Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not that any of you would question this, but....

I read an interesting column in the Washington Post. Well, more funny and honest than interesting. I thought I'd share.


By Carolyn Hax
Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Dear Carolyn:
Best friend has child.
Her: exhausted, busy, no time for self, no time for me, etc.
Me (no kids): Wow. Sorry. What'd you do today?
Her: Park, play group . . .
Okay. I've done Internet searches, I've talked to parents. I don't get it. What do stay-at-home moms do all day? Please no lists of library, grocery store, dry cleaners . . . I do all those things, too, and I don't do them EVERY DAY. I guess what I'm asking is: What is a typical day and why don't moms have time for a call or e-mail? I work and am away from home nine hours a day (plus a few late work events) and I manage to get it all done. I'm feeling like the kid is an excuse to relax and enjoy -- not a bad thing at all -- but if so, why won't my friend tell me the truth? Is this a peeing contest ("My life is so much harder than yours")? What's the deal? I've got friends with and without kids and all us child-free folks get the same story and have the same questions. Tacoma, Wash.

Relax and enjoy. You're funny.
Or you're lying about having friends with kids.
Or you're taking them at their word that they actually have kids, because you haven't personally been in the same room with them.
Internet searches?
I keep wavering between giving you a straight answer and giving my forehead some keyboard. To claim you want to understand, while in the same breath implying that the only logical conclusions are that your mom-friends are either lying or competing with you, is disingenuous indeed.
So, since it's validation you seem to want, the real answer is what you get. In list form. When you have young kids, your typical day is: constant attention, from getting them out of bed, fed, clean, dressed; to keeping them out of harm's way; to answering their coos, cries, questions; to having two arms and carrying one kid, one set of car keys, and supplies for even the quickest trips, including the latest-to-be-declared-essential piece of molded plastic gear; to keeping them from unshelving books at the library; to enforcing rest times; to staying one step ahead of them lest they get too hungry, tired or bored, any one of which produces the kind of checkout-line screaming that gets the checkout line shaking its head.
It's needing 45 minutes to do what takes others 15.
It's constant vigilance, constant touch, constant use of your voice, constant relegation of your needs to the second tier.
It's constant scrutiny and second-guessing from family and friends, well-meaning and otherwise. It's resisting constant temptation to seek short-term relief at everyone's long-term expense.
It's doing all this while concurrently teaching virtually everything -- language, manners, safety, resourcefulness, discipline, curiosity, creativity. Empathy. Everything.
It's also a choice, yes. And a joy. But if you spent all day, every day, with this brand of joy, and then, when you got your first 10 minutes to yourself, wanted to be alone with your thoughts instead of calling a good friend, a good friend wouldn't judge you, complain about you to mutual friends, or marvel how much more productively she uses her time. Either make a sincere effort to understand or keep your snit to yourself.

It makes me tired just re-reading it. But, for the most part, I'd say that about sums it up nicely. Oh, and I also painted more of the living room today and mowed the lawn. :) I say that knowing I don't have to justify my computer time tonight. :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Will's spotlight

Now that Will can sing his own songs, he really likes to be captured on film. Here's one that is pretty darn cute....

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Happy Birthday!

My oldest nephew, Justin, is 21 today. Wow.

I remember the day he was born, I "pretended" to be a little under the weather so that I could stay home and wait to hear news, go visit them, etc. And now he's old enough to drink and gamble.

BBEHAVE yourself, Justin! Maybe I shouldn't tell you that for my 21st birthday, Grandma, Grandpa, your Mom and Dad took me to the boat and then your parents took me dancing and partying in downtown Prairie du Chein. Come to think of it, they took me downtown BEFORE I turned 21 too. :)

Friday, September 24, 2010

A year later


was a year ago.


is now.

A Confession

I have my third and final 5k of the season on Sunday. Up until this week, I'd been running 2-3 times a week. Since the sun doesn't rise til around 7:00 am now, my body is revolting against getting up at 6:15 to run. It's just not natural. Will has preschool on Thursday mornings and for the past few weeks I've been able to get a run in at 9:30 - but I think it's going to rain tomorrow. So....I'm going to go at this 5k without having run in 8 days, and really who cares. :)

Ok, ok, if it's nice I'll go for a walk Friday night.

