Sunday, June 29, 2008


bug is fearless. she will tackle any challenge, anytime. she mastered the stairs in one afternoon, all 12 steps. then she moved on to scaling the ledge that borders the bottom half of those stairs.

she loves to climb chairs, even if they rock.
she scurries atop the picnic table in about 1.25 seconds.
she climbed pooka's big girl bike and balanced on it for several minutes, although much of that time was spent straddling the center bar (youch! thank goodness for the padded comfort of diapers). she even was dangling off the handlebars at one point.pooka usually keeps her door closed to prevent a bug invasion, primarily to protect her toys and other posessions, but here is why i want bug kept out of pooka's room:she did this all by herself and waaaay faster than i would have thought possible.

this kid is scary, and getting more frightening by the day.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

tall bed


the cavity underneath is a cave, a fort, a spaceship. kids have to swing into it by handing from the bed frame, adults must press their palm to the column like a biometric security panel.
pooka loves her new bed and it, and it's extra storage, has encouraged her to keep her room a little tidier.

when i was little we didn't have anything like this, unless it was an actual set of bunk beds (which we didn't personally experience until i was in 6th grade). this is much more similar to the sleeping arrangements i saw at college, and that makes me a little nervous. she's so grown up already, i don't need visions of post-secondary education being so clear so soon.

she enjoys working at her desk and will do projects and now homework willingly, but if she asks for a mini-fridge we're going back to a baby bed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

gas vs. late fee

despite kisu's initial hesitation to try carpooling, he is getting into it. i think he enjoys not having to drive, and not having to drive his car in particular. i am delighted that we get the opportunity to save some money and emissions, but i don't know if it's really working out in our best interest.

after campaigning ardently for it, claiming that it would provide us guaranteed time to communicate as adults and as husband/wife, now i feel pressure to have a topic to discuss.

wednesday morning, it almost backfired horribly. we had a disagreement before leaving the house and the drive was a little more frosty than our so far typically quiet rides. but in the end it was good, because neither one of us wanted to spend the 40 minute ride stewing; we were encouraged to clear the air and by the time i dropped him off at work, we were resolved.

we are still tweaking the timing of our departures. morning has been great, but the afternoon is causing problems. either i don't leave soon enough, he doesn't leave soon enough, or we do but get caught in traffic, storms, or terrible detours. sheesh. we may be saving gas money, but we're paying it back out in late fees. $1/minute/kid. being 10 minutes late costs us $20!! i think we're down about $50 bucks this week already. we 'pooled 4 times this week and were late to pick up the girls 3 times (the fourth time granny picked them up, so we were late getting them but didn't have to pay a fine.)

there's only so much we can do to try to improve. i'm regularly leaving work early to make it to kisu by his official quitting time, and the freeway is under construction, which causes unavoidable delays. fortunately, that work is scheduled to be done by the holiday next weekend. maybe after that clears up, we can start making good time. i'm sure the teachers would love to be able to leave work on time, too.

after seeing gas prices jump AGAIN today to $4.25, i'm willing to keep trying to make the ride share work.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

in these troubled times

the mississippi is flooding,

california suddenly has hundreds of wildfires.

i have a solution:

water puts out fire, everybody happy.

let's get on this, people.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

the next steps

i really missed the gym this weekend.

especially since i screwed up and had two cheat days. i decided to go to the gym tonight, but when i got there i discovered that they had just closed. guess it's been awhile since i used the gym close to my house.

i was all suited up and had the determination to run, though, so i decided to just go around my neighborhood.

i don't usually do that because i don't want people to laugh at my lousy running technique, my labored breathing, my early quitting it's hard to pace myself outside, as i proved in the 5k. but i thought, what the hell, you need to burn some calories.

i started out a little fast, i think, and immediately starting shortening my theoretical route. but i eased up and found my pace and managed to complete the circuit i had originally planned, and then tacked ona bit more for good measure. i was hoping that i had at least done a mile. when i got home, i registered at and discovered, to my happy surprise, that i had gone almost 1.5 miles.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

night at the drive-out

pooka had a friend stay for a sleepover tonight. i've been trying to get it scheduled for quite a while, since i owe olivia's mom for 2 nights that pooka stayed at her house.

it was going to be brilliant. we were going to finally experience the drive-in theater that opened in our area about 5 years ago. i'm not sure why we hadn't tried it before this point. it is a pretty good deal. $9 for an adult, but you get 2 movies.

tonight we were going to see kung fu panda and iron man. 3 weeks ago i promised pooka we'd take her, and then i realized that it hadn't opened yet. once it did open, we didn't have a chance to take her, so this was a golden opportunity. plus, i haven't seen iron man, although kisu has (and wouldn't mind seeing it again). perfect. the kiddie movie first and then the kiddies fall asleep so the adults can watch the older movie. not so old that they couldn't watch it if they managed to stay awake (yeah, right, i had my doubts about whether i would still be awake.)

at 830, wearing pajamas and slippers and carrying their blankies and stuffed animals, we loaded the 3 girls into the truck. in back i had packed a bag full of munchies: chocolate covered raisins, fish crackers, grapes, drinks, and pooka's jellybeans specially selected for this event.

off we went, ready to relive a night from my childhood. this was to be kisu's first time ever at a drive-in, so that was exciting, too.

when we pulled in, however, excitement came to a crashing halt. the marquis claimed that the lineup had changed. we pulled around to receive our 'rules and regulations' sheet and confirmed that the sign was right. we promptly pulled right out again.

it wasn't that the movies had completely changed. i think that would have been less frustrating. they had switched them around. kung fu panda was still showing, but now as the follow up to love guru. that's right, a pg-13 film first and then they showed the pg film. makes absolute sense, no? i was incensed. not only for me, but for pooka: her disappointment, coupled with her frustration, which equalled mine, and the wasted gas (20 mile round trip!); the only solution was to go for ice cream. so we did--bedtime be damned.

Friday, June 20, 2008

where'd you go?

i haven't had much time to post lately. most of my free time has been spent watching tutorials for some new software. i need to learn this new software to bring the family tree website into the 21st century. i'm way stoked to get my hands on this stuff and do some cool things with the site. now all i have to do is wait until noel makes it accessible.

pooka's recital last week was a hit. i didn't realize what a huge production it was going to be. 3 acts, 2 hours, and hundreds of dancers. yikes. i'd like to post some pictures, but they wouldn't let us use a camera. we'll have to buy the dvd from the school now.

there were some really good numbers, including the finale, which was a pretty good take on the zombie routine "rama lama bang bang" from season 2 of so you think you can dance. one of the other numbers used the song "night of the dancing flame," which was the music for my all-time favorite sytycd routine, so of course after we got home kisu and i jumped on youtube and rewatched a bunch of clips from sytycd.

don't ask me how pooka did, because i didn't see her number. bug was rapt for the first 6 routines of the act, but by the time we got to pooka (#9? of 13?), she was starting to get restless. i spent the rest of the act wrestling with her and trying to keep her from pulling the hair of the woman in front of us. during intermission we strapped bug into her infant carrier, but she didn't calm down (i.e. fall asleep) until the third act. so the little glimpses i got of pooka showed her looking around confused as to her next move. i'm disappointed that comprised the entirety of my perception. i'm sure if i had seen the whole thing she would have shown me that she really did know what she was doing. right?

all of pooka's grandparents, including bubbie and zaydie, made it to the show, so they came back to our house for the 'afterglow'. we sat down with some coffee and cake. i also showed off my skydiving video. (my mother refused to watch it for some reason....) pooka was wired for awhile, but once she went to bed, she crashed HARD.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

ballet universe

for the longest time pooka has declared that she wants to be a ballerina when she grows up. eventually, she'll realize that she's more cut out to be supreme ruler of the galaxy president. in the meantime, she takes ballet class courtesy of granny. granny found the studio, pays the bill, and taxis her to and from class.

since i have no interaction with the process, it's like a completely different world that she inhabits. i have no idea what goes on there. (well, i know what happens at a dance school. i myself took ballet for a brief 8 months as a child.) kisu went to a recent rehearsal, but i have never even been to the studio.

it's a bit frightening to be so ignorant of what is, really, a fairly large part of her life. it's her favorite activity. i don't know her teachers, her friends, anything about how she perceives her own ability. (she doesn't talk much about it--teenager already.) i don't worry about her because i know that granny is there, but it's awkward having that void in my picture of her life. at her age, i should still be all about the details of her activities and thoughts. but then again, she has always been a precocious child. i just don't want to get too comfortable with her having a 'secret' from me.

