Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Fawcetts and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Week

It's been a rough week for the Fawcetts. Monday our internet service, which had been intermittent, became non-existant. Tuesday, Allen came home to find that a termite swarm had emerged in our bedroom.

And then came Wednesday.

It started off quite nicely. We all met up at Nora's school for her Knee Bowl Art Show and then headed out to dinner. After a lovely meal al fresco, the kids biked while Allen and I walked home. The kids were racing (and playing "invisible football" though I'm not sure how or why) and instead of having them wait at the corner for us to cross, I told them they could go ahead and turn at the corner. 

This was a mistake.

Owen whipped around the corner and Nora, being the adoring little sister, followed suit. Only her training wheels that we've been holding off on removing until the end of the school year (due to her commute requiring numerous boosts up various hills) didn't corner like they were on rails and she crashed. She was a bit bloody and very tearful, so Allen carried her the rest of the way home (despite my attempts to make her walk). Allen gave her a bath and put some bandaids on her scrapes, we read her some books and put her to bed.

An hour or so later she woke up crying in pain. I went an cuddled with her for a while and got her to fall back asleep, but then she woke again in pain shortly thereafter. It was around this time that I started googling "symptoms broken arms children bikes." After her third time waking up crying in pain, I decided to take her to Urgent Care, where they determined in about 15 minutes that she had a small fracture in her elbow, and that she'd be in a cast for about four weeks.

Now, I don't always give Nora credit for being the brave little girl that she is, but she was pretty amazing Wednesday night. Aside from a few tears when they bent her arm for the x-ray (from what clearly was some intense pain), she didn't cry or complain the entire time we were at Urgent Care. In fact, after about the 10th apology from me I was informed that she had already forgiven me and that I was now being annoying. And also that since it was her left hand she could still write and draw.

A very nice physician assistant wrapped her up and put her in a temporary cast and sling (she gets the real one next week after the swelling goes down) and sent us on our way. Since it was now after midnight, we decided Nora should stay home and miss the field trip she had been looking forward to on Thursday. We also decided she'd take a pass on piano and swim lessons and that our plans to go climbing on Memorial Day were now shot. However, we still needed to come up with an alternative for Friday's author's presentation at school that Nora had spent a month working on and centered on hand puppets.

As you can see, we made it work. Now to just get through the next 3 1/2 weeks...

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Birthday Luxury


It's always good to start planning early for Elaine's birthday.  With Mom Mom's birthday on the same day, and Mother's day right in the mix too, things can get a bit tricky, but back in the Fall I came up with a plan that I thought just might work.  The only problem was I needed to find a date that would work for us, Mom & Don, Katherine & Lee, and Nancy Danny, wait until just three weeks out from that date, and then somehow beat the 10,000 to 1 odds to land one of the most difficult reservations in town -- the rooftop garden at Rose's Luxury on a Saturday night.  With some careful use of the official atomic time, some quick clicking, and a healthy dose of luck we scored the table. It was a beautiful evening, with perfect weather, amazing food, friends and family coming together to celebrate two wonderful women.  Thank you Elaine, and thank you Mom for all the happiness and joy you bring to our lives, and happy birthday to you both.

(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, May 09, 2015

The Replacements

Kelly's Visit

Kelly is one of our few non-econ friends from Austin. A photographer/book-keeper, mother of three and wife to the lead singer or one of our favorite Austin bands, Grand Champeen, Kelly is a really cool lady that we haven't had the pleasure of seeing since our last trip to Austin back in 2011.

Kelly had decided to celebrate her 40th birthday with her husband Channing in her beloved Pittsburg listening to her beloved Replacements. All was well until Paul Westerberg's throat started hurting on Tuesday, at which point her best laid plans went to hell.

After importing grandparents to watch her three sons, taking off work and flying cross-country, Kelly wasn't quite ready to let the dream die. She remembered that we lived in DC where coincidently the Replacements were scheduled to play on Friday, that Channing knew a guy who knew a guy who had an extra ticket to the show, and that three nights should be enough for even the hardest of rockers to re-cooperate. It seemed like a sign.

So Channing flew back to Austin and Kelly took the bus to DC to hang with us for a few days. She took in the National Portrait Gallery, the National Gallery, several cello tunes from Owen and even the "Arsenal of Democracy" flyover. Things got a little dicey on Friday -- the metro we put Kelly on to go to the concert broke down for 20 minutes and it wasn't until after she'd hung out for several hours in the neighborhood that Kelly discovered the concert wasn't at the 9:30 Club like we thought, but rather Echostage which is across town and next to nothing. Kelly is now a huge fan of Uber.

In the end, Kelly said it was a great show. And while we're sorry that Channing missed it and that she had to be without her boys for three extra days, we're really glad we got to hang out with her. Hopefully, our next meet-up will be a bit less stressful.

Monday, May 04, 2015

Spirit Party


As a new SWS family, we kind of planned on watching and waiting to see how all the various events and fundraisers worked before getting too involved.  However, as the annual Jazz Auction & Gala was approaching, the Rubens approached all the new 3rd grade parents about hosting a Spirit Party to auction off at the Gala.  Elaine wasn't convinced, but I'm a bit of a sucker for these things, and got it in my head that it would be fun to rent out one of the Skyboxes at a Baysox game for our Spirit Party. Long story short, it was a lot more work than I really anticipated to set everything up, and of course there was all the stress at the auction about whether or not enough people would sign up for our Party, but when the day finally came, it couldn't have gone better.  The weather was stunningly perfect, we had a great group of friends come out for the party, and the game couldn't have been more exciting as we watched the Baysox win 11-9 on a walk-off grand slam with two outs in the bottom of the 9th!  We might even have to do it again next year ;-)

(click here for all the pictures)

Sunday, May 03, 2015

And the Band Played On...

Owen had his second cello recital on Saturday afternoon (after he had helped to clean up the Sherwood Rec Center and had his little league game -- another win for the Pendragon Nationals!).  It's pretty amazing how far he's come given he's only been playing for eight months, and we were incredibly proud to hear his and the rest of the Level B Cellos' rendition of Mahler's Theme from First Symphony (a step up from December's Hot Cross Buns and in proper concert attire this time!).

The cellos were fourth on the program (after the harps, guitars and bass). Afterwards, Owen was off with his fellow musicians leaving Allen, Nora and I to enjoy the violas and a whole lot of violin performances. Nora had spent the entire concert sitting at a table next to us, writing a book about the things she loves. It had seemed like an ideal way to keep her both occupied and quiet, and it would have worked perfectly too had it not been for some precariously stacked textbooks. Unfortunately, as Nora reached for an errant crayon, the table tipped and 40 or so copies of "City of Magnificent Intentions" crashed onto the floor and the backs of the people in the row in front of her, while a bunch of five year olds played "Twinkle, Twinkle."

It made for a painful last 15 minutes of the concert, but once we were at dinner and the kids had chips (and Allen and I had margaritas), it became more of an amusing footnote in Owen's musical journey rather than a completely mortifying parenting failure. Mostly.

Congrats again to Owen for doing a great job and if you'd like to see more pictures, please click here.

Sunday, April 19, 2015



It's been many years since I've been back to William & Mary for anything more than a quick lunch stop on the way to the beach, but this past weekend we actually had a full blown Psi U reunion.  It was great seeing so many old friends and their families.  We had a lovely lunch with everyone at the Alumni House, a fun walk through Colonial Williamsburg, and Elaine even let me have a night out with the boys at the Green Leafe, our old watering hole.  Best of all, the trip might even have nudged W&M ahead of Northwestern in the list of places our kids say they want to go to school ;-)


(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, April 11, 2015

First Pitch

Last year was Owen's first season AA machine pitch Little League for 7-8 year olds, and we were expecting that he would play in AA again this year with some younger kids finally on his team. Well Little League through us a curveball and changed the age cutoff, so even though Owen is still 8, he's playing in AAA kid pitch Little League for 9-12 year olds.  Not only is he playing with some really big kids now, but in just the third game of the season he actually was the starting pitcher! There's a lot less hitting in AAA than there was in AA since the kids are far from machine like in their ability to throw strikes, and Owen was no exception on the mound.  He threw some strikes, but the other team wasn't chasing pitches, so outs were tough to come by, as the batters were all angling for walks. It was a long inning on the mound, but I was proud of him though for sticking it out against the big kids, and we're all looking forward to another fun baseball season!  

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Opening Day 2015


Despite some computer glitches, Mom Mom managed to secure four tickets to opening day. DCPS and MLB conspired to ensure that students had the day off. The weather gods were generous and delivered perfect baseball weather. So, it was probably too much to expect the Nats to actually win. Oh well, as Allen says, baseball doesn't really count until May...

(click here for all the pictures)

Monday, April 06, 2015

Easter 2015


Easter was pretty low-key this year. The kids woke up early meaning we managed a long breakfast at the bagel place and still made it to church in plenty of time (the kids even had their own row for a while). Mom Mom wasn't expecting us until 2 pm so there was some down time after church. And the Easter bunny scaled things back a bit so the kids weren't as hyped up on sugar as in Easters past (though they went to the dentist on Good Friday just in case...). All is all, it was a lovely day.

(click here for all the pictures)

Saturday, March 28, 2015


Wonderful preview dinner at Maketto from the JO Wilson auction.

Toki Underground has always been one of our favorite restaurants in the neighborhood, so we were thrilled when our friends Eric & Kathryn won a dinner for ten at their house with Erik Bruner-Yang of Toki fame at the J.O. Wilson Elementary School Auction, and kindly invited us to join them.  It took a while to schedule the dinner, but the wait paid off, because a few days before the dinner, Erik called Eric and suggested that instead of him cooking at Eric & Kathryn's house, we all join him for a sneak peak at his long rumored new restaurant Maketto.

Maketto has been in the works for a long time, and if our dinner there was any indication, the wait was worth it.  The space has undergone an amazing transformation from the old goodwill building to stunningly gorgeous kitchen, courtyard, retail, and coffee/bakery spaces.  But of course, it's the food that will keep us coming back.  We sampled the whole opening night menu, and while everything was delicious, some of my favorites were the super spicy raw kobe beef salad, the steak and hoisin sauce bao, and the whole fish that I was almost too full to eat at the end of the night.  All told, it was a wonderful night with good friends, great food, and all for a worthy cause.

Wonderful preview dinner at Maketto from the JO Wilson auction.

(click here for all the pictures)