Saturday, April 18, 2009

4/18/09 Letterboxing and ping-pong

On the whole, I try not to blog about current events or my opinions on things going on in the world. That can get boring fast. This is blog about kids and family. Which can also get boring fast, but at least you know what you're in for.

But I'm captivated -- thrilled! -- by this story of Susan Boyle, who blew away Simon Cowell and a sneering audience on the original British version of "American Idol," called "Britain's Got Talent." She appears like a dowdy, masculine spinster, a caricature of a fashion don't, as socially awkward as a preteen -- and then she starts to sing. And it's lovely. It's fascinatingly compelling -- such auditory beauty coming out of such visual homliness.

Steph, if you're reading this and have been trapped under a rock the past few days, see this: Britain's Got Talent, Susan Boyle

Today we walked to a somewhat nearby park (nearby if you're Gabriel and really really far away if you're Julian) and did a little letterboxing. This was fun -- the boys were into it, my Mom liked interpreting the clues, and Julian found both the letterboxes, which he was thrilled about.

First, some playing on the dinosaurs, while Mom and Bonne Maman tried to figure out the clues.

Then the letterbox finds. Julian really did find the very well-disguised one the first time.

The second bonus letterbox was tough, the clue was pretty obscure and I was surprised we figured it out. I actually found the box and gave Julian a big hint. In times like this it's handy to communicate with my mother without the boys understanding, quickly telling her in my halting French that if she finds the box, not to let on. He was psyched.

Katrina tagged along in the stroller with Dave, and had fun running around the park and clumsily toddling after her big brothers. Whaddya know -- she can hug!

Later in the afternoon, we pulled out the ping-pong table and Bonne Maman had a great time with the boys, while Katrina and I napped. I've been semi-migrainey all week, darn it. It was the first T-shirt day of the year and I'd much rather have been playing ping-pong with the queen of spinners and marvelling at my progeny playing with their grandmother than napping off a headache.

Mom confirmed what I've suspected: though Gabriel could keep a rally going better (older and more persistent), Julian has some talent with the racquet.

Papa Paul made an astute observation about Julian today. On walks, Julian is putzy and slow and stops a lot and complains about being tired and it takes forever to get anywhere, while meantime Gabriel just walks or runs along without a peep. But in the backyard, Julian has plenty of energy running around playing. Maybe, Papa Paul astutely observed, on walks, Julian is just bored. Hmm!

A beautiful day and another fabulous dinner -- we are eating like kings and I'm having SO much fun cooking, making salads, learning from my mother, and even sneaking in a little wheat-free baking -- even if I forgot to put the bananas in banana-blueberry muffins (DOH!). My new kitchen has been hard at work letting us play this week!


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