Weekend in the Life, Part 2: October 4


This is a continuation of my Weekend in the Life post. You may want to read part 1 first.

I left off on Saturday night with going to bed early — much earlier than normal.


5:15am: My alarm goes off and I’m pretty sure I curse at it. I know I hit snooze, but I’m paranoid about being late, so I get out of bed anyway.

5:25am: I’m dressed, sort of. I decide to wear my tried-and-true Adidas boot cut pants, a dri-fit tank, my Colorado half-marathon race shirt (it’s super comfy), and my new long-sleeved top I got from Costco. It’s going to be about 50 degrees and completely overcast for the race.

IMG_40635:35am: I head downstairs to finish packing up what I’m taking with me, including my breakfast. I don’t want to risk turning on a light (the girls are asleep around the corner in the living room), so I open the fridge and use its illumination. As I go to make coffee I realize it’s going to be loud. Hmm.



5:45am: Problem solved. I move the coffee maker across the house to my office. Whatever it takes, just get me coffee!


5:50am: I put my stuff in the car and get ready to head to Nicole’s. She’s offered to let me carpool with her and her mom. Woot!

IMG_4074IMG_40765:55am: My race bib is waiting for me at Nicole’s house (many thanks to her mom, Cynthia, for picking it up for me!). I attach it to my race belt while Nicole finishes braiding her mom’s hair. (I’ve never looked that cute before a race — jealous!)


6:00am: We head out! I eat my oatmeal-and-yogurt on the way to Denver. It is dark o’clock. I can’t believe we’re up this early to go run a race. Then again, I probably would’ve been awake at 6am if I was home, since that’s when Natasha usually wakes up.

6:30am: We find parking without too much trouble. It’s just starting to get light out. Nicole takes off so she can make it to the start of her race at 7am. Her mom and I wait what seems ages to pay; the line is long and the machine is slow. At least our race starts later.

IMG_40786:55am: We make it, crossing the street in front of the race start merely seconds before the gun goes off and runners in the 5k pour out of the first corral. We have almost an hour till our 15k starts, though, so we head over to meet up with Cynthia’s coworker, Sydney.

IMG_4079IMG_40827:30am: We make multiple trips to the port-a-potty (a necessity!) and check our gear. We chat as we wait.

IMG_4083IMG_40847:45am: We head to our corrals. Mine is so packed I can’t even get into it. I know once people start moving there will be room, though.

IMG_40857:50am: The 15k starts! I inch my way toward the start, waiting for the corrals in front of me to go.

7:55/8:00am: I’m not sure exactly what time I begin, but I finally cross the mat. I go out a little fast and make a mental note to slow down so I don’t hit a wall later. Three miles in I can’t bear to have my long-sleeved top on anymore, so I very carefully peel it off. It requires tucking my water bottle between my chin and chest, slowly removing my arms, pulling the shirt over my head and tying it around my waist — all while running and not knocking anyone in the face or dropping my water bottle! It probably takes a quarter mile and definitely exhausts me.

Note to self: Next time, check the long-sleeved shirt in the gear bag before the race starts.

I’m feeling tired and the run is anything but scenic. I decide I’m done running races through Denver. I keep plodding along, feeling a little unenthusiastic and a bit tired. I wonder if maybe I’m running too fast still. I’m in front of the 10 min/mile pacer but behind the 9:30 pacer. I try not to look at my watch except at mile markers.

Hot Chocolate

Around mile 7 I start talking to a woman I’ve been running in proximity of for a bit. Deborah, I think? Shoot, I can’t remember for sure now, but I did ask her name. So often I run races, talk to people and never even know their name! We talk about our kids, where we live, how much work it takes to train for anything around kids and work. Talking to her really lifts my mood and we run together for two miles.

At mile 9 she gives me the green light to “sprint” to the finish (ha, as if!) and I move out ahead of her, eye on the prize. I can see the arch in the distance. Somehow, I still have gas in the tank, so I give it all I’ve got.

