Sunday, April 27, 2014

A Few of Their Favorite Things

So we have about and hour and a half before our flight leaves to take us back to California (currently in Denver after a short trip up to Wyoming to visit Bryan's family).

I have a limited number of pictures of the trip, and I might have more time to post on the flight - provided the children find ways to keep themselves occupied that don't include my laptop.

But since I have some time and since the kids are currently busy reading (Penelope) and playing math games (Griffin), then I can recount this conversation we had in the car a few days ago.

Bryan was off playing golf with his dad and the kids and I were headed to Casper's Science Zone after having made a very essential pit stop at Starbucks (because altitude sickness sucks and Starbucks makes everything better... seriously about the altitude sickness though, I get it EVERY time we come up to visit and it makes me pretty miserable. I could deal with the nausea, but the headaches are crazy and are only dulled with pain meds).

So. In the car. Driving through Casper.

Penny: I love this day, it's my favorite! (she says this about every day though)
Griffin: No, it's not my favorite. (he was already homesick)
Me: So Bubby, what is your favorite?
G: (without pausing to think) Lego Batman!!!!!!!
M: Penny? What about you?
P: Art. I'm obsessed with art just like Bubby is obsessed with video games.
M: He sure is... so what do you guys think is Daddy's favorite thing?
P: Golf:
G: Hockey!
P: No, I don't think it's golf after all. I think his favorite thing is tickling us.
G: Yeah, that's his favorite.
M: So what do you guys think my favorite thing is?
P: Reading!
G: Snuggling.
P: Yeah, Mommy you like to snuggle a lot.
M: That I do... what about Grandpa, what's his favorite thing.
G: Watching us.
P: Yep.
M: Granny?
G: ummmm.....
P: Giving us kisses.
G: Yes, kisses and hugs.
M: What about Great Grandma Barbara?
G: It's when we visit her.
P: Yeah, she likes that a lot.
M: Harley-Quinn?
G: Seeing us. (which is partially true, but the dog's favorite this is really seeing our babysitter Alexis)
M: Granny & Grandpa's dogs?
G: Seeing us, they love to see us.
M: Really? My guess would be eating garbage.
P: Gross!

I was amused - mostly because everyone's favorite things seemed to revolve around them.

They had a good time in Wyoming though. And altitude sickness aside, it was a nice visit. Short though - but it's hard to find the time to get away and go out there. The plane ride to Denver isn't that bad, but the 4 hour car ride to Casper is exhausting. We might go out again this summer for Bryan's grandmother's 80th birthday.

We are all ready to be home though. Today was the Denver Museum of Natural History & Science with some friends that we haven't seen since we moved to Salinas (they used to live in Sac too, in fact Kim used to babysit the kids when they were little and we would often have playdates with them). It was really nice to see them - I miss so many of that group. We got to see some of the other regular play-daters when we were in Sacramento last weekend too. While I don't miss the city of Sacramento, I do miss the friends we had there.

 More later, I hope. I'm not teaching summer school this year so I'm hoping that I'll be able to blog more often than I have been. Hopefully we'll fill our summer with swimming lessons and trips to the beach. I'm looking forward to a real break.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tax Day Ramblings

I haven't written in a long while because forces outside of my control (ok, not really) have conspired to keep me so busy I don't have time to vacuum my floors (unfortunately true) let alone blog.

But it is spring break, I've filed my taxes (ouch), and have had a celebratory glass of wine. My youngest child turns 4 tomorrow (cue tears) and I absolutely REFUSE to do any work (not true, I'm e-mailing people in between writing sentences for this post).

Griffin's birthday makes me sad because he is my baby and I have to face that there really is no baby left in him. He's a big kid. A very big kid... and I desperately miss the chubby cheeked baby stage where they actually FIT on your abdomen when they snuggle (G tries to fit... he does not). There are things from the baby stage I don't miss (say, teething... or the half a dozen wake ups from Sir Griff) but I genuniely like babies and I do miss the baby wearing (which really means I miss having complete control over their whereabouts).

Has anyone else noticed my propensity to use parenthesis as my inner monologue? Have I always done that?

Anyway. Kids.

Are big. LE SIGH.

Penelope is reading. READING. Like, all by herself! She reads everything you put in front of her and delights in reading to herself and to anyone willing to listen. It is, I noticed, mostly whole words with a generous sprinkling of phonics. I had assumed that early reading would be more phonics - but I'm not a reading teacher so what the heck do I know? All I know is that she is reading and enjoying it. Her "report card" was very positive this trimester and she still loves school... which is good.

Griffin loves to pretend to read and while he's warmed up to school, he still doesn't quite love it with the same enthusiams as his sister. His new obsession is Lego Batman (don't get me started, not my idea).

When discussing his obsession at lunch today he asked what "obsession" meant. My mom asked him "what do you think it means?" and he said:

"When you really want to do something and nothing else."

