Sunday, September 16, 2012

Little things

I was folding laundry and heard music coming from his room. This is a normal occurrence ever since he started piano lessons four months ago, but the music was different from the lesson book pieces he practices daily. He was playing a Beethoven piece, Moonlight Sonata.

We had spent some time studying Beethoven a few weeks prior, and we learned the story behind the sonata. Ethan listened to it over and over and he did an analysis and critique per my request. I think he understood (as much as an 8-year-old can) what Beethoven was going through when he composed the song and why it sounded so melancholy yet beautiful.

So when I heard him playing it on his keyboard in his room my heart raced a little. He was not learning it in class, and it was not something his teacher mentioned he should try at home.

He was learning it for me.

Countless times I gushed emphatically over this piece of music. Apparently it had an effect.

He smiled when I walked in his room and asked him what he was just playing.

Heart officially melted by an 8-year-old.

Friday, August 10, 2012

School time (and a Dear Ethan and Clemmie)

I hadn't fully made up my mind until two days before she actually started preschool that she was going to go at all. But as the day grew closer, someone asked her when she was going to start school, and she looked a little puzzled (since we hadn't mentioned it in quite a while - and for good reason; will tell below). Then her face lit up and she turned to me for the answer.

An answer I didn't really have at that point, but made up on the spot based on her eager little face and her going, Mommy, when do I go to______? Like I'm gonna tell her she's not going after we registered, took the tour, and got all excited about it for a while. But for a month or so I thought for sure she was staying home and I would just homeschool her. It made the most sense - I would already be homeschooling Ethan, so I could just include her. And besides, I already have the curriculum to do it - all that would be missing is the preschool atmosphere of other kids, a new teacher, and snack time.

But then she gave me that face and that was the end of that idea. Besides, her preschool is about as awesome as you can get for a preschool - and it's only a couple hours every day. She gets to hang out with her peers and I get some quiet one-on-one time with Ethan to do some of his schoolwork; which I totally need since we are still adjusting to the homeschooling lifestyle.

Clemmie, a little about you now at 4 years, 4 months old. 
You can count to 100 by 1's, 5's, and 10's (we're working on 2's right now)
You're interested in Spanish and can count to 20 en EspaƱol without any help.
You talk in an Irish accent. It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen/heard.
You put spells on your brother with your wand and pretend you're Luna Lovegood.
You know the first 5 presidents of the United States and are currently working on the next 5.
You love this song you heard in Cancun. And sing it all the time. are so excited for school.

Your first day.

And Ethan, I am so proud of you - you are handling the adjustment
of learning at home very well. I get to spend so much more time with you. 
You have more time to practice your piano and
are learning more than ever!

And next week, you are getting fitted for your violin. Two instruments! Good thing
you have some extra time on your hands....

Friday, August 3, 2012

I'm having daydreams about summer.

It's triple digits over here and the sun still shines 'til almost eight o' clock, but summertime - real summertime (late mornings, swimming in the middle of the day, vacation) is behind us now.

So I'm dreaming of this.

Cancun, 2012.

June, to be exact.

Our first day. 

On the way to Chichenitza.
Or, as the tour guide said "the Americans" call it,
"Chicken pizza."

Ethan got a kick out of that.

Sailing and snorkeling day. The waters were amazing,
but my favorite part was sitting on the bow with the loud Mexican music blaring out 
 the speakers and a Tecate in hand. It was quite lovely.

She was not a beach girl this year. This year it was all
about the pool. See below.

The Pool.
This is where they could have spent the
entire vacation.

At Xcaret on our last day. I love this picture.

And finally, the fish. I was obsessed with him. He liked my phone. 
I liked his smile. We almost exchanged numbers.

Really, though - he is so cute with his little smile.
He kind of made my day.

And that - is a very condensed story of our 
Cancun trip. Very condensed.

Now it's time to join my babes for a movie - we just got Netflix and I feel
like a kid in a candy store! (a very nerdy one with taped up glasses 
and headgear. Don't believe me? I (unfortunately) have the pictures to prove it.)


Thursday, August 2, 2012

I vividly remember my first day of 7th grade. Seriously - like it was two weeks ago. I had just recovered from a bad case of chicken pox about two weeks before and still had the red inflamed craters on my face to show for it. I might as well have grown an extra eye in the middle of my forehead for the amount of stares directed at me. I remember a boy I had known since I was about 8 had the gall to ask just what was on my forehead and did I know it was there? Oh, David - you had no idea.

Ahh....the wonderful memories of middle school. And even though it wasn't the ideal first day, (or first 30 days, for that matter) I loved those two years. Forget high school, it was all about junior high. And last week - it was Sebastian's turn.

