Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Paging Dr. Samuel

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Sam got a hold of big brother's stethoscope AND figured out how to put it on himself. So Proud!

Now if only he could fix my back, we could tell Sam wanted to be my Doctor so he could fix me, just like big brother tries to do. My back was acting up so fiercely after our morning lot visit to see "The Guys" pour concrete to our foundation walls that I had to call Eric to come home and relieve me, so I could drug up and go to bed. God Bless my wonderful husband!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Hundred Acres (without Pooh)

242/365

Today we checked out a new park, the Hundred Acres at the Art Museum. It's a nifty walk through the woods, sprinkled with modern sculpture. The gravel paths didn't exactly lend themselves to stroller travel, but the elder kids could've cared less.
Chris told me as we drove, that he needed to Run because it "would make him happy."

I think it did.

But packing up, providing for a picnic, took their toll on my spine, now it's late, and I can't think too clearly. Personally, only two things were missing from this nifty park, Picnic tables, and Pooh.

Top Twelve pics (sorry I just couldn't narrow it down. ;) )

1. Friend let friend play basketball. Chris and Emily got a good start running wild around this sculpture that's right in the parking lot!



2. "Look into my eyes. Which one? Both." Yeah, name that movie. There was this nifty slide looking bench thing, but Chris FREAKED OUT when I set him on it, wouldn't let go...for dear life. Barely talked him down.



3. Deep thought Sam. Or Sam checking out Kathleen being silly, while Mommy tries to take a picture of him. Hot Fuss didn't really like being up that high either.



4. Gimme 5. Funky Bones is the name of this skeleton sculpture of wood and fiberglass, but you can't see it's a skeleton until you look down on it. Just the right height for kids to climb on!



5. Bony Brothers. Chris and Sam be sweet after playing around the Funky Bones sculpture.



6. The Boat. This multimedia sculpture was neat. Kind of spooky to listen too, and the kids were Desperate to get in the Guard House, or go out to the boat, but cool.



7. The Pier. This crazy pier, was another sculpture, not sure what it was made of, but not wood, and not steel, and not meant for strollers. But the kids had a neat time walking around on it. They liked looking at the island. Indianapolis Island. It's a sculpture that a couple art students LIVED in this summer, they'll be having other students stay for the next couple summers, and though it looks like they are growing a garden, we saw no inhabitants.



8. Chris on Rock. See, we can make our own Art!



9. Dee! Sam has learned how to say 'cheese' for the camera. Though he sees the camera and yells Dee! But he gives me the sweetest grins.



10. Full Circle. We started our trip by stopping at this sculpture, the first in the park, and discussing how at the summer solstice these rings lined up to make a shadow of just one ring. Everybody sees a little something different. The kids just wanted to play in the weedless field. Eric says it looks like the Stargate is about to beam them up.




11. Picnic Time! You know us, we can't go anywhere without packing a picnic lunch. ;) The weather started out perfect, a gently breeze in the warm air, but it was like 99.9% humidity, gross without rain, and when the sun got us, it started to get downright toasty. But the kids ate in spite of being hot, and then played around a little bit.



12. Last Climb. I tell you, I love this sculpture right by the parking lot. Not only does it remind me of Butler Basketball, being so close to BU, but it's a neat chance for Emily and Chris to run off some pent up energy while we load up the strollers and supplies. They played when we arrived, and they played until we were ready to leave. It's pretty nifty. And they enjoyed the challenges of climbing arches. Too Cute this one.



It's a Neat place, if you get a chance, check it out. Even better if we had an off-road stroller. But we had a good time anyway. My back was a little tweaky again, OK, a lot tweaky, but nothing a little rest won't cure. It was worth it.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Just try to Ignore this

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I tweaked my back this morning, right around my ribcage, making it hard to breathe. Made it to church anyway, barely. Eric did a little work on my back, and darvocet and a nap have helped the pain. Still I've got to take it easy if I'm going to be back to gangbusters this week.

Sam doesn't want me to take it easy. He does not like being ignored. He's hard to ignore.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rock On

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We went out to the lot today. We packed up Chris's bike, so he could ride around a bit, while Daddy met with one of "The Guys".

I'm going to LOVE our new neighborhood! It's mornings like this that make it a bit sweeter about having to leave our current home. I love our current neighborhood, lots of sidewalk with many options for taking walks, or riding bikes. Well, turns out the new neighborhood has that too. And I'm going to miss how everyone waves as they drive by...turns out my new neighbors do that too. We had gorgeous cool, yet sunny weather, shady just when we needed shade. It was actually perfect for Sam and I to walk along as we Followed Chris down the street, who did a pretty decent job of staying out of the middle of the street.

