I spent several hours last night at the local high school for the Reading Olympics, which my 9-year-old was participating in. The judge asks questions about books from a list of about 30 books. The teams huddle and appoint a spokesperson to answer the question. My son had been told the requirement was to read five of the books, and so that is what he did. His team did OK, though it was clear there was very light coverage on a few of the books from the list (which of course seemed to be the titles that came up all the time). Afterward, we discussed the evening, and my son informed me that he wanted to do Reading Olympics again, but he thought it would be good to read more than 5 books, and maybe re-read some of the books he read, so he'd remember what happened. He also told me that the kids who read a lot of books did so on their Kindles, rather than waiting to get them from the library, so next time he could do that. I enjoy parenting moments like this, when a kid figures out what you would have told him, but you don't have to tell him. Hopefully, the fact that it was his idea will encourage him to pursue all these strategies next year.
I went to my daughter's parent-teacher conference yesterday. I learned that she had asked to sew this doll (see top photo). They'd all done some practice stitching on burlap as a class, but she wanted to pursue an additional project. The doll has red hair, and is named after an extended family member with bright red hair. I admire her initiative on this, though it is not universal. Yesterday, during a playdate, she and her friend opened a Lego Frozen set, then quickly requested help. I will admit that I took 30 minutes and put together this scene of the sleigh and trading post.
On the work front, I am close to having a workable survey that will then be incorporated into my next book. I haven't quite decided when I will open the survey yet. People fill out a time diary about the previous day, and so I need to have it open on a Tuesday-Saturday (or until I get sufficient data). I also ask questions about time perception. I hope, if you're reading this, you'll consider taking it. The two requirements are that you be working for pay at least 30 hours/week, and have children under age 18 at home. Since I know my readers are disproportionately female, I also hope people will forward the survey link to a few working dads in their lives. I'll post an announcement here as soon as it's up. As an incentive, I'll make a small charitable donation for each completed survey, and on the last page, you'll be able to pick one of three charities.
On the tracking front, I am back to weighing myself daily. In late February, I stepped on the scale and it was a number that I hadn't seen since I was in the post-birth weight loss phase with my last kid. I guess I wasn't really surprised, I'd been eating a lot of junk, and running daily doesn't really negate that, much as I wish it did. So, I watched everything carefully and got it back down roughly to where I wanted, but then it's easy to start making exceptions again. This is always a work in progress.
This weekend there's a preschool fundraising gala and my 9-year-old's karate "graduation" in which he gets his yellow belt. The temperature should hit 70 degrees tomorrow, which may finally get rid of the last of the snow. I hope to run outside, read, and maybe get caught up on some work too.