Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Skadi pictures

Welcome Skadi Jeanne!

Baby girl, Skadi Jeanne, was born Friday, 3-23-2007 at 1:59pm! She weighed in at 7 lbs 15 oz and is 19" long. We are home and doing well.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Oh and one more

Stranger Than Fiction... Rent it now.

Tivo has saved me

I have ranted about Disney and other "kid friendly" movies before. There are a lot of movies out there seemingly aimed at kids that are just not what I deem appropriate. Then sure, I notice that they are rated PG. Why? I mean yes, they should be PG, but why make an animated movie that you don't want little kids watching. One Leif would love is Shark Tale. He is all about sharks right now. But 15 minutes after AB Tivo'd it and sat down to watch it with Leif he shut it off. Said it was hilarious, but not for Leif. Yeah, rated PG.

Ok, so here is where I probably go over the edge as an overprotective parent. Even the G movies get me. Do you know how many Disney rated G movies out there have the line "shut up" in them. I ignored it in Finding Nemo, I thought it was played cutely in Brother Bear, but wasn't thrilled. Then I was even less thrilled when Leif was repeating it verbatim from Brother Bear. I don't think he gets what it is, but at 2.5, I am just not thrilled with "shut up" becoming part of his vocab. So AB and I catch it on Brother Bear and skip that part most of the time.

Then there are other problems with the rated G movies, The Little Mermaid, which is one of Leif's favorites right now. Oh wait, the part where the shark chases Ariel and Flounder is one of his favorites, the rest of the movie isn't so great. But as a woman I have a problem with Ariel having to use her body to woo her potential suitor. Spirit, Stallion of the Cimmaron I mentioned previously I found too violent for toddlers... The list goes on. Yes, I am an overly protective mom.

Oh and if it isn't being overly protective it's the music! Does Phil Collins need to do the score for every.single.Disney.movie? No, the one he didn't do (Spirit), Brian Adams picked up. Just shoot me now.

So there's my litany of problems with children's movies out there. There are very few that don't fall onto my list of dislikes for any various number of random reasons. Monsters Inc is great, but has taught me son how fun it is to scare people. Great.

But you will be happy to hear that I was saved last weekend! I occasionally run across TV shows or movies while surfing on Tivo for things to record. I found and recorded, with loads of skepticism this last weekend, Curious George. The animated version with Will Farrell as the man in the yellow hat and Drew Barrymore as a teacher.

Love it. Oh and guess who does the entire soundtrack? Jack Johnson.

Leif loves "George movie" and will watch the whole thing (if I let him).

Another? For those times when shows less than 30 minutes are sought after, and the Little Einsteins might just send you careening over the edge? Babar, the animated series on some obscure channel... Quobo? Leif LOVES "elephant movie". I like that each one aims to teach a lesson, he likes the elephants. The only drawback is that there is a block of commercials smack in the middle of each one. And so far the episodes we have seen, that block of commercials starts off with Tana (from Apprentice fame) trying to hock her "Bedazzler". (Rolling my eyes.)

Leif has yet to "get" commercials, so we have to be quick and fast forward it or else is he disappointed it is over already. But Tana's irritating voice will soon prompt us into action.

So there are our two recommendations, animated Babar series and animated Curious George.

(And I need advice from other parents... Happy Feet comes out on DVD this week. Yay or nay?)

Monday, March 19, 2007

Because I can't help it

I hate those blogs that are simply whinefests. Yeah, yeah, so and so said this and you didn't like it, yadda yadda yadda. Substance please. But it is Monday night, I am past term pregnant, give me my 10 minutes (or more) of whine. (Particularly since the red version is off limits for at least a few more days.) Skip it if you are like me and can't stand to hear moaning.

The bright spot of my day today was the non-stress test at the hospital. It reassured us that despite be overly pregnant, the baby is strong and healthy. For details skip over to the pregnancy blog.


Let's start with daycare. When you call me and tell me my child is sick, when I or my husband shows up to pick him up AT naptime, he better darn well have some type of symptom of what you are accusing. AB questioned it upon arriving, but didn't want to be *that* parent. The teacher apologized (why apologize, if you believe he is sick, back it up and tell us why).

