Monday, April 17, 2017

Easter, Ten, and Other Things

Mal's preschool takes spring pictures (as does Gareth's school, actually - I guess the photo companies weren't making enough off the fall pictures, so decided to try and get parents to buy pictures twice a year). I picked up Mal's to look through the other day and they just made me laugh. Here's one of the individual pictures:

Gotta love the blueberry stained lips. And who knows what provoked that facial expression. In the class photo he's giving the photographer some serious side-eye and leaning away from his classmates. Looks like he was in quite the mood that day. Which may not be entirely surprising since they were taken the day he got back from being home sick for a week.

He got to spend the past week hanging out in Kindergarten since Gareth was on spring break and in the "school-age" room. Occasionally they'll let Mal go to Kindergarten anyway, but I guess with the extra school kids there they allowed him to more than usual. He came home with a sheet of the three letters he's willing to write. If only he'd be willing to figure out an L and a C, he'd be able to write his name. Not that he'd write them in the correct order. You'd think the M and A would be more difficult than L and C, but for some reason, these are the three letters he likes best.

Gareth just turned 10. Most of his friends were out of town for his birthday celebration, but we had fun with the couple kids who were around. I fed them lunch and took them all to the movies (ugh, Boss Baby was the only kid show in theaters; you'd think they'd try harder to have decent shows out around typical Spring Break times, but apparently not) then came back home for cake. Gareth wanted the Minecraft cake again, so it was pretty easy to repeat what I'd done just a few weeks before, except with orange jello for lava instead of blue for water.

I keep forgetting to buy more birthday wrapping paper, so Gareth got some Christmas paper instead.

It was an exhausting day where I got not schoolwork done, but he and his friends really enjoyed it. He got a sports camera from my mom, which he's been having fun with over the past few days, taking video of running around the yard and making a dialogue with himself as two different characters.

Easter weekend was some of the best weather we've had yet this spring. I discovered that I can sit in the yard and still have access to internet, so did so in order to encourage the kids to play outside. Mal prefers to sit next to me rather than play. At some point he did get up and manage to twist his ankle a bit, which he's showing off here:

Clearly a severe injury. And here's Gareth finishing up a lap around the yard with his camera attached to his waistband:

Mal trying to sleep in his chair.

Mal offered to do my work for me:

Eventually Mal tired of me doing work and insisted we go for a walk. We headed down to the school playground where he finally decided he could be a little active. He's still too scared to try monkey bars, but he was more brave than usual about the slides and willingly went down the big slide several times.

We didn't do much for Easter. I knew we'd have had tons of sweets recently, so I picked up a couple non-food items for each of them and then put an apple, a package of blueberries, and a pez dispenser in each of their baskets. They didn't even notice their baskets when they first came into the living room and were just sitting on the couch playing with toys. Gareth finally saw them. "Oh, yeah! It's Easter; look Malcolm! (Mal gives a confused look toward the baskets) Can we open our Easter stuff, Mom?"

Mal opened his stuff but didn't want to eat anything. He got sick a few minutes later, then ate all of his blueberries (which did stay down) before deciding he was done eating for the day. So Easter was rather low-key at our house. He rallied to do a very quick egg hunt later (I need to find better hiding spots), but hasn't really touched the candy from the eggs - most unusual for him. He took a couple of good naps during the day, so hopefully he'll be feeling his usual self soon.

Monday, April 3, 2017


The cherry trees are in bloom at UW. Because our program is housed in a building on the quad (Raitt Hall), we get to take in the beauty somewhat regularly (all of our classes are actually elsewhere, but we often head up to Raitt for meetings or to study). My pictures certainly aren't the greatest, and the quad was more crowded than usual with people coming to check out the blossoms, but here's what I snagged on my phone while walking to Raitt last week:

We're starting to get more spring-like weather, as you can see in the pictures above. I made time to go on a bike ride at the end of last week. We headed up to Iron Horse State Park and rode a portion of the John Wayne Pioneer Trail. It's a packed gravel trail that is an old railroad bed. You can ride it all the way to Idaho - apparently many people who ride cross country use the trail for that portion of the ride. We were hoping to make it 18 miles in, to a tunnel that doesn't open until May 1. We made it almost 11 miles before the snow we were hitting more and more frequently made us give up - we were getting to where we were walking more than riding. Riding through the snow was nerve-wracking, probably more so for Steve than for me since he was responsible for keeping the bike in control, which the snow really didn't want to allow. But it's a great ride - nice wide trail, lovely scenery, peaceful; we'll be heading back once the tunnel is open and the snow is gone.

Sunday, April 2, 2017


Mal turned five recently, which is somewhat startling to me since Gareth was turning five when Mal was born, and that doesn't feel like all that long ago. He was extremely excited for his day. He got to take in cupcakes to school and picked the ones that were spring themed, with flower rings. He wanted pasta for dinner, so we had that and some corn.

And then he wanted a Minecraft landscape cake, like Gareth had last year. I was even less meticulous this year, but he was happy with it.

Then he got to open presents before bed. One of his preK teachers got him a present, which he was very excited to open. We gave him some marble run accessories and a sonic screwdriver (which actually came from a cohort friend who had gotten it in a box she won at comic con. She knew the kids were into Dr. Who, so passed it on just in time for Mal's birthday. He was also very excited about some new books, Nightmare Before Christmas, and a camera.

I made him wait until the next day to put together his gift from his teacher. He sat there watching the hexbug climb through the tunnels for a good half hour the next morning.

Although he was very excited about being five, he's actually in an anti-growing-up stage at the moment. He often insists that he isn't growing up. And the other day the doctor mentioned that his feet were huge (they have always been long and skinny, which both the doctor and I commented on) and that he was going to be a giant. He spent the rest of the day periodically checking in, asking, "Am I not going to turn into a giant?". When we ask if he's our baby-babes, he'll still usually say yes.

He's still as stubborn/determined as ever, which makes me a tad anxious about Kindergarten next year. Only recently has he begun recognizing several letters; I think he can write three of them. He's not putting sounds to them yet, that I know of anyway. He can, however, recite the entire opening sequence of Star Trek: The Next Generation and pair soundtracks with movie titles within a bar or two, or recognize what yogurt his babysitter bought two years ago - he's got an amazing memory. But he only seems to remember what he chooses to, and if he's not interested in doing/learning something, it's incredibly difficult to get him to do it. School might be a very interesting journey with Mal.

He likes to "joke" right now. Often he'll come up and tell you something ridiculous or pretend he broke something and then say, "I'm just joking!". He's not biking yet - we need to get him out on the balance bike more. He's such a cautious kid that getting him on a pedal bike could take a while, despite his love for them. He's also playing with his imagination a lot more recently (which probably goes along with the joking phase), so it's fun to hear what he comes up with. I'm looking forward to seeing how he grows over this next year.