Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Post Stealer

On rare occasion I do venture out and about without my camera. I know, so pitifully lazy of me! The last week in June our playdate was at Wilderness Park. Given that it's not horribly stroller friendly, I opted to wear McKenna in the Ergo and brave holding Austin's hand. I had our stuff in the other hand, so that left no hands for a camera. Thankfully Rebecca was not as lazy as I and brought her's.

So in lieu of creating a post about our day at Wilderness Park, I'm just gonna point you at her's!

Click here to see her great pics from the day

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Brotherly-Sisterly Love

Up until this day in June, Austin had been pretty indifferent to McKenna. Giving her the occasional lovetap on the head, sweet kisses when we ask him to, and of course, the ever popular fist bumps (that surprisingly work really well with newborns since their hands are mostly clenched in fists for the 1st few months!), but that's about the extent of their interactions. Up until this day in June, I didn't have many pictures of the two of them together. Austin would rarely lay down next to her and if he did, it was too fleeting for me to grab the camera.

So I can't tell you how excited I was when Austin "asked" if he could hold her one day. He was laying on the boppy as I held McKenna and patted it and gestured for a hug from her. My heart just melted. I was a little terrified he would want to hold her for only a moment and then would push her off the couch when he was done, but that didn't happen. He was loving it! Oh the giggles and smiles that came out of that kid as he held her. He gave her unprompted hugs and kisses, examined her little hands and for the most part was fairly gentle with her! For her part, she was very patient with him too, only getting a little fussy from time to time when she wasn't being held in the most comfortable positions. When I went to get her from him when she would get fussy, he'd sign "more" frantically, so I'd calm her down and get her repositioned, and then he'd be in heaven again!

I was seriously loving it too! I was having all these visions of all the fun I hope they have as siblings who are so close in age. And praying that they'll always get along and enjoy each others' company!

So all that will explain why I took a mere couple hundred pictures in the span of 10 minutes. And I loved so many of them that I cannot pick my favorites. So instead of only posting a few, I'm going to post a slideshow of all my favorites. Just be thankful I at least narrowed them down to a reasonable number that could be displayed in a slideshow!


(If you cannot see the slideshow, you may not have flash installed on your computer. If you'd just like to see the gallery of all the pics, click here!)

Monday, August 23, 2010

Getting to Know Geraldo the Moose Goat

This is my goat, Geraldo. Well actually he's a moose. But daddy thinks he looks like a goat. Therefore, he's a goat. Daddy also got to name him. That's why he has a silly name. (Sorry to all you Geraldos out there, but it's kinda true!)

Geraldo used to be my brother's goat. See?!

But now we're buddies.

Sometimes we have long chats.

I let him talk sometimes too. I'm a good listener.

I sure like my Geraldo

I just hope Austin doesn't succeed at stealing him back!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

San Diego Zoo

We've been wanting to make the trek down to San Diego and go to the zoo with my niece (Wiggles) and nephew (Monkey). So we planned a trip for right after school let out for the summer for Wiggles. And thanks to the mild weather we had in the early summer, it was a great day for it. Definitely not too hot!

Our sweet Wiggles

And the cutie patootie Monkey

And their momma, Robin

Nani came with us, which aside from the kids loving a day with their grandma, was a great help for Robin and me! It's definitely handy having another adult handy to help wrangle 4 kiddos! Well, really just my kiddo needs wrangling. Wiggles & Monkey have that "Stop" and "Come" thing down pretty good by now. Austin...yeah we're still working on that.

Nani & Wiggles

BUT we did discover a fun trick on this trip! At the beginning of the day, Wiggles asked if she could hold Austin's hand. I didn't think he'd let her hold it all day. Turns out he wanted to do nothing but hold it! He didn't want to go in the stroller, didn't want to hold my hand, didn't want to be carried, only wanted to hold her hand! And since she's old enough to maneuver him in the right direction, it worked great!

There were a couple animals I particularly wanted Austin to see because we don't have them at our zoo. The elephants, the polar bears, pandas and most importantly, the wombats. Okay, really Austin didn't need to see the wombats, but I did! You may be able to tell from the url of my blog that I have a thing for wombats!

