Sunday, November 25, 2007

The Calm

What a WONDERFUL weekend! Sleep, sleep, sleep, Eat, eat, eat... Ahhhh.... We decided Thanksgiving should last all four days so instead of trying to make and eat all our special dishes on Thursday, we spread it out. Ashley made two of his family's treats - marinated vegetable salad and spiced peaches. Ashley made a few trips to the grocery store but I didn't leave the house until Saturday where I found NO ONE at either Trader Joe's or Gelsons. Going to an empty Trader Joe's is like shopping online, it's so cosy, add to cart, add to cart. Going to an empty Gelsons is like visiting a food museum where everything is for sale.

Today we actually did go to a museum, to see the Murakami show at MOCA - very fun. It's so whimsical and colorful I'm not sure Theron really noticed the naked people.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The Season Ends and Another Begins

This weekend was Theron's last game of the season and it was bittersweet. The boys played a great game and they all got trophies. It was Theron's very first trophy and his very first team experience. He made friends and learned about teamwork and watching Theron run is always a thing of beauty. His reputation on the team was as one of the two fastest kids. We had a little party at the picnic tables afterwards and chatted with the parents. Ash and I were trying to be careful not to be too rejoiceful over the end because though it has been a sacrifice - for all of us, really, there were times Theron would have preferred to stay home - it has also been so important for him in so many ways. So when one of the mothers said to me, "I'm so glad it's over!" I had to laugh. It's been so all consuming we haven't even had time to think about the next season of holidays. We're really looking forward to a long weekend of not having to go anywhere for the first time since the end of August. We can already feel the difference. Today we took a Sunday drive, did a little shopping, a little walking, and went to the ice cream shop of a friend of a friend called Scoops where Theron traded me his pistachio-rosewater for my goat cheese-basil (which he says is his favorite). Their bacon ice cream is also really delicious.
Theron's second week of 2nd grade - still great! What's not so great is that his afterschool program at the Boy's and Girl's club shut down until December 3 because of lack of funds. This we could not believe - this is a national organization. How could this happen? They gave us less than 24 hours notice to find something else! We left a message at the headquarters and had a message back from the regional coordinator that they were working on fixing things, but we didn't really get any clarification about how this happened and how they will prevent it from happening again. I called the number all day Friday trying to talk to someone but only got the machine, so we're going to keep trying next week. In the meantime I found a rec center in Chinatown that agreed to take him but I am very ambivalent about it. We'd rather he go back to where he was because he knows it, it's close to home, and they provide transportation from school. I want Theron to like this other place enough for a couple of weeks but I really can't drive him over every day. Like it but don't get too comfortable, I say. Or maybe he should love it and never want to leave. Until we know what's going on I don't even know what to hope for.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Second grade is still going well. Theron says his teacher tells them he was in the Navy. Here are some things Theron has recently learned: how to use the shift key to make capital letters on the computer. He has also learned how to burp on command. You can imagine how proud and amused Ashley and I are. We also thought he learned how to wash his hair by himself because he got out of the bath the other day with a wet head, and when I asked why he didn't call me to come do his hair he said he got a bar of soap and did it himself. This we were proud of and Ashley said it should go on the blog and Theron said "Yes! It should say www dot Theron Can Wash His Own Hair dot com!" Only I watched him in the tub tonight and it looks like this lesson is still a long way from learned - but that's okay, one thing at a time.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Looking Good

Hopefully it's not too soon to declare second grade a successful move, but the first week went great. He seems to be keeping up with the work and he's making friends. It's a big relief. I couldn't believe the week all this change happened was also the week I needed to go to a conference in D.C., but Ash and Theron did great together. I called one day to ask what he learned at school and he said, "Seeds germinate". We really like the teacher. We think he is ex-military. There is a lot of structure to their day and really, that's what our puppy needs.
D.C. was good. My colleague, Naomi, and I stayed with Emily, of course. Emily who takes such good care of everyone with lots of food, drink, maps, advice. The only problem was that we were cold. We were freezing everywhere. I think it was just impossible to comprehend the difference when packing because LA is still hot enough to require the air conditioner in the car. When I came home Saturday I put on shorts to go to Theron's soccer game. The last night we were there it actually started to rain and that about put us over the top. Those are not rain drops, those are our tears. This was in contrast to other conference attendents such as the one from Alberta who said she was taking pictures of trees because they still had leaves.
The conference was held in an auditorium at the National Gallery. At lunch break the first day Naomi was in a gallery and she ran into a friend of ours from work, the former head of exhibits who moved to North Carolina last year. Eric is one of those people who is well loved and much missed. I wonder if there has ever been so much screaming in the National Gallery. We actually ran into him again the next day. It was meant to be.
I had a little time to myself the first day and I looked in NMAI, the Hirshhorn, Air and Space... It was great, but also sad because I missed my guys. I really don't want to look at art without Ashley. I really don't want to look at dinosaurs without Theron. So we just all have to go together next time.

Once I got home I had about 45 minutes to shower and change for the soccer game, and wrap presents for Alan because we had to run up to Santa Clarita immediately after the game for his birthday party at Sky City.

They still love each other. It was a very happy thing.

Here's another shot from Halloween.

Monday, November 05, 2007

New Class

Theron started 2nd grade today. Actually it was great timing because his 1st grade teacher is transferring to a new school and they would all have a change anyway. Theron's new teacher is a man, not at all warm and fuzzy - he has the appearance of a hardened inner-city school instructor. Edward James Olmos will play him in the movie. Theron actually had a really good day, he managed to do the work and behave himself. As Ash says, Theron can smell weakness and I think it is pretty clear this guy is on to him and he won't be getting away with much. I told Ashley I think he'll be like Miss Leslie without the hugs.

Friday, November 02, 2007

This year Theron decided to be the classic animated version of Underdog. We left the costume till the last minute because basically Underdog just wears a big t-shirt and a blue cape. I didn't think much about the face. I kind of thought about ears but part of me imagined painting his nose black. As if I had already forgotten the fit he threw just a few weeks ago over ball point pen on his back. Ashley saved the day with a block of ethafoam and his expert carving skills. Ashley even bought pantyhose to cover it. Here's Theron at his school parade.
Ashley has more and better pictures which I have to download from his camera still. Theron said everyone loved his costume and thanked us so much for making it. Like the tights? They are from the girl's section at Target, I just cut the feet off. I thought I was going to have to sew something, I can't believe I didn't think of it sooner.
Here's George at the parade doing a little dance.
During trick or treating that night we discovered that a boy in his class lives practically across the street. They went around together and found a haunted house. Another place had a bowl of candy with a hand that grabs you and says Happy Halloween! Theron only collected enough candy to fill his bucket then he came home to give out treats himself like the good host that he is. Thankfully for all of us there was no homework, and we have leftover Milk Duds.
Work is fine for both of us. Ashley has made some great progress talking to people about various projects he's been trying to get underway for ages. I got a new, young volunteer who is enthusiastic and energetic. I tell her to cut up paper labels and she says, "I LOVE to do stuff like that!" I showed her how to surface clean objects and she says, "I LOVE to clean objects!". We tell her to tape up boxes and guess what, she LOVES to tape up boxes! It's the cutest. What a huge relief to have someone around who WANTS to help AND does such a nice job at everything she's given. I can't wait for the day to write her letter of recommendation.