Thursday, June 29, 2017

Door County 2017.

Another great family summer vacation in the books! This year, we were once again able to spend our entire Wisconsin time in Door County, since all of the Thiels (minus Auntie B, sadly) were able to come over for the weekend, so I had my entire extended family in one place at the same time. And it was great! There's something wonderful about seeing my kids enjoying time with their out of state family, from their great grandparents, to all of their little cousins.

Got to spend Father's Day traveling with Grizz

Stayed overnight at Auntie Becca's and got to love on the kittens (not pictured, Adam waking everyone up by throwing up at 4:30, and then being fine for the rest of the vacation.)

Wisconsin, has all of the sky

We visited the goats at Door County Creamery and ate ice cream almost every day

Went to the Ridges, where you can read to a stuffed deer

And splashed in the lake and dug in the sand. Like their mama, they don't care that the water is freezing

A lot of hammock time

Making art in matching clothes

Eating cake that Gigi Renee made

Exploring and catching crickets

Yard games

Examining the dead bug collection

Playing cards

Playing bananagrams

Playing harmonica with Grandpa Charlie

Catching up on summer reading/Benjy book club

And of course, getting a ton of candy and having a ton of fun at the Olde Ellison Bay Days Parade

And obviously, dance parties. 

I also realize I'm a dirt bag and didn't take any good pictures of the kids with their Thiel cousins (other than our best gal Hailee) but I have this one I filched from my sister

But I do have this video of smiley-kins Leah, who makes me laugh so hard with her huge smile and baby laughter

Seriously kills me dead

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Last Day!

Our little lady finished her first year of kindergarten, and had a great time doing it.

It was Red White and Blue spirit day, so she was red, white and cute, per Hello Kitty. All of the kids were early birds, so it was a nutty little scrum, but most of the day was their goodbye party. They've been a great little group, and I'm glad that we'll be moving on to first grade with all of them.

She had a great year of kindergarten. We really enjoyed her teacher, and loved the big memory book that she worked on all year and got to bring home on Friday. Lots of little hand prints and drawings and even pictures! As you can see, she's still working on her spelling, and I totally left this typo in the card for her teacher. Though, she's got me as her mom, so good luck to her in the future.

She didn't want me to pick her on her last day, but had a good afternoon with Gigi instead. And then, because I continue to be the meanest mommy, we dropped them off at date night at the Y rather than spending the evening with them!

Except, that back fired on me today. We got them to bed after 9:30, and then they were up at 7 and in the pool for lessons at 8:30. And despite my admonitions that they'd both feel better if they napped for awhile, neither did. Ellie and I went to a birthday party for one of her classmates, and by the time we got home, the wheels were coming off. Mimi and Poppy and Jake and Karen came over for early Father's Day dinner, and Ellie cried for a solid 20 minutes when Tim had to go grab dinner instead of opening cards, and Adam refused to eat dinner and then fell asleep in his bed, in his clothes. Then he cried about being put in his pajamas. And of course, I am also tired and stressed from packing, so I'm basically Medusa. PERFECT FATHER'S DAY CELEBRATION FOR ALL. I'm just hoping they sleep until at least 4:30, when Tim and I have to rally for our flight to Chicago.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Dance Break!

Ellie had her last ballet class for the year yesterday, and her teacher let the parents come in and watch the final performance, which was sweet. Once again, we're missing the recital, but after the discussion about slicking back their hair and covering them with lipstick and blush, I'm not too sad about the whole thing. The good news is this year I knew we'd be out of town BEFORE spending $85 on a costume that she's only worn once. I thought she'd love it for dress up, but seriously, only worn the once, other than for pictures last year.

So, here she is in all of her glory. She's off to the side because she's not going to be there on the day, obviously. Dance purgatory!

She proudly tells everyone, "I'm not going to the recital. I have to go to the parade in Wisconsin." Good news, there's candy at the parade!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Last Week of School.

