Sunday, December 20, 2009

Class of '09

We just had a pretty big weekend in our house. After 4 and a half long years, Silas graduated from St. Thomas with his MBA. He worked very, very hard, and words can't express how proud I am of him. He managed to work full-time, be an excellent husband and father, and still take two classes a semester. And do very well in those classes. There were some long weeks, like when he would go to class Monday and Tuesday nights, then go on a business trip for the rest of the week, but we all made adjustments, and now we are basking in the glow of his accomplishment.

We asked Alison if she ever remembered Daddy not going to school, and she said she didn't. The night after Oliver was born Si had class. That was probably the hardest time for me. It can be a long day with a newborn baby and a 2 year old when your partner comes home at 6. When he's not coming home until 9:30 it's REALLY long.

Friday night we went to Si's graduation ceremony. I'm not one for crying, or outward shows of emotion, but seeing Si in his cap and gown almost made me choke up a bit. Hearing his name called and listening to the kids next to me shouting "Yea, Daddy!" will always rank up there as one of my favorite memories. And afterwards, thanks to the generosity of some friends and my mom and dad, we got a night at the Westin to relax and sleep in. THAT made me choke up. Though I'm just going to say that no actual tears escaped my eyes. So, mom and Janice, you didn't make me cry.

We followed Friday up with an open house on Saturday night. It was amazing to be surrounded by so many of our friends. We are truly blessed to have such a great group of people around us, always rooting for us, and always willing to eat our food and drink our beer. There were so many times last night where I just stood and looked around at all of the conversations going on around was awesome.

I'm happy that Silas won't miss out on any more nights with our kids. There were some days when he wouldn't see them at all and I would tell him stories about what they did or said, and I could tell how much he hated missing all of those little moments. Now when the kids ask me if Daddy is going to eat supper with us I can say "yes". Although they will probably be disappointed that we aren't having frozen raviolis and jarred tomato sauce as much as we used to.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

The field trip that was worse than a horror movie

Today I put on my Mrs. McAghon name tag and chaperoned Alison's field trip to the Minneapolis Fire Fighters Museum. I also had to take Oliver along. I wasn't too worried about it. Until I found myself laying on the floor of the museum on my stomach with a coat hanger in my hand trying to fish a car that we didn't own out from underneath some old piece of fire fighting equipment. Then there was the time when we were counting up all of the kids and we were missing one. And I couldn't figure out which one it was. It was Alison. Not only is she MY child, she was also one of the 4 kids (besides Oliver) I was supposed to be in charge of. I rock.

There was a room called 'The Fire Prevention and Safety Room". In this room was a small house with different rooms in it, and the front was covered in plexiglass so you could see inside. There was a small plastic guy falling asleep in a chair with a cigarette, a dryer with the vent full of lint, some bad wiring...the whole shebang. There was also a man hyped up on fire prevention speedballs or something, giving a group of kindergartners a talk about fire safety. He went well beyond the 'stop, drop and roll' bit. He told them about being wet and touching electrical outlets, and then made his point by making a spark come out of some room in the little house, complete with a nice, loud sizzling sound. He made the living room, where the guy was falling asleep smoking a cigarette, fill with smoke. He made the wall behind the dryer glow orange with fire. He even emphasized his point by some pretty horrific true life stories. One ended with a little boy being badly burned and scarred because instead of stopping, dropping, and rolling he ran to his father, feeding oxygen to the fire.

The whole time (well, except when I was on my stomach out in the museum fishing a car my 3 year old had stolen from the play area out from under some old piece of metal) I stood in the back of the room and watched Alison. She was on the edge of her seat. Soaking up everything that was happening in the little house, and remembering every word that guy was saying. I knew we were going to have a problem. Ever since we told her about the smoke detector and what it's there for a few months ago she has been nervous about fire. When fear monger bill was done with his speech and it was time to move on, Alison turned around with the rest of her classmates. But instead of running happily out into the museum to play on an old fire truck, she ran to me and grabbed onto my leg. Her eyes were red and brimming with tears.

I managed to calm her down, and she had fun the rest of the trip. Then we came home and before dance class she gave Oliver a speech about how he shouldn't touch anything electrical when he's wet. And she reminded him about how to stop, drop, and roll. And she asked me about our dryer's lint trap.

