Friday, November 30, 2007

Musical Mood


This is the third Holiday Season that I've been blogging. That being the case, I know I've posted many thoughts on HOLIDAY MUSIC. How could I not. I'm being bombarded by it on all sides already! Last year I did it song by song, but this year I plan to take a more intellectual approach. After all, I DID spend a great deal of time in college writing about music, even if I did not, by professors' standards, do a spectacular job of it.

Holiday Music can be divided into four categories. These categories are mostly separated by style, and not individual songs which can change depending on the performance. Taste is sometimes also involved. Also, please remember that categorizing music is a practice I have always deplored. (What IS alternative? Rock? Where is the line between Jazz and Soul? Folk and rock? I don't get it.)

The first category is the "Concert" category. This includes choir or orchestral arrangements of just about anything. For example, anything the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings, or anything by the Boston Pops, will most likely fit into this category. I love this music - it makes great background music, will not embarrass or offend, and still offers the chance to sing along or dance.

The second category is the "Standard" category. Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, and anything that sounds like that fits into this category. If the song is by Irving Berlin, it is probably in this category. These are the fun Holiday songs that we can recognize and sing along to. Aunt Maude doesn't mind them, and the kids still get a kick out of singing along.

The Third category is what I call the "Pop" category. Most of the songs played on th radio fall into this category, even if they were written by Irving Berlin. It may be Jingle Bells, but if it is sung by Bruce Springsteen then it belongs here. If it is a new song about red shoes designed only to make you cry, it belongs here. If it uses an electric guitar, it belongs here. If it has a guitar or drum solo, or if the singer is wearing less than I do at the beach, it belongs here.

The fourth and final category I call the "Annoying" category. This is where all the really annoying songs go. Dogs barking? Here. Anything with a small child whistling through gaps in his teeth? Here. You want a Hippopotamus for Christmas? Are Chipmunks singing? Gramma got run over by a - here Here HERE! This is also where taste comes into play. In my opinion, this is where any and all versions of "Winter Wonderland" belong. I know Linda would stick "Little Drummer Boy" here as well (rum pa pum PUM!). And this is where my theory breaks down and becomes subjective. The version of Little Drummer Boy with Bing Crosby (putting it in the Standards) and David Bowe (putting it in the Pop) makes this a confusing theory indeed. Which is precisely why I hate categorizing music to begin with.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Nate's Turn

First you should watch yesterday's video, if you haven't already. If you have watched it, you should consider watching it again.

Then watch today's video. It is shorter. Note how determined Nathan is to sing this one particular song. Note how my dog begins the process of eating my cat in the background.

For some reason I find this clip seriously entertaining, and it has carried me through the past few days.



video

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

And THIS is Why...

What is it about pregnant women that cause complete strangers to ask personal questions?

Seriously, if one more person asks me when I'm due, tells me that I have my hands full, or asks what I'm having, I really think I'll bash them over the head with my diaper bag. After all, IT IS NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS! And as for having my hands full... REALLY? No Kidding. I HADN'T NOTICED! Now help me stuff my kids back in my shopping cart and stop wasting my time asking stupid questions.

Oh, and this really big Tummy? It may be sticking out in your face, and I didn't mean to bump you with it, but I don't know you and it is PART OF MY BODY! At least ask me before you start pressing your hands on me like some Mystic Healer. Unless you ARE actually a Mystic Healer and can induce labor, in which case, please come to my house ASAP.

Watch this video. Notice Nathan helping Nick out from behind the camera. It may seem kind of long, but there is a follow up I shall post tomorrow which I think makes it all worthwhile.

video

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Holiday Shopping


For me, Christmas shopping used to mean getting an adult to drive us all down to the Garden State Plaza, parking at least a mile from the building, and then pushing our way through crowds as we searched for gifts for family members. Sometimes it took more than one trip. The mall was huge. Now it is even huger.

I still remember the first year I discovered online shopping. I was thrilled. I showed up early for work, started clicking away, and before I knew it my shopping was done... or almost done. Shopping online has been very helpful - I could shop when the stores were closed. I could shop without taking my kids with me. Who needs to drag the kids to toy stores - or even enter one!

