Daily Archives: February 27, 2015

Day 137: Sight words

It was a sparkly winter day today.

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Boy got up early, early and read a book before the rest of us were even awake. But then the kids quickly had toast and I had a cup of coffee, and then we all got dressed and went outside first thing around 8am to play. A lot of the kids’ warm things were wet from the wash, so I had to get a little creative, but we managed. It was a little cold, but beautiful.

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I stayed outside and played with the dog and just hung out for an hour or so. The fairy house is still going strong, as you can see.

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Fairy house.

Girl dug out this little cat from the snow and made a snow friend for her.

Yard cat and snow friend.
Yard cat and snow friend.

I went in at 9:30 to make pancakes and the kids stayed outside until 10, then came in and ate. I found the dog sitting and looking sadly at Girl’s sunny daybed, which was covered in doll clothes from the night before. I cleared them off (with Girl’s permission) so Dog could take a little after-play nap in her favorite spot.

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After breakfast, the kids played until 11. Girl asked if we could get out her Calico Critters, and she dressed them and set up a house on the floor. She said this about her Hedgehog family:

“Every day they celebrate Day of the Dead. Every day they put water, salt, and masa together in a bowl, and they pray. And they don’t have a TV, because they’re having lots of fun without a TV, like we do. And you know who decided that? The kids did. And they’re having lots of fun in a little, but very cozy house. And they’re fine with their little house, because they have lots of stuff to do in their little house.”

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At 11 I sat down with Boy and did some math (addition with renaming), which he had no problem with. Then we had a snack before practicing violin at 1pm (per yesterday’s agreement). Boy started to freak out a little mid-lesson, but pulled himself together and played great throughout. After violin Boy did his forensics homework with no problems while Girl made a birthday card for her friend, and wrote all the words herself. Then I jumped in the shower while they ate.

After this late lunch the kids got warm things on again and went outside to play for another hour and a half, then came in for baths and dinner. While I was making dinner I heard Boy reading to Girl: he’d found an easy reader that had the word ‘he’ in it a lot. ‘He’ is Girl’s second sight word. Whenever they came to a ‘he’ Girl would shout it out excitedly, and Boy read the rest of the words to her.

And so I think to myself, we are so far from perfect (and it will always be that way) but some things are very good.

Day 136: Snow castle

It snowed last night.

The first thing I noticed when I took the dog out this morning was that a big branch on the little live oak out front was bent down almost to the ground under the weight of snow.

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Whoa! I said aloud.

The yard looked beautiful.

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But I went back inside for breakfast and coffee. Papa was making pancakes. The kids wanted to go outside right after they ate, and I needed to borrow our next door neighbors’ shovel to clear the sidewalk and front walkway. It was still snowing a little, and I asked the kids to be very careful not to disturb the bushes because the birds were all sheltering. We have a lot of birds that live in our yard year round, and some winter visitors. When it’s nice, you can hear them all the way down the block.

Before I got the kids all dressed, though, I took a kettle of hot water out back to pour on a couple of trouble spots on the roof, where ice can build up and then prevent melting water from running off, making it back up under the trim and into the walls. It happened during a storm last year.

After I poured the water, I set the kettle down in the snow and took a look around the back yard. A big limb fell off one of the pecan trees overnight, and the lower limbs of the magnolia were weighed down to the ground. It looked pretty magical underneath. I told Girl when I went back in that there was a snow castle out back for them to play in.

Under the magnolia
Under the magnolia

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I helped them get all dressed in their warm things and they went out back with Papa and the dog. Papa wanted to build a snow fort while I shoveled.

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Everyone stayed out until almost noon, then came in for popcorn and hot chocolate while Papa went out to the store. Papa came home with snacks, supplies, and burritos and tacos from Moe’s for lunch.

Boy really wanted to go back outside after lunch, but I told him he needed to copy his George Washington sentences and practice violin first. Unfortunately, those two things took several hours to do, and Boy had a total meltdown during violin. I also had kind of a meltdown. Papa talked to Boy for a while alone in my room, and then we made up, and came up with a plan to try to have violin go better.

On the up side, this is the third set of biography sentences Boy has needed to copy, and there were no eraser wars this time. It took a long time, but the writing itself was far less emotionally fraught this time around.

But there was still light after all of that, and it had even started snowing again a little, so the kids went back outside. Papa and I stayed inside cleaning up a little, every once in a while yelling through a window to tell the kids to stop doing something or another. Some days Boy and Girl need almost no supervision. Today was not one of those days!

We didn’t have dinner really, just more snacks (carrot sticks, apples slices, hard boiled eggs, tortilla chips and popcorn) and then Boy started reading again. Girl wanted Papa to play guitar to her and sing, but Boy just wanted to finish reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (which he started yesterday afternoon; he was reading a lot off and on last night and today).  So Papa sang to Girl in my room and then read her a book, and Boy got in bed in his room and finished Charlie in an hour or so, but then still wanted me to read to him.

So I did, from a book of Mexican animal tales, about a brave and patient sea turtle who helped create the world.