Then came bed time. Oh, man. At one point Oliver was showing her how to crawl out of bed and into the hallway in the event our house starts on fire to help her calm down (apparently he was paying more attention that I gave him credit for). He also very helpfully reminded her they could go out the window if there was fire in the hallway. She begged him to stop talking about it. To finally get her to bed, Silas had to promise her our house would not start on fire tonight.

I know that most of her class did not come home with a brand new fear of fire. In fact, I'm pretty sure she's the only one who took everything to heart as much as she did. That's just the way she is. She worries about stuff most kids don't worry about. Stuff that she should be trusting Si and I are taking care of. Even while I'm telling her not to worry and we've got it covered and her job is to be a kid and have fun and OUR job is to worry about everything, I know exactly where she is coming from, because I was the same way. I remember thinking that if I wasn't going to worry about this or that and remind my parents, maybe they would forget and then whatever it was wouldn't get done. And to tell you the truth, every once in a while she does remind me about something that I would've forgotten had she not said anything. It's taken me many years to learn how to not sweat the small stuff. I hope I can make her figure it out much sooner.

Although, come to think of it, your house starting on fire really doesn't fall into the "small stuff" category. More like the "stuff you don't have total control over" category. I can't really help her out with that one.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Blank Page

So, I've been sitting here staring at this blank computer screen for a while. I need to update this blog. I've got nothing. I could tell you about the time a few weeks ago when I drove down 66th street past a car that was pulled over, only to see it was Si and the kids. Then when he came home he informed me that my license was suspended.

I could list a bunch of funny things the kids have said lately. There is always plenty of those little pearls.

We had Thanksgiving here and our house managed to hold 8 people from Wednesday until Sunday. It was really fun. The kids are having a hard time adjusting to real life today.

I could choose any of these things, but apparently I'm having trouble adjusting to real life today, too. I can't hold a thought in my head for more than a few minutes. In fact, it has taken me 15 minutes to type these few paragraphs. So, perhaps I'll go to bed now and have something fresh and witty for you tomorrow.

Friday, November 06, 2009

My baby is 3!

In honor of Oliver's 3rd birthday I decided to ask him a few questions. A little interview with the person I spend the most time with. I realized as I was asking him these questions that if I asked them again tomorrow--or in 5 minutes--the answers to most of them would change. Except for the pants one. He is firmly anti-pants.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
space man (this means astronaut)

What is your favorite thing to play with?
Lightning McQueen

What is your favorite movie?

What is your favorite thing to do with your sister?
Play (like, duh!)

What do you like about staying home with mommy all day?
Playing (do you sense a theme here?)

Do you like wearing pants?
No. I like to be naked.

What is your favorite animal?

What is your favorite color?

What is your favorite book?
Where the Wild Things Are

And there you have it. Out of the mouth of the baby of the family. Sometimes I can't believe how different it is staying home with him all day as compared to when I stayed home with Alison alone all day. Granted, by the time Alison was his age she was no longer home alone with me, but it's amazing how much trouble Oliver can get into in just a short amount of time. For instance, Monday night while I was washing dishes after supper, Alison took that opportunity to go in the playroom and play. Oliver decided it would be fun to somehow get the doorstop out of the wall in the kitchen. Last night while I was cooking supper Alison did her homework, and Oliver took the wooden dowel out of the bottom of the shades in their room. Then today when we were outside he managed to take apart a flower bed. He took all of the rocks that were being used as a border and either rolled them down the hill or put them in his dump truck to be moved to another location. He was very proud of himself for not eating a black worm he found, though, and pointed that fact out to me several times. "Memba, mommy, that that worm tasted bad? Yuck! Phewey!" I didn't have the heart to tell him that most kids wouldn't know from first hand experience that black worms taste bad. Or maybe they would, but I only have experience with one other kid and she would've died before eating a worm.

I don't know what I'd do all day without Oliver. He keeps me company (today he told me we make a good team), he makes me laugh, he forces me to play cars over and over again. He is the entertainer in this family. If he does or says something and it gets a favorable reaction, he gets this twinkle in his eye like "oh, yea, you like that, do you?" and continues to do it over and over. He makes Alison laugh by doing this a lot, and it's pretty hilarious, because he can't help but laugh at the same time. He has an incredible imagination--his cars are always talking to each other and acting out complicated scenarios that usually involve saving someone.

