wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-12-07 08:46 pm
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Tonight when I picked West up we went for our now-traditional Wednesday evening ice cream (Drew works late Wednesday nights, and it's a bad habit I got us into over the summer, luckily the ice cream store is closing for the winter season this weekend). While we were sitting there eating our ice cream, West leaned over and whispered in my ear "the people who work here are so nice giving us our ice creams all the time, can we give them something to say thank you?" It was the sweetest, most touching thing I've heard in a long time. I had tipped extra when I paid, but I gave West a dollar to put in the tip jar on the way out.

Guys, whenever I tip too far into election despair, I try to remember, so many of the kids are alright. So many of them are so kind and compassionate. I hope we can keep the present from fucking up their future too much, because the kids get it, and a lot of them are going to grow up to be better adults than the crop we've got now.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-10-25 08:39 pm
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I took West to a Hillary Clinton rally (and Elizabeth Warren was there, too! Their first joint appearance since June!) on Monday. I figured I'd give the run-down of the day here for posterity's sake.

We got there around 8:30, "doors" were at 10:30 ("doors" being security check started then, because it was outside), and it was supposed to start at 12:30. It didn't start until 1:00 (if not after that, I didn't check the actual time, but it started super late).

It was a gorgeous day, and the couple of hours of waiting before we went through security were not bad at all. The guy in front of us in line eventually had his daughter join him, she was four, so she and West goofed around and played together in line. They ended up standing next to us at the actual rally, too, and West and the girl drew pictures together during that long wait, too.

We were so close to the stage! We were right up at the barrier, and were in front of where everyone walked up onto the stage. I'm going to append a couple of pictures I found online of the rally that show us!

It ended around 2:15. I didn't want us to have to pee during the rally, so we ended up being completely parched and hungry by the end. I gave West a peanut butter sandwich at 10:15, because I wasn't sure if they'd let any food in (turned out they did, but we were so squished in that there wasn't enough room to attempt to eat anything), and we shared a bottle of water before going through security, because they didn't let any liquids in. It was surprisingly hot in the sun, so by the end we were so hot and thirsty, and West was losing it. He was great for so much of the day, but he became a total bummer exactly when the event actually started, and he was pouting and flopping all over me and trying to sleep through the speeches. He perked up after it was done and I got some food and water into his face, and he said it was awesome.

Anyway, it was pretty exciting. There was such a happy excited air about the whole event, and everyone was so psyched to be there, it was awesome. Totally worth it, totally worth pulling him out of school. How many times are you going to be that up close to the next President of the United States?

Pictures if you click 'em. I drew crazy conspiracy theorist arrows on them to point out where we are- West wore my hoodie on his head to block the sun.


wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-10-11 06:46 pm
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From the kids are unintentionally hilarious file:

Yesterday West asked me "How did sakes die?" After puzzling through WTF he could possibly be talking about, I lighted on "Do you mean "for heaven's sakes?" He did. I don't... even know how to explain that.

The other day one of his spelling words was dam. When I said it out loud for him to spell it his eyes got huge and he said "that's a spelling word?" Not damn, I had to explain, but a thing that holds water back.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-08-17 06:49 pm
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Wow, kids losing skills over the summer is no joke. West is currently struggling to copy the thank you card notes I pre-wrote out for him. Like, all he has to do is look at what I wrote and literally just copy every letter, and it's like pulling teeth over here. I am feeling super guilty for letting the school work practice slide this summer, he's going to have a tough time going back to school in a few weeks. But jeez, man, how hard is it to copy a salutation, two sentences, and the closing signature? OMG. Someone's gonna be doing worksheets next summer.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-08-14 08:20 pm
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NYC!

We're back from Summer Vacation #3 (#1 was a week in Maryland in July, #2 was a couple of nights in a cabin in Maine last weekend). The drive home from New York always leaves me feeling so much more drained than the drive there. But Drew pointed out that we also walked 6 miles this morning before leaving the city, so there's that.

