A Typical Thursday (Day in the Life)

4:10am

I wake up, disentangle myself from Lucien’s octopus hold on me, gently wrap him back up in his favorite blanket, and sneak out of the bedroom door. I wake up by myself – no alarm necessary – between four and five almost every morning. I enjoy some precious peaceful quiet time and an uninterrupted cup of coffee. I thrive on my morning alone time and struggle when I miss it, so I get up at whatever hour is necessary to ensure I get it. Everybody is happier that way 🙂 I clean up any egregious clutter left over from the night before (today it is only some sea animal puzzle pieces and part of our disassembled drying rack cluttering the living room floor); get to work on meal prep (dinner and lunches for husband and son); check my email inbox; and (if I am lucky) do some reading or watch some Doctor Who. Nick introduced me to the Doctor at the beginning of the year, and I am now hooked. My inner geek loves it! I am currently at the beginning of season three.

4:30 am

Lucien wakes and calls for me. I run to the bedroom and snuggle with him until he falls photo 1 (20)back asleep, enjoy a few moments looking at his angelic sleeping face, think about how he has gotten so big so quickly. Then I tiptoe out of the bedroom. Back to that coffee! Today, instead of watching the Doctor, I enthusiastically set to planning how I want to organize Lucien’s play room in our new house. Now that our offer has been accepted and the move to Oshkosh is feeling closer and more real, I am engrossed with arranging and rearranging furniture in my mind, drawing out possible floor plans, imagining how I want to decorate, and planning our new home to make it welcoming and homey for Lucien. I also squeeze in a very quick (10 minute) kettle bell workout.

5:15 am

Lucien wakes again. After about 15 minutes of snuggles he is back to sleep.

6:15 am

Lucien wakes up, but – miracle of miracles! – he falls back asleep. He has recently given up napping, and I am quite positive he is in the middle of a growth spurt (especially judging by the quantities of food he has been consuming!), so he really needs that rest. I decide use this extra time to eat my breakfast. I batch-cook my breakfasts ahead of time to make mornings run more smoothly. Just as I am finishing up my “green muffins,” as Lucien calls them, (eggs, salmon, and greens mixed together and baked in a silicone muffin liner) I hear the bedroom door open.

6:35 am

Lucien is awake, for the day this time. In the not-too-distant past, Lucien would wake up and call for me and we would spend about twenty minutes together in bed, snuggling, talking, playing, and going over our plan for the day. The past few weeks that has been rare. Now it is much more common for me to hear the door opening and feet running down the hall. The first words out of his mouth are “Mama, I want breakfast!” Alright, then! I ask what he would like to eat, and he requests a banana pancake. He helps me put all the ingredients into the blender – one banana, two eggs, a heaping spoonful of nut butter – and then blends them thoroughly. Meanwhile I heat up copious amounts of grass-fed butter in the pan. After I pour in the batter, Lucien informs me that he is a baby bird. A girl baby bird. The baby bird wants her bird food (that would be the pancake) and she flies around the house asking when it will be done. She then climbs up into her “nest” – actually the second shelf in the kitchen closet and talks with mama bird. I play with mama bird, stopping periodically to check and flip the pancake. In just a few minutes the baby bird sits down to breakfast. We read together. Lately the Berenstain Bears have been a favorite of Lucien’s, so we read through three different stories.

8:15 am

Lucien is very excited about library story time. After breakfast he decides to play “Miss Alice.” (She is the story time librarian.) He gathers up some books and hides them behind his back in the chair, just like Miss Alice. He does a great impression: “Good morning, boys and girls! Let’s all sing our good morning song!” We sing “The More We Get Together” together, complete with motions. Lucien “reads” me some stories. And then he is off to his next adventure. No longer a baby bird, no longer Miss Alice, Lucien is now a shop keeper named Andrew (I have no idea where he thought up that name.) who is organizing the food behind the counter. We play shop for a while. Now Lucien is a pet store owner selling me a variety of animals (actually stuffed animals that he is bringing out of his bedroom). I accumulate quite the menagerie, until it is time to get ready for our trip to the Aina Haina shopping center.