Yesterday he turned 3, and while I was sad to say goodbye to 2, I realize that each year brings me something else to look forward to. It has been so much fun to watch him grow and learn, and I'm so happy I get to be a part of it. Happy Birthday, O-Mac! I know we'll laugh together this year as much as we have the past 2, Little Man.

Friday, October 02, 2009

What we're dealing with

So, we have this boy, Oliver. Oliver is very cute, and he is very funny, and he can be very sweet. Most of the time when I'm laughing it's because of something Oliver said or did. However, Oliver is also very, VERY stubborn. Here are just a few examples:

I was working last weekend and Silas was getting the kids ready for church. They were all dressed except for one last step-Oliver needed his shoes on. He refused. He said he wanted to go to church in bare feet. Silas pulled out the bribe. "But Oliver, we have enough time to go get doughnuts if we leave now, and you need shoes at the grocery store." Most children would put on shoes for the love of doughnuts, but not Oliver. Oliver says he doesn't want doughnuts, and he still wants to go to church in bare feet.

Trying to get him to drink milk: Milk will give you strong bones and teeth! You'll grow into a big, strong boy if you drink milk!
"Me don't want my teeth to get bigger!"
"No, Oliver, they won't get bigger, they'll get strong."
"Me don't want my teeth to be stwong."
"Well, they'll fall out of your head if you don't drink milk and then how will you chew all of that yummy food you like?"
"Me don't want to chew."

Getting ready to go to daycare in the morning, Oliver refuses to put on pants (are you sensing a theme here?). Silas keeps repeating how much fun he always has at Jodi's playing with the other kids! and all the toys!
"Me don't want to go to Jodi's and have fun playing. Me want to stay hewe and be sad."

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Night of the living two year old

Here is a list of things Oliver did tonight.

Emptied all of the CDs and DVDs out of their boxes and scattered them across the living room floor.
Took all of the books out of their bookshelf and left them in a pile on their bedroom floor.
Peed and pooped in the potty.
Peed in his underwear.
Peed on the pile of books in their room.
Took all of the cars/tractors out of the basket in the playroom.
Took all of the plastic animals out of the basket in the playroom.
Threatened to throw a large metal car at his sister.
Still managed to be the cutest thing ever.

Monday, August 31, 2009

The first of 13 first days

You will never believe what happened today. Alison went to kindergarten. Because she is 5 years old and is supposed to go to kindergarten. It was very surreal. Silas and I said as much to each other as we followed her up the sidewalk to school. She was very excited and not at all nervous. We were waiting in the lunchroom to go up to the opening service and she asked me while I was still there and why I just didn't go home, so I wasn't too worried about her. People must have been worried about me, though, because I fielded several calls from people concerned about my well-being. I'm here to say I'm fine! I did really well. No tears, even.

Oliver was very excited and needed to get his picture taken, too.
Showing off the all important Tinker Bell lunch box.
It was chilly this morning, but I wanted pictures of her dress without her coat, so she bucked up just like a real model and went coat-less until I had had my fill.
Walking to the garage.
Walking up the sidewalk to school.
Oliver, once again, in on the action.
Almost there!
Standing in line with her class waiting to go up to the opening service. Notice her height. Notice everyone else's. That's my girl!

She came home and declared she was ready for 1st grade. Then she fell asleep on the couch. So maybe not quite ready for 1st grade. After we put the kids to bed we could hear them talking to each other for a while.

They haven't done that all summer (mainly because they are so exhausted when they go to bed I think they just pass out) so they must have missed each other.

And so her school adventure begins. I wonder if she'll let me take pictures of her like this when she's 17?

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Here, go ahead and laugh at my expense

I've never been the kind of person who is overly worried about making a complete fool of myself in front of people. That's not to say that I don't care if I do, it's just not something I waste my time worrying about (which is amazing for me, because I waste a lot of time worrying about things I have no control over). Which would explain that every time I get into our VW Beetle, Ringo, I manage to make a complete idiot of myself.

Ringo used to be my car, and love him I did. It was by far the newest car I had ever driven. Silas and I took it on road trips and camped out of it. But then we had a baby and it was a giant pain to get the baby and her car seat in and out of the backseat of that car. Also, not a lot of room for baby-related accoutrements in the trunk. So, we got a new car, a gleaming new station wagon, and Ringo became Silas's car. Mainly it just transports him to and from work, because let's face it, I don't know a lot of men who want to tool around town in a green VW Beetle if they don't have to (Silas has to, it's paid for).

