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June 2012

School year wrap up

As of today, all the children in our house are DONE with school year 11/12! Can I get a WOOOHOOOO? So I thought I'd finish up the year with a look at how each kid is doing.

Tre made the Dean's List. Again. Could I be any more annoying with my smugness? He is lovely and good, that child, and I am delighted by him. He is mostly delighted by his girlfriend. I said to him, sort of teasing, "The two of you look at each other like you invented light." He laughed and replied, "We did." He said it like he was joking, but I don't think he was, entirely.

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But his girlfriend isn't the only one with whom he is smitten. 

Now all he needs is a summer job and a car, and the world is pretty much his oyster. 

Max had a slightly rough school year, mostly because...okay, because Max is 13. And he is wonderful and smart and funny and strong, but he is also 13. I'm just saying.

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He is, whether he knows it yet or not, something of a super hero. And he totally rocked math this year.


Raphael has been, by turns, the most adorable, sweet boy and a great big pill. I was talking to a friend today who said, "Yeah. Fifth grade. Those kids are impossible." I'm so glad next year we have sixth grade to look forward to, instead. HA! HA HA HA!

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He is still obsessed with origami, and folds the most amazing things. He's made huge improvements in writing and not pitching a fit at math. He still likes to go places with his mom, and I truly appreciate that.

Finally, Sophia mostly would like to be held. By whomever is not currently holding her.

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She is busy and attitudinal, and the other day she wrote this:

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(That says "Mommy" and "Sophia." CLEARLY.)

She is obviously brilliant. Yes, I am still being annoyingly smug. I can't help it - my kids are great. And I declare this school year a success and this class here:

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(It's a relief to everyone.)


Pick the caption

I think this picture could be captioned one of three ways:

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1) - Awww! 

2) - If she would just sleep at night, like a normal human being, then she wouldn't be suddenly overtaken by sleep while being read a book by her big brother, leaving us holding our breaths, waiting for the inevitable rage when she wakes up and realizes what happened.


3) - Who put great big man hands at the end of my little Max's arms? 

What it's like having a newly licensed driver in the family.

Having a newly licenced driver in the family changes things. For instance, you would not believe how many errands a 16 year old boy has to run every day after school. It is boggling.

Fortunately, gas prices are so low...oh, wait. Well, that's okay, because we have so much money left over after paying But I guess it really helps us save up to get Tre his own car...hmmm. I guess it's a good thing that remodeling a house is such a cash-positive endevor. Ha! Ha ha! *headdesk*

When I get in my van after he's used it, the seat is moved back about a mile. I think he's mocking me.

And the radio station is always changed. And loud. And the bass is turned waaaaaaay up, so when I switch it to NPR, the timbre of the announcer's voices makes my doors rattle.

Okay, it's actually all the junk stuffed in the door compartments. Shaddup.

I know how old this next part makes me sound, okay? I know it's not original, that Grok's father grunted with irritation when Grok pounded two rocks together rhythmically, because HE didn't need that noise when HE was young. Running from saber-toothed tigers was PLENTY FUN ENOUGH FOR HIM. But. Have you heard of Dubstep? Better yet, have you HEARD Dubstep? It's...mostly it's just synthesizer-ish repetitive dance music, with questionable lyrics, and then randomly they insert a sound like a screwdriver being dropped in a blender. It makes my eyelid twitch.

This evening Tre was driving me somewhere, and a "song" came on, and the lyrics said something like, "I totally drank too much last night," and Tre reached over and turned it down.

"You know," I said, "I think I can handle it."

"Are you sure?" he asked, without a trace of sarcasm.

And that is what it's like, having a newly licensed driver in the family. It's kind of great.

At least, I hope it is.

Today was Max's concert for Honor Band. He was, of course, everything that is perfect and brilliant about saxophone, and the phenomenal improvement seen in the beginning band over the last nine months can mostly be attributed to him. You know. Objectively speaking.

But at the beginning of the program, a trumpet ensemble played the Star Spangled Banner. When the audience realized what they were playing, everyone rose to their feet. The sound of them - of us - standing in an instant display of respect brought tears to my eyes.

And yes, it is a shade sentimental, to get weepy over our national anthem, and yes, patriotism is a concept that only gets more intense and complicated the older I get. But today was the first time in months that I have cried over anything other than my own pitiful self.

And I like to think that's progress. 

Chicken Rx

This morning, after dropping Max and Raphael off at Monday school, Sophia and I went out to the new house to visit the chickens. They live there, instead of here, for the same reasons we need a new house. There is simply. no. room. But Mom and Dad are already living out at the new house (albeit in a maze of boxes and construction - and their house is waaaaay further along than ours is. Deep breath.), and they are caring for the chickens for now.

I know, I know, people who adore their chickens are slightly odd. But y'all! They're so ADORABLE! And sort of dumb and lively and adorable a few more times. We just huddled around their box and exclaimed over them and laughed. It's miller moth season here in Colorado, which means that the air is thick with the rotten little buggers, fluttering dustily around, hell-bent on getting stuck in my hair (apparently my curls exude the gentle glow of a porch light). But since the chicks are in a box with a light bulb hanging over them, keeping them warm, they are also a great moth magnet. And when one flutters close enough, those sweet little puff balls turn into MOTH SEEKING WEAPONS OF DESTRUCTION. 

One of them would snatch a moth out of the air, then race around the box, with the moth flapping wildly on both sides of its beak. The other three would scramble after the victorious one, peeping in hot pursuit. Sometimes a tug of war would ensue, and one chick would run off, triumphant! with a wing in its beak. 

Once two chicks caught moths simultaneously, and the resulting excitement/confusion was almost too much for the other two, who raced back and forth, unable to decide who to chase. Sophia and I were in stitches.

Hmm. Do you think it's safe for such tiny chickens to be eating great big moths? Hang on, I have to google something...

Honestly, though, I don't know how I'd stop them. They're FIERCE. And the best part is the minute the moth was eaten, all of them would blink and look around like, uh...what? What was I doing just now? I...uh...peep.

Gifted is what they are. 

So anyway, yes I know it's a bit silly to be so chicken-smitten. But this is what passes for sanity in my life. In the last month, by contrast, Tre has a) gotten himself a girlfriend, who is a junior so he b) accompanied her to prom and then c) got himself a driver's license so today he could d) ask to borrow the car and drive to Target to buy himself a razor today so he could f) shave his actual face. 

No, none of that is bad, but lordy is it a lot to process. There are new details to figure out (say, does anyone have a used car they'd like to sell? We're in the market for something affordable, gas efficient, that doesn't go fast, ever, under any circumstances, with no back seat, and if it came with a trunk full of cash for paying insurance premiums, that would be GREAT. Tre would like something red, with a phenomenal sound system, but that's totally negotiable). I'm processing slow these days anyhow, and a few hours of chick versus moth is just what the weary mama ordered.

I won Mother's Day.

I don't care what you got for Mother's Day (if you are a mother, and celebrate like that). I don't care if your loved ones showered you with chocolate, or flowers, or diamonds. I don't care if you got a year of maid service (, it's close there, but I still won). A yacht, a island paradise getaway, a new dinette set (why have I turned into Bob Barker all of a sudden?) - none of them can compare with what *I* got for Mother's Day.


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