Monday, December 29, 2008

C is for...

Cookies. Rob and I were trying to be prepared with activities to keep the kids busy while we were home with them. One of our ideas was to bake cookies for Santa. Austin was fairly excited about this idea and knew that Santa would LOVE them! He started out with his shirt on.

Then that was covered in flour (which he was eating...gross) and was shed to the floor. Rob also took over at that point so that I could hold Riley for a bit who wasn't interested in cookie making, or happiness in general.

Everytime we got the cookies cut out, Austin would try to grab them off the counter and throw them onto the cookie sheet while yelling "Alleeeeeey-Oop!" as he tossed them into the air. As you can imagine this resulted in several cookies that no longer resembled anything.

We tried to pull a chair up so Ellie could get in on the action but she was more interested in playing with her boots.

When that novelty wore off, she was our Quality Control. She would come and get a sample and then bring it back to her nest of blankets to enjoy. I think she had the right idea.


When all was said and done, we ended up with some fairly tasty treats and a fairly large mess.
C is also for Clean up!

Friday, December 26, 2008

Our Christmas

This is the first year in many (maybe ever) that we had no where to go on Christmas. My parents were in Indiana and Rob's parents were in Kansas. None of that would have changed the fact anyway. The fact being that Austin was EXTREMELY excited for Christmas this year. Of course, I was using the threat of Santa Claus watching him routinely for about a month so Christmas was always on the forefront of his mind. We got him and the girls into bed about 10 minutes early on Christmas Eve with the idea that the sooner he fell asleep, the sooner Santa would come. Notice I didn't say we got him to sleep 10 minutes early? He was wide awake for quite some time positive that he was hearing Santa's sleigh. Nonetheless, he woke up at 5:45am ready to go. We tried to hold him off upstairs until at least Ellie woke up but after 15 minutes Rob waved his white flag and he took him downstairs to watch a cartoon. I came down about 10 minutes later because Austin was being too loud for me to sleep. Ellie woke up around 7am and Rob went upstairs to give her some milk and time to wake up before Austin bombarded her with his enthusiasm. She is not a morning person. Meanwhile, downstairs with me, Austin asked variations of the following questions:

  • Did Santa come?
  • Did Santa bring me presents?
  • What's in my stocking?
  • Do you think it's Annie and Claribel (trains)?
  • Are those presents mine?

When I could no longer take it I told Rob to bring down Ellie. It just so happened that Riley woke up too so the whole family was together for gift opening. We didn't even try to have any rhyme or reason to it. Maybe someday the kids can take turns opening gifts but there wasn't a chance of that happening this year, or any year soon I imagine. Below is a slide show. Nothing spectacular but just some random shots from the day. Austin's highlight was that Santa did bring him Annie and Claribel as well as "Gorilla Mountain" and Ellie received a booster seat to use at the table. No more high chair! She is excited!

My highlight is that Austin told Ellie to be good "because Santa is already watching her for next year." That means I can still use my threat!

We hope everyone enjoyed a very Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Crooner

I don't know what kind of Christmas music you have playing around your house to get you in the festive mood, but we have been enjoying the sounds of live music. 'Round the clock. Austin has been entertaining us with his very best versions of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Silver and Gold, Holly Jolly Christmas, Jingle Bell Rock, and Jingle Bells. I won't subject you to all of the above, but I will post his version of Rudolph. He made antlers and had his nose painted red today so it seem the most appropriate choice. Enjoy!


Monday, December 15, 2008

New Santa

A few years ago my sister gave me the inside scoop on a place where you could bring your kids to get a picture taken with Santa...for free! Even better was that he was great with the kids and pleased the parents as well because no matter what your child was doing (throwing a complete tantrum), he just smiled away at the camera and we always walked away with a nice picture. Well, this year our favorite Santa has been replaced. The new Santa is not on my nice list right now.

