kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
So the Pip started kindergarten today (SteelyKid started third grade on Tuesday), and we got a picture of them hugging me while waiting for the bus to match last year's.


photographic proof )

Kindergarten seems to have gone well; he made a delightful self-portrait, and he was cheerful though very very tired this evening. (SteelyKid's an old hand at this now and is also doing great.)


Monday, November 9th, 2015 09:23 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
(Or why there will be no kid developmental update post tonight, despite the Pip turning 4 on Saturday.)

- SteelyKid has strep.

+ SteelyKid gets to stop the loathsome antibiotic she was taking for something else (four times a day!) and take bubble-gum flavored amoxycillin that she actually likes.

- I'm allergic to amoxycillin so we get to watch her for that.

+ She's been in a really great energetic mood since just before dinner...

- ...but still needs to stay home tomorrow, which actually puts a bigger dent in Chad's productivity than if she were a sleepy lump on the couch.

+ The Pip is four, so it's time to do bedtime just like his sister: one of us sits on the bed for two songs, sets a timer, comes back when timer beeps to check up.

- Crying. Lots.

- Eventually had to sit on bed and hold his hand for fifteen minutes until he went to sleep.

- Goal of letting him learn to put self to sleep, in hopes that he will put self BACK to sleep in middle of night instead of waking me up, is going to be a long haul.

+ But I didn't have to lie down and cuddle him until he feel asleep?

- And now, work. And paranoia about my own throat.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Anecdote one:

A few days ago, the Pip told me that "Mister Nobody" was his invisible friend's first name.

His full name is Mister Nobody Patootie-Booty-Butt Something.

Anecdote two:

Tonight SteelyKid attempted to fend off bedtime through a monologue recreating the history on Earth by going from her and her brother, to her ancestors back to her great-great-grandparents (one generation at a time), then to cousins of cousins, then to the interconnectedness of all humanity, then to humanity's primate ancestors, then a side trip to birds and dinosaurs, then to the start of life on Earth, and then the formation of the Earth itself.

And now, since I was up at five this morning to take the Pip for a minor surgical procedure (probe of not-properly-draining tear duct; required general anesthesia because eye; all's well), I must get the laundry out of the dryer and faceplant into bed.

in happier news

Tuesday, September 1st, 2015 09:46 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
FB & G+ tend to get all the kid pictures, so, giant children are giant:

with Kate for scale )

First day of second grade, today. The Pip starts pre-K in a week.

Edit: 49.25" and 41.5", respectively.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I need chaptered adventure books for SteelyKid (nearly 7) with female protagonists.

I'm not sure the technical name for the format she's up to--about 80-120 pages, slightly wider than a standard mass market paperback, an illustration every chapter or so. The series we're just finishing, Beast Quest, says 7-10 years on the back, as does the one before that, Underworlds (Tony Abbott).

Natural disasters, secondary-world fantasy, and portal fantasies are the last three sub-genres she's read, I think, and mystery is okay too. And the female characters have to be the protagonists, not the sidekicks, especially not the sidekicks who keep needing to get rescued.

She has a Franny K. Stein book from her teacher, so if she likes that there's more of those. Oh, and she liked the first Creepella Von Cacklefur book, so I'll get more of those.

Ideally the prose would also be non-awful, but I made it through the Underworlds series, so I can make it through some similar non-grammatical and clunky stuff to get her girl action heroes.

(Note age/format limits, please; i.e., don't recommend Tamora Pierce. And if you're going to say "she's the sidekick but she's cool," please don't.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Because if you need a preschooler dressed like a superhero being photobombed by a first-grader, well, that's a very specific need and I've got you covered:

right behind the cut )

And now, to eat the breakfast I haven't yet in order to get them out the door on time, walk the dog, and do all the housework that I comprehensively failed at last night. Also go to work.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
(I am trying to post when I think of things, even if they don't seem "worthy" of posts, because I want to get back in the habit.)

