Month: August 2017

First day of school 2017

Hooray it’s the first day of school!

Jack returns to elementary school for second grade. He’s a lot less nervous than previous years, and has a lot of friends in his class. We think it will be a great year!

Sam is back at preschool for the second year, this time for 4 days a week, 8:30-11. He walked into class like a pro and knew exactly what to do. No tears today! Same teachers, a lot of returning classmates, and playdough on the table means he’s going to have a great time today.

I got the house more clean in the first 15 minutes after dropping them off than I’ve been able to accomplish all summer. I’m going to celebrate the rest of the morning by knitting in peace and baking oatmeal raisin cookies.

School is the best!

Ewok Jedi Comics

Jack wrote a comic book this summer.  Acting as his publisher, it’s in my best interest to advertise our joint venture:

So bring your cash the next time you visit.  He hopes his little authorship scheme will net him extra pocket money.  🙂


Today we all went to see Marvel Universe Live: Age of Heroes.  Ben and Jack attended two or three years ago when Sam was too young (I cannot find record of it in my blog, so I don’t know exactly when).  This year we toyed with the thought of going.  The kids were begging when they saw ads.  Ben and I LOVE the MCU and love hokey theme-park-like shows.  I priced out tickets and with fees we decided it was just too much.  Then we got a 20% discount mailer, probably for having attended previously.  Damn those marketing geniuses!

This time we all went together.  The kids saw a summary video online so they knew a bit of what to expect.  It was a completely different show than the one seen before: now 25 Marvel characters and a new plot.  Bright and early, Captain America, Spider-Man, Loki, and Squirrel Girl trekked to the Pepsi Center.

Grumblings about performances in stadium arenas in general aside, this was a great show.  The writing was great, very true to character for each hero.  It did a great job of keeping the story clear for little kids.  I found myself leaning over to tell Sam “Uh oh, who’s that villain?” or “He’s going to punch the dragon!” or “The volcano’s about the explode!” to keep Sam engaged.  But almost every time the script said the same thing before or after me!

The theatrics were great too.  Not only were the aerial work and stunt fighting great, with plenty of flips and spins, but there was a surprising amount of variety to the scenes.  There were ribbon aerialists and Chinese Dragon dancers, real fireworks and explosions onstage, motorcycle stunt work, and even fire juggling and dancing.  I only wish we were sitting a little closer so we could see the costumes better.

Jack spent most of the show either narrating his emotions to me, or explaining all the puns to me.  “Mom!  Spider-Man said Lizard isn’t too smart, but he IS smart because he’s a scientist!” That sort of thing.

Sam was “a mix of wonder and fear” in Ben’s words.

They laughed a lot and both talked afterward about the part where Rocket Raccoon gets called a rodent and freaks out on  . . . who was it?  Nebula?  I can’t remember.  But Rocket went into a frenzied fighting rage that had the boys rolling in their seats.

Hulk was the final reveal ,of course.  Sam was very concerned in Act 1 that Loki had blocked his neural network so Banner couldn’t get angry and turn into Hulk.  When they finally broke that and Hulk emerged, well, see for yourself:

The show ended with all heroes posed and Spidey swinging out over the audience.  Perfect.

Our Anniversary

We celebrated our fifteenth anniversary with a long dinner at Simms Steakhouse. Getting married remains one of our best decisions. Celebrating our happy family we've built. We've come a long way.

Orthopedic Jackpot

Great news:

  • Everything looks good, break was not that bad.
  • Walking boot acquired = no more crutches!
  • “Post-op hard sandal” acquired = legal for Ben to drive while wearing this!

We are thrilled.  He’ll go back in two weeks for x-rays, then again at the end of six weeks since the injury.  Pain in minimal-to-none.  Swelling and bruising is substantial but expected.  New mobility options will do a lot of morale.  Yay!!

International Tiger Day

Jack and Sam wanted to go to the zoo last week, but the crowds were insane for some special event.  We promised that we would go the next weekend, when it will be International Tiger Day.  That was exciting news for my little tiger lovers.  We couldn’t let a broken ankle break our promise!

We arrived and had a quick snack from VooDoo Donuts before going inside.

I’ve learned that wearing work-out clothes is the best option for spending half a day at the zoo.  Too much walking and heat to bother with nice clothes and shoes!  The hip pack and mini cooler slung around my neck really finish the outfit.

Our zoo has a new tiger exhibit called the Edge.  It’s a larger and more varied habitat, back where the camels used to be behind the Northern Shores area.  Jack had already seen the new tiger home during his spring field trip at the end of first grade.  There were extra activity tables, volunteers, and tiger demonstrations for the special day.

There’s also this weird “Dinos Live!” exhibit through the fall.  Large animatronic dinosaurs are scattered throughout the park.  They sway their heads and tails, open eyes and mouth, and have recorded sounds.  The kids loved them.

After the Tiger show we had lunch and watched the Elephant demonstration.

We rounded out the trip with penguins, the bird palace, a primate visit near monkey island, and saw the mountain goats and sheep.  When we had circled half the zoo and were back at the entrance the kids let it be known that they REALLY wanted to see the komodo dragons  The lizards live on the edge of the park inside Tropical Discovery – where we had spent most of the morning watching sea otters and waiting for the tiger demonstration.  Really guys?  Sigh.  I parked Ben’s chair in the lion house in case of rain and trekked back east to get a look at those dragons.  Satisfied, we passed the polar bears, giraffes, and zebras for the third time today and finally left.

It was a fun trip and I’m glad we went.  It’s fairly handicapped accessible, as zoos go.  Sam couldn’t remember going before (though he has at least three times) so everything was exciting and new to him.  At one point he asked me if the rhino was real, and I wondered if he was having a hard time discerning the real animals with the fake dinosaurs there too.  Educational trip 🙂

Our monkey faces

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