Monday, July 20, 2009

Lindsay's Sparkly Shoes

I'm not sure who in the universe thought it would be funny to give me a little girl who loves shoes but I'd like to find them and lodge a complaint! As if it isn't bad enough that Lindsay has to sleep with shoes (not on, holding them), today she put on a shoe-a-holic display worthy of a toddler Carrie Bradshaw.

Today I needed to stop by the mall to pick up some birthday gifts for two of my sisters in law. Both of my kids are in need of shoes so I decided I'd also do some shoe shopping while I was there. Will was at camp so I just had Lindsay and even though I failed to bring a stroller for her, since it was going to be a quick shopping trip and she's pretty easy to do things with I wasn't too worried. I should have been worried.

First store is Stride Rite for shoes. Despite the fact that she's not yet a year and a half old, Lindsay is already very particular about which shoes she likes. She kept going and getting this one hot pink pair which would have been fine except for the fact that they don't have them in her size. She goes and gets another pair, relatively similar, same color, but Stride Rite doesn't have those in her size either (6W). In the end I buy her white sandles (pretty standard toddler girl shoes) and a pair of white tennis shoes with light pink trim.

Two hundred dollars worth of shoes later (two pairs for Lindsay, two for Will) we head to a store to get something for Kevin's sister Lori. On the way Lindsay stops at the Bebe store (expensive, trendy, high end clothes) and she starts pointing in the window and saying "Dat!" "Dat!" Then she goes inside, still pointing and now also grabbing. I pick her up and carry her out and a few stores down before setting her down again to walk...we have no similar trouble passing by stores like Gap, GapBody, Banana Republic, even Childrens Place. Just Bebe.

Then I go into Nordstroms. Childrens shoe department, third floor. Immediately Lindsay finds the hot pink shoes similar to the ones she liked at Stride Rite. Grabs those. Climbs up on a chair, on her own, and proceeds to try and put it on her foot. I take her off the chair and move her. I am looking at the Pedipeds, she toddles over and finds these sparkly (and I mean sparkly) shoes - with gobs of fake "jewels" and rhinestones on them made by LelliKelly

Same procedure: climbs on chair, tries to shove on feet, has a fit when removed from chair. We repeat this one more time with another (similar) pair of glittery over the top shoes before I wise up and decide that the universe is telling me that I am not meant to buy her any Pediped shoes and I carry her, kicking and screaming, under my arm and down the escalator to the women's department to find something for my sister in law Kelly's birthday gift.

Sigh. How in the world did I, queen of the barefeet and flip flop, hater of pedicures, give birth to a shoe-a-holic who isn't even one and a half yet?

Monday, June 29, 2009

Burning Up

So I've been reading (really, studying) the Spirited Child handbook in the last few months (which I think has helped a lot - mostly me). I put something from that book into practice today with a lot of success. It's not often that something actually "works" over a very short period of time - I was so pleased with the technique that I wanted to write it down. Will can be very intense and really work himself up in a frenzy. One of the suggestions of the SC book is to give children alternative outlets for their feelings, particularly anger, instead of not allowing them to feel/be angry.

So this morning Will was all upset because I wouldn't let him wear his Spiderman costume to school. "But I have to save people," he argues. I tell him that if the costume is going to make him disagreeable that's not very super-hero like and I'll have to take the costume away until he's ready to act nicely (if the costume makes you have bad behavior then the costume is going to need to be put away yadda yadda). So then he tells me that he's very angry with me (which I think is a good step - that he's saying that versus just having a complete hissy fit).

I told him that it was okay for him to be angry with me; I understood that and I felt angry sometimes too. Then I asked him (this is from the book) if he'd like to draw a picture of how angry he felt. He said that yes he would so up we went to get the markers and paper out and he plopped himself down and began to draw. He started with black. Then he got yellow, red and after that pink. About this time Kevin came home from running and asked him what he was drawing. He tells Kevin very matter of factly that he's angry with me for not letting him wear his Spiderman costume and so he's drawing a picture of fire burning me up (maybe I was the pink?). Kevin, of course, is pretty taken aback but in typical Kevin fashion he keeps his cool and doesn't really react to it (I later explained the technique to him). He showed Kevin the fire and the black (which he said was the smoke) burning me up.

In the car on the way to school he was still angry with me (according to him) but when I picked him up from school and we got into the car he said to me right away, "Mommy, I'm not angry with you anymore" (I hadn't asked - I had just acted normally when I picked him up; he brought it up specifically).

