Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Conversations

I haven't been taking many pictures lately.  Just not in the mood I guess.

Here's a couple more conversations we've had around here lately.

A:  Speed limit is 55 mom.
M:  Okay Austin, thanks
A:  Speed limit is firty-five mom.  That's free and five.
M:  Okay Austin, thanks.
A:  Not forty-five.  Firty five.
{Austin has a little trouble with the "th" sound so he likes to clarify}

Austin then proceeded to tell me the speed limit everytime he saw a sign on our 25 minute drive.  I didn't count, but I'd guess there is a speed limit sign every 1/2 mile.  That is a lot of signs.  Between all his recounting of the speed limit, it is a wonder Ellie was able to squeeze in this conversaion:

E:  Hey Austin, Knock Knock!
A:  Agggghhhh!
E:  Hey Austin.....knock knock!
A:  Ugh.  Who's there. (completely exasperated with his sister already)
E:  Eyeball.
A:  Eyeball who?
E:  Eyeball Pizza!......(crickets).....say "ha ha ha!"
A:  That is an evil laugh.  I will not do that.
M:  What kind of laugh would you do?
A:  Ahhhhh ha ha ha ha ha! (which was WAY more evil sounding that Ellie's)
A:  Besides.  My brain doesn't even like fiction jokes.  My brain only likes true ones.
E:  That wasn't was just funny.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ellie quote of the day

We were all hanging out last night in the family room.  I believe the kids had just finished torturing Rob "Kung Fu Panda"-style.  Then the conversation went like this:

E:  Hey, guess what. I have a beautiful new wife for you.  You want to meet her?
R:  Sure I do.
E:  She's right there. {waves toward me}
E:  She's beautiful, huh?
R:  Very!
E:  So, you want to marry her?
R:  I very much do.
E:  Good.  She has a really cute daughter named Me! {pointing at herself}

When I come with such a complete package I don't know how he could resist!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Sesame Street Live

In 1st grade my best friend invited me to attend Sesame Street Live with her (and her mom) instead of going on the planned school field trip to a farm.  Either would have been fun but anything with your best friend is the best so I was pretty excited.  But, at the last minute she decided she wanted to go to the farm instead so we never went.  Well, I finally got to see the show! 

On Friday, Patti, Ellie, Riley, and I all went to the Target Center for Sesame Street Live "Healthy Heroes".  I'd say the venue was only about 40% full.  We were in the 9th row on the floor and we were the only people in our whole row of seats.  Plenty of room to spread out!

Right when we got in our seats Ellie started to check out the treat options.  First, we settled on mini donuts.

Next up was a slushy for each girl.  Red for Ellie:

And blue for Riley:

Those pictures were after their very first sips.  By the end of the slushy Riley was starting to resemble Cookie Monster.

The show was full of songs and dancing.  I had no idea that Cookie Monster could do the splits!  A couple of times the girls got out of their seats to dance a bit.  Ellie got to shake hands with Oscar's girlfriend (Grundgetta) but Riley was a few seconds too late.  Riley was pretty worried about Super Grover (who lost his super power) and everytime he left the stage she would whimper that she wanted Super Grover back.

With about 15 minutes left of the show Riley had had enough.  She was ready to go.  Once the show was officially over Ellie jumped out of her seat and said "Let's go get my prize!"  Referring to all the kids who had glowing wands, balloons, and other various trinkets.  I tried to tell her we'd go to Target to pick up a Sesame Street character, but deep down I knew that wouldn't work.  It was worth a shot.  In the end I steered them each toward a $15 (good grief!) plush character.  Riley selected Ernie and Ellie picked Zoe.

