nwhiker: (Default)
Oh snap, Linnea got Perry this time.

I wrote this, to quote myself, a few days ago:

Linnea names things. It drives Perry nuts. He carefully refers to Linnea's named objects as "it" to make sure he does not get caught in the family dynamic of referring to Linnea's travelling pig, Pinky Pie as "she" or to his own slow-the-boy-down-when-rowing buoy, Simon, as he.

Texting today, Linnea mentioned that she'd never given Oinkster, her USB drive a gender.

Perry followed up with three texts about how she was trying to put Oinkster in a box of he/she, and that Oinkster preferred "they/them".

I sense that a new front has been opened in this conflict. Heh.

So. Linnea texted yesterday that at her rowing club, they'd christened a new boat: No, but seriously, we got a new boat. His (or they're (sic)) I'm not assuming anything) name is Spencer Bros, dedicated to these rower dudes..."

Perry texts back: "She. Boats are female."

Linnea: [Flat affect emoticon]

nwhiker: (Default)

Linnea names things. It drives Perry nuts. He carefully refers to Linnea's named objects as "it" to make sure he does not get caught in the family dynamic of referring to Linnea's travelling pig, Pinky Pie as "she" or to his own slow-the-boy-down-when-rowing buoy, Simon, as he.

Texting today, Linnea mentioned that she'd never given Oinkster, her USB drive a gender.

Perry followed up with three texts about how she was trying to put Oinkster in a box of he/she, and that Oinkster preferred "they/them".

I sense that a new front has been opened in this conflict. Heh.

nwhiker: (Default)
Linnea starts high school today. She barely let me take a photo! She marched herself off to the bus stop! She was in a foul mood!

What gets me? The new late start high school still has her bus pick her up at 6:40am. Late start? I shudder at how early things must have been last year. Her pick up time is very early, but then again,she gets back early.

And in more makes me want to cry, it's Perry's last first day of high school. I'm feeling very emotional about that.
nwhiker: (Default)
The things nobody tells you:

That if you choose an instrument other than a string instrument, you don't get to play music in high school, you get to service the football team and play peppy! shorts each time someone gets a concussion or a traumatic brain injury!

I despise football.

I despise marching bands of all sort. Stupid, ugly costumes, ugly music.

And major conflicts with just about everything this fall because Linnea has to be out there paying homage to the most stupid Americans aside from Trump voters: football players.

So much for real symphonic band.

Fucking liars.
nwhiker: (Default)
These are the first photos of our kittens! They were born 31 July, and should be coming home late September. They're Norwegian Forest Cats, and we're all excited as heck!

This is the girl:


It was tough. We had a choice between "Girl 1" and "Girl 2". Perry and I thought Girl 1 was cuter, the other three were all for Girl 2. So we lost out on that one. That said, Girl 2 is plenty cute!

And here is the whole litter. We're also getting the cream boy!

At this point, tentatively, the girl will be named Auri, from Pat Rothfuss' _The Name of the Wind_, a favourite book for three of us, and a great character. Also, we thought, a good name. The boy will be Twisp.

Note that they're very little, just a few days old. Linnea was slightly distressed when she saw the photos. I think she expected them to look like cute month or so old kittens. Clearly she has not been exposed to newborns... I mean, you may love them, but they're cuter later on!

nwhiker: (Default)
OMG. Rough start to Linnea's trip.

It all started a few weeks ago when I wanted to add international access to her phone. So I went -hauled my actual fat ass- to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Where I was told that "all you have to do it". They took my phone number, which led me to believe that they checked my plan. I mean, right?

Linnea was supposed to have wi-fi at the hotels she's staying at. NSM, of course. They have free wi-fi but are limited to 30 minutes a day, sigh. But I figured that didn't matter because I was going to add the other plan, which is their $10/day for any day you use it plan. They told me we could add it any time and we figured we'd add it yesterday, ie for the first full day of her trip, because most of what she would be the first partial day was the hotel. Which was supposed to have wi-fi.