9:30am: My official time (and the exact time on my Target watch, incidentally) is 1:31:05. Not bad! I was hoping for 10 mins/mile overall and I came in a little under. I am tired, but I feel pretty decent.

9:35am: I grab my post-race food and medal and meet up with Nicole, her mom, and several of Nicole’s coworkers. I down my hot chocolate and inhale the pretzels and banana, dipping both in chocolate. It’s an amazing post-race snack. We hang around for a little bit and I get my gear bag and change clothes. I hate being covered in wet, sweaty clothes, so even though I’m pretty gross, it helps a lot to put on clean yoga pants, a new t-shirt and new underwear and a regular bra. I even change socks.



10:10am: We head back to the car and decide to go to breakfast. We definitely earned it! We call ahead and get our name on the list at Racine’s.

10:35am: We arrive and get to go right past everyone in line. Woot! It takes a while to get our food because it’s packed and the restaurant is huge, but there’s plenty of coffee in the meantime. I get avocado eggs benedict. It is delicious!



11:30am: We head out in search of Sydney’s car. She can’t remember where she parked it, and she even took a picture of the cross street, but somehow we drive in circles trying to locate it. It’s hilarious because apparently the same thing happened last year! We eventually find it and all is right with the world, so we head home.

12:30pm: I pull into the garage; before I can even get inside Chris pokes his head out to say Natasha is napping and to be quiet when I come in. Check! Shelby is playing on the tablet and immediately asks me if I brought her something. Hey, wait a minute — who ran the race?! But yes, I did save the rest of my goodies for the girls.

12:45pm: I head up to take a long, hot shower and then put on sweats. I am going to be nothing if not comfy the rest of the afternoon!

1:15pm: Sadly for me, I start working. I have a project I have to have deliver the next day and, because of side projects the week before, just didn’t make as much progress on it as I needed to have. That means: Working on Sunday! But at least I have fun fuzzy slippers.


2:15pm: Shelby comes in with her little spray bottle asking me if there’s anything she can clean. Are you kidding me? Yes! She sprays and wipes my desk, the window sill, the TV and the TV stand. She’s super cute, even if she is distracting me.

IMG_4099 IMG_41004:45pm: Shelby comes back to my office do her homework. It’s part of her weekly packet that comes home and is due on Monday. Of course, it’s Sunday and she hasn’t started  yet. I give her moral support while she cuts and sorts and I keep working.


6:30pm: Done for a while. I take a break and go upstairs to see everyone. The girls have just set up a game (Sorry), so I agree to play with them. They do great for a few rounds and then they start to get wiggy. We have to constantly remind them not to move around so much (at least near the board) or they’re going to knock all the pieces off. Before long I send one of Natasha’s pieces “home” and she gets very upset. After that it’s a roller coaster of highs and lows based on whose pieces are actually in play. We do finally finish the game. Natasha wins!


7:30pm: The rest of the evening is uneventful (as far as I remember!). Chris puts the girls to bed and I go back to work for a couple of hours.

9:30pm: I make Shelby’s lunch and pack Natasha’s backpack for the week. I’m going to be out Tues-Thurs at a (local) conference, so I’m it for school dropoff and pickup the next day. It’s always easier to get things ready the night before.

10:00pm: Bedtime!

Postscript: Wouldn’t you know it? Natasha woke up puking at 5:30am on Monday and continued off and on for several hours that morning. Good thing I worked on Sunday! (Fortunately, she didn’t share it with anyone else in the family. Whew!)

IMG_4114 IMG_4116And that wraps up another Day in the Life!

Weekend In the Life, Part 1: October 3


It’s been a while since I’ve done a Day In the Life post and usually I document weekdays when I do it, so I thought I’d change it up and document a weekend.

