Thursday, June 29, 2006

In which I brag about how smart my kid is

Tonight I'm on the phone with the godmother ironing out the details of this weekend when Back Seat Girl comes up to me and says:

"Go to the store and buy some applesauce"

And I look at her in amazement and reply:

"You want to go with momma and buy applesauce?"


I couldn't believe I heard her right. She's been asking for applesauce for the last couple of days but I don't have any, so I have to keep telling her that. Apparently she's sick of hearing it. But it gets better, because after she starts chanting "go bye-bye, go bye-bye", she says:

"Go to the grocery store and buy applesauce."

She knows what store to go to and actually realized that if I didn't have any the grocery store did, so we would have to go there and buy it. And then she had the words to say it.

I guess the next step will be when she starts asking for a pony. I already have an answer all ready: "Go ask your father."

How Cute

Shotgun has commented that some of my posts don't fit in so well on this "Family" blog. Well how is this for cuteness? For the reader or two that doesn't know us, these are not our kids. Rather, they belong to some other poor unfortunate soul. Just look at that TV.

Anyone done anything similar? Or has Driver or Shotgun been involved in something like this? I seem to remember having a good time playing in a bag of concrete mix.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The screaming, it could force me to go over the edge

This morning all was quiet in the nieghbor's yard. Nothing, not a sound. I didn't see any children, any adults, anyone. I was tempted to run around in my yard, the alley, and the street screaming at the top of my lungs, but I didn't. When Back Seat Girl and I came back from the park, I rejoiced at how quiet and peaceful it still was. This was how the nieghborhood was when we moved to it. I made lunch without the racket of screaming girls and shouting boys. I started wondering if, maybe, just maybe, they were actually all gone somewhere. Like on vacation or something. Oh, wouldn't that be great? Maybe it would be quiet for a couple of DAYS!

I laid Back Seat Girl down for a nap, and, like I usually do when it's nice out, left her windows open a crack. I cleaned up after lunch, and in the back of my head I thought "now it is when it will start". I sat down in my nice quiet living room to fold some laundry, with the windows open and everything, and that's when I heard it. The house next door came alive. Hundreds of children spilled out of it onto the yard, congregating around Back Seat Baby's window. The little girl with the piercing scream, she was there. I wonder what she would sound like if she was every really in danger. I had dreams of maybe taking a nap myself to catch up on some sleep, but that would be impossible now.

Finally, I'd had enough. I went outside to the back yard where the little girls were screaming and I poked my head through the bushes and I said, while pointing at one of Back Seat Baby's windows "Do you see that window right there? That's my baby's room. She is sleeping right now. She needs to sleep for a while longer, so could you please stop screaming for a while?" They looked at me solemnly and said OK. But I couldn't really tell that the noice level diminished at all after that. About 5 minutes after I came back in, Back Seat Girl was awake. Both days we've been home this week, she's been woken up from her nap. She was so tired and cranky before bed last night, it was not fun. I am at the end of my rope. The noise has gotten worse this last week, I know it. I understand kids will be kids, and I don't expect them to be quiet. It's just the constant, shouting, screaming, running around...all of it right outside of Back Seat Girl's windows. It may not start early, but it goes later into the night than it should. And this is Richfield, people, we live on top of each other here. If you need to scream and shout at the top of your lungs go to the park.

I may be hormonal and sleep deprived, but this is getting ridiculous. Perhaps tonight when Back Seat Girl gets really cranky and over-tired, I'll just drop her off over there and let them take care of her. They'd probably just let her run around and scream in the yard with no adult supervision.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

There are little circles everywhere!

Tonight I was in the middle of making meatloaf when I came to the horrible realization that I was missing an ingredient. Namely-ketchup. So, I looked down at Back Seat Girl, who had tears streaming down her face because I wouldn't let her have a cookie, and came to another horrible realization that I would have to run to the grocery store at 4:30 with a cranky Back Seat Girl. So, I picked her and the duck scrub brush she insisted on bringing along up and headed toward the wagon. At first I just meant to get the ketchup and get out of there, but then I decided that since I was already AT the grocery store, I would pick up a few things I needed to get through the week.

