Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Playing Catch-up

I've been meaning to post these videos for weeks. They're of Will and Catie running their respective Beaver Trot races during the annual Beaverdale Fall Festival. I love my children very much but they really don't have grace and speed on their sides.

Don't mind the awful voice of the crazy woman shouting for them. We met her on the street and she insisted on cheering for them while I taped silently. (or something like that) She swears she doesn't sound like that in real life.

Will's sort of in the middle, wearing a dark green, unzipped sweatshirt and dark pants.

Catie's the one in the bright green sweatshirt.

Posts to look forward to:
1) My trip to Chicago to cheer on two of my best high school girlfriends who are running the Chicago Marathon together. Eight of the remaining nine in the group will be there to support them...and definitely NOT run with them. 
2) Will's 6th birthday!

What Did She Say?

Dafruckie By Chicken = Kentucky Fried Chicken

Catie learned a song at school that includes McDonalds, Pizza Hut and "Dafruckie By Chicken". So funny what they come up with when they've never heard the word!

(And really? A song about fast food joints? Weird.)

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Hot Mess

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Catie Cat Goes to School

This is not the portrait of a shy child.

She's never been one to hide behind my legs.

Nor has she ever had a tough time making herself right at home.

She's more of the "don't let the door hit you on the way out" variety.

Monday, August 30, 2010


I am not athletic. As a child I had a short stint in basketball, at which I was allegedly so bad that I felt the need to lie to my parents about my prowess, and I wouldn't have been caught in the lie because- lucky me!- parents weren't allowed to watch...except or the very last game. Where I did NOT live up to my hype. I moved on to t-ball and softball, and while I don't remember a lot about my t-ball days (we wore yellow shirts and named ourselves the Lemondrops, and a cute boy named Levi would come watch sometimes), I do remember some about softball- namely the fact that at the very beginning of the season they tried us at all of the infield positions and then I was settled way out in the outfield. You know why that is, right? Because 7-year-old girls don't hit the ball that far out. In 7th grade I moved to a new school and tried out for the volleyball team. And, oh my goodness, I made the team! Turns out I made the team because I was tall...and that's it. I didn't make it again in 8th grade. I also did a little bit of swimming and had a couple years of dance that didn't turn out too badly because, you see, it's not that I'm not coordinated- I just never really understood the game. My mom wasn't an athlete; my dad wasn't an athlete. We didn't watch football on Sundays or have family games of soccer in the back yard.

I think I could have been a good competitor; while my family is not an athletic people, we do like to win. A lot. We like to win (destroy people) at strategy games (dominoes, spades) and we like to win at grammar and language and spelling. (Yeah, that's a competition. You didn't know that? Ohmygosh, it's horrible to be called out for a spelling mistake! Recently my mom corrected me for saying "lay" where "lie" was needed- mortifying.) We've been accused of always talking about spelling. Which is totally not true- we like to talk about food, too. But I digress...

Dave IS an athlete. He played football and soccer and tennis and baseball. He gets it. And he's good at it. "It" being anything he plays. He's good at sand volleyball and dodgeball even though he's in his mid-30s and doesn't exercise.

So if we were to make a Punnent Square* for athletic ability, with me having the recessive genes (aa) and Dave having the dominant genes (Aa, AA), our kids would have at least a 75% chance of being athletic- possibly 100% if Dave has two dominant genes. Pretty good odds!

Turns out "pretty good" isn't "sure bet". We're pretty sure Will got two recessives. Not that we can say for sure- he's only just started out in his athletic endeavors. He started gymnastics several weeks ago (we really need to work on his core strength!) and just this past Saturday he started playing soccer. We were pleasantly surprised that he did not mope around complaining of being tired. He ran the whole practice. He just ran behind the ball. Way behind the ball. And if he got the ball, he might give it a little kick and that was it.

I do have a little hope. The glimmer of tenacity was there- I totally would have been sitting on the sidelines whining for water. And to be fair, Dave really hasn't worked with him on the game. (It is Dave's job...I can count on one finger the things I know about soccer- kick the ball in the goal.) So there's still hope.

* I started Biology 211 last week. I am SO going to rock the genetics chapters.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

And He's Off!

It doesn't seem like long ago that this guy came into my life.

Such a sweet little guy.

A BIG bundle of adorable.

