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 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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Dance Party Gone Bad

The kids and I have a little thing we do most days. After lunch, we boogie until bedtime (naptime). I started it long ago when Austin was a baby and I would rock him to sleep by sashaying around the kitchen to whatever was on the radio. Then when Ellie came along, I did the same for her, but Austin joined in and we took turns spinning around. Now with three of them the dance parties are a bit out of control. I still take turns spinning all of them around, but the obstacles on the ground (namely Austin, Ellie, or Riley) have made it more difficult and it takes a lot more concentration than it used to. Yesterday the music on the radio was just too good. One great song after another so the dance party commenced before lunch. Specifically, while I was making lunch (mac and cheese). Lesson learned. I don't have the ability to concentrate on both dancing, dodging, and boiling water. The water boiled over onto the cooktop at least 3 times. It didn't affect the mac and cheese (or our dancing) at all, but it did leave a terrible mess. A mess that was burned onto the glass cooktop. But, it wasn't anything that couldn't be take care of with a little elbow grease....

And a mouse sander.

Yes, that was Rob's solution to my mess. A loud solution at 9pm, but it worked great and no one woke up so I can't make fun of him too much. There's nothing my dance crew likes better than a clean kitchen!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008


I know I just recently posted about Riley and her smiles, but 1) she doesn't get a lot written about her because she just doesn't do much these days and 2) they are just so cute (in my completely biased opinion) so, for your viewing pleasure, here are some more pictures of Riley smiling. It's getting easier and easier to come by them.

And so as not to favor one child over are the other two goofballs in the house. Austin is showing you his biggest smile ever. You can actually see his hands shaking because he is smiling so hard. And Ellie, well, Ellie is hard to get a clear shot of these days because she is always moving.
These two clowns give Riley plenty to smile about.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Peace. And. Quiet.

Rob and I were spoiled with another night free of kids. This time courtesy of my parents. Rob and I looked forward to it all week and each night when the kids were asleep we would bring up the question "What should we do on Saturday?". If you had a rare kid free night (assuming you have kids), what would you do? We tossed around a few ideas of where we could go and what we would eat. We found out what movies were playing...basically we thought of all our options. Do you know what we did? We ordered a pizza, got some treats, rented a DVD (Sex in the City...good) and sat in front of our TV and ate dinner! There was no whining about eating the dinner, or the routine potty break for Austin mid-meal. No begging for pop, or throwing food on the floor. Rob and I both ate at the same time, as opposed to someone holding Riley while the other one eats. We reminisced about the days, only 3 short years ago, when this was a routine night for us. Now it's a treat. A treat we thoroughly enjoyed.

Of course, hearing the cheers of "Mommy!" when I went to pick them up in the morning (Rob wasn't with, otherwise I'm sure he would have received cheers too) was also a treat. A loud one...but a treat nonetheless.

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pool School

We all headed outside the other day to get some fresh air. While the kids and I were playing on the swingset a neighbor girl came over to see if I would sponsor her for her read-a-thon. After we completed our business, she stayed awhile to play with us. She's in first grade. She asked if I was home every single day. I told her I was and Ausitn added "Yeah, so you can come to my house to play again tomorrow!" I explained that she is in school everyday, just like his cousins Maddie, Jake, and Taylor. Austin pondered this for a bit. Then he said "I am in swimming's called......Pool School"!

His first session of swimming lessons ended on Wednesday. He made some nice improvements over the 6 lessons, not only in swimming, but in listening, which I was the most proud of.
Yesterday he had his first lesson at his new "pool school". I was not impressed at all and I am hoping to get my money back to re-enroll him in his old school. The ratio of students to teacher is higher but the teaching was much better! Watch out Michael Phelps, Austin is on his way to shattering your records even with his noodle!

Friday, October 3, 2008

A Lazy Morning

Ellie had her 15 month checkup on Wednesday. Along with the usual poking and prodding, she received 3 shots. Whenever she (or any of the kids) gets shots they end up with a fever for a day or two. Ellie spent the better part of the morning on Thursday laying on the couch watching cartoons. She was fine all day and when it came time for bedtime, she just wanted to lay on the couch again. This morning was a repeat performance. I am beginning to wonder if she is still sick or if she is just realizing how great it is to just have a lazy morning.

Austin decided Ellie might have the right idea and took it upon himself to make things a bit more comfortable for him and Riley. I'm not sure how comfortable Riley was under the blanket.
Judging by her crying I would guess she wasn't a fan. She better get used to it though. Austin has a habit of throwing blankets over his sisters and pretending they are ghosts. He's anything but lazy these much to learn.