Thursday, March 31, 2011

Fake Food

The personal worldviews of other people never cease to amaze and surprise me.  We were recently chatting with another mother whose baby is a few months younger than Delphinium.  The subject of food came up, and she asked if we knew anything about that "protein stuff".  We cocked our heads to one side, and tried to think what she must be on about.  Then she said "oh you know that fake food stuff that vegetarians eat?" I was still a little too taken aback to answer, but M didn't miss a beat.  "Do you mean tofu?" he asked without so much as a chuckle.  "Yes!  That's it!"  Oy vey!  I can perhaps understand calling it fake meat, but fake food?!  Here we are, living in one of the richest areas for Asian cuisine in the United States, and she is calling tofu fake food.  Yikes.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Kids Quest Museum

We finally managed to make our way over to the Kids Quest Museum in Factoria.  What fun!  Delphinium was thrilled by the under three area.  She climbed giant leaves, slid down the other side, played Lego, went in the boat, drove trains, admired the dollhouse vignettes in the floor, and that was only one little section.  The machines in the "garage" are fun too, and I think we parents had the best time with scarf sucker.  There is no question that we will be back, and perhaps there will even be a membership in our future. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

Trouble Thy Name is Baby

All of a sudden we seem to have a little brownie living in our house.  You can walk into any room and find evidence of this mischievous little beastie.  Everywhere there are piles.  Laundry that used to be neatly folded in careful stacks is suddenly heaped on the floor.  The contents of certainly lower drawers may be found liberally distributed on the kitchen floor.  Books on the first two shelves don't stand a chance.  Toys are strewn from heck to breakfast.  And it's getting worse.  As time goes by, things higher and higher up in the house are being purloined.  Still, it's hard to get upset.  She is just SO PLEASED with herself for all that hard work! Then she turns on that chubby, new-tooth smile and you're done for.  Who needs order and tidiness anyway?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

The Cert Monster Part 2

Ah another lovely discovery from the wonderful world of bureaucracy!  It seems that OSPI will only allow a person to "count" classes that they take after the issuance of their most recent teaching certificate.  In other words, if my cert was issued on November, 2006, I can only count classes I've taken after that date towards renewal.  Sounds reasonable right?  Only the last time I renewed it took several months to receive the new certificate.  This means if a person submitted a renewal in June, and it only arrived in November, that means all the start of school year clock hours they earned DO NOT COUNT!  Gah!  What's that?  I should pony up a bunch of money and time to get online credits because they won't let me use the ones legitimately earned the inexpensive way?  Why sure!  That sounds just fabulous!

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Cert Monster

It has only been ten years since I first held a teaching certificate, but it seems like I've been on this treadmill forever. Just like doctors, teachers (of my generation anyway) are never allowed to simply rest on their proverbial laurels. No, no, no we must prove ourselves again and again by taking ever more courses to keep our brains from rusting (or something like that). Every five years we are required to take at least fifteen quarter hours or 150 clock hours pertaining to our area of expertise. For those who are not familiar with the system, that's one and one third of a full-time college load. If we would just take two quarters off from our lives every five years, we would be in fine shape!

Are these courses hard? Generally no. Are they time consuming and expensive? You bet your rusty brain they are. It's a bit like being stalked by a very slow and stupid monster. It isn't that hard to stay ahead of him, but mercy to you if he actually catches you. If you stop paying attention, stop collecting clock hours, or stop taking courses for even a little while (to have a baby for example?), then WHAM! If he gets you, and your certificate expires, not only can you not work, but you are also unhooked from the set of rules they used when you first got your license. This can lead to all sorts of nasty little surprises. It definitely behooves a person to remain up-to-date even if their current teaching assignment involves cutting up blueberries and playing peak-a-boo.

Thus I'm going to have to belly up to the graduate level bar, and take some classes. I've already taken one, and I have a few clock hours hanging around that will help. However, if you don't see much of me in the next few months please send out a search party. I'll be at my computer with a textbook clutched to my chest. If I seem to be immobilized, perhaps you would be so kind as to grab the oil can? Just beware of the monster. He may be slow and stupid, but he's fiercer than he looks.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

When I Grow Up

The other day Delphinium and I were waiting in line, and we got to pass the time by listening to a three or four year old boy chatting with his mother.  Actually I should probably have said chatting AT his mother because he was going a million miles an hour with barely a chance for her to slip in a word.  Among many other topics, he told her all about his future career plans, and it seems that he would like to be a hair dresser/pilot/snowman/teacher/backhoe driver/chef/dentist.  I kid you not, he went through the entire list in about two minutes (and no I do not have any idea how you can be a snowman). 

