Thursday, February 26, 2009

Heeeere's Johnny!

Introducing Johnny the hamster.

When I asked Sammy what he wanted to name his new hamster, he didn't hesitate a second before replying "Johnny".  Why, I have no idea.  As far as I know, he doesn't know anyone named Johnny, and I can't think of a single cartoon that has a character named Johnny.  A few hours later, Sammy asked me if he could really name the hamster anything he wanted.  When I said yes and asked if he wanted to change the name, he said, "Yes.  His name is Johnny the cow."  Indeed.  But we're still calling him Johnny for short.

Today, it started snowing at about noon.  I'd heard we were going to receive 7 or more inches of snow, so it was no surprise and I was happy that I'd get home before the worst of it hit (as most of you probably already know, I leave work at 1:00 every day).  My bus was about 10 minutes late, and when it finally arrived - it was packed to the gills.  No room for any more people.  That really stunk because the next bus wasn't for an hour.  Thankfully, Ron is home with the kids for now so I didn't have to worry about having to get the kids from daycare on time.  So I took advantage of the unexpected free time and walked over to the IDS center, bought myself a cup of coffee and sat down to relax with my book.

2:30 came - time for the next bus.  I walked to the bus stop, but walked all the way to the second stop on the line this time, figuring that way I'd for sure get on the next bus.  At 3:05, over half an hour late, the bus finally came.  Again, it was jam-packed full of people, every spare inch of space filled with a commuter eager to get home before the storm got any worse.

By this time, I was getting disgusted.  Fifteen minutes later, another bus came and I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw it was finally a double bus.  Finally, there'd be room for me.  Nope.  Not a chance.

I walked to the first stop on the route - an indoor, underground ramp - and could hardly step off the bottom of the escalator for all the other people who had the same idea.  I'm happy to say that I finally managed to get on the next bus, at 3:30.  Then it took another 45 minutes for the bus to travel the 12 blocks to get out of downtown.  And another 45 minutes on the freeway.  And then another half an hour for me to drive home from the park & ride.  All in all, it took me four and a half hours to get home tonight.  Spring can't come soon enough this year.

One funny story to end this post.  It was beautiful outside...was it just yesterday?  Maybe the day before?  Right now, it seems like it's been snowing forever and it's hard to remember.  Anyway - whichever day it was, it was about 40 degrees outside and the snow was nice and sticky, just right for making snowmen.  Sammy wanted to go outside and make Frosty, so we did.  When we finished our snowman, Sammy watched for a few minutes, then asked why he wasn't moving.  He couldn't figure out why Frosty wasn't coming to life like he does in the song.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Excuse..And Exciting News

I haven't posted in almost two weeks - and I have a good reason for it, really, I do!  I've made a commitment to myself to start working out, EVERY night, after the kids go to bed.  It's been tough because sometimes it's 9:00 by the time both kids are down for the count.  But I've been sticking with it for a week and a half now.

I've heard so much about The 30 Day Shred and decided to give it a whirl.  Each of the workouts is 20 minutes long, and even I can find the time and motivation to work out for a mere 20 minutes a day.  I've been seeing results already, so that gives me even more motivation to stick with it.  So I've decided to revise my goal of posting five times a week to my blog, down to once a week.  I guess now I'm going to have to make it count.  :-)

Now for the exciting news!  About a week ago, did you hear it when the heavens opened up and a chorus of angels sang "Hallelujah!"  No?  Maybe it was just in my head, then.  The reason - Sammy is potty-trained!!!!  He's been in his big boy underwear since last Thursday, and we've only had a couple of accidents (and only of the wet variety!) so it's official.  And on top of it all, he's woken up dry four out of the past five mornings.  I guess when he was ready, he was really ready.

We did have one small hiccup.  About three days into the training, it seems that he got afraid of doing #2 in the potty and held it in for a day and a half.  Finally, I gave him a glass of undiluted juice, which produced the desired effect in about half an hour.  He said he needed to go, and I brought him into the bathroom.  No sooner had he pulled down his pants than he changed his mind and very firmly said he didn't have to go.  Ten minutes later, he got a panic-stricken look on his face and again said he needed to go.  Once again, he changed his mind as soon as we got into the bathroom but I matter-of-factly said it looked like he needed to go.  To distract him, I started telling him one of his favorite stories - Little Red Riding Hood - while I helped him onto the potty.  The wolf hadn't even made it to grandma's door yet when the deed was done.  And it's been smooth going ever since, so to speak.

