Thursday, December 20, 2007

My proudest moment as a parent and a scientist

I thought I was going to write a post about how the proudest moment I've had since becoming a parent was this past Sunday. My oldest child was at the front of church, singing in her very first Christmas program, while my youngest child was sitting on my lap excitedly slapping the pew in front of us because his beloved sister was waving at us and saying "Hello, [Back Seat Boy]", over and over again in the tiny little voice she reserves just for him.

I was going to write about that, but then this morning happened.

Back Seat Girl woke up with a bit of a cough, and over breakfast she was asking me how she got it. I told her she had caught a germ and it was inside of her making her cough. She thought about this for a moment and then said "I wish I would get a white blood cell to eat the germ in me and make me all better". After swelling with pride for a moment I told her she already has white blood cells, we all do, and they are trying to eat the germ right now. She has been talking about her white blood cells all day, and while I was telling her about how they eat the germs she asked, very solemnly "will it hurt?". She has also asked me how long it will take.

Now, if Back Seat Boy will just learn to say adenosine tryphosphate, my life will be complete.

Also-I tried another thing that's not very easy with a 3 year old and a 1 year old "helping"--scrubbing the kitchen floor. It didn't take long to remember why I usually wait for naptime to get out large buckets of water.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Two things I've attempted in the past week that proved very hard with a 1 year old and a 3 year old involved

1. Decorate the Christmas tree.
(BSG-What's this ornament? Why is it delicate? Where did we get this from? Why do you
keep saying that it's delicate?)
(BSB-Look at all of these balls to throw! Oh, wait-this is obviously meant to be stuck in my
mouth! Hey, if I bang these two things together it makes a really great noise!)
2. Take Christmas card pictures.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Scientific proof that bears are not a type of animal

At supper table, talking about how I have to go to work and she has to go to daycare tomorrow...
(before daycare provider's husband called to tell me she would be closed due to illness....Bah!)

BSG: But you love me so much, you might cry a little at work!
Me: Yea, I might. Do you think you'll cry at [daycare] tomorrow?
BSG: No, I'll see myself.

************************************************

BSG: When I was a baby, I was just like Baby Jesus!

************************************************

While eating her carrots during lunch...

Me: Eating your vegetables will make you grow big and strong.
BSG: Yea, strong like a hippo.
pause...
BSG: or maybe like a rhinocerus!
Me: Which do you think is stronger, a hippo or a rhino?
some deep thinking by BSG...
BSG: A rhinoceros, because they have horns.

***************************************************

While reading the book "Never talk to Strangers", where all of the 'strangers' are different kinds of animals. We were on the page with a bear knocking at the door...

BSG: But a bear isn't a stranger because he's not an animal.
Me: Yes he is. A bear is a type of animal.
BSG: No it's not.
Me: Yes it is.
BSG: No it's not.
Me: What is a bear if he's not an animal?
BSG: It's a type of monster because it has scary teeth. See? (points to book, then touches bear's teeth in the picture). Ouch! Those teeth are sharp!

*******************************************************************

Radio: "I saw mommy kissing Santa Clause underneath the Christmas tree"
BSG -: Mommy was kissing Santa Clause?!

****************************************************************

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

They can only stay babies for so long...

The kids got their hair cut today. It was Back Seat Boy's first ever haircut. He did not enjoy himself, but at least he sat still while he screamed, which is all I cared about. Here are a bunch of really crappy pictures I took after we got home. They are all of BSB except the first one, not because I'm playing favorites, but because I couldn't believe how much older he looks now. Also-very hard to take a picture of him because he was constantly crawling around playing with all of the toilet paper he dragged into the living room from the bathroom. Back Seat Girl fell and knocked it down. That's how things go around here.

BSG, looking down so I could take a picture of her hair
I had to lay down on the floor and then hold the camera up over us and hope I got some of his head in the shot.

Hey--did you know there was tons of this stuff in the bathroom?

Hello, Ladiez!


Thank God he doesn't have BSG's ears






Tuesday, November 13, 2007

All of this happened today and I didn't make any of it up. I swear.

As we were driving down the street in our fair city today I saw a woman walking down the sidewalk carrying a sweater-clad cat. If we end up moving out of Richfield I'm sure gonna' miss stuff like that.

This morning I was trying to get the kids dressed. Back Seat Girl does most of it herself, but it takes a looooooooooooooooooooooooong time for her to complete the transition from jammies to street clothes. She gets distracted by, oh, I don't know, everything. So she is in her room with Back Seat Boy and I'm in BSB's room getting clothes for him to wear when I hear both of them giggling. "Mom, come in here, BSB has a funny hat on!" BSG calls. Before I even poke my head in I know what I'm going to see, which is a scary fact in and of itself. Sure enough, BSB is sitting on BSG's rug with a pair of her underwear on his head, and they are both laughing.

I had a day off today which is rare, because Tuesdays are the one day of the week I am practically guaranteed to be at work. The reason has to do with the fact that yesterday was a federal holiday, and you can all go ahead and groan and roll your eyes, I don't care. Anyway, if you'll let me finish, that means the kids and I were home when the cleaning ladies got here. Before I proceed I just want to say I am a bit hesitant to write this because I know the cleaning ladies may occasionally read this website, and if they don't read this entry, I've heard one their daughters enjoys to read here so they will probably hear about this. I will also be calling them Cleaning Ladies for two reasons: 1--I hate to use people's real names without their consent, and 2--BSG called them that the whole time they were here, even after she learned their names. It's like she was meant to be brought up in a family with much, much more money. Man, don't you hate it when it takes forever for people to make a point?

OK, so the kids and I are at the table eating lunch and the Cleaning Ladies are in various parts of the house doing their thing when BSG announces: "The Cleaning Ladies have boobs". I had no idea if they had heard her or not, and if they did they chose to ignore it, but I said a fervent prayer that that would be the last time she talked about it while they were here. It was. Two SuperTargets and no more mention of boobs--God really does answer prayers.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

One Year Old

updated:now with photos--finally!




One year old. I really don't know how this happened. I know I said it before, but I really am in a little bit of shock here. I promise this is the last comparison I make to your sister, but it seemed to take much longer for her to make it to a year. Now here you are, crawling around--a little person, so far removed from the baby in the picture up there.

You have always had a sweet disposition--happy and content, though now you are throwing age-appropriate tantrums. I say age appropriate because I took you to the Dr. yesterday and he asked if you were tantruming and I realized that yes, you are and when I said that he seemed almost pleased. You get mad when I take things away you shouldn't have, when I set you down when you want to be carried, when I don't set you down when you want to get down, when you wake up at 5 AM and realized that we aren't in your room to get you up but to try to get you to fall back asleep, and when you are sitting in your highchair and there is not food in front of you RIGHT. NOW. We switched your car seat to front facing yesterday and for the first time you threw a fit when I went to put you back in it after running errands. You straightened your little body out so I couldn't strap you in, crunched up your face, and grunted with rage.

This past week it's like you were completely aware that you knew you were about to turn one. You started waving bye-bye and crawling. You suddenly seemed so much older. I can't quite put my finger on it, but I noticed something was different. I know I'm not completely crazy, because Driver mentioned the same thing to me yesterday.

You have started holding your socks up to my nose after I take them off of you so I can smell them and say "P.U.--stinky!" You blow on your food the second you see anyone else at the table do it. You are mimicing everything we do--though your favorite thing to mimic is clapping. Tonight your sister and I were making tooting noises with our mouths while we were eating supper (oh, yea, we are that classy) and you thought it was hysterical. After you got done laughing your adorable little laugh, you tried making the same noises with your mouth. The problem was that all of your toot noises weren't quite 'toot' and more like blowing raspberries, but you still thought you were pretty awesome.

Your favorite thing to do is make noise. You love to bang things together, or bang objects against anything close to you--the floor, the wall, the refrigerator...whatever will make a nice, gratifying noise. You also love to take baths. You have no problem with getting a cup of water dumped over your head, and you have a great talent for bending over to try to take drinks from the bath water. Your favorite thing to do is to splash as hard as you can. You throw your whole body into it, and when water is dripping off of all of us and the walls you squeal with glee and do it over and over until I've had enough and pull you out of the bath to dry off.

