Today was payday so that's when I balance the checkbook and pay the bills. J helped me today by logging in all the transactions from the past 2 weeks, seeing if the balances match with what the bank showed, and finding where a miscalculation was in order to get the balances equal. She saw how a bill was laid out - what we owe, how they calculate that amount, account numbers, and mailing addresses (with 9-digit zip codes). She learned how to write a check, how it gets cashed, and how it comes out of our account. She asked about budgeting, saving, debt, deposits, and withdrawals. An hour of that wasn't enough for her, so I promised she can do his with me every 2 weeks. After that she took her 2 books on science experiments and wrote down the names of the ones she'd like to try - which was almost all of them. She suggested we do 2 science experiments a week. I think I can swing that. She opened MS Word to make me a list of my daily routines. She's very good with the different font styles and sizes. She used the numbering button to number the items, too. While I was cleaning up a bit, she found "The Prince and the Pauper" and read a few pages. (insert very quiet WOOHOO here as not to jinx this spontaneous book interest)
I had another doc appointment today. MIL wasn't around so I brought J and W with me. He tried to drain the swelling but not much liquid came out (eeww, gross, I know). He said it was normal but wants to keep an eye on it so I go back agin on Friday. The final pathology report is "lymph node benign follicular hyperplasia". It's not cancer so I don't care what it is. Actually it means that lymph nodes function as "filters" for any foreign body. If there is an infection, surgery, trauma etc. lymph nodes may react and become enlarged. Sometimes they stay enlarged. But it's still dangerous to ignore it because it may become malignant over time.
When we came out of the doctor's office we stopped in a $.99 store and I found some cool stuff: a yard of heavy clear plastic they cut for me (to use for a tablecloth), an Abercrombie tank top, a long-handled stainless-steel pasta strainer, and several pairs of size-4 boys underwear for $1 each). The dollar store is the best thing in the world. We wandered a couple of blocks and ended up in a cute Colombian restaurant for lunch. We sat in a very large wooden booth next to a vertically open window while music in Spanish was playing. There was a language barrier, so I left it up to the waiter to choose our lunch. He brought us a huge plate of seasoned chicken pieces and gave us each a plate of rice. He brought the kids a mango-and-milk smoothie with ice, and I asked for a Diet Coke. Perfect (and cheap!). J and W were so well behaved and we all just LOVED the food. The woman who made the smoothies came over and asked if we would like some ketchup. Ketchup?? Of course W wanted some and said the rice tasted good that way. We doggie-bagged what was left and bought a smoothie to bring to K who we picked up from school right after that.
After we picked up K we headed to the pet shop to buy another bird. The kids wanted one right away - and I guess I do too. There's a huge void that needs to be filled, and a new baby bird does tend to lessen the grief. We stared at the cages for 20 minutes searching for the right one. We chose a green and yellow parakeet who was very young and very playful. He's already incredibly tame and sat on K's belly, eating seeds off her shirt. They named him "Tyler".