Weekday Humor

Madeline came running upstairs today screaming and crying, followed by a smugly walking yet quiet Aidan.

"Aidan HIT me!" she shrieked in-between gasping breaths.

"Aidan, it is not okay to hit your sister," I said, calmly, not even bothering to turn around. (Been here, done this...) Madeline immediately stopped her fit and ran back to play with Lily.

"But she wouldn't do what I told her to do," he complained (for the sake of argument).

"Well Aidan, that is not a good reason to hit your sister," I replied.

After a few seconds of silent contemplation Aidan asked: "Well Mom, what would be a good reason to hit my sister?"


FL pictures, Week 2

First up, GiGi's house

My grandma and I with the kids

A happy Great-Grandma!

DiDi (my Aunt Diane) singing and dancing with Liam

We stopped for special yogurt treats in Orlando with my cousin Warren and his wife Karly

Next up: JoJo's house

Left to Right: Caroline, Madeline, Aidan, Lily, Jonathan and Jordan

My cousin Johanna and me

Sour Grapes: A visit to a Florida vineyard

The man with the plan: my father carries all the grapes we picked. He grew up thinking these scuppernong grapes were a real treat. Although I have to admit, they will not be making it into our shopping cart any time soon (or, um, EVER), at the very least, picking them was pretty cool. Of course, after our friend's warning ("Watch where the kids stand. We've had a real fire ant problem this year.") the image of Eddie Murphy doing his First Black President skit kept dancing through my head as I kept reminding the kids to keep their little feet moving.

A rare sighting: Kurt OUTSIDE in the Florida heat (taken right before he retreated back to the air conditioned car)

Although we were at a the vineyard to pick grapes, the kids found the Tilapia (and mosquito breeding) pond far more interesting. Here they are looking for tadpoles and other such things with Grandma.

Lily, looking a wee bit lost on the other side of the pond

Ahhh, cooling off with Uncle Wesley again

Jonathan and Lily showing their moves (they started struttin' their stuff while watching the movie Eloise)

Kurt and my brother Wes sit for one last photo shoot before we have to say our good-byes

And thus we come to the end of this year's Florida visit. Though I'll admit we complained too much about the FL heat, we are truly fortunate to have experienced it since currently MN temperatures are topping out in the 60s! (Yes, in AUGUST!) We will look back even more fondly come January...at which point we will wonder why we ever left.


FL Trip, in Pictures, Week One

Florida Fun

Lily next to Aunt Jill



(Ok, not so much fun this round....he jumped in face first and came up with a bloody nose but he had a great time otherwise!)

Aidan with Ian (cousin)

Jonathan (cousin) complete with waterproof cast

Our only trip to the beach, which ended after about 15 minutes due to a 6 year old who couldn't handle salt-water in his wound...and his mother who had a random visual disturbance....Short and sweet, just the way a beach day ought to be!

Shoes make any amount of sand in the sun bearable! (Also why I can NEVER find my shoes where I left them!)

"Hmmm, what would make an inner tube around the body even better?...."

"Well duh, SHOES of course!"

Seen in grandma's backyard....
Kidding of course! This baby was sunbathing securely behind a big fence at the Melbourne Zoo. But it is why Madeline started having nightmares about alligators eating her arms off....(Of course I probably didn't need to pretend to eat her with one of Jonathan's model gators later the same day....my bad! Who'd've known it would have such an effect though, really!)

Liam trying to pet the bird on Grandma's shoulder

Jonathan and Aidan feed the friendly birds in the atrium

The overly friendly bird surprising Aidan with a little visit to the shoulder during feeding time

Aidan feeding the bird (after recovering from his shock!)

Grandma and Liam at the splash pool (still at the Melbourne Zoo)

What better way to cool off after the Zoo then to swim with Uncle Wesley!

The Cousins after a fun-filled day
Left to right: Liam, Lily, Evelyn, Madeline, Jonathan; In front: Ian and Aidan

What could be better than one person (my sister-in-law Jill) standing on someone's (my brother Andrew) shoulders?....

....Two people on his shoulders! (I'm smiling because I am so happy to be the one on top!)

One of the half dozen or so lizards I caught for the kids....or, as Lily calls them: "Grandma's pets"

Another fun day was had by all!


FL Recap

Random Fact: There is a town in Alaska named Chicken (named this because of the abundance of ptarmigan and after much disagreement on how to officially spell that, they settled on Chicken, to avoid embarrassment....because, living in Chicken, Alaska is much less embarrassing!) It has a population of 17. And each year, for the past three years, they have held the Chickenstock Music Festival. (Hey, I am not making this up!) And one day, if my kids stay on track, I may just ship them all there!

We are back in Minnesota after two and a half weeks in Florida visiting friends and family. We are happy to be back in the 70-degree and practically mosquito-less weather (this has been a very mild summer here in MN to say the least!) and I will very quickly recap our trip for my avid readers.

1. We arrived.
2. We sweated, a lot.
3. We got eaten by mosquitoes big enough to be living in a zoo.
4. We swam, and swam, and swam.
5. We sweated some more, which made our bites itch.
6. We complained about our skin melting, as we watched the peahens and peacocks walk through the grass and noted the cactus wall growing in the yard across the street.
7. We visited with old friends and family while scratching and melting.
8. We swam some more.
9. We watched some crabs succumb to their death in a pot of boiling water. The kids ate them with ketchup.
10. We left.

It was a very uneventful trip actually but there were a couple conversations that I feel are blog-worthy.

One day after Kurt arrived, we decided to take all the kids out to breakfast at the Blueberry Muffin (a personal favorite.) Kurt and I sat with Lily while my parents had Aidan, Madeline, Lily and cousin Jonathan at their table. In the course of the breakfast, Kurt started asking the kids about their favorite players on the Steelers.

Aidan knew right away: "Troy Polamalu!" he said excitedly.

"And there's Hines Ward and Ben Roethlisberger and Santonio Holmes and..." we went on.

Lily chimed in: "And there's Turkey."

Um, sure Lily. Whatever you say. We just laughed. So then Kurt starts telling Lily all the various nicknames on the team.

"They call Polamalu the Tasmanian Devil, and Roethlisberger is called Big Ben because he is so tall and when Jerome Bettis played, they called him The Bus and..."

"Well, what is Turkey's nickname?" Lily asked.

"Uh, isn't it just Turkey?"

"No. It's Chickenwing," she assured us.

You just wait and see. The Steeler known as Turkey (but called Chickenwing) is VERY intimidating!


The other conversation took place in the car. The kids were talking about what they wanted to be when they grow up.

"Mom, can we be two things when we are adults?" Madeline asked.

"Sure, Madeline," I said.

"Then I'm going to be a princess and a ballerina," Madeline said.

"And I'm going to be a fireman, or a police car, or a dump truck," Jonathan said.

"Well, I'm going to be a princess and a Transformer," Lily said.

"Lily, you can't be a Transformer," Aidan, our know-it-all, chimed in. "Transformers are not even real."

Because, you know, you can be a dump truck.

(Stay tuned for the trip recapped in pictures.)


Florida 2009

I have been asked recently why there is a silence on the blog. The short answer is that we are in Florida. And nothing noteworthy has happened, well, unless you count the stomach bug following us here with my mother and brother sick for the first several days (picture me on my knees praying incessantly that this is OUR friendly virus, whom we love and hold dear, and not some new virus that we will have the honor of entertaining); oh and my nephew breaking his arm in two places within the first 24 hours of rough-housing with Aidan and my brother. But really, you can rest assured that I will write when the story presents itself as I am sure it will. It always does. (Especially in Florida....)