Friday, November 30, 2007

We need a bigger couch

Rob has complained about it for years. When we first got married we had very little furniture. I think I brought a desk and filing cabinet into the deal and Rob came with a dresser. But otherwise, nothing. So, when we outfitted our first house, price was definitely a factor. We’ve had our blue couch for 7+ years and I think Rob has complained about it for 6 years 345 days. With his height, it was hard to find a couch that met his requirements and my requirements ($). Now Austin has been inviting some friends onto the couch to watch his morning shows with him. It has gotten even more crowded. Furthermore, the blanket, though big enough for two, is just his. Try to sneak your toes under the blanket and your liable to lose them.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Happy Turkey Day!

Better late than never! We headed to Ankeny for Thanksgiving this year. Unfortunately we (I) forgot the camera so there aren't any pictures to accompany this post. But, we had a wonderful time with Rob's family. Our clan headed down on Wednesday afternoon during what should have been nap time for our children. They apparently did not get that memo. However, I can't complain because they behaved wonderfully. Austin was entertained by the DVD player in our new van. Ellie was entertained by me in the backseat of our new van. She slept a little bit. Austin watched Shrek the Third once, Santa Claus Is Coming To Town twice, Rudolph once, and the start of It's a Wonderful Life (in a failed attempt that a black and white movie might bore him and put him to sleep). We have now learned that if we want him to sleep there shouldn't be a feature film for the drive.

Wednesday night was spent in the family room watching Rob and Dave trying to navigate several cords through a pipe in the wall to a built in cupboard below. It probably wasn't the most entertaining way to spend an evening but we were so tired, it was just nice to relax. Then Doug (Lynne's dad) showed us a "magic trick" involving a rubber band and his left hand. Amazing. Lynne, Taylor, and I all mastered it after about 30 minutes and then Taylor continued to wow us with her new talent for the next 2 hours or more. I'm sure if you are lucky enough to be hanging out with Taylor over Christmas she will be more than eager to show you. Austin got down to the business of exploring all the new toys right away. He found a few "Cars" cars and was set for the rest of the time. Isaac was busy helping the older boys hang up the TV in his Bob the Builder attire. He is pretty handy with a tape measure.

Thursday was a whirlwind of activity as the kids played and everyone else showed up (we missed the Affield's) and the food was prepared. The turkey was scrumptious. And I typically don't care for turkey so that's saying something.

We left at bedtime on Thursday night. No videos to start off this trip but about 30 minutes in Austin was still awake and Rob couldn't resist, so it was another barrage of Christmas classics. Austin finally fell asleep around 9:45. We got home at 10:45 to find our furnace was not working. It was 55 degrees in our house. The kids got packed back in the van and we drove to my parents house to spend the night. Rob and my dad headed back to our house to shut off water and drain pipes. They came back around midnight. My mom and I tossed around the idea of going to a mall to shop at 1am for Black Friday but decided to just call it a night. All in all, it was a fun holiday.

Our family has plenty of things to be thankful for. Family, friends, Rudolph, turkey, and heat to name a few.

Friday, November 16, 2007

The Cookie Man

Ever since Shrek was the feature film during one of our movie nights, Austin will turn into "Cookie Man" at any moment. He's referring to "Gingy" the gingerbread man. But, his alter ego pops up in the middle of a meal, while we play dinosaurs and trains ("Oh! Cookie Man has Thomas" -- the cookie man always uses third person when he talks), or when he is sad (he covers his eyes and whimpers "Cookie Man sad"). He also likes to point out other cookie men wherever he sees them. Now that the holidays are here, gingerbread cookie men are out in full force. During a recent trip to Michael's Austin pointed to every single one. We were there a long time. So, I relented and bought him a cookie cutter.
Before nap time we made some dough. Not gingerbread because I didn't have those ingredients on hand and don't really care for the taste; we made chocolate dough. It chilled over nap time and then after supper we made cookie men. My cookie man was quite a help. Okay. Not really. Mostly he ate the flour. Blech! I tried to teach him that he should eat the dough but he preferred the flour. At any rate, we pounded out about 15 cookie men and then I got tired of the process and just made regular cookies after that.

