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Conversation at bedtime last night:

Me: Casper, could you [something or other, like put on your pajamas].
Casper: Yes, ma'am. [beat] I have to stop saying that.
Me: Yeah, nobody says 'Yes, ma'am" in Ohio.
Casper: And they don't say y'all! I had just gotten used to the y'all!

(Note, of course, she was born in North Carolina, but in a sliver of it that wasn't very Southern.)
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7/24: Casper is singing an original song titled The Ballad of Han Solo.

7/23: Dillo: I know what Daddy's next job should be! Working at Chuck E Cheese!

7/21: Casper explained Elvis to Dillo this evening: Elvis was like Justin Bieber in the 80s!

7/20: Me: Casper, can you please take a shower? Casper: NEVER! Mwuah-ah-ah-ah! Dillo: Say it to me! Me: Dillo, can you please take a shower? Dillo: NEVER! Mwuah-ah-ah-ah!

7/15: Casper: Do people in China use chopsticks to eat bacon? Me: Bacon isn't really a food they have in China. Casper: WHAT? They have NO BACON in CHINA??? (Guess who is never moving to China...)

7/14: "Daddy, I really want tomorrow to be a weekend." (Dillo)

7/11: Surprisingly, Dillo is much more excited about his new remote control car than the new backpack and non-highwater pants for fall.

Charleston

Mar. 15th, 2011 03:23 pm
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I liked Charleston a lot, more than Savannah, which is similar in some ways but much more of a 19th century town, while Charleston is definitely colonial-era.  We stayed in a cottage at the James Island County Park, which is fairly awesome and has rock-climbing walls, a huge dog park with a pond, and a water park (not yet open for the season) and was hosting a remote-controlled sailboat race while we were there.  We went to Fort Sumter and saw dolphins from the boat both coming and going; played in the marsh a lot at the cottage; ate at Hominy Grill and a random place that was also pretty good, and had a conversation with an indignant Casper about whether or not children appreciate fine dining; played in the sand and a little in the surf at Folly Beach; visited the park with cannons; read gravestones in the yard of the circular UCC Church; and walked about lower Charleston long enough that Dillo asked, "are we going to WALK back to Athens Georgia today?"  I'd like to go back for a more adult- and history- friendly visit.  There are TONS more things we didn't see.  But this is travel with small children.

In other news of today, our friends who had just arrived in Japan for a month-long trip (with 4 and 7 year olds) decided that it was not a good time to be a tourist and arrived in Honolulu safely last night, where they will stay with people they have never met (parents of a friend) until they can get a flight back to the US mainland/home.  And a child whose birth and infancy I remember (she's 23) had a baby today, named Charles Oliver.

mantra

Dec. 29th, 2010 10:28 am
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"I hate myself
I don't like myself
I don't believe in myself
I'm not a genius."

This is Casper's negativity mantra.  Guess where it came from?  From the positive mantra the school counselor taught her, just turned around.  Greeeeeeeeaaaaaaat.

Casper is attempting to sew shorts for her barbie-sized doll out of a scrap of slippery silk satin left over from my wedding dress, a task I would be doomed to fail at.  Boy are we having fun here.

Also, what they hell kind of school counselor teaches a kid a positivity mantra whose last line is, "I'm a genius"?  No she's not, and it's not heal;thy to tell her she is.
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Casper: Mom, did you know that Justin Bieber is gay?
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Casper: Let me take a picture of your penis!
Dillo: No, Dad said we couldn't.
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Casper was hilarious at dinner tonight. She told me Aydan is suspicious of her because "he doesn't like women" and also told me that she and Thomas kissed "again" today (I never heard about the first time) on the cheek, behind a tree.

And now we are having tears and recriminations, because homework is an idiotic word search. I thought Ms. C last year gave too much homework, but at least hers generally had a point or theme (spelling words based on the sound of the week). The generic word search makes me deeply skeptical about Mr. H as a teacher. (I hate word searches, not least because Casper sucks at them. And this one has some 30 word, many long and backwards and diagonal.)

And Dillo came home DRENCHED in pee. Seriously, at first I thought he'd been caught in the downpour we had, and then I had to ask if he'd fallen in the toilet.

Oy.

creativity

Jul. 25th, 2010 12:02 pm
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Dill just stuck his drumsticks in his underpants and came to show me, saying, "My penie has antennas! Yay! Yay!'

His sister is now calling him "the diaper boy of science."

by the way

Jun. 28th, 2010 05:00 pm
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We were at McDonald's yesterday and Casper got a Happy Meal Katara, from the film they are now calling The Last Airbender. She noted that the Katara looked all wrong, not like Katara is supposed to look, including, "her skin is supposed to be more brownish." It was me who pointed out the sadly missing hair loopies.