Ok, so yes, he was good with Austin and perhaps that should count for something. He was a little cheesy in asking Austin if he was helping us dust (which we thought was fairly random) and continually giving him high fives for everything, but Austin was able to tell Santa what his plan of attack should be for our house and where to find the stockings and Santa didn't rush him. When it came time to take a picture we put Riley in one arm (she did well) we had Austin stand in the middle (he did well) and we put Ellie on his other leg. She did not do well. However, he didn't even give us a chance to get a picture. She squirmed a bit, cried a little and he put her down and said "It's just not worth it". Now we are stuck without a picture of the kids and Santa.
We have Austin and Riley:

Austin and Ellie's side (and one of the hundred high fives he asked for):

And this is the best I can come up with for a complete picture:

That's not creepy at all....Ellie more resembles the ghost of Christmas past, but I guess we'll work with what we have. In the meantime, if you were planning a trip to Nordstroms to visit the best Santa around, save yourself the trip. He went back to the North Pole.
(Update: Just to clarify, Ellie did not bring her potato to visit Santa, nor did she wear her pajamas. I just photoshopped her into the picture with Austin and Riley, which is why she looks pasty. Another update, I didn't have the heart to cook her potato last week, she still has it.)

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Spud Bud

Some kids get attached to blankets. Others to a special doll or stuffed animal. Ellie? Ellie has become attached to a potato.



Ellie loves to play in the pantry and was delighted when she found this treasure. Since then she has carried it around for the majority of each morning. As far as potatoes go, it's a decent size. She grunts when she picks it up like she is in some sort of strong man competition. When she goes down for a nap, I put it back in it's proper place and the fun begins again in the afternoon. Don't tell Ellie, but her buddy is on the menu later this week.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Ouch.

Another whirlwind weekend has come and gone. It seems as if December has so far been a blur. Friday night we headed to my sister's house for their annual neighborhood card party. We are not technically in their neighborhood but I play with her Bunco group so I feel like an honorary neighbor. As usual, it was a lot of fun. I had my very first sip of Eggnog (Grandma's eggnog) which was most likely my last sip of Eggnog. The amount of alcohol in that stuff is enough to last me the whole year.

Saturday I took Austin to swimming lessons and Rob took the girls to the gym. Immediately after swimming, we headed to a birthday party for one of his friends. Austin was extremely tired and therefore out of sorts at the party. His best friend, Mia, was at the party and took one of the presents away from the birthday girl. The birthday girl rightfully took her present back, which made Mia cry. Then Austin got upset because Mia was crying and tried to steal the present back for her. Chaos ensued. Suffice it to say naptime immediately followed the birthday party. But not for me.

I did something I haven't done since 9th grade. I went cross country skiing with a friend. I learned how to cross country ski around 4th grade with my grandma and aunt. However, my favorite part of cross country skiing was going down the hills so I didn't last long with the sport before switching to downhill skiing, but managed to go a couple times a year. Figuring my days of cross country were over, I just got rid of my unused, dust collecting skis last spring. Probably still a good idea. Ouch.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A couple of nuts

Although I don't hear it nearly as much anymore, I know it's still true. Austin is a dead ringer for his dad. Well, it's more than just looks that link these two. They are both officially Christmas Nuts!
Rob has always been a bit crazy for Christmas. If he had his way, we'd listen to Christmas music all year long (and sometimes it does come out around July in our house). Rudolph and Frosty DVDs are played well into June and the countdown for the festive holiday begins the day after Rob's birthday.

On the way to Playworks today I turned on the car and went to switch the radio station from "Christmas 24/7" to a normal station and was scolded by Austin. Somehow, in the 10 seconds of listening he realized it was Christmas music and I was not allowed to switch the station. Yesterday he got dressed from head to toe all by himself. I said "Wow, that's great! Would you like to call someone to tell them what a good job you did?" Now, I was thinking Rob. Surely he'll want to call his dad. Nope, Austin said "Yeah....Santa!" Yikes. I don't have Santa's direct line, so I had to improvise. I quickly dialed my sister's number and said "Hi, could I please speak to Santa?" I wasn't sure what I was going to get on the other end but she handed the phone to my dad and he said "ho ho ho!", I then handed the phone to Austin who proceeded to tell him all about getting dressed by himself and about the letter he wrote him and how he is ready for him to come down our chimney. He finished with "Bye Santa! I love you!"

Of course, now Austin thinks I can call Santa whenever I want. This is good and bad. It's nice when I'm at my witt's end with him and I can pull out the "call to Santa" threat, but it's not so great when he just wants to chit chat with Santa and I know that my dad isn't around to help me out.

When that happens I try to distract him with something else. His Christmas countdown chain is always a nice backup. Rob enjoys it too.



Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Black Friday

I mentioned below that I attended Black Friday festivities with my parents on Friday morning. Since my son cannot yet read, I will say that I had my eye on a McQueen bean bag chair from Walmart. I really did not anticipate this being a hot item. My mom did. As usual, Mother's are always right. On the way to Walmart at 4:45am we discussed our plan of attack. My mom wanted a Kitchen Aid mixer, I wanted the chair and a few less important items, and my dad wanted an Xbox. He was at a disadvantage though because he had to park the car. That, and the Xboxes were in the food aisle so once he got into the store and then finally found out where this item was, it was too late. Walmart had all the items under black cellophane wrapping that was suppose to be cut off by an associate at 5am (or torn off by savage customers, I'm sure you can guess what happened first). Meanwhile, all the customers were huddled around the bin that held their treasures. I stationed myself next to a box containing bean bag chairs. I scooted my way to the front and talked to the lady next to me. Unfortunately, she also wanted McQueen and I could only see one. She was there first and I wasn't about to battle her over it so I was going to give up and see if I could help the others on my team but then I spied another McQueen in the bottom of the barrel. 5am struck and it was everyone for themselves. Literally. It was insane. The manager got on the intercom a few times to remind people to behave. I got my McQueen and was happy. Approximately 2 seconds later my phone rang and it was my mom who not only got one of the twelve mixers available, but also got a McQueen. Amazing. I have so much to learn. I got quite a few jealous looks as I strolled out of there with two McQueens (I got one for Ellie in case she wants exactly what her brother wants).
After Walmart, we hit Target which wasn't nearly as crazy but we walked out of there with a handful of DVDs and a TV (my parents purchase, not mine), and then since Target is right next to Kohls.....why not? I picked up a large fleece throw at Kohl's to replace the fleece throw that Austin has now claimed as his own. However, after this morning I am wondering if I should have gotten two.





Monday, December 1, 2008

A Whirlwind of Activity

You would think with all the activity going on lately I would have oodles of posts for this blog. However, there is a direct correlation between the amount of chaos in my life and the lack of energy I have to update this blog. Here are some highlights of the last 10 days or so:

1) There was a fire drill at Playworks. I arrived to pick up the kids just as they were evacuating the building. It was 29 degrees and none of the kids had jackets, hats or anything that resembled winter gear. Austin was anxious to see me. He told me where Ellie was and then cried because he knew they put Riley in a crib to wheel her out, but wasn't sure which one (there were 3). I was just happy that my little guy was so concerned for his sisters. I was not happy that after a grueling workout I had to carry Ellie and Austin 4 blocks round trip as we walked to the safety zone. I don't think I could feel my arms for a week. Austin informed me he does not like "pretend fires". I agree.

2) Thanksgiving was at Kelly and Dan's house. It was masterfully planned and delicious to boot. Instead of falling asleep on the 40 minute drive home, Ellie watched movies with Austin the whole time and then decided to stay awake until approximately 11pm at which point Rob gave up and put her in her crib to cry for another half hour or so. This all might have had something to do with the handfuls of chocolate chips she consumed while decorating a turkey cookie.

3) I went to Walmart at 5am with my mom and dad to snag some deals. INSANE. We enjoyed the rush though so my dad also took us to Target and Kohls. He waited in the car.

4) We went to Iowa this past weekend for the Runchey family Christmas. I was shocked at how much bigger all the nieces and nephews were. They're all growing like weeds...of course, when you don't see them more than twice a year, that is expected! Austin and his slightly younger cousin, Owen, used to be arch enemies and so I was a bit nervous when they arrived, but never fear, they are now bosom buddies. All the cousins played really well together and now I'm a bit nervous for next year when they will all be able to plot against us. The adults are quickly becoming outnumbered.

5) Austin stood up for his sister again today. One of the neighbor boys was bothering Ellie and Austin just walked up to him and smacked him on the head. Of course, this landed him in time out because he can't just go around hitting people, but I'll admit a tiny part of me was proud of him.

6) We put up the Christmas tree tonight. I'll try to post about this tomorrow and include some pictures which are far more entertaining than me and all these words.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Mine!

