Sunday, March 2, 2014

Volume X, issue ii, February 2014

Peeping Snowman

Ethan's creative perspective on the world never fails to entertain. He led a snowman building expedition to the frozen tundra of our wintry backyard and ended up with a whole story rather than just a simple snowman.

We thought our icy companion was fun until the sun went down, and then we each experienced the creepy feeling that only an ice-cold voyeur can cause every time you walk by your basement window.

Funny Valentine (OH! MY! GOSH! Oh my gosh! I'm calm. I swear I'm calm!)
One of the first "after school special stories" Holden shared with me on Valentine's Day was that he had been "called into the office." Knowing my compulsively good oldest boy, I didn't fall for the bait in his opener. I just calmly asked him why he had gotten called to the office. He then produced a carefully folded paper from his pocket and described how he had gotten an anonymous Valentine.

Eeep. I tried to play the cool, calm parent, but was freaking out just a little on the inside. On the outside, I smiled serenely and said, "Holden, that's really neat" while on the inside, I was flinging my arms wildly in the air and shrieking, "Someone likes my boy! SOMEONE LIKES HIM! EEEEEP!"

When Eric got home that night  I told him to ask Holden about his Valentine, and he looked at me seriously and said, "Don't over-react. Just stay calm." Who. . . me?

After Holden showed his Dad the Valentine, we retreated to the kitchen like a pair of adolescent gossips and whispered with analytical intensity about what it meant and who had sent it for an embarrassingly long time.

"She clearly spent a lot of time drawing it, so she must like him. Don't you think? Do ya think, huh?"

"But maybe she pities him, and that's why she gave it to him. What if it was a Pity Valentine. Oh no!"

"No. . . the fact that she didn't sign it must mean she likes him, but she's a little shy. Don't you think, huh?"

I finally looked at Eric and said, "Stop over-analyzing it!" even though I knew I was really the guilty, hyper-neurotic parent in the situation.

As you can see, it's carefully hand-drawn and based on Dr Who. We already like the girl who made it! And we love the slow social speed the anonymity creates.

I think we covered our new parent nerdiness fairly well, but Holden was definitely the best at playing it cool. When I asked him if I could take a picture of the valentine, he just shrugged like it was nothing and said, "Sure."

I wish I could have been that cool when I was fifteen. Maybe I would have gotten more Valentines.
My sweet Valentine surprised me with an adorable breakfast in bed on Valentine's Day. He not only painstakingly cut out a heart shape in the bread, but he cooked the egg exactly the way I like it and even added just a touch of hot sauce. In class that day, I couldn't help sniffling a little as I thought about coming home to my EIGHT Valentines. My heart could barely handle it. 

I'm afraid we've created a tiny Divo (which Eric informed me is the male equivalent of Diva. . . Don't ask me how he knows that). Every time I even mention the word "camera" he bolts for our "picture spot' as fast as his short legs will carry him and poses. I suppose I would do the same thing if I had his bright blue eyes and soft blonde curls. . . and I was dressed in that outfit. (I may have picked out the PJ's, but the glasses, hat, and Zoolander lips are all his! While "I'm pretty sure there's a lot more to life than being really, really good looking," I don't know that there's anything much cuter than this kid right here.)

Pulling at Our Heartstrings
Our wonderfully sweet Caleb has magically translated the shyness of his younger years into an observant sensitivity beyond his years. When his viola teacher announced that she was going to quit teaching in order to spend more time with her family, she told Caleb she'd give him his favorite candy bar at his last lesson. When she asked him what it was, she said, "For example, mine is 3 Musketeers." When Caleb returned from his lesson, instead of whining about how his teacher was quitting, he said, "Mom, I have an idea." He excitedly told me how he had come up with a plan when his teacher casually mentioned her favorite candy bar. He asked me if I could help him because wanted to surprise his teacher with a whole bouquet of 3 Musketeer bars.

Here he is playing at the Strings Festival last month. I told his teacher I would let her accompany him as a thank you for her wonderful work with him, but I missed doing it!

