Thursday, February 26, 2009

The Piano Headspin, a Worthy Goal

Quest Crew totally rocked on America’s Best Dance Crew tonight. They finished their number with a guy doing a sitting backflip, something I’ve never seen before – starting sitting on his butt, legs crossed, and flipping up to his feet, hands never touching the ground. Wow!

For their second number, one guy did a headspin on the grand piano while another one played (although he probably pre-recorded it, but I’ll forgive them that). I think we should aim for that level of entertainment in classical concerts, going forward.

In unrelated news, there have been a few “25 details about me” memes floating around lately. Memes are often dreadfully dull, but here are three answers that were intriguing.

Blogger: Gunfighter (who is a former Marine and current tactical firearms instructor)
Question: What is the first thing you notice about people?
Answer: Whether or not they look like they are armed.

Blogger: Mary P (expert in all things childcare)
Question: How much did your child weigh at birth?
Answer: Nine pounds, ten ounces in eighty-seven minutes. (And not a single rip or tear. “You have very elastic tissue” said my GP. “You get the d*mndest compliments in a hospital” I riposted.)

Blogger: The all-famous Dooce
Question: Who is more stubborn (you or your spouse)?
Answer: I am Southern stubborn, he is Mormon Pioneer stubborn. And together we gave birth to a monster.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


I understand the concept of insomnia, but for the most part, I’m asleep within seconds of getting into bed. Ten years ago, I quit my consulting job, one where we worked such crazy hours that we were dangerously exhausted. Once, I meant to walk through a doorway and missed, hitting the wall so hard that I fell to the floor. In a much scarier situation, a colleague woke up in his car, going 70 miles an hour on the freeway.

I learned a lot from “the Firm,” but it was the right time to move on. About five months after leaving, I lay awake in bed for almost thirty minutes. I prodded SwingDaddy on the shoulder. “I think I’m sick! I’ve been staring at the ceiling for ages.”

He pointed out that this is normal. Normal people wind down before going to sleep – they don’t collapse in a sudden heap on a nightly basis. Oh, ok. It took months of recovery before my body was rested enough to gently go to sleep.

Things are stressful at the office these days, and the children are darling, but demanding. I’m feeling tired, tired, tired all the time. Next week’s personal project is going to be getting more sleep. I’m looking forward to it, even if I never catch up with the sleep debt.

Two reasons to be cheerful.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Oh, For a Nice Simple Princess Cake

(Description of how to make Kati Peck’s gorgeous Darth Vader cupcakes can be found at the official Star Wars blog.)

We’ve known for months that Q-ster wanted a Star Wars-themed birthday party, and I thought that would make the cake easy. We ought to be able to trot to the local Safeway and buy a fancy, officially sanctioned, licensed-character cake, just like fans of Cinderella, Belle, Tinker Bell, and Thomas the Tank Engine do.

Unfortunately, there weren’t classic Star Wars designs available, only a leftover Yoda sketch that had “No toy” scrawled on it, and the swamp planet background minus Yoda didn’t look that appetizing. Besides, after all those episodes of Food Network’s Ace of Cakes, the little dude is pretty certain that he wants us to make his cake.

So what shape of cake? Leighann sent me a link to a party description where the birthday boy’s clever mom made a long line of green-frosted cupcakes, forming a "lightsaber.” Excellent! We’ll do a lightsaber cake.

No, Q-ster doesn’t want a lightsaber cake. Did he want a battle scene? Figurines? Obi-wan? None of those. After much pondering, he’s decided he wants a Millenium Falcon cake.

If I bake using a round cake pan, frost it white, and convince SwingDaddy to help me pipe some lines and patterns, I think we can make this work. It’s not going to look as tricked out as the cake below (from Cakelava – so cool!), but I figure that the target audience is a group of four year olds, and they’ll still find it tasty.

I suppose it could be worse. He could want an X-wing fighter!

Photo courtesy of an excellent interview of Duff, the Ace of Cakes himself.

Monday, February 23, 2009

I Can't Believe My Parents Make Me Do This

The week before Christmas, Q-ster’s preschool hosted a “Kids Night” event so that parents could finish shopping and holiday prep. The little dude’s Star Wars buddy was going too, so we figured he’d have a good time while we ran a few errands.

I came across the results of the craft project while sorting through my desk this weekend and had to share. Here is the trio of magnets that the teachers helped him make from photos taken that evening and his surrounding scribbles.

