Monday, December 01, 2008
Then Liam hopped on his tricycle and started riding instead of walking. I was at the window watching as he caught the hill and started flying with his feet up. He started doing that thing where bike tips up on one wheel and then on the other
as he attempted to steer gently, but he is two so he does not really understand gentle.
And then...snowball of Liam and bike...That was when my dad finally noticed Liam was following him. I stood at the window, mouth agape as my father went and scooped up my little sobbing boy and comforted him. It's good to live here with my mom and dad. This communal living...it's good for my kids.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, October 22, 2008
Monday, October 20, 2008
Last night, at our local burger joint he was restrained and actually fairly well behaved. He was loud, but so was the place. He was crazy, but so were all of the other kids in the frenetic atmostphere. He was not using his indoor voice, but neither were most of the men watching the Jets game. We sort of blended in. It was nice.
We had to wait forty minutes or so for a table and used up most of our energy running around on the outside patio in the cold. I had taken the kids hiking earlier in the day, also serving to tire them out. This worked well for my daughter who calmly colored her horse-themed placemat. Liam, however, is like me. When he gets more and more tired, he gets more and more hyper.
It wasn't until our meal came (WAYYYY after the kids had eaten most of and grown tired of their chicken tenders) that I realized we were going to have to come up with a new diversion for (now) shrieking Liam. I rummaged in my purse to see if I had anything of interest. I noticed Liam's lips looked a bit chapped and figured I could donate a fruit-flavored Chapstick to the cause. I pulled out the tube, took off the cap, cranked it up a teensy bit (without him seeing how I did it) and handed it to him.
He gave it a sniff. He gave it a lick. He started applying the stick. It was a bit of a tinted variety, so within a minute or two, he was sporting rosy cheeks, lips and chin. He wasn't exactly able to keep within the lines, nor did he want to. What he DID want to do was NEVER EVER let that tube of Chapstick go. For, I kid you not, the next half hour, he was silent. Silently applying his balm. He had the most serious face on, like it was his job. Fish lips, tongue and teeth all got into the act. We left the restaurant happy and well-fed...me without indigestion and Liam without a hint of chapped skin anywhere on the top half of his body and a fruity-smelling, waxy, pink clown face.
Monday, October 06, 2008
So, this morning she asked me if I saw how her zebra was dressed up for trick-or-treating. I said yes. She smiled. Realizing her mood was right for me to ask, and yes I have to take a mood reading often with her, I asked her, "What is the zebra's costume?" She looked at me like I had two and a half heads and said condescendingly, "Mommmmmmmmmmmmm!! A napkin!" (which, to make it even cuter she pronouced nakkin).
I just love how literal she is. I mean, the zebra was clearly covered in pasted on napkin pieces...Mom, how dumb are you that you don't know a napkin costume when you see one?
Saturday, October 04, 2008
The ONE where everyone is not looking away, running away or fighting. The ONE where all the photographic elements are balanced: composition, contrast, focus and color. The ONE where the lighting is just right, smiles dawn across both angelic faces and the venue, well, perfect. Perhaps I aim too high...Below are the actual cards over the years and some outakes of the, literally, HUNDREDS of photos dedicated to this cause.
And here are some of my favorites from the kick off of the 2008 season:
Thursday, October 02, 2008
Saturday, September 27, 2008
For the last few weeks, the cable has been skipping. There seems to be some minor, intermittent interference with certain channels, Sprout being one of them. When it first happened, it disturbed Elena immensely and she made me explain all about satellite transmission and cable reception. Finally, I just summed it up by saying, "The TV is skipping." She would then announce loudly that the TV was, AGAIN, skipping all the time.
A week or so later, Liam had picked up on this. Now, when the TV skipped, the scene unfolded like this:
TV: skip skip skip
Liam: tee-bee skip-ping, tee-bee skip-ping (I haven't mentioned this before, but he does repeat everything twice, which is a bit odd)
Elena [flying in from other room]: NO WEEUM! DON'T TELL ME IT'S SKIPPING! STOP IT!!! (no clue why it bugs her so, but it REALLY bugs her, sometimes she would even smack him or shove him...sigh)
Liam [looking shocked and trailing off]: skipppp...
Mommy [entering room, looking perturbed]: What is the problem? Why can't he say what he wants? Why can't you let him notice that the TV is skipping? [then she walks out muttering and berating herself for getting involved when she knows she shouldn't]
So, that scene has repeated dozens of times in the last month, with me becoming more numb to it and getting less and less involved and Liam getting smart enough to keep his mouth shut about the TV skipping...
This morning, Elena was upstairs and no where near. The TV skipped and I watched Liam, alone in the room, to see him react to it. I waited through about four skips before I said to him, "Hey, is that TV skipping?" (am I an instigator? maybe...) What was his reaction?
"NO MOMMY!!!! STOP IT!!! NO! STOP IT!"
Guess he's picked up a little something from his sister, huh?
Thursday, September 25, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
dipprent = different - When we are walking, Liam will talk about going the wong way, the wight way, this way or a dipprent way.
wainboat = rainbow - Interesting story about this one, last week I was putting Liam down for his nap and Liam was talking about the "wainboat in sky"...there was a CD positioned so it was refracting a rainbow on his ceiling. I pulled down the shade and still the rainbow remained. It was being created by the sliver of light that was sneaking in from the side of the shade and creating a beautiful wainboat on his ceiling!
twactu = tractor - Liam has a book about Tractor Mac who holds a starring role in Liam's life as of late. He is OBSESSED!
beabs = beads - Mommy is obsessed with beading and Liam likes to help. "Help beabing...do beabing?"
He's also passing into that lovely age of specificity...moving from just car, to race car, Jeep, Mini Cooper, Bolbo (Volvo - SOOO cute) or from all construction vehicles being "tractus" to back hoes, diggers, steamwollers, et al.
It's just so neat to watch them acquire language!
Monday, September 15, 2008
So, I went to the Highly Sensitive Child Website and took the Highly Sensitive Child inventory. I had to practically RUN out and buy the book. Holy crap. This child is highly, highly sensitive. On the inventory and she scored a twenty-two out of twenty-three possible! So, what does this mean for parenting her? For raising her? For her challenges in life? I think this excerpt from the website sums it up best:
So, what now?
First, appreciate that this is a wonderful trait. It is no illness or syndrome. Nor is it something new I made up or "just discovered." It is an inborn temperament or style that is found in about twenty percent of children and of nearly all animals. Anything so persistent is not abnormal. It represents a strategy of taking everything into account before acting (the other, more common innate strategy is to act quickly and be first, then think later). The trait serves an important purpose for the individual sensitive person and for the larger society--for example, sensitive persons sense danger and see the consequences of an action before others do.
Unfortunately, the trait has been somewhat misunderstood in our culture, so that most psychologists and parents tend to see only one aspect of some sensitive children and call this trait shyness, inhibitedness, fearfulness, fussiness, or "hyper" sensitivity. If one could see inside the mind of a sensitive child, however, one would learn the whole story of what is going on--creativity, intuition, surprising wisdom, empathy for others...
But, for all of that to blossom, they absolutely must be raised with understanding. Otherwise, as adults they are prone to depression, anxiety, and shyness.
So, the second "what now" might be to read The Highly Sensitive Child. I wrote this book because so many adults were telling me that their childhoods were excruciatingly difficult, even when their parents had the best intentions, because no one knew how to raise them. Parents and teachers told them there were "too sensitive" or "too shy" or "too intense." They tried to change and could not, and so felt increasingly isolated or ashamed. My hope is to spare some children such unnecessary suffering and the world the waste of so much talent, because HSCs have a tremendous amount to offer the world. But they do need special handling. They need to be appreciated, to have their special needs and sometimes intense reactions and behaviors understood, and, when correction is needed, they need to be handled with special care so that they do not become anxious or ashamed of their failure.
This book is rooted in years of my experience as a psychotherapist and consultant to HSPs and parents of HSCs, plus interviews with parents, teachers, and HSCs themselves for the book. Then there are my experiences from my fumbling efforts to raise an HSC before I knew what that was. And there's what I know from having been an HSC myself.
Again, few parents and teachers understand this trait-–and as a result, HSCs are often mislabeled as "problem children" (and in some cases, misdiagnosed with disorders such as Attention Deficit Disorder). But raised with proper understanding and care, HSCs are no more prone to problems than nonsensitive children and can grow up to be happy, healthy, unusually well-adjusted and creative adults.
Sunday, September 14, 2008
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Saturday, September 06, 2008
So, the police told me they were sending over a cruiser. They called me back when they had found the vehicle and pulled them over and so I walked on my merry way. All of a sudden I noticed there had been a phonebook delivery, all along my walking route, since I had first walked by. So, I felt like a total idiot for getting these poor, pathetic souls in trouble.
I got home and was making a hamburger dinner and the police called me again to thank me for calling in and to tell me that the guys were unlicensed drivers and they had to tow the vehicle. Now, who the hell takes a job delivering phone books with NO LICENSE? I feel bad, because they looked like (as much as one can look like one) immigrants...now, they will probably be deported and all they wanted to do was take care of their little kids by delivering phone books!!!! Argh!
She thinks it had a run-in with a magnet somewhere, but it no longer works as a convenient method of payment. Stores across Connecticut have been forced to retreat to 1988 to process her card, pulling out carbon impression machines and typing in numbers by hand. It's been a real pain. The bank, Bank of America of course, is very in tune with her challenge and is only making her wait TEN days for a new card, but that's neither here nor there, this is not a blog about BofA (been there done that). This is about Costco.
So, there we are at the check-out at Costco, we explain that the strip is defunct on the card we want to use and ask if they can simply type the numbers in. In a word, "no." No, we cannot type the numbers in...which wouldn't have peeved us if it hadn't been for the reasoning. No, we cannot enter the numbers manually on this card because we do not take Visa. Um...whaaaaaat???? It's a debit card! It just has a dead strip. Instead of inputting the data via a magnetic kiss with a swipe machine, we want you to enter the code. Escalation occurs to the managers and it is confirmed. Nope. Cannot do it. That Visa logo, which usually serves to make the debit card more useful, has in this case, rendered it useless.
The explanation centered around a specific exclusivity agreement with American Express. I understand that Marketing and Business Development are important pursuits, but to the exclusion of customer service and satisfaction? In my world, that's not right.
So, I write this blog, specifically addressing it to James D. Sinegal and Joseph P. Portera of Costco to ask their help in fixing this problem. In this day and age, when we have learned to rely on our plastic debit cards, there has to be another alternative for situations like this. Please?
Monday, August 25, 2008
Inquisitive (to a fault).
These are some of the words I would use to describe my sweet little Laney Lou. As you can see, they run the gamut. Some days, it's "Mommy, I love you so, so much and I love spending time with you!!" Minutes later it's, "Mommy. I. WANT. TO. BE. BY. MYSELF. WITHOUT. YOU. GO. AWAY!" It's exhausting and scary.
Tonight, she said from the back of the car, "Mommy, who was that on the phone, was it Grammy?"
I said, "Yes, how did you know?"
She said, "I could tell by that bossy little voice."
I said (snickering), "Grammy's?"
She said, "No yours..."
She does crack us up regularly! Last week she told my mother who is early childhood educated, in a voice that appeared to be without emotion, "Grammy. I don't think you're very good at taking care of children." HAHAHAHA!! All because my mother had lost her temper, ever so briefly, with Elena.
It's just very hard to be the mother, and grandmother, and brother, and grandfather, and father of a spirited little redheaded four-year-old.
Wish us luck.
Send us prayers.
Where he used to say: truck, truck! beep! beep!
He now says: beeping sound! truck backing up?
Where he used to say: mailbox! mailbox!
He now says: uh oh! broken mailbox! oh! another one mailbox!
It's so cute!
Monday, August 18, 2008
Uh oh....broken mailbox...
Wednesday, July 02, 2008
The proceedings almost felt staged. The questions, when asked by my lawyer, seemed a touch on the ridiculous side. I mean, she knew the answers to all these questions, I had given her all this information many times. But, it's all part of the laying down of logic. A court case is an iterative form of communication with questions and answers being the method by which new information is disclosed. You are asked questions by friendlies and unfriendlies...although, in this case, there was only the one litigator, mine. Patrick self-represented. The judge was fair (big surprise) and had a sense of humor, which I always appreciate. We managed to walk away owing each other nothing, paying each other nothing and with joint custody. Perfect for our situation.
My only disappointment was that I wasn't divorcing the gentleman before me on the docket who was paying his wife $2500 a month in support and an additional $2500 in support while she has to pay for her big ol' house in New Canaan. Additionally, they had liquidated all their "stuff" which was resulting in him writing her a check for $327,000. Wow, I thought to myself, I really should've married and divorced for the money! Mr. Sykes, I may not have wanted to marry you, but man, your divorce terms sound lovely. I do.
Monday, June 30, 2008
One day, recently, he saw a white mail box, got super excited and shouted out a three-word description (before this was unheard of as he was single word kind of boy), "ITE MAIL BOX!" Well, partially on account of the three words, and partially because it WAS indeed a white mailbox, I went a little crazy with the praise. "YES LIAM! That IS a white mail box! Nice work! Good noticing! (etc...)" Now, in his little brain, ALL mail boxes are white mail boxes. It's a single concept, "ITE MAIL BOX," repeated ad infinitum on our daily walks. Elena and I are slowly breaking him of the habit of saying "ITE" by pointing out all the other lovely colors of mailboxes that exist. Green mailbox, black mailbox, silver mailbox...he tries, but sometimes he just can't help himself. It's branded in his little gray matter. The highlight of the walk for him is when we pass the one actually white mailbox. His little face lights up, he points, he gestures, he shouts, "ITE!! ITE!!! ITE MAIL......BOX!" It's really so cute.
Tonight, as we came to the end of the road and thus the end of the string of mailboxes, he started asking for more mailboxes. "Mo mail box? Mo mail box?" And, my little boy, who NEVER uses sign language to communicate, signed more....awwwwwwwwww....
Monday, June 23, 2008
Yesterday, I was driving with both kids and Patrick. We were trying to go to a restaurant which was under renovation (don't try and hit up the Sesame Seed in Danbury just now). I took back roads and the long way to the second choice restaurant. He was annoyed, "Why on earth are you going this way?" Because they are quiet, happy and strapped in. Therefore, I am happy. I think I could drive to Maine and be happy right now.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I have to start by saying, I was not born a neat person. There is a photograph from when I was about eight, where I am lying flopped on a mattress on my floor, looking completely crestfallen. The source of my upset is not, as you might guess, something traumatic or sad, but instead merely that I had to clean my room. If you expand your attention beyond the girl on the bed, you will see that she is floating on the aforementioned mattress, surrounded by a foot high sea of debris. Sigh...I have not been neat, no. When I was pregnant with Elena, I prayed for an anal rententive child. In short, I DID NOT GET MY WISH.
Elena is a lot of wonderful things: creative, bright, interesting, articulate and energetic. The problem is that she likes to explode all over the house. All the explosions have some meaning to her, and on my more magnanimous days, I have fun trying to discern the meaning. On my less amused days, I feel overwhelmed and discomfited. This morning, I must be in a more generous mood. I captured some of this little outcroppings on film. This exercise of photographing some of the odder combinations was inspired by a game a friend of mine used to play in college. Silly, half-drunk college kids that we were, would walk to the grocery store and roam around looking for acts of the supermarket vandal. We would look for items furthest from their home, or in the funniest location. The fungal cream in the ice cream freezer, or the side of meat nestled among the fresh flowers...these things would crack us up!
The juxtaposition of ball and unicorn don't make me laugh on their own, but it's the addition of the potato masher that really gets me going.
Tupperware should be outlawed in our house as containers become tidal pools, collecting random bits.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Saturday, June 14, 2008
I started out the day by making a punch list. For those of you not in construction or project management, which I also am not, but like to sound cool and talk about such things as punch lists, is a list of tasks and subtasks broken down to "bite-sized" chunks. Basically, my punch list ordered the POD activities. First empty the garage, then empty the POD into the garage, then take all garbage to the dump and then sell all worldly possessions at tag sales, sit back count money and move on with divorce and life. Really, not that big of deal, right?
And, I am surprisingly unattached to the items in the POD at this point. Most of the really important stuff came with me when I moved into my parents' house. The really sentimental stuff is hiding in boxes. No big deal. I was most moved by the greyhound collar that belonged to my sweet girl, Athena that, when jingled, did sound EXACTLY like she was alive and bouncing around the POD. Awwwww...Poor Thene girl! Who knows what the other end of the POD may hold, but for now, there have been no real big shockers. Just a bunch of stuff.
Stuff that holds the promise of selling, though! I think everyone should have a tag sale at least once in their lives, preferably BEFORE accumulating a houseful of trinkets and crap. I have started to think of my "stuff" priced and arrayed. I am already arranging it in my mind on shelf space. I am so excited for the opportunity it provides to bring me a few bucks. Not because I am poor (for once), but because it allows me to lighten my load even more. Somehow, I spent all this time out there hunting for, buying, accumulating and storing this junk and now, "Good riddance!" I say. It's value has completely inverted. I don't want to horde it, I am ready to set it free. Good bye my big ole POD-ful of stuff!
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
I am only sorry I missed their set-up in town. Would have been pretty cool to have seen our entire community center draped in blackout cloth. Such are the challenges of shooting night scenes without the assistance of actual night. I am still kicking myself for not popping on my sneakers and hoofing it downtown to check it out. I keep racking my brain to figure out why I didn't? I suppose it could have been because it was over 100 degrees that day. Maybe that's why?
Well, that's about all from this sleepy town reporter.
Details on the Lake Lillinonah shooting, so you don't miss it. Click to enlarge.
Sunday, June 08, 2008
HEAT CAUSES INSANITY.; Serious Results of Continues High Temperatures in Rhode Island.
It's a New York Times article, I think to myself, it's got to be reliable. Then I look at the date to see if it's outdated...Guess what that date was?
Friday, June 06, 2008
Since raspberry season is pretty much the month of July, I feel the need to extend the berry picking by at least another month or two. This year, I am waiting with bated breath for the local strawberry season to start, which should be mid-June at the latest. I cannot wait. Strawberries, fresh plucked from the vine are like a whole different fruit! Modern, grocery store strawberries come from South America and other points far away. This means they are bred for hardy travel. Their skin and fruit made to withstand conveyer belts, picking machines and trucking, is tough and solid. You could probably drop a strawberry from the grocery store on the ground and it would bounce.
Strawberries fresh picked are delicate, sensitive things. They are as thin-skinned as a new baby. So, in two weeks or so, expect a blog of succulent berry pictures.
Above is a picture of the raspberries at harvest time last year.
Monday, June 02, 2008
Well, first of all, I am a person who needs and wants to be engaged by my work to truly enjoy it. In fact, if I am engaged, nothing can stop me from finding my work exciting and entertaining and fun at anytime of the day or night. I can spend hours and hours at it and never tire. However, then there are the fallow periods. The troughs alongside those peaks. These are the times when I have to do the less engaging work and immerse myself in dullness. It's enough to depress me and sometimes even immobilize me. The longer I am frozen by the ennui the longer it takes to get through the rote stuff and get back to the exciting part.
Secondly, I am sensitive to praise. I think I have mentioned on here before my mercurial reaction to praise, have I not? Let's face it, I'm a praise junkie. When I don't get the positive feedback I so dearly crave, I start to lose my mojo. The color fades from my personality. To quote the Beatles, "I need a fix cause I'm going down."
I do know thyself and I do know this will all clear when I can finally shrug off my fears, move forward boldly and get some damn work accomplished.
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Laundry dregs are the pieces of laundry too small to warrant actual folding which fall to the bottom of every laundry basket in our house: bibs, socks (particularly unmatched socks), washcloths, hankies, undies for tiny people aka kids. It seems I am not the only one who hates laundry dregs. They seem to collect in laundry baskets. The worst situation ever is when all the laundry dregs from all the laundry baskets get dumped into one basket (usually on laundry Saturday) and then there is a full basket of JUST dregs to contend with. UGH. Need I say more?
I just waded through four baskets of laundry today. I folded most everything, unfortunately it was all cold laundry, but I got over that when I realized it was preferable to staying up all night pacing beside the dryer. There is a quarter basket of laundry dregs staring at me, showdown style right now from the other side of the room. It's as if it knows and is taunting me, "you were NOT supposed to get on that computer until ALL the laundry was DONE, Young Lady."
And here I lay on my bed with my laptop, the petulant laundress, thumbing my nose at the laundry dregs. Until tomorrow, my friend. A demain.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Liam has just been a baby for so long, it's not been as dramatic with him. Sure he likes the attention and sure I pick up on some of his Liam-isms when I spend time with him, but he's just been too young to really interact much. That is until recently. Lemur is starting to add more words into his vocabulary and show off his silly personality. I LOVE IT!!
This weekend, I took him to the Memorial Day parade and he donned his "Hello, My Name is Trouble" t-shirt which both my mother and my friend Robin think I should NOT be putting on him anymore lest he get a complex. Well, to that I retort, it's not a label for him to read to himself, it faces outward. It's a disclaimer for the world to read. I actually felt so much more secure knowing that anyone who might see him running across the street, or dashing into the middle of a marching band would have been adequately warned that here, indeed, did come Trouble.
Today, I took him walking on my back (as I often do) and he was just pleased as punch to be back there riding along. The ENTIRE walk was peppered by his running commentary of all the things we were passing. It sounded something like this, "tee (tree), tee, tee, tee, tee, caw-caw (car), caw, caw, CAW, CAW, mail, mail, mail (as we passed a mailbox)" REPEAT and REPEAT and REPEAT. He is a little loudmouth! Cute though.
Then, tonight when I was trying to put him to bed, he was running away from me with just his diaper on. I am not so into chasing, being a lazy sort, so I sat in the center of the room asking him to come to me. I was actually curious to see how long it would take him to acquiesce (Which apparently, I'll spare you the suspense, is NEVER). He kept scampering out of my reach and giggling incessantly (a sound which truly tortures his sister for some strange, unknown and disturbing reason). Then, he dashed into the closet, quick as a naked mole rat and I heard him in there flaunting another of his newest words, "Climb, climb, climb, climb." (I don't know what it is with him and needing to repeat whatever word he chooses OVER and OVER, but I can't say it's my favorite trait). Anyhow, he was trying to climb any and everything he could find that was climbable in that closet. He's such a cute little lemur. Such a pip!
Saturday, May 24, 2008
I first became interested in Detroit when I traveled there to visit some friends last summer. I was vacationing on Lake Michigan (which I have done since I was a teen quite frequently) and decided to detour to meet these friends. Boy, I sure am glad I did. Then, I read the book Middlesex, a good deal of which takes place in Detroit at the turn of the century. Fascinating...more Detroit intrigue!
The suburbs remind me a lot of Chicago, lots of subdivisions and suburban sprawl. And, as I get to know the city better, I like its patchwork personalities; the Henry Ford's Dearborn, historic Greenfield Village, almost farmland Plymouth, strip-mall Taylor. Then, this visit, thanks to the rental of a Garmin GPS with my little VW Rabbit rental car, I was all set to tour. I could get as lost as I wanted, type an address into the GPS and immediately untangle the neighborhoods and roads which had me twisted. What a wonderful feeling of freedom! I highly recommend it to anyone traveling in a new city. It's well worth the $12/day it costs.
So, two things for you to put on your bucket list:
1) Go vist Detroit
2) Rent a GPS and get lost
Tuesday, May 20, 2008
Yesterday, I went to a company who makes leather for the airline industry, another beautifully tangible product. The factory was so cool. Dies, presses, giant tumblers, cutting tables, and something called a water-jet cutter. It was just like a class field trip! Have I mentioned lately that I love my job? Sorry it makes me blog less often lately.
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Am I really thirty-eight years old today? It's sure gotten anti-climactic over here on birthdays for grown-ups. It sure sucks to be a grown up sometimes. I miss the days of birthday dinners and presents at your supper chair. Oh well. Time to grow up.
Tuesday, May 13, 2008
The reality is just now setting in. Over the winter, I was content to hole up on my couch and watch movies for months, but daggummit, now I am ready to get out and enjoy the fresh air. Today, I went on a business trip (my OWN business so I foot the expenses) to Philadelphia. Roughly 300 miles round trip. That's $65 in gas!!! Last week, I was in Detroit on business. To rent the car was $13.95 a day. To fly there was $140 round trip. I spent $250 in gas for the trip! It's just getting crazy. I am starting to opt out of doing things if they mean "spending gas."
On the trip today I started thinking about my trip to the Outer Banks and how much it will cost me. My car averages 23 miles to the gallon and it is approximately 1000 miles round trip for me. Check my math since I am a math imbecile, but that's about $175 in gas (assuming it stays around $4 a gallon), no? YIKES!
I feel like I need my wings clipped!
Sunday, May 11, 2008
So, last night as I was putting Elena to bed, I was staring down into her perfect little face and I said, "I love you...(and reflexively)...God loves you."
She smiled, her eyes grew wide, and she said in awe, "He does?"
Guess I should tell her more often.
Tuesday, May 06, 2008
So, instead of a well-formed, interesting blog, I will tell you all the ideas for blogs I have had in the last week. “But you have been blogging in the last week!” You interrupt to protest.
To that I would respond, “You’re right, my reader, I have been. But not BIG blogs. Big Sky thinking. No, just little stories of silly things the kids said or the digger I took where I ended up with mayonnaise on my face.”
In the last week, I have been thinking about blogging about:
1) Teenagers, the use of “like” and imprecision of speech at that age. Is it a mask behind which they hide? Do people actually get more and more precise with their descriptions and speech as they mature?
2) Boys who love trains, trucks and vehicles vs. those who love balls. Does the preference, as my mother predicts, mean something about their future personalities? Ball lovers being inclined towards extroversion and vehicle lovers being quieter, introspective types?
3) Overload of choice. I have been reading some articles recently about how overloaded we are as consumers by choices. Studies have shown that when the choices become too voluminous, we shut down. The complexity of choices overwhelm us and we rebel, deciding to not make a decision at all.
4) The ridiculousness of the word “green” and how it is woven into every ad campaign, new product development process, and pitch. People say 2008 will be known as the “green” year. This strikes me as completely inane. I believe strongly in the cause, but this beating a dead horse is getting so irritating. Yesterday, I saw a vodka advertised as green. I ask you, how is one vodka any greener than another? OK, sure, there are some corporate practices that could “help” one vodka to be greener, but this one had no good reason. How about financial institutions, banks and the like? Money is green. I think that’s where it ends.
Sunday, May 04, 2008
I ringed my foot with Elena's basket of animals, couldn't dislodge it, bounced off her Rody (blue horse - hippity hop thing) and landed on Liam's tractor. I ended up with my lunch on the floor and mayo LITERALLY all over me, including on my face. Luckily, the only injury I sustained was a skinned knee.
Friday, May 02, 2008
Guess I am not known for my twicks these days...
Then she just said, "I wanna buy some special things that we can do special stuff with. So we can do pwojects."
