Sunday, September 27, 2020

9 years old!

 You just turned 9 two days ago, can't believe it!  The Covid-19 pandemic is still going on, so we had to just celebrate at home, the three of us (Kevin now lives with Nana).  We started on 'birthday eve', with going to a butcher shop in Elk Grove Village to get steaks for dinner, then stopped at a couple of playgrounds for you to enjoy on the way home.  We also stopped at Barnes and Noble to pick up your birthday treat; you chose a chocolate chunk cookie.  You loved steak dinner that night, sans surprise.

On your actual birthday, you and I went to Mariano's to get donuts first thing in the morning.  After that, we came back, opened your presents, and you played with all of them right away (of course). There were 4: a snap circuits expansion, a gravitrax loop, a 3D cat lamp, and a 1000 piece domino set.  I made you a surprise with the dominoes--spelled out 'happy birthday' in cursive, which you loved.  I baked a cake for you...but when I went to frost it (a two layer round one), the frosting was too thick/heavy and it caused the cake to fall apart at the sides :( I was very upset, but determined to make you a dessert with the cat you had drawn as model for it, so I went for a pizza-sized chocolate chip cookie.  You had never had such, so you were skeptical, but you ended up loving it!  We didn't have that until the end of the day, though.

We went out for lunch at Wendy's, used one of the Frosty coupons Grandma Judy sent you (we got drive thru and ate at home).  You and dad played together while I baked the cookie after lunch. I had a lesson to do at 6pm, then a break at 7-8pm, during which we went to Georgio's to pick up a pizza (your choice for dinner :)). I did another lesson from 8-9; uncle Kevin called you during this time, and I overheard you telling him about how you were having an excellent birthday :D

Then we had your cookie for dessert.  The evening ended with you and dad taking a bath together, then we read some of the books at bedtime ("A Dog Named Grk" and "Two Dogs in a Trenchcoat Go On a Class Trip").  I hope we can make all your birthdays just as happy and great as this one.  Love you lots, mom.

Saturday, September 26, 2020

Back home...after 10 weeks in France

We finally left France on Monday, which made 1 day shy of 10 full weeks there.  I think it's the longest I've ever stayed in a row, but not totally sure (been too many times now lol).  We started the day by waking up at 5:30am (well, I got up at 5:25 and let you sleep until 5:40), got everything prepped and Damien took us to the bus depot.  We arrived at 7:05am, so we had 25 min until bus departure.  The security people came over and gave Damien a mask, and we put on our cloth ones.  The bus arrived about 10 min later, and the driver was saying that the airport was, no, I argued with him, telling him that just a few days ago a friend of ours (Talia, the girl we had lunch with one day) took her flight from there.  He seemed to think I was lying and said there were no flights out of there right now.  Damien tried to find out in the train station, but they didn't know anything.  I looked it up on my phone and confirmed that our flight was listed on departures and we also had our boarding passes. 
I wrote the rest of the story in my record of the trip, which I will happily share with you when you are older and want to read about this.  I hope you remember this day, it was an historic one, and I hope we never have to repeat such craziness to get back home again!  It was not terribly difficult, just weird and unusual.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

In France, in confinement

Yes, you read that right, we are in confinement.  Not prison, just confined to staying at the house.  The entire country of France is in lockdown due to the Covid-19 coronavirus, and since we are here, we are part of that lockdown.  This was the week that we should have been traveling to visit Marion and JT, but we had to cancel it, as it's not allowed now.  Even if it were, I would have canceled, as I don't want to catch the virus nor spread it (you can have it and not know it, but still spread it).  I've been writing all about this in my personal journal of the trip, which I will share with you when and if you want to read it :)
Currently, we think you have bronchitis, brought on by a flu-like thing you were having a few days ago.  It's likely due to you having had a runny nose for over a week and you kept sucking the snot back up in your sinuses rather than blowing out.  I hope next time you get a runny nose you'll be more apt to blow your nose!  Either way, you are getting better each day, but haven't had a lot of energy, so you aren't playing with Maty and Loulou these days.  That part is a bummer, but I'm sure you'll be better enough soon to get back to playing with them.  You've been learning a lot of French from being here and Maty has learned a few English words, too.  Even Mélo has been making efforts!
You also recently decided to start learning Japanese, which I think is awesome.  You are using Duolingo for this and doing quite well.  I've been trying to do it as well, but I'm not as far along as you.  That's about it for current updates, will try to keep you posted again soon.  Love, mom.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Going to France soon

