Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Amelia Earhart by Reina

Last month, Reina had to write a book report on a t-shirt.  She could've picked a mystery, historical fiction or a biography and she chose "Who Was Amelia Earhart" as her book.  Reina enjoyed reading about Ms. Earhart and her tshirt was delightful - she decorated it with a drawing of Amelia and some scenes of her life, the fact that she liked to play football with the boys, she once rode a sled under a horse, she had a yellow car that she liked to drive fast and of course, a deserted island where she might've ended up.  Just like Reina's Pilgrim project, she came home with a good grade and a stack of comment cards from her classmates.

"I enjoyed listening to the part when ...."
You dressed up.  (Mom's comment - Reina wore a homemade by Grandma pilot's helmet and her swim goggles since we didn't have any aviator goggles.)
She was in the rases
It cud hurt her eyes (why pilots had to wear goggles, I'm assuming)
She was nuve fun (I have no idea)
Reina said the football
She played football because I like football
She needs goggles so the wind doesn't smack her in the eyes.
She needs goggles so the wind doesn't SMACK her in the eyes.  (Reina made a big impact with that one)
You told us about the horse.
When she died
setting
You talk about the rolocoster
She made her own roaler coaster.
the fact
She liked playing with the boys.

"I would like to learn more about..."
Nothing
How did she crash
I like your presentesnen
New sne pipe (again, no idea)
Amelia Earhart
Amelia Earhart's deth
What body part got hurt.
Amelia Earhart
good plus 22 exclamation points
not much
findings
the rolucoaseter
the boys.

I love this peak into second grade brains.  A mixture of curiosity and morbid-ness.  Can't wait to see what the next project is.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A letter to the birthday boy

I took this picture last month at the Louisville Slugger Museum.
He's holding a famous player's bat...I'll have to ask him which one.
He remembers stuff like that now.
Dear Will:

Yesterday you turned 10 years old.  A decade!  You've been on this planet for a decade.  Well, a decade and 38 1/2 weeks or something like that.  Your dad and I have marveled all month about the last ten years and how fast they've flown by.  its will!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Well, that's what I get for walking away from the computer for a few minutes.  We'll leave it in there for posterity.  Back to the birthday letter.

The baseball sign.  Your smile says, "is that all I'm getting?" 
For your birthday, you received a Harry Potter shirt that your sister picked out and a wand that lights up.  I found you a cool baseball sign for your wall and your grandparents sent you clothes and money from one side of the family and a case for your Kindle and a baseball glove from the other.  You got cool earphones from Aunt Vicky and Uncle Matt and Nerf stuff galore from the Nebraska relatives.  You celebrated with a bunch of friends, a sister and the baby cousins at a local arcade.  For two hours, you all ate some pizza and an ice cream cake (you didn't want me to bake!!) and played video games.  There was a lot of 'bro' and 'dude' and other tween-isms but we all survived. I even beat your dad at a marathon game of air hockey.


Why didn't I get pictures of the air hockey?!  Here are some tweens.  
And a 3-yr old.  3-yr olds can play video games too Bobo!  
Little sisters and little sisters of friend's even got in on the action. 
The highlight of your birthday?  You got your own phone.  We told you a few years ago that you couldn't have a phone until you were 10 and boy did that seem like a long way off when I told you that. Dad and I went shopping a few weeks ago and picked yours out.  We told you that it would probably be an old fashioned flip phone and we tried to keep your expectations low.  Your dad had a great idea to hid your phone in a box of cereal in the kitchen and we'd call the number when you were done opening all of your presents.  I couldn't last as long as he wanted to - the look on your face when you opened your last present was more than I could handle.  When you heard the new ringtone, your face lit up and you dove through the Cheerios looking for your present.  My next blog post will just be a list of everything you've texted me in the last 36 hours.  It'll be riveting.
A boy and his phone, a love story.
Will, you are a sweet kid.  While I was cleaning up the kitchen tonight, you and Reina were playing a game. I'm not sure of the details or the plot but your name was "Xavier."  You two have your moments but there's nobody she looks up to more than her big brother.  I hope you'll remember that.  Your cousins think you are pretty great, too.  Baby Cousin thinks you are pretty funny and Toddler Cousin wants to marry you.  No pressure there buddy.
She was delighted to wear your jacket at the wedding.  

 Will, you are less than enchanted with school at times but when you bring your report card home or when we work on math together at night, I see how sharp you are and how hard you are working.  You've already read 1,000,000 words this school year.  A million words!  That's amazing.  You just finished the sixth Harry Potter book and I've suggested a slight break before you tackle the last one. I'm not sure if you'll take that advice or not.  You and I are reading the Secret Garden together right now and while there aren't any wizards or wands in this one, you seem to like it so far.  You also read sports books and gave a report earlier in the month on Honus Wagner.  Not many other students would pick a player who's last game was almost 100 years ago.  When you aren't shooting hoops in the driveway, you are throwing a baseball up against the house in the backyard.  Soccer starts in a few weeks and baseball will overlap into the summer. It's always some season at the Pauley household.

Happy birthday big kid.  Double digits, I still can't quite wrap my mind around that.  You made me a mom a decade ago and I'm so very thankful for that.  I hope this year is a great one for you and I can't wait to see what happens.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Reina's Guide to Your March Madness Bracket

1.  Have your mom read the bracket match-ups to you.
2.  Always, ALWAYS pick teams that have some type of cat as their mascot:  Wildcats, Tigers, Bearcats, Cougars, etc.  You can also pick teams who's name starts with a C or a K, if all else fails.
3.  Always pick teams that have an inappropriate word as part of their title or one that can easily be turned into something inappropriate.  Butler (just like last year), Purdooooooo, Bucknell (Buttnell)
4.  Generally, pick teams from states where your relatives live:  Florida, Minnesota (Final Four!), Virginia, Kentucky.
5.  Always pick teams from places that you recently visited (Louisville) or would like to visit (Florida Gulf Coast).
6.  Pick teams with names that you find pretty (Marquette and St. Mary's and Creighton) and interesting (Xavier and Baylor- your 2017 Nat'l Champions according to R).
7.  Eschew traditional seedings - only one #1 makes it out of Reina's Elite 8 and root for those Cinderella's - Go Bucknell!

Good luck!

Monday, March 13, 2017

I wondered why the battery in my camera died so quickly

The monsters and I traveled to Louisville, KY last month with Aunt Vicky and baby cousins for our aunt's wedding.  Pictures of everyone dressed up and looking fancy and meeting new family members and hanging out with everyone else are coming soon, I promise.  In the meantime, as I was pulling photos off of my camera, I realized why my camera battery didn't last for the entire weekend. See for yourself. 


A selfie with a full sized Canon.  

Will's Subway sandwich, artfully arranged.  

Louisville buildings directly across the street from Subway.  

Sister pushing stroller, aunt and mom and some pretty blue columns a block from Subway. 
Sister, most of mom and a Sprite.  

Toddler cousin loves her Bobo.  

Perhaps it's time for Mom to go back to the eye doctor? 

Interesting combination of giant baseball and Civil War statute?  

We see you!  And sister. 

Naturally.  

Cool composition kid. 

Gatorage mustache birl.  

I giggled.  I love Will's selfies. 

Baby cousin and the a hotel bathroom sink bath.  

Bridges in Louisville from the backseat of the rental minivan. 


John Legend.  ?  

Sleeping sister.
Drained battery aside, it sure is fun to see the trip from his perspective.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hooping it up

March Madness is just around the corner but the Pauley basketball season is all done.  Both kids played this year.  Reina on a co-ed team for second graders and Will on a boys' 4th-grade team.  Will's team was undefeated and Reina's team lost just one game.  After that game, she was mad and asked me if the team lost again, was she allowed to say the 'gosh d-word'?  While I appreciate her ask for permission first strategy vs ask for forgiveness, the answer was still no.  (Yes, I acknowledge that I'm a giant hypocrite for the number of times that I cuss at the tv because of sports.  Do as I say, kid....) 
Will - #5 - running down the court.  This kid can play some tenacious defense.  

He can also look pensive on the basketball court.  

Will getting ready to shoot a free throw.  We were so excited for him to get a chance to score but the nerves got to him a little bit too.  He did make a basket later in this game. 

All of Reina's games were at 8:00 a.m. on Saturdays at a gym that's the furthest school from our house and still be in Cheyenne.  It took us all a few minutes to wake up during those games.  She picked out the shoes herself from the boys' section at Kohl's.  The girls' choices were too pink for her liking.  

She has some speed!  Reina had fun playing basketball too and she got the chance to bring the ball up the court during each game and even took a few shots at the basket.  I hope there's more basketball in her future.  

