Sunday, January 29, 2012

In the Making

I've been observing Samuel's character development of late.  Consider:

1. The fact that he said he wanted to dream about exponents one night about a month ago.

2. His latest joke: "How can you tell a male chromosome from a female chromosome?"  Answer: "You pull down it's genes!"

(this is the motion he makes when he tells the punch line)

3. Then, there are the posters in his room:


Landing on the Moon

A world map

A human genome poster

4. And, of course, there's the lego death star:

Yup, his inner geek is emerging.  I suppose that it was inevitable, given who his parents are.  I only hope that we can guide him through his teenage years with encouragement and dignity.  As a bumper sticker I once saw says:
Be kind to geeks.  One day you'll work for one.

How does your inner geek come out?

Any advice on how to get this wonderfully whacky kid through the teenage years?

Tuesday, January 24, 2012


(This one's for you, Heidi)

So...not too surprisingly, I have favorite words.  Many of them.  Among them are:

1) penultimate
2) savvy
3) exacerbate
4) excruciating
5) preternatural
6) ombudsman
7) vernacular
8) ostensibly
9) notorious
10) plethora

To note: when I asked Howard about favorite words I use, he said "What, you mean besides swear words?"

I might be seeking a divorce.  But, probably not, as long as he keeps doing the laundry.

Some of Samuel's favorite words:
1) Legos
2) drawing
3) build
4) explode
5) cartoons

I'd ask Anya, but she's asleep.  That girl falls asleep mighty fast.

I also have pet peeve words and phrases--mostly those that aren't (or weren't meant to be) real words:
1) when people say "itch" instead of "scratch."  I tell my kids: itch is what you feel, scratch is what you do.
2) Nother.  As in: a whole nother....  No such word.
3) (Here's one for Nancy): when people pronounce "nuclear" as if it were "nuculer."
4) Ya mismito viene.  (This one has nothing to do with grammar.  It means "he/she is coming right now"--technically.  What it really means is "that person might show up sometime in the next three hours.")
5) It's all good.  (Bullshit it is)

I asked Howard about my pet peeve words, and he said  "Geez, I say so many things that annoy you, but I can't remember them now."  Again, suggesting that I am, well, less than a model, supportive wife.  Grrr...

What are your favorite words?  What are the phrases that make you itch with annoyance?

Any suggestions on what kind of picture ought to go with a post like this?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Nicknames my kids have had

1. Jub-Jub (after the iguana on the Simpsons)
2. Monkey boy (because of his love of bananas)
3. Guy (especially when Anya could not pronounce his name)
4. Leumas (his evil twin name)
5. Thing One
6. The boy child

1. Shark bait (Sam was watching "Finding Nemo" when she was a baby)
2. Fishy face (because of the face she used to make when she gave toddler kisses)
3. Missy mosh
4. Ayna (evil twin name)
5. Sweety Tweety (After an episode of PBS's "Between the Lions")
6. Thing Two
7. The girl child

Oh, and Sam also nicknamed Toonces (the cat) Bossy Chucklepants.  (And so the tradition continues...)

Yup, we're on the road to "best parents of the year"!!! 

What are your favorite nicknames?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Six Words

Assisted Reading:

Lap Cat:

Morning Moon:

What's captivating you lately?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Conference Calls

I just attended the American Historical Association, onto which the Conference of Latin American Historians "piggybacks."  Some observations, discoveries, reminders from the conference:

1) Urban or small town, I love a good view.  Here are a couple from my hotel room:

2) A bunch of crazy people think I look like Brooke Larson, which I do about as much as my daughter Anya looks like me (which is to say: not at all). 

3) Book exhibit price reductions on Sunday at the conference are the best ever, and it's probably a good thing that I couldn't stay longer this morning to peruse the publisher tables.

4) Latin Americanists arefar more laid back than many of the other conference goers (particularly Ecuadorianists and Bolivianists, which is mostly who I hung out with). 

5) I maintain the ability to miss the hell out of the kids while loving constant grownup interaction.

6) Reminder to self: wine on an empty stomach does not work well for me.

7) Chicago in January is absolutely lovely--as long as there are near-record highs. 

What did you discover this weekend?

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Traveling Checklist

Have a mentioned lately that I hate traveling?

Here's what my "to do" list would look like if I made it according to how I actually deal with traveling:

1) Obsess constantly over packing.  Double-check, add things, subtract things.  Make sure, in the end, that I have way too much of something/s minor, and forget or take too little of something essential.

2) Be too distracted to do anything before leaving.  (Apparently, the timing of my flight does not alter my inability to do much of anything during the day before leaving.)

3) Feel really sad about leaving the kids, even though I can't wait to have some liberated "grown up" time/s.  (Yes, I miss Howard too, but--it's different than with my kids.)

4) Go to the bathroom every 15 minutes in the airport, even though it means dragging all my carry-on baggage with me and losing my seat (I always travel alone, alas).

5) Squirm constantly on the flight.

Yup, well on my way with that list! 

What are your travel routines?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Simply Happy

We've just returned from our holiday time in Maine.  Though there were plenty of hassles, there was a lot of simple fun...sometimes damned near close to perfection.  These times included:

Candle-lit baths with sandalwood-rose bubbles and music from the portable ipod player that I got from Howard.  Sometimes, I added a glass of riesling for good measure. 

Anya's dancing whenever music was on in the kitchen.

Making sugar and spice cookies with Sam.

The kids' legos creations.  (The first is a mouse-shaped pencil holder the kids made for me, and the second is a drawer that Sam made for Anya).

Time spent in a second-hand bookstore, crowded with books.  Resulting, of course, in the purchase of many books, including some old favorites (a cookbook, some childhood books) that will stay in Maine. 

These things, along with an evening's reading from How to be a Villain made up for the moments of the kids' whining and fighting, and the times that the wood stove fire took forever to get going.

What simple things make you happy?