Tag: color princess

Stairway, and Random Interjections

  • No, I'm not dead (yet). 
  • Yes, I'm still super-busy.
  • No, I would not eat green eggs and ham. I do not like them, Sam-I-Am.
  • Yes, vacation pictures from Mexico are still coming soon.
  • No, I didn't end up buying the Luchadore mask I was eyeing at the tourist trap in Playa Del Carmen (sorry, Mook).
  • Yes, I went running again today for the first time in almost a month.
  • No, it was not pleasant.
  • Yes, I feel better now for having done it.
  • No, I've never seen anything cuter than my girls, thank you very much.

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Beat the Blues

I'm still stuck in Duluth, but I'm flying back tonight.  Feeling down (and cold) and I can't wait to get home.  In the meantime, during my breaks here, I'm going through old photos I haven't yet uploaded to Flickr and just came across one that always brings a smile to my face:

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Happy Thanksgiving, and Kids Say the Darndest…

First, Happy Thanksgiving to all those folks out there that are celebrating today!  May you have a great day, filled with wonderful traditions, delicious food, and fun.

This week, I'm up in Pennsylvania with my grandparents/parents, who are enjoying seeing and playing with their great-/grandchildren (and giving Dee and I a much needed reprieve!)  In the course of playing with everyone, Violet has come up with quite a few funny little statements and phrases that are worth sharing:


We were discussing traffic lights and what the different colors meant.
Me: Okay, it's a Red Light, what does a red light mean?
Violet: Red light means STOP!
Me: Good!  Now what does a Green Light mean?
Violet: GO!
Me: And what does a YELLOW light mean?
Violet: Yellow means GO FAST!
Me: Ahh…and who's been teaching you that??   I bet it's Mommy!
Violet: Yeah!


Violet asked to sing some songs.  When I prompted her on what song she wanted to sing, she said she wanted to sing, "Mary had a little MAN".  Puts a whole different spin on the lyrics if you sing it that way….


One night, as she was getting ready for bed, she said, "Daddy, I'm big and strong! (Poses with her arms showing muscles).  I replied, "Yes, honey, you ARE big and strong."  Then she followed it up with, "I have a strong SMILE!" and posed again, this time matching it with a blinding visage of cuteness.  Once again, I had to agree with her.


Last night, on our drive back from my grandparents' house, Violet, who's been on a Dora the Explorer kick, asked about what some words were in Spanish.

Violet: What's the word for hello in Spanish?
Me: You know that…it's…
Violet: Hola!
Me: Right!  And what's goodbye in Spanish?
Violet: Adios!
Me: Good Violet!
Violet: What's the word for car in Spanish?
Me: Um, I think it's coche.
Violet: And what's the word for driving in Spanish?
Me: Mmm…I'm not sure.  We'll look it up when we get home, okay?
Violet: I know it!  It's Hota Taco!
(I didn't know how to follow that up, so I didn't even try….)


Violet and Rosalie were playing by some toys, and Violet accidentally pushed Rosalie a bit, which made her fall down.  I asked Violet to apologize:

Me: Violet, I know you didn't mean to push Rosie, but she fell over because you pushed her.  Can you tell Rosie you're sorry?
Violet: (In the most pitiful voice ever) Rosie, you're sorry.


Happy Thanksgiving!


[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #27/30]

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Playing the Waiting Game

My oldest daughter is now three and a half.  A few months ago, she started giving us grief about going to bed and all the activities that go with it (brushing teeth, etc).  We were almost pulling our hair out in frustration over the nightly conflict.  The only thing that seemed to work was threatening to take away her book-reading privileges for the night – that would almost always get her moving.  This caused me personal heartache, however; not only do I think reading at bedtime should be an inalienable right for all kids, but this reading session is one of the few times I get to spend each day with my daughter bonding, especially on the days I had to work late.  I hate to use "no books" as a punishment because it hurts her a lot worse than "no television" or "no cookies" would.

But I digress – the issue at hand: a stubborn three year old who has to be carried into the bathroom in the evening in order to get her to acquiesce to the inevitable tooth-brushing, hand-washing, etc.  The solution?  Something I never in a million years would have believed would work if someone suggested it to me: The Waiting Game.

The Waiting Game is my personal nickname for it, and you'll see why in a bit.  It's more aptly described as The Clock Watching Game.

Ever since Violet started learning her numbers and letters, I have made efforts to point out all the interesting places they showed up – on the bottom of the TV (we keep Closed Captioning on), on stop-signs, billboards, buildings, and of course, on any one of the multitude of digital appliances we have in our house, all complete with their own set of numbers happily illuminating the time of day in glowing yellow.  By the time of our bedtime struggles, she could easily recognize the digits 0-9, and was fascinated that they were on all these different clocks!

So one evening, when the 2nd-most stubborn child in the world (or rather, the 1st, now that I am grown up) began to dig in her heels, out of desperation, I pulled her attention away from the toy she was playing with by pointing out the clock.

"Violet," I said, with feigned excitement in my voice. "Do you see the numbers on the clock?  They say Seven Two Seven!"

She ran over and exclaimed with glee that the numbers DID say Seven Two Seven!  I then told her to keep watching the clock, and it would change to Seven Two Eight.  She pretty much jumped up and down in place with excitement when the clock inexorably flipped the last digit.  Then the clouds parted and the heavenly choir rang down from above:

"Violet," I repeated.  "When the clock says Seven Three Zero, we're going to go brush teeth and go read books.  Got it?"

