Thursday, April 28, 2016

Flower and Panther power.

It is true that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I was reminded of that last night.   SS's art class worked on their first still life drawing. There was a vase on a table filled with beautiful lavender colored flowers. Since it was the second class, and only thirteen children, each child was offered a flower to take home.

When it was time to go home I walked over and looked at SS's drawing, and while I love her dearly I did not see an art scholarship in her future. The girl seated next to SS drew an excellent vase and there were so many flowers I wondered how she could draw them during the allotted time.  The teacher approached me and said "Of both classes these two are the only capable of drawing so much detail. Some kids can and most can't." Huh? Again, I love SS beyond measure, but I really did not see the skill.

I did not realize until SS was showing P that the drawing of Sula and her classmate are similar, SS just did not draw an elegant vase, and did not draw as many flowers.  And for some reason her perspective is of looking at the vase from above the table. You can see the table legs on the upper right and left. Still, we will keep enrolling SS in the classes because she has fun, even if she isn't talented.

Of course what the heck do I know about art, but I do feel bad that I did not recognize the detail SS created. The down side is that SS probably won't add to the drawing. And that is a shame, but the girl is lazy. After closely looking at the flower SS decided to wear it. She later told me that it reminded her of Maui.

Last Thursday Common Core testing began and this morning SS woke up with a panther attitude, plus a flower to balance things out. Next two Thursdays the children will have math testing.  I can't believe this school year is almost over, June 2 is the last day.

SS's class has fed and watered a tub of worms and today was the day, RACE DAY! And here is a picture sent by SS's teacher that we hardly get to see. SS is arroz blanco (white rice), always front and center. But she is not a worm or bug fan.  So this is a rare glimpse of SS really away from the worm, barely in the frame. We asked SS how her worm performed, she responded "lame." I wouldn't get too close for lame either.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Sorry, I have to check the weather before I accept that Slurpee.

SS is not a fan of hot days, and although we are well aware, she makes it a point to constantly remind us.  That makes sense because the rest of us enjoy to be sweaty, thirsty, and uncomfortable. We are having yucky hot days and I decided to offer SS a Slurpee after school. Don't judge me, we'll do anything not to hear SS complain about the miserable heat. And now it is worse because our rental (we will hopefully get our van back next Friday) does not meet SS's air conditioned expectations.

Me: SS would you like to get a Slurpee this afternoon?
SS: What's the high?
Me: Huh? What?
SS: What is the high today?
Me: (Look at my weather app first) 88 degrees.
SS: Hmmmm

At this point my ADHD brain changes gears, is there a minimum temperature requirement to indulge in a Slurpee? They are my to go item when I'm not feeling well, and when I find a sugar free flavor that is not absolutely horrid, and caffeine free.  The weather forecast has never crossed my mind.

Me: SS why did you ask about the temperature? Is there a particular temperature you have in mind?
SS: Hmmm, ninety degrees sounds about right.

So there is yet another life mystery unlocked by my wise nine year old daughter. Do not even think about getting that Slurpee until it is 90 degrees (32.2 C). 

The great thing abut being a woman is the prerogative to change our mind. As were driving SS says, "I'm going to have that Slurpee you offered me." I jokingly responded that it was only 87 degrees, and that is not Slurpee weather. SS simply said "you offered." Well I did offer so she won that round.

And here she is happily sucking on her piƱa colada Slurpee with a clear conscience. SS definitely gets that it's OK to go against her previously held convictions from us. 

This is so SS, I did not even notice when she was playing. Then later as I walked by I took a closer look at her toys. If this is not an omen for number one on the FBI's most wanted list, we do not know what is. SS is small and cute, but she certainly has a violent side. On the positive side she could develop mad martial arts skills to help those around her. Parents can certainly dream...

Friday, April 22, 2016

SS"s animal project.

