At the Ballet

Last night I took YaYa, The Banana and Mr. TOF to a performance of the Minnesota Ballet.   The Banana heard that they were doing Firebird this spring when she went to The Nutcracker at Christmas with a friend, and she reminded me many, many times to get tickets.  YaYa really appreciates ballet as well, and two weeks ago played Stravinsky’s orchestra music for Firebird with the Youth Symphony, so she was excited to come.  Dr. Peds and Mr. SP are not ballet-goers, but when we asked Mr. TOF, he was all about coming and really liked it.  (Although afterward  he did say  that he liked going to a play better than the ballet.  He had just been to the theater for a school field trip).

The dancing was beautiful, and so was the amazing set design.  My favorite part was the evil monsters.  I loved the evil monsters.  I loved their costumes.  I loved their crazy sinister movements.  If I were dancing I would totally want to be one of the monsters.  It would be way more fun than being a princess.

The first half of the performance was three short works that had nothing to do with the Firebird.  One work was based on Debussy’s Clair de Lune, played live by an amazing local pianist.  Another work was a set of dances based on parts of J.S. Bach’s unaccompanied suites for cello, played by a member of our symphony.  The choreography was very interesting, and there was one part in particular that was absolutely gorgeous.  I think it was during that part that Mr. TOF leaned over to me and said, “Mom!  That cello is sounding very good.  I bet you wished you could play like that because it isn’t even sounding a bit out of tune!”


It’s always a joy to see what new colorful combination this girl puts together every morning.  She believes that matching clothes are “dull” and “boring” and wears a new creation each and every day.  It’s always joyful and never the same.  She loves being unique, out of the box,  extraordinary.  She’s always been her own little person, and it’s really fun to see this confident girl tackle the world.  She loves people.  She’s a leader.  She knows what she wants and then she persists and does it, all the while treating everyone in her midst with kindness most of the time.  Also, she’s side splittingly funny.

Robin - March 23, 2017 - 8:48 am

She makes me think of the “Punky Brewster” character from the 80″s, love her


Dr. Peds looked sternly at two kidlets, sent them off to complete a chore together and said ominously,   “Your fates are tied together.  Good luck.”

Amyrene - March 22, 2017 - 7:59 am

BWWWAAAAHAHAHAHAHA! That’s fabulous! I can hear the Star Wars theme playing now…

Conversations: Movies

The Banana had just arrived home from a fun birthday party.

YaYa:  Hey!  You’re back!  How was the party?

The Banana:  Great!

YaYa:  What did you do?

The Banana:  Oh, we had presents, ate dinner, had cake, played a fun game, and then watched a movie.

YaYa:  What movie did you watch?

The Banana:  Marijuana.

YaYa:  WHAT?!?

Me:  They watched Moana.

The Banana:  Oh yeah!  That’s it.  It was pretty good.

Robin - March 13, 2017 - 1:51 pm

Love it

At the Swim Meet

On Tuesday Mr. SP swam in his last middle school swim meet of the season, the all city meet, which happened to be held at our middle school, and by some crazy stroke of luck everything worked out with my teaching schedule, and I was able to go and see him swim.  Mr. TOF and The Banana were excited to come with me.  I had never really been to a swim meet before, and neither had either of them, so it was really fun to go.  Swimming is actually one my very favorite sports to watch (there aren’t many sports I like watching).  There is something mesmerizing about watching those bodies swim back in forth in the lanes.

Our middle school was remodeled just a few years ago, and building a pool able to host swim meets was one big component of that building revamp.  The middle school and high school share the pool.  I had never any reason to actually go to the new middle school pool, and guess what, it’s a beautiful pool!  Best of all are the big windows on the east side, which have a magnificent view of Lake Superior.  When you are sitting in the balcony pool viewing area (which was crazy crowded at first, put thinned out as the meet progressed) you can look out over the pool lanes from above, and then out the windows at the gorgeous lake.

I mentioned before that we were super thrilled that Mr. SP decided to join the middle school swim team.  I’m so grateful for the teachers and coaches who encourage kids to try something out just for fun, even if they don’t want to be an expert.  It was amazing to see how much better a swimmer Mr. SP was compared to last summer at swimming lessons when he was swimming laps in the pool.  For the past six weeks swimming has been a fantastic physical activity for him, and he’s had a lot of fun too.  He likes the more obscure strokes, like breast stroke and the butterfly, which is great, because as he put it “not many people are brave and willing to race the butterfly” because it’s, well, exhausting.  He loved being on the sixth grade boys medly relay too.  His goal was always to beat just one other person, which he sometimes did, and sometimes didn’t, but he had a great attitude after every swim meet, and I consider that a success.

Have I mentioned that this kid was also really, really hungry for the past six weeks?  Crazy hungry.

Swim meets don’t mess around.  There is no waiting for someone to show up to the start line when it’s their turn.  I loved seeing how responsible all those middle schoolers were to get to their event on time.  It was super impressive.  There is no delay from one race to the next.  It was also amazing to watch the difference between the size and speed of the gigantic eighth grade swimmers and some of the tiny sixth grade swimmers.  Where else than middle school do you see such disparity?  Some of those eighth graders really churned the pool.  It was kind of like they were wearing some kind of jetpack or something.

Robin - March 13, 2017 - 1:55 pm

I am so glad that he liked it, maybe he found the sport just right for him. Love the picture too.

Conversations: Cat Care

I was sitting on the couch, snuggling a few minutes with Mr. TOF before it was time for him to head out to catch the school bus.  The cat crawled up and started to settle in next to us because the cat loves people on the couch, and the cat also loves thick fleece blankets, which we happened to be draped under.

“Oh!  Mom!  Guess what!  Yesterday the cat came into the bathroom with me, and I gave him a great new hairstyle.  I used my toothbrush to get it just right.”

Robin - March 13, 2017 - 1:55 pm


On Growing and Groceries

This kid is growing at a preposterous rate.  Like two of his other siblings who are also in the middle of huge growth spurts, this one has quite the appetite.  He could probably eat five full meals and twenty snacks in a day.  I feel like I”m in the grocery store so much I should just move a hammock in over by the produce section and take up residence.  Seriously, we can go through six bunches of bananas and four large bags of apples in a week, no problem.  Everyone is always complaining that there is no food in the fridge even though I just filled it up, again.

Mr. TOF has also planned out an exercise program to prepare himself for high school sports.  He wants me to delay bedtime so he can squeeze in more push ups.

And he’s very much looking forward to all the pep band possibilities.  He plans on participating in every pep band opportunity so he can be the ultimate fan.

Last week he rolled up all of our glossy magazines and newspapers from our recycling bin and wound a rubber band around each one.  He got a tote bag and played “Newspaper Delivery Person” all day, delivering papers to different rooms in the house.

In Line


All these characters were in line for ice cream at the Cold Treats Stand.  The King was buying.  The people in the back had a long wait, and at $5.00 per ice cream cone, the final total was, well, exorbitant.  The Cold Treats Stand offered even more than 31 delicious flavors.

Even though everyone has probably outgrown these Little People toys by most standards, and they take up a lot of space to store, I keep them around still.  Once or twice a winter they are pulled out, it seems, and so much fun is had.  All the pieces are divided up and distributed, and so much imaginative play follows.  I can only handle the mess of them taking over the family room for a few days at a time, but you should have seen how nicely the younger kidlets played together for days.  I love that multiplication problems made their way into the fun.  Pencils and paper were even used to figure out the commerce.   Maybe next time they’ll add in tax?

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