Saturday, September 19, 2015

Ukulele trip plans

As of yesterday, C has $400 in practice credit, so we could go to Austin to do ukulele trying-out any day now.  But, as it happens, it's probably going to need to be sometime during the week before Thanksgiving.  I'm encouraging C to keep plugging away, as I suspect that there may be some good options in the next price range up.  For instance, I see that Martin sells their most basic concert ukulele for $479.  And who knows what may be available used...

Here's what I'm thinking:

  • she tries out ukuleles in Austin at Fiddler's Green (and maybe we should do the Austin Guitar Center, too)
  • if that doesn't work, we order in the more promising options from Guitar Center one at a time and she tries them out
  • if that doesn't work, we go to Austin again in a few months and try again (the stock should have shifted a little by then) 
I've also occasionally seen some good leads in the big city Craigslists.

So, that should keep us busy for a while.

We still have $2400 left from C's settlement (we've only spent about $100 of it).  With $700 for therapeutic riding in the fall and then $700 for therapeutic riding in the spring, that leaves $1000, which is a nice chunk of money for a ukulele.   

Of course, it may be that C actually prefers the sound of something less expensive.  We shall see...

She'll also need a new concert-sized case.  I think it ought to be a hard case for the price ranges I've been mentioning.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Fall is coming

Here's some of what's happening:


  • Fall is coming!  Our highs are just barely into the 90s now and I believe we've had some morning lows in the 60s.
  • Lots of little geckos around the house.
  • The current weekly extracurricular load is:  fencing for both kids, CCD for both kids, therapeutic riding for C and ukulele lesson for C.  D also does a lot of rock climbing at the college gym.  We're ducking heavy sports involvement at school.     
  • C has been kind of negative about the fencing but I'd like her to finish out the month.  The fencing coach is also tapering down the schedule from a weekly to a twice monthly schedule.  As we get toward the end of the month, we'll have to figure out whether both C and D or just D will do fencing in October and November.    
  • So, we're several weeks into parents' day out.  I'm not achieving miracles of productivity, but the laundry is mostly caught up, the email isn't a month behind, and I have enough spare time to get ideas and do something about them.  

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Baby T's plans

Lately, Baby T has started making plans at bedtime and before naps for what she's going to do after she gets up.  Some of them (like "watch Dora" or "watch Blue") are immediately feasible.  Some of them are less so (toy store, zoo and children's museum).  She also talks about how she's going to have "Dora dreams" when she sleeps.

Baby T has also gotten more and more interested in letters.  Her bedtime staple these days is a large alphabet puzzle with an animal for almost every letter (with some cheating for V and X).  She obviously knows the majority of the letters and she knows many pairs (for instance "o is for octopus" and "t is for tiger").

She isn't thrilled about parents' day out (and she's kind of negative about going), but once we're there, she's very content and busy.  And, very importantly, it looks like potty training is well underway at parents' day out!  I plan to gear up after her 3rd birthday.

Long time no blog

Sorry, dear readers!

Here's some of what's been happening:

  • The big kids started school (C is in 8th grade and D is in 5th).
  • Baby T went from one day a week of parents' day out to two days.
  • C has returned to riding at the therapeutic horse place.  
  • The big kids are doing fencing this month.
  • C is working on getting "I'm a Yankeee Doodle Dandy" on the ukulele.  Her teacher wants her to perform it with him at the jam night that they do for students, ideally at 230-240 beats per minute.  (That's fast!)  
  • We have an agreement under which she gets $2 credited to her new ukulele account for every 15 minute practice.  Given that she's been working under the plan for months now, she's getting very close to $400.  $400-$500 will get something nice, although the upper tier of ukuleles is $1000ish and I don't think we'll wait that long.
  • C and I are planning a field trip to Fiddler's Green in Austin.  They have what looks like an amazing range of ukuleles.
  • I had for years been thinking, what's so special about Austin, but now that C has gotten serious about music, I'm starting to understand--there are resources in Austin that I've never seen elsewhere.
  • If we can manage it, we'll try to go to Hula Hut in Austin, which is a "Mexonesian" restaurant. 
  • This is still in the thinking stages right now, but C is thinking of starting a ukulele club at school next year.  If the school OKs it, I think we could do it.  We'd probably need to buy a few extra ukuleles, though.  Probably 2 or 3 $50 plastic ones would be a good start.  (There are ukuleles available for $40 and $50 that are real musical instruments and offer a lot of value for the money.)  
  • D is continuing to do rock climbing.
  • He also is very good at cartwheels.
  • We are gearing up for Baby T's birthday in the next month.  The initial plan is a drive-thru safari trip for the family and maybe cheesecake (Baby T's favorite!) with friends at home.  Simple and fun!