Go Ask Your Father: Mirrors, Teddy Bears, Brain Messages, and House Water

Sweet Baby Jesus… Thank God it’s Friday! Did anyone else feel like this week was longer the 2016 presidential election? I swear the Universe had some kind of  time malfunction. Her clock was running a bit behind. Time does move slower the faster you go so maybe we went farther. Anyway, here in Canadaland this is a long weekend. Monday is Family Day. What do you think would be a good family day family activity to do with the family? (Did I say family, enough times?)

1. What color are mirrors?

Mirror, mirror on the way, who is the fairest of them all? Kaitlyn Lawes and John Morris, the Canadian gold medal winners for mixed couples curling, are pretty cute. I don’t have a talking mirror, though. So the only way I know who the “fairest of them all is” is when DW is standing in front of it. What color is a mirror, anyway? Any color that is put in front of it. I had to look up how mirrors are made to find this one. Turns out they’re silver. Technically, they start as a window, a clear piece of glass. Then they spray it with demineralized water to clean it. It’s sprayed with liquefied tin. Silver is spray atop the tin because silver won’t stick to glass. As the liquid silver sets it hardens and takes on the reflective properties needed for a perfect selfie. A layer of copper is sprayed on to protect the silver and it’s all baked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit. The backside of it is painted and it’s all set for the fairest of them all.

2. Why are they called Teddy Bears?

The story I told Crash at bedtime when he asked went something like this. An American president a long time ago, named Theodore Roosevelt went by the nickname of Teddy. For a reason unbeknownst to me, created a stuffed animal that was a bear. People called it a Teddy bear. I was close. Right church, wrong pew. Theo did not create the stuffed animal. Instead its origins are from a bear hunt he attended. After 3 days he had not spotted a bear. So the hunt guides tracked down a bear, tied it to a tree and showed it to the President. Theo, seeing that it was wounded and tied to a tree couldn’t shoot it, deemed it inhumane. However, he did have killed to end its suffering. Political cartoonist, Clifford Berryman, drew a cartoon illustrating the President’s refusal to shoot the bear. That bear appeared in later cartoons by the cartoonist. Then Morris Michtom, a candy shop owner in Brooklyn, NY saw the cartoon and, with permission to call them Teddy’s Bears, put two stuffed bears his wife had made, in the front window of his shop. They became so popular he started mass producing them.

3. How does our brain send messages to the rest of our body?

Email? Text? Binary code? Shouting “HEY!” Really, I have no idea. Other than the brain using synapses and neurons and sending signals through our nervous system to the body part that needs to move (like my fingers across the keyboard). Your brain, spinal chord, and a tremendous length of nerves throughout your body all work together to give you that “human experience”. There are 2 kinds of nerves, sensory and motor. The sensory nerves send messages to the brain in regards to our senses, touch, temperature, pain, etc… Motor nerves send signals from the brain to our muscles either voluntarily or reflexively. If you’re wondering how it works on the molecular level, you’ll have to ask your friendly, neighborhood neurologist because I don’t understand neurons and synapses and stuff.

4. How does water get from the water tower into our house?

Magic. Just open the tap and out comes fresh, clean water we can drink (though we filter it anyway). We have several water towers around town.  Water is collected from the lake, cleaned, filtered and pumped though the water pipes that are networked through town by pumping stations. The pumping stations provide the pressure required to push the water through the pipes so that it comes out of the sink, the tub, the toilet, or the hose when want it to. There’s something for you to think about when you’re standing in front of your silver mirror, telling your brain to move your arm while holding your toothbrush while water flows from the faucet.

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all mirrors start as a window anyway…

 

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Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep63

Have you ever longed for bedtime? Not for yourself, but for your kids. PLEASE! Can it be bedtime now? I know they have only been home from school for 17 seconds, but can I send them to bed anyway? Getting in the truck to come home from school Crash hit Bang on the head with the truck door (accidentally) when he was trying to get in his brother’s side of the truck instead of his own. At home, I send them outside to play since it was sunny and warm. Crash took my GoPro with him to video himself skateboarding. Bang runs into him with his bike and breaks the frame that holds the camera. They come inside because apparently it’s no fun outside without a camera. So they try to play inside but all we hear is “Watch me.” “Watch this.” “Watch watch watch.” We watch some, but they certainly don’t need an audience for everything they do.

