Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Cherish the little ones

Colleen and I are sitting at the kitchen table. It's quiet.

I look over at her and watch her reading and I can't help but smile. She's so intent on her book.

I whisper to her: "Psst." She looks up. I go on, "I like having little girls around. Little girls are awesome."

Instead of complaining that I've called her little, which she is known to do, she looks back at me, unimpressed, and whispers softly, "Reading my book."

She won't be 8 forever, this I know, just like she wasn't 4 or 5 for long in the grand scheme of things. But I'll always think of her this way, just like I remember Elizabeth as a little girl.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

A parental milestone

Kids hiding from the camera. Elizabeth is
on the left in the turquoise sweatshirt.
I am sure most parents go through this eventually. Tonight, it's my turn. Our house has been invaded by seven teenagers to hang out and generally celebrate Elizabeth's 14th birthday.

So it's just Dad and eight teens. Fun!

We started the night with the kids assembling pizzas, featuring all of Elizabeth's favorite toppings (pineapple, black olives, onions) and several others. Thankfully, I even had alfredo sauce and some leftover roasted chicken on hand for one pair of girls who requested it.

Yes, there are boys at this party, three of them, in fact. They're watching a movie (Super 8) with the lights mostly off at the moment but I'm around the corner in my office with the light on and there's a light on in the stairs, too.

Before we got around to dinner, the kids were huddled around a laptop, watching clips from Saturday Night Live. That includes one famous sketch that aired when these kids were literally still in diapers. For those who are wondering, it involves Alec Baldwin and a particular takeoff of an NPR cooking show, with a dish that has a slightly naughty name. Originally aired in December 1998.

These kids are a riot. Elizabeth had good friends. There's some interesting things being said around the corner, but part of being the cool dad is letting it roll off. Maybe Elizabeth and I will talk about it tomorrow.

As a parent, my patience level varies wildly, as I'm sure most parents' does. Thankfully, I'm in a good mood today and a house full of teens is not a problem.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


So many moments have been blogworthy in the past month but I have failed to record them here. I'm waiting for laundry and nothing is on t.v. so I find myself without excuse.

Colleen was reading the back of her Tangled DVD (without pause or hesitation I might add - she's a great reader). One phrase caught my attention and I asked her what an "unlikely duo" means. She said "a duo is two people performing together to share their talents and unlikely means that you wouldn't put them together normally but it actually makes sense this one time."

I think she gets it. Again. I was going to list the other dates I made a post similar to this, but going through them I realize there are too many. Just take my word for it.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Colleen O'Lantern

Colleen lost a tooth (Mom helped) and hopefully that one in the middle will come out soon too.

We are a little surprised that it has held on so long. She hasn't perfected the art of eating away from a loose tooth. She'll chomp right in on her food, loose tooth and all. Every mealtime we expect it to go but it has been days. This one has staying power.

Robert lost a tooth too but not so dramatically as Colleen this time around.

Other tooth news, Elizabeth got bands (green and purple) on her braces.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Year of the Rock

There seems to be a confluence of curriculum in 1st, 4th, and 8th grades in the Bloomington Public School system. All three kids are doing earth science this year. Elizabeth's science class began with an overview of the geo-spheres and now they're discussing geologic time. Robert was waxing poetic this morning about metamorphic rocks and just a few weeks ago they were studying erosion. His classroom worked with models of the Elwha Dam so they could predict what will happen when it is removed. Colleen's classroom is keeping it simple and fun by gathering a rock collection.

Speaking of our good earth, what's with the trees this year? Our leaves all turned and fell but our neighbors' trees are mostly still green. Should we be concerned?