Sunday, May 31, 2009

Bring on the holes!

Today our fence installation began. Well, I guess that's not entirely true because Rob spray painted the lawn Friday with where the posts would go. But, today we actually broke ground. And, I even feel like I can say "we" because I did help a bit. I mean, my main job was watching 5 kids and keeping them from falling in holes, but when they went to sleep I picked up a shovel to dig in...literally. I have no photo evidence of this. But I did take some pictures while we were playing.

We started early with donuts. Then we all played inside. Jake showed us his "one man band" skills by playing every instrument we have simultaneously. Impressive.

Maddie helped a great deal entertaining the smaller kids. I don't have a picture of that in particular, but I thought this was just a very nice picture of Maddie today. She's so pretty (in my biased Godmother opinion).

Once we exhausted our inside ideas, we took the fun outside. Riley brought her drumstick with her.

However, they were digging holes right next to the swingset so I packed everyone up (drumstick included) and we headed to a nearby park. Not a bad gig actually. Maddie pushed the stroller a lot of the way for me and Jake and Austin were content to run ahead a bit. It was a pretty leisurely stroll for me!

After the park it was back to the deck for juice boxes and forts. Then to bring it full circle we went back inside to the nice cool basement. My kids had a blast! They LOVE playing with their cousins!

Time to stop writing now because after a full day of diggin' holes, it's time to go jump in the Murphy's pool. The best hole ever.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Back From Vegas

We are back. And 70 degrees feels cold. When the weather is a perfect 95 and sunny every day, it's hard to come back to the inconsistency of Minnesota. We had a fabulous time though so no complaints.

We were able to meet up with my friend Mary the first night. She took us to a swanky club at the Palms. We walked right in, in rock star style, passing everyone else in line and skipping the cover charge ($30 each). Not bad. The bar was very cool. It was both indoor and outdoor, and part of the balcony floor was glass so the 55 story drop was visible. The views were great.

Whoever was in charge of our camera for a photo of the three of us, was not.

Rob and I spent the majority of our time there relaxing by the pool. Or at least we tried. Rob was very successful and I learned that I am no longer able to bask in the sun for hours on end. After about 45 minutes I would get very restless and bored. I was able to add some time each day and by the end of our trip I could be kept content for about two hours.

We are addicted to craps. It's our new favorite game there. Mystic Lake, the casino down the road from our house, does not have craps. I think that is probably a good thing.

I went out with Mary on Tuesday night (Rob stayed back), and she showed me Freemont street. This was our fourth trip to Vegas and my first trip to Freemont. I have to say, I liked it. It was more low key but still very "Vegas-y". Everything was cheaper too (which is right up my alley). I'll have to take Rob there to check it out next time.

It was just long enough of a trip for us to thoroughly enjoy our time away and start to miss the kids. Thanks so much to all the grandparents for splitting the babysitting duties. It's nice to get away and not have to worry about the kids because you know they are in great hands! We might have come back to double the amount of toys we left them with, but I know the kids had a blast! (and we're having a garage sale in a couple weeks so we can clear out some old toys to make room for the new ones....and make some money to support my new craps addiction).

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

American Idol Season 30

I figure by then Austin will have perfected his act and be ready to try out. This is what he recorded yesterday. I was getting everyone dressed for the day and as I tackled (not literally) the girls, I thought Austin might like to watch himself on the webcam of this computer. He is really into singing lately. He prefers soundtracks from his favorites (Lion King and Jungle Book). Feel free to turn off the video long before the almost 3 minutes is up. Spoiler alert, but the second half is pretty much the same as the first half. I just haven't taken the time to figure out how to edit it yet.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Hurray for bubbles!

Rob left yesterday for his brother's graduation (Congratulations Jon!). I'm not sure why weekend days are so much harder for me to get through on my own than weekday days. Nonetheless, they are. I've been trying to keep us busy so as not to go crazy. After nap time yesterday we played outside, we went for a walk, we rented a movie, and made a fort. Today we got donuts, talked to the donut lady for 15 minutes about our giraffe (okay, he probably only talked for 5 minutes), returned said movie, went to Lowe's to look at the flowers and then Austin had a great idea (Thank God! ). He suggested we blow bubbles!

I sent the kids to the deck and prepared all our bubble paraphernalia. There is a lot of it. After watching Austin and Ellie fight over the bubble gun, I see more in our future.

Riley was not sure what to think about all this craziness. She has had a fever for the last day or two so she hasn't been in the best spirits and the bubbles popping on her face were not helping her attitude.
She came around to it.
They probably would have sat out there for an hour or more, but the fun had to end because we ran out of bubbles. I tried a couple times to make our own "sauce" but dish soap and water didn't work as well. I forsee another store outing tonight. More bubbles and an excuse to get out of the house! We might even end up going right around dinner time. I wouldn't want the kids to starve because they have to wait for me to cook something when we get back, so I also see a trip to McDonalds in our future. Only their best interests in mind.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Our new technology addition

The kids and I zipped into Best Buy yesterday post gym/pre lunch (and more importantly pre-nap). I told the first person I saw that I knew exactly what I wanted and would like to grab it and go. He was very helpful. I told the second person my name, Austin's name, Austin's age, and finally that I just wanted to get the computer and get out of there. I told the third person which computer I wanted, same with the fourth person. Finally, the fifth person was able to deliver the computer to me. Though not without first telling me that they didn't have one. They had an "optimized" computer. Meaning that Geek Squad had started it up, checked it out, gotten rid of all the free trial software and what not, and tweaked some things to make it run faster. At least that is what I was told. It was an extra $70 or something. I suggested that they sell me that computer for the original price. Salesmen #5 wasn't sure if he could do that so I then suggested he consult with someone who did. Long story short, my pleasant demeanor and possibly the chaos my three children were creating got us a good deal on the computer. I figured they really wanted us out of the store because I wasn't even offered any sort of Warranty add-on that Best Buy is notorious for trying to sell you with everything you buy.