So I go to add the plan. And I can't. Because yeah, it's not compatible with our plan. WHY did the guy at the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store not freaking NOTICE this? And WHY, in addition, does cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V's website, when I showed the plan to dh, not mention that it's only available if you have "some plans", but "not others". Completely blindsided by this.

So back down to the cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V store. Note that our plan is provided via dh's employer, a large employer in the area, and the store is local, so should freaking know to check this. Sure enough, that is the problem. So I add the crappier expensive international plan that IS available to her. Note that this is for LINNEA'S PHONE. I checked and confirmed the number with the gal at least 3 times. Yes, LINNEA's PHONE.

This morning? Dh gets a text saying his international plan has been activated. WTF? Check online. Sure enough, the plan was added to dh's phone, not Linnea's as requested.


So I call cell-phone-company-that-starts-with-a-V, and this time got a person on the phone to change the plan over to Linnea's phone. I've checked online. It seems to be there.

Now she can contact us. And maybe we can troubleshoot together why her ATM card didn't work. She's used it for purchases, but she says the cash withdrawal part didn't. I expect she panicked when the questions weren't the same as the ones she was expecting, or who knows? She can deal without cash, or if it's ok with the group leader, I should be able to paypal him $50 and have him give her cash, or some such. Anyhow.

Phew. I think she'll be ok. When I talked to her yesterday (one a friend's phone, THEY were able to get the $10/day plan!) she said it was wonderful, she was having a great time, they're weird because they drive on the wrong side of the road (*) and she got to see King George IV IN PERSON IN A STATUE. Heh.

(*) She was told this many times, but being Linnea, she only got it when she actually saw it!

I'm SO excited for her!

ETA in RED because I am so freaking PISSED.

VERIZON ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? There were settings on the phone that needed to be fucking CHANGED before she can use the international plan, and of the THREE people I talked to, none of them bothered to tell me that?
nwhiker: (Default)
Linnea just walked in from her last day of middle school/junior high. High school next year.

How did my baby get so big?

David and I walked her 3/4 of the way to the bus stop this morning, but we stopped before we got to the point where any of the other kids could see us. Don't want to ruin her cool factor, you know.

Sweet Linnea.

And Monday, she's headed for 10 days in Scotland and Ireland. Without ME.
nwhiker: (Default)
We bought Linnea a new flute today. We were sick of paying for the low end rental, it's pretty clear she's going to stick with flute, and it was time.

The new instrument sounds SO much better. It's got open holes, currently plugged, so she'll have to learn to play with those, and it is probably a better instrument than she needed, but she'll grow into it from a musical standpoint, I think.

Once she realized that this was going to be her flute, not just a rental? She lit up with joy, and has been smiling and bouncing off the walls and using words like happy and amazing and excited. She's so appreciative when she gets things she really wants, I love getting her stuff.

Ooof, though. Expensive.

But, considering how happy she is, WEP.
nwhiker: (Default)
I just got a campsite, apparently on a bluff overlooking the ocean, for Linnea's bday weekend. I think it's the last freaking campsite available within 50 miles.

Last year, I snagged the last campsite at Mt Rainier.

I have to start planning a bit earlier, I think.

With a bit of luck, we'll be camping for Linnea's bday. I don't know if Perry and AC will come with us, AC may have school, so it just might be Linnea and us. We'll see. I'm very much looking forward to it.

I'd have loved to go for my birthday, but Linnea is leaving for Scotland and Ireland on my bday, so I expect next weekend to be a bit hectic, so didn't make plans. Plus dh and AC may be driving the backroads of Oregon chasing the SP4449. I'd have loved to go with them, damn it. Last time we did it was so much fun... Linnea potty trained in the back of the Pilot, we saw some spectacular scenery, and really had a wonderful time.
nwhiker: (Linnea)
Two Linnea things, that made me cry. I love that girl.

The Bad Mother


Linnea has the fucking state mandated testing. She HATES it, and we've discussed opting her out (remember, dyslexia, dyscalculia...) but she does insist on doing it, though she gets to work in a room with only a few others students, thank goodness, to minimize distractions.
On Sunday -three whole days ago- she asked me if I could make her a good breakfast this morning (ie an "egg McMuffin".) I said sure, made sure we had English muffins.....

.... and this morning, I totally 100% forgot. She didn't remind me, just told me as she was going out the door that she had testing this morning. I'm not even 100% sure she ate breakfast.

Gah. I feel like a horrible parent. I wish she'd said something.

The reason this kills me? She is SO good about remembering things about others. If one of us mentions a test or something we're nervous about, she remembers to ask how things went, she remembers to follow up on events we've mentioned. And I forgot the damn testing. (Note that the school used to send an email the night before to remind parents of high stakes testing, but I guess they're no longer doing that.)


In an attempt to expiate my guilt, I went to Starbucks and bought her gift card, and wrote her a note apologizing, and, at the suggestion of a friend, adding how I felt extra bad because of how thoughtful she always is.

Wednesday was a warm day, the first time the temps had gone to 70F since last October. I think I was forgiven, or at least that she enjoyed the fruits of my guilt.

It was a dark and stormy afternoon.....

This both made me laugh and kinda cry a bit too. We've had some pretty bad thunderstorms yesterday afternoon/through the night. Lots of lightening and thunder, which is not usual for the PNW. Linnea is terrified of storms.

So yesterday she got off the school bus into a thunder and lightening storm, and had to walk 1.5 miles home (it was the late bus, she'd stayed for homework help, and they only make a few stops, that's the closest). She got home, soaking wet to find.... the back door unlocked, AND the door between the laundry room and the rest of the house open. It usually stays closed, for various reasons. She was terrified to go inside, tried to call me, I was in lab working, but I guess dh whom she called next helped her out, calmed her down, and she went over to some of the neighbours who went into the house with her to make sure someone had not broken in (very low prob, but this is Linnea, anxiety child of my three, and she knew we'd left a few windows cracked yesterday because it was hot.).

Anyhow, all was well, and she proceeded with her afternoon more happily. Anne-Chloe had been home between uni and coaching, and not bothered locking up or closing doors behind her. When dh and I got home a couple of hours later, we found a dish with a pat of butter on the counter, near the cat's curl up box on the counter. Huh? Later Linnea explained. She's been SO sure she was going to come inside to ransacked house and a "murdered cat" (her words) and she was so grateful that BamBam was fine that she decided to give him a celebratory pat of butter. He loves butter.

nwhiker: (Cottage Lake)
I got the MMR today. I apologize to my children for not giving them ice cream AND soda AND cookies after their shots. Because it fucking HURT. OTOH, it's done.

Why is it done? Because I told AC I'd buy her a latte if she reminded me to do it, I kept on "forgetting".

What is annoying? I do, in fact, need a second dose, ie the full MMR course. When I asked the person the kids see, they said most places will take one booster dose for adults, but yeah, NSM. Oh well. Had I known I was going to have to get TWO shots, I'd have opted for the titer (which I know would be fine since I had one done while pregnant. Alas, I have no idea what happened to my records for 18 years ago, since there were provider issues.). That said, I don't pay for the vaccine, and I would have to pay for the titer, so whatever.

The builder "thinks" they've found replacement granite. We've seen a sample. Bzzzzt, no, this is still the lower grade. To be clear, builder. The granite we HAD was black with some grey and lots of large pieces pretty shiny mica. The one you are trying to get us to agree to is grey with some black and a few small bits of pretty shiny mica. Keep looking.... :( We're pretty much resigned to laminate. :(

I went to Costco yesterday. I bought my 12 year old -since last week!- a size 7 Rainbow Dash costume. OMG.

I really hate emotional vampires. Especially on forums (fora?) They drain all the air from discussions by bringing everything back to themselves, and pointing out how miserable they are if someone requests supports and is then dismayed that the vampire had made it so that everyone pretty much... ignores them. Ugh.

See above: I got the MMR today. And now I have a migraine!!!! It's a vaccine reaction, I know it is! (Yawn. No, its not.)

