Thursday, December 28, 2006

I guess I need to relax

For Christmas, two people gave me relaxing lavender bath items. I also have some leftover from my birthday, so SOMEONE must think I need to chill.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

And we're still baking

The cookies from last week are way gone. Today Evie and I whipped out some oatmeal cookies and started decorating the sugar cookies while Spencer was at school. Then we baked some more gingerbread cookies while Spencer was eating lunch. Sadly, I don't think we'll be able to make another batch of soy nut butter cookies before we go to Ohio, but that's life I guess.

I want to take a moment to say how totally awesome LeapFrog is. I ordered a bunch of stuff, including a LeapPad. When the big box arrived, all the accessories and books were there, but NO LeapPad. I called them in a panic and also sent e-mail. What good would the flashy side dishes be if the main course didn't arrive for Christmas? Within two days the LeapPad was here, no muss, no fuss. They have also replaced a broken toy for me under birthday part time pressure in the past and been able to help me get everything working when I wasn't sure how to make it work. I love these people and I hope they never go out of business.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas baking season

I've finally started this year's baking. The family chose gingerbread, sugar, soy nut butter, and oatmeal cookies. I pointed out that the last two were really more general purpose cookies, but they were demanded of me. So there.

We made the soy nut butter cookies today (little do they realize I'm going to get rid of half of them at a party tomorrow) and the dough for the gingerbread cookies. The kids really don't have the patience to do all that in one day, but that's what they wanted to do. Then they played in the sand outside while I cleaned up.

That reminds me, is anyone else having trouble getting in the Christmas spirit this year? I've done no shopping. Nothing. And it's almost 60 degrees outside! Where's the winter weather? That would surely help my desire to be Christmas-y.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Nap news

Today, at 2:38pm, everyone decided to take a nap in their own beds.

Now it's 2:39pm, and everyone is awake and ready to go. If only batteries recharged that quickly!

Monday, November 27, 2006

The boy who loved Christmas

Spencer loves Christmas. Really, really, REALLY loves Christmas. We noticed it last year when he left little "presents" under the tree at school for Santa (these were balled up pieces of colored paper, but it's the thought that counts). He was concerned that no one was bringing Santa anything even though Santa brings things to everyone else. Sadly, this year seems to mostly be about what he will GET for Christmas. He told me that Santa takes care of all the giving so he doesn't have to worry about it.

Spencer has been begging us to get out the Christmas decorations since before Thanksgiving. We would have done it this weekend, but we had plumbing issues in the front yard that took up the whole weekend. So tonight Alan got a box out. The Christmas and winter books were a huge hit with both of them, as was the Little People nativity set. And as of this moment, Spencer is in bed with a stuffed Christmas tree pillow that he says is his best friend. It doesn't have any other friends and it can turn into a rocket. The rocket part is what's preventing him from sleeping, I think.

Slacker Blogger

Whew! It's been awhile since I last posted. We've been busy, and it's cutting into my computer time. I'll try to be better.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A walking boo boo machine

Poor Spencer, he attracted ouchies today like fly paper attracts flies. First, he banged his head on the bathroom vanity. Then, he scraped himself up while goofing off in the tree (I refrained from saying, "I told you so!" but we did have a talk about listening to Mom while doing potentially dangerous things). Finally, he whacked his foot against a door frame. We still have several hours before he goes to bed, so it's probably a safe bet that he's got another boo boo coming to him. *sigh*

Thursday, November 02, 2006

My first weapons purchase

Spencer got a gift card to Wal-Mart from my cousin Lisa, his godmother. This was his very first gift card and he was VERY excited. Today we went to pick his toys. It took some hard bargaining because he wanted things we really didn't need (like a train set that doesn't go with the three we already have). He settled on a Power Rangers sword and some Hot Wheels. I'm not big on swords, and I know I'll get an earful from my mother-in-law, but all his friends have them and he's wanted one for a long time. Plus, it's very short. So far he's been very good about it. He know's he's not allowed to sword fight with Evie.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Evie had a great time "flying" around the neighborhood (courtesy of Daddy) on her broomstick. After the party on Saturday she decided that she wanted to be a witch instead of a princess. She wore her black spider web pants, orange pumpkin shirt, witch hat and carried her yellow broom. She insisted on walking with the broom between her legs so she tired out easily. She did one street.

Spencer, on the other hand, did the whole neighborhood as Thomas the Tank Engine. We stayed with some neigbors for most of the way. At first he told people when they didn't have anything he knew was safe and just didn't take anything. Then I told him that if he took candy then I could exchange the things he couldn't have with things that he could. That satisfied him and he accepted whatever was offered.

In a bad mommy realization I noticed that not only did I not have Spencer's EpiPens with me but I didn't even have a cell phone. At least the neighbor had his, but that was really stupid of me. Spencer got several items that had peanuts and lots with milk. It could have been a disaster if any of the packages had been open. Spencer is smart enough not to eat anything he doesn't think is safe. It's not perfect, but he's slowly learning.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Go IU!

The kids went to their first full football game today. We sat in the endzone for about an hour and ate hot dogs and popcorn. Then, it just got too cold. As luck would have it, we needed to go to a Halloween party anyway!

Our friends the Baxters had a fun Halloween party. Spencer was Thomas and Evie was a princess created out of her dress up clothing. They had a really good time. Even Evie warmed up and didn't want to leave at the end.

Friday, October 27, 2006

X-ray Vision

Spencer: (while throwing toys into the air) Mom, we need to do a clean-up in here! (Throws more toys.)

Mom: Yes, after lunch we'll clean up. It's so messy in that playroom you can't even see the floor!

Spencer: Oh, then we don't have to do a clean-up.

Mom: Why not?

Spencer: Because I can see the floor.

Mom: Oh, really? How?

Spencer: I have x-ray vision!

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The leaves are falling off the trees

Even with two sick kids at home we still went outside yesterday for a little while to rake some leaves. The kids had tons of fun even though they did less jumping and throwing than they ordinarily would. I'll try to post a picture or two when I get a little time.

