Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vacation Snapshots

I'm not going to give a recap of our vacation - we spent a weekend at the Lake with the Gallogly's, took a grownup group trip to Las Vegas, and then spent a weekend with the Turner cousins in Michigan. Enjoy some photos and my brief commentary...

I actually didn't take many pictures at the Lake. But here is a group of us eating at the Retreat. The lighting is bad - I know - but an evening trip to the Retreat is a fairly new activity and one that I'm enjoying.


I love the view!


First hour in Vegas. We were hungry - it was lunch time for us but still breakfast in Vegas so we hit the food court. It just seemed easiest at the time.


We had a nice dinner though!




My first Cirque show.


The next night, most of us headed downtown.


The Polack and I love old Vegas - and $3 blackjack!




It took three cabs at $75 to get us from the Strip to Downtown. As we were looking for cabs to go back to our hotel, we came across a limo driver and asked how much. $50! What a bargain! See me in the front seat? I sat next to Ken, our awesome driver.


Ken took our picture. I told you he was awesome!


Last night in Vegas; headed to a comedy show


Bye-bye, Vegas!


Next up - Cousins weekend in Michigan. Here's a picture of the cousins and their spouses. Nicklas took this picture. He's got skills, yo.


The little cousins!



The California cousins made the smores...















Flippy cup champions!!

Random Tuesday Thoughts

1. Carol Brady is set to be on DWTS. She's joining Baby from Dirty Dancing. I might actually watch the show this time around.

2. I cut Seeger's hair this weekend and in typical fashion, I HATE IT. It looks like a bowl cut from the 80's. I think I'm going to have to take him to a professional.

3. Destination THE LAKE for the holiday. Can't wait to spend one last summer weekend there.

4. I totally want a Bettie Paige dress. I saw a Bettie Paige shop in Vegas (it's one of four) and wished I would have gone back there when it opened. It's so Betty Draper.

5. Nancy Botwin is now Nathalie Newman. I love it when the name Natalie gets a shout out. Even if it's the french spelling.

6. We actually had an offer on our house last night. Too bad is was WA-AY too low. We countered and received a still too low verbal offer. We said we want to see something in writing. Cross your fingers that it turns into something.

7. I just spent $3300 on new appliances. Yikes.

8. The Polack and I are going to see Train tonight. Woo hoo!

9. It appears that we're all back into the school routine. Nicklas has been riding the bus every morning, even though I tell him I can take him. For some reason he'd rather go on his own which is fine with me because then I don't have the pressure of getting me and Seeger out the door by 7:45. We usually leave between then and 8:00 but its sometimes later.

10. I need one more thought but I've got nothin'. Adios!

Monday, August 30, 2010

It's time for some JT



What do you do when you get a really crappy offer on your house?

Friday, August 27, 2010

An Excerpt...

A friend from Lafayette sent an email asking about how the boys are doing in school. I thought I'd share an excerpt...

Hey there! Things are going well though really busy. The boys played second season baseball so we've had games three nights a week. It ended Wednesday so things should calm down for a bit. They both really like their school. Nicklas seems to be doing well but he hasn't really made any friends. They have a fitness track at the school so during recess, he walks around that - usually by himself. That makes me a bit sad but it doesn't seem to bother him. He definitely hasn't connected with anyone yet and we're encouraging him to try and start conversations with other kids. But I also don't want to push him or make him feel pressured. It's hard to tell if the school work is harder or easier. They do ability grouping for all kids in all grades. So even the kindergarteners change classes. In first grade, Seeger changes rooms for math, reading, handwriting, and writing. So for math for Nicklas, he's placed in the fifth grade math class with about 6 other kids from his class. Another 6 or so go to 6th grade math and the rest are doing 4th grade. They don't change classes for any other subject. For spelling, they have to write out a poem or song - not just memorize a list of words. They do a lot of writing which will be good for Nicklas. His teacher told the parents that the school expects 4th graders to spend 45-60 minutes a night on homework and that for the gifted class, even longer. That seems like a lot to me! But she promises that there is no homework on the weekends.

The school is really close to the University so there are a lot of international kids from married student housing who attend. They are continuing to adjust schedules and class rosters because students are still enrolling as parents are moving to Bloomington for the school year. IU classes don't start until Monday. I would say at least a third of the students in Seeger's class is Asian. Overall , the school is 62% white. Unfortunately, Nick's class isn't as diverse. What I do like about his teacher is how civic minded she is. She talks to the class a lot about the problems of the world and how to make their community better. One day, a student voiced a concern about other students wasting their milk at lunch. So the class discussed the issue and want to come up with a solution. They got a 35 gallon bucket and now during lunch, all the kids that don't finish their milk are supposed to dump their remains in the bucket. Nick's class is going to find the average of how much milk is wasted. They haven't figured out what their next steps are but I think it's cool that they're getting the opportunity.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Emails

While getting ready for bed last night, the boys received the following emails:

Email to Nicklas:
Only EIGHT more days until kick-off! Go Hoosiers. Papa wants to know if you ever found out University's nickname?
Miss ya,
Grandma and Papa

Reply from Nicklas:
Hello I just got home from baseball whare I almost got to great fealding plays. I have not found out Unaversaty nickname becase I am 99.9% sure thare is NOT one. I am exited about the IU football game in eight days. See you there.
Sincerely
Nicklas



Email to Seeger:
We hope you are having a great week. Papa wants to know if you have been practicing your magic tricks? We will be down to see you next week for the IU game.
Love, Mimi and Papa

Reply from Seeger:
I didn't do my magic tricks. But soon! I'll show you. There's nothing else. I love you. XOXO and more.
Seeger

Nick's Week at Camp

I'm finally getting around to posting about Nick's week at camp earlier this month. This was his first year for overnight camp at Camp Tecumseh and as we expected, he loved it.

Here's the cabin he stayed in with seven other boys and two counselors. They had one side of the cabin and another group was on the other side.


I helped him make his bed and he was practically pushing us out the door to leave him for the week. We wanted pictures first!






Here is his cabin - the Kickapoo tribe!


The kids that stay in resident camp get choose the clinics they want to participate in. There are around 20 offered and they pick their top five. From their top five, they are assigned to three. Nicklas chose Riflery, Archery, Basketball, Competitive Swimming, and Drama. He was assigned to Riflery, Basketball, and Swimming. Here are some photo's the camp posted on their website.






And here is Nicklas waiting for us to pick him up. He packed everything up on his own!


The last picture before leaving Camp Tecumseh. Here is Nicklas with his counselors. The counselors at camp are awesome!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

First Week of School

Seeger was cute when I woke him up this morning. The first thing he said was, "Mom, do you remember that Christmas when Santa brought us our presents early?" I said, "That's right, he knew we weren't going to be home on Christmas morning so he brought them to us early." Then he got a big smile on his face. And I asked, "What made you think of Santa Claus?" He said, "Well, it's fall now and you know what comes after fall... It's almost Christmas time!"

Though it's not offically fall, school has started for the boys this week. They were both very excited about their first day. Here's a recap:

6am - I wake up early so I can make the boys waffles for breakfast. I hope I'm up in time to make one for the Polack too but no dice. He's already left for work. I get in the shower and get dressed.

6:30 - As I'm finishing up, I hear Nick's alarm. He comes out of his room and ask, "Mom, what do I do?" It's like he forgot how to get himself ready. I explain that he should take a shower and get dressed!

6:45 - I wake up Seeger and head downstairs to make the waffles.

7:15 - The boys have finished their breakfast, brushed their teeth and they are dressed and ready to go. We take Freddy on a walk down to Nick's bus stop. I had asked him if he wanted to ride the bus or if he wanted me to take him to school on his first day. He opted for me driving him but we decided to walk down to the bus stop to check things out. Nicklas is in a special class and the students come from all elementary schools in Bloomington. This means that the kids ride a bus to one of the two high schools (with the high school kids!) and then take a shuttle to the elementary school. This is why Nicklas starts school before Seeger.

7:20 - There is only one other boy - teenager, I should say - at the bus stop but we can see a big group of kids four blocks away at the stop before Nick's. I'm glad he's not at that stop! Nick's bus arrives and I introduce him to the driver and explain that he'll be riding the bus some mornings to school and every day after school.

7:25 - We walk back to the apartment and hang out for a bit.

7:40 - We leave to take Nicklas to school. We deliver him to his room and Seeger and I head to the office to figure out how to pay for school lunches. I hadn't received this information. (I also haven't received information on book rental!) We're directed to the cafeteria where I'm able to put money into both boys' accounts. They have pin number they have to memorize and I can go online to see what they purchased. I like this idea!

