On Her Flying Trapeze

Thursday, June 29, 2006

The Good

house10I’ve decided that buying a house is a lot like having kids. When you decide to do it, everyone tells you what a big fat hairy adjustment it is, how much work and added responsibility it will require but that it’s totally worth it.

You think, “I’m sure it was a big adjustment for you because you didn’t know what you were getting yourself into. I, on the other hand, have read What to Expect the first 10 Years For Every Personality Type, Secrets of a Woman Who Talks Very Softly to Small Children, Logical Love, and On Being Midget-Knowledgeable from cover to cover. I KNOW what I’m doing. I’ll actually get more done once the baby’s born because she’ll sleep all the time and I’ll have so much more energy once I’m not pregnant anymore.”

Then they’re born and you feel like you’ve been run over by a truck. What!? This was NOT what I expected. Yes, there are the sublime moments but those people were right. It is a TON of work. The work seems never to end. Your life will never be the same again and you have moments where you ask yourself, “Why did we do this to ourselves again?” The answer quickly comes and you know you would never go back on your decision, but you’d be lying to yourself if you said it wasn’t hard.

house2That is so much the way it’s been with this house so far. We’ve been here a week, spent thousands of dollars repairing things, buying new appliances, and lawn equipment. Add to all this the heat and the fact that a gelatinous blob of goob has taken over the upper third of my body and you’ve got a pretty rough week. (I’m really starting to wonder how I can blow my nose this many times. Where do I store all the goob? Is my brain so small that I can fit that much junk in my head?)

house5Then Karli came over a couple of days ago and helped me rediscover the things I love about my yard and house. She’s the kind of friend you need when you move into a new home. I will lend her out to you for a small fee. She pointed out every good thing about the floorplan and finishes. Then she took me on a tour of our wild backyard that I haven’t had time to explore.

house1Little Miss Horticulture discovered ripe strawberries, raspberries and blackberry vines. She found several rose bushes in full bloom, hidden behind the overgrown bamboo. I have an herb garden with dill and rosemary. There are morning glories, lilacs, lavender and a billion other gorgeous flowers.


This is the view from my bed in the morning.


This is what I see from my back fence.


Here is my hearth.


Where the cactuses will live.


The red doors.


And I’m glad we bought it. And I’m tired. And I’d love ideas for how to de-goob my head and lungs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Tip Tuesday – Cool It

Monday was another scorching hot day in rural Seattle with highs reaching into the low 90s.

Thou darest to call me a wuss?

Ha HA! Well it may seem a bit more scorcherific if you picture unpacking boxes all day in a house with no window screens that backs onto a lovely bug and Bambi infested forest. Seeing as we don’t want Bambi or the killer flies to enter our domicile, we kept the windows closed most of the day and let the sun bake us to a crisp.

Two weeks until the window screen maker guys can come out. We may try to make some of our own tomorrow. The Home Depot home improvement specialist did indicate that a hacksaw would be involved so I’ll keep you updated on the status of my appendages… not those ones!

And now for another installment of Conversations with Laylee:

Driving in the car
Laylee: AAAAHHHH!!!!!
Me: What!?
Laylee: That guy’s head is blowing all around in the wind!
Me [frantically looking, expecting to see some guy’s head hanging out the window, bobbing around like a balloon on a string in a wind-tunnel]: Where?

Just then, an older gentleman passed me on the left, driving a vintage convertible, his silver hair gently rustling in the breeze, like he was posing for a Vogue for Old Guys in Convertibles cover-shoot.

Laylee: That’s so FUNNY. His car has no lid on top of it!

Today please give tips for keeping cool this summer. First, I would suggest taking the lid off your van or at the very least cranking the air conditioning and blasting Bob Marley on your stereo. Also, don’t move (at all… just remain seated) if it’s hot where you live and try not to wear any clothes.

Man I wish I could still run around like a little muffin-bum in a diaper and a onesie.

