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Archive for peter

hiding out

We finally convinced Peter to work on his German dialog, which is 60% of his final. (Tomorrow is the last day of finals, which were pushed back a few days due to dangerous windchills, school cancellation, blah blah blah.) Moon is helping him, because of course hers is done, despite the fact that she would have an A in the class even if she skipped the final. Because that’s how she rolls.

Anyway, I thought I’d remove myself from the situation because I know if I’m sitting there I will interject unwanted comments, and my deep desire for Peter to pass his classes will emit desperation rays and distract everyone from the task at hand.

This has been a busy weekend. Moon and Pete had master class at Good ‘n Loud yesterday, which was a wild ride of difficult music including Rush’s YYZ. (For some reason, my mind shuts down when I speak that song title. I’ve called it XYZ, XYY and XXY. Hey, there aren’t any lyrics, so it could be about chromosome abnormalities.)

I’ve been knitting as usual and have already finished some new projects. Now I’m back to working on my Cassidy. The back and front panels are done, and I’ve started the first sleeve. At this rate, I won’t finish until spring, but that might be okay. The yarn is kind of an in-between weight.

In other news, I convinced the family to get AT&T U-verse, which means we have (1) DVR, and (2) way more channels than ever before. The DVR thing is way, way better than having to use videotape. And it’s been a culture shock getting used to watching quality programming such as The Colbert Report whenever we’d like. Remember when I eschewed television as opiate for the masses? And was proud that I’d never seen an episode of Friends? Yeah. I kind of think TV is awesome now.

meeting the teachers

I had the first of 13 parent-teacher conferences today at lunch. The rest are tomorrow morning, and since they are only 5 minutes each, it’ll be humanly possible to go to them all. At least I think it will be. Some of them are back-to-back because it was the only was I could schedule them.

Anyway, today’s warm-up was with Peter’s gym teacher. She was very nice, and noted that the cargo shorts Peter has been wearing all year are not the best for class. Apparently she wants the boys to wear something that won’t ride down in the back when they’re running. Okay, shopping trip this weekend. (I don’t blame her for not wanting to see adolescent plumber butt.)

The report card already arrived, so I’m somewhat prepared for what I’ll be hearing tomorrow. I tell you what, I am much better equipped to cope with this now than I was a week ago. Timing is everything.

all done

Peter is officially finished with 8th grade. He decided to wear his suit to the ceremony this morning, much to the surprise of his friends and teachers who have only seen him in shorts, t-shirts and hoodies for the past year or so.

I’m relieved. Next year will be the first time both my kids have attended the same school together since 2002. They’ll even have a class together, as both of them wanted to take first year German.

I won’t need to drive anyone to school or pick anyone up. Now, we just need to get through the summer.

winter has arrived

ThinkingSome of us are still cozy despite the heaps of snow covering the ground outside. The kids should have had a snow day on Tuesday, but the school district didn’t agree. When I came home for lunch, I couldn’t get into our driveway, and at least an inch of snow fell while I was eating. Brooke’s mom called and we decided to give permission for Moon and Brooke to miss their last few class periods. The girls arrived while I was still home, and were generous enough to clean the car off for me.

Teenagers can be so awesome.

Tonight Peter had a band concert, which is always enjoyable for us because it’s the only time we actually see him play his instrument. His section sounded pretty good, and he provided much entertainment for us by blowing kisses to the crowd during the applause, etc. And of course he was wearing shorts with his band t-shirt.

dressed to impress

Have I mentioned that we’ve had over a foot of snow in less than a week? This morning it was zero degrees as Peter and I headed out the door for school and work.

And what was Peter wearing? Shorts, gym shoes, a t-shirt and zippered sweatshirt. Same as every other day so far this school year. I’ve been hinting that we should go shopping for some cargo pants, but he continues to insist that his legs don’t get cold. I did manage to buy him a heavier sweatshirt with a fleecy lining, which is an improvement over the raggy one he’s been wearing. The one that’s missing the lower part of the sleeves because he’s ripped them off in a fashionable manner.

He reminds me of his paternal grandfather, who enjoyed making sandwiches out of overly fragrant, nasty-sounding ingredients so everyone would go “ewwwwww.”

I’m almost kind of curious to see how long he can keep this up.


Today we had parent-teacher conferences, first with Turbo’s homeroom teacher, and later with each of Moon’s teachers. Lots of running around the school buildings.

