Monday, February 18, 2008

Speaking of my musical kid

Clay likes to sing, which he'll do a lot, usually to some tune that we've just heard on the radio. I'm happy to report that usually it's something worthwhile. Something from the Suzuki lesson, perhaps. Or Tom Chapin, or even the Who (with the appropriate word substitution, a la "Who's that duck with you?")

Tonight, he couldn't stop singing "Free credit report DOT COM!"

I think it's time to cut back on his TV time.

A violin update

One thing that I haven't mentioned recently which I've been meaning to, is how much we're enjoying Clay's new violin school. It's just amazing what one year and an organized program makes! He goes to City Music Center at Duquesne University, and he takes three classes each Saturday: group violin, a Dalcroze Eurhythmics class, and then a private lesson. We have about an hour between two of the classes, which is just enough time for us to have a bag lunch, and then hit the computer lab. He's really enjoying the Music Ace software, he knows what an octave is, and the kid can recognize A, B and C# on the treble staff. I don't know why that impresses me, but it does. Plus, he's learned his first scale (A Major), and in a few weeks he'll perform his first solo piece in a recital -- a complete Twinkle rhythm. Last year, he could only play small parts of the rhythm, and only with a lot of coaching. Now, he's just a big kid with a beautiful violin posture, going through the notes of his very first song.

I love you, Monopoly Jr.

Remember my post about Family Game Night? Well, now it's a blast thanks to our recent acquisition of Monopoly Jr. (Thank you Tricia and Marty!) It's too advanced for Drew, but it's just right for Clay, and it's perfect for the adults who enjoy the game, but don't want a huge time commitment. Highly recommended!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Mucho Magnus

If you haven't been to Magnus Patris lately, please head on over. Mike's started a top 10 of Pittsburgh that I'm enjoying. Even if he did out my Oram's habit

It's not all about the weather

An update: 3 degrees this morning. THREE DEGREES! The high is going to a balmy 17. And all of the area schools were on a two hour delay because of the temperatures. That’s right, PITTSBURGH has delayed school due to extreme COLD.

All of this would be fine, except that we have two boys under the age of five, and we were really, really, REALLY looking forward to taking Clay to preschool, and getting Drew some YMCA KidsGym time. But since school was delayed, preschool was closed, and the program was off at the Y. And we (or rather, Mike) had another cold day at home cooped up with the boys. I, however, sprinted to work. Because yesterday was nothing but a cacophony of “Stop that!” “Get off!” “Well, what did you think would happen?” “I’m counting to 3, and then it’s time out!” And truly, I hate it when we get impatient with the kids. They are boys after all, and they can’t help the testosterone surges (Clay’s preschool teacher once told me that 4 year old boys have up to 100 testosterone surges every 15 minutes). We really need to get them to an indoor play area whenever we can’t get them outside.

Sorry kids.

It's not all chaos, though. Clay and I have recently gotten into a very sweet Sudoku habit. It started when I found a glass Sudoku kit at Tuesday Morning. (Which, it turns out, is completely silly. What do you need the glass for? Just put the tiles directly on the grid!) Anyhoo, Clay pestered me for a few days to play it, and I would try to not roll my eyes at the thought of a 4 year old playing Sudoku with me. (Have I mentioned what a wonderfully relaxing, SOLITARY, game Sudoku is? Well it is. I even have a game for my phone so that I can play it in those rare moments when I am not at work and sans children.) But Clay's persistent, and he no longer forgets about things even if I conveniently 'misplace' them. He didn't want to do the kids' Sudoku that we found on a children's placemat. "I don't want the baby Sudoku. I want yours." So I relented. And truly, it's been a very nice way to end the day. We put Drew to bed at about 7:30, and then we'll pull out the Sudoku set. He sorts the tiles. I tell him where to place them. He'll say things like "Mommy, I'm afraid I'm out of sixes." So, I'll hand him some more sixes. I try to point out the logic in the game, and to remind him that he shouldn't guess, but those concepts are still a little too advanced. He's my little Sudoku helper. And I've found that it can be a relaxing game for two too.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

We interrupt this previously scheduled season to bring you...

Sixty degree temperatures! Because of course, when you move to Pittsburgh and you purchase an entire preschool/toddler wardrobe of snow hats, boots, mittens, ski bibs, a couple of sleds and oh, what the hell... throw in some long underwear for Mom, it would naturally follow that Mother Nature has a freakish sense of humor. At least in my life, it does. So I'm really not sure why I was so surprised. Oh winter, where are you??

This is what I was thinking at the beginning of this week. Although it was warm, it sadly wasn't a "nyah nyah groundhog pbthbhthb!" sunny oasis kind of day. It was dreary and wet. So gray, in fact, that I resurrected my light box from last year's bought of pregnancy depression, and basked in the blue LED goodness at my desk. And then this morning... BAM! Winter returned. With 60 mph winds, and a high temp of 20 degrees. A few snow flurries, but still nothing we're able to bring out the sleds for.