Thursday, May 30, 2013

Away In Austin

We went on a little family get-away to Austin for Memorial Day weekend.  Believe it or not, it is the first time we have ever done any type of trip  other than one where we meet up with extended family somewhere.

I had an idealized fantasy of how fun it was going to be to spend the weekend all together with just our little family.  I pictured us touring the State Capitol, telling interesting tidbits about some of our state's colorful founders and governors to our enraptured children as they gazed in admiration at the art and architecture of the building.

The reality:  Wesley fell asleep on the drive to the Capitol, so I stayed in the car with him while he slept and Tyler took the 3 big kids inside.  According to him, they passed through security, headed straight for the bathrooms, saw the rotunda with the dome reaching higher and higher, wanted to immediately climb to the very top of the dome, did that, and then were ready to exit the building for good.  No enlightening discussion of the State's history, no admiration for art and architecture.

When Wes woke up we went to meet them on the grounds.  Wes lept from his stroller and starting chasing every bird and squirrel he saw - which was a lot.  CT took the opportunity to use Wesley's stroller for his own purposes.  He sat in it and pushed himself down a nice hill right in front of the Capitol steps, thereby creating the new pastime of Summer Stroller Sledding.  He loved this and did it over and over again.  Many passersby did look a bit askance at this - I'm sure wondering what type of parents let an 8 year old hurl himself down a hill in a baby stroller right toward a lovely statue of a Texas Ranger time and time again.  That would be us.  We are that type of parents.

We are also the type of parents that decide it would be a good idea to just have some of the snacks we brought in the car as a kind of lunch, and then eat a late lunch/early dinner at...Golden Corral!  Tyler suggested as something fun for the kids.  I was surprised, because Tyler despises eating out at places that don't have food he deems worthy of the expense, which is usually pretty much everything that doesn't fall into one of three categories: traditional smoked meat Texas Bar-B-Que, Brazilian churrascarias, and In 'N Out Burger.  Anyway, he thought they would get a real kick out of the buffet, so we went.  It was a complete madhouse.  I was baffled as to why so many people were they at 3:30 in the afternoon.  I was even more baffled after we started getting our food and I remembered just how...not very good most of the food is.   However, there is definitely variety, and our kids liked looking at the choices.  Places like that just love me.  I paid $15 for a green salad, fresh fruit, a baked potato, and two veggie spring rolls.  Tyler tried to make up for my lack of expensive protein choices and ended up quite liking their "Wing Fest".  The kids favorite item was the cotton candy.  The whole experience was topped off with the little girl at the table across from us throwing up right after taking a bite of a chocolate dipped strawberry.  Anyway - the kids did enjoy it.  The downside is that now they keep asking when we can go again.  Luckily we can answer that going to Golden Corral is a special vacation activity and not something we normally do.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Any Way You Call Me, You Can Call Me...

Have you seen the list of top names for babies in 2012?  Here it is, according to the Social Security Administration:

Top baby names for girls in 2012
1. Sophia
2. Emma
3. Isabella
4. Olivia
5. Ava
6. Emily
7. Abigail
8. Mia
9. Madison
10. Elizabeth
Top baby names for boys
1. Jacob
2. Mason
3. Ethan
4. Noah
5. William
6. Liam
7. Jayden

8. Michael
9. Alexander
10. Aiden

They are all pretty normal, even old fashioned names.  Nothing wrong with that.  I quite like it actually.
The thing that alarms me is the list of fastest-rising names, particularly those for boys.

Fastest-rising baby names for girls in 2012
1. Arya
2. Perla
3. Catalina
4. Elisa
5. Raelynn
6. Rosalie
7. Haven
8. Raelyn
9. Briella
10. Marilyn
Fastest-rising names for boys
1. Major
2. Gael
3. Jase
4. Messiah
5. Brantley
6. Iker
7. King
8. Rory
9. Ari
10. Maverick

 Messiah?  Really people?  I remember learning about a very popular practice in early 19th century America of naming boys aspirational names, like Major, Duke, Baron, King, Captain etc.  Messiah kind of takes that to a whole other level, don't you think?

 And I know parents love to make up names hoping for originality.  Is that the origin of Iker, or is that a famous historical or literary figure of which I am unaware? All I can think of is that song... 

My grandma and your grandma
Sitting by the fire
My grandma says to your grandma
I'm gonna set your flag on fire

Talkin' 'bout
Hey now
Hey now
Iko iko an nay
Jockomo feena ah na nay
Jockomo feena nay 

I realize that the word is Iko, not Iker.  Still.  It's what comes to mind.

Trends in names are so fascinating to me.  Perhaps because my name is Wendy, which is a name almost exclusively belonging to women born in the mid- to- late seventies.  Very trendy...for it's time.  So while I'm not quite a Jennifer, I do know what it feels like to have a name that is of a certain moment, and that moment has passed.  By the way, can we agree that Emma is the new Jennifer?  I think we can.  And Sophia is the new Allison.  And Isabella is the new Jessica.  Okay, I'll stop myself.  For now.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Happy Accidents

I was getting ready to go to a school function with the family the other night.  I assessed the state of the shirt I was wearing, trying to decide if some dark splotches on it were water and would dry before I made it to the show, or if it was something more sinister and oil based and was there for the long haul.  During this appraisal I made the happy discovery that my shirt was, in fact, on backwards.  I had been wearing it backwards all day.  This knowledge allowed me to quickly turn it around so it was now on properly, add a light cardigan to cover the unsightly spots that were now on the back, and be on my way.

(Turning is around was easier than just changing to a new shirt for tow, no doubt obvious, reasons:  1) One less shirt to wash on laundry day and 2) I didn't have to take the shirt over my head, so no re-do of the flyaway hairs necessary.)