You have this really annoying habit of trying to get out of peoples' arms when they are holding you. You wriggle and squirm and all but throw yourself forcibly down on the ground, but then when you do get set down you start to cry and turn around and hold your arms up to get picked up again. I really don't know what that's all about. Maybe once you get down you realize the floor wasn't as glorious as you once thought. I thought crawling would do away with this, but that is not the case.

I know I said before that this year has flown by, and it has, but I have a hard time remembering clearly what it was like before you were here. Before you were born the thing I was most apprehensive about was the changing of our family dynamic. We only had Back Seat Girl, and it was hard for me to think about a baby who wasn't her. Especially a boy baby. But then you were born and we fell in love with you and I can't remember what it was like to have just one baby. I can't imagine not having you in our lives, just like those nights when Driver was at school and Back Seat Girl was in bed and it was just me and my belly and my thoughts, and I had a hard time imagining what it would be like to bring another baby into the house. I can't believe how lucky I am that you were the baby in that big belly. I think about that all of the time, when we are out and people are admiring you, but especially when it's just you and me and I don't have to share you. I think about how lucky I am that out of all the people in this world, I get to be your mama, that God chose me to care for you and teach you and love you, you precious baby boy.

I love you so much.

Happy First Birthday, Little Man.



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Monday, November 05, 2007

One year old- APlace Holder

Back Seat Boy-

I don't know how it happened, but today you turned one year old. In the past week you have weaned yourself, started crawling and waving bye-bye, and now this birthday on top of everything---I don't know if your old mom can handle it.

It's getting late and there's a lot to do before I go to bed, so I'm not going to have time to write you your birthday post today. It's really you're fault--you didn't take a very good afternoon nap. I didn't even have time to finish the Desperate Housewives I TiVo'd. Good thing it was your birthday, I had to forgive you right away. I guess the fact that you are so frickin' cute, your birthday, and the fact that you got a bazillion shots this morning all added up to you getting away with murder today. I would have almost let you eat all of your sister's pop beads.

Anyway, I hope you had a good birthday today (except for the part where we almost got in a car accident and ended up on the curb in the wagon inbetween a fire hydrant and a telephone pole), and I promise that soon, very soon, I will write you your birthday post, complete with pictures, and, if I can figure it out, a video.

I love you!!
MaMaMaMaMaMa

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Ups and Downs of 3

Living with a 3 year old is very unpredictable. There are days when I cringe inwardly every time I realize I did something heinous like suggest we eat Cheerios instead of Honey Nut Bunches of Oats. I have to mentally gear up for something like getting dressed in the morning, and God forbid I do something like pick out long sleeves to wear even though its 50 degrees outside. Yes, there are days like that. But then...then there are days like today.

Today, Back Seat Girl woke up in a stellar mood. Cereal for breakfast? Great!! Play some really cute imaginary game totally by myself while my mom cleans up after breakfast? You bet! Going to the park when my brother wakes up? Great!! Leaving the park when mom says it's time without resisting even a little bit? Sure!! Nap time? No stalling here! Sleep from 1 until 4:30 when mom finally wakes me up so I will go to bed tonight. No problem!! Then there was the clincher. After supper I gave her a scoop of chocolate ice cream. She was so excited. She ate with great pleasure, and then right before she was about to drink the "ice cream milk" she said, with total sincerity "Thank you Mommy. Thank you so much for the chocolate, Mommy." Could she be any cuter?

Oh, yea. She can. Tonight we reprised the game she played all by herself earlier today, with a few changes. We fed hippos in her room, chickens and chics which had to come downstairs from my room, and giraffes in the kitchen. It was rather involved, and not only did it involve imaginary animals and imaginary food for said animals, it also included her having to build a zoo and me having to fill a pie tin with water so a giraffe and a goat could swim and drink. Don't worry, she took them to the bathroom so they wouldn't pee in the water. As in, she actually took them into our bathroom, but then explained to me that she didn't have to flush the potty because it was just pretend pee. Here are a few pictures, with one of Back Seat Boy thrown in as a bonus.



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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ah, Love

I know a couple who recently celebrated their 32-year anniversary. On the big day, the Wife woke up as usual and got ready for work. Before leaving, she went back into the bedroom to say good-bye to the Husband and ask if he would be home that night for supper. She was going to throw in a "Happy Anniversary", but then decided to wait and see if he would remember. The Husband said he would be home for supper and left if at that.

The Wife left for work. No problems, she thought, he'll probably remember in a few hours and call. The wife went about her work day, not giving much thought to the whole situation. It was, after all, 32 years. Not 30, not 35, so she wasn't expecting much. Maybe a card, maybe some flowers, but for sure some sort of recognition that 32 years ago that day they had started a new life together.

At around 10 that morning the Husband shows up to the Wife's work. "Come out here", he said, motioning toward the door that leads to the parking lot, "I have something to show you". The Wife, understandably, gets very excited. Wow, she thinks, I wasn't expecting anything. This is great! I wonder what he got me?! She follows the Husband out to the parking lot, her heart beating wildly.

The Husband points to a black pick-up truck. "I got a new truck!", he says excitedly. The Wife knew the Husband was going to get a new truck for his business, but this was not the surprise she was expecting. She stood by the truck quietly, listening to the husband talk about his new truck. After a couple of minutes the Husband pauses and looks at the Wife. "I know you aren't really into this stuff. I just wanted to bring it by to show you." The Wife nods. They say their goodbyes. Just as the Wife is about to step back inside her place of work she turns to look a the Husband. "You know, I am happy you got a new truck. I guess I'm just a little disappointed, considering this is our anniversary. Do you know how hard my heart was beating when you said 'come here, I have to show you something'?"

The Husband immediately looks down at his watch, rechecking the date. "Oh, #%$^!!", he exclaims.

That night the Wife came home to a beautiful bouquet of flowers and was treated to a nice dinner out.

And so began their 33rd year of marriage...

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A Letter to the Zoo

Dear Zoo,
Listen, I'll be honest here. I realize that maybe the Tapir exhibit isn't your biggest draw. I'm sure compared to the monkeys or tigers, or even the new Minnesota Trail, the Tapirs aren't high on the priority list.

Here's the thing, though. I have a daughter, and I realize she's not 'normal', but she loves tapirs. She knows quite a bit about them, and though we go to the zoo often, being members and all, she has never gotten to see the tapirs. Part of this is really our fault. We are usually there when it's nice out and skip the Tropics trail because it's indoors, and let's face it, we're really there for the family farm.

Then the MN trail opened, and it's right next to the Tropics trail (I know, kinda' weird), so we decided to change our zoo routine up a bit and headed over. The Tapir had a sore on it's foot and wasn't on exhibit because it was healing. Fair enough, I thought. I explained this to my daughter, who was very accepting giving her love for owies and bandages and such.

A few weeks later we decided to go to the zoo on a rainy day so we stuck to the indoor trails, and the Tapir was still off exhibit for it's poor foot. Once again, my daughter accepted this.

This past weekend, we decided to come back. We told our daughter that we would get to see the Tapir and how its foot healed. She was so excited. While we were leaving the dolphin show she told the woman at the door "I'm going to go and check how the Tapir's foot healed". At every animal pen along the tropics trail she looked in distractedly and then said "we have to go see the Tapir". As we headed down the trail my husband and I could see the dreaded sign. I could see the words "Off Exhibit" along the top. Now don't get me wrong, I think it's great that you want to improve the Tapir's pen and give it a nice new floor, but maybe you could've taken care of this while the Tapir was healing and off exhibit anyway? I understand that you probably don't have a lot of poeple up in arms because they can't see the Tapir, but look at us. Don't we look sad? Bring back the Tapir!! Do it for all of the weird three year old girls who saw a "Go, Diego, Go" episode about Tapirs and can't seem to let it go.
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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Under this towel is nothing but 100% Back Seat Boy.
Peek-a-Boo!!
Swings at Lake Harriet.
This is the outfit Back Seat Girl put together by herself today after we got back from the park. It's not quite that warm out.
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Monday, October 01, 2007

You know those hollow metal ducts that come out of your furnace to heat the rest of the house? They make a lot of noise when someone takes them apart

The furnace guy is here now. He got here just a little after 7. Right now he is sawing through the wall to put in a vent to the other side of the basement. Saying it is loud would be an understatement. We were downstairs and Back Seat Boy started crying the second the sawing started. Now we're upstairs watching Cinderella. I love, love this movie.

