Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Visit to the National Mystery Museum to Honor Lavinia's Birthday

Because I can't get out of the house or even dressed at a reasonable hour, it is an excellent fact that the Natural History Museum is open until 10 on Wednesdays. We still had free passes for guests from when we first signed up for our membership, and the kids haven't seen friends in what seems like ages, so we took the whole family plus Ana, Jonas, and Lavinia. Jonas told his mom that it was the National Mystery Museum, which just sounds like something out of Scooby Doo to me.

Jon swears that Bastian called this stuffed bobcat "mountain cat," but I have no idea where he would have gotten the point of reference to combine those two words. Plus he's never said "mountain" before and of course we couldn't get him to replicate it. I bet he said something like "mouth" or even gibberish along the lines of "look at" or "that's a." Jon refuses to be swayed however.

Googly-eyed bird.
The boys liked all these beetles a lot.
And the entomologists really have a sense of humor.

Bastian and Lavinia (who is now four and thinks that everything she's been doing lately has been in honor of her birthday) admired the giant topographic map of Ohio, feeling every little nubbin (briefly). The kids found the dinosaur skeletons the most interesting, especially when considering their size compared to other things (like themselves or our house). Aleks remembered from our newsletter that there was a new triceratops skeleton and was excited to find it and point it out to everyone. Of course, we have no pictures of them with the dinosaurs. They did not at all care for the exhibit about Native American mounds in Ohio and got extremely riled up by dancing on these seats during the film:
I guess Bastian thought this rock looked yummy.

Most of the time spent at the museum was dedicated to turning this planetary exploration machine into a spaceship bridge where they could send torpedoes to the moon to blow it up. Aleks had Captain names for everyone too, which I'm pretty sure he made up on the spot.
They would stop blowing up the moon ever so often when they unknowingly managed to click on something intended for clicking, which launched a animated probe to explore the surfaces of varying planets. Once it got to the part of looking at craters on Mercury, however, they again lost their interest, returning instead to interstellar warfare.Aleks and I laid on the floor to stare at this giant photo (painting?) of a galaxy (which was not specified where we could see it).

After the real stuffed Balto (the famous Siberian Husky sled dog who led his team on the final leg of the 1925 serum run to Nome) did not remotely capture the attentions of our inter-galactic warrior children, we resorted to the coin vortex for amusement.

Aleks did not want to let the quarter escape. He wanted to take it home to put in his money jar. Poor Aleks, it went to charity instead.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Bastian Eats a Peppercorn

Then stands naked in the window.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Trip to Borders

Papa and I didn't want to get out of bed today. So initially we didn't. The boys played "Star Wars Lego video game" and ran around crazy, as usual. Jon got Bastian some cereal and made some coffee for us, which we drank in bed.

Aleks kept trying to figure out how many studs he had and how many more he needed to unlock various characters and vehicles. This is his favorite part of the game, really. He's not really that into gameplay as much as he's into finding all the things that give you more studs. So he did that for several hours, writing down the amounts and bringing the paper to me in bed so I could tell him how much he had and how much more he needed. These are tens of thousands, sometimes hundreds of thousands of studs and the numbers just confuse him. He is careful to note the placement of each comma though. He learned what a comma was today and I showed him the one tattooed on my hip.

Around 3, we crawled out of bed, took showers, bathed the kids and got everyone dressed. We ordered a pizza and Papa went to the food co-op for some groceries. After lunch, I took the boys outside to shovel the sidewalk while they climbed around the yard, played with icicles and threw snow at one another. This time, Bastian didn't run out in the street.

We stayed out about an hour, then came in and changed from snowsuits into regular coats to go to Borders. At nearly 7 at night on a Sunday, its nearly the only thing open. There's no Sunday trips to the library or the Natural History Museum for nightowls like us. Bastian went to sleep after midnight last night and Aleks had to have been up at least until 1. Plus, I stayed in bed until 3 in the afternoon.

The boys were pretty cooperative in the store. We spent a bunch of time in the children's section, looking at this awesome Star Wars pop-up book:

Then we found a bunch of Star Wars graphic novels and took them to peruse at the coffee stand where the boys shared a hot chocolate, much like the one that Flanders makes for Bart in the Simpsons movie. It was topped with whipped cream, then chocolate syrup drizzled on that, then shavings of white chocolate, then finally a small bar of chocolate was stuck on top. Bastian took one look at it and pushed away his Superfood he'd chosen. I got them a straw and they shared it. I also discovered, thanks to the graphic novels, that Bastian can say "Darth Vader."

