My online journal.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sunday night

Joel's parents came in last night for a little visit. We sat and laughed and ate popcorn and played cards... some of my very favoritest things. Playing games late into the night always reminds me of my later adolescence. Memories stir of my parents and grandparents and sisters and Aunt Jan, playing cards or Pictionary or Dictionary, squealing with laughter: stomachs aching and faces spasming from grinning.

John and Donna brought Toby, Jamie's little shih-tzu doggie. Sweet little guy... but I just don't do dogs. He poops in the house if you leave him alone for more than 3 hours. We knew this ahead of time and I am thankful that poop is easy to clean off a hard floor... but still. Ugh.

We had a really nice visit with the Gronaus -- I do wish they'd come down more often.

AAAIIIEEEE!! Just found the Les Miz 25th anniversary special on PBS... AGAIN. And it happens to be RIGHT AT THE SPOT I LEFT IT last time it was on. Woohoo! It's been playing one one of our six PBS stations on and off for the last couple of weeks. I never, ever get sick of this show. It's brilliant. And I have a new crush on this Iranian guy (Ramin Karimloo) playing Enjolras. I never make it through "One Day More" without weeping.

Had a dryland roller derby practice this afternoon. "Dryland" just means we're not on skates. In summer we have dryland practices to prep us for skating, but now, in winter, it's when we can't have room to skate at our practice venue, the Roy Wilkins Auditorium. Dryland is very important, and usually awesome, but it's a giant bummer when we don't get to skate, and I think everyone was feeling that. We got to talk with Umpire Strikes Back, the MNRG head ref, and he's wonderful, but of course we'd all much rather actually be skating. We did a tiny bit of sprinting (always my favorite), some "plyo" (I don't really know what that means, but we did a few horrendous wall-sits, a bunch of 8-count burpees, line jumping), and then finished up with about 20 minutes of core (pushups, leg lifts, and every kind of sit-up known to man). It was OK. I miss skating.

YESS! My favorite Javert line: "The law is inside out, the world is upside down!" Uh, OK. One of many, many favorites.

Oh oh oh! And a moment of silence for "Bring Him Home."


Saturday, March 19, 2011

Saturdy early-afternoon

Trying to buy Twins tickets via the internet... on the first day of public sale. Just. Sitting. I've been in an "electronic line" for 20 minutes without moving. The whole thing is very silly and if I didn't want it to be springtime (and thus baseball season) so badly, I probably would chuck the whole thing.

It's a beautiful Saturday here; sunny and warming up nicely. My teaching spring break is officially over -- I taught ballet/tap for 3-4-year-olds this morning, and in about 5 minutes I'm heading out for a Peter Pan musical theatre class for 3-6-year-olds. On days when I'm in even a halfway decent mood, which really is most days, I just love goofing around with the little ones (and getting paid for it!). This morning's class was great -- we started some new dances, which always rejuvenates a looooong session.

Joel is out puttering in the yard, which is still mostly snow-covered but melting quite well in spots. He moved our brown Christmas tree from the front yard, where it toppled during the warm spell a couple weeks ago, to the fire pit, and he finally unearthed the lightup reindeer from the deck. They did not make it through the rough winter so well -- alas.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Neverending 5th birthday

Eddie has been turning 5 for like three weeks. We celebrated with Joel's parents after our vacation...

This is Lucy's "NOT FAIR!" face:

His Superman cake, which I must admit I whipped out of thin air in about 1 hour, PHEW:
My parents came up for a visit, and I didn't get any pictures, because I stink.
His Actual birthday, March 7 (just the 4 of us):
Friends party at Wooddale Fun Zone last night (check out my sweaty son; and how much does Evie look like Carol!?):
I have to say, he has chosen some REALLY cool friends.
I also want to highly recommend Wooddale Fun Zone for kids' bday parties. They have a great deal on Wed nights because they're only open for 2 hours (but really, who needs a party to go longer than that?). The kids got to play in the indoor playground, and skate, and got dinner, dessert, and prizes, and I didn't have to do ANYthing.
The Gronaustein Bears and Too Much Birthday
Just kidding; he's been an absolute darling through the whole convoluted affair.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Just got home from Eddie's fourth and final 5th birthday party -- this was his "school friends" party. We went WAY out on a limb and had it at Wooddale Fun Zone, a skating rink that also has an indoor playground. Eddie had 4 little friends from school, plus the Dalys. It was an excellent deal... SUPER easy... and I think the kids had fun. And I didn't have to cook or clean.

