Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Lawn Bowling, Party, Party...

Since I work from home and the rest of my team works in the office in downtown Minneapolis I decided to have a BBQ to have everyone over to my 'space'. I've shared pictures of my office with them in the past, but it's just not the same. Plus, I thought it would be a good opportunity to just connect. Due to summer schedules it was hard to coordinate a time, but we finally came up with this past Saturday to get together. Unfortunately, not everyone could make it, but it was still a good turn out. I think everyone enjoyed being able to see my work space and really visualize where I was during the day. I don't get the social piece that you usually get in the office - when I was in the office I remember turning around to chat and catch up with my cube mates, but now I am in my own little world. I'm ok with that overall, but I do miss feeling connected to my team in that way. At any rate, I totally forgot to take any pictures when my team was at my house so you will just have to imagine what that was like. Good times.

I did take pictures of our company sponsored team event which happened to be the day before my BBQ. We all got to leave work early and head over to Brit's Pub for some lawn bowling (think Bocce ball for those not familiar). Again, not everyone could make it, but I am so glad I drove downtown to join my team for this. It was quite cold (I seemed to forget about the downtown wind vortex, otherwise I would have dressed warmer), but still tons of fun. Also, how cool is it that you can find lawn bowling on the roof of a building downtown.

Laurel was ready to play

We split into 4 teams and played for about an hour, switching who we played against about halfway through. My team did not win, but I didn't care. Laurel was on my team and she had enough energy for the both of us - totally keeping me amused and even singing encouraging background music when it was my turn to help pump me up.

Team Black

Team yellow - hang ten, except for Marne who is all "call me". Lol.

So close

Mary and Nicole

This weekend I also attended a party at Chuck E Cheese's. I'm a little surprised they are still around, but even more surprised that my daughter knew what it was. One of the other parent's pointed out that it's a 'proud sponsor" on PBS, plus I'm guessing that some other kids in her class talked about it in the past. Anyhoo, the party was right before my BBQ on Saturday so we thought about not going, but I knew Riley would enjoy it. And I will admit it was sort of fun. Jesse decided he needed to go on a bike ride and then mow the lawn so he suggested I go alone with Riley. Not really an ideal 'deal' for this introvert, but I figured there might be a parent or two that I've met before. Turns out there was, plus I met more people. Jesse was a little bummed he didn't go when he heard that there were a bunch of dad's there, including one he already met. But, we have two more birthday parties to attend next weekend and Jesse will be on his own for one. I'm sure we'll be getting to know these parents quite well in the future.

Riley's game of choice was skee ball. She didn't really have the arm strength to get points, but this game didn't make a lot of noise and didn't have any surprises. One of her good friends is pretty fearless and was running around from game to game and it was amusing to see how different these girls are, but how much they like each other. Makes me wonder what it will be like when they are teenagers.

She also liked the basketball game and was quite good at it.

To no one's surprise Riley wanted nothing to do with Chuck E Cheese when he came out (this one was a guy in a mouse costume), probably because they were blasting music and the mouse 'talking'. She turned to me and asked that we go to our next party. Lol.

Earlier one of the parents remarked that one day when he went to pick up his kid at school he caught Riley reading on her own and that he was really impressed. I'm not quite sure how to respond when stuff like this happens. You don't want to be too proud for fear that you make other parents feel bad because their kid isn't reading yet so I blubbered on about each kid having their thing. I'm rather awkward about these things. One dad mentioned that his daughter's thing was being wild and we all sort of chuckled. Later when Riley was scared of all the noises I sort of felt relieved - not because I want her to be frightened (because I really wish I could take that all away), but because it showed that she wasn't perfect. I know, I'm neurotic and should probably delete this whole paragraph, but I'm guessing there is some other parent out there who gets what I am trying to say and has felt the same way.

Strangely, the animatronic mouse came out, but he wasn't really making noise so he was way less freaky to her. In fact, she was a little fascinated with him, but this was as close as we could get to him.

In the end, she walked away with a few cool party items and had a fun time playing with her friends. She's already looking forward to the birthday parties next week. I imagine we are now at the age where her social life has officially become way more booked than ours. Just call me Riley's mom, the Chauffeur.

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