Tuesday, December 9, 2008


We thought we found our camera a week ago at my parents, but after scrolling through the pictures and seeing nothing but "The Rain Man Collection" I realized that it was my dad's camera. We just found our camera and accessories this morning. Sorry for the shoddy layout of the pictures, but the display looks a lot better in the edit room than when posted:

I have no idea where the kids found the suckers, but from the looks of Bobby if your looking to take candy from a baby you better come packing.

Fresh crabs, straight from the Potomac to your table with just a brief layover in a steamy bath of Old Bay Seasoning. One of the highlights of our trips to Alexandria.

A friendly, indigenous tribes-woman holds my children at the Levittown Pre-Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Priscilla and the kids standing in "the mall" courtyard in D.C. Behind them can be seen the Washington Monument.

Priscilla and the kids standing in the same exact place in "the mall" courtyard in D.C. Behind them can be seen the Capital Building.

I took this picture to prove to Priscilla that, yes, the kids do nap for me.

Shopping, popping (video) and photo opping.

This is one of my favorite candid photos of the kids. Bobby contemplates a piece at the Hirshorn Museum, while Hadassah competes with it.
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Monday, December 1, 2008

December 5th! (Addendum)*

Trying to teach Hadassah her alphabet has alerted me to the importance of early childhood education. I am dedicating my next two blogs to the two greatest early childhood educators the world has ever known.

At Steph’s request -my birthday/Christmas wish list.

Today is the day that all days wish to be
It’s the day that you say happy birthday to me.

So rejoice! Celebrate! Sing a song! Do a dance!
(Then send me a present when you get the chance)

You can give me a package, an e-card, a letter
When it comes to gift getting I’m a real good gift getter

This great world is filled with such great things to get me
It’s such a great shame many haven’t yet met me

So for those in the know who don’t know what to get
Here’s a list of great gifts that I haven’t got yet:

I’d like a car starter that comes easily apart
Cause the starter costs more than the car it will start

Of course chocolate and ice cream I always can use
Or wine or a fridge filled with fun micro-brews

Or a _____ of the month club, I’m certain to like
Like the fish one that’s offered by good Cap’n Mike

A much bigger bath tub or dinner for two
While someone else watches you know who and who

And as always I’m happy for any aged cheese
More old and less mold is more likely to please
(Yet I’m told that the mold makes a cheesier cheese)

And if you want to splurge on a present for me
I would sure like to get a cheap online degree
A master’s in psych would be great altogether
But a doctorate would even be that much more better
(I would love to be smart without having to try
And the best smarts are smarts you can easily buy).

So send me your chocolates, doctorates and cheese
I will take what I get cause I’m easy to please

And we’ll all be hap-happy as happy can be
Cause today we can say happy birthday to me

*Any gifts comprised of time sensitive materials that must be received by February 1st are to be sent to 5597 Seminary Rd, Falls Church, VA 22401, Apt. 1005s. Standing address for all other shipments is 611 Old Town Rd, Eveleth MN, 55734.

A is for Acid Reflux

Trying to teach Hadassah her alphabet has alerted me to the importance of early childhood education. I am dedicating my next two blogs to the two greatest early childhood educators the world has ever known.

At Eric's request -A list of some of the foods we have eaten thus far. (When Priscilla gets home tonight with the camera I'll download some pictures).

A is for Apple -The most prestigious place that we have been to is a Chinese restaurant just a mile down the road. It's a favorite of the Bush's. Along with their world famous Peking Duck we got an order of their toffee apples. They dip apple slices in a special caramel mixture then, at your table, drop the slices into a bowl of ice water causing them to instantly crystallize into a desert that is crisp and sweet on the outside and warm and soft on the inside.

B is for Berries -Being a little further south, we've been able to access a greater variety of fresh produce for Hadassah and Bobby to grind into our white carpeting. In the pass week I've been able to distinguish the following stains: blueberry (both fresh and frozen), strawberry, raspberry (both red and golden), blackberry, cranberry, cherry, chocolate, tooth paste, yucca, feces and icing.

C is for Crab -Freshly fished from the Potomac, these are the Great-great grandchildren of the steamed crabs George Washington would have eaten.

D is for Deli -One of my favorite meals so far has been the corned beef special I got at a deli in the Reading Terminal Market. They bring out a corned beef roast, cut off a few pounds of fat, drizzle it with coleslaw and Russian dressing, then slap it between two slices of rye bread.

E is for Eight year-old gouda -The woman selling this cheese told me, shame-facedly, that she could not guarantee that the cheese is eight-years old. She could, however, confirm that the sign in front of the gouda that they had been getting from the European cheese distributor had been there for over 12 years.

