Wednesday, December 31, 2008
My concern wasn't for Pook. He got his first large kit for his 5th birthday, from Sister MD I think. It was a jet and it's assembly came with lots of tears. (Piece #425 was pressed on too hard and pieces #287-#399 now needed to be fixed...) At age six, he became a pro. Since Bug is usually reluctant to accept help, I'd been reminding him every time the Santa request for Lego came up that he would need help. And so far, so good. They each managed to do a small vehicle kit the morning of Christmas independently, relieving some of my concern over Bug's potential frustration.
Because we were leaving on the 26th for our second Christmas out of town, I didn't want the big kits started Christmas day. They weren't too bothered. Pook occupied himself with a cool ferris wheel of K'nex and Bug was preoccupied the rest of the day as soon as he opened his Dash costume.
I found the costume at Halloween and made it the first purchase of the season. Bug has wanted a full body costume for ages, and had even tried on an Incredibles costume at a friend's house. It has it's own muscles built right into the arms and chest. "Feel here" he'd say before he began another lap around the rooms of the house, beaming. "Do you think these muscles or these muscles are stronger?" He put it on straight from morning pj's and kept it on through Christmas dinner all the way til bedtime pj's again.
In Nashville, he opened a Spiderman costume, an Air Force pilot costume (in birthday wrapping paper accidentally under the tree) and a real dishdash straight from the UAE. We haven't seen much of Bug himself ever since!
Home once again to Atlanta, they both tore open their Lego kits and began working. Muffin tins worked great to sort pieces and I realized that Bug really didn't need help, only random checks for missed parts. In two days (taking a break yesterday afternoon to go biking with a neighbor) they both completed their huge sets. The playroom is now divided into harbor and city. And yet there is more to come.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
As it finished, I could tell Pook was impressed, as he mumbled "radar..." aloud. Bug, however, completely surprised me. "I have two ideas about Santa" he began. I smiled to myself at what I expected to be a cute comment. "Number one I think Santa is real." Ok. He had my attention now. "Number two I think Mama and Daddy come downstairs in the middle of the night and fill our stockings." I gasped silently and waited, concentrating on my driving, but not wanting to miss a word. "But we always put things in the stockings before we ring the bells" pointed out Pook. Bug agreed and Pook continued, "But Santa puts in candy and stuff later." The conversation ended.
Now the conversation itself doesn't surprise me a ton, but the roles are completely reversed. Pook is Mr. Logical, Mr. Enumerate-Your-Points. Bug is Mr. Pretend, Mr. Random-Thoughts. And plus, he's only four!
Fortunately the topic never came up again. Santa arrived, enjoyed his cookies and milk, fed the carrots to the reindeer and left treats and gifts. All was well. Silent Night.
Bug was getting some candy from his stocking after lunch. I was in the middle of poorly multitasking and not paying much attention.
"Mama, is Santa real?"
ulp. I wasn't supposed to answer that. He wasn't supposed to be the child who was going to ask me that. I was going to be prepared. What did I do with "We're all Santa"? What did he do with his role as the baby brother? One more year! Give me one more year!
Monday, December 22, 2008
I can say however, that I have learned a new skill in 2008. A really useful skill. With only a pair of scissors, a pair of pliers, either hot glue or needle and thread, (plus or minus a crying child standing naked in front of me holding his favorite zip-all-the-way-up-the-front-sleeper) I can repair a zipper. I learned on a jacket this summer and just did it again. Proof that I really know this skill.
And for further proof, I will now teach the skill to others.
PROBLEM #1: THE ZIPPER HAS COME OFF
1. Take the zipper, attached presumably to only one side, to the lowest position
2. Make a small cut through the teeth of the unattached side just at the bottom of the zipper
3. Feed it into the zipper from the top
4. Zip the garment up and down a few times, tugging to align if off a bit
5. Sew or hot glue the garment above the point of the cut so the zipper won't slide off again
PROBLEM #2: THE ZIPPER ISN'T ZIPPING
1. Take the zipper to the lowest position
2. With pliers, pinch the zipper from top to bottom (inside of fabric to outside). Do this gently several times instead of once harder Each time, test drive it to see if it is tight enough to zip.
We had both of these problems this morning, but the sleeper is saved and Bug will live through another night.
Friday, December 19, 2008
Our stocking tradition started when I lost a tooth early in one school year. By the time I got from the bus stop to the house I had learned way more than I wanted to learn about the Tooth Fairy and all her cousins- namely the Easter Bunny and Santa. It was all rolled into one for me. I headed into the house and confronted an unprepared mom with the famous question Virginia once asked. The answer, "What do you think?" put me on the spot myself. Was I grown up or was I a little kid? For ages I wished I'd gone for Little Kid instead.
And on Christmas eve, all that came together and I realized the injustice of it all. Here was my mom, providing all that candy that she usually didn't want us to have, but giving it to us anyway. And nothing for herself! My poor mom spent Christmas eve in our basement sewing two more stockings for herself and my dad. But, a new tradition was born.
As the youngest, I was the first Santa. I filled the stockings with small items or candies. Then my sister, then my dad, then the head of the elves herself. We'd put in candy or nuts, little toys, batteries or canisters of film, fun socks, etc. We'd ring the sleigh bells and each head upstairs to bed, leaving behind the temptation to peek. Hopefully the stockings were too full and heavy to hang by the fireplace and were snug on a chair in the morning.
*****SPOILER ALERT*****SPOILER ALERT*****
Bug just reminded me that he wants to put nuts in all the stockings this year. I've had the boys participate in filling the stockings from the start. They know that everyone takes a turn, leaving them for Santa to complete. They certainly believe in the jolly red-coated, white bearded elf but I hope the transition to Christmas Spirit is simple for them.
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
This year we figured out how to print address labels from said computer address book. And as I added stamps to the envelopes, I realized that some of them couldn't be mailed as is. I might enjoy the memory, but it might be an uncomfortable reminder if mail arrives to their spouse. Same with divorce.
The summary of changes we made for the year 2008:
2 new homes
When I was using a paper address book which dated back to at least high school, sometimes I would forget a friend's married name. The phone would be picked up by a familiar but unexpected voice- the friend's mom. I enjoyed the mistakes; I had known these women closely while I grew up, but seldom heard from them or about them after I moved out. When I put all the data into the computer years ago, I left this information out. There was really no need to know the house number for a friend who no longer lived in it. I never phoned someone's mom on purpose, so adding them to the computer was foolish. But I miss them. And I'll miss those who have been deleted in this round.