This is us heading down the street, Straight for our piles of dirt.



But of course the boys found great joy in playing on the lot too. Sam's favorite game turned out to be picking up the big rocks in the driveway and just Throwing Them. It was cute, even though they were pretty big.



Chris liked the rock throwing too, as well as playing King of the Mountain by hoofing up the tallest mounds of dirt. It's fun to see him getting in to all the construction stuff; he joined the menfolk checking out the "maps" of the new house, and the boys threw driveway rocks, and ran around.



It was Good.

Friday, August 27, 2010

No Words

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Thursday, August 26, 2010

Picnic weather

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Woohoo! It was finally cool enough to play outside in our yard, cool enough to really enjoy being outside. Yeah, well, I had no car, Eric's died, so we were 'stuck' at home. Ever to make the most of a pickle, my friend Kathleen brought the girls out, and we had a picnic in the front yard. Well, that lasted 10 minutes, as the ants invaded. I've forgotten how much I dislike ants when I picnic on the ground...having no table handy, we moved to chairs in the driveway, but by then the kids were fed. Fed and Happy.

Happy Kids is Good.



Ems had brought her bike, so we hooked up both kids, and set them off riding the sidewalk. Before we were even ready, Chris skinned up his knee really good, and he had some trouble riding. But they were so cute riding back and forth in front of our house.




Dueling Bicyclers...can you hear the banjo music? We had a few Near Misses, but no collisions. Of course, once the kids stopped so as to not run in to each other, they'd (especially Chris) have a bit of trouble getting started again.



Motivated to really enjoy the weather, we attempted a walk around the block. Sam even wanted to walk...riding in strollers must be overrated. He didn't make it far, before I just picked him anyway to keep up with the big kids. They made it about 1/3 of the way and we turned around and came back.



But it was a great day to be outside. Wish this weather would last a while.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Brilliant Friends and the Little Farm

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My friend Amy had a rather brilliant idea today. She suggested we run up to Trader's Point Creamery, since all the kids were antsy to get out, but the Moms were disinclined to go far. A bit of a compromise. Brilliant! I was in a Funk. I didn't want to mess with getting ready today, nor did I feel like packing up the kids and doing any extreme driving anywhere. But I resigned to get the kids out of the house, and they needed to run off energy, and TPC isn't far away. Our friend Kathleen wanted to join us, and when I was explaining my Funk, and how the kids were driving me batty. Chris had had a number of Unaffective Timeouts. She had a brilliant idea. What we all need is to get the kids in the car and join up. You won't beat them if we're all together. It was a Genius Theory. Because it's so True. I'm not sure if they just behave better (slightly) around others, or if I just keep a cooler head, but I think we all fare better around others. Or at least, if I'm going to lose it, it's a lot easier to step away for a moment with some other Moms who are willing to keep a quick eye on the crew, while I go to the bathroom for a whole moment. Guess that's one more reason they say it takes a Village to raise a child. The Mom's need the Village just as much as the kids. And I sure have an Amazing Village, a wonderful network of friends and some family. I just have to remember to still go out and get in the Village when I'm feeling Funky.



Anyway, it was a Brilliant Idea, because we weren't there 2 seconds when the kids started Chasing Butterflies. Literally, right through the edge of a field, Chasing Butterflies. Laughing and Chasing, it was like something out of a commercial.



Beautiful Childhood. And all we had to do was stand and watch...and make sure Sam didn't eat rocks, which he did. And make sure no little monsters tackled any other little monsters. ;)




They even managed to find a butterfly or two. Then it became a lesson on how to not pick them up, or hurt them.



We decided to give ourselves a little treat, we packed some lunch for the kids, and we ordered lunch for ourselves. The big kids even got to sit at their own Kiddie Table. Their macaroni and cheese can come "Loaded" with chicken, bacon, asparagus, mushrooms and peppers...so Good. But it was their chocolate milk, and chocolate ice cream for dessert that turned my Funk around!



After peace through chocolate, we took a bitty walk around the farm to see some of the animals. We found the chickens first, or Rooster, as some youngster was quick to point out. Well, right on, we followed that Rooster around quite a bit.



Even going to check out his Hen hut.



We went up to see a couple cows, but there were chickens in there too, and bird poo on the gate, that Chris stuck his hands in..eww, and Sam was DONE. So we didn't look at the cows too long. But Emily's theory was my favorite: that Brown Cows give us Chocolate milk...because they are brown. They had a few brown cows...YUM...they make some Good Chocolate milk.



