Three Minutes into a Canoe on the Chain of Lakes

Helena: “Can we do this again by the end of the summer?”

She loves going on the canoe and can do a pretty good job with rowing. Liam, on the other hand, didn’t want to row, was worried that we would tip over, and wondered how the family that started right before us was “so far behind”. I think that he assumed that we all had to go in the same direction.


The kids have been playing all morning long. I was in the kitchen cutting up watermelon for them. Liam and Ada come downstairs and since I was just coming back inside from loading up the compost bin, Ada asked if I was going back outside.

I told her that she and Liam should go outside and that I’ll put the watermelon out there for them. She says, “Yes!”. Then she decides to yell upstairs to Helena (from the back door) as I’m putting the melon outside.

“Helena, come and get watermelon if you want watermelon if you like watermelon!”

I’m walking back inside and raise my eyebrow at her and she sheepishly says,

“Huh, that doesn’t even make sense”

Missing Mario Statue

Last night while driving down Hennepin Avenue, I saw a large statue of Mario on the front lawn of a house. So the next morning I take the kids on a walk to see it. Well, I told them just to see “a statue”. But it was nowhere to be found. At least we got some morning exercise, especially Ada and Liam who doubled Helena and my distance going back and forth on the blocks on their scooters.

Liam and Soccer

For a couple of weeks at the end of the Minneapolis United Soccer, Liam would go to the park and just kick the ball around. Many of the days other kids and sometimes adults would join him. Here he is just practicing by himself, in the dirt. Actually, I think I was playing goalie at this point.

Liam really began playing better at the end of the season. I think once he gets used to dribbling the ball forward rather than just booming it up there, he’ll have a bunch more confidence. That didn’t keep him from scoring a whole bunch of goals this year, though. Probably the most on his team.

Library and Candyland Visit

I’ve been to Candyland as many times as anywhere else this summer, I think. This time we also went to the Central Library and spent a good deal of time there both playing and reading books.

Highland Fest

Off to St. Paul to climb the water tower and go to the neighborhood festival.

The kids, especially Ada, are fond of pointing out water towers, so I thought that climbing one would be fun for them. So I parked at the Highland Park water tower, and I ask the kids if they want to climb one of the two newer ones. Well, they thought that I was ridiculous. So I turned them around and showed them the older water tower, which they couldn’t figure out what it even was.

They started running up the stairs immediately when we walked in, me carrying Ada because I thought that it might be too much for her, but the other two made it up easily. When I told them that it was another water tower they were excited, and they could see the tank, so they were convinced. They played at the top for awhile, pointing out other water towers and the two downtowns.  Liam pointed out that one of the houses that he saw wasn’t the same color as the photograph at the top of the tower.

Helena was a little cold because of the wind, so she wanted to go back down. She wanted to know how tall it was and how many steps there were, so I told her that at the bottom we could find out. On the way down, some overweight kid was walking up with his father, who was forcing him up. The kid tried to sit on a chair that was on a landing, but dad said, “No.”. Then the kid asked if he could stop at the next bench. As soon as we passed them, Helena starts laughing. I told her that is why you shouldn’t eat too many cookies and not enough vegetables. Anyway, we got some free candy at the bottom (and stickers) anyway (because eating candy is bad, but not free candy) but then Ada and Liam wanted to go back up again. This time Ada walked up by herself.

After the water tower, we went to the festival. When the kids saw it, Ada starts yelling “Miam, Miam” and grabs him. He put his arm around her and I tried to get the picture, but missed. Really cute. $22 on ride tickets was spent very quickly, but the kids had fun. Then I let them play a game, get some cotton candy, and watched some Iron Man contest, which the kids actually liked watching.

Then we played on the playground, went to Dairy Queen to clean themselves up because of the cotton candy, then went to the art fair, where Liam picked up a stuffed frog and Helena and Ada got dragons, which they had “traded” no more than ten minutes later (upon Ada’s request).

We dropped off Helena at Zoe’s on the way home (who then came over for a sleepover later), and Ada and Liam played with their new animals for an hour, before we made the Rainbow run, where Ada and Liam were very excited to see Salami Man in another part of the store.

Liam’s Shorts

Liam was in the dining room trying to hold his shorts up, which were obviously too big. When asked why he doesn’t just change shorts, he told us that he didn’t want to because he liked them. When I asked why he liked them so much he said “Because it has lots of pockets”.

Gold Medal Park

We spent a bunch of time downtown today after going out to eat lunch at Ikea where they were giving away free lunches to kids. Liam and Helena jammed down meatballs. Ada pecked at her mac and cheese and ate a French fry or two. Then they walked around the whole place without any complaints, though I wasn’t looking to buy anything, so it went by quickly. They didn’t even complain when I wouldn’t buy them the toy mice that they wanted.

So we went to Gold Medal Park, which is adjacent to the Guthrie and the river. Every time I saw it, I thought that the kids would really enjoy it. But it isn’t as high as I expected it to be when you are actually climbing it, and the kids had no trouble, and seemed more excited about the high tension wires and what would happen if you fell of the top of the tower if you fell off. Then Helena began talking about the Guthrie, where she saw A Christmas Carol with me last December, and so we went in.

Helena took us up to the “Endless Bridge”, the Guthrie cantilever, which she had been on last winter, although only for a moment because after having to find quarters to park, we were pretty late getting to the play. The kids spent about fifteen minutes there, but then we went up to the ninth-floor Dowling Studio Lobby, which I didn’t even know we could do. Up there there is the glass floor, which Ada was a little nervous about, but the other two had no problems with. Underneath the glass are lots of spiders and their webs, which the kids loved to look at. Ada eventually would sit (and lay down) on it with the other kids. They were all pretty proud of themselves when a group of twenty or so teenagers from some class came up and some were nervous about standing on it when they were rolling around on it looking down (at the spiders)

After that, I realized that my car could have been towed by now as it was at a meter, so we went down to the car, put more quarters in, then visited the furnished condos for sale across the street from the park for fun. Helena wants to move in. Now.