Happy Birthday Little Girl! Mia's second birthday isn't until tomorrow but we celebrated today with a BBQ for friends and family. She was so proud and excited to have her friends and "Bastien" come to share her day with her! Her Daddy bought her a giant number 2 balloon, not sure she's as thrilled with it as he was. Though, she is warming up to the idea of it. It was HOT. Very hot. Thank goodness for the shade we have in the back garden. Hope you had a wonderful day my sweet girl!
We had a busy day today! (BTW, absolutely hate this new formating business, sorry, can't figure out how to change it.)
We decided at the last minute to take the kids to Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens today. We joined, now the proud owners of a family membership, figured we would go often enough to make it worth our while. The kids had a blast at the "water park" part of it, giant sprinklers to run through. Actually, allow me to rephrase that, Nikolas had a grand ol' time. Mia took a while to warm up to the idea of running to put her hand in the spray. Definitely not my daughter! Definitely the highlight of our trip there. After late naps we took the kids to the mall. Two missions; Mia's Cold Stone Creamery free Love It for her birthday and Nikolas' burning desire to "obtain" a present for his little sister for her looming birthday. Can you guess what he made her, "stif-eh-kah-it" and all! He was so excited to take some of the money from his piggy bank as a contribution and make her something. So cool that he's okay with using HIS money to get HER something. We had our own Memorial Day BBQ for dinner tonight with the traditional watermelon afterwards. Look who thoroughly enjoyed her juicy red seedless delight!
Michael turned on the Indy 500 race for the boys to watch. After the wave of the green flag and a few laps, Micheal went off to clean the gutters and put rocks around the AC units outside. Nikolas remained on the couch, watching the cars zip around the track and to take stock of all the pit stops and disasters. On my way downstairs to the kitchen, I asked him "Who's winning?" His reply, "The person in the front." Very matter of fact. And so true!
We're in the car driving downtown and Michael opens the gum container to get himself a piece of gum. Mia: "Ave some pwees." Daddy: "That's for Mummies and Daddies." Mia: "Buy some Mia." Smarty pants! If THAT one was for Mummies and Daddies then we had to buy her her own!
Yikes! My blog entry format is different... Does the output look different too?
The plan had been to go strawberry picking on Monday morning. I called PreK to excuse Nikolas from the morning curriculum and made arrangements with Loreen. Off we go and don't you know, after hiking all the way out there, no berries, patch closed. Bummer. We spontaneously rescheduled to today; learn from lesson, call ahead. That patch still closed so alternative arrangements made secondary to weeping, disappointed male offspring. Drive, drive, drive, quick pit stop by Mum, drive, drive, drive. Look! Pick your own signs!
We had a grand time picking strawberries with Ethan, JK and Loreen! What made it so great was the both Mommies kept reminding each other that it wasn't about the strawberries and how many we had to take home but the experience. Just being in the moment. And, fortunately or unfortunately, I had forgotten to recharge my camera battery, so there was very little picture taking on my part. Enabling me to be more in the moment than I usually am. Bright blue skies, fire engine red berries and little people stuffing their bellies with berries! Perfect. Each kid had their own focus; Nikolas' was moving his yellow flag, Mia's was eating as many berries (and leaf tops) as humanly possible, and Ethan's was the observation of everything going on around him with the occasion "I picked it" as if he'd found THE strawberry. It was idyllic. Nikolas' hair has gotten long, too long. Micheal took him to get his hair cut and planted the seed that Nikolas, with the gorgeous, thick brown strands, ought to have hair like Daddy's. He asked me. Asked to have his hair cut like his Dad's. What do you say? His lovely hair shaved, on the ground, swept up by a broom. It does look cute despite the crooked front line!
Monday night was another Thunder game. I missed it due to Scrapbook Book Club but Michael went. With the camera. We had promised that we would take team pictures. He took 20 team pictures! Here's the gang!
I began the day at the scrapbook store, what better place? Today was one of the quarterly class sign ups. One goes, checks out all the class offerings and is able to sign up at a 10% discount and get key tag punches. It's a good way to fill up ones key tag if one signs up for a fair number of classes, as Loreen and I tend to do.
Loreen and her gang came over, impromptu, for lunch and a brief play date before nap time. It was perfect BBQ outside weather. It's definitely summer as we had corn on the cob and watermelon today - signs of summer's arrival!
Whilst Mia napped, Nikolas and I went to Scott's birthday party. He had a big jumpy house that the kids had a grand ol time jumping around in. There was a mother or two who got conned into joining the jump-fest. Fortunately no ankles were twisted!
And then, as if that wasn't enough activity, we met Dad and Mia at the local neighborhood camp site and helped them set up their tent. Nikolas' first night of outdoor camping! Good luck Dad! As they still haven't appeared at my door, I'm guessing everything is going okay. Wonder how the middle of the night sleep walk pee for Nikolas is going to go...
