10 Questions I Ask My Kids: Travel Edition

We are now at DW’s brother’s and sister-in-law’s house for a visit with them and their four kidlets. They’ve taken us and our crazies in for a couple nights. It’s always great visiting with them and getting caught up. The cousins love seeing and playing with each other, too. 

The Discovery Center was good, though it wasn’t great because of the number of people and the number of people who’s kids were inconsiderate and the parents were either nowhere to found or had their noses glued to their cell phone. So it didn’t leave much time for learning. However, I did learn about my patience in a public setting. Turns out it’s pretty good. On the plus side, though, the boys got to see a liquid nitrogen demonstration.

1. What has been your favorite part of the trip so far?

Crash: Discovery Center
Bang: Sleeping and dream about my favorite dreams

2. What was your favorite part of the Discovery Center?

Crash: The Sky Dome and the curcuits
Bang: Inside the Sky Dome

3. What is one thing you learned about at the Discovery Center?

Crash: About constellation and planets and stars
Bang: That the bottle was -200 degrees (Liquid Nitrogen)

4. What’s your favorite part of visiting Aunt Mag and Uncle Kevin’s house?

Crash: Playing sports on XBox Kinect
Bang: Getting a sleepover

5. What animal do you wish you could be?

Crash: A dog
Bang: A giraffe

6. Why do you want to be that animal?

Crash: Because you can train them to do stuff
Bang: Because I want a tongue that is 21 cm

7. If you were a Minecraft mob, which would you be?

Crash: Either the Wither or the Ender Dragon
Bang: Enderman

8. How old do you think you’ll be when you get married?

Crash: 22
Bang: 16

9. Where do you want to live when you grow up?

Crash: Here – where we live now
Bang: Aunt and Uncle’s house (Kev and Mag)

10. What color do you want to dye your hair?

Crash: Blue
Bang: Blue

Go Ask Your Father: Spring, Smarts, Lent, and Brains…

Is it spring, yet?

Thanks to that pesky groundhog, the boys think spring is supposed to come early. I had to explain to them that it was a) just a myth and b) it depends on which groundhog you believe because there are many and not all predict the same things. We had one day of unusually warm weather. It was warm enough to go without a jacket. Since that happened it’s warm enough to go without a coat every day. Or so the oldest believes. Officially, the first day of spring is March 20th. But this is Canada. Warm weather doesn’t get here until later. Much later. Like July.

Will he get smart now?

I haven’t written about this yet, but Crash has been struggling to focus on tasks. When he loses focus the fidgets set in and getting him back on track becomes near impossible. Last year he was diagnosed with ADHD (though he’s more ADD, it all falls under the same umbrella). As teachers, we know that diagnosis can be given easily and many parents opt to medicate. As we found out from the phamacist, some parents just start with highest dose possible. We are not most parents. We opted to educate ourselves and see if we could use some behavior modifications to help him. A year later and nothing has changed. He’s still struggling to focus. So we looked into medication – the lowest dose possible. Bang, having overheard many of our conversations, knows that his big brother is going to take medicine to help him focus in school. Crash takes his pill on the very first morning and Bang, without missing a beat, asks, “Will he get smart now?” Boy did we laugh.

Why is it called Lent?

Ahh. Good old Lent. What I wouldn’t give for a Coke right now. Or any pop/soda/cola. This is the first full week without and I’ve been craving one all week long. Come on Sunday! I know it’s for the better. I know it’s not good for me. But I want one. Lent originally simply meant spring. It’s origins are Germanic, specifically Old English, lencten; also the Anglo-Saxon name for March – lenct. I just wish it was called over so I can have a Coke!

What happens to your brain when you die?

How’s that for morbid curiosity? Obviously, when we die our brains die with us. The heart no longer pumps the needed blood and oxygen required for it to function. According to LiveScience and Jimo Borjigin, a neuroscientist at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, a study of rats was conducted as they died from a lack of oxygen. Just prior to heart failure, their brain sent a flurry of signals and chemicals to the heart. This combo caused their hearts to stop. The researchers found that when they blocked those signals and chemicals the heart lastest three times longer. After I die, I know exactly what will happen to my brain. It’ll be put in a jar on a shelf right next to Einstein’s.

87115-Carl-Sagan-Quote-Science-is-a-way-of-thinking-much-more-than-it-is

Speak English!

It is spoken by over 840 million people. That’s 840,000,000 people. It’s the second most spoken language right after Mandarin (Chinese). It’s spoken by 67 countries and 27 non-sovereign countries, ie Hong Kong and Puerto Rico.  Some sources say it originated in what is now northwest Germany and the Netherlands. There’s Old English which is the English my parents speak and is preserved in Beowulf from around the year 800. Then there’s middle English of the 1000’s, which my wife and I speak. Lastly, there’s Modern English spoken by this Millennial generation- from the 16 and 1700’s Millennials. The American Revolution included being vocabularically (that’s a word, right?) free from England.

The 20 volume Oxford dictionary includes definitions for 171,476 words. However, it also lists definitions for 47,156 obsolete words and about 9,500 derivatives as subentries. So there could be upwards of 250,000 words.

And what I love about the English language – words can be used in so many different ways to mean so many different things. The same word can be a thing, it can be an action or it could be a description.

Which brings me to the point of this post. Finally. Thanks to Stumbleupon, I found some hilarious idiosyncrasies in the English language. Ones I knew about, but never gave conscious thought to. They certainly make me relieved that English is my first language because as one Tumblr user said, “I’m glad English is my first language because if I had to learn it as a second language I’d jump off a bridge.”

1. I never said you were stupid.

You get a completely different meaning depending on which word you stress. Six words, six meanings.

2. English can be understood through tough thorough thought, though.

There’s that “ough” conundrum. Written the same five times, pronouned five different ways.

3. If womb is pronounced “woom” and tomb is pronounced “toom” shouldn’t bomb be pronounced “boom”?

It should and it will if you’re not careful.

4. Then there are contronyms.

These are words that are their own opposites. Unlike the word up, whose opposite is down, the word peruse is its own opposite. It can mean to read something in a relaxed way or it can mean to read something carefully. Egregious and nonplussed are two more examples.

5. A long time ago someone wrote “God B W Ye”. This is essentially 16th century text speak that gave us the word “goodbye”.

6. Cough, rough, though, and through don’t rhyme. They don’t even sound alike. Yet somehow, pony and bologna do. WTH?

7. A simple mark, the infamous comma (,) can change the whole meaning of sentence and even save lives.

Lets eat, kids.

While some of may have considered baking up our children after a particlarly long snow day, that comma means we’re having chicken, not children.

8. And somehow that that makes sense…115933219113-png__700

9. Then there’s this bit of comedy using idiosyncrasies…

The correct way to spell Potato

P – GH as in hiccough
O- OUGH as in dough
T- PHTH as in phthisis
A – EIGH as in eight and neighbor
T- ETT as in gazett
O- EAU as in plateau

GHOUGHPHTHEIGHETTEAU = Potato

10. For my tenth and final act I give you this gem. When you’re done reading this picture type the last sentence into Google translate and click “pronounce”.  I promise you won’t be disappointed. The boys and I have heard it a hundred times and we laugh every time.funny-english-language-jokes-3-58a1ac7da639a__700

I love the English language. It can be fun to play with. I didn’t get into the whole i before e nonsense and their/there/they’re and homographs like bow and bow. So this list could go on and on and on…

910f5b53685407abd55061ae44c7ec4b

10 Questions I Asked My Kids (ep 33)

It’s hard to believe I’ve asked my kids 330 questions. They all up for grabs, too, so feel free to ask your own kids whether they are 4 or 40.

1. What did you give up for lent?

Crash: Chocolate
Bang: Pop

2. What makes you happy?

Crash: Puppies
Bang:
Getting licked by a dog

3. What makes me happy?

Crash: Reading, teaching, good listeners
Bang: A clean basement

4. What makes mom happy?

Crash: Candy Crush, good listeners, whale watching
Bang: Snuggling

5. What is your favorite song?

Crash: I Gotta Feeling by The Blackeyed Peas
Bang: Ghost Town by Adam Lambert

6. If we got a dog, what would you want to name it?

Crash: Winn Dixie
Bang: Sparky

7. If you could meet anyone from TV who would you want to meet?

Crash: Hope and Alison (or Rebecca) from Hope for Wildlife (Hope for Wildlife is a charitable wildlife rehabilitation and education organization)
Bang: Ellen DeGeneres

8. If a genie granted you 3 wishes, what would you wish for?

Crash: More video games (Pokemon Sun and moon), More hockey cards to trade with my cousin, and Minecraft robots
Bang:
To go on stage to dance, being the best player in basketball, if Zoe and Felix were alive

cmwkltvweaafiyc

9. If you could be a sound, what sound would you be?

Crash: I’d be a “ruff” like a dog
Bang: Mooooo

10. What is love?

Crash: When two people like each other
Bang: Hugging people

c75fce062cdbd04e7ec35cf42d31b64e

Go Ask Your Father: Hemroids, Sphincters, Constipation, and Seat Belts

It’s been steady going around here. In the last two weeks there should have been 10 days of school. There were only 3. Six of the seven missed days were because of snow. The seventh (today) was because there was a province wide teacher walk out strike. Thousands (I heard 20+ thousand) gathered outside of the Province House (where provincal legislation takes place). According to news reports the demonstrators (teachers and those who support them) were so loud that those inside the building couldn’t hear each other at times. 

#TeacherStrong to make the classrooms better for the students.

Plus all the snow, which was good snowman snow…

Notice the pine needle hair?

What are hemorrhoids?

Simply put, they’re a pain in the arse. According to Google they are a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. They’re similar to varicose veins. They are often caused by an increase in pressure during pregnancy (or labor) or from a strenuous bowel movement. Sometimes that can feel like labor, too. If they’re inside your rectum (I love that word because it sounds like wrecked ’em) they’re called internal hemorrhoids. If they develop under the skin around your stink eye/one eye’d pirate/starfish they are external hemorrhoids. Most times they are just uncomfortable and cause itching, discomfort and bleeding. Other times a clot forms which will need to be lanced and drained. I apologize if you are eating while reading this. I suggest you put your fork down until this post is over…

What makes our poop come out?

Simply put, muscles, but not the kind you can flex and admire in the full length gym mirror. In more specific terms it’s your digestive system. A series of tubes that connect your mouth to your anus move food along until there is nothing left but waste. The movement within the tubes (esophogus, stomach, and intestine) is called peristalsis. It looks like a wave moving through the muscle. The waves narrow the tube propelling it’s contents closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your colon collects the shit waste that wasn’t absorbed by the intestine. After a day or so a good bowel movement expells it for a hole in one. 

Why won’t my poop come out?

Constipation. Kinda like writers block. When your poop become hard and dry you’ll have a rough go trying to pass it. It may feel like it’s the size of a bus. In the words of Bang, “No wonder it hurt. It was HUGE!” It could have been from eating too much fatty, sugary, or starchy food. A little more fiber (fruits and veggies and whole grains) should soften it right up. Perhaps it was from not enough exercise. The extra movements help move food through your system. I doubt it was from that, though. The culprit may be a lack of fluid. But with the rate at which I’m buying milk, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it either. Stress can cause backups, too. With recent events, that’s definitely a posibility.  Could it be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? He has complained of belly pains before. IBS can cause diarrhea sometimes and constipation at other times. It also causes pains and farts. “Do I rot?” is a common question…

How do seat belts work?

One of these questions ins’t like the others. You can continue eating now. The shit’s over. 

