Thursday, April 19, 2007

T.V. time


There is an ongoing struggle between the parents and the kids in our home. The struggle can get pretty ugly at times. They want more T.V. time, and we want them to have less. As you can see from these pictures, they are transfixed by T.V.

We do place strict limits on T.V. time because these kids would watch T.V. all day if we let them. We try to limit them to a half an hour a day on school nights. In fact, there's lots of nights with none because we run out of time.

It's a bit of a struggle with the adults too. I enjoy many programs. Bob doesn't watch ANY. So, I'm the bad influence on the kids. Lately we've been watching a stunning series on the Discovery channel. Planet Earth show. For years, I've enjoyed watching the PBS Nature show. As he passes by, Bob just groans, "Oh, no, more sea otters!"

On the weekends, I have started a tradition of Saturday movie night. I enjoy movies and want to have some fun traditions with my kids. Since most of the movies are animation or other mind-numbing, rated-G ilk, I get in some reading or take up my knitting.

We've recently started using REDBOX $1 per night DVD rentals. So easy, cheap and good, I dropped Netflicks. As we say in Boston, they are wicked pissa.

So, we rent a movie, we make popcorn, and we have some T.V. time.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Don't be angry. Don't be busy. Don't be sad.

Owen is learning language at a gallop. And, he now carefully studies facial expressions to get a sense of your mood.

On Saturday, he was begging for my attention while I was trying to read. I was not responsive enough for him. He tugged on my shirt and said,"Help me now." When I didn't respond he said, "Don't be angry, don't be busy, don't be sad." Now those are words to live by.

Friday, April 13, 2007

happy children

Posted by Picasa

Clivia miniata in bloom


I'm thrilled that my beloved Clivia miniata is now in bloom. I've heard that they survive outside in this climate, but I'm nervous. Maybe I'll divide it after it blooms, and put part of it outside.

I bought this tiny cutting over eight years ago at a Massachusetts Horticultural Society plant sale. Now it is bursting out of its pot.
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Well, there's always next year

Zoe's second grade school pictures

What can I say, at least she didn't close her eyes like I did in one of my school pictures.

She'll probably be upset that I posted this picture. She's still beautiful to me.

Be still my heart

Today, Owen had to visit the pediatric cardiologist at UNC. We've been worried about him since his three-year-old check up a few weeks ago. His regular pediatrician said she heard a heart murmur that she had never heard before. She said he needed to see a cardiologist.

We were distraught and concerned about our big strapping boy. We were further dismayed to find it takes a LONG time to get an appointment for a pediatric cardiologist if your case is not urgent. So, we pulled some strings with a few neighbors. A kindly doctor in the neighborhood (another good reason to live amongst so many doctors!) managed to get us an appointment in less than three months.

We were concerned that after the cardiologist listened to his heart, he ordered an ultrasound to get a better picture of the blood flow. So, off he went for that test. Owen was a trouper.

The excellent news is that he's fine and it's not a concern. We were worried all for nothing. Such is parenting...

Friday, April 06, 2007


It's nearly the end of spring break. Zoe and Owen are at home with Bessi, our regular babysitter. She is amazing. My kids love her because she lets them be kids.

Even though Owen cries "No Bessi, No Bessi!" when he sees her, he is usually laughing before I leave. This is a sign that Owen is growing up. He used to cry and carry on when we left. Now, he gives me a kiss good bye and continues with his trains or other toys.

Bessi has had seven of her own children. She is a bit older than I am, but she is already a grandmother. I admire and appreciate all she does for us.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

You like pencils and so do I

I found a scrap of paper at the bottom of Zoe's backpack. It lists some of the nice things that her classmates wrote about her:
"You are a great student. You often carry the ball outside for us. You are very cool. You have cool imaginary friends. You have a great imagination. You are nice. You are open-minded and a lot of fun. You like to share. You do your best. I like your clothes. You like pencils and so do I."