Remember when you used to wonder how you would turn out?  It was such a thrill to imagine the possibilities of grown up responsibility.  Younger Niece said she wanted to be a waitress for the longest time (maybe just to get her dad's goat?) and Elder Niece was fully intending to be a pilot and tiger vet.  My mom used to have a drawing by me at three where I pictured myself as  a ballet dancing farmer.  Somehow that particular dream just never came to pass.  Sigh.  If you were to ask Delphinium right now what she wants to be she might tell you she wanted to be a kitty rancher.  Who knows.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Bad News for Japan

What an awful few days it's been for Japan.  A record earthquake, a record tidal wave, and now all these worries about the nuclear plant.  Let's hope all the fail safes are more safe than fail.  Watching that wave of black water eating up homes and cars was terribly sad, but it was the "poof" from the reactor that had me on edge.  What an awful thing to survive the earthquake only to be faced with fears over radiation.   

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

First Words

Well, well, well not only do we have a teether and a crawler and a cruiser, but it seems that we have a talker too!  Actually Delphinium has been saying mammamama and dadada for quite a while now, but I've never been sure how much was purposeful and how much was the joy of babbling.  However, with this new word, there can be no doubt.  Our baby now says "teetee" on a regular basis!  No, no she isn't asking for milk.  She says it when she sees the kitties.  Not only that, but she says "meow" to them too!  The meow is much harder to pin down as a word, but she absolutely imitates that high-pitched inflection that we do when we're talking to the cats.  The combination of "teetee meow" is positively the cutest thing on two chubby legs.  I'm sure there will be a day when I wish she would be quieter, but for now I'm loving the new sounds.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Slate Article About NPR Listeners

I love this article about how NPR listeners can be such snobby grumps.  When I first read the title (I hate, hate, hate NPR listeners) I was taken aback, but the author actually makes a very good point about the fuddy-duddy elitism that exists in their (our) ranks.  If NPR is to survive the recent upheaval and the graying of its primary audience (boomers) it must appeal to a broader range of people, and that can't just be a bunch of pseudo-cogno-intellectuals. 

Friday, March 04, 2011

Swim Lessons

I've been forgetting and forgetting to mention the swim lessons!  Delphinium and her dad have been attending baby swim classes for the last several weeks now, and they are the cutest pair of swimmers you will ever see.  We get up early on Sunday mornings, grab suits and towels and head off to the pool.  Once there it's a mad dash to suit both before the teacher calls for the next class to come down.  I hold her at the edge of the pool so she can learn to "wait" for Daddy.

Once in the pool, she becomes not a giggly fish, but a very solemn little person.  This is serious!  She watches everything, and waits to see what the next activity might be.  The funny part is that M is equally intent.  The two of them are even working on dunking her head under water after he gives her a signal to let her know it's coming.  I must admit that first time was a little shocking for me, but she seems to be figuring it out quite well.  The other kids, songs, games, and toys also help out quite bit in making it an entertaining activity.  The last bit is playtime on a big foam board.  All the kids crowd on, and there is a pile of floatie toys in the middle.  It is such a cute moment watching them all out there together, but of course none are as cute as our own little Delphinium in her pink ruffled bathing suit.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

McDonald's Bowl of Wholesome or Not

By now I'm sure you've heard about the grand to-do over the introduction of the McDonald's oatmeal bowl.  Actually I should be saying "to-dos" as in plural because they've managed to upset several different camps.  To be fair, I think they probably get a touch more scrutiny than many other companies, but, to be fair again, I think perhaps they deserve it.  The "Bowl full of wholesome" was introduced nationally in January, and it seems that the health people are mad about the sugar content (more than a Snickers bar) the dairy people are upset about the "light cream" (which has seven ingredients), and the Vermont people are upset by the use of the term "maple."  Gah!  How hard can it be to make a simple bowl of oatmeal?  You know, at home with a pot?