Tuesday, March 31, 2009

planning for kindergarten

Kindergarten pre-registration was this morning. Bug will be off to The Big School in the fall heat of late summer. I dutifully gathered together the hearing/vision/dental form, the immunization form, the current power bill as proof of residency, and tracked down his birth certificate and social security card (had to find the key to the safety deposit box- no simple project there!). As I searched for all the required information I was reminded of my friend, who was PTA president when her second child was ready to register. AT registration, which she was helping to organize, she realized she'd never, ever owned a copy of her child's birth certificate. Not that she'd forgotten to bring it, but she'd forgotten to order it when her child was born. Second kids.

Kindergarten! Bug was psyched all morning. I'd told him he'd have to take a little, simple test and this was So! Exciting! to him. He bounced down the hallway with the teacher, with two other pre-kindergarten children, and returned with a sticker proudly centered on his chest. They asked him to count! spell his name! know his colors! tell his address! I wish I could help him keep that enthusiasm for other tests he'll be taking in the next thirteen years. He doesn't know what's coming.

The summer before Pook started kindergarten, he was asked regularly "Are you excited about Kindergarten?" Now, mind you, both kids started attending a parents morning out program two mornings a week starting around a year and a half, so by then Pook had had four years of "school" already. He shrugged off most of the questioners, but one time he looked at the person seriously and responded, "I'm just interested in college." I think I had neglected to tell him about those pesky grades 1-12 which come between kindergarten and college.

But Bug is the younger kid. And he wants to be Big. He is Excited. He is Ready. He is going to conquer that school. He already knows the most important people there- the secretary, the librarian and one custodian, so he's set.

Monday, March 30, 2009

for eyes

I took Pook to the eye doctor appointment today. It was originally scheduled for early Thursday morning so he could go to school afterward, but then I realized he needed to have his eyes dilated. Easier to not have school immediately following. Plus we could get in sooner for a 2:30pm appt.

Bug was parked at a "playdate" (thank you for babysitting K, I owe you) and I picked Pook up from school just before the craziness called Dismissal Time began. He had remained anxious for the past week, despite my regular stopping of young-boys-who-wore-glasses and quizzing them about the age they got them (usually 6-8) and had anyone ever teased them about the glasses (they ALL looked at me quizzically as if this was absurd and said no). I also quizzed the moms about how often they'd broken (usually 2-3x year) and where they'd bought them (not at the doctor's little store) and was the transition-into-sunglasses feature a good idea (yes).

The preliminary exam was an eye opener for me. Pook questioned whether the first E was actually an E at all, and couldn't identify the third size down as letters. Wow. The doctor played around with fun machines that he called microscopes and Pook thought looked like space ship equipment, so he was very interested. I kept hearing first "Uh, one of them looks like an H" when it was actually an N, and then the doctor would flip around lenses and Pook would go "Oh, that's easy now." His prescription was -300 for both eyes.

He seemed to remain in denial about the needing of glasses however. The doctor kept referring to his lenses and Pook acted as if he didn't understand the meaning of the term, despite explanations multiple times. So we wouldn't delay the inevitable, we took the prescription straight to a different store to pick out frames. He tried on blue, purple and copper colored frames and we both liked the copper (his hair color) best. He tried on rectangular, round and oval frames and he liked the rectangular best (I liked the oval but since they're his eyes, he won). Another week before they'll be ready, and that will be Spring Break. Hopefully he'll be so happy to be able to see that he'll be willing to wear the glasses to school when it starts back.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

inch by inch

Someday I'd like to put the song lyrics to "The Garden Song" by David Mallet outdoors in my backyard.
 Inch by inch, row by row
Gonna make this garden grow
All it takes is a rake and a hoe
And a piece of fertile ground
We have a very steep backyard, sloping up from the house, meeting the property line and continuing up. It may be as steep as 45°. The landscape plan to terrace and add steps was $20,000 and is on permanent hold. Meanwhile, I'm willing to participate in the slow, long term slog toward progress back there. The whole area is smothered in English Ivy, a non-native, invasive plant here in Georgia. And in the summer it is swarming with mosquitoes (and let's be honest, summer in this instance = May to October).

