Friday, November 30, 2012



Back in our Austin days seeing friends play a show was a fairly regular occurrence, but now that we're older and living in the political instead of musical capital of the country, it was pretty special to see our good friend Brad play the Black Cat with his new band Sotano. Brad didn't get me on the guest list, but some free beer in the green room made up for that oversight ;-)  Most importantly, the show rocked!

(click here for the pictures)
(more videos here, here, here, and here)

Monday, November 26, 2012


This fall's Iowa trip culminated with Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma & Grandpa Z's. Grandma Z had to get a little creative in the sleeping arrangements in order to accommodate Dave & Kara, Steve, Becky, Olivia, Maura, Sam & Erin as well as our entire crew. Moreover, given sheer number of celebrants under the age of 10, we decided to send part of the clan off to the Pond during the preparation portion of the day. But by the time John & Ellen and Uncle Bernie arrived for dinner, we were reunited and ready to party. It was a delicious meal (particularly as measured by the dearth of leftovers) which we attempted to work off through a series of post-dinner photos sessions until Uncle Dave introduced the concept of "photo bombs" to Sam and Owen.

Sadly, we had to head out the next morning for the long drive back to DC (after pancakes and a few rounds of hide & go seek, of course). But it was a great time filled with a lot of people we are especially thankful for and who we can't wait to see again when we come back this summer.

(To see the complete Thanksgiving collection, please click here.)

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Second Cousins

The beautiful thing about visiting Iowa is that both sides of our family have roots here which often results in a BOGO effect for the holidays. While the Zimmerman side didn't make it to the Iowa City metro area until Wednesday afternoon, the Fawcett cousins were there Tuesday night, which meant a yummy lasagna dinner at Aunt Helen and Uncle Kens and an impressive number of little ones playing hide and seek (preceded by a tractor ride with Grandpa Fawcett).

The following morning, we all gathered at the pond to help take down the tee-pee as well as Hollywood and the paddleboat, before heading back to Iowa City for the Zimmerman side invasion.

Monday, November 19, 2012

All I Want for Thanksgiving...

Amidst all the madness last week, I noticed that one of Owen's teeth appeared to be askew. When I asked him about it, it became clear that: 1) the tooth was indeed loose; 2) he was not happy about this; 3) Owen neither believes in the tooth fairy nor does he want her coming any where near his teeth; and 4) Owen wants to keep all his baby teeth, and requested a means to tighten the errant dendrite.

I briefed Allen on Owen's status, and we decided to not to intervene and let nature took its course (which was a big concession from the man who, along with his father and a door, assisted in the removal of his baby sister's teeth). Allen wisely packed the tooth box that Mom Mom had made for him, which was put to good use when Owen pulled his tooth out himself on Sunday morning, and thereafter since Owen refused to trade his tooth for a dollar (or a penny as per Allen's scheme to teach him about exponential growth by offering him $.01*2(t-1) for each tooth).

Fortunately, Grandma Z decided that the mere act of pulling out his tooth deserved some sort of reward, and so Owen came out of the whole experience with a gap in his smile, a tooth in his box and $2 in his backpack.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Aunt Katherine's

We started stopping in Cleveland on our way to Iowa back when Owen was just a baby. It was a convenient (almost) midway point in the drive between DC and Iowa City, and Katherine & Lee have always know how to show their guests a good time.

But all good things must come to an end, as it looks like Katherine & Lee may be moving closer to the DC metro area -- which is great in terms of our getting to see them more frequently, but kind of sucks for our cross-country trip planning. For our last official visit, Aunt Katherine pulled out all the stops -- batting cages, arcade games, a rocketship, Star Wars Episode I, pulled pork sandwiches, a wine tasting as well as Nora's beloved cupcake time. And while we'll miss ping pong ball, indoor camping and archery, as well as their ready access to Christmas Ale, we're excited to have Katherine & Lee several hours closer.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Autumn at Watkins

It's been a bit of a stressful week here in DC -- being directed by the White House to be as boring as possible while discussing carbon taxes at AEI, taking the car in to be serviced for a series of repairs we didn't know it needed, finishing up projects at work in order to leave town for the holiday, all while putting together an offer for a house. Just hours after finding out we didn't get our dream house owing to an evil, last minute all-cash offer, and just hours before driving through rush hour traffic to Aunt Katherine's to begin our Thanksgiving vacation, we were treated to a concert by Owen and the Watkins first graders. It was a nice diversion from the bitter sting of losing the house and the dread of what turned into a seven hour drive to listen to a bunch of six and seven year olds sing about the wonders of autumn, what they're thankful for, and how much they love America. Made us remember what's important...and how good mashed potatoes are.

(Note: Owen is in the first row of standing kids, slightly stage left, in a bright yellow shirt.)

Friday, November 09, 2012

Blue Eyes Crying

IMG_2146.JPG Nora has always seemed on the verge of tears -- not because she's perpetually distraught over the state of the world, but because she was born with a blocked tear duct. We'd previously looked into unblocking it when she was about 15 months old (we'd been advised that if it didn't correct itself by one year, we'd need to have a procedure done), but she threw up the morning of the surgery which we took as a sign that we should postpone indefinitely.

Indefinitely turned out to be 3 years of age as our regular pediatrician (who's missed the appointment where we decided to go ahead with the surgery at 15 months and had been horrified that we'd considered it at such a tender age) gave her blessing to try again. Originally scheduled for election day, Hurricane Sandy threw off Kaiser's schedule and so it wasn't until November 8th that Nora finally underwent the knife (or a rather, a metal probe).

Nora's not the best waker-upper, so we were a little concerned how she would respond to being woken up at 7 in the morning without benefit of food or drink per her pre-surgery instructions, but apparently a little The Little Mermaid en route makes everything better. Nora sailed into the ambulatory surgery center telling jokes (such as "Why did the toys cross the road?" whose punchline involves a robot chicken though I was never entirely clear how or why) and being only slightly annoyed by the surgical gown and heart monitor. It wasn't until they started to put her under that she got upset with the morning's adventure (requiring the anesthesiologist, a nurse and myself to hold her down). She woke up equally annoyed about 20 minutes later, but some cuddling and a be-be (as well as the promise of more Little Mermaid when we left) seemed to console her.

We were home by 11 am, where we cuddled on the couch watching some Dora before finally eating some food and taking a long nap. She's back at daycare today and seems fine (although she's had a slight bloody nose and occassional bloody discharge out of her eye, which we were told to expect). We're hoping that this surgery will do the trick as the next one would involve a plastic surgeon and irrigation tubes not to mention a pretty big mommy freak-out session if she has to go through all that again.

(click here for the pictures)

Thursday, November 01, 2012



Our usual plan for Halloween is to head over to Grandpa Fawcett's house on E. Capitol street to briefly join the hoards of trick-or-treaters then retreat back to the house for some chili and hand out candy to thousands of kids.  This year we weren't sure if the usual plan would work.  Claudine passed away earlier in the month, and the Halloween gathering at 813 was always her show.  While family and friends were gathered out in Kansas City for her funeral though, Dad and I decided that it would be a nice way to honor her memory.  We couldn't quite pull of the Kansas City chili, but Elaine made a delicious pasta Bolognese, Owen dressed up as Captain America and Nora as a fairy, we tricked and we treated, and of course Owen kept the crowds in check handing out countless pieces of candy.  Happy Halloween.

(click here for all the Halloween pictures)