Monday, November 27, 2006

Nighttime rituals

So we have our basic nighttime rituals. First we get into jammies, brush our teeth, and then run around a little. Will gets a short story, and we transition to good nights. Will says goodnight to Sophie and Daddy, and maybe Chicken. Then he and Mommy go to the kids room for songs and maybe milkies (if needed). Daddy and Sophie read three books (time permitting). Sometime into the 3rd book Mommy arrives and we snuggle together for the end. Then Sophie gives Daddy a hug and kiss goodnight. And then...
Something a little puzzling to Mommy and Daddy, Sophie heads off to the window and says "Can we talk about Spiders?" I don't know when this started or why. Sometimes there is actual talk about spiders. This time of year it mostly has to do with why we don't see any spiders outside. Too cold.
Then eventually Sophie runs away, gets caught by Mommy, snuggles and good night songs for her.
The spider business is still a mystery.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

And now you're even older...

Both kids have been acting like adults on occasion, it is odd.
Will has gotten in the habit of repeating little turns of phrase:
  • "That's crazy talk!"
  • "Bye Bye. See you later!"
  • "Going to Tahoe. Home now!"
Sophie is getting into taking care of people (doctoring us) and other signs of growing up.
Today we were cleaning up the kids' blocks and dropped a rubber froggy in there as well. She said "that doesn't belong there," she took it out and went to get more blocks. I slipped it back in and she spied it again. "Hey, how'd that get back in there?" She fished it out, and went back to cleaning. I slipped it back in again. The third time she spotted it she turned and gave me this look, like "what the fuck?" It's the same look I give to my students when they try to pull something.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Dr. Scholz

Aunt Cindy gave Sophie a Doctor's outfit and medical kit. I must say, the Pavlovian conditioning that makes parents want their kids to be doctors really works. She makes a very fetching little surgeon don't you think?
Sophie was enjoying the medical practice already without the gear, but this makes it all the more official.
She is fond of saying "Lie down, I am going to doctor you!"

When either kid puts on the stethoscope they start calling themselves Dr. Wiles (their Pediatrician).

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Robot Rampage

As promised. A photo of Sophie playing with her Robot. The jet pack featured in this photo was among the first casualties of the children's rough play. So that was replaced with a simply backpack.
Some of the computer chips, and at least one ear were also lost. But the rest seems to have survived for now.
Carly said that from her perspective Sophie showed a small amount of fear when she first opened the wrapping paper and spied the robot.

We do try to inculcate a healthy fear of robots in our children for their own good.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Yeah Us!

Reasonably good election results. I maintained a radio/TV blackout yesterday, because I hate election coverage and last time I nearly had an anxiety attack about the election.
So, this year, I just let it happen, expected my optimistic hopes to be dashed, but things look good. If the Dems win Montana and Virginia they will actually have a majority. Who knows, maybe things are looking up.

3 Years Old

I started this blog in the anticipation of my daughter's birth. Now she is three years old. Wow!
She already has a a little trepidation about growing up. This morning as we went into the kids room she said "It is not my birthday, I am not grown up... yet." It took some convincing, but eventually she warmed to the idea.
In our tradition of making birthday gifts I constructed a robot from a collection of parts (mini-mannequin, paper towel tubes, little bits of scavenged computer motherboard from the school's IT department) and designed a Cafe Press T-Shirt with her favorite robot saying "I am a Robot. You must Obey Me!" Carly assembled a push bike for her (like a real two wheeler, but with no pedals.)
The robot was recognizable, which is good. Will was very interested in it. A tug of war started and my hours of work began to disintegrate. Oh well, I guess you can judge the popularity of a toy by its lifespan. We were able to salvage much of it, and Will eventually settled down. Sophie seemed pretty pleased with it during breakfast (little muffin cakes Carly made... yum).
So, I am thinking my ability to make a usable kids toy may have been overly optimistic, but after a fair amount of it was destroyed, I was able to scale back some of the extra stuff, and the main body may very well survive.
Sophie was interested in the push-bike, but she was a little hesitant to try it. She kept saying "When I am a big girl I will ride that." And then pulling out her four wheel bike to practice on that. I suspect by the weekend she will have tried it. We shall see.
Cool Grandma and Fun Papa bought a large plastic art easel. It is very cool, a white board, a chalk board and a lots of doodads, I am sure she will love it. And it will survive outside as well. We weren't able to have her open all her gifts, but we will get around to that shortly enough.
Pictures forthcoming.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Alligator Dance