Apparently someone hit me over the head really hard at work today, because I forgot everything I've learned in the almost two years that I've been a parent and grabbed a basket and not a cart. Yes, that meant I would have to either carry Back Seat Girl all over the store or let her walk. I wasn't going to get too many things, but I was still in a huge hurry to get home and get the meatloaf in the oven so we could eat at a decent time. So, I started out in produce carrying her, but quickly realized I wouldn't be able to keep that up through the store. So I set her down, and she insisted on carrying the basket (after I wrestled an avacado away from her that she was insisting she put in the basket). She started carrying the basket, and it was very slow going. So I took the basket away from her. Meltdown number 1. Then I picked her up again and let her hold the basket while I carried her. That was fine until I put the ketchup in it, and then it was too heavy. So, I put her down and asked her if she could hold mommie's hand. To my amazement, she was all about it.

Things went well for about one aisle, and then we saw it: the dreaded circle. I'm sure the normal person doesn't notice them, but in every store, every sidewalk, EVERYWHERE, there are little metal circles in the floor. I don't know if they are for drains, or what, but Back Seat Girl is obsessed with them. When she finds them, she runs to them, stands on them, and says "I find a circle". And she doesn't move. Apparently the Cub has a couple in every aisle. And we found them. And stood on them. For a while.

I've had quicker trips to the grocery store.

Monday, June 26, 2006

I just want a little peace

What I actually say to the nieghbor children: Nothing.

What I want to say: "Oh my god, why, why do you need to shout like that all of the time? Do you see me? I am 5 months pregnant, I got 4 hours of sleep last night, I am stiff and sore and can't take any ibuprofen, and I spent the morning chasing a toddler around, listening to her non-stop chatter, and wondering if it's time to forgive my husband or not. I am physically and emotionally exhausted. If you wake my kid up from her nap, I swear to you that I will be under your windows at 5 AM tomorrow screaming just as loud as you are now for no apparent reason. I can't see a crazed man chasing you with a knife, so I really don't see a reason for the loud shouting and blood-curdling screaming. Please, please, SHUT THE HELL UP!

P.S. For the love of god, how many of you are there, anyway?

P.S.S. If you don't feel sorry enough for me already, I would like to add that I also have a cold.

Friday, June 23, 2006

But wait--there's more!

Editors Note: Due to the limitiations of blogging technology, the posts show up in reverse order. This is the 3rd in a series of 3 entries. To start at the first on click here.

Monday morning arrived all too soon. We took another burley ride, dissasembled camp, and headed to Mam and Pap’s to hang out in the pool. I really can’t say enough about how great it is that that place has a pool. Because, really, what’s better after the crappy job of taking down camp then fighting with your spouse over fun noodles in a pool while your toddler sleeps quietly in the condo.

On the way home, we stopped at Happy’s again to make sure the bunny had his fill of clover. Back Seat Girl ate an entire bowl of soft serve, and took her sweet time about it, too. We got back later than we wanted to because that bowl could not be taken away from her. She guarded it with her life.

When we got home, we had one VERY satisfied toddler, and two incredibly exhausted adults, but we had a GREAT time. Driver and I are very happy we seem to have a little girl who enjoys to do all of the things we love to do, and we are looking forward to many more family camping trips. Also, we highly recommend Kathio State Park near Lake Mille Lacs. It was a great place, with lots of hiking trails, a VERY clean bathroom, great tent sites, a nice pond for swimming, and nicer pit toilets then I’ve seen in a lot of other places.

Thus ends the first camping adventure for the entire Station Wagon Family. I’m sure they will be much more complicated in the future, when we add a Back Seat Boy to the mix, but for this summer we’re just going to enjoy having only one small Back Seater to worry about.

Posted by Picasa

Vacation: Part 2--Camping, or I Hate Paul Douglas

Saturday morning we went for a really nice canoe ride. The water on the bay was very calm, so we paddled out to the point and back. The highlight of this little adventure for Back Seat Girl was seeing a puppy swimming in the water. He was retrieving tennis balls off a dock. It blew her mind.

