Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Questions and Answers:
A few months ago, the internet was sharing 15 questions and asking children to answer the questions. Here are my children's responses at age 9 and 7.

1. What is something I always say to you?
S: I love you
W: I love you

2. What makes me happy?
S: Hugs
W: Zerberts

3. What makes me sad?
S: When we hit each other.
W: When we punch each other

4. How do I make you laugh?
S. You tell silly jokes and do goofy dances
W: Tickle m

5. What was I like as a child?
S: You had golden hair and looked like me in the picture.
W: How am I supposed to know that?

6. How old am I?
S: 39
W: 38, right?

7. How tall am I?
S: 5'4 of 5'9
W: 5 feet and 30 inches

8. What is my favorite thing to do?
S: I don't know.
W: Play

9. What do I do when you're not with me?
S: It depends on where you are. If you are at work, you are doing research. If not,  you might be dropping pee off at a doctor's office!
W: Work usually or sleeping

10. What am I really good at?
S: Typing
W: Tickling

11. What am I not very good at?
S: Football
W: Fighting

12. What do I do for work?
S: You work at Mathematica Policy Research
W: Research

13. What is my favorite food?
S: Sushi and Thai
W: Brussel sprouts

14. What is my favorite drink?
S: Mike's hard lemonade
W: Wine and coffee

15. What do you enjoy doing with me?
S: Snuggling and doing crazy things!
W: Tickling

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

4th grade Highlights

I don't even add 'blog' on the to-do list anymore. I couldn't even remember my password. It is a relic of time past. I use facebook. And journal. But this space still exists.  My heart is a bit heavy tonight. On the eve of the last day of school. I always feel melancholy. An entire year over. And summer begins. I feel like I've missed it. That I haven't always been present. But, I have. I really have. It just all goes so fast.  Off the top of my head: memories of fourth grade


First day of school


Right until the day before school, we didn't have the name of the teacher. Seren's assigned teacher moved to the 6th grade leaving a vacancy. We ended up with a team of teachers. Ms. K and Mr. S. We adored one of the teachers.  Seren was also placed with her best friend.  Socially, she didn't have a great year this year. She has become really inarticulate, introverted, and awkward. You have to WORK to get to know Seren. Which is hard to see. But that doesn't seem to be the real Seren. The real Seren is loud and wacky and super funny. But not many people see that side of her. Hormones plus not a great teacher fit made it a hard year academically. We advocated on her behalf many times and didn't get too far which frustrated us to no end. But one of her teachers 'gets it' and was wonderfully supportive.


Halloween
Her year as a guinea pig. She helped me make the costume and loved dressing up as Hector, her beloved guinea pig.


Uncle John's Wedding
She was thrilled to be a flower girl among a whole bunch of flower girls. She was nervous but loved it.


Breaking her arm
I'll never forget the call when Sam called to say that it was broken. The day she actually broke it she said "Hi mom! I might have broken my arm! Isn't that cool!?" We wrapped it and iced it. But it still hurt. Two DAYS later, we took her in and yup, fracture.  Poor thing. A split then a cast and then a splint were in our future.


Ukele
Seren wanted a ukulele for Christmas and my  in-laws generously gave it to her. She ahs LOVED this instrument. Holy smokes! She has taken off with it. And is a quick study. She loves to play Prince, Beatles, the Rainbow Connection and others. So fun!


Activities:
Scouts, Running club, ukulele, piano, super Saturday activities in March
I co-lead the troop this year again with my neighbor. It was a larger, more organized troop which was super fun.  My favorite activities included visiting a nursing home and conducting a 'talent show'. The girls did a great job! Seren played the piano and the ukulele. And the residents performed for us! We all just loved it!!


We also went camping with the scouts. In September. It poured and poured. But they had fun doing archery. And I had fun with the troop. The girls stayed up too late of course the first night but then did compassing, etc. My favorite moment was dawn by the lake.


