Sunday, January 24, 2016

Six in the snow

Nico turned six on the 15th. Six! In the last few months he has started to look like a big kid, tall and leggy and thinner in the face. He lost his first tooth on Christmas morning. He's a strong reader and has pretty great penmanship for a Kindergartener. He remains sweet and stubborn, smart and curious, funny and a little bit weird. I love him so much my heart could burst with it. He was the luckiest birthday child of all and got a field trip to the children's museum on his actual day, and I went along as a chaperone. We had family over for his party on Saturday the 16th, which was low key and nice. He'll have a shared birthday party with Elliott the first weekend in February with their kid friends at Pump it Up. I'm sure we're spoiling him, but it's quite hard not to.

While the dire predictions of Snowpocalypse 2016 did not come to pass, we did get enough snow to close school on Wednesday and again on Friday. My dad came over to play in the snow with the boys on Friday morning. Yesterday we were invited to go sledding at a former coworker's farm, along with my friend Julia and her kids. The boys had never gone before, but they were excited to try and ended up loving it. I was happily surprised to discover that the hosts provided Gator rides back up the hill after every run. We kept at it until the snow was almost gone, worn to slush under the sleds and burned off by the sun. It was a nearly-perfect day.

Reading (audiobook):  The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater

Playing:  Led Zeppelin IV

Monday, January 11, 2016

Five things, with photos

1.  I took the whole week after Christmas off work to hang out with the kids (well, the two work days I would've had after being off Monday and having the holidays Thursday and Friday). Even though it was a lot of not getting paid, I'm very glad I did it. We had our annual Thanksmas party with our closest friends, always one of my favorite nights of the year. I took the kids to the children's museum and to Elliott's first official swim lesson (with the most patient teenage swim instructor of all time, bless her heart). We went to Pump it Up and to the history museum to see a real train. MB's brother and his fiancee came to spend an evening visiting. One of our playdate friends invited us over for a Noon Year's Eve party, with a balloon drop and everything. The kids and I went on a First Day hike on New Year's Day, and then my parents took the boys so MB and I could see Star Wars. We had an epic pancake dinner and game night with friends. It was really, really wonderful and I can't think of a better way to say goodbye to a great year and usher in a new one.

2.  Elliott and I were out most of last Monday on errands, at various places including Target, the bank, and the grocery. At all these places he behaved like...well, like a very (very) busy little child. He moved, he sometimes yelled, he walked circles around and around the bank and its long line for ten minutes, he drove his toy airplane and train car on things, he pushed a little cart. And everywhere we went, people were SO NICE to and about him. Someone even thanked me for telling him, "Don't walk under that again. I'm watching you," at the bank, where he discovered last week that his head is at exactly the right height to graze the Tensabarrier thing and make it do a satisfying twang as he walks under it. Some days I feel like civilizing these children is the hardest job I will ever have and I am probably annoying the entire world in the process. Other days I feel like civilizing these children is the hardest job I will ever have and maybe I'm doing okay. Here's my general shout-out of thank you to anyone who is nice to parents who are trying their best, even when their kids aren't perfect.

3.  I'm very glad we took a chance on All the Train Stuff for Christmas, because the boys have played with their new huge setup for accumulated hours, sometimes without even fighting over who gets to use which passenger car.

4.  Much to Nico's delight, it snowed on Saturday night. Both boys went out to play for about 45 minutes on Sunday, then Nico went back out for another hour and a half while Elliott napped hardcore after lunch. He didn't get his white Christmas, but at least he finally got some snow.

5.  I got a pass on playing in the snow, because I was up for three hours in the middle of the night Saturday / Sunday with pretty horrible chest pain that migrated into my neck. If it had been on the left side instead of the right, I probably would've gone to the hospital. Google told me it probably wasn't a blood clot, a heart attack, or pneumonia. It was mostly gone by the end of the day Sunday but then back this morning (though not as bad as initially), so I went to the clinic just in case. Probably just a viral inflammation of my chest wall or lung tissue, which they can't really do anything about, but at least it wasn't a heart attack.

Reading (audiobook):  Blue Lily, Lily Blue by Maggie Stiefvater

Playing:  Led Zeppelin III