8:00 - Seeger and I arrive home. He opted to take the bus on his first day. After this week, he will likely be in before-care so that I can get to work by 8am. I debated on keeping him on the bus in the morning but this means I wouldn't get to work until 8:40. That's okay every once in awhile but I'd feel bad about being late to work every day.

8:20 - Seeger and I head out to his bus stop. It's very close to our front door, unlike Nick's which is a few blocks away. There are lots of kids at Seeger's stop! We make friends with another first grade boy who loves Mario and a Kidnergardner girl who is in Seeger's class. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that Seeger is a K-1 split class. I'm not sure how I feel about this.

8:30 - The bus arrives! Seeger boards like a big boy and sits next Sophia, his new best friend.

I forgot to take pictures of Nick on his first day but I did take some this morning. He rode the bus and the boy from yesterday wasn't there. So he was the only one at the bus stop. I did remember to take pictures of Seeger on the first day. Enjoy!






Click here for a recap of last year's first day.

And click here for a recap of Nick's first day of second grade - two years ago!

WWF


Johnmichael1 is one of the best WWF opponents I play against. This is
only the second time I beat him.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

It's the Pigeon!


Seeger is very excited about seeing the Pigeon at his school.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Random Thought Thursday

So many random thoughts have gone through my mind this past week. But can I recall any right now? Nope. So let's what I can pull out of my arse.

1. We've all heard stories of pets who can detect cancer in their owners. My dog has to be next to me all. the. time. So he better be alerting me if I ever get cancer.

2. I didn't truly hate humidity until this summer.

3. I really don't want to be crotchety person who complains about weather all the time.

4. I'm reading The Host by Stephenie Meyer. I'm not much into SciFi but I can't put the book down. Perhaps I like SciFi more than I realize? I did go to the SciFi Hall of Fame in Seattle a few years ago and I spent way more time there than I thought I would.

5. Did you see my posts from yesterday? I've finally figured out how to post photos from my iPhone! Both were pictures from the Las Vegas trip. One was outside the Monte Carlo - one of my favorite hotels. The second was from our day at the buffet. (I call it a day at the buffet because for $30, we could come and go as much as we wanted. Nothing like a little gluttony. It's Vegas afterall.) I grabbed a self-serve ice cream cone to go and it was the most perfect ice cream cone I've ever made. It was like professional perfect. I could totally own my own Jiffy Treet.

6. Speaking of owning businesses, the Polack thinks we should open a Culver's in Bloomington. We are big Culver's fans.

mmmmmm.... fried cheese curds....

7. I don't really get fried cheese curds when I eat at Culver's. (I promise!) But I think it's cool that they have them. I always get the same thing - a kid's meal Butterburger with everything except cheese and french fries on the side. I get the kid's meal because it comes with a dish of frozen custard.

8. Culver's has crinkle cut french fries - my favorite! I can only think of one other place that had crinkle cut fries and that's Penguin Point. Anyone ever heard of Penguin Point? They still have one in the town I grew up in.

9. There has been some major real estate drama going on in the Kubatski world lately. Our contract with one realtor ended and the day it expired, another realtor showed the house and had a couple who was very interested. So the next day the first realtor wanted to work with us on a potential offer and our new realtor who we signed a contract with was all, "no, he can't ask that of you because his contract ended and mine started today." So they started battling each other and went to the local realtor board and the Polack and I are all like, "we just want to sell our house." It's been stressful but mostly frustrating.

10. Back to french fries... I just looked up Penguin Point and apparently, they used to have restaurants in Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, Florida, and Texas. I still remember the song that played on their tv commercials when I was growing up. Sometimes I sing it to the Polack. He's always thrilled, of course.

Penguin Point is gonna put a smile on your face. At Penguin Point, the people pleasin' place. YEAH!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Perfecto



I made the perfect ice cream cone!

It works! It really works!



I'm trying to figure out how to post photos to my blog!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Email to Nicklas at Camp Tecumseh

I didn't think to save my other emails to Nicklas this week at Camp Tecumseh. But here is the one he's getting today:

Hi Nicklas!! It's Friday which mean you have less than 24 hours left at camp. That probably makes you sad. It makes me a little sad because I know you're having fun. But it also makes me HAPPY because it means I'll get to see you. I CAN'T WAIT!!! We all miss you so much and really, really want to hear about all the cool stuff you're doing at camp. Every day I look at the pictures they post on their website and I can never barely find any pictures of you. I did see one of you swimming and one of you playing basketball. I also saw one from yesterday where you and bunch of kids are playing with small balls. Have you gotten to play Gaga yet? I hope so because I know you were looking forward to it!