The first thing is the buckle. Click it or ticket as we tell the kids. Buckle up for safety. When you put the buckle into the clasp, the hole in the buckle catches on a tab. Pressing the release button releases the tab and out pops the buckle. Inside the belt system is a retractor mechanism. This spool winds and unwinds any loose webbing (the seat belt). Inside the retrator is a spring that applies rotational force, or torque, to the belt. This is why when you pull gently to buckle up the belt unrolls smoothy. The locking mechanism inside the spool locks the belt and keeps it from extending when a sudden motion is applied. The webbing of the belt is specifically engineered to help you survive an accident. It can stretch which slows your forward momenum gradually instead of instantly like the dashboard or windshield would. It’s estimated that seat belts save 13,000 lives in the US each year. That’s why I never put it in drive before I hear all the clicks. 

Questions I Asked My Kids

These kinds of posts usually happen on Thursday. They’re my rules so I can break ’em if I want to. I feel like I’ve been watching education systems fall apart. DeVos, who has no experience in public schools and various other major skills, has become Trumps Education Secretary. Here in Nova Scotia, teachers are in their 3rd month of a work to rule strike because classroom conditions no longer meet students’ needs. But those are posts for another time on another day. Today we need a smile and a laugh. Who better to look to for that laugh than a certain 5 and 9 year old. Crash and Bang can deliver a laugh faster than a Superbowl commercial. 

1. How fast can you run?

Crash: I’d say… fast. 15 miles an hour
Bang: A million miles ahead of a car

2. Where does snow come from?

Crash: Comes from rain. Rain gets cold then it falls as snow.
Bang: Clouds

3. Why do birds fly?

Crash: So they can get around easier 
Bang: To get to their home because walking would be too slow

4. What’s something Guppie (their grandfather) always said?

Crash: I’ve got a surprise for you (Kindereggs)
Bang: I’m going to make stew

5. What is something that will remind you of Guppie?

Crash: His cottage, throwing rocks, teaching us how to curse
Bang: About talking to Nanny Sharon, throwing rocks, snuggling under the warm (electric) blanket, and lots of money – he gave me lots of money.

6. Can you tell me a story or a dream you had?

Crash: I had a dream. From that TV show Ghost Adventures except it was me and my friends and not the guys on the show. Rocks were being thrown horizontally at us from nowheres. I sat next this guy and felt this draft of really freezing cold air around us.(Guess we won’t be watching that show again)
Bang: I was playing on the new Nintendo Switch and I was playing Yoshi’s Wooly World and I got hit by a big ginormous metal spider robot.

7. Why does Dad love Mom?

Crash
: Because she’s beautiful and funny and has a great sense of humor
Bang: Because she’s his wifey

8. Why does Mom love Dad?

Crash: Because he has strong muscles
Bang: Because he gives hugs and kisses

9. How many TimBits can you eat?

Crash: one jillion ten thousand nine hundred ninety nine
Bang: 3,001

10. How do you know Mom and Dad love you?

Crash: Because they let us stay up late, they feed us supper, put a roof over our heads and give us clothes
Bang: Because we snuggle.

Go Ask Your Father: Dictionaries, Weekends, Playing, and Airplanes

How long does it take to make a dictionary?

Though it’s writing began in 1857 it’s first volume wasn’t published until 1884. It was estimated to take 10 years to complete but took 70 when a 10 volume edition was published in 1928. This is about the same amount of time it takes me to get DW’s to-do list done, aka the honey-do list. The second edition, twenty volume Oxford English dictionary contains 171,476 defined words. That’s almost as many words as a chatty, world pondering kid can say at bedtime. 

Is it the weekend?

It most definitely is. It’s the time of sleepovers, staying up late, and not sleeping in because kids never sleep in. However, it wasn’t the weekend at the time of this asking. It was a school day. Bang was either looking for a few more minutes of sleep or to sleepover in either his brother’s bed or at Nanny’s house. Most of the time he enjoys his sleep. We normally have to wake him for school. His brother is destined to be a farmer because it’s up at 6 am, sometimes earlier. I saw a FB quote that goes something like this: As a kid I couldn’t understand why parents wanted to sleep so much. As an adult I don’t understand why kids are never tired.

