Friday, October 17, 2014

Como Goodbye

This was a while back but we went to Minneapolis for one last goodbye with Uncle Ryan and Aunt Grace. We spent one day at the Mall of America (our best pics are already on facebook) and another at the Como Zoo. It was a whirlwind of excitement for the kids.

These are the lily pads outside. I swear they are real and about three feet across. The kids wanted to jump on them like frogs.
 Ryan and Grace. Hahaha! Sorry Grace, I meant Ryan and a statue of a gorilla.
 The wonder.
 The zoo also has an amazing indoor botanical garden. I think I have a picture of me and the kids on this fountain from a couple of years back.
 Not ready for goodbye.
 And the best part was we got to ride the carousel!
It was a lovely visit, bittersweet and unexpected as I didn't think we'd ever go back to their place after Ryan went to basic. I remember very clearly thinking at one point while living in Old Town that I really didn't appreciate enough that we lived about 3 minutes away from my brother, and less than 10 away from Eric's sister. I knew it was a time in my life that wouldn't last. Now I'm lamenting Ryan and Grace not being about 200 miles away. And so it goes.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Soccer Team

Go blue! Lucy's playing 1/2 soccer this year. The season is about 8 weeks and does include games, though no official score is kept. The coach told the kids it wasn't important about 10 times during the game. Roughly half the number of times he had to tell Lucy to stand up.

She's blue team in the center, teal shorts and white socks.
 Run more! (Unfortunately at this time she's on defense, so her coach is calling to get back to the box or wherever she's supposed to be standing.)
 Ready to defend in the stance.
Overall it went well! She's been super excited to start playing soccer but I think soccer in theory was better than soccer in practice. She's not thrilled with the standing, the running, or the kicking really. She even subbed herself out at one point because she needed a break. Game one success!

And Jamie spent most of his time being tickled.

Monday, September 8, 2014


Lucy started her first of the number grades ... and it has come with a huge set of expectations for quiet, individual work time. She's not sobbing every night any more, which is great.

Big girl! She drew the medal on her page because (obviously) she would be so great at 1st grade someone will award her a medal.
At school with Mrs. O'Reilly and entering with her class. I didn't even get a wave this year!

But that's not all our news - Jamie started school this year too. Hooray for preschool! He's at Small Wonders with Miss Karla just like Lucy was for two years and are we happy to be back!
 This is love. Or something.
 Hello again Miss Karla!
 Jamie's backpack hook and monkey backpack.
 And another child who didn't even look up when I said goodbye.

And did you want a picture of me walking in on my first day too? Sorry, but this is my board!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Grandma and Grandpa's

As always, the kids had a fabulous time with the loves of their lives ... Grandma and Grandpa. As soon as we arrived Lucy took this super selfie with Grandma, also recording a video where she said she and Grandma "are best friends, but not best matters." What does that mean? Who knows.
 Grandpa uses tools. Jamie's hooked.
 And a motorcycle? Icing on the cake.
 Especially when Grandpa will take them for rides on the motorcycle around the neighborhood.
Grandma goes to the park,
 And has things like sparklers.
 If you hang around long enough something exciting will happen, like a tree breaking and falling. Spectator sport at Grandma and Grandpa's house includes the tree-pull with Grandma's new Kia.
 And there's almost always a birthday cake, whether it's really your birthday or not.
 And you might even get a surprise bedtime story at the end of it all.
 The only bad thing about Grandma and Grandpa's house is the view on the way home. And that it's a long, long way home.
Sure do wish I had a picture of Jamie on Grandpa's batmobile.

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Shorty's Controversy

Ahh, Shorty. The Dog Who Lived.
Approaching 16 and totally gross, covered in warts and tumors, terrible gas and a constant nose whine, we couldn't love her more. Well, maybe we could, but only if she acted more like a dog and less like furniture. And didn't stink so bad. And was less annoying and needy. One of Lucy's friends summed it up once when she asked me "Why doesn't Shorty do things normal dogs do?" This comment rivals the time the air conditioner repair man was in and out of our house for three hours and Shorty didn't budge from the couch. On his way out he stopped and asked "Is that dog ok?"

A couple months ago when I thought the end was imminent (for the 956th time) I posted on our community swap facebook page asking for a piece of cheap or free carpet to make it easier for her to walk through the garage. We have no direct backyard access so she must cross the sometimes slippery concrete floor, and was starting to fall. Though I had in mind exactly the need for carpet, many thought the worst of me as a dog owner, resulting in a comments-long thread about what a terrible person I am.
I defended my honor as well as that of the dog. She is spoiled, pampered, and well cared for, not what many assumed when I asked for the carpet.

Then a couple weeks ago again, Shorty made a ruckus on the community swap facebook page when she escaped from our yard (this is an exaggeration - I forgot to close the gate and she wandered away in about an hour) and made it exactly two houses down the road, only to be picked up by a neighbor that I know, and passed along to Animal Control.

The irony of the trip to Animal Control is that Shorty very much used to be an escape artist. She'd bolt out the door and I would chase her around downtown Orono for hours. I guess now that she can no longer move she's easier to trap. While I do appreciate others looking out for the welfare of my decrepit dog on one of the town's busiest roads, again she assumed the worst. Again, a comments-long thread about the fate of this poor dog and its terrible owner.
Please do note that you can, in fact, see my house and car from the picture that Rachel took of Shorty, the desperately injured and dumped dog. Also note that there were several people who offered to help pay for medical bills. Since I just dropped $127 on a month's worth of prescription medication for her, I might be sending some messages. She's always been one to stir the pot but Shorty's really putting it all out there in her golden years. Wheee!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Zoo Field Trip

This is the kindergarten field trip to the zoo as illustrated by Lucy. Daddy and Lucy rode the bus to Des Moines together. As you can tell, they were the only two on the bus. Or in the loaf of bread with wheels, I can't tell.
 There was some guraf watching. Giraffes are my favorite animal, which is probably why they made it into the picture, though Lucy said her favorite animals were the finches.
 And a picnic after the zoo in the beautiful sunshine-y day.
And no, Eric did not shave his beard for the trip, it just didn't make it into the picture.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Dance Recital

It's that time of year again! When my entire weekend is consumed by a dance recital for a 5 year old. This year we've upped the ante with 2 dances, 2 costumes, and a whole lot longer in the auditorium.

Not sure if my kid's a natural poser or if this is what they teach in that dance class.
 The ballet look is always serene, half-closed lids and a no-teeth smile.
And the recital (rehearsal) footage. Lucy is 2nd from the left in tap and at on the very left in ballet.

Dance recital 2014 from Kristin York on Vimeo.