Wednesday, November 30, 2005

the girl loves to read

Most of you know Jordan...and you know she loves to read. It's truly one of the passions in her life. Once she has her nose in a book you will have to physically wave signal flags in front of her to get her attention. It's great to see her enjoying a book and be excited about it. I know I am getting total payback for my bookwormish characteristics as a child. I can often remember my mother asking me to please take a break from the books when I came to the dinner table. One summer I was supposed to be painting an iron fence in my parent's front yard. Each morning I would secretly take a book with me and as often as possible would read behind a tree since they practically have woods in their front yard. I know it drove my parents crazy, but reading under a tree in the middle of summer seemed much nicer than sanding and painting a fence. Eventually they had to hire someone to paint the fence. (I'm sure Dave pulled some tricks like that too since he's a reader also.)

So, back to Jordan. The kid can read a big book easily in a day. She sat down to read the second Harry Potter book the Saturday before Thanksgiving. By nightfall she was done -- and yes, she did play outside during the day also. (Lest you worry about the child.) Jordan's teacher is w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l this year. I love her to death. To help everyone in the class read more she initiated a reading log. Very common during these elementary years. The requirement is to read 20 minutes a day and then log it with a 3-5 sentance summary on a special paper. Since Jordan is a reader the worst problem I have is making sure that log is kept up to date. (For that I am thankful.) Still, I have a beef with the teacher's comments from the log that was dated October 31 - November 1. Halloween was a freebie day on homework. Tuesday Jordan read a 150 page book. Wednesday Jordan read a 100 page book. On Thursday Jordan honestly logged that she read the Disney Catalog. Since she had read so much earlier in the week I decided that the log was just fine -- after all, as a parent you have to decide which battles to fight. This one wasn't even a worry for me. Here's what she wrote:

Disney Catalog - A small book with toys and clothing. It has snowglobes and special pins, too. It also has reviews. [Granted not the summary of the century, but complete.]

And here is what Mrs. Brown wrote:
"Do you think this is a good book to write a summary about?" [Though the paper got it's usual "OK" with a check mark.]

Are you laughing yet? When I pointed it out to Jordan she just shrugged her shoulders and said, "You know, you can read a long time and find out interesting things from a catalog. You don't just have to read from a book."

That's my girl. ;-)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

fisch thankful face hurt

So you don't understand my title? Aw, come on. Guess what skill I am perfecting? Being a media savvy designer, I thought I might practice writing those subject lines that come in the spam email. It might just be an important job skill of the future -- applicant needs to be able to convey deep meaning for annoying scam mail while avoiding spam filters. How did I do? Do you like the typo and everything? Actually all those words (spelled correctly) are in my post today.

We went to see the new Georgia Aquarium last and 12,000 other season passholders. It was an awesome experience. Some of the tanks are just amazing and the kids had a blast watching all the animals. As we were in line awaiting entry, we got to show the kids some real life protesters. There were two groups: "House People Before Fish" and "Fish in Tanks? No Thanks!" Jordan wanted to know why people were protesting even though they were wrong. ;-) Of course this led into the "everyone has a right" discussion, but it was hard not to crack a smile at her analogies. William only wanted to know where to buy the homemade shark head on one of the protesters. He said he'd really like that for Christmas. Here are a few photos:

We had a good Thanksgiving holiday with my parents in Alabama. They were very brave to host such an occassion since they are going through a kitchen remodel. I kept thinking that this was the last holiday meal to be served off of the old counters in the kitchen. I'm really excited for them and hope they enjoy their dream kitchen soon. My father's homemade cornbread dressing was wonderful and the Turkey got eaten in one sitting. I made a sweet potato casserole (basically sweet potatoes with a praline topping that is very bad for you.) and we had all the other classic sides.

I kept trying to get the kids dressed nicely for the family meal, but all they wanted to do was play outside. The weather was nice and they had cousins around. Finally I relented and just requested some clean play clothes since they had gotten a bit of Alabama on their old clothes. My nephew, Drake, brought a fly wheel to race around the driveway. William, thinking he was Superman, chased the fly wheel down my parent's steep driveway. He took a face dive onto the concrete and left some DNA there. The kids came running in saying that William was hurt...and in the usually parental nonchalance we all mumbled for him to come let us look at it and we'd get a bandaid. William rounds the corner into the hallway and every adult nearly passed out. There was blood pouring down his face from his forehead to his chin. It took a good hour to clean him up. Thankfully there were no major injuries and most of the problem could be covered in neosporin. It was quite a sight even a day later. Amazingly the little guy has continued to heal and it looks better each day. We were fortunate to not lose teeth or have stitches. William became quite embarrassed each time someone would ask about his injury so we taught him to say "You should see the other guy!" and he regained a little humour about the whole ordeal.

And huge kudos go to my dear husband who actually suggested shopping on the day after Thanksgiving. I suppose we were so excited to have babysitters that we were willing to get up before sunrise to make the sales. Dave did not know that people were so serious about the whole deal...but when we arrived a Jacks to get a biscuit in my small town we saw campers in the parking lot of Walmart. Arriving at ToysRUs we had to park in a remote lot and then Dave chased a woman out to her car for the cart. A first for him. We never saw a fight, but apparently there were some. We got most of our shopping done for the season though so I guess it wasn't all bad. By late afternoon we were dragging. We still have a few details to finish, but overall I'd say that we accomplished something on that crazy day. Quite a date with your husband, huh? I'm impressed he even wanted to try the experience.

