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Month: April 2017

tough cookie

tough cookie

Among the difficult things Elsa has had to deal with this month are the graying of one of her front teeth (Oliver knocked her in the face with the back of his head when she climbed on his back unexpectedly . . .), she fell and scraped both knees pretty badly on Easter, and then last Saturday her foot got caught in the spokes of the bike wheel and . . . it wasn’t good. elsainER2

Micah carried her home while Simon wheeled the bike, (Oliver and Felix and I were doing different things on the other bike) and we patched her up as well as we could. We didn’t think anything was broken, so we took care of the open wound and had her rest as much as she could. She didn’t complain of any pain, but was very protective of her wound and needed to be carried a lot.

But the next day when we went to change the dressing on her wound we were surprised at the swelling and decided to take her to the doctor the next morning. So I did, and the doctor sent us to the ER for x-rays. Thankfully, we were correct in discerning that there were no broken bones, just a bad sprain and lots of swelling. We’ve been icing it and it is looking much better. Fingers crossed she’ll be bearing weight on it in a couple of days.

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It was interesting in the doctor’s office and in the hospital . . . the doctors all wondered if we had given her anything for the pain, and at first I felt silly that I didn’t even think of that. But then I realized I didn’t think of it because she didn’t need it. She cried when it first happened, but then she took a nap and she woke up and never complained of anything.

And while it has not been a picnic to have two kids that need to be carried most of the time (though Felix would probably disagree with that statement), the bike has been perfect for getting Elsa around town. We had to take the stroller one day because of rain and while it worked, it was much trickier than putting her on the bike and just going. The only struggle there was that she fell asleep every day and was freaking people out because they worried she would fall off. (She won’t.)

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It’s been a rough month for her, but she’s a tough cookie.

oliver’s famous friday

oliver’s famous friday

We had good times last week going through this little blog to find photos and videos of Oliver. Who remembers that he went through a “Joy to the World” phase? It was the only song he wanted to sing for months. 

And who remembers that he used to answer “Roar!” when we asked him what sound any animal made? 

We also found that he has not changed a bit when it comes to the cleanliness of his face.

But that is not why we were rummaging around in the archives. What we really needed was footage for his Famous Friday presentation at school, where each kid gets a chance to show off a talent.

Here’s what we came up with for Oliver:

Sadly, because of technical difficulties, he did not get to be famous on Friday, but he will be magic on Monday and get to answer his classmates’ questions about his accomplishments.

While I die a little to see my little baby Oliver growing up, I am ever so grateful to see who he is becoming. What a kid!

a simple, special easter

a simple, special easter

My hope for Easter this year was that it would be simple but special. Simple because I didn’t have it in me to go all out, and special because, well, it is a special day.

We did go Easter egg hunting the day before, and you wouldn’t believe it but WE CAUGHT THE EASTER BUNNY. And he’s just as cute as you would imagine, though slightly less furry. Also, he only has two teeth and they are on the bottom, not the top like you would expect.

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For our Easter feast, I made challah bread and baked some salmon. The challah bread had honey and the salmon is fish. It was an attempt to connect our “simple” meal to Christ—“of the fish and honeycomb he did truly eat.”

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We planned to go on a walk after dinner, but we put Felix in charge of forging the path, so we spent a few minutes trying NOT to wander into the street before Elsa stole the show by running, tripping, and scraping both her knees. We got her patched up and determined to forge ahead with our plan, but Elsa was just as determined to not walk and to loudly protest. Her brothers tried to help her out as much as possible, but by the time we got almost halfway around the block, we realized it was a bust and went back home.

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And so we read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows while sitting on the balcony instead. It actually tied in quite nicely because Voldemort is so scared of death and so we got to talk about why that is and why we don’t have to be scared of death.

Small and simple. Simple and special.

10 years of Simon

10 years of Simon

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It hardly seems possible because, you know, I’m practically still in high school, but Simon turned 10. We’ve been parents for a decade. He’s been teach us for that many years. It doesn’t make any sense to me, and yet I can’t argue with the math, nor with the evidence that my butterball of a baby is old enough to help out quite a bit with my other (less buttery) butterball of a baby.

We talked about what 10 year olds can do and decided that they could probably ride their bikes to the library by themselves (a little over half a mile). They could probably go to the grocery store to buy a few things (on our same block). They could be left home alone for over an hour. And they can be left in charge of 1-year-old brothers for . . . not very long. They can also, with supervision, make ice cream. (Though, sadly enough, they haven’t really done it yet.)

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And while all of those things could happen, the only big change we’ve made so far is to let him use real dishes, instead of the plastic IKEA kidsware. Haha. It’s a silly thing, but we wanted him to feel and see that he is growing up, and that we notice it too.

I would love to write a novel about all of the wonderful things Simon is and does, but I don’t think that could really do justice to the boy and what he means to our family. Even if he has started rolling his eyes at me occasionally and being embarrassed by our family. Sigh. They really do grow up so fast.

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Oliver’s special day

Oliver’s special day

We are all about encouraging/bribing our kids to make goals and work toward them. They each have a reading goal and Oliver (of all children) reached his first. Not that I’m surprised! But maybe he is just not usually the first one to do anything, ever.

But he reached his reading goal and he got to pick something fun to do with me and Micah. It turns out that our 7-year-olds idea of a good time is to ride his bike from Brooklyn to Manhattan and then to see a foreign film with subtitles.

(Or maybe he just wanted to see a movie and the one that worked best with our schedule happened to be a foreign film with subtitles—and not, say, Lego Batman.)

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So Oliver and I rode together from our place, across the Williamsburg bridge, to the little theatre on the Lower East Side, and Micah met us there after dropping Simon off at his friend’s house. (We had a sitter for Elsa and Felix, obviously.) Oliver got a bag of gummy bears to munch on during the movie, and we all enjoyed “Your Name,” a Japanese anime film that I HIGHLY recommend. Oliver said that he really liked it and that he mostly followed it even if he couldn’t quite read the subtitles fast enough all the time.

(I would also say, the plot is pretty cerebral and is so complex that it feels like it could fall apart at any moment, but it doesn’t and so it feels magical.)

And then we rode home and got pizza for everyone, because Oliver wanted to do that too. He’s nice like that. And a good reader. And rider. And sport.

Love that kid.

spring breakin’ 2017

spring breakin’ 2017

In my wildest dreams, we would hop in a/our car the minute the kids got out of school and drive up to a/our lake house to spend the week and a half of spring break.

In my wildest reality, we spent the break playing games in the morning and going to parks in the afternoon.*

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And now that I write that down, I think we did just about exactly what we would have done at our theoretical lake house as we did at our little apartment, only at the lake house we wouldn’t have even made it as far as a park. We would have just played in/by the lake all day.

So I guess we did alright, even if it was nothing exotic. The kids were happy. I was happy. (Micah, who had to go to work every day, was less happy to miss out on all the “fun.”)

Best/worst of all, the days flew by and we never felt like we were going crazy with boredom nor that we were having so much fun that we were loathe to go back to school.

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I’d rank it a solid 7/10 and do it again next year if we have to.

*We hit the nature playground at Prospect Park, Coney Island beach, Brooklyn Bridge Park, the Central Library (you can say that’s not a park, but think about what bookworms my kids are), Mount Prospect Park, Long Meadow in Prospect Park, and Brooklyn Botanic Garden.