Earlier after BSB went down for his morning nap Back Seat Girl wanted to go play downstairs. HHmmm, I wonder why? Every time I needed to come upstairs for something--answer the phone, refill my coffee cup, get BSB after he woke up--I heard her start making small talk with the furnace guy.

I feel the need to interject here that "furnace guys" have a become a fixture in our lives. We have had the guy who inspected the furnace and deemed it "unsafe", three guys come out to do estimates, and now the installer. That's five differenet "furnace guys". BSG has chatted every one of them up. This morning I had a mild panic attack when I heard her tell Driver, with a mouth full of oatmeal, "I have to hurry up and eat breakfast so I can go downstairs because I think the furnace guy might need help". Um, no. Let's just let the young man do what he came here for so he's done sawing by afternoon nap time.

I also can't stop thinking about all of the money that this is costing us. I would seriously prefer a new wardrobe or a trip or even a kitchen remodel, which I guess would cost more, but then a partial kitchen remodel. Or? Or a new house with a new kitchen in it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

One adult, three children and a cat

This morning BSG, Driver and I are all downstairs playing while Back Seat Boy takes a nap. I should set the scene a little bit here: There is a tiger zoo and a tiger pen, both built out of wooden blocks, and a Lincoln Log barn. The zoo and pen are home to, of course, two tigers--a mommy and a baby. The barn is home to a family of horses--a mommy, baby, and sister. The mommy is one of those Schliek (is that how you spell it, I'm not sure) brand of animals that is very real looking. The baby is a tiny plastic horse that came with a bunch of other tiny plastic animals in a tube that The Godmother got her when we went camping this summer. The sister is a My Little Pony.

Driver decides it would be fun to start tickling me, so he sits on me and starts tickling. BSG was busy putting her horsies to bed, but comes over to join in the fun, until we get too out of control. I start writhing around trying to get free, we start to get a little loud, the tiger pen gets knocked over, and BSG is disgusted. When the dust settles, she tells Driver to fix the tiger pen, then picks up the baby horse and sits on the bottom step. When I ask her what she is doing, she says "I have to rock baby horse back to sleep because you guys woke her up when you were being too loud" in a very accusatory and exasperated tone.

It is hard being the only responsible adult in the house.

Friday, September 28, 2007

IPods=3, Furnace=1 (soon)

You can all rest easy, we're getting a new furnace on Monday. What a boring thing to spend so much money on.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

God help me, I still love him

Have any of you heard the story of our IPod? No? Well, since you haven't, let me give you a quick re-cap:

We had a nano which my parents gave to us a few Christmases ago. It is engraved "Love, Mom and Dad" on the back. Driver has been taking it to work with him and using it when he works out over his lunch break. Well, a few weeks ago he said he couldn't find it. Perhaps it was in the car? No. Perhaps in his desk at work somewhere? No. Perhaps in the locker for the gym at work or in the Lost and Found? No. OMG--someone stole the IPod!! We must buy a new one. Immediately. Right now!

The week after the purchase of a new IPod nano (Did I mention we don't have a working furnace? No? We don't.) Driver was at work when a taller coworker came over to his cube, looked on a tall shelf that Driver can't see the top of, and said "Did you know your IPod is up here?". Obviously the theif felt so guilty he/she brought it back and put it on a high shelf. So, now we have two Nanos. Two Nanos and a Shuffle. IPods=3, furnace=0.

Since we are on a bit of a Driver roll, I guess I could tell you what happened yesterday. Most of you have probably read some of the 3 or 4 posts Driver has written on this website, so you know he is a great, very awesome speller. cough

Whenever I have to work Driver writes me an email in the morning telling me how it went getting the kids ready and dropping them off at daycare. Yesterday morning Back Seat Boy was up before I went to work (up before 6 the last 3 days in a row again--AAAHH!!) so he informed me that BSB was "as happy as a clam until he saw me eat a beagle. So I gave him a piece of the soft part.". I was going to let it go, because I know he meant to say bagel, until that second part, the soft part, got me. I copied and pasted the beagle part of his email and underneath it wrote "I will have to ask that you refrain from doing that ever again".

Some time goes by and then I get a reply, which basically says 'hey, it was just the soft part and he did fine. I've seen you give him pieces of your food so I know it's OK'. I think that maybe he just didn't notice that he typed 'beagle' instead of 'bagel' and is mad at me for scolding him for giving BSB table food. I called him and left a voice mail saying "re-read your email, [Driver]".

It turns out that he had read it just fine and thought a possible spelling for the word 'bagel' may be 'beagle'. I'm sorry, you don't have to be a champion speller to realize that the pronunciation of those two words would be very different from each other. Really, you just have to have a basic grasp of the English language. Also, those of you who know where we live know our house is one block away from a Bruegger's Bagels. He passes it every day on his way to work. He passes a big lit up sign with the word 'bagel' spelled out on it in red letters, but he thinks that maybe you spell it 'beagle'.

I'm sorry, but I can't not blog about that.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Sitting at the Bar

When traveling, more often than not, I am on a solo mission. Most of the time I’ll sit at the bar for dinner and read the paper, a book, or some work stuff. I end up hearing some pretty interesting conversations but they always sound lame when I try to retell the story. My luck changed at the TGI Friday’s in Flemington New Jersey.

I sat down the bar from two guys in their early twenties who were talking about their cheating girlfriend the other fiancĂ© and the latest youtube video. This video totally captures these guys and their conversation. Not that I’m above this type of video. Had you tube existed when I was in college, this blog would have been far more interesting.



How great is it that a few key search terms can permanently document an overheard bar conversation?

-Driver

P.S.
Here is a great little book that I read during the flight. Space Prisoners

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kids should parent themselves

This was going to be a post all about how I really didn't feel like I had to be a mom to Back Seat Girl until it came time to potty train, seeing as how she weened herself from the bottle, breast, and pacifier, and didn't move until she was a year old, which cut out a lot of "don't touch thats" and "get down from theres". I guess I still really don't have to say "get down from there" to her. Ever. Anyway, I was going to go on and complain about how I have no idea how to ween a baby from the bottle/breast even though this is my second baby and am actually kind of perturbed that I have to do it, because it really is so much easier when they do it themselves.

Then today, while I was reading BSG books before her nap, I put BSB in his crib (sitting up) with toys so he had a safe place to play until I finished up with his sister and could commence with putting him to bed. I got all done with BSG and went into BSB's room, where I found him laying, face down, in his crib, clutching his blanket bear, sucking on his pacifier (which I did not give to him), fast asleep. So, I did what any sane person would do. I closed his shade and walked quietly out of the room.

I guess he will do some things for himself.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

That's my girl

The scene: The kitchen table today at lunchtime. The BackSeaters and I are having soup for lunch.

BSG: This is good soup. I should be a soup tester when I grow up.

Me: You want to be a soup tester when you grow up?

BSG: Yea. After I'm done being a princess. Right now I'm busy being a princess.

Me: she really has no idea how true that is

BSG: (sharp intake of breath...you know, like when you're excited) I know! I could be an ice
cream taster!!

Monday, September 03, 2007

Pork Roll

Tonight was kind of a sad night at our house. You see, Pork Roll II had to be retired. He's sitting here next to me now, all floppy and well-loved, while Back Seat Girl sleeps in her bed with his successor.


Everyone that knows us knows Pork Roll and his place in this family. He's been a part of our lives for almost as long as Back Seat Girl has been here. Before she knew she had hands he sat on her changing table waiting for the day when she would be able to pick him up and put him in her mouth. He was the perfect size for her little baby hands and his snout fit perfectly into her mouth. Pork Roll and BSG became inseperable. He came everywhere with us. He slept with her for every nap and at night she would babble to him until she fell asleep in her crib, her hand firmly gripping his neck. When she finally started to crawl, he got dragged around the house from room to room, exploring this new-found freedom right along with her.


