Saturday, August 30, 2008

State Fair Fun

We've been to the state fair three (THREE) times this year! I guess living in the neighborhood has turned us into junkies.

Our most eventful trip brought together seven adults (Angie, Kyle, Court, Joel, Heidi, Amy and Scott) and four toddlers (Rowan, Avery, Maddox and Hunter)! Although we spent most of our time appeasing kiddos and searching for straglers, we had a lot of fun. Here are a few picture highlights:

Courtney, Rowan, Avery and Joel navigate the crowd together.

Rowan milks a cow statue. Weird. Just plain weird.

Avery says "cheese!"

Rowan cops an attitude. "No more pictures, mama!"

It wasn't easy wrangling four toddlers, but we managed
to get a pretty cute picture of them all together!

Thanks for the great time!

Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain picked a woman! How do you feel?

UPDATE 8/30: I couldn't agree more with this Newsweek article. The more I learn about Palin's extremist politics (she supported Pat Buchanan's 2000 presidential run, for goodness sake) and stunning lack of experience ("I haven't really focused much on the war in Iraq," she says), the more freaked out I become. I guess Obama was right on Thursday. McCain just doesn't get it. And I used to think he was a fairly reasonable guy...


Normally, I wouldn't do this. In fact, I probably shouldn't do this. But so many people have asked what I think about McCain's VP choice, that I feel like I have to say something.* I'll keep it short.

About McCain's VP pick, Angie feels:

  1. Underwhelmed: All I really know about Palin other than personal information (five children, former beauty contestant, likes to fish) is that she's been a governor for less than two years and that she's under investigation for possibly firing someone who wouldn't fire her ex-brother-in-law. Not too inspiring.
  2. Insulted: I'm not insulted by the choice itself (I'll leave that to Pawlenty and Romney). I'm insulted by the McCain camp's insistence that Palin appeals to "wounded Clinton supporters." Do they really think that these women will forget about health care, national security and the economy and say, "Look! She has female parts! I'm inspired!" Give women some credit, please.
  3. Nervous: If McCain wins, Palin will be just a heartbeat away from the presidency. The McCain camp says that Palin's total lack of national and international experience doesn't matter, because McCain has ooodles of it. Well, McCain is 72 years old and has had some pretty significant health scares over the past 10 years. Palin would stand a strong chance of inheriting the commander-in-chief role. To me, that's scary. Deer-in-headlights scary.

You might be surprised that there are two things I really like about the pick. Mainly, it takes the GOP's arguments about Obama's experience off the table. Apparently, they don't think experience matters.

I'm also happy that there's no chance Pawlenty will leave us to fend for ourselves with Carol Molnau as governor. That's right, people, Carol Molnau is a woman and I still don't want her to lead our state. Shocking, isn't it?

OK, that's enough. Back to potty learning and goofy Rowan quotes.


*This is my "don't be offended" disclaimer. Those who know me, know that I'm opinionated, but fair. The opinions expressed in this post are mine and mine alone. I don't expect everyone to agree with me, and I enjoy a good-natured debate about the issues. But I don't appreciate being told to forget the issues and become blinded by a person's gender or race or whatever. I become rather annoyed with identity politics and debates over "hot button" issues. I'd rather focus on turning around our economy, improving education and increasing our national security!

Monday, August 25, 2008

On the Shores of Door

Man, were we lousy picture takers during our trip to Door County! No photos of the beach, or the wineries, or the campfires. There's not even a picture of the midnight swim Angie and Courtney (mostly Angie) initiated after drinking Starbucks martinis! (We did wear swimming suits, thank you very much.)

Oh well, we had a fabulous trip with Kyle's family to Wisconsin's thumb. And I suppose some details are best left to memory, although I bet Jason would appreciate having my five-point action plan for landing a wife on DVD. From what I remember, it was pure genius. Good times...

I've compiled a few pics in a slideshow. For more, visit Grandma Connie's blog.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Toilet Tricks Only a Mom Would Attempt

Rowan has a bit of a pooping problem.* The little guy holds it in too long. Then, because he’s afraid to release the monster his poop has become, he fights it even more. It’s a vicious cycle, really.

Although our doctor said that constipation is common in toddlers — especially during potty learning — I decided to take action. We’ve been trying the usual remedies (water, fruit, oatmeal) with some success. But none of that’s very interesting.

So instead, I give you the three stupidest ways I’ve convinced Rowan to poop in the toilet:

  1. Offering Bribes
    Officially, I’m against bribery. Unofficially, I kind of like it because it works. Well…it sort of works.

    My experiment began innocently enough. Rowan was refusing to poop, so I threw him a little incentive. If he pooped in the toilet, he could have a freezie pop. It worked! The lure of an artificially flavored, plastic-encased concoction of corn syrup slush convinced him to set the fighter free!

    But it didn’t take long for Rowan to get smart. "If I don't poop, can I have blueberries instead?” Um... What do I say to that? I mean, I’d rather feed him the blueberries, but the kid’s gotta poop. And for that matter, what are we now negotiating? Treats for pushing it or fruits for holding it? Huh?

    And then he got really smart. He attempted to score treats for burping, farting and spitting on the couch. I explained that pooping in the toilet isn’t the same as performing rude bodily functions on our furniture. His reply? “Well, if I spit in the sink can I have a treat?”


    My current take on bribery is that it only works if you have short-term goals in mind — very short-term goals.

  2. Applying Poop Potion
    I’m not referring to some herbal remedy or traditional cure. Nope, our poop potion is simply a jar of expensive organic moisturizer that I dab on Rowan’s cheek (face, not butt) when he has to poop. (Don’t ask me why I didn’t choose a cheaper placebo like tap water or something.)