Yup. Sums it up quite nicely.

The positive is that since he can only play for a limited amount of time each day and he has to clean up in order to earn video game time, that the house has remained remarkably picked up over the last few weeks. So that's a plus.

Oh, softball! Penelope started softball and she loves it. Bryan is coaching and I'm the manager and I love it less than she does, to be honest. It's not the playing, it's the actual managing that is pretty much awful. I won't do it again. I'll chaperone, I'll even coach, but I will NOT manage.

I'm glad she likes it though, she's made some friends and her coordination is improving, so that's good. I think we'll sign Griffin up for T-Ball next year and keep her in softball... who knows. I guess it all depends on what they like and how much time Bryan and I have to shuttle them to various practices and games.

The rest of our lives are work, which is boring to talk about. I'm so thankful it's Spring Break because I needed it. My students did too. All work and no play makes us all a little loopy, so I'm looking forward to having some (hopefully) reenvigorated students next week. We really only have 5 weeks of school left before summer, which is practically nothing. I have to finish Romeo & Juliet, go through the Greek gods, and teach Oedipus Rex in 5 weeks. Eep! We'll get it done, I have some pretty awesome students this year.

Ok, time to sleep. Maybe I'll have the time and/or energy for a blog post before the school year ends (doubtful) but since I've already said I'm not teaching summer school I may actually get time this summer to blog (or, better yet, to finish the damn novel I started over a year ago).

Happy Jackie Robinson Day!

4th Birthday Questions with the Bubs

It's that time again - birthday questions! Here are Griffin's answers from last year.

1. What is your favorite color? Green and Blue

2. What is your favorite toy? Spiderman (his large Spidey figurine)

3. What is your favorite fruit? Apples

4. What is your favorite TV show? Ninjago

5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch? Chips... and a jelly sandwich

6. What is your favorite outfit? (he points to the one he's wearing now, his Star Wars shirt that is graffitied to say "A Jedi Was Here") Pictured below:

Griffin at 4 photo 20140415_184923_zpsncgwe3hm.jpg

7. What is your favorite game? Lego Batman (Of course. Le sigh)

8. What is your favorite snack? Oatmeal Bar

9. What is your favorite animal? Lions! (said with gusto)

10. What is your favorite song? Frozen. The Let It Go Song (again, sigh)

11. What is your favorite book? Go Dogs Go (we haven't read that book in weeks. The one he asks me to read all the time is Paper Bag Princess and The Marvel Origins book, which is a compilation of all the origin stories of the Marvel characters)

12. Who is your best friend? Dash (from preschool)

13. What is your favorite cereal? Fruit Loops

14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? The scooters

15. What is your favorite drink? Milk (same as last year)

16. What is your favorite holiday? New Years (his first response? Snow. When I gave him a list, he chose New Years... when I asked him if he liked New Years more than Christmas, he said yes.)

17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? Octopus, because I love my pet octopus. (Which, for the record, is a stuffed animal that my parents bought him today at the aquarium).

penny & griffin 2014 photo 20140415_121106_zpsbup0gjss.jpg

18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? I already said Fruit Loops (obviously annoyed with my question)

19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? I can't think... chicken nuggets!

20. What do you want to be when you grow up? An astronaut!

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Penelope's Growth

6 years: 50 inches, 47 lbs
5 years: 48 inches, 42 lbs
4 years: 43.5 inches, 41.0 lbs
28 months: 39 inches, 33.1 lbs
26 months: 38.5 inches, 32.1 lbs
21 months: 37 inches, 31.8 lbs
18 months: 35 inches, 30 lbs
15 months: 34.25 inches, 28.8 lbs
12 months: 32 inches, 27.1 lbs
9 months: 30.5 inches, 25.1 lbs
6 months: 29 inches, 21.2 lbs
4 months: 28.5 inches, 17.13 lbs
2 months: 24.75 inches, 12.12 lbs
At birth: 20.75 inches, 7.15 lbs

Griffin's Growth

5 years - 3 feet 11.25 inches (47.25 inches), 51 lbs
3 years - 3 feet 5.25 inches, 40lbs
18 months - 34.5 inches, 27.13lbs
12 months - 32 inches, 26.5lbs*
10 months - 31.75 inches, 23.4 lbs
7 months - 29.25 inches, 21.4 lbs
5 months - 28.5 inches, 17.9 lbs*
4 months - 28 inches, 15.5 lbs
3 months - 27 inches, 13.10 lbs
2 months - 25.125 inches, ?? lbs
1 month - 24 inches, 10.13 lbs
At birth - 22.5 inches, 9.1 lbs
*with diaper

Izzy's Growth

2 months: 23.25 inches, 10.8 lbs
At Birth: 22 inches, 8.11 lbs