Tell me. At what age should I worry that my kid is socially awkward? I hope it's not 4.
Luke has recently been obsessed with wearing an old motorcycle helmet he found in the shed. He literally wears it for so long that his hair is sweaty and nasty when he takes it off... if he takes it off.
He wears it while eating. What a mess. You can see in this picture that he is getting yogurt all over the helmet.
He wears it while he "washes" his bike. (This is a great activity. It kept my kids entertained for almost an hour. They "washed" a lot of their toys.)
I stopped fighting it and let him wear it in public. How can this be comfortable? I do not know.
I love the look on Erik's face when Luke is greeting him at the airport wearing his helmet. On the bright side, I do worry less about Luke hurting himself when he tries to do crazy things. I kind of wish Erik would wear the helmet all the time too.
Tell me. At what age should I worry that my kid is socially awkward? I hope it's not 4.
Posted by Cristin at 9:21 AM
I probably don't need to say much about Toy Story 3 since most people have seen it by now. If you haven't seen it yet, you've likely heard that it was amazing, a real feel-good film, and the animation was so much better than the original. It truly was a good movie. Not only did I get to spend some real quality time with my family, but I also discovered that I cried harder in Toy Story 3 than any movie featuring an animal death, ever. Does this make me a heartless person? (Don't answer that.)
In fact, animal deaths in movies kind of make me laugh because the people get so worked up about it. For example, while watching Marley and Me, I, really annoyed at the end, screamed at the t.v., "Just get another dog, people! Duh!" (Come on, I would never intentionally hurt an animal. )
I'm digressing. Back to the movie.
TOYS, I got choked up in a movie about toys. Damn, you, Pixar. All those toys wanted was to be loved forever by Andy. Was it to much to ask to go to college with him? I cried like a baby in that movie.
GRADE: (This was a movie review, remember?) A
Posted by Cristin at 9:45 PM
Ugh. Traffic School.
Up until yesterday, I had only done traffic school once before in my life. That was in Utah. I went down to the police station and watched a bunch of videos about drunk driving. It was not funny at all.
However, in the "far superior" California where everything must be entertaining, they do things a little differently here. When you sign up for traffic school, the State sends you a list of about 200 approved programs. You pick one, based on the name, take the class, and the certificate of completion is automatically sent to the court.
So... about that list of schools. At first I thought the State sent me the wrong list because every name sounded like a school to learn how to be a comedian. Some real examples:
A Funny Traffic School
Laugh A Lot Online Traffic School
Fast-Easy-Happy-Online Traffic School (Asian?)
Improv-The Comedy Club presents Traffic School
Fun N Cheap Comedy
I'll Never Speed Again Comedy Traffic School
Buckle Up and Chuckle
Then I saw the schools that offered "free" pizza and comedy. Very tempting:
Pizza For Your Comedians 2 (Better than the first one?)
Pizza 4U Comedians
Then I thought of choosing one of these:
Rocket Traffic School (In honor of Erik.)
Gay Community Traffic School (A way for like minded people to meet.)
Finally a Gay Traffic School (Yes, finally.)
Autobahn Traffic School (Learn how to drive fast? I don't get it.)
8 Hour Traffic School (WHAT?!? This is going to take 8 hours!!!)
I'll Never Speed Again Traffic School (Yeah right!)
Ultimately, I chose an online school called The World's Easiest Traffic School. I knew I picked the right one when its homepage said it was actually called The World's Easiest Traffic Comedy School. Great. Easy and laughing for hours. Who could ask for more?
Guess what!? The World's Easiest Traffic Comedy School wasn't so funny. Here's a sample joke:
"My car is really old. My headlights have cataracts!"
Uh, yeah. Laughing hysterically. If that's not funny enough for you, interspersed in the text are these "Silly Signs" like this one -
As the wife of someone who works at an airport, I stared at this picture for awhile trying to figure out what made it so silly.
You know what was funny? The school itself. You may be wondering, like Erik, how they keep people from just clicking through the entire text in 5 minutes and then looking up the answers online while taking the final exam. The traffic school randomly puts strange phrases in the text for you to write down. So, about a third of the 40 question final is about remembering a phrase like, "Cats eat boogers too." in order to prove you read the text. Now that's funny.
While it wasn't as entertaining as I had hoped, I did complete the whole online course in about 3 hours while my kids were destroying the house. I was grateful I didn't sign up for the 8 hour Traffic School. Why would you name a traffic school that?!
Posted by Cristin at 1:30 PM
Wow, that was bad. I mean, painfully, bad.
