Saturday, December 01, 2007

Happy December!

I'm trying to squeeze in a few posts while I have the time. It's the first of December and it is snowing.

Nothing makes snow more exciting that seeing the glee of one's children in seeing that snow. Joffre and Alec haven't seen any snow since last Christmas in Manitoba, and they are beside themselves!

Almost Done

Classes ended yesterday - I've completed my first term of law school! Now I have five exams and a paper standing between me and three weeks of vacation in Manitoba.

Law school is turning out to be a very "pushme-pullyou" - for those of you familiar with Dr. Doolittle - sort of experience. On the one hand, I'm learning loads of things factual, doctrinal, methodological, historical, and at an amazing pace, and I feel as though I'm retaining it and can apply it. On the other hand, I'm not getting all of it, and the penalty in an examination setting for overlooking an issue in a hypothetical fact pattern, or misstating a legal principle, is significant. The highest marks given are in the low-mid 80s, generally, and the bulk of the class scores between 70-80%, often with an average of 72-75%, and so in law school a person who really learns the material, and is capable of writing a decent exam answer under pressure with few errors, will receive a mark in the mid-to-high 70s - as will at least half of her classmates.

I've never simultaneously felt that I was doing so well, and doing as well as I can do, and also felt so average.

Diamonds Everywhere, Rainbows in the Air

I just overheard Joffre singing to himself - a catchy little tune that goes:

There's diamonds everywhere
rainbows in the air
rainbows and diamonds too
I love you
and I love you

I asked him if he made it up or if he heard it somewhere, and he told me that he heard it "when I was in your tummy, and just dreaming and dreaming and dreaming."


Thursday, October 25, 2007

The Apology

Well, dear readers (I know there are at least three of you), the time has come to apologize for my four-month-to-the-day absence. Here's what happened:

In July, I went to New Mexico for a lovely post-wedding (they got married, and then they had a celebration afterwards). Then my great-aunt had a brain aneurysm, from which she has recovered, and I realized how remiss I'd been on the family history project I'd undertaken and so I tackled that. We also had company come to visit in July, and by the time August rolled around I was worrying about childcare, working on the project, and trying to prepare for school. Then it was September - law school is a lot of work!! Keeping on top of the readings has been intense, and any time I'm not spending on school, I'm spending on family and home.

But I'm nearly two months into my studies, I've done four assignments, we've developed a routine, and I might be able to blog again for the next few weeks, until exam madness hits. Additionally, a friend from law school blogs, which has inspired me, and another friend tagged me in her blog and pointed out that I haven't updated in forEVER! And she sent me this:

My First Meme
Caveat: I don't usually do this kind of thing, and I invariably break the rules. Fortunately, sixty days of law school have prepared me for this - I now have contract law theory to back up my rebellion. For those of you who love My Cousin Vinny as much as I do, this is what we laywers call a "counter offer."

Amy tagged me to do my first meme!

Here are the rules which you must abide by if you are tagged.
1. Link to your tagger and post these rules.
2. Share 7 facts about yourself: some random, some weird.
3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post and list their names (linking to them). [this is the part I'm going to defy, so be ready]
4. Let them know they've been tagged by leaving a comment at their blogs.

Seven facts about Melania:

1) I wanted to be a forensic psychiatrist when I was in high school. I was probably the only sixteen-year-old girl in my town who saw The Silence of the Lambs and thought, "that would be a cool job." Then I took Chemistry and changed my mind.

2) Even before I had children, I would often bring the alarm clock into bed in my sleep and snuggle it, as though some warmth and cuddles would calm it back down. I woke up yesterday morning cradling the alarm clock.

3) The first time I slept through the night I was three-and-a-half, so I don't get to complain about my kids' sleep habits. They're waaay better than that.

4) I can say two things in Cree: "I love you" and "who cares." Not a good foundation for a dialogue.

5) I can clap my feet.

6) Little things like swirling leaves, or the smell of tomato plants, or overheard conversations taken out of context and seeming surreal, are all it takes to make me delirously happy.

7) There is exactly one thing that I wanted at age fifteen that I still want now, and that was/is a personal assistant.

And since I'm not that much of a non-conformist, I will tag someone:
Melanie - A polyglot PhD with a flair for patisserie, and . . . oh, I'm out of alliteration. She hasn't been blogging much lately, just like me!

Monday, June 25, 2007

Today's Moment of White-Hot Pride

Okay, it was yesterday's.

The bus driver printed off two extra transfers for my kids, who are too young to use bus tickets or need transfers. Obviously, this guy was tuned in to how left out little ones feel when they don't get a transfer, too!

Anyway, Alec - aged 2 - promptly said "thank you!" And the driver commented, "what good manners!"

I was so darned proud.

