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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monkey Business

Okay, really? It seems like I was just here writing a little something last night and a whole week has passed already.

I'm here to report the highlight of this past week is that we got a whale of a deal on a PLAY SET for the kids!! Woot! I had been secretly wanting one for the kids but I thought Eric would veto my idea since our backyard space is minimal to say the least. What do you expect when you live in a (very) small town on a main street? A smallish yard, that's what. When Eric presented the idea of a play set, well I had to bite my tongue to not seem overly eager in letting him know that I had thought of that first and of course, it was a great idea!!

We slowly began pricing swing set/ play structures to learn that $600 affords you a rather modest one. We're not asking for an Olympic sized play set, but we wanted more than a set of swings attached to a couple rungs of wood. While neither of us were particularly eager to dump a cool $600, I began to ask around and talk to some people at work. Within a weeks time, a friend of mine came up with a friend of a friend whose kids had outgrown theirs and just wanted it GONE from their backyard. My friend jumped on the case, brought us pictures, Eric checked it out and as of yesterday, we're the proud new owners of an enormous backyard play set!! The best part of all? FREE!!! Oh YES!! Free is a beautiful thing when it comes to saving $600! And it's awesome! So, what if it does eat up MOST of our backyard? So what if the kids can climb to the upper lever fort and peek into our neighbors yards and windows? It's a pretty cool structure and recycling at it's best. Hello and Happy Earth Week!

As for pictures? Well, Eric had anticipated having a couple buddies over today to help, but when a fire call interrupted his afternoon and the temperature peaked at a stiffling 85 degrees; well, let's just say that no one was coming knocking on our door, just asking to help in the sweltering sun. The weather forecast isn't looking quite so intense for the remainder of this week and a completed play set may just be in our future, sooner than later. That will put an end to Elaina asking 76 times a day if her new "tree fort" is ready for her to go swing yet. The bad part is that I am nearly as giddy as her to see this new behemoth all set up and ready for it's new life with our kids!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Sunday Chronicles

It seems like my blogging pattern has been unimpressive to say the least. As a happy medium, I've decided that until I can reach full capacity of blogging or our life slows down even a little bit, I'm going to settle with a commitment to reserving enough time each Sunday night to wrap up our week and posting. If by chance I get a light week night, well, consider that "bonus" blogging.

The fortunate part of this past week has been that there is just not too much going on. That's good. No, that's great! It's not to say that we haven't been busy, it's just that Eric has been home early every night, we've had no evening commitments and our week has run pretty smoothly. Typical week. Good week!

So, while I'm not sure about everyone else's "typical" week, but let me tell you a little bit about our evenings in our typical week.

As far as I'm concerned, the evening starts when the work day ends and everyone is at home. Eric generally picks up the kids at 4:00 and I get home from work at 5. I change my clothes as fast as I can to begin dinner so we can eat promptly at 6:00 before a certain little boy loses touch with himself and his stomach begins to eat at his backbone. At least to hear him yelling as he's trying to climb into his highchair, one might suspect is the case.

Dinner and clean up can sometimes take up to an hour and Eric and I work together to get things cleared as quickly as possible to get on with our night. During our clean up time, the kids get about 20 minutes of "free roam." This is generally their time to wind down, watch tv, play with toys or play games on the computer. Every other night is bath night and they are still a fine age that they can bathe together without incident. Once they get jammied up and their hair dry, we've taken to hosting a dance party in our bedroom for the kids to romp around. Eric pulls a few favorite songs from the "music on demand" channels and Elaina and Lincoln hold hands and dance and swing each other around. And yes, it IS pretty much the cutest thing ever! After a few songs, we rotate nights to put each kid to bed and after 2 books per kid, it is down time. Our bedtime routine is pretty consistent each night and the kids know what to expect. The only setback to the whole game plan is that Elaina still likes for someone to lay with her for "just 3 minutes, pleeeassse." And I'll be darned if that innocent request of 3 minutes hasn't lasted an hour or more before I peel myself off of her covers. And so goes our typical evening.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter: In all of it's glory

Let me just begin by saying that this Easter weekend was fun, exciting, happy, full, busy and great. In a nutshell, perfect.


For the past few years, Eric and I have decided that hosting Easter for our family (anyone who is able) is something we enjoy doing and hope to make a tradition. Part of having a big house is wanting to have the people you love the most come to fill it up. And this weekend was proof that we did just that. My parents, Eric's parents and Greg, Kate and Colin came to town for the weekend to celebrate Easter together and also a belated celebration of "Kate's" birthday.
When our weekend was all said and done and our guests parted ways, we were left with a fridge full of delicious leftovers, a floor full of Easter grass and a camera loaded with happy memories. So many great pictures in fact, I've taken it upon myself to dole them out here for you with prestigious award captions attached to each. Without further ado, here is our weekend in pictures:

Prettiest Birthday Girl: "Kate"Best Use of Air Quotes: Kate (just read the writing on her "cake") Most Apt to Initiate a Cavity from Abundant Sweetness: Lincoln wins over a double helping of spice cake and ice cream
Perseverance Award: Kate in her most notable performance as a willing artist, held hostage in my bathroom with constant interruptions and people of all sizes looking over her shoulder. We have all learned that the kids' bathroom maximum people capacity is approximately 8, provided they are all standing. The great reveal of this room will be noted in a future post once all accessories have been put in place.
Most Notable Quote of the Weekend: Kate with: "Colin, I never knew who would teach you about guns, but I never would have thought it would be your cousin, Elaina with her pink gun."
Endurance Award: Lincoln; this veteran driver of almost 2 seasons withstands driving conditions in almost any climate. It looks the driver in the other lane has completely lost sight of her car, but Lincoln is going strong and continued his race long after his captive audience left the stands. Only his dedicated race team of Grandma and Grandpa W. stayed with him to help avoid racer's rage leaving the track. Most Team Unity: Greg and Colin; they worked together collecting the great loot that the Easter Bunny left out for them, while carefully avoiding the land mines in the grass left by the Easter dogs. Best Disguise: I don't even know who that is but she deserves an award for looking cute and producing three of her secret agents to conspire with her.