Returning to the children's section, we looked at more books, and Bastian started gathering nearly every red and pink Valentine beanie bear he could find, later insisting that I carry them around. I eventually got them all put away and carried him crying to the front counter. He was pretty tired at this point and came along willingly, but sad. Aleks picked out a Goosebumps book to get and I bought 2 Harry and the Potters CDs, Harry and the Potters and the Power of Love and Voldemort Can't Stop the Rock!

They're listed as kids music, but we just listened to a song that included the lyrics "Cornelius Fudge is an ass." Not so bad for my kids, but maybe others would be less inclined to have their 5 year olds listen to this. The music is awesome though and the lyrics are great and I am totally geeking out right now.

Big Vader and 2 Little Vaders

Aleks dressed as Darth Vader. Bastian comes in at the end singing his version of the Imperial March (Darth Vader's theme song).

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Meet Aleks

This is my son. He's five years old. His birthday was in August, but he'll be happy to tell you all the million different things he would like you to buy him for his next birthday, if you can afford it. Also Christmas. And any old day as well. He loves Lego, Star Wars, Star Wars Lego, drawing, playing video games, dressing up, reading his Redwall comic book, taking pictures, and eating carrots. Most significantly though, today he made himself breakfast (melted butter toast, as he calls it), drew himself a bath, brushed his teeth, and got himself dressed. All by himself.This is Aleks dressed as Darth Vader. Now he and Sebastian are running about having a light saber battle.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Photo Challenge 2

The word this week - and I'm getting it in just under the gun - is connection. Right now, Papa and Bastian are in bed watching The Empire Strikes Back together and it's the most stinkin' cute thing ever.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Sittin' on the pot, readin' the paper

Bastian marched in the bathroom with the junk ads from our mailbox. He seemed particularly interested in the large bars of chocolate pictured. Then he did this:

Month of Poetry

Last year, because I'd been unable to finish writing my novel the previous November due to an awesome hand injury, I decided to write a poem every day in February. And I did! I invited some homeschooling friends to play too, but only a couple of folks attempted it at all.

This year, instead of being totally lonely, I'm taking it to the world. If you're interested in checking it out, would like to participate, or know anyone who might like to participate, please check out the Month of Poetry blog:
This is open to children too!

anna kiss

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Nursing Kitty

Bastian brought me his kitty that Rachel made him to show off what a good mommy he is. He lifted his shirt and pressed the kitty to his nipple. I think he might just nurse forever.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Monday, January 7, 2008

Monday Afternoon Excursion

Owing to some exceptionally warm weather, we were able to walk to Coventry to visit the coffee shop and the library. This photo is blurry, but just as we were approaching the entrance of Phoenix coffee, the boys started holding hands. I hurried to get my camera out and say hello to several people we knew walking by at the same time.
Bastian enjoyed freshly baked chocolate chip cookie with me before running amok.
Aleks took suggestions from the baristas on what to draw. Wiggles recommended a bear.
This is the wall of art that covers the counter, all started by Aleks drawing a robot spaceship fighting a terradactyl. He's been really into drawing spaceships with aliens fighting terradactyls for the last several months, though I'm not sure what inspired it.
This is a picture of a spaceship (in black) with aliens (in green controlling spaceship) shooting lasers (red lines) at a bear (reddish brown) and a terradactyl (purple).
Afterwards we went to the library. Aleks actually picked out books for probably the first time ever. He even sat down and read this Scooby Doo book, which we also checked out.
Meanwhile, Bastian made a whale and a monkey fight (pew! pew!).
Here you can see him making the fighting sounds.

Tuesday, January 1, 2008

New Year's

We had friends who live in Managua, Nicaragua visiting for the New Year. After a night of heavy drinking on the part of the adults, we all made yummy afternoon breakfast. Kevin helped Bastian make whole wheat biscuits. Bastian insists on wearing that Baby Shark towel for hours nekkid after each and every bath, no matter what I do to wrangle him into clothes. It's cold in this house, otherwise I wouldn't care. They rolled the biscuit dough out and cut them into circles using the measuring cup.
Jon, the lone vegan, made everyone else scrambled eggs.
Bradley catching up on his lolcats and email, lookin' hungover.
Later, Aleks made himself a nice seat out of Rachel's knees and showed her his Lego catalog, which he pretty much shows to everyone.
The next day, we said goodbye with late afternoon portraiture. Kevin is my web-developer and a friend of Papa's from 4th grade. He's a radical leftist with a thing for zombie flicks. He's planning Hobbiton down to the tiniest nail and stud, practicing with opossum coops and banana plants in his backyard. Rachel works for Witness for Peace teaching delegations about the horrors of Free Trade.
Brad is an economist with girl troubles in Florida.