self-portraits, taken January 8th, 2006
So last night I taught Aurora how to play a pretty complicated board game, Arkham Horror, the version re-released just last year (which I got as a holiday gift when it finally came back into print, yay!), but she really loved the 'role-playing- character choosing' aspect of it, and got the idea and stages of the 'monster hunt' that it entails, and the gathering of more skills & spells & equipment in the process of defeating the game & we played that until her bedtime. I finished up the game we started with our two characters, & to defeat the monsters took less then 2 hours, which is much better then the game played with angelo and epidemic99 which took a little under 5 hours (including all of us learning the gameplay & rules for the first time).
I credit the knowledge of the game-rules, the familiarity with the game board, structure & event-types, and the lack of general debates about what to do next *grin*, to this huge time-saving on the game-length. In Aurora & I's game, we managed to permanently seal 4 gates w/an elder symbol and close all the open gates and kill all the monsters to win - with angelo&epidemic99 we won by sealing 6 gates permanently with elder symbols before the 'doom track' expired releasing 'the ancient one' - which in this case is this mega-monster. I liked the game, angelo seemed less impressed then he was with "World of Warcraft" which I haven't played yet.. but I think I would like it, as well, from the reviews I heard on NPR & the general game-type.
Aurora also went back to school this week after a later-then-usual winter-break, due to a new schedule in her school system, and she was happy to get back into the kid-filled environment and she happily reviewed her math, reading & writing over the winter break, so she's shown a good improvement each week, and I'm quite impressed with her adaptability & quick learning. She's also a quick one with a snowball, so, you've been warned! *grin* She likes to throw a spattering of Spanish into the conversation when she thinks of it, and keeps asking me when she's going to get to take Chinese lessons (she idolizes their cool symbol writing, as she describes it). She also is interested in taking martial arts, and there's a dojo a block from our house, and the discipline and exercise of that idea appeals to me. It also promotes balance, focus, flexibility & agility, so I quite like the idea if we can manage it. We'll see... I'm also pondering swimming lessons for her, as I consider that a vital & necessary skill at her age. She's eager to study new things, so: no time like the present!
Athena meanwhile has taken to books & looking at the pictures, attempting more & more words each day, running around the house, opening cupboards & trying to get into everything she can reach, and playing all the games her big sister likes (fort-building, horsie riding, blanket monster, dress-up, dolls &/or action figures, movie-watching, et all) She's taken to wearing her baby toy rings like giant baubles & bracelets on her arms and she likes to try to dress herself, but mainly that involves putting whatever clothing she likes on top of her head, at this point *smile* It's def. a good effort though, and she Loves the softest fabrics... velvet, soft fleeces, and plush toys often getting a greeting of a snuggly hug when she first gets them out.
Both the kids have been adapting to the increased vegetables and salads in our diet/meal-planning: yay. And they've both taken to helping me bake on the weekends & clean or play games... it seems like whatever I get out, they're happy to be behind me grabbing a duplicate for themselves & imitating my methods - if I get a clothe to clean the floor, they get a clothe & clean the floor - if I get a pan & a book to bake with, they grab dishes, and kitchen towels, pans or a book to bake with, too! I guess I'm a role-model, quite literally. But it's fun. Speaking of which, I guess it's time to take down our Halloween Pirate Flag & Christmas lights... hmm hmm.