We Just Don’t Learn

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Kris and I.  We just don’t learn.

After the diaper cream incident on Saturday, we’ve had two more disasters.  The first one was Sunday night.  I was upstairs with Annika and James was downstairs.  I went downstairs after just a few minutes to find James had colored all over the laminate flooring in the living room.  It was a three foot wide circle of scribbles.  Ugh!  A clorox wipe took it all off but still.  Will I learn?

The second incident was yesterday.  I was at work (not my fault this time!) and Kris was downstairs.  James was upstairs with Annika and when Kris went to check on them he found James covered in Vaseline.  James had even covered the computer keyboard in Vaseline.  Kris had quite the clean up project ahead of him.  Apparently we just don’t learn.  Luckily there have been no incidents today.

Last night Grandpa Dan came over to drop our truck off with us (it had been at the mechanic) and he stayed and watched the kids for a bit while I ran to a meeting.  The kids had a great time with him, even if Annika did want to go play with the neighbors and threw a fit when I said no as I was leaving.  I’m sure Grandpa calmed her down.  They did play outside for a while.  I love it when my children get time with their grandparents.  I think the grandparents like it too!

Today was my last day of work for this week.  I’m very lucky that where I work I get a three day summer break around the 4th of July each year!  It was very quiet at work yesterday and today.  Most people take the other two days as vacation.  I’m saving some vacation time for Krystle’s wedding and when Mathias is home in a couple weeks so I went in this week.  And now I’m looking forward to vacation!  Waking up when I want (or when the kids wake me) instead of to an alarm!  Picking strawberries at a strawberry patch!  Having a girlie day with Annika so we can both go get haircuts.  Spending lots and lots of time with Kris and the kids.  It’s going to be great!

The Star

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Tonight James had his first swimming lesson.  His lessons actually started last week but because he still had his cast on, he missed that one.  And my baby boy is the star of swimming lessons!  He loved the water (unlike one little boy who screamed and cried the whole time while clinging to his dad) and did all the arm scoops and leg kicks asked of him.  He blew bubbles and he floated on both his stomach and back with ease.  His one teacher even called his back float perfect!  (for a two year old of course)  We sang a bunch of cheesy preschool songs and did some games and such and before we knew it, the 1/2 hour was over and it was time to get out!  It was a little cold in the water so James didn’t put up a fuss when it was time to leave either.  I’m sure he’ll love going back in two weeks for our next session.

Annika asked again the other night if we could go to DisneyWorld.  We told her it was expensive so mommy and daddy needed to save some money before we could go.  Annika thought about that for a second before she exlaimed “I have an idea!  We can use the money in my piggy bank!”  We tried to explain that while there is quite a lot of money in her piggy bank, it wasn’t enough.  I’d love to take them now – they’d both LOVE IT, but it’s too expensive right now.  Maybe in another year or two.  We’ll work on that travel savings account in the mean time.

And for our parenting highlight of the day – Last night Kris and I were downstairs watching tv while James and Annika were upstairs in our bedroom watching a movie.  It was too quiet for too long and you know where this is going, right?  Disaster.  When I went up to check on them James was decked out head to foot in diaper rash cream.  He had his whole head covered, as if it was soap and he was washing his hair.  Plus, it is all over and I mean all over our bedroom carpet.  And guess what – diaper cream isn’t really water soluble so even though we have a portable steam cleaner it wouldn’t touch the diaper cream.  Any ideas out there on how to get this out?  Kris is going to check if his work place has any mild solvents (we know they have harsh ones!) he can try.  Other than that – what can we do to get it out of the carpet?  It took me three shampoos before I declared James’ head clean enough last night.  Ugh.  Rookie mistake – never leave the children unattended – especially when they’re that quiet!

Pretty Young Thing

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Great Grandma Betty’s funeral yesterday was a bittersweet day.  Of course it was sad, so very sad, to say good-bye to her.  Even at 85 years old it feels like we didn’t get enough time with her.  The funeral was very well attended.  Great Grandma Betty was loved by many.  And through it all, Kris and I basically had a kid free day.  Annika decided early on in the day that she wanted to stay by Auntie Melanie.  She ate lunch by her, sat between Melanie and Dusty during the service and she and Melanie spent the whole reception together off on their own.  They colored, ate dessert, played with toys, etc.  I’m sure Annika was eating up that one on one attention.  Annika and Melanie even made plans for their next event together – a movie date at Dusty and Melanie’s house with Care Bear and Strawberry Shortcake movies.  There will even be popcorn.  Sounds like a fab time!  I’m kind of jealous!