In less happy news I'm concerned that Spencer might have pneumonia again. He's wheezing and keeps getting a slight fever. He's fine after some albuterol and Tylenol, but it's still troubling.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Pumpkins, hay rides, and the corn maze

It was time for the annual trip to Freeman Family Farms for our exciting "get a pumpkin for Halloween" adventure. There they have a few animals in the barn and pumpkins to buy. OR, you can take a hay ride out to another pumpkin patch that's right next to a corn maze. This year's corn maze is less complicated than last year's and the corn isn't as tall, but it was fun just the same. We ran into a friend from the kids' school there as well. Since Spencer had done the corn maze on Monday with his class he was all set to lead us on our journey. Our fearless leader took us just about every where and spent part of the time on daddy's shoulders to get a better view. After about three days we made it out and selected our pumpkin.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Sponge worthy

Today we made bread from scratch using the sponge method. I set up the sponge overnight and we took little bits of time out of the day for the various steps. It wasn't as fun or educational as I had hoped and the bread was difficult to knead, but the kids actually ate something with "seeds" (wheatberries) in it. That's a step.

Oh yeah, and we also raked leaves, played in the sandbox, drew pictures, cut pictures out of magazines, did a little cleanup, and watched the Magic School Bus. A slow day, but not boring. Well, it must've been a little boring because I found a bag of marshmallows behind Spencer's chair that I had just moved to a high cabinet this morning.

And if you thought what I think you thought when you read the title of this entry, then you either have a dirty little mind or you're watching too much t.v. (or both)!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

A little hike in the woods

This afternoon I took the kids to Leonard Springs Nature Park for a little hike. We did the whole 1-mile loop. They were great. It was hard to keep Spencer from getting ahead, but they loved taking the log bridge over the rushing waterfall and following the trail markers. Everyone was a bit tired by the end but they want to go again so I guess it was good!

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our so-called "nature walk"

We met a bunch of friends at a park and decided to go on a nature walk. This consisted of walking down a path to where there's an older park and a stream with a neat bridge over it. Little did I realize that the whole place would be a swamp! The kids walked right through one huge puddle and decided their feet were too wet to stay in their shoes. Then they just started jumping and splashing in the water. Sadly, we had to leave before they were completely finished, so there was a lot of yelling. They ended up walking back up the trail barefoot and stripping to clean undies I had in the car before we left.

And of course, we arrived home to find my father-in-law pulling into the driveway. I wonder what he thinks with two mostly naked critters jumping out of the car next to him?

Saturday, October 14, 2006

Pumpkins in the Park

Today was Pumpkins in the Park. The kids had fun doing the obstacle course, listening to music, and going on the hayride. Hard to believe it's pumpkin time already. The holidays are right around the corner.

On a personal note, I got to catch up a little bit with my friend Tanja, who had a new daughter a few weeks ago. I only wish I could have been so calm and together after Evie was born! They seem to be doing really well and I hope she doesn't hesitate to call if she needs something.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Parade of appliances

Time for another appliance! Alan stayed up late last night installing a new microwave above the oven. It's probably been 2 years or so since the old one worked. We have another one that I've had for 11 years without a day of trouble so we've just been using that one. The old one was used for candy hiding/storage so now I have to find another hidey hole for that.

Now, if I could just get my fridge to magically turn shiny black it would all match!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

In sickness and under lights

Evie woke up with a tummy bug this morning, poor thing. Alan stayed home through lunch to take care of her. She slept most of that time. She's very traumatized by it. But by mid-afternoon she was back to her old self. She even voluntarily ate fruits and veggies at dinner. (Maybe she's still sick?!?!)

Tonight Spencer had soccer again. After an emotional tiff with another boy and a mid-game run to the potty he realized that it was dark and he was playing UNDER THE LIGHTS! This was huge. His team was getting beaten pretty badly, but he only remembered that later because he was just so thrilled about the lights.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Time with my girl

Evie and I finally got to spend some time alone together this morning. It was nice. We had about an hour to set up a fair/circus with Little People and then do some coloring before dance class. I miss spending time with each child alone and I know it will get more difficult as they get older.

Friday, October 06, 2006

What is that SMELL?

There's been a bit of an odor coming from the refrigerator for a week or so. Today we took time out to do one shelf of the fridge at a time. The kids were gleeful at being allowed to have the door WIDE OPEN while they piled things on the counter. We it cool back down in between shelves. For the freezer we raced to see if we could take everything out, wipe it down, and put everything back before the ice cream melted.

For the record, we didn't find anything that was smelly. I tossed a few things but nothing stank. Spencer has suggested that we pull the refrigerator out so we can clean behind and underneath it. Sound exciting?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Coca-Cola's Secret Formula

Do you know Coke's recipe? My kids do. It consists of random parts water, dirt (or mud, in which case you need less water), and a bag of party ice. Now, you can go home to make your very own!

Oh, and when you're done, you can cover yourself with the result for a great skin treatment. Or maybe to get ready for tribal activities. Or whatever.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Lunch is a bunch

You wouldn't think an extra hour and a half at a preschool would be any big deal, but boy, it wore me out! I signed up to do lunch bunch on Tuesdays. Kids stay an extra hour and a half and bring their lunches. Between two kids who were scared of me (luckily their teachers were there) and several more who didn't like the lunches that were packed for them it was a time of diplomacy.

Then after that, the mad dash to put another child's car seat in my car and collect three children from school who didn't want to leave, the crazy trip to the co-op with three kids who wanted to touch EVERYTHING, and the afternoon battle to share toys, and I'm whupped. Good thing I love kids!

Sunday, October 01, 2006

We know who you are

Today we went down to the BMV to get the kids their photo IDs. All the data entry took forever, but now they're in the system. They even had to put their signatures (scribbles) in the computer! Evie has a scary mug shot but Spencer looks like he was getting a portrait done. Now I can identify them anywhere we go.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Do spiders get pregnant?

I was the parent helper in Spencer's class today and we got to release two Monarch butterflies. They had the caterpillers in the tank in his pre-K class. Their cocoons were beautiful with gold edging at the top. The kids got a real kick out of seeing their new friends fly away.

This afternoon we played outside for quite awhile. When Spencer was riding his big wheel-type trike around I noticed he was heading for a big spider. He didn't hear me warn him and he squished it with his tire. As soon as he went beyond it the abdomen of the spider popped open and lots if itsy bitsy bugs came out. We assumed they were baby spiders, but I have no clue if spiders get pregnant. I thought they were egg layers. Maybe they were parasites. Anyway, Spencer got out a magnifying glass to look at them and really enjoyed the show.

Oh, and big hit - we broke out the new bubble machine. Way better than the old one (although with the same bad handle design) and purchased on super discount! Huge hit. Bubbles are good.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

A new baby

My friend Tanja had her baby girl this morning. So, to help out, we watched her son Joshua for a little bit after school. We had a good time since one of Evie's and Joshua's other friends from school came over with her mom. But Joshua didn't want to go when his dad came to pick him up. He really didn't seem interested in going to the hospital to meet his new sister, despite how much fun Spencer told him being a big brother was. Poor little guy. I know it'll take awhile for him to adjust but my heart goes out to him. It's a big change.