A smile on the basketball court! 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March something-ness

It’s almost the middle of March – unbelievable.  At the end of each week, Glenn and I find ourselves saying, “how is the week over with already?”  Both of us are busy at work right now and our evenings are a flurry of swimming lessons, piano practice, shooting sports and our own volleyball games.  Everyone is surprisingly calm about the busy-ness and there’s still been time for family dinners, homework and a ridiculous amount of laundry for a family of four.  So we find ourselves marching through March.

Last weekend, Will had a sleepover at a friend’s birthday party so Reina stayed home with us and watched a pre-tween Disney show with her Dad.  I’m happy to report that Glenn survived that movie and he's super excited that there's a sequel coming out soon.  Our little piano players is especially interested in entertainment that involves boys and girls under the age of 20 singing and dancing.  I can’t say the same for Glenn.  On Sunday, Will came home tired and more than a little cranky, as to be expected, but had a paying gig to help his aunt with some yardwork.  I don't know how much he actually helped, but he did get paid.  

After that, we came home and the weather was nice enough for some outside playtime.  Reina rode her bike and Will played basketball in the driveway.  I was making dinner when Reina came back in the house, looking serious.  “Mom, I just got bit by a dog.”  Once that announcement was made, she burst into tears.   I checked out her leg and sure enough I could see some teeth marks and a big bruise forming in the middle of the bite.  It wasn’t bleeding but you could tell it definitely hurt.  She’d been riding her bike on a street around the corner from us and a man was walking his ‘dog with fluffy ears’ when the dog pulled free from the leash and bit Reina as she rode by.  The man did ask if Reina was okay but knowing our girl, she probably just nodded and peddled her bike back home.

Glenn heard the crying and came downstairs to see what was going on.  When I told him, he immediately announced that he was going to kill that dog.  I believe his exact sentence was "I'm going to murder that dog."  That sentiment sent Reina into further hysteria with her howling “I don’t want Dad to go to jail!” and Glenn talking about tracking down the dog owner and talking to him.  It was all very dramatic. 

Now I have to point out that my childhood family dogs, well mostly one dog in particular, bit just about everyone we knew, including each of us at some point.  Nothing bad enough to cause injury or scarring but I might be more blasé about nippy dogs.  

Once Reina (mostly) calmed down, she and I went for a walk around the block just to see if we could find that owner and dog. I wanted to double check that the dog was healthy and I also wanted Reina to not have a chance to become afraid of little dogs with fluffy ears – this was her definition.  I was thinking cocker spaniel?

We didn’t find the dog nor the owner but we did see Glenn who was following us on our walk - which led to a little more Reina crying and "Daddy you're scaring me!" so we came home and I worked on dinner.   A few minutes later, there was a knock on our door and it was the very apologetic dog owner checking on Reina.  He’d tracked us down because Reina’s bike was in the front yard.  He didn’t have the naughty Chihuahua (not cocker spaniel!) with him but he did apologize profusely and told Reina how sorry he was.  Reina kept a worried eye on the hallway, I think she pictured Glenn flying down the stairs for a Confrontation (with a capital C) but he let me handle that conversation.  I thanked the dog owner for coming by and our evening continued on with much less drama. 
  
Everyone is recovered, Reina’s not scared of little dogs and now she knows just what her dad would do to protect her.  Murder chihuahuas. 

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Will and Hugh Glass

Last month, Will had to write a report and give a presentation on a mountain man or Indian tribe.  He chose Hugh Glass, yep - the guy from the movie The Revenant which for the record, Will has not seen.  Mr. Glass had a very interesting, but pretty bloody history.  He was kidnapped by pirates as a kid/teen and lived that life for a while before escaping and traveling up the Mississippi where he was captured and almost killed by Indians before being released.  Then he joined one of the fur expeditions and eventually was attacked by a grizzly, left for dead, crawled 150+ miles on his own to another fort and then went looking for the men who left him for revenge.  He was eventually killed by another Indian tribe.  So an interesting story for a 4th grader to recount.  But Will rocked this project.  He worked hard on the research and found some interesting facts about Mr. Glass.  He spent a lot of time on his poster board and practiced his speech at home.  

Practicing practicing 

Practicing eye contact.  

He also had to make an artifact as part of the project.  Glenn, I mean Will, picked out a powderhorn out of some mountain man catalog that we (inexplicably) get at our house and off they went.  
Working hard on some part of the powderhorn that is confusing to me but makes sense for them. 

Not a pirate...

So in conclusion, Hugh Glass was an interesting person, powderhorns were used to carry gunpowder and Will is carrying on the enthusiasm for all things mountain man-y on to the next generation.