Devious little minds

First Act

Lights out at 8 tonight, so that the children’s heads aren’t spinning on their necks tomorrow. See? We actually like their teachers! All electronic devices were to be turned over before the cut off, so there would be no shenanigans.

I went upstairs to do the kiss-goodnight-thing, and there is Beta, all tucked into bed, looking absolutely adorable, and like butter wouldn’t melt in her mouth. Her DS was prominently left on our bed.

You can already see where this is going, right?

When I leaned over to kiss her goodnight, I put my hand on her bed. Just slightly under her pillow.

Which was where she’d stashed the iPad.

The look on her face when I pulled it out was priceless, as was her reaction of, “Oh, man, NOOOOOOO!!!!” and banging the bed with her fists in a fine expression of anger.

Queue 10 minutes of frustrated whining/screaming/etc. Not that this did her a lick of good, but hey. She’s tired. I’m thinking acting lessons may be in her future. Or the CIA.

But wait, there’s more

The second act begins with Beta singing “Let It Go” from Frozen at the top of her not inconsiderable lungs. And then coming downstairs to ask me to play it for her on my phone because it was stuck in her head.

It is not long before I figure out that she is hoping I’ll bring my phone upstairs, put the music on, and then leave the thing up there unattended so she can play with it. The air doesn’t get old in her oxygen tanks. Or mine, either. I put the song on, sure. And I pumped up the volume and left the phone at the bottom of the stairs, so she could hear it.

We think she’s asleep now. There was a little more singing, but no longer at the top of her lungs.

From now on – we search her bed. 🙂

Aquarium ho!

Beta has been begging to go to the Aquarium. So, we gathered up the Sleep Over girls, crated the dog, and headed out.
First, LUNCH!

Alpha and Rho having lunch on the bench. There were no tables available.

Then, the Aquarium!


The girls had a great time. I had a great time. Dad had a great time. We messed with our camera settings. We swapped kids (once without either of us realizing), and just generally had a blast. Did the gift shop, and escaped without buying anything. Still happy about the lack of new stuffed animals.

We stopped off at Quincy Market, and Beta picked up a pair of bracelets. After that back to the car. Which is when we saw this lovely lady:


Yes, that’s a wild turkey. In Boston. On India Street. She’s a pretty ballsy bird.

All in all, a wonderful day.

Busy busy day

First, there was the BOING You’re Awake! thing at 4 AM. Not so fun. But I did get up early, cleaned the house, and then sent the kids and Dad off to Karate.

Only to have him run poor Beta home sick. She was fine an hour later (most of that hour was spent in the shower, but hey – what ever works), so she was on for:


Beta during the demo portion of the promotion
Beta during the demo portion of the promotion

Here she is during the demonstration of a shuto. Pretty cool stuff! She did great during the demos, broke her board, and was apparently well behaved during the rest of the ceremony.

At the end of the demo, they did a quick self-defense show. Beta giggled the whole time, but managed to knock Sensei Anthony off, and pretend to run. Not bad for an 80 pound kid!

They let me give her the new belt. She worked really hard for it, and we are very proud of her. She loved the weapons demonstrations, so I have a feeling she’ll be working her buns off so she can learn how to use those, too. I didn’t get to stay for the whole thing, because I had to go get ready for:


Alpha's Birthday Cake
Alpha’s Birthday Cake

All she wanted was to go play Laser Tag. So, being the awesome parents we are, we did just that. Got her two close friends together (along with a random brother, Beta, and two dads), and off they went into the Jungle at the MVP. Half an hour later, they all tumbled out, exhausted and smiling like loons. So, apparently laser tag is fun!

After that, there were games (two batches of tokens later), pizza and birthday cake. Alpha’s friend, Rho, is a real shark. I think she had over 400 tickets by the end of the party. The Mini-Scot didn’t have as many, but apparently he had a grand time watching other people play. His dad and I tried to get the Nook out of the key-hole game. Its still there if you want a go. 🙁

Rho’s present was a huge hit, as was the Mini-Scot’s.  Then came


Alpha is sleeping over at Rho’s house tonight. God love her mother, she invited Beta along, too. We decided she might want her house to still be standing in the morning, so we told her Beta would stay home and watch The Lorax. So, Alpha went with Rho, and Beta came home with us and the Mini-Scot.


