Go Ask Your Father: Fat Lips, Vision, AEDs, and Undertows

Happy Thursday night or whatever time of the week it happens to be for you when you’re reading this. I’m settling in getting ready for yet another snow storm. School was cancelled Monday because of snow. It was cancelled Wednesday because of ice. It’s likely the kids will be home to drive me nuts again tomorrow because of more snow and ice. I’m putting them work if they’re home tomorrow!

Why do we get fat lips?

chapped-lips2You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their lips. You can tell if they’re wearing lipstick, for instance. You tell how big their labial tubercle (that bump in the middle of the upper lip) is. And women, did you know the bigger your labial tubercle the easier it is for you to achieve orgasm? You can also tell if they’ve been in a fight. When the soft tissue of the lips is damaged it becomes inflamed and swollen. This creates what we all know as a fat lip. Bet you never look at lips the same way again.

Beside getting a taste of a knuckle sandwich, fat lips can also be caused by dehydration, an allergic reaction, from a food allergy, or sunburn.

How do eye glasses work?

DW and I are nearsighted (myopia). She wears her glasses all the time. I have a tendency to lose mine. One pair is at the bottom of a river. Being farsighted simply means that our eyes do not have adequate focusing power. In other words, the focus point falls behind the retina instead of on it. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is exactly opposite – it forms a focus point in front of the retina. So eye glasses and contact lenses redirect the light so that it focuses the image on your retina so you see a clear picture.

sight

The top image shows how light focuses on the retina.

What’s an AED?

While ice skating yesterday, Bang noticed an odd looking box attached the wall outside of the ice rink. Naturally curious he wanted to know what it was. It was an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. Automated because all a user needs to do is follow audio commands connect adhesive electrodes to the patient and from there the computer takes over to check for a pulse and heart rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if it detects a heart that is in ventricular fibrillation (Vfib), when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. The shock momentarily stuns the heart and gives it the chance to resume beating effectively. Essentially, it turns it off and turns it back on it again to restart it.

What’s an undertow?

Not to be confused with rip currents, an undertow occurs in all bodies of water where waves crash on shore. It’s strongest in surf zones where the waves are larger. After the wave rolls onto shore gravity pulls back toward the ocean and the water rushes back out collecting in the next wave. This outward rush of water and the inward rush of a wave creates an undertow. They are only dangerous to those who can’t stand against the backwash (outward rush of water) like children as the undertow only goes out to next incoming wave.

img2c

8548039b95eb08584ec7332dc8979e83

 

Go Ask Your Father: Zamboni, Santa, Grammar, and Electric Blankets

I suppose everyone is feeling sluggish coming out of their turkey comas. Here in Canada we don’t get the day off for American Thanksgiving. Since we were all in school and Crash had a choir concert after school we didn’t even get the chance to call my family to tell everyone Happy Thanksgiving. I tried to thank them and tell them I miss them in yesterday’s post. We will be celebrating American Thanksgiving tomorrow with a 20 pound turkey and our Canadian family. In the meantime, I will be fielding the endless questions being fired at me like a gangster’s Tommy Gun.

How does a Zamboni work?

The boys have been ice skating about twice a week for the past couple weeks. They are loving to learn. It’s great exercise too. They’re soaked in sweat after our hour on the ice. Crash doesn’t crash as often and Bang is starting to skate without his skate trainer. After the hour of public skate is over, we get off the ice to make room for the boys’ favorite machine. An ice resurfacer, like those made by Zamboni, have several functions. It washes the ice, shaves the ice and leaves behind a layer of fresh ice. A blade shaves off a thin layer of ice while a horizontal and vertical screw (an auger) moves the shaved ice to the snow tank (that’s the big box on the front). Water is fed onto the ice rink to wash it. A squeegee collects the dirty water and it’s vacuumed, filtered and returned to the water tank. Finally, clean water is delivered to the ice and spread evenly with a “towel”. The clean water freezes on the rink surface leaving a clean, smooth surface for the skaters.

What does Santa bring if you cry for no reason? 

Real Santa Claus carrying big bagThis is a question that arises every year. Last year when I told Bang that he brings coal, he thought that was simply fantastic. He wanted coal! So I added in that he also bring blueberries. He hates blueberries. This did the trick. He understood that if you were bad and cried for no reason Santa would come and bring you something you didn’t want. Or he would bring you nothing. Since the floodgates were opened turning the gears of thought, more questions followed suit.

“What if someone throws a snowball at you and you cry?”
Depends on if they threw to be mean to start a snowball fight because snowball fights are fun.

“What if you whine for no reason?”
Then you get blueberries.

“Will he still come if you cry when you get hurt?”
Yep. He will still come if you cry because you are hurt.

“Will he come if I say frickin’?”
Only if you say it at home. He won’t come if you say it anywhere else.

