Sunday, June 28, 2009

Full house of laughter, crumbs and yoga

Good friends from California are visiting us. They have two daughters, ages 10 and 12 and then our girls plus the adults and then Mike's parents. With four floors, 3 1/2 baths and 6 sinks, the house supports crowds. And, I love them in my home. I'm not much of a mall shopper, party go-er or bar person, but I love hosting people and more and more that includes kids. I like the rhythmic process of putting together the meal, feeding everyone and then letting the kids go off into various corners with make-up, yoga DVDs, books, music and a mountain of pillows and blankets. I watch our girls with the older girls. I see them growing up. I also see that kids are kids and that some of the things I sigh over with my girls will continue; we are not alone as parents. Comforting thought even if it means a few more years of crumbs under all the chairs and sopping wet hand towels in the sink.

Rejoice in the daily details!

Friday, June 26, 2009

One child, one family, one farm at a time

A friend of my sister's is involved in a new program to feed kids at a Namibian school. Food seems to be the central thought this month for me. I finished reading Michael Pollan's In Defense of Food, then watched the documentary Kingcorn and heard about the new documentary Food, Inc. I picked up the companion book, but haven't been able to see the movie yet.

In my zeal, I had a chat with my 7-yr old one day about the fact that we have 900 million people in the world that are not sufficiently fed each day and yet in the States (and some other countries), we use 1/4 to 1/3 of our land to grow biofuel for cars and/or cows instead of people. I didn't think she would get it.

Then, she brought me this letter she wrote -- she says I should send it to "whoever" is doing this so they will stop:

"Our quot: all people cold have corn but farmers are using half for rich people and cold use the other half for poor but enstead useing for gasoline." [sic]

It is signed by her and the members of her "spy" gang of first grade girls. She got it.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sticky buns


Breakfast this morning..thanks to King Arthur Flour's recipe and some help from Maiya last night.
Very yummy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

De-forestation

I finally went to get waxed last week for the first time since we moved (9 months ago!). Summer is here. I don't mind getting in the lap pool to swim with my stubbled legs, but community pool season is here and the beach vacation is coming.

I went to a new place. She did a pretty good job, but as I have been shaving for 12 months, the hairs are stubborn and don't want to come out, so it is back tomorrow for a touch-up. Consistent waxing actually makes the hairs come out easier. I don't know why--ask a dermatologist.

She mentioned that a guy called recently and asked for an appointment. She said "call the city; they do men there."

After reading this rather unintentionally hilarious article, I am now ready to give her a new statement for the male callers: "We don't do the male undercarriage here."

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

What to name the new one in the stable?


Yes, we have ordered a new bike. Now, before you start asking how many bikes we have in the garage (8 1/2, but I really don't think we should count the one that has been in its suitcase for, um, 7 years), let me first say that we have a plan. Secondly, let me add in our defense that this bike will replace the 1/2 bike (otherwise known as a trail-a-bike).

Our new bike will be Enno Orange. I don't know what Enno means, but orange is Maiya's favorite color and how many orange bikes do we see riding around? The Bike Friday Family Traveler Tandem is cool. Let us enumerate the ways it is cool: it adjusts so that the kids can ride on back and then you can quickly adjust again and adults can ride on back; it breaks apart and fits into two hardcase, rolling regular luggage-size cases; it has smaller tires; and it is orange.

It does not yet have a name, but the girls are thinking. It will be hear in about 3-4 weeks and we'll definitely pop up some pictures. If this bike works out, then our red, much-loved Santana tandem will go up for sale so we can add a second Bike Friday tandem--in purple, of course--MeiLin's favorite color.

In the meantime, enjoy a picture of the Santana while it is still here!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What to say?

MeiLin is inquisitive, verbal and intelligent. Other parents sometimes are not prepared for the level of interrogation we have slowly accepted as normal from her. The latest:

"Ms. Kim, Adam in our class is really bad. He said the A-word and the F-word and was suspended. I think it is because he watched too many violent movies when he was 3 and 4. This show [old Superman cartoon] is violent, but not too violent. It could be more violent. Is fart a bad word? I don't think it is a really bad word, just kind of bad."

"Mom, this girl in class is getting on my last nerves. She is said I had to be homecoming queen or she would break up the spy club."

to a friend's teenage cousin who has cerebral palsy and could not go swimming with us: "So how do you go to the bathroom? Do you go by yourself?" She did ask politely and is curious and later my friend said it gave the boy a chance to learn how to answer such questions in a non-threatening environment (a 7-year old).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Orange Belt, Orange Belt, Here I Come

video
MeiLin passed her orange belt test. She was nervous and made a few mistakes that she hadn't made in practice the week before.

Sparring is interesting - like large beetles clumsily attacking each other. MeiLin is the one that starts on the left.

video

Sunday, June 7, 2009

A witness

Some days I seek solitude. As a parent, you take it where you can, even the bathroom. Although I haven't decided if it counts if my personal time counts when the cat insists on accompanying. When I refuse to turn the water faucet on for him, he curls up and watches me. Lovely.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Feels like new


Sometimes all it takes to make something like new is a better fit, a change in perspective, a washing clean. God tells us this pretty often - be new, become like new, re-birth.
Yesterday, I had a bike fit, my first ever. A bike fit? It is basically like it sounds: a knowledgeable person measures you, puts you on your bike, watches you ride, maybe uses high-tech assistance like video, measures some more, talks to you and then suggests changes or adjustments to your saddle, bars, pedals, cleats etc. In a way, it is a lot like a general physical check-up at the doctor's office. It might be routine, change little and feel like a waste of money or it could be re-invigorating.
I had a great bike fit (thanks Josh at CycleLife USA!). I rode 20 miles today and it felt like a new bike -- my toes did not go numb, my shoulders and neck did not get stiff/sore and I didn't play "shuffle my hands" as I rode trying to find a comfortable spot. Feels like new.