Monday, June 26, 2006

And I Never Got to Say Goodbye

This doesn’t smell like my house. There are new weeds growing since we got the keys on Thursday and there are no condo association “guys” to come and obliterate them. We are the guys.

We’re also the guys who need to replace the refrigerator tomorrow. Crazy thing about us, we like freezers that FREEZE food. We also like outlets that provide power. Hence a call has been made to the electrician.

I have discovered that I have a “bum-leg”. It is my right leg and it doesn’t look like a bum. If I’m using that expression properly, I think it means that it just hurts a lot when I threaten to do something that smells of work. What a weird expression. I guess I could also say I have a “bum-finger” and a “bum-back”. But I wouldn’t risk saying “bum” anything to Laylee.

Yesterday I told her I was “pooped” and you can only imagine the hilarity that ensued. It was somewhat close to the Chaucerian 12-year-old-boyish delight I experienced when I found a typo online a couple of years ago about a disabled man who had been confined to a wheelchair after he was tragically “shat”. I can imagine that would do the body some damage.

The backyard is wonderful. Bamboo is taking over the world.

I actually packed dirty dishes and dirty laundry and I’m pretty sure I haven’t found them yet. I think they’re in a garbage bag somewhere with my brain… and possibly my digital camera. It may be a while before I post pictures of the house. I haven’t seen it since we got home from Houston (the camera, not the house).

I still feel like we made the right decision and this will be “home” someday, the home where our kids will spend a good portion of their growing-up years. But at this very moment it feels like some interlopers are about to honeymoon in my home and as I went to say goodbye to the old pad, I realized I had locked myself out with “their” keys to “their” new condo on the counter inside with a note welcoming them.

Yeah…”welcome”… and so help me if you don’t treat her well.

Friday, June 23, 2006

Good News

We have more cupboards than I remembered from our original viewing of the house. I just spent almost 5 hours putting shelf paper down in the kitchen.

Dog food and spaghetti sauce spills in the cupboards. Yick!

On a sadder note, we may all be kicking the bucket at any moment.

I was talking to Laylee about how, starting this weekend, we will live in the new house forever. She replied, "Except we all get to die sometime."

Me: Yep, but then we can get resurrected.
Laylee: YEAH! And then our bodies and our spirits will get STUCK together.
Me: That's pretty special.
Laylee: Yeah, cause we need our bodies to dance... and clap our hands... and eat food. When we die, all the food goes out of us but then when we get all stuck together again the food goes BACK in our bodies.

I was thinking of asking her to explain what exactly happens physiologically when all the stuckage occurs but by the time I got around to asking, she had moved on to a discussion of how exciting it was that the clouds were moving in the same direction as our car. "Aren't we so LUCKY!?"

She got a little lucky herself this afternoon, holding hands with a boy for the first time.


Sunday, June 18, 2006

Be a dear, would you?

Pick me up some apple boxes while you're at the grocer. We're moving, you see...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Deet Lips are Not for Kissing

A couple of nights ago, my mom put her arm around me and said quietly, “The pool is perfect. There’s a romantic full moon out and I’m going to bed now with my blinds shut and my door closed. Goodnii-iight.”

“Hm,” says I. “Who am I to argue with a parentally endorsed late night swimming smooch-fest? This must be pursued… if Dan would care to participate.”

IF… ha ha ha.

So I strut past my fine and lovely computer-hacking husband in my super-hot $15 Wal-Merto bathing suit with a raise of the eyebrows that can only mean one thing:

"Care to join me for a mysterious and enchanted evening of mystery and mysterious romance where we pretend that we’ve just met poolside at an exotic resort, that we do not spend our days reminding midgets to say please, our evenings pretending to like mushrooms as not to turn the midgets into picky eaters and our nights typing side-by-side on our laptops or sleeping and that you haven’t watched me give birth to 2 children, one the size of a smallish adult manatee?"

You know the eyebrow raise I’m talking about, right ladies? Word.

