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Family Update: May - August 2019

My last blog post was before summer and now we are getting ever closer to the start of the next school year: 3rd grade this year for Corin! Amazing. Trying to catch up his blog before we get swept back up into busy routines.

1. The End of the School Year
I last blogged about a month before school ended. They managed to squeeze lots of events into those last weeks!
a) Corin’s class grew some plants from seeds and learned a little about crops.
21 May - Here his class is learning about thinning plants (he’s in the red)


This enthused Corin so much he wanted to grow plants at home also, so we did! Some duds, some drowned due to over-enthusiastic watering, but beans for the win!
23 June - 28 inches of bean


b)     Poetry
Corin wrote a poem for me!
Working on limericks at school so AABBA scheme
Emily Jane Ross is cool
She likes to read books by the pool
She reads awesome books
She is a cook
And Emily isn’t a fool

Love it ; )


c) Lots of special events
23 May After school care had a “carnival” last night and Corin won these goofy glasses that he has since worn continually - while eating cereal, brushing teeth etc etc. He is convinced they’re going to help him with his four square game because they will hide his eyes from his opponents and they won’t know where the ball is coming from. Given that the glasses fall off every five seconds, I am less convinced....

3 June -  'As if the end of the year wasn’t already complicated enough, we have extra homework every day...
Today is joke day.
Did you hear the one about the kitten who played with the string? He had a ball.'


12 June - Reddy for Color Day!



17 June - Last day of second grade!

He made cards for his teachers and his crossing guard - the latter was my favorite ; )


Goodbye Ms Brisch! selfie


2. Summertime
Ten weeks of summer is a long time to fill up! Ravi and I were both working during Corin’s first weeks, so he went straight into a busy schedule of daytime camps.
a) He started at Champion Soccer, which was conveniently being run very close by.
Here he is with some buddies

They had physical games and activities all day, loosely based on soccer skills, and a slip’n’slide for when it got too hot (no photos of kids in swimsuits, obviously!).
He spent six weeks at Champion. He was mostly having a great time for the first 4 weeks or so but the last 2 weeks were too much - too much repetition, too hot, too many injuries. This last week alone he got a soccer ball in his crotch, in his face (causing a bloody nose) and a direct (accidental) kick to the shin. All in all, soccer at his slightly older age group level, is already becoming more aggressive, and less fun for an average player like Corin. Boo. Time to try another sport maybe.

b) Next up he spent a week at a fancy robotics camp at Lesley University, learning robotics and coding.
https://yana.com/camp?id=59
He enjoyed that and would happily have done another week, but that wasn’t possib

c) Swimming/Dad
After Ravi finished his intensive summer teaching, he had more time available and for two weeks he took Corin to swimming lessons every morning and then hung out with him in the afternoon.
7 Aug - No swimming lesson would be complete without bombing after...
https://youtu.be/ne4OfiJpp0I

d) Chilling
Before we got the news of Rico’s wedding, we had planned to go to Okemo in Vermont, where we’ve been before. But since we’ll be taking a trip next week, we cancelled those plans and just hung out. That was, until Corin got it into his head that he just HAD to go fishing (I’m looking at you, Hardy Boys…). Ravi took him on an overnight camping trip up to Quabbin Reservoir, where fishing is allowed. It took them a while to figure it out but they got the hang of it in the end and successfully caught waterweed and a stick before snagging a sunfish!



3. Family Time
With uncertainty about when our renovations might start (see below), and all the cost of said renovations, we had one modest trip at the start of summer, and the trip to California at the end of summer will make another.

a) At the start of summer we went to Cape Cod over 4th July weekend.
It’s a leetle bit crowded, maybe a few other people had the same idea?

Half of Boston was there so the guys did other activities some of the time - race cars, zorb, water park, inflatable obstacle course... I got to chill out a lot, which was much needed, read most of Harry Potter v1 aloud, and admire all the beach treasures Corin found. Just as well we stocked up on relaxation and fun, because our attic renovation starts tomorrow and thence will follow 5+ weeks of noisy disruption.













b) While we only had one trip away, we had fun events together almost every weekend, with a few weekends for relaxing.
26 May Beautiful day for a trail ride @ Bobby’s Ranch!
http://bobbysranch.com
Cellphones weren’t allowed on the trip (ringing alarms the horses, dummies dropping their phones...), so this is a quick “before” of Corin on Freckles. Freckles liked sneaking cheeky bites of leaves and Corin had to keep pulling him straight, and then Freckles would jog to catch up with Corin giggling all the way. Ravi was on abig Shire horse (smaller relative of Clydesdale) with fluffy feet, who liked stopping and pondering the universe and also doing delightfully giant “poo rocks.” I was on Pete, who was a compulsive tailgater and I had to keep pulling him out of other horses butts. Other than these quirks the horses were all very well behaved and there were no mishaps. So proud of Corin! Prior to now, he’s been walked around a field with someone holding the bridle maybe half a dozen times. Quite a big step up to 30 mins independent riding!


27 May - Memorial weekend, so it’s backyard camping Sunday and BBQ Monday time : )


4 June - Family selfie from a recent mini golf outing. Corin would only consent to participate if he could have a golf ball nose ; )

9 June - At the ICA enjoying the drippy sculptures of Dan Lam and free Steve’s ice cream
And funky designer chairs



16 June - For Father’s Day, Ravi and a Corin did a sleepover at the Science Museum and this was his chosen sleeping spot. This kid has less Jurassic-Park-survival-skills than an unnamed extra...


