Category "Family Matters"

Category "Random Distractions"

August 12, 2010

winds of change

It's hot here in Minnesota, and humid beyond belief. It's probably not as humid as I hear it can get in the Carolinas, but my poor little window a/c units are taxed to the max,and it's still hot in my house. Heat and humidity gives way to thunderstorms at night--and a couple during the day too--and the kiddos don't sleep so well with all the excitement in the sky. But, I love this time of year! Summer giving way to fall is filled with renewal and opportunity for me, and I can't help but savor every day.

If you've been following my blog of late, most of my posts are about raising kids and finishing my PhD, and there might be a craft project or two thrown in. But, if you go back further in my archives, there's a few other topics that surface now and then, and I have written in the past about the Fighting Sioux logo/mascot issue that has been a major challenge for the University of North Dakota, my alma mater. With school starting in Grand Forks in a few weeks, I'm not surprised that my entries have resurfaced, and a few folks have asked for an update. Earlier this year, it was determined that the university will need to have a new mascot. The Englestad hockey arena, which has many built-in elements with the old logo, will likely remain the same.

The issue of this mascot has been a passionate one for people on both sides. Some have wanted to keep the mascot/logo for reasons of tradition and pride. Others, myself included, have wanted to change the mascot/logo for reasons of pride and respect for those native Americans who want the mascot/logo changed. Having not played sports at UND, I don't feel a strong connection to the mascot/logo, but I certainly understand how someone could feel that way, and I know that there are plenty of angry and disappointed alumni, students, and other supporters who will have a hard time making this change.

Other schools have made the change. UND has many exemplars out there to learn from, and I believe that the process of developing a new mascot/logo can be a healing process. I'm looking forward to following the process, and will post another update when there is something new to report.

. . .

This summer has been a lazy one for J, and it's taken me back to my own childhood, with unstructured hours of watching cartoons, reading books, and playing outside. Late this spring, I joined a health club with the primary purpose of taking J swimming, and we have done a lot of swimming, and now his only structured activity is swimming lessons. All of this has had the fore-hoped benefit of getting him relaxed and in a good place to start school this fall. He has even mentioned spontaneously things that he thinks will be true of his new school, like they will have good lunches. Not sure if that is true, but we'll find out soon enough. There's less than a month left before our new routine begins.

I have begun working out on a regular basis, and even after only a few weeks of this new routine, I am feeling addicted. I think my PE teachers in high school must not have been very good because I don't remember working up a sweat and feeling that great endorphin release that comes from a good workout. I've been going to the gym so much that C has decided to join me, and now it's truly a favorite part of our day together. We bring the kids to the gym's childcare center and spend an hour together. Well, half hour really because one half is spent on the bike (me) and the treadmill (C). But then we do strength training together, and that is fun!!

I've also been working on responding to C's anger and frustration with love and compassion. This takes practice. As you've read from other postings here, C has been suffering from an arthritic condition, and it has certainly taken its toll on him in many ways. The pain has made him angry, and most of the time his anger is not too far below the surgace, ready to pop up whenever it can. I have grown tired of resonding to anger with anger, and so I have decided to practice something different. I got a lot of guidance from Thich Naht Hanh's book, Anger: Wisdom for Cooling the Flames. I'm still practicing--it's not easy.

And it's been a reminder that relationships, especially those with a spouse or a partner, take ongoing work. It's so easy to get into a habit of taking the other person for granted, and expecting that we don't have to exercise care and compassion with that person because they live with us, and they know us and love us anyway. But, in fact, I think knowing C and loving him is exactly why I want to not take him for granted and show him a little more love and compassion.

The winds of change are blowing my direction, and I am choosing to embrace this breeze.

Posted by chri1010 at 12:26 AM | Comments (3053) | Family Matters | Random Distractions

Category "Family Matters"

Category "Random Distractions"

November 1, 2009

Halloween redux

Last year, I learned the importance of letting your child choose his own halloween costume. It took awhile for that lesson to set in, though.

This year, I got it in my head that J and S would make a cute pair, if they had some kind of matching costume. You know, like Abbott and Costello, only younger. But J really would have none of it. He entertained my ideas, like J as a banana and S as a monkey (I know, I know), but he was doing that sort of listening that mothers do when their child is blathering on and on about pokemon this and pokemon that. You know, listening, but not really listening.

So eventually, we found ourselves in Target, and he was enthralled with the idea of spending his $10 allowance on a $9.99 red ninja costume. (We haven't really been able to teach him about sales tax yet, but he's starting to figure it out.) I thought that was the end of my matchy matchy costume for baby S, but then I remembered she has a papa!