9:15 am

Time to load up the car – my backpack, snacks, a ridiculously large and heavy bag of library books to return, snacks and water for Lucien, and a box to mail at the post office. Then Lucien climbs in with three baby dolls, one stuffed dog, a pull-along dog toy, and a cow puppet. We are ready to go! On the car ride to Aina Haina Lucien asks lots of questions, and I spend fifteen minutes explaining the demise of the dinosaurs, extinction level events, and evolution via natural selection. He comes up with the most intelligent questions!

9:30 am

photo 2 (22)Today is a particularly exciting day, because we have a Starbucks gift card from Grandma and Grandpa! There is a Starbucks right next to the library, so we (and all the dolls and toy animals) stop there first. I get a grande and Lucien chooses a protein box. He immediately eats the cheese (his favorite) them asks me to skin the apples for him and help him open the salt and pepper containers so that he can make a “dunking pile” for his hard-boiled egg. He is very methodical, ritualistic, even, about the whole process. Next he eats the fruit and peanut butter. The bread that is included we tear up into tiny pieces and throw into the grass to feed the birds. Lucien is happy – today is a good day – we see at least a dozen birds. After the birds get their breakfast Lucien plays “pet shop” with me. After I purchase an armload of pets we see, across the street, the librarian unlocking the front doors to the library. Hooray!

10:00 am

The library is open! We are some of the first people inside. Lucien drops our books in the book return, and we set off to find new ones. Lucien requests the Berenstain Bears and Miss Frizzle. I also pick up some stories by Chris Van Allsburg (Lucien is fond of him) and the next installment of the Magic Tree House Series. Lucien really enjoys hearing about Jack and Annie’s adventures.

10:30 am

Story time begins! Lucien finds a spot on one of the floor pillows with the other children, and I sit down next to him with our big bag of books and animals. We sing the welcome song and the ABC’s, listen to four animal-themed story books, and do a coloring activity. We check out all of our books, load them into the car, and head back home. We listen to our Music Together CD on the way home.

11:30 am

We are back home for lunch (I had some beef and steamed, buttered cauliflower ready for Lucien.) and stories. Lucien asks to listen to a Sparkle Story from the Martin and Sylvia collection – his new favorite. He listens and eats for about ten minutes while I tidy up, then we read together for another 30 minutes or so. Chris Van Allsburg is a win!

12:15 pm

photo 3 (18)Lucien heads out back to check on the bushes our landlord just had planted behind the house, as well as the seeds he planted in his pots. His seeds have not sprouted yet, but he sees that all the plants need some water, so he turns on the hose, waters them, waters the sidewalk, makes a mud puddle to play in, and just generally has a good time. He spies our sprinkler and asks for my help setting it up. We arrange it in the middle of the front lawn and Lucien turns on the water. We both have lots of fun running through and jumping over the water. I join in – because that makes it more fun for both of us, and because I am really hot. There are no trade winds today, just hot, muggy, still air, so I am very thankful that Lucien thought of the sprinkler. It putt us both in a much more cheerful mood!

2:30 pm

I wasn’t planning on doing this much running or being this busy today, but there are only four eggs left in the house! This could spell disaster. (Seriously, only four eggs is bad. My husband eats five in a sitting. My son has been known to finish three.) Guess we are going to Costco today. Lucien is actually very enthusiastic about the trip, because at Costco they have samples, and rotisserie chicken, and pineapple! Lucien, all three of his baby dolls, and one stuffed dog ride along in the cart. It was actually a very good week for healthy samples – we find cheese, coconut milk, fruit, and salmon! Lucien lines up all of his sample containers very neatly in the cart. We load up the food and the baby dolls in the car and hurry home, because Lucien wants some chicken and pineapple right now!

3:30pm

We return from Costco. Sophia immediately runs to the car and asks Lucien to play with her. The two of them play chase while I unload the groceries. As I am walking back and forth Lucien asks repeatedly if I am done with my work and if I can come out and if he can have his fruit and rotisserie chicken for snack already! I ask Sophia if she wants some, too. She says yes, so I mach schnell and get two bowls and two forks for them. They have a picnic outside on the lawn. More running and giggling ensues, then it is time for play doh creations. They prepare some play doh food for me, the customer at their restaurant.

