Thursday, August 31, 2017

Bits and Pieces: August

Another summer is coming to a close. This month has been a mixed bag, really. Lots of fun family activities, but things are falling apart here a bit. I think everyone is ready for school to start again. Clare is bored, and I am not doing a great job of finding things for her to do. We are home every afternoon for Josie's nap, and there have been lots of movies this last week. I seem to have lost all of my patience, too. I am not sure where it went. I hope I find it again soon. I have been a wreck about the news, too, which isn't helping anything. (And I still haven't kicked my habit of eating my feelings.)

So, what did we do this month? Lots. I took the kids to my parents' house for a long weekend the first weekend of August. We swam in the pool and went to the library, where I ran into a friend I haven't seen since high school. It was so fun to see her. We both agreed we would probably skip our 20 year reunion next year. As I say frequently, the kids love their time at the Cuckoo House.

We finished gymnastics this month. Christopher said he is done with it, although he ended up liking it once he got over his nerves. Clare has graduated to the next level, and will continue this fall. Clare also started piano this month. During her first lesson, she barely opened her lips. When we left, though, she was bubbling with excitement. She loves it. Her piano teacher, Mr. Wilson, is very sweet, too. Unsurprisingly, Clare is quite good at piano. There are rules, after all. And her good memory helps, too.

Clare also had a camp this month at Gibbs Farm near the St. Paul campus of the U. (It's a historical site.) One day they learned what it was like to be Dakota girls, the next was Pioneer girls, and the last day was Victorian girls. She had a great time, but the Victorian girl day seemed to be all about how Victorian girls liked to look pretty. I wasn't thrilled with that, and gave Clare a long speech about all of the other things they did. She was in camp with a girl who will be in her class next year, as well as her good friend Nora. (Both third graders. An aside: Clare always hangs out with the older kids. She gets along better with the third graders than her fellow first graders. I guess it's good that she's in a combined classroom next year.)

We took our annual family camping trip this month. We camped at Gooseberry Falls for the first time. It was great. The weather was perfect, even a little cold. Although the Falls themselves were packed, the campground was quiet. (In fact, I am going to put our site number here so I remember it for next time. 32. Will I remember to look here? Doubtful.) We brought bikes and rode from Gooseberry to Split Rock. It was only 8 miles, but I was hurting. I had Clare on the tag along, which didn't make it any easier. The ride was beautiful though, and the kids liked the lighthouse. There was a meteor shower that night, which was pretty neat to see.

My parents came to visit this month, too. We went to Square Lake in Stillwater, which is really beautiful. The beach is clean and the water is clear. We all enjoyed our time in the water. I also enjoyed having my mom here for a few days during the week. It is always nice to have another adult around. She even babysat so I could go shopping by myself one afternoon.

Last weekend was the Fair. Clare loved it, as usual. Christopher was on an emotional roller coaster, loving it one minute and hating it the next. I kind of felt the same way. We did Little Farm Hands, the Big Slide (which I had to ride with Christopher. It was kind of scary.), and rides on the Kidway.  We ate mini donuts, cheese curds (some of us - they ate them all while I was waiting for jalapeno poppers. Rude.), french fries, ice cream, cotton candy, cookies, beer, and pronto pups. Somehow we still had the energy and room to meet friends for beer at Lake Monster after the Fair.

We are finishing summer by hosting a cookout for friends on Saturday. Ben and Clare are off to the Fair again on Sunday, and we are having lunch with Ben's parents' on Monday.

Then it's back to school for one first grader. And Christopher starts preschool the following week! It will be good to start our new routine.

I couldn't resist posting this photo of the bearded lady.
We also went to Como Town one day this month when I didn't have Josie.

Ice cream at Como Town.
I found them like this one night.

At Split Rock Lighthouse.
Throwing rocks into Lake Superior was his favorite thing to do.

At Gooseberry Falls.

The little gymnast.

He enjoyed the applause.

Clare was a bit shyer about it.

We also watched the Eclipse in our backyard.

I took the kids to the Sculpture Gardens, which was kind of a bust. Clare made a sculpture of the cherry and spoon in an art class she took this month, so I thought she'd like to see the real thing. They were all mostly bored.

Little Farm Hands at the Fair.

Christopher flying high, with Baba Steve's arm in the foreground.

The bumper boats.

Clare on the swing ride.

Annual beer selfie.

On the Big Wheel. The views were cool, otherwise it was not that exciting.


Splash pad at the big zoo during the last week of summer.