Archive | September 2011

4 years of being a family and the pictures to prove it

Speaking of family…

Can not neglect the little family we have grown right here.

We did our daycare requested family photo over the weekend and I can’t help but add the last few years in the timeline. We took care this year to not wear the same thing as other years and I think it turned out pretty well. Using a tripod is also way better than balancing the camera on top of the grill so we had our choice of locations. [end]

my webcam family

June-1, originally uploaded by katymac79.

I’m so happy. In the past 2 days I have talked to one sister, texted and almost talked to the other (stupid class), had a conversation with my mom and a webcam with both parents. I am pleasantly socialized for the moment.

Living here has advantages and disadvantages and the way to over come the disadvantage of distance is to work at it. I don’t think I’m moving any time soon (and I do have lots of friends here I like a lot) but with effort I still feel close to my family. This blog is part of that work, putting chunks of my life out into the world is so my family still knows what I’m doing, and, the added bonus of being closer to friends and meeting new people is awesome too.

The other thing we do a lot is webcam, I have one permanently set up in the computer room and if the government or spies decide to turn it on when I’m not there (apparently possible) they will see an empty desk chair and my stairs so I’m a bad house to spy on. Anyway, anyone can call anytime and it is so fun to have a spontaneous web cam conversation. If any of you ever feel like calling its on gmail and I’m kate79. We also hook up a webcam to my laptop to have dinner together. During my last semester we had webcam Wednesday – I miss the scheduled time that we could all plan on/around but the semester will be over soon and we can get back to it. Webcam is half interactive, I know the kids know my parents way better for it because as soon as Zoe sees the screen she yells one of her 5 words Geema! And when we visited last she was far more comfortable with them. If you think a webcam session needs to have a plan or be for a special occasion you’re missing the fun of what feels like a drop by visit. I serve dinner and feed Zoe and a few times the laptop has come to the bathroom for baths or to read bedtime stories. I pretend they are just there. Most of the conversation is between me and the other person but the kids pipe in and like to talk too but depending on them to carry a conversation is not really realistic. If my mom was actually in the kitchen she might end up doing a thing or two but mostly she would sit and talk while I tend the kids and it’s about the same with webcam. Often mom is making dinner in her kitchen or they are eating and we get a ‘seat’ at the table and we just talk like normal. Things get done on both sides most of the time and that is both social and efficient. To be honest, sometimes I loose time sitting and talking because I can’t really move the desktop but if the person dropped over it would be exactly the same.

Webcam is not a replacement for the phone, I still get tons of my gabbing time done while I’m driving places and I look forward to my talking times on the way to school. I wish someone was up when I drive home but that’s 9pm central and I don’t have many friends on the west coast. Talking while driving is extra nice because I feel better about the use of time, I can’t be distracted, and, I have no problem focusing on the road and the person so I’m not a danger to society.

Otherwise it is plane rides to visit and we do that too. Not many kids in America have been on planes as often as mine. Keeping them cool on the airplane is a topic for another day but lets just say no method is foolproof….

Happy Birthday Sinead

Dec-57, originally uploaded by katymac79.

have a great day and even though you are not at home you will be soon.



ps. I got you this vsmart jungle toy 😉

Slalom to work complicated by illiterate drivers

I’m from NY – a state that specializes in traffic (among other things). I have no idea if I learned how to correctly use the ‘zipper’ method from my NY experience because NOBODY there will sheep into a single lane at the first sign of a ‘merge ahead’ sign, or, because my good education gave me the ability to both read merge ahead v merge now – and – comprehend the difference. Maybe it is the reading thing because most of the time the signs are not even vague, they say merge in 2m, then 1.5, then 200f… to a crazy amount of detail I wonder if there is a job to just make merge/distance signs (or maybe there is a big warehouse all organized by exact distance and a road crew can select what they need).

Anyway, you might have guessed there is a bit of single lane driving on my 12 whole miles to work. This has caused many near accidents as people aggressively try and make sure I can’t drive in the lane that is still open for another whole mile. Yesterday was bad, stupid truck panicked because he actually wanted to exit so he went into the shoulder, figured out that was a bad idea and merged at me not looking from the right when we were already in a single lane. Yesterday I also had the thrill of two different merges within that 12 miles and to blow people’s minds, first the left two lanes were closed and then the right two with about a mile of clear highway in between. MNDOT, you should have just done a cattle shoot because there was mass confusion.

