Saturday, November 28, 2009


Tonight I attempt to blog about Thanksgiving. I've mentioned in the past that I find it difficult to post about these major events, much more so than the random occurrence that either elicits a spontaneous essay on semi-related thoughts, or for which a passing comment will suffice. Not so for a holiday, especially one that we prepare for and anticipate for so long. This Thanksgiving was no exception. In fact, we anticipated it more than most, because the Needhams were coming!

It was, however, an exception in that it defied the conventional wisdom that the more you look forward to something, the more likely it is to disappoint. On the contrary, this was a magical (if brief) visit. Sure, we had delicious turkey and pie, but it was the unexpected moments like the hours around the volleyball net (a stroke of genius by Grampy) and hilarious conversation among the cousins (ask any one of them about shark attacks versus toilet injuries) that will stick with me the longest.

It's bittersweet to reflect on what wonderful memories we made, given how far apart we live. But I know we're fortunate to see each other as often as we do. And we're definitely blessed to anticipate so happily each gathering, knowing without a doubt that we'll enjoy our time together. For this and everything else I am truly thankful.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Grandparents Day

"You're in for a great day, you two!" This was Clare's comment to Grammy and Grampy last night, not long before she went to bed. And when I got her up this morning for school, she greeted me with, "Oh yay, finally! I can't wait to go to school!" Evidently the students had been preparing for today, Grandparents Day, for quite a while and with much gusto. And it really was pretty cute.

The occasion began with a school-wide program with the theme, "A Day in the Life of CKS." The classes all performed something, including a rousing and humorous song by the first grade called, "Growing Up." Clare had been very secretive about this song, so I had no clue what it would be. She takes it very seriously when the teachers tell her to keep something a surprise.

After the program we were invited to visit the students' classrooms and meet the teachers. It was here that Clare presented Grammy and Grampy with a card/book she created in class (again, very secretively) along with some turkey artwork. She proudly showed them around the room, and then she attempted to introduce Danny to her teacher, but he wasn't really cooperating. The program about did him in, I fear (about 1/4 of the way through it he asked me, "When are we getting out of this place?").

The best part about Grandparents Day is that we were finished before 11, free to go out to lunch. Not a bad way to pass a Tuesday, and definitely a nice way to begin the Thanksgiving holiday. We are certainly very thankful for ALL of our grandparents! (We missed you, Grandma and Grandpa - maybe next year?)

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tim's Proudest Moment

I don't even think he minded taking second billing here. (I can't seem to get the image to stay rotated, but I'm sure you get the idea.)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Who Needs Pilgrims?

Yesterday was Danny's Thanksgiving party at school. I will be the first to admit that I don't particularly enjoy attending these events, because a) preschool time is when I'm supposed to be having my precious ME time, and b) kids get weird when their parents show up at school. However, since I had to bail on his Halloween party due to my bronchitis (though Tim stepped in admirably), I decided to go. The moms in charge did a fabulous job, complete with cute turkey crafts, a waffle-cone cornucopia snack and the cutest pilgrim hat cookies.

Danny was, in fact, a little goofy when I was there, but he was clearly delighted as well. It is nice to feel loved. I helped him with his craft, watched him gobble his snack, and then it was story time. Between books, the mom reading the story asked the kids what they were thankful for. Several told us that they were thankful for their families, or their dogs. Danny very enthusiastically shared, "I'm thankful for ninjas!" So much for his aforementioned thoughtfulness. Although, I think this can be interpreted as a nod to his daddy, as the two of them had a weekend of male bonding over the glories of ninjas. Ever heard of a ninja turkey? Danny and Tim can fill you in. (Grampy, I think it's time for you to resurrect your ninja barbie game.)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

The Next Generation

Yesterday I had two separate volunteer opportunities at CKS. The first was in the lunch room, helping kids open applesauce containers, throwing away trash, cleaning tables. Refreshingly similar to what lunch used to be like when I was in school.

Next I headed to help with Clare's first grade class in the computer lab, where they go once a week. I remember being a bit amazed last year that kindergarteners were learning computer skills at such a young age, whereas it was college before I became remotely proficient in them. But this year is truly mind-boggling. The first graders are making individual Power Point presentations on the alphabet. Each letter gets a page, and the students have to include a picture of the letter plus three images of words that begin with that letter, all of them labeled. I was already stunned when they each logged in and went to the server to open their files, then moved on to open the particular programs they needed. Let me remind you that they are six. Just imagine what they will be able to do when they go to college.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Giving Thanks

Today's update from Danny's class included the following: "Danny added two leaves to our Thank You tree today. He told us he was thankful for his sister and his family." Enough said.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lobbing One In

There's not much to report of late, but I figured this picture would tide over certain needy grandparents. Danny has been extremely "affectionate" with Quincy lately. And against all sense of reason, Quincy really does seem to be relatively fond of the Danimal. Go figure.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Trophy Kid

Danny's soccer team had a slightly early end-of-season celebration tonight after the game. There are still two games left in the season, but in order to accommodate the coaches' schedules we opted to toast the Magic tonight. Fortunately, the trophies had already arrived - because let me tell you, the majority of these kids definitely had their eyes on the prize!

Honesty compels me to mention that Danny's season didn't exactly go as we had blithely assumed it would based on the first game. I mean, he put forth a decent effort and stayed relatively engaged (relatively being the operative word). He's not terribly aggressive, though, and hasn't exactly developed his follow-through. Then again, he's three, and if this experience has taught us anything it's that three-year-olds really don't need to be playing actual games. That said, he was always enthusiastic and I imagine he'll be gung-ho once the spring season comes around.

I don't know, though, if he'll match the excitement he had for tonight's festivities. "I'm going to tell everyone that my mom brought trophies and cupcakes!" And sure enough, the minute we arrived at the fields he made his announcement. As soon as his game ended, he raced over to where I had laid out the precious cargo, waved his hands towards the treasure and said, "Everyone! Here are the trophies and cupcakes!" A veritable stampede followed.

So, while we have no actual record of wins, losses, or even scores, it appears to have been a winning season.