Saturday, September 29, 2012

 We are at the end of a very busy week. Luckily we launched it with a tranquil Sunday afternoon picnic at the apple orchard.
Then on Monday we all attended Open House at Edward's school. This was our first chance to see his classroom since he was moved to the newly-created section of 1st grade after the first two weeks of school. He was very excited to show us around. I'd met his teacher during the daily pick-up, but it was John's first opportunity to meet her. We got to chat briefly about some of the class work. I hadn't realized that they split the kids into reading groups and send one group to each of the four classrooms for an hour of reading work every day. I'd been a little annoyed at the daily "reading" he was bringing home--books that might focus on sight words or vocabulary, but have no plot or characters and do not hold any interest for the reader at all. Luckily we have easy access to our fabulous public library. It usually takes two to three trips a week (sometimes just John or me stopping on the way home from work) to keep him supplied.

On Wednesday, I had a late afternoon function for work so John came home early to hang with the boys and eat dinner. I got home just in time to leave with Edward for his first night of religious ed. I am slowly getting over my irritation that this is scheduled from 6:30 to 7:30 on Wednesday evenings. I'm also happy that Edward's teacher is also a teacher at his school, so I at least have some confidence that she knows how to handle 10 first-graders for an hour at what is normally bedtime. I think I'm succeeding in keeping my bad attitude to myself because he seems to think of it as something he "gets" to do, not something he "has" to do.

On Thursday, Daniel had his first soccer game, which also coincided with Edward's school participation in the City High Homecoming parade. The game was at 5 and the parade at 6. As luck would have it the parade staging area was in the parking lot of Daniel's soccer park. I wasn't sure Daniel would have the energy for the mile-long parade after his hour of soccer, but he insisted he was going to walk, and he did.

Four-year-old soccer is a sight to behold. At first Daniel was eager to try his hand at goalie, but quickly learned that it can be dull when the action is at the other end of the field. "Mom!" he called from his post, "Why don't they come down here?!" Soon enough  he rotated into the scrum and wasted no time charging after the ball. This is quite a rough and tumble game as the kids are so focused on getting a foot on the ball they don't seem to notice when they get a shoulder or hip directly into another player. They were all tumbling around but getting right back up. Daniel even managed to get a break-away from the pack and kick/dribble it the length of the field for a goal. Even though they don't keep score, this was a very exciting moment.

After the game, John left us to head downtown to a music show, where I was to meet him after the parade. I'd had some trouble securing a babysitter, as all of ours seemed to have a role to play in the high school parade. Edward's kindergarten teacher not only connected us with her daughter, but also offered to meet us at the end of the parade to drive us home and drop her off to stay with the kids. Now that's a full-service kindergarten teacher!

Our boys were a little disappointed not to be on the receiving end of the candy give-away at this parade, but never fear. The very next day was the University of Iowa Homecoming parade and they came home fully loaded from that one.

After Edward's soccer game this morning (during which he bore the brunt of a head collision with an opposing player) we are very happy to have NOTHING on the agenda this afternoon or evening. We have a back yard full of leaves to jump in, some burgers for the grill, and a lovely fall day to enjoy.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Edward circumvented our "Saturday sleep until 7 a.m." rule by asking to come in our bed at 6:30 "to snuggle." John allowed it, "But you have to be very quiet."
Soon John was back asleep and Edward turned the tables on him.
*whispering* "Daddy? Can you please stop that noise"
Me--stifling guffaws--"You're snoring, dear."
Edward--still whispering--"It's very loud, Daddy."
Me--no longer stifling guffaws. Welcome to my world!

Friday, September 14, 2012

We took a trip to Evanston last weekend, and somehow it's taken me all week to recover! I knew we had these fun pictures and video to share and I kept telling myself, "Today I will get the posted on the blog." Well, at long last, TODAY is the day to post on the blog.

The trip was timed so John and I could help a friend celebrate a milestone birthday Saturday evening. We didn't really have any other plans. The beach is always a popular option, but it turned out to be a bit chilly for that (lovely--no complaints! but not exactly beach weather.) I happened to notice a small calendar listing in the Tribune Saturday morning that turned into a very fun outing.

A group called Open Streets Chicago was having its annual event down the Loop, which closed State Street to vehicles from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. That left the street wide open for a variety of activities including bikes, skateboards, rock climbing, large building blocks, sack races, chalk art and more. And as if it weren't already exciting enough to be in the street downtown, we also took the subway to get there. If there had been a firetruck I think it would have been our boys' perfect day.

We carried their bike helmets and Razor scooter, which we were glad of, even though the bag was bulky. After seeing the volunteers "spray cleaning" a pile of used skateboard helmets, I was very happy to have ours with us. It was too bad there was no easy way to bring their bikes, as the ones available for check out were too large. But Daniel did not let that stop him. We eventually just worked out a system where rode from my dad to me, stationed about half a block apart and yelled out, "I'm getting ready to stop!" so that we could catch him.

He actually mastered the hand brake pretty quickly, but the bike was much too large for him to get a foot down to the ground as he stopped. After a few successful maneuvers, he took a tumble that convinced him to switch to his own scooter. Edward narrowly missed his own disaster when he unwittingly turned in front of a tandem approaching him from behind. Luckily the tandem driver took quick action to avoid disaster. I didn't see the incident, but my mom carries the psychic scars of the near miss.

A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, September 05, 2012

I'm not quite sure what to tell you about this picture other than it was Friday afternoon. And Daniel was strenuously objecting to having his picture taken. And in case you are ever called upon to assist in transforming your couch into a pirate ship, be aware that a Swiffer mop makes a passable mast and a Harry Potter cape an acceptable sail.

As long as we're exploring this theme, here are our little pirates at the Regina Fall Fun Festival over the weekend.

It is possible that this blog may be short on pictures in the near future as the boys have discovered the digital camera and now are constantly asking to use it to take goofy pictures of each other. Or walls. Or floors. Or closets. And they love the zoom feature. John is sure it's only a matter of days before it's broken. Perhaps I should be more worried, but at least they're not throwing it across the room, dunking it in water or using it to bash each other upside the head.