Their cottage cheese isn't too bad either. We brought home a leftover bit, which Sam and I duked it out over for supper, while Daddy skipped away for a meeting. Although it started out as a crummy day, the whole day got better after my friends brought me out of my funk, out of my shell, and out of my house to go to the Farm. Thanks Friends!

A Beautiful Day!

A Peek at Bathtime

Cute Video of the boys playing in the bathtub last night.

video

Daddy was videotaping from around the corner...until he got Busted. ;)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The Snort

236/365 Ever hear of the story "Are You My Mother?" Well, it's one of our favorites around here. In it, a Baby Bird gets lost and tries to find the mother he's never seen. He asks everybody: animals, a plane, a boat, finally settling on a giant machine...an excavator, which snorts at him in response to his asking Are You My Mother? Our favorite line: You are NOT my mother! You are a SNORT! Today we took some more pink lemonade to 'The Guys', and to check out the doin's. Not as much obvious progress was made today. But they did break out the lasers and twine to do their own Survey on what/when/where/who so they got the basement base all set up. And they were lining up where to put the buckets for Sump pump. It became pretty clear that we already were taking on water, and it hasn't rained in a month. So Eric opted to upgrade to TWO Sump Pumps. When we popped by, they were getting ready for footers, and they had their big piece of machinery out. The excavator was moving some dirt out, right around 'The Guys'. And we got to see it all in Action.

video

Tell you what, it makes me nervous to be that close to a big giant swinging piece of machinery with tongs so sharp it can dig out tree stumps and dirt. But 'The Guys' didn't seem afraid at all. Chris and I stood at a respectful distance.



But if you think about it on a kid's book level, it's not as surprising to see that if an Excavator, or Snort, can move a baby bird around, then it must be pretty competent at delicate work. OK. But that doesn't mean I'm going to let Chris go playing on it either. Which is also OK, because Chris loves going around taking pictures of the lot with me. See how cute he is as he points to the Excavator and calls it The Snort.



And while we were there, The Snort, went all kinds of off-road zipping all over the big mounds of dirt. I didn't know something so big could scoot around like that, it spins 360 degrees around. Those hills just don't look like they could support him, they don't support me and Chris, I don't know how it works, but it's pretty darn cool.



Then Eric popped over there this evening, and Poof! The Snort is gone, and we have Footers in place.

Broken Ground

235/365

I wasn't going to be the one to focus on the house, given the whole thing is Eric's project, but I seem to be the one gathering all the photographic evidence, and yesterday was a HUGE day of progress.
Eric went by first thing to meet with "The Guys" gather information, explain about that one lonely smoldering log etc. They weren't worried about it, saying they'll just throw it with the stumps they were picking up. But that it was going to take a little longer (couple hours more = more $$) but Oh Well, at least we wouldn't a whole day's work because of one smoldering log.
And what a Day! We went by at 11; Chris wanted to make them some lemonade, so we did. I was very impressed; they had removed all the stumps and 'mowed the dirt'.



I took pictures, because I thought it was so cool. Can you see the smoldering stump in the back; it continued to smolder all day long. It wasn't burnt in our bonfire normally, some of the coals had creapt up to it, set it smoldering, and apparently got the inside of the stump really going. I would've gotten closer, but I wasn't wearing good shoewear. ;)

Fast forward the rest of our day: lunch, naps, kids, blah blah blah. And I get a call from Eric who said, have you seen the lot? Not since lunch, I reply, we went by, and I was pretty impressed by the field of dirt. He tells me I should see it now, that a field of dirt is nothing, they dug a big hole. I had no idea how big. But we now have a basement hole.



A Big Pit. And they weren't even done.

This was just the rough dig, our guess is it's about 8 feet deep, they had some twine out and they were measuring to see if they were deep enough. But they were still going to need to put some finishing touches on the pit today. Dang.



I went pretty close to the edge for a picture, but it's Deep. Little scary actually. Am just thankful that neither child had any interest in going all the way to the edge.



Check this out, theay also put some big rocks down for a makeshift driveway! Seeing it makes me giggle. The boys in "Our Driveway". Can't wait for the real one!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Mmm...Fire

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Yesterday was quite a busy day. We had a new Pastor at church, so we went to see him at the early service. He's Great - Hooray! Then Eric went to work on the yard at the new house, while the boys and I visited Grandma and Grandpa at their church, then lunch, naps, a kick-off party for Mom2Mom, and then we hosted a party of our own.

A GROUND-BREAKING PARTY!

