Yesterday Meg had her gymnastics mini-meet. She did great! She’s ready for pre-tumblers 4 now.
Meg practiced her gymnastics a bit yesterday while at Spencer’s football game. Here she is doing the splits while doing a handstand.
Today was the first of day school for us – Meg started Kindergarten, and Spencer started second grade. Meg had a big mix of emotions. She was super excited for the most part, with a bit of shyness and nervousness mixed in. She did just fine walking into her classroom. The kids school has a tradition of doing a big flag ceremony on the first day of school about 30 minutes after the start of school. The cub scouts do the ceremony including sending off a rocket. Spencer and Rob participated in the flag ceremony. For some reason, seeing Mommy again got Meg bawling, and asking to only do half day Kindergarten. By the time they got home though, they were both happy and excited to tell us all about their days.
Yesterday we marched in the PrideFest parade as part of the contingent from Jefferson Unitarian Church, along with 5 or 6 other Unitarian Universalist congregations from the Denver/Boulder area. Each congregation wore a different color of the rainbow – we were orange. It was close to 100 degrees and very sunny, and we were near the end of the parade, meaning that we ended up waiting around for a very long time to get going, but we made it. In spite of the heat, most people were in very good spirits, and we took the opportunity to try to teach the kids to be accepting of all people no matter what color of the rainbow they represent, and as we like to say in the UU church, stand on the side of love
Meg had a great time looking at the floats and all the rainbow costumes and boys in their underwear. She was very outgoing and asked several people if she could get her picture with them. We ended up ducking out of the parade just a bit before the end. After complaining for awhile about wanting to go home, Spencer was sad we didn’t finish the parade.
Spencer and I recently made up a new game playing baseball. We start off playing catch about 3 feet apart from each other. Every time we catch the ball, we take a step back. I thought it would be fun if we did some statistics about our performance. Today Spencer and I made a graph by hand, then we put it into a spreadsheet, and did some basic statistics
Spencer turned 7 on the 21st and Meg turned 5 on the 27th. We celebrated on the 27th at JumpStreet (it was actually supposed to be a different indoor trampoline place, but the closed after we had booked our party – fortunately we were able to get into a different place at the same time).
Spencer and many of the boys played football for almost the entire party, in spite of being surrounded by all sorts of trampolines and what not. It was nearly 70 degrees, so we could have had the party outdoors, but you can’t really count on that in February. Meg had an Inside Out themed party; Meg dressed up like Joy, and Clare dressed up like Sadness. Spencer wore his favorite football jersey – Antonio Brown of the Pittsburgh Steelers.
After our first round of sledding today, I shoveled the driveway. About 30 minutes into shoveling, I heard Meg calling me. I went to the door to check what was going on. She had her lab coat on, and told me she wanted to do some science experiments. It’s hard to argue with that! I finished up the shoveling, and then we started working on some experiments. One of her science-related Christmas presents was a kit to make coral reef (something that looks like Coral reef at least). I still don’t understand the science behind this particular thing, but I could read the directions, and it involved stuff like using the thermometer to measure water temperature, reading a measuring cup and so on. It turned out okay. I think we should have cut the pieces smaller to expose more surface area.
I got a bit of a scare when Spencer asked me a question about the experiment while I was giving a bath – does the coral reef water have soap in it or something? I panicked, because he had obviously put his hands in the solution with sodium silicate, and the directions clearly said not to touch it. (He was playing video games while Meg and I were doing science, so he didn’t know). I read up on sodium silicate, and the solution was already about 7x diluted, so it didn’t seem too critical. We washed his hands well, and he didn’t report any burning.
I couldn’t have asked for a much better weekend. Friday evening started off with the typical pizza meal, with Grandma and Grandpa, who just got back from a 3-week trip to move Great Grandma from Chicago out to Arvada. After dinner, we went to the Ralston Valley vs. Arvada West football game, our first time attending a high school football game here in Colorado. When we left at the half, the score was 49-0, RV leading. I felt a little bad for Arvada West. Spencer was glued to the play the whole time, and Meg enjoyed the cheerleaders. I was disappointed that there was no marching bands 🙁 I know that Ralston Valley has a marching band; maybe they just do competitions. I didn’t like playing at football games when I was a kid, but we had to anyways.
