Tuesday, December 25, 2007
This morning, Asher and I spent an hour in bed listening to country and western Christmas songs (Asher was singing "Rudog the reindeer reindeer") on the radio. His usually frenetic body was so restful, he was so engrossed in the songs, that I took the opportunity to read a few New Yorker articles, and Dan cooked omelets for breakfast. Nice X-mas present! Joe came over later to give Elliot his old Game Boy (all wrapped up in a holiday greetings tin) because he had received a Nintendo DS. (Joe's parents were not apprised of the gift and Elliot later had to give it back.)
Snow came around noon, we drove up north for a while to see if it was sticking (sadly it was not). We had a late lunch at Chiang's Gourmet Chinese Restaurant to partake in the Jewish holiday tradition. Actually, the restaurant was fairly packed with Chinese people. Elliot's Fortune: Adversity will make you stronger. Dan's Fortune: Strive for simplicity in your dress. While we ate, we watched the snow accumulate, layering the cars outside with at least an inch of snow. Whoopee! By the time we got home the snow had stopped and kids were slinging snowballs at each other.
To top the day off, we completed an ill fated Candy Cane house project (I think we'll have to buy a kit next year). We didn't have the right materials, but it held together well enough for a while -- until we layered on more icing glue and gum drops than the roof could handle. The gummy snakes in the green frosting grass were crushed by the mushy graham cracker walls of the sad little house. The kids crammed mouthfuls of gummy frosting snakes in their mouths before I plopped the whole thing in the trash.
All in all, it wasn't too crazy of a day. A little snow, a lot of candy, a game boy for a few hours, lots of family good times.
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Saturday, December 08, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I saw this story and thought it was interesting. Having had a child who never saw a cold he couldn't live without, having pumped him full of too many decongestants, cough syrups etc. this little gem seemed like a nice one to spread around. It probably isn't much of a scoop--it will probably be in every free health insurance magazine in the next couple of months but none the less check out this article about Honey.
Saturday, December 01, 2007
My favorite thing is when my friends are nice to me and when my parents give me things I like. My favorite thing is when everyone respects me. I like hot chocolate, animal crackers, cous cous and melted cheese, carrots and celery. I like exploring outside. I like exploring my brother's tomb, it has diamonds and rubies in it.
When I was a baby, my big brother kept pushing me and my mom called the police. Then he started being my favorite brother. We played games together. He gave me snacks from his lunch. When I was 13 he started doing things that were really bad. In 1983 he went to jail. We saw him breaking windows and stealing money. He was so strong as a grown up he broke the bars in jail. In 1986 he died. Now and then I wish I could go back in time to make my brother nicer. Now that I'm a grown up I don't have to think about these things because I have a nice family and caring friends.
When I was two years old, I started learning how to read and write. Now and then I think about our dog Flag.
When I was three years old, I started making friends. Although I was a little too silly. One time I came into school and my pants fell down. The lunch lady had to sew my pants back together again. My friends still liked me. We try to play together, but sometimes we're doing other works. We play games like breaking pebbles, when it's color time we color the stones into dream creatures. It has any kind of power you want it to have. Only one dream creature has all the power together. If you win the battle you get to have the dream creature.
When I was four years old the girls weren't nice, they called me names at lunch time. Now all the kids at school are friends with me. Now and then we play. We don't always agree about the same things. I really like playing with nice children. One time at lunchtime. A friend gave me his favorite cookie and I gave him my cookie. He's my only friend who likes the same things as me. Sometimes we do things that are bad like take your mothers keys and go to the park without permission. The teacher gave me a job to be a helper in the class. After the teacher died in 1987, I started teaching for her. I gave snacks to all the kids. But that opportunity is done now.
As for my personality, I am a very cool kid, I am very smart and I learn a lot. I mostly look at non-fiction library books about animals, monkey, airplanes, vikings, romans, and knights. My friend Elliot P. is the best drawer in the class. We have a club called the smart club and we learn about things. Everyday at recess, we dig a pit and put all of our library books in it. We seek information. We listen to different tunes in the sky. We learned about how fast the speed of sound goes. Sometimes people call us big brain, we've got smarter brains than other kids. I know how it feels when that happens to you. What I'm trying to say is, if you want to see me go to elliotbremson.com and you can learn about me. Just make sure you too like history. We try to encourage kids to learn.
