Friday, March 27, 2009

A GREAT visit

Yesterday the kids and I went to visit Great Grandma Smith. We hadn't been in there in a couple months and as fast as Riley is growing, we thought we better get out for a visit. Grandma visits an adult daycare during the day which is actually pretty convienant for us. It's in a church basement in Eden Prairie and makes for a quick drive for us. It also happens to be where the church handles their Sunday School and Nursery so there are plenty of toys. But, the toys aren't necessary because mostly my kids just love to run around the big open space. That is, of course, after they (Austin) have talked off everyone's ear that will listen. Yesterdays stories mostly involved the zoo animals we saw a month ago.
Riley sat with Great Grandma for quite awhile. Everyone had a good time and Austin invited Great-Grandma to "Visit us next week at our house. Just drive past the rollercoasters that go upside down." (We pass Valleyfair on the way).


Thursday, March 26, 2009

Tongue Twister


We suspect Riley is getting her top two teeth. She is still in decent spirits (even though she thinks a 4am feeding is a good idea again), but it's almost impossible to catch her during the day without her tongue sticking out. She is constantly rubbing it along her gums.
Even her tongue is cute!



Monday, March 23, 2009

Kids say the most incriminating things

I'm sorry for the lack of posts lately. Our computer has turned into the slowest machine on Earth and by the time I get it up and running, my 5 minutes to post an entry is long gone. However, our kids are mysteriously sleeping later the last few days. Not Austin, but Ellie and Riley are still both sleeping and it's 7:30. That is 2 hours late for Ellie. Odd.

Anyway, my story.

I have had a few conversations with Austin over the last few months. The first was the "Hey!" conversation. Austin used to start every sentence with "Hey!" and it was getting old. "Hey mom, hey mom, hey mom..."; you get the point. I explained to him that it was rude to address someone as "Hey" and that if he wanted to talk to someone, and they weren't already paying attention to him, then he should say "Excuse me..." Well, it caught on far better than I would have ever guessed and he uses "excuse me" constantly.

The second conversation we started having is the stranger talk. I first explained what strangers are and then moved on to what he should do in different scenarios. All of the answers being "Run!" But, Austin always answers "I will scream and run..." and just as I'm patting myself on the back he says "...and then I will shoot him" (and accompanies that with spider-man hands shooting webs). Now when we are in Target Austin points out everyone he sees and asks me if they are strangers. Makes for a fun trip.

The last thing we are doing is a race to get dressed. It's my way of getting things moving at a faster pace in the morning. After he picks out his clothes, and I have picked out Ellie's clothes, we race to see who can get dressed first. It's Austin vs. Ellie (with moms help). I put Ellie's clothes on at a snails pace so that Austin wins. But it occurred to me that maybe I'm just teaching him to expect to always win? So, a couple days ago Ellie and I were victorious. The result was not pretty, as I expected.

So, how do these three tie into a story? Here it is.
We were shopping at Target and when it came time to checkout Austin found it imperative to strike up a conversation with the cashier (not unusual at all). He said "Excuse me, Stranger. This morning, my mom BEAT me!"

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day

As we enter week 8 of the sickness that won't leave us alone, I am officially declaring my family "Most Green" in honor of today. Better luck next year, as this is a title I would not like to repeat.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Sun Dogs

Nothing is new in our house so that gives me free reign on the blog. Time for me to use some of these useless facts floating around in my head.
In college, towards the end of my stay, I had credits to burn. One might find taking extra classes in your chosen field a wise option. I didn't. I chose to take classes that just sounded interesting or fun. Sign language was one of those classes. I probably drove Rob nuts signing things to him he didn't understand, but it was fun. Another class was Elements of Weather. What I thought was going to be a "fun" class actually turned into a rather difficult class. (I later learned I chose the wrong professor). I never did perfect the art of predicting the weather (who has?) but I did pick up a few useless nuggets of information along the way. One of those facts blinded me this morning as I looked out the window. Sun dogs.



I'm sure if you google "sun dog" you'll be rewarded with all sorts of interesting information. But, assuming you aren't all that interested, here's the quick facts I remember. Sun Dogs are most often seen as the sun rises or sets because once the sun reaches a certain height (60 degrees from horizon), they are no longer visible. The sun dogs are always the same level as the sun. They are an optical illusion that occurs because there are hexagonal ice crystals between you and the sun. As the sunlight stretches towards you, it bounces off the ice crystals and refracts back into the sky. They refraction seperates into different wavelengths which seperates the colors of the lights creating mini rainbows.

I can regurgitate all that, but I cannot tell you what the temperature will be tomorrow.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Reunited at last!

Yesterday the kids and I headed outside. Winter has gotten the best of us this year and we have hardly stepped foot outside, except to quickly get in the car. With another round of sickness threatening the house (Ellie got sick on Friday twice) we needed to get outside for some fresh air! We left Riley and Rob inside to watch basketball and then Ellie, Austin and I went out to tromp through the remaining snow.

We brought the fun to the backyard where Austin continued to "clean up the snow" and Ellie worked on her climbing and sliding skills.



It was then that something caught my eye. Something blue. Could it be? Why, I believe that looks like The King! I quickly ran over to the object and was happier than any 31 year old female should be to find a toy car. But, let me backtrack a little bit in this story.

Anyone who knows Austin knows that there are very few places he goes without at least one car in tow. If he had his way, he would take his three cars (Lightning McQueen, Chick Hicks, and The King) everywhere we go, but I had to start limiting it to one car when our trips to libraries or anywhere else would get extended by 15 minutes or more while we searched for the missing cars that were put down while he searched for a book. Austin "the negotiator" decided that it would be fair if he could take all three with him into the van, and then only one car into the stores.

Well, much to our dismay, Austin lost both the King and Chick Hicks this fall. I can't begin to explain how many hours I have spent searching for these two cars. Thinking back, it would have been much easier to just fork over another $8 and replace them, but it was the principle of it all. They HAD to be in our house someplace. Yesterday the mystery was solved as, after 5 months, I found both The King and Chick Hicks suffering through a Minnesota winter underneath the swingset. No doubt they were launched off the swingset before the first snowfall and were buried under the snow before being discovered missing.


But, alas, they are now safe (though a little worse for wear) and have not left Austin's side since their discovery.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No Reason



Other than I just think this is a cute picture of Riley. Almost 7 months old now and she has really been pushing herself up a lot and has little short spurts of trying to crawl. Most of which propel her backwards about an inch. When all else fails, she turns to rolling, just like her older sister.






Speaking of older sister, that's Ellie going in for a kiss. But, she only succeeded in head butting Riley every time so I put a stop to it.



Wednesday, March 4, 2009

To California and Back

I owe a big thank you to Rob and the Grandparents! I just got back from a great trip to California. It's my third year of traveling to CA with some good friends from high school. The main point is to go skiing, but there are always other fun adventures involved. This year there were only two of us that went skiing. We went to both Northstar and Donner Ski Ranch. The first place was beautiful and definitely a place I'd like to return. The second place was much smaller, still pretty, but mostly just a cheap place we went for a few hours. Both days the weather was spectacular and the reason we had to stop skiing. It was so warm on the mountain that the snow started to melt making it difficult to get down the hill (our skis would just stop and we would keep going).



After the other two friends joined us, we went to a local bar. It was a hole in the wall but a fun hole in the wall. Somehow Mary and I ended up starting a band with one or two of the locals. We managed to play Brown Eyed Girl, but otherwise, it was a bit of a mess.





Thanks so much to Rob and all the Grandparents for coming and helping out with the kids throughout the weekend. From the stories Austin has told me, they all had a lot of fun without me!