Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Mardi Gras

I have lots of things to blog about: Isaac got a hair cut, we biked in the rain yesterday and it was cute, Margaret had a violin recital and is starting Hacker Sparks and her Lego class this week, February ended so I need to do the month in homeschooling post, and I went to Stitches West. That was fun. Oh, and I buzzed my head again. It was getting long.

But I'm not going to. I've been feeling introverted blog-wise lately. Part of it is that I've said almost everything I want to say and part of it is that I have other venues (like my podcast). Though I'm not Catholic, I'm going to take a Lent break from Facebook and this blog. I think I'll still tweet on occasion and Instagram and blog on the Exponent (I have monthly obligations there). I have knitting to do and when I come back, hopefully have more to blog about. And I need to work on my New Year's resolution to catalogue our digital photos.

So here's to a break! Happy Mardi Gras, everyone!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Criticism on Frozen

I've seen Frozen twice. I was sure that someone would voice the biggest plot problem I saw, but no one has.

First, I totally agree with the, "Who was running the country in the years between the death of their parents and Elsa's coronation?" question. And whoever that was, would that person have been a better "bad guy" than the Duke of Weselton? More motive, for sure. And the Duke is pretty much your clutzy bad guy. Didn't really add anything to the plot at all, could have taken him out easily.

Also, I had a problem with the lack of Elsa's story. She goes from hiding from everyone to accepting herself. It's quite the dramatic change and almost all of it happens off-stage. I wish that had given that story line a little more time. It's hard to make a step like that! Why didn't we get to see how she worked it out for herself?

I also took issue with the way Anna was saved in the end. She saved herself, yes, that's fine I guess, but I think I would have liked it if Elsa had been the one to do the saving. It would fit the plot better: she had a great transformation and now is going to fix those relationships that were hurt! She's the one who (accidentally) harmed Anna, so it seems like she should be the one to commit the act of true love.

But really my issue is Hans. I know the point of Hans is that he is something of a double-timer. But you get no warning for that. And I know that's the point for Anna's sake- she's not supposed to know he's going to betray her, but the audience is allowed to know a little something. It wouldn't even be a lot- just like a minor chord while the camera pans over to him, or a shadowy look, or something. The way the movie stands, you have him being really really accommodating and understanding and all about helping Anna out and keeping things together, then BAM: helpful, fun song guy turns on us and he's willing to let Anna die and kill Elsa. Whoa, whiplash! Where did that come from? Where was the character development for that? You have to give us a little warning, Disney, otherwise it doesn't make sense and doesn't fit.

That's really my biggest beef. Hans. Seriously. A guy willing to commit murder for power has to have a few red flags, right?

Also, I'm totally shipping Elsa and Kristoff. They have common interests, views on life, etc. It makes sense.

So that's that. I wasn't a fan of Olaf and I actually didn't find the songs that particularly catchy the first time I saw the movie. I couldn't have sung any of them for you, at least. But after a few viewings they catch on. Maybe it's because we don't watch commercials anymore; I just wasn't exposed to them prior to the movie.

But it's cute.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Songs stuck in my head

With the popularity of Frozen and the Lego Movie, "Let It Go" and "Everything is Awesome" have been sung around here lately.

My brain keeps playing around with them.

Let it stay, let it stay,
I can do this a little while longer.
Let it stay, let it stay,
Face it and let the door stay open a crack...

No, they don't rhyme, but for some reason it's a fun amusement for me.

Everything is ok.
Everything is alright
when you work things out on your own...

A little view into what my brain is doing when I'm getting other things done.

Friday, January 31, 2014

January Homeschool

So our ES from the school came again today.

Here's what we turned in:
Language arts: The last page of this pdf, filled out.
Math: This bunny counting "maze".
Science: We did the red cabbage acid/base indicator experiment and Margaret kept a chart of what caused the cabbage juice to change color and to what color. Interestingly, breast milk didn't change the color of the cabbage juice.
Social Studies: For Martin Luther King, Jr., Day, we talked about Dr. King and she colored a picture of him and we turned that in.

So those were the hoops we jumped through. Easy peasy.

She's still taking her Waldorf Kindergarten class and clay class. We're looking into Hacker Sparks (the junior program for Hacker Scouts/Curiosity Hacked) and a carpentry class. This month at the library, Margaret and Isaac made puppets from secondhand materials. Margaret's bird puppet was entered into an Oakland-wide art contest. Also, the Chabot Space and Science Center came to the library and set up a traveling planetarium in the library. Margaret got to see a show! Poor Isaac was too scared of how dark it was inside!


I think I mentioned in the last post that right after we got home from Disneyland, Margaret got a fever. Then McKay and I got fevers. McKay took 3 days off work for it (I got better faster than he did) and then Isaac got a fever. In the midst of all this my grandma died so Linda and I flew out to Ohio for the funeral. We had the worst possible flight issues with weather, broken planes, and broken luggage (due to the airlines). We also got to sit by a lady who kept getting her dog out of its crate and said, "It's ok. He bites, but he's too stressed to bite right now," when Linda reached for him. Lady, I don't think that's how dogs work.

And it was cold in Ohio. I'm not sure how they dig holes in the ground to bury people when it's 9 degrees out, but they do.

