Saturday, January 31, 2009

Locks of Love

About a week ago, Zoe told Chris that she wanted to donate her hair to Locks of Love. We don't know where this idea came from. Chris was hesitant at first, but then decided that if she really wanted to do it, we'd let her. When Talia heard, she decided she wanted to do the same. As it turned out, they had appointments at the hair dresser scheduled for today.

Chris took one last look at their hair:

Here comes the cut:

Zoe, after the chop:
Zoe, all done, with Aaron, who's trying to look tough, and Talia, before her haircut:
Talia's turn:
Finishing touches:
All finished, front and back:
With their ponytails:

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Snow Day #2

We had a bit of snow yesterday, thus the schools were closed. Retrospectively speaking, the kids could have gone to school; the roads were not really bad until evening time. However, last night, the big snow started. Schools called off classes last night, even before the accumulation started piling up. That at least allowed me to turn off my alarm. In the event that the Gods (Melina and Aaron) were still asleep at 6 am, I'd be able to go back to sleep, at least for a little while.

So, I get out of bed at 7:17 am...the latest I've slept in probably 7 years, and check to see whether or not the base is closed. If the base is closed, Dad is home. Yippee! The local weather channel says the base is closed; the 2nd local weather channel says the base is closed; the website for the base says, "Base employees are excused from duty today, except those personnel who are designated base-essential." Tim isn't base-essential! He's a contractor. Looks to me like Dad has a snow day.

Usually on a snow day, Tim participates in a phone chain to let everyone know that the base is closed. As of 8:25 am, we hadn't received any phone calls. Just to be sure that he indeed was not expectd to report to work, Tim called his boss. What did the boss say? You know what is coming! The boss said something to the effect of: "The way the closure is worded, contractors are not excused from work. I'll be going into the office in about an hour."

What?!? Contractors are never considered essential personnel, and furthermore, they aren't even supposed to be on the base if the military personnel aren't there. What if, Tim gets in the car, drives the hour or more it will take to get to work in this snow, arrives at work, and is told that all the base-essential personnel were excused? What then? Can he bill the time he spent in his car because no one can decide if the base is actually closed or not? As far as I am concerned, if the local news channel says the base is closed, it is closed. I told Tim that he can decide what he wants to do, but please, shovel the driveway first. That will probably take him most of the morning :)


Having said all that, yesterday was a pretty nice snow day. We all stayed in our pajamas (my school was closed, too, so I didn't have to teach in the evening). The kids went outside and played for a long time in the snow. They drank hot chocolate with marshmallows, and pretty much had a day that most people think about fondly once they are grown-ups. Did we do any math? Well, we counted by twos when we brought out the marshmallows. Did we do spelling? No, not yesterday. We did read...quite a bit in fact. The girls and Aaron dragged out a bunch of books; the girls read silently to themselves, while Aaron tried sounding out some words and looked at the pictures. Even I read the first few chapters of Matilda while cooking dinner. Not a bad day all around.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Excuse me, I have to burp!

I have been to the doctor's office three times within the span of 8 days. That isn't as bad as it sounds, since one visit was for a well check, another for some shots, and the third, because Melina wasn't feeling well and needed to be seen.

Well, on the shot visit, I had the forethought to call and see if Zoe could be seen by the doctor. Normally, a visit for shots is simply a nurse visit. The doctor had time, so we saw her. What were Zoe's symptoms? Pretty much nothing. She had complained about a headache (which was now gone). She had a sore throat for one day (and that wasn't the day she had it). The previous Friday, she just didn't feel well. The child is almost 7. Usually, I don't take her in unless it is clear something is amiss. But, we were headed in for the shot, so why not kill two birds with one stone? Good thing we did, as she was diagnosed with strep! Who knew? Mother of the year, I am not.

Not more than 5 days later, and I am calling the doctor regarding Melina. Why? Because she just wasn't herself. She caught a cold on Saturday evening, and by Monday evening, was crying much of the night. Melina really doesn't cry (seriously) so we figured she needed some medical attention. Cause of said crying? An "eardrum that is bulging!" Again, I'll win no awards for not realizing that one.

