Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Highlights from the past two weeks

So. It's been a whirlwind of a couple of weeks. Some of the highlights:

  • Houston got into City High! It's the best school in the city, and one of the very best schools in the state, so it wasn't at all a sure thing that he'd get to go there. We had a backup school lined up, but City is closer and better...and one of his best friends goes there too.  Yay!

    He'll have a uniform next year (sort of), so that will be new. I think that he'll probably really enjoy having a uniform, honestly. He's not a fan of having to think about what he's going to wear, and would probably wear the exact same thing every single day if it were acceptable at his school now, so having the only choices be "blue, red, black, or grey" every day? Perfect.
  • Easter happened. We celebrated at my parents' house, along with 3 of my siblings and their families. It was warm and sunny enough outside to hide Easter eggs outside for the kids to find. I think i always kind of overestimate either how easy it is to find eggs or how good my kids are at finding things. Maybe both.

    (Side note: My kids are remarkably bad at finding things, and i should know this by now. They'll be all, "I can't find ________." I'll say, "Did you look on the table?" and they'll be all, "Yes!" So i'll come and look and ...sure enough. There it'll be RIGHT THERE ON THE TABLE, in clear view. So i don't know why i think that they'll be able to find eggs that we've actually hidden on purpose.)
  • The kids had Spring Break. The week before Spring Break was beautiful and warm enough for Katrina to be running around barefoot, but then on the very first day of Spring Break, it totally snowed. Like...several inches of snow. And i had a tiny bit of hope that maybe - just maybe - it would melt and warm up so we could do fun things outside, but no. It was cold and snowy and rainy and COLD the entire week. Sigh. They went back to school yesterday, and today is bright and sunny, and it's supposed to get warmer in the next week. So maybe we might possibly get spring after all? Hopefully?
  • Katrina's and Zane's rooms have been disasters for far, far too long, and i finally reached my limit of being able to ignore them. Katrina's was especially disastrous, so i started there. The first day of Spring Break, i was all, "Okay! We'll clean Katrina's room and then Zane's room and then i'll take a shower and have a little time before dinner!" Except...no. That is not what happened at all, because i seriously underestimated just how insanely messy everything was in there. We went through every drawer and box and shelf, getting rid of giant bags full of garbage, recycling, and stuff to give away. We organized and sorted and TWO FULL DAYS later, her room was finally clean.

    I took Sunday off, and then on Monday i tackled Zane's room with him. His room was actually less work, partly because he's not quite such a packrat, and partly because he just doesn't have as many drawers and closets and random places to stuff things. We finished cleaning his room in less than a day. Yay!

    One really positive thing i will say about cleaning the kids' rooms? They were both really, really cooperative and helpful and not at all complain-y about having to clean. Their positive attitudes made it a lot less horrible than it could have been.

    They are both under strict, "You WILL keep your room clean!" orders.
  • Houston and i spent a lot of free time during Spring Break playing games. Skip-bo, Phase 10, Uno, Sequence, and Farkle (or 10,000) were regulars. I taught him how to play Rummikub, and so far he isn't a fan...but i'm confident i can win him over. Or at least wear him down....

    I love playing games. I grew up playing games with my family. My Mom's entire family are totally card players, so when we'd get together with them, there was always a game of cards happening. (They even broke out the cards and played a game during our wedding reception.) Juanito, however, isn't really a fan of games. Nor are most of my friends. So i'm really happy that my kids are getting old enough to play actual games. I mean, Chutes and Ladders and Hi-Ho Cherry-O are just not exactly "fun games" for adults to play. And Zane loves to play Othello, but it's not fun to just completely destroy him over and over, so i try to dissuade him from playing that very often. But Houston is old enough to be totally competitive in games now, and even Zane is able to be competitive in games like Sequence and Uno. Yay!!!
  • Our friends Brooke and Travis, who live in New Zealand now, are home for a visit. Travis isn't actually here yet, but we got to see Brooke and their kids! They came over for the whole afternoon on Friday, and it was so much fun to get to spend a long time just hanging out! They moved away from our town back when Houston was a baby, so the kids really only know them from trips to visit them and their visits to us and from us talking about them. And yet, the kids seem to really just accept them as "our people." For a while, Brooke was sitting on the couch, and Houston just curled up next to her with his head on her shoulder. Katrina and Zane immediately kind of adopted the kids as friends, even though they're all quite a bit younger.

    It makes me happy that we still just like their family. Beth and i were talking about how we really only knew Travis and Brooke for about 2 years before they moved away to Saint Louis, and yet they're just some of our favorite people. And i'm glad that they like us too! They're only here for a limited amount of time, and they have a ton of people to see, so they totally don't have to make time to see us, and yet they do! Yay!

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