Sunday, May 31, 2009

What is it with Dad?

Seriously. What IS it with Dad? This weekend - like any other weekend, Will wants as little to do with me as possible. :) Dad's home! And after weeks and weeks of either running around traveling or John having to work weekends, we are home doing nothing. The kids are reveling in Dad's presence.

This is Will and John outside this afternoon. Taking it easy, no worries. John would lean back on his hands. Will would lean back on his hands. John would sit forward. Will would follow. And on and on.

While Will was taking a nap I asked Katie if she would want to go to the Party Store to get invitations for her birthday party and maybe some other decorations.

"No, I'll stay here with Dad."
"Did you hear where Mom was going, Katie? The Party Store."
"Yeah, that's ok. I'd rather stay home with Dad."

Umm...ok. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Ouch. I have a sliver - its deep in my thumb and it hurts. There isn't even any part of it sticking up, but I can see it. I tried wrapping tape around my finger and it didn't work. How long will it take to work itself out? It's amazing how something so tiny can bring down my whole thumb.

Today was Katie's graduation day. She still has one day left of school - a play day on Monday. But for the most part she is officially a kindergartner. They had a concert with three other classes and a ceremony in their own room. Some are moving on to kindergarten, others are moving on to other preschool programs. Only 3-4 of them will be at the same school next year. Obviously, Katie is the only one going to her kindergarten since we live in a different district.

Will liked watching Katie sing and clapping for her.

Katie and her classmate, Ben, in the back - Will and Ben's brother Drew in front.

From Katie on over to the right is her class. To the left of Katie is Marta and behind her is Brittan - two friends from last year...they were in a different class this year.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Carol Jeanette Hanson

I've been thinking about this post in my head for the past 2 days. I don't know where to start and worse yet, I don't know where to end.

Carol is my Dad's sister. My family lived with Carol up until I was in kindergarten and then again after I went to college. A couple years after I graduated college, Carol fell at home and broke her hip. She continued to live with Mom and Dad for a few years after that, and then around 2004 Carol went to live in the nursing home. She had been dealing with Parkinson's for years and pneumonia episodes off and on. This last one had been more difficult for her, but when I saw her about 2 weeks ago she said she felt pretty good - no pain, just more difficult to swallow.

I heard from my sister, Denise, yesterday after I dropped Katie at school. The staff at the nursing home didn't think Carol had much longer left and were notifying the family so that they could come to the home. I think it took me 30 seconds to decide that I was heading to Waukon as well. I threw some things into a bag and got Katie back out of school.

Unfortunately, Carol passed away before I could get back. Now, do I tell you about the drive, the phone calls, being able to see Carol again? OR do I tell you about how I was going 80+ miles an hour on the highway as great big trucks with signs that read "WIDE LOAD" pulled out in front of me almost on purpose, and as I am cursing the driver's judgement, we meet an oncoming cop car. This happened twice. :)

Or I could tell you how difficult it was to see Carol once I got to the home. And just as the knots are tightening in my stomach I hear there's a dog in the hallway. A dog belonging to my Godmother - an aunt on my Mom's side. It was the cutest, sweetest little thing - and oh yeah, the dog's name? Angel.

I don't think I could put into words how important Carol has been in my life - I'll try, but everything I type doesn't seem to do her justice. I'm the youngest in the family by 9 years. So by the time I was old enough to remember spending time with Carol - my brother and sisters had grown up and created lives of their own. We seem to have our own memories of Carol - some the same, some different. I remember reading with Carol nonstop. Since she had been a school teacher for so many years she had the PERFECT supplies to play school - which we did EVERYDAY. Every summer until I was around 11 was spent with Carol. She picked me up every Sunday for church and Sunday school. She took me to swimming lessons...and then home again after I ran out crying one day never to return to lessons. :) (Meanie coach)

Carol took me to softball practice everyday for 3 weeks when I was like 9, and wore THE BIGGEST, most funny looking sun hats I'd ever seen. :) Her grapevine was legendary - she was known to yell at ANY child who dare mess with it. Usually it was those darn Quillin boys. :)

And I didn't even tell you about the swingset yet! Carol was the best person to swing with. She didn't seem to care if the plastic seat literally cut into her hips. There was a poem we would always recite as we swung. About a year ago I was trying to remember it and couldn't even come close, as soon as I mentioned it to Carol she knew just what I was talking about and recited it perfectly.

If I had a spoon as tall as the sky
I'd scoop up the clouds as they floated on by.
I'd take them inside and set them to cook,
And see if they tasted as good as they look.

But see - I haven't even scraped the surface yet. I didn't mention her cookies, her garden, the times I talked her into taking me to the county fair even when she said she wouldn't, the years where I made her stay up WAYYYY past midnight for New Year's Eve...and then even cut up hundreds of little pieces of confetti because I needed to have a 'party.' I haven't even told you about how she helped me buy my books every semester during college - or how she helped me buy my couch for my first apartment. I feel blessed to have those memories, and to have had SO much time with her. Sunday would have been her 88th birthday, well, it STILL will be her birthday.

Kathryn Carol (Katie) and Carol - July 3, 2004 - Katie is almost 3 weeks old.

John William (Will) and Carol - August 12, 2007 - Will is 4 weeks old.
Ridiculous isn't it? Carol had super power strength!

In case any of you are interested, here is a link to Carol's obituary. Click on the link below and she should be on the right side of your screen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Tales of Garage Sales - Day 1

Today was the first day of our garage sale. It turned out to be a nice sunny morning - a little breezy, but very nice. I didn't keep track of the number of people - but I would estimate it to be around 50. My friend, Tracy was here with me all morning - that was nice to have someone to talk to in between sales and to have her hold down the fort while I took Katie to and from school. (Although Katie would have rather stayed home at the sale.)