A few years ago we went on a rampage against invasive privet. Last year we spent a long afternoon cutting underbrush to improve the air flow. It might have worked, some. I don't want to lose our sense of privacy from the neighboring homes, but we can do more this summer. The hardest part was lugging all the waste out to the curb.

I've decided to take the "inch by inch" bit of the song literally. Last weekend we ripped out the ivy from an area about 6'x8' and have bought two native yellow azaleas and some vinca ground cover. Since the rain has finally stopped and we can get outside again, we did another similar area today, slipping and sliding in the orange mud. Lots of compost was tossed into the area, but hopefully azaleas are used to the soil and will survive in Georgia clay.

We might get some stone or at least cement block to give the sloping areas some support. Ideally we'll have lots of small terraces someday and at least one set of steps to the top. We'll have to attack some of the flatter top of the yard too, ripping out more ivy. We can't get the whole yard at once, but we can get a bit each year and hope that we eventually get it all. This is the ten year plan: inch by inch, muddy shoe by muddy shoe.

unrelated fyi: Mr. Bird Brain is still continuing in his quest to attack the rival bird in the window. He is undeterred by my distractions. We're on Day 15 of Bird Bashing.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

worrying and waiting

Pook has been holding in a lot of worry, which finally started spilling out the other day. He came to me to say he can't see the board at school. Another boy, actually a good friend, teased him saying "You need glasses". And he's a wreck. He's ashamed. He's embarrassed. He's worried. He's obsessing.

I've made a vision appointment for him, but it isn't until April 2. Since he's dwelling on this so much now, I called the school nurse and arranged for her to do a vision screening sooner. Now he's afraid everyone will find out, and that he'll "fail".

It's hard to know which issue to approach first. He's got to deal with the teasing problem, adjust to having others find out, ask his teachers to make a seating change, and make the next few weeks bearable while he waits. And realize that he may very well need glasses.

After settling him down after school when he came to me in tears, we talked about the options. He says he's already asked his teacher to move his desk, but he'll need to ask the specialists to do so also. He asked me to email them to explain, so no one would hear him talking to them. This seemed like a good start, and I received a reply from one right away.

Twice in the afternoon and again over dinner, we talked about what to do or say if someone teased us. We even did some role playing at the dinner table. Just for demonstration Bug called me The Meanest Mama Ever and I answered him "Oh" and turned my back. A book Pook heard read aloud at school called a child "Four Eyes". We practiced hearing words like that. I suggested he respond "Four eyes are better than two". If his friend tells him he needs glasses, he might respond, "You need manners". He might even just tell his friend to please not talk about the issue because it hurts his feelings. Soon the practice turned into giggles for both boys, passing insults back and forth and each turning their backs and blatantly ignoring the other. Good stuff that role play.

This morning I gave Pook a little smooth rock I had. He put it in his pocket for confidence. He's going to tell his Spanish teacher to move his seat, himself. He says it's easier now that he's said it to us and he thinks he can do it, but maybe still needs to make it private.

I think this is the first time he's had a big issue like this to solve at school. His stomach hurt, he didn't want to attend and the whole thing overshadowed the rest of his day. I'm having the "I want to fix it for you" feeling, as a mom, but I know he can do this himself. Someday it will be a real bully and he'll have to stick up for himself. I can't be there.

When we first discussed having children, we decided that they should have CD's hair and my eyes (thick, wavy blond hair with great vision). We got Pook with red hair and eyes that look like all the blue-eyed members of both families, and Bug with hair and eyes that look like mine (won't know about the vision for 40 years!). So much for family planning.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I am sitting in my car. In the garage. (Engine off.) With a glass of wine in my hand.

It is quiet. No one is fighting. No one is arguing with me. No one is whining. Oh, the whining.

I have left one reading with his dad. He is mortally injured apparently. It might even... leave a bruise. The other one is in the tub and refuses to get out. Again tonight.