Then, one fateful day when BSG was about 15 months old, we took a walk to the grocery store. Of course Pork Roll came long, riding proudly in the stroller. I had gotten into the habit of checking on his where-abouts during our outings since we'd had a few close calls with him before. He had fallen out of the stroller or gotten set down somewhere and then forgotten, and I didn't want to face a world that included BSG without her best friend. So, as we were walking home I bent down and looked into the stroller. No Pork Roll. I looked in the basket under the stroller. No Pork Roll. I turned around and looked behind me along the path we had just walked. No Pork Roll. I retraced me steps to the Lund's, around the Lund's, and finally asked to talk to someone about a Lost and Found. I was introduced to a very nice managed who said that "no, no ratty stuffed pigs had been turned in, but here is this brand new very big Clifford dog.". BSG and I looked at him in disgust and I stuffed him in the basket under the stroller. For a week after that I called the Lund's every day asking if anyone had turned in Pork Roll. I walked our route rooting around in leaves and looking into the storm sewers. Pork Roll was gone.


In the mean-time, I introduced Alison to the new Pork Roll. He was pink and fluffy and noticeably bigger than his predecessor, and while I was heartbroken that we had lost the original Pork Roll, BSG didn't seem to care. She took to the new Pork Roll immediately without questioning how I had managed to clean him and fluff him and make him look brand new. I secretly hated the new Pork Roll, with his ability to sit up without his head touching the ground and his new, fluffy fur. Soon, though, he started to lose his ability to hold his head up. His fur became just a little dingy, and his bean bag butt started to shrink from being continually squished under his human during naps.


That was almost two years ago. I have come to love the new Pork Roll just as much as the old Pork Roll. This one has been around a lot longer and gotten Back Seat Girl through a lot--giving up her morning nap, learning to walk, transitioning to a big girl bed, potty training, and welcoming a baby brother. Lately, though, BSG has been starting to show a bit of a preference for Puppy. While Pork Roll still accompanied her on the days she went to daycare and is a fixture at night and at nap time, Puppy is the one she pushed around in her stroller at home, or put to bed 500 times a day, carefully covering her (Puppy is a girl, make no mistake. She has had a baby in her back, after all.) with a blanket and reading her stories. While this made me sad, I knew there was nothing I could do, and I realized that Pork Roll would always have a very special place in her heart.


Last night while Driver was putting BSG to bed, he realized that Pork Roll was missing. He didn't want to say anything, and BSG didn't bring it up, so he let it go, and forgot about it. Then tonight, his presence was requested at bedtime. Driver and I frantically looked around the house, but couldn't find him. BSG was in bed, so Driver had just about been ready to seal the deal with a prayer. We didn't have much time before the bed-time window closed. We had been talking about switching out Pork Roll. He was really starting to show his age and the last itme I washed him you could barely tell he had touched soap and water. So, Driver and I made the decision that we would introduce a new Pork Roll and continue the search for the old one after BSG was safely tucked in.


I reached up into her closet where we keep the back-up Pork Rolls and pulled one out. I told BSG I was going to give her Pork Roll. I wish I could describe her face when she saw him. There are no words. She looked betrayed, hurt, sad. She reached up for him, took him from me, and said through tears "He's fluffy. I want him all crinkly". My heart broke into a million pieces. Driver and I explained that he had gotten all clean and he needed BSG to love him to make him crinkly again. We hit another snag when she noticed he had a tag (I had to cut the tags off all of her stuffed animals about a year ago one day when she made up her mind that they bothered her), but Driver snipped it off for her. I rocked her and let her ask questions. She seemed to understand and accept the fact that it was her duty to make him "crinkly" again.


After I put her back to bed I found Pork Roll. He had been tangled up in the sheets on Driver's and mine bed upstairs. I thought about sneaking into her room and switching them out, but then I realized that his time had come. I couldn't reintroduce him to BSG, not after all of the explaining I had to do to get her to accept the new Pork Roll. So, he is officially retired. I am sad, but I know that this new Pork Roll will soon look like both of his predecessors. He is ready to accept new tears: tears of 3 year old rage, or sadness, or hurt. The old Pork Roll holds the tears of her toddler years, and now it's time for him to let a new Pork Roll help her through these years as she transitions from being a toddler to being a little girl. I know he's up to the task.


Pork Roll II, you did a great job. You'll always hold a special place in my heart, and I hope I can find a place suitable enough for your retirement.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

Parents are SO annoying

This morning we were driving home from church listening to Back Seat Girl's Disney CD. "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious" came on and I turned it up to sing along. Back Seat Girl told us it was too loud, but she had been a tyrant all morning and we were sick of her tantrums and bossiness, so we left the volume where it was and kept on singing.

Driver and I were really getting into it, bopping along in our seats and singing as loudly as we could, when BSG yelled "You guys are driving me nuts!", complete with her fingers in her ears.

I would like to say that we scolded her and told her not to talk to us like that, but we started laughing so hard I actually had tears in my eyes.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Update on !@#&$#@!!! or whatever I said before

We got one estimate on the furnace today by the same company who told us it was going to try to kill us this winter and shut it off by putting a big red tag on it and calling it 'unsafe'. I sure hope the people who came through the house today liked it Nothing says "BUY ME" like an unsafe furnace. Or, how about the fact that Back Seat Girl spilled 500 gallons of water on the carpeting downstairs and the carpeting dried but the pad underneath is soaked so it seems like there is water seeping up out of the ground into the basement. I think buyers are looking for something like that, right?

Anyway, I'm having someone from Minnegasco come out for another estimate. Those people owe me. I have been paying for their "Service Plus Plan" for almost 5 years now since our furnace was so old and I've never used it once, since the furnace has always worked. (Little did I know it's plans to kill us this winter.) They should give me one for half price.

P.S. It is really hot outside. Trust me. I was once again walking around pushing a stroller at high noon. Can't complain, though, I took the kids out to lunch and they were both as good as gold. I love it when they make me look like a good mom!

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Sunday, August 05, 2007

9 Months of Back Seat Boy




Well, Back Seat Boy, you've officially been outside of my body as long as you spent inside of it. While it was easier to take care of you when you were hitching a ride inside my uterus growing body parts, I must say I am having much more fun watching you now that you are on the outside. Although, I did get more sleep before, so I was wondering if you could work on waking up a little later in the morning?

First of all, you are so freakin' cute. We went to Iowa to visit your Mam and Pap this past week for a few days and I think your Mam and I had at least 5 conversations a day based soley on the subject of your cuteness. Those brown eyes, all of that hair, and those impossible cheeks really add up to one handsome little man.

You have two teeth now. They showed up like little pieces of popcorn, popping out of your bottom gum, one right after another. Though you have been a drool monster as of late, I haven't seen any evidence of new ones. That's fine with me, because those two little teeth have made your smile more perfect than it already was.

You have started mimicing us now, so I taught you a trick. I look at you and start whipping my head back and forth, and then you do the same, often accompanying it with an "aaahhhh". You've even started doing it first and then looking around the room to see who is going to do it back.

This morning I had to work, and we also had an open house, so I was in the living room pretty early trying to wrap up the cord for the vacuum cleaner, when I started hearing this noise. Since your bedroom and the living room share a wall, I figured it must be you. Then I heard your familiar "Da Da Da Da Da!", and I realized the sound I was hearing was your tiny fat feet hitting the mattress as hard as you could make them. You do this when you're excited, lift both of those short, chubby little legs high in the air and then bringing them down as hard as you can, over and over.



You are getting quite vocal now, and on our way home from Iowa suddenly realized that you didn't have to sit in the back seat quietly staring out the window making the people in the front seat wonder if you were even awake. No, you could talk and scream (you still scream like a girl) and shout really, really loud. No, seriously, REALLY loud. It was great. After a long while, I thought maybe you were tired and having a hard time falling asleep, so I found your pacifier in the bag next to me and managed to hand it back to you. Back Seat Girl informed me that you put it in your mouth, but about 1 minute later you had pulled it out to commence with the loud noises.

You love to use your legs, you know, to stand on. It's weird, because you're not even a year and a half old yet. You don't pull yourself up, but if I stand you up next to a piece of furniture you'll stand there and look around the room with the a huge grin and this look on your face like you are THE SHIT.

Tonight I gave you a graham cracker for the first time. I was hoping this would be a good thing to keep you happy and occupied for a while so I could make dinner. It would take your sister forever to eat a cracker. Come to think of it, it still does. You could give that girl something that's supposed to be bite size, as in one bite, and she'll take 15 minutes and 25 bites to finish it. Anyway, you pretty much stuffed that graham cracker into your mouth in no time and then looked at me for more. And then yelled at me for more. And then pounded your tray and yelled at me for more. I guess the cracker trick is not going to make grocery shopping easier.