So, I lounge by the side of the pool, tossing my hair from side to side and trying to decide which is my “good leg.” Should I cross right over left or left over right? I look up at the enchanted moon when, WHAT THE FLYING HECK??!!

That’s right, a piece of flying heck had attached itself to my arm and was sucking the blood from my body – and he’d brought friends. I was suddenly in a swarm. I made a very unladylike leap into the water just as Dan came out to join me, all be-swimming-trunked and manly.

So he didn’t get to see me lounging in the moonlight. Ah well. At least we could go for a romantic swim… except OUCH! I was itching all over. I had several bites all over my body and the mosquitoes were still flying around my head trying to attack. Every time Dan would come near, I’d flail my arm up to fight off another blood-sucking insurgent.

I got out of the pool, retrieved the Deep Woods Mega Deet spray and covered both our heads with it, paying close attention to my face. Too close.

lipsDo you know what happens when you kiss someone with deet on your lips? Deet gets on their lips and seeps into their mouth so that each time they kiss you, they pull away in disgust and spit spastically into the pool. The kissing somehow activates the deet, making your lips go numb and possibly swell up to Angelina-like proportions. You fear death is imminent, so you then rethink your plans for the evening.

Dan: You up for eating some more mushrooms?
Me: Please?
Dan: Oh yeah, sorry. Please.
Me: Sounds good. [SMACK] AAAH!! They’re eating me alive!
Dan: You know how much I LOVE mushrooms!
Me: I can’t feel my lips.
Dan: I’ll get the laptops.
Me: Okay, don’t forget the extra pillow for under my knees.
Dan: Please?
Me: Oh yeah, sorry. Please.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More Doom, Sleepy Teeth and the Careening Psychobot

rides2Everywhere we go, Laylee begs for “more doom please.” Sadly, she’s not tall enough to experience anything but the most juvenile form of doom. At the Houston Aquarium they have a miniature Drop of Doom with some pansy name like “The Magic Lighthouse” or something else equally inane. Luckily the girl can’t read so I introduced it to her as “The Drop of Doom” and to the protestations of Dan and Grammy I took her for a ride.

Why they would be concerned about her dropping in 2 story freefall repeatedly, I’ll never know. She almost didn’t have a meltdown on the seahorse merry-go-round so I thought she was certainly ready to try out something a little more adventurous. As per usual, I was correct.

Her commentary as we rode the ride one billion times consisted of 2 phrases repeated over and over again. “Hold tight to me Mommy” and “Again Please.”

Now everywhere we go, she’s on the lookout. “More doom PLEASE!” I’ll see what I can conjure up for you, sweet pea.

Due to the fact that Grammy and Papa are much smarter than Mom and Dad, sweet pea Laylee has developed some added creativity in her parental manipulation techniques.

After over an hour of swimming:
Papa: Okay kiddo, I think it’s time to get out.
Laylee: I don’t think so.
Papa: Oh really? Come on.
Laylee: No, my clock says it’s not time to get out.
Papa: You don’t have a clock.
Laylee: Yes I do.
Papa: Where is it?
Laylee: It’s right here. (pointing to a wet spot on the pool deck)
Papa: Oh really, and what does it say?
Laylee: It says it’s not time to get out yet.

Then last night at dinner, Laylee informed us that she needed to spit out the green bean in her mouth because her teeth were too tired to chew it. “My teeth are SO sleepy.” Yah-huh? Well, my uvula’s practically been in a coma for 3 weeks now and you don’t see me complaining. Chew the darn green bean.

Being out here in the Bible belt, Magoo’s picked up some added religiosity. Since we’ve been in Texas with Grammy and Papa, he’s not only learned to fold his arms for prayer but he has also been healed. Yes folks, he who was lame can now walk, or at least careen around like a flailing psychobot.

