SS - congratulations on the move; you sound really excited.
Today was jam packed and utterly mad. This morning I did some cleaning and laundry and read a couple chapters of The Mouse and the Motorcycle to dd(3) while ds(8) tried to beat Luigi's Mansion. Then we all plopped down on the rug to do some activities from a Big Backyard magazine. Lego projects for a bit until the kids got restless. We all played hide and seek, but ds and I took turns one-upping each other using skip-counting when it was our turn to count. So dd would count to ten, but ds or I might count to thirty by 3s or whatever. Then I sent the kids outside to explore while I got some cleanup done. Ds roamed the woods next to the house while dd picked flowers and collected stones. And some neighborhood kids came by because they're on spring break this week. DS helped his friend figure out how to play a video game while her little brother played legos, and after a bit, their dad stopped in to see if I could keep an eye on them while he went to run some errands. DS read aloud with my help from a book he's been trying to get through for a while now, tried to finish a metal model of a dinosaur even though he'd lost the instructions, worked a bit on a robot kit, made some label cards with Chinese vocab words for stuff around the house, all while the neighbor kids were hanging out, sometimes participating, sometimes on their own adventures or projects. It was nice to have them around to spark new conversations, get new ideas into the mix. The girl was really interested in how school worked for us, how ds learns grammar, why we don't work from textbooks or take tests, how our projects translate to learning, all that. Her little brother had a million questions, like how skin grows back when it peels or you get a cut or how people in other countries learn to speak their own language so well. I got out games, played with play-dough, lent a hand when needed, made lunches and snacks, vacuumed messes, read, and talked and laughed and generally had an awesome time. At 4, ds went to his kung fu class, and his friend lamented not being able to go along. After a bit the neighbor kids' dad came home, and they ran off and played, and dd and I got busy in the kitchen making fried rice and broccoli with garlic sauce. She ate on the back porch and chased an umbrella all over the yard as the wind kept blowing it inside out and carrying it all over the place, giggling like crazy the whole time. Ds came home and shoveled down a plateful of food so I could take him to a friend's to spend the night. I ran a couple of errands and came home to give dd a bath, and another chapter of Mouse and the Motorcycle, and an extended hair brushing while we sang songs because she says it makes her feel like Rapunzel, like she's magic. And now I am too wired to even sleep, so I will tidy and read, poke around until I can doze off. Tomorrow's mission is yardwork.