about a dream: January 2014

Friday, January 31, 2014

But do I really love them?


I think the story that follows took place on MLK Jr day. There was no school that day, and I'd taken the girls sledding. But getting them both dressed and out the door was a little difficult (it's always difficult to get everyone all dressed, pottied, bundled up, etc), and their hair is so long that it MUST be braided if they're going to go outside, otherwise it tangles right up in their hats and jackets.

Well, I was calling for Nina to come so I could braid her hair, and Maggie jumped in front of her, and I guess (according to her highness) that I spoke with a bit of a harsh tone when I told her to go get her boots on for the thousandth time.

We eventually got out the door, had a blast sledding, and I forgot all about the reprimand. Of course, Maggie didn't. Not long after we got home, she got sad.

"Moms who love their kids don't yell at them."

Sigh... I just love that I can spend the day pulling her sled up a hill, but she fixates on the one little harsh exchange.

First I had to figure out what she was talking about. She finally told me. I told her of course I love her! I love her more than anything!

I'll give you the short version, but there were tears, and "how do I really know?"s, and "just tell me the truth" and "Really? Ok... but... HOW CAN I KNOW?!"

Hours and hours of this. Tears. Me trying to explain that at some point, you just have to believe a person. That she could look to my years and years of love and care, and all the times I've been there for her, and dressed her, and fed her, and played with her, and took care of her when she was sick, and and and...

By the end of the day, I was near tears.

And then finally (you know it's coming)

"Maybe, if you gave me a spoonful of sugar, I would know."

At this point, I was so desperate for her to believe me that, yes, I fed her sugar straight from the bag.

"And candy"

Sure kid, whatever you want. Just stop doubting my love.

"And grapefruit with sugar on top"

Some might say I was manipulated. Could she be that good? I don't know. All I know is, the teenage years just have to be easier than this!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Real conversation from last night:

Background: the girls were saying their bedtime prayers and discussing asking God their questions face-to-face.

Nina: What does God look like?
Maggie: He's funny-looking.
Nina: No he's not!
Nina: Maggie, no He's not! God's handsome.
Maggie: NO!
Me: Well, God's not handsome because he's not a man.
Nina: Yes he is. God's a man.
Maggie: Yeah, he's definitely a man.
Me: No, He's not a man or a woman. We just say "He" because we have no gender neutral pronoun in English.
Nina: No, we say "He" because he's a man.
Me: No.
Maggie: GAH!! HE'S A MAN.

Then I gave up. Apparently God is a man, and he's handsome. Or maybe funny-looking. Depends on your perspective I guess.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Which foods are we?

We did a buzzfeed quiz. They're all over facebook these days.

Which food is Maggie?

A donut:

You’re a donut, the most extravagant of the breakfasts. Yes, even more than pancakes. Much like dessert for breakfast, you’re extreme in a good way. You’re really living. We should all applaud you for doing what everyone else can’t.

Nina is a:

hot, buttered roll. Emphasis on the HOT. Everybody wants you but not everybody can have you. Be careful with your hotness and don’t use it for evil.

What am I?

Dim the lights! Here comes the burritoooooooo! (That’s you.) You’re a renaissance man/woman. You’ve got a little bit of everything. And everybody better watch out because your flour tortilla is homemade.

And let's see if Nick will participate.

Dim the lights! Here comes the burritoooooooo! (That’s you.) You’re a renaissance man/woman. You’ve got a little bit of everything. And everybody better watch out because your flour tortilla is homemade.

Nick was much more excited to be a burrito than I was.

The funniest part was when Nina was reading the questions to Nick.

"Which best describes you?" she read, "Goofy, Boring, Super Fun, Cool, YOLO-y, Sophisticated, Hot, Nerdy, or Ridic."

"What's 'Ridic'?" asked the old man.

"It's like, totes cray-cray."

Of course! That totally clears it up!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Math team!

This year I've been co-coaching the BRES Mathcounts team. I competed in Mathcounts when I was in junior high, and it was something I really wanted the girls to be able to do here in Boothbay too. Well, we moved back and I discovered that BRES didn't have a junior high math team anymore. That couldn't stand!

I talked to some of the teachers in the elementary school when Nina got to kindergarten, and they were already thinking the same thing. Two started up a math club either that year or Nina's first grade year. I was already planning to be gone for Nina's second grade year, but now that we're back, a lovely teacher named Mrs. Arnold and I are coaching the club, and for the first time in years, we took a team to the regional meet to compete against the local schools.

We got fourth place! Super exciting, it means the kids will go on to the state meet in March. We have a lot of work to do to be competition ready for state's, but we're gonna give it our all!

The girls came with me to the regional meet at Kennebec Valley Community College yesterday. We rode the bus together with Mrs. Arnold and the 8 kids on the team. The actual meet is a series of three math-questions sessions that were held in classrooms--two individual rounds and one team round.  During the break times we had tables in the gym that we sat at, though the kids spent more time running around playing tag than sitting. As they should!

After the three rounds was a ladder-style one-on-one competition for the top 10 kids at the meet. One of our Boothbay kids made it to that, so that was very exciting too.

Finally we collected our trophies (they still look the same, 3-4-5 right triangles mounted on marble bases) and I got my coach's pin. Then it was back on the bus for the 1.25 hour ride home. Maggie fell asleep on my lap while Nina played on my iPad.

It was quite an exhausting day! We left the house at 7:00 and didn't get home again until 4:00. We'll do it all again at state's though!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A lovely MLK weekend

What a relaxing 3-day weekend! We woke up to a beautiful blanket of snow on Sunday, built our adorable snowman, and then I took the girls sledding on Monday. Monday was just perfect for sledding, too. It was sunny and at least 35 degrees. We didn't even need mittens! It felt like spring. Ahhh...

Now, it's frigid again. What a terrible winter. The high was maybe 18 today, and it's not supposed to hit 20 again until the weekend. Yay. Worst winter ever.

At least it's an easy week at school--finals! Woot! I get to give the tests in the morning, and then all the kids go home. Today I had the quietest three hours that I can remember... certainly the quietest three hours that I've had in the last 10 years. I'm not exaggerating, either. I haven't spent three hours in peace and quiet, with absolutely no one around, in years. It was amazing. It felt like I spent a week relaxing at the beach. I can't wait for tomorrow!!

Now for an equally relaxing evening of My 600-lb Life. I deserve some treats during this hellish winter!!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Look what we woke up to!

It was a very heavy, sticky, wet snow

It was clinging to every twig and looked absolutely lovely!

Perfect for snowballs and snowmen

Meet Olaf. He has stubby arms because Moxie kept snatching them off and chewing them up. Dogs 
and stick arms just don't mix!
It was nice and warm too, about 35 degrees, so we played for a long time. AND it's a three day weekend, so no school tomorrow! Yippee!!

Thursday, January 16, 2014

How about a Venn diagram?

Nina drew this on Mrs. Arnold's smartboard at math club practice today:

Under the Anina circle are "young," "student," and "quiet." Under the mom circle is "old," "teacher," "loud." Common to both is "smart."


I know I'm a lot older than she is, but, unfair.

Also, you wanna buy some fudge?

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

This is not today

These pictures were taken sometime in the last 2 weeks, but I can't remember when. Obviously, they're from before it warmed to the 40s and started raining.

Sledding down the snow banks. Look at all that fluffy white stuff!!

Giving up and lying in the snow, waiting for warm death. Maggie's not the winter lover that Nina is.
What a crazy winter we're having. Two weeks ago it was barely above zero and fifteen below overnight. Now for the last four days it's been raining and in the forties. While I prefer the latter given these two options, I really don't mind high 20s and lots of fluffy snow. But seeing as we have about 2 more months left to winter, I'm sure the snow will be back.

I didn't mention that the girls and one of their favorite sitters went to see Frozen (for the third time!) again on Friday. Sophia took them to Brunswick, got them ice cream, and took them to the theater. They had a fantastic time, of course, but were exhausted when they got home at about 10. Maggie fell asleep in Sophia's car, but Nina managed to stay awake. They both conked out as soon as they got into bed though, and neither one stirred until the morning. The next morning I asked Nina if she had a good night's sleep and she said, "Yes! I slept like a bug in a mug!"

Ha! So cute!!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Look at this!

Nina's teacher sent me this. Here, I'll just copy and paste the email it came along with, both because it explains what you see above, and because Nina's teacher says the sweetest things about her. :-)

I thought you might enjoy seeing your daughter adapted to survive like
a puffin! I chose her because she seemed so excited to try this out
with Sea Sue from the Audubon Society Friday. On another note, as you
know we have an odd number of students. Anina and I ended up being
partners for a reading assignment I had given the class. What a fluent
and expressive reader, and we had a lot of fun doing the plot graph
for the story! I adore being her teacher!!

