Monday 31 December 2007

It can't have been another entire year, it just can't!

We seem to have fallen out of time a bit. Even for us, it’s been a very low key low energy winter break. Corwin, at least, was taken out for a few hours by Josh to see a movie and do some lunch.

The rest of us have many just been sitting around. Mom did make us do a bit of re-arrangement in the kids’ office. Mimi sent money to get the kids some filing cabinets and Mom decided to move things around to accommodate them. If anyone wants a free desk, cabinet, or Microsoft force feedback USB steering wheel, let us know.

Charles started working on his nativity scene. We ordered a craft kit one because Charles specifically requested it. He started out by having them all play baseball, but eventually it was time for the gluing.

Alice has been enjoying her presents but the deluge of princess stuff has only whetted her appetite for even more princessy loot. At least with her guitar she’s a super star instead of a princess.

On a personal note, I passed 3,000 posts sometime back (this was #3000) and I didn’t even notice until a month later.

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Snow patrol

Charles patrols in a snow storm

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Sunday 30 December 2007

Loot is the root of all happiness

[The pizza arrives]

Dad: Corwin, you were asking me about provolone the other day. [points at pizza]. That’s provolone.

Charles: AAAUUUGH! I wanted cheese pizza!

Charles is not having much fun these days. He said that he didn’t enjoy our recent trip much, except for the Lego™ store. Mom asked him which museums he liked, but he didn’t like any of them. He said “I only got a bus there!” meaning that when shopped at the museum, all we bought him was a little toy bus. Therefore the trip was no fun.

This evening we went to a restaurant with a mini arcade in the basement. Charles seemed to be enjoying himself but when queried on the way home, he stated that he didn’t know if he had any fun. The problem was that he didn’t get to play a game he wanted to play (not that he mentioned this while we were there) and the toys available via tickets won from the games didn’t have anything he wanted. No loot, no fun.

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With a bang, not a whimper

My primary computer had its power supply exploded last Wednesday, naturally just before we left for a trip. It made quite a loud bang — I thought something had fallen over and crashed. At first I was an incoherent babbling mess because I thought the disk drive had failed and taken all of my not properly backed up pictures with it (about 6 months worth). Fortunately, the disk was fine and I popped it in an external housing temporarily to copy off the pictures. Hopefully a new power supply will be arriving very shortly. But it’s not worth the effort to set up for photo editing on my backup computer for just a couple days so pictures will be sparse this week.

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Saturday 29 December 2007

Clarifying the relationship

Alice’s fairy wand broke this morning, one of the LEDs inside fell off. Alice was very sad. Fortunately, Dad had bought ahead and had a spare wand ready. Alice was very happy and jumped around being a fairy. Then she said “I like Daddy now!”. I told her it was nice to know where I stood in her affections.

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Friday 28 December 2007

Snowed out

We had been planning on trying to hit another museum during out trip, but it started snowing heavily and we decided that we really wanted to get out of town before rush hour traffic in heavy snow on a Friday evening.

So we went to a large mall. This was because the only thing Charles really wanted to do during the entire trip was visit a Lego™ store. Charles bought much stuff there, and the older boys each bought a computer game at another store, but the winner in the loot contest was Alice. Mom took her to a Hannah Anderson store, the Disney store, and a Sanrio / Hello Kitty store. Her favorite item, I think, was a night dress with Princess Ariel on it. Alice also got a Hello Kitty angel, although, as Alice was careful to point out, i’ts not a real Hello Kitty, it’s just a a stuffed toy.

The trip wasn’t bad — neither the traffic nor the snow were particularly heavy. Mom’s main disappointement was that we didn’t drop by IKEA. I enjoyed the boys howls of protest at the suggestion. About a half hour from home, Alice became upset that a balloon flower she got at the mall had become undone. She started crying and screaming about it, but refused any help and eventually forbade Mom and I from even asking about it. As best we could tell, she was chanting “Charles has to fix my flower” but, as we were forbidden to inquire, we’re not sure. Eventually, when pressed, Alice stated “I don’t want anyone to hear what I saying!”. I pointed out that would be better accomplished by being quiet, which did reduce her volume a bit. She cried and chanted the rest of the way home, not stopping until we were literally about 60 seconds away from arriving home. I pointed this out to Mom, that Alice hadn’t cried the entire way home, but she didn’t share my triumphalism. Still, I was impressed that Alice had set her will so hard that she kept on crying and chanting even after falling asleep. I tried fixing her flower again, but that just set her off. So while Mom distracted her with loot, I hid the balloon, after which it passed, unremarked, out of memory.