What I wrote to some friends earlier:

So we're in a rental, and the landlord has been very kind, letting us extend our lease as the remodel took longer and longer and....

Yesterday morning, he texted dh to say the house was being painted yesterday and today.

Grr, because there is plastic over the windows etc, and it's 90F outside.

But here is the sad rant part?

The inside of the house has HORRID paint colours. Think pistachio and peach in the main area, and periwinkle blue in the bathrooms. Which is fine in the master bath, but since the main bath has turquoise blue sinks, it clashes.

The outside, however, was not repainted. It was cream, with a nice green trim. Needed re-doing.

When the landlord said he was repainting in grey, I figured one of the two greys that has become ubiquitous in the Pac NW, either a shimmery silvery grey, or a deep stormy grey (we're considering both for our house when we repaint. Can't decide which.)

But no.

The house has been repainted brownish grey, with a baby diarrhea brown door, and cream trim. It's SO ugly.

Hopefully I'll only have to look at it for one more month......

Perry has a regatta on Saturday. He's supposed to race at 5:45 PM. I do have to confirm that he really needs to be there for the coaches/rowers/judges or whatever it's called meeting at... 5:45 AM.

I have figured out a way to borrow books on my Kindle from the library system without getting an evil Bibliocommons account. I don't know if this is new, or if the instructions weren't there before, but YAY!!!!!

I've been reading a whole bunch of books by Tanya Huff. I'd started her vampire books at one point, but really, I hate vampire books, and as a result, I stupidly dismissed the author. Then I picked up the first of the Valor series on CD. Light, funny, SF. And now I'm reading a few other of her series.

Considering what I've seen so far of stainless steel appliances? I'm going to wish I could have gotten simple white one, and be very grateful that the blue range should be easier to keep clean.

Hot out. Blah.
nwhiker: (Cottage Lake)
I had to write a few paragraphs for Linnea, as a helper in her autobiography!

Here' is what I wrote!

Linnea is my daughter, my little last, the one I sometimes think of as a lagniappe, a wonderful gift of a sweet third child.

As the youngest of three, of course there were comparisons. She was born 2 weeks and 6 days late, like her sister. She was born at home, like her brother. She looked like her sister. She sounded like her brother. She--- and they--.

And yet. It was so very clear that Linnea was unique, so very different from either of them! Her father and I thought we had that parenting thing more or less down, and Linnea taught us otherwise.

Unlike her siblings, she was a baby everyone called an “easy” baby. And she truly was. Until she wasn’t. And then she turned into the bad tempered grouchy thing that made us all want to run and hide. When we saw the short “Jack Jack Attack” by Pixar, when Jack Jack goes from cooing and laughing to bursting into flames of anger, David and I looked at each and started to laugh. That was Linnea. Easy and sweet as long as she got her way, but as soon as life wasn’t treating her as she wished, well… it’s safer to hide.

She walked late and talked late, but before she learned to talk, she’d spend hours sitting and having long “conversations” with anything that happened to be by, a pillow, a doll, a piece of paper she found on the floor. There were no real words, but the ebb and flow, the rise and fall of conversation were very clear. If she saw you listening in, though, she’d glare at you, and stop whatever conversation it was.

About those conversations. They too were indicative of a child who wasn’t like her older siblings. Anne-Chloe and Perry are both introverts, as are David and I… and here came Linnea, a changeling perhaps, a child who delights in other people, in conversation, camaraderie, in friendship, and in fun with others. It was an adjustment for all of us, this desire to hang out, have playdates. We don’t always understand her, but that’s ok, we’ll drop her off a friend’s house anyhow!
She’s always been small, that one, much smaller than her age, looking younger. I sometimes thinks it helps, as she’s had to navigate a harder path to learning than either of her siblings, that her size and her cheerful attitude make people want to help her.

Small but fierce is how we used to describe her. And then we saw the wonderful Shakespeare quote, “though she be but little, she is fierce” and it so fit her! Fierce, and incredibly strong, cheerful even in the face of adversity, always willing to help, kind, compassionate, who thinks of others and cares about them.