The backdrop:

Shelby is 5.5, Natasha is 3 (and tells everyone she meets that when she turns 3.5 she gets to read the first Harry Potter book), and Chris has been out of town in California for work for the week. I have worked late and gone to bed too late just about every night leading up to the weekend, including Friday, and have slept through the night maybe twice in that time. (N had a pee accident, Shelby had a few nightmares.) I am wiped. (On a sweet note, I did get to snuggle Natasha to sleep Friday night, at her insistence — something she almost never asks for. Usually she’s shoving me out of her bed.)


5:55am: Natasha comes in telling me her tummy hurts. I honestly think it’s the middle of the night still and tell her to go back to bed. Naturally, she starts crying. I can’t handle it. I tell her I’ll check on her in a little bit and to go lay down. She leaves in a huff. I lay half-awake and super grumbly but am hopeful we can both go back to sleep. Then I check the time. Crap. Not gonna happen.

6:15am: I hear Natasha whining/crying (mostly for dramatic effect) in her room and give up the ghost and go get her. We head downstairs and I get her mini-wheats so she’ll stop whining. I look at the mountain of dishes in the sink. Are you kidding me? I can’t handle having them there (not because I’m a neat freak — far from it — for some reason sink clutter just bothers me first thing in the morning) so I fill the dishwasher, turn it on, and hand wash the rest of what didn’t fit.


6:45am: I finally brew coffee. I pick up other stuff around the kitchen and house while N watches Disney Jr. (I don’t like how much TV they watch overall, but it really does save us sometimes.) I don’t even know what else I do; it’s a blur.

7:15am: I finally start to drink my coffee. Then I realize I should put some laundry in or I won’t have time to get it into the dryer before we leave later.


7:30am: I reheat my coffee and suck it down. Usually I drink half-caf, but today it’s 75% leaded. Shelby wakes up and joins us.

7:45am: I tell the girls they need a bath in a little bit. They decide they want it right then. Sigh. I don’t know why bath time requires mental prep, but for some reason it does and I’m not ready. I head up anyway. I finally sit down for the first time since waking up; it’s next to the bathtub, but I enjoy it. I surf Facebook and let the girls play for an extra long time. I read a story about how playtime/freetime has been taken out of kindergarten in exchange for worksheets and “academic” work and it riles me up. I see that happening for sure with Shelby and it makes me so upset. I share the article on Facebook and write a lamenting post to accompany it. The girls are splashing water everywhere and I snap (they regularly create a mini-lake on the floor and I’m so tired of cleaning it up). I wash their hair and hasten them out of the bath. I realize I’m starving.


8:30am: I decide to make pumpkin french toast using a recipe that I pinned ages ago. It’s supposed to sit overnight, so I modify it. We’re out of just about all food at our house, so I figure this will fit the bill. I make turkey bacon to go along with it. The recipe is disappointing; good thing it didn’t take long to make and I already had the ingredients. I eat it anyway (salvaging it by spreading pumpkin butter on top). The girls eat theirs; whew! I’m so over making multiple things to eat.


9:00am: I finally sit at the table to eat my french toast and drink a second cup of coffee and I notice a raccoon out on our lawn. We have a family that’s lived under our deck for who knows how long (years), but they only ever come out at night. I’m perplexed and so we watch the raccoon. It’s staying in one place and looks a little off, but I can’t tell if anything’s wrong or not. I’m suspect. The girl think it’s cute and we talk about how it isn’t safe to be near raccoons. They eventually lose interest and I keep watching. The raccoon is definitely shaking; eek, doesn’t look good. God, what if it dies? I don’t want to think about it so I get up and move us along. We have to get out the door soon for two birthday parties and we still have to “swing” by Target. (Is that even possible? To just leisurely stop by? Ha!)


9:15am: I take a shower, alone! I just leave the girls to fend for themselves. They’re playing more or less nicely and they mostly leave me alone while I shower. Afterward, I try to hustle the girls along. Hahahaha! We finally get hair brushed and shoes on. I even throw some clothes on. I peek at the raccoon again. Bad move. It’s barking like a dog and simultaneously arching its back and curling over. Not promising. I feel pretty awful now that I realize it’s likely in agony. I mean, it’s a raccoon — and probably one of the ones that’s been ransacking our garbage every night — but it’s still a living creature. I text Chris and he jokes that it probably ate something in our garbage that made it sick. Funny, not funny.