Because we had promised Josh’s mom that she wouldn’t get him back to later in the evening, we let Josh and Corwin play on the WII for a while. Mom tried to feed him, but he didn’t like ham and the plate of chicken Mom heated up for him, he shattered on the floor. Still, there was apparently enough food vapor to satiate him.

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Thursday 27 December 2007

And it has a pool!

Today we got up early so that we could go up to Chicago to the Museum of Science and Industry to see the U-505 and Star Wars exhibits. Mom went online to get tickets because if you wait till you get there, the tickets are all gone, sold to people who bought them online. Because our own children aren’t sufficiently difficult, Mom convinced Corwin to invite Josh along. This wasn’t too bad, because as it turns out Josh also has a Nintendo DS so he and Corwin gamed separately together all the way and all the way back, and likely would have done so the entire time there had we not intervened.

The trip us was fine, because I slept through most of it. We went to the hotel first, to make sure we’ d have a place to stay. Josh became very excited at the idea, although he didn’t have a good response when I asked where he had thought we were going to stay. In the time it took me to drop off suitcases in the bedroom, the boys had found the TV remote and settled in for some entertainment. Charles then announced that he didn’t want to go the Museum, as he had taken an entire set of military toys along and found that more enticing than a real WWII submarine. Being the types who delight in cruelty to children, we tore all three of the boys from their pleasures and put them in the van heading to the Museum.

We grabbed some lunch on the way, which lead to some strong arguments over food types. Alice became hungry, not hungry, hungry, and not hungry in the time between leaving the hotel and arriving at the restaurant. Josh was hungry until the food arrived, at which point just the vapors seemed sufficient to sate his hunger. Corwin managed to drink three large glasses of root beer, thanks to the efficient waitress.

The Museum was fun. We arrived in time for our U-505 tour tickets. Mom had to miss it, because Alice lost control when the tour started a simulated dive with sound effects. I am sure it would have been extra fun to have Alice during the simulated depth charge attack. Afterwards, Mom took Alice to the Fairy Castle while I took the boys to the Toymaker 3000 which is an automated factory that makes little gyroscope toys with all the machinery on display. Corwin really liked that exhibit, although the noise was getting to Josh by the end. Then it was time for Star Wars, which the kids liked OK but didn’t thrill them as much as we had hoped. I thought it was quite nice, which probably should have been a tip off in that regard.

Then it was time to go back to the hotel. We were one of the last groups to leave and weren’t quite sure of the optimal path. At one point we considered taking an elevator but changed our minds. Charles, however, had forged ahead in to the elevator which then left with him, respondingn to a summons on another floor. Charles completely lost it, we could hear his screams echoing up through the elevator shaft. I wasn’t worried, because we could just hit the down button to bring it back and I figured Charles knew how to work an elevator. But when he was returned to us and I asked him about it, he denied it.

Having retrieved Charles from the Shaft of Doom, we returned to the hotel and ordered in some room service while Josh and Corwin watched sports. I had fun torturing Josh with alternate opinions, such as that catching football passes was so easy that the players had to wear gloves to make it a challenge. Josh claimed that the gloves were supposed to help, but I scoffed at the idea that one would put on gloves to make a manual task easier.

The boys went to sleep easily, but Alice was an emotional wreck because she hadn’t been able to go swimming and didn’t get milk in a sippy cup for bedtime. That girl can cry and carry on loudly for a very long time. I was a little grumpy too, because I didn’t get many good pictures, but I only cried for a little while.

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Wednesday 26 December 2007

Rock on!

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Casualties of Play

Corwin was on the Wii-njury list this morning, but he looks like he’ll recover. He is also under an electronics ban each day until he completes a school related reading task, so he managed to combine recovery with scholastics for a more efficient lifestyle as befits our modern age.


