30 May 2008

An almost-two-year-old's prayer

Hen'ly Fa-dah, tinku a-day. Tinku a Biiig Mess! Jesus Kai, AAAAAAAAAmen!

Or, interpreted:

"Heavenly Father, Thank You For Today. Thank You for The Big mess! Jesus Christ. Amen."

(She's at the stage where she thanks for things that she sees - although she did thank for Grandma's House and Nonna's house the other day!)

28 May 2008

Oh, the Idiocy of Bureaucracy!

So. I am about to pull out my hair and then cram it down the District Person's neck. Or would if I didn't think my hair deserves a much better fate than that.

AGAIN I am forced to drastic measures to get Mr. C to talk to me. I had called about setting up an appointment for this assessment that the Dude was supposed to get and was promptly ignored. The next time I call, I suggest that I just contact the principal and set up a time with her and SHE can commune with Mr. C about all the vagueries of red tape that they want to put up around me. AhHa. Mr. C wants to talk with me immediately.

He gives me the same old line: "thelawisthelawisthelaw" and throws in for some sympathy about not having enough space for the children who actually are supposed to be in Kindergarten according to the law. He relates little testimonials about children that are put up a grade too soon and then their parents have them held back. He listens to me explain again why the Dude is quite ready for kindergarten. He explains that they just don't do assessment tests anymore - that was ten years ago when kindergarten was all about playing. (Which doesn't make sense to me - wouldn't it make more sense NOW to do assessment tests if it's all about the academics?)

His suggestion? Put him in private school for kindergarten and then back to public for first grade with no questions about his age. I explain that as we are a student family, spare cash is not really on hand, besides the fact that all the private kindergartens have been filled and won't have space until 2020, which will be a little late for kindergarten.

Synopsis: No assessment test. Probably no kindergarten for the Dude. I need to write a letter to write down for him everything I've already said (which I'm sure won't get "lost" like my phone calls have been answered).

The Spozo pointed out I've been very conflicted over this whole deal - that if I really wanted this to happen, I would be beating down every door to be making it happen. I confess, I don't really think that this particular kindergarten would have been ideal for him. I'm hoping to find one that will be.

Rejoice with me!

Tonight for dinner, we spooned the refried beans on the Dude's plate and gave the usual shpeel about them being super-duper-excellent healthy food for him (which he has much reason to suspect since for the first 3 and 1/2 years of his life we trained him to avoid ANY contact with them at all!) without much hope that they would actually be consumed. But I guess that "put it in front of them 12 [million] times, and they'll eat it" advice has some truth to it because he ate them and kept eating them without our bobble-headed encouragement for every bite!

He has only one condition: he will only eat them with tortillas. And cheese. With sour cream, too is most preferable. I'm sure this negates a lot of that healthfulness, but I figure the Dude needs fattening.

20 May 2008


I had hidden the Legos well on a high shelf in the usually closed closet that the children are not allowed in for mostly safety reasons (mainly that something might come crashing down on their head or toe or other exposed body part). But the Dude (after not remembering them for a long time) finally remembered them. And asked about them and kept asking about them untilitdrovemealmostcrazy asking about them.

I had forgotten how creative he gets with his Legoing. His new request upon embarking on an art project (and for him, Legos are an ART), is that I do one for him and he does one for me. Today we started with seussian stairways that combined to create spaceships (or something that blasted around the room) and then ended very prosaically with a little red house.

The Dude is so happy free-forming and so stressed out when he's trying to make it Perfect Just Like the Picture, Mommy. Although the little house is charming and his attention to detail is alarming, I find his own creations to be much more interesting and fascinating. Especially since he's starting to come up with stories and reasons for all the kinks here and colors there and tall towers por aquĆ­.

I'll try to remember all those happy creative juices spouting everywhere when I step on the Legos tomorrow. In my bare feet.

17 May 2008

Mistaken Identity

The Sita, Dude and I were looking back through pictures of when they were teeny tiny babies (because that is what the Sita loves MOSTest right now). We played "name that family member" and they did pretty good at distinguishing between grandparents and aunts and uncles- until we got to the Dude's baby pictures! Then they both started consistently labeling the pictures of their Daddy as "Unca Maak!" That brotherly resemblance is much stronger when the Spozo is beardless.

10 May 2008

I'm so spoiled

I had an awesome Mother's Day.