Tuesday evening, we went to Chuck E. Cheese to celebrate.  The kids had a blast, as usual, but we were all cranky and overtired by the time we got home.  We have a second reward planned for Sammy, but he doesn't know about it yet.

See, lately he's been asking for a puppy.  We're not ready to take that step just yet, but we've decided to get him a hamster or a gerbil instead.  So Saturday morning, we're going to take him to pick out a small rodent of his very own.  I just hope this one isn't an escape artist, like the previous hamster I owned (whose name was Baby Houdini).  I kid you not, that hamster could escape from any cage designed by man.  That thing was lucky it lived as long as it did, since I also had two cats.  I couldn't tell you how many times I came home from work and walked in the door to see the cats intently staring at the hamster - but they never harmed it.  Sadly, Baby Houdini met his end by escaping in front of a not-so-tolerant cat, after I gave him up when I moved in with Ron.  This time, I've done my research and I think I've discovered what looks to be a hamster-proof and small-child-proof cage.  Let's hope so, anyway.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

One of My New Favorite Things

This stuff is truly awesome. It's only available at health food stores or online, and can be a bit pricy, but worth its weight in gold. We've wiped out 3 colds with it so far (sometimes repeated doses are necessary if symptoms return - but you can literally see the effects within half an hour). I had to share my exciting discovery! Finally, cold and flu medicine that's safe for children, actually works, and hasn't been taken off the market by the FDA!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

If I Was a Sculptor...But Then Again, No

In a normal winter, we have a one-week January thaw. This winter has been anything but normal. So when we had a whopping 12-hour winter thaw on Saturday - the very last day of January - I could hardly contain my excitement. However, you could almost hear the weather forecasters sighs of disappointment, since if we'd made it through Sunday without temps above freezing, it would have been the longest such stretch since the history of recorded temperatures. Personally, I'm glad we didn't make that record.

Because it's been too cold all winter, the snow has been powdery - good for skiiers, bad for wanna-be sculptors. So we took advantage of Saturday's weather to do some sculpting.

My feeble attempt at making a snowbunny - I think it looks more like a cat pregnant a dozen babies. (I know it's not much, but it's the best I can do....)

My husband, the artist, did a better job with his snow-lion.

Sampling the snow.

My view from the ground, when I was making a snow angel. The snow was such a gorgeous blue color that day.

Then, the cold winter winds blew in and all that we're left with is the memory of that beautiful day. And a yard full of ice.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


Some of my favorite pictures from recent days:

Don't let them fool you...there was no sleeping going on.

Sammy's Spiderman birthday cake...wet hair and flushed face were courtesy of the hot tub in which he'd been swimming for the previous hour.

The swimming pool...

My water baby - she had a fit when it was time to get out of the pool

DQ Ice cream cake, from the actual day of his birthday

We went to the Mall of America on his birthday and the kids had a lot of fun at Nickelodeon Universe...Natalie says, "Sit down in the back and get your head back inside the bus!"

Unruly passenger disregards driver's instructions...

Decides she has more important things to worry about.

Monday, February 2, 2009


Friday was a rough day. It was the last day of work for my coworkers who were laid off, and it was the last day of daycare for my kids (for awhile).

I don't think I've mentioned it here, but Ron lost his temp job back in November. It was supposed to be a long-term assignment, and turned out only to be 6 weeks. Whoopty-doo. Ever since, he's been looking around and not finding anything. After talking with the awesome director/owner of our daycare center, we found out that we could pay an $80 holding spot to take our kids out of daycare for two months. No-brainer there, since we can easily use that $190 a week on something else right food or electricity. So, today is Ron's first day home alone with the kids.

It was really, really hard taking the kids out of daycare, even though I know they'll probably be back within a couple of months. Sammy was sad to leave all of his friends, although I don't think Natalie will care as much - she just transferred to the toddler room, so hasn't had much chance to make friends there yet. Sammy had been doing so good with potty-training, in no small part thank to daycare and the peer pressure of his already-trained and nearly-trained friends there. And he was learning so much - like the day of the inauguration, when he came home and announced that we had a new president, and his name was Barackan Obama (sic). Or Friday, when he told us that there was only one day left of January, and then it was February. Not that I can't teach him these things myself - and I think I do teach him a lot - but I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have had the president conversation with him yet. I guess I wouldn't have thought he'd be old enough to understand or care.

So, allow me this moment of self-pity. I'm not good with change, and to have so much of it in one day is overwhelming.