If you miss us, dear optimists…

we apologize! We were finding it a bit tough to come up with content, what with the craziness of life and all. But if you miss us, here are some things to check out that Den has been up to:

Den’s blog, of course. Some of you probably already follow it, but just in case, he writes on there sometimes, and of course most of his stories are at least a little optimistic.

Children’s Literature: Den has been writing and self-publishing some kid’s books with his time off from D.O. He has been lucky enough to work with some TERRIFIC artists and has learned to create ebooks with some diligence. Here is some info on them:

A Day in the Dumps: the story of Joey, whose favorite toy is thrown out and his mom takes him on a quest to find the dump and locate the toy. It’s a nice bonding experience for mother and son, and Joey also learns of the importance of recycling. Artwork by Monica Minski. Available on Kindle and in the iTunes bookstore.

 

The Princess of the Land of Black: Princess Onyx is tired of her father, the king’s refusal to use anything that isn’t the color black. She knows there must be more out there, so leaves her father’s kingdom on a quest to learn about the world. Artwork by Lyndsaye Greke. Available on Kindle.

 

 

Even if you don’t have kids, they are fun reads. Or maybe you could recommend them to others! Either way, Den misses all of you and hopes everyone is well.

Know What I Love?

Dear Optimists,

Know what I love? Bendy straws. You know the ones. They..ahem…bend? Something about them always makes the drink more fun.

This has been a random post.

Love,
Den

P.S. Tell me something random that YOU like!

Male Bonding

A story about our encounter with a father and son bonding over my favorite thing in the world: Legos.

Dear Optimists,

If you read this blog at all, you already know I have a bit of an affinity – oh heck let’s call it what it is – an obsession with Legos. Well, this past weekend I had a $20 gift card to Toys-R-Us and wanted the cool Creator Log Cabin and was in the aisle looking for it when I saw a father/son by the little bagged figures. Do you know them? They’re in a bag and you have no idea which one you get. It’s fun and I definitely buy them when I see them on sale.


So I walk into the aisle and this father and his son have about twenty of the bags laid out on a shelf. I quickly figure out they’re going for the Feel the bag and guess which one is in it theory (which seldom works…I was trying to get the monkey trainer for the longest time but apparently the girl-hair part feels like a monkey), so Elle and I joined them. I wanted her to see the new series (she pretends to care because she loves me).

I said to Elle, “I really want the robot.” The little kid, who had thick glasses, looked up. The dad laughed. “That’s the one we’re trying to get!” “I can understand that…it’s the best one.” “We also want the leprechaun” the kid said to me. We had a little talk with them and I admitted it took luck to get the monkey trainer (yes, I did finally get it) and we had a nice talk with the kid and his dad. It really warms my heart, seeing a moment like this. The dad and son, working together and chasing down these toys, it’s one of those memories the kid will have forever. I hope to be that dad someday.

They ended up in line behind us as I was buying the log cabin (yup! got it!) and as we walked to our car I heard a voice say “Excuse me!” from the van next to our car. I look over and it’s the kid in the back seat.

“We got the robot!” he yelled. His dad and I both laughed, and I said “That’s awesome. I’m jealous now!”

What a trip to the toy store, huh?

Love,
Den

Guest Post: 21 Going on 12

Dear Optimists,

It’s funny when people underestimate your age. I personally like it, but it gets so awkward when people over-underestimate it! I’m 21 already, but have got myself mistaken as a 12-year-old a lot; dozens of times actually!!

I will never forget two years ago, while shopping with my mom, a man of my father’s age came by and asked me to try a jacket… he said, “Would you please try this? It’s for my daughter, she’s of your age, 12 years.” Then he patted my shoulder, thinking I was a 12-year-old kid!! I swear, I couldn’t utter a word; I silently pulled myself out, leaving him wondering what his mistake was! My mother couldn’t stop laughing when I told her!!

I also remember when I missed my flight last year and the woman at the check-in desk called the plane crew telling them they have left a 12 year-old child alone at the airport!!

Love,

Sara of The Accidental Blog

P.S: My sister insisted on drawing me that tiny; she’s younger, yet taller than I! If I were good with drawing I would’ve drawn myself taller!

Being one of the cool kids

Dear Optimists,

I was never one of the cool kids growing up. But that changed last week.

Not too long ago, I drew a picture for my friend, Mette of the two of us walking hand in hand with humour between us.