Again baseball. Another late night. The third in a series of five. It is too much. For me. Clearly too much for them.

Bug has sensory issues with clothes. I know this. I try to be careful about what I give him to wear. The the change of seasons always brings with it some stressful days with clothes. They are too tight. Too loose. Too short. Too long. Too wiggly. Too... wrong. Sometimes all with the same article of clothing.

And to top of seasonal clothing issues right now, we have a uniform. Bug has waited, eagerly, for five years to have his own baseball uniform. And now it isn't right. The shirt is too big (true), the socks have seams (true), the cleats feel "different", the hat is too tight/loose, the pants are too fill-in-the-blank.

So, combine the tiredness and the two clothing issues and we have a mess. A whining, crying, screaming, "I hate you Mama" (b/c it is all my fault) mess.

And I found quiet in my car.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

dirty talk


Really, I'm in withdrawal. I've been too busy and too stressed and I need to play in the dirt. I keep reminding myself to live in the moment. But I'm way to busy to be Zen right now. Can I please schedule it onto the calendar for another time?

I dropped Bug off at school and went to the Orange Big Box garden center and bought thyme and a Yuletide Camellia. Then I went to Publix and bought four loaves of their fabulous Breakfast Bread, full of dried fruit and nuts. It was still hot and the baker put them in perforated bags so they could "breathe". I went to the dry cleaners. I went for more cough syrup. Then I went to the Red Big Box garden center and found some mint and the Knockout Rose that I hadn't found earlier. Every time I got back in the car that bread breathed on me. I actually restrained myself from ripping into it in the car, although I did do it some damage when I finally got home.

The bread is long gone, but the rose and the camelia? Still in their garden center pots in the garage. I got the mint (which must remain in a pot or it gets crazy) and the thyme planted b/c they didn't require a change of clothes for me. But the other two require a commitment to gardening for a period of time. I've got some underbrush clearing to do to get them in a good spot. I have the spots picked out, just not the time.

The plan is to have a twelve month flowering garden. This is the main perk to living in the south. The way I see it, with pansies growing all winter, even in my relatively shady yard this should be feasible. Here is my average Atlanta year:

January: Winter Daphne blooms.
February: Daffodils come up. Flowering Quince and the new camelia should be blooming.
March: Forsythia and all my bulbs- daffodils, then crocus, then hyacinths. Tulips are considered annuals here and I sometimes plan for them. (This year's are actually coming up and weren't eaten by squirrels after all!)
April: Azaleas and lots of random stuff all over.
May: Lots of stuff including iris and gardenias.
June: Daylillies look nice. Mosquitoes are coming out. I should water.
July: I didn't water much.
August: Most plants are dead.
September: Coneflowers and Black Eyed Susans actually look pretty good.
October: Chrysanthemums blooming better than I deserve.
November: My white camelia usually blooms early.
December: I'm distracted by the holidays and don't notice that I have no flowers. Then I realize that everyone else has pansies in and I snag the last pots at the store as they're putting out the Christmas trees.

So. Gotta make this happen. The camelia will fill the winter dreary days and the Knockout Rose should bloom from spring until frost. Wish me luck. Wish them luck.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

odds and ends

Just some odds and ends:

It rained all weekend which simplified things some. Opening ceremonies will now be this Friday night. The boys were disappointed that their first games were postponed, but now Bug plays his first game Wednesday and Pook, Thursday, both before the Opening Ceremonies.

Our dinner party was great despite some problems. One of the couples couldn't come at the last minute when one of them got sick. Then half and hour later we learned that the babysitter had food poisoning. Fortunately there was no baseball, so all four boys ate pizza here and hung out upstairs. They did exceptionally well. Since it was a "school night" for our minister, the evening ended early and L&P took all four boys home with them to put to bed. Late.

