Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Sick Kiddo

Fever, chills, nausea, aches and pains... poor kid!  He's spent hours listening to me read and watching Daddy play Zelda.

He had me smiling when he said he wanted a time changer so he could go forwards from being sick to when he's healed.  Then he pondered and figured that he would be sick some time in the future and he'd be closer to that.  I love this kid's jiffy thinking :)
Other cute antics:

• his parents' dinner prep conversation amused him… Andrew was preparing the turkey when some pieces escaped and he laughed,
"Run away organs!"
Then this giant bag of bay leaves got away from me and I laughed, "Cowabunga bay leaves!"
• getting "so excited I went in the wrong door" when he was looking for the bathroom before opening presents Christmas morning
• responding to his father's purchase of an $80 glorified box with, "Dad, you're…."  (The tone of voice clearly said "crazy" and Andrew and I were laughing so hard we cried.  Apparently, Andrew was testing the TapBuy product and didn't get around to canceling the order in time.)

... and here's the usual link to this week's Objectivist Round Up.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Holiday Letter 2011

Here's the latest cute antics, fun links, and I'll append the holiday letter which got out late via regular mail (so will make for some slightly belated holiday cheer)!  Here's to a glorious holiday season :)

Cute antics:

• pulling off his socks at his athlete mentor's house and starting a conversation about socks, "I don't like socks. Socks are obnoxious. [pause for thought]  They are criminals."  (Well, he's his father's son!  Socks almost never last more than a few minutes after either of them get home.)

• an old picture of him playing naked in the back yard came up on my screen saver and he commented, "I'm naked?  I'm not always naked."

• responding to the interaction of Andrew teasing me and me saying Hey!  with a mumbled, "Improper!"  (After laughing because we thought he was referring to the teasing, we laughed again when we found out he was referring to me saying "Hey". Whenever a person says, "Hey", Flat Stanley's mom always says, "Hay is for horses.")

• coining a new term for small, "minisceropic".  (It's a combination of minuscule and microscopic.)

• trying to wheedle my phone out of my hands by saying, "Could I help you play some toy bot [one of his favorite iPhone games].  I could advise you.  You wouldn't be completely helpless."  (Subtle, so subtle!)

• spraying air freshener on his chest so he smelled like a citrus grove

• listening to me read these directions:

"How are these words alike?  Add more.
hand, hands, foot, feet…"

and continuing, "cardiovascular system, cardiovascular systems!"

(This kid is just too darn delightful :) )

• getting a little confused about a particular term… he came back from playing with his athlete mentor and told me he'd seen a "silent duck"  (That would be slam dunk.)

• telling me he turned a tree stump into lemonade.  (It took me a minute, but they had turned this stump into a balance beam and he saw this as like when Junie B. Jones turns lemons into lemonade i.e. making something pleasant from something not.)

• bringing home a diagram about different holidays with this written under Los Pasosts "baby Gzos" and this written under Hanukah "no babes".

• "It's about time you be cautious!" (Talking to good guy on the screen who was in danger in a Hitchcock film.)

• "Mt Rushmore is not supposed to be a jungle gym!" (Commenting on the movie North by Northwest)

Three delightful videos to share:
• A draw yourself stickman that becomes animated- 
• A clip of a porcupine that is too darn cute… I had no idea they could make such sounds-
• A comedy routine of Three Little Pigs turned into a Shakespearean tale-

This week's Objectivist Round Up.

Holiday Letter (click on image to view each page):

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Nurturing Self At This Time of Year

As I was doing my monthly review of my Getting Things Done System, I came across my roll of "nurturing-self".  This is what I have written:

Purpose: I want to enjoy the happiness of living my life.  I will nuture myself when challenges and stresses make that more difficult.

Vision: I will always have that reserve of inner strength that comes from self esteem and self valuing.  I will care and nuture my self as one of my primary responsibilties as a human being.  I will enjoy gathering together ideas for ways to achieve this goal and anticipating the pleasures to come.  I will take time to pay attention to my emotions.  I will address any feelings of stress, anger, guilt, or sadness promptly so they have no time to grow into big problems.  I will focus my attention on cherishing the joys of living.

