First Ice

Today marks our first morning of the season with significant ice outside. We’ve had a few frosts and light glazes, but nothing you could slide around on. Griffin, Maggie, Zoe, and Cedar had a blast sliding around before the older kids caught the bus to school. On our walk back to the house, Maggie suggested that I take a picture to send to Mama (who is in iceless San Diego). Good thinking!

Griffin Music

Griffin Music - Album Covers
Griffin Music

Music can be tough with our kids. Some children’s music is hard to listen to as an adult. And Griffin and Maggie both like to repeat songs endlessly, bludgeoning even great songs to death. They are also mercurial, wanting to switch songs, bands, and genres repeatedly, and always wanting to control it. My answer to this has been Pandora.

At first the kids were disappointed when I put it on, because they couldn’t make requests. For those that don’t use Pandora, it basically generates playlists based on some musical seeds that you create, but you can’t request individual songs. As you listen you can fine tune the station. I created a station for Griffin, called simply “Griffin Music,” seeded it with some songs that he liked, and then showed him how to use the “Thumbs Up” and “Thumbs Down” feature to mark songs that he liked or didn’t like. After he got used to this, he loved it. (Of course Sarah and I could also go in and “Thumbs Down” songs that drove us nuts.)

While glancing over the station details recently, I was shocked to see how many tracks Griffin (and Maggie, to some degree) had marked. We launched the “Griffin Music” station in 2011. Since then we’ve added nine seed tracks. Griffin has thumbed-up 228 tracks and thumbed-down 21. Read on if you’d like to actually see those lists, a snapshot of Griffin’s musical taste over the past few years. These lists are current as of November 17, 2015, and are sorted in reverse chronological order.
Continue reading Griffin Music

Nervous Monster

On the way up to bed tonight:

Maggie: Mama, will you be a monster?

Mama: Sure! Roarrrrrrr!

Maggie, looking nervous: Wait! Um, can I be a monster too?

Mama: Sure!

Maggie: Ok, since we are both monsters, we can touch each other.

Mama: Ok…

Maggie: Let’s hold hands on our way upstairs.

Mama and Maggie, holding hands: ROARRRRRR!


Update—the following night, with Sarah out of town:

Maggie: Daddy, play monster!

Daddy: Ok. Roaarrrr!!!

Maggie squeals, makes it half way up the stairs, and says, “Wait! I’m a monster too!”

We hold hands the rest of the way, roaring together.


Update—yet another night:

Maggie: You know what? I’m super tired so I runned out of energy. That’s why I don’t want to play monster.