Wednesday, May 30, 2012

these clogs were made for....

... eating?

Or, "Our Memorial Day weekend, in a snippet of conversation"

L (heading outside to ride horses with her sister): Hey! Who ruined my clogs?!?
M (just outside, getting ready to garden): They're not ruined. It looks like maybe ice cream. Your dad was making ice cream.
L (stomping back inside): Who put ice cream on my clogs!?!
me (cleaning up after making ice cream): Oops. It must have been me. It was an accident. I made ice cream for dinner tonight. Vanilla ice cream! (turning) Here, I'll clean them.
L (already heading back outside): No! I licked it all off.
me: Uh... ok.

It was that good of a weekend, made more so by it also being our 10th anniversary. The girls spent Saturday night with their cousins, and we... stayed in and ate sausage and mushroom lasagna, which would be K's notion of absolute awfulness. Possibly the only thing she dislikes more than lasagna (and melted cheesy dishes in general) is mushrooms. We also did a bunch of walking.

The weather was grand, everyone played outside, we saw 3 different groups of friends, mowed the lawn, K and I had a date at Folklife to see our neighbor play a set of music, and we all generally enjoyed ourselves, even to the point of licking ice cream off our shoes. It doesn't get much better than that!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

definitions: lemolium / valcon

Well what do you know?!? It's another Double Definition Tuesday.

lemolium - noun, something they sing in the "La La La Lemon" song
(see also: floor coverings)

(driving to school, CD playing the Bare Naked Ladies singing La La La Lemon):

Bare Naked Ladies: La la la la... lemon
everyone in the car singing along: ... lemon...

BNL: ... la la .... lightbulb
everyone: .... lightbulb....

BNL: ... la la la la... lenolium
everyone: ...lemolium....
L: Dada?
me: Yeah?
K: Shhhh! .... lump in my oatmeal!
L: What 'lemolium?'
me: Lenolium?
K: Shhhhhh!!
L: Yeah, lemolium.
me: It's a floor covering. Like in our kitchen.
L: Oh. .... la la la la Lemolium!

valcon - noun, a bird of prey

(reading a book about a Falcon)
me (reading): 'What would it be like if you were a falcon?'
L: VALcon!
me: FFFalcon.
L: No!! It's VALcon.
me: Really?
L: Yeah. We have this book at school.
me: Look, that's an eff. What sound does that make?
L (looking like she thinks she's about to get trapped or tricked): FFFF
me: Yeah. So it's FFFalcon.
L: No! Valcon!!
me (in my head): Whatever.

note: In general, my approach to mispronunciations has been "hands off." I figure they'll sort things out over time, either by being corrected by friends, or teachers, or just realizing eventually. But in this case we were reading, and since L knows all her letters and is actually reading basic words, I thought I ought to point out that her pronunciation wasn't matching with the letters on the page. But as noted, I decided to let it go.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

... smile a little while for me...

.... late breaking news (from two days ago):

A hole for her straw!

Apparently the tooth fairy brings 4 quarters now (or whatever s/he has handy). K, L and I had a fairly lengthy discussion about how the tooth fairy gets into a house (K: Maybe she turns invisible. L: Yeah, and maybe she busts a hole in the.... (looking around the bed room)... ceiling. K: Or maybe she comes in the window. L: Yeah, or she comes in the window. K: Or maybe through the chimney, like Santa Claus. L: But there's a spider web in there! me: Santa Claus doesn't care about spider webs..... L: But she might!!), how big she is, and when she might have come.

K didn't notice a thing, which, as I recall from small-kid times, seems like a miracle, but from a slightly different perspective of 6 years of parenting, doesn't seem quite so amazing any longer. (We've sometimes picked K up and turned her back around in her bed and she sleeps through it all.)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

definitions: limits / lebrities

It's another Double Definition Tuesday
(the "double-L edition")


limits - noun, something you earn

(outside, playing with K's flying disc, a recent birthday present)
K (heaving the disc with all her might): Daddy! You throw to me. And if I catch it, I get limits.
L: Yeah! If we catch it we get limits.
me: What are 'limits?'
K: They're...
L (looking over at her sister): They're...
K: .... points. They're points!
L: Yeah, they're points.
me (glancing over at M who is weeding in the evening sunshine): Oh. Ok, points.
K: So throw it to me, 'k Daddy?
L: And to me Dada. Throw it to me.
me: What about your mama? Can she get limits too?
M (from the bushes): Throw it to me!! I want limits too!!!

Lebrities - noun, something on your phone, maybe people or something

K: Mama?
M: Yeah K?
K: What are 'lebrities?'
M: lebrities?
K: Yeah. What are lebrities?
me (interjecting): 'Liberties?'
M (pause...): Did you hear that somewhere?
K: Yeah.
M: Where did you hear it?
K: On Saddle Club. When they stealed Veronica's phone, they asked why there were all those lebrities on it.
M: There were?
K: Yeah, they wanted to know about all those people.
M (brain working hard): Ah, celebrities?
K (not wanting to be mistaken): Yeah. What are those?
M: They're... famous people.