Ok, fine, I’ll stand here for your picture.

Another picture? I am sooooo tolerant.

Antlers? The indignity is unbelievable.

And a Merry late Christmas to you.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Second Time Parenting, Plus Octopi at the Oscars

We made an all-personnel, two-car outing to IKEA today, which has got to be the most family-friendly place to shop in the world. Just as everyone was getting a little cranky from the furniture browsing and investigating, we arrived at the restaurant, sat down for 99 cent breakfasts and recharged our energy. SwingDaddy noticed that they even had jars of baby food for sale next to the other options, plus a microwave and bottle warmers on hand.

Buster was a little irritated to see us eating and started fussing, so I dished him some Swedish potatoes and lingonberries with a regular spoon, no less. When we were first time parents, I don’t think I would have dared try feeding the baby a new meal unless it was specifically listed as a “suggested first food” and with the special little gummy spoons in the safety of our own home. The micro dude was pretty pleased with the new tastes. Must be our Swedish heritage.

We did indeed get the table and a whole bunch of other fun things, which I’ll describe in a post when I’m more awake.

For now, I’ll just say that Hugh Jackman was an AWESOME Oscars host and I loved his singing and grace.

Plus, I learned about the nominated short animated film, Oktapodi, which has got to be the cutest action-adventure octopus love story ever. (Although they've been drawn with six legs, so I suppose they are hexapi.)

It takes a few moments to load the two minute video, but it's worth it. Check out Oktapodi!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I’m Having the Same Life as Mir

Blog superstar Mir (with whom I was reunited at BlogHer 06 after having gone to elementary school together and then not seen each other since – see photographic evidence of us in 5th grade) wrote about her new kitchen table today, which is smaller than her old one but in a cozy, nice way and has made life immensely better.

Even more encouraging is the email from my parents telling me that their kitchen table, the one lovingly described in yesterday’s post, has a 42” diameter, only one inch wider than the IKEA table that I feared was too small. I think we’re headed up to our local Swedish outpost this weekend.

In other Mir news, apparently she has a problem with destroying keyboards with her energetic typing. First, she wears the letters off the keyboard, and then the it breaks. Fortunately, Apple has been good and replaced her last keyboard. I haven’t actually broken a keyboard, but I have another weird problem. I blur the letters on the keyboard. Only some of them, but my keyboards all look a little odd.

Q-ster loves to type and will occasionally be looking down to find a letter. The poor kid has to ask “Is this the M or the N, Mama?” and I’ll have to peer at it for a while.

For Valentine’s Day, SwingDaddy and I got each other new keyboards, and it’s very pleasant to have a fully functional keyboard, featuring a choice of backlighting colors in red, blue or purple! (This is important for when you have the room lights very low to lull a baby to sleep. Not the color part, the lighting part. You know what I mean.)

I look forward to reading Mir’s next post to see what is going to happen in my life next week.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

I Found My Kitchen Table

Back in the 70’s, my parents purchased the perfect kitchen table. It was white and round, with a pedestal base, which besides being very stylish, kept everyone from smacking their knees into an errant table leg. We ate tens of thousands of meals at that table. I did a lot of homework at that table. I remember carefully writing assignments on both sides of three-hole-punched lined paper with my number 2 pencil, lifting up the paper to realize that writing on the second side had imprinted lead markings from the first side onto the table surface. A few quick swipes of a washcloth later, it was clean again.

My parents still have and use the table, although they’ve had it resurfaced a few times. It’s probably gone in and out of style a few times, as most design-y designs do, but I was completely oblivious to it. In fact, I didn’t even realize that the base was “inspired by a drop of high-viscosity liquid” or that the designer intended to “clear up the slum of (table) legs.” It was just my parents’ furniture, nothing more.

Not long ago, my sister and I came across a trendy looking furniture shop that carried things that looked oddly familiar, and there we found the Table. For $2352. Holy cow! I’m not the kind of person who thinks, “when my ship comes in, I will buy that table,” so I mostly put it out of my mind.

Until today. Following a series of links from Lisa Schmeiser’s post about how the recession is benefiting IKEA to another post on customized IKEA finds, I found the almost-table.

It’s a little small – only 41” inches in diameter. But only $149!

