Rainbow House

We recently learned that Louisa’s art, along with the art of nine other students, was chosen for display in a local art show. In typical Louisa fashion, she acted like the art show was no big deal. She talked about being happy that another kid, a friend, was picked for the show but seemed to not think much about the fact that she, too, was chosen. Of course, we made a big deal over it… we were and continue to be very proud of her!

None of us got to preview her work before the show, so it truly was a surprise. I managed to get away from work for a couple of hours to attend the opening reception and BB, Hank, and Uncle Lee all came, too (plus Mommy, Myers, and Graham, of course!). Louisa’s art teacher, Ms. D, was there to greet parents and kids. She was talking to me about Louisa’s work (see below) and mentioned to me that the title, which was missing from the card hanging next to her work, is “Rainbow House.” My reply: “Well, she does have two moms!” Ms. D’s face turned bright red and then she exclaimed, “Oh, that is just perfect, really perfect!”

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I told Louisa I couldn’t wait to find a special place for her art in our house. BB said, “Hey, wait a minute…” As I told BB, sorry, but this art comes home! We all got to have unfermented grape juice and cheese lemonade and cookies before Louisa and I trotted off, just the two of us, to see and talk about some of the other art there. We saw some impressive stuff, no doubt, but Louisa’s Rainbow House is still my fave.

DIY

Last night, as I was doing dishes and tidying the kitchen, I noticed an opened bottle of Elmer’s glue sitting on the counter. The cap was completely off and there was glue dripping down the side. I thought uh-oh, what have these kids gotten into?!, so I looked around but found no evidence of any messes involving glue. Since the kids were already in bed, I couldn’t ask them why the glue was left open in the kitchen or what they were up to. I just threw the messy glue bottle away and dismissed the whole thing.

THEN…

This morning, Myers couldn’t wait to show off his DIY skates, made from two wooden car bases/pieces and his old Crocs, which had been glued together. Louisa made sure to tell us it was her idea, but that she and Myers had worked on it together. Rachel and I were so surprised and impressed with their invention that we couldn’t even get mad. Check it out:

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Ice, ice, baby

To kick off Louisa’s birthday, and to get in the Christmas spirit, we took the kids to a local Christmas event at an entertainment venue. The grand hall was decorated with every kind of Christmas tree imaginable and the kids got to place a vote for their favorite tree. The kids wanted to get their faces painted, so Rachel and I took turns holding their places in line while they played in the large bouncy house nearby. The woman who was painting faces was just so nice and patient. She was thrilled when Louisa picked the candle design! She said none of the kids ever want that one and that Louisa was the first. I’m reminded of how, when Louisa was a wee thing, she would point to a lit candle and say, “My flame!” I love that Louisa chose a candle on her birthday. I also loved that the painter, who happened to be Muslim and in full dress, wished all of the kids a happy Christmas.

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After the kids got their faces painted, we took them ice skating for the first time. The venue occasionally sets up an ice rink to host hockey games for our local team. When they do this, they leave the rink open and available to the public for skating. They had skates available in all sizes and even had stabilizers for the kids to use. Unfortunately, the stabilizers got snatched up pretty quickly, so Rachel had to hold the boys’ hands until one became available. Some nice lady who’d helped earlier with getting the boys properly strapped into their skates volunteered to help hold hands. I was especially grateful since I’m unable to skate and help myself. I did enjoy watching the kids, especially Louisa, who took to the ice with ease. She fell a few times, but did a great job and even helped scoot her brothers around. Check out the videos below!

Happy 5th Birthday to Myers + Graham

Thursday was the boys’ 5th birthday — unbelievable! The day was filled with celebrating by sharing cookies at school with friends and then going to BB’s house for dinner, where we had pizza and birthday cake/ice cream. Myers and Graham got some cool presents: Ninja Turtle masks, Transformers, some action figures, and new pajamas!

In past years, we’ve prepared muffins for the boys’ school snack, but this year we sent along store bought chocolate chip cookies. Myers and Graham could’ve cared less that the snack came from a store and Myers’s teacher, Ms. E, sent me this picture. It’s Myers sitting in Ms. F’s lap, eating snack. Looks like he had a good time!