I decided to try to give up sweets/desserts for Lent, and let me tell you that IT'S HARD. Especially when your kid's birthday parties fall in there! I did really well, though, and I have stuck to my rule -- basically, I only eat a dessert my kids have taken and then left unfinished. Fortunately one of Eddie's friends asked me to remove the frosted top of his cupcake SO HE COULD EAT THE BOTTOM. Jackpot. Benjamin, would you care to come over for dessert every night?

The biggest ramification of the no-sweets rule is finding other stuff to eat. I really like to graze, especially when I'm home for the day. Right now it's 9:15pm and I'm making a box of mac-n-cheese because I can't have another cupcake. See? This is not even good for my health. Grr.

Tomorrow's St. Patty's Day and I am THRILLED to get to eat corned beef together as a family. Relaxed family dinners are far too rare around here these days. This week is spring break for all my dance classes, and it could NOT have come at a better time, with Ed's bday party, my newspaper deadline, etc. all landing on this week. It's been a nice week off, and I'll be rejuvenated and ready to start up again on Saturday. And then MY kids' spring break starts, meaning it will be another unusual week next week. I crave change and upheaval, and these 2 weird weeks are good for me.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Gronau news

Welcome back to me! Things have become a little wild around here. Last summer, with the kids starting school in September, I decided to start working again. I picked up about 8 hours per week teaching kids' dance through Mayer Arts. It was a blast, and manageable, so when Mayer went on maternity leave I picked up 3 more classes per week. Then I got excited about Ashland Productions' ACT program and demanded to direct a show. Then I saw an ad for Editor Wanted for a small community newspaper and thought I might as well apply. I didn't get the job... and then I did.

Meanwhile, way back last summer when I decided to pick up some more work? I also picked up roller derby. I'm playing on a rec league (the "Debu-Taunts") under the umbrelly of the Minnesota RollerGirls (MNRG). I am hoping to try out for real, live MNRG this spring.

So... this has all been amazing and wonderful and scary and stressful and I am JUST so delighted to get to do it all. I'm hoping to write more, if only to document the wild times we're having.

Eddie is in school afternoons this year, so he and I are getting some wonderful time together most mornings. He turned 5 -- FIVE -- last week and got to be "Star of the Week" this week at school. He adores his teacher, Ms. Ione, and wanted to invite her to his birthday party. He's starting to read, with maybe 15 sight-words under his belt. He recently discovered drawing -- not only is he making all the letters and numbers, but he comes home from school every day with 10-15 pages of drawings. Of monsters. And more monsters. And people getting eaten by monsters.

Lucy is also really blossoming. She's gotten mad-tall and not a small amount sassy. She works her way through problems, and I'm so proud of that. She has read (by her count) 11 "chapter books," most of which are the dreaded Junie B. Jones. Lucy will be playing Gretl in a local community production of The Sound of Music this spring -- in fact, she's at a rehearsal as I type. I'm so proud of her for going through the nervewracking audition/callback process, and continuing to review her lines, songs and dances outside of rehearsal. She is SO EXCITED to be on stage. She's still taking piano (about which she is NOT excited).

OK, well, I've got a couple extra minutes -- what else do you want to know about? Let's start with roller derby. I was looking for an athletic challenge outside of co-rec softball and B-league women's volleyball, and going for the occasional jog. My then-really-only-an-acquanitance-but-now-dear-friend Sherry told me (probably in jest, now that I think about it) that I should join her in this new rec/training league roller derby that was just starting up. Sure, I thought -- it was summer and I was itching for new activity -- Joel approved the purchase of new skates; I got great deals on the rest of my gear; I didn't die in the first couplea dryland practices. Anyway, the skating muscle-memory came right back (I'd rollerbladed a handful of times since college, and when I was about 7 I used to skate up-and-down the sidewalk lots), and it was FUN to go fast and fall down.

The rec league started with 40 skaters in September -- we practice once a week for 2 hours. Spring session has 80 skaters and, we hear, a waiting list in the multiple-dozens. That first hour is the scariest hour of my week (and that's including the hour I spend with 3-year-olds in tap shoes). I spend all of Sunday afternoon in the bathroom, in prep for DTs practice. At practice we do endurance drills, falling drills, sprinting drills, starting drills. Hitting drills, blocking drills, partner drills, stopping drills. And we get to play roller derby. No joke, it makes my tummy flip over just thinking about it. But it's awesome. I have never before tested my endurance, my physical fitness, my mental toughess, like this.

Well, would you look at the time! I hope to update more often now -- as sometimes happens, the busier I get, the better I am at actually accomplishing things. Cheers!