Because of the germs that have taken residence in the house, I am trying to wipe up the house with bleach, and to have the necessary analgesics at hand. We had some generic infant acetaminophen in the house, but I asked Tim to pick up some generic infant ibuprofen, just in case. The doctor has said either one is fine, but don't alternate, as some people prescribe. Talia saw the box on the counter this morning, and proudly said (this coming from a first-grader that really is a good reader): "That box says Infants burp often." I swallowed my guffaw, and helped her sound out Infants' Ibuprofen. She laughed and skipped away.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Retrospective funniness

Melina had her 6 month well check today. She checked out well. Meanwhile, Aaron was sitting on the floor of the doctor's office playing with a bead-and-wire maze. He especially likes the red beads.
Aaron: Mom, what are those red things in our body?
Me: Red blood cells.
[We had discussed RBCs late last week when he saw a picture of them in a book.]
Aaron: Check out how these red blood cells move. And the green blood cells, too!
Lest you think his science curriculum is limited to physiology, Tim recounted another story from the night before. They were reading the lovely book, What Does Violet See? Birds and Nests. We love that book. On one page, there is a picture of a stream in the distance that flows behind some rocks.
Aaron: What is that? [He points to the thin blue line, indicating the stream.]
Tim: That is the stream that runs next to the rocks.
Aaron: Oh. I thought it was a sound wave.

We've had much to say about Aaron on this blog lately. Part of that is because the girls are at school all day, and hearing the funny things that pop out of their mouths is limited to before and after school, and on weekends. They are also at the age that more rational things start to come from those same mouths. Now, we didn't have the blog going when they were 4, but I looked back in my journal to grab a couple of priceless anecdotes to share here:

Anecdote #1
Zoe, age 1.5 years, was standing behind me with her thumb in her mouth and her finger in her nose. I was changing Talia's diaper on the floor.
Me: Zoe, you shouldn't put your finger in your nose.
Zoe took said finger out of her nose, walked over to Talia, and stuck said finger in Talia's nose instead.

Laughs all around!

Anecdote #2
Aaron was learning how to use the potty. We taught him to use the potty while sitting, and then progressed to standing. As happens with little boys, all of a sudden (for no apparent reason) Aaron had an erection. This did not go unnoticed by the girls.
Twin who shall remain nameless: Mommy! Aaron must be growing, because his penis is bigger!
My apologies to those who find potty humor and body parts embarrassing.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

21st century special effects

As I write this, I'm also watching the Florida/Oklahoma football game. It's halftime, so I switched over to ESPN, where Lou Holtz is giving a break-down of Tebow's second interception. He's drawing on a chalk board. A CHALK BOARD! On election night 2008, CNN had a hologram. Meanwhile, ESPN is dragging out something that looks stolen from an elementary school.

By the way, neither offense looks very good. The A.D.'s from Utah, Texas, and Southern Cal should be screaming for a playoff.

Culture! (and not the kind in a Petri dish)

Zoe and Talia had been asking about going to the art museum, and so I promised to take them there over their winter break.

Last Friday, Zoe, Talia, and Aaron hopped in the car, and away we went: up Main Street for a few miles, through downtown, turn left to go over the bridge, and there it is. For as close as the museum is (less than a 15 minute drive), and as inexpensive it is (free, admission, free parking), this was our first trip there.

We parked right in front of this guy, whom I asked to watch our car. He looks pretty imposing, and I bet nobody would mess with his car.

She is one of his friends. The kids, of course, pointed out that she's naked! And then they tried to put their coats on her.

This was another outside piece. The placard in front said something about flight, but the children preferred to think that it was an enormous sword or knife that was about to come crashing down and cut them and the museum in half. Such happy thoughts.

The flight-thing was a shiny curved surface, so of course I thought: optics tricks!

The oversized creature theme continued when we went inside and saw "Your Dog."

It seemed to me, that, even more than the artwork, the kids liked the layout of the museum --- lots of rooms connected to each other. They were determined to see every single room, so more than once, all three were completely out of my view. Despite my attempts to explain that we didn't need to see the entire museum in one day -- that we could come back whenever we wanted -- they didn't slow down.