I coughed all weekend. It was an allergy. Then it was a cold. Now it is a cough. Someone asked me if I had the "Five Week Croup" which they said was going around. So, maybe I'm still sick. I took cough drops to the symphony. They pass them out, but fyi, Fisherman's Friend coughdrops don't work nearly as well as my Vicks. It took five Fisherman's cough drops to get me through to intermission. One Vicks lasted the second half. I had such a coughing fit in church I had to leave, but was so light headed from coughing that I thought I might pass out before I could exit. When I got out I realized I'd left the purse with the cough drops sitting next to CD.

Mr. Bird Brain found two new spots into which he could bash his head. He crashed into my windows about twice every five minutes ALL DAY Monday. I got obsessed about getting his picture, but it was hard; he was surprisingly bashful for such a fool. I've got four windows covered up already, but it was raining too much to go out to cover more. Plus, I really don't want all my windows covered with newspaper. He shredded one of the newspapers with all his crashing. I saw Bob the Cat last evening. I told him to come by in the morning.

All this rain has some good benefits. The pollen count is down. The reservoirs are up. There is a green (and sometimes purple) haze to all the trees. My daffodils are done, without much flair, but some tree has sprung up in my backyard that I swear I've never seen. It has lovely pink flowers right now. The photo is a Chinese Maple as it's leaves are beginning to unfurl.

The beard is gone. It was a fun experiment to see CD with a beard, but I wasn't excited about it becoming permanent. I told him he'd look good in a good beard but that this one probably ought to go. He must love me.

I have seven unmatched socks sitting on my dryer. I've done all the laundry. Everyone but Bug is short a match. Where do they go?

Finally-- Happy St. Patrick's Day. We started our day with our traditional Green Eggs and Ham breakfast casserole. We only had time b/c three of us had 8:30 dentist appointments. I hope I brushed all the spinach out of everyone's teeth before we went.

Monday, March 16, 2009

well... first

Bug is a born teacher. He comes from a long line of them, so it shouldn't be surprising to us. It doesn't matter if you've previously discovered that two rectangular Legos next to each other will form a square. He'll teach you how to do it.

"Wanna know how I did that?"
"You did x, right?"
"Pretend that you don't know. Say, 'How did you do that?'"
"How did you do that?"
"Well...." (it always starts with a long, drawn out 'well...') "First you...."

His lessons vary from the step by step instructions to somewhat more confusing ideas.
"Before I found out that in my brain, I used to think it wasn't that way."

It takes patience to be taught some of these lessons. Again. But I appreciate his ability and interest in sharing his knowledge. Recently I have been taught:

how to identify bad guys:
"The good guys don't always win but they 'lusually' do. You can tell the bad guys 'cause they wear black. You can always tell them."

about childhood:
"You know, everybody has to be a kid before they're a grown up."

how to play catch with a balloon.
how to open a gate and then latch it again.
how to make a clicky noise in your mouth.
how to conduct an orchestra

Sunday, March 15, 2009

bird brain

Some animals really shouldn’t mate. If you are so dumb that you think your reflection in my kitchen window is a threatening adversary, perhaps you should keep your tail feathers to yourself.

A robin has been bashing his head into my kitchen windows for three hours. I keep stained glass figures hanging in the bay window so birds won’t hit it accidentally, but this one is doing it so much I hardly think it is an accident. The smears on the windows are disgusting, with little head feathers stuck all over them. He has been sitting on our grill, pooping all over it, with views into two different windows. He’s even left, perhaps to recuperate, and then returned for more head banging. Maybe he has a little birdy ice pack for his noggin.

I suppose I should give him credit for not yet becoming dinner to my neighbor’s cats, Bob and Morris, who catch most of their meals in my backyard. They’re incredibly smart cats and if they were out today I suspect Mr. Bird Brain wouldn’t last long.

On my bird-watching-father’s advice, I have just taped newspaper outdoors on the windows to stop him from seeing The Other Bird. But really, if the sound wasn’t so disturbing to me indoors, I think the fool might just deserve what he’s getting. And no female robin deserves him.

Oh, no. He’s back.

Friday, March 13, 2009

first day of kindergarten

I won't be able to use this blog title in August when Bug starts kindergarten, but it is how I feel today. I have a new friend. It seems weird to say it like that, but CD and I both said it once when we'd met a new couple. Sometimes you just know.

