Sunday, April 26, 2015

One Year

It occurs to me that I've been neglectful. I tend to look back and write about the rare emotional upheaval or "important event". But in transcribing the old blog to House of the Flying Mermaid 2 I realized that I used to record the day-to-day things.. the events that really make up life. And somehow I feel out of that habit.

So to compensate, here - in condensed format - is our past year, from April 2014 to April 2015.

It has been an eventful year. On the plus side, we got you out of crappy Klondike Elementary and into Middletown Elementary where despite your initial fears, you have flourished. You gained confidence, got (and stayed) on the honor role and made friends, becoming happy, popular, and successful. I only wish we had moved you sooner.

On the down side, it was the year your Mom and Larry broke up. And while that has gone more smoothly that I had feared it might, I know that it has been so very very hard on you. You like to say that you're fine, that it doesn't bother you - but I know otherwise. 

So.. we went to Disney for our second time!

I wanted to give you a happy memory. And generally speaking, I think we managed it much better this time. We saw more. We did more. We argued less. And over all, I think it was one of the happiest times I can ever remember having. I'd take us back tomorrow if I could.

And when the collector's pins we bought were stolen on day at school, my friends banded together and got you about twice as many as you had had originally!

Over the summer, we visited St. Louis and went to the City Museum and climbed and explored all the strange and wonderful places in that bizarre place. The first time we went it was winter and cold and so we confined ourselves to the indoors. But this year we went outside and explored the roof and slid down slides as long as three stories (well, you did. My fat butt wouldn't fit)

 We went to World Fest again and watched dancers and musicians from different countries. And once again I tried (unsuccessfully) to get you to try foods more exotic than nachos and corn dogs.

And then just as you finished getting your face painted were caught in a HUGE and violent thunderstorm. We huddled under a tent (watching other tents blow away) while low-hanging clouds swirled like waves around the downtown buildings. And when the downpour lightened briefly, we ran for the refuge of the parking garage under the Belvedere, and sat there, watching the rain, eating snow cones, and giggling.

We went to the How-To Festival at the downtown library, did fun stuff - played games, made a phenakistoscope, made balloon sculptures, watched square dancers, ate more bad food. And when we left we got caught in a huge downpour on the way back to the car (which was blocks away) so that we were utterly soaks. So when we got home, we each jumped into a hot bath in our respective bathrooms.
And since the rooms are back-to-back were able to hammer our messages on the walls :)

We'll be going again next week. I can't wait to see what things we discover this time

This was also your first exposure to Tae Qwon Doh. You were quite taken with it and I promised that before the year was out, we'd manage to get you some lessons.

We went to the circus a few time, and continued to attend Derby Dinner Theater regularly

You had your tenth birthday party and at your own insistence, guests drew chances to smoosh cake in your face. Wicker and Spike were delighted at getting to clean up the mess

And I made you this

We went to the State Fair as we do every summer where as usual, we rode rides and ate terrible food.

And in between throughout the warm months, we flew kites, we played on playgrounds

And had squirt-bottle wars
(Fort Moiya below)

 And sometime we were just silly

 The year had it's sad moments. Wicker was sick and deaf and blind. And when you Mom decided to move to Indiana, we decided that it was time to help her to her end. Duncan would have gone the same way since your Mom insisted that she was very ill. But Larry convinced we to take her to a vet, who pronounced her fit. 

So we took her into our little family, and began the LONG process of trying to convince Simon that Duncan was not there to eat her. We divided the house in half with pet gates (which we had to climb over 1000 times a day) and used towels to keep them from seeing each other except when they ate. Gradually there was less and less hissing, and finally after about four months the gates came down and there was peace at last in Eagan-land.

In the new school year, I spent a lot of my time taking you to school events and hanging out while you socialized. We went to about a million school fundraisers, skating parties and basketball games.
This was the beginning of my transition from playmate to background. I soon learned to bring a good book and sit where I was not visible to your friends, but could still keep an eye one you.

The first Middletown skating party we went to, you were too terrified to get out on the rink, so I arranged skating lessons for you over the summer and by the time the school started their skating party fundraisers in 2014-15, you were cool and in control. I was very proud to see how you grew  :)

As Fall settled in, we hit MULTIPLE events. In a once-in-a-lifetime event it was the Belle of Louisville's 100th birthday and I wanted us to be part of it. So we boarded one of the visiting steamships and ate ice cream while we became part of a six paddlewheeler flotilla cruising up and down the Ohio River.

We discovered the Tom Sawyer Park Fall Festival, which was right by the house and free. They have face painting, pumpkin decorating, inflatables, s'mores, live music, hay rides, and assorted games.

And we discovered the Brown Park Fall Festival - a little further off, and with a line than went for blocks. But there was lots of Trick-or-Treat candy to be had.

And as we usually do, we hit the Zoo Halloween Party, for the first time taking Max with us :)

Carving our pumkpins

Winter came, and your Mom and I had your pictures taken..

And while band didn't pan out for you, you stuck with choir and did your first concert in December 2014. Actually this was your second performance. The first was on a rainy night at the Middletown civic center as part of the Light Up Middletown Christmas festivities. It was notable primarily for the disruption provided by placard-waving protesters who decided it was a good opportunity for them to protest police brutality in Ferguson, Missouri.

No, it didn't make much sense then either. 

But the Holiday Concert at your school was delightful :)

You had THREE Christmases this year, First at your Mom's house with Max. Then I took you to Larry's house for Christmas there. Then we came home and had our Christmas. I'm sure it was hard on you.. hell, it was hard on everybody. But everyone worked together to make the day as pleasant for everyone as possible


And in January, I finally was able to keep my promise and you started your first Tae Kwon Doh lessons. Sadly, I could only manage to scrape together the funds for six months of training, but as of this writing you are about to take your green belt. Hopefully the future will bring some way for us to continue.

Aaaand here we reach our close - back at April again. The finances have been tight and haven't recovered as I had hoped since our last trip to Disney, so it just wasn't in the cards this year. But we were able to spend a few days over Spring Break at Big Splash Adventure in French Lick :)