Saturday, December 27, 2008

Mental note

Dear Arm,
Please stop putting cookies in the mouth hole.

The jeans

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Money makes the world go 'round

This afternoon Back Seat Girl was in her room singing songs into a "microphone", which was really the brush attachment to an old curling iron. After a few rounds of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" she announced to her audience, which consisted of Back Seat Boy and I, that "whoever tells me you like my singing two times gets a penny!". I looked at her and realized the pockets of her pants were bulging with loose coins.

So, basically, she emptied her piggy bank to bribe me into giving her a compliment. I'm going to choose to not explore the deeper meaning here.

Friday, December 12, 2008

The first in a series

One of the best parts of having kids is getting the chance to see the world like a child again. You know, there is a big span of time between being a child and then having a child of your own (well, hopefully it's a big span of you hear that, Back Seat Girl?).

Adults tend to run through life thinking of things to accomplish, to see only what they are looking for, while children for the most part let life happen to them. They go to the park to play on the swings, but what if you see a bunch of flowers on the way? What if someone is walking a dog and they stop to let you pet it? Hey, look! Something shiny! You get the point. One of the hardest things for me to get used to after BSG became mobile was the fact that running errands was no longer going to be something I did in an hour in the morning. It was going to take a while, but it was going to be fun! I was going to see and notice things I would never see or notice if she wasn't along. Walking to the park was no longer just a way to get to our destination--now getting there was half the fun.

It's gotten to the point now where I don't really like to run most errands without at least one of them along. I've finally realized that this is a part of my life where maybe things will take longer, but they will be a hell of a lot more fun. Now I let Back Seat Boy push the little cart at the grocery store while we pick up a few things for dinner. It takes FOREVER to get just a few things, but we do a whole lot of laughing along the way. I know that in a few years I'll be rushing through the grocery store at break-neck speed, doing a whole week's worth of shopping in the time it takes to pick up some ingredients for supper now, and thinking wistfully back to these days when every errand was an adventure. It wasn't just grocery was a field trip. The dry cleaners isn't just the dry cleaners, it's that super cool place we bring our sleeping bags after camping trips and watch them spin around in the big machine, where one time Shrek was on the giant TV in the corner, where there is a vending machine and mom actually bought treats for us out of it.

Hopefully, even after they grow up a little and don't want to run errands with their mom because *gasp* what if someone they know sees us, I'll still be able to take time to notice the little things along the way. That's one of the many things my children have taught me.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Thanksgiving...remember that?

We packed up the wagon and headed to Wisconsin for Thanksgiving. Driver took a day off, so we got to spend lots of time with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Patrick.

We got an early start, so they got to eat breakfast and wear their jammies in the car.

Helping Grandpa and Uncle Patrick fill the bird feeders.

What, you don't eat stuffing with your hands.

She asked for the leg. And I promise that's not her wine. She prefers red.

This is what your face looks like if you eat stuffing with your hands. Actually, that's better than normal.


Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thank You, Pilgrims and Native Americans!

Happy Thanksgiving!!  Don't forget to put cranberry sauce on your leftover turkey's too delicious for words.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Well, something in Show Business at least

Back Seat Girl holds up a piece of broccoli:

BSG: "Look, Barack Obama!" (you know, because Barack and broccoli kind of sound the same)

We all laugh (except for Back Seat Boy, who we have decided doesn't really know what is going on about 75% of the time).

Me: "[BSG], maybe you could be a satirest when you grow up."

BSG: (in a bored, 'I've already told you this a million times' tone) "No, I'm going to be a movie
maker when I grow up."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

You can still play baseball--even if there's snow on the ground

Today was not the first snow here in balmy Minnesota, but it was the first snow that stuck around past nine in the morning. It was also the first time Back Seat Boy got to actually play in the snow. Last year he couldn't walk and when we took him outside spent a lot of time crying and whining because he couldn't move. I'm looking forward to getting to take them both out this year to play and go sledding.

Please ignore all of the leaves you see under the snow. We raked the front yard once on a nice fall day, but that maple tree hates us. It waited to drop the rest of its leaves until it was practically impossible to get them up before it started to snow/sleet/rain every other day. It also drops branches constantly. I'm pretty sure it's trying to kill us.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Home, Sweet Home

On Halloween of this year Driver and I celebrated six years of home ownership. If you would've told me on October 31st, 2002 that we would still be living here I probably would not have believed you. The plan was to stay here for five years-TOPS, then move to something bigger and better. Well, here we are, our family has increased times two, and we manage to not run into each other too much.

