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missives from mid-america

Swedish Balls of Meat

We went to Geneva’s Swedish Days, and once again, I feel like we should probably hang out in Geneva more frequently. Like, at Graham’s. There’s a new ice cream/chocolate/popcorn shop in town, but Graham’s is hard to top.

It’s still hard to walk by the empty husk formerly known as Boxcar, but ice cream and rescue puppies did the trick.

We might still try to hear a band or two at the Two Brothers Summer Celebration, but if that doesn’t work out, we have movies and a plan to go there for lunch tomorrow.

So far, it’s been a great weekend, but that’s how it started last weekend, and that one ended with hand, foot, and mouth disease. Also, my weather app shows an unobstructed sun icon, but also a warning triangle for severe thunderstorms. Spring is finally here, just a little late.

Eli Math

On the way to school this morning, we saw a truck that looks like the one our neighbors have. I mentioned to him that they have two trucks like that – he upped the ante and said they had three: two blue trucks (demonstrated on one hand) and one white truck (on the other hand). Then he looked at his fingers and said “that’s three trucks. One, two, three.”

I thought I’d see if we could move up a number, so I asked him how many they’d have if they got another white truck. I showed him the two blue trucks on one hand and the two white trucks on the other. I asked him “How many is that?”

“5″

“Nope, but close.”

“6″ (Giggling, which makes me think he knew the real answer.)

“You’re just being silly now.”

“A triangle!”

*End of math lesson*

A Weekend To Memorialize

We had what I’d categorize as one of our best weekends as a family without being on vacation. It was productive, fun, and even healthy.

The fun started on Friday – we went to a Cougars game right after work and school. As usual, it was a fantastic time. The Cougars won, Eli got to see a home run (and the ensuing fireworks), and we made it to the late innings. Eli was pretty insistent on leaving at at point, claiming to be tired. I think he was not interested in the fireworks. He really was tired, though, falling asleep on the way home, then on through the night.

Saturday, we took our time getting up, made banana pancakes, then figured we’d try to get some of the remaining mulch pile dispersed. We ended up finishing the yard. Eli was cooperative, helped out a bunch, and so when we were done with a long day in the yard, we had a nice dinner and tried to watch a movie. (We settled on a few episodes of Martha, the talking dog.)

Sunday, we got to go to church as a family, although Eli decided that he needed Jennie in the nursery with him (the summer kids program is for ages 5 and up, apparently). Jennie had some furniture and things to paint, so Eli and I went to Blackberry Farm to stay out of her way. Two hours flew by, and then it was time to see our friends in Morrison, IL for their daughter’s graduation party.

Heather stood up in our wedding and Jennie has known Violet since she was born, so it was pretty gratifying to see her surrounded by friends and family, ready to take the next step in her life. Eli had a few friends to run with, and they have goats and a donkey, so it was a blast for him. Fun for us to see everyone and meet Heather’s niece, too.

Again, Eli was gassed by the time we left and slept all the way home, and all through the night.

Monday was another slow starter, but we worked inside the house a little, listened to some music, then headed out for the parade in downtown Aurora. Parking was a little tricky but we got there and saw quite a bit of it. Eli was only mildly interested. After the parade, we went to the Pendell house for an afternoon barbecue with some other families from the church who have kids around the same age. It’s always nice getting together with them. I feel like the similarities go far beyond just the ages of our kids. Even beyond the common taste in beer.

Eli ate hot dogs, cupcakes, “power chips”, and other stuff. He played on the slip-n-slide like crazy; single-handedly got the rest of the kids interested in that. He was the magistrate of the little house under the swing set/play area (until Maggie usurped his throne). The start of a storm was the only thing that would have convinced him to leave, and the timing was perfect, as he fell asleep just as we were about to pull into our driveway. Yet again, he was asleep in the car, made it to bed without waking, and slept through the night.

I definitely got some biceps workouts this weekend, we all got along with minimal fuss, and we had tons of fun – even while we were working.

Great weekend.

Dolphin Shows and Wrinkles

Jennie had a plan to go to the zoo over the weekend, but for a few reasons, it didn’t pan out like she had hoped. For her actual birthday, however, I was able to take the day off and get her there. It’s pretty ideal, because Eli loves the animals and there’s lots of walking and discussing and learning. He soaks it in and it’s fun for us to watch.

