Random comment, before we get started this week: my child is obsessed with blankets. OBSESSED. Every night he sleeps with no less than six of them. We actually had to hide some of his heavy-weight ones (like his down comforter). I have to go in there every evening and now I not just pry toys out of his hands (that I’ve been doing for YEARS now, he falls asleep playing with cars, Transformers, super heroes, trains; you name it), but have the added chore of untangling him from that pile of blankets and folding/putting away all but a few. LAWDY, child.
Anyway. This past Wednesday marked the start of 4-K for Pete. Usually schools here start after Labor Day, but that apparently does not count for the Catholic schools. Boo. So Wednesday we took the obligatory “first day of school photo on the front stoop”, then headed to school. After finding Pete’s locker and putting away his things, we headed inside to do a craft and listen to storytime.
The craft was a hand-tracing, add-a-kiss kind of thing where Pete and I had to switch ‘hands’ and can keep them with us for moments when we miss each other and need a little comfort. Pffft. Pete is like the Army Brat of daycares/preschools, with half a dozen location changes just over the past 15 months. So we did the craft but I won’t lie, we kinda gave each other the “this is dumb” side eye mid-craft.
Then it was storytime, and after that the parents left.
Well, I left. After storytime the teacher announced it was gym time and got the kiddos in their gym shoes, then escorted them off down the hall. Annnnnd there went the parents like a loyal herd of cattle, off down the hallway as well… ?? We were told that parents were dismissed after the story, but I guess some people had a hard time letting go. So I was the Worst Mother EVAR and left and went to work.
I had my Pete hand, so no worries I never got too sad that day.
That’s the most exciting thing during the week, no lie. Well, Pete has discovered that he can shoot with my camera, and I was dumb enough to indulge him by putting it on P mode and letting him go. After the first time I found him sneaking off with it the next day, though, I made sure to start hiding it waaaay up high on the highest shelf in my closet. He did get you a nice bump photo, if you’re interested. My stomach is measuring large and IN CHARGE, like full-term already. Eep. I try not to think about the fact that I have 6 weeks left to my due date…
He has also been Transformers obsessed this week. He only actually has one, so has had to make do with his Hot Wheels. I find those things everywhere, always mid-battle. If they are propped up, they are in ‘robot mode’, FYI.
Then the weekend hit. Friday was hoooooooooot (holy lord, HOT, it was in the mid-90s and humid) so Pete and I spent some quality time at the pool before dragging ourselves home to start the weekend. And I really have hazy, vague remembrances of what we did for the most part, to be honest. Lots of relaxing, and also lots of freezer goods prepped in anticipation of the fall. Scott made meatballs and blanched/froze veggies. Pete and I ate a lot of watermelon and contemplated making doughs for the freezer (spoiler: we never made any).
On Saturday we did make a quick trip to Black Earth to hit up the best butcher shop around (they are opening a store in Madison near us, this month even, so we’re dying to start their CSA). We also checked out the Shoe Box, which we always see on the way but never stop at. Well, we did this trip and it’s a huge, quirky shoe shop. And cheap, so I think we’ll be back when it’s time to get Pete’s soccer shoes later this fall.
Saturday was kind of a wash, but I did find time to make a peach cake. I was anxious and my thoughts were scattered all day, so it was a nice distraction. Chop, measure, whisk, pour. It’s a fairly involved recipe, so helped to soothe those nerves. Baking always does the trick for me.
Sunday we headed to Delaney’s Surplus, to take in the coolest little hidden gem in the area. Once parked, we headed around the side, past the piles of… well, junk. To the back, where a small path takes you to Dr. Evermor’s sculpture ‘park’, a large plot of land that holds several of the surplus store’s sculptures. It’s like Garden of Eden in Kansas, only with scrap-metal sculptures instead of concrete ones.
The Pièce de Résistance is titled ‘Forevertron’. It is massive and is made of scrap anywhere from 50-100 years old, including pair of bipolar electrical dynamos constructed by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century and a decontamination chamber from the Apollo space mission (that’s it in the image below, on the right).
After leaving the sculpture park, we hit up a park on the way home and had a picnic river-side. Scott’s corn and tomato pasta salad, homemade pickles, and that peach cake. Mmmmm.
Our picnic was later in the afternoon, so we headed home and did a few things and then hit up Chocolate Shoppe around 8pm for a late dinner of ice-cream sundaes. Our last Sunday Sundae of the summer, we might as well go out with a bang, right?
Labor Day itself was a day of physical labor, go figure. I planned to just hang out and take it easy, but the organizing bug hit yet again, so in addition to cleaning the infant car seat and washing dozens (and dozens) of bottles, I also completely reorganized the basement. It took me four hours, no lie. BUT: the thing was a pit. Over a year of going down there and rummaging through random boxes looking for our angel-food pan or tent or the winter-weather gear, that has taken its toll and the place was a chaotic mess of opened and/or half-empty boxes. So I re-packed, re-labeled, and moved everything into neat stacks. And found a bunch of baby stuff in the process that I had assumed were lost or given away during the Big Move last year. So: score. Also aaaaaaah, I feel like I can finally relax now.
And no photo of that, sorry. Instead I will gift you with photos of our last-ditch effort to put a dent in our Summer Bucket List. We promised to take Pete out sometime this summer to fly the kite he got from the Easter Bunny, but just didn’t find any time earlier. Well, it was too chilly for the pool today (I don’t think we even hit 70 degrees), and was kinda windy, so the perfect day to bust out that kite. Scott assembled it and brought it downstairs and… well, it’s tiny. Like, postcard-tiny. Pete thought it was awesome but it was a total B*TCH to get in the air, it didn’t exactly fly like a normal kite. Oops. I guess that’s what happens when the Easter Bunny buys a cheap dollar kite from Walgreens to beef up the old Easter basket.
Then we headed home from the park (I hobbled, I won’t lie; while my feet still have yet to do any pregnancy-related swelling, they do feel like they are straight-up bruised if I stand for too long). And grilled our Black Earth pineapple brats along with some corn on the cob. And had our dinner and were too STUFFED to bust out the watermelon for dessert, so that’ll wait for another day. Word on the street (er, or news) is that it’s supposed to warm back up later this week, so we have warm weather to enjoy for at least another week, official end of summer BE DAMNED.
Before I go, I need to share some news. Any reader that has been around the blog for a few years knows my dearest and oldest buddy, Nikki, she of Black Friday fame. We met many moons ago when we worked together in college, and have been tight as thieves ever since. No matter if we lived 5 minutes or 600 miles from each other, we have always been there through thick and thin, leaning on each other through break-ups and bad news and celebrating birthdays and our big life goals as well. We faithfully attended all the graduations, stood at each other’s side at our respective weddings, and never miss an opportunity to have a lazy day of just us girls on the couch, junk food and girly movies in hand.
Nikki and her husband have tried for a family for many, many years (and if you know her: never a complaint but instead an ever optimistic, hopeful attitude; she’s that kind of a gal). Finally (finally) earlier this year she was able to get pregnant, and what do you know – I’m pregnant too, our due dates are 3 days apart in fact. So we got to share that experience, and it’s been fantastic, especially since we are both having boys. Future frat brothers!
Her little guy made an unexpected, early appearance last week. He’s got a few preemie health issues and has a few surgeries ahead of him before he can make the trek back home from Children’s Mercy. But he’s going to make it, and that, my friends, is the best news ever. So if you are the praying kind, maybe say a quick one from my dear friend Nikki and her little family, for a quick recovery and so they can get that teeny darling home soon.
Welcome to the world, little guy – you’re in for the best time.