Well, Ringo now has about 125,000 miles on him and he's 10 years old. That's not so bad, except he has also proven not to be the most reliable of all cars ever made. I lose track of his little idiosyncracies now since the only time I ever drive him is when I have to work a weekend, which only happens about once a month. Ringo has a few things that make driving a challenge. First of all, the driver's side door is threatening to fall off. When you open it it moves out and then down about 2 inches, so closing it involves lifting it up and then trying to fit it back in place like a puzzle piece. Those doors are not small, so I can't close it from inside the car since I'm sitting down. I don't have enough leverage to lift it up. Also, there is some kind of leak in the fuel system, so whenever you open the gas cap to fill up the tank it loses pressure and has a problem starting and continuing to run for a few minutes after a visit to the pump. I am constantly forgetting about these problems with the car. Which brings me to yesterday.

I had to work at 3 in the afternoon, so I scheduled a hair cut at 1. At 12:30 I make my way out to the garage and open the driver's side door of Ringo, totally forgetting that the door is broken. So, I gingerly lift it back into place, lean all of my weight against it until it closes, then crawl into the driver's seat through the passenger door since I can't close the driver's door from the inside. Remember here that Ringo has a manual transmission. Also I am very short and need to move the driver's seat up very close to the steering wheel. I back out of the garage only to realize two things: 1. The garbage and recycling cans are blocking my way out, and 2. The neighbor from the apartment building across the alley is trying to get my attention. This is going to require me to get out of the car. And then get back in. Through the passenger door. While there are witnesses. Not just random people at the grocery store (that's happened), but the neighbor whom I see on a fairly regular basis. The neighbor tells me what he needs to tell me, I move the garbage cans, then, with my head held high, crawl into my car and drive away.

I manage to get a haircut and get back into the car without anyone watching. On my way to work however, the car beeps, telling me I'm low on fuel. I really don't like stopping on my way home at midnight to get gas, so I decide to stop before work. I pull into the gas station close to the VA, and the place is hopping. I pull up next to the only available pump, which is going to require that I back out before pulling onto the street. As I uncap the gas tank and begin to fuel I realize something. I'm going to have to crawl back into the stupid car through the passenger door with all of these people watching, and then, after they witness me shimmying myself behind the wheel, I'm going to have to start the car with large amounts of gas, then back out, all the while revving the engine to keep the car running. So I stand there, trying not to make eye contact with anyone, even the nice couple at the pump next to me who are driving the same car I have back at home with a working door and ability to start without embarrassing noises and revving engine after getting gas.

I fill the tank. I open the passenger door, crawl over the passenger seat and stick shift, slide myself very ungracefully behind the steering wheel, and put the keys into the ignition. I put my foot on the clutch and try to start the car. It struggles to turn over, I feel people watching. I start giving it large amounts of gas. It coughs to life. I shift into reverse, all the while giving it tons of gas, revving the engine which, to the casual observer, seems completely pointless. At some point I need to shift into first and go forward without stalling the car. I manage to do it, but it requires a lot more engine revving and stares from startled gas station patrons who are wondering why the woman in the green beetle feels the need to show the power of her mighty 4 cylinder, 1.4 liter engine by constantly cranking on the gas. I pull onto the street, and by the time I hit the first stop light the car is able to come to a complete and full stop without stalling even though I am no longer giving it copious amounts of gas. I look around and, of course, no one is there to witness it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Si is the only quiet one

Alison has been up at the lake with Mam the last few days, so it's just been Oliver, Si, and I. Last night we walked over to Davanni's for supper. On the way home we let Oliver wander wherever he wanted. He picked crab grass, rocks, and sticks. The entire time he kept up a running commentary. Finally Silas looked at me and said "He talks just as much as Alison". It might be true. That kid was not quiet the entire way home. We played and he talked about playing, about the ant walking by, about the crab grass (which he called 'Grandpa pies', I have no idea why), about the cars on the road, about the leaves on the trees...I don't know if it's the fact that we don't notice him talking as much when there's two of them talking, or if he talks more when he's not competing with Alison.

That night I was reading him his new book about reptiles before bed. I think he asked me about 5 questions per page. It has never taken me so long to read him one book before.