I'd met her, and her husband, at a kid's birthday party. Then her husband recognized me at preschool carpool (he didn't make the connection and know why I was familiar; I was just clueless), then she recognized me in yoga class. Finally she pulled it all together and helped me out with the names and places and times.

And she and I have been saving spots for each other in yoga. It isn't quite like phoning Jenny F every morning of second grade to compare what we were wearing, but it feels close. Today we talked about getting coffee sometime before or after class, but she had to sneak out early so we didn't put details to it. And I don't have her email, her phone number, or even remember her last name yet.

So, maybe it is too soon to be excited. I don't have a date yet, but I did meet someone with potential.

Happy Friday the Thirteenth!

Thursday, March 12, 2009


I hope I survive this weekend. I'm on high power and am feeling, so far, (until I sat here to blog) very efficient.

The weekend craziness starts today. My in-laws will be here sometime in the afternoon for one night on their way to Florida. I need to clean up the kids' room and make the twin beds into a king for them. His sister is traveling with them and will need to sleep on the living room futon. I cleaned up the Don't-They-All-Last-Forever? Monopoly game which will upset Pook. (I'd already gone broke and moved over to help out the one that can't read or count money and wasn't really enjoying the game anyway.) The kids' bathroom needs a quick polishing- I'm not sure how bad it is- it might need more than that. I'm not upstairs yet. I started, methodically, at the back door. I put away the groceries I'd just bought, tidied the kitchen, and even prepped dinner (you'll understand). There's a roast in the crockpot and the floors are swept. Now I'm nuking some lunch.

Assuming the in-laws will be here by 4 or so (and they like to avoid Atlanta traffic, which means before 4pm) we will have time for some basic catching up before the kids will need dinner. Bug has baseball practice at 5pm. He'll need to get into cleats etc. and be walked down to practice. That will take at least 20 minutes. We'll leave him in the care of his coach and walk home. Pook needs to be at school by 6pm so he can sing at Fine Arts Night and perform as Honeybee #2 in The Little Pollinators on stage. CD will pick up Bug at baseball on his way home from work, and meet us at the school.

After the performance, there are lots of other activities in the school for Fine Arts Night. Their favorite is an Instrument Petting Zoo. Anyone can try out any instrument (sterilized between kids). Bug first fell in love with the string bass at one of these. He's hoping there will be a tuba tonight.

We'll stick around until close to bedtime, then come home and quickly tuck. THEN, the adults will get dinner. (Hence the roast in the crockpot and the already prepped sides- freshly picked swiss chard and noodles.)

And that is just today.

Tomorrow I will try to get things ready for Saturday's dinner party. I want to bake some cookies and will need to make my dining room table fit eight. So long as the kids haven't had time to make much of a mess of the house after the in-laws' visit, cleaning up will be minimal. Friday evening we have a babysitter getting Pook at his baseball practice, while CD and I are heading to the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra (to hear Nicola Luisotti conduct Tchaikovsky: Capriccio Italien, Prokofiev: Piano Concerto No. 3, and Beethoven: Symphony No. 7, featuring Horacio Gutierrez at piano).

Then Saturday (No, it doesn't stop!) is Opening Day at the ballpark. We'll be there at 9:15 to hear lots of boring adults talk before the kids are all introduced. Then Bug has his first t-ball game. The excitement is palpable. He's been counting down the days for... years really. Now, this all seemed compatible with our other plans: having our minister, his wife and two other couples over for dinner. EXCEPT, Pook's first baseball game got scheduled for...7:30pm. Huh? He goes to bed at 7:30! (I was not the only parent unthrilled.) So, what to do? Our friends, L&P were planning to have our boys at their house with their babysitter that night. Generously, they have offered their car so the babysitter can (1) feed all four boys (2) take all four boys to Pook's ball game (3) bring all four boys back to the house (4) give baths to all four boys, and (5) get all four boys to sleep. As early as possible. I assume this babysitter is superhuman. I couldn't do it!