F is for Fish -We were able to go to two different sushi shops. I was especially impressed with the one in DC -a Japanese/Chinese hybrid in China town, just a few blocks from the National Spy Museum where Steve Carell works during the summer while on vacation from Dunder-Mifflin. We also picked up some fresh Mackerel on a trip to Philly that we grilled out on our deck (number 50 for the year).

G is for Genacotti-A genacotti is a deep-fried calzone. We get them from Julios -a pizzeria down the road from my parents place.

H is for Hotdog -The best hotdog in the world, of course, is the Philly dogs that you would get at the vet. (Best when eaten in the top of the third while the Phillies are leading 2-1). The second best hotdog I ever had I got just the other day at Five Guys. If there is a Five Guys nearby, go. It is without doubt the best buy in takeout.

I is for Ice cream -A pint of Ben and Jerry's Strawberry Cheese Cake, two pints of Ben and Jerry's Dublin Mudslide, a pint of Ben and Jerry's One Cheese Cake Brownie, three pints of Ben and Jerry's Oatmeal Cookie Chunk, a pint of Ben and Jerry's Mint Chocolate Cookie, a pint of Ben and Jerry's Cinnamon Bun, two visits to the Haagen Dazs scoop shop, two trips to Ben and Jerry scoop shop and a DQ ice-cream cake for Hadassah's Birthday. My favorite? The free scoop of Imagine Whirled Peace that Ben and Jerry gave me during the election, despite voting libertarian.

J is for Jamaican ginger beer -Our grocery store stocks several varieties both by the bottle and liter, but the most potent stuff I found was the homemade version at an Asian heath food store in the RTM.

K is for Kreme Puff -Sandwiched between two hallel butcheries is a middle-eastern pastry shop. Sure the coffee is weak, but at least it kills the taste of their kreme puffs. (We found a pretty cool French pastry a few blocks away that makes a great fruit crème tart.)

L is for Lebanese -Our local sports cafe is a middle eastern hookah bar that serves Lebanese cuisine and has only eastern-European waiters. They have no sound on their televisions and, of course, prefer to show futbol.

M is for Mexican -We went to an authentic Mexican restaurant that we found by "the mall" in DC. The best entree was a seared scallop dish in a pumpkin sauce. For desert I got a spiced Mexican coffee with this star of anise ice cream kaluha gelatin tart thingy. Priscilla has been experimenting with the local grocery store's Mexican waters. Apparently "cashew" is Spanish for "pepper."

N is for Nothing -This is what I've been having for lunch most days as my children are vultures. (I'll make myself a dish and Hadassah will eat all the vegetables, Bobby will eat all the meat and the carpet and children's clothes will end up soaking up all the sauce.)

O is for Olive oil - We are currently on our third bottle of olive oil. Priscilla bought the cheaper stuff to cook with, while the expensive olive oil we've been using to spread liberally on our carpet.

P is for Peruvian chicken -Right outside our door is a Peruvian chicken place. (In our community Peruvian chicken places are like KFC's.) Sometimes on the way home from church I'll pick up a fresh coal roasted bird to eat during the 'Skins game.

Q is for Quail -At one of our Thai restaurants we ordered the kids a couple of quails. Here's some advice -when you order quail for a 2 year old its a good idea not to have you back up plan to be lychee dumplings.

R is for Reading Terminal Market -It started as a place for the Amish merchants to trade their wares. Today its home to the freshest food and ingredients the city has to offer. My favorite is the cannolis at the Italian bakery.

S is for Shwarma -The best shwarma I've had outside of Israel I found at a greasy hookah bar a few blocks from our apartment. They also have great Turkish coffee and pretty good shisha. The owner also lives on our floor.

T is for Thia -I usually don't go for Thai, but I've been dogging a cold for the past few weeks and have been taking green curry medicinally.

U is for Urchin -Wok and Roll, probably the best Sushi I've ever had. The guy took about fifteen minutes just to arrange my pickled ginger.

V is for Vegetables/fruit -Although the kids would be happy eating nothing but crackers and cereal, I've been trying to incorporate a variety of fruit and vegetables into our diet. (Is peanut-butter a fruit or a vegetable?)

W is for Water-Ice -Rita's Italian Water-Ice came out with a seasonal pumpkin-spice cream ice, so if you live in any of the eight states where Rita's is available . . .

X is for Xedrin -Despite my healthy diet and rigorous exercise routine, I've been having a lot of headaches and difficulty sleeping. Possible causes: lack of stress, unseasonable warmth, change in altitude, respiratory reaction to mold withdraw.

Y is for Yuengling -Yuengling, a Philadelphia company and the oldest brewery in the US, came out with an amazing bottled "Black and Tan." I've also really enjoyed the Samuel Adams Holiday Collection.

