A Funny for a Bad Day

Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Today was not my favorite day.  Not at all.  But here's a funny that makes me chuckle nonetheless.

Cole was in the office and came running into the kitchen and said, "Will, I just saw a picture of you as a baby on the computer and you looked so fudgy."
Me: You mean fuzzy?
Cole: No, fudgy...like with big cheeks.
Me: Oh, you mean pudgy!
Cole: Oh....yeah!

Quick - A Spring Update Before the Snow!

Sunday, April 13, 2014
The weather has taken a sharp turn, but not before we got a taste of sandals and sun.  It has been fantastic!  First, because of the stressful last couple months, we have been more lax with screen time for the kids.  (For those not of this parenting generation, that means anything that has a screen - including handhelds, TVs, computers, video games, etc.)  We have now tightened up on this rule and it is SO nice to see signs of more imaginative play!  Take this, for example.  I'm sure most people don't walk into a bathroom to see a bow resting against the wall that some warrior must have left behind when he was taking a "break."

And most people don't happen upon a mini Darth Vader in their kitchen in the middle of the day.

And this is the SURE sign of spring - a chalk community drawn on our driveway!


Lastly, a year ago I was so excited to get to drive up to meet my new niece, Olivia!  Today, we celebrated her turning one!  She was a master cake eater and party girl.  Here she is on the gift we gave her - something very similar to a long-standing toy in our house!
(Yes, she is on it ON TOP of the kitchen table, because...safety first).

Happy birthday, Olivia!  And despite this week's forecast, happy spring weather!

Saying Goodbye

Monday, March 31, 2014
Late Sunday night, March 23rd, my father-in-law lost his battle with cancer.  It was a painful, uphill battle since July.  I am so pleased to know that he does not suffer anymore.  I am so utterly sad that it even had to happen in the first place.

It was the Sunday beginning our spring break week.  In a way, it was a blessing to have that unscheduled time to grieve and really be in the moments that occurred.  We were impressed with our kids' behavior, understanding, and depth throughout this as well.  We have prayed for grandpa every single night.  Now our prayers are for those of us that loved him...that we can find peace and happiness without him here with us.  Paige even mustered up the courage to speak to the crowd that gathered at his memorial service.  She said what was on her heart and because of that, it was perfect.

I had planned on saying a few words - but couldn't consider it after seeing my daughter up there sharing her feelings.  Therefore, I will share this here so that I will remember as well:

Years ago, when Rich and I were first dating, he brought me to his parents' house for the first time.  His mother was in the kitchen and his father was mowing their beautiful, sprawling lawn.  When he came inside, I asked if his tractor was a Cub Cadet.  (It was).  A few years later when we were planning our wedding or newly married, Rich's father shared with me that when I first came to their house and knew what kind of tractor he had, he knew I was a keeper!  He (and Rich's mother) were so instantly accepting and kind - because that's just the kind of man he was.  (I don't even think I needed the Cub Cadet reference).

It's a cute story that I will hold onto.  But looking at all the pictures of him in his childhood and beyond and looking at the resemblance in my own boys' faces, I can't help but feel that he is alive and well.

The Weekend

Tuesday, March 18, 2014
This weekend was on the calendar for a year - a cheerleading competition at Wisconsin Dells!  While I knew it would be a little stressful (more so than our usual mid-winter trip to an indoor waterpark), I did not prepare for this.  Don't get me wrong...there was still swimming, sliding and arcading fun.  But...

I had been fighting a sore throat/fever/chills/headache combo that we determined to be strep.  After getting on an antibiotic Saturday morning, I could finally pull it together.  Rich's father also had a setback and was (and is currently) hospitalized.  This cancels our spring break plans - which adds to the sadness of it all.  But plans can be rescheduled.  Our kids handled this news amazingly.

Then there was the anticipated stress of where to be when and missing bows and girls from other teams who threw up in the middle of their routine and food and where to get it and scores and seriously loud music and crowds.  I actually saw a dad walking down the hotel hallway announcing "lost parent...lost parent."  It was kind of funny.  So was the fact that Cole decided he needed to pull out his second tooth while in the middle of eating a makeshift lunch on the floor of the hotel hallway while crowds of people walked beside us and there wasn't a napkin / tissue to be found  all while listening to 9 year-old cheerleader drama to my right and balancing half-eaten food on my left.  It's funny, really.   Well, now it is.

But Paige's team put on terrific performances!  Here are a few photos with my new camera that I LOVE but still need to learn more about for quality pictures!

And now, today's funny:
Cole and I were discussing what we're looking forward to in the spring.  He mentioned flying kites.  Here's how the rest went...
Me: Do we even have any kites still?
Cole: Yes, we do.
Me: Well, but I don't know what shape they're in.
Cole: They're in the shape of triangles.

of course.


Sunday, March 9, 2014
Weekends without super major plans
Losing an hour of it

The crowd at the sporting goods store gearing up for spring sports
The fact that there is still plenty of snow on the ground

Meals out with the family
Nothing about this

My family that shows my kids a good time when we can't be with them
Being away from the kids.  Maybe in the summer I'll like it more.  But for now, I long for unscheduled time with them

New techno gadgets
Having to learn to use them

A forecast with more days above freezing than below
The mud.  Oh the mud.

The upcoming trips we have planned (Wisconsin Dells, Disney)
That my dry spells of blogging will continue.  But when we get back, hopefully there will be good pictures / stories to share

Cole's new favorite word, "technically"
That often it's used to criticize me: "technically, you're doing it wrong"

Winter Blahs

Thursday, February 27, 2014
The winter blahs have been replaced with winter tantrums around here.  (Not the kids.  Me.)  Don't get me wrong.  I've been outside with the kids (at bus stops), walking dogs and doing anything I can to pretend that a giant iceberg hasn't taken over the land.  But it kinda has.

So, for that reason, there is not much new.  We play games, we watch movies, read books, get creative here and there, but mostly, just long for the great outdoors.  So here's a look at what we do when we're stuck indoors...
We do projects.  This is a rain stick in the making.

We transform bathrooms into full-on salons, thanks to Paige and Renee

We have cousin sleepovers!

We send mail...to each other.

We play with liquid nitrogen.  Because, why not?

We go to cheer competitions!

We plan vacations to places that are warmer!

And now, since "throwback Thursday" has become a popular trend in the cyber world, here's one that's a throwback AND a glimpse at the warmer weather to come....
Spring 2010.  Nothing says spring like short sleeves and baseball.

Out of the Mouths, Cont'd

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Since I've become increasingly bad at remembering these little one-liners, I thought I'd jot them down right away.

The first comes from the eldest.  She approached me last night and said she had had her (gigantic) molar that she yanked in her tooth fairy pillow for a few nights.  In a tongue-in-cheek sort of way, she said she sure hopes it's because it's too cold for the tooth fairy and not because she's too old, because she has "a lot of earning potential left in her mouth."  Yes.  I'm not lying.  This also from the girl who puts together Power Point slide shows to persuade her parents.  So, the teens may be tough.

We went out to a rare dinner tonight on a weeknight.  It was such a refreshing change of pace.  While getting ready to pay the bill, Rich was showing Cole how he can do a cool flip-and-catch trick with his credit card.  Cole thought it was cool and asked if he could jiggle cards, too.  Rich asked, "Do what?"  And Cole answered again (quite clearly), "Jiggle.  Like you do with balls."  Of course, we had to remind him that word was "juggle," and you can imagine the hay day we had with that one.

Lastly, we talk about growth spurts a lot around here.  We have kids.  They happen.  Cole had been especially proud of his recent spurt a few months ago.  It wasn't until tonight after his bath while putting on pajamas that I was real close to his mouth when he said it.   "I think I had another gross birth." I'm not even kidding.

