personality test

Taken one recently? Kind of fun. This one is quick.



children and learning

Humm...this brings up more questions than solutions. What do you do? How do you change the system? Thoughts?


fun video about stuff

The Dumpster Project from mac premo on Vimeo.

What is he going to do with stuff?


sean and caitlin

my niece and nephew...Caitlin and Sean...the ones who were born at 24 weeks...are BIG! So cute. :)


sugar is toxic

Here's the argument. I feel like sugar is one thing that is not ok in moderation.

How to stop eating it?

I know this show is 1.5 hours long. It is important to watch though. Really.


and on the topic of legalizing pot



excellent sheep

"So what I saw around me were great kids who had been trained to be world-class hoop jumpers. Any goal you set them, they could achieve. Any test you gave them, they could pass with flying colors. They were, as one of them put it herself, 'excellent sheep.'"

Today's post follows on yesterday's post. Why do I feel so concerned about unstructured playtime? Because that is when I feel children learn how to think on their own.

Solitude and Leadership
If you want others to follow, learn to be alone with your thoughts

This speech was delivered by William Deresiewicz to the entering class at West Point and it really touches on a lot of topics important to me: creativity, leadership, the factual inability of anyone to really multitask. His argument if you will goes like this:

1. We have a crisis of leadership in America at all levels because we are training out future leaders to be lemmings.
2. People who "think" they can multitask are neither multitasking nor thinking.
3. Leaders need to know how to think on their own.
4. To think, you need to concentrate for an amount of time greater than 20 seconds.
5. To think of new ideas, you need to step away from other people's ideas.
6. And to be a great leader, you need deep friendships to help you think, or suss out ideas.

I really like all of these ideas. And I want to keep trying to activly live a life where I am thinking.


education and creativity

This guy is a) really funny and b) I think makes some interesting points about education and creativity. The video is 20 minutes, but really worth it...even if you don't have any interest in education...

I have been thinking a lot about unstructured playtime and children and its importance for creativity. It is so important but I don't think our society actually promotes creativity. We send kids to school at 3 years old, or daycare even eariler, because we need dual incomes (or so we think...). But going to school is really society's way of socializing people to follow the herd. In order for society to function, we all have to do approximately the same things, otherwise there would be chaos. Starting kids in school early helps us socialize kids.

That said I don't see me staying home with my kids...but my friends who do, do a WONDERFUL job. I will try to emmulate their efforts. Before considering kids, though, I really felt that society had been cheated of these stay-at-home mom's abilities to contribute to society. These women are some of the smartest people I know, and to my then thinking self, they were squandering their abilities on their kids.

Thinking changes.


"Whatever you do with your child, it’s appalling to someone."

Great article about the stroller...and, well, parenting...

April 2, 2011
Why Walk When You Can Stroll?
THE stroller is up on the shelf. When we moved to New York from Silver Spring, Md., not quite a year ago, I thought it would stay there. New York is a walking city and we had found an apartment four blocks from our son’s preschool. He was turning 3. The stroller — infernal, clunky, annoying thing — would go into semi-retirement in the coat closet.

Actually, that was an earlier stroller. The brakes wore out and the foot strap ripped apart under constant use. Now there is a new red hundred-and-something-dollar stroller on the shelf, which replaced that $69.99 stroller, which had replaced the $18 stroller we bought two cities ago, when the kid truly was incapable of walking.

Time to go to school. I pull the stroller down, pop it open and strap on the clear plastic rain cover. Out the window, down on the street, there’s wet pavement and open umbrellas. I’ve attached one side of the rain cover to the wrong piece of the stroller, and have to redo it.

The only thing worse than the stroller is not having the stroller. It’s close. This stroller, bless it, hates itself, and wants to vanish — it’s an umbrella stroller, collapsible, less than 10 pounds. Like a real umbrella, it’s an irritant or a menace when it’s in someone else’s hands, clogging the sidewalks, a tragedy of the commons. Other people’s umbrellas are awful. But what are you going to do, get rained on?

(Actually, yes, if you are pushing a stroller, you are going to get rained on, because you don’t have a free hand.)

I roll the kid down the hallway, into the elevator, and out through the lobby. We roll west toward the river and head uptown. Children in strollers “have no idea how demeaned they are,” the psychologist and columnist John Rosemond wrote last year. He was writing in defense of parents who put their children on leashes and let them run. Whatever you do with your child, it’s appalling to someone.

Last time I lived in New York, when I was childless, I had to dodge the grim-faced parents rampaging down the sidewalks with their double-wide, all-terrain strollers. Where did their rageful sense of entitlement come from? They devoured every inch of space under scaffolds, obstructed store aisles — and did it righteously, as if the world owed them an unimpeded runway for their child-furniture. I couldn’t imagine what sort of yuppie lunatic would spend a hundred bucks on a stroller. (Answer: a yuppie lunatic who wants the warranty. Yet all around are ultrayuppie ultralunatics who spent $500 or $700.)

But the stroller-haters are self-centered, too, or unthinking. There’s a fallacy among childless people that there are simple ways for parents to make their children less annoying, and the parents just choose not to do them.

Would pedestrians infuriated by stroller traffic really be happier if the sidewalks were full of 2- and 3-year-olds toddling along at their natural pace, clutching their guardians’ hands? I know it’s hard on others when I’m going up the subway steps with a giant bundle of child and stroller in my arms. But you would prefer a 3-year-old climbing ... step ... by ... step?