Sunday, June 24, 2007

Easy Bein' Green

These photos were taken when the children were within two months of the same age. Joffre was around 23 months, and Alec 25.

Yes, I know, I'm shameless.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Harsh Truth

Just when you think it's finally safe to only carry one spare set of children's clothing around in your albatross - I mean diaper bag - it's not.


I saw the oddest thing on the way to a friend's house today:

Yes, that's a baby doll, suspended and twisting in the breeze over a vegetable garden.

One assumes it must be quite effective at keeping the birds away. Lord knows it creeped me right out.

Feeding Hope

Alec keeps nurturing our fantasies of unbroken sleep by sleeping through - from time to time. He did it again two nights ago. Someday, I fervently hope, this will be the norm and not the exception . . .

Death and Good Omens

So, I've been re-reading Good Omens, written by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Both Pratchett and Gaiman have written Death as a character in their solo careers, and here they are, respectively:

The Death that figures in Good Omens is more along the lines of the former, Grim Reaper type, as he is one of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. And that sort of makes sense.

I do wonder, however, if there was some debate over which Death to use. Because the one that ended up in Good Omens really seems like Pratchett's handiwork. He even talks in ALL CAPS.

Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

The latest stage in the toilet training (entirely on him, I'm not pushing it):

1: fill diaper
2: realize diaper has been filled
3: go to bathroom alone, remove pants and diaper alone
4: attempt to climb onto toilet alone (usually achieved with the help of a stool)
5: call Mom

It's hard to get upset, even when faced with such an unspeakable mess, with someone who's so cute, and who's trying so hard.


This morning I was treated to the following musical extravaganza:

-Spiderman, spiderman, itza, itza, spiderman . . .
-No! Spiderman, spiderman -

et cetera.

And: a b c d e f g h i j k eleneno p, q r s, p u b, w x y and zed!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Doin' Good, Feelin' Good

We joined the CAN - Cooperative Auto Network. This is a vehicle co-op, where you pay a flat fee to join (reimbursable when you leave), and then pay a small monthly fee and mileage costs to drive vehicles in the pool. So far it's working pretty well, although because of booking vehicles late, Aaron has had to bus to pick up the vehicle, and then bus back after dropping it off. But it has been nice to have the option to drive from time to time - well, for him to drive, anyway.

And the coolest thing about the minivan we had is . . . built-in car seats! The backs of the middle bank of seats fold down to reveal five-point-harness restraints, good for 20-50 lbs of kid (mine, at 30 and 46 lbs, fit perfectly). No lugging our car seats in and out, no fussing with installation, nothing. Now that's convenient!

Must . . . Not . . . Laugh!!

The kids were having a snack at the table today while I cleaned up the kitchen. All of a sudden, Alec said, "Look, Mommy!" I turned and looked at him, and he had a peanut-buttery Ritz cracker stuck to each cheek. I would have taken a picture, but I really didn't want to encourage him.

It was darned cute, though!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Moments of Insight

One doesn't usually think of a preschooler as possessing a great deal of perspective, or long-term vision. So I was surprised the other day when Joffre came down the stairs and said, "Mom, some day, we will move to a different new house, and then this will be our old house. Like our house in Peru is our old house now."

At the aquarium today, they had a case full of poles or ledges where row upon row of chrysalises in varying stages of development hung. Some had butterflies sitting on them, newly emerged, and two or three butterflies were flitting around the case.

Like this:

It was with glee that I called Joffre over and began to explain the process to him. He interrupted me and said, "Mom, those butterflies come out of the capullos," and made a little pod with his hands. I asked him what they were before they went into the capullos, and he pondered for a minute before his eyes lit up and he whispered conspiratorially "cat-er-pill-ers!" Capullo, I have learned, means "cocoon" in Spanish.

Eventually They Will Break Your Heart

Because shouts of "you're not my mom!" or "I don't love you anymore!" fail to soften my stony heart, I thought I was immune to the careless stings that children inflict. I was wrong.

Last week, Joffre asked me: "Mom, you made me in your tummy?" And I said yes. And he thought about this for a little while, and then asked, hesitantly, politely, "and . . Mom? You just want to make me with one ear not hear good?"

All I could do was try to explain that mommies don't plan or control how babies are made, and that sometimes things just get made a little bit differently, and there's no controlling or managing that. I told him that we didn't know before he was born if he would have blue eyes or brown, or even if he would be a boy or a girl. He found this vastly amusing, and it diffused the tension.

Then today, after a busy morning at the aquarium, Joffre was grumping in the back seat (probably because he now wants to live at the aquarium). Out of nowhere, he asked, "Mom, why you wanted to grow two babies?" After a moment's consideration, I said, "I wanted you to have a baby brother or sister so you wouldn't get lonely." Aaron said, "how many do you think we should have had, Joffre?" To which Joffre starkly replied, "zero."