What to do? We’ve been wanting a new kitchen table, but the breakfast “nook” in our house is sizable. We frequently seat eight adults there, and could probably fit ten. A table this little would leave a lot of empty space and not provide much surface area for all the extra things you end up needing while feeding children or trying to eat while distracting children.

In the meantime, we’ll hang on to the hand-me-down table that SwingDaddy’s parents bought in the 70’s, which we plan to move to the dining room when we find a kitchen table. It’s perfectly functional, but it would be nice not to have to jump up and minimize damage to the wood every time someone spills apple juice and them separate the table leaves and sop up the stickiness that inevitably drips between them.

Ponder, ponder. It might be time to drive up to the big yellow and blue haven of furniture, meatballs, and clever containers.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Big Boy Beds and Feeling Better

We’re not through the woods yet, but everyone is feeling better. I realized that I haven’t taken pictures in a week, which is probably the longest I’ve gone since Q-ster was born.

Here’s Buster in his new size-large sleeping bag, looking like a mer-baby.

We got a new twin bed for Q-ster last week, delivered just before the plague struck.

I smugly nodded when reading this great post on decorating kids rooms when I reached the line, “Buy a solid color comforter. Avoid the Star Wars comforter and just get the sheet set instead.” Because that’s exactly what we’d done, mostly because I was shocked at the price of a Star Wars comforter that didn't even have that cool of a design.

The little dude is looking pretty content here. My eyes spin a bit looking at his patterned pajamas against the sheets, but I wasn't about to make him change just to get a better photo.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Orange and Yellow

My standard regimen for preventing illness is to eat oranges, drink orange juice, eat carrots, and drink Emergen-C. I’ve been following a different campaign this time – eating Doritos, Kraft macaroni and cheese, swilling Coke. Still a mostly orange-colored diet, but this one being totally artificial, because all those preservatives will surely keep the virus from being able to latch on. Or something like that.

My work friend begins chemo this week, so I’m rounding up the office-mates to put together a care package. I’ve seen him wear the Livestrong wristband I put in the soup bag, so I’ve ordered a soft hat with the Livestrong emblem, suitable for wearing during treatment and later after he’s healthy again, under his cycling helmet. The organization also provides Survivorship Notebooks free, so I’m having one of those sent too.

WhyMommy and her new Mothers with Cancer group blog have some great resources, including ideas for helping and gifts, but after I Googled “chemo care package,” I realized how female-centric the web presence of cancer material seems to be. The American Cancer Society features five books for children, of which three are about moms, one is about dads, and one is gender neutral. Ever single one of the gift lists include things like pretty scarves, pretty necklaces, pretty this and that’s. There are dolls with removable wigs so that children can understand what Mommy will look like during treatment. I am really, really impressed with the depth of the support online.

As for my pal, I think we’ll go with WhyMommy’s ideas about unscented lotion and lip balm (because sometimes the scents cause nausea), and perhaps a gift certificate to a delivery service that runs for some fun local restaurants.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Sh&tty Valentine's Day

Only in the physical, ‘cleaning up’ realm though. In the ‘I'm really lucky to have a loving husband who brings me chocolate as well as holds sick children while I run the 12th load of laundry that day or bathes sick children while I mop up the floor’ – in that department, everything was great.

(If you’re not in the mood to read, enjoy the unrelated pix of healthy boys or skip all the way to the end to evaluate the unknown properties of some seemingly mundane grocery items.)

We’ve been holed up for the last two days, hearing a torrential rainstorm rumbling above, which has somehow added a bit of cozy charm to the situation, although probably only to me, since I’m the only one not in the throes of one ailment or another (sleep deprivation not included, of course).

I’ll spare you the details featuring the wrong body fluids for a romantic holiday and just say that the micro dude was hit first. After multiple changes of clothes and bedding, he got a bit more settled, and Nanny J kindly came over to give us a break. SwingDaddy and I both got an hour’s sleep (and I do mean sleep) before she took ill and went home.

SwingDaddy took Q-ster out for some necessities like diaper rash cream, Stain Stick, and extra crib sheets to add to the rotation through laundry. I was cleaning up a projectile vomit when they returned, waving a beautiful bouquet. We had just enough time to admire it together before Q-ster started looking green. I located a bucket, and when he got sick shortly afterwards, it was IN the bucket. This is a really huge deal to those of us with children who are at the age when they can occasionally remember their instructions even in moments of crisis.