It’s 9:34pm. Guess where they finally are? You can probably tell from all the silence around here…

As always, feel free to ask your heathens these questions. Just be sure to tag me so I can read their answers.

1. What are you good at now?

Crash: Playing Beyblade, snuggling stuffies, and being annoying
Bang: Running

2. What will you be good at when you grow up?

Crash: Taking pictures like a photographer
Bang: Serving pizza, which means I’m being a chef

 

3. How old do you wish you could be?

Crash: 25
Bang: Nobody can live this long but I want to be a million

4. What 3 things would you take to a deserted island?

Crash: Video games, infinite food, and everything required to survive in the wild
Bang: Some food to eat, a ginormous jug of water, and some dessert – ice cream

5. The world just turned into Legos. What do you build first?

Crash: I don’t know, but I would build lots!
Bang: I would build a giant Lego person

6. Did you have a dream last night?

Crash: I had this one crazy dream that me, my friends had Pokemon and they weren’t just cards, they were real Pokemon. We battled for a long time and it boys vs. girls and one of the girl’s Pokemon scratched me and I used Sing and her Pokemon fell asleep. And this is craziest part… My teacher and brother show up to make another team! My team won, though.
Bang: Nope, I stayed awake all night. I just laid there with my eyes open like I do every single night.

7. What 2 animals would be funny to combine?

Crash: Dinosaur and a pig
Bang: A moose and an elephant and it’s called a mooselephant

8. What is your favorite word?

Crash: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious
Bang: I like to say dab

 

9. What is love?

Crash: It’s family and stuff, like girlfriends and boyfriends and husbands and wives
Bang: I love mom because I fell in love with her but I don’t know what it means to fall in love

10. What’s your favorite game to play in gym class?

Crash: Soccerbaseball
Bang: Hockey and soccer baseball (aka kickball)

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Happy Lupercalia Day (or not)

Once upon a romantic time, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, back when humans believed some weird things, there was a wonderful holiday in Rome. It was celebrated around the 15th of February and it was a special time that was believed to bring fertility and purification throughout the year.

First, A goat and a dog would be sacrificed upon an altar, the first for fertility and the second for purification, both to the God of agriculture, Faunus, and to Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome. After the sacrifice, strips of the goat’s hide were cut from the body and dipped in sacrificial blood. Men would then take the strips and would gently slap women with them. Women, wanting to be fertile and pure, welcomed the event. Afterwards, all the maiden’s names would be put in an urn. Bachelors would then draw a name and the couple would be matched until the following Lupercalia Day. Often, the couple would end up married.

Christianity eventually outlawed this practice when Pope Gelasius declared February 14th St. Valentine’s Day in honor of Valentine, a priest who would wed couples in secret during a time when Emperor Claudius II outlawed marriages. Valentine was imprisoned and while behind bars he would write to his one true love, the jailer’s daughter. Before his execution, he wrote one last letter and closed by writing,

From your Valentine.

I have no goat nor dog to sacrifice. I lack an alter, too. DW doesn’t need to be fertile as we’re done having kids. Therefore, I won’t smack her with strips of goat hide dipped in blood. I think that’s a real sign true love. You’re, welcome hon.

I may not have a goat, or a dog, or an alter, or the desire to sacrifice an animal, or even to smack my wife, gently or otherwise, but I do have a purpose. That purpose lies in being the best husband and father that I can be. I can be their Valentine. I’ll never give up on them. I’ll never give up loving them. I’ll never give up their love for me. Even on the days it’s hard to like them.

After almost thirteen years of marriage and through the raising of two kids, one thing I’ve learned is that we’re better when we work together. We have the common goal of raising happy, healthy, and educated kids. Granted, some days it appears we’re failing on all three accounts. However, we know there will be hurdles to jump and bridges to cross. Together, my valentine and I are prepared to jump and cross.

So, to my Valentine, Happy Valentine’s Day. And a Happy Valentine’s Day to you, too, reader. I hope your day was filled with more chocolate, love, and loved ones than sacrificed goats.

Some Parenting Funnies from the Internets

Parenting is hilarious. Or at least it has the potential to be. God knows what might come out of our children’s mouth. God knows what kind of mischief they will get into next. It’s a roulette wheel of possibilities. It’s a crap shoot (HAHA) of potential opportunities.

So, because it’s late, because my kids are in bed (one is still hacking and coughing), I’m here to lighten the mood, lift a few spirits, and remind you that you’re not alone in the struggle.

Bang was watching the men’s luge. They were zipping down the ice at 130 kph. He said he wants to do that. This is the same child who was scared of waterslides last summer.

Tonight, while Facetiming my parents I had one kid licking the iPad and the other putting his feet on my head.

WTH?

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Did your kid make you laugh today?

Sunday Share: Y2 W7

We’re almost 8 weeks into 2018. Have I learned anything yet this year? I have learned a few new Keto recipes for DW. I learned Crash doesn’t like spaghetti squash substituted for spaghetti. I learned to spell spaghetti so I don’t have to type “sketti” even though that’s what everyone calls it. I learned that if we don’t have chocolate chips, Bang would rather starve than have a chocolate chipless pancake. I also learned that just because you’re in 10th place that doesn’t mean you can’t still win it all!

I also learned that these are some good reads from this week…

Dorky Mom Doodles
How you know you’re raising a “Mean Girl”

Damn, Girl!
Girl power! and gaining economic power…

Rosie Culture
Stop kicking yourself over the small stuff…

Dreaming the World
The complexity of a bird network isn’t just for the birds after all…

A Momma’s View
What’s something good that’s happened to you? Let her know, please. Good news is great news!

Lastly, let me share with you a few other places around the internets that you can find and follow me…

Twitter
Instagram
Facebook
Allrecipes

Keep Calm Gold Olympic Quote

Go Ask Your Father: Battery Life, Erosion, Frostbite, and Lotion on Dogs

Has anyone had a Fitbit challenge with a friend where the winner is the one with fewest steps? Lounging on the couch all morning watching the Olympics I had just 744 steps by lunchtime. I would have had less had I not had to make breakfast for and play games with Bang. Now that I’ve put some laundry away and put some in the wash, I’m up to 2,789. That’s okay, though. I had 16,000 yesterday. I’ll be teaching gym all next week so I should have no trouble making up for this one slack day. We all deserve a slack day now then, right? I’ll justify my slackness by telling everyone I deserve it. I think there is a lot I deserve, but I’ll set for a slack day.

Why do batteries die in the cold?

It sucks to be a battery. They’re either working or they’re dead. There’s more to life than just working all the time. We need to play. Sometimes we need batteries to play the things we want to play. They come in a multitude of shapes and sizes. I just learned that there is actually a thing as AAAA batteries. There are also button batteries, lithium-ion batteries. There are 9 volt and 6 volt and car batteries. There’s even that battery Elon Musk had built in South Australia that can power 30,000 homes for an hour. I can’t even imagine how many A’s come after that one. Anyway, I had my GoPro out doing a timelapse in -10C. The battery was fully charged when I left home, but soon after recording started it started telling me the battery was low. Soon after that it died. This happens because when battery terminals are connect there is a chemical reaction that gets the electrons flowing (science 101: electricity is the flow of electrons). Cold temperatures cause the chemical reactions to happen more slowly. The battery will then run down until it can’t keep up with the demand and it dies a slow, quiet death. When you warm it back up it will resume working normally.

What is erosion?

It’s what the kids do to my nerves every day. They erode them until there’s a landslide and I start motivationally speaking to the selective listener. Erosion is the slow, wearing away of a landform. Water has been eroding land and rock since it got it. Rivers wear away at its banks. You may be familiar with a meandering river. When a river cuts into its bank, the water nearest the bank moves faster and thereby takes more material with it. The bend in the river gets bigger and bigger until the water is able break through and meet itself on the opposite side. The grand canyon was the ultimate meanderer. Rain has been eroding more than farmers patience for millennia. Glaciers of millions of years ago (about the time my parents were in college) eroded lands across the world. Wind has eroded sand dunes and buttes. I like big buttes, I can not lie.

What do you do if you get frostbite?