A few days before Valentine's Day, Caleb got that Captain Kirk I-have-a-plan gleam in his eyes again and said, "Would it be weird if I gave a Valentine to one of our neighbors?" He told me how one of our "nice neighbors" always lets the shivering middle-school kids take refuge in her house while they wait for the bus in the mornings. As he described her, I almost cried when I realized he was talking about a fifty-year-old widow whose husband died in an accident a few years ago.

Eve's Double Digits
I realize it sounds cliché, but I can't believe that our Eve is ten! I so vividly remember turning ten when we lived in this very same house and having my Dad excitedly tell me that I was going to be "double digits."

For her birthday dinner, our little gourmande requested crepes, quiche, and mint chocolate cheesecake. The French fare was prepared by her Dad and Eve said to him, "Dad, no one makes quiche better than you. No one. And no one ever will!"

Even though Eve doesn't really fit the part, we decided to have a "D-Eve-a Party" with her friends. She was anything but Diva-like as we planned the party together. When we went to the store to buy our supplies, she made sure she had our list and said, "Would you like me to cross off each item as we get it?" When I asked her about having a Crepe Cake instead of a traditional birthday cake, she said, "That sounds both fun and interesting."

We designed and assembled the purse invitations together and I was in heaven as we worked side by side, chatting away about the party.
On Eve's party eve, we busily cut out, glued, and assembled the "Diva Survival Kit" favors for hours. Caleb came into our party workshop and asked shyly, "Can I help?" We happily painted t-shirts and made paper high heels and Eve and Caleb got into the party-prep spirit so much that they started chanting in unison, "Party 'til you drop! Party 'til you drop!" They started beat-boxing their little chant and dancing around as they worked and we were having such fun that when I looked at the clock it was after midnight. I had to coax them to bed and as they walked away I could still hear the echoes of "Party 'til you drop! Party 'til you drop!"

The next morning, I had to exercise all of my will power not to come into their room at 7 AM and shout, "Party 'til you drop! Party 'til you drop!!!"

Our party guests sewed their own infinity scarves and painted personalized wooden high-heels, and ate a whole buffet of sweet and savory crepes. Their favorite game was "Diva Dice" where they won a bunch of my old jewelry that had just been sitting in bags waiting to be donated. When one of them saw the prizes she exclaimed, "We get to KEEP the jewelry if we win it?!? This is the BEST party I've ever been to!!"

Party 'til you drop, indeed. I think I will!

Fiddling Around With Idaho History
Eve was able to make her violin performance debut when she was cast as a "Fiddler" and a "Mountain Man" for the fourth grade's performance of "Lewis and Clark!" She's been taking violin lessons for exactly a year (she got them for one of her birthday presents last year) and has been a diligent and pleasant practicer. And take a gander at that beautiful bow hold! I was thrilled that my friend, Susan Thomas, captured it on film.

When I asked Eve why she looked so despondent in the photos, I learned it wasn't because of the tragic history of the Native Americans. She said in her matter-of-fact way, "I was sweaty and my armpits hurt." Okay then. That wasn't what I would have predicted, but at least she was honest.

Hot Stuff

As Charlie was playing with his favorite food toys and grocery cart, he grabbed the syrup and said, "Hot sauce!" I giggled out loud as I listened to him belt out his original toddler composition in his high pitched tones: "Hot sauce! Hoooot saaaauce!!"

We d'Evegnees like our food and our singing to be spicy.

He's actually playing with his plastic food right now as I type. He has a chicken leg in one hand and a baguette in the other and is leaning them together in conversation and saying in a falsetto voice, "Hi! I'm a chicken!"

1 comment:

Daniel and Lindsey said...

I love the "peeping snowman" and I completely agree - he was adorable in the daytime and creepy at night. Charlie - on the other hand - is adorable all the time. I love his "Divo" outfit. Eve's Diva party looks like another fabulous extravaganza. I really think when you're an empty-nester someday and not in the middle of planning a birthday party for one of your grandchildren you should go into party planning professionally. You'd be fabulous at it. Loved this month's Review!

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