Monday, July 28, 2014

Biker Boy

More catching up until I get to the whole trip kajibber. One day mid-June, Calder came home from t-ball and was all, "Take the wheels off my bike, yo." This was kinda weird because any and all previous attempts to ride on only two wheels normally ended with Calder throwing his bike down and stomping off in a snit. Remember how I said he WILL NOT try anything until he was absolutely 100% sure he could do it right? This times a million with him and riding his bike.

We had tried to help as best we could. Running alongside him or hoisting him upright from behind. It all ended poorly.

Until that day after his game. Perhaps transferring from hitting off the tee to coaches pitch like a BOSS gave him some faith in his own physical abilities, I dunno. What I do know is that after ten minutes of minimal interference and watching him fall onto the neighbors lawns, he was doing this:


And the next day? This.

Ever since it's been almost impossible to keep him on our block. Apparently only able to ride as far as mom and dad can see is just too limiting for Calder the bike king. One of the best moments to come out of all this was me commenting on all the bruises on Calder's shins and thinking that maybe they came from all that falling down on his bike. He replied, "I know how to ride my bike. I NEVER fall down." He'd had the training wheels off for a whole week.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Making Waves

And the livin' is lazy.

Well not super lazy. I mean I've been doing stuff but nothing interesting. Well, except that time I took the kids to the East Coast for one of the most insane child's birthdays I have ever been to. Oh and that other time I finally finished a quilt for a different kid's birthday.

I am going to try this again. One hot minute after school ended we began doing stuff constantly and yet I am never seeming to get anything done.

So let's start small. About 6.5" by 6.5" to be precise.

Sometime about a year and a half ago, my younger sister visited us in Skokie with her daughter, then about six months old. At that point for whatever reason I agreed to make Big Mac (my niece) a quilt even though up to that point I hadn't really finished one other than Wren's basic, small squares.

Fast forward to this year and I decided maybe I should probably start finish this thing for her second birthday, now that it had spiraled into an 18 fabric, twin-sized nightmare.

I started the project in January and despite  vast periods of neglect and some hand sewing and a few strange looks from people on the Metra, I managed to get the thing bound just in time for our flight to my OTHER sister's house in PA, which was the start of Calder and Wren's epic family summer adventures. Of which Big Mac's birthday would be a feature.

Luckily my sister had the perfect doorway on which I could hang and photograph this stupid quilt because if I can't prove to the internet that it is done, is it really finished? Also, I won't lie, I want all the damn kudos I can get for it. I need them to keep me from throwing the other FOUR quilts I have in progress in the garbage.

Even though Big Mac's Birthday wasn't for another weekend, I handed it over to my younger sister a week early to save some room in my own luggage. Mac seemed about as pleased as a  two year old can be about a quilt but I'll take it.

I named the quilt "Waves" because apparently that is what quilt people do, they name blankets. It's ocean themed to match Mac's room decor which features lots of sea creatures and one farting turtle. Seriously.

The quilt includes fabrics from: Full Moon Lagoon by Mo Bedell for Andover Fabrics; Michael Miller Out to Sea, Michael Miller Paradise Cove and Michael Miller By the Sea; Tula Pink Salt Water, Moda Ocean View, Tiki-Tini Lounge, and one random purple piece I found at the thrift store. Embroidery done by "That guy at the hockey rink who puts names on things and also sharpens skates.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Last Day of K

First day
Last day. Based on my super accurate Lines on the Door Jam method, Calder has grown about an inch and a half since his first day and only a small amount of that is hair. 
This past Wednesday was Calder's final day of kindergarten. After hearing that they be getting dismissed at the absurd time of 9:30 am, I decided to take the whole day off and do something fun with him rather than just go in late after taking embarrassing sign pictures again. Plus it meant I got to bust out the sign before AND after class.
Only for Wren's epic cheese face

He's got style, that one.

 Unfortunately my fun plans were busted when the DuPage Children's Museum was stuffed to bursting and we couldn't even find somewhere to stop the car long enough to eject the kids from it. After assuaging the tears with promises to take both children to see How to Train Your Dragon 2 (Go, it was awesome), we hit some thrift stores and headed home for naps.

She insisted on being in all the pictures

With his teacher, Miss Boni, who could not have gotten out of there any faster. I think she's happy to be teaching 4th grade next year.

I think it would be safe to say that Calder's first year of school was a success. We received his last report card that day and his marks we pretty much in line with what I had written on his pre-year evaluation: Smart as shit, talks too much, won't sit still, won't try anything he can't do perfectly (which leads people to think he can't do it at all). In all he had significant'y more good days than not so good and sometimes I really don't blame him. It's hard to sit and be quiet when your class is learning basic sight words and you can read at a second grade level. Apparently he still needs to work on learning his address and home phone number (what's that?) and tying his shoes (which he can, it just takes him a few tries so he won't) and learning how to say, "Yes, I was talking to Evan. Sorry, I will stop now" rather than "Evan was making me laugh!" Personal responsibility, really.

I think Calder did well enough to enjoy the experience and he is certainly looking forward to next year already. He'll tell anyone who happens to stand next to him long enough that his is now a FIRST GRADER and gets to go to school ALL DAY next year. At the same time Calder is also truly enamored with this "summer vacation" he's heard so much about and has all sorts of lofty plans for plane rides and beach outings and whatever else you do when you don't have to go to school. I suppose I'll give him a few weeks before I show him the summer workbooks Miss Boni left in his backpack.