Here's a picture of the drawing he made. It's a pretty obviously "angry" image - but I thought it was pretty cool that he could get his anger out that way (versus having a fit, hitting something or someone, or even just yelling). So I got fictionally burned up in the process. As my book suggests, parenting should be about progress, not perfection :-)

Monday, June 22, 2009

Mom, How Come ...

Will: Mom, how come there's rain in the clouds if I can't see it, even if I go up in an airplane?

to Ty: Have you heard of "On Beyond Zebra? Which letters do you know?

to Ty: You can't see the air but you can feel it, right?

June 21, 2009

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Things I Hope I Never Forget

Lindsay at the fair, her first time seeing a cow. I had been wheeling her around in her stroller but when we got to the AgriFair building I took her out and let her go into the petting zoo. The floor of the petting zoo is a thick layer of shavings and normally Lindsay is pretty particular about her footing (not venturing out into deep sand, often not even wanting to walk on wet grass) but I put her down and she saw the cows and I just saw the lightbulb go off. "Moo!" she squealed and headed over to the cows as fast as her little tripod walk would take her repeating "Moo! Moo! Moo!" all the way. Then "Sheep!" Too bad I had never told her about goats (bad mom). She had no words for them but she walked right over and patted them too.

It all just clicked in her head that these things we'd been seeing in books are really animals, not some little plastic toy.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Art A Day

Kevin and I have decided that the next fifteen months are so are the "sweet spot" of parenting. Today is the first day of summer for us (Will's last day of school was yesterday) and in just about 15 months he'll be starting kindergarden (sighs). Like the Keith Urban song, "these are the days that you'll remember" and we want to spend them, as much as possible, enjoying the freedom of this time in our lives.

As I was pinning up some of the school artwork that came home with Will yesterday it occurred to me tha t, beyond me lobbying to put more art and music into our schools, I ought to be walking the talk and doing exactly that. Instead of worrying about donating to fundraisers to bring art education back to our school district, maybe we should just be getting down and dirty ourselves more often. I love doing art projects - and part of the joy of getting messy is getting clean afterwards. I set a goal to do at least one art or music "project" every day - some days it will be as simple as getting out our MusicTogether CDs and our instruments and playing together but I hope that most days it will mean getting out the crayons, the paints, the glue, the playdoh, t he scissors ... and just getting creative.

On the first day we made a chalk city on our driveway and painted dinosaurs. Well, we started out painting dinosaurs ... then the dinosaur became the ocean. Then we put fish in the ocean. [then mommy paints a sun over the ocean]. Then we paint a purple whale breeching out of the ocean. Then we give the whale a mouth. Now the whale is a megaladon (ancient shark). Then the whale is actually a ladder up to the sun. Then we mix the purple with the sun - now we have a sunset ... and that's where we stop for the day (although we may continue to paint after "quiet time" - to that end the stuff is still set up in the driveway.

Like my goal of getting back into running this year, it's all about momentum. The more you do it, the more you do it. First day of summer and we're on a roll :-)
ArtADay - Day 2
Day 2: we played off of our matchbox car chalk city and ran our cars through paint and then "rimmed" the cars on the paper to create our artwork. We also had fun with Lindsay's bubble machine (she can say "bubble" now very distinctly) and Will's bubble sword. I made giant bubbles with the bubble sword and Will ran around the street popping them with his other sword. This is now referred to as "the bubble game".
Day Three - start of a cheetah, painting the base
Day 3: decided to go with a theme for the week (African Animals). He chose a cheetah today. We looked at pictures on the internet (thank you Google Images) and then decided that cheetahs are yellow. Then I had to cut out a template. Of course Will wanted a cheetah running, so I had to freehand draw that, then cut it out, then tape it down onto the newspaper so he could paint it. Now it's drying and after "quiet time" we'll punch out black dots (that's a skill, right?) and glue them onto the body. Don't know if we'll make eyes or just glue googley eyes to it. I found a cool multicolored snake thing for tomorrow.
the finished cheetah

Day 4 - paper plate snake. Note to self - make note of which pieces go where before you paint. In theory it's a great idea to practice cutting by cutting the paper plate into pieces and then painting the pieces and then reassembling the "puzzle" back into a snake ... but in practice it's harder than it looks to remember which piece goes where! (and it's also hard to figure out which side to paint if the pieces aren't labeled so we ended up painting both sides of all of the pieces, just in case.
Day 4 - colorful snake