It was a very scary thing for me, buying a house. I wasn't nervous at all on my wedding day, but the day we closed on this house I was trying very hard not to vomit into my cupped hands. I remember looking at that huge number and wondering what the hell I was thinking. What WE were thinking. We knew nothing about owning a house. We were going to be responsible for mowing the lawn and fixing stuff when it broke, and there was probably going to have to be some preventative maintenance. We live in a fifty year old house. Things break. Stuff happens.

I can honestly say now that I love this house. No, not because of all of the closet space or the very efficient kitchen (ha, ha), but because this house has a lot of our history in it now. We'll always remember it as the first house we ever owned, just like we wax nostalgic every time we drive into uptown and are anywhere near our old apartment or old hang-outs. We've remodeled the bathroom and stayed married. I sat down in the middle of the living room and completely freaked out when I was seven months pregnant with Back Seat Girl. I cried on the bottom step the morning I went into labor with Back Seat Boy and Mama Wonder showed up to take BSG and I realized our family would never be the same. I've read countless, countless stories in every room of this house. I've seen two children learn to walk (FINALLY) on its floors. I've cleaned up puddles of pee and piles of baby food and spent many dark nights nursing tiny babies while only half awake.

I'm not saying we're going to live here forever, because we're not. Believe me, we've thought about it-thought about remodeling or adding on, but it just wouldn't work out. I know that someday we'll be making new memories in a different house (preferably with at least two bathrooms and room for more than one butt in the kitchen), and when I look back at this house it probably won't seem so small and the kitchen won't seem so useless and having only one bathroom won't seem like so much trouble when we have company.

The thing that I will miss most about this house when we move, though, is the nice, low mortgage payment.

Friday, November 07, 2008

2 Years Old

That was Back Seat Boy on 12-5-06 at one month old. This is Back Seat Boy today:
The time that has passed between the two pictures has gone by in a flash. I can not believe that my youngest is already two, but then again, it's hard for me to remember a time when he wasn't here.
How do I describe the little boy he has become? Well, he loves balls and trucks, but also likes to read books about princesses and knows that when we put in a CD he will probably end up dancing with his sister and being her prince. He loves to throw things but will also find any number of cheap plastic beaded necklaces we have around here, put them on, and declare that he is "pittee". He can hit a ball with a bat, but can also spend a lot of time sitting on the floor reading book after book after book.
He makes us laugh all day with his antics, whether it's pushing his trucks around the house, trying to tell knock-knock jokes that make no sense, tackling us or begging us to "tacko" him, wrestling with his sister, or making sure we pray before every meal by frantically repeating "Jesus, Jesus" over and over again until we all sit down and fold our hands. Maybe he's going to be a pastor, who knows? Another thing that Driver and I find funny--the fact that the things he gets mad at most often (besides his sister) are physics and gravity. I'm sorry mommy and daddy don't give you much sympathy for that, little man, but someday when we tell you some of the stories I hope you'll laugh with us.
He is scared of parts of the movie "Monsters, Inc." and also a recent episode of Curious George. It had to do with dark caves and shadows. He was sitting on my lap while watching it and suddenly tried to crawl up onto my shoulders while burying his head into my chest at the same time.
He's starting to put more and more words together now, still no complete sentences but lots and lots of phrases. Right now his favorite is "Scawy Monsto" for "Scary Monster", seeing as how it was just Halloween and we saw our share at the costume store. The kids begged to go again just to see all the scary monsters, so I took them the day of Halloween. For all of BSB's brave talk about the 'scawy monstos' he was not about to touch any of them. When we went trick-or-treating that night there was one house that had a guy dressed up in a mask, etc walking around in the yard. BSB did not want to leave that yard. The whole rest of the night we would go to another house and he would be looking around for another 'scawy monsto'.
Hey-remember when he didn't walk? Yea, that was really great. Well, now that he does that he also runs and is pretty close to jumping for real, too. He hates riding in carts at the store, insisting on walking instead. The only time I get him to ride for any length of time in a cart is by a)constantly plying him with cookies or b)puting him and Back Seat Girl together in one of those double car carts at the grocery store.
His relationship with his sister is really blossoming. They had to go to another daycare recently just for a day where they were split up, and BSB spent the better part of the morning crying and sad that he was not with BSG. The other night after dinner BSB gave BSG his last M&M, if you can believe that. I can tell you right now that I can not think of any scenario where I would give my brother my last M&M.
If there is one thing I want for him it's to always be this happy. He is honestly the happiest little guy in the whole world. I'm not saying he doesn't throw a temper tantrum now and then (yesterday he laid down in the middle of all of his toys when I wouldn't give him a candy corn), or that he never disobeys me and is the perfect child (we often say he has a head made of wood because holy cow, that kid is stubborn), but he spends most of his time happily playing, running around the house, running errands with me and charming the pants off anyone who dares make eye contact with him, and otherwise just being a general joy to be around. I'm so happy to get to share his childhood with him and I hope that he can keep his sunny attitude as he gets older and realizes that the worst thing in the world to ever happen to him will not be the fact that I told him to walk this way when he wants to go "Dat Way!". (Picture him with wrinkled brow, feet planted firmly on the floor, finger pointed defiantly in the opposite direction from where I am walking.)
Happy Second Birthday, O-Mac! I love you so much and look forward to every day I get to spend with you.

