Oggy and the Cockroaches and giving up a little control.

We gave up awhile back trying to limit screen time for Owen. It doesn’t seem to limit his creativity (he’s being outrageously creative right now, in front of the television) and he gets plenty of sunshine and exercise. I know the Experts want it limited, but maybe, if one pays attention to kids as individuals, one finds out that they don’t all need the same thing.

I just wandered over and inspected his current project, during the production of which he stares off and on at Oggy and the Cockroaches. (“Owen, this cartoon is obnoxious.” “Yes,” he replied, “and violent!” And it is, in an Itchy and Scratchy way.)

He’s got all his big trucks (which I’d almost stored in the garage, this week, as he hadn’t been playing with them) in a line, connected to each other in one way or another like a train. He’s sitting at his lego pile, “making things” (decorations, parts) for each truck with legos. It is so cool.

I can’t predict how this child will learn, create, explore. His limits are not what I would expect, and they are in places I might not have imagined.

I give up. He’s going to be how he’s going to be.

social media blah blah idea dump

I just had a flip through my twitter followers page for the first time in two or three years. I’m a bit surprised at some of the people following me whom I’m not following (or wasn’t):
Tom Robinson? Ms Magazine? A few different college geography departments? Wow. Cool. I had no idea.  I added/reciprocated a lot, but not all, of the followers I wanted to follow, it was a very quick perusal and I know I missed people.

I used twitter a lot when my kid was little and I’d lie on the bed with him while he napped, or when I couldn’t fall asleep after he’d been up for awhile at 3 am. But then life got really busy (ever raised an energetic toddler? and I stopped so much. But then I did again. So now I’m actually trying to balance my social media use, use a few sites more (and facebook perhaps a little less. (I miss LiveJournal.)

This is how I want to use social media, or what I like about it, sort of.

Twitter: I love conversations here.. It’s like IRC combined with very short form facebook. I love tagging people (I call it atting people, mind you) and doing searches for topics and retweeting them

If I don’t follow you and for some reason you want me to, please let me know here or there. I don’t follow everyone who follows me there. Here are some reasons I might not:

  • You mostly post in a language I can’t read.
  • You mostly post about fitness or weight loss.
  • You mostly post about your religion.
  • Your profile makes me think your beliefs might be in extreme contrast to mine, not “we disagree” but your family values are very different from mine and you don’t think my family or I should be who we are.
  • You mostly are here for marketing or as a social media guru or entrepreneur. If I am going to follow businesses it’s because I already really like your business and want to read your tweets.

If I follow you, it’s because I read some of what you posted and wanted to read more.

Also: I post as both @mactavish and @geographile. No matter which of those you follow, I might have followed you from the other. I sometimes follow from both but not always.

Now this his how I intend to use the others:

Google plus: I love this service and don’t use it enough, so I’m part of the problem. If I follow you here it means I did when it was new. If I don’t and you want me to, please let me know. Mostly, the “you are now being followed by” notifications are mostly for businesses and social media gurus.

LiveJournal: Again we’re at opening the site, blah blah. I used to spent a couple of hours a day on LJ, now it’s that a week, at best. But I loved the interaction there. I love what feels like privacy. If I follow you here, I probably did in 2003.

Facebook: This is where most people I know well are, old school friends, family members, etc. But it has no archive to speak of and it’s lousy for anything really interactive. It’s long-form twitter. I don’t love facebook, I accept it.

WordPress/blogging: Hm. This. This is for essayish blog posts, right? And I promised more after my laptop came back from its long dark nightmare at the repair shop. But now it’s back. And when I have time to write, my brain is over there somewhere.

Also there is flickr.

I’m mactavish or mary mactavish most places.

What I really truly madly wish is that I could use hootsuite to post to G+, Facebook, Twitter, and LiveJournal. I can already use it for FB and twitter, and ostensibly, WordPress, though it doesn’t really lend itself well to that platform. Once I have to open a new program or website and deal with different UIs, I’m more likely to go catch up on the latest animated gifs on buzzfeed. Call me lazy.
So dammit I want it all and easy to use. And fingers that aren’t gimpy and don’t get more sore when I type. And speech-to-text tech that’ll work in a house with a conversational child and barking dogs.

And I want the USA to implement single-payer universal health care.

I should trust my kid more often

He’s so on the verge of reading and spelling. I got him Boggle Jr. a few weeks ago, figuring that he likes dice,  it might be fun. He was completely uninterested.

