Saturday, March 4, 2017

Pink Eye!

Oy vay.  what a week for pink eye.

So Arthur went away for the week with school.  For real. Arthur, who is 7, went with his class to Nature's Classroom in Lake Geneva Wisconsin.  4 nights in dorm style houses.  They did all sorts of outdoor activities and selected various classes to take.  They also learned a lot about being independent.  Dining had a whole procedure to it.  Each student took a turn being Waitron where that person would kind of be in control of the table.  They lived out of their suitcases and did lots of things for themselves.  Very cool.

Unfortunately, Gridley came down with Pink Eye.  And apparently transferred it to Arthur during going away hugs.  So she spent some time during the week with eye drops, and then I got a call on Thursday to pick up Arthur early from Natures Classroom because his eye was swollen.  It was actually pretty bad when i got there!  But I took him to a clinic and got him some drops and things are looking better.  Too bad he had to cut short his adventure.  He seemed to be having a great time.

Also, Krista came down with pink eye.  I started to, but jump on the eye drop train and seem to have held it off.



We went to a very cold polar adventure down by the lake with some friends.  Gridley got some facepaint.  
 So did Arthur

the face painting method was an assembly line.  very efficient.
 Here is arthur getting his bobcat badge with his cub scout den.  Pretty cool.  we had dinner with the troop and learned more about cub scouts.
 Here is a blanket Gridley made for arthur's Dolphin.  Good stitching right?

 Arthur put his Construx set together.  He got it for christmas, but it was kind of complicated and sat around for a while.  we finally hunkered down and tackled it last weekend.  It took a few hours to get the whole thing built.  in the end it was some kind of slingshot roller coaster.  pretty cool.

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Valentines Day

A few weeks ago we were at the library and happened upon a lego building event.  The kids had boxes and boxes of legos to choose from to make whatever they wanted.  Once they were done they were told their work would be on display on the library.  Well, we were at the library again last week and their they are!  Pretty neat to see your work on display.
 This is our growing collection of Gridley Sound Books.  She makes these with her teacher at school.  For reference, each book is about the size of a quarter.  some are smaller.  each page has one letter or one small picture to help learn sounds.  Pretty remarkable.  you can see a couple of them have Gridley's name in her own hand writing.
 Here is Arthur enjoying a cheese filled breadstick I brought home from the supermarket for Junk Food Sunday (super bowl sunday).  They had just the right amount of salt on them (so much it was crunchy).
 Gridley in her hand made Elsa dress.

 After selfies, i let Gridley take a few pictures herself.


 Krista did some awesome crafting with the kids for valentines day.  Each kid had a project for school.  Gridley had bring a card for each kid in her class.  Arthur had to make just one big card for a friend who was assigned to him.  Krista got an idea from her friend Elise to paint white paper all smeary, then cut out hearts as cards.  Turned out amazing.




 Here is Arthur's big card.

 Gridley worked so hard writing her name and decorating every card.

 You can see Gridley's name in her own hand.  The G is kind of a curly thing.  I'm pretty impressed at a four year old writing her own name.

Fish update:  So the tetra were just not built for our tank.  The survivors were one white cloud minnow, one red wag plat, and one peppered cory catfish.  So I took Arthur to the store to buy one more of each of those fish.  The guy at the store was like, yeah, you have three schooling fish, they should each have a mate.  So we added a Sunburst Mickey Mouse Platy, a Green Cory Catfish, and another white cloud minnow.  All fish seem much much happier now.  Who knew catfish were schooling fish?

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Fish Update

Krista went downtown for the post inauguration protest march.  Chicago had one of the biggest turnouts in the world.  So big that the organizers canceled the march, which seemed odd, because everyone was in the street anyway.  Krista said the whole loop was pretty much shut down with people filling the streets.  Should be an interesting four years.


 As promised, fish updates.  So we have a Red Wag Plat now who seems very happy to be with us.  The cloud minnow (Dory) is also doing well and remains very spry.  We're struggling with the neon tetras.  the first two died, and their replacements aren't faring a whole lot better.  I'm thinking this isn't the tank for tetra.  We also have a cory catfish who is doing well, but i guess it is his nature to hide and not swim around a whole lot.  I wonder if he isn't nocturnal.
 Here you can see the air pump running.  we got one of those treasure chests that pops up and down with the air bubbles.  super fun.  It's hard to tell if the fish like the bubbles.  Sometimes the minnow plays around in the bubbles, but i think for the most part it is an annoyance to them.  

