Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The 44th President

Today Lindsey came home from school and told me they got to watch TV today.

"We got to see the new prisoner," she said.

"You mean the new president?" I asked.

"Yes, the new president of the new knighted states," she replies.

I said, "That's great! Do you remember his name?"

She says, with perfect pronunciation, "Barak Obama."

That's my girl...

Sunday, January 18, 2009

When did my oldest become a teenager?

Yesterday Lindsey came upstairs and asked to do something for which the answer was "no." I can't even remember what she asked for, but I remember her reaction when I told her no a few times for the same request.

She got mad, shut my door on me, went into her room, shut HER door, then turned her radio on. LOUD. It was the Beatles playing.

Since when did my 5-year-old turn 15??

Friday, January 16, 2009

Winter Driving

I had the dubious experience of spinning out on the way to work today. This with a Civic with two new tires on a road that appeared to be completely dry and clear of ice and snow.

The problem with the weather is that at -20 degrees (air temp, NOT wind chill), salt doesn't work. The road was practically white, it had so much salt dumped on it, and it appeared to be completely dry as well. Little did I know that it was a disguise for glare ice.

The road curved, my car curved more. I steered the wheels the way I wanted the car to go (as I remember reading/hearing), but on glare ice that doesn't really make a difference.

So off I went into the wonderful world of....wheee!! Lookit all the stuff going by! Wonder when I'm going to stop or what I'm going to hit that will eventually stop me. Hmmm....well, it appears that a snowbank is coming up on my left. THUMP!

My back bumper thumped into a snowbank, I hung out for a little bit, checking the scene, then drove away.

While cars were on the road, thankfully none of them were near me, and they obviously slowed down after seeing me do a couple of doughnuts in the middle of the road.

The best part was seeing how my new GPS had to re-calculate my route based on the new direction my car was facing.

Friday, January 09, 2009

Show and Tell

While I was dropping Lindsey off at the Mpls KIDS site, I overheard a teacher exclaim, "Oh! You have a dead bird!"

Yes, one of the kids had brought a dead pheasant in to school for her show-and-tell that would be going on later that day. As I was leaving the teachers were standing around, wondering what to do about it. Do you take it away and hold it for the child until the actual show-and-tell? Do you tell them not to take it out of the bag? I would assume that there is some concern about bacteria, depending on how long the bird had been dead.

Only teachers have to deal with a situation like dead birds in the workplace, I thought it was pretty funny.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Lindsey's Money Lesson

In the past year or so, Lindsey has become obsessed with money. She loves coins in particular, especially the large ones. You know, the ones that are worth the most. (US coin sizing does NOT make sense, by the way: the largest common coin, the quarter, is worth the most, followed by the SMALLEST US coin, the dime, which is worth the next largest amount. Huh??)

In the past six months she has been extremely adverse to getting herself dressed in the morning, even though she is 5 and perfectly capable of doing it. So a month or so ago I began paying her a quarter a day when she gets herself dressed with no complaints, and an extra dime if she makes her bed. This has clearly been the incentive she needed, because she dresses herself perfectly every day, and most days she forgets to ask for a quarter for doing it actually, which works out well for me.

Over the last 6 weeks or so she's gained quite a little pot of money and kept bugging me to go to Walgreen's so she could spend it. She didn't have enough for much for a while, but she finally got together $3.20 cents, so I told her we could go this past weekend.

We got to Walgreen's (one of her favorite stores) and she was literally atwitter with excitement. She traipsed and giggled down the aisles until she got to the one she wanted, the one with TOYS on one side and OFFICE PRODUCTS on the other. Oh heaven!

I showed her how to read the signs so she could figure out what she had enough money to buy: anything that started with something under $3 (gotta figure in tax, you know).

She began scanning the aisle and realized quickly the small percentage of items in the store that were affordable to her. She started by looking at a toy that was $4.99 and asking if I could chip in for the rest of it with MY money. Nope, not the point, she's got to be able to afford it herself. So she went back to scanning the prices, scanning and scanning, then when she found something she could afford she'd look at what it was and determine if she wanted it.

