Insta-March

Instagram Collage March Angie Six

1.  You know how you can see your kids every day, and they seem exactly the same, then one day you look at them and they’ve aged overnight? That’s happening to me with Eli. I swear he woke up the other morning and he’d grown a full inch. And then this particular day, he got off the bus, slung his backpack just so, and I had visions of him as a teenager. To which I say I DON’T THINK SO. NO SIR.

2.  Exciting news from the site I write for, Bedtime Math. Their second book was released last month. Our local bookstore hosted a special story time to celebrate, which included making some 3D shapes with glow sticks and styrofoam balls. Eli shoved a few extra balls in my purse that night. I got a good chuckle the next morning when he asked me if his balls were in my purse.

3.  Elena and I are so incredibly excited for The Fault In Our Stars movie to come out in June. Can’t get here soon enough! Have you read the book? We’re both John Green fangirls, not-so-shamelessly stalking his Instagram feed and hoping one of these days we run into him somewhere in Indianapolis.

4.  Sunshine plus an entire can of shaving cream mixed with cornstarch equals one happy (and very messy) boy.

5.  A portion of a meal I shared with friends at Thunderbird, a new bar and restaurant in Fountain Square. A couple of times a year I have the pleasure of getting together with these friends. It’s an interesting cast of characters: a writer/graphic designer I first met on a couples’ blind date, a restaurant review blogger, a food blogger, and a Master Food Preserver, and a fellow blogger. We share a love of really good food, and I happily tag along so I can eat at all the restaurants Mike would never want to set foot in. (The photo, by the way, depicts the pickle plate and ham croquettes.)

6.  Look at me! Interviewing Clinton Kelly like I know what I’m doing!

7.  For a couple of weeks in March, Eli had a little laundry basket obsession. He asked to read stories on the couch, and this is how I found him. He also spent several nights sleeping in the laundry basket. Just add it to the list of things that will make him awesome in college: prefers to be shirtless, loves a good frozen waffle, oblivious to bad smells, and can easily sleep in small spaces such as bathtubs (the grownup equivalent of the laundry basket).

8.  The kids’ passports arrived! We also purchased our airline tickets this month as well. Spain will be here before we know it!

9.  Over Spring Break the kids and I paid a visit to my niece, who lives near Fort Wayne. Ivanhoe’s, the Taylor University student favorite, is right off the interstate, about halfway between Fort Wayne and Indy. They serve food, but they’re famous for the ridiculous menu of treats: 100 varieties of shakes and 100 varieties of sundaes. We’ve tried to stop several times on weekends, but it’s always been too packed. On this trip we were finally able to get in the doors. In case you can’t tell, Eli has a deep (and potentially infectious) love of ice cream.

If you’re not already following me on Instagram already, please do! You can find me there as (the one and only) AngieSix.

 

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A Girl, a Mom, and a Rock

My body is ready for sleep long before my brain is ready to shut off. Many nights I lie awake, as my mind vomits information it’s held onto all day long. Did I pack Eli’s snack? I really shouldn’t put off that freelance query any longer. We need to start practicing Spanish. Is Rosetta Stone worth the money? I should research that tomorrow. What should we have for dinner tomorrow night? Is Elena getting enough iron? Are Hannah and Adam going to make it?

You get the idea. The other night, though, instead of the usual barrage of information, I couldn’t get a particular snapshot in time out of my head.

Elena, 2006

It was 2006. Elena was attending her first Montessori school, and because I was working part-time she went to school every day. Four out of the five days each week I was the one to pick her up. We had this routine. Instead of waiting in pickup line, I’d park the car and walk to her classroom. Her teachers would tell me about her day, which usually involved some version of the shenanigans she’d pulled instead of napping. We’d walk hand-in-hand until we reached the big rock next to the parking lot. We’d sit there together, and she would chatter about her day and eat her snack. Unless it was bitterly cold or raining, this was our thing.

Usually I try desperately to clear my mind before sleeping, but I held on to this thought. It’s one of my favorite memories of Elena as a preschooler, in a giant treasure box of happy memories I have of her as a young child. She was then, as she is now, a delightful person to spend time around. Goofy, happy, articulate, funny, and chatty. I’m so happy that as the teen years approach, she is still basically the same person, only taller and able to share my shoes. Sure, there are days when we are intolerable to her, when I’m afraid her eyes will roll right out of her head or shoot lasers at us. But mostly, she’s still the same girl who happily sat next to me on the big rock.

We also used to spend hours at Phillips Toy Mart together. Man, I miss that place. It truly is one of the world’s great toy stores. Every spring they brought in rabbits to live in a themed bunny playground for a couple of weeks. Who even does that? Besides having every toy that any child could ever want, it had an enormous model train display. Like, as big as my dining room enormous. I remember the day Elena was big enough to climb the ladder to the observation tower that only kids could fit in. She was so proud! And the beginning of separating from me, although we never seem to notice these minuscule steps until we realize our kids are halfway to adulthood and not holding our hand anymore.

IMG_6101

Not the rock of the treasured memories … but definitely what it can feel like navigating the tween years.

I can’t tell you the last time we hung out in a toy store together, but we have hung out in the feminine products aisle and I did take her to get her brows waxed last Saturday. Trust me, watching bunnies and trains is way more fun. There are days when it feels like all I do is nag her – did you do your homework, brush your teeth, pack your lunch, pick up your wet towel? There are days when our timing is ridiculously off. I long to talk to her and she’s off to a friend’s house. She’s chatty and I have a deadline looming. I want to go back to those days on the rock, when we had nothing but time and an endless supply of Goldfish crackers.

six family-096

But in doing so I would miss the fascinating young women she’s becoming. That would be a shame. I’d like to think that twenty years from now, when the hot flashes and my overactive bladder keep me awake, my brain will return to the memories we’re making today.

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FIFA World Cup Player Escort Sweepstakes (Plus a Fun McDonald’s and Indy Eleven Giveaway)

This giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to the winner, Wendy R!

This post is sponsored by McDonald’s of Central Indiana, as a partnership with #McDsIndyMoms. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Has the soccer bug bitten your family? I wouldn’t say we’ve been bitten yet, but the bug is definitely flying within biting distance for us! Mike and I didn’t grow up playing soccer, but it’s huge in Indiana, so we thought we’d give it a go with Elena.

preschool soccer
Let’s just say the highlight of Elena’s brief soccer career was the snack and juice box at the end. And can I just take a moment to cherish the days of pigtails? Look at that baby face!

We have a few things conspiring to give us soccer fever, though. In a couple of weeks, Eli will start playing in his first soccer league. He’s super excited, and being the sports nut that he is, I think he’ll enjoy it more than his big sister ever did.

toddler soccer

One of my favorite pictures ever … because baby boys in rompers, of course!

Such a sweet moment between Eli and his Uncle Donnie.

Shortly after soccer wraps up here, we’ll be heading to Spain. I hear they’re just a little into fútbol, no? I’d love to come home with a Real Madrid jersey for Eli. A little closer to home, we’re very excited in Indianapolis to welcome professional soccer to our sports-loving town. The Indy Eleven, a North American Soccer League team, was formed just over a year ago. Their first season kicks off in just a few weeks, and we’ll definitely cheer them on.

Of course, die-hard soccer fans know that the FIFA World Cup begins in June. This year’s World Cup is being held in Brazil, June 14-July 13.  McDonald’s is a proud sponsor of both the FIFA World Cup and the Indy Eleven. As a part of that sponsorship, they have an exciting sweepstakes taking place for young Hoosier soccer fans. The World Cup Player Escort Sweepstakes will give 25 young soccer fans ages 6-10 the experience of a lifetime: to walk hand-in-hand with a US soccer player as they take the field in the FIFA World Cup. Across the globe, 1408 children from 64 different countries will get the same honor. Here in Indiana, one young fan will get the chance to travel to Brazil with their family as part of the FIFA World Cup Player Escort Program.

All you have to do to enter your young soccer fan into the sweepstakes is visit mcdonegoal.com . The sweepstakes runs through April 6. After you take your chances there, how about entering a fun little giveaway here?#McDsIndyMoms and McDonald’s of Central Indiana have a prize pack to giveaway to one Just Like The Number reader. The prize pack includes a McDonald’s World Cup water bottle, a $10 Arch card, coupons, and a selection of Indy Eleven goodies.

Here’s what you need to do to enter to win the McDonald’s prize pack:

  1. Leave a comment below telling me which team you’ll root for in the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
  2. For an additional entry, subscribe to Just Like The Number so you never miss a post! Just remember to leave an additional comment below telling me you subscribed so that you’ll have 2 entries counted. And if you’re already a subscriber? Tell me in a separate comment as well – you totally get an extra entry for being a loyal reader!

The giveaway will end Saturday, March 22, 2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Winner will be notified via email and have 48 hours to respond before a new winner is chosen. Thanks!

Looking for additional chances to win a prize pack? Check out the giveaways going on these other fabulous blogs:

Gotcha Baby (ends 3-24-14)

Chaos Is Bliss ( ends 4-6-14)

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