I’ll answer the other questions about what do with the coal and sticks you get when you are bad next week.
Why is “them” and not “it”?

Ah… A grammar question. Love it!
Ah… Grammar questions. Love them!

Spot the difference? Bang noticed this difference in a book he was reading. (Did I mention before that he’s reading now? In case I didn’t see here or here or here). One sentence read “Dad gave the cheese to Kate and she put it in the cart.” The next sentence was “Dad gave the apples to Kate and she put them in the cart.” So I pointed out the difference by asking him how many cheeses there were (he answered 1) and how many apples (he answered 3 after looking at the picture). When there is just 1 thing we use “it”. When there is more than one thing, we use “them”. I didn’t get into the “thing” being the subject of the sentence. It’ll get tricky later when there is 1 group.

Is it “I told the group of people it needed to be quiet.”
Or is it “I told the group of people, they needed to be quiet.”
It’s one group so it should be it. It’s many people so it should be they.
How do electric blankets work?

Living in Canada they’re almost a necessity. Unless you like climbing into bed that could be happily occupied by penguins. Not the Pittsburgh kind, either. We use it to toast the sheets. We turn it on, then do our bedtime routine – put on pyjamas, brush and floss our teeth, and go pee. When we slide between the sheets they’re roasty toasty and we flick the blanket off. A preheated bed is heavenly!

This is simple science. An insulated wire is placed in a fabric designed to be heated. The wire has a bit of resistance to an electrical current. This resistance causes it to heat up, much like the burners on your stove top. Thanks to Captain Obvious we know the wires in a blanket don’t get as hot as the burners on your stove top. The electric blanket has a control so you can decide how warm you want the blanket to get. This control often has an auto-shutoff and a device to prevent it from overheating.

On cold, weekend mornings, it’s not uncommon to find the four of us snuggled in Mom and Dad’s bed under the electric blanket watching Disney Jr.

questions.jpg

Wed Nes Day

fcb7185ddbf0d0cbcfb98b3a6346cc56

There’s a picture of it on the internet therefore I am not the only who does this. I spell it like it sounds. That’s fonetix for you.

Exept fonetiks dusnt werk all the tim

If you can read that, you must be a teacher.

Have you ever watched a blooming reader? I’ve seen it many many times now. Never did it make such an impact on me as watching my own two boys learn that letters have certain sounds associated with them. Put the right letters together and you can make a word. Put the right words together and you can make a sentence. Put the right sentences together an you can make a paragraph. Put the right paragraphs together and you can make book.

Crash has now written 4 or 5 books. Mind you, they are entry level readers he wrote for his 5 year old brother, but still. He wrote books. He, himself, is reading slightly above grade level. His brother is following suit.

But the English language is anything but easy. Bang catches on really quick to word families. He sounds them out one letter at a time to discover the word. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t.

Look and Loot do not sound alike.
Hair and care do sound alike.

Then there’s enough, though, plough, and cough.

WTH?

Ignoring the exceptions, of which there are many, he sounds out new words perfectly. After reading them a few times they become locked away in the sight word vault. I wish I could memorize things as easily.

Alas, I have a photographic memory. I just don’t have an SD card. I have memory like a sieve. It’s on par with that of a goldfish…

I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.

Anyway, what was I talking about?

Oh yeah. Reading…

Bang comes home with a new book to read from school every day. He’s already progressed three levels since September. Crash reads every night as well. He’ll either read to himself or to his mom or I. Then we’ll ask him about what he read. Lately, he’s into books that take place within the world of Minecraft. But isn’t that the beauty of books? There’s something out there for all of us.

Watching an emerging reader is much like watching butterfly emerge from its chrysalis. That it takes years instead of minutes makes it that much more exciting.

I wonder what kinds of chapter books he’ll like to read?

What kinds of books do your kids enjoy reading?

to-learn-to-read-is-to-light

To Crochet or Not to Crochet…

To crochet indeed.

Boy, I’ve got a yarn for you!

Have you ever been married to someone for 10+ years and you know them so well that you can make their coffee exactly the way they like it? You finish each others sandwiches sentences. You know their hopes and dreams and they’ve become your hopes and dreams. You know their worries and stresses and how to conquer them.

Then one day they return from running errands with a few balls of yarn, a book and some crocheting hooks. Or are they needles like in knitting? You’re left wondering, huh? Or WTH? Since when did you want to learn to crochet? Where did this come from?

I looked up the difference between knitting and crocheting. I still don’t know other than knitting uses two pointy sticks and crocheting uses just one not so pointy hook. My mom is knitter my DW is a crocheter.