4:15 pm

Sophia’s parents call her to come into the house. We go back to our house, too, and – at Lucien’s request – snuggle up in the chair for some stories.

4:45 pm

We are hot and sticky and sweaty and dirty which means that it is time for showers! Someday in the future I might be able to shower alone, but for now I have a companion/assistant/soap-getter-downer. We are both clean by the time Dad gets home from work.

5:10 pm

Dad is home! While I get dinner ready he and Lucien play “rowdy games,” which involve Nick throwing, catching, swinging and otherwise rough housing with Lucien. He loves this time!

5:30 pm

We sit down to dinner. That spaghetti squash and beef casserole that I prepared this morning will have to wait until tomorrow, because we have a rotisserie chicken from Costco! That, and some warm, buttery purple sweet potatoes. Nick asks Lucien to give him a noun, a verb, and an adjective. Tonight, after some deliberation and prompting from us, he settles on microwave, to climb, and pink. Nick spins a delightful Lucius story on the spot. Lucien sits enthralled for a full half hour. Nick finishes up the story while I clean up the dishes.

6:00 pm

photo 4 (16)After dinner we have some quiet play time in the living room. Lucien gets out his critter clinic, unlocks and opens the doors, and organizes various small stuffed animals in their individual cages.

6:30 pm

Sophia walks up our front step and Lucien invites her in. They ask for paper so they can do art. They draw with markers and stamp on their papers until Sophia’s mother yells for her to come home.

7:15 pm

Lucien gets out his Kumon cutting book and decides to use it for tracing practice. He methodically goes over several pages.

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7:30 pm

It is time for our nightly tradition of “snack and story.” Lucien requests melty cheese, (we work together to slice and microwave some Kerry Gold cheddar) and the Magic Tree House. We are on #3, Mummies in the Morning. Lucien loves it, and he is so engrossed in the story that we have to finish all of it. 45 minutes later, after we close the book, Lucien declares “Let’s go to bed.” It is about time!

8:15 pm

We brush teeth, go into the bedroom, nurse, and sing lullabies. Lucien always sings “Love You Forever” along with me, and it melts my heart every time. We snuggle up together. 8:35 pm Sleep!

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Back to the Hawaii Life

photo 1 (17)We are slowly settling in and getting back to our Hawaiian quotidian life. We had a wonderful family Valentine’s Day. In the morning Lucien got to visit and play with Grandpa Nic; they had lots of fun riding bikes together. Lucien was excited to give Daddy the Valentine’s Day card that he had finger-painted, and a couple presents. He was thrilled with the heart-themed lunch I prepared for him. (He really missed those buttery purple sweet potatoes while we were in Wisconsin!)

photo 2 (18)He was very enthusiastic about his Valentine’s Day basket. See that big bag of coconut flour? We used it to prepare this recipe from The Paleo Mom. I love pretty much all of her recipes. We mixed, rolled, and cut together.

Lucien was very proud of the finished product. So proud, in fact, that nobody was allowed to eat any cookies for quite some time! Instead, Lucien went about setting up an extremely elaborate bake shop in the living room, using the cookies, all of his toy food, and K cups “muffins” carefully placed in muffin liners and then in muffin pans. He was a very serious bakery owner, and I had to pay top dollar for those cookies!

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photo 4 (14)We are again enjoying story time at the Aina Haina public library. Doesn’t he look so relaxed! Lucien likes Miss Alice, the librarian, so much, that he pretends to be Miss Alice at home. He sings the story time songs, “reads” stories to me and the baby dolls (they are still omnipresent in our lives), and even reenacts special events that he remembers from story time, like a Halloween trick-or-treat parade.

photo 3 (15)We are also happy to resume our regular visits to the Honolulu Discovery Center.

We have been doing copious amounts of reading at home. It is so hard for me to keep track of detailed book lists – we just read too much! – I have taken to logging the time per day we spend reading. Our average is two hours per day! I love it so much. I can tell that Lucien listens to a lot of literature, because when he talks it very often comes out sounding like a story. “‘Alright,’ he said with a sigh” and other such utterances are typical.