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Tip Tuesday – Vacation Planning

vac frostingIt’s the summer. I’m on vacation. It appears that many of you are on vacation now or are soon to head out on your own adventures. What are your tried and true methods for making sure things go smoothly in your travels? HA HA! We all know that’s not possible. So, how do you at least minimize the chaos? (Laylee calls the sunscreen "frosting")

Here are a few tips from the DYM:

1. Always refer to yourself in the third person, hopefully in acronym form, while on vacation.

2. Pack a separate bag for each person, regardless of the size (of the person or the bag). This way you’ll have less chance of your three year old wearing your infant’s full-length jeans as capri pants.

3. If you’re staying for longer than 5 days, unpack your clothes and organize them if storage is available.

4. Don’t forget your swimsuit if your parents have a pool in their backyard and end up buying the least nappy suit left on the picked-over racks at Wal-Merto.

5. Make the lists. First do a master list of items each person will need (ex. Pez Dispensers). Then create a list of items specific to the individuals (ex. Snow white attire). Make a list of group-use items (ex. Squeegee). List items for carry-on luggage. Lastly, make a list of things you will need to grab last minute as you leave the house.

6. Bring all pertinent house-selling and buying info with you, if you plan to close on two house deals the week you get back in town.

vac bag7. For the plane ride, pack a bag with lots of easily accessible pockets. Memorize the contents of the pockets so you can reach down and grab a wipe, a headset, or a goldfish (I choose the cracker variety) in 2 seconds or less. Mary Poppins’s bag may look cool, holding all that stuff, but think how long it took her to find anything in there. What seatmate, including your child, is gonna put up with a pole lamp on their lap while you dig around for the duct tape?

8. Have fun and share your secrets here.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

“I’m so lucky that my timeout is not in a box.”

Lessons learned from watching the Stanley Cup finals with Daddy and Papa.

Next up - the finer points of cross-checking.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Meme’n Weekend

d hearts kWhen I downloaded the photos from the trip so far, I found this little piece of artwork, created by Daniel to make me swoon. It worked. It also reminded me of the shmoopy meme JD tagged me for a while back:

Two for Togetherness

Two things you compliment your husband on while in his presence:
1. His eyes.
2. His sweetness.
Two compliments you make about your spouse to your friends:
1. He is a genius.
2. He is amazingly patient with me.
Two traits you married him/her for:
1. His amazing white T-shirt collection
2. He remembered my name
3. His amazing human-spell-checker skills
Two days you cherished the most with your husband being together:
1. The day I looked like a piece of cheese.
2. The night we decided to get married. We were kneeling across from each other holding hands late at night. I didn’t want him to leave my apartment and go home. “What are we going to do about this?” I asked. He had a good answer
(Of course our wedding day and the birth of our children were kind of nice too.)
Two material things you could give your husband if you just inherited a fortune:
1. The saxophone of his dreams, complete with personal recording studio
2. All the photography equipment he could ever dream of, complete with Mac G-5 to edit the photos.
Two things you would miss the most if she/he left for two weeks:
1. His calming influence. I know it’s hard to imagine, but I’m a bit of a spaz.
2. His toes in bed with me
Two thoughts that crossed your mind when you first met/saw your spouse:
1. “This skinny white guy speaks Chinese? This, I must see.”
2. “I could marry him.” This is true. I have documented proof.
Two favorite dates:
1. Valentine’s Day lunch at the Space Needle
2. Trip to the local Pottery Painting shop to make the You Are Special plate
Two funny odd things you love:
1. Seriously, none of it seems odd anymore.
Two places you have lived with your spouse:
1. Provo, UT
2. Puget Sound, WA
Two favorite vacations:
1. Cape May, NJ – beach vacation/family reunion
2. Christmas 2005 when we got to see everyone from both of our families

While I'm at it, I think I'll play along with Cheerios on My Butt over at Children and Cheerios on the Loose.

Turn On's and Off's

What is your favorite word?

