Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pesky Plurals

I was commenting on another blog last night about how I used to draw little pegasuses all over my school papers. That's one of those words that doesn't really have a comfortable plural. "Pegasuses" and "pegasi" both look (and sound) awkward. Originally, of course, there was only one winged horse, and his name was Pegasus. No need to pluralize.

I was amused by the circumlocution in Disney's Fantasia. In the introduction to the Pastoral sequence, the announcer mentions unicorns and centaurs, and then says, "Pegasus, the flying horse, and his entire family." Ha. They didn't know what to do with it either.

Reminds me of the story about the guy who wanted to order two mongooses, but wasn't sure what the plural was, so he wrote, "Send me a mongoose. And while you're at it, make it two."

On a completely unrelated note, we are teaching Kate to say, "Help! Help! I'm being repressed!"

Friday, July 25, 2008

Three years of blogging

My blog is three years old today! Happy birthday!

(And Kate's nose is all better!)

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Tall Ships

Tall ships were in town for the Fourth of July weekend. We went down to see them on the 3rd. The last tall ships festival was three years ago, when Kate was only six months old and much more of a captive audience, so we carted her around with us while we toured the ships. We didn't feel up to attempting that this time, so we didn't get tickets but just walked around and enjoyed the festival and admired the ships from shore.

This is a replica of the Niña (yes, that Niña). It's surprisingly small.

There were lots of people out enjoying the festival (we ran into one of our neighbors, and some friends from church), lots of vendors' booths, and people dressed as pirates. We stopped and hung out in a park for a while, where there was a stage set up and performers singing songs about sailing and drinking.

Kate and Dad share some fries while listening to the music.

Since the last festival was before I started blogging, I thought it would be fun to post a few pictures from then. So here's Tall Ships 2005!

Awww! Kate was so little!

"Can I steer?"

Napping by the Glass Museum.

The Lady Washington

Doug would love to sail on a tall ship someday!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Bumps and Bruises

I have no idea what this child did to her nose. We've been playing outside a lot, but she never came running to me wailing "I hurt my nose!" and asking me to kiss it better. Our best guess is that she scraped it on a branch. She didn't even know anything had happened till I held her up to look at herself in the mirror. Then she stared and asked, "Why there's something on my nose?" (Somebody at church thought it was chocolate.) It does seem to be healing nicely.

I've been busy putting together a little book of the kids in our complex. Our neighbor Oleg is moving soon, so I was rushing to get it done. I finished it up yesterday. (Hooray!) Viovio prints mini books in multiple copies, so I'm getting one for each of the kids. I expect I won't be posting pictures, unless I get permission from all the parents, but I think it turned out well. (Now hopefully they'll get here before Oleg leaves!)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Major cuteness, with goats

Doug brought home a book of The Three Billy Goats Gruff from the library, and we have been having lots of fun with it. We read the book over and over, tell the story, and act it out (taking turns being the troll). Doug just finished making this little flash animation for Kate. They both contributed voices. Click here (or on the picture above) to watch it. And turn up your speakers!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Masks and Mats

I haven't had a new product in...oh, about three months, but I finally got these done and up in the store on Saturday. I have a few other things that are kind of half-done, which is frustrating. I'll finish them up eventually!

(Update:  Since NDISB has closed, this set is now available here.)

These are a few samples I made to show how the masks and mats work together:

Them Apples

We ate out a lot on our trip, which meant a lot of time deciding where to go, traveling to a restaurant, and then waiting for our large party to be seated and served. It was nice, but as far as family bonding time went it wasn't really that effective, because it was often so noisy that the people at one end of the table couldn't hear the people at the other end. One night we went to Chili's (I got the fajita trio, which was fabulous). At one point I leaned over and said to my dad, "I wish it wasn't so loud!" and Dad (who is getting just a bit hard of hearing) said, "What?"

The day before we left, we went to Panera Bread for lunch. While waiting in line we heard the girls behind the counter taking orders, and asking, "Which side do you want? Apple, chips, or bread?" Now, looking at the way I wrote it (I'm a fan of the serial comma), it's easy to tell that it's three different things. But, standing in line, unable to hear the punctuation, it just sounded like "Apple chips or bread." Several of us thought that the first item was apple chips. Kyle even asked for apple chips, thinking they sounded good. I noticed a few people walking by with apples on their trays, so I figured it out before placing my order, and asked for an apple. (Doug got some chips to split with Kate.)

Later, after we'd mostly finished our meals and I was sitting there eating my chosen side, Betsey looked over at me and said, "Oh, it's an apple!" She said that while she was standing in line, she heard the girl taking someone else's order say "apple chips or bread," and she thought, "I don't want apple chips!" Then when she got up to the counter the girl said, "Apple bread or chips," and she thought, "I don't want apple bread!" (This may make it sound like Betsey's a bit of a ditz. She's not. But she had us all laughing while she was relating her story!)

That's it from California! Here's a picture of Kate sacked out at the hotel.


Our last night in California, we decided to go bowling. Just a fun family thing. Peter, Betsey, and Barb used to be on a league, back when they were kids.

We got a lane with bumpers and a ramp for Kate and Kirsten. They didn't have shoes in Kate's size, so Doug carried her out onto the floor.

Kate sort of knew what bowling was, from games and pictures, and was excited to get to do it for real. She thought the ball return was pretty cool.

