Busy, busy, busy. That's what describes our life lately, and I'm nothing but pleased about it. What with the full-fledged return to mystery shopping - and believe you me, there is no shortage of work here - homeschooling, getting ready for Christmas, and keeping the house running, I guess it's no wonder that I'm exhausted lately. I feel like I've been catching up on a lifetime of lost sleep. Naps are my new BFF.
Last Thursday (I know, it's nearly a week later, but I'm tryin', y'all!), we stacked shops from morning to evening. School on-the-go is what it's about. I have a new book to read, about carschooling, to help support that need. Anyway.
Here's Chloë, looking adorbs at one of the places we shopped. If you ever want to know the name of a good burger place that serves the best, healthiest and tastiest burgers - both beef and veggie, we can vouch - hit me up for the name. I hadn't heard of it before we moved to Miami, but I'm sure there have to be more somewhere out there.
We'd already fed the kids lunch at an Einstein Bagel (not for a shop) in Coral Gables, so they had ice cream while Rob had lunch. My lunch was next. That's how we do it without going way over budget: I'll take several meal shops and feed the kids or one or both of us in stages. It's not ideal, but we are used to it and it works for us.
I love this picture of Jacky. (Jack calls himself that most of the time, and Sophia calls herself Sophie. It doesn't bother me, but I do find it interesting the way we diminutize ourselves.) the twinkle of his eyes, the look of anticipation - was he thinking of his own ice cream cone, yet to be served, or Christmas, or...? Speaking of which, yesterday in South Miami, he talked all. day. long. about being excited for Christmas, and every time, he started running rather than walking. I thought of it, and then, as if voicing my thoughts, Chloë said aloud that it seemed he was running to make the holiday come faster. I love that she is so intuitive like that.
It must have been the ice cream he was anticipating. Look at that delight!
When the choice is Chocolate or Vanilla, I never know what Sophia will pick. She switches it up randomly, to keep us guessing. Before Halloween, I had bought three books of coupons for free Wendy's Frosty Jrs for them, and we stop regularly to use them up before they expire. Jack and Rob will always get Chocolate, but the girls, especially Sophia? One never knows.
By the way, at what age will this child stop getting her ice cream all over her face? She devours it so ardently, I imagine she'll always need a quick trip to the washroom after a frozen treat!
After the burger place, Jack hopped up on the platform for a jumping sesh with the girls. He was Grumpy McGrumpster beforehand, but the ice cream seriously pepped him up.
I don't claim to be a good photographer, not one bit, but I do try. I think, in this case, my lighting was a fail. But still, she's cute, no?
My lunch followed Rob's, in downtown Coconut Grove. We love going there, so it wasn't without some disappointment that I had to tell the kids we didn't have time to wander around and window shop, people-watch, that sort of thing. Next time, next time.
I wasn't thrilled with the grilled artichoke, but the low-cal salmon rolls more than made up for them for me. It took me a while, but I managed to eat three of them. I can eat more these days, nearly five years out from gastric bypass, so I'm extremely conscious of everything I eat and drink. No sense undoing the surgery we went into the red for me to get!
After a long day of tagging along on my evaluations, the kids were seriously ready to let loose. I had a nice gift certificate to the Build-A-Bear Workshop across the street from the last shop, so after a whispered conference with Rob, we decided to go and let them spend it. But first, a few quarters plunked into the carousel there to get the party started...
Chloë is always in pose mode, even when I don't want her to be. She was born to model, I think. Too bad she's so petite!
It's rare to capture genuine happiness from this boy, and there is an abundance from this day's snaps. It would be wrong of me not to share!
What's that I was saying about my poseur?
Like their mom, these three can never resist a pretty fountain. Fortunately, I always have pennies for wishes!
Finally, we made it to Build-A-Bear. The kids had been there a time or two before, so they knew what to do. Sophia choose a white kitty, Chloë selected a polar bear, and Jack, a German Shepherd dog.
I love the posture here. Childlike enthusiasm at its best!
Jack, watching and waiting for his turn. [I just typed 'tern' first, which led me to remember another bird-related mix-up. Rob and I had an argument recently, and I meant to call him an @$$hole. Instead, my brain thought, "bad word," and my mouth interpreted that as "bird." "You BIRD!" I shouted. I do this sort of thing all the time, but that one had us really cracking up. Argument over, just like that.]
The kids love this part of the process. Stuffing her cat, almost finished, Soap was asked to make a wish on its heart. Who knows what she wished? They'll never tell.
Another wish, for another stuffy.
Chloë and... Snowy? Argh, I forget. It matters to them that I know their loveys' names, so it matters to me.
I have a whole series of pictures of a smiling Jack, grinning from ear to ear, but I'll spare you most of them. He looks so much like my sister in the pictures, I think. I can really see it here.
Snowy was dressed in purple, complete with matching ear muffs. They never stay on, which annoys this girl, but she refused her father's offer to sew them on. "No," she sighed dramatically, "I'll just have to deal with it."
Jack needed help dressing Hunter, his dog, at first, but soon he took over. "I can do it!"
The picture didn't turn out well, I acknowledge, but I couldn't get it the way I wanted it anyway. Stuffies in their homes, happy kids, away we went.
The mall looked beautiful after we left the Workshop, and the kids oohed and ahhed appreciatively. I love Christmas lights. I must admit, though I'm a colored-light fan, there is a certain beauty you can only achieve with all-white lights, no?
Oh look, a selfie. No, an "usser?" I'll work on that.
Thanks for stopping by!