Thursday, June 26, 2008

Big Piano Lesson Payoff

74 words

Speed test

My sister essentially threw down this challenge, so I gave it a whirl, too. (OK, technically, it wasn't exactly posed as a dare or anything, but I love bring it on.)

As a little experiment, I tried the test on a standard keyboard and an ergonomic one to see if it made a difference. I only got 66 words a minute on the standard keyboard. Hmmmm, interesting.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Feats of Strength

As we picked Bryn up from school the other day, Beau saw her through the door playing on the playground with a friend. I couldn't see her yet, so was unable to completely appreciate his observation.

"Why is someone always riding my daughter?" he posed.

Bryn loves to perform feats of strength. It may be because she's big for her age or because she generally has pixie-sized friends or some combination of the two. Suffice it to say, she's a strong girl. So, sometimes, it's a big bear hug in which she lifts her playmate off the floor. Other times, they'll ride her piggy-back. Not that day.....nope. Creativity hit a new high.

Bryn was on her hands and knees with a friend riding her like a horse. This child just had a birthday, so he's a good three and half months older than her. He was so excited that he'd gotten to ride a "horse," and was quite animated to tell us about the game they were playing. Bryn quickly corrected him: "no, I bucked you off. I was a bucking horse." For the record, she had in fact bucked him off. We often play bucking bulls in the living room, so she knows all about how that goes.

I think Bryn inherited the adrenaline gene from her father because as we left the building, she was on quite a high about the whole experience. She was just beaming and asked over and over, "Are you proud of me, Daddy? Aren't you proud of me? That was good, right?"

See what I mean about the power of his words... A million times, I could have said I was proud, but it doesn't officially count until Daddy agrees. But I don't mind.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

As we were warned, our lives haven't been the same since we became parents. I loved our life before Bryn, but can't fathom not having her in our lives. Fairly regularly I wonder, "why did we wait so long again?"

From the moment she was born--technically before that--Beau was completely taken with her. And she is with him--by the way.

So, today, on Father's Day, I want to celebrate some of the many characteristics that make Beau a great dad.

1. He sang to her in utero so that she would know his voice.
2. He rubbed her feet when she learning to walk because he figured that her "dogs were probably barking."
3. He happily paints her fingernails and toenails, and doesn't mind his buddies knowing that he does it.
4. He's great at bath time. I've been told more than once that I don't do it right. He's made sure she's not afraid of water.
5. He dances with her—at bedtime especially. Bryn will even fore go a second book for the chance to dance with her Prince Charming.
6. He reads to her and gets a little jealous when I get requested too often.
7. He tells her that he’s proud of her.
8. He takes time to explain when she is making bad choices rather than just flying off the handle.
9. He realizes the power of his words to her, and is very careful as a result.
10. He loves her mother.

Thanks, Daddy. For all this and more.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Can you say "Mason Dixon"?

Until very recently, I fancied myself a well-traveled,--dare-I-say--nearly cosmopolitan individual. Growing up, my parents were great about taking us places and showing us things. (Although my sister and I got into more than a little trouble for having our noses in books rather than taking in the sights.)

As a geographer, I am fascinated by different places. I love the idea of travel; seeing new people, places, and things; experiencing a new place as though I lived there.

I found this map generator on
a friend's website, and was actually surprised by the pattern it made of my life experiences. Particularly when compared to John's. See what you think.

Very nearly everything above the Mason Dixon line is the result of work travel. Thanks, Job, for exposing me to other "cultures!"

So what can I say? I guess I really am just a Southern girl after all.

If you're interested, create your own visited states map. They have a generator for countries visited, too, but even though I have had a few international experiences, I just couldn't bear the confirmation that there are so many parts of the world that I have no idea about.

**NOTE: We've reached my technological frontier. ("So soon?" you ask, politely.) I couldn't get the map to fit in my old template, so I changed it. This one is clearly less interesting, so I'll eventually change it back or to something else.