Day 5 - I've already learned something. Even though I like having a "theme" and the goal of doing at least one art project each day, I've learned that being too rigid about either really takes the entire point out of it. Yesterday we had a fun, easy day - walked to Starbucks, baked banana bread together, played the bubble game but then it was 5 PM and I realize we haven't done our art project for the day yet (handprint lions from this site: So this week I feel compelled to complete the theme but after tomorrow (Friday) I'm going to adopt a looser definition of "art project". I want to do creative things but I don't necessarily need to create things in the process. There's too much pressure that way - which entirely defeats the point of the project in the first place.

Day 6 - this morning Will had a playdate with a friend whose mom is also very into doing art with her son. She showed me a few cool things that she has to do with Mason (that I now totally covet) and she had a face painting book complete with face paints, a brush, etc. We turned Mason & Will into superheroes with face paints - it was fun. Now if I can only get to Michaels today maybe I can just paint Will's face as a zebra .....

Saturday, May 30, 2009

To Be Or Not To Be ...

After a difficult trip with a friend to the Wild Animal Park I started thinking about the way we raise our children and what we're really teaching them and how much of our parenting is not about our child(ren) but about ourselves. And what I ultimately realized is that, as parents, most of the time we're not being honest with our children and maybe that's the reason they're not learning what we're teaching.

When other children are "too loud" we tell our child to say to that child, "You're hurting my ears, please stop screaming" or when they are playing in a way our child doesn't like (chasing, too physical, etc) we teach our child to "use his words" to tell the other child, "stop, I don't like that." But, in truth, as adults, we would never say that to someone who was offending us. When people are laughing and loud in a restaurant we don't go up to them and ask in our most polite tone of voice, "Excuse me, I don't like how loudly you are talking, could you please speak more quietly?"

So why are we teaching our children to "use their words" in this way if we know that, as adults, we don't practice this? Is this really the way we as adults should be acting? Do we think that this is actually the "right" way to interact with people. Should we, as grown ups, walk around using our words to politely correct everyone's behavior because we don't like it? Would we feel better if we did that?

Somehow I don't think so. If you're a "touchy feely" person that likes to hug and kiss people when greeting them how would you feel when the reaction to your affectionate greeting was, "I don't like it when you touch me that way"? What if you like to sing along with the radio and your passenger admonishes you, "You're hurting my ears. Could you please stop?"

As adults we would never do this. We know that would hurt the other person's feelings. But as parents this is exactly what we are teaching our children to do. We're not teaching them about accepting other people's differences or being kind to other people, we're teaching them that to assert their thoughts is supreme. Shouldn't we be teaching our children how to cope with the real world? And I don't mean that we shouldn't teach our children to keep their hands to themselves, or use inside voices - that's not what I'm wondering about at all - teaching children self control is a big part of what parenting is about. What I'm wondering about is what we are teaching our kids with respect to how they react to those situations when others do things that they don't like. Should we be teaching our kids to speak out or grin and bear it as we, their parents, do?

Shakespeare dealt with this very question in Hamlet's best known speech:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.

When we teach our children to ask (however politely) for other people to change their behavior just to please their own sensibilities aren't we really teaching them that they are more important than anyone else? And then we wonder why they challenge US?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

the Spoiling of Husbands

I'm never quite sure how to react when people tell me that I spoil my husband. From where I sit I think that should be a compliment but when people say it to me it doesn't come across that way. It's not a critique, really, but it's definitely not a compliment.

There are two main times that people tend to say this. One is when I am making dinner (which, by the way, is my dinner too, not just his) and the other is related to the care of our children, specifically times when I leave him to "babysit" them. "It's not babysitting when they are his children!" I'm repeatedly told. "He doesn't know how lucky he is" is the other thing that people tell me. In fact, I've heard that very statement at least three times in the last five days. Once from my very good friend, once from his mother (I think SHE really did mean it as a compliment, after all, he is her baby) and once, just about an hour or so ago, from my good friend and neighbor who stopped by while I was making dinner.

I want to say up front that I'm in no way offended when people say this to me, nor do I feel the least bit defensive. But I do find it curious which is why I'm writing about it here (I started this blog solely to have a place for these random thoughts and musings). Why is my cooking him a nice dinner or wanting to not leave him to take care of both kids while I'm off doing "my thing" too often such a cause for notice and comment? Nobody makes this kind of comment when you do something nice for your girlfriend - but husbands seem to be in a different category (apparently of people you should not "spoil" too regularly).