Saturday, November 01, 2008


I'm going to have to start paying someone to update this blog. I don't know why I have been so terrible about this. I have had ideas about what to write, we even went to the apple orchard so I have good pictures, but for some reason I have not been able to sit down in front of the computer and type out a post.

I did just finish a book I was obsessed with (I'm sad it's done), so maybe now I can try keeping you all up on the goings-on around here. Not that there is anything TOO exciting. We don't live like rockstars around here.

That being said I'm at work right now so I'm not going to be able to post any pictures or write my usual terribly elegant posts because I'm trying to work with a hangover and it's late and I'm tired and I'm feeling very stupid and old.

Friday, October 17, 2008


I once heard that the best gift you can give your child is a sibling. I have a lot of memories of playing with my little brother growing up. I also have a lot of memories of him annoying the crap out of me, but what big sister with a little brother doesn't? The best thing about having a sibling is that you can get mad at them, you can fight with them, but they'll always be your brother or sister. There's also this great history you share with a sibling once you grow up and become adults. I've known Driver for twelve years, I've known my brother for twenty nine.

For the first year, well, really year and a half of Back Seat Boy's life, Back Seat Girl really didn't seem to take much interest in him. She wasn't jealous of him, she didn't dislike him, in fact she did profess to love him. There just wasn't that much interaction going on. I remember at one of BSB's check ups the Dr was asking me how BSG was doing with a little brother. When I told him it bordered on indifference (BSB was probably only 2 months old at this point), the Dr told me that was pretty normal. To a 2 year old, a baby is like a broken toy. It doesn't do much but eat, sleep, poop and cry. And it doesn't do those things when you tell it to, it just does them. BSG likes things that do what she tells them to.

After a while BSB began to crawl and stand up and play with things, and that increased their interaction a little. I remember one night I was cleaning up after supper and they "chased" each other around the house, BSG walking, BSB crawling. It was just a glimpse of what I get to enjoy now.

I don't know when it happened, but the two of them see to be forging a beautiful relationship. They play together, they talk to each other, they hug each other good night. BSG has even said things like "I love hugging [BSB]". Yesterday BSB kept going up to BSG just for the sake of getting a hug. If BSB sounds like he's in distress anywhere in the house BSG is constantly asking me to go and help him, and gets mad if I take too long. She is always trying to teach him new words and or how to play hide and seek correctly. He is also very often unwittingly the dad to her stuffed animals. She sends him off to work and receives him back "home" (her room). I really don't think he knows what's going on half the time, but he loves it because he loves playing with his big sister.

They definitely have their squabbles (the one toy the other has is THE BEST toy every created in the history of the world and I MUST HAVE IT), but I know they love each other. When they grow up they'll be able to talk about how crazy mom and dad were (are) and can you believe we lived in that tiny house with one bathroom or how much fun they had on our camping trips. I love watching them make memories together that they'll be able to talk about with each other long after Driver and I are gone. I love watching them form this bond that is so unique to being brother and sister.

I really hope they don't have too much to discuss in the 'Mom and Dad are nuts' area, though.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

She might break my kneecaps

I may have been threatened recently *cough grandma cough* by my lack of posting. All I have to say for myself is that, well, I'm trying to find new daycare for my children, and for people who can handle things like this and have good "coping skills", this may not be a big deal. However, I hate change, and when it comes to change that has to do with my children, well, let's just say that I've been trying very hard not to have a complete mental breakdown. I have been succeeding, barely.

In that spirit, here are some pictures from the Bachmann's fall festival. The first two prove that you can not make your children pose in front of a backdrop. I don't know how professional photographers do it.

Exhibit A:
OK, this one is pretty cute.
Exhibit B:
The people really responsible for the making of the scarecrows, Mom and I.
BSB in front of the BSG sized scarecrow. It's hard to help when you are chowing down apples the whole time.