Monday, December 15, 2008
Fast Slow-Cooker Applebutter
(I really love the name)
50 oz jar of unsweetened applesauce (I said it was easy!)
1/3 cup sugar or brown sugar (or more if you need it, but I decreased it until we noticed and that is where we stopped)
1/2 tsp cloves
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp allspice
1 tsp cinnamon
Spray edges of slow cooker. Cook on high for 6-16 hours. (Until you have time to put it in jars)
Eat on biscuits, bagels, pancakes, spoons....
Or give as gifts.
On Sunday, I convinced CD to drive an hour to cut a tree at the Sleepy Hollow Tree Farm. They had three types of trees: Leyland cypress, Carolina sapphire and Virginia pine. The first two weren't the type of needle that seemed Christmas-tree-like to me, so we chose among the pines. We had one picked out before settling on a smaller, narrower neighbor to it. Seems like they always look bigger once they're in the house, so it seemed the wiser choice. The kids held onto it while CD used the saw. They barely had time to yell "timber" before it fell. The boys carried it without help over to the car and we tied it up on top. We only had to stop once on the way home to retie it. Decorated and lit now, it looks dazzling. Or at least festive.
Friday, December 12, 2008
I think I am in the category of "hard to shop for". I should have been born during the Depression. I don't need much. I don't want much. I don't really like to shop. I'm not good at spending money. I don't have a list of ideas for gifts to share with my family. How did I become one of these people?
As a kid, I would have a very specific idea of an item I wanted. It would invariably be hard to locate and somewhat pricey. I would visit store after store and everything would be Not Quite Right. Sometimes I couldn't state what was wrong, but I knew I'd know the right one when I saw it. And I usually did. I drove my mom and Sister MD crazy.
Sister MD was always a gatherer. The more low-priced items, the better. But unfortunately, the more she spent, the more I held tight to my wallet. Eventually her spending would frustrate me so much I'd be unable to make myself spend a cent and I'd go home without my desired purchases. Oddly, I've found that some friends actually influence me to loosen my wallet. With others I can enjoy vicarious shopping and not mind coming home empty-handed.
Harriet has just posted twelve things she wants for Christmas. Her struggle to come up with them is the same as mine, "a) that the gift was picked out by someone else who thought I would like it is a crucial component of any present and b) ditto on the element of surprise."
So here I am at Christmas once again. And I don't know what I want. I want to remodel the kids' bathroom. I want to terrace the backyard. I want to improve my kitchen (remember, the new fridge doesn't count). But things I want that are less than 10K? Harder.
SANTU (remember your short 'u' sound, like in 'umbrella')
I think it translates something like this:
Dear Santa, For Christmas this year, I would like a pair of rear viewing spy glasses, a new stuffed teddy bear (not to replace Ted, but just as a new friend), Lego and some candy. Love [Bug])
...and on the envelope, SETU CLOZ
The second letter was written with something called a "sloppy copy" and then recopied onto nice paper before being mailed to "Santa Claus at the North Pole." It said:
Dear Santa Claus,
For Christmas I would like spy glasses. I would
also like Transport Ferry City Lego, Police Pontoon
Plane City Lego, and Patrol Boat and Tower
(I'm a kid)
He is not leaving anything to chance this year. The "sloppy copy" included model numbers. Not sure where they both got the idea for spy glasses and I hope they don't disappoint. They're only $2.99 on Amazon....
Now, I'm off to meet CD at the Lego outlet near his office.
Thursday, December 11, 2008
Because I used to be a preschool teacher and hope to teach again sometime, I am saving all the preschool toys that my kids outgrow. Bug gave up the baby stuff much sooner, trying to teethe on Star Wars figures and skipping rattles and favorites of Pook's. I'd bring items out occasionally, but when the Big Kid toys were an option, the Little Kid stuff got ignored. I love some of those toys and I'm happy that I might get a chance to watch children enjoy them again sometime.
For the party, I pulled out a grocery cart and lots of plastic toy foods, big zoo animals and dinosaurs, a train and road set, and lots of Duplo. Turned out that the three toddlers stayed downstairs near their parents and I could have left the playroom as it was. However, this week has been fun. Pook and Bug haven't yet reclaimed the Lego or other standbys. They've been building with what they had. And by building, I mean that the room is all one big city and there are no leftover pieces of Duplo. Every toy has been incorporated. There are two trains- the Birthday Train and the Circus Train. There is a Stray Animal Zoo, a Hotel and row of restaurants, an Indian Village with totem pole, a playground with a fancy tube slide, and much more.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
I don't think to myself, "Oh, how creative." I think to myself, "Oh, that mom is making my life too difficult." Because I do not have time for an elf. I do not want an elf. I do not like the idea of a snooping elf in my house. But my kids keep hearing about the elves which inhabit the homes of their friends. They want to know why they don't have an elf.
I don't want to get into the issue at all, it feels too much like lying. Yes, Santa comes to our house, but really, I try to say as little about him as possible. And I never pull out the "Be good or Santa won't come" sort of stuff. But now with the elves, I'm getting forced into conversations about specifics. Last week a friend explained to my children that she had to have an elf at her house because her kids were naughty, but maybe we were lucky because we didn't need one. I'm not sure what the boys thought of that explanation, but it only solved a temporary problem, if that. It created more myth about the elf than I really wanted.
How does one deal with this? I ignored it last year and hoped it would go away. It didn't. It came back this year with more intensity and more questions. If I explain the truth to the boys, no matter how carefully I word it, they will spill the beans to the kids who have elves. After all, Bug is only four. He lives in Pretend and Fantasy every day. This fits right into his view of the world. But if I let it go, they'll continue to feel cheated out of this fun. And I do believe it is fun. I just don't want to be coerced into playing.
Monday, December 8, 2008
We had a Christmas gathering with the families of our dinner group. We usually pick restaurants and hire babysitters, but this month we cooked and everyone came to our house. LG brought an apple cobbler and ice cream. When she pulled out the ice cream to serve it, it was mush. Good mush I must add, melted all over the hot cobbler. I figured we'd been in the freezer too much for ice and it had gotten left open accidentally. Nope. Broken.
I'm looking for a repair person as I type. Only one with a reference has a new phone number and can't be found. CD looked up a few other names but no one can come until tomorrow. We are fortunate to have a large freezer in our garage. The fridge has a couple bags of ice to keep milk, cheese, eggs and such things edible. The rest we refroze outside. I'll open the fridge as little as possible and try to use up anything I can for dinner tonight.
I do not want a new refrigerator (or oven or dishwasher) for Christmas. Just in case someone wondered.
