You are Too Young for a Girlfriend, Mister!

Sometimes while life is passing you by, you don’t notice how much your kids are growing until something happens to remind you of it.

The other day at lunch, Logan and I had the following conversation.

Logan: I want to have a girlfriend.

Me: Oh, really? What is a girlfriend?

Logan: A wife.

Me: (Ah huh, that’s news to me. Where did he get that idea?) So why do you want a girlfriend?

Logan: So I can put my babies in her tummy. That is where babies grow, you know.

Me, trying my best not to laugh: Where did you hear about girlfriends? (And please don’t ask how the babies get out! Or how you put them in!! Dear God, he’s only six!)

Logan: “Lady and the Tramp“. Lady was his girlfriend and wife and then they had puppies.

Me: I see. (Damn you, Disney. I’m not ready for this.)

Logan: I really want a girlfriend.

Me: Oh, well maybe when you’re older you’ll get a girlfriend, okay? Now finish your lunch. (Whew, no more questions. Maybe he should stick to cartoons that don’t show marriage, relationships, dating…gee, that’s pretty much all of them. )


Sheesh, sometimes I wish it was as easy for humans as it is for dogs. I’ve got my hands full with preparing him to be a good boyfriend and teaching him how to treat girls right, plus ensuring no babies are put into girlfriends tummies until he is old enough to handle the responsibility. And the girlfriend is in agreement. And he has his own place. And a job. Is 40 too old?

Christmas Movies for Children

Do you like Christmas movies? I love them. They take me back to when I was a child and Christmas just had that magical feel to it, unlike now. I try so hard to feel the magic but it seems to be lost to me, probably because I have spent the last 8 Christmases in a country where it is only celebrated by a minority of people, so it is not in the air in the same way as it is in a country where Christmas is a major holiday.
I am trying to bring that magic to my kids. I want them to be excited about Christmas and look forward to the whole season, not just the gifts. We have our little tree up and have hung our stockings; each day we cut a number off our countdown chart and have a treat, and I frequently hear them singing carols. These come from the Christmas movies and cartoons they have been watching lately, though they did start watching some as far back as October. 🙂 When Lila goes around singing her version of “Jingle Bells” or Logan goes on with “We Wish You a Merry Christmas” for a half hour straight, or like today, they both sang (and I had no idea they had memorised the words) “The 12 Days of Christmas”, I know that they are indeed feeling the Christmas spirit.
So to pass on some of this Christmas spirit, I decided to share with you some of the Christmas movies and cartoons we have seen lately, just in case you need some ideas.
This is their top favorite, must-see almost daily cartoon. They love it and have the whole thing memorised. A great one for all children.
Mickey’s Twice Upon a Christmas 2004 (68 min.)
The sequel the the above cartoon, except done in computer animation. Their second daily choice.
Disney version of the Dickens classic “A Christmas Carol”.
Another current favorite. If they aren’t watching “Once Upon A Christmas” then they are watching this.
I believe this is an animated version of the book.
Frosty the Snowman 1969 (22 min.)
Cute short about a snowman who comes to life. Another favorite of theirs.
Cute story about a dog who saves his owners’ home from robbers, kind of along the lines of Home Alone, but with a dog instead. My kids enjoyed most of it since it has lots of animal scenes, but there is a fair amount of dialogue that will go over little kids’ heads.
Another dog rescuer movie. Not as great as the other Beethoven movies, but enjoyable. My kids found it to be rather long and too much dialogue for them, but older children would probably like it.
The Polar Express  2004 (100 min.)
While they watched it and enjoyed it, I don’t think they quite got the movie. It is more for older children. (Update 2012: They liked it much better this year.)
Blizzard 2003 (93 min.)
Just saw this one with Logan the other night and I think I liked it more than he did, though I think he lasted well through it, seeing as the story is aimed at older children, probably 8 – 12 yrs. It is about friendship and magical reindeer, ice skating, and thinking of others more than yourself. Santa is played by Christopher Plummer and the reindeer’s voice is done by Whoopie Goldberg. I thought it was well done and a great Christmas movie.
Update 2012: One of their new favorites is Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas 2011 (26 min.). They saw it on t.v. last Christmas and then I downloaded a copy. They watch it often with daddy. Full of fun and laughs.
And don’t forget some of the classics like “White Christmas” (1954, 120 min.). That is a great family Christmas movie, though you do have to like those old style movies to really enjoy it. This is one I watch every year without fail. Don’t know if my kids will last through it this year, but I’m gonna try.
Other classics:
It’s a Wonderful Life” 1946 (130 min.)

What is your favorite Christmas movie? Let’s make this list grow.

