Archive for the 'kids' Category

Oct 05 2010

Living with ADHD

Published by under amy's head,kids,likes & irks

James and I hold our breath every time Ethan seems to be in a “good stretch” — in behavior, in not getting into trouble, in getting his homework done, etc. It seems that everytime we feel like we can let out a sigh and relax a little bit, that is when things take a turn for the worse. We’ll get an email from his teacher, or there’ll be some altercation in the neighborhood, and it seems to spark off a hellish 4-6 weeks of sullen behavior, and/or reports of not doing work at school, and aggressiveness.

So it’s hard to actually breath that sigh of relief — knowing that in the past, right afterward usually comes the kick to the gut. But we tentatively are, and we’re making sure that Ethan knows how proud we are of all his hard work.

He is doing awesome in school. This year he has a male teacher, and Mr. A has been great. His special ed teacher is also male, and Ethan is really stepping up to take charge and be responsible for his work.
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Aug 27 2010

The Summer of Harry Potter

My kids are pretty good readers, in that they enjoy sitting down and reading, you know, when they have to. Or when Mommy hid the Legos and Barbies. OK, I don’t do that — those legos are very small and difficult to pick up, you know, and when I pick up Barbie, I am overpowered by the need to style her hair.

So no, seriously, they do enjoy books and have always enjoyed books. Jocelyn has taken to reading in a scary way this past kindergarten year, and many the time James and I have looked at each other with eyes wide and said, “Did she really just read ‘Transcendentalism?'” I know you’re not supposed to compare your children, but dude! She is *way* better at reading at this age than Ethan was at this age!

Reading has been a little trickier for Ethan, mostly because he prefers to look at the first letter of a word and then take a while guess if he doesn’t know it, rather than, you know, that pesky sounding it out and all. This however, hasn’t dampened his love of reading at all, and this past 2nd grade year when the “Diary of a Wimpy Kid” movie came out and the craze swept the elementary school, he read through all three books within, and I swear I’m not making this up, 15 minutes.* There just may have been a few words in there that he took wild stabs at, and when asked, he has no idea of the names of the characters — this is due, I’m sure, to just not having heard them said out loud.** Don’t worry. He can tell you word for word the fart joke told by said character.
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Aug 08 2010

BrickFair 2010

We’ve always been big fans of legos in this house, so after attending the last 2 years as the “public”, we decided to do the whole registration, as exhibitors, for this year’s BrickFair 2010. It has been awesome!

This year, they moved from the Tyson’s Sheraton, to the Chantilly Expo Center, a move I thought was a little dubious, as which would you prefer to hang out in? A lovely hotel, or a concrete warehouse? However, it was always totally jam packed at the Sheraton during public hours, so the expo center was definitely the best move.

Public hours are on Saturday and Sunday from 11-4. the public pays $10, enters, looks at all the awesome displays, watches a few Brick Films, builds their own at the Stay and Play, maybe take the little ones for a bounce on the moon bounce, watches the Mindstorms competition, maybe a little Bingo for Lego prizes. All very awesome.

So what do you get if you go the full registration route? Well, first, you pay about $50, instead of $10, and there are no discounted registrations. If you are over 6, you register, and if you’re under 18, you must be accompanied by an adult, who must also register.

But oh the awesomeness you get as a full registrant!!

First of all, you don’t just walk through and look at everyone’s creations. You get to bring your own MOC — “My Own Creation”. Ethan registered his “Pokeball Factory” and a very awesomesauce “Missile Launcher”. Next year, we’ll have to see about ALL of us bringing MOCs!

Here are some of the seminars: Historic Architechture, Teaching Math with The Brick, Landscaping, Lights! Camera! Lego!, Arduino Processor, Bloggers’ Roundtable, and more.

You get to participate in The Running of the Bulls, which is a Lego Store sale – after the store closes, they reopen and sell damaged boxes (barely noticeable damage!) to Brickees for a significant discount. SIGNIFICANT!

