Monday, November 30, 2009
Saturday, November 28, 2009
- Each of us, by name, several times.
- "nise voises"
- toy saw
- "trick or treat"
- dress ups
We had such a great time, and every day there was excitement over who got to choose the fruit or vegetable to write on for the day. As thrilled as I am to put up our Christmas decorations this weekend... I was sad as I took down the cornucopia from our window. We have so much to be thankful for.
Wednesday, November 25, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Sunday, November 22, 2009
And it's about more than turkey and pumpkin pie, or even getting together with family. It's about a chance to give sincere thanks for everything that we've been given in preparation for the celebration of Christ's birth in December. I have found that the Christmas Spirit is much more powerful if I have spent a lot of time developing a spirit of gratitude and giving the month before.
All month long, in our house, we've been counting our blessings and putting them in our "cornucopia." (A picture of that will come later this week.) We've talked about pilgrims and the native peoples who helped them to save themselves. We've read our very favorite Thanksgiving books, including The Mousery, An Old Fashioned Thanksgiving, Over the River and Through the Woods, and Pumpkins. We've talked about service and put together boxes for Operation Christmas Child. We've been building up to this week.
Today, to start off the actual week of Thanksgiving, I'm using an idea I got from the blog Mustard Seeds, and we made our own lip balm so we can say "Sweet Words of Thanks."
First, we read the following scriptures and talked about HOW we give thanks...
1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 (Through prayer.)
Then we talked about how the way that we give thanks involves our mouths, and how it's good for us to give thanks.
Thursday, November 19, 2009
From Sid the Science Kid, for instance, they learned the very important principle of DECAY. This, it turns out, is really, really useful when watching Mama clean out the fridge. "Ewwww, Mama! Decaaaaaaay! It's decaaaaaay!" Maybe I'll start leaving food in there longer, just so they can have the joy of discovering more decay.
Thank you, Sid.
From Curious George they've learned this: you can get away with almost anything if you're cute enough about it. Like begging for LOTS of red licorice so they can measure how tall they are, looking so serious... like it's a purely scientific pursuit. They'll also throw in there, from Sid, that they're learning about "Nonstandard measurement." At least they didn't dump out an entire box of detergent, unlike my nephew and niece. (This despite the little disclaimer in each episode that says "Curious George is a monkey, so he can do things you CAN'T do." I don't know how that message didn't make it into their craniums.)
Monday, November 16, 2009
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Thursday, November 12, 2009
Oh. The jealousy.
It is a proven fact that it's easier for children to learn languages. The younger that they are, the easier it comes. I read about it in a trustworthy magazine somewhere, although I don't remember where, but it was probably at a doctor's office, so it's true.
At the beginning of the school year, I was alarmed to see that my daughter was going to have one day a week of Spanish as part of her school curriculum. My daughter was going to know a language that I did not. It's bad enough that my husband speaks Spanish and Russian. I find it intolerable if he knows stuff I don't know, let alone my 5 year old. Since my neural pathways are hardening as we speak, I decided that I needed to remedy the situation with all possible rapidity. (Great word. Rapidity. Sounds so Dickensian.) Spanish strikes me as taking less effort to learn than Russian, so I decided to start there.
My neighbor down the street is from Peru, so she offered to come over and teach me. We started with the months of the year. (Which, by the way, seemed a little odd to me because on a list of "critical to know" phrases in any foreign language the months of the year wouldn't be at the top of my list. From my personal experience, the most important phrases to know would be "Where is the bathroom?","How much does it cost?","Is there any alcohol in this?", and "Uh-oh. I think I'm starting my period." You do not want to have to resort to charades to be understood, trust me.)
I dutifully committed the months of the year to my memory and began working on the days of the week. Numbers. Members of the family. I even made some flashcards.
But it was always lurking that my daughter's neural pathways were speeding along, and she and her dad would have a special Spanish Speakers Only club.
But tonight we were driving home and she started babbling in some incoherent language, so I babbled back. We exchanged nonsense back and forth for several minutes, and then I said "That was a great made-up language!"
Her eyes looked at me seriously in the rear view mirror and she said "Mama, THAT was not a pretend language. THAT was Spanish."
And BOY was I surprised! Because I didn't even know I spoke Spanish already. I guess I don't need those lessons after all.
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
1. Have you called Poison Control at least once in the past week?
Yes (5 points for each time you've called.) No (0 points)
2. How many of your children are currently sick?
1 point, per child, per illness. (For example, if little Suzy has a case of the green apple quickstep AND a raging case of the flu, that's two points.)
3. In the past week when making dinner, say--lentil soup--you
manage to catch something on fire.
Yes (10 points) No (5 points) Never (0 points)
4. True or False: A hot dog, with a vitamin filled dollop of ketchup, is a nutritious breakfast and a fabulous way to begin your child's day.
Absolutely (5 points) If I'm desperate (2 points) No (0 points) Vegetarian (-5 points)
5. You are already listening to Christmas music.
Yes (7 points) No (3 points)
6. Does your family have a list of Appropriate Places to Be Naked Policy? (Such as, your bedroom and bathroom are fine, but the kitchen and front yard are not.) If yes, 10 points.
