Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Livin' La Vida Local: Art, Crafts, and The Internet

Thanks to Pumpkin Girl, our new internet friend in Minneapolis, I've discovered a whole new world of great local artists.

Saint Paul Craft Mafia, of which Pumpkin Girl is a member, is a local gang of crafty revolutionaries. Many of them are selling their wide variety of wares on their own websites and sites like etsy, which is definitely worth regular perusing.

Turns out Adam Turman has done all sorts of illustrations and paintings that I have seen on everything from beer labels to the cover of without realizing that they were all from the same local artist. I really like the cityscapes of local landmarks that he does and will be getting a hold of him for all custom painting that I dream of getting on the boys future skateboards, snowboards, etc. Now that I think of it maybe I should look into getting Q's skateboard/bike helmet done. Or maybe I should just stop spending money for a while.

Then thanks to Turman's post about his new custom pillows made by his friend Nate, I can fall asleep dreaming of a custom Vinyl-Lux laptop bag or some flashy orange robot pillows.

Monday, February 25, 2008

29th birthday, take three. Action!

Tuesday being my 3rd 29th birthday in a row, I've decided to be youthfully ambitious with my plans for the day's activities. I'm going to be starting the day off with a short visit to the toddler open gym at the Edgcumbe Rec. Center. Q will play, run, race, fight, crash, cry, and play some more. I will try to feed Ozzi.

We will try to leave open gym soon enough to make it to Arty Pants at The Walker at 11am. While there I hope to be able to check out the Worlds Away: New Suburban Landscapes exhibit. We'll see if it challenges or reaffirms my anti-suburb snobbery. More likely, the challenge of keeping Q's fingers off the art will prevent me from any real reflection on the obesity epidemic that is the suburbs (sorry, like I said, I'm a snob). Q's trail of fingerprints on art around the world would make the most prolific of taggers jealous. And now that I'm also going to have a 15 lbs baby strapped to my chest... well, lets just say that though I would never actually use one of those toddler leashes, I understand a little more everyday why someone might.

If somehow we don't get kicked out and blacklisted forever, we will have lunch upstairs at the Gallery 8 Cafe.

Now if I was really ambitious I would take the bus/LRT but that would require us to skip open gym and Q asks to go to open gym every day. Of course, he also asks to go to London every day, and we certainly don't give into that.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Children's Book: Rome Antics by David Macaulay

Rome Antics by David Macaulay was my valentines gift from K8. She ordered it after we watched Macaulay's video on Once again, she managed to give me the most thoughtful gift I could imagine. K8 and I love Rome and look forward to bringing the boys there someday. Until then, Rome Antics can fill that void. I can't think of a better concept for a children's book tour of Rome than Macaulay's pigeon taking the scenic route. Flying over, through, and into many of Rome's greatest sights, the reader gets a beautifully illustrated pigeon's eye view of the eternal city.

The best (kid friendly) coffee shop in the Twin Cities

On a tip from one of the moms in my ECFE class I took the boys to Java Train a few weeks back and we are hooked. I'm putting aside Friday mornings as our weekly visit but we will probably be there more often than that.

Why is this place so damn special you ask? Well, lets start with the train theme. Just having the word train in it's name makes Q want to go there. I know there are a few other coffee joints around town that have little play areas for the kiddies but this joint has a two story kiddie caboose with toys inside and a model train running on the top of it. Its toddler heaven.

Now I'm not a big coffee drinker but I do love a good chai and frankly they have one of the best chais in town. On top of that they have a great looking selection of steamers, lots of great food, and to top it all off Izzy's Ice Cream! Mmmmmm!

The last thing worth mentioning is the location. Though I would love it if it were across the street from our house, the location is still pretty great. Its just close enough to Como Park/Zoo to walk there but far enough that you don't smell the giraffes.

See you there on Friday mornings!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Toms Shoes

The pair of Toms Shoes I ordered finally arrived.

They are certainly comfortable and will make a great summer shoe. I'm a little concerned about the style I chose though. I was thinking they would go well with my overall geek-chic / so ugly its cool look... or at least that's what I tell myself. Its probably more accurate to say I will look even more like an unkempt gay man. Oh well, they are for a great cause so I'll ware them proud knowing that I put shoes on a poor kid in Argentina.

I'm kinda thinking that the little bag they came in would make a cool little backpack for Q. Its just the right size. I would just have to figure out a way to make shoulder straps. Sewing, however, is not my strong point. See, I can be manly.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Is there a fashion week for toddlers?

This doesn't quite make up for Tyson Beckford and co. not selecting me to be on Make Me A Supermodel, but its close. Not that I actually tried to get on the show, but come on they should have found me by word of mouth alone. They probably just didn't want someone that would be the obvious winner.

Anywho, in my constant quest to turn my children into well balanced celebrities like Lindsay Lohan and Britney Spears I have managed to get Q a spot on Pacifier's website. The picture of him that they have is my all time favorite picture of him, thus far, that I took a while back with his guitar.

While there, check out some of the super cool new clothes for the little ones like this shirt from infinitee.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


If I would get off my ass and get the proper cable to hook up the video camera to the mac, I could post some video of Ozzi's face changing red. Then put it next to this video to explain his new nickname.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Nature rules!

This bird is so cool, the bird researcher on the other hand... not so much.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

My Theme Song!

We just got the They Might Be Giants two kids DVD/CD sets in the mail today. This is probably my favorite as a stay at home dad: