Saturday, March 28, 2009

Merry Chris...March!

We had our last(?) winter storm of the year yesterday evening and through the night. These March snowstorms seem very strange, but apparently they're not all that uncommon; at least according to the weatherman they aren't.

The kids have been begging to go play in the snow since before it started snowing. They wanted to go play in the hail yesterday afternoon, but I stood my ground. I did let them eat some from a bowl that I ran out to the sidewalk. I'm nothing if not a dedicated mother.

We have a bowl full of snow in the freezer now and we're going to make some snow ice cream later when they've had time to recover from playing outside with Daddy. It's funny how I've gone from the "can't wait to get outside" of childhood, to the "call me when you're ready to come back in" of my almost-30s.

I have to admit. I'm still very excited about the snow ice cream though. Some things never change. (Oh, and no, Mom, I'm not using the raw egg. Sorry.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

It's Official...

I am raising science geeks, and thanks to a 50 cent thrift store box of science experiments, I've got the photographic proof.

Zaya's always been obsessed with science of all different types, and Mim is following in his footsteps, except in her own little way. Zaya's interest is usually of the verbal/written variety. He loves to read and talk about science. He loves to play games and watch videos about it too. (Last Friday he watched some videos about the different body systems for 1 1/2 hours. And no, I did not make him. I tried to drag him away after about the fifth viewing of "The Urinary System" and "The Immune System".)

Mim, on the other hand, is all hands-on. She loves to "do speewamints" and learned early on on that if she tells me that the mess she made is part of an experiment I'll probably be much easier on her. She'll spend ages in the bathroom at the sink with various containers and different soaps and lotions and water. She'll poke around at strange things outside, and put rocks through tubes to watch what they do. Zaya, meanwhile, is swinging; lost in his own thoughts. It's so funny to watch their personalities.

I'm actually very proud of their interest in science, but I can see a difficult future ahead of them, socially that is; lab glasses just aren't designed to get you in the "most likely to appear in a fashion magazine" category in your high school yearbook. But here's my dirty little secret. I would infinitely rather my son and daughter grow up geeks than popular. At least for my definition of the word geek. And I am tired of apologizing for who they are. I'm tired of constantly feeling like I have to tell people what their faults are instead of being happy for their strengths. Other parents get to talk about how 'Jimmy' is the fastest kid on the playground, or 'Susie' has so many friends and just loves to sing. So why do I feel like I have to denigrate my children's achievements?

I remember a picture of my own mother in her yearbook that we used to look at all the time when we were little. She's standing in front of some lab equipment and looks completely entranced in what she's doing. I was always more proud of that picture than I would ever have been of a picture of her playing some sport, or standing on a plywood stage with a crown on her head. That's my mother. She's a nerd just like me. And I don't remember a single conversation where she told someone what my problems were instead of my strengths. While you might argue that I didn't grow up to be the most well-adjusted lady on the planet, I did grow up happy, and I did grow up knowing that my parents loved me for who I was and who I would be.

I hope my children will be well-rounded. I want them to enjoy exercise and sport; I want them to have friends and be well-adjusted, but if that comes at the cost of them stifling who they really are, and what God created them to do, then thanks, but no thanks. I'll take lab glasses over a tiara any day.

As long as I know my little geeks are on God's side, I am perfectly content to sit back and see where He takes them, and if he takes them onto a basketball court or a laboratory or both, that's OK with me.

This post has been entered in Scribbit's Write Away Contest.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Haute Couture

The summer after my seventh grade year (that would be 1993 if you want to keep track) my Auntie M made my sister and I each a couple pairs of shorts for church camp. We were supposed to wear shorts that came to our knees, but they were impossible to find in Wal-Mart, so Mom enlisted the help of her sister and her sister's sewing machine. I believe the shorts were made for us to wear out that year and never think of again. That's not what happened, though. We wore those shorts for a long time, until eventually some of them did start to come apart. Except the blue pair. This pair of blue flowered shorts that you see pictured above just did not wear out. They stayed comfortable for, well, years.

In fact, they're still comfortable. Yes, I still wear them, much to Art's chagrin. He makes fun of them every single time he sees them. OK, yes, so maybe they are 16 years old, but still...I cannot let them go. They are so comfortable! They're loose and cool for the summer, but I don't have to be worried about bending down to pick up something. There are no snaps or buttons or zippers to get stuck or break. Just good old cotton and some (apparently) super-strong elastic.

Many's the time I've put them on the give-away pile, and then pulled then right back off again. Poor Art. He gets his hopes up every spring when I start pulling out my shorts and deciding what to keep, but I just can't do it. Once again this year I am trying to decide if they've finally seen the end, but I don't think they have. I don't have a single other pair of shorts that feel so nice and cool without the risk of sunburning my super-white legs.

Someday the elastic will break, right? I might as well get my use out of them. I'll consider it a tribute to Auntie M, who likes to keep things until they have absolutely no conceivable piece of functionality left in them. (I love you, Auntie)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Title of the Post

Here's a funny song that my brother found. I've been told not to listen to any of the other songs by this group, so I'll pass the same message on to you. This one, however is very good. There isn't actually any picture here in the video, so you can just open a new tab and browse while you listen if you want. =)

Friday, March 13, 2009

I Have a Nephew!

"Jack" was born this afternoon at almost 1:00. He weighs 6' 14" and is 20 1/2 inches long. He and his Mommy are both doing well. His sisters, Jaida and Addy, aren't quite sure what to think about it all, but so far they're alright with having a little brother. Mim and Zaya were very excited and didn't want to leave, but Zaya kept messing with everything in the hospital room, so we left before there was a disastrous accident.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Happy Belated Birthday

Zaya has an extremely active imagination. One might even say it is overactive. He is frequently so lost in his own thoughts that he is completely unaware of the world that continues to move on around him.

