Thursday, May 23, 2024

Three Things Thursday

We are approaching a long weekend here in the U.S. I have mixed feelings about long weekends in this stage of life. On one hand, the extra day off work can be nice. On the other hand, long weekends can feel LONG when you have young children... but a long weekend during the spring/summer season is about 1,000 times better than a long weekend in the winter! Taco is off today so Phil and I will divide and conquer. It should be a very quiet day for me (fingers crossed!) since people check out ahead of the holiday weekend and the bond market closes at 1CST. 

Here are 3 things on my mind today.

1. First a Taco story for you. When I put Taco to bed, we read 2 books and then I sing 2 songs to him while I rock him in the rocking chair. Oddly, I have sang "Frosty the Snowman" for every bedtime for the last 6+ months. Will he ever not request that song? He really loves Christmas, though (Jenny, you two would get along given your intense love for the Christmas season). I mean he watches The Grinch year round and for the last week we've read "Good Night North Pole." Besides Frosty, his options for the other songs are "You are my sunshine," "Twinkle, Twinkle," and "Rock-a-bye Baby." He's been picking Rock-a-bye Baby lately but when I start singing it, he snickers with laughter because he thinks it is SO FUNNY that the baby is falling out of the tree. Most nights I explain that maybe the baby is scared about falling out of the tree and we shouldn't laugh? But then again, who thought up this song as a lullaby in the first place? It's so macabre!

2. My new hire (who isn't so new considering he started in early September - I need a new nickname for him) was here for 3 days this week and he was such a breath of fresh air! It makes me wish we sat side-by-side more often (he's located in Chicago). But he's willing to come here as much as I'd like/our corp travel policy will allow and I usually find myself in Chicago a couple times/year, plus we have a 1:1 weekly since he's still learning the ropes and it's helpful to have something on the calendar each week. Now if only I could clone him because he's been a dream hire. 

3. We are officially becoming groupies at the Goose house in our neighborhood (which is what we call the house that has the geese that wear ever-changing costumes). The owners put out toys each summer and we spent over an hour on their sidewalk playing with the toys on Saturday AND Sunday of last weekend. I now know the mom's name (Amanda). She seems to love that our boys love their toys so much (I think her kids are in their teens) but I do feel a little sheepish about spending an hour+ on their stretch of sidewalk. But they do have a little bench so it seems like they want people to linger? The boys play SO WELL with these toys because they are new/novel for them and it's so refreshing to see them playing together well because there can be a lot of, um, conflict at our house. But they've been told that we will leave immediately if they fight at all and that threat is working so I am not antsy to leave when they are happily playing and using their imaginations. 

Taco brought his stuffed monkey with and gave him a ride on a dinosaur

Bonus photo:

Paul brought home his art portfolio from kindergarten and it is so amazing! He has such a great art teacher and seems to really enjoy it! My favorite was his self portrait!I love the big smile and rosy cheeks - and he nailed his eye color!

Your turn! What 3 things would you tell me today? 


Nicole said...

Awww, that reminds me of when my boys were young. We lived in a 1960s neighbourhood, which was mostly bungalows. One older couple down the street had an attached garage and a short driveway, which was pretty rare in our neighbourhood. They also had an evergreen tree that had some kind of growth on its trunk. The boys called it the coconut pine tree, and after dinner R would walk them to that house, where they would literally run up and down the driveway, sitting on the curb, etc. I used to feel a bit sheepish too, but it turns out Mr and Mrs C LOVED IT. They watched our children grow from babies to adults, and it was really quite special. So I bet that mom loves it as well. Mr C was always outside doing yardwork, and would chat with the boys until Mrs C came out with some cookies or whatever, this happened all the time. And one year, I looked out the window to see frail Mrs C walking up our steps, Halloween decorations making noises and everything. She had made up little bags of candy, and said that they wouldn't be home but wanted the boys to have candy. "I know they're too old now" she said "But I always look forward to thinking about them having candy." They were like 15 and 16 at the time, and it was just so sweet. Good memories!
I love Paul's drawing!

NGS said...

I am sure that the family LOVES that you use their toys. You're not hurting anyone by hanging out there for an hour!

Maybe Paul will be an artist. That's such a good representation of a human face for such a young person!

Stephany said...

I think you're doing exactly what the owners of the house want you to do - playing with the toys! It would be another thing if the kids were squabbling the whole time and causing a ruckus, or destroying the toys, but they're playing nicely and that's probably fun for the owners to know!

That's a great drawing from Paul. I always hated art class in school because I was so bad and didn't find it fun, lol.

Elisabeth said...

That drawing is SO GOOD! He has natural talent.

And I love the toys-at-the-curb. What a great idea and I'm so impressed they do it year after year (I remember you loving the toys and geese in years past, too). I agree with the other commenters - I bet it warms their heart BIG time that you park yourselves for a while.

