Tuesday, March 24, 2009

This and That

Not much of monumental importance has occurred during my two week blog recess. Just a little of this and a little of that. I would love to write that I have been too busy enjoying the balmy warm weather to blog. It would be nice exclaim my happiness that Spring has finally shown her face considering this has seemingly been the longest winter of my life. Unfortunately, despite all Vernal Equinoxal proof that it is indeed a new season, we have seen very little phenological evidence of her presence.

Corey and the kids have remained unaffected by this long winter, leaving me feeling like the Queen of Wimpville. The chattering of my teeth and shaking of my bones miraculously didn't completely render me unable to snap these photos. Notice Emmy has no gloves and no coat and is SMILING. And Ansel is wearing his bright green crocs (you know, the shoes you wear when there isn't snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures). Corey has been riding his bike to and from work while I have yet to leave the comfort of my indoor trainer.

Savanna had her first viola concert at school on St. Patrick's Day. She had been practicing at home and had the songs down fairy well. Now imagine a group of 5th graders recently introduced to the art of strings all trying to play simultaneously. Yeah, it was unforgettable.

Ansel has been practicing his ABC's.....A LOT. He has learned every single letter and has been ecstatic at the prospect of being that much closer to reading. He is, however, extremely disappointed in my ineptitude in the deciphering of his string of consonants and numbers. For example, how could I not know that CMBPLDCS136 is obviously interpreted as "Please give me some Apples and Peanut Butter?" Silly me. I have so much to learn.

On a recent hike, Ansel paused a moment to make the letter F out of sticks. He was so proud of me when I guessed it correctly.

Further down the trail, he stumbled upon these mossy animal bones. He asked if he could take them home to show Daddy because Daddy loves bones. I told him it was fine as long as he washed his hands really well when we got home. Not in my wildest imagination did I think that he was going to pretend that the fibula or tibia or whatever it is(go ahead and cringe, Corey) was a flute and put the end in his mouth. So while we were rushing home to wash his mouth out with soap, he picked up an opened packet of hot sauce from an Asian restaurant and put that....yep....in his mouth. We are in the middle of the woods and he finds a packet of hot sauce? Of course, he started foaming at the mouth and frantically jumped up and down in obvious taste bud pain. When I asked him why in the world he put a foreign substance in his mouth, he replied, "I didn't put it in my mouth. It fell in." I will have to remember that one the next time that a whole bag of Cadbury chocolate eggs "falls" into my mouth.
Today I decided that the first sentence that Ansel will learn to read will be, "It is not a good idea to put things that I find on the ground into my oral cavity"

Emmy has been taking some adventurous steps on her own lately. I believe she is beginning to recognize that she has some kinetic needs that Savanna doesn't seem to share. She is discovering and embracing the priceless possibility of having fun with solitude. She runs up and down the driveway....just for fun. On numerous occasions, I have seen her writing in the fort, jumping on the trampoline, or grabbing her camera and wandering outside looking for something photo-worthy. It has been refreshing to see her making decisions independently.

I had a plan for celebrating the coming of Spring. I was not going to let her arrival go unnoticed.
A festive pinata would be followed by a leisurely hike in the woods. Roasting hot dogs in our new backyard fire pit would be the perfect ending to the beginning of a new season.

The pinata part worked out fine even though Spring never made an appearance. I doubt if there has been two straight hours without rain, hail, snow, or slush in the past 4 days. Of course we still tried to start a fire. Of course it is extremely difficult to start a fire with rain soaked sticks and soggy logs. We gave up and roasted hot dogs on our gas powered stove.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Just 364 more days

Ansel is going through the"how many days until" rite of passage that I believe all kids must pass before they can begin to understand our limited grasp on the concept of time.  For those unfamiliar readers, this phase of development requires the child to ask these questions at least once a day:  
How many days until my birthday?
How many days until Christmas? 
How many days until Sunday?
How many days until summer?
How many days until lunchtime?
How many days until my birthday?
Other than the fact that it keeps me brushed up on my simple arithmetic skills, it gets  just the teensiest bit ANNOYING.  It was nice when, on March 6th, I could answer. "Ansel, there are no more days until your birthday.  None.  Today is the day!"   But it only lasted one day and now we are at 364 and counting down.  

Ansel chose the Dale Earnhardt race car cake.  Due to his desire for elaborate vehicular creations, Ansel's cakes have been so much easier to buy, but so much harder to clean up.  I made the same mistake last year and I vow NEVER to buy a cake with this malicious, possibly radioactive, blue frosting.  You shouldn't have to tell your child to eat his cake carefully because, while I appreciate the color blue, I don't like scrubbing it off of  everything in its nuclear radius. 

Ansel still avoided being completely healthy on his birthday.  (He was fine on his 1st birthday, but has managed to be sick every other year).  I was prematurely euphoric when he got sick last week,  naively assuming he would be over it by his Big Day.  Two nights in a row prior to his bday, he tossed and turned with earache pain and a swelling cough.  He kept telling us that his ear was copying everything that we said.  Oh, the torture!  Fortunately, he didn't have the burning fever that he had on his 3rd and 4th bday and his countenance remained chipper and celebratory in spite of having auditory difficulty.

In order to ensure Ansel could be registered for Kindergarten at our desired elementary school (which is NOT in our designated district....I will save this rant for a non-birthday post) I had to be first in line on registration day.  He had to miss school for necessary immunizations and therefore my day of shopping for presents WITHOUT him turned into a day of shopping for presents WITH him.  He helped make a few choices (LEGOS LEGOS LEGOS) and even acted a little surprised when he opened them.

I did buy this nerf football without him, but he somehow dug it out of my closet a few days before.  No surprise here either.

The biggest hits were this $1.50 splat balls from Walgreen's..a last minute purchase of desperation.  They were such a hit that Emmy decided to spend some of her hard earned allowance on a few for herself.  I must admit that there is something satisfying about throwing something on the floor, watching it splat and smoosh, and then just picking it back up in one piece.  

Ansel choose the local "Tomato Street"  restaurant to enjoy his birthday dinner.  They have chalkboards, playdough, paper-covered tables with crayons, and greasy garlic bread.  I have come to loath this place of business because the crowds infringe on my personal space.  Chuck E Cheese is far more loathsome.  Thank you, Ansel.

Ansel was happy after celebrating with his friends at school, even though he had repeatedly made it clear that he didn't want to do his birthday at school.  His teacher is very animated and enthusiastic and I was afraid it would have broken her heart if she had known Ansel wanted to boycott his own festivities.  

Ansel has also taken to wearing a cape around the house.  This childhood rite of passage is one of my personal favorites.  
Happy 5th Birthday, Super Boy