Tuesday, September 30, 2014

fall fun

Over the weekend we visited Whitley Farms for their Fall Festival.  It's not even October, but okay whatever.  It was free to visit and then you could pay to do some activities.  We picked pumpkins, let the kids run around in the dirt, and then did a few crafts.  We skipped paying for a hay ride, pony ride, and petting zoo.  Just a short trip, but lots of fun.

Clark set this up and took the picture.

Some of the pumpkins were huge and the prices went from 50 cents to $20+.  I kept having to tell Clark no because he wanted the pricey ones.  We got some cute little ones and a medium one all for $6.  Not too bad for the experience.

Monday, September 29, 2014

run for funds

The boys' school did a Run for Funds again this year and my pockets are feeling empty after the activity.  First of all, I'm so glad they do this fundraiser instead of us selling cookie dough wrapping paper Rainbow vacs...  Usually I just pledged a flat rate for Clark, but this year I took a chance and wanted him to be even more excited about the number of laps he'd run, so I did $1 per lap.  I knew this was a risky move, but figured $50 wasn't a terrible amount to donate to his school.  For Oliver I did half that and since this is the big deal and pretty much only time we give a large amount of money to the school, it's worth it to me. 

Having two kids in the same school is awesome.  I've never had to put one kid on a bus and then drop another one off somewhere else.  I know some parents who do this for one reason or another and I mourn for them.  So this may sound whiny, but I had to be at Oliver's run at 9 am and then waste an hour and a half before Clark's run began at 11 am.  I'm finally at that time of kids' lives where the age difference is great enough you have to do things at separate times.  Normally Clark's grade would have run at 10, so back to back, but they switched 2nd and 5th grades and ugh.  Logan was a good sport and we were able to wile the time away.

Pre-K, kindergarten, and first graders...so cute.  Such mad dashers.  Easily worn out.

Second graders have been doing this for years and it's a little easier to figure out running in a circle.

 Oliver was so proud of his 34 laps.  He also loved that he was on the green team.

Clark getting his laps marked.

This was a dancing lap and waving his arms back and forth is all the dancing he'll do in public.

Clark completed 54 laps!  He told me, "I got a new record.  But not really.  Those last two laps they said to count twice."

So they had fun, got some exercise, and earned money for their school. 

Saturday, September 27, 2014

funny oliver + special guests

More funny things from Oliver

I opened the blinds.
Oliver:  How you did that?  That's amazing.
Me:  Thanks...

Oliver:  Dad, your nose is huge.

Stuck in traffic
Clark:  I don't want to watch Frozen.
Me:  Want to get out and run?
Clark:  No.
Oliver:  Want to get out and scream?

Clark:  How much wood would a woodchuck chuck if a woodchuck could chuck wood?
Oliver:  Good Chuck woodchuck.

Corey:  Woot!  Three day weekend.
Oliver:  Is tomorrow Flavor Day?
Me:  No, Saturday.
Oliver:  Sunday?
Me:  No.  Saturday, then Sunday, then Monday is Labor Day.
Oliver:  Oh!  Laver Day.  Flavor Day.

Me:  You're a nut job.
Oliver:  I'm just a nut.
Me:  Are you a peanut or walnut?
Oliver:  I'm a donut.  That's my favorite kind of nut.

Sitting at dinner with backpack on back of chair.  Oliver slips his arms through the straps.
Oliver:  Look I'm going to school.  Walk walk walk.

Oliver:  How many do you have?
Me:  I don't have anything.
Oliver:  A samellion?
Me:  Is that a million?
Oliver:  No, there's one, hundred, samellion, a million.

Special appearance from Parks and Marlee (3 year old twins I babysit)

I'm tickling Parks.
Me:  Want a tickle massage, Marlee?
Marlee:  I don't want a sausage (pronounced like massage).

Watching Doc McStuffins
Doc sings:  "The doc is in..."
Parks:  The cock is out!  The cock is out!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

boy, snow, bird

And just like that, I finished another book.  Boy, Snow, Bird is a pretty amazing story.  It is hard to describe, but I'll try to convince you to read it.

Boy Novak lives in New York with her abusive, rat-catching father, Frank in the 50s.  Her mom left long ago and Boy sometimes wonders about her, but when her dad hits her, she knows why she left.  One day, Boy leaves, deciding subconsciously not to take her father's abuse anymore.  She finds herself following two ladies from the bus and ends up at a home for women.  She stays, makes a couple of friends, and finds work.  One of her friends starts taking her on double dates, but Arturo Whitman, the man she's set up with, isn't exactly a fan.  Boy and Arturo keep being placed together or run into each other, and eventually a relationship is established.

