Me and my kiddo

Me and my kiddo

Monday, January 23, 2012

Ice Mess

It's been almost 5 days without internet and half of my neighborhood is still without power!  In the eight years we've lived in the Pacific Northwest, I've never seen such outages!  But... internet is back and I love technology :)  So, here's the latest cute antics and I'll get caught up!

Cute antics:

• "I knew that pacifically that basketball he liked." (That would be "especially".  He was telling me how he traded a ball on the recess playground because he knew which one was another kid's favorite.)

• singing "Oh my god, I'm the best kid around in the universe!" (He's been playing with semicolons and actually used one correctly.  When I told him how long it took me to understand semicolons, this was his response.)

• responding to my statement that "I've got to figure out what's going on with this body of mine."[headaches] with, "Oh, it's being hazardous to your health."

• requesting, "Would you gore me with a fang or a sword or a scimitar or a knife?"  (?!?!?!)

• during one of his rare bored comments, I suggested the Persians against the Greeks with legos and then I wondered if he had Greeks yet and he said, "Nope, I'm still at the Mycaneans."

• trying to close the hot dog package with tape

Decked out in three shirts, three pants, and three pairs of socks so he could independently explore the beginning snows of the blizzard

Monday, January 16, 2012

Trustee from the Toolroom Review

When I was doing a brief scan of Facebook, I saw this note from Yaron Brook:

I almost never recommend books on this page. I am not a literary expert and don't like making recommendations about things I am not expert in. However, I just finished a book that is so anti-modern, that is - it is so benevolent, pro-mind, pro-business, pro-life, with not a hint of cynicism -- that I have to recommend it to you. If you want to experience the world as it should be (and to some extent once was) then read this novel:

I was intrigued and reserved the audio version from the library.  After finishing, I recommended it to my dad (an avid reader) and an engineering friend and then... I just kept thinking about all the endearing aspects of this novel and all the different ways it enchanted me.

I love the way the main character treats children with respect and kindness.  He is so tentative and yet he approaches his niece with the honesty, warmth, and a genuine view of her as worthy of being engaged rationally.  There's a moment early on when he shares some frightening news in what I find an absolutely perfect parenting moment.  I was all grins and just so impressed with finding this moment in literature.

I love that the main character is an independent thinker without coming across as a conspicuous hero.  He evaluates his brother's actions for himself and decides what he thinks.  He acknowledges feelings like fear and thinks for himself about what his next best action should be.  He shows attention to detail, doing things right,  because he has evaluated the results of both choices.  Finally, he chooses his career in a manner that disregards consideration of norms- he focuses on what will make him most happy and achieves that feat.

I love that this book shows a man doing something totally out of his norm, but totally consistent with his character, and... succeeding.   The main character is not the only one that does this; the simple captain also achieves this kind of success.  Dr. Brook is correct that this book presents a gloriously benevolent story.  I think the lesson is there for everyone that such successes are possible to virtuous people pursuing rational values.  Again, this book does not present virtuous people as super heroes, but regular people thinking independently and making their own choices.

So, I recommend this book to everyone.  I'd never heard of the author (Nevil Shute) before, but I just finished listened to another one of his novels (A Town Like Alice) which was also delightful (but not as much so as Trustee from the Toolroom).  Here's to literature that nurtures us to introspect, learn, and grow.

Let it snow!

It's so pretty outside with snow borders on everything, but not much depth.  For the last two days, we've had these brief blizzards where we get an inch and then it melts and then six hours later the same thing happens.  It's perfect weather for snuggling at home, but it's not that cold if you need to go out :)

Other things to share:
Cute antics:

• after another homework session where he was cranky and showing poor effort, I commented "It seems like you're saying to yourself. 'I hate this.  I want it to be over.' and then you take it out on me and neither of us are happy about that."  I suggested he say to himself, "I'm going to do this once and I'm going to do it well."   He paused, looked thoughtful, and then drawled, "Ya… I think that you have a point there."  

• requesting, "Would you let me squirm!"

• when poked in the stomach for being obnoxious, he giggled "I like that insult!"

• reading about farrows in a tree while reading the Greek myths, Cameron interrupted and said, "Farrows! We're not anywhere near Egypt!"

• rough housing so his shirt got pulled up, he declared "You are really making me very exposed."

• laughing exuberantly when I pointed out Orpheus and Cerberus are like fluffy and the trio in Harry Potter (He thought Rowling had made it up completely and felt like he was now in on the secret.)

• bargaining with himself, "Three pieces of cheese and a touch of rosemary for M&Ms."
[Mom watching has he has a teaspoon of some spice and downs it. Tosses the spoon in the sink and bolts to gulp a cup of water.]
"It scalded my throat."
[I showed him rosemary is greenish, but he insisted it was red… like on eggs.  Andrew used to put paprika on eggs.  I showed him the paprika and then identified his "rosemary" as… cayenne pepper.]
• sending a thank you note for lego figurines he wrote, "The lego people got turned into the persian Empire.  Except one who was turned into the best French lieutenant."

• placing his fingers like on the home row and tapping his ribs, "I'm typing on them."
Enjoying a gluten-free chocolate volcano cake… he had me cut it into quarters and heat each piece so he could relish it in sections.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Greek Myths

As we've finally reached Athens in our ancient history class, I've begun reading the Greek Myths to my kiddo again.  He wasn't ready before, but he certainly is now and we're making it a nightly snuggle time :)

Other things to share:
• This week's Objectivist Round Up
• my friend Jason has put together a cool website connecting those people who want to read Ayn Rand books but can't afford it with those willing to donate:
• delightful readings of these two paintings:

This week's Cute antics:

• commenting when I didn't get the dice roll I wanted, "Your wish has been ignored."

• sticking the thermometer in his belly button and saying, "My tummy is 97.6."

• asking, "Did the Jews invent scissors?" (I'm not sure where that came from.  We were opening a box.  He added, "Maybe they could use scimitars."  We clearly missed some connection there.)

• after hearing that Jews were in every country he said, "Oh, Jews are conquering everybody."  (Um, we had a little history review about Jewish history not involving much conquering.)
• proposing that we go to visit my parents and spend the night in the Ritz.  [I grabbed the iPhone to let him consider the use of his funds and found the Ritz in San Francisco cost 400-700 dollars per night.]  We had fun imagining and Cameron finally concluded, "We're not going to the Ritz."

• contemplating the Middle East situation he got this exasperated voice and declared, "Alright, let's take the founding fathers and substitute them for these presidents Teddy and Truman and Wilson and.. " (He went on and was quite clear that the founding fathers needed to live at least a thousand years so he'd be happier with history.)

• finishing shuffling the cards and calling me from the kitchen, "Parcheesi has descended from interest.  'Hit the Deck' has ascended to interest.  Will your excellency come over please?"

Before Parcheesi "descended from interest"

Arriving to listen to Greek myths wearing a pajama top on his top and a different pajama top on his bottom… I'm used to the backwards and inside out clothing, but this was different.