My mom had a bell that she’d give to us if we were sick, in case we couldn’t speak loudly enough to call for help. Lacking a bell, we handed the little dude a Baby Einstein toy that says the primary colors in three languages and plays snippets of classical tunes whenever you poke it. He got the idea immediately and summoned us with Rondo Alla Turca (Mozart k331) for his next barfing session before he started abusing the setup and shaking it just to see us scurry to him from the laundry room or kitchen.

We dug out the spare baby monitor to hook up in his room, and after a few more rounds of changing and cleaning, the boys fell asleep. It was early enough that SwingDaddy and I had time to sit on the couch, our respective baby monitors (Buster for me, Q-ster for him) side by side, watching WALL-E and studiously only kissing each other on the cheek, in case one of us already had the virus and the other didn’t. Great movie, by the way.

We both went to sleep with a bucket on the floor beside us, in case we were struck in the night, but the wakings were entirely from caring for the young’uns. I’m writing this while standing guard over Buster, sleeping curled up like a bug, his naked butt in the air. I wanted to air his poor bottom to recover from diaper rash, and he was so exhausted that he feel asleep. This is far more detail than anyone could possibly care about, but I can’t leave the room in case he wakes up (crawling undiapered baby with diarrhea = a disaster beyond your imagination) and I’ve run out of laundry to fold.

Ah, he’s waking now. If you don’t hear from me tomorrow, you’ll know that I’ve been hit with the bug too – send help.

Updated: Made a quick trip to Target today for more diapers. The person in line ahead of me had only two items, but it took extra time to get through the cashier, because she carded him. His purchases? Theraflu and a case of Red Bull.

Do you have to be over 18 to take flu medicine or buy energy drinks now? Or maybe the combination seemed suspicious.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well That Went Better Than Expected

Because I only have one Valentine card design that I’ve been ‘borrowing’ for the last couple of decades, I spent some time last weekend calculating how much work it was going to be to coax the little dude into making twenty-two Valentines for his preschool class. We only had to make six last year in his previous school, and he’d been totally uninterested, only contributing a crayon scribble here or there.

What a difference a year makes! I cut out the construction paper hearts, but Q-ster did almost everything else. He wrote his name on the back, glued the hearts together, and stuck the stickers on top. It still took a lot of supervision, but these are really his cards this year.

In reality dance TV news, America’s Best Dance Crew has been really fantastic this season. All the crews were good to begin with, but the best ones have definitely ended up on top (unlike some other questionable shows). Our favorites are Quest Crew, Beat Freaks, and Strikers, who with the Fly Khicks (former NBA dance team members) are the final four.

Quest features So You Think You Can Dance faves Hok and Dominic, and they entertain with their stunts and inventive choreography each week. I believe Strikers is based on the African American fraternity step tradition, and they are so sharp, strong, and synchronized.

We were sorry to see Dynamic Edition go this week, but they were such an unlikely team that they made it a lot farther than we expected – it’s a stellar clogging hip hop group, really! Sort of Appalachia meets street. It was cool to see the meeting of dancers and dance styles, and a bit amusing at the good-byes when the huge, muscular Strikers were hugging the very pale and cornfed-looking cloggers. I hope they’re invited to the next tour.

Dynamic Edition
Unlike last year, where every single crew was interracial, there were several single-race teams this year, but to balance it out, there were three dual-gender teams and two all-female teams, both of which made the top four. It’s especially encouraging to see the Beat Freaks, who rocked to the top this week with strong dancing and plenty of acrobatics, and without taking all their clothes off. Sexy is great, but it’s not the only thing in dancing, and they really shine at all of it.

Beat Freaks

Other dancing news: Have you sent the Dancing with the Stars season eight cast list? I’m not sure whether to be excited or really frightened. Olympic gymnast Shawn Johnson should be fun. Performers Belinda Carlisle, Lil’ Kim, and Jewel may have a shot. Apple Computer genius Steve Wozniak? Hmmm. Well, we could be surprised.

Our favorite pros are back, and they now include three alums of SYTYCD – Lacey Schwimmer, Dmitry Chaplin, and Chelsie Hightower. It’s a good move by ABC, since the pros probably have as big a following as the C-list “stars.”

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

People Who Crave Leaving Tips

AAA magazine (that’s the Automobile Association, not Alcoh*lics Anonymous, for those of you keeping track of my periodicals) had an entertaining article written by an American journalist who had joined a Japanese bus tour . . . in the US. He visited Yosemite and Disneyland, tagging along with the tourists and seeing our country through their eyes.

