Friday, October 31, 2008

My Hips Are Expanding

So the weather tonight (Halloween) was phenom! Unbelievably awesome, especially considering I am old enough to vividly remember the Halloween Blizzard of 1991.
Yes, I said a blizzard in OCTOBER. Don't believe me?! Check out these links: http://wcco.com/topstories/Snowstorm.halloween.1991.2.362618.html or http://climate.umn.edu/doc/journal/top5/numberthree.htm

Despite how gorgeous it was this year, in MN you always have to plan for worst-case-scenario-freezing-hypothermia-may-need-to-amputate-exposed-limbs weather. So the poor kids were bundled up into their "warm" costumes of zebra (D), chicken (G), and Cheetah/Leopard (E). I was afraid that the costumes the children wore to the GS Costume Party (cowboy, cowgirl, and bride) wouldn't be warm enough.
The pics from trick or treating are contingency costumes. Enjoy there precious little faces.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Gloves are for WIMPS!

I am too busy and lazy to write much, so here are a few pictures of us carving pumpkins. Yes, Molly and E are being weenies and wearing rubber gloves to carve the pumpkins. Gloves are for wimps!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Jump

I love watching the kids on the trampoline. It truly was one of the best investments. E can really get some air and she certainly is beginning to get brave enough with her stunts that I am occasionally worried...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Out of My Ever Loving Mind

"Out of One's Mind" is a good way to explain my state of mind when I chose to willingly host a costume party with my Girl Scout troop of 12 eight-year old girls, as well as my own four children, inside my teeny-tiny (less than 1100 sq ft when you count every available inch of livable space!) house. It was a blast but I definitely need to take some time to recover tomorrow. I am wiped out and the party was only an hour and a half.
The girls and their energy,
and effervescent personalities,
and shrieking,
and did I already mention --
off the wall amounts of energy?

We played Limbo and screamed and danced the Hokey Pokey, the Cha Cha Slide,
the Mambo #5, and we even attempted the Electric Slide...
We played games and screamed some more.
We shrieked as we had a parade around the backyard for the fabulous neighbors who allowed us to crash their bonfire for a moment.

I can't finish this posting without showing more pics of my darling children -- a cowboy, cowgirl, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and a Bride(zilla)!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Issues

I have trouble keeping my children clothed. All of them are excellent at stripping any and all articles of clothing off in record time. If I don't watch them closely, they are prone to darting out the front door in the middle of day light BUCK NAKED after bath time.

In this particular incident, I was finishing raking leaves outside and G and D joined me sans pants. At least they were wearing shoes. G was wearing her much adored Disney Princess shoes. On the other hand, D was wearing a pair of my (scuffed, beat-up) work heels. He was giggling like a mad man as he tetter-tottered precariously on the top step... That's my boy!


Tuesday, October 21, 2008

I have a Song

"A bird doesn't sing because it has an answer, it sings because it has a song."
~ Maya Angelou

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Edification

ed·i·fi·ca·tion /[ed-uh-fi-key-shuhn]
noun
Definition: uplifting enlightenment

Friday, October 17, 2008

Autumn Euphoria

There is no place more beautiful than Minnesota in the autumn. The lovely changing colors, crisp, cool air with the smoky, comforting smell of bonfires, crunching leaves under your feet. I LOVE MINNESOTA -- at least for a couple of months before the icky white stuff flies.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Dress Up


All of the children love to play dress. Since D is constantly surrounded by three (!) sisters, he loves the dresses, purses and shoes as much as they do. Poor boy! We will have LOTS of blackmail pictures to show his future significant others.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Absurd

Warning labels on products we purchase or use are supposed to be helpful. Sometimes you read a warning label that makes you wonder if the genius in the marketing dept was worth his or her wages...

Product Warnings:


  • "Do not use if you cannot see clearly to read the information in the information booklet." -- In the information booklet.
  • "Caution: The contents of this bottle should not be fed to fish." -- On a bottle of shampoo for dogs.
  • "For external use only!" -- On a curling iron.
  • "Do not use while sleeping or unconscious." -- On a hand-held massaging device.
  • "Recycled flush water unsafe for drinking." -- On a toilet at a public sports facility.
  • "Shin pads cannot protect any part of the body they do not cover." -- On a pair of shin guards made for bicyclists.
  • "This product not intended for use as a dental drill." -- On an electric rotary tool.
  • "Do not use near fire, flame, or sparks." -- On an "Aim-n-Flame" fireplace lighter.
  • "Not intended for highway use." -- On a 13-inch wheel on a wheelbarrow.
  • "Do not use orally." -- On a toilet bowl cleaning brush.
  • "Do not use for drying pets." -- In the manual for a microwave oven.
    "For use on animals only." -- On an electric cattle prod.
  • "For use by trained personnel only." -- On a can of air freshener.
  • "Remember, objects in the mirror are actually behind you." -- On a motorcycle helmet-mounted rear-view mirror.
  • "Cannot be made non-poisonous." -- On the back of a can of de-icing windshield fluid.
  • "Beware! To touch these wires is instant death. Anyone found doing so will be prosecuted." -- On a sign at a railroad station.
  • "Do not attempt to stop the blade with your hand." -- In the manual for a Swedish chainsaw.
  • "Do not dangle the mouse by its cable or throw the mouse at co-workers." -- From a manual for an SGI computer.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sailing

