Saturday, November 8, 2008

Getting from point A to point B

Erin was very upset this morning that she did not have gymnastics as Katie does. It being a gray day outside, I proposed a bike ride to our local "play cafe", an indoor mini-playground for kids. Erin's tears disappeared almost instantly--right, I thought, lets strike while the iron is hot. 

Already dressed in her leotard, so as to attend gymnastics in spirit, if not in actuality, I suggested we put some pants on her, over the leotard, to protect those almost three year old legs from the cold.  Three pairs later, with much whining and gnashing of teeth, I abandoned the idea that she must keep her legs warm on our bike ride.  After all, she has free will doesn't she?  Perhaps if her legs got cold, she'd "learn something".  OK, almost set to go, I looked up a bike safe route on google maps, got my bike gloves out of my bag, and remembered--oops, I left my bike at work last night.

Erin took this news amazingly well.  She commented that she did that once when she was a baby.   Luckily, I was thinking quickly and decided we'd take the bus instead.  A quick lookup of the bus schedule, and we were out the door.  Less than 10 steps from our doorstep, Erin remembers that she wants to be wearing the "new" (to her) polka dot fleece jacket Momma brought up from the bag of Katie's old clothes.  So, back inside.  New jacket on, socks shoes and leotard clad, we made it to the bus stop.  We got what I interpreted as a few concerned looks from passers by in cars as we sat waiting for the bus--"is that girl naked under that jacket?" I imagined them thinking.  

An hour after the plan was hatched, we've arrived and Erin's happily playing away.  The bus ride was actually an adventure for us, despite the fact that I don't believe AC Transit has a single friendly driver in their vast fleet.  The only other minor setback was a bump on the head, via a roll off of a "hop ball" about 5 seconds after Erin set foot in the play area.  It's good to get those things out of the way at the start.    The rest of the day is looking good.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Wrong side of history

A slim majority of Californians voted last night to take away the right of gay and lesbian people to marry in our golden state.  The millions of Pro-8 voters were driven by fear, mis-information, a belief that their religious views must be imposed on others, as well as a frightful belief that rights are to be whimsically bestowed and taken away from minorities with less thought than is shown towards livestock.  Bigger coops for chickens?  Yea!  Marriage for gays? Nay!

Their hate is a blight on the lives and families of gays and lesbians everywhere.  Under the guise of "protecting marriage", they have stigmatizatized gays and lesbians and our children.  They have asserted that discriminating against lesbians and gays is acceptable and they have ordered that inequality be written into law.

Let's hope that they are on the wrong side of history.  Let's hope that these narrow minds--clearly not thinking rationally, if at all, about how their disconnected actions in the ballot box damage real women, men and children in so many painful ways--will not prevail.
SECTION 1.  All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights.  Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, acquiring, possessing, and protecting property, and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness, and privacy.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Top 10 Ways Gay Marriage Hurts Straight Marriage

Top 10 Ways Gay Marriage hurts Straight Marriage

10.  Gay marriages have raised the bar for having fun, creative and fabulous weddings.
9.   All the good venues have already been booked by gay couples.
8.  Your friends can't come to your straight wedding because it conflicts with their other friends' gay wedding.
7.  The lines at the county clerk and city hall are much longer with all the gay couples getting married.
6.  Only the people who really want to be there go to a gay wedding, so the straight weddings get all the people who you wish wouldn't come.
5.  All the offspring of gay marriages will be gay (just like all the offspring of straight marriages are straight) leading to a world wide population implosion.
4.  The pressure will increase on straight married couples to have even more children as a result of #5.
3.  Straight married couples will divorce in increasing numbers as a result of all this increased pressure and stress on them to reproduce.
2.  Straight couples will have no money to retire on because they have too many children and alimony payments from previous straight marriages.
1. Straight marriage will completely disintegrate and be viewed as an impossible dream  because of #s 2-10.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Katie's Alarm Clock

Now that she's a big kindergartener, Emily set Katie's alarm clock to go off in the AM to help her wake up before Mamma goes to work, thus avoiding meltdowns and tears at the start of the day. The first day of this new regime, Emily went up to find Katie on the floor staring at her alarm clock (music playing). Asked how she liked it, Katie replied, "I like it, but it waked me up before I was finished sleeping".