Z is for Zycam -Because green curry can't do everything.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Bossiness is a Dominant Gene

Spending so much time with my family recently I’ve been able to recognize odd quirks or personality traits being echoed in the mannerisms and behaviors of our kids. Since I haven’t been able to find our computer cord in order to download our recent photos I thought in the meantime we could play a game I’m calling “That’s the Last Time Your Uncle Dave is Babysitting You!” Here’s how you play: I’ll list something I saw the kids doing recently and then give multiple choices as to which family member might have taught them that behavior. Whoever can best match their responses to mine wins:

1. When the kids are given “prizes” Bobby will hide his in a secret stash. He will then bring it out hours, sometimes days, later so that he can tease Hadassah about having a prize. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Mommy
c. Grandma Roxanne
d. Uncle Josh
e. Uncle Dave

2. While playing at the park Hadassah likes to force frightened children to hold hands with her. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Mommy
c. Papa Larry
d. Uncle Ben
e. Aunt Stephie

3. Bobby likes to parrot others and repeat “catch phrases” from commercials he has seen. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Mommy
c. Papa Larry
d. Zadie Triestman
e. Other ________

4. Hadassah likes to change her outfit four times a day, cries when you make her use the orange crayon because “it’s a boy color,” and is often caught telling herself how pretty she is while looking at herself in the mirror. Is this . . .

a. Bubbie Triestman
b. Mommy
c. Aunt Bep
d. Aunt Stephie
e. other ________

5. The other day Priscilla and I watched as both children took turns repeatedly flinging themselves headlong off the back of the couch, pausing periodically to laugh at the others pain. Is this . . .

a. Mommy
b. Auntie Stephie
c. Uncle Carson
d. Uncle Dave
e. Uncle Josh

6. This morning I walked into a room to find that Hadassah had been having a conversation with me for the past hour and a half. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Mommy
c. Uncle Josh
d. Zadie Triestman
e. Uncle Carson

7. Bobby is impervious to discouragement, discipline or the limitations of reality itself. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Zadie Triestman
c. Uncle Dave
d. Uncle Josh
e. Aunt Stephie

8. When family comes to visit Hadassah likes to greet them at the door by asking where her present is. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Uncle Carson
c. Aunt Bep
d. Aunt Stephie
e. other _________

9. Bobby goes through his days with a perpetual cloud of dust hovering over him and a ring of cookie encircling his mouth. Intervention will only dirty a cloth. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Grandma Roxanne
c. Bubbie Triestman
d. Uncle Carson
e. Uncle Dave

10. When falling, the first thing Hadassah will do is check to see if her hands got dirty. If so she will begin crying for someone to wipe off her oowie. Is this . . .

a. Mommy
b. Auntie Stephie
c. Auntie Bep
d. Uncle Dave
e. Uncle Ben

11. When Bobby takes a toy from Hadassah she will let him have it and find another toy with which to play. Is this . . .

a. Daddy
b. Papa Larry
c. Uncle Ben
d. Aunt Bep
e. Uncle Carson

Although there might be some discussion as to who the kids "take after," it should be obvious to everyone who they look like. (Pictured here is my favorite photo of all-time along with a random archive picture of Bobby.)

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Yes We Can !

History has been made. They said we could not do it, but the cynics have been silenced, the critics dismayed. A new regime has been ushered in and it feels great . . . the Phillies have won the World Series! An estimated 3 million people were on-hand at our nation's first capital to view a ticker-tape parade celebrating the first professional championship win to come to Philadelphia in 25 years. The Philadelphia Phillies, who have already made history as being the losing-est team in the life of American sports (only team to ever reach 10,000 losses -and counting), have brought back the championship, and with it the hope of a nation, to the birth-place of freedom and democracy, Philadelphia -The City of Brotherly Love.

Following this theme of unprecedented, historical events the following unparalleled achievements have also taken place this week:

1. I vacuumed the floor.

2. I heard family news from the source, rather than filtered through Priscilla, as told by Roxanne. (In this file photo my sister-in-law Stephanie has been replaced by two Triestman males and a turkey leg).
3. Bob Barr became the first libertarian candidate to win over one percent of the national vote in a US presidential election won by an African American.

4. My brother Ben called me without having accidentally sat on his phone.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Candy Exchange Day

Priscilla worked this weekend so I was responsible for improvising costumes and escorting the kids through the apartment complex. Hadassah went as a fairy-princess-ballerina and Bobby went as Chase Utley. (It's kind of embarrassing to consider that these "costumes" are actually a part of our kids daily wardrobe rotation).

We live in a predominantly recently-immigrated community and this was a first Halloween for many of our neighbors. One woman actually asked if us to walk her through the "ritual of trick or treat." (She and her husband were very excited to be a part of this secular American tradition, although they were surprised to learn that it is customary on Halloween to change the diapers of the trick or treaters while their father eats a plate of curry. Exploiting the ignorance of immigrants would not have been such a big deal if the kids coming behind us had not been so put off at having their diapers forcibly changed.)