The Spozo let me sleep in AND he made me breakfast (fruit salad, hashbrowns, and orange juice!). At church, the Dude very charmingly got up in front of everyone and didn't hurt himself by launching himself off the stand (but didn't do much singing), the Stripling Warriors were only mentioned once (the same amount The Incredibles were mentioned) AND we get an all-women extravaganza where I get to hear wonderfully inspiring experiences from wonderful, inspiring women AND they feed us a lunch (with cupcakes! mmmm!) while I get to talk to even more women!

The Spozo got me a wonderful magazine subscription that I am super excited about because it focuses "on the daily interactions taking place at home. Although these exchanges are often seen as mundane or inconsequential, the sum of our daily exchanges is what shapes a family, for better or worse." AND it has no ads AND it is just gloriously beautiful looking. The Sita got me Emma (and helped me open the pretty sparkly paper); the Dude got me a short story collection of Orson Scott Card's. AND (this is a big and) the Spozo ordered me a Nikon D80 and a 50mm lens! (I think this also part anniversary present and half-birthday present and general because-you-deserve-it-and-i-love-you present).

I do the snuggle and sing routine with the Rosita for her nap, and then I get to have a serious conversation with the Dude which is always enjoyable and entertaining to hear his views on the world as he knows it.

I ask you, can it get any better?

Well, it did. The day ended with a scrumptious lemon pound cake with strawberries and whipped cream on top (courtesy The Spozo).

What a wonderful day!

06 May 2008

The Wedding by Nicholas Sparks

I mainly picked this book up because I was desperate to read anything, and I had heard that his other book, The Notebook, was really sweet and a successful movie.

I'll admit, I enjoyed reading it, but I can't help wondering if a man would ever read this and enjoy reading it because the story is so girly romantic even though the main character is a man and it's written by a man. Did Mr. Sparks write this hoping to inspire men to stop it with the working all the time and to pay attention to their families? (The whole book was centered around that cliched axiom "no one ever wishes he spent more time at the office") Or at least that they should never, ever forget their 29th wedding anniversary because it might be the death knell for their marriage? Or was it for women to feel understood and wish that their husbands would read it and get a hint?

Some parts resonated with me, and yes, I too wished for some of that romance. But once it was over, I felt no need to reconnect with the characters. Re-reading it would be boring, and my criteria for a great book is that I can reread it over and over and over again and still love it.

If anyone wants it for an evening fling, it's yours!

05 May 2008

1 out of 2 ain't bad

We went to Utah for 2 reasons: to see my Dad and s-i-l run in the SLC marathon AND to see my little brother graduate.

You'd think that after waiting for 3 hours at one checkpoint, I'd have seen Dad go by. But I didn't. Whether this was because I was looking for a guy in a tan shirt and black hat (when he was really wearing a red shirt and red hat), or because I had two small children that were fried by the time he might have passed, or because it was right when I realized that the Sita had erased all the pictures I had taken during the vacation so far from the camera, or perhaps a combination of all three, is not certain. What is very certain is that I did not see him go by. And the brother (cheering on his fit and fabulous wife) did not see him at the finish line, either.

I began pestering race officials about how I would find out if my father had collapsed onto the sidelines or twisted an ankle or had a heart attack, but they couldn't help me. Finally, the brother found an official that could help him and discovered that Dad had finished the race.

Forty-five minutes earlier.

We all congregate at the finish line and spread out in a search pattern to find the missing man. We call all the people we think he might've tried calling, but no one is home. When we find someone home, we only know that he called, but didn't leave any message about where he was or where he would be. I get an irate phone call from my aunt asking me where in the heck I was and why I hadn't picked up my father. I rejoice that she has told him to stay where he was to wait for someone to pick him up -

TWO MILES from the finish line!

We find him (only blocks from where I had been waiting for him to pass for 3 hours!). He stops feeling like no one loves him when he realizes that we've been worrying about him and where he is for 4 hours. We all agree to laugh about it after we loudly and forcefully explain what had been happening to each other.

The graduation was a much easier affair. Cell phones are a most wondrous invention for coordinating with family at large events with many people to get lost between. We listen to a boring graduation speech. We see the brother and hear his name called in the first 10 minutes of the procession. We wait for the next hour and a half for everyone else to walk and shake and shake and smile and get flashed and walk and sit. We smile and take our own pictures then proceed to enjoy some sensuous sandwiches before heading home to collapse in bed.

Well, that's what I should've done. Instead, I went on a date with the SM to get a milkshake and diapers (so romantic!), and proceeded to come down with strep throat the next day. I can't say I recommend doing this to finish up a vacation, but at least I got lots of sympathy (even if I couldn't hold my darling nephew for the first time!)