Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Me: Hey, Daddy Shortbread. I found a really big snake skin by the refrigerator in the garage.
Daddy Shortbread: NEAT!
Bear: I hope I get homework tomorrow. I really miss homework.
Thursday, August 28, 2008
Bug got home first this afternoon, pleased as punch with her new teacher, whom she describes as "awesome." She was pretty impressed by the Hershey's Hug and Kiss the teacher gave each of them. Candy! On the first day!
We chatted for awhile about what kids are in her class, etc., when Bug suddenly said darkly, "There's one thing I bet will happen again this year." She sighed, "Every year the boys don't ... you know, aim so well? in the bathroom? ... and the janitor has to come in and talk to them and explain how to do it. The girls have to wait in the hall, and it's boring." This is her biggest concern about third grade, so I'm thinking it will be a pretty good year.
Bear arrived home about a half hour later, happy and relieved to be through her first day. She rates her day a 9/10, subtracting one point for when she forgot her schedule in her locker and had to go back to get it.
She is excited by all her teachers except her English teacher, whom she describes as "a little too sweet and happy." (Is this my kid, or what? I'll take sarcasm over sunniness any day.)
Her schedule of classes is:
Homeroom (10 minutes)
Per. 1 - Math
Per. 2 - Social Studies
Per. 3 - Reading (literature portion of English requirement)
Per. 4 - Gym (1st quarter only, then Music Appreciation, French, and Technology for a quarter each).
Per. 5 - Excel Science (accelerated, reading-intensive science class)
Per. 6 - Math Lab (all 6th graders have a math lab, where they do their math homework under the guidance of a math resource teacher)
Per. 7 - Study Hall (2 days per week) alternated with Band (3 days per week)
Per. 8 - English (spelling, grammar, and composition portion of English requirement)
Starting Monday, all sixth graders will be assigned BRAND NEW MACBOOKS, which they'll take to all classes and be able to bring home later in the year. I just want to point out that when I was in sixth grade, I got to work on an Apple IIC once a week for thirty minutes. Most of Bear's textbooks will be loaded onto her laptop, so she won't even need to bring her books home.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have a veritable mountain of paperwork to fill out that has to be returned to their teachers tomorrow pledging that we live in Winslow, will follow school rules, are OK with the kids going on field trips, are OK with the kids being videotaped for assesments, will encourage our kids to follow bus rules, are not migrant workers, do not need reduced price lunch, and will pay to replace the laptop if Bear trashes it. This may call for a glass of wine. Or a bottle and a straw.
Bear and Bug got up without intervention this morning, probably due to first day nerves. "I have butterflies in my tummy," Bug informed me seriously, "The bad kind."
Chocolate chip scones helped.
Here's the new junior high school student, resplendent in her new school clothes, new backpack, new Trapper Keeper, and ratty pink flip-flops from the summer that she insisted were the perfect complement to her outfit. Some battles are not worth the fight, so I said nothing. An eyebrow might have gone up, but she held firm.Her new haircut makes her look so much older. Holy cow.
Yesterday she fell apart for a few minutes, worrying about getting a tardy or not being able to find her locker. I talked her down, and by this morning she was cool and confident, ready for this new challenge.
She acted all flippant when I asked if she wanted to be dropped off or walked to her new classroom, but after a few minutes she said, "I guess I want you to walk me in," in a little voice. By the time we reached her classroom, she spotted a few friends and dashed off excitedly after a quick hug.
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Daddy Shortbread was pretty happy to be doing this on a Friday afternoon instead of working:
Buggy, after the requisite jumping over waves and shrieking, likes to lay on her tummy on the picnic cloth and doze.
We stayed until 6:00 pm, when there were only three or four other families left on the beach. The late afternoon sun on the sand and water is absolutely beautiful. I could have lingered much longer, but the newest Cheetah Girls movie was premiering on TV that night, and Bug and Bear were about to come un-fricking-glued if we didn't start heading for home. You know, it's not like it's going to be shown on the Disney Channel eight gazillion more times over the next few weeks or anything. And just so you can appreciate what truly wretched parents Daddy Shortbread and I are, look - we make the kids carry their own sand toys back to the car! Awful, aren't we?
Monday, August 25, 2008
1. too squeezy
2. my heel slips out
3. too tight in the toes
4. the heel isn't made right for my foot
5. a weird bump in it
6. too squeezy, yet too big
7. not right, but I can't tell you why
8. can't get my heel in
9. WHOA - slips right off
10. so. tight. can't. breathe.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
We went to Reid State Park yesterday instead of Popham, just to mix things up a little. We haven't been there since our first summer in Maine, when Bear was four and Bug was 18 months old. That last visit there was a huge ordeal involving two fractious small children, a looooong walk from the parking area, navigating a stroller on sand, and the worst sand-in-the-diaper incident you can possibly imagine. No, worse. Really. Ask Daddy Shortbread if you don't believe me.
Reid differs quite a bit from Popham, although it's located on the next penninsula north. For one thing, it has a tidal saltwater lagoon, which is nice for kids to swim and play in without having to contend with the surf. Once you cross the dunes over to the ocean side, you notice that the waves are rougher than Popham's, since the shore faces the open ocean without the long shallows that Popham has. Here is Bear discovering that the Reid's waves are also quite a bit colder:
If there were an Olympic event for Running From and Jumping Over Waves, my kids would be gold medal contenders. Not that I'm biased.
It's all in the style for Bug. Occasionally she throws in a dance leap or pirouette.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Bug worked diligently on a sand castle, while C. and his cousins (not pictured, but just to the left of Bug) dug a hole to China. I mean to tell you, these kids can DIG. The littlest cousin, J., actually looked up from the bottom of the hole he was working on and realized that he couldn't get out.
Summer's winding down around here, but we've decided to squeeze in one last beach day tomorrow when Daddy Shortbread has the day off. I'm determined to eke all we can out of this week of good weather after all of the rain we've seen this summer.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Miraculously, they were able to soldier through 18-holes of mini-golf after hiking, despite their sheer and utter exhaustion. The little troopers.
Sunday, August 17, 2008
Note: this is the same child that plucks cucumber beetles off of the birch tree and takes them into the pool to "swim" with her. So I'm really not buying the whole spiders-scare-me stance.
Me? I think she's bored, and this entertains her. Time for school, folks!
I'll try to update pretty frequently to show you what we're up to. This has been a fairly lame week for posts due to weather, etc. We've done a lot of reading, but that doesn't translate very well into photographs or amusing anecdotes. I also mowed the grass, but I'm thinking you probably don't want to see pictures of that either. I certainly don't.
Bug and Bear used the last of their Christmas Barnes & Noble gift cards this week (we stretched them over 9 months by just getting a book or two at a time), and Bug picked up the next book in a series she's been enjoying. She read the entire 340 page book in 24 hours!! Devoured it like a locust. Not bad for eight-years-old, eh?
(Footnote: For those of you already asking for Christmas ideas, Barnes & Noble gift cards are always a great idea for Bug and Bear. They LOVE going there and picking out books.)
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I'm pretty thrilled that I got Bear to branch out a little from her standard t-shirt, hoodie, and jeans. I literally had to force her to try on some more stylish tops. She loved them. Ha.
This shirt/sweater combo was Bear's favorite purchase from our school shopping trip:
I couldn't resist this shirt for Bug despite the inadvisability of doing what it says:
Can't you just see the teenager peeking through in this one? She wanted a "not smiling" photo. Here she is, angst and all:
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Thanks again for the Wii, Uncle Awesome & Aunt Fab! And have I mentioned how I can't wait until you have kids, so I can shower every noisemaking toy on earth on them?
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Me: Hey, I thought it would be fun if we did a fashion shoot with you guys dressed up in your favorite new school clothes. You could pretend to be models, and then I can post the pictures on my blog.
Bug: Sure. That would be fun.
Bear: OH! COOL!! I've been practicing poses in my mirror for YEARS!
Monday, August 11, 2008
After lunch Bear and Bug swung right into assembly line action with me: mixing dries, creaming butter and sugar, snitching chocolate chips, and spraying enough Pam on the muffin tins to asphyxiate a cat. (Come to think of it, I haven't seen Maisy in awhile...).
We made twenty each of plain, chocolate chip, and cinnamon streusel muffins. They are frozen and awaiting two crabby early morning schoolgirls' breakfast whims.
Further down the beach, we found some nice crashy waves as the tide began to roll in. Daddy Shortbread and Bug are mostly of the Stand and Let the Waves Smack Into You school of thought. That's fine. If you're a WUSS.
I had to enlarge this one for you (hence the blur). Bear kept saying, "I think I'm done getting wet. I'm going to dry off now." Two minutes later, she was right back in the surf.
Body Surfing: It Ain't Always Pretty, But Dang It's Fun.