This is the time of year when keeping everything organized is especially helpful to me. I love that I'm always clear that I'm using my limited time as a match for what I think is most important, which really helps me be able to deal well with what I can't get done too.   

Underneath my "vision", I have goals (1-2 year, 3-5 year, lifetime) and underneath those I have actions that help me make the goals come to pass which help me reach my vision.  I also have the "someday maybe" section where I keep track of ideas that I don't want to do yet, but may help me fulfill this vision in the future.   So, for example, under this vision:
1-2 Year Goals contains "Invest in monthly massage"
3-5 Year Goals contains "Go to OCON again"
Lifetime Goals contains "Return to New Zealand, include the south island"
Someday Maybe Contains "Try out playing a trumpet or other horn"

When I go through these organized lists, I reconnect with my rolls, goals, visions, and the ways I am going to live an efficacious life.  I have parenting, spouse, owner, and teacher rolls among others which each have this rich process there for me use as a tool.  And, as a pre-requisite to doing any of the others well, nurturing myself, being my own best friend, is at the top of that list.  I'd love to hear what others do to nurture themselves during the holidays.  Here's to a delightful season with many joyful moments.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Objectivist Round Up

Welcome to the December 8, 2011 edition of objectivist round up.  As a good December quote, I thought I'd share this entry from the Ayn Rand Lexicon:

[In answer to the question of whether it is appropriate for an atheist to celebrate Christmas:]
Yes, of course. A national holiday, in this country, cannot have an exclusively religious meaning. The secular meaning of the Christmas holiday is wider than the tenets of any particular religion: it is good will toward men—a frame of mind which is not the exclusive property (though it is supposed to be part, but is a largely unobserved part) of the Christian religion.
The charming aspect of Christmas is the fact that it expresses good will in a cheerful, happy, benevolent, non-sacrificial way. One says: “Merry Christmas”—not “Weep and Repent.” And the good will is expressed in a material, earthlyform—by giving presents to one’s friends, or by sending them cards in token of remembrance . . . .
The best aspect of Christmas is the aspect usually decried by the mystics: the fact that Christmas has been commercialized. The gift-buying . . . stimulates an enormous outpouring of ingenuity in the creation of products devoted to a single purpose: to give men pleasure. And the street decorations put up by department stores and other institutions—the Christmas trees, the winking lights, the glittering colors—provide the city with a spectacular display, which only “commercial greed” could afford to give us. One would have to be terribly depressed to resist the wonderful gaiety of that spectacle.

The Objectivist Calendar, Dec. 1976

Here's to a delightful holiday season and, now, on with the round up:

C.W. presents Current Decline in the Availability of Pharmaceuticals posted at Krazy Economy, saying, "We can see the impact of government controlled medicine today in the European problems in paying for drugs. It is a big deal in several countries and is getting worse. There are some similar problems in the U.S. It could spread."

Joseph Kellard presents Newspaper Story Reunites POWs posted at The American Individualist, saying, "A story I wrote in 2003 about two World War II POWs that reunited after one veteran read a story about a fellow vet and recalled meeting him in a German prison camp 58 years earlier."

Ross England presents I Won!/Read Atlas Shrugged! posted at Think Twice, saying, "I post a link to my winning entry in ARI's Atlas Shrugged Essay Contest, and I encourage my readers to read Atlas Shrugged."

Diana Hsieh presents Winter Dogs Will Wrestle posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Our crazy dogs wrestle and play in the snow! It happens many times each day, but I can't help but smile whenever I see it."

Edward Cline presents Portrait of a Police State posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "The chief thrust of this article is that none of this would occur, or even be thought "necessary," if we had eliminated states that sponsor terrorism after 9/11. But when one reads the text of Senate Bill 1867, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), one gets the impression that many in positions of power and influence, particularly Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona and Democrat Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, have a vested interest in sustaining an indefinite "war" against terrorism."

Ari Armstrong presents My Year In Review posted at Free Colorado, saying, "Reviews my year's work writing articles, posting videos, and more."

Gene Palmisano presents Misnomer of the Day « The Metaphysical Lunch posted at The Metaphysical Lunch, saying, "Defending freedom one blog at a time."

