Monthly Archives: February 2022

Circus, swings, and dog walks

We’ve had temperatures of ups and downs this last week, going from highs in the teens to sixties within a day or two (and jogging either way). I dropped by Wildewood on Wednesday as they kicked off their mid-week classes again, taking one on “Counter Culture” as Hannah checked out one of the many youth groups (and ate way too much candy).

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I had a lovely three-day weekend this week, taking Friday off so I could take the kids to the circus with Vivian. I also got to stay home with Aaron as Vivian took Hannah to BACH, so we got to do some Khan Academy together. Aaron was able to breeze through a third grade math section on his own, and he was so proud he wanted me to send the results to his teacher.

We headed to the Shrine Circus at the Mid-America Center in Council Bluffs after lunch. It was the first time we’d gone to the circus together since Covid started, so it was nice to be back seeing the clowns, trapeze artists, and trained dogs performing for us once again. I even got to take Hannah around to meet some of the clowns down by the three rings, and she got a couple trading cards from them, which was nice. We finished off our visit getting sugared up before heading back home.

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We had a fairly quiet weekend after that. On Saturday, Vivian’s mom came by and gave me a much-needed haircut in our kitchen. She also brought along Bella, and the kids got to take her on a quick walk up and down the block.

Then on Sunday, some mysterious stranger dropped off multiple boxes of stew ingredients in the doorway, so we helped ourselves to some of that for a meal later next week. Then we got some lunch at McDonald’s and took the kids (and Allie) to the park, enjoy a February day in the 60s together on swings, dancing and posing as the Statue of Liberty, and doing some play-fighting by the baseball field.

In other news, Macaroni and Cheese in a can exists.

Super Bowl & Valentine’s Day

We just got through a one-two punch of holidays (of sorts) here in Omaha, which naturally means spending time with family and eating too much food, per the norm.

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First up was the Super Bowl. I’m not a sports ball fan by any means, but any excuse to dish up chicken wings, chips and dip, meatballs, ham roll-ups, and various other high-sodium treats from our buffet table is fine by me. Hannah got into the game again dishing me up a plate herself (with a shrimp sandwich). Then we got to watch the Rams narrowly beat the Bengals in the fourth quarter amidst a slew of unforgettable ads and a half-time show that clearly wasn’t for me. (Shocker: there’s no 90s gangsta hip-hop on MY playlist. Dawg.)

The real fun was just having the whole family over — both sets of grandparents and both Uncle Nathan and Jonathan. We even got to bring Harold out for a bit, who had never met Uncle Nathan before. Even though our team lost, we still enjoyed the evening.

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Then came Valentine’s Day. I got up early to make some blueberry muffins from scratch with our heart-shaped cast iron muffin pan. The kids has plenty of Valentine’s Day activity during the day, including a batch of Valentine cards (and pencils) I helped Aaron put together, and a party with the homeschool kids with Hannah, which she made her own Valentine box for.

That evening, we changed a few gifts with the kids, which included hand-drawn Valentine cards from me (and one from mommy) and such treats, such some bisque for Vivian a couple Pez dispensers for the kids (which Aaron figured out how to use right away). I also had a few toys for the kids, and Vivian had an “infinity cube” for me (so now I no longer have to borrow hers when I’m feeling bored). Then we had some pizza and watched Lilo and Stitch together, a movie none of us had seen but had several toys of from McDonald’s for some reason.

Family time, taxes, and civic engagement

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We’ve had a relatively quiet week or two enjoying some quality time with family. Aaron helped me to make pancakes and ice cube tray orange-sicles in-between games of chess and trips to the Sandy Park. Hannah’s also been horseback riding down in Plattsmouth and roller-skating with mommy during the week. I even spent one evening just drawing with the kids while listening to 80s music. That was special.

Harold’s Mommy also came to visit, which meant plenty of time building obstacle courses in the living room. On Groundhog Day I made sweet vermouth on the rocks with a twist (and added some bourbon, because I’m not a monster). Then on Saturday, I spent time with my folks and Uncle Jonny going through his library of old books and deciding which ones to keep and which ones to recycle. We had some Taco Bell and watched some embarrassing home videos before calling it a day.

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On Monday, the River City Republicans had Jim Vokal from the Platte Institute come talk about taxes at the Pizza Ranch. He specifically supported LB1264, which would focus on eliminating sales tax exemptions to increase tax revenue rather than the “EPIC” tax, which would replace multiple taxes with a single, higher sales tax.

In the meantime, we’ve had some delightfully warm January days, which meant I was out jogging nearly every day — and I didn’t even need a jacket.

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Then on Thursday, I attended a luncheon with Lt. Gov. Mike Foley and the Business and Professional People for Life. He talked about a handful of pro-life bills proposed by members of the legislature and answered questions about his future in politics. He had run for governor eight years ago and some thought he might try again, but he said there was simply too much money that would need to be raised (as the front-runners, Pillen and Herbster, planned to spend between $5-10 million).

My dad got to come along and personally ask Foley about his endorsement of Jeff Fortenberry over Mike Flood in the District 1 congressional race. One of the things I enjoy about living in Nebraska is how easy it seems to be to engage with our civic leader. Have a question for the Lt. Governor? Just go down to the Garden Café and ask him yourself (and maybe get some Salisbury Steak while you’re there).