Sunday, April 26, 2015

All the stereotypes

There are moments of my life that feel like they easily could be snippets of Portlandia episodes. Yesterday, Skipper went to a birthday party at a rock-climbing gym. The party was for the Blond twins, who turned 7 last week, and I asked their mom for gift suggestions. She said that they would really like something for their terrariums. (Terrarii?) And here's the extra-Portlandia thing: I knew off the top of my head exactly where the closest terrarium store is, and it's within a ten-minute walk of our home.

I went to the party for a while, because Skipper was pretty worried about the whole rock-climbing thing, but I biked there while Skipper got a ride with the Blonds. On my ride there (on "neighborhood greenway" streets, through painted intersections), I saw two adults I know. One was riding a bike with part of another bike strapped to the back. The other one was riding a cargo bike with panniers full of groceries, with her two (adopted) kids riding their own bikes behind her.

I do love this place, as silly as it is.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Spring, last weekend




Thank you, lice!

Duchess got a haircut!


Thursday, April 23, 2015

catching a breath

We have been busy.

My work life has continued to be very busy. My job has been extended through the end of the calendar year.

Duchess is now fully healed from the Broken Finger Episode, and is cramming in a bunch of makeup gymnastics classes before the end of the season in June. This is hectic. She is also taking a programming class on Saturdays, which is hectic. And she's started extra training sessions on weekends with her kung fu friends, preparing for their Big Test this summer. Hectic!

Last weekend was Skipper's birthday. She had invited six kids to her party on Sunday, and we heard back from three, and she only had one confirmed attendee. She decided she wanted to go ahead with the party, even with just one kid. On Saturday night, after the kids had gone to bed, I asked Cook to inspect my itchy head for lice. I had a louse. Our first lice! On Sunday morning, we started the bedding-washing and kid-delousing project, and it rapidly became clear that we were not going to be able to get ready for the looming week, bake and frost a birthday cake, lay out a scavenger hunt, host guests, delouse* everybody AND still remain sane, so we cancelled the birthday party. I called the parent of the one confirmed attendee, and emailed the parents of the non-RSVP-ers  as I didn't have numbers for them. One of the non-RSVPers subsequently showed up for the party (which was confusing and hilarious and mortifying in equal measures - they knocked on the door, and Skipper, Duchess, and Cook, who were playing Uno in the living room between combings, all scattered in terror and surprise).

It all worked out okay. We seem to be louse-free, and my head no longer itches.***  And ALL six kids are coming to the rescheduled party this weekend, so it probably actually worked out for the best.

Skipper's birthday? I think it was pretty good. She got presents she liked, she ate her weight in sushi for dinner, and then she ate chocolate cake frosted with whipped cream and garnished with raspberries. Her favorite present seems to be Uno, a last-minute inspiration of Cook's. She feels old.

That's all. Hectic! Old!

*Manual delousing, using a spiffy anti-nit comb, a lot of conditioner and the magic of television.
** Skipper appears to have been the vector, which makes sense - I've heard from other parents that her class is particularly lousy. Cook was clean, and Duchess and I both had very small infestations.
*** The internet told me that the itch is the result of an allergic reaction to lice saliva. That made me feel much itchier.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Brief recap of stuff I've written before

Duchess went to the first in a series of five three-hour programming classes today. I signed her up at the suggestion of a parent of a friend of hers (Spruce, whom Duchess has known for seven years), who is also signed up for the class. Duchess really enjoyed the class; she said it was "awesome."

My goal for Duchess's extracurriculars have changed. I initially thought I'd sign my kids up for a range of activities so they could find a thing they loved to do. When it became clear that Duchess likes to do almost everything, I found myself casting around. for a reason to keep lining up activities for her. For this class, though, and also her after-school electronics class, I know exactly why I want her taking them. I want her to enter college (or at least middle school) feeling competent and confident in skills that open the doors for careers in tech. Playing with tech stuff is still the province of boys. Duchess is the only girl in the ten-kid electronics class, and she and Spruce are two of the three girls in the ten-kid programming class. It will take a lot of confidence to sign up for computer science classes in college, and I want her to have that.