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Sesame Family Robinson – From making Muppets to Raising Moppets

Entries with tag tagaugust2009 .

Saturday

Word of the Day: Bliss

I have a weakness for a good spa. So, as the writers are churning out their first drafts today, I am off getting pampered. First, I talked to Marty and got the news of the girls’ day. They had their first Oatmeal Goodness. Lyra was a robust eater, Ripley a little less so. Then, I went to a spa  and ordered my self an" Ultimate Spa Experience"—tanaka and oatmeal body polish, Swedish massage and a gold face hydrating treatment. I am renewed.

 



I don’t know what this is supposed to do, but it felt great.

A Wedding Celebration


Number of the day: 3000

3,000 guests were invited to the wedding celebration we attended tonight.

A daughter of Dr. Mehtab, who is the head of Sisumpur Education and Research, got married over the last several days. There can be up to six events in a Bangladeshi wedding, so I was told. They did three.  At one, the couple is swathed in turmeric by guests as a blessing. I’m not quite sure what the second one was, but I know it involved dancing and music at some point. The third was tonight’s celebration, which hosted the most guests. The room was huge and people were invited to arrive at different times at night to allow for various sittings.  

Mary and I were actually the first guests. I forget that 7:30 in Bangladesh actually means 9:00. But thank goodness another member of research, Shanti, knew we’d be there early and came to be with us along with his wife and small son. Finally, guests started to pour in and we were able to gawk at the glorious saris women were wearing.  

We greeted the bride and groom at the front of the room. She was dressed in an incredible golden sari with sparkling jewelry, henna painted hands and astonishing eye make-up. We also got a glimpse of Professor Muhammad Yanus who started the concept of microcredit in Bangladesh and founded Grameen Bank. 

He was about to go to Washington and get a Medal of Freedom from Obama. He also won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006.   

I was proud to be among the 3,000.



Shanti, his son and me.


Wedding guest and the Americans.


The bride and groom.


The remarkable henna painted hands.


Mary and other guests with Professor Yanus.





Bye-Bye, Bangladesh


Number of the Day:  18

The workshop was a resounding success. We hit our goal—two batches of outlines, one batch of first drafts. The team pulled together and did a massive output on Saturday. Well-deserved kudos was bestowed to everyone. We reviewed all the material and even had time to brainstorm a few new inserts. I’m particularly fond of the three-part parody of a local show “So You Think You Can Dance.” Obviously no need for explanation, we’ll see how it turns out.

We had a small dinner gathering to say goodbye at a local restaurant, but I admit I was done. All I wanted was to start my journey back to see my girls and hubby. Mary and I bowed out at about 10 p.m. to finish packing for our 1 a.m. car to take us to the airport. Nothing like a 3 a.m. flight.

Our first leg was to Hong Kong. We killed time in the business lounge and are now on the Continental Flight to Newark. Just took two Tylenol PM and plan to sleep as long as possible. 18 hours to home.




We drove through this area once to avoid a roadblock during one of the hartals (strikes) my last visit. It is teeming with life—small stores, restaurants, newsstands amidst the hundreds of thousands of one room tin homes. I was told well over a million people live there.

Home Sweet Home!


Curriculum of the Day

I didn’t cry when I first saw my girls after 9 days. I laughed. They were in such good moods. They were cooing, shouting, doing raspberries. When I picked them up, they smiled like I’d only just walked out the door this morning.    Is it because they just smile at everyone when they’re happy? Was I just another interesting face to make them laugh? Hard to know at 5 ½ months. (And let us not forget it’s 4 ½ gestational, like to give my girls a developmental break!) They did seem to recognize Mommy, as did the dogs who jumped into the car service automobile, slobbering up the leather seat. Marty had the video camera going so we’ll see how that turns out with my 2 day airplane hair and clothes. Still, overjoyed to be back safe and sound.

Now, I have three days to prepare for our vacation. Please jetlag gods, pass me by.



