Jake's First Trick

28 February 2012

A couple weeks ago Jake had a play date with a 9 month old girl. I spent the play date trying to keep Jake from clawing the sweet little girl's face off while Angel-girl sat contentedly on the floor, occasionally looking up at her mother for help whenever Baby Jake Ramsay got too close. At one point her mother proudly demonstrated how her darling had learned to give Hi-Fives.

Since then at the Rhodes abode, mama here has been desperately trying to teach Jake how to wave hi. Is that so much to ask? Just a little wave? I'm glad to say I've been somewhat successful.

Papa Jacob on the other hand has set his sights a little higher for our youngster and has managed to coach the babe into a REAL trick.

For your viewing pleasure: (mind you, this was after ten minutes of me waving at Jake in the mirror with NO response)

Jake's First Trick from therhodeslog on Vimeo.

Why We Don't Have Cable

The Beekeeping Saga Pt. 2

23 February 2012

Those of you - my truly loyal readers - who've been around long enough to remember part one of this epic saga: I am happy to inform you that the wait is over. 

Though still tenant-less our hive has stayed with us over the past year. We toted it from our old home to our new and snuggled it into a corner, full of grand plans of getting the bee game going again. We've considered mail-ordering a swarm, but that's not the cool way to get bees. The cool way to get bees is certainly to salvage them, to find a swarm and domesticate it. But we haven't been able to find one.

I should really stop talking now, because I don't know much about any of this. I'm much more on the honey side then on the bee side. The honey side allows me to indulge my crunchcravings. Raw. Local. Cheap. I can employ my old IKEA curtains as cheesecloth and use up a ton of jam/salsa/peanut butter jars for honey storage. It's VERY therapeutic.

Anyhow...back to the saga...

On Saturday Jacob noticed some extra activity around the hive. Some bees seemed to be checking the place out, and as the day wore on there were more and more. By the afternoon Jacob was convinced they'd moved in.

This post doesn't seem to be thoroughly conveying the emotion of this event. It involved Jacob going down to the hive every five minutes to check on things and coming back up to the house to give me updates. Eventually he couldn't even leave them alone. After about half an hour I went to see what was up and found him peacefully sitting and watching the hive. He looked at me and said in all seriousness:

"They're getting used to my scent."

A while later he came up in a tizzy and told me he thought the hive was being attacked by honey robbers. Honey robbers - he quickly informed me - are bees from another hive that...rob honey. The box had become a veritable battleground, and Jacob was determined to help his fledgling hive defend their new abode from the thirsty intruders. He went back down armed with some old bricks and set upon the project of making the hive more defensible.

So yes. We are currently at war. Or at least we were on Saturday.

Join with us in hoping that the good bees win and get promptly to work.

Hopeless Cosleepers

21 February 2012

I didn't really have the intention of bed sharing with baby before the little fellow showed up. But my utter inability to get myself out of bed in the middle of the night beat out all the anxieties and concerns I had.

Now little Jake Ramsay is the merciless lord of his parents' bed. He never (rarely...well...only sometimes...) wakes up for extended periods, but he wakes up often to nurse and wakes me up even more often with fond little kicks to the stomach. Every morning as I get out of bed, I make some huge promise to myself involving sleep training. But as the day wears on and my bitterness at being woken up nine times a night wears off, I realize that I'm not so sleep deprived, and all my resolve is out the window. 

We finally got him a real crib last week...which he sleeps in...about thirty percent of the time. It's mostly just the cage we put him in at 5:30 in the morning until he screechingly demands to be liberated.

The set up doesn't bother me so much. I cope by not believing any mom who says her baby sleeps through the night. That makes it a lot easier.

He's a decent napper. But he must be nursed, danced, or ergo-ed to sleep (as evidenced below.)

And for his naps - though he certainly would prefer it otherwise - he only gets fake parents.

Sometimes Love is a Shelf

Crunchy? Yes, please.

16 February 2012

Hi. My name is Kate, and I'm a crunch-aholic. 

Honestly, I annoy myself with how quickly I adopt any and all crunchy trends. 

I wash my hair with baking soda and I condition it with apple cider vinegar (or ACV for those of us in the crunchosphere.)

I should probably write a post dedicated to the marvels of Baking Soda. To the gallon of it in the back of my fridge and to the cup of it in my shower. I will speak to it as the king of all crunchy ingredients. I will say, "Hail, active agent in my homemade deodorant, thank you for exfoliating my face and disinfecting my toilets and counter tops."

In this post I will tell you how baking soda can do anything.

I will entitle it: "Just a Bunch of BS."

Or I won't do that. 

Mr. Baking Soda has a lot of friends in the crunchy home. These friends include Mr. Vinegar. Ms. Coconut Oil. Cousin Ghee. Grandmother Juicer. Rich Aunt Bronner. And a bunch of cultured and fermented cousins.  

The crunchy family comes over and doesn't know when to leave. Before you know it the family's exploded into five pound bags of chia seeds and organic locally grown produce you get off someone's porch and cloth diapers drying on the clothesline. 

Hi. We're the Rhodeses. We only flush the toilet when it counts; our only pets are the earthworms in our compost pile; and our kitchen is paperless except for the napkins left over from the Thai food take-out we ordered over six months ago.
Yesterday, we went to get our organic bulk foods off the back of a semi. Everyone had their babies in packs and talked about things like how much they loved Seattle. We loaded our boxes into our 1982 diesel Mercedes while it was parked next to three others, each with Ron Paul bumper stickers. 

I have become the cliche. I could say I don't know how it happened, but I think I was born with it. Being crunchy goes hand in hand with being thrifty. And thriftiness has been a second religion for me. 

When I was nine my mother received a series of books from my aunt in Vermont. The Complete Tightwad Gazette. I read them all.

With a highlighter.

I was in fourth grade, and I was sawing our paper towels in half and putting gallon jugs in the backs of all our toilets to displace water. I saved the plastic tabs that cinch bread bags and used them to label wires underneath the computer. I saved the plastic rings that disconnect from the lids of milk and juice cartons and used them to match socks before they went in the washing machine. (Betya never thought of that now didya? Huge timesaver. HUGE.)

What possessed the daughter of two conventional doctors to feel so pressured into money-saving and echinacea? I have no idea. Someday some much needed crunchaholic therapist will help me understand all of this I'm sure. But right now I have to go eat dinner - which Jacob made on our nontoxic cookware.

Afternoon Alone

11 February 2012

Papa Jacob and Baby Jake went on an outing today with Uncles Johnny and Michael.

And I am home alone. I've left Jake for work twice a week now for months, but I haven't had a Saturday afternoon to myself in...

The front door is open and I'm looking out over Culver City. Listening to the hum of traffic from the 405 and the whirr of the occasional helicopter. 

Hello, Leisure. 

Leisure just reminded me that I have writing assignments to grade, and I have to go tutor someone for the SAT in two hours, but I'm choosing to ignore him. Is Leisure a him or a her do you think?

Well, here's a smile (and a baby in a hat) for your Saturday afternoon.

From the Classroom. From the Baby's Room. #2

03 February 2012

From the Classroom

My boss always discourages jokes on the first day of class. This is a bit of a phobia for me now, and I repeat it like a mantra on my first day with any new group of students: "No jokes. No jokes. No jokes." I always make a few anyways, and they typically don't go over well. I'm at the end of my first month of teaching this semester - so not anywhere near day one - but I reflect on this advice today as I'm reeling after teaching 2 lame classes and watching 38 unresponsive students.

I'm not a big jokester. I'm not the funny person at the table. My brother is. But there's something about being in up in front of a clan of droopy-eyed teenagers that calls me to make jokes. Rarely very effectively. When they laugh, they laugh at things I didn't intend to be funny. 

I bet if I were to peruse the "Cracking Jokes in Class" section of a teaching manual I would find that I'd made every mistake I could. 

Mistake #1: Joke arises spontaneously in 8am class and goes over well, and so you try to recreate the conditions for said joke in your 9am. This will almost certainly bust.

Mistake #2: Making a joke in an 8am class to try to wake your students up. This doesn't work either. Every dimwit knows students have to be awake to hear said joke.

Every dimwit except me apparently.

Don't worry. There's a happy ending to this story:

From the Baby's Room:

Jake thinks I'm hysterical:


02 February 2012

Happy Birthday to my blog. One whole year old.

Baby is sleeping. Papa is doing dishes. And I'm reflecting on one of the biggest years of my life. 

And, Baby Jake, how quickly, how quickly you change.


Nine months very pregnant and freshly moved into a new house.

Baby in a Basket:

And 8 months later. Chillin' as best we know how:


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