Chicken or Sock?

Suppose, for the sake of argument, that you were given the following choices for dinner.

  1. A charcoal-grilled chicken with fresh oregano and cracked pepper seasoning, grilled onion, jasmine rice, and black beans
  2. A day-old used sock

For most of us, the choice would be easy, especially for the delicious chicken we picked up from Fresca’s.

However — and perhaps this should not come as a complete surprise — Molly chose option #2 tonight. ¬†She passed up the fresh chicken meal and opted instead to take off her left sock, wad it up, stick it in her mouth, and chew. ¬†After a bit of convincing and struggling, we extracted the tiny sock from Molly’s mouth. ¬†After removing the sock, Molly still refused to eat her chicken and hoped to put her sock back on, but it was too moist from saliva and needed to go into the laundry. ¬†It is a good thing that we did not have ketchup out on the table tonight, or we surely would have had red-stained socks to clean, but I’m sure the sock would have been more flavorful.

Back to School

Claire started first grade today, and Molly switched over to a new class, the Robins, across the hall from her old class, the Little Lambs. ¬†Here’s a quick snapshot of each at this morning’s drop off in their new classrooms.

Six Trips to School in One Day

The (relatively) calm days of summer vacation are coming to a sudden close this week.  Claire and Molly have been going to the same school this summer.  Claire ends summer camp this week and starts first grade next week.  Molly switches over to a new class at pre-school, right across the hall, but with brand new teachers and mostly new classmates.

This time of year is kind of crazy because of the confluence of summer-ending and school-starting events.  This week had two PINs (Parent Information Nights) and a school open house to attend in three days.  Plus the end-of-year parties and special events.  The girls came home this week with copious amounts of art and other stuff they had produced over the summer (Claire) and over the last year (Molly).  And of course, there are many handouts, checklists, and forms to deal with.

Meeting up at home on the last day of the school year
Meeting up at home after the last day of the school year. Claire is in her pajamas and water shoes, and the girls are surrounded by bags of their stuff from school.

But I think Wednesday best illustrated the zaniness of this time of year. ¬†Claire went to school late, wearing a swim suit, and come home early wearing pajamas, water shoes, and new glasses. ¬†Kit and I made a combined six trips to the girls’ school plus two doctor’s appointments in that¬†one day. ¬†Kit was on vacation, and I was working a regular day. ¬†Here is how it worked out…

  • I took Molly to school at 8:00 am and came home to work as usual.¬†(trips to school: 1)
  • Claire had to pick up her glasses today. ¬†Kit took Claire to get her glasses right when the optometrist opened at 9:30 am, and then took Claire to school/camp late but in time for swimming. (trips to school: 2)
  • Kit and I both went back to school at 11:30 to attend Molly’s year-end lunch-time celebration.¬†(trips to school: 3)
  • Claire has lately been having some “tricky breathing” and coughing, perhaps an asthmatic reaction, and we set her up with an appointment at 4:10 this afternoon. ¬†Kit got Claire early from school (after Claire’s class had finished a summer-end movie screening of Happy Feet 2 in their pajamas) and took her to the doctor.¬†(trips to school: 4)
  • In the mean time, I (sort of) finished work and went to pick Molly up at about 5:00 pm.¬†(trips to school: 5)
  • We all met at home around 5:30, with Claire in her pajamas and wearing new glasses. ¬†I ate dinner quickly and headed back to school for Molly’s Parent Information Night (PIN) at 6:00 pm. ¬†In the mean time, Kit put the girls to bed. ¬†(trips to school: 6) ¬†

Kit’s night putting the girls to bed was definitely more work, while my time at the PIN was more boring and uncomfortable, sitting on the floor in a school room for 90+ minutes.



Claire with her brand new glasses
Claire with her brand new glasses

Several months ago, Claire’s optometrist determined that Claire could sorta of, maybe use some vision correction. ¬†Claire could see pretty well, but not perfectly, so we might want to get her into some glasses to help with school. ¬†We thought it would be best to get her glasses before first grade starts instead of adjusting to them in the middle of school. ¬†Well, we got Claire her glasses just in the nick of time, with two business days to spare before school starts.

For her part, Claire has been very excited to get her first pair of glasses.  These days, unlike when Kit and I were kids, glasses come in cool, fashionable styles and colors and look really good even on kids.  In fact, Claire could not wait to get her glasses, and when she did have them, she wanted to wear them a lot and even sleep with them in her bed.  I do not remember feeling that way about my glasses as a kid!