I finally got to see Spencer play soccer. He seems to really like it. He even got tired! I didn't know that was possible!

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Spencer's party

Spencer had his birthday party and it seemed to be a big hit. Boy, am I glad I only invited 6 kids! The weather was rainy and blowy. We couldn't even use the deck. The big excitement came when a neighbor got his minivan stuck in the drainage ditch behind the house. Why was it there? I have no clue.

I'll post pictures the next time I get the camera up to the office.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Happy Birthday, Spencer!

By some incredible miracle, Spencer has managed to survive FIVE YEARS of our parenting. He's still alive and seems to be thriving. I have no clue how that happened, but I couldn't be happier.

As I type this he's building little piggy houses (as in The Three Little Pigs) with his new Tinker Toys to place around his new Hot Wheels track, whose motor has been running for about an hour now. I wonder if those things ever burn out?

Monday, September 18, 2006

Connie Alutto, 1919-2006

My grandmother, Connie Alutto (we called her Nanny) passed away early this morning. I am very sad and having trouble being patient with the kids. Everything reminds me of her. I know this will pass soon but it doesn't help with my Mom duties. I will go to her memorial service on Wednesday which will cause some schedule disruptions for the kids this week.

Nanny was a character. Frustrating at times, but willing to laugh at herself. She overreacted to just about everything and knew it. She showed her love by cooking, singing out of tune, and playing cards with her grandchildren as much as they wanted. She will be missed.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Do the oven happy dance

We have a new oven! Yeah! Alan and his Dad installed it today. It's all black and shiny and new. I still can't find a taker on Freecycle for the old one, which is a little disappointing.

In other news, Spencer survived another birthday party. The parents were kind enough not to serve any nuts and we ended up having to wash everyone's hands after the messy (but totally yummy and dairy-full) cake. They were very gracious about it and Spencer didn't mind the plain cupcake and soy ice cream sandwich I brought him. He was tired and cranky by the end of the party and we headed out as soon as some other parents showed up.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday to Me!

Today was a super great day, starting with the flowers and cards I got at breakfast. After work the kids and I took a walking adventure from school to McDonald's (their reward for good behavior during Spanish class) and then to the bookstore. After we got home we made spinning fish (see the last paragraph for a description) and played outside.

But the best part of the day was hearing a tired and cranky Evie tell me that she wanted to be with her brother because she loves him. It was so sweet and gave me that little pat on the back that maybe I'm doing an OK job after all.

Spinning fish: Cut an inch wide strip down the long side of a piece of copy paper. Decorate with crayons or markers, but nothing that would weigh it down. About an inch from each end cut a half inch wide slot in opposing sides (so one slot comes in from the left the other from the right at the other end of the strip). Bend the paper so that you can fit the slots in each other. Drop from a high place or toss. It will spin as it falls to the ground.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Too many field trips with the Frizz?

Lately the kids have been watching The Magic School Bus for their one show a day. They always want to watch it even if they've seen it before. I hope Dora's not jealous. Anyway, I think they've maybe watched one too many shows. This afternoon Evie announced, "According to my research..." I about fell out of my seat in the car.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Busy day for a sick person

Spencer is still sick and I think we're not quite at the worst of it yet. Alan's still convinced it's allergies. I had to give Spencer a breathing treatment this morning so I don't really care if it's allergies or a cold. It still stinks.

This morning we got the kitchen floor cleaned right off the bat before we took Evie to dancing. She loves dancing. Loves, loves, LOVES dancing. Poor Spencer was bored most of the time. After that we went to the local co-op since it was member discount day. Then home for lunch and a little more guitar learning (Spencer likes to listen to the CD that came with the lesson books thought I really can't figure out why). After that on to Kroger for our second grocery stop of the day.

And then, the kicker. We managed to get Evie dressed for soccer, complete with shin guards. I begged and pleaded until they each had snack so they wouldn't get hungry during her soccer class. We get there, and...cancelled. No warning, nobody seemed to know. The guy who runs it wasn't even there. Supposedly the fields were too wet. Oh well. I guess Evie gets an extra week of soccer at the end. But I have no clue how I'm going to convince her to get dressed next week.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

I See You in the ICU

Sorry I've been out a bit. This weekend I went to Ohio to visit my grandmother. She's not doing very well and I wanted to be able to talk to her in case something happened. When I walked in and told her I was there the first thing she said was, "Where's Alan?" So much for my big appearance at her bedside! What a ham.

Spencer seems to have a cold. Poor guy is really having trouble with the stuffy nose and cough.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Helping out

Spencer's classroom had no parent helper today, so Evie and I hung around to do the job. Evie was clingy most of the time so I'm not sure how much help I actually was. Another mom came to take over but Evie was painting then and didn't want to leave.

Then we had the 45 minute long "let's get out of here" routine which involves playing on the toys in the "big room" and general pottering around. We agreed to do McDonald's since I didn't get my desperately needed Target shopping done. They weren't really well-behaved in either place, unfortunately.

This evening we went down to the lake to see Granddad's boat. That was fun and the kids got wet by the beach. I should have brought their swim suits.

I'm starting to feel like the kids are sleep deprived. Only time will tell, I guess.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Soccer Star

Spencer went to soccer tonight with Alan. I wish I had been there to watch. The last two times he tried soccer he ended up not playing. I guess he was in the thick of it the whole time and had a blast. I'm so proud of him.

Today at school was rough. We have three girls from Korea who don't speak the language and are younger than the rest of the class. It's really tough on them. Their parents don't all speak English either, so we can't even talk to them about ways to make their daughters feel more welcomed. We're doing our best and hoping to get help from someone at IU. The director is having an extra teacher work with us on Thursday.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Quiet Weekend

Yesterday Alan and I did more oven shopping while his parents took the kids for an afternoon adventure. Today we went to the 4th Street Fair, which is tents of arts and crafts, and then tonight we went to the last free concert at Bryan Park. Evie had some potty issues while we were there so we ended up leaving earlier than the kids would have liked. But all in all, a fun weekend so far. And tomorrow is a day off for Alan so we'll all get to hang together some more.

Friday, September 01, 2006

The blahs

Boy, the gray weather has given us the blahs. This morning everyone got up at a decent hour, but getting moving was another story. The kids weren't dressed until after 10:30! I finally forced them out the door to run some errands. After a late lunch I managed to get them outside for a little bit, but we ran into a hyper dog off its leash during our walk and then nobody wanted to be outside anymore. Arg!

