I try to maintain an absolute minimum of phone apps in general, and LJ’s android app has more bad reviews than good, but I’m giving it a chance. I’m hardly at the computer anymore, so making it easier to post from my phone should help me update more.
I’m off to run. Doing a 5k this weekend with Riley, that’ll be interesting. I hope he doesn’t manage to lose me in the crowd.
We sat down with the kids yesterday and transcribed their letters to Santa.
Riley signed his own name.
Lydia held the pen while I guided her hand on the last sentence, her signature, and the tree drawing. Then she drew the tree decorations herself.
I figure the part about the face must be because she was thinking about Santa’s beard. She was completely serious about it, so I added it just as she said.
I brought Dwight (my accordion) to our Music Together class yesterday. I had worked up simple arrangements of three songs from the current songbook, and accompanied the class while they sang and danced. (I sang along where possible too, but was thinking too hard most of the time.) It was so much fun, I’m looking forward to doing it again sometime. I also want to bring the uke in at some point.
After class we went to Verizon Wireless to look at the new Droid, which Laura went ahead and bought. (I’m officially jealous. I love my Samsung Flipshot, but man is that thing sexy.) The kids entertained the sales guys by pretending to talk on the dummy model phones throughout the store. One of the guys went in back and got a couple of discontinued models, and gave them to the kids as toys. They were so proud. They’ve been making pretend phonecalls on them ever since.
Then, next door to Verizon is a Tae Kwon Do school, and they were celebrating their fourth anniversary with free food, demonstrations, a bounce house, and cake. The kids had a ball and wore themselves out. Riley was imitating the demonstrators, kicking and shouting an approximation of “hyah!” We got to thinking about how martial arts would teach a lot of the things that Riley needs most: confidence, discipline, focus. We spoke with the manager, and she was very supportive, saying they work with special needs kids all the time. She set Riley up with an instructor — a teenage boy who surprised us by being really good with Riley. We signed Riley up for classes. He seems excited about it, we’re hopeful he’ll participate well.
(Of course, as I typed this he was screaming his lungs out, in protest of being sent to “quiet time” for having screamed about having to wear non-preferred underwear because he wet his Spongebob ones. So we shall see. Rome wasn’t built in a day and so on.)
This morning when Laura brought the kids in to wake me up, Riley said “Happy Fathers Day!” Lydia thought for a moment and said “Happy Birthday!” We all laughed. Laura assures me she had nailed it in rehearsal.
We had some yummy muffins to tide us over ’til brunch, then took the bikes to the shady park for a while. It was already nice and warm out, enough that the wind felt perfect. Lydia’s getting brave with climbing, it can be a little nerve-wracking to watch.
Back to the house for brunch. Laura made me huevos rancheros. My brother-in-law came over and helped, and stayed to hang out with us all day. Lydia napped for a while, during which time I fiddled with bike accessories. Laura helped Riley with his own little bike, and he sweetly decided he wants to pull Lydia in the trailer behind him.
When the nap was over, we all went to the neighborhood pool here in our subdivision. We hadn’t been yet. The kids had a ball and wore themselves out. Lydia indicated that she wanted to swim herself in the big pool, rather than being held, so I faced her away from me, held her up by her bottom and balanced her under the water. She is now 100% confident in her fictitious ability to swim. Her proud little smile is just impossibly endearing.
We had takeout barbecue for dinner. Riley was really tired, but super sweet to me. He rested his head on my hand for a bit, and melted my heart. (He’s not like that often, and certainly not with me when he’s got his Mommy right there.)
The day was one enormous gift. I wish I could box it up.
- Cornish hens, brined, grilled, basted in a vinegar sauce. Positively succulent. They took longer on the grill than expected, but that’s probably because we grilled six birds rather than the four called for in the recipe. Also because I had the grill open a lot to flip them or check the temperature.
- Bread stuffing, made from scratch. Just baked in a casserole dish, though, not actually stuffed into the birds. Turned out very crumbly, but oddly enough, not dry. Excellent flavors and texture in the mouth.
- Baked sweet potatoes. I did these ahead because I thought we might need the oven today. They got a little overdone, and didn’t reheat well in the microwave. They had yummy caramelized bits in them though. We doctored up the potatoes by mashing them with cream cheese, which turned out delicious.
- Steamed broccoli with garlic vinegar dressing. We have it pretty often anyway, but what it lacks in “special occasionality” it makes up for in flavor. A nice kick to add punctuation between bites of comfort food.
- With special guest: Store-bought pumpkin pie. It didn’t blow my socks off but it served its purpose.
My mom’s here visiting for the weekend, she got here last night. Riley’s been pretty open with her, right from the beginning, which is great to see. He’s interacting with her on a level that he hasn’t before, it gives me hope that his communication issues are on the way out. Lydia showed some predictable skepticism of Mom at first but is warming to her quickly.
Thanksgiving might be my favorite holiday. It’s so laid back, free of expectations. It’s about appreciating, sharing, and food, and nothing else. It’s a pity that it’s perpetually eclipsed by Christmas in terms of travelling home. Hmm, maybe I should stop letting it be.