Saturday, October 30, 2010

10/30/2010 Decadent Star Wars day

We sure didn't do much today! Well, I didn't, anyway. Ryan and the boys played games for the better part of the morning, and also showed them how to use his super-duper camera. Julian in particular took interest in this. I went out grocery-shopping and lunch-getting once, but mostly hung around, napped, and then watched two Star Wars movies with everyone.

Reviewing the photos the boys took is always good for a laugh.

Later, the dream weavers! This lasted about 5 minutes, but everyone sure was having a good time.

Passing on the craft!

Tomorrow maybe we'll actually do something or go somewhere....but on the other hand, why mess with a good thing?


Friday, October 29, 2010

10/29/2010 Halloween Parades

I took the day off work today in what's becoming an annual tradition: Halloween parades. How could I not attend the costume displays and events? And this time, I had reinforcements: Laura and Ryan!

This year, the boys were in the same costume parade, since last year, Julian's kindergarten parade was separate. You'd think this would simplify things, but in fact, it made it harder to watch either of them, and I kept losing track of them during the parade. Still, it was so much fun watching what I could of each of them.

Gabriel's class.

Gabriel and Parth were Luke Skywalker and Obi-wan Kenobi, respectively.

Julian's class.

Julian is Anakin Skywalker. (Same costume, different color, shhh.)

The whole school gets into this! I'm amazed that Halloween is such a big deal among kids whose parents, most of them anyway, didn't grow up with a Halloween tradition. I guess it's a really fun tradition to join. As Laura astutely pointed out, who doesn't like costumes?

In Gabriel's class afterward.

I chatted briefly with his teacher and learned that he gets so tired in the afternoons that he even falls asleep on the floor. She has to remind him to eat his snack, or eat anything -- today his lunch came home untouched. Mr. Low-Energy. What's up with that?!

We went home for a while before moving on to Katrina's class performance. How cute is this, a group of preschoolers singing these Halloween songs. It struck me how much smaller this group looked than last year's though. Katrina participated happily this time, but still wouldn't sing.

Then we "paraded" to a nearby pumpkin patch,

I left Katrina at the pumpkin patch (really just a bunch of jumphouses) with Laura and Ryan and picked up the boys. There, a CDC staffer told me that Gabriel had refused to leave the building during a fire drill, and then was defiant and resistant when they implemented consequences. They even ended up calling me (couldn't reach) and Dave about it.

I am fit to be tied -- what I am I to do about this?! Dave is out of town for the weekend, Laura and Ryan are here, and we plan to make it a fun relaxed totally decadent weekend of movie-watching, eating and Halloween-ing. Something has to be taken away for that behavior -- but that ruins it for everyone else. On the surface it seems clear he shouldn't be allowed to watch any movies at all this weekend, but that means a tremendous and unpleasant struggle for me. Giving this kid consequences means seriously negative repercussions for everyone around him, and it's never clear that those consequences do much more than make life miserable for everyone else. Not that they shouldn't be applied, but I'd rather at a time when there isn't such a hefty cost to me. And taking away a movie isn't enough to get the message across -- even if it is a Star Wars movie. Hmm, on the other hand...

Quelling irritation, I took the boys back to the pumpkin patch, where they joined their sister in jumphouses and on inflatable slides for an hour. Pumpkin patches have little to do with pumpkins anymore. We didn't buy any pumpkins.

Late to bed, everyone tired, but a fun costume day. I could do without the weight of wondering how to get across to my oldest son that he has to follow the rules, and do so respectfully. Something has to change, and big.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

10/28/2010 Tooth Fairy

Drat, didn't get a photo -- Julian lost his first tooth today!! He was at lunch; I guess he went to the principal's office where they had a little plastic box marked "tooth treasure" or something. He's very close to losing the second bottom one too, and the teeth growing in behind have been visible for a few days.

Once again, the evening was spent chatting and exchanging stories and laughing with my wonderful in-laws. Laura joined me for the tooth fairy excursion, which thanks to the little green Tooth Treasure box was pretty easy. Julian once asked me point-blank, very sincerely, "Mom, are you the tooth fairy?" I managed to avoid giving him a direct answer, but truth is, I don't want to give up being the tooth fairy yet. I like it, and it's a pretty easy thing to do right (and I've still messed it up by forgetting Gabriel's past 2 teeth).

I'm taking tomorrow off work, because after all it's a REALLY big day -- all 3 kids have Halloween events at school. Having a wonderful aunt and uncle to share it with makes it all that much better!


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

10/27/2010 In-laws

Laura and Ryan visiting, their 2nd night, yayyy!! Too busy cooking and being family to write, but we're all having a great time.


Monday, October 25, 2010

10/25/2010 School Photos

School photos are all in!

I don't know how this has happened, but I'm building up something of a portfolio now. I have these studio shots for all of them now, dating back to pre-pre-K. They're never my favorite shots, but they are a nice way to track their growth, since they're always taken at the same time of year and are a clear headshot. (Gabriel looks funny though, he's not quite so chickenlike in real life.)

When the portrait studio at preschool does this, it's a painfully elaborate affair in which they present these enormous blowups in black velvet frames, with all sorts of collage options. I always get the cheapest package, which is just 3.5x5s and wallets.

Speaking of photos, I had to get this one today of Katrina in her new costume dress, a hand-me-down from Cousin Remi. It's almost too small for her unfortunately, but she loves it. Here's she's being a ballerina.

I think she might be better suited to hip-hop though.

Not that I know the first thing about teaching kids to dance, but I made a stab to see if she -- and I -- could do it, borrowing from the few minutes we'd seen of kid classes last weekend. To my amazement, Katrina was cooperative, and capable of the few very very minor steps I showed her. I think it's time for dance classes! And she might inspire me to rejoin that world I so love too!


Sunday, October 24, 2010

10/24/2010 Halloween Party

Today the 2006 Las Madres group held a Halloween party, with food, games and friends. My friends, anyway -- poor Katrina hasn't had much park time with this group, a real shame. I really like this group of Moms, and I hardly get any time to see them now.

Katrina was very excited to put her costume on again.

At the party, she sat and ate some lunch, mostly to get desserts. Then she sat and decorated a paper bag for a while, until it was time for games. This was a twist on trick-or-treating: at each station, instead of just grabbing a goody, you play a simple game first, then grab a goody. This was really nicely done, with cute manageable games and the stations manned by nice Dads.

She was resistant about the whole idea at first, as the kids lined up to play. "I don't WANNA do this, Mommy!"

But she warmed up fast at the first station, she really liked this Dad and played the game happily.

And moved on to the other game stations happily too.

Katrina was grumpy today from having been at sleepover last night, and was ready to leave the party before I was, but given that it was a cloudy rainy day I was OK with that. It was so nice to dip my toe back into my old life. I was more encouraged about it than depressed about the complete lack of balance in my -- and everyone else's thanks to me -- life. There must be a way.