The thing about Sebastian is, his experience in middle school will be so unlike mine for a variety of reasons. For one, (and the most obvious) he's a boy. For two, (this one is the bigger reason) he's a jock and he's funny and he's handsome and he's got really good hair. (Guess those were a FEW reasons. And Ethan, you'll have to excuse my overuse of conjunctions - I'm only trying to make point here.) But really - hair is a big deal. At least for my boy it is. I actually spent a good part of this morning and the past few mornings since school began, helping him out with it - yunno, actually "doing his hair." I won't go into details as I'm sure he wouldn't appreciate my putting it out there, but let's just say it's a very important part of him. As I gelled and sprayed, encouraging this idiosyncrasy of his, I just hoped I wasn't helping him form some sort of identity with his hair - a la Danny Zuko or something where in the near future he might be caught with a comb in his back pocket or a small can of hairspray tucked into one of the little pockets of his backpack. Not that that would be a bad thing....

But I have digressed. His experience will be different not just because he's a boy or a jock, is cute or has amazing hair. It's because 20 years have passed since I had my experience.

And so much has changed.

Kids have cell phones (with texting and web surfing capabilities), iPods, iPads, stacks of M-rated PS3 or XBOX games, computers and TV's in their rooms....and I'm sure the list goes on. None of this is groundbreaking news; I'm not going to enlighten anyone of the repercussions that will come from all of this endless technological candy that kids have at their disposal day in and day out. That's for another day.

I guess I'm just being a concerned parent with all this "stuff" that's around now for kids to use to hurt one another, gain a little attention, or humiliate themselves. As a witness on Facebook, there are adults that don't even know how to properly act within their social media circles, and yet kids are given that opportunity everyday.

Ultimately, it's every parent's choice when and if his/her kid gets a Facebook account, cellphone, or play violent video games for hours a night after homework is done. I get that, I really do. For a worrier like me, it's a little scary to be entering the realm of all that. He's growing up right before my eyes and I want him to make the right choices whether his friends are or not. I suppose his venturing into 7th grade has made me a little uptight and worrisome.

That's normal, right?

Whatever the case may be, whether I'm too overprotective, or not protective enough, he is his own person. I can drill and plead, cajole and bribe if I wanted to, but in the end, he is his own person. And he's a great person. I should just sit back, parent the best way I know how, and not worry. and not worry. and not worry. and not worry. 7th grade is going to be a great year for him - and I can say that even knowing "things" will happen. He will test his limits. He will make mistakes. He will get in trouble. But that's life - that should be expected; it's as it should be.

Whew! Why have I taken so long to blog? This is like therapy!

I just hope our experiences don't parallel with this next little tidbit -
I had my first real kiss in 7th grade.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

vent. iphoto sucks.

iPhoto just ruined my week. I'm not sure I'll be able to make sense right now with the amount of anger and disappoint radiating from every pore in my body. But I'll try.

I was given some hefty news yesterday - hefty as in shitty. let me be sure this is very clear.......ALL movies I've taken with my iPhone in the past two years is gone.

I didn't know this but, (and it would have been really cool if iPhoto had a pop-up or SOMETHING to alert me) apparently when a movie is exported to some other place on your computer (in my case, an external HD) if you export it along with the rest of your photos only the first still image of the movie is saved and the rest of your movie is sent to oblivion to rest with Dr. Frankenfurter. Sure, I know I'm to blame for assuming all media was there - but how was I to know the "still" photo I was shown in thumbnail previews was just a picture and not the whole movie?

Anyway, Vega will be two in October. I will have had my iPhone for two years in August. Needless to say many videos were taken of her on my iPhone and..... it's a sad day. The loss is huge.


Oh, You Beautiful Doll!

Clemmie had her first dance recital last weekend. It was on a huge stage at the Chandler Center for the Arts in front of a packed audience. I was so nervous and anticipated a crying and clinging Clemmie, but I got a brave and excited one, instead. She forgot a few steps but she kept going - being the beautiful doll she is.

Shirley Clementine Temple after her smashing performance.
Grandpa and Grandma Tina came. So did mom - we were all so proud of our tiny dancer.

The night before at dress rehearsals. Way to go, my love.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Dear Clementine,

You were whiny today. I guess you've been that way lately. But today - whew.
I was ready for your bedtime.

I put Vega to bed first and then came back to you in your room, but you were crying in bed. Sobbing, I think, would be a more appropriate term. You looked so small and I could barely see your face in the dark.

I went to you and asked what was wrong. You were sad because "the brothers" were still watching TV downstairs and you wanted to be a part of it, too, but Daddy said no.

So I lay down with you because I knew that would make you feel better. You were so tired. You closed your eyes and I sang Norah Jones songs to you. I put my forehead to yours, and even though I knew you were sleeping, I gushed about you - to you.

Then it was time to go, and I thought about your day and how tomorrow would be better. I kissed your nose and lips and thought how perfect you look when you sleep - like an angel.

Albeit a whiny, sometimes bossy one.