Saturday morning the kids played iPad a bit and let me sleep in. After a hearty breakfast of eggs, we went shopping for a picnic lunch, to bring to Spencer’s flag football game. We are very fortunate that the games are literally behind our house. The kids were so excited they left about 30 minutes early, while I was still packing up the stuff. I was relieved to find them at the game when I got there. (It’s hard letting them grow up and be independent, even if only a couple hundred yards away).
Spencer played really well in his game, but the other team was simply better. They lost 27-0, but they all tried hard. Spencer claims he made 8 tackles, which seems about accurate. After the game, Meg went to see Great Grandma at her new assisted living place, and helped her unpack her jewelry; they also painted their nails. Spencer helped me with some home improvement projects, and we played some catch too. After Meg got back, we went to 7-11 for buy-one-get-one-free slurpees. When we got back, Meg wanted to see if the kids on the block could play, and they did. They played for a couple hours, until it was past dinner time for all the families. One of their favorite games was pouring water through a pool noodle.
After dinner, I gave Meg a quick bath, and while I got her ready for bed, Spencer gave himself a bath. We watched one episode of Wild Kratt’s, and then they both fell asleep quite quickly.
This morning I was gently awakened around 7:15 by the sounds of my children laughing. I think they were tickling each other. By the time I got up around 7:45, it had gotten quiet. I had expected to find them with the iPad (which I frequently hide) or with the tv on, but they were just happily playing games in the basement. We had some breakfast, then got ready for church. For the first time in recent memory, both kids went to their Sunday school classrooms without much fuss (Spencer usually comes to the service with us). It was good, because I got roped into ushering at the last minute.
On the way home from church, we stopped by Kohl’s to get Spencer some church-appropriate pants. We had a little lunch, and then the kids started playing together nicely again – now Spencer was teaching Meg how to catch a football! Spencer has been really into sports lately, and Meg is not very much, so it is really nice when they can find something to do together. They played nicely for some time while I did the dishes. Then we went to get another round of slurpees, because it was the last day of the buy-one-get-one-free deal, and it’s the weekend. Spencer went over to his friend Ryan’s to play for awhile. Meg rode her bike with training wheels, which she has just recently started to ride. On the way back from dropping them off, just as her confidence was growing, she crashed! I saw it coming as she came to a curve in our cul-de-sac, but I wasn’t quick enough to catch her. She was fine though, and we snuggled for a while and watched some movies.
After we picked up Spencer from Ryan’s house, we headed over to Grandma and Grandpa’s for dinner. Great Grandma joined us; she was very impressed by Spencer’s football abilities. Spencer, Dave, and I played some football after dinner, taking some time-outs to give Meg some attention while she played on the swing set, including some zombie apocalypse pretend play.
Upon arriving home, the kids each got to choose one short tv show to watch, and then off to bed. I’m not sure what I did to deserve such a great weekend. The only thing that was missing was Clare. She is hard at work getting her business off the ground in California. We miss you, but we’re really proud of you!!
Sunday was Father’s day. Meg really wanted to go to the Splash water park for Father’s day, which sounded like a great idea to me. We woke up early, went to the early church service, then met Grandma and Grandpa Dibble at Splash. The church service was a bit heavy, tying in the recent shooting in South Carolina with father’s day. One point that our minister made was that racism is generational, and part of our responsibility as fathers is to teach our children that racism is not okay. I’m doing my best. Clare and I are both really lucky that we grew up with great dads.
I got a couple great father’s day presents this year. Meg made me several cards, which is awesome, and the family got me a “Superbrella”. It’s kind of a umbrella / tent, which is really nice to provide a little shade for sporting events, or hanging out at the pool. My mom got me several nice gifts, but my favorite was a note from my kindergarten teacher, talking about my behavioral problems. It sounded exactly like the same sorts of problems Spencer has. Thanks for being patient with me when I was a pain in the butt mom and dad!
Each summer for the past 5 years I have said something to the effect of:
I’m having lots of fun with Meg and Spencer, taking them to the park and such. I think next summer will be even more fun
Every year this has been true. Spencer is now tall enough to go down the slide by himself, and Meg enjoyed the pool at Splash much more than last year. Last year she mostly just played in the sand box, which is fine, but I like the pool a little better. Next year Spencer should be big enough for the deep pool — maybe even the diving board!
Unfortunately Dave could not swim, since he recently had cataract surgery, but he did get to hang out with Meg in the sand box for awhile. Ellen was nice enough to take some pictures. We’re looking forward to our next visit!