Thursday, August 29, 2013

Two For

Been absent this week so I need to make it up to you with a "two fer":

Part 1: The First Step on the Path to Education
The girls started preschool last week.  I know. ... take a moment.  Where did the time go?!  We were  a little nervous, for kids that have a stay at home mom that can be a tough transition to a school type setting where Mom's not around for several hours.  But our worry was for nothing.  Not only did they not cry (pretty much a "see ya mom" response) but Rosaline was the only one who DID cry, because she wanted to stay with sissies and not leave with Mama.
They're school is something else, too.  We wanted to find a place that offered a unique setting, something that could start them off on the idea that school was fun, adventurous, a place they wanted to go every morning.  What we found was Little Valley Adventure Learning, a home preschool that combines both the educational (retired LEUSD preschool teacher with early child and human development degrees) and the adventure part (an outdoor "organic" learning environment with goats and pigs and chickens and ducks and peacocks and and aviary and vegetable gardens and. ... well. ..a whole lot of other "ands").  This is turning out to be the perfect recipe of fun, socialization, exploration and, above all, learning.  Every day the girls come home they have something "fascinating" to share with us; some new song, some new number, some new fact.  It's brilliant.  I couldn't be happier with this set up and the girls feel the same.  They'll never experience anything like this in the school system again, and rightly so - basic counting is easy when you're collecting eggs from the chicken coop, but complex algebra may require more then a few hens - so I'm glad they have the opportunity to experience now.

Part 2: I Think We're Alone Now
Our kids have never experienced one on one time. It just doesn't happen.  From the word "go" there were two, and shortly after there were three.  Yesterday Genevieve got a rare opportunity to go shoe shopping with Gina  all by herself.  The sisters were left with Yiayia and the two of them went off on their own.  Genevieve couldn't help but relish in the moment.  She kept telling Gina how "amazing" the experience was and how much she loved shoe shopping with her.  Even by the time I got home she had to fill me in on the girl time her and Mama shared. "It was just the two of us Daddy; no Arianna, no Rosaline.  It was lovely."

Friday, August 23, 2013

Pic(s) of the Week

"Education is the start of fulfilling your dreams."

Wednesday, August 21, 2013


So last night, we put on Pandora (which plays on the surround sound through the Apple TV) and were experiencing some nostalgia on the 90's channel while the girls ate their dinner.  Every song that plays automatically pops up a picture of the album cover on our TV.  So, suddenly, Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" came over the airwaves, and accompanying that was the cover from the album Nevermind. ... the famous one fo the naked baby in the swimming pool.  Holy hell. ... a near riot ensued.  "Look at the baby's popo daddy!  Eek!".  Freakin' Rosaline kept spinning around in her high chair, pointing and saying "popo. ... popo".  Popo, by the way, is a general reference to private parts.  I'm horrified how obsessed they all were by this.  Completely horrified.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Life Aquatic

I'm a water baby.  A Pisces by definition.  I grew up on the water of Southern California, swimming, sailing, scuba diving. ... it's my second home.  I longed for the day that my kids would join me in my element, hoping they would take as much a shining to it as I have.  To this point. ... they were slightly less enthusiastic about water then your average house cat.  That's an over exaggeration, but trying to get them to practice they're swimming was like yanking teeth.  Then something happened.  They spent a week in Arizona with my father in law last month.  You can't spend 7 days in Arizona during the summer and survive with out being in the water for 6 and 3/4's of that time.  The light bulb went off during this week.  They figured out the combination of gyrating body parts to make propulsion in the aquatic environment work.  Suddenly they come home and they're like little otters.  They jump, they swim, they dive, they float. .... it's a beautiful thing.  Of course, I, the working dad, haven't been able to see this first hand yet.  The only pool time I've gotten has been joining other kids to play in the baby pools.  But yesterday. ... yesterday was like Christmas and Easter and an un-Birthday all mixed together in August.  We went to the big pool in the afternoon and not only did they swim, they let me launch them in to the air for flips and dives and cannonballs.  One of my parental fantasies since I was a pint sized flying kamikaze cannonballer.  And they loved it. ... I think we could have stayed there all night if not for the water logged toes and fingers.  Darn wrinkly appendages.  It was pure bliss for me.  Playing with my children is always the highlight of my life. ... but to do it in MY environment. ... that was remarkably special.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Thursday, August 8, 2013

It's What Dad's Are Supposed To Do!

Mom's wear many hats.  Many, MAAANNY hats.  Nurses, chefs, advisers, confidants, security, fan club, ect.  And more and more dad's are starting to add to their hat collection as well.  Truth is, we are just as capable of rocking most of these hats in our own way.  But there's one hat that we can't seem to shake off, no matter how good a dad we are. ... the "bad choice in what we let you watch before bed time" hat.  After Rosaline went to bed the other night, I let the girls stay up and watch a movie.  We rented "A Monster in Paris" which is a Belgian film, dubbed in English and it really is a great flick.  In fact, I'm shocked it wasn't released in the US theatrically.  However, it's about a mad science experiment the causes a flea to grow into a 7 foot, musically gifted and emotionally fragile monster like version of itself - voiced by Sean Lennon (John's son).  Very sweet, but a little scary.  When Arianna went to bed she couldn't shake the image of an alligator at the beginning of the movie that chases one of the characters through a zoo.  It's a funny scene in the film; but in a dark and silent room it seemed to have a bad effect on her as she conjured the images once more in her mind.  I felt pretty bad about it, so I brought her downstairs and curled her up on my lap while I sat on the sofa.  She closed her eyes and pressed into my chest as she finally started nodding off with a sense of security cloaking her.  And then I turned on Shark Week.  I'm told by Gina that may have only compounded the problem. .... but I had that damn hat on!  Sleep tight kiddo.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Things I Never Thought I'd Say

Sorry, Folks!  I know it's been a while.  I spent a week in Atlanta for work and then another week working on some private matters I'll go into in the coming weeks.  Anyway, all is fine here still. ... just as entertaining as always.  I thought I'd take a moment today to share with you something I'd never thought I'd have to say.  "You - we do not let other people look in our butts. ... only doctors.  And You - we do not look in other peoples butts unless we go to medical school and become a doctor. .... do you understand me?"  Response: "What about Momma's?  Are they allowed to look in our butts when we have problems with khaka?"  At this point I must walk away, because we're going down a path of hypotheticals from which one can never journey back.  FYI, names have been replaced by "you's" to protect the innocent when they enter Junior High School. ... though it doesn't really matter that much who was what "you" in this particular set of events.