Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Pirate Prince

That's what she tells us.

So Far, So Good

We seem to be weathering the storm pretty well here. Our power has stayed on, and we don't seem to have any damage.

It's been raining all day, but not very heavily, and it's gotten quite windy at times.

Depending on which forecast you choose to believe, we're either past the worst of it now, or we're in a bit of a lull, and will been seeing a lot more wind over the next hour, then tapering off.

If the Weather.com StormTracker is to be believed, the center of the storm will be passing within about fifty miles of us between now and morning. However, the winds shown there don't seem to jive up with the local hourly forecasts, so I don't know what to believe or expect.

I do know that, although things seem to be fine at our house so far, that's certainly not the case all over town. We're seeing reports of a power outages, downed trees and power lines, flooding, and some roof and other damage to homes. And that's just what people and the local newspaper are talking about on Facebook.

It looks like we'll still be getting some pretty good wind gusts through morning, but it seems like we've made it through the worst of it with no problems, as far as we can tell. Let's hope it stays that way!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Storm Preparations

As some of you know, and some might have guessed, we are well inland, but still in the path of Hurricane Sandy.

I think our biggest risks here are winds that are likely to be in the 35-40 mph range this evening, and power outage. Our power here has been quite stable in previous storms, but if it does go, it's going to be out for a while, just because the repair crews will be so overwhelmed.

It's just raining a bit right now, but I think we should be getting the worst of it here between 3 - 11 pm.

I may make one more run to the grocery for more milk (as long as we have power, and can make coffee, I want milk! Then, as long as we can keep it cool, we want it for cereal.), ice if it can be found, and there was one more thing . . . oh! charcoal - we have some burgers in the freezer, so if we're out of power for a few days after the weather has cleared, we should probably grill them up. Again - if it can be found.

I also need to find a cable that's required to connect our phones to the car charger that I bought. One I locate one of the boxes that the phones came in, I should be set to charge both phones and iPad from the cars.

Eveything's secured outside. I'd prefer to have my car in the garage and take our chances with the truck, but we had a big pile of brush and limbs at the curb (from cutting those trees back) so we loaded it into the truck bed, and pulled it into the garage.

So, the cars are in the grass beside the driveway, on the other side from the big tree. They probably aren't out of reach if the whole thing were to come down, but that's not likely. At least they're not right under the branches that are more likely to go.

We're pretty stocked up, although if I go to the store, I'll probably pick up a few more things, if they can be found.

So, that's where we stand.

I think we are likely to be highly inconvenienced for a while, but I doubt that we're in any actual danger.

Assuming we can keep the computer, phones or iPad up and running, I'll post updates as I have them.

If you're in the path, please taken the necessary precautions and be careful!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Peeper's Birthday, Part the Seventh

Actually, it occurs to me that we technically started the birthday celebrations a few weeks ago, when we were in Texas and Peeper got her gifts from Grandma and Grandpa, so I suppose this is really Part the Eighth.

 But, at any rate. . .

 We didn't just throw her parties, we also gave her gifts.


I think it's safe to say that these were a hit.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Looking Back

Long story short.

Short story long.

Panda Pics: Forty-Eight Months

Halloween, Part the Second

We were not going to try to do Trick or Treat on Main Street this year, because we figured it was just to much, especially since we were trying to get to lunch before Shrike had to go to work, but we're concerned that trick or treat might not be happening on Wednesday, because of Hurricane Sandy, which is likely to blow through here by then, so we figured we'd better figure out how to make it happen.

Peeper's Birthday, Parts the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth

Of course, this morning, we had to stick with our tradition of birthday cake (or some facsimile) for breakfast on your birthday, so we let Peeper choose a leftover cupcake (she went with Dorothy) and lit some candles and did a little singing.

Then we got ourselves dressed and headed downtown for Trick or Treat on Main Street (more on that in a moment), where we ran into a million friends, including DoulaK! I had just called her out on Facebook to thank her for all her support during and after Peeper's birth, and then there she was, with most of her crew!

I reminded her that it's Peeper's birthday, gave her a big thank you hug, and she, her mom, her three girls and her two-and-a-half year old son sang Happy Birthday to Peeper, right there on the sidewalk!