I hope to remember all of this talking someday when he comes home from school and grunts at me when I ask him how his day was, then walks into his room, closes his door, and texts his friends for the rest of the night.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I should be doing laundry...

but I have rededicated myself to keeping you updated on my uber-exciting life. So, here's something Alison said on our way home from the grocery store today that took my breath away. That one song that Norah Jones sings, you know, that one (please don't make me remember right now, I'm concentrating on how I should be doing 40 million other things), was playing on the radio.

A: This song makes my heart think about when I was a little baby.

I used to sing her that song all of the time when she was a baby.

Wow, she really was a cute baby!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

Make that out to Oliver, c/o Lund's grocery store

Friday night we went to the grocery store with the kids. All four of us. Which, if you're OK with constantly repeating "Come on, you guys", or "No, don't touch that" is usually OK. But Friday night it was not OK.

We have one of those reusable fabric bags and Oliver was carrying it. It was empty and all folded up. We're in the nirvana that is the Lund's cheese department, and I turn around just in time to see Oliver take the bag and whack Alison over the head with it. As hard as he possibly can. It obviously didn't hurt her, but both of the kids turned to look at me. As soon as Alison saw the horrified look on my face she turned to Oliver and yelled "OLIVER MCAGHON!". I calmly looked at Si, told him I was going to take Oliver out, and wrestled the bag out of his chubby little hands.

This is the part where he starts wailing at the top of his lungs that he wants daddy. While I am carrying him from the back of the store all the way to the front. I keep repeating that we don't hit, that hitting is bad. Whatever, he doesn't care. He would please like the parent who isn't currently punishing him.

The situation deteriorates until we are all in the car on our way home, which takes about 2 minutes. Oliver is now screaming that he doesn't want to go home. We are all ignoring him. We pull into the garage. He switches to screaming that he doesn't want to live here anymore. This we can't leave alone.

"Where do you want to live, buddy?"
(heavy sniffling)"Me want to live at gwocewy sto"
"At the grocery store?"
"But there are no beds at the grocery store, where would you sleep?"
"Me want to bwing my bed to gwocewy sto"

This is concerning to Alison (they share a room and sleep in bunk beds):
"But Oliver, I don't want to live at the grocery store! I want to live here with Mommy and Daddy!"
(sadly,resignedly)"But me do, Ali. Me want to live there."

I guess he was just blowing smoke, though, because he's still living here.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

She really is a sensitive girl. OK, maybe not.

The reason I created this blog is because we live so far away from our families. There is no popping in for lunch or having grandma and grandpa able to take the kids for just a few hours on any given day. I wanted there to be a way for them to check in on us and see what's going on from day to day. Also, I don't really enjoy using the phone that often. Anyway, even though I haven't been updating very regularly recently I still like to look back on olds posts to see what we were up to.

That brings me to an added bonus of this blog. I have a horrible memory. In fact, I was just talking to a friend last night and saying that I need to take lots of pictures because otherwise I'll never remember my kids being little. I am not good about having baby books, but I do have this blog. I started it a few months before Alison turned 2. I was pregnant with Oliver. Now Alison is 5, going to kindergarten in a few weeks, and Oliver is 2 (and will not let us forget it, what with the fit every time things don't go his way). It's amazing how fast time is flying by, and I'm so happy I have this journal of sorts to look back and remember some of the more mundane, everyday things I might otherwise forget.

Today is one of those days. I got up, ran, showered. The kids woke up when I was in the shower, so Si turned on Sesame St and got them some waffles. We ate breakfast (oatmeal and blueberry smoothies), got dressed (and Oliver peed in the potty!), and went to Wood Lake Nature Center. We walked around on the short trail, then walked to the corner of 66th and Lyndale (there's a Caribou coffee and Quizno's there, what else does a person need? Oh, a bar.). We got some sandwiches and ate lunch. Then we walked to the vegetable stand in the Champ's parking lot and bought some stuff, which I then had to lug back to the car, along with a very heavy toddler who was too tired to walk any farther. The kids rolled down the hill of the VFW on the way. Then it was back home for a nap and quiet time. (Alison is upstairs right now making a potty for her Littlest Pet Shop.)

None of this makes for very good reading, but I'm happy I wrote it down, because I don't want to forget all of these little moments that make up a life together. I also don't want to forget Alison saying this in the parking lot by the vegetable stand.

Me: "Oliver, you'd better watch out or you're going to end up like that toad we saw at Wood Lake today."

Ali: "Oh, you mean the one that was squished? With its guts hanging out?"

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Five, I repeat, Five years old

Saturday I became the mother of a 5 year old. 5 year olds do things like ride big girl bikes and go to school all day 5 days a week. They ask inquisitive questions that you don't know how to answer. They don't take naps. They say silly things like: "Guys-I should really be on the radio. I have a GREAT voice." They say sweet things like: "When I grow up and get married I want to have a little boy just like Oliver." They make you laugh, they make you cry. They make you grit your teeth in frustration right before they give you giant bear hugs.

I, of course, think that I have the best 5 year old in the entire world. She is turning into a big girl right before my very eyes, and I'm trying to do my very best to help her along. To help her, someday, become the woman I know she can be. Because if the last 5 years are any indication, she will be one hell of a woman.

Happy Birthday to the little girl who turned me into a mother and changed my life forever.

We love you, Alison!
Mommy, Daddy & Oliver

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Just so I remember

Oliver and I were walking back from the park last week. We were standing by a busy road and a motorcycle drove by.

"That motocyco?"


"Me dive motocyco!"

"Buddy, you have to be 16 to drive."


"Yep, and since you live with Mommy and Daddy you'll have to be much, much older to drive a motorcycle"



Oliver has stopped saying 'good' instead of 'yes'. Well, actually, he said 'gooot', but we all knew what he meant. Just one more step away from his babyhood. He is talking more and more, initiating conversations, answering questions, asking questions, and using words he's heard his sister use. He turned 2 and a half yesterday and I'm becoming acutely aware of how fast time is passing. I'm trying to focus on each day, each stage, and enjoy the little idiosyncrasies they bring, because before I know it, they'll have moved on to the next thing. So, right now I'm enjoying the fact that when Oliver talks about himself he never says 'I', it's always 'me', that he starts every answer to every question you ask him with 'because', he says 'Oh, Man!' when things don't go his way (either that or he has a huge screaming crying fit), he calls downstairs 'downstairv', he loves falling asleep reading books, he loves the movie "Cars", he will throw his arms around my neck, bury his face in my shoulder and say "I wuv you!" when I pick him up, and loves to ask the question "Do you wuv it?".

I have started reading chapter books to Alison, and she loves it. So far we've read "Charlotte's Web" and "Peter Pan" and we are working on "The Little Princess". She LOVES Mondays at school because that is when she gets a new library book. This morning before school she made a picture to give to one of her classmates. She sticks up for her little brother if she feels he's being wronged, and calls us for him at night if he's calling and we can't hear his tiny little voice. She just finished dance classes and the other night in the car, in a very sad voice, she said "Mom, I miss Miss Carrie and I miss being a ballerina". The past two weeks she's been in two dance recitals, a spring concert at school, sang in church, and went on 2 field trips. She still loves bugs and spends a lot of time outside trying to pick them up and letting them crawl all over her.

On the other hand, this afternoon the kids had a fight. All I know is I was in the kitchen getting supper ready and I heard Alison crying, followed closely by Oliver crying. When I went out Oliver was laying on his back half in and half out of the sandbox and he had a scratch on his cheek. Apparently he had been burying Alison's feet and ignored her when she asked him to stop. She could only take so much and so she pushed him and somehow scratched his cheek. This is when I feel old...I made them come inside and sit in the naughty chair and step respectively. Then they had to sit on the couch, hold hands, apologize to each other, and tell eachother one thing about the other they liked. They got along splendidly for the rest of the night, but man, did I feel cheesy and old.

Friday, April 17, 2009

The long awaited pictures

Today Oliver puked into my hands, then when I was carrying him up the basement stairs he had a bout of diarrhea that overflowed his pants, went onto my arm and then ran down said arm and onto the steps. Alison, on the other hand, is spending her quiet time on our bed looking out the open window and shouting "Welcome to the Neighborhood!" to the new neighbors who are out in their back yard enjoying the day. She's gotten them to wave to her a few times.

Here are some random pics from the end of winter to Easter, which we spent with Grandma, Grandpa and Uncle Patrick in Wisconsin.

This is what happens when Oliver eats a ring pop. Or, really, food in general.
One morning they came out of their room wearing their new sunglasses acting all noncholant.

Eating pizza, on a bed, watching a movie after a day of playing at the waterpark. HEAVEN!

One sleeping, one faking.

Not sleeping.

Eating breakfast in the hotel room.

The bathtub zoo menagerie.

The Children's Museum.

Alison as a turtle at the Children's Museum.