And Jamesy decided that he was staying by Papa and Papa only yesterday.  He sat by Papa during the service and insisted on staying by him the whole rest of the day.  A sweet moment came during the service when Great Grandpa had tears running down his face.  Jamesy gave his tears a kiss and hugged him and then told him he was “all better now.”  Sweet kid that Jamesy is.

Funerals are always hard for me.  I’m a big weepy crybaby anyway but then throw in Kris and I’m a complete goner.  I just can NOT handle seeing my strong man cry – for any reason.  I didn’t see him shed any tears yesterday but I did see him well up more than a few times and each and every time it would send me running for a tissue.  I hate seeing him hurt and wish I could do something, anything to make it all better, like kissing and hugging him and declaring him all better.  I guess it doesn’t work that way for me or Jamesy.

And now for a complete change of topic…

Kris and I were pretty surprised to hear on the drive home last night that Michael Jackson had died.  Tonight I downloaded 9 Jackson songs: Man in the Mirror, Billie Jean, Dirty Diana, Pretty Young Thing (which I was listening to when I started this post), Thriller, Human Nature, Black or White, Remember The Time and The Way You Make Me Feel.  And then I ran out of money in my iTunes account.  There went my birthday gift card.  That’s okay though.  I grew up with Jackson.  I have somewhere at my Dad’s house my Thriller album.  I remember listening to that album over and over again.  I would listen to it in our family’s living room and I would pretend the bay window was my stage and all the people outside (if there were any) were my audience and I would sing and dance to the whole album.  I even had a microphone.  I was a bit on the young (or naive) side and didn’t really get Billie Jean but I sang it with all my heart anyway.

After that album I didn’t stay an MJ fan like some others did.  I had found Madonna’s True Blue cassette (I was moving up in the world!  Cassettes!) and Whitney Houston and Jet.  Remember Jet?!?  But MJ and that Thriller album will be a childhood memory of mine that I’ll always remember.

Annika had a great time tonight dancing to Michael Jackson.  I cut it short to get them to bed but I think tomorrow we’ll continue our MJ dance party.

Now playing: Black or White…

Ups and Downs

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As you can see from my last post, Kris lost his remaining grandmother last Friday.  We were in Rochester to visit her in the hospital and just missed her passing.  It was, as you can imagine, a very sad day.  We stayed with her and Grandpa in the hospital room for a couple hours, just spending time together as a family.  Kris’ parents, sister and family, a cousin Jake and his family and an aunt and uncle of Kris’ were all there.  After all the details had been attended to and Grandpa had said his good-byes we said the Lord’s Prayer together and then left to have some lunch.  It was almost 2pm by that time and we all could have used something to eat.  At the restaurant we took a bunch of pictures – some of the cousins, some of the kids with Grandpa, a generational picture, etc.  Those pictures are always cherished.

Saturday morning Kris was up bright and early to go meet the football team.  They had a game in Missouri that night and had a long day of driving ahead of them.  When the kids and I awoke, we had lots of errands to run for last minute supplies for Krystle’s personal shower and bachelorette party that night.  The kids were pretty good during all the stops and ins and outs of their car seats.  At home it was time for lunch and more party prep.  By the time Auntie Shelly and Uncle Dale came to collect the kids at 2pm I was already wiped out!  The kids were super excited to go with them though and to stay overnight.  When I told Annika the night before of the plans she jumped up and down clapping, exclaiming that she’s never got to stay over before and how excited she was.  Once the kids were gone I quickly got ready, packed the car with my supplies and headed to the party.

The shower, dinner and night out were really fun.  We had a great group of women together!  There was yummy champagne, delicious dinner and a fun night of dueling pianos at the Shout House downtown.  So fun!  I’d totally go back there.  I’d love to bring Kris but I don’t think he’d have nearly as much fun as I had.  Maybe it would be a good girls night out venue for the future.