He apparently had (for a whole 10 minutes) conjunctivitis (aka pink eye). The symptoms? His eye was red and he had a little white gunk in the corner. Yeah, so not pink eye. But what can you do? AB hauled him home, I got him into the doctor (one we hadn't seen to this point) while nearly in tears to the nurse saying "I am sorry but I am 40 weeks pregnant and if he does have pink eye, we need to get him and I treated as soon as possible". They heard the desperation in my voice.

AB walked in with a smiling little boy (who should have been napping). Pink eye? None. And I am a seasoned veteran. Magnet for pink eye. We hauled him into the doctor's office to either get a prescription or a note saying he did not have pink eye. The nurse took us back and rolled her eyes... "he does not have pink eye," she says then adds, "but the doctor will take a look".

Doctor agrees. But then starts the questions about which daycare is this? When we tell her, she rolls her eyes and says, "aww yes, we have had more than our fair share of kids from there with supposed ailments". Then she adds that this is going on her list of documentation because they are about ready to go down and educate the caregivers themselves on what a sick child is and what common ailments are. She told us of one woman who had been in three times in one week with her son, never sick, but after $60 in copays and three doctor's notes to go back to daycare she was at her wits end and begging her to help her do something to end this litany.

Sorry daycare. Hate to do it, but this is not the first time Leif was sent home "sick" and was anything but.

And he consequently had no nap. 5-7:30pm? M.I.S.E.R.Y.


Second rant... my husband wants a job. He got a call back from a job he wanted badly today. It was a no go. The guy was super nice and said they were impressed by his resume but had found someone with a little better qualifications, asked him to keep in touch. Hey, so that was a good contact at least, they called which was far more than some others do. But it was a job he wanted so bad.


Third rant... a close family member owes us a little bit of money. It isn't a case where they actually asked to borrow money. It is one of those Christmas, everyone chip in for the gift things where AB and I did the collection and purchase of said gift. Evidently the person can't afford it, I get that, I understand it, but don't commit to it. We have written it off and aren't bringing it (or the other no-show gift up she committed to in our gift exchange). But then when we get gifts for Leif from this person it is hard to just ignore the failed commitments we have forgiven due to her lack of money situation.


Or how about the underwriter for my short term disability (aka maternity leave). I went on disability last week since I was having constant contractions and was considered full term pregnant. They called today to find out the day I had my baby since I went on disability 5 days ago for contractions. I had to have had it by now.

Ever seen those people on TV who get so mad their phone ends up in bits?


Last one, I promise. We had portraits done over 4 weeks ago. The proofs were to be online within 2.5 weeks. I asked the photographer at the time to try to be timely with them because I was getting so close to my due date.

Over 4 weeks later and her website has been revamped, she started a blog. But do I have my proofs? Nope.

After 4 attempts at contacting her she return e-mailed me this past Saturday saying her daughter had been sick last week. Great, but that doesn't account for the first 3 weeks... whatever. I cut her some slack because she said she would have the proofs by the end of the day Saturday, and if she couldn't do that it would be absolutely by the end of the day Sunday.

It's Monday night. Do you think I have proofs?

Methinks she has my $200 gift certificate in hand and isn't too worried about it.


But you know what went a long way to cure things today? Going to Maggie Moo's for ice cream mid-afternoon and hearing Leif marvel about his "special yellow ice cream".

Or sitting in the bath with him this evening and hearing him modify the song "If you are happy and you know it" for his little wind up dolphin. ("If you happy know it flap your tail dolphin...")

(There I at least ended on a happy note!)

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Why do I pay people to photograph my son?

Seven years ago today

AB and I stood in a church at Lake Tahoe vowing before all our friends and family to love each other forever. It was a great day. The weather was perfect, the photographer did a fabulous job, the flowers were perfect, the reception outstanding, the DJ... left lots to be desired (who plays Greg Kihn Bands "Our Love's In Jeopardy" at a wedding?), but at least there was no chicken dance or macarena. Best of all was having our friends and family there to celebrate with us.

I cannot believe it has been seven years. It seems as though it was just yesterday. Seven year itch? None here. (AB jokes that we got married right about the time of our seven year itch.)

We are celebrating a low key anniversary today. I hate to admit I haven't even bought him a card, though I did promise a boat building book if he wanted to pick one out. It does appear though that our anniversary will continue to be our anniversary though and not the "second child's birthday/our anniversary".

AB made Swedies for breakfast. We went for a walk this morning. AB has pulled his lamb out of the fridge and has started giving thought to preparation. So far, it's a perfect day!

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The best cookies ever

The best chocolate chocolate chip cookie ever.

For a long time I searched for a good chocolate chocolate chip cookie. I found these a year and a half or so ago. I first made them when a couple of my coworkers held a few packages of mine hostage at work in exchange for baked goods while I was on travel. I returned with a plate of these cookies and got rave reviews and recipe requests. I hadn't made them since then, the recipe had been scootched to the back of my binder. But I found it today and Leif helped me.

This week I have been doing a lot of cooking in addition to baking. I did a corned beef today in honor of St. Paddy's day, even though we all forgot to wear green. I baked some new red potatoes and AB made a cabbage dish that was quite excellent too.

Tomorrow we are enjoying, for our anniversary, lamb shwarmas, which we are hoping will give us some little taste of the wonderful lamb shwarmas at Truly Mediterannean in San Fran. AB has been marinating the leg of lamb for two days now and is anxiously awaiting tossing it on coals tomorrow.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

A hockey puck and a baseball bat

I was lulled, ever so gently, into a false sense of security. You see I made chocolate chip cookies. They were delicious. AB even commented that he didn't know why I didn't make them more often and told Leif they were going to have to make me make another batch.

I blame them. It is their fault and their inhaling of my chocolate chip cookies that made me think that baking bread was a good idea. In one of my magazines recently they showed a picture of a tangy sourdough loaf filled with decadent chocolate chunks. Ok, so I knew I needed to master the sourdough loaf first before the addition of dark chocolate.

The recipe was easy enough and I have good starter in my fridge (we have been enjoying sourdough pancakes about every other weekend). It's that yeast addition thing in baking that just KILLS me. Absolutely kills me.

Thankfully I had some raising effect throughout the.entire.day due to the sourdough.

AB has been good at humoring me. "Mmm, this is good bread," he announced before dinner while trying to chew a slice. (I rolled my eyes at him.) We had decided to have baked rigatoni so we could have fresh garlic bread with it. We didn't even make garlic bread. Why ruin the meal of baked rigatoni?

The round loaf resembles a hockey puck in consistency and likely durability. The long French loaf probably has that same hollow echoing crack as a baseball bat when used for the same purpose.

Yeast is hereby banned from my kitchen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Follow ups

Just to follow up on a few recent posts...

The owl. Apparently the owl lives in the creek gully. We have gone down and watched him a few times. I took my digital camera and snapped some pictures, but none came out well. I did buy a roll of film and pulled our uber expensive (7 years ago) Canon EOS Rebel with telefoto lenses out the other day to take on our walks. Of course yesterday when I did this, he wasn't there. I will get some good pictures!

This evening we went to the river after picking Leif up from daycare. I know, I know, it isn't a good idea to feed the wildlife, but I brought two hamburger buns with for Leif to feed the ducks. Or snow geese as the case was. Those things are huge! They went nuts. In fact, at one point Leif and I were about to get mauled by snow geese and AB had to release Winny to control the situation. ;-)

(It was kind of like my in laws stories about feeding the moose in Alaska, they knew they weren't supposed to, but how can you resist? Until the moose tries to come in your house...)

Leif was over the moon!


The third room. We visited the other room at daycare and were 100% completely sold. Ok, AB was sold before I was. I took a little convincing to give up the language aspect of the one room and to realize that the animals were cool in the other room, but they were just an ornament of such. What really sold us was the warmth and the cultural aspect of the room. The head teacher is from Bangladesh and the kids do a unit on Bangladesh that is a real hit. One of the work stations was a traditional Bangladesh tea set that the kids could go and make tea at. I loved it.

Not only did the teachers interact well and warmly with the kids, but also in a fun and joking manner with each other. I loved seeing them wander around the kids and interact. I also recognized that there was more "partner" work in this room than the others. We have a winner.


I am home on maternity leave even though there is no baby yet. For the current update click over to the pregnancy blog on the side. I am enjoying my time at home and I plan to do some sewing tomorrow. The main drawback is that I have to share the computer with AB. But it is fun being home with him - though he really wishes he was working.

Monday, March 12, 2007


I have never been a Lladro fan. Until I saw this in my Food and Wine magazine tonight while I sat in the bathroom watching Leif splash water all over.

Both Vargas Girl and I have collections of wine stoppers. We used to find cool stoppers and buy two. (This was back when I had more cash floating around and more willingly spent money on frivolous pretty things.) I saw this new line and immediately thought of her this evening.

We started this tradition when we first caught up with each other after about 8 years. We bought these heavy stoppers from Williams Sonoma and the tradition just evolved.

Among the quirky and cute little stoppers we have found, we also have a few collector pieces from Neimen Marcus and my personal favorite is the Versace Medusa head stopper made by Rosenthal.

If AB gets this new job HE is coveting... I am ordering two. (And a Coach purse)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Nature Nuts

The topic of vacations came up on one of my discussion boards recently. Essentially, where would you take children under 5 on a family vacation? I was very surprised by the responses.

I lived in Central Wyoming until I was about 13 years old. I would venture to say we were a pretty average family for the area. My dad worked in the mines, my mom was a SAHM and we took a summer vacation each year. I looked forward to these vacations and still remember many of them very distinctly.

The first vacation I remember well must have been when I was about 3.5. My little sister was tiny, and it was still hot out. We drove to South Dakota and visited Mt. Rushmore (we rode the tram and my mom was afraid of heights - and holding a tiny baby), Reptile Gardens (I rode a turtle) and Flintstones (yes there really is a Bedrock). It was probably the next year that I remember going to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone. I was so excited to visit Yellowstone and kept my eyes peeled for bears the entire drive. I remembered seeing pictures of bears coming up to cars and couldn't wait to see one myself. (We never did see one.)

Jackson Hole was at that time a scenic little fun town, not the bustling high end movie star haven that it is now. I remember seeing Old Faithful in Yellowstone and asking lots of questions, why does the water come up every 45 or so minutes, where does it come from, I was riveted. We stayed in a little cabin and our number was C-5 (I had to memorize this and remember it because all the cabins looked alike).

The following summer we went to Denver and stood in line to see one of the first showings of a new movie called Star Wars. I remember driving into the huge city and gawking at the sky scrapers. My big score that trip was a cassette tape and book for the movie Star Wars. I am pretty sure I wore it out simply on the 6 hour drive back from Denver. We shopped that trip and I remember my parents buying a pachinko machine that my sister and I played with for years to come. We went to Casa Bonita and I think that was my first trip to an amusement park, Elitches. I still have the ruler I chose using the tickets I won from Skee Ball.

There were many other summer vacations. Some were just weekend trips to Thermopolis, WY to swim in the hot springs. Other times we went north to Devil's Tower. Or maybe even just camping trips out to Alcova or Pathfinder Reservoir with friends. (Where I would scout for arrowheads and eventually amassed a pretty good collection.)

AB had similar experiences growing up in Alaska. He grew up in a middle class family of six. If they were flying out of Alaska for vacation, it was to the Seattle/Puget Sound area to visit his dad's family. Leaving Alaska was horribly expensive and so their vacations consisted of lots of camping and fishing. From an early age AB became a woodsman and still has very fond memories of arriving at a campsite and heading out to collect wood and as he got older, get the fire started. My MIL tells stories of packing up the three little boys and their camping gear and heading down to the Kenai Peninsula to go camping. AB remembers catching his first Sockeye when he was 7.

A few years ago a woman I work with told me (as she rolled her eyes) that she and her husband were taking their son to Disneyland for their summer vacation that year. I commented that she didn't seem that excited about it. She replied, "I'm not, but if he doesn't get to Disney before he is in kindergarten this fall, he will be left out". The way she said this was similar to how I hear parents talk and worry about their kids entering kindergarten without the necessary academic skills.

My grandmother took my sister and I to Southern California and to Disneyland, Knotts Berry Farm, SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo when I was 13. I was at that horrible awkward age and add to it too old for the kids stuff and too young for many of the older rides, plus the fact that amusement park rides in general are not something I find fun. I spent much of the time arguing with my grandmother. It was fine. I suppose I had a good time. I actually attribute most of my indifference towards the trip as being at "that age". Had I been younger, I would have likely enjoyed it a lot more. My main concern was finding an authentic Swatch to buy and dreaming about getting a tan (something that has never happened in my entire life).

Frankly the thought of hauling even one child under 5 to any theme park strikes me as pure misery. Yet I was very surprised to hear theme parks being the recommendation of choice on where to go for summer vacation with kids under 5.

