I was trying for focusing on the music rather than the keys. There’s a bit of distraction in the upper right that I tried to vignette out, but then I lost some of the white of the keys.
A friend’s son.
Go Steelers! Bran cheering on the Steelers during their win over Miami.
Some members of my family have started trying to take a photo of the day. This gives us a reason to get our cameras out more often and work on composition, style, whatever we feel like. Not all of these photos are going to be great and I’m going to have a hard time not just throwing up photos of the kids. But that will be a great challenge for me. The bigger challenge will be getting a photo everyday.
Here’s my first one. It’s Drew and his uncle Toby cheering on the Steelers as they win their last game of the season.
The boys have discovered static electricity. We have about a dozen balloons stuck to all the walls of the living room and kitchen. The boys think it’s so cool that they can stick the balloons on the walls and are now singing about having a winter party! It started off with our little party for Anna Koop and now for the past 2 days they have been having make-believe parties! It’s sure saving me on tape, and really…having to do anything at all! Thank you static, balloons, and imagination!
Now it’s time for some Jack Johnson to help me get through this cold and snow day. Will winter ever end?! Maybe I should take a hint from the boys and have a make-believe winter party.
After mentioning Drew’s swimming experience I thought it would be good to mention Brandon. Bran LOVES swimming. This boy tends to be shy in new surroundings and often takes months to warm up at things like music class, Sunday School, or Pre-School. But at swimming he has found his joy. He tends to be a little quiet at the start of class but as soon as they get in the water he has the biggest smile ever. Today he spent most of the class trying to float on his stomach while the rest of the class was doing something else. The class started out with life vests on so he would hold onto the wall and then push himself off and float. When the vests came off, he kept trying to do it and just kept laughing and smiling. He regularly goes under and pops back up, he won’t however go under to pick something up off the bottom. Apparently it’s okay to accidently go under, or put your head just under the surface, but he’s not ready to go under far enough to pick something up yet, at least not on purpose. He’s happy to participate in the activities and doesn’t mind the teacher or her assistant helping or directing him to do something. Swimming is definitely a place where Brandon feels happy and secure and it’s really fun to watch the real Brandon come out during his lessons, or any swimming activity. I think one of the reasons why swimming class works for Brandon is that there is a lot of time when he can play alone when the teacher is helping each of the kids and that resonates well with his introversion.
Drew likes to be the center of attention and often volunteers to go first. Well…he got a surprise today and a lesson is listening. At swimming lessons today the teacher told them they were going to do something (I couldn’t hear what she said to them), and asked who wanted to go first. Drew excitedly said “me, me, I want to go first!” Drew is doing well with his lessons, but still doesn’t like to put his head or face in the water. So what a shock to him when the teacher put her arms around him and dunked him! He came up sputtering and coughing and generally unhappy. He quickly recovered and went about playing in the water, but still wasn’t too happy. I think he’ll pay better attention next time before he volunteers to go first! At least at swimming lessons.
It turned out to be really good though, he’s slowly learning that it’s okay to get his face wet and nothing bad happens when he goes under.
We took advantage of Mike being home this past weekend, in between his trips to Las Vegas and Chicago. We started the morning off with a visit to the Art Walk on Whyte Ave. There was lots of good stuff there and had I not been pulled away by the little hand in mine, I would have liked to look at at some more closely. But the boys did a great job and we got to talk a little bit about visual art. Some things they told us just were ‘not art’, but trying to explain subjectivity in art to a 3-year old, is, well, futile. If they don’t like it it doesn’t matter if anyone else does. So along we went. Afterwards I asked Brandon if he liked the pictures that were painted better, or the ones taken with a camera. My son came through for me with a resounding, “the camera ones!” Which makes me think that I have not yet jaded them with all the pictures I’ve taken of them.
After our long walk back to the car, the boys slept while we ran some errands. We made it back home with just enough time for me to run to the corner and get some groceries before hitting the LRT and heading downtown to see Wall-e. Anna met us at our place (and her new neighborhood beginning in August!) and we walked to the LRT, took it to City Centre Mall and the Cinema for the boys’ first trip to a real movie theater. I was worried because we were running a little behind, but the theatre wasn’t even half full. So that worked out well for us. We have been practicing for the past few months with movie nights every week or so. We pop some popcorn, curl up on the couch, turn down the lights, and play a movie off of the computer. Not exactly the big screen, but the boys have been working on being quiet when the movie is on and not getting up and down. So this was our big test. Would they make it the whole way through? Would we have to leave early? We found an empty row of seats about halfway down, I sat on the end in case someone needed to get out fast. While Anna, the boys and I were getting our popcorn I found seats that the kids could sit on to make them higher. I remember seeing these a long time ago, but forgot all about them. They seemed to work well for the boys and kept them from squishing up in the seat. They had a hard time sitting during the previews and kept asking “where’s Wall-e?” But once it started they did a great job with minimal talking and fidgeting. The middle of the movie was a bit slow and the robot theme was not something they have much experience with ( I know, I know, we’re working on it ), so about halfway through Bran ended up on Mike’s lap and Drew was having trouble sitting still, alternating between wiggling and laying on my arm. But it picked up again and they were back to watching.
After the movie we walked a block or so to the Spaghetti Factory, where Joel met up with us and we had a great dinner. The boys were telling us all about Wall-e and Eve. Eve was Drew’s favorite and Bran liked Wall-e best. We had trouble keeping them still for dinner and were reminded once again why we don’t go out as a family by ourselves and how glad we are that our friends are willing to take on some responsibility in keeping the boys entertained. Thanks Anna and Joel!
All in all our first trip to the big screen was positive and I think we’ll try again in the fall.
Now we’re off for a weekend of camping in Jasper, which we haven’t done since the boys were a year old. I’m nervous and excited at the same time. They’re way more mobile and they like to run…
Mike went to see the Eye Doctor yesterday for the first time since I’ve known him, which is about 16 years. He’s been having some trouble with one eye in particular getting very itchy and causing him to have trouble seeing, especially when it’s really bright. The doctor thinks that he is developing a sensitivity and should probably start wearing sunglasses. She also somehow knew, by looking under his eyelid that he had had an allergic reaction of some kind, which was what had caused the itchiness. If he wants, he can go on an allergy medication indefinitely or wait and see if it happens more regularly and more severely. They both decided it would be better to wait and see.
It was a regular check up so he also did the whole eye exam thing. It turns out his vision is not 20-20 like he thought, it’s actually 20-15. And if he wanted they could prescribe reading glasses to make it 20-10! So he’s not just perfect, he’s better than perfect! He decided not to go the reading glasses route. Go figure… As someone who’s had glasses since they were 8-years old, this is mystifying to me. I’m in complete awe. I think he just discovered a new superhero power, perfect vision man (or something like that). Anyone have any ideas for a good name? Maybe his one weakness is actually light instead of water?