Sunday, October 23, 2016

Miriam's soccer game

This morning Grandma attended Rachel's soccer game, which means she had a chance to see each child play (Miriam's game last weekend, Benjamin's practice on Tuesday, and Rachel's game today). Andrew and I took the rest of the kids to Miriam's game (Benjamin, thankfully, had a bye-game; it's always nice to only have to get kids to two soccer games rather than three).

The kids are so excited to have Daddy home.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Fall is here, hear the yell

At dinner, Miriam's hair was a mess. Her ponytail had become quite mussed and she had more than a couple leafs entangled in her rapunzelesque locks. 

"What did you do?" Grandma asked. "Get down and roll around on the ground or something?"


Phone camera

We have, in our collection of toys, an old demo phone (there's no battery pack and the screen isn't even real; it's a lenticular print). The kids all loved it when they were babies because it looks and feels like a real (if not incredibly outdated) cell phone and the buttons are real (and buttons are where it's at). Recently, Zoë (and Benjamin, to a lesser extent) has decided this phone has a camera function and has been taking billions of photos on it (its memory card must be huge).

She's a very intent photographer:

Off Their Rockers

I feel like we literally just attended Miriam's class concert, but I suppose it was about six months ago. Still, after performing that late into the school year it feels rather sudden to be the first musical performance of the year! 

This year the title of their little musical was Off Their Rockers. It was set in a nursing home; a group of young performers is determined to get the tired, bored residents up and rocking by serenading them with some hits from the 1950s. The kids were dressed either as old people or in 1950s attire. 

We put Miriam's costume together earlier this week and she looked darling!

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Here today, gone tomorrow

Andrew flew in from England at around 12:30 AM yesterday, after being stuck in New Jersey for a few more hours than he had originally planned and nudging his travel time to over 24 hours. Then, very unfortunately, he had to get up in the morning to run in to campus for a meeting. The most unfortunate part about this was that this meeting was actually scheduled for this morning, not yesterday, so he could have slept in a little bit!

He spent the day on campus today, came home and packed, and then Karen drove him to the airport. He's now in Columbus, Ohio for NASPAA.

I have a feeling we'll continue to sprint through life like this for quite a while.

Even with Grandma here to help, we've mostly been lying low—though we're keeping plenty busy with soccer (just a few more weeks and then we get a break)! Part of the reason we've so sluggish around here is the cold that's sweeping through our house. Benjamin has been complaining for days about how terribly sick he is (while everyone else seems to be suffering much quieter) so I mentioned something about a 'man cold' and now every chance he gets he repeats that phrase.

"I can't do the dishes. I have a man cold!"

"It's just that I have a man cold!"

"My man cold is getting worse. I think I need more cough drops."

It's really not that bad of an illness and we'll all survive...but we'll also just be at home, I think.

Here are some completely unrelated pictures to Andrew's travels: life on the home front, if you will.

Zoë has finally sprouted enough hair for almost-pigtails. She's still a little sparse in places but I got pigtails in on Sunday and she kept them in all day long.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

No Homework

It's the weekend, which means that the girls came home with their backpacks bursting with papers. Among them was this cute poem by Miriam:

Miriam is a reader, writer, school LOVER!
Love of lab dogs and science.
Who is able to swim REALLY GOOD!!!
Who feels tired in the morning for school.
Who wonders if witches and wizards are real.
Who fears the dark.
Who would like to be a librarian when she grows up.
Who dreams of her brother going to sleep without talking.

With the new quarter, our school has begun a no-homework experiment. They sent a letter home (which I swear I kept because I knew I wanted to write a blog post about how excited I was to not have to worry about homework anymore) but I can't seem to find it. I have a million papers on my desk but that paper doesn't seem to be there. I even had two copies of it because each of the girls brought one home—and it's on a lovely goldenrod paper so it's not like it blends in with much. It's just gone.

A very soccer Saturday

Last night Benjamin's coach emailed to ask the team to be at the field at 7:45 am for pictures. Their game time was 9:00 am. I thought this was, in a word, delusional. So I planned to be late and pull the, "Meh. Sorry. My husband is out of town and I have four kids and two of them had soccer games at 9:00 so... We're here now. Applause. Thanks," card.

But then he sent an email with a revised time of 8:30 and I decided that I could live with that.

Miriam's coach had asked that the team show up at 8:45, so this worked out perfectly. Grandma and Miriam dropped the rest of us off at Benjamin's field before heading off to her game. 

We waited around and waited around until they finally called us over for our team 8:55 am. I kind of hate team picture day. I mean, it's fun to have a picture of the team for memory's sake, I guess, but I am simply not interested in buying professional pictures of my child in droopy soccer clothes (hashtag: bad mother). 

The photographer asked the kids to put their hands on their hips and Benjamin could not figure this pose out, which was hilarious. First he had them up like chicken wings, but we got him to lower them a little. But he still just could not figure out what in the world we wanted him to do. 

Here he is looking at his teammates for help:

Friday, October 14, 2016

Jamestown Settlement (September 26)

To pick up where Rachel left off, and perhaps to offer a little more background, on our drive back from DC we stopped at Jamestown to do some exploring. We had to use up the rest of the passes to Yorktown/Jamestown that we'd purchased, so off to Jamestown Settlement we went.

The Powhatan camp was, truthfully, a little awkward. There were a bunch of retired school teachers playing the role of Native American women...but they were very obviously not Native American...and the whole thing smacked a bit of orientalism. It was fun for the children, for sure, and it was interesting to get to walk through the houses. But the actors (or "historical interpreters") were a bit much for us.

(To be fair, we also steered clear of the "historical interpreters" at the colonial village (and probably would have avoided them on the boat as well except that we know...stuck on a boat)).

One tour guide (not an actor) said, and I quote, "We don't really know what these [totems] are for because it's like some big secret or something and 'The Indians' don't like to share their secrets with us."

That made my eyes bulge out a little bit. First of all, she was an actual employed tour guide. Second of all, way to "otherize" another culture. Third of all, it's not a huge secret, really. According to the Powhatan Museum: "Powhatan totems were thought to be carved portraits of important people. They were never worshiped but represented the location of the ceremonial dance area."

Anyway, next in our little tour of Jamestown Settlement was a stop at the harbour. Our first thought when we saw the ships was that they were much smaller than we'd expected. But apparently they are to-scale replicas. It makes me sick of thinking about getting into the bottom of this ship with 50 other passengers and staying down there while we sailed for weeks and weeks. I felt crowded enough going down there with a handful of other tourists—and that was without any cargo taking up space!

The Susan Constant

Bathroom rants and camps in Jamestown (September 26) by Rachel

On Monday, September 26, we went to Jamestown. The first thing we did was go to the bathroom. I got stuck in the first stall! With an automatic toilet! I hate automatic toilets! With regular toilets you can open the door and then flush, if you're scared of bathroom stalls and toilet sounds (which I am)! After banging on the door it finally opened. 

Then we walked to the Native American tribe camp. All of the stuff outside was hands on so we could touch anything: pelts, feathers, beds, turtle shells. I loved everything about the camp! 

Inside one of the houses


I'll see your picture of you hanging out with my mom, Andrew, and raise you this: