Sweetness, Weddings and more …

As I tucked Leo into bed last night we had this exchange.

Me: I’m glad you had such a great day, Leo.
Leo: I always have a great day.
Leo: I think I may have had a bad day once, but I can’t really remember it.

I’m still feeling warm and fuzzy from that sweet sentiment. A sweet sentiment to start out a sweet post. I promise to end with a sweet sentiment of Lucy’s after a long and meandering update. But now let’s turn to another sweet topic … donuts.

Healthy Eating

Those are my Mother’s Day donuts from Sunday (minus a few that have already been munched). Mother’s Day started with only one box of donuts. The pink box on the right. But as you can see there really are only 4 or so types of donuts in that dozen so I had to send Caleb back to the store to buy more because when it comes to donuts I always want to have a bite of each kind and I need lots of variety.

Mothers day was awesome. We invited over another mother whose husband was away so I did not get to eat all the donuts myself.

But the company was worth sharing a few donuts for. Here is where my plate wound up.

Despite his mother’s sweet tooth (or sugar tooth as Lucy calls it), Leo is turning out to be a very health conscious kid. He will tell us things like he does not want too many sweets because it is unhealthy. The other day Caleb was craving a Big Mac and could not convince Leo to join him at McDonalds. Why? Because it is not healthy. Leo also orders the side of fruit instead of the fries on the kid’s menu. Recently Leo took his health awareness to a new level.

Caleb was planning on making Leo a tuna salad sandwich for lunch. Leo protested. “Why not?” Caleb asked, “you love tuna.” “I do, but I’ve already had tuna once this week and that is too much mercury.”

Wow.


(Leo hunting his food)

Now it is time to take a moment to reflect how we are always inclined to highlight the good when talking about our children. While it is great to put your best foot forward, there is a lot of talk about how facebook and the Internet make people think this is your only foot, creating the phenomena that everyone else’s life is perfect on facebook, while we all sit around feeling bad about ourselves and our imperfect lives. I, too, want you to think that my life is perfect and my children are perfect. So I direct my blog on the items to brag about. For example, Leo’s great eating habits. Or another example is my childrens’ love of nature. I love to take pictures of the kids in the tops of trees, which of course, is a place they love to be. My kids love climbing trees. If you read my blog you would realize that my kids love nature more than your kids love nature. They make hedge nettle tea from plants they collect. No piece of poison oak is too strong for their little plant identifying minds.


Here are Lucy and her friends in a tree just yesterday.

But somehow I never take pictures of Leo watching other people play Minecraft on YouTube. If you don’t have kids you would not know this is a thing. You might think that kids like to play video games. But you might not know that kids like to watch other kids who have taken videos of themselves playing video games. Along with climbing trees, and avoiding mercury, watching other people video games is one of Leo’s favorite pastimes (although not so favorite as climbing trees … ahem).

So this is my long winded way of saying that lest you think that Leo is a perfect eater, on the topic of food I’ve conveniently forgotten to mention that the kid who monitors his mercury intake also broke down crying the other morning when we returned from Boston and had missed his sugar cereal day.

At night when Leo is watching others play minecraft, Lucy is usually watching My Little Pony and singing along (to her brother’s chagrin). A true true friend helps a friend in need. A friend will be there to help you see. A true true friend helps a friend to see the LIIIIIIIIIIIGHT that shines from a true true friend.

Since Lucy likes to sing so much, Caleb put her in a music class. A few weeks back we got to got to Lucy’s recital. Which brings us to Lucy’s eating habits which have their own idiosyncrasies. She still loves the normal stuff. She loves sweets. She loves the dregs of our coffee. She loves fattiest pieces of meat. And for her new love …

Here is Lucy getting her certificate after performing at her recital:

And here is Lucy’s half-eaten certificate after our car ride home:

I’m not sure about the mercury content in recital certificates but I’m encouraging her to stick to the fatty meat.

The Wedding

And now lets flash even a couple more weeks back. I hinted at it, but me and the kids got to return to Boston for Sammy’s wedding celebration. Sammy and Gretchen met at a running club by the Charles River that has weekly races. And so to celebrate their marriage they decided to put on a race around a section of the river. Then they ran the opposite direction of the runners to create the sportiest and sweatiest receiving line ever. It was a really lovely event. The only thing that could have made it better would be if Boston had been 10 degrees warmer that night.

Here is a picture of the bride and groom.

Here is a picture of me finishing the race with my brother and new sister in law.

This picture reminds me of a time that I ran this same very race at this very club about 13 or 14 years ago — right about the time of my own wedding. I was in pretty good running shape, training for a marathon and running lots of races. So I came out to Sammy’s club one summer night and ran as fast as I could. Now one woman had clearly won the race, but another woman and I were neck-and-neck for second place. I had never won a running race before and it looked like I might even come in second. I dug in. I focused. I pushed myself. And I won! I came in second place!!!! It was amazing! I felt so good and proud of myself.

At the running club they stand around and drink beer after the race. So as I was proudly drinking a beer with my brother the lady I had beat was standing nearby talking to her friends and I overheard her say “she was trying so hard so I let her win …” Let me win!?!?! Let me win!?!?!? Way to kill the moment.

Well anyway, check out the picture again of me finishing the race at Sammy’s wedding. See that 10 year old kid who is like twenty steps ahead of me. I totally let him win.

More on winning

My mother is not very competitive and so it seems that I must have inherited my competitive genes from my father.

Dad and I got to have a few games of scrabble during this trip in which he also let me win, which I appreciated. You can see there is a theme here. I’m not sure he appreciated my winning though. He kept helping me out but then getting frustrated that I was winning.

Sharon who was visiting my parents as well, said that my father just cant help but be helpful.

My dad is actually pretty good at Scrabble. Which I have always taken as a given but is kind of surprising because for the last 45 or so years he has been married to someone who hates to board games and only plays occasionally with his children. Without practice where did he learn to play? So I asked.

Turns out when my parents were newlyweds and living in an apartment building in Cambridge near these guys (pictured above). Some guys from MIT lived in the building as well. And they were board game junkies and spent their evenings sitting and working out the optimal steps in the games. This was the cool crowd my dad was hanging out with in his youth and how he learned to be good at Scrabble.

Back to the wedding

In her retirement my mother is picking up other firsts so if my dad is lucky she may yet pick up scrabble. Another first was for her to get on the dance floor. Here she is boogie down with her kids.

Back to the sweets

At the wedding we got to met Matt’s lovely new girlfriend, Brittney. Later in the week when we went to visit NH I had another opportunity to exercise my sugar tooth. Brittney had nice a plan to bake cookies with the kids.

We all had a lovely time. Britney, Cheryl and the kids baking. Me eating.

I’m not so sure about the chronology of this post but eventually we returned from Boston, Mother’s Day happened as did everything else I talked about in this post. So now, as I promised, I will end on a sweet sentiment of Lucy’s. The other day Lucy unprompted started listing the reasons she was lucky.
1) Gets to eat sugar cereal
2) No hair lice
3) Has such nice parents

I’ll never say if #1 is true. #2 is true, especially if you never check. But #3, that is definitely true. At least her Daddy anyway.

3 Replies to “Sweetness, Weddings and more …”

  1. Great post — fond memories of your visit and the great wedding race/party.
    I even recognize the cookie cutters you were using.

    One addition to the games stories.
    Yes we were playing with the other folks in our apartment. Lots of fun evenings.
    I was playing the non-word based games. For example, I loved the 3-D tick-tac-toe games and other math/logic based ones. In fact, I used games in my math classes with students over the years.
    I loved analyzing games and figuring out what was happening and often brought that into my classroom.
    What I am not good at is language based games with speed pressure to “spell quickly. I have neither the spelling skills nor the vocabulary to even begin to play Scrabble with your father!
    Actually, I don’t really enjoy fast-paced games that don’t give me the time to think about what is happening and where there is a pressure to win.

    Daddy used to play Scrabble with my grandmother Nana, when we’d visit in Connecticut before she died in 1974. She was a long-time Scrabble champ in the family. Then she met Mikol. They were matched and she lost some games. One night when she was ahead, she announced it was late, she was winning and was going to bed and the game was over, she won. PERIOD!

  2. Great post — fond memories of your visit and the great wedding race/party.
    I even recognize the cookie cutters you were using.

    One addition to the games stories.
    Yes we were playing with the other folks in our apartment. Lots of fun evenings.
    I was playing the non-word based games. For example, I loved the 3-D tick-tac-toe games and other math/logic based ones. In fact, I used games in my math classes with students over the years.
    I loved analyzing games and figuring out what was happening and often brought that into my classroom.
    What I am not good at is language based games with speed pressure to “spell quickly. I have neither the spelling skills nor the vocabulary to even begin to play Scrabble with your father!
    Actually, I don’t really enjoy fast-paced games that don’t give me the time to think about what is happening and where there is a pressure to win.

    Daddy and I spent many nights playing Cribbage and we played that as a family when you were kids.

    Daddy used to play Scrabble with my grandmother Nana, when we’d visit in Connecticut before she died in 1974. She was a long-time Scrabble champ in the family. Then she met Mikol. They were matched and she lost some games. One night when she was ahead, she announced it was late, she was winning and was going to bed and the game was over, she won. PERIOD!

  3. I adore the way you write, Johanna. You really should publish your delightfully amusing blogs. Thanks for regaling me yet again today. Oh, and it was lovely to see you at the wedding. Your children are as adorable in real life as they seem to be in your blog.

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