Sunday, October 19, 2008

Birthday party time! Aidan's day started with a party at his buddy Charlie's house (the only kid older than Aidan in his class - he turned 9 last month - many of his classmates are just turning 8). We picked him up at 1:30, ran into icky traffic and arrived late for Aidan's party - at Cayuga Park at the south end of the city. Oops. 3 kids were already there hanging out at the playground. Never fear, party was quickly under way. Today was one of the saddest weather days in a while - Friday was (as one attendee noted) possibly the nicest day all year. What a difference a couple days makes! At least it wasn't windy but it was gray and maybe 60 out (compared to sunny and 80 Friday). The park has a large green playing field bounded by some cool hills with secret paths and stick forts. I had nicely scheduled the party so I only had to provide snack - not a real meal. I had made up a large number of sushi rolls last night (with some help from the kids). Carrot, cucumber, imitation crab, and tuna. Pretty tasty. I also melted some chocolate and dipped dried apricots in it (the only way Quincy will bother eating apricots). Also provided some cashews, popcorn, pretzels etc. and some fizzy lemonade and juices. For games it was rocket balloons to start. A knock down the sticks with balls game. Snacks. Capture the Flag (which surprisingly resulted in at least 3 boys in tears altho not either of my boys). Time for "cake" - or in this case - Krispy Kreme donuts. Aidan sang very loud and obnoxiously to himself. Then time for stomp rockets while waiting for parents to come and kids to be willing to leave. Pete orchestrated all games for which I am ever thankful! He does a great job. All the parents who had stayed (about 5 of us) hung out at the snack table chatting.

So this eve as we nosh on leftover sushi Aidan is opening presents - he can only blow through 3 presents before he has to write thank you cards. Remarkably (to us compared to past year) he is whipping out nice cards in legible handwriting with good spelling. Wow! Remarkable also to me are some of the presents he is receiving. A $50 gift card to Target (what?! I am excusing them as they recently moved to the country and maybe don't realize that is a NICE gift for a random friend). An MP3 player. What?! It is quite cool and also plays out loud (and 2 pairs of headphones) and came with 512 MB SD card (what I use for my camera - I might abscond with it). Also came with Aidan's first "mixed tape" (or ripped disk) of MP3 songs from his friend (on another 512 card). And a whole BOOK on disk as well (I'm assuming pirated). Jeeze. A large dump truck lego set. 2 large Star Wars jet fighter toy things. Star Wars lego kit. A glow in the dark soccer ball (huh? needs light to glow so won't really be useful after dark). A bird house (huh?). OK so some of these gifts seem a bit much to me - or strange. He got James and the Giant Peach book and audio CD and we have a couple more presents to go.
Poor little mouse. He (she?) seems to have itchy skin. Really itchy. Pete and Aidan picked up some holistic spray that is supposed to help (how?). I've spritzed him a couple of times (you are supposed to avoid the eyes and "flush" if it gets in the eyes - excuse me - on a mouse?? have you seen how tiny their eyes are?). I started off this morning attempting internet suggested remedy - duct tape on the back foot. Hah. So I ended up plopping the tape over the raw patch. Poor mouse. Before dousing him this afternoon I ripped off the tape - it came with a heck of a lot of hair attached. Poor mouse. This eve we had him out in his run around ball. Paying NO attention to him. When suddenly Pete saw him run under the stove - sans ball... Oops! The lid had fallen off before so we knew better than to ignore him in the ball. Thankfully he popped out a couple times and when he was fully out I scooped him up and returned him to his cage. I would have hated to have had to get out the mousetraps we used last year... We are actually quite fond of the little guy! He has gotten used to us and seems fairly happy to be handled etc. I think Pete and i enjoy him more than the kids. He was living on Aidan's desk until Ellie slept over after the Disney on Ice Show on Wednesday - when his squeaky wheel running was keeping her from sleeping. Now he resides in the middle of the hallway for our amusement.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Some photos taken for my class. Above working on backlit "rain" effect.

Technique called "panning" - move camera and keep subject in focus and background blurry.

Swirling or twirling with your camera - for fun? (And strange looks from strangers!).

This was while trying to get backlit rain and Aidan decided to add a spray from the watering pot to Quincy's squirt bottle squirts.

Trying to "imply" motion. Cool huh? He is a corbel holding up a window down on Cole St.

More zooming implying motion...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Meet the newest member of the household (maybe). We "borrowed" him/her from Aidan's friend Finn although Finn's mom hoped he will stay permanently with us. They call him JoJo. So far Pete suggested "Stinky" Aidan suggested "Mouse". What is your name suggestion? He is a very friendly little guy. Pete and Aidan picked up a little ball for him to run around the house in for our entertainment.

Sunday, October 05, 2008

At the start of our school's Walk-a-thon Aidan and Pete are running with Phil, Ellie and Maggie

Here is Aidan almost 7 miles later with his friend Mai Ly - they look a bit like they are propping each other up!

After the 2 hour Walk-a-thon and a little potluck the kids still had plenty of energy for tug-of-war and water balloon toss.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Aidan and I were just perusing this blog. He asks "has anyone ever looked at this blog?". A good question!

Last week we were supposed to photograph silhouettes - Aidan was willing to model for me.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

All boys. We have a classmate of Quincy's over for the first time. So far they got out the lego (and other) play swords and went whacking away at things. Currently they have very loudly moved onto using nerf guns and shooting all sorts of things. Think we'll be finding nerf "bullets" everywhere. Quincy seems to think they also should play a little Wii pretty soon... I'm trying to discourage it as computer games don't say playdate to me (altho I know that at Aidan's age they are the norm). It is loud and active here!
I'm not very good with this photoshop stuff (took my much too long and use of a book to create the side by side thing above) but what IS kind of amazing (IMO) is that my camera actually took the picture on the left - WAY too dark (which I knew when I took it) but I also knew that by shooting in "RAW" format in my camera that the software would happily convert it to the photo on the right with just a few minutes of my time. Pretty cool stuff... (I'm not sure I'd bother printing the photo on the right as it actually has a lot of "grain" in it because the camera just didn't have much light to work with - it was after sundown after all). Like most things, the more you know they more you can do and the more fun you can have :-)