Monday, May 10, 2021

It's always fun when Grandpa comes!

Grandpa promised the kids that once he was fully vaccinated he'd come out to visit them; they've been looking forward to "May" for weeks upon weeks for this very reason! Well, Grandpa's fully vaccinated now (as is Daddy, and I just had my second shot this morning so I'm two weeks away from being considered fully vaccinated myself) and his plane touched down on Saturday the 8th. 

Alexander and Zoë were so excited that they set out "Grandpa outfits" on their floor the night before so that they could be sure to look extra wonderful when Grandpa arrived. Then they—along with Benjamin—slept on their bedroom floor because they were too excited for beds.

Friday, May 07, 2021

Pool Season is OPEN

We hit the pool for the first time this season and it was...chilly (71°F/22°C). I honestly didn't think the kids would swim much at all but we ended up staying for over two hours. Here they are all decked out and ready to swim:

Thursday, May 06, 2021

Last day of school adventures

Even though we started our school year in July we didn't take our "back-to-school" pictures until August when everyone else started their school year. Today we took our "last day of school" pictures, though the public school kids won't do that for a few more weeks. 



We spent the afternoon enjoying having the park all to ourselves (which meant our masks could stay in my purse rather than on our faces).

We're basket weavers!

Rachel finished her basket last night so we finally took a picture of our little basket weavers with the baskets they wove:



We have a ton of cord left over so we'll probably be doing some more weaving at some later date, though for now I think all our basket-weaving desires have been fulfilled.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Books with Benjamin

I took Benjamin to the library today—his first time being in any public building (other than the dentist's and doctor's offices) since last March. And maybe I shouldn't have taken him, but it was a pretty low-contact trip. He needed to do some browsing so he could choose something to read because I just haven't been choosing books that suit his "vibe" lately. Plus, it's been raining non-stop for two days and (a) that child needed to get out of the house and (b) everyone else needed that child to get out of the house. So, to the library it was!

I warned him that we wouldn't be able to just waltz on in, that we'd have to stop for a temperature check first, but it seems like they abandoned that practice sometime between my last visit and this one. Here's Benjamin in the stacks looking for books that Alexander might like:



Tuesday, May 04, 2021

Baskets, Blades, Battle-to-the-death-ica

It's our last week of the school year! Initially I told the kids that we would just hang out at the pool all day (since we've completely run out of curriculum and the kids aren't ready to dive into next year quite yet), but we had a huge storm system move through today and it was...dark and stormy...all day. It was pouring rain for hours upon hours. Thunder, lightning, the whole nine yards. We couldn't even safely go outside to splash in the puddles.

So instead we tried our hands at basket weaving.

We ordered this kit a while ago (around Easter) but it's just been sitting around waiting for Mommy to feel patient enough to get into it. I turned in my final paper last night and woke up this morning feeling quite a bit more patient than I have in several weeks (correlation or causation?) and since we needed to eat up our day with something I thought it would be a good day for basket weaving.

I should mention that I ordered a kit that came with four bases, which is clearly one too few bases for the number of children in our family. I can't remember how I rationalized this at the time of purchase. Did I think to myself obviously not all the children are capable of weaving a basket so they'll be happy to share with each other! That sounds a little naive... Or did I think that the kit came with five bases? Or did I figure we'd be industrious enough to make another base by ourselves? I don't know what I was thinking, but when the kids pointed out there were only four bases...but five children...I said, "Well, that's because basket weaving is only part of today's educational journey. The first part is a battle to the death. Survivors get to make a basket. Losers..."

Alexander disappeared upstairs and returned a few minutes later with a (fake, plastic, annoying, got-it-in-a-box-of-hand-me-downs-and-now-he-sleeps-with-it) knife.

"I've got my fighting weapon," he announced, waving his knife around. "Where's your fighting weapon, Mom? Where's your fighting weapon, Rachel? How come no one has a fighting weapon?"

So we had to explain that we weren't actually going to have a battle to the death over basket weaving supplies. We were going to share with and help each other. Because evidently that needed to be explained (because the three-year-old weirdly doesn't pick up on sarcasm yet).

One day...when that knife is not so closely guarded...it will disappear. 

Monday, May 03, 2021

po-TAY-to, po-TAH-to

Yesterday when dinner was busy cooking away in our InstantPot(s) and everyone was busy setting the table for dinner, Alexander kept mysteriously appearing with his mouth full of food.

"What are you eating?" I asked him.

"Potatoes," he said with bulging cheeks.

"Potatoes?" I wondered.

We were indeed having potatoes for dinner, but they were cooking in the aforementioned InstantPot and were not ready for consumption. 

"How could he be eating potatoes?" I asked Andrew. "He's not...getting into the garbage...do you think?"

Andrew had put potato peelings in the garbage...

We were still wondering about what Alexander could be eating when he showed up with another mouthful of food. 

"What are you eating?" Andrew asked.

"Muh-hrm-murh-hmm," Alexander mumbled.

"What's in your mouth?" Andrew asked. "Open up."

Alexander quickly chewed, swallowed, and then opened up his mouth to reveal...an empty mouth.

"What was in there?" Andrew asked.

"Potatoes!" Alexander said. 

"What potatoes?!" Andrew asked.

"The potatoes," Alexander said. 

"Can you show us where you are finding these potatoes?"

Alexander led us to the kitchen, straight to a container of...cherry tomatoes.

"Someone left it open," he shrugged.

So, he'd been eating (unwashed) cherry tomatoes, not potato peelings from the garbage, which I honestly think is probably better for him (not that potato peelings are necessarily bad either, but they are when they've been in the garbage with everything else (for example, the packaging from raw hamburger (because the other InstantPot had meatloaf in it))).

Saturday, May 01, 2021

Harry Potter Marathon

The kids have been having a Harry Potter marathon of sorts, with four of them reading the series at once. They started on April 20 and there were tears when Benjamin walked in on all three of his sisters with the first book open in their laps. I had been going to ask him to practice the piano just then, but he ran past me (sobbing), burst into his room, and slammed the door. 

I followed him upstairs and knocked quietly on his door, entering only when I heard his muffled, "Come in."

He was furiously reading a copy of Harry Potter in his bed. 

"What's wrong?" I asked.

"I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY DIDN'T TELL ME WE WERE STARTING!!" he cried. "I have to catch up! I have to win! They're all a bunch of cheaters!"

I let him have some calming-down reading time and then his sisters clarified that this marathon was more of a journey than a race. Rachel and Miriam had decided they wanted to read it along with Zoë, who is reading it through for the first time by herself, and Benjamin decided he wanted to tag along on this journey as well (mistaking it for a competition). He's definitely winning because Zoë is reading at her own pace and Rachel and Miriam are managing quite a few other side projects, while Benjamin is plowing through at break neck speed. 

He wants to beat his last record for reading through the series (which is something like eight months, he told me) and considering he's already on book five or six, I think he'll definitely achieve a new personal record in this department.

Here are Benjamin, Rachel, and Zoë reading in the music room (without being mad at each other):