This big digger showed up across the street one day and dug a huge hole in our neighbor's yard. As you can see, Oliver was completely thrilled.

Eating hot dogs at the Twins game.

Oliver's rally cap, which is what his hat looks like when he puts it on himself.

Cotton Candy soothes the sting of the loss.

Playing Wii skiing at Grandma and Grandpa's.

Filling the bird feeders.

Sharing a cute moment with Grandpa.

Found an Easter egg!

Easter duds.

Monday, April 06, 2009

Holding pattern

I thought Si was forgetting to bring home our back-up hard drive but it turns out that he has been bringing it home. He just hasn't told me. I was also under the impression that anything computer related was his job, but apparently backing up the pictures is my job. With the hard drive I didn't know was here. So, still no pictures. Sorry.

In other news...we signed Alison up for kindergarten. She will be going to school all day, every day come fall. Pretty amazing. I can't believe how time is flying by. It's going to be hard to be without her every afternoon, but school gets done at 2:45. Hopefully she'll get in the car and be full of stories about her day. I'm excited for her and hope that I will be able to let go with as much grace and dignity as I can muster. That is, I'm going to try very hard not to by a big, blubbering mess her first day of school.

Friday, March 27, 2009

A Teaser

*****Si forgot the hard drive, so you'll just have to wait for those pictures. Now, pick yourself up off the floor, dry those tears, and go watch The Amazing Race for me while I'm stuck at work.******

I will be posting pictures, hopefully this weekend. I have pictures from Christmas, various walks, our trip to the water park, and maybe a few things I'm forgetting. However, I am afraid to upload anything onto my computer because the squirrel that makes it run is obviously getting very, very tired. That is, Si and I are pretty sure it's about to crash. So, until Si brings the back-up hard drive home from work and we can back up all of the pictures I'm not risking it. You want to hear something else hilarious? The camera is acting all funny and making horrible noises when we use the zoom, so that does not bode well for it's life, either. Ah, electronics. How they bleed my bank account dry.

Friday, March 20, 2009


I'm posting again? Wow!! You are all so lucky. That is, if anyone still bothers to check in. I fear I may have lost my already paltry reader base. Just in case no one is actually reading this anymore, I'm not going to waste precious brain matter on this post. Here, in no particular order, are some random funny things that the kids said or did or whatever...just--here!

I told Alison yesterday that today would be the first day of spring so she insisted on wearing her summer nightgown with the short sleeves. She wore it while watching Sesame Street and eating breakfast this morning. Her arms and legs felt like ice cubes, but she insisted she was fine.

Earlier this week I got out the tee ball for the kids to play with. Alison took a few good whacks at it, as did Oliver. The wind picked up, and the ball wouldn't stay on the tee anymore, so Oliver dismantled it and started using it as a gun. He pretended to shoot birds, inanimate objects, and his sister. I feel like this is one of those innate 'boy' things, like making car noises. Si doesn't hunt, we don't own any guns, and I don't recall Curious George demonstrating how to use one on TV. I'm pretty sure I'd remember that.

Si asked Alison how I looked while getting ready to run with my new shoes. Alison said "sexy". Considering I was wearing drawstring pants, a T-shirt, and my brand-spanking new running shoes, I'm sure she has no idea what it means. However, and in the interest of full disclosure I'll just say that every bad word or phrase Alison has learned she's gotten from me, I don't routinely use the word 'sexy'. That didn't stop Silas from immediately blaming me. I, in turn, blamed listening to the radio.

Continuing with the subject. We're eating supper, there's a rare quiet moment. Alison looks at me seriously and says "Mom, remember when you said freakin' this morning? That's a bad word. You shouldn't say that."

And here's to hearing your words repeated back to you in the voice of a 4 year old girl. Once again, we were eating supper. Silas and I are trying desperately to tell each other anecdotes from our days without getting interrupted by the kids. Alison: "Mom! You shouldn't talk with your mouth full!" I dutifully stop talking. A few seconds later Silas starts talking to me. Alison raises her hand, puts up her pointer finger, waves it at him, and says "uh-uh-uh!" You know, each 'uh' higher than the previous get the point.

