Tashi had a reading marathon at school (actually, village-wide), whose end was tied to Dr. Seuss’s birthday in March 2. She managed to read 19 books, many of them assigned from school anyway. She needed 12 to get a gold medal and gift card from Ben and Jerry’s. On Monday there was a “dress up as your favorite book character,” and we settled on the Cowardly Lion mainly because she could still just squeeze into the size 3 costume (top only)!
Reading “Sam and the Firefly” (rendered as “Flyerfly” in her book report later):
That’s Kento dressed as Thing 2 next to her. The Cowardly Lion was also inspired by Christine reusing her Dorothy costume, too:
Meanwhile, last day of ski lessons was also Monday. The coldest day yet (19 degrees):
Tashi’s the last one here—after the kid who fell:
Rio arrived at the lesson in a cranky mood, but after getting all the gear on and doing a few runs, he was a happy kid! Success!
Tashi’s hands got pretty cold (note to self: bulk order of hand warmers for next year!) but Rio stuck it out till the end, including the hot chocolate and then a warm pretzel for good measure:
Pajama Day for Rio, and a tower he built:
Rio on the scrolling text at the beginning of “Star Wars”: “This is like the end of the movie.”
Rio as we crossed over the GW Bridge into the city last weekend: “Hey look at the city, we’re going to go all the way in there, right?”
Tashi after Ivy the other week: “Amanda’s going to be famous. She has a photo on Facebook!” Me: “What is Facebook?” Tashi: “It’s a book with lots of faces?”
We were in the city again Saturday to see Rohan perform at his Mannes concert. We went in an hour early to do a train ride—which Rio jumped up and down about earlier—taking it from the Upper West Side to Columbus Circle. We ended up cabbing it back uptown, which was fortunate for many reasons: a) I had the location wrong (thought it was the school itself, not Symphony Space, 10 blocks north), b) we overestimated how long the chorus would be performing, and c) Rio had to pee. So we got there just in time!
So, report cards were issued for Tashi and Rio. Tashi’s actually came out in mid-December but for some reason I thought kindergarteners didn’t get them and didn’t go online to check (!). It wasn’t till Sophie’s mom mentioned it and then it came up at the HSA meeting I attended (HSA = PTA) a few days later this week. I finally went online and looked up Tashi’s report card. I have to say I’m a little surprised we never get a paper version or, more importantly, a paper (or electronic) form to sign saying we’d seen it!
Anyway, it’s graded using C’s for “consistently” and U’s for “usually” (plus S’s/sometimes, I/infrequently, and P/progressing with support). She got nearly all C’s and a handful of U’s—most of them in P.E.!—and the teacher did a remarkably good job of capturing Tashi given he is new, has 17 kids, and school is only 2.5 hours daily. He wrote:
“Tashi exhibits a positive outlook and attitude in class. She is performing above grade level in reading and is confident in her writing ability as well. She isn’t afraid to take risks, which allows her to attack more challenging words in her writing. She can work independently, and can be depended on to do what she is asked. Tashi has been growing socially, but still exhibits immature behaviors at times. She is courteous and shows good manners in the classroom, and has earned a fine report card.”
(I read this to her.) For Art and P.E., she got throwaway comments:
Art: “Tashi is always eager to participate in class discussions.”
P.E.: “Tashi is a pleasure to have in PE! Keep up the good work!”
Her version of “Starry Night” from kindergarten art class:
We had our first fully at-home “home day” yesterday during which we worked on her 100 days of school and reading marathon homework. The photo at the top is her bookmark for the contest—Lego Star Wars. She has to read at least 12 books or 500 pages to earn a gold medal for the marathon.
Working on her 100 days homework:
She really thought hard about her answers. At one point the answer for “I wouldn’t want” was “100 brothers.”