Friday, December 5, 2008
Daddy, will you crack me open?
You mean like an egg?
No, like tickle me.
Tickle you till you break open?
No, tickle me till the giggles come out.
Do you mean, crack you up?
Yeah! Tickle me till I crack up!
Thursday, December 4, 2008
This was the view from my bathroom window a week or so ago. Our Chinese Maple tree is over two stories tall. When the leaves turn and the sun is out, it simply glows.
The window in the children's bathroom is frosted and the light and color are diffused. I have come upstairs just to look for the source of the pink light.
The leaves are almost all gone now from the rain we had Monday. I will have to wait a full year to enjoy the color show again.
Wednesday, December 3, 2008
Cookies to Make for Christmas 2008
- pretzel-Hershey's wreaths with an M&M on top. Easy and good. I already made some on Monday.
- fruitcake cookies with the recipe I invented
- nutmeg Christmas cutouts- with my mom when she arrives - and lots of mess with the kids and sprinkles
- Swedish cookies sliced thin with nuts and powdered sugar
- "Faith's Grandma's cookies"- I have never made these. But... my memory of them (only eaten once and probably in the 70's) is still strong. Therefore, I think I should finally make them. They call for an entire orange and are rolled in cinnamon sugar. I enjoy the irony that Faith and her grandma are Jewish. Hope she'd approve.
- "Cookie Store Cat" fruit squares with a shortbread dough and jelly- recipe came from a kid's book... "The Cookie Store Cat" (surprise there!)
*I make apple butter by putting unsweetened applesauce in the crock pot with sugar and spices, and coming back for it many hours later. Simple as can be.
Tuesday, December 2, 2008
He feels perfectly healthy. He just can't talk much. He's just loud enough to be heard, but doesn't have a scream in him. Or a shriek. Or a yelp. Or a squeal. Or a shout. Or any of the rest of those. And if you know Bug, you know he's loud.
First thing said about him in the delivery room: "My what a beautiful baby. My goodness, he has strong lungs." True quote and fitting to a T. He used to leave our ears ringing when we held him. I could comfort him better if he didn't hurt my ears. I would tickle him more if he wasn't so loud.
I should feel badly. But really, I'm wondering if it can be induced.
Monday, December 1, 2008
When I notice that my car/purse/desk is full of scraps of paper, I pull them together to make a Master List. Those feel especially good because I usually find things on the list that I've already done, so after I recopy them onto the Master List, I get to cross them off right away. (If you have to ask why I bother to write them at all, you just don't get us 'J' personalities.)
Christmas is Prime List Making Time. I need to:
- make a big order from Amazon
- make a small order from another, to remain unnamed, location
- make another Target run (or maybe W%##Mart even though I hate the place).
- The kids and I need to go to Michael's Crafts and then produce some cousin gifts.
- make a trip to the Post Office- just for Sister MD's family.
Ugh.... (I was temporarily off in La-La-Land making sure I'm prepared and now I need to add a second trip to the post office, and soon.) But back to my lists.
- Advent calendar (Ha! Just got it out and hung it up this morning! Does my computer have a check mark somewhere?)
- decorate house- one must do this slowly so CD doesn't freak out
- see if there are pansies anywhere in Atlanta that I can put in my backyard planter. I'll bet they're all gone and replaced by Christmas trees
- find place to cut tree this year- see if we have a free (ha!) weekend afternoon anywhere.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Bug was off from school both Monday and Tuesday (We do not get our money's worth out of that preschool this time of year!) and I got nothing done. I kept thinking I'd finish everything up on Wednesday when his brother would be home to entertain him. The laundry piled up but I kept him relatively occupied.
All I needed to do today was to bake pies. The plan was one pumpkin and one apple. Then two apple. Then two apple and one pumpkin. Then I started. [Then I stopped to break up an argument. Then I restarted.] (Take the sentences in brackets right there and insert them again every time I put  )
I'm glad I bought lots of apples just for my family to eat. I kept peeling and peeling and coring and slicing and looking for more apples.  I used every last one in the house and barely had enough. I added the spices three times. The first batch got to drain, as my food-porn tv show suggested. The second time I added more apples I remeasured the spices.  The third time it all just got dumped in. 
Bug seemed to have no interest in helping anyone do anything they requested. It was that kind of a day for him. So, I asked Pook to help with the pie crust (store bought this time) and he unwrapped it and had it ripped to shreds before I could tell him how to do it. I took over and patched it up.   Finally, I put them in the oven.  No. I put ONE in the oven because my &^%$# %^&* *&^% ^%$ oven is so small it only holds one pie. A few minutes later I took it out and remembered that I needed to put the crumb topping on before it baked. I asked Pook to help me make the topping- flour, brown sugar and butter. Then I took over as he licked off the table.
Finally I got one pie in the oven. I looked around at the clock (two hours) and the floor (should have had him lick that too) and the dishes. I ate a square of chocolate. I pulled a load of laundry out of the dryer and added a new one. I washed the dishes, wiped the counters and table and swept the floor. I heard another argument brewing and I gave Bug a warning that naptime was approaching. I transfered another load of laundry. I tucked Bug in and came downstairs just in time to remove the first pie and start baking the second one.
I am not baking a pumpkin pie today. Apple will be plenty. We still need to fold laundry and pack for the weekend. Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I am thankful for my children's help. I think.
Finally I sat down here at the computer. Pook wandered in. "Can you play with me? We haven't done anything today."
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Now my chimney is sending the sweet scent of a wood burning fire throughout the neighborhood. We just had appetizers and cocktails. This consisted of crackers with cream cheese and jelly (pepper jelly, pinot grigio jelly and peach- the boys liked them all) and whatever combo we can make of bubbly-kid-friendly-drink mixed with juice and served with a straw. They boys both want to play games later, but right now CD is trolling through a lyric book with his guitar. They have pulled out every pillow and blanket they can find to build, not a fort, but a nest. If anyone lays an egg I'll update later. We've got dinner in the crock pot or we'd put hot dogs on a stick. It's just that kind of an evening.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Me, I don't like drama in my life and fortunately I had a boring time at court. I plead guilty, basically because I was -- and I wasn't sure exactly what nolo contendere involved. Then I sat and waited. When I was called up to the judge he didn't even ask me about the incident. He looked at his paperwork, muttered "$115" and I was ushered out. I was home in time to kiss the boys good night.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
I will be at traffic court for the fender bender I had last month. Not sure what to expect. I'm bringing a book in case it gets boring and I'm bringing cash in case I get a fine. Loved explaining why I'd miss Shakespeare when the kids asked. Then CD mentioned bringing money. "Why do you need money?" "If the judge thinks I did a bad thing I might get a consequence and have to pay money." (They know the word "consequences" very, very well!)