Who knows what's going to happen next, but rest assured, it will come with quart after quart of drool.

We love you, Little Man!!




Thursday, August 02, 2007

Truly Horrible

I just thought I would take a minute to say that I am in Iowa right now, and if I wasn't I would have a hard time believing that the rest of the country really is watching what is happening in our city right now. Since I can't watch the local affiliates I've been watching Fox news, and they have done nothing but talk about it since it happened. I do believe I've seen every eyewitness to the bridge collapse interviewed several times.

I can't believe that a bridge just collapsed. How did no one see this coming? I mean, there were construction crews on it looking at it every day. I just imagine it creaking or groaning or something, or a worker taking a look at a particularly large crack, and maybe a red flag going up. I guess that's not how it works, but I'm having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that suddenly, just like that, the bridge stopped being able to hold itself up and fell into the river.

The most horrifying thing I've heard so far is the accounts of divers being given messages by people who were trapped in their cars in the river and knew they weren't going to make it. Messages to their loved ones. Messages saying goodbye. I can't even imagine. I'm happy I don't have to. My heart goes out to those who have received those messages, and those people who are still waiting.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

3 Years Old







Yesterday Back Seat Girl turned 3. I meant to write a post ON her birthday, but I was busy baking 56 cupcakes while holding a baby and trying not to make too big of a mess, and then I spent all night cleaning up because I was not successfull at not making a big mess.




OK, BSG, what do I say about you? You are something. I'm sitting here struggling to figure out what to write about you. How can I capture your personality in a few paragraphs?




Thinking is your game, that's for sure. A question as simple as "Which Diego do you want to watch, the one about the llama or the one about the river dolphin?" makes you actually stop and think. There are bells going off in my head as I try hard not to say "hurry up already, dinner isn't going to cook itself!",but I let you decide in your own time, because I know you well enough now to know that if I did you'd take twice as long.



You also think before doing anything physical. You are almost more cautious at the park this year than you were last summer, and I think it's because you have an even better grasp on what could happen to you if you fell or something bad happened. It's very hard for me not to push you, and when I let you do your own thing inevitably you wind up playing a cute little pretend game that you made up on the spot. You give me glimpses into that brain of yours and I realize for as much as you talk, there is so much more going on up there than we realize.



The other day on the way home from your daycare you asked where the Twins were as we were passing the highschool baseball field. You answered yourself before I even had a chance to chime in by reasoning that it must be school time. When I explained to you that those were highschool kids we had seen a couple of months ago playing there and the Twins played at the big baseball field we went to last year with Grandma and Grandpa, you went into a whole story about how the big baseball field was on the way to Dawny's special house. Apparently there are lots of kitties and puppies there. The Dalmation puppies had names: Belle, Tinkerbell, Princess Aurora, Home Depot, and Regular School Bus. Yea, that's right, two of their names were Home Depot and Regular School Bus. The girl dalmation puppies had pink spots, but Home Depot was a boy so he had black spots. I tried hard not to drive off the road, because that was hilarious.



You can recognize letters in words, and I actually think you are much better at this than we think you are. Driver was wearing his Bear's t-shirt and you recognized the 'E' and the 'A', and you can even tell some upper and lowercase letters apart. You also were coloring the other day and said 'C' is for washable markers, which confused your father until he realized that they said 'Crayola' down the side. You love to find things with words on them and then point to them and tell us what they say. Amazingly they usually say things about you getting something you really want. When you open up books to read you always go to the copywrite page and say emphatically "this book was written in 19**". Lately 1968 seems to be a popular year.



You also do some simple math, like adding 1 to 2 makes you 3 years old, or taking one monkey away from 5 means there are 4 monkeys left (I knew that book was going to teach you subraction!!). The problem with you is, you are also very stubborn, so if we ask you "what letter is that?" or "how many cookies are there on the table" you will only answer if you feel like it. This makes it hard for us to know exactly what you can and can not do. It frustrates me to no end, but as I'm sure my mom would say, like mother, like daughter.



I guess since I've talked about your brain I will also mention your gross motor skills. You are about the least physical little girl ever. You have just recently started to demand to walk up and down stairs by yourself, and when you do you have to hold on to the railing for dear life with one hand. Many times you still opt to slide down or crawl up, and when I ask you to please stand up and do it like a big girl you look at me like "why would I do that when this is so much easier?",and then proceed to ignore me and do it your way. You have just recently learned how to jump, that is actually jump and your two feet leave the earth ever so briefly. Tonight we had to leave the house for a showing so we went to walk around the mall, and for the first time you jumped a couple of times in a row and jumped from point A to point B. Did you hear me? You actually covered ground while jumping. Driver and I were very impressed.



You are going through a stage now where you have decided that if we are telling you something you don't want to hear you just don't listen. It is exceedingly frustrating to me. I know it's what a 3 year old does, but I can't stand to be so openly disobeyed. You also try to rationalize WHY you didn't just listen to me, and since you have such a great command of the english language sometimes I find myself I actually giving your rationalization some thought. You always end up in the naughty chair when you disobey, and now you crawl on up all by yourself, sit there resolutely with puppy or Pork Roll or both, and when your time is up I ask you "why did mommy put you in the naughty chair?". Sometimes you remember, sometimes you don't. I always remind you and then tell you you have to listen to mommy. Then I make you apologize, which you do, with a bright smile and a big kiss and hug, and even though I know you aren't going to listen to me the next time I can't stay mad at you as you skip away to play another imaginary game.



You have the greatest habit of sining songs now. Most of them you make up yourself. They can be songs about stuff we have done, stuff we are going to do, or things we are currently doing. Tonight at the mall you were walking along singing "we're going home, now". Of course you weren't looking where you were going and you weren't walking in a straight line, which made it even funnier.



I just realized I haven't mentioned your talking, and I think it's because it's such a part of our daily lives now Idon't even think about it. You talk all day long, every day, only pausing to nap and sleep at night. You talk in full, adult sentences, using words that I'm pretty sure Driver can't spell. It's just a part of our life. The sun will rise, BSG will talk. and talk. and talk some more.



See, I knew I couldn't summarize you in a few paragraphs. There is so much more I could write--your penchant for running into walls and falling down (you came home from camping with a black eye and also had your first bloody nose the first day we were gone), the fact that you recently realized you can open your bedroom door, your love of pink and dresses, the fact that you have no fear of bugs or spiders, the way you think everyone at the playground or beach would like to play with you, no matter how much older or bigger than you they are, how you like to look under the stalls in public bathrooms to comment on people's shoes, or the way you have started interacting with your brother, but it's getting late and I need to go to bed.



Just know this, you are one in eleventeen (your favorite number) million, and we love you so, so much.



Sunday, July 22, 2007

The 7 Year Itch

On July 22, 2000, Driver and I got married in a little country church in Wisconsin where I grew up. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were surrounded by our family and friends. Who could ask for more?

On July 22, 2007 Driver and I woke up at Itasca National park to rain outside our tent. We ate breakfast in the tent with our beautiful children, packed our wagon full (and I mean FULL) of wet camping supplies, and headed for home. We had just enjoyed a great vacation surrounded by the little people we love the most. Who could ask for anything more?

Thank you, Driver, for giving me everything I have ever wanted out of life. Now I'll go back and clean up the kitchen like you think I'm doing while you unpack all of our wet camping supplies.

Monday, July 16, 2007

No, a pack of wild dogs is not really ripping off his arms

Over the weekend, Back Seat Boy started to roll on purpose to get things he wanted. We're not talking rolling over multiple times. Oh, no--this is the product of Driver and I here, and we only make one type of baby: pudgy, short-legged, tiny hands, finger toes, and no motivation to move on their own. No, BSB will be laying on his back, spy something to the side of him out of reach, roll over onto his tummy to reach it, and then roll back on his back to play with it. I know that this isn't a lot, but Back Seat Girl seriously never rolled over even once to get anything, she just refused to be on her stomach if she could avoid it. BSB has started sleeping on his tummy, so I guess he has decided that it's not all that bad.

Back Seat Boy also loves to stand. He (of course!) won't pull himself up or anything, but he loves to bear weight on his legs and stand on his changing table to look around. He's actually quite good at it. I, of course, have some low standards here, but you can just hold his hands and he'll stand for quite a while.