If you read my life list you may have noted that many of the things I want to do in life and want to take my kids to see are among natural wonders. Ok, I admit it, AB and I are nature nuts. Last summer we went to Mt. Rainier with friends and I know that Leif and C loved it. They walked the shorter (about 2 miles) nature loops, they played around camp and never seemed bored. In October we went and spent 4 or 5 days at the coast. Leif and I beachcombed with grandma and grandpa, we picked blackberries and we hung out on the deck. Not once did I ever wonder if he was bored. Leif has an intense fascination with animals, not surprisingly, and enjoys walking and hiking. We plan to encourage this.

This isn't to say that Disney isn't on our list at some point. I know Leif would love it - he points out Mickey Mouse regularly. But the crunchy side of me really rebels against the commercialism and the waste (the environmental impact as well as the piles of money to maintain these sites). So what is my point? Not to make anyone feel bad for opting for theme park vacations... truthfully would I rather have the millions tromping through the national parks instead? Probably not. I suppose my point is a reminder of all the wonderful places and things we have in our own backyards and to give even little kids a chance to fall in love with nature and history, not to assume that they will be bored by it.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

I love this quote

"You may have tangible wealth untold; Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be - I had a mother who read to me."

Strickland Gillilan, American writer 1869-1954

Friday, March 09, 2007

The coolest thing

I convinced Leif to leave daycare today with promises of a walk where we would go look for ducks. We got home and headed out on our walk with Winny and Daddy. Down the path to the creek near our house. No ducks. AB and Leif headed on deeper into the brush while I stayed on the level ground waiting. I looked across the creek and at the nests in the trees, magpie nests I assumed.

Then I saw one of those owl decoys in the trees, just like the one I bought at Walmart to try and scare away the stupid robins that attack our windows in the spring. (That doesn't work.) I couldn't figure out why someone would actually hike down and put a decoy in a tree though... Suddenly the decoy moved. Then it dawns on me... it wasn't an owl decoy, it was a huge owl! A horned owl of some sort, my guess is a Great Horned Owl.

I called AB to bring Leif, told him I saw an owl. It was close enough that Leif could make it out and marvelled at it. After a few minutes it flew off. Leif looks at me and says, "see again, I want to see again!"

So cool. I have never seen a live owl in the wild before! I can now add it to my growing list of wildlife I have seen.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Open mouth insert foot - communicable disease or trait of the physicist?

A nuclear physicist friend of mine stopped by my office today to check on my status (as did seriously everyone else who has access to my building). He has a daughter who is about 6 months older than Leif and so after he finds out that yes, I am still here, we of course talk about kids. His daughter is enrolled in preschool a few days a week and I asked how that was going.

"It's going well," he tells me, "E is just so smart. I know a lot of people whose kids are enrolled in that Montessori school and she is just so much smarter than all of them, and they are older than her!"

Which reminds me of while I was on maternity leave and I remember seeing Dr. Phil roll his eyes and say, "everyone thinks their kid is the next Einstein".

I remind my friend that Leif is actually enrolled in that school.

That should serve as a hint not to go bashing the program. But no. My friend delved into the "depths" of his interpretation of the fundamental problems with the Montessori program. Funny though, how none of these complaints were things I have ever heard before, nor would even characterize as part of the Montessori program. Statements like "well I just think that kids can't possibly learn from play" (most people I know bend the opposite way and say they can't enroll their kids in Montessori because they need to play and be kids) and "if you give a child a choice between playing a game or sitting and learning a fact, they will always play".

I just didn't have anything to say. I made a few very slight attempts at correcting his misconceptions, and then decided forget it. They want a preschool program that his daughter can go to for 2.5 hours a day and he has made it clear that having a teacher standing at a chalkboard in a classroom is important to him and that he believes that the Montessori kids inevitably fall behind. (Seriously contemplating sending him the October article from Science magazine...)

I guess I just wasn't in the mood to defend my choices. And maybe part of it is that right now I feel as though I am so engulfed in the choices surrounding my son's eventual transition to preschool that I just didn't have the energy for it.

See we are right now getting ready for the kids to move up to "primary", the real Montessori preschool/kindergarten program since what the kids are in now is a modified Montessori toddler program. In our school we, as parents, get a choice of a number of rooms that all offer different things.

