Saturday, June 23, 2018

Concert and Graduations

The end of the school year is always quite busy, this one even more so due to concerts and graduations. Gareth had his first concert ever. He was selected to play a solo, which I was starting to feel a bit worried about a day or two before as he practiced and kept messing up in the same spot and struggling to continue after messing up. So I advised him to practice just the section he was struggling with, note by note. He's clearly maturing a bit, because he actually listened to my advice! And it helped. Plus, he discovered all on his own that if he tried to take it really fast, he was more likely to mess up and get lost, whereas if he slowed it down just a bit, he could get through with fewer mistakes.

He did awesome on his solo at the concert. I also discovered that, compared to his classmates, his ear isn't half bad. Sometimes listening to practicing is painful due to intonation. But, oh boy, I'm not sure anyone in the strings group was playing anywhere close to the same pitch for any of their notes. Other instruments have a bit of an advantage there. They might squeak and squawk a bit, but as long as their fingers are in the right place, they'll be sort of close to in tune.

The day of K graduation, Mal lost a second tooth. I got an email from his teacher, letting me know he'd lost it in the wood chips and was devastated, that some kids were planning to search for it at the next recess, but obviously she didn't have high hopes for their success, etc. He ended up handling its loss pretty well. And is adorable missing two teeth.


It feels weird to realize their year is over, since I'm still plugging away. The worst part is it means I have to start packing lunches for Mal again. He'd decided to try school lunch and loved it, which eliminated a lot of stress for me (he's sooo picky about what he'll eat in a packed lunch - even some foods he likes are deemed unacceptable for eating away from home). But only 8 more weeks and then we'll all be done!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Birthdays, Schools, and Teeth

Apparently having a full-time internship, assignments to go with that, additional school assignments on top of those, and a capstone to work on, plus the usual life stuff is bad for blog post writing. So, what's been happening the past few months?

Well, Mal had a birthday. This is probably the easiest cake I've ever made. We also had his first ever birthday party. We invited 3 kids, 3 said they were coming, but in the end, only 1 made it. Which worked out fine, because I've since learned that the dynamics between the 4 kids is a little messy at times.

The only thing he asked for was "masks", so I got him a variety of dress up things, which he loved. The cape and Darth Vader mask are definitely his favorite of those.

Gareth also had a birthday. We went for a purchased ice cream cake this year because life is crazy. And a simple sleepover with 2 friends a week or so after his birthday, though we'd had a couple other friends over the week before his birthday. Basically, things were barely holding together around the time of his birthday, partly evidenced by the lack of birthday pictures.

Even my take-out Chinese fortune cookie decided to give me grief for not having worked on my capstone report in a while!

Mal's class does a "Me Museum" for each student through the year. Since our last family picture was when Mal was about 18 months (not to mention Ryan was wearing a sling in the picture) and before that Mal wasn't even born as Gareth was 3, we had to take a quick, poorly lit family picture for his museum sheet. I knew it wouldn't turn out great with the light behind us, but I didn't have time to care.

I presented on my capstone at our annual Student Research Symposium. Trying to sum up my whole project in 5 minutes was no easy task! I wisely inserted a video of my formula running through a feeding tube, which I think added a lot to the presentation. I also received an award for leadership, which was unexpected, but nice. Here's my "I'm taking this on a crowded bus to send to Ryan" picture:

Spring lawn mowing is always interesting here in Seattle. The lawn starts growing, but by the time it stops raining long enough for you to mow it, it's a couple feet long. Which means you have to bag it, and then it requires multiple weekends to mow the whole lawn because you keep running out of space in your 96-gallon yard waste and overflow yard waste bins. But by the time you get the whole lawn mowed, rain is becoming less frequent, so you'll only have to mow a time or two more before the lawn dies and you don't have to mow again until the next spring.

It also didn't help that our yard waste bin was stolen twice within a month. Why anyone would want to take a yard waste bin is beyond me.

Memorial Day also happened. Coming near the end of the quarter, it was a pretty chill day. I did schoolwork all morning and then we grilled in the afternoon. Mal really likes watermelon and corn.

Gareth is starting to get excited to move to another school next year. They had a welcome event for incoming students this past week, so we took the route he'll walk each day, meeting up with friends along the way. He's incredibly excited about the library, which is occasionally open during lunch and has "so many books!!!!". He and his friends quickly made themselves at home there and had to be dragged away. Pretty sure we were the last people to leave the school.

While we were gone at that, Mal lost his first tooth! Ryan let him stay up long enough to excitedly show me when we got home.

And that sums things up. I'm working away at my capstone report this week and should be able to finish up my draft by the end of my break next week. Then it will hopefully just be a few edits and I'll be set to graduate in August!