Saturday, August 27, 2011

For my sister Elsha

Dear Mom,
We've been having a marvelous time here in Denver! We've been super-busy laying sod (thanks, guys in the background!), watering the garden (thanks kids!), exploring who knows what (???), showing off our cleavage (wrong kind!), splashing down in the pool (aunt Kirsta's Best Idea Ever), munching on ice cream (after the world's finest dinner of flank steak and grilled peaches), enjoying a nice evening fire (albeit a little smokey), and generally having the best time with each other. We didn't do those awesome things we thought we might, like the splash park or the Children's Museum, but we were EXHAUSTED from keeping each other up until 10:00 last night laughing and squealing, then waking each other up at 6:15 to play peek-a-boo. Naps were more necessary than field trips. Besides, who needs a field trip with buddies like these?

video

Anyway, mom, we love you and we'll see you tomorrow! Sleep in while you can :)

Love, Missy and Buster

Thursday, August 25, 2011

video
Patrick decided to put on a bit of a show for me, Eli and his friend Michael who was over. I especially liked how he got our attention at the beginning :) He likes to sing Sweet Caroline (those 2 lines that he sorta knows) to Caroline to get her up from her naps. What a sweet brother, I can't imagine the singing will last for too long.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Weekenders

Friday was ridiculously busy. I decided I'd do 10 wheelbarrows full of rocks to keep some momentum going on the yard, and on my 9th wheelbarrow the missionaries showed up again! So for 3 hours straight I shoveled rocks, much to my back/arms'/legs' dismay, but the backyard LOVED it, and is nearly finished! In the evening we went to Golden to pick up Joe from his job site - he was taking the kids to Craig straight from work so as not to get an even LATER start on the drive. First, though, he was hungry so we got Burger King together and Patrick ate an entire hamburger and we were VERY impressed. They left at 7:30, giving me time to get to a stamping party back in Thornton, which I had to leave early to get back to my house where my BIL was getting in after a long drive. WHEW! Crazy, crazy, especially when MOST of our days consist simply of playing on the floor/reading books/fighting over the hose/bug hunting in the backyard.

Joe took the kids to his parents' house for a weekend visit, so I had Saturday all to myself! I stayed up 'til 1 a.m., slept until 10 a.m., then scrapbooked and canned in between (pickles and pinto beans). My BIL Brian happened to be in town, so he stayed at the house and it was MUCH less creepy during the nights, since the house wasn't empty! So that was awesome. Plus, he's awesome to chat with, and we chatted a lot while I scrapbooked and canned. Truth be told, I haven't missed the kids, it has been quiet but I know they're coming back soon so there's no reason to get mopey or sentimental. A number of times I've caught myself thinking "shoot, gotta be quiet! You'll wake up the kids!;" it really just seems like they're off napping and will wake up any minute. So they'll be back later and life will be back to normal but for now I'm enjoying my weekend breather. Thanks, Joe!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Patrick

We had another GREAT time at the Pirate Park this week - we called Joe's grandma to come along, since she lives so stinkin' close, and she made us SO glad we called because she took us out to lunch afterwards! Country Buffet. We were 1 of 2 families in the entire restaurant that included people under the age of 55. The arrival of lunchtime was hastened by Patrick doing a swan dive off the fake mountain onto the fake ground (well, it really was the ground, but the surface is recycled rubber, so it's not REAL ground, like dirt) and getting the kind of goose egg that goose eggs are named after. It was huge! Swelled right off his head, black and blue with a rasberry in the middle. By the time we got home it had calmed down to this (on his upper right side, the shiny spot is actually dimension, it was still a bit raised)... Hardly photo-worthy, but we gave it a shot. THIS was photo-worthy, though - After lunch Joe's grandma handed me a stack of pictures of Joe, from cute li'l tyke to high school senior (and all the awkward stuff in between). That was Joe at age 4. They have the same haircut!

Monday, August 15, 2011

I almost shot at the missionaries

Last week I came home from the gym with the kids, all sweaty and gross, and I was getting them fed for naps so I could go shower. In the middle of our lunch Patrick asked, "who's in our backyard?" He asked so innocently it didn't occur to me to freak out until I am fully STARING at the STRANGER in the backyard who is not simply checking a meter or something! I mean, he's not LEAVING! So I began to panic until Mr. Total Stranger turned to the side and I recognized him - a missionary! His companion was just around the shed. Whew.... things were about to get crazy, we DO keep guns in the house. (Am I serious or not? hard to tell... don't show up in my backyard unannounced!!)

I remembered I had jokingly recommended they could help us pull weeds in our overgrown backyard, and apparently you don't joke with the elders - they take you seriously. They hopped the fence using a ladder from the house getting painted next door (note: none of the painters who lent the ladder seemed phased at all that two high-school-age-looking guys are jumping the fence next door) and got to work, using gloves and shovels and rakes and even our string trimmer (until they ran out of string). It already looked great by the time I saw them, they had been hard at work while I was hard at working out, and with a couple hours of my labor combined with their it looked AWESOME.