What do the Scholz children do to amuse themselves? I'm glad you asked.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Conspiracy of the American Accent

I‧raq[i-rak, i-rahk]
Pronunciation Guide -
[ i ] it, big, finishes, [ a ] apple, can, hat

Why is it that every single soldier interviewed on TV or Radio pronounced this country Eye Rak?
It feels like nails on a chalkboard to me. I listen to the BBC in my office, and it makes me all the more embarrassed to hear it pronounced this way for an international audience.

I wonder sometimes if either (a) soldiers use this expression as a way of demonstrating disrespect for the Iraqi people, (b) the military/government picks these soldiers as spokespeople as a way of parochializing the discussion (only internationalists and French people say I-rak), (c) the press picks these soldiers/officers to make fun of Americans, (d) 95% of 'Mericans are ignorant.

There was a CNN commercial a while back with Christine Amanpour, where she was interviewing someone who was speaking of Eye-rak, she corrects him, then he says, "oh wait maybe I was thinking of that other country..... Eye-ran" - she (and I) sighed heavily.


Sophie got progressively worse Wednesday night , screaming at the top of her lungs and clinging to Carly throughout the night, and Thursday morning Carly took her to the doctor. He confirmed that she had two ear infections, and prescribed some anti-biotics as well as upping the pain killer doses.
There is a strange satisfaction that comes from a diagnosis of a "REAL" infection. There is a sense that Sophie's midnight screaming and crying was not just the result of (a) her being crazy, (b) us being bad parents. The idea that she got the infection doesn't seem appropriate to blame us for. I don't know why, presumably, if we were more thorough about keeping the kids away from other sick kids, her cold would not have causes the infections.
But, also the idea that she has an official infection that we can treat and accept as a temporary if unpleasant thing is oddly calming. One would think the diagnosis of any medical problem would be unsettling, rather than the opposite. But I guess there is the opportunity to accept it, and deal with it, where before, it being a mere 'seasonal illness' seemed too vague to get that acceptance.

In good news. Other than two early night cries from Will, the kids slept (or were quiet at least) throughout the night. We got at least six hours of sleep!. We are all still coughing and dealing with sinus problems, and Sophie's ears are still bothering her, although the Antibiotic serves a a useful placebo as well as treatment. But things are looking up.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Long Dark Night

Last night began with some fun. Dave came over and we all ate pizza and then when trick or treating. The best part, of course, is hearing the other people say how cute our kids are in their costumes. A close second is watching the kids get a little braver, and more confidently saying 'Trick or Trick!' The kids went to bed with the promise of the Great Pumpkin coming during the night.
Let me explain the Great Pumpkin thing. Our kids are too little still to eat most of the candy types (hard choking hazard candies, gum, etc..) and frankly we don't want them hyped up on sweets all the time. So... Carly's brainstorm was to introduce the pact with the Great Pumpkin. The kids collect candy from the neighbors. Then, they leave most of it outside their door Halloween night, and the great pumpkin comes and exchanges gifts for the candy. In this case, they got a video, two books and some puzzle blocks. The kids get something fun, and for now, we don't have to worry about the candy. They did get some candy, and we saved some treats for later, but the vast majority gets chucked or donated to my students and gamers.
So far so good. The Kids went to bed reasonably well, we watched Hero (on Tivo) with Dave and hung out. Then starting around 10pm the kids started crying and fussing. First one, then the other. Each time it would take 20-30 minutes to settle one down, then minutes after leaving the room, the other would start screaming. Add to this that all of us are still coughing our lungs out and sniffling and sneezing, and it made for a rough night.