But I regret to say that the thrill has gone. Why? Well, not just because I have grown used to the online thing.

The other day I went online to finish up my shopping (like everything else, I made an attempt to get things done early.) The first thing I tried to buy was stamps. Apparently there had been a rate change, and I somehow missed it, which means that a whole bunch of people I send cards and letters to probably never got them... But since I still plan on sending Holiday Cards this year, I needed to prepare.

I went online. With minimal searching I selected some Christmas stamps, and then some flower stamps, then I went to pay... and the darn site wanted me to set up an account.

I buy things online all the time without setting up accounts. There is a reason I dislike setting up accounts. For one thing, I hate getting spam or junk email. For another, I can never keep track of all the usernames and passwords. Most online stores will offer you the OPTION of setting up an account, but they will also sell you junk without it. Not the postal service.

So I went through the process of setting up an account. It only took twenty minutes, mostly because of the pain and frustration in coming up with a password that I could remember, but that also contained 1 uppercase letter, 1 lowercase letter, and 1 number, and was also 8 digits long. Each time I messed up the site required me to re-enter a username and a "secret question and answer" that would be used to retrieve my password when I forgot it.

When I finally got it all right, and then filled in my "personal information" (name, address, email, phone number) the site popped up with a big "Sorry! YOU ALREADY HAVE AN ACCOUNT! We've emailed you your username."

So I had to login to my secondary email account and open the email, which was kind enough to give me my username, but NOT a password. I tried logging in and guessing my password, but I just couldn't get it right, so I tried my "secret question." In this case, it asked me for my mother's maiden name. I typed in my mother's maiden name. But APPARENTLY when I SET UP the account I had been feeling creative, because it TOLD ME I WAS WRONG!

In the end I went back and went through the entire process of creating a new account AGAIN, used a new email address and a nickname, and it let me. Then I went through the process of re-selecting the holiday stamps and the flower stamps, and checked out. All in all, it took me over an hour of fiddling, waiting, banging my head against the wall, and trying not to throw the computer out of the window. It took me so long, in fact, that I didn't have time to do the rest of my shopping.

Which was good, it turned out, because when I finally DID have time the site messed up and I ended up having to call in my order by phone, anyway.

So much for stress free. I take the kids to the mall on Thursday.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Dear Santa


Dear Santa

It feels a bit early to be writing to you, just days after Thanksgiving, but Christmas seems to be everywhere already, and when we caught sight of you yesterday at the Festival Of Trees you already seemed very busy. By the way, I'm sorry we only waved and didn't stop by to say hello, but you didn't look like you had a lot of down time, and Nicholas was a little nervous about the whole idea... you know how kids are.

Anyway, this letter might seem a bit unorthodox. Most people, I assume, write letters telling you what they WANT, but this letter... well, I guess I'm telling you what NOT to bring us. I don't mean to come across as ungrateful. You have been SO generous in the past, and all of the toys and gifts you have brought us are appreciated and loved. It's just that, at this point, we have so very much, especially when it comes to certain items.

My first request is that you PLEASE bring us NO STUFFED ANIMALS! We have so many. After all, we have only two (soon three) little boys, and the stuffed animals already number in the hundreds. It really is too much for us, and quite honestly I am running out of places to keep them.

My second request has to do with clothing. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE THE NEW BABY CLOTHING! Or at least think about it before going through with it. I know, I know, I love buying the little clothes, too. But we have so much clothing left over from our first two boys that we really do not need any more infant clothes. Add to that the fact that babies grow faster than weeds and you end up with me changing the baby into five outfits a day just to be able to say he's worn everything. Some people might think I was kidding, but you, Santa, I know you understand.

My other boys, however, LOVE clothes. (Nick is wearing 4T, and Nathan is comfortable in 2T, and both are a bit roomy in those. As for shoes, Nick would be size 10 and Nate... well, who knows, but I've been going with size 7 these days.)