Monday, May 14, 2012

... how high can you fly...

Just about the best gift a parent could have.

Yesterday was Mother's Day, which means that the girls have been very excited for days (if not weeks, though realistically that would require more focus and sense of the passage of time than is probably reasonable to expect from a 6yo, much less a 4yo who doesn't yet track day-to-day). They made some gifts for M at school, and we carefully hid these so they would be a surprise and M wouldn't find them.

(Turns out that L at least couldn't wait and spilled some but not all of the beans during a drive home from school one day - she mentioned the card she'd made, but "I didn't tell Mama about the heart I put on it. The heart is glued on both sides and isn't supposed to come off and I hope it doesn't come off because it's glued to the paper and I didn't tell her about that.....")

Over the last couple of days we had several conversations that went something like this:

L: Is it Mother's day after this day?
me (figuring that the day after tomorrow is, in fact, after this day): Yeah, it is
L: So  Mother's day is after this day?
me: Yup.
K: So tomorrow morning....?
me: No, tomorrow is Saturday, so it's the day after tomorrow.
L: So it's not after this day?!?
me (realizing that "after this day" may be her way of saying "tomorrow"): Tomorrow is Saturday and then another night and then when we wake up on the next day, it's Mother's day.
L: So not after this day!

But eventually the actual day came. I happened to be "sleeping" in L's bed because she called out "Mama!" in the night and since M had been working an event Saturday night, I went out and L saw me and asked in the sweetest voice "Dada, would you please lie with me?" so I crawled in next to her. And somehow actually fell asleep.

K woke up around 5.30a when the sunshine began flooding the room and I motioned to her to not make noise. She came over from her bed and said in a loud whisper, "Daddy? Can I go tell Mama happy Mother's day?" and it being 5.30a and M having been out working late the night before and all, I of course said "Sure." And K went in and woke M who was her typically gracious self and actually sounded sincerely pleased to be seeing her first daughter before 6a.

In short order, L work up too and joined her sister, which left me one L's too-soft/too-short mattress. So I got up too, and joined them to wish M a happy day, the girls went to bring their presents and M was appropriately appreciative, and then I went downstairs to make her an espresso and some waffles.

I quickly had some help:

 Shortly after I reminded her to cough into her arm and not into the bowl...
(want to come over for some waffles?)

And we all ate breakfast and drank multiple shots of espresso.

And the glorious thing about waking before 6a on a gorgeous Sunday morning in this town is, by 7a you're ready to do something with the day. Which, in our case, involved me finding something to do with the girls so that M could have some glorious alone time which she subsequently used to.... go shopping for the week. Pure indulgence!

It was a clear day, with the faintest hint of a breeze, so I told the girls we were going to fly kites. Until very recently, K has been very frightened by the idea that a kite could end up loose. But on this day (which is before this day on which I'm writing, if L is still reading) she didn't seem too concerned. And, since she'd been given a kite by one of her friends, she was excited to try it out.

We packed up and headed out to Gas Works Park, where we had, surprisingly, beaten most of the other folks who were likely to want to enjoy the good weather, and we remarked on the already overflowing garbage cans, we coaxed a couple of kites up into the glorious blue skies.

And though the girls had a few complaints about it being too bright, they both flew kites for the first time in their lives. And they enjoyed themselves immensely. As did I.*

 K, using body english to keep her kite in the air.
(L keeping a close watch)

L, on her own with one of our big kites.

* One of the things we used to do, when we were kids, was hike up into the hills above our house on Waialae Iki ridge and fly kites on the tradewinds. We'd buy paper (or later, plastic) kites from Longs Drugs down at Kahala Mall, the same Longs Drugs at which we used to see Jack Lord in his wide-brimmed Panama hat, and make torn bedsheet tails for them, then sail them up into the wind. I can remember having to deal with long stretches of string that hung across cane grass and red dirt and haole koa, after a crash....

Friday, May 11, 2012

do you know where you're going to...

I've already mentioned how wonderful it was last weekend, when we managed to get the girls out for a couple of decent lengthed walks, but I didn't share this  bit of pre-walk dialog:

me: Get ready, we're walking down to get the van.
K: What?
L: We're walking down to get the van?!
me: Yup. You need to put on comfy shoes.
K: What?
L: Comfy shoes? To walk down to the van??!!
me: Yup.
M: Here girls, take these sunhats.
K: Sun hats?
L: To walk down to get the van?!!!
me: Yup.
M (fitting the hats on their heads): Yes.
me: Does anyone need to go to the bathroom before we leave?
K: What?
L (as if this exempts her from needing to use the bathroom any time during the weekend): I went last night!
me: Uh... but do you need to go now?
L (exasperated): I said, "I. Went. Last. Night!"
K: What?
me (kneeling to look K in the eye, talking very slowly now): K, you and your sister and I are going to walk down to Seacrest Park to get the van. Oh. Kay?
K: Ok.
L: What?!
me (to M): Uh...
M: L, you're walking down with K and your father. He left the van down there last night.
L: Why?
me: Why did I leave it? Because your mom picked me up at work.
L: And then you went to dinner?
me: That's right. We had a nice dinner.
K: I need to go to the bathroom.
me: Ok, go!
K: But I have my shoes on.
me: Doesn't matter. Go. I'll vacuum after we get back.
L: After we get back from the van?
M&me: Yes!
K (returning): Ok. I'm ready.
me (daring to imagine we're about to leave): Awesome. Let's go. Everybody ready?
M: Ok, off you go!
me (out onto the porch): Vite! Vite!
L: Dada?
me: Yeah?
L: Where are we going?
me: You're kidding, right?