We managed to survive until our sitter came for an hour and a half or so. I was up a good portion of the night last night so I used the time to nap. During that time she had them painting, running, jumping, and dancing. Everyone (including me) was in a better mood when I woke up.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

So tired it hurts

Getting back into the swing of things for preschool has been tough on my little buds. They spent today tired from the get-go. Last night Spencer had a complete meltdown at bedtime. He was so overtired he couldn't calm down but so exhausted it made me sad. Today Evie requested a nap. She didn't actually sleep, but I think being still for 30 minutes snuggled with Mama made the rest of the day just a wee bit easier.

After we picked Spencer up from school and ate lunch we vacuumed the sofa. Ick. After that we stopped by the library to get a book that the website said was on the shelves (it wasn't) and then walked to a small park a few blocks away after visiting the polar bear sculpture in front of the library. The walk was nice, though I did have to carry Evie almost the whole way back.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First Day of Preschool

Today was the first day of preschool for the year for both kids. I had to work, so Alan took care of taking the kids back and forth for their half days of class. Evie really warmed up once she saw all the fun stuff and she played with one of her friend's mothers. Spencer wouldn't leave when we went to pick him up. He was really taken by the tool bench with real tools.

This is a photo of them with their buckets, which are used to house spare clothes and carry things back and forth to school. All the kids in the same class get the same color bucket.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Dancing Queen (OK, Princess)

Evie's first dance class was today. She really enjoyed it. At first she was very shy and I figured she'd just sit in my lap the whole time. But about 1 minute into the class she told me she was ready. A few minutes later Spencer and I snuck out of the room. I watched her through the glass and she did really well.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Another new appliance

The kids were great today even though we had to stay home most of the day. We kept ourselves busy with a walk, Legos, the sprinkler, treasure hunting (pennies frozen in ice cubes in the water table), and books. We had one really low point when poor Spencer had an allergic reaction to a toaster pastry that he's had before from the same box with no trouble. But after a little bit of stress and some Benedryl all was well.

After waiting almost all day for the over repair guy he finally called us. After a long conversation it seems that the part that needs repair is almost as expensive as a brand new unit. We decided to get a new one since the one we have is old and likely to have other parts fail soon. But no cooking in the oven for awhile.

What's in a name?

Evelyn has decided over the past few months to add some alternate personalities to herself. She's come up with Cosmo (the out of control girl), Tud (rhymes with "good" and is goofy but not over the top) and herself. She can call herself anything she likes, and some days she doesn't talk all morning because she's being a cat and can only meow. It's a little tough figuring out what she wants to eat for breakfast those days.

But now there's a new name. Not a name for her but a name for a doll. This was my doll when I was younger and I always called her Amanda. I even told Evie this. But yesterday she started calling her Zelda. No big announcement about the name change, she just started referring to "Zelda" and we had to figure it out. I'm thrilled that her little independent self has declared a new identity for a doll she has made her own, but I'm a little sad that my doll isn't really mine anymore.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Money laundering

We had a few minutes to kill before lunch today, so the kids washed some coins (some real, some play) in soapy water on the deck. Now I don't have to worry about the germy money they always want to play with. :)

Before that it was two long walks and now we're getting ready to go to a friend's house for a bit.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Teacher Work Day

Alan took the kids today while I went to the first of two days of getting ready for the new year. When I got home I found they had made an awesome track in the driveway out of red and white chalk. They also did a bunch of household repairs. The kids were sweaty and smelled like sun screen, which is how it should be.

I had tons of fun getting the room ready. I will be teaching with one other teacher (Amy) on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the other days the room will be used by the same age group but different teachers (Sally and Galina). It was so fun to "shop" in the various supply areas for the toys and supplies we thought we would need in the first few weeks.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Play Day

Today is one of those gloriously beautiful days so we spent the morning at the newest park in town. It's shaded in the morning so the kids could run around without getting too hot. The Y Moms group was there so all morning long there was a slow trickle of kids to play with. We finally came home for lunch and then Anna (our incredible babysitter) came over to tire the kids out while I tried to catch up on financial paperwork.

We had to get the gas line tested today. No gas leaks, but the oven does need to be serviced (preferably before it blows up). The water heater is now fixed, thanks to the nice older gentleman who checked the gas line. He said they weren't allowed to do service on appliances anymore, but he figured the water heater thing could be called part of his gas line investigation. All his friends in the appliance repair business have retired, so he couldn't think of anyone to recommend to me to fix the oven.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Alan's Birthday Weekend

This weekend was Alan's birthday, so it was all about Daddy (most of the time, anyway!). On Saturday we went to an IU football thing and Alan's Mom watched the kids while we went to a movie. The kids and I had made our version of an ice cream cake so that we could all have some. It was decent, but obviously not the real thing to me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Trouble getting started

We simply could not get moving this morning. We finally pulled out of the house around 11:30am to go to the St. Mark's play yard. We ate our packed lunch and hung around for almost 2 hours before going to the co-op for our regular member day discount shopping.

The rest of the day was pretty dull, with some dress-up, outdoor Play-dough, and guitar learning thrown in. Evie wouldn't eat any dinner and was really upset to find out that she wasn't going to get a cupcake until she ate some regular food. She never did, little miss strong-willed that she is. We ended up putting her to bed early because she seemed so darned tired. Alan had to work late so the kids and I did bedtime alone.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Birthday preparations

We were in charge of the dessert for the combined birthday party tonight for Alan and Jenny (his Dad's wife), so we spent the morning making cupcakes and frosting. Our super babysitter Anna came over in the afternoon so I could clean and run a couple of errands, so the kids got to spend some quality time outside running around. I even got my hair cut! Yes, the small things bring me great enjoyment sometimes.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Fresh air and purple beans

Today we got a good dose of outside time, starting with some time at a park in the morning. We didn't realize it, but tomorrow is the first day of public school, so the park was packed. The kids were very good and came when I told them it was time to go, so we elected to do a fast food lunch. The plan was to call Alan and bring him lunch, but he wasn't around and we ended up taking it home.