Grandma Patti did a good job keeping the girls awake on our way home (it was 9:30pm once we got there!) and they hopefully went to sleep dreaming about cute furry monsters!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

My First Ski Lesson

Last night was supposed to be Austin and Rob's last ski lesson.  But, when returned home at about 5pm from his 3 day trip in Florida (70 degrees there) the last thing he wanted to do was hit the slopes on 5 degree weather.  He felt guilty about not finishing his lessons but his heart was really not in it.  I called Hyland Hills and they said I could use his lift ticket to go skiing (no lesson) so that is what we opted to do.  I got Austin all set up for his last lesson.  He informed me I was doing everything wrong and not how Daddy does it.  We didn't walk up the right side of the stairs leading to the chalet.  We didn't sit on the right bench to put our boots on.  We didn't stand in the right spot to wait for his teacher.  Austin is definitely a creature of habit and I apparently did my best to break every single one of them last night.

Nevertheless I got Austin to his teacher and off he went to tackle his final lesson.  Rob told me his teacher was an "older" lady and that if I saw her standing around I should tell her he is not coming.  After scanning the teachers I found two ladies that fit the description.  I picked correctly the first time and informed her Rob was too much of a wimp to take his last lesson.  I then thought I was on my way to a night of solo skiing when she said "Okay, well, do you feel comfortable going down this hill and I'll watch you from down here?"  I stuttered a "sure" out of confusion which she mistook for hesitation and said "If you're not comfortable please tell me."  I then explained that I was definitely comfortable going down the hills, but that I was just confused about taking Rob's lesson.  She said "Well, you don't have to, but you can if you want".  So I did.

After 25 or so years of intermittent skiing I finally had a lesson.  I learned that I do everything wrong.

In my defense, she said my form was great if I were still using equipment from the early 90s.  But apparently with the new technology in skiing everything has changed about how you want to stand.  Long story short, I started skiing in 5 degrees, stopped skiing an hour and a half later in -5 degrees, and only skied on two hills doing basic turns.  I guess even if I'm doing it wrong, I get down the hills just fine and I'll probably pass on the lessons next time.  I know I'm not on my way to the Olympics anytime soon.  I'll probably just continue down the hill in my usual fashion and stay a little warmer in the process by not waiting for instructions.

Austin was crying when I picked him up because he was so cold.  His teacher said he understands the movements he needs to make but lacks the "umph" to make them work.  He can do a snow plow to stop, but doesn't have the muscle strength to dig his skis in and catch and edge to actually make him stop.  If it weren't so cold I would have talked to her longer about how to work with him, but knowing my son, I know what I have to do.  I have to explain how the ski works.  I can almost guarantee that if I tell him about edges and how they help you turn and stop, it will make a connection for him and the next time he goes out he will make some progress because he will have been formulating the physics of it all in his head for the past few weeks.  It's how us nerds work.

Even though it's always fun to be out on the slopes, overall it wasn't a great night for either of us and perhaps Rob was less "wimp" and more "wise".

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Update for Dad

My dad has informed me that the blog is growing cob webs.  Trust me, if I had anything worthwhile to write about....I would.  But, to appease my dad, here are 5 things that have happened since the last post.  Hold onto your hats, this is going to be an amazing post {you can't read sarcasm, but if you could, this would be thick}!

1.  Rob and I attended an outing through his work called Nordic Night.  My parents took the kids over night and we went to Woodhill Country Club where we enjoyed a nice warm meal before we headed outside for the rest of the night to partake in outdoor winter games.  We signed up for the kicksled relay, curling, platform tennis, and luge.  Do you know what a kicksled is? I didn't, so here you go:

Well, we took these and stood behind them and ran a 4x2 relay (I think that's what it would be called) on ice.  I'm quite certain our sleds were from the early 1900s.  I'm also certain it would have been far safer to just ask us to run a couple laps around the ice without pushing one of these.  I also learned some people have no trouble running on ice and others (myself included) have no business doing more than a slow walk on ice.  I did take a fall within my first 10 steps of the championship race and jammed my thumb and bruised my knees, and probably cost us first place....sorry team.  But, proof that I really was not feeling all that great when I stood up and finished my leg of the race:
Those are my knees the next day.  One obviously more bruised than the other but both sore.