We didn’t hear anything new, of course. Turbo’s theme: super bright, tests well, doesn’t turn in the homework. He needs to get a handle on it before high school, so he can get through the system and go to college. I have a feeling he’ll do well in college, just because he picks up knowledge so quickly and effortlessly. But first he needs to achieve a good enough GPA to get accepted.

Good thing he’s still in 8th grade.

As for Moon, she’s awesome and has great ability, and needs to speak up in class a bit more. Two of her Bs would have been As if she had her hand in the air more often. Her teachers in general were highly complimentary. Three of them suggested she should consider pursuing their subject after high school.

All in all, not bad. This must be one of those good years.

guess how many retainers?

Answer: 4.

The first one was stuffed into his pants pocket, then broken cleanly in two when he flopped from the sofa onto the floor. Just messing around.

Number two is somewhere at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport.

He removed the third one at school before lunch, put it in his pocket (again!) and got up without replacing it in his mouth where it belonged.

So the fourth will be ready on Thursday, and the dentist informs us Turbo has set a new record.

that charming smile

I’m having a hard time getting a decent photo of those teeth we spent so much money straightening, but trust me, they look pretty good. But check out the other change that took place over the past year and a half…

Our favorite technician
No more braces

Dude kinda grew. When did that happen?

The full set is here. I’m still working on capturing an actual smile on film.

earth day birthday, and returning a bag

D'oh, I'm zero?

Yep, he’s 12, and he had a pretty happy birthday. For one thing, he managed to get the very thing he wanted most. It’s not just a birthday gift (we wrapped it in Christmas paper and sung “Happy Christmas to you, Merry Birthday to you…”) and Peter traded in some stuff to help finance the whole thing, lest you think that we’ve suddenly come into an inheritance or something.

We gave him another game, too.

Now, about that knitting bag.
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smile mileage

I don’t know how I missed posting about such an auspicious occasion, but Peter has braces now. He did very well in the dentist’s chair, although I suppose he’s had plenty of practice during all these months of preparation.

The cool thing is that the staff actually invokes Peter’s name when they are talking to other kids about following instructions. Can you believe it? He did an awesome job with his appliance. Now it’s a mere souvenir.

he’s got gourds

Gourd carrier
Originally uploaded by me.

Vermont Valley Farm had its annual pumpkin pick on Saturday, so we went and harvested some excellent orange orbs. The cows were quite curious about what all the people were up to.

The fun continued on Sunday, when Pete and I took the kids to see the Wallace & Gromit movie. Weekends rock.

school registration

Moon’s registration for high school was actually pretty cool. (I wrote about it elsewhere. Let me know if you want the link.)

When I took Peter to middle school registration a few days later, it didn’t bring on such feelings of nostalgia. More like raw dread… as when we were being taken around to the classrooms by a 7th grader who pointed out the detention teacher, prompting Peter to respond, “I guess I’ll be getting to know her pretty well.”

I *think* he was kidding.

Anyway, for those of you who are awaiting parenthood (Jeff) or watching your sweeties go off to kindergarten (Sis#1)… Moon’s registration set me back $101 for fees, and Peter’s was a whopping $280 (including bus fare). Plus about $150 for their school supplies. Start saving your pennies!

Back to normal?

Baby sweater-to-be
Originally uploaded by me.

I still want to sleep until 10 a.m., but I’m successfully resisting. We’re pretty much back to the regular routine. Our sunburns have healed. Moon had her bass lesson last night, and Peter had his very first drum lesson. Which he loved. Now we just need to get the drum set dusted off and back in place, since it’s currently packed up in the storage area of the basement.

Ugh, that strongly resembles housework.

This morning, I took Peter to the dentist. To his surprise, he needed to have a new set of impressions. This did not go particularly well. He accused our favorite assistant, Melissa, of using too much plaster goo in the mouthpiece. He ripped it out of his mouth, ruining the impression and tearing a small piece of upper palate skin in the process. Then he threw up.

The rest of the day has been more enjoyable. I wish I could trade our weather for San Diego’s, though.

safely home, but discolored

Just a little red
Originally uploaded by me.

Moon’s 8th grade class trip to Six Flags Great America was apparently great fun, but the heat and sun took a toll. (That’s what happens when you inherit the genes from the Irish/German side of the family, along with the red hair and milk-white skin.)

