Tag Archives: Parenting

Darth Vader Prevented Tardiness

How did I use Darth Vader to prevent tardiness at my house?

Go to my new site and read all about it! Don’t forget to sign up to follow the new blog, since this one will be ignored more and more. ūüėČ

Darth Vader Prevented Tardiness

Diana Beebe's Blog, Diana Beebe, science fiction, middle grade fantasy, fantasy

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Geek Mom Strikes Again

Comic books are awesome!¬† When I was little, I was so happy when we would get to buy them. I still have one of my very first comic books. It was Disney’s Scamp (Tramp and Lady’s errant son). My sister and I had a few others with that same level of fun and silliness.

Then there was my Thundercats stage, which coincided with my Spider-Man stage but didn’t last as long.¬†I read DC comics, too, (Wonder Woman, mostly).

There is something to be said about kids and literacy and comic books–they can only encourage kids to read. I found this great article by Charlie Brooks, a¬†geek dad,¬†about getting younger kids to read by using comic books. He has good suggestions for comics that are kid friendly (and not violent and oversexed as some of the superhero and supervillain ones¬†are).

What’s not to love about comic books? They are colorful and action packed and feed imaginations in ways that books and movies can’t.¬† Comic books give visual clues that¬†we don’t get from¬†novels and yet still leave more to the imagination than TV or movies. They can be a good gateway to reading books. (A gateway to reading, not drugs…sheesh.)

When I stumbled on the new My Little Pony comic books, I knew I had to get them.¬†My¬†kids don’t need encouragement to read, but they love the My Little Pony humor. I bought the first one and gave it to the girls to share. They loved it. This geek mom was so proud. *wipes eyes*

When it was time to get the next one, I tried to get them to go to the comic book store with¬†me.¬†Mockingbird looked at me as if I’d grown another head.¬†Armadillo, on the other hand, squeed and said, “Comic books! Yea!”

At least one of my daughters is mine. ūüėČ

The latest thing about comic books is to make at least three different covers for every edition. What? You want me to choose which cover I want? I want them all!

Which one did the seven-year-old Armadillo pick? Cover C wasn't available.

Which one did the seven-year-old Armadillo pick? Cover C wasn’t available.

*cough*

Since buying more than one copy is not a viable option (unless it’s Spider-Man #700…*whistles and walks away*), I let Armadillo pick the cover she wanted. Do you think you can guess which cover she picked?

I’ll reveal the answer later this week. ūüėÄ

Are you a comic book fan? If so, what have been your favorite titles?

Something Light and Fluffy

After the super, heavy seriousness of my recent deathmatch with my dishwasher, I think we all need something light and fluffy.

So…

Pillows!

The newest generation of My LIttle Pony characters

The shirt from kindergarten outgrown too soon… It’s hard to see in this picture, but she put pretty multi-colored cording around the entire seam. It matches perfectly!

If you’ve got kiddos, there is a really good chance that he or she has a favorite shirt. One that they want to wear and wear and wear, even when it’s two sizes too small. The Armadillo loved these two My Little Pony shirts. She cried both times when they didn’t fit anymore. So I saved them.

Rainbow Dash from the last generation of ponies.

The shirt from preschool…bought too large on purpose; it wasn’t big enough to last forever.

The daughter of one of my friends loves to sew and design, so I asked if she would convert the shirts into pillows. She did a fabulous job, don’t you think? And Armadillo loves them and keeps them on her bed.

Some people collect their cherished baby and toddler clothes and make them into quilts. My friend told me that she saw one that was a pieced quilt. All the onesies and shirts were cut up into pieces, some of them even had tiny babyfood stains. Cute, right?

What about you? Do you have a favorite thing from your childhood or your children’s childhood that you’ve saved or converted into something else?

You Can’t Drive to Hawai’i!

How did this revelation take place?

We were talking about vacations: ones we’ve taken and ones we’d like to take. Hawai’i was in the middle of the mix because family friends go nearly every year. The car reference was based on renting a car once on the island–My little one heard only part of the conversation. She thought I wanted to drive there. (D’oh!) LOL.

OK, Smartypants, if you can’t drive to Hawai’i, then how can you get there? By plane or boat, of course.

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

By Cole Vassiliou via WANA Commons

I don’t know about you and your family, but we have a how-to-travel debate often. One doesn’t want to fly. One does want to fly. Another goes cross-eyed looking at airfares for a family of four. The last cringes at the driving route across several states.

So, the thought of taking a boat to Hawai’i…. I can’t even fathom it. An expensive, long cruise on a ship in the middle of the Pacific Ocean doesn’t sound like fun to me.

My BFF has taken a few driving trips halfway across the states, crisscrossing and site seeing for weeks at a time. A different hotel every night. A different adventure everyday. If driving to Hawai’i was an option, I bet her family would do it.