If they hadn't had the play going on I would have considered taking them along for the learning experience. Plus, what judge would be hard on me in front of them? Instead I'm on my own. Hope I can find the right building in the dark- I'm due at 7pm. I'm not particularly nervous yet, but I will be. Pleased to say I've never done anything like this before. I'm grateful that I'm just going to the tiny city court near us and not downtown county or downtown Atlanta. I've done jury duty at both of those and neither is in a location I'd enjoy visiting at night, alone.
Off I go. If there's anything worth following up with on either of the evening's activities, I'll do it tomorrow.
Pook and Bug both have book fairs at school right now. They've been poring over the newsprint brochure. They know to look at real stories and not character books and items, which I won't pay to own. I said I would buy them each a book and I'm encouraging Pook to spend his own money to get one for his brother for Christmas. Three of the seven on his wish list were books he thought Bug would want.
The kids see something Pokemon and are discussing it. I looked over and checked it out.
Pook: "I guess you didn't have Pokemon when you were a kid."
I defend myself, "No, but there were lots of other characters."
Pook takes the slam dunk: "Well, I wasn't alive in the Twentieth Century, so I wouldn't know."
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
If you'd like to play along at home, you will need:
- magnifying glass (I borrowed enough for everyone from the elementary school)
- white paper towels
- soap and water
- ground cinnamon
- Spread a dab of Crisco on your hands, smearing it all over the fingernails and between the fingers.
- Sprinkle cinnamon "germs" on your hands and rub them around also.
- Look at the germs with the magnifying glass
- Try to wipe off the germs with a dry paper towel
- Look for any remaining germs with the magnifying glass
- Wash hands with soap and water
- Look for any hidden germs in between fingers and by fingernails (Lather, Rinse and Repeat)
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
When I first moved south I spent the winter with the front of my big warm winter coat unzipped. The following winter I realized how silly that was and I invested in a lighter winter coat and left the big one at my parents'. The third winter I spent cold. Always cold. The following winter I realized how silly that was and I invested in a big warm winter coat. I've been cold ever since. My blood has thinned. But as cold as I usually feel after about 4pm, I still dash out to the mailbox without a coat.
Georgians have an odd habit of not wearing cold weather clothing. You regularly see someone out at their mailbox in shorts, or barefoot, and certainly not wearing a coat. My children run around the house barefoot. Neither one wears a sweatshirt or sweater regularly. When they were younger I'd dress them warmly if I was cold. "Here, put this on. I'm cold." Maybe most Southerners don't see the point when they'll be back indoors again soon. Maybe they've lost their senses.
Once the candy was dumped into one huge bowl, all the peanut products were removed to be taken to CD's office. That may have reduced the quantity by a full fourth. Then, since Grandma and Grandad were visiting, they were offered the bowl to help themselves. (The kids already had full mouths.) And, each day since, CD and I have freely taken from the pot after dinner in full view of the kids. They've been rationed since the first night and they are only eating it for afternoon snack and after dinner. I'm keeping it up high so that it'll be out of sight and out of mind the rest of the day, but it has been generously shared when we pull it out. I'm quite amazed that this method has worked.
We're in the routine of eating dessert every night. I'm not exactly sure how this happened. I know I've got a sweet tooth so I haven't exactly worked hard to stop the trend. We usually have cookies around and each have two after dinner. I did buy a huge bag of frozen mixed berries once. As much as we liked them, I believe they've been lost in the back of the outdoor freezer. Since the huge Halloween candy bowl is almost empty, this might be the time to bring that back. In theory I agree that dessert shouldn't be expected. In practice, I want a sweet after dinner.
Sunday, November 16, 2008
What were we thinking? Of course they chose to stay home. Sunday school with Mama or power tools with Daddy? Hurry to get dressed and eat fast, or hang out in PJ's and see if Daddy will turn on a DVD? Go to church with Mama or have a Daddy Day?
"Daddy Days" at my house are part of the regular week. I discovered that staying at home with a baby for five straight days suddenly made me the One-Who-Was-To-Know-The-Answers to the New-Pink-Crying-Eating-Pooping baby we now had. And so I found a nearby yoga class on Saturday mornings and I left. "Here's a bottle. He last ate an hour ago. I just diapered him. Love you both, bye." And as Pook learned his days of the week they went like this:
Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Daddyday.
They'd hang out at home or they'd go to the library. CD learned how to answer and not-know-the-answer-because-who-really-does-anyway all those baby questions for himself. This routine worked until sports started taking over Saturday mornings. I'd begun going to a weekday yoga class by then and Pook was in a Parents Morning Out program two days a week. Getting away wasn't as important on Saturdays as it once had been. By then CD and I could even handle having the then-new Bug in the mix. Daddy Days began to simply mean The Weekends.
And if they include power tools, Mama and church have no chance.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
She came over and she and Bug played outdoors one afternoon, but it was while Pook was sick, so I didn't let them come inside. Today she came over and checked out the toy selection, played with some of our many instruments (doodled gently on the piano) and ran around with a pirate eye patch on for a while. Bug is happy as can be. Pook seems to be reserving judgment. She's in kindergarten and he's in second grade, so I understand the difference. However, she's just exactly halfway between the boys in age, having just turned six.
Her parents are friendly and seem like they'll be easy to get to know. They're encouraging their daughter to babysit for us (she wasn't sure if it was her kind of thing) since apparently "she likes to shop and needs her own money". I haven't met the son yet; he's away at a boy scout camping trip this weekend. It all feels good. I still miss our former neighbors, but I'm glad we have another chance.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Last summer when I flew with the boys to Indy, I injured a thigh muscle. I think we'd already missed our flight and were returning from a trip to a new terminal for the next available flight (which hadn't actually been available) to the original terminal. Point is, I was stressed. We boarded the airport shuttle train and were about the only passengers there. The boys wanted to ride without holding on, and I wanted them to think I was calm. So I laughed and showed them how to put their feet to "train surf". We traveled from A to B together, giggling. But then at B, the train filled up and there wasn't room to play. It was just starting to move when I saw that Bug had let go again and was going to fall onto a woman behind him. I lurched. My thigh muscle didn't. I didn't realize how badly I'd hurt it until that evening when I tried to sit on the floor. No go. And I haven't sat cross-legged since. So, I try to stretch it at Old Folks Yoga a bit at a time. It's coming along, but slowly.
What isn't coming along is my foot. I injured it the day of the lemonade stand in June. A week of pain which improved. Then quit improving. "Things take longer to heal as you age" I was told. I waited. At the three month mark I began to wonder if it was worth a trip to a doctors. I finally decided to get it checked out, on Sister MD's suggestion. They felt it. They X-rayed it. I thought nothing was broken and nothing was broken. I got a name of a podiatrist. She felt it. She mangled it a bit and looked puzzled. She got an ultrasound machine out and said "Ah ha." Now, "Ah ha" is a very good noise to hear from a doctor. I immediately trusted her. I even kept from screaming when she put TWO cortisone shots in my foot with needles that looked to be about four inches long. (I never found the exit wounds, but I'm sure they're there.) I even trusted her when I went back two weeks later (Nov. 5) for TWO MORE cortisone shots. (This time she distracted me by talking politics but the shots still hurt like &%$@ and were sore for about four days after.) Now I'm supposed to go in for YET TWO MORE shots on Tuesday.
There are two pinched nerves in my foot. But the treatment is worse than the previous condition. I can walk. I even hiked around Washington. What I can't do comfortably are are yoga and TV watching. (How 'bout that irony?) I can't stand on one foot. I can't twist my foot. I can't rest my foot on a coffee table. (I also can't bike, but that hasn't come up in months.) I haven't been to my regular yoga class in ages. I miss it. I need it. I think I'm a yoga addict. I'll even undergo these two more shots if she thinks I'll improve. But @*#% those needles are long.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I heard a bird band with all of them tweeting when I was in the bathroom with the window open this morning.
Learn something! Learn the star wars people character's names at home today Mama.
What if Michael Phelps didn't fit all his gold medals on his bulletin board?
I want to visit Africa, Japan, Mexico and Pittsburgh.
When can we go camping?
(Me: Ask your dad; I might not go next time.)
But then he would have to roast marshmallows for us and you wouldn't get any. That's why I always go. (He's been camping exactly once.)
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
I can't decide how to read this. One the one hand, it sounds kind of cool. Yes, there should be a Toy Hall of Fame, and yes, Barbie and Mr. Potato Head should probably be members. And yes, a stick is probably the oldest toy ever. And yes, any kid can tell you that sticks are toys. (And rocks if what I find in the washer is any indication.) Plus, in 2005 they inducted a cardboard box (which I question also.) But, really. In time for Christmas? What are they gonna do now? Sell designer sticks as the Next Hot Toy?
If they're all out by the time you're looking for one, please let me know. I have some I could sell you. And clean rocks.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
I hope you're as hungry as Pook and I were, because this restaurant has food you won't want to miss. Take a minute to read the menu and Bug will be by to take your order shortly.
Like only the best places in town, we were first offered dessert. This is how it should be and all four star restaurants should take note. We had our choice of chocolate cec or iscrem (came in vanilla or chocolate we were told) and even had the option of adding whipped cream, cherries and chocolate syrup if we had wished instead of the usual cone.
Following that lovely start, I suggested that we might need something a bit more substantial. At this point the restaurant became a Pasta Restaurant and the chef began to prepare a few favorite dishes. While I love pine nuts and basil, I passed by the posbged for the straight version of sbgd with meatballs. Pook went for the very cheesy macrony. We were both very pleased with our choices.
The atmosphere was quite pleasant. Those with fevers were allowed to eat on the sofa. The pile of orange and yellow
Our total tab came to 12. We did not order any drinks. Reservations were not needed Friday afternoon, but after this review they may become necessary.
Friday, November 7, 2008
It is now flu shot season again. I had made appointments for Saturday and told them all about it. I reminded them that last year they decided that the worry was much worse than the shot, so that this year we could be prepared. Then they both went and got sick and we went to the doctor's a day early. Bug has ear infections in both ears; Pook doesn't have strep but does have some unidentified fever. Bug could still get his flu shot; Pook could not. "How about right now?" the nurse asked.
Pook lay down on the paper covered table, his ears bright with heat, relieved that he not only didn't need medicine but also wouldn't be "allowed" to get a flu shot. Bug looked at me with panic as the nurse walked in with her little shot tray. His pants were already off and his belly was exposed so I gave it a kiss and tried to distract him. "It will poke and then it will be done," I reminded him. He looked like he was just about to lose it when in came the nurse's hand and in went the needle and he took a sharp breath... but then relaxed. That was it.
"Going to the doctor's was boring. Except getting weighed. I weigh 47 lbs!"
Pook was told he would be staying home. He mumbled but didn't have the energy to protest. Bug immediately began to feel worse. He needed to stay home too. Decided when Bug continued bouncing on my bed as he told me how badly he felt, that perhaps I should rephrase the question. "If your brother goes to school today, do you feel so sick that you want to lay on the sofa all day and not play?" "Uh, no." "Then you're going to school."
I phoned the Dr. to make an appointment for the ear infection, but sent that kid to school. The feverish one is at home on the sofa, and I wouldn't ordinarily take him to the doctor for just a fever. However... (1) it is a Friday (B) they were both supposed to get flu shots tomorrow morning at 9:30 and (Last) I'm going to be there anyway.... So Pook has an appointment too. Still seems weird. Do you drag the feverish child to his happy brother's appointment and not have him checked out? I'm not sure they'll give a sick kid a flu shot, but if they will, I shall hold out his pathetic leg and let them. Get it over with.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
As the fire department pulled away, I decided that I'm not to be trusted home alone. I don't really want school to start again, but perhaps I need supervision ... or someone to mow my lawn for me next time.
Trying to make this a productive day, I got out the lawnmower while it was a mere 90 degrees out (before it got hot). I filled the gas tank, which I just learned how to do this spring, and mowed all but a small, teeny tiny strip along the front. I then noticed that the mower was smoking.
Because it is an old mower, I decided the smoking was legal, but not good. I turned it off and left it near the carport, by the gas can. I considered the idea of finding out how to check the oil before resuming my mowing.
I completed a few other items on my TO DO list, and was sitting, eating my lunch, when the real estate agent showing my neighbor's house rang my doorbell. He ran frantically to grab the gas can, and pushed the mower further from the house. The flames were impressive enough, and smelled terrible. I got the kitchen fire extinguisher out, but really wasn't excited about getting close enough to use it. I wasn't sure if the gas tank would explode, or if the worst was done. I phoned the authorities for their advice, and they made the executive decision to pay me a visit.