While she was enjoying roller coasters and a cushy charter bus ride, Pete and I went to Peter’s school to watch him get his 5th grade completion certificate. I kept thinking about how we’ve been involved with the elementary school for nine years in a row, and now it’s over.

Next fall, I’ll have a high schooler and a middle schooler. I’m still trying to wrap my mind around that.

Peter to friend, while waiting in line for cake and punch: “This year, we’re like gods. Next year, we’re at the bottom of the food chain.”

it finally looks like wisconsin around here

Snow walkies
Originally uploaded by me.

Finally, it look like Wisconsin around here. Moon had been trying to manifest a snow day, but it didn’t happen…the buses were running on schedule, etc. etc. Peter announced that he was Not Going to School Without Boots, because he would be forced to stay in for recess and would not be able to bear it, for snow is made for frolic.

(Why was he bootless? you ask. Because his feet have grown about a size and a half since last year. And we kind of overlooked the need for new footwear, because it’s often such an ordeal to find what he wants.)

I saved the day when I suggested shopping. Why not? Wal-Mart is always open, and just a few blocks away. I didn’t need to be at work until 9. The store was virtually devoid of customers, which was surreal after the whole Christmas experience. We found boots and snowpants, which I insisted Peter put on as I was paying for them.

“Who’s the best mom in the world?” I prompted him, lest he forget my awesomeness. “You are,” he answered, before shutting the car door and trudging up to the school building.

Later, I got stuck trying to get into the Campus parking lot, but that’s another story. Winter is here.

field trips aren’t for sissies

Originally uploaded by me.

Peter didn’t want me riding the bus with him to school. I compromised by getting on at a different bus stop, and not sitting with him (he was hunched under his sweatshirt hood, and I couldn’t see him anyway). As we waited to get in the school, I saw a little boy with a nosebleed, which had gone all over his face and hands–I took him into school and found a teacher who could get him into the nurse’s office.

And that was before the field trip even started.
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a visit to turbo’s school

Yesterday evening we went to an open house at Peter’s school. He was eager to go…because he had heard about an abundance of cookies that would be offered in the gym. Going to the classroom to talk with his teacher hadn’t even entered his mind.

So we dragged him down the hall (not physically, mind you and entered the esteemed temple of learning that is Ms. A’s 4th & 5th grade classroom. Immediately we noticed a large chart on the wall listing the names of kids who had make-up work to hand in. Our boy was the obvious winner, since his name was on every single list. Ms. A was surprised that we hadn’t seen anything in Peter’s take-home folder. The mystery was solved when we looked in his desk and found a pile of papers shoved under his folders. He’ll be busy the next few evenings.

On the way home, Peter told me that they still needed chaperones for tomorrow’s field trip. And would I please, please do it, because he really wanted me to go. Today I called Ms. A to find out how dire their need was in reality. Turns out that Peter’s facts were straight (although his timing could have been better). Fortunately, I have some flexibility at work and was able to arrange a day off. So tomorrow I’ll be guiding 10-year-olds through the marsh.

hair update

peter is now looking quite handsome, newly shorn. he had only clipped off one piece in front, so it wasn’t nearly as bad as it had sounded. believe me, i’ve been tempted to whack off sections of my hair some days, too.

“no one noticed until the teacher said, ‘what did you just do to your hair?'” he told me.

three more weeks. he just has to get through three more weeks.

self-inflicted haircut

i fell asleep this morning after the kids left for school, and was awaked by the harsh ring of our telephone (and the equally harsh sound of foxxi barking madly). peter was on the line – i could tell he wasn’t happy.

apparently, his hair had been getting into his eyes, so he whipped out his scissors and hacked it off in front.

“are you upset? do you look look freaky?” i asked.

“no… and yes,” he answered.

“well, the classroom isn’t a salon. the teacher probably thought you were being disruptive.”

“i just wanted it out of the way.”

“but you’re not feeling bad or anything.”


i have to admit i didn’t think it was a huge deal, since he was trying to solve a problem, not get attention. i told him that next time he’s feeling shaggy, he should let us know so we can take him to a professional.

good thing he called. as it was, i had about 25 minutes to shower, get dressed, make coffee and go to work. i could have easily slept another hour.

as soon as i had an opportunity, i called our stylist and prayed that he had an opening today. (he did. yay.) he seemed to find the dilemma amusing. we’re both pretty curious to see the damage.