Exploring the mysteries of the Dual Screen

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Just more careful with other people's stuff, luckily

I am a little worried about what kind of mother Erica is turning out to be. A day or two ago, Alice made a phone out of some wooden blocks and the first person to call her on it was Erica. Alice said that Erica had to ask Alice how the triplets were doing. Then Alice said that Erica had lost one the triplets! Erica looked all over the house for the missing baby but couldn’t find it. Eventually Alice realized the baby was outside and let Erica know. Erica then went outside and looked behind the tree and there was the baby! One is left wondering about the fate of the baby had Alice not decided to build that phone.

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Tuesday 25 December 2007

Christmas Present

We survived Christmas again. Thanks to Mom, the kids let me sleep until 8, because Mom declared it so. Precisely at 8, Corwin came up to roust me out of bed and the looting was on.

We did it a little different this year by only allowing one present at a time to be opened. I think it worked well, it made the moment last a lot longer. We the parental units could actually see the kids open things, rather than just a cloud of wrapping paper.

Overall it was a success. All of the kids got at least one present that was much appreciated. Alice came out the best, I think. She received a good collection of “best present ever!” gifts. Of those, the big ones were fairy princess dolls and her Barbi guitar. Charles’ favorites were a model howitzer and a tool kit with a bunch of wood blocks. Corwin was upgraded to a Nintendo DS. He’s now burning to spend all of his Christmas cash on games for it.

The big present for everyone was, of course, the Wii. Although, of course, it’s really Mom’s Wii which only children on her good list get to play. You all performed your security duties perfectly, none of the kids had any idea it was there. Corwin was in ectasy at the thought of now having access to both a DS and a Wii. Mom said that was probably it for him ever leaving the house again (certainly after he figures out how to order games online). Mom and Corwin spent a good amount of time getting it hooked up (leaving our DVD temporarily disconnected). Mom even got the Wii to connect to our local WiFi network so it can cruise the Internet. Everyone played with it, although Corwin spent the most time on it, becoming addicted to Super Mario Galaxy. Charles played some of the sports games and even Alice played a bit.

The rest of the day was spent playing with the Wii and other presents. Amazingly, none of the kids got bored of all of their presents before bed time. Grandma and GrandPa came down to visit for the afternoon and we all had a nice lunch, even if the kids were forced to stay seated instead of playing while the adults finished.

Alice rocks Corwin Wiis Charles hammers

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Monday 24 December 2007

Helpful Dad

[Driving to Christmas Eve services]

Dad: Hey, kids, would you like to make Christmas come sooner?

Charles: Christmas is tomorrow!

Dad: Yes, but you could still make it arrive sooner. Would you like that?

Charles: Yes!

Dad: OK, as soon as we get back from church, everyone goes to bed! Then when you wake up, it will be Christmas!

Alice: Nooooooo!

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A slug off the old potato

In her desperate need for cookie making materials, Mom decided to go out to the store one afternoon a few days ago. She asked the spawn if they wished to accompany her. Alice wanted to, but the boyen declined the honor. So Mom said “allright, take Poly on a walk then”. Suddenly there was much eagerness for shopping but Mom said “bummer — too late”. However, being the loving and self sacrificing Dad that I am, I managed to save Charles by offering myself in his place. So Mom, Alice, and Charles went off to the store while Corwin and I headed out with Poly.

Corwin naturally tried to minimize the total distance, but I made him take a loop around the pond. Oh, the caterwauling that resulted from that! From a boy who plays sports in which running long distance is a key part of the game. Mom needs to take him on more runs.

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Snow it goes

Alice not enjoying the snow. She would stuff her mouth with snow, spit it out, and announce “I don’t like to eat this snow!” over and over. I asked her at one point, “Alice, if you don’t like eating the snow, why do you keep putting it in your mouth?”. She looked at me as if I were from some planet other than Wonderland, a far off world where such a question would make sense.

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Sunday 23 December 2007

Wish I wasn't here

Just a slow day, giving thanks for having already completed our Christmas cards and shopping. Here’s a picture of Corwin from a recent recital in which he shows just how thrilled he is to be taking part —

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Saturday 22 December 2007

Old fashioned winter

The kid are taking it easy, now that school is out. Mom, on the other hand, is frantically baking because without mounds of cookies to last us through the expected winter blizzard1 we’d all starve. Mom has also taking to doing some hard core knitting (she was up till 1AM knitting away). Her maternal disaster sense seems to be telling her that we’ll be cold and hungry in the near future.

