30 January 2012

30 of 31: Lazy day

I used to have covered Styrofoam into which the boys could hammer their golf tee nails.  But there was no foam today so they used the ground.

Then we moved to the front yard for some Saucer Scramble.

By sunset, we were running out structured things to do so we made speedlight bunny ears...

and lens bug eyes.

And yes, I did put them both in orange on purpose!

28 January 2012

29 of 31: BSG

How can I call myself a fan of science fiction having never watched Battlestar Galactica?  Thank goodness Hulu has the first 2 seasons so I can get started on my catch-up plan.  But they don't have the 2-part mini series that opened the 4 season.  Man, I'm lost!

Here is a totally unrelated image from last summer of the Fall supplies list for first grade.  Notice the additional items required for GATE students: highlighters, thick and thin permanent markers, ruler, additional colored pencils.  From this list, I assume GATE students are expected to possess greater ability to discern main, critical details from supporting ones and to do so on primarily a visual channel.  It seems they're also expected to make fewer errors while doing so!

28 of 31: Avid reader

I'd mentioned A1's emotional response to Charlotte's Web but it was without a photo.  And that's just wrong!  So here is a belated image on the way to return it to the library:

27 of 31: Furlough Fun

I get so excited about furlough days--I know that they are difficult for our beloved and much appreciated teachers who have to cram lesson plans together and don't get paid on those days, but it makes think that every day could be filled with travel adventures if we were home (van) schoolers!

We decided to visit Joshua Tree National Park again.  It's lot of climbing for the boys and makes me feel very thrifty for using our annual National Parks pass.

Tons of shots the boys looking tiny among the rock formations:

It's like a giant Rorschach.  They boys claim it to be a car:

A2, having seen a few tanks on the drive toward the park, says he's driving his own tank:

And A1, known as "The Senator" because of his bizarre love of public speaking says he's behind a podium.  He gave an entire impromptu speech.  It was hysterical!

Here are some pics for which I have no caption but I know the boys would wonder of their whereabouts since they requested their photos themselves:

A1 is really into silhouettes so he wanted these:

Uh...no thank.  These names frighten me!

26 January 2012

26 of 31: Check in

Now that most of the month has passed, I've gathered sufficient evidence to prove that I am not built for daily blogging.  In the beginning, when I was actively thinking of topics throughout the day, the regimen did foster greater observation (and therefore more gratitude, more presence of being, etc.).  But now I find myself slapping together a random word here and there just to say that I've completed my assignment for the day.

I will finish what I started...but that's where it will end!

Random shot of A1 with one of his recent reads.  He recommends it highly!

25 January 2012

25 of 31: When you can't laugh...

Sometimes A1 will tell a tasteless joke or A2 will unleash a monster of a burp and it's not just a good idea to encourage that kind of behavior by laughing.  Equally inappropriate is when the boys get hurt.  Yet, I couldn't help myself:

24 January 2012

24 of 31: City Hall tour by the Mayor

I have a few hundred Scouting photos to go through so I wasn't going to post any of them until I finished them all, but if I don't start now, I may never finish.  So here is a shot of the boys (and girls) in Council Chambers:

Needless to say, I've adapted to task of being Den leader.  I'm even starting to relax a little!

23 of 31: The lesser

A1 just finished Charlotte's Web--and was crying inconsolably.  He wasn't comforted by the lessons of enduring friendship and the cycle of life and such.  I don't blame him.  Poor kid!  I said I was sorry for not preparing him for Charlotte's death but that I didn't want to color the entire book with sadness if he'd been privy to that little spoiler from the beginning.  It's the lesser of the two evils, I suppose.

23 January 2012

22 of 31: Madder

On many occasions when James asks about how my day went, I've started the conversation with, "You know what made me mad?" To this obviously rhetorical question, he always replies, "You mean *madder*?"  Okay, okay...I get his point.  I have a passionate manner of speaking (and typing) that makes me seem angrier than I really am.

The reason that I started this post with such a lengthy explanation is to emphasize that the fact that I'm so very mad!  Not the usually level of mad that's actually not mad at all.  I mean shaking with anger, perseverating over the scene and wishing I'd escalated the situation to violence by smacking the other party upside the head.  Strangely, though, in thinking about it over and over (and over and over...) again, I realize that it's not what happened that made me so angry, it's the other party's reaction--or lack thereof--to it that has me reeling and teetering on the edge of sanity.

We took what was a mostly wonderful trip to the tide pools today with A1's Cub Scout Den and I got to teach about the different phyla commonly found there so I was a pretty happy camper.  After the boys each located at least one example of intertidal lifeform, they were allowed to play.  I was so pleased with both the materials presented at the meeting as well as how receptive the boys were to it so I was able to relax, but then suddenly, one of the other moms calls out, "Oh my God, is that ?"  Yes, yes it was!  He was running as fast as he could, crying and screaming, from a deranged dog.  It was quite a scene, but I was able to chase the both of them and grab the dog's leash and when his owner came up she nonchalantly explained, "Oh, I thought your son was playing with him."  What the what?!?!  She grabbed the leash and walked away.  I went screaming after her as she fast-walked across the entire beach ignoring me, refusing to turn back as I ineffectively bellowed me excuse-me's and ma'am's at her.  When I finally caught up to her, I told her that the signs at the beach entrance clearly state that dogs were only allowed before 6am and after 5pm and that they were certainly never allowed to wander without their owners at the other end of their leash (it was reported to me from another mom that the dog was not with his owner when he started chasing A1 so it's not like the dog slipped away from her hands).  The woman said, "I'm leaving," and turned around and didn't say anything else as I escorted her to the entrance.  

