Friday, July 31, 2009

It Started Out Like Any Normal Saturday

You know, the kind of Saturday that you start out thinking "Let's do something fun and different so the kids can experience something new" and then bravely pack them up and get in to the car for a short adventure. Our short adventure turned into a most-of-the-day voyage that left me convinced that I would never be leaving the house with the children ever again.

First stop?

Clue #1: Elise in a stroller wearing Jack's coat because her mother didn't plan ahead

Clue #2: Fresh veggies, blue tarped tents and strange* blurry men in the background

Clue #3: The $2 bag of kettle corn that Jack spotted immediately upon arrival and didn't stop talking about until we had secured a bag and it was safely in his grip

That's right...none other than the Burnsville Heart of the City farmer's market. We picked up sweet corn, green beans and a beautiful bouquet of flowers. Oh, and some kettle corn.

*I only mean strange in the sense that we didn't (and still don't) know said man. He may be very nice and not odd at all. It's just that, well, we don't know him.

Next stop?

Clue #1: Does anyone recognize this bright red ball?

You guessed it...Super Target! The farmer's market didn't have tomatoes, lettuce or the smattering of other things on my list so we had to hit Super Target to pick up the final few items I needed to host a barbecue on Sunday afternoon. This trip was amazingly fast and contained very few of the following statements:

"Don't touch that" "Hands to yourself...that means don't touch" "Stop running" "Follow Mommy" "Come back here" "No, you may not eat candy from that giant bin of candy calling your name" "Jack, you're not a worker" "Please hang that back up"
It was a rather nice trip in which both boys earned their cookies and no one had a tantrum.

Now I bet you're thinking, "They should be heading home now. It must be about lunch time and surely they need to get their perishable food items (tomatoes, milk, cheese) into a much colder environment than the car." Not a chance.

Our next stop was a two and a half hour impromptu stop in which:

Clue #1: We ate lunch consisting of Wheat Thins, sliced turkey, swiss cheese (not for Wesley of course), apples and, yes, kettle corn

Clue #2: Elise was content just hanging out with Mommy

Clue #3: Elise got tired and crabby because we stayed well into nap time and sleeping in the stroller that doesn't lie flat just isn't good enough

Clue #4: The boys' activities were restricted to sitting in chairs reading the only two books that we happened to have in the car

Clue #5: It started out great - Jack was happily reading about how great Grandpa is

Clue #6: Wesley was happily reading about a new vehicle for our favorite female arachnid

Clue #7: It started to go downhill when Wesley decided eating the book was more fun than looking at the pictures

I knew I'd lost control when:
Clue #8: My beautiful bouquet of flowers sat on a countertop out of water for way too long**

Clue #9: The milk we had purchased ended up in the "pop" fridge alongside the Dr Pepper and Pepsi

Clue #10: The boys might as well have licked that garbage can inside and out for as many times as they touched it and then put their hands directly into their mouths

Clue #11: Jack got ahold of the camera

Clue #12: They found the candy machine
Clue #13: I thought this was worth photographing

Any guesses yet?

is where I spent two and a half hours alone (as in no other adults that were responsible for my children were present) with my three young children...during lunch time...and nap time

On our way to Super Target I noticed that the car was squeaking. I called Sean. He called the auto shop. Lucky me, they could get us in right away. We finished our shopping at Super Target and promptly headed to the auto shop where I waited 30 minutes for them to look at the car and then park it right in front of the door for another 20 minutes before the man behind the desk talked to me about it and found out that I, indeed, wanted to go ahead and get the brakes fixed (the squeaking culprit). Then we waited another hour for the right parts to be delivered before they took the next 30 minutes to replace the rear break pads. At least the car doesn't squeak now.

**In an attempt to salvage the flowers I tried pouring some water into the plastic bag that the flower vendor wrapped around the wet stems. Well, the bag had two holes in it. I didn't realize this until I moved the bag slightly and water started pouring out of the bag onto my lap and the floor. So now I had a wet lap, a wet floor, no napkins and a bag full (but not quite as full as before) of water. Styrofoam cup? Why not? Oh, but the water didn't go into the cup. It went all over the counter. Still, I have no napkins. I gave up and just laid my flowers in the water just hoping they'd survive.

Sorry about the spacing on this post. I can't fix it.

I Got This Email...

and attached was this video. The subject of the email was "Why Middle-Aged Women Shouldn't Drink." Appropriately titled. I laughed so hard (and still do every time I watch it) tears were streaming down my face. Just thought I'd share the joy.

Monday, July 20, 2009

We Could Have Named Her Snake...Eater

Elise outgrew the baby bath (imagine that) so she graduated to the big tub and since she's a good sitter, she gets to bathe with her brothers sometimes. "gets" the right word? So far they have been relatively calm when she's in the tub. I'm sure it has nothing to do with the fact that they each have about 2 square feet of bathtub in which they can move around. Our toys still seem to be predominantly masculine, but Elise doesn't really care what she puts in her mouth plays with so we haven't invested in girl toys, hence the snake she's devouring.

