Friday, April 30, 2010

Backup has arrived!

Update:  This morning the best husband in the world, and his trusty sidekick, went and got donuts and Caribou for me and brought me breakfast in bed.  I was told to eat up and shower because I had a spa appointment at 9am!  Life is good.

This past week Rob was working in Canada.  It's been awhile since he has had to travel for a solid week.  He was gone for a single night last week in Florida, and that one night was a little bit rough, so I wasn't sure what he was going to come back to after a whole week away.

However, I'm happy to report that everyone is just fine...especially me!  In fact, interesting things hapened while Rob was away.  For starters, my kids slept in.  There were a couple hiccups here and there (like the party Riley threw in her crib at 1am with her stuffed animals), but my children, who normally start waking at 5:45, slept until 7, sometimes 7:15am!  It was one of those moments, as a mom, where you think "should I check on them....I wonder if they're still breathing.....nah, who am I kidding, I'm not going to check on them!" and then you start that thought process over again in 10 minutes.

The other major difference was the amount of laundry I had waiting for me.  On more than one occasion I would wander into the laundry room ready to tackle a load or two only to find I didn't need to.  I'm not sure what Rob does to create so much laundry, but what I thought was the kids' issue, really is my husband.  Good thing I love him.  He's worth an extra load or two.

We filled our days with playing outside, we packed lunches and headed to the zoo one day, we had playdates with neighbors, we hit a couple parks, I bribed Austin one afternoon while the girls were sleeping with a new Lego Star Wars set (best $10 I've ever spent), and I'd like to go on record that they ate hot dogs only once the whole week, we never went to a McDonalds, and pancakes were never served for dinner.  All of those are usually incorporated into our meal plan when Rob is traveling.

After staying home with these little rascals 24 hours a day as a single parent, I can't think of anything better than a nice relaxing bubble bath. 

Unfortunately, there are three dirty kids in my tub.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Accessories make the girl!

This morning, after I got everyone dressed, I came across a headband accessory that was still in it's original package.  I believe it came with a tinkerbell shirt of Ellie's, but I just never opened it.  Well, today I opened it and gave it to Ellie to play with.  She was delighted.  I then went about my business running up and down the stairs 243 times to put everything back in it's place after the morning rush.  On trip 142, I grabbed the camera to bring it downstairs, it was then that I walked past Ellie doing this:

She said "{Gasp!} I look SO beautiful!" over and over again!

She could barely turn attention away from the beauty in the mirror.

She kind of reminded me of this:

We're going shopping for leg warmers later today.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

National Austin Day!

I bet you didn't know that today is Austin Day!  We have been counting down to this day for one week.  Today Austin woke up and told me it was zero days to Austin day!  Then we started counting down the hours.

What is it, you ask?  A day of fun with Grandma and Grandpa where Austin gets to chose the itinerary.  He knew immediately what he wanted to do.  He wanted to eat at the Rainforest Cafe and to go to the "Shark Mall" (Mall of America) to go to LegoLand. 

All morning he was singing songs to himself relating to Austin Day.  "Oh yeah, it's Austin Day, Austin Day, Austin Day!  Oh yeah, it's Austin Day...lala lala laaaaa!"  and another ditty having to do with "Grandpa knows the way to the shark mall!"  He had a great time and came home with a couple new Lego Star Wars kits.  He immediately put one together.

And has been playing with ever since.  We are saving the second kit for tomorrow.

I was worried that the girls were going to be upset when they were left behind and saw Austin with Grandma and Grandpa.  To the contrary, Ellie wished him well, told him to have a fun Austin day, and that she'd see him later.  She didn't care one lick that her brother was leaving without her for a day of fun. 

But, while he was away, we had a picnic with our friends.

We also played Simon Says, tag, lots of swinging and sliding, and we built a sand castle.  So, it wasn't too bad of a day for the girls either!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Homemade T-shirts

I've been feeling particularly crafty lately.  I think the picnic table might have spawned my desire to create more things.  Whatever the cause, I decided that Austin and I were going to make him a Star Wars t-shirt.  Well, not quite.  We were going to buy him a t-shirt, and transform it into something Star Wars. 

Austin chose the color (blue, not surprising), the design, and did some of the work too.

First, he picked an image.  I gave him several choices.  This was my mistake.  I should have given him 3 choices, and made them all something not so intricate, but what can I say; if the boy wants C3PO and R2D2 who am I to deny him that right?

I traced the image onto some wax paper.

Then I layered painter's tape on the wax paper.  (Note:  If you're going to do this, put the tape on so that the sticky side will eventually go onto the t-shirt...otherwise, you might end up with a reverse image)


Next, I painstakingly cut out, with an exacto knife, the image my dear son chose. (And repeated: I love him, I love him, I love him throughout this tedious process).  Once the image was cut out, I peeled the wax paper off the tape, and pressed the tape onto the shirt.  I also did a line around the neck, sleeves, and bottom. 

Blue on blue, not so easy to see.

Next Austin and I got dressed in our finest attire and went to the garage to spray the shirt with a mixture of bleach and water.  Austin did the spraying.

Then we didn't think it was working and worried that maybe I didn't mix enough bleach in, and we sprayed it some more.

Then we took the shirt outside for better light and it transformed before our very eyes.