Turns out it’s a better hobby than those adult coloring books. Yes, we have a few of those, too. Unlike a coloring book, after a crochet project is finished there is a usable item. Be it a coaster, a wash cloth, a dishcloth or a hat. However, like coloring, it can be a stress reliever. It becomes a project that diverts attention away from the frustrations we encounter in every day life. Bonus? It can be done while you watch Gold Rush (or any show/movie of your choosing).

So DW came home with some yarn and a book on how to crochet. Like trying to learn guitar by reading about it, it wasn’t easy. Actually, it was closer to impossible. Like hearing the guitar note in the book. But she didn’t give up and toss the hooks in the trash. Instead, she took to YouTube. What can’t you learn on YouTube? It was like a personal trainer. She had someone explaining how to get started, how read the pattern, and how to finish it.

wash clothHer first attempt wasn’t perfect. A crooked dishcloth. We kept it. It was her first and it still cleans the dishes. Her second attempt was a double crochet dishcloth. It came out wrong. Did she quit? Nope. She ripped it all apart and started over. The second time was the charm. Boom, we’ve got two dishcloths now.

Then she upped the ante. Her third project? A hat. Crash asked to have the first one. So DW got a measurement and set to work. She wasn’t exactly using “boyish” colors but that didn’t phase Crash any. He just wanted hat made by mom. She worked on that thing non-stop. She was as excited about it coming along as Crash was to see it coming along. She wanted to do a little something extra to it so it wouldn’t be just a plain old hat. So I suggested putting a mohawk on it. I marked on the calendar the good idea I had. They don’t come often, you know!

Lesson: if you want to learn something new the only thing stopping you is yourself.

The hat is finished and they’re both proud as punch about it. It was nice to see her embark upon a new project that she was excited to learn. Even if I had no idea she was interested in learning. Now, if I could just learn guitar as fast as she learned to crochet.

hat

On another note, Crash has been asking to start a YouTube channel. Guess what I did this evening? Started his Youtube channel. He wants to make videos on how build various Lego creations he has constructed. Today’s video is just over a minute long. He started with an extremely easy build. A Minecraft grass block. Have a look here. I think we’ll aim to post a new video weekly, for now. Or whenever we get around to it. Feel to subscribe!

 

Teacher’s Kids

What’s it like having two teachers as parents? Kelly over at Bustle knows pretty well it’s like.

Crash and Bang have the advantage (curse?) of having not one teacher parent, but two.  It has its advantages – access to parts of the school other kids don’t get to see, get to be in school when there is no one else there, get to have mom or dad as a teacher (this is both a pro and a con). On the other hand, it also has some disadvantages – you get mom or dad as your teacher, every teacher in the school knows who you are, you have to stay after school when you’d rather go home, and expectations are set a bit higher.

So far Crash is still pretty excited to see me in school. Even as his substitute teacher. I’m hoping it stays this way, but I’m certainly not expecting it to.

Right now I’m only substituting. However, this still gives me access to the school as if I were a full time teacher. I use the teacher’s lounge. I can enter and exit through the staff doors. I am the first one in and last one out of the classroom. This means that Crash can do these things, too. Though, I keep him out of the staff room if there are other teachers in there. It’s not a place for sensitive ears. If I’m subbing for the gym teacher he gets to use the whole gym. To himself. Show me a kid who doesn’t want full run of a gymnasium and I’ll show you a kid who probably doesn’t like gym! This is true of the classroom, too. It’s something different for a kid to be in their teacher’s classroom all by themselves.  The quiet. The empty desks. The cleanliness.

Then there’s being your kid’s teacher. I’m not sure exactly how he feels when hears his classmates tell him “Your dad is our teacher!” He knew this before he even got to school. Now he has to hear it over and over as each classmate realizes this. Over and over. And Over.saint

Then there are the expectations. Stereotypical teacher’s kids are held to slightly higher standards than the general population of the school. Being teachers, we know how students should behave in school and we therefore start teaching this to our own kids at birth. Also, as teachers who love to teach, we begin teaching our own kids while still in the womb. I know I was reading to DW’s baby belly for both of our sons. So teacher’s kids are not only expected to behave, but also be smart.

Every teacher in the school knows who Crash is. Or at least every teacher who knows me and DW (also a teacher). Therefore, there are eyes on him at all times. I know about things he’s done before he knows I know about them. One day he’ll tell me I was always spying on it. S’okay, though, it’s for his own good. And I do spy, by the way. If I’m subbing at his school I will, at least once, peek through his classroom door at him to see what he’s up to.

peeking

It’s not so bad being a teacher’s kid. Except, this evening, Crash was complaining about having to practice math. “I have to do math for like two hours in school. Then, I come home and have to do it for 15 more!” Sorry kiddo. Not everyone gets to have a teacher mom and dad. But you do. So lets get ‘er done and make ya fast at addition and subtraction so we can do some multiplication! HA!