The craziness is hitting us full force this past week! Ellie only has two more days of school, but every day this week is spirit week so all of the parents have to remember a bunch of crap to send into the classroom, along with the kids having the option to dress up every day. We've already done crazy hair day and pajama day, today was Twins day, so Ellie and our neighbor Mila got into the act.

Ellie is on the right, in case you couldn't tell.

Tomorrow is favorite character day, and also our very last garden day. Working with the kids in the garden has been the perfect level of involvement for me, and it's been fun the days that Gigi has been able to come and help us dig. Next year we move out of the raised beds and into the big kid garden! Then on Friday they have a class party, but thankfully, no long winded graduation ceremony.

Then of course, we have swimming on Saturday morning, a birthday part Saturday afternoon, and Saturday evening we're celebrating Father's Day early with Poppy. Then wheels up bright and early Sunday morning for Wisconsin! So, suffice to say, it's a little nutty around here.

Plus this past weekend we had two parties for a few of our favorite four year old boys. My MOPS friend Brooke had a Super Hero party for her son Andrew, who Adam paled around with a lot at MOPS, and there was an amazing face painter there. Adam wasn't really into any of the party, other than the big trucks in the play room and the trampoline, but Ellie was happy to sit and wait patiently for her turn getting her face painted.

She was beyond cute. I think I'm going to get it replicated as a face tattoo. Unsure if I want to do it for her, or for me. Then on Sunday Juddy and Matty had their fourth birthday party, which I missed because I was working the We Run the City booth, but Tim and the kids reported a great time. So many fantastic four year olds!

In Adam news, Ellie made him this sweet shirt over the weekend.
It has an excavator on the front and says Adam Ford Big Truck Man and on the back is a trash truck. They're both incredibly pleased with it. This is also the before picture for his summer do.

This is my little lamb shorn. The photo belies the fact that the was miserable during his hair cut. Worst one we've had, actually. I had to hold him in my lap and he struggled and cried so much that by the end he was sweaty and covered in pieces of hair. Plus, all of the crying meant that he had hair in his mouth as well. Nothing that a cool down in the wading pool couldn't cure. But in short, all of this action has me ready for vacation, where the only choices are what beach to visit and what beer to drink.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Fancy Ellie.

This weekend Ellie and Mimi got to go to the home of Fancy Nancy's illustrator, Robin Preiss Glasser, as a fundraiser for the Segerstrom Center. Ellie loves Fancy Nancy and being fancy, and also, hanging out with Mimi.


We've actually been fortunate enough to meet Robin before, since she lives in our community and does a lot of events to raise funds for literacy and the arts. Since she's the illustrator, I didn't have Ellie ask about potential alternate titles for the Fancy Nancy books, For instance, we always call Fancy Nancy and the Day at the Museum "Fancy Nancy Barfs on the Bus" and likewise, Fancy Nancy, Poison Ivy Expert has become "Fancy Nancy and the Mystery Rash" at our house.

However, at Robin's house, no mystery rashes, just a really fun day for all the kids and their chaperones. They got their face painted, go to see the art studio and Fancy Nancy Museum, and hung out with the stars of Fancy Nancy the musical. There was even a fountain full of pink lemonade, tres chic. And grilled cheese on a stick, but Ellie reports ignoring all actual food in favor of treats. That's my girl!

Ellie and Mimi with their Tea Party Hostess, with the mostess

Ellie had a fantastically fancy day, victory all around. In other fancy news, she finally learned to tie her shoes. Before her last school field trip we realized her current tennies were too small. The light up tennies she'd coveted and begged Gigi to buy for her, then promptly never wore, unless under duress. I'd picked up some hot pink Nikes at the Rack for her a few weeks ago, and she cried when I showed them to her, and demanded to know why everyone wanted her to have tie shoes. But, this weekend she got the hang of it (I made her wear them to her last field trip) and she's been happily wearing them every day since. One more small accomplishment in our efforts to turn her into a self sufficient human being.

