Wednesday, March 30, 2011

My pet rock: Matthew's latest class project

Here is the transcript from the interview done in his classroom about his pet rock that he made:

What is your rock's name: Chicken
Is it a boy or a girl: Boy
What does he look like: Letters, red
Where will he sleep at your house: In my big boy bed
What will you play together: Play with my teddy bears
What will you feed him: Chicken soup
What will you watch on TV: Yo Gabba Gabba
What books will you read together: T-Rex. I gonna get that at the store to read to him.
Where will you go together: To the zoo to see owl.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Marlee and me and baby bird makes three

This past Wednesday we got to meet our good friend's Shantell and Chadwick's new baby girl, Marlee. She is 4 weeks old and pretty darn cute - bearing a strong resemblance to big brother, Milo. Shantell said that Marlee had been going through a pretty fussy phase from about the 2 week mark but let me hold her sweet as could be for about 30 minutes. I'd like to take the credit as if I have some little known "baby whisperer" gift but, I think it might really be a new formula they were trying starting to kick in. Either way, it was great to get to seem them and their new addition!

Matthew had one rough week. First, he fell playing the "jump, jump" game and smacked his forehead on the concrete producing no major injuries but one big bruise. Then he toppled over standing up in the wagon (which he shouldn't have been) and fell and got a fat lip. He was taking it pretty rough until he got "popsicle therapy" and had the whole class watching in awe as he enjoyed his cold treat. As his top lip puffed up more and more his teacher told him that he looked like a baby bird. Matt wanted to make sure that she called me to tell me that I didn't have a baby boy anymore, I had a baby bird. Then the director came in and Ms. Stephanie told her that Matt was a baby bird. Dr. Candy looked at Matt and said "chirp, chirp" to which Matt responded, "tweet, tweet." Next, Matt threw up at school on Thursday afternoon and looked about as pale as a ghost when I picked him up. He seemed to make a comeback throughout the evening and he seemed fine in the morning so I packed him back off to school. On top of a really grumpy day, Matt tripped and his face hit a toy dump truck right at the edge of his eye (again no major injury) but I'm pretty sure Matt was glad to see the weekend come along!

Katharine fared better than Matthew this week and has been diligently wiggling a loose tooth since before we went to Florida. While it is getting looser, it is still hanging in there. She also had her dance pictures this weekend; trying out the recital costume and getting to wear a bit of make-up which makes even the littlest girl feel special!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Big, big moon and other Roof news

Friday night we were lucky to have a visit from Grandmomma and Poppa! We hit the town and then headed down to the Folly Beach Pier to see what was supposed to be the biggest moon in 20 years (notice its hugeness in relation to Joe and Lucy). Well, I guess the joke was on us because it ends up Saturday night was the night for the big moon. Oh well, it was still a beautiful night down at the pier!

So, what else are the Roofs up to? Well, Paul and I are in the midst of planning our annual anniversary trip (9 years this year). We are off to Iceland and Norway for two weeks! We are pretty excited about this big adventure. What brings us to such interesting places, you ask? Why facial hair, of course! Isn't this what decides most people's vacations? Or am I losing perspective here? Hairy dudes or not, I am looking forward to two kid-free weeks in foreign lands! Let me take an opportunity to sum up the previous 8 years of trips (this will be a good test of my memory:

  • Year 1: Savannah, GA
  • Year 2: Las Vegas, NV
  • Year 3: Flagstaff/ Sedona, AZ
  • Year 4: Grove Park Inn, Asheville, NC
  • Year 5: Jackson Hole, WY
  • Year 6: Athens, GA
  • Year 7: Anchorage, AK
  • Year 8: New York, NY
  • Year 9: Iceland/ Norway!!!
On the work front, Paul continues to teach at Charleston Southern University where the students just love him. He was nominated for teacher of the year this year, helped to coordinate the SC sociological meetings, and is going to teach American Popular Culture in China this summer. I have experienced a lot of change in the work environment over the past several months. After several months of chronic medical issues, my boss had retired (she was the Associate Vice President for Accountability, Accreditation, Planning, and Assessment), the Director of Assessment position has been vacant for over a year (and there wasn't much going on for the two years before that), and in a related area the College has been searching for a Director of IR. All of this "flux" means there is a never a dull moment at work and we are meeting plenty of new people through the interview process. During this period, my remaining teammates and I have had the chance to work more closely with the Provost's office and that has proven to be a very positive thing to have them get to know our office better and to get to learn more directly from those of the talented people in that office. We have also filled the Director of Assessment position recently with a very talented woman who will start in April. Through some interesting work I am doing on a project affiliated with The Center of Inquiry at Wabash College, I was extended the opportunity to become a "Teagle Scholar". This is a great professional development opportunity for me where I get to attend events as an assessment consultant for other schools completing Wabash Studies similar to ours. I can pick and choose as many or as few events I would like to attend and all my travel is covered by the Center of Inquiry (I believe through funding from the Teagle Foundation, hence the name). I have only been able to attend one event but it has is proving to be a great opportunity and I look forward to future events. I was also able to attend the AAC&U (American Association of College and Universities) conference in San Francisco last month which was a great opportunity as well.

