Monday, December 12, 2011

Advent Windows 2011

Honestly, if this Santa makes it through these next few windy December days, it will be a Christmas miracle.

This is the December 10th window of the St. Alfege's Advent Window project. For more information about it, go to

Here's an action shot. The light is actually a bus, rather than the wind being captured on film.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A London Sunset

Looking for a good-looking diversion when you're supposed to be working? Look no more. Check out this beautiful time-lapse video of London at sunset yesterday, November 27, 2011.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Halloween 2011

They can't help but smile because they love Halloween, but they're not in character.
See below for the "in character" photos.

This year marked our 12th Halloween in the U.K. We celebrated in high style: we scored the biggest pumpkin from The Creaky Shed, we had nearly 50 people for Halloween hijinks on Sunday afternoon, and we finished it all off with trick or treating on Monday night.

The costumes the boys created this year were more nuanced than previous years, but believe me, a LOT of thought and discussion went into the assembling of them both. For example, it would appear that Thing Two is wearing only a suit. However, upon closer inspection, his "Hello My Name Is" tag says, "Lex Luther." He spent weeks thinking about the details-- he wanted to wear cufflinks and a tie clip, just like Lex Luther. He had Daily Plant front pages in his pockets which he had marked with an X and had crumpled up in Lex Luther anger. We got him a bald cap, so he could look most like Lex Luther, but after trying it once, he didn't want to wear it. He found it too uncomfortable. (Where is his devotion to his art, I ask?) When I asked him when he wanted to change his large green Green Lantern ring into a Krptonite ring, he said, "Mom, I don't want to provide TOO much detail."

Thing One was a Hard Man, complete with a backward baseball cap, tattooed arm and an axe in his head. Perfect. He too, wasn't too keen on additional accessories, such as scars or makeup. Maybe he wanted to streamline his Halloween operation, knowing that he'd have to rush off to trick or treating following rugby practice and then dinner. The tattooed arm-- or "sleeve" to use the proper tattoo terminology-- was an awesome purchase from Hong Kong earlier this month. It looked pretty realistic, if you didn't look to closely at it.
He's not smiling because he was in character.

So that's another Halloween done and dusted. At this point, we're starting to wonder how many more years Thing One will be up for participating. At least I know I've got three solid years with Thing Two before I need to worry about it. We had a blast on Friday night-- on our way to the Science Museum Halloween Party-- looking at all the pictures from previous yeras. If you want to see the collection yourself, click through to here.

Happy Halloween!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Happy 12th Birthday, Thing One!

Hey! Surfer dude! How cool are you?

Thing One is now 12. One year away from being a teenager. Sigh. I was just saying the other day, how slowly the time seemed to go when the boys were little, and how quickly the time goes by now that they're older. There must be some law of physics that covers this.

It's been a big year for Thing One. As the credits rolled in the last Harry Potter film in July, he turned to me and he said, "Well, that's the end of an era." I could have said the same to him, as it was the same time he was leaving his primary school and heading into the great unknown of secondary school. He's now happily settled in his new school-- playing rugby (see below), learning new subjects (like Latin) and making new friends (of the girl persuasion).

The more things change:
1. Girls!
2. He's learning how to play rugby.
3. He has a mobile phone, and he's not afraid to use it.
4. He has to wear a tie to school every day, which literally ages him about 10 years. I still can't get used to the sight of it.

The more they stay the same:
1. Science and math are still his favourite subjects.
2. He's still a fantastic big brother.
3. He still loves to read, though the books are getting quite a bit darker. (I think Stephen King might be just around the corner.)
4. He's still incredibly thoughtful. The other day, we passed a homeless man on the street. A little bit along, Thing One had stopped and was rooting around in his pockets. I was impatient to get home and nearly (though luckily didn't) asked him why in the world was he holding us up. He finally found what he was looking for-- it was all of his spare change to give to the homeless man. I was speechless. Children do have the capacity to amaze adults, and this was one of those times.

Happy Birthday to Thing One!
Next Up: (Cue ominous music): The teenage years!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Thing One's First Rugby Match

No injuries to report, thankfully.

Friday, August 26, 2011

A Picture Tells a 1,000 words, doesn't it?

Some pictures of our time in the US this summer, where we narrowly missed a tropical storm, experienced the hottest weather ever (thought we would melt), experienced an earthquake and left just before Hurricane Irene. It was eventful.

So if a picture is worth 1,000 words, this post is now worth 5,000 words, according to my calculations.

Hogwarts at Universal. Absolutely amazing, though we never did get to try the Butterbeer. (The line was always too long.)

Meeting the Simpsons at Universal Orlando. Awesome.

Is it the happiest place on earth? Don't know. I can tell you that in August, it is definitely the HOTTEST place on earth.

