in a perfect world of yancies: January 2013

26 January 2013

And the Whole World Smiles with You

Smiling at Mom
I mean, come on. :)

So, what else is knew? How about this excerpt from the newsletter at Franklin's daycare? He finally agreed to pose for a photograph!

ILC-Newsletter.pdf by Yancy Hughes Dominick

(On p.2)

While the scanner's humming, I thought I'd take the opportunity to share the drawing Amelia made me over the holidays:
Amelia's Drawing
We're not seeing too many sunny skies around here lately, but after 12 days of weirdness I'm pretty happy for 40's and rainy, even if there aren't any rainbows outside.

Of course, as the song says, there are some smiles that make the sun come shining through (for which, see above).

So anyway, first day when the rain returned, Franklin and I grabbed our coats and went for a walk. Excellent. And I was happy to see I wasn't the only one out with a baby recently:

Okay, that's about all, but you'll be glad to know Franklin's now big enough for the KU onesie that the Lee's got him last summer when we rolled through Kansas:
More KU Style

More KU Style
Until next time, gentle reader.

19 January 2013

Art for Art's Sake

Franklin's daycare was open late on Friday for a "parents night out," which is a pretty cool idea. Turns out that us getting a car to take advantage of that was not the greatest idea... But on the upside, I was finally able to get an up-close look at some of the young man's art that they've got hanging up there:
Franklin's Art

And how great is it that he's got an outlet for this that doesn't involve me cleaning up any chalk or marker? :)
Franklin's Chalk Art

Meanwhile, we've had a weird, cold, dry, and very foggy week. Franklin and I enjoyed seeing St. Joseph church emerge as we approached on our walk yesterday:
St Joseph in the Fog

Glad to see the robins undeterred by the strange weather:
St Joseph in the Fog with Robin

But of all the fog photos I've seen this week, this time-lapse video from the Seattle Times roof is making a strong case for my favorite.

Speaking of other people's pictures, I was pleasantly surprised to see these shots from last weekend's rally & march show up on Flickr:
standupwa (87)

standupwa (88)

All right, reader, we may have heard this tune before, but I'll let our young artist play us off:


13 January 2013

Away, You Rolling River

Another great weekend with Franklin and his mom. Started things off right as we got our game faces on and met up with the Kansas alumni group to watch some basketball:
Game Face
You might notice that the photo is taken with Franklin and I both inside of his new play yard. Say what you will, it's nice to have the security.

I mean, it was a blast to let him have as much fun as he wanted the day before I went back to work, but it is nice that now we have a way to keep things relatively contained.

Also had the rare treat of learning that one of my favorite artists released a rendition of one of my favorite traditional songs.

Bit of a raucous chorus, but who'd have it any other way?

Finally, Emily and Franklin joined me at the StandUp Washington march and rally to call for sensible gun control laws.
Ban Assault Weapons
Among the many speakers and presenters, the mayor of Seattle was very good, and Josephine Howell sang amazingly well.

I may have been most moved, though, when another old favorite resurfaced as one of the Interfaith Amigos recited the Prayer of St Francis.

...grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled, as to console;
to be understood, as to understand...

Anyway, great to see so many families out there, some with very cute signs:
No Guns

Oh, and this is off-topic, but not a bad apartment building, eh?
Franklin Apts. :)

I'm hoping to track down news coverage of the march/rally, but in the meantime I think we can agree that the size of this crowd should provide at least a glimmer of hope:
Crowd at the Mural

09 January 2013

Lives Lived

Still catching up on the end of 2012, and catching my breath now that I'm back to teaching after six months (!) off.

So, one thing I've always enjoyed—but still haven't had time to get through this year—is the Times' The Lives They Lived magazine, which they put out at the end of the year.

Thankfully Emily reminded me to take a look at the video piece they ran about Maurice Sendak. Seriously, that guy is just awesome.

I cannot wait to read some of his books with Franklin!

Another item that got buried under the metaphorical holiday snow was a very nice email from my distant cousin Sławek, who shared some great pictures of the lives our family's lived. Hard to believe some of these photos are over 80 years old!

So, with thanks to Sławek, let's take a look:

First, my maternal grandmother, Louise Kuta (née Kalucki), in 1927:
Louise Kalucki/Kuta

And with her mother Mary and brother Frank:
Great-Grand-Mother Mary Kalucki with children: Louise Kalucki /later Kuta and Frank Kalucki
Is it just me, or does Franklin have a little of Frank's look to him? Handsome fellas either way.