We drove down Friday morning, it was a surprisingly smooth ride, not as much traffic as there normally would be in the morning, and we triple-protected against West's motion sickness- half a chewable Dramamine, those sea sickness wrist bands, and lollipops made for morning sick pregnant ladies. It worked! And the Dramamine did not dope him up too much, so we were ready to hit the ground running on arrival. We parked at the Met and started our visit there. We walked in via the Greek/Roman statues wing, so West immediately saw statue butts and thought that was the height of hilarity. Got some comically overpriced lunch at the museum cafeteria. Saw the armor exhibit, the medieval exhibit, the Egypt exhibit, more ancient stuff, and European paintings. All while playing Pokemon Go, because the entire museum was covered in lures the whole time and there Pokemon everywhere. Talked to someone from Miami who was happy to see how into the game everyone is up here. After the museum we went to our hotel, which was in a great location, was pretty comfy, and had a super sketchy scary elevator. So I took the stairs a lot. Anyway, after freshening up, we walked down to the area where we knew we were having dinner, stopping in stores along the way because it was a thousand degrees and like 200% humidity, it was seriously epically uncomfortable the entire weekend. We went to The Strand, Forbidden Planet, Dylan's Candy Bar, and a Lego store (NYC business establishments got a lot of our money this weekend). Once we got down to The Village we stopped in a bar for a quick beer before dinner, then headed into Jekyll & Hyde for dinner. I had a groupon for dinner, which is the only way that place is remotely affordable, and even with that I ended up feeling like it was waaaay too expensive for what it was. We thought it would delight West, but he was kind of terrified the whole time. He did laugh at some things, and I think the rose colored glasses of time will make it a fun memory.. eventually. The food was beyond meh. Luckily we were right across the street from Big Gay Ice Cream, so we got delicious ice cream after dinner, and actually walked all the way back to our hotel from there. It was a lot of walking and West was a trooper for it all. It's not a Meger vacation until we have walked a punishing number of miles every day!

Saturday we got breakfast at a super New York corner diner that was super tasty. Then we walked up to the Nintendo store to drop some cash on Pokemon products. We played Pokemon Go the whole way, then went up to Central Park for more Pokemon action. We walked back to our hotel and got lunch at a bar with soccer on tv and a good beer selection, then I made a quick shopping detour to the row of awesome Korean beauty product stores (our hotel was in Koreatown). West and I attempted to nap at the hotel for a bit, completely unsuccessfully. We'd intended to do a ghost walk in the evening, but by the time I went to buy tickets that day they were all sold out, which was a bummer. So, change of plans, we took a bus way down to Bowery and Banyard, and then walked around Chinatown and Little Italy. Got some gelato because it was a thousand degrees and we lived off ice cream all weekend. And the gelato was delicious. We walked all the way to Avenue B to an HP Lovecraft themed bar that turned out to be underwhelming in its devotion to the theme. After that we found a bar specializing in hot dogs, so West could have a hot dog for dinner. A mouse totally ran across the floor in the place, but what can you expect from a restaurant below street level in New York.... We went back up to the area around our hotel (by cab this time, we aren't total gluttons for punishment, that would have been a crazy walk), Drew and I got some dinner, and that was the end of the day.

This morning we walked through Times Square to get to Ellen's Stardust Diner for breakfast. Ok, it's a total tourist trap, and in keeping with our food theme of the weekend, it was super expensive for meh food, but the waitstaff sing while you eat (I thought it would be like all the waitstaff singing to tables individually, but it's one person at a time singing with a microphone, so it's not as chaotic as it sounds). West was totally delighted with it, so it was worth the price tag and mediocre food, and looking like total tourists. We walked up to Central Park again, did more Pokemon Go-ing, then walked back to our hotel to check out. And that's that!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-07-07 04:39 pm
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We just had a vacation, and it's been way too long since I've posted here. Our vacation was just going down the Maryland to visit the in-laws, but still, I haven't been at work for a week, so that feels pretty good to me.

Our trip started off with West throwing up all over me just as we landed at BWI last Friday. So that was fun. We were sitting close to the front of the plane, so everyone else on the plane got to walk by us as I tried to clean us up with a handful of paper towels and all of the wet wipes I carry in my purse (note to self: replenish purse wet wipe supply stat). All while calmly telling West it's no big deal, lots of people do it, that's why those little bags are there. Those little bags are great if you get some warning that your companion is going to blow chunks before said chunks are blown. So then we walked through the airport while my shorts were soaked through with vomit, and lurked in a corner at baggage claim until we could get clean clothes out of our suitcase. What a start!

We saw fireworks on the 4th at a minor league baseball game that 1) took foreeeeeevvverrrr for them to play, and 2) got rain-delayed halfway through when the heavens opened up on us. But by the time fireworks were on the rain had stopped, and we had great seats in which to view them.

On Tuesday we went into Baltimore for the children's museum, a stop at the Maryland Historic Society to see their mastodon skeleton, and finished the day with a trip to a remaindered book warehouse that was awesome. Children's illustrated abridged versions of Shakespeare, Greek myths, and the Canterbury Tales- yes, please!

Wednesday we went into DC so I could book a half day of work at my DC office (and get four blissful hours of peace and quiet and not having to hear "uh, mommy?" five bazillion times). West and the fam went to the natural history museum, saw a few dinosaur fossils and watched tarantuala feeding time.

