Wednesday, September 28, 2011

more red tide metaphors

This one from Lucy: Mama, the red tide looks like blue fairies dancing through the edge of the water.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


I went out and saw the red tide tonight. Eerie lightshow on the waves, in long ribbons of lumenescent blue.
It struck me that all my metaphors to describe it are from the world of entertainment, special effects and light shows.

My husband makes software to do stop-frame animation, which as an art form nearly died when people started doing computer animation. But funny thing: after a while, we all realized you could do pretty much anything with a computer, and that can get boring. What are we amazed by now? Real things. Real things that awaken us to the possibilities (literally) in our fingertips.

Much as I love computers and the interWeb, I hope I can introduce my daughters to the REAL possibilities out there.

Monday, September 26, 2011


I can't blame it on sleep, or a long day of kid-watching, or lack of caffeine. Whatever the cause, my brain's gears never really connected to the motors. Methinks it's time to fold laundry and watch TV and go to bed early.
Thus ends today's brilliant post.

what you really really want

I needed a few minutes of (ahem) privacy. A toddler (who will remain unnamed) was lingering in the doorway.
Dyami called her from the other room. "Julia, come here."
"Do you want to read some books?"
"Do you want some hugs?"
"Do you want some tickles?"
"Do you want some pinches?"
Pause. "Yes." Toddles away.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

when you know you really need the tea

Boiled water, added the tea bag, added sugar, waited for it to steep, added sugar, took out tea bag, stirred, sipped. Bleh.

So then I...

Dumped out the tea, boiled water, added the tea bag, added sugar, waited for it to steep, added sugar (yes, I know) took out tea bag, stirred, sipped.

Drank it. Because at that point caffeine trumped taste.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

a new game

We created a new game today. I'm thinking about trying to bring it to market.
It's pretty simple: you grab a kid, and then you say, "Ham scramble!" over and over again against their neck.
It's pretty fun. I think it could be huge.

Monday, September 19, 2011

the art of negotiation

Tonight, lying in bed:
Me: Lucy, I'm going to go in the other room now.
Lucy: No, you need to stay for fifty and one thousand minutes.
Me: It sounds like you'd like me to stay longer. How about I stay for another minute?
Lucy: Seven minutes.
Me: How about three?
Lucy: No! Three hundred!
Me, sighing: I'll stay for one more minute.
Lucy: Okay.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

not exactly a stash

I started a skirt project for Lucy. I wanted to coordinate a few colors, so I pulled out my stash.
Such as it is.
Assorted thrifted sheets in 70s prints, mis-matched prints that don't go with anything, very few solids, random discarded clothes, and a pair of old socks.
I know little about sewing, but I know you cannot make a tiered ruffled skirt for a little girl out of old white athletic socks. Well, at least not with my level of skill with textiles.

If I had a little more skill and time to sew, I would plan projects, and order fabrics. But you need know-how and vision to order fabrics. Nothing calls out to me on-line (and in the very limited stores nearby, it's worse).

What does one do to build a stash cheaply? Where do you all shop?

Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Lucy and I have been working our way through Little House on the Prairie. Re-reading it with so much attention (I tend to skip a bunch when I re-read), I'm struck by the ridiculous juxtapositions:
1. Pa builds a bed.
2. Ma does the laundry.
3. The prairie catches on fire and they all almost die.
4. Pa takes off his boots.
5. Someone nearly dies in the well.

After the Indian Massacre, a lesson on doing laundry in the creek!
Or, in our world, a high-speed crash, then let's go to the car detailer.

Ah, Laura. How I wish I was part of your world.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Now that we signed up Lucy for a charter school, we will start meeting about monthly with an educational facilitator who checks in on our homeschool progress.
In other words, I show her work samples.
This should not be stressing me out. The woman seems very low-key, Lucy is in kindergarten, and it's not like we need to start bringing in to-scale dioramas of the solar system or anything.
But me being me, I get a little stressed out.

Mostly about math. Because every other subject is pretty clearly covered by what we do at home.

And Lucy has not responded super-well to the math curriculum I've showed her--mostly because writing numbers is still hard for her--even though conceptually, she generally gets it.
And much as I think you can learn some good math from cooking, it sounds like a cop-out. (Yes, she pretty much has covered the standards for kindergarten already. I still need work samples, people!)