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Will and the Bullies

There comes a time in every child's life when the "real world" starts creeping in and encroaching on the carefree days of childhood. Figuring out how to protect your child from those not-so-nice realities and, at the same time, teach him to navigate this new world is the struggle of every parent. Will is 3 1/2 now and fairly obsessed with "mean guys" or "bad guys". He's recently become very interested in Spiderman the superhero who protects people from the mean guys. When he's not wearing his costume (which is often), he's "Peter Parker" (Spiderman's alter ego). He has taken to locking his bedroom door to keep the mean guys out and he asks us all the time about where the mean guys are. He was very relieved to learn about jail and learn that mean guys are locked up there so that they cannot get him.

Will also loves school so it was suprising to me that he came home from school on Monday saying that he didn't want to go back to school anymore. When I asked him why he told me that on the playground that day there were some mean kids from Red Gamal and they would not let him on the slide. Red Gamal is one of the other classes of three year olds but they are the oldest class so most of the Red Gamal kids are four now and, from what I've read, four is the age when bullying starts to rear its ugly head in schools.

I asked Will how he had handled the "mean guys" and he told me that he had "used his words" to tell them to stop being mean and to please let him on the slide but that didn't work (which made him feel sad he said) so then he went over to his teacher, Dana, and told her and that Dana had then gone and talked to the boys and that they had gotten off the slide. This all seemed good to me but it weighed on Will (as things tend to do with him) and he couldn't let it go. He brought it up again and again. We talked about what words he could use and what he could DO (walk away and go play with his friends Zach and Mason). We even role played that a bit when he brought it up again last night. I mentioned it to Kevin that this was really weighing on our little boy and he said it was sad that he had to deal with bullies so young.

This morning before school Will was adamant that he didn't want to go to school and mentioned the mean guys again while getting into the car. He told me that if I was going to make him go to school then he was not going to go outside and play on the playground so the mean guys couldn't be mean to him. Sigh, I thought. Our sweet little boy meets the big bad world.

I decided that I would at least mention it to his teachers when I dropped him off - if four is the age of bullies, three is the age of fantasy and since Will has been so obsessed with "mean guys" I wondered if the story was even true. I also wondered if I had inadvertently blown up the issue by talking with Will about it and humoring his worrying.

So when I went into Will's classroom I mentioned the incident and Will's obsessive concern to Dana and asked her if she even remembered something like that happening. She looked puzzled for a moment and then her eyes opened wide. "It wasn't kids from Red Gamal," she told me. Their class had had a field trip on Monday so their schedule was a bit off and they had been on the playground at the same time as the Pink Tzipor class (two year olds). It turns out that it was a couple of two year olds who had been on the slide (normally Will's class is out on the playground at the same time as the Red Gamal kids) and not let Will pass. She said that the two year olds were not being mean, they were actually pretty afraid of Will (hands down the biggest kid in his class) and were just frozen there when Will was trying to "use his words" to have them move. They didn't know what to do!

She reassured Will that she and the other teachers would always help him and that he didn't need to worry, they were there to protect him. Then she just kind of laughed and said, "Well, that's Will. He's twice their size but he'd never think of just climbing over them or pushing them out of the way and he is just so puzzled when he tries to use his words to get something and it doesn't work!"

I can just picture these little Pink Tzipor two year olds frozen in their tracks and Will gesturing and talking to them (loudly and close!) trying to convince them to let him have a turn :-)

So the "big bad world" is kept at bay another day.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Arrival of Spring

In the relative sameness of San Diego seasons, it's not always easy to know when the seasons are changing. There are some hints that Old Man Winter is giving way to spring like the whir of hummingbird wings zooming by and, to my three year old son's great delight, the return of lizards sunning themselves on the rocks near our street. But the hummingbirds' appearances, like the lizards', are predicated on environmental factors of the San Diego winter - like how much rainfall did we get and how many warm spells did we have to confuse the spring flowers into blooming early? For example, I had daffodil bulbs springing up right around Christmas. And, as my son will tell you, lizards need warm sunny days to come out - and spring doesn't necessarily mean bright sunshine every day.

