Archive for August, 2010

first potato harvest

29 August, 2010

tonight, MrGrunty helped me pick the red potatoes out of the dirt.

MsSqueaky helped with a few, but then wanted to go ride her bike.

MrCuddles, was happy to pull the shims I’ve used to tell me what I’ve planted where, and was flinging dirt all over the place. Yes, some got in my eye.

Also, MrG & MsS were picking and eating the orange cherry tomatoes, because it takes too much patience to wait for them to become red.

Opportunities in Basic Soil Science Research

26 August, 2010

ah…dirt…beautiful stuff, ain’t it. I know I don’t give it much thought. I am surprising myself by how much thought I’ve been giving it recently. I don’t know if it started because of David R Montgomery’s Dirt, which I purchased on a whim with a gift card. Or because I’ve been getting my hands all dirty in my gardening.

Opportunities in Basic Soil Science Research is a nice collection of essays from the Soil Science Society of America, describing what cutting edge dirt research is happening. One of the points of the book, is that soil scientists do a horrible job of reaching out to scientists in other fields and to the general public. Their is plenty of behind the scenes practical science, but as it’s own field, with its own interesting basic questions.

The soil is an ever changing, dynamic system that is hard to duplicate in the simplified confines of a lab. There can be huge variation of pH, gas content, mineral content within only a few inches. Weather imputs change the chemistry of the soil, microbial and plants interact with and against each other, further changing the soil. And of course big things, like voles and dams.

A fun anthology. I liked it.

fun with younger brother

23 August, 2010

Yester-evening we went down to the beach. Mr Grunty really likes throwing rocks into the water. MrCuddles tried that too, but he would sometimes be surprised when just before he was to grab a puddle, a wave would wash over his hand. MsSqueaky was gathering pieces of wood and putting her boats in the ocean.

On the way back, it is a long uphill climb, and wanting a break, MrCuddles yelled out his new word, “See-kay! See-kay!!”  His sister, further up the path than us, turned, and jogged back to us, and said, “hi my cute boy” when she got to him and gave him a hug.

Later, at home, MrGrunty and MrCuddles were in the kitchen. I was watching them, whilst playing guitar. They would take turns, grabbing a fistful of kitty-kibble, and then dropping it onto the kitty food tray. This was cracking them up, it was so cute to watch, I didn’t care about the mess. The even cuter bit, MrCuddles was covering his mouth with his hands whilst laughing loudly.

Anne Frank: the diary of a young girl

22 August, 2010

I first heard about Anne Frank in elementary school. Being a boy, I had no interest in reading about the crushes of a girl.

Years later, I am finally mature enough to appreciate Anne’s story. I loved it. I will re-read it when MsSqueaky is a bit older, in hopes to remember that thoughts of a young teen girl.

The Blindside – Michael Lewis

17 August, 2010

So…even though I was currently reading four books…which is why I’m behind in my 24 books in 2010 goal, I still picked up The Blindside: Evolution of a game, by Michael Lewis. Remember him from Moneyball? I quickly read his book about the NFL left tackle position, and one poor black kid who was lucky enough to be saved by some rich white folks.

The book deals with discovering raw talent, and molding it to reach it’s potential. It’s too bad we don’t do this for mathematics in this country.


14 August, 2010

whilst picking the (purple) green beans and eating them, MrGrunty noticed and then shouted gleefully, “Papa! The tomatoes are red! We can eat them now!!”

I love you

11 August, 2010

Mr Grunty & Ms Squeaky were going around, saying “I love you” for each member of our family, while patting their mouths. This cracked them up. Then MrG just started screaming, “I love you Cuddles!”

MrCuddles will sometimes be in the mood to say “I-luh-oo” to us if we ask nicely.

This morning, MrG told me, “I love chocolate-cheerios” before he even tried them.


7 August, 2010

This morning, whilst changing MrCuddles’ diaper, I heard MrGrunty “it’s a dinosaur…roar” and MsSqueaky “RARW!” and then MyBetterHalf fake-yells out, “oh no, help me!!”.  MsSqueaky then said, “No mommy, it’s giving you kisses.”

I took the childrens to Richmond Beach, so that MyBetterHalf could attack some projects. It was close to empty. We had the playground to ourselves. Later, we wandered down to the beach for a bit, and I saw a train in the distance. I told them, and MrGrunty starts running up the hill to get to the bridge to see the train. I told him to wait for us, and he would stop, turn, look at us for one second, roll his eyes, half-a second…and take off running again.