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Not a day over 65

Conversation overheard at the YMCA today:

Woman 1: Oh, hi, how are you? We never see each other any more.
Woman 2: I'm good, and you? Yea, we don't.
Woman 1: What classes are you taking these days?
Woman 2: Well, I've dropped Sunday mornings, so I'm mostly coming in to do my own workouts--and I'm also taking a Pilates class at Elephant Pharmacy. It's free and it's nice.
Woman 1: Oh, I'm taking a Pilates class too, it is nice.
Woman 2: Well, you look good.
Woman 1: So do you!
Woman 2: Thank you. We gotta work hard.
Woman 1: Tell me about it, we're old broads, we gotta work hard.
Woman 2: Don't remind me, I have a birthday coming up next week.
Woman 1: Which one is it? Is it the same as mine?
Woman 2: No, you're younger than me.
Woman 1: So how old are you going to be? I'm 72.
Woman 2: 71. But we're children, children!
Woman 1: [laughs]
Woman 2: I'm in better shape than some of my kindergarteners [proceeds to bend over and touch her toes].
Woman 1: You're kidding, that's terrible!
Woman 2: Yes, I know, I feel so bad for some of these kids.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Get out your handkerchiefs

Today is Katie's last day of pre-school.  She's been going since she was 2 years and 9 months old, and she's 5 years and 7 months now. We will be attending her "graduation" ceremony this afternoon, and yes, I will be bringing a supply of tissues.  As well as the camera and video cam.  Emily and I are taking turns fighting the urge to choke up--how could this all be happening so fast?  Looking back, it all seems like a blur, and now Erin is getting ready to go to pre-school and Katie to Kindergarten.  Thankfully they both are more forward looking and eager than their parents who are sentimental saps.  Pictures and video to be posted later. 

Monday, July 21, 2008


We went to Disneyland. Or, rather, I went to the American Library Association conference, which happened to be in Anaheim CA, and brought my family + Grandma (Emily's mom) to Disneyland. So I went to some ALA programs (which were dull compared to Disneyland's offerings), and also went to Disneyland. Hadn't been there since I was 18. My high school graduating class went there after we graduated. This time was more fun, though also interrupted by my obligation to attend ALA.


Watching fireworks from our room at the Disneyland Hotel (now Erin thinks that all Hotel rooms must provide fireworks).
Seeing Katie meet the various princesses which are currently part of her imaginary world.
Seeing Erin meet Minnie Mouse--true love at first sight!
The Disneyland Hotel Pool.


Taking a five year old on "Space Mountain when A. I don't even really like roller coasters, and B. What was I thinking?!!!

If you have some time to kill, you can check out our Disneyland photos.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Erin in thought

Erin in thought
Originally uploaded by leapinglemur
Erin with one of her favorite tools--a pen. In addition to writing on paper, she also enjoys writing on walls, clothes (especially new clothes), furniture, skin as well as sucking on the ink end.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Hooray for common sense

[Note:  I found this unfinished draft from May.  New commentary added today, 7/19/08.]

The front page of the SF Chronicle reports today that for the first time in 30 years, a majority of Californians support Gay Marriage! It is a slim majority though, and depending on how heavily the prop-22 people sell their anti-rights constitutional amendment, some may be swayed to the dark side. What to do? Well, first off, I guess, we will be getting married.  Yep, that's right.  The date is set, October 25th at the Temescal Boat House in Oakland.  Arrangements are underway.  Another poll came out yesterday saying that of likely voters in California 51% oppose proposition 8, and about 7% are undecided.  I wonder what the issues are for those who can't decide?  I'd be happy to speak to any of those voters.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Raccoon-proof kiddie pool

I'm on the prowl for a Raccoon-proof kiddie pool. So far we've lost two blow-up pools to our local band of back-yard prowling, night-swimming rascals.

The model to the right was savagely attacked, apparently after the raccoons believed they were under a shark attack while wading in the deep end.

