Saturday, May 02, 2009

5/2/09 Three's not bad

Today I took the boys to Michael's again to get more wooden models (I love that they now think Michael's is a great place to go!). On the inevitable perpetual line, the woman in front of me smiled at the boys' enthusiasm about their projects, and commented how sweet they are at this age (uh-huh, yeah, right, whatever). She said "Just wait until they graduate and leave," and I said I couldn't imagine -- even sending my 2nd to kindergarten was going to be hard, and then there's the sister at home. She made a face of longing and said, "Oh, you have another one too, a girl?" Then in one of those odd moments of intimacy and honesty that only strangers share, she said, "See, now I wish I'd had more than one, because when he leaves, that's it."

Usually people's reaction to my having three children is "oh, really?" in a "better you than me" sort of way. It's rare that I get genuine envy.


Friday, May 01, 2009

5/1/09 The Unwelcome Return

Dinnertime tantrums and migraines...I think it's a coincidence. Really, not needed. Please go away.


4/30/09 Precaution as a way of life

I must have better things than this to blog about, but this sticks in my head. Yesterday at work, a pretty high-level executive sent a reassuring message to employees about the swine flu, entitled "Precaution as a way of life." He went on to say that we must maintain the "same diligence" as we always have with hygiene and hand-washing, but must add "extra focus."

(One thing I never understand about the stated requirements for effective hand-washing: how long does it take to kill germs? 20 seconds? 30 seconds? As long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday? As long as it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice? I've heard all of these. But what happens after 15 seconds, or if you don't sing the last "Happy Birthday to YOU" line? The rules are stated so arbitrarily that they become meaningless -- there's obvious benefit to hand-washing, but I truly have no idea one should actually wash, or how, to achieve the most benefit.)

Aside from the contradictory writing, the overall point was to be careful in life as a day-to-day policy. I like him well enough, but I can't agree with that. Safety must be a calculated judgement of risk versus benefit, or we'd never leave the house, or get into the bathtub in the house. Life has its dangers, and focusing too heavily on their avoidance could only diminish it. Precaution as a way of life? Sounds risky to me.


Wednesday, April 29, 2009

4/29/09 Staging

Can't talk now...appraiser is coming to check out our house tomorrow, and I need to make it look showroom-perfect again! When our contractor and architect did their photo session before our open house, they brought stuff to stage it with, including this rooster.

I thought this was hilarious, especially since of all things I find unattractive in kitchens, it's images of poultry. Although looking at it now, I kinda like the little guy.

And I need the rooster now! If only my kitchen still looked like this:

Which it did for about two hours for one day, before it discovered that it was not brought to life to be pretty, but to lead a life of hard work. And it has, but tomorrow, it needs to be a smiling model again.


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

4/28/09 Milk Mouth

Katrina takes her milk very seriously!

I took the photo because the milk mustache, the glass of milk and the milk clock in the background all sang in chorus: "t a k e a p i c t u r e..." The goofy face was just a bonus!


Monday, April 27, 2009

4/27/09 Is she home yet?

For Christmas, Julian got the unusual gift of a book of the original Wizard of Oz, annotated and with all original illustrations. Everyone knows the movie, but have you ever read the original book? I did as a kid, and it's excellent and very bizarre. I'd like to re-read now it as an adult, as it's filled with nuances and political statement of the time. Even if you miss those, as I surely would even now, the language is rich and archaic and the story is complex and woven.

Dave's been reading it to the boys, moreso Julian, page by page, for months. Consequently, Julian has been very concerned for quite some time about whether or not Dorothy gets back to Kansas. When his grandparents were visiting, out of the blue he asked Bonne Maman, "Does Dorothy ever get back to Kansas?"

Today I experimented with a different route home, which meant picking up Julian first, and having some rare time alone with him in the car. As we were on our way to pick up Katrina, I was idly listening to NPR, when I suddenly heard from the back, "Mommy! Guess what! Dorothy made it back to Kansas!" I turned down the radio, and listened, fascinated, in exquisite detail, about how the Good Witch told Dorothy she had the charm in her silver shoes (in the book, they're silver), and that on the very last page she gets home to Kansas and to her Aunt Em (in the book, she's Aunt, not Auntie).

I'm not even sure he knows there's a movie, and I saw no need to tell him right away. Clearly, Frank Baum's original story is still very captivating and fills the imagination. And how can you replace Julian's joy and relief from learning, after months of following a fascinating epic journey, that Dorothy made it home?

Certainly, I relate very well to one of life's simplest joys -- going home -- too.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

4/26/09 Growing like weeds

Growing, growing, growing...everything grows around here. Today was a day to tackle that.

Katrina's hair is gorgeous, and I love it long and wild...but the ends are starting to look rough and Dave finds it hard to comb out. Also, it gets in her face and mouth without my putting it in ponytails, and that's iffy with her.

So I authorized a haircut, on one condition: that I not be within a 30-mile radius when the operation occurred. Dave agreed and took her to SuperCuts, for a moderately successful trip. Dave reported that the haircutter was taken aback by Katrina's objections and suggested a postponement, but they sounded quite mild compared to what I endured the one time I took her for a hair trim.

She was adament against a photo, but the back of her head couldn't protest. Before.

After. Still quite pretty, I think!

In the front, it's a cute little pageboy cut. And it doesn't need barrettes or ponytails, though I think I could still put them in if I'm in a girly mood.

This afternoon was satisfying, spend doing stuff around the house that you'd just never do if it weren't your house. The flip side is -- we have to do it! Weeds are growing like weeds. Dave did some weed-whacking, while Gabriel helped pull some by hand.

Then weed #2 helped sweep up.

I did things like repair a picture frame, put up a broom rack in the garage, set aside bags of baby toys to give away, stowed away excess lumber. Lots of "nothing" jobs that are so great to have done, and so nice to be home to do. Our 9-1/2 months in a different house are behind us now, but they're still recent enough that the simplest days in our real home are novel and joyful.

And speaking of rampant out-of-control growth, I even got everyone's fingernails and toenails trimmed this weekend. That's by far the most significant accomplishment!