Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Tractors, ducks, and birds

Despite another early day in the Runchey household (4:30 Ellie, 5:15 Austin, 5:45 Austin, 6am Austin, etc.) we have been having some fun. During our morning walks, we have been stopping to watch the tractors push dirt around by our house. There is some new construction going up and there has been some heavy traffic of trucks hauling dirt in. Then, there is a bulldozer (or some sort of yellow heavy machinery) moving the dirt around. These are all tractors to Austin. Austin asks right away when we get outside "You hear tractors Mommy? See dirt?". So, I started telling him that this weekend we are going to go to Grandma and Grandpa Runcheys and that Grandpa Runchey has a tractor for him to drive. "Yeah, okay! Bombka Runchey! Drive tractor!!!" (note: "Bombka" = Grandpa...and sometimes Grandma too). Then he proceeds to hold out his hands and move them up and down like he is typing on a giant keyboard. And, every time I mentioned him driving a tractor he started doing it again. So, I asked if he was driving a tractor and sure enough, apparently that is how he plans to drive the tractor.
Then we walked past the pond, that actually has water in it right now (it is usually bone dry and has sent some neighbors to many a city council meetings because they paid a premium to have a lot on a pond). Austin said, loudly and 50 times as usual, "Mommy, see ducks?" There wasn't a duck in sight, and I looked hard too. Finally I said "No Austin, I don't see any ducks. I see a bird over there." he said "No mommy! No Bird. Ducks! See?" I looked again, still coming up duckless, but in an effort to steer the conversation in another direction I said "Yep, I see the ducks. They look happy." To which Austin replied "No ducks mommy! No ducks! See bird?"

Monday, September 24, 2007

The early bird gives mom a headache!

The early bird in our house is Austin. He's always been an early riser and I feel fairly confident saying we've tried everything. For the longest time he was waking up at 5am, 5:15 on good days. Then, over maternity leave he started sleeping in until 6:30. It was heavenly! However, he is now back to 5:15 +/- 30 minutes. This morning it was 5:40. My body was just not meant to get up before 6am unless it is for something really great. If I had to wake up at 5am to board a plane to Tahiti, I think I would be okay with that. But to wake up at 5am so that I can trudge down the steps and lay on the couch while Austin plays Thomas the Train on me (I become Mt. Mommy), well- that just isn't working for me (see the title of this post).

We have tried putting him to bed early, putting him to bed late, limiting his nap time, skipping nap time, feeding him again before he goes to bed, putting him back to bed several times, a room darkening shade, a night light, ignoring him (which is more like us sitting in bed listening to him yell for us...that can't really be ignored), laying in bed with him until he falls back asleep (which doesn't usually happen), and any combination of the above. However, if you have any new ideas, I'm still open for suggestions. In the meantime, I'm learning how to make decent coffee and it's ready by 6am at the latest if you're in the neighborhood.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Best friends reunited

My first day home with the kids was fairly uneventful. Not unlike every other Friday I have stayed home with them. I think the reality of it all won't sink in for awhile. But, true to our agenda, we remained in PJs for quite awhile. We didn't quite make it all day though. Austin had to take some time out of his busy day to charm the ladies (which is best done while not wearing dinosaur PJs).

That's our next door neighbor and Austin's best friend, Mia.
Ellie, on the other hand, decided to stick with her original plan for the day.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

After seven years...

After seven years with Cargill, I'm hanging up my lab coat. Today was my last day. I started with Cargill on June 19th, 2001 in the corporate food safety group. My work took me many different directions in the seven years that followed (food safety, fermentation, analytical chemistry, plant start up) but I finished full circle by going back to food safety. And, I guess technically my tenure isn't truly finished. I will be working for them on a very part-time basis (4-10 hrs/month) maintaining their internal website. This is something completely new for me but it is interesting and something I can do from home during nap times. I am very much looking forward to my new career as a stay at home mom. I know it is going to be much more difficult. I had a 2 month practice run after Ellie was born when I kept Austin home with me too. But, I also know the rewards and bonuses are pretty great. I'll be paid in hugs and kisses (Cheesy, I know). There are a lot of things I'll miss about Cargill, namely the people. So, I took a few snapshots during my last day.

This is my lab. Chad is getting media ready to inoculate with Salmonella.

Chad, me, and Chinh, and the aforementioned Salmonella. Chinh and Chad were my constant lunch companions. Chinh has a future career as my personal chef, he just doesn't know it yet.

Leslee, our friendly receiving lady (always with a smile and a suggestion of a good book)

The purchasing/accounting ladies (Becky, Judy, Lisa) who were good for a laugh and chocolate if you visited on the right day!

Jane, Debbie, Terri, Kari, and Kim; who all took me out to lunch!

And plenty of other folks who either avoided my camera or work in a different building. And, of course Pam, my manager, who was at a meeting in California.

On my first day home tomorrow, I'm declaring it PJ day. You're all welcome to join us. We'll be building forts, playing with trains, pretending to be dinosaurs, and eating our fingers. This is the plan (with slight modifications I'm sure) for at least the next seven years.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Cheese and Pickles!

I thought since Austin hasn't been truly represented yet I would try to snap a few pictures of him this morning. However, anyone with kids knows that getting an active two year old to sit still for more than two seconds is a challenge. And the delay on my camera wasn't helping. So, what follows is a blurry image that is our son.

I was trying to get him to smile. I tried all my tricks: "Are you happy? Let's see!" to which he usually says "Yes, see..." and flashes me his biggest grin. That didn't work this morning. I tried pretending that Ellie had the hiccups which often makes him giggle. But, that just sent him running around the room pretending he had the hiccups. Then I decided to go with the tried and true "Say cheese!" And Austin replied "Cheese Pickles!". This is because I sometimes say "Say Cheese and Pickles!" when I want him to smile. I'm not sure where I ever picked that up. I understand the "say cheese" part because the last part of the word cheese leaves your mouth in a smile of sorts (you are trying it, aren't you!). But Pickles? At any rate, the angry face he seems to be displaying in the picture is actually his forced smile. Wondering what Ellie was doing during this?

She was just sitting in her chair wondering what a pickle is.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Whenever I take both of the kids out for a walk, inevitably someone will stop us to observe the kids (can't blame my biased opinion they are pretty cute). More often than not I hear that Ellie looks just like Austin (who looks just like his dad). I guess, to me, they are just two very different people already so I rarely see the resemblance. But, I decided to do some digging the other day and came across an old picture of Austin when he was about the same age as Ellie is right now. I'm sure you'll find out quickly that I am not much of a photographer, but here is my comparison:

Aside from the fact that I don't know when to use the flash and when to leave it off, what do you think?

Monday, September 17, 2007

Here we go...

Since the world seems to be going full speed with new technologies, I thought the Runchey's would try to jump on board. So, I am starting a blog. Hopefully I'll be able to add pictures someday too. I'm not sure how often I'll be able to keep up with it, but it's worth a shot, right? We have a lot of friends and family that don't live near us (and plenty that live close that we still don't see) and I hope that by starting this everyone (who wants to) can keep up to date with all the fun and exciting things going on in our world. Even if it's just changing diapers or drawing dinosaurs on the driveway. Incidentally, I was out on the driveway last Thursday drawing my usual dinosaurs and trains Austin requests and when I stood up I felt something scratchy inside my jeans. I shook my leg a little bit and out drops a mouse! I thought it was just an abnormally large lint ball until it scurried off behind the garbage cans. Safe to say I will not be making any more chalk masterpieces on the driveway anytime soon.