Uncle Bill was over for dinner on Wednesday. He was bummed that he missed you but he's going to try to come to one of your baseball games in the next week or two. And Papa Bob had his birthday. He's 60! We called and left him a message.

We haven't done anything that exciting. Yesterday, I went to dinner and a movie with my friend so Dad and Seeger went out to eat. Dad chose Five Guys. He was so excited that it's finally open. He said that Seeger ate a whole bacon cheeseburger. He was very surprised - and impressed! Then they went swimming until bedtime.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that we signed you up for school. We didn't get to walk around the school yet. They said we can do that the day before classes start. They also said that if you ride the bus -- in the morning, you'll ride the bus to Bloomington North High School and then you'll meet up with other kids from ALPS and you'll all ride a bus to University. This means you'll be on the bus for a long time and I'm not sure how I feel about that. I might just take you every morning because I'm going to have to drop off Seeger at before school child care. Anyway, we can talk about more when we find out what time the bus comes and how long you'll be on it.

Well, I better end this so that you don't get charged too much from your trading post account. Speaking of that, have you bought anything? We bought the group picture that you'll get. Did you buy a unit t-shirt? Have you gotten phone numbers or emails from any of the kids in your cabin? I hope you all are having a great time sharing your cabin. I bet it's a mess of dirty clothes and smelly boys.

I love you!
-Mom

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Sleepytime

It's 10:30 and Seeger is still awake. He's been in bed for two hours.

That kid is going to have a rough transition to school hours.

Random Thought Thursday

1. Wow, I totally missed RTT last week. Sorry for the 8 day delay in posting anything. It's been busy at work and since that's where I do my blogging, you all have suffered as a result.

2. Nicklas is at overnight camp this entire week. I'm sure he's having a blast but it's been a bummer for me because I have no idea what he's doing. His camp has this awesome website where they post dozens and dozens of pictures each day. And I see all these kids having a great time but I've only been able to find a few pictures of Nicklas. There is one kid that's in practically every picture. But where's my Nicklas? Sorry to be so whiney - I suppose I should be thankful that they even post any pictures at all. What did parents do before the age of the internet?

3. I have sent Nicklas a few emails. I hope he enjoys getting them. At camp, you can allot a certain amount of money to their account so they can purchases things during the week - like their cabin t-shirt, snacks, etc. Every email I send costs $.50 from his account. I hope he doesn't mind that I'm spending "his" money on those emails.

4. It's been nice having a week with just Seeger. A little one-on-one attention is good. I wish I could do more one-on-one's with both boys. We asked Seeger if he missed Nicklas and he said, "Well.... Maybe.... Maybe I will soon."

5. I bought a really cute pair of sandels but when I walk outside with them, my feet get sweaty and then they slip in the shoes. This makes walking a bit difficult.

6. Uncle Bill came over last night for dinner. It was so nice to see him! I gave him the boys' baseball schedule. I hope he comes for a game or two.

7. I love Jiffy Treet.

8. Since Nicklas is not here this week, it's up to me to walk the dog in the mornings. (The Polack and Seeger get to sleep in. LUCKY!) I've been walking him behind the apartment building which is right next to a day care. There are always balls that are thrown outside the fence that are sitting there in the grass. So in the mornings, I throw them back over the fence only to find them there again the next day.

9. I had a cavity filled last week and now my tooth is super sensitive. This is putting a damper on my nightly bowl of ice cream.

10. I wish I was going to the Lake this weekend. But we have to pick up Nicklas from camp and do some work to our Lafayette house. And we've been traveling so much lately, that we're reluctant to make any semi-long drives. So no Lake for me this weekend. We'll definitely go there for Labor Day weekend though!!

11. The Polack is a fan of three-beer Natalie. He told me so today at lunch. (No, I wasn't drinking during lunch.)

12. Yesterday was my dad's birthday - 60 years! I called and got his answering machine so I didn't talk to him which is good on one hand but a bummer because I actually had to things to ask him - 1) who were his groomsmen in his wedding and 2) did the teeter totter I have as a kid come from his parents house? These questions are a result of conversations with Uncle Bill at dinner last night. Perhaps I'll have a chance to ask them over Labor Day.

13. My brother on the other hand? He did talk to our dad last night. I always thought he was the lucky one.