9 miles run - 4 loads of laundry - 3 meals - 5 suitcases half-packed - 10 bead necklaces made - 1 playdate - 1 cultural event
The cultural event was a production of Nutcracker Sweets, just across the street at the Creativity Museum, which we attended with my sister-in-law Kelly and my two adorable nephews, Kai and Tenzing. Everyone really enjoyed the show. It was a modified Nutcracker story, simplified for very young children. It still had the main characters and dances, and the gist of the plot, but everything was just a bit more colorful, and in shorter segments. The whole thing was 50 minutes long. I'd highly recommend it for people with little children who want to get a taste of this holiday classic. Personally, it made me crave the full ballet. And my only real complaint about the production was the music. They had a nine-piece orchestra - which is substantial, and expensive, and certainly must have contributed to the too-high ticket prices ($25 each for mid-level seats). But a nine-piece orchestra simply can't do justice to Tchaikovsky, so the music just sounded kind of thin and shabby. And they didn't even stick to the Tchaikovsky score, they kept sprinkling it with other things. I would have much preferred recorded music in this case.
Baz, Ayla, and Isa had a great time with Kai and Tenzing this afternoon, building forts and playing firemen around the apartment. The boys are three years old - still babes next to my big kids, but certainly old enough to be active players. I'm so glad they're having time together.
I am continually impressed by my kids' creativity and resourcefulness when left to their own devices. So often, especially at the Cirque site, I watch them with no toys whatsoever, thrilled to be with the other kids, completely able to make up their own games and arrange their own kingdoms. Though I sometimes feel like a lax parent, preferring to pick up a book rather than join them in games at the playground, I can see that my kids often learn the most when I simply step out of their way.
The kids on site are all like this when it comes to language and communication, as well. I have always been in awe of their ability to play with each other, with no common words. There is no awkwardness or defensiveness. They simply engage each other, and find some way of interacting. Often times it looks like clowning, or charades. They can just act out silly things and get each other laughing.
Despite all the goodness of today, by the time Greg came home at 8 I had been with the kids for 10.5 hours, and just asked him to take over so I could retire to my room. They are such good kids - so full of laughter and imagination and life - but I still need to turn off Mom after a certain amount of time.