Blazing Truth presents Financing of Public Goods in a Free Market Society posted at Blazing Truth, saying, "Who says Public Goods can't be financed without taxes? Here's 15 ways to fund roads and healthcare without forced coercion from the State. Let's be more imaginative."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents New Startup Hopes to House Immigrants in International Waters posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "A new startup company plans to house immigrant labor just offshore in international waters. It's a wonderful idea, but a sad necessity."

Rachel Miner presents Naked's Not News:Take Two posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "This is an update on how being naked around my kiddo is changing as he grows."

Atul Kapur presents The Certainty in Quantum Physics posted at Wit Lab, saying, "In layman terms, I explain why rather than being a refutation of factual knowledge, quantum physics is a testament to the fact that knowledge is possible, and can be obtained with certainty."

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Naked's Not News: Take Two

Things have started to change and I'm enjoying observing the process of my son finding privacy desirable.  This is what I wrote about a year and a half ago:

"This is more of a musing post because I'm not sure where our parenting practices will end up.  So, as a new parent, it's no big deal for my infant to see me naked.  Changing a dirty shirt, getting into pajamas, I didn't hide from his baby gaze.  Fast forward to toddlerhood and it was helpful for him to see us using the bathroom as part of toilet training.  Again, no big deal for us to help him change dirty clothing or to change our own.  Now, I have a six year old and I would have thought that, by now, nudity would be different.  To my surprise, it's still the same.  Literally, naked's not news.  He can dress and bathe himself, but if we're both ready to rinse off hot tub chemicals at the same time, we'll get into my shower together for two minutes (it's the only one with a hand-held sprayer).  If I'm changing into pajamas and he comes in with a question, I don't duck behind a door or sternly invoke the privacy card.  Basically, he has complete comfort with the body as something not to be hidden and as something normal.  These interactions have remained consistently positive.

Now, I'm curious when this is going to change?  I can imagine it will get to a point where our current openness is no longer appropriate i.e. a teenager might have a confusing response..."

So, now I have an eight year old and things are changing.  Now, if he changes he'll streak!  He'll run naked between bathroom and bedroom instead of the non-issue stroll.  He always closes bathroom doors and he doesn't want to change into a bathing suit in front of me.  The interesting thing is that it's all on his side.  I mean, he doesn't care if I'm changing and being naked is still "not news" to him regarding me, but he finds privacy more important for him.  He still has no shame in his body, it's just that the privacy issue has become more important to him.  It's really curious how one sided this is and I've asked him if it bothers him when he finds me changing.  He says it doesn't, but I did ask him to let me know if at some point it does.  I'm sure our privacy norms will adjust at some point.

As I wrote last time, "Clearly, there is a connection between nudity and sexuality at some point.  I don't want him to be confused when he starts making that connection.  For now, I'll observe and enjoy how purely joyous he feels within his own body."  I'm thinking that I'll keep the same approach that has been working.  This is a really an intriguing process to watch him developing new understanding of what is private and what he doesn't want to share.  I love that this is happening without him feeling embarrassed or ashamed of his body.

He'll get over peek a boo some day :)

Friday, December 2, 2011


Aside from this week's Objectivist Round Up, I have lots of cute antics to share from my kiddo who lays on the smiles:

• "Barbarian is my best curse word."
• responding to our statement that he was a little guy and one glass of wine was enough with a muttered, "Little guy.  Harumph!"
• when I was talking about the next adventure story I was going to read him I said it was creepy and he said, "Creeeeeeepy?  I love creepy!"
• "I hate eating on the job, but I have to keep up my strength while I'm looking." (He was searching for clues like Nate the Great when he decided he needed a snack.)
• making a sour face with a full pucker when taking a sip of whiskey and saying, "Ohhhh, so good!"  (For some reason, he really wanted to like it, but all the body language didn't match the words!)
• telling me, "I conjecture that I'll breathe tomorrow."  (Clearly enjoying our Sherlock Holmes reading!)
• trying to catch me at hangman with the word "punctual"
• getting a full crowd laugh when he joined us at a debate.  He knows so much about history, so we thought we'd give it a try.  We only told him our job in the debate was to listen to the "verbal battle" and see what we each thought made sense.  When the debater speaking for individual rights (Brook) was responding to the big government debater, Brook said that it was true that the system today was wanted by most Americans and nobody agreed with him to which my kiddo piped up shrilly, "I DO!"  (That's my confident, independent thinker.)