DSC01713.JPG I think this picture probably says it all. They had so much fun and the neighbors really were impressed with the two of them. I already have plans for next year. I figure I've only got a couple of years before S will have her own ideas about costumes, and hopefully I'll have it all out of my system by then.

In the meantime, J had a costume change of heart. For the last couple years, he's been asking for a Harry Potter-style owl, and I finally found one for him, a little stuffed owl finger puppet I got on a recent trip out of town. He was so excited about it, we had to go out to buy the makings of his owl trainer costume. See?

He's an owl trainer:

DSC01704 (2).JPG Now, this may not seem like much of a costume, and in fact, several neighbors thought he was a grunge rocker, but for J, this was a costume, as he is not at all into flannel shirts or shirts with buttons. In fact, he really wanted to get a second hand shirt, but the costume was so last minute, the second hand store was "closed to celebrate Halloween" by the time we got there, so we had to buy a new one. Maybe he'll wear it again. We'll see.

At any rate, a good time was had by all, and hopefully S won't hate us for dressing her up like a lobster. To her credit, she seemed to enjoy the costume, and once it was off, she had fun poking at the eyes and chewing on the antennae.

What was my costume, you might be wondering? Well, I have a standard Halloween costume each year. Suburban mom. Check it out!

DSC01716 (2).JPG

Ya gotta love those candy corn buttons!

Happy Halloween, everyone! I've already got a "bee" in my bonnet for next year! hint, hint

Posted by chri1010 at 11:12 PM | Comments (3386) | Family Matters | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

July 10, 2009

Can someone please just push the pause button already?

It's not supposed to be July, and the month is practically half over already!! I've got too much stuff to do, and not enough time to get it done. My night owl nature is hampered by a baby who thinks she needs to go to sleep at 830. And, so far, she's been going to sleep nursing, although maybe that's gonna change soon. We'll see. I think I could easily be one of those mamas who thinks she's gonna give up this nursing thing, and I'll say that for months, even years, and I'll still be nursing. Or, I might quit tomorrow. Na, not tomorrow.

I didn't go to my class reunion. If you went to my class reunion and you somehow found my blog via my Facebook page, and you somehow cared about me and what I'm up to enough to actually read my blog, well, then please leave a comment so I know you care. Because most of my friends from high school also did not go to the reunion. A few of you read this blog, and I know you didn't go (hi, Kay...I know you're lurking out there, and I'm glad of it). I don't know why you didn't go to the reunion but I know why I didn't go. I don't think much has changed since 1989 for many of the people in my high school class, and I'm not sure I have much in common with very many of them. Individually, a lot of the people I went to school with are nice enough people. Most of them didn't really give me much thought when I was in high school. I was kind of geeky smart and a little socially awkward, and maybe a little shy too. At any rate, I've looked at the pictures from Facebook, and I'm glad I didn't go. I'm glad I didn't take the opportunity to feel on the margins one more time. To feel excluded. To still have absolutely nothing to talk about with most people because I don't like beer.

I am, though, going to visit one of my high school friends tomorrow. She lives a little ways away from me, and she makes and sells girls dresses. The pictures of her dresses don't do them justice. They are adorable on, and every little girl I've ever given one to has not wanted to take it off. I'm looking forward to seeing her, and spending time with her twin boys and daughter. We don't so much talk about the good old days because we weren't actually that close in high school. But we have grown closer over the years, and she's a great friend. So, no need to reunion.

I'm curious, though, if you're reading this for whatever reason, did you go to your last high school reunion? Do you think you'll go to the next one? Why or why not?

Posted by chri1010 at 11:09 PM | Comments (2410) | Random Distractions

Category "Family Matters"

Category "Random Distractions"

June 29, 2009

There's something wrong if I'm blogging about blogging

but I do have to say this new Movable Type is nice, even if I'm still a little afraid of it.

In the meantime, I'm playing around a little and seeing how it uploads photos, so here's a silly one of baby feet and kid feet. I like how S is looking at me, even though I'm focusing on her feet. She's very aware of the camera--goofy girl! 100_1584.JPG

Posted by chri1010 at 11:28 PM | Comments (2332) | Family Matters | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

June 27, 2009

A Sudden Turn of Events, Change is Hard

I was going to write an entry about my recent breastfeeding challenges (we're back to the clampdown, pullback, snap! and I have been contemplating the end of breastfeeding...but then we got baby orajel and life is good). But, I just logged in to my blog server, which just upgraded to a newer version of Movable Type, and HOLY SHIT! Things are totally different. I don't know my way around this place. I'm sure it's gonna be good, but I am feeling really OLD right now. Change, I can't take it!

Posted by chri1010 at 11:52 PM | Comments (6163) | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

May 26, 2009

I'm apparently spending too much time on Facebook

Is your cat plotting to kill you?

Posted by chri1010 at 10:12 PM | Comments (1563) | Random Distractions

Category "Because knitting rocks my socks!"

Category "Random Distractions"

May 27, 2008

Sock Wars III

So, awhile back, I heard about Sock Wars III, and thought it might be fun. After all, what could be more fun than knitters trying to "assassinate" each other by making such a deadly weapon as a pair of socks, right? I had to sign up!

So, the pattern comes out as promised, and it turns out to be a wee bit harder than I had anticipated. Not really difficult, mind you, but a little more thinking required than the mindless knitting it turned out that I've been up to these last few weeks.

Fortunately for me, my "death socks" arrived the other day, and my weapons in progress have been turned over to Princess Knitter in Seattle, WA, who is carrying on the good fight.

Posted by chri1010 at 10:24 AM | Comments (1240) | Because knitting rocks my socks! | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

February 25, 2008

Welcome, readers!

When I started this blog four years ago--a lifetime ago in blog years--I was writing a lot about my impressions of the Twin Cities, a place that we've been somewhat reluctantly, although less so now than ever, calling home. The transition to Minnesota has not been an easy one, but this is not another post in which I whine about the weather, MN nice, or the grocery stores.

In recent months, my blog has become more about knitting, a new obsession I picked up a few years ago as one way to cope with the long dark winters in Minnesota. I've gotten a little crazy about knitting in recent times, and my stash has grown to more fiber than I really care to admit. (But, sock yarn really doesn't count as stash, does it?)

I think I've probably lost a few readers over time, and gained others. For awhile, there were a few of us at the U of M who were all working on dissertations. We never have met, but we'd read each other's blogs, and be encouraging. Interestingly, right now I work one floor up from one of them and yet, we have never met in person. Blogging is sort of fun like that. But, I'm not really sure that SITBB still reads my blog these days. I'm not much writing about the philosophical ruminations in my mind, or even the mundane challenges of trying to start over on chapters 1-3. She's done with her degree, and moved on to the next stage in life, which includes some excellent collaborative posts for Black History Month, the Extended Version.

I didn't ever really start this blog to develop a readership, although I like that there are a few people out there who seem to wonder what I'm up to, and read about my latest knit project or my son's Chinese classes.

But, I DO enjoy checking up on my Site Meter once in awhile. I wonder what brings readers from Mongolia to my site. I chuckle when I see that a google search of "knitted gifts for bicyclists" somehow brought someone here. I'm not sure what my site has to offer on that, but I guess I write about knitting a lot and my husband DID get hit by a bicyclist, so who knows.

The Yarn Harlot (who, by the way, is coming to town in April, and I have ALREADY scored my free tickets) says that a blog is sort of like a visitor you invite over. A guest in your living room. I like that. And, I like that you've stopped by, even if this wasn't the living room you were looking for. I'd love to have you leave a comment, and tell me something about who you are, what you value in life, and what brought you to my site. But, if you'd rather just listen/read, that's fine too. Thanks for stopping by!

Posted by chri1010 at 12:20 AM | Comments (1928) | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

February 17, 2008

Whoo hoo! A new banner!!

I think i have a few kinks to work out of the banner, but I'm very, very satisfied. Let's face it--the extent of my programming knowledge is "make blog go." So, I'm not sure I'll ever really figure out how to stop the banner from repeating and get the Winter in the Cities part to be darker and better placed, but hey--I'm just so happy I have something nicer than the little snowflakes. Whoo hoo!

In case you were wondering how someone who only knows "make blog go" can have such an awesome banner, I got it from my very talented brother-in-law. He knew exactly what I wanted, and it was really fun working with him on this little project.

He's an excellent photographer, too. Check out his website:

Posted by chri1010 at 10:53 AM | Comments (2509) | Random Distractions

Category "Random Distractions"

October 14, 2007

Writing Pains...

Sometimes I hate writing. Sometimes it just feels so darn tedious. Right now is one of those times. Big deadline looming, which is good, because then I get get this writing done and over with. But, in the moment, I'm suffering a little. I can't wait to be done, so I can knit. Oh, yeah, and dissertate. That too. Stay tuned.

Posted by chri1010 at 9:40 PM | Comments (1943) | Random Distractions