Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I don't think either my husband nor I use the phrase "okie-dokie" but somehow Happy Boy has picked up on it. However instead he says, "okie-jokie." He has a great sense of humor, so maybe everything that he is okay with is just a big joke. It is cute to hear him say that and sometimes I even catch myself saying it to him because I occasionally like to talk his talk to him.

I love how children will pick up on a word and it will infiltrate the parents talk. For a long time Happy Boy called ice cream "ompee". It was a bittersweet day recently when I realized that he now properly says "ice cream". However, my husband and I will still say "ompee" to each other because Happy Boy's pronunciation attached itself to our vocabulary. Maybe also because we like his cuteness and want to perpetuate it.

Within the last week I realized that I love this age that Happy Boy is at. He talks in full sentences, we can mutually communicate with each other, he loves helping me, and yet he still has all the cuteness of a young child. I have always enjoyed each of his stages, but this one I am liking even more.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

They Were Strong and Good

As I was looking for books for Happy Boy at the library last week, I noticed a display book called They Were Strong and Good by Robert Lawson. The book caught my eye because the illustrations looked like the more old-fashioned drawings that I prefer.

When I read it to Happy Boy I was surprised at how my emotions were moved. For those unfamiliar with the story, it is a simple biography of the author's parents and grandparents, including how they met and how they contributed to the building of this country. The reason I was so moved by it is because of the underlying premise that everyone in the history of the United States has a story of their own and in some way they have contributed to this country.

The book made me wonder about my own ancestors and what their lives were like 150 years ago when the author's parents and grandparents lived. My ancestors who immigrated the most recently came over in the 1850s. Many of them were here before the Revolution. That is a lot of potential stories about how they lived and shaped the United States, and yet I only know a handful of them.

I would love to write a They Were Strong and Good of my own ancestors; not just of my parents and grandparents but of all of my American ancestors. That would be quite an endeavor and most people would find it boring, but I know it would be exciting and educational for me and many of my family members.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Costco Experiences

For complicated reasons, we have had to go to Costco three times in the last week. The nearest one is twenty-five minutes away, but the one we went to today was more like forty.

A plus is that Costco gas is the cheapest around right now, and each time we have gone it has been cheaper. Today we paid $2.59. Several of the stations near us are still over $3, so this is a big savings. When we first joined Costco four years ago the first time we gassed up we paid $1.76. That in retrospect was a much bigger savings, but little did we know then about $4/gallon gasoline.

Costco is running a promotion where you can buy five $20 Starbuck's cards for $80. If you want to buy them, you tell the cashier as you check out and he yells, "STARBUCK'S!" and over runs somebody with a packet of gift cards. This is apparently a very popular item, because as we were checking out I heard that yelled at least a dozen times. In fact, it seemed as if almost everyone checking out was buying them. If there is anyone out there who wants to give me a $20 Starbuck's card which they bought for $16 I would be happy to take it. ;)

Happy Boy loves vacuums, so every time we go to Costco we have to go down the vacuum aisle. He used to say that he wanted a Roomba, but now I think he just wants an ordinary upright. When I look at them, I long for the purple Dyson, but then I look at the price and don't want it quite as much.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Strawberry Delight

This morning as part of Reeda's breakfast I gave her some strawberries. Sometime after breakfast had finished she came over to me and climbed on her lap. As I leaned over to giver her a kiss I caught the delicious scent of strawberries. Even though I love kissing her under normal circumstances, that deliciousness made her eminently more kissable.

It was surprising to me how moved my emotions were towards her simply because of how she smelled. Smell is one of the senses that are least spoken of, but this experience reminded me how important it is. There have been many times when I caught a wiff of something and instantly a memory transported me to some long forgotten place or activity. I hope that things like cooking or tending flowers with my children will someday inspire scented memories of their own.

The New Boombox

Way back in the fifties and sixties the thing to have for music for teenagers was a transistor radio. Eventually that evolved into the high-tech boomboxes of recent times.

In the last week, three times have I noticed the newest music-playing phenomenon: Laptops. One of the times I saw a kid ride by on his bicycle with a laptop strapped on the back of it playing some sort of pop music. Another time I saw a gangster-looking teen walk by with the typical pants falling down and punk swagger with the computer propped on his shoulder blaring rap music. It seems to me that besides the awkwardness of carrying an open laptop on one's shoulder or bicycle, a computer would be more useful than an ordinary boombox because it would be a cinch to take advantage of people's unsecured wi-fi. (Not that I am condoning that at all.)

As an aside, our neighbors had a wireless internet connection and frequently we would see teenagers standing at the corner with their laptops doing whatever. Once my husband showed our neighbor how to properly secure his connection, the teenagers never came back.

Which reminds me of another tangent. There are several wireless usernames in our apartment complex. One which appears sporadically is "Fetusharvesters." I hope I am not the only one who finds that very disturbing.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Dolphin in the Sky

I have never been interested in non-fiction children's books, but I know that for the sake of Happy Boy's education I ought to read them to him.

Recently we checked out a book on dolphins from the library. I didn't know how much Happy Boy absorbed from me reading it to him but I now know it is more than I thought. Yesterday as we were going for a walk an airplane flew overhead. He said, "Look! That airplane has flippers just like a dolphin and a dorsal fin, too!" I never thought if it like that before, but he is right.