Thursday, July 31, 2008


The girls and I got new haircuts today....

Saskia went for a short bob, I think she looks adorable! For Fiona we were trying for the Rachel from Friends look, and mama wanted a long, a-line bob with side-swept bangs. For the most part we are all happy, although the bob ended up shorter than I wanted and the bangs are driving me crazy as they keep falling in front of my right eye. At least hair grows, right?

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Easy Silence

Or: Reason # 1,689,342 why my daughter rocks

Lately Saskia and I have both been really into listening to the Dixie Chicks. I'm not really a country fan, but I love this group. Their vocals are amazing and their lyrics are thought provoking. Plus I love a good scandal, and after all the hullabaloo surrounding their anti-Bush remarks my curiosity was peaked. But this post isn't really about that...

We've taken to listening to their latest album Taking the Long Way every night at bedtime. When my favorite song, Easy Silence, came on, Saskia asked me who I thought the singer was singing about. I said I thought she was singing about her husband or her child. Saskia replied, "I don't think so, I think she's singing about her mom." Awww, I thought I was going to cry.

You can watch a video of the Chicks live performance at the American Music Awards here, and read the lyrics of the song below. Then you'll understand why her comment makes my heart swell with love and sadness.

Easy Silence
by the Dixie Chicks

When the calls and conversations
Accidents and accusations
Messages and misperceptions
Paralyze my mind

Buses, cars, and airplanes leaving
Burning fumes of gasoline And everyone is running
And I come to find a refuge in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Monkeys on the barricades
Are warning us to back away
They form commissions trying to find
The next one they can crucify

And anger plays on every station
Answers only make more questions
I need something to believe in
Breathe in sanctuary in the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Children lose their youth too soon
Watching war made us immune
And I've got all the world to lose
But I just want to hold on to the

Easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me

The easy silence that you make for me
It's okay when there's nothing more to say to me
And the peaceful quiet you create for me
And the way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay for me
The way you keep the world at bay

Monday, July 21, 2008

Sunday night fun

Sunday night the girls and I spent about an hour hanging out in the backyard. Our intention was to catch fireflies but as they weren't out yet we did some other stuff...

like swing. Can you see in the picture that she's got her MP3 player and headphones on. Listening to Everlife so loud she can't hear me talk to her. Oh yeah.

and shooting hoops.

and watching the cat eat grass, hoping he's not going to puke when he comes back inside.

Finally the fireflies started to come out. Miss Thing wishes she was 16 didn't want to participate, so little one did all the catching. She's getting quite good, she caught 4!

Making a wish. As far as I can remember her wishes were: 1) to see Harvey (the cat) climb a tree. 2) to see Harvey climb 100 trees 3) to turn into a butterfly 4) to see a unicorn

At this point I was being eaten alive by mosquitoes so I forced the kids back inside. Miss Thing promptly plopped onto her bed to listen to more music.

I think the main differences between six and 16 at this point are that she actually lets me in her room, and she smiled when I took the picture instead of scowling. Oh, and at 16 instead of Everlife on that MP3 player she'll probably have the 2018 version of the Cure or Nirvana. At least I hope so.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Photo Challange: "A Day in the Life" [Photo Heavy]

Last Friday Cathy issued a challenge to document a day of our life in photos. I actually took all these pictures on Monday, but this is the first time I've had to put this entry together, so sorry I'm so late!

Fiona usually gets me up while Saskia is still sleeping. She runs straight for the table, she's my little eating machine. Here's breakfast for her:

Followed by breakfast for mommy. Ummmm cappuccino.

Fiona goes down to the family room to play, accompanied by Noggin while mommy starts doing homework

Eventually Saskia gets up and Fiona joins her sister for her traditional "second breakfast" which is a regular meal in her mind

Then the girls head back to the family room for TV and play. Saskia gets on her computer to play with her "Barbie Fashion Designer" game. Have I mentioned before that her dream is to be a fashion designer?

After I've studied for a couple of hours I take some time to tackle a little housework. The kitchen is in desperate need of some attention

Around 1pm it's lunch time. Yes, we are still in pajamas

At this point I'm feeling guilty for not having spent any time with the kids yet, and for the fact that they've been hanging with the electronic babysitters all day, so I force them to come outside and do some gardening with me

After gardening I did a little more homework, then it's off to work for me.