The past few days I have had a bit of a sore throat – and all that reading aloud certainly doesn’t help – so I have been doing a bit of storytime outsourcing. I found a wonderful resource called “Sparkle Stories.” They have a free podcast, so Lucien and I have listened together to two different stories in their “Martin and Sylvia” collection. Martin and Sylvia are homeschooled siblings, and the stories are sweet and positive and cozy, and they encourage creative thinking and independent play. A win all around!

Our monthly installment of our Clifford science kit arrived in the mail this week, and Lucien was over-the-moon excited to get a package just for him. He was so enthusiastic to “do another experiment” that we worked our way through the whole kit in just two days! We used static electricity to make pepper “jump”; we linked two bottles together and spun them to make a water tornado, and then when Lucien asked why there were bubbles floating up through the water we talked about how there was air inside the bottle, just like all around us, and how the lighter things – like air – float to the top; we further explored the concepts of buoyancy and density by making an egg float in salt water; we made our own paper from recycled materials, we explored how mirrors can create multiple reflections of an object and then made our own kaleidoscope,

photo 1 (16)Dad came up with another fun experiment of his own – a homemade siphon! We tried our best to explain Bernoulli’s principle and the law of conservation of energy. Those can be tricky concepts for adults, much less a three-year-old, but we did our best. “If a ball is at the top of hill, it has a lot of potential energy …. it would could start rolling down and by the time it reached the bottom of the hill it would be moving very quickly ….” Lucien just loves playing with water. He spent a great deal of time siphoning things into and out of various containers. I am not sure how much of the science he understood, but that is just fine. I figure he is at least filing the ideas away somewhere in his brain, and we can go back and retrieve them sometime in the future!

Speaking of science, Lucien still adores Miss Frizzle. He asked to check out a Magic School Bus chapter book from the library. And then he asked me to read the whole thing aloud! We finished Penguin Puzzle in only two sittings, and he loved it. He is asking for more! This is actually the second chapter book he has requested I read. While we were in Wisconsin we read the first book of the Magic Tree House series together. I have #2 checked out of the library and waiting in case he shows more interest. He liked Jack and Annie, and thought the idea of a tree house that could travel through time was really cool. We might have a great, fun way to introduce history!

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Epic Picture Bomb Post: Our Wisconsin Trip Recap

photo 1 (6)Lucien and I took a three-week trip to Wisconsin in January to visit my parents and to hunt for houses, because – sing it to the tune of “The Farmer in the Dell” – “We’re moving in July, we’re moving in July, everybody clap your hands, hip, hip hooray!”

We took the nine-hour red-eye flight from Honolulu to O’Hare, and arrived in Chicago in the early morning dark. Lucien is such a boss traveler!  Grandma and Grandpa made sure that Lucien was all prepared with lots of warm winter clothes, so we bundled up and went outside to play with the snow until our bus arrived. (Well, we stopped at the Starbucks by baggage claim before going outside, because mama didn’t weather the flight quite as well as Lucien!) We boarded the bus, and Lucien insisted that he wasn’t tired. See?

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Thankfully we both got a little rest and were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed to greet Grandma and Grandpa at the bus station in Janesville. We headed right back to the farm. Lucien absolutely loves the farm! He loves playing with Grandma and Grandpa. He loves playing with Dakota the dog and Zoey and Zander cats. He was especially enamored with the baby chicks.

Shortly after we arrived, a shipment of 75 “teeny tiny brand new baby chicks” also arrived and took up residence in the basement. Multiple times per day, every day we were there, Lucien informed me that we needed to check on the baby chicks; he then faithfully refilled all of the water bottles and food containers. He was delighted to pet and then hold the chicks – he was ever so gentle with them – and he thought it hysterical when one of the chicks flapped up his arm to his head. As the chicks got bigger and attempted to fly out of their buckets he had lots of fun shooing them all back in. (I regret to say that I got no pictures of him with the baby chicks – but I was too busy enjoying our time together!)

photo 4 (4)We visited three different area libraries while we were in Wisconsin,  enjoyed story times at all of them, and checked out piles upon piles of books. We also played puzzles and trains and doll house and rice bin, and enjoyed the company of some other friendly kids. I love to hear Lucien singing the songs from story time, and making up his own verses – he is such a creative boy, and I can tell his mind is just constantly working.

