Thursday, December 29, 2005

One year

January 2005 -> June 2005 -> December 2005

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Sometimes I talk too much

Scene: Brad Paisley's "I'm gonna miss her" starts playing on the radio

Kevin: What's this [song] about?

Me: It's about a man who likes to fish. He really likes to fish. A lot.

Kevin: Oh.

Me (instead of stopping talking like I should have): He goes fishing too much, actually.

Kevin: Why he go fishing too much?

Me: It's too much because his wife thinks that he should be home more and spending more time with her.

Kevin: Why he go fishing too much?

Me: He really likes to fish. But it's too much because he's not at home with his wife enough.

Kevin: Why he not at home?

Me: Because he's fishing.

Kevin: Why he go fishing?

Me: He really likes to fish.

Kevin: Why he like to fish?

Me: Fishing is fun.

Kevin: Oh.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

West Side Story

For his birthday, I gave Andy 2 tickets to see West Side Story at the Lyric Opera House. Andy said that the real present was that I was using the second ticket rather than sending someone else with him because he knows how much I don't appreciate musicals. We had a nice time and were grateful that my parents came to babysit, including putting Kevin to bed. We've only had one other person ever put Kevin to bed and that was Elesa when she stayed with us for a few days last spring. He did great both times but he's had so many sleep-related security issues that we're very careful about switching things up on him. Enough about Kevin, though, back to West Side Story.

I thought we were in the high-falutin' crowd because we were in the orchestra section but there were kids there and people in jeans as well as the more high-falutin' looking people. The seats really were great - we were at the actors' level just left of center and there was nobody sitting in the seats directly in front of us for 3 rows. If you're short, you'll realize how much of a difference that can make even when the seating area is ramped.

The show started with the 2 gangs dancing and it was difficult thinking of them as tough when they were prancing around in tight jeans. I kept reminding myself to keep my mind open - 1) it was a musical and 2) who says men in tight jeans who dance like that can't have street cred? Andy told me afterward that during the first scene with the guys dancing he thought to himself, "Oh man, Dianne must love this."

There were parts of the show that I really liked. I mostly liked the women dancing in those floofy skirts because they were bright colors and the dances were fun. I thought the timing within the group dances should've been more together and the actress playing Maria had a fine voice but it was too opera-like for the grit of the story. Andy thought "I like to be in America" could've been more "punchy" (his word) and that the actor playing Tony had a nice voice but lacked acting skills. The actress playing Anita was great - we both enjoyed her singing and dancing.

And yes, when we got home all was well.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas

May the peace of Christ be entrenched in your heart, mind and soul and throughout our world. Happy Birthday, Jesus.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Picture parade

Because you know you want to see more pictures of my kid

This ornament is last year's birthday gift from Kevin to Andy so the photo is from shortly after Kevin came home a year ago.

Monday, December 19, 2005

Need legal documents without the legal fees? Call me.

Oh, I'm good. I always knew it but it's best for my social life if I don't flaunt it, you know? Last night I was typing up a motion to the court for the return of our original documents handed into the court clerk's office and then to the master's office to prepare for our readoption hearing and I found online an example motion for the district court of Clark County, Nevada. Our hearing was nowhere near Nevada but I figured the basic information that needed to be in our motion would be the same.

We met with the master this morning in the Circuit Court of Howard County, MD, and she said, "Wow, you're better than an attorney - they never give up the originals" as she held up Kevin's Guatemalan birth certificate. "Well," I responded, "I was told that's how it had to be. We are planning to request that they be returned to us." She answered that I'd have to file a motion and I told her that I'd brought a written request with us. She said, "Well, you'll need to do it in motion format." "Oh, but I did," I answered with a snooty smile. Actually, no - it was more like, "I tried to do that; who can look at it and let me know if it is acceptable?" She looked at it and said, "This will be just fine! You can file it in the clerk's office downstairs." "Suh-weet!!" I said. Or something to that effect.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Leaders need followers and followers need leaders

I'm in between when it comes to being a leader vs. being a follower. I prefer to follow and I play that role
very well until something goes awry or nothing gets done - then I get sucked into the vacuum of
"nothing-getting-done-ness" and take over until I resent the position and get mad
at everyone else in the group/team/meeting/etc and force someone else to take
over by spitting flames out of my nostrils.