Sunday, November 27, 2011


At some point in my life I wanted the experience of swimming with a dolphin.  I did that about ten years ago and relished every moment.  The other experience in this category of sometime-in-my-life-one-time-sparkles was flying in a hot air balloon and... I did it last week.  It was so delightful to see the sun rise and the glory of the fall colors over Napa Valley.  I also loved the feel the perfect silence whenever the burner was off.  There are plenty of other experiences on my list of life pursuits, but these two were unique in their nature and the adventure being solidly in the once-is-enough category.  It was very cool to check this off and know the memories will be mine forever.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

History Play

I am an avid fan of Scott Powell's History at Our House program.  He makes history so interesting and vibrant and real and approachable for students!  I love all the examples that history has for teaching about choices and how much I can use those examples in our daily conversations.  Just yesterday, when I was talking about my best friend, my son asked me why were friends and I started my answer by bringing up a lesson from history that Mr. Powell teaches.  Friends share values, not disvalues.  "The enemy of my enemy is my temporary ally."  Considering that my best friend and I have nurtured a friendship over last 15 years, there's nothing temporary about it; it is based on shared values.  Anyway, my point in this post is to share two games that I've been using to keep this awesome historical knowledge fresh for my son: History Go Fish and History Taboo.  

History Go Fish is pretty self explanatory to set up.  I go online and find pictures of the historical figures that have been covered in class.  I paste two copies into a document that I label with the figure's name and print on photo paper.  Voila!  Go Fish cards with historical figures.  That is just the start though!  After he gets the matches down, we don't use the name anymore!  For example, "Do you have Mr. Peace-Without-Victory?"  "Would you happen to have the man who surrendered at Appomatox courthouse?"  "Do you have the unifier of upper and lower Egypt?"  By the time we play the game a couple times, he's had a full review of American history and everything he's learned so far of ancient history and… he loves it.  He loves putting on that sickly sweet voice when he picks a card that I've already asked about and it's so funny to hear him asking in his darling tones, "Oh dear sweet mother, do you have Mr. International Police Power Teddy?"  I can even use it to add information that he hasn't learned yet so the game gets more and more fun.  So, that's game number one, but I have another one too :)
Page one of many before I've cut it up into cards

I fell in love with Taboo at a friend's house and thought this could be another great tool for cementing historical knowledge and having fun.  The idea of the game is that you have a word which you're trying to get the other person to guess, but you can't use four other listed words which are taboo.  The game is played with four people and timers and is much more competitive, but I just used the idea to put together a list and start playing with my son.  I was the one trying to get him to guess and boy did I get to do an extensive review as I tried to get him to say the historical term without using the forbidden, taboo words!  He absolutely loved the challenge and was again getting a really rich review of the material. 
For example, if I had this card:
William the Conquerer
I could talk all about vassals and vikings and France and the country across the channel.  But, I couldn't say the name and I couldn't use the words Norman, duke, or England.  One of the great things to do after he guesses is to share the words that I couldn't say, because that adds to cementing the knowledge too.  For example,
Louisiana Purchase
Thomas Jefferson
After, I've worked my way around talking about a leader of France who traded land for something that goes in a bank with the third president of the United States.  I eventually get a guess and lots of kid giggles and he gets a solid review of this historical event.
I've put together pages of these in columns (which I'm glad to share, just send me an email or leave a note) and I pull them out every couple months for a rousing game.  I have to add the new material when he's sleeping though, because he's so eager he keeps trying to sneak up and see the Taboo clues while I'm writing them!
One page of many that provides lots of historical play (click image for more clarity)

So, I'm thoroughly enjoying how my son is able to learn from the events of the past and to use them in making his own choices.  If you have found other ways of making learning into games, I'd love to hear about them.  This has been such a delightful way to continue enjoying history for me and my kiddo.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

My child the budding chef

Cute antics
• declaring before sitting down to eat, "I need a tooth pick for luck." 
• Dousing his yogurt in paprika
• continuing his new chef phase with this:

All I did was go out to pick up the mail from the mailbox!  When I came back, the rest of my goat cheese brie birthday present was on a plate, doused with maple syrup.  He then proceeded to add mango salsa and chocolate chips.  I especially love that he set himself up with a placemat and all the silverware… he considered himself chef, waiter, and client all in one :)

Objectivist Round Up

Welcome to the November 10, 2011 edition of objectivist round up.  I tried to find a good quote about patience since working with Blog Carnival has been a challenge this time.  However, this is the quote that captured me to start off today's edition of the Objectivist Round Up.