The other day, whilst watching Barney, “Mr Sun, Sun, Mr Golden Sun” was the song. MsSqueaky’s eyes lit up, she got a big smile, and shook a bit with excitement. Then she started singing along, just a split moment behind Barney. Today, on the way home, she started singing the song, and was upset I didn’t know it. Luckily, thanks to YouTube, the whole family now knows MsSqueaky’s favorite song of the now.

At home, there was lots of papers and magazines to be recycled. I rolled the big blue recycle bin next to the front door, and I watched as MrCuddles & MrGrunty put the papers in recycling piece by piece.

Ms Squeaky got sick

7 August, 2010

Last Sunday, (August 1st), started as a normal morning, we were happily getting ready for church, playing catch and ball. At the church, we dropped off MrCuddles in the nursery then went to the auditorium. MrGrunty and MsSqueaky always want to sit up in the balcony. And really, who doesn’t? They watched quietly as everybody sang and prayed. Then time for the segment of Children’s Bible Minute, and they went to the front (escorted by their mommy this week) with all the other kids.

After church, MsSqueaky was in the nursery and very lethargic, and felt a bit warm. I carried her to the car, and we went to traditional “rice & beans” with Pablo & Blub & BabyAndre. MsS didn’t look any better, so I stayed in the car while she got some rest, maybe she would be better after a power nap. I read a bit of my book to her (“The Blindside” M.Lewis), because she wanted me to. Then it looked as if she was sleeping.

A few minutes later, she seemed to wake with a start, maybe from a bad dream, her fists were clenched, and she was fearfully looking up at the car-ceiling, (as if a big spider was about to crawl down and get her). Being in the middle seat, it was easy for me to go to her, hold her hand and reassure her while she woke up from the bad dream. But she didn’t stop. And soon spittle was coming out her mouth. My little girl was having a seizure. (I remembered a neuroscientist once telling me, “children’s brains are really weird, and nobody really knows what’s going on in there”, which gave me a bit of calm.) After her seizure was over, she basically collapsed.

I called MyBetterHalf, and let her know what happened. She ran out to the car right away.

Soon, we were at home, everybody got their food to go, and Blub & Pablo were going to watch MrGrunty and MrCuddles while we went to the ER with MsSqueaky. MrG kept double checking on the plan, “Squeaky is sick? We gonna go home with Blub & Pablo & BabyAndre?” And he was cool with the plan. We asked him what the doctor would say, he replied, shyly in front of Blub, “no more monkeys jumping on the bed.”

While we were checking into the ER, MsS threw up all over me. I would have thought the ER had a system to quickly deal with it, maybe, but it seemed to take a little too long for the clean up crew to get there. I went back home and changed clothes. In front of Pablo, I asked MrG what the doctor would say. MrG glowered at me When I got back, MyBetterHalf, and our little girl were in a room, and MsS had been seen by the doctor.

We stayed there all afternoon, MsS slept through most of it.

Around 4, she said the first words since that morning, I had coaxed her into eating a Popsicle, and she pointed to the counter and said, “there’s another popsicle there”. I was very happy to hear my little girl. She asked basic questions, sorta like she was just checking out her version of reality, and making sure it matched with mine.

We got home around 6pm, instructions to give her fever reducer in case of future fevers, and antibiotics for her ear-infection. MsS then threw up on me again. It was blue. Oh yeah, the popsicle.

Monday (August 2nd), I took the boys to school, and stayed home with MsS. She seemed mostly alright, except, she took two very long naps, which uncharacteristic.

Tuesday, (Aug 3rd), I took MsS to her doctor, for a follow-up appointment. Everything seemed to be going well, and we were told that it happens to some kids, seizure at onset of fever, and just for us to use a fever reducer to prevent her temp from getting to high. I was told by my mommy, that I too had seizures with fever as a small child. We were reassured it doesn’t cause damage, and just hold her, or make sure she doesn’t thrash into/off anything if she has future seizures. We were told that she’ll be exhausted and out-of-it after, but should be back to normal within four hours. We were told that if she stops breathing, or turns blue, then call 9-1-1. I was told that taking her to the ER was the right thing to do. Then, because I’m silly, I got the doctor to say to MsS “No more monkey’s jumping on the bed.”

When I got to their school, I was informed, “MrG will be very glad to have his sister back. He misses her. And when she’s not here, he is very quiet, and doesn’t play.”  What a sweet little boy. This makes me a bit sad, and even more worried, when they are put in different classrooms at school.

Well…MsS seems to be doing fine now. And by the middle of the week, was being good about taking her medicine.