Oh, wait. That's just a creep with a skeezy moustache.

A big boy with an even bigger vocabulary, who never ceases to amaze me.
(He's about 15 months old in this video)

My baby started kindergarten today.

He was confident, excited, and ready to go. Far more ready to go than I was to let him go. I have to come to terms with the fact that there's now another lady in his life- at least for 35 hours a week.

I know he's going to rock kindergarten. He told me they worked on their shapes today- coloring them. The kid's known his shapes for years. Heck, he quietly debated whether an oyster cracker was an octogon or a hexagon right around age 4...and came to the right conclusion. (I know he's not a super-genius or anything, but a mom's gotta brag once in a while, doesn't she?)

My baby started kindergarten today. He's growing up.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


This past weekend we took a family vacation to the Wisconsin Dells with my mom and dad, as well as my younger sister Christina and my niece and nephew (daughter and son to my older sister Kim) Autumn and Jack. We rented a 3-bedroom condo with a full kitchen and 2 bathrooms at Glacier Canyon (part of the Wilderness Waterpark Resort)- plenty of space for the 9 of us for a couple days!

You may think we're crazy for vacationing with all that family, but there are a couple reasons we do it. 1) My family rocks and is tons of fun and appreciates QAT- Quality Ass Time- and wine and cheese, and 2) All that family around means that we can relax a little on vacation because the family likes to play with our kids. I don't recommend this type of space-sharing if you don't have an awesome family like I do.

I know the Dells has a reputation for being cheesy, but I'll tell you what! It was an ideal place for a vacation with two young kids and two older kids and a bunch of adults who like to act like kids. As a matter of fact, we celebrated my mom's mumblemumbleth birthday at the same place, back when it was quite a bit smaller, because she loves waterparks. We came to the conclusion that anyone who doesn't like waterparks is just plain crazy, and we intend to enjoy them to the fullest until we can't take our wheelchairs up the steps to the slides.

Without further ado, here are some pictures I didn't share on Facebook. Maybe some I did share, too.

At the scenic overlook near The House on the Rock, which totally wasn't scenic

Catie has this awesome little swim she does all by herself, with the help of the swim vest

Action shot!

He is in the air! I'm so glad I caught this expression!

Sunning, swimming, and sliding are hard work

Wow Dave...way to conquer those scary slides!

A group of misfits

Action golf shot

A closer look at what Catie was doing. What WAS she doing?

The whole fam

All tuckered out and on the way home

This was after he barfed 3 times...great car ride home, I tell you.

I hope we can convince the family to go again soon. (hint, hint)

Friday, August 6, 2010

Unclear on the Concept

My friend Rachel, Auntie Rachel to the kids, spent the night with us on the way from Denver to Chicago and got to spend a little time with the kids the evening she arrived. Knowing how the kids love/hate Lady Gaga, she told them this joke-

Q: How do you wake up Lady Gaga?
A: Poker Face.

Dave wasn't home at the time, so Will wanted to be sure to tell him the joke. He got the opportunity the next day when Dave took the kids to the zoo. I went like this-

W: How do you wake up Lady Gaga?
D: How?
W: Poke her in the face!


W: How do you wake up Miley Cyrus?
D: How?
W: Jump on her back!

Then Catie got into it-

C: How do you wake up Justin Beaver? (she's so cute)
D: How?
C: I don't know!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Time for Charm School

"Women probably shouldn't get that big."

-WDB, to my 34-week-pregnant friend who was not moving her belly out of the way of "Toy Story" quickly enough

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Summer Olympics 2024, Here We Come!

There is a young man in our house who has been obsessed, I mean obsessed, with tumbling, cartwheels, flips, headstands, handstands, and general gymnasticry. (You can look it up, but I'm pretty sure it's such a new word you won't find it on dictionary.com.) Our couch gets disassembled daily in order to make mats for softening the blows of intense practice. He hasn't shown much interest in many sports other than gymnastics, so we decided to go ahead and sign him up for classes at a local gymnastics academy for some beginning classes. And since whatever Will does Catie does, we signed her up too.

Those of you who know Will well know that he's not a patient boy. My procrastination paid off this time- I called last week and left a message at the gym, and they called back Monday to get the kids on the roster for Tuesday classes. I only had to listen to the incessant "How many more minutes until gymnastics?" question for fewer than 24 hours.