I've been looking at used treadmills for this winter. Honestly, I don't know what's gotten into me. A year ago, I'd rather eat worms than run. Now, I think it'd be nice to have the option to jump on the treadmill in the dead of winter and get 2 miles or so done. (Yes, only 2-3 miles. No more than that at a time - I'm not totally insane.)

Feel free to place bets on how long this will last. But I'm warning you - I like the fact that the rear end has a "bounce" instead of a "jiggle".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Suck It Up

Oooohhhh, I bought a new vacuum cleaner on Monday. It's blue. Two weeks ago I vacuumed and it started to smoke. Last week I got it out and there was no suction, the brushes weren't spinning and I knew the bag wasn't full. John and I figured it was time. After all, the things was probably close to 13 years old.
The new one is a Hoover, and has all the attachments most vacuums have, but they seem to be more accessible. I'm really happy to have gotten a new one - I know, it may be a little pathetic. Don't judge me! :)

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nice picture

Maybe the Christmas card picture will be easier this year. I like this one.

Molly is getting bigger. I suggested to Katie that we stop feeding her so that she'll stay little. Katie thought that was a good idea. Molly loves to be outside. When she hears the garage open, she waits at the door for us to come in, and tries to scoot out into the garage between our legs. I've let her play in the garage for a while when the door is shut. She's wrestled a few bugs to their surrender. And if you choose not to wear socks - your toes will have to be on guard.

School is going pretty well for both kids. Katie started a bit of homework this week - but we are trying to just keep it to 15 minutes a night. Problem is, she wants to do more. And I have to create work for Will to do as well.

I painted last week too! I have been wanting to get the living room painted for a few months now, and since Katie is in school all day it makes it a bit easier to get done. I love, love, love the color - it's much "warmer" than our big white walls. I'm sick of white walls. I had white walls in my first apartment that I couldn't change, white walls in our first house that we just never thought or had time to change, and white walls in our townhome which we couldn't change. So I knew when we bought this house 2 1/2 years ago - I would paint.

You can see the new color on the far big wall. I think it makes the vaulted ceilings stand out more and goes nicely with our rug.

I'm not quite done yet, I still have one full wall to do, the hallway, and a precarious spot above the stairway. I'm still trying to figure out the logistics of reaching this spot shown below.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sunday baseball

We took the kids to the Twins game yesterday against the Oakland A's. It was the first time they had been to the new Target Field. It took Katie a while to realize that we were going to be sitting outside for the whole game - she remembers being inside. The high was going to be around 62, with "considerable cloudiness". So, to avoid complaints of being cold I layered the kids up. Long sleeve shirts, sweatshirts, coats, and mittens....just in case. Turns out all we needed was a t-shirt. It was beautiful! Almost hot, even.

The twins lost - thanks to a rotten fist inning. But, more importantly, we ate hot dogs, dippin' dots, nachos, and wild rice soup. (Yummy)

After games on Sundays, kids can run around the bases. There were a LOT of kids (and parents) who wanted to go down onto the field - including us. So John ran with Will around the bases while Katie managed to beat both of them. And, after a 30 second heart attack of not being able to find her afterwards, we headed home.

While walking behind John and Katie for most of the day - I'd been trying to get a picture of the two of them. They looked so cute in their baseball jerseys and hats, hand in hand. (Side note....I picked up Katie's jersey at a garage sale this summer for $1.50!!)

There goes John and Will...Katie is ahead of them on fist base.

Sitting on the golden glove outside the stadium.

Will walked inside, flopped himself down just like this, and stayed there for an hour....until he fell off and then slept on the floor for a bit.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday Funny - a late night one

Sometimes the funny things don't happen until Friday night.

Tonight the kids and I went to "Barnyard Boogie" at the Rec Center here in town. It's an annual party for preschoolers with a petting zoo, crafts, snacks, and dancing. Of course, the dancing was Katie and Will's favorite. Here is a little video of them getting down together.

