Monday, July 28, 2014

from Haircuts to CAT Testing to Stolen Purses

Getting ready to post the latest installment of photos and a message popped up saying I'd used up all my cloud storage.  So I took to clean out some of the folders full of photos.  I scrolled through memories from two years ago, picking out the highlights and deleting the blurries.  And in the process, saw images much happier than I remember them.  In little 5 year old Kaio, I saw a tiny kid, happy and astonishingly capable.  Yet my recollections of this time float on a raft of the same doubt and struggle I feel now.  Are the pictures misleading? Or am I not living in and enjoying the moment?

I love this boy and his innocent little soul.  Why do we fight so much?

And now the recent pictures.  Will I look back on these in two years with the same surfacing regret?  A regret for too much time spent worrying and arguing?  Not enough time spent trusting and encouraging?

A daredevil and an artist.

Nala would eat only pancakes and cereal if I let her.   But at least she likes some green veggies, like broccoli.

While our fig tree died off, our blueberry bush thrived through the cold winter and yielded the most blueberries ever.

Every year world class kayakers race down the Great Falls of the Potomac, class 5 and 6 rapids.  This year we went to watch from a nice little perch.  That is until Nat Park Service told us to get back on the other side of the safety wall.

Camp fire and party for the kayakers as part of the Potomac River Festival.  Someone flew a goPro drone over the party and the kids really thought it was a UFO.

Kaio's more than a bit obsessed with fire.  He seems to be obsessed with all things dangerous.  He knows how to light lighters and matches.  I've recently told him to stop with the pyrotechnics without adult supervision since last week I found him trying to burn a rocket fuel capsule from a model rocket kit!  Luckily it didn't set on fire.  Again, the crazy things he does all take me back to my childhood- setting various things on fire in my basement.  My brother still has a piece of shrapnel in his chest from when we set a bullet on fire and it exploded.  I remember holding that bullet over the candle flame with a pair of tweezers, and then BOOOM!  My ears were ringing for the rest of the day!

Kaio runs so hot that I chopped his hair off to get some ventilation, and also make it easier to check for tics.  What was supposed to be an Army cut, looks like a monk.  I hope we can reshape it soon, cause it really doesn't fit him.  Nala is like me and her hair grows painfully slow so I almost never take her for a cut.

Oh yes, speaking of cut, I finally got a new do with some peek-a-boo purple streaks.  They make me so happy to have a little bit of fun color mixed with my natural brown.

What else makes me happy?  Wallpaper in my room!

The baby will stay with us in our room, so my nesting phase has orbited around making our personal space a reflection of our own style.  We've been living with yellow walls since we moved in here, and not a shade that I connected with.  So I'm finally doing something about it.  This wallpaper is called Anaglypta and it is a textured paintable vinyl wallpaper.  After buying it on super sale it sat in my room for two months as I dreaded putting it up.  But then, it actually wasn't that difficult.  I intended to paint it like Moroccan tiles, but we're enjoying the white.  So paint will come later when I'm ready for more change.

What also makes me happy?  The view from my bed of sunlight, wallpaper, lace curtains, and jasmine flower sun and moon tea.

And one more thing that makes me happy.  Mammoth sunflowers and other flowers growing in our yard.  It's so satisfying to plant a seed and then actually see it come to fruition.

Last week we completed our testing week for Kaio's 1st grade homeschooling evidence of progress requirement.  I know, it's half way through the summer and we just now finished 1st grade?  But it's our first year doing this and I wanted to give us as much time as possible to cram for the test.

When the .5" thick testing booklet arrived, I thought, 'No way we are getting through this.'  Doing a page of worksheet with him takes mountains of patience and coaxing on my part.  Sometimes even chocolate and coffee.

Not sure why but I got all emotional about his Scantron page and had to take a picture.  My baby's first Scantron test!  It's such a rite of passage.

I had to make a quick trip to the grocery store for a pack of #2 pencils.

To my pleasant surprise, we flowed through the testing, doing about 20 minutes each day.  He answered the stupid questions, filled in the bubbles, and overall did really well.  There were some areas that we didn't cover and he didn't know, I guess the test was helpful in pointing those things out.  Although I could equally argue that they are not important for a 1st grader to know anyway.  Besides completing the testing without a fight, the other biggest surprise for me was how well he did on the reading comprehension.  I would have never known that area to be one of his strengths had it not been for the test.  His recollection of the details of the stories was way better than mine.  And come to think of it, I really struggle to remember what I read and that made college tough.  I had to read and re-read text books, and highlight and take notes, and still wouldn't remember what I read.  I'm much more weighted on the kinistetic side.

Nala likes crawling around the house inside a pillow case.  She pretends to be a worm.

She enjoys pretty much anything from playing with barbie dolls to building weaponry.


I've been learning so much from her.  She has this incredible innate ability to make friends with people big and small.  She really listens to what people have to say, and naturally asks relevant questions to carry on the conversation.  She's dynamic and animated.  It seems so simple the way that she does it, but it is so mystifying to me.  I guess my mind wanders and I have trouble following people when they are taking about a subject that is new.  Mari wants to put her on path to politics.

We went to the zoo.  Kaio wanted to see octopus, but the invertebrates exhibit is permanently closed.  Bummer.  Nala wanted to see the flamingos, and then we found a peacock feather.

We returned to a car that had been broken into.  Glass all over the front seat.  My purse was stolen from inside.  Luckily I'd transferred everything of value to the backpack that we took with us to the zoo.  Later I saw that other cars on the row also had their windows broken, funny that the police didn't notice that or didn't care to look.  We were parked in front of million dollar homes, by the way.

The whole event was pretty exciting.  But I was surprised the police did nothing to try and catch the thieves.  They basically just gave me a case number and left.  No forensics, no pictures, no detective work.  They didn't even help me clean up the glass from the seat.  They pushed the big chunks of glass out of the window sill, but they pushed them onto the street, totally littering.  I got a bag out of the trunk to put shards in, and they left.

I draped a t-shirt over the glass on the seat so I could sit down without slicing my ass, and we drove to Adam's Morgan for some falafel and pizza - bigger than your head!

And that's all.  An eventful couple weeks that hopefully will continue being eventful as we're officially on summer break now that testing is over!

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