I heard the sirens the entire distance from the station, knowing they were coming only to tell me it wasn't important enough for the call, and my little extinguisher was good enough. They grinned, but didn't laugh, while two of them chatted and one of them hosed the mower down quite thoroughly. One of the fire fighters (sounds exciting just using that term) knew the previous owner of my home, who worked at the same station before retiring. Apparently he never caught anything on fire....
The children across the street were very excited, and when the smoke cleared they came over to check it all out. The woman looking at the neighbor's house for sale commented that she was looking for a quiet neighborhood. The fire fighters suggested I buy a new mower. I think I just need a teenager to move in next door, and do it all for me.
So, all is now calm on my street.
I hope everyone is having an equally exciting day.
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Some nights I stop by one of them and rest my cheek against his. "I'm sorry I yelled at you," I'm compelled to say. "You're a really good kid," I remind him.
Last night I went to bed after Obama had been proclaimed the winner at 11 pm. (I'm not a good night owl now that I have kids. Let me sleep in and I'll stay up happily!) I kissed Bug and pulled up his comforter. I sat by Pook. "Obama won," I said. "He's going to be our next president." His eyes sprung open wide and he lifted his head. "Really?!" he exclaimed. Then he put his head back on the pillow and returned to sleep.
This is why I talk to them in their sleep.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
Here they are in their Halloween finery, about to collect way too much candy. These were among the simplest costumes we've ever made. Bug's scuba air tanks were 2-liter soda bottles strapped on his back with duct tape. His flippers were cut from foam. Pook and I used the hot glue gun together and he decorated his Sioux Indian costume with a bead pattern. He decided he didn't want a headband although we have some lovely feathers in our art box now. (He also changed his mind from Iroquois for some reason. Not sure what would have been different!)
Bug has now added to his idea list for next Halloween:
dinosaur "WITH A MASK"
We won't be doing any winter sports. My neighbors are all but filling two basketball teams of just Pook and Bug's ages, but I'm not even asking the boys if they're interested. I'm not.
Pook had his first home run. We ate pizza and a giant cookie with all the Lugnuts' names written in frosting. His coach gave him his trophy, along with the words, "To the boy who can have the most energy... when he wants to."
Bug made one of the only two goals at his last soccer game. Glad no one kept score. He ate hot dogs and cake and received his trophy at a team party.
Spring Baseball/Tee Ball will be here soon enough. In the winter we will rest.
Friday, October 31, 2008
"I have a very sweet tooth, you know. Would you like to see it? It's this one here. See the little daisy on it?"(The Last of the Really Great Whangdoodles)
1) Copy this list into your site, including the instructions
2) Bold all of the sweets you’ve eaten (in my case, I've baked most of them!)
3) Cross out any of them that you’d never ever eat
4) Consider anything that is not bold or crossed out your “To Do” List.
It appears that I've had at least 62 of these and only crossed out six that I'm not interested in trying. I guess I have my work cut out for me.
1. Red Velvet Cake- a southern thing- but I don't see the point of the food coloring
2. Princess Torte
3. Whoopie Pie
4. Apple Pie either topped or baked with sharp cheddar- prefer it with ice cream
7. Black and white cookie
8. Seven Layer Bar- not fond of coconut
9. Fried Fruit pie- just got one last weekend at an apple festival
10. Kringle- these look good in the link
11. Just-fried (still hot) doughnut
12. Scone with clotted cream- I'm surprised that I've never had one with clotted cream, but I haven't
13. Betty, Grunt, Slump, Buckle or Pandowdy - this is just a cobbler in other words
15. Macaroons-I dislike coconut
16. Banana pudding with nilla wafers- I make a great version of this that is less sweet. It uses vanilla pudding and sour cream with the cookies and bananas.
17. Bubble tea- no, but I like tapioca
18. Dixie Cup19. Rice Krispie treats
20. Alfajores-they look familiar although I don't recognize the name
22. Croquembouche I'm giving myself credit for having eaten enough profiteroles to have built one
23. Girl Scout cookies- I've had to search hard for a Girl Scout some years!
Moon cake- does not look appealing
25. Candy Apple- prefer caramel apples
26. Baked Alaska- I baked one once as a youth
27. Brooklyn Egg Cream
28. Nanaimo bar
29. Baba au rhum
30. King Cake
31. Sachertorte- I had this in Europe at the source
33. Tres Leches Cake
35. Shoofly Pie
36. Key Lime Pie
37. Panna Cotta
38. New York Cheesecake
39. Napoleon / mille-feuille
40. Russian Tea Cake / Mexican Wedding Cake
Anzac biscuits - don't like coconut
Buckeyes- I don't eat peanut products
46. Moon Pie
47. Dutch baby/German Pancakes
48. Boston Cream Pie
49. Homemade chocolate chip cookies- I have finally decided I don't like them much after they've been cooked. But I don't like cookie dough ice cream.
51. Gooey butter cake
Daifuku -I didn't like red bean ice cream and this sounds too similar
54. Green tea cake or cookies- no, but I liked Green Tea Ice Cream
55. Cupcakes from a cupcake shop- why bother? I can bake a great cupcake at home.
56. Crème brûlée
Some sort of deep fried fair food (twinkie, candy bar, cupcake)-blech. Give me my candy straight up please. Sugar I like, grease I don't.
58. Yellow cake with chocolate frosting
59. Jelly Roll
60. Pop Tarts
61. Charlotte Russe
62. An “upside down” dessert- Pook chose pineapple upside down for his last birthday
63. Hummingbird Cake- I make a great one with cream cheese frosting....
64. Jell-O from a mold- unless it was spiked it isn't worth it
65. Black forest cake
66. Mock Apple Pie (Ritz Cracker Pie)- not that I wouldn't, but actual apple pie seems better
68. Linzer torte
71. Angel Food Cake- my birthday regular
72. Mincemeat pie
74. Opera Cake
75. Sfogliatelle / Lobster tail- maybe, hard to tell one pastry from another
76. Pain au chocolat -anytime I can
77. A piece of Gingerbread House- look! We usually bake one at Christmas, so when the kids asked to make a haunted house I realized it could only simplify December. Isn't the lollipop moon cool? Bug's idea. Pook practiced with a frosting tip and made lots of tombstones that read RIP and dates. Fun project. Hard to make since it didn't have right angles or symmetry.
80. Rainbow cookies
81. Religieuse- if I can count a regular eclair, yes
82. Petits fours
83. Chocolate Souffle
84. Bienenstich (Bee Sting Cake)
86. Hamenstashen- didn't know it's name, but yes
87. Homemade marshmallows - Alton Brown makes me want to try making them
88. Rigo Janci/Hungarian Chocolate Cake
89. Pie or cake made with candy bar flavors (Snickers pie, Reeses pie, etc) maybe bakers chose the peanut ones and I've avoided them.
