Tuesday, February 28, 2006

You Spin Me Right 'Round, Baby, Right 'Round...

This morning the kids took turns spinning me around in the big office chair and it's been more than a half hour since they did and I still feel sick. Years ago this would not have bothered me in the least, but now I can't handle it for even a minute. I can't even sit on the swings at playgrounds anymore because I feel like I'm gonna yak. I don't know when this happened because as a child I could ride the local theme park's rickety, wooden roller coaster 12 times in a row and not feel anything but exhilaration. Now my one-year old pushes me around at a rate of maybe 1 mile per hour and I turn three shades of green. I guess it's my body's way of saying, "You're going to hurt yourself, lady! Slow the heck down!!!"

I'm feeling so very old...

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Ernesto was inspired to write a post after his business trip this past week. Good thing for his fellow passengers that my husband is so polite. I don't know if I would have been able to hold my tongue...This one's for the little people!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Back To The Beginning

I haven't posted any pictures in a while and there's a good reason for that. My digital camera has broken down and I'm not sure what the issue is. Until we get through the purchase of our new home, we won't be buying any unnecessary little toys, so it will be a while before I'm taking new photos. I was looking through my archives today and came across some great moments we'd captured, and noticed that so many of them took place in New Hampshire. I'm so happy to be returning to the state where Ernesto and I began our married life together, where our children were born and where so many of our friends now live. I thought this picture was especially appropriate since it was taken by some friends shortly before we moved to Vermont in 2004. Now that we're moving back to NH, I thought it was worth another look- to remind us of where we've been, where we are and where we're headed. Though as Ernesto very recently pointed out, (quite eloquently, I might add) there is no real thing as transition. This is our life, at any moment you find us, no matter what...and so here we are.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

What Are You Looking For?

I couldn't think of anything to blog about today that wasn't potentially embarrassing to myself or to my children, (when they later grow up and are horrified by what I've written) so I thought I'd embarrass some people who I don't know, but who probably won't ever be back to my blog and will therefore not be embarrassed, anyway.

Some of the traffic I get to my blog is from family and friends. Some is from some other bloggers I follow and who follow me. Then a big ol' chunk of it is from people Googling for stuff. Weird stuff. I get people looking for "Sportacus" quite a bit (why did I have to write about him?) which is understandable, I guess. Then I get people looking for "milkweed" and so, well, they're bound to end up here at some point. Once in a while I see my own name googled, which is a little disturbing as I wonder who from my past is looking me up and not bothering to leave a comment. And there's the uncommon stuff. Stuff that people want to find and my blog is randomly selected because of a few key words that they have strung together. Sometimes they're really funny and I should begin keeping track of them, just for chuckles. Here are a few examples from this past week:

"tuner transformation Kristen" (???)
"method of breaking in a car going up hill and down hill"
"milkweed beatles" (note the spelling. Not sure if that was intentional or not.)
"toddler eye sores" (either very ugly little children or infections. Not sure.)
"drooling cow photo"(no, but I do have some drooling cat photos somewhere.)
"skating costumes hideous" (well that shouldn't be hard to find.)
"giraffe with poop" (a mom's blog is bound to have lots of poop, but sorry, no giraffes. Oh, and by the way...EEWWW!!)

If you get a chance, please share some of your favorite random keyword activity with me. I know there's a story there, somewhere.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Sexism In The Play Place?

This afternoon we went to the "play place" as Sofia likes to call it. It's a cute play area at a local mall and it's got all kinds of fun structures for little kids to climb over (and pick up all kinds of nasty viruses, no doubt) with a colorful, spongy floor that you just kind of bounce off of if you should fall down while playing. The kids love to go there and E and I had some things we needed to get, so I brought the kids over while E finished up some shopping.

It wasn't too crowded, all the kids seemed to be having a good time and it's always a kick to see how my kids interact with other little ones, especially since they're not in day care and don't play with other children on a daily basis. Both my kids observe other children very closely and like to hang back and see what they're doing. Then they decide whether or not to join in. Sofia was waiting to climb into a giant tunnel, but there was a little boy, perhaps a few months younger than her sitting just inside the entrance. They just sort of stared at one another for a while, waiting to see what the other would do. Finally, Sofia stretched out her arm and extended her pointer finger and gave the boy a silent "beep" on the nose, as if she were honking the world's smallest horn. The boy appeared surprised, but pleasantly so. His parents, who were watching the whole scene, erupted in laughter. It was pretty cute.

David had a little encounter with the opposite sex as well. He has just worked his way through the hopscotch with great, bounding leaps (while counting in Spanish, no less- and yes, I am bragging) and skipped over to a giant duck that he began climbing up. A little girl, maybe a year older than him, was climbing up the opposite side and they both met at the top, face to face. David smiled at her and the girl got this weird, angry kind of look on her face and said out loud: "I don't like you! You're a boy!"

David's face fell and he quickly climbed down and came over to the seat where I had been watching from. He snuggled up against me and I thought for a minute he might cry, but I think he was too stunned. I don't know what the little girl's deal was, but I was concerned more about the effect it had on David. I explained to him that I didn't know why she said that, but that it had nothing to do with him, but trying to explain "it's nothing personal" to a 3-year old is tricky. Then I said that maybe a boy had been mean to her once and she thinks all boys are mean. David seemed to favor that explanation. Then I thought for a second and said, "Or maybe she's just very rude, in which case you don't want to play with her anyway."

He shook the whole incident off fairly quickly and went back to playing with Sofia and some other kids that were cool. The little girl with the attitude went on to harass another child while her Dad tried in vain to teach her some manners.

