Sunday, April 18, 2010

science fair

He did it - Monkey 1 successfully participated in his first science fair. Our local library sponsored the event, and there were over 250 participants, ranging from Kindergarten all the way through high school. Overall it was a very impressive event, and I was surprised at the variety of projects and themes. Mostly, though, I was impressed by my little guy, his enthusiasm, and the attention and praise he received. In a nutshell, he rocked the fair. He was excited, he was knowledgeable, he wowed the judges, and he was the one of the only kids in his age category that made his own display. If there was ever a time that I was sure about homeschooling my children, this was one of them. His ability to talk to the adult judges, and his overall comprehension of the subject matter (his project was about solar power) was well beyond what you would expect for a 6 year old and, well, just wow. I hope this enthusiasm continues, and I hope we can continue to feed it. Way to go, son. Mommy is proud.

On the green growing things front, the cold frame is built (thank you husband), the newly measured out garden is 75% fenced in, and the German head lettuce has been started (yeah, so we're a little behind but we'll catch up and soon we'll have more everything than we know what to do with). Also, I have strawberries and raspberries growing like mad, and newly discovered currants that will need to be moved and tended and may end up in a jam at some point. Hooray for Spring!!

Friday, April 9, 2010

a bug's life

Monkey 1 received a small bug house from his Grandma for Easter. Since then, he has been nearly obsessed with catching bugs. Every nice day, he has been out in the yard, digging around, trying to find something that he could catch. Ants are too small and hard to catch. Spiders are too fragile. Anything with wings just flew away. Well this afternoon, out in the sandbox, we finally succeeded. There, buried in the sand, was a smallish black beetle. Monkey ran into the house and grabbed the cage. We tried putting the bug into the bug maze, but the poor stunned creature refused to budge. So we transferred it to the cage, which the kids immediately filled with leaves and sticks to make the beetle more comfortable. Excited, Monkey named the little guy Ned and called Daddy to tell him all about it. Poor Ned has been hiding in a corner of the bug box all day, but it still filled my little boy with such a sense of accomplishment it doesn't really matter. I'm sure we'll release Ned in a few days, and start all over again.

On another note, today we harvested the first food of 2010. Yes, a few, small, bitter bunches of purple Romaine lettuce have grown up out of last year's crop. It's not much, but still a good, satisfying start to the season.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Can anyone tell me why people refuse to take care of themselves? I mean really tell me. Give me a good answer that I will accept and find no holes in. Because I simply cannot understand why people refuse to make choices that keep them healthy. I'm specifically thinking about diet. I heard on the news this morning that Chicago Public Schools have a whole new diet plan going into effect next year, removing this and that and adding a bunch of healthy stuff. Now don't get me wrong, I think its great that they're doing this, but seriously? Why was the menu so bad to begin with? That's what I want to know.

Everyday there are reports about rising obesity levels and all the heath problems that go with that. People, c'mon. Eating well is not that hard, and its really delicious and rewarding and makes you feel great. How is that bad? Is it easier to drive thru and grab a burger? Sometimes, yes. But is it worth it to wait until you get somewhere where you can make a better choice and actually feed your body? Yes, yes, yes. So where is the disconnect? Why aren't people doing this? Are we really that taken in by fancy advertising?

I know I'm a lucky skinny person, and for that I am thankful. But there's alot of thought that goes into what I put in my mouth, whatever it is. I have my own reasons for the choices I make, and I don't like to regret eating something. I like to enjoy it. Mostly I like my body to enjoy it. I like to feel good, have energy, keep going. So tell me, what's going on out there people? I just don't get it.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

the inevitable

It's finally happened. Monkey 1 needs glasses. Really not a big deal, and considering the eyesight, or lack thereof, of his parents, hardly a surprise. But still it makes me a little emotional. Its kind of a big change. The glasses we picked out are really cool (just like Daddy's), and he looks super-cute, but its the permanence of the change that gets me. I am a person who wears glasses, as is my husband. They're kind of part of our identity. I used to wear contacts, and I find that wearing glasses makes more of a statement. THAT'S what gets me. Its almost like he's adding a body part - a very useful one, yes, but something new and unfamiliar, on a little body I know so well. He's excited, as I was when I was 6 and got my first pair, so that's good. Just a big change for such a little guy, who's rapidly becoming not such a little guy.

Hopefully he'll be able to avoid braces.