Thursday, March 31, 2016

Kids' Choice Day

This week is spring break for my kids, which leaves me in the position of finding things for them to do that don't primarily involve sitting in front of some sort of electronic screen or beating the shit out of each other in the backyard under the guise of "outdoor play."

On Monday when we were out and about, each of my kids mentioned something that they wanted to do and, happily, each thing was both reasonable and close to the other things. It was a Spring Break Miracle! So Tuesday became Stimeyland's Spring Break Kids' Choice Day.

It was DELIGHTFUL.

Jack was up first.

Jack's choice: The park!

Jack had a specific park he wanted to go to—one that has been the scene of trauma for Team Stimey in the past, but was all kinds of fun this week.

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Jack. At the park.

All three kids had a fun time and there was only one major skirmish that took place after I encouraged Jack and Quinn to try to get Sam off of a climbing structure by poking him in the butt with a stick. I gave them the stick. In retrospect, it was a poor idea and an example of terrible parenting. Don't try this at home, folks.

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Just before the skirmish.

My mom is in town for the week and she learned that she gets seasick on swings.

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That’s her on the left, being seasick. Quinn there on the right continues to not be affected by dizziness.

At one point, I looked up and found Jack ringleading a group of small children in a variety of playground games. "Jack found friends," I said to Quinn. "Jack always finds friends," Quinn responded before heading off to spin in circles on some equipment. Sam waited out Jack's playtime doing what he always does—listening to music and reading on his phone.

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Good job getting him away from a screen, Stimey.

Eventually we had to leave though, so Jack politely shook hands with all the younger kids, said, "nice to meet you," and we departed. From there, we moved on to...

Quinn's choice: Color Me Mine!

Quinn wanted to paint pottery, so I did something I swore I would never do—take all three of my children into a place where they had the opportunity to knock lots of breakable things off of shelves.

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We’d had vague plans to go there to paint pottery for a long time, but hadn’t gotten around to it. Quinn was so pleased to finally have pottery in his creative little hands.

Jack and Quinn instantly headed over to the cat section, where they both picked out their own cat to paint. Quinn got distracted pretty quickly and switched to a different item to paint, but Jack stuck to his cats, so to speak, and went to work on this adorable little guy:

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This cat’s name is either Flippy Paws or Snickerdoodle, I forget which. Don’t tell Jack that.

Sam chose to paint a castle and even took off his headphones for the whole time.

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It’s a bank so he can save his pennies to buy Kindle books and music downloads.

My mom had a whole plan for what she was going to paint. It involved stencils and an octopus stamp and sounded like it was going to be GREAT.

It didn't work out for her.

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Here she declines to share it with the world.

Quinn had moved on from his cat statue to a giant bowl. He got the idea from a display item and decided to paint it like a watermelon so he could eat watermelon out of it. It took a looooong time for him to paint three layers of paint on the inside and outside, but I think it was well worth it.

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I look forward to hand washing this bowl every day until the day he leaves for college.

After we were all done painting, we headed next door to...

Sam's choice: Ice cream!

Because it was Sam's choice, I had no option but to feed them massive amounts of ice cream before lunch. And, trust me, they ate massive amounts of ice cream. And brownies. And candy. And ice cream mixed with brownies and candy.

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There was even sharing. We came a long way from the butt poking stick incident from the morning.

I am the greatest mom in the history of moms.

And then we went to Einstein Bros. Bagels for lunch where I got a spinach chicken artichoke bagel sandwich because that was MY choice.

Monday, March 28, 2016

The Force Is Strong With This One

In case any of you wondered if Sam inherited the Team Stimey Dipshit Gene, I can put your mind to rest with this story of the most hilarious thing that has ever happened.

We went to a movie today and Cool Dude Sam was all, "Ugh. I am WAY too old and WAY too sophisticated to go see this animated animal movie with you all. I am SO humiliated by my association with you," or, you know, something to that effect.

And then he humiliated himself beyond all else by semi-permanently attaching himself to the escalator.

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This is maybe my favorite thing that has happened ever.

To my credit, I went and asked for help before I took this photo. Photo and story published with the grudging permission of said Cool Teenager who has apparently also inherited the Team Stimey Able to Laugh at Yourself Gene.

Monday, March 7, 2016

The Ellebobarkianda

I would like to introduce you to Quinn's newest creation, the ellebobarkianda:

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Posted with the permission of the artist.

I should explain. I mean, obviously there is a Cat Submarine with Oreo inside. And that might be Quinn up there in the boat. That creature there in the middle is the ellebobarkianda.

See, it is part gazelle ("elle," the horns), part bobcat ("bob," the head), part shark ("ark," the body), part scorpion ("ian"—misspelled, the stinger), and part red panda ("da," the tail).

I'm not sure what the assignment was, but I'm pretty sure Quinn nailed it.

I asked Quinn if I could post his picture on my blog and he not only said yes, but insisted that I also post his cat gargoyle picture. So:

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The cat gargoyle—or catgoyle.

He wanted me to have you rate his art on a scale of one to ten, but he agreed when I told him that it really probably isn't a good idea to ask the internet to assign you a number for your worth, so mere exclamations of, "THAT IS THE BEST DRAWING OF AN ELLEBOBARKIANDA THAT I HAVE EVER SEEN!" will be fine.