The finished project. It's hard to tell, but there is a picture of James Brown from a Simpsons episode.
One of Guillermo's assignments this month was to make a poster about an African American who has changed the world, or who has changed the student's world. Guillermo wasn't quite sure who to pick so I threw out some names: Martin Luther King (who he knows about), John Coltrane (One of papa's favorite musicians), James Brown. I didn't have to go further than that. James Brown it is.
Guillermo falls asleep nearly every night listening to a James Brown cd Will made for him. For the project, Will and Guillermo listened to a bunch of James Brown songs and then lots of music that sampled James Brown, who is, as you will see on Guillermo's poster, is not just the "Godfather of Soul" or the "Hardest Working Man in Show Business" but also the "Most Sampled Musician in History." Guillermo's job on that task was to figure out what instrument was sampling James Brown. He then featured not only James Brown on his poster, but also pictures of records that sampled James Brown.
Today was a wonderful day with friends for Maya and I and bike riding for Will and Guillermo.
Pat and I took Maya and Sophia to see the The Ugly Duckling Ballet (a story, I learned this week, that I don't think I really like). However, the ballet was beautiful. Maya loved the dancing, but more than that, she loved the costumes, especially the spring flowers and with their long ribbons, and, of course, the white, glittery swans. The show was a matinee filled with kids so it didn't matter that Maya spoke throughout much of it. She was enamored, even with the orchestra.
After the show, we walked through downtown Raleigh and had lunch and then wandered upon the Raleigh Chili festival, which featured face painting, a bouncy house and a photo booth, among other things (mainly booths of different restaurants offering up samples of their chili). Maya and Sophia picked unicorns for their face, had their pictures taken, bounced, and even picked up mardi gras beads, which they pretended were pet snakes. It really was a sweet day.
I won't write about every tooth Guillermo losses, I promise, but this one is too good. He is now missing both his front two teeth. After a weekend of twisting and turning it, Guillermo finally lost it last Sunday.
I can't remember a more fun Valentine's Day than this one.
It started days in advance because Maya was so excited for the special holiday about love. She checked her calendar every day to find out how many days were left before the big day. She and Guillermo started making their Valentine's a week in advance (Maya was still finishing her's up the morning of.)
They both had fun at their parties and when they got home, they found Valentine's presents from their grandparents: a Fancy Nancy sticker book and princess paper dolls for Maya and a Nerf gun for Guillermo. He was over the moon. "This is awesome!" he exclaimed when he opened it. "Nothing says I love you like a Nerf gun," I told him. He beamed. "You don't hear that every day."
The best part, for me, was the end of the day, when Guillermo sat patiently with Maya, helping her with her new Wii game, Dora's birthday adventure.
Will and I attended the Engineers Without Borders annual fundraising dinner last weekend. The entire night was really fun, but one of Will's former colleagues shared a story that I really loved (and so did Will's colleague).
Will's colleague, a retired UNC engineering professor, was giving a talk to students and some faculty once and, trying to start the discussion, asked Will directly "What is one thing you are certain of?"
Without even thinking, Will replied: "My daughter loves me."
I loved that. So did Will's colleague. Since Will is so trained to think scientifically, his colleague said, it meant a lot that Will's first reaction was tied to family.
Guillermo took the first of three Lego machine-building classes last night. I have not seen him so excited in a long time. Every time the teacher, who said the kids could call him coach, asked the class a question, Guillermo's arm shot up. Sometimes he had the right answer, a few times his answer was wrong and several times he had no clue, and said so. I haven't seen him in action at his regular school so I don't know if this is how he behaves there, but I sort of doubt it.
Maya and I had planned to leave the class so we could do some Valentine's Day shopping (for our special Valentine's) but right away Maya wanted to stay and Guillermo wanted us to as well so we settled in for the next 75 minutes.
The teacher taught the kids the names of many of the bricks and other Lego pieces and then asked them to build a simple machine following his instructions. They ended up building a lever and had to figure out where the spot for the fulcrum would be. His "assignment" was to build more levers before the next week. He went home and started right away. The best part: He asked me to help.