After a trip to Wal-Mart we decided to break out the Slip 'n' Slide. While dinner was cooking I checked on the pole bean tipi. A bunch of beans were on there but they were rotten since we hadn't picked them. Some of them rattled nicely. There were some green ones, so the kids entertained themselves by prying some of the bean out of the pods. We found a few white ones, but most were a gorgeous purple. Evie called them "beauties." Every time she got one out she announced that she had another beauty. Spencer is a professional bean finder and can get them out of the pods in record time.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Sprinkler fun

Since we're way off the shreds of any routine we once had, today was a tough day. I let the kids sleep in and Spencer was cranky and touchy all day. We went outside for a little bit in the morning and then did "arts and crafts" (according to Evie) and built a train track for Spencer. After lunch we brought out the sprinkler for the first time this summer and it was a huge hit with Evie. Spencer insisted on moving it around and spraying everything. Since it's just a cheap plastic thing I finally had to make him put it down. He ended up going inside early and moping. They spent the rest of the time until Alan came home in their birthday suits, which I guess was fun for them.

I'm glad today is over!

Sunday, August 13, 2006


Yesterday I spent the afternoon staining the fence. I spent close to zero time with the rest of the family and Alan took care of all child duties. I felt very disconnected from everyone. Today Alan took the kids to Putt Putt so I could do the grocery shopping alone because I'm really grumpy for some reason. Maybe if I get some good sleep tonight I'll feel better in the morning.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Keepin' 'em busy

Today we've been busy. We started the day with a bike ride on the Clear Creek Trail. The kids managed to ride 1.5 miles with a snack stop in the middle. We had a stressful start, but once Spencer and I arranged to agree on landmarks where he would wait for us it worked out fine. I walked the whole way but I can see that I'm going to need a bike soon.

After lunch we had a jam session at Spencer's Music Shoppe in the living room. Then we dusted and headed out the door for a shoe shopping adventure. Cosmo made a brief appearance, shrieking at the top of her lungs and grinning at all the people who stopped to stare, but we survived. We decided that once we got home we needed some more outdoor time.

Once the kids rode around on their bikes for a little bit we got the gift of PERFECT puddle jumping weather. First, a warm drizzle that made us put on the rain gear, and then enough rain on the wet ground to create almost instant puddles. The temperature was about 70F, which is great. The kids got completely soaked, head to toe, and needed to dump out their boots before coming inside.

Tonight we're supposed to go to Family Fun Night at the IU Outdoor Pool. Their last swim class there got cancelled last night because of a thunder storm so we thought it would be a good way to make up for it. But it's a little chilly to go swimming so we'll have to see. While I whip up a little dinner and make this post the critters are enjoying a well-earned rest in front of The Magic School Bus.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A new teacher

That's me! I'm so excited. I'll be teaching 4 hours a week at the kids' preschool. This nursery school is a truly spectacular place full of wonder and respect. We completely lucked into it as parents and now we get to be an even bigger part of it. Today was the new teachers' meeting. It was fun to see the new faces and find out more details about what we'll be doing.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

The joys of travel

We're back after a weekend trip to visit my family in Ohio. Four or more hours in the car with the kiddos is always an adventure, but they were really great this time. On the way home we dropped off the boys so they could attend the Brickyard 400. It took the rest of the afternoon to do the unpacking (which isn't completely done, of course) and the grocery shopping for the week.

After all that Evie and I stayed out late at a concert at a local park. We met up with some of her friends from preschool. She was too shy to play with them much but I had a good time catching up with their parents.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A little banged up

Poor Spencer came home from camp early today after scraping up the side of his face. He's so tired he just couldn't get over it. Luckily I was already there to pick up Evie, whose camp gets out earlier. He looks a little worse for wear but I think he'll be fine. The worst of the cut was covered up by a bandange so I don't know how bad it is yet.

A little time to myself, sort of

Both kids are in camp this morning, which means I should be cleaning the office so we can turn it into Evie's room. Instead, I'm writing in my blog, emptying the dishwasher, getting the bag ready for swim lessons later, getting the luggage out for our trip to see family this weekend, figuring out what needs to be washed for our trip this weekend, and oh yeah, I had an appointment right after I dropped off the kiddos. You know how it is.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Stickers as pre-dinner craft

It seems like finding a nice, quiet, crafty thing for the kids to do while I make dinner might actually be reasonable at their ages--just not while they have camp in this ungodly heat and aren't sleeping very well after evening swim class. Today they chose to do stickers. Well, Evie chose to do stickers and then Spencer decided to join her when she wouldn't chase him. Then they fought over the magnifying glass so they could make the stickers look bigger. Then Evie got mad because she couldn't pull the stickers off her skin that she had stuck there a half hour earlier. Then there was more mayhem. And then dinner.

See, sticker crafts are good for you. Now I have to go pull shiny stickers off my kitchen floor.


No, not Kramer. OK, maybe a pint-sized version. Whenever Evie's feeling mischievous she announces, "I'm Cosmo!" Cosmo is a male personality, too. She giggles, grins, and misbehaves whenever she has put on her alternate persona. We have not clue where she got this, but at least we know when to expect mayhem!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Bead break

Between Spencer's camp and the kids' swim lessons in the evening we found a small space of time for a little crafting. The kids decided on putting beads on pipe cleaners. Evie made something glittery and colorful and wanted to make a cross necklace "for God." We see her grandmother's influence there. :) Then she ended up throwing things around and getting sent away to cool off for a little bit.

Spencer, meanwhile, carefully constructed a black and white pattern on a white stem. He says it's part of a checkered flag he's working on. His creativity these last few months has really blossomed. He uses more intention in his crafts than he used to.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Play-Doh doesn't dry anymore

With the heat and the humidity I've noticed that the Play-Doh that gets left on the table on the deck doesn't dry all day. And the crumbles that don't get cleaned up right away are just brightly colored mush in the morning. We have a covered deck, so that probably helps. So if you're one of those people who stresses about the Play-Doh drying out like me, consider that this heat wave is giving you a gift--one less thing to stress about! Stay cool.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

County Fair

We went to the county fair tonight on the last day. The scheduling wasn't great because all the animals were gone and we spent a fortune on rides, but the kids had a great time despite the heat. Naturally we stayed too long and they were both crying at the slightest thing by the time we got to the car.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Total exhaustion

The kids have been up and down at night all week and I've finally hit my wall. Luckily Evie had camp in the morning and Spencer and I went to a friend's house during that time. In the afternoon our sitter came over for a couple of hours and I napped. I felt human again, enough to make dinner and let the kids watch a short TV show.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Potty talk

This is going to fall under the "too much information" category for some of you, but we have had some potty success this week! I think Evie's finally got it. She's worn underwear to camp this week and used the potty for all the usual stuff plus POOP! Yes, I know you're as thrilled as I am. Just think - one less stinky diaper walking around Target the next time you're shopping. Now you're as pleased as I am, aren't you?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

SpongeBob saves the day

First, I want to say that my kids don't watch SpongeBob at home. In fact, until today, they'd never seen the cartoon. But that has all changed now that the kids' dentist has put TVs on his ceiling.

Second, I want to say that a typical visit at the dentist for us goes like this: Spencer runs around the office screaming about how he doesn't want to get in the chair while Alan chases him down and I yell something to the effect of, "get in that chair this instant!" During this mayhem Evie clings to me like a sloth baby. We wrestle Spencer into the chair and hold him down while the dentist pries his mouth open. Evie cries during her exam. I must add that their dentist is a very cool and nice guy. He doesn't deserve this.

But now? Silence. Compliance. Even, dare I say it, ENJOYMENT. Evie was upset at first but then Dora came on and all was right with the world.

My advice: find a dentist with TVs on the ceiling. They'll offer to change the channel to whatever you like, but if the kids are happy let them enjoy the brain candy that it is in exchange for a good dental visit.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Another Happy Camper

Today was Evie's first day at the YMCA camp. Drop off was traumatic. She cried and clung to me. It was so hard. One of the counselors found a slug and Evie finally seemed interested in that, so Spencer and I took off while she was engaged. She was mopey for awhile until they went swimming, and then she was fine. Each kid made a bug house to take home.

Unfortunately, Evie is definitely sick. For awhile I thought it was allergies, but it's clear that she has a cold. She's tired and clingy and isn't sure what to do to make herself comfortable. I'm just hoping she's well enough to go to camp on Thursday and Friday this week so we don't lose momentum.

The floor is in!

Alan and his Dad got the floor finished today. Yippee! It looks great. Now the rest of the house looks shabby and gross. Oh well. Spencer spent the time helping as best he could. He's convinced that the guys couldn't have figured it out without him. Nevermind that he took several breaks during the boring talking parts.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Carrot harvest

Today's big excitement came right off the bat when we picked our carrots this morning. We learned a good lesson about why we thin the seedlings, as there were several carrots bunched near each other that didn't grow very well. We did have several large ones. We had to leave the bag of carrots outside though, since there are lots of caterpillars on them from the neighboring cauliflower plants. We'll clean them up later this afternoon.

The rest of the day involved a brief Spanish class, lots of time at the preschool playground, lunch, and a grocery run. Very pedestrian. Evie has a bit of runny nose and I'm concerned that she's coming down with a cold. Tomorrow is her first day of camp at the Y and it would be a real shame if she couldn't go, not to mention a waste of money.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Home improvement day

Today was a home improvement day. I started staining the fence and ran out of stain about a third of the way through the job. A trip to the hardware store wasn't in my day though, since Alan's Dad came over to help install the laminate in Spencer's new room. That's also about a third of the way finished due to some tricky angles in the room (if I ever build a house it will be nothing but rectangles). Alan also managed to mow the lawn tonight. He got it completely finished. Yeah!

As for me, I was a grump all day. My allergies are driving me nuts again. Either that or I have another cold. I am just not a good mommy when I feel yucky. I know I need to grow up and cope, but that's hard to do when every 30 seconds I have to raid the tissue box again. Anyway, I'm hoping for an easier tomorrow.

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Bare floors are beautiful

It would be great if this was a post about how the whole house was miraculously clean again and we could see the bare floors, but alas, it isn't. Instead, it's about how our morning was spent tearing out the carpet and padding in Spencer's new room (Evie's old room). Actually, it was Alan, his Dad, and Spencer who did the work. Spencer ran most of the pieces out to my FIL's truck. So even though my house isn't clean this is a positive post. It means we are one step closer to spreading out the kids' stuff from one bedroom to two. It'll look neater that way, right?

Friday, July 21, 2006

Children's Museum

Today was our latest big trip to Indy to go to the Children's Museum. This place is awesome, and huge. It just isn't possible to do the whole thing in one day with small children.

As an adult, I really liked the new Dale Chihuly sculpture that extends from the ground level all the way up to the 4th level ceiling. If you've never seen anything Chihuly you should check out a video from your library. I tried to take some pictures of it but it's just too large to get the whole thing. So here's a photo of what I could get plus part of the exhibit directly underneath. There's also a glass "garden" exhibit which was mostly enjoyable by the adults. Spencer loved building his own sculpture with plastic pieces and Evie took a rest with Alan on the rotating observation couch.

The kids were mostly impressed with the Bob the Builder and Sesame Street exhibits. At Bob the Builder they spent their time at a water pump that used blue balls instead of water. It was just plain fun. On Sesame Street they liked the phone that played different voice mail messages from the characters, Big Bird's nest where they read books, and the stoop where we took a picture.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Dessert disaster averted

Last night, in a fit of frustration over kids who would not eat a bite of dinner and looking for a bribe, I found a box of instant chocolate pudding hidden in the cupboard. Gleefully, I mixed it up with chocolate soy milk, knowing that they would eat sawdust if it meant they could have dessert. After pouring 8 little cups of pudding (this was a big box) I remembered that instant pudding won't do its pudding magic with anything but animal milk. DRAT! Just as I was about to dump all my carefully poured little cups down the drain I remembered the popsicle molds that were being ignored in the plastics cabinet. Hurray! Salvation!

OK, yes, I realize that this is a dessert almost as old as instant pudding, but I was quick on my feet and oh, so smart all in one second! The kids ended up eating toast right before bed since they never ate any dinner and were hungry, but they loved the pudding pops after lunch today. Now I have to figure out a way to contain the mess. Body bibs, anyone?

Caterpillar heaven

Today we saw two different kinds of caterpillars munching on the cauliflower plants. We saw a small white kind with black stripes and medium green ones that matched the leaves and were pretty much everywhere. This explains why we have more holes than leaves on the cauliflowers, and probably why we saw butterflies or moths on the carrots (which are next to the cauliflower). The kids were upset that I am going to let the caterpillars stay, but really, how much cauliflower can one mom eat? It's not like anyone else will touch it. And if we don't get any at least we got a free science lesson. We'll have to remember to check them every day for awhile.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another low-key day

The kids got to play on a playground in the shade for a little bit before and after Spencer's Spanish class, but that was it for outdoor time until later in the afternoon. In there we had a trip to the co-op, lunch, cleanup, a video, and a trip to the Y (didn't make it yesterday). They got back outside to play on the deck with Play-Doh and ice in the water table and then they amused themselves reading books while I cleaned up after dinner. Now it's off to a sweltering outdoor concert to celebrate my MIL's birthday. The heat index is 99 degrees as I write this. Ugh!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

The great outdoors, for a brief time

We spent a brief part of the morning outside. It was hot, but the kids were able to play in the shade. It's a good thing, too. We got to see butterflies (or maybe they were moths) resting on the carrots and cauliflower. We also were able to see some of the flowers that had just opened on our one and only stargazer lily out front. The inside of one flower was still damp from being closed.