9:45am: We head out the door. We’re totally going to be late to our first birthday party. How is it that we can be up before sunrise and still be late? Story of our lives, honestly.

10:00am: We swing by Costco for gas and then hit Super Target. I’m so confident that we’ll only be getting two birthday presents that I don’t even pick up a basket (hahahahahaha!). We linger on the toy aisle and I realize I have no idea what to get a little boy. The girls want everything in sight. I say no to a lot, but we leave the toy section with two birthday presents, a “rainy day” present for the girls, and two Barbie mermaid dolls, for the girls. Yeah, I’m a sucker. We need something to wrap the presents in, so we head toward the party/stationary aisle. Of course, we walk through the clothes section and I pick up a winter coat for Natasha, plus Halloween skirts for the girls. Then I remember we’re out of the girls’ shampoo and I promised them pouchies, so we swing by the baby section. We finally make it over to the party area and pick out two bags and some tissue paper. One obscene amount of money later and we’re out the door.


10:35am: We leave Target as the party is starting. We’re at least 20 minutes away.

10:45am: I accidentally go the wrong way. Clearly, I should not be relying on brain cells.

11:05am: We finally arrive. Natasha trips in the parking lot and skins her knees. She wails as I carry her in, telling anyone she sees, “I got a parking lot boo boo!” We get a band-aid from the front desk at the rec center. All is well as soon as she starts playing. Whew! The girls load up on pizza and cake. At least they play a lot, too. In fact, they keep climbing this “mountain” (maybe 3 feet off the ground?) and jumping off the top. All I can think is, “Ow, their knees!” They’re unfazed. Shelby drinks a ridiculous amount of water and goes to the bathroom three times while we’re at the party.

12:45pm: We head out to the next party, which is one neighborhood over from our house, which means we’re going to be 15 minutes late, as it’s a 25-minute drive back. Halfway there S tells me she has to pee. Every two minutes thereafter she tells me she’s about to pee her pants. I calculate whether stopping somewhere and lugging two kids out of the car to pee is really worth the extra tardiness it will cause or whether S can just suck it up and hold it. I opt for the latter. She keeps telling me she can’t hold it. Of course, I hit every. single. red light. We end up swinging by our house so she can run in by herself to pee.


1:15pm: We arrive at party number 2. It’s not normal that we have birthday parties to go to, let alone two in the same day! This one is a small affair (woot!) and the kids get to paint and play outside. They have a great time and, of course, ingest more sugar.


3:30pm: We head home. My original plan was to have N nap after the party, but we leave late and Chris is in the air and due to land soon, so I scrap the nap and let the girls open their princess mermaids. I’ve forgotten all about the raccoon until the girls tell me it’s still there. I get a sinking feeling. I peek out the window. It’s on the ground and not moving. The girls ask if it’s asleep. Uh. Maybe? I don’t know why but I don’t want to outright lie. I distract them with their dolls and post a plea on FB for what to do.


4:15pm: I call the county sheriff’s office (animal control), who transfers me to our city PD. They take my name and number and tell me someone will get back to me and that, yes, they can come get it. Whew!


4:30pm: The girls are hungry (for real food), so I pull out some leftover turkey and mashed potatoes; that’s about all we’ve got in the food department. I’m plating the food when animal control arrives. Shelby sees the woman officer and says, “Oh, she must be a junior ranger!” Uh, not exactly. Natasha immediately starts telling her she’s going on a field trip to a pumpkin patch. Goodness. I shoo the girls away and walk the officers through the house. They ask me some questions, mostly out of curiosity, and then take out a black trash bag. I go back inside and they simply scoop the raccoon up, walk around the side of the house and then go on their way. It’s a huge relief and also makes me sad. None of the other raccoons in the “family” even tried to come to the sick/dead raccoon’s aid. Kinda seems like they should’ve. Maybe that’s a human thing? Good thing we (usually) have compassion.

5:00pm: Chris comes home! There is MUCH jubilation. I wish I would’ve videoed the girls’ reactions. They attached Chris, squealing and hugging him and yelling, “Daddy, daddy!” All is right with the world. Chris busts out the presents he brought for the girls: See’s candies. Yes, more sugar.


5:30pm: I go to Target, alone. (Yes, apparently only one trip a day isn’t enough — I need a cheap stopwatch for my race since using my iPhone app for that long will kill the battery; my phone is more than two years old.)


6:30pm: The girls complain about being hungry and not wanting the turkey. Normally I would say too bad, but it’s been a long day (week), so I just fix them sandwiches. And then, wait for it, they don’t even eat them! Gah. I am seriously so tired of trying to feed this family. It is so thankless (and wasteful). Chris decides to let the girls have a sleepover in the living room. They are thrilled. I do more laundry while they get things set up.


7:00pm: I heat some soup and a hot dog and finally sit down to “relax,” while the girls start watching Toy Story. They’ve actually never seen it before. It reminds me of living in Mexico and watching Ligia’s nephews watch the version dubbed in Spanish. I remember their little voices yelling, “Al infinito!”


7:30pm: I finish prepping for my race, which means I pile stuff on the kitchen counter, set up the coffee maker (priorities!) and lay out my clothes.


8:00pm: I kiss everyone goodnight and relinquish all parenting and household duties and start writing this post. I surf Facebook, too, and set up a show to fall asleep to. (I’m alternately on season 5 of Parenthood and season 2 of The Good Wife. Depends on my mood.)

9:15pm: Lights out! My alarm is set to go off at 5:15am. Oh, the crazy things runners do for “fun.”

Stay tuned for day 2 of the weekend edition of DITL, including a recap of my 15k race.

First Visits from the Tooth Fairy


Shelby has lost her first teeth! Yes, teeth, plural. Her bottom front teeth feel out within five days of each other. Pretty exciting!


We had talked about the tooth fairy this summer when S’s teeth were first the tiniest bit loose. I actually got my act together then and ordered a tooth pillow, as I had no idea how long it would take for them to get loose enough to fall out. I didn’t want to be caught off guard! I even had the pillow shipped to California while we were out there, just in case.

Fast forward two months (that’s how long it took for the teeth to actually fall out) and Shelby now has a gap-toothed grin. Her permanent teeth are already working their way in. I’m not sure where they’re going to go; I have a feeling her mouth of perfect little teeth is about to get pretty crazy looking. :/

Anyway, back to the big event of the first tooth falling out.

Shelby had been working on it pretty intensely, wiggling it every chance she got. She kept wanting to show me and I could barely bring myself to look; it just grossed me out so much. I was wigged out with losing my own teeth, so I suppose nothing has changed! (Seriously, I used to wait until my teeth were hanging on by a thread before finally “pulling” them out — and usually I made one of my parents do it. Yes, I was a weenie. Shelby clearly did not get that gene.)


Her tooth fell out the day after Labor Day while she was at school. I knew there was a possibility it was going to happen that day, so I had marked time on my calendar to go to the bank. After all, the tooth fairy needed some bling! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get away all day, so I was really pressed for time when I picked S up from school. I had 20 minutes to drop her at home with Chris and get to the bank before it closed. Nothing like cutting it close! At that point I didn’t even know her tooth had fallen out; I was just trying to be prepared.

Good thing! We pulled into the driveway as I was planning my quick escape; I turned around and Shelby said, “Look!” She was holding out her tooth and that’s when I realized she had lost it! I hadn’t even noticed in my haste to get her into the car. Parent of the year, oh yeah.


It had fallen out during reading/writing time that morning; she had been wiggling it and it just popped out. Sounds like her teacher was fairly nonchalant about it (I would’ve whooped and hollered); she gave S a little ziplock bag to put the tooth in and then they put the bag in a tooth necklace that Shelby got to wear around her neck the rest of the day. She was so excited!