It’s a fascinating concept, and actually kind of easy to make one’s own regular, dull environment more interesting just by thinking about how it’s unique. The part I enjoyed the most was how he struck up a friendship with a young Japanese couple and they told him the things they most wanted to do.

1) Leave a tip after a meal, since the practice of gratuities in restaurants was only something they’d seen in movies.

2) Go to a house party and have a barbeque in a big back yard, since they were accustomed to tiny apartments and living spaces.

Those things were exotic and the height of excitement to his new friends. It really is all perspective.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Trendy New Sleeping Place

The micro dude was really restless tonight at bedtime and wouldn’t fall asleep, so I curled up with him in the Superyard playpen, where I’ve stashed a blanket, pillow, and lots of soft toys, so that I won’t have my skull cracked if he bops me with one. He fingered a stuffed elephant for a few moments and drifted off . . . and so did I. SwingDaddy woke me up three hours later at midnight, and now I guess I’m well rested and ready to begin work revising some PowerPoint presos.

Here are the boys happily playing in the Superyard, early, early Saturday morning. You can just barely see SwingDaddy’s head above the red blanket. Having a safe place to stash Buster while still taking a nap is worth every penny we paid for this thing.

Other signs that your child has been watching Food Network:

- He takes out his plastic food set and says that he is looking for the kosher salt.
- He lines up his toy lightsabers on the couch and says that he is grilling sausages.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Comprehension in All the Wrong Places

While looking through a news website for televised times of last weekend’s big Chinese New Year Parade, I came across a description of a "Marshall Arts" group performance. From professional journalists, no less. I wish I’d taken a screen shot, because I can’t find the page any more.

And as an example of a time when someone does understand but you wish he didn’t:

We’ve been talking about getting a new bed for Q-ster, probably a mattress and box spring to put directly on the floor (no space for monsters, and still a bit closer to the ground than adding a frame). It seems a shame to not have drawers underneath for storage space, but as my mom points out, if we need that extra space in this house, we have waaaaay too much stuff.

Q-ster heard her say that and exclaimed, “What about Space Bags? I saw them on TV!

The perils of watching Food Network instead of PBS Kids.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Micro Dudes All Wrapped Up

We attended a birthday party for a friend of Q-ster today, featuring pony rides, goat feeding, chicken and rabbit observation, and an all around good time. Two goats were born while we were there, so it was quite the day for little ones.

There’s another baby in the group with the same name as Buster. Check out his super cute and warm outfit.

Buster’s still waking up from his nap here. We had everyone bundled up today because it was freezing by California standards. (Go ahead and laugh, my northern friends.)

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Is It Wrong to Celebrate Getting Back Into Pre-Pregnancy Jeans By Getting Cupcakes?

Now that the household is more or less healthy again (fingers crossed), we’ve turned our attention back to personal grooming. We had haircuts for everyone except the baby last weekend, and today, I finally went to have my eyebrows waxed. The mall had a new Sprinkles store, so I had to stop and pick up some gourmet cupcakes to take home.

The special box.

Yummy inside.

On the cutting board, ready to be divided between the three of us. I only bought two because we didn’t really need all that chocolate and red velvet in the middle of the day, plus they have gourmet prices.

We’re definitely going back.

Today was a special denim day. Not only did I fit back into my regular jeans again, but SwingDaddy convinced Q-ster to wear his jeans too! He loves soft fabric so much that he’s pretty much been wearing sweatpants since he outgrew his footie 'play & sleeps.'

My newly jeaned, three-almost-four year old paused between bites of cupcake to observe my face and said, “Your eyebrows look nice, Mommy. Who fixed them?”

I just had time to laugh and say thank-you, before he finished his treat and displayed being firmly in touch with both his masculine and feminine sides by picking up his lightsaber and demanding, “Let’s fight!”

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What I’m Not Getting For Valentine’s Day

Some of my favorite Valentine’s gifts from SwingDaddy have been these fuzzy red heart-shaped boxes of chocolate from Godiva. Fuzzy! Red! Delicious!

However, half a dozen years ago, I issued a moratorium on any cute heart shaped chocolate boxes being brought into the house, because I realized that I can’t bear to part with them, and we’d soon be overwhelmed with empty boxes. The hearts pictured were from Valentine’s Days long, long ago.

