Monday, January 30, 2012

It’s here, it’s here!!!

We decided to get Austin a bunk bed back in August of 2011.  It’s all part of our master plan to accommodate guests without needing to put them in our cold, dank basement.  Stage 2 of the plan is to get a trundle bed in Riley’s room.  Maybe in another 5 months that will happen too.

Anyway, Austin’s bunk bed has finally arrived and he was so excited that Rob and I tackled the top part (the fun part) last night before bedtime.  The kids had to stay up an extra hour, but it was worth it!


He is SO excited about his new bed!  I’m not sure if I’m excited or not about climbing up there to read to/with him each night.


The height certainly doesn’t make reading dinosaur names, like Piantnitzkysaurus, any easier.  Can you see the concentration I have to exert at 9pm?  It’s exhausting.  And can you see Austin laughing at my attempts?  It’s embarrassing.



He fell right asleep and I had to drag him out of bed this morning.  When he groggily got down the stairs he said “Man, I just sleep so good in my new bed! I just wish I could stay home from school to sleep some more”.  Nice try.  But, he did eat his breakfast at record speed so he could go play on his new bed a bit more before the bus came.

(then the bus came and I realized he is “star of the week” and needs to bring special items to share with the class, not just toys, but actual special items.  Then we couldn’t think of anything special so I told him I’d drive him to school to buy us more time.  then the bus company called me to see if he was going to school, I said he was, they told me Judy (the bus driver) would swing by again and pick him up, and I said that was awfully sweet of her, but that I was awfully unorganized and would just drive him)

This bed has a desk on one side.  I’m hoping it makes homework a magical time.  I’ll keep you posted.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

My Minor Heart Attack


Everyday Austin gets on the bus at 8:30am and gets off the bus at 4:00pm like clockwork.  I have been instructed to only come out to the bus stop on “special occasions”….which are just random days that he deems “special”.  Given the recent temperatures, I have absolutely no issues with this system.

I only have an issue with it when, at 4pm, his bus comes, drops the kids off, goes, and Austin is no where in sight!

I yell frantically to the 5th grader across the street “Kenzie!  Was Austin on the bus??!!!”  and she calmly replies “No”.  I search up and down the street and call to her again “Kenzie!  Did you see him at all?  Did you see him walk to the busses?”  “Nope, never saw him.”  (and it absolutely is not her job to watch for Austin).  But now I at least know he wasn’t on the bus….PLEASE let him just be at school and not on the wrong bus. 

I fumbled through the phone number for school and as calmly as possible explained that my first grader’s bus has come and gone and that my son was not on it.  She nicely went through a list of programs he might have been part of after school.  Probably only took 10 seconds for her to list them all but it was a long 10 seconds and I wouldn’t be paranoid about him not coming home if he was in an after school program…..would I?

Anyway, approximately 3 minutes later I squint and see what could be a red and grey jacket walking home from the bus stop down the street.  The fact that he is walking slower than a turtle assures me it’s Austin (you have never seen a kid less eager to get home after getting off the bus….really makes a mom feel good).  I yell “Austin?!?!” and he just gives me a small wave in response.

I spent the next 10 minutes stewing (yes, one block away… 10 minutes…he’s SLOW!) about how he needs to pay better attention and stop giving me anxiety attacks….and blah blah blah.  He finally reached our front porch sidewalk and promptly fell on the ice.  Tried to stand up, and fell again.  Legs just completely kicked out from underneath him like a cartoon character.  He didn’t even know I was watching him. Straight out of a Stooges movie - this kid could not stand to save his life.  He fell at least 6 times.  I was laughing so hard at him that I couldn’t even give him my lecture.  But, I didn’t offer any help either.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Out with the Old, In with the New!


We have only had our van since November of 2007, but in that time, the transmission has been replaced (twice), the driver’s seat had 2 large cracks in the leather, the dohicky under the hood malfunctioned, the knob that directs airflow stopped working, and there was a “whirring” noise coming from the engine on the passenger side.  To boot, within the last 2 weeks the engine started “stuttering” like it did right before the transmission went out.  We definitely got a lemon.

This past weekend Rob found just what he was looking for in a new (used) van and we are now the owners of a new van with more technical gadgets inside than I know what to do with.  The engine doesn’t stutter, and it’s so quiet inside (or my kids have gotten louder).

Our little hoarder was sad to give up the old van.  The conversation went a little like this:

Me:  Austin….tomorrow we’re going to pick up a new van!

Austin:  Fun!  We’ll have 2 vans!

Me:  No, we’ll give them this one and we’ll just have the new one.

Austin:  *whimpering* But….I LOVE this van.  I love the TV

Me:  The new one has 2 TVs!