Ellie thought they looked pretty good. They were.

Friday, November 9, 2007


The majority of our days follow a certain routine at the Runchey house. Rob gets up early to go to work and tries to be quiet as he gets ready. He's not successful, but I give him an A for effort. Austin wakes up shortly after him (always too early for me) and Ellie isn't far behind. Austin puts up a bit of a fight when we suggest the first morning trip to the potty. Ellie squeals with glee as she sees her bottle. I'm allowed to play with either "Sarah" the dinosaur or "Percy" the train, but never any of the other dinosaurs or trains. Sometimes we hit the gym, sometimes the library, and sometimes Target. But, in general, our days are routine. So, when changes come along, no matter how small, they feel gigantic to me. Here are a couple we have had.

First, Ellie. Previously she has held the belief that if she is awake she should be: a) held b) played with or c) eating. Nothing else was acceptable and she would let you know. But, after months (seems like years) of trying, she has now decided that the swing is an acceptable alternative to the previous options.

Second, Austin. He often thought that the minute he was bored or sad that he should have a sippy cup. Since I can only play dinosaurs for so long (especially when I am only allowed to be one character), bored popped up a lot. But, since he's potty training we can't have him constantly sipping on liquids, because then he is constantly peeing. So, we have switched to a regular cup. No more sippy.

It was received without much protest and a few spills. Every once in awhile he asks me if his fingers should go swimming. I tell him nothing swims in his cup. His second change....though it's not documented in photos, is that he is wearing pants again. Woohoo! He has been accident free for three days. I don't consider him potty trained quite yet since he still doesn't tell us he has to go, but I think it's a huge improvement. And yes, it's Mardi Gras at our house.

However, with every change that comes my way, there is always a reminder that time isn't going quite as fast as I think.

For example, Austin still thinks this is a good smile for the camera.

Monday, November 5, 2007

50 days and counting

Another weekend come and gone. The majority of it was spent in Cedar Falls, IA at the Runchey reunion. But, I don’t have any pictures to accompany that post yet. Details of our trip will come later. We ended our weekend ready for Christmas.
After we got home and unloaded the gear (it’s amazing how much we brought for 24 hours) and while our kids were still walking around in the daze brought on by the time change (note: Austin now wakes up at 5am again) I pulled out the Sunday paper and took out all the ads. I don’t remember the last time I actually read the paper. No, wait, I do. It was Mother’s Day of 2006. I got coffee and donuts in bed and 2 hours to read the paper without interruptions. It was heaven. But, I digress; I was perusing the ads and came across the Target toy catalog. I handed it off to Austin thinking it would occupy him for 5 minutes. But, instead it turned into a half hour or more of “I like trains. I like robot too. I like boat too. I like Thomas table too.” and so on. Rob took note and jumped right in. Could it be that his son understands what is coming? The most glorious time of year for Rob! So, they laid on the floor together and pointed out all the cool toys and discussed Santa Claus.

Then, Rob thought it was time to teach Austin the basics of Christmas (the Santa Claus version…Mary, Jesus, and Joseph will have to wait another year or two). So, he opened his drawer of Christmas classics, now on DVD, and selected Rudolph. The clay-mation version of course. I argued that this wasn’t going to explain Santa Claus at all because the majority of that movie is about Rudolph and the misfit toys. And, I think I won my case as Austin sat on the bed and squealed “What?!?” about a hundred times. As in “What?! Herby doesn’t like to make toys?” But, never fear, Rob has approximately 15 other Christmas titles that might do the trick. In the meantime, Austin thinks that if he asks me nicely every 2 minutes, and addresses me as Santa instead of Mommy, I will magically produce a Thomas the Tank table with all his favorite characters.