I digress, next up was curling.  I LOVED curling and have since tried to find a place where we could play again.  I guess that is easier said than done and in order to curl around here you have to be part of a club.  And because we were having so much fun curling we missed our chance at platform tennis and the luge closed down due to safety issues before we tried it.

2.  Rob and Austin have started ski lessons.  Actually, they are 2/3 of the way through with them.  They are taking lessons at Hyland Hills in Bloomington.  They have a nice set up there where the kids can take lessons and then they offer parents lessons at the same time (different group) so you aren't just sitting there waiting or driving yourself back at a different time for your own lesson.  Austin and Rob are both enjoying them.  Rob is actually getting private lessons (for a group price) because he is "special".  Out of the 5 adults in his group he said 3 were pretty good skiers already and 1 had been out a few times so knew the basics.  Since Rob was a complete beginner they split up the group and he was assigned his own teacher.  Austin started his first lesson with a bloody nose.  His second lesson went well and blood-free.  He is having a great time and after the lessons are over they will get a "ski free" ticket to use whenever they want so I hope to join the boys for a day on the slopes soon.

3.  Ellie has started her no tap shoes tap dancing class.  She absolutely LOVES dance class.  We can't see anything going on in the class but I hear her teacher tapping away so they must be learning something.  I think we're in for another doozy of a video of the dance recital.  Stay tuned!

4.  I still am without my car.  We took it to Ford, they put in a new transmission.  We took it back, they put in new spark plugs and wires.  We took it back again and they have finally decided the transmission is still broken.  Then they took a week to determine they didn't have the right tool to open the transmission.  Then they took another week to bring the van to a dealer that did have the tool.  As of tomorrow they will have had the car for two weeks (plus some time before we brought it back twice).  I can give you my opinions on 3 cars I've had since they have had mine:

a) newer dodge minivan
b) Ford F150 tank
c) Yukon

The van was not much different than my van.  Some nice bells and whistles I'm missing but can do without.  The Ford was ginormous.  It's actually Rob's dad's truck (they were in Australia so it was just sitting in our driveway).  I felt completely bad-ass in that truck and could have conquered the world but it really was not condusive to 3 carseats and small kids that needed a step ladder to get in the cab.  The Yukon is a lot like the F150 only a bit lower to the ground and a tiny bit easier to park.  I'm enjoying the Yukon but would enjoy it more if I had three kids that independently buckled themselves into their seats so I didn't have to crawl back there.  Mostly, I just want my van back.

5.  I can't think of a #5.  Four will have to do Dad.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


We're experiencing some terribly annoying car troubles.  I could post several pages revealing my complete annoyance with the mechanics, but I'll keep that to myself.  What it boils down to is that I am at home, without a car, for the 2nd day in a row.  I'm definitely a mom who likes to get out of the house and run errands and take the kids places so I am going crazy.

This morning we have already dressed up in our Halloween costumes, then undressed.  Then I went down to clean up breakfast stuff and after 30 minutes realized the kids were being incredibly quiet upstairs.  It was suspicious so I went upstairs (with camera in hand should I find something funny) only to find this:

Innocently playing on Ellie's new computer thing  (Actually, it's the Fisher Price iXL and I HIGHLY  recommend it!).  Then I continued straight and came across this:

I wasn't too surprised as I told Ausitn this morning he could have a "camp out".  I didn't know it was going to be on my bed. But, no worries.  It occupied them for quite some time so I can't complain.

After the campout and computer time we played Princess.  I just can't imagine a cuter princess ever existing.

Once we exhausted our efforts with the princess portion of our morning it was down stairs for a little phy.ed.  Riley received this bouncing ball for Christmas.  It's been a hoot to watch the kids on.  Actually, they are getting much more coordinated on it, so it's not nearly as entertaining as it was in the beginning stages, but for your viewing pleasure anyway:

And that brings us to 10am.  Phew, that's a whole lot of day left.  Currently we have cookies in the oven for our snack and the kids are waiting for me to go play "school" with them.  I will educate them on the importance of self-entertainment.