morning we gave and opened gifts. We were still in pajamas when my brother arrived around eleven. We had oysters and champagne for lunch.

The next day my aunt and uncle were over for lunch and then we were off to a Boxing Day party in Petersburg. I had so much fun that I didn't want to leave and neither did Ella.I talked to a lot of people who read this weblog, and now I feel that I should do a better job. I had no idea. I met Krislyn, Rory and Nora K's mama, and I'd love to see her again.

On wednesday we headed north to Fredricksburg for Christmas with John's parents. Ella was ready to open presents the minute she got there as she had heard that Santa had left her a box. It was the pogo stick that she has been talking about for a year, and it has a pony head--sort of like a hobby horse with a pogo bottom. For John's first christmas he got a Radio Flyer walker/wagon. I can't wait to take pictures of him in it. Ella opened presents for a long time, and gave Granny and Grampy the gifts that she had painted in Roanoke. There are lots of pictures on Flickr of her with the packages. Click on any picture here to get to Flickr.

Over the next few days Granny and Ella were a veritable vaudeville act of costumes, song, and dance. Ella loved the pancakes and cooking opportunities. They read lots of books and played a new game called "Granny's House". Ella also learned to play checkers. There were secret art projects in the basement and lots of staying up late and eating chocolates. Baby John held his own, bouncing away in his seat grinning at everyone who spoke to him.

John and I went out for New Year's Eve, perhaps for the first time. We did the whole Fredricksburg First Night thing. For us, it is always strange just to be alone these days. We had coffee and strolled around and saw Anousheh Kahlili play in a store window. My favorite quote of the night was from a guy who walked up and said, "That has got to be awkward!" The teenage girls were all dumbstruck. "Look. It is her!" We walked a labyrinth and had dinner in an italian place. We saw Saffire play at the library. Great show, strange venue. We walked down to the main street to see The PEAR drop at midnight. It didn't drop, and we headed home wondering how Granny and Grampy had fared with the kids. Ella was in bed, and John was drinking a bottle after a five hour nap. All seemed well in the new year.

We are excited to be moving into our new house this month. John seems very positive about his work, and are happy that baby John joined our family this year. He is amazing. Ella started school this year and completed her first full year of ballet classes. She seems happy and well adjusted to life here. We have enjoyed living near our families and friends this year, and have high hopes for 2006.

Jazz Ella

Ella got a saxaphone for Christmas from Granny and Grampy. Her dad also got her a very jazzy gift, an alphabet poetry book by Wynton Marsalis. He then made her a CD with each song corresponding to a letter of the alphabet. E is very into scatting.

Alum Ridge, Fredricksburg Virginia

Alum Ridge, Fredricksburg Virginia, originally uploaded by ellajohn. J was wondering why I was taking pictures of the ground, but the light was just wonderful after a cloudy morning.


Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

woods walk

woods walk
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella and Granny

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.
Ella helps deliver and open all packages.

Christmas Kids

Ella and John got lots of goodies at Granny's house. Santa delivered Ella's pogo stick here, and she has a newly restored belief in the power of Santa.

Christmas Kids
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Mama and John

Mama's boy
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Getting ready for the Boxing Day parade

Ben, Rory D, Ella, and Rory K.

Ella hugs the 2 Rorys
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Children's Parade on Boxing Day

Finally, she has changed out of the superhero costumes. The kids are doing a parade at Cherry's boxing day party. I love the way she is very flexible even when embracing the batman obsession. She made Ben's little cape into a skirt and wanted the heart on her jumper to show.


Grandmarie moved the dining table out of the way so Ella could dance the Nutcracker. Her costume is made of ribbon, a ballet skirt, and Pinkie's old blouse. She is very interested in the choreography of the ballet. "How do they know what to do next?" She danced the same way at Granny's--directing the other parts around the sofa in front of the lit Christmas Tree.

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella, John and Grandmarie

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Christmas Tree

Christmas Tree
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.


Princess Paper Head and her loyal Princess Granny.

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Ella Decorates

Ella decorated a little Christmas Tree on Christmas Eve.

Ella Decorates
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

granny and ella

Music parade at Granny's house. These two do a lot of costume changes.

granny and ella
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

460 santa

The holiday season begins with this photograph. We were driving down 460 towards Richmond when who passes us--Santa Claus. With John at the wheel we managed to catch him and take his picture at 60 some miles per hour.

460 santa
Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

winter light

We are spending a lovely afternoon in Alum Ridge Park in Fredricksburg. The light is just wonderful as the sun peeks out. Ella plays on the big slide and explores the woods and creek. The funniest thing that happened was when we entered the park we had to ford the creek to get to the parking lot. The Scion is very low to the ground, and I swear that we floated for a moment. John yelled, "Shit" then realized what he had said and started babbling before it became Ella's favorite new word.

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.

Dino Might

Originally uploaded by ellajohn.
I think John looks like he is ready for a walk in the Alps. He is looking mighty fine in this dinosaur outfit.

Monday, January 02, 2006

So Sorry These were acquaintances back in Richmond. I was always a little jealous of how beautiful and cool they seemed.

I've been hugging my littles all morning.

nine days later

Grandmarie is in England today. They are staying here.. in number 14 and 15. I talked to her last night in the Dulles airport where she was having a vodka tonic. Who??? Yep, she was. She'll be back in a few weeks.