astra_nomer: (kids)
So there we were, all loaded up in the car when I realized I'd locked my keys inside the house. By some conspiracy of fate, all the entries into the house were locked, too. Even the windows were all locked shut.

However, I discovered that Son the Younger can slip his arm through the mailslot and reach around to unlock the door knob. Huzzah! Everyone got to school/work on time.

I firmly told StY to only use his powers for good and not evil.
astra_nomer: (kids)
When we last left our heros, Son the Elder had caught strep throat from Son the Younger. Over the weekend StE developed a cough, and Sunday evening he suddenly wilted and spiked a fever.

So far, he has missed 6 days of school. Mind you, he's still been on the antibiotics all this time for the strep. The rest of us have managed to stay healthy, though StY keeps asking to have his temperature taken, as if he wants to get sick again.

Today, StE suddenly had a spring in his step and an alertness in his eyes that had been missing since the weekend. So here's hoping that we are all through sickness in the house. Especially since my parents, my brother, and my in-laws will all be visiting us this weekend.

Sick kids

Nov. 4th, 2010 04:03 pm
astra_nomer: (kids)
Last week, DS2 came down with strep throat. While I was away, of course, to maximize the inconvenience.

Yesterday, DS1 woke up feeling under the weather. Unsurprisingly, it's strep, again.

Can't afford to get sick right now! I ought to run out and get my flu shot, although that won't work against strep...
astra_nomer: (Default)
1) Picking 7 lbs of blueberries

2) Picking 2 quarts of raspberries

3) Getting sunburned while fruit picking

4) Going to the Smithsonian Folklife Festival

5) Being asked by someone at one of the booths on Mexico, "Where are you from, originally?" after just having left the exhibit on Asian and Pacific Americans. After I responded, "Chicago," he said, "Oh, I was just wondering if you knew Spanish."

6) Convincing Son the Younger to go see fireworks by buying him earplugs

7) Seeing fireworks, but not on the National Mall

8) Being asked by yet another person where I was from, originally

9) Son the Younger telling me he didn't need the earplugs after all

10) Coming in to work today, despite it being officially a holiday.

11) And if I'm going to count today as part of the weekend, I might as well mention that we lost power this morning because of a suicidal squirrel.
astra_nomer: (Default)
It breaks my heart to hear my kids complain to me that their classmates insist on calling them Chinese. For the record, they're not. They're part Korean, part Eastern European Ashkenazic mutt, and 100% American.

When I was their age, I perpetually got asked what kind of 'knees' I was: Chinese or Japanese?
Neither, I'm Korean, I'd answer.
You mean Koreanese?
No, just Korean.
I've never heard of that, there's no such thing!

My family were the only Asians in town at the time, so I suppose that explains their ignorance, even if it doesn't excuse their cruelty. But my kids go to a school with tons of minorities. Most of the kids are black or hispanic. Whenever I go to some school event, all I see is a sea of black-haired heads. I wonder how many of them might be offended by being called Mexican if they were in fact, from El Salvador or Guatemala, or some other Latin American country. Not that I know which kids have been mocking mine, to be fair.

I had hoped that kids these days would be more appreciative of cultural diversity than when I was young, and it depresses me to see that some things never change.

Catharsis

Nov. 22nd, 2009 06:35 pm
astra_nomer: (action shot)
I've started taking tae kwon do with my kids the last few months. Yesterday was the belt test. They let me skip from no belt past white belt, so I tested for gold belt right along with Son the Younger. Even though testing is about much more than just breaking a board, you can't help but see it as a major milestone. StY is not quite big enough yet to break a board yet, but he gave it a good try. Son the Elder was testing for red belt, at a much more advanced level. It's actually quite impressive what he can do at a mere eight years of age. He wasn't quite able to break the board, but it cracked pretty audibly.

They give the grown-ups wider and thicker boards than the kids, but I still gave a nice strong stepping side kick and broke it on my first try. It was much more satisfying than I expected it to be.

DH isn't doing tae kwon do, but I had bought a large blue Hubbard squash that I was having difficulty cutting up. He grabbed the big cleaver and hacked away at it, yelling and everything, and now there are bits of squash all over the kitchen. Good thing it's his job to sweep the kitchen floor.

