C's preschool was on vacation last week, so we were thankful for the truly excellent weather that let us spend much of the week outside. One of his classmates invited us to a cookout on Wednesday, and we walked over to check it out. (We make a effort to attend all the parties/ gatherings that his friends invite us to because we theorize that spending more time with kids in different social situations will help him make friends.) The host family has four kids, and their yard included paved space for bikes/ scooters, an enormous trampoline, a fancy swingset, etc. Several of C's friends were there with their parents. We were there for an hour or two, and C spoke to probably two people (if you include the time he told Max to get off his bike because C wanted to ride it). But we realized that we weren't really the best models of social behavior, because neither Dan nor I could come up with anything to talk to the other parents about, either. Small talk is apparently not our thing, and I was truly at a loss. After a completely inane conversation with Bella's mom (How old is your son? He's going to be really running soon! You have your hands full, don't you?), I wondered what we were trying to do- we clearly are not able to connect with these folks at anything other than a superficial level, so why do I expect C to? I suppose that we want him to be better at it than we are....
Thursday, April 28, 2005
Thursday, April 21, 2005
We hosted our third annual clothing swap on Saturday! This time, since we had it later in the year and the weather cooperated, we were able to have everything outside, which was decidedly more pleasant than having dozens of people crammed into our house. There was a lower turnout than usual, possibly because everyone was enjoying the weather elsewhere, but we still had a good time and encouraged people to rid their closets of many many unused clothes. (And I grabbed a few torn or stained pieces to use as fabric for the quilt I'm going to make someday....)
And on Monday the Roomba arrived! We charged it up, set it to go in the living room- and A burst into tears. A hates the Roomba with a passion. The rest of us, though, think it's pretty cool, though C is the only one who's been able to watch it in action for any period of time. Our house isn't very roomba-friendly- it has trouble climbing onto our very-thick area rug in the living room, and our radiators are at exactly the right height for it to get stuck under- but once we have a chance to play with it a little bit, I think it's going to work well. (It crawled under a table in C's room that hasn't been cleaned under in perhaps 2 years, so if nothing else it's removing major dust sources.)
I'll have C take a picture of it soon!
Posted by Dan at 9:16 PM
Monday, April 18, 2005
Friday, April 15, 2005
Thursday, April 14, 2005
So it was shaping up to be a pretty good day today. A was happy and C went off to school. I found that the three sets of baby clothes I was selling on E-bay, which had each only been at 99 cents four hours before the auctions' closings, had ended up selling for a total of more than $30. (Apparently no one even bothers bidding until right before the end of the auction now.) A took a nap and in the first 20 minutes of her nap (after the first 20 minutes we have to go back to lie down with her or she won't stay asleep) I got the dishwasher filled and running, picked up the kitchen, and got dinner going in the crockpot. She got a good nap in and we walked over to preschool, where the kids were erupting their homemade volcanoes. Normally she starts screaming as soon as we walk in the door there, but she was cheerful and happy the whole time despite the roomful of kids and parents.
Then C had a playdate after school with Daphne, who lives within walking distance of our house so is a friendship we definitely want to cultivate. A's happy inside for about five minutes. Then the kids ride their bikes around for a while outside, and she's happy watching them do that for about 10 minutes. Then we go back inside and nothing will make her happy- in or out, up or down, wrapped up or loose. I put her in the sling and try to get her to sleep. (I haven't successfully gotten her to go to sleep in the sling for two weeks, but it's worth a try, right?) No go. I need to bring her home so at least Daphne's mom doesn't have to hear her shrieks anymore. I'm already frustrated and annoyed (and got no sleep last night, and probably should have eaten more lunch), and then C refuses to stay at Daphne's house if I'm leaving. "Daddy will come pick you up in 20 minutes." "No, I am going with you." So besides rejecting Daphne, leaving now includes getting on the bike helmet, reminding him 20 times to ride to the SIDE of the road, and taking the road the whole way instead of a backyard shortcut. A is screaming the entire time, and spits her preferred pacifier in the dirt, so I have to give her the one she doesn't like. She cries louder. We pass a mom and son walking by and she smiles in sympathy. A screams until I get home and hand her to Dan, and she immediately settles down.