20 Years Ago Today

Something happened 20 years ago today that changed our family. No, we didn’t win the lottery or make a trip to the moon. This was the day my mom was in the hospital having her 8th and last baby. Yes, my little baby brother, Ezekiel John, is now 20 years old. He told me his birthday wish is to forget the last 20 years, but I plan on remembering some of it for him, so here goes.

Zeke (as we have called him ever since I can remember) was born 2 days before my 11th birthday. (Uh oh, now you know how old I’m turning.) Actually, my first memory of him is that I named him. Yes, I had a dream shortly before he was born that this old man came and said his name was Ezekiel and that he was the baby. How’s that for weird? Well, my mom went for it and named the baby after the dream, though she debated whether Ezekiel should be the first or middle name. I’m happy it was the first as John is waaaay to common.

Let’s see what I remember about when he was a baby. I had to take care of him a lot, I remember that. He had measles at 11 months old and was in the hospital for a while but made it through.

He hated potty training. I have a picture of him on the potty, smiling through his tears. (Zeke, you can be happy I don’t have a scanner or all those old pics I have of you would be here.)

Once Zeke was old enough to talk, he didn’t quit. (I think all of us owe you an apology for shushing you each morning before you started talking. Josh, Steve, Anaik, back me up here.) I guess we all liked being quiet in the morning and he loved to talk, so we would shush him before he even started and he would get mad at us. He had a knack for starting a conversation right where he left off, even if it was a few days later, and you would have to stop and think about what he was talking about.

I remember his 5th birthday well because I made a cake for him, not just any cake, but a large train. I used loaf pans for the cars, frosted them, and added chocolate covered nuts for the coal. Since I also made a big cake for my own birthday 2 days later, we were eating cake for days after that.

After that I moved somewhere else for a time and wasn’t living with him much, actually until he was 10. Then my mom wanted me to take over his schooling (we were all home schooled). So I was his teacher for grades 5 and 6 for sure. Did I also do grade 7 with you? I can’t remember. I made sure he did everything the books said, and he wasn’t too happy about that. He hated writing especially. If the book called for a sentence answer, he would make it as short as possible. One thing we did together was work on research for a Canadian province. He had to find all sorts of information about it, along with pictures. At the time I wasn’t too internet savvy so we used Encarta and library books for our research, and we printed color pictures from Encarta, probably draining all the colored ink from the printer. But it was a fun project.

His 12th birthday is also a memory for me because he and I were the only ones there. My mom and the others in the house were gone for a month to the US and we stayed in our house in Mexico, and both had our birthdays while everyone was gone. I told him that since he was now older I would get him a movie that he hadn’t previously been allowed to watch. Since he liked sci-fi’s, I got “Independence Day” for him. It scared him so bad he couldn’t finish watching it, though he decided to watch it again the next day.

And I will have to stop here as a few months later I again moved away and haven’t seen him since. I recently joined Facebook ’cause my dad wanted to show me some pics (which you haven’t posted yet, hint, hint) and I found Zeke there, so now we are in touch more.

I have also seen how his writing skills have grown. Though Zeke is technically a Taurus, he has a strong Gemini influence, having been born on the cusp. His mind is like that of a Gemini. He thinks a lot, loves to read, can write well, including poetry, but in other areas like food and movies and creature comforts, he is Taurus all the way. Got the best of both worlds.

So I hope you have a happy birthday and that you don’t forget all of the past 20 years. Just remember the fun stuff, like how you loved reading books and playing with Lego and watching Star Trek when you were finally allowed. Hopefully some day we will visit each other again. Maybe you should come for a visit here since it’s easier for one person to travel than 4, though I miss Mexican food terribly and would love to have some authentic tacos, enchiladas, re-fried beans with tortillas, nachos, tamales, and on the list goes. You will have to eat some of that for me.

And now a toast (raise your glass, whatever you happen to be drinking will do). May the next 20 years be better than the last and may you enjoy them enough to not want to forget them when you turn 40. (I’ll see what I can do about that frying pan you wanted, Zeke.)

I’ll close with a recent photo of him. Doesn’t look much different from when I last saw him, just taller. (Sorry, but I post pics of every person when it’s their birthday. You made it easy for me this year.)

How Do You Say That?

I knew it would come up sooner or later. Someone was bound to ask how to pronounce Lila’s name, so here is the simple answer. The “i” is long, as in the word “lie” and the “la” is just la. Does that help?

And for the curious, her name has meanings in several languages. In Hindi it means “free will of God”, in Persian it means “lilac”, and in Arabic it means something like “dark night” or “starry night” or something like that. I thought it was very pretty ever since I first heard it in the movie “August Rush”. By the way, if you haven’t seen that movie, you should. It’s excellent.

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