Saturday, April 5, 2014

Chess match: Maggie vs. Huxley

Friday, I arrive at Maggie's after-school care to be greeted by the usual disappointed "Aww (it's time to go already?)." This time she is in the middle of a chess game. We aren't in a hurry so I pull up a tiny chair to watch the future grandmasters.

It's clear that Huxley is much more experienced, reciting the finer points of pawn movement and promotion. The game draws several "experts." They spout out "one move to check!" and speak of fair trades and how many points they each had. Chess has points?!?


After a while I have flashbacks of the last time I played chess, as Huxley picks off Maggie's pieces with ease.
It was our honeymoon in Fiji. Brian was really, really into chess, but to coerce make it fair for his new bride, he would play without a rook or bishop and knight, or sometimes even his queen. In that fateful last game, I was ahead and felt like I had a shot at winning for the first time ever. Then, slowly, my pieces began to disappear and I was unable to help them. After the game, I marched to the bathroom and screamed at the top of my lungs. The soap in the shower was not spared my high-velocity wrath. Brian, my dear, sweet husband (except for his chess brutalities), fresh from our fairytale wedding, was mortified. We decided not to play chess any more.  
Seeing that same fate (okay, maybe not quite as bad) awaiting my daughter, I decide to step in and "help." I advise her to move her bishop to a spot. She trusts my advice and I say "Check." Both kids look at me strangely, incredulously. "That's not check." Still confident, I try to show them how it was indeed check. "You can only check the *king*." The piece I advised my daughter to "check" was his queen. Oops. Maggie's bishop is gone and I decide to keep my mouth shut.

Pretty soon, Huxley's dad arrives. Thankfully, he is willing to indulge their game and able to give knowledgable advice to both kids.

Maggie manages to survive and whittles Huxley down to his king and a few pawns. The two six-year-olds play a game of chase around the board. Huxley manages to take Maggie's last pawn in the process. At that point, Huxley's Dad informs them that once a player is down to one piece, the other player has 15 moves to checkmate or the game ends in a stalemate. Is that even a thing or is he just trying to end the game? 

Stalemate it is. As we walk to the car, Maggie is bashful. She wishes she could have won, has admiration for how good Huxley is, but proud of how many pieces she captured--a much better response to her game than her Mom's soap throwing.


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Let It Go!

I'm sure this is not a unique scene right now. But, I can't help but share a Kaleia version.

video


Monday, October 21, 2013

October 21


October 21st I get a call no one ever wants to receive. My sister tells me my Dad is gone.

Since October 21st, I keep coming back to this picture. It is my last one with him.

July 12th, my dad, responding to my recent comment that my parents always seem so busy when I visit, took my mom and me to one of his favorite places, a waterfall not far from their new dream home. Dad was so at peace there, said it felt heavenly. We talked about what a perfect camping initiation spot it could be for the girls, close enough to the house to come back if needed, but far enough away from it all. We wondered how many other places like it were waiting to be discovered nearby and how we might find them.

But we ran out of time. You left so quickly and so soon.

There are so many places left to explore together.

Recipes to cook.

Books to share.

Discussions to have.

Questions to ask.

Memories to create.


I miss you, Dad.

Monday, July 1, 2013

Go, Canada, Go!

Happy Canada Day 2013!

Want to see how much the girls have grown? Check our Canada Day posts from years past!
*2011 is missing because that month was insane!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Lost Tooth

***Warning*** This post contains content that may not be suitable for young eyes. The potentially harmful material has been blacked out. Mature audiences can highlight the text to read the whole story.

At the splash park on a warm summer day, Maggie is walking around, looking concerned, fingers in her mouth.

"Is something wrong, Maggie?"

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Ambitions to be Rapunzel Chopped!

For about a year, Maggie has been growing her hair out. She wanted it to be long like Rapunzel's, or flowing like a mermaid when in the bath. So I was quite surprised this week when she said, "Remember that time in China that I cut my hair short and surprised everyone at school? I want to do that again!" After waiting it out for a few days to be sure, I pulled out my scissors and re-watched youtube videos on cutting little girls hair and went for it. 

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Geome-Try This on for Size...

Today, Kaleia discovered that two triangles can be put together to stand in for square tiles when you run out. 
Discovering Two Triangles Make a Square

She also methodically tried various angled shapes until she found just the right ones to complete this interesting design. 
Kaleia and Her Megnatile Tower

Her Geometry teacher Mama is proud!