When we got back to the condo, Mam and Pap were there. So, Driver and I headed out to the camp ground to set up camp without Back Seat Girl, who stayed behind with Mam and Pap to eat lunch and take a nap. Driver and I set up camp, ate some lunch, and took a walk around. Just as we were leaving to go back and retrieve Back Seat Girl, it started to rain. We weren’t too upset, because SCATTERED showers were predicted. We can handle SCATTERED showers, we thought. Well, the SCATTERED shower lasted well into the night. We were pissed, to say the least. We wouldn’t have bothered reserving a site for Saturday had we known it was supposed to rain all freakin’ day. But the forecast said SCATTERED, so we figured we’d be OK. We hung out at the condo all day, trying to keep Back Seat Girl occupied, until after supper. Then Driver and I decided to head back to the camp site and tough it out there while Back Seat Girl stayed behind to sleep in the nice, dry condo. We were heartily disappointed because this was supposed to be our first REAL family vacation with all 3 (and a half) of us, but we decided she’d sleep better at Mam and Pap’s, and we’d have more fun with a well-rested toddler the next day. So, Driver and I had a nice time roasting hot dogs and marshmallows over the fire and trying out our new (huge) tent, which actually stayed dry during the monsoon.

The next morning Mam called us when Back Seat Girl woke up so I went and got her while Driver fixed us some breakfast. First on the agenda was a Burley ride to the park/swim area. That was all good…there was even a dam there where people were fishing, and that was good fun to watch. Some guy had caught a 38 inch northern. We went back to the site, made lunch, and put Back Seat Girl down for her first nap in a tent. She went down with no problems…just talked for a while before falling asleep. An hour later she woke up crying. When I went to get here she was fluorescent pink and her hair was wet from sweating. It WAS pretty warm in the tent, but man… you would’ve thought it was about 150 degrees. I opened up more windows and stripped her down to her diaper, and she was perfectly happy to lay down again. That was the end of the nap, though. She just talked happily to herself for a while after that.

Next adventure: hiking with the baby backpack. We rented one from REI, so Driver got to be the family camel and hike around with Back Seat Girl on his back. She enjoyed it, and even got to see some deer while I was taking a pee break at the nature center. I came out and Driver said “What did we see while mommy was in the bathroom?” to which came a very hearty reply of “DEERS!”. For the whole rest of the hike, no matter where we were or what we were looking at she kept saying “I see it, deers!”. Driver and I never saw another deer. Maybe we just weren’t looking hard enough.

Back to the site for some supper. Back Seat Girl had a great time running around the site, “helping” her daddy make a fire, and digging in the sand around the tent. We took a little walk around the camp ground with the stroller, and then it was time for what we were most nervous about…bedtime. It all went very smoothly, though, and Driver and I were once again allowed to enjoy a little campfire before bed. Back Seat Girl slept through everything, including us coming into the tent to change our clothes and go to bed. She woke up for a bit between 3 and 4 and talked for a while, and then, amazingly, slept until 8 AM!! We were pleased, to say the least.
I'll leave you with a nice image of Back Seat Girl enjoying some breakfast on Monday morning. Posted by Picasa

Vacation: Part 1

This past weekend we went camping for the first time with Back Seat Baby (I feel we should be calling her Back Seat Girl since we know we’re having a Back Seat Boy, I’ll have to discuss with Driver). Anyway, we were a bit nervous since camping is something we really enjoy, so we were hoping that she would have fun, too. Kind of like the Burley, which she has started to really like and which makes us immensely happy.

We left Thursday night after I got home from work and we finished up packing the car. We stopped in Elk River to eat at Sbarro. This is where the first Back Seat Girl quote took place. We were all sitting there eating our slightly tasteless food. It was one of those times when everyone else in the place seemed to be leaving all at the same time. Back Seat Girl turned around in her highchair and asked “Where eveybody going?” It was pretty funny.

We stayed at Mam and Pap’s place on Mille Lacs Thursday night through Saturday morning. We had a great time Friday. We went swimming in the pool, which she loved, and also took a canoe ride around the bay, which she also really loved. She didn’t even mind the life jacket we made her wear.