Nevertheless, a few pieces caught their eyes. Z&T told me that "Elephant Walk" was their favorite.

The restaurant inside the museum looked a little too upscale for the kids' tastes, so we had our own picnic.

After lunch, we found a crèche exhibit. Aaron liked the frogs. I was looking for El Caganer (didn't see any).

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Aaron's Superpowers, Part II

Aaron really likes Superman. He received for Christmas, from Santa of course, a Superman action figure, as well as Superman underoos. We are not sure where Aaron's adoration of Superman originates, but in the present time, the man from the planet Krypton is Aaron's hero.

In the foyer on Tuesday morning:
Aaron: Mommy, do you know why I am tired in the morning?
Me: No, why are you tired?
Aaron: Because at night, I am Su-per-maaaaan!
He keeps me laughing, this one!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Facebook and Psycho-temporal displacement

About a month ago, Chris joined Facebook. My two sisters became friends of hers and soon thereafter, some of my high school friends began sending friend requests to her.

I was hesitant to sign up because I'd heard of some privacy issues, but after a few weeks of fence-sitting, I joined -- privacy be damned. I have none at home, so why should I need any on-line, right? Friend requests were a trickle at first, but then my profile reached some critical mass and I was reacquainting myself with perhaps a dozen old-new friends daily.

So now I am back in contact with a bunch of friends from high school, many of whom I hadn't seen in twenty years. It has been very nice to find out what kind of adults my childhood friends have become, but at the same time, it is a shock to my system. In the rational part of my mind, I know that they're 30-somethings and have had all manner of life experiences, but in my memories, we're all still kids.

For example, I became friends with my best friend from elementary school, K. We were schoolmates from kindergarten through about fourth grade, when he moved to a different school district. I typed his name into the search box, and then saw a picture of K's face on a grown-up's head and body. It was unmistakably him, but he was no longer ten years old. My memories of us include blazing trails in woods behind his house (complete with false dead-ends and hidden clearings -- we were serious), making maps of the trails (I told you we were serious), playing football, his total obsession with the color orange, and going fishing in the little pond across the street. We looked so much alike and acted so much alike that people thought we were brothers. Now he's a grown-up, owns a business, and has almost thirty years of stories that I don't know about.

Dear reader, please don't think that I regret reconnecting with my old friends; the truth is completely the contrary. Despite the twenty-year (and sometimes longer) gaps in our personal fossil records, having people back in my life who were big parts of my life as a boy is just wonderful. Now, if you happen to be a friend of mine that I haven't seen since the 80's, find me on facebook and tell me everything you've been doing, but please, just give me some time to adjust to the idea that you're not a teenager.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Aaron's Superpowers

In Aaron's room, at bedtime:
Aaron: Wait! I need a pair of socks.
Me: Well then, go get a pair.
Aaron exits.
The socks all live in a drawer in the upstairs bathroom, which, because it was night time, was dark. I had doubts that he'd go into the bathroom without the light on.
Aaron enters.
Me: Did you get them?
Aaron: Yes.
Me: Was the light on in the bathroom?
Aaron: No, but I can see through black air!

Friday, January 2, 2009

A Public Apology (and Thank You)

Dear Faithful Readers:

It seems as though an apology is in order. From the looks of this post, my gratitude for the lovely kitchen island was not apparent to my husband. I remember saying thank you to him, and also saying I liked the island he so carefully chose and put together for me. I think he was looking for a bit more fanfare than that.

So, instead of looking like an ungrateful person, I thought I'd give him a bigger thank you via this blog. I wanted to bring in the dog-and-pony show, but this being winter and all, it just couldn't happen. A great thank you to him would be a bunch of comments on that island post stating just how wonderful of a husband he is, how creative, how in tune he is to the wants of his wife. Help me out, readers (all 5 of you) and pat the man on his back, please!

And I will write it here, just for the sake of posterity, that you, Timmy, are indeed a wonderful husband, and I really do appreciate the island. It has made feeding Melina, chopping vegetables with Aaron, and making pizza with the girls far more enjoyable. Furthermore, I like the island. So, thank you, thank you, and thank you again. Smooches to you!