*A side note - the song they are dancing to is "Macarena" - I flashed back to all the weddings I've been to and danced to this song - as well as all the drinks I'd had in me at the time. Ahh, how Friday nights have changed. The music hasn't. One more thing that hasn't changed? Boys who try to do the in point: Will. You'll notice that his moves pretty much sum up how ALL males do this one. :)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Cuddle time

Molly is still hanging around. I think she's even won John over, so she's here to stay. It's cute because the kids can pretty much do anything to her and she's still following them around for more. She likes to be in the same room with them, and even though they've each gotten one little scratch so far - they are crazy about her too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Running like the wind

Ok - maybe I don't run like the wind, but I don't fall over and trip. Given that this is my first summer of really running - ever, I'm happy I haven't given up yet. Now I know why I never ran in high school - it pretty much sucks and it's hard! Way more of a mental sport than I initially thought. It's hard to get past your mind telling you to "Stop, stop, stop, stop, walk, walk walk, just stop, why don't you stop?" Also - I'm a bit of a loud breather so I'm sure I bugging those around me. I curse the hills, and I mouth the words to all of my songs that I listen to. :)

Last weekend I did a 5k here in town. It was my second one, and my time improved about a minute. So, that's something, I guess. After I got done with my run, it was time for the kid's run. Katie and Will both ran .25 miles and got a medal for finishing. I was very proud of both - they sure ran their best!

Monday, September 13, 2010

School Days

Last week marked our first days of school for both Katie and Will. Katie has started 1st grade, so she goes every day, all day. Will attends preschool one day a week for just a few hours. I KNOW Will would gladly go every day, all day.

Of course Will thought he'd get to ride a bus to school, but once he saw his building - he couldn't wait for me to leave. Once I picked him up, he said he wanted to go back right away. I take that as a good sign. :)

Katie likes eating lunch at school. It's a big change for us at home not to have her chatter at the table. So far, she has liked every meal they've had, but she's excited to take her lunch sometime too. I helped out in the lunchroom last Friday and it was so fun to see all the kids learning how to manage their trays, milk, napkins, etc. Only had 2 dropped trays. There are about 100 1st graders in Katie's school.

Katie's first day of school. As you can see, Will is a bit offended.

Ok - Now it's Will's first day of school. He had to wear his backpack out to the bus stop when Katie got on the bus...even though his school didn't start for another hour.

Will's first pit stop in his classroom. He thought the chairs were pretty neat.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Party Night

So Katie had a good time watching Camp Rock 2 on the Disney Channel the other night. She really got into it. :) Oh yeah - at one point, the cat got into her popcorn. We found out Molly loves popcorn!

Countdown to 1st grade

Last week, Katie's new elementary school had an open house for incoming students. We took all of her school supplies and set up her new desk. There are about 21 kids in Katie's class, including a Kaitlynn, a Cate, and of course a Katie. So far, we know there are 2 girls in her class from our neighborhood.

Also - you'll notice that Katie has on her "Quality Chick" T-shirt, from Decorah. We came to the open house right after our day at the fair. (Big day) Anyway, while we were at the fair, one of the helpers in the library tent saw Katie's t-shirt and asked if we were from Decorah. I said, no - but I grew up in a town near there. I never say "Waukon" because usually people don't know what I'm talking about. This lady goes on to say "Oh, well my husband and I go repelling near a little town called Waukon, and we camp in Yellow River Forest." I explained that Waukon was indeed my hometown and she remarks how much she loves the area and that it has great spots for repelling.

So there you go. Looking for something to do this weekend? Go repelling in Waukon.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

More State Fair

The kids each had some money to spend at the fair, and this is how they chose to spend some of it....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Great Minnesota Get Together

Usually the state fair is given the nickname "The Great Minnesota SWEAT Together", but this year we went on just about the perfect day. Cool in the morning, nice in the afternoon. I don't think any of us felt "hot" until we got in our car to go home.

We rode the bus to the fair. It picked us up in Eden Prairie, so we had a nice 40 minute ride to St. Paul. We got there about 9:30 or so and headed to our first stop. There were some kid's events in Carousel Park, and we made it early enough to get a free kid's CD, and since it was "Library Day" the kids each got to pick out a free book.

From there we went straight to the rides. I had pre-purchased ride tickets at a discount so I wanted to make sure we got them used up. It was a great day for rides - no lines, no waiting. And this year they could both go on ALL the rides. (Not that they DID all the rides, but they COULD have. :) )

Sorry - this is through can see he really likes it though!
We ate burgers and fries and a milkshake for lunch. I'm a bit sad that I skipped the cheese curds and corn on the cob, BUT we were able to eat lunch for $11 for the 3 of us, and there's always next year. Then we found some cookies and a smoothie.
Katie and Will each got lots of free pencils and each a pair of sunglasses. We also caught a random show at the family stage - a ventriloquist which kept the kids laughing with his funny bird.
Check back tomorrow for more fair pictures....the kids each did a bungee jump on a trampoline. :)