Child in Most Need of a Shopping Cart: Elaina; this Lightweight Champion enjoyed collecting her treasures so much that she didn't want to put them down for even a second. You never know when that sneaky Easter Bunny could come back and snatch all of her great finds. (I'm such a proud mom!) Most Daring Attempt: Colin; take note of this adolescent Brown's fan (by default of his parents) touching the holy grail of Steelers collectibles and not growing athletic talent on the spot.
Best Pose: Elaina; as I asked her to turn and show me her Easter basket, she pivoted, popped her elbow back and showed me her stuff! Oh how this girl makes me laugh!
Most Likely to Melt his Mother's Heart: Lincoln; after our family left and Elaina, Lincoln and I shared some quality nap time, Lincoln pulled out his new Car book and began to read to himself.
And with that, our awards ceremony must come to a close. An honorable mention should also go to Kate for posting a great recap of our weekend on over at her blog as she shares more details on how our Easter egg hunt almost didn't happen and how "Kate" came to be. Here's hoping everyone had a wonderful Easter weekend while remembering the reason for the season.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

twitch-twitch

If you're reading this, you know that Easter is 3 days in the past and Monday has already come and gone and judging from this entry, there are no cute pictures as promised and no whimsical recap of our Easter weekend. In fact, all that you have before you is a sorry post about my internet being down last night. Aack. Nevermind my slight twitching from being disconnected from the blogosphere and facebook for an entire evening and a sporadic weekend of internet usage. Hello, my name is Laura and I think I may have a slight addiction to the "wwwdot."

Eric was on the phone first thing this morning with the cable company and is trying to resolve the issue of our disconnect. Until then, I'm accessing the web from work in a super-sleuth fashion while drinking my cappuccino and trying to keep the cute and funny stories of our weekend locked up in a file in my mind until I can roll them out onto my blog later on this evening. The silver lining of no internet access is that my bedtime last night was closer to 10:00 versus the standard-too-late bedtime of midnight, so I am feeling very rested, if not even punchy today. I hope this stays with me until tonight and that we're connected by the time I come home from work. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Un-Quality

"Un-Quality:" I'm thinking that is the best word to sum up what I am about to lay out for this grand daddy of an update.

It seems like forever since I've posted and while fleeting moments sweep through my mind and funny conversations play out in front of me, I can't seem to run my bedraggled self to the computer to get it out of my head just as fast as something else new pops up.

So here it is; my crazy, random, disorganized collection of things that have been occupying our time.

* Since the spring weather greeted us a few weeks back, I've been stricken with "the fever." Spring fever that is. I've been on a mission to sort, clean up, clean out and purge every corner of our house. It will be a long time to get accomplish every room, but that's been my goal. My intent is to make my house 200 pounds (of useless stuff) lighter by the time summer comes around.

** Last week, our babysitter caught a horrible case of the flu which happened to coincide with Eric being out of town. I stayed home from work with the kids for 2 days, while Eric rounded out Friday at home with them. On my stint as a homemaker, I took down curtains to wash, iron and rehang, I washed a few windows, cleaned out a few closets, tackled some heaping mounds of junk mail etc., and even made a trip to the library.

*** I really enjoyed staying at home with the kids. Our days were sometimes long and it is definitely a lot different than a scheduled work day, but I kinda hated going back to work.

**** I've wanted to redecorate the kids' bathroom for several months now. Last week, I came across a picture which was the perfect inspiration for the pond-theme I've been wanting to decorate with. I finally conned, I mean, convinced Eric to repaint the walls and with the help of my artistically inclined SIL- Kate and my mom, they will be able to add the final touches on making the bathroom wall details complete.

***** The timing of our project had everything to do with the fact that my parents, in-laws and bro, SIL and nephew are joining us for Easter weekend on Saturday. I thought it would be great to have their art displayed on our walls and fun at the same time to see the whole project completed. Lucky for me, my mom and (SIL) Kate are totally on board with creating works of art relating to amphibians and insects. WOOT! (Now, if I can just think of a way to lure them back when I'm ready to re-do Lincoln's bedroom....)

*I've mentioned previously that Eric's work has taken him out of town a lot lately and I'm very happy to say that his overnight trips are finally calming down after this week. He'll still have trips away from home, but they won't be nearly as frequent starting soon.

** I have severe mom-guilt. I'm pretty sure that no one is on the edge of their seat awaiting Lincoln's list of "25 Random Things," but every single day, I am fully and conscientiously aware that I have not done one yet. Soon. Very soon. My mind is reeling with fun Lincoln tidbits that I can't wait to share.

So, um, I think I might be done. Quite possibly that's all that I have left as I've been shaking out my head and trying to play catch up here. Easter weekend is soon approaching and our families will be joining us this holiday at our house. While I'm very much excited, I've been trying to combat clutter and stay on top of the never ending laundry piles so that when the weekend rolls around and we have a house full of people, I can rest easy and just enjoy all that the weekend brings. And as for my picture drought, I can assure you that will be taken care of by Monday.