I had to put up our signs last night - my mega signs. I took six BIG pieces of cardboard, painted them white, then painted SALE with our hours and an arrow. I glued them together so I had 3 double sided signs. Then I used packaging tape and taped them to great big garden stakes and hammered them into the ground on 3 nearby corners of busy roads. (Yes, the arrows pointed the right way.) For one corner I was going to ask permission from the owner of the nearby house - the other corner already had signs on it. I decided against it and just put my signs with the others. His yard still had a Norm Coleman sign in it. That's a die hard I'll just stay away from.

It's so funny to watch the things that sell right away - and the things that don't seem to go. They seldom turn out to be what you thought they would be. The second woman who visited this morning bought some of Katie's clothes. I had a sweat suit out of hers - jacket/pants - that swishy material. I swear it was the most ugly thing I had seen. I got it in a box of clothes I bought off of eBay when Katie was 2. I don't think I ever put the whole thing on her. Of course - that was almost the first thing to be sold. Now there are some other 2t/3t stuff that is SOOOOO adorable, almost brand new....has that sold yet? Nope. And no, my prices are all pretty low. :)

Things I'm glad to be rid of? That oak garbage can. I had gotten it about 9 years ago from a retired IBM-er in Rochester. I knew him through the bank and he made furniture out of his home. Loved it at first, but was SO heavy, and the wood soaked up smells like you wouldn't believe. So for $5, it's making someone else happy. ;)

Glad to see our toddler bath seat go - got $5 out of that. It's just hard to store because of the bulkiness. Will's workbench is now with another little boy...Will never really got too into it, and it'll make room for some type of a train table later this summer.

Of course there are many things that are harder to see go - Katie's favorite dresses when she was smaller, some first baby toys, even her most recent pair of sneakers. But they'll circle around and hopefully become favorites of others. 90% of this stuff was pre-owned by others before we came into it too. Everything has a story.

And speaking of pre-owned items, the former owner of our house stopped by as well. He bought some clothes for his 2 year old daughter. He said that he missed our trees. He had planted like 16 trees on the property while he lived here. He asked if he could take a walk around and look at them. Sure - knock yourself out. Didn't have the heart to tell him that we wanted to take 4-5 of those trees OUT!

A little dark - but you get the idea.

That blur is Will. He tired himself out running all over. Note cumbersome garbage can by Will's workbench.

Clothes as far as the eye can see....oh yeah, and some Christmas stuff.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Boss

John and I had an awesome time at the Springsteen concert Monday night. Mom came up to watch the kids, and sounds like they had a good time although Will certainly likes to push the envelope as far as it will go. It landed him on the 'naughty spot' two times while we were gone. :)

So I bought by tickets on Craiglist. The guy who sold them to me was going to the concert as well with his wife. They sat right next to us, and happened to sneak in a camera. He e-mailed me the pictures and they are great! You'll be able to see that we had great seats. The first half of the concert Jay Weinberg - Max's son drummed. Then Max came out for the second half. They are prepping Jay to take over the drumming duties full time after June 1st. That's when Max Weinberg will report to his other job as Conan's sidekick on the Tonight Show. Oh yeah - Jay is only 18 fricking years old! And he is an amazing drummer. Bruce took requests the second half of the show - very cool. Played some old favorites as well as a VERY soulful "I'm on Fire."

This week we are gearing up for our first garage sale. I think I've thought of everything - now it's just getting it set up in time, and having enough tables for evverything. It's gonna be close....

Katie went on a field trip to the park today with her class. It was rainy, but it's clearing up and drying so they just might have gotten out of the shelter. Anything is better than last year's trip to the park. It never made it above 40. All the kids had hats and mittens on!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

First of all - Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers, soon-to-be mothers, and even those dads that do a mother's job. :) I would say Katie thought yesterday was Mother's Day - every hour or so she would say "Happy Mother's Day"...I've only gotten it once today, and that's enough. I was also told that I was the "bestest Mommy in the whole world." But that was after I caved in and let her take her new markers out to the garage to color on some cardboard. Still, it counts right? My mother's day gift comes tomorrow. John and I are going to see Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. (Yep, eat it up Shelley! :)) My mom is coming up to watch the kids and will be her first visit since March of last year when she came up to babysit so we could go see....Bruce Springsteen. Deja Vu. Thanks Mom.

Next, you may be asking "where the heck have you been?" Well I haven't been anywhere - just fell out of the loop. You'd think with wireless Internet in the house it would be easier to get posts up...well at least it isn't for me. And I have a LOT of pictures to get up and a lot of things to say so we'll try to get some on this week.

I have a garage sale coming up next weekend. We've been busy getting things sorted and cleaned for the occasion. Actually I've been doing that for the past 4 weeks. Seems every time I turn around there is something that we aren't using anymore. John is off to pick up a table and some saw horses (I keep wanting to say sea horses) from a friend of his, and I cleaned the garage yesterday. If nothing else, it's just nice to have a clean garage. Another mom and I are doing the sale together so hopefully it won't be a total bust. :)

We went to Waukon last weekend to visit family. We got to meet the new twins, Ethan and Emily. They are very cute and very tiny. It's so hard to remember what 5 pounds looks and feels like. Seems like things are going well - growing and all.
Now you can even tell which is which.

While we were there Katie and Will got to go for a ride in Uncle Jim's tractor. They loved every minute of it. Both attempted to steer, I am told, some better at it than others.

Will gazing out into the field..."I could SO do this."

This was during Katie's ride.