Thursday, June 26, 2008

I am Speed

We found a fun surprise in one of our drawers the other day. Austin's Great-Grandma had given him a gift certificate to Target last year for his birthday and somehow it got lost in the shuffle of one of the kitchen drawers. Actually, if I showed you a picture of the drawer you wouldn't be surprised, but I'll save myself that embarrassment. Anyway, a shopping we did go! After much deliberation Austin settled on a walking Dinosaur Raptor and a Moon Sand set. The dinosaur was a big hit....for the 24 hours it worked. Then it became extinct. We took it back to Target to get a new one. However, next to the dinosaur was a Lightning McQueen toy. The dinosaur quickly took 2nd place to Lightning McQueen. Austin lives and breathes Lightning McQueen right now. Frankly, I don't know how we avoided bringing home all McQueen stuff during our first trip. We made up for it this trip. After picking up the car, we passed a ball cap that was McQueen. We've been looking for a hat for him to wear in the summer since his hair is still kind of thin and I don't want his scalp to burn. I tried this one on him and also grabbed a Twins hat just like Dads. I took him to a mirror so he could see what he looked like and he LOVED it. So much so, I could not get the Twins hat on him to even compete. In addition, the cashier had to scan it while it was on his head. It didn't actually come off his head (tag and all) until 8:30pm last night when he went to bed. Rest assured, it is back on this morning. When I put it on his head at the store and he saw himself in the mirror he said "Speed. I am speed".

We're heading to the zoo today and Lightning McQueen will be easy to keep track of in his hat, even if he is fast.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

She's trying

After bathtime last night Ellie and I worked on her standing and walking. She took four big steps for me and looked like a pro. I ran down to get the video camera so we could keep trying and in case she was successful then Rob wouldn't miss it. But, once the video camera was on, Ellie was not interested. Here's her attempts anyway:

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Hot Fun in the Summertime!

It's the first full day of summer and Ellie was just dying to try on her new swimsuit. The boys headed to Iowa this weekend so it was just us girls and some fun in the sun was just what we needed. The thermometer was nearing 80 and I figured we'd hit the pool. Two nice in ground pools in my family and both owners didn't answer their phone! Where's the love? We have a kiddie pool but it's up in the garage rafters right now. I thought about trying to get it down but then I thought of the headlines: "7 Month Pregnant woman falls from ladder while 1 yr old daughter is inside house by herself (in a very cute swimsuit)". So, we improvised.

Ellie enjoyed it and I could fit one foot in at a time so that was refreshing for me. I might re-evaluate the process of getting down the kiddie pool over nap time, or I might just keep calling my sister and mom and dad in hopes of someone answering the phone. Either way, now that summer is officially here, our little pool is coming out of storage (though most likely when Rob and Austin get back).

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm declaring a winner


I have decided that crawling has "won" because she can do it. I've seen her. It isn't her preferred method of getting around by any means, but she can do it. Sometimes it's a mixture of regular crawling, a butt scoot, or the knee/foot combo, but she can definitely do it.

However, if Ellie isn't rushed for time, I think she would much rather use every wall and other solid structure to get where she's going. Also, she has recently started to show off her standing talents. Twenty-six seconds of standing with out holding onto anything is her record this morning. Then she falls to her butt (or to me) and sits down and claps and says "Yeah!" It's pretty cute. I'll see if I can get some video up sometime.

But, for the time being, the poll is closed and all those that voted "crawling" can give yourselves a pat on the back.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


"Toddler falls out of window!"

It happened today at our house...only, it was the ground floor window. We have always been very careful to not have open windows that are off the ground if we aren't around. Well, the thought never occurred to me that Austin might fall out of a ground floor window. We constantly tell him not to push on the screens just because it's not a good habit to get into. Sure enough, today he was leaning on the screen to get a better look at his friend Mia playing in her yard next door. He yelled "Hi Mia!" and then crash. Down he went, screen and all. The screen itself is fine, but the metal frame around it snapped off in two places. Austin is fine, by the way. I'm sure I wouldn't be posting if he weren't. Just a little scared and a small scrape on his elbow that I'm sure he will milk for weeks to come.

So, Rob, if you're reading this from work, we have another home improvement project to add to our list!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Wrestlemania 5...6...28?

I've lost count. Lately my days have been consumed with breaking up fights between Ellie and Austin. For any future babysitters reading is not safe to leave them alone for longer than one minute (and sometimes that isn't a good idea either).

One of Austin's favorite past times is wrestling with Rob. It's a daily occurrence. They used to do moves like "the claw", "the figure four leg lock" and "bionic elbows"...but lately Austin has requested: "No, I don't like the claw, I want the huggers and kissers" (could be due to a slight influence of my own wrestling moves). But, inevitably a "claw" or a flying leap off the top rope (couch) makes its way into the arena each night and each morning I am left to explain that wrestling with Dad is fun, but only with Dad. Mom and Ellie DO NOT wrestle. Every day I end up telling Austin 15 or 16 times that he cannot tackle his sister. So, obviously the lesson is not being learned. This leaves me protecting Ellie, and sometimes myself, 90% of the day and doing other things (like updating this blog) the other 10%.

Not that Ellie can't hold her own. She is a fairly tough little girl. Though, I think she might be more of a verbal fighter. Today at lunch she deliberately threw some food on the floor (she has a pretty good arm I might add) and Austin, knowing my usual reaction, beat me to the punch and said "No no Ellie, you don't do that!" Ellie immediately looked at Austin and smiled. He said "No Ellie, that is not funny!" to which Ellie raised her hand and said "Don't tell me what I can and cannot do mister." Although it probably wasn't that clear to the untrained ear, the attitude that accompanied the hand and babble was undeniable.