However, on Friday night while we were having ice cream with Gigi and Grizz, she said something about how she was going to be twenty when she was in high school, and I said "only if you're stupid," and Adam immediately repeated it to her several times. She burst into crocodile tears while the rest of us burst out in uncontrollable laughter. Adam, having gotten a laugh, continued to tell her "yeah, if you're stupid." Sorry kid, truth hurts!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Weekend Funs.

Turns out, we are very busy and important people. Mostly me, because I was on not one, but two airplane trips in the span of a week. After getting back from our pilgrimage from Laura Ingalls, I had the week to get life back in order before turning around and hopping a plane up to Northern California.

Tim's high school friend, also named Tim (Tim C, for ease) was getting married in Monterrey. Tim C is in the Navy, and over the past few years (decade) we've mostly seen him at other weddings of the high school friends. Nevertheless, it's always awesome to see how all of those boys settle right in to their friendships after such a long break and all of the wives and girlfriends are pretty great too. Jake's ladyfriend Karen is a frequent traveler for business, so she hooked us up with United Club passes and hotel deals, and for me, it was nice to have another competent adult on the trip, since usually I book everything for the boys and then have to boss them around.

They had a cocktail welcome for everyone the night before the wedding, and the invite said "smoking jackets encouraged," because a bunch of dudes in Tim C's squadron had smoking jackets made when they were overseas in Korea. Because I like to follow rules, I found velvet blazers for Tim and Jake, and wore a leopard print YSL jacket that I bought for five bucks a million years ago.

I spent most of the day of the wedding in bed with what I thought was a hangover, but turned out to be some sort of food poisoning/stomach bug. Thankfully, I was able to rally for the wedding, which was black tie. I found that directive harder to follow, especially when dressing Tim, but lo, we cleaned up okay.

Bow ties forever!

The wedding was beautiful - the bride, the groom, the venue, all of it. We had a really fun night dancing and hanging out with friends, and since our table was at the edge of the dance floor, when the Best Man started making fun of young Tim C, he had many hoots of approval from the men of Servite.

The bride, Ashley, is from Eden Prairie, so you know she's a good egg.

The kids spent the weekend with Mimi and Poppy. Everyone napped and everyone survived, so a million thumbs up to them! Because dealing with those two ruffians is not as easy as making Tim bring me another drink in from the bar, that's for sure.

It's amazing how quickly we're coming up on the last day of school. Adam's class had a beach party this past week, on a drizzly and overcast day. But he came home with sand in his ears and paint all over his face, so I'd say it was a success. Ellie had a field trip to the local library, and wore her new tennies without crying over it (learning to tie her shoes is resulting in crying, naturally.)

She's been asking for weeks if we could go back to the petting zoo, and since we had no other plans, we went yesterday. They continue to change things around and keep it mostly interesting. We went so much when Adam was a baby and we had an annual pass, but just going to go gets expensive, because everything other than holding guinea pigs or brushing goats costs money, and turns out, kids love riding the train and the ponies. The nice thing is now they're big enough to not try to put their hands in their mouths or eat corn out of the corn box.

Binny pig whisperer

Goat groomer

Meanwhile, Adam mostly enjoyed running through and on the maze of hay bales. Hey, whatever floats your boat kid.

We ended the evening with dinner at Lexi and Judd's. The kids had a great time, made smores and finished up with a singing performance.

Look at these dedicated competitors! They did a bunch of performances and then we critiqued them like they were on the Voice. Good news, everyone made it to the next round, even Adam, who did some pretty serious fake crying when he didn't get his song choice played right away.

Speaking of fake crying, the other night while she was eating her ice cream at Gigi's, Ellie announced that when she was twenty, she was going to be in high school, to which I said "if that's true, you'll be pretty stupid." And then Adam parroted "yeah, you'll be stupid," in his little lisp. Ellie burst into crocodile tears while he kept repeating it, and meanwhile, the rest of us laughed until we couldn't breathe. It's hard, being the most supportive parents in the world. We are very understanding and kind (mostly me.)