Monday, February 27, 2012

Bicycles, Fun with Fractions, and the Nun in My Refrigerator

The weather is not great, but at least we are not dealing with frozen toes or frozen pipes anymore. It got up to 50° today, and the boys are on winter break. So it was time to break out the bicycles! I insisted that Benjamin try today without the training wheels. He hasn't wanted to do that yet, but when we pointed out to him today that the other kids in his class all knew how to ride without training wheels, he said, "Yeah, and the little kids, too!" So we took that to mean he was definitely ready.

After only about 20 minutes - plenty of falls, and tears, but a firm refusal to give up - he got it!

I didn't bother to get out of pajamas today (hey, it is vacation!), so I just peeked out the window as he rode in front of the house, but he is VERY proud of himself and made me promise to get dressed so I could come out and watch him tomorrow.

Noah happily sped along with his training wheels intact, for the moment. I would wager that after watching older brother go without them for a while, he'll be raring to try it himself, too.

* * * * *

This is what you get for trying to brag on your kids...

Noah, showing me his partially-eaten cookie: Mommy, this is one-fourth. Like on the pizza. (referring to a game that teaches fractions)
Me, to F: Haha, did you hear that, he can do fractions at three. Noah, is that one-fourth?
Noah: No. It is one HORSE.

Oh. Hm. Well.

He continued in that same vein today as he showed me his half-eaten plate of food...
N: Look, Mommy! It is one half!
Me: Yes. What will it be next?
N: Then it will be one horse!
* * * * *

And this is the nun that was in my refrigerator.
When Frédéric doesn't know what to do with Noah to keep him occupied, they bake. So he baked some éclairs au chocolat and réligieuses (nuns).

Friday, February 17, 2012

A few more conversational snippets...

These are a bit older, but worth reading...

I no longer wonder why my work is never done after this exchange with Noah...

N: Are you done vacuuming?
Me: Yes.
N: So now we can make a big mess.

* * * *

Me: Hey, Benjamin! You know what today is? [On the 4th of July]
B: No.
Me: It's the birthday of the United States of America!
B: Where's the cake?

* * * *

My Mom: Do you need any help, Noah?
N: No.
My Mom: I guess he knows what he is doing.
Me: Oh, he knows what he is doing, none of us do. Isn't that right, Noah?
N: Yes.
My Mom: I can't believe he will say yes without knowing what you are saying.
Me: Noah, are you a goober?
N: No.
My Mom: What is a goober, Noah?
N: It's Benjamin, is a goober!

Assorted Excerpts from Today's Conversations...

Never a dull moment...
* * * *

B: And Louis punched me.
Me: That wasn't nice.
B, defensive: It was an accident!
Me: Ok... (not really sure why he's defending his friend who hurt him) what happened?
B: He put his index and middle fingers in my eyes and I almost DIED!!

(I burst out laughing at this melodramatic outburst, which earned me a fit of anger from Benjamin. Oops. Still not sure why he was defending his friend, saying it was an accident, when he almost DIED.)

* * * *

B: And we did English. The teacher read us a story.
F: Did you understand it?
B: Yes, but I didn't want to listen because I already speak English.

* * * *

B: And my ear hurts. Because I think this one is bigger than the other one.

* * * *

B: The teacher told us we could go in the computer. IN the computer. But then we are in the computer, and we are stuck, and can't get out.
[Did he learn about Tron at school today?]
F: (tries to explain that we don't actually go IN the computer)
B: But she is the teacher, she must KNOW.

(He is actually very distressed about the idea of staying stuck inside the computer. TRON did get out in the end, didn't he?)

* * * *

F: No, that is white. We call that white.
N: I think white is called yellow.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Kid Stuff

Benjamin made a dinosaur drawing for his friend Léa at school - "no, for her brother," he says.

Noah loves to practices his alphabet with his American preschool workbook. So he looked at this picture, and began:
"A for pomme. B for kid. C, car. D for girl."

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Before and After

We've been very busy around here lately, mainly trying to get well after a nasty stomach bug that put three out of four of us out of commission, one after the other.

But before all that started, we started some more changes to the house, inside and out.

Frédéric started with the dining room/entryway wall. We finally figured out what we wanted to do with it, so he started sawing.

It will have two pillars of sorts holding up the arches once he is done. (Let's not put a time frame on that, though, shall we?)

It makes the house feel SO much more open, but still gives us the separation to have the sitting area in the dining room, without the couch being right in the entryway. I love it!

Also, Frédéric and our neighbor chopped down the hedge around the front of our yard. We've never liked the thing; we chopped down a good three feet off the top of it when we first moved in. It shades the yard and house too much, encouraging the moss to grow instead of grass, and makes it look like we want to live in our little fortress and never see our neighbors. Not to mention the time it takes every spring and fall to trim it.

So this is the front gate when we moved in.

And before chopping last week.

And after!

And the front hedge before we moved in.

And before chopping last week.


And after!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Brothers and Parental Mythology

It's still more like the Gingham Dog and the Calico Cat around here most days than anything else, so I snap as many of these pictures as possible when I get a chance.

Note to self: Keep a wet wipe handy for Noah's mouth when Parental Mythology Occasions present themselves, or get busy Photoshopping.

They were actually not playing with the dinosaurs; Benjamin specifically asked me to get my camera and take pictures of the dinosaurs for him. I agreed, on the condition that they would be in the pictures.