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Showing posts from September, 2013

A is for Apple

Yesterday, we had a great time at Fall Fest...but, first, a funny story...

On Friday, Cole's teacher had asked for parents to send an apple to school this week for an upcoming project where the kids would be cutting open the apples to see what is inside. So, this morning, I put a shiny green apple in Cole's bag--along with his bowl of raisins for snack--and told him to give it to the teacher to save for later.

Came to pick him up after school and the teacher told me Cole very nicely put the apple in the basket where they would be storing them. She turned away for a couple minutes and came back to find...yup, you guessed it! Cole eating the apple!

Note that he left raisins in his snack bowl.

* * *

We'd originally invited the family from the NICU bed next to us to Fall Fest again. Our two families met up there last year for a sort-of reunion--being a year out of the hospital for both girls. And we've played once at their house for a playgroup. They have stuff going on. W…


Last night was the fall potluck dinner at Cole's school. A chance for everybody to bring a dish, meet the other families in the program, and see the classroom. Unfortunately, not everybody could make it. But it was still very crowded compared to a normal school day! By the time you got all the parents, siblings, teachers, and students together it was quite a party.

We played for the first half and it was cool to see Cole interact not only with classmates and his teachers, but how he plays with the various toys and stations in the classroom. There was an especially popular alligator game in the main front area where you try to press down gator teeth before it snaps its jaws shut on your hand. Fun, right?

Most of the time playing, the kids were in a back, open area where they have sort of a mini-gym setup especially for winter when they can't go outside as much. Mats and indoor bowling and basketball and scooterboards. It's also the area where they do some of the therapy tim…

Invasion of the grandmas

This time next week, a small army of grandmas will be storming into town. Ok, so maybe it's just two of them. And maybe it's more like they'll be quietly arriving by car and bus. But that's a lot of grandma firepower to bring to the weekend.

You see, we're going out of town. Kelly and me. No kids. It started as a week in London, but gradually transformed from wine country to New Orleans to the Oregon coast and settled on rural northern Wisconsin. It's fall. There are wineries. And sheep farms. And kayaking. And lighthouses. It's going to be very, very nice to get away.

The grandmas, on the other hand, were unsure about single-person grandparenting both kids. That seemed like a lot. And we don't blame them...good luck with Leda, lately! So they're staying and taking Cole to school and fixing their snacks and probably spoiling them rotten. And that means it now becomes a monumental task for us to prepare them for their task.

Not just visiting. But know…

Illinois Railway Museum revisted

The whole family came down with a cold late last week. It progressed from the boys to the girls and left us all grumpy with runny noses. (I've been in no mood for either coffee or working out, which shows you where things stand.) It's one of those annoying sniffles that doesn't knock you just makes you miserable enough to do your normal activities in discomfort.

Cole had been asking for a visit to the train museum for probably a month and this week we had grabbed the discount coupon that we can checkout from our public library in order to go on Saturday. We weren't sure how things would shape up, but Cole--and everybody really--did fantastic.

It was a crisp, sunny fall day and we arrived not long after the museum opened...along with 2 bus loads of seniors who are members of some sort of electric rail fan club. We had a pretty good idea what Cole wanted to do so we didn't hang around the depot for the demonstration railroad very long. He wanted to see the …

Feeling partly responsible

I'm currently reading the book No Easy Day written by the Navy SEAL who was on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden. It's a poorly written book, but still fascinating. Very weird life, but who am I to talk? He writes a few times about "Big Boy Rules" in the special forces and the idea that you're trusted enough to take care of yourself and that you know what you're doing based on your experience and education. It's gotten me meditating a little bit on responsibility and being an adult. And has brought about some reflections on the strangeness of reaching the point in life where you're dropping off kids for school or filling out paperwork for someone who isn't you. Very odd feeling...not planning on being "responsible" yet finding yourself in that role.

Tonight is curriculum night at Cole's elementary school. It's when they trap the parents in a room for 2 hours and explain the Common Core standards for math and English, what o…

The post where I channel Velma...

For those readers who don't get the pop culture reference, Velma was the character from Scooby Doo cartoons who used to--fairly regularly--wander into a "haunted" castle, have her glasses break or knocked off her face, then stumble around in pitch black (with bats flying around) yelling, "my glasses! I can't see without my glasses!"

Yep, that's me. And there's plenty of blame to go around. Coming out of the grocery on Saturday afternoon, I handed Leda my glasses case (I was wearing sunglasses at the time so my normal glasses were in the case) to amuse her until we got to the car. My bad. Kelly put her in the car seat without taking the glasses case away. Her bad. And then there was Leda--who knows better. Yet, as we pulled into the parking spot behind our building there's my glasses two pieces.

So we emergency head to the nearest glasses store in an attempt to get there before they close. Which was fruitless because it was nothing the…

Haters gonna hate

It's pet peeve rant time. And it's gotten so bad lately that I've stopped responding out of frustration about the sad need to have the conversation over and over. It crosses boundaries from sports to parenting to politics to other activities. The experienced veteran versus the newbie. I'm giving up talking to the veterans. And my advice to the novice is "haters gonna hate." I hope you find the support and knowledge you need and I, personally, try hard every day to share what I love in a positive way. Ignore the critics and believe in yourself.

It usually goes something like this..."I'm not currently a runner, but I want to do a marathon next year. I'm a little worried about injury, can you give me some advice?" In steps the know-it-all, elitist jackass: "that's probably not a good idea. You should do some 5k first. Running a marathon too soon is such a rookie mistake, please don't make it." And on and on.

First of all, forg…

The honey & the sting

While the rest of you were watching NFL football yesterday, I marched to the beat of a different drummer. Woke up early (though not triathlete early) to log onto the computer for the live coverage of two iron-distance races. Being eastern time, Rev 3 Cedar Point was up first. Then Ironman Wisconsin. Basically watched the swim start in Madison before it was time to get ready for the event I'd signed up for at Morton Arboretum...a tour of their beehives with beekeeper Greg Fischer. (I'm a bit of a bee-nerd.)
So feel free to skip around the post to whatever interests you. Triathlon? Bees? You want to stop reading right here? 
Races: I can't wait to read some race reports from each location. Both the races I was following had a set of issues that was amusing to watch as a neutral spectator. But probably frustrating and annoying as an athlete. So I'll be curious to hear how others interpreted things. 
Rev 3 Cedar Point was first up and the first thing I noticed was that Sandusk…

All Seasons Orchard

I don't even know where to start--the last few days have been a whirlwind. As I write, I'm eating the last piece of one of the most amazing cakes I've ever tasted. It's a German chocolate from a local bakery. Two layers of cake with a coconut frosting between them...but wait, there's more! Coconut frosting on top, too, of course. The side is covered in chocolate powder and then the top of the cake is covered in a layer of fudge. What's that you say? Fudge. If you leave it in the fridge as they suggest it stays hard like fudge. But if you leave it out on the counter it turns into a thick, oozing chocolate sludge. 
We had horrible storms on Friday evening into Saturday morning which prevented my birthday bike ride until Sunday. In fact, it rained almost the entire 2 hour drive to the orchard on Saturday morning. We arrived not long after they opened to find a few cars in the parking area. It's super easy to find and ended up being a huge hit for every member …