What lane should I be in?

How can I self-righteously glare and/or attempt to ram or block others if I don’t know what lane is right

How can I pre merge at the very first sign when that happens to be in a zone where the other lanes are closed?!?

I could see panic….

I just keep my eyes open for stupid and so far so good.

This morning this post was percolating in my head and I wanted to link to something that says that the zipper (take your turn at the merge point) method is right and road engineers have been doing this a while, if they say merge in 5 miles they don’t mean do it now, they have the huge sign and cone inventory that if they meant now they would say now. Messing up the highway for an extra 5 miles is something they avoid but the public isn’t not always trusting in their plan. So, gooogling googling I find this in the top 10. It is a women complaining about the exact same thing just a different section of 35. She writes a very good description of the dumb that bubbles to the surface here….

So not to say NY is better, I actually think they are more dangerous and many decide the zipper method should extend to driving in the shoulder too (wrong also) and people will aggressively try to jump line in the zipper but that is a rant I don’t need to have really because it has not happened to me in nearly 10 years.

In the end, I am very glad that this bridge is almost done and soon it will snow so road season will be over and when I say Slalom to work that will imply snow not radical lane changes.

Ps. How can I take a better photo while driving then Lars can standing in our Kitchen?

PPs. Since I know I have a MNDOT reader, can you confirm or deny the warehouse of every distance merge sign? Or do they change them on site?

Lion King, at a theater near me

Niamh has recently started watching movies in bed. Maybe not the best habit but we have to find some way to keep her in her room between the time we put her in there around 7:30 or 8ish and the time she falls asleep around 9:30. Movies seem to do the trick and she has done the little kid thing of obsessively watching them over and over. Little Mermaid was the first to be watched and rewatched but the Lion King is a new addition to the rotation that she loves and asks for all the time. We were listening to Pandora the other day and it does have ad’s every so often and all of a sudden they were playing a Lion King song and saying it was coming back to theaters for a limited re release! Niamh was excited and so was I because this was one of the movies I went to see more than once and I still know all the songs. I can’t say I love the story but it was the Disney I know.

Ok, before anyone says is this the right age for Niamh the answer to that is yes and no. The advised age is 6, she is 3 so there is the no portion of the equation. However, Lars watched it with her the first time and she saw nothing sad about it – apparently sacrificing yourself for your child does not hit home for the three year old (we will not mention the optical moisture levels of the 34 year old) and the only thing she found scary was the hyenas and the fact they get beaten in the end makes it ok for her. We have had the discussion more than once that there are bad guys in every movie except for Barney so unless she wants to watch Barney she has to be ok with the bad guy. She never picks Barney. She will tell you the bad guys always loose, and, they are only in the TV and can’t get out. Not too bad for 3.

So, I will be at the movies with my girl on Thursday night ::smile::

Halloween shirts for the next 34 days

Miss Mouse has her Christmas counter up already and while I’m with her on the need to pre shop I’ve given up on making anything so less time is needed for me overall.


Its Halloween next! Technically I should wait until Oct 1 to break out the stuff but we decorated over the weekend and today the girls wore the first of many shirts.

Sorry for the quality of the picture. Somehow a camera phone in Lars’s hand takes fuzzy pictures.

Zoe’s says Worlds Cutest Witch and Niamh’s is a Dora shirt that says Mommy’s little pumpkin picker. Zoe is also stylishly wearing my scarf and clutching her friends the markers. Zoe has been obsessed with markers lately. Here I post that she loves them but she eats them, since then, she loves them even more and eats them less, and as a bonus, uses them to color and scribble on paper or the dry erase board. You can see more pictures at flicker of her love that verges on hording, she likes to draw but I think she likes to take the caps on and off much more and she likes to move them from place to place but sometimes that place is shoving them behind her back to ‘hide them’. She will carry as many as possible these days and today when I dropped her at school she was still clutching at least 3. I see buying many more markers in the future because with this sort of abuse extreme love they are not going to last long. For the record, washable is very washable, thank you Crayola. [end]