Sunday, March 20, 2005

Pizza and French Fries

What a fun weekend. The kids are off for spring break this week, but I think we've used up all our "let's do something fun" tokens already.

At school Friday, the boys and I went to see the 2nd and 3rd graders' performance. Katherine, being a 3rd grader, was up there playing the recorder and xylophone with all the other 8 and 9 year olds. It's not nearly as bad as it sounds, the kids did a great job and ended with Beethoven's Ode to Joy. Seriously. They were followed by the 2nd graders who had put together a musical (of sorts) about Matter. What can I say, it's a science school so even the music classes are science related. "I'm matter, you're matter, we're all matter..." "There are 4 forms of matter... solid, liquid, gas, plasma! solid, liquid, gas, plasma!" Music you can really tap your toes too. Jonathon found it so interesting he fell asleep on my lap. He's 3, plasma ditties are a little over his head.
The program was at the end of the day, so we went to the school playground for a while and once we arrived home and met Ian, we were off to the nearby theater to see Robots. A film I liked better than the Incredibles, but honestly it dragged in parts with a little too much angst mixed in. Robin Williams made the show.
Saturday was the morning for trout fishing. Bon Air park had an open fishing time solely for kids with newly stocked trout or that was the idea at least. Fifty kids were there by the time we left, and for the hour we spent a single person had caught a single fish. I have one pole from my own childhood that we used and rotated through the kids, but it seemed as though there were a half dozen fish available and those were not at all interested in being caught. One would attract 4 different poles, and while bait was flung at it, tossed on its head and one inventive fisherman tried to wrap his line around the immobile (no, not dead) fish.... it just floated. Oh sure, once the line had gone around a couple times it squirmed a bit and swam a foot to the side to take up a new position, but that's all it did. Kids were commenting on how they'd have better luck walking into the stream and just picking them up.
Oh well. We came home and stored the pole for some other hopeful fishing adventure and started a game of Life.
Afternoon and we hopped on the Metro to the Smithsonian. There is an exhibit at the Sackler gallery on Asian games, with an ImaginAsia program for kids and at 2 p.m. an expert on chess, go and backgammon. Again, this didn't turn out as I'd hoped. The exhibit was interesting, Katherine was able to hold her own against a 14 year old chess opponent and Jonathon didn't fall asleep through the chess guy's talk (though he desperately wanted to). But we'd really wanted to learn about Go. Which isn't until next week. And I hadn't looked into the ImaginAsia program enough to get the kids involved in it, which was a mistake. And there were three tables set up for people to play games... two chess and one, uh, some other game. The chess expert was drier than a desert and was confusing beyond that. The exhibit was interesting and geared for kids to a degree but wouldn't it have been great to have game tables set up throughout the rooms? Where there were a six hundred year old dominoes, why not have a dominoe game table? Made sense to me. So yeah, that was a bummer. We'd also had the goal of getting a Go set and thought it would be easy enough to get one at the museum shop. They had one, and it wasn't even nice.
We left the Sackler and went back to the apartment. The trip downtown wasn't a total loss though. The weather was amazing, we got in a great game of freeze tag on the Mall and the kids took loads of pictures. Jonathon is not at all shy about taking pictures of complete strangers. And, perhaps because he's 3, perfect strangers don't seem to have a problem with him taking those pictures. They think it's really really cute. Over the past 2 days he must have taken a half dozen photos of strangers and sometimes their dogs.
Jeff was with us at the Sackler and just as determined to score a Go set. We looked on-line... $70 for a nice wooden board and plastic pieces? Ian really wanted to try at either Pentagon City or Landmark. We ended up at PC where the guy at the Discovery Store said "What's that?"
We had dinner at Ruby Tuesday's and left. Jonathon had fallen asleep in my lap, Rebecca hasn't eaten anything in a couple days and had barely touched her food, Katherine's meal had been forgotten and she ate half of it when it finally arrived. It was time to go home and just forget about the loser of a day we'd had. Jeff stayed for a while as we drowned our sorrows in Ben and Jerry's and MST3000. OK, the part about sorrows isn't true but the rest is.
So we come to today. Passion Palm Sunday, which means reading a really long Gospel while trying to keep the kids from poking each other with palm fronds. Jonathon has taking to ticking down the time in church by the number of songs that are left. He counts the ones that are on the board (four songs) but doesn't consider all the little pieces in-between like the Responsorial. We'd sing the Gospel Acclamation and he's whisper "Only three left?" and I'd have to truthfully say "No, lots more" and he's heave a huge sigh. They were all well-behaved though. A blessing to be sure.
My parents are both not feeling well, but mom still provided a yummy lunch before we hit the road to Ski Liberty. One our way up, it poured. It hasn't rained since we've arrived; snowed yes, rained no. But today of all days it was soaking outside and we plugged along because we have been talking up this ski trip since before Christmas. We weren't leaving unless the resort turned us away.
We pulled into the parking lot and sat. The rain stopped. The sun came out. It was gorgeous. Oh sure, parts of the slopes were pure slush and everything that's still white is machine made but it was so worth sticking to the plan to see Katherine, Rebecca and Nicholas don their snow clothes and hit the slopes. Since it's the second to last ski weekend at Ski Liberty (and in my opinion, it shouldn't really still be open!), each kid had his/her own instructor. By the end of the two hours, Nicholas was going down the green slopes sans poles as little kids do. He asked when we could go skiing again. Katherine was swooshing her way down and even Rebecca seemed to be having fun. She was skiing without falling or crying, so I'll call it a success. Jonathon and I hung out, took lots of photos, colored, played a game and munched on snacks. For an hour he was in the child care center to break up the time and had the whole room and two teens all to himself. Ian enjoyed himself too though he's questioning his ability to walk tomorrow.
So this week the girls are off school and we'll keep ourselves busy with Easter activities. Tomorrow is errand/clean-up/chore day which reminds me, I'd better make a shopping list.

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