This morning, he took it off the shelf,  sat down with it, and is happily making words.

I need to remind myself that for this kid,  being ready for interests/learning is a lot more effective than trying to prescribe them.


I am, as usual, fashion-impaired.

I hate clothes shopping. I have a weird body, not easy to fit (in my experience), and I’m gimpy. I can’t do buttons easily. I can’t stand up and flip through clothing on racks for long periods of time. It hurts.

That combination means I need elastic-waisted pants, but can’t find ones that stay up easily, and I can’t spend a lot of time looking. (I love thrift stores, but they really tax my endurance.) And I have no idea what size I wear anymore, as I’ve lost a chunk of weight recently.

So, just …. ~flail~ I don’t know. I dislike trying on clothing. I dislike shopping. Shopping online means I get a lot of clothes that have to go back when they don’t fit. (I have some very nice clothing hanging in my closet that I haven’t bothered to send back yet. *grouch*)

Anyway, the point:

I went to Target today and tried on two skirts and two pairs of pants. I really need four pairs of pants, but I only found two that didn’t make me want to kick the clothes racks over. It turns out that size XL in Target’s Merona brand fits me like clown pants and size L won’t go over my hips. The skirts were pretty reasonable, so I got those.

More of the point:
I still need to finding shirts that go with the skirts. One skirt is kind of a cream and deep sage horizontal stripes, the other black and grey in a chevron, both cotton knit, and long. I just ordered a couple of black tank tops but the available greens were mostly jades and teals and limes. If the black tops fit, I’ll perhaps get brown in the same size, maybe cream, but I spill coffee.

I need two more pairs of pants and different shirts, with more coverage, but that go well with long knit skirts. I have no idea what to get. Henleys? Keep in mind I don’t dress up much, and my lifestyle is very kid-and-dogs.

Just, you know, dress me! Links are good, ideas, brainwaves. If you know me and think any particular pants, skirts, tops, or look would look good on me, please holler.

My taste runs thisaway:

(and otherwise, at https://www.pinterest.com/mactavish/ there are other “style….ish” boards.)

Geocaching: Should we? (we probably will)

I just found this semi-not-wholly awesome page about geocaching, on buzzfeed:
29 things you only understand if you’re a geocacher” (Please note obligatory numbered list and exclusionary language.)

So I said to Owen, showing him a picture, “Check out this game. People hide boxes for each other, with treasure in them. Other people have to go find them in their hiding places. The finders can leave a present behind, and pick out a treasure to take along. What do you think about that?”

He said, “I think that is super, and awesome, AND SNEAKY.”

“Sneaky” is just about the highest praise he can give. And he loves treasure.

Owen and his Nina are pirates, and found treasure!
(Owen loves hunting for treasure.)

So it seems that, on a very junior level, geocaching is right for him.

I’ve tried it a few times and enjoyed it, but now that I’m so gimpy, I can’t walk more than about a mile on a good day, uneven ground is tricky, and my small motor skills are iffy. So I’d love to do this, but for me, it’s not so easy.

But it’s just perfect for Owen.

I think this is just one more reason to be vigilant with PT/OT work, and finding a better rheumatology route, and can’t someone just cure this damn disease?

It would be easier for us if I knew there was a way to filter cache listings easily for ease of terrain and suitability of the find for young children. Do any of you geocachers know how manageable we can make it?

#homeschool – I’m looking at curricula

#homeschool – I’m looking at curricula for K-1 for Owen, and thinking the simplest way will be to ask folks to send me stuff to review. How do I know, before we start, how he will learn best? Do I have to order/try *everything*? I can come up with my own practices … but ultimately, I’d like not to have to go a few months then try something new if it doesn’t work. (Also? testing posting to wordpress from hootsuite)

cooking together

Owen’s been playing with language lately, or rather, since he first started talking. But lately it’s been noticing similarities in dissimilar words, like, “I just heard the furnace go on.” “Furnace, like in fur!” or “We’ll stop at the bank, too.” “Too, like in two feet!”

Today I was mixing up some french vanilla pudding, because we had a chocolate pie crust left over from doing something for Christmas, so I figured dump some pudding in it. He helped me mix it with a whisk, so it wasn’t perfectly blended, and as I poured it into the pie crust, I noticed a few gloppy lumps in the pale yellow proto-pudding. “We can’t eat the pie until it gets firm, right now it’s runny.” “Runny, like runny nose!”

Maybe I’ll be able to eat some once it’s time for dessert.

(Just sharing.)