Character Day

It was character day at Lake Harriet.

Helena was Camilla from A Bad Case of the Stripes and Liam was a character from the The Night of the Paper Bag Monsters.

Helena looked great in the afternoon when the brightness of the colors had worn a bit – I wish that I took a picture. Liam never wore his.


We spent another day at Candyland, seeing fountains, lunch at Panera, and too much time at the bus stop (it was a Sunday). At Panera, Ada drank about 32 ounces of Fruit Punch (clearly seen by the size of her stomach) and the iced-tea smelled bad. Later that day in the kitchen Ada said, “Daddy, remember the iced-tea smelled like farts?”

Literature and Liam

A couple of weeks ago I decided that I should start reading more to Liam. We’ve spent lots of time with him reading to me, and he’s really becoming a reader, but when I ask him to get a book for me to read to him, he picks the first thing he sees. They are usually very short books that are for much younger kids. So I went out and bought a book that I think that he would like, “A Series of Unfortunate Events”

I read the first chapter with Helena and Liam, and Liam was turning around in bed, looking up at the ceiling, anything but listening. I’d ask him a question or two and he wouldn’t have the slightest clue what was going on. Helena was on the ball the whole time. “The keyhole was in the shape of an eye”, the book reads, and Helena says, “Ugh, another eye!” Liam has to be given a synopsis every few pages or he’s lost.

I also got a book from the library that he might like, and reading it to him tonight (because Helena is at a sleepover) is no better. He has no idea what is going on. I ask him questions and he pretends that he might know like a kid who is looking through their backpack for their homework that the kid and the teacher knows isn’t there. So I told him that I would read him the two pages again at one point, and he still has no idea what is going on.

Once I finish reading the chapter, he says, “Uh, did you win on DK Mountain?”, a reference from Mario Kart which tells me where his mind is the whole time I spent reading to him.

Maybe I better just back off for awhile and keep having him read to me. At least he’ll get something out of that until there is literature with Mario and Luigi.

Helena’s Birthday Party

Helena had friends over for her birthday party two days after her party. Most kids were from her class, but she also invited Eddie Rittler, who is in first grade and who she hangs out with at Southwest and Zoe, her best friend. I suggested that Zoe wouldn’t be invited because once Zoe cried because she didn’t know anyone but Helena who was busy with others, and because last year Helena ditched all her school friends at one point to play with Zoe. Then I find out that Zoe was invited anyway, I guess I don’t need to be consulted anymore about such things.

The party went by quite quickly. The girls seem so different now than they did last year. For one, it is a bit more quiet, but I missed the conversations that they all had last year while in a circle in our living room while they were eating their lunch. Helena’s friend John knocked over his apple juice and then sat in it, and later we heard stories about him peeing his pants at school, which, while different, wasn’t as exciting as the girls last year listening to one girl (who was here again this year) talk about her mother’s alcohol and drug addiction!

So the girls played together, and the boys mostly played separately, and I played soccer with Lola and sat with another while she etched a drawing when they weren’t with the others because I thought that they may have been feeling that they were left out.

Helena was a little upset about the girls playing a little rough with Chubby, though. Hopefully that won’t ruin any friendships.



Helena’s Birthday

Helena got to Southwest at her usual time and Rob, Mitch, and I sang to her at 4:30 PM. I sang “Happy Birth-minute to You”. Mitch drew a cake with candles on the Activboard and told Rob to Control-Z then to make them go out when she stood on a stool to blow on them.

On our way home we stopped by Lake Calhoun to walk on it. Wind-skiers (if that is what they are called) were out on the lake. Some guys were just talking and they let us look and touch their parachute/sail apparatus while we walked around. Once we got back to the car, Pop-pop called (or tried to since he can only seem to talk for four minutes before his line goes dead), and then we made it home.

I always like making their favorite dinner for them on their birthdays, which was almost always macaroni and cheese, but Dalen now let’s the kids pick a place to eat out. Only now Dalen picks the place, too, so we ended up at Macaroni Grill since she thinks Helena will like their mac and cheese. As it turns out, Helena has a pizza anyway.

So that takes most of the night. By the time we arrive back home it is too late for cake – well, we were given cake at the restaurant anyway, so that was out. She did open her presents, but since it was so late, she couldn’t play with them anyway, although she did apply some makeup right before bead.

I think that I’ll insist that we’re eating at home from now on when it comes to kids’ birthdays. I’m sure there can be exceptions, but birthday’s out after a day of school and work when we have to do the same the following day doesn’t allow for a night out for dinner.

Helena’s teacher surprisingly doesn’t know anything about betta fishes

While talking to Dori on the phone about her fish, a “betta”.

“I was showing my teacher a picture of my betta and I was telling her how it was hiding in the back and she said that maybe he needs a friend. Well, I don’t mean to be rude, but she doesn’t even know that bettas can’t be around each other.”

Injury to Liam

Liam and Helena were playing outside while I was cooking on the grille. Somehow (but everyone involved seem to have different versions of the story) Liam got hurt. Blood was dripping all over the back porch from his nose, but Liam didn’t tell anyone until Helena shouted out to the world that he was bleeding.

A couple of days later Dalen got a message at school that Liam had fallen and gotten a bloody nose out on a snow (ice) pile that he was climbing on. But he was okay, other than his ugly looking nose.

Liam Gets His Cast Removed

From an email I sent to Dori

He kept watching the woman take it off – they use a little blade thing – it looks like a hand-help blender type thing but the blade sticks out. It doesn’t spin, though, so the lady actually demonstrated that she can touch it with it on and it doesn’t cut skin. How it knows how to cut through the cast is something that I don’t know.

Anyway, Liam watched t

he whole thing. I had to keep telling him to turn his head away so that the lady could see what she was doing. Helena actually turned the other way at first, but then realized it wasn’t that bad. Another boy (Val’s Eddie) that gets dropped off here with Helena and Liam had a cast removed not too long ago and we talked to him on the way out the door about it.