Sunday, October 13, 2013

Home again

A scan of the houses surrounding the park near Shanna's. Lot sizes are small, porches are big to encourage interaction between neighbors. Houses can't be the same color as the one next to them. Garages are mainly accessed through alleys though Shanna has one of the few front facing ones
chalk artists

Tessa at home taking a nap. I took the kids to the park to burn off some of their energy.

We are home again from our 5 day stay on Shanna's. They had a good time on their honeymoon.
This is Day 7 of Indian Summer. Temps reach almost 80 during the day but then drop down at night. The park pictured above was covered with frost on Friday morning.

We had gotten into a routine: get the boys up a bit past 7, make lunch for Oliver, select clothes for them. I thought they would be capable of dressing themselves but they are easily distracted and usually I'd end up doing it. Make breakfast, walk Oliver to the bus stop to await the bus, go home and drive Daniel for his 3 hour long preschool session. Tess would get up sometime while I was dealing with the boys but she was Steve's responsibility. While Daniel was in school, I took an hour or so to run through the cornfields. Only once did I see a deer. No other wildlife.

The witching hour (or more) would begin when the boys were reunited. I tried to keep them active riding bikes but sooner or later they would clash. Also on my agenda was to convince them to pick up after themselves. They will dump a box of toys out, play with them a bit, then on to the next box to dump. Soon we are knee deep in toys. Yesterday I turned off the TV and said none of that until the floor is completely toy free. Tessa and Oliver agreed to clean up but Daniel said that he didn't want to. Well I don't want to clean up after you. Well I am too tired to pick things up.Well then you can't be with us. You have to lie down in another room.
He cried piteously in the other room for 10 minutes before he was allowed back in. At one point I threatened to call the mamma to say that she could stay another week in Vegas (as if).

Shanna did call while I was in the midst of changing a diaper that had exploded everywhere. All 3 kids were crying (boys were fighting over some toy). I had the kids to myself. Are we having fun yet? Finally I did pick up after 3 tries on her part. Everyone was calmed down by then.

Their neighborhood is still being built. While I was there, construction would begin noisily at 7. Next door siding was being put on involving a buzz saw and a staple gun. A few doors down had an especially noisy, obnoxious crew who listened to heavy metal music all day pumped up to full volume swearing at each other loudly, oblivious to all the small children near them. Do they have kids? Do they talk that way in front of them?
Yesterday I took Oliver to soccer through the dense fog. Kindergarten soccer consists of 4 kids from each team running after the ball. There are no goalies or no rules such as offsides. The other team scored in the first few seconds when his team had a goalkick (usually an advantage over a corner kick) but the little boy could only kick a few feet in front of himself and the other team was lined up (all offsides but they don't call it) ready to attack. During  Naomi's first year of play, the goalie (they had goalies) could run to the corner of the box and throw it. At that age, a kid can usually throw farther than they can kick. A player is in the game only half of the time. A ball needed to be cleared from his team's end. Oliver ran onto the field to clear it. Too bad he was on the bench at that moment.

We did enjoy the kids but we do have a greater appreciation for what Shanna does every day by herself.

Venus or Spacelab. 
The Spacelab is making its rounds. The sky was clear and we have a full view of the southern sky (back here, objects better be high in the sky for us to see them due to all the mature trees). According to the website, Spacelab was supposed to be over the cornfields Thursday and Friday night. Steve insisted that the bright object there was Venus. Who knows? I didn't see it move so maybe he is right.

Happy Valley
Not happy for UM fans. How could they lose? Michigan was well ahead with only minutes to go when we drove home last night. I check the web upon my return...OT. And it just got worse.

Back to bicycling
I did nada yesterday besides a walk with the kids. But on a beautiful sunny day this morning back to bicycling. I almost became a speed bump when some silly woman on a dirt sideroad came barrelling right in front of me. I wear bright clothes but she didn't even look. Lots of bicyclists (and bikers too) out. Way more than usual. I see new markings on the road. TDL. I spent a few miles pondering what that could stand for until I found their rest stop (the place I buy my cheddar cauliflower) Tour de Livingston. Livingston is the county 8 miles northwest of us. But it seems like they were touring in our county instead.
Later a visit from Maya (or rather a changing of the parents that takes place at our house every Friday and Sunday) and then a brief visit to see Allie (and her parents).

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