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Sep 25, 2004

Cropping, shopping, napping, scrapping

...that was our afternoon.

The cropping came first. All the males in the family get their hair cut at the same place (Kuts for Kids [small print: and adults]) on the same day. Here is little Silas being shorn. He is being pacified with mouth candy (lollipop) and mind candy (Casper the Ghost video).

Then we went shopping at what we will probably always call "the new New Seasons" (on Division Street). We had lunch there and went wandering through the bioswale (fancy word meaning ditch & plantings to collect parking lot water runoff).

Following Silas' brief nap at home, we went to Iron Artist 2004, run by SCRAP, the School and Community Reuse Action Project, which we, the magpie family, love.

They had teams competing to make sculptures with various themes, using a pile of stuff from SCRAP: foam and fabric bits, old furniture, window frames, feathers, bottle caps, whatever! That was pretty cool to watch, but the best part of the evening was March Fourth. Dozens of people arrived on their big red fire truck and started playing music, mostly on brass instruments and drums,

and singing (in unison, at particular times), and most of all, dancing... especially several people on stilts.

Very neat.

(David posted more pictures and commentary.)

Sep 23, 2004

A preschooler in motion tends to stay in motion

Russell is having a very good time this year at his preschool, despite the loss of several good friends his age and older who moved on to other schools. He seems to be enjoying the role of Big Man on Campus now that he's the third oldest in the class. (Another mother told me recently that Russell is the "president" already!)

Sep 14, 2004

The cure for the common cold

Last Friday Russell ended up missing school because he seemed kind of sick that morning and said he wanted to stay home and pack for our weekend trip because he was getting a cold, but an hour or two later, he seemed perfectly healthy and he had a great weekend. My best guess is he was just tired and may have had a headache, and that he was too focused on the weekend trip to want to switch gears for school.

This morning, he coughed a few times as he was waking up. I wasn't sure if it was the start of a cold (there are a few going around) or just waking up sounds. I tried to explain to him that if he was coughing from sickness, we'd have to have him stay home so other kids wouldn't get sick. He wanted to go to school and made his case in his inimitable Russell way:

"The cough sends the cold and the headache out of my body and it goes FAR AWAY into the woods and will never come back."

"Well, Russell, I hope you're right or that you don't have a cold," I said, "but if it is a cold, it will need more time than that to leave your body."

"This cold is VERY FAST. It goes at twenty miles per hour!"

Not long after that, I decided he was pretty much his usual self (see above) and, again, probably sleepy instead of sick. (Though, this being the start of the preschool year, I'm sure he'll be sick soon regardless.) He went to school and had a good time. We both really like Teacher Jory, his new teacher, and it is such a nice bunch of families at the school.

Sep 13, 2004

This past weekend we had a terrific time at the coast with friends. We had not been to the Oregon coast this summer and I hadn't realized quite how much I missed it. It was also super to have some actual long conversations with other parent friends and to watch our kids romping together.

But that's not actually what this post is about (though I'll try to post some pictures another night).

On the way home, Russell drew a picture on his MagnaDoodle for me:

Isn't it gorgeous? In case you can't properly appreciate art, I'll add that it's a picture of a bee over grass, with a flower (which looks kind of like a set of teeth) on the right. Russell's name is written in an interesting manner in the bottom right corner, and the thing over the bee is a J for Julie.

Silas also drew a picture on his MagnaDoodle and proudly showed it off:

Russell thought that was pretty cute and asked Silas in a very sweet voice, "Did you draw that picture for Mama?"

"NO," Silas replied decisively. "Draw picture for ME."

We all laughed, and Russell prompted, "Will you draw the next picture for Mama?"

"No. Picture for ME."

Has anyone else noticed that lately the planet seems to be orbiting around a small person in Oregon?

Sep 08, 2004

I'm practicing

I get intimidated by posting photos and keep putting it off. So here I'm practicing with an old one from March this year, taken in Seattle, of me with little bears (click on it to enlarge if you want).

Sep 05, 2004

The Titanic (or was it the Slightly-Bigger-Than-Average?)

We went to OMSI last week with friends. Of course we spent time in the usual little-kid hangouts, but we also explored the upstairs exhibits (on bodies, natural phenomena, sewers, and all kinds of other things) and the special exhibit on the Titanic.

The Titanic exhibit was pretty depressing from an adult point of view, but four-year-old Russell & Mia were quite fascinated. I think ocean-crossing cruise ships and lifeboats and icebergs and submarines and wrecks at the bottom of the ocean being covered with bacteria poop (as the guide told them) were all new to them, so although the scary parts bugged them a little, they were too interested to mind as much as I might have been afraid they would.

After we'd seen the exhibit, Russell saw a picture of the Titanic and explained solemnly to me, "That's a picture of the boat that got wet."

I've been trying ever since to think of similar descriptions of disasters. San Francisco: the city that got sort of warm in 1906 and has wiggled a little from time to time. Mt St Helens: the mountain whose top shifted. Jonestown: where a puddle formed once.

Maybe I'm just too cynical

It is probably inappropriate for me to start snorting with laughter at this description of a class called Kindergarten Readiness run by the perfectly nice folks at the Portland Parks & Rec department, but I couldn't help it:

Is your child ready to tackle school this fall? Increase self-confidence with review of name writing, following directions, listening skills & group cooperation. Make this transition successfully & become an independent thinker.

"Now class, have we become independent thinkers?"

"Yes, ma'am!"