Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Bits and Pieces: May

This month has been busy with lots of end of the year stuff at school. Also: two cases of the stomach flu, one fever, and one trip to urgent care with a ruptured ear drum. Luckily, everyone is now on the mend.

Clare has less than two weeks left of kindergarten. She'll find out who her first grade teacher is on Friday. Next week will be filled with lots of fun year end things, including her kindergarten graduation and her birthday. This month, she had several field trips and a fun fair at school. I chaperoned one trip, to Gibbs Farm, and helped supervise other kids while my own child barely said two words and dragged herself from exhibit to exhibit. It turns out our first case of the stomach flu was about to arrive.

Christopher and I had our last day of ECFE for the year this week. He will miss his favorite teacher, Ugo, and I will miss my chance to have a break from the kids for an hour.

Christopher is once again refusing to transition to summer clothes. Luckily for him, it has been a cool spring. I am sure we will have some battles over that in the coming weeks.

Christopher cleaned out his piggy bank and used the money to buy a toy guitar. (Or ta-gar, as he says.) He loves it. He has been playing music and dancing for days on end.

Clare started soccer. Ben is her coach, which she loves. I haven't made it to a game yet because they have all been late, so I need to be home with Christopher. She'll start gymnastics soon, and will also do swimming lessons this summer. She is also participating in a few summer camps. The best thing, though, is Summer Blast, which is through the Parks and Rec department. It is FREE. She can go every afternoon from 1 to 4 and play games and do crafts. It is a drop-in program, so we'll go as our schedule allows. Many of her friends have signed up, too. I just wish I could also send Josie and Christopher.

I joined the YMCA, and they have childcare, so I am hoping to finally get into a workout routine. I have not been good about self care lately, and it is time to start thinking about that again.

We spent Memorial Day weekend at my parents' house. Ben stayed here to help his parents with their move (to a condo right across the river from us) and do some house projects. My sister and Josie came with us, which was nice for the drive. Christopher was sick (ruptured ear drum) so neither of us got much sleep. Clare had fun, though. She got to go swimming and out for ice cream, which is all she really needs in life. We came back just in time for our friends' annual Memorial Day BBQ, where I promptly drank way to much beer after dealing with a very whiny and sick kid on my own all weekend.

The next two weeks are busy, and then on to summer.

Lost another tooth!

The first lemonade stand of the season. Clare paid Christopher one quarter to help her.

I tried to take him to the Children's Museum at the Mall of America, but it is gone. We went on rides instead.

And had lunch at Rain Forest Cafe.
With his ta-gar.

Clare trying to defeat Darth Vadar at the Fun Fair.

Clare and I did the photo booth. We did not follow the directions, so some of our photos are a little wonky.


Ice cream in Evansville.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Conversations with Christopher

I am entertained almost daily by Christopher's little gems. These may not be entertaining to anyone else, but I can't resist writing them down so I remember them.

In a running monologue to Ben's co-worker:

"I lost Super Grover at Aunt Ann's. And Meema and Baba were there. Are there more dogs on the pages? I have a belly button, and you have a belly button and Clare has a belly button and Mommy has a belly button." (Proceeds to try to lift up my shirt.)


Me: Christopher, what are you eating?
Christopher: A leaf.
Me: Why are you eating a leaf?
Christopher: Because I need my dinosaur.


Me: You don't have to eat all of that if you're full.
Christopher: I will be a yellow balloon.


Christopher, out of nowhere: There are no poop stations in this town!

Later the same day: Why are there so many colors in this teeny tiny town?


Me: Do you know who you're named after?
Christopher: I am Orange Exley!


Me: I need you to come here and go potty.
Christopher: But I am a building inspector!


Christopher: Meema Jo, you have that Meema Jo laugh. It just makes me want to laugh.


Christopher: See how on this side the rabbit has an arm? It doesn't on the other side anymore.
Meema Jo: Why not?
Christopher: I broke it off.


Christopher: I need to eat food so I have energy to dust and breathe fire.


Christopher: (in a pained voice) I have a throat...

And here is Christopher pretending to be a statue, one of his favorite things to do.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Number 11 and Mother's Day

Ben and I celebrated wedding anniversary number 11 on Saturday. We have now been together for over 16 years.

That makes me feel old.

