Monday, December 10, 2007

The Week of Frenzy Begins

Today marks the beginning of our Crazy, Too-Busy Week. Our Crazy Too-Busy Week was going to be the preamble to a Crazy, Too-Busy Vacation followed by a Rushed and Over-Extended Holiday but we wised up and postponed said vacation until after the holidays which will hopefully then become a Peaceful and Relaxing Holiday and Vacation instead.

So anyway, to recap the weekend...

Friday: Favorite Park Day. Not only was it Favorite Park Day, but it was also a birthday celebration for two of our park friends. L4 is now L5 and J4 will soon be J5. Poor Cassia is always the last of her friends to turn that year older. Somehow, she managed to make friends with a bunch of kids about 6 months older than she. Not that anyone minds but that always means that we spend 6+ months enduring, "When am I going to be 5 too?" Anyway, the party was really fun except for one thing... everyone but us brought gifts. Arrrggghhh! Every other time we have celebrated birthdays at the park we have ended up being the only ones who brought gifts, so this time I told the kids to just make cards. Oh boy, did I feel awful. I'm sure no one cares but me - because really, no one ever called it a birthday *party* they said "birthday thing" which from our experience means cupcakes as the day's snack but not presents - but I can't help feeling like a cheapskate. OK, really, I'm over it.

After the party part of the *birthday thing* (no really, I'm over it) was over we all went on a little adventure to go find giant mushrooms. One of the boys had spotted one under a tree and I mentioned to him that I had found a huge patch of them on the trail to the restrooms. (Yes, the restrooms are a bit of a hike from the playground.) Apparently, no one else had ever noticed the little magic grove of mushrooms because there was a lot of Ooohing and Ahhhing. It was quite impressive. The colors were stunning. Too bad I didn't have my camera. Next we went to the Peace Garden and the kids ran around playing tag and ruining everyone else's peace and quiet, lol. Ironic, I thought, but no one seemed to mind. Greyson spent his time climbing all the little fences surrounding the Peace Garden and running over to the adjacent dog park to watch the dogs. Luckily, he didn't try to climb the fence that encloses that. ;)

Saturday: Gymnastics. Greyson had gymnastics again and LOVED it this time, like I knew he would. I warmed him up to it by bringing him over to the foam pit where we stacked giant foam blocks for a while until he felt comfortable. He still cried a bit during the structured circle time part, so we skipped it and went back to stacking blocks. His other favorite activity, besides running around in circles, was rolling around on these little four-wheeled wake board/scooter type things. I'm guessing that next week he will be brave enough to start climbing things.

Sunday: The Nutcracker. Late in the morning we ventured out to see the matinée performance of The Nutcracker. It was put on by Our City Ballet/ Cassia's Ballet School and I must admit that I was pretty impressed with the quality. Not that I've seen a lot of ballets in my time - in fact, this season has brought me to my first two live ones - but the major parts were done very professionally and the kid parts were adorable, if not in sync. I think several (most? all?) of the male parts were performed by dancers from the Oakland and possibly San Francisco Ballets. Anyway, I had a great time. I was transfixed. Cameron and Cassia seemed to really enjoy it too, though Cameron admitted that he missed parts of it because "pictures of other things would just pop up in front of my eyes!" namely plans for his next big video game adventure, lol. Greyson was a little restless but I think he did really well considering that it was a two hour ballet! DH was really kind of over-cautious about it and kept taking him out, but I think he would've been fine just running about a bit in the back row. I mean, it's only the Our Town Ballet, not the Bolshoi or something. But whatever, I'm not going to complain since he took charge so that I could share the experience with Cassia.

I think next year I'll just plan on she and I going alone and leaving the boys at home. I'll give Cameron the option, but I doubt he will. I mean, he's been enjoying the ballets we've seen but I think, given the choice, he would prefer to stay home with Daddy and work on the car or something manly like that, lol. Cassia, on the other hand, could not stop talking about the beautiful music and the beautiful costumes and the beautiful Snow Queen (who happened to be her instructor!). Cameron did love the fight between the Nutcracker and the Mouse King (fabulous scene!) and seeing his friend T8 dancing as the Little Black Sheep. I couldn't get over how small T8 looked on stage. He's so big compared to Cameron - bulky, older, football playerish - but on stage he just looked like a little babe in arms. I can only imagine how his mother must have felt. *sigh* I can't wait for Cassia to be in something... if she wants, of course. LOL. Stage-mother in training, right here. OK, I've been rambling about this way too long. Time to move on. ;)

Today: We started the day out with an impromptu visit from relatives. It was a quick visit but it meant that we couldn't do school until after gymnastics. Gymnastics went great. Smoother than it has in a long time, which was nice. For once, I didn't feel the slightest bit frazzled by the time we left (aka, Greyson wasn't cranky the entire time). Cameron did half a spelling lesson while we were there. Once home we did Phonics (more /âr/ in hair), Grammar (learning our home phone number, which was needed), Math (multiplying by three), and History (Ancient China).

Yes, this starts the third week on Ancient China. Not exactly in time with our original schedule - Ancient China should've taken one week, several weeks ago - but with our new schedule, I think it will be ok. Especially so since I think a lot of chapters are coming up on Moses and the Hebrews and I can't see us doing a lot of extra reading on that. I mean, I'm glad it's there because it's important stuff but I think, at this point, that an introduction to the stories is about all we need. I still haven't figured out how we're working in World Religions yet. There was a blurb about Confucianism and Daoism in our Ancient China book today but I didn't elaborate on anything. I think they may still be too young for more than a vague, "there is a religion/philosophy/school of thought called X and this person was instrumental in it's development or teachings" but I don't know that more than that will be comprehended at this point. Especially since Cameron still thinks that the whole concept of a god is ridiculous.

And that should catch you up in our exciting lives. ;) We are almost halfway through Chamber of Secrets now and that is where I am headed to now. Have a good night everyone. :)


Vanessa said...

Oooh, the Nutcracker sounds so fun! I took G to see it live when she was about Cassia's age, but she doesn't remember going. We do have this version of it on film, and she's been watching the heck out of it ever since Thanksgiving. It's nice to see a production that has real children in it.

And I'd have been embarrassed about the "birthday thing" too. I haven't handed out Christmas cards and gifts at work for a few years -- because it's too expensive to give them to everyone and I don't want to give them to some people and not others -- and then I feel all Grinchy and horrible when people come around with cards and gifts for me. I wish it weren't like that, but it is!

Meesh said...

We do the Nutcracker every year. We went Saturday night- we always do the night one- helps the little ones sleep through the second half! LOL! It's one of our family traditions that we decided we'd do every year back when Emma was a year or so old.

It has some pro's and a whole bunch of little kids and is cute and sweet. Both Ben & I were sick as dogs too. (Big reason why I haven't blogged lately- still sick).

G said...

Sounds like you're busy already, even before getting to your frenzied week! I'm sorry I missed the birthday thing - got scheduled to work last Friday and this Friday right during park time.

Anyhow, your past week sound good! I love the Nutcracker - saw it 5 or 6 times in SF as a child. I took the kids to see it last year (local production) and we plan to see it again next week or so (local production again). Enjoy your holiday madness!

Pixilated Mum said...

I'm glad you're not too busy to blog!!! What would my mornig blog reading be like if you were? Yoiks.

The birthday thing has gotten me, but not as badly as the surprise Christmas gifts. Like, running into someone or getting a random gift from someone I haven't seen in years. My mom always has backup wrapped gifts at her home because she's smart like that. I, apparently, am not. LOL

And I missed "The Nutcracker" again this year. I miss the live performance every. single. year. at our local library.

So, we're all about DVDing it. The Mishka version.

Pixilated Mum said...

morning --- not moring.

Did I mention the "n" key fell off my laptop? I'm seriously typing it without it.

Does it show?


~Mary~ 4boys4me said...

Oh, I want to see The Nutcracker. I just don't have anyone in this family who would actually enjoy going with me. I need to plan a Mom's night out to the ballet!

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