Well, regular updates have been interrupted by spring break, a bit of a cold and possibly some drinking. Anyway, here we are.
So, last Wednesday I loaded the kids in the car and we drove down to St. Francisville. Andrya was working in New York, so she got to miss the scream show Zoe put on between Paris and Marshall. Other than that, though, the trip was OK. Zoe looked at some books and played with her Yo Gabba guys and Niklas took a bunch of pictures with an old digital camera that he recently acquired from the drawer of dead technology. (I'll get around to posting those eventually.) When we got to St. F, Niklas and Zoe did some kite flying which featured Zoe giving Niklas her kite, him dropping it and it snagging on his kite that I was holding for whatever reason resulting in some double length kite flying that was pretty cool. After that, Grandma and Grandpap Vennard and I took the kids out for some Mexican food (quesadilas and chicken tenders; my kids aren't about authenticity) where they were stunningly well behaved given Zoe's lack of nap and all the time in the car.
On Thursday, Grandma Vennard took the kids to the playground while I took a run down to the historic Port of St. Francisville. Zoe's climbing skills impressed Grandma greatly. Later, the kids helped with some yardwork (featuring Zoe coming about an inch from braining Niklas with a shovel), drove about in the gator and a tractor and generally ran about like crazy folk.
Friday featured more playgrounding, a bit more kite flying and some stalking of the various cats. Niklas spent a bunch of time "helping" Grandpap Vennard with various projects in the garage proving that Grandpap has a ton of patience. Meanwhile, Zoe found a bunch of Christmas books and had Grandma read them to her for whatever reason.
On Saturday, we headed over to Bloomington to meet up with Andrya at Grandma and Papa Meeker's house. That was an awesome four hour trip that included a stop at a Burger King that was out of hamburgers. When we got to Bloomington, Niklas, as is per usual, decamped to the basement to play with legos while Zoe played with a massive Duplo train set upstairs.
And now I'm tired, so I'll finish this recap up tomorrow. There are some captionless pictures up here.
2013-04-04: Right. Moving along to Easter, both kids actually had to be woken up for church on account of all the fun they had been having. Both of them behaved really well, so it was an Easter miracle. After that, they checked out their Easter baskets (Niklas and Zoe got some Ninja Turtle and Play Doh stuff, respectively) and hunted Easter eggs in Grandma and Papa Meeker's backyard. They both did pretty well with that, though Niklas had to help Zoe out with the last few.
I spent most of Monday and Tuesday in a Nyquil haze, so... stuff happened then, probably. Andrya was working from home so she took Zoe to t-ball and took Niklas to school and all that, so that was fun for the kids. I did go to music class with Zoe most likely. I'm pretty sure she had fun with that.
Yesterday, Zoe use the potty like a big girl which has been a massive point of contention between Zoe and Andrya and I. (Andrya and I are on the same side there, if that's unclear). She understands that she's a big girl and big girls use the potty, but apparently she's of the opinion that it's suckerish to go out of your way to use the bathroom if some guy with change your diaper for you. Get your life together, Zoe!
2013-04-07: Well, after a couple weeks of non-stop action, action, action, this weekend was fairly laid back. Zoe and I went to the playground on Friday, but that trip was cut a bit short by her insistence on playing "let's throw a bunch of rocks for some reason," which is a game I'm not terribly fond of. Other than that, she had a great time with the slides, teeter-totter and swings as is per usual. After school, we took Niklas to get a haircut so he's back to green on the shag-a-muffin threat scale.
Yesterday, Andrya and I played Clash Alley with Niklas. It is the most convoluted board game known to man; I'd say it's somewhat related to the made up game show from that one episode of Friends if you're familiar with that. I guess it's a bit different because it involves ninjas who are also turtles which was not a big part of Friends if I remember correctly. Anyway, Niklas had a blast with that as six year olds routinely operate on a nonsensical logic which gives him a big edge in Clash Alley. We also went to lunch at Goose Island at the request of both children which is just one of the many reasons why I love them.
Today featured Zoe making up for her good behavior at mass last weekend and some quality swimming by Niklas.
There are a few new pictures up here. I've updated the captions from last week, too, though I think that, like this one, they're mostly self-explanatory.
2013-04-15: Apologies for the lack of updates last week. A combination of a cold and the horribly depressing weather had me disinterested in most everything after about five o'clock. Anyway, there was big news: Zoe is all about using the potty these days. It turns out that the key was to not tell her to use the potty, but rather to tell her to "get a score". Zoe is all about racking up points. We only went through one pair of training pants all day today, so things are progressing rapidly there.
Grandma and Papa Meeker were up yesterday. The kids had such a good time with them that nobody noticed that I was gone when I went for a twelve mile run, so that was a success. Amongst other things, Grandma and Zoe put together a puzzle while Grandpa for some reason agreed to play Clash Alley with Niklas. There are some new pictures up here. They were actually up yesterday, I just failed to mention it.
2013-04-18: So, yesterday was report card day. Niklas has continued his streak of putting his Sketchers up academia's posterior, so that's awesome. As report card day is a day off from school, we needed something to do that didn't require us to go out in the ridiculous amounts of rain or stay in the house which is pretty much supersaturated with cabin fever, so we hit Pump It Up. Niklas set a new all time personal best on the rock climbing wall while Zoe made it through the obstacle course all by herself for the first time. Zoe also shot me the mean face when I suggested, after about twenty tries that she might not be big enough for the thing where you run up a slippery hill and try to velcro a ribbon onto something. After an additional twenty tries, she finally succeeded, so shows what I know.
2013-04-25: Apologies for the lack of updates lately. I've had a lot (some, anyway) of work lately and then yesterday I went to bed at eight. So.
Zoe's potty use is pretty great of late. What wasn't so great was when she said to Andrya "what the hell are you doing?" That's particularly not great because she obviously heard that from me. Sorry, Andrya. Other than that, stuff's been good with Zoe C. She had a great time at t-ball, music and swimming this week.
Niklas is learning to ride a bike. The positive spin is that his second and third attempts were much better than his preliminary one. There were hardly any accidental applications of the break yesterday, for instance. We also went to the park so Niklas could practice baseball a bit before making his Oriole's debut. He's hitting the ball much, much better than last year, which is pretty cool. We'll see if that carries over to tomorrow's first official practice.
2013-04-30: Well, Zoe has gotten rid of her nap once again which explains why I've been spending my evenings drinking and rocking back and forth slowly while holding my knees. Still, the following things have happened lately:
Niklas had his first Orioles practice and game. The practice went better than the game, mostly because it was cool and overcast for that while the game was hot and sunny and Niklas is built for Scandinavia. It was only 75 degrees or so at the game, but he looked like he had been in the desert for months. Other than that, he's been good. We might take the training wheels off of the bike in a week or so, so there's that, too.
Zoe continues to do a good job of doing scores or, if you will, using the potty. Usually, she insists on being in the bathroom by herself, but today she wanted me to hang out in the bathroom with her so she could show me how she could get the toilet paper all by herself. That didn't go as well as she planned as she managed to face plant into the toilet paper holder, but still.
Zoe has also recently started calling elevators "elevators" as opposed to the less accurate (but more fun) "alligators".