It's May! Hooray! It will probably be cold and rainy again tomorrow, but most of this week was sunny and nice, so it feels like spring. I took my camera into a repair place in DC yesterday, and sat on a bench in the sun reading my book while I waited for David to come and meet me for lunch. It's nice to feel a bit sun-touched.
I thought I'd do a catch-all post for all the stuff we did in April that wasn't related to our spring break trip to Chincoteague. It's been a busy month.
Tommy got braces a while ago. We went for the Invisalign type, because I remember the discomfort of metal braces quite vividly. I'm a bleeding-heart softie when it comes to pain for my kids. Also, he spends a lot of time playing his trombone, and we didn't want the pressure of the horn mouthpiece pressing on the metal braces to discourage him from playing the music he loves. It was only an extra $500 total, and I'm already SO glad we decided to do that option. They used digital 3D imaging to map his teeth and plot the changes, and he has a new set of plastic trays for each week. The changes are very slight each week, which leads to less discomfort than the big, 6-week adjustments that traditional braces require. There are no pokey metal bits. Rubber bands hook onto the smooth plastic trays. Plus, he takes the trays out to eat and brush his teeth, so wearing them encourages good eating habits and oral hygiene. I can already see a difference in his teeth and bite.
Charlie asked me to dye his hair red. He wanted just a bit of red on the sides over his ears. We used the kind of dye that washes out after about a week, but he's had me refresh it multiple times since then. He really likes it this way!
Charlie's school science fair was earlier this month. He called his project "Common cents," in a nod to all the revolutionary war history around us. He soaked dirty pennies in a variety of solutions found around the house, and discovered that Coke Zero dissolved dirt better than anything else, even toothpaste. His conclusion was that there must be a lot of chemicals in Coke Zero. In suspiciously unrelated news, David has cut way back on his Coke Zero consumption.
Speaking of science, we all took part in the March For Science on Earth Day. It was a fun event, and is a cause we support wholeheartedly. After all, without robust government funding for scientific development and research, David wouldn't have a job. It was extremely cold and rainy that day, so we didn't stay for very long, but we were proud to add our bodies to the crowd for a little while.
I'm not sure that very many people understood the snark of my sign, although I did get a couple of grins. The conversation is one of my favorite quotes from a book by Neal Stephenson. It's set in a future dark-age where distrust of science and computing has led to a society where the only people who know higher level math are mathematician monks who do all their calculations by hand in hidden monasteries. They save the world and rise to the challenge after alien contact is made. It's wonderful that they can do so much with just a protractor and a piece of string, but I'd prefer to live in a world where science and mathematics are well funded and accepted, rather than feared!
What else did we do in April? We had a nice Easter. The boys participated in the neighborhood Easter egg hunt, and we invited our friend Jamie over for Easter dinner.
We also hosted a one-year-old birthday party for my little buddy Niels. His mother and I are friends, and we thought it would be fun to have a party for all the bus stop kids over spring break. Niels is kind of the "bus stop baby" mascot for all the big kids. He's such a cutie.
Tommy participated in the area solo & ensemble festival. He played a trombone solo that was quite difficult for him, so we were all relieved when he pulled it together and did well.
A few months ago, I got up really early one morning and snagged hard-to-get tickets for the new Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture. We spent a few hours there when our date and time came around. I didn't take a lot of photos, because it's a serious, emotional sort of place, and I wanted to be respectful. The history galleries were very well done, and I think we all learned a lot. Charlie particularly enjoyed the displays in the area that focused on musical influence.
The other big news of the month was not quite as happy as the rest. I was in a car accident last week. Nobody was injured, I was not at fault, and the damage to my car was minimal. My insurance sorted everything for me very efficiently. It was a life-changing event for the teenager in the other car, however, and I'm still thinking about her daily. She had a learner's permit instead of a licence (although it wasn't with her) and she was driving without an adult. The car was uninsured and had expired tags and out-of-state plates. Her court date is in early June, and I really hope it all works out ok for her. I also hope I don't have to go to court!
We finished up the month with a great dining experience that was completely new to us. We went out for Ethiopian food for the first time with some of our friends. It was so yummy!
That's about it! We're all a bit jealous of our NM friends who are wrapping up the school year. We still have 7 full weeks of school left! It's not really very warm yet though, so that helps a lot. It feels more like March than May!