After such a bizarre and sad morning, I was more than happy to haul my kiddos into the truck and take a mini-vacation through the rain to Mankato to get away from it all yesterday afternoon. Our Purpose? To attend Alex's first ever COLLEGE band concert at MSU. Throw in some pizza beforehand at Grandma ? and Lyle's, and we've got ourselves a little party going on.
The concert was great. Our school district has a wonderful music program, but man oh man, this college level wipes the floor with them. It was fantastic listening to the beauty of the music, watching my son play the euphonium (which he just began playing this fall) amongst so many talented young people. The kids sat in the front row with Grandma and Lyle, enjoying their up close and personal seats. Laura waved to Alex several times during the performance in the recital hall while he smiled back broadly. Though they looked to be nodding off to dreamland, both Laura and Tubby remained awake for the nearly two hour long show.
I was a bit skeptical about the baby, so she and I hid in the back. As we were looking for a spot to stash our stuff, we ran into one of Alex's high school friends and her mom! A long way from home....but it was so nice to see familiar faces and have some great conversations not revolving around death in any way. Bethany had a poopy blow out just before the tuxedoed band members walked on stage. Should have been happy with a clean, dry diapie on, but no......within 25 seconds, the shrillness of the flutes put Bethany over the edge, and I had to make a very speedy exit out. I watched my son through a crack in the doors of the hall (I had a perfect shot of him as long as the doorman stepped off to the side), and bounced my baby in the sling throughout the whole concert. Silly girl finally fell asleep after Alex's group was done and the second band was coming on stage. I just may need to find a babysitter for her next time.
As soon as you walk in the building, there are signs about "no pictures or recording allowed", so I have no pictures of my college boy in his first concert. And he had changed OUT of his tux before we ever got to him. So the best I've got is this nice little fan group with him in the commons area:
We had a nice little sleep over at the farm house.....though late, late, late (probably 11pm by the time we were home and tucked in). Alex enjoyed a shorter drive in the morning to college classes while the rest of us enjoyed staying in bed a bit longer than usual. It was Grandma's breakfast toast that finally motivated the kids to get moving.
Grandma was heading to the cities to help Auntie Barb with funeral arrangements, and we had a date with friends at MOA, so it seemed practical (and fun!) to go to IKEA for lunch. I have not been in that store since I redid the boy's room 5 years ago, so it was a blast. The Swedish meatballs, yummy desserts, kids meal choices, and desserts (yes, worth metioning twice) are worth the trip in itself. Being fully stuffed, we said our good-byes to Grandma and took off waddling through the store with our friends. Great ice cream bowls and water cups were my happy finds of the day.
We then hopped the highway to the American Girl Doll Store which is always *fun*. It would really be such a nice place if it were not for the constant whiney shrill voices of so many little girls repeating "I want...." and "can I?..." and "but....why?!?!?" over and over again, evrywhere in the store. My girls were instructed to make Christmas lists as they window shopped which greatly reduced that kind of noise coming from their mouths. My well prepared male children deposited themselves on a non-pink bench(those are HARD to come by) and played their DS games until we were through. Nice boys.
I was so proud of Laura who spotted this celebrity across the way, and asked enthusiastically if she could bring her little brother Tubby to meet her:
Though thoroughly exhausting (after following one of the tween boys to a misremembered store's location, walking back and forth to the very same spot we had started from in the beginning= 1 mile distance), we had a nice time out. And the Culver's Root Beer Floats on the way home smoothed over any traces of tiredness or negativity experienced in the crowds!
Happy 5 Month Birthday, Bethany!