Some of the funniest things he says involve his own perception of his mind and it's contents, both real and imaginary. He calls the place from whence spring all his imaginary friends "Characterland". He says they live there until they get about "this big [holding hands about a foot apart] and then they pop out!"

More than once he has told me that his head is just completely full of words, and he needs to go swing or do something else for a while. These aren't times when I've been trying to teach him anything either. It's usually when he's been reading for a while, or watching a video. He has to get up and run back and forth. He has this goofy little smile on his face and he paces without any awareness of anything around him.

A couple weeks ago he and Mim had a verse in Cubbies that is in a popular song. (Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.) I sang the song for them several times in an effort to make memorizing the verse easier, but they didn't act like they heard me, and both just had fits memorizing it for some reason. I have not repeated the song since then, but suddenly Zaya started singing it in the bathtub tonight; the right words and tune and everything. I said, "How do you know that song? I thought you weren't listening when I tried to teach that to you." He told me, "Well, I had just stuffed it down into my head, but.." "It popped out," Art finished. "Yeah, it just popped out." And he continued singing for awhile. I guess you never know.

On Saturday he also used my philosophical statement from the last post against us. When he wanted his daddy to play with him (Daddy was working in the yard and the backroom) he said, "Daddy, but don't you remember? People are always more important than things." So then we had to explain about duties and roles of grown-ups, and how Daddy working for the family in the morning before he played with the kids in the afternoon was not the same thing as Zaya reading Garfield and ignoring his little sister.

Once again, I have no idea if he accepted that explanation or not. Hopefully it's "stuffed down into his head" and will make sense later when it' "pops out".

Friday, March 06, 2009


Once again I find myself trying to explain difficult theological and philosophical issues to my preschoolers. Successfully? That remains to be seen. I'll ask their therapist someday, I suppose.

Philosophical Issue:

"People are always more important than things."

This came up when I heard a typical sibling altercation taking place in Zaya's bedroom. Mostly consisting of "stop it, stop it, hey give that back" and etc. It turns out that Mim, who was wearing a full princess get-up including brother's play dagger (because a girl's got to be able to take care of herself) had lost said dagger through some mishap involving use of same on her Garfield reading brother. When I asked what happened, Mim complained that Zaya had taken the dagger and Zaya said that Mim was, and I quote, "disturbing" him.

When I started to give Mim the "stop poking and annoying your brother" lecture, she started crying and said, "I just wanted him to see my princess dress!" Which means she'd only been trying to get his attention so he'd turn around and see her pretty dress. So instead Zaya got the lecture about being involved with Garfield to the point that he is unable to see/hear the world around him. Also a very familiar one here. The point of it crystallized in the philosophical statement above, and I have a feeling it will be used frequently here from this point on.

Theological Issue:

"There is a commandment about making up pretend gods; specifically, don't do it."

Last night as I was snuggling with my daughter, she told me a story about Goki that took a religious turn. It seems that Goki has a different god than we do. To quote Mim, Goki's creator and master, "Goki's god doesn't wear a blankie."
This caused momentary confusion until Mim said, "Mommy, why does Jesus always wear a blue blankie?" Ah ha. So we had discussions about wardrobe in Bible times, and why Jesus would not have needed a security blanket. We also had a discussion about Goki's religious decisions, and how she/he/it would have to worship the same God that we do, since He's not keen on us making up our own deities. Mim said, "But Goki's pretend." Which, although undeniably true, did not change Mommy's mind about breaking the first commandment.

Again, only time will tell my if I am teaching my children well or if I am only giving them reasons to put me in a third-rate nursing home in the future. To quote my own father, "You guys didn't come with a manual, you know!" The man speaks truth.

Monday, March 02, 2009


Art has finally agreed this year to help me make a garden in the back. It means beating back the Bermuda, which is no easy task, so Art applied some engineering smarts to the whole process, and it now looks like we're building a swimming pool in the back yard. It went from a plot of land bordered by cinder blocks to a complicated fence of three different layers of blocks. We're digging the earth out one big square at a time so that we can get as much dirt off of the Bermuda as possible while still keeping it intact. Our neighbor and surrogate son, Carl, helped me and we came up with a pretty effective way to get rid of large clumps of Bermuda sans dirt. I know it will still be very frustrating this first year, and probably for many to come, to keep the Bermuda at bay, but I'm hoping we're saving ourselves at least a little bit of trouble in the future.

I'm already sharing a garden with Art's mother. We've started planting the cooler crops, and are trying to con Art's father into tilling up the beds for the bigger crops so we won't have to do it ourselves in a few weeks. When it's all said and done, we'll have onions (5 kinds), potatoes, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, bell peppers, peas, snap peas, green beans, carrots, corn (2 kinds), squash, zucchini, watermelon (2 kinds), cantaloupe, pumpkins, okra, strawberries, cucumbers, lettuce and spinach. And probably some things I'm forgetting. That's just in her garden. Mine is going to be mostly herbs and some small tomatoes and hot peppers. My Mother-in-law is a very experienced gardener, with lots of space for the garden. Me, not so much, on both counts.

My husbands extended family makes fun of me for starting to garden, because they know what I'm in for and I don't. I have decided to take this as a personal challenge rather than an insult to my abilities (Do you hear that Aunt L? I will not be defeated! I know you're reading this.=] ) Anyway, we'll see I guess. It's fun to try new things, and if it doesn't work out, what's the worst that could happen? We'll have to work for a couple years to get Bermuda back in a big rectangular patch in our backyard.

I'll keep you posted on how this all turns out.

Child Labor

It's a beautiful thing....