Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Emmy is such a teaser. Whenever I try to kiss her, she runs away. If I catch her, she wipes her face where I kissed her and says "Off. Off. Off. Off."

This morning I went to her room to wake her up. She was quietly snoring away. So peaceful. She was adorable. I slowly bent over and gave her a gentle kiss on the forehead. She smiled, pulled her blanket up over her face, wiped her forehead, and slowly said "Off. Off." and started giggling to herself under the blankets.

Monday, September 28, 2009


Marin is getting very philosophical lately. Always asking about death and heaven and God. Is this normal for a seven year old? This morning at breakfast.....................

Marin: Daddy, tell me all the things you think about God.

Me: Why?

Marin: Because I really want to meet her. (her?? where is that coming from!?)

Me: Why?

Marin: I want to ask her why I was born in Africa and why did she let my Africa Mommy and Daddy die and why do I live with you now and how did you know about me to want to be my Daddy.

Me: Is there anything else you want to ask her?

Marin: I want to know how far I am from heaven.

OK, anyone out there want to take a shot at these questions?

Fast forward, I have dropped Marin off at school and driving to work, radio blasting. And this song on the radio is playing............

Tell me all your thoughts on God
Cause I really want to meet her
And ask her why we're who we are
Tell me all your thoughts on God
Cause I'm on my way to see her
To ask her am I very far. Am I very far now?

Holy crap. Once it clicked with me what these lyrcis were saying, I almost drove off the road. What are the chances that this is a coincidence? What does this message mean? How spooky. Even tonight it gives me goosebumps thinking about this.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Ban the Nanny

About a year ago, we hired a wonderful on-call Nanny to spend overnights and help Colleen manage the kids when I am away on business travel. The Nanny is wonderful - an empty nester woman with a sweet disposition, patience of a saint, and totally kid centric.

We struck gold with her. Marin was miserable toward her.

Marin did and said mean things to the Nanny. Was often a terror to her. It was just ridiculous.

So last week I was away, and the Nanny arrived with a small wedding cake that was left over from her own wedding. WHAT????? We didn't even know she was dating anybody.

Marin leapt for joy. She was so sweet. Snuggled in the Nanny's lap. Showed the Nanny her presents from her own birthday early this month. And on and on and on. Marin could not have been a nicer kid.

Later on, I quizzed Marin about her behavior.

Me: Marin, you used to be so mean to the Nanny.

Marin: I know

Me: But this time you were super nice.

Marin: I know.

Me: Why?

Marin: Because all the times you went away I didn't know if you would come home and Nanny would be my new Daddy and I did not want that. Now I know Nanny will not live with us because her husband won't let her do that and she wants to sleep in the same bed as her husband like you and Mama do.

I post this so you will know that every time your kid is acting out, there is probably a very rational reason inside the kids' head that is driving the behavior. It is our job as parents to question carefully and skillfully to draw out the reason for the behavior, and thereby enable ourselves to address the root cause of the behavior.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Cutest Soccer Player

Emmy had her first soccer match Saturday. She plays in the 4 yo league. You know, 8 kids cluster around the ball like a rugby scrum for 30 mins?

Emmy finally broke the ball out of the pack and started heading toward her own goal. I yelled to her "turn it around Emmy turn it around!". Which she did, and then dribbled the ball the entire length of the field into the correct net and scored her first goal.

Emmy then proceeded to do the exact same thing a second time and a third time. Now our team was ahead 3-0 after about 3 minutes of play.

On the fourth time, as she crossed midfield, I yelled "Emmy, no more kicking into the net. Pass the ball to one of your team mates."

So Emmy dribbled the ball down into the box, to the mouth of the goal, and stopped about 5 feet short of the goal line. There she stood, patiently waiting for one of her team mates to come kick the ball into the net. It was so fun to watch and Emmy was too cute.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


First, a little back story. Emmy took a wicked tumble on her bike over the weekend. No stitches and no broken bones, but dozens of cuts, scrapes, and bruises that required a lot of cold packs, childrens aspirin, band aids, and good old fashioned 'spoil the child' therapy.

This morning, Marin and I had the following exchange, which I post here just to show people how these kids think sometimes.

Marin: How long have we lived in America now?

Me: Over two years

Marin: Oh, that's not a long time.

Me: It's long time for Emmy. It's more than half her life.

Marin: Huh?

Me: You know, Emmy was only two when we got her and now she is almost five. That's more than half her life.

Marin: Is that a good thing?

Me: I think so.

Marin: I don't

Me: Well, we love Emmy. We send her to school, give her good food, she has her own cozy bed, and warm clean clothes. Don't you think that's all good?

Marin: But you made Emmy have an accident?

Me: Do you mean the bike accident?

Marin: Yes

Me: Do you think if Emmy stayed in Africa she would not have any accidents, ever?

Marin: Yes. That's what I think.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Stuart Little

We teach our kids that all life is precious.

Friday morning, as we left the house, we saw a tiny little infant field mouse on our porch. I figured he was stillborn or something and continued on.

Saturday morning, the kids were playing on the porch and found this same mouse. Using two sticks, I attempted to move the mouse off the porch, and it moved. It opened its eyes, moved its legs, and tried to walk. Oh, crap. The darn thing is alive and the kids saw it.

Of course, they started in right away with "Can we keep him? Can we keep him? We can feed him and everything!" Right.

So I went off to work on my woodpile, but I couldn't get this stupid mouse out of my mind. I started thinking about that kids story Stuart Little. In the meantime, the kids are pestering me with "Daddy, you aren't going to let this poor mouse just die, are you? What is he gets too cold? What if a cat eats him? What is his Mama is looking for him? "

I remembered this guy in town, David Sparks, who rehabs injured animals and releases them. I called him with my tale of woe. He said to bring the mouse down to his house and he would do what he could. So I put the mouse in a salad bowl, strapped the kids into thei car seats, and off we went.

David was great. He gently picked the mouse up and stroked his fur. He said he would pop the mouse into the incubator, feed him with an eye dropper, and when the mouse got stronger, David would release him into a field.

My kids were beaming and so relieved. "You promise?" they said. And they asked if they could come back and see David's other animals some time.