Arturo has a daughter named Snow.  Her mother died when she was still a baby and both sets of grandparents dote on her.  Actually everyone who meets Snow is enchanted by her and she is placed on a pedestal.  Boy and Arturo eventually marry, and Boy becomes the stepmother.  At first it's love and everyone is happy.  Boy receives a congratulatory lily from a Clara Baxter, who says she's Arturo's sister.  Boy has met his sister and her name is Vivian.  She tries to ask the family about Clara and no one will give her a real answer.  Arturo tells her it's his sister and she was sent away, but no one will Boy why.  Then Boy gets pregnant and when the baby, Bird, comes out, a "suntan gold", the doctors and nurses give Boy looks of pity thinking she's been unfaithful for this baby's father is obviously black and Arturo is not.  Boy reassures them that she has been faithful and after everyone has left the room, Arturo comes back in and tells her the truth--his parents have light skin, light enough to get away with letting people think they are white.  His dead wife's parents were the same way and the parents became friends over this revelation.  Then Snow came out looking the way she did and they were allowed to keep up the charade.  It took some work with hair and make up, but it worked.  Now that Bird was here, it wouldn't be such a secret any longer.  Arturo's mother is angry and has little to do with Bird as possible.  She even accuses Boy of infidelity, but Boy assures her she will be slapped if she goes there again.

Over the next few months Boy sees how the two girls are treated differently and then she finds out Clara was sent away because she was too dark.  Boy starts to feel uncomfortable with Snow around.  She's so young, but she doesn't know what else to do.  Boy sends Snow to Clara saying it'll only be for a week, but she just needs some time with the baby.  A week turns into much longer and that's where Part 1 ends.

Part 2 is told from Bird's point of view.  Bird is about 13 growing up in the 70s.  She has heard stories of her sister, Snow, but doesn't remember her and begins to wonder about her.  One day she is snooping through her mom's things and finds a stack of letters from Snow.  They start out asking when will she be coming home and how the baby is doing.  The progress to asking if she's done something wrong and then finally one letter addressed to Bird from a year ago.  Bird takes it and decides to write Snow back.  They begin correspondence and discover they have some strange things in common.  Both sometimes don't see themselves in mirrors.  Snow talks about their grandparents and Bird tells her about her life.  One day Bird answers the phone and a man asks about Boy Novak.  Bird says she doesn't live there and hangs up.  A few days later, a man with a walking stick sees Bird outside up a tree and starts yelling at her to come down.  He pulls her and starts yelling and threatening her with a syringe.  He tells her his name is Frank Novak, Boy's father, and he wants to meet his granddaughter.  Bird tells him that is her and then they go to a diner and eat.  Bird takes notes of their conversation as Frank tells about Boy growing up.  This middle section was kind of confusing, interesting, but weird.

Stuff happens and then it's back to Boy's point of view.  Thanksgiving is coming up and Bird hears Snow is coming.  She wants to see her, so Boy agrees to it.  Bird also gave her notes from meeting her grandfather to Boy's friend, Mia, who is a journalist and you find out she's been digging up information on whatever happened to Boy's mother.  At Thanksgiving, the whole family is gathered and talk comes up of growing up being perceived black or white according to Clara (the dark sibling) and her husband, John vs Olivia and Gerald (Arturo, Vivian, and Clara's parents).  Then Snow and Boy have their showdown about what happened and then all is right with them again.  Then Mia comes to Boy and tells her what she's been doing and what she discovered about her mom.  Boy's birth certificate is non-existent according to Frank and Boy has always been proud of that.  Mia found Boy's mom's name was Frances Amelia Novak by talking to Frank.  She was smart, went to school, became a lesbian (Mia found out this info by tracking down her ex-lovers), and then one day she was raped.  She stopped showing up for work and lectures and went to a shelter for women.  They ended up kicking her out and then she noticed a man in the mirror one day.  He didn't leave and Frances let him stay.  She got her hair cut and began wearing clothes to cover her body and the fact she didn't have an Adam's apple.  She had the baby and was worried she was too early and she would die.  A wet nurse and a doctor came and one day she was fine.  So in the end, Boy decides to go with Mia and Bird to find Frank and see if there's any of Frances left in there.  She also convinces Snow to come.

And I couldn't have made that up because it's crazy, right?  I didn't know if this book was being serious or if it was fantasy.  After Googling a little, it's supposed to be a fairy tale of sorts.  I liked the story a lot, the words were fantastic.  It was just weird and left me wondering about what happens next.  It started out a little slow for me and there is a ton I left out, but the main thing is about the characters figuring out who they are and what makes them that way and the whys and hows they got there.