Rio, for his part, got mostly 3′s and 4′s, and some 2′s. His 2′s are things like “participates in class discussions,” “demonstrates self-control,” and “attempts to solve conflicts.” He also can’t identify the numbers 1-10, which is surprising to me. Oddly, he got a 4 for “holds pencil correctly”—I haven’t seen that! He also got 4′s for things like “works neatly” (he’s a tiny bit anal), “respects the rights and property of others,” and “responds to a story by recalling specific details.” 4′s also for writing his name, sadly no longer with a jellyfish R.
Daffodils from Trader Joe’s:
With a background of SNOW. It was 18 degrees when I went for a run this morning, with the high not going above freezing today. But the sun is definitely stronger! We are hopeful.
Sister had family and friends over Saturday for Rohan and Arjun’s 11th and 8th birthdays. Arjun is now wearing glasses, and was apparently picky about these frames. I think it makes him look younger? And yes, that thing on brother’s head. Makes for a good photo! These all taken the morning after (by sister). [UPDATE: That's a Hoberman sphere. Didn't you know?]
The kids played well together till they got a little crazy and we put on a movie—on a teeny screen!—in the boys’ bedroom while we waited for the pizza to arrive.
The kids are set up on a blanket in the front hallway—an indoor picnic!—and pretty brilliant to fit everyone. (We adults got three different baked pastas, to account for different dietary requirements!)
The next day, we met Leo and Sammy for dim sum in town—peanut-free! But our kids decided they didn’t really like Chinese food, and we had to get a burger and hot dog next door afterward! And ice cream, hence the blue lips:
The 50-degree temps both days this weekend melted a bit of snow, but it’s still below freezing overnight making for ice in the a.m. Still it was reason to jump!
I am completely suburban mom with this nonwalking weather, driving Rio to school, husband to trail to Park N Ride for the bus, Tashi to school, and then back home again. (This past week for February break at least it was just two dropoffs with Travell closed.)
Fridays, Rio’s home days, are pretty much nonstop chatter, as I have mentioned, after we drop everyone off. We have Tiny Tots Soccer at 1130am at the Y (ages 3 to 4, half girls and boys, and I think he’s on the older side) for a half hour. Afterward we have lunch somewhere of his choice—usually either the pizza place for a slice of pepperoni or the bagel place (same strip mall). Wherever we go he insists on a story, which is something husband devised a while ago—making up a story based on elements (2 to 4) supplied by the kids, usually to get us through a meal out. His elements these days usually include a police motorcycle man and a blue tornado. And some kind of lightning.
Eating through a single slice usually takes at least 20 minutes. During which he talks and talks and talks. Related, I am sure!
Tish mentioned she has few videos of Nina Ping nonstop talking (which I remember!) and coincidentally I had just taken this video of Rio for posterity.
We also have a long video of a Rio monologue I’ve posted before that is proof of how long he can go on. O, and yes he’s newly shorn—I cut his hair last weekend. Don’t mind the baldy bits!
And at the risk of being totally obnoxious posting expensive piece of new furniture, our Room & Board couch finally arrived (ordered around Christmas I think). And yes, looks like sister’s! We nearly got Crate & Barrel but ended up with the other furniture store using an ampersand, based on reviews.
The room is coming together. Husband had me compared 55 inch and 60 inch TVs. To think I used to not own a TV! The kids seems to vastly enjoy playing both on the living room couch, and in the living room in general!
We are off to the city later today to celebrate Ro and Arjun’s birthdays—they are just back from Jamaica!—with family and a lot of friends.
Friday: Rio’s home day… husband ended up working from home after waiting an hour for the bus to show up, to no avail. It meant I was able to do a really slushy run (cold, wet feet) and then Rio and I had soccer, lunch (pizza), and library as usual.
Husband on a conference call while Rio described what he’d built:
The ice Friday morning was really remarkable.