Matthew is 3 now but continues to hang on to babyhood with every ounce of his being. Some of it is adorable, like the way he sucks his thumb and rubs his ear (or these days, preferably my ear) or crawls in to bed with me in the mornings to snuggle. Some of it is a bit frustrating, like his complete and total disinterest in potty-training. But, whether I want to hug him to bits or pull my hair out, I know that all this shall pass and someday and I'll feel sentimental about the whole kit and kaboodle. So, for now, we are trying to discourage the tantrums, encourage the use of words and remind him whenever we can that he is such a big boy. One day it will all fall in to place and he'll want to use the potty, won't pop out of bed every 5 minutes, will eat his veggies, and will ask for what he wants instead of whining. And then he will probably leave for college!

Katharine is several months in to being 5 and is truly becoming a girl now, not much little left. She is very independent about what she wants to wear and how she wants her hair done (or, more often, not done) and, occasionally, likes to test limits. But, 90% of the time, she is an absolute angel. She helps with Matt, loves to read, and loves to be with us. Lately, she tells us that we are the best mom and the best dad in the world. I immediately tell her that she is right and she is very lucky to have ended up here but inside I am thrilled that she thinks we are so great; it has to be a sign we are doing something right.

I was recently given a copy of "Deceptively Delicious" by my very health-conscious mother who knows my kids aren't the biggest fan of vegetables (and for Matt, fruit). It is a cookbook that has come up with some very creative ways to hide fruits and veggies in recipes by using purees. I have tried two recipes so far with rave reviews (mac and cheese with cauliflower puree and french toast with sweet potatoe puree). I can't wait to try some more - it takes away a big dose of parental guilt to sneak a bit of healthy goodness in to my babies! (And Paul and I for that matter!).

Friday, March 18, 2011

A St. Patrick's Day Tale as told by Matthew Roof

This is something Ms. Stephanie documented and shared with us. It is a tale Matthew told the class about what St. Patrick's day is really all about...

Saint Patrick’s Day
According to Matthew

I said 3 little Leprechauns. Is a story to read at night. But the sun is awake. It isn’t dark. But I can tell you.

The Leprechauns ate the gingerbread boy! And a dirty sock! And puzzle pieces! Crunchy.

They look kinda like a tiger. They black and like a jumping bunny hopping.

They ate a kangaroo.

They living in a tent.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Travel diary - day 4

Another full day of activities - a morning visit to the Butterfly Conservatory (Katharine was "nervous" and Matthew screamed every time a butterfly got near him). Despite this, I got a few good pics with my right hand while holding Matt on my left hip. Lunch at a french place where the kids had yummy crepes and I had eggs benedict. A brief stroll down Duval street and we were headed back home.

Nanna and KK swam (despite the drop in temperature to a mere 70 degrees) while I unsuccessfully tried to get Matt to nap. A little more time in the studio for KK and some more beach play for everyone rounded out the day.

Tomorrow we head back home to see our much missed hubby/daddy and get back into a much needed routine.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Travel diary - day 3

Today started off with perfect weather, the winds had died down and it was sunny and clear. We took advantage of the nice weather with more swimming and some kayaking. I took each of the kids out one at a time to paddle down the channel and go "iguana hunting" (no iguanas were killed or injured on this expedition). We saw several and the kids were fascinated.

Right after our picnic lunch by the pool a storm blew in out of nowhere. This provided a great opportunity for Matt to nap and for KK to spend some more time in Nanna's studio. After a few work calls, we all headed down to Big Pine Key in the hopes of spotting some of the tiny deer that can only be found in the Keyes. We capped off that excitement (consisting mostly of mom and I spotting deer and the kids saying, "where?, where?") with some yummy pizza fron no name pub.

Sometimes its love....

Sometimes not so much...

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Travel diary - day 2

We had another action-packed day with a morning full of swimming and outdoor fun. KK and Nanna also spent some time in her studio working on some masterpieces while I attempted, unsuccessfully, to get my sweet boy to nap.

In the afternoon we headed downtown to tour the aquarium. We got to see stingrays and sharks being fed and Matt just shrieked with laughter while watching. Following this excitement, KK and Matt picked out souvenirs at a tacky tourist shop - a pink polka-dotted stingray for KK and a container of miniature sharks (perfect for clutching) for Matt. Then it was on to Mallory Square for the sunset festival and all the crazy entertainers - the catman, the dog man, the balloon twister, and spiderman. A good time was had by all.

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Beach girl

Travel diary - day 1

Well, we survived 2 plane flights which included 6 total hours of downtime in airports. It was a long day but giving them food every 20-30 minutes and lots of changes in locations helped a lot.

Today we have been enjoying all the luxuries offered at "Ficks Resort"! This included a morning of swimming followed by a naked outdoor shower (for the kids only!). Nanna showed off her banana prowess by chopping a newly ripened bunch and hanging it from her banana ripening rope (very high-tech). After lunch Matt took a much needed nap while the girls enjoyed another swim. We also took a mini-field trip down the street to see Nanna's new boat and start warming the kids up to the idea of a sail.

On tomorrow's agenda: an outing to the butterfly conservatory and sunset at Mallory Square!

Monday, March 07, 2011

The interview

Gonna take it easy in the Keyes for a few days

This is the kids in the airport. Today will be a lesson in patience, 3 hours early for flight and a 3 hour layover in Atlanta. Serenity now!