Friday, August 31, 2012

Big Week for a Little Girl

Next week Ruby starts back to school part time and is switching from dance classes to gymnastics. Last week her teacher came and visited. Ru is really excited, filling her school bag with books and toting them around the house.

Saying she is excited about gymnastics would be the understatement of the century. The school's class roster was full so she had to be on a waiting list. We told her that we had to wait on the lady to call us and let us know that she could go. Ruby asked several times a day if she had called. One day, out of nowhere, she even went as far as to tell us that the lady had called her and said it was ok to go now.

Kids are smart...sometimes I think a little too smart.

Monday, August 27, 2012

The juice is loose...

The documentary "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead" inspired us to get on the juicing train. It didn't take long for the train to jump the track. Bed, Bath and Beyond carries the documentary on DVD but not the juicer from the film. We special ordered one through their website. It came damaged...
We ordered another and once it got in, we started juicing. I was immediately unimpressed with the quality of the juicer. It constantly spit chunks back out of the chute getting little bits of this and that all over the counter. Cleanup was a nightmare. I was literally scrubbing bits of fruits and veggies off of the plastic walls and that was just before putting it in the dishwasher. The other big disappointment was the amount of waste that was generated. Each time I used it I was throwing away more pulp that I was getting juice. I just mentally couldn't get past it. Yesterday we took the juicer back.
Our friend who also just started juicing has a VitaMix and loves it so we are saving for one. Really just an untra-powerful blender, there is no waste and cleanup is a breeze. I've seen his machine and tried his juice and I think it will fit our needs and lifestyle much better.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Happy Thursday

     It's been quite a while since we had any real action around here. I should have known we were overdue.
All was well Thursday morning: the girls were up and eating breakfast, my wife was getting dressed and I was packing her lunch. Ruby wanted oatmeal, which I made and gave to her, and Sailor was working on the first half of a banana.
     It was quiet...too quiet. I went in the next room to check on them and this is what I found.
Yep, that's a bowl of oatmeal spread all over the couch. It was also on the throw pillows and all over Ruby (and some on Sailor too). I yelled so loud that the sonic boom actually knocked the kids off their feet.
     Ruby got a spin in time out and a shower. Sailor got a thorough wipe down and the other half of her banana. My wife feels like it was our fault for not watching them. I told her Ruby, who was the obvious culprit as the oatmeal was places Sailor can't reach, knows better and could not resist the temptation of spreading her bowl of breakfast greatness all over the place and playing in it.
     To be honest, the things the kids have done that were destructive and made trouble for us actually seem like they would be kind of awesome to do. Who hasn't felt like ripping things out of the wall or coloring on the TV? I guess that is the difference between adults and children...they can get away with it and we can't.

Monday, August 13, 2012


We've been talking a lot lately about the television we used to watch when we were young and shows we'd like to sit down and watch with the girls. All of our choices are family centered sitcoms that either show an earlier, easier way of life or shows that are reflective of how life was when we grew up. I can already imagine the questions: "why don't they just call his cell phone," "why are they lost, don't they have a gps?"

There are some cartoons from our childhoods we have already exposed the girls to and they seem to enjoy. I can't wait for them to get older and have a night a week where we hang out together and take in these old shows as a family. We also have several more we'll watch as they get older.

Are there any shows you'd like to share with your kids? What are they and why? Leave your comments below, I'm curious...

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Monday, August 6, 2012

Happy Birthday

to my wonderful wife and partner in this crazy child-rearing adventure. We love you baby, here's to many more!

Friday, August 3, 2012


     Technically an 80's movie as it was released in 1989, I always think of this as being much more of a 90's film. More than just it's proximity to the later decade, it just has that kind of vibe. I remember seeing it as a kid and thinking it was very funny. I'm fairly certain the draw for me at the time was seeing another film with Keanu Reeves who caught my childhood attention as Ted Logan in "Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure" which was released the same year.
     If you've never seen it, the story centers around the Buckman family. It's a big family with plenty of parents, grandparents and children. When I was younger, I identified with the rebellious and confused Julie and Garry, two kids rocked into relative ab-normalcy by the divorce of their parents. I didn't go through this specific scenario myself but it didn't keep me from an often odd and awkward adolescent experience. Looking back, I wouldn't change a thing about my upbringing. What I went through made me the person I am today and gave me a great perspective about having children of my own.
     Which brings me to what made me think about choosing this film as the topic for this post. When I was very young I never really thought about how good I had it. Not that being a teenager was always a walk in the park but I always thought adults had it figured out and that when I got older I would really have my own affairs together. This film was the first thing that ever really made me think that adults might have a much more stressful, confusing and trying time than children did. As a parent, I now see just how true those feelings were.
     Both my children are young but I always try and stay a step ahead. In the present, this means things like planning birthday parties, choosing day care or day schools, buying clothes, picking activities, etc. In the long term I worry a lot about pricey school registrations and supplies, braces, sports and equipment, cars, college, weddings, etc.
     Thankfully my wife is much less of a worrier than I am, a large part of the beauty of our relationship: balance. She always tells me to relax, that we will be able to figure it out, make it all happen and that the most important things we can give our kids are free. At the end of the day, the shelter of the family unit and  the nurturing, guidance, life lessons and love we provide should be enough to help them have a good head on their shoulders and land on their feet. I hope she is right.
     Again, my vision of what adulthood would be like was way off. The confidence and stability I thought I would have are missing and more than an adult, I just feel like an old kid. Despite the feeling that I don't really know what I am doing, things are always taken care of and we don't want for much and don't need for anything. My ability to pull this off, thanks to the rearing provided by my parents, gives me a much better feeling about how my children might feel when they get older. At the end of the day, I think that might be just as much as any parent can ask for.
     The film sums all of this up in one brilliant exchange between Steve Martin and Helen Shaw, the aging and mentally slipping matriarch of the family. Her years of knowledge and experience shine clearly in this scene and even as a child, the truth of the dialogue was apparent to me. I understand it now more than ever and as scary and frightening as it gets at times, I am thoroughly enjoying the ride.

(taken from IMDB)
[Gil has been complaining about his complicated life; Grandma wanders into the room
Grandma: You know, when I was nineteen, Grandpa took me on a roller coaster. 
Gil: Oh? 
Grandma: Up, down, up, down. Oh, what a ride! 
Gil: What a great story. 
Grandma: I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me that a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together! Some didn't like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around. Nothing. I like the roller coaster. You get more out of it.