Hon, where’s the ibuprofen?

Today is the Great Re-Arrange for the beginning of Fall.

And it’s going to be a doozy.

Seems like once a season, Kiki starts to get claustrophobic, and needs to re-arrange the entire house (or, at least, half the house). We don’t live in the lap of luxury, and so with two households worth of stuff — we never got rid of the flotsam when we combined households a couple years ago — it takes the spatial awareness and mathematical skills of Stephen Hawkings with the creative movement and flow of Mikhail Baryshnikov to get everything to fit.

This time, we’re switching the bedroom with the office, the playroom with the nursury, combining both girls sleeping arrangements into Fae’s room, moving the second couch to create a breakfast/nursing nook, and cleaning up the entry-way.

In other words, the entire house — other than the living room. We haven’t decided if we’re flipping that yet, to create space for a dining room.

The moving, disconnecting, reconnecting, stacking, huffing and puffing aren’t the difficult part. What the hell do we do with a five-year-old and a 3-month-old in the middle of all this? The entire house is going to be in flux, and it’s a typical Portland Fall Day (TM) outside.

Laurie Berkner will have to come to the rescue, I fear.

At least we’re not touching the bathroom!

Click below for updates…

Read More…


“This cereal is really crunchy, dad.”

I think Yuki laughs at my lack of sleep.

No, really. Like, she guffaws and everything.

That’s the only reason why, that I can think, for her to constantly keep me awake until 2:00am, then get up at 5:00am for another feeding. When the house gets up generally at 6:00am.

At least I haven’t accidentally fed cat litter to Fae yet for breakfast.

Yuki -- Not sleeping.

Yuki -- Not sleeping.

Homeschool Idea – Reading Spinner Game

Fae really picks up on literature, and languages. We just read a book to her once, and she’ll remember it pretty well for months between readings. It probably helped that we started her on chapter books around four years old. At night, we read a couple chapters (usually the Magic Treehouse series by Mary Pope Osborne, or the Disney Fairies collection). The next night, we ask Fae what happened the night before, and I think that’s been training her long-term memory pretty well, with regards to literature.

This attention to reading seems to make the current Language Arts curriculum so painstaking. K12 wants me to read a story to Fae (this week’s is the real version of Red Riding Hood, by the Brothers Grimm) each day over the course of 2-4 days. After each reading, there are some cut-out activities, definitions, and general questions. Ok, fine, I get the need to ensure her grasp of the reading material. But, three days for Red Riding Hood?

And in looking forward, the near future doesn’t look any better, as far as belaboring the story. So, I came up with a new method to combine all the discussion question topics into a single, easy, and fun game.

First, what you’ll need:

Read More…

Yuki is Sick, Part 2

Yuki seemed like she was getting sick again last night. Her first bout of sickness passed about a week ago, but she still had some head congestion. Mix that with her reflux and pre-teething, and we’ve had a very moist baby the past week.

At least she’s not the only one sick. The whole fam got hit pretty bad the last few days — me being the last. Damn, I thought taking care of two kids was challenging enough; try throwing in lethargy, sniffling that startles Yuki awake, and being too weak to hold a 14 lb baby for long stretches.

Luckily, it’s been a rather uneventful week so far at the PDX Dad household.

That’s to change rather quickly.

Read More…

Indian Day Pow Wow 9/26/08

For all the PDX-Area Parents…

Tomorrow, Friday 9/26, at the Pioneer Courhouse Square, the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NHAIHB) will celebrate American Indian Day by holding a powwow. This is from their announcement:

Portland, OR — The Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board (NPAIHB) and other local area American Indian organizations will be hosting an American Indian Day Celebration at the Pioneer Courthouse Square in downtown Portland on Friday, September 26, 2008.  The event will be a celebration of American Indian cultures and is intended to raise the level of awareness concerning the challenges that American Indian people continue to face in this country. The event is free and open to the public. The event will be held from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and will include Northwest Tribal leaders, Indian advocates, drum groups, dancers, and arts and crafts vendors who will share their talents and experiences with the Portland community.

Looks like it should be fun and informational, and there will be booths and a press conference for those of us who are politically active.

Homeschool Science – Fives Senses – Portland Style

Fae and I took part of the school day today to explore downtown. We spent the morning on her Math unit assessment, and playing with her Phonics materials that just arrived today (only 3 weeks late). After, we set out for downtown to do our Science class on the “five senses.”

With camera in hand, and adventure in our hearts, we took to the streets of Portland. Our mission was to photojournal different things to represent the five senses. I created a scavenger hunt of sorts, a rather simple one. Fae seemed to enjoy herself, and was really into getting down and taking pictures.

All of the picture ideas are hers. Most of the actual holding of the camera was done by me, but the final composition of the pictures was Fae’s. Below the cut is the assignment, and the photos we took.

Read More…

Finnish School Tragedy, Questioning School Safety in America.

Yet another college student goes on a rampage, killing 10 people then himself. This time, the shooting is in Kauhajoki, Finland. Sadly, local police had already picked up the student, Matti Juhani Saari, for suspicious activity when he posted a rather violent video on YouTube of his target practice. I won’t post Saari’s video, but here’s a video of the BBC reporting the tragedy:

One of our biggest worries about Fae in public schools is the safety. We keep hearing about school shootings, first-graders with knives, third-grade gang-bangers, etc. Granted, statistically, there’s a greater change of being hurt within five miles of home in a car accident, but still, the seemingly nightly news reports of our “schools in crisis” cast a pall on the prospect of our little five-year-old being safe.

Kiki and I still greatly worry about Fae being exposed to all kinds of elements at such an early age. However, I’m not too concerned with school shootings.

Read More…