"Mine!" has become a very popular word around our house. I'm pretty sure it will be Riley's first word at the rate her brother and sister use it. This morning I caught Ellie perfecting her attack. Her victim...that pesky little girl she was seeing in the oven glass. She would walk up to the oven with her prized pan, and then yank it back and yell (to her reflection) "MINE!" and walk away triumphant, only to turn back for another round. She did this for a good 15 minutes. That little girl in the oven didn't stand a chance.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

A little nugget of information

For the past week or so I have been trying to work on Austin's fine motor skills. We have been doing a lot of coloring, cutting, and building things. I'm not sure he's behind in any of these areas, but it's not something we do a lot of so, why not? Really, my main goal is to figure out if he is right or left handed. He doesn't favor one over the other. Most meals he grabs the spoon/fork with his right hand, but if the applesauce is on the left side of the plate, he'll switch the spoon to his left hand for easier access. When we finger painted, he used his right hand, but I had the plate of paint on his right side so again, I think it's just a matter of what's easiest. I can't figure it out. When we color, he puts a crayon in both hands. Ellie, ont he other hand, just puts the crayons in her mouth. More than just putting them in her mouth, she literally eats them. I was spending so much time trying to figure out Austin's hand preference that when I looked at Ellie, this is what I saw:


And that "nugget of information" in the title...well, it comes out the same color it goes in.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Top of the mornin' to you!

It's 7am. What are you doing? Just waking up? Maybe you're enjoying your second cup of coffee or getting in the car to make your way to the office. Not the Runcheys. No sirree, at 7am we think it is the perfect time to don our Halloween costumes and tickle the ivories (and update blogs).



At 9am we're scheduled to sing Christmas Carols and run around with 4th of July sparklers.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A pretty penny

Start saving now little girls, I am raising one fine son and it is going to cost a handsome dowry to take him away from me. He is fairly diligent about putting the seat down (though he might walk out of the bathroom completely naked), he says please and thank you, he wipes the tears off his best friend Mia's face when she is sad, and now....

Last night at about 7:45 pm, after what felt like 10 straight hours of playing cars with him, he said "Mommy, will you play cars with me? You can be these two." Knowing that no matter what I said I would be playing cars in 30 seconds I said "No, I think I am too exhausted to play cars right now." and I collapsed on a pillow. To my surprise he said "Oh, okay, let me just rub your back." And he did! He even told Rob to be quiet because he was busy rubbing my back. Granted it lasted all of 20 seconds, and just as I thought, I was playing cars with him within 30 seconds, but what a catch!

He's only going to get better. For the right price, and in 25 years, he's yours!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Passing the time...

We are trying to come up with fun things we can all do after dinner to pass the time. This fall-back time change has really thrown a wrench into our schedule. When we still had daylight past 5pm, we used to all go outside after dinner for a walk or just to play. Now we finish dinner and by the looks of it outside, we should be getting the kids in bed. Only, we still have 2-3 hours to go (but who's counting...) I think the first week we relied pretty heavily on the TV and both Rob and I came to the same conclusion that more TV wasn't the right answer. Last week I decided after dinner we'd finger paint. Well, Austin and Ellie would finger paint, I'd take care of Riley and Rob would administer the paints. It was a success! A messy success to be more specific.
We stripped the kids down before we started (more than likely we only had to strip Ellie as I'm sure Austin was already down to his skivvies). This was a key move. When all the painting was done Ellie was a disaster. Austin managed to keep the mess to his hands, but also managed to use the table as his "napkin" when he felt there was too much paint on his hands.
The next activity was baths.
Since then we've been retreating to the basement more often. I love that it's unfinished and they can do whatever they please. Which means Rob or I (whichever one isn't holding Riley) can pass the time relaxing instead of thinking about what a mess they are making.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Captain Underpants

We are raising an exhibitionist in this house. We're not sure what we have done to trigger it, but Austin has taken to running around naked. We don't encourage naked. So, at the very least I require underwear but prefer fully clothed.




It started a few weeks ago when Rob went to take him to the bathroom one last time before we called it a night and when he went to grab him Austin had taken off all his clothes in bed and was completely naked. Rob got him back in his PJs but when Austin woke up and crawled into bed with me I was a little shocked that he was completely naked again. This continued for a few nights. Now usually just a shirt and socks comes off.



During the day the story isn't much different. He tries to think of every excuse to take off his clothes. "Oops, looks like my shirt's wet...I better take it off!" This after a small drop of milk landed on it. Today Riley spit up while she was in my lap and I was playing cars with Austin. Although Riley has been known to get some distance with her spit ups, this particular time it pretty much all landed on herself and my leg. But seeing an opportunity, Austin said "Oh, I just got Riley puke on my pants, I better go take them off".



I think that as it continues to get colder my little nudist will prefer the warmth of a cozy sweatshirt. In the meantime, just ask him which way to the beach!





(That's him flexing)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Snow not ready for this!

I woke up feeling a little under the weather. I think whatever Ellie had was passed onto the rest of us to some degree. Today was my turn. I trudged down the stairs to start the day and then I saw the snow. Ugh. The kids spent the morning staring out the window.


