Friday, July 31, 2009

Extreme Sports for Toddlers

Yep, my little boys are already getting into the extreme sports. I'd show you a video, but I had to stop it before Clayton got hurt. I was in the kitchen last night doing dishes, when I turned around just in time to see a blur that was Justice (the 3 year old) sprinting past the kitchen doorway pushing the blur that was a wooden chair as fast as he could and to hear Clayton absolutely screaming with delight. It took me about half a second to comprehend what that meant. I went running to stop them. Clayton (the 13 month old) was kneeling backwards, hanging on to the back of the chair, while Justice was running back and forth across the piano and living rooms. They were having such a blast! I wanted to get out the camera, but I figured I'd better stop that one.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Recent Happenings

Thanks to Brad for the suggestion to send the kids around the neighborhood with a map! In my war to keep the kids away from the TV / computer, I printed up a bunch of those satellite picture maps and taped them to a piece of poster board. Then I went around the neighborhood taping clues to things and marking on the map where to find them. Next I sent Ross & Mark (Lydia was at camp) out to find all of the clues which when put together gave them a list of places to go for them to choose from. They chose "hiking," so I took them to our favorite trails. After a couple of hours of hiking, we drove past a new park with a totally awesome fountain that the kids could play in. We stopped and got all wet. It was awesome!

Here are some gratuitous pics of my kids:
Mark, Ross & Lydia





In other news, I've been canning green beans till I want to gouge my brains out. Next comes salsa and jelly. WHY DO I DO IT?!!

Lydia and Erin got the surprise of their lives last night when Bruce took them to the Jonas Brothers concert. They had no clue that they were going until they pulled up in the parking lot. Thanks to Grammy & Pa who bought them the tickets! They had an all out BLAST! I have a feeling that I'm going to be hearing that J.B. CD a lot in the near future!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

"Non-Stop Party"

I had a great day yesterday. I'll blog about that later. For now, here's a compilation of a bunch of old videos that I meant to blog, but never got around to. Presenting Life at Renae's:

Monday, July 20, 2009

Massive Checkers

Ross was telling us about a "massive game of checkers" that he and Mark had been playing. They had "captured the pieces as prisoners, and sold them into slavery for a life point and three bombs" or something like that.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Hannah Montana?!

We were watching The Princess Bride last night, and the part with the albino came on. Justice (the 3 yr old) said "What's Hannah Montana doing?"

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Moments of Genius

I was vacuuming the other day and wondering why I kept finding white streaks on the floor and smelling desitin. How it got there, I don't know.

In other news: My brother John & his kids spent Friday night at our house. Saturday morning, John and I got up, dawned our work-out garb, packed up the bikes, and headed for the bike trails. (Bruce was being a great hubby by staying home to watch all of the kids.)

It happens that we have a really great system of trails near to where we live. They are mostly well paved, and go far, in several different directions. Bruce and I love to go biking on these whenever we can get both of us away from the kids at the same time. We belong to a group called Team Godzilla which consists of about 100 people in our area who are into biking, running, doing races, and training together. Every Tuesday night during spring and summer, they meet and ride a specific route on the trails. Bruce and I go as often as we can. (Up until Bruce blew up his arm, it was pretty often. BTW, it's mostly healed now. It'll just be a big scar for a good long while now.)

Now while Bruce and John both are into biking and running, there is a vast difference in their approach. Bruce loves a routine. He's very into keeping track of his workouts. He has a gigantic desk calendar that he writes down the details of all of his workouts on, ie what he did, the distance, his speed, and even his weight every single day. So he generally rides or runs much the same paths over and over again, because it's easier to compare performances that way.

John on the other hand, still loves a good workout, but he doesn't care to keep track. He's very consistent about his exercise, but he doesn't really care to know how far or fast he went. As long as it was a good workout, that's all that matters. John also loves a good adventure and is into exploring the unknown. Hence going out, turning around and coming back on the same path is a revolting idea to John.

Me, I could be happy either way (as long as I wasn't alone getting too lost). I just love being out and getting in a good hard workout. However, these trails are through many a woodsy place, and I am not allowed (nor inclined) to go off riding them by myself. For one: They could be a great place to get raped. And for two: People who do a lot of biking eventually wipe out, and biking accidents can be rather nasty. When my turn comes, I'd prefer not to be alone to figure out how to drag my bloody carcass back home with a wrecked bike. As a result, while I go running through the neighborhood, and all over town, by myself, all of the time, the only riding I do alone is on the trainer, in my basement.

ANYWAY, the point is this: I usually do my riding with Bruce and the Godzilla's, so there is one route on the bike trails that I've ridden over and over and over again - always in the same direction. That's mostly it for my trail knowledge. John seems to have a fuzzy vague kind of knowledge of these trails from biking them a few times a decade or so ago. (He doesn't live that close anymore.)