Just like the weekend we got married, Mother's Day fell on the day after our anniversary. Things were a little different 11 years later. Then: I hobbled from the St. Paul Hotel to the Liffey for a Mother's Day brunch. (I forgot my comfortable shoes and had to wear my wedding shoes. Why didn't we take a cab? Who knows.) Then we went home and opened all of our gifts. A few days later, we got on a plane to Hawaii.  Now: we made pancakes with the kids, ran errands, supervised a lemonade stand, wiped noses, cleaned up messes, drank bloody Mary's on the deck, and made dinner for Ben's parents.

We didn't have a babysitter on Saturday, so we took the kids to Green Mill for pizza to celebrate our anniversary. We went to Green Mill on our first date, but sadly the location where we ate (Uptown) has closed. I tried to tell Clare all about why Green Mill was special, but she was more interested in coloring the kid-friendly menu they gave her. It was a nice dinner, actually. The kids are finally getting to an age where it is not totally nerve wracking to take them to restaurants. (Although they still have their moments, of course.)

Things have changed, but I am sure glad I bought Ben at a date auction 16 years ago and that we have these two little goofballs to share the journey with us.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bits and Pieces: April

I have been stuck in the house for the last few days with a kid with viral pinkeye. This is coming off the other kid having pinkeye last week, the bacterial kind, which means the dreaded eye drops. It is not fun. It is beautiful today, and I am debating whether or not to take Christopher to the park. Can he spread pinkeye at the park? Probably.

My anxiety levels about the world have been up again these last few weeks, too. I still need to figure out exactly what I can do to help, other than throwing money at organizations and calling my representatives. One thing I am doing: I am a delegate for one of our mayoral candidates and will be going to the city convention in June. My candidate: Melvin Carter. My friend Heather and I went to our caucus on Sunday, not planning to be delegates, and the next thing you know we were both raising our hands to participate. Most politicians at the national level started local, so my hope is getting good people into the local offices will lead to good people in the national offices down the line.

Anyway. Let's talk about happier things. Clare had spring break at the beginning of the month. It went fine. We went to visit my parents for the last few days of break, which is something we all enjoy doing.

Easter was fun, too. We had our annual brunch/egg hunt at my friend Heather's house. It was a beautiful day. My parents came here for Easter dinner, which was nice. We also went to church at a new church, and I want to go back again. It was very laid back. The kids were thrilled with their Easter baskets. The candy supply is slowly dwindling, thanks to a lot of help from me. I can't stay away from that candy!

I had my spring girls' weekend away two weekends ago. We went to Northfield. My friend Sarah went to college there, so she had good recommendations for restaurants and shopping. We rented a house, which we didn't leave until 2 p.m. on Saturday. Then we shopped, joined the Northfield March for Science, and had a beer on an outside patio. It was a perfect weekend, complete with a viewing of "Clue." I love that movie.

Last weekend I took the kids to Art in Bloom at the MIA with my mother-in-law.  Clare was into it, Christopher was not. He and I spent a lot of time in the Cafe and kids play area. Still, it was a nice day.

Clare only has six weeks left of school, and there is a lot happening in the next few weeks. She'll find out her teacher for next year soon, too.

That reminds me - Clare climbed the rock wall at REI the day before Easter. She went all the way to the top, no problem. This is part of her plan to become an American Ninja Warrior. Many of them started out as rock climbers.

I tempted fate by putting away the winter coats. I hope spring is finally here to stay.

On one of the first nice days this spring.

A boy and his hotdogs.

Decorating eggs at the Cuckoo House.

Meeting the Easter bunny in Evansville. Clare declared that she knew this was not the real Easter Bunny because she could see a person in there. Nothing gets by this kid.

Very excited to watch the crew trimming our huge silver maple in the backyard. 

Decorating eggs at our house.

Clare riding her two wheel bike. She is quite good it at now.

Climbing the rock wall at REI. She looks so small up there.

Easter morning. Christopher took a bite of his Cadbury cream egg and exclaimed, "There's juice in here!"

Fun finding eggs.

Easter crime scene.

Planting our tiny garden with Daddy. They planted lettuce, peas, carrots and flowers.

Face paint at Art in Bloom at MIA.

She requested a Frozen theme, of course.

Christopher handed me this flower and solemnly said, "This is for you, Mommy." I melted.

I found this selfie on my phone. Yeah...