As for hints... well, Nicholas keeps asking for a "game," by which I think he means a handheld video game - but we aren't too thrilled with that idea for such a small boy. He also loves musical instruments and has frequently pointed out guitars with "buttons" that play music, usually with the Backyardigans or the Wiggles on them... Nathan cried yesterday when we made him leave behind some Thomas the Tank Engine items which were just for show. He loves trains. As for me and Steve... well, if I knew what Steve wanted I would have already purchased it. And I simply would like everyone to have a very Merry Christmas.

Thanks so much. We'll be seeing you soon!

Kathleen

Sunday, November 25, 2007

It's Over - on to the next thing

Thanksgiving officially ended yesterday when the last of my family members departed in a frenzy of needing to return to civilization.

Just in case you are NOT a member of my family, I should explain that Thanksgiving is important to me for quite a few reasons. The first being that, when I was a kid, we routinely had about 40 people for dinner. The event was huge, and would frequently require three turkeys, three or four tables, and many days of preparation. We had 19 people for dinner this year. Our house is not as large as the one I grew up in, and New Hampshire is less of a destination location as the suburbs of New York. Also, I just don't know that many people. But the REAL reason Thanksgiving is important to me, besides the excuse to have pie for breakfast every day for a week afterwards, is that I get to see my family.

I HATE the way I look in the above picture (sorry Meg, it's just me. Everyone else looks fine.) But this is the first time I had been with my other brothers and sisters in years. At least two years, possibly longer.

It was different. The traditional family sing along has been replaced with a traditional family dance party. But some things never change, such as the Enforced Family Film Festival, and ordering pizza the next day.

Anyway, I just wanted to say that I had a wonderful time, despite working myself up into a frenzy in the days before. The meal turned out to be wonderful, mostly thanks to Linda and Meg. It was delightful to be surrounded by my family again. My kids (and my dog) loved the attention and the opportunity to play with other grown ups. (Apparently I am boring.) I am almost sorry it is over.

And now... Christmas.

PS - everyone needs to send me their photos! I seem to have forgotten to take any pictures.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

25 Days Until The Big Day

Not Christmas, Fools! The due date! Check out the scary baby meter'o reader.

Happy Thanksgiving. Deeps Breaths. Namaste.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Chalk This One Up To Hormones

Yesterday my hip started hurting... or my bum. Just the right hip / bum. And not all the time. Just occasionally as I am walking or picking things up or stuff. And not a lasting pain, but one of those nice, shooting, gone-in-a-moment but doubles-you-over kind of pain.

It doesn't stop when I sit, either. Or when I try to sleep at night. Instead, it waits until I relax and forget, and then try to turn a little in any direction, or get up to pee.

So far this little distraction has interfered with tasks such as "Picking Up Torn Bits of Paper From the Floor," "Changing Nate's Diaper," and "Finding Nick's Sock's." Today I get to see how it will interfere - if at all - with tasks such as "Making Six Pie Crusts" and "Shopping for Thanksgiving Dinner for 19."

By the way, all you people who are apparently showing up but haven't yet told me WHEN, well at this point getting the meal on the table is all I can think of, so you're just going to have to hope someone is here to let you in, and you'll have to find your own beds and make them yourselves, because quite honestly I can't manage the hopping around from one side of the bed to the other, have done all I can, and I'm tired thinking about it.

Monday, November 19, 2007

too many things to do

No post today.

Well, not a real one with a picture or a story.

Just basically this "Gone Fishing" note letting you all know that I am very busy today. The dogs must get to the groomer. The Nick must get to the school. The sheets on multiple beds must be changed. And so on.

But I had to say something to let you know the BABY HAS NOT YET ARRIVED! Or anything like that. It's just me, trying to perform intense balletic feats with my center of gravity in my abdomen, while being kicked in the bladder from the inside.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

I'm Ready


Is Thanksgiving Here yet?

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Allergy to Cold?

I have gone through all the postable and even almost postable photos in my photo library. And as of now, there are not enough pictures on my actual camera to justify downloading. Two pictures. It had to be worth my while. So I will take more pictures and post more pictures... soon. But not now.