What is your least favorite word?
That I can say on this blog? MOMMY! – when said with a shrieking whine

What turns you on spiritually,creatively,emotionally?
spiritually – music or silence
creatively – clean and organized space
emotionally – service, music, my children

What turns you off?
WHINING and rudeness

What's your favorite curse word?
For the LOVE!

What sound or noise do you love to hear?
Dan’s key in the front door lock as he comes home from work.

What sound or noise do you hate?
Okay, I think I’ll get in trouble if I say WHINING one more time. So… um… persistent whining, accompanied by pulling on the hem of my clothes.

What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
Documentary film director or museum designer/curator.

What profession would you not like to do?
Massage therapist

If Heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say at the pearly gates?
SWEET! Welcome. Well done.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Blog-a-Book-Along About Why-I-Haven’t-Blogged-This-Book-Along

So a while back I signed on to read a child-rearing book along with Krista. I was pumped. I was literate. I was attempting to rear the children. No big deal, right?

The book is What Do You Really Want for Your Children? by Wayne Dyer.

Well, I’ve had the worst time keeping up with the reading so I haven’t wanted to blog anything until I was completely caught up. Then I went a step further and decided not to read Krista’s book discussion until I was caught up so I wouldn’t “spoil it.”

I really enjoyed the first couple of chapters of the book, all the idealism, some of the guilt. His premise is that we should be raising “no limits” kids, kids who believe they can do anything, kids who sail smoothly through life’s stormiest seas because their parents are perfect (okay, that’s not exactly what he said, but he really emphasizes the need to teach by example, to be healthy, thin, confident, calm, freakishly happy, etc). The nice thing is, he gives parents hope that we can become the kind of parents our no-limits seedlings deserve, sort of.

Last week I realized that this book is made up of chapters, each with a separate topic and I could skip to where the rest of the bloggers were reading and join them. Each chapter covers one thing we really want for our children. Of course it was my bad timing that I chose to read last week’s topic. I told Krista that I did not have very nice things to say about the chapter but she encouraged me to blog it anyway. She hasn't exactly agreed with every word he's written either.

I Want My Children to Be Free from Stress and Anxiety. Nice thought, right? Well, here are the opening paragraphs from the chapter:

The world is perfect; there is no anxiety in it… anyplace. There are only people thinking anxiously. - Eykis

Every day you hear about people having anxiety attacks. You have seen the statistics on the phenomenal increases in the use of tranquilizers, uppers, downers, sleeping pills, anti-stress tablets, antidepressants, and drugs for every kind of so-called anxiety attack. We are relying more and more on external elixirs to rid ourselves of something that does not even exist.

Anxiety does not attack! People choose to think anxiously about their world and then look for a pill to rid themselves of this mysterious thing called anxiety.

Yes, Wayne, it is mysterious and imaginary, all at the same time. [Swift kick to the gut.] Are you kidding me?! I know that we live in an over-medicated culture, that people are looking for an easy solution to their problems and that doctors over-prescribe when medication is not necessarily the answer, but can you really say that anxiety doesn’t exist?

Can you look me in the face with my dark hollow eyes the month after Magoo was born and tell me that my post-partum trauma was all in my head, that a week after my son was born, the hot and cold flashes that wracked my body and the crippling anxiety that woke me from a dead sleep, if I could sleep at all, were imagined because I was not a strong enough person?

Tell my mother and husband who babysat me night and day for 5 weeks when I was suddenly transformed into a completely different person that they should have encouraged me to do more positive self-talk and that would have caused my body to become capable of eating food or keeping down water when I attempted to drink.

Maybe talk to my doctor who explained that a certain part of my brain was over-actively pumping my body full of adrenaline, making me unable to keep food down or sleep. At all, which is why I had to be taken to the emergency room.

Another quote from the book:

Children can be guaranteed a lifetime without anxiety, provided you are prepared to encourage them to believe that they have a large measure of control about what they carry around inside themselves.