Tricks and projects...Has it always got to be a three-freaking-ring circus over here?
Thursday, May 01, 2008
She said, "I see an animal shirt. I see a haircut. Yup, Liam's in there!"
Then, while we were at the Battle of Ridgefield reenactment, Liam was wearing his "Hello, My Name is Trouble" t-shirt. Elena remembered this and, while she was hanging out with my friend Dave said to him, "Trouble, your name is Liam!"
Apparently, when I was a child I was called Constant Comment, after the Bigelow tea. Family lore has it that I once said "Who" over one thousand times before changing the subject(my dad counted). I spent my school years as the "social butterfly" (an actual quote from my third grade teacher). Even times spent alone were spent singing and talking to myself.
The positives? I had an excellent vocabulary, people who weren't already tired of hearing me talk thought I was charming (strangers mostly fall into this category), I was good as self-entertaining and could entertain my sisters telling stories. The negatives? I could be annoying, exhausting, and create noise pollution. It was hard to get mad at little Kristen for this behavior, though, because I was so much the optimist, it was kind of like kicking a puppy.
Cut to Elena. Yesterday, at six in the morning, she was at my bedside. I was tired and could not seem to get my eyes to open and my body to rouse. I lay there, half asleep, while she covered me with words. On and on and on she went. I was just amazed that, with no cues to encourage the coversation, she kept it up. It made me want to cry.
It occured to me that she has definitely inherited the gene for loquacity from me. I will start praying now for her ability to self-edit, modulate and read a room.
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
My name is Kristen, and I am a bloganderer. I might even have to say Webanderer...
Since my employ with a software company in 1996, I have been hopelessly addicted to searching the Web. I enjoy nothing more than indulging little research requests in my brain with precision googling and then, as if exploring a new city or park, move from thought to thought, relationally.
Way back in 1995, when I was in graduate school to be am elementary school teacher, I learned about the Progressive School of education. Progressive education is a movement that finds its roots in present experience, is more democratic in outlook, and looks forward. One of its applications is Experiential education where classroom learning is guided by both the experiences of the students and the class as a whole. I think of it as the form of teaching where the way the students' mind works is most honored and respected.
Experiential education is a philosophy of education that focuses on the transactive process between teacher and student involved in direct experience with the learning environment and content.
This is not to be confused with Experiential learning:
Experiential learning requires no teacher and relates solely to the meaning making process of the individual from direct experience. It is an inherent process that occurs naturally. However, as John Dewey pointed out experiential learning can often lead to mis-educative experiences.
Ahhhhhh...mis-educative experiences! Therein lies the rub. All this wandering the Web and blogandering can lead to false conclusions. Just look at the popularity of Snopes. I have many friends who send out email apocrypha warning me against dangers rife in this world, from how to avoid carjacking, to the dangers of certain deoderants, I get them all. Most of these are perpetuated untruths. Thank goodness for Snopes and their research for educating me...but, then again, how do I know that what they write is true?
And Wikipedia, an encyclopedia created by the Web community. How do we know if it's not just a bunch of words conjured up by internet blowhards? And blogs are even worse. They present like articles or news, but are not more than someone's thoughts spilling out into a browser window.
Now we have Tumblr encouraging microblogging. A form of blogging even less precise and more pithy. I know I will continue to blogander, but as the articles and entries on the Internet increase daily, will I have more and more of Dewey's "mis-educational" experiences? Will I care? Are we entering an era where imprecise truths are resepected?
Monday, April 28, 2008
Sunday, April 27, 2008
At one point, I leaned down to change Liam's diaper and thought about how different mothering must have been in 1777. Here are some of my favorite shots from the day:
The Battle of Ridgefield was in fact a raid near modern-date Danbury, Connecticut carried out by Benedict Arnold, along with two other Patriot generals, James Wooster and Arthur Silliman who carried out a raid on a British camp near the village of Ridgefield then located about 90 miles west of modern-day New Haven. Around 700 American militia raided the camp shortly after sunset on April 27, 1777. Despite taking 100 casualties, the raid was more or less a success with the Americans inflicting about 154 casualties on the British and seizing some arms and ammunition, food, supplies, as well as 40 British prisoners.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Can you see how shaggy it is here? Yes, I know, he's a baby. He's supposed to have long flowing hair. But, no. When the babysitter pulled a tick off his head the other day I decided it was time to cut the hair so I could do better tick checks.
He really got into the clippers. The barber was very nice and photogenic, so that was an added bonus. ;)
He seemed to really enjoy the process!
It's a miracle the haircut looks as good as it does. He was such a wiggle worm!
Look at how grown-up he looks!!!!