Friday, November 30, 2007
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
Star Wars video game
Remote control car
Yu Gi Oh cards
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Thursday, November 08, 2007
And the trees whisper
Now we wish to do something else
The cars are whispering
It's because the trees are shining
The light is shining from the moon
The stars are whispering
I was not scared in the dark
Monday is after I watched the dark
11:12 has come already
The trees aren't whispering
The wood is not whispering
The houses are not whispering
By Asher Lewis Bremson
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Elliot decided in November 2006 that he wanted to be a "Goblin" for Halloween and he resolutely stuck to his vision. He asked me as early as July if we could buy a cape for his goblin costume. No! Finally September rolled around and we were ready to purchase a cheap polyester cloak at Goodwill. He also wanted me to buy him a grotesque mask, but I told him it would be better to paint his face since masks smell, you can't see in them and it's hard to breathe in them as well. He somehow convinced Dan to buy him a mask a few weeks later. (Dan thought, he'll take it off after 2 minutes anyway). Well, he wore the mask to two houses on our trick or treating journey however after he tripped on a sloped lawn, he tossed it aside. The only problem was that he really didn't have a costume after that. He complained, "why does everyone say they like Asher's costume and not mine?" He's still brainstorming about next year's get up. I'm sure it won't include a mask.
Look at me, now I'm a real PTA mom. The mask did come in handy after all. I scared dozens of kids in my quest to sell holiday wreaths at the Harvest Howl. One mom asked me to show her daughter my real face.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Satsuma Oranges ** very popular right now
Red Mill Hamburgers
Apple Chicken Sausages
Golden Round Crackers
Ramen Noodle Soup
Bean and Cheese Burritos
Cappellini with Parmesean
Macaroni and Cheese (Amy's)
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Saturday, October 20, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Seven year olds are sensitive about differences between themselves and others. They're competitive and hard on themselves. Social justice concerns and seeing issues from multiple perspectives are hallmarks of their development.
Child Development Tracker
Interview with Elliot about his life as an adult:
Will you have kids?
I'm going to have a big house with 7 kids.
Do you think you'll live in Seattle?
No, I'm going to live in California where it's warm. I'm going to live near Grandma Judy.
What will you do for job?
I'm going to be a race car designer. Fast electrical cars.
What will you do for fun?
I'm going to play football and play with my friends.
Friday, September 21, 2007
I thought Elliot might appreciate this Ali G Show segment where Ali tortures this really patient and kind Vietnam veteran veterinarian named George Washington by his inability to understand the difference between veteran and veterinarian. Elliot thought it was hilarious.
Tuesday, September 18, 2007
Lilly Allen's music is also not really appropriate for young kids, yet the boys were introduced to her anyway (many songs we skip over for language). Her songs are deceptively bright and upbeat with their bouncy dance hall / ska sound, but the lyrics deadpan cynical and streetwise. Asher loves "Lilly Awen" so I found her most innocuous video / song for his viewing pleasure, LDN:
Sun is in the sky oh why oh why ?
Would I wanna be anywhere else
Sun is in the sky oh why oh why ?
Would I wanna be anywhere else
When you look with your eyes
Everything seems nice
But if you look twice
you can see it's all lies
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
Today the boys rode the monorail for the first time. Here is Asher's account of the adventure: "We waited for it to come. We had to go on the blue one. The red one was broken. We walked onto the monorail like this. We went in the tunnel like this, swish, and when it was done the train ride was over. The train ride was fun."