Claire looks good in her glasses, working a nice geek-chic look.  She even looks a little bit like Tina Fey.

New Found Voice


For a few days, whenever we went out to the car to go to school in the morning, Molly would point at some bird poop on the front of the car. ¬†“That’s gross”, she would say. ¬†Sometime she would ask if I was going to clean it up. ¬†I would respond that yes, I would get around to it some time, but it’s not at the top of the list right now. ¬†Now Molly seems to have had enough waiting. ¬†Today she asked me to have it cleaned up by her nap time. ¬†I’m not kidding. ¬†She said sweetly, “Can you clean up that bird BM today?”, then adding, “Before my nap time?”

The bird poop is still on the car, but Molly’s request is probably a good sign. ¬†As noted earlier, Molly is now more prone to using calm words than crying or screaming or throwing a fit. ¬†Her ongoing speech therapy, which she just completed, encouraged her to use words instead of just getting frustrated and mad. ¬†Now she knows how to communicate her needs, aka ask for stuff, like cleaning the bird crap off your car before noon. ¬†(I suppose it is good make clear and specific requests!) ¬†Now that she has better words, Molly is apparently a lot more confident and less frustrated in school.

Molly enjoys her new-found voice at home too, and she has a lot to say. ¬†Molly has asked me to pull the car over — immediately, as in right now — so that I can get one of her toys that fell to the floor. ¬†She has complained bitterly that the new decorative plate does not go on the new glass table. ¬†It was not there before, after all. ¬†She has recently accused our dog Muffin of taking and hiding some of her stuffed animals. ¬†Molly has stated earnestly that Claire’s old shiny, black shoes do in fact fit her, even as they fall off her feet while she stumbles around. ¬†Claire, for her part, has mostly escaped Molly’s new assertiveness so far, although the sisters did have a big argument over who got the pink plate for dinner the other night, and who got the purple one. Molly won¬†the pink plate on a coin toss.

One area where we still have verbal deadlock is the “but I do/don’t want to” stalemate. ¬†Sometimes we ask Molly to do something like come upstairs for bedtime, and her response is, “But I don’t want to”, often said calmly, and as if that should settle the matter on the spot. ¬†We’ll repeat that it is time for bed, and she replies — again — that she does not want to. ¬†(I mean, these big, dopey grown-ups just don’t listen! ¬†Did they not hear me the first time?) ¬†Acknowledging that Molly does not want to go to bed sometimes helps, but not always. ¬†These situations still often lead to Molly crying and screaming. ¬†We’re making progress, but we’re not out of toddlerhood just yet.

Austin City Limits

Claire has been going on a field trip every Friday for summer camp. ¬†She has hit the zoo, parks, museums, a restaurant kitchen, and even a recording studio. ¬†But all the parents were the most excited about this week’s field trip to the Austin City Limits theater, which in just the next few weeks will host the likes of Crosby Still & Nash, Tony Bennett, Norah Jones, and the Go-Go’s.

Claire took special interest in the Willy Nelson statue and enjoyed a picture of Arcade Fire, her favorite modern rock band (thanks to the music from the Hunger Games).

At the ACL theater, apparently the kids got a back-stage tour and a short performance by an unnamed guitarist who played a few silly songs, including a mixed up version of “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”, like “Twinkle¬†twinkle little star, how I wonder what you pizza.” ¬†And then all the kids wold roar that he got the words wrong. ¬†It sounded pretty funny.

Anyways, here are some pictures.

ACL theater

Backstage at the ACL theater

Practicing guitar at summer camp

Noni’s birthday

The girls’ paternal grandmother, aka Noni, aka my mom, is turning 70 this month. ¬†To celebrate, we took the girls for a weekend trip to Houston. ¬†My brother Tim and his wife Cindy fly in from Virginia. ¬†My mom seemed delighted to have everyone together in the same house, if only for one night.

We had about 24 hours together. ¬†All we did was hang out in the house and at the pool. ¬†There was lots of swimming. ¬†We topped it off with a great birthday feast at Harvest Grille. The girls had lots of fun swimming and playing with Noni’s special toys and crafts. ¬†Molly even enjoyed her new inflatable travel bed (no more Pak ‘n’ Play!). ¬†It really was great getting everyone together, and the car trip was not too bad this time around either.

Below are some pictures. ¬†One of Noni’s friends took some family pictures on Sunday morning, trying to beat in the August sunshine.

Birthday feast

Noni and the girls

Molly asleep on her new travel bed