Here it is. I'll be spending the next couple naptimes trying to get everything installed on this thing.

I will be back to posting about the lovely children we have soon!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


The hard drive that is. Mike did his diagnostics on our computer and from what I could decipher from his speech our hard drive is done-zo but is still spinning (which I took as a glimmer of hope). He wasn't able to retrieve anything off of it though. He thought maybe Geek Squad or another specialist could but he had already called them to price it out and they range from $100-$1600! Yikes. At first I wasn't going to pursue the information because I thought I had backed up a good majority of the pictures. I have since checked that out though, and I have everything from ownership of digital camera (2004?) to May of 2008. So, basically Riley does not exist in the digital world. I'm not okay with that. I don't want to have a conversation in 20 years that explains to her how our computer broke and she was not worth the money to get her pictures. In addition, I remembered I had some videos of various "firsts" of the kids on there and I'd like those too. Cross your fingers that some techie out there can work a miracle on my hard drive.

In the meantime, it's time to computer shop. Again, Mike gave me some basic suggestions of what I should look for (I'm open to specific "get this computer" suggestions though). Normally I would love this kind of hunt to find the best computer at the cheapest price. For some reason I'm just not feeling it. The kids are doing their best to destroy me this week. Austin and Ellie fight NONSTOP! Never before have I uttered so many phrases I remember my mom saying to me. "Keep your hands to yourself!" (which just makes Austin look at his hands and me confusingly...who else would take them?) "If you can't say anything nice, don't talk!" (Which doesn't do anything at all because they are too busy screaming at each other notice me). It's hard to determine who starts these fights because the instigator is sneaky. My money is on Ellie most of the time though. But, Austin is quick to follow up with an overly dramatic and completely "fake tear" filled tattle to me. Then there is Riley who has just decided that being a happy, content child is no fun after all and has gone back to mostly crabby. At first we suspected teeth but I did a fairly thorough exam of her mouth yesterday (in desperation) and there isn't a hint of teeth coming. No swollen gums, no redness whatsoever....ugh. Pair all this with last night that went a bit like this:
12:30am Austin starts crying
2:15am Austin starts crying
3:30am Austin starts crying
4am Riley wakes up to eat (she has started this again lately which we thought was teeth)
4:30am Ellie wakes up (this is random...she just picked the right night to jump in)

I'm working on about 2 hours of sleep and 3 cups of coffee (so far). It's not just the computer that is dead.

Update: I feel I should add a disclaimer to the Grandparents that are all coming to watch our little angels while we are in Vegas next week. I'm positive they will be perfect children who do everything you ask, without any fighting. No worries - Pretty please still show up at our house and ignore all the negative images I have supplied.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

A mean streak

Austin, on a regular basis, freaks out about something obscure. He has cried for 30 minutes straight because Ellie ate a piece of paper the size of my pinky fingernail. He has never gotten viscious about it though. This morning our conversation went like this:

(Austin at the window)
A: Mom! That bird is eating our seeds!!! (I think he's referring to the little dirt things in our yard after Rob aerated the lawn)

M: (distracted by Riley) Mmmm, yummy. Those lucky birds

A: Mom, make them stop, I don't want them to eat the seeds!

M: Austin, they are birds, they need to eat something, it's no big deal

A: Mom I want you to go out there and say "Stop it birdies! Stop it right now!"

M: Austin, they are birds. It's okay, we have plenty of seeds

A: No Mom, you need to go out there. Let's throw something at them. I want to throw a piece of garbage at them! It won't hurt them, but it will make them go away!

M: ????

Where does he come up with these things. Who throws garbage at birds? I assure you he didn't learn that at our house...unless there is something Rob wants to confess.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Technical Difficulties

Sorry for the lack of posts lately but our previously super slow computer has turned into a computer that won't even turn on. It just has a black screen that says something about a hard drive error. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that probably isn't a good thing. I recently backed up the majority of the pictures we have on there so hopefully all is not lost. Everything else is replaceable. I haven't contacted my local support Mike, if you read this, I need help!

Until things are figured out, there are no pictures. I know no one really gets on here just to read my rambling; it's the pictures you want. I guess you will have to take what you can get. Here's the latest updates:

Austin: He strips down to his little under-roos every time he gets under the covers. He likes to pretend he is "Little Britches" from the movie Jungle Book (Mowgley).

Ellie: Trouble. She is trying to make up for Austin's lack of "Terrible Twos" by being twice as sassy. Her favorite things to say still include "No way!" and "Don't want it!" both with fierce conviction in her voice.

Riley: She is desperately trying to crawl. She rocks back and forth on her hands and knees and then shoots backwards 4 inches. She gets terribly frustrated but always tries again.

And that's the update. Your mental images should include Austin's bony little body streaking down the hallway. Ellie throwing something at the camera mid-picture. And Riley up on her hands and knees with her tongue hanging out in concentration. Enjoy.