I don't mind snow so much, but I was not mentally prepared for it. I was also not prepared for the 80 times that Austin asked "Can we go outside?". I was however prepared with what Ellie could wear!



It says "Love at First Snow". Nothing brightens a day better than the perfect outfit!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Get out the vote for...



As President I will require mandatory naptimes after lunch. I believe in reduced formula and diaper costs. I will work with health insurance to cover wigs, toupees, hair plugs, or your membership fee into the "hairclub for men/women". I'm bald, I know how hard that can be. I have nothing negative to say about my opposing candidates. I believe in running a positive campaign.


I'm Riley Runchey and I approve this message because I think it's time for a cuter president.


(Note: the photoshop expert is my sister, no doubt at 2am when most people are sleeping. She made this as one of Riley's birth announcements, which is why she looks so tiny)

Monday, November 3, 2008

Miserable Ellie

We've had a rough 48 hours in our house. Ellie woke up Sunday morning by throwing up. Yum. She seemed fine the rest of the day, as far as her stomach was concerned. She had completely red cheeks and was fairly whiny, but we just attributed it all to the 4 teeth she is getting (incisors, which are suppose to be the hardest to get). Shortly after going to bed, she threw up again. And again...and again. You get the point. She was up every 15 minutes dry heaving. Therefore, Rob and I were up every 15 minutes.
I have had no trouble keeping her on the couch in quarantine. In fact, she probably didn't move for the first 3 hours. Thank God for PBS Kids! I'll remember this next time they invade the TV with their telethons.
She did make her way off the couch eventually. But only to the nearest pillow.
That just plain exhausted her so I put her in bed and she napped for about 3 hours. She still isn't very interested in food. She has managed to keep down about 6 ounces of gatorade and 8 pretzels and maybe 5 raisins. It's a start. She's a handful when she's healthy, but I'd take the lively Ellie over this sad little lump any day!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Halloween - Part II

The Costumes
Buzz Lightyear and The Ladybug



Incidentally, Buzz Lightyear also comes with sound effects provided by Austin. He constantly yells "To Infinity and Deyond!" (yes, "deyond", not "beyond"). The Ladybug just giggles and screams in glee.
We hosted a small pizza party for a couple other families in the neighborhood that we routinely hang out with. We all have kids around the same age and they usually trick or treat together. I say that like it's a common occurrence. What I meant was, last year was the first time any of them trick or treated and it worked well to all go together. So, that was the plan. Of course, plans don't typically work with small kids so they started together:



After the first house it was every character for himself (or herself).

You can see Buzz eyeing his competition over his shoulder. If Thomas the Train would have gotten any closer, there might have been some laser action.

Pretty soon Austin was trick or treating by himself, having left the rest of the gang in the dust.

Ellie and Riley stayed back with me, the other two moms, and another baby. She was rewarded with Chrissy's (my neighbor and Ellie's favorite person) undivided attention and quite a few treats. So many that I'm not sure she'll even want to go with the rest of them next year knowing what she will get it she stays behind.

Riley tried her best to stay awake for the party but crashed around 7pm.
Dreaming up her costume for next year, no doubt.


Halloween - Part I (The Pumpkin)

We had a busy Halloween morning. The kids were allowed to wear their costumes at Playworks (that's a place affiliated with my gym where they go to play while I work out). Austin, who was Buzz Lightyear informed he was going to shoot the kids with his laser. Therefore, we spent the ride there discussing how to "pretend" to shoot kids with his laser, but that if they don't want to play that game, he needs to leave them alone. I'm not sure any of the conversation registered with him because he was too busy perfecting his laser sound effects. Ellie was a Ladybug and personified the sweetness of such a dainty critter. But, she wasn't fooling me. I knew my feisty little girl was in there somewhere. When I went to pick them up I was proven correct. Austin played well and was no longer Buzz, but a dog (dressed like Buzz) and Ellie was still dressed as a Ladybug but only because she swatted away the teachers and ran from them when they tried to take off her costume (which was extremely hot). Riley was a pumpkin for approximately 3 minutes but spit up all over her shirt.
When we got home, it was time to turn our pumpkin into a jack-o-lantern! Austin and I have been discussing what kind of face we were going to make on it for about a week. He thought that triangles would make the best eyes and that it definitely should have teeth. But, when it came time to prepping the pumpkin he was immediately turned off by the smell.


