Daily Archives: February 1, 2015

Day 111: Four things

Last night before we went to bed, after watching an episode and a half of our subtitled Swedish murder mystery, Aunt S and I made a list of four things we needed to do before she left at midday (in order to make the drive home before snow started farther north). Take pictures of Boy’s Lego Swamp Police scene, give Boy his birthday present from Aunt S, give Aunt S her Christmas present from us, reupholster one dining room chair as a trial run.

Aunt S has a very good camera, and even her camera phone takes better pictures than my pitiful old digital, so we’d agreed weeks ago that she would take the picture to send into the Lego contest (and some other pictures as well). He’s been setting up more and more elaborate scenes. Today I had to attach fishline to a jet and hold it suspended over the other action below. I’ll add some more pictures when I get them from S, but here is one:

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After that we exchanged gifts; Aunt S gave Boy a Star Wars Lego set he wanted very badly, and we gave Aunt S a family photo calendar that I’d made via Shutterfly.

And then Aunt S removed the old covering of one dining room chair, only to have us discover that the foam pads we bought are too small, and need to be exchanged for a roll of foam that I can measure and cut. So that endeavor was cut disappointingly short. S removed the covers from a few more of the seat boards, because it’s hard for me to do. (I have an allergy to some kind of mold spore or something that causes me genuine respiratory distress with certain old dusty/moldy things.)

Shortly afterwards Aunt S had to leave, which is always a little sad.

I had to hurry and collect things to go to my neighbor-friend’s house, because tomorrow morning is the first meeting of our new Geography club, and I am her assistant for the 5-8 age group. Tomorrow is Canada, and we needed to plan and go over materials and books for this week and subsequent weeks. Boy and Girl both came and played with her kids. Again they refused to come home with me, so one of the older daughters walked them home after another hour or so.

Meantime I was making a potato, bacon, and cheese pizza for Papa and the kids to eat whilst watching the Super Bowl. But of course the kids could only watch a half hour or so before they had to get ready for bed.

One more note about today: Boy drew some lovely pictures of birds and squirrels in trees this morning. Not formulaic imaginary birds or birds from a book, but drawings of the things he sees himself in our yard and out and about, things he knows. A yellow bellied sapsucker in a pecan tree riddled with holes, an osprey carrying a fish. But he won’t let me post them here, because he’s embarrassed. Because boys shouldn’t draw birds. What?!? How did girls get birds, in the great imaginary gender divide?  Don’t bother talking to him about Audubon, or any of the innumerable 18th and 19th century nature-sketching English gentleman you might know of; Boy isn’t having it. But Boy loves birds. In fact, I’d say birds probably make his top-five of all time list. So how did he come to be embarrassed about that? I’m hoping we can conquer this pretty quickly. I really want to post the damn drawings.

Day 110: Apartments and arrows

Saturday was the opposite of Friday, in the sense that more happened than can reasonably be written in a blog entry. But here are the highlights:

1. In the morning while we were making coffee and pancakes, Girl asked what letters made up some words, asked what those letters look like, and then found them to make those words on the refrigerator. This is real progress on the literacy front. In general, Girl is showing starting to show significant interest in letters, so I expect this to be a theme over the next few weeks.

Some of Girl's refrigerator words.
Some of Girl’s refrigerator words.

2. Boy attended a free two and a half hour archery lesson with a few other kids at a nearby national wildlife refuge center, given by one of the rangers. Papa took him. He took it extremely seriously, listened to all of the guidance/directions from the teacher, and did a great job. Papa said he was intent, precise, polite, and extremely attentive to everything.

Boy, getting ready to shoot.
Boy, getting ready to shoot.

3. Aunt S and I went shopping for fabric and foam padding for me to re-do the old dining room chairs that are currently stacked in our back room. Picking out fabric is no joke. I was really glad I had a friend. Then we went and got a quick bite to eat at the biscuit place. Which was awesome. Then we tried unsuccessfully to pick up Girl (see below).

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4. Girl had a playdate with one of her best and oldest friends, whose mom has just moved from their house to an apartment. We had to explain things to Girl the day before, and she was unhappy and anxious about the changes. I was glad we talked about things before hand, because by Saturday morning she was completely fine about everything.

Both of my kids have gone through a period of noticing, and complaining, that other people’s homes are bigger, nicer, and better furnished than our own, before settling into an appreciation for our home for what it is: our home.  But in this case Girl was clearly swept off her feet by the charms of the small, plain, sparsely furnished apartment with old wooden floors and a clawtooth tub, in a far more urban neighborhood than ours. (We all know those apartments, and how we fall in love with them when we get one with our friends in our twenties.) Add to that it is a household of just girls: one mom, one daughter, two cats.  After three hours, when Aunt S and I came by to get her, Girl refused to come home. At that point, she was wearing a pair of her friends jammies (everyone was in jammies) and they were going to curl up in her friend’s very tall double bed under her new comforter and watch a movie on the iPad. The mom, my friend, agreed to just drop her off later in the evening when she went out to get groceries. Aunt S and I joked that Girl would probably try to move in, given half a chance.

Day 109: Aunt S arrives

I apologize for missing two days of posts…I started making notes both days but my friend was visiting this weekend and we spent the evenings after the kids went to bed watching a subtitled Swedish mystery series, so I couldn’t ‘watch tv’ while actually looking at my laptop and typing like I usually do. That’s a pretty lame excuse, but factual. So here we go…catch up. Friday:

My friend Aunt S arrived early this Friday morning, leaving her house at 6am and making the three hour drive. Today was rainy and cold and we sat around the house and none of us did very much but visit, and chat, and play, and eat some stuff, and some of us drank a lot of coffee.

Special lunch for babies, by Girl.
Special lunch for babies, by Girl.