Helping Kirsten.

Action shot! Betsey got three strikes in a row. Woo hoo!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


We got to go sea kayaking, not far from Redondo Beach. That was a lot of fun. (There are places around Tacoma that rent kayaks, but we've never gone out in one.) I wanted to go in a kayak, but I wanted to get some pictures, too (and was not about to take my camera on the water) so my dad went with Doug and Kate first, and then we swapped.

Here's Kate getting into the kayak. I invoked Dora the Explorer while putting on her life jacket--"life jackets! So we can be safe!"

Everyone paddled around in the marina a bit while I took some pictures, and then headed further out.

Barb and Kyle.

Peter and Karen. (You can see Kate trailing her hand in the water in the background.)

We switched places and I got in the kayak with Doug and Kate, and we paddled out into the harbor. There were lots of sea lions around, and some big pelicans. (This is where I need a cheap camera to take out on the water.) We went out around the end of the breakwater, where the waves were bigger (singing "Wave over wave, sea over bow") but decided not to go out as far as Barb and Kyle, who went out around a buoy and back. Right at that point I started feeling a little weird, and said, "Either I'm sea sick or I just got hungry--let's go back and get some food."

Kate was very quiet and spent most of the time lying across Doug's legs with her hand in the water, and somewhere along the way she fell asleep. The rocking motion must have been soothing.

I tied my hat on. Yeah, it looks goofy. But it stayed on!

We slathered everyone all over with sunblock, but I guess I missed a spot, because I ended up with a small, oddly-shaped burn on the top of one foot. (The "oddly shaped" part was from my sandal straps.) It's faded a lot but you can still see it. Barb got rather toasted as well.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The The Tar Tar Pits

When I was young-ish, it occurred to me that, if La Brea means "the tar," then The La Brea Tar Pits means "the the tar tar pits." Yes, I was an obnoxious child. Google reveals that many other people have made the same point.

When I was about seven my dad was stationed out at Edwards Air Force Base, and I remember visiting the La Brea Tar Pits. I really wanted to roll down this hill around the museum, and was quite distressed when Mom wouldn't let me. When I saw the hill I had to get a picture. (It seems smaller than I remembered.)

Kate enjoyed the "bone museum," as she called it, but was much more interested in the gift shop.

Elizabeth gets a ride with Grandma.

Barb says it stinks.

The big "pits" are all fenced off, but there are a few places around the grounds where you can find tar seeping up through the grass here and there. There's even a spot where it seeps up through the sidewalk at the intersection just outside the grounds. Peter said it's called the "sidewalk pit."

It was awfully hot. When we first got there and parked out on the street, I was putting on Kate's hat and got down on one knee to tie it on. Moments later, I realized that the sidewalk was burning my knee through the fabric of my pants. Yikes! Perhaps you really could fry an egg on it.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Redondo Beach

We spent a couple of fun hours at Redondo Beach. Karen said that the best time to go to the beach was either in the morning, before it gets too hot, or after 4:00 or so. I can see where going in the morning would have an advantage--the sun wouldn't be in your eyes when you were looking out at the water. But we had a good time!

Kate wasn't interested in getting in the water (it was moving, and obviously out to get her), but she enjoyed playing in the sand and making sand angels. She was intrigued by the difference between the wet sand and the dry sand.

Some of the more adventurous of our party went pretty far out, ducking under the big waves and bobbing up and down in the water.

Our only casualty of the day was Kyle's glasses, which were knocked off by a big wave (probably not this one) and swept away. He had to make do with his contacts for the rest of the trip.

Barb and Kyle.

Peter, Karen, and Elizabeth (it was windy!)

I just liked the light through the beach umbrella on this one.

When it was time to go I asked Kate if she wanted to go up the stairs or up the ramp, and she picked the stairs. (I shouldn't have asked, I know.) Nobody else chose to join us in our climb!

Friday, July 04, 2008

Into the Pool

I've had an unfortunate head cold for a few days and haven't been good for much. We did get out yesterday to see some of the tall ships that are in town for a few days. I'll try to post pictures soon. For now, here's some more from California.

This is the pool at our hotel. After last year's attempts to introduce Kate to the pool went rather badly, we weren't sure how she was going to react. I got her a new suit for the summer, and when I tried it on her she seemed excited and said she wanted to go swimming. The hotel pool turned out to be just what she needed--a nice quiet place to take her time getting in the water, with no other kids around and nobody splashing (or dumping water on her head--some people's kids!)

I got a pack of plastic insects for Kate to play with on the trip. They kept her entertained for long stretches. She has a rubber grasshopper that she really likes, so when I saw these insects at the zoo gift shop I figured she'd enjoy them. She named the butterfly Mariposa (yes, she's been watching Diego) and took it to the pool with her. It didn't float, but kind of drifted slowly down through the water, and then Doug would make a big production of diving down to get it. She thought that was great fun.

She got to dabble around the edges as much as she wanted, and did eventually make it into the water. Yay! Big step. Not that she was paddling around by herself or anything, but she was in the water, and having a good time.

Kate got to go swimming three times while we were at the hotel. Since we've been back home we've gone to the Stewart Heights pool and back to the Fircrest wading pool, and she did just great. She still doesn't like getting splashed, but she's dealing with it a lot better. It's hard to get her out of the pool when it's time to go!