Recital Update

Just wanted to drop a url that links to Jack’s part in the piano recital, in case you don’t want to watch the rest of the kids.

The youtube embed link keeps messing up, just copy/paste this url, or go to timestamp 1:30:06 on the video.

“https://youtu.be/dFtxYPJttPw?t=5406”

4th of July

Celebration was low key at our house this weekend.  We had cheeseburgers and put out the inflatable pool and slip n’ slide.  We watched Hamilton (along with many other people, according to the glitching while streaming).  That show is still amazing.  Jack watched it with Ben and me, and I think he got a lot out of it.  He says he liked it!  I need to show him more musicals.

 

 

 

Piano Recital

Jack’s music school put together a video recital for the summer.  He plays two songs in it, but I don’t know where in the program they put him.  Here’s the information if you are interested:

2020 Summer Virtual Recital YouTube Link

First of all, we would like to thank all of the students who submitted a video for our first ever virtual recital! They all turned out great and we cannot wait for everyone to see it!

We were not able to upload it to Facebook, so the video will “premiere” live on YouTube only, tomorrow night (07/02/2020) at 7 PM MST!

We will be leaving it up on YouTube for two weeks after it airs.

This video will be a private video and can only be reached through this link! Feel free to share this private link with your family and friends if they are interested in watching with us!

You can click the link before 7pm tomorrow night and it will put you in the waiting room and count down until the video begins.

Enjoy!

Jaunt over to GJ

Earlier this month I took the kids and my sister to Grand Junction for a little escape.   The kids have been deprived of friends, family, playgrounds, and pools. We set to remedy that with a long weekend visit.  Everyone had loads of fun.  With the Masons they built LEGOs and went for a hike.  With the Waterhouses we went to the book store, ate pizza, and went to a rock shop.  Jack expanded his rock collection and Sam found a sweet green dragon figurine to add to his dragon collection. Looking through my photos, it’s mostly pool, pool pool 😀

Cranky boy getting the hair out of his eyes.

Sam BARELY went down the slide.  I don’t think it counts when it’s slow motion and you get handed adult to adult.

We looked at some nebulas through the telescope.  No planets, maybe next time.

I saw several shooting stars though, and we saw lots of satellites. 

 

 

 

The Last Milestone

Sam lost his first tooth today!

Phew!  It’s been loose for weeks.  I thought for sure it was gonna come out every day this last week.  In the end, he was eating lunch and yelping in pain.  Jack took a look and saw the tooth was completely sideways.  Even so, I had to give it a tug with a tissue to take it out.  Sam was shocked and relieved.  He lost the tooth AGAIN on the way downstairs to show Ben.  We found it using a flashlight on the stairs and he proudly showed it off to his dad.  Jack kindly offered his little box to Sam to keep the tooth safe until the fairy comes.

 

He already made a note asking for Skittles too.

I feel like this is the last milestone of childhood.  (Nothing left to celebrate until adolescence…and we don’t really want to celebrate voice cracking and hairy armpits 😉

Man, that tooth had a good long run!  For fun, I looked up my blog post about his first tooth.  My chubby little baby is so grown up now!

Sam is Five Months Old

 

 

Jack’s Trivia Birthday Party

Saturday night we hosted Jack’s birthday party online.  It was a smashing success!  All 11 friends came for a night of snacks and trivia.

The kids and I assembled party packs for the guests to pick up earlier in the week.   Each had popcorn, Skittles, Sprite, a cupcake and candle, a LEGO minifig blind bag, and the Visual Round and answer sheet for trivia.  I think this really helped the kids feel united, like they were actually attending a party and not just logging on to chat with friends. (They all randomly ran off to get Harry Potter costumes when they started seeing each other. I dunno what that was about.)

I put together 8 rounds of trivia, with 6 questions each.  I was aiming for about 80-90% correct answers from the kids, so they felt successful.  Jack hardly missed any questions, I might have tailored it to his interests a little too well 🙂 I put the trivia in a slide presentation, that also showed the rules and the teams.  You can see it here if you are curious.  I removed the kids’ names.

We used the style of trivia we know from Geeks Who Drink, and we used the virtual trivia method we have been playing with out friends since March.  In Zoom they have a feature called break-out rooms, where you can privately discuss answers with just your team mates.  Instead of electronic answer submission (like we do in adult trivia), Ben popped into each breakout room to repeat questions as needed and collect their answers verbally.  He was mission control, organizing break-out rooms and tallying scores.  I was the emcee, presenting the questions and answers, and prompting Ben when to pop into groups based on the chatter I heard upstairs from Jack.