I have been privileged to watch this little girl grow up, to see her continue to slog at homework long after most would have given up, to follow her down a trail on a hike that has gone on longer, or been rainier, than expected, to listen as she’s dealt with the stress and travails of growing up, and I’m always impressed with the strength and grace and cheerfulness she brings to any challenge.

I love her so very much, I’m so very proud of her, and I’m very lucky to be able to watch as she makes her way through life.

PS. Her siblings and her father claim that I spoil Linnea. I do not. What they do not see if that she always says thank you, tells me what a fabulous mother I am, and rarely grumbles at me. Like most people I respond better to carrots than to sticks. Really, I don’t spoil her! (Much.)
nwhiker: (Cottage Lake snow)
Christmas 2014 will forever have a slogan in my extended family, courtesy of Linnea.

And we all laughed and laughed and laughed.

This is the flaming of the Christmas pudding that I made, that turned out quite edible, btw, despite the lack of a critical ingredient, see a previous post of mine...


Are you burning the coconut?
nwhiker: (heart)
This weekend we planned -and did, yay us!- two rides back to back: yesterday we did a 50 mile or so (the exact mileage is unknown because of device and app issues, but around 50.). It went well, and we had a good time. Linnea had had a sleepover with my MIL, so we were even able to get out reasonably early.

Then today the idea was to do another ride, though only about 20 or so miles. We thought we might have to split up, since Linnea can't come, but MIL said she'd keep her another day. Linnea was vexed at not being able to ride with us, though.

Problem is, she can't really ride on the road. She's too slow to be safe on any real road riding. So we decided to go on the bike trail: we left the car at one location, did our 20 or so miles, and swung back to about 7.5 miles from the car to a park where we met up with MIL and Linnea. And Linnea rode back with us (most of the way. She, dh, and Perry split off to drop of their bikes at a local bike shop, and AC and I took the opportunity to ziiiiiiiiip the rest of the way back to the car.)

It was... different biking with Linnea in our paceline. Obviously, she has less experience, her bike is smaller, she's much slower etc. Still, it was fun. Lots of people encouraged her as they zipped by us. Two guys followed us for a while in a busy area, and when they prepared to pass one of them said to me "Nice paceline!" and I called to him "Wait til you see who is pulling!" As he went by he told her good job, and gave me a wave and a thumbs up! It was so funny.

We must have looked quite incongruous on the trail. I'm fat, but aside from that, four of us have clearly put some money and effort into our gear, right: road bikes, real bike jerseys, clipless pedals.... and there was Linnea: so very small, on her tiny old old old mountain bike, her pink helmet, in regular clothes, though carefully chosen for biking, and looking so cute you could eat her! :-)

It is very hot, and Linnea got discouraged for a while, but we told her how well she was doing, gave her some more water, and she finished what we'd intended her to do, claiming that she was "roasted" or maybe it was "toasted", though she was a bit soggy, but clearly cooked. That conversation was so totally Linnea!
nwhiker: (Default)
These are Lucie and Susie:


Lucie is the left shoe and Susie is the right.

Linnea has has Lucie and Susie for over a year, her feet don't grow fast. They're pretty beaten up with holes in the soles but she still likes them. My nephew does too. He's a shoe borrower and it's been a joy to see him try on and tromp around the house in everyone's shoes. Except Perry's. Probably because he knows better. Perry's shoes stink.

Where was I? Oh yes. Lucie and Susie. I don't know when she named them but named they are.

And I don't know what is worse. The fact that she named her shoes or the fact that we all know her shoes' names and that Lucie is the left and Susie the right, and refer to them accordingly.

Life with Linnea: Buns the hotdog and Lucie and Susie.
nwhiker: (Default)
We've still not told Linnea she's changing schools next year. I just hate hate hate that I'm going to hurt her, there is nothing positive about this, no nice angle, no way to she will percieve this as anything else than punishment and failure, not matter how carefully we present it.