All of this talk about the monorail just makes me bitter. It's been nearly two years since the city smashed all dreams of having a city wide monorail. It was so close. We need high speed mass transit if we want to be a sophisticated, world class city that isn't permanently clogged up with traffic. RIP Seattle Monorail Project.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
Last year, Elliot barely ate at school. He'd have one bite of lunch and then run out to recess. I'll give bento a try, there are enough recipes online that something has to work. Lunch in a Box has tons of tips and recipes: Lunch in a Box: Mommy's Lunch Manifesto
Faux sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread cream cheese on the bread, top with thinly sliced deli meat and roll tightly. Cut into ½ -inch slices to resemble a sushi roll. (From Shannon Carino.)
Fruit sushi: Cut the crust from a piece of bread, spread with pineapple cream cheese, add a banana, roll and slice.
Salad roll: Remove the thick rib from a romaine lettuce leaf. Top with favorite salad dressing, a thin slice of Muenster cheese, a thin slice of roast beef. Roll tightly and secure with a pick.
Sandwich on a stick: Alternate chunks of ham and cheese, separated by squares of bread. Finish with a strawberry.
Tortilla roll: Spread a tortilla with refried beans. Top with cooked chicken, shredded lettuce and grated cheese. Roll and slice. Use plastic skewers to secure.
Muffin cup: Layer the cup with shaved turkey, shredded lettuce and carrots.
Polenta pizza: Slice store-bought polenta, brown both sides in a skillet and top with tomato sauce, freshly chopped herbs and cheese; warm until cheese melts.
Alphabet pasta: Cook pasta according to package directions. Toss with freshly chopped vegetables and butter.
Mini stromboli: Slightly flatten canned biscuit dough. Spread with small amount of tomato sauce on half, top with chopped pepperoni, fold over and crimp edges with fork. Bake in a 350 F oven until golden
Wednesday, August 01, 2007
Initiation of breastfeeding within the 1 hour of birth is the first and most vital step towards reducing infant and under-five mortality, by reducing the overwhelmingly high neonatal mortality rate.
Also from their site, the Philippines are setting some world records apparently:
In May 2006, the Philippines, broke the Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding in a Single Site when they gathered 3,541 mothers with the City of Manila. This year, they created the First Guinness World Record on Simultaneous Breastfeeding in Multiple Sites when they gathered more than 20,000 mothers in more than 400 sites.
Saturday, July 28, 2007
According to Elliot, a chicken bomb is a "sweet gummy candy, it's actually healthy with nutrients and full of vitamins and minerals, with lots of calcium, and chicken hands and chicken feet on the ball." Where can you get a chicken bomb? Not at the usual toy stores, but they have them at Fred Meyer.
I did a search for chicken bomb and there is a book called The Milk Chicken Bomb by Andew Wedderburn about a troubled ten year old boy in Alberta Canada.
The first day they tore up Elliot's clothes into pirate rags and as the week progressed, the rags became absolutely filthy with dirt, sand and mud. Each child was assigned a daily station -- lookout tower, cooks galley (Elliot had to make salads for the kids), sword making, looking for buried treasure (in a half buried ship). If you ask Elliot about the best part of summer so far he says, Wild Waves and pirate camp, Arrr, the best camp e'er!
Ye'll ne'er get me buried booty!
Saturday, July 21, 2007
One of my favorite children's book authors is William Steig. After reading Sylvester and the Magic Pebble to Elliot several times, I realized how soothing the language felt to me compared to other children's books. His sentences are spare and crisp but ornamented with eccentric and complicated words like "perplexed" and "discombobulated." His stories are direct and darkly humorous; intuitive but strange at the same time. They're psychologically rich and his insights are unexpected.
Because his tone is so matter of fact and lacks condescension or smirky irony or cutesiness, it feels intimate in a way children's books rarely do, "You can imagine the scene that followed - the embraces, the kisses, the questions, the answers, the loving looks and the fond exclamations." In all of the books we've read, the characters are in danger at some point, but they adapt, survive and remain optimistic. They map to a child's sense of wonder, fears of a strange world, struggle for self reliance. His books reinforce survival and seeking out well being. Very healthy. Although he married four times.