Friday, April 25, 2008
What’s something you love and is quite bad for you?
Carbohydrates. I am seriously addicted. So much so that my daughter just made a comment tonight about how she is trying to cut back on carbs...she's four. Maybe I am a teensy bit obsessed? What do you think?
What’s something you hate and is quite good for you?
Sit-ups. I really hate them. They make me feel like my stomach is fatter than it actually is because it all gathers up like pizza dought. Add to that the feeling that the muscles are trying to separate from my body and, let's just say I am not a fan.
What’s something that’s about equally good and bad for you?
Food. You need sustenance, but you certainly can make choices on the good and bad end of the spectrum.
What is something you’ve been told is bad for you but you suspect is not as bad as people say?
Oh, there are so many things people express an opinion on, it's not even funny. Online purchasing, loud music, masturbation, bad shoes, wearing make-up, not wearing make-up, sugar, sugar-free items, etc.
I guess I would have to say at the top of my list is being online. I consider it my window to lifelong learning and critics would say it is a soul-sucker.
What’s something most people consider ugly but you consider beautiful?
This is an interesting one. I think I find a lot of odd things beautiful. I go on walks where I try to photograph things that are mundane and make them beautiful. I love fossils and think rocks are incredibly beautiful.
Elena funny from this evening:
She took a bite of barbecued pork and asked if she could spit it out.
I said, "Of course. If you don't like it."
Her response was classic. "Mom, it's weally too sweet for me. I am twying to cut back."
They really do hear EVERYTHING, don't they?
Thursday, April 24, 2008
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
Our story starts a couple of weeks ago when the warm weather started and Elena watched her beloved Gwammy dust off her flip flops, paint her nails and flip flop off down the daffodilled sidewalk. She immediately wanted flip flops. We weren't sure that they would work on a not-quite-yet-four-year-old, but when I found some cute flippies for under $9 at the Gap today, I decided to let her try them.
I brought them home. She tried them on and insisted they were comfortable and that they worked fine. Well, worked would be a bit of a stretch. Worked if you are Lurch from The Munsters. Worked if you don't need to walk anywhere with any speed whatsoever. Worked if you never needed to go up or down stairs. I kept trying to give her flip flop lessons. It was sort of pathetic.
At 4 PM, we had to get out of the 80-degree heat (yes, I know it's April in the Northeast...there might be something to this global warming thing, eh?). Anyhoo, I took the kids to the mall to try and find myself a simple black cardigan. Black cardigans don't exist this year, apparently. So, we had to check about a dozen stores. Can I just tell you how fun it was to hunt for an elusive item with a twenty-five pound boy on my back and limping, simping, wimping three-year-old at my side? Crying, sobbing child, nosy passer-bys, shoppers asking if we were alright, to which I had to sheepishly reply, "Oh yes, first time in flip flops." I tried to sound cheerful, but it was about as much fun as a dental appointment.
But, the odd thing about three-year-olds is that they are weird, unpredictable (in some ways) and volatile. Elena was running the gamut of these characteristics, er running would be the wrong word, how about displaying? She was a scaredy-cat, for lack of a better way of describing it. She was pointing at the railings (we were on the upper floor) and sobbing uncontrollably. She was freaked about the prospect of the escaltor or elevator, not even pushing the buttons on the elevator held any allure. It was sad and pathetic. I was starting to get that freaked out feeling a mom gets when she is worried her kid is coming down with some dread virus.
Apparently the flip flops had stolen her sure-footedness and with it her mojo. With her balance lacking she was simply rendered agoraphobic...petrified of everything in the mall. Once I realized what the problem was, I managed to get her to inch halfway down the regular stairs, I finally picked her up and carried to the terminus of those stairs, a Payless Shoe Store. Done. Elena is now the proud owner of some hideous Dora Croc-knock-offs that I never would have bought were we not under such duress. Oh well.
She was quite pleased with them and reassured me many, many times that she was no longer scared and that her new shoes made her "speedy." She was now thrilled to go up and down every escaltor we came near. See, aren't almost-four-year-olds weird?
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
It must be hard for his sister who is going through a rather pudgy, gawky stage. He's so cute and she's such a terror right now. I have to admit it's hard for the mommy.
fu·ga·cious Audio Help /fyuˈgeɪʃəs/ –adjective
1. fleeting; transitory: a sensational story with but a fugacious claim on the public's attention.
2. Botany. falling or fading early.
Use it in a sentence today! (better hurry)
My friend, with whom I just shared this interesting tidbit, was instantly sorry for the mother. I can't believe that thought didn't even enter my mind? What is wrong with me? I can hardly manage two who are two years apart. May God be with all of them.