We used the Main room, with everyone in it, to open minifigs, light cupcakes and sing, and go over questions and answers.  We changed the teams every two rounds, so each kid got a chance to see most everyone else in small groups during the night.  It’s so hard to visit on zoom with more than a few screens at a time, I think this party made it extra fun and social for the kids.  The team changes also leveled the competition, so everyone got to be a on a winning team (Jack’s) at least once.

Jack has really great friends.  Smart and kind and funny.  They all sincerely had a good time playing together.  Jack was on a high all night and raved the whole weekend about his party. I was relieved not to be hosting people in my house.  It took a lot of work to coordinate and create the party, but I think it paid off big time – and no house mess to clean up afterward!

The pace of things

Our lifestyle is slow and easy these days.  It turned out to be a pretty great time to recuperate from surgery, with so few obligations.

After getting out my stitches, the incision is painful when shoes press on it as I walk.  So I found a style of sandals that won’t even touch my owies.

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Sam has his very first loose tooth.  He’s been working on it for over a week.  The perma-tooth is already halfway here, but the little guy won’t dislodge yet.  It was really bothering him at lunch. I hoped he would knock it out with food, but no luck.

He’s been getting up around 6 AM, sometimes earlier, to play video games and watch cartoons.  This is the second time he’s slipped into a nap.  Maybe I need to tell him to knock off the early morning TV to encourage him to sleep more.

Jack has been working on magic a lot.  Here’s another video!

I’m working to get Jack’s trivia party all set for tonight.  I think it’s going to be really fun!

Animal Crossing is still a daily treat.  Last night Amanda’s island had a meteor shower.  I went over to make some wishes (to collect star fragments the next morning) and Andy was there doing the same thing.  At one point we were all just standing there, making wishes, so I snapped a picture of us three Waterhouse kids playing together.  Turns out, Amanda and Andy took a picture too!  So here we are playing together, miles apart.  We can all be sentimental 🙂

Happy 10th Birthday, Jack!

We had a very fun day at home for Jack yesterday.  He was all smiles all day.

We’re still in love with Animal Crossing, so I took dressed up some of his presents to look like the ones flying over the island in game.  He even got items similar to the game – bells (cash), clothes, iron ore (rock collection), and house items (magic foam balls and a clock).  After learning that the star shapes in the game are based on Japanese star candy, Ben ordered some samples and we scattered them around the gifts.

In the actual game, he was happy to have all the NPCs celebrate, a special visit from KK the music dog, and virtual gifts from his aunts and uncle.  I think those presents meant almost as much to him as the real presents!  Maybe not 😉 

I think it’s safe to say that his favorite part was having ONE friend come over to play.  It seemed like a low risk-high reward proposition.  Jack was THRILLED to see his friend after months apart.  They had McDonald’s, look at LEGOs and rocks, and played video games for a couple hours.

Amanda came over to wish him well too.  She was a bit overshadowed by the friend, but I had a GREAT time catching up and talking to another adult in person.

I had made a chocolate-peanut butter cake to celebrate.  Jack pointed out that he probably shouldn’t blow all over it to extinguish the candles.  Good thinking.  I came up with a quick solution – compressed air!  It actually worked really well.

Jack had proposed we start reading the 6th Harry Potter book on his birthday.  We usually start them in the fall when school starts.  But he argued that since he is FINALLY 10 years old, like Harry in the 1st book, and the books usually start close to his birthday, that we should do the same.  Whatever 🙂 The impressive part is that he decided to re-read the ENTIRE SERIES so far.  He started May 5th and finished May 26.  He read 5 thick books in a few weeks.  So nuts.  We used to read-aloud but it took forever to do that with the last book, and I want to save my voice to read aloud with Sam.  So we are reading the 6th HP book to ourselves.  I made him promise to keep paced me with, each stopping at the end of a chapter to discuss before moving on.  That way he won’t rush through, and we’ll still feel like we are reading together.

Jack asked to be allowed to stay up until 9pm. Sure dude 🙂 He seemed to think it was a huge deal and kept saying how he’s never been up this late.  We reminded him that he stays up all the time when we travel, but he felt like that didn’t count since Sam was with him.  He spent his time watching Zach King magic videos on youtube.