Whew! I’m already tired.

So my daughter asked if we ever went to Hawai’i would we take a boat or a plane, as if there was a choice. I wiped tears of laughter off my face. Did she really ask me that?

Where do you want to travel and how would you get there? Have you already been on an adventure that included different modes of transportation? Would you ever travel that way again?

2012 in Review and Looking Forward to 2013

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows.

In the almost¬†six months that I’ve been blogging, here are my top 5 posts and my theories for why they made the list:

  1. Mermaids Aren’t Real?¬†—¬†This War of the Worlds moment (remember the radio program that had people panicking?) had to be shared.¬† If they are real, they are smart enough to elude Animal Planet film crews.
  2. My Very Own My Little Pony¬†— Ponyfest12 was a success!¬† I couldn’t believe that my pony won, but then again, I have awesome friends.¬† Look for a pony reveal¬†soon.¬† In the meantime, you should check out Rebecca Enzor’s blog, because Ponyfest is hers and she’s great.
  3. Totes, Selfies, and Sharpies¬†— Why did this one make the top 5?¬† Because there are people searching on teen selfies.¬† Not kidding! Exactly 25% of the known Google searches that linked to my blog were about selfies, and most of those were looking for teens! Ick. Parents of teens, monitor your kids’ phones and uploads.¬† Just sayin’.
  4. Welcome to Gattaca¬†— Who doesn’t love that movie?
  5. We figured that one out a long time ago¬†— I just can’t help myself when I hear of discoveries that shock scientists about the intelligence of women.

These fabulous people were my top 5 commenters. I love their blogs.  I hope you check them out:

  1. Pauline B Jones
  2. Julie Glover
  3. Ryan King
  4. Debra Kristi
  5. Jordan L. Hawk

I launched this blog at the end of June last year with a ton of support and encouragement from my WANATribe Blogging for Brand classmates and WANA founder, Kristen Lamb.

So what’s in store for Mermaids Don’t Do Windows in 2013?

  • Three¬†posts a week.
  • Pony reveal!
  • A visit from a Norse god. Yes, Thor is coming to visit me soon!¬† He will get to see what Texas is all about.
  • A blog upgrade and some tweaks.
  • A posting¬†schedule.¬† What?!¬†
  • More housework avoidance (and maybe some decluttering projects).

Happy New Year to you all!

Thanks for stopping by.¬† I’d love to hear what you have going on for the new year.

Twitterpated

If you’ve seen Bambi (who hasn’t?), you know that “twitterpated” is the word Friend Owl uses to tell the young animals that spring is coming and they will fall in love.

image

The three friends, Bambi, Thumper, and Flower, promise never to lose their friendship sanity just because of the shininess of the first pretty girl they see of their species.

I’ve been twitterpated by the shininess Twitter (@DianaBeebeTX, if you want to follow).¬† Can you believe it?

My use of the social media shiny is limited to a few friends, my alma mater (gotta keep up with the Frogs!), and my widening circle of writing friends.¬† I don’t follow any shows or celebrities, except Dr. Horrible because…well, just because.¬† I live in a fairly small, sheltered bubble.¬† I also try to think before I post. I hope I have not forsaken my sanity for the shiny that Twitter holds.

Free technology. No free lunch!

When I went to open house at my daughter’s high school, one of her teachers encouraged the students to follow his class (not him personally) on Twitter.¬† They could ask him questions about homework and projects.

I’m not ready for my daughter to be on Facebook.¬† She certainly isn’t going to be on Twitter any time soon.¬† (Thank goodness the Anti-Teenager is OK with that.)

So why was I surprised to hear that a student (already in trouble for drinking on campus) tweeted that she was going to attack another girl at school?  And she did attack her in a hallway.

A few days later, some students thought it would be “fun” to act up in the halls.¬† Rumor in the school is that it was a flash mob attempt, started on Twitter.¬† The school now has strict class change procedures with teachers lining the halls, one way stairwells, and extra security in the building.

Because a few young teenagers misused Twitter and acted on the misuse.¬† Did they get twitterpated by the shiny of tweeting–can’t see beyond their little circle of tweeps like Thumper who wondered off with the first cute girl rabbit who batted her eyelashes at him?¬†Did they think that no one else would see that one tweet because of an @ mention to a specific person? Not a lot of thought goes into that kind of twittiness.

This was not an Arab Spring.  There was no higher purpose. There were kids misbehaving and making the school miserable for the rest of the students.  According to the school, two students were arrested (no details were given, of course).  Public tweets and videoed assaults are hard evidence though.  Students were told more trouble would follow if anything else was posted.