Sunday morning I hurried home to let the dog out (he had been let out the night before by our kind neighbors) and then expected Dale and Shelly to drop the kids off shortly after that.  Except they didn’t.  Finally at noon I called again.  The kids (and Dale and Shelly!) were having too much fun to bring them home!  Well, I guess that’s not so bad! :)   I just took it easy all day watching a movie, putting away some laundry, doing some dishes, etc.  It was sure a quiet house!  I got bored after a while!  The kids arrived home around 3pm and I was happy to see their little faces again!

Today James got his cast off!  I called home at noon to check on him and Kris said they took the cast off but that you could still see fractures on his x-ray.  Apparently the orthopedic surgeon deemed his arm healed enough?  I’m completely paranoid that my active two year old is going to re-injure his arm.  Sometimes he plays so rough or so daring (trying to jump off our bed last night!) that well, I’m just going to be an overprotective mom for a little while I think.  And of course Annika isn’t as careful with James as she could be so I’m paranoid that she’s going to jump on him or land on him or something and brake him again.  Argh!  I just want him good as new again!  I guess James is supposed to go back in again in two months for one final check up.  Gah!  At least James can start attending his swimming lessons on Sunday night now.  And he got his first bath this afternoon complete with splashing galore.  His huge grin in the bathtub was so cute!

OK, gotta run.  Time to get everybody dressed, fed and out the door for tonight’s memorial service.


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Maybe you’ve heard about the accident at my Dad’s workplace last week?  I didn’t blog about it because, well, it wasn’t my family’s tragedy.  There was a teen killed.  That explosion is their tragedy.  I’m just extremely grateful that my Dad and Marcia are both OK.  Both were on site and they, along with all other people at the store, could have been seriously hurt.  Thank God the accident wasn’t worse.

Now let’s completely change topics.  I don’t want to think about that first paragraph any more.

Annika has decided that Lady GaGa’s “Poker Face” is her song.  She only likes songs sung by girls and the catchy beat of that one has apparently caught her interest.  On the flip side, James has decided that Black Eyed Peas’ song “Boom Boom Pow” is his song.  I downloaded both off iTunes a few days ago and man, have they been a hit!  The other night Annika asked to play her song on the computer and then hit repeat about a thousand times (or enough to fill an hour) so all I heard was “Poker Face” over and over again.  Tonight she came downstairs after changing clothes.  What was she wearing?  Her pink jacket and pink underwear.  I asked her where her pants were and she said that Lady GaGa doesn’t wear pants!  Then she came over to me and said “You know what Lady GaGa looks like?”  I said no and so she pulled up her hood, said her hair is white and that’s what Lady GaGa looks like (complete with no pants).  Great.  I asked her where she saw Lady GaGa and she said on that tv down here and pointed to the tv in the living room.  Me thinks Kris may need to turn off the music videos!  Yeesh!  My 4 year old is dressing up as Lady GaGa!  Help me!

Annika also happens to love Pink, the pop singer.  Why?  Well, she’s a girl, who sings, who’s name is Pink.  Enough said, right?  She can even point out songs sung by Pink on the radio, making us stop and listen as we switch channels.  Yikes.

Fun, Fun, Fun

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We had a great weekend!  I already told you about Friday night.  Saturday morning after Kris got done doing a duathlon on his own (he ran, then he biked, then he ran some more – you know, for fun! and in the rain – the man is way more dedicated than I am!) he stayed home while Krystle, Mathias and I headed out to go shopping.  And boy were the kids mad!  They wanted to go with and both of them threw fits when we left.  They were practically wrapped around my legs.  I had to physically remove them from me in order to get out the door.  I hate that.  I really do.  It breaks my heart to have to do that.  But I also wanted some sibling time without having to be on Mommy Duty at the same time.  So I left them at home.  I’m sure 2 minutes later they were so engrossed in playing again that they forgot that I was even gone.  Kids.

So we went shopping and had a great time bumming around the stores together.  We ended up buying each other birthday presents.  Heh.  After shopping I ate lunch, wrapped presents and hustled everyone into the truck so we could go to our next activity.  Party!  Saturday night was Seth’s graduation/going away party.  The kids loved seeing Nana and as soon as they were done eating dinner they were stuck to her playing Mr. Potato Heads.  Jamesy had to come show me each potato head that he made.  And while they were occupied I took the chance to hold Kris’ cousins new baby girl, Autumn.  She was six weeks old and of course super tiny compared to my big kids.  I fed her a bottle (Which I have to admit was SO weird for me!  I never fed bottles to my own children and haven’t bottle-fed a baby probably since I babysat when I was a teenager!) and held her and cuddled her until her Mom arrived.  Neither kid showed any jealousy towards me holding the baby.  Annika was actually enthralled by it and was hovering pretty good for a while, stroking the baby’s head or hand.  This, of course, was because it was a baby girl, dressed in pink, and she just couldn’t get enough.