My brain is flooded. It wouldn't be so bad if we were talking about one year. But no, we are talking about one room for the next three years. Two years of preschool and then one year of kindergarten (should we keep Leif there for kindergarten over public school). Given that, it seems like such a huge decision. Add in the fact that all the rooms are different, it is inevitable that you hear stories about the rooms, and the teachers... and our heads are spinning.

We have, at present, narrowed the selection down to two rooms. Of course tomorrow could complicate our decision as upon advisement from Leif's current teacher, we have opted to look at yet another classroom she thinks he would like. Leaving out the possibility of the third room complicating the decision this is where we stand:

Room number 1 (named so because we saw it first this morning) - Has a focus on animals. They do lots of nature walks and a variety of field trips each year. The teacher has been there for 12 years and is a very grandmotherly sort. They also have a close relationship with a local nursing home and visit every other month. Leif has been wandering in that room since he started at the school. He is enamored with the animals and the teacher has always shown a fondness for him. She stopped us on the way out and expressed her gratitude in us taking the time to come in and visit. The downside is that I have "heard" that there are a couple "difficult" children in this classroom right now.

Room number 2 - They teach Spanish, they have a few animals in the room (will be getting a hamster, they have a fish bowl and a walking stick insect). It is said to be one of the warmer rooms (wrt to the teachers) and we saw this, children were routinely given hugs. They study particular topics (right now it is Africa) and do activities associated with those topics. We got great vibes from the teachers and at the end of the day when I picked up Leif (we visited in the morning) one of the teachers came by and talked and met Leif.

If it were a one year program, we would choose room #1 without a doubt. Let Leif get his animal fill of the animals and then move him to a more learning oriented room. (Strictly my impression.) If we were choosing a room based solely off what Leif would want and love, we would choose room #1. He whines most afternoons to go in and see the animals on his way out.

But if we are choosing the rooms based off what we think is "best" for Leif, it will be room #2.

I suppose I hope that room #3 will clarify things for us. But the only way it can is if we walk in and are wow'd. Somehow I don't see that happening and at best I can add a room #3 conundrum to my mix.

I swore when I had Leif that I wouldn't get caught up in all the parent madness and obsessiveness. Kids are versatile, they are resilient, they aren't perfect and they really need very little. But here I am, neurosing about which class to enroll my son in, in what I believe and hear to be one of the top preschools in the area. Obsessiveness has set in.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Lesson learned today...

I really do know my kid and I need to not be afraid to speak up and be his voice. And I hope the dental hygienist who worked with us also learned a lesson too. That not all kids fit into one category and to listen to the parents, sometimes they do know what they are talking about. Also that it is sometimes worth giving the kid the benefit of the doubt.

Leif had to have a filling repaired that was done in November. Back in November we went through the whole sedation thing. He was sedated, given nitrous oxide, anesthetic, was restrained and he STILL fought tooth and nail. It was an awful experience. Pure misery for both Leif and I. So in January when he had his routine exam and they found the filling had cracked, fear set in. However, it was at this appointment that I noted (as did the dentist) how well he did. He had x-rays (without anyone in the room), he let the hygienist clean his teeth and the dentist examine them, all sitting in the chair by himself.

I told the dentist with as how bad as the first filling appointment went as compared to how well the exam went, I was refusing to sedate him and to only use nitrous if necessary. Surprisingly, he was on board for the most part. He told me he wasn’t convinced it would work, but we would give it a shot.

This morning I suppose we didn’t get off on a good footing with the hygienist when she asked if he ate or drank anything this morning. I told her he had some cheerios and some apple juice. He was hungry. She huffed and puffed about instructions were to not eat because he could vomit with the nitrous and then choke. I blew it off much to her dismay.

At that point she was quite insistent that Leif lay on the table, with the nitrous mask on. My mistake. I had been under the impression that we would attempt nitrous as a last resort. I should have spoken up. Leif flipped. He was having none of the nitrous. At that point AB and I both suggested that we just try it without the nitrous and see how it goes. The hygienist literally rolled her eyes at us and said she needed to go talk with the doctor. She came back about 10 minutes later with the dentist – Leif was calmed down again.