Nice big family photo, though I can't name everyone, also from 1927:
Kalucki Family
Sławek tells me this shows "siblings of your great-grand-mother, her children and the family heads: great-great-grand-parents; taken in Brzesko (I’m guessing) – the circumstances was the trip of Mary Kalucki with children through Europe."

UPDATE 14:34: Just heard this great backstory on the picture: "[Us having the] picture taken in Poland in 1927 had been luck.
My grandfather Wojciech [lost] many of his photos when he was moving from Swierklany to Chrzanow. But the picture survived because it was covered by another photo put into a frame. My father's sister found it in 2008."

Finally, here's my grandparents' wedding photo:
Grandparents Wedding
7 October 1933 (right Mom?)

All right, reader, back to work. Hope your lives are as wonderful as can be!

03 January 2013

Merry Hughes' and Iwanski's!

Can you believe it's already the 10th Day of Xmas? Hope it's a happy one! So, what better time to look back on the 2nd half of our holiday visit to Illinois:
One More Try: Cousins (+Aunt Magen)
Evan, Aunt Magen, Franklin, Braxton, and Amelia.

Franklin had a blast visiting his cousins and Aunt & Uncle in St. Charles! (As did his mom & dad of course.)

Franklin and Braxton
The phone call's for Franklin?

Braxton's pretty silly...
Franklin and Braxton 2

Serious playing to be done with all these cousins!
Playing with Cousins

And of course Franklin enjoyed the chance to have help as he helped (?) with the dishwasher:
Franklin and Evan Helping with the Dishwasher

Franklin and Evan Helping with the Dishwasher 2

Amelia was nice enough to show me the book that she and her brothers got for Christmas:
Reading with Amelia

And Magen & Dave were awesome hosts, and even got Franklin a sky lantern so he could share in the fun and the luck:
New Year's Lantern

Got some good lift, at least for a bit:
New Year's Lantern 2
Ended a little humorously (maybe Magen will share some video?), but between the height this one hit and the owl we saw, I'm pretty sure everyone can count on good luck in 2013 :)

Sleeping in new beds is always an adjustment, but Franklin seems able to get comfy just about anywhere:
Comfy Sleeper

Speaking of comfy, turns out it's tricky to get that many cute kids to sit still for a camera. The picture up top is the best I could do, but here are some good outtakes:
Cousins (+Aunt Magen) Under the Tree

Flew home on New Year's Eve, and it all went pretty smoothly, thanks to Franklin's charming personality:
Ready to Fly Home to Seattle

New Year's Day gave us the chance to try out one of the spice rubs Merrica got us, along with the carving set from Nana & Papa Hughes:
Carving the Chicken 2

Accompanied by roasted potatoes and sautéed spinach splashed with some balsamic from Gpa Ray & Gma Rhonda: Perfect way to ring in the new year.
New Year's Dinner
Cheers, reader! Hope 2013 is off to a great start!

01 January 2013

Merry Dominick's and Kuta's!

Welcome to Part One of our series of Illinois holiday photos.
And Merry Eighth Day of Christmas!
Merry Christmas!
Grandma Christine, Franklin, Franklin's Mom and Dad, Aunt Merrica, and Great Aunt Dorothy.

Today I'm featuring photos from our visit to my side of the family in McHenry. Here we see Franklin helping his Grandma put some finishing touches on the tree:
Helping GMA Christine Find the Perfect Ornament

Any more good ones in here?
And by the way: thanks again for the great outfit, Dave and Diana! (And glad we go to see you for brunch!)

And thanks to Deron and Haley for this tie, which moved the kid and I slightly closer to the elusive status of Xmas Twins:
Dressed for Dinner

That shot of Christmas Eve dinner up top is the tops (thanks Merrica!), but I also like how focused Franklin was during the setup:
Looks Yummy!

He was also pretty focused on all the bows:
Opening a Present on Christmas Eve

Opening stockings Xmas morning:

Nice set with Aunt Merrica:
Who Ya Texting?

Texting? How about a book instead? :)
Reading with Aunt Merrica

Nice shot of the tree and some gifts from Grandpa Ray and Grandma Rhonda, even if Franklin isn't looking:
Psst, There's a Camera Over There :)

He's sure looking in this one:
Hello, Franklin
Not sure if Merrica or GMA Christine took it, but I love how well it shows his beautiful eyes!

Delicious cookies abounded, of course, including the spritzes Emily's making here:
Spritz Cookies!

And nice new clothes:
Cool New Shirt

A happy holiday from top to bottom.
Dad and Franklin at the Table

Stay tuned for St. Charles next! And Happy New Year, reader!