We took the kids to Wild Kratts Live tonight. Wild Kratts is a PBS show about two brothers who, in bookending live-action segments, meet and talk about wild creatures, and in the animated middle, put on "creature power suits" and fly around in a giant turtle-shaped ship with a tech crew of three saving animals from the obligatory villains. (I have never actually seen an episode all the way through, so this is a rough approximation.) The kids love this, though SteelyKid is starting to go off it a bit, and it must be pretty popular because six weeks ago, the only seats left were literally in the second-to-last-row of the balcony.

Anyway. The show was cheesy but hit all the kid-pleasing notes, and they had a great time. But the thing of note was the end special effect [*], which was the brothers using a "miniaturizer" they'd recovered from the villains: they said they were activating it, fog or lights or something covered their exit, and then when the stage lights came back on, there were stuffed toy versions of the brothers on the stage where they'd been standing. (Which were, of course, for sale outside.)

As the subject line says: SteelyKid (now 6.5) and the Pip (now 3.25) nearly got in a major fight over this, because she saw that they were toys, but he insisted that they'd been miniaturized. Fortunately we were able to distract them before someone started crying over this disagreement.

[*] Prior special effects included "caracal power" of high-jumping using a springboard behind a fake rock, and "orangutan power" of moving through trees by swinging on a big swing coming in from off-stage. Also the process of donning a "creature power suit" was a stage blackout while the actor went off-stage to put on a cloth costume, covered by a super-slow animation on the screen, which made me really grateful for the person who put together all the Iron Man suit sequences into one video to clear the palate.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to listen to something other than the show's theme song to get it out of my head, fold laundry, and then collapse into bed.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Very sorry to hear that Tom Magliozzi, the one who laughed all the time on Car Talk, has died. I have actually three different pretty strong associations with Car Talk, which is impressive considering that I've never done anything more with a car than add windshield wiper fluid. First, the two years in New Haven when Chad was doing a post-doc and I was in law school; NPR was his alarm clock station and whichever morning Car Talk was on, was timed perfectly for lazy weekend waking-up. (Especially as they've moved into re-runs, the show's occasional but very tired sexism has become more grating to me, so it's weird to have my principal association be soft-focus romantic contentment.) Second, around about SteelyKid's birth I went back to listening to the show, this time as a podcast, and blitzed my way through quite the backlog up in the nursery with her (this association is less strong because I was so out of it during that time). And third, continuing up to the present day, I start my week with Click and Clack: the podcast is released over the weekend, and I default to listening to it on Monday's commute to and from work. In fact, I did that today, but I came home early (more on that in a moment) and had already finished it when I heard the news.

I have spent literally hundreds of hours listening to these guys. I knew what I was hearing was exaggerated personas, but I still enjoyed their company. And hey, their show taught me enough that I knew to take my car in for service for what turned out to be a bad wheel bearing, before the wheel actually fell off: so it was useful too.

The reason I was coming home early is SteelyKid had a tooth out today (she's fine) and Chad had class. But irresponsible though it would have been, I would have been not-so-secretly happy to stay home with her the whole day, because we realized a little bit ago this was the perfect opportunity to show her The Princess Bride for the first time—it's too scary for the Pip—and it was done by the time I got home. I asked her about it after the bleeding stopped and her mood improved (both of which happened at the same time, almost like flipping a switch; it was incredibly bizarre though of course welcome), and we agreed that Wesley's head flopping around on the castle wall was very funny, as was when the Prince got tied up; she also liked Fezzik and the horses, and "the ninja" (the Man in Black) fighting, but thought the Machine was too loud, especially when it went to 50. Chad tells me that Fred Savage's character was a note-perfect stand-in for her, not that this was a surprise; and that she spotted the Man in Black as a good guy right away, which is interesting. I'm sorry I didn't get to see her face—I'm calling dibs on showing it to the Pip now, though we'll have to do it solo so SteelyKid doesn't spoil it all for him—but now I'm flashing back to countless weekends watching it on UHF in my childhood, and feeling warm and fuzzy that I've passed along something so great to her. (Also feeling like a rewatch is due; I know what I'm putting on during stitching the next couple of sessions.)
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I've been feeling particularly stabby about the lead-up to Father's Day this year [*]. But the little booklet SteelyKid made Chad has grudgingly reconciled me to the existence of the holiday, because it is awfully cute.