Mia and I met up with Loreen, Ethan and JK, again, for dinner while the boys were having their hot dogs. We had sushi; both the big'uns and the little-e's. Loreen made cool kid sushi along with sweet potato and cucumber rolls for the kids. She's so creative in the kitchen, it's awesome! Ethan had edamame for the first time; he was more intrigued with the finding of the treasure inside than the actual bean. It was hysterical to watch the beans flying all over the kitchen!
All in all, a busy but fun filled day!
Last night were Nikolas' "official" T-Ball pictures. He had his own individual picture taken and then we hung around for a "team" picture. Fifteen minutes after the scheduled time, there were still only 4 kids waiting from the Thunder. We decided to go ahead and have the picture taken with the "all stars" of the team. A shame that the other parents couldn't have brought their kids and shown some team spirit. Sure, I'll be the first to admit, it's a scam. These are five year olds, there is no need to spend a fortune on pictures. But if you're not going to show up, let the coach know! I got a picture of his individual pose, cute.
We are getting backing to normal; living our everyday lives in our everyday fashion with our everyday normal behavior. Sigh... Makes me a much happier Mum!
Yesterday was Nikolas' first T-ball game. Not the team's first game, they've been playing together while we were gone. It's entertaining, in the least. Michael and I have mixed feelings about the whole affair. The coach of the opposing team is all about business and the game, his team has practice in addition to the scheduled game days. Our coach is all about learning the game, everybody having a turn and having fun. There's something to said for both approaches. Nikolas' focus is scuffing up his cleats and cleaning the base that he's "guarding". Needless to say, playing the game and focusing on his assigned task needs a little more attention. Mizzy Me sits at the side clapping and yelling "Go game!".
Mia has been all about her dollie lately. Where ever Mia goes, dolly is right there; on the potty, in the car. Monday afternoon we were going to go downstairs to get lunch. We were not allowed to leave until dolly had a "ban-aid". Dollie needed her very own band aid. She has inherited this tendency for perseveration and would NOT stop going on about "ban-aid" until we marched off to the bathroom and found a band aid for dolly's knee, just like Mia has; "same me, same Mia". Now we can go have our lunch!
...Mother's Day! I got everything I wanted for Mother's Day; well behaved kids, good food and another Jazz win! I'd already made some big ticket purchases (Cricut and DSLR) so I didn't expect any presents. The kids and made things for me and Michael bought the hammock that we'd been coveting. The weather wasn't conducive to hanging it outside so we snuggled inside and watched the Jazz game.
...Birthday Michael! We were gone for the actual day so we celebrated last night at dinner. Nikolas and I made a birthday crown (Mia's term; Birfday hell-met) for our celebrant and decorated the dining nook. We had crab legs for dinner and a Cold Stone Creamery Mmmmmmmmint Chip ice cream cake for dessert. It was a quaint little celebration for our Daddy. We were a little more preoccupied with the Jazz-Lakers game than dinner though! Happy 38th Dad!
... Bike riding! Before we left for England we had bought Nikolas a new bike. He had long out grown his previous "edition" with the training wheels which Santa brought for Christmas 2 years ago. He is now the proud owner of a Mongoose bike with out training wheels. He is still learning to ride without training wheels. It wasn't until Saturday that he was able to get out and take his new ride for a spin. He's able to ride solo for about 5 seconds before he panics that Michael isn't holding on and loses his balance. He'll get it in time.
We are HOME! And thanks to the kids and the long distance travel, I am hosed. Absolutely worn out... I can't imagine how thoroughly wiped out I could have been if I had driven while we were there. Having my Mum there was a blessing, we were really fortunate to have her help; cook, driver, PJ putter on'er, amongst other things. Thank you Granny for being there for us!
We had a decent time, over all. Fortunately, we had some sunny days so the kids could get out and burn off some steam. We weren't subject to the typical rainy days of England every day. We went to Raby Mere and fed the ducks as we have done since I was a baby. Did a daytrip up to Southport to visit the model railway village, ride a carousel and have "Fush and Chups" (AKA fish and chips). Stopped at Crosby Beach to see the sculptures revealed and submerged by the sea on the way home. The kids had a grand time with the shovels that Granny had bought for them. Went into Chester and invested in some great English literature for the children then had a picnic lunch at Ellesmere Port. GG's neighbor, Craig, had a go kart that he took the kids out for rides on on two separate occasions. Visited with Granny's friend, Rosemary, and went to Beale Park. We did something every day but also had some good "every day" time at home at GG's house; colored, took a walk around the block, etc..
Took an tremendous number of pictures! Am currently sifting through them all and trying to edit some for a Mother's day crop that I'm going to on Saturday. Also realized that I have another scrapbook class tomorrow night. Definitely have lots to scrapbook.