Man is a being with free will; therefore, each man is potentially good or evil, and it's up to him and only him (through his reasoning mind) to decide which he wants to be.
Ayn Rand 1946 ~Personal notes on The Strike [later Atlas Shrugged]

Rachel Miner presents Review of "Playful Parenting" posted at The Playful Spirit, saying, "I share some parenting gems that I picked out of the book "Playful Parenting" by Lawerence Cohen."

Benjamin Skipper presents Godiva's 85% Santo Domingo posted at Capital Bean, saying, "Ayn Rand liked Godiva chocolates. Let's try one!"

Darius Cooper presents Uncle Tom's Cabin posted at Practice Good Theory, saying, "Well-written Christian Romanticism, in a book that influenced history"

Alexander Marriott presents The Curse of the Internet: Fake Historical Quotes posted at Alexander Marriott's Wit and Wisdom, saying, "Tired of random and suspicious quotes from Thomas Jefferson and others being used to prove every possible position? Me too. Here I expose some common bogus quotes and offer some tips on the use of historical quotes and how to spot fakes."

Edward Cline presents Firebombing Freedom of Speech posted at The Rule of Reason, saying, "There have been numerous fine articles condemning the November 2nd firebombing of Charlie Hebdo, the French satirical newspaper in Paris that dared mock Islam and front-paged a cartoon of Mohammad with the balloon caption, “One hundred lashes if you don’t die laughing.” Needless to say, this act of terrorism is just another instance of censorship by force."

Joshua Gregg presents Liberty and the OWS Movement posted at Persona Non Grata, saying, "Until the OWS movement sheds its collectivism, their message will always be hard to swallow by those who value liberty."

Rational Jenn presents Watching the Wheels posted at Rational Jenn, saying, "Hearing a song on the radio got me reflecting on my decision to leave my former career to raise and educate my children at home."

Santiago and Kelly Valenzuela presents Decreasing Immigration is Bad for America posted at Mother of Exiles, saying, "Latino immigration to America has slowed to a trickle since 2008, but is this as good for America as conservatives would have you believe?"

Paul Hsieh presents In Praise of Capitalist Inequality posted at We Stand FIRM, saying, "My latest OpEd for PJMedia discusses why economic inequality in a capitalist system is something good, not something to be condemned."

Atul Kapur presents Watt and Edison Contra Determinism posted at Wit Lab, saying, "Determinism is the doctrine behind the criticism commonly levied against innovators that "if not him, somebody else would have done it". How did Thomas Edison and James Watt respond to their critics?"

Paul Hsieh presents Hip Fracture Update: 10 Weeks posted at NoodleFood, saying, "Why I'm "screwed" -- but in a good way!"

Diana Hsieh presents NoodleCast #104: Live Philosophy in Action Webcast posted at NoodleFood, saying, "The Rationally Selfish Webcast becomes the Philosophy in Action Webcast! Here's the first episode!"

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of
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Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Review of "Playful Parenting"

I just finished reading Playful Parenting by Lawrence Cohen for my book club and wanted to document some thoughts.  I took a long time to read this book and I think a big part of that was that the author seems to repeat himself so much.  There are some gems though that can be sifted out of the many examples and repetitive directions.  