I could tell he wasn’t overly thrilled at our requests, probably had forgotten what we discussed 8 weeks ago, but was willing to go with it as long as it didn’t get ridiculous. I am not looking to cause pain to my child, in fact, the opposite. I truly believe that if you take your time with Leif, show him the tools, explain to him what is going on, he will be receptive. He is a smart kid.

I win.

The dentist commented a few times how well Leif was doing, he asked AB if he wanted a job as a dental assistant. He also said that it is truly easier to do work when the child is calm and doesn’t have the nitrous mask on. He said he couldn’t believe that one of the easier fillings he would do all week was on a 2.5 year old. Then the hygienist actually commented to me that she could not believe how well Leif was doing, she had never seen a kid that young do so well. She offered Leif two toys instead of one from the special drawers when finished because he had done so well, but he really only wanted his two dinosaur flossers he pilfered from the exam room.

I am so proud, my 2.5 year old had a filling repaired without sedation, without nitrous, without restraint and without anesthetic (it was shallow) and without throwing a fit or a single tear. I DO know my kid.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Exactly how old are we?

I got an e-mail this morning when I came in. It was to me and five of the other task leads on my big industry project. We were recognized this evening for this project and its associated successes. Namely the $5 million in 5 years milestone, which is nearly unheard of when working with private industry. Anyways, the e-mail notified us that “individual performance awards would not be distributed at the celebration in an effort not to detract from the awards ceremony or to highlight any one contributor over another”.

Awhile back, before I had kids, I remember hearing rumors that some schools quit giving letter grades to discourage competition among the kids and disappointment among those who didn’t score the highest. Similarly and more recently I saw that a principal in a particular region had opted not to have the honor roll printed in the newspaper because those who didn't make it would feel bad. The idea I suppose is to put the kids more on an even keel and thus minimize any hurt feelings. Having your feelings hurt as a kid sucks, no doubt about it. But isn’t it inevitable? Instead, mediocrity is the name of the game. When I was a kid I was always at the top of my class. I loved being done first, I loved competing with others (I rocked at “Round the World”) and I loved being recognized for achievements. I wasn’t good at everything, I sucked at track and didn’t care for track and field day where I invariably would let down my relay team and leave with a handful of 5th place ribbons. This was my humbling among my peers.

I ran my first foot race as an adult when I lived in Reno. It was a 5K race, three times around a one mile dirt trail. I was training to run my first Bay to Breakers and figured I would give this little race a shot. People flew past me as I resisted the urge to keep up with them all. And when I finally crossed the finish line in the way, way back of the pack, people were still there cheering me on, telling me what a great job I did. And they were genuine. I was walking on air because I did it! I finished, which in my mind was better then the people who were standing on the sidelines did. I went into it knowing I didn’t have a chance at a top place, my only hope was to finish. I knew I was not a great runner and I know that I never will be. But you know, someone has to finish first and someone has to finish last. How about that for a life lesson?

So in some effort to bring this back around to my e-mail this morning… What this comes down to is what is wrong with recognizing the investigators of the project who worked hard and succeeded AT an awards ceremony? Apparently it is more conducive to have your performance award stuck in an envelope and put in plant mail by your manager? We certainly don’t want to hurt the feelings of those PI’s whose projects were cut by the client, or deemed not in their business interest. They didn’t fail, in most instances they weren’t given the chance to fail simply based off of a successful business model.

I realize that I am 100% completely lucky that the company was interested in my research AND that I was successful in integrating it with their production line. I am at that critical point in my career where I need people to know what I do and what I do well since I suck at tooting my own horn.

Teamwork has its place and I don’t mean to belittle it in any way. We are being honored as the team that brought in $5 million in private funding and I am more than proud to have had a hand in that. But here is where my analytical analytical side is called into question… but what about ME… recognize ME!!!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Apparently I need to guard my house better

Because yesterday as I was putting Leif's pajamas on him, he got VERY serious and told me that he has been bitten by lots of bears recently.

"You have?" I asked him.

"Yes, lots of bears bite me," he says somberly showing me his shin that he scraped up about 2 hours previously after running down the hall and tripping over a box from Costco that apparently holds an amazing resemblence to a bear.

"What have you done to the bears for biting you?" I asked him.

"I put them in time outs," he says.


This morning Leif came across AB's heel scraper. AB has heels from hell. Seriously, biologists should look into the mechanism behind what exactly generates the armor plates that are his heels for answers into new defense systems, because they are frightening. This also means that his heel scrapers are akin to cheese graters... sharp.