SS's class has been working on an animal project since three weeks before Spring break. Each child chose an animal and had to write five paragraphs detailing specifics about their animal.  I understand teachers are overwhelmed which is why we could not understand why the kids could only work on their essays at school. The result was that Mr. H did not correct the essays until the Thursday before Spring break (essays were due the next day).  SS received her edited essay after lunch and was devastated because it was handwritten, meaning SS would have to rewrite the three pages. Understandably SS had a meltdown because it was due the next morning. She is well aware that speed is not her forte and knew with Thursday homework, plus an eight o'clock bedtime she would not have time to rewrite the essay.

SS was truly devastated when she arrived home, and also very stressed out. It gets better, when I read the essay I saw several glaring mistakes the teacher should have noticed. So not only does he leave correcting for the last minute, he does a lousy job. I texted Mr. H and politely explained it was asking a lot of the kids to have the essays redone by the next day. He replied SS could rewrite it during Spring break. Yeah, because that is what every child wants to do during their vacation, especially with the heavy travel schedule we had. But we sucked it up and told SS she would have to work a little every day to get her work done. Surprisingly the girl was OK with working on the road. Then the stupid suicidal deer happened and things slowed down. But SS worked through it and finished her essay.

The first day back from break we received a flyer from Mr. H explaining the next step of the project. The children were to create a diorama or poster about their animal, and it was due the week after. They would also do an oral presentation, and take questions from the teacher and students.  WTF? Are you kidding me? I'm sorry, well not really, but that pissed us off. Mind you we are not teachers, but first you don't have the kids work at home, then they have to get the project out, and their essays were kept at school. OK, deep breaths, we only have one kid, we can help SS do this.

Our saving grace was that SS is really passionate about wildlife, a nice way of saying she likes violent animals. See our daughter could have chosen a cuddly koala, a cute bunny, how about pay homage to her father and choose a penguin. Nah, SS likes what she likes and chose a black panther.  That complicated things a little since panthers are a genetic mutation of leopards and jaguars. SS had to combine two animals that have quite a different range of weight, size, and habitat.  But how could we resist a child who is so passionate about violent creatures just like herself? When I told P about the presentation options he immediately said about dioramas "I hate those things." OK, so a poster it is since I was not about to deal with this thing alone.

And that is why SS was awake past her bedtime last Thursday, putting the finishing touches on her project. She was very nervous about the oral presentation because SS will talk your ear off, but in front of an audience she is very timid. We repeatedly reassured our daughter that she knew that animal better than anyone, that was HER animal. SS did know her facts, but scared me when she faltered on the morning of the presentation when we practiced.

We also ordered a T-shirt for SS to add a little extra to her presentation. She also had a model of a panther on top of the board. P decided to print actual pictures rather than print on paper and it paid off. I know we are biased but we think it looks pretty neat. Why the big letters? It was one of the requirements SS would be graded for the project. We have no idea why big letters are important, but what the heck.

Now P being P wanted the above picture included, just for sh*t and giggles, and to add a history lesson. Sadly for him I had to make an executive decision and nix the picture. When he pouted about my lack of rebellion I reminded him of JJ. Our son once wrote a funny, factual, yet scathing essay about some religious nuts who declared the Teletubbies were a symbol of homosexuality and promoted the gay agenda (and some other nonsense). I reminded P how SS has taken after her brother's ways, and with us as parents pretty soon she'll be doing similar things. Just not now in the third grade.

The evil Teletubbies actively corrupting toddlers and endangering the so called moral fiber of our country. Darn that's an awesome memory, and wish I still had the essay because it was that good. I now remember the tubbie with the triangle was accused of having the gay pride symbol on his head. Another carried a bag, and that was interpreted as a handbag and the character was male, so homosexual. My observation that SS is likely to follow in our footsteps calmed P down for now.

Here is SS's grading for the report and darn she did well after all that anxiety. The only surprising part was the perfect score for audible and clear. We know SS and she is hardly those two when in front of a crowd. Maybe her passion for her animal gave her a confidence boost.  I was relieved when SS told me the classmates' questions were limited to three. One of them was the weight range and I was proud SS spit out 65-220 pounds like she's known it since birth.

 This picture is on the poster depicting the panther's eating habits, for a third grade project that's pretty daring.  But my husband loved it so I said why the heck not, he should get something out of it.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Student of the Month.

I received a text Thursday from SS's teacher. SS was selected as student of the month for March and would receive her certificate at Friday's Flag ceremony.  Mr. H asked if we could attend. HELLO try to keep us away from that moment. As parents we have wondered about SS making Student of the Month in Kindergarten, first and second grade. When SS made Honor Roll last month we were convinced she would not make student of the month in third grade.  I asked Mr. H if SS knew about the award, and he said no.  We decided not to tell SS, no balloons, no flowers, just Mama and Baba being there and proud.

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Batman vs. Superman

This morning I walked into SS's bathroom and found this next to her sink. Looks like we know where our daughter stands on the Batman v Superman debate.

I showed P and after doing the awww thing he said "she's so violent." What can I say even though SS has violent thoughts and tendencies, and is most likely to end up number one on the FBI's most wanted list, she will always be P's baby.

During one of our quick stops during our trip we decided on Subway, mainly because SS likes their meatball sandwich. They were out of meatballs and I asked SS to choose whatever she wanted.  She really shocked me when she opted for a tuna sandwich. I can't remember the last time we had tuna (other than sushi grade tuna) or if SS ever had it before.

SS being SS chose pickles, black olives and lettuce on her sandwich. Her quirkiness worked, she ate three quarters of the foot long sandwich. 

This morning I made SS a tuna sandwich but on a burger bun. Why? Because SS loves "seeds" on her bread. Plenty of pickles and lettuce on the side for SS to add to her liking.

SS is into Monster High and one of the cartoon girls apparently wears a bandana on her wrist. SS is using her skull bandana as a fashion accessory.  Puberty is going to be so much fun.

This is a saber tooth tiger, again SS loves wild animals. I asked her why are his legs /arms crossed. SS nonchalantly stated "because he is cranky."  She should know, she's the queen of cranky.

I think today is the first day we have not been totally dragging. What on earth possessed us to drive for so long? We will finish posting about the rest of the trip, but after Bambi decided to commit suicide with our van everything seemed to tire us more than warranted. P had a doctor's appointment today because all that sitting exacerbated a previously manageable issue. The man is in serious pain, I really feel sorry for him. But he says no regrets, he really enjoyed looking at those holes I was so excited about.

We had an oil change four days before we departed and had a sticker on the windshield reminding us when to have the next one, three thousand miles later. I looked up this morning and realized we were 203 miles from the 3,000 mile mark. I texted P to mention that wondering I was off on my math, or if they messed up the mileage. Initially P said there was no way we had driven that many miles. Then I looked at the paperwork with the original mileage on March 24. Mother of pearl, we really did drive that many miles. That is way more than we drive a year.  

Among other things we are dealing with insurance and getting the van repaired. We are hoping to drop it off Monday for who knows how long. California is the only state that requires insurance to compensate for a new carseat. We are incredibly lucky that SS has two carseats, because the insurance company will only reimburse $75.00. SS's carseats cost $350.00 each, which may seem too much for some. First, one can't put a price on safety, second, we got hit by a charging, huge animal, and SS's carseat protected her as intended. She was shocked and scared, but the hit did not jolt her. It is worth noting that our nine year old child weights only 40 pounds, she is rather vulnerable.  So even though we now have to come up with $250.00 for another carseat we are happy with our initial choice, and intend to get the same carseat. 

Next post will be more upbeat, we promise.

Friday, April 01, 2016

New Mexico sunset.

We still have three hours drive before we reach Tucson, and get much needed rest and sleep.

Our last adventure today was simply amazing. But it ended with eighty stories in elevation steep hike.