What’s That Sound, Volume Four.

We read the bible almost every night to our kids, they go to Sunday School, and we have conversations about God. But you never know what they’re really picking up and what they’re not.

And what they’re pondering in their heart of hearts.

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A few months ago, I had this conversation with Noah.

Noah: “They have cars in heaven.”
Me: “They do?”
Noah: “Yes. Last time we went there they had cars there. I played with them.”
Me, slowly turning and a bit scared, “uh. What?”
Noah: “At heaven. They have cars. And they had a Mater seat and I sat on it – ha!”
Me, wondering if Jesus sits on a seat shaped like a Pixar Character, “Can you say all that again?”

He enunciated it all again, very clearly and with no misunderstanding

I stared at him, confused and silent. Then Ali came to my rescue. “Oh Mom – He means the Blevins’ House! They have a Mater seat that he sat on.”
Noah: “Yeah – the Blevins.”

Blevins …. Heaven … a completely understandable misunderstanding.

After I shared that story with the Blevins, they actually passed on the Seat of Blessedness to Noah – their boys had outgrown it, and Noah needed a piece of heaven in his life.

And it has been well-loved.

Mater Chair

I thought we had cleared up the differences between The Blevins and Heaven until last week.

I was rocking Noah and we were discussing all the things. He asked, “Is heaven at the Blevins’ house?”
“No…The Blevins house is not Heaven, as fun as it is.”
“Oh. Well. At the Blevins’ house do we not ever die?”
“No. That’s heaven – not the Blevins.”
“Oh. Well. When I get to heaven can I ask Jesus if angels wear shoes?”
“Yes. You absolutely may ask Him that.”
“Do you think Jesus has a beard?”

Because these are the important matters of faith.

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From the backseat:

“Mommy, can I drive the car when I grow up?”

”Yup. In 12 birthdays.”

“Okay great. Now how do I turn on the Frozen soundtrack again?”


Noah had the hiccups.

Me: “When you were in my tummy, you got the hiccups all the time!”

Noah: “And then I turned into poop and came out!”

…thanks to my husband for Pre-K digestion lessons.

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After an emotional day, I asked Noah at bedtime if he would please stay little forever.

At first he agreed, then said, “Well, no…in a few whiles I’ll be giant like you.”

Then he went on to add, “When YOU get bigger you’ll have a beard like Daddy.”

Because, scientific reasoning.

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Noah, in trouble and trying to deflect…

(giggle) “You’re funny, Mommy.”

“Why am I funny?”

“Because Jesus Loves You! That’s why you’re funny.”


A small sampling of callbacks after bedtime:

“I have a fingernail problem!”

“I have good news and bad news. The good news is you like cuddling with me. The bad news is you can’t touch fireworks.”


And a couple from Ali…

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Ali went to two weeks of summer day camp at our Church (voted the best in the city, I might add.) This week was Studio Week, where every team made a movie. On the way to camp this morning, she was telling me about the different movies.

“The Orange Team must be making ‘The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe’ because there was a girl who looked like Dorothy with a basket and a dog that looked like Toto inside of it.”

“You mean ‘The Wizard of Oz’?”

“Oh yes. ‘The Wizard of Oz’. I get them confused because the movies are so much alike.”

Just so you know I’ve failed as a parent.


We all sat down at the kitchen table – at the same time – with the table set and everything.

Ali gasped and said “We’re sitting here?? For dinner??? This is what Royals do!”

I swear we have regular family meals. I think.

On Raising a Parrot.

In our pre-kid days, Chris and I had the peculiar hobby of reading Screen It reviews before, during, or even instead of watching movies. Geared toward parents, the site gives an intensely detailed yet discreet laundry list of every profanity or slightly negative word in the movie, detailed descriptions of all violence, drug use, or frightening scenes, and any sexual references all the way down to “There was a slight amount of cleavage showing on the lady in the far left background of the scene.”

