Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Skadi's Song"

11 years from now…

I am pretty sure I will be putting my head in my hands and wondering where I went wrong. And if I look back, I may come across this post and it will be immediately apparent.

The other morning I had a cd on in the car when “Son of a Preacher Man” came on. I turned it up and lost myself in the song and driving for a little while. Then the song ended.

Clapping came from the backseat! “YAYYY!” squealed Skadi. “Do again!”

“The song?” I ask her.

“Do song again!” she says still clapping.

So we listened to it again and when it finished she repeated her Yays, clapping and repeats for it again.

So we listened a third time.

So far she has been relatively indifferent to the music in the car… but that has changed. The past few days when we get in the car she immediately asks for "my song". Leif has taken ownership of the subsequent song ... Soul Coughing's "Circles". He particularly likes the "doom da doom da doom, I'm goin', I'm goin..." This phrase is second only to "chicka mao mao chicka mao mao" thanks to watching Alvin and the Chipmunks at school.

“Can she bake a cherry pie?”

Earlier this week Leif came home from preschool with a new obsession. Cherry pie.

I don’t believe that he has ever had cherry pie. Like most kids, Leif isn’t a big fan of pie in general – though he will be – it is inherent in our family’s genes that you must like pie.
Four days now we have had questions about cherry pie.

“Can we bake a cherry pie?”

“Mommy, do you like cherry pie?”

“What goes in cherry pie?”

“Can we bake a cherry pie?”

“Can I take a cherry pie to school?”

“Who all likes cherry pie, raise your hands!”

Repeat the above over and over and you have the jist of it.

I love making pies (now that I have mastered the crust) and so my answer to “can we make a cherry pie” is invariably yes. Of course I need to find the time, and I really wish this question was coming in another 2 months whereby we could go the really yummy route with fresh cherries since I am not a fan of jelly fruity fillings that you buy at the grocery store. But to indulge my son a little, we will get at least frozen cherries or something.

I asked him how he would make cherry pie and he said, “Weeeelllll [how he always starts a sentence when he is thinking] I would mix ice cream and cherries, and more ice cream…”


I am not sure he really KNOWS what cherry pie IS!

I talked to his teacher on Friday who found this to be just the funniest obsession she has heard about. They are learning about Australia, not cherry pie in school and she has no idea where he got that from.

I checked with his teacher and she agreed that sure, if Leif would like to bring cherry pies in for snack day one day, she is fine with that. We will probably throw in a quart of ice cream too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

On a spring day

Soccer Boy

He is ALL about the soccer...

I picked out his clothes and called him out to take pictures... He misunderstood - he thought I said, "get dressed and come play soccer". Easy mistake.

I remember when he would pose and smile and let me take pictures of him...

Now he is all about the action shot.

And the high kicks, "watch me do a high kick mom!"

He gets fancy too...

And if I request a "normal picture" from him - this is what I get...

Bribery does work though... these only cost me ten pennies.

A post from Winny...

First we move to a new home.

It's only a day or two until SHE shows up...

(And have I told you how needy she is? It's ALL about her.)

And if it isn't about her, then it is about this little princess...

Sure, you might think she looks innocent enough sitting there...

Maybe even cute. Ok, we will call her cute. I am annoyed by her cuteness.

Cute no longer. Not when this starts to happen.

Oh well. I could walk away. I suppose I will.
And we won't even talk about this. Ever again.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Son of the Safety Man

I can be a touch neurotic when it comes to worrying about wacky things my kids could do that could hurt themselves. I retain all those stories about wacky things other kids have done and how they could go terribly wrong.

The physician I used to work for had awhile there where his four year old was sleep walking. Sleep walking down the stairs and straight out the front door and down the street. Imagine answering the phone in the middle of the night from your neighbor saying they found your daughter about four houses down in the middle of the street.

Yeah, I can't either.

This is why I have child locks on my front door.

A coworker of mine heard a crash one afternoon while she was at home with her kids. Went into her five year olds bedroom and his dresser was toppled. He had decided to stand on one of the drawers and it wasn't attached to the wall. She said it just made her sick as she showed me the aftermath of the heavy, heavy dresser on the floor. Kids have been seriously injured in accidents like these.

