Friday, April 24, 2009

Swimming with the fishes

We've given up our dance shoes in favor of swim fins. I signed the girls up for swimming lessons because for some reason, my kids are terrified of getting their heads wet. They will happily splash away in water up to say, waist-level, but anything beyond that and they freak out. If we try to take Audrey out in deeper water with us, she keeps a white knuckle grip around your neck so that you can't possibly be separated from her or try to hold her at arm's distance and dunk her. Katie of course, hated it. She was made to sit out and then told to go ahead and get her towel because she absolutely refused to so what the instructors said after about the first 4 minutes. Sound familiar? Maybe she just loathes structure? I don't know. What I do know is that I told her in no uncertain terms that she WAS going to continue with the classes and that she WAS going to participate if I had to throw her in the pool myself. The next lesson, Daddy was with us and we made a big deal out of how well they were doing. Katie was fine. She did everything she was told to do and even-gasp!-had fun doing it. Audrey loved it from the get-go. They both went under water. Audrey says twice, but that's debatable. Katie still fights with everything in her to hang on to the teacher so tightly as she's jumping in that her face never comes close to the water. The teacher, meanwhile is trying everything in her power to dunk her to try and show her that it doesn't hurt to go under. The instructor told me after the first class that the girls had homework. They were to blow bubbles in the bathtub every time they take a bath and try to work up to putting their faces under water. Audrey will do it up to her eyes, but Katie I have to force to blow bubbles. Stubborn little thing. But I still think it's a good thing and will at least get them more comfortable with the water.

Let's get the weather issue out of the way and move on. Yesterday it was 85 degrees. We went to the park after working at the YMCA all morning. It was almost hot except for the wind. We were all wearing shorts and had slathered ourselves in sunscreen. We were told by the weather gurus that some cooler weather and rain was headed for us. This morning we woke up and it was snowing. It hasn't been much above freezing all day and has been alternating between snow and rain. It's really crazy. I'm confused. Is it spring or not?

Sam's first birthday is coming and we are still trying to decide what to do. I think we are leaning toward staying home and having a small celebration with just us and possibly our neighbors. They call the kids their grandkids and just love being with them, so I think they would enjoy being invited. I sent out an e-mail today requesting that everyone start thinking about items to send for his time capsule. Consider yourselves informed.

Lately, I am hooked on Twilight. Unless you live under a rock, you have probably heard of these books and movies. It was written for the young adult crowd, but there were several mommy friends of mine that had gotten into them as well and I decided to check out what all the hype was about. OMG! It's like crack. Really. After reading the first book, I could not wait to read the second one. I watched the movie and am now in love with Robert Pattinson who plays the male lead. He's such a hottie! Vince tells me I am pathetic, but who cares what he thinks, huh. ;-) I'm telling you--do not read the first book unless you want to be addicted. I ordered the rest of the books in the series and am very impatiently awaiting their arrival. I check the front door at least 25 times a day just in case the mailman snuck them up there without me seeing or hearing him. I have to stop talking about it now because I'm gonna start twitching any minute. My friend Ruth, who let me borrow the first book, says her plan for world Twilight domination is almost complete. She even inserts an evil little "mwuuahaha" laugh for effect.

Hang on, I gotta go find some wool socks. My feet are freezing...Okay, that's a little better.

What else? I guess that's about it. We haven't been doing much except going to the park to take advantage of the nice weather and getting ready for V to go out of town for a couple weeks. He's on his way to GA for some training. It will suck while he's gone, but it looks good on his resume. I just had to retrieve Sam from the bathroom where he was partaking in his new favorite past-time. Toilet water playtime. Yuck! I try to keep reminding everyone to shut the toilet and shut the bathroom door, but for some reason, this is a very hard thing for anyone to remember. He's such a boy. He loves the remotes, phones, and the toilet. And he will put anything in his mouth. My girls never did these things. Currently he is dismantling the fridge magnets. Anything he can take apart or destroy. The ladies at the Y just love him. He growls at them and they laugh and laugh. A lot of them tell me that he is their favorite baby in there. They could just be blowing smoke, but I choose to think they are telling the truth. He's my favorite baby in there too. He's cutting 5 teeth at the same time so he hasn't been the happiest kid in the world, but overall he's still pretty mellow.