When I get home at 10:30pm, this is what I find. I miss my girls.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

10 Memorable Vacation Moments

From Ten on Tuesday, in no order other than what jumps to mind first:

1) Visiting Washington, D.C. with my family when I was 13 or so. Seeing the Washington and Lincoln Monuments were cool and I was totally in awe of the Supreme Court building but the Vietnam Memorial sticks out in my mind and heart. The impact of seeing all those names on that long, long black wall was huge to my pacifist, teenage self, especially since my dad (a Navy Vet) knew several of those names personally.

2) Family vacation to Alaska, 1992 or 93 (I was 16). Denali National park was amazingly beautiful, but I embarrassed my parents by having an hysterical crying fit when we visited a wolf farm (aka pen where real wolves are kept on three feet long chains their entire sad live). I could really relate to the longing for freedom in their eyes.

3) Going with my grandparents to visit the Grand Canyon when I was 9. Crossing into Mexico for a tourist's lunch and getting s-i-c-k.

4) Swimming with the sting rays off of Grand Cayman. Driving around the island and seeing the horrible shacks the poor people were living in, in comparison to the gorgeous spreads of the English bankers.

5) Paris, my twenty-third birthday. Running through the streets with the Korean girl I met at my hostel, trying to get back before curfew at 11pm and having strange Frenchmen trying to "help" us find our way.

6) Prague. EVERYTHING was beautiful, but one of the best places I visited was the Strahov Monastery and their library. The St. Nicholas church was pretty damn amazing too.

7) Renting a car and driving around Crete with my sister. Coming around a corner on a one lane dirt road with a cliff on one side leading straight up and one on the other side leading straight down to the ocean, only to find the entire road blocked by sheep. Pretending we were Irish because Americans weren't too popular there at the time (this was during NATOs intervention in the Kosovo War).

8) Spain, 2000. Most memorable was standing in the Seville Cathedral in front of the Tomb of Christopher Columbus with a girl I met on the bus from Mexico and discussing the history of our two nations and the impact Columbus had on our people.

9) Berlin and the Love Parade!

10) Touring every cathedral in Cologne with my mom while pregnant with Saskia. After a full day of walking all over the city we were relaxing in our hotel room and I was pigging out on candied fruit. All that sugar got Saskia jumpy and I felt her move for the very first time.

Just checkin in- 7/15

I'm too tired to think of a coherent blog entry, so I'm just going to give you the highlights:

* Finals are next week. I have one massively unbelievable take-home final due Monday and one in-class final on Wednesday. I also have a research proposal due on the 29th but I'm not stressed about that, it's almost done, just needs a little revision. The in-class final is scaring me though, I've managed to go about 1 1/2 years without taking a class that has a final exam, it's always been projects or papers. The thought of memorizing lots of stuff then having to spew it back out coherently under a 2 hour time crunch is freaky. So wish me luck.

* I'm working a lot this week. Not much else to say about that.

* I'm guilt tripping because my crazy schedule is forcing us to miss both kid's gymnastics classes this week, the one and only thing we do for them. I'm also guilt tripping because this weeks photo challenge, "A day in the life" made it extremely clear how little time I spend with my children each day, and what a sucky mom I am.

Did I mention how tired I am?

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Big Brother- he's not just watching anymore

This article from Yahoo News regarding privacy protection is a must read. Basically a federal judge has ordered YouTube to release their viewing records in relation to the billion dollar Viacom lawsuit against them, which maintains that they are suborning copyright infringement by allowing people to post clips of TV shows, movies, music videos and other media that does not belong to them. My question is, how far are they going to take this? The potential for personal prosecution is great. Not only could the people who posted the clips eventually be sued for copyright violations, so could the viewers! According to the Yahoo article: "The YouTube database includes information on when each video gets played. Attached to each entry is each viewer's unique login ID and the Internet Protocol, or IP, address for that viewer's computer — identifiers that, while seemingly anonymous, can often be traced to specific individuals, or at least their employers or hometowns" (JESDANUN, July 2008). Scared yet? It gets worse.

The article discusses more than just the Viacom/YouTube lawsuit. The journalist goes on to discuss other cases where private records have been sought and received for use as evidence. For example, the US Justice Department subpoenaed search records from the major search engine providers related to people's online pornography search habits. Did you know that every search you perform is saved corporately for 1 year?! I can understand if they are tracking illegal activities such as child pornography how such records would be valuable, but in this case they are attempting to;"
to prove that the 1998 law is 'more effective than filtering software in protecting minors from exposure to harmful materials on the Internet'."(McCullagh and Mills, 2006). In other words, the goal was to find out how many people were search for legal pornographic images, not illegal ones. Does the government really need to know that?

