Archive for November, 2011

Sometimes they are normal siblings…

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 30 November 2011, 6:05

… and sometimes they surprise us by doing something like this:

Who, us? We always hold hands while we're walking to school. We're the best of friends, and we never fight, never yell. Heck, we hardly ever have a minor difference of opinion.

Why I Live 3000 Miles Away from People I Love

Posted by julie on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 23:01

I do wonder sometimes. I mean, southwestern Massachusetts is really beautiful. And northeastern Vermont? Ha-cha-cha! And then I’d see those people I miss so desperately this time of year much more often.

But then there’s my lovely home’s Walk Score of 77%, which falls into the “Very Walkable” category. It’s true. I love not having to get in the car to pick up milk, or go to the library, or pick up my son at Kindergarten, or go to rehearsal. I also think I owe it to my kids to show them a life spent biking and walking.

This video, though, will show you EXACTLY why I choose to live all the way across the country.

“Finding Oregon” by Uncage the Soul Productions

Elena’s first day of preschool

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 29 November 2011, 6:17

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

This one is from way in the past. March, 2009. I told you I had a stack of these things.

For the first few months of Elena’s life, she spent all of her time with her family. She was a pretty good-natured baby, so Julie even took her to work with her. Elena would hang out while Julie worked, occasionally asking politely for some attention.

At about six months, however, she started to be self-propelled. And to grab things. This new activity, while developmentally appropriate, was incompatible with an office environment, so it was time for Elena to start going to “school,” which is what everyone calls the kids’ preschool around here.

So we packed the kids into our newly-purchased double jogger (thanks Craigslist!) and rolled them over to school.

All smiles.

Elena napped in the jogger on the way over to school, saving her energy for the big day. When she got there, she met one of our favorite people in the whole world: Lori! Lori had been Sylvan’s preschool teacher when he started going to school, and she ended up being Elena’s teacher from the age of six months to almost three years.

OK Dad, I'll try this.

Lori predicted that Elena would be so excited that she would only nap about 20 minutes, instead of her usual hour and a half or two hours. She ate and drank everything that was offered. When she woke up from her nap (20 minutes, as Lori predicted), she was very sad. It was the first time she had ever woken up and not found a family member around. Lori, in her infinite wisdom, took Elena to visit Sylvan in his classroom.  He touched her gently, introduced her around, and told his friends that he loved her very much, and she calmed down. Big brothers can be useful.

Elena’s first big day at preschool ended at 2:30 when Julie picked her up. She’s been going a couple of days a week since then. She’s in the “big kids” classroom now, with three- and four-year-olds. She is still sometimes sad when she wakes up from her nap, but she’s solving that problem by deciding not to nap at all. Ingenious.


Posted by jonesey on Monday, 28 November 2011, 6:21

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

19 May 2010. Sylvan, age 4 2/3, and Julie, a bit older:

Julie: “That donut looks so good. What’s it filled with?”

Sylvan (clearly not wanting to share; deadpan delivery): “Ticks.”

Plus, I licked my fingers. And you're a vegetarian anyway, right?

Son of a geology major

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 26 November 2011, 6:44

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

7 November 2010. Sylvan, age 5: “We’re going to get lots of stuff, and put it somewhere for a really long time, and it’s going to turn into [hushed voice] A ROCK.”

Lobster shirt -- check. Kid harness -- check. Green socks -- check. Ready to climb!

The power of metaphor

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 25 November 2011, 6:36

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

18 September 2010. Sylvan, age 5: “Dad, if you sit in that booster seat, you’ll turn like a hinge.”

1 Oct 2010. Sylvan, age 5: “Is a turkey vulture’s wingspan louder than banging on wood?”

5 November 2010. Sylvan, age 5: [eating Lemonheads candy from Halloween]: “Dark blue tastes like sour lots of sugar.”

"You never close your eyes anymore when I kiss... your lips."

Hey, that’s *my* line!

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 24 November 2011, 6:28

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

20 July 2010. Sylvan, age 4 2/3, and Julie:

Julie: “What would my Roller Derby name be?.”

Sylvan: “Bushy Run.”

Julie: “Why?”

Sylvan: “Because you’re like a fox.”

Also, because you're fast and strong. Like a fox.

Adventures with Clive

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 21:59

“Who is Clive?” read the note that was in Elena’s mailbox at school last week.

“You may be wondering why you have a ‘Winnie the Pooh’ bag hanging on your child’s hook! That bag is the traveling home for our classroom friend, Clive.”

And so began the adventure. Clive has been traveling home with children at the kids’ preschool since 2000. He has been all over the world: South Africa, Taiwan, Disneyland, and all over Eugene and Springfield. Children take turns hosting Clive, introducing him to friends and family, and taking him on adventures.

When Clive returns to school, the children talk about his latest adventures during circle time.

Today was Elena’s day to host Clive, and to take him on adventures.

We started with a trip to the store. We needed some cheese!

Hmm, Montzarella? Cheddar? Maybe some smoked gouda?

Then it was off to Edison School to pick up big brother Sylvan! (Fair warning: there are lots of exclamation points in this adventure.)

Waiting for Sylvan to finish his day at kindergarten. Someday soon I'll get to go to this big kid school too.

We traveled in style to our next destination….

Clive, where's your helmet?

… the playground!

Clive is HEAVY.


Then it was off to Sylvan’s karate class, where Clive brushed up on his equestrian skills.

Is that your saddle horn, or...

Whew! It was an exhausting day!

Close your eyes, Clive. Good night!

P.S. Not shown: Clive and Elena watching a Princess Movie(!!!!!!) while Mommy makes dinner. No photographs of this alleged event are known to exist, and Mommy will deny that it ever happened.  She is a Good Mommy, after all. Isn’t she? Good night, Mommy.

Let’s save the day

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 22 November 2011, 6:13

[A post from the past. Explanation here.]

16 May 2010. Sylvan, age 4 1/2: “Elena, come on! Let’s save the day!”

This is what we do *after* we save the day.

Using our senses

Posted by jonesey on Monday, 21 November 2011, 6:03

[This is the first of many posts that I have accumulated in a giant pile of things to post. They will be events and photos from the past, sometimes from many years ago, that I just didn't get around to posting. I'll try to date all of them. Most of them are things that one of the kids said. We write these things down on a piece of paper that lives on the refrigerator door. Consider this a visit to our kitchen.]

6 May 2010. Sylvan, age 4 1/2: “We’re going to Mars. If we smell a bad smell, it might be Martians.”

Clothes? We don't need clothes to go to Mars.