What a 2-Do!

For he’s a jolly good fellow… the little man turned 2, and the party lasted all weekend! Will came home on Saturday, we did cake and presents Sat evening, and we went apple picking on Sunday. Unfortunately, Quinny woke up Sunday morning (actually, in the middle of the night) with a nasty cold. But, being the game little guy that he is, we went on our outing anyway, and he had a great time. I’m putting up the photo album– on the main page where all the links are, lower right hand corner.

Though we picked with great restraint, we still amassed more apples! So I was forced to finally make a pie. (Thanks for the fritters recipes, Sandy! I still have plenty of apples left, so maybe…) I used the recipe for “Marge Owen’s Deep Dish Apple Pie” from the Mitford cookbook. Those Southerners– even the fictional ones!– know their pies!

After pie and all the cider donuts, I need to start training with Chloe. She has had two cross-country meets so far. Let me just say that those competitive juices we’ve all seen in her (mostly v. Will when they were little!) have not run dry. She far exceeded the goal she set for herself in the first meet (by about a minute and a half!), sprinting at the end to overtake an opponent and give Marblehead a 1-2-3 finish. Then, this week, she beat her personal best time from last season– on a 90-degree day! Also, her ankles are feeling much better, so she’s really enjoying the running now.

Another Chloe highlight is that she has started playing in an area-wide youth symphony. It’s not the intense experience of her summer orchestra at the New England Conservatory, but it promises to be a fun and rewarding performance opportunity. Two of her best friends are in it as well, and they will rehearse at Salem High School once a week. So between cross country, orchestra, and intramural soccer (oh yeah, she’s really having fun with that, too! And she scored a goal in last week’s game!), she is keeping herself (and me and the littles) reasonably busy during the week.

Claire is having fun in her new class at school. They are doing many more “grown-up” activities, and she really likes that. For example, they all have jobs each day, like “line leader” or “gate holder” (she really enjoyed that responsibility the other day). They take “attendance” too, so that has been a new game to play during our time in the car together. I’m pretty much the only student in those games, though, Quinn having been promoted to teacher by Claire. How’s that for a teacher:student ratio! I’ve also heard more about the social aspects of preschool lately– like how ‘sad Hannah was that Patsy didn’t want to play with her,’ and how Claire tried ‘to play with Hannah so she wouldn’t be sad.’ (But, alas, Hannah only wanted to play with Patsy, so Claire couldn’t help. I think Claire just moved on to play with someone else– not at all bothered by rejection). It’s never too early for a little social drama. I can only hope that Claire will learn from her older sister to hold herself somewhat above it all.

Will has had some adventures the last few days. He broke his finger in a soccer scrimmage yesterday, when he got tripped and then someone innocently running by stepped on his finger while he was down. (He did get the foul called for the tripping; but the irony of a finger injury in soccer is not lost on any of us!) So last night we worked on learning our way around the countryside near Brooks– where is the closest hospital, how do we get back to the school, can we find something to eat between here and there? I think Will’s adventure continues, as he tries to figure out how to do things like tie a tie or type on his computer with a big splint on his left index finger. I spoke with the nurse this morning, and she said when he checked in with her, he was all put together, tie and all. So he must have some good friends!

Aside from the injury, he had his first soccer game Wednesday, and he has one today (if he’s allowed to play). I drove up to Governor’s Academy for the game Wed.– a 2-2 tie. Will is playing on Brooks’ “Freshman” team, which went up against GA’s “Thirds” team, which includes upperclassmen right up to a couple of seniors and some other pretty manly guys. Will’s team was looking a little scrawny (forgive me for saying it Will)! But I’m sure a couple more years of dining hall food and all the soft-serve ice cream they can eat will fill them right out!

Quinn continues to battle the cold. He is okay with school, but apparently he gets a little sad midway through the morning when he’s there. He just taps on Mary Ellen’s leg or climbs up on Anita’s lap, and they snuggle away his blues. I am so thankful for our continuing relationship with these two teachers who had Claire for the last two years! I think Quinn is really feeling his brother’s absence. This morning he kept bashing into my legs and picking on me until I finally realized that he was trying to pick a fight! He needed a good wrestle on the floor, like Will used to give him all the time. He howled and screeched with laughter, and was so happy to be tussling again, even if it wasn’t with his favorite partner.

And now, it’s nearly time to go off to the races. We pick up Chloe in a little while, then buzz up to Brooks to see if Will is playing in the soccer game. Then we’ll dash home to get dinner and take Chloe to her soccer game. It seems like a never-ending carousel ride, but then Will’s absence reminds me that it will end, and that I should enjoy every minute of the happy chaos while I can. Hope you all are happy in whatever kind of chaos you find yourselves!

OH! ALMOST FORGOT! Chloe and I decided to sponsor a photo caption contest… give it your best shot below. The winner will receive a free, enlarged photo print of their choice! Caption one or both below, and Chloe and I will be the judges.

#1:

#2:

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