Tuesday, November 11, 2008

11/11/08 Veteran's Day Off

(what's with this line that just appeared on this blog page? Blogger must have updated a template or something. That's annoying!)

Dad rode his motorcycle to work this morning. But not before our least motorcycle-fearful toddler had a sit.

No school or preschool today! I didn't mind a day off work with the boys, though they first had to do some remodeling-shopping. Julian reads a sign that says "This tub display is not a play area for children" as I picked up a tile sample.

I really wanted to do something fun this afternoon with the boys, and considered going to the Exploratorium. But that's an all-day trip, and we'd already blown some of the day with remodel-shopping and a trip to the Y. Hmm...what can we do that's fun? I was drawing a blank all morning, frustrated that there must be an obvious answer, and I'd really regret it later if I couldn't think of it until it's too late.

Then I had it! A stroke of genius. "Guess what, boys? We're going to do something really fun! You know what it is?"

"Letterboxing!" cried Julian.

OK, a different stroke of genius. That actually was an even better idea.

"Make cookies!" cried Gabriel.

I'm being trounced here. When is baking not forefront in my mind?

"Nope...I was thinking we could go ... ice-skating!"

Gabriel was excited right away, and lamented every red light that delayed his being on the ice by another 10 seconds. Julian wasn't so sure, and he did fine at first, but pooped out after about 20 minutes in favor of playing with the video game machines (without coins).

Still, they had fun together at first.

And Julian liked "fooling" me with pretending he couldn't skate, then skating away from me quickly.

I attempted to teach Gabriel forward crossovers, which is a laugh because I can barely do them myself, and certainly am in no position to teach them. Still, he was really game and really excited when he did some of them. Gabriel's persistence and determination and willingness -- when he finds something he likes that is -- never fail to amaze me.

Gosh, I'm looking forward to having our lives back so we can consider things like skating lessons again. Julian asked today about going to the mountains so we can see snow, and I had to put him off again. I guess it's just as well that 2-year-oldness and remodeling coincide, as either by itself is a barrier to easy trips. (Yes of course you can travel with a 2-year-old, but it's a lot easier when they're older!)

It's funny, our contractor is away this week, but more importantly, so is his office manager, who keeps after me about delivering finish selections on time. So the pressure is off for the week. But instead, it's replaced with something far, far worse in remodel-land: the dreaded lull. I've forgotten all about this with our extremely efficient contractor. I experienced it at length with our upstairs remodel, including a nearly 4-week downtime while the gestational clock ticked away. This lull isn't really a lull at all; in fact I exchanged email with the jobsite foreman today to get some measurements for a side entry door. Still, I'd rather have the complete pressure.

Still, we do have to have something of a life. I told the boys today about something really fun we have planned: we're driving to L.A. for Thanksgiving! This is how the boys felt about it when I told them:

I hope Laura and Ryan feel the same way after seeing this!

And while we didn't make it letterboxing, we did make cookies, at Gabriel's request. I had the boys do just about everything. Much as I marvelled earlier in the day at Gabriel's persistence in skating, I marvelled again at Julian's fine motor skills. For things like scooping cookie dough and dropping it onto a cookie sheet, he's critically younger than Gabriel, but still better at it.

Back to the grind tomorrow. I really really liked the no-school days!


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