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Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bumps.

Yesterday in the midst of trying to blow-dry my hair, sending off some overdue emails about some weekend details, getting info about fall swimming lessons and feeding my pajama clad one year old lunch, I realized that life is getting a little crazy.

Henry, Maddy and I leave tomorrow for Chicago, Jeff and Tyler come on Friday.

School starts next Tuesday. Last night was an eventful open house with issues sparked on the way our school keeps family records. I might have more to say about that next week...we'll see how it all pans out.

I'm trying to do a million things at once and chase a 16 month old around. I pack a suitcase, he empties it.

I put something away, he takes it out.

I whined on the phone about how hyper he's been since the wee hours of the morning and my mom put it in perspective when she said; "At least he's happy and healthy, he could be bed-ridden."

Yeah, I agreed and then followed up by saying at least he doesn't cry all the time.

Fast forward a little bit.

While Henry and I were in the basement, I attended to laundry, he played. Like he always does when I'm doing laundry.

Until I walked to Tyler's room and watched him on the second rung of Tyler's bunkbed ladder. And then I watched him go ker-plunk.

And cry he did.

Crying, screaming, wiggling in my arms.

Twenty minutes later he was slowly calming down and gasping since his tears had gotten him all choked up.

Thankfully, he is still ok. Even though those twenty minutes were long, brutal and hard, he's going to be ok.

And the bumps on his head will hopefully add character.

And a little more color in pictures at the wedding this weekend.


Ironically enough, today he's wearing a "Born To Climb" shirt. But really, it could always be worse. We all need some bumps along the way, don't we?

Monday, August 27, 2007

It's Coming....

School supply shopping at Target.He had to get diapers and crayons so he could be part of the back to school festivities.












Back to school clothes shopping with M. Five hours, way too many stores. Six year old little girl who loves to shop, need I say more?


My new office at school. Might still be making a few changes to the layout and computer set up once I'm in again.


My new storage closet at school.

Did you pick up on what "IT" is?

It is Back to School.
Fall.

New routines.
So what do we have in store this year?

J really has no changes, his work is the same, busy as ever.

I will be working on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the same school and am excited that both T and M will be there this year. I've also got a couple freelance writing gigs up my sleeve that are not quite ready to be public yet. I've recently partnered with BlogHer Ads which is what I'm sure you've noticed on the right hand side. They will be displaying ads and then below the ads they choose a few blogs nationwide daily to refer people to. Just as a side FYI: I don't know these other bloggers, or what they write about so if you click on the links to their sites, do so with caution.

T will be starting the third grade.

M will be starting the first grade.

H will be spending Tuesdays and Thursdays with babysitter girl, here at home. I'm hoping to do another ECFE class with him, maybe even MOPS and most likely swimming for all three kids.

What I love most about fall is the start of new-ness. The leaves changing and falling. Cool, crisp mornings.

I always find that fall is the time where we end up committing (or overcommitting) ourselves to activities, opportunities and the buzz of life. I recently found this quote (by Oprah, of all people) that is too good not to share.

Before you agree to do anything that might add even the smallest amount of stress to your life, ask yourself. What is my truest intention? -Oprah Winfrey

Good question. For me, the queen of random jobs, this is a good thing to think about.

So how about you, what are you in for this fall? Or what's your favorite thing about fall?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Quality Friday:Grandparents Are The Best.*Updated*

Just the other day I wrote about how I now love hanging out at my parents and watching the kids play in the backyard.

Well, that must have been enough for my parents to add to the fun.

On Wednesday afternoon I was helping my mom with a project at her house when my dad came home and very excitedly showed me his new purchase.
A PLAYGROUND for their backyard.

And not just any playground, a Rainbow playground. And did I mention it's 15 x 16 feet?

Only the biggest and the best would do for his grandkids!
It got installed this morning, so of course, being the competitive child H is, he made me bring him over there right away so he could be the first to experience the new playset.

He loved it and so did I.
Thanks grandma and grandpa for such a fun toy at your house! I know all the kids are going to LOVE it.
*Update Saturday 4:30pm*

Here's a few more pictures from Saturday morning as well when cousin Michael was there too.

H bumped his head at home on a laundry basket of all things. What a bump!

H and Grandpa.

Michael, 5 years old.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Making Sure You Have a Reason To Laugh Today.

This is a 20-second video I took of the kids on Monday at the Children's Museum. It makes me laugh so hard when I watch it, even though I'm not quite sure why.

If you can get past the fact that the video is sideways (still can't get it figured out!!) it might just make you laugh.

I was thinking it'd be fun for people to come up with captions, or what they think each of the kids is thinking as I'm video-ing them. So leave your ideas in the comments...


video

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Forgiveness-Child Style.

After playing together for three days straight. Having a sleep over and spending the entire morning together. When T's friend Alex declared he was going home, T fought back tears.

"Can I come play at your house?"

"No." Alex said. "I just want to watch TV."

"I'll watch TV with you." T offered up. Anything to be with his friend.

"No. I don't want to."

"I'm never going to play with him again." T cried to me. "He is the worst friend ever." And we dealt with the disappointment that sometimes comes our way through childlike friendship.

While M and her friend Halle played make up and dress up and movie stars galore, T moped about until Halle's five year old brother came over to play.

"Will you play with me?" Five year old Brooks offered up.

T accepted and to the basement they went.

Shortly after, there was a knock on the door. H and I went to answer and lo and behold it was Alex.

"Can T play?" He asked. I called T upstairs and T hesitantly looked Alex over.

After a long and hesitant pause I heard these words, "I knew you'd come back."

And the sound of footsteps down the steps followed after.

The shoes in the entryway belonging to T, M and friends Halle, Brooks and Alex.

Tuesday afternoon.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Forced Family Fun.

This past Saturday morning we got up early and went to the Minneapolis Farmers Market with my parents, little sister, aunt Janet and cousin Samantha. My mom and dad pretty much go to this every Saturday morning that my mom has been feeling up to it. H and I have joined in in the past as well, but the last time he was there he was small enough to be in the Baby Bjorn. So needless to say, it's been awhile.

I was really excited when my dad mentioned it on Friday because this was the first weekend in almost a month, that we were home.

They typically go right at 6am before the rush of the day begins but because they knew we'd be bringing three children they agreed to go a little later, 8am.
We had such a nice time. Tasting fresh fruits and veggies. Seeing all the fresh produce.
M and Samantha looking at flowers.
See that pink bag in M's hand. The Victoria's Secret bag has returned. Though this child has more purses and little bags than I have hairs on my head, she prefers to use this little pink bag to carry her 'coupons' (you never know what kind of farmer might take a coupon) and her money.

Of course, no trip to the Farmers Market with my dad would be complete without an early morning brat.

Yes, all these crazies had brats or hot dogs at 8 o'clock in the morning!!!


Not me. I held out for French Meadow Bakery.


After getting soaked in the rain and chilled by the cold air we went to Columbia Grounds coffee shop in Northeast to enjoy coffee and some indoor music.


We played a couple games of cards. Chatted. Watched H dance around to the music.

Just enjoyed being together.
Sorry about the glare...I can't get rid of it. This is my cousin Samantha and me. She's a sophomore in college.

My Daddio and My Mumsy


I was thinking about it later that day about how much we take our parents and families for granted when we are growing up, but then as soon as we have our own life and own family, we long to be with our parents again.

Remember when you were a teenager? For some reading this (myself included as I write this) it wasn't that long ago.


It wasn't that long ago that I thought that time with my parents/family was forced family fun.


When you're a teenager, your friends, your job, everything seems to rank higher than spending time with the people who have done the most for you. You are seemingly inconvenienced to do the slightest of things for these people considered your family.


It couldn't have just been me. Come on, now.


I, obviously, haven't parented or raised teenagers. But I dread it.


It's kind of like many other things in life.



We hurry up and we can't wait for this or that, and we rush through like always thinking whatever is next will be better. Instead of enjoying the moment. Living life.


Once I was out of high school and away from my parents, all of a sudden I appreciated them so much more. I missed them. I wished for more time to spend shopping with my mom and golfing with my dad.


Once I was out of college, working, newly married, I appreciated them even more. I missed watching the Amazing Race and enjoying my mom's cooking.


Now having children, I can't even tell you how much I appreciate them. I miss having someone else take care of everything for me! I love just sitting at their house on the patio watching the kids run around.
This picture was from my Aunt Laurie's visit two weeks ago.
I love days like Saturday where we are out and about just having fun.
What would have been considered forced family fun years ago, is now fun, period.


Reminds me of the old Joni Mitchell song, "Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got til it's gone."

I suppose it is like most things in life, a lesson you wouldn't have learned unless you could live through it.

However, if I could, I would go back in time, when my attitude was peaked and my priorities out of wack. If I could go back I'd make a few little changes.

And in turn, appreciate a little more of this forced family fun.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Garage Sale Days.

Friday was a beautiful summer day. Not too hot, not too cool.

Perfect.

Looking forward to an empty slate for the day I walked the mail out to the mail box, and that's when I saw it.

Garage sales.

Great, I thought to myself. Now I'm going to have to keep the two money hounds inside until the sales are over.

The last time there were garage sales around these parts, both kids were in heaven. Spending every last cent they had on old McDonalds toys, non working electronics and filling up on the infamous free boxes.

Not this time, I thought. They are not going to know there are sales going on or get out here.

Let me be clear about this, it's not that I don't want them to have fun. It's that they seriously buy all the junk that garage sales tend to sell. And they want to keep it!

Have you ever seen their bedrooms???!!???

So I began the task of trying to sell them on every single possible indoor activity they could do on Friday.

"Let's work on our summer scrapbooks." I announced, knowing that this is a coveted summer activity since A. They get to use all my arts and crafts supplies and B. They get to make a bigger mess than usual.

That worked for about 20 minutes, until T used the glue stick that M wanted, and M left the table in tears. (Age appropriate behavior, most likely not. Sibling rivalry behavior, yes, indeed.)

T, desperately wanted to go ride his bike or skate board.

"Umm, why don't you play K'Nex?"

No.

"How about legos?"

No.

"Star Wars?"

No.

"Poker?" Bringing out the big guns now.

No.

"I just want to go outside." He moaned. "You always say when it's a beautiful day, we should be outside enjoying it."

Oh, he's right, and he's hitting me right where he knows he'll get me.

"Fine." I give in, waiting.

Less than five minutes later, the door opens.

"M!!!!" He cries. "There are TWO garage sales down the street!!!! Come see!!!!"

And M, who hasn't stopped pouting in her bedroom since the whole 'gluestick' issue, comes flying out of her room.

They go, moneyless to start. But I know that there is no denying that they will soon be on the hunt for nickels and dimes.

Sure enough, five minutes later, they come in to tell me about the steal of a deal they've found for only $3!

Ha! I goff inside. Obviously this must be someones trash. I let them both get their money. T, however realizes, that all of his money is in his wallet, which is nowhere in sight. But M managed to scrap $5 together between her piggy bank and her dresser drawers.

And they come home with this beast....
That not only works, but provided hours of entertainment the rest of the day.
Don't be misled.
Just because of one good find, I'm still thankful that garage sale season is just about over.
But even I have to say, this was one heck of a good deal!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

A Different Kind of Neighbor. *Updated*

I'm all for pets, really I am. But I've got to admit there are some scary animals out there, especially when they aren't trained and handled properly.

In today's news, a family pit bull attacked a little boy and killed him. What devastating and scary news especially in the wake of what happened in our neighborhood this last week.

I'm over at Cribsheet today, you can read about what happened to us here.

Leave me a comment either here or there and give me your feedback. There's already quite the debate started over there.

*Update Friday 8/17 10am: WOW! The debate/argument/commentary over there has definitely derailed. If you decide to read what people have to say, do so with caution. Though they are still somewhat on subject, comments have taken an angry turn. Especially in regards to the incident yesterday in N. Minneapolis.*

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Quotables.

Leaving a store, a mother was reprimanding her two children. "Why would you behave like that?" The mother strongly stated. Miss M, turns to me and says. "Well the next time you ask me if I see other people misbehaving I can tell you that yep. It's not just us!"

A few weeks back I was teaching some community educations classes for 4-5 year olds. M was my "helper" for the week. As we sat around a make believe campfire eating smores the kids were chatting and M says, "Did you know that I've got two homes?". The kids all stared at her like she was the most interesting person they've ever met. "Yes it's true that all the best kids, they get two homes."