I told Leif this morning to bring me daddy's heel scraper, it is sharp and I don't want him to hurt himself. He walks past me stating, "I put it up out of my reach for you". And puts it on top of the bar.


Leif told his teacher the other day that he is having a baby brother and that his name will be Rock. Rock and Leif... hmmm... I think not. Then again C said I was having a girl and her name should be Butter. ;-)


When all else fails, blog with pictures... here is one that I loved from swimming yesterday. They had to sit out upon arriving at the pool because the class prior had an "accident" in the pool and it was being treated.


This blog has been lacking lately, mostly because I have been completely preoccupied with the pending birth of a new being into our family. The pregnancy blog, otoh, I could write in pretty regularly.

So stealing a page from other blogs I have read... any questions for me? Anything you want to know? Comment and I will answer what I can!

Follow up: A good movie

Last night AB and I sat down and watched Akeelah and The Bee. Really good. I stayed awake through the whole thing, which says something. I would recommend it to families in particular with girls (8-12 years old). Boys too, of course. But I really liked the message that academics and excelling at academics can earn you respect in your school, among your peers and in your community. Also that girls can be as good as boys.

AB was skeptical in putting this movie in, but it was this or Marie Antionette (which I had already watched half of). It ended and he said he liked it a lot. So there you have it!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Great movies? Nonexistant?

AB and I haven’t been to a movie in ages… think the last Harry Potter movie. We used to love going to movies, but it has fallen off our priority list. Leif isn’t quite ready for the whole movie theater experience yet, and so we rely on whatever has come out on DVD.

Am I just picking poorly, or are there just a serious lack of decent movies out there? Or maybe it is just me and our 32” (non hi-def) TV just really detracts from the movie experience rendering all movies in the less then great category. (AB would love that to be the problem, he is clamoring for a new TV.)

Before I get too far down the road here I should say that we did rent The Illusionist this past weekend and really enjoyed that. So much so that when we didn’t finish it Saturday night (due to my cinematic narcolepsy) we clamored to put it on right away Sunday night despite Amazing Race being on. Lately with other movies we don’t finish we eventually get around to finishing it simply so we can return it and rent something else. But while we enjoyed The Illusionist (love Edward Norton), it still wasn’t that flawless wonder. It was a good movie and I recommend it, but where are the big blow you away movies?

I would say the last really great movie I have seen was Return of the King. And while I don’t expect every movie to live to that caliber, I hope for one a year to make the run.

We rented Little Miss Sunshine after hearing rave reviews. We walked away going “hmm”. It was good. Love Toni Collette and William H. Macy in nearly anything. But this movie just didn’t do it for me. It had such wide swings from hilarious silliness to real and provoking losses. I finished it feeling like my moods were all over the place. I was confused about how I felt about it. Ok, I am still confused about how I feel about it.

Another on the list of referrals was Idiocracy. Remember that song by Harvey Danger, Flagpole Sitting, with the line that “only stupid people are breeding”. Take that line and turn it into a movie starring Luke Wilson and you have Idiocracy. The premise is that the intelligent people are all waiting to have children (often too long) while the stupid people are breeding like rabbits. What happens after 500 years of this? The planet is overrun by stupid people. When a guy of average intelligence is frozen and suddenly revitalized in 2505 what happens? Ok, I can’t tell you what all happens because my cinematic narcolepsy set in. But I will say that the movie quality was reminiscent of a B movie. It actually wasn’t bad, there were humorous parts. AB watched it all and told me that there really weren’t any new jokes beyond the first hour I watched. Mediocre but funny was his statement.

Then there is the just plain bad list. I tivo’d Freedomland the other day after noting it was on cable. I suppose there are reasons movies that I swear just came out on DVD end up on cable so quickly. Julianne Moore, Samuel L. Jackson and Edie Falco, can’t be bad, right? Wrong. Someone tell me that race relations are not *that* bad in the US? Tell this currently rural mom that society is not so freaking hateful. Tell me that the police aren’t so biased and oblivious to HUGE clues that something is amiss. We watched the first hour last night. AB has no desire to continue it. I only want to fast forward to the end to find out what happened to the kid… I have to know the kid is OK. (Warn me now if he isn’t, because I cannot take violence against children right now.)

I need to watch a great movie. Help, someone?