Friday, March 27, 2015

Long time!

It's been a while, eh? We've been busy. My work has had a series of nutso deadlines (actually, there's been a series of nutso deadlines over the last three months), and then there's so much TV to watch!

Bullet-point updates:

  • Cook has finished building his bike. It's pretty cool-looking. He fears that it will suddenly fall apart on his commute to work, but I think it probably won't. And it hasn't yet!
  • I continue to exercise daily (this is very time-consuming - I don't know how people who exercise a lot get their TV-watching in), in pursuit of my goal of someday being anywhere near as fit as my in-laws. I have a long way to go.
  • Duchess has another week to go in the cast. She thinks she dropped a resistor into it during her last electronics class, but it doesn't seem to be bothering her.
  • Skipper is getting excited to turn six. She is thinking that this year she may want to have a party. A party! With actual human beings who are not her immediate family! We'll see if she goes through with it, but it's cool that she's considering it.
  • Duchess and Cook are plotting that if I get a permanent job (IF), we will sell our house and move to a bigger new one, so that Duchess can have her own room and not have to argue with Skipper over who's responsible for cleaning which mess. Skipper and I say no. We want to stay in our safe place, and Skipper wants to avoid mess-cleaning responsibility.
  • Duchess has completely embraced the wilderness-dork program that she has been enjoying so much at day camps, and has decided to spend her considerable savings on a program next school year in which she will meet up with her group once a month for a full day of running around in the woods, practicing archery, and foraging plants to eat. She says she feels like she really fits in with the kids and adults associated with this program. It's a weird hodgepodge of LARPers, homesteaders, wilderness folks, and hipsters, but the general zeitgeist is pretty much nerdy-teenage-boy. (There are always a few kids with seriously dubious social skills in her camp groups, and the girls are always outnumbered significantly by boys. The adults, however, are the real draw for her - they have tattoos and piercings and cool punk hairstyles, they wear homemade tunics and leather boots and carry large knives, and they are sarcastic and playful and knowledgeable, which is a very powerful combination for Duchess.)  However, she has quite a bit of cultural catching up to do.  She has begun reading the Lord of the Rings books (mostly because Cook declared she can't watch the movies until she has read the books), and I got Monty Python and the Holy Grail out of the library for her, too. (Cook and I support all this; we're making her watch The Simpsons.) She asked if we thought she could start a Dungeons and Dragons club at her school...
That's about it. Happy spring!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015


Duchess got a love note this week at school, ostensibly from a boy of whom she is fond and who is widely acknowledged to have a Crush on her.* (Duchess is suddenly, and somewhat surprisingly, popular these days. There are a handful of boys who have acknowledged Crushes on her, and some of them are social leaders.) She thought it was probably a forgery, and she wanted to know. So she promptly asked the boy if he had written her a love note. He said no. They spent some time speculating together about who was responsible. Everything ended well.

Here's the thing. I can't imagine this scenario playing out for me when I was ten.** I can't imagine getting a note and then asking the kid if he had written it. Ever. At ANY point in my life. I would much rather deal with the ambiguity than confront anybody about anything uncomfortable. But Duchess has a different threshold than I do for social discomfort, and more confidence in her own social power. Watching Duchess make her way in the weird world of almost-adolescence makes me feel like I'm looking at entirely new territory, because her path is so different from mine. It's really interesting.

Anyway, Duchess has a new cast. It's green. She'll get it off in three weeks.

*I am also fond of this kid, who seems very ethical and thoughtful for a 10-year-old, as well as endearingly forthright.

** If I had not been a hopeless social outcast, I mean. I didn't get notes.  

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Crasee prsen.

I wanted to share this amazing thing with you, but I apparently couldn't be bothered to take a decent picture of it. This is something Skipper brought home from the 100th day of school. It says "When I am 100 years old ... I will run a round like a crasee prsen!"  and the 100-year-old version of Skipper is depicted saying "I like runing a round like a crasee prsen!"

Skipper explained that she will wear ponytails when she is 100 because she looks good in ponytails. And that is a candy cane she is using as a cane because she will have grown so small that a candy cane will be the right size.

Also, Skipper is now officially reading chapter books. This unfortunately means that the Accursed Fairy Books are back in the house. She isn't yet able to read silently, so she was banished to her room to read.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Skipper lost her second tooth today, and had an eye appointment involving dilation drops.


Duchess broke her finger last weekend. (She doesn't know how; she was playing in the Blonds' fun backyard, full of climbing adventure equipment.) She managed to break it at the base, and compromise the growth plate, so it apparently requires an amusingly and surprisingly large amount of stabilization. She will get a cast on Monday, but here is a low-quality picture of her, featuring her enormous interim splint.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Skipper had a taiko performance on Friday. She was pretty worried about it. She survived:

Saturday, March 7, 2015


Duchess has been thinking a lot lately about fashion. She's gotten some new (to her) clothes lately, and she's very consciously choosing a look: jeans, plain shirts, a denim jacket, and sneakers. She explained that she's noticed kids having "a thing" about the way they dress that's kind of their trademark, like wearing fake glasses in different styles every day, and her "thing" is a side ponytail, as of this last Wednesday. This is how she dressed for school on Friday.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Went to Arizona...

... had adventures, few of them photographed. But I'm too tired to tell you about them.

Patagonia Lake

Nogales, Mexico (we had to use those passports we got to go to Canada!)

Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum (which I thought was pretty awesome)