See, last night I was rummaging through the closet in the boys' bathroom while they were in the bath, mostly because I find it nearly impossible to sit still these days. And I ran across my collection of "Spa Stuff" by which I mean gel masks and warming pads and a pair of booties with inserts that can be heated up in the microwave, and I got really excited about the booties, dragging them out and intending on heating them up and pampering my feet while I watched a movie...

... but the bootie inserts made me sneeze. And sneeze and sneeze and sneeze... I must have sneezed seventy five times in three minutes. I couldn't speak. My nose was runny, and started bleeding a little, and I was convinced my water was going to break, or at least explode. Seriously, at this point every sneeze means a little pee, and if you've never been pregnant and sneezed before then you have no idea what I'm talking about. But I was concerned about rupturing... you know. I just didn't want my water to break.

After the sneezing stopped, my throat hurt - I guessed from all the sneezing. (Needless to say, the booties went back on the shelf.) Then I started to cough. And all night long I was coughing and stuffy nosed, and this morning I am still coughing, and my ears are blocked up...

Is this even possible? Can an allergy attack bring on a cold? Or do allergy attacks sometimes just last for days? Because I am miserable here.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Insanity Of Youth

I took both my kids to Target yesterday.

Every single time I do this I come home ranting and raving and promising myself I will NEVER DO IT AGAIN! But somehow I always forget.

It was supposed to be a simple trip. I had a short list. Humidifier, pillows, cleaning product, hats and gloves for the boys.

And it started well. I found the pillows right off, but the humidifiers took a few moments because I don't know anything about them and actually had to READ and CHOOSE and make an INFORMED CHOICE and then some lady tried convincing me I needed to buy a filter and some cleaning fluid, even though I knew the model I ended up with had no filter and I've never had to get that cleaning fluid before...

Then we made a trip past the Holiday Displays - just to see - which prompted a mother to ask me how old my kids were, and how much space was between them, and how much space between the next two, and yadda yadda yadda... and at this point there was no more space in my cart because pillows, though fluffy, take up a lot of room, so Nicholas was walking, and Nathan was trying to climb out of the cart.

So when I finally went to get hats and gloves I needed to grab them and GO, but with Nick I now have no idea if I should be looking in "Infants and Toddlers" or "Boys." Besdies this, the wonderful Target people have taken the ONE AREA, the Toddler clothing area, where parents will most need to wheel their carts around, and spaced the racks six inches apart from each other. I could hardly fit my fat pregnant belly between them, let alone the cart, with Nathan screaming and grabbing at the clean clothing, wiping his snotty nose of every item he could find.

And speaking of finding, I never DID find the hats and gloves for Toddlers. Apparently they are meant to freeze, or parents are simply supposed to keep them indoors. And the hats for boys may fit Nick (and Nate, for that matter) but the gloves are WAY too big. But I was irritated and so I just left, with no gloves, but with a Diego umbrella which we apparently could not live without.

It started pouring rain as we walked to our car. Nate fell asleep on the way home, and then once we got there both he and Nick screamed over the umbrella until I put it away. Alone, I can accomplish anything. With my kids, I create chaos wherever I go.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

P is for Potty

First of all, I just want to bring to everyone's attention that I am now on the FINAL SCARY BABY of the SCARY-BABY-METER! I may be there for the next 45 days, but hey - I've made it this far!

Today's post is about potty training. And the different levels involved in potty training. I had always assumed that the biggest part of potty training would be getting the kid to actually go in the potty. But there is so much more to it than that.

The first step is getting the kid to be aware of this particular function of his body. Nathan sometimes asks to sit on the potty. Some people might assume this means he is ready, and I should just go for it. But I've decided to wait. Not just because I am eleven months pregnant and about to deal with a whole new set of diapers and baby issues, but because when Nathan DOES have the odd accident and pees while he is naked after a bath, in the middle of the bathroom floor, he does not seem to notice anything is happening. He likes to sit, but has no idea what is supposed to happen once he is up there,no matter how many times I read the "Ernie Gets A Potty" book.