"Why would anyone have four kids?" T loudly asks as we pass by a woman shopping with her four kids. "Well T, we've already got three." I remind him. "Yeah, but you guys are kind of crazy."

Driving past a farm, M innocently asks; "When can we get a cow?"

"The reason I need a cell phone is so when you're driving, if I need to call someone, you don't have to reach back and hand me your phone. I can just use my own." T, on why we should buy him a cell phone. (Because #1 he uses the phone so much, and #2 even if he needed to use the phone, reaching behind me would be so much work.)

How I know we're doing an alright job as parents? Recently when T was giving me an attitude at the store and I ignored him rather than saying anything about it as we were driving home in the car he said; "S, I'm really sorry for acting like a jerk in the store. I shouldn't have been rude to you like that."

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

When God Goes Bowling.

As a child, when it would thunder and lightning outside my parents told me that God was bowling. It was their attempt to make thunderstorms less scary. And honestly for the most part it worked.

Last night I was excited to go to bed early. Trying to get over a summer cold, I was reading in bed getting ready to pop in a disc of Greys Anatomy Season Two. (What can I say, I'm a little obsessed, and so ready for Season 3's dvds to come out!)

The phone rang and it was my parents. My parents who are rarely up past 8:30pm, let alone making phone calls. They were calling to let us know about the bad storms headed our way.

No call from J's parents who usually happen to call if there are more than 8 clouds in the sky and if there happens to be a slowdown on any possible metropolitan roadway.

So we flip on the news and see a weather person actually in our town reporting on the storm coming our way. It got darker and darker, louder and louder. The wind blew harder and then the rain and hail hit.

We have lived in this house exactly three years yesterday. We have replaced our roof twice. We have replaced parts of our siding twice. We have replaced gutters and other outside things.

When storms come to our house bad things seem to happen. (Not as bad as someone else I know, but still bad.) So with the lights flickering on and off, thunder booming loudly, lightning seemingly so close we could possibly get struck and hail and winds blowing, we decided it might not be the worst idea to move downstairs away from windows.

So with that J woke T and grabbed M, I grabbed H and we headed down underneath the steps where my husband has crafted some sort of "storm" shelter complete with a weather radio, freeze dried military meals, matches, flashlights and a deck of cards. (You don't even need to tell me what this entire storm shelter set up screams to you. I know.)

While both M and H kept sleeping, and seeing as the clock was now inching towards 12, I too closed my eyes.

When the storm calmed down, I awoke to a flash.

My husband was taking our picture underneath the steps, cuddled up in blankets, T, M, H and myself, soundly sleeping.

I took that as a sign that if the weather is good enough for him to run upstairs, grab the camera, stand and take pictures of us, it's good enough for us all to go to our own beds.

So far this morning, I haven't noticed or found any house damage. But we've got some green grass and some green growing plants.

Good game, God. M and I think you must have scored big.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Luck.




We were in Luck this weekend. Luck, Wisconsin that is. Visiting my aunt MK's cabin. We had a wonderful time and as I write this at 7pm on Sunday night, we are ALL exhausted.


Aunt MK. One of my dad's five sisters. Both my mom and dad have five siblings and it's so fun to see the kids develop relationships with my extended family. M of course had a hard time leaving today with a few tears shed, and just "one more hug" with aunt MK.


Weekend highlights included:

Fishing.

M caught two fish this weekend. One Rock Bass and one Sunny. She was VERY excited.



T had a harder time catching his fish. He had to be very patient, but finally he caught himself a Sunny.


SWIMMING.

This is M having a blast on the Fun Island. She had to have spent three hours on this on Saturday. Jumping on, jumping off, being goofy.

H and I even took a turn out there.

Boating.

Getting our life jackets on, H was very excited, until he realized that the life jacket stays on and that he had to sit down the entire time out on the lake.
J even took a turn driving the boat.

Just Enjoyed Time Together Outside.

M built herself a "Tiki" Hut with some branches she found.

Poker.

What would be a weekend at the lake without some cards right? (We taught the kids Five Card Draw)

Campfires!

And smores of course.