The kids wrapped up their first week at the new center last Friday. I’m feeling good about it but the twins are having a very rough time adjusting, at least at drop off. Jude has been inconsolable before Kristin leaves for work in the morning if he’s anywhere but in her arms, and they’re both a mess when I leave them in their classroom. It tears my heart out to see them go through it, but I know that I have to make space for all of the transitions they’ve been going through and recognize that it’s probably a normal part of this process. The teachers swear that they have a good time once they settle in. For the most part Jonah seems to love it. He had a rough time at drop off on Friday, but I blame myself for lingering a bit too long. He’s told me that he loves his teacher and seems to really enjoy all that he does there.
Of course following the first week at a new school, two out of three of them are sick and had to stay home today. And of course that happened on a day when I had one of the most important meetings I’ve had in many months. Thank god my mom was willing to forego the work she’d intended to do today and stayed home with them while I hid out in other rooms to make phone calls. While I presented to our senior leadership team via Skype I was terrified that one of the kids would burst into the room screaming at any moment, but my mom is a miracle worker and I honestly didn’t hear a peep.
It was also Kristin’s birthday today, and my mom ended up making her cupcakes (sorry mom! I really was going to do that and I owe you big time) and picking up Chinese take out for dinner when cooking just didn’t come together in time. K took Jonah to his first swimming lesson a the Y tonight (which they bailed on halfway through, partly because he didn’t feel good and partly because he can’t stand to follow directions – apparently he told the teacher “But I already know how to swim!” Lies, but I can absolutely hear him saying it). We hope to take some sort of family weekend trip soon as a belated birthday celebration, but planning it is still firmly in the to-do column. We’re open to suggestions within a few hours drive.
On Saturday I went down to a local paint store (“a real paint store” as my dad says, as opposed to Lowe’s I guess) to sit down with a design consultant and get some help thinking through our color palette for the house. I’m SO glad that I did. We already had one color that I’m in love with, which we plan to use on a single wall in our great room, but we were really struggling to pull everything else together. I sat with a super cool woman named Sally who had the most amazing glasses (she tells me she’s had them since the ’70s) and she suggested a handful of colors that should work far better than the neutrals we’d picked out. Tomorrow I’m supposed to meet our potential flooring guy at the house so that he can measure and give us his two cents (and a quote, of course), so I’m curious to hear what he has to see about both these paint swatches and a couple of flooring ideas that we have.
On Saturday afternoon we took the kids up to Lansing to a science museum called Impression 5. I remember going there once or twice as a kid, and the kids seemed to enjoy it. We’re so accustomed to being at our museum fairly often that I keep thinking we really ought to buy a membership somewhere, but so far it’s been tough to decide. Every time we go to a new one we ask Jonah which was his favorite and it’s always the most recent one (of course). This one had a particularly fun room for ages 0-4 with a tiny water table play area that the twins loved, and some pretty cool catapults and pneumatic rocket type things.
On Sunday we checked out the Paw Paw Wine and Harvest Festival with high hopes for some family fun, but we only made it about as far as a craft fair full of gems like this one before we knew that this was not our scene, and we packed everyone up in the car. It was definitely a Michigan culture shock moment, of which we’ve had many.
We headed for the Kalamazoo Nature Center instead, which is where Jonah wanted to go all along (we really ought to listen to him on these matters). I hadn’t been in a million years and barely remembered anything besides the historic farmhouse that I always wanted to play in, but the kids LOVE it. They have this really wonderful “playground” that isn’t a playground in any typical sense, but it’s almost better because it just gives them space to explore the natural world and get dirty. Kristin commented later that she loves seeing them with dirt under their fingernails; that’s kind of why we moved, after all. The big attraction at the playground is a big water tower with lots of faucets that can be turned on, creating an instant puddle/river to splash and play in. Jude was totally enthralled. To our surprise, Vivi wasn’t into it and didn’t seem to want to get dirty, but the boys were all about it. Vivi was more into playing with gravel and sticks.
That look is exactly how she felt about the water.
This guy, on the other hand, couldn’t get enough. If you can’t tell, he is soaked. He’s basically sitting in a river, and it didn’t occur to us to bring a change of clothes. Check out that smile under his cap as he throws handfuls of sand into the water.
And that tongue sticking out as he tries to balance? I can hardly stand it.
We then headed across the street to the small farm that’s also a part of the Nature Center. It had just closed when we arrived, but they let us poke around for a bit anyway.
Notice Vivi in that picture?
Too bad I was too busy taking pictures to notice she’d fallen off and was hanging by her pants. There’s no good clean fun like playing on dangerous farm equipment. #goodparenting
It’s honestly a miracle that she hasn’t been bitten by a wild animal yet. She is fearless and almost lost a finger to a rooster twice on this visit.
I’m sure we’ll be spending a lot of time here, and I’m looking forward to all of the dirty adventures to come. There’s a festival at the farmstead in a couple of weeks and I’ll be curious to see if the kids are as into the old farm house as I was.