Monday, January 21, 2008

Budding scientists hard at work.

Today is a school holiday. A bit rainy at that. We headed off to our favorite crepe place for lunch Queen Malika in the Castro. Aidan - butter, sugar, lemon; Quincy - strawberries & Nutella (chocolate/hazelnut spread); me - spinach, herbed feta, sundried tomatoes, caramelized onions. Sooo yummy. I love both of the ones the kids got. We discussed the difference between "sweet" and "savory". But I digress. We started the day with some paper airplane making. That book was next to a science experiment book and the kids picked one out. Vinegar in a bottle, baking soda in a balloon, balloon on top of bottle - watch it fill up with "air" from the chemical reaction in the bottle. Always a fun one. Aidan has a new book of experiments and the chapter on "money" caught his eye. How to clean pennies. Experiment with vinegar and salt and pennies. Then try your own concoctions. Fortunately we have a LOT of dirty pennies. They are testing solutions cooled in the freezer and warmed in the microwave. There have been a few spills (the place is smelling a bit vinegary!). I love their attire. Both have gone with aprons. They both have vests of sorts underneath. Hats are optional. Looks like they have tried pepper, soap, tomato juice (from my cherry tomatoes!). Haven't had much luck with those ingredients apparently... They are always much more interested in doing the experiments than WHY they work. I hope one day they will care enough to inquire... Aidan's new book does a nice job of explaining the "why" after each experiment and leaves many experiments open ended for your own explorations (hence trying pepper etc - heck if salt works why shouldn't pepper... seems reasonable if you haven't had much science in school yet).

This is probably the last photograph I will have of my dear grandmother. I am very glad that I was able to visit with her in December and she was doing well and still healthy and mentally in great shape. Losing her will leave a hole in my life.
How stoic are you?
This morning Aidan went running off, full pelt, down the hall - a fraction of a second after the thundering began, there was a thud, then the screaming began. He ran into a DVD player laying on the floor (it has been there a while so shouldn't have been a surprise). Managed to bash a middle toe. VERY loud volume screaming. A tiny bit of blood so demands for a band aid. Of course it wasn't remotely his fault and he was totally looking where he was going... The least little thing and he amps it way up. The scraped knee from recess that all of a sudden is bringing him waves of pain at bedtime (oh the horrors -the cover is touching it!). Does his toe injury get him out of school for tomorrow perhaps? (Extremely unlikely as he has currently forgotten totally about it altho I am sure when it comes time for karate today he will remember it!). Quincy on the other hand is unbelievably stoic (or has a high pain threshold - or both - I'm not sure). One day he was running down the sidewalk toward karate (as usual) when he went tumbling. He managed to really scrape up his elbow - a fair bit of blood actually. I didn't want him dwelling on it or particularly noticing exactly how much blood there was so we kept right on trucking. At karate the tears were wiped away (they had already stopped) and a band aid was solicited from the front desk, applied, and off he went to participate in class. NO WAY would Aidan have been willing to go to class in the same situation.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Hey - look what the boys are up to now?! Pete heard that Aidan's classmate Coby was playing chess and realized that it was one game we had yet to get out. Both boys understood the rules of the movements pretty quickly and off they went. I think it is pretty sweet when your just 6 and 8 yr olds can play chess together! I was busy preparing dinner while this particular game was going on. It ended up with about 3 pieces left each and then a bit of wrestle time on the floor - can't all be sweetness and light!