But today, she went and learned a little bit of chess at school. (On her first day. She was very nonchalant, as if she'd played tic-tac-toe.) And then we played dominoes. I took a picture of our game, for proof.

Work sample? Check.

Monday, September 12, 2011

a little wolf pack

Lately, when I've been going around with my girls, out and around, or up and down stairs, I feel like I have a little wolf pack about me, a tribe. A different feeling than me with a small child and a baby in tow. A feeling of being in company, rather than just having my hands full.
It is a lovely feeling.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


In bed tonight: "Mama, here's how you snuggle. You get close like you are a peanut-butter-sandwich. That's snuggling. And it's when you fall asleep together."

Duly noted. Feeling rather warm and gooey. In a good way.

Friday, September 9, 2011

staying still

Disneyland trip cancelled: kid with congestion.
So, we stay still all day.
Power goes out? We're home, snug.
Thankful we weren't moving and grooving.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

no luck

Last year, we planned a Disneyland trip to avoid crowds and still have nice weather, and arrived to crowds and rain.
This year, we planned a Disneyland trip to wait until it got cooler, and the heat wave is stifling.

Next time: just go. Don't plan.

Hmmm. Perhaps words to live by?

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

all of a sudden

Fall has come, all of a sudden. Yesterday the air changed, rain dropped, and we changed our plans.
I'd like to think it wasn't a drastic change, but I'm feeling a bit changed myself.

We signed Lucy up for a school. A charter school, mind you, one that only meets one or two days a week, but still, a school. I had been advocating for keeping the status quo, but realized that I was really the only one in our house who really wanted that. Well, me, and maybe Julia.

We drove today to drop off Lucy's enrollment papers, and I walked through the school's resource center. Textbooks, and ten copies of the Little House books, and globes, and a little balance I'd seen in a math and science catalog. It was amazing to see the resources I could get, just for the asking. And I'm curious to see how Lucy will respond to having someone else ask her to do exercises in a math book.

I'm eager, awaiting my girl's first day of kindergarten. I'm a little wistful. But I also have this sense that saying yes to this small change might keep the door open to homeschooling longer than if I were to say no.

So we're going to try it. And we're all going to move forward into this changing season, and hope for more rain.

Monday, September 5, 2011


It rained today. This is unusual here in September, and took us all by surprise. We went east for twenty minutes to attend a barbeque; the smell of the desert of the rain is lovely.
"It's like eating vanilla," said Lucy. "Not the sweet kind, but it's bitter, but it still tastes so good."

Exactly, my girl.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

math rant

I was doing some work the other day and needed to print off the last few pages of a PDF I'd made. So I looked at the page number I was on (35) and the ending page (39), and realized I was getting the wrong answer when I tried to figure out how many pages to print. I think 5+4=9, right? So I'd print 4 pages.
Except I needed to print 5.

This is one of the reasons I want to homeschool. Because I actually did very well in math in school (honors/AP classes, an A in the calculus class I took in college), and I still cannot COUNT and do BASIC ADDITION.
Something very basic about numbers never got lodged in my brain, and I still have this sense that when I use math, I am not walking on firm ground. There are holes in my comprehension, despite the As and the completion of courses, that plauge me. And I never know when I'm going to fall into one.

I would like more than that for my daughters. Despite the math books and my parent's paying attention to which teachers I got, and hiring tutors when I was struggling early on, and my own efforts (taking calculus was not required) I still don't feel like I GET math.

I'd like to figure out how to get my daughters that comprehension, even if they miss the calculus. Because honestly, if they have the number sense, I have a feeling they could figure out the calculus if they needed it.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

banner day

Today: Lucy, reading her first book, on her own. Sounding out the letters and making them into words. Recognizing those words again when they came up. Using context to figure out words without sounding them out.
We are all quite excited.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

toy exchange

From swap box in the garage:
Treasure, newly found: homemade felt board.
Three years old. Used as intended*
for the very, very first time.

Finally: the careful cutting's worth it.

*Other uses for somewhat perfectionistically cut pieces: burrito stuffing, pizza making, random mess. Not a bad thing to have the toy played with not as intended, but had I known they were going to be stuffed in a tortilla, I would not have spent hours carefully crafting them.
Note to self: less effort, more joy.