The first thing I found while reading was that I had this overwhelming desire to go play with my kid.  The way Cohen presents play as so healing and nurturing and connection building, he makes it seem like some decadent chocolate treat that you just have to go enjoy right now!  Early on in the reading, I put the book down and crawled on my hands and knees into our library where my son was reading. I nuzzled his elbow and gave a little kiss. Silence.  I nuzzled the hip and gave another kiss. Little giggle. By the end, my husband wanted to know what was going on because we were laughing so hard and just enjoying ourselves so thoroughly.  One of Cohen's rules is "Follow the giggles" and I was certainly enjoying it in this context :)  So, the first gem was just looking at play again as a way to connect (reminds me of one of my favorite posts here about humor.
Second, I was a little dubious of his suggestion that older kids would find it funny if parents pretended goofy things.   l was dealing with a common situation in my home, my kiddo was being too rough again and again and I was getting hurt and angry.  I said, "Let's pretend you're my little boy and I'm your exasperated mommy and if you touch me one more time I'M GOING TO…"  He giggled.  Then he touched me so gently with one finger tip.  I play shrieked with agony and fury.  He giggled and finger tip touched me again and so the circle went with solid fun and no more hurts.  I'm intrigued.  I've been amazed by his glee at this kind of pretend and how giggly he gets if I pretend along with him.  
The third idea that I found worth noting was that it may be worth joining in a child's pretend play, even if you find it deadly dull, as a way to help them feel heard and learn to think about other options.  The example Cohen gave was of his daughter playing with barbies in a way that the woman was always powerless and needed to be saved by a prince.  It drove him batty and he hated it, but if he tried to play and alter the script, she would get furious that he was playing "wrong" and adhere to the melodrama even more tightly.  He found that if he played it her way and made her feel secure in exploring that idea, she was willing to consider other ways dear Barbie could act.  The idea of joining in an older child's game that I find boring seemed like a negative choice, a sacrifice that would promote feelings of irritation.  However, I remember how much I did this when my son was younger and how clearly I understood that I needed to respect his context of delight at peek a boo or a shape sorting game.  I wonder if I joined in his video game of exploding worms or his legos that do some fantastical things again and again and again…  I wonder what would happen if I did more than listen supportively and got down on the floor with him in this situations that don't captivate me.  Cohen acknowledges that playing with kids this way, on their terms, is exhausting and he recommends setting aside a delineated amount of time so you don't wear yourself out.  His experience in play therapy is that it helps children connect and feel safe and heard and valued.
I have some more thinking to do about next actions, but I'm glad I read the book.  If anyone else read the book, I'm curious "What do you think?"

Another vote for...

... History at Our House!  My kiddo decided to dress up as a "historical newspaper".  I took some interesting dictation to make this costume :)

Those are pictures of the founding fathers and Lee/Grant and Napoleon and Wilson and Ferdinand and Isabella and Columbus and Da Gama... clearly this daily news didn't happen on the same day, but he had such a grand time showing off his knowledge  :)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Sweet Spontaneous Moment

I was just typing up something that I didn't want my kiddo to see and when he came over and I covered his eyes, he asked me to write "I love you" in the color salmon (the crayon color palate was on the desktop).  After that, he wanted it in different colors.  I humored him and printed it out for him.  Then, he wanted more detail.  His writing goal this semester is to add more detail to his writing, so he wrote "why" next to all the "I love you" notes.  He went off to do something else and I answered his questions.  When I presented him with this, he took it smiling and read the whole thing.  Then he grabbed a pencil, turning his back to me secretively.  When he turned back, he proudly presented a smily face at the bottom and gave me a hug.

I love Cameron because he is so enthusiastic. 
I love Cameron because he loves sharing reading with me. 
I love Cameron because he says things that make me smile.
I love Cameron because he happily learns new things.
I love Cameron because he likes pancakes too.
I love Cameron because he plays games with me.
I love Cameron because he lets me tickle him and joke around.
I love Cameron because helping him become independent gives me great joy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Glorious Evening

I just spent four hours reading, playing games, sipping cocoa, eating pancakes, and thoroughly enjoying an afternoon / evening in front of the fire with my kiddo!  Just one of those days really worth remembering :)

Other good things:

This Week's Objectivist Round Up

Cute Antics:

• when frustrated with another kid at the party, he scooped up some corn chips and said he was bringing, "Chips for peace."

• when plans changed for the play activity, he stated "I changed her mind."  (I wouldn't count on that lasting! :) )

• we were pretending that Dad was the president and Cameron and I were congress as far as decision making went for something silly, Cameron said, "Congress is getting annoyed!"

• developing a new take on the expression "heaven knows", I asked him a question and he answered with one of those twinkly eyed looks, "Don't ask me, ask heaven."