Another pool one was just half-heartedly chewed--nothing like a shark to get the adrenaline going. Apparently, raccoon pool wading and destruction is not uncommon. Other enemies of the blow up pool include birds, and logically challenged people, like myself, who dragged our hard sided, but soft-bottomed pool along the rocky mulch to empty it.

Alas, the hard plastic type of pool that used to be in style when I was a kid seems to be no longer in, I must turn to Slate magazine for my pool recommendation.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Mommy Hossy

Whenever I even slightly bend over, before I know what's happening, Erin yells "hossy ride" and tries to climb on my back. And if one girl wants a hossy ride, the other wants one too, so it becomes more efficient just to give them one at the same time. With recent back and neck troubles, my doctor has recommended I lay off this activity. I recently did a backwards somersault to show Erin what fun it was at Baby Gymnastics--and while I failed to convince her to try it, I wound up with a stiff neck for two weeks. My gymnastics career is over. But regardless of what my doctor says, I'd say I have at least one more year of hossy rides.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

January Twuonleyeth

Katie's 5th birthday party was Jan 20th and a bouncy time was had by all (well almost all). We decadently rented a bouncy-house for the day, for $90 bucks. Not bad considering we had it from 8:30 AM till almost 7 PM, though of course bouncing was not constant during that period. I'd say we got our money's worth: 13 girls, 2 boys, and at least 5 adults had a go in it, there were no major injuries, Disney princeceses adorned said abode (Katie can rattle them off, but all I know is Cinderella & Snow White (who I never realized was a princess)).

The only major trauma was Momma accidentally serving the first piece of cake to a different Katie (Katie C., not Katie A.),The wrong Katie gets the first piece and some minor ouchies which, when it comes down to it, are an essential part of childhood.

While the party had a princess theme (which, on one level I don't relate to, but on another can't object to) we didn't overdo it. Or I should say I didn't. Momma E. made a smashing good princess cake inspired by the princess cookbook that Grandma N. got for Katie last year, and this post will close with an homage to the birthday girl and her adored baked good:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers

This book is one that Katie and her friend Julia have built an entire fantasy play world around. I love the description by the author of the article on "100 books every child should read":

The Tale of Samuel Whiskers, by Beatrix Potter(Frederick Warne, £4.99)Tom Kitten learnt nothing from his parents about the consequences of curiosity. Abducted by a psychotic rat, he comes within a whisker of being turned into a pudding. Nightmares guaranteed.
In fact, Katie & Julia have never lost a wink of sleep over this story.  Katie is Annamaria, and Julia is Samuel Whiskers, and sometimes, if she's lucky, little Eri gets to be Tom Kitten, and J & K turn her into a "rolly polly pudding".  More often than not though, it is just J & K running around gathering food for their rat dinner, and finding sticks that will be useful in constructing infinite rat houses.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Our Katie

Just received from Katie's teacher. That's our girl on "hat day" with a princess crown that she made at a classmate's birthday party last year. It's held up amazingly well. Last night as I was putting Katie and Erin to bed I was reading them books. Max's Valentine to be precise. Erin wanted it "again, again" (a very common request about anything that is enjoyable) and Katie didn't. "Why not?" asked Erin. "Because it's my body" replied Katie. OK then!

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Super helium debunked

So I discovered that it's not the helium, but the balloons that make the balloons stay up for a month. They've got an extra non-porous plastic lining which keeps the helium in the balloon. Mystery solved, there's no such thing as "super-helium"--or is there?

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Cookies

So far I'm a failure at capturing events in realtime. So here's installment 1 of a semi-irregular report on what we did over the holidays.

Christmas Cookies

In honor of MeanLouise who says she was cookie deprived this holiday season, here's a view of one of several Christmas cookie events in our neck of the woods.

Naked chef, watch out!

BTW, these Gingerbread bears were made from a kit from Crayola.

Thank you Grandma, they were a hit--at least the making of them. Neither child seemed to actually enjoy eating them. The cat enjoyed playing cat-hockey with the gum-drops that were deposited on the floor however, and I believe Santa had one too.

First achievement of 2008

I received this exciting call while I was out to lunch:

Katie zips her coat, alllllll by herself!