ANYWAY, John and I started out at the same spot that I've always started out from. The weather was great, overcast and very comfortable. We were having a great ride. We came to a fork in the path where the Godzilla path goes left. We went right. I've been down that way a few times - just straight out for about 10 miles and back the same way. We came to the 10 mile point and decided we didn't feel like turning around just yet, so we kept on going. Good times! Eventually however, we felt like we ought to be turning around and heading home. John thought he remembered a trail coming up off to the right that would be a good way to head back. Another difference between Bruce and John is that Bruce prefers a road bike for speed, while John prefers a mountain bike for it's ability to off road. It happens that we were on Bruce and my bikes, so road bikes (those skinny tires are not so good for anything not paved). We came to a point where there were a few different choices of paths to take. The path that John remembered turned out to be impossible for our road bikes. The other paths looked like the wrong direction. We dithered about which way to go for quite some time, going up all of them a little way, looking around, turning around and coming back to the dithering spot. At one point I rode down to this road called Chain of Rocks, looked around and thought "Huh, that looks familiar...? Still, I don't know how to get home from where ever here is." We finally came to the conclusion that we were going to have to turn around and go back the way we came - which would clearly be the long way back - rather like going back and forth on the arched part of a "D." Along came a couple of women who happened to have a map of the trails. Yay! We planned what we thought would be the best way back and set off. We went back down to Chain of Rocks Road, took the trail that leads off of that and rode till we came to a fork. We stopped, thinking we might need to take that fork. It wasn't until we stopped and I turned around and looked back down the trail in the direction that we had just come from that a big "GONG!" went off in my brain. DUH!!!!!! We were riding on Team Godzilla's Tuesday night route - my team's route - the "one route" that I knew so well!!!! Team Godzilla's route is a big circle and we were just going backwards from our usual direction. Talk about feeling like a complete MORON!! I had walked down to that Chain of Rocks road that I'd ridden on many a time and looked at it from the opposite side of the road, looked at the very path the "one route" and had not recognized it, simply because I was looking at it from the wrong direction. DUR!!! Even worse, I had ridden down the same stinking path of the "one route" only in the reverse direction, and had not recognized it! MORON!

We headed back in my usual way, chucked the bikes in the back of the truck and finished off with a little 3 mile run in the rain. I love a good run in the summer rain! That adventure was the most fun I've had in quite a while (not counting Bruce and I's anniversary weekend)!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Copying off of Jeanette

My friend, Jeanette posted this on her blog a few days ago, and I laughed my booty off. So yeah, I'm being a copy cat for the sake of those of my readers who don't know Jeanette:

Saturday, July 04, 2009

More Odd Bits

Okay, did everyone else already see this? Even though it is a bit heartless, it cracked me up:
Here's a picture that Mark drew for his dad:
(Note the arm.)
Oh, and here's a picture of Bruce with his father's day present.

In other news, this happened:Also, yesterday Ross and Mark decided it was time to teach their younger brother one of the important things for all boys to know. They were trying to teach Clayton how to spit.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

3 and 1

Yesterday, I took Justice and Clayton to the doctor for their 3 and 1 year old check-ups respectively. I couldn't help but remembering when I took Lydia and Ross for the same 3 and 1 year old check-ups. I remembered thinking how funny it was that my 3 year old and my 1 year old both weighed exactly the same: Ross 30 lbs, Lydia 30 lbs.

I was pretty sure that Clayton and Justice weren't going to weigh the same as each other.I was right. Clayton weighed 20 lbs, and Justice weighed 38.5 lbs. If you put it in perspective, Ross was half again Clayton at 1 year old, and Justice is nearly a third again Lydia at 3 years old. Or instead of weighing the same, Justice is nearly two of Clayton.

I don't remember what the difference between Ross and Mark was at those ages, and I don't feel like digging for a picture of them, so don't ask.

Oh and so I can remember in the future, here are a list of their accomplishments at present:

Clayton at 1 year old:

He just learned to walk about 3 weeks ago.
He climbs on the couch, but not on the kitchen table yet (thank goodness... that's probably next week - ha ha!)

He can say the following words:
Da da
daas (thanks)
dis (this)
ya oo (love you)
ba (bath)
ooh (hello)
For the majority of his "words" you'd have to be his mother to understand his lingo.

And, Bruce said he heard him calling for Lydia from his crib (Her bedroom is upstairs with his, so she is most often the one who gets him out of bed in the morning.)

Justice at 3 years old:

He recognizes all of the letters both capital and lowercase, can tell you their names and what sound they make.
He also recognizes all of the numbers.
He knows his shapes and colors, but he sometimes confuses red and orange.
He navigates the computer better than both sets of grandparents (though that might not be saying much).

Blaggidy blah, blah, blah... I'm shutting up now!