29 September 2005

I had tried to remember so much this week. I should have posted as they happened, but I didn’t. I went for a walk in the late evening with the kids and we looked up at the stars. About a block from us there is sufficient darkness to be able to see some. Cait immediately spotted the Big Dipper, so I showed her how to find the Little Dipper, the North Star, and how to find your direction at night. We also identified Cassiopeia, but that was about all. Cait inquired after Orion, and I explained that we can only see Orion in the winter.

Sometimes Cait astounds me. She gets bitten by the reading bug a couple times a week, and she will read an entire book in one sitting. The Secrets of Droon by Tony Abbott is her favorite series right now. She read another one yesterday in mere hours.

She is also getting interested in playing D&D. She wants me to help her make up a character and teach her how to game. I am happy that she wants to join us, but she can’t seem to stay awake late enough. We game on alternate Saturdays from after dinner to about midnight, and she usually conks out around 9 or 10. Moira wants to game, too, so maybe I will start a campaign just for the two of them.

We borrowed Van Helsing from the library last week, and the girls watched it almost every day. We looked up where Romania is, and Transylvania, and we talked a little about who the Gypsies are. Cait now wants to be a vampire for Halloween. Her tastes in entertainment are growing up more rapidly than I would have thought. She is obsessed with the X-Men. It seems like only yesterday that The Big Comfy Couch was her favorite show.

I borrowed a book called The Explosive Child by Ross Greene to try to figure out how to deal with Lauren and her random fits of violence. I started crying on the second page. I had started to think that I was the only one with a child like that and that I was a terrible mother for raising such a difficult child. I’m about half-way through it now, and if Terry and I can successfully implement the suggestions in the book, I think we will end up with a much happier home life. Having a three-year-old get so mad over not being allowed to have soda at bedtime or the fact that she outgrew last year’s clothes that she throws everything she can see, including a sit-and-spin, is not a fun way to live. But then she turns around and brings me flowers and draws me pictures and says I am the best mommy in the whole world.

On another note, Terry and I have been fantasizing about our dream home. It will be like a hobbit hole. It started when I saw a house in Mother Earth News that had a sod roof. We thought we would extend that to include the walls, too, and soon we had our very own hobbit hole. Someday.

I will try to remember to update as things happen rather than trying to remember it after a week.

17 September 2005

The Anderson Family: First Blog

This has been a pretty eventful week, I’d say. I finally got the kids to the library again after being gone for a whole week (gasp!). Two of the books that Moira had borrowed seem to have gone AWOL. I could swear that I returned all the books at the same time, but those two don’t seem to be at the library, nor do I find them here. If they aren’t found by the end of the month, she won’t be allowed to check out any more books. That will devastate her. Cait borrowed a Secrets of Droon book and finished it in about 3-4 hours, then wanted to go and get a new one. She had to wait a couple of days, though, before we had a chance to get back there again. This time she got another Droon book and a Magic Treehouse book, too. I’m so glad that she has found books that she enjoys. I remember spending long lazy days doing nothing all day but reading at 10 years old. I read fantasy novels with my folks in the evenings, everyone taking turns with the reading part. That was when I was exposed to Tolkein, Saberhagen, Feist, Eddings, McCaffrey, and every other fantasy author at our library. We read every book they had. On my own, I read a lot of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys, Boxcar Children, and so forth. Mom wanted me to read the Bobbsey Twins, but those were “too old” for me.

Moira has been in an experimenting mood lately. We found a volcano kit and a slime lab kit at the swap shop and brought them home. We built the volcano a week ago Friday and let it dry over the weekend. So Tuesday we exploded it. Unfortunately, we were missing a vital piece of the kit – a vial that was to contain the reaction and send it up and over the lip of the volcano. Instead when we poured the water in, it seeped down and out the bottom. It was very anti-climactic. I promised we would find stuff to build a new one and try again. A day or so later we made Sewer Slime with guar gum and borax. I misread the directions and put in a tablespoon of borax-water solution instead of ¼ teaspoon so it gelled up almost instantly. I need to find a steady supplier for guar gum now so she can make more of it. I already get the borax for washing my laundry.

Moira decided she wanted to experiment in the kitchen after baking banana bread with me and she wrote up a nice recipe. I took dictation for her because she didn’t feel like writing it down. I suppose it would have forced her to slow her thinking, so I was happy to do it for her. She wanted to make a cake, but ended up making a cinnamony quick bread, not surprising since we had just made one and those ingredients were already on her mind. She was quite disappointed that it was not a cake, but it was yummy bread. At the time, Cait refused to even try any of it. Sometimes she just seems to randomly want to be mean to her sisters and I still can’t fathom it. Today they both made new recipes. Moira basically made another version of her cinnamon quick bread, again trying for cake. Cait, having no reference to start from, wanted to make cookies. She used peanut butter and whole wheat flour as a base and some cinnamon and other stuff, but didn’t put in any sweetener. I tasted it before she put it on the cookie sheet and suggested she might want to add some sweetener. Would she like sugar or honey? Sugar. Brown or white? Brown. The dough was very dry, so I helped her add some butter to it. When it was mostly palatable (I am by no means an artist in the kitchen), she pressed it in one big flat sheet on a cookie sheet and we baked it. When Moira’s bread was done, Cait’s “cookies” went in. Moira’s bread was yummy again, and Cait couldn’t wait to try her cookies. While they were waiting, they ate the entire mini-loaf that Moira made. It wasn’t very big to begin with. Cait was disappointed with her cookies. She said they weren’t very good and would I like to try them. What is it about humans that makes us say, “Ew! This is so gross! You have to try some!”? I said I would try some later and she broke off a piece for my trial and threw the rest in the trash. But she didn’t mope and get all upset about it like I would have. She asked me what she did wrong, and I said we could check some extant recipes for comparison.

I wonder what next week will bring.

13 September 2005

First Blog

Well, I have been reading some blogs and finally decided to give it a try myself. I'm off to set up a profile and figure this thing out.