The Mini-Scot and his family have a large pony of a dog of the Newfoundland type. He’s a moose, no other word for him. As we moms were standing at the window, watching the children get ready for a quick bike ride, Lady-Scot looks up and starts howling. I didn’t get the initial shot (which would have been the best one), but here is one that I did get (and yes, that is us giggling like loons in the background):

Birthday Party, Part Deux (this time, with lasers)

Alpha’s choice of birthday party was laser tag at MVP.  (Last year we celebrated her birthday with mini-golf at the same place.)  So with a small group of her friends and a couple of adults, we tromped in and had a great time!

I rocked the scores.  Admittedly, there were more kids than adults (myself, Sam, and another adult not attached to our party) and a bunch of kids (again, not all attached to our party) but I really did wipe the other team out twice – two for two. Sam was a not-too-close second.)

I think we need to assemble some more adults and have another laser tag party there some time.  It’s like paintball without the bruises.

Afterwards: pizza and cake and video games, of course. Gifts were exchanged, some of which Alpha was really excited to see.

Alpha is currently off for a sleepover at Rho’s house.  (Like other greek letter-named people in this blog, that is not her real name – though I could imagine someone naming their child Rho so I feel like I should note that occasionally).  After all the trouble Alpha had in adjusting to the move, I never thought that we would be exchanging kids with another family so regularly as we have with Alpha and Rho.

Just an aside: I was chatting with Rho’s mother during the party, and it turns out that Alpha and Rho were rating boys at the last sleepover.  <sigh>

Beta’s Karate Promotion

Beta with belt, excited by promotion
Beta forgets that belts go around the waist, not head

Beta child has hit her first big karate milestone: graduating from a white belt to orange.

Not much story for this one, just some photos that I snuck in when I wasn’t too busy watching.

The newly-promoted students demonstrated their kata – the forms that they learn in class.  The higher-level students (quite a few adults, older than me) looked choreographed in their moves – exact and synchronized.

I stayed for the entire ceremony, simply thinking that it would be polite, and found the higher-degree demonstrations to be fascinating.  The nunchacku was especially cool – Beta thought so too.

Beta child after promotion
Beta lined up with the other recently-promoted kids from her class, and very obviously excited

Alpha is eleven? When did this happen?

So, our darling Alpha Child is eleven years old today. We pretty much let her plan her day however she wanted it. Donna’s Donuts for breakfast. The Dover Tent Sale after that. And then to Strongwater Farm to pick up the clothes she needs for the show next week. A quick stop in the park, and then back home for the afternoon.

And that’s when the real fun started. See, we spent a couple of hours last night coming up with clues. Things like:

Once upon a time you kissed her, / Now its time to ask your sister.


Look next to where you wash your faces / You’ll find something to take you places.

and so on. We had a blast, and I wrote the clues on cards, and then hid them all around the house.

Alpha found the nerf bow and arrow. Then she found the skateboard (what was I thinking?). And finally, she found the big one. The Bike. Its a black and orange Trek 3500, and is great for getting her around town, or light trails. Her eyes were like saucers, and Dad and I both got huge hugs. Then she was on the bike and riding off down the street.

I think she liked it.

And now, we’ve had her birthday dinner of hot dogs and Gramma’s Mac and Cheese, with s’mores for dessert. We’re all curled up in the living room, and watching Star Wars. A fantastic day, by any measure.

We love you, darling girl. You are amazing.

deCordova Museum

The kids are on April break, I took the week off to be with them, and Meghan is at work.  It’s a great time to do something out of the ordinary, especially since it’s a bright sunny day.

I know – something educational!  Something cultural!  Art!

I brought my little heathens to the deCordova Museum‘s sculpture park.  (The main museum is closed while they prepare for the summer exhibits.)  It’s a huge outdoor exhibit, so they can run around and get some fresh air while taking in some mind-broadening experiences.

When I take the girls to art museums I coax them to pose like the artistic subjects (when possible – modern art gets a little hard).  It makes them focus on the art at hand as well as learn to use their bodies, but best of all they think it’s fun.

Kids posing with sculpture
Alpha and Beta posing with some modern art

This was our first time there, but I think we’re going to get a membership now.  I had to drag the kids away and bribe them with lunch at a restaurant.

Percy Jackson And The Drunken Bacchanal

I have a new drinking game for listening to Percy Jackson.  We’ve been listening to the book series (as read by Jessie Bernstein) when we take car trips together.
I now cringe every time I hear some combination of ‘my’, ‘dear’, and ‘boy’, or hear a totally inappropriate (non-serious) verbal response to an emotional situation.  Sometimes the enunciation of some words is downright pedantic and rather awkward.
If I weren’t driving I would take shots to make it more tolerable (and certainly get plastered in the process).