Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ryan's Painful Good-bye

For those of you who have followed our blog for at least a year, you know the history of our two fish from this post and others. In a nutshell, Ryan won a goldfish (Nemo) at his school carnival last May. When we went to the pet store to buy a sufficient aquarium, etc., he decided that Nemo needed a friend. We purchased a betta fish, who Ryan named Brock after the fish on the TV show, iCarly. (Many of you know that Ryan often pronounces Brock "Barack," leading some to wonder why we named his fish after the President.)

Brock and Nemo have actually done quite well together. Nemo would often swim under Brock's lower fins, like going through a curtain. Brock would then "flare" to scare Nemo away. If this went on too long, I would scold them, and they would go to their separate sides of the tank. It was like having two more kids!

A couple of months ago, Brock started acting listless. I looked up betta illnesses on the Internet, and while he had some symptoms of some things, he didn't have all of the symptoms of any one illness. We weren't sure how old he was when we got him, so we attributed it to age, and prepared for his death. Amazingly, he kind of rebounded for quite a while.

The listless behavior started again a few days ago, but just kept getting worse. He stopped eating, so I put him in another bowl to feed him without Nemo grabbing the food first. When he still didn't eat, I put him back into his own aquarium where he was more comfortable.

Yesterday during the day, I could tell that he was on his last fin, so to speak. So I planned a fun "date night" with Ryan. He had gone to a friend's house to play right after school, so he was unaware of the worsening condition of Brock. I picked him up from his friend's house, and we did a little shopping, and then went out to dinner at Winger's. On our way home, I told him that I didn't think Brock would be alive when we got home. Sure enough, he was gone.

Ryan cried (wailed, really) for a few minutes. It was interesting - Nemo kept kind-of nudging Brock, like he was telling his friend to come and play. We gently removed Brock from the tank and buried him in our backyard, in a corner of the yard where almost 40 years of pets have been laid to rest. Ryan asked to spend a few minutes out there alone. It was very tender.
When we concluded Brock's service, Ryan pointed out the sunset, which was beautiful. He asked me to take a couple of pictures. Here is one through the branches of the cherry tree, under which Brock is buried, and the other one down the driveway.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

S-S-Spring S-S-Soccer in the S-S-Snow

That is the sound of teeth chattering.

Ryan’s Spring season of soccer started yesterday. It had snowed most of the day on Monday, and as of early afternoon on Tuesday, there was still snow on the ground! It melted during the afternoon, but then started snowing again while Ryan’s game was going. It was freezing cold, but the kids were all great sports. Only about half of the kids showed up, so the kids that were there didn’t get much of a break. That was probably a good thing, since it kept them warm.

Ryan played a great game, scoring two goals, and coming within a foot or two of another one! This was Ryan’s first goal of the game.I didn't take very many pictures of the game, since I kept my hands gloved and in my pockets most of the time. Many pictures I did take were blurry due to me shivering. But here's one of Ryan's corner kick, and one of the end-of-game-treat with the snow in the background.
I hope it starts to get warmer VERY soon!!!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Twin Twitter by Rara Inman

My mom put together these pictures and captions of the girls as a hard copy on paper. I thought it was so hilarious that I'm posting it here.

Alice: "Don't we look adorable in our workout suits?"Alice: "Look how hight I can lift my feet!"
Claire: "Look how fast I can move my hand!"Claire: "I'm pooped! It's hard work holding up Alice's foot!"Claire: "I'm so funny I make myself laugh!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Eating O’ the Green

Most of my loyal readers remember from this post that we celebrate St. Patrick’s Day by not only wearing green, but eating green. I can’t help it. It was ingrained into my psyche when I was but a wee lass. I went a step further this year and provided Ryan with two green meals today.

This was his surprise lunch. He called me the moment he walked into Rara & Papa’s house today and said, “Mom! That was the most awesome lunch I’ve ever had!”
And this was dinner. You can’t tell from this picture, but the bread is also green. And, for those of you who are new readers and don’t know the story from last year, our local bakery makes green bread and rolls by special order for St. Patrick’s Day.And did everyone see the fountains at the White House? The First Lady, in the spirit of her hometown Chicago River being dyed green every year for St. Patrick's Day, had the White House fountains dyed green today. I think it's great!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Papa's Birthday

Our original plan to celebrate Papa’s birthday this year was dinner at The Cheesecake Factory. But since we’re all watching our money a little more closely, we decided to stay in and have a more relaxing afternoon and evening together. Marc and Frances made a great birthday dinner, and we all enjoyed spending time together, especially with Alice and Claire.

Here’s Papa with his favorite part of his birthday – his grandkids!
We hope it was a great birthday, Papa!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Fun with Alice & Claire

Even though Marc & Frances & Alice & Claire live about 45 minutes away, we have been fortunate to see them about once a week. With Frances' work schedule, we have been spending most Friday evenings helping Marc with the girls, as well as some Saturdays when Marc & Frances go out together. Frances just got a new job (yea!), so we will be spending Friday afternoons helping Marc with the girls. We LOVE being with them, and enjoy watching them grow and learn. Here are some pictures and videos from the last couple of weeks.

Ryan reading (singing) "The Wheels on the Bus" with Claire...

Ryan and Alice...The girls with the personalized onesies I gave to them for Christmas...The girls checking each other out...Alice and Claire are becoming so interactive and aware of what is happening around them. A couple of weeks ago, Ryan and Claire snuggled on the couch and had a little conversation.
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Claire also LOVES imitating the "boat" and "raspberry" sounds. We get laughing so hard that we can hardly breathe!

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And here's Alice carrying on a conversation with the stuffed kitty that Ryan gave her.
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We love them, and are so lucky to spend so much time with them!

The Dance of the Solar System

The Arts teacher at Ryan's school has been working with each grade level, teaching each class a dance representing things they are learning. All four of the third grade classes presented their program on Friday, February 27. The other three classes' dances represented the scientific method and various elements of science; the body and its systems; and "Westlandia." Ryan's class did a dance about the solar system. I took a video of Ryan's class dance. Instead of the entire thing, I am including a couple of short clips.
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