Thankfully, Austin has a distinct battle cry he squeals right before his attacks. It's rather high pitched and full of pent up energy. If you hear it, grab Ellie and head for safer ground. Then I suggest taking the whole crew outside and having Austin run laps. If he's tired the next show time for Wrestlemania usually doesn't happen until Rob gets home again.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

A day of firsts

Yesterday was a big day at our house. Ellie's First Birthday! Hard to believe she is already one year old. I think she knew it was her day too. I know that sounds crazy, but everytime I gushed to her about it being her birthday she got a giddy smile on her faced and giggled (much like me on my birthday). We had everyone over to our house for a barbecue and badminton. The weather was threatening in the morning but cleared up nice for the BBQ. It also managed to get incredibly hot out.

In preparation for the big party, I had my first attempt at making homemade frosting. I made cupcakes from a mix, but Rob suggested I make frosting on my own. It was tasty, but I'm not sure my search for the perfect frosting is going to end on the first recipe. Austin helped me. He helped me buy "trying" (over and over again) the powdered sugar that spilled on the counter. And each time he said "Can I try this?" as if it would taste different than the lick he had 3 seconds ago. He also had his first lick of the mixer blades (or whatever they're called). He enjoyed these quite a bit!

Then it was on to Ellie's first birthday party. She took a nice long nap right before everyone arrived so she was ready to go. She enjoyed the presents, but like most one year olds, she enjoyed the paper the most. All of the cousins helped her open them, and promptly investigated each one for her. After presents, it was onto her first cupcake. This didn't take long at all!

In all the commotion of the day, our attempts at naps were late. Ellie got about an hour and Austin just missed it completely. He watched the Little Mermaid instead in our bed so he was at least resting. Today his lack of nap really showed. Rob went fishing this morning and being that we all have colds I was a little bummed about taking care of both of the kids while also being sick, but Austin was so wiped out all day it wasn't a big deal. He spent a good hour this morning in the living room (where there are absolutely no toys) laying on the floor, pretending to sleep. But, I think he may have actually dozed off a few times for real. The rest of the day he lounged around in the same fashion. Despite Ellie's best efforts to get him to play, for the first time in a long time, he ignored her.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Ellie's on the Move!

She still doesn't crawl, but she is similar to Spiderman in the way she can navigate through the house using walls, furniture, and anything else that is standing still long enough (legs, vacuum cleaner, etc). However, within the last two nights she has teased us quite a bit with a type of crawl step or two. It's hard to explain but reminds me of Igor...only crawling. She will move her right knee forward like a normal crawling baby, but then brings the left leg forward and uses her foot for propulsion. She only moves those two legs once each and then sits up again. It's quite awkward. Rob and I had given up the notion that she might actually crawl. The way she cruises around the house we thought she'd go straight to walking. And rolling, well, that's so last week. So, there is a new poll on the side. Cast your vote!

Happy Birthday Rob!

Thirty one years old (young)! We celebrated Rob's birthday on Sunday. He slept in, had his favorite breakfast, had a massage, painted Ellie's room (not part of the agenda I had planned but something he wanted to get done), enjoyed some beautiful weather and had his favorite dinner of Pepperoni pizza, Mt. Dew, and Twerpz. All while enjoying family movie night. It was a nice day. He also had his eye on a cake from Sam's Club which we tried.

Austin sang Happy Birthday and helped Rob blow out the candles. Ellie got dangerously close to the flames. Both kids had several tastes of the frosting before we sliced it. Both approved.

Happy Birthday Rob!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Let's go to the thzoo Jerry!

That's just what we did yesterday! The title is a quote from Jerry McGuire in case you were curious. Anyway, yesterday morning we packed up and headed to the Minnesota Zoo (courtesy of the Museum Adventure Pass again...and my dad for getting it!). We had gorgeous weather which only added to the fun. We started off the fun with a dolphin show. The show started at 10am and seating opened at 9:30. This show just recently re-opened because Semu (the only male dolphin) was getting a bit too frisky with the other 3 female dolphins during the shows. So, I thought maybe it would be busy due to the re-opening. So, we got seats right at 9:30. In case there are any future zoo goers reading this...that wasn't necessary. We could have walked in at 10am sharp and gotten great seats. Austin was a little hard to entertain for the half hour but..lesson learned.

Ellie had a great time just being pushed around outside. I'm not sure she was that interested in the animals, but she enjoyed saying "hi" to random people and eating her craisins and animal crackers.

Austin was a big fan of the Tigers and this is him at Tiger Base Camp. He's logging in his coordinates for his next expedition.

The best (funniest) part for Rob and I came near the end. We were walking through the Minnesota Trail and there were two staff members crouched down examining a woodpecker (from outside the cage) that was possibly injured. There was about 2 feet of space between the two ladies. As they intently discussed the birds' well-being Austin walked right up to them, crouched down between them, looked at one, looked at the other and said 'What are we doing here guys?" and waited patiently for their response. Hearing nothing he tried again "Hi, my name's Chris [as in Chris and Martin from his favorite animal show] and this (pointing at me) is Happy Buffalo." Again, the ladies just kind of looked him oddly. I guess they choose to work at a zoo rather than a childcare facility for a reason (though I bet sometimes they are both zoos).