Singing Like a Dead Bird

Hello Friends,

The girls are in a singing phase right now, breaking out into song for just about any occasion. Much of their singing happens at the table when the girls should be eating. The other day, though, Cricket broke out into song when we were just hanging out, and I managed to catch it (I don’t think she realized I had the phone camera on).

A bit of a warning here: she is three and sings as such, and the content is just a bit morbid. For whatever reason, we have come across multiple dead birds lately. The girls are curious, not scared or disgusted, and apparently the Cricket stores the images in a special place.

Enjoy!

Advertisements

Always Yard Work

Hello friends,

I think I explained the shape of our yard when we returned to the house last July. But, to save some typing, check out the photos:

A bit scary, no? It got trashed from the construction/worker traffic/material storage, and I chose to complete the “landscape clean-up” on my own. So I got to work in July cleaning it up, mainly for the girls’ safety. Here’s how we ended the summer:

Better, but that overgrown mass used to be the raised bed forbour organic gardensn. I made it the storage spot for the branches when I cut down our cherry tree. Wife and I made plans to add a playhouse for the girls, so this spring has been about excavation and continued clean-out. We’re not there yet, but we definitely have progress.

I am sure many of you used the long weekend to take care of some yardwork as well. I hope it was productive and you enjoyed your Memorial Day weekend. Stay tuned for the completion of our project!

Bike to School Day

Hello Friends,

Wanted to share a bit of today’s adventure with you all. Before I go on too long, let me say I hope your day is going well, and your adventures are constructive.

We live wonderfully close to St. Viator Elementary, the girls’ school. That makes days like today, “Bike to School Day”, especially fun. In the fall we were all about taking our wagon to school. This changes things up a bit.

As you may have noticed, Sweetie is still on training wheels. She just got the two-wheeler last year, so we are in the learning curve (for the record, I think her class is evenly split on training wheels). And Cricket, well, yes, she’s on a tricycle. We did practice this run before hand, but oh what fun!

Once we made it to school we joined the other kids for a two-block “loop” along the east side of the school (closed to traffic for pick-up of course). The girls made a lap around here and with the exception of a loosened pedal, they both did well. Going home in the afternoon was a different story and we made the last block and a half with me carrying the tricycle and pushing the bicycle. Yeah, good sleep after that…and for the girls too!

I hope your day was as beautiful as ours. I am thinking this marks our transition to cycle transportation – #summergoals! We’ll see you out there.

How Do They Know?

Hello Friends,

Our spring break was last week. We started on the prior Wednesday, Thursday and Friday ( Holy Week), then had the week following Easter for fun. The girls are back in class this week though, and here’s how this Monday morning looked:

Let me dub in the audio of Sweetie’s alarm ringing just feet away from her. I let it go to see how long it would take her to wake up. The punchline here is that Sweetie was up before six a.m. most days over break. Yet come Monday she’s still snoozing away at 6:30. Hence my question in the title, ” How do they know?”

We stayed around town for spring break, didn’t go anywhere special or do anything particular – we’re saving that for the summer. Plus, it was cold!

So why was Sweetie up early every day? And to be clear, if Sweetie got up, nobody was asleep long after. She got the house moving with early morning stomping, yelling to Cricket (to see if she was awake) and generally making a ruckus. We weren’t heading out for adventures, we used break for practical things like doctor visits and grocery shopping. And playing, lots of playing.

This often happens on the weeknds too. We relax the bedtime schedule on Fridays, so the girls often go to bed a little later. But come Saturday they’re up and ready to go…and early. It’s like our girls, or maybe kids in general, know that we aren’t going to have an agenda on Saturday morning. Nothing to structure their time, so they can use it as they want. And with that, they maximize their waking hours. Gotta be.

Well, I hope that your spring break was enjoyable and your return to school easy. And if that sentiment doesn’t really apply to you because you’re not currently growing children, know we still wish you well. We’re gearing up for the spring, even though it’s still not warm (yeah, recent snow here too). And we’re grasping at every bit of sun amd warmth.

Not Warm Yet

Hello Friends,

Here in Chicago we have reached that time of year where the sun is coming out more and the temperatures are rising during the day, but it is not warm yet. These bouncing temperatures mean children are over-dressed and under-dressed daily, so everyone gets sick. We are just coming off a 10 day course of antibiotics ourselves.

Despite the cold, the sun is causing some spring fever. The girls want to get out! Nothing like playing with pails and shovels in your scarf and mittens (Sweetie is fond of bundling up). Or a tricycle ride in mittens.

We are trying here, friends! We are on the mend, the temp is on the rise – you’ll be seein’ more from us. We hope you all are dealing with the spring well, maybe we’ll see you out there.

Super (Kids) Day

Hello Friends,

One quick note before I launch into today’s post. The 100th Day of School is a thing – clearly, I had no appreciation for this school milestone. Wife informed me that I would’ve known this if I spent anytime on Facebook. I learned after coming across multiple pictures of 100th- Day projects while looking up images for today. G.I.Joe always said knowing is half the battle, and, now I know. Moving on…

Today’s theme is also a “thing”, if you happen to have a student learning to read with the Superkids program. Sweetie’s class has been using the program all year. She loves the online games and songs. I love that she keeps picking up books around the house and reading them. I appreciate witnessing the results of her school days.

Today is Superkid day, where the students choose one of the fourteen Superkid characters and dress like him or her.

Sweetie chose “Ettabetta”, known for her love of puzzles, riddles and ryhming names. Glasses? Check. Blue hair ribbon? Check. Elf brooch? Check. Details nailed, happy kid.

Besides emulating these characters, who they love, the kids also get an “out-of-uniform” day. So it’s like a double bonus around here.

That’s our big excitement for today. Chicago is slated to get slammed with snow over the next days, we’ll just have to see what happens. Stay safe out there, friends. I hope you are having a super day too! (groan)

100 Days

Hello Friends,

The girls just celebrated the 100th day of school. The teachers use this milestone to teach about the number “100”. They excercise creativity and make up fun counting and grouping activities. Sweetie’s teacher requested that the kids bring in 100 pieces of a particular item for their celebration. Here’s her submission:

We discussed the project for two weeks without settling on a particular item. Then, while cleaning and sorting some bricks, I came up with a Lego-based project (okay, didn’t mean to be literal there). I ran the idea past Sweetie and we agreed on three sets of 25 bricks and one set of 25 random pieces (understood and translated by Sweetie as “rainbow”).

After double-checking my brick count, Sweetie got to building. She went with a school/classroom build in alignment with the theme. And I just let her build.

This is all her, with one exception. She was having a time getting the yellow gate to act like a door, so I made the suggestion to put it on the propeller. I pulled that bit o’ genius from my “Lego Maniac” days. See if you can spot some pieces from those days. Yep, there’s some classic space in there, along with windows from the town hospital set, and obviously two of the minifigures are retro.

I’ll write more about my history with Lego bricks at another time. Suffice to say it was many happy years of building. My long-time friend Captain Jack and I were often at odds as I would keep the kits together and organized, while he would combine them to create complex, original structures. Isn’t that the Lego dilemma? Good times, though.

I enjoyed watching Sweetie build her project with Lego. So thank you TLG for inspiring yet another generation to build with your blocks. I have to admit I was taken aback by the project as a whole, though. Are we really that far into the school year? It feels like time is flying since we moved back into the house. And I really can’t use that as an excuse anymore. Well, we’ll just have to look forward to the next 100 days!