When we got there, the parking lot was full of school buses. We navigated through hordes of kids of various ages, and once we got inside, it was pretty empty. The cooler weather and threat of rain must have kept everyone away, save for the school kids. For us, it was a pretty typical visit – we saw a few favorite animals, Eli played vet for a while, and we brought snacks, but also bought some, too. On the way out, we saw hyenas leaping for some carrion suspended from a rope. It wasn’t some little jump – they were flying. I haven’t seen that before, so that was interesting.

On the way home, we discussed possible dinner options for Jennie’s birthday but Eli threw a bit of a fit in the back seat. He insisted that Jennie fix his stuffed dolphin toy. We could not figure out what was wrong, but he kept saying “wrinkles!” and pointing to its belly. Just before bed, he went back into hysterics, begging us to fix it. After lots of triangulating to determine what was actually wrong, I asked him if he somehow caused the wrinkles, and he said he had.

Then he showed us – he put a hand at the nose and a hand at the tail and smashed in, like an accordion. Mystery solved, but I’m still not sure how it’ll work out tomorrow. We might need to attempt to iron a plush toy. Better hit the sack – I have a feeling I’m going to need all of my mental strength tomorrow.

Is It Mote or Wote?

When Eli wants to choose a snack out of the pantry, he needs someone to lift him up so he can see the top shelf (where the snacks are – out of reach). He says “Can somebody me up?” It varies a little each time, and it’s not clearly either one, but it’s also not “hold me up”.

He used to call Chipotle “the Pole Trees,” but those days are sadly gone. He’ll have a better vocabulary than us in short order.

Cleanup on Aisle Seven

Quick bit of meta: this is the free Hemingway theme for WordPress. This site is hosted by 1&1.com, which has been wonderful to work with for many years. I rent space (includes SQL, web mail, etc.) from them and use them as my domain registrar for this site.

Also, this should be my last post as “admin”, unless something else about the site needs attention.

May 2014 Updates

Updates are less and less frequent, but I’m hoping to change that. This should be the spot for new family information. I’m expecting Facebook to eventually lose favor and blow away (or change completely). We’ll see. In the meantime, Borresens.com has been going since Y2K, but only sporadically.

Anyhow, if you haven’t gotten your fill of toddler stories, this is the spot. Might be a brief “he said this!” post, a picture, or ruminations on child rearing. Or a music review. Not totally sure yet.

Speaking of both, Eli knows all the words to Let It Go (Frozen soundtrack). It’s pretty impressive.

Back in the Saddle Again

Eli and I saw the train running during the week, so we were both pretty excited to get to Blackberry Farm on Saturday and ride it. It was GLORIOUS! Well, it was the same, really, but we’d been away for a while, so the anticipation heightened the experience.

I believe we took advantage of every aspect of the park except for the carousel. He’s not as keen on it as he was last year; he prefers to ride the benches over the horses when he bothers to ride at all.

A more succinct rundown, with pictures: https://plus.google.com/103646181369615370919/posts/cSAo36ushRa

(Let me know if that link doesn’t work.)

There was some new excitement in the train depot building, too. Where only the north-most part had been open in the past, now the middle section was open (including the conductor’s desk, a ticket window, train table, and other toys) and the south section was also open with a model train in a circular diorama. The only thing more exciting than a model train in a diorama is a model train that you can control, and these are controlled by two buttons. Doesn’t get much better than that when you’re about to turn three.

Just My Madgernation

Jennie was able to get a little more information on the Madger’s friend Sturpey. According to Eli, Sturpey has a car and a house (which is broken, but Sturpey fixes it). He has no dog but does have a cat named Pom. He takes his friends to the Rainforest Cafe because he’s not afraid of the gorillas, but he prefers to sit by the other people (instead of the gorillas).

More to come as we uncover it…

Oh, and some bike riding/entomology:

Surveillance State

I’m not talking about Obama or Prism – I’m talking about Soundcloud. Eli says some hilarious stuff, but it’s tough to remember all of it or the way he said it. I’ve been using an app on my smartphone called Soundcloud to capture some of this gold.

When I try to take a video, he sees the phone aiming at him and that becomes the focus. With the Soundcloud app (widget, actually – it’s a giant orange button labelled “Rec”), I can hold the phone inconspicuously and record unnoticed.

soundcloud button

We can match photos from the same relative time at a later date. It’s not perfect, especially since you can’t really capture the entire context along with the audio (or video for that matter), but I suspect I’ll enjoy listening to this stuff years from now. And if they get lost in the internet cloud somewhere, I can always ask the government for a transcript.

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