91. Coke or Cola cake - sounds like a southern thing, but I've never had any
92. Gateau Basque
94. Figgy Pudding
95. Bananas foster or other flaming dessert
96. Joe Froggers-looks like a molasses cookie I love
98. Millionaire’s Shortbread- I like shortbread if that counts
99. Animal crackers- uh, yeah. The right brand can be great; the wrong brand can taste like cardboard.
They leave out Brownies from the list. I like them best about half baked and gooey.
Thursday, October 30, 2008
We flew to Seattle and hung out two evenings there, one with CD's cousin at the restaurant he owns. Great Thai food. He lives in a houseboat too. I was fascinated with the lack of Stuff. There just wasn't room for much. He has a 5 yr. old and a part time resident 16 yr. old and the four of them manage to live in about 400 square feet.
We then crossed on the Bainbridge ferry and drove around US 101 North through Port Angeles. We stopped at two wineries (plan was for four, but at 2pm, two is all I could have handled!). We arrived at Lake Quinault just at dusk. This is the view from our room:
The Lodge is across the street from old growth rainforest and lots of hiking. They'd had a tornado last winter that left lots of trees down. Amazing to see how old they were. We took a lot of photos of Big Trees and Tall Trees:
We spent one day at the coast, at and around Ruby Beach, and ate dinner at Kalaloch Lodge while we watched the sun set:
We stayed at the Lake Quinault Lodge for five nights. They had a massive fireplace, lots of leather sofas, and good (if pricy) food. We hiked, read, worked on a shared jigsaw puzzle, and met some other travelers. We went to sleep on Eastern time and woke to Pacific time. We had primarily dry days, a few with sun and a few with mild showers, all in the 60 degree range.
The last day we continued our way around US 101 through Olympia. We visited a salmon ladder and ate well in town, the night of our actual 10th anniversary.
We returned to Seattle to stay near the airport the last night, preparing for the long flight back to Atlanta.
I missed my babies, but we needed the whole week. It took several days just to remember how to relax. We enjoyed a different pace of travel without children. We could talk in full sentences and could enjoy each others company. We phoned home enough to know that all was well in our absence. Coming home wore me out (3 hr. time change!) but the trip was well worth it.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
"I'm having a bad dream."
"Bug, you can't have a bad dream until you fall asleep. Why don't you dream about the zoo?"
"I'm just not at that page yet Mama."
Monday, October 27, 2008
purple cone flowers: These looked good this year. I may need to dig some up when they sprout to relocate a few. The yellow cone flowers are still alive but haven't fared well. They were new in the spring and probably needed more tender care than they were given. Finches enjoyed the seed heads.
hostas: I add more each spring and I see three here, smothered in magnolia leaves. Don't get me started on those non-composting leathery leaves....
variegated vinca: This one is still alive when no other ground cover did much this summer. That is the sign of a "keeper".
lamb's ear: It seems to do well wherever it is. I've added it to several locations, but unfortunately it is behind all the cone flowers in the front. A major move is needed for a lot of the plants in this area.
purple heart: Like the lamb's ear, it seems like it lives in the most unlikely of locations. I can't find it in the off season to move it to other areas so I might need to transplant some in the spring when it comes back. It seems like it could be a good filler in many locations.
beauty berry: I've been disappointed in this bush. I searched for it for years and was so excited to plant it, but it hasn't lived up to my expectations.
lantana: It loves dry heat and looks great this year. It is almost too big to be in this location although we just moved it here a few years ago thinking it'd be better up against the house. I can't see it and all of it's butterflies from indoors anymore, and I miss that. Additionally, the Chinese maple is hidden by it and loses it's umph. I'll have to decide if the two are compatible in this location.
day lilies: They did their stuff well and could stand to be divided.
iris: I love these native blue flowers. The did well and I'd love to spread them around.
Chinese maple: This is a beautiful tree which will be turning red soon. I wish it didn't blend into the huge lantanas so much. I will consider the idea of pruning lower branches.
oak leaf hydrangea: It is turning red in the fall weather and will grow into a lovely bush if it ever has enough water to grow.
chrysanthemums: These are transplanted each winter from pots I use to decorate at Halloween.
I have succumbed to my eternal gardening optimism. I just bought some beautiful purple-blue asters and additional yellow chrysanthemums. They should brighten up the yard-- since fall needs all the help it can get, obviously.
Friday, October 24, 2008
grass: Ha Ha Ha! We grow dust and straw. The positioning of the basketball hoop does not help.
annuals: A joke. I found one tiny bloom to prove that they aren't quite dead. No water, no attention, no love.
tomatoes: They must have been planted only for our amusement. We've eaten less than a dozen cherry tomatoes and even fewer of the others. This planter feeds the chipmunks- even my gargoyle doesn't scare them off.
cantaloupe: There is no time for our only fruit I'm afraid. Cooler weather will kill it before it grows and ripens. I wish we'd planted cucumbers, but they'd probably be dead too. I'm an optimist today, I know.
Swiss chard: The leaves are about two inches long. They look like seedlings but have been around since early early spring.
purple hyacinth bean vine: They grew ok but the leaves are eaten full of holes.
gourd: The sprawling vine grew from our compost heap. I think it was the best thing we grew this year. Aren't the colors and shape wonderful?
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Just a few of the many ideas:
Each time my brain would start to plan. Could I make that? What would I use? Should I distract him and see if he'll come up with something easier? I enjoy making costumes and feel like that's a huge part of the fun. Buying something that tears and can't be worn as dress ups seems a waste. And I'm way too cheap to buy expensive costumes yearly. My parents pulled out the sewing machine and paper mache for me and I continue the tradition. There is nothing I can't do with a hot glue gun!
Pook had waited until the season was upon us last year and then decided to be a simple bat. Not Batman and not Dracula. Just a bat. I found some stretchy black fabric that wouldn't ravel and I cut and sewed (yes, sewed) a simple pair of wings. He put on black clothes and an eye mask and looked great.
Bug finally settled on trick-or-treating as a "Marching Band Guy". I put him in a red sweatshirt on which I'd hot glued gold buttons and trim for epaulets, and made a felt and cardboard hat. The year before Pook was a skeleton- painted on black sweats. According to Sister MD we painted the pelvis bones backwards, but to us lay-people it looked awesome. Sweats are usually the base of our costumes. I always think they'll wear them as regular (but fun) clothes or sleep in them, but they never do.