But in my house there is one surefire way to know that spring has arrived. It's not the calendar on the 21st of March announcing the spring equinox, and it's certainly not because the bulbs are finally poking up through the dirt, nor because of the quality of light coming from the position of the sun in the sky ... no, the tell-tale sign of spring happens in my house usually around 2 AM some dark morning. On that day (this year that day happened to be exactly two days ago) I am awakened from a deep sleep by the sound of my two dogs clattering their way down the stairs, down the hall, through the dog door to the side yard. This sound is followed by the sound of branches breaking, two eighty pound dogs crashing into a wooden fence, and then their crazed barking. Spring in my household arrives in the form of the raccoon family that makes its annual pilgrimage to the space between our fence and our neighbor's wall to raise their babies and it means that on any given night I may be awakened two or three times as my wonderful dogs protect their turf from these striped invaders.

I had heard that the raccoons were back from several of my neighbors but I had yet to see them. My elderly South African neighbors to the south told me that they had seen the raccoons "fornicating" one evening while they (the neighbors) were doing their "exercises" (I just left it at that). Apparently raccoons achieve a "tie" the way that dogs do as these raccoons had tumbled off of our neighbors patio onto the garden below, still connected to one another. Another neighbor (one with a now empty fish pond) had reported them walking along her wall and a third neighbor had asked me to send my dogs over to scare away the raccoons from his backyard. But the nocturnal pests hadn't ventured into my yard until two nights ago.

This ritual of spring - the clamboring of dog nails on stone and hardwood floors, the barking, the mad scramble of rodent back over the fence to the safety of the wall behind, the lunging at the fence, and the occassional screech and scream of the retreating rodent - lasts for well over a month. The mother gives birth and raises her young and they live there, behind our fence, until the young are old enough to head out of our neighborhood and back to the canyons whence they
came. My Lab, Levi, takes to sleeping outside during this time while our lazier and less vigilant Ridgeback, Kobe, remains inside on his soft bed, covered with a blanket, but he keeps an ear half cocked - ready to leap up "Woo Woo Wooing" and charge outside at the first crack of branches along our fence.

For our household, it doesn't matter what the calendar says - it's the return of the raccoons (and a few extra bags under our eyes from being regularly awakened by this springtime ritual) that says "Spring" to us.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

He's always wagging me!

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, Hamlet says to the players: "Speak the speech, I pray you, as I pronounc'd it to you, trippingly on the tongue..."

I started this blog really just to have a place to write down and keep in one place all the little isms of my life - truths I uncover along the way, cute things my kids say or do, lessons I hope to remember and, more importantly, teach to my kids. This one falls into the second category but I love it also because it demonstrates something that I always used to try to teach my students: language changes.

When Hamlet instructs the players (actors) to pronounce the speech "trippingly on the tongue" we understand exactly what he means. "Trippingly" is not an adverb in our current lexicon but we still understand it. In fact, more than just understanding it, you can almost feel what Hamlet means, the words rolling off of tongues so quickly that they are almost tripping over themselves to come out. Shakespeare is known, ne revered, for this kind of language play. His wordsmithing is legendary.

Now that I have a three year old, it amazes me to have a little wordsmith of my own. Along with my three year old and one year old, we share our home with two dogs. Correct that: with two big dogs. Two big dogs with big long tails. Two big dogs with big long tails that think they need to be everywhere and go everywhere with us. Where we go they go. Where we are they are. Very often as we try to make our way out the door the dogs are crowding along down the stairs or the hallway.

Yesterday we were headed out the door and the dogs were campaigning to come along as usual. Will was trying to get down the stairs to go out with the dogs in his way and he protested (loudly), "Mom, the dogs are always wagging me!"

I love that. My three year old taking language and making it his own. This is what Shakespeare was all about - taking language and playing with it. Sure, it's not correct in the grammatical sense but you understand what he's trying to say and, actually, he has taken the verb "to wag" and imbued it with more meaning. When he says that the dogs are "wagging him" we understand not just that they are wagging their tails but that they are wagging their tails and hitting him with them.

This morning he was using the toilet and wanted to "do it private" so he asked me to close the door. I obliged by shutting the door but leaving it slightly cracked. Will then said to me, "No mommy, do it lockingly." I don't think you'll find the adverb "lockingly" in the dictionary but his meaning was clear.

I'm not saying that Will is Shakespeare in training. That's not my meaning at all. You have to understand how language works, some of the "rules" of language in order to bend them. But a three year old, by virtue of listening to people talk, has started to grasp some of the basic rules and apply them to convey his thoughts. Will cannot tell you what an adverb is but he made the word "lock" into one to suit his meaning. I love that about language: we can take words and play with them, use them in new ways to convey new meanings.