Annie, Marty, Lyra, Ripley, Beary and Nelli Take a Vacation



A Travelogue.
August 8-20



After a three-day journey from Connecticut, stopping only at Comfort Inns because they take pets, we arrived in Hillman, MI. 

It is near this tiny town, by the top of the 2nd digit of Michigan’s mitt, that Marty’s Grandfather bought 200+ acres and a private lake for his family and their decedents.

We hauled our baby gear, babies and dogs into the first cabin…


…and pushed our babies up to the main house area to greet the family. Our jogging stroller and the cut-up piece of mosquito netting were invaluable for our week amongst the family and local bugs. 


There are often so many family members visiting this oasis, it is necessary to hang up signs announcing the day’s events. Such as: Cousin Peter’s Birthday Chili Bash.


The birthday boy.  


More bounty. 



After a family meal, it’s tradition to have a sing-along, which includes Grandpa Mains’ favorite “Down in the Diving Bell.” Marty sang this song to the girls’ in-utero.



Barbeques are also very big at Anchor Lake. Featured here are Marty’s classic ribs. Look away if you’re vegetarian. 


Everyone eats well, even babies. Note Cousin Liza’s bottle technique.


Another tradition is Donna and her donuts.


The infamous donuts with Al and Auntie Carole.  


On donut morning, everyone hangs around inside the main house chatting and munching. Or watching babies while Mom and Dad eat donuts. Thank you, Sean and Melissa. 


Gerry and Lyra at an interesting angle.  


Someone must have said something very funny. 


The other big activity here at Anchor Lake is swimming. Our girls are ready for the sun.  


A typical gathering by the lake.    


The water is cooollllddd so we introduced the girls slowly to the icy H20.




Beary serving as Oliver’s footrest.  


No matter how I begged, the dogs wouldn’t join me for a swim. 


Christmas card? 


Love at the lake. 


Who’s our flying baby! 



A handsome boy.  


The videographer at work.


Another event, this time blog movies.  


Cousin Andrew lovin’ up his girls.  


Grandma Barbara and her girls.  


What happens mostly at Anchor Lake is a lot of visiting.








Beary escaping the heat.


Sisters. 


Sisters.  


Cousins.  


Warm Baby.  


And then it was time to go.  


Marty headed west to take care of part of his father’s estate.  


Annie headed home stopping in Ann Arbor and Pittsburgh to see family. Annie and Mary Smith, Brown Class of ’84.  


My Aunt Carol Sue and Lyra. 


My Aunt Ellie and Ripster.


The babies happy at my Cousin Jill’s house. Thanks Jill!


(Additional photos courtesy of Donna Bailey, Erin Robinson, Oliver Mains and Sean Stewart.)

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Like your family we have twins, boy/girl, that turned three last month. I saw your blog entry for January and it looks like we have something in common, potty training twins. Like one of your girls, my son WILL NOT pee in the potty but his sister was doing well until she caught on to "Bubbie" not trying. I was just letting things run their course but our local pre-schools/mommy day out programs require the children to be potty trained and this mommy needs a day out. Bribery isn't working. Have you had any success?

Sommer

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How often is the telly puppet renewed or replaced?

Katherine Sydney, Australia

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I read in 40 Years of Life on the Street about an incident involving Snuffy's puppet where a sombrero caused the wood frame to collapse on you and Bryant Young. Did they rebuild the puppet after that or did they just make a new one?

Edward

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I just wanted to say thanks for the blog. My daughter Kylie (who just turned two yesterday) loves to ask if we are going to see "the babies." Thank you so much to you and Marty for bringing the joy of Sesame Street into our lives every day.

Kendal and Kylie Montreal, Canada

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I've noticed that there are fewer Muppets and people in an episode now than there were twenty years ago. Does everyone show up on the set for filming days or only certain ones? Who decides who gets to play the Anything Muppets? There are some voices I hear more than others.

Glenda

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