The second step is getting the kid to actually use to potty - and this is the hardest part. The kid has to recognize the feeling, know what it means, get to the bathroom, and get ON the darn thing before actually letting it happen. With Nicholas this happened all at once. One day he wasn't potty trained, the next he was pushing me out the door shouting "I NEED SPACE! And TURN OFF THE LIGHT!" because for some reason he prefers the dark?

The final step - and I'm not going into night training here because that seems to be a different story altogether - but the final step - and just so you know, this is one that grown men all over seem to have difficulty with - is actually getting the pee to go IN the potty. That's right. I am referring to AIM.

Girls are built differently than boys, and as a result, aim is not so much an issue. I have actually often been scorned because I am a female, and obviously inferior, since on those long road trips across the country I actually needed to pull over at REST STOPS, and could not just pull over to the side of the road and pee in a bush. So yes, if one likes peeing outdoors, it may be preferable to be built like a man. But at least when I pee in my own bathroom I don't leave pee all over the toilet seat and the floor. Not even after half a bottle of wine.

The reason I bring this up is that I am surrounded by boys. The other day I sat down on the toilet, a recently cleaned toilet, and wondered to myself why it smelled like the monkey house at the zoo. I have discovered puddles of pee on the floor NEXT to the toilet, and I have observed Nicholas peeing as though her were actually AIMING for the rim of the toilet instead of the water, most of the urine dripping right off the edge.

It has actually made me panic a bit. Because I am married, I have two brothers, I drove across the country with two guys, and I have had a handful of male roommates. And I know this does not necessarily cure itself with time. And I also know that, no matter how much I plead and complain, the problem may persist. And again, I am outnumbered.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Approaching the Wall


Each day is bringing me closer and closer to the end of this pregnancy. I know that. But each day I am also growing more and more uncomfortable.

I was pregnant with Nathan for approximately 13 months, or at least it seemed that way. I was tired and cranky and uncomfortable during the whole thing, and the last two months were absolute torture. I simply could not wait for him to be born, and it felt like it would never happen.

With baby #3, I feel like I have been pregnant for maybe 4 months so far. Sure, I was sick at first, but I have the distraction of having two other children who need to be driven to school, and picked up from school, and taken to the library, and given projects to do. They also need the sheets on their beds changed about twice a week (at least) and produce an insane amount of laundry. In other words, I am BUSY.

But now, as the final month of the gestation period drifts into view, I have to admit... I am uncomfortable. VERY uncomfortable. I am huge. I can't fit into anything, maternity clothing, or not. And what I do fit into, I look like a hippo in. I get acid reflux from picking up toys on the floor, and whenever I decide to sleep on my right side instead of my left. The baby is squashed enough inside me so that when he kicks or turns or moves my entire belly shakes and lumps around and it feels as though someone is rearranging my internal organs for me. I have to pee every three minutes. Badly. but only a little bit. I get out of breath trying to stand up from a chair, and getting out of bed requires a rolling / kicking procedure that I have perfected, after performing it at least six times a night to rush to the bathroom. I am also tired all the time, especially in the afternoons.

I am also going mad. I see pet hair, and stains, and dirt, and other things that need cleaning everywhere I go. And I can't just let it be. And by the end of the day I have to work really hard to modify my mood because I know I am so, so tired and angry and cross for NO REASON.

My point is, I haven't hit the wall yet, but I can see it, and it is getting closer every second. And I know I'm going to crash.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Pancakes and Pizza

Yesterday we all went out for Brunch at The Yard. This is something Steve and I used to do before we were married, but for some reason we hadn't been back there in years. Possibly because there is SO much food, and you really do have to be hungry to make sense of it. And the food is buffet food, after all, so it's sitting out there and it isn't always the best food. But this did not lessen my delight in having pancakes AND eggs benedict AND bacon all on my plate at the same time. I had a great time, and a great meal, and before I even left the table I could feel my body start to swell from all of the salt. But I didn't care, because I didn't have to cook, and I didn't have to clean up.

