Custom Search

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Books Read in February

I'm slowing down, not speeding up, but in my defense it was a short month-- part of which I spend in Washington DC and the other part I spent sleeping. Thank you jet lag.

1. What I Did for Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
2. Frommer's 24 Great Walks in Washington DC

Total Page Count = 592 (paperback count)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Mr. Franklin Goes to Washington D.C.

If you've been following either of my blogs this last few months, you know that Franklin the Turtle comes to visit us fairly often. But if you haven't, Franklin is a stuffed turtle featured in his own line of books. The kids in Short Person's Kindergarten class take him home on a rotating basis, keep him for an evening or weekend, and then are required to journal about what they did with him. Or rather, the parents are since the kids cannot yet write that well. As it happens, it was our turn the Thursday before I was set to leave for Washington D.C.

Since I enjoy writing, I've been a trooper about this small requirement of my time. I enjoy the challenge of morphing into the character of a stuffed animal and writing from his perspective, but on this particular occasion the list of things I had to do was so extensive that adding one more thing to it did not generate the best reaction from me. I think I may have groaned. Right there, in front of the door to Shortie's classroom, "You have Franklin tonight?!"

Much to my embarrassment, her teacher heard me and came out to ask if it was too much trouble. I assured her that, er, no... it was okay, but of course, I've never been that terrific at lying. Clearly, it showed all over my body that I was attempting to figure out how in blazes I was going to get it ALL DONE!!! Eek!

"Well, you can keep him for longer if you need too," she said.

Longer, yes, that was what I needed. And then inspiration struck and I realized that I had been handed a wonderful opportunity to share some history with a group of Kindergartners. "Could Franklin go to Washington DC with me?" I asked. Short Person's teacher said that yes, that was a great idea, and that is how Mr. Franklin went to Washington D.C.

Chris and I took him everywhere, camera in hand. There are nearly 100 photos of Franklin all over D.C. I think I may have even been on a watch list after an innocent visit to the White House. Ask a few questions about where the President might work and they look at you all sort of funny-- especially when carrying a stuffed animal!

Anyway, the pictures and writing below are the finished pages of Franklin's journal. When he went back to the classroom, he also had with him a pencil with the "Library of Congress Washington DC" printed on it, a passport for the Library with links so that the kids can go explore online, and a shiny new penny for each of the kids.

**After spending about 2 hours trying to figure out the html to caption photos and then attempting to get them to float where I want them, I have given up. I created a slideshow of Franklin's photos instead. It is at the end. Enjoy!**

Dear Class,

It has been a very exciting week for me! A week ago, i got to go home with Megan. We played and played and she flipped me up in the air until I got really dizzy. It was a lot of fun.

When her mom got home from work, we helped her pack for a trip to Washington DC. That's when she gave me the best news ever! I got to go with her. I was really excited. Megan made sure that I had a coat and snow shoes for the trip.

The next day felt like the longest day of my life, but finally it was time to leave. It was going to take seven hours to get there. We left to go to Portland and get on the plane. I fell asleep and when I woke up, we were there!

Washington DC is where the President of the United States lives. After we took our suitcases to Megan's mommy's friend's house, we got onto a really fast train called the Metro and zoomed to the city. When we got there, we walked and walked and walked until we got to the President's house. It is called "The White House". I think this is because it is very big and white. The President works out of an office next to his house. It is called "The West Wing".

After we went and saw the President's house, we walked around to look at all the buildings. We also went and got some dinner called Weiner-schnitzel. I thought it was yummy! Then, we went back to the apartment to get lots of sleep for the next day. I slept really good and I was happy for that because the next day we went to a lot of places!

The first place we went was to Arlington National Cemetery. This is the place where lots of President's and people who fought for our country are laid to rest. Unfortunately, it was closed because there was so much snow. The snow was taller than me! Since we couldn't look around, we decided to walk across the Memorial Bridge and the Potomac River to the Lincoln Memorial. The Lincoln Memorial was built to honor President Lincoln. It was enormous!

After visiting the Lincoln Memorial, we visited a lot of other memorials. When we got done looking at all the statues, we went to a museum that had wax figures in it. I liked this place because I got to see what people and past President's looked like. I also like the wax museum because I got to see what it would look like to do a lot of different things, like...

When we got done at the wax museum, we went to a place called "Ford's Theater". This is where a very angry man named John Wilkes Booth decided to shoot President Lincoln. He was mad at the President for telling him that he couldn't do some things that Mr. Booth wanted to do, like own slaves. After Ford's Theater, we went to get something to eat and then go home.

On our last day in Washington DC, we went to see the Capitol Building, National Archives, and Library of Congress.

The Capitol Building is where Representatives from all over the United States meet to make laws. The building sits on top of a very big hill called Capitol Hill. There were lots of kids sledding down the hill when we were there.

At the National Archives Building, I go to see the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. The Declaration of Independence was my favorite.

The last thing we got to see was the Library of Congress. It is the biggest library I have ever seen! The people who work there said that it held a very big selection of books that people come to see so that they can do research.

The next day, we got on a a plane and flew back home, but I loved seeing all the places where our country does business. It was very inspiring and makes me want to learn about history. But, until that happens, or before it happens, I need a nap! This was one busy weekend.