Never once did she offer a single, if haphazard and meaningless, apology.   She illegally brings her dog (grrr...no lifeguard on duty at this teeny beach) to terrorize children and she doesn't think to apologize and had the nerve to ignore me as I walked the entire length of the beach (yes, that's how long it took me to catch up to A1--he'd been chased THAT far!) trying to get her attention as she meandered back to her friends.  I'm quite certain she would have stayed to terrorize other innocent children had I not persisted.  From this interaction, I can surmise two things.  Either she didn't offer an apology because she is a complete idiot who didn't see the inherent gravity of the situation or she is an evil b!tch with a history of violating others and feeling no remorse.  Of perhaps, there is the third option.  Maybe she is both stupid AND evil.

See?  Mad.  This is what I sound like when I'm mad.  Madder.

The boys have yet to show much interest in reading the text here but do ask when there's lots of it.  So I'm going to post another pic from today so that they're thrown off the scent:

21 January 2012

21 of 31: Rain

We were rained out of our Cub Scout tide pool trip today but the weather cleared by late afternoon so I took the boys to the park. The sand was flooded and made for some really fun digging. Isthmuses, fjords, and deltas...oh my! The boys created all sorts of neat channels but I think they were most proud of having enclosed the bottom of the slide:

20 January 2012

20 of 31: Molly the Bunny

We brought home the preschool class "pet" for a few days and I actually sewed!  We made a little monogrammed bed for her.

19 of 31: Lessons

Yes, it's the 20th and I'm posting the 19th blog.  What I've learned during this daily blogging exercise is that I'm no good at daily blogging!  I'd like to say that it's a particularly busy time for me right now, but the truth is that it's ALWAYS a busy time.  I'm closer to the end of the month than I am to the beginning so I'm not going to abandon his project, but I'm sort of losing the point of this whole endeavor!

Totally unrelated pic of me and A2:

Man, I love that front facing cam on the iPhone!

18 January 2012

18 of 31: My sailors

Last spring, I snapped some shots of my nephew and his girlfriend before they headed off to his Senior Prom and A1 asked about the event.  He promptly told me that he was going to take one of his buddies from Kinder to his prom.  He's made a good choice...we adore both her and her family and are grateful they took us on the water on Monday.  But I do wish I knew the difference between a seal and sea lion--every time I research it, the details seem to fall right out of my head.

And yes, I do feel guilty that I have this individual shot of A1 and none of A2:

17 of 31: Pop quiz

Which activity did the boys prefer yesterday...listening to a trio play Debussy and Dvorak pieces?

Or climbing a tree and playing on a hill made entirely of dirt?

16 January 2012

16 of 31: Brand new year, same goofy children

...and this is what my day looks like:

The sun sets so early these days and cuts our playtime too short.

15 of 31: Kick Throw Blow

Ah, man!  My freakishly late hours means I'm late with yet another post!  I have no words left in me at this point so I'll add photos instead.  Here, we're playing a 3-round marshmallow game that involves kicking, throwing, and blowing to see who gets the projectile the farthest away.  Super fun!

15 January 2012

14 of 31: I suck

Okay, it's actually 2am (because I fell asleep putting the kids to bed) and this is technically the 15th.  I fail at this daily blogging thing.  I'll have to come back to it this evening to do my actual 15 of 31 post and call the 14th over and done with!

13 January 2012

13 of 31: Explaining myself

Promptness: it's nearly a religion with me.  But I feel like I have to explain my stance because so very few people around me hold punctuality in the same high regard (nor view tardiness with the same disdain).

A1 was what a friend lovingly termed a Crock Pot Child--that is, he was slow-to-warm but would hum right along as soon as everything reached optimal conditions.  It was difficult for him to engage with others if I introduced him into a room already full of active toddlers.  So I got into the habit of showing up on time, which is ostensibly showing up early, because that meant we would be the first ones to join the playdate.  A1 would do just fine if one or two playmates were added to the mix at a time so that he wouldn't be overwhelmed by the noise and confusion in a single swoop.

Even before I had kids, it was absolutely critical to be on time.  When your profession is paid on the hour and that hour isn't even 60 minutes, chances are your clients are counting every one of those 50 and even 45 minutes they are allotted.  Starting a session late may mean being glared at for that entire time!  Clinical work certainly taught me that it was important to be well-bounded and end on time too.  Being too elastic at the finale means patients bring up their most important work at the end of the session instead of at the beginning or middle. 

But really, the root of it all came from childhood.  My father always emphasized the importance of promptness as a sign of respect so I had no choice but to take in that lesson.

So there.  That's the continuing evolution of my near fanatical adherence to the almighty clock!

12 January 2012

12 of 31: Centennial Farm

A1 was upset to find out that while he was in school, his little brother and I went to the farm and hung out with little human buddies and even littler chick buddies.  No logical explanation that could satisfy  poor A1 who felt left out. 

So here is A2--he's evidently much more satisfied with today's events.

11 January 2012

11 of 31: Through the lens

My cold, sterile view of A2:

A1 grabbed my camera and got this totally sweet, genuine view of A2: