Thursday, November 7, 2019

Halloween snow!

Man is time ever flying by!  It's already been a week since Halloween, which seems unreal, to be honest.  This year, we had 4 inches of snow on Halloween eve/into Halloween day--crazy, right?!  Chicago hasn't had measurable snow on the ground on Halloween since 1885.  Some suburbs (not ours) even moved trick-or-treating to a different day, because not only was there snow all over, but it was quite cold, too.  Still, we went out for a bit while it was light out.  We made your costume this year--you were a robot (no surprise!) and looked super cool, got lots of compliments.  We did trick-or-treating at the Ar-BOO-retum just like last year, on the Saturday before Halloween.  On Halloween itself, though, you were complaining of the cold after just an hour of being out.  We tried going to some nursing homes in hopes of indoors trick-or-treating, but that didn't work out, so we just headed over to Anyway's for our traditional Halloween dinner together as a family (they give costumed kids a free meal :))
Now we are ready for Thanksgiving!  Nana is coming a week early (to go to a concert with moi) and grandma Judy will be joining us on Thanksgiving day.

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Vacations

This summer has been quite the busy one so far for you/us!  Back in June, we did a one night stay for a paranormal conference in the Wisconsin Dells.  It was a cute resort where you and daddy got to share bunkbeds, which you loved, of course.
Just after that, Nana & Pa-pa came to visit and help with house projects for a week and a half.  We always love when they come to visit and had a great time.  Then, at the end of June/end of their visit, you and I traveled with them to Niagara Falls!  We stayed in a different place than they did, but we did everything else together.  We also went to a state park in NY called Letchworth--it was outstanding.  You loved the playground most of all, but you also enjoyed the trail with the stairs to see the falls.  On the way back home, we went to Pinery Provincial Park in Ontario; it wasn't all that great, but we still liked it ok.  You were disappointed because we couldn't stay longer at the beach area.  There were also quite a few bugs.
On the 4th of July, you and I and daddy traveled to Sturgis, SD to join Nana & Pa-pa over there, to share an Airbnb house together!  It was a wonderful time, except for a storm that hit while we were attending the Badlands Astronomy Festival on 5th--it did a lot of hail damage to their truck :( Thankfully, we were not there and it did not come through the Badlands; it did, however, cover the sky for the first night of the festival, so we didn't get to see any celestial objects until the following night.  You got to see the moon and Jupiter plus 3 of its moons that night--really liked that :)  We also visited Mt. Rushmore, drove through the Needles area of the Black Hills (where you adored climbing the rocks), had a great meal at Shipwreck's (in Rapid City)--complete with live music, 2nd day visited Dinosaur Park (awesome place), the Reptile Gardens (also awesome), ate at Wall Drug (it was decent), visited Prairie Homestead (pretty cool, very hands-on experience) and saw some buffalo and bighorn sheep in the Badlands.  Quite the vacay for such a short trip!
As if that were not enough, we accepted to host a French group leader a week after we got back--she is still here, in fact, staying through the 30th.  We just did another mini-vacay with her; Grandma Judy came over and we all went to the UP of Michigan--partly for fun, partly to avoid a heat wave here that was bringing heat indices of 115!  We took a boat cruise at Pictured Rocks (you really liked this), ate at a great little restaurant in Grand Marais, came back to our hotel room lacking electric (I had to drive in the crazy storm, it was not very fun) and suffered through 4 hours of a very warm room, 2nd day went to Mackinac Island, had a very nice time even through it rained on us in the afternoon, went to a fish fry/fest in St. Ignace--you did not try any of the very good whitefish, silly boy--but you did enjoy the kids' inflatables play area...until you fell off of a slippery one and scraped your ankle a bit. 
On the way home yesterday, you lost your tablet at Bayshore Mall in Milwaukee.  We tried to find it and the lost and found people have looked for it, too, but it seems to be gone. Google hasn't shown any new sign-ins for it, though, so I hope that maybe it could still turn up...doubt it, though.  You handled it surprisingly well--probably because you have 2 other devices plus a computer.  We told you that if and when you get a new one, it will not be going out in public places like this.  Only in the car and at home/Nana's/grandma's/etc. 
You have also been discouraged about karate lately, particularly the new weapons class we had you try.  We decided today that you could drop the weapons class; hoping that it will help.
Love you lots and lots ~mommy

