Well, it's been about "Guh" since the last update, which is unfortunate because we haven't just been hanging out and playing Nintendo (though
Niklas has managed to do quite a bit of hanging out and playing Nintendo). To start with, then, here are a crap-ton of
pictures. Hooray! So, as to what we've been up to, the kids and I went up to a swimming pool in Lincolnwood
with Dana, Aaron and Zack this morning. A fine time was had by all. Niklas was a big fan of the waterslide and the diving board while Zoe
had a good time running through the various water spouts and whatnot that pour water on people. Zoe also found having water shooting her in
the butt to be the height of hilarity. "It's shooting me in the butt!"
Yesterday, Niklas had a Little Sluggers baseball game. His friend Eli from school is on his team, so he thinks that's pretty great. He hit the ball pretty well all three times up to bat, including one at bat where he fouled off ten pitches in a row before smacking a line drive. I'd be enthused about his efforts to wear the pitcher out except that the pitcher is the coach and he's pitching to contact for both teams.
So, all we have left to get through is a week at science camp, the end of school and a trip to Pennsylvania. Also, I guess, there's Zoe waking up super early and coveing both of her arms in ink stamps. Oh, and we finally found this outside of Wrigley:
2013-07-15: So, today, Niklas started his second week of Science Camp. That, of course, implies that he had a first week of Science Camp, which was last week. Last week was Engineering Camp. To be honest, the engineering curriculum at the Kid's Science Lab is not quite as involved as the University of Illinois, but Niklas still learned a lot and had a bunch of fun. They learned about a different discipline each day. He built an oil pipeline to study environmental engineering, an artificial hip for biomedical, a hydraulically operated lift bridge for mechanical and a bunch of weird plastics for chemical. He missed Friday (electrical engineering, but I can probably tell him something about that) to go to take your kid to work day with Andrya, which he thought was great fun although it's still pretty much a mystery what he did there on account of his responses to "what did you do today" remain as vague as ever. Anyway (this is a back to the first sentence anyway), today started spy camp which featured messages that need special glasses to read and disguise tech. Niklas's disguise featured a green mustache, so if you see a green mustached guy who looks like Niklas, that's probably Niklas.
While Niklas was science camping (it's really a half day thing; the word camp does not imply actual camping, apparently) last week, Zoe and I spent a lot of time at the playground by our house playing in the sprinklers. If you need to occupy Zoe for a couple of hours, a source of water and a bucket will do it. We also played the Princess Cupcake game she got for her birthday which features the assembly of various cupcakes decorated in the style of Disney Princesses. Zoe's pretty good at that despite the fact that you put the cupcakes together instead of smashing them apart. Other highlights of the week included watching about forty hours of Caillou (possibly an exaggeration, but watching that show feels like an eternity), a lot of Duplo building and Zoe trying to take my picture while I was sitting on the toilet.
Back in the now, after science camp today, Niklas, Zoe and I went to Adams Park to play at the water playground. It's a pretty impressive setup with a slide and bunches of fountains and jets and whatever other type of water distribution things you can think of. A fine time was had by all.
2013-07-17: Yesterday, Super Spy Niklas (Codename: Jayden) learned about cryptography, but I don't know how he applied that knowledge. He says that, as a spy, he cannot divulge that information to me. So, there's that. While he was cryptographying, Zoe and I ate some apples by the river and Zoe threw any number of leaves and sticks into the water. She was also remarkably excited to see a flock of geese swim by even though she is deathly afraid of birds. After spy camp, I took the kids to the playground by the house where they played in the fountains for an hour or so while I avoided the horrible, horrible sun.
Today, Niklas learned about fingerprinting and camouflage while Zoe and I went to the gym. Zoe had a great time in the playroom and even though one boy "wasn't very nice to me... I didn't knock him down" which is an improvement over her behavior the last couple of times in the playroom. Both kids had baseball in the late afternoon. That went reasonably well. Niklas hit the ball all right despite the temperature being at least ten degrees higher than he can tolerate without complaining and Zoe didn't play in the dirt overly much. Success!
2013-07-21: So, today, I drove Niklas down to Bloomington where he'll be spending the next few days hanging out with Grandma and Papa. We also took a chair down which necessitated folding the seats down which further necessitated Niklas sitting in the front seat. He thought that was pretty cool. When I left him, he was chomping at the bit to get at some Legos, so I assume all is well there.
While I was enjoying the finest traffic I-55 has to offer (bridge construction? awesome!), Zoe and Andrya did all kinds of stuff. They read some books, shopped for some makeup and took a trip to the playground to play in the water. There was also a Princess Castle fashion show that featured guests from Zoe's dollhouse.