So now I'm annoyed with both kids and it's still only 1:30. Luckily Dan took both of them off my hands so I can recover and convince myself to be a grown-up again. (Do I have to? Will he not notice if I just go to bed for the rest of the day? Will there be a time when taking my kid to see another kid is unlikely to end in disaster?)
Posted by Dan at 1:20 PM
Tuesday, April 12, 2005
We just ordered a Roomba! Our old vacuum broke, and we are convinced it is going to be better than the Jetsons' Rosie and keep our house very clean. We're soon going to have a crawling baby, so we don't want to have as much dog fur floating around. Now the fur adds to the ambiance and all, but it's kind of gross when it sticks to already-wet hands and the hands go back in the mouth. (Not that we ever saw that happen with C or anything, because when we had a working vacuum, we were Masters of Cleanliness.)
Hmm, what else? The leaf-sucker truck came today!
(Signing off now, before it's too late. This is part of my goal to update more often, instigated by our friend Dani pointing out to us that it takes less than five minutes to post SOMETHING.)
Posted by Dan at 5:49 PM
Monday, April 11, 2005
Posted by Dan at 10:36 PM
Posted by Dan at 10:35 PM
And yesterday it was at least 70 in the sun. So why is there snow in these pictures? Because I’m behind on things (as if this is news to anyone). The one taken out the window is from the first day of spring, and shows Sarah and Cadao putting together a cold frame that her parents gave us. It now helps keep lettuce seeds cozy at night. We also put together a bird feeder to celebrate the new spring—another christmas gift—and the songbirds are just now finding what the squirrels discovered 3 weeks ago, that there’s a new food supply… Our garden is at least finally started, though in addition to the lettuce, there is only spinach and some peas thus far.
We have managed to rake almost all the leaves left over from fall; another 2-3 hours and we should be done with that task! The leaves and a lot of wood and branches are by the side of the road, waiting for the "leaf sucker truck" (like something straight out of a Dr. Seuss book), and the yard waste truck, both a service of the town.
The second photo was from Cadao’s field trip about a month ago to 5 Rivers Environmental Ed. Center, a few miles away. They learned about maple sugaring, and it was actually Cadao’s idea to hug the tree (one of the answers for what we can do to help trees/make them feel good). I’m proud of him for suggesting it, and pleased that his classmates were willing accomplices. I wish that most of them would still have that sentiment for the natural world when they get older.
Well, it’s 10:30 and therefore way past our bedtime… Alyra is sure to wake any moment now for the next stretch.
Posted by Dan at 10:32 PM
Posted by Dan at 10:17 PM
Yes, our blog still sucks; what can I say. Unfortunately, this picture is what our family really looks like most of the time, so I need say no more about lack of updates.
C had been "off" for several weeks; acting depressed and whiny, falling asleep during the day, avoiding interaction with anyone at school, that sort of thing. This last week he's perked up, and we don't know if it's because he's no longer sick, because the weather has finally gotten nice, or because he just snapped out of it. We'd been seriously thinking about spending the month of August in Seattle to let Dan reconnect with his friends and coworkers and to allow all of us to escape the heat of the summer, but C's moodiness was making me think we should avoid major changes like that (especially right before starting kindergarten). Now we don't know again- so should we plan a big garden or not? Start looking at family-sized tents or not? Decisions decisions-
Another family of friends is moving away from the area, bringing the total groups-of-friends-we-really-got-close-to-who-have-moved-away to five now. Dan suggested that we consider moving to Ithaca, the destination of the family most recently abandoning us,before I reminded him that if we were going to move away from our home and my parents, we would definitely pick someplace with better weather than central New York. We're sticking with Delmar for now.
A is five months old tomorrow! She's been rolling over for about a month now, is "talking" a lot more, and is trying really hard to sit up. Today I had her strapped to me while C and I kicked a ball around the backyard and she found the game hilarious. C said, "She's laughing like a big person now!" She was truly giggling, instead of just the quick squeaky inhalation-laughs she'd been doing before.