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

... we gotta get outta this...

... house....

This last Sunday was a glorious day. Part of this was due to weather - we had blue skies and sunshine, the flowers are blooming, the birds are up at 5a (disclaimer - I realize that for some readers, this would NOT be a reason for joy, but damn, I love early mornings in good weather!).

The first thing we did was, the girls went out in their jammies and picked flowers.

Part way through doing this, they decided that they wanted the flowers to be mother's day presents:

K: Daddy, can these be our mother's day presents?
L: Yeah, can these be our mother's day presents?
me: Sure, yeah. She'll be pleased.
K: But she has to close her eyes!
L: Yeah, she has to close her eyes!!
me: Ok, just be sure to let her know that.
K (yelling now, even though it's 7.30a on a Sunday morning): Mommy! You have to close your eyes!!
L (also yelling): Yeah, Momma!!! You have to close your eyes!!!

So she did, and we brought the flowers into the house and Momma got to open her eyes, and it was all good, if a week ahead of schedule.

Next, we walked down to the beach and back. This was our 3rd straight weekend outing in a row, and it was good.

Weekend outings are something M determined (correctly) that we needed to do - get the girls out and DOING things. They don't watch an huge amount of video (maybe 40+ minutes a day on a typical day), but we weren't liking the tendency they had of saying "we just want to watch something." So we made an explicit decision to start taking them out to do things.

The 1st weekend, we did a picnic at the beach. Except it was the first nice weekend in about 3 years, so everyone in Seattle was down at Alki. And we got started late due to problems finding anything (ANYTHING) that would work to wear at a picnic and the beach. So we drove and looked for parking and K wanted to go to Alki where we've been multiple times and where she knows the beach works well for "horses" and galloping and jumping and being rounded up. We ended up south of there, in a pocket park with a rocky beach below, and after eating our sandwiches, the girls and I climbed down and poked around in the dirty water while M communed with the dandelions and traffic on our blanket. It was good to get the family out into the sunshine and fresh air.

The 2nd weekend we went on a "hike" in Discovery Park. This involved a fair amount of complaining and moaning and approximately 3 hours of struggling to find the right things to wear. But once we got there, they made it the 1/2 mile(?) to a sandpit where they were horses and dug and neighed loudly and were the focus of a little boy's fascination.

The return hike of 1/2 mile went slightly less well and legs were tired and blood sugar low, but we made it, and both girls were pleased to have "gone hiking." Another successful outing.

This weekend we had thought about going to the Arboretum, but realized that it was opening day. In addition, the "super moon" was contributing to extra low tides, so we planned a beach trip down to Alki. And K made the mistake of asking if we were going to walk, a suggestion on which M and I jumped. (Note: The girls had walked with me down to Seacrest park to get the van I'd left there the day before, a walk of 1.6 miles, and while there were a few complaints, they actually did fine. So this walk down to Alki was going to be their second decent walk in 2 days.) So we spent about 7 days of frustration looking for and eventually finding some clothes that would work for wearing at one of the lowest tides of the year. M made some peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and we walked down.

The tide was out, the girls were in fine form, and we had a blast. They went too long, got too wet and tired, all of which was revealed on our climb back up to the house, but they really did enjoy themselves, and they did a great job.

All of which is good for them, and makes M and me happy. We used to walk all the time, even when the girls were in strollers, but once they wanted out of the strollers, our walking was curtailed significantly. Now it feels like we're on the cusp of being able to do things like walk down to the beach again, and it's great. We didn't have to get into the car, didn't have to park, and everyone got to stretch their legs. And there's the feeling of accomplishment the girls felt on arriving back home (and climbing into a warm bubble bath).

Things went slightly less well during the afternoon, largely because the girls did not eat anything between our beach sandwiches and dinner. Poor K was so tired that she curled up in her chair and was unable to take a bite. L too was a mess, though a louder one than her sister. We weren't positive but suspected it had to do with blood sugar, so we worked at convincing the girls to eat, and when they finally did, they perked right up. And after dinner, because it was still so nice out, they went out to play with a flying disc that K got as a birthday present, while we (the parents) watched. Which means that M did a bit more weeding and I lay in the hammock, at least until an errant toss sent the disc my way, at which point I jumped up and M and I played keepaway from the girls, to much loud yelling, girl-screams, and laughter. Who says you can't have fun with your kids! By teasing them!!

All in all, a grand weekend was had by all of us. Thanks to the weather, and to M's  idea of getting us all out to have fun on a more regular basis.