I was thrilled, but now I really had to make it to the bank, so I shuffled Shelby out of the car and left her to share the news with Chris as I bolted back out the door.

I made it to the bank in time and managed to procure a two-dollar bill for the occasion! I figured my chances of getting one was slim, but I had to ask. My grandmother used to send us $2 bills, so they have a lot of sentimental value to me. I knew that would be lost on Shelby (and, of course, the tooth fairy couldn’t really explain), but it was meaningful to me. In fact, I called my grandmother as soon as I got out of the bank just to tell her. (I actually got two $2 bills and some gold dollars while I was there — for future tooth fairy visits.)


Shelby was so excited for the tooth fairy to come that night. A friend recommended that we encourage her to place the tooth pillow on the side of her big pillow, lest the tooth fairy have trouble accessing it. Good suggestion! Fortunately, S is such a heavy sleeper once she’s out that it probably didn’t matter, but it wasn’t worth taking the chance.

I have to say, S’s reaction in the morning was a lot less enthusiastic than I expected it to be. Then again, I had to wake her up and she was fairly groggy. She was enthralled with the money for about five minutes and then promptly left it on the kitchen counter and forgot about it. Ha.

Shelby’s second tooth fell out just five days after the first one. What are the odds? We were driving to the theater to see “Inside Out”; that was the weekend of the sickness. (Oh yes, after S got sick we basically all got it. Good times!) She was madly wiggling it and it just popped out in the car. Fortunately, I had a plastic cup she was able to put it in till we got back home. She had a grand time running her tongue over the big empty gap in her mouth.

For that tooth the tooth fairy brought a gold dollar, which Shelby was also only mildly interested in. Hey, whatever. It beats her being disappointed the tooth fairy didn’t bring or do more. She’s still young enough that money doesn’t really have true value to her. Boy, how that will change!

As luck or fate would have it, picture day was the day after S’s first tooth fell out, so she’ll be forever documented with a gap in her grin. Although, honestly, I’m not sure how obvious it is since it’s on the bottom. In any event, we’ve moved into big kid territory, seemingly overnight. Wasn’t it just yesterday that Shelby was teething as a baby? Thank goodness it doesn’t hurt (nearly as much) to get permanent teeth!

What does the tooth fairy do/bring at your house? How have your kids reacted?

How We Do Sick Days in Kindergarten


Thursday night I came home from my first school PTO meeting (just attending/observing) and from a neighborhood co-op meeting only to find Shelby awake at 10pm! Turns out she had vomited four times while I was out (thank you, Chris for handling it!) and was up as a result. Needless to say, it was a rough night, with many more “pukeups.” :/

IMG_3416When Natasha woke me up a little after 6am it was fairly brutal. She got to watch a lot of videos on my phone while I rolled over in bed and tried to pretend I didn’t have to get up (ha).

Shelby didn’t really sleep very late considering how much she had been up throughout the night, but she got to stay home, so it didn’t really matter. I left her with Chris so I could drop Natasha off at school. Then, in an ironic twist, I went to volunteer in Shelby’s classroom. I had signed up weeks ago and didn’t want to just not show up. It ended up being really fun and gave me an idea of what the classroom dynamic and the kids’ personalities are like. Incidentally, while I was there one of the boys in class threw up. Good times! Apparently this tummy bug is moving rapidly through the school. Anyone got the over/under on how long till one of us gets it?

When I came home Shelby was watching TV, just like you’d expect a sick kid to do. But she was feeling just fine; the bug had passed and she (mysteriously) was full of energy. She started coloring pictures and practicing writing words. She was really into it (Chris had a big part in this). I was actually doing just a little bit of work and Shelby kept running in to very enthusiastically read to me what she had written. It was pretty awesome! I guess who needs to lay around when you can learn to write?!

IMG_3418Eventually it was time for her to take a nap. I mean, she needed it. But: Oh. My. Lord. I might as well have asked her to throw away all her stuffed animals and toys — or told her she could never have dessert again. The screaming was unreal (and yet so very real). I managed to carry her up to her room where she then screamed at me, said mean things, kicked the wall, slammed the door, screamed, “I hate you!” (oh, yes she did), etc. You get the picture. It was awesome. (And it reminded me of me as a kid when I’d throw fits. Sorry, Mom and Dad! Karma, I suppose.)

I walked away and let Shelby throw her fit. After some time and no abatement of intensity I went back and talked her off a ledge. In other words, I gave her two choices, neither of which involved screaming and neither of which she liked. (One was to stay in her room calmly for five minutes and then come out but there would be no tablet; the other was to stay in her room resting for 30 minutes and then she could have the tablet.) She let me know she was angry, emphasizing that she did not need a nap. I left the decision up to her and walked out of the room again.

After having threatened to not even sit on her bed, let alone lay down in it, I didn’t hear another peep from her. When I went in to check on her 30 minutes later she was sound asleep under the covers with her stuffed animals. She was out for over three hours and would’ve kept sleeping, but I woke her up at 4:30pm because I knew she wouldn’t go to bed otherwise. I told her her 30 minutes was up. (Ha!)

Notice virtually all of the bedding is different from the night before. Thankful to have a functioning washing machine and dryer!

Notice virtually all of the bedding is different from the night before. Thankful to have a functioning washing machine and dryer!

Here’s a bit of the work she did on her sick day. Not bad!

How to Drop an Egg Off the Roof and Make Sure It Survives


Okay, you might be wondering why you would drop an egg off the roof in the first place — am I right? It’s not my first choice for an afternoon activity, but Shelby came home from school with the assignment to create a container that could protect an egg dropped from the roof of the school. I know. Odd. I’m pretty sure I wrinkled my eyebrows and reread the assignment a couple of times before I finally thought, “Okay?!”

It was the conclusion to their unit on nursery rhymes (think Humpty Dumpty and his great fall). There were a couple of rules: 1) Parents couldn’t do the work or tell kids how to do it; 2) kids couldn’t use a container bigger than 6″x6″x6″; and 3) the egg had to be inside a ziplock bag within the container.

The week the project was due I took Shelby to Hobby Lobby and let her walk the store, picking out anything she thought might be good cushioning material. She picked a ton of stuff; then I made her put a lot of it back, keeping only what she really thought would get the job done.

In the end she went with assorted colored pom poms (think firm cotton balls), tissue paper, gold tinsel-esque shredded stuff, and pink shredded/crinkled paper. We bought a 6″x6″x6″ box and called it a day.

A couple of nights before the assignment was due I went out to dinner with an old coworker and Chris let Shelby go to down stuffing her box. Apparently she destroyed the kitchen in the process and melted down when he asked her to clean it up. Ha — glad I missed that!

The night before the project was due Shelby decorated the outside of the box and wrote her name on it. The morning of I added the egg and voila!


I got to go to the big event, which was preceded by a recital of nursery rhymes, and then all the K/1 classes went out to the blacktop to settle in for the big show. Every single container got dropped over the side of the building one by one — probably 100 in all. The oohs and ohs from the kids and the parents was pretty funny. When Shelby’s went over I wasn’t sure it had made it; the sound wasn’t reassuring. I mean, the roof was probably 20 feet tall? It was a good distance to fall.

We had to wait for all the containers to be dropped before we could find out the fate of Shelby’s egg — it survived! We had a great time seeing all the different ways kids had packaged their eggs. Far and away the most creative ones had parachutes, which was genius — and certainly suspect for parental involvement, but whatever. Several also had very cushiony outsides, like bubble wrap. A few bounced like balls; not sure how they pulled that off but it was a pretty good idea.

Shelby was super jazzed about her success. Project #1: In the books!

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Day Out at the Ballpark: First Giants Game!


We took the girls to their first professional baseball game while we were in California. While we could have gone to a game in Colorado, Chris really wanted their first experience to be at at AT&T park (which I still call Pac Bell park) since he’s a die-hard Giants fan. (I grew up an A’s fan and converted when we got married to keep the peace.) Let’s just say a game in Colorado would’ve been much cheaper, but the experience was totally worth it. I love baseball, too, and there’s nothing quite like a game in San Francisco.

Plus, we went with Isaac and Bini and Auntie Shan and Uncle Roger and GG and Grandude. Yes, it was quite the outing! We BARTed into the city and stopped at the Ferry Plaza for some food — always a good destination. And then, since it was sunny and 70 degrees out, “we” decided to walk to the ballpark. It’s a gorgeous 1.25-mile jaunt along the waterfront, but I knew Natasha would never make it.


Indeed, before we’d even gotten to the Bay Bridge she was asking to be carried. Grandude and Auntie Shan and I took turns carting her along while the bigger kids climbed up and jumped off concrete blocks.

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Our seats were club level along the third base line — pretty darned good for a first game! We even had 10 seats in the same row. I love the feeling of a full stadium and the game didn’t disappoint. It was the first experience the girls had had with such a big crowd: 43,000+ of their closest neighbors. Shelby was pretty awed by the National Anthem (rightly so). It takes singing together to a whole new level.

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The girls made it through the first four innings, which went pretty quickly but also packed a good amount of offensive action, including a home run! That was another first for sure — experiencing pure exhilaration together with an entire stadium. Nothing quite like it.

Shelby let me explain the game to her as we watched; I kept it pretty high level and it was really fun. It reminded me of being a kid and going to games. Then the boys got treats and so the girls wanted treats.

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We took them to the kids’ area (officially called the Coca-Cola Fans Lot, so says the Internet) at the top of the fifth inning. I had never actually been there, as I’d never had a reason! As we were walking up, S looked at the big ball glove and then at the Coca-Cola bottle and exclaimed, “It’s the Statue of Liberty!” Uh, no, not quite. #Americanhistoryfail


Natasha got to go down the small slide and Shelby and Bini got to go on the big one. I’m glad GG and Auntie Shan had come along, too, as I didn’t even realize there were separate slides and I couldn’t have been in multiple places at once. S was *just* tall enough to ride the big slide.

We found out while we were waiting in line that the kids were allowed onto the field at the end of the game to run the bases, which I thought was so cool! I told Shelby and she said, complete with know-it-all voice, “I’ve already done that.” Really?! Where, I asked? “At my school.” Um, yeah. Wee bit different, kiddo.


After that we made a beeline for the bathrooms while Auntie Shan stood in line for sundaes. (OMG, they were ginormous!) S had a hard time waiting and started to dart away. Despite only being about 12 feet away from me, she freaked me out. There were so. many. people. We had to have a big talk about staying together no matter what. She didn’t quite get the impact of getting lost in a crowd of that magnitude. Yeesh.

When we got back to our seats it was the 7th inning. We were just in time for God Bless America and Take Me Out the Ballgame. The girls knew every word thanks to Miss Carrie! :) Natasha started melting down shortly thereafter. It was about 4pm and she hadn’t napped. I let her climb into my lap, but stadium seats aren’t exactly conducive to cuddling.



It looks like N is laughing here, but no. She’s actually screaming! She was so done with the game.

I really wanted Shelby to be able to run the bases, but we just couldn’t figure out the logistics to leave her with everyone else (no one had a place for her in the car once they got back from BART), so the four of us headed out. We took Muni this time. Of course, it was super crowded, but I managed to get a seat with N. We rode past Embarcadero to make sure we’d get a seat. N was fighting sleep so hard. After we got on BART she was out within minutes.



All in all, the day was a great success and was so fun! Maybe next year we can find tickets that aren’t quite so expensive, but either way we’d definitely take the girls back. Go Giants! (Oh, they won, by the way. Woot!)