And the final product after we removed the tape:

Pretty cool I think.  It would have been even better if I didn't encourage more bleach spray...it would have had more of a speckled appearance.  It's currently drying outside and I'm crossing my fingers that when I go to wash it, after it's completely dry, it won't have enough residual bleach on it to just bleach out the design.  Anyone have experience with this?

I'd have made one for each of the girls too (not Star Wars), but finding a plain girls t-shirt in toddler sizes is next to impossible.  Keep your eyes open and let me know if you find any!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Non Stop

I haven't been posting much lately.  The main reason for this is the weather.  It's been so nice out that if we are home, we are outside, and that doesn't leave much time for blog posting.  That and someone has popped more than one quarter into each of my kids.  Maybe this can be blamed on Mother Nature too.  The kids have been non stop from the time they wake up until they go to sleep.

Last night Riley spent the majority of her evening running around the house like a mad man.  She throws her head down like a charging bull, arms back behind her like a ski jumper and runs!  It's pretty funny, actually.  But she also has a battle cry, so in addition to the humor, there is the noise.  Out of the three, 75% of the time, she is the loudest.

This morning as Austin was snuggled up on me crying because he woke up too early but claiming it was something to do with a lightsaber and dinosaur (I have NO idea), Ellie was running around the family room bombarding us with song and dance...and questions.

"Twinkle twinkle little star [twirling]...MOM!  Did you see that?....like a diamond in the sky....MOM why do you love me? [Me: Because you're cute]....Oh!  I love you too mom.  Twinkle Twinkle little star...[Austin: Ellie, be quiet!]...MOM!  Austin hurt my feelings....kiss my feelings, Mom...[Blow her a kiss].  Thanks Mama, let's dance.  Wanna dance?  You can be Belle....."

And so on, and so forth....this is all at 6:15am.

Austin is no exception.  He is Star Wars 24/7.  I've already explained that though.

And so, as I sit here on a rainy day, I'm finally updating the blog.  Riley is crying because she has dropped an apple on the floor, Austin has a play stroller stuck on his back (don't ask) and Ellie has her blanket wrapped around her head like a shawl and is running around saying "Look at me...I'm a grandma!"

Non-stop.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Picnic Table - Finished

I finally finished the picnic table.  Actually I finished it on Monday. 

I really enjoyed building that table.  I really did not enjoy finishing it.  Painting, sanding, Painting, sanding, etc.  That is not my idea of fun.  But, I am happy with the color and I'm looking forward to a nice day when I can have the kids have a little picnic outside!  In the meantime, I forced my model to have a seat again.  This time I didn't pull him out of bed seconds before, so he is a bit happier.


Now I am drooling over this kitchen table:
Check it out here.  I'm already wondering if I could somehow use pieces of our current kitchen table to create this beauty.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter in the Bend

We traveled to Iowa for Easter this year.  We tried something new and left around 10am with the kids.  The hope here was that they would all stay awake for the 3 hour ride and then take their full naps when we got there.  We almost made it, but Riley crashed with about 30 minutes to go. 

(She's awake here; singing)
Ellie took her nap when we got there, but that 30 minutes was just enough to rev up Riley's engines again and she was not having any part of a nap when we arrived.

Our trip involved a lot of trips to "Grandma Runchey's" park (it's really a public park, but my kids are convinced it is Grandma's), a couple walks, and a couple visits to "Tractor World" (Grandpa's CaseIH shop).  I also got in on the fun at Tractor World when I went with the guys to get Bob's ATV out of the back of the shed and ready for the summer.  Well, I was not much help in physically moving it out of the shed, but Bob did show me how to drive it after a little hesitation on my part.  I've never been a "need for speed" kind of gal, but that was pretty fun!  Not that I went that fast, but I could see how zooming around on one of those would be entertaining!

Grandma had all the egg dyeing supplies ready to go on Saturday and Austin wanted to dye all of his eggs blue. 

Ellie wanted all her eggs to be pink. 

Riley didn't care.  We managed to sneak in a few extra colors here and there.

On Easter morning everyone went hunting for their hidden baskets. 



(Sorry for the weird angle, but Ellie, in the background, just finished checking under the very flat rug for her Easter basket...nice try, Sweetie!)

Everyone was happy with what the Easter bunny brought and before we knew it, it was off to church.

We haven't attempted sitting through a whole church service with all three kids since the last unsuccessful attempt about year ago.  We usually take the kids to the nursery and Sunday School.  But we all got gussied up and headed out.  We made it through almost the whole service by offering up fruit snacks, starbursts, and books to each of the kids.  I can't say I heard one word that was spoken by the priest so from that standpoint, it wasn't the most successful trip, but there were no major crying sessions, so we'll call that good.  The kids and I did slip out with about 10 minutes left and went outside to walk around the Grotto

I had reached my limits with the kids by the time we got back to the house and had a monster headache to boot, but we wanted to get a shot of the family all dressed up, so here is our manufactured memories:


And two seconds later:


My favorite part of the above picture:
(She's thinking, "Man, my brother is weird!" and he's
thinking "I'm done, get me out of this thing!")


Within 10 minutes of getting back we were all in our comfy clothes and enjoying the Easter feast Patti had prepared!

We hope you all had as nice of an Easter as we did!