Therefore, the pumpkin carving was then completely my job. Austin, finding me distracted by the pumpkin, took it upon himself to eat almost a whole bag of animal crackers.



Ellie showed a lot of interest and might have been some help but since sharp objects and toddlers don't mix, she just sat on my lap. She had a good time pretending to carve it once it was finished.



Stay tuned for Part II - Costumes

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Catching up with Great Grandma

Today we all headed out to visit with my Grandma. She lives in Minnetonka, but attends an adult daycare in Eden Prairie. It shortens the drive a bit to only have to drive to Eden Prairie to see her. There are other benefits to visiting her there too. It has plenty of space for the kids to run around. It is in a church basement which also houses the Sunday School so there are several toys. But, what I think is the best part is that it is win-win for everyone. The kids really enjoy having so many adults paying attention to them and the adults seem to enjoy the distraction of the kids...for awhile anyway. I bet if my kids were there all day they might change their tune a bit. Or adjust their hearing aids to at least drown out the noise.


Austin wasted no time entertaining his audience. He was non-stop story telling. One of the older ladies there said "Wow! Who put a nickel in him?" I believe Austin replied "I don't have a nickel in me. I have blue Starbursts in me. They are in my tummy." Ellie was a little hesitant but she warmed up quickly. Once the balls were brought out to play with, well, then everyone was her best friend, particularly one older gentleman. It was fun and definitely something we'll have to do more often!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Behind the scenes

I'm giving you a tour of a part of our home that is usually kept behind closed doors. Our laundry room. Why? Because it has just become home to some new custom built cabinets. I met with the cabinet maker over 6 months ago to discuss the plans. It was simple, I needed more storage space and a place to hang clothes. We had a small wire shelf in there, but it was ugly and not placed at a convenient height for hanging clothes up. Some initial plans were drawn up and approved and then the cabinet maker (a.k.a., Rob) got busy. Unfortunately, life has been a bit hectic in our house and what should have taken about a month, was extended into 6 months because "shop time" was a little restricted due to crying babies.

Here is the before picture:

And here is the after:

They are exactly what I wanted save for one minor detail.

Some measurements were not taken and one of the doors does not open completely because it hits the light. Rob tried to claim it was because I wanted them hung higher than he thought. However, I have taken some of my own measurements and had he placed them low enough to miss the light, I would not be able to open my top loading washer completely. No worries, the cabinets will most likely house extra blankets and items we don't need access to very often. Plus, we can always buy a smaller light. Like I said, it's not part of the normal house tour anyway so we don't need good lighting.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

A New Record

Just last night Rob and I were witness to an astounding feat! Our very own, Austin Runchey, shattered the local tub individual medley swimming record. Swimming from one end to the other in...well...he pretty much stretches the length of the tub, so although our official clock wasn't working, we're pretty sure it was in less than a second.


When approached for a comment all we received was "It's my new goggles. I can see Nemo."

His only competition that night was disqualified for eating bubbles and standing up.





The crowd went wild.



Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fall Preview

Today was packing day for my parents house. Well, actually, they have been packing up their house for a few weeks, but today was the day to load everything into the PODS for storage. The house was in a bit of disarray but that provided more places for the kids to play. Jake and Austin didn't waste anytime making themselves comfortable on a pile of cushions at the bottom of the stairs. They sat here for close to an hour first playing with cars, and when that exhausted them Jake read Austin books.



Eventually the cushions had to be packed so the kids took to the outside. While much of our area has just started to change colors this past week, my parents trees got a head start and have already dumped 2 inches of leaves on the ground. Another 2 inches is in the forecast by the end of next week. The kids (and the rest of us) found the leaves enticing. A pile of leaves is tempting for kids everywhere, but it's something many adults are still drawn to as well...at least in my family. Having packed all the rakes...probably in here someplace:

My mom used a broom to help the leaf pile along.

Approximately 2 seconds after my mom deemed the pile large enough, Austin, Jake, and Maddie jumped in. Actually, Austin couldn't help himself, and he jumped in approximately 2 seconds before my mom deemed the pile large enough. He must take after me because I was pretty quick to join in the fun myself (as were Kerry and my mom).
Ellie showed up a little late for the innaugural jump, but she loved being outside and trudging through the leaves, which were up to her knees.
I thought all the fresh air would knock her out come naptime. Quite the opposite happened. She only slept for about an hour and fifteen minutes. She was too excited to sleep now that she has had a preview of Fall.