And that breaks my heart.

What makes it worse, twists an additional knife in the wound?

She's been doing so well these past few weeks, both in English and in French, and even a bit in math. Her conjugaison, a bugaboo of most kids, is so much better, and she mastered the future tense with no problems, no work on my part, and on time.

And yet it isn't enough.

And she's so proud of herself, bringing me her notebooks, showing me the TB (for très bien, very good) all over them, on things that I know they didn't help her with. Something is coming together, and it's too late.

God, I hate this.

I'm going to have to make a point to get her some French instruction next year. She deserves the same shot at bilingualism as her siblings, especially since she seems so willing to work at it right now.

It hurts to know that I'm going to have to hurt my sweet little nut.
nwhiker: (Default)
Attempting to reserve campgrounds on the OR coast for Memorial Day weekend, ie next week.

First was looking for campgrounds at Oregon state parks. Not a campsite to be found.

Then I looked for hotels. Found plenty, though of course expensive.

Then I noticed the Siuslaw National Forest,and looked for FS campgrounds.

Found some, and some nice ones.

So we attempted to book them. Depending on how you word your enquiry (tent vs tent only) you get sites or not at some of the places.

Anyhow, we decided to book one north of the areas we wanted to visit and one south.

Attempt to book.

Um, no.

If you are booking for Memorial Day weekend, you have to book Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in one site. No hopping.

Grrr... Why didn't they tell me this as soon as I put my dates in?

Anyhow, we found a campground in the middle, Alder Dune, and booked it for the three nights. At $22/night, buying an extra night that we're not going to use is cheaper than hotels by far.

We can't get there until Saturday, however. It's a 6 hour drive from here, and much too long to do on Friday evening after work/school at the same time everyone else is leaving for the weekend too.

There is a little note on the registration page that says "All sites not occupied within 24 hours of reservation time will be released". Hum. Not good.

We called.

They said it wouldn't be a problem. Fingers crossed that it isn't!

So, we headed to the OR coast next weekend. The plan is visit beaches, walk on beaches, camp, maybe visit a lighthouse, go to the Oregon Coast Aquarium, we're members, camp, and probably -gasp!- pay the ridiculous sum and say 'eff the environmental consequences, and visit -Warning: site makes noise!- the SeaLion Caves . We'd initially thought about bringing bikes and getting a ride in, but that means leaving the girls (eta while we rode, not for the whole trip!) so we decided against that.

Looking forward to the break. I'm sure the next thing I'll find out is that AC can't take time off. And Perry has a Rube Goldberg machine video due on Friday, with automatically granted extension for Tuesday. And that... and that...
nwhiker: (Default)
Beyond Bunny Yeager’s Lens, a Shy Pinup

Until today I had never heard of Bunny Yeager. Or of Bettie Page, for that matter (remember, I'm a cultural heathen or something like that), but someone sent me the link to this article because, after I'd been discussing Linnea's full name, she happened to read this blog post.

Which contains the following:

Born Linnea Eleanor Yeager, she rechristened herself Bunny after a film character played by Lana Turner

Give or take an "a", I guess dh, me and Mr and Mrs Yeager père and mère had identical tastes in names!

(For those who don't know, Linnea is Linnea Elanor.)


15 May 2012 17:40
nwhiker: (Default)
Completely blindsided by that meeting at school. It was requested by the teacher, on the same schedule that we'd been keeping all year. I just checked now, though, about a few other people were cc'ed. I might have known things were going to be on the gruesome side if I'd noticed that.

Not good.

The writing is on the wall. Either we allow her to repeat the grade, or she's out. They were much kinder than that, but I think we were pretty clear that they're not going to pass her on.

Right now things look pretty bleak.
nwhiker: (Default)
A friend sent along this link today: Child's Own Studio: they make soft toys using children's own drawings. I spent the morning checking out their flickr photostream. OMG that cat! I want that cat. Anyhow.

This is Linnea's drawing of herself and her beloved Piggy. I wonder if I could get the HeartPiggy and the HeartLinnea made?


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