So they had their first classes today- Will's a Peridot and Catie's an Opal. Will really seemed pretty good, and really enjoyed himself even though he was the only boy in the entire gym and there were LOTS of classes going on. But he listened, followed directions, flipped around the bars, bounced on the trampoline well, and showed his teacher his cartwheels. Here he is in all his giddiness:

Catie has a little more work to do because her core doesn't seem to be quite strong enough (perhaps it's that buddha belly she's toting around?), but all in all she did very well. She was probably more excited about the leotard than the actual class-- our friends Olivia and Ava gave her two! Her first-day portrait:

And for good measure, and since they're so cute, here's the two of them together:

Monday, July 26, 2010

A Recipe (of Sorts)

1) Go to Costco and buy industrial-sized vats of Nutella. (They come in 2-packs, which you may think is overkill at first, but will soon realize they know what they're talking about.)

2) Get out yer container of peanut butter, smooth or crunchy. You decide. (Which, by the way, can be purchased in giganto-sized containers that are 46 ounces. Perfect for children who ask for peanut butter at breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner. And in between. And the mother who may or may not enjoy a peanut  butter spoon- a la Joey Tribiani's peanut butter fingers- on occasion...or more.)

** You may want to designate your own peanut butter and Nutella jars. Stay with me...you'll understand.

3) Standing at the kitchen counter, open both the peanut butter and the Nutella.

4) Take a large spoon out of your drawer. No little pansy spoons.

5) Dip your spoon into the peanut butter like you're getting your own peanut butter spoon. Don't be shy.

6) Dip the same peanut butter spoon into the Nutella, covering the peanut butter.

7) Start licking deliberately, getting Nutella and peanut butter in every lick. Take a second as you swirl it around your tongue. Yeah...that's what I'm talkin' 'bout. It's like the best peanut butter cup you've ever had.

8) If you've designated your own peanut butter and Nutella jars, go ahead and dip again. Double-dipping is no problem when it's your own spit! If you haven't, you'll probably end up making more spoons dirty. It's really about conservation here; it just makes sense to have your own jars.

No need to thank me.

* This recipe is gluten-free and vegetarian. :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Power of Advertising

This morning I was getting ready for Morning Latte*, setting out coffee cups and accoutrements for the coffee. I set out a little dish with some Splenda packets (for my friends who like that poison**) along with sugar, milk, and vanilla coffee syrup. Will came over to the counter, picked up one of the Splenda packets, and said, "I see you're having some zero-calorie sweetener!"

*I've mentioned this in previous posts, but seeing that it's been a looooong time since I've posted, I'll explain: I invite a bunch of friends with kids over for breakfast pastries (code for cake in the morning), coffee, and conversation. We then send the kids off to play whilst we eat, drink, and be merry. It's hard to be me.

**Have I mentioned that I'm definitely going back to school to study nutrition? I have an appointment with an academic advisor in the Food Science and Human Nutrition department of Iowa State next week. I will start with some core science classes at the local community college until Catie starts kindergarten in 2012. Then I can start taking all the upper-level science and nutrition classes at ISU. I am SO stoked!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

New Beginning?

My mom started a blog (which you may or may not want to check out- http://www.iruninjeans.blogspot.com/ - she's a great writer and very funny when not writing about death) which prompted me to check out my old stomping grounds. I started reading and so enjoyed reminiscing about what the kids were up to A YEAR AGO. Seriously? It's been almost a year since I posted here? Anyway, it reminded me of what a great keeper of memories a blog is, even if people (other than our parents and sisters) don't read it.

So what I’m saying is I think I'm going to start again, but I think it might not totally be about the kids. I toyed with starting a whole new blog, but in all reality it’ll probably end up being MOSTLY about the kids, and why mess with a good thing anyway? I don't know...I'm not trying to get published. It's not like I have to state my thesis.

I do think I need to update my header. That old thing is from, what, over 2 years ago? The kids look a little different. Catie has (more) hair. Will (mostly) wears pants (just not always underwear). But of couse they're still super-cute. You can just imagine until you see my new header. Or check Facebook...where all of my blogging time has been directed and current pictures of the kids have been posted. (Ooh! Can I redirect my Facebook addiction to blogging? That would be nice.)