You would think that as tech savvy as teens are these days that they would also understand that what they post is out there.¬† They can’t take it back on Twitter.¬† Their thoughts, motivations, and pictures are there for all the world to see.¬† Their teachers and potential employers can see it, too.

New users on Twitter are not that different than a teenager in lurve for the first time. Now give Twitter to a teen who doesn’t realize that more people than the tweeps who follow them can see what they post, or maybe they don’t care.

I remember being twitterpated in high school. I didn’t always think through my actions when I was in lurve. *bats eyelashes* Thank goodness I didn’t have to deal with social media as a kid…

As someone fairly new to Twitter, I still wonder if something I post makes me sound like a twit. I’m not so new to being twitterpated that I hit send everytime I think of something to post. Twitty and witty are two different things.

Until Mission Impossible technology catches on, what gets tweeted is out there for the world to read.

There are companies out there that are creating “This message will self-destruct” applications.¬† You pick the time table–5 seconds or 6 days.¬† An article on NPR about a startup called Wickr that is doing this for iThings.

The technology isn’t there for everyone to use yet.¬† So until our emails, tweets, and Facebook posts can self-destruct, we need to teach our kids how to behave. If you know teenagers who are twitterpated with Twitter, please make sure they are using it wisely.¬† Heck, make sure that you’re using it wisely, too.

That’s not always easy when adults in high government positions get caught in scandals because of things they’ve posted.¬† They were twits twitterpated by their own perceived cyberspace bubbles. You know who they are.

If you’re a parent of teens, do you even know if your child is on Twitter?¬† If so, are you following him or her?¬† Are you monitoring phone and web activity?

O, Christmas Tree

All the left-overs are long gone, and I’m emerging from my status of missing in action for the last week or so.¬† I won’t bore you with the details–everyone has that list from time to time that keeps them busy with life.

The weekend after Thanksgiving is when our Christmas decorations explode across the house.

Maybe not, explode.  Two rooms and the front yard, tops.

The girls have finally gotten to the ages when they can take over putting all the decorations on the tree.  Together.  Just the two of them.  Without supervision.  Without mediation.

With some mediation and several breaks from each other.

“What were you thinking about?”

Every year, they pick two (or three) ornaments that they love.  These ornaments usually represent something they experienced or loved during the year.  For both of them, the tempation to buy the Lego Darth Vader was strong within them.  But they resisted the dark side.

Daughter 2 picked polar bears, penguins, and kittens.¬† There are¬†two series of ornaments that she’s collecting.¬† Daughter 1 picked the puppy and horse that go with her two series.¬† She also picked something else.¬† It makes a geek mom proud.

If the store had the Hulk, she would have picked him.¬† I was surprised that she passed up Thor and Darth Vader.¬† I wasn’t surprised that she ignored Spider-Man (even though it crushed me on the inside).

She picked the Stay Puft Marshmellow Man from Ghostbusters.¬† He hangs with a Santa looking over him to keep him out of trouble.¬† I hope no one pushes the button on his side too often.¬† I can hear the theme song to the movie only so many times before I go crazy.¬† ūüôā

The girls decorated the tree.  They took breaks when the older one sensed that they might kill each other over pre-lighted bough territory.  After all, the carousel animal ornaments must hang on the same side of the tree.  Together.  In the same place.

*eye twitch*

Ahem.  The tree is beautiful, because my girls decorated it together.  I just put on the little ornaments at the top where neither can reach.

Speaking of the top, I have no tree topper.¬† I just can’t find one that I like.¬† My tree is topperless for the second year in a row.¬† I hate to even admit that my tree is topperless.¬† It is.¬† Do I want to replace the pitiful angel that used to be the topper?¬† Or, do I want a star?¬† There are too many choices out there. (Maybe I’m too picky or frugal or something.)

The rest of the ornaments are a mix from my husband’s childhood and things I’ve collected from trips we’ve taken.¬† There are also some antique, handmade ornaments that my grandmother used to hang on her tree.¬† It’s an ecclectic tree, but we think it’s beautiful.

When do you decorate for the holidays? Do you have any special decorations or traditions? 

For ROW80, I haven’t checked in for at least a¬†week.¬† Sigh.¬† Here’s where I am:

  • I have a list of plot holes in my MG WIP.¬† I’m going to fill them in now.¬† I want to have¬†the first draft finished by the first week of December.
  • The back garden is planted with carrots, spinach, kale, lettuce, and onion seeds.¬†A few radish seeds are mixed with the carrots so I know where those rows are.
  • Get back into my size-smaller jeans. I miss them. I worked too hard to get into them in the first place.
  • I started my sweet potato slips. Only one piece is growing. I had to throw out the other pieces. More to come.
  • Catch up on blogging class!