The primary purpose of language is to express human thought and emotion. Many people suggest that our power to use language is one of the key things that separates humans from animals. We use language to convey to others what is happening in our worlds, our minds, our hearts. To bend language to suit that purpose is, I think, one of the essences of being human.

But I do hope we'll always have dogs that wag us.

Monday, January 26, 2009

You Find What You're Looking For

We've been reading this book lately which features a baby tapir so this weekend we decided to go to the zoo and see real live tapirs. Will also wanted to visit the gorillas as he'd been reading a book about them as well. Kevin drove and he took the route which leads you up Park Blvd alongside Balboa Park - thus driving by the playground, "Kid City" (the Ruben H Fleet Science Museum) and "the Dino Museum" (SD Natural History Museum). Of course that meant that Will started asking to go to those places. We agreed that if he had good behavior at the zoo that after we saw the tapirs and the gorillas we could go to the "Dino Museum".

Turns out that there are two sets of tapirs at the zoo - Central American tapirs, housed on Elephant Mesa, and Malayan tapirs, housed along Tiger River. Either way, they are blobby, pig like creatures that don't do much, even in the cool weather we had last Saturday. In other words, the real live tapirs were a bust, nothing like the bopping to the beat of the jungle's song tapir of our book. The gorillas were great though - we got to see the male silverback strut his stuff and the baby, born early this fall. We also got to see the now adolescent tiger cubs in action and even heard them growling at one another and jostling over food.

After we left the zoo Will, of course, remembered our promise that he could go to the Dino Museum if he'd had good behavior. He reminded us of this so of course we had to agree. Since it was already later than we'd planned, we agreed that he could go to the Dino Museum quickly and say hello to his friends the dinosaur fossils and then we had to go home.

Once inside the museum Will quickly visited his friends "Fossy" (the Allosaurus skeleton or fossil - hence "Fossy"), "Meggy" the Megalodon, the tiger (and the lizard that lives inside the tiger's lair), "Albert" the Albertosaurus "cousin" to T-Rex, "Perry" (the Lambeosaurus that is part of the Hadrosaur family, which Parasaurolophus is also a part of, hence "Perry" for Parasaurolophus), "Ketzy" the flying reptile (I won't even try to spell the real name of this dinosaur), "Anky" the Ankylosaur and the "raptor who died and the mice are eating him" (I guess since he's the only "dead" one he doesn't get a name).

Then, in an effort to prolong the visit, Will went into this forested area of the museum which has mainly replica reptiles and rodents that also lived in the Jurassic period. I followed him in there in an effort to shoo him out and guess what we found? Tapirs! Small tapirs the size of rabbits up to large ones, the size of hippos (well, those were really tapir-like cousins but still). There was even a tapir statue that Will could ride. If you follow the link below you can see pictures of this area. In the first picture you can see the tapirs - they are white beccause the picture shows the exhibit being installed so the animals haven't yet been painted to look authentic.

Tapirs at the Dino Museum, who knew? We'd gone in search of them at the zoo but found them at the Dino Museum. I read the signage at the museum which told me that tapirs have been around since the age of dinosaurs and, as their bodies/lifestyle has not changed significantly in over fifty million years (!!!), scientists sometimes refer to them as "living fossils". We went to see the dinosaur fossils but found tapirs instead. We've been to the Dino Museum probably fifteen times and we always go through that section (though we rarely linger there) and I've never noticed that there were tapirs before Saturday.

I think that there's something to be learned from this, and it's not just that tapirs have been around for over fifty million years. Will calls the SD Natural History Museum the "Dino Museum" because Will loves dinosaurs. When he goes to that museum what he sees, what he focuses on, are the dinosaurs. When you're shopping for a new car you suddenly start seeing tons of the kind of car you're hoping to buy. Get pregnant? Suddenly there are pregnant women everywhere!

In life, like the Dino Museum, you find what you're looking for.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Peaceful Transfer of Power

No matter which end of the political spectrum you fall on, Tuesday's inaguration was an important reminder of one thing which makes Americans so fortunate: the peaceful transfer of power.

I've only been alive for maybe two "where were you when ..." moments (shuttle Columbia explosion and 9/11) prior to this one, and while neither Lindsay or Will will remember the day but I made them take this photo to commemorate that they were "there".