The boys go out in the Canadian winter and 10 minutes later they’re complaining of frostbite. Dudes, toughen up, walk it off, then go play some more! Kids these days aren’t as tough as we were. Just like I’m not as tough as my parents were. They had to walk to school in 3 feet of snow, up hill both ways! Seriously, though, should you find yourself a survivor of a plane crash high in the Alps and feel the effects of frostbite set in, here are a few tips. Protect the area from further damage. Tuck your frostbitten area into your armpits. Good luck doing that if it’s your feet. DO NOT rub the frostbitten area or put snow on it. When you finally get out of the cold, immediately remove wet clothes. Gently warm the frostbite spot. The key word being gently. Don’t hold it up to a fire, heat lamp or heat pads. These can cause burns. Instead use warm water (not hot). If there’s any chance that the effected area will freeze again, DON’T THAW IT! When you get rescued, get your ass to doctor. You’ll probably need some pain medicine. If you had to eat a friend to survive, go see a therapist.

Do dogs need lotion?

DW laughed and laughed when Bang asked this one. He had been acting like a puppy while she slathered him with post bath Johnson & Johnson. Long story short, yes, dogs could get lotion. They can get dry skin, too. They can also get poison ivy and get Calamine lotion to relieve the itch. However, if the dry skin isn’t bothering the pooch, it shouldn’t bother you, either. If dry skin is bothering your 6 year old son pretending to be a puppy, put lotion on him.

Questions I Asked My Kids

Episode 62. 620 questions. That’s how many questions I answered before breakfast. They ask more questions than Numeris (they’re that survey group). This is my chance to exact a bit of revenge. It’s only 10 questions, though. The difference is, my questions don’t have wrong answers. Theirs do. Imagine all the ways to answer, “Why is windy?”

Feel free to borrow these questions to ask your own kids or spouse or parents or neighbor or next random person who passes you in Wal-Mart. Remember to tag me in it so I can read and share!

So without further ado, my questions…

1. How would you describe a perfect day for you?

Crash: Sitting down playing Roblox with my friends and then we all have a soda, chat and talk and have fun on Roblox
Bang: Electronics all day playing Geometry Dash. Also, I’d live by myself.

2. If you could change anything in the world, what would you change?

Crash: Most important probably would be that no one gets angry, hungry, have to be homeless, and everyone had lots of money
Bang: It would be summer all the time so I could go biking.

3. What is your biggest dream?

Crash: To collect every Pokemon card there is.
Bang: To be a dragon so I can destroy my bother!

4. Where is your favorite place to be?

Crash: Home
Bang: England because they speak “British” (he’s never been to England)

5. What makes you happy?

Crash: Pokemon and video games
Bang: When I get to play Geometry Dash

6. If you become a superhero what would you name yourself and what’s your power?

Crash: Wonder Woman! (NO! JUST KIDDING!) I’d call myself Bald Eagle and I’d could every eagle on Earth and they would help us fight
Bang: Captain C and I could butt kick and fly and super boost.

7. If your stuffie could talk, what would they say?

Crash: Monkey would say “Can we snuggle”. “I peed in your bed last night.” “Keep me away from your little brother because he likes to throw me around.”
Bang: Penguin would say “Hello. My name is Penguin. I’m the cutest stuffie ever.”

8. What is something that made you laugh today?

Crash: Me and my friend were buddy reading and my friend kept making ridiculous faces.
Bang: When you cooked my toes with the green beans in the frying pan!

9. What do you think you’ll dream about tonight?

Crash: Magic flying unicorns that poop on faces. That or I’ll dream about playing video games.
Bang: I’ll dream about nothing or I’ll just stay awake all night until morning.

10. What are some great things about nature?

Crash: It can be really cool, like the noise of water running over rocks
Bang: Robins are great because they’re birds and they’re peaceful. Waterfall noises, too.

There, now I’m going to go climb some walls.

Becoming Dad

I always knew I was going to be a dad some day. I don’t know when exactly I determined that, though. It probably wasn’t until my university days that I entertained that thought. Before that I was just a free spirit. A happy wanderer. A lone wolf looking for a pack.

Because of the parents I had, I thought I knew what kind of dad I would be. I would be the dad who played, the dad who disciplined, the dad who got shit done. It probably wouldn’t get done in a timely manner, mind you, but it would get done.

I was going to parent like my parents did. I would allow my kids to think they were acting on their own when in reality I would be watching from a distance. I wasn’t going to be a helicopter or snow plow, or tiger mom dad. I wasn’t going to be free-range, mind you, but somewhere in the middle. I was going to be involved, too. I wanted to be there to watch them succeed, fail, or just plain try.

I was glad I was a teacher before I became a dad. I learned to discipline other people’s kids before I had to discipline my own. Not that it mattered because discipline comes in as many flavors as there are kids. There is much debate between which consequences work best. Seriously, there is no one size fits all. But that’s for another post, entirely.

Of all the things I was going to be as a dad, the one I nailed is being involved. Not in a helicopter way. I’m just there. When they’re getting ready for school in the morning or ready for bed in the evening I’m there prodding them along. When they’re playing a sport, I’m there to watch. When they have a school performance, I’m there to see them. When there are parent/teacher nights, I go. DW is with me all the way. Or I’m with her all way.

We’re in this gig called parenting together.

However, when I imagined myself being a dad before I was dad, back when I was a clueless twenty something, I didn’t imagine myself being quite as involved as I actually am today. My kids would love school because their parents are teachers. My kids would love helping out around the house because we would include them in such chores from an early age. My kids would be polite, respectful, hard working, smart, and a plethora of spectacular superlatives. Whenever I imagined what my kids would be like, I think God giggled a little bit.

I didn’t imagine I’d have a kid having ADD and needing constant supervision because he’d be a task avoider. He knows what he needs to do, he just doesn’t do it. I didn’t imagine my kid throwing a temper tantrum the size of a Philadelphia Superbowl riot. How dare I make a pancake without chocolate chips? We never imagine that stuff before we become parents. They don’t teach you that stuff in school. They don’t write about that stuff in books, or at least not in the books I read.

What To Expect When You Don’t Expect Your Kid To Be Different From What You Expect.

I learned to be a dad from my Dad. I learned to be a parent from my parents. They set a pretty good example, too. They had awesome kids though, so they had it “easy”. I wish I had it as easy as my parents did. Perhaps I do because I really don’t know their struggles as parents back then because I was just a kid. You can’t imagine #ParentingStruggles when you are a Terrible Two or a Threenager or even a Teenager, for that matter.

The Fresh Prince knew what he was saying when he said “Parents just don’t understand”. Well, neither do kids.

So, to my parents, I want to say thank you for teaching me to parent by example. To my kids, thank you for testing my parenting ability. One day, you two will understand why your mother and I do what we do.

Kids

Lucy At Home

Changing the World

Can you change the world? Can I? It’s not an easy undertaking. The world is a pretty big place, after all. What could you do to change it? Something so big, so important, that the whole world takes notice and thereby becomes a better place.

Nah. That’ll never happen. I’m too small. Too insignificant. I’m just one person, what can I do?

What I can do is change how I define the world.

What is the world? For me, for you, for all us, it is our house. It is our neighbors and neighborhood. Simply put, the world is the part we have a direct influence over. It is the part we interact with.

It begins with our family, the people we live with, the ones we interact with every day. We can easily change their world. Kindness. Patience. Compassion. It’s often hardest to show such traits to those who share our dwelling. They have the greatest opportunity drive us batty. But we can change their world with a few positive character traits. We can make their day, set their day off on the right track, or end their day with a smile.

I may not be able to change your world. However, I can certainly change mine and those around me.

Change the World Quote

Sunday Share: Y2 W6

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One year ago today DW received “the call” that her father was being taken to the hospital by ambulance. From there he was transported to another, larger, hospital. On the way, DW asked him to send her eagles as a sign that he was with her.

When Bang learned to swim without a life jacket, an eagle flew overhead.
When DW was on her way to the hospital for CAT scan, she spotted an eagle.
When DW was feeling down and out, there was an eagle soaring.
When DW was missing him, Bang drew, colored, cut out, and taped an eagle to the wall.

As I’m sitting here watching the Superbowl, my brother-in-law’s favorite team, the Patriots are in it again. I know from past Superbowls that being down by 12 means nothing. I’d love to root for his team.

But I can’t get past that perhaps He is sending DW yet another eagle. I’m rooting for Philadelphia.

The Long Run Back
A peak into her running schedule… It’s enough to inspire me to lace up again.

Fatty McCupcakes
When you’ve got the rhythem of a flag pole and you attend a Zumba for the Gods class…

Snoozing on the Sofa
The joys of cooking for your offspring…

Where Are Your Pants
This is one diary worth reading…

Humor Columnist Blog
Wait for a business to do their business..

Don’t forget you can also follow Stomperdad (me) on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram

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