Spring break
We escaped for a few days to Indiana to freeze our butts off during 'spring break' in the snow. We cancelled our camping trip and rented an old farm house.  It was ridiculous. Filled with mice, water that smelled like ass and ants. But it was better than camping in the snow!


Running Club
Due to the broken arm, she was sidelines from basketball. But come the spring, she participated in both the Super Saturday activity which included field hockey and running club. She kicked butt in the running club. I'm telling you, this girls' stride is amazing! She completed the training by running the Chelsea Heart and Sole. Last year she came in first place but was very disappointed by her time. This year, she also came in first place but took 6 minutes of her time. Finishing her fastest 5K yet. And far faster that I've ever run it. Super proud.


Piano
She continues to enjoy playing the piano and has gotten quite good. If, however, you only saw the spring concert? You'd never know it. She bombed the spring concert. Terrifically. But ya know what? You gotta fail to learn how to succeed again. She burst into tears at the end of the performance. But I was proud of her for giving it her best and trying to do the performance without her books. She came home, sat down, and played in perfectly. Nerves can really get to ya!


10
Nine wasn't easy. It is a mixture of raising a little girl who wants to snuggle, play with your hair and sleep with a stuffed sheet AND someone who yells 'whatever', doesn't answer your questions, ignores your nagging, is messy and can just be rude. It has baffled me this year. Just baffled me. She is so smart and so creative. She understands things better than most people I know. And is one step ahead of me. Yet not quite mature when it comes to interpersonal stuff. As with all years, we continue to do our best, love on her, celebrate the victories, downplay the challenges and advocate on her behalf.  We celebrated TEN years old by having a small pool party. No big sleepover party full of girls. She wanted it small and intentional. She had a really good time.


Tomorrow, she will walk out a 5th grader. New territory. Parenting is awe-inspiring, exhausting, baffling, rewarding, hysterical and so much more. I wouldn't trade her for the world. She is mine and I love her.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Allergies

Any one who has kids knows how serious some allergies can be. And training your own kid, the parents in a class and your child's friends to avoid dairy, nuts, gluten, can be very, very hard.

Wyeth is in kindergarten. Two of his friends are allergic to nuts and one is allergic to gluten. The whole class is very sensitive to this. And very kind about it. The classroom is nut free. And the cafeteria has a nut free bench where kids who are allergic to nuts can sit. 

It all makes good sense.

In late December, my dear brother and his then girlfriend (now fiancé!) came to town with their big, hairy, lovely golden retriever named Teton.

Wyeth plays without problem with my in-laws' pup, Minnie. He lays in her dog bed and pets her. No problem. But within about 5 seconds of playing with Teton, he broke into hives. ALL OVER HIS BODY. It was ridiculous! Huge, hives down his legs, up his neck. It was insane. So we called the doctor who asked us to take him to the ER.

A few bills later, we are all good. Wyeth did very well and hasn't had an allergic reaction to any other dog.  (We are going to get this checked out this summer).

So today he says, "Mom! You know at school they have a big nut free sign? Why don't they have a golden retriever free sign? I'm allergic to golden retrievers!"

It was a serious question but my laughter got him laughing. I said, 'well, while nuts can come into the classroom in the form of sandwiches, and other foods, golden retrievers don't sneak in!"

Hmm.

Gotta love 'em.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Family 5K

This past Saturday, we all strapped on our running shoes and finished another 5K.  I joined my local gym in January to fight back at anxiety, winter blahs and fat.  So I had begun running again. And starting in March, Seren joined a running club through her school. Around the same time, Sam and Wyeth started to train.

For Wyeth, it was his first 5k with a time of 33, he did a nice solid 11 minute mile. 33.24! Nicely done for a first 5k! At age 6, rock it little dude!

Sam took one for the team and ran next to him the entire time.





Seren was PUMPED to run this thing. She had been talking about her fast runs at school and her 'sub 8 minute' miles. So I was excited to see what she could do.

Come race day? Total flop. 

