Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Don't you love my mirror photography?

There's at least one great thing about living on an Indian reservation where there's almost zero interest in national politics (I haven't seen a single sign for either presidential candidate on the entire reservation): when you show up to vote, the number of poll workers will almost certainly outnumber the amount of people waiting in line. This morning, Papaya Daddy & I were the lone voters, with about 10 workers at the polling station to help us along. It still felt good to be a part of the national democratic process, however.

Happy voting day, America!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Daddy-son adventure time

We missed church today, since the Banana was down with a diarrheal illness yesterday & we didn't want to infect anybody (she seems much better today).

Papaya Daddy was going a little stir crazy by lunch time today so, as I put the two girls down for naps, he & the Papaya headed off in our car to find a nice place to do some hiking.

It's fun to see them go off together to pursue adventure, even with the inevitable (but slight)worry I can't help bearing (two adventure-loving males together). I'm sure they'll come home having had a wonderful and exciting time.

Last Saturday, we headed off with our church friends to the edge of Third Mesa for a cookout. About half the group headed over the edge of the mesa for a hike/rock scramble. They had a wonderful time, & Papaya Daddy was blown away by how agile and reasonable the Papaya was in his climbing. He had confidence and skill, but stayed away from ledges & dangerous situations. We were both proud of him, and I'm sure it was the beginning of many heart pounding adventures to come for the Papaya & his Daddy. Sometimes, as a mother, you'd just rather not look or know.

See the Papaya stuck to the steep rock?

We've heard that this is one of the caves that the Hopi used to hide out in to keep their kids from being taken away to government boarding school about 100 years ago (it used to be mandatory, and some of the parents who resisted were actually taken to Alcatraz!). Evidently it doesn't have much in it now except for rat poop (yes, they explored it).

Here's a just plain gorgeous picture, professionly taken by Papaya Daddy:

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Lost in Translation

They say that you've really mastered a foreign language when you begin to understand humor in that language.

If that's true, then I haven't quite mastered my kids' language yet.

Breakfast this morning became a joke-telling fest for the two older kids. Here are samples:


Banana: Mommy, can I tell you a joke?

Me: Sure. Tell me a joke.

Banana: How do ducks fly?

Me: How?

Banana: They flap their wings! [Ha, ha, ha, ha!!]

Me: Was that your joke?

Banana: Yes! That's silly! That makes my tummy full from laughing!

Papaya: Mommy, I have a joke.

Me: Okay, what is it?

Papaya: While I'm eating breakfast, people are being buried underground! [Ha, ha, ha, ha!]

They're a barrel of laughs, those two!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Proof that she's a drama queen

Our car ride home from church this afternoon was suddenly interrupted with loud, shrill, and tragic crying from the Banana. It sounded like somebody had seriously hurt her.

Me: Banana, what's the matter?

Banana: [Waaahhh!] Papaya say something to me!

Me: What did he say to you?

Banana: Adagio!!!! [Waaahhhh!]

Where DO our children pick up this kind of language?!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Because the obvious thing to do when you're having trouble keeping one blog current...

...is to create a new one!

Yes, since I was posting too frequently on this blog for my computer to keep up with me, I've created a new blog for the overflow inspiration.

Actually, the real reason I created a new blog is to keep a digital scrapbook of our homeschooling adventures. I hope it will act as a kind of report of what we do, a place to record the kids' work and accomplishments (more "portable" than boxes of papers), and possibly a source of the occasional idea for another homeschooler (I know I've certainly gained a lot of inspiration by reading other people's ideas online).

It may be completely boring for those not interested in homeschooling, my kids' weekly educational activities, or our choices for curriculum, so I'll try to keep interesting, general family posts on this blog.

Anyway, for those who are interested in our homeschool, I present to the world...

....[drum roll]....

3 R's on the Rez


P.S. Hey, Kim & Jordana - how about starting your own?

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Happy Birthday, Banana!

Our "pretty in pink" girl is 3 years old now! And so very different from her brother. She's the drama queen of our family - definitely no understatement with her! The most musical family member, too - it does my heart good to know there will be at least one of us who can carry a tune! Strong willed, she's already turning into a bit of a leader. During her NaiNai's visit last week, she was making up her own games & songs & teaching them to NaiNai. We predict a girl who will be very clever in school in the future - she's very sharp and articulate and already shows an ability to concentrate (when she wants to, which is not particularly often).
Unlike the Papaya, who was heavily "into" trains and cars at her age, the Banana has shown no particular passion for any theme - she's not into princesses, dolls, cars, or anything specific for long. This can make present-buying more complicated! The upside is that when she does receive a present, she is gratifyingly excited and appreciative, no matter what the present is. She does like make-believe, though (like her brother), and (also like him) enjoys making and serving meals to an eclectic assortment of animals, vehicles, living human beings, and random inanimate objects.
She has almost perfected the art of frustrating her brother and getting him into trouble, but also plays beautifully & happily with him for long periods of time. It's fun to watch them together. She is fascinated with her infant sister (and mostly gentle), and the Portabella loves watching her and following her every move. She was the first to make the Portabella laugh.

