Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Laundry, Groceries, Packing, Oh My!

Getting ready for our trip to D.C.  Got a tentative agenda, a Grou@pn for a private tour for five hours the first day...tons of laundry, groceries to get, packing to do....and then a 7 hour road trip on Easter Sunday!

Meanwhile, regular life goes on.  Took Willow to Girl Scouts tonight, Michael got his report card (all A's and one B!!) this past Friday...the kids have Friday off.

Starting to just want to get on the road...and its only Tuesday night!

This vacation is going to be a bit more of an adventure than relaxing...but it will be fun!

BTW, the last time we went to Washington D.C.:




Yeah.  Time flies.  




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Saturday, April 05, 2014

Stories

I believe in the power of family stories.  That is a lot of why I write this blog, because I want to write the down the adventures and stories that happen before I forget them.  So that I can look back, so that my children can look back.

Tonight, I was putting Willow to bed. She wanted a story.  What she wanted was one of the imaginative stories her father tells her at bedtime.  He has characters and everything.  I am not good at making up stories like that.  And she knows this, so we have started a tradition that I tell her stories of my past.  I have told her the story of how her dad and I met.  Tonight, I told her about my Grammie and how she used to have a metal tin of peanuts that she would use to feed squirrels in her back yard. It was something that made me feel good--to relive something from my past, to make her live again.  To share and hope that some day my child will share that story with others.

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Michael had to write an essay about a personal hero.  It is hard to see his work--he is protective of it and doesn't really let us look at his homework.  (I figure as long as he is getting good grades, its okay)  I did inquire, like I usually do, and he let me know it was going to be about his Grandpa Michael.  I let Chewy know it was going to be about his father.  A figure that Michael only knows about through stories that Chewy has told him...because he died before Michael was born.  Chewy was able to find the essay (I think the rough draft).  He writes some stories that about him and then explains the adversity in his Grandfathers life, how there were certain things he wanted to do, but was not able to do.  He concludes with:

"It taught me that there are always things there to stop you from getting to your goal (and you can't let them). It taught me that a real hero doesn't even have to be well known or recognized. A real hero is a someone who means something to you. They stand as a symbol for what is right and what you can do. Most of all my Grandfather's story is what encourages me to do the kind of things he dreamed of, to go the distance he went, and to leave a mark for the good of society where he couldn't. My Grandfather is my greatest hero. May he rest in peace."

I guess one never knows where those stories can lead.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Age(less)

She touches her hands.  She remarks on how different they are from her own.  The generous woman lets her touch her skin.  She says she is eighty-one years old.  (She doesn't look it...very spry)

I am reminded of other hands and other times when I was the young girl looking at the future.

Now I am the future-middle.  The woman asks her how old her mom is.  She remarks I am almost half her age.

As we drive home I think how the year is moving toward spring.  How April is such an important month for me (for her).  How time works its way through the trees we drive past...the snow still on the ground, chill still in the air.

Age and time.  My daughter and my mother.  And this woman who generously spent time with my daughter today and taught me an important lesson in time.


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Saturday, March 15, 2014

Gilligan's Island vs. Frozen; Universal Monsters vs Riff Trax

Both kids have been obsessed lately with the above mentioned subjects.  Living vicariously through your kids can mean you have the nostalgia factor going for Gilligan's Island and the Universal Monsters.

Yesterday, Willow woke up sick.  I stayed home with my little sickie girl.  She was so listless and feeling awful...only Gilligan's Island would make her feel better.  We watched every single one on our DVR (that is eight of them...not all at once!)  I have a greater appreciation for this show as an adult...which surprised me actually.

When she felt a little better in the evening...it was the (almost) daily viewing of Frozen.  She loves this movie...she loves singing the songs and she is transfixed each time.  We snuggled up (me hoping not to get what virus she has) and watched it yet again.

Michael came home from school...and the atmosphere changed.  To Frankenstein's House!  It was time to watch Boris Karloff and Lon Chaney, Jr.  and I was brought back to my teenage years again.  I loved watching this with Michael!

And then there is Riff Trax.  Almost every day, Michael ends his evening with a Riff Trax short.  It is sometimes annoying how much he wants to watch them.  But most times--it is like a nice end to the day.


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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Coming up for Air

The last couple of weeks have flown by.  Work has been hectic and busy and stressful.  Life has been chaotic.  It has been COLD.

Lately, Willow has been having trouble sleeping.  Well, mainly getting to sleep.  She gets anxious and she worries about things.  Now, sometimes they are the typical almost six year old things--you know, monsters under the bed, it being to dark in her room, needing to have a glass of water.

Other times...her serious side smacks me across the head.  She has asked about death and dying.  She has worried about going on a boat tour and sinking (when we don't have any such adventure planned at all).  Last night she was worried that when she goes away to college, she won't be able to find her way back home.  Most of the time these worries turn out into interesting discussions.  Last night we talked about what she wants to be when she grows up (a teacher).  Luckily, we seem to have a handle on this and I am sure that as time goes on she will get back to being able to go to sleep without the anxiousness.  But that seriousness...it is nice to see this side of her, this thoughtful side.

Michael seems to be getting the hang of teenager-ness.  He is also being less prickly.  He has been spending more time interacting with Willow like he used to.  Last year, he was kinda hands off with everyone.  Now, he is spending time with her on his own and helping her with her homework.  He is starting to get back into being that big brother that he usually has been.

I miss not being with them as much during the work week...and weekend time is short.  Let's be honest...my kids are growing up!  (and I cannot wait for April vacation!)



Friday, February 28, 2014

Accomplishments

How they happen so quickly, and how we acknowledge at the time...and yet...no honorific, no plaque...not even a Facebook status....

So, here, on my blog I put them...so that are not totally lost.

  • Willow has stopped sucking her thumb (well, she may do it at night, but that is a comfort thing, not sure if that can be stopped).  She did it without pressure from me.  She did it on her own.  She knew it was important to stop, we had talked to her.  And then she just stopped. 
  • Willow also plunged herself into the water this past weekend--her head all the way down, holding her breath!  She did it two times and was very proud of herself!  She cannot wait to take more swimming lessons.
  • Michael has been babysitting Willow with skill and perception.  It was nice to be able to celebrate Valentine's Day with a night out, realizing that Willow would be in capable hands.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Total Con 2014

Well, this year was one of the best times yet!  We got all the games we registered for (that usually doesn't happen!), no one was sick (we have had happen a few notable times) and Willow got to do her first round of Young Player games!

We tried a few things differently - we did not meet up one night at the hotel restaurant (too long of wait last year) and our friend John watched Willow for a couple hours (which was nice to have mom and dad be able to be in two separate games at the same time!)

Friday was got there just in time to pick up our registration and get right into our games!  Willow started off with her first ever game of Clay Wars:


I helped her to create Spikey - the poisoned spiked, six legged caterpillar like creature. Which she promptly lost with because she went off and attacked first...and everyone else attacked her creature!

But...she learned her lesson--and had great advice from her Master Gamer father---and ended up being one of the winners in Clay Wars!  She got a plaque and everything!  


Chewy also won many "Best Player" tickets in his games (he usually does), and Michael used the tickets to get a really cool Zombie board game.

I did a mix of games, including playing miniatures in the war against the Martians!

(We were able to destroy one of the Martians ships...but we lost the war...)

Michael had fun meeting up with various kids he has seen each year.  He played some role playing games and spent free time playing a lot of Smash Brothers and other video games.

This year they had someone selling gamer themed cupcakes and cookies.  I bought a dozen of them since Michael's birthday was on Friday.

Cthullu all cute and Yummy!

I feel this year I was able to really get to game more than a lot of other years and I liked the independence that it gives Michael each year.  I also liked that Willow was able to actually play some games this year and that Chewy was able to relax.  Now, getting a good night's sleep...not something that happened this year--but that wasn't too bad!  The company, the games, the food and the fun, was worth the few hours of sleep lost!

Sunday--just about ready to go to our last events!