Wow, my parents must have sucked. All this time, I thought they did a great job but I found myself with no guaranteed anxiety-free life. Not only did I grow up to be a post-partum woman with “anxiety attacks” which required medical attention, I also experienced anxiety when my dog died, when I auditioned for the school play, when I went through the fire safety class in 3rd grade, when a kid in junior high flicked boogers on me in the hall and called me filthy names, and when I spent months interviewing survivors of rape for a documentary I directed in college.

If only my parents had taught me that I had a large measure of control about what I carried around inside myself, I would have been able to deal with all of this, anxiety-free.

I think what I dislike the most about Dyer’s blanket statements is the same thing I dislike about phrases like “rape prevention” or “protect yourself against rape” which imply that if you are raped, you didn’t work hard enough to prevent it or you didn’t do a good enough job protecting yourself.

Of course doing certain things can reduce your risk of being raped, just as certain patterns of thinking can reduce your risk of feeling anxiety, but you can’t PREVENT it, short of living in an isolated bubble.

And as far as anxiety goes, you can’t prevent it even in an isolated bubble if you have a chemical or hormonal imbalance. The brain is a complex organ and there are real, true medically-sound ailments that can befall it. Even if you’re not suffering from a chemical imbalance, being anxious does not mean you’re a loser or a failure.

I spent a good portion of my life thinking that people with mental illness were somehow less, some way weaker than me. What happened after Magoo’s birth caught me completely off guard and made me realize for the first time that you truly do not have complete control of your brain, there are some things you can’t pray your way out of and medical treatment was invented for a reason.

Now to give Dyer the benefit of the doubt, I think he is referring to people who he thinks are popping pills like candy to deal with every little problem that crosses their path. Of course that’s not a desirable way to live, just as alcoholism, chocolate fudge sundae addiction or any other mind-numbing mechanisms are not positive solutions to a bad day at work.

However, I think it’s irresponsible to make blanket statements about mental health and leave no room for mercy for people in situations he seems to know nothing about.

Of course I want my children to live as stress-free and anxiety-free as they can, but I also want them to know that if they have a health or other problem, they can come to me or to a trusted advisor and seek help, not placing further anxiety on themselves because I have taught them that anxiety doesn’t exist and that they are weak for feeling it.

Now, I will keep reading and try to post something positive about the book next time. For every one thing that’s annoyed me about this book, there have been approximately 1.74 other things that I’ve found insightful. This means that in the realm of parenting books, I’d have to classify it as a success. You can’t agree with everything, right?

It seems fitting to direct you to an amazing post Misha wrote about depression a few days ago that is definitely worth the read.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Houston We Have a Problem

Dan, Papa and I spent a fabulous day at NASA, yes, that NASA, where the astronauts are.


My mom took one for the team and spent the day watching the grandkids, yes those grandkids.
To make it up to her, we brought home a NASA shot glass that she can use to take her “medicine.” That’s what SHE calls it.


Now I will take you on a guided photo tour of this top secret facility and its many top secrety secrets.

nasa1The massive security gates at the entrance to the compound are manned by women who mask their pitch black martial arts skills with petite smiling faces, pleasant conversation and laughter. You see, they don’t want the terrorists to know they're being screened. They even trick you into paying for this initial shakedown by disguising it as a “parking booth.” Yeah, right.

There was some kind of hold up in the line. The delta level security agent told us it was caused by the woman in the car in front of us “taking a few minutes to come to grips with the fact that the ‘parking attendant’ could not speak Vietnamese.” I guess she still harbors some bad feelings from her experiences in Nam. The woman must have required "special attention".

After paying admission, we went through the second sophisticated level of security. They had a box… with instructions, no masking their intentions this time. They wanted our guns and they wouldn’t take no for an answer.


All of the employees throughout the museum, from the ticket takers to the trash receptacle collectors were actual astronauts, wearing official blue jumpsuits.


They had a MickeyD’s-style play place on crack.


It came complete with projectiles, a gauntlet and video screens so the parents could watch their kids getting the hud kicked out of them and loving it.