From there, we headed over to Red Robin, to use Peeper's birthday coupon. Of course, there was ice cream and more singing.

After lunch, Shrike headed to work, and Peeper and I went to Target to pick up a birthday gift for H (party for her tomorrow) and some provisions for the very likely possibility that we may be without electricity for a while in the next few days.

I also got a car charger that should work for both phones and the iPad, so I think we'll be okay. And able to blog.

Happy, Happy, Happy Birthday!

What? A little much?

Four Years

Dear Peeper:
You are four years old today. How is that even possible?

I don't think you can really believe it either. So far, every time the subject of your birthday comes up and someone asks, "How old are you?" you say that you're three, but if we ask, "How old will you be on your birthday?" then you say four. I wonder if you'll own up to it today.

So, what can I say about four-year-old Peeper that's not been said a million times about almost-four-year-old Peeper?

You are very, very into US presidents these days, and we've checked out several books about them from the library. You have a whole repertoire of presidential trivia in your little head, and when you're not collapsing in giggles over the idea of John Q. Adams swimming nude, you love to share it. I've really got to get that on video.

A few nights ago, I got you up to pee, you did your thing still mostly asleep, and as you stood up, you opened your eyes and said, "Abraham Lincoln said 'If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong!' Abraham Lincoln said, 'Enough!'"

You also know all the guys on the money, even Alexander Hamilton, who you always point out "was never a president." As you opened your birthday cards, you identified the cash gifts by the guy pictured on it. "Alexander Hamilton! Andrew Jackson!" (Alas, no Benjamin Franklins.)

It's been a bit challenging for me to decide how much history you're ready to hear about, and I do censor the Lincoln book a bit. I've decided I can't explain away enough illustrations to not sort of explain slavery, which I've described as "Some white people were being really mean and making some black (here she corrects me "you mean brown!") people, and making them work really, really hard and they didn't pay them any money" but I skip the part about dead soldiers and in my version "President Lincoln died" but I don't even touch on how it happened.

Now, when you see the pictures of the master cracking a whip over the heads of the slaves as they're picking cotton, or the pictures of Civil War soldiers, you always say, "I wouldn't want to be those guys" (slaves, master, Confederate soldiers) or "I would want to be those guys!" (Union soldiers), "because slavery was mean!"

You are still going to both Mother's Day Out and dance class, and you're starting to relax more about "the bye-bye" part of both of them. This week we had very few tears before we left the house for school/class, you didn't cry when we got there until you actually walked into the room, and then you got happy very quickly once things got started. 

This week you missed me "for one minute" at school, and you're saying that next week, you will be ready to "miss me for zero minutes!"

You got a time out at school last week, for kicking over three (three!) kids' buildings. I was just so relieved that it wasn't for hitting someone that it was hard to be too upset about it.

That's settled down some, but mostly, I think, because I'm more careful about what kinds of activities I take you too, so you don't have as much opportunity, and because T's schedule has been such that you've not been around C very much lately.

The hitting and pushing and toy stealing doesn't seem to bother her, though. T told me last night that either at your birthday party or the Halloween party, C asked you to be her best friend. You said no.

You also said no (well, more like "NO!") when J said that you two are best friends. (Which is kind of funny, because you really don't see each other very often at all.)

This was after your second birthday party in one day, so I told her, "Honey, Peeper's tired and grumpy," so she said, 'Maybe she'll want to me my best friend tomorrow.

I'm not sure where the "no" reactions are coming from, but I might need to have a talk with you about not hurting your friends feelings. I'm not quite sure how to handle it though, because you do have a right to say who's your "best friend" and who's not (whatever that means when you're four years old) but I really don't want you to hurt anyone's feelings by jut staying "no!" when they ask.

Of course, the main thing I got out of the whole situation was "Yay! Kids want to be her best friend!"

I think I've already blogged about this one, but it bears repeating. When we were in Texas a few weeks ago, you were helping me put away some clothes, and we had this conversation:
Mama: Now I'm going to put away Grandma's panties.
Peeper: I can't watch you do that.
Mama: What do you mean?
Peeper: I don't want to see Grandma's panties. It's too freaky.

You can file this under "If they're old enough to . . . ."

 While we were in Texas, I was having some with with dinner (With Grandma and Grandpa) and you asked me, "Mama, will the wine get in your goody milk? Because little girls aren't supposed to have wine."

While looking for clothes for our family photos, you wanted to sit in the makeover chair (because the chair looked fun, I think). In the ensuing conversation, we told you about makeovers. You later referred to it at "getting fancy Chapstick."

iPad game: COFFEE
Mama: Do you know what that word says?
 Peeper: What?
 Mama: It's something Mama likes to drink.
Peeper: Wine!

Oh! This is certainly worth mentioning: You can read several sight words!

Your list includes all of our names, "sign words" like "stop" and "exit," and a few other simple ones.

Speaking of signs, you're very interested in the various traffic signs, and ask me about them quite often. The only problem with this game is that, because you're still rear-facing, I don't always know what sign you're talking about.

Last week, you found the nailbrush the tub, so you scrubbed your fingernails and your feetnails.

While playing a game on the iPad, you said, "The car drived away all by itself! What a talented car!"

You love to play with the Halloween decorations at Target, especially the skulls. I've taught you that when you pick one up, you're supposed to say, "Alas, poor Yorick. I knew him well."

Another story from our nightly readings of Looking at Lincoln: There's a page with a picture of Sojourner Truth, and opposite is a picture of Frederick Douglass. In the text it says that Lincoln, "loved justice and truth." One night, when I read that line, you pointed to the first picture and said, "There's Truth!" (ok, fair enough) and then pointed to the second picture and said, "And there's Justin!"

See what I mean? You are just amazing in every way, and we love you more than anything.

Happy birthday, big four year old girl!

I love you!


Friday, October 26, 2012

Peeper's Birthday, Part the Third

Our friend J is a substitute teacher at Peeper's school, and since I knew she was going to be in her class today, I asked her to be my spy for snack time, when Peeper shared the cookies she brought to celebrate her birthday. She had the video up on Facebook before lunch time! I was going to post it here, but since it's got other people's kids in it, I figure I probably shouldn't.

Turns out, there's a little boy whose birthday is today, and he didn't bring a snack, so I feel kind of bad about that.

Peeper's insistence that she is "not four" because her birthday hasn't actually happened yet caused a bit of confusion for the adults. I'm glad J understood and explained it!

Halloween, Part the First

This evening was the big MOMS Club family Halloween party. Shrike was working, but Space Captain Peeper and "Space Mama" Skeleton attended, along with about seventy of our closest friends.

I took lots of photos, but most of them are full of other people's kids, so I'll just share these.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Peeper's Birthday, Parts the First and Second

This morning, we had six moms and eight kids from the MOMS Club over for a joint birthday celebration for Peeper and little H who turned two today.

H's Mama is the Cupcake Lady and she really outdid herself this time, with two dozen Wizard of Oz cupcakes and a matching ice cream cake.

(If you are local, and in need of some cupcakes, let me know and I'll hook you up.)

And I even managed to remember her birthday plate!

But wait, there's more! All those amazing decorations were . . . over the rainbow!

(Yes, some of our friends should be seeing some very interesting diapers over the next couple of days.)

I tried to make the rest of the party set-up live up to the cupcakes. How did I do?

Did you find all the "characters" on the table?

Of course, she loved the singing!

And the cupcakes. Or at least the icing.

We even handed out treat bags for the first time!

After everyone left, we put the food away, straightened up the table decorations a bit, and relaxed for a few hours, before it was time to start cooking a variety of frozen Italian foods (lasagna, ravioli, cheesy garlic bread) in preparation for round two - the family party. In addition to the Italian food dinner, we served all the leftovers from this morning.

Of course, there was more singing and candling.

And ice cream cake!

And gifts!

A bat, ball and bathrobe from Aunt J and Aunt C.

A bunch of stickers from Ms. A and not-so-Baby J.

And a pirate costume and gear from Eena and Papa.

Tomorrow, she will be taking cookies to school, so she can celebrate with her classmates, and on Saturday (her actual birthday), we'll have our immediate family celebration.