Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Scott is potty-trained now. At least in the sense that we don't do poopy diapers anymore. Which is probably the best part anyway. On the other hand, I feel a bit like in reality I'm the one who got trained. He doesn't go to the bathroom of his own volition, so I am trained to remind him periodically lest I have to clean up a mess. When I don't trust my ability to remind, we put on a pull-up (and usually end up with it wet). But hey, at least it's progress, right? For the first couple weeks he was even staying dry during naps AND at night, but I guess that was too good to last. Hopefully it's a "two steps forward one step back" kinda thing.

So when Scott does go, he performs this elaborate ritual where he climbs onto the toilet seat and then precariously balances on the seat as he circles the rim to get into position. He reminds me of a dog circling before bedding down. And you don't teach little boys to do things standing up when they're first starting out, right? But I've been wondering when you do teach them that, because he can't really climb up like that with his pants and shoes still on and I'm not exactly thrilled when I have to take them off in public restrooms.

Well, I think my question may be pointless now. Yesterday Scott started his ritual like normal, but stopped still facing the tank. After a contemplative pause, he peed still perched on the seat and facing backwards. Afterward he turned to me and excitedly announced, "I did it backwards!" There have been a few repeat performances and I'm thinking it's only a matter of time before he realizes even the climbing up there part is unnecessary and graduates to full-fledged peeing standing up. Well, at least that's one lesson I don't have to agonize over when to teach it. Never having had brothers, this little boy thing is such an adventure...

Monday, October 27, 2008


I caught Scott in the act at last. Red-handed. Or should I say grease-fingered?

I thought the markings in my butter looked suspicious. They were in fact finger marks. I came into the kitchen without him hearing me and finally witnessed him scrape his finger through the butter and take a snitch.

So maybe this is how he can survive without ever actually eating any dinner. Or often lunch for that matter. Almost every night I serve him about 1 tablespoon of dinner and he cries and says, "No, it's so gross to me!" Then he cries and shoves his food away from him. And then he cries when we won't give him anything else until he at least tries the perfectly good food served him. Then he cries some more. Then dinner is over. I keep thinking he's bound to cave eventually and actually eat the apparently atrocious spaghetti or the like that I serve him. I mean, if he gets hungry enough... But now I know his secret. He's compensating by sneaking butter behind my back.

All right Scott, bring it. I'll stop forgetting to put the lid back on my butter dish and then we'll see how you like those "gross" hot dogs.

Friday, October 24, 2008

You Know You're a Geek When...

...you own one of Peter Parker's physics textbooks from Spiderman 2.

Remember the part where Peter has given up being Spiderman and he's really applying himself to his studies in physics? The first time I watched that film, I immediately recognized one of the textbooks on the table in front of him as one I own from my college days, Fundamentals of Photonics. When a movie tries to portray a character as a total geek immersed in their studies and of all the textbooks out there, they choose one you have sitting on your bookshelf? Yah, every time I see it I feel a little less cool...
Maybe a little smarter, but definitely less cool.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

[Insert Name Here]'s Law

Once upon a time about ten years ago, I knew this guy. He was a friend of a good friend I was almost kinda dating. He coined the following phrase:

The only difference between Romeo and a stalker is the girl's opinion.

How true is that? (Can you say "Edward"?)

Fickle, fickle women... *shaking head*

I determined to remember this insight. In fact, I called it a law and spread its wisdom. I have pulled this law out time and again over the years because it is just so true and explains so much. I told a whole lot of friends about it for a few years after I first heard it. Then about 6.5 years ago, I was telling one of those friends that I was engaged.

Suddenly, I saw realization dawn on their face.
"You're marrying M? Like THE M? The M of M's Law?!?!?"

So you see, I created a celebrity and then I married him to mooch off his fame.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Garbage Collection - The Highlight of Our Week

Every Wednesday when we hear the garbage truck, I have to unlock the front door so the kids can go watch the trash collection. The sanitation workers are very friendly. There's lots of smiles and waving and it's all rather cute. We've become friendly enough with our garbage men that now they place my trash barrel neatly in my driveway for me because they know I'm home and I'll be bringing it in presently.

A little while ago, Claire decided to dress up for the occasion.

Take note. Apparently what to wear this season for sanitation spectatorship is an upside down vest with a Noah's ark applique and a corduroy newsboy cap. The must-have accessories are a magna-doodle hanging from your pocket and a smug arms-folded stance.

So what's worse, her clothing choice or the fact that we own a corduroy newsboy cap (that I used to actually wear in junior high and high school) and a Noah's ark vest? Gotta love the total confidence of children and their strange clothing choices. Good thing she wore this standing out in the front yard for the whole neighborhood to see. At least now no one in the neighborhood suspects us of being real life GAP models or anything. Because I'm pretty sure there was a serious danger of that before ;)

Monday, October 13, 2008

What I Want My Children to Learn from Me

Now you know how things roll around here. We don't do sappy on this here blog. But in the past a few of my friends have posted about what lessons they would like to pass on to their children. It got me thinking. It was a tough choice, but in the end I think I'd have to go with:

Correlation does not indicate causality.

Touching, I know. Of course there are more important things, but they're kind of a given. Really, this is something I think I am somewhat uniquely capable of passing on to my children. A firm grasp of basic statistics. Just think how much better the world would be if everyone understood that just because two things tend to happen "together" DOES NOT mean that one caused the other. Are you following me? Let's try an obvious example. When do kids usually start losing their first tooth? When do kids usually start public school? About the same time, right? So starting school causes kids to lose their teeth, right? Of course not, but society makes assumptions like that more often than we might like to admit. If my children can internalize this advice, then maybe they'll be capable of designing scientifically worthwhile experiments. Maybe they won't make rash judgments. Maybe they'll never get suckered into acupuncture.

Maybe I could jazz it up a little and hang it on my wall. I'm thinking floral cross-stitch:

What would be on your "cross stitch"?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Stalk Away, My Friends, Stalk Away

For all of you who enjoy blog stalking my parents, I just thought I'd let you know that my dad finished posting all about their motorcycle trip to Alaska. You know, in case you haven't been religiously checking their blog every day. Here's the address:


Thursday, October 2, 2008

No Love for Brunettes and Guess Where We Registered for Our Wedding

This is the last post about our summer vacation, I swear.

On our way home, we stopped in Southern California. We dragged my parents and my sister and her husband with us. We spent a day at Disneyland. It was a great slightly early birthday present:) It's hard to sum up such a fabulous day.

M had never been to any Disney theme park before. Because apparently he is from Mars. And now that he's been, he has forever lost his secret weapon in the "I've Never..." game. Oh well. The verdict? Well, I think Disneyland loses something once you're a grown man. Especially if you're the sort of grown man who was basically born 40 years old. He thought it was fun, but a little heavy on the animatronics and princesses and such. (Obviously M isn't into princesses because how else could you write an entire blog post about Beauty and the Beast and still barely talk about Belle?) Apparently animatronics give M the jibbly jibblies. He is still trying to analyze his experience and decide what he thinks about the whole thing in a philosophical sort of way. He's gotten me thinking too now that I'm an adult. He and I will probably have many fascinating discussions for years to come while we both try to come to a conclusion. I was tempted to have my feelings hurt since my gut reaction is that I LOVE Disneyland, but I felt validated when he declared the fireworks show far and away the best he had ever seen. Indeed, how can you go wrong with perfectly choreographed pyrotechnics? But don't get me wrong, we both had a blast! And M said if nothing else, it was fun because we had kids who were transfixed:

Here Grandpa E and M are holding the kids up so they can see the parade. The parade that was distinctly lacking in Beauty and the Beast-ness. In fact, this is important. I'm devoting a whole paragraph.

Seriously, what the dilly-o? Where was Belle all day? She's the only Disney princess worth her tiara. (Oh wait, she has the sense not to wear one...) It really was sad though, because the only Disney show my kids have been truly exposed to is Beauty and the Beast. A lot of Disneyland went right over their heads. I mean, who has time to watch all those silly and/or morally questionable old school Disney movies when there's Pixar? Anyway, the point is just that we almost didn't even see Claire's (and my) favorite characters. Claire and I finally caught a glimpse of Belle and the Beast after dark at the Fantasmic show. (It was the only time the whole day I saw her star-struck. She said dreamily, "Mom! They're dancing just like in the movie." And then my heart was a puddle on the pavement.)

This reminds me of an interesting side note: Claire knows that in the end of Beauty and the Beast, the prince and Belle get married. Since the ending scene is of them twirling around dancing, she seems to think that is what "getting married" entails. I frequently catch her holding a doll by its arms and spinning around and around. She tells me they're getting married. A few times I've heard her tell Scott, "Let's get married." Since this is followed by her dancing with him, I often let it slide. Believe me, I've tried to clarify. Someday I'll have to figure out how to clear up this little misunderstanding or else Claire may have some really confused boyfriends.

Possibly the best part of the day? Four taller-than-average adults crammed into one teacup:

Spinning at brain scrambling speeds and laughing our guts out!

From there, my parents drove home, my sister and her husband drove back to Utah so her husband could start the new semester, and we piled into our over-stuffed minivan:

You see, the thing is, we still had wedding gifts at my parents' house.

Six years.
I know the next thing you were wondering was, "How long have they been married?" so I thought I'd answer before you had to ask. Let me justify. Here's a brief history of the last six years as they pertain to wedding gift storage. We couldn't fit all the gifts in our car when we drove out to school from the wedding in California. My parents drove with us and the original plan was for them to bring a bunch of stuff in their Suburban. Two days before we left, my parents' Suburban broke down. We spent the whole next day frantically sorting what had to go and what could stay and then packing everything we were leaving into boxes in my parents' attic. In the end, it wasn't so bad not having all that stuff while we were living in microscopic student apartments. Then we moved to Texas after M graduated. California was a bit too much of a detour, so we had to move without all the gifts. Once we got to Texas, we started wishing we had the stuff, but for the first couple years we were in apartments anyway, so no rush. Everytime we saw my parents, a few gifts would make it back to Texas as airplane carry-ons. It was nice to get things that way, but at that rate we would still have stuff to bring back on our golden wedding anniversary. Once we moved into our house last summer, it was time. So the main motivation for driving to see my family this summer was not insanity, or even frugality, but rather to finally get all our stuff. Basically, I moved out of my parents' house once and for all.

Here is the pile of boxes from unpacking. Anyone notice a theme?

It was interesting finding new homes for a whole lotta stuff. Some stuff is still homeless. How did I function before without grapefruit spoons for 12? Anyone wanna buy a $300 crystal bowl? Because seriously, what do I do with THAT? I'm afraid to breathe on it, let alone use it.