Friday, October 26, 2012

in anticipation of "the hobbit"

reenactment: seeing the Ring on Frodo's neck.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

published book!

Check it out! I published a fully illustrated alphabet book, Alphamuse, and it's available on Amazon.

In 2010, I ran a blog where people could submit alliterative sentences for each letter of the alphabet. I then illustrated winning letters with colorful construction paper cutouts and created a 26-page book. This fall, I published the book through Amazon's self-publishing vendor, CreateSpace.

So now, anyone can buy a copy of Alphamuse through Amazon and receive a printed paperback version in the mail.

I'm so excited, I just have to use multiple exclamation points!!!!!

... !!!!!!! ...

You can even do the "look inside" preview through Amazon to see a few of the pages.

Now I'm going to go stare at my Amazon page again in amazement.

Monday, October 22, 2012


One of my favorite things about Genghis getting older is the conversations that we can have. One of my favorite times of the day is lunch time, because we just sit at the table for 15 minutes talking about whatever. I like that Genghis has no concept of small talk (e.g. "How are you today, Genghis?" ... blank stare) so we can really go to the heart of issues.

Here are two memorable Genghis conversations.

[while sitting at the dinner table]
Erin: "I want to talk about something at dinner tonight."
Abe: "Mom has an announcement! Before she gives her announcement, let's see if anyone else has an announcement."
[brief pause]
"But first I need to use the bathroom."
[a minute later, Abe returns]
Abe: "Okay. Xena, do you have announcement for the family?"
Xena: [flaps hands and smiles]
Abe: "Thank you. Genghis, do you have an announcement?"
Genghis: [thoughtful pause] "Daddy goes to the bathroom!"

[while driving with the babysitter]
Genghis: "I see a bulldozer!"
Kelly: "You see a bulldozer, that's great."
Genghis: "I see a dump truck!"
Kelly: "Wow, a dump truck."
Genghis: "I see a escalevator."
Kelly: "Oh, that's nice."
Genghis: "You don't know what that means."

[escalevator = excavator]

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Minutes before another presidential debate, I find myself lost in metaphysical ruminations. (Okay, maybe not, but I wanted to try that phrase out.)

I've been reading "Bringing up Bebe" by Pamela Druckerman. Aside: does anyone else find it hard to say the title out loud without feeling completely self-conscious of trying to pronounce "bebe"? It's basically a book that compares American parenting culture with French parenting culture and, surprisingly, finds American-style woefully misguided. There's a lot about the book that rubs me wrong, but I do agree with many of the parenting principles addressed. For example, pausing for a few minutes when a baby starts to cry instead of jumping immediately to intervene. Or feeding children on a routine (and diet) similar to adults, almost from the beginning. And establishing firm limits but allowing children free exploration and discovery within those limits.

But there's a contradiction throughout the book. The author talks about how American parents read and develop an arsenal of parenting theories, intensively try to implement them to accelerate kids' growth and potential, and then suffer from "mom guilt" when we and our children don't live up to expectation.

And yet, while reading this book, I am tempted to do exactly that. To read about theories or principles of French parenting, and immediately decide that I have being doing the wrong thing and need to change, to make our family better.

In some ways, I don't think that's a bad thing. I would hate to think that what I know and do now is the best I can ever know and do. I don't ever want to stop growing. Ideas - from books, from conversations, from quiet reflection - are good to chase after, to evaluate, to allow to change who we are.

At the same time, I like the idea of taking a stand on who I am, what I value, and what I do. To be comfortable with what I am right now. To relax and savor a moment, without worrying about improvement.

So when do you accept a good idea because it will change your life?
And when do you reject even a good idea because it complicates life?

Friday, October 12, 2012

friday photos

In photos, I'm behind by not one, but two grandparent meet-ups! Plus a sibling reunion (luckily I took approximately 1 photo during the reunion).

Genghis at the Sault Ste. Marie Locks in Michigan's Upper Pennisula.

 Grandpa showing him the boat.

 Xena and Grandma at the park.

 Grandpa and Genghis coming down the twisty slide. California is a lot farther from Grandma and Grandpa Olsen, which makes us a little sad.

Some bonus smile photos.
Adorable Xena smile.

And ... Genghis smile, in his pink Sunday shirt and red scarf.