Tuesday, May 31, 2011

May Day (a few weeks late)

Our school celebrated May Day a little late this year.  About 26 days late, if you want to be exact.  The May Day celebration was an outdoor concert, complete with May Pole Dancers, singing youngsters and a band of guitar-playing students.  It was actually very good.

Like my children, I am uninitiated in all the rituals of our new neighborhood school.  I wasn't sure what to expect when I received the email invitation to the May Day concert.  I decided to ignore the request to bring a picnic blanket or stadium chair, choosing to stand and take pictures instead.  I regretted this decision when the concert went longer than the allotted time period and the bright sun set my fire to my head.  I also regretted the decision to schedule a doctor's appointment (number three for my swollen nose) for immediately after the concert since "immediately after" the concert ended up being "during the concert."

After an all-school song with hand motions and the dedication of the ceremony to the victims of Japan's tsunami, the kindergarteners got up and performed a dance to music provided by a sound-system and the music teacher's ipod.   Josie had told me that her dance was "a little embarrassing" and I tried very diligently to assure her that NO dance is ever embarrassing.  However, the look on her face during the performance showed me that she wasn't buying it.  She looked embarrassed the entire time.

If you are wondering if our public school has a uniform, the answer is no.  We do not.  But on May Day + 26, the music department asked all the children to wear white tops and tan bottoms.  Josie accessorized her uniform with a home-made bead necklace. 

Her friend in the back, decided to get a little more fancy.

I spent more than a few minutes searching for Georgia in the crowd.  I didn't find her until the second graders got up to perform their may pole dance.

Sadly, Georgia's group danced at the pole furthest away from me and I was only able to get shots of her back, and only when the groups in front moved close enough to their pole so as to create an opening large enough for me to see the pole behind.

The below May Pole was not Georgia's.  The second graders only danced with the ribbons, the third graders (see below) actually made the ribbons into a braid.

I stood watching the kindergarteners and then the first graders and the multi-age class.  Next came the second graders, the third and the fourth graders... we were moving right along.  It was time for the fifth graders to take their place in front and dance the famous Sword Dance where at the end, their swords are stacked together to make a five-pointed star.  I've watched this dance previously at our old school and the stars always get the greatest cheers of the day. 

And that's when I looked at the time and realized with a panic that the performance had gone longer than expected and I had exactly three minutes to get back to my car and drive across town to have my nose examined ... again.  Since I had called the dermatologist office that morning and BEGGED to be squeezed in for an appointment, I didn't see how I could not show up.  With heavy heart and a tremendous amount of mother guilt, I left before the dance even began.  I felt terrible.  Mind you, Gordy has never once made it to a May Day concert and has never felt guilty at all. 

Henry never noticed that I left, but I fessed up to my absence that afternoon at pick-up.  He didn't seem to mind.   Phew!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Game Seven

We were invited to our friends, Chris and Heather's house to watch game 7 of the Bruins / Tampa Bay hockey series.  The very handy Chris set up a tv projector and we watched the game outside, projected onto the side of their house.  (photos taken by Gordy's blackberry)

It was a very fun way to watch a hockey game. 

It was also a fun way to exhaust our children, who played lacrosse and then a strange made-up hybrid of soccer and rugby.  It is not very often that we get to witness a group of children (ages 6 -13) choose teams, create rules and play an entirely new sport without any help or suggestions from their parents.   It is even more rare for said game to go smoothly and for said children to work out any problems by themselves.  Watching them get along was almost as much fun as watching the hockey game.

Notice I said "almost" - there's no need for you die-hard hockey fans to get yourselves into a tizzy.

I confess that it was my children who caused the one moment of parental interference during the night.  A time out had to be called while a ball-hit mouth was inspected and an accusation of being bit was addressed.   But in our defense, it was almost 10 o'clock and way past the six year old in question's bedtime.

For dessert, Chris and Heather started a fire pit and we roasted marshmallows.  I say "we" but Gordy and I were the only adults to join the children hovering over the flames with marshmallows and sticks.  Why we were the only adults, I have absolutely no idea.  Perhaps no one else has any sense?

The Bruins won but only after I had taken my filthy, exhausted girls and gone home.  The hard-core hockey watchers stayed until the dramatic end.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Lots of Money

Today, Josie discovered another wiggly tooth!

This apple is the official Tooth Loosener.

Josie's loose tooth is an upper tooth and one that got pushed up into her gums at some unknown point in her six years.  We don't know why the tooth became wiggly today, but Josie is very glad about this turn of events.

As she so wonderfully put it, "I want to lose this tooth, because I need money.  I'm saving up for lots of money."  An ambitious goal.