I thought it was interesting that his parents who were working class raised him with socialist bohemian values, they felt business was unethical exploiting and to be an exploited worker wasn't shrewd. So they produced offspring who were artistic and self reliant. And Steig advised his own three children never to take a nine to five job.
Here is Steig talking about summer in Publishers Weekly:
The summer is not a time for art activity or anything related. The summer is for lemonade, flowers, walking barefoot by the ocean, lying on lawns, deck chairs, on hammocks, on porches, listening to birds and crickets and bull-frogs.
From his 1970 Caldecott Award Acceptance Speech for Sylvester and the Magic Pebble
I am well aware not only of the importance of children -- whom we naturally cherish and who we also embody our hopes for the future -- but also of the importance of what we provide for them in the way of art; and I realize that we are competing with a lot of other cultural influences, some of which beguile them in false directions.
Art, including juvenile literature, has the power to make any spot on earth the living center of the universe, and unlike science, which often gives us the illusion of understanding things we really do not understand, it helps us to know life in a way that still keeps before us the mystery of things. It enhances the sense of wonder. And wonder is respect for life. Art also stimulates the adventurousness and the playfulness that keep us moving in a lively way and that lead us to useful discovery.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Pancake Mountain aims to bring back what got us passionate about music. We want to be able to tear down the barriers that make music pretentious and boring. We enjoy seeing the artist interact with their audience. We like to have fun, we love new music, and we need an excuse to act really silly and call it our job.
Metric - Monster Hospital
The Evens - Vowel Movements
Deerhoof - Spirit Ditties of No Tone
Saturday, July 07, 2007
Seems like a good idea. The skeptic in me thinks it sounds like big brother is watching.
Americans know that family history is important to health. A recent survey found that 96 percent of Americans believe that knowing their family history is important. Yet, the same survey found that only one-third of Americans have ever tried to gather and write down their family's health history.
Health care professionals have known for a long time that common diseases - heart disease, cancer, and diabetes - and even rare diseases - like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia - can run in families. If one generation of a family has high blood pressure, it is not unusual for the next generation to have similarly high blood pressure. Tracing the illnesses suffered by your parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives can help your doctor predict the disorders to which you may be at risk and take action to keep you and your family healthy.
Sunday, July 01, 2007
Siya Siyabend, the street band in this video are fun to watch they're passionate idealists, talking about how music is the biggest toy of all. How music brings together the guy with the laptop and junkie on the street.
It sounds like Steve Malkmus was inspired by this song, it's very similar to Baby C'mon.
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Elliot, our keeper of family rituals, asked for the return visit, but I think it had less to do with the train and more to do with the Snoqualmie Candy Store (wall to wall candy and ice cream) that we ate at last time. The kids meal includes an ice cream, cheetos, apple juice and a piece of taffy. This time we also bought Elliot a gummy rat. He proudly showed it off to anyone who caught his eye, "This is Matt the Rat. He has an ear infection." And you're going to eat him? He held the rat all the way home and ate him before bed.
Friday, June 29, 2007
United Press International Veggie Booty is Recalled:
Robert's American Gourmet Food Inc. of Sea Cliff, N.Y., initiated the recall because the food might be contaminated with salmonella, an organism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems.
The FDA said 51 cases of salmonella across 17 states were related to the consumption of the Veggie Booty, predominately in children 3 years of age or younger.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Saturday, June 23, 2007
School is still a little overwhelming, but he's growing into it; he's motivated to write and learn. I don't know if it was the tutoring, the behavior plan or just maturity. I'm just glad he pulled through and ended up liking school. Yesterday was the last day of kindergarten. We survived!
A few nights ago Elliot had trouble sleeping and said he wanted to draw. It was almost 9, but I let him stay up. He sat at the kitchen table tracing a complicated line drawing of an eagle while I washed the dishes. [I'm glad I found out about tracing, no OTs recommended it to us, but it's great practice for his fine motor skills.] I can see why he likes it, he gets a fully realized drawing, something more sophisticated than he could draw on his own. His self-portrait, traced from a photograph, shows how far he's come. Congratulations Elliot!