Friday, March 21, 2014

Guess Who?

Remember last year, when Nicholas did his Biography report and had to create his person out of a 2-liter bottle? Remember this:

Well, the good thing about having Nick and Nate in back to back grades is that we are prepared for the biggest assignments. I knew Nate was going to have to collect rocks. And I knew he was going to have to create his own bottle person.

Here he is:

No, it's not Einstein. Yes, the hair can trick you, but obviously this is Benjamin Franklin. See the kite?

His hair is just standing on end (I am informed) because of the electricity running through his body. Also, the lightning seems to be stuck to his back.

Nate was very proud of Bottle Ben Franklin. We hope he will get along with Bottle J.K. Rowling, who is still hanging around from last year. (Yes, I know it looks like George Washington. It's not.)

Saturday, March 15, 2014

I am so tired.

Want to know what's rough?

Twelve hour works days. Ask me how I know.

What to know what also sucks?

Working back to back twelve hour days.

And what's worse than that?

Following it up with a tournament in a town 40 minutes away, when you'd forgotten you signed up to volunteer and then they gave you the 7am volunteer time slot, and then your kids competed later in the day, and then when they were done one of them refused to leave until he found out his score at closing ceremony, which took place at 6pm.

I'm glad it's over. I'm glad next week I'm back to more stable work hours. And I'm glad that I only ALMOST rear ended that other car on the way home because I maybe was so tired I was slow to respond.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Can't Judge a Movie By It's Poster

Friday night is movie night.

It always has been. I've kept the tradition even since Steve moved out, figuring it could be a fun night we all kind of crash out and have screen time together.

It's not exactly the same. I don't have Steve's skill at finding exactly the movie we want, so we need to know what we have before choosing. We still take turns, but we often forget whose turn it is as we don't have turns each weekend anymore.

Last time we had a movie night, it was Nate's turn, and it was Valentine's Day. It was more than 2 weeks ago, because of February vacation. He chose and old Godzilla film, and I had to grit my teeth as the dubbed film went on and on and the boys stared openmouthed at the screen, waiting for monsters.

Tonight was Andy's night.

I showed him what we had available on my Amazon account, and he chose My Dog Skip, because there is a picture of a tiny dog staring at a toilet, and I said "Maybe the dog learns how to use the toilet?" And Bingo, Andy made a choice.

Have you seen this movie? It came out in 2000. The little boy in the movie is almost 30 now. In fact, all the actors are incredibly young. It's a sweet movie with a sweet story. But the boys are a bit cynical. Almost as soon as it started they were talking about how the dog was probably going to get hit by a car. "That always happens in these movies."

As the movie went on, the boys laughed and talked about relationships between the characters in the film. The kids are pretty intuitive about some things. The next door neighbor comes home from the war and is different. "Who do you think might understand him?" I asked. Nate was the one who said the boy's father, who had lost his leg in the war. And it all seemed good.

Until the end.

OK, so, flashback and subject change (kind of.)  When we were kids, my mother got the movie Turner and Hooch. Do you know this one? It had Tom Hanks in it, back before he was Big Tom Hanks and was just Medium Tom Hanks? Anyway, it was about Tom Hanks and a dog. One of them was Turner and the other was Hooch. I don't remember actually watching this movie, so I can't tell you who was who. And SPOILER ALERT! At the end of this movie, I'm pretty sure the dog dies. I think he gets shot. My mother watched this movie with us, and at the end of the movie, she was a gibbering mess. And so was my brother Jamie, who must have been around 8 years old. They cried and cried together, Mom and Jamie, all over this dog from this movie.

So.... My Dog Skip.

I'm about the spoil the movie for you. The dog dies.

But not when you think he's going to die. They make it so you think he's going to die, but then he doesn't. During the time when the little movie boy was crying and we all thought the dog was going to die, Nathan started sniveling. And then Andy started tearing up. And then the movie dog got better, and it looked like it was going to be OK, but then the dog got old and the narrator (Harry Connick Jr.) told us that he died at the old age of eleven.

And then the movie was over.

I went over to give Nate a hug, because he'd started crying. Only when I hugged him he started right out bawling. Nick made a comment and I replied, "It's OK that Nate's crying. It shows that he has feelings and that he's empathetic."

At this, Nate started crying harder.

He cried and cried. Andy was crying, too, at some point. But then he lost interest in crying and decided he was just sleepy. Nathan kept going. After ten minutes I was coated in snot and Nate was making odd wailing noises.

The thing is, I was serious about him being empathetic. Nate gets so wrapped up in his own story and is so easily frustrated that it's easy to forget that stories affect him this way.

One week, he wants Godzilla. The next he's sobbing about a dog. My baby boy. My baby bear.

Friday, March 07, 2014

It's Electric

There have been many changes in my life over the past year. Some are obvious, blunt, and harsh. Others are softer, milder, and more subtle. Or simply waiting to be discovered.

Such as this little graph on my most recent bill from PSNH. Electricity. It's going down.

*By "going down" I was referring to how much I use. Not the cost. Which has not decreased as significantly as this graph might suggest. Which says to me it's all bunk and that the utility companies have us right where they want us. Unless we're willing to drop of the grid entirely. I could turn everything off except for emergencies and still end up paying $100 a month just for the possibility of turning on a lightbulb. Still, I am proud that we aren't using as much.

Monday, March 03, 2014

He Goes To The High School... Kinda

Day 1. He cried and said he didn't want to go.

I took this picture moments before he walked out the door.

He came home raving about the gym and how big it was, how he could hear someone yelling at the High School students, and also, the Kona Ice truck came by as a treat, just in case they needed more bribing convincing.

I was nervous, too.