Nick and Nate were also wonderful. I was a little worried because when we go out to eat they sometimes scream and yell and cry, and generally make life so uncomfortable that we've been known to just get our meals to go. But this time, all went well. Maybe it had something to do with the fact that there was so much variety, and they weren't locked into any one food. Or maybe it was just that we could get MORE of anything if they wanted it. Or maybe, just maybe, it was the novelty of looking down at his plate and seeing both pancakes AND pizza, both just waiting for him to eat them, one breakfast, one lunch, but at the same time!

And afterwards, they each got a cookie.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Morning Person

video

I have always been a morning person. I usually wake up happy and am most productive during morning hours. Yesterday was no exception. Steve woke up with the kids, but I was awake before 8am and was able to shower and get dressed... I buzzed around the house cleaning, we went for a family trip to the store, and I was feeling OK...

... Until I just wasn't. At 3pm I crashed, big time. I had to go back to bed, I was crying for no reason, and I felt like I couldn't take care of my kids.

So Steve stepped in and did everything. He took care of the kids, he made dinner, he was just generally a hero who let me recover in my own bed. And it was WONDERFUL. This morning I am myself again.

But it worries me that I get so tired. I guess this far along in a pregnancy you really do have to be careful.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Creative Playthings

Last Tuesday it was very rainy here. Steve was away on a business trip, and I was alone with the kids, all but trapped in the house. This is when it becomes kind of difficult to find things to do... especially when you're the size of a house and you don't feel like moving.

I ran across my old hair curlers while I was getting dressed, and I tossed them at the boys to play with, figuring it would keep them busy for a few moments. And it did. And I was fine with that - I mean, I never use the darn things, and they never quite worked in my hair, anyway. They were the foam and plastic variety, and I don't think I ever learned how to put them in right. As far as I was concerned, we could throw the things away when the boys were done with them.

But after five minutes, Nick started taking them apart. And then... then... hours of endless entertainment. I am not kidding you, he played with these things all day long. And did things with them I never imagined curlers doing. They became lollipops, weight sets, cars, bridges, batteries... you name it, he thought of it. And built it.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Closer, and closer, and closer


The cool thing about my birthday going by, besides the cookies and the extra wisdom and prestige, is that I am that much closer to having this baby. Now the next big thing on my list really IS Thanksgiving, and after that this baby is free to come, meaning it really wouldn't be all that early and I wouldn't have to worry so much about developmental problems.

Don't get me wrong. There's a lot to think about for Thanksgiving. If everyone gets here and does what they are supposed to do, there will be 17 people at our house for dinner, including a few houseguests who will need clean towels. My kids are excited. I am in cleaning overdrive (which isn't all that fast these days, all things considered.) I have every detail planned, down to a shopping list and when to do what. I am convinced, should the real cooks get delayed, that I could pull this thing off by myself with no more than a little deep breathing and a few trips back in time.

If the baby chooses to bide his time after Thanksgiving, there are still a whole lot of Christmas activities to keep us busy. Visits to Santa, the Festival of Trees, actual shopping and wrapping and sending gifts and cards... more cookies. Not to mention decorating our house and getting our own tree. Plenty to do.

And with each thing I do, the baby's arrival is somehow getting closer! Sooner. Nearer... and I am suddenly filled with the need to go buy newborn diapers, formula, and frozen foods.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

This Day is My Day

It is my Birthday!

Nicholas asked me this morning if I was going to have a cake, and I told him that I might make cookies. He then asked me if there would be candles on the cookies. I told him the recipe probably wouldn't make that many cookies. Then he asked if people would come by and give me presents, and I had to tell him that no, probably not. I was a grown up and I wasn't having a party. But we might have Chinese Food for dinner! And what could be better than that?


Here is a photograph of me when Steve and I were just married. Look closely. I am doing at least three things I will probably never do again. Can you figure them out? They are: 1 - wear a bikini. 2 - try to get a tan. 3 - relax by a pool without the worry of a child potentially drowning or slipping or otherwise injuring himself or others.

A couple of Great Events... if you missed Mike Daisey this Monday there is still time to see the rest of his Great Men Of Genius. Also, my brother has forwarded an invitation to an event called Maze Of Injustice - details below, but RSVP's TODAY PEOPLE. Of course both of these events are in New York, so... Betsy, put down the twins! We're going to New York! There is much fun and culture to be had. Plus, there might be time for a nap!