School Days

Sep. 1st, 2009 06:02 pm
astra_nomer: (kids)
School started on Monday, and Son the Younger started kindergarten! It's really great having both kids in the local public school. First, it means no more tuition payments! (At least for another 10 years, anyway...) Secondly, the public school is both closer to home and starts a bit later than StY's preschool. This means I can leave the house an entire half hour later. It doesn't sound like much, but I get up in the morning and it feels like I have all this time to get myself and the kids ready for the day. Some mornings, I can even quickly check my email before I go. It means I get into work a bit later, but it turns out my brain gets in gear a lot quicker when I can take my time getting ready in the morning, so I'm actually being productive at an earlier hour.

I should also mention that StY is loving kindergarten, at least these first two days of it. StE seems to be having a good time in 3rd grade, too, but he's trying to play it cool.
astra_nomer: (kids)
Husband is taking Son the Elder on a cub scout camping trip this weekend, leaving Son the Younger and me to our own devices.

StY wants to camp out in the backyard, which would be fine except that the forecast calls for thunderstorms. Just when I was getting used to nice weather again, too. Maybe he'll settle for roasting marshmallows over the stove?

I'd worry more about having to manage on my own for the weekend, but at least DH is taking one of the kids with him.
astra_nomer: (Default)
Last night we went to a Red Sox game. Some notes:
  • This was the first time the Red Sox played at Nationals Park since the Nats moved to DC.
  • It was also the day after the worst Metro accident in its history.
  • This meant we had to reroute our Metro trip to the stadium.
  • Also, there was a moment of silence at the beginning of the game to remember the victims of the crash.
  • Our tickets for the game were cheaper than any we've gotten for either Fenway Park or Camden Yards.
  • But our seats were way way better.
  • Red Sox fans outnumbered Nats fans by at least 2:1.
  • The turnout for the game was a record for Nationals Park. A Red Sox fan a couple rows in front of us stood up after this announcement, and said something to the effect of, "on behalf of all the Red Sox fans here, you're welcome!"
  • I think Sox fans just like to bellow "Yooooooooooouk!" because of the way it sounds.
  • This is the first time I heard "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" instead of "God Bless America" during the 7th inning stretch in, like, years.
  • Son the Younger does not deal well with being out late at night.
  • We didn't even stay until the end of the game.
  • Much to Husband's and Son the Elder's disappointment.
  • Go, Sox!

Baloney

Feb. 16th, 2009 10:21 am
astra_nomer: (Default)
My kids don't like it when I sing songs with their names in it. Probably because I've been doing it since they were infants and now it's gotten old. But sometimes I just can't help myself. My latest composition:

(to the tune of the Oscar Meyer song)
My REDACTED has a first name
It's R-E-D-A-C-T-E-D,
My REDACTED has a second name
It's A-L-S-O-R-E-D-A-C-T-E-D
I love my REDACTED everyday
And if you ask me why I'll say
It's 'cause REDACTED ALSOREDACTED is full of
B-O-L-O-G-N-A.

It completely fails to scan well because their names are too long, but it still makes me giggle whenever I sing it.
astra_nomer: (Default)
(written on the plane)

Last night, I was finishing up packing for my trip, looking for a piece of knitting to bring with me. The four-year-old seized a pair of needles and demanded that I teach him how to knit. His enthusiasm infected the seven-year-old. With more patience than usual, I sat down with them and taught them to knit. Right needle through the loop. Wrap the yarn around. Pull the new stitch through. Pull the old stitch from the left needle. My boys are fast learners, and they make me proud with their first efforts.

In the wee hours of the morning, I crept into the kids' rooms. Their faces were slack with sleep and their cheeks were soft in a way they never are when they are awake. They may not remember the kiss their mom gave each of them, but I will carry the feel of their tender faces on my lips all day.

After picking me up, the SuperShuttle stopped at another house where another woman gave a close hug and kiss to another man in a bathrobe before boarding the van. Was she leaving for a week? a month? a year? Does it matter? She is loved and will be missed.

As we continue picking up passengers en route to the airport, going from familiar thoroughfares to unfamiliar neighborhoods and back again, I realize that part of juggling work and family is understanding when your whole focus needs to be absorbed by one or the other. Going away to a meeting means that I can focus just on work, and that is valuable. But my family needs that kind of attention from time to time, too, and that is no less valuable.

Pushover

Dec. 31st, 2008 03:28 pm
astra_nomer: (kids)
I just let the kids convince me to make brownies for them.

I made them help me do the dishes though, so it all works out, right?