All the fun nearly killed him. Thing Two is asleep on his grandmother's floor.

Go Phillies! We're still sad you didn't make the World Series.

We had a great time, though I think we're still recovering.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Chesil Beach 2011

My favourite picture from our holiday in Dorset. Taken on Chesil Beach.
I love this picture and can hardly believe that I took it myself.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday to Thing Two!

Perhaps it's not the clearest picture in the world of Thing Two, but I love how he's a good 20 feet off the ground and climbing even higher. Go Thing Two, Go!

Thing Two is now 8. It's hard to believe, really.

This post has been open for days now while I struggle to write something that is different and amusing about Thing Two now that he's reached this new milestone. I don't know what the problem is-- maybe it's just bog-standard writer's block. So without further adieu, here's this year's list:

The more things change:
1. He got his first clip in a national newspaper this year with a review of "Megamind." It seems appropriate that his first clip would be a movie review (see below).
2. He flirts with vegetarianism, but I suspect it has more to do with the food he's been offered on that particular night rather than any sort of political philosophy.
3. He started to learn baritone at school. The best thing I can say about that is he's really trying. He's also learning violin, but that hasn't come home yet, which is lucky.
4. His love of running seems to have escaped him. He hates it now, which makes me a little sad, since he used to be my trainer.
5. He seems to be getting taller by the minute.

The more they stay the same:
1. He still loves movies and we still call him Mr. Movie. His favourite website may actually be IMDB.
2. Mr. Math still applies too. He's great with the figures. He might have a future as a quant with a bank. Then again, he might want to be an actor. See No. 1.
3. He still has a beautiful head of curly hair. I learned my lesson with Thing One, and this time, I've been extra careful with the haircuts. It looks fantastic.
4. Green is still his favourite colour, and tigers are still his favourite animal.
5. He tries really hard at everything he does, even the things he struggles with. You can't say that about everybody, can you. The tenacity is impressive.

While I was uploading the picture above, I accidentally chose this one. At first glance, I thought the boy in the Superman sweater is Thing Two, but I realised actually no, that's THING ONE, and the very cute little boy next to him (approximate age: 3 1/2) is Thing Two. I was going to delete it altogether, but I got such a kick out of seeing this that I've kept it up. I figured the grandmas would like it too. My how time flies.

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Wedding Day! (Last Portion)

Last of the tweets. I'll do a thorough roundup tonight.

Maureen Stapleton
Looks like that's it. We're finally heading out to lunch and will look for "Thanks for the Day Off" T-shirts.
Elizabeth Windsor
by mastapleton
The RAF will now fly onto the continent and fire a few warning shots at France.
Maureen Stapleton
Boys more excited by flypast with Spitfires, Hurricanes and other planes of note than the wedding itself.
Maureen Stapleton
Second kiss MUCH BETTER effort.
Maureen Stapleton
Gotta wonder if they've been allowed a glass of fizz yet before heading out to the balcony.
Maureen Stapleton
T-Minus 20 minutes until balcony appearance.
Maureen Stapleton
@ FANTASTIC WORK, SE10 Media Chief Royal correspondent. Seeing all those crowds is giving me heart palpatations, though.
Maureen Stapleton
Very sweet. Queen still holding her program from the wedding. I wonder if she's got a scrapbook to put it into.
Maureen Stapleton
@ @ She can be the correspondent for SE10 Media.
Maureen Stapleton
Maureen Stapleton
@ @ You are SO NEEDY.
Maureen Stapleton
@ Ha bloody ha. (British swearing in honour of the occasion)
Maureen Stapleton
@ @ She can't tweet; she's only got 5 seconds to see them!
Maureen Stapleton
Prince Harry gets relegated to The Kids Car on the route!
Maureen Stapleton
She looks just like a princess. Oh, wait, she is. (Duchess, technically, but whatever.)
Maureen Stapleton
Hilarious knowing exactly where they are on the wedding route. Would have never predicted that would happen when watching Charles & Di.
Maureen Stapleton
@ Totally agree.
jane martinson
by mastapleton
I want a carriage and horses. And cheering
Maureen Stapleton
Bells will ring for 3 HOURS after this!
Maureen Stapleton
It is the 21st century. It's official. @ Music from the service will be available on iTunes.
Sarah Lyall
by mastapleton
Some cousins of William , I will not say which, look like barmaids at Ye Olde Pub For Wenches
Maureen Stapleton
Boys have left HQ. "This is boring," they said, as they left to play football.
Maureen Stapleton
Princesses Euegine and Beatrice really got it wrong today. It's a shame they're right behind the queen, bc we keep seeing it.
Maureen Stapleton
Fights breaking out over at our HQ about who gets to be Prince Harry and who gets to be Prince William.