Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Tuesday 5: Feminists and Fighters

1. There’s a new personal crusade in Arthur Dent’s world. He’s on a mission to take back pink. He wants to reclaim it as a color that is good for boys AND girls. Right now, he hasn’t extended his quest past using pink cups and plates whenever possible at meals. He’s very matter-of-fact about it. He’s the only boy in a family full of girls, and one of only three boys in his preschool class. I support his crusade and am glad his sisters do, too. I'm glad to be raising a house full of feminists.

2. Speaking of feminism, we were playing cards the other night, and I became frustrated when I realized that, in the game we were playing, the winner was called “King” and the second place player was called “Queen.” I don’t know why it never bothered me when playing cards and realizing that the King is always higher than the Queen, but it stuck out like a sore thumb and really irritated the feminist in me while playing this game. 

3. Our kids really enjoy music, and we’ve done our best to encourage their love for it. Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell take piano lessons. Amelia Earhart is learning guitar and The International Man of Intrigue has taught himself to play several instruments. He is most proficient at guitar. The other day, he was playing “Renegade” by X Ambassadors and the Little Explorers were singing along. It brought up lots of questions. “What’s a renegade? What about a mutineer? Why is being a renegade ok, but not a mutineer? Who is Spielberg? Kubrick?” This went on and on until they had a full exegesis of the song. I love these kind of unprompted learning moments.

4. Laura Ingalls Wilder is in the throes of terrible two-dom. She is INTENSE. There are lots of screaming fits followed by time outs followed by Laura Ingalls Wilder sneaking out of time out with the time out stool to climb up and get whatever she was in time out for throwing a fit about in the first place. Lather, rinse, repeat. It’s made for some long days. I just keep reminding myself that the same fighting spirit that makes us crazy now is what helped her grow and thrive when she was born weighing less than three pounds. If we can just channel her fighting spirit without breaking our spirits, she’ll be destined for greatness.

5. “I realize God may have gotten something beautiful done through me despite the fact that I am an asshole.” From “Accidental Saints” by Nadia Bolz-Weber. I just started reading this book today and I am finding it both relatable and inspiring.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Tuesday 5: In Which Arthur Dent Gets Left Behind TWICE.

1. Arthur Dent doesn’t know it, but he’s having a rough week. Yesterday, I dropped him off at school with the big girls. Fast forward twenty minutes and I’m shopping at Target where I got a phone call. Turned out there was no preschool. Luckily, he was in good hands and wasn’t worried about it at all. Today, we got orders for our move to Hawaii. The only problem was that they didn’t include Arthur Dent. The error was fixed very quickly, so we don’t have to leave Arthur Dent behind when we relocate. 

2. I saw “The Audience” starring Helen Mirren this weekend. It was a great play, but I’m left in awe not of her performance, but of the fact that, at age 70, she looks better than I do at…well, not that old.

3. We just started watching “30 Rock,” and I’m wondering why we waited so long. Quality hilarity.

4. I’ve decided that for all of our traveling and moving this summer, I need a mascot to take pictures of at every stop. One of my friends has a lego princess. The International Man of Intrigue’s cousin travels with her son’s stuffed penguin. So, I need ideas. What should my travel companion be? It needs to be small so it can fit in a pocket or a purse or a carryon. Lots of suggestions, please!

5. I’m that person with piles of books everywhere. On the end table, on the kitchen counter, on the table in the entryway, on my nightstand. I’m not even sorry.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Tuesday 5: Spring Break

It's spring break and we're at home for the week. I thought about taking the week off of blogging, but I didn't want to leave anyone disappointed. Here is a mini five:

1. Watching: The Americans. Exciting Russian spy stuff.

2. Reading: Not much of anything. I keep picking up several different books and reading a page here or there, but nothing has stuck yet.

3. Eating: I hosted two brunches last week. I served spinach and goat cheese with caramelized onion quiche at both of them. I make quiche a lot, but today I was called "The Quiche Whisperer." I am pretty good at quiche.

4. Mail: I've gotten a package every day this week. Yeah, it's only Tuesday, so that's two, but they were AWESOME. Yesterday was a box of hand me downs for Laura Ingalls Wilder, with a couple of goodies, including a Barnes and Noble gift card, tucked in for me. Today, I got a package from a friend with some little goodies for the Little Explorers and a journal for me! I just love good mail!

5. Eating (again): I'm shoving a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie in my face. I have to go. This demands concentration for full enjoyment. Happy Spring Break, Fellow Adventurers!

