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    Archive for June 2010

    Five is a marvelous number

    Tuesday, June 29, 2010

    We are officially parents of a five year old. Benjamin hit the big number on Sunday and we celebrated with a party on Saturday. It was a crazy birthday weekend.

    Ten little friends (+ 2 Aunts, 3 Uncles, a Grandma Chris, a Grandpa Ed, a Dad and a Mom) joined Benjamin at Quarry Hill Nature Center for a robot celebration. We had an ice cream sundae bar and the kids learned all about dinosaurs from a resident naturist. It was a great party. After everyone had their fill of sugar and nature, the family came over to our house for more gifts, some World Cup soccer and a BBQ.

    As it goes every year, I had a very fun time preparing for Benjamin's party. He picked a robot theme and I was lucky to find some things online at Birthday Express. I found the clipart online for the invitation, which I used again for the goodie bag tags and personalized candy wrappers. Instead of handing out a goodie bag full of junky cheap toys, I decided to make a s'mores bag with some giant marshmallows, graham crackers and a Hershey's bar that I personalized with a robot wrapper. Benjamin has an egg allergy and the recipes for eggless cakes and cupcakes are not only less then tasty, but cake making also somehow manage to fill me with unwanted stress right before parties. So we instead had the ice cream sundae bar which I labelled with robot-themed topping tags. I also made Benjamin a personalized shirt with the invitation clip art and a big number 5. He was so proud to wear it.

    On Sunday we greeted Benjamin with a traditional breakfast in bed of pancakes with cinnamon and sugar on top. After taking him out for his first spin on his new bicycle from Mom and Dad, Grandma Cindy and Grandpa Bert came over to spend a couple of hours with the birthday boy.

    Benjamin running the 50m
    I've been neglecting my regular blogging duties to prepare for the party and to begin work on Benjamin's new bedroom (which is going very well), so I haven't had the opportunity to include information on Benjamin's latest track runs. Last week was the All Comers Mile race, which Benjamin and Mike braved 90 degree heat to run together while Grandma Chris, Grandpa Ed and I stayed in the shade to cheer. Even after completing the mile run, Benjamin went on to win first place in his age group for the 50 meter and 100 meter races. Now that he's a full year older, this week he will be running with the five year olds and will have a couple of cousins accompany him on the track. AJ and John will be trying out their first track meet tonight.

    Run run run!

    Wednesday, June 16, 2010

    Just found out his official time: 2:44:35

    We certainly have a had a busy few past days of running, biking and swimming! Mike completed the Trinona Olympic triathlon on Sunday in Winona. He bested his time from Kansas City by 20 minutes. It was a nice day to watch the race and the rain even held out for me, Benjamin and Mike's parents. Mike's next race is on Father's Day. He is going to do the sprint distance of the Rochesterfest Triathlon where his brother Joe (doing the Olympic) will be joining him.

    Benjamin running 400 meters

    This week also marked the start of the Rochester Track Club's All Comers' Track Meets for kids. Benjamin has been running these races since the summer he turned 2 and it is always an exciting thing for all of us to watch him. He was able to compete in 5 events on Tuesday night, including the 800 meters, which is 2 laps around the track (1/2 mile). He was terribly tired when he finished, but he ran the whole thing without stopping. He even received a second place ribbon in the 100 meters, which looks like it will be his event this summer. We are looking forward to his Grandma Chris and Grandpa Ed watching him race next week and his cousins AJ and John running right along with him the week after that!!

    Benjamin's summer school program begins today. Mike and I went with him to an open house last night so he could see his classroom and meet some of the teachers. It is mostly staffed by college-aged kids who seem very energetic and passionate about providing the kids with lots of fun activities this summer. He was extremely excited to get there this morning. The school where the program is held is very close to our house. So this morning for drop-off, Mike and Benjamin RAN the 1 mile there. Seems like my guys are running machines lately!!

    The Earth Goes Around the Sun, Tra la la.

    Wednesday, June 09, 2010

    In anticipation of Benjamin's upcoming fifth birthday, his classroom at school held a little celebration for him yesterday. Montessori schools celebrate birthdays with a "sun ceremony." The idea behind the ceremony is to have the children conceptualize how many years they've been alive by walking the earth around the sun for each year. We provided Benjamin's teacher with a little tidbit about something exciting that happened along with a photo for each year, which he read aloud and displayed for the children. As you can see in the video, Benjamin carried a small globe around the beautiful sun and year display that each child uses for their birthdays as well. Since his birthday is one of the last in his class, he has seen almost every child in his classroom do their own sun ceremonies and has been very patient waiting for his own. When his teacher contacted us about scheduling Benjamin's special day, Benjamin started getting VERY excited. He had a little trouble containing his excitement on the way to school on the day of the event when he was giddily clapping in the car.

    Here are a couple of videos of the day:

    These are the milestones we provided for his teacher to read:
    0-1 year: When Benjamin was just days old, we had a picnic at Quarry Hill Nature Center (where he is having his birthday party this year). At 8 months old we all went to Clearwater, Florida to visit his Great Grandmother, Great Uncle and Great Aunt.
    1-2 years: At 19 months old, we all flew to England to celebrate his Daddy's birthday and a couple of months later we traveled to Boston, Massachusetts to watch his Daddy run the Boston Marathon.
    2-3 years: For Halloween, Benjamin dressed up as a cowboy and at Christmas we rode the Polar Express Train.
    3-4 years: When he was 3, Benjamin was the ring bearer in his Uncle's wedding.
    4-5 years: Just after his 4th birthday, we all took a road trip to Colorado and later in the year Benjamin ran in his first race.

    What an exciting first five years!!

    A grand old weekend

    Tuesday, June 08, 2010

    This weekend we celebrated our Godson's second birthday with family and friends. John is one very awesome boy. He is so fun to watch while he toddles around the house with such curiosity. It is hard to believe that he is already two, as it seems like just yesterday we were driving up to see him in the hospital after his birth. We gave him a basket full of outdoor toys since he's a big fan of playing outside and a very appropriate outfit for his personality that says "Born Wild."

    Cool dude in his new shades

    After the party all of the Schmitt siblings and kids went over to Andy and Jennifer's place for some play time and Thai food. It had been a while since we were all able to hang out together, so it was great to spend some quality time with everyone. Mike, Benjamin and I spent the night there and then on Sunday morning we ventured out to the Grand Old Day festival in St. Paul, which is very close to their house. The weather was gorgeous and perfect for walking around. We were disappointed though because in order to see any of the musical acts, you had to be 21 or older. They didn't allow children into the stage areas at all. For an event that tries to market itself as a family event, it sure didn't feel much like one. Mike and I had been excited to see a band we really like, Free Energy, but we couldn't even get in to see them with Benjamin (who also really enjoys their music). Eventually we gave up and decided to leave because the entire event seemed to quickly begin to resemble a college frat party - not our taste. We were able to catch the last few floats in the big parade, but Benjamin was not a fan of the fire engine sirens:

    Apparently the fire engines were too loud

    This weekend we are off to our old stomping grounds, Winona, for the Trinona Triathlon. Mike is doing the Olympic length course, which involves a bike ride up Garvin Heights (Winona's infamous bluff overlook). He's been practicing the climb and is ready to conquer the bluff!