Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Early Summer

Sunday summer came. The temperature rushed up over 90 without much warning. The girls giggled, put on bathing suits and flaunted the holy grail of summer footwear, flip-flops. We all sweated a bit and shifted sleeping arrangements when we discovered the upper AC unit had blown a capacitor over winter (the ice storm?). But, it is lovely -- the warmth. Later, it will be too hot, no longer fun. But, right now, we are all greeting the true summer clothes like long lost friends.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Meet Dot

This is Dot, our hermaphroditic triop. We feed her every day, watch her underwater acrobatics and wonder when she will die. The life span of a triop is 20-90 days, so when MeiLin said "perhaps she will live forever", I had to comment that her days are literally numbered. She is quite an amazing creation and we are glad to enjoy her for a bit.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

American History

We visited The Mall this weekend, starting with a paddle boat ride from near the Washington Memorial to the Jefferson Memorial, a visit to the Jefferson Memorial and then a search through an over-crowded American History Museum to find the critical holding that represents the penultimate of American culture--at least to the 5-7 yr old set. We finished off the trip listening to high school choral groups while munching on ice cream.

How American can you get?

Shift, Tilt, Suprise

This week I have tried a new approach to waking the girls up. Instead of harrassing and humphing about the time, I've sat in their room and talked to them about the day, silly things or jokes while they slowly got themselves out of bed and started getting dressed. Now, I know this sounds like an obvious thing--that a change in my behavior would result in a change in their behavior. Obvious though isn't always easy; it means changing my behavior.

But, this week it is working. I'm more relaxed (less of that humphing) and they are happier.

Monday, April 20, 2009

We hope you live

At the Natural History Museum one day, we purchased a "grow your own triops" kit. For those unsure about where triops land on the species map, they are an omnivorous crustacean similar to a horseshoe crab. They live in water all around the world and, because of their hardy eggs, have existed since dinosaur times.

We bought the kit. We read. We prepared the water. We put the eggs in. We watched the teeny tiny hatchlings. We fed them. We took water temperature measurements and noted the size of the animals doubling almost every day. Six hatched. One mysteriously dissappeared one day. Maiya thought it had left the aquarium. Doubtful. Remember the "omnivorous" part of the description? A few days ago, four of them died overnight -- possibly due to overcrowding now that they are larger in a small aquarium, possibly due to water issues or perhaps just the end of their life spans. They live 20-90 days apparently.

We have one triop left. MeiLin named her Dot and declared we will have a celebration party for her when she dies. Since then, she has been making little paper signs and placing them around the kitchen: "We love you Dot", "This triop is special for being the last one who died", "You are a special triop" and today's addition, "We hope you live".

Embrace life. Celebrate it. Be prepared for death. Lessons from a child.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Good Intentions

I have a goal, a triathlon goal. It spurs me on many days. Other days, it eats at me, reminds me I have not managed a workout in days, weeks! Sigh. I intend to start over again this week. Renewal is a blessing.

Catch! calls the Once-ler.
He lets something fall.
It's a Truffula Seed.
It's the last one of all!
You're in charge of the last of the Truffula Seeds.
And Truffula Trees are what everyone needs.
Plant a new Truffula. Treat it with care.

Give it clean water. And feed it fresh air.
Grow a forest. Protect it from axes that hack.
Then the Lorax
and all of his friends
may come back.

*From Dr. Seuss' The Lorax

Monday, April 13, 2009

Easter 2009 Memories

Chocolate bunny ears
Easter bonnets
Egg clues to the baskets (thanks Oma!)
Star Wars cards
More chocolate - those deceptive little Dove eggs - how many did we eat?
Candied sweet potatoes
Crisp clear morning
Budding trees
2 scratched DVDs, 1 playing DVD for drive
Dyeing eggs
Eating eggs
Decoupaging eggs
What haven't we done to eggs that we could do?
A longish Easter service, but the kids held in there--good job!
Star Wars quizzes
Jelly beans--lots of white for the grace of Christ

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Si, se puede!*

Twin day at school

The better part of life ... this year is shaping up to be one of those odd ones. Odd years are the years I bump along, expecting one thing to happen and happen and happen. That thing disappears and I end up somewhere else. I adjust, plan and start over only to find more detours and bumps. Now, I know you might say this happens all the time ... of course it does as we humans are frankly pretty lousy at predicting the future. Yet, there are times when almost all of life goes only slightly askew, almost tilted sideways. I am walking through the carnival tilting house. I am still on my feet, but the room is off.

I'm going to keep going though.

*attributed to Dolores Huerta