My Morning in Photos

...you get the idea. 

Needless to say, I can not wait for the New Year, New You MOPS Spa Party tonight!!!  I'm making and taking Legendary Nanaimo Bars, because things that are super terrible for you are best eaten in large groups :)


2 Year Old NFL Expert

I swear we don't coach him on this stuff.  You will notice at the end of the video that I'm all embarrassed because he says it's the Falcons and (even though I am a literate adult and it's written right under the helmet) I thought it was the Ravens. 

Then comes the puzzle.  He was digging through the puzzle box and able to identify helmets based on only a fraction of their image.  This kid (and his father) clearly watches way too much ESPN.  BTW: he's going with the Packers on Super Bowl Sunday.


Transition: Old Wine in New Bottles an article by A.S.Halpern

Oh how I love my husband being in grad school!  All these interesting articles keep popping up on my desk :)

except from "Transition: Old Wine in New Bottles" by Andrew S. Halpern

"...some interesting aspects of the vocational apprentice program in Germany have received recent public attention from the national syndicated columnist, William Raspberry, who visited these programs along with a contingent of educators from Indiana.  He introduces this topic with his perceptions of the haphazard manner in which many American youngsters begin their work careers.

Typically, they leave high school to look for work wherever they can find it - sometimes with help from family friends, sometimes going full time into jobs in which they worked part time during high school.  Only after a succession of random jobs, in seems, do they stumble upon something with real career potential - a permanent job with clear prospects for advancement that pays enough to support a family...  The delayed transition into adulthood signals to the youngsters that, no matter what we say, there is little real relationship between what they learn in school and their ability to make their way in the world.

...one of the three colums written by Raspberry...raised an interesting companion issue about the role of schools as instuments of social reform...

One of the reasons German youngsters seem more serious than ours is that German schools are more businesslike and career-oriented than ours.  While there are exceptions, schools are for those who want to learn something and are not used as day care centers or personality enrichment programs."

HES TALKING ABOUT SPORTS!!!  And, really, all extra curricular activities. But, seriously, school without sports?!  This Raspberry guy is a nut.

Just kidding.  But, seriously, I found myself lying awake in bed last night just digesting all these words.  Does this bleak assesment sound exactly like anyone else at 18?  ...19?  ...23?!  As I prepare to find sanctuary in the hallowed grounds of grad school, I have to look back and think that I was either a) always destined to stay in academics or b) my post secondary transition was a sham because I haven't found a way to translate the skill set I got from school into anything useful outside of academics. 

Raspberry might have a valid point about how there is little relationship between what we learn in school and surviving in the real world, especially now that there is so much focus on academic performance testing.  A 17 year old needs to know how to stay on a budget, or what interest means, how to use a cash register, how to use grocery coupons, or how to deal with people in a professional way.  Science class isn't teaching you that!  And how many high school graduates are going on to be scientists anyway?  We've become (myself included) snobby about college prep academics and have left the majority of kids totally unprepared to transition into the world with any kind of direction.

So, like I said, I'm really enjoying my husband's new wealth of brain candy.  Keeps me critical of the choices I'm making in life and gives me more direction for what to do about my own kids since the Dept of Education probably isn't going to jump on this anytime soon.


Anyone need some cloth diapers?

I'm ebaying some of the cloth dipes that Koa has grown out of and I will (thankfully) never use again:

2 Size small little g pants 

3 Bumkin AIOs


The Love of Brothers

I remember being at the beach toward the end of my pregnancy.  It was a beautiful day, clear skies and rolling waves.  I sat on the sand and watched Mr A and Ikaika playing together in the surf and I began to feel an overwhelming sadness.

I don't know if it was the hormones or what, but I started to feel so sad for Ikaika.  I wondered if having another child was fair to either one of them.  How could I possibly love another little boy as much as I love my Baby Kaiks?  Was Ikaika going to lose out on something now that our attentions needed to be divided out amongst the litter?  I felt so sad and guilty and really questioned if we were making the right decision by expanding our family.

I always knew that if I had children at all, I was going to have two or more.  I have sisters and couldn't imagine life without that support and friendship.  I couldn't imagine having to hang out with my parents all the time.  My mom was not about to play Imagination or pretend the trundle bed was the USS Enterprise!  So, if this was always part of the plan, why was I sitting on the beach feeling so conflicted?  Even after Koa was born, I still wondered if I was spreading myself too thin. 

Just recently I've been really coming to terms with the idea of my kids being brothers - what that means for them and how special it is that they will have each other for the rest of their lives.  My parents indoctrinated us with "friends come and go, but family is forever".  We were taught to value our relationship and depend on it's continuity and unconditional love.  We were taught how to love and be a family by learning to rely on our sisters.  And that is exactly how I want to teach my children.

