Saturday, February 26, 2005

The truth shall set you free. Or something.

It's taken ten years, but my husband has finally admitted his age. He's been claiming he's twenty-five ever since he was ... well, twenty-five. When he turned thirty, I told him, "You can keep that up for another year and a half, but when I turn thirty, you'd better turn thirty with me." But my thirtieth birthday came and went, and if you asked him his age, he'd still say "Twenty-five" with a sly grin.

Well, the other day, he was complaining about his arthritis, and he said "It's just not fair! I shouldn't have arthritis yet. I'm only turning thirty-fi -- oh, crap! I admitted it! Oh, no! There's no going back now!"

So his birthday's tomorrow, and in honor of the occasion, and his great (if accidental) admission, I got him a special card. On the outside, it has a shot of two dinosaurs from one of those cheesy fifties sci-fi movies, with a little speech balloon that says "Remember us?" On the inside, it says "We used to sit behind you in homeroom."

Heh heh.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Art for art's sake

G and I had some fun with art on Sunday afternoon. She was banging markers randomly down on a paper towel and letting the ink dots spread, and something about that reminded me of those splattery Jackson Pollock action paintings. I got my laptop and showed her what they looked like, and then, for comparison, showed her Seurat's Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte to illustrate how you could also use dots of color to make a more traditional "picture." Some of the images of Impressionist paintings in the sidebar on that page caught her eye, and she asked to look at them, so we clicked through a few. Afterward, she decided to name her own picture "The Rainbow Colors" (I had told her that artists usually give a title to each piece of work). She wrote that at the top of the paper towel, with a little spelling help from me, and then signed it at the bottom the way an artist would.

Anyway, this was an interesting way to spend half an hour. She really loves all sorts of painting and drawing, and she's been asking to go to a "picture museum" for a long time, but I've never taken her because I thought she wasn't old enough to appreciate it. We've been to plenty of natural history and science and children's museums, but never an art one. Maybe it's time.

Monday, February 14, 2005

Brought to you by Hallmark and Hershey

Yes, it's that day of the year, also known as The Day Before All The Chocolate Goes On Sale.

Last night I bought heart-shaped balloons for G and sneaked them into her room so she'd see them first thing in the morning. She was thrilled -- I woke up with her standing by my side of the bed and whispering "Mommy, I got some balloons! Did you do that?" They had a Valentine party in her class this morning, and she handed out the Valentines she and I made and got a huge bag of cards and candy in return. When I got home from work, she was sitting on the couch, still in her ballet clothes (she has ballet class on Monday afternoons), devouring a cherry sucker like there was no tomorrow. It's good to be six. :-)

On the adult side of things, P got me Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, which I've been wanting to read, and I got him a bar of Godiva dark chocolate and a Hellblazer graphic novel, which I'll have to exchange because it turned out to be one he already had. (Repeat after me: It's the thought that counts.) Overall, I'd say it was a successful holiday.

In other news, our fish tank has developed a slow leak. We've had it for almost two years, so I suppose it was inevitable, but it's still annoying, not least because it means I have to buy, haul home and set up a new tank. I'm not looking forward to catching the fish and transferring them into their new home, either. The goldfish aren't too bad, but the catfish is strong and stubborn and doesn't like to be moved. P suggested that I just flush them -- "It's like Krypton," he said, "their environment is dying, so you might as well get it over with quickly" -- but I can't bring myself to do that. Guess I know what I'll be doing tomorrow night ...

Sunday, February 06, 2005

A quiz

What's the most enjoyable way to spend a Sunday?

A. Cleaning out a garage inhabited by hungry, aggressive spiders that make Shelob look like Charlotte
B. Sticking metal objects into outlets to see which one gives you the biggest shock
C. Sitting at the urgent-care clinic with a feverish, miserable child for five hours

After today, I'd choose A and B over C.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Thursday Night Fever

After days and days of cough syrup and tissues and eyedrops, we finally thought G would be well enough to go to school tomorrow. Then her fever returned and shot up to 102.7, and we were right back where we started. Drat! I don't believe in suppressing every single fever with medication, but 102 degrees is the point at which I think the discomfort starts to outweigh the benefits. So she had some Tylenol, and yet another dose of cough syrup, and I read the first four chapters of the next Magic Treehouse book to her before bed. This one's got a character called the Ice Wizard (apparently based on Odin from Norse mythology) who wants Jack and Annie to bring back his stolen eye. That idea prompted a lot of "Ewww!" noises and giggling from G, especially when I got her teddy bear and made it say "Give me my EYE!" and "Excuse me, little girl, have you seen my EYE anywhere?" I'm tempted to sneak into her room and put a little black eyepatch on the bear, just to see what she'll say when she wakes up in the morning.

Other than reading aloud, I haven't done anything to work on her reading for a couple of weeks. I did find some good ideas for phonics games and activities in the library book I brought home last weekend, so once she's feeling better, I'll try introducing some of those. Books have helped me a lot with phonics -- I had no trouble explaining the alphabet and the basic letter sounds to her when we started working on reading last year, but I ran into trouble when it came to the phonics rules because I'd never learned them myself. According to my mother, she taught me the letters, and then I somehow started reading on my own with no further instruction. (My first-grade teacher complained that I had "no phonics skills at all," to which my mother said something like "So what? She can read!") G learns differently, though, and I think phonics are the best thing for her. I want to find some sort of assessment test so I can figure out exactly what she needs to work on -- sometimes she asks me to tell her words she ought to know, and other times she easily reads words I wouldn't expect her to know in a million years. Sneaky girl. :-)