We had to line up against a wall so this guy could take our picture for our “file”. No fingerprints, urine samples or retinal scans were taken at this juncture.


As we went through the metal detectors and boarded the tram, they continuously reminded us that we were not at a theme park but were in fact entering a highly sensitive government agency. I was confused by this. The security guards at Disneyland have much bigger guns than this sorry excuse for a firearm.


My dad wore a Dick Tracy-style gangster hat, causing us no end of grief from the feds. Couldn’t he have worn a bandana like a normal person?


Dan, on the other hand, wore a hat bearing Chinese symbols, which can roughly be translated to mean, “I Come in Peace.”


Everything was designed to give the feeling that we were really in outer space. I find it problematic that it costs a dollar less to buy a soda in outer space than at my high school reunion.


Apparently astronauts like pink flowers. My dad says they are called Crepe Myrtles. Apparently secure Canadian males like pink flowers too and have the ability to identify them when called upon.


Since we had only one adult and two children in our party, we found it difficult to follow all of the complex instructions laid out before us. Instead we chose to link arms and pray we would not be hurled from the tram as it took off at super-sonic speeds of up to 10 miles per hour.


We passed the space cows, Texas longhorns. Go figure.



97 steps took us up to historic mission control, a place that made us all tingly thinking about how Tom Hanks and Bill Paxton almost didn’t make it back alive. I hear that if Tommy had died in that shuttle disaster, Keanu Reeves was slated to play Robert Langdon in The Da Vinci Code.


The orange chairs were surprisingly comfortable.


We saw a bunch of stuff with acronyms. I think there are more acronyms at NASA than in a teen chat room on MySpace. It’s all classified of course, unless you’ve got the 20 bucks or the daddy with 20 bucks to get you into this not-theme-park.
Please don’t let the Russians get ahold of this technology. Space station, smace station.


I think this may be one of the best quotes I’ve ever read. Right now I think we’re in a sort of semi-friendly cold war. That is WAY better than the unfriendly kind.


Here is the first watch worn on the moon. My dad wondered how Neil fit aboard his ship. I don’t care how strong his arm was, that is the biggest fetchin’ watch I’ve ever seen.


Rescue me please. Dan was no help, locked down in the cargo bay. At least there weren’t Snakes on this Plane. (We recently saw a preview for Snakes on a Plane and almost had a heart attack from laughter.)
We saw the mockups. We lived space.


This guy, suspended above our heads when we weren’t expecting it, freaked me out to an almost thumb-sucking degree.


We took almost 200 pictures. Dan liked the buttons.
We had a blast and now I’m thinking of becoming a SAHM-turned-astronaut. Yes, I’m serious. What’s a little Master’s degree in Aeronautical Engineering, really? A couple years of my life… big fat hairy deal. I wanna go to the moon. They have caramel sundaes on the moon, right?

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tip Tuesday – Father’s Day

Okay, I’m a bit late but better late than never. I’ve been too busy hanging out with my pappy to stop and write about him. Alas, it’s only a week and a half until Fathers’ Day and we’d better plan something to make up for the fact that we did practically nothing for Dan’s birthday last month.

Oh? You did something for Dan’s birthday last month? Well, isn’t that special. You can relax then. Or maybe you could do something for your father or the father of your children on the 17th. I’m planning to focus on the big D.

Have you done something really cool in the past that you feel like sharing so the rest of us can steal it? Personally I have a really hard time coming up with gifts for the man-types in my life. Sure it’s fun to give multiple CDs every single occasion every year of our life, but I’d like to boost the surprise factor a little.


I’ll share something fun we did for Fathers’ Day if you tell me what the chicken to do for Dan…Oh, and how about my father and father-in-law as well?


One year I was looking for the dude equivalent of the Mothers’ Day corsage. I came up with a Daddy necklace. Sounds cool, huh? It actually was. Laylee and I got a bunch of wooden letter beads and colored beads and spelled out various names Dan carries as a father.