Also, I know this stage is not your favourite, but I promise it will pass and so I say hunker down and enjoy the parts of this age that are fun and enjoyable (for example, playing with toys on someone's sidewalk)!

Coco said...

Having a new team member who you like and works well is so important! My quality of work life gets largely affected by who I work with! So well done to find a good one.
Your neighbor is so sweet to put out toys for the kids in the neighborhood to play with, probably nostalgia from that age? I'm sure they welcome the boys to play for long.

My week has been meh... I feel super tired these days, not sure if I'm getting sick again and haven't recovered yet. will ask the doctor today.

Birchwood Pie said...

As soon as I read about Frosty I thought "aw Jenny would love that" and of course that's what you said in the next sentence;-)

We don't have a goose but we have a large rock in our yard right near the street, big enough for a child to stand on. The boys loved it when they were young and a lot of kids in our neighborhood stop by our house to visit it. We always get a kick out of watching the kids play on it.

Coree said...

That’s an amazing self portrait, a mini Picasso. I bet they love that you’re playing. We have a soccer goal that the neighbour kids know they can get out, and we are getting a basketball hoop for T’s birthday (spot the Americans…).

Ooof it’s been a week.
1. I did not expect a July election in the Uk and it’s totally scunnered my plans for the next 6 weeks (I am a political scientist) but ultimately, it’ll be good to have it over and done with. I was avoiding booking things for the autumn because we didn’t know when the election was, but assumed November.
2. My son’s school is blowing up. They are mixing classes from year to year, which seems normal to me, but hasn’t been done at this school. And people are losing their minds. I was just watching with popcorn but then intervened when people were using horrible words to describe the head teacher. No wonder classroom behaviour is so bad and teachers are leaving in droves.
3. We are going to reset, and go to a burger restaurant we’ve been meaning to try and then go for a walk on the beach tonight.

Melissa said...

If they put the toys out, surely they expect kids to want to play for a while? I'm sure that, as long as you are not wrecking anything, they would love you all having such a good time there.

I am away in Noosa for four nights, which has been a good break so far.

Jenny said...

Hee hee! Yes, Taco and I would get along well. I will say, however, that I'm not a fan of Christmas things when it's not the season- I like to save them for Christmas so they're more special. Having said that... if I had a little kid who insisted on singing Frosty the Snowman every night of the year, I would probably do it. Don't antagonize the toddlers!
I had the same thought that Melissa did about the geese house and the toys. Especially since they have kids of their own- I'm sure they remember those days. It's amazing when there's something free and easy that your kids can be engrossed in for that long. I just had this flashback to when my Paul was little- like probably Taco's age- and he was obsessed with vacuum cleaners (ha, I know- what?) We would be in the vacuum aisle at Sears or Target FOREVER while he looked at each one. Now, I definitely felt self-conscious about that! But again, he was engrossed and I didn't want to pull him away. (Just to clarify- he has a normal relationship to vacuum cleaners now.)
Good luck with the long weekend!

san said...

Aww, kids' art is so precious. I love Paul's self-portrait :)

And I am so happy to hear that your not-so-new hire was such a good choice and that you work together so well.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

I am so SO glad that your new hire worked out. I think I am a little jaded, as ten years of hiring and training has worn me out from that. We definitely had some great hires, but most of them move on pretty fast and so you are left with the less great ones (good, but not great) and you end up having to make do. I know for me it was a great thing to have a scheduled visit to NY twice a year to see all of the East Coast people and work with them for a day, so I am sure it is nice for you guys to be in the same room from time to time!

I think that if the ducks are working, keep using them until they get old. If that is never, even better. Anything is better than sitting inside getting cabin fever! Also that is super cute that Amanda and Mr. Amanda put toys out for the kids. Clearly they are inviting people to use them, so I think however many hours you spend there, you should not feel guilty.

I hope you have a great day off on Monday; I am a bit nostalgic for this weekend as usually that was my big summer kick off backpacking weekend (that and Juneteenth once that became a day off) and I would probably be somewhere in Yosemite right now! Of course, I am having a good time doing what I am doing, but still, you always think about those things, right?

Jeanie said...

I love all your three things but especially Taco and Christmas songs, the new hire and Paul's portrait! Wonderful, each and every one.

Three things for me .... Rick is home from the cottage, we have a laid back weekend doing cemetery flowers and a visit from my friend Suzanne tomorrow and Tuesday I have my second cataract done!

Sophie said...

That self portrait of Paul is so good!
How wonderful the boys have so much fun playing with those toys left out by the neighbours, as others have said I’m sure they love it! When we lived in Sydney during covid we had a neighbour like that, they had put a bench and garden and toys (including fairies in the trees), and E loved playing there. It’s not only great for the kids, but lovely for community spirit for everyone.

Charbelle said...

Brilliant strategy to tell them they have to get along in order to stay!!! Paul did a fantastic job on his self portrait!!!