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photo 2 (10)This was our new favorite book. I have always loved the song, Lucien loved listening to the CD, and I adore the illustrations in this book – especially the final page, when Jackie Paper introduces his daughter to Puff. I was never very emotional before I became a mother, but I teared up every time I sang it with Lucien! “A dragon loves forever, but not so little boys.” So true, and he is growing up so quickly.

photo 3 (5)We celebrated a belated Christmas with Grandma and Grandpa, so Lucien had lots and lots of new toys to play with. Play doh is always a win with him. He was thrilled with the toy ice cream. Books and marbles and bubbles also went over very well.

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photo 4 (10)His favorite play items at the farm, though, were the paper muffin liners and muffin tins. He made the most elaborate bake shop, and played for hours! Trying to make dinner was a bit tricky, though ….
photo 3 (7)Another Christmas gift was passes to the Madison Children’s Museum. We made a day of it. What a blast Lucien, Grandpa, and I had! Tape art, painting, magna tiles, ball wall, a huge selection of activities to enjoy together!

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photo 1 (11)We also had to go to the Rockford Children’s Discovery Center. We had a membership when Lucien was younger and we used to live in Wisconsin, and when we come back we just have to visit, it is so much fun. Now that he is older he can enjoy it so much more. He spent a great deal of time in the farm exhibit, gathering eggs, milking cows, and moving grain. Turbulent orb, water table, train, and basketball were some of the other attractions.

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photo 1 (13)While we were in Wisconsin we also celebrated Grandpa’s birthday. Lucien enjoyed helping me pick out and wrap presents for Grandpa – he is so thoughtful! And he loved baking primal chocolate cupcakes. Well, mostly he loved eating them!

photo 3 (6)One of the many Christmas presents Grandma and Grandpa got for Lucien was an Oshkosh hoodie sweatshirt. Because – squee! – we are moving to Oshkosh this summer.

We also made a couple of trips to Oshkosh to look for houses. Lucien was such a good sport on the two-hour drive, and during the long process of viewing (lots of) houses. We found one we liked, put an offer in, and after an obscenely long negotiation process, I am thrilled to say that the sellers accepted our offer!

photo 1 (7)The house is so incredibly Lucien-friendly. It has a front porch with a swing, a fenced back yard with a swing set. I finally get my white pocket fence! It has three bedrooms, a mostly finished basement, a toy room on the first floor, and a huge kitchen for our cooking adventures! It has a big open staircase that I know Lucien will enjoy running up and down, hardwood floors throughout, and a mud room space for all our grubby outdoor clothes.

photo 3 (8)It is a block from the lake, and a block from Menominee Park, which boasts two beautiful playgrounds, a native Wisconsin animal zoo, a children’s carousel and train ride in the summer.

And get this – our mortgage – on a 15-year note – insurance, and taxes – is less than half of what we are currently paying in rent. And we will finally have a secure, permanent place that we can call home. I am ready to break into song and dance, I am so thrilled.

photo 4 (6)And I will leave you with my favorite Lucien picture from our trip. Barefoot in the Wisconsin winter (We thought that natural consequences would lead him to wear shoes, but we were wrong.), sporting upside-down sunglasses and noshing on pork rinds. This kid has spunk and style!

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Music, Math, Butter, and More!

I am so excited to report that music Together classes have begun again! We have gone to two classes, and Lucien is already singing and doing the motions to the song right along with me and our teacher. It makes my day so much brighter to hear him sing. We have also been playing the CD of songs at home, and Lucien will sometimes stop what he is doing to “bounce along” with the song “See How I’m Jumping,” or do the motions to “Open and Shut Them.”

photo 4 (3)Another (extra-special exciting) outing from this week was to the  Spalding House museum of art. It was Lucien’s first time visiting. The first Wednesday of every month they offer a family day, with free admission and a story time for the kids, so we decided to take advantage and meet up with some friends at the museum. Lucien’s favorite spot was the family lounge, complete with photo 3 (4)books and toys and art projects. We played with the food and cars and blocks and did some drawing. Then we listened to a few books at story time, had some beef and cauliflower for lunch, and set out to explore the lovely garden surrounding the museum.

photo 5 (3)While out on our walk, Lucien came across a sculpture that looked vaguely like a windmill and spun around in the wind just like a real windmill. Ever the pragmatist, he asked me, “What does that do?”