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Friday 21 December 2007

Every day is longer than the one before

Charles informed us this evening, correctly, that today is the winter solstice. Apparently he’s paying attention to something.

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Recipricocity

Alice: Daddy, I want to play with the head lamp.

Dad: Well, maybe. What’s in it for me?

Alice: I get a head lamp!

Dad: That’s what you get. What do I get?

Alice: No head lamp!

How could I argue with that?

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They're hooooommmmeee!

Well, that’s it. The children have been released from durance vile and inflicted on us until next year. Today was the last day of school this year for all of them. Charles and Corwin had parties at school.

I went to Charles’ party because somehow I had “volunteered” to do a craft project for the party. That didn’t turn out too bad — I got some simple three piece wooden trees with flat sides and a bunch of stick on Christmas shapes and plastic gems and had kids put them together and decorate them. Most of the kids went at it far longer than I thought they would. More importantly, they were busy and quiet while they were working on the trees, which was much appreciated. A few of the other parents brought in some crafts also which kept the kids busy busy busy!

Many snacks were provided, so many that Charles said on the way home “I had enough sugar for today”. Just try to imagine how many cookies, treats, and candies he had to eat to reach that point.

Mom got to hang out with Corwin, who has apparently been banished to his own little corner. Corwin claims he moved his desk there himself, on purpose, but really — that’s hardly plausible. Mom claimed that Corwin was popular with the girls during some of the group games. Perhaps Corwin’s isolation is in fact a subtle play of “hard to get” that’s paying off for him. I must ask him about that.

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Thursday 20 December 2007

No least element

[supper time]

Alice: I’m your big sister!

Corwin: No, I am your big brother.

Alice: No you not!

Corwin: You’re the smallest person in the house.

Alice: No I not!

Dad: Who is the smallest person here, then?

Alice: Nobody!

Lower bounds don’t always exist in Wonderland.

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Lucky Seven

Our little Charles is seven years old today. He has already had his birthday party, but Mom made him a cake for this evening anyway. Charles also gets to have a party at school for the end of the semester, for which Mom made cookies and fudge, so he should be completely partied and sugared out by the weekend, just in time for Christmas.

Seven! How can our little Charles be seven? That’s just wrong. He seems so much younger for seven than Corwin did.

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Wednesday 19 December 2007

There's no place like home, so why can't I stay here?

Mom and I went out to see a movie this evening. Because of scheduling issues we had to get child care very late in the process. We tried Anwen, but she was busy. However, her mom foolishly suggested trading child days, e.g. we get Jack on Tuesday and they get our gang on Wednesday. I agreed before she wised up. It came back to haunt us, though. When we initially mentioned this to the children, Alice refused to go over to their house. When we picked them up, Alice refused to leave. Mom (bad! bad!) joking suggested that Jack’s family borrow Alice for a couple of days. When Mom dragged Alice out from behind their Christmas tree, explaining that, no, Alice wouldn’t be staying for a few days, Alice had a meltdown and complained bitterly of being taken home for the rest of the evening.

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Tuesday 18 December 2007

Other thoughts on kids concerts

I was reading a knitting blog this morning, and came across the following thoughts of a mother who is nearing the end of her kiddie concert days. Will I be waxing nostalgic like this in 8 or 9 years?

BTW, I’ve definitely had the equivalent of her boot licking toddler experience. Not exactly the boot licking, but the grand meltdown in public. Corwin, in front of Memorial Stadium, on a cold wet February with an infant Charles and Jessika.

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Sledding

I took Corwin out for the first sledding of the season. Jack came along too, but Charles did not want to go at all. Since Dad was not there, there is no photographic evidence, so we will never know if it really happened.

The boys had a good time. It was cold enough to not be slushy but not too windy. Since it was a week day, the hill was not completely overrun, and the boys ran into two friends from baseball and soccer to hang with. Plus the hordes from Sunday had everything packed down, nice and slick.

The big attraction was “the jump”. All the kids aimed for the jump, and the successful ones were blessed with a butt-jarring slam. I didn’t see the attraction, but the kids really seemed to like it.

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Monday 17 December 2007

Communication paths

[Everyone is quietly working to get ready for Charles’ party]

Alice: I’m talking to myself …

Dad: OK.

