Griffin is joining me at SPA (St. Paul Academy) for seventh grade. We will be driving to school together each day in our electric car. Although I don’t teach him, I will see him around school regularly. We are both quite excited.
Griffin has been taking weekly piano lessons at the Walker West Music Academy since February of 2019. He had a few lessons in person and then, as the state locked down for COVID-19 in mid-March, started doing them remotely via Skype. He had his first recital yesterday evening; it was a virtual event where he played “Oh! Susanna.” One fun element of the virtual format was that friends and relatives from around the country could attend. We hope that he will get a chance to do more of these. See below for a trimmed video of Griffin’s portion of the recital. Listen for Oliver who makes an unintended cameo part-way through.
The full recital is available on YouTube. The audio gets a bit funky due to the streaming, but it’s fun to see all the different kids at different levels of skill.
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 morning—a blazing hot one—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 hasn’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.
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.
It’s been shockingly painless. He’s had one or two hard ones, but mostly the week has been straightforward. Knock on wood.
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.
Mini-humans are weird.
Oliver, like all children, regularly exhibits dismay when things don’t go his way. In the past, this has always appeared as a bout of sad tears. Often he would hug us even while being upset that we were denying him what he wanted. Today, however, is different. When Oliver brought a book over to Sarah, hoping she would read it to him, she said, “Oh, smells like you need a diaper change. Let’s go change your diaper!” At this point, Oliver’s face turned red and he literally hurled himself on the floor, spinning in a circle, kicking his legs, and slamming his fists on the floor. His movements were so dramatic that he actually slid on his belly—like a maniacal crab—from the dining room into the kitchen.
His first temper tantrum.
(It was pretty adorable.)
Sarah’s water broke at 7:15 AM on November 25, 2016, and Oliver Louis Stocco Roy was born twelve and a half hours later, at 7:44 PM. He was 9 lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long. We’ll post more about his name later, but it should be noted that “Louis” is pronounced LOUee after his great grandfather, Louis Stocco.
Sarah’s labor was complicated by the fact that Oliver’s umbilical cord was both wrapped around his neck and fully knotted, cutting off oxygen during contractions. It was an emotionally intense experience for all of us, including the medical staff. Because of the urgency to get the baby out, it was also far more painful and physically traumatic for Sarah than we had anticipated.
Fortunately, moments after his rather dicey arrival, little Oliver loudly proclaimed his health and hunger. He was a rock star overnight, dividing his time between eating and sleeping. Today he got to meet two of his grandparents (the other two, we hope, in January), and his older sister and brother. They were very excited to meet and hold him.
Below are some pictures from Oliver’s first 24 hours. Click on any picture for a larger version.
It’s finally Maggie’s turn to have her first day of school! Off to Dodge Nature Preschool for her second (and final!!) year of preschool!
Maggie started showing interest in her balance bike at the end of February, and by the time her birthday loomed near at the beginning of April, it was clear she would probably be ready for a bike with pedals this summer! She’s much smaller than Griffin was when he started on a pedal bike, so I hunted down a smaller version and we gave it to her on Sunday for her birthday. She was beyond excited to try it! However, it was raining pretty hard all day that day, and even into the morning on Monday. She begged me to let her try it, but knowing there would inevitably be some spills, I told her we needed to wait until it stopped raining.
Well, Monday afternoon it stopped raining, and she was raring to go! I wasn’t sure how it would go for her, but low and behold, on one of her first tries, she took off! I pulled my phone out and grabbed some video. We spent the rest of the day touring the neighborhood with her practicing her new pedal bike. She’s hooked and asks to ride it at every opportunity now! It’s pretty amazing, and such a testament to the balance bike.
I hope you enjoy these short videos of her first rides!