Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Neda and Anis Came to Visit!

We had the most wonderful visit with our dear friends Neda and Anis.

Of course, we had to try out some Beatles Rock Band...

...which they totally rocked...

And we visited the Pepper Place Farmers' Market and had a little Cantina for lunch:

They've only been gone since Sunday, and we miss them terribly already. Thanks for coming to see us, y'all!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Back to School...Again

Henry came home the other day with a headache, which led to a fever, which led to a sore throat, which led to him having strep throat. For the first time.

If I needed any reassurance at all that public school is the best fit for this child, it is in the past two days of him and me being home together. I want to be clear here that I am NOT knocking home schooling a bit; I am just clear that Henry responds very very well to public school at this point in his life. If that changes, we will dig deep and figure out how to school from home. For now, thank heavens he is going back tomorrow.

When he first wanted me to play with him, I just wasn't funny or captivating enough. He would stare at me when my characters voices did not sound right. If I wanted him to hear me about anything at all, I had to include the words "booger" or "armpit" and then he was right there with me. Seriously.

Anytime, and I mean anytime I asked him to do something today, he would tell me that me asking him was, "like, a total nightmare."

Tomorrow is a new day, with hopefully no sore throats in this house. Thank heavens...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

this wasn't even at SCHOOL, yawl.

Before school started, we went on a picnic with some friends. It was a "picnic" so I brought sandwiches for 3, enough cold water to drink for 4 days and about 78 cupcakes.

Our friend Angela brought her microscope and some test tubes for collecting samples.

It's easy to feel inadequate in those situations, but I HAD brought all those cupcakes.

Henry and Svea loved looking at bugs and water samples and different leaves under the microscope.
I loved watching them do it.

Angela also happens to know a lot about bugs, like, which ones will bite or sting you and which ones will not. I recommend taking her on all your upcoming picnics.

So do Henry and Svea (aka John Parker Wilson #14...a few years ago now...and Pinkalicious).

Friday, August 20, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - Inspired by SouleMama. A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

McWane Magic, Potato Head Style

Weeks and weeks ago, before summer ended, the kids and I went to the McWane Science Center for some air-conditioned activity.

One McWane employee drew the short stick that day and dressed as Mr. Potato Head. There was a line to take your picture with him, so when Henry's turn came (Svea refused) some random kid jumped in the picture with him and smiled at me. O-kay. I didn't even get his name for the credits.
Svea sat happily at the face-making station and made face after face on the empty potato. I tried not to be such a killjoy and refrained from commenting on how many germs I thought might be living in that pit of face parts.

Henry was fascinated with the "Darth Tater" Potato Head, as well as the Spiderman Potato Head. Who knew?

If only I had been born in a previous decade...

There was also a blue screen for acting out various sporting events, which Henry and Svea loved. They didn't quite understand where to look...

Again, a random kid jumped in on their game, but that didn't slow them down a bit.
All in all, a very fun morning at the McWane.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sabbath Twenty Ten

Every year, our family gets together with some dear friends who live all over the country to visit, eat, laugh, and reflect on all the happenings of the previous year. It's an intentional thoughtful group, one that remembers joys and sorrows from the past years' visits and gently follows up each summer.

This year we went to a lake house in Georgia to play ping pong...

...blow bubbles...
...catch and study bugs...

and sing out loud.

We call the week Sabbath and look forward to it every year.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Night at Bobbie and Pops'

A few weeks ago, Henry and Svea spent the night with Bobbie and Pops. They were there less than 24 hours, but they certainly packed in the fun:
Getting ready for the ball...wigs, baseball bats, nightgowns and all...
...playing pool...
...trying not to smash our fingers...
...creating sculptures with race cars, pyramids for crashing, etc...
...drawing, writing and interpreting...
...trying on Pops' wig...
...and of course, washing cars. Pops is always pulling a "Tom Sawyer" on them. When we went to visit last weekend, Svea excitedly ran in the room and exclaimed that Pops was going to let her use a REAL vacuum! She didn't even have to pretend! Amazing! Chores!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Achieving the Stereotype

One Saturday last October, I leaned against a chain linked fence next to a homemade "Barcelona Matadors" banner for Henry's soccer team, watching the game, surrounded by parents not talking to each other but yelling at their kids. Svea was playing at my feet and I had a paper cup of Starbucks black coffee in my hand. I had on jeans.
And I had a revelation: I am a stereotype. Fully.

I was disturbed.

I felt trapped by my situation, how I presented myself, and how strange it was to realize that I had chosen and created this web that looked like everyone else's.
I finished my coffee, they finished the game. We went home to rest in the false safety of our neighborhood and talked about what to do with the rest of our day since it was now 9:30 a.m.
We were so overzealously average in this average autumn weekend.

This past week the kids started school. Both of them in Big School. My trauma of separation usually runs on a delayed schedule, so I felt great this week and will welcome the tears in about 3 weeks. We met teachers, doled out supplies, made lunches, signed forms and wrote checks, shook out new clothes, slept in our new shoes, even rode the bus - just like everyone else.
Awesomely average.

I sit here, with 2.58 kids, excited and overwhelmed that this October we will welcome our third child. I look at our Golden Retriever who will not bring me a tennis ball. I look at the art on our walls and hear Ben Harper through the speakers. There is something to this, this racing toward the average, this occupation of the fat part of the bell curve.

I have chosen this; I like this. Even if the awareness of it is uncomfortable.
Maybe the discomfort is to remind me of the uniqueness in Henry's handwriting and ninja drawings and in Svea's reconstruction of neighborhoods using Polly Pocket AND Littlest Pet Shop. Maybe we'll just be average for a few more years and then shake it up a bit, really stick it to the Man. Maybe not. I have no answers...just like everyone else.

For now, for today, we'll continue even if it is just like our neighbors, who happen to be pretty nice.