Sunday
Apr052009

Fact: Multi-Tasking Kills Brain Cells

I am 100% aware that I am losing my mind. 100%.

Not that long ago, I was cheerily sitting in a conference listening to someone speak about trends in computer-based training. My mind kept wandering, and I kept fidgeting with my laptop in hopes of at least getting something done while I kinda listened. Then the speaker, AS IF HE KNEW I WASN'T PAYING ATTENTION, started talking about how multi-tasking is a myth and then presented information from some studies that has proven that multi-tasking kills brain cells.

Lots of people were live-twittering the conference, and immediately they all started tweeting "BS" as they were living proof that you can absolutely twitter and listen effectively. I didn't call BS because I was all like, "Yeah, I'm multi-tasking right now, and I KNOW I'm not listening that well."

And then I started thinking about how it seems like a lot of my brain cells have gone missing lately. I keep thinking it's "Mommy Brain," but then -THEN- it came to me.

Multi-tasking.

Having a kid.

You can't have one without the other.

I mean, you can't even wipe your own butt without wondering what a kid is doing once you have one roaming around your house. Either the kid has to go to the bathroom with you and you have to try to act like the ringleader at a circus to keep the kid out of trouble, or you are left to fear what room of the house is in the midst of being turned into a disaster zone. Everything about life with kids is a giant game of multi-tasking. EVERYTHING.

Ergo, there is scientific evidence out there that having kids kills brain cells.

That's my excuse for what happened earlier.

I was trying to throw together a quickie dinner of Potato Boats (I'm going to get mocked for this one--oh well). A Potato Boat is a slice of bologna (in our case, faux bologna) with a scoop of mashed potatoes and a cube of cheese on top. It's one of those five-star lunches that I remember very well from grade school, and Alexis LOVES them. Dinner can be served in under five minutes, so I'm game for making them once every three or four months.

I threw the mashed potatoes in the microwave to warm up, grabbed the faux bologna out of the fridge, and then got distracted by the bag of grapes that needed cleaning. I had a few minutes before the potatoes would be finished, so I figured I would take care of the grapes right then and there. I set the faux bologna on the counter and turned my attention to a little grape scrubbing.

A few minutes later, the microwave wailed at me that the potatoes were done, so I turned to start slopping the concoctions together.

The bologna had grown legs and walked away.

I was SURE of it.

And yet, I wasn't.

I thought maybe I had left it in the fridge. Or set it in the cabinet when I opened it to put something away. Or threw it in the trash. Or . . . I started to wonder if it really had grown legs.

"Alexis, did you take the bologna?" I called out.

"Yes," she replied.

"Where did you put it?" I asked.

"I don't know," she replied.

I believed her on both accounts, but I wasn't sure she really understood the question. We so rarely eat Potato Boats that I wasn't positive she actually understood the word "bologna."

"Alexis, did you take the red box?" I tried rephrasing my question.

"Yes," she replied.

"Where did you put it?" I asked.

"I don't know," she replied. Again.

I rephrased the question ten different ways, and each time the answer was the same. Yes, she took it, but she didn't know where it was.

It took twenty minutes to find the faux bologna. In the freezer. Where Alexis put it.

Having kids definitely kills brain cells.

Saturday
Apr042009

Beauty

This morning was much like any other Saturday--the first few hours were spent with Alexis gleefully watching Playhouse Disney. It was more than a little jarring to flip the channel and find that five Pittsburgh police officers had been shot in the line of duty. As Mr. Husband and I sat with heavy hearts watching the events unfold, Alexis was oblivious to the severity of the situation. When the news that three of the officers had died came over the airwaves, Alexis was singing Happy Birthday to one of her dolls.

Sometimes being a parent means living in two very different universes at one time. It's . . . uncomfortable.

As more details came to surface and the story of the shooter began to become a little clearer (and more disturbing), Mr. Husband and I decided it was time to go. Anywhere. We had to go find some of the beautiful in our city, so that we could forget a little of the ugly that started our day.

We wound up at the Zoo, which is certainly not my first thought when it comes to defining "beautiful" in Pittsburgh, but the Martian named Alexis really wanted to go there.

So, a few photos of Beautiful, as our hearts go out to those involved in today's tragedy.





Friday
Apr032009

An Interview With the Short Person

I recently sat down with Alexis and asked her a few questions, all the while feeling like I was a so-called reporter with Big Bop.

What is your favorite color: "Purple and red and yellow and pink and green and blue and purple."

What is your favorite song: "High School Musical and Boys are Back"

What is your favorite movie: "Cinderella and Snow White"

What is your favorite thing to eat
: "I like marshmallows and popcorn."

What is your favorite place to go
: "Clifford slide"

What is your favorite toy
: "Tigger and Pooh computer, Baby Shell, Cinderella telephone"

Do you have any pets: "Um, yeah, kitties and dogs."

What is your favorite thing to do
: "I love to play and I play outside."

Where do you want to live when you grow up
: "Pittsburgh"

What's your favorite sport
: "Be quiet! I'm watching Penguins." [She really was--I think that is why all her answers were so short.]

Who is your favorite Penguin
: "Sidney Crosby"

What do you want to be when you get bigger
: "I'm not gonna get bigger. I'm little."

And then I died of the cuteness.



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