Sarah rocked her first triathlon! She’s been training up for the past few months for the Minneapolis YWCA Women’s Triathlon. The event took place this morningâ€”a blazing hot oneâ€”by Lake Nokomis. The whole family (including Jeff and Pam) was there cheering her on from start to finish. As Sarah posted on Facebook earlier:
It still hasnâ€™t totally sunk in that I just completed my first triathlon, but I did! 500 yard swim, 15.5 mile bike, 3.1 mile run, finished in 1 hour, 41 mins and 31 secs. I am super happy with my time, and so thankful for this body of mine. Also thankful for my friend, Keely @keschallock who I got to finish with unexpectedly, and @noquitfitoutdoorfitness who have sparked a love for outdoor fitness and have been immensely supportive and positive through all my training! What an amazing event!
Weaning off the bottle is a tough step for us. We embrace lots of other tough parenting moments with gusto, but both Sarah and I love the bottle of milk before bed. Partly, bedtimes are so hard already. Our system is smooth and it’s still hard. I’m tired. Sarah’s tired. There are dishes to do. The kids are exhausted and needy. Being able to snuggle up with Oliver and a bottle is a lovely way to close out the day.Â
But, we’ve been putting it off for six months (maybe more?) and we know it will just get worse once school begins. So, on Monday we told Oliver that the bottles were going bye bye. He said farewell to them. We introduced a sippy cup of milk that we can have downstairs before brushing teeth. Then we took him upstairs, read a few books, and put him to bed.Â
It’s been shockingly painless. He’s had one or two hard ones, but mostly the week has been straightforward. Knock on wood.Â
One weird thing: he’s not interested in the cup of milk. He sorta sipped at it for the first day or two, but by the end of the week he was heartily rejecting it. He just wants some water and maybe a snack. Then he’s ready. Not sure what that’s all about since he was accustomed to guzzling a solid 8-oz bottle at naptime and bedtime.
I can’t remember if we’ve ever posted about this idea before, but “Yes Day” is a special day where we let one of the children come up with the agenda. Our response to any proposal, within reasonable logistical and budgetary parameters, will be an enthusiastic “Yes!” It’s one way that we try to mix things up a bit, give the kids more agency, and avoid surrounding a fun event with adult-oriented errands (“Yes! Like I said, we’re going to the zooÂ after we get the groceries, mail grandpa’s package, and water Penelope’s plants!”). Griffin has enjoyed a couple of these over the past few years. Now that Maggie is a big six, she is entitled to her first one. She’s been looking forward to for months (since her birthday… or maybe since her prior birthday).
This summer, it was my turn with Maggie while Sarah will be taking Griffin on his special day next week. Maggie considered many possibilities over the past weeks: going to the pool, going out to eat, seeing a movie, playing games, etc. She finally settled on two activities: shopping and a water park.Â
The shopping trip was all about finding an emoji pillow that she worships. Not just any emoji: a poop emoji.
Why is this Maggie’s top desire in the world? Who can say?Â
In preparation for our quest, I did some research. It looked like Walmart was going to be our best bet. I have never actually shopped at a Walmart in the Twin Cities before, so we located one near our next destination and headed out after a delicious waffle breakfast.
Alas, Walmart failed us! There were no poop emoji pillows. Indeed, they didn’t have any emoji pillows at all. A sales rep said that they used to have them, but plush disney pillows have replaced them. Our inquiry, however, produced my favorite response from a retailer in a long time. After I indicated that we were specifically searching forÂ aÂ poop emoji, the young rep turned to Maggie and said, deadpan, “What d’ya want a crappy pillow for?”
Maggie and I consulted. We could either scour the Twin Cities for the pillow, possibly missing out on the water park, or we could try to order it online later. Maggie decided that the water park was the top priority. Phew!
Not far from the Walmart in Eagan is Cascade Bay, a modest sized waterpark with a large shallow pool, a smaller deep pool, a bunch of slides, a lazy river, and a miniature golf course. One advantage: Maggie was over the height limit so she could try any of the slides. The last time we came, in 2014, Maggie was only allowed on the mini-slide in the zero entry pool (see our post from that visit).
We were there pretty much from when it opened until dinnertime. I was exhausted by the end of it, but glad to have had so much focused fun with Maggie. As for Maggie, she didn’t seem tired at all, but once we got in the car, she fell promptly to sleep.Â
After returning home, Sarah helped Maggie order her pillow. It has gotten much love, already.Â
Unprompted, Griffin announced in the car tonight that he wants to grow up to be either a musician or an illustrator. (I’ll include a post soon with some of the pictures he’s drawn in his new notebook; he’s very excited about it.)
Maggie proceeded to announce that she wants to be one of three things: a dolphin trainer, a singer, or a dancer.
(For comparison, see what Griffin said in 2013 and both of them in 2016.)