7. Who has eaten more of the Halloween Candy, you or your children?
You (5 points) Your children (7 points) Equal amounts (10 points)
8. Does you child know what a cornucopia is? If yes, 5 points.
9. How many nights this week have you gone to bed and left the dishes in the sink? 1 point/day. Bonus point if the dishes from the day before spend the night in the sink for two nights.
10. Give yourself one point for each time you've gotten up with a child this week. Give yourself two points for each time that your spouse has gotten up with a child this week.
30-50... With just a little more ambition, you too could be the kind of mother that I am. A little less laundry, a little more facebook, and you should be just fine.
10-30... Hey, we all have our down weeks. Maybe you could set some goals. Start with this simple exercise: do all of your parenting from a sitting position for a day or two. It will have you well on your way.
0-10... Really?? I mean, really? How are we friends???
Sunday, November 8, 2009
I wanted to find some GOOD recipes well before the big day, so that I don't spend the day miserable and whining/wishing for my Cranberry Velvet pie with orange shortbread crust from last year.
A moment of silence for that pie.
Anyway, I remembered a crustless pumpkin pie that I made for my mother when she was here for Thanksgiving three years ago, and decided to try it again--I remember it being really, really delicious.
GLUTEN FREE Crustless Pumpkin Pie
2 cups pureed pumpkin
1 1/4 c. sugar (I use a little less.)
3/4 c. evaporated milk (yes, you can use skim.)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/4 tsp. cinnamon (puh-lease. I use this as a starting point and dump the stuff in.)
If you DON'T need to eat gluten free, add 3 T. flour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together until smooth. Resist the urge to eat it by the spoonful. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie plate, and then dump it in. Taste a little bit with your pinky finger. Resist the urge to do it again. Place the pie plate on a cookie sheet. (The regular metal kind. NOT the bake stone kind. Trust me.) Pour hot water on the cookie sheet until you've got an even 1/2 inch or so. Place in the oven. Careful--don't dump the water. Bake for 50-55 minutes. Cool. Add whipped cream. Devour. You can even share if you like.
Mmmmm.... what was that other kind of pie I had last year?? I don't remember...
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I was made aware, earlier this week, of a BLACK FRIDAY SPECIAL... on Saturday. There was a bunch of stuff... X-box... blueray... big ol' white trash televisions... and, oooooh--laptops! "At least 10 per store."
My family goes through laptops like most families go through, oh, I dunno. Shampoo. There is a veritable graveyard of laptops clustered around my feet. Most of them recently refurbished, and totally useless. Their causes of death range from "Stepped on the day that it was opened" to "Possessed by demons."
So I got up this morning at quarter to six and took my super-awesome Kate Gosselin haircut to the local Valmart. The parking lot was alarmingly full, and not everyone could be stocking up on emergency supplies of Baby Motrin or Gingerale and saltines. (My only other reasons, before today, to show up at, pre-dawn, at Valmart.) So I Senior Olympics speed-walked (cutting through the Intimates and Pubescent Boys section) to Electronics. There was a single worker there, who looked at me with raised eyebrows.
"Laptops. On sale." I gasped, out of breath.
"Ya'll realize that's you gots to wait, right?" he said kindly.
"Yup. 8:00." I chirped, waving my tattered copy of Harry Potter.
"Oh wow. You's prepahred. Well. Go head. Wait on them benches in Site to Store."
I walked back to Site to Store and plunked down on a black iron bench, and felt really foolish. Wishing for my bed, I opened up Harry Potter to the first page.
And then, I heard them coming. A herd. Soon--all the benches were full and the line twisted down the toy aisle and out of sight. I didn't feel so foolish anymore.
The girl next to me, a state trooper, happily opened the latest celebrity magazine and gave her thoughtful opinions of celebrity romances, children, and boob jobs. ("That's never gonna work." seemed to be the general consensus, for all three.) A worker got off of work and plunked herself down in her blue vest, asking us each in turn was WE were there for. A guy on a cell phone was taking off-sight orders and planning how to sell things on craigslist.
The time ticked by. Word leaked from the jumpy manager's walkie-talkie that there was only one laptop available. The rest would be rain checks. People shuffled nervously.
Then 8:00 came.
And I left the store, with the people in line staring daggers at my back, with the single, brand spankin' new laptop.
And there was rejoicing throughout all the land. Or at least in my house.
But please, let this laptop last more than one Christmas....
Monday, November 2, 2009
- I just don't know what to tell you.
- I really think we might be able to write a paper on this.
- Huh. Well that's weird.
- Let me check with my medical dictionaries and get back to you.
- Really? I just figured you knew more about it than I did.
- My colleagues are gonna freak.
- Do you know where to get more information on this?
- Wanna see something cool?
- Oh my gosh! You have GOT to take a look at this!
All of which I heard at my doctor's office today.