Not much else has been happening at our house this week.  Henry brought a rotten cold into the family and he passed it along to Georgia, who in turn, passed it along to me.  We are a very giving family.  As I am wont to do, I didn't just get the stuffy nose and cough that my children got ... no!  That would be way too dull for me.  My body took that runny nose and hacking cough and added to it a swollen, bruised-looking nose and an itchy rash.  I am really too lucky for words.  I've been to two different doctors and am now on antibiotics for a possible sinus infection and/or bacterial skin infection.  Every day brings another new symptom, so who knows what my nose will look like tomorrow and what the diagnosis will be.  Sigh.

While we convalesce, we continue to work on an endless stream of school projects.

Georgia worked on a family tree poster...

And Josie made her rain forest animal (a sloth) out of clay.  This is our family's third and last rain forest animal and Gordy and I are not the slightest bit sad.  It's safe to say that we are all rain forest-ed out.

We are all looking forward to a sickness-free long weekend. 

As I am feeling giving myself, and since I can not transfer my germs through the computer to my loyal readers, I will give you another sort of Memorial Day present:

One genuine weirdo.

You're welcome.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Town Fair

We attended our Town Fair this past weekend. 

A local woman's charity puts on the town fair annually as a fundraiser for the work it does throughout the year.  The fair runs from Friday evening to late Saturday night and it is the most exciting event on the calendar as far as most of the town's children are concerned.  Since he is now a big fifth grader, Henry was given permission to join a few friends in their parent-free group, leaving Gordy and I alone with only two children to look after.

The girls both wanted to try The Sizzler first.  Gordy refuses to go on any "spinning" rides and I refuse to go on any "falling" rides.  We are the Jack Sprat and Wife of amusement park rides.

Since the Sizzler was a spinning attraction and Josie was not tall enough to ride without a parent, it was up to me to join the girls in the car:

It was actually a lot of fun.

Josie chose the next ride - the carousel:

Which meant that it was Georgia's turn after that.  Georgia has never met a ride she didn't want to try.  I don't know if it's bravado or a general lack of common sense, but Georgia prefers her rides scary, dizzying and full of drops.

Below is a photo of Georgia (in jeans) with her legs up so as to get a better thrill from this ride:

Although it is impossible to tell from the picture, the ride itself is actually spinning around at top speed and rising and falling at the same time. 

Georgia is the girl with her mouth open (above) who you can see between the two green posts, facing the camera.

It was Gordy's turn to supervise the next ride -- a mini-roller coaster with blasting top-40 music:

Georgia and Josie tried the slide:

And the haunted house:

And ended with a trip on the ferris wheel.  Henry met back up with us at the appointed hour.  He had spent most of his time either waiting in the long lines of the "older kid" rides or wandering around with his group talking to other pre-teens.  He couldn't really say for sure. 

He was able to articulate the fact that he had not had anything to eat since before he left home.  I've never met a child who eats more than Henry.  I'm considering the purchase of a feeding bag.  We made a stop at the concession stand for some cotton candy and a fried dough for Josie (who had never had such an item before but was intrigued by the sprinkle cans of powdered sugar and cinnamon).

Our Saturday soccer and lacrosse commitments made it impossible for us to go back to the fair a second day.  When we said good-bye on Friday night, it was until next year. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

The Royal Reader

For the last few weeks, Gordy and I have been planning a big surprise for Josie.

At the beginning of the year, I signed up twice to be the Royal Reader in Josie's kindergarten class.  The first time, I wore the crown and read Shel Silverstein's A Giraffe and A Half.  It was a load of fun.  After the reading, the kindergarteners get to ask their Royal Reader some questions.  I found the Q&A to be hilarious.  I got asked questions about my favorite color, place, season.... it was a quite thorough interview.

I knew Gordy would enjoy the experience, too -- and that Josie would never in a million years expect her father to walk through the door.  We didn't even tell her that it was our week to be Royal Reader. 

Gordy was greeted upstairs at the school's office by two guides.  He was given his crown and escorted to Josie's classroom:

The children line up on either side of the door and form a receiving line for their Royal Guest.  Josie was so surprised and excited:

She didn't let go of Gordy for a long time:

Half-way through the book, the Principal came on the PA system and we all had to stop to say the "Pledge of Allegiance":

And once the Pledge and the book were finished, the famous Question and Answer session began:

Gordy was asked all the usual questions.... what is your favorite color?  What is your favorite cookie?  What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?   What is your favorite underwater dinosaur?

This question totally stumped the king. 

I mean, who has a favorite underwater dinosaur?  Apparently the questioner did.  Josie's teacher saved the day by asking the little stumper, "James, what's YOUR favorite underwater dinosaur?"  When he answered, Gordy said "Yep!  That's my favorite, too!"  Phew.

Afterwards, Gordy posed with a portion of Josie's class.  Some of the children didn't feel like having their photo taken that day.

And Josie's friend helped her try on the Royal Crown:

It was a fun morning!
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