I guess I should go so that I can come up with something for dinner. I need to wake Katie also. I made her nap today even though she said she wasn't tired. She's been sleeping for a while and will be a bear tonight if she gets too much sleep this afternoon. It goes against everything I stand for to wake a sleeping kid, but I really should.

Good evening to all.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Easter fun

Well, a good time was had by all I think! We left Friday morning early, but not as early as planned, 'cause that's how we roll. We hit Lacrosse, WI around 6:30 to meet up with our friends Mike and Rachel and their kids. Man, was it nice to see them and to have a nice home-cooked meal instead of fast food. The girls played so well together and seemed happy to see one another again. The boys just eyed each other a lot. They are just a month apart and not at the playing-together-nicely stage just yet. They just kinda crawled around each other and petted one another a few times. But they were good. Mike and Vince caught up on the work issues and Rachel and I chatted away about babies, kids, and babies and kids. While we were there one of our dumb dogs got up front and ate most of our snacks. Stuff that you wouldn't think a dog would be interested in like yogurt melts and baby mum-mum rice husks and grasshopper cookies. We landed at my aunt's house around 12:30 am. Everyone was still up waiting so we talked for a few minutes and then headed for bed. Sam didn't sleep at all, which means I didn't sleep at all. Also, from the moment we left our house until the moment we returned, Sam had, on average, 3 explosive diapers a day (I'm not exaggerating-we literally had to change a diaper before we even left our driveway). Yes, he still does that most of the time. I'm so tired of it--really tired! On the way home when we stopped for lunch, he did it twice in one hour. He was on his 3rd outfit of the day by the time we left the restaurant and it was only noon! And the stupid dog got up front again and ate the snacks he missed on the way there and some Easter candy, including a chocolate bunny! He was severely beaten-or at least made to think that he was gonna be. Anyway, back to business...We really did have a nice time. Saturday we hit the Milwaukee County Zoo--very quickly. It was a nice day, but there was a wind blowing and it made it feel really cold! Also, they were having some Easter activities at the zoo, so anytime we tried to go to an indoor exhibit to warm up, we were crammed in with the other 1,000,000 visitors that day. Then we visited my grandparents and a few aunts, uncles, and cousins. It was great to see them and I think that my grandparents enjoyed having us for a while. Grandma got to feed us, which always makes her happy. I will post some pictures on my Kodak Gallery for you guys to see. I don't like to post pictures on here because anyone can see this blog. I'd rather send a link to people I know. Saturday evening my aunt made the family recipe enchiladas and invited some uncles, aunts, and cousins from the other side of the family. I call them "white-trash enchiladas" but my aunt hates that term. Let's just say there's a lot of Velveeta and Hormel chili involved. Soooo good! One of my aunts makes cakes and OMG!! So, to recap--I ate greasy popcorn at the zoo, one dinner and dessert at my Grandma's, another dinner at my aunt's and then had some chocolate cake with cheesecake and cannoli in it (it was a layered thing) and then some banana pudding. It's a good thing I hardly ate breakfast because I don't even want to think about the number of calories I ingested after 4:00 that day. I woke up on Sunday not feeling well (surprise?) but went for a very nice run with my dad and Vince that morning, then helped them play Easter bunny. The kids hunted the eggs and then we proceeded to eat our way through the mountain of candy heaped on them from their parents, grandparents, and all the relatives in between. By Sunday evening I was not feeling well at all and went to bed trying to keep my Easter dinner where it belonged. Alas, I was not successful. We had planned to head to the Milwaukee Public Museum Monday morning. We got around a little late, but I was feeling a little better, so decided to go along. Turns out that the Monday of Spring Break is the busiest day of the year at the MPM because Mondays are free day. Great! It was pretty crowded, but still awesome. If you ever are in Milwaukee, this museum is a must see. It covered everything from natural history to cultures of the world to local history and beyond. It was like the museum in that movie "Night at the Museum". They even had a "dum-dum" head! We got to attend the Titanic exhibit also. That was so neat. At the entrance they give you a card with a name and some information about that person like what class their tickets were, and who they were traveling with and why. At the end, you could look up whether you lived or died that night. I was a third class passenger traveling with my hubs and 9 kids. Sadly, we all perished. My dad was John Astor. We all know how that ends. Anyway, it was neat to see some of the real artifacts and stuff. Then we went back home to eat some more and watch Madagascar 2. That movie is hysterical!! It's WAAY better than the first one. Moto Moto is one of my faves. Vince likes the penguins. They are funny. You gotta see it. My aunt had planned a little birthday party for Sam (and Vince) so that my parents could celebrate with him. We ate our weight in ice-cream cake and watched as Sam smeared it everywhere. Nana gave him his bath that night! So, we took off Tuesday morning, again, later than planned. The trip home was definitely shorter than the drive there, but it did have it's bumps. First, the amazing pooping baby was up to his usual tricks, then Katie threw up in the car. It's not a proper trip unless someone pukes in the car, right? Yeah, that was when we were about 4 hours from home. She tried to tell me, but I wasn't understanding. She kept saying, "My food, my food hurts." I thought she was saying her foot hurts. Sheesh! Next time she says anything hurts while we are in the car, she's getting a plastic bag just in case. Luckily, Vinny had some industrial trash bags in the car. We got her cleaned up and her clothes sealed up and then covered her chair with a bag and cut slits for the straps. It still stunk, but I'm guessing it could have been worse. Finally we made it home and realized we left the girl's Leapster, Sam's birthday gifts and his sippy cup in Wisconsin. Figures. I'm sure there were other things left behind as well.