Juvenile though it was, we especially loved the detailed explanations of how a word was used. For instance, it’d say “14 scatological terms, used literally three times, once with ‘head’, twice with ‘piece of’, and once with ‘you little’.”

Although we sometimes did make movie-watching decisions based on these reviews, we often found them more entertaining than the movie itself.

Since that time, Screen It has become a paid service, but other free sites like Kids in Mind have taken their place. Our kids aren’t really off the Disney/Pixar/Veggie Tales track yet, so we still don’t have a good use for this service, but it’s fascinating nonetheless.

Like, for instance, who is looking up “The Wolf of Wall Street” to see if it’s appropriate for children? And if they are, do all deem it inappropriate when they see* “Over 414 F words and its derivatives…82 scatological terms, 53 anatomical terms…name-calling (midget, scum, nitwits, degenerates, depraved, lazy, idiot, sweetheart)”? Or are some parents like, “Oh, well there’s under 500 F words, so I guess I can take the kids to see it!”

* I left out at least half of the Profanity listing of Wolf of Wall Street in the interest of not taking your entire day to read this post.

One service that Screen It offers is a listing of all imitative behavior, which would include any phrases or actions that they thought kids might mimic. For some reason, I always pondered these greatly. Like, would a kid really jump out of a fiery car just because they saw it on a movie? And if they did, wouldn’t that be a good thing? I mean the car’s on fire and all. And if I took my kid to see Maleficent and the worst thing they came away with was repeating the phrase “How Quaint!”, am I really going to care?

I looked forward to the day when I could see for myself if Imitative Behaviors really do get imitated.

But alas. Ali has never been an repeating type of kid. She’s a deep thinker, an independent thinker, and never seems to pick up other people’s behaviors.

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So we had to have another kid.

Noah did not disappoint. He can pick up on anything anytime and repeat it with the perfect inflection and gusto.

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Enter The Lego Movie – clearly a must-watch for our family.

As we have now seen The Lego Movie more times than the F word comes up in The Wolf of Wall Street, Noah has grafted many new phrases into his dictionary, such as “Darny darn darn!”, “Honey, Where are my paaaaaants?”, and “What the heck!”

But my favorite phrase…perhaps my all-time favorite imitable behavior of all time…is this Lego Movie Jewel.

Imitative behavior is every bit as awesome as I’d always imagined it. And then some.


Disclaimer: Before you ask, no representation is made that the contents of this video in any way reflects the speaker or the blogger’s feelings toward any recent blog topics.

A Time to FitBit.

Really, it was all the old man’s fault.

He was ambling around the edge of the cliff at Weathington Park, offering to take everyone’s picture with their phone.

I don’t know if he was doing some sort of undercover operation to plant a tracking device on everyone’s phone or what, but he was quite insistent.

I was the only one on the ledge that day with a DSLR. I handed him my camera, which is pretty hefty compared to the variety of phones he’d been using.

“Whoa. Is this thing going to kick back?”

“Maybe a little. All you need to do is push this black button.”

“Which button?”

“This one.”

“Okay. Where is it?”

“Riiiight here.”

I placed his finger on the button, then Chris and I posed at the cliff and smiled, somewhat plastically.

Old Man stared at the backside of my camera.

“I can’t see anything! Are you sure this thing is on?”

“Yes sir. You have to look in the the viewfinder.”

“The who-what?”

“The little hole at the top of the camera.”

“OOOOH. Okay. Say cheese! HOLY COW I DIDN’T KNOW THIS THING WAS A SEMI-AUTOMATIC! How many pictures did I just take?”

“It’s no problem. Thank you!”

I quickly saved my camera from further misunderstandings and we moved on. Later, I looked at his photography portfolio.

Most of them contained my hand in front of my face, trying to arrest a bunch of stray strands that gathered there at just the wrong moment.

There was only one where my hand was just barely blurring. But the photo disagreed with me, as do most photos of myself these days.