She was ahead of me by quite a bit the first two miles. Looking strong. She took a short cut to run through some water feature and that was the last I saw of her. I thought she was still ahead of me as she had been. But when we came up on that last hill and I didn't see her, I knew she was behind me.

This wasn't going to be good.

And here is the thing with older kids and/or competitive kids. You can't lie and say that her time was faster than it was. Because it wasn't. She knew it and we knew it. We tried to emphasize the effort and the fact that she was the fastest girl (first place!) in her age group. Nope. She was mad that she performed so badly. 32.09.

I am still so proud of her. For training. For going on ALL of those runs. For doing it solo. And learning how to pace herself. Plus? She is so freaking cute. And ALL leg.






I was upset about her reaction. I talked to my friend Jessica last night who actually found her response somewhat encouraging. Noting that maybe having those standards for yourself is a good thing. And that she is motivated to do better intrinsically.

Me? I felt good about my race. It wasn't my fastest. It wasn't my slowest. But I got 2nd place in my age group- not bad for an old broad. 28.25 isn't going to really set me as a world class runner. But I had fun.



Good job Angus family!!



Dead Elves and Evolution

Our kids continue to meet other kids and their families with different sets of beliefs. And it includes everything from believing in creation to believing that the elves on the shelves die if you touch them.  Wyeth continues to challenge all of these beliefs.

We firmly believe in the Elf on the Shelf. And so does his new friends' family. So much that when one of their children touched it, it 'died'. This left such an impression on Wyeth that weeks later he continues to say 'I just can't believe he is still there! He isn't with Santa! He is just DEAD in their house!'

The poor mother had to tell the boys to simply drop the subject because both of them were getting too upset about it.

Wyeth also is finding out that not everyone has the same belief set he does. He isn't much of a creationist and strongly believes in evolution. He also believes in god but thinks that it could be a man or a woman. Or maybe that we don't know.

Let's just say that his strong politics aren't winning him any friends. A teacher had to intervene when Wyeth argued STRONGLY that people came from monkeys. (Which is somehow what he got out of some books we read and movies we saw on Darwin).

Nuance and learning that everyone has a different set of beliefs is the next lesson.

Udon Soup

My kids continue to be picky eaters. I continue to blame us for not having consistent food policies. Some weeks, every night, we require them to eat a new food. Other weeks, we give up. Sometimes we say, 'You don't have to do. It is your choice. But you can't get cheerios if you don't try." I have read about developing bad relationships with food. All of that. And for this, we've screwed up royally. We didn't want to bribe with dessert. But as a result, my son, in particular, has a select palate. So frustrating! Especially at age SIX. And part of me, when I watch him try something new, and watch him over chew it, gag on it and then swallow, really does think there is something 'wrong'. That he really has some medical challenges with texture, etc.

We don't go out to dinner often. But when we do, we limit our food choices to places with fries. Which is ridiculous!

The ONE place that we can go where the kids tolerate our choice is out to Sushi. Sushi is probably my most favorite food. Ok, Sushi and Thai. The kids get HUGE edamame peapods and Sam and I get to eat to our heart's content.

This Sunday, for Mother's Day, my in-laws took us to sushi. It was SO good.  And Wyeth, the picking, gagging kid, ate ALL of those edamame.



At the end, we asked him to eat TWO udon noodles. Just two. He picked at it. Plopped it back into the bowl. Cried. The usual. But he ate the one noodle.  Then he said,

"That's it! I'm not eating any more breast!"

What? You aren't eating what?

"No more breast! Yuck! There are mushrooms in there! Gross green things. No more breast!"

Ok, dude. You mean, BROTH. You don't want any more BROTH? That's fine.

We had to chuckle which further pissed him off.  My six year old son is just a small, young version of a grumpy old man.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Day Lights Savings

Wyeth has loved looking at all of the clocks and trying to figure out if they are on the right time or on the old time.

He noted one was the old time. And I told him, 'Right, because we haven't changed it yet'.

He says, "Oh, right. The time is different on that one because of the time travel."