Who’s going to play with me?

Poor Bang. Nobody loves him and he always has to play all alone. Note sarcasm. Sometimes we build a hotwheels races track. Sometimes we play Mario Kart on the Wii. They boys especially love this because they laugh their little heads off when DW swears at her racecar. Sometimes we play Bug Trails. It’s a fun little matching game and I don’t even have to let him win. He beats me fair and square! Sometimes I call “Not It” and I go cook supper. Or I call “Bedtime”. Or I delegate it to his big brother. He’s been tired and cranky this week so playing with him has felt much like petting a porcupine.

Can an airplane fly with no roof?

DW and I watch Mayday, a show on the Discovery Channel that show how and why planes have crashed. While it’s informative and entertaining, it’s also nerve wracking. We have flown numerous times and it makes DW even more nervous to fly. I find it consoling knowing that these issues have happened in the past, they were thoroughly investigated and solved so they don’t happen again. Besides, statistics show that it’s safer to fly than to drive. In one recent episode we watched part of the roof of the fusalage ripped off. 

The plane landed safely and the only fatality was a flight attendent who flew out of the plane when the roof departed. If you remember once upon a time, planes were built with open cockpits. But a plane that’s supposed to have roof and suddenly doesn’t can continue to fly so long at the remainder of the fusalage can handle the stress load and the drag isn’t too great. It’s the wings and tail that provide the lift. Drag (the wind pushing on the plane) will slow the plane down. So long as the plane flies at speeds greats enough to provide sufficient lift, it will carry on soaring with the birds. Other planes have lost parts of it fusalage or cargo doors yet the entire plane went crashing down because it’s drag was so great it couldn’t get lift. DW and I both agree that it would be fun to investigate plane crashes, though it would be disheartening to know that what we were investigating may have caused many to die. I, myself, would love to learn to be a pilot!

Hmmm…

Have you ever wanted to write?

Have you ever wanted to just sit and sling so much wisdom and insight that your readers were left more amazed than a Cirque de Soleil audience?

I have numerous (26) drafts in my draft folder, but I don’t feel like writing about the state of our education system. That’s already been covered and really, there isn’t much I could say about that to leave people with the feeling of amazement. My blog is 92.5% centered on parenting as I tend to write about the boys, Crash and Bang. But they’ve frustrated me recently and I don’t feel like writing about them either. There’s nothing amazing about the piles of ice about to rain down on us sometime tomorrow. Except maybe the pictures. I’ll save a thousands words by posting pictures of it tomorrow. 

I want to write something so amazing you’ll be left sitting in your chair slack jawed and gasping for breath. It’ll be so brilliant you’ll need to wear sunglasses under a welding visor. 

But I got nothin’.

Not a flicker.

Not a spark.

Not a thought worthy of a hangry toddler.

Have you ever wanted to spew soliloquy so splendidly, but the only words you’re spewing are synonymous of a lactose intolerant infant after breasfeeding? Have you ever wanted to shine like the light of a thousand dessert suns, but came up with nothing more than the universe’s largest, blackest hole? 

Me, too.

Sunday Share Week 4

Some bug has infected our house so you might want to read this from a safe distance. Definitely wash your hands with soap and hot water afterwards. Bang caught it last Thursday. Crash caught it last night. I’m not feeling so hot myself. With the exception of DW and Bang going grocery shopping it’s been a pretty quiet day around here.  But you didn’t come here for that. Or at least I hope you didn’t. You came to find some good reads. So what did I find for you this fourth week of January?

Happy reading!

Fatty McCupcakes
What you might see while sitting on the toilet…

Four Princesses and the Cheese
How Disneyland just got better…

Green Grapes
A dose of the HAHAHAs…

Not the Average Mama
When a kid wants a push on the mood swing…

Making Time for Me
On making time…

Messy Goes to Okido – a science show we watch a hundred times a day…