Monday, March 24, 2014

Cochon 555

For a while now, Don has been talking up Cochon 555, and this year he convinced Katherine & Lee, Danny & Nancy, and Dad and I to join him, and even got us upgraded to VIP tickets for the event.  Cochon 555 is a pork extravaganza.  Set in the huge space above Union Market, each of the chefs is given a whole heritage pig and tasked with dreaming up their best creations to win over the judges and guests and try to win a trip to the Grand Chochon competition in Aspen.  Our favorite going in was of course Erik from one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, Toki Underground, and he didn't disappoint.  Serving what we all agreed were the tastiest dishes of the night (and previewing what we hope to see at his new H Street place Makketto), Erik won the night and sent us home happy.

Twenty-Twenty-Twenty Six Hours to Go...

Dave & Kara

Uncle Dave and Aunt Kara were in town for a book conference, and managed to extend their stay in order to have 26 hours of fun with us. Allen picked them up at their lodgings while I took Nora to her first day of soccer (where she totally rocked it). After a quick stop to change, Nora and I headed to dance class while Owen, Allen, Dave and Kara played the marble game.

After we finally reunited, it was on. We headed off to Union Market to partake of the latest artesian pleasures and then off to the Atlas Brewery to quench our thirst. The kids weren't particularly excited about that diversion (despite the cornhole, and the Morris dancers waxing poetically about beer), but they were rewarded for their patience with a stop at Atlas Arcade for some X-Men and 80s nostalgia.

Once home, Dave, the kids and myself engaged in a feverish soccer-esque game (there was a ball, kicking and goals, but also keep away and some form of wrestling...). Molly and Tyler joined us for dinner and some sous-vide steaks a la Allen, which Dave ultimately conceded tasted pretty good for boiled meat. Eventually, we put Owen to bed in Nora's room (good thing we still had his old mattress) while Dave & Kara took over Owen's room and his National League adorned bed.

The next morning we had sous-vide eggs, bacon, sausage and pancakes and a lot of Avenger adventures and photo ops before Dave & Kara headed to the airport and John & Allen prepared for Cochon 555...

(click here for all of Dave & Kara's pictures)

Friday, March 14, 2014

A Postal Performance

Nora has always been an enthusiastic performer, so I guess it shouldn't have been a surprise when she was cast in the lead role of the mail carrier in the Peabody Pre-K 4 Spring concert about the postal service. In a sea of white shirts and blue pants, there was Nora dressed up as a mail carrier, proudly delivering her line, "I have mail for all of you girls."

She was absolutely beaming after the show, excited about all the attention, using a real microphone for the first time, and whole experience, proclaiming it the, "Best. Day. Ever!!!"

Monday, March 10, 2014

Bedlam v.2

Owen had the smallest room in our old house, and so he was understandably pretty psyched when we moved and his square footage roughly tripled. To be honest, we were a bit surprised at how well Owen embraced his change in fortunes, for while who wouldn't want a huge bedroom with a balcony, Owen generally doesn't like change. At all. He cried when we gave away our old yogurt encrusted dining room table in favor of Grandpa Fawcett's Amana heirloom one. He threw a fit when we got a new toaster oven and tried to throw out the old one. And he informed us that he doesn't want a new bike for Easter unless it's exactly like his old one.

But we had decided when we moved that since Owen had such a large room, it would double as a guest room as needed. And while we've tried to convince our guests that a leaky air mattress is the height of hospitality, eventually I decided that we needed to replace Owen's twin with a full size bed.

So we ordered the exact same bed as Owen's in full-size. We let him pick out Star Wars and National League sheets and a special Nationals pillow case. On his compressed day Allen went and got a mattress while Grandpa assembled the bed. But when Owen arrived home from school and was informed of his new addition, he refused to enter the room to even look at the finished product. When we finally got him to go into the room, Owen refused the touch the new bed and ended up sleeping on the old one with his sleeping bag.


The next night we got Owen to sleep in his new bed. After a couple days of increasing acceptance of the new paradigm, I announced that I would be selling the old bed online. This did not go over well. Owen informed me that he needed the bed for Legos. I informed him that he could keep the money from the sale. Owen argued that the additional bed meant that even more guests could stay in the room. I informed him a little four year old boy desperately needed the bed. Owen informed me that if I insisted on selling his bed, he was going to go live in the sewers and then promptly burst into tears.

I started laughing. Not because I'm a terrible person who loves crushing her only son's soul, but because I didn't even know where the sewer thing came from (turns out he'd been reading ahead in his Dragonbreath book) and honestly, after Owen cried over the toaster oven his credibility was somewhat shot with me. After a few minutes I gave up trying to cajole him, and called Allen who spent the next 45 minutes talking about how living in the sewer might not be the best solution and if Owen really didn't want to sleep in his room without his old bed, he could instead sleep on the stairs but not the roof.

We had a brief reprieve as the buyers of the bed had to delay the intended pick-up date from Thursday to Saturday. Owen kept asking if he could keep the bed, and we kept saying, "no" which didn't make him hate us, but definitely didn't endear us to him.

Finally, the morning of the pick-up came. Our plan was for Allen to take Owen to the park to play catch during the handover, but instead Owen and Nora decided to stage a concert in Owen's room using the old bed as a stage. With 15 minutes until the buyer's arrival, I finally broke it to Owen that the bed was leaving imminently (he immediately said we needed to turn off all the lights and lock the doors), but... that the people had decided they didn't need the mattress. Owen looked a bit taken aback and said, "You never said they weren't taking the mattress."

So we took the mattress off the bed, and while Nora tried to bar the door when the new owner arrived, Owen calmly went to our room to wait until the the frame was gone and then returned to his room to set up for the show, telling me again, "I didn't know I got to keep the mattress..."

So Owen is now happily sleeping in his new bed, and playing with his old mattress, which I guess means we'll be storing in his closet until he leaves for college.