Friday, November 27, 2015

So far, so good.

We've made it through week one of Kate's electronic fast. On the whole it's been going quite well--at the beginning she did have a few moments of "I don't think I'm going to make it!" I figured weekends would be hard, but that first after-school afternoon was pretty rough. We've gotten through it together. She and I have been spending a lot of time together, and she's come up with some fun things to do on her own. And our neighbor Tavah has been coming over to play a lot, which helps. So far I'm hopeful that her behavior is a little better. (We had an upset over Thanksgiving that was probably brought on by low blood sugar.) We'll have to wait a little longer to see if it helps with her school performance.

I feel like I've been making better use of my own computer time. I edited some photos that I took for a friend, worked on these last couple of blog posts, and created a vector design and sent it to Ponoko for laser cutting. I've always been highly distractable, so this is good for me too.  (Hooray for productivity!)

We avoided the Black Friday crowds (I found a couple of things online to spend some money on), and then in the afternoon I took Kate and Tavah down to Chambers Bay to watch the sunset. It turned out to be a nice day for it, which was great since we've had so much rain and wind lately. We haven't been getting out much. It was still chilly, but calm and clear.

Kate looks very stern in all her photos. I think she was being Serious Warrior Cat.

The sun dipped behind the horizon at 4:20. Three more weeks till the winter solstice!

Kate found a few dragon eggs (oval-shaped rocks) that she wanted to bring home, but nobody wanted to carry them (they were cold), so Tavah suggested they should find good nests for them there. Kate was up for that. It's nice to have someone else around for important duties like dragon egg tending.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving and the Sculpey Sweet Shoppe

Kate spent a large part of the day making Sculpey creations for her Littlest Pet Shop figures.  (Those are milkshakes with pink straws.)

We made Indian food this year.  Doug wanted to try making our own naan.  It was pretty good but not quite right.  We'll have to try again sometime. 

I've developed low expectations about Thanksgiving.  Years ago people used to invite us over, but that hasn't happened for a while.  I suppose one of these years we'll have to invite someone over ourselves.  Someone else with low expectations. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Painted Marshmallow Creatures

In preparation for Kate's three-week electronic fast, I came up with some projects for us to do together.  This one came from a combination of two things--toothpick-and-marshmallow creations at Cub Scout day camp, and an idea from Color Me Katie.  Marshmallows, toothpicks, food coloring, and brand-new clean paintbrushes.

It can be hard to get a good thin line. The brushes soak up a lot of food coloring, and release it rather blotchily. Takes some practice.

My collection of creatures.

Kate's creations.

It's a fun activity (slightly messy). Kate did eat a couple of the marshmallows--the intense concentration of food coloring makes for some exciting mouth-staining.

Friday, November 20, 2015

The three-week electronic fast

Kate's been having trouble focusing and functioning in school, and trouble handling her frustration.  She's also prone to anxiety and some OCD-like behaviors, and often feels like no one understands her.  When a friend mentioned this book, Reset Your Child's Brain, by Dr. Victoria L. Dunckley, I thought it was worth checking out.  I still haven't finished the book (it's rather long) but I was completely convinced by the first chapter.  She recommends a three-week period of no electronics at all, to reduce attention, behavior, and other problems.   I talked to Kate about it and we're giving it a go.  The fact that she was willing  indicates that she knows something needs to change.  I hope it helps.  Fifth grade has been hard on her and on us.