All in all it looks like BSB is showing more interest in moving around than his sister did (is it possible to show any less?). I was starting to get a little scared. Not because it bothered me that BSG took so long to move on her own, but because lately BSB has started to make a noise when he needs a toy he can't reach that would make me give him a set of steak knives if that's what he wanted as long as he would stop. I can't even describe what it sounds like, but he opens his mouth wide and gives it his all. He may be a basically content and mellow baby, but god forbid you sit him in his highchair with no cheerios on his tray RIGHT NOW, or the ball he was chewing on rolls away, or something with a tag is out of his reach, because it sounds like a pack of wild dogs is slowly pulling his arms off.

We're about to start a pretty busy two weeks around our house. We're leaving for vacation on Wednesday morning (if you're reading this and you're a burglar--we have a HUGE, MEAN dog), we're driving home from vacation on our anniversary, the following weekend we're having some family visit and hosting a birthday party for BSG, and after the party we're going to go out and celebrate my birthday. The whole while we are hoping (please, GOD) to have our house on the market. We spent all of this past weekend, with the help of Mam and Pap on Sunday, washing, fixing, painting, and yelling "Back Seat Girl, No--don't play with the paint. No, you can't help me, this is a big person job. I know you're a big girl, but...Hey--don't touch that. What did mommy say?". We have to be done with this now because Driver and I are exhausted.

We will be sure to post pictures of our trip as soon as possible. Also upcoming will be BSG's birthday post where I will try to capture the essence of BSG without going on and on forever and ever, amen, and a link where you can see some of the professional photographs we had taken last week in our front yard. I know you are all excited.

Updated: Our photos are up from the shoot last week! http://www.photographym.blogspot.com

Monday, July 09, 2007

The first and last post titled: The perks of working at the VA (besides the free parking for light rail)

Update: BSB has pooped the last couple of days in a row, and even managed to poop twice before noon today. He is very happy about it, but he did ask me to NEVER TALK ABOUT HIS POOPER ON THE INTERNET AGAIN.
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When Back Seat Boy turned 7 months old, we had almost completely depleted the large cache of frozen milk I had managed to build up in those early days of nursing when your body hasn't figured out that your baby can't drink eleventy million ounces of milk a day. We started having to send him to daycare with bottles that were half breast milk, half formula.

Around this time pooping became a production for BSB. At first Driver and I thought it was kinda' funny. About every other day I would find a red-faced BSB, sitting on the floor and leaning forward ever so slightly, pushing with all of his might.

Things started to get more serious, though. Suddenly those episodes of pushing were producing the smallest of turds that I needed to pluck from between his butt cheeks. I couldn't believe that all of that pushing could only produce one tiny turd. After a few days of this, the pushing stopped producing anything, and he started to squirm and cry everytime he tried to poop. Now, if you haven't ever lived with a baby you should know that if the baby isn't happy, ain't nobody happy.

Driver and I made the decision that every parent with a constipated baby has made before and buy some prune juice to unplug his little pooper. The problem is that we kept forgetting to buy the stuff every time we went to the grocery store.

Then one day at work I sat down to eat my yogurt, and realized it had gone bad. I can't go a day without yogurt, so I headed up to the cafeteria to buy a new carton. That is when the fact that the majority of our "clients" (you're supposed to refer to them as clients, not patients, you know, because 'patient' is very offensive) are older people. There, next to the yogurt, were cans of prune juice.

Yea, prune juice!!

About 5 minutes after his first encounter with prune juice he pooped as much as a grown man. I got to watch the whole thing first hand since I thought he was done moving his bowels and started changing his diaper when he decided to just go for the gold and empty it all out right there on the changing table.

He's still not as regular as we (or he) would like, but that's OK, because now we have a huge jug of prune juice in the fridge for our tiny little old man.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Murphy's Law

I have needed to go to the bank for a couple of days now. This morning at around 10:20 I realized I had a window of opportunity to go. The window being it was early enough that we would be back in time to make lunch and not run the risk of Back Seat Girl falling asleep in the car and ruining her nap, and Back Seat Boy had just eaten and napped, so he was good to go, too.

By 10:30 we were in the car on our way. Mind you, I hadn't showered or done anything to myself other than wash my face and brush my teeth. Back Seat Girl had on some old hand me down clothes, and I wasn't wearing my finest attire, either. I didn't think too much of it because either we would just go through the drive thru or we would run in and out. This is the federal credit union across the street from the VA, so it's never busy in the middle of the day.

We got there and I made the executive decision to go in because I've had to wait in the drive thru for a while before and that really ticks me off. As predicted, we're in and out of there pretty fast, but not before Back Seat Girl has scored some crayons, a coloring book and a sucker. On our way out I notice a flyer that says today is "Member Appreciation Day", so there is free hotdogs, cookies, chips, and soda starting at 10:30. I think to myself "hey, I can kill two birds here with one stone", so we throw BSG's loot in the car and head over to the tent.

As we are sitting under a tree eating our lunch, I look up to see my boss and two of my coworkers heading across the parking lot towards the tent. I look at my ratty shorts and old flip flops. I look at BSG who has decided to forgo the hotdog in favor of the cookie and chips and now has chocolate on her nose. BSB is sitting in his carseat drooling on himself wondering why he isn't eating a hotdog. When I look back up, I realize they all see me, so after they get their food they come over and sit with us in our disgusting, 'didn't think we were leaving the house today' state.

So, now it looks like on my days off I don't shower, wear the rattiest old clothes that I can find, dress my children in old faded cast-offs, and let my daughter eat chips and cookies for lunch.

I'm surprised I didn't back into anything while they all watched me load the kids into the wagon and leave.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Wednesday, May 30th, 2007

This morning we had our inspection. It went very, very well. The inspector only found a few things, and they are all pretty easy to fix. She also really loved Back Seat Girl's room. What girl wouldn't? I think her room is my favorite in this house. I spent a lot of time in it wondering what it would be like to have a baby, and after she arrived I spent a lot of time in it nursing and rocking and crying while I packed away tiny baby girl clothes and realizing I can't make time stand still.

BSG and I spent a lot of time outside this morning,and when Back Seat Boy woke up from his nap he joined us. It was the first time he spent a significant amount of time hanging out in the yard and not in the stroller or Bjorn at a park. He did a lot of leaning forward trying very, very hard to touch the grass that seemed to be just out of his reach. Once he got a piece he very predictably put it in his mouth. Here he is, enjoying the breeze through his comb-over.

Here is BSG "smiling" for the camera, and BSB wondering what the heck she is doing. He spends a lot of time wondering what the heck she is doing. We all do.

Did you every wonder-- 'what is the last thing you see before you get your nose eaten off by a baby?' It's this:
When BSG saw me take a close-up of BSB, she requested one, also. She is a true Diva.
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Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The TiVo Generation

The setting: I am in the kitchen, Back Seat Boy is napping in his room, Back Seat Girl is in the living room watching an hour long Dora special (God bless Nickelodeon for throwing an hour long one in there on a work day).

Back Seat Girl: Mommy! What happened? Come in here! Mommy!!

Me (running into the living room): What? What's wrong?

BSG: Where's Dora? Turn Dora back on!

Me: Honey, it's just a commercial. Dora will be back on in a few minutes.

I return to the kitchen and a few seconds later hear BSG reassure Pork Roll "Don't worry, Dora will come back on in a few minutes".

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Alison Ran?

Welcome to Richfield. It was a beautiful weekend and Shotgun and I did some work on the house we are intending to sell. One of my tasks for the weekend was to clean the massive amount of Maple tree pollen out of the gutters. So I broke out the hose and went to work. Ever wonder what happen when a couple hundred ants build a nest in a hose and then you turn it on when a nozzle is attached? Well I found out and let me tell you, no water comes out. It seems that the path of least resistance is blocked by ant carcasses.

After doing the real work, back seat girl came out to “help”. There is a small hole in one of out hoses and in true Richfield fashion; this little lemon was made into lemonade by back seat girl and out neighbor. Here is some of the video from the afternoon. In one you can see me ask the neighbor girl if her parents are ok with her running threw the hose. Well, I pretty much assumed that they must be ok because surly someone saw their daughter/cousin/niece/sister/ come over to play. Back seat boy makes a few cameos as well.










