Introducing the Gallery

Posted February 5, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

We’re constantly knee-deep in coloring pages and precious art projects that can’t possibly be discarded.   So, I introduce, Clara and Van’s Art Gallery –

This will be a permanent page that you can get to from the Claravanserai home page.  Look on the right, under “pages.”


Notes from Snowzilla, the aftermath Part II

Posted February 3, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

Clara went to school today for the first time since Wednesday, January 20.  We had two snow days, then a weekend, then five snow days, then a weekend, then a teacher work day.  I have never been so happy to see her sullen, perpetually late, school bus driver, as I was this morning.  We cobbled together child care on the days that the government was open, taking her to work with us one day, and sending her to the YMCA on another.  We watched a lot of movies (or rather, a few movies several times each), finished Harry Potter Year 1 and started on the second, ate too much junk food, and destroyed our house.  Now we’ve got make-up birthday parties, Girl Scout meetings, and swim classes to schedule.

With temperatures in the 50s and lots of rain, the snow is mostly gone except for lingering plow piles.  The car in front of our house still hasn’t moved, but the snow has completely melted off of it.  Both Ian and Van decided their snow boots are uncomfortable/unwearable, so I’m hoping that Punxutawney Phil is right and spring is coming so that we don’t have buy new snow boots four months before moving to a country where we’re unlikely to see much snow.


Lost Tooth! (Really lost)

Posted February 1, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

Clara lost her first tooth this weekend!  It had been loose since October, and hanging from a string for two days, and then all of the sudden it was gone.  We looked around the house but I kept picking up pieces of rock salt that were not teeth.  We finally concluded that Clara must have swallowed it when she took a bite of her breakfast crepes.  The adult tooth has been in behind it since November, so there’s no tell-tale gap, just a promise of orthodontics in our future.

Clara had me write a note for her tooth fairy pillow, and thankfully the tooth fairy was forgiving and left a shiny $1 coin.

 We’ve been reading, “Throw Your Tooth on the Roof,” about tooth traditions around the world.  The tooth fairy tradition is definitely in the minority.  The majority involve mice taking the tooth, or throwing bottom teeth on the roof and burying top teeth in the ground to encourage the new teeth to grow in straight.  There are some weird ones, too, like a Native American tradition involving putting the tooth in a piece of fat and feeding it to a dog.

Notes from Snowzilla, the aftermath

Posted January 24, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

It stopped snowing sometime after 11 PM Saturday night.  Sunday dawned bright and sunny.  The kids spent two hours playing in the snow without leaving our parking lot.  I spent two hours shoveling ditches around our car and throwing the snow onto the giant mountain in the middle of the parking lot.  It seemed futile, but the neighbors were doing the same, and the lady across the lot convinced me that if I didn’t dig my car out today it would harden into a giant shell of ice.  Meanwhile, Ian made a beer run on foot.

School is cancelled tomorrow and Tuesday.  I’m still waiting for the government to make its decision so we can make plans, but my money is on Monday closed and Tuesday either a delayed start or some sort of optional leave day.  In this area, most families have two working parents (you pretty much have to to afford living here), so there are lots of camps available for days when school is closed, and one of the camps that Clara likes has already announced they’ll open a snow day camp on Tuesday.  So things are coming together.

Snow day lunch – mini hotdogs, tater tots, and beer.  My New Year’s resolution to be healthier is seriously slipping, but there is something about snow that makes me want to fatten up and hibernate.  Hopefully two hours of shoveling counteracted some of that.

Notes from Snowzilla, Part 5

Posted January 24, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

31 hours since it started.  It is still snowing but appears to be slowing.  Clara and I made it out one more time to play in the snow — she loves plowing through the deep drifts and repeatedly jumping into the banks.  We saw a few people out and about – all of them either carrying beer or walking dogs.  One neighbor came out with an ice scraper in hand, took one look at the parking lot, and turned around and went back inside.  We shoveled our walk three times and it has an inch of snow on it again.

My money is still on Wednesday for a return to school.  


Notes from Snowzilla, Part 4

Posted January 23, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

26 hours since the first flake fell.  Visibility just dropped again, and it’s coming down hard.  We went out in the snow – I vowed to stay out longer than it took to get dressed.  It took 21 minutes to get dressed including one 5-minute time out (Clara), a fight over wearing mittens (Van), and an unsuccessful search for our toy bobsled set.  We ended up staying out nearly two hours.  Van and Ian caved first, Van because he got snow in his boots and Ian because he is the only one without snowpants and was starting to get cold and wet.

We met a neighbor with a 5-year old boy that we didn’t know well, and Clara had so much fun playing with him that we promised to knock on their door when we go out tomorrow.  I think we’re done for the day because everything is wet.

Now taking bets on when schools will reopen.  My money is on Wednesday.  I’m not sure what we’ll do if the federal government re-opens before the schools.  I took Thursday off and Ian took Friday off to stay home with Clara, but we don’t really have a back-up plan for days when schools are closed.  I can’t imagine we’d have any luck getting a babysitter but might need to try.

Nap time. Then more TV, some Spanish homework, and lasagna-making.

view from the front door, hour 26

Notes from Snowzilla, Part 3

Posted January 23, 2016 by egracon
Categories: Uncategorized

21 hours since the snow started. Photo taken from the same spot as the one last night, and the snow is still falling. This is officially the most snow I have ever seen.

The kids got up at 7:30 a.m., and Ian shortly after.  Ian reports that he made only a single batch of crepes, “to conserve.”  Thankfully we both bought bacon in pre-storm shopping runs.

The power is still on.  Accomplishments today: getting out of bed, breakfast, six episodes of “Dinosaur Train,” more iPad time than pediatricians recommend in a week.



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