Monday, December 19, 2011

Certain Key Phrases

Kerry recently attended a briefing for Marines who will be deploying to Afghanistan. A small booklet was handed out containing handy phrases they might need to know in case they need to interact with the local populace. Included are the pronunciations in Pashtu for common sentences. The first page includes:

Do not move or the Marines will kill you.
A Marine will come to you and search you.
Do not move unless told to do so.
If you advance further, the Marines will kill you.
Stay away from the Marines.
If you advance any closer, we will be forced to use deadly force.
Marines will kill anyone who is a threat to us.

And at the bottom of the page, they learn to say:

The Marines are here to help you.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

My Black Shirt

I have a black shirt that I love. It's comfortable and I wear it a lot. But it hasn't come through the last few laundry cycles and I guessed it had probably wound up in someone else's drawer.

Emily was sitting at the computer when I came in the room and said, "Have you seen my favorite black shirt, I can't find it anywhere and...............are you wearing it?"

She looked down at herself and back up at me and said, "Oh yeah, I guess I am!"

"I've been looking for that everywhere!"

"Well, I'm glad you found it!"

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dance Recital 2011

Ben and Katie were both in a dance recital last week. Katie takes hip-hop and Ben takes ballroom.


The ballroom dance was the Cha-Cha this year. He is dancing with his real life girlfriend, Noelle.

Ben has been taking ballroom for a couple of years now. Katie only just started hip-hop classes about six weeks ago. When she started the class, the other students had already started learning the recital dance and they had quite a head start on Katie. As soon as she learned about the recital, of course, she wanted to be in it. Baby likes a chance to shine. I was opposed to her jumping on the recital bandwagon. "There are only six classes before the recital, I don't know if that's enough time for you to learn the dance." She begged and pleaded, we discussed it with her teacher, and he said as long as she knew the dance, she could be in the recital. Thanks, teach!

Fortunately he had uploaded a video of the dance to you tube and Katie practiced it every day until she had it down pat. I've seen her do that dance every week at class and every day at home. She knew that dance better than most of the girls in class. But when she strolled out on stage, she was decidedly not doing the dance I'd seen so many times. Suddenly, her hips were swaying, her shoulders rolling, and she sashayed around that stage in a manner I had not seen before.


Note how even when the dance is over, she maintains that "I'm so cool" attitude. When the dancers left the stage, Kerry and I looked at each other, closed our mouths, and said, "What was THAT?"

When we found her after the recital, I mentioned that she seemed to be using a lot more hips and shoulders in her dance. "Right before we went out, our teacher said, 'Remember! Dance with attitude!' So I did!"

Thanks again, teach!

On the way home, we praised Katie greatly for the fact that she had learned the dance so quickly and knew it better than most of the girls on stage. We talked about how she had worked so hard and all that hard work had paid off.

Then, out of the corner of his mouth ventriloquist-style, Ben suddenly said, "You did a great job too, Ben!"

Oops! Sorry! You did do a great job Ben!
Something about Ben's post-operative head gear seemed vaguely familiar to me.

Then when I went to the grocery store, I realized what it was!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Four Teeth Fewer Than Yesterday

Ben had all four wisdom teeth removed today. They were impacted and had to come out, so we took a deep breath and did it.

Ben told us later he didn't even have time to get nervous. They had him breathe laughing gas first and he never even felt the IV go into his arm. He liked the fact that the laughing gas made his voice deeper. He said he asked them several times when they would knock him out. The next thing he knew, Kerry and I were in the room and it was all over.

He kept laughing when we first walked in the room. Several times he said, "I don't remember anything!" Then he would laugh. He suddenly patted himself all over. When I asked what he was doing, he said, "Just making sure I have everything." Then he laughed. He said something about his feet, but we couldn't understand him. Then he laughed. He tried talking a lot, but his mouth was full of gauze and we really had no idea what he was saying. We just laughed when he laughed, and he seemed pleased and mellow.



When he said he felt well enough to walk out under his own power, we started toward the door with him. He wobbled precariously close to the walls until Kerry and I each took him by the elbow and steered him in a straighter path.

When we got to the car, we asked him if he wanted to sit up front, or lay down in the back. "You mean I can't drive?"

He was still groggy when we got home, but they had ice packs on him as soon as the surgery was over, so swelling has been minimal.


We managed to get a video of him while he was still a little loopy.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Coal And Switches

December is a very intense month for my kids. Packages are arriving in the mail on a nearly daily basis and they are aquiver with curiosity about what's in those boxes.

Today a box arrived, I opened it and checked the contents, then immediately closed it and headed off to hide it.

"Christmas presents?" Katie asked hopefully.

"It's just a box full of coal and switches," I told her.

She nodded her head toward Emily and told me wisely, "I knew she was going to get some."

Saturday, December 3, 2011

My Loving Children

I always hoped that my children would love and protect each other, but I've come to accept that most siblings simply can't resist picking on and competing with each other.

Katie was making a video of herself (we have millions of videos Katie has made of herself - and pictures too!) which was amusing enough in itself but then you hear Ben and Emily arguing in the background because Ben caught Emily taking a bite of a brownie which was made with real butter instead of the dairy free version I usually make.

For those of you who are immediately thinking how mean I am to make brownies that Emily wouldn't be allowed to eat, I didn't make them, Ben's girlfriend did because they wanted to cook together and he made a chicken casserole and she made brownies and I wonder if they were imagining that's what it would be like to be married because that's what I did when I made hot dogs for my college boyfriend and I thought it would be so much fun to cook for my husband one day and then when I'd been married for not too long, I realized that cooking every single day isn't a bit charming the way you think it is when you're playing house by making hot dogs in college.

Wait..... I think this post was supposed to be about the video. So here it is:


If you listen closely, you can hear Ben and Emily arguing in the background about her taking a brownie and he finally tells her he hopes she dies of eczema.

That's sibling love for you.