Driver and I went out to the parking lot to load the headless scarecrows in our car, and some people getting out of their car behind us mentioned that it looked pretty suspicious. We told them they didn't see anything. RIGHT?

Is that dirty gross water? I need me some of that.
Driver says I dress BSG like she's running for preschool class president. I think it's cute. Please ignore that the only decent pic I could take that morning is in the bathroom.

She's outta' here. Time to talk with her classmates about the issues facing preschoolers in these troubled times.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

You can't make this stuff up

Back Seat Girl, coloring a picture of a cow. Specifically, the cow's udder.

"Look, mom, I'm coloring it's milking process---GROSS!"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

I'm about to write exactly what I thought I would write

Today was Back Seat Girl's first day of preschool. It went pretty much exactly how I thought it would go. We started off with a good breakfast of muffins and smoothie (Yes, she insists on drinking her smoothie out of that play goblet). She got dressed in new school clothes while Back Seat Boy and I put one our chauffer clothes. This part could have gone faster, but I'm dealing with BSG here, so nothing gets done at lightning speed. There also could have been less whining, but alas, four year olds are horribly misunderstood. She wanted her picture taken by the firepit, so I obliged.
Here's the serious one:

She also wanted to make a funny face:
We got there in plenty of time. The doors weren't open so we hung out outside waiting until the little yellow school bus pulled up with most of her classmates on it (she'll get to ride it on Mondays from her daycare provider's house).

Here we are waiting:
BSB and I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few odds and ends, then hung out at home for the rest of the morning. I'm hoping to become more organized at this whole thing in the weeks to come, and spend my time more wisely. I now know exactly how long it takes me to get from here to there and I realize that they aren't going to be outside of the classroom right at noon.
It was a beautiful day, so while we waited for her class to come out BSB and I played outside. He brought his baby and kept whipping it over the retaining wall, walked around to get it, and whipped it over again, and again, and again. He's very sensitive.
When her class got out she was the first one in line. She ran over to me and then immediately started asking me when she could ride the bus. (Monday, I said. Is tomorrow Monday?, she replied.) She showed me the school bag they had decorated. Her teacher came over and talked to me for a few minutes, and then it was time to head for the car. While we were driving home she said, in complete rapture "I finally went to school FOR REAL!". She told me "it was so much fun", and she can't wait to go back. Of course. I really didn't have much of a doubt.

Here's the walk back to the boring old house:
Once at home she laid at the bottom of the steps and told me she was too tired to eat lunch. I really didn't believe her, but I gave her the option of eating lunch now or waiting until after her nap. She finally decided to eat with us:

I should have believed her, though, because while I was reading her stories before her nap she fell asleep sitting next to me in the rocking chair. I guess it was an exhausting day.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Different Points of View

Last Friday night Back Seat Girl and I were walking home from the neighborhood pizza place. It was just the two of us, we had gotten separated from the rest of our group. We were walking up a hill on our street and the sun was getting low on the horizon. It illuminated all of the bugs flying from tree and tree and bush to bush. I noticed this after we had seen two ant cities that were teeming with millions of ants, with more ants flying overhead.

I thought to myself "Man, late August is a disgusting time of year".

BSG inhaled sharply, stopped walking, and looked ahead of her with awe. "Mom, look at all the magic!".

Suddenly late August didn't seem so bad.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Just another day

Me: OOhh, Little Man, you smell like poop.
BSG: Yea, when I was laying on the pillow and he sat on my head I could smell his poopy.
Me: He sat on your head with a diaper full of poop?
BSG: Yea.
Me: That's pretty gross.
BSG: Yea.
BSG: I was going to tell you that he had poop in his diaper but then I decided not to.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


I have been trying to get Back Seat Girl to write her name for a while now, but she has never really wanted to try. Every once in a while she'll give a half-hearted attempt to write an 'A', but otherwise it's been a no-go. I've never really pressed her too hard, she's not really into coloring, either. I've always had a feeling she could do it, though. Tonight we were just playing around in the playroom downstairs and she busted this out after I showed her how to do it once. ONCE. She's been walking around the house spelling her name ever since. Stubborn, thy name is our children.

Friday, August 15, 2008

What you've been waiting for

Girl loves her lures. After a while he started dumping buckets of water over himself.

