Thursday, August 31, 2006
Gina and I have enjoyed watching Shea grow from a wobbly toddler/new walker who threatens to fall down with every step across the uneven sand to a surefooted, brazen young waterlover. It's also been fun to watch the boys' water comfort levels increase noticably over the course of the season.
In June, Finn was afraid to get his hair wet and now, after many lessons from John in the pool and two weeks of swim school, jumps into the deep end of the pool and swims back to the edge on his own. Logan, meanwhile, can now hold his breath while swimming the entire length of his pool under water. Olympic competition is surely in their near future.
The biggest difference from the beginning of the summer to the end is that now both boys actually go into the water when we're at the beach instead of safely hovering just beyond its lapping reach. As was to be expected, the boys quickly discovered the fun of boogie boards; they've even managed to catch a few rides to shore already. Coincidentally, they ended up with the same style of rash guard after they ended up with similar rashes. Here are some of my favorite shots of double trouble, hamming it up with their newfound prowess.
Wednesday, August 30, 2006
Monday, August 28, 2006
Friday, August 25, 2006
Choosing a winner was tough; to determine who would receive the esteemed title I carefully employed the most exacting instrument I possess in my critical-selection toolshed: I went with the one that made me laugh outloud.
But, first, I present to you the Honorable Mention winners.
The Buddhism Is Truly Everywhere Honorable Mention Award goes to M in O-Town. If anyone needs to reconcile the notion of Existence as Suffering it's a fish about to be brought home to a sizzling-hot frying pan. Quick! Find your happy place, grasshopper.
The Carpe Diem Honorable Mention Award goes to Jenna, who despite being a wife, mother of three, and President of the Indiana Association of Student Nurses, still managed to post her caption entry first.
Other stand-out scripting: Seuss references! Phallic allusions! Fish as Internet trolls! Well done, folks.
And now, the news you've been waiting for all week, as I dodged my daily blogging duties and instead frolicked on the beach with the kids and went out for happy hour with my high-school girlfriends (which is true but sounds better than the remaining truth about changing diapers, fixing meals and doing laundry):
The Double Duty Diary Summer of 2006 Grand Prize goes to PAT, for her classic worm as fish nemesis double entendre. (Plus, it fit just perfectly in the speech bubbles.)
For her wry caption Pat will receive, whenever I can get my act together and to the post office, a 99 Ranch Starter Kit, complete with Mai Fun Rice Sticks (aka noodles), jasmine-infused green tea (delish!), a trio of soaps--sandalwood, jasmine, and ginseng--and sweet cookie balls. Congratulations!
Thursday, August 24, 2006
Tuesday, August 22, 2006
As I've mentioned here before, John and I really enjoy eating all kinds of Asian food; as such, Finn and Shea have been exposed in their few years to more exotic items than each of our mouths saw in our first 20. So we try to visit 99 Ranch every couple months or so, mostly to replace our supply of sweet chili sauce, fish sauce, and spring roll wrappers. (Yeah, compared to the traditional American dinner table--and judging by the scrunched up faces my mother makes when I show her some of our food choices--we eat some pretty funky dishes sometimes.)
For me, going to 99 Ranch (or Mitsuwa, a marketplace with a more Japanese bent where John and I spent an entire afternoon one pre-children Valentine's Day), is like traveling. One of the things I love about traveling is the feeling of confusion and uncertainly it brings. That sounds slightly counterintuitive, I realize; after all, don't most people travel to escape the stresses of life? Yes, some do. Especially those who stay at their hotel pool or hotel bar for the entire duration of their stay in Hawaii or some other equally breathtaking locale. Ahem.
It feels more like living.
It's also humbling to be immersed in a place where not everything makes sense right away--Oh yeah, I'd forgotten, the world's much bigger than my little universe--as is having to work a bit to unravel the patternwork that's commonplace to everyone else. (Holly writes about this beautifully, here, in a manner more concise than I'm able to articulate right now.)
Once, during my corporate employment days, a Chinese co-worker agreed to allow me to tag along with her through 99 Ranch as she did her weekly shopping. Because we had just filled our bellies at a company dim sum lunch at the restaurant next door on the last workday before the Christmas holiday, we were able to leisurely wind our way through the aisles without worrying about watching the clock. She kindly stopped to explain what many of the products were that filled her cart; most of the items she considered staples had never crossed my mind, let alone my lips.
Now, as a little gift of travel from me to you, I present our weekend trip to 99 Ranch--in pictures! Don't miss the special contest at the end, wherein one witty Double Duty Diary reader will be awarded a very special prize for their creative input.
Who ever said Tuesdays were boring?
Fish you can just reach out and touch,
if you're into that kinda thing
Tiny little bananas make tiny little babies happy
And this, folks, is just the bok choy section
Doctor Noodle is Mr. Noodle's macho half-brother
The charming language fumbles are too plentiful to count
I've tried shrimp heads and chicken feet in my time.
But this? This just blows my mind and goes from bad...
... to worse.
In the blog comments section, please leave your best/snarkiest/wittiest/fishiest captions for the photo below. Deadline for captions is this Friday morning, August 25th, by the time I drink my morning coffee. Fabulous prize, to be determined and distributed by me, will be awarded to lucky winner. Winning caption will be announced sometime on Friday, so don't delay!
Monday, August 21, 2006
Thursday, August 17, 2006
Wednesday, August 16, 2006
Tuesday, August 15, 2006
Hmmmm, me neither.
Turns out Shea's butt knew this, and managed to be first in line to sign up for a scorching case of Perianal Streptococcal Dermatitis--or Strep-da-Booty, which we affectionately call it around the campfire--that her pediatrician quickly diagnosed after taking a look at her adorable but very angry little bottom.
He also said it's easy to catch--probably from one of her vector parents, both of whom suffered a case of strep throat at least once this summer--and, fortunately, easy to cure.
Unfortunately, this marks the fourth case of the dreaded "strep" in the house this summer; despite our best efforts to scour the house of all germs and triple launder the linens, we just keep volleying the yuck back and forth.
I feel like we should paint a big AMOXICILLIN DISTRIBUTED LIBERALLY HERE warning on the front door--partly to warn visitors of our ongoing bacterial challenges, and partly to scare away any new strep bugs that are plotting their next attack.
I'm pretty sure the pharmacists at SavOn think I'm stalking them at this point.
Monday, August 14, 2006
Finn: "So, what's the happy part?"
Karin: "The toy."
Finn: "And what's the meal part?"
Karin: "The food."
FINN: Laughs hysterically, as if all the jokes of the universe were instantly explained to him.
Finn (serious once again): "Mom, they take so long to get me happy."
Sunday, August 13, 2006
Friday, August 11, 2006
After some time in the sun it has lightened up a bit, but it hasn't fallen out and has even begun to curl a bit on the ends. It even seems to have grown at a doubletime pace in the area in front of her eyes, which encourages John to call her his little sheepdog.
To help Shea see better, we usually pull her hair up into this funny fountain style, which keeps it out of her face for a few minutes--until she realizes that she has the power to pull the hair tie out herself, thus breaking free of her shackles of feminine oppression and letting her locks flow free like a '70s Wella Balsam advertisement.
So, in an impetuous moment using my blunt, everyday stationery scissors, I cut her some kickin' bangs. Adorable, blunt, little Bettie Page bangs. And I'm loving them. She hasn't bumped into as much stuff as she used to, but she looks like a big girl now, and the messy little ragamuffin baby I was so used to has been suddenly replaced with a tidy little toddler.