First Day of School

Once again, the coronavirus pandemic hits home — literally. On Wednesday, Benji started second grade at his new school… from his little closet-office in his bedroom.

First Day of School 2020 - Ready to start 2nd grade
Ready to learn.
First Day of School 2020 - Remote learning
Second grade online.

One interesting thing about this is that I get to be a fly on the wall if I want. I can hear what the teacher tells the class during synchronous learning time, and then follow up with him during asynchronous learning time. Asynchronous is a heck of a word for second graders to absorb, but the kids will learn what it means through direct experience. Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Bike Selfies 2

As the pandemic has continued, I’ve kept riding and taking pictures of my bike. I mentioned this behavior change in my first bike selfies post, and to an extent I do continue taking pictures of my bike while I’m out riding. Here’s a few places I’ve been in the last couple months.

Inspiration Point, Mt. Rainier
Inspiration Point, Mt. Rainier – July 3, 2020
End of Rainier Ride
Eatonville Visitor’s Center – July 3, 2020
Black Diamond Bakery
Black Diamond Bakery, August 1, 2020
Mt. Si, North Bend
Mt. Si, North Bend – August 9, 2020
Clean Bike
Clean bike: Washed my bike with actual soap and water – August 15, 2020
Matthews Beach Sunrise
Matthews Beach, Seattle – August 16, 2020

Pandemic in Pictures: Neighborhood Scavenger Hunt

After getting some chores done (most notably, cleaning the fish tank; once again, the snail population continues to outpace our ability to contain it), I took Benji on a neighborhood scavenger hunt on Saturday afternoon. He never wants to go for walks, so I didn’t frame it as a walk, and I didn’t force him to go to a park to walk on trails.

Instead, Ian and I just created a very long list of items to find that required quite a bit of walking. We ended up spending nearly an hour outside, all told, and found all but one item (“An out of state license plate” — a bummer, since our next-door neighbors have a Corvette with Minnesota plates, but their garage door was closed so we couldn’t see it). Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Biking

I’m still riding outside, albeit alone and carefully (the last thing I want is to go to the emergency room!). Advantages of riding alone: I can stop for pictures any time I want.

Here was my ride yesterday:

Inside the Thunderstorm
I rode my fast bike, no fenders, and soaked through everything.

Here was today:

Sammamish Slough and Thunderheads
I rode my rain bike with full fenders and it never rained.

Pandemic in Pictures: A Little Harmless Chaos

Before we get to the chaos part, a little parenting vignette.

We had Benji scheduled to do a phone interview with a guy who’s doing a podcast of interviews with kids talking about their experience of coronavirus. My Uncle Gerard suggested it, and I think it’s a cool project. So we were doing it. (I’ll post more about it when Benji’s episode goes live on the podcast. Edit to add: See the post about the podcast here.)

Five minutes before the interviewer called, Benji decided he really, really didn’t want to do it. He started melting down into his spiral of resistant complaints, excuses, whining, and arguing. I didn’t have time to deal with all that crap — by then we were at T-minus three minutes and counting — so I went full scorched-earth bribery: “If you cooperate with this, you can have an ice cream sandwich for breakfast.” Continue Reading >>

Pandemic in Pictures: Alpha-Bakery Children’s Cookbook

When I was a little girl, we obtained — I don’t know how — a children’s cookbook. Produced by a flour company, it contained the requisite references to “Gold Medal All Purpose Flour” in each recipe, but nevertheless also contained 26 recipes perfectly suited for teaching kids the basics of baking. During our enforced stay-at-home time, Benji and I have started baking through every recipe. It being Benji, of course we’re doing them in alphabetical order, with perfect rigor. Continue Reading >>