Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We celebrated Thanksgiving with our London links to the US: our friends Rachel and Dinah came over for turkey sandwiches (Dinah's dad Ray is from Texas so like Blake, Dinah is British-American). I realize that sandwiches are a far cry from the days of my slaving away in the kitchen over a 14-lb whole turkey, but at least it was an effort to mark the day! And they were fancy sandwiches - turkey, brie, rocket, and chili cranberry sauce; I was impressed. I tried to print out some turkey pictures for Blake and Dinah to color but then I forgot that we don't have any crayons, so that was not a very successful activity.
After lunch we went down to Hyde Park to meet Cathy and Maddie Shingler, Kate Kenney's sis-in-law and niece. We also happened to meet Santa in the park, which is strange since I thought he would be resting in anticipation of Dec 24th.
I had particular reason to be thankful this morning since Blake slept from 11:30-6:30 and for once I went to bed when he did, so I actually got a good night's sleep! All in all, a very nice day. I hope all of you reading this from the US are enjoying the day off work and being with friends and family.
We certainly have a lot to be thankful for, namely all the wonderful people in our lives who help make it special - thank you for your friendship and love!

Thanksgiving 2008

Monday, November 24, 2008

The allure of gadgets

Are all babies as enamoured by gadgets as our little Blake is?! His eyes widen and I feel his heart probably skips a beat when he sees a mobile phone, remote control, or camera within touching distance. Here he was, enjoying a little push with his wagon, when he got distracted by the very instrument attempting to capture all this to look back on in years to come...

Toothy has a sister!

We welcomed another tooth into the family last week - let's say it was Friday, Nov 21. It's the one below P. White Lyons, I, so I guess we can call this one Pearly White Lyons, II, or "Two-thy2"!! Meanwhile Toothy the 1st is growing in confidence by the day and has been coming out more and more all the time. Blake seems to love to do his "crinkly-nosed" face when showing off these two treasures of his.

In other news, we have all had rotten, rotten colds! Blake's started last week one day when he was so tired he fell asleep at the lunch table. I couldn't help but take a picture. He then got extremely clingy and our attempts to establish some normal sleeping routines (I'm beginning to think that's an oxymoron with this guy) went out the window. But I feel we are all coming out of the worst of the runny nose, chesty cough, sore throat stage and are on the road to wellness...and then it will be back on that sleep quest.

London got some light snow this morning. Hope you are nice and cozy from wherever you are reading this!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

P. White ("Toothy") Lyons, I

DwL, in conjuction with Leighton Gardens Dentistry, is pleased to announce the arrival of P. White ("Toothy") Lyons, I. Toothy broke on the scene today after several days in the closely-guarded oral laboratory of Jr-Dentist-in-Residence, Blake J. Lyons. Chief Dentist, Dr. Mom, had this to say: "We are delighted to have Toothy finally with us. Toothy's arrival heralds a new era in the life of our Jr Dentist. We can now also attribute some of Blake's recent changes in temperament to Toothy's emergence. " Unusually, Toothy arrived on the lab's upper level, as opposed to the lower as is most common in young junior dentists. Dr. Mom continued: "Toothy I is just the start. But it certainly signals an end to the nose-biting of our Sr. Lab Technician - gums are one thing but Toothy's another!" Jr. Dentist Lyons has a cold (see nasal area in photo for evidence) and was unavailable for comment.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

Yes we did!

His message was about hope and change, two things America - and the world - needs, writes the DwL London correspondent.

On Wednesday, November 5th, I awoke at 7:30 a.m. to a beautiful stillness in the flat. I had gone to bed a little after midnight, unable to stay up into the wee hours to witness history being made. Having shared some drinks with some local mother friends, I had to go to bed hoping that Obama would pull through with the needed electoral college votes to become the next president of the US. The color of his skin wasn't really in my thoughts; I just knew that America desperately needed new leadership and that he would do his best to bring it.

I do feel like I'll be able to recall that particular morning for a long time to come: Matt had the day off so had not had to get up to go to work, the pale grey light coming through the window had a serene feel to it, and perhaps most notably in the 8 or so months since February 28th, I had not been woken once in the hours between 12:30 and 7:30. I wondered to myself whether the change in the world had been so profound that it had caused Blake to sleep through the night.

Shortly after, Blake did stir, so he and I came into the living room, turned on the tv, and watched the scenes of jubilation in Times Square and Grant Park. Obama had done it! I watched snippets of his acceptance speech and could only think that he must be the most exhausted man on the planet and felt sad that his beloved grandmother had not lived two days longer to see him take on the historical title of first black President. (I also thought, "Who in their right mind would want to be President?", but that's by the by...). With regards to the more immediate question of whether change had come in the form of Blake's sleep habits, Matt let me know when he woke up that he'd given Blake a bottle at 3:00 a.m. - clearly I'd had a bit more wine than I'd intended because I didn't even hear him!!

It was clear that this election was something very different to any before in America: the overwhelming voter turnout and the shared joy among blacks and whites, old and young made me confident that Obama represents, and will bring, change. Throughout the day, I got shivers as I realized that history had been made. Part of Martin Luther King's dream had been fulfilled in the form of a son of a black African man and a white American woman. I felt proud of Americans, and of being American, and I think and hope that the world's confidence in the US has begun to be restored. We bought papers to save for the future and watched coverage throughout the day, staying particularly attentive to the way in which North Carolina would eventually be called (sadly, the Republican stronghold of Catawba County was too much for my friend Daniel Johnson, despite Obama's victory in NC).

The papers today were a little different, as the focus turned toward discussions of the numerous challenges Obama will face, especially with regards to the economy. He is inheriting a bit of a mess, really, which many cynics will say is the reason he won (or the reason the Republicans lost). I spent my odd free moments today looking at YouTube videos which I hadn't seen before (it seems a strong feeling for many in the US yesterday that they would finally stop being bombarded by election-mania, from which I was spared here in the UK), and the Yes We Can video has really stuck with me.

[Sarah Palin's being unable to name a single newspaper to Katie Couric also resonated in that it reminded me of an Art History exam I had at Dartmouth where, under pressure, I could name only 2 or 3 artists, among about 400, that we studied throughout the term...I didn't get the extra credit! Di, Amy, and Beth - you may remember that one...?]

This publication would like to congratulate President-elect Obama and wish him well on his journey to take America back to a better place. On an issue very close to my heart, I hope that he perhaps get to take a couple of naps in the coming days. He has a lot of work ahead of him and a little sleep can make the world seem like a much better place.