Friday, March 28, 2008

Amber Alert

A few weeks ago, as Wayne and I were driving home from work, we saw that there was an Amber alert on one of the highway signs over the road we were driving on. It said that a girl had been abducted, and gave a very detailed description of the vehicle she was taken in, license plate included.

By the time we turned on the news that evening the lead story was that the perpetrator had been caught: story on next after the break.

"Good," I thought, "I hope they put that perp in jail."

Then the story came on, and the photo of the suspect was the spitting image of the girl who had been abducted.

It was the girl's noncustodial mother. She had just lost her custody battle the previous week.

Granted, the mom is all of 19 years old, meaning that she would have been 15 when she had her daughter. I'm sure there are all kinds of reasons why she was not awarded custody. But it still makes me sad that the mother felt impelled to steal her daughter, and that the 4-year-old now thinks her mommy's a criminal. Maybe she is, but it's still sad.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Winter Days

We are truly TRULY looking forward to spring. We got more snow this past weekend (Easter weekend) than we'd gotten in several weeks. The only good thing about it this time is that it was warm enough to actually go out and play in it, and we were actually home to enjoy it. So many times we've had perfect snowman making weather during the week, when we're all at school and work, and it's too dark by the time we get home to make one. So I was happy to be able to make one with Lindsey on Saturday. It lasted all of about 10 hours -- it was melting and falling sideways by 6 pm.

Can you tell which photo is from last winter, and which is from THIS winter? I can't believe we found that same snowman kit with all the snowman making trimmings.

We awoke Easter morning to even MORE snow, still in the 30-degree range. Great packing snow for a snowball fight! And that's promptly what we did, until I accidentally hit Lindsey in the face. (I meant for her back, but she turned around.)

I'm including this photo of the two girls reading books because I think it's so sweet.

Swimsuits in March

This is what happens when winter goes on...and on...and on...

Last weekend we went to Wisconsin Dells to spend some time with my side of the family. We stayed at a hotel that had a pool and knew we'd have to break out the swimsuits. We weren't quite sure if they fit from last summer (sure enough, Marissa's didn't but Lindsey's did). We ultimately ended up settling on two matching swimsuits. I had bought both of them for Lindsey last year, not sure which one she would fit into. It turns out that the best fit was for Lindsey to wear the 3T bottoms and the 4T top, and Marissa fit best into the 4T bottoms and the 3T top. So this was the photo at the end of the fitting session, when we finally decided on who was wearing what. They wore their mittens because they were cold.

Remember that post about "Baby got Back?" Proof positive.

After these photos were taken we ended up somehow in a game of naked potato sack racing around the house. I have pictures of that too but am not posting them.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Geek in training

On Thursday of last week Wayne's nephew and fiancee watched our girls for the day instead of our having to take them to daycare. (Truly, what 19-year-olds do you know of ASK to watch toddlers/pre-schoolers while on their spring break?)

We got home and ordered a pizza for everyone (we spare no expense, no frozen stuff for them!) and Trav and E told us about the day.

E told us she was creating a connect-the-dots picture for Lindsey to connect all the dots on and make. She didn't realize that Lindsey was going to count all of the dots as she drew between them. Lindsey counted to 33.

I couldn't believe it. Wow! We have an official geek in training, I'm so proud.

Who cut the cheese??

This past weekend we had a lovely time in Wisconsin Dells visiting with my side of the family. Marissa and her cousin Paulie are very close in age, just two weeks apart. While you would think that would make them the best of pals, the girl/boy thing has already intervened -- Paulie cannot be separated from his cars, Marissa wants her dollies.

Once over the weekend my mom thought she smelled something poopy and asked Marissa if she had a poop in his pants. Marissa replied, "No." Then my mom asked, "Paulie, do you have a poop?"

Paulie replied, "No, she do," and pointed to Marissa.

Boy it starts early, doesn't it?

Apparently no one cut the cheese. At one under three.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

"Family Day" at the MIA

Once a month or so the Minneapolis Institute of Arts has "family day" and we finally took advantage today for the first time ever. It's a time when they have special kid functions throughout the museum that play in to the latest exhibit. Today the theme was "Cherry Blossoms and Cranes" and the focus was on Japanese art. You could watch a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, try your hand at folding origami and try to paint Japanese characters (our two did the latter).

