Thursday, February 28, 2013

Skating for the Presidents

President's Day we decided to team up with our awesome-not-allowed-to-move-when-they-graduate upstairs neighbors* and go roller skating. All the kids have their own rollerblades and like this sort of thing. I don't know why we don't do this sort of thing more often.   You know, I love that the pictures are grainy and ill-lit. It just screams "roller skating rink" don't you think?

Aeryn and Joel skated hand in hand for the majority of the time we were there (about an hour and a half). That boy skates better than any five year old I've seen.

There's the group of them! Karen is a rock star and would kick my trash at a roller derby try out. It's no wonder her kids are good on skates! Though I suspect the fact that Gomez-babies have no fear contributes to that as well.

This boy cracks me up. He really wanted to wear Aeryn's wolf hat but she kept it on for the whole time even though she was completely burning up.

Darion is all boy. He is a rough and tumble, high energy, goofy little future stud.

I'd say Aeryn had a great time. She loved having the boys to hang out with and getting to go skating too. She chose to wear skates instead of her blades and this is the first time she's been able to skate well on them. Having Joel to take care of was perhaps her favorite thing. She just loves all the little people we have around us.

Proof that I was there, you'll just have to take my word for it that I skated!

At one point, Karen said to me "There is just something about a middle-aged man trick skating to Vanilla Ice" and completely summed up why roller skating rinks are awesome. The eternal twelve year old in me was ecstatic.

*Fine. They can move. I really do want everyone to have happy, successful, employed lives when they graduate, I'm just a little saddened that we aren't necessarily all moving to the same place to have houses up the street from one another. 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Random Things to Remember

I haven't felt like doing much lately. Jim was out of town visiting Ellie for the weekend, which always affects each of us quite differently. Aeryn gets extreme mood swings, I get anxious about his safety, and Jim goes through his own gamut of feelings. As he was coming home I started to get that sinking feeling that I was getting sick. By Monday night I was a burning hot mess. Yesterday all I wanted to do was sleep. Fortunately, we've been spared the real nastiness that has been going around and, today at least, are all in a fairly good state - though the Dayquil may be responsible for that.

This morning I went to work just to find out I wasn't needed so I took the unexpected free time to check the camera memory card. Here's a couple moments from February that I don't want to forget.

Aeryn has made a really good friend at school. This is the first time she's really had a friend I would consider to be her "best" friend. She gives that title out liberally, but this girl may be the real thing.

She still loves to draw, and fortunately doesn't seem too scarred by my refusal to keep buying tracing paper. I want her to trust her own ability and not be crippled by a perceived need to trace. So far it seems to be working. On another note, did you know they make Monster High Uno? Complete with a card that has you act like zombies while giving cards from your hand to other players.

I about died when she brought this valentine home. I should have added a ruler for scale, it's about 12x18 inches and was noticeably different than the others given out.


This one was actually from January. It's the monthly lunch calendar and I've been holding onto it because I couldn't part with the note. It's been long enough now that the recycle bin is winning. I figure a picture is sufficient cute Kevin's sentiments.

Friday, February 22, 2013

An End to the Hiatus (I think)

It's been a crazy month. I can't really say why. I've started working as a substitute instructional aide in special needs classrooms and it is literally the hardest paid employment I've ever had, not to mention the lowest hourly wage I've had since 1997. Every time I walk into a middle school or high school I yearn to have a full-time teaching job again, but I'm sure that will happen in it's own due time. At least I hope it does. Until then, this job keeps our bank account better situated by doing little other than keeping me from random Target excursions in my free time. Oh, Target, how I love thee.

The other night we went to a duck basketball game. Squirt and I headed out to buy popcorn and found it was FREE. Who'd have thought? So we went back and joyously passed the time watching the game. Confession: I have no idea what happened. I was there and seem to remember that I watched the whole game, but my mind was obviously elsewhere as I can't remember one single minute of it.

I was too distracted by trying to take candid pictures with my phone. When I took the picture of Aeryn above, my mind immediately raced back to one of the first games we went to and this picture:

Holy moly, how much she has grown. Puddles however, appears to be ageless. The difference between ages 8 and 10 is mind blowing. I can't think about where she'll be by the time we (and by we I mean Jim) graduate(s) and some crazy 12 number has entered the picture. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Monster High Everywhere

Well, I suppose I ought to document the last first of Squirt's birthday celebrations so that I can close that chapter and start planning for Jim's birthday. Why are husbands so much more challenging than little kids? I say that but honestly this party stressed me out to no end, and I'm pretty sure his birthday isn't going to throw me under the bus.

I'm sure it's very surprising, but Aeryn wanted a Monster High birthday party. The only two things she asked for were a pinata and to play Just Dance 4. It would have been awesome but we weren't sure we could hang a pinata from the drop ceiling in the community room (we could have, btw) and when we were hooking up the Wii it somehow got zapped and shorted out. So, no pinata and no Wii = Mom Fail.

But not really. We made tie-dye shirts (which I have no pictures of because I was covered in dye), had a silly string battle, finally played Just Dance a little after Jim got the Playstation rigged up in place of the Wii, and of course ate cake and opened presents. There were 2 of the 6 kids with food allergies so I made sure all the food was gluten/dairy free which honestly was NOT MY FAVORITE. I'm so glad her friends could all eat everything that was there but really, I think gluten and I have a major love affair going on and it was just depressing to have a birthday party with no ice cream.

I love unhealthy, indulgent birthday parties.

Initially I planned on baking gluten free cupcakes, then Jim convinced me that was insane since I don't know what I'm doing and we went the vegan bakery route instead. They were ok, but I can't help it, I love when buttercream actually has butter in it. The girls with food issues were so happy though. I can't imagine how hard it is to go to a party and not be able to eat anything. 

We found a printable online which Aeryn cut out and made the cupcake toppers. 

I don't really think she missed the ice cream, but I sure did. 

It's funny how all the kids get excited about opening gifts. They all wanted to open the new Polly Pocket airplane and play with the hot tub that squirts water. I'm just guessing, but I think they had a reasonably fun time. It was such a slow paced party, and I prefer greater energy at these things. When it's so mellow I stress the whole time about if anyone is having fun.

With that, we close the chapter on turning 10. Any brilliant ideas what to do with that crazy background fabric?