For supper we decided to go to a place called Happy’s, which is just north of Onamia. We thought it was just a little family diner. We were wrong. First of all, Back Seat Girl got to eat her own French fries, which she calls ‘hamburgers’, and which she never gets to do. Then we went outside to the playground. While we were out there, I kept thinking I heard a goat bleeting (a multitude of jokes could be inserted here, but this is a family blog). There was a woodsy area next to the playground, where the alleged bleeting was coming from. Finally my curiosity got the better of me. I found a well-worn path through the woods, so I walked through it and practically tripped over a lamb, which was in a little pen at the edge of the woods. She was bleeting and seemed very happy to see me. I was pretty shocked to see her, and summoned Driver and Back Seat Girl over. Back Seat Girl was thrilled by the lamb and kept mimicking her sounds, but touching her was out of the question. We seemed to be on a little hobby farm or something, and soon a little girl ran up to us and told us the lamb’s name (Mary, of course) and did not seem shocked that some total strangers had wandered through the woods and ended up at her house petting her lamb. Then a teenage couple, a girl and boy, I’m thinking the little girl’s older sister and boyfriend maybe, came over and talked to us for a while. No one seemed perplexed that total strangers were on their property-- it was a little weird. You may think that was the highlight of our trip to Happy’s, but no, there's more. We went back to the playground, and while we were playing we spotted a little pen by a shed behind the restaurant. There was a bunny in it. Back Seat Girl toddled right over and was more than happy to stick her fingers in the pen and feed it “flowers” (clover). She loved it. It was one of the cutest darn things I’ve ever seen. She wasn’t scared of touching him at all. It still got better for Back Seat Girl, though. It started to rain a little so we went back in where she got her own ice cream cone and got to play on the indoor playground, too. Talk about a full night! So much adventure and her vacation was only beginning. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

One Last Non-Baby/Family Post For The Night

I'm not sure what makes this photo more disturbing. The fact that this guy has a star wars tattoo or the fact that he had to shave soooo much arm hair to get it. You're right, I secretly want one.

Random Shot On TV

I was just watching the Twins, Astros game and they had a shot of former First Lady, Barbra Bush in the stands. She was all decked out in her pearls and looking very relaxed. The best part of the whole thing is... she was keeping score! How cool is that!

Robot Chicken

If you haven’t seen this show, Robot Chicken, check it out. It is just freakin’ hilarious. For 15 minutes I laughed out loud. Of course I only saw one episode. The rest may not be funny at all, but this one gave me a gut ache.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Naked Baby Pictures

Quick and dirty post but you aren't here for words....

Looks like Blue! Could this be a Driver Junior?

/Updated pictures

Diva in training

I know all of you have words in your head you would use to describe me. Maybe some are flattering, some others may not be. That's OK, we're all human. However, I'm sure that none of you would use the word "Diva" in conjunction with me. That being said, here's a picture of my daughter eating breakfast this morning. No, I didn't place them on her face. That was her own doing. I think the drop of milk on her chin is a nice touch. Posted by Picasa

Hey everyone-Don't forget to put your guesses in down there for blue or pink!

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Blue...or Pink?

Tomorrow is the day we find out what sex The Bean is. I'm pretty excited. My appointment is at noon. Back Seat Baby isn't allowed to come along, so she's going to stay at home with Mam, and Driver and I are going to go and get a good look at the little guy/girl.

Although I am very excited to see the baby and find out what we're going to have (and a little nervous, because they could always find something wrong), one of the great parts of Mam coming up here is that Driver and I have a babysitter tomorrow night. That's right, a Friday night, people! We can paint the town red! Of course, we'd have to stay up past ten to do that...but we may just try. We're going to the Science Museum to see Body Worlds. Then we're going to our favorite restaurant, Auriga, because we have gift certificates to burn. And then, maybe, just maybe...we'll go and see a movie. That's a big maybe, though. Either way, no coming home by 7 or 8 to get Back Seat Baby to bed. Just me, Driver, some dead bodies, and good food. I can't wait.

