Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Mimsy Lou Retton

I thought she did very well. She forgot to salute the judge at the end, but did eventually. We'll see how long this keeps up. She's already tired of the twice a week practices, so I don't know that she'll be a gymnast for much longer. Wish there was an easy answer. Is the health and physical benefit worth the fight?

Saturday, April 14, 2012


We've been doing a little experiment over the last couple weeks. Zaya got a bacteria growth kit for his birthday, and was very excited to begin collecting germs.
We prepared all our petri dishes first, which involved cooking up some germ-food. (Chicken stock and agar).

After letting them air dry...

We put them in the refrigerator to wait.

We collected germs around town while running errands. I even put them on my shopping list.

We sat them on the counter, and today I decided it was time to end the experiment. You can only have a stack of bacteria on your kitchen counter for so long before it starts to affect the family psyche. (They were under a towel, but I still knew they were there.)

The first six are about two weeks old, so some of those colonies (the creek water) have started to die away. Some, on the other hand, (the wal-mart cart handle) are still going disturbingly strong.

The last nine are just about a week old.

Here are the results. The picture first.

1. Spring Street park

2. Wal-mart cart handle

3. Door handle of the Wilkenson Drug Store

4. Coke puddle on McDonald's parking lot

5. Edge of McDonald's trashcan

6. McDonald's bathroom latch

7. Our backyard creek

8. Computer keyboard

9. Zaya's cough

10. Toilet ring

11. Fridge drain channel

12 Outside of raw egg shell

13. Miriam's finger trip

14. Washing machine ring

15. Top of soap bar in bathroom

As you can see from the picture, some of them were surprisingly germ-free. Notably the latch of the McDonald's bathroom stall, Zaya's cough, and the handle of the local pharmacy.

Some were distressingly active. i.e. the aforementioned Wal-mart cart handle, Mim's fingers, and the most surprising, which was the top of our soap bar in the bathroom. In fact, the germs that showed up on that one were different than any of the others. This was Safeguard soap, by the way, which is supposed to be anti-bacterial.

Another interesting thing to note...the large black germ colony from the Wal-mart cart handle looked exactly the colony from the toilet ring, and...wait for it...my computer keyboard. Yes, it is hard to type with sterile gloves on.

We have five petri dishes left, and plan to collect for those this week. I will not be sorry to be finished with this experiment.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Howard Carter They Ain't

We dyed eggs on Sunday and let the kids hunt them in the backyard. Officially, this made "Easter Egg Hunt" number 3, but since the first two were really just "Easter Egg Scoops" I don't count them. Sure, they bagged a ton of plastic eggs with little toys in them, but there was no hunting involved. It's really just a gigantic race to see which hyped up kids can cram the most eggs into their baskets. (The real pros all had Wal-mart sacks tied to their belt loops.)

Anyway, we decided that our children should experience the joy and frustration of racing against the clock to find actual hard-boiled eggs before the sun makes them inedible.

We discovered that they get their detective skills from their mother. Which is to say, all clues would have to be accompanied by big arrows and flashing lights.

Here we are, full of hope, heading out to conquer the world- or find fourteen eggs- whichever comes first.

Well, no Zaya. That's not an egg. Let's keep trying, Sweetie.

Mim needs a lollipop break. It's exhausting looking for eggs. It's been about three minutes at this point.

Hmmm. What could that be in the pot? A large ovoid flower?

Whoo. Still tired. Maybe if she sits on the basket, eggs will magically appear.

"Look Mom! The seeds are sprouting. What? Eggs? Oh, yeah. Still looking."

"Plants here too, Mom!"

"Right where? I can't see it. Are you sure, Mom?"

"Oh, right! Now we see it!"

Now they're finally picking up speed. It helped that Daddy showed them picture clues that he'd taken for the last six of them.

You might think I'm mocking my children. And let's be honest. I am. But I will also point out, in the interest of Egg Hunt Justice, that when the kids hid them for us, Art found eleven, and I found three. See? I told you they were my genes.