Austin:  But I love that chair that folds down

Me:  The new has the same chairs (without cracks in the leather!)

Austin:  But I love the back…..the back is my favorite part!

Me:  Let’s just take your picture with the van before we trade it in and then you can have that picture forever.

Austin:  Okay.

So, here is Austin with his favorite van:


After I shot this picture he said “Okay, now one from the back!”……


After he was satisfied with the photos we went and picked up our new van.  On the way home he watched actual TV on one of the TVs, and I think Riley watched a DVD on the other one.  I’m pretty sure he hasn’t given the old van a second thought.

By the way, I could start a whole other blog revolving around things Austin wants to keep forever and I offer to instead take a picture of before I throw it away:


Monday, January 23, 2012

Christmas #3

Last but not least….Christmas #3 took place the first weekend in January in the Runchey’s beautiful new house!  For the first year we all were able to stay in the house and celebrate without the interruptions of one or more families leaving for the hotel!  Each family has their own bedroom….though someday all the kids will probably just crash in the family room and us responsible adults will allow the Grandparents the privilege of taking care of them while we sleep in.  It’s the least we can do. In the meantime….
It was a fun-filled weekend.  Filled with much of the same as our other Christmases (read: eating).
If I counted right, that is all but 2 of the grandchildren.  Grandma Runchey had no shortage of tasty treats for them at all times!
We also got to celebrate this little lady’s first birthday:
I took this picture early, but she did a number on that cake!
In the evenings we were treated to a couple impromptu performances.  It was a bit of an amateur talent night.  There were songs, informational monologues, and dances.
And, I know I’m biased, but I happen to think I have some of the cutest kids on Earth as nieces and nephews (both sides).
Just sayin’…..
It was a fantastic weekend breaking in their new home and a perfect end to our Christmas season.

(As an unrelated side note, my family recently berated my blogging frequency.  Yes, I know I am behind.  I definitely have things to write about….but Rob has been traveling every week and after 24/5 single parenting week after week, a good book will win out over blogging every time!  Honestly, a good book would win out over blogging even if Rob were in town.)

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Christmas #2

Around noon on Christmas day we were all ready for another round of Christmas-ing!  Well, most of us were ready.  Austin was actually kind of sick.  He had thrown up the night before, and although adrenaline pulled him through the morning, it was starting to wear off.  Not his healthiest Christmas.  But, he was a trooper, and once his idol (Jake) showed up his spirits perked up a bit.

Christmas at my parents was the usual controlled chaos. The kids run around like maniacs (or normal kids on Christmas day) and we all ignore them!  You just have to speak a little louder to be heard.  Before anyone got too crazy Kerry took our annual picture:20111225 Xmas - Smith 03 orig

Then we ate some, opened stockings, opened presents, ate some more, played cards, ate, played Wii, relaxed, ate, etc. 

I love watching all the cousins play together.  They come up with such great games.  And I always think “Poor Austin and Jake” as the younger girls all dance around like princesses.  They don’t seem to mind though.

It was a great way to spend the rest of Christmas Day!  Good food, great family!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Christmas #1

After much anticipation, Christmas Eve was finally upon us!  I think we could have put our kids to bed at 6:30 and they would have gone without complaint because Santa was coming as soon as they were asleep!  Austin made a last ditch effort to ensure Santa knew he belonged on the nice list.





Dear Santa

I don’t know if the Polar Express is real.  I did play with my sisters.  I also want a Padme and Iron Man set.

Love, Austin

Unfortunately Santa had already packed his sleigh for the night and he received neither of his last minute requests.  And, had Santa decided he would just stop at Target on the way to our house, he would find that every single Star Wars action figure was wiped out from the shelves that night.

Never fear, Austin reacted with great enthusiasm the next morning towards every gift he received.  Expressions like “I’ve wanted one of these my whole life” were plentiful.



Ellie spent her down time between presents thinking about her next present.



Riley had the best reaction.  You see, she asked Santa for a horse.  This was no surprise to us because she loves horses right now.  Santa was eager to please and gave her a cute brown stuffed horse.


Her reaction was as follows:

<Gasp!>  It’s a horse!!!!……huh.  It’s stuffed.

And then she pretty much tossed it aside.  Luckily, Santa and I were on the same page.  I’m not sure we have the room for the real thing.  She has since decided that her horse isn’t too bad after all and has named it “Whippy”.

The kids had fun shopping for Rob this year.  Guess who picked out this shirt?


Once all the presents were opened we went straight into cussing out the toy packaging companies, and then playing with said toys.

Like aggressively putting on make-up from new little make-up sets.



And having all the ocean creatures migrate across our kitchen floor.



We really enjoyed our Christmas morning!  Plenty of time to play and relax and enjoy each other’s company!