Archive for November, 2014

  • Chapter 95- First Aid Kit at Lakeland College

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    I’m still on could nine from Friday night, guys.  The stars aligned, and I got in to First Aid Kit‘s sold-out show at Lakeland College!  For those of you who don’t know, FAK is a sister duo from Sweden, and they play some damn fine folk/Americana music.

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    I let my husband be my +1, and late Friday afternoon, we drove up to Sheboygan to eat at The Duke of Devon (I highly recommend it).  We had AN HOUR of uninterrupted time to talk.  WHAT?!  I haven’t been able to finish a conversation with my husband in like 5 years without having to get someone another glass of milk/change a diaper/break up a fight/keep the baby from playing with the silverware in the dishwasher.  It was magical.

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    When we got to Lakeland College, I’m not going to lie…I wondered what First Aid Kit was doing in the middle of nowhere.  They’re pretty big.  I mean, they toured with Jack White!   And Plymouth seemed like an odd destination for their show.  But Lakeland had a beautiful campus (at least it appeared so in the dark) and the concert hall was great.  Plus the people that work there are awesome (shout out to David for getting Little T’s picture to the ladies of the band, more on that in a minute).

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    But some high points from the show:

    -Samantha Crain opened and she’s a really wonderful singer/songwriter.  Please check her out.

    -Johanna’s amazing hair flipping/head banging to The Lion’s Roar was a killer way to start out the show.

    -Klara and Johanna unplugged and sang Ghost Town without mics.  Because we were like 10 feet away from them, it felt like they were pouring their hearts out to share the beauty of song in a really a personal way.

    -They sang Jack White’s Love Interruption.  Like, whoa.

    -For the encore, Samantha Crain joined in and they sang Waiter at the Station.  I was moved by the sound of three women, singing their hearts out and giving my ears some delicious harmonies to eat up.

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    And also, a moment I saw.  First Aid Kit was singing Emmylou, one of their most popular songs.  I peeked over to the front row of the audience, and there I saw the most special love between a mother and daughter.  The daughter was maybe 13, and was singing every word out loud.  Mom was standing behind with her arms wrapped around her daughter, and every now and then she would stroke her daughter’s hair or give her a squeeze.  She couldn’t help it.  I know the feeling, when you’re just so in love with your amazing kid and you want to eat them up.  The mom and daughter were only a few feet away from Johanna and Klara, and I swear the moment was tangible.

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    Afterwards, we hung out in the lobby and ran into some friends, and got our pictured taken with the beautiful Samantha Crain!

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    So from me, Theo, and some dude behind us, thanks First Aid Kit and Lakeland College for a wonderful night.  Little T asked me to help her make a picture for the band, which you can see on their Instagram page.  The back of the card says such cute things as “maybe you could come over and sing for us, your guitars are pretty cool, and maybe I could show you my Dr. DooLittle record [which has been on heavy rotation on our record player for at least a year…ugh]”.

    And thanks to Uncle Wow and Auntie Brave for babysitting and letting this night happen!

    Peace,

    A. Storm

     

     

  • Chapter 94 – Dia de los Muertos Parade

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    A few weeks ago, on a cold Saturday, I took the kids to see the Dia de los Muertos Parade at Walker’s Square Park.  I had forgotten that last year, Theo took the twins and Little T to it, while I stayed home with baby S who was just a few days old.  From what I gather, it was just as cold this year, but less rainy than last.

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    We arrived after the parade had wrapped up, but I heard from friends who were on an opposite schedule that the parade was great.  By the time the Storm clan got there, a drum circle had formed with a huge crowd around it.  My kids were totally enthralled by the face paint, woman on stilts, and loud music.  Soon after, the Mexica/Aztec Danzas came out and the crowd made room in the center.

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    I had the stroller with me, so we had a hard time getting a good spot to watch, but luckily Little T was super brave and independent and took her younger sister to the front row (sort of within my sight).  Little T LOVED it all, but Little A was wary about the costumes and face paint.

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    After the dancing, there was a vigil for peace.  Community members got up to speak about uniting our community, supporting each other, and standing up for peace.  It was really meaningful to see so many different people get up and talk about the same message.  Unfortunately the kids were freezing and didn’t really understand everything, so their request for the playground guided our next move.

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    Here’s a pic of all four.  J had hit his limit and crashed in the stroller while we headed to the playground.  It was packed!  Lots of big and little kids climbing, running, sliding, and helping the littler kids out.

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    We snacked on some fries from a food truck, warmed our hands by a portable fire pit, and headed home.  I had meant to have the conversation about what Dia de los Muertos celebrates, but it was really difficult while managing four little kids.  I’m already looking forward to next year, and helping the kids understand the holiday…oh, and getting to this event in time for the parade.

    Hope you’re all staying warm out there!