Last night, we rented Valentine's Day from Netflix. Never heard of it? You might know it from it's alternate title, Let's See How Many Celebrities We Can Cram Into This Awful Movie. I don't know who I felt worse for... Erik being forced to watch this movie with me or the good actors who were stuck in a bad story. Since the actors were getting paid, I choose Erik. I'm gonna owe him.
I wanted this movie to be good. The trailer was good. Like I mentioned before, there were too many actors. There wasn't enough time to give adequate attention to any one story. I felt like a lot of actors were in it as a favor to the director or just to pick up a paycheck. They could have easily cut 2 or 3 stories out of the movie, spent more time on the rest, and it might have actually been decent.
Ensemble movies don't have to be awful like this. A few years ago I watched a fantastic Clean Flicks version of Love Actually. (Movies edited by Clean Flicks are notoriously bad so I can only imagine how great the real version was.) Even He's Just Not That Into You was better than this and that's saying something because I hate movies about infidelity. Good romantic comedies feel so rare, especially after watching this piece of garbage last night.
Posted by Cristin at 2:41 PM
Last week while I was busily trying to pack up and clean the apartment in San Diego, I decided to forgo Charlie's nap since we'd be in the car later that afternoon anyway. Without my knowledge, he sneaked into the closet where his bed had been set up during the week, found his pacifier and blanket, laid down, and went to sleep at his normal nap time. All on his own.
I found him like this and couldn't help but smile. What can I say? He has a really strict schedule.
Posted by Cristin at 8:30 AM
I told Luke to smile and this is his honest, legitimate, attempt at a normal smile for the camera. Poor kid. This was taken 30 minutes before we needed to leave the house for Luke's first day of swimming lessons today. Eager? Oh yes. Just as I expected, he did great. He did not want to hold on to the wall, kept jumping in, kicking all over the place, and going underwater like crazy. Our problem with Luke in the water has always been that he thinks he knows how to swim. Hopefully by the end of this summer, it won't be a joke anymore and he really will.
I'm glad Luke did well, because Charlie did not. He hates having to sit on the side of the pool and watch his brother swim. It was so bad that while I was looking the other way for 15 seconds he took off all his clothes. I caught him completely naked, with his diaper around his ankles, waddling over to the pool ladder to get in. It was a chore just to keep his pants on during Luke's entire 50 minute lesson. He wanted in so badly.
I don't know if this is legal, but I've made the executive decision not to stick around the pool during Luke's lessons. I feel comfortable enough since we know so many of the teachers and parents of other students. As much as I would love to watch Luke swim, it's not that fun wrestling with a 2 year old to keep his clothes on for 50 minutes. Not fun at all.
Posted by Cristin at 1:43 PM
Since we drove 2 cars to San Diego, Erik and I each took one child on the trip home. Charlie chose to go with Daddy in the big truck and Luke wanted to go with me.
Luke talked to me non-stop for 4 hours straight.
Some highlights of my trip with Luke include -
- He made up a game, "Okay, Mommy, I'm going to say some words and then you guess what letter they start with - PEANUTS, PIZZA, AND PENIS. Is it A, D, or P!?"
- He explained to me that "cows poop milk into buckets for the farmers to put in bottles."
- When we stopped at Jack-in-the Box for dinner, he ran around the restaurant three times screaming at the top of his lungs, "I LOVE THIS PLACE! I LOVE THIS PLACE! I LOVE THIS PLACE!!"
- Told me his 4 year old cousin, Wyatt, knows how to drive a real race car, and then explained how.
- After passing an Enterprise Vanpool with a flying car on the side of it (see above picture), he explained to me for 20 minutes how it works, where the wings are hidden on the side of the van and how our car could never fly like that van.
- When I said, "Luke, why don't you close your eyes and go to sleep." He responded, "Okay, you go to sleep too, Mommy." When I told him I couldn't because I was driving, he said, "Yes you can, Silly!"
Posted by Cristin at 9:28 AM
I finally went to the Urgent Care last night and guess what?! I have a cold. A really bad cold. Evidently, I must be some sort of hypochondriac, because what kind of idiot goes into the Urgent Care for a cold?
Oh well, the $10 co-pay was worth it because I got a prescription for Robitussin with codeine and this little gem -
I showed this letter to Erik and he just laughed, "Being a Mom isn't like a real job." I know, Erik, oh, how I know.
I'm feeling a lot better today, probably because of the six hours of television I let the kids watch yesterday while I laid on the couch [wow, it looks even worse when I write it out]. To get over my guilt, I decided to take the kids to the beach this morning.
Being at the beach today made me sad that we didn't do more fun things while we were in San Diego this week. Oh well, till the next time.
Posted by Cristin at 1:40 PM
Despite my mother's pleas to boycott San Diego, I decided to spend the week with Erik while he's working down here. Not so much because I have nothing to do at home, more because I am sick. I figured it was at least better to be sick with a husband to help out at night, rather than having no husband around at all. Now that I am writing this out it sounds extremely selfish that I drugged myself up just long enough to drive down here for help. I'm sure my husband loves his sick wife following him around everywhere. Oh well.
In addition to being sick, I haven't had a voice since Monday night. I never realized how much I rely on my voice to discipline my kids. Clapping my hands intensely and giving them enthusiastic thumbs up's don't have the same effect as
yelling speaking sternly. I feel this strange kinship to Ariel from the Little Mermaid and people who don't speak English.
When I decided to be a stay-at-home mom, it never occurred to me that I would occasionally have to be sick and still watch my kids. I feel like I'll never get better because the kids will never give me enough time to really rest. I'm not complaining, just telling you how it is. I'm not a very good sick person. Can you tell?
Time to go take some more Dayquil.
Posted by Cristin at 3:12 PM
I immunize my kids begrudgingly. I say "begrudgingly" because I can see the pros and cons of both sides. My hippie mom didn't immunize me until I entered college and I survived. However, for some reason, I just feel like it's the right thing for my family. So,I give my kids alll the immunizations except for one -
Because it sounds stupid.
No, I have not done any research. Yes, I realize that my reasoning is idiotic. It's just that every time the doctor asks me if I want to give one of my kids the chicken pox shot, I think about when I had the chicken pox. What's so bad about having the chicken pox? It was a rite of passage! I got to stay home from school for a week and watch television. Awesome childhood memories.
While we were in D.C. last week, my sister-in-law, Else, who was watching Charlie, called to tell me that she thought her daughter had chicken pox. "Really?" I said, "Oh, I hope you're right. That would be great!" Unfortunately, she didn't have the chicken pox, which is a real bummer because now I'm worried my kids might get it as adults and die from it. Then I am going to feel really bad about writing this post.
Posted by Cristin at 2:55 PM
The Friday before last, Erik's old friend from high school, Patrick, texted him from the Canary Islands to tell him he was getting married in Washington, D.C. in exactly one week. So naturally, the next day we made arrangements for the kids and bought ourselves airplane tickets to fly out for the wedding on the following Thursday. (Here's a tip, if you want a good deal on airplane tickets, do not buy them 5 days in advance.)
Sounds fun, right? A spontaneous romantic 6 day getaway for a good friend's wedding? Well, we later found out that there was a catch. The wedding ceremony would be held on the top of a mountain. Literally. We would be leaving at 5 a.m. to drive 2 hours to hike 8 miles. We were told that the "strenuous" mountain hike would include "scrambling" and "rock face." Even though everyone knows that an East Coast mountain is actually more like a West Coast hill, I couldn't help but freak out.
Please don't get me wrong. I can see the reasoning behind wanting to get married on the top of a mountain. The adrenaline from the hike. The scenic view. It would be fun. However, I'm just kind of a wuss when it comes to anything strenuous. After googling the words, "scrambling" and "rock face", I was convinced that I either needed to feign illness or pray that something would change these plans. (Saying I didn't want to do the hike wasn't a real option.)
Well, guess what? God answers prayers!
The afternoon before we left, we received an email stating that due to forecasted rain, the ceremony instead would be taking place at a shelter near a lake, followed by mud football. I enthusiastically danced around the house, yelling, "Hallelujah! I can be lazy!!" The meet time had also been changed to 6 a.m. instead of 5. Boo-yah!
Patrick and Meg's wedding was really nice, simple, and sweet. It didn't even rain, either.
Afterwards, they "took the plunge" in the lake. Heh, heh.
Erik, of course, had to jump in after they did. All in all, it was a really great day. It made me forget about all the stressful last minute planning we did to get there. I was really happy we went.
A bonus was that we were able to spend Memorial Day touring Washington, D.C. This was kind of a second chance to see all things I missed when I was there last summer.
The Lincoln Memorial actually had a Lincoln impersonator walking around. However, when people asked him for a picture, his bodyguard (yes, really), said, "No pictures!" This is me being sly and taking a picture with him anyway. HA!
We visited Julia Child's kitchen inside the American History Smithsonian. I wanted to leave a big 'ol cube of butter like in Julie and Julia but it would have melted in my bag. I really don't know how you East Coast folks live in that humidity!
As I was going through our pictures today, I noticed that Erik and I are inadvertently starting to dress the same. It's not as bad as those old couples who wear matching track suits, but we are getting there.
Finally, what trip to the D.C. area would be complete without a cannon picture?! Erik came up with that pose all on his own. Very creative.
Posted by Cristin at 2:58 PM