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Yesterday started off with swimming lessons for both kids, alternating with time at the library. Erika and I began at the library, where we read a book called, "Boy, Were We Wrong About Dinosaurs". Interesting book, and worthwhile for me because so much has changed in the 30 or so years since I last knew very much about dinosaurs.

Erika really impressed me at swimming. She's taking a course called "Pre-Beginner 3," which is the first class where they really learn independent swimming and work in water too deep for the kids to stand on the bottom. It was the third session, and in the previous two, they'd been working on the basic crawl. Erika was doing pretty well with it, managing to propel herself forward in a reasonably straight line more or less on the surface of the water. Then yesterday, the teacher introduced swimming on one's back. Erika took to that very well, and seemed to be having a great time. I was amazed watching her swim back and forth on her back, without any help from the teacher. At the end, Erika told me she'd enjoyed swimming because she was able to do everything. This was a far cry from five minutes before swimming started, when she told me that she didn't like anything about swim lessons and they weren't fun.

In the afternoon, we went down to the National Gallery of Art, where we looked at some impressionist paintings. Erika and I had read about Van Gogh in the Usborne Book of Famous Paintings, so we made it a special point to see a couple of his paintings, and happened upon a self-portrait of Paul Gauguin. We also looked at some Monet, Renoir, and Cassatt before the kids ran out of steam.

Continuing in the art theme, this morning John and Erika stumbled into doing some shared art. They did a series of crayon drawings of the seasons, taking turns adding elements to the pictures. Erika also drew a picture of a carnivorous dinosaur.


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August 2014

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