Tuesday, February 23, 2021

École en plein air

 

We did most of our schoolwork at the park today, packing along our lunch and all of our books and half the house. Today was our first lovely day of spring; I hope we have many more before the weather turns hot and humid. We try to enjoy perfect weather when we can. 

This particular park is one that many people have told me is "sketchy," and I can't figure out why they think so because Jones Bridge Park is kind of the "popular" park to go to and I think that park is sketchy. I mean, I actually think both parks are fine, but this particular park's bathrooms never (or, at least, rarely) ever smell like...teenagers have been using them as a hideout to smoke illicit drugs...while Jones Bridge Park's bathrooms routinely do. I'm just saying...

Besides, Jones Bridge Park is so popular that it can be hard to find space to be alone. This other park is a lot less popular, so while we did have several people walking the trails beside our picnic table, we didn't have to compete to find a picnic table (and when we went to play at the playground we had it all to ourselves, which is important when you're social-distancing).

Literacy with the Littles

As promised, here are some samples of Alexander's amazing A's...

This is an earlier paper I found. You can tell because of how big the "pilot dot" is at the top of the A (and also because of how he's writing his name backwards and didn't get the X in there):

Monday, February 22, 2021

In the words of Henry Wordsworth Longfellow


Orange you glad...

Alexander had a rough potty day on Sunday (that's your TMI warning).

When Sunday afternoon turned beautiful, I sent the kids outside to play. They requested a snack, so I made one up for them. I peel three oranges and put them on a plate with some cracker-y things and some nuts. A nice, balanced snack...or so I thought. 

I'm not sure whether Zoë and Benjamin made Alexander eat all the oranges or whether Alexander decided to eat them all on his own, but apparently that's what ended up happening. 

Alexander is already sensitive about pooping for whatever reason. He just doesn't like doing it, so we're always having conversations about how it's okay to go poop every day. Sometimes we can tell that he needs to go but is trying not to and we have to coax him to let it out. See—TMI.

He had a lovely potty time on Sunday afternoon, finally ridding his body of a nice, healthy poop. 

But then, while we were Skyping with Grandpa, Alexander started to make his "I need to poop but I'd really rather not" face. So I said, "Do you need to go potty?" And he said, "No..." So I said, "I think you do! Let's go try!"

We rushed off to the bathroom (with Alexander doing his "little too late" waddle) and found that we were...well...a little too late. Fortunately most of the mess ended up in the toilet. It was...a very orange-y poop (leading to my questioning the children about how their snack got divided up outside), but I figured that with that out of his system we were safe. 

So I helped him into fresh underwear and some jammies.

He ran around for a few minutes, we said goodbye to Grandpa, and then Alexander came to sit on my lap for scriptures and prayer. I was kneeling on the floor, so I guess squatting really...opened things up...for Alexander and, anyway, he ended up accidentally doing a bunch of diarrhea as he sat (squished) down on my lap. I slowly helped him back into a standing position and said, "Daddy, this one's for you..."

(After all, I'd just taken care of one diarrhea mess).

It was a little bit funny...but mostly just gross. We've been very careful about his fruit intake today. He has had zero oranges (but he has had a banana and a couple of slices of apple (and some yogurt to get some good bacteria into his gut, and plenty of cheese to...clog things up a bit)). 

Sunday, February 21, 2021

Where's my pants?!

Andrew lost his blue pyjama bottoms a few weeks ago, which is a real tragedy as pyjama bottoms have become a staple for his work uniform. He was down to red ones and green ones and really wanted his blue ones back. Alas, they were no where to be found. 

He did all the laundry in the house to see if they would turn up. They didn't.

He went through everyone's drawers to see if they were put away in the wrong place. They weren't.

He rifled through the "tickle trunk" full of dress-up clothes and and the give-away box full of off-casts. No pyjama bottoms were to be found in either location.

He held a family meeting. 

"If anyone has information on my missing pyjama bottoms, you can come forward now. There is no punishment for information. If you are hiding them as a joke, just tell me. I'm desperate. I just want my pants back."

Saturday, February 20, 2021

Vegetable juice

We had leftovers for dinner last night, which is always a fun adventure. The children were claiming things left and right: "I get the last waffle!" "I want mashed potatoes!" "Dibs on the spaghetti!" And every time we emptied a container we boasted (if we happened to get the very last of something that everyone wanted) and cheered (because we emptied a container). 

Alexander was particularly vocal about snagging the last of the mixed vegetables. 

"I'm going to finish the mixed vegetables!" he called out, then he paused and waited for someone to object. Oddly, not one of his siblings objected.

"I am!" he insisted. "I am going to eat them right out of the container!"

"Go for it," we told him. 

Friday, February 19, 2021

Yes, yes, yes. No, no, no.

While doing some research for one of my classes, I came across an enchanting interview with Robert Frost (which you can view here). I had my kids watch it today, listening for how Robert Frost defines poetry. We were very amused by the fact that Robert Frost (a) believed in using pens and eschewed the use of pencils and (b) did not believe one could write (or teach) poetry outside. In fact, when asked whether he did so, Robert Frost emphatically answered, "No, no, no, no, no, no, no...no." Then he said something about bugs getting on his paper. 

So we talked about Robert Frost's offered definition(s) of poetry, and then turned to Mary Oliver. 

Both poets write about nature extensively, but I don't think they'd agree on much else. For example, Mary Oliver would hide pencils in trees precisely so she could write when inspiration struck her out in nature. Mary Oliver's poems tend not to rhyme, while Robert Frost's tend to. Mary Oliver "calls free verse 'the music of conversation' and "time spent with a friend," while Robert Frost said free verse was like "playing tennis without a net." 

All in all, we found Robert Frost endearing...but a little erudite. 

But we learned that poetry isn't the same thing to everyone. Even two poets who are considered great can have vastly different ideas of what poetry is and how it should be written. 

We read several poems about nature and then the kids attempted their own poem about nature, which perhaps I will share later. Benjamin's poem was...interesting.

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Family Day/President's Day/Regular Day/Snow Day

We're (fortunately) not seeing much from the polar vortex slamming the south right now (poor Texas), but we're getting quite a lot of rain (and some wicked thunder and lightning!) that is potentially freezing overnight, so universities (at least UGA and GSU) are cancelling their morning classes (I imagine that grade schools will be starting late as well (actually, I just checked and they will be having a "digital learning day," so classes won't be held at all, which...we're in the middle of a pandemic...still...so I'm not mad about that)). As homeschoolers, we'll be continuing with our daily grind.

In fact, we worked right through today without even realizing it was a holiday. 

Do people have...traditions...for President's Day?

Like, why would I remember to even take the day off? 

Through much of Canada today was "Family Day," which is usually rather fun. Businesses offer deals for families (like, cheaper admission to recreation centers and deals on milkshakes, that sort of thing) and it's just a fun, extra day when families are encouraged to spend time together. 

That I might have remembered to take time off for. But...President's Day? Not so much (apparently).

My kids didn't mind working through it. It's not like we had anything else to do. 

Monday, February 15, 2021

Valentine Limericks II

Five years ago, I wrote some Valentine limericks and decided last night that I'd write another set. It's almost like a tradition...that occurs every five years...

They're not great but they're what I came up with while I was in the hall waiting for Zoë to fall asleep (until, like, midnight) last night.

Valentine's Day fun

We had quite an exciting week-long Valentine celebration. My sister Kelli sent a box full of crafts and treats and Grandpa sent some fun craft supplies for us as well. We've been dipping into those packages during this mostly-drizzly week; it's kept us from getting cabin fever. 

Here are the kids with some little fuzz-ball critters from a craft kit Auntie K sent: