Posts tagged Team Wonderful

Miniature Wars at the Ranchero

This morning Miss Savahn and Rex-Goliath were engaged in some rather involved railroad construction in their bedroom, all the while oblivious to a struggle of life and death unfolding right beside them.

A heat register against the wall was the scene of a vicious tug of war between a tiny spider with its web implements and an ant with its comparatively massive size advantage. The prize? A desiccated fly. Eeew…I know, right? Who am I to judge.

Chloë was the first to spot the battle, but Rex-Goliath and I were quickly in attendance, and we saw an amazing little spectacle. The ant at first had the fly in its mandible, and it wasn’t immediately apparent that there would be much trouble, but it seems that the invisible strands that the spider, a few inches away, had spun was sufficiently holding the fly in place. While the ant tried to wrench the fly out of the web, the spider quickly joined the fray. I’m not sure what the spider had going on, and because the ant was so much larger, I figured it was a lost cause. The two of them, with the fly in the balance, thrashed for a moment and the ant retreated into the gap between the wall and the register. At this point, I’m pretty impressed, seeing the spider’s web craftsmanship apparent prevail.

The ant, however, had one last surge in him.

I saw first his shadowy antennae dancing from the wall, followed quickly by his black body pushing forward, heading straight for the fly. As soon as the ant showed itself, the fly miraculously levitated, pulling up and out of reach of the ant’s grasp. The spider, and his intricate web work had finished the job, and claimed the prize.

And here I though the most dramatic thing that would happen today would be the season four opener of Mad Men.

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Smell Ya Later


Team Wonderful held its second annual Smell Ya Later, School! party in Chloë’s honor this June. One of my favorite things about this event is that it is solely a Team Wonderful tradition. It is something that our family (and our family alone) does. It is a nice way to welcome summer and give the kids one last hurrah together before parting ways until the next September. I cannot wait until all three are in school and we have kids from three different age groups running around like crazy.

We decided to do vintage-style postcards as invitations for this party. Normally, Chloë and I make the invitations for parties with supplies from the scrapbooking store, and the invites wind up costing about what Dan and my wedding invitations did on a piece-by-piece basis (I hope he isn’t reading this). They are fun to make, though. Given that I was taking the PCAT the Saturday prior to the party, we opted for something a little less labor intensive:

One of my greatest worries pre-party was the question of keeping track of the kiddies. Chloë is at the age where parents start dropping their kids off at these sorts of functions, happy to be free of them for a couple of hours. We had the party at Highland Park Reserve, aka “Chutes and Ladders” park. The play structure is installed on the side of a hill and the thing is massive. On a nice day, their can be two hundred children and parents milling about. The noise is deafening. It is the perfect place for a kid to get lost.

To combat possible abductions, I devised a somewhat complicated system to periodically corral the party guests. Each child was given a name tag, but we wrote on it what they wished their name was instead of their given name (At that age, I would have killed to be called “Crystal”). I’m pretty certain that I read somewhere that it was dangerous for children to be out in public with accurate name tags. I also retrieved Chloë’s whistle for its hiding spot (What the PTA was thinking when they gave them out at the school carnival, I do not know – aren’t these people parents?). When I blew the whistle, which is rather loud for a fifty-cent piece of plastic, the children were to come down from the play structure so I could count them. It was the best thing that I could come up with.

On one hand, my crazy security system was not needed. The weather was rainy, and some of the guests that RSVP’d did not show. Most of the parents stayed and chatted amongst themselves. My fears were not unfounded, however. A suspicious-looking man who went by “Uncle Charlie” was skulking about the park, handing out candy and talking about giving rides in his van.
Despite the weather, a good time was had by all:

Chloë and Sierra conspire


Val, aka Daphne, getting her play on


Rex-Goliath, damn-near giving mama a heart attack


I was razzed for the suncreen, but in MN, you never know


Morgan and Sydney are chipmunks


Rex-Goliath thinks Jackie is the bee's knees

And thus ends Chloë’s second grade year.

–Mrs. Wonderful

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Chloë’s 7th Birthday Clue Hunt

Chloë turned 7 this past October 7th, and on her birthday we gave our present to her. Without giving anything away (because maybe you want to play along!) the present was a bit unconventional in that there is nothing to be given exactly. Our gift to her is an event. But, we wanted her to have some kind of experience in the gift reception, so Leah came up with a fun little hunt for clues. I chronicled most of the hunt, and I’ll fill in with narrative as needed.

After getting home from school for the day, Chloë was greeted by the entire family in the halls of the Ranchero. Leah told Chloë that there was a note waiting for her on our apartment door!

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This was inside…

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!!! What was Princess Pug up to? If I know anything about that dog, I can assure you it was something mischievous at best. Attached to her collar she had a note! What did it say…

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Well, Chloë is no slouch at figuring out clues, so she quickly figured out to look under the… rug! She found a little gift

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and another clue

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Okay. Well again Chloë proved to be a quick study, and knew exactly where to go. At the washer and dryer she spied something. Surely this must be the present!

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Hell yeah candy!

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But there was more than candy and snacks inside. Hmm…. another clue?!

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This clue was a little trickier. Chloë and I discovered little tiny doors in the Ranchero a long time ago where tiny-people-that-will-get-you live, which she loves to show Rex-Goliath. We headed in that direction…

Rex-Goliath was faithfully assisting in the hunt the whole time.

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Ah ha! Another bag. Surely this time it was the real present!

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Alright! What’s inside?

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Footy pajamas! Aww man that’s cool! They have all sorts of kitties and moons and stars and …wait, what’s this?

