After our afternoon out in Chelsea, we stopped downtown Ann Arbor for dinner. We don't live far from Ann Arbor, but we head over there as often as I'd like. That causes views like this one from the Maynard parking structure to strike me with some nostalgia.
I'm cheating a bit here. I didn't get a photo at all on 1/22, so I was sure to take a bunch on 1/23 in a few different locations. This one is Sophie coming down the slide at the Chelsea Treehouse. On Saturday afternoon we all got a little stir crazy working on projects around the house. Last year we beat some winter claustrophobia on a Saturday afternoon by trekking out to Chelsea and putting a Groupon to use. We had the urge to go there again before these kiddos get too big for our favorite indoor play spaces.
With shoes on my feet and bag on my shoulder, I was ready to head out the door to work when I spotted this scene on the floor of my bedroom this morning. I even heard Michael say, "I'm going to read to Peanuts," while I put on my earrings, but I hadn't really taken a look until I gave that kiss goodbye.
Sophie and Michael enjoy the "nest" our quilt makes on laundry Saturdays. (Sometimes it's a slide instead.) Mike ran to the grocery store this morning, and the kids got their screen time there while I took a shower. Well, they got a little extra today because I took time to take pictures first!
It's been a mild winter so far with only a couple of significant snowfalls, one just before Thanksgiving, and another melting away right now. This second one came with windchills in the teens and below, so it felt perfect outside when it warmed up into the high 30's this week. The kids had their boots and snow pants on as they exited the school bus, so we stayed outside to play until dinner time.
Sophie has renamed her American Girl Truly Me doll numerous times, but Charm seems to be the name that sticks. I'm not sure where the name came from, but apparently to a five-year-old, it's the coolest. Eventually maybe we'll get her a Lea or Kit or Samantha or Miranda or Charlotte...I'll have to study up...but for now, Charm is our Girl.
Sophie and Michael get a little bit of homework in kindergarten this year. There's usually a math packet to complete as convenient, a weekly reading handout with daily tasks, and now they have two books to read to us throughout the week. It's all very manageable and easy to set aside when they're reached their limit. Above they're drawing pictures of themselves weighing two objects of their choosing in their hands to show which one was heavier.
Remember when you were a kid and you got a sticker from your ballet teacher every week, from your school librarian every library day, from the doctor, after gymnastics and after every haircut, and from the cashier at the grocery store? Me neither! Add it to the list of the ways childhood today is a at least smidgen more charmed childhoods past.
These photo-a-day challenges help me to enjoy the playfulness of making do.
Without this kind of project I would never pick up my camera on my way to kiss my kids goodbye before work. I know full well that the results of a hurried shoot a good hour before sunrise are likely to be...well, you have eyes.
But this part of my morning routine is a treasure that I wanted to capture, and now I'm kind of into the graininess, the contrast between the stark, linear door and the tousled blur of my snoozing love bugs. (They're both in Sophie's bed here as they still alternate rooms in an ongoing twinsie sleepover.)
Cold and steady. Warm and crumpled. That's my treasure.
As we began taking ornaments down from the tree yesterday, Sophie suggested we listen to some Christmas songs. I was feeling pretty over Christmas carols at that point, but I agreed that we needed some music and followed her suggestion.
Later on in our work, iTunes teased the Star Wars theme music, and it was exactly what we needed--emotionally stirring, nostalgic, and no jingling bells or holly. I pulled up that station, and we finished packing away the lights and garland to the "Imperial March." This could be a new tradition.
Despite spending most of this last day before returning back to work at home, I didn't remember to get out my camera until after dark. That's why I need this project; I am out of the habit and need to deliberately fix that. Lucky for me and my low light, Sophie and Michael were playing with a light saber M&M's dispenser that Michael got over the summer when I remembered my project tonight.
The kids have not seen any of the Star Wars movies yet. It was a pretty solid part of my own childhood, but I recall not really following the movies' story lines until I was much older than five. I also want to hold off on sharing that level of violence with them for bit yet. So far Michael and Sophie's Star Wars curiosity has been satisfied with books and toys like that M&M's light saber.
When we were listening to the music yesterday, the kids were really pumped up, talking about how Luke and Leia are twins like them. If I play this just right, my intentions for their 2016 Halloween costumes just might happen!
While both kids have said they're looking forward to going back to school when this break is over, I believe Michael is going to be pretty bummed about having to wear actual clothes again. Of course, I'll feel the same. Who is it that gets to determine whether or not yoga pants and t-shirts are professional attire? I'd like to have a chat.
Michael's preferred "outfit" these days, his undies and Planes blanket, goes quite a bit beyond casual. We find jeans, sweatpants, and PJ's randomly discarded in the bathroom, the hall, the playroom, wherever he's been hanging out, earning him the new nickname of Michael Putyourpantson.
Mike spent the first day of 2016 installing the last of the hardwood flooring to go on our main floor. Starting this year by checking a major project off of our home improvement list and seeing a significant transformation complete makes me optimistic about 2016. While this is just a floor, it represents much more to us--the days at work that paid for this improvement, the years of planning and envisioning, the skill and sweat that Mike put into making this house our home. This is a good start, a very good start.
You might have noticed that there is another beginning at work here. I am embarking upon another photo-a-day project. I know I'm going to get backed up in this project, but I want to stay true to taking one photo from each day and publishing it at least within the week.
Like last year, I'll post these photos on this blog, in my Flickr album, and on Instagram. Since this post is also home improvement related, I'm also publishing it on Living in During.