Obviously, I'll need to find time Saturday afternoon to get ready for the dinner party. I'm hoping to have a simple lentil soup, freshly picked green salad, and HOMEMADE bread. We've been on a bread making kick and it is so, so, so good that I really hoped we could fit in time on Saturday. There is some in the freezer if needed. (I'm crazy, but not a fool.) I might be able to make some artichoke dip too. I bought some good wine and will hopefully have cookies baked from Friday. I think I can do it all. A run to the store while taking the kids to L&P's is not out of the question. Neither is a shower.

Sunday we'll be obligated to get to church on time (if you drink too much with your minister on a Saturday night, are you excused?). Plus, L&P will be returning our children to us there.

What is planned for Sunday afternoon? NOTHING. Perhaps naps.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

sunshine on my shoulders makes me sleepy

We've had a sunshiny weekend. And yet Captain Snowy didn't melt until sometime before we woke Sunday morning. He enjoyed temps in the seventies but not the time change. I sympathize. I'm tired. The boys aren't however-- we wore them out.

Bug had no school Friday and I invited Carpool Buddy #3 to come over while his mom was at work. The two of them played outdoors (with grumbles) all morning while I did my yard work. Then, after lunch, they went to #3's house. I ran to the grocery and put a load of laundry in before walking to Pook's school to pick him up. We should walk more often, but we're fair weather walkers.

When he saw that I was there without his brother, he asked if he could have a friend over. We turned back toward the doors to check with Carpool Buddy #1 and his dad to see if he'd like to walk home with us. His dad wanted him to change clothes first, so we decided Pook would walk his direction first and then both boys would come to our house after #1 changed. His dad wanted him home by 3:30 to rest before his baseball practice and that coincided well with picking up Bug.

Pook and #1 never showed up here, remaining instead at #1's house. When I picked up Bug I went to get Pook at 3:30. They had been joined by lots of other kids and were running around in the backyard, clearly no one headed toward any resting. Dad relented and suggested I leave Bug and return for them both around 5pm.

Wow, free time. I did more laundry.

They, however, played outdoors more. And by the time I picked them up they were exhausted and dirty. I threw them in the tub and got dinner ready. By 7 pm they were barely holding their eyes open. Bug had been outside from 9 am until 5 pm. Pook had had school and then been outside since 2 pm. We quickly realized we could take advantage of this to prepare for the upcoming time change and we put them to bed.

Saturday dawned just as nice. We dawdled over a breakfast of blueberry oatmeal muffins before walking down the street to a Sand Gnat's baseball practice. CD helped out while the boys played a scrimmage and I helped in the dugout. Bug wandered around and played on the playground with other siblings. We walked home afterward and CD and I tackled the yard projects I'd not finished Friday. Then we walked back to the ball fields for the Owlz to practice.

The boys were, again, wiped out. Another early dinner, another early bath, another early bedtime. Consider the time changed.

Friday, March 6, 2009

yard work

Bug had no school today, so he and Carpool-Buddy played outdoors all morning while I did yard work. "Captain Snowy" has still not melted completely despite the temps in the seventies. He has gotten rather hairy looking now that all the pine straw and leaves are showing. Oh, and his head fell off last night. But other than that....

I raked piles and piles of leaves off one small flower bed. I left several inches of pine straw, but the oak and Southern Magnolia leaves never decompose well. The two lantana bushes by the garage needed to be cut back, so I did that too. There are three more I'll have to get to another time. I've also got liriope to cut with the string trimmer before it starts to grow much.

CD bought a blower last fall, spontaneously. I thought I'd give it a chance to prove itself by seeing if it could blow leaves off pine straw, leaving the packed pine straw behind, but it failed. A light touch with a rake works better. The blower does a great job on the driveway and patio, but I've never minded the adequate job the rakes and brooms provided.