She saved the illustration on her phone, so that every time she picked it up she’d see it. It pleased me that I could make her smile with ease without actually being there or doing anything.

Mette works at an after-school centre. One day the children accidently got a hold of her phone and saw the drawing. Mette told me how they went on and on about how cute and adorable the drawing was for several hours minutes.

Finally, I was one of them! I felt like drawing something for each and every one of them. I felt like this:

(Surprisingly, they liked this drawing better!)

I swear. I’m not coming down from that piedestal!

Love,
Nadia.

Bathroom Awkwardness

Dear Optimists,

How many of you know what a urinal is? Basically it’s a toilet to pee in that’s attached to a wall. It’s for men…stand-up pee-ers only. Although I have seen a funny movie or two where a girl uses one. There are little walls between each one and they stand in the middle of a bathroom wall so that, technically, while a man pees, everyone else who walks in can see him from behind. They look like this:

Well, men walk up to them, unzip, whip it out and let the pee go. Nobody sees anything but their back. It’s quicker than using a stall and saves water. But last week after a movie I ran in to take a quick leak and there’s a boy, I’d say around ten or so, peeing at one. The difference is, instead of unzipping, he just pulled his pants down to his ankles right there in the middle of the public bathroom! I quickly looked away and felt VERY awkward at a bare ass in the bathroom. Consequently, I decided to hold it in.

Love,

Den

Christmas Hilarity

Dear Optimists,

One year, my really loud cousin was showing off for my grandfather’s video camera and yelled “Mommom watch me!” as he attempted a dance in front of the tree. He fell into the tree instead.

Priceless. And it’s all caught on video.

Love,

Den

When is too old?

Dear Optimists,

I had some cleaning and organising to do in our basement room. It was stuffed and nowhere near as organised as on the drawing:

It had to be done. As any other chore, I dreaded it. But going through all of your old stuff is actually quite fun. Especially when the following happens:

I found Ninna Long-Ears Bunny (yes, that is her name), my old stuffed animal, at the bottom of a box.

Who ever said you get too old for your stuffed animals?!

Love,
Nadia.

Guest Post: Kids-eating kitty

Dear Optimists,

It was the day before Thanksgiving 2010. The older adults were preparing tamales. Myself, my little sister, my cousin and my cat Nemo (I brought him since I was staying until Christmas) were assigned watch over the children. Seven children in total: Girl(7rs), 2 Boys(4yrs), Girl(4yrs), girl(3yrs), girl(2yrs), and one harmless sleepy baby boy. You would think three people could handle them but they got into some jealous bouts between the girls, and one boy was extra aggressive. While we three fought to gain control of the five toddlers and one older girl, who let us know very kindly that we were doing everything wrong, Nemo sat on the stairs glaring down at us. One of the kids saw this and, clearly spooked, walked away from him.
I then had an idea.

“Kids! If you do not listen and behave, Nemo will eat you!”

I know some might think this disturbing, but the kids laughed and all agreed to be good, thinking me silly. My cat, on queue, climbed down the stairs and rubbed himself against the most naughty child, the aggressive four year old boy. He looked at me with frightened eyes and declared that he would behave. Nemo did not leave my side the whole day.

The three year old girl began to take everything she could from the others and walk, with all this stuff, to a secluded room. Nemo followed her into the room (as this was the room his food was kept in) unbeknownst to her. I heard a cry echo through the hall and ran to go see what the problem was. Nemo was rubbing his body on her legs and she was yelling that he was trying to eat her. I rescued her saying: “It’s okay, Nickie,” I then said in front of all the children, “Are you going to give the toys back and start behaving?”

“Yesh.” She nodded.

The kids just stared, and the rest of the night went smoothly as I sat back, cat in my lap watching toy story 3 with six well behaved kids.

Mission accomplished. ^-^

Love,
Elizabeth of Currently Processing Negatives.

Guest Post! Reading to Children

Dear Optimists,

This morning I went to read to a Grade two class at an underprivileged school in my area. It was really such fun, and the kids were too sweet. They sat there (there were about a million in the class) gazing up at me, and they loved the stories I read to them. This is something I’ve been wanting to do for a while, so I’m glad I’ve started. I’ll be going every Wednesday for the rest of the year, and then again next year.

Cheers,

Lorna of the great blog Lornaland