Camping breakfast
I wanted to tell him that it will never get better than this--eating bacon and sitting on the potty.
He's totally ready for her to catch the big one.
Boys and fishes get the same reaction.
Yea, we were all grossed out.
Uncle Pat and Driver built a huge sand wall and then dared BSB to scale it.
"It's just a tiny baby perch!"
Camping is exhausting...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Holy Mother of God

Yea, yea, we went on vacation. We took a camping trip with my brother and we had all sorts of fun and I have lots of cute pictures. Maybe, one day, after I get done hyperventilating over the passage of time, I will post some pictures with, I don't know, maybe a few words. Words about vacation. Right now? I'm going to tell you what I did today, and what I'm going to do tonight.

Do you want to know what I did with my morning? I packed up my two adorable kids and went to a local department store and bought them clothes. I bought them clothes today for two reasons: 1. This department store was having a sale, and 2. Back Seat Girl needed school clothes. As in clothes she will put on her body, then go to school in. SCHOOL. With a teacher. And other kids.

Guess what I'm going to do tonight? I'm going to pack up my two adorable kids again, this time with my husband, and then we're all going to ride in the station wagon to BSG's SCHOOL for orientation. Where I will get a folder containing, I don't know, whatever school orientation folders for parents contain. How am I supposed to know what school orientation folders contain? How exactly did I get to a point in my life where I would need a school orientation folder that didn't have anything to do with me going to school?

I remember 4 years and a couple of weeks ago I had a baby girl. It was simultaneously the worst and best day of my life. Luckily, as I lay exhausted in that hospital bed holding a blanket wrapped BSG, I did not know about all of the times in the coming years I would become breathless thinking about how time marches on whether or not we are ready for it.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

The Day After A Birthday

Happy Birthday Shotgun!
Yesterday was Shotgun's birthday. Not a particularly festive one . There was no party, you even had to make dinner, but it was your favorite and there were fresh flowers on the table. And for dessert, two free Coldstone sundaes (one for shotgun's birthday, the other for back seat girl's). But, lets not forget, after the kids were in bed, you got to experience a few fleeting moment of bliss, laying in bed with your new sheets, watching the Twins shut out the White Sox, and reading some food porn.
I've seen quite a few of Shotgun's birthday celebrations in the past 10 or so years. This has to be one of the smallest. Usually the days before and after July 28th are part of a days long celebration of the shotgun's entrance into this world. It's something I always look forward to. This year was a bit more muted, but I have no doubt that the Shotgun birthday festivals will make their return sooner than later.

I love you,

Friday, July 25, 2008

Four years old

This morning when you woke up you forgot it was your birthday for a few minutes. After we reminded you and got a round of birthday hugs, you were baffled. For starters, your voice didn't sound any different. Your hair was still long. No major changes had happened overnight while you were sleeping.
I wanted to tell you that no, these changes don't happen suddenly. They sneak up on you. First you're the tiny baby we brought home from the hospital, the first baby, the baby we sat and stared at and wondered what the hell we were doing. Then you were the tiny toddler who could talk in full sentences and start conversations with total strangers wherever you went. Now you're this little girl. A little girl who can't wait to go to school. A little girl who loves princesses and pink, yes, but also fishing and bugs. A little girl who really isn't scared or intimidated by much of anything -- except maybe thunderstorms.

So, Back Seat Girl, while you're terrifying us with all of this growing up, we want you to know how much we love you, how much you've taught us, and how much we can't wait to watch you grow and learn in the years to come.

Love, Mom & Dad (and your little brother)

For another great shot of BSG, click here.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Toilet water and its many uses.

The days that I don't work here's how the mornings usually go around here: Kids wake up, I make breakfast, we eat, then they get down and run around the house in various stages of undress while I clean up the kitchen. They are always very good about entertaining themselves during this time, so it's easy for me to, hmm, I don't want to say "lose track" of them, but I definitely don't have an eye of them every minute.

Monday morning they were playing while I did dishes and talked to my mom on the phone. Suddenly I heard BSG say "Oh, [Back Seat Boy]!" from the bathroom in a very disapproving voice. I turned around to find BSB pushing the play mop in front of him, happily pretending to clean the floor, but this time, the mop was actually wet. "[BSG]" I called, "is that water from the toilet?" "Yea", she answered back. "Did you flush the toilet when you were done going poopy?" "No."

One word. Gross.

So I hung up with my mom and walked into the bathroom in time to see BSB plunging his mop into the toilet again. Luckily BSG's poop was very small and well-formed, so the mop wasn't actually touching poop, but still. It was touching toilet water than contained a turd in it. I took away the mop and put it where I thought BSB couldn't reach it, then flushed the toilet and started washing the trail of wet left behind by the mop.

I was in the kitchen on my hands and knees when I heard BSB's familiar little staccato steps behind me, and turned around to see him holding the mop over his head while drops of water fell into his hair. Awesome.