• trying to finish my yawn for me so I didn't have to.

• after I suggested he go upstairs, he declared "Your ticklment will not prevail!" 

• informing me that I could "be the audience" for his "fantastic moves"

• "Why are you thinking I'm a hilarious boy.  I am not.  I am a serious boy."  

• almost wiping his bacon grease hands on his pants yet again, he looked at us and said "Oh fiddlesticks, it's an old habit!"

• when play biting in rough housing, he knows no teeth are allowed... after an accidental touch he asserted, "It doesn't count if its one tooth!"

• trying to put on no socks and then grabbing some of mine for ice skating, I mentioned the likely discomfort and he declared, "I'll suffer."  (Where does he get this stuff?!?!)

• reading my latest entry into the weekly idiom dictionary (running out of steam) and declaring, "I'm full of steam!"  

Floppy sword against ruler… naturally such battles require the perfect hat and I love the perfect goofy look too.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Just lots of cute...

I've been in pamper-the-birthday-boy mode, so I'm going to make this quick post all about the cute antics of my now eight year old!

Cute antics:
• tossing a foot ball too high for his mentor, he listened to me comment that his friend wasn't that tall.  Then he tossed it at his friend's knees and remarked, "Not that short either."
• play attacking with a war cry of, "Goblin oatmeal death to human forces."  (Um, nope, no clue how that combination made sense.)
• flopping on the ground with, "Wait a minute!  Am I dead?"
• instead of following through on the deal to read me either "The Trumpet of the Swan" or "Old Yeller", he picked "Anthem".  (I'm humoring him and putting some time into playing one of his favorite video games in exchange for him reading a chapter book to me that I've already read to him.  I'm surprised he picked "Anthem" though.  Originally, I was curious if he could imagine a pretend world that wasn't like "The Hobbit" or "Harry Potter"… yep!)
• intentionally goofing up the numbers in the names of the "Anthem" characters so that they were in the millions
• placing the tiny plastic ball cap (had been an ice cream bowl) on his head and then repeatedly tipping it in a how-do-you-do kind of way
• asking out of the blue, "Is it raining in scotland?"  (?!?!)
• refusing to name a favorite flavor of Propel and instead saying, "The best kind of Propel is when there's a friend to play a game with you!"  (In one of our favorite books, a bear goes through all the seasons as his favorite and then he says what is most important is the company of a good friend, no matter what the season.  I did one of those glow-inside-smiles when he said this.)
• casually mentioning that "Barbarians aren't good." (I think that comes from the latest historical video game.)
• "Uh, oh!  That food used my shirt and pants as a slide!"  (He dropped it from the fork into his lap.)
• after watching "Rio Bravo", he jumped around gleefully yelling, "I would love to be Stumpy!"  (He thought throwing dynamite was very cool.)                                                                                                             • noticing that there was no one around because we were early for our family sail, he gave his dramatic conclusion "The ship is currently uninhabited!"
Yay for family fun on this huge sail boat!

• watching a movie, when it was clear the man was going to follow the heroine upon first meeting her, I asked "What do you think he's going to do?"  Cameron answered, "Go kiss her."  (Hmmm, I wouldn't recommend that as a usual first greeting!)
• continuing that movie, when the two were looking at each other while holding cigarets he said, "They're cigaretting." (A new verb, but it's quite descriptive!  :)

• amused at my exasperation at having forgotten what I was about to write myself as a reminder, he commented "I've felt the same way you have when I thought 'What lego was I looking for?"
• responding to a happy birthday wish with, "Happy birthday to you too, when it comes along."
• putting a pumpkin sticker on his shirt and declaring, "It's a badge for liberty and justice for Halloween!"
• responding to query on what he'd like to do next with, "I don't know what to do.  I'm befuddled by that excellent breakfast."

Friday, September 30, 2011

Spelling Fun

My kiddo has started bringing home spelling lists that are hard for him (starting off with 4/16 correct).  He practices through the week and the test in on Friday.  I never thought we could have such fun with spelling as I make up the goofiest, whimsical sentences to illustrate each word!