As I write this the rest of our day is planned as follows: spend some time staying cool in the library and then maybe go to the YMCA for a workout. Spencer's been asking to hang out at child care and in the afternoon they pretty much have it to themselves.

Monday, July 17, 2006

Heat wave

Everyone's having a heat wave right now. Since I have a cold I'm finding it extra hard to be motivated to entertain the kids inside. Today we went to their Spanish class, played at their nursery school's playground, ate lunch at home, goofed off, and then spent a good part of the afternoon at the bookstore.

Pole Bean Tipi

This is our pole bean tipi. It's hard to tell from the photo, but one side is open so it's a little hideaway for the kiddos. The flowers on it are pretty, but the really cool thing is that there are HUGE bean pods growing on it. Some of them are dangling inside the tipi, which is really fun for the kids. This was super easy and I would highly recommend trying it if you have any space in your yard at all.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Summer cold

I have caught a summer cold. After surviving the remainer of the day with the kids, Alan took over and I've been resting since. The kids went with Alan's parents for the afternoon so I cleaned the kitchen, but other than that I've been taking it easy. I feel better already.

Friday, July 14, 2006


Today was the annual Bubblefest, when Wonderlab sets up the local ice rink as a big bubble laboratory. There are tables with all sorts of bubble activities, including a place where volunteers can put you in a big bubble. We never stay for long because it's a little hard for the little ones to understand what you're supposed to do, but this year Spencer tried to do some of the activities. It's a lot of fun and will be even more fun when the kids are a little older.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

The Hand Book

Evie got several arts and crafts things for her birthday and today she wanted to do what she calls her "hand book." (This is a book from the Klutz people, Chicken Socks, or something like that.) So, after dropping Spencer off, taking a walk, and folding some towels, we set up the book at the table on the deck. With my help she had a happy time tracing her hand and following the ideas in her book. Mostly she just wanted to glue on the pompoms and googly eyes. The rest of our girl time was spent eating lunch, doing more hand drawing, and playing with Play Doh.

Queen Anne's Lace

The few remaining empty lots in our neighborhood have become a haven for wildflowers this time of year, particularly Queen Anne's Lace. Evie has become particularly enchanted with them, perhaps because they're easy to recognize. On one of our walks this week we clipped a few flowers off, including one with pink edges, some that had the dark center, and some that didn't. She enjoyed arranging them into a vase for the table and now we're all enjoying the flowers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006


I'm way behind on the digital revolution here, but I've just fallen in love with podcasts! I have a very small (128MB) MP3 player that Alan was wise enough to get for me a few years ago, but I really hadn't put it to regular use until this week. Alan and I listened to the podcast for the season finale of Battlestar Galactica during the show (the best show on television - really, I'm not kidding, even if you don't like sci fi) and it was fun. And then, Knitty had an article in it on podcasts for knitters. I downloaded a few and WHOA! This is so cool! Am I the last person on earth to know about this? Probably. Anyway, now I'm working through a bunch of knitting podcasts when I have the time to listen but not knit. So fun! I'm going to need a memory card for my MP3 player, though.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Final word on the bird

I walked out on the deck to find a little bird staring at me. Quite startling. My first thought was that those baby birds were finally old enough to leave the nest. Unfortunately, the nest was on the ground, empty. This particular bird couldn't fly more than a few feet, but it didn't seem to be suffering. Hopefully it's able to feed itself now. I didn't see the others, but they could have scooted under the fence or been hiding. As long as we don't find any baby bird leftovers from some predator, I'll be happy. Now what to do with the nest? Is it ok to let kids touch it? Or is it hazardous? I have no clue.

At least it didn't blow up

Our water heater pilot light went out (again) sometime yesterday. Alan is out of town, and I wasn't sure what to do to get it lit. I called him and left a message. I text messaged him. I e-mailed him. I made a nuisance of myself. He's in Seattle, so when Spencer woke me up at 1am I checked my e-mail. Alan's e-mail said to call, so I did. After much patience on his part and frustration on mine, the water heater is back in service. Alan makes a much better plumber than I do, even at a distance!

Monday, July 10, 2006

Happy Camper #1

Maybe I should've titled this "How I Survived Spencer's First Day at Camp." Today was Spencer's first real day camp experience. At 5 hours long, it was the longest he's been out of the care of a family member. Certainly the longest he's been without my food supervision. He had a great time, befriending an autistic camper, swimming, playing, and running around. Some of the campers had peanut products in their lunches so he had to eat separately, but he didn't seem to mind. For the first time he ate the entire lunch I packed him and said he needed more food. I'm so proud of him. And me, for not spying on him the whole time.

Evie had fun with just Mom and has already started thinking about what she wants to do the rest of the week. Yeah for all of us!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Only 3 birds left

A few days ago the nest fell out of the tree again and we're down to 3 birds from 4. Luckily, the kids didn't notice that there was a bird missing. We're starting to wonder if it might be better to let the nest stay down in case nest building skills are hereditary (who wants to condemn future generations of baby birds to suffering due to bad nest building?). But it's hard to be tough-nosed about small, helpless creatures. And bad karma too, probably. So Alan and his mom put them back in the tree while I was out. The parents continue to chirp and dive at us whenever we're in the back yard, so I'm hoping the chicks grow up fast.

More religion than you can stand

Alan went off on a business trip this morning, so it was up to me to figure out what to do with two grumpy children who hadn't had enough sleep. The solution? Conveniently, today was the Dalai Lama's birthday. The Tibetan Cultural Center ( was celebrating His Holiness' years and they were throwing a party for everyone. It wasn't terribly exciting, especially since the last time I was at the center the Dalai Lama was actually there, but there was lots of color and some activities. Spencer walked everywhere and wanted to see everything. He liked the chorten and the yurts that had been set up. Evie mostly let me carry her, the poor thing was so tired.

But is immersion in one religion really ever enough? Nah. So after a quick break at home I piled everyone in the car for the late afternoon mass at St. Paul's.

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Noses don't make good concrete cleaners

Yesterday on the way to swim class Evie tripped and wiped the sidewalk with her face. She scraped up her nose and upper lip. While it's no where as bad as Spencer's face destruction last fall it really threw her for a loop. She was sad the rest of the afternoon and evening. I think Spencer was even more upset at the time than she was. But today she's back to her regular self. Isn't it great how quickly kids get over things? It would be nice if I could be more like that!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Free Public Transportation

Today was the monthly free bus transportation day in our fair city, so the kids and I hopped on a bus down to IU's campus. The main point of the trip was to ride on the bus, not the destination, and the kids really enjoyed themselves. We studied the route map, picked the route, and got a timetable. We had a snack when we got off the bus and wandered around the music school. Oddly, they also enjoyed waiting for the bus to take us back. They pretended all the cars passing us at the bus stop were part of a race and gave each one a backstory and a team. On the way home Spencer got to pull the stop request cable. All in all, a fun morning spent checking out the bus system.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Fireworks art

Since this is the week of Independence Day, our weekly theme is loosely Red, White, and Blue. Today we tried some art I saw in a magazine. Drop some paint on paper and blow it around with a straw to make it look like fireworks. We didn't get any fireworks - mostly blobs - but the kids did get a kick out of the glitter glue I brought out. We also tried dabbing with spikey balls to create fireworks, but that didn't work well either. By the end of it they were both happily covered in purple-y, glittery paint up to their elbows and looking forward to cleaning up at the hose.

The good, the bad, and the annoying at the Y

My son has food allergies and he's about to go to his first YMCA summer camp experience. It's a day camp, but it's 5 hours long each day - longer than he's ever been out of my food monitoring control. We have to carry EpiPens around with him wherever he goes, so I was a little nervous about camp. Yesterday I met with the camp director and head counselor and WOW was I impressed. They were so considerate and willing to do whatever it takes to keep Spencer safe. I never once felt like the horrible food watchdog I sometimes seem to be in other situations. But...

While I was meeting with the two wonderful camp organizers, my kids were in swim lessons downstairs. They've been to Y swimming lessons before and begged me to sign them up again. Spencer decided that he's too frustrated learning something new and his new teacher wasn't very flexible in figuring out a way to encourage him, so Spencer sat on the deck the whole class. That doesn't bother me so much (it was Spencer's choice not to swim, after all) as the "talking to" I got when I picked him up. Apparently, they tried to page me because he was distracting and they were concerned about safety. This is certainly legitimate. But I had told them I was meeting with the camp director if they needed me. I guess the paging system doesn't cover the staff offices, but according to the woman who disciplined me I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN THAT. Huh? And anyway, parents aren't even allowed to stay for the swim lessons because the kids behave better when the parents aren't there, so I was just doing what they told me was best. So, while I want to cooperate so that swim lessons can be safe for all the students, I am a tad frustrated and angry at the way Spencer and I were treated. Luckily, Evie had a fantastic lesson.

So, part of me says Spencer should at least attend because he wanted to and we spent the money, but another part of me says to heck with these people who clearly don't want to work with anyone but the most agreeable children. At our last round of lessons the teachers were just incredibly awesome, but they all seem to have gone on summer break. I'm disappointed. Since the aquatics director is Spencer's teacher this time, I don't really have anyone to complain to.

Sunday, July 02, 2006

USGP is over

Michael Schumacher won again. Go Ferrari! It was fun. Evie and I got to sit in the shady seats, so even the mid 90 degree temperature was bearable. She enjoyed it but said she didn't like the noisy parts (that would be all the voices on the speaker in front of us and the race cars as they went past). She announced that while watching race cars was too loud, she'd be happy to drive one. So confident. Spencer and Alan, who sat in the hot seats in the sun, also enjoyed themselves, though Spencer was very upset that Fernando Alonso didn't place higher than 5th.

Down the row from us was a woman knitting continental style. I was curious and wanted to ask her what she was knitting, but with our ear protection on I couldn't have heard her response. My own knitting bag was lonely back at the car, left behind while I carried the diaper bag around.

Here's a memo to the Indianapolis Motor Speedway parking people: If you aren't going to allow people to leave the parking lots immediately after an event, let them know it up front. We waited in the car for an hour before I asked the nice officer at the exit what was going on. He explained that he wasn't allowed to let us out until the traffic cleared. They only had lanes on one side of the street open. We ended up going back to the Speedway to walk around instead of melting in the car. We didn't get to leave until 2 1/2 hours after the end of the race. Shame on you, IMS. We never would have walked to the car with zillions of other people if we had known we wouldn't be allowed to leave. We could have stayed and spent more money while we waited for the traffic to clear. Your loss.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

The great baby bird rescue

As we were playing outside, Evie and I noticed a fallen bird's nest. I went over to inspect it. It was empty and I didn't see anything around, so I told Evie we could walk over and look at it. Just as we walked up, four baby bird heads popped out of the grass looking for food. Now, I've always heard that if you touch a baby bird or move its nest the parents won't come back to feed it. Last year our deck builders had to move a bird's nest that was under our old deck. They built a little shelf under the new deck and put the nest back as soon as the work was done. The owner of the company said they have to do this all the time and most of the time the parents come back. Those baby birds thrived and flew away eventually. So, protecting this new bunch from my germs with a plastic baggie on my hand, I placed the four birds back in their nest and put the nest back in the tree in what I hoped was a safe spot. They were so fragile and they kept opening their mouths for food. Not two minutes after we walked away, a robin came to the nest and starting feeding the babies!

Friday, June 30, 2006

It's like a skylight...without the sky

We had a leak in the kitchen ceiling a bit ago. My brave husband cut a large, rectangular hole in the ceiling to find the source of the leak. After all that work, it turns out to be a pre-existing condition that we can't do anything about without tearing up the upstairs bathroom. We just have to be careful when the kids are in the bath. So now, I have a skyless skylight in the kitchen. Fun, eh?

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

It doesn't always turn out the way you think it will

My three year old daughter decided she wanted to learn how to climb up the Grapevine climber at our local children's science museum, Wonderlab. It's designed so that young children can't climb up past the second leaf. But she was determined. Over three visits in two days (thank goodness we're members!) she got herself up to the third leaf. And then promptly panicked! I had to haul my big mama self up the climber to rescue her while she screamed a scream she usually reserves for bad injuries. Poor thing. She's fine now and proud of her accomplishment.

Formula 1 US Grand Prix and My "Boys"

My four year old son, who "helped" me set up this blog, wants my first post to be about the pit walkabout for the Formula 1 US Grand Prix this weekend. The pit walkabout is tomorrow morning and he's very excited. For me, it's just a lot of work to get everyone up there. Maybe I'll knit on the way and make the wonderful hubster do all the driving. This weekend is all about the "boys." My daughter and I are just along for the ride.