Well, that's all for now. Maybe next I'll actually post some pictures. Well, I'll only do that if I am sure there are signs of life here. So, comment. Please? I'd really like to know if there is anyone still checking this before I go and start using my brain again.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Christmas in March

First of all-I just have to say I'm sorry for neglecting this blog for so long. We seem to be in this rut where we make a big decision, feel good about it for a while, then another one appears before us and, well, I'm the kind of person who over-thinks and over-analyzes every decision I've ever made. I think and analyze so much that it becomes this giant, bigger than life thing that I can't control anymore. I know I'm doing this even while I'm doing it, but that doesn't mean I can stop. So, I guess I've been too busy thinking in circles to write on this blog.

I've been meaning to tell everyone that this Christmas was probably the best one we've had since getting married and having kids. Oliver was old enough to kind of get what was going on and Alison remembered some of our traditions. For instance, the first ornament to get hung on our tree is this glass pickle. Everyone leaves the room, I hang it somewhere, and then we make Alison and Oliver try to find it. Well, really, we make Alison try to find it. This year as we were getting out all of our decorations she kept asking me about the 'tricky pickle'. I was SO happy that she remembered! I must have hid that pickle 20 times while the tree was up, and each time she was just as thrilled when she found it.

We stayed here and hosted, and I'm just going to come out and say it...I had fear. I was really looking forward to it, but we live in a 1400 square foot house. I was wondering how it would all go. It turns out that you can make anything work. We had a nice Christmas dinner thanks to Mam and our new kitchen, plus plenty of appetizers on Christmas eve, and the kids got to wake up and open presents on Christmas morning in their own living room. I have to stop and say that Oliver was pretty pissed off when he realized that all of those cookies we were putting on the nice plate on Christmas eve were for Santa and not for him.

So, in summary, I'm crazy, we had a good Christmas, and Oliver likes cookies.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Febuary first?!?!

What, really? It's been that long? I am a huge slacker. I haven't forgotten about this blog, I promise...I will start updating more regularly soon.

(See how I said more regularly? Not regulary, because let's face it, that will never happen.)

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

And Boom Goes the Dynamite

On Sunday, neither one of the kids slept. Those of you that know me would think that my head exploded that day, because if there is one thing that bothers me, it's a child skipping a nap. Especially 2 year old boys who need naps to be human the rest of the day.

Sunday was different, though. Alison partially moved into Oliver's room over Christmas so family could sleep in her room. Now she doesn't want to move back. I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand, if we completely move Alison into Oliver's room and get them bunk beds, which would make the most sense space-wise, we'd have a spare room upstairs. I have dreams of making one corner a 'book corner' for reading and having a little table for them to color and having a place that's not the living room to put their toys. On the other hand, I love Alison's room. It's girly without being too girly, and it holds a lot of memories for me. I rememer being pregnant and painting and putting the crib together and standing in there wondering what it would be like to bring a baby home and have it sleep in that crib and rock it in that chair. I remember taking the crib down and putting together her new big-girl bed (which is also perfect for that room) and how excited she was to sleep in it. I love the color of the walls and the painted trim and the flower hooks and the rug and her nightstand with books and her plant on it. It's all just so Alison.

But Alison and Oliver are also enjoying forging new memories in the room they share now. Sunday afternoon a few minutes after laying both of them down and sitting on the couch to relax and watch some television, Alison came walking out into the living room. "Oliver is sitting up in his crib", she announced. I'm pretty sure Oliver was sitting up because Alison was walking around the room gathering books to bring back to bed with her. I went back in, settled everyone down, and came back out to collapse on the couch for an hour. A few minutes later, after hearing some rustling from their room, Alison came back out again. "Oliver is talking to me", she said. This time it was Silas's turn to settle them back in. Once again, more rustling. Alison reappears. "Oliver wants to sleep in the chair because I am sleeping in the chair." This one takes a while, but after we convince them that no one is sleeping in the chair even though it's so 'comfortable', we come back out into the living room. "I'm pretty sure this time it's going to stick", I tell Silas confidantly.

We are watching T.V. when we hear giggling. We sneak down the hallway and stand outside their door. "Chicken butt!" Alison says. Oliver belly laughs. When he stops, Alison does it again. "Oliver, Chicken butt!" Peals of laughter ring out from the direction of his crib. "Addi, jhick-en butt!" Oliver says. They both start laughing.

It was about the cutest thing we'd ever heard. Si and I ended up bringing them both out to the living room to watch "Cars" where this eventually happened:
Maybe I can let go of another piece of Alison's babyhood if it means they learn how much fun it is to make each other laugh.