Wow, that was one long paragraph! Nothing like a play-by-play, huh?

So, we're home now and trying to settle back in. Sam's sleeping better and the candy is almost gone so life is almost back to normal. I took the kids to the Youth and Family Services Kid's Fest this morning. It's a kid's dream. It's $3 per person and then they have free range to play all day if they want. There is everything you can imagine for them to do--train rides, bouncy castles, games, prizes, entertainment, a giant sand box--any kind of activity you can think of! It's all indoors at the civic center and it's a blast. Audrey just runs to every different thing. Katie would play all day in the sandbox or the area that has little sandboxes filled with things like lentils or tiny colored pasta. Sam liked those too. Amazingly he didn't put any of it in his mouth. Even if he did, it was all edible and not big enough to choke on. The girls got their faces painted. Audrey got a heart and Katie got Spiderman. Funny!

Well, I guess that's all for now. Hope everyone had a great Easter and is scarfing as much candy as I am. I don't wanna get fatter all alone!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Hanging up our tutus

Well, it's official. Katie's dance days are over for now. They were going to let Audrey take her place, but since we missed this week and will miss next week too, she said that just won't be enough time to get the routine before the recital, so we are through. I'm sad. I was really excited and thought Katie was too. She has just been very difficult lately. Throwing tantrums and being super dramatic all the time. She's really emotional. Today at the YMCA, she threw an all-out fit because they were giving an Easter egg to each kid as they left the day care and she wanted one. But we had a couple more hours to go before we were leaving. She was sooo mad. Screaming, throwing herself on the floor, kicking. I was pretty embarrassed. I had to go move my car and took her with me, just to calm her down a little, but it didn't help. I think part of it was that she was tired. She fell asleep on the way home and it's only a 10 minute drive. But, still. I hate it that she's acting this way. She used to be sooo sweet and easy-going. Maybe it's the age. Audrey, on the other hand, has changed places with her sister and is now my helper and good girl. I don't know what happened. She still has her moments, but for the most part our days have been much smoother as far as Audrey is concerned. She is kinda excited because there is a dance camp this summer and she was invited by Katie's dance studio. She really wants to go but we will have to wait and see when it is to make sure that we will be in town.

Tonight we have been packing up a storm and getting ready to head across to Wisconsin. I'm really dreading being in the car for 14 hours, but it will be nice to see my family. I'm sure that Vince and I will fight, just like we always do when we're around my family, but we will get through it. We were raised differently. Our families are very different. Sometimes, it's hard for him to accept that he cannot be in charge of everything. The girls are excited to see Nana and Papa and all the cousins. We are stopping on the way to see our friends Mike and Rachel and their kiddos. They live in northern MN now, but his mom lives in Lacrosse, WI pretty close to the interstate. How convenient! So, we are going to stop for supper there and get to spend a little time with some friends and stretch our legs too.