I usually write all glowing reports of my children on this site.  Want to know how they really act sometimes?

Saturday at the party James was wearing Kris’ hat.  He wanted to see something in the kitchen so he lead me over there.  While standing there he decided he didn’t want to wear the hat anymore so he took it off and threw it on the floor.  I told him he had to pick it up and bring it back to Daddy if he didn’t want to wear it anymore.  You know what that little turd told me?  He told me to pick it up!  I told him no, he had to and he told me no again.  That I had to pick it up.  Um, excuse me!?!  I picked him up, flipped him over so his hands touched the ground, made him pick up the hat and then walked him back to Daddy so he could give it to him.  Me pick it up.  Hmph!

And now Annika’s bad behavior story.  So, Saturday after the party it was bedtime (around 8pm) when we left and started driving home.  I knew both kids were tired and wanted them to fall asleep in the truck.  Annika asked if she could watch a movie on the DVD player and I told her no – it was rest time.  She whined about that for a while and then asked if she could listen to her music CD.  I told her no – it was rest time.  She could watch the trees or count the utility poles outside but that all movies and music were staying off.  She threw a fit.  She cried, whined, yelled at us to turn on her music, etc.  Finally Kris pulled over into a parking lot and told her to knock it off and that we were going to sit there until she was done.  She kept on going.  5 minutes later she was still going.  5 minutes after that – after repeated warnings and threats – I asked her if I should just throw her music CD away.  She said no and I told her she had to stop right that instant or I was going to throw the CD I was holding away in the trash can outside the truck.  She stopped and we went on our way.  She groused a time or two after that, occasionally asking us to turn on her music, but never threw a fit again.  James ended up falling asleep but Annika never did although she did go to sleep easily once we were home.  Sometimes she can be such a pill!  And stubborn!  And rude!  And, well, normal I guess.  We’ll keep working on it though.

Sunday morning I slept in later than I had planned.  When I got up I put my work out clothes on and got my 5 mile run in and then a 5 mile bike.  I was supposed to bike longer but it was misting and cold and I decided I was done.  Heh.  We missed church though due to my laziness.  Bad me!

We got everyone bathed and dressed though in time to meet Grandpa, Mathias, Krystle and Pierce for brunch.  It was the same restaurant we went to for Krystle’s birthday and on the way there Annika asked if they had the bagels and strawberry cream cheese she likes.  And that’s pretty much all she ate while we were there (OK, she had some bacon, strawberries, and a cinnamon roll too – healthy, no?).  Also on the way there Annika announced that she wanted to sit by Uncle Mathias at the restaurant.  And then James announced that he wanted to sit by Grandpa.  And they did.  During our meal James decided to start pointing out who he likes and who he doesn’t like.  First he declared “I like boys.”  Then he went around the table saying “I like Grandpa.  I like Uncle Mathias.  I don’t like Nika.  I like Pierce.  I don’t like Krystle.  I like Daddy.  I don’t like Mommy.”  What!?!  I asked him if he liked me and he said no.  I asked him if he loved me and he said yes.  Then I tickled him until he said he liked me too.  He is hilarious sometimes which his “I like boys and not girls!” declarations.  Of course he’s just feeding off Nika who says all the time that she likes girls and not boys.  She even told me last week that she didn’t like Ryan (the neighbor), only Erin (the neighbor).  Of course she does like Ryan and has a fit when he’s outside playing and I won’t let her join him.  Oh, also last week she asked me if I could help her make a sign for her door that said “No Boys Allowed” and one for James’ room that said “No Girls Allowed.”  Where do they get this stuff from??

OK, back to the weekend.  After brunch we all went to Grandpa’s house for the afternoon.  Grandpa had a LP gas call he had to take care of so the rest of us sat around watching TV for a bit.  Kris got restless (He so has adult ADD!) so he and James and I ran down the road to Target to bum around.  We ended up getting James a bike helmet – which he adores.  (He even fell asleep later that night in the truck on the way home with the bike helmet firmly in his grasp.)  Then it was back to Grandpa’s house for a great game of dominoes.  We played a whole game too – from 12′s down to 0′s.  So fun!  We teased Pierce.  I pushed all Krystle’s buttons.  (heh)  And I think Dad ended up winning.  Of course.  He’s a good game player – pretty sneaky that one!  You always have to keep an eye on him and how many bones he has in his hand.  I hope we can play again soon.

