Thursday, July 29, 2010

Old News - Part 2

Our two "flavors" of kid each play in the sprinklers.

Flavor 1:

Flavor 2:

Variety is the spice of life.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Old News - Part 1

The problem with blogging is that you should really try to keep posting blogs.

Or else, when you don't, it just backs up and becomes sort of oppressive, just one more thing on that endless to-do list that never gets any shorter. For whatever reason, I haven't felt inspired to keep this thing up lately. I don't know how those bloggers who post one every day do it. Doesn't it become a chore after awhile? I follow a handful of blogs who's authors post daily. Inevitably, there comes a time when you go to their page only to find something like, "I'm finding myself in need of some gentle quiet, so excuse me while I step away for just a couple of days" or, "Hey, this is (blogger's name)'s spouse. (Blogger's name) needs a break and will be back on Friday. " You wonder if the poor blogger is just curled up in the fetal position somewhere, caving under the blog-a-day-self-imposed pressure. Poor things, why should they need to make an excuse?

But let's not get all depressing. The best thing to do in these cases is just to plow forward and hope the inspiration follows later. Yes? Yes.

So, I bring to you: Old News - In An Undetermined Number Of Parts.

These pictures were from who the heck knows when, sometime in June, before Pete went to China. Family golf outing. It's what we do, so it's been blogged before. So it's doubly old news. Not going to feel lame about it. No fetal position for me!

(fyi: scooping the ball out of the hole by pulling up the flag = best part of mini golf for a kid)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Homemade Soccer Camp

Some of you know about the DIY soccer camp adventure my friend and I conducted last week. A full-scale blog is on the way, but while I'm waiting for more pictures to come from various moms, I just have to post this one of my daughter. I think it's pretty much the most fantastic soccer picture I have ever seen.

Dunno what the heck she was doing. Work it, Daphne.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Fire Station Tour

Back in June as part of our home-school preschool safety unit, we took a field trip to the local fire station. Firefighter Peter (above) and Firefighter Donovan gave us a tour.

You never know what your kids are going to do when they go to a new place or encounter a new situation, but I should have at least been prepared for Daphne wanting to talk a lot. It's her default when excited. She barely let the fire fighters get a word in. Here she is in action, no doubt informing them of some important safety rule, or possibly just telling a completely unrelated story about herself.

Here they are inside the engine (or truck...there's a difference between the two, but I can't remember what that is because I was too busy silently praying that my daughter would let the firefighters do the talking for awhile.)

James didn't want to get in. Again, no surprise there.
Probably the most important piece of the morning was having the kids watch Firefighter Donovan get all suited up, so that if the kids ever encounter a firefighter trying to rescue them, they won't hide in fear.
Naturally, James wouldn't be in the picture...
But still gave him a friendly pat afterward...
And...this is just cute....

On the way home with their fire-related goody bags and hats...

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Pleasant Goat

Well, as most of you know, Pete has returned from China. This means you're back to me. Hello, my name is Rosie. Pete only blogs from China.

Actually, I do have one more China-themed post for you, fair readers, who I'm assuming have now multiplied into at least 10 or so, only to gradually tapper off as my husband's witty and insightful travel writing becomes a distant memory.

Pete brought home "surprises" for the kids as spoils from his haggling with Chinese merchants. One (well, 2, one for each kid) was a kite featuring a popular Chinese character named "Pleasant Goat," whom I can only assume is China's answer to Hello Kitty.

He apparently saw a kid running around with one in China and thought our kids would love them. And they did. No wind necessary, just run around and up you go.

However, what I couldn't have expected him to realize was that this toy is only ideal for sibling-less Chinese children. Throw another child into the mix, and it's just a mess. Took about 5 minutes for the two kites to become hopelessly entangled with each other. But not before James tripped over the curb while running with Mr. P. Goat and re-skinned his already-skinned knee. (Any tips on how to keep the skin on a 2-year-old's knee during summer would be welcomed).

I managed to snap a couple of photos before the chaos and meltdowns.

I did a lot of yelling. Quite pleasant, really.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

The View from Home - the Final China Blog, 2010

I'm pleased to report that my trip from Beijing to Portland went off seamlessly yesterday, even slightly better than planned, considering that I unexpectedly got to travel with some classmates on the way home. One of the underrated aspects of travel is the unique pleasure of reuniting with family upon returning, and I definitely savored this homecoming, after almost three weeks abroad.

But now, sitting in my kitchen at 7AM (I was wide-awake at 5:30 and may not be conscious for fireworks tonight!) contemplating my trip, I'm not quite sure how to summarize my experiences in a satisfying way. I can't hope but to give myself, much less you, the reader, more than a glimpse into even the very small fragments of China that I was part of, so I've been feeling at a loss. Of course, this feeling could be partly due to the fact that I "lost" my camera ("Lost" in quotes because it turns out that at least one other camera and an iPhone suffered a similar fate that night) while enjoying some Beijing nightlife on our last night together as a group, and am unable to report pictorially on the Beijing Zoo (Pandas!), Olympic Pavillion (Bird's Nest and Water Cube), and my first venture into the wonderful world of Karaoke.

But it's much more likely though that I feel unable to summarize my trip because I'm unwilling to admit that the process of synthesizing experience into knowledge is over for now. During our stint in Beijing our professor often urged us to be in "learning, not judging" mode, a refrain that became a sort of half-joke among many of us every time we witnessed something bizarre. (The predatory-cat house at the zoo has toxic levels of ammonia in the air? Well, maybe that's how the cats like it here! Learning, not judging people!)

And maybe that's summary enough. International travel tends to have that effect - you are so disoriented (dis-Oriented?) that you have to question the thousands of "judgments" that are otherwise constantly and unconsciously permeating your internal monologue.

I hope this journal has been entertaining and mildly thought provoking over the last couple of weeks, and thanks everyone for your comments. It's been great to have this forum in which to extrude and refine my thinking, but I'm ready to give it back to Rosie for a while now!

With Love,