Today we flew back home. I set off the explosives detector with whatever explosive substance I had on my palms. Oh boy! I got the extra special go-into-a-tiny-room TSA pat down. That was... thorough. The lady doing it did say "nice shirt" about my Veronica Mars t-shirt. I was a little rattled by how non-communicative everyone involved in the process was, as I was led around by a guy who only spoke in grunts, and it was confusing what they wanted me to do pre-pat-down. But I ended up kinda feeling bad for the TSA lady who has to feel up strangers all day, because that must feel kind of lousy for her, too. ANYway. The flight was a little bumpy but otherwise uneventful, and West kept his breakfast in his stomach.

And tomorrow we have a final day of vacation!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-04-06 09:51 pm
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In a rare parenting win, I may have stumbled on something that seems to work. Lately I've been asking West once he's all tucked in bed if he has any questions. Like, about life or his day or anything. And he's had a lot of questions about evolution and sciencey things, and a couple of questions about why I don't like guns. I wanted to do something to encourage us having a little chat after story reading time, and he never remembers much about his day, or doesn't have anything he wants to tell me about it, but he always has a million questions.

Of course, I temper that by sucking sometimes, and I got super annoyed with him tonight when he hurt his hand because he was fooling around with a stepstool while I was trying to wipe his butt tonight. OMG. I am so tired of butt wiping. When will it end?! He does a passably ok job of it when he has to, but we are not at 100% independence there yet. Anyway, I try to apologize to him after I've failed at being a reasonable adult, and I explain how I should have been more patient or whatever my failing du jour is, and that I'll try harder. I don't remember my parents ever apologizing for a parenting mistake, so I hope maybe it's ok to at least show him that hey, we're humans, we screw up, we try to do better next time. Maybe? I don't know what I'm doing here, who put me in charge of a human anyway?
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-02-15 08:41 pm
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Watching West learn how to read is amazing. In September he couldn't read anything other than his name. Tonight he read me an entire Elephant & Piggie book, with help on the harder words, but still, he did it. He's kind of obsessed with learning facts about presidents now, and he's super obsessed with Pokemon and knows a lot of their names and powers. This little person blows my mind sometimes.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-01-19 09:04 pm
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Sometimes you lose a kid in a grocery store for like 30 seconds. This weekend we were at BJ's getting a ridiculous amount of wholesale goods, and Drew & I went down an aisle thinking West was right next to us. I turned around and West was nowhere to be seen. I found him about 30 seconds later just outside of our aisle looking super scared because he couldn't find us, either. That was genuinely terrifying. Poor little guy was so freaked out.

In the parenting win column, we started him in a kids' swordsmanship class and he absolutely LOVED it. I've never seen him so excited about an activity. Exercise, social time, hopefully some learning to focus and control his body a bit, it's the best!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2016-01-01 10:09 pm
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I just wanted to get this in here more so I don't forget it than anything else. For a while Drew and I have had this joke that our family motto is "Efficiency In All Things!" which we like to say, uh, energetically sometimes. The other day I was out at the museum with West, and West said "our new family motto should be 'Out And About'." So cute! Then later West said "but my motto will be 'Whatever'." Ahhh! This kid is so hilarious sometimes.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-12-25 09:57 am
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It's 9:45 and every present in the house has been unwrapped, including those that required long skype sessions with the grandparents for unwrapping. West was up at 5:30, which isn't that bad because that's exactly when he usually wakes up. This was super successful Christmas season. I pulled off a hail mary gingerbread man cookie baking session last night so we could put out cookies for Santa. Took West to the mall Santa last weekend at the last minute. He told Santa he wanted the Gold Power Ranger, which was totally different from what he'd been saying all month (he'd been all about getting a Transformer before this). So I did a last minute Amazon power ranger purchase, and it was so worth it because he was so excited. He's been pretty charming and excited about everything all morning. We watched Muppets Christmas Carol a couple of nights ago and he actually liked it. I'm pretty pleased that it's been a totally whimsical and fun Christmas season. Now I need a five hour nap.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-12-14 09:12 pm
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NYC! Holiday whimsy and magic!

We had a surprisingly AMAZING time in New York this weekend!

After the cut! )
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-11-27 10:28 pm
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Tonight we went to the annual Salem tradition of watching Santa get rescued from the roof of a hotel by firemen on a huge fire truck ladder. As you do. While we were waiting, a girl in West's class walked by, and she yelled to him "I've been dreaming about you" OMG. Kids are hilarious, but send help, because we've also received notice from his afterschool program that he was kissing a girl one afternoon. IDK what is even happening here. Let's get through the final stages of not wetting the bed at night, and eating spaghetti with a shirt on, before I have to step up my parenting game (or lack thereof) to tackle human relations. He takes his shirt off to eat spaghetti. It's a thing. The other night Drew came home and noted West's lack of shirt, and said "spaghetti for dinner, huh?"
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-11-22 09:47 pm
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West is working on his tight 5 comedy routine. We watched Muppets Take Manhattan today, and his joke tonight was: "Why is called Muppets Take Manhattan? It should be called Muppets Leave Manhattan!"