I wouldn’t. I like to go fast, too. Ahead of us is one of the kid’s older schoolmates, walking hand in hand with his father. The boy wears rubber boots and a warm hat. It is an adorable scene. Our son would pitch a fit at the sight of the boots, and would peel off the hat and throw it in the gutter. Ice pellets are falling, bouncing off the stroller’s canopy. I give the classmate and his father a nod and a smile as I swing the stroller wide and speed ahead of them.

Why do we turn our children into rolling luggage? Parents are sacrificing their children’s opportunity to develop self-reliance, a childless stroller-foe told me, for the sake of their convenience. Well, heck, yes, we are. I do that all the time. I fork-feed my kid in restaurants to keep him quiet and tidy. I delayed his switch from diapers to underwear for two weeks because we had a vacation with a long plane ride coming up.

We can see the corrupting effects of the stroller. He goes to spend a week or two with his grandparents in the Midwestern suburbs, that sprawling American landscape of car addiction and epidemic obesity, and he comes back with his legs sun-browned and rippling with muscles, a little frontiersman, conqueror of empty lawns and parking lots. His grandparents don’t even keep a stroller around.

But time is money in New York: if I get him to preschool briskly and punctually, which is not how a small child moves under his own power, I get 2 hours and 55 minutes at my desk, uninterrupted. Wheels are faster than little feet. So he takes the stroller to school, rather than walking four blocks. He prefers it. Why? I asked him the other night. “Because I like to sit in it.” Why is that? “Because it’s nice in there, O.K.?” Why not walk? “Walking does not make any sense.”

We reach the school door just behind the twins in his class, their nanny doing an angled backing maneuver with their immense tandem stroller, like a U-Haul trying to get into an undersized driveway. How else would you get them anywhere? I pop the kid out of his seatbelt, collapse the stroller and hook it over a railing that I believe the school has installed for exactly that purpose. Down the hall to the restroom now, for mandatory hand-washing. This is the part where he starts bouncing on his feet, all the way back to the classroom door.

Raising children is about setting limits. The sales clerk told us that the new red stroller was good up to 55 pounds. The kid’s weight is holding steady, a shade under 30. If he stays on his current, normal growth curve, the stroller will be able to carry him until he’s about 9 years old. That is ridiculous, but those are the specs. Even a 3 ½-year-old knows it’s ridiculous. How old does he think he’ll be before he gives up the stroller? “I think just like one more year old.”

Tom Scocca is the author of the blog Scocca on Slate and the forthcoming “Beijing Welcomes You: Unveiling the Capital City of the Future.”


coolest paper project EVER

Paper Record Player from kellianderson on Vimeo.

Damn that is cool.


ownership as a burden

This image really sums up how I feel about things. I get that rush when buying stuff and then it turns into a burden. Some friends I have are really good at carefully considering what they are buying before they do it...which can make them annoying to shop with! But being that considerate leads to less buying which leads to less of the cycle illustrated above. I have tried to deal with this by not shopping. I mean not going to the mall or other places. Those places are just giant time sucks...But then there is amazon...

Anyway, as we keep getting rid of more and more stuff in our house I am feeling more and more unburdened. I like the idea that moving will be easier when we are ready. And a lot of the stuff we have gotten rid of other people will actually use. This purging is cathartic.

From an article by Rich Radka for Sharable. Found over on Swissmiss.


new topic: scaring people who are about to become parents

Why do so many parents take such delight in scaring parents to be? These are the kinds of things I have heard:

"Enjoy your life now, because it will be over soon."
"Get out to the movies, you won't ever go to one again."
"Your life will completely change; you will never sleep in again."

Really? Do these people think I am an idiot? Let me explain why I know they are fear mongering.

1. I have three younger siblings.
1a. My sister had a baby on her own, and do you know what she does every day off? SLEEPS IN.
2. I have friends who still have lives, and are still happy, and have kids.
3. If I feel like my life is over, I will hire a nanny.

Brent and I feel like the baby is joining our family, and we are excited about that. And I really think it will be just fine...like most things. I am just saying...


this is small living

hat tip to Krista!


only let the French or Germans cut your hair

Seriously, the best hair cuts of my life have been by a hot French guy in Paris and a cute German girl in Berlin. And I have finally found their replacement in DC!

Evolve Salon
Lyonel Moreau - He's French!
2905 M St, NW

He did a fablous job on my hair. Love.


the family, when Linda was sick

Cleaning things out I found this picture. Linda was so much more beautiful than she looks in this picture.

But the photo reminds me of a conversation we had. I asked her if she ever wanted to scream at god, "Why me?"

And she said, "No, I think, why not me?"


Click here to see more of the pictures.



I am going to look at a house this afternoon...because we think we need more room.

Room for what?

I woke up this morning all ready to organize my life: bedroom was up first. I needed to put some winter clothes away, fold all of the laundry, and work on rearranging for the baby.

I am exhausted! I need to keep going. The clothes are not folded yet. And I have brunch in an hour...

And the living room is a mess. And the kitchen needs its reorg completed and I need to go through my desk stuff so I can downsize and we can be ready for Brent's mom to visit in a week.

Stuff. I hate spending time managing my stuff. And if we have a house we will just have more stuff to spend time on.

Our friend Steve mentioned a guy who gave away 40 things he valued for everyday of Lent a few years ago. Apparently it was life changing. I can believe that.