I can't wait to see who I get to visit next! Although, it was a lot of fun seeing Megan when we got back home. She cuddled the cold from the snow right out of me.

Love, Franklin

Photo 134 - Not Mother of the Year

I highly doubt that I will win any mother-of-the-year awards for this outfit, but some battles are not worth fighting.

Besides, she looked cute.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Photo 133 - "Dear Tooth Fairy"

Naturally, one of the events that follows the loss of a tooth is a visit by the Tooth Fairy. In conversation with Short Person, upon first discovery of her extremely loose tooth, I asked what she wanted the Tooth Fairy to bring her... I can safely state for the record that I never expected her answer. As with most of our important discussions, this one happened in the car.

"So, what do you hope the Tooth Fairy brings you?" I asked, expecting that she'd respond money. My attempt to see what her expectations were.

"I want her to bring me tickets to Disneyland!" She responded in her chirpy, happy voice.

I laughed. "I don't think that's going to happen." I hoped my voice contained the perfect combination of 'yeah, right' mixed with 'you're crazy dreaming!'

"Okay, then I want two hundred and fif-a-tee dollars."

I busted out laughing, then choked it back in a too late attempt to hide it. "Honey, the Tooth Fairy isn't that rich. She only brings a few dollars."

She thought on this for awhile, not saying much more in the remaining minutes of the ride home, but when we pulled into the driveway she finally said, "Okay, how about $5.00?"

I responded that this amount was probably more reasonable, but in the end only the Tooth Fairy could decide how much the enamel of her tooth was worth.

Later that evening, she lost the tooth. She decided that she wanted to bring it to school the next day for sharing and post-pone the Fairy visit. By the end of the following day, she had decided that what she really wanted was computer time (the note actually says that she wants to play the "dressing game"). So, I had her write the Tooth Fairy a note with that request.

Final price of one first baby tooth? One coupon for two hours of computer time, one coupon for a trip to the library, and $2.00.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Photo 132 - An Early Spring Day

A beautiful day, like today, could not be wasted so we headed out to Champoeg State Park to walk along the river and enjoy the sun.

While there, we came across a lot of those, I call them smoke bombs but I'm not actually sure what they are. We told Short Person that they were tree eggs and had her crack them open to see what was inside. Both LJS and I were expecting to get that puff of dust that looks like smoke when you open them, but I think it is too early. Instead, we got to see the insides prior to decomposition. If you happen to know what these really are, I'd love a comment or an email.

One of Short Person's favorite things to have is a shoulder ride. I just wish I could figure out how to give one and not worry about loss of vision, strangulation, or other precarious positions that might lead to imminent death.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Photo 131 - 1st Tooth Gone

Short Person lost her first tooth today. Apparently, it had been really loose for a long while, but she never let on. Until today. When I picked her up from school, she showed off a few extraordinary talents such as the ability to twist her tooth all the way around and wiggle it back and forth until it was laying down. Everything but fall out. I offered to take it out for her, but she said no.

I dropped her off at home so that SJ the babysitter could watch her while I went back to work. About five minutes after sitting back down at my desk, SJ sent me this photo. Granted, I did not take it, but it still qualifies as the photo of the day.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Photo 130 - A Trip to DC

For a long time now, I've wanted to go to Washington DC. I've wanted to see Arlington Cemetery and the White House, the State Capitol, the war memorials-- I want to see it all. It just so happened that a friend of mine was being deployed there and that she was willing to extend an open invitation to a group of us to come and visit her.

Since she had a paid apartment, and most of the sites in DC are admission free, it would be about the least expensive time I could go-- all I had to do was purchase a plane ticket and figure out how to pay for food and souvenirs. I decided to approach my husband with the request and see what would happen. I figured that he'd say no.

But, he said yes. I agonized over whether I should really spend the money on a plane ticket. Short Person needed shoes, there were bills that needed to be paid, there was a lot to do. I kept asking him if he was sure I should go, only to get the response that "it's a once in a lifetime thing" (secretly, I hope not). Finally, I purchased the plane ticket-- two hours before that two-week in advance deadline kicked in and the fees sky-rocketed.

Then, as though fate were lending a hand, DC got hit with not one, but TWO blizzards. Something that hadn't happened in a really, really, REALLY long time. The airports were closed. And closed. And closed. I figured it was over. My trip, dead in the water-- or snow, as the case is.

24-hours before my flight, they reopened. And Franklin and I boarded a plane in Portland bound for Minnesota and then on to DC.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Photo 129 - Messy, Messy Office

If there are any words that my husband hates more than "I'm rearranging", I don't know what they are. But, as you can see from these photos, I was in desperate need of doing so. Way too much stuff, way to little space. So, thus begins the project of the month.

I have no idea how this is going to work. Or how I'm going to make it all fit.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Photo 128 - Cheer Performance

Every year, the local high school puts on a cheerleading camp for the elementary school kids. They get to go to a day of "practice" where each grade learns a cheer and then a dance routine and then at a basketball game they get to cheer and perform at halftime.

As you can imagine, all us parents go gaga over picture taking.

Short Person loved the Cheerleaders. I think it was sort of like a celebrity thing, I think.

This was right before the half-time performance.

Since I had to work until it was time to deliver Shortie to the school, I was very grateful to her babysitter for doing her hair and makeup for the performance. She looked adorable, if you ask me.

All tuckered out.