Hope everyone has a good Easter. God Bless you all. Love ya.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dance drama and the most ridiculous words

Katie's dance class has been out for a couple of weeks due to this crazy South Dakota weather. We have had 3 snowstorms in 2 weeks that can be classified as blizzards. I don't even know how much snow that is, but let me assure you that it's plenty. And of course, we are expecting more this week. She was supposed to have class tonight, but she was very stern when she told me that she DID NOT want to go anymore. My heart just sank. I really want it to be something she wants to do and not something she's forced to do, so I called the owner of the studio and explained what was going on. I know that I told you guys that Katie has not been actively participating when we take her there, so I guess it should be no surprise that she has decided she doesn't want to do it. The owner was nice about it, but said that another girl had dropped out and the class was really dwindling and wanted to try to find a way for Katie to stay in. I dropped the suggestion about Audrey taking Katie's place and she was open to that. She thought that maybe Katie would want to do it if Audrey was doing it and maybe we could get the recital outfit from that other girl and they could both take the class. I asked Katie if she would dance if Audrey did and she said no. Stubborn little thing. But, Miss Andrea said that she would talk to the teacher about Audrey taking over Katie's spot and to not bring her tonight because she wouldn't have a chance to talk to Brooke before tonight's class. But that means that if Audrey does get to go, she will miss this week and next because we are heading to WI for Easter. Maybe they won't have class next week, I don't know. ARRRGH! Why can't life be easy? However, if this is all I have to complain about I must be doing alright, huh?

We are leaving this Friday for my Aunt's house in Hartland, WI, just outside Milwaukee. She has agreed to host us all for the weekend so that we can spend some time with my ailing grandparents. My parents are flying up also so it should be interesting. There are 2 adults and 5 kids that live at my Aunt's and then to have the 5 of us (and our stupid dogs) and my parents too will be quite an undertaking! Luckily my Aunt Kris loves to entertain. Oh, the dogs. Those silly little furballs that cause more angst and headaches in my house than anything else. I do love animals and I love my beagles, but I'm about to the point of willing them to go away. Anywhere. Since it's been so cold and snowy we have ALL been trapped in the house together for many days. That doesn't make for a happy mama. Or daddy. Sheesh. Yesterday we decided we had to get out of the house so we took the kids to Burger King for lunch. They have a play area. It's not my favorite place to eat, but whatever. So, Vince and I took our books and let the kids run for a while. Vince ended up playing with the kids and even taking Sam with him. In the middle of playing, Vince called me over to tell me that Sam had an explosive diaper. Yes, he still does that--often. I took him to the ladies' room to change him only to find out there is no changing table. What is up with that? They have a play area, but no changing table? Dumb. So, I laid out the diaper station on top of the sink. He had poop everywhere. I got him changed, made Vince come and get him and then commenced to cleaning up. After, I went to the assistant manager and told her I wanted a comment card. Of course, no one has those anymore. You have to call the 1-800 number or go online. Dumb, dumb. So, I just told her that I thought it was weird that there was no table in there and she proceeded to utter the most ridiculous words ever. "We had one and 'they' made us take it out because it was unsanitary." Excuse me? Dumb, dumb, dumb!! I said, "So, you're telling me that it's more sanitary for me to change a very poopy diaper on top of the sink than a changing table? Are they any harder to clean than the toilets?" She made a face when I told her that I changed him on the sink and said that it wasn't her decision, but was one made by 'them'. Whoever they are. I mean, come on people!! You have a play area! And that's so sanitary? Have 'they' seen the play area? I'm willing to bet the bathroom gets cleaned more often than those tubes and slides! Is that not one of the silliest things you've heard in a while? When I get off of here, I plan on going to the website or wherever and tell them what I think of that.

So, guess who's dogs decided to walk over the snow drifts into our yard the other day? I heard our dogs going crazy in the kitchen and when I looked out, one of her dogs was on the porch. Two of them had decided to come play for a while. She really has no legs to stand on if she ever complains about my dogs again. I have pictures. Her hubs came over and put them back over into her yard while she waited so that she could swat them. Funny.

Well, I suppose that's all for now. All of our creatures are growing restless waiting for supper. And I rented Twilight. I can't wait. I'm sure it's not as good as the book, but I don't care. He'll still be nice to look at. I just recently read the first book in the series and now know what all the craze is about. It was good. I can't wait to get my hands on the next 3.