Saturday, March 31, 2007

This morning I did the 2-ish miles in 21 minutes, despite making the mistake of bringing Paco with me. I'm not sure which was more annoying- the pausing to sniff (forcing me to pull him along when he ignored my call) or the stopping right in front of me and getting in my way. He did shape up for the last third of the run; I'm not sure if this was because he was tired or because he finally got with the program. He'll get one more chance on Monday.

Friday, March 30, 2007

C just lost his first tooth! He's been impatient for it to happen, and tonight he finally found a tooth on his tongue while he was brushing his teeth. Thinking it was a piece of popcorn (since we did have popcorn about two weeks ago, after all) he spit it down the drain of the sink, so we don't have it to save. But he was soooo excited. He hadn't even noticed it was loose before, and it turns out his other bottom front tooth is loose, too.

Of course I just had to go play tooth fairy all alone since Dan is off playing Twilight Imperium all night....

Thursday, March 29, 2007

A couple weeks ago, I attempted to jog a mile or so and felt ready to pass out. My initial reaction was "running sure does suck; won't be doing that again anytime soon!" But then I realized that it really bothers me to be unable to handle such a mild test of endurance, and now I've set myself the goal of being able to go two miles without feeling awful. I'm starting out slow; this week I'm alternating 90 seconds of jogging with 90 seconds of walking for a total of 21 minutes. Next week I'm going to jog 2 minutes before walking 90 seconds, and I'm hoping to be able to up it to three minutes the week after that.

I don't know the exact mileages I've been covering, but so far (in my all of two sessions) I'm going approximately two miles in about 23 minutes, which I think is a decent combined walking/running pace. I do indeed feel awful afterwards, but I'm not pushing myself to the verge of vomiting, as I did in high school.

I'm hoping to reach my goal before it gets too hot- wishful thinking?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Bestest friends

S: Guinevere is going to come over tomorrow; are you excited to see her?
A: Yes! Hurray! (pause) Guinevere is a baby.
S: Well, she doesn't talk very much, but I don't think she's a baby because she can walk and do other things.
A: Like take people's toys. And put them in her mouth.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

I've never seen the need to use pseudonyms or make any attempt to hide our family's identity on the Internet, but it recently occurred to me that our kids' privacy is compromised by that. I'm not concerned about stalkers, but over the next couple of years C's friends will start actively using the Internet, and it could be embarrassing for him to have them reading this. So over the next few weeks we're going to decide whether/ how to remove or anonymize our previous posts, and we'll try to avoid using the kids' names in the future.

C's science fair project- a maglev train! Thanks to Ye-ye, C got to make a really cool project using technology he "invented" when he was three. A lot of people at the fair were enthralled by it.

C had fun checking out the other kids' projects at the fair, but it was so crowded and overwhelming that he left early with Dan and A. That left me to stay 'til the end to bring his project home. Carrying everything back on the frigid snowy sidewalks, for which I was not appropriately dressed (because y'know- we DROVE there), was a bit tricky, but the view of the moon and stars made it almost worthwhile.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Report Cards and it's almost Spring (really?)

Well, C's report card came today. As the teacher had hinted on the phone earlier, it was very positive (only 3's and 4's--1-4 scale, and S's and E's) and they only had warm fuzzy things to say about him. Not that he doesn't deserve the highest marks for his academic achievements (though I suspect he'll be getting some N's for his handwriting neatness in the not-so-distant future, like I did in elementary school).

But it is interesting that they haven't noticed that he gave up doing homework for Lent. Well, actually it's been since some point in January that he hasn't done ANY homework. Most weeks he gets a packet with four assignments for M-Th, that consist of practicing writing spelling words and "word family" words, a math worksheet or two, and some other worksheet. He originally went on strike about the spelling words (he hated writing them each three times, then sentences), and since Sarah had just read--and I skimmed and made her summarize--Alfie Kohn's masterful The Homework Myth: Why Our Kids Get Too Much of a Bad Thing, we couldn't really see a good reason to force him to into it, or any of the other homework when he decided to just start recycling the whole packet each week.

Especially in elementary school, the idea that kids who are doing fine in school need to routinely do homework nearly nightly seems ridiculous, especially after reading Kohn's research and arguments. I can see why an occasional special project can't be done on class time, or why students who are really struggling to learn the basic concepts might need extra guidance or tutoring at home, but not C at this point, not this year. As most of you know we already have a fairly tenuous attitude towards public school (we plan to take it year by year, and reserve the plan to pull him out for homeschooling at any point it seems like the costs are outweighing the benefits), so it will be interesting to see what happens when at some point his teachers start keeping track of who is doing homework (assuming they care more than we do). Right now the students are responsible for putting their homework in the bin to be corrected, and then it gets put back in their mailboxes upon checking, and the students empty their own mailboxes into their folders to bring home.

In other news, we enjoyed hosting our monthly potluck on Friday. While it had been warm and melty and spring was springing a couple days before, Friday looked a lot like this instead. Four families still ventured out, and we had fun helping shovel and push cars afterwards to get them back home again. The weekend ended up offering up two more potlucks, so we now have a new record of 3 evening potlucks in a row, with essentially the same crowd... Reminds me of the mealshare situation we liked so much when we lived in Seattle, and had shared meals 6 nights per week.

I'll be going to Maine for a mentoring conference this weekend for work. Too bad the accommodations are so crummy :). It does mean a lot of driving, though...

C has his school science fair tomorrow night. We should have pictures/tales to share from that soon.

Enjoy the Spring Equinox tomorrow. The birds here are doing their best to pretend that the snow doesn't exist. Maybe it won't continue to for much longer.


Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I told A about these extra-fun special paints that are specially designed for using with your hands, and she seemed receptive. So I broke out the fingerpaints (I even had the cool fingerpaint paper), squirted some paint on, and started spreading it around with my fingers. She looked at me like I was insane- touching that MESSY stuff with my HANDS? Voluntarily? I coaxed her into leaning closer, and encouraged her to just touch it, for a second, with one finger, but she would have none of it. Finally I gave up and gave her a brush and a new piece of paper, and she was much happier. A tiny bit of paint did get on her hand from the brush, though, and even though she gamely recited, "these are special paints that are designed for getting on hands, so it's okay," she couldn't get past the horror and needed to stop to wash.
I suspect she'd be more likely to engage in actual fingerpainting if C joined in, but the flail-fest that ensues whenever Everything-Is-Mine Boy does anything around other children that involves any sort of equipment/ materials makes me hesitate to pull them out when he's home. Maybe when it's warm enough to do it outside and hose everyone down afterwards....

A's story

Once upon a time there was a cat and she went for a walk with her brother and her daddy and her mommy. And they went to the park and they had some snacks. And they said meow.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

lunar eclipse cake

what kids create...part 2

what kids create on their own when they don't watch tv, part 1

little people bridge, brother built


A: I fell down. I fell down. I fell down. I fell down.
C: If you're going to fall, don't do it right in front of me because you get in my way.

C: W-X-Y-Z.
A: W-X-Y-C.
C: No, it's Z. W-X-Y-Z.
A: W-X-Y-C.
C: No, Alyra! It's Z! You have to learn the alphabet!
A: But I don't want to actually!

S: Firefly is The A-Team in space. With a western theme. And a whore.
D: Which would have made The A-Team even better.
S: They had a van, after all.