"I'm not afraid of storms,
for I'm learning to sail my ship."
~ Louisa May Alcott

More Thoughts on Multitasking?

MULTITASKING & GENDER DIFFERENCES: http://clearinghouse.missouriwestern.edu/manuscripts/815.asp

  • There is speculation that women are more efficient at multitasking. Dr. Christina Williams, the chair of the Psychology Department at Duke University, has done studies with rats, where the male rats have exhibited more “tunnel vision” than female rats (Williams & Meck, 1990). Williams study discovered that female rats use multiple cues, including examining landmarks of the maze and geometry to navigate a maze, while male rats just used geometry. This implies that women use their minds to synthesize multiple cues from the environment, while men would rather use single cues.
  • There is a biological difference. According to MRIs performed, women have a larger corpus callossum (Halpern, 2000). The corpus collossum is the area of the brain that handles communication between the two hemispheres. It is responsible for synthesizing the information from the left and right side of the brain. In women, the corpus callosum is wider than that of men’s brains, which might enable the two sides to communicate better with each other. This is a theory as to why women might multitask more efficiently.
  • There are people opposed to the idea of women being better multitaskers. However, they do not make a case for men being superior with multitasking abilities. Instead, they claim that there is no significant difference between the genders with multitasking.
  • Dr. Marcel Just, Director of the Center for Cognitive Brain Imaging at Carnegie Mellon University agrees with Meyer. His studies on brain mapping, with participants between the ages of 18 and 32, show that women only score higher when asked to listen to two things at the same time (Just, 2001).

MULTITASKING LOWERS PRODUCTIVITY?: http://www.thenewatlantis.com/publications/the-myth-of-multitasking

  • When we talk about multitasking, we are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention. People who have achieved great things often credit for their success a finely honed skill for paying attention.
  • In 2005, the BBC reported on a research study, funded by Hewlett-Packard and conducted by the Institute of Psychiatry at the University of London, that found, “Workers distracted by e-mail and phone calls suffer a fall in IQ more than twice that found in marijuana smokers.” The psychologist who led the study called this new “infomania” a serious threat to workplace productivity.
  • Discussing multitasking with the New York Times in 2007, Jonathan B. Spira, an analyst at the business research firm Basex, estimated that extreme multitasking—information overload—costs the U.S. economy $650 billion a year in lost productivity.
  • One study by researchers at the University of California at Irvine monitored interruptions among office workers; they found that workers took an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from interruptions such as phone calls or answering e-mail and return to their original task.
  • Dr. Edward Hallowell, a Massachusetts-based psychiatrist who specializes in the treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and has written a book with the self-explanatory title CrazyBusy, has been offering therapies to combat extreme multitasking for years; in his book he calls multitasking a “mythical activity in which people believe they can perform two or more tasks simultaneously.” In a 2005 article, he described a new condition, “Attention Deficit Trait,” which he claims is rampant in the business world. ADT is “purely a response to the hyperkinetic environment in which we live,” writes Hallowell, and its hallmark symptoms mimic those of ADD. “Never in history has the human brain been asked to track so many data points,” Hallowell argues, and this challenge “can be controlled only by creatively engineering one’s environment and one’s emotional and physical health.” Limiting multitasking is essential.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Afton Apples

I took E, H, G, and D to meet Auntie Katie, Jim and Deegan at the Afton Apple Orchard today. We had tons of fun. I was fortunate enough to embarrass myself by falling backwards onto my ample bum, off the hay-bale-tractor thing, while carrying D and trying to climb up onto the contraption. It was quite mortifying; yet, I was so proud of myself. I don't think I blushed... very much. Plus, I was entertaining! Everyone on board got a brief giggle at my bruised derriere's expense -- and I am pleased to inform you, I did NOT drop D -- who (just to remind you) I was protectively holding in my loving arms.

This shot is taken by me of D sitting on my lap, after we are safely sardine packed in the middle of hay-thing with wheels. E is sitting next to us, also packed in.
We also enjoyed the pumpkin patch at the orchard. Lots to see and do. The children never sat still. Nor did the adults considering there was five of them, and only three of us.