“It is a sculpture that turns in the wind, much like a windmill.”

“Yeah, but what is it for?”

“You mean, what is its purpose? It is a piece of art, a decoration, designed to be beautiful, or capture your attention in some way. And it did, didn’t it? Here we are discussing it.”

“Yeah, but what does it DO?”

“Nothing really, if you mean, does it have a purpose like a real windmill that grinds grain, or produces electricity.”

I could tell he was dissatisfied with the windmill and my explanation of it. He prefers useful windmills. I was so happy that I found a book at the library about wind turbines producing electricity. (That was another outing this week – we stopped at the library for story time and a fresh bag of books.) The book I found is called “My Light” by Molly Bang. I found it very enjoyable and informative. The sun is the story’s narrator; he explains how his light creates energy via solar panels, coal, wind turbines, and water turbines, so that even when we turn on light bulbs at night, it is really his energy that allows us to see. It was a very cool primer on green energy, the water cycle, and weather, explained on a level that Lucien could grasp.

photo (2)We had a few more outings this week. We shopped for groceries at Costco. Lucien and I made it fun. Lucien and the baby dolls enjoyed lots of cheese samples. We were especially thrilled to find that Costco restocked the Kerry Gold butter. Win! We now have nine packs in the freezer. We eat a lot of butter. (Lucien has started this thing where he makes a sour fish face whenever he sees that I am trying to take his picture. Here he is trying to do the sour fish, but it is really hard because he wants to smile. Because, butter.)

photo 2 (4)We have also been back to visit the animals at the zoo and take advantage of the playground. We are definitely getting our money’s worth from that zoo membership – it was a great Christmas present for Lucien. (Note the sour fish face.)

And speaking of Christmas presents, Lucien has a couple other favorites. He will play for hours – literally hours – with his kinetic sand. I am also fascinated by it, how it squishes in my hands and then moved and expands. That stuff is really cool!

photo 2 (5)The other Christmas present that Lucien has been getting a lot of use out of is his scissors skills workbook. He continues to pick it up on a daily basis and do at least a page or two. He has completed several pages that require math skills as well, counting out pennies and determining which items on the page he could afford to purchase.

We have been doing some math through the books we found at the library. Lucien’s favorites math books this past week have been “Tally O’Malley” (all about making and counting tally marks), “Monster Math” (subtraction), and “How Many, How Much” (which covers a whole bunch of early math skills). We have also been getting some manipulatives out and practicing addition, subtraction, and greater/less than. Lucien loves working with his teddy bear counters.

photo 1 (5)A fun new (and super simple!) activity we discovered is stringing beads onto leftover Christmas ribbon to make necklaces. We incorporated art, fine motor practice, and even some more math – patterns! – into one very enjoyable, engrossing activity. Lucien sat down and worked on those necklaces for over a half hour without pause.

This might be the last blog post for a while. On Tuesday Lucien and I are heading to Wisconsin! We will be busy visiting with Grandma and Grandpa. And house hunting! Yippee! I am so excited to be moving back.

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Adventures with Lucius #2 – In which they go to the ranch.

Words – ?? [I didn’t use any]

Lucius and Eleanor go on an excursion to ride horses. On the way, out their neighbor Sophia asks to go. Mom grudgingly accepts. (Add in a sweet whiny voice “Lucien I can play with you later!!!”)

They get there, but Pete has to stay in the car; mom keeps the window cracked.

As soon as they’re gone, Pete sneaks out and runs to play with the sheep. (He said he likes to herd animals).

Lu is bored with the riding lessons. Luckily, Pete comes and gives Lu an idea (via the dog translator). The plan is to put a bunch of burrs under the instructor’s saddle.

