Friday, March 29, 2019

Bits and Pieces: February and March

This month's post feels more curated than some, but there are things that aren't my story to tell. Anyway, most of this post involves the kids (as usual), and they are doing pretty well.

We spent much of February selling Girl Scout Cookies. It was kind of a lot, but Clare ended up selling more than her goal. She was proud of herself, and I am happy that we can support her troop. I bought more than I should have, though, and now I have been eating them. This is a problem.

Ben had a conference in Florida, which would have been really hard a few years ago. Now that the kids are 7 and 5, though, it really wasn't bad. They are getting to such good ages. (I say this, but oh my God daylight savings brought out the worst in Clare. She had so many tantrums!)

Katie and I took the kids for an overnight stay in Rochester during President's Day weekend. We tried to find a hotel with a water park, but we started looking too late. We ended up at a La Quinta, and you know what? It was much cheaper than a water park and the kids had a blast.

Speaking of kids, I am officially done watching Josie and Otto. I already miss seeing them on a regular basis. Josie sweetly told me that she is missing me. I watched her for four years. I hope we'll always have a special bond. Now it is time for me to figure out what I am going to do next. I think I am going to take next year to volunteer as much as I can at the school, exercise, freelance a bit, and decide what I want to be when I grow up. (And I feel incredibly privileged that I can do this.)

I won the Oscar party again this year, even though I failed to pick the correct Best Picture. (Green Book? Come on.) I think my friends are getting kind of annoyed that I win every year.

The kids finished their skating lessons and both passed on to the next level. They enjoy it, and I am glad they are not good enough skaters to play hockey.

March has been fairly low key, other than finishing skating and the normal activities. My parents were here for a long weekend. Ben and I went to the annual Blackhawks Soccer Club gala. The kids slept over at my sister's that night, so we also had a nice brunch out the next morning. It is always nice to get a little time to ourselves.

I took Clare to lunch at the American Girl Bistro. We had to get in one last visit  before the store closed. We had a fun lunch. They provided a box of conversation starters (not that Clare and I ever need help starting a conversation), but one of the topics was to say something you  admire about a family member. Clare said, "I admire you because you do all the cooking and are easily convinced to let us do stuff." Me: "...."

Well, I proved her right later when she convinced me to let her buy an accessory for her doll. I also went back later in the week to stock up for birthdays and Christmases. (Everything except dolls was 25 percent off. That stuff rarely goes on sale.)

Clare participated in the Pinewood Derby for Girl Scouts. Her car was super slow, but she did win a design award for "Best Bling." She was very proud of herself. I told her ahead of time that I didn't think she would win anything (especially since some of the other cars looked professionally done), but it did have a lot of glitter and she clearly did it herself, so maybe that's why she won. And she had fun, which is the important thing.

School conferences were this month. Both kids are still doing well, although Christopher acted silly throughout his entire conference, including pulling his shirt over his head and lying on the ground. I think he was embarrassed. Christopher still doesn't have a lot of friends, but he gets along with the other kids for the most part. He is right where he needs to be academically for pre-k. He had a scary issue with a kid on the bus, resulting in that kid being kicked off the bus, at least for know. He is taking it in stride, though, as he does most things.

Clare is Clare. She needs a push to challenge herself, but when she does she is fully capable. She is doing really well. I am very proud of her. She inherited her father's likes and dislikes when it comes to school. She does not like writing, and it is her weakest subject, which is kind of funny to me. She is a good speller, though, and an excellent reader. (She is very strong in math, as well.) I just love it when we all sit around reading books together. Even Christopher, who can't actually read. So yeah, school is going well.

Well, I guess I can't write an entire post without mentioning the weather. It has been a struggle. But it is spring now, so even if we get another blizzard or two (or another flood in the basement), the end is in sight, right?

Christopher and I baked a cake from Mary Berry's cookbook.

The Girl Scout and her piles of cookies.

Working on her Derby car at the St. Paul Tool Library.


Cousins stuffing their faces at La Quinta.

We also stopped at the Rochester Children's Museum. It is small, but Clare was proud of this stage she built.

Snow, and a Christmas wreath. I finally took it down a few weeks ago.

Fun at the school's Multicultural Fair.

Clare and her dolls. Samantha was mine when I was a kid. She is one of  the original dolls!

Her Pinewood Derby trophy with a Christopher photo bomb.

We had a good brunch the morning after the kids slept at my sister's. I love sleepovers!

Christopher and I have taken a few bus trips to pick up the car from the shop. He loves riding the city bus.


Snuffy's, two.

They were fascinated by this pigeon outside of the skyway window. (I think Clare was more interested in that than anything at the Children's Museum. She is sadly starting to outgrow that place.)