[*] Every time I get an email, from a business or charity I've done business with in the past, with a Subject: that proclaims I should get my dad something, I have this little mental image of leaping through the computer and demanding to be put on a "my father is dead, assholes" marketing exclusion list, preferably with my hands around someone's throat.

Best wishes to fathers of all kinds (especially the non-biological ones), and to all those thinking fondly of fathers today. And strength and support to those for who today's hard, for whatever reason.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Well, unexpected right this moment, anyway.

SteelyKid got a Lego Clone Wars book today—some of her friends at school/daycare like Star Wars, so she's been reading a random selection of kid-pitched Star Wars books, most of which are quite dreadful. Today's was both dreadful and incredibly long, and as I slogged through it, I found myself wondering when we should introduce her to the actual movies (and trying to remember the recommended viewing order that someone had mentioned a while ago). I'd just about decided that she was still kind of young for them, at 5 and 5/6 . . .

. . . when we got to the end of the book, when everyone is celebrating except Anakin and Palpatine—Anakin because he's pouty and upset that someone else is getting attention (that's text not subtext), and Palpatine because he is the worst at pretending to be Not Evil EVER. And Palpatine tells Anakin something like, I believe you'll be a great Jedi, and the book ends.

SteelyKid promptly asks me, "Why would a bad guy say something nice?"

And suddenly I realize that she is still unspoiled for Anakin's fate, rather to my surprise. I told her that Palpatine was probably trying to trick Anakin—at which point she started spinning a story about how the seats they were sitting on were trapped and Anakin's was going to flip over and he was going to fall down.

But now I feel a responsibility to have her experience that reveal properly—even though I still think she's probably kinda young for it (and the Pip is definitely, so that's at least three weekends of watching when he's taking a nap). And even taking out Episode I, I hate to actually voluntarily show her the prequels before she has more of a critical facility. Still . . .

ETA: now Chad tells me that he in fact told her today! She thought Anakin was Vader's son, and he corrected her. All this angst, could totally have been short-circuited if I'd waited for him to come downstairs from putting the Pip to bed before writing this. (But she obviously doesn't understand how, so it's probably still worth thinking about. (Not that the prequels really do any kind of decent job explaining, at least as I recall the third.))
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
some lousy-quality, but cute, pictures taken of them in the last week (with the camera in my tablet; all previously uploaded to FaceBook. I think the thing likely to push me over into getting a smartphone is actually an always-on-me camera, weirdly enough.).

A week ago, the Pip demanded I take his picture; here he is with SteelyKid, singing a song about flowers (consisting of "flowers!" over and over again):

two pictures )

The intermediate stage of SteelyKid's Lego Jaeger, entirely self-designed and -constructed:

one picture )

And the Pip, telling me he has a new nose:

one picture )

They are now, uh, *counts on fingers, rounds off* five and three-quarters and two and a half, basically. Time, it does fly.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
SteelyKid busted out this note all by herself today at the dining room table, sounding out the words under her breath.

a note )

[Image: handwritten note that says, at bottom, "Mom and Dad lisin [listen] to (crossed out: they) this"; an arrow up leads to text at the top: "I do not wot [want] Davi[d] to pllae [play] with my tooys [toys]". In the middle are two stick figures, one unsmiling with crossed arms and a smaller one smiling and holding a Slinky.]

Frankly, I was pretty impressed; I'm poor at phonetics, but mostly this looks like pretty reasonable sounding-out attempts to me. The only correction I offered was "this" for "they," because she read it as "this" and just wrote the wrong thing down (she does this a lot when reading, substituting some other short common word that starts the same way). Also, the Slinky is pretty great.