Alice: … Mommy. I talking to Mommy, Daddy!

Dad: OK.

Alice: Mommy, I talking to myself!

Mom: OK.

Alice: Alice, you need to come over here …

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Sunday 16 December 2007

Charles interacts … sort of


Charles rides again

Charles had his birthday party today. He invited a bunch of kids but it being the weekend or two before Christmas, we only had a few of them show up. But, we also had Matt and Claire over, plus Keith’s siblings1 so it was a decent crowd. Mom had these elaborate plans to fill the three hour span of the party, but it mostly turned in to a Nerf based play date. We tried doing some crafts (assembling some foam train kits, drawing), but those just couldn’t compete. Mom had hoped for some outdoor activity because of the snow, but that didn’t work out either. Despite this, it seemed that much fun was had. Plus huge amounts of sugar were consumed. Which of these was more appreciated only the kids could say.

Charles interacted somewhat with the other children. Such as, fighting over whether the cardboard bricks were building material or ammunition for Charles’ “big gun”. Eventually they went with building and Charles joined them in the bunker. A couple of the other kids turned Mom’s hanging chair into an armory for the bunker. Not the original purpose, but Mom was happy the chair was being used at all.

Alice played with Keith’s little brother Isaac quite a bit of the time. I had suggested before hand that Corwin do so to help out, but Alice piped up with “Isaac is my friend”.

While the boys shot their Nerf guns, Claire assumed more of a management role. She’d gather up all the darts and make the boys apply humbly for ammunition resupply. At one point she gathered up all the guns and laid them out on the table like a scene from a sci-fi action movie. Meanwhile, her brother Matt spent a good part of the final time of the party shooting at me.

Both of the vehicles in the basement (the big wheel thing from Mimi and the plasma car) got a lot of miles on them. I had to explain to them that they were too big to pile on the vehicles in groups, though.


1 Keith was there as well, but he and Corwin locked themselves in the kids’ office and gamed in isolation the entire time.

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Raising voices

This morning was the annual church Christmas program. This year, for the first time, we had all three children involved. This was easier in many ways because we didn’t have to worry about which parent would keep an eye on the Princess of Destruction. Alice sort of sang a little bit. I couldn’t tell if Charles sang, he managed to do a good job of hiding behind other children. Mom says that Corwin not only sang, but sang loud enough that she could hear him. On the other hand, Corwin did a horrible job of looking respectful while he wasn’t actively involved in the proceedings. Open faced yawns, fidgeting, hands in pockets, picking at himself, etc. I think we’ll be having a little pre-event discussion next time.

On the third hand, Corwin officially received his “God & Family” award. The pastor had him, along with his parents, come up to front so she could present him with it. I think the pastor enjoyed the process and award more than anyone else. I had to go up, so no pictures of that. Mom managed to pin the medal on him without any bleeding, which was much appreciated by everyone involved.

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Saturday 15 December 2007

Albuquerque!

For some reason, Corwin’s interest in the music of Wierd Al Yankovich has revived. He’s been particularly enthused with the song Albuquerque. Mom, not quite so enthused. Naturally, Corwin has convinced his siblings that the song is good and taught them to sing select parts of its1, particularly

I had my tray table up
and my seat back in the full upright position!

I had my tray table up
and my seat back in the full upright position!

Even Alice joined in while serenading Mom in the van the other day. For some reason, though, Mom thought this experience was less than fulfilling. Odd. Oh well!

If you’d like to make a call,
please hang up and try again
If you need help hang up and then dial your operator
In Albuquerque!

UPDATE One of the lines in the song refers to “a Flock of Seagulls haircut”, so naturally I had to show Corwin this. He wasn’t as impressed. I made sure to point out that these guys weren’t trying to be funny.


1 If you give us call, I’ll get the kids to perform this for you for free

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Friday 14 December 2007

Christmas spirit

Mom finally got the tree inside the house with lights on this evening. She saved the fun of putting the decorations on for the kids. After some mild pressure, the kids agreed to work on that. Corwin took charge and he hung several ornaments before announcing that he “needed a break”. Eventually he returned, hung a few more ornaments, then took another needed break which lasted until bedtime. Alice hung two ornaments, according to Mom, before she was sated. I don’t know if CHarles interacted with the tree at all.

