Thursday, January 27, 2011


Christmas Skates
We gave our kids ice skates for Christmas.  My daughter shrieked with glee when she opened the box, but I was anxious that her enthusiasm would disappear when she tried to balance on them.  She had a pair of double-blade skates when she was younger (no balancing required) and I worried that it would be a rude awakening when she tried a single blade skate.  (According to the Internet research I had done, kids who skate on double blades learn nothing about real skating.) Apparently, I had no reason to fear.  My daughter stepped onto the ice in her new skates like she had been skating for years.  No balance problems at all.

My 3 year old son had never skated at all, so I had no idea how he would take to it.  I got him double-blade skates.  I wanted him to enjoy himself and have fun without constantly falling over.  I don't care if the double blade is poor preparation for future Olympic skating.  My son held my hand for about 2 minutes his first time on the ice.  Then he saw a teenager doing a spin and let go of my hand so he could try spinning himself.  By the end of our first day on the rink, he was trying other tricks as well--skating on one foot, jumping into the air, and jumping off of the outer wall onto the rink.  (I did not encourage that last trick.)

Skating Tricks with Grandpa

How to Walk the Baby in the Winter
There is an outdoor, free public rink near our home, so we have been skating regularly during the past month.  We only skate when the skate rental shop is closed, so the rink is often empty when we're there. Both kids occasionally fall over, but they just laugh and get up again.  I push the baby in a stroller while I skate.  He likes that, but he loves it when I just leave the stroller in one place on the ice and skate towards him.  He thinks that is hilarious.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Fascinating Stuff (if you are a nerd like me)

I am doing a fascinating research project at work. It's a randomized telephone survey-a very unique, challenging survey to collect public health data about a population that we have little knowledge about nationwide.

If you haven't closed this browser window yet, its probably because you fell asleep shortly after you read the word, "survey". I considered blogging in detail about this exciting project, before I remembered that only nerds are interested in such projects.

Anyway, at work, where there are lots of nerds like me, this project is generating all kinds of buzz. Its really cool there.  Believe me.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Brotherly Love

A few weeks ago, my daughter (age 5) asked me if I thought she would marry her brother (age 3) when she grew up. "No," I said. "People don't marry their brothers."

She came to me about a week later with a follow-up question. "What if you marry a bad person?"

I said something about how that could happen, so it is important to be careful and find a nice person.

"Like you did when you married Daddy?" she probed. 

I concurred.  She sighed and said, "The only really nice person I know is [my brother]!"

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Albuquerque Girls' Trip

I am finally posting pictures from my fall trip with my mom and sisters to New Mexico.
Here we are in beautiful Santa Fe.  In the slings, my son and nephew seemed to be the only children in the whole city.  Sightseers frequently stopped to admire them.

This was the prettiest alley I can recall.  Unfortunately, it was gated.

Self Portrait at Albuquerque

After spending a couple days together, the baby cousins finally noticed each other.

We took a lot of pictures while dining at this pretty patio.  For some reason that I don't remember now, this was quite funny.

Stopping for chocolate during the ride home and very happy to be free of the car seat.

Rating the Christmas Festivities

Trees of Diversity Exhibit at the Cultural Celebration Center
Rating: 3 Christmas Ornaments

My kids enjoyed seeing Christmas trees, gingerbread houses and nativities decorated in the styles of other places.  My daughter's favorite tree was the Hawaiian tree, decorated with big flowers, but my three-year-old refused to be photographed in front of that tree.  This photo is of his favorite, the Chinese tree.

Dickens Festival
Rating: 1 Christmas Ornament

I have fond memories of attending this festival as a child, but it was my least favorite event this year.  We first attended a mini-version of the musical, A Christmas Carol, at a stage with a completely inadequate number of chairs.  Like the majority of the audience, we had to watch standing up, or rather, listen, since we couldn't see much of anything.  Then we tried to take the kids to see Father Christmas, who left for a 3-hour break as soon as we arrived at his quarters.  Finally, we tried to catch a band, and even landed ourselves seats, but long after the act should have begun, I found a staff person who admitted that the band had canceled. 

Meeting Santa
My oldest was enchanted, my middle child didn't particularly like him, and my youngest didn't care.
Taking the Train
My five-year-old shot this picture of my husband and I en route to see the Christmas lights at Temple Square.
Temple Square
Rating: 3 Christmas Ornaments
The lights, nativities and displays at Temple Square are always beautiful and overall, this was a great evening. I did deduct one ornament though because the crowds were claustrophobia-inducing in spite of the fact that we toured well before Christmas. Also, the high school choir performing that night was not very talented.
Arena Sing-Along
Rating: 4 Christmas Ornaments

This was one of my favorite Christmas activities this year.  I got to enjoy an excellent orchestra with no worries about quieting my wiggly little  children. My eldest sang along with gusto whenever the song was familiar.  At first, I thought my three-year-old was bored and tired because he spent most of the time lying down in his dad's lap. But when I suggested we leave early, he was vehemently opposed.  I looked more closely after that and noticed a little smile on his face.  He was just relaxing and enjoying the sing-along lullaby-style.  I don't know why the sponsors felt the need to bribe people to attend this incredible free event, but just for showing up, we all came home with a number of free gifts such as tickets to upcoming basketball and baseball games.
Thanksgiving Point
Rating: 3 Christmas Ornaments
Reindeer at Thanksgiving Point
I brought the kids here one night to meet the reindeer and then on Christmas Eve, we went here again with my parents, siblings, nieces and nephews to see the drive-through Christmas lights.  It is a much warmer, if less spiritual, way to see a fantastic Christmas light display comparable to Temple Square.

Christmas Cookies
and fudge and other goodies.  Yum!  My three-year-old found one design he liked--a dab of frosting in the middle with three red candies in it--and stuck with it, decorating every cookie exactly the same way.