That's right, today, they were going to be Breaking Ground for our new house on our lot. To Celebrate, we cleared a bit of space, and started a bonfire. A Big Bonfire. The first big bonfire for the new lot, new house, new property. Then we brought the bare necesities: beer, water, marshmallows...and a Port-a-Potty. (Though I never did use it.) The weather was warm, but not gross, and the bugs were plentiful, but not overwhelming. It was Nice.

Here are my Top Ten photos from last night.

1. First Stick - Sticks were abundant, and Eric told the kids to collect them to throw in the fire. Chris really enjoyed this assignment. We weren't even totally out of the car before Chris dug in on it.



2. Pirate Seat - Sam thought it was pretty awesome to crawl up into big brother's Pirate Seat to sit. He was very proud of himself for getting up in it. I think he's going to need his own seat before we go camping because as adorable as Sam was, Chris was not down with sharing.



3. A Good Stick - Chris did find a good stick for roasting marshmallows, long and lean. He was quite proud of it.



4. First Marshmallow Roasted - I tried to show him how to roast marshmallows, but the heat of our giant fire proved too much for him, so I roasted for him. I think last time we did this, he didn't like them, and just ended up eating marshmallows raw. This time, he ate, tentatively. But he liked it. I only roasted two for him. He was getting in the bag and eating them raw instead.



5. Thank You Erica - I must thank my sister-in-law for this vision of lovliness, the "Alternative S'more". She's a Genius! She told me she prefers her s'mores to use a Reese Peanut Butter Cup instead of Hershey bar. Brilliant.



6. Friends, with chocolate My friend Elizabeth and I experimented on this Alternative method of smore making. Oh.my.gosh. SO GOOD. There was no sharing. We may never go back to just a plain Hershey bar again. And (here's a perk) instead of just a bunch of leftover plain chocolate, I have leftover Reese Cups. Chris doesn't like them, and Sam can't eat them...lovely reese's just for me.



7. Makeshift Kitchen With all the stuff I was bringing to the lot, and Eric had taken my van leaving me the Focus, I couldn't fit any sort of table apparatus. I was worried about where we'd set up smore makings. But I just used a couple of these handy stumps. We started calling it the kitchen. Chris was getting his own marshmallows, by stepping right up, and he could even keep Sam in graham crackers. The other big stump housed our guacamole. In between we had bugspray (and buggy wipes).



8. The Living Room
- I fully intended to print up a map/model of the house, I just didn't get around to it. So I was asked where things were going to be, where the house was, etc? So I was pointing out the driveway, which was the only entrance off the front that Eric hadn't silkscreened in yet, and the living room, which was going to be in the front. Turned out we were all sitting where the living room was going to be.



9. Friends and Fam and Fire Along those same lines, the big bonfire was where the kitchen was going to be. Some of it anyway. The fire was BIG. Eric and the guys kept adding brush to burn, which made it tall. He started it where there was a log so large he couldn't move it. His theory was that if he burned out the log, it would be light weight enough to move it. Well, it didn't quite work out that way. This morning, the still-smoldering log was too hot to move, and so was still there when "The Guys" arrived. They took a look at it, and said, Oh, we can throw that in the pile when we pull the stumps.
The other homework Eric was working on, during the party was that he had to get a trench dug (finished about 6 p.m.) and a silk screen staked in the trench, so as to keep the dirt/mud in for Erosion Control. In addition, all the big log hunks (and brush) had to be out of the area. Eric was falling more and more behind on those two as the evening progressed. Eric spent most of the party working. How Blessed we were when our family and friends just leapt right in to help out. Here you can see Eric, Dad, Ben (Bryn and Shay) all of whom helped cut logs, move brush and sticks. I was just amazed at how our friends and family jumped on in to help. After the kids gave out and our littlest helpers (they really were helpful!) had to go home along with helpful parents; another friend called her husband for reinforcements, and Mom, Eric, Roy and Brian stayed out there until Midnight getting it all done. On a Schoolnight. Amazing!




10. Burning Line When the boys added brush to the log fire, it was so beautiful. Someone said they'd never seen branches burning like that. Perhaps it was the green wood; so sad to cut these trees down when so many of them were healthy, or maybe it had just rained a bit the day before. But the flickers of flame and light were just so beautiful. And when the fire would catch a thin branch, Oy.



We're going to love having more bonfires here in the future. Many Many More.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Saturday morning Reading

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Sam has discovered his love for reading. :)

He keeps pulling all his books off the shelves, and giving them to me to read. We've read Noisy Farm like 5 times in the last hour. That was one of Brother's favorites and it's held together with packing tape. Sam is even repeating all the animal noises after me, already. My favorite is the way he says Cock-A-Doodle-Doo, "Da-doo-doo"