Jordan interviewed her Great Grandmother, Gladys Epperson, during our trip home. Mammaw is 92 years old in a week and she's in better health than most people my age. No special drugs for any of the common ailments and she lives by herself in a big apartment. She is constantly giving of her time and energy to help others. And, she still works at the elections. She's amazing. Dave videotaped the event and I cracked up when I saw it. Jordan introduced Mammaw and tied up the interview like she was working on Good Morning America.

Friday, November 11, 2005

misc. mundane

A day or so after Halloween William walked by Grace's playpen with Skittles in his hand. Check out Grace's clever ploy to draw him closer and then grab the goods:

And the long awaited photo of the salt clay map has arrived. The map finally made it home after a showing at school and then a display time at the library. Remind me to snap photos of things that are monumental before they get delivered to the school. I'm lucky the thing survived it's travels. Jordan is very proud of it still. Maybe it just reminds her that she got to make a mess which was justifiable as a school project.

And lastly, here is the reason that you cannot leave the vicinity when Grace is in the highchair.

Little stinker manages to squeeze out of the SHOULDER STRAPS and then escape. The straps are already tight due to her brother's track record (you know, the moment where he managed to break his leg at 11.5 months in much the same way), but Grace has outdone the system. I specifically made it known that I would have a highchair with straps when Grace came to this world. (Remember that shopping trip honey?) Looks like my efforts are in vain. Tell me it's the age...oh please tell me this will pass.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

mom survival (a.k.a. the park)

Jordan was out of school today because of election day. (Funny, I don't remember them getting out for the presidential election last year...) Around lunchtime I took the three indians to the East Cobb Park to enjoy the weather. Apparently every other parent in the area had the same idea. The park was a madhouse. Translated that means that Jordan and William were thrilled. Amazingly, Grace survived without being trampled by some big kid. Here are some photos I snapped while chasing them all over the place.

Grace in the swing with Jordan pushing

Jordan and Grace together

"Do you really think I can handle this big slide Mom?" (Jordan went down with her following this photo.)

Grace, your siblings will always be telling you how to drive.

The amount of business transacted by people with handhelds was interesting. I heard one real estate agent talking about her deal while her 4 year old played with mine; a personal trainer canceling an appointment; a Dad who was typing at warp speed on his treo phone. People with little babies who normally come to the park to read a book while their baby sleeps were taken aback by the chaos. Some actually had scared looks on their faces as they saw school aged kids zoom by their strollers. It was humorous. I feel like I'm the member of several clubs now -- the school aged moms, preschoolers, and infants. It's like switching mom hats because there is a different knowledge required for each I walked with Grace one of those perplexed new mothers asked me why the park was so busy. Um, I think she'll find out what school holidays are about in 5 years or so.

Monday, November 07, 2005

random ramblings

On Saturday night we were running errands. The moon was an absolutely beautiful fingernail with a planet to the upper right of it. (Mars?) It was eye-catching...enough to hold a 4 year old boy's attention for a few moments. After observing the sight for a while William said,

"Hey Daddy, I think the moon wants to sit beside us. Would that be alright?"

And the trip to Target seemed bearable, ya know?

Grace has been enamored with her belly button. She's beginning to precariously run around the house with a little purse on her arm. Occasionally she stops to look down at her belly, raise her shirt, and point her little finger at the magic spot. She even knows the name of that funny body part. How ironic...just as she's weaned completely (well, it's been a couple of months since she stopped relying on me) she knows the point at which I first gave her food through my body. I think God has a sense of humor.

Dave left on a trip to Seattle and then Maryland. He'll be in Seattle until Wednesday morning and then fly back with the team to regurgitate the information gathered at Microsoft. Sounds like a busy week to me. I'll be keeping the household afloat while he's gone. Not exactly a normal week, but we manage.

William had he 4 year old checkup this morning. Now I can just hear you saying that his official birthday was at the beginning of September. Yes, it was. I'll come clean here. I didn't make the appointment until after the survival of his birthday party. ;-) No one threw me out of the office on my ear so I guess I'm still in the running for mother-of-the-year. William weighed in at 42.5 pounds and was 42.5 inches tall. He's in the 95th to 100th percentile. That's how he's been his whole life. Funny thing is that he's lost all that baby fat look. He's thin as a rail (despite his weight amount) and growing like a weed. The worst part of the whole appointment was the shots. There were 3 required for school plus the flu shot. The nurse finished with two shots in the left arm and William handled it pretty bravely. The saddest moment came when he looked at her shot tray, saw two remaining shots, and realized that those were for his right arm. He was literally heartbroken and told the nurse that it just wasn't right to hurt people like that. Big old elephant tears started pouring out of his eyes. He never physically fought the shot (thank goodness), but he was really upset.

By the way, can you imagine a more marvelous Fall weather situation. The kids are loving it. Shorts in November and lots of time outside. Nice.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

aloha in her heart

I'm quite sure that everyone else has to sort through the "mommy homework" that comes through the door. Papers to sign, things to send back, hold this, throw away that, ask further questions...well, during the school year there is a constant sort going on. That sort usually invades our kitchen table and island with a vengance and requires maintenance. (Please, please tell me I'm not the only one who struggles with this sea of paperwork.)

Anyway, sometimes things just catch your eye and they make you smile. Jordan made "E" on a difficult spelling list with words like fierce and treasure...but it was the bonus work at the bottom of the related exercise sheet that made me laugh. Here is what the bonus question said:

Say joy.
Listen to the vowel sound.
Write the words with the same vowel sound as joy.

boy toy soy boing poi

I guess Jordan does remember some things about Hawaii. ;-) Aloha kiddo. I'm glad you are in our ohana.