Also: Happy New Year, everyone!
astra_nomer: (Default)
DS2 dragged me out of bed to make him breakfast this morning. Yeah, I know I'm a bad mom for wanting to stay in bed rather than spring out of bed to wait on my son hand and foot. Tsk tsk.

He desperately wanted apples and honey. You see, he LOVES honey. Clearly he's been overly influenced by A.A. Milne. I just opened a new honey jar yesterday, so he was all excited about trying the new jar. Apples were a convenient vector for the honey.

What does he think this is, Rosh Hashanah?

I guess it is New Year's.

Mind you, my idea of a good New Year's breakfast is 떡국.
astra_nomer: (Default)
On the Fourth, we carried out our annual family tradition of checking out the Smithsonian Folklife Festival before the storms hit. No, seriously: in 2006 and 2007, there were major thunderstorms that rolled in in the afternoon. In 2006, we were herded into the Museum of Natural History. In 2007, we had managed to escape the Mall, but were then caught out on the road in Vienna. This year, the storms weren't quite so bad, but it did, in fact, rain in the afternoon.

My kids are absolutely nuts about the Mars rovers, Spirit and Opportunity. It's partly my fault: I bought them the "Roving Mars" DVD, after all. So naturally, they spent most of their time at the Festival in the NASA area, checking out spacecraft and robotics tehcnology.

DS2 came down with a fever on the way home, so I stayed home with him while DH and DS1 went out to see the fireworks. Strangely, I didn't really feel like I was missing out on much. I am clearly getting old.

On Saturday, we took the kids to see WALL-E. DS2 thought it was a little scary in some parts, but the rest of us enjoyed it (except perhaps DH, who ended up with DS2 in his lap for most of the movie).

On Sunday, I went down to the Festival again, this time as a volunteer. It was a lot of fun, but very tiring. Just after we packed everything up and were headed to the Metro, the skies opened and we were caught in a downpour. Fortunately, it had stopped by the time I got off, so nothing got irreparably damaged by the rain.
astra_nomer: (Default)
My conversation with DS1 this morning:

Astra: [DS2] might not be able to make it to your drama camp performance this afternoon. He was sick last night.

DS1: Oh.

Astra: He threw up.

DS1: Really? When?

Astra: 11, 11:30, 1am, and 1:30.

....

The upshot is that DS2 is staying home from camp today, though he slept peacefully after the 1:30 episode, so hopefully he's on the mend. I'm a bit mystified, though, since he wasn't feverish at all and none of the rest of us is sick.
astra_nomer: (geekchic)
Home again, w00t.

This morning, I got an email from DH saying that DS2 was home sick, and remember that strep was going around his school? So DS2 got his wish in the end, since DS1 stayed home sick on Monday, the day I headed out.

In the morning poster session, I saw a couple of neat posters, and had a strange and disturbing conversation with someone who refused to talk about science but would only go on and on about this woman he met on match.com who got him fired. I wanted to tell him, are you sure it wasn't because you're an incoherent asshole? but managed to extricate myself fairly diplomatically.

The flight back was again full of astronomers, and I had a good talk about a cool future project to work on with a colleague of mine, since it seems like everyone from my institution was on the same flight back.

Got home at around 7. DS2 does indeed have strep, and he was lying down looking pathetic when I came in. But within an hour he was up, looking for food, and then he was galloping around the house, declaring, "I'm sick! I'm sick!" So maybe DH was making it all up... kidding!

Anyway, I get the feeling that I'm dealing with the kids all weekend...
astra_nomer: (kids)
Stumbled across this blog, outside the (toy) box, courtesy of Bitch, Ph.D. This entry brings up some of what I was trying to get at in my my previous post about gendered toys, except she writes much better than I do. Read more... )

In closing, I have decided I want this poster.

On Gender

Nov. 28th, 2007 10:47 am
astra_nomer: (kids)
Inspired by an entry posted by [livejournal.com profile] capsicumanuum, because my comment there was spiraling out of control.

The winter holidays are fast approaching, and DH and I were discussing gift ideas for our kids. DH suggested an electronics kit. "You know, like the kind where you can build your own simple devices like radios and stuff." And I looked at him and said, "No, I don't know what you're talking about. Those toys were for boys."

Read more... )
astra_nomer: (kids)
The kids are running around the house, yelling "Stay on target! Stay on target"

DH says to me, "There, are you happy now?"

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