In the SFO airport, looking at planes.

First plane: fall asleep!

Linda in the car. Snow outside.

Small Methodist funeral. Mostly family, plus a couple of friends.

Snow on the ground at the cemetary.

I was a pallbearer (see special pink carnation).

After the funeral, the Methodist church ladies made us a little lunch, which was nice. Funeral potatoes included! Also: butterscotch pie. And blueberry pie, and cherry pie, and pecan pie. And other pies.

Here's most of the family.

Linda playing on the plane on the way home, when the dog was put away safely:

My grandma Margaret was the person we named our Margaret after. Her obituary is here.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


We've had a busy month and it's almost over, so I'm going to have a few posts of catch-up.

We went to Disneyland for McKay's and Linda's birthday. McKay turned 30 last year when I was a week post-dates, so we didn't do anything big for him. This was our make-up celebration.

This is the Lego Hulk from the Lego store in Downtown Disney. Isaac is amazing at posing.

We stayed at the Disneyland Hotel and Linda got to go swimming.

All the kids together in Toon Town:

Blurry photo of me and Carol. Carol was in my ward 3 years ago so we had some catching up.

 Classic picture.

Of course, the day after we got home, Margaret came down with a fever and we were all sick the next week. Yay?

I will say: the week after all the kids go back to school from winter break is the BEST time to go to Disneyland. Barely any lines!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Linda is 1

As of yesterday, Linda is 1. It happened quickly, but also slowly. That's because time is wibbly wobbly.

Linda, my grumpy baby is now 1 and is no longer grumpy.

She was my fussiest baby during her colic time.

She was my earliest sitter at 4 and a half months (YES!!! I LOVE THAT MILESTONE!). She started crawling a bit later than my others... maybe around 8 months? 7? I don't remember. She did/does a lot of butt scooting. I think that's due to my love of the sitting up milestone. Here baby, sit on the floor while I make lunch. *scoot scoot scoot*

She is my latest walker. Both Margaret and Isaac were walking by a year. Linda is taking her time. She's taken a few steps, but hasn't felt the need to actually walk. She can go from sitting on the ground to standing (at which point she can hold it for a second or two and then will fall back to the ground). She loves peek-a-boo. If she hears the word "peek-a-boo" she will automatically start playing it. She first started playing it with a blanket at 8 months.

She loves her siblings. They make her laugh. She can climb up stairs, but not down them. We don't have stairs, so she doesn't get practice.

She loves breast. And she's my first baby to have an annoying nursing habit: playing with the big mole on my neck. I often just let her do it. I don't have time to fight her on it. Meh. She won't be doing it when she's 19.

Like she was supposed to, she doubled her birth weight by 6 months, but she's failed to triple it by a year. I'm not worried about it, though, she started at 10 pounds!

One of my New Year's resolutions this year is to go through all our photos and label them. Looking back at little bald Margaret, whom we thought was so chunky, I know that Linda is ridiculously chunky at 23.2 pounds (as of last night).

We went to Disneyland this past weekend for McKay and Linda's birthdays. All of my babies have drawn attention from strangers and Linda is no exception. We were told that she looks like a Cabbage Patch Doll (she doesn't... she's cuter). One woman stopped and stared and exclaimed, "I can't look away from that baby! I have to stop and look at her!"

 Maybe we need to start the pageant circuit now. I think we're already behind. :)


Almost two weeks ago, we started making a cherpumple.

It was all going well until we misjudged the baking time of the layers. We had to put them back in a couple of times in order for all the cake batter to cook, so they weren't very firm and some places were cooked too well.

And due to the lack of firmness, the top layer decided to start sliding off.

So we threw it all into a punch bowl and called it a trifle.

McKay wants to make one every year until we get it right. Who wants to join us next New Year's?

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Carfree New Year!

Last year was our first full calendar year without a car! Early in the year, we depended a lot on the bus. Margaret's science class was just too far away and I also had a newborn. Here's a little visual of our miles.

It's a little deceiving. Our bike miles are the sum of my and McKay's miles. There is some overlap there, and I didn't account for it, but I don't think that's a big deal. Most of my riding was without him and most of his riding was without me. The bus and BART mileage is only mine and includes the times when we went on the bus and BART together. I don't think he ever went solo on the bus. Maybe he did. It was mostly me. The Amtrak miles are from my trip to Utah.

This next year, I want to make a goal of doing a century (100 miles) every month. I think that's doable. As we fix up my bike, we're hoping to depend on the Zipcar less. That should help.

Today we rode out onto the Bay Bridge. I had biked it earlier this year, but this was McKay's and the kids' first time. The whole way there, Margaret complained, "Can we go home?" But when it was time to turn around, she didn't want to.

You'll see Linda is in a Yepp Mini we buckled into the Madsen. We got it off of Craigslist! Yay Craigslist! It's not the best fit: when we got home, the strap holding the Yepp Mini had gotten pretty loose. We'll looking into drilling some holes in the bucket so we can better secure the little seat.

We upgraded Isaac to a bigger helmet!

Linda has a new helmet, too!

A shot with the old bridge. They are slowly tearing it down, so we needed a picture with it before it's finally gone.