Saturday we had a birthday party (Delilah, age 6, Kids U); Sunday Allison came over with family for Cuban food (piccadillo, “Frozen” for the kids, along with Magnatiles for Sophia, Valerie, and Bridget):
Monday, Presidents Day, another birthday party (Daria, age 6, Chocolate Etc.):
Followed by Rio’s first movie in the theater: “The LEGO Movie.” Loud and not very subtle but had some funny bits, not least the constant teasing of the ’80s-era spaceman Legos (including the flat shapes that Rio likes to use to build all the time, as above!). This was followed by an impromptu playdate at our house with Amy and family, who had also met us for the movie and lunch beforehand. While showing Allison’s husband Rodney around, we discovered our grates had resulted in some excellent icicles (not nearly as large or worrying as the ones off our roof!):
Wednesdays are Tashi’s home day, and despite the subfreezing temps, I pick her up on foot. I realize it’s borderline child abuse, or at least I feel guilty about it. But it’s the one time she gets outside, and in the sun, and snow pants, it’s not so bad. Today she had fun walking along the tundra, and no joke about the tundra, two feet strong in parts.
Husband had used a football to knock down the most critical icicles over the garage door the night before, but there are still a few around the house, including this one I pulled off the front (first-floor) window.
There are a LOT of icicles around. Next week’s temps which are supposed to finally hit the 40s should be interesting! But before then, the latest Snowmaggedon is slated for Thursday—village schools are already closed (called at 820pm). At least Popo and Gonggong are back at home with electricity and internet (for now—and I include all of us!).
So when Rio is home with me Fridays he pretty much talks ALL day long. I am not even exaggerating. (See this video, which we posted before, again.) Usually by 10am or 9am or even 8am, I am crying uncle. This is lunch at the bagel place, post-soccer.
“Mommy, can you tell me a story?” And then he tells the story.
So that was Friday. Saturday was our $600-plus day in the city (with Dan and Kim, Alex and Rebecca, and Jason and Rachel)! Two Broadway shows,dinner at Guantanamera in between, and the sitter. And parking (though that had a discount). We saw Gandalf—here, signing programs afterward (can you spot him?):
Miss Meaghan babysat from noon till midnight (!). And survived (!!). Sunday—yet another birthday party (Rio’s class), while husband and Tashi went to go to see “Frozen” (sing-along version).
Speaking of frozen, lesson six (we extended by three lessons, to eight total). Rio and Tashi both are getting it! I am freezing.
Popo and Gonggong are still without power—since Wednesday at 7am. Fortunately they’ve been able to stay with friends nearby, but still. The first estimated fix of Sunday night did not come to pass. Here’s hoping it’s resolved soon… and hopefully just in time for more snow expected Thursday!
Finally, Yoshi proving she does find the one spot there is sun in the house, at all times of day:
WordPress is telling me this is not the first time I’ve used “Snowcat” as a headline. Ah, here’s the other one! You can’t hardly see the snowcat in that old photo (click on the link), but it’s proof that our first winter here was just as snow-filled (possibly worse) as this one.
For the record, I built this snowcat by myself, no kids, after shoveling on Monday’s snow day. Husband was overseeing the children inside, who were completely uninterested in playing in the snow. (Also for the record, I actually enjoy shoveling snow. Of course preferably the lighter stuff, but more on that later.)
Tuesday there was school, thank goodness, and I got to take other snow photos. Before school dropoff via car (which has been constant since it got below 40 degrees):
Monday’s skiing was in the snow too, for the first time. But it’s still hard to catch it on video. Here’s Tashi:
Rio (blocked a bit by the instructor in the yellow vest with the long brown hair—and no hat—these crazy teens!):
And more Rio toward the end of the lesson (tired kid):
By the way, I am impressed that Leo is snowboarding already, having moved on from skiing!
