Thursday, October 1, 2009

Earthworms and parachutes

Last weekend I went to my annual Alaska Nurse Practitioner Association conference. My favorite lecture, once again, involved brain chemistry. I am fascinated by the brain and learning what makes us, okay, so the heart is the ticker. I am more interested in learning how we think, feel, respond to the world around us. This particular lecture was on insomnia, taught by a neuropsychiatrist. He was trying to explain anatomy of the brain and the sleep-wake cycle. Most people have heard of the cerebrum, the cerebellum, maybe even the hypothalamus. But did you know about the the amygdala and the locus ceruleus? Judging from those names, it seems George Lucas shares my passion for neuroanatomy.

Fastforward 5 days: I'm now home with the kids. Chris stayed home from school yesterday with a stomach ache. At first I thought he was just suffering from MDD (Mommy Deficit Disorder), but last night he actually had a fever. So today he is home again, even though he is feeling better. After Riley and Maya left for school, he got bored and wanted to go for a walk. He seemed fine so I packed a lunch and we went for a short hike. It's a gorgeous sunny fall day. He held my hand and we walked and talked. I really enjoy being alone with Chris. Being a middle child, so much of his (bad) behavior is influenced by reacting to his older brother and younger sister. But when it's just him, he has no need to define himself in the context of his siblings and is free to just be himself. I never believed in that sibling theory stuff until I had three children who are less than 4 years apart.

Now we are home with Maya and he wants to make a parachute. Yesterday he wanted to know if earthworms can see. So I googled "can earthworms see?" and we got the answer to our question (Earthworms do not have eyes but they have light sensors and can tell light from dark). It worked so well I decided to google "how to make a parachute". I got some directions, it seemed pretty straight forward. Since I am too lazy to read the directions to him (because I'm in the middle of blogging), I look for a video. I click on a video and we start watching it. After about 15 seconds I realize the guy doesn't seem to be making anything that looks remotely like a parachute. There is rock music blaring in the background. I look back at the description of the video and realize I'm showing my 7 year old how to make a homemade pipe for smoking pot. Okay, one more reason why I should NOT home school my kids.

Update on Maya: Maya is loving school. Her speech teacher wrote me a note telling me how impressed she is with Maya's progress in speech. Yesterday she used a 6 word sentence. She told another child "You should get back over there!" Then the bus driver called me because Maya told him to drop her off at Grandma's house. The bus drops her off at Grandma's on Mondays when I am at work. On Wednesdays it brings her home. She was trying to pull a fast one over on the bus driver. On Monday she told Grandma "Grandma, if you that again, I going to kick your butt". I think she got some time out to think about how NOT to talk to grandma. We are obviously still trying to establish the pecking order around here.

Update on Riley: Riley started band this year and chose to learn how to play the trumpet. We dug Matt's old trumpet out of the closet and he was able to make noise with it right away. Now he is working on making music. It's neat to see him excited about something besides sports. It seems music is not his only new interest. Monday he sheepishly said to me "Mom, Bradley is trying to get me a girlfriend." I answered "Why? You don't like to talk on the phone, you can't go on dates yet, why do you want a girlfriend? You tell Bradley I said you are too young to have a girlfriend." He walks downstairs with a smile on his face, looking mildly embarrassed. Then Chris says in classic deadpan, nonchalant Chris fashion: "I have a girlfriend." I said "You do?" He said "Yes." I said "Who is your girlfriend?". He answered "Quinlan". I have learned from past experience that teasing Chris about girls is off limits. So I just say"Okay" and drop it. From downstairs I hear Riley saying "See, Mom? Even Chris has a girlfriend".

I'm not ready for the boys to have girlfriends. I want Chris to keep making parachutes for a long time. He has now finished a plastic one and a cloth one. Now he's busy making homemade ice cream. I better get dinner started!

I can't seem to get the black birds to land in a yellow tree on a sunny day with the blue sky in the background. Matt suggested I hang lunch meat from the branches!
Fall currant leaves against tree trunk.

Trevor got this big bone for his 5th birthday. Chris cut his bangs in school when he was bored. This is how he looks after the fix-it-before-picture-day-haircut.

Maya's new Tinkerbell cell phone.

Let's see which works better, plastic or cloth parachute?

1 comment:

Stevens Family said...

Love the parachute drop at the end! Nice update on the fam too :) My husband is a middle child and often talks of being "in the middle." It has it's challenges for sure.