Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Random Bits and Pieces: July

July was a busy month for our little family. This week, for example, we are busy watching the Olympics. I love the Olympics, and watch them obsessively. I watch everything, not just the marquee sports like gymnastics and swimming. (Although I love those, too.) Yesterday I watched table tennis. It was insane! You should watch it sometime.

Anyway, we’ve done other things besides sit in front of the TV. I had a root canal last Friday! That was fun. I injured a tooth in my fall last month, and it died. Sad day.

We’ve also taken a few little trips, including one Ben’s uncle’s cabin north of Hinckley, Minnesota. Clare helped assemble the tent.

We didn't sleep in this tent, though. We got lucky and got a room inside. Clare got to meet some of her second cousins, including 2-year-old Maclin, who Clare just adored. Maclin wouldn’t give Clare the time of day, though. She just saw her as another annoying baby to take the attention away from her, much like her new little brother, Brody. Get used to it, Clare. Sometimes the cool older girls just aren’t going to like you.

The best part of this trip was taking the pontoon out to the middle of the lake, anchoring it, and  floating in the water with two cans of PBR. (That’s Pabst Blue Ribbon for the uninitiated.) Don’t worry, Clare was in the boat with her grandmother.

Clare samples her first sweet corn.


Last week, Clare and I met my friend Meghann and her children at the pool. It was great! The pool is the only place to be on these hot days. It reminded me of when I was kid, swimming and then having a picnic lunch wrapped in our towels, still wearing our wet swimming suits. Except now I am the mom. It actually made me really excited to experience all of those childhood memories again through Clare’s eyes. (I am not looking forward to experiencing Middle School again. I will be very sympathetic during that time, and will then go pour myself a large glass of wine because I can.)

Later, we went to the library. Clare loved running around and playing in the igloo made of milk cartons. At one point, she was running down an aisle of books and another little boy (who was older and bigger than Clare) was coming from the other direction. They were headed right for each other, and I kept waiting for one of them to veer off course so they wouldn’t collide. Instead, Clare stuck out both arms and shoved the boy to the ground. She later stiff-armed me out of the way when I tried to pick her up. I think she is ready to play Special Teams in the NFL.


A few days ago, Clare’s daycare teacher was very complimentary of her helpful attitude with the other babies in her class, saying she is going to be a great big sister someday. That night, I was sitting on the floor, with one of Clare’s dolls in my lap while she played nearby. Clare took one look at that doll, stomped over, grabbed it out of my lap, and flung it across the room. The she settled into my lap herself.

Ben: “Yeah, she is going to be a great big sister.”



Clare usually does okay in the car, but showed her persistence on a recent trip to my grandma’s house in Oostburg. She screamed for an entire hour straight. Nothing was wrong with her. She was offered water, milk, and toys. She just did not want to be in her car seat. As soon as we stopped, she turned off the tears and was smiling and running around like nothing had ever happened.

At least she was pleasant around her great-grandmother.
I decided not to take any chances on our trip to Minneapolis this past weekend.

Zoned out with Cookie Monster.
Before I had kids, I always said I would never let my kids watch TV in the car. That, like so many other things, has gone out the window when faced with the reality of a screaming child. It also helped that I was in the backseat with her. I think she just gets bored when she is back there by herself. We drove up Saturday and back Sunday, and Clare did pretty well. She had a great time at her Uncle Andrew’s graduation party and friend Alice’s birthday party. Mom had a good time seeing friends and family, and Clare got to see all four of her grandparents. I think her mind was pretty much blown by all the attention she received in one weekend. Maybe that’s why she sobbed hysterically when I dropped her off at daycare this morning. She knew it was back to business as usual. Sorry kid. None of us like Mondays.

Clare with her BFF Alice and Alice's Mom.


  1. Maybe our kids can just do Middle School through the Internet? I'm not looking forward to those days either, and it'll be a bit easier with a boy.

    Sounds like a great month!

  2. Oh, how you make me smile, Em. Your observations are so ... YOU! I love this blog. Reading these posts make me miss you (and Ben, and Clare)!! It's such a great way to keep in touch with what's going on in your life.
    Isn't it crazy to think that our kids will be middle schoolers some day? I'm sure Clare will be loved by everyone (even the mean girls). And on the bright side, at least you won't have to worry about having a prepubescent BOY in your house. A boy with stinky feet and weird barely-there facial hair and gawky, skinny limbs sticking out of too-big clothes. Ah! I just thought of something else! What if I find a Playboy magazine?!? I don't even want to imagine it.

  3. How is your mouth feeling?

  4. Yuck, middle school. I'm sorry you had to have a root canal. Was that on par with, but not as longlasting as, middle school? Kind of how I imagine them. I do love your observations too. I laugh out loud at lots of your comments because I can hear your voice and your giggle as if you and I were talking in my living room.