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Tuesday 5: Haircuts and Power Outages

1. This Tuesday has been one for the books. Today, at school, Gertrude Bell was pushed to the ground by a boy who wanted her seat in the lunchroom. Coincidentally, it’s also International Women’s Day. While her situation was handled immediately by adults, she told us she didn’t say anything when he pushed her. We took the opportunity to remind her that no one can put their hands on her without permission, and that her voice is a powerful tool. “Don’t touch me!” and “Get your hands off me!” are appropriate things to yell. Raising strong women starts when they’re still little. (Edited to add: The International Man of Intrigue also taught her to fight back with fists. Self defense is also her right.)

2. Arthur Dent may have a promising career as a barber. Today, he took it upon himself to cut Laura Ingalls Wilder’s hair. Thankfully, it was not a lot of hair, but it was a sibling haircut all the same. It was also her first haircut. Considering that Gertrude Bell gave herself her first haircut around age three and a half, that means I'm only two for two in the first haircut parenting arena.

3. The dude may not be ready for cosmetology school yet, but one thing we’ve always loved about Arthur Dent is his sensitive side. He used to cry when we read him the book “Llama Llama Misses Mama,” and he cried the first time we told him about Laura Ingalls Wilder. This weekend, we watched the movie “The Good Dinosaur.” We all enjoyed it, but The International Man of Intrigue and I most enjoyed watching Arthur Dent surreptitiously swipe at his eyes with his sleeve during the sad parts of the movie. Afterward, we asked him what he thought. “I thought it was good, but it was weally sad when the daddy died.” Arthur Dent then spent the next 30 minutes attached to The International Man of Intrigue. I’m still melting at the cuteness.

4. If you don’t have Little Explorers of your own, or love my Little Explorers like your own, you can skip this one. The big news in our house today was that Laura Ingalls Wilder finally pooped in the potty. This has been an ongoing struggle, and in an effort to reinforce how great it was, we told everyone. She got to call The International Man of Intrigue at work. Mrs. British Neighbor gave her a chocolate cupcake. In carline to pick up Amelia Earhart and Gertrude Bell, she told all the teachers “A BIG POOP!” This afternoon I caught her singsonging as she walked around the house, “I poop inna potty! I poop inna potty!” 

5. Fellow Adventurers, it’s time to tell you I typed this entire post while sitting in a pitch black house. The power is out in our entire subdivision. Apparently there is a power pole on fire at the back entrance to the subdivision. The power went out at 7 pm and may be back on by 9:30 pm. I’m hopeful, since a previous estimate had it being out all night. And, with that, I’m going to conserve my laptop battery and go find a flashlight and a novel. Until next week, Fellow Adventurers!

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tuesday 5: In Which I Do NOT Go On A Political Rampage

1. Lucky me, my neighbor The Other Mrs. Intrigue loaned me the complete 6th season of Downton Abbey on BluRay. This means I’m entirely finished with Downton. I won’t spoil it for those of you who will be watching on Sunday except to say this: I love it when a show or book or movie ends with an “And They All Lived Happily Every After.” I’m not saying I like sappy or saccharine or predictable, I’m just saying there’s enough sadness and heartache and misery in the world, it’s nice to leave a well written or well acted piece with the characters in a place that feels like an ending and that feels like they’ve found some measure of happiness. Downton Abbey met my expectations.

2. Laura Ingalls Wilder has a new hobby. She’s a backseat driver. She likes to yell at me that I should have turned the other direction. She also loves to scream “GO! GoGoGo! GOOOO MAMAAA!” when we’re stopped in traffic. It’s delightful, if you enjoy being bossed around by a two and a half year old.

3. I think I want to start reading more poetry, but I also feel like I don’t know much about poetry in general - what makes a poem good, well structured, etc.? I remember Shakespearean sonnet structure from school, and that’s about it. Do any of you Fellow Adventurers have any suggestions on where to go or what to read to learn more?

4. I am easily distracted. Just now, I started playing an episode of The West Wing that I’ve seen at least four times before. My intent was to provide some background noise while I blogged and packed lunches. Halfway through, I realized I was engrossed in the show to the complete neglect of everything else. What can I say? I’m captivated by good television.

5. I keep getting these pictures of Oprah in my mailbox. She’s telling me how great it is that I, too, can eat bread every day and get skinny. Oprah, clearly you don’t know me. That is not something I can do. If I eat one piece of bread, I’ll eat four. With butter, and maybe jam. So, kindly stop showing up in my mailbox and telling me my business. Thanks.