Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Can we please do this again?

The kids and I finally got out for some long overdue volunteer work.

Our lives are busy.  It's a lot of work to run our own store.  We have violin, choir, piano, orchestra, rehearsals, concerts, Army weekends, homework, practicing, projects, exercise...  The daily grind alone of meals and laundry and cleaning for five people plus walking the dog is enough to fill an average day, even without an unexpected monkey wrench thrown into the schedule to make things harder.

But I've always felt we should be making time somewhere to help others because we have so much.  We never want for food or clothes.  We have a home, our health, and most importantly we have each other.  I don't know how people alone in this world get by.  Too many among us aren't so lucky.

Last week Ian took over the last few hours at the store for me one day, and the kids and I joined a family down the street to a Catholic church downtown where they hand out meals to people in need.  I'm so glad we did.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Halloween Costumes 2013

The costumes are done!  

Which is good, because tonight my kids wore them to the annual Halloween Pajama Jamboree concert.  Then they have the Halloween dance at school on Friday, Trick-or-Treat in our neighborhood is on Saturday night, and city-wide Trick-or-Treat in Milwaukee is on Sunday afternoon.  By Halloween proper the excitement is long over, but my kids will probably still be in their costumes.  Wearing costumes in our house is only limited to days ending in Y apparently, so we will be looking at these outfits for some time to come which at least makes them worth the effort.  (I've had long days at work followed by rehearsals and concerts most nights so I've been up past midnight sewing.  But for 2013 it's done I tell you!)

Quinn, 2013
I know I already posted pictures of Quinn as a wolf, but he's so cuddly and soft.  We all just keep hugging him.

The next costume I worked on was Mona's.  She wanted to be a bat, but in her mind the only way to be a bat was to be like Aden was when she was a bat.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Mold-A-Ramas at the Lincoln Park Zoo

My kids and I just returned from a brief trip to Detroit, and on our way home we stopped at the Lincoln Park Zoo where we got two more Mold-A-Ramas.

We left my parents' home early and made good enough time that when we reached Chicago I asked the kids if they wanted to stop somewhere and add to our collection.  The choices were the Willis Tower (which I still think of as the Sears Tower) and the Lincoln Park Zoo, both of which have two Mold-A-Ramas.  The kids weren't sure which to do, so I got to pick.  The Sky Deck at the Willis Tower is expensive, and the Zoo was free (or would have been if I'd known a better place to park), but the deciding factor for me was the weather.  It was a gorgeous fall day and too perfect to spend inside.

The park is beautiful.  It's the kind of place that makes you wish you were living in Chicago so you can take walks there whenever you like and enjoy all the wonderful things the city has to offer.  (Then you get in the car and decide, no no, plenty fine in Milwaukee where we aren't trapped in perpetual rush hour.)

There are two Mold-A-Rama machines in the Lincoln Park Zoo: One in the primate house, and one in the main barn.  The first one we found quickly.  It's a gorilla just like the one we got from our own zoo, but this one is green.  The second was at the far end of the park and it's an orange piggy-bank, which is sort of odd, but at least it's one we'd never seen before.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Who's afraid of the big, bad Quinn?

Halloween costumes!  One down!  October has a lot going on for us, so I asked the kids to figure out what they wanted to be for Halloween early.  Quinn wanted to be a wolf.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

NO Again the LICE NOooooooooo

Last year around this time we got a call from the school nurse that the girls had lice.

This was OHMYGODNOOOOO the worst thing ever EW EW EW a new challenge for us, but we burned everything calmly and methodically took care of the problem.  There was a lot of laundry and cleaning and combing for nits.  It was a nightmarish schedule crippling disaster time consuming and inconvenient, but we took care of it.  I figured we'd had our encounter with lice and we could cross that off our life list of gross things many families deal with.

But then this year the itching started. 

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Fit to Be Tied

Quinn learned to tie his shoes on Wednesday.  I tied the right one and he was able to copy that on the left.  Here he is pointing out his freshly tied shoe that he did on his own.
I think many kids come to shoe tying late now that so many sneakers have a Velcro option.  But Quinn's in first grade, and I didn't learn to tie my own shoes until that age, so maybe things haven't really changed all that much in the land of laces.

Another milestone.  Another step away from me, now in neatly tied shoes I didn't help with.  My baby boy is growing up.  But not so much that as he concentrates on his laces he doesn't still need to recite, "Make two bunny ears, loop one around...."

(Just when you think you can't love them more than you already do, they make you want to laugh and cry at the same time.)