We've cleared the backyard of weeds a couple times but never so thoroughly, and it would be a SHAME to let those efforts go to waste, so we took advantage. We bought some rocks. We bought 15 tons of rocks, to be exact, plus 2,000 square feet of ground cover cloth and 2 jumbo-size bags of ground sterilizer, just to be safe. We're maybe 1/3 of the way done with the rocks, but that wasn't the hard part. The missionaries did the hard part, which was to jump the fence and get STARTED. The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step(ladder). Joe laying the fabric down. Rocks on the driveway, so we're all parked on the street (thankfully not stuck in the garage!). Patrick and Eli like to sit at the top and be kings of all they survey, a la Yertle the Turtle.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Children's Museum

Last year my friend Jeanette lent us a guest pass to the Children's museum - Patrick had a blast, and Eli, while a little too young to have a blast, per say, sure enjoyed himself. I was finally scrapbooking pictures of that trip the other night and I realised how much MORE they would enjoy the museum now that they're bigger, and even Caroline could get in on the action since she crawls and cruises (you read that, CRUISES. On furniture and stuff. It's freaky). So I consulted Joe, it happened to be a Wednesday afternoon, so I took the kids, bought a family pass, and Joe met us there for an evening of fun. I hardly took any pictures, I figure we'll be all over that place like flies on stink this year. PLENTY of opportunity for candids. But this is what I got. Shrimp boat cap'ns, and one railroad engineer. The other two promptly threw their caps on the floor.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pirate Park

Can't believe we've lived here two years and never been to (or heard of!) the Pirate Park. It is literally 1/4 mile from Joe's grandma's house, and we've been THERE tons of times! We're heading into the traditionally hottest few weeks of the summer, though, so I think we might be back soon. The kids had a GREAT time - not just because the park was fun but also we were there with all their friends and, of course, they mooched snacks/toys/shade spots off random people and made NEW friends. They all loved it, and I couldn't believe how much Eli got into it - he loves baths but avoids getting in the pool, but not today! He was soaking wet with the rest of them.I love how easy it is to take pictures with Caroline :)

Thursday, August 4, 2011

How does your garden grow?

Zucchinis are super-duper easy to grow and you'll always get more than you bargained for. I figured I'd plant 7 plants and see where that got me - a lot of veggies, a lot of friends, and a lot of help in the garden. Here's Eli watering. And Eli falling in. When it's time for picking they also love to be involved - they knock on each one (like a watermelon) to make sure it's good. These are the first of our harvest, and they're beauties! Let me know if you'd like some, I'll have lots to spare in the next month or two :)

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

My kids = freedom, unstoppable, and French

Caroline is growing so stinking fast! Not only did she learn to crawl this week, she also learned how to pull herself to standing on a vertical surface! She's great at getting onto her feet on short things, like my back while I am laying face-first in a messy living room trying to pretend I'm not alive, but she's not exactly "up" - she's leaned over me on her feet. But today I came to collect her from her nap and she was standing at the crib rails! I am not prepared for this girl, she's advancing much too quickly for my taste. Not only that, yesterday she got not one but TWO teeth! In a single day! They must be coming in somewhat crooked because although they're the two bottom middle teeth they appear sharp and pointy. If she truly has sharp, pointy bottom teeth I think she might secretly be a vampire. Due to her two new teeth and, primarily, her horrible nursing habits like biting, jumping/kicking, and doing anything BUT nursing while nursing, she is also newly weaned. Hooray! For the first time in (wait for it).... FOUR AND A HALF YEARS I have my body all to myself. I'm not nursing and I'm not pregnant and I LIKE IT. Eli is also giving me a serious run for my money. While on the reunion in Estes he discovered he could escape the pack-n-play. While he had the escape figured out, he couldn't seem to figure out how to STAY IN bed - he was ridiculously tired and WANTED to go to sleep, but it's like the pack-n-play wouldn't LET him go to sleep because it LET him escape! Trauma, trauma. Fortunately this happened the last night or so we were there, and we were relieved to get back home to his crib. Well, there actually wasn't a crib waiting here for him because we stole it for Caroline, but that's another story... but anyway, we had a crib for him by Monday night and he slept like a charm. I think the escape bug bit him, though, and by the end of the week he figured out how to escape his crib and would waltz down the stairs any time of day or night. We were back to the trouble of not sleeping because "escape" was such an allure. So we headed to Lowe's. He has a sleigh-style crib with the headboard and foot board taller than the sides, so I got two 1x2's the length of the crib and screwed them in place to the height of the headboard. It added about 10 extra inches to the sides (I split the difference with the rails so there's no way to get his hear stuck or anything), a seemingly inescapable fortress of a crib! It held him for exactly one nap and one bedtime, but this morning he waltzed down the stairs while I was getting Caroline her breakfast. To sum Eli up in one word: UNSTOPPABLE. Patrick is good, as always, and verbally keeps me on my toes (thank goodness not physically because I'm worn out by the other two). While making French toast for breakfast on Sunday I was explaining that people live in lots of places and speak lots of languages. It was a little hard to explain without a map handy, but I did my best. Anyway, people who live across the ocean in a place called France are known as French people, they speak a language called French, and they make this special kind of breakfast that we like so we call it "French toast." Me: "Patrick, did you know I can speak French?" Patrick: "Sure, mom. Me, too! See.... FRENCH."