Last weekend while we were out of town, our cat Caspar disappeared. The petsitter thought nothing of it, but we knew something was up. He vanishes on a regular basis, but he never stays away for very long. It was dark by the time we got home so I searched only in our yard and our neighbors' yards on either side. After a lousy night's sleep, I went looking further. I found him dead in the yard behind our house. He'd been hit by a car and was stretched out in the grass beside the curb. I've never picked up a dead body before. It was reality's slap in the face.
We miss Caspar very much. He and Finn, our other cat, are brothers. Finn still goes out every night in search of his brother, his very best friend.
At Saturday afternoon my whole family was in our car. My mom Marcia was driving us to Pup Squad. We arrived there. I went inside Pup Squad's adoption center. After looking at Pup Squad's puppies, I got to talk to Fran. I asked Fran how old was Pup Squad. She said 4 years old. Also Fran told me how she loved dogs.
Fran is the person who helped us adopt our two dogs, Cody and Scout.
After I stopped talking to Fran about Pup Squad, I talked to another volunteer named Christy. She joined Pup Squad in January 2009. At home Christy has a mama dog that is sick is going to get healthy.
Then when I finally finished interviewing Christy, I went to go look at these dogs. How fantastic they were!
I looked over to a window and there I saw another puppy. It was off to the side, almost in a corner maybe. I walked over to the strange dog, but I liked it a lot.
I walked over as quickly as I could. I asked Christy if I could play with this dog. She said the puppy might want to sit on the couch with you.
By Carrie, age 6
Did you know that there’s a Ninja Class in Texas?
You might think this is a joke, but it’s a True Story! A girl that is 6 years old named Carrie started a Ninja Camp.
Now you might think that an adult is the leader of the camp, but you guys read half of the note and you know that the person doing it is 6. She knows how to be a Ninja.
She can walk quietly like in the olden days. She can spy on her moms. She is good at climbing trees. She can stand as still as a tree. She can balance as good as a cup.
If you want to learn Ninja skills, come to Carrie Chamberlain Reagler. Her phone number is 713-x82-78x9.
If your son or daughter wants to be like a Ninja, then you can come to Carrie’s house and celebrate your holiday here.
This fall Pearl and Carrie are excited about soccer. Although they both have lime green Seattle jerseys in the pictures, they are on different teams because of their age difference. I guess they're on sister teams.
Carrie has this to say about the sport:
What I like about soccer is that I get to play front field. That means I get to kick the ball and score lots of goals for my team. But the kids follow you wherever you go! That's all of my report.
Lately she has me read books about Mia Hamm to her at bedtime. And when she wakes up the next morning, guess what Carrie's been dreaming about?
You may recall that it was Carrie who planned my birthday party this year so you might assume that her own birthday would receive even greater enthusiasm. And you'd be right!
Carrie's party theme was... interesting. As in, very. Have you ever been to a Chinese horse party? This five-year-old loves horses, and she's learning Chinese (or at least she thinks she is). So in addition to the trusty steed pictured below, she had the bakers draw a picture of a horse with the Chinese symbol for horse beside it. We gave chopsticks, Chinese candy, and fortune cookies for party favors. Carrie help choose everything for the great occasion.
There are many more photos of the Chinese lanterns, petting zoo, and birthday cake on Marcia's facebook page.
Pearl is in first grade this year. She's doing well in school and can read chapter books on her own. She likes Junie B. Jones, the A-to-Z mysteries, the Magic Treehouse series, and any true story about animals. Pearl joined a soccer team at the Y this year. Her team is improving, but they still haven't scored a point. She's pretty good though. I've been impressed with her athleticism.
Pearl's very favorite activity is still acting out stories that she makes up. Home is for acts, as far as she's concerned. Her favorite tv show is Avatar: The Last Airbender, and her favorite character is Aang whose job, although he's just a child, is to save the world. She wants to be Aang for Halloween.
In her acts, she combines characters from Avatar with characters from other stories that she and Carrie like--Scooby Doo, The Lion King, and the Hunchback of Notre Dame--with characters from their original stories--a baby named Baby, dog brothers Alex and Johnny, and Pearl and Carrie are always characters in the stories too.
Pearl still loves to draw. Her drawings are like comic books, often done in the format of sequenced squares. She loves to make them funny by placing the characters in unlikely places--kings in cages, cats hanging upside-down from trees. She still loves animals. They love her too. As do we, Mama and Baba, so very very much!
They say that every young girl imagines themselves a princess, but I never did. Just to verify this assertion, I double-checked in with my mom. She confirms it. This Baba skipped the princess phase with no regrets.
Of course They say a lot of things, but I suppose that most of them are true.
Here's the story of my recent birthday. I walked into the house at 5:30 pm on a Wednesday afternoon. Pearl and Marcia were doing the usual things, and Carrie was *hiding* behind a chair. She jumped out, yelling in her loudest voice: SURPRISE!
Carrie (let's call her Party Planner Junior) had worked out everything--decorations, food, and activities. Baba's favorite color might be blue, but at this birthday party, all was pink, pink, pink. Everyone got a pink princess cap except for me--as the honoree, I got to wear the tiara.
We ate drank, ate, opened presents, and other jolly activities. Then the two younger princesses performed a special birthday dance for the elders. Carrie seemed to be air-bending while Pearl's moves resembled break-dancing.
And while the royal children "did their thing" so did the royal kittens. Napping in the laundry, naturally.
For this *princess*, parenting has taught me one thing: never say never. Celebrate.
I read about this project here and was planning to do it on my own, but the grrrls were interested in helping. The white lines are made with painter's tape, and each field is a different color, so it really is easy enough for children.
I like the way they turned out. Pearl's comment = they look like they were painted by real artists! Carrie's comment = don't worry Baba, I'll finish them tomorrow while you're at work.
We moved. Correction: we moved!
I asked Marcia to make a list of what she likes about the new pad. Here's her list:
Papa and Nana came to help us move. (Nana and Papa rule!) Here's Nana's list:
I asked Pearl for her list but she was in dog mode and all her answers were in a foreign language, i.e. barking. I waited a day, and she made this list.
I like the bunk beds, and I like the trash can because it opens "like this." [In the kitchen one of the cabinets pulls out and is a trash can. Top secret!]
I'm sure that Carrie (age 4) is not the only one out there who wonders, on occasion, "What would Baba look like if she were bald?" Motivated by generosity, no doubt, Carrie has provided us with this artistic rendering that answers the (above) question. Grrrls with crazy hair find this picture particularly hilarious, by the way. So now you know.
This is a picture of me when I was six, which is Pearl's age now. For some reason, it seems to me the photograph of a writer. In retrospect, of course.
Yes, SIX! Can you believe it?
Birth of Pearl (2004) with special recipe for smothered okra
Kindergarten has been a great year for Pearl, so far. She loves it all!