Sadly, though, while Casper gets a House Point for Noticing Whitewashing, Dillo gets -10 points for Gender Fail. Because he pitched a fit at getting a Katara too, wanting an Aang, and said she was a "stupid girl," and mr. flea had to go exchange his Katara for a stuffed Momo (their under-3 toy).
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As we were getting into the car for a day trip to Atlanta yesterday, I suggested that we make some rules for the day's adventure.
me: What would be some good rules to make it a better day for everyone?
Casper: Have fun!
me: Good one!
Dillo: Don't pee in your pants!
me: Excellent one!
Casper: Try new things!
me: How about: Don't fight? Or: Be patient with each other?

They agreed, and we had a mostly good day. And Dillo managed not to pee in his pants until we got home (whereupon he did it twice, of course.)

ION Casper was reading aloud to me at bedtime last night, and I noticed that when she's the one reading, she is extremely fidgety and jiggling and falling off the bed. When I'm the one reading, she can lie quietly. I am wondering if it might help her to have a specific physical activity that she does while reading, if (as I think) the physical release is a comfort/help to her. Maybe a knee jiggle, or a finger exercise, or komboloi (Greek worry beads); ideally something she could use at school, too. My undergraduate professor of Greek sculpture, a legend in the field, always lectured with komboloi.

poem

May. 6th, 2010 07:44 pm
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by Casper

The title is "Dillo"

as cuute as a buoten [cute as a button]
he's as mase as a toornado [messy as a tornado]
as smart as a fox
as ranbunsht as a Jesus Lizard [rambunctious]
as crle as a vain [curly as a vine]
he's as silly as a posum [possum]
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This week Dillo has decided he doesn't need the 11-12 hours of sleep a night recommended for 3 year olds. Monday night I lay in his bed feigning sleep for most of an hour, and then finally got angry and left in a huff at 9:30. Only then did he stop talking and fall asleep. Tuesday he rejected me, begging for mr. flea, then when he got mr. flea he begged for me. We were not willing to dance to his tune, so he cried and cried. I think he was asleep by 9:45 or so.

Last night was my working night. The cell phone rang at 9:52; it was mr. flea telling me they were going to bundle into the car and come pick me up, since they were all still awake. Casper was tired and angry at Dillo for keeping her up, talking too loud with mr. flea in the next room. She was asleep in about 15 seconds once we got home. I had to lie with Dillo fr another half hour. Even though he was yawning and heavy-lidded, he kept mumbling, "I want Daddy." Even though half the problem while I was at work was that he wanted me.

And then this morning he was wide awake at 6am. WTF? I think the weather (hot hot hot, high 80s-90s all week), the increasing lateness of sunset (it is quite light at 8pm, when we start bedtime, now), and the ineluctable orneriness of the 3.5 year old are to blame. The heat is supposed to break today; I don't know what we can do about the rest.

ION, he has a very funny verbal tic now. He asks us a question, and we answer, and he is surprised, or feigns surprise, and says, "WHAT the...?" I am pretty sure he doesn't know what's supposed to be on the end of that sentence.

Casper, for her part, says, "Niiice" like a surfer when there's something she likes. And after a squabble over who would get the last jellybean from the Easter cake, she defended her grab, saying, "I have a fast hand!" (I laughed out loud, but did take the jellybean, which was rightfully Dillo's.)
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I bought Casper a Liberty of London sundress at Target just now. (Dillo got FLAME Converse, which I have coveted for a child of mine since before I had children.)

She told me in the dressing room that she thought she could get Ethan (her crush, not to be confused with Thomas, her boyfriend) to like her in this dress.

As we got into the car she asked mr. flea if she looked hot.
mr. flea: "You're a little too young for hot."
Casper: "How about sexy?"
me: "No, sexy is also for grownups."
Casper: "Darnit! Can I be cool?"
mr. flea: "Oh, you've got cool down."
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Every Wednesday, Casper has to write sentences using each of her spelling words. This week's words feature th and ph. So, the sentences went like this:
I have a cell phone!
I took death to the skies.

Yeah, I don't even know. Maybe she will grow up to be George Patton. Or Darth Vader.

I was at work last night, and my bedtime phone call included a long story from Casper about building a leprechaun trap. She took a box and wrapped it in tin foil (Dillo unwrapped most of the new roll of tin foil, natch) and set it up on a forked stick in the front yard, baited with (fake) gold coins and grapes (since leprechauns eat green food). As of this morning there were no captives, but we shall see.

I also came home to find Dillo asleep on an air mattress in the living room, and the high chair placed at his place at the table. I had gotten both things out to prepare for our weekend houseguests, but apparently Dillo has appropriated them. Since he's coming up on 4, I hope to convince him that the high chair, at least, is for the BABY.
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This, verbatim, is what Casper said after S. and H. (our neighbors) were too snowbally with her. 10 minutes later, after she punched H. and twisted her arm, I made her go inside.

45 minutes later, she's still having a hissy fit about it.

The quote was still pretty damned funny, though.