A couple of side notes:
The entire time I was cleaning out the gutters one of out neighbors in the apartments behind us was cleaning out his car blasting light rick favorites from yesterday and today. I was serenaded with such classic as-

Put your head on my shoulder
Pretty woman
Sounds of silence (how ironic)
Some Billy Joel Song
And numerous other hits at a volume able to be clearly heard from half a block away.

Also, Shotgun just watched West Side Story for the first time tonight. She was shocked when I knew most of the songs by heart. Thanks, Kate.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Announcement

I am pleased to announce that Stefan and Jenny Debbert have a new baby boy!! Owen was born this morning at 6:30. Three weeks early, but who's counting? He weighed 6 lbs, 2 oz, and apparently has blonde hair. Don't know the length, but I may go and see them this afternoon so maybe I'll have a picture to post later.

Congratulations!!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

A Warning

I feel it is my duty to deliver this public service to all of you. I was just looking myself up on Switchboard.com (it's better not to ask why), and it has my age as 31. 31!! Now, listen, I don't think 31 is old, it's just that I am not 31. I'm not even 30. Apparently, the internet is full of WILDLY inaccurate information. That's right--bold, italicized, all caps wildly. What's next? Everything on Wikepedia is made up?

I just thought you should all know that the internet is full of lies and you shouldn't believe ANYTHING you read. Unless, of course, it's on this website. Everything here is completely true.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Six months of Back Seat Boy

This weekend you turned six months old. I can hardly believe where the time has gone. How did you get to be so big? I think you were a tiny baby for about .5 seconds.

Now you are this moon-faced adorable morsel I could just squeeze until you pop. I won’t though. You are always ready to smile. You will smile at anything. If I just glance in your direction I get the big, wide-eyed, toothless grin. Your Grandma calls you a “ray of sunshine”, and I would have to agree with her.

You have a great giggle. It’s impossible not to smile when I hear you start to laugh. The person who can get you to laugh the easiest is your big sister. You watch her intently, and if she decides to grace you with some eye contact, you smile gleefully. If she goes so far as to actually talk to you or do something silly, you can’t help but laugh with delight.

You’re starting to develop a bit of a schedule, much to my delight. I’ve decided to take your lead on this since that’s what I let your sister do and she figured out a pretty nice daily schedule for herself. I usually end up laying you down by 8. You’ve gotten into the bad habit of waking up between 5:45 and 6, but usually I can get you to go back to sleep for a little while. The problem is that I can’t get back to sleep.

When you do wake up for the morning you couldn’t be happier. You are usually content to lie in your crib for a while and wrestle and talk with your blanket bear. When I go in to greet you, you act like you are surprised that yes, we are still here and did not move out in the middle of the night while you were sleeping. You kick and grunt and smile, and just when you think it couldn’t get any better, I change your diaper. You LOVE getting your diaper changed. The only thing that is better than getting your diaper changed is eating, especially that cereal stuff we’ve started giving you. You open your little mouth like a bird when you see the spoon, and have since the second time you’ve ever tried it. It is pretty funny. You even get excited when you see me get out the milk and the bowl.

You’re to the age where you will try to grab anything, ANYTHING within your reach, or at least what you perceive to be within your reach. It’s hard to eat now with you on my lap, because you are constantly grabbing at my plate, at the fork going into my mouth, at my face, at my drink, etc. Everything that ends up in your hand goes into your mouth, of course. I have forgotten how much babies love to put everything into their mouths.

Watching you has made me remember things about your sister being a baby that I had forgotten. For instance, you have developed a fascination with the tags on your toys. Your favorite part of any toy is the tag. I remember now that your sister was the same way. You finger the tag, or stick it in your mouth, or hold it up really close to your face and look at it with awe and wonder. “Behold, it is the almighty tag. There is a wealth of information on this thing. It has washing instructions on it. It tells you where it is made. It tells you what company made it. Plus, it’s kind of shiny and slippery and fits perfectly into my mouth.” At least that is what I imagine is going through that little brain of yours.


The last six months have flown by, and I know the next six months will, as well. Before I know it you will be trying to walk and talk and the precious little baby you are now will only be a memory. I am tenaciously holding on to these innocent moments before you are treating me like an indentured servant as other people in this house are known to do. You look at me now after I feed you or change your diaper or get you after you’ve woken up from a nap with such gratitude, like these things aren’t expected of me--like I’m the greatest person in the world for keeping you alive for this long. I think you’re saying “Wow. Thanks Mom. I really was hungry/tired/messy, and you took care of it. I love you”.

Happy Birthday, Little Man. I love you, too.

P.S. You scream like a girl when you're excited, but I think it makes me love you a little more. You even make screaming like a girl cute.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Why?

I heard well before I ever thought about having my own children the stories of toddlers who constantly ask 'why?'. You answer one 'why', and it's met with another 'why', and another, and so on. I thought to myself "Self, surely this is an exaggeration". I had never witnessed first-hand any small child do this. I thought it was one of those old stories that got exaggerated over time. Yea, maybe a few kids do this, but not to the point where there can't possibly be anymore answers to the "whys?".

Enter Back Seat Girl. She loves to prove her mother wrong, and she has done it once again. In the last two weeks she started asking 'why?' to everything, everything she possibly can. Even when it doesn't make sense to ask 'why?', even when she's asking about how she feels or why she is doing something, she asks us "why?".

Last weekend I had to work so Driver, being the good dad he is, loaded the kids into the stroller and took them to the park. They came to a 4-way stop at the same time as another car. Driver waved his hand and told the driver of the car to go ahead. Back Seat Girl saw this as an opportunity to stump her stupid parents yet again. This time, however, Driver had an answer.

BSG: What did you say to that lady?
Driver: I told her she can go.
BSG: Why?
Driver: So we wouldn't go at the same time.
BSG: Why?
Driver: Because then we would hit eachother.
BSG: Why?
Driver: Because then we would get hurt.
BSG: Why?
Driver: Because according to the laws of physics two objects can't occupy the same space at the same time.

That was one of the shorter exchanges. They can go on forever, to the point where you really can't think of any more answers. The other night she asked me why she couldn't go to heaven right now. (The original question was "Who is Jesus?") We always try to distill them down to phsyics. I've found myself saying on more than one occasion to my two and a half year old "physics, Back Seat Girl, it's all around us".

I feel myself getting less intelligent by the day.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

NWA Tour

This last Thursday for class we got to tour Northwest Airlines maintenance facility at the Minneapolis Airport. The tour was fascinating. We were able to tour the hangars and see the planes that are in there for maintenance. We went into the cockpits, cargo bays and everything. There was one plane that had an interesting story. It was in an accident on the tarmac and is now being used for training. I saw this picture on the internet the afternoon before the tour. Imagine my surprise when I saw it all busted up.

Monday, April 23, 2007

An Apology

Dear Mommy and Daddy's friends who were here Saturday night--

I am sorry I screamed my head off for what seemed like a very long time according to mom (I didn't think it was that bad, but whatever). I guess I was getting used to being an only child there for a while with my sister gone. Every time I made a noise or seemed the least bit unhappy all day I got picked up, or a big head would appear in my vision to smile and talk to me.

Then, suddenly, I woke up at this place where there were other big people that looked like Mommy and Daddy and they were all talking and NO ONE was looking at me. I had to sit in my carseat and amuse myself with these plastic chains which usually do the job, but I was kinda' mad. I mean, I had Mommy and Daddy to myself ALL DAY. Now suddenly I was stuck in a corner and all I could see was Mommy and Daddy's backs.

So, I did what I needed to do. I made some noise, and I had Mommy and Daddy to myself all over again. For a little while, at least. Then all the big people showed up again, and then I was outside, and it was getting late, and there was a little person that looked kind of like my sister but not really running around, and I got a little overwhelmed. Suddenly Mommy was trying to put me to bed, but I just couldn't calm down. Once again, I had to resort to the one thing I know that gets me attention EVERY time.

I don't know what happened next, but I must have accidentally fallen asleep, because a few hours later I woke up in my crib with my animals. A few hours after that my sister was back, and then I remembered that it's not ALWAYS about me, so I decided to not scream before bed that night, because it seems to me that Mommy and Daddy are always there when I really need them.

