Monday, May 25, 2015

Haircuts and Cookouts

I finally gave in. Christopher got a haircut. He didn't love it.

I felt the same way when I saw all of his lovely curls fall to the floor. Honestly, though, I think he will feel much cooler this summer without that long hair sticking to the back of his neck. And I can always let his hair grow out until the curls come back.

Aside from the hair-related trauma, it was a lovely long weekend, despite the rain. Even though I am a stay-at-home mom, I look forward to long weekends. Having Ben here one extra day is so nice, and it means a break from caring for my niece. (I adore my niece, but I'd be lying if I said having three kids here isn't challenging at times.)

We had cookouts all three nights, two with family and one with friends. I had several gin and tonics. And a bloody Mary. We took the kids on a bike ride to the lock and dam on the Mississippi River. I went to Target by myself.

We tried to go the Aquarium at MOA on Sunday. What was I thinking? The place was packed. Clare and I did go down the log chute ride, though. Have you ever been on that? She begged and begged. I had her watch it to make sure she really wanted to do it. She did. Well, I'd never been on the ride before, and had no idea it is filled with huge, creepy, animatronic characters. So of course she was scared out of her mind. I don't think she minded the actual ride, but those statues did her in. Poor girl. After we got off the ride, she told me she'd wait until she was 10 to try it again. Then she collapsed into the stroller.

This week is Clare's last week of preschool. I am both happy about and dreading this schedule change. It will be nice not to have to rush off in the morning, but it also means no break. Clare is doing two camps this summer, though, so she'll have a little time with her preschool friends then.

I am looking forward to lots of park time, though. Even if it means holding Christopher down to put sunscreen on him, especially now that the back of his neck is bare.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Number Nine

Just a quick post to note that today is Ben and my 9th wedding anniversary. We are celebrating by doing...nothing. I might use the day as an excuse to have a glass of wine tonight, though.

One of the challenges we've faced lately is the division of labor on the weekends. I tend to dump the kids on Ben on Saturdays and Sundays, because I badly need a break. I get frustrated when Ben has other plans, which to be fair usually involve yard work or other house projects. I know these things have to be done, too, and it is impossible for me to mow the lawn or do much other yard work during the day, especially now that I have Josie.  This situation has sparked more than one argument.

Usually, though, we manage to get everything done (or decide to ignore it), and have some family time. Ben really is a great partner when it comes to the daily grind. He does the dishes. He puts Clare to bed. He gives the kids their baths.  He gets up with the kids on Sundays so I can sleep in. And, he NEVER complains when I tell him I have plans with friends or my sister. (Not that I have plans all that often. I am boring.) And, most importantly, he is a great dad. The kids shriek with joy when he comes home.

He doesn't read this blog, but I'll say it anyway. Thanks for everything, Ben.

Monday, May 4, 2015

19 Months

I went on a kid-free trip last weekend with some friends. We rented a cabin on a lake in Hayward, Wisconsin. The weather was beautiful and we stayed in our pajamas drinking coffee until noon each morning. We also drank a lot of beer. We were in Wisconsin, after all. It was a wonderful and much needed break. Everything went really well here, too. Oh, except for this:

That's eight stitches. As Ben put it, he tried to "break the stair with his chin." Ben raced him to urgent care (with a crabby Clare in tow), only to arrive two minutes after they closed. He ended up in the Emergency Room at Children's in St. Paul. After taking care of a screaming Christopher and buying some french fries at McDonald's for a hungry Clare, he finally got the kids to bed at midnight. Christopher has had more scrapes, cuts, and bruises in his 19 months than Clare has had in her almost 4 years. He just plays rougher. He throws his little body around with abandon.

He is obsessed with cars. If we're in the front yard, he'll stop whatever he's doing to watch cars drive by. We were at the wolf exhibit at the Como Zoo a few weeks ago, which is situated near the parking lot, and Christopher was thrilled. He was completely uninterested in the wolves. There were SO MANY cars there. What more could a little boy want?

Christopher always wants to eats pickles. He keeps forgetting that he hates them. He does love coffee, however. Since I drink decaf, I let him indulge in a few sips.

Ben keeps threatening to cut his hair. It hasn't happened yet, but I think I am going to lose that battle soon. He will get pretty sweaty this summer, and his hair will be glued to his neck. It will be a sad day for me, though. I just love that hair.

He follows multi-step instructions, including throwing things in the garbage, something he just loves to do. He added the word "cookie" to his vocabulary today, and has started nodding his head "yes" when he wants to do something. Usually that is either eating or going outside, his two favorite activities. He is attached to his blanket. Luckily I have two that are basically the same.

He is a screen junkie. He knows how to operate the PBS Kids app on my phone. A few days ago he was reading the "Cat in the Hat" book. He kept trying to swipe it, while shouting, "Go! Go! Go!" (For those who don't know, the theme song to the "Cat in the Hat" cartoon features those words.)

Christopher is still my sweet boy, but he has attitude to spare. I was worried about leaving him last weekend, but he made it very easy. He was VERY happy to see me when I got back, though. I will never say no to one of his huge hugs.

As for Miss Clare,  I had to share this funny little gem from her. We were playing catch the other day, and she asked if I was ready for the ball. "Yes," I said. "Are you born to be ready?" She asked. Yes Clare, yes I am.

And now, a video of Clare and Christopher being silly gooses.

For awhile I thought this was going to have to lead off this post. He came around.


He is SO uncomfortable with Baba Ralph.

At the park.

Hard at work at Baba Steve's office.

Ready to walk to the Groveland Tap. Yes, Clare's baby is riding in her shirt.