I warned Leif the other day that his dresser wasn't attached to the wall like it was in the old house yet, so I wanted him to be very careful and not pull hard on it because it could tip over.

The result of this statement is one freaked out child.

Leif will not get clothes out of his dresser at all out of fear of the dresser toppling over on top of him. Poor kid gets terribly freaked out when the dresser even wobbles a little when *I* am getting his clothes out.

"Mommy," he has told me for the last three mornings, "we need to get the safety strap on this so it doesn't tip over on me!"

AB is working on it. (Lowes did NOT carry them in the childproofing aisle he discovered this evening.)

Monday, April 06, 2009

My daughter the yeller

Skadi has never been quiet.

Since the day after she popped out of my stomach she made her needs, wants, desires and whims known.

Nothing has changed in 2 years.

I guess I never really envisioned my little girl to be a yeller, but she is.

Tonight in the kitchen we hear the garage door go up.

"I think daddy's here," I say.

When suddenly Skadi screams at the top of her little lungs, "DADDY!!!"


The other night I asked Hans for milk for Skadi.

She then yells, "DADDY MILK NOW!"


We were in church on Palm Sunday. Skadi decided she no longer cared to sit in the pew, so we headed to the "cry room" where we could still see Daddy and Leif and our friends and their daughter.

Skadi realized this.

"DADDY! Hey DADDY! I here! See me! WEIF!! Hi WEIF!!"

Thank goodness it is sound proof.

What ever happened to...

Miss Pink Post-Doc?

Glad you asked.

Way back when, on my then favorite project a young post-doc was brought onto the project. She was a recent Ph.D. grad, newlywed, optimistic as hell, go getter chemist extraordinaire and newly employed by our project.

And she drove me insane. She wore pink, she had a pink phone that she would prop up so that she could see her dog’s picture during teleconferences. And she carried a big pink water bottle. She was na├»ve, laughed way too loudly, wore too tight of clothes, and was just plain annoying.

This was a few years ago.

She came onto that project at its height. We were busy and happy and well funded.

As all successful projects do, they end. Miss Pink Post-Doc was unable to obtain funding to continue her post-doc at the lab and then she found a job at an external lab. A year after she brought her pinkness into our project, she was gone. I thought I would never see her again and surprisingly enough, I was a touch bummed by this.

She kind of grew on me. She was incredibly smart and made me feel like a slacker chemist around her. She never failed to ask about my kids and she nearly always had a smile on her face (though the gafaws still occasionally made me cringe).

A few months ago one of the guys on that project, now a manager, hired her into his group to help a couple of guys working on my big project. They needed help and it was an opportunity to bring Mrs Pink back. So thanks to the concept of matrix management... Mrs Pink now works for me.

She still laughs too loud for my tastes (yes, I tend to be quiet), she still wears her clothes a touch too tight (but apparently she likes them that way because they are new clothes), but I like her. I really do like her.

She is sharp. She is punctual. When I ask her for data she gets it, or she walks to my office and tells me why she doesn’t have it. We talk about marriage and kids, her desire to have a baby, where to get the best coffee and we trade “so I heard…” statements.

She sits beside me in our monthly meetings. I know where she started from, I can see her ambition and potential. I don’t expect I will ever be best friends with Mrs. Pink. But I like her and appreciate her free spirited nature.

So do I have much to write about Mrs. Pink? Not really.

She’s cool.

Weekend Wrap Up

We spent this past weekend working really hard to convince our children they are not, in fact, neglected. We were very much paying attention to them… out of the corners of our eyes while painting and painting and painting some more at the old house.

On Sunday we resorted to calling in the hired guns, the former neighbor girl, to entertain the neglected children while AB and I tackled the tremendous paint job.

The front two rooms of our old house are actually much like the front two rooms in our current house. Formal dining room on one side and office on the other.

I am not a big fan of formal dining rooms. I would much rather have a single large dining room off the kitchen. I truly don’t need a room that will be used only once in a blue moon when guests are over or for holidays. But so far, both of our houses have had the formal dining rooms. I think it is a room I will enjoy having someday when we can afford to buy a nice table to put in there.

But until then… it remains the room where the extra boxes get stacked.

And the fragile breakables are stored in my hutch that I really love. Someday I will put a big table that can easily seat 8 people. Someday.