30 June - Picking strawberries @ Parlee Farms
Our lucky day - we just finished when the rain came down

Photo Ravi took of strawberrying with Mr Prankster


28 July - Circus Smirkus time!
Second year running it was insanely hot in the tent and we had to leave half way through. Very disappointing.


4 Aug - Corin being terrified of being close to a jaguar butt @ Stone Zoo


11 Aug - Truffle making class for my birthday!
@ Boston Market Kitchen


17 Aug - Giant Slide @ Marshfield Fair
https://youtu.be/NJsbDkp08MA

4.     House
As mentioned, this summer has been pretty much dominated by renovations. After a long delay to financially recuperate, we are back fixing again. We are finally getting to tackle what we wanted to do in the first place: finish the attic and make more space. I don’t want to completely swamp this blog post with photos of bits of wood, but it’s all very exciting. Still at the skeleton framing and sawdust stage. Hopefully by next blog post we will have progressed to the internal finishing which will make for much more interesting pictures.

5.
   Hobbies and hijinks
Apart from all of our adult plans, Corin has plenty of his own ambitions and activities!
Things he’s been into this summer
a) Math, always
25 May He was singing this to himself in the bathroom this morning as he calculated in his head... (math photo)


23 June - Corin has finally made a friend as geeky as himself. At this afternoon’s play date they are making up math tests to give each other ; )

b) Paper planes

13 June - Paper planes have made a come back, due to Corin’s new book (partly hidden by the skipping rope) of world record breaking paper airplane designs
Most days they’re all over the house, but at least stepping on them doesn’t hurt...


c) Soccer
His Season of Belmont 2nd Soccer finished just before the end of school, leading nicely into Soccer camp

15 June - End of season trophy!


d) STEAM kits

Cambridge Library (which I work in a branch of) has invested in a bunch of STEAM kits which are available for loan. We’ve been trying them out through the summer. Corin has also been enjoying looking up at-home experiments on youtube and giving them a go
20 June – Code-a-pillar kit

29 June – At-home experiments: Marshmallow catapults!
https://youtu.be/R0KIZJxVKC4

15 Aug - Playing with the raft making STEM kit from the library


e) Cooking

Several years ago, I used to get Corin to “help” me with dinner once a week – put the salad veges together or some such. But it took effort and made mess and got dropped from the routine. But over summer, Corin showed interest in food again and now once a week he chooses a recipe (from a few suggestions) and helps with it.
29 June - Dinner making: Corin’s chosen menu? Grilled cheese sandwiches and cookie dough pizza with fruit

2 Aug - Corin + cleaver
Ironically this was much safer than the regular knife tried previous to this, because the cleaver took both hands and thus his fingers were out of the way...
https://youtu.be/j1iFgPjby74

f) Reading

Last summer, Corin would run around and exhaust himself at camp and come home and collapse with a book, and I couldn’t have been more thrilled. He got less enthusiastic during the school year when books were a feature of his work time (reading for work = boo), but I was delighted that he got back into reading again this summer – big thick books too! He has now read the first three (4?) Harry Potter’s and the first six Percy Jackson books.
26 July - Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix

20 Aug - Returning this to the library which Corin has just finished reading - 557 pages, no pictures

Not all his reading has been so serious…
15 Aug - In what room of your house are you safest from zombies, ghouls and ghosts?
The living room.
This PSA brought to you by Corin’s joke book

g) Rocks

Periodically, Corin gets really fascinated by rocks. There isn’t a whole lot he can do with them other than arranging them, so he loses interest again fairly quickly, but while it lasts it is intense and the rocks will still be there when his interest peaks again. Bored during summer was the perfect stimulant..
13 July - Junior geologist rocking out again!
This is literally only about a third of his collection, which he increased today by spending all his savings on a piece of malachite, an intermingled emerald/crystal, and an ammonite
And he’s asking when we can go mining, as a family

14 July - Hunting for rocks, finding mosquitoes...

15 July - Dragonfly!

20 July - Last week when we were digging in the stream, Corin said wistfully he wished we could go mining as a family. Fairyfather on the case! Ravi found us a spot: Betts manganese mine. You’re allowed to come here and dig through the piles of stuff dug out when the quarry was operational. Banging around with sledgehammers and safety goggles. Struck shiny!



20 July - Making a detour to see some dinosaur footprints preserved in rock!
@ Dinosaur Footprints, 5 Holyoke St
Holyoke, MA 01040

h) Beyblades
Another recurring obsession is beyblades – battling spinning tops. Corin is very into collecting them and battling them with his friends – and when friends aren’t available, with his parents…
6 June - Woken very early this morning by the front door opening. Wtf? It was Corin, checking to see if a beyblade we ordered (with his chore money) from amazon had arrived. No such luck kiddo, people are more likely to deliver packages when they are awake...
15 Aug - Corin’s pride and joy: his beyblade collection, bought with his own allowance over about 2 years


i) 
Getting ready for the next year!
29 July - Corin’s placement letter for third grade came and he will have a male teacher for the first time. Lucky, only 1 male teacher at his grade level and three female. And no men at kindergarten, first grade or second grade levels. Sad but not surprising. He’s thrilled!

16 Aug - Filling out Corin's afterschool care forms for his third grade year, the form was prefilled with my answers from last year. Consequently, I can tell you that we have 2" and 7lbs more Corin than this time last year...

j) California
Corin and Ravi left this morning for a week in California before Rico’s wedding – hence why I finally have time to catch this blog up! I have to work but will join them later this week. In the meantime, Corin was worried I would be lonely so left his Bunny to help me out.
Bunny helping make Corin’s bed

No Bunny! The fish food is for the fish!

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