Dear Amnesty Friends,
You are invited to attend a reception and public program at The Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in New York City
Where: Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, One Bowling Green (across from Battery Park in downtown Manhattan)
When: Thursday, November 15, 2007, 6 รข€“ 8 p.m.
What: Learn about Amnesty International™s groundbreaking report: Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA.
Speakers include:
Georgia Little Shield, Executive Director, Pretty Bird Women House
Winona Flying Earth, Sitting Bull College and South Dakota Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Hors d'oeuvres and cocktails will be served.
This event is free and open to the public
RSVP to Matthew Kennis by Thursday, November 8; 212-633-4169 or mkennis@aiusa.org
Directions by Train:
Eastside: 4 and 5 trains to Bowling Green
Westside: 1 train to South Ferry
BMT: R and W trains to Whitehall. M and J trains to Broad St.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

As The Sun Sets...


One evening, as I was making dinner, I looked up and there was this sky... so I took a picture.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Time Change

video

Here is a fuzzy video of he boys just before Trick or Treating. By camera batteries were shutting down, so I didn't have time to fuss around with things like, oh, focus.

What I wanted to comment on was the Time Change. I understand the concept of Daylight Savings, and that we but our clocks back to make the most use of the sunlight we've been given, to save energy, blah blah blah... but honest to God, I do not understand how this is supposed to work.

See, to me, the total number of daylight hours simply does not change. I wake in the dark. I go to sleep in the dark. No matter how you move things around, the dark is there. It won't change. Except possibly for a couple of weeks in the summer, the kids wake up before the sun. So... lotta good it does me.

But as far as being a pain int the neck? Yeah. The Time Change is that. Because Nick and Nate do not understand the concept of actual TIME. As it was, they were waking up a good hour before their "It's OK To Get Up" alarm went off. So now, instead of waking at 5:30, they happily awake at 4:30 and begin their routine of thumping up and down the hall and quietly jumping off the bed so that the house shakes. The pets, who also have no concept of Daylight Savings, register the fact that the household has begun to wake up. The dog begins to lick himself loudly. The cats begin to chase each other up and down the hall. After a few moments of the adults remaining unresponsive, the cats begin their pitiful meowing in the hallway, crying out to the heavens that they are being starved! Starved! By their own people!

And this is why I hate daylight savings. And the Time Change. Because the adjustment period is so incredibly long and stupid and incomprehensible to small children and animals. And that forces me to get up early.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Is a Puzzlement

It has gotten to the point where I no longer have to sit on Nathan to get him to fall asleep at night. I simply have to return him to his bed five or six times, and if I can remember to keep it down, to not yell and get him all agitated, he will probably fall asleep within forty minutes or so.

The night always begins with him talking to himself in bed as he "reads" a bunch of books. I sit in my room and listen for the moments of silence, thinking each time that this might be it! He might be falling asleep now! Then I can turn on my TV and watch a show with inappropriate content, or take a shower, or actually read more than a paragraph on my book at a time! But usually the silence is just his pondering what he should get while he is out of bed, and it is only a matter of time before the baby gate rattles and there he is, on the other side, still thinking he is so clever for getting out in the first place.

The other night one of the silences seemed to go on and on, but it just didn't seem right. there were too many shuffles for there to be two sleeping children in the room. So I got up and peeked.

I had left the room a mess, simply because the idea of getting the kids to clean up before bed seemed like torture... to me. There were a bunch of puzzles all over the floor, all the pieces mixes up and spread out... honestly, who had the time? Well, apparently Nathan did, because when I checked on him he had completed four puzzles all by himself. These aren't hard puzzles, but when you consider having to sort out which bits went with which puzzles... And he's not even two. I was impressed. It's hard to be mad at your kid when you're so busy thinking they are smart.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

He'll Learn Much More Than I'll Ever Know

Think back to the first time you interacted with a computer. What was it for? Was it work? A game? What was the game like? How old were you? My father got a computer - a word processor - when I was about 7. The games on it came on big huge floppy disks. My favorite game was "Ghost Town," A game where you could actually give the game two word commands (get rake, go north, climb ladder) and it would "take" you to the next location. Via description. There were no graphics, just words glowing green on the screen.