Jack has been merrily building his Harry Potter LEGO sets and practicing his sleight of hand.  Here’s a video of his first routine:

A Wee Memorial Day

In an effort to mark the day, we roasted weenies over open fire in the backyard.

The cats stood watch and sniffed the air suspiciously.

Sam reveled in my solution to only having mini-marshmallows on hand – a skillet of melted chocolate and marshmallows that you scooped up with graham crackers.  After crouching over it like Gollum until he couldn’t get another scrape of goo, he declared to me that it was his favorite dessert ever and please can we have it again soon?  🙂 I had to agree that it was easier to eat than regular s’mores.  I don’t think the rest of us got to eat as much as him, so maybe next time I’ll make a dish for him and a dish for the rest of us to share 🙂

PS:  Tomorrow I have an appointment to get my stitches removed and I am SO EXCITED.  The stitches have reached that itchy, irritated stage.  I’m still tender on the incision and have random shooting nerve pains as they heal themselves.  But getting the stitches out means I can wear SOCKS and REGULAR SHOES and WASH MY FEET and rub on LOTION.  I miss those things so much.  I hope that I can log onto my Wednesday Zumba class and do some upper body work while keeping my feet simple.  Maybe even some gentle yoga?  Ah, some day.  Maybe I’m getting ahead of myself.  A head-to-toe shower.  That sounds wonderful.

The next week

Last Friday I had my follow-up visit with my doctor for a dressing change.  I got to see his workmanship and it looks pretty good!  Five stitches in each foot and Dad told me they were well-formed.  I’ll refrain from posting a picture of my gore, but I’m happy to send it if you are curious.  The new dressing is much lighter and more comfortable.

My doctor gave me “exercises” to do, which is to gently push each toe to maximum flex for a count of 10, then push it down for a count of 10, then repeat a total of 3 times.  He said to do 3 times a day and acquiesced when I asked if I can do them more.  I’m up to 5 times a day and it’s getting less scary to do them.

I’m doing a lot better this week.  My feet no longer throb when I put them lower than my heart.  The pain has changed from a generalized ouchiness to either a sharp incision pain, a needle-like stabbing on the underside of my toes, or a burning heat (if I stand too much).  The pains are usually transient.  I’ve been off the narcotic medication for several days, and am tapering down my ibuprofen and Tylenol doses.  Ice still feels good, down to 4-5 times per day.  Sleeping is more comfortable too, with my feet no longer shooting in pain suddenly if the blankets twist them oddly.   It actually feels good to go to bed.  I can walk down the block and back – albeit at a slow and awkward gait.  I even tried driving today and it was no problem.  (I still have to wear my rigid sandals whenever I am walking and I wear them to drive.  They are legal to drive with, unlike a boot that mobilizes your ankle).  I cooked dinner the last few nights too and have done some light cleaning.

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My view most every hour. 

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The kids are officially done with school.  Today I made a deal that I would let them do whatever they wanted all day and I wouldn’t pester them.  No nagging to brush teeth, turn off the TV, eat vegetables, or anything.  It was my idea of way to mark “summer break,” since they have been home from school for weeks already.  Surprisingly (or not) they were dressed by 9:30 and played together most of the day.  They’re really good kids.  Jack played games, read books, cooked a frozen pizza for their lunch, and built legos.  I think Sam only briefly looked away from cartoons or video games when he was eating.  They both said it was a fun day.

We had to get a new dryer this week.  It still tumbled but stopped blowing hot air.  Perhaps if I was well I could have replaced the heating element of thermostat, but it was ancient anyway.  We’ve had it for at least 15 years, and we got it second hand from a coworker who probably had it 5-10 years before that. The new dryer dries clothes.  I did two loads.  Whoop.  Maybe it’s the isolation or the surgery recovery, but this was the most unexciting $500 purchase we’ve ever made.  Adulting!

Things are starting to open up around town, but we are going to keep isolating for now.  Jack’s piano school had the option to continue skype or go to the studio, and he agreed with me that we can keep it virtual a little longer.  I’m planning a virtual birthday party for his 10th birthday next week.  Tomorrow my book club is meeting in person!  We are a small group (~6 usually) meeting in a backyard, going through an open side gate, all wearing masks, distancing, and bringing our own chairs.  Seems like a low risk-high reward special occasion that I’m very much looking forward to.  We also have another remote trivia Friday night!  My social calendar is positively brimming! 😉

And two friends having babies this summer means I get to knit small, quick, lovely projects!

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