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March 18, 2012

Now We Are Six

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When I was one I had just begun

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When I was two I was nearly new

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When I was three I was hardly me

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When I was four I was not much more

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When I was five I was just alive

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But now I am six, I'm as clever as clever;

So I think I'll be six now for ever and ever.

A. A. Milne

March 17, 2012

An Arts n' Crafts Birthday Party

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Joel and I decided to throw Adelaide a gathering with some of her friends from school at our local Parks and Recreation center. We had a blast with tissue paper, glue, pipe cleaners and paint!

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March 15, 2012

Spring Break

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"We're having a good time this break, aren't we, Mom?" Adelaide chirped to me this afternoon.

We are indeed.

This year, we decided to have a stay-cation and hang out here at home for the majority of Spring Break, with the exception being Monday's big, brilliant Spring Break trip to The Field. I have taken the entire week off of work, a much-needed respite from wintering-over on the Mother Baby Care Unit where things seem more political, more high acuity, and more tiring as of late. Joel, Pathology champion, opted to just take Monday off, in light of forthcoming adventures on the Job Trail.

It was my goal to to spend good, quality time relaxing at home, enjoying the kids and having fun. It was not my goal to use my time off to worry about household chores, bills, or future appointments or responsibilities.

I'm proud to report that I'm achieving my goal!

We're playing outside - It's 80 today - all the time. We've visited the pool and the library. We've scrapbooked and journaled and painted and colored. We've rested and read. We've played and played and played.

In between, we've done a few loads of laundry, swept the floors, and groomed the dog, but other than that, we're having just a jolly old, relaxing time.

Something new, too, is that Adelaide and Henry are having lots of fun, using their imaginations together with lots and lots of pretend play. Adelaide is a very generous playmate to her little brother and guides much of the decision-making, but Henry is an eager and willing participant in her designs. While I was making lunch today, I spied on the two of them in the backyard as they crafted a Piano Box playhouse out of our plastic outdoor toy tub, some old firewood and a jump rope (We're pretty big Betsy-Tacy fans around here, and they have a lot of good ideas.). It's fun to see Adelaide and Henry develop their relationship and become chums.

It's nice for me, too, because it gives me a little time to blog and upload YouTube videos.

All in the golden afternoon
Full leisurely we glide;
For both our oars, with little skill,
By little arms are plied,
While little hands make vain pretense
Our wanderings to guide.
Lewis Carroll

March 13, 2012

A T. Rex Named Sue

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Yesterday Joel, Adelaide, Henry and I drove to the Windy City to meet a T. Rex named Sue at The Field Museum. Waking up at five o' clock (which felt like four o' clock because of Daylight Savings) and armed with mugs of coffee, baggies of our favorite, so-called "Dog Cereal" (i.e., Frosted Mini-Wheats) and a dream, we hit the Ronald Reagan Tollway and zoomed toward Chicago. After a brief layover at the Dixon, Illinois Wal-Mart (we forgot Henry's shoes), we walked into The Field around 10:30.

Standing in the main hall, waiting to buy our tickets, we snuck glances around two big African Elephants at Sue's bones poised at the end of the hall. She's big, she's impressive, and you can get pretty darn close to those sharp, sharp teeth. We stood in awe of Sue for a few minutes, and then whisked the kids upstairs to an evolution exhibit to see all the other dinosaurs.

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Behind Adelaide and I through the glass is the skull of my favorite dinosaur, Triceratops horridus. You have to have a favorite dinosaur. Doesn't everybody?

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Joel's favorite is Stegosaurus. I gently pointed out that Steggy's poor skull was so small compared with that of Triceratops. Joel said he didn't mind.

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We ran from exhibit to exhibit, taking in all the wonder and awe that our little brains could hold. We picnicked next to dioramas of a family of walrus and swimming narwhals. We walked beneath a whale shark and pteranodon and stood eye-to-eye with a gorilla. We held our breath and crept through an ancient egyptian tomb. I was delighted by fossils of giant Ice Age animals. Joel couldn't believe the bones of the giant sloth. Adelaide was completely charmed by Lucy. And Henry loved his "nummies" (or Mummies).

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But before we left, we all agreed that the best part of the day had been the T. Rex named Sue.