She is also into maps lately, and today brought home this one I rather like:

a map )

[Image: road or trail map in marker with smiling stick figure and a handwritten note, "the . is you"; the path is outlined by many many dots showing your progress]

And just so the Pip's artistic efforts aren't slighted, a drawing he made and showed off to Chad the next day:

Elmo, for certain values thereof )

[Image: lots of red marker scribbles and dots, some of which were so forceful and overlapping that they ripped the paper in one spot, captioned "Elmo" by a teacher]

Oh My Gosh

Saturday, January 18th, 2014 11:44 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
I don't know what the story behind this is, though probably there isn't one because they're 5 and 2 and thus they don't need reasons, but here is your ludicrously cute thing for the day, SteelyKid and the Pip singing their hit song, "Oh My Gosh."

(Check your volume, they can be surprisingly loud.)

kid blogging

Thursday, January 16th, 2014 10:06 pm
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
Chad has it: in which SteelyKid tells a story inspired partly by the Ramayana, and in a picture at the end, the Pip looks startlingly grown-up.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
SteelyKid lost her seventh (!) tooth today and insisted that I couldn't look at the note she was writing for the Tooth Fairy.

I went up a little while ago, slid the note and her tooth out from under her pillow, slid in a pack of Pokemon cards, and only looked at the note when I was out of her room, at which point I busted out laughing:

the note )

[Image: handwritten note reading 'Dear Tooth Fairy, can I please have a cat']

Now I have to practice (1) pretending I don't know what the note said and (2) saying "well, honey, I'm really sorry, but I'm sure the Tooth Fairy knew that a cat wouldn't fit under your pillow . . . "

Edit: in the middle of the night, after an hour with a restless Pip, I got up and wrote her an in-character note saying that the TF was sorry but a cat would get squished and she wasn't allowed to bring pets anyway. I didn't put it under her pillow, though, left it for Chad to see if he thought it was a good idea.

It didn't matter, SteelyKid woke herself up early this morning (people who have never tried to roust her out of bed have NO IDEA what a miracle this is), was delighted by her Pokemon cards, and never mentioned her note to the TF. We kept the one I wrote and will just offer the same reasons as justifications if she asks.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)
As we were warned, the school bus was running a little behind as people took pictures, got used to the routine, etc.

SteelyKid was surprisingly good about waiting. Me, I discovered that it's not nearly as satisfying to rework "The Bus Is Late" with "waiting for the bus in the mist, in the mist," but my brain is weird like that.

Kindergarten! Our little extrovert is going to be fine, and eventually we'll accept that she's really allowed to be that old.

ETA: Chad's pictures of the morning, with bonus enormous Pip.
kate_nepveu: sleeping cat carved in brown wood (Default)

SteelyKid just made me a book about when I was born, so I think it's past time we got her some age-appropriate books about human reproduction. Recommendations? She'll be five this summer (OMG, five) and we'd like something that acknowledges the existence of family structures other than just biological mother + biological father = biological child, the way her actual family contains. Also, brown people. Thanks.

The Sad Book

Thursday, March 21st, 2013 11:13 pm
kate_nepveu: toddler sad to be wearing bunny ears (SteelyKid - comically sad (2010-02))

Some time ago, SteelyKid apparently made a Sad Book at preschool, but I hadn't seen it until she brought it home today.

It is several full-sized pages, stapled together, and on every page is a pencil drawing of—well, see for yourself:

a book page )

She wanted to read this at bedtime tonight, and for each page she earnestly explained to me what was happening, which was about evenly split between "the bad guy" doing something wrong (alas, my effort to get her default person to be female has failed miserably) or something her classmate B. did [*]. Unfortunately by the sixth or seventh page I'm afraid I could no longer keep a straight face, because the succession of evil eyebrows was really just too much for me. She doesn't seem to have been upset by my failure to take things seriously, though.

footnote )

Anyway. That's the Sad Book, and I really could not resist sharing.

kate_nepveu: toddler in blue jacket standing with one hand on rope and wood ladder (The Pip - standing outside (2012-11))

There will be a developmental post someday, I promise. Meanwhile, three pictures of them playing with awesome knitted snakes from their Aunt Stasia.

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