Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Champaign Gang

Two weeks ago I had to run to Champaign to do a bit of clean-up research for a presentation and article I'm writing.  And while it might seem strange to speak of running a 400 mile trip, we did just that - there and back again in three days.  Although I spent most of my time in Harry Partch's archives there, Joy and the boys came along to visit dear friends from grad school that we manage to see at least once a year.

On the last day, we grabbed lunch with them all before heading out and snagged this picture on the benches outside:

Look at that line of deviousness.  I love how they all are sitting with their feet in different positions, clearly showing their personalities.  In a few years we won't be able to get together without them taking over our plans with plans of their own (and yes, Sam has a pair of chopsticks from lunch).

Friday, June 17, 2011

Noah's Third Birthday

Noah turned three last Saturday.

Three.  3.  Trois.

We decided that instead of overloading Noah with one jam-packed day, we would spread things out over the course of several, so we actually began celebrating on the Tuesday before his birthday.  That day, we went to the free play hour at Emerald City.  Emerald City is a curious place - it is clearly a gymnastics center with all the balance beams and pommel horses you could ever need.  But it also has a large area built up for kids to play in and they make extra money on the side by letting kids have birthday parties and come play on the trampolines and slides and zip lines and ropes swinging out over large foam pits.  Oh yes, there is a huge foam pit you can jump in, writhe around in, and jump on your brother in.  Obviously it was Noah's favorite part.

 Wednesday we rested, but Thursday we spent the entire morning at the zoo.  Sam has never been a big fan of animals, but Noah has long been obsessed with them.  Last year we traveled to the Omaha zoo for his birthday, so we decided to explore the KC zoo this year, especially since they recently acquired a polar bear.

Noah loved the polar bear.  We got to watch her swim and do huge back flips, touch some polar bear fur, and watch a short video on how polar bears are in decline.  Noah would have stayed there all day, especially since it was obscenely hot even at 10:00 in the morning.  In fact, it was so hot that besides the polar bear and the sea lion show, Sam and Noah both were more interested in riding the rides than seeing the animals.  So we rode on the carousel (Noah picked a lion as his steed) and all around the park on the train.

On Friday evening, we took Noah out for yogurt.  Perhaps you've seen these new establishments, but they feature self-serve yogurt, tons of toppings, and you pay by the ounce.  Noah piled his cheesecake yogurt high with chocolate syrup, blueberries, and sprinkles.  Three-year old heaven.

Saturday morning was Kindermusik for both boys (we took cookies for Noah's class) and then lunch back at the house.  After lunch, we cut into Noah's cake, opened presents, and began the dinosaur portion of Noah's birthday.  As you can tell from his new bedroom, Noah LOVES dinosaurs.  He picked out the cake he wanted (a dinosaur dig with sugar cookie bones) and picked out the place he wanted to eat that night - T-Rex.  What's better than animatronic dinosaurs and big mounds of macaroni and cheese to go with them?  As you can imagine by the time we got back home Saturday night, both boys were wiped out from all the birthday celebrating.  Happy Third Birthday, Noah!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Noah's Big Boy Bed

For Noah's 3rd birthday, we moved him into his big boy bed.  Joy's parents supplied Noah with a new quilt and pillow sham for his big day (with dinosaurs!) and I spent the afternoon taking down the crib (for the first time in six years) and putting together my old twin bed from college.  The bed is missing a few slats that I'll need to make, and we're still rearranging his room to git his new bed, but Noah has declared it "cool" and already sleeps like a champ in it.  But that may be because he sleeps with Buzz Lightyear next to him to protect him through the night.