Aww! The girls have had the greatest teachers at BRES, we are so happy there!!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

The winter doldrums settle in...

No posts from me lately, sorry. We're just keepin' on keepin' on at home.

Nina did fulfill a life-long dream of mine last night. No big deal, just a life-long dream. I came home to the smell of freshly baking brownies.

It was heavenly! She and Maggie had taken the bus home, and she decided to whip up a batch of brownies. I've long fantasized about coming home to freshly-baked brownies--brownies I didn't have to mix, or bake, or clean up after. And they were even more delicious than I'd dreamed they would be!

That's about it. It's a bit cold again, but nothing like we had over vacation, so no complaints.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Wacky Bingo!

I know, I know. It sounds kind of lame, but it was super fun. Thanks to Nina and Maggie anyway!

It was held at the library's temporary location in the small mall because they're renovating the real library building this winter. Me, mom, and the girls were there, plus the Mosses, the Houses, and three other families. So, small group, but really just the right size for all of the kids to get a chance to win.

The "wacky" part of wacky bingo is that instead of just filling out a line on your card to win, you make wacky shapes like an X, a box, or maybe the whole entire card. So yeah, pretty insane. And the winners get a prize.

It was hilarious from the beginning because Maggie found keeping up with the numbers to be distressing, and she'd frantically yell out "This is too stressful!" "I'm stressed out!" and "Help!" Which was just adorable for me, though really truly anxiety-ridden for her. I was helping her btw, she just doesn't do well with stress.

So she sat out a few rounds, and then Nina was trying very diplomatically to help Mary move the numbers calling along a little faster, and Mary let Nina just take over. She did a great job. Then Maggie wanted a turn, so she became the number caller. She'd spin the cage thing and a ball would roll out. Then she'd pick it up, whisper to Nina to make sure she had the number right, and yell, "N FIRTY-FREE! ANYBODY HAVE N-FIRTY-FREE? ANYBODY? NO? OKAY NEXT ONE!"

It was hilarious. The other little kids were in stitches.

Then Nina announced that "Niki" was "really missing out on all this fun just to stay home and watch lame football." and everyone was like, "who is Niki? Is that their brother?" and I had to explain that Niki's what they call their father. Not a common thing in Boothbay, but oh well.

In the end, we took home three prizes: cinnamon raisin peanut butter (super good), a book about girlhood and lotion (Nina won that one), and a game. And we had a wacky fun time!

Thursday, January 2, 2014

The cold continues.

Brr!! We might have peaked at 0 degrees today (yes, that's Fahrenheit). Now we're somewhere around five below, but at this point, who even cares anymore? There's snow that's supposed to intensify into a blizzard, and school was cancelled today. I'm thinking it'll be cancelled again tomorrow, since the worst is yet to come. We shall see!!

The girls didn't mind extending Christmas break one bit. They both stayed in their pajamas all day--Maggie didn't even wake up until 9:30 in the morning! They played with their American Girl dolls, Nina made a restaurant, and we danced. Not sure where the rest of the day went, but there was very little spent outdoors. Nick and I cleaned the snow and ice off the trampoline after Maggie noticed that it had really built up and was causing the jumping pad to sag, but that was so much work that I was sweating. Note to self: if I'm going to be out in sub zero weather, be sure to engage in hard manual labor. My fingers still froze, as did my butt, but the rest of me was pretty comfy. That's a win in my book!

Yesterday was our New Year's Day party, and it was lovely. Lots of friends, lots of food, lots of kids running around (until we kicked them out!), and lots of catching up. So that's it for the fun parts of January, I'm ready for spring now!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

Look at the beautiful sight we woke up to on the first morning of 2014:

There was vapor rising up from the water (because the ocean water, at just 38 degrees, was a full THIRTY degrees warmer than the air!), and it caused frost to form all over the tree branches.

But above that thin layer of vapor was a bright blue sky, and the sun was shining, and the trees were sparkling.

Then when a gentle wind blew, the frost crystals would fall, and they glittered on their way to the ground. It was like waking up in a fairy forest.

Perhaps it was a good omen!

The cold may be painful, but it sure can be beautiful.

Edit: I should add that I took these lovely photos from the safety of the house. No way was I going out in that frigid air! It was bad enough that I locked myself in the entry way letting the dogs out this morning. At least I had my warm robe on, and it only took a few minutes for someone to get out of bed and let me back in!