As soon as the instructor sits back, the horse goes crazy and all the riders go at an incredibly fast pace. Eleanor and Sophia get sick. The instructor’s horse abruptly stops at a creek; the instructor lands face first in the water.

Instructor asks who put the burrs under the saddle. Lucien blames Sophia; Sophia can’t defend herself because she’s so sick.

Before the instructor says anything, Lucius feels bad and confesses; says he was scared. Instructor accepts apology and the two leave the Eleanor and Sophia behind to go on a fast ride.

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Family Dinner Time

photo (1)I keep seeing all this research highlighting the importance of regular family dinner time in children’s lives and future success. Well, in our family, we have it made. Because we have Dad. And he is a master storyteller. When he tells stories, Lucien sits enraptured at the dinner table for upwards of 45 minutes. “Daddy tell another story!”
For many weeks Dad told Lucien folk tales, legends, and fables – American, Hawaiian, Korean – then he started telling “mess-up stories,” where he made “mistakes” or alterations in traditional fairy tales. In Jack in the Beanstalk, for instance, a girl who lived with her grandma (not a boy who lived with his mother) might be forced to sell her favorite karaoke machine (instead of her cow) to buy food. And in return she might get a bag of magic papaya seeds (not beans). And those seeds might grow into a giant papaya tree that leads to a shopping mall (instead of a giant’s castle). There, the little girl might find a golden goose and a golden ukulele (not a harp) and that ukulele might want to escape because the evil mall manager forces it to play country music. You get the picture …. and every night it was a different, hysterical retelling that had Lucien in stitches!
But lately, dinnertime stories have gotten even better, because Daddy thought up a series of tales about a boy named Lucius and his mom, Eleanor. And Lucius has some wild adventures. He has fought evil sea dragons. He has used magic fairy dust to turn pretend airplanes into real airplanes, flown across the ocean and dive-bombed poor Eleanor. He has a dog named Pete the Pup, and he can talk with Pete via a dog translator machine that he designed and built himself. (He won first prize in the science fair for that invention!)
Now, every night at dinner, Lucien has an assignment to think up three words – a noun, a verb, and an adjective. (See, we are even working on grammar and parts of speech!) Then, Daddy makes up a Lucius story on the spot, using those words as inspiration.
Dad tells stories about all you can eat yaki niku buffets where Lucius wins a special prize because he ate over six pounds of pork belly – and the prize happens to be a magic potion that turns Lucius and Pete invisible so that they can attack people with water balloons. He tells stories about Lucius and Eleanor singing Raffi songs at karaoke, with Pete barking along (and singing the lyrics via dog translator). And then Eleanor had a Grand Marnier ice cream drink (Seriously, I swear neither Dad nor Lucien have ever seen me drink such a concoction!) and sang “White Wedding.”
So you all might be seeing story synopses appearing here on the blog – we want to preserve some of these gems!
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Adventures of Lucius #2 – In which Lucius attends an art museum and defaces a picture

Words: Marker, to pee, hairy.

  • Lucius, Eleanor, and Pete the Pup go to the art museum on the hill (like the one by Tantalus).
  • They look at a life size picture of a horse. Lucius likes it; Pete is afraid.
  • They see an exhibit of Lucius-sized Menehune made of clay; Lucius likes it because he’s never seen adults his size.
  • They see a man drawing a picture with Sharpie markers on the wall for his exhibit.
    • Lucius asked the man questions; the man answers that it reflects the inherent evil and greed in the world.
    • Lucius says he does not feel “filled with greed and evil”; the man replies that that is due to Lucius’ youth.
    • When the man goes out, Lucius talks with Pete via the dog translation device.
    • They decide to “fix” it. So Lucius finds a Sharpie in Eleanor’s purse and adds big boobs to the woman and facial hair to the man. (Big boobs and facial hair make people look happy).
    • At Pete’s behest, Lucius adds flowers. He wants to make them yellow, so he pees on them.
  • The man returns and does not like Lucius’s changes.
  • The man leaves; when he comes back, he tells Lucius how happy he is and how Lucius’ “buxom,” happy woman and “hairy, happy hippy” made him happy.
  • Lucius showed the man that the world is not all full of greed, evil, and malevolence.
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