Kevin is a follower of grand proportions. That's not entirely true as he is happy to boss Andy and me
around 24 hours a day but when it comes to anybody else, he's a shadow.

The other day we went to a friend's house (the sledding friend from a previous post) and both boys
(Kevin and T) waited for someone else to start the playing. T's mom and I helped start things up and then
we watched for them to take over. Didn't happen. Kevin and T waited for someone else to keep up the playing
as well! That surely didn't make for a relaxing playdate for me, let me tell you.

We went to lunch at a McDonald's with an indoor playground and although Kevin is now super-happy to climb
to the top and slide down the big, twisty slide 20 times in a row, he wouldn't do it because T
wouldn't do it. They'd get halfway up and T would start back down the steps and Kevin would follow. I
tried to get Kevin to lead T to the small slide to get him acclimated but at the slightest hint of retreat
by T, Kevin would retreat in kind.

There's only so much energy that can be burned up taking one step up on the toddler slide and leaning over
it to reach the floor on the other side. It wasn't until T's mom and I said, "Three more turns and then
we're leaving" that Kevin, without even looking at anybody, took off to the steps and made his
way up to the big slide for his 3 turns.

Next time I'll say when we get there, "Twenty more turns and then we're leaving!"

Oh how I love macro photography

I could look at these photos for hours. Well, maybe a minute each. On third thought, probably 30 seconds - but that's way longer than I usually look at anybody's (including my) photographs.

On Location with Rick Lee

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm such a sap

We all know that I will be really sad when we get rid of my truck. It was the first vehicle I owned. I've had it since my senior year of college so we've been through a lot together. I wasn't expecting the same sort of reaction to getting rid of an old, dusty textbook, but it happened.

Last night I received an email message from saying that one of my old textbooks that I listed a few weeks ago had sold. I was seriously excited as I hadn't expected any of them to sell. They're from 1990-1994 and most of them were used at the time and the versions are quite out of date. I bounced around and told Andy about it and then I looked to see which book it was - Discrete Mathematics! I felt a pang of something inside - something that made me want to refund the buyer's money and keep the book all to myself. But why? I hated that class! I squeaked by with a C (squeaked because a C or better was required as it was within my major) only because the whole class did so poorly that we all got bumped up a few tens of points so that good ol' Professor Kanal wouldn't have to give us all F's.

So anyway, I wondered what made me feel anything about this book? Maybe it was the penciled note inside the back cover that said, "Are you almost done? I'm going to turn mine in now - I'll wait for you outside" which I probably wrote to my first boyfriend, who I met in that class, during an open-book exam. Maybe I just miss the feeling of complete cluelessness that first semester of college after being so smart and scholarly in high school. No, I doubt I miss that.

Whatever it was, it caught me off-guard and I am so ashamed of it that I had to post it here for all the world to see. I mean, if I can't embarass myself in front of you all, then what's the point of having a blog anyway?

Monday, December 12, 2005

There's always something more to learn

Last Friday when we were sledding back at our house after Kevin became Mr. Daredevil at our friends' house, I learned a valuable lesson. When pulling someone down a hill to give them more speed to catch more air over a jump, you should let up on the rope while the person is in mid-air. Otherwise, the saucer might be pulled out from under the person and they might land with their face in the ice-crusted snow resulting in, oh, about 30 cuts on his or her face, all oozing a drop or two of blood.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

You're a what?

Andy's Dad: Aaay, Muchacho!

Kevin: I'm not a chacho - I'm Kevin.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Who are you and what have you done with my cautious son?

Overheard today while sledding:

  • "Mama, push me into the table!"

  • "I want to sled all the way into the street!

  • "Can I sled down into the water and go 'splash'?"

  • "Faster? Yeah, let's do it!"

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Top 2 reasons why my truck is better than the van

1) it's a stick shift

2) I determine how much hot air blows out of the heater rather than the cabin temperature being determined by an automatic, digital-thermostatically-controlled
system that blows cold air as soon as I get warm unless I turn the temperature to 85 degrees, which makes no sense, or I turn the system off, which the owner's manual warns me not to do for long or else we will all die of suffocation or Legionnaire's Disease

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Be our king of peace

O come, Desire of nations, bind

In one the hearts of all mankind;

Bid Thou our sad divisions cease,

And be Thyself our King of Peace.

"O Come, O Come Emmanuel", translated from Latin to English by John M. Neale, Mediaeval Hymns, 1851

Monday, December 05, 2005

Songs in the key of tone-deafness

Consider the following song that I made up for Kevin when he asked me to sing a song about one of the cars in his zoo train set, sung to the tune of "Frere Jacques"/"Are You Sleeping?":

You have that train car

You have that train car

It is a gorilla!

It is a gorilla!

"Oogh, oogh, oogh" is what they say

"Oogh, oogh, oogh" is what they say

Drag your knuckles

Drag your knuckles

Pretty good, no? Well here's his rendition of it about an available car for his train set that he doesn't have:

You don't have that train car

You don't have that train car

It is a butterfly!

It is a butterfly!

(break)---Mama! What does a butterfly say? I respond, "I don't know, maybe it's wings sometimes sound like, "fth fth fth" when it's flying?"---(end break)

"Fth fth fth" is what they say

"Fth fth fth" is what they say

Drag your butterfly knuckles

Drag your butterfly knuckles

Christmas Shopping

A friend asked me the other day if we're done shopping for Kevin for Christmas. I replied, "Finished? We haven't even started." She looked blankly at me not knowing whether I was joking or not, so I clarified for her (and horrified her?) by saying that last year, we only gave him one present and it was a hand-me-down from a friend's kid.

On the other hand, we're being a good aunt and uncle for once. We have a nephew and niece in Missouri who never hear from us, even on their birthdays. I don't think we sent them presents last Christmas either. That wouldn't be a big deal except that their family always sends us and Kevin presents for every holiday. Now we get along great with them when we see them, usually once a year, so it's not like they're long-lost relatives or anything. I showed Andy what I bought them today at the mall and I asked if he thought they'd mind that we didn't spend much money on them. He said that he thinks they'll be happy to know that we realize they exist no matter how little we spent.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Get your applesauce

Today our church had Christmas on the Farm which includes picking up pre-ordered Christmas trees, wreaths and roping, hayrides, bake sale and craft sale. I was part of the craft sale and I sold homemade applesauce. I had made applesauce before but this was the first time I'd canned it. That part was lots of fun and I look forward to canning some other things (like tomatoes and maybe pickles) next year.

Anyway, I sold about 2/3 of the jars that I took. I don't feel like looking at my list of how many quarts and pints I made so you really have no idea how many that was, do you? Oh well. I'm pretty much done with applesauce for right now. I still have some jars that I can give away as gifts and we will eat the leftovers as well. What was cool was that everybody who tried a sample bought some.

Andy sold some of his leftover jewelry and some beaded candle holders, too. It's neat to see how much people love his creations.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

I suppose it is better for lots of things in life

Kevin had a playdate yesterday with a new friend and they got along really well. We walked to
the park and the kids laughed and ran around the playground. There was a wide slide and when the
kids were sitting at the top ready to go down side-by-side, the girl said, "It's better if you hold
hands" so she grabbed Kevin's hand and they giggled and shrieked down the slide together. "Let's do
that again!" Kevin said and that turned out
to be fun for about 15 more trips! When it was time to go home they held hands and ran up the