Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Keep Looking Up

At the Grocery Outlet today, Ben and I found kites for just $3. He'd seen the Spiderman one and wanted it, but what clinched the deal was finding a Pokemon kite in the display for A. It's not easy to find Pokemon-related stuff, given that the series kind of hit its peak 10 years ago.

So, it was a nice windy afternoon and we took the kites out to the backyard.

Oh. My. God. I had totally forgotten how frustrating it is to get a kite up in the air. I tried to remember why I'd thought this would be fun.

I was cursing under my breath, yanking the string away from the kids, and was just about to give up when the Pokemon kite caught the breeze and sailed up about 20 feet.

"Look! Look! Look! It's flying!" I handed the string to A., told him to hang on tight....and watched the kite sail over the roof, and disappear from view with the string trailing after it. The kite fell, and string holder settled near the chimney.

"Why did you let go???" I yelled.

"It just pulled out of my hand. How are we gonna get it?" he asked.

"Beats me. Go see if it made it to the ground on the other side." Fuck me. I finally got the damn thing up and he let go.

Meanwhile, waiting for his turn, Ben completely tied himself up in the string from his kite. So I untangle him, pick up the Spiderman kite, and run from this side of the yard to that side of the yard. Again. Again. Throw the damn thing up. Run. Stop. Set it on the lawn. Run. Stop.

Me: "Ben, get off the string."

Ben: "Can I fly it now? Can I fly it now?"

Me: "Ben, do I look like I'm flying it? Does it look like it's up in the air?"

Ben: "Yes. Can I fly it now?"

Heavy sigh. "Once it's up you can fly it." Shouldn't G. be here to take over by now?

A couple more laps, and the breeze finally lifted it way up in the air. I quickly unwound the string and watched it climb at least 4 stories high.

Ben: "Ha HAHAHA!"

I could hear A. yell from the courtyard that he could see it flying from where he was. It soared and dipped like I was doing tricks but I wasn't. I kept the string taut, and handed it to Ben, "HANG ON TIGHT!"

"Ha ha ha ha HA HA!" Ben shouted. It was glorious. The long red streamer just floated behind the spiderman face. The wind was perfect. I started singing the kite flying song from You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Oh yeah. That's why we try to get kites up.*

*It seemed a lot more profound at the time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

More Funny Stuff From the Kids

Gah, I'm such a cliche. But you know, the reason I started this blog was so that I wouldn't forget what happened when my kids were little. Because, God knows, we can't depend on my brain to remember all by itself. That was true even before my little brain injury.

Benjamin is a little done with A. getting all the book-making glory, so he made his own book. He copied A. by tracing states, coloring them in and adding text (dictated to G, who dutifully transcribed Ben's thoughts). Then he drew a cover and had us staple it together. My favorite is Nevada. It's also very typical Ben, as he is one of the most loving kids in the world.

Cover: I was walking to the museum of science... (that's him with the green hair. A. and I are in the back)

Page 1: South Dakota is on the world that you can't see, but I wish I could go to this continent but I'm too old.

Page 2: Virginia: I love this continent because I love it so much because it's in Pokemon world but it's not too far.
Nevada: Now let's go to the next continent. (Sorry, Nevada)

Florida: I have never in the world seen this continent on too far!

Nebraska: I love all of the Kansas! (sorry, Nebraska)

Kansas: I love this continent so much but you can't go on the sun because it's too hot!

He LOVES his book and asks us to read it over and over again, while he dissolves into giggles. It's pretty cute.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Uh Oh, I Think God's Trapped Between My Curtain and My Window

I realize I've been totally coasting this blog on Ways My 6-Year-Old Entertains Me. But he's been making it so easy. Especially when he comes home with stuff like this, from sunday school. I think the lesson was that everyone has a different idea/picture of God. So the kids were supposed to draw what God looks like to them.

Here's A's:

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Look Out, Arizona

A's latest get-rich-quick scheme is to create U.S. atlases to sell. He traces one state shape on each page, colors it and then adds a fact about the state. I'm not entirely sure where he's getting his facts.

Thursday, March 19, 2009


When Natasha Richardson was reported to be critically injured after a fall, I paid attention. Then she died, and the cause was an epidural hematoma. So I went back and re-read my posts from 3 years ago when I had one of those. Damn. I remember feeling like they were all waiting for me to slip into a coma. They were. I feel like I dodged a bullet, but it's not the crazy, "Yay I'm Alive!" you would hope for. It's more like, "Crap. I could've died."

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Proudest Moment

We had our second parent/teacher conference this afternoon with A.'s teacher. We sat down, and she said gleefully, "I'm so glad you're here because I have been waiting for this all day long."

How wonderful - was she waiting because our son is one of those children that reminds a teacher why they teach? Because his shining face makes her day? Because she knows that this child will change the world?

No, what she was waiting for all day was the chance to witness our reactions to the first page of A.'s February journal:

In case you can't tell, although I doubt there's any confusion because it's really a pretty good likeness, that drawing on the left is a cow humping another cow. That is indeed what we saw that first Saturday in February, and as you can see, it made an impression.

Coffee Filter Shamrock Garland

We first did coffee filter art at the Children's Discovery Museum. They turned out so pretty that I wanted to try them at home, but had trouble finding liquid watercolors. A. received some as part of a birthday present last year, so that was solved. You can use the dry watercolor palettes with paint brushes, but the colors tend to be lighter.

Benjamin had some trouble doing one drop at a time and not overloading the coffee filter, but I decided to reign in my inner control freak and just let him play. I did give him only 4 colors that I thought would blend well, because, you know, I can't give up ALL control.

I discovered that by having him do it on a rimmed baking sheet, I could also control the mess.

After they dried, we cut out shamrocks and strung them on a ribbon. The long dangly things in between are the edges of the coffee filter after the shamrock was cut out. If I had time I'dprobably put them on a different string so it doesn't look so crowded.

It looks really pretty when it's daytime and the sun is shining, but you get the idea.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Springy Craftiness

Last year, you might remember, I was planning the All-Green Festivities, which left little room for craftiness because I was busy buying beer and making Irish music CDs. This year, we can't afford a big party, so we're having Ben's birthday at a bowling alley next weekend, leaving me free to have a messy house and do some St. Patrick's Day crafts with the boys.

I went to Mom's night at Ben's Montessori preschool and was so impressed with the tidy jobs and his development of fine motor control and how much he enjoyed "Prap-ti-pal Life", so I immediately looked up Montessori-themed blogs to try to carry the ideas over to home. This cool rainbow mural was inspired by My Montessori Journey. It was a perfect way to keep them busy while I made dinner.

So first I cut strips of colored cardstock in red, orange, yellow, blue and purple. I buy the value size packs of cardstock when they're on sale, and then store them in my craft closet so we have them on hand.

Then I set Benjamin to cutting squares from the strips with his safety scissors.

I drew a rainbow in pencil on a piece of butcher paper taped to the wall. Thank you to the Freecycler from whom I picked up this big roll of paper. We use it all the time. I wrote the names of each color in the correct section.

Then, when his little fingers cramped up from cutting, Benjamin set to glueing the squares.

By this time, A. was interested and joined in.

It could be a multi-day, multi-kid project, but after dinner Benjamin wanted me to glue with him, so we finished it by bedtime.

A. added a pot of gold. And a sun and some clouds. He's in charge of atmosphere.

I gotta say, I like it a lot. And Benjamin was extremely impressed with himself. And it was done completely with stuff we had on hand.

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