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Granted, it wasn’t that bad of a picture. But for some reason it was the picture that I could see every one of the fifteen pounds I’ve gained in the past year. I can blame it on the medicine all I want, but it’s still there and it still bothers me.

I’ve tried to convince myself to exercise and get back to using Lose It a few times over the past year, but I lacked motivation, and was in general too tired from those same stupid medications to keep it up. And really, the real reason I need to exercise is not for vanity, but because Dysautonomia’s two main solutions are drinking ridiculous amounts of water and exercising regularly.

…But it’s counterintuitive since simply standing up can double my heart rate – it doesn’t exactly feel like running would be the best idea.

And also, the only two times I’ve ever been successful at losing weight also happened to be when I was nursing my children. And I can’t lactate on command, therefore I’ve been demotivated ever since.

But still. I knew it was possible.

Here were my before and after photos while nursing Noah:

BeforeAndAfterMaking milk: Does the body good.

But it was time. It had to be done. With or without my mammary glands taking part.

We got home from that trip on Sunday, and on Monday I bought myself a FitBit.

(And Chris one, too, since he’s always a good sport to play along with my geek-motivation needs.)

By Tuesday morning I was unforgivably angry with myself for not getting one years ago. For someone who is motivated by charts and graphs, a FitBit is like finding and taking up residence in The Garden of Eden.

It’s.

So.

Pretty.

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And that’s only half of the information it gives me. ANY TIME I WANT IT.

For those of you not familiar with FitBit, it’s a tiny clip-on gadget (or bracelet, if you prefer that choice) that tracks your steps, and by doing so extrapolates all of the above information (except the water – I am manually adding that) and makes it available to you in real-time on an app and a website. Which, since I would marry a spreadsheet if I could, translates into immediate gratification – a hard thing for me to get from exercise.

(And even the manual water entry is made super easy by standard measurements and a pretty little woman turning blue.)

FitBit Water Tracking

It also seamlessly interfaces with Lose It, which was my non-boob tool in my weight loss last time. FitBit sends Lose It the number of calories I’ve burned, Lose It sends FitBit the number of calories I’ve eaten, and both use the information to help me make wise decisions. It’s a lovely relationship.

Lose It Compared to FitBit

I know that FitBit is basically a glorified pedometer, but any organization that can take a simple tool and turn it into such a beautiful graphical representation of Doing The Right Thing is a hero in my books. Because I need goals. And I need to see how I achieved those goals. And better yet, I need to compete and beat everyone in my path.

(Until Chris ruins everything with his 14 mile Saturday morning runs and taunts me on Twitter.)

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(But that’s exactly the kind of competition I need. Because by Monday morning, I had fought my way back on top.)

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…And he thought he was so special because he runs a half-marathon every Saturday.

Mm hmm – Motherhood takes more steps.

(Well, Motherhood plus an intense need to beat one’s husband.)

But back to FitBit. It gives you goals in every area that you could possibly want, offers beautiful and drill-downable charts and graphs of every kind, changes colors from blue to yellow to red to green as you achieve those goals, and allows you to compete with all your friends, and in general completes me.

FitBit Dashboard

It EVEN offers a premium package where you can compare yourself to all the humans. UNIVERSAL BENCHMARKING.

I expect to break down and buy the expanded software within days.

It’s been a full week now, and I have felt fantastic six out of seven days, free of Dysautonomia symptoms. It could be a coincidence, or it could be because I finally found the right tool to reward me with pretty colors when I do the right thing.

At any rate, I’m hooked.

(But whether this pretty software makes up for my lack of lactation remains to be seen.)


If you have a FitBit and want to further my motivation by becoming my friend, my email address is graspingforobjectivity@gmail.com.

For the Record: I was not compensated by FitBit to write this nor did they ask me to nor do they know I’m writing it. But if they want to give me that premium package for free, I’d totally take it. FitBit? Are you listening?