i don't know if she's any good. she could be the, whoever's hot in ballet right now, or she could be a total clutz. one of those kids who staggers around stage, completely oblivious to the rhythm of the music or the steps of the routine they've been practicing for 6 months. i fervently hope that she at least holds herself together and makes a decent showing. i hope that she feels that she does well. that's more important than how i think she performs.

i asked her if she's ready and she said no. when will she be ready? according to her, "saturday." i don't know if she was intentionally naming a day AFTER the recital, or if that was some arbitrary day she chose. i thought it was pretty amusing, though. i don't want her to be paralyzed with stage fright. given her personality, i don't think that's likely, but she's never been on a stage this big before.

one way or another, i am going to be thoroughly surprised by what i see at friday's recital. (by the way, who schedules a dance recital--or any physical enterprise for that matter--on friday the 13th?)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

i got muss-kles

it's important to include weight-training in your fitness regimen for several reasons.

first of all, building lean muscle helps increase your metabolic rate and burns more calories on a daily basis.

secondly, it can put some nice curves on your body (if your bodyfat level is low enough to reveal them).

thirdly, it will provide you with the strength of ten men to push stalled vehicles to the gas pump.

this morning as i was filling my tank ($54!), a woman driving a green gmc jimmy inched her way into the station. flashers blinking, she stalled out about 15 feet from the pump. predictably, she got out and asked if i could push her the last little bit. i stopped pumping and walked over.

when she realized i meant to get my hands dirty, she said, "oh, i didn't mean physically, i meant with your car."

i looked back at my precious, 3-year-old, 99% intact zed. i looked down at my office casual clothing. i shook my head and said, "nah, i'll do it this way."

she put the truck in neutral and i started pushing. it took a little rocking, but between us we got it moving. there was a small incline just before the pump platform area that gave us some trouble, but just at that moment a man pulled up, jumped out and helped with the other side of the back end where i was.

as he walked away, he said apologetically, "all these guys standing around watching you."

pshht, men, who needs 'em? we had it under control.

i felt so adrenalized, even though i almost pushed myself out of my shoes.

i wonder how many calories you burn pushing a 2,000 pound vehicle?

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

time to start lining up the animals, noah

wow. the rain.

although many areas in metro detroit are without power, we are fortunate enough to be running. likewise, we have sustained no damage to our trees or house - or garden!

we know of some people who are not so fortunate. i hope that you all are safe.

Monday, June 9, 2008

quality time

kisu got a new job, which he started today. we are very excited because it has the regular schedule of monday through friday 8 am - 5 pm. there are other reasons to be excited, as well, but that is a major one.

the new job is not far from my job, so i am hopeful that we will be able to drive together, at least a couple days per week. that will save us money on gas (about $8 per day), wear on his car (45 miles per day), worry about his safety while driving that car, and most importantly give us guaranteed time to talk to each other, as adults (while sitting in construction traffic).

he was concerned that his schedule would not be as cut and dried as mine is (99.99% of the time, i'm out the door at 5pm if not sooner). this could cause issues for picking up the girls on time. i'm not interested in paying late fees on top of the worthwhile, albeit hefty price we pay for their daycare.

after his first day, he thinks that this won't be a problem. the pace at the new job is much more relaxed than his previous position. this alone makes me happy for him. he spent so much energy and accumulated so much stress at the last place trying to do everything as fast as possible (although he was the only) that he had no energy left for anything outside of work. self-care, child-care, housework: no way. maybe now he'll be able to find a balance and get the other aspects of his life shaped up the way he would like. (as i have been attempting to do.)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Stanley Party

Woohoo! Red Wings bring home 4th cup in 11 years. Suh-weet. they sure made it exciting, though, right down to the wire.

Best quotes from post-game interviews:

Chris Osgood: "I'm gonna smack Hudler upside the head when i see him for taking that penalty."

no kidding; bad penalties late in the game, two games in a row!

Tomas Holmstrom, on the injury that kept him out of game 4: "everything was wrong, my hamstring, sports hernia....i'm a bad skater, i don't need this shit." network censors missed that bleep.

the parade will be friday morning, too bad i gotta work. but kisu is off....