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Santa 2014

While it’s a little early in the year to visit Santa and get the kids excited about Christmas, we also didn’t want to miss out on seeing this Santa and this was the only appointment we could get. When we arrived, there were maybe two families ahead of us, also waiting to see Santa. Next to the line was a table with pencils and paper where kids could write their wish lists. Louisa was thrilled to show off some of her newly acquired writing skills and got to work right away. The boys, however, aren’t yet able to write much more than their names, so I told them to instead draw pictures.

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While the kids were busy writing their lists, I had a private chat with the woman who helps run the whole thing and asked her if she could tell Santa to not mention “Daddy.” Last year, he said several times things like, “Make sure you’re good for your Mom and Dad,” which gets confusing because our kids have a Mama and a Mommy and they’d be left wondering why Santa didn’t know that about them because he’s supposed to know! She was so nice and accommodating and before our kids called up for their Santa visit, I saw her remind Santa of our discussion.

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Santa was awesome! He took a lot of time with the kids and reviewed each one’s wish list. What was especially impressive to me was that he never once forgot their names or mixed up the boys’ names. Just before the kids went up, I warned Louisa that Santa may need help reading her wish list (her spelling and writing is usually difficult to read because she’s learning and mixes words and sounds). When she asked me why, I explained, “Well, Santa sometimes has trouble seeing very well. See? He wears glasses!” She seemed satisfied with my answer and gladly helped Santa interpret her list. By the way, Santa never once mentioned “Dad.”

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Graham was a little shy and started out by sitting on the floor next to Santa, while Louisa and Myers happily sat on Santa’s lap. Eventually, he warmed up after Louisa offered to hold his hand. The best part of the visit was when Santa asked the kids who would make chocolate chip cookies for him. (See the video below)

Now that our time with Santa is over and done, it’s time to get ready for… Halloween!

Eye exam

After failing the basic eye exam given at school, the school nurse encouraged us to make an appointment to have Louisa’s eyes checked by a pediatric eye doctor. Since everyone in the family wears glasses, except for Mommy, it wasn’t such a stretch to believe that Louisa may actually need glasses, too. Specifically, the school nurse was concerned about Louisa’s ability to see up close.

So… I took her to the eye doctor today, where we spent an hour getting Louisa’s eyes checked. She first had to peer into some machine and answer some questions. After that, we went into an exam room and had to wait for a while. There were some cool models of eyes on the desk, so I showed them to Louisa and we talked about the different parts and what eyes look like on the inside.

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the first test

The medical assistant did some initial testing and then the doctor did some more extensive testing with some specialized equipment. The testing was like nothing I’ve seen before. Louisa had to peer into these reader things and read letters — nothing unusual about that — but the cool part was that there was a screen projected onto the wall of the same thing Louisa was seeing, so I was able to follow along. It looked like some type of augmented reality or hologram — hard to explain.

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inside the exam room

Louisa had to have her eyes dilated, so the medical assistant put the drops in and gave Louisa a really cute pair of sunglasses to wear. We didn’t want to wait in the lobby and Louisa said she was hungry, so we left and I took her to get a snack and something to drink. When we got back, the doctor was able to look at her eyes right away. He said they look pretty darn good — no glasses today! He said that given Louisa’s age, her eyes are probably still developing and that it’s common for kids her age to have some problems seeing up close on occassion. It’s his recommendation to keep an eye on her and to bring her back in one year for a follow-up.

Before we left, the medical assistant had Louisa put on these 3-d glasses and play a game. She had so much fun doing that. The staff went on and on about how cooperative and perfect Louisa was, and how sweet she was, and they hooked her up while a bag full of goodies.

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3-d glasses

The only glasses Louisa will be wearing for a while will be sunglasses!

Our little artist

Myers: “My teacher always calls me an artist.”
Mama: “That’s because Ms. Evans thinks your drawings are really good.”
Myers: “Yeah, I think so too!”

peek-a-boo
“This is when I had my eyes covered, but then I moved my hands and now I’m looking out. Peek-a-Boo!”

at the doctor's office
“This is me at Dr. Martin’s office and I’m on the table and Dr. Martin is looking at my throat.”

pete the cat
“This is Pete the cat in the music room and he’s playing a guitar and those are instruments on the floor and that’s a lightbulb so he can see.”

papa hank
“This is Papa Hank and he is really big and strong!”