Out of the Mouth of a 5 year-old

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
1) Last night while saying goodnight, Cole said that he would like a dress shirt...."one like dad wears to work, but not a nice one.  One that I can wear to play baseball in."  So I ask why.  And he very logically said that he would leave it unbuttoned so it could fly behind him when he ran.  Hmmm...I wonder where he got that idea...
Benny from Sandlot.  And his shirt DOES fly behind him as he's running in slow motion from "the beast."
2) Today in the car, Cole said he thought it was probably going to feel like summer when we are out waiting for his bus today.  (After all, the "low outside temp" indicator finally turned off on my dashboard for the first time in months).  Then after a long pause, he stated, "I think I kind of forgot what summer feels like."

Yeah, bud, it's better than 41 degrees.  Trust me.

3) Today while leaving a parking lot he admitted that when he "was little," he used to think those wheelchair signs painted on some parking spaces were "Don't Sit on Toilet" signs.  After hearing my outburst of laughter he very seriously added that he "really did."

4) Tonight while laying out his clothes, I had explained that he will be going to school a little earlier (which is how it works for p.m. Kindergarten) because then it is an early dismissal day.  He replied, "I don't quite know what you're talking about, so I'll just go with it."


Wednesday, February 12, 2014
Happy Valentine's Day!  While some will criticize this day for being a "Hallmark holiday," I love the added specialness in mid-tundra weather and don't think any bad has come from expressing more love to one another.

Love in a 5-year old child's eyes is especially worth celebrating.  Today, while at Walgreens, Cole spotted a watermelon-scented egg-shaped chapstick.  He immediately thought of Will, as watermelon is his favorite and he is currently fighting chapped lips.  He asked if we could get it for him to give to Will for Valentine's Day. I could not resist.  Then, he came home from school with a Happy Valentine's day card for Will that had a wonderfully detailed picture of Will's iPod and a picture of the current game they love on it.  Even more lovely was Will's ultra enthusiastic response to this and immediate knowledge of what the picture was.

When we returned home from Walgreens, Cole quickly realized he didn't have anything for Paige.  So, he searched his room for a couple cool hot wheels cars (of course she'll love) in lime green - because that's her favorite color.  When we had our valentine dinner tonight* he could hardly contain his excitement to share his gifts.  That is love.

*We have a special "dining room dinner" for Valentine's Day every year as a family.  This year's was bumped up a couple days because we will all be in different directions Thursday night and Friday night Rich and I are...wait for it...going out to dinner!  Just the two of us.  We both are counting down.

Another Snowy Weekend

Sunday, February 9, 2014
It was a good weekend, with some variations from the norm.  We didn't have our normal TGIF gathering due to an event at school - the Fun Fair (a.k.a run around with friends and win junky treasures and 2-Liter bottles of pop we'll never drink).  Saturday was another and I mean ANOTHER snowy day! So despite this, we traveled to the theater with the Eggers and my parents to divvy up between The LEGO Movie and The Monuments Men, followed by a pizza dinner.  It was a good way to spend the day!

Sunday, just Rich and Paige went to visit his parents, as I was fighting a horrible cold that thankfully has had mercy on me today.  They had a nice visit and then Will*, Cole and I had a laid back day.  We went to Target to spend gift cards that have been burning holes in their pockets, then spent a little time outside sledding with a neighbor - despite temps in the teens.

And this is my 100 year old (for the 100th day of school).  Some went more all-out than this, but this was as far as he'd go.  But I can see the little old man in him!  The cool fact is that the hat DID belong to my grandfather - who would be nearing 100 if he were still with us.

* And now, a word about Will.  I feel the need to take a moment to verbalize that his behavior / maturity has been much improved lately.  He has helped out when not asked, gotten along great with his little brother lately, and just plain been more agreeable.  I found myself thinking this and realizing that if he were having difficulties, I would definitely sit him down for a talk.  But I'm less likely to do that when he is doing well.  So I made a point of this tonight (and will continue to try harder in this area) and he couldn't wipe the grin off his face.  It's good to point out good.