After the game was over it was time for us to head home.  Before we did though we had a picture taking session.  Have to capture those memories with Mathias!  We lined up for some pics on the couch and first up was Mathias and the kids.  Mathias and James had to make goofy faces (some captured on camera too).  (I’ll have those up on Flickr tonight – along with pictures from the last couple months – look for those later!)  Then Annika hopped on Mathias’ lap for a few pics.  She was completely not shy with him at all.  She ADORES her Uncle Mathias.  And here I thought she only liked girls.  Anyway, then we lined up the siblings and then the siblings with Dad, etc.  It was a great weekend.

Not much is going on this week.  Kris has a trip to the big park planned for the kids and maybe a trip to the zoo as well.  This weekend is our second duathlon of the spring and a Machine game Saturday night.  Should be a fun week!

Happy Birthday To Me! And Dad! And Mathias!

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Today starts the five day festival of birthdays with mine today, Grandpa’s on Sunday and Uncle Mathias’ on Wednesday.  I got oodles and oodles of birthday wishes today.  Thank you everyone!  I had a great day too.  I was able to leave work a couple hours early (thanks to working through lunch every day this week!) and renew my drivers license then head home and out again for a run.  Then after Kris ran we met up with Krystle and Pierce and Grandpa and Marcia and Uncle Mathias (in town for the weekend – how convenient!) for dinner.  I gorged myself on chips and quesadilla and chocolate cake.  You can’t ask for much more than that!  After dinner we all came back to our house where we laughed at the kids and dogs and then played some Guitar Hero on the Wii.  It was a great birthday!  It would have been better if Kris didn’t have to work but the weekend’s here so I’ll get some Kris time in then.

I absolutely love seeing my children adore their Uncle Mathias.  By the end of the night Annika was sitting on the floor leaned up against his legs and feet while he sat on the couch.  And when we got home from the restaurant it was Uncle Mathias’ hand that James grabbed and lead upstairs to play trains.  (No fear – Krystle, Grandpa and Pierce all got a turn!)

James had his one week check up yesterday for his arm.  Another set of x-rays were taken and his smaller bone is completely straight again and looks healed.  His bigger bone is still broken pretty good.  He goes back in again in three weeks for another x-ray and if things look good, he gets his cast off then!  Poor guy asked me Wednesday night if he could take it off now.  I told him his arm wasn’t better yet and he seemed satisfied with that.  He’s such a trooper though.  You wouldn’t even know there was anything wrong.  He just adapts to each little obstacle.  Can’t carry a toy with two hands?  He uses one hand and one elbow.  Can’t eat his ice cream or yogurt?  He’s learning how to use his left hand for that.  Running around like crazy?  Don’t need two hands for that!


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Tonight we’re playing outside.  The neighbors in back are playing but since it’s close to bedtime I told Annika she couldn’t go play over there.  She pouts and sulks for a while, occasionally asking, again, if she can go over there and play.  I tell her, again, no, you can not.  Her response?  “You are crushing my life!”  Oh boy.  I am in for it with this girl.

Sleep. Later. Please.

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Can someone please tell my children that anything before 7am is an unacceptable waking time?  And that anything before 6am is really unacceptable?  Annika woke up this morning at 5:13am.  She asked if it was morning, seeing the sunlight streaming through the blinds.  I told her no and to go back to bed.  Luckily she listened and went back to sleep.  James came into our room at 5:31am.  There is no getting James back to sleep once he’s up in the morning.  When I emerged from the bathroom ready for work at 6:20am both children were up and watching cartoons in our room.  They both proceeded to melt down because Mommy was leaving.  (Annika wrapped around my leg, James crying and wiping his nose on my shoulder.  Great.)  I like it so much better when they are sleeping when I leave!  And Kris really likes sleeping past 6, even 7am!

Maybe I need to buy a couple of these and tell them it is not OK to come out of their rooms until the light turns green.  Side benefit?  Teaching Annika how to tell time?