Now that Kekoa is a little older and sturdier, he can interact with Ikaika more.  I catch them sometimes in moments like this, where they are laying quietly on the floor together and just making each other laugh.  Last night, when we were leaving a friend's birthday party, Ikaika was walking ahead in Mr As arms and kept calling back to me, "where's my brother?  where is Koa?  Don't forget Koa, mommy!".  Their lifelong bond is starting now and that sadness in my heart is being replaced by an overwhelming joy.


Couch 2 5K Program

After the recent success of the Resolution Run and Polar Bear Dive, I have decided to give running the ole college try.  My new goal is to run in the Kona Brewers Run for Hops 5K on March 12th.  But this time, I'm going to train for real. 

My goal is to finish the Couch-to-5K Running Plan before then.  I started last week and so far, so good.  Although the first few weeks are a lot more walking and a lot less running.  So either this is just very manageable or I am in for a world of hurt later down the road. 

For the Kona 5K, I have already garnered Mr A's participation and we are planning to be pushing the boys in a jogging stroller (should we be able to track one down we can borrow for the afternoon).  Based on this, I'm not expecting to fly through the race, but I would like to shave some time off from my New Years finish of 32 minutes.  I'm also going to participate in the post-race beer garden - no excuses this time!!!


ExerSaucer - a useful baby gadget

 Our neighbors gave us this Winnie the Pooh exer-saucer thing.  I've seen them before but never really understood what they were for since I was perfectly inclined to let Ikaika lay on the floor and entertain himself.  Then again, by the time he was this age he could already pull himself to standing.  A kid with that much mobility probably has little use for a stationary chair.

My little baby, on the other hand, has just about zero motor power.  Koa has just started being able to roll over with real vigor and he's able to sit up (sometimes by himself but for sure if he's supported by a Bumboo chair or the like).  This previously misunderstood contraption is now the perfect thing for our carport. 

I just plop Koa in there and let him cruise while Ikaika plays with trains or rides his bike or whatever.  He's entertained, away from the dirt, and just look how happy he is in there!


Learning Letters of the Alphabet

Ikaika is learning to identify the letters of the alphabet and has taken a shining to this Baby Einstein flip book.  My video kept cutting out before all his, you know, truly great moments - but here are some of his letter demos (enthusiasm at no extra charge)

Here he isn't identifying the letters - but he is asking for clarification, which is cute.

And finally, in this video he confuses an O for a C (understandable) and incorrectly identifies the picture as an "apple" but then corrects himself and says "owl".  Then my son grows frustrated with my incompetence and lets me know about it without hesitation. (translation: "penguin, mommy. *whine* I told you, a penguin.")  What a winner.

Shlumping Around

the boys watching TV on the "eclectic" futon

We made it home safe and sound - unfortunately, we brought back the mainland plague!  Mr A was sick for most of his time in the Northwest and the boys had runny noses and coughs but the real illness didn't strike until after we got off the airplane.

Koa's cough got so nasty that I eventually took him to the doctor where she informed me that the coughing wasn't a problem but the RAGING EAR INFECTION was!  Even though I'm sure he got it from the change of pressure in the airplane, I couldn't help but feel a little bit guilty since I had chronic ear aches as a child and I've always been convinced that it is genetic and I will pass it onto at least one of my offspring.  Hopefully, that is not the case here.

Everyone is feeling much better now.  Mr A and Ikaika spent yesterday morning at the beach and I am going to a baby shower this afternoon.  We have mostly been just "shlumping around", watching NFL, awaiting the BCS championship game (Go Ducks!), and drinking gallons of hot tea.  All in all - a perfect little week/weekend...except the sickness part.


my Resolution Run - Polar Bear Dive results

my Resolution Run - Polar Bear Dive results

Resolution Run 2011 5K & Polar Bear Dive!

I DID IT!  I finished the 5K and Polar Bear Dive into Lake Washington this morning! 

I was smart to find a good running buddy.  My friend Carrie kept a great pace and kept me running the whole time.  We finished a little over 30 minutes, which is surprising and awesome!  I don't know the official time yet.  We had to wear little time tags on our shoes - it felt so official.  My other friend Rose ended up taking first for the women.  Obviously I wasn't anywhere near her (except at the chili feed afterward!)

The day was beautiful - crisp and clear.  The snow capped mountain range made a perfect backdrop for all my huffing and puffing.  By the time we approached the launch area for the Polar Bear Dive I was already hot and pumped full of adrenaline so going into the lake was a breeze.  This is definitely a great way to start off a new year :)

Ikaika wore his new Wisconsin jacket because we had to muster up some juju for the Rose Bowl this afternoon.  Nothing like snuggling up with some great football after a cold, but accomplished, morning!