Archive | November 2011

Driving Skilz

November11-21, originally uploaded by katymac79.

Every kid has skills either based on talent or environment and Niamh has made us proud on many occasions with her abilities. One of those abilities is NOT driving.  I don’t know if it is access to something drivable, or, just some gross coordination issues but her BFF could make a ride on toy perform like a grand prix sports car before he could walk and Niamh at 3.5 still aims at walls…

This picture is double funny because notice who is steering here…. Connor (3m younger then Niamh) did a great job driving around and Niamh was a model passenger and technically, who wouldn’t want a passenger that can steer for a while when you get distracted by a toy? It is just good co pilot manners…

In comparison, Zoe, who is a different kid then Niamh we already concede, took one look at the kiddie atv, jumped on, and started driving.  She was pointed toward freedom so I don’t know how her steering would be but she had the confidence of a pro and I know for sure they don’t have these at daycare for her to be covertly practicing on. She did loose interest in favor of the wagon so I don’t know how well she would have done if there were an obstacle in her way. I do think she is more inclined toward wheels then her sister since she can be distracted from a tantrum by offering to play cars, and, any wheeled thing she sees she attempts to get onto (including her cousins 5x too big bike).

My nephews all seem to do very well with the driving toys, good driving skills, good situational awareness and who knows if it is nature or nurture but they have it down. Hopefully by 16 or so Niamh figures out how to avoid hazards….

So what will happen with these bunch of monkeys?

November11-30, originally uploaded by katymac79.

Every so often I get the question about why I started this site that I (over) share my life with the world. The very very first reason was that I moved away from my family in NY and the first holiday I went home I basically had the same exact conversation 50 times, and, I got a gift of soap or lotion – what it was is actually unimportant the fact was that it was incredibly generic. I felt it was my fault that my family did not know me anymore, or, their vision of me stopped around 17 when I went to college. Since I felt it was my fault I had a few choices
1.Allow myself to drift away and deal with the reintegration every time I visited /or/ stop visiting
2.Try my best to keep in touch and involved where possible with the family

I choose option 2. I have no idea how much of my family chooses to read this but I know a few did for a while and when I went home for visits it was great that people generally knew what was going on in my life.

I know it is silly to care because my cousins are not actually siblings although we all grew up within a few miles of each other, but, we are all drifting away. I look at other families, including my mom’s generation, and they rarely see their cousins due to distance or time etc. That’s just what is happening here. Facebook allows me to keep in contact with a few of them but I am going to accept that every year one or two more will just be gone from my life. I’m not writing anyone off, I will make every effort to continue to be available and value what time we do end up having but it starts to get tiring being the only one that tries. I have one cousin that is very active on Facebook and I feel like I know her best, other than her, I just don’t know them anymore.

I was the first to leave the larger nest of Sayville and I took option 2. I’m seeing my sister and cousins leave for college and new marriages and those are times that they will need to focus in on their own world but hopefully they come around to seeing that the larger family is important too and more people choose option 2 for themselves. I suppose the bottom line of all this musing is that I miss my family and I’m doing what I can.

Moving forward I’m only asking for trouble if I pin my happiness on what other people do so I will just keep up writing here and being active on facebook, video chatty on Google-talk and posting a million pictures on Flickr. If any aunt/uncle/cousin/sister/or ‘other’ has a different way they like to communicate let me know, I’m game.

For all the OTHER lovely people who read here thank you for being interested in what I write! The second in chronology, but not second in priority, reason for why I write this is to create a karmic balance with what I take from the blogging world. I have what I call ‘blog friends’, people I have never met and may never meet but through what they write I feel like I know them. They have taught me things and exposed me to points of view that I would never have heard before. I’ve learned parenting and house keeping and house building and crafts and food and running from tons of different people and my goal is to put out as much positive as I’ve taken in. I want to share what I find cool and what I find troubling. Its amazing how good it feels when someone else has the same problem and they solved it y way and if y works for me or not, its nice to see that it is a solvable problem.

In some ways by leaving my biological family and seeking to stay close I found a world of people that I may never have found if I was content at home with all my familiar people and places. Being gone almost 10 years has been an adventure that I would not trade, but, I wish the price was not quite so high.

cool thing

I can’t decide who needs this but someone does….


I may or may not post again today but I’m cyber Monday shopping from the comfort of my desk.  Also on the agenda today is a paper on B-C (business to customer) marketing for UK grocery stores (sooooo exciting, you can tell why I’m looking at butterflies in jars).  Then later today class, the final countdown starts today, after class tonight I only have 2 more Monday’s to go in my ENTIRE MBA CAREER.


We are back!  Slept in our own beds and woke up to our own house.  There is something slightly crazy about driving 12 hours with two kids to spend 48 hours with family.  I talked about this with lots of people; 12 hours is our max drive and if planned right it isn’t too bad.  Less hours are certainly desireable and, we have nap trained kids who want to seep from 12-2ish so this is my ‘method’ for driving;

1. leave an hour before lunch that way your first stop is for lunch about an hour down the road. (leave 10:30)
2. post lunch there should be 2 hours of sleeping time (3 hours of driving down)
3. have snacks to hand out to waking up kids and they should be fresh enough to just play for a bit stop for diaper/potty in the next hour (4 hours driving done)
4. movie or toys etc until around 5:30 (7h on the road, hopefully 5.5h driving time) – eat dinner
5. drive another 2 hours, stop for a quick rest stop and change into PJ’s (10h out, 7.5 driving)
6. hopefully that was the last kid required stop and you can just drive from there until you get where you are going.
 My experence is that if you stop a couple times for short periods that it all feels less epic, but, if they are sleeping during a schedualed stop we don’t stop.  Usually we drive a tad faster then estamated by map programs so we make up time lost to stopping.  The other thing I like to do is have good car food just to keep people busy and if they rebel against the fast food.  On the way home we stopped at a grocery store in the middle of Kansas and picked up apples and yougart etc.  It was a nice little side trip and we got the fresh stuff we could not have pre packed.
The destination part of the trip had its ups and downs to say the least.  I’m not sure how to react to the very negative stuff.  On the positive side the cousins all got along well and I liked seeing my sisters and parents.  The weather was nice, I met cool friends of my sister, and we even played football on the lawn.  (drama alert) The bad was very bad and that might have been the last time I see my sisters family, it is definitely the last time I go to Oklahoma.

Black Friday

Phoning it in from Oklahoma after a fun day shopping. The highlight for me was picking my birthday gift at the apple store.