Archive for September, 2011

Who They Are Today

Posted by julie on Thursday, 29 September 2011, 22:37


  • can reliably count four objects. More than four, and she starts double-counting and ends up with crazy-high numbers of Cheerios.
  • loves loves loves to set the table and becomes quite sad if her parents carry too many items out to the porch picnic table (I think we last ate dinner inside last June. Really. I mean, you gotta squeeze all the sun out of an Oregon summer.)
  • started in the “big kid room” last Monday. That’s preschool. I remember being stunned at the size of the 5-year-olds in my new 3-year-old’s classroom when Sylvan started preschool. With Elena, I figure she’ll just roll with it.
  • has some molars coming in that hurt at least a little.
  • has learned how to skip! She puts the non-hopping leg straight out in front of her. She told me she was “practicing” her skipping today, because she’s apparently on her way to Junior Nationals.

Oh, and she's a happy smiling girl. Almost always.


  • started karate 2 1/2 weeks ago. He showed me some kata on the playground last week and in the living room tonight.
  • was called a “role model” by his Kindergarten teacher this morning, as in, “Sylvan is such a role model in the classroom. When we’re waiting to settle down, I can say to the class, ‘I see that Sylvan is ready to listen.’” I, myself, saw similar behavior in his karate class. He saves his mischief for me! As a parent, I’m supposed to be pleased that he’s comfortable enough in my unconditional love that he can infuriate me without fear of becoming unloved.
  • can read remarkably well, but he’s never attempted to read a book by himself.
  • has graduated to a larger bike, on which he’s really fast! (Time to clean out the wheeled objects in the garage…)
  • has math skills that sort of frighten me, as in, “Do you think they’ll let a sixth grader take linear algebra?”
  • warmly and openly greets other kids, his age and older, usually calling them by name before they talk to him. His ability to remember names is good, and his complete belief in other kids returning his greeting is charmingly disarming.

Notice the turquoise karate belt (a.k.a. old climbing webbing)?

Fantastically Gorge-hideous Fowl

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 20 September 2011, 15:34


Isn't that a lovely fowl? Did you know that some people raise guinea hens to control tick populations? And, hey, you'd get to have a few of these beauties in your backyard.

(I’m waiting in the jury selection room right now. Cut me some slack.)

A birthday, a famous actress

Posted by julie on Monday, 19 September 2011, 23:12


Wand in hand, Mr. S. dispatches with the flames with one full breath. The owls tremble before him. And that nasty-looking scar next to his eye? Ask Voldemort.


Danger in a pink fuzzy hood. Giving Julie Christie a run for her money.

First Day of Kindergarten, Last Day of Ems Season

Posted by julie on Thursday, 8 September 2011, 0:06

Sylvan awoke this morning to soothing ocean sounds on his new alarm clock from Gramma Mia. He was dressed in a dapper button-down when he joined us for breakfast; he brushed his teeth, which is on our new morning list, then requested blueberry pancakes. He asked me to brush his hair, because it’s on the new list. Although I wanted to leave by 8, we left at 8:10, and we still got to Edison before they opened the doors at 8:15.

Unsure of his new surroundings, and looking haggard from staying up too late enjoying his new alarm clock

After some “discussion,” as Sylvan reported, the bus driver reluctantly let Sylvan ride the bus to Moss Street for the afternoon. I think I learned my lesson: DON’T turn in the dozens of forms they give you.

To top off a long day, we decided to head out to what ended up being the last game of the Emeralds baseball season. Turns out that Sylvan is a born baseball fan. Numbers? Check. Rules? Check. Lots of people to watch? Yes, that too.

This intense expression lasted for much of the game

I'm supposed to say "Yankees boo," but that's too silly

Happy the kids lasted the whole game, sleepy, and still intense

Seventh inning stretch: "One, two, THREE strikes you're out!"

The Ems lost, 5-4, but it took until the bottom of the 9th to decide. Exciting game.

Labor Day Weekend – Summer’s Not Over Yet

Posted by julie on Monday, 5 September 2011, 23:44

Mt. Bachelor from Sparks Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway

The hottest week of the summer is approaching – and Sylvan will be in Kindergarten. We camped this past weekend, for only the second time this summer, at Cultus Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway. Whew, that highway is just full of beautiful campgrounds with great views of the Three Sisters and Bachelor. We pulled in at 4 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day, and we got the last campsite at Cultus Lake. I’m sure we could have found other camping at one of more than a dozen other campgrounds, though. I love Oregon; have I mentioned that?

Photo by Walter Hurst (have to rely on friends' cameras for photos of yourself)

Searching for the unfindable Edison Ice Cave among the lava and ponderosa pines. Both kids hiked 2 1/2 miles with nary a complaint. This one stopped at nearly every ant hill and walked along at least half a dozen log balance beams ("trampolines").

Free DQ cone! The Sheriff rewarded my helmet-wearing bicyclists with coupons for sugar!

Oops, lost my bottom!


Last Day of Summer?

Posted by julie on Thursday, 1 September 2011, 23:56

It must be nearly the last day of summer, because my children decided they needed to wear “wetsuits” to play in the water today:


It warmed up enough that swim lessons weren’t unbearable. It probably even rose out of the 60s!

This is the child who floats

And here's the sinker, in his swim class. He really liked his substitute teacher (and so did I!).


3-year-old tushies, waiting to jump




First time down the slide by himself


After his lesson, soaking up the last bits of summer sun

A knock-knock joke from Sylvan

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 1 September 2011, 17:13

The kids have been having fun making up knock-knock jokes at the dinner table. Sylvan’s best one so far:

Sylvan: Knock knock.

Chris: Who’s there?

Sylvan: L.

Chris: L who?

Sylvan: LET ME IN!!!

Sylvan on a swing, Cape Cod, July 2011