Dan loves to wear it to church and then all day long on Sunday. Many of my friends said their husbands were not secure enough in their manhood to wear such an item. If your husband/father* is a manly man, he will love this gift.

On Fathers’ Day the Pater Familias gets to be free of all chores, nap in the afternoon and we make his favorite dinner, served on the “You are Special” plate.

*I am not insinuating that your husband and father are the same person. In this instance, the slash means “or.”

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Beef and Cheese

class balloonsI love the line from Elf where Will Ferrell accuses the department store Santa of not being the real deal because he doesn’t smell like Santa, he smells like beef and cheese.

Well I’m not the real Santa either because I definitely smell like beef and cheese…beef, cheese and chlorine (we are LOVING my parents' pool). Yesterday was my high school reunion and I kid you not, the buffet consisted of mounds of cheese, a few hors d'oeuvres and a giant side of beef under a hot lamp. Now I was certainly not there for the food, but beef and cheese? Seriously.

Some other random side notes include the fact that our class officers hired the reunion planning out to a random company who put on the most generic reunion I could have imagined. Not one yearbook was handy, not a single high school logo or mascot was seen. We all got a T-shirt that said our high school name and “Class of ‘96” in boring sans serif font. There wasn’t even a mustang on it. Now I bet 1/3 of the high schools in America have a mustang as their school mascot. How hard would it have been to download a picture of a horse and put it on the shirts? I guess it was much harder than putting the name of the reunion planning company in HUGE print across the back with their web address and phone number in GINORMOUS letters.

A policeman was on duty in case we got out of control. He also posed us for our reunion picture while the photographer stood mutely watching.

class photo1

They played music videos of songs that were popular while we were in high school. An old-school Backstreet Boys video came on, a video in which they were still boys and they had just made their American debut after becoming wildly popular with girls across Asia.

It made me wonder again how long I’ll be able to go by the name Daring “Young” Mom. At what point do I become the Backstreet-Old-Married-Men-With-Kids-Who-Refuse-to-Change-the-Name-of-Their-Group of the blog world?

class threeI somehow conned my two best high school girlfriends into flying to Houston for the weekend to go to a reunion we swore we’d never attend and we had a great time seeing each other again. There were very few other people there that I recognized and even fewer who recognized me.

There wasn’t a great turnout and it seemed that the group largely consisted of the “popular” kids who intimidated the cheese out of me when I was 17. When chatting it up with people, we tried to find some sort of connection and the conversation tended to turn towards extra curricular activities.

Graduate: What did you do in high school?
Me: Besides eat beef and cheese? Um… homework.
Graduate: No, I mean extra-curriculars. Were you on dance team?
Me: Um…no. You weren’t a member of the Business Professionals of America club, were you? NHS? Theatre?
Graduate (blank stare): Were you there all 4 years?
Me: Nope. I moved to Texas from Canada Junior year. I was the Canadian Girl.
Graduate: Yeeeeaaahh… (moving on)

Truth be told, I actually met several really nice people and reconnected with a few old friends. The best part of the evening, besides the beef and cheese and the fact that after paying $120 to get in the door I was asked to pay $3 for a coke, was realizing that I am no longer intimidated by these people. I’m actually hardly intimidated by anyone anymore. I look back now and see that we all made different choices in our lives and became who we are and I’m happy with the way things turned out for me. Some people aren’t happy but for the most part we all became some form of the person we envisioned being in high school.

Sadly, I did not get the chance to confront the girl who “complimented” me senior year on my “sense of style” and my “bravery” to wear jeans every day to school. She even went so far as to tell me I should design my own clothing line and call it Katie’s Canadian Comfy Wear. She thought it would be so nice not to be burdened by fashion and to be able to wear whatever felt comfortable the way I could. Yes she carried the burden of driving the hot car her daddy bought her and wearing a different designer pants-suit every day to school, while I remain haunted to this day by a career in denim design that may never come to pass. Alas, we all must bear these little hardships as best we can.