In light of such information and the certainty that companies have more data on our lives than we could ever imagine it seems the only recourse for the individual is to become exceedingly careful with the data we share. And quit watching videos on YouTube.

Friday, July 11, 2008


There are a lot of things I'm afraid of; spiders, snakes, COCKROACHES! but I don't believe in passing on my irrational fears to my kids so I usually put on a brave act in front of them. I'm the queen of spider catching without flinching. I've even promised my daughter she can have a pet snake when she's ten (she loves the slimy things). Today however, my bravery failed me, and it was when confronted with this thing.

The picture is from, I was too freaked out to think of snapping a picture. I eventually succeeded in vacuuming the creature up but it put up a really good fight. I admit it, I screamed like a banshee a couple of times. Now Fiona is tiptoeing through the house, afraid of encountering one. Way to go mom.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Something to smile at

Thanks to The Shifted Librarian for posting this video on her blog. I loved it so much I wanted to make sure all my friends saw it, so I'm posting it too. To learn more about the creator of the video check out this article in The New York Times.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Next star of the WNBA? Photo heavy

Fiona got a basketball hoop and ball for her birthday about 8 weeks ago, but lame-ass mom that I am I just got around to unpacking it and putting it together this weekend. It was worth the effort, she loved it and played for about for about 2 hours straight. Here are a few shots. If you look closely at the last one you can see the ball going into the hoop, way to go Noni!

Photo challange: Fireworks

This is my first attempt to take part in one of my friend's photo challenges, and my first attempt to post multiple pics to a blog entry, so bear with me...

My dear friend Jess challenged us to to post pictures about fireworks this week. Ours were pretty lame and never left the ground, however the kids still liked them, as you can see by their faces.

They're holding glass jars because before the "show" they were trying to catch fireflies. Honestly that was probably more fun than the fireworks, but at least they were sweet enough not to say so.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Strange child

My kids have always been pretty good about avoiding any of those strange, slightly dangerous activities that are characteristic of children. They never put things in their mouths as babies, never showed any interest in the medicine cabinet or cleaning products, never tried to climb the shelves (okay, Fiona did it once) or pull dressers down on themselves. I thought I had gotten away with pretty low-maintenance kids, at least in this area. Until today that is.

Fiona came asking if I could "get a bogey" out of her nose. I was cooking, distracted and said to just blow her nose already! She replied that she had already tried that... I said she'd have to wait. She starts to walk away, then says the fateful words "What if it's not a bogey, what if it's a Polly Pocket?" WHAT?! Sure enough, she shoved a Polly Pocket magnetic purse up her nose. With quite a bit of fussing and some pain on her part we managed to pull the darn thing out with tweezers. I still don't know what possessed her to stick something up her nose, and I probably never will. So much for my low-maintenance kids.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Just checkin in

I used to write these "Just checking in" posts on MM fairly regularly, to keep my friends caught up on the daily stuff going on in my life, and I figured I'd continue the trend here. As I'm not in the mood for a lot of verbiage (shocking I know) I thought I'd give you just a bulleted list today:

* Yesterday was my birthday, nothing special happened, although I did enjoy a nice surprise today when I dropped my kid's off at my best friend here in town's house and she had a cake and mini-party ready for me. Thanks D, that was so sweet!

* School is going the same as always. Busy, lots of projects to work on and not enough time to do them. I'm currently working on a research proposal to study the usefulness of information literacy programs in technical college settings, an essay on a controversial topic in collection development (I've yet to pick my topic) and generally trying to catch up on readings and quizzes as I'm a few weeks behind...

* The kids are over summer vacation, or at least they are over being with each other 24/7. They are constantly fighting and screaming at each other, and Fiona has a major breakdown at least 3 times a day. When does school start?

* On the plus side, Fiona is back in gymnastics and doing great, and I found a new class for Saskia called "Cheernastics". It's gymnastics with a little bit of cheer thrown in. Since cheerleading is the one sport that she is interested in, this seems like a good way to trick her into doing the workout she'll need in order to gain the strength necessary to one day be a cheerleader.

* That's about it. For the weekend we have no big plans, just grill something and maybe hang out at the park for a bit.

Wishing all of you a great 4th of July weekend, love and hugs, C.