Friday, July 25, 2014

Paris Eve

The boys are getting excited about their week-long sleepover at Grandma's house, which is pretty cool. Granted, things have gotten a heck of a lot more complicated since The Baby broke his leg; but, things 1 and 2 should run pretty smooth while we're away. They're in camp from 8-4 every day, and the camp folks run them around pretty darn well. I think The Baby is going to have the hardest time, being away from us for so long. He's used to sleeping with his parents on a regular basis, and there is no way to explain to him (that he will understand) that we're going away for a week. They'll watch a lot of the "Mommy Comes Back" part of Baby Songs, methinks.

I'm not sure if it's going to be harder on them or on us, although the lure of drinking wine at a cafe in Paris can likely mitigate much of that.... not to mention a second honeymoon for us. Heading 3,000 miles away from Pittsburgh forces me to shut everything off for a week: no more obsessively checking phone, text, and emails for work and chorus and quartet stuff, a break from rehearsals and coaching, and a break from little feet kicking us in the middle of the night.

I spent a couple of hours packing last night. I was putting away laundry (which does happen, once or twice a month - me putting the clothes away, not clothes being washed - our washing machine is always working with three little boys) and laid out my clothes, non-carryon stuff like razors and toothpaste and assorted sundries. Bringing a handful of convertors - two of which I bought two years ago, and a handful of which Grandma bought for The Wife. One of the benefits of being a guy director of a women's chorus is the lack of variety in my performance outfits: black and black and black and I'm good. I don't need to worry about pattern or color or length or anything like that. It's all good.


To show the relative length of my to-do list: yesterday, I finally got around to editing the videos for The Boy's Flag Day ceremony at school, which took place on June 6. It took about three hours, all told, although about 45 minutes of that was general processing / compilation time. iMovie on the iPad makes it incredibly easy for the brute-force cutting and splicing that I needed to do: basically, if I felt the urge to look at Facebook on my phone while waiting for a kindergartener to remember their turn, stand up, walk to the podium, approach the microphone, and speak, then I'd cut out most of the approach and go with it. Next step is burning it onto DVD and creating an attractive box cover, but that will wait until next month.

I also edited the movie from Little Bear's preschool graduation service at Rodef, which was the same day. I freely admit to cutting out most of the talking, focusing on the couple of songs the kids sang, the cute dance they did (although I rearranged time and space and put the instructor's explanation of the dance BEFORE the actual dance), and the cute poem ML read.

This week, I also recorded (with The Wife's help) 7 of the 8 tracks for Lida Rose and 3 of the 4 tracks for Chordbuster March for the Youth Festival. I'm asking T, my quartet lead, to record the lead part - both lead parts are in an awkward place for me. The good bit about this one: I'm actually not sending learning tracks that have my piano playing along with the singing. I'm just doing the singing tracks. So, I recorded one with my singing with the piano, then recorded a second track with no piano (singing along with myself), tweaked the individual notes that needed it (meaning re-singing the measures, as GarageBand for iPad doesn't have autocorrect), and deleted the piano track. Voila! Learning recording.

The bills are paid for the month, and the yardwork will be done tonight or tomorrow morning. We're closing the kitchen after breakfast today - lunch and dinner at Grandma's, and out for breakfast and lunch tomorrow. We have a fruit fly issue in our kitchen, and I want every dish and every surface scoured, scrubbed, and in its place before we leave. I don't want to come home to an infested kitchen.

(Side note: most effective thing for the fruit flies in my house? The dollar store flypaper that I picked up a couple of weeks ago. It's like crack to these fruit flies.)

Tomorrow late morning, there's a 75th birthday party for Batman at the Pittsburgh Toonseum, and I'm going to take the boys - free for kids in costumes. I'm hoping there will be fun stuff for them - they say there's crafts and shows and drawings and stuff like that. We'll see.


Harry Potter has paused for a little while. We read the "How Full Is Your Bucket" book the last couple of nights. Premise: everybody has a bucket, and by things you say and do to people, you add to their bucket or dip from their bucket. Empty bucket = feeling bad, full bucket = feeling good. It's an easy "scoring" system for good acts and bad acts and for getting kids to become aware of their actions on other people. The Boy's camp group has been using this as their disciplinary vocabulary during camp this summer, and both boys have really taken a liking to it. They can visualize that fairly easily.

Two days ago, things 1 & 2 were fighting each other and The Wife. She finally lost her head and told them, "You've emptied my bucket out." They stopped what they were doing and began helping her almost immediately. That's pretty cool. Don't know how long this analogy will last, but we'll enjoy it while it does.

They love that bucket book, though.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

No comments: