Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Bye, Bye, Daddy! Video

It's taken me several months to find the time to post's a video that the kids and I made Rob for his birthday. Nothing fancy, but it was fun. Every day when Rob leaves for work, he gives the kids a breath mint and then they climb up to the window to wave goodbye. I decided to document these morning departures for a whole's the result (you'll want to pause the music player below if you haven't already):

ROCK-A-Bye Baby

If you were to wander by our house around 7:30 p.m. on any given evening - and the windows happened to be open - you would hear this unusual argument going on:

Jake: King Kong!
Me: Curious George!

Jake: King Kong!

Me and Haley: Curious George!

Jake: King Kong!

Etc., etc., ad nauseum...

Ever since I weaned Jake a few months ago, we've had to establish a new bedtime routine. Somehow the only consistently effective method we could come up with was to dance him to sleep in our arms. Sometimes he'll tolerate me singing the Pie Song from the Waitress soundtrack (see our music list below), but who could stand that for very long? The Curious George soundtrack is something we've played over and over since he was born, as he seemed to prefer the faster and more upbeat songs to traditional lullabies. This still works great, but "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown" is one that Rob just happens to like and Jake started requesting. It took us a few days to figure out that "King Kong" really is mentioned in the song a few times and that's what he meant.

The other day I sorted our I-Tunes library by the "play count" column, and this is what I saw:
Bad, Bad, Leroy Brown - 217

Upside Down - 98

Broken - 94

People Watching - 91

Wrong Turn - 85

You can see who usually wins the above argument...the rest of the songs are the first 4 on the Curious George soundtrack. Fortunately he's usually out by the end of the second song. Soon we'll get to work on weaning him from the dancing, but for now we're content to have him drift off to sleep in our arms, dreaming about junkyard dogs and mischievous monkeys.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

28 Days of Snow Left To Go

For the past few years Haley and I have made a "Springtime Countdown Calendar" - it helps to think there are only 6 weeks until thaw, then 5, then only a month, etc. Now we're down to 28 days...I can survive another month of snow, I suppose. It's not exactly scientific, we just look on to see when the average daily highs stay in the upper 30's - which is not until late March around here. So we cross off the days and dream about what we're going to plant in the garden this year. The other day it warmed up to a balmy 27 and Rob shoveled all the snow off the deck. The kids played in the sun and were hopping-up-and-down excited to get to ride their bikes. All you ex-North Dakotans had better be enjoying your mild winters!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Once Upon A Valentine's Day

I know it's passed, but I couldn't skip over Valentine's Day, especially this year. It was on Valentine's Day 10 years ago that the romance between Rob and I began. Until then we had just been friends (as far as I was concerned), but he wrote a very beautiful and rather bold Valentine's Day card to me. I remember sitting down to read it in one of my psychology classes, and I couldn't quite believe what I was reading. Here we are ten years later, and I've been grateful every day since that he took that chance. I'll type what he wrote below; seriously, who couldn't fall for that?!

Valentine's Day, 1998:

It's a rare thing to meet someone you could love, rarer still that they could love you. So often, afraid of failing, we fail to try, and in so doing, seal upon ourselves the very thing we feared. I don't want to frighten you away with my words, for if friendship is all you can offer, I gladly accept. Still, on St. Valentine's day the heart gains license to hope, and today I find mine hoping for you. -Robert

This year we actually got to go out on a date, thanks to a generous offer from our friends Jen and Marc, who babysat. The kids adore them and I only worried a teeny bit about how Jake would do. In truth, I don't think he even noticed we were gone.

Before we went out, we had a pink and red dinner - with a heart-shaped Papa Murphy's pizza of course - and exchanged gifts. Rob completely surprised me by having the setting fixed on my engagement ring, which I hadn't been able to wear for 6 months because the stone had fallen out. Such a romantic!

Haley and I made cupcakes for her preschool class - her first school Valentine exchange!

What About Bob?


Our blog is very kid-centric, which would make sense to the kids themselves who believe the world does in fact revolve around them. But we exist too! And occasionally we even have interesting things happen in our lives. For instance, on Super Tuesday Rob had the opportunity to provide the election night commentary on our local ABC affiliate. Haley and Jake were SO excited to see their daddy on TV, and it led to some interesting questions from Haley:

"What color will he be? Like, will he be normal, or look like those pictures?" (Pointing to the black and white photos on the wall.)

"Is that really our daddy or did they make him?" (We've been discussing cartoons versus reality recently.)

"Where is that room he's in? I want to go to that room!"

Click below to watch him, you might have to click twice. It's kind of long (they had several clips throughout the evening and a follow-up the next day), but his mom would not be happy with me if I didn't post it all!

Besides the kids and I, Rob counts as his most precious possessions his revolving collection of guitars. The Taylor 614 CE; Taylor 555 (12-string); Taylor T5 (electric/acoustic hybrid); Fender Mustang; Paul Reed Smith Soapbar SE; and his old Washburn D68 SW. That's the current inventory, not counting a few thrift-shop finds and the children's own guitars. The amps, PA, and recording gear are a whole other story. He loves to find old gear at pawn shops and thrift stores, which he sells on E-bay to feed his habit. When he's not busy shopping for or trading guitars, he blesses us with his musical talents. Haley and Jake love to sing and dance with him, getting us closer and closer to Rob's vision of us as a 21st-century Partridge Family.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Silver Lining

I've complained a lot about our climate this past month, and for that I apologize. Please excuse my whining. So I thought I would post a few of the positives that I've noticed about our weather lately:

Instant cool-down: Hot drinks and foods can be rapidly cooled down by setting them outside for a minute or two. For instance, Haley and I were having a "car picnic" the other day, and my Wendy's chili was too hot. I opened the car door, set it outside, and a few minutes later it was the perfect temperature. Works great for the kids' hot chocolates too.

Ice at the ready: If you ever run out of ice in the freezer, you can simply scrape some from the 1/4-inch sheets forming on the INSIDES of the windows. Usually only present at 10 or more below, though. (And no, I've never actually done that.)

No-aroma garbage: Who needs expensive, stench-blocking bags for soiled diapers? Ours freeze solid not long after being deposited in the garbage can in the garage, leaving little lingering scent.

Non-cheesey sippy cups: Admit it, you've all lost a sippy cup filled with whole milk in the car at some point, only to find it weeks later in a nasty stage of curdling. During the cold months here, ours just freeze and stay frozen when forgotten in the car. They roll around a lot, but aren't terribly unpleasant to clean out.

Lastly, the sun dogs: These are beautiful, if you haven't seen them. Kind of partial rainbows on either side of the sun, that are often visible on clear days. I'll see if I can capture a picture of them sometime.
Update 2/19 - Rob took this picture today. It was so beautiful I called him from the car and asked him to go outside from work and take a picture. I've never seen one so full before, almost a complete circle.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Sledding & Snoozing

This weekend an amazing coincidence occurred - on Saturday afternoon we had no obligations, none of us were sick, and it was above zero (barely). We decided to take advantage of this rare set of circumstances and take the kids sledding for the first time this year. We drove down the road to our favortie spot, only to realize that they were holding the city's annual Cardboard Box Sled Event right on our usual hill. It was fun to watch, with decorated cardboard boxes flying down the slope, some coming apart as they went.

After watching for a few moments, we got back in the car and headed down the road to another hill. By this time Jake was sound asleep in the car, so we parked and took turns sledding with Haley. At first she was nervous, but before too long she was flying down on her own from the top of the hill. Jake missed out on the whole thing, but hopefully it won't be too long before we can do it again.