Ooooh, we've now progressed to, "I hate you all!" And a flounce to the bedroom. Joy.
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Last night in bed Casper asked me, "Eliza says that when a man and a woman make a baby the man puts his penis in her crotch. Is that true?" I said yes, and said the penis actually went in the vagina. She asked if that was how mr. flea and I made her. I said yes. It transpired that she thought the penis had to remain in the vagina for the entire pregnancy, which would be somewhat inconvenient, and I disabused her of this notion by explaining the sperm the the egg (although I described the egg as a special kind of cell, I think she is still placing it in the general category of eggs-from-which-birds-and-dinosaurs-hatch, stupid English language.) We also cleared up that the vagina is not the same as the anus, and I am surprised that she should mix this up, since we've talked about genitals pretty consistently since she was 1 year old.

She was much more interested in the baby being born, which we discussed at length (she asked if it hurt, and I used my marathon analogy), and segued into a discussion of how cute she was when she was born. We also talked about what colors babies are when they are born, so I introduced the concepts of vernix and amniotic fluid. We'll see what she retains!

ION mr. flea is making arrangements for ANOTHER new pediatric dentist (who actually takes our insurance). Their web site makes me shudder, with the twee, but I suppose most patients want that in a pediatric dentist. My brain is actually in panic hand-flapping mode even though HE'S doing everything. ARGH. I hate that this is so hard for me. There's the practical hard PLUS the me personal insane-o hard.
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Casper was singing in the shower last night, as she is wont to do, and I was sitting and giggling and just thinking how AWESOME she is. So I thought I should tell you.

She sings a lot, in the shower or in the car while we're driving, or when she's playing by herself. She makes up her own songs, and while the music lines tend to owe a lot to pop culture as seen on, say, Nickelodeon, the words are wonderful. One memorable song was, "I'm a tiny tiny tiny hobo ... from Hoboken." Last night it was, "Orange is a color, orange is a color, in the raaaaiiiiiinbow! Crimson is a color..." She also likes to strike poses and look at herself in the mirror.

She's increasingly tall and slim, currently wearing about a 7 slim in pants, and size 2 shoes. She's about 49 inches tall and Wii fit put her at 52 pounds in Ohio. She's picking her own hairstyles but is happy with the less-than-professional job I do cutting her hair. Currently she has a chin-length bob and bangs. Her hair is a golden blonde. She often has blue circles under her eyes at the end of the day, but overall she's a pretty child, medium-featured, pretty blue eyes. She likes to wear jeans or skirts and leggings and sneakers (generally converse-style). She wears more black than most 6 year olds I suspect, but she also likes frills and bling, and is perfectly happy to wear neutral or even boys' clothes sometimes.

She's still reading at grade level for first grade, which is to say slowly with sounding out and help required. I did her guided reading last night and she tended to guess with words based ion what she knew the sentence was going to say, not actually looking at them. (I said, "Look at the letters," about 17 times.) The new Electric Company on PBS is pitched EXACTLY at her level, and she really likes it, so we watch it most days. She's good at math and finds it pretty easy - can count and manage change, addition and subtraction up to 20. I don't think she's fully grasped the 1s, 10s, and 100s place concept, and we might add a little more math play to our home stuff. I started reading The Secret Garden to her last night and she is interested in it.

She still loves to draw and do art projects. She very carefully cut out a paper doll from a book I had from my childhood, and was using some giraffe-print scrapbooking paper someone at work gave me to make extra clothes for it, tracing the doll to get the shape right. She likes detail and elaboration. I don't see as much of the large-motor activity, but she's doing Tae Kwan Do twice a week still and likes it, and passed her orange belt test right before the break. She plays well with others (not her brother, but he's transitioning right now and they haven't worked it out yet) and the bad social stuff in her class and after school seems to have settled down a lot.

I am so interested to see how she's growing up.
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Dillo: Mommy? My nose is drooling.

mr. flea: Do you want to tell your daughter why no women have ever set foot on the moon?
(Casper was Extremely Indignant about this.)
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Last week was a pisser - I worked 7 days in a row. This week is okay - I work Wednesday night, but Friday is a furlough day. But then on Sunday mr. flea leaves on a trip (through Thursday), and he'll be gone another 5 days in mod-November. And my mother is coming for that, which helps in some ways (less worry about how to get Dillo to daycare), and is hard in others (MY MOTHER IN MY HOUSE - always touch and go.) Just gotta keep plugging through.

Our neighbor has a new puppy - an 11-week old border collie. (Her previous dog, also a border collie, died of old age in the spring.) It's little and submissive and licky and she's thinking of naming it Indie or Milkshake (although Casper suggested Rosemary, and Dillo suggested "Cheese." Heh.)

Then there was the feral kitten we dealt with on our camping trip, and a couple of different coworkers are fostering kittens ready for adoption. So little and sweet! Must remember we have one cat, who does not like other cats, and kittens grow up into cats. (This holds double if we took kitten siblings - do we really want to be a 3-cat household?)

A bunch of people in my life are back in baby mode, too, and as I am nearly finished getting baby stuff out of our house, I am thinking about babies, too. If we had decided to have a third, it would probably have been this summer or fall. I look at newborns and don't want one, but the charm of the 6 month old cannot be denied. (I mean, remember this?
best smile evah ). And Casper is at a point where she would be so helpful and charming as a big sister, and... ah well.

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