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Showing posts from December, 2013

Should old acquaintance be forgot?

We two have paddled in the stream,from morning sun till dine;But seas between us broad have roaredsince auld lang syne.
2013 has been an interesting year. The older I get, the more I appreciate the good and the more I have learned to ignore the bad. It was a spring that featured a constant stream of evaluations, visits from therapists, and trying to get my son enrolled in preschool following Early Intervention. The year ends with a happy, chatty, socially-adjusted 3 year old who knows his alphabet, colors, and most of his numbers. He has friends and favorite teachers and wakes up asking if it will be a school day. Talk about transformations.

My daughter has started sleeping through the night, has a new fondness for chocolate pudding, and speaks in whole sentences herself. Usually overly cute ones that are somewhat manipulative and give me pause about what an older, craftier girl she'll become.

I completed my first triathlon in an only somewhat-embarrassing time...I wore a wetsuit …

Parental rituals, research, and reindeer

This will be my last blog post until after Christmas, probably, so first I want to wish all my readers a Happy Winter Solstice and Merry Christmas.

It's that time of year to reflect on a new year, annual traditions, family, peace, suffering and happiness. The whole thing. Lately, I've been strongly considering taking up a spiritual practice like yoga or meditation more seriously again. If only for some stress relief and quiet time to myself. In my younger days, I was a regular since I helped run the umbrella organization for all our religious activities at a 1200 student college. It wasn't unusual for me to attend yoga on Monday, Buddhist-style meditation 3 days a week, Torah Study on Friday, and a New Testament discussion group at lunch one day. I miss it.

I've been reflecting quite a bit lately on Christmas rituals. Cutting down a tree. Decorating. Baking cookies. Gifts. Christmas music. Which ones are important and meaningful and which ones aren't all that much.…

Goddesses with bad tempers

My daughter is named after Greek mythology, for those of you who weren't aware. The mother of Helen of Troy, Clytemnestra, and Gemini-brothers Castor and Pollux.  And appropriately named, we found out last night.

The mama and I watched the first (excellent) episode of the BBC documentary Divine Women last night called "When God Was A Girl." Bettany Hughes starts at the very beginning and traces the history of goddesses in a multi-part series. Despite my own screaming goddess-daughter who would not go to bed, we enjoyed the program as it traced Neolithic fertility figures to ancient Roman goddess cults involving men who self-castrate themselves to followers of Hindu goddesses today. Christianity, I believe, is covered later in the series in more detail, but last night it touched on Christians crushing pagan goddess-worship and eventually even building the Vatican on the former altars in Rome.

The show starts with the evolution of non-divine female religious icons and earl…

Who speaks for a gender?

Next week I'm going to be spending about an hour on the phone with a researcher from the University of Michigan School of Social Work who is studying Stay At Home Dads. This makes me very conflicted. Mostly because I consider myself one voice in a sea of SAHDs. An ocean of parents, really. There's something universal about being a parent, but I don't pretend for a second to speak for others. Nor do I want them speaking for me. My experience (our experience as a family) is unique and your mileage may vary. There's the rub though, right? 
If I don't speak up (hello, I'm a blogger), someone else will speak up for me and perhaps alter the perceptions of others. At the same time, I don't want to be the one doing that to anybody else. But, in the end, science wins out. The beauty of research is that my data will be compiled and compared next to others...I'll either be an outlier or part of the affirming crowd. Either way, I'm writing to you now because I …

Matt Fitzgerald on Winter Running Motivation

I wanted to get something down on the blog about attending a running seminar at Fleet Feet Old Town on Saturday morning--since I did the same thing for hearing Joe Friel speak awhile back. These events sometimes strongly influence my current thinking on exercise in general, diet, training, etc..

Matt's talk was actually amazing. Not that I thought it would suck. I'm very familiar with him and overall like his approach to almost any related topic. But I'm mostly familiar with his thoughts on triathlon since that is how I first learned about him. I read his excellent introduction to the sport then found my way to his training plans and nutrition info. And most of my experience with what he has to say about running has been the tidbits I've seen online.

He's very research based and very practical/reasonable. Which, sadly, isn't fashionable in every circle of the endurance sports world. I'm a big fan though. And you could see his style on display Saturday. He w…

The Three T's

The nice thing about Cole is he's the stereotypical little boy who requires very little to make him happy in the gift/Christmas department. It's the "Three T's." Trains, tractors, and trucks. It also helps that anything he's seen or come in contact with for the last 5 months has gone on his Christmas list. A list which includes nearly the entire Target toy catalog and anything he's seen in a YouTube video being played with by another child. So if your data set is "infinity" it's pretty easy to select something off that list.

Leda is more difficult. She wants a set of Marvel foot-tall superhero dolls. No clue why. She's never seen any of them outside of that box and so far it's the only thing she's explicitly asked for. Although if you pin her down with questions like, "should Santa bring you a doll?" she'll answer "uh huh" in the cutest way possible. Like she's been an ever-so-good girl. Which is total…

Grandma Got Run Over By A Karate Kid

I've been thinking about my grandparents a lot lately. Not in any meaningful, deep way. Or, rather, little incidents piling up have made me stop and think more profoundly about my experiences growing up.

Cole has taken a shine to Christmas music. In the car. On his CD player for naps and bedtime. He's already chosen a few favorite songs and I have to say I appreciate his tastes. (After all, this is the same kid who listened to Elvis' Greatest Hits for probably a solid year.) His first Christmas favorite was Bing Crosby's version of "Jingle Bells" with the Andrews Sisters. Classic. We learned about syncopation, jazz, rests in music. 
But his new favorite--without any pushing by me--is "Grandma Got Run Over By A Reindeer." Which is a family in-joke because of Christmas Eve sing-a-longs I used to do standing on the hearth of my grandmother's wood-burning stove. She loved it. Or maybe she loved that I loved it? I dunno. At bedtime, he asks me to sta…