Tuesday the washing machine was supposed to be fixed, after being broken since last Monday, but the guy came, said it was fixed, I used it, and the panel lit up again like before, and then something smelled like it was melting. Bad. I managed to get the guy to come back (after saying “SOMETHING IS BURNING” to the utility company), and sure enough another part or parts had to be ordered. I ended up bringing a huge load of laundry—that wasn’t even everything from the past week—to our neighbor Lori’s (Jessica and Samantha’s mom), just in time for Wednesday’s SECOND snow day of the week—this one an ice storm. The snow was like slush, but a lot of it, and very heavy, and the kids were pretty wound up. Before 830am Rio had already bitten Tashi (he only bites her! Because she sets him off! I know it’s bad, but she 99 percent of the time deserves it!), Tashi had let out an ear-piercing scream, and I had two deadlines and husband had work as well. (Monday he took a personal day to help out.) But we are lucky, as Popo and Gonggong have been without power. According to the local news in PA, more than 80 trees were downed in their township, which is nuts. They are staying with friends who have electricity, which is fortunate as it looks like it may take a few more days to restore.
I have far fewer photos from Wednesday, which was a long day. Just this one, making paper bag puppets from the paper bags husband got from Roxana on Super Bowl night.
I saw that he had them and thought, Perfect for puppets! It maybe killed 20 minutes. Tashi also did a craft replicating a toilet paper roll penguin Rio made at school, rebeaded a broken necklace, wrote out Chinese flash cards, read Rio books, wrote out her Valentine’s Day cards, and ate a good dinner without complaining (TJ’s Reduced Guilt Mac and Cheese, which is finally back in stores, and baked sweet potato), so toward the end of the day I even allowed myself to wonder, is she finally, finally turning this fabled age 5/kindergarten corner that I witnessed in Rohan and Nina Ping?
But then today was pretty much (back to) normal! Still, small baby steps.
Last but not least, this arrived! We ordered it Columbus Day weekend—mid-October—which I remember because we drove to PA afterward! It’s a Maria Yee media stand that Room & Board used to sell, but which was discontinued. However, Bograds conveniently in TK town nearby can commission Maria Yee pieces, which is how we got it. And yes, it’s the same as sister’s. Our couch will also be Room & Board—same as sister. Thank you sister (and brother-in-law) for inspiration and allowing us to flat-out copy your good taste! (Fortunately husband likes it too.)
Soon after her first top tooth fell out (was helped out), Tashi’s other front tooth came out—she got it out herself Friday night. So, we officially have a “all I want for Christmas is my two front teeth” kindergartener in the house!
Since Tashi was still pronouncing her “TH” sound not quite right (as an “F,” despite many attempts to correct it!), she sounds pretty much the same.
He sat on my lap—we both were reclined—and I made sure to get a room with the TV working (Tashi’s wasn’t). I kept saying the more he cooperated, the faster it would be over, and he was all smiles afterward, even showing everyone who asked his bright shiny teeth (at Amber’s at kid dinner—it was pretty cute).
We did bring owly with us too. Here’s his snowy owl from school:
Tashi had a birthday party Saturday and I had made plans to visit Ginny in Brooklyn—whom we hadn’t seen since Irene, which is just embarrassing as it also meant we hadn’t yet met Nina’s brother Teddy, who is nearly 2! So I ended up going solo to Brooklyn, catching the 850am bus to the city and then taking the subway. Teddy literally never stood still. It’s the age!
And husband had a pretty packed home day with the kids, which included getting bagels, getting gas, going to the supermarket, picking up the lights for the master bathroom, making pigs in a blanket, and taking Tashi to the party. I was impressed. The card above is the one she decorated for the mermaid-themed party—a closeup below. I liked the orange fish!
They also played Hangman, or Hangcat.
Sunday we went to Abuelo’s in the balmy temps (50s!) but not before calling Rohan and wishing him a happy birthday. I can’t believe it, but he’s 11! He did some kind of mosaic art thing for his party (real mosaics, as opposed to the soft craft-kit ones all the rage among the kindergarten set).
And today, Monday, we got a robocall at 530am canceling school for the day, followed closely by the closing of Ivy as well. Husband took a personal day, so I can do work… and update the blog.