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

First horseback ride at Aunt Janet's

Well, technically it's not your very first horseback ride if you count the pony ride at the petting zoo a couple years ago, but it's certainly your first on a full-size horse, and your first at Aunt Janet's (she is actually your great-aunt, but we just call her Aunt Janet anyway).  You had a very nice time, seemed to really enjoy it. 
First, the horses needed brushing, so we all helped with that.  This also gave the horses the chance to get used to being around us.  For the riding, you rode first with Janet, then by yourself while she led the horse on a line.  Then mommy got a turn solo (being led on line) and then you rode again with me (again, horse being led on line).  A great beginning to the first day of spring 2019!
You are still at grandma's now with daddy; mommy had to come back to do work tomorrow (and a lot of it at that!)  You will be returning, along with grandma and Aunt Janet, on Friday, just in time for Karate class.  Then the next day, they will go back home and you will go with just me (mommy) to Nana's house for a few days!
Another thing I want to note in this entry is that we are still having 'story time' at bedtime each night, something I love doing with you.  We've always done this, but far more consistently since we switched to chapter books.  We started with the Little House on the Prairie series--and finished all 9 books just recently!  We are now on the 'great adapted classics' books that Lyn gave you a couple of years ago (long before you were ready for them).  We have completed "A Journey to the Center of the Earth", and currently in the middle of "Heidi".  As I have never read 'Heidi', you decided last night that I should bring it back home with me and wait to read more of it when you return.  For bedtime with daddy these next two nights, you are going to have him read from 'Magic Kitten' (a book we got at the library).

Friday, February 8, 2019

Going to the dentist

Today we had to go to the dentist for you for the second time this week.  Why?  Because when we went a few days ago, you got a bit too nervous and wouldn't relax enough for them to get your teeth scraped clean like they should be.  You did manage to get the x-rays done (for the first time ever), but I think the scraping part took you by surprise.  They said your brushing hasn't been very good, so now mommy has to do it for you and we have to make sure we are doing it twice a day (we've only been doing it at night, and some nights have been skipped due to late bedtime).  We practiced how to get yourself to relax and be calm, even when the scraping gets a little uncomfortable; I think the practice/coaching worked--you did much better today :D 
We've also been working on eating more fruit and better variety for you, among other things.  You are still a great help around the house when we ask and recently, as part of our homeschooling, you have started learning typing--and you love it.

Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Happy new year with arctic blast

Happy 2019, little buddy!
This year has been good so far--we started it at grandma Judy's house.  We went to a new year's party at daddy's cousins' house (John and Rachael), watched the NYC ball drop on TV there, then returned to grandma's.  It was a nice, relaxing couple of days, then we came back home. 
These last couple of weeks have been pretty snowy.  We estimate there is about 14 inches on the ground right now...it has come a few inches at a time, and has stayed cold enough to not have any of it really melt.  Then, this week, the 'polar vortex' struck harder than ever in recent history.  From yesterday evening, through all of today, and until tomorrow at noon, we have been under a wind chill warning and the actual temperatures are colder than Antarctica, base camp at Mount Everest, and Siberia.  We have not left the house at all since yesterday, just to be safe.  You played with all your usual toys today, helped mommy bake some cookies, and watched "Tangled" on TV (which you enjoyed).  Tonight, though, I think you and I are both coming down with a cold, possibly caught from daddy, who has been suffering one for a few days now.  Hoping we wake up feeling better tomorrow, buddy.  Love you! ~mommy