Hard to believe it, but our trip to France is just 2 weeks away!  You're excited, yet a bit apprehensive about the flight because you have a bit of wax build up they were unable to dislodge at your recent checkup at the doctor.  I'm pretty sure you'll be fine, as you have had this problem pretty much your whole life and have flown successfully a couple of times without incident.  Fingers crossed that this will continue to be the trend.  If not, we will have you seen at an ENT.
Next Friday, you will have to be seen by a different specialist, though: an ophthalmologist.  At the checkup, we discovered that you are not seeing very well at all out of one of your eyes!  It seems quite likely that you will need glasses.  Bad timing, though, since we'll be heading to France 6 days after your appointment.  We'll have to pick up your glasses after we return, as I'm also pretty sure they will want to check to make sure the glasses are correct once you get them.  Either way, I'll just be happy to get you taken care of :) 
Well, I'm going to go get started on some of the packing!  Love you lots and will do my best to write again soon!

Sunday, January 5, 2020

Happy 2020!

I can hardly believe it's another new year already!  This year, we traveled for the holidays.  We started with going to grandma Judy's for a few days...would have stayed longer, but currently, daddy's brother Shaun is living there with his dog, who pees everywhere, barks a lot, is freaked out by a lot of things, and Shaun doesn't take care of her the way he should, so it's not very pleasant to be there.  Plus, he behaved very strangely at Thanksgiving when he came to our house, so that makes it even more awkward.  We managed to have a good visit at Grandma's anyway--saw Nanny, grandpa Kerry (and Peggy), you got to play with Jonathan, we went out to dinner at Texas Roadhouse, and saw the Christmas lights both at Keokuk and Quincy.
On Christmas Eve morning, we headed to Missouri to Nana's house.  As we always do, Nana and I cooked lots of yummy things (most of which you didn't try, but hoping you will eventually).  Christmas day was great--you were so happy to get a note back from Santa, thanking you for leaving him some cookies :) And of course you loved your presents: Portal board game, expansion set for Gravitrax, marble maze, a letter board, and a few other little things.  We stayed for a week so that we could celebrate Pa-Pa Junior's 76th birthday (on New Year's eve) and ringing in the new year together.  We let you stay up so that you could 'toast' with us (you got Kool-Aid in your flute) and we watched (from inside the house) Pa-Pa shoot his .44 at midnight (this is a tradition of his).
In other news, we haven't had but a couple of "dustings" of snow since the Halloween one--very weird winter so far.  It was the second warmest Christmas on record in a long time (both in Missouri and Chicago area), so it certainly wasn't a white one! 
And the biggest news of all: you and I are going to France again in about 8 weeks from now! My friend Mélo--the one whose apartment we stayed in 2 years ago--invited us to come over and stay as long as we like.  She wants her boys, especially Maty, to practice/improve English with us.  Particularly with you, since you two are almost the same age.  This time, however, we won't have our own place, as the apartment is rented out.  If the strikes aren't too bad, we'll go visit Marion and maybe JT, possibly other friends of mine while we are there.  We're going to stay 8 weeks, which sounds long, but I'm sure it will go by quicker than we think!  I'm only a bit nervous for being able to work while we are there.  When they had their old place, it was easy to close off a room and do my lesson from there; I'm hoping they have doors in place so that I can do this again this time (as I have to do most lessons during the night time).  At any rate, it's an amazing opportunity for you and I both to get to spend time in France like this and I can hardly wait! ~love always, mom

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


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