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Thursday 13 December 2007

Who doesn't like puppies?

Charles first words to me yesterday when he got home from school were “When is Poly going to have puppies?”. I tried to evade, but Corwin spoke right up “Poly was changed so that she couldn’t have puppies”. This made Charles sad, as he couldn’t imagine why we wouldn’t want Poly to makes lots of puppies for us. I tried to explain the hazards of exponential population growth, but the boys couldn’t understand that either — “we could take over the world with a dog army!”.

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Wednesday 12 December 2007

YAVR

Corwin had another violin recital tonight. It was school based this time, organized by some truly insane women who gathered up 50 or 60 string players from all of the local middle schools and tried to get them to play together. Mom went to some of the practices so she could tell me of the horror. Another mom said that based on this, it was clear that this woman was going straight to heaven because she did this without inflicting grievous bodily harm on any of the children.

Just to make the evening more entertaining, there was apparently a last minute change of venue. Still, in the end it went reasonably well. Corwin had some sort of tuning problem, which he naturally discovered just as the recital began. He spent most of the first song trying to tune his violin himself, then played, then tried tuning again, then took it over to the official assistant tuner, then played, then went back to the assistant tuner again. All of this during the recital. I still don’t know what the actual problem was, but Corwin played for over half of the time, so it wasn’t a total loss.

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Tuesday 11 December 2007

Making it memorable

Tomorrow is the last day for a student teacher in Charles’ class. Mom and I told him that he should give her a big hug on her last day, but Charles utterly rejected that recommendation. Mom then suggested that he should draw her a picture to remember him by. Charles said “I already did that!”. Naturally, Charles had drawn her a picture of a battleship as a memento. While not perhaps the most heart touching choice, it’s likely to be a memorable one.

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Monday 10 December 2007

High maintaining

Alice found some balloons and after working on one for a while, asked me to blow it up. Not wanting to use one Alice had been so friendly with, I picked out another in the same color. But Alice would have none of that — she had a red balloon but the one I picked was dark pink, which is (as we all know) completely different. A bit of sleight of hand took care of the problem, because we also all know that age and treachery beats youth and skill every time.

Apparently we break in on Alice’s private conversations with herself so often that she has taken to preemptively announcing “I am talking to myself!”.

Alice doesn’t like me to clean up her nose, even if it’s running. If I persist, she responds by blowing her nose immediately after I remove the facial tissue.

On the other hand, Alice was home today because it was teacher conference time at day care. Mom left in the afternoon and Alice was given of staying with Dad or going off with Mom. Alice was set on Mom until it was mentioned that Jack was coming over. All thoughts of mother / daughter bonding disappeared and Alice decided she was willing to hang out with Dad if Jack showed up later.

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Sunday 09 December 2007

Another weekend, another recital

Corwin and Charles had a violin recital today. It went reasonably well, except for Corwin deciding to scratch his ear with his violin during one of the group songs.

More pictures.

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Saturday 08 December 2007

Caught in his own trap

As we were driving around today, Charles was engaging in his standard and annoying habit of pulling his arms inside his shirt / coat. This time, though, he somehow managed to get himself stuck in his coat. I was driving so I couldn’t turn to look but Charles was mightily upset about it. Naturally, I took the opportunity to lecture him about why we didn’t want him pulling in his arms and then stretching out his clothing trying to get back to normal. I hoped this would have a calming effect on him, as he realized that he was just part of a vast karmic chain and it was best to endure one’s misfortunes stoically until Dad made it home and could effect rescue. Sadly, it did not have this effect. It did, however, motivate Charles to an effort that resulted in him freeing himself. We’ll see if he learned a lesson about consequences or improved contortionist technique.

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Friday 07 December 2007

Food service

This evening Alice and Charles have been enjoying money. They got out the box with the various bits of play money. Charles later decided this wasn’t enough and started making his own $5 bill, copying directly from a real one. This did not turn out well, as Charles was very unhappy with lack of ability to accurately forge US currency.

Later the two of them moved to the basement and started fighting over access to the play cash register. I solved it by sending converting them in to a restaurant and sending Alice over to cook, since Charles had been first at the register. Of course, this meant I had to order a lot of food …

Charles: Here’s your tea. It’s burning.

