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Monday, December 3, 2007


Well, I'm finally about done with the last of the Thanksgiving cleanup. No, really! The last thing was to wash and press all those beautiful lace table linens that came from my grandmother. The trouble is, to get them (or any fine table linens, made of linen or cotton) beautifully shiny and smooth, they have to be pressed while thoroughly damp, and not just from spraying them right before ironing. They have to be damp for a while, so the fibers can relax. Since I have a front-loading washer that spins as fast as my car's engine at freeway cruising speeds, they are perfect for pressing pretty much right out of the washer. So I waited to wash them until I thought I'd have a chance to get around to ironing them right after. That chance finally came last night and this morning.

I did not grow up with cloth napkins--strange for someone whose mother seemed so to love ironing. But I guess with six kids the laundry load was already monumental, so perhaps not so strange after all. Anyway, somewhere along the line I decided I liked using cloth napkins, so any time we eat in the dining room, that's what we use. I have plain white cotton napkins, variously colored ones that match placemat sets (I'm not generally a tablecloth kind of gal, as you may have noticed from pictures of my table), and a few sets of white and ecru linen ones that I bought at an estate sale. More than I can realistically use, really.

Anyway, I love using cloth napkins for anything fancier than a weeknight family dinner. It took me a while to become comfortable really wiping my mouth on them, but now I don't hold back--I suppose it helps that I never wear lipstick, which might give me pause. But with the aforementioned front-loader (which can also achieve a water temperature of 205 degrees Fahrenheit), they almost always come clean.

Been busy lately, trying to get birth announcements out, plus Christmas cards, and then party invitations; Christmas shopping; another house project (I know, I said I was done!); getting back to teaching choir at Number One's school; and just plain old taking care of the kids. The house project is related to this summer's slew of projects, so not really something new. Just a couple of smaller things to help make all the $$ we spent this summer last longer.

As for the kids, well! I'm tempted to start calling the bebe Genius Baby, because Saturday night she slept for over eight hours straight. Even better, they were almost exactly coincidental with the hours that I wanted to sleep! Sunday was a good day. That was the first time she'd slept that long (she's only seven weeks old, after all), but she does regularly go five or even six hours at a stretch. Good girl.

We've never yet had to make a trip to the emergency room for one of the kids, but I feel quite certain that we will have to eventually. Yesterday, Number Two was running around in circles in the living room and kind of sort of falling down on purpose. Of course, on about the second time he landed right on his face and gave himself The Fattest Lip Ever.

I'm also really loving his language these days. He's stringing together longer sentences, but still in a rather staccato fashion, and with adorable Toddler Approximate Pronunciation. Some words are beautifully clear, and others can only be understood in context. Ls are pronounced either as Ws (weft instead of left--he knows his lefts and rights, btw) or Ys (yehyoh for yellow), depending. Combined consonants including S drop one letter (suck instead of stuck, for example), but not always the second one. "Small" is pronounced with a nasal exhalation before the M. Longer words are particularly susceptible to elisions, additions and transpositions--"diffeff" for "different," etc. Fortunately, he's pretty good about repeating himself when asked, so we can usually communicate pretty well.

I have realized that I don't write much about Number One compared to the younger two. Partly I think this is because he spends most of his days at school, and when he's home he's frequently entertaining himself. He also is turning into a teenager before his time, so not only are the things he does less cute and endearing, he'd probably be mortified if he knew that and what I was writing about him. I will say one thing: he's decided to be Draco Malfoy next Halloween. Won't that be perfect?

Edited to add that I think it might actually be "yeft" instead of "weft," and I forgot the cutest one of all: "movie" is pronounced "moozhee."

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Blogger Adriana Velez said...

Poor little guy!

I grew up with paper napkins, too (5 kids), but our family of 3 uses cloth -- including the same linens we received/bought after our wedding!

Lane just inherited a small set of table linens his grandmother bought in Scotland (OK, actually his mother handed them over to me) -- so pretty! I've finally built up the nerve to start using the tablecloth -- but only to cover the table between meals. Nuts, I know, but it's WHITE and embroidered. Deadly combination.

December 4, 2007 at 8:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I totally understand. The kid factor, plus our family habit of reading the newspaper at the table, means I have opted for strictly wipeable placemats at the kitchen table.

December 5, 2007 at 12:21 AM  
Blogger ME said...

No. One lookswise will be a great Malfoy. But can he affect the necessary evil demeanor? Are there times when he's not as angelic as he looks?

I'm guessing there will be lots of Dumbledores at the next Halloween parade in West Hollywood...

Would like to switch to cloth napkins. We only got two of the ones we registered for and I never bothered to go back and pick up a full set. And ones that a friend gave us--white, hand embroidered ones from South Africa--seem too nice to wipe on.

December 5, 2007 at 9:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee, maybe I should send you some of mine. That's actually not a bad idea--I have a few sets of linens (on the casual side) I haven't been using as much since I painted my dining room red and it started seeming more formal (funny how that worked). Maybe after Christmas when I get to the planned reorganization of my linen stash, I'll pull out some to send to you.

December 5, 2007 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger ME said...

I'm up for that! Thanks in advance.


December 10, 2007 at 7:12 AM  

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