The enthusiastic response I received from this statement was a complete 180 degree turn from her previous behavior.  Suddenly, the bedtime ritual had new meaning for her, and SHE could figure out when SHE needed to do things, all on her own!  From that night on, we've had no problems with bedtime – all we do is give her an impending deadline to end all play activities, and as soon as the clock reaches that point, she's off like a shot to get ready for bed.

Since that day, we've used The Clock Watching Game for any number of things.  Have to wait for dinner?  Tell her when it will come out of the oven and she's all set.  Need 15 minutes downtime?  Tell her to go color with her crayons until the clock reads 3:43 and then promise to play Candyland when she's done.  It works all the time, any time (in moderation, of course).

The funny thing, though, is that since then, she is fascinated with clocks.  Often, when you give her an upcoming time mark, she'll stand there in front of the clock, watching it change from minute to minute.  She might sing some songs, or do a little dance, but she always flits back to the clock, calling out each minute as it changes.  She has more fun waiting for the clock to change than most people have watching television.

And it's a good thing, too. If this hadn't worked and the frustration had continued, I think I WOULD have resorted to tearing out my hair.  And since I'm just starting to get used to all the grey hair I'm seeing in the mirror every day, it would have been a shame to have to get used to seeing a bald head instead.

[NaBloPoMo 2008 – #21/30]

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The Walls Have Ears

Conversations you may have heard at my house in the past week:+

1) The Purse

Dee: Mmm…my pretty new purse – it's so niiiice…
Me: Huh?
Dee: Honey, right now I feel just like you do, when you get a nice new electronic gadget.
Me: *lightbulb comes on* Ahhh, I see!  I'll stop giving you the strange looks then – you put up with me spending 2 hours configuring my phone a few months back.


2) The 3rd Grade Sense of Humor

Me: Violet, guess what?
Violet: What?
Me: CHICKEN BUTT!
Violet: *hysterical laughter*

Me: Violet, guess why?
Violet: Why?
Me: CHICKEN THIGH!
Violet: *hysterical giggles*

Dee: Violet, guess where?
Violet: …??
Dee: CHICKEN HAIR!
Violet: *even more hysterical giggles*

Violet: Mommy, Daddy – Guess why?
Me: Why?
Violet: CHICKEN LEG!
*hysterical laughter from all of us*


3) The Infant With a Newly-Discovered Sense of Mobility

Me: No Rosie, don't put that dust bunny in your mouth.
Me: No Rosie, don't try to climb up on the fireplace.
Me: No Rosie, don't grab the lamp cord, that's not for babies.
Me: No Rosie, don't crawl under the coffee table, you'll bump your head.
Me: No Rosie, don't eat that paper, that's yucky.
Me: No Rosie, don't pull Violet's hair.
Me: No Violet, don't push Rosie for pulling your hair.
Me: No Rosie, don't try to pull that basket of toys over onto yourself.
Me: No Rosie, don't eat that crayon, that's yucky.
(Repeat ad nauseam)


4) Television Priorities

Me: Violet, this is football.  See the team in blue?
Violet: Yeah! That is football!
Me: That team in blue is called the Panthers.  Can you say "Go Panthers!"
Violet: Go Pan…Panfe…. I can't say it.
Me: Pan-thers.
Violet: Pan-thers.
Me: Go Panthers!
Violet:Go Panthers!  Yay!  Go Panthers!
Me: Yeah, good job!  Go Panthers!
Violet: No, I want to watch Mickey Mouse Clubhouse.


5) The Ideal Marriage is Based on Equality

Me: Honey, since you're going to Vegas with your friends right before Thanksgiving, if I hypothetically had to go to a seminar in Vegas for a couple days later this week, you wouldn't have any grounds to complain, right?
Dee: Honey, I love you dearly, but I will ALWAYS have grounds to complain if you pull something like that.


+If you were a fly on the wall.*
*You don't want to be one of the flies that was on my wall.  They met with a horrible demise over the weekend, courtesy of my flyswatter.

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Pardoned for My Crimes Against Fashion

Growing up, I was never known to have the greatest fashion sense.  As a kid, this didn't really matter – I was always sort of off in my own little world and the rules of proper couture were about as interesting (and useful) as learning the proper way to clean out an oven.  Of course, my habit of committing the occasional fashion faux pas was in part derived from loving but somewhat misguided attempts by my parents and grandparents to give me "stylish" clothes; while some clothes may actually have been stylish at the time, I can definitively state that the almost-neon-yellow shorts I wore in 9th grade did not fall in that category.  My classmates who asked me how many batteries my shorts required did not dissuade me from wearing them, but made me all too aware of their….uniqueness.

And then there was my love of red pants as a kid:

I don't know that there's any excuse for these.  I do remember thinking they were uber-cool at the time.  In fact, I thought they were so cool, I wore a pair to my 8th-grade graduation.  Where I was valedictorian.  And had to give a speech in front of the entire graduating class and their parents:

While the red pants may be the benchmark of my fashion statement atrocities, there were many other times that I'm sure I came close:

I think the color scheme goes great with the carpet, don't you?Batting .000 in this outfitWhat? They said wear a sheet for the toga party, right?At least I'm in good company on this one


OK, OK, I may be going a little over the top.  I mean, when I did make the effort, I cleaned up pretty well:

Brothers in tiesYou're not styling unless you've got a cane...Shaken, not stirred, pleaseBrothers at graduation


I pride myself on having come out of the fashion slump somewhere around the end of high school, and now dress relatively sanely.  I can always count on my wife to point out my more egregious offenses, but since they're now few and far between, hopefully it's not too onerous a task for her to take on.


Of course, every once in a while I still have a craving for red pants.  But I try to ignore it, and bury the urge in something productive, like dressing up my daughter in a tiger costume.

Ross at Halloween (1980)Violet plays with her flashlight

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