It's hard to watch your kids go through things like this and I know it's just the beginning. David is especially sensitive and I know we're going to have lots of these kinds of talks in the future. I just hope we can instill in him confidence, patience, love and forgiveness, especially for those who hurt him.

And maybe a few witty come-back lines. Just in case all else fails.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Sea Creatures and Ice Cream

The kids and were rocking out to tunes today, courtesy of the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which is a great web site to visit if your kids are curious about sea life. There are all sorts of live web cams you can visit with penguins, a living kelp forest and sharks, just to name a few. My kids love these, especially David who is now learning all about jellyfish. They have a CD you can buy, that has some cute songs about underwater life, including our household favorite "Sea Star". This reminded me about our "Cow Tunes" CD (Brent Holmes) that I had all but forgotten about. It has got many songs about ice cream and it reminds me of summer. I learned about that one via A Family Runs Through It blog. We now have the "Moosebeary Jam" one as well, which is very cute, but not quite as catchy as the former. Nothing beats songs about ice cream. Nothing, I say!! Which reminds me...our new home is located just down the street from a very popular ice cream shop. That's the real reason we bought it...

Monday, February 13, 2006

High-Speed Competition Sitting

We enjoyed a little blizzard on Sunday, so venturing very far from the house was out of the question. It was a perfect opportunity to cozy up to the fire, eat, play music, play with the kids, take long naps, eat, take short naps, eat...you get the picture. The weather outside was frightful, but the Olympics were quite delightful. Nothing will make you feel less like an Olympian than eating ice cream sandwiches on the couch while watching cross country skiers in superhero outfits bust their butts in Torino. My favorite game to play while watching the Olympics is the "See, I'm still young enough to do that" game. There are 50+ year olds in the luge. See, I'm still young enough to do that. There are downhill skiers older than me, so I can still do that. I'm probably way too old to be an ice skater, but there's too much drama in that competition anyway, so who cares. Not to mention their outfits are usually hideous. They should have points deducted for some of those eye sores.

But let's face it. I will never be an Olympian. Or an athlete, really, for that matter. I did all kinds of sports growing up, but I think the closest I ever got to that Olympics sensation was when I was taking downhill ski lessons at thirteen and our instructor set up a little race track on the mountain for us, complete with flags and I remember skiing down that thing as fast as I could, feeling exhilarated and kind of out of control, my heart pounding in my ears. Maybe that's a little taste of what these competitors feel when they're in the heat of the race; those moments when they can't hear the roar of the crowd, just the buzz in their head as they go through all the motions. I'd run in a couple of road races too, but all I remember from them was feeling like I wanted to puke after. I imagine that's not often what an Olympian feels like. At least I hope not.

But getting back to Sunday. I didn't feel bad not being a competitor, out in the cold, with all eyes on me. I was happy to be inside, warm, relaxed and entertained throughout the day.

And I totally took the gold in the couch slug event.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

What's The Poop?

My little boy, ever curious, is always asking questions. That's just what little kids do. You learn that before you ever even have kids, if you spend even just a little time with someone else's. That's how they learn, and God help them the things they have to learn from us. Ernesto and I have had some serious talks about homeschooling the kids when they become school age and sometimes it makes me nervous thinking about shouldering the responsibility of their education. At least until they reach high school. I'll have to prepare for lessons, correct homework and so much more. But the beauty of that is you can prepare. You can refer to books and lesson plans and you know the subject matter you'll be teaching before you dive in. You can anticipate certain kinds of questions. Piece of cake. It's these off the cuff, out of left field, where the heck did that come from? sort of questions that leave me mouth gaping, wishing someone else -anyone- could answer them for me...

A few days ago, David, The Loaf and I are in the car driving along, happy as can be.

David to me: "What's a sectic system?"
Me: Hmmm...okay. "You mean a 'septic' system?"
David: "Yeah. What is it?" Somebody's been listening in about pending home inspection.
Me: (clearing my throat) "Well honey, you know how you go poop and pee on the toilet?"
David: "Yeah?"
Me: "Well, that's the place that all of that and some of the water from the toilet goes to." I could have left it at that and he might have been satisfied. But no, I kept going. "There are all different kinds of septic systems."
David: "Like what different kinds? Tell me about them."
Me: "Well, hon, I'd have to look it up to tell you about all the different kinds. We'll look it up on the computer some time later, okay?" He seems satisfied with that for the moment and I figure I've dodged a big ol' Megablok.

Earlier today:

David: "When are you going to tell me about sectic systems?" Oh man. I thought we were done with this.
Me: "Well, what do you want to know?"
David: "Just everything! I want to see a picture of one."
Me: "I could draw you a picture..."
David: "I want to see a real picture. I want to look it up online." Thanks, Interweb.
Me: *sigh* "Okay, let's see what we can..."
David: "YAY!!!" yikes.

So we're online and I find this site in which a man describes, with great detail (and many, many pictures) his search to uncover a problem with his own septic system. He first finds a leak in his basement, then puts one of those drain snakes down one of the pipes, checking for clogs and he ends up unearthing the pipe outside and eventually makes his way to the septic tank, (which he did not previously know where it was located) digs it up and opens the access hatch and, well, maybe you've imagined it and yep, that's pretty much what it looks like inside. Nasty. Let's just say it was past due for a good cleaning. I read almost this whole story to David who still is fascinated and has sat on my lap in front of the monitor, motionless, for nearly 20 minutes. Sofia has no interest in septic systems and spent the entire time on the floor, building with blocks. She's my architect. Maybe she will be able to help David design his own private septic system someday.

So a word to the wise...when your child asks you about septic systems, here's what you say:

"Go ask your daddy." And if you're the daddy, send 'em to the mommy. Just don't send your kids to me. I'm going to have nightmares for weeks as it is.