Green Girl Shuffle

This past weekend I spent some quality time with the Green Girl. We went out to lunch at the Macaroni Grill and then went and saw the movie Coraline in 3D. I have become a Neil Gaiman fan more for his blogging and works of prose than for the Sandman graphic novel that gained him his notoriety. He just won the Newbery for his new book, The Graveyard Book and based on the success of Coraline I am guessing we will see this one on the big screen as well. The Green girl and I had a good time despite having to overcome some logistical obstacles to get to see the movie. Or as she put it, the universe didn’t really want us to see the movie that day. We got a late start and hit traffic on our way to the restaurant. We rushed through our very tasty lunch that included some amazing warm salty bread. We then ran over to the theater to find that the movie was sold out. We returned home to gather more information and find a new theater. We found one that I had been to before, but figured I would get there faster if I used my new TomTom to get us there. I entered in the location and we took off. Right away I wasn’t sure of the way Tom was taking us, but I figured it was a short cut. It’s always worked before and Tom has a better sense of direction than I do. A short while later Tom announced that we had reached our destination, but as the Green Girl an I looked around at the residential street we were on we realized that Tom was very wrong. We were on the right street so I just kept going hoping that we would come to the theater. Surprisingly that theory worked and we managed to get in get our popcorn and sit down before the opening credits were finished.

Over lunch the Green Girl and I talked about school and life in the 8th grade. She recently went to a dance and I asked her what types of music they listened to and her reply made me feel old because it was a paradigm shift from when I was a kid. She told me that people just bring their iPods and they take turns putting them in the cradle to play. She admitted that this led to some pretty interesting mixes of music, but described it all in such a way that it was clear she didn’t know of a different way to have a dance. I thought about explaining about DJs and records, but I didn’t want to let on how exactly old I was feeling.

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And Tired

So far in 2009 I am losing the war on germs. After bragging for most of my adult life that I never get sick I have already missed two days of work this year. My plan yesterday had been to just get a little more sleep and then go in, but in the end I just couldn’t talk myself into it. (Or perhaps I just easily talked myself out of this plan?). I was feeling much more alive by noon and went out for some medicine. It was a very weird feeling to be out and about on a weekday. Something I haven’t done in quite some time, but that I used to do on a regular basis. It reminded me of having a Melanie Free Day back when she was an infant and a day of not working or being the daycare provider was a rare treat (except for the hammers pounding behind my eyes). The Wolf and Kitten were surprised to see me when they got home from school, but any excitement quickly wore off as they realized how poor company I was.  The Green Girl got home well into the evening after spending time at a friend’s house and her two comments were, ‘I thought Daddies didn’t get sick." and ,"Gee you really do look sick." To which I responded, "I know me neither" and "Thanks, that’s what I was going for."

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I Don’t Want to Alarm You

It was a bright cold morning in February and the clocks were meowing thirteen…

At least that is how many times the clocked meowed this morning. The Kitten is not much of a morning person (can’t imagine where she gets that from) and is usually the straggler in the morning when trying to get out the door. For Christmas she received an alarm clock in the shape of a cat. It is very cute and it’s safe to say that she quite likes it. To make it even cuter instead of ringing or beeping when the alarm goes off it Meows. I have been counting the meows the last few mornings and she has never turned it off before the 10th one. It’s very loud and I can’t really complain because I should really be getting up before the Kitten. Mostly it servers as a reminder to me that I have chosen to sleep in again and that I will probably be a little late for work.


If you want a quick nostalgia trip look at this list of hit songs from 1984.

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With Three You Get a Family

One of my favorite people at work brought his new son in today. He now has the same configuration in his family as we do in ours, two older girls and a baby boy. I gave him a hard time about how they are now out numbered, but really the third one is the easy one. Or at least having the third doesn’t seem to make it seem like more work. After all if all of your spare energy goes into parenting (and it does at that age), then you can’t possibly work harder at it. It just prolongs the time until they are all self sufficient. I’ve been ruminating on parenting lately. Seeing the baby today made me realize that I don’t think about those baby years very much and how they all seem like a blur. A recent piece of wisdom I picked up about parenting is, "The days are long, but the years are short." The second half of that is the hard one to remember particularly on those long days. The Green Girl is all the proof I need that it’s true. She’s thirteen now and I can’t even remember the person I was when she was an infant. I’m thinking he must have been a half way decent bloke – just look how she’s turned out so far.



[I stole that little saying from a web site called The Happiness Project written by Gretchen Rubin]

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a priori Parenting

I wish there was some fundamental truth that explained how you are supposed to raise your children. Even with only two people in charge the times when we emotionally agree on things seems rare. With each passing generation children are treated more and more with kid gloves. [Yes that was on purpose.] I understand the motive and it even makes sense – we want to protect our kids and we want to make things as easy as we can for them. The problem is that life isn’t really easy and they can’t expect things to always go their way. There are definitely times when I wish I had lived a more structured childhood. I carry traits to this day that if I think about speak to a core laziness of character. Including my parenting skills. I can be a good dad when I focus on it, but like many other areas of my life I am not good at shifting gears. On a regular basis Little Wolf will come up to me and ask if we can play. [All of my kids do this, but the little Wolf is the worst.] I may be doing something completely brainless, but I am just not prepared to stop that and do whatever it is they want. Of course usually what they want is for me to come up with something to do and let’s face it I was doing something brainless for a reason. The thing that pushes my button the most is when I ask them to do something and they say flat out no or they whine and complain. We ask them to do so little and they appreciate none of it.


So…uh…yeah…Cub Scouts didn’t go real well last night.

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She is the smARTIST

I was fortunate enough to see the Green Girl in a play over the weekend called The Point. It is a play her school is putting on and she has been going to rehearsals all week. We missed the Thursday night performance because we went out and on Friday night I guess we were just lame. I know some of the parents made it to all four performances. It was nice to have a small part in what the Green girl’s life has been for the last month or so. She had a break out part in one of the songs [Did I mention it was a musical?] and even while a small part of my mind was thinking she needs to be louder, I was very proud. She didn’t shrink from her role in the choir as I have seen her and others do in the past. She looked confident as she harmonized her part with the others. I’ve heard her faintly singing in the next room for the last few weeks. When I get close enough to hear her better I still have that double take of, "Wow! that sounds just like Big Sister." I’ve thought of asking her if she wants to pursue this singing thing, but I don’t want to scare her away from enjoying it.

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Programming Recipes

I stumbled upon a free download today that I quite like. It’s called Cooking Aficionado and is a program for organizing recipes. While it is quite basic it works perfectly for what I want. I’ve tried to use a few web sites for this purpose and I like the ability, but the interfaces leave much to be desired. Most of the web sites are really more for flagging/storing the recipes on their web site, while CA is just for keeping my own recipes and has no affiliation with Nestle, Campbell’s or any other big name food company. It’s simple enough that I thought about writing something like it and then I could alter it when I wanted to. So far however it works just like I would expect and don’t think it would be worth the time to write my own.

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