Sunday, December 14, 2014
Wren had a great time.
He had asked for a giant donut as his birthday cake. We had to innovate as Mighty-O does not make giant donuts. Instead, we bought two dozen and Frost and I learned to spin sugar (at 9am). It was messy but great fun. Here is the final cake. We made the beeswax candles before Thanksgiving and Josh says it gave the cake a Seussical quality.
Wren was thrilled to receive $50 in Christmas money from his great-granny and granny. Unfortunately, he wanted to spend it on in-game pack purchases for PVZ Garden Warfare on the PS4. We told him that $20 was the limit for virtual toys. He is now sulking and making strong moral arguments about a child's right to spend his birthday money on whatever he sees fit.
What do you think?
Friday, December 12, 2014
|Frost wearing the holiday hat I made 2 years ago.|
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
After a short while, Nurse Julie came in and did an EKG and blood pressures. The blood pressures are taken on Wren's feet and wrists and evaluated to see whether there is a significant difference. A difference means that there is some kind of blockage in the aortic arch.
There was none!
Wren is growing well and the EKG was his usual abnormal pattern but nothing unusually abnormal.
Dr L decided Wren did not need an echo. He explained that Wren had been stable in his moderate regurg on the mitral valve for 3 appointments and that even if there was an increase it was very unlikely to be enough to warrant intervention (intervention means surgery of some kind).
Wren is growing well, feels well and has had few headaches. He is officially "Doing Well".
We go back in 6 months. Hooray.
Monday, November 10, 2014
|The Batter sitting for 2 minutes|
|He pours the batter into the butter. I explained that this pan was too hot because|
the butter was browning too much.
|My Pancake. I ate it in the style of my South African family. With cheddar and honey|
(I did not have Lyles' Golden Syrup)
|The pancake Flipping took practice. It was easy at first when|
there was only on pancake in the pan, but more difficult
when they had company.
Wren burnt himself once, slightly on a finger. After that he was much more careful to keep his hands back from the stove.
As if we do not have enough wild mushrooms, we also have two kits growing in the pantry. These were from our mushroom weekend at Breitenbush. The one on the left is yellow pleurotus and the one of the right is grey (I harvested them). I have been amazed at how quickly they grow.
Since I have not yet posted a Halloween 2014 photo on the blog, I had to re-use one from 3 years ago.
Thursday, September 11, 2014
"Today is probably going to be worse because I am going to ride the bus to school and it might be late or lost or you (Mum) might not find the bus and I might not see you when we arrive."
After school, Wren said he has 4 friends. He asked to stay at school and play with R and I met R's dad, Mr Z. Mr Z is an ex-Marine who was in the middle-east. He is a badass bike rider and his wife is a computer engineer with a masters in Math and they lived in a Japan for a few years so they like... well... Japanese things.
Anyway, Wren and R are now FRIENDS.
He says that he is also friends with G and Anon (a brutish child whom I took a dislike to because he kept throwing his lunchbox at a small girl during the lunch I visited. When the principal told him to stop he did, momentarily, and the resume throwing his lunchbox at the smaller girl).
Wren dislikes another boy whom he called "an angry boy" who stamped on a stuffed beanbag unicorn at gym in a fit of rage, twisted it up in his hands and shouted "NO". It was not his unicorn and the unicorn's owner was sad. Wren was sad too. The Angry Boy also came up to wren at break and asked him if he wanted to fight. Wren says he said "nah" and went another way. This child is in another classroom. I told Wren that some kids have trouble at school and some kids have trouble at home and perhaps that kid has trouble at home too. Wren is planning "to say No to whatever he says and just walk away" if he sees him again.
Anyway, all went well. Wren is riding the bus today for the first time with the neighbor and I will meet the bus at school to welcome him. He said he was looking forward to it yesterday, by nightfall he was fearing it and by morning he was planning for various Worst Case Survival Scenarios.
Frost is fine. He is still doing PE instead of Com Sci or Drama or TA.
Sunday, September 7, 2014
|Frost wearing his "They Lost My Luggage" pants from Cape Town|
|Wren decided to wear Uggs to school "Because they are comfortable"|
Frost missed the bus on the first day so I drove him and dropped him outside in a grid-lock of cars and buses. The school community is in an uproar because the school is close to a major arterial that has gun shops, medical marijuana dispensaries and topless baristas. The school is also opposite a high school. Many families in the 'walk zone' around the school don't want their kids walking across or on this road and found no good public transport alternatives. This had led to a politicization of school transportation and a honk-by among some parents.
We sailed through and dropped Frost off without incident. He did make it to the bus on Day #2.
Frost's First Day ReportFrost said his first day was fine. The school is a lot smaller and they have these random holes in the wall that look like laundry chutes or vents that connect UP to an unknown destination. The kids call them "mystery laundry chutes" and are curious about them.
Wren's First Day ReportWren was very anxious for his first day. We arrived early along with the 400+ other kids and families in 2nd Grade. It was ridiculous. At KapKa, there were less than 40 kids in the school while at the new program there are 850 kids in the building. He found his teacher and joined his class and that was the last I saw of him till the afternoon.
|Wren goes inside. He is in front of the child with the orange backpack.|
Wren's WreportThe good things first. Wren really likes his class-room teacher, art, his own locker and being in his class. He has a friend who sits at his table with him and is enjoying the work and the class activities, especially read-aloud. He has found the school counselor ("He says he is a teacher for everyone to help kids") and liked him a lot.
The Bad Things Second. Wren hates, fears, dreads and weeps daily during the half hour of break-lunch. This period requires him to move (with some of his class) from the safety of his classroom and teacher to either the library or the rear playground. Here are the two scenarios with their issues as Wren sees them.
1) If he chooses Rear Playground:
This is very noisy and overwhelming. There are more than 100 children running around. There are no teachers only playground grown-ups I don't know. After 15 minutes you have to line up. I didn't listen so I don't know the line-up rules. They might get cross if I don't line up when they whistle. I might GET LOST! You have to line up QUICKLY. If I cry people will see me and think I am pathetic. The good thing is that I can just follow the kids to find my lunch box because they take you to the lunch boxes and the cafeteria. I can't tell anyone I feel overwhelmed or miss my mom.
2) If he chooses Library:
This is nice and quiet and I can cry without anyone noticing and feeling embarrassed. I don't actually read. I just pretend to so I have a place to be quiet and not have people see me crying. But I am afraid in the library because when its lunch (15 minutes) I don't know how to get to the lunch boxes. The librarian says she can't take me because she has her work so I will be LOST IN THE SCHOOL!!! She will be cross with me if she has to take me so I cannot go to the library ever again. I don't know the way from the library to the lunch boxes because they moved them and the cafeteria has a one-way rule so you can't go IN the door I know. It has a sign "Exit Only".
On Monday, I am going to take an hour or so in the middle of the day and come and walk through the break-lunchtime with Wren. Josh is going to do it on Wednesday. Hopefully he will become more comfortable with the process. I have also asked his teacher and the counsellor for suggestions.
Wren did visit his "talking doctor" this week. She observed that he seemed extremely happy and proud at how well he was doing at school so I think it is a case of high-intensity. He feels VERY good at managing in his big place and big class but he feels very scared in the building context. Joshua has told him that he feels like Harry Potter did when he arrived at Hogwarts. At first it was very overwhelming but after a few books he knew every place at Hogwarts.
|Wren outside his "Hogwarts"|
|Wren happy that he knows where he is going (the Fountain Stairs)|
|Wren feeling happy at his classroom.|
This weekend, Wren has his first soccer match of the year and we hope to go on a mushroom-scouting hike tomorrow.
Sunday, June 29, 2014
Last night we received a text that my luggage has been found and should arrive at CPT from LHR on a 9.55am flight. This is great news as its possible that I will have some clothing choices other than the kundalini harem pants which I have slept in and worn for the past 24 hours (at least until a brief and expensive visit to a local boutique 1 hour before the party. I hope to pass on that bill to British Air).
Frost is complaining because the turquoise skinny jeans I bought him have buttons at the fly and that is not his kind of thing. He is sleeping in them too because he has no underwear or alternatives.
My brother lives like a happy bachelor. His condo (not a condo really but a 100+ year old terrace house overlooking Cape Town) has no washing utilities - no machine, line or anything. There is a kitchen which is minimally equipped (he has just moved in). He takes the laundry out to a service which launders and folds. The stay-down feature on toaster does not work - so you have to stand by it holding down button until it reaches the desired level of toastedness.
Staying here, we have to negotiate three bunches of keys to various doors, gates and grilles. The garage door has a metal security gate as well and the rear has gates and doors as well. As I listen to the sounds of the pre-dawn dark, there are car sounds interspersed with metal clangs as people leave by their metal gates talking loudly on their cells. These are not the kind of gates and keys we have in Seattle - which are mostly to Yales and deadbolts. They are big chrome keys which go into keyholes you can see through. They turn locks with a satisfying clunk.
Friday, June 27, 2014
Friday, March 7, 2014
When you come in, offer the Third Place store a chance buy some of your second hand books and they will give you a discount. At least they used to buy lots, but this time they hardly took any. I am sure Amazon is affecting them. Their stocks are high and the second hand books sell so cheaply – most are under $10. I am going home with about 15 new books in my bags.