The Banana loves books, poetry, songs, and drama, which makes her a fun participant of our home "preschool". We look forward to seeing how she'll develop and grow in the next year. We love you, Banana!

Random Quote of the Day

From the Banana at breakfast this morning:

"Mommy, I'm chewing like an animal in trouble!"

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


Random Musings from a lapsed blogger:

We just returned from a lovely 4-day vacation in Flagstaff. It was a much needed break for a much-worked Papaya Daddy & Mommy. We got sore necks staring up at the beautiful golden aspens high up in the peaks, then descended to red rock Sedona to complete a fairly strenuous 5-mile hike into Boynton Canyon. The Papaya hiked the entire 5 miles on his own, with only one minor whine during the first half. We were all incredibly proud of him. Way to go, Papaya!

Speaking of the Papaya, during our second night in our Flagstaff hotel, I heard a bump in the dark, coming from the direction of the kids' room. I walked over to investigate. Both kids were asleep, but as I came near the Papaya, I saw that his pillow was covered with blood. "Are you okay?" I whispered. The Papaya stirred & said "Yes, Mommy, but I fell out of bed." Bending closer, I saw a gash on his left eyelid. I awakened Papaya Daddy & we pulled out our flashlight to investigate further. Shrinking away from the light, a very sleepy Papaya protested, "I'm shy!" and immediately fell back asleep again. However, the gash was gaping enough to require a stitch or two to avoid a large scar. Wanting to avoid the trauma of the ER at 1:00 in the morning (not to mention a needle in the Papaya's eyelid), Dr. Daddy drove out to Walmart & returned with Superglue. I held the Papaya (still mostly asleep) still while our expert physician superglued his eyelid gash together with three separate applications that we blew on to dry. It's healing beautifully, and the Papaya never shed a single tear over the incident!

The Papaya is old enough now to begin exploring some of the deep questions of life, specifically the afterlife. A couple months ago, it dawned on him that we all (including him) will die someday, and after some tears and discussion, he decided to focus on the excitement of Heaven rather than the horror of death. Since then, there's been a lot of speculation about Heaven & exactly how we'll get there. When NaiNai (Papaya's paternal grandmother), who just completed a two week visit, asked him how he could get to heaven (she was interested in teaching him about the salvation process rather than the mecanics of transport he was pondering), he thought for a few seconds, then answered very seriously, "Well, first you have to die. After that, I'm not sure how you get there." She tried to explain about asking Jesus into your heart, and he responded with absolute gravity, "But NaiNai, how do I do that after I die?" After some further thought, he decided that there was probably a big tube between heaven & earth, and that after you die, you get sucked through the tube, all the way to heaven.

Our efforts at religious education also include teaching the two older kids a Bible verse every week. We try to make sure they remember the reference as well as the verse. The Papaya's pretty good at this, but the Banana (who just turned 3 - Happy Birthday!) has a little bit of trouble. "Can you tell me where it's from?" is a common question from us after she recites a verse.

Well, last week the kids were watching a Netflix Reading Rainbow DVD about immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century. It included a lot of old footage of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island, and concluded with the playing of the famous 80's song with the refrain, "They comin' to America! Today!" The kids found this song quite memorable, and during snack, the Banana sang the refrain & asked me, "Mommy, where does 'Comin' to America' come from?" Absently, I replied, "from Neil Diamond." The Banana triumphantly declared, "Neil Diamond 15:16!"

I don't think Neil Diamond is quite that authoritative.

The Portabella is growing by leaps and bounds & just hit her 5-month birthday. She got her second round of immunizations two weeks ago and weighed in at 12 pounds. She's becoming quite the extrovert and loves to give dazzling smiles to strangers, something that garners her quite a lot of public adoration when we're out and about. Those strangers had better not try to hold her, however - she's a definite Mommy's girl when it comes to that.

Cultural tidbit of the day for all my readers: our long weekend in Flagstaff was made possible by Papaya Daddy's comp days that followed a grueling 10-day work stint (something that happens about once a month). This "Ward doc" rotation includes a weekend of running the ER and the inpatient wards. The ER was a busy place weekend before last, in part because of the annual Hopi "basket dance". This is a harvest-type celebration dance that traditionally included tossing baskets (the Hopi are excellent weavers) into the dancing space as an expression of joy in the harvest and bounty. These days, the throwing of objects has extended past just baskets to encompass just about any kitchen implement you can think of - toasters, coffeepots, and pans are all fair game. Papaya Daddy had his hands full repairing lacerations (with stitches, not Superglue) - caused specifically by a flying platter, a muffin pan, and some unknown object. Only at Hopi!

Stay tuned for a birthday post & pictures of the Banana & fall aspens - hopefully sometime in the next month!