Nicholas is three and a half. He knows how to turn his computer on and off. He can turn the monitor on and off. He knows how to open an internet browser. From there, he knows which bookmarks on his bookmarks bar will bring him to the Wiggles, and which will bring him to Sesame Street. He can navigate to the games he likes to play. He knows how to click and drag with the mouse, and how to scroll up and down to find what he's looking for. In fact, he is more comfortable at the computer than my mother is, and as soon as he learns to read, I'm sure he will be able to teach her a thing or two.

There are a whole host of issues surrounding the computer these days that my parents never had to even consider. The internet - my three year old is on the internet. How long before we have to start glancing over his shoulder and see which chat rooms he's visiting, or who has been sending him email? Not to mention talk about the fact that there are some sites he simply shouldn't be visiting? Already one issue has taken me by surprise.

It was only last night, while Steve was making dinner and I was setting the table, that Nick walked up to us bending his hand. "It hurt when I go like this!" he said. Steve immediately responded with "Don't go like that!" But I looked and realized... it was his mouse hand. Not only can my three year old connect to the internet, he is already damaging his joints from clicking his mouse. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome. From clicking his Cookie Monster Mouse.

Friday, November 02, 2007

What is there to say?


Sorry about the Halloween photos. They are still on my camera, which has run out of battery. Besides that, I would feel odd posting those pictures right now.

Within the past few days, Mary Clare had a stroke and passed away. Mary was a classmate of my mother's, but she also lived with my Aunt Frances for years, at least as long as I can remember. I'm over 30, so that's a pretty long time. Longer than many marriages last these days. Mary was very upset when my Aunt Frances died six months ago, and she hadn't been herself since, not really.

So what is there, really, to say? I can't think of anything.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

A Really Horrifying Story

video

At night, while getting ready for bed, I watch a lot of TV shows like "Forensic Files" and "Body of Evidence" where real life crime situations are solved through the efforts of hardworking police personnel and profilers and the bad guy is almost always caught. These shows are cool because they are so overly dramatized, and they also repeat the few facts at hand about 47 times during the 11 minutes of showtime, so that even if you watch 3 minutes of the program you know exactly everything that happens.

These shows are great for falling asleep to.

The other night I saw the most horrifying of these shows ever. A woman expecting a baby got a phone call from another woman who said she mistakenly received some of the items from her online baby registry. Apparently woman #2 had a similar name to woman #1, and also had an online baby registry, so someone clicked the wrong button and VOILA! At this point, even though she was 6 days past her due date, woman #1 drove to pick up her gifts from woman #2's house. (Woman #2 was also apparently very pregnant and woman #1 felt bad?) She ended up doing this twice, two days in a row, after the second part of the shipment came in, only the second time woman #2 pulled a knife and attacked poor woman #1. At this point Woman #1 was forced to fight for her life, and in the struggle woman #2 was stabbed and died. Woman #1 was rushed to the hospital, but was then held questioning and treated as a suspect in the murder case. It turned out that woman #2 was actually NOT pregnant, was actually a bit insane, had faked many pregnancies in the past, and it looked like she was going to remove the baby from woman #1's body and then keep it as her own, based on the baby stuff in her place and medical equipment found in various diaper bags. So five days after the fight for her life, woman #1 gave birth with police outside her door just in case she was a murderer.

Isn't that so scary? I mean, the woman was TWELVE DAYS PAST HER DUE DATE! Does no one see the horror here?

Seriously, I worry about going past my due date, and I also worry that this baby will be huge. I mean, Nick was 6 pounds 13 ounces. Nate was 7 pounds 15 ounces. And I swear there was a difference. I mean, if you're choosing an oven roaster chicken the extra pound doesn't mean THAT much, does it? But What if you then see a 10 pound chicken? Then there is a slight difference. What if this one just happens to be closer to, oh... 9 pounds? The baby, not the chicken.