OMG. This kid.

Also, that movie holds up remarkably well, it's amazing! I am so excited to take him to NYC in a few weeks. It will be magical and whimsical!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-10-16 08:55 pm
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Book orders! Yaaaaassss. We got our first book order forms for West today, I'm so excited. You remember those Scholastic flyers we got in school when we were kids? They totally still do those. Super cheap books are the best. Also, ordering a bunch of books from this earns free books for his classroom.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2015-09-16 09:32 pm
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Kindergarten!

So we are 4 days into Kindergarten, and I am loving it. Walking around West's school I was astounded by how awesome the facilities are, and we're in a pretty low scoring district in the state. They have an art room! A science lab! A big library! A music room! I guess the Catholic schools I went to were just super shabby.

Every week Kindergarten gets 2 music classes, 2 art classes, a PE class, and a computer class. Our school gives every kid a free breakfast and free lunch. We're still navigating that, because West is so picky, so he won't eat most of the food they have, but he also had one morning where he ate two breakfasts, one at home and one at school (he was like "yeah, I had a tummy ache after that"). So, still packing a lunch most days, but today he got school lunch and went for the super responsible choice of eating pancakes and chocolate milk for lunch. Oh, kid.

His teacher seems really nice and is brand new, and the kids seem like great kids (from what I could tell from seeing some of them like twice). The school did a scavenger hunt / meet & greet / Q&A session for the incoming Kindergarteners on the night before the first day of school, it was super nice.

He's in the Y's afterschool program in the same building where he was going to daycare, and it's going surprisingly well. He seems super happy, a couple of kids from daycare who go to different schools now are in the program with him. They actually give the afterschool kids free dinner every night if the kids want it. We could literally not have to feed our kid at all except for snacks every weekday if we needed to.

So we're starting off well! Yay!
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2014-12-29 09:01 am
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Kids' books round-up

Hey LJ, it's been a while! I thought I'd do a round-up of the best kids' books we've read recently.

First is The Book With No Pictures. Written by The Office's B.J. Novack. I was not expecting this to be as big a hit as it is. The first time I read it West laughed so hard he peed his pants, and he regularly laughs so much he falls over on subsequent reads.

The Rabbit Problem is gorgeous and also math-y. It has lots of little fiddly bits in the book that West loves, and the Fibonacci sequence running through it makes me feel like a smarty-pants mom even though I didn't actually realize that was a thing in the book until someone else pointed it out. I still feel kinda smart about it.

My First Book of Girl Power. I am not a huge fan of West seeing all the scantily clad lady superhero outfits, but I like the message, and I am really trying to make sure he has plenty of books about girls that he likes. In the vein of girl power, I also really like these books: Rosie Revere Engineer, The Most Magnificent Thing, The Three Ninja Pigs, and Ninja Red Riding Hood. There are so many books where the default is BOY, or if it's about girls, it is marketed solely to girls and is covered in pink, making it hard to get West interested in it. I like the Olivia books because they aren't always pink to the max, and he likes the stories.

Anyway, Christmas was whimsical, we had a really nice day and West was really cute and loved his presents.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2014-10-23 06:32 pm
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Woe! We are now done with the Arbitron ratings. No more meter wearing, no more $25 checks every month. It's been a year and a half, I've gotten so used to wearing my meter and looking for it when I lose it and checking my pockets to make sure it's there. Oh well. It was fun while it lasted! I really liked making my tv watching count for something. But Vampire Diaries continues on, meter or not, thank goodness. Bring me some more vampires and witches in 1994 for *reasons*. Also, the newest Raven Boys series book is sooooo good. Also, Drew is reading a book with West right now and West is kinda getting some of the words, or at least the letters. It's hella cutes.
wildflowersoul: (strawberry shortcake)
2014-09-23 09:20 pm
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West can draw actual representative art now! I had no idea he was capable of this until last week! He's been coming home with reams of drawings from daycare, and he is all about drawing houses and pictures of his family. It is the cutest thing I've ever seen. Today he gave me a picture he drew of me, Drew, and him, and his drawing of me even has a ponytail and eyelashes. I love the little surprises of seeing him learn new things. Yesterday he even showed a welcome bit of actual patience and restraint and said "I'll wait until you're done with the apple crisp" (I was making apple crisp with the gazillion pounds of apples I have from two weekends of apple picking). OMG. This child is growing up!