    A. Storm

     

  • Chapter 93- Milwaukee Art Museum’s Playdate with Art

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    Milwaukee Art Museum‘s Playdates with Art are back on the calendar, and we met up with our new friends of Ana & Zelli last month.

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    Little T’s school schedule got in the way, so we only got to hang out for an hour at the museum.  And as it turns out, an hour is not enough time to get to know a new person, guide your twin two-year-olds through an art project, and keep your baby from putting scissors in her mouth and bonking her head on the marble floor.

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    To add to the business of the morning, I happened to run into two friends and two MAM employees who we really enjoy.  Our MAM friend Jim chatted with us about the summer (Play Dates with Art don’t happen during the summer, and we didn’t make it to the museum much when it was nice out) and how big the kids have gotten since we last saw each other.  And Shannon, who works specifically with the Education/Kids/Family programs, told us about the new and exciting changes (the art studio is now open during the week AND has moved near the lobby!  Stop by the studio behind the Chihuly piece).

    And while we’re on the topic, you should know that the museum is under some major construction/renovation/remodeling.   Click here to see what’s still open and what’s closed until next year.

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    The project was really cool, and I was surprised how eagerly Little A wanted to roll ink on to her roller and make the feather print all by herself.   Now that I write that, though, I have no idea why I was surprised she wanted to do something ALL BY HERSELF.  We made prints of feathers on some fabric, and then cut our the feathers and attached them to elastic to create wings.  Because of the limited time and large quantity of small children in my group, I more or less assembled the wings for the twins before we heard the guitar beckoning our names.

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    Music time started and we made our way to grab some instruments, sing some songs, and dance around.

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    And before I knew it, we had to leave to get Little T from school.

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    We’re looking forward to coming back for more MAM events, and seeing more friends while we meet new ones.  Our trips to the MAM will change a bit while it’s under construction, but there’s still plenty for us to do while we wait.

    Stay warm, folks!

    A. Storm

     

     

  • Chapter 92- Pajama Jamboree with Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony

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    Are you familiar with free symphony concerts for families?  Well you should be, because they’re awesome.  Milwaukee’s Festival City Symphony has Pajama Jamborees, which are amazing opportunities to get your pjs on, grab blankies, and listen to some great music and hear stories and learn about instruments.

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    I took the big kids on a feshil mama date, and they were stoked to do something only “big” kids could do (because yeah, a 2 year old is a big kid).  We arrived just as the concert was starting and still found a small space in the back to set up shop.

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    We were introduced to the night’s program of Peter and the Wolf, but stood to sing the national anthem first.  And a little secret about me…I get choked up singing it.  I’m not an overly patriotic person, but something about a group of people singing together makes my heart swell.  And as I had my hand across my heart, I looked down at my kids who were in awe with the communal song, I had to fight to hold in a few tears.

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    I composed myself, and by that time a few of our friends arrived.  We spent the next hour enthralled with music, narration, and high school actors playing out the story of Peter and the Wolf.

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    Afterwards, we hung out for just a minute and gave hugs and climbed on things were probably not supposed to climb, and then made our way to the parking ramp.

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    And the skywalk was a huge hit among my three kids in footed pjs and no shoes.

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    On the way home, Little T was holding my camera, and I gave her the ok to snap some photos.  Here are my favorites from the evening:

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    There’s another concert scheduled for December 10th, and then another in the spring.  Check out this really wonderful offering if you can!

    A. Storm

  • Chapter 91- Estabrook Beer Garden for a Birthday Party!

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    For this little lady’s birthday, we did absolutely zero planning and had a blast.  Here were the ingredients: friends and family, pizza, a playground, beer, and my mother-in-law’s carrot cake recipe.

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    Because a place where you can drink a beer while pushing your kids on the swing is alright with us, we met at Estabrook Beer Garden.  The weather was agreeable (in Wisconsin terms anyway) and there was enough light for us to stuff our faces with pizza before the sun went down.

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    It was a weekday night with cold weather, and dark by the time we ate food, so we pretty much had the place to ourselves.  We did rotations between the playground and beer garden, generally keeping track of everyone.  Not that there was any reason for kids to wander…they had pizza and friends and cousins and adults and a playground all within feet.  The kids played in the rocks and we had foot races.  The pictures below are evidence (blurry spots are people whizzing by).

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    We sang happy birthday to Baby S (and Uncle Wow, who shares a birthday!) and passed out the cake.  And also, I didn’t think through the fact that the baby hadn’t really had sugar before, and bedtime for her was NOT awesome.

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    We rounded out the evening with clinking glasses and rounding up kids who were nearing bedtime.  Little T, clad in her new favorite princess dress, wiped up her own tears from falling on the concrete and helped her baby sister walk to the car.  It was a perfect night.

    A. Storm