Dad: Flaming beet tea?

Charles: Yes. Lots of big flames.

Dad: What about some chicken feet pizza?

Charles: OK. Alice, you make that.

Alice: OK.

Dad: And for desert, I want some chocolate Alice eyes.

Alice: AUGH! I been making those all day!

PS. The oddest thing is that I had warned the kids at supper that I was going to make them do some cleaning tomorrow while Mom was off at some relaxing “professional” retreat thingy. After I was sated at the restaurant, Charles started cleaning the basement all by himself, stating that if he cleaned some of it now, he wouldn’t have to do as much tomorrow. Then he got Alice to help.

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Snow time

We got some nice snow last night and this morning. Not a whole lot but a good inch or two. It was a bit dry, but still wet enough to make snowballs. Mom and I had to stay late at work, so Corwin and Charles went over to Zina’s house after school for an hour or so. That turned out well as they ended up having a major snowball fight. We picked up Alice on the way back from our outing and so she got to throw snowballs at her brothers, which is their purpose in life.

Poly also liked snowballs, enough that one had to be careful to avoid her snatching them right out of one’s hand. I tried throwing some at her, but she’d just get confused when they disappeared. What worked really well was to roll the snowballs down the road. Poly would at least see the snowball before it disappeared and try to chase it down. She thought this was extremely fun. A couple of times she actually managed to get her mouth on the snowball without smashing it which was impressive.

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Thursday 06 December 2007

That's what brother are for

It snowed yesterday, so Alice finally got to wear the Barbi boots. Naturally, I forgot to take in her normal shoes so she had to wear the boots all day. No complaints about it, so I’m off the hook.

In the evening she talked about how make a snowball, the purpose of which was to throw at her brothers. With just a tiny bit of encouragement, she decided that was the reason brothers existed and that it was very nice on Mom’s part to have made her a couple of brothers to be snowball targets. Reciprocity is not one of Alice’s strong points, so she had a bit of a melt down in the car later when Corwin suggested the possibility that he might throw snowballs back at her. Obviously totally unfair!

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Wednesday 05 December 2007

Signs of the season

Christmas is coming. Mom made us go out this evening in the bitter, numbing, ear shattering, face freezing cold to get a Christmas tree. Then, when we got home The Grinch Who Stole Christmas was on. Most of of watched it, Corwin headed off to the basement for some gaming. I know some one who’s getting cyber-coal in his e-stocking this year!

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Tuesday 04 December 2007

Gratuitous Picture of the Day


Corwin in his workplace

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Monday 03 December 2007

Warm up project


Alice enjoys her Princess costume and Mom’s new IKEA swing chair

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Sunday 02 December 2007

Dinner conversation

Alice spent last evening’s supper time talking. Not to us, but to people on her cell phone. MIssE called, and Maggie, and someone else I couldn’t make out. Erica, of course, wanted to talk about her triplets. Maggie refused to talk at all, leaving us wondering why she had bothered to call. Alice was a bit cross with her and let her know that in no uncertain terms.

This is a bit of a change for Alice, who had acquired the habit of demanding that we ask let her tell us how here day was, like we try to do with the boys, who generally just respond “good” and “I don’t remember” despite our inquiries. Alice takes a different tack, being a girl and therefore talkative:

Mom: Charles, tell me about your day.

Alice: [angry] You won’t let me tell you about my day!

Mom: Allright. Alice, how was your day?

Alice: Good.

Mom: Did you have fun?

Alice: I don’t remember.

The difference is just astounding.

Posted by Dad at 5:35 AM | Comments (0) | Trackbacks – Ping URL

Saturday 01 December 2007

Chickening out

All of us here now dread late winter / early spring, for that is when Mom’s mid-life crisis kicks in and she engages in some life changing task to fill the empty hours of her pristinely uncluttered and sedate life.

This year could be extra special. The last month or so Mom has been reading books like Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens and Chickens in your Backyard. I wish to emphasize that these books have not only been ordered, but are currently resting on Mom’s reading table. Not that we should draw any hasty conclusions from this. Surely it’s a perfectly normal sort of reading material that many people find interesting in an abstract and exotically in some one else’s life kind of way. Right?

Posted by Dad at 9:26 PM | Comments (2) | Trackbacks – Ping URL