Keep in mind this is the reverse of how most of us shop: first we look for what we want, then we look to see how much it costs. Lindsey's shopping style opened up the universe to a plethora of things she could afford but would never want: paper clips, envelopes, pens, action figures, balls, etc. The variety of choices was overwhelming to her, and I could see that she might make the decision to not buy anything at all she was getting so overwhelmed. (Which is also an okay decision, in and of itself.)

Long story short, she finally settled on one of two items: a lip gloss tube for $2.49 or a small box of Oreos for $1.99. She finally decided on the Oreos because it cost less and she'd have more money left over to buy something big later. I was impressed by her frugality and logic; she came to that conclusion herself. I told her she didn't have to share the Oreos with the family if she didn't have to since she bought them with her own money. But once we got home and she saw how many cookies there were, she proceeded to hand some out to Wayne, Marissa and myself, and saved some for her lunch box the next day.

I was very proud of her for figuring out what she could afford and going through the exercise of spending and saving her money.

I remember being a teenager (not old enough to work yet) and my mom telling me how much I could spend on back-to-school clothes. I think the budget was $100. So I could spend $100 however I wanted, but that was all I was getting, no more. What did I do? I bought the cheapest jeans I could, I bought non-name brand clothing but I got more of it. I started shopping at thrift stores, getting as much as I could out of my money as I could.

I wasn't the most popular kid in the school, but I don't think I wanted to be, either. I wanted to wear my old man plaid sports coats that I bought at the thrift store -- I wore a worn army jacket in the fall and spring, and used a backpack I'd gotten at an army surplus store in Arkansas for $5.00. (I used that incredibly sturdy little backpack 3 of my 4 high school years. It never wore out, I just got tired of it.)

My folks never bent on the rules: I could ask for more money, but I knew the answer would be no, so I don't know if I ever asked. I hope to instill a lot of the same money sense in my kids. I think 5 is a good age to start.

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Cut out Cookies...Reprise

We awoke to -2 air temps today -- there goes plans for sledding. So cookies it was, and Lindsey wanted to make cut out cookies. We did this during Marissa's nap once again, to keep the squabbling to a minimum.

We made up the dough, rolled it out and the cookies turned out much better than our first attempt. We let them cool, and took turns frosting them while Lindsey sprinkled sprinkles on all of them. We set them on the little white table in the kitchen, to give us room to decorate the rest on the countertop. After a while we took a few downstairs to Wayne and settled in to watch the Vikings game.

After a couple of minutes I heard a sound like something hitting the floor. Nothing breakable, mind you, just a little "thump." I peaked up the stairs to see, no, no Marissa feet yet, she must still be sleeping.

After a couple more minutes I heard another little "thump," and this time when I looked up the stairs I saw Dax at the top of the stairs, sniffing around. Huh, well, whatever he's up to, we'll go back to our game.

Then I heard another "thump." Okay, VERY suspicious...

I go upstairs to find that there are only SEVEN sugar cookies left on the little white table. Dax had been getting his front feet onto the paper towel that was on the table, pulled it over to the edge until a cookie dropped off and then eating the cookie. Once gone, the task was repeated until he gained another cookie.

We're not sure how many were on the paper towel to begin with -- so he either got a hold of 3 or 5 cookies. We found evidence of pink frosting on the kitchen rug, so we know where the crime of eating them occurred.

Dax sat by us very lethargic the rest of the afternoon. I think he was in a sugar low.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Coffee Cake Envy

I spoke to my sister last night, she informed me that she attempted mom's coffee cake recipe. While the filling came out of the bottom a little, it's not nearly as tragic as when it comes out the top as mine did. Her coffee cake remained intact when she flipped it and was quite a sight to see in all it's beauty. So much so, in fact, that she had to take a picture of it to show me.

The woman can cook and bake, she just chooses not to.


And I mean that in the most loving way!