This time of October is now You-can-no-longer-change-your-mind season on costumes. Pook is settled and wants to be an Iroquois Indian. Go Social Studies Discovery class! He isn't looking at anything too fancy or too hard. He can do most of it himself after a trip to the craft store. My mom bought some suede cloth for him while she was here and we cut a diamond for his head. He'll decorate it with beads. We'll have to discuss feathers on a headband. He hasn't shown me a picture of what he wants exactly, so I'm guessing a bit.
Bug wavered forever between Space Guy (he never just calls it "astronaut") and Scuba Diver. I decided to push for the diver. We've got the snorkeling gear from summer and air tanks will be easy to fashion, as will flippers to cover his shoes. I wasn't sure how authentic he'd want a wet suit, but he started dressing up independently and used sweats so I think they'll do fine for the real thing too. I'll try to get photos of them in their costumes to share.
Just as we closed the door to new ideas for this year, they began planning for 2009. Bug has already proposed being a mailbox next year. Expect an idea a week until next Halloween comes around.
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I headed out this evening with the kids and got distracted at a traffic light, paying more attention to the light as it turned green than to the driver in front of me who hadn't started to drive yet. I hit his car and caused a good sized crack in the fiberglass bumper. My car was fine (as were all the participants).
My insurance company wanted me to get the police involved-- which I had wanted to avoid. They showed up quickly however- a car with sirens as well as two motorcycles. The kids were thrilled. After all the paperwork was completed and the other car was sent on his way, the police invited the boys to get out of the car to say hi. One of the guys pulled out police badge stickers and asked the kids if they wanted to become police. As excited as Bug was feeling, he let Pook do the talking. Then the guy had them hold up their right hands (a little help to figure that out) and take an oath to be good kids and follow my directions, clean their rooms, etc. He actually got me to laugh, which I was desperately needing at that point.
On the way home Bug was mulling it over again and announced to me, "I really want to be a police when I grow up now. I can ride a motorcycle and when you have a accident I can be there for you."
Yes, babe. You can be there for me.
Friday, October 3, 2008
I hadn't realized how little my mom drives these days. She doesn't mind the daily routines at her home, but in a strange car in a strange city I can tell she's anxious. Her vision isn't great and I think she's always turned the voluntary driving over to my dad. I makes me realize that they're aging. I hope my father will be able to relinquish the keys when he needs to. I'm not optimistic.
I've noticed that the grandparent babysitting window is narrow. I had children pretty late and I think if I had babies or toddlers now, it'd be too much for them. I barely made it in. CD was the youngest of three and his parents were older than traditional parents in the 60's, so they're old enough now to no longer be comfortable babysitting ours. As the next oldest cousin (now age 10) has grown up, their window has shifted. They've watched him for a week at a time since he was a baby, but ours have been at the more difficult stages just younger than him and have missed out. There's also the complication of having two. In any case, they don't feel like they can handle watching our boys for any extended time.
I never felt like I knew my grandparents very well and I'd love for my boys to have that opportunity. While the idea of free babysitting is fabulous, I'd love for the kids to be able to see their grandparents more often for simple short visits and overnights because the relationship between kids and grandparents is different when the parents are out of the picture. I always hoped my parents would live near us after retirement. Now I know it isn't going to ever happen. They're a long days drive or a flight away. CD's are only four hours by car, but still too far. We have visits with them all, often, but it can't be often enough.
We'll all need to make sure we foster that relationship while we still can. I realize that my parents have stories. My father claims to have delivered his whole paper route without putting his hands on his bike handlebars. My mom told about swimming in an old quarry. CD's mom played softball when she was younger. His dad brought up the shocking idea to my children that there had been no rubber soled shoes when he was young. They wore brown leather lace up shoes. These are the stories I need to hear too so I can help keep them around.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
A: fess up and let the kids eat them for an afternoon snack
B: hide them until morning and try to avoid anyone noticing that they're partially eaten
C: hide the whole package in the outdoor freezer where no one will ever know about them and you can finish them at other moments of anxiety
Your opinion matters.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
We debated for a long time about where to go. I had pretty simple requests. I wanted to go where I could sit peacefully reading a book and looking at beautiful scenery. I also wanted to go far enough from home that no one would ask us to come back. If there was a minor emergency they'd just deal with it. Distance does that. The Caribbean sounded good until we realized it was hurricane season. Out of the country maybe if we had deeper pockets and current passports. Not too cold please, I requested.
We settled on a place in the Olympic peninsula of Washington state that we visited for our first trip together many years ago. We'll have some nearby hiking and some city touristing in Seattle and maybe stop at a winery. We haven't done much planning. We got two places to stay and rented a car. I got some maps of the area. We visited in the summer, so I know we'll have cooler and maybe wetter weather, but we'll cope.
You won't see any posts next week. I hope to have better things to do than be online!
Monday, September 29, 2008
What did I do to deserve that? I offered to help Bug with his "homework". I can't wait until he has real work that he truly needs help to do. He won't get near the concept. I feel like we're still at the toddler stage, "Do 'self!"
He's only four. At school he made a whole page of the number 2, all backwards. He brought home an empty page to practice at home. Am I wrong to want to assist a bit? I've got all sorts of rhymes and hints to help kids remember how to draw letters and numbers, write color words, and phone numbers. This is what I
I think Bug may prefer to go it alone and then be angry that I haven't helped him. But it is a fragile situation. Pook has resisted now and then and I've seen what a tenuous hold a parent has. Piss them off and they'll avoid ever learning from you again. "What did you do at school today?" "Nothing." "Need any help with that?" "No."
My father was a math professor. I would never allow him to help me with homework. He'd look at my assignment and start his sentence with "Well, I wouldn't do it that way. It'd be a lot more logical if you...." Bye, Dad. I closed him out.
I have a couple of years to figure out how to approach Bug. Trial by fire.
Friday, September 26, 2008
I just pulled out their jammies with long pants this week and put light blankets on all the beds. We've had the windows open and it is starting to get cool overnight. Early September is sweaty, buggy summer but we've finally reached fall. October in Atlanta is beautiful, cool and crisp. It was 55° when I looked this morning.
Maybe the boy needs a sleeper already. Once it really cools off and we turn on the heat they'll be wearing sleepers but it will probably be warmer in the house than it is now. I like having the windows open and blankets on, but the key word there is 'on'. Pook started using his blankets around age four, so I'm hoping it'll happen soon. Unfortunately, Bug moves around a lot more at night so I may be too optimistic. Hence, the kthump I sometimes hear at night!