Sunday, November 12, 2017

Seven year olds are magical

Bedtime thoughts from August as I repeatedly tucked him back in over the course of an hour....
1. "It's always nice to find a hand to hold on to"
2. Is "wild" one syllable or two? wild. wiiiild. bold? isle?
3. Isle? Aisle? why are they spelled so differently?
4. Isle and Island are related. But, why is there an s? Do you think sailors used to yell "AY!! Land!" and it stuck? but to make it look fancier they put an "s" in it when they wrote it down, like "this spot land"?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

When seven year olds are accidentally hilariously terrible

Mom, do you know that I have two secret ingredients when I cook something? There are two. That's what makes it so special when I make stuff.  It's half love and half penis.


Love and half penis.

I'm sorry. What? What is the other half?

Happiness. I put in half of my happiness. That's what makes it taste so special.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Highs and Lows

First off: no, there's no real tenure news. Since both appeal committees found evidence to support my appeal, both ruled to have my case re-considered. This means I'm now back to being eligible for tenure so I am promoted a bit above my prior title of "visiting" faculty, but there's no clear idea of what that eligibility will entail.

Other news: Katie's education has been a topic of much angst and worry. She's been so happy at her Montessori school the past 8 years and has thrived. Coming out of 6th grade we started looking for a new academic home for her. She's doing 9th grade math, 10th-11th grade French, reads constantly and can analyze it and write at a 10 grade level, etc. We wanted a plan that was going to be academically, socially, and artistically/musically/theatrically engaging for her.  We considered privates, public, and home school and landed on a very small private school not far from her elementary. It only goes through grade 8 (i.e., it only covers the next 2 years) but 2 weeks into the school year now I can say this is a good fit.

To be honest, we all know this: Middle school can be rough -- more focused on suriving the social expectations than anything else. There's a constant pressure to not be too "little kid" and girls especially seem to be rushed into acting overly "mature" (while actually acting like crazy people with no ability to manage any of this). Once kids get through that pressure-cooker, some will come out the other side into high school still interested in their own passions and will find a quirky group that lets them enjoy it. But most will come out of that a bit beaten down, afraid to show their real interests and passions, afraid to take a risk for fear of being mocked, and.--especially for smart girls -- afraid to demonstrate their strengths if it's not "cool". I'm amazed by Katie and her passions and skills and there's no way I was going to deal with that getting crushed by some mean-girl snottery or jerk-boy comments.

This school is perfect for her. And if there's any clearer way than this to demonstrate that I don't know what it is: last week she brought in a current embroidery project along with live catepillars to share with her classmates these two cool things she was doing. Today she brought in two 18" dolls and a dozen outfits she's designed and made for them herself, to demonstrate some of her passion for fashion design, pattern making, and more. She's found a good place to just geek out, learn, and grow for 2 more years. Hopefully by then she can join the rest of the quirky geeks on the other side of the beat-down that is middle school.

In mixed news: Rob was in a horrible bike accident last Tuesday (9/12) involving him on his bicycle and an SUV (we think?). There are a lot of questions about what happened. We only have sketchy details as Rob's memory and ability to see things from the ground and stretcher are then added to bits that we gathered from paramedics and others on the scene to try to figure out what happened. In the end, we are incredibly grateful that he walked into our house that night after 10 hours in the ER and a lot of stitches and scans.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

NYC: Photo Post

We took Maryna and her best friend to NYC for a few days as her (belated) birthday gift. We parked at our hotel Tuesday around 5 and left it again Thursday around 5.

In those 48 hours we navigated around by trains, tunnels, ferries, bridges, and probably 30 miles of walking; dined on Thai, Italian, Ethiopian, and Ukrainian; hung out in Times Square and Central Park and the Lower East Side and Upper East Side and lots of time in Midtown and brief stops in Brooklyn and Staten Island... It was jam-packed. We saw (and stepped on) rats, had a bird fall out of the sky and splat onto the pavement as we walked, used the hottest and smelliest bathroom ever in a subway station, cooed over dogs and horses, got caught in the rain, the girls got henna tattoos and matching sweatshirts and all the things basically.

Home, blistered, and ready for sleep.

Happened to pass the Etsy HQ

Sunday, August 13, 2017

To my Auggie, at 7

My dearest August,

Here we are, my sweet babboo. You're another year older, smarter, sillier, snugglier.