This year, we’re giving each other new computer keyboards. And some chocolates in dull, boring containers.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Lemur Brother

Last weekend, Q-ster initiated a record number of non-Star Wars imagination games. He launched into one, saying he was “Chris, one of the brothers.” I guessed he must be talking about Zaboomafoo, since that’s the one show I recall featuring brothers.

“Are we playing Zaboomafoo?”
“Yes! The other brother is Martin.”
“Oh, is Buster playing Martin?”

Apparently not. I was to be Martin, and his little brother got to be the lemur mascot, Zoboo instead. Next we played football and were all Tomlinsons, which was a nice change from being the Fett Family.

I’m so excited to report that another of my Silicon Valley Moms Blog posts was selected for syndication! You can read Jedi Don’t Pick Their Noses and Other Things I Never Thought I’d Say at fine papers like the Sacramento Bee and Wichita Eagle.

And other great news – The Consumer Products Safety Commission has delayed the mandatory test certifications for children’s toys for one year, allowing time to craft the law more carefully and protect things like handmade toys.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Attempted Sleep Locations in the last 24 hours

In our room alone while SwingDaddy was working late (two hours)
In our room with SwingDaddy (15 minutes)
In Q-ster’s room (two hours)
In Buster’s room, glider-rocker (20 minutes)
In our room with SwingDaddy and Buster (15 minutes)
On floor of home office inside Superyard plan pen with Buster (1 hour)

Now I’m trying to get through a lot of work and stressing. It’s been hard to concentrate lately (irregular sleep patterns, maybe?) and now a good friend at work has received a preliminary cancer diagnosis. We’ve divided up his work temporarily so that he can focus on his health and determine a treatment plan.

I’ve made a stew that I can take over to his family along with some Livestrong wristbands later this week. I don’t know what else I can do besides try to pick up his office work until he knows more from the doctors later this week. We have an unusually high number of young friends who are cancer survivors, so there’s a lot of hope along with the worry.

P.S. Re-reading this I realize that I should say that the boys sometimes sleep really well, even occasionally all night, and now and again simultaneously. Just not last night.

Monday, February 02, 2009

So Pretty, So Chewy

I got the teething necklace after all. I like it. Buster likes it. It’s all good, as long as I don't get strangled.

Weeks ago, I offered a little prize on my delurking post, and the winner is Tali. Congratulations, my friend!

As it turns out, I have a second Snapfish card (50 free 4x6 prints, plus an additional 20 if you’re a new customer), and it’s free to the first person who says s/he’d like it!

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Motherhood Maternity/Parenting Mag Were Evil; What About Parents Mag?

As a foolish and ignorant first-time mom-to-be, I shopped at Motherhood Maternity, legendary for their stingy return policies, because I didn’t know where else to go (Gap Maternity and Old Navy, but I learned that later). As I paid for my oversized pants and jacket, the sales lady told me that I’d be receiving a free copy of Parenting Magazine.

What they didn’t say was that they would be giving that magazine my credit card number, so that if I didn’t call and cancel, I would be automatically charged for a subscription! Slimy, underhanded, and really unethical. When I received the bill, I wrote to both the store and the magazine, and they quietly canceled the subscription.

Fast forward to today. Out of the blue, I’ve started receiving Parents Magazine, which as far as I know is not related to Parenting Magazine. Does anyone know if they are part of a nasty organization or if they’re legit? I don’t care if they send me free copies to keep up their circulation numbers for advertisers, but I’m definitely not willing to pay for it.

For the first time in memory, we didn’t have a SuperBowl party. We just hosted a big event two weeks ago and Q-ster’s birthday bash is coming up, so a third party was more than we could handle. Still, it was strange not to have everyone gathered here.

Q-ster asked me to “play football” with him, and we threw the beach ball around for a while. Then he amended the game to be “football while dancing.” This is where people who are not parents or grandparents of my children can roll their eyes and wait for the indulgent my-child-is-amazing paragraph to pass:

I showed him a figure skating video on YouTube this morning, just a single three-minute video one time, and his dancing today reflected the posture, movement and standing poses of the skater. He spun in place, jumped and spun in the air, and even held his arms differently than his hip-hip dances.

The LaDanian Tomlinson jersey is getting small, so next season it’ll be time to pass it down to Buster and get a bigger one. Skate, LaDanian, skate!