Sunday, October 19, 2014

Christine's car, stage 2

First coat of paint on the door, new tail light, experimenting with Bondo on the dents.





(Photos taken 2014-10-19.)

Friday, October 17, 2014

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

August peanuts

  • Rachel, six hours ago [August 1]: "Matthew, do you have your silverware?" [for his campout] Matthew: [exasperated sigh] "Yes, Mom. I packed it." Just now: Rachel finds Matthew's silverware on the counter. He is going to be so pissed in the morning. And he will come home and blame his Mom.
  • Rachel: "Matthew, Tommy's bored. Give him a water bottle to play with." A few minutes later: "Why is Tommy soaked?" Matthew: "I guess the water bottle wasn't closed all the way."
  • David the motivational speaker: "When you first started working out, your back was buttery smooth. I can almost see muscles in places now."
  • David kicked my butt so hard today [August 5] that sitting at a desk seems like too much effort. Working from bed instead.
  • Isaac, on the way home from camp: "I NEED TO PEE!" Rachel: "Can you wait five minutes until we're home? "No! I need to pee now!" "Okay, I'm going to pull over at the Wells Fargo up ahead. You can use their bathroom." "I can only wait ten seconds! 10! 9! 8! 7! 6! 5! 4! 3! 2! 1!" A puddle starts to spread. "You made me pee my pants!"
  • David: "It's not too late to take a 'before' picture. Take off your shirt, stick out your gut, and look sad."
  • Rachel: "Matthew, you stink. You need to shower as soon as we get home." Matthew: "Can't it wait until tomorrow?" "No. Then you'd get your sheets dirty." "Ohhhhh... so THAT's why my sheets smell funny!"
  • Me: "Today our workout included jumping. With 150 pounds on our shoulder." Rachel: "Those must have been tiny jumps." "Yes."
  • Rachel thinks it's hysterical that after I bought chips and junk food for Isaac's birthday party, HEB printed me out a coupon for $3 off produce on my next trip.
  • Me: "This is confusing. We have two Nicoles in Sales at DataStax." Rachel: "Fire one."
  • Me, getting ready for the fourth set of inverted rows: "Oof." David: "Do a bridge if you need to catch your breath." Me: "Sitting here sucking wind is working pretty well for me." David: "That kind of thinking is what got you into your present shape."
  • Matthew got up well before 7 today. This was a bad idea. Here are some of the things that made him grumpy: Minecraft was laggy. The garden had weeds in it. Melissa had the computer when he wanted it. Mom told him to apologize for being rude to Melissa. Isaac existed. The barbecue only smelled average. Doing the dishes. Going to bed instead of doing the dishes.
  • Isaac on full-day kindergarten: "It was too long! Tomorrow you can pick me up earlier."
  • Me: "This body wasn't built for sprinting." David: "Well, it sure wasn't built for distance. So where does that leave you?"

Christine's car, stage 1



(Photos taken 2014-10-13.)

Christine decided to do the body work on her car herself rather than buy a new one. First step: getting a door from a junked Buick Century.

The junkyard manager stared for a minute when she came in. Finally he explained, "We don't see a lot of women in here."  She totally *should* have replied that she was a mechanical engineer. No big deal.

David is legitimately good at fixing things now. He got the broken door off Christine's Buick, and the new one on just as Matthew and I arrived to work out.  (He also "did a lot of squats in the trunk" to push out the rear as much as possible.)

Christine closed the door... and it rattled. Her face fell. David: "Don't worry! I know what the problem is." He had Matthew and me push the door up as hard as we could, partially lifting the car up. He loosened something and tightened something else, and when he was done the door closed with a satisfying thunk.

Next step: making a 3-d model of the right side of the car, to guide the Bondo work on the left.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Walking Tommy



(Photos taken 2014-10-14.)

Monday, October 13, 2014

Corinna dresses herself



(Photos taken 2014-10-13.)

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Isaac's French kindergarten

I met Isaac's teachers today.  Good: I remembered the appointment and was on time.  Bad: I didn't realize "Friday is parent/teacher conference day" implied "and there will be no classes."  So Isaac had to cool his heels in the entrance while I talked with his teachers, but he had my phone to play with so all was forgiven.

Isaac is attending a French school, the Ecole Jean-Jacques Rousseau.  We're about six weeks in and his French is phenomenally better.  He was too lazy and/or I was insufficiently stubborn, and he'd gotten into the habit of replying to me pretty much exclusively in English.  Being exposed to more French speakers is well on the way to fixing that -- he's up to maybe 40% French now from basically none.

His teacher mentioned that his French comprehension is excellent, and in fact he finishes the kindergarten work so quickly that he starts looking over at what the first graders in the same room are doing.  She quizzed him on the first grade level material and he aced it, but he was reluctant to officially move.  So she's not going to push him harder for now, but she surreptitiously gives him the first grade worksheets when he finishes the kindergarten ones.

Isaac has several teachers.  The main one is also the headmistress of the school.  She teaches all the French subjects for the majority of the day.  The English math, french, and violin teachers get much less time with the kids, and consequently assign more homework.  (Which I pushed back on today, gently.  To make a long story short, the head teacher agreed that limiting that was reasonable.)

His teacher really likes Isaac.  She had a couple Isaac stories:

Early in the year, Isaac was delighted to realize that his school supplies came with his very own squeeze bottle of glue.  He tried it out on his neighbor's seat.  "He wasn't sneaky about it.  I think he just wanted to see what would happen.  I had him clean it up and apologize.  He said pardon.  I don't think he was very sorry but there wasn't anything malicious about it."

The other time was about when the teacher banged up her toes on some construction material in the hallway.  Nobody said anything, and she sat at her desk feeling grumpy and sorry for herself.  Then she felt a hand stroking her foot.  It was Isaac, saying pardon!  She nearly cried.

One more Isaac story from school.  A little girl in his class has decided that he is The One for her.  She duly informed Isaac that in due time they will get married.  His teacher says that she waited two years for Isaac -- she's very affectionate but the other kids in the class would push her away when she hugged them.  Isaac hugged her back.  When they were dropped off at the same time one morning, they held hands as they walked inside.

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

The kids are glad to have Aunt Christine back!



(Photos taken 2014-10-06.)