You're endlessly loving, curious, and creative. Lately you're also more prone to frustration. You've been a perfectionist for years. Your preschool teachers would tell us how you would recycle projects at school rather than bring them home because you didn't think they were good enough. By the way we gush and rave over your work and ideas, I can't imagine where this comes from, but you are generous and loving with praise for everyone but yourself. You're quick to call yourself "a failure" or "incapable" and it breaks my heart every time.

(Ok... Except when you insist with every cell of your body that you absolutely can do something that I know you can't and it's a mess and falls apart and you are frustrated. Those times I just nod quietly.)

You are so very bright. You adore math and numbers, strategy and puzzle solving, origami and Pokemon and grand schemes. You have to be told 1000 times to get away from the piano and stop practicing; to put a book away and go outside to play; and--yes--to put away your laundry and shoes and breakfast dishes. You're always invested in whatever passion your brain has latched onto and only the strongest of incentives (and sometimes threats) will burrow through that blanket of focus.

You are my funny philosopher and constant thinker. Everytime I think that you talk so much that there must not be a single thought that you don't speak out loud, you surprise me with something really intense, like a theory you've been pondering about how entire universes work. And I just marvel.

This summer we collected monarch eggs from our yard and have been raising them until they emerge as full grown butterflies. All three of you younger kids are enamored (Maryna is not a huge fan of any insects) but you are the one that sees magic in them. You see magic and mystery and science and math and patterns and schemes in everything, my man.

You are magic. 

You are still the surprise we never expected. You are bright-eyed and quick to smile, always ready to give a hug and a kind word. You love to laugh and even more so to make others laugh. You are sometimes the calm little rock I can count on in a crisis to sit with me, hold my hand, and give me those quiet nods of understanding. To slip into my room and offer to rub my back and tell me things you love about me and ask what else might help me get more rest.  And other times you are the crisis, whirling around in a storm of Auggie-energy and moods with manic giggles and jokes between real frustration and sadness. You are a complicated little puppy, my love.

You are my tiny guy (still wearing mostly size 3T and 4T despite this being the end of year 7). For a little slip of a guy, though, you are all heart, brain, courage, and ideas. You are light and fire and ringing bells, my boy. I can't imagine this circus without you.

Love you so,


Pokemon cake, 2017

Saturday, June 17, 2017


Auggie struggles to say specific. It comes out spafikik. And I die laughing.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Interview with August, 6 years, 10 months

What is your favorite food? Umm..... my favorite food would be..... I'm thinking... everything.
What is your favorite song to sing?  probablllly... Yellow Submarine. Oh, .... "I me mine" actually
What is your favorite song to listen to? I don't quite have one. Classical or Beatles
What is your favorite movie? Trolls or the Narnia movies
If you were an animal, what kind of animal would you be? Probably a cheetah
What is your favorite color? Red
If you could pick one vegetable for us to never eat again, what would it be?  um... mama? are mushrooms a vegetable. Oh, then MUSHROOMS
What is your favorite book?  um.... probably the perdayn chronicles and the chronicles of narnia. Do you know how to spell perdayn? P-r-y-d-a-i-n. 
Where would you like to go on a vacation? Puerto Rico again
Who is your best friend? Brixton
What do you like to do with this friend? Make potions and play Ten
What is your favorite outfit? ahhhh.... probably a red shirt and ... jeans if it's winter usually
Can you tell me a joke that you like? Why is 6 afraid of 7?..that one. That's a good one, right? it's kind of funny. 'Cuz 7 ate nine.
Fairies or Princesses?   uh... fairies
Favorite Flower? um.... the snow drop or maybe the rose. Oh! Tulips!
Favorite Bird? Chickadees and blue jays
Favorite Butterfly?  Monarch
Favorite Season?  Summer and winter
Favorite work at School? ummmmm ... reading comprehension
Favorite Dinosaur? Brachiosaurus 
What do you think are three words that describe you?  ummmmm... nice. snuggly. talkative.
What do you want to be when you grow up? A chef, an inventor, and an artist
Anything else you want to share? mmm... my favorite type of art? my favorite type of art would be making puppets. my favorite piano piece is Fur Elise. **whispers: that's my favorite** Oh, my other favorite would be probably the Darth Vador theme march. 

See also: August at 4 years 10 mos
See also: August at almost 3.

See also: August at 13 mos