With Marissa being partially potty trained and we not wanting to take a step backwards, she wore underwear today to the museum. I kid you not, I saw the inside of every bathroom on every floor that we visited. I believe we visited a bathroom a total of 5 times in the 1 1/2 hours we were there. I saw more toilets and sinks than I saw art.

It's not like you're going to say to her, "Marissa, I know you don't really need to go, you just want to play in the sink and see another bathroom." She would retaliate by looking you right in the face and peeing her pants right then and there, however little liquid she could conjure up. So off we traipsed at every request to find a bathroom to have her put two drops in the toilet.

The wide open spaces everywhere were very tempting to Lindsey and Marissa, who felt the need to race each other up and down every corridor, and play "peek a boo" around pedestals of scuptures.

Who knew that family day involved having three different security guards tell us that our kids need to "slow down?" Even at full speed they are barely doing a fast walk. And..ummm...isn't it family day? Who the hell cares? Everything's behind glass anyway, it's not like they're going to knock something over.

I want my kids to be comfortable in places like museums and libraries, but I think they are a few years off from visiting. Perhaps if I took Lindsey on her own she would behave herself better, but the two of them egg each other on.

I'm exhausted.

Baby Got Back

We've been in the process of potty training Marissa of late. She's been doing pretty good, she's been wearing underwear for two weeks to KinderKare now, though she clearly does not like pooping on the potty and that has led to some issues. She's wearing a pull-up or diapers during naptime and night time, but she's getting there.

The interesting part about going through this experience with Marissa as opposed to Lindsey is that Marissa is MUCH more easy going and with a big sister leading the way, she's very interested in getting rid of her diapers.

Another interesting part is that when we were potty training Lindsey you could always tell when she was wearing pull-ups, diapers or underwear. Her butt was so petite that it was always obvious when it wasn't covered with a thick, bulky diaper.

Marissa, on the other hand...well, this baby's got back.

Wayne almost put her down for her nap today in underwear because you can't tell by the size of her butt if she's got a pull-up on or not. She and Lindsey are both wearing the same size underwear -- 4T.

Gotta love that baby!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

My Self Help Group

Around 3:00 this afternoon, I had a vision of myself at a self-help group:

Me [Standing in front of a room of people]: Hi, my name's Jenny.

Group [In Unison]: Hi Jenny!

Me: This afternoon I ate a whole box of Girl Scout cookies in one sitting.

Group: Oooo! So sorry.

Me: I resolve to NOT eat an entire box of Girl Scout cookies tomorrow.

Group [Various calls of encouragement]: Take it one day at a time. We're here to support you!

Me: Okay, maybe just one cookie...

Group: No! Don't do it!

And in case you are wondering, there are 1,125 calories in a box of Tag-a-longs.

My and my treadmill are going to be getting along famously tomorrow.

"Neighboring," the Verb

Last Friday night we had our neighbor Marilyn over for dinner. She has lived in her home here on Ewing for over 50 years and is a wonderfully spry and generous soul.

We had lots of fun visiting, and she brought over ice cream sundae makings which the girls thoroughly enjoyed. She shared with us that she had been a "soda jerk" back in the day, and obviously had not lost her touch! She even provided her own classic ice cream soda glasses!

We also learned another new word from her -- "neighboring" as a verb. She would say something like, "They were so good at neighboring!" And by that she meant that they were wonderful neighbors.

Here are a couple of photos of the girls making ice cream sundaes with Marilyn.

It was lots of fun, we'll have to do it again some time soon!

Sunday, March 02, 2008

New Neighbors

As you may know from previous blogs, we had some riff raff in the neighborhood previously. While we begrudgingly spent time with them because our children seemed to like their offspring, they were too low brow and blue collar for our neighborhood.

Thankfully they moved away...far, far away, and we've finally got some pedigree in the neighborhood.

The people who moved into their home are the kind of people that we are proud to call neighbors. The husband is the newly appointed executive director of the James Sewell Ballet Company. They always park in their garage, never on the street, and the home already has the nice and tidy appearance of people who don't have those darn offspring around, messing up the crisp snow by making pesky snowmen and forts.

I know that that low-brow lady who moved out reads my blog...and I'm sure she takes this posting in the spirit in which it is meant: we miss you guys!