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Zoo day

Going through my pictures I see that there is very little to report.  I think that's why i love January so much.  the holidays are behind us and we can settle into our normal routine.  I love our normal routine.  The kids are doing so well in school.  Gridley asked me if she could go to school every day of the week.  Arthur is really growing at school.  The teachers have reported that he is learning better how to resolve his conflicts at school.  And around the house he's asking if he can help with various chores.  Great stuff!

Here is Gridley at swim class.  The teacher takes kids under water helping them go down and hold their breath.  Arthur is getting a little better at getting his face wet, but he is still not real happy about it.  the teachers are really good at understanding the kids.  They really encourage him to go under water without forcing him to do it.  And it is working, we're seeing progress.  I joined the gym and tried swimming laps yesterday.  Holy cow, I did not realize quite how out of shape i am.  5 minutes I was exhausted.  Will need to get back with some frequency.
 Last weekend we got a text from Arthur's buddy Keiran that the zoo was free.  So we went and had an amazing time.  The zoo was practically empty.  weather was decent.  and the kids were able to run around and enjoy themselves.  You know me, I love FREE!!

 This room is so cool.  800 parakeets flying in the open.  you buy these little sticks with food and they come right to you to eat it.  So much fun to see a flock of birds fly all around you.
 At the end of the day we went to the face painting spot.  The kids paint their own faces.  they loved it.  We had to drag them away.


 I went on a business trip this week which took me through Dallas.  so i got to spend a short visit with my very good friend Dustin.  We have been friends for 30 years.  wow!  this is his home brewery.  Pretty fancy stuff.
As promised, here is a fish update.  We filled the tank with ornaments in december.  then in early January we bought three fish.  Two tetra and a white minnow.  So far it is been great although we lost our first two tetra.  We bought a second group two weeks ago.  a Red Wag Plat, two more tetra, and a cory catfish.  These guys are doing great.  they seem pretty happy.  The tank has room for maybe one more fish.  We'll see.  I'm excited because we got the treasure chest that bloops up with air every minute or so.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Goodbye 2016

Arthur learned how to needlepoint a bookmark.  pretty cool.
 Brand new Tiger Scout uniform.  Arthur learned the salute at a party that included putting frosting on cookies.
 Here we are at Gridley's school on the last day before break.  The kids performed some songs and did some dancing.  Pretty dang cute.
 The school had us all participate in a moment of silence and reflection with the kids holding lit candles.  So, they managed to teach 15 four-year-olds how to hold candles and be quiet for a couple of minutes.  Outstanding.  
 We went up to Wisconsin for a couple of days to visit Jill and the kids.  Had a perfect day for sledding.  Krista and Jill had a chance to go get hair cuts in town while Dad took three kids sledding (no baby Graeme)


 The girls were using Arthur's legs as a slide on this rocking chair.  pretty fun stuff.
 My parents came to town for christmas.  We went to the always amazing chicago botanic garden for their annual train layout.  The whole thing is made of plant matter.  Mind blowing stuff.


 Wrigley field with a working jumbotron playing highlights from the Cubs world series win.

 Christmas dinner selfie.
 Christmas morning, Gridley was so excited that Santa answered her wish for an Elsa cup.
 Santa brought Arthur a hot wheels set.  Really cool one too, lots of different ways to put it together.
 The kids are unwrapping the new fish tank.  I'm sure there will be fish updates through 2017.
 Gridley also asked Santa for a guitar.
 Then after christmas we flew to Connecticut to see Krista's mom and friends.  Flying is so much easier now than it was a couple of years ago.  Although Southwest did lose Gridley's car seat, so we had to borrow one for a day.
 Bowling.  Always a great time.  Arthur did really well.  He's learning how to throw the ball.  It only went backwards once.

 We went to the Mystic aquarium.  What a great place.  smaller than some aquariums, but it also has a bunch of outdoor exhibits.  Here are the beluga whales.  Gridley loves balugas.
 We went to the air museum again.  The kids really like this place.  It is pretty big and not very crowded.  And there are a number of cockpits that are open for the kids to check out.  We struggled to get Gridley out of the place she loved it so much.

 On the flight home, the kids got some paper model airplanes from the flight attendant.  Here is arthur with his finished southwest jet.