Monday, August 11, 2014

Best Grandma in The Whole World

In the car on the way there, Eva and Sam talked about all the things they wanted to do at TT's... pick raspberries and go to the wildlife sanctuary and ride rides at Bay Beach and come out of the butt at the children's museum.  Eva hardly remembers TTs real house since we haven't been there since October of last year, but she remembers some of the adventures and the Barbie house that we set up in the basement.  And within minutes of arriving they were digging through the toy box filled with matchbox cars and lego and piling blankets and pillows in the living room and dancing around with Grandpa Jim's hats and searching the house for loose change.  We tackled the gardens and spent a fabulous afternoon at the aquatic center and rode ponies and braved the Zippin Pippin (which Sam says he doesn't need to do again any time soon) and enjoyed a great deal of relaxing quality time with "the best grandma in the whole world."  In the car on the way home they wanted to know if they could go back tomorrow.  We all wish we could.
Pit Stop 
 Sam uses Jimmy Joe's hat to imitate Pharrel Williams
 "Take a picture of us Mom.  We're snuggling."
 Aquatic Center
 Again.  Again.  Again.
 Never enough slushies or snowcones
 Eva helps with some garden shopping
 Eva can't get enough of the ponies, especially her friend Willie.
 One ride is enough for Sam.
 Family train ride
 Family helicopter ride
 Sam braves the Zippin Pippin
(AFTER the ride friends told us we should have
rode in the front so we didn't go airborne on the steep drops. 
Sam is in no hurry to try it again.  And neither am I.)
Can we get another one? Please!!!!!  Pretty please.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Fun in the Kitchen

With the logistics of moving and the excitement of a new neighborhood and a yard with a creek and playmates and hidden treasures like toads and worms to discover, we haven't spent a lot of time in the kitchen this year.  (Although it often seems like I spend ALL my time there.  Make the meal.  Feed the meal.  Clean up the meal.  Repeat. And repeat.  And repeat.)  And even though Sam has been asking on a weekly basis if we can make his favorite cookies, I have really not wanted to get out the flour and the sugar and the measuring cups and deal with the mess of sprinkles all over the ceramic and frosting smeared all over the bane-of-my-existence countertop that never looks clean no matter what I do.  We've done pizzas on the grill with friends several times, but when it's just our family of three alone, the last thing on my list of things to do would be "Make MORE mess in the kitchen." 
But when we sauntered down to the garden last week and discovered that all the rain that had produced a giant zucchini plant leading to a generous supply of zucchini and cucumbers that we could not possibly eat all in one weekend, I asked if the kids wanted to make zucchini bread.  On the way back to the house we crunched down most of the smaller cucumbers and saved the big ones to make cucumber salad for dinner.  Eva hoisted a large zucchini over her head and said "Whoa.  This is super heavy." And Sam carried the largest zucchini with both hands and asked if it was the largest zucchini I'd ever seen and what WAS the largest zucchini I'd ever seen and what did I do with it and how did it get so big and did I think we'd ever grow one that big again.
Later in the day I pulled out an old recipe for blueberry zucchini bread and Eva peeled and shredded the zucchini before eating handfuls of it raw alongside the quart of blueberries we set aside for the last step.  Sam played with Lego at the dining room table but showed up for the tasting of the batter, and it was so much fun that I didn't even mind sweeping up flour and cinnamon and mopping up egg whites and milk.  When it came out of the oven Eva declared "TT is going to LOVE this!" 
Now we just have to make about 10 more batches before we're out of zucchini.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Blow-up Bats and Golf Cart Choo-Choos

We knew the company picnic wouldn't disappoint, and how great was it that we got to bring along a friend.  So grateful to have a couple of extra adults there to help me keep track of my wandering crew. So fun!

Reunited and It Feels So Good

With crazy vacation schedules and new summer routines, it's been way too long since these BFFs saw each other.  SO nice to spend a morning at the farmers market and the library catching up and remembering how much we enjoy each other.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

She Swims

Ever since the first time she went to the Aquatic Center, Eva has been calling the pool "Swimming Lessons."  Last year she climbed on the playground equipment and covered herself with sand and hung on her mommy while Sam completed Level 1 swim lessons there twice.  And this year Eva got to play in the water a few times during family trips and daycare trips.  So when I told her I had signed her up for real swimming lessons, she jumped up and down and clapped and squealed that she was going to go down the big slide at her lessons.  Three years ago I spent many days in the hot sun redirecting Sam to the water when he did pre-school swim lessons, so I wasn't sure what to expect with Eva.  She has never been afraid of the water, but she's also never been in a class of any kind, never been expected to sit in a circle and listen to directions and take turns.  During the last few days every time she told me she was going to go down the slide at swimming lessons I told her she needed to pay attention and listen to her teacher, do what her teacher told her. 
Aside from the weird peeing-on-the-cement-while-waiting-for-class-to-start incident, Eva's swimming lessons were unexpectedly delightful.  She sat in the circle on the cement as the instructor told them the rules and they all shared their names.  She followed the children in front of her as they lined up like ducklings along the side of the pool.  She raised her arms and pretended to be a tree as the instructor chopped her down and lifted her in to the water.  And when they gathered in a circle to listen to instructions on the proper way to make scoops out of your hands, Eva stepped in to the middle of the circle and faced the instructor and paid close attention as if she were the only child in the class.  She laughed through the bobs and kicked her legs fast and slow during red light green light and yelled for Sam to watch this watch this watch this as she collected the rings tossed out by Mic The Pirate.  When we got in the car at the end of the evening she was sad it was over because she wanted more lessons and she couldn't believe she had to wait a whole day until she could do it again.  "Did you see me Mommy?  Did you see?  I listened to my teacher.  I was a good listener. I listened to me teacher."

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Door County 2014

Photos coming soon, but here are the pictures from LAST year.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Annie's Visit

Photos coming soon

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

4th of July Weekend

Every year on the 4th of July weekend, I expect to feel sad and think about my dad a lot.  But every year the kids keep me so busy playing and having fun that the weekend flies by and I hardly have time to grieve.  This year's long 4 day weekend was no different.  The neighbors promised a big fireworks show which I thought couldn't possibly compete with the shows we'd had in Trempealeau, but it did not disappoint.  This show was even bigger and prettier and louder, and we all sat even closer.  We spent the early evening wandering from bonfire to bonfire, checking out the new kitties in the Murphys barn and bouncing on the trampolines and splashing in the creek and watching the boys run in packs.  And when the show started at 10pm Sam and Eva were ready to settle into my lap and cover their ears and open their mouths and ooh and ahh.  And that was just day one of 4 wonderful days of playing with friends and splashing in the creek and watching fireworks.  We are truly blessed to have found this neighborhood which sometimes feels like a little slice of heaven.