Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Busy Weekend

Friday night, The Wife was singing at temple, so I picked up the kids at Grandma's house. We got home and practised violin without complaining; they let me eat my dinner without being bothered too much. This fulfilled their end of the bargain, so we loaded everybody in the car to go to get some frozen yogurt. Once the normal histrionics subsided (there is always resistance to our policy of Go Potty Before Leaving Home For Someplace Fun), the kids got loaded into the car, just as The Wife pulled up from services. She jumped from one car to the other and we went out.

We like the frozen yogurt places around town - the self-service places. I wind up getting a little bit for myself, mostly because I know I'll be eating a chunk of the boys' yogurts. We let them pull it themselves (with supervision), but they always take just a BIT too much for them to eat. That's fine - part of being a kid, I suppose.

Saturday morning, we had Mispacha Music at Rodef Shalom. That was, as has been par for the course this winter, interrupted by a wonderful snow storm. So, we sang through the songs and played the games ourselves, which was a lot of fun. All three boys were participating. That's such a neat event - Mispacha Music is a song-lead prayer service meant for the littlest of people - and The Wife has been doing a great job with it. A pity that three of the last four months have coincided with multiple inches of snowfall.

(Yet another assurance that I know what I'm talking about: The Wife is now, with reasonable fluency, playing guitar and singing by herself for these little kid things. She told me a couple of years ago that there was no way she could ever play guitar - it was just beyond her. Too much double bass player. I told her that she had spent a grand total of 20 minutes playing guitar, which makes it a bit premature to make that proclamation. I love being right.)

The big highlight of Saturday: we then went west of town to see Stage 62's production of Dora's Pirate Adventure. Dora the Explorer, LIVE!!! It was awesome. We saw this same show from the same group of people two years ago, when it came through town last - actually, technically, this was the third time The Boy and I had seen it, because it was at the Children's Museum a few months before it was at Stage 62. We took all three boys and had been pumping it up for several weeks. It was an awful lot of fun - the show is cute and kind of interactive, and the actors and actresses really seemed to be having fun on stage. We gave each kid a choice at the beginning: either a small souvenir or a candy treat. Little Bear and The Baby picked an inflatable pirate sword, and The Boy picked a ring pop. All were reasonably happy with their choices.

Afterwards, they have a meet-n-greet with the cast for an additional $10, which lets you take pictures with the cast in costume. They also have some fun little crafts and games for kids to play. We got our pictures taken with almost everybody, although The Baby was a little afraid of Swiper. We did that one, as well, two years ago. Same actors who played Dora and Diego, which was a nice thing.

Saturday night, Grandma and Grandpa graciously hosted a pizza and movie party for the boys and allowed us to have a nice Valentine's Day dinner. We tested a sushi place we had never seen before, which was perfectly ordinary. We watched a little bit of television, and I finished most of our tax returns. Romantic evening, no?

Sunday, we had multiple parties happening, all from Little Bear classmates. At 10 was the party for one of the younger classmates. It was held at a community center, with some tables for crafts and a yummy treat table and a pinata - mostly a run around and play party, which was perfect. They had a wonderful face painter, and both of the older boys chose to get their faces painted. We had offered The Boy the opportunity to go sledding instead of going to the birthday party, figuring (correctly) that he'd be the biggest kid there by a couple of years. He chose the party. shrug - up to him.

Little Bear and I went to "Bounce U" for the second party, which is always an awesome occurrence. It's a big warehouse, with a couple of rooms, which has a selection of climbing, sliding, and bouncing inflatable toys. The kids have an amazing time, and since they spend a couple of hours sprinting around and climbing at a frantic pace, they're usually unconscious by the time they leave the parking lot. The climbing stuff ranges from very easy to quite difficult - I'm strong and in good shape, and I have a hard time with a couple of them. I'm proud that he accomplished the hardest climb, once with my help, once by himself, and once with the help of one of the party assistants. It's a great party place - has to be a small number of kids, and you don't bring anything with you. They provide cake, pizza, drinks, and entertainment. I'm sure it's not cheap, but having a party that doesn't require your clean-up is a good thing.

Sunday night, my quartet sang the National Anthem at the Pittsburgh Roller Derby, which was an awful lot of fun. The Wife and boys came, and T brought his wife and son. A good time was had by all, and the audience was receptive and appreciative. Also, I had never seen roller derby live before, and it was neat. I'm glad we had the opportunity, and I hope we get to go back next year.

Sunday morning, we slept late and went to breakfast as a family. Since it was president's day, I had no work; I brought The Boy to school late and decided to stick around because it was 100 Day (the 100th day of school for the kindergarteners). This needs a post of its own, which I'm percolating in my brain.

In short, a busy and most assuredly non-restful weekend. I'm looking forward to the rhythm of the work week to calm me down a bit...

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