Anyway, I think you should all comment and put your guesses in as to what the stationwagon family will be bringing home in a few months (no, not a litter of kittens, we mean gender here), and then we'll post and tell everyone. Start guessing!!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

A Four Leaf Clover in the Lab

Guess what? I bet you'll never guess. It has to do with Shotgun's work. You got nothing? OK, I'll tell you. There is a pathologist working where I work, and he's, well, he's HOT! I just about fell over when I met him for the first time on Monday. Men are kind of a rarity in the lab, and good-looking younger men? Let's just say that they are about as rare as four leaf clovers. So, although I had to work my a** off the last couple of days in a department where I haven't worked since before Back Seat Baby was born, I was able to meet Dr. I am dark and handsome and have just enough of an accent to be sexy and just ignore the fact that I have a wife and a new baby. Oh, and he smells good, too. Come on Ladies, comment!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Using Alvin for Evil

The station wagon was loaded up and returning from a Sunday afternoon barbeque hosted by Compensate and St. Pauly Girl. It was a Sunday and, as usual, Back Seat Baby’s sleep schedule was way out of whack. There was no normal noon nap so she was sleeping every time we got in the car. We pulled into the garage at 5:30 and she was out like a light. The little pumpkin needed her sleep. Shotgun was feeling a little mischievous and squirted some water on me to play the “look you peed in your pants” game. HaHa, Good times!
I was on my way inside and trying desperately to think of a way to get her back, and then it came to me. Right in front of me were two clay pots and a chipmunk hiding in a down spout. My MacGyver like mind went to work and I quickly devised a rudimentary trap and captured the chipmunk.

Shotgun was still sitting in the wagon listening to NPR and chilling out with Back Seat Baby. I walked up to her and placed the trapped chipmunk on her lap. Knowing that she couldn’t scream without waking up the baby made this even better. Shotgun was initially confused then freaked out when she heard the rodent scratching on the side of the pots. The only thing she was able to stammer out was, “it doesn’t have access to my leg, does it?”

I won that round.

Helmet Cam

This is just a quick note that the good folks at Oregon Scientific have provided Papa Wonder with a helmet cam to demo. No good can come of this. Some video is coming soon.

Our only goal will be not to get on the news and not to look like thes boneheads.

What does Driver do?

What does Driver do?

I have a feeling that many people aren’t quite sure what Driver does for a living. Most everyone knows that I work for the soul crushing man at 3M. If you go to the 3M page on Wikipedia there is a link in the see also section to “Sterilization Microbiology” (a link that I added). I am a quality engineer for the sterilization microbiology products at 3M. The specifics of what a Quality Engineer does come out way too boring to actually write down in a blog, but if you’re in for some punishment, Wikipedia is here save the day with some instant knowledge.

Fire! Fire! Fire!

So, Driver headed out to the local Target and picked up a fire pit. I was initially skeptical of such citified camp fires. But, Lance With Two and his lovely wife proved me wrong. To christen the new firepit some friends were invited over from some biking and barbequing.

It got late and we got to contemplating the thermodynamics of said fire pit. Questions came up such as:

Why doesn’t the fire pit melt?

Why doesn’t the glass just turn to sand?

What about cans?

Well, Driver scoured the interlink and found out a few things. Copper melts at about 2000°F and a typical wood fire burns at about 1000°F. That answers the red hot fire question, but what about glass?

During my several minutes of research I was unable to find the specific melting temperature of a Summit Pale Ale bottle, but glass seems to melt around 1000°F. That’s right folks, less than a wood. But wait, why doesn’t the glass turn back to sand?
It’s metaphor time… Plastic beads can be melted into a glob but, you can’t melt that glob into small beads. I’d imagine that glass and sand/silica behaves the same way.

Aluminum has a melting point of 1220°F. Pretty close to the temperature of a fire, huh? The numbers on the temperature of burning wood were very hard to find and my guess is that they are also pretty variable; dependant on wood type, oxygen availability and other technical stuff.

From this data it can only be concluded that further study is needed. I must have more camp fires and find a way to measure the temperature.