Other things to share:
Cute antics:
• talking about what anger feels like, "I feel as if I was Godzilla and could kill anybody."  (He's never seen the creature, just had this idea that it was something big and powerful.)
• when Andrew gets his prowly walk, "Dad!  Don't be like a walking death machine!"
• asking about the history teacher, "Was Mr. Powell alive when Thomas Jefferson was elected?"
• spontaneously asking, "Care to dance?" (He was given his first dance lesson by his dad and found the demonstrations of what would happen if you used the wrong feet highly comical.)
• asking about my mom's efforts to bring banned books into the USSR decades ago, "She brought Irish books into Russia?"  (Um, no… that would be "Jewish".)
• telling a family friend, "I'm smarter than Einstein." (We've had several instances this week of him going from tears to mastery rapidly.  Big surprise, he likes the mastery and not the tears.)
• "You did a cute croak!" (He liked the way our friend laughed.)
• pronouncing "enraged" with an "i" and a strong emphasis on the first syllable, IN-raged (It sounds so funny, like he's trying to make the word extra powerful.)
The first dance lesson!

Friday, September 23, 2011

Cider Pressing

Our dwarf apple trees are giving up tons of fruit, so we had our first apple pressing of the season!

Other things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.

Cute antics:
• saying out of the blue, "What should I do? Walk over to Pearl Harbor and sail a ship to Japan and bomb it?"  (We had a chat about people who are no longer our enemies!)
• putting the hose sprayer nozzle in his mouth and… well, you can imagine.
• dancing with his teacher (He really loves her!)
• mentioning as he got into the shower, "Wow, this is as hot as a planetarium."
• saying when upset, "I'm trying not to whine, but it's very difficult, so please don't be frustrated."
• deciding he'd probably need to be a soldier to protect our country (We talked about evaluating that choice based on his thoughts when he's a wee bit older.  The conversation actually went on for a while as we discussed what kind of country he'd want to protect and what that choice would require and it concluded with the thought that he'd evaluate the leaders / principles of America when he was older.  Ya, we talked about insubordination and court marshals too… maybe I should just find a nice beach with a big umbrella?)
• conversation:
Mom: I'm hot.
Cameron: Why?  Because you were burnt May 81st?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Off we go!

Here's to completing my first week as an online science teacher!  We had a bumpy start with technology, but we ironed out the biggest issues and are set to delve into learning the wonders of the human body... fun!

Other good things to share:
This week's Objectivist Round Up.

P.S. Cute antics:
- writing in his daily journal, "There was a plethora of writing!" (Why did he choose that word?  Because it was easier than writing "too much".)
- laughing hysterically at a Victor Borge video while missing most of the jokes.
- getting so into our new book that he's interrupting me to predict dastardly demises of the fierce bears (It's a fun book set in Indiana in the 1820's. So far, the hero has adopted a pair of bear cubs, saved a friend from both a bear and kidnapping, and hunted a vast array of game.)
- laughing hysterically for at least twenty minutes and then bringing me down the giant Clavin and Hobbes comic book so I could share in the joke.  (If he ever duplicates the "joke" and tackles his babysitter dressed as a super hero whose job it is to defeat babysitters and screech in their ears… I would not be surprised.  He definitely has a seven year old's sense of humor!)

Andrew teaching our dance instructor about fencing... we're still having a glorious time dancing!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Pause for Poetry

Feeling a wee bit nervous, but ready to be brave... it's not like I haven't done a ton of patient teaching as a nurse!  I did a little poetry search and found this poem perfectly fit my readiness to delve into online teaching.  Here's to a soaring new adventure!

Take a Chance and Fly
by A.P. Hancock

Let's dare ourselves to take a chance, and ride the big balloon
I know you're scared to dance that dance, but winter's coming soon

I hear that when you start to rise, your heart sinks deep and low
I hear that some will close their eyes, and never see the show

But you and I will hold on tight, and see what we can see
We'll brave the death defying heights, and walk above the trees

We'll catch a glimpse of mountain tops, and float amid the clouds
And when that big boy dips and drops, we'll shout and scream real loud

But we will look and be amazed, at all we never saw
Because our view was never raised, that we might be in awe

And we will not forget those scenes, until the day we die
We'll both be glad we left routine, to take a chance and fly

Yesterday's family exploration of Mt. Rainier's alpine meadows... more new trails to discover.