Friday, November 2, 2018

You're 7 and time is flying

Hello again kiddo :) As usual, time seems to fly by far too fast and suddenly it's been months since I last blogged.  Just FYI, I've also not been able to blog much on my food blog, either...I've made a few things, but not nearly as many as I was prior to our move.  Hoping to correct that in the new year (or sooner)!
Anyway, the major story is that you turned 7 years old just over a month ago!  We celebrated at Grandma Judy's place with relatives and had a great time.  You chose 'Angry Birds' as your theme--we made a really cool pinata of Red, cake was Red, made cupcakes with other characters, had party hats of Chuck, and Bad Piggies on the green solo cups.  Everyone really enjoyed it, especially you :D  You got lots of great gifts, but your favorite was the Tinker Toy set from Grandma (you already had one set and wanted more to build bigger projects, which you have done).
Another gift you got was a gift card and some money, which you used to buy some robots.  You absolutely adore robots and want every robot you can get lol.  You've also been using one of the gifts daddy and I got you: programming in Scratch for kids.  You've not only done the programs in the book, but created some of your own, too.  We love that you are into this and hope you continue on in other programming languages when you are ready!
Two days ago was Halloween.  This year, you chose to be a black cat, as you still love cats (almost as much as robots, possibly more).  We trick-or-treated the neighborhood streets around our house and had great weather this time--no terrible cold winds, no rain, just cool autumn temps and some clouds.  We were equally lucky with the weather when we went to the Ar"boo"retum event of trick-or-treating the stores in that shopping plaza a few days prior.  You ended up with 6.25 pounds of candy--not bad!
You are also still doing karate--up to Camo belt now and soon (end of this month) to graduate to Green!  You are now part of the leadership team, so you go three nights a week (instead of just two) and seem to really like this.  You are currently signed up for another two years of classes...hoping you will continue on to achieve black belt eventually!
We are still working on the house, though now we don't have nearly as many major projects to do.  This coming week, we will finally be getting new carpet for the main living room.  You helped mommy and uncle Kevin pull up the old yucky one (and padding) and helped move all the stuff out to get the room ready.  You are still a terrific helper and enjoy doing so.
More again soon!  Love you lots ~mommy

Friday, June 22, 2018

We moved! And a bunch more...

Yes, it's been 5 months again since I wrote--there are many reasons, the biggest of which is that we finally moved!  It was a crazy experience; you will have to ask mommy for more details if you want to know one day (it would fill up a few entries here, and that's not what this blog is for :))  Our move date was the 5th of February, but we worked on it all that weekend, too.  It took far longer and more effort than expected.  Grandma Judy, "Silly Buddy", Nana, Pa-Pa Junior, Kevin, Maryanne, and even our new neighbors helped us out.  Most of the winter, we had not had much snow...until it was time to move!  It snowed on the 2nd, then again on the 5th (while we were moving in and all that night), and a lot of the following week, too. 
For the next few weeks, our house looked like a sea of boxes.  We unpacked as much as we could each day, while also cleaning (a LOT--it was very dirty when we moved in) and painting many of the rooms.  It took a long time and a lot of help, but the house is finally mostly in order.  I'm still working on it, just not so intensely now.
Once we finally got settled in, we started getting back to routine.  Despite all the craziness, we did manage to keep up with your karate--you are a yellow belt now and doing well!  Homeschooling has still been a bit rough, but we have managed to get it in, too.
We also traveled in April to Las Vegas (another plane ride for you!) to meet up with one of daddy's friends from college (Celeste).  Some of her friends were meeting up there, too, so we all got to meet each other.  We all shared a large house together and enjoyed the experience a lot.  There was only one other kid there.  Her name was Hailey, she was 12 years old, loved cats, and you two got along famously right away.  She even tried to "protect" you as we walked along the Vegas strip and saw some showgirls who were not wearing very much clothing (you did not even notice lol).  We went on the High Roller observation wheel, saw some shows at Circus Circus, attended the "Hawaiian Festival" for a bit, and even stopped by to visit my cousin Bryan at his work for a bit.  It was a great time, apart from being super hot there, which you did not like.
Since then, we've done some short day trips to Wisconsin and Indiana, but nothing major. We are now at Nana Linda's for a short visit to drop off Kevin so he can stay and visit his friends for a while.  We'll head back on Sunday.  Love you and hope to write more very soon! ~mommy