    Rowan is as convinced that the potion softens his poop as I am that it softens my skin. I doubt it works in either case, but it makes us feel better. I guess that’s all that matters. Kyle just shakes his head.

  3. "Talking the Poop"
    Super embarrassing and highly effective, “talking the poop” is the practice of giving Rowan’s poop a voice — letting it express its own needs, if you will. (No, I'm not kidding.)

    It all started one evening during a luxurious bubble bath. I had just settled into the tub with a magazine, when Kyle burst through the doorway, holding Rowan at arms-length.

    “Rowan’s gotta poop, and it’s a hard one,” he said, plopping the already grimacing toddler onto his Elmo potty seat. (I know what you’re thinking: “This girl’s life is like a day at the spa!”)

    As soon as Rowan’s butt hit the seat, he began fighting the inevitable. Kyle’s coaching didn’t help. “C’mon, Ro. You’ve got to get that thing out, or it'll just get harder. You can do this!”

    Suddenly, I had a brilliant idea! (Did I mention that I was enjoying a glass of wine during my bath?) We had to make our case in a more child-friendly way!

    To Rowan’s delight and Kyle’s horror, I began talking as though I were Rowan’s poop. (Imagine a cartoonish voice to get the full effect.) “Well, hey there, Rowan! It’s me, your poop. You've gotta push me out, so I can go for a swim!”

    Rowan’s imagination didn’t miss a beat in this little improvisation. “But you’re too hard, poop,” he replied. “And I don’t like the toilet. I want my diaper.”

    “Oh, I don’t want to be all squished up in some stinky diaper,” I said (as the cartoonish poop, in case you’re not getting this). “I want you to set me free!”

    I won’t pain you with further details (this has been painful enough already), but Rowan's poop eventually took a happy trip down the waterslide. “Have a nice swim,” Rowan said as he flushed. “Woo hoo!”

    Then he asked for a freezie pop...

There you go. You now know the three stupidest ways I’ve convinced Rowan to poop in the toilet. So if you’re ever in a Target restroom and hear a well-intentioned young mother talking like a disgruntled poop, cut her some slack. She’s doing the best that she can.


*Rowan: If you're now 16 and reading this, I’m truly sorry for embarrassing you. You have no idea how wrapped up a parent can become in a child’s bodily functions. I promise you’ll understand someday. Love you!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Quotable Rowan

I overheard all of these gems this evening while using the computer in our office:

"Daaaaaad! Get in here and turn the lights on! My pupils are getting way too big from being in this dark room."

"You don't throw things at people — only at robots!"

"Big hyenas are big, but they're scared of big lions because they're, you know, big. And you know, tigers sting because their bodies are big, so they spray out stuff. Big stuff."

"You're a sticky stink bomb."

"I guess I like crazy talk."

Never a dull moment around here.


Sunday, August 17, 2008

Back and Blue

Rowan really said it best:

"Since it's so much fun to be on vacation, why can't we stay on vacation all the time?"

Why indeed? But alas, our sun-filled, water-soaked, family-packed, cherry-jam-fueled trip to Door County is over. We're sad to be back to the old grind, but there's nothing like sleeping in your own bed and using your own bathroom.

I'll post more pictures this week, but here's one of Rowan after a morning of mini golf. You can see by the look on his face that 18 holes proved a bit much for a two-year-old — even a mature 2-year-old like Rowan. Actually, it's Rowan's maturity and verbal skills that make his naughty moments so entertaining.

I give you Rowan's rant after about the sixteenth time I told him that he can't hit everyone's ball into the hole:

"I can't handle this! Don't say that I can, mama, because I can't! I'm so frustrated with waiting! I can't be patient, I really really can't. Taking turns isn't nice, it's boring!"

Why don't you tell me how you really feel, kid?


Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Up North!

We enjoyed a wonderful week at my parents' cabin earlier this summer. Rowan caught his first fish, and Kyle and I spent lots of time relaxing (a good adult-to-child ratio allows for that). Hopefully, we'll get up there again before the snow flies!

Monday, August 4, 2008

The Mom Section

I hate shopping...again.

I'm sorry to rail against the retail industry in yet another post, but I spent yesterday afternoon shopping for swimming suits and bras. Need I say more?

I guess I'll just never get used to shopping in the "mom" section. What's the mom section, you ask? Well, it's that special place in every clothing department designed for women who've had babies and thus value coverage and support — two things that apparently are in direct conflict with cuteness. It's where swimming suits have obnoxious jungle prints and wide, clingy skirts. It's where the bras come in only beige or brown and have straps an inch wide. It's that section you used to see as a teenager and think, "Who on earth would buy that ugly crap?"

I gave up on the swimming suit quest almost immediately. I just wasn’t in a good enough mood to put up with it. I had nearly surrendered my bra quest, too, when I reached Nordstrom intimates. They have great fitters (the gals who measure and manhandle you) and a fairly decent selection of cute bras in a variety of sizes. Oh, and my fitter asked how old I was because she thought I was a teenage mother. Maybe I should have been offended. It made my day.

(Who plans to post about our earlier summer adventures this week. I have to get caught up before we leave for our next vacation this Saturday!)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Baby 4 Sale

Heidi worked today, so Maddox spent the afternoon with us. By the time Kyle arrived home, I was beat, and the boys were covered from head to toe in sand and sweat.

Thankfully, Kyle offered to take over and give me a little break. What a sweetheart! And he even devised a project incorporating letters, numbers, creative art, and economics...

Don't worry, I removed the sign before they received any offers. That kid is so stinkin' cute — with his pinchable cheeks and wispy blonde ringlets — he could have made us a mint!

(Never forget that Uncle Kyle loves you, Maddox. He just has his own special way of showing it.)


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