Yours Truly,
Back Seat Boy

Thursday, April 12, 2007

The last snow

A few weeks ago we were doing this:

And only wearing onesies:
But today we were doing this:
and wearing snowsuits:
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Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Already she thinks I'm out of style

This morning Back Seat Girl and I were in Back Seat Boy's room to get him up for the morning. Back Seat Girl was talking about her hair. She was noticing that her hair is long, but mine is not.

BSG: Don't worry, momma, I help your hair grow.

Me: You will?

BSG: Yea, it looks funny like that.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

A note to children's clothing manufacturers

Dear sirs,
Please do not tell me that I should be washing baby clothes in the gentle cycle. If you are making such flimsy clothing that it can not withstand the rigors of a normal cycle, perhaps you should just be honest and call it "disposable". I am not going to wash my baby's clothes in a separate gentle cycle. He is going to most assuredly poop and/or spit up on them every. time. he. wears. them. That adds up to a lot of laundry, and even more if I separated his laundry into things that can go in the normal cycle versus things that have to go in the gentle cycle.

While we're on the subject, I also have a toddler. While she is past the point of pooping and spitting up on her clothing, she does a fair amount of painting, splashing in mud puddles, spilling food, and general crawling around in a less than spic and span house. She usually can't wear an outfit much more than once or twice before it ends up in the wash, either. Unless this particular item of clothing is a dress, I'm not going to put it in the gently cycle. Don't even bother writing washing instructions on the tag that include the word "gentle". Why don't you just write "not meant to be worn more that 5 times".

Thank you for your time and attention to this matter.

Your's truly,
An Annoyed Consumer

Monday, April 02, 2007

Oh yea, she's definitely ours

Tonight after supper we were all in the living room watching the Twin's regular season opener. In honor of this special occasion Driver and I were enjoying a nice, cold Summit. Back Seat Boy was laying on the floor wrestling with his little stuffed giraffe (it's always hard to tell who's winning), and Back Seat Girl was sitting on Driver's lap. The cat was sitting inbetween Driver and I and started sniffing my beer.

BSG: No, kitty, that momma's beer.
She proceeds to slide down Driver's lap and onto the floor.
BSG: Can I have a sip of your beer?
Me: No, beer is only for Mommy's and Daddy's, remember?
BSG: No, beer is for Alisons!!
Me: No, beer is not for Alisons.
BSG: I want to hold it.
Me: No, you can't hold it. I tell you what, when you turn 21 you can have a beer.
BSG: Twentyone?
Me: Yep, 21.
BSG: OK, I going to turn 21. (goes to the middle of the living room and begins turning in
circles. You should all know that this is also how she 'turns' into a princess and
a pirate, although turning into a pirate also requires a hat.)
BSG: (comes back over to the couch with a twinkle in her eye and a mischievous grin on her
face) "OK, I 21 now."
Me: No, you're not 21. You're 2. Remember, you're going to turn 3 in July.
BSG: I try again.

Back to the middle of the living room for more spinning in circles.

BSG: OK, now I 21.

Some time passes. Now BSG is on my lap and she's holding Pork Roll.

BSG: How old is Pork Roll?
Me: He's 2, just like you.
BSG: No, Puppy 2.
Me: He's 2?
BSG: Puppy is a girl. Pork Roll is a boy. Pork Roll is a big boy. He 25. He can have a sip of
your beer.
Me: What the heck.

I held my almost empty beer bottle up to Pork Roll's mouth and made fake drinking noises.

Morning

Back Seat Girl woke up singing this morning. Driver was still home so he went in to get her.

Driver: That was a nice song. What was it about?
BSG: It a song about not throwing up.
Driver: (??!?!?) Oh, it's very pretty. Can you sing it for me?
BSG: No, it a song just for me.


We were thinking of dropping our Station wagon themed names. They are just starting to sound corny to me, but maybe it's just me. I was thinking of either just going ahead and using our real names, or doing the O-Mac, A-mac thing. We already call Back Seat Boy O or O-Mac a lot of the time now. I guess we're just too lazy to have two kids with 3 syllable names or something. What do you, our 2-3 faithful readers, think? Any preferences on what we call ourselves?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

How did we get here?

It didn't seem that long ago that Driver and I were care-free college students. Now we're adults with two kids, a mortgage, and a station wagon. This weekend I realized that we've really embraced our lot in life.


This afternoon we all went to the Timberwolves game. We were the breeders of the skyway. Driver was holding the diaper bag and Back Seat Girl's hand, and I was carrying Back Seat Boy in the Bjorn.


Saturday night we had the front door open and we heard a car speed down the street. Driver and I had a whole conversation about how it would be great if we could rig up some spike strips that would go up on our street when cars were going over 35 mph. My parents were visiting and when my dad asked more about it, Driver went on and on about all of the instances he's seen people speed down our street.


Here is the most convincing evidence, however. Driver and I went out and bought this on Saturday morning (except in red):

It's the answer to most of our double stroller prayers. The front has an attachment so we can put Back Seat Boy's car seat in it. The back has a seat for Back Seat Girl to sit in, or a place for her to stand and hang on. It's not huge and plastic, it's nice and compact and has a metal frame so it won't break after a couple of uses which seems to happen to plastic things we own.
Driver and I went on and on about how great it was all weekend. We actually had to take turns pushing it home from the park. We talked so much about how much we loved it that my parents started making snide comments about how pathetic we were.
The worse part? I don't care. I am in love with that stroller. It's my ticket to freedom. I can actually get out of the house with both kids to some place other than the grocery store or Target. No more pushing a stroller while wearing a growing baby boy in the Bjorn (that is one he*# of a work out). I am so psyched about that stoller.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm just going to go downstairs and look at it lovingly some more.


Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Better late than never


I was looking for this picture for Boy Wonder's birthday and couldn't find it. Well, I found it. Insert clever "Schutter Boy joke here"

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Boy Wonder


Happy Birthday, Boy Wonder!!

Unfortunately, this is the most recent picture I have of you on my Picasa account. Back Seat Girl looks to be around 1, so I'm thinking you're 5-6 months old. I'm pretty sure you couldn't crawl yet. This is one of the days I got to watch you because your regular daycare was closed. We had fun, as always!!

We've loved watching you grow up over the past 2 years. (2 years! I can hardly believe it.) You are growing into a cute, smart, funny, and fun to be around little boy. We look forward to making many more wonderful memories with you and your parents. Have a wonderful day!!
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Thursday, March 08, 2007

Beware: Dirty post ahead

Yesterday I gave Back Seat Boy a bath. He's had a problem with cradle cap pretty much since the day he was born, and I've managed to get rid of most of it with some stuff I bought at Target. However, for some weird reason, after I washed his hair yesterday he had some major dandruff problem. I couldn't let him go out in public like that and we had church last night, so I was trying to think of a way to wash his hair again without having to give him another bath. I didn't want to give him another bath for two reasons: 1--I'm lazy. 2--He has very dry skin already, and another bath would just dry him out more.

Later in the day, Back Seat Girl went down for her nap. Back Seat Boy fell asleep in his car seat while I was reading her stories. He woke up shortly after I laid her down, but was happy to play with his car seat toys, so I left him in there while I did boring house-wifey things. I bent down to talk to him and smile at him and soak up how frickin' adorable he is when he got that look of concentration on his face all babies do when they are about to move their bowels. It was a silent one, and everyone knows they are the worst. The loud ones are all go and no show, but those silent ones are just, well, they make the diapers earn their keep.

After finishing up what I was doing, I picked him up to change his diaper. I was expecting some poop-up-the-back action, but I was not prepared for what I had to deal with. There was poop all the way up his back and pooled in his onesie. Pooled, people. It was disgusting, and I am not easily disgusted. At first I thought I could just take care of it with baby wipes, but after about 8 of them, I realized it was just no use. I was cleaning poop out of his armpits, for crying out loud. Also, let's remember he just turned 4 months old, so I had to prop him up to a sitting position with one hand and try to wipe with the other. Getting his onesie off without doing further damage was impossible, too. I probably should've taken him back to the Dr. to get him weighed again. Obviously he's been holding in some, um, stuff, and his weight on Monday could have been falsely elevated.

Suffice it to say, he got another bath, so his hair was no longer a problem. The best part is that he could've cared less what I was doing. He just took it all in stride, cooing and smiling at me, completely ignoring the fact that he was basically totally covered in poop.

I just realized this blog is really just about feces. Maybe we should rename it "Poop, a story of Bowel Movements", because really, humans are just poop factories.