Weekend Rain

There’s a ton of heavy stuff going down in our country right now. I don’t want to make light of any of it. But I’m writing my life, and in my life right now my house has no gutters on a weekend of continuous heavy rain.

No Gutters 1
Rain pours off the roof onto the front step. Better come through the back.
No Gutters 2
Rain pours off the roof and through the shade sail to splash on the table and the back deck. Better come in through the front porch.

Tuesday through Friday last week showcased the best of Washington weather: Temperatures in the 70s, light breezes, sunshine, glittering mountains. Then Saturday morning, BAM! Literally — we were out for our daily family walk when thunder and lightning started up, followed by rain that hasn’t let up yet. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Independence and Choices

I find working from home challenging at times when Benji comes in needing intervention: he’s hungry, the computer isn’t working, he’s bored. The “I’m hungry” whine in particular seemed to come constantly, and it felt like I was always having to get up and make a snack or lunch for someone.

When all this first started, so long ago, I happily quit making sack lunches. I never liked packing lunch even for myself, and definitely not for Benji, who pretty much daily complained about whatever I put in there — even if he asked for the food himself. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Home Hair Cut

After our orange paint excitement on Saturday, one of us discovered paint in our hair. Apparently someone brushed his head against the wall that had wet orange paint on it, giving adding unintentional orange highlights.

Being a capable, independent 7 1/2-year-old, someone solved the problem himself: he started to cut his own hair. While I like the initiative, we moved quickly to head off (pun intended) the problem by obtaining a real hair cutting kit.

Last night Ian administered Benji’s first at-home haircut. At first Benji wanted to set the buzzer to one meter, rather than a few millimeters. Then we measured my hair and determined my long hair is 55 cm, or barely over half a meter, and he decided he actually wanted it to be an inch. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Painting the Closet/Office

I mentioned a few days ago that we moved a desk into the closet in Benji’s bedroom to give him a little office space of his own. After using it for a bit, we came up with the idea of allowing Benji to paint the space to personalize it a bit more.

Because of my wrist injury, I didn’t go for a big Saturday bike ride like usual. I seized this opportunity to execute the painting plan.

First, Benji and I went to the paint store to pick out his paint. We meticulously wore face masks and (mostly) stayed far from store employees. Benji homed in on the color he wanted almost immediately: Rumba Orange. I had already decided to let him pick any color he wanted, so even though it wasn’t what I would choose, we went with it. Continue Reading >>

Surfing the Web at Seven

Benji spends substantial amounts of time on the computer by himself these days. We don’t spend every minute monitoring him doing his school activities, and he likes to use One Note for playing little drawing games he narrates to himself. He could do those by hand, but One Note saves on paper and markers.

Being a fairly bright kid, he’s figured out pretty quickly that a person can search the internet to find sites of interest. Right now he searches for things like “Map of the world 1914” and similar geography-related topics. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: The Reading Tent

At this point, starting our 921st day in isolation, we, like all families, are getting creative with how to shake things up while not leaving home. Fortunately, the weather has cooperated and allowed us to spend time in the yard. Last week we pulled out the tent, a complete novelty to Benji. (As an aside, clearly we’re not parenting right if he doesn’t know how to set up a tent at age 7.)

Mostly we’ve used it as a reading tent:

Reading Tent 1
Notice that Benji has followed the rules and left his shoes outside the tent.
Reading Tent 2
The problem is if you’re barefoot, you can’t leave your feet outside the tent.

Actually, the biggest challenge has been keeping the tent free of sticky pods released by a nearby tree. Continue Reading >>