Thursday, December 26, 2013

Days with Grandma

We're on our way to the big holidays!  The best thing in November is that Grandma came to visit for three whole weeks!  Zane was very excited and Grandma shared his room at night.  Zane got lots of quality time with Grandma, and Michael and I went on two dates.  Pretty awesome.

While Grandma was here we got to do some fun baking.  She and Zane made popovers with a special pan.  We made pies for Thanksgiving, and Zane even got to make his own mini two-crust apple pie.  At one point he got out one of his toy steam rollers to flatten the crust.  After Thanksgiving we put together a gingerbread train from a kit, which was a lot of fun!

For Thanksgiving we took our pies to Michael's sister's house.  All the cousins and Grandpa were there.  Zane hardly ate a thing, but (after some initial shyness) he had a blast with his cousins.  He got to watch video games and a whole bunch of TV, so he was pretty pleased with the holiday!

This also seems to be the season for birthday parties.  We've had 4 in the last 6 weeks.  Fall and Winter birthdays need to be indoors, so most families rent space somewhere where the kids can burn off energy.  Three times now we've been to a yoga studio that gets out tons of bean bags, trampolines, hula hoops, tunnels, a balance beam, suspended rings, indoor swings, drums, and face paint.  That place is awesome.  The two swings are a bit of a hazard, though, especially since Zane doesn't seem to understand that what goes up, must come down.  He finally learned the lesson, I think.  He walked behind a swing at just the right moment to get smacked hard enough to have his feet lifted off the floor.  He ended up with his very first bloody nose.  Poor guy!  He generally bounces back pretty quickly, but we snuggled with some ice for about 10 minutes before he was ready to rejoin the party.

Zane has continued to be a fun guy to share random facts with.  One night at dinner we had salad, and on the back of the Newman's Own Caesar dressing was a drawing of a man on a couch with a dagger in him.  "Mama, what is that picture?"  Michael and I had fun telling him a brief history of the Roman Empire, culminating in the Republicans stabbing Caesar in the Senate.  As soon as we were done, Zane asked us to tell it again!  He asked for the story several times again.  I can't wait until he's old enough to watch I, Claudius.

We often have Archaeology magazine or National Geographic or Natural History magazine open on our table, so he'll ask us about the pictures he sees.  That's pretty fun.  In the last few weeks we've ended up talking about facial reconstruction, Civil War battleships, Amazon Basin natives, Komodo dragons and the like.  Sometimes it is educationally stimulating to have a messy table!

Another fascination these days is numbers and how they work.  He will often ask us things like, "What's 1+6+10+10+10+1000+1?"  He loves to try to trip us up. Then he asks, "What's 3 + a banana + a cement truck?"  Giggle giggle.  One night I was listening to Zane and Michael talk over the monitor at bedtime, and as Zane was asking about numbers and counting, Michael told him there were negative numbers.  "For real?" says Zane.  Then Michael tells him there is a number called Pi (pie). "Ask Mama! I think you're wrong, Daddy!"  I found a great series of math books in the library about Pi and other concepts for kids, and we've been reading those.  We don't expect Zane to really get these concepts, but he'll have heard of them when it comes time to really learn them.

Coming up: Christmas and more awesome adventures with Grandma!

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