There are lots of awesome games – Bingo (the registrants only bingo has the big lego prizes, unlike the mini bingo that the public is allowed to play), Minotaurus Tournament, Combo Build, Speed Build, & Dirty Buildster. After 9pm on Saturday night, they kick out any kids and have BYOB time, with a LEGO Hold’em Tournament, Dirter Brickster, and of course, the Drunk Speed-Build.

There is a charity auction, and a yard sale — where folks put out the stuff they want to unload, and the lego market is open! I saw some vintage legos, still in the box, from the 70s. It was incredible!! there is also opening and closing ceremonies, and awards given for the best MOCs from each category — which registrants get to vote for, and enter, of course!

James went to the Running of the Bulls while I went home with the kids, and the next night, he went home with the kids and I stayed to play Hold’em. (I totally won, came heads up with another guy who lives not even a mile from me, that it turns out I’d met at some other poker events in the area.) James and the kids should have stayed long, because Ethan would have rocked the house with the Dirty buildster (each entrant is given a cup of assorted legos and makes the best creation they can). I was walking around oohing and ahhing as the Dirty Buildsters were creating, when I got tapped to be the co-judge! It was very tough, as they were all so awesome, but the other judge and I didn’t pull each other’s hair too much to decide on the winners.

It has been just incredibly awesome. My only sadness is I keep thinking, “Next year, we need to do that.” or “Next year, we’re definitely doing THIS!” But alas, next year, we will not be in the DC metro area anymore — we’ll be moving to Denver next summer. Maybe we’ll come back for a vacation for BrickFair 2011 — We’ll definitely be making plans for some of the other lego festivals going on around the country (sadly, none in Denver).

If you like Legos, and want to feel what’s it’s like to dock with the Mother Ship and meet more of “your kind of people” — I can’t recommend registering as a full exhibitor at the BrickFair any more — it is just awesome – awesome folks, awesome MOCS, awesome fun.

http://www.brickfair.com

I will post some pictures this week of some of the awesome MOCs on display!

-amy

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Jun 15 2010

Rapunzel

Published by under crafty,kids,likes & irks

My lovely girl is always, ALWAYS, writing, jotting, drawing, coloring. She is our little arteeest!

Here is a fairy tale by Jocelyn that I found on the art table in the last week:

rapunzel 1

The Princess

Rapunzel 2
Once upon a time, there was a princess LOCKED IN A TOWER! Cause a witch locked her in it!

Rapunzel 3
A prince came and rescued the princess!

Rapunzel 4
And they lived happily ever after.

Yes, we need to work on the stereotypical damsel in distress and how there’s no stopping damsels from rescuing THEMSELVES, but still, pretty cute.

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Feb 17 2010

Olympic Fever Baby!

Published by under amy's head,daily,kids,likes & irks

I thought about writing about all this snow, but I’m so sick of the subject, I am not even going to think about it! I will just say that my kids have now been out of school since Thursday, Feb 4th. THE FOURTH. IT IS NOW THE SEVENTEENTH.

I KNOW. TRUST ME I KNOW.

School is on tomorrow, but on a 2 hour delayed start all the rest of this week. It absolutely boggles the mind. Along with the fact that Target is/has been selling SWIMSUITS since January 1st.

I HAD TO ORDER SNOW SHOVELS OVER THE INTERNET. So many chain stores missed the opportunity to make a killing by getting more winter stuff in stock, but no. They insist on putting out spring fertilizer instead. Thank god for local hardware stores (I love my True Value!)

Anyway, on to happier subjects!

I really enjoy the Olympics, but it seems like I just never get to sit down and watch them the last 2-4 years. They make me somewhat nostalgic, because I remember watching as a kid, seeing Mary Lou Retton get that 10 — what a ride! And also, my husband James and I first met 1996, and he came down to Atlanta where I was living at the time the summer of the 1996 Olympics. I remember it as such a heady time of new twitterpated love, my first experience truly away from home as an adult, and to top it all off, Olympic fever in the city — it was an exciting time!

So I was determined to get some Olympics in and when Ethan asked, upon arriving at home this evening, if he and Jocelyn coudl watch some TV, I immediately replied, “YES!” with such vehemence, that he instantly knew something was up! I flipped on some Tivoed figure skating/skiing, and let it run as I got some dinner ready.

The Olympics are pretty exciting on their own, but seeing through my kids eyes made it even more awesome!

here’s pretty much how it went all night:
from them:
“WHOA!”
“WOW!”
“MOM! YOU HAVE GOT TO SEE THIS!”

(I was right there, by the way!)

Jocelyn was especially taken with the figure skating, as I knew she would be. She instantly starting dancing around the room and talking about how SHE could be in the Olympics when SHE was grown up. I tried to tell her that some of these athletes started training and practicing at HER age, and she instantly took it up.

“Mom! I’m going to do it! I’ll practice every day after school, see? Like this!” (Jump. Soar. Run. Twist. All in my living room.)

“Mom, I am going to need a dress like that when I’m grown up. Can you sew me one? How about Grandma? Can she sew me one? Look mom, the skirt only comes down to here. Are you sure we could find one when I’m big?”

Ethan wasn’t planning and plotting his Olympic wins, but he was still extremely impressed. He hasn’t been tainted by male machismo and thought the figure skating was just as impressive as Jocelyn did, and the vice versa – Jocelyn thought the mogal ski runs & jumps was spectacular as well.

At one point, at their outbursts and gasps at these seemingly death defying feats, I replied with a mild, “Yes, I know, it’s neat, isn’t it.”

Ethan instantly corrected me: “MOM. IT IS NOT NEAT. IT IS…. A W E S O M E !!!!”

I’m glad I’m not the only one in this house not to have Olympic fever!

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Oct 14 2009

my day off.

Published by under amy's head,crafty,kids,photos

Ahh, hello blog!

It’s been busy around Casa de Panders. Monday was Columbus day, and I had it off… but no one else did. It was quite nice to lounge around the house doing nothing all day! I debated on what I would do, but with my car at the shop (it needed a new radiator, sniff) I was stuck at home and ended up cutting rings and chain mailling all day.

Here’s what I made:

Celtic Visions in copper

celtic visions in copper

Jens Pind in 14 gauge (ie: HUGE) sterling silver

jens pind in 16 gauge sterling silver

And here’s another Jens Pind, in 18 gauge sterling that I made last week. It’s listed in the shop now.

jens pind necklace

So, it was a pleasant enough day – unfortunately, I think I overdid it and the joints in my right forefinger and thumb are kind of aching – this is really kind of pissing me off, as I just bought new pliers that I really quite liked. I hope it wasn’t the pliers that did it.

Oh, and here’s one more picture: Any guesses as to who Jocelyn is going to be for Halloween? Someone from one of my FAVORITEST movies!

jocelyn in halloween costume

-amy

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Sep 29 2009

kid art: hand drawn paper dolls

Published by under amy's head,crafty,kids,photos

My child. She slays me.

I KNOW that if I had stepped in and “helped” her with this project, they would not have turned out as AWESOME as they did.

She said, “I’m making some paper dolls, Mommy!” And make them she did.

Behold! The dolls!

jocelyn's paper dolls

#1: halloween (note the ghostie earring) #2: rocking out with headphones (note the music note) #3 ROBOTS! OMG SHE MADE ROBOTS!!! #4 normal girl

Behold! The clothing she made for the dolls!

jocelyn's hand drawn paper dolls

And here are the dolls with their clothes on. I laid the clothes on the dolls and scanned them “dressed”:

jocelyn's hand drawn handmade paper dolls

#1: halloween girl now has ghostie shirt too! #3 That robot girl is lookin’ pretty boobtastic!

If you click the images, you’ll go to my flickr page where I have added a few notes to the first and second page.

Oh man. These just kill me. KILL me. I am going crazy in the best way, when I look at these! That girl. I love her.

-amy

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Sep 20 2009

Wake up Mom!

Published by under kids,photos

I am basicly holding the phone next to my ear to get these shots of them laying on top of me.

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Jul 19 2009

Three Girl Cousins

Published by under daily,kids,moblogging,photos

They were very sad when it was time to say goodbye three days later. We miss you Clara and Mary!

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Jul 19 2009

Oregon Coast

Published by under iphone,kids,moblogging,photos

Taken by Ethan.

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