But before that day comes we have to sell our old house. Which means painting the two rooms in the house that were never painted and still sport the old crappy construction paint and are scarred with nail holes from what seems like 430 pictures, 218 shelves and one wall mounted light. The walls were in serious bad shape.

So I picked out two colors. AB picked out two colors. Then we met somewhere in the middle at a color that seemed to be tan in the chip, but has later been determined to be pinky-tan. AB and I keep reminding each other that *we* don’t have to live in it.

It actually doesn’t look so bad completely painted. But I won’t be putting Behr’s “Comforting” in my house.

The wall scars are covered and right now that's what counts.

The front rooms don’t *pop* like I wanted them to. Or like I envisioned with a trendy light brown. They kind of just look a different shade from the prior color. But no one should walk in and look at the walls and say, “you are kidding me?”

Instead I hope they walk in and look to the left and right and say, “nice and serene”. (Before they hit my orange kitchen.)

We need to paint the main hallway in the house for the same reasons, paint job just beat to pieces.

This evening while I went and got my hair cut AB took the kids and the dogs to the old house and worked on yardwork (pruning). And I am going to take a halfday this week at some point and do some touch up painting in most of the other rooms. We are getting close to being ready to list the house for sale.

I finally broke down last week and told Leif that IF we sell the old house than we can “probably” get a Wii. This has morphed into the daily inevitable question from him, “can we sell the house today and get a Wii?”

Amazing how the two seem to rank equivalently with him. House can be traded for a gaming console.

AB and I are getting a little weary of our every weekend being either packing or unpacking or painting. It will be well worth it in the near future, we do know this. We just look forward to the day when we are moved in, our house is sold and facing a weekend with nothing on our schedule. Days we can wake up and say, “what do you want to do today?” And the other person says, “I don’t know, what do you want to do today?”

Our daily routine will be dictated by “want” and not “need”.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Skadi pretty hair

Skadi bumped her chin on something this morning and cried and cried. I finally got her to stop by suggesting we pick out some bows for her hair. She selected three.

It took some thinking early in the morning, but I figured out how to get all three in.

Then Leif heard the camera and had to drop everything (his shoe) to get into the picture...

A very confusing topic - Holidays

The period between January to Easter is a very difficult time for Leif. We go from having some fun holiday every month or so, to nothing.

There's Valentine's Day in there. But to a little boy, Valentine's Day isn't overly interesting. There's mommy's birthday and daddy's birthday and even Skadi's birthday. But once again, no big fun holiday until Easter. But even then, Easter doesn't hold a candle to Halloween for Leif.

He loves Halloween. Every Tuesday is "movie day" at school and the kids can each bring in a movie to be voted on by the class to watch.

Every Tuesday for the last few months Leif has hauled in "Pooh's Heffalump Halloween Movie".

The class has watched it zero times. Still Leif is determined and not deterred in his goal to make Halloween a year round event. He has decided this year that not only will he have a birthday party, but somewhere he got wind of a costume party and has decided that everyone should wear a costume to his birthday party.

I refuse to do this to the other parents. Yeah, not only do you need to go out and buy a present, make time in your weekend for a birthday party and get your child there, hang out and then leave with a child hyped up on sugar? But yeah, also, put them in a costume.

Umm no.

I thought about letting Leif wear a costume. Or saying "costumes optional", but that puts pressure on the parents too. I think we will go with just no costumes.

Not a day goes by that Halloween isn't mentioned. Including the drive home last night.

Leif: "How many days till Halloween now?"

NM: "Oh about 7 months to the day."

Leif: "How about 7 days instead."

NM: "Nope, months. About 210 days." (I thought about reminding him that his birthday comes first, but then we would have gotten back onto the subject of costume birthday parties - a notion I am trying to squash.)

Leif: "Hmm."

NM: "But Easter is in 12 days!"

Leif: "How about 2 days."

NM: "Nope, 12 days."

Leif: "How about 10 days?" (He is learning the fine art of negotiation thanks to dinner time.)

NM: "Everyone celebrates Easter on the same day." (Yes, I know Eastern religions are a week later, but I wasn't going there.)

Leif: "Who says?"

NM: "God says."

(Silence from the back seat.)

Leif: "So the bunny belongs to God! I finally figured it out!"