We're do-it-ourselves yard workers, while most of our neighbors have services come weekly to do the work for them. And I like most of the work. There's a good exhaustion from working outdoors all day. And so I don't like the blower. It just seems like a waste of space in our garage. If I use it, I'd just have saved some time that I'd need to use by going to the gym. I'd rather rake.



Monday, March 2, 2009

pessimism is underrated

I must say, perhaps pessimism is underrated. I dreaded the day home with the boys and it turned out fine. I threatened them to within a day of their lives so I could take a shower without a fight ensuing, but I did shower in peace.

Pook's art project took 13 minutes. Yes, I timed it. But it turns out Bug can skip second grade math because he already understands symmetry and made a nice picture with pasta and glue. I happened to have some Pirate Pasta around, scoring me serious Mom Points. Then, they didn't pitch fits when I told them we were going to the Y. They wanted to go to the same childcare room, but Bug is too young and had to stay in the nursery with babies 6 months and up. Six year olds get the computer lab, making this a tough split. However, they seem to always have a tv on there, so Bug saw Toy Story 2 and was happy enough when I returned.

We came home and I garnered even more good will by making mac and cheese for lunch. I keep boxes around for just such emergencies. They flattered me by telling me it was salty and they like my homemade mac and cheese better. I need to get them to watch in the kitchen more. Learning to make a simple white sauce is vital to a good education.

After lunch we went up to the nature center since I'd realized that it was the day to register for summer camps. We wandered around a bit, kicking away the remaining ice from the muddy paths. At the art center, also nearby, I'd already missed the "early bird discount" for camp registration. Hard to believe I'm already thinking about summer. But, the boys will have a week mid June of outdoor-water-splashy-finding-bugs-camp and a week late July of indoor-art-on-the-theme-of-island-paradise camp (visual art for Pook, performance art for Bug).

We baked chocolate chip cookies (our second choice, but there wasn't enough oatmeal for the oatmeal raisin we'd voted to make) and I cursed my tiny oven which can hold no more than twelve cookies at a time. The kids left for the higher pursuit of lego building after the initial mixing, only coming through to stick a finger in the bowl of batter and wandering off again until the hot cookies were available.

I had to impose separation rules after then since Bug was getting bored and picking on his brother was his activity of choice. Sending them out to play lasted ten minutes, but they brought in handfuls of (muddy) mail when they came. Somehow the threat of losing out on dessert cookies was taken seriously and we survived the rest of the afternoon, Pook reading and Bug listening to his new classical story CDs.

Bug has both Thursday and Friday off from preschool for teacher training days, so he'll have a two day week. He's concerned about his status as Snack Provider/Show and Tell Day/Line Leader since he'd been assigned Monday. We'll send the snack and show and tell items tomorrow and see what happens. Trying to encourage him to remain optimistic.

icy roads

Today's Plan of Attack
7 am. Cry when school closings were announced AFTER we were all awake, and dressed
8 am. Cry and say goodbye to CD as he got to go to work (He knew he was escaping to a better fate, too.)
9 am. Bake raisin oatmeal cookies
10:30 am. "I am going to my yoga class at the Y whether you want to or not."
12 pm. Feed them (I'm generous)
1 pm. Oh! We have a 2nd grade project on symmetry- a poster made of pasta. Both can do these probably.
2 pm. Cry
3 pm. Cry
4 pm. Cry
5 pm. Cry
6 pm. Pass them off to CD when he comes home. Pour a glass of wine.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

it did and we did

We used every bit of snow in the front yard to make him, but make him we did.

The rain, which had been coming since Wednesday without much pause, turned to snow around noon. We put the kids off until dropping temps finally encouraged it to start sticking to the grass and glass patio table. But then they were ready to roll.

Except they didn't know how. I discovered that my kids had to be taught how to roll a snowball. (Who'd have thunk?) They were trying to pick it up and pack it round in their mittened hands. Since it was very, very wet snow, they were making some progress, but not much. Unfortunately, the rolling collected lots of leaves and pine straw too. "Captain Snowy" has a core of pure ice. Our estimate is for two days of life. The forecast is for climbing temperatures, leading to 70° by Friday.

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