Self Portraits

Claire and Molly produced some self portraits true to their age recently.  Claire is enjoying a selfie stick (with a built-in microphone!) that she got from her grandparents this past Christmas.  It is perfect for and the occasional self portrait. Molly did a classic first grade crayon-based self-portrait.  (Is she wearing lipstick?) I added myself too, doing a trick that Claire taught me with my lips.  Weird!

No Clouds, No Internet

We were having trouble with our internet¬†service for a while today, and not able to check the web. ¬†Molly said she knew why we were having technical problems. ¬†Pointing out the window at a clear blue sky, she said, “I know why the internet¬†is not working. ¬†Look, no clouds.” ¬†She wasn’t kidding around, either. ¬†She literally thought the internet lived in the clouds. ¬†It’s nice to still see some innocence and mystery (and frankly some confusion) in her innocent little seven-year-old mind.

Molly and the Dominoes

My parents were visiting this weekend, and Molly, Claire, my dad, and I went down to to the clubhouse to read and do homework. ¬†Molly found some dominoes in¬†the game cabinet, so we gave it a try. ¬†This was¬†Molly’s first turn with dominoes. ¬†Molly, my dad, and I played a few rounds while Claire did homework. ¬†Molly loved dominoes and made up her own nonsensical rules. ¬†We also played the standard rules. ¬†The game was fun but surprising easy and lacking in strategy or really any surprises at all. ¬†Are we playing this right?

Taking it to the Streets

America collectively gasped as Donald Trump was actually inaugurated as president of the United States. ¬†A miracle did not happen to stop this, and it did not turn out to be a big prank. ¬†Fulfilling an absurdist¬†joke from The Simpsons, Trump is actually now our president. ¬†Otherwise calm and happy people took to the streets, and kids in Claire’s fifth grade class are riled up and talking about politics and now planning to run for office one day as Democrats. ¬†They are totally serious about this.

The girls went to an anti-Trump rally with their mom and a friend. ¬†Way to go, kids! ¬†It’s your first political¬†protest. ¬†And you’re only kids! ¬†Gotta love the response people are having to this weird turn of history.

Molly, in first grade and ever the optimist, says we should give Trump a chance. ¬†“C’mon, guys! ¬†You never know. ¬†He could be alright.” ¬†She is adamant about this point. ¬†Wait and see how it turns out before judging, she says. ¬†I really do like her instinct. ¬†With any luck, maybe she’ll be right. ¬†But so far, it does not look good.

I Mean, Really

I decided to make up a fresh, healthy, homemade meal for the girls today. ¬†I got the recipe from a¬†cooking magazine called “Cooking for Two”. ¬†While technically I am cooking for three, I realized that this magazine was perfect because I can cook for Claire and myself and just assume Molly won’t eat it. ¬†Molly is still only¬†interested in six¬†foods total: yogurt, lil’ smokies, raspberries, PB&J sandwiches, flour tortillas, and black beans. ¬†So why not just go with it? ¬†I decided to¬†make a real recipe¬†for Claire and myself and let Molly have an Uncrustable¬ģ and some¬†raspberries.

I decided on the tandoori chicken because Claire always likes chicken. ¬†Let’s add in some fresh apple slices, try sneaking in¬†some steamed spinach, and toss in some potato chips to ease things along. ¬†This was a serious cooking magazine from America’s¬†Test Kitchen designed basically for at-home dates. ¬†This was not a “quick dinner” recipe. ¬†I spent 90 minutes making the tandoori chicken from scratch and finally presented the final meal to Claire for a slightly late dinner. ¬†I was so proud. ¬†Claire and Molly helped out with the cooking some, which made it more fun.

Once I served up the mean, Claire gobbled up the potato¬†chips and apple slices and picked at her chicken. ¬†She ate a few bites and said it was pretty good but couldn’t finish it because she wasn’t very hungry. ¬†Molly ate her¬†Uncrustable¬ģ in like 2 minutes. ¬†It was maybe five minutes before the girls were finished and off to other things while I sat¬†alone eating my hard-earned tandoori chicken. ¬†Okay, the chicken¬†was slightly dry and bland, but I worked hard for it! ¬†And really, it’s tandoori chicken. ¬†It’s supposed to be that way!

So I worked for 90 minutes on a fresh, healthy meal that was partly eaten in five minutes.  This is why Chick-fil-A makes so much sense.   I could have spent only $10 and 10 minutes getting them Chick-fil-A and spent an extra hour playing with them.  After 11 years of practice, parenting is still tricky.  You can never win!

All is Quiet on New Year’s Day

I¬†had a¬†friend with kids over for New Year’s Day. ¬†Since nothing was open to go to, we hung around my place, played video games, went for a rather cold swim in the outdoor but moderately heated pool, watched a movie, and ate pizza. ¬†It was a perfect day! ¬†Everyone had lots of fun.

Smashing Down the House

Since making her gingerbread house around¬†Claire’s birthday, Molly has been waiting to eat it. ¬†But she doesn’t just want to pull off some stale gummy¬†drops and eat them. ¬†He plan has always been specifically to smash the house and then eat it, tasteless walls and all. ¬†I am not sure why it was deemed necessary to smash the house, but I have¬†always been curious if the walls of a gingerbread house are any good, so I thought sure, let’s do this. ¬†We found out pretty quickly that the walls tasted very much like cardboard, but nobody’s stomach got¬†upset eating them. ¬†We ate just a little bit and tossed the rest in the trash.

Super Mario Sister

Molly is super into Super Mario Bros. on the Nintendo DS that she got from Santa for Christmas.  She got to level three all by herself and was very appreciative when I helped her get to level 4.  Somehow the Nintendo DS is the perfect handheld for Molly at this age.  There is no internet, no texting, no email.  Just fun, solid gameplay that she can handle.  Way to go, Santa!