It was interesting to see how each of our kids responded to the consumption of excessive amounts of candy. Hadassah became extremely giddy and fun-loving, while Bobby became mean and surly.

We also made a gingerbread house, which was a really fun project until Bobby realized that the arts and crafts materials were edible. (I'm really impressed with how Hadassah "hams it up" in these pictures. She actually doesn't have anything in her hand, but is pretending to sneakily eat the house in order to make the shot work better.)

Here Bobby shows us the after-effects of Candy Exchange Day. (Contrary to the old-wives tale, smearing tooth-paste on your head will not cure a sugar-hangover.) Apparently Hadassah had seen how funny it was when I had put makeup on Bobby for his costume and decided that she was going to be funny too by splattering his head with eye-liner and toothpaste.

Do you think it sends mixed messages to the kids by taking pictures of their disobedience and then spanking them?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Happy Birthdays

Hadassah is now 3 years old, though she likes to tell people at the park that she is six. We have had a very happy birthday weekend. Yesterday Zadie, Bubbie, Josh, and Bep, came up to celebrate and watch the Phillies cream the Rays. (I took my cumpulserary nap from the bottom of the 7th until the bottom of the 9th).
Zadie got the traditional 500 balloons, horns, streamers, party hats, tiara and banner to litter our apartment for days.
Hadassah also got a keyboard that Bobby has decided Hadassah should "share" ("Share" is code for "gimmee" in our house)
The icecream cake candle blow out was sucessful because Bubbie and Hadassah practiced 25 times earlier in the afternoon. (Now you know how many matches are in an average matchbook)
Then today Hadassah got a package from Grandma and Grandpa complete with enough outfits for Hadassah to change into for 1 day, (Dan thinks the dress would be cuter with more bows though) blocks (which Isaac is intent on using to design the next national museum) and most important lipgloss!!!! The day was not complete without a trip to the mall, build-a-bear, and icecream. Can you guess what Hadassah named her bear???? Yep, "six".
Well, there you go, my first blog, maybe next time I can actually figure out how to format better!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

View from Our Balcony

1. The Washington Monument (It stands in the distance as a proud tribute to the spirit of democracy and the hope of a great nation. It's the second thing the aliens blew up in "Independence Day.")

2. Where we park our car. (Not in the tree, smart guy, the parking garage is to the left.

3. Where Jimmy Stewart gave his great filibuster speech.

4. Our only adjacent neighbors (They have yet to complain about the Judge Judy in Spanish at 6:00 am)

5. The nearest slurpee (.4 miles away)

6. The closest halel butcher shop

7. The second closest halel butcher shop

8. The home of an angry man who is just now wandering why I appear to be taking his picture

9. The apartment Priscilla thought was ours when we arrived at 1:00 am and carried everything we owned from the car

(This is a very dark and overcast view of the park taken from our balcony. Every morning -with the exception of this morning because it is dark and overcast- our kids will awake to the squealing sounds of children. We will eat breakfast, get dressed then go to the park and play with "friends." ("Friends" is the term we have adopted to refer to any other child.) Hadassah is learning to play with others on her own and is slowly beginning to realize that just because everyone is her "friend" doesn't mean that they all want to play with her. Bobby has been a little less social is more interested in learning to go down the slide on his own without drawing blood.)

Our House is a Very Very Very Fine House

Here is a brief rundown of the amenities our apartment has to offer:

-Two Bedrooms

-Carpeted dining area (so much for trying to get back any deposit)

-Our first television (Hadassah and Bobby have already figured out how to work the remote which means that every morning I wake up to Judge Judy blaring on the Spanish Network)

-Our very own two-in-one Eurotrash washer/dryer (clean jeans are just 32 hours away -this afternoon I had to have Hadassah show me what two buttons to push in order to disable to child-saftey lock)

-Two walk-in closets

-Five crawl-in closets

-24 hour fitness center (especially important as I have located 17 Ben and Jerry Scoop Shops in a 20 mile radius)

-Two Bathrooms (especially important as I have located 17 Ben and Jerry Scoop Shops in a 20 mile radius)

-Real on-site convenience store ("Real" meaning that it is stocked with tahini and kosher beef and run by a disgruntled Korean)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Blogger Disclaimer

I don't really like blogs. To be honest, I am pretty much against all computer networking technology. I long for the bygone days where media was an elitist tool wielded only by the rich, famous or powerful -a weapon of propaganda. I want my information filtered through the hazy-bias of Ted Turner and Pat Robertson, not some joe-six pack who is more interested in broadcasting himself than he is in trying to force me to think the way he does. The internet media has become the world’s largest stage, hosting an endless open-mike night. Anyway, at the request of friends and family here is the Triestman’s set. Please don’t be offended if we don’t stick around to listen to your number. (The unrelated picture is Princess and Bobby greeting two would-be muggers in NY's central park.)