Rub-a-dub-dub, three babes in a tub

This towel was originally gifted to Wesley, but Elise pulls off a ladybug so well that we usually wrap her in it after the bath instead of Wesley.

In other news (assuming bath time happenings are actually news)... We planted Stargazer lilies in our garden and they are finally blooming. The orange variety (very scientific and Latin, huh?) bloomed about two weeks before mine and I was second guessing the Stargazers and contemplating adding the orange ones in the future. Once this one bloomed though, I decided it was worth the wait.

And in further news (again assuming blooming lilies are newsworthy)... Our nieces were in town from Colorado for a couple weeks. They stayed with Sean's parents, but visited us both Tuesdays they were here. They were troopers on those mornings when they were forced out of bed too early to think and made to endure the antics of three active children all before - gasp - 8 am. Here are all 5 of the cousins:

Duck Tales

Maybe not a duck, but water fowl (sort of) nonetheless. A few weeks ago we heard through the grapevine that our sod was going to be installed in the next few days. Woohoo! No more mud to wash off the boys and way less dust blowing into our house and dirtying up the window tracks. So off we went to the backyard one evening to check things out before the sod was laid and we heard this little Killdeer "yelling" at us. As we got closer we noticed a nest with some eggs in it - right there in the dirt. Well I couldn't let the sod guys (the SGs) come and destroy the nest and eggs so I called the DNR and the following conversation ensued:

Me: "I have a Killdeer nest in my backyard that needs to be moved before the 'sod guys' come in the next day or two."
DNR: "You can't move a migratory bird nest. There is a $600 fine if you're caught disturbing the nest." At this point I was very glad I hadn't identified myself when I got on the phone.
Me: "Well, the sodders are going to come and grade right over it. Wouldn't it be better to move it than have it destroyed?"
DNR: "You could grade and sod around it. Or I suppose you could apply for a permit to move it. Call the US Fish and Wildlife Services for that." This is starting to sound expensive...

So I dialed the number the DNR gave me for the US Fish and Wildlife permit office and got a voicemail. Needless to say, I didn't leave my contact information.

Meanwhile the SGs were here inspecting the yard with Sean and agreed to sod around the nest and then come back to patch the hole when the birds left. So the next day, the SGs showed up and got to work grading the yard.

Once it was graded, they put the rolls of sod onto this machine and rolled it out. You can see the small spot with the birds nest in the lower right hand corner of the picture.

The SGs showed up about 7 am and after 14 hours and a few dive-bombs by Mama Killdeer the backyard looked like this:

So after I rescued these birds I felt a sort of "mama bear" obsession with continuing to protect them (apparently their own mother wasn't good enough). Once the sod was laid, we started to get geese in our yard and they would go right up to the nest and eat whatever it is that they eat while Mama Killdeer squawked and dive-bombed the geese. Discontent with the effectiveness of the dive-bombing, I often marched out into the yard, broom in hand, to chase away the geese. Or sometimes I'd send Jack.

And given that I "rescued" the birds from the SGs and the geese, I felt I had every right to march up to the nest for a look-see and photo session. Here is Mama Killdeer:

Here are the eggs (look on the far left side of the nest):

Mama Killdeer did not agree with me. She's doing a "broken wing dance" in an attempt to distract me from the nest. Apparently since I stopped taking pictures of the nest to get video of this, it worked:

After that, I left her and the babies alone. Then one day I didn't see her on the nest so I went to check it out and she and the eggs were gone. After days and days of tirelessly chasing geese I was disappointed to find them missing and thought surely they had met a tragic end. However as I "researched" (read "followed one google link") Killdeer for this post, I learned that the babies can see and walk as soon as they hatch so I'm reassured that the babies survived and Mama Killdeer simply relocated her family to a more suitable environment. You know, one without loud equipment, SGs, thousands of treacherous geese and two active little boys in close proximity.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Definitely Keeping Up

I spent the morning in the doctor's office with Elise and Wesley. Elise had her 6-month check-up and Wes was in for a follow-up to a wheezing episode he had a couple weeks ago. I'm happy to report that Wes's lungs sounded great and that the likelihood that the wheezing was asthma related is lessened by the fact that he only needed the nubulizer for four days and sounded great today...whew!

When Elise was in for her 4-month check, she weighed in at about 17 pounds - the 99th percentile. Just looking at her you can tell she's, well, healthy as many strangers so "politely" point out. However, I didn't expect her to be 22 pounds, 4 ounces healthy today at 6 months old. If there was such a thing as the 101st percentile I think she'd hit it. For reference, Jack was 23 pounds at 1 year, Wesley was 24. Even now, Wesley, who I should remind you is 14 months older than his baby sis, is less than 5 pounds heavier. "Don't worry, she's fine," says our pediatrician whose daughter was as big as Elise at 6 months and is now a very average sized 4-year-old. She's the expert. I guess I won't worry.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Keeping Up

"Aww," I thought as I watched Wes and Elise playing together (read "in close proximity"). "They're going to be great friends."

Then this happened...

Remember this post? It's as true outside the womb as inside, I guess. Poor Wes, he's going to get picked on from both of his siblings.