Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Bits and Pieces: November

We had a lovely Thanksgiving this year, although it was tinged with sadness for several reasons. We went to my parents' house and were joined by my sister and her family and extended family from around the country: my Aunt Debbie (Bloomington, IL), my cousin and her husband (Cedar Rapids) my Uncle John and Aunt Conchita (Memphis), my cousin Alyssa, her husband and cutie-pie daughter Lily (New York City) and my cousin Grace (Chicago). Clare loves Grace, and followed her around the entire weekend. Grace was so sweet to her, willingly playing games and braiding her hair.

We ate a lot and drank a lot and laughed a lot. There were also tears, especially during my Uncle John's Thanksgiving toast. We have all lost important people this year. We also visited my Grandma in the hospital the day after Thanksgiving. Unfortunately, she is quite ill. She is so funny, though. She said she just wanted to beat her mom and make it to 91. Well, she did it. Her 91st birthday was Monday.

I also got to have lunch with my friend Christina and meet her adorable, smiley baby Owen. I wish I could see more of both of them!

Other than Thanksgiving, November was fairly low-key. We had a few birthday celebrations (Katie, Otto and Clare's best friend Natalie), a trip to the Science Museum for Girl Scouts and a few days off school for the kids.

We had conferences this month. Clare is doing well, as usual. She is above grade level in every subject. She does have a few issues with scolding other kids when they are doing something wrong and "helping" her friend figure out her math. (Yeah, she's basically doing it for her. Insert eyeroll emoji here.) Her teacher has plans to really push her out of her comfort zone with math, and I am happy she is being challenged.

Christopher is also doing well. I had no idea what to expect, because I hardly ever hear from his teacher. She said it took awhile for Christopher to understand that group time was not the time to tell jokes in an attempt to make the entire class laugh. This was not a surprise. He is still working on writing his name, but knows his letters and numbers. He is also making friends at school and on the bus.

Speaking of comedy, Christopher has had a few gems lately. The other day he announced: "I am going to name my baby Elf. I hope the mother is okay with it." He was so happy and proud when this statement got a huge laugh from Ben. He whispered in my ear, "I made Daddy laugh, Mommy!"

Here's another, from yesterday morning. "Mommy, why are you wearing that shirt? It doesn't look  very good on you. But your pants are fine."

At ECFE, we were singing the Daddy Finger song, and Christopher got upset when the teacher sang it in a different order from the one he knows. "No, THIS is brother finger!" he shouted, while waving his middle finger at everyone in the room.

And now it's on to Christmas. Already. Somehow.

She earned her first Girl Scout badge at the Science Museum!

Her precious Doggy was missing for two weeks, before I found him in Christopher's room. She was so happy to have him back.

This dapper dude.

Each year at Thanksgiving we throw my mom's decorative gourds into the woods. The kids love it.

Ben was into it too. And was protected from hunters.

Clare and Grace. Her second cousin? First cousin once removed? It's easier just to say cousin.

Helping Meema Jo with her tree. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Family Pictures, etc.

So. How is everyone feeling today? I am feeling cautiously happy. Obviously, I am thrilled with the results here in Minnesota. And also: goodbye, Scott Walker. You will not be missed.

It wasn't quite the blue wave that everyone had hoped for, but the Democrats taking over the House is a big deal. We desperately need that check on He Who Shall Not Be Named.

Anyway. We got family pictures taken earlier this month. Actually, it's just pictures of the kids because I was busy drinking wine at Chelsea's cabin during the photo session. I love having professional photos of the kids.  I am sure one or two of these will appear on our Christmas card.