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Carol and Bill. Ah jeez, does that mean she has to knock on their door?

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Yep!

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Haha Bill. Getting into his skivvies at 4:00 pm. God I love Bill. Anyway, he had a gift, a note, and a dollar of his own for the birthday girl. Dad didn’t snap a picture of the gift – a few bottles of sparkly nail polish.

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Now we’re getting to it! A slumber party! The snacks, the movie rental, the pajamas – they all make so much sense now. But what oh what else could be in store?

Off to the garage!

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And what was inside?

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A beach towel! And a bathing suit (in absentia, it was still en route). Now how does this fit in with a slumber party? Well, we aren’t quite done.

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Well this clue was quite a bit trickier. Where would a little bird leave a note?

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Inside the birdhouse! Of course! Well we got the note out of there, and then… the big reveal.

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Well, of course, after all this, Dad didn’t take a picture of the final note. Our gift to Chloë was a day, with two friends, at the Waterpark of America, a movie and a slumber party. Oh my god what a GREAT PRESENT!

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– Mr. Wonderful

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In the thick of it

It is Friday, and I’ve been assigned a spot covering the front desk at work, which, although outside my capabilities, seems to be going pretty well. There are no phone calls and no visitors, which makes the gig sweet. Sweet enough to afford time to make a post. Which I am doing.

Right.

Now.

It’s been about two weeks since our return to work and school (for the adults), and we’ve been predictably busy and tired. My first week back to work was brutal (about 80 hours brutal), and this week has been a bit of a hangover. Standard operating procedure. Leah is receiving a crash course in parental acrobatics – flexing her slightly atrophied mathematics muscle in pre-calculus and doing god knows what in “Perspectives” class while juggling a couple of parasitic wee boys. The “Get Into Pharmacy School” plan is undergoing infinite mutations and tweaks and appraisals. It’s a big topic around the house.

The latest spelunking of the plan uncovered the hideous realities of child care – namely, the egregious cost of shoving the kids into another’s purview. I don’t know if you, dear reader, are familiar with day care costs, but it’s, like, in the hundreds of dollars. Many Hundreds. Seriously – it might be cheaper to rent another apartment for some strangers and move the kids in with them. If anybody knows a good, or even passable, illegal immigrant that would work as a nanny for food and shelter, send them down to the Ranchero De Luxe.

The latest member of Team Wonderful to get off her hiney and get to contributin’ will be the lovely Ms. Chloë Savahn. She begins escuela next Tuesday! She is excited! No, actually, I don’t think she is! But it doesn’t matter because she’s going anyway. She’ll be a Second-Grader, which I am honestly shocked by. They grow up so fast. There has never been a more accurate cliché.

My lovely, pretty cool sister Kesah (HI KESAH) sent us a great care package that arrived last night. There were treats for the entire family (even you Elizabeth (HI ELIZABETH)). I’m now sporting a swanky stainless steel water bottle agog with robots and rocketships. It pairs nicely with a manbag Leah bought for me however long ago. Also robot heavy. It’s a cool thing.

Speaking of Leah, she received a pink Dell netbook this past week. Now she can waste ample time on the internet even if Chloë is knee deep in Spore or I’m whilin’ away the hours in Dawn of Discovery.

I don’t have much more to contribute. Enjoy your Labor Day, preferably by not laboring.

– Mr. Wonderful

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After a month, and what’s new.

It is a lovely August Sunday afternoon, all is (relatively) quiet at home, the house is (relatively) clean, and the first month of Xavier’s time with us has passed much as it began, peacefully and gently.

Xavier has been growing into his own just a bit more. He’s chunking up just a bit from some good ol’ Momma milk. Chin number two is in full effect and multiple arm rolls are blooming. He’s finding his voice and letting everybody know he’s got ideas when they come to him. (In related news I have recently inaugurated my ear plugs.) His personality is burgeoning, in the subtle way of a newborn. You get hints, at most, of what you’ve got on your hands. He hints at being a bit mellower than some of us in Team Wonderful. He hints at being a bit more laid back. He hints at being a calm little dude. Of course, I could just be desperately hoping, and reading my own tea leaves in whatever manner suits me.

We’ve spent the last four weeks formulating vast overarching schemas by which to affect our influence upon the gentle world, and hanging out at home in exodus from the day to day to day of the greater outside. Apart from cashiers at retailers around town and some of the beautiful people in our life (of whom pictures will be coming), we haven’t really seen anybody. Which, in all truth, isn’t that different from how we live normally. Just a bit more exaggerated when I’ve been off work and living like a housewife.

Tomorrow will see the first gradual signs of the Team Wonderful machinery grinding back into action, as we reengage with the world. I will return to work after a (generous) leave of four-plus weeks. I may or may not be looking forward to this. Leah restarts class as she begins hitting the “Get Into Pharmacy School” plan with a bit more gusto. It will be interesting to see how we maintain our sanity as we juggle my erratic and sometimes overwhelming work schedule with her daunting and aggressive class schedule with our lovely if sometimes overwhelming set of children. With a bit of help from Vodka Dad and Box Wine Mom we’ll make it out alive. Or dead, but at the very least we’ll make it out.

In future posts I’ll share some pictures of family, which should be interesting to nobody but the people in the pictures. Chloë and Rex-Goliath(!) have been taking some pictures, and I think I’ll dedicate a couple of posts to sharing some of this as well.

We hope all is well with you. Let us know how you are! This blog can serve many masters.

– Mr. Wonderful

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