Saturday, June 23, 2007

A Fine, Fine Festival

We had the priviledge of spending the majority of our day today celebrating the 5th birthday of Nate's best friend JediBoy. JediBoy has recently become a very big fan of the Middle Ages, most especially Arthurian tales, and his brilliant and creative mother devised an awesome Knights and Castles festival at a local park with a wading pool and carousel.

There was wonderful food, awesome conversation, and plenty of blow-up plastic weapons. We are still having a great time tonight with our inflatable morning-star.

Of course, my children had th greatest time on the ponies and in the pool. Anna rode the carousel till all the adults under her command were too dizzy to spin.

After the carousel, there was some splashing in the pool. I'm not sure how those crazy kids could stand swimming on such a chilly day. When the wind was blowing, it was downright cold, and yet they still ran in and out of the water.

Every now and then, you'd see a kid lounging beside the pool like a lizard basking on a rock in the sun.

Of course, Emily and Ben both found bugs to rescue during their swim. This came as no surprise to anyone who knows those two bug-loving nuts.

Ben was very proud of the bug on his hand, and immediately sent his mom off for an empty bottle to hold his new pet/exhibit.

The two littles had a great time just splashing around in the water. I was thrilled by how brave Nate was in this pool, and how confident Anna was in the water without any adults.

By the time the party was winding down, all of the kids were starting to hit their point of exhaustion. There were kids laying on benches, resting under trees, and quite a few were stretching out in the sandbox. I got quite a kick out of seeing JediBoy stretched out in the sand with his chainmail glimmering in the sunlight. He looked like some treasure dropped in the sand.

All in all, it was a wonderful day and we felt priviledged to be allowed to spend such a special day with our friends.

Now all of the kids are sleeping that totally drop-down tired kind of sleep and I'm getting ready to join them and see if I can actually get a night off from the crazy insomnia I've been having recently.


Thursday, June 21, 2007

Let Freedom Ring!

I'm days behind in posting to the blog again. I'm pretty much internally reconciled to the idea that I'll never manage being a daily blogger, but I do want to post when something cool and/or different happens in our family.

Our Freedom party with Paul, Ben and that other Dave was such a great time that I definately want to keep it down in written posterity.

On Tuesday night, Ben and his folks came over for a night of food and fun to celebrate the end of Emily's public school career. I cooked upsome quick and easy Mexi-American food and Ben helped his mom out with dessert. They baked an awesome vanilla cake and Ben decorated it with all the style and panache that a 7 year old boy harbors in his wonderfully creative mind.

Ohhhhh, and they brought vanilla ice cream, too. Of course, Dave still made some yummy ice cream for us older folks (banana with pound cake, candied walnuts and semi-sweet chocolate swirls)to enjoy, just because he loves to show off his ice cream making talents.

It's awesome to share a meal with good friends, since it makes eating and talking a comfortable social experience instead of an evening full of tension and worries about whether or not your children's terrible table manners are going to be the talk of the town after the night is over.

After dinner, while the kids got on with their maniacal destruction of our downstairs, Paula and I gabbed and gabbed about random topics from the sublime to the insane and the Daves messed about with their instruments.

My Dave is very, very new to the guitar but began playing violin when he was a child and "other Dave" (his official title in this house) plays guitar very well and collects all kinds of awesome guitars as a side hobby.

Sometime in the late evening hours, we realized that Emily had hit her fun limit and crashed out like a college freshman during Sorority Rush week. Poor girl, I put her to bed mostly naked after I realized that she'd sat in her dessert at some point and had a lovely collection of light pink frosting spots all across the back of her skort.

By the end of the playdate, which started breaking up a bit after midnight, the only kids left awake were our two night-owls, Ben and Anna. There was lots of thank you'ing and goodbye'ing and a smattering of gloriously inappropriate inuendo and a few late-night, too tired tears from Ben at the door when he discovered his father's misspent youth as a murderer who sentenced caterpillars to death by water fountain drowning.

Finally, when the house was quiet and everybody was in their appropriate sleeping place, I sat down with a cup of hot tea and a good story and read till I could feel my eyes drifting shut.

It was, all in all, a most wonderful celebration of the end of a era in our house. An era that was, thankfully, short and not too incredibly disasterous. Now we're on to the next great adventure...Homeschooling TWO kids at the same time.


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sometimes He Leaves Me Speechless...

Nathaniel has always been part enigma to me. He has flashes of a near-brilliant understanding of the world, just drifting around in that haze that is his particular brand of autism spectrum disorder. He sees this "big picture" of the world sometimes that I can't see, even though he has trouble understanding interpersonal relations on his own small-world daily basis.

We had one of those moments today, when we were cleaning the living room before Dave got home from work. While we were working, we were listening to a mix of some of my favorite songs and he got very quiet and contemplative while listening to our .mp3 of Josh Groban and Ladysmith Black Mambazo singing 'Weeping'. When the song was over, the Boy had tears in his eyes and he said, "This song is too scary. I think we live like this in America. Maybe it's like this in every country that has a war. Our boss people, like George Bush, tells us it's ok because they are guarding the evil, but maybe they ARE part of the evil. Maybe EVERYBODY who fights in war and kills people are wrong...and maybe we're being tricked into believing it's right because it makes us feel safer than knowing we're just fighting against other scared people who want to believe the same thing."

I'm still reeling. He does this to me frequently, but I never get used to it.

Friday, June 08, 2007


There's really no excuse for not blogging with more regularity. Sometimes, when I think back to those years (decades, really) when I churned out 2000-10,000 words EVERY day, I'm floored by the realization that I just don't have the energy or enthusiasm required to write a few hundred words about our very "regular" lives.

Last week was like the ocean, periods of quiet and calm broken up by waves of activity and fun. We had a great play-day with Piseco and JediBoy and Paula and Ben on Tuesday. There was a pool about calf deep of toys and blankets in Nate's floor that they were "swimming" through during their visit. I had a great time watching Paula and Piseco play face hurt from smiling so much, seriously! Emily became an adoring Ben-fan, and is plotting any excuses she can conjure to get out of these last few (under 10 now) days of public school so she can spend some of those days with him.

Wednesday and Thursday were recovery days for Nate, whose allergies had gone out of control on Tuesday night. He's finally feeling better, though the addition of a second rescue medication on top of his daily allergy meds has left him feeling a bit more groggy than usual.

Today, Dave came home from work at about 10:45am and played some Legend of Zelda with Nate, then went up to practice some new music on his violin before taking a nap. The kids played outside for while with neighbor K., but the heat was taking their breath so they ended up back inside challenging each other to Tennis in the living room.

After his nap, Dave went out to his classes (tonight is Wu TaiChi and and Shaolin Kung Fu, I think) and I decided to make some Wings and corn on the cob for dinner. While I was doing that, Emily made a lovely mess in the clay while working on the concept of "cave painting". After that was cleaned up, she sat down and made a list of her top five activity choices for the summer.

The list read (non-edited)

1. Crafs.
2. Go to Popos house.
3. Go to see Omo and Ogon at home.
4. See my frenis.
5. Roller skate place.

Translated it reads:

1. Crafts
2. Go to Papaw's house. - That is visiting my father in Kentucky.
3. Go to see Ah-mah (Grandmother) and Ah-gong (Grandfather) at home. - That is visiting
Dave's parents in Rochester.
4. See my friends. - Self-explanatory, I think.
5. Roller skate place. - Also fairly self-explanatory.

Nate added his list verbally:

1. Make a video like Jeff Corwin.
2. Swim somewhere outside.
3. Collect bugs, maybe an ant farm.
4. Watch a movie at the Drive-in.
5. Go to someplace in a hotel.

Ahhh, the drive-in. We've been trying to get to Elmira to watch Pirates of the Carribean 3 for several weeks now and are constantly thwarted by either the weather or the health of our children. We were going tonight, but this crazy severe storm warning just won't go away...of course, it's not RAINING either. Blah. If it's going to keep us home, the least it could do is rain and cool everything off.

Tomorrow is groceries and maybe a restaurant for lunch. We're still debating having a friend over tomorrow evening for some visiting and dinner. Sunday will be back to our routine of chores in the morning and bowling in the evening. Next week, beyond Sunday, is still a total mystery. We'll see what life brings our way.