He wasn't nearly as impressed with the elephants as I thought he would be, but I enjoyed them and took lots of pics!

The polar bears were really hard to see, but the exhibit was fun.

The pandas were fun. It was a momma and baby and they were rough housing a little. So cute!

And you could just barely see the wombats through the glass. They were of course sleeping!

We decided these two animals are in the running for "Most Likely to be Mistaken for a ROUS"! (And if you don't know what a ROUS is, google it and then come back. It's a requirement for reading this blog.)

We had a great time watching this little deer/antelope/gazelle-thingy try out its new bouncing legs!

And just some of my favorite shots from the day...

My Little Man, ready to take on the zoo!

Cousins! (If you look carefully, you'll see McKenna's carseat in the stroller in the background. See she was there!)

Me & My Little Explorer

Austin standing next to an elephant collar!

Me & my buddy Monkey!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Believe It or Not...

Believe it or not, it's a really big deal when you break a mercury thermometer in your childrens' bedroom!

Sunday night, I was attempting to take McKenna's temperature. As I was shaking down the old school mercury thermometer, I whacked it on the side of the dresser/changing table and mercury and glass scattered! I carefully picked up McKenna and took her to the other room. Then I came back in to see the damage.

The glass was fairly well contained, but there were tiny beads of mercury all over the dresser. But it didn't look like a lot of mercury - not enough to fill the thermometer, even though I really had no idea what that amount would look like. So I started searching the carpet, hoping to find one single good sized bead that could be collected, so my mind could be at ease. There was a distinct possibility that as I shook the thermometer back up after hitting it, that mercury could have flown out to really any part of the bedroom. Not just any bedroom - our childrens' bedroom. You know, the little people with the newly forming brains and organs. Mom of the year right here, people!

I called my mom to see how to clean up the mercury and she volunteered to come right over and help. Brian wasn't home from church yet, but he got home soon after she got here. We did a quick search on the internet and realized this was a bigger deal than we had thought. The mercury on the dresser wasn't a biggie, but the possibility it was in the carpet was no bueno. Turns out you can't vacuum up mercury. It vaporizes and that's when it gets really dangerous. Everything we could find said that there is no way to clean carpet,, it must be cut out and replaced!

So Brian, being the very cautious person he normally is, but this time it being very warranted, called the non-emergency fire department line to see what would be the proper way to clean this up.

We're not sure if it's just standard protocol, or if they were just having a slow night, but the Redondo Beach Fire Department sent not one, not two, but a total of 3 vehicles out to our house. 1 large fire truck pulled up first. And before they left, an even bigger fire truck and an SUV type truck that I've been informed by Becca that was probably the Battalion Chief. Slight overkill! And of course, all our neighbors came out to see what the hubbub was about.

The 1st truckload came in the house, looked at the spill and um...had no advice other than to clean it up with a paper towel off the dresser and to call HazMat about the carpet. Really? You've brought no less than 8 fireman total to our house and your only advice is something you could have easier told us on the phone without making us the freakshow of the neighborhood? Thanks!

They were actually horribly nice fireman. Austin was way excited about the firetruck. At one point I asked him to say hi to the fireman and he actually pushed the guy out of his way so he could see the truck. Such a polite little boy!

Here's the best pictures I could get while trying not to look like the freakshow of the neighborhood. One of the firemen gave Austin a sticker badge. He was in heaven.

Our main concerns were what do we do about the carpet and what if some got in or on McKenna. We ended up calling Poison Control, (who we really should have called first!) who reassured us that the amount was small enough that we weren't in any danger, which is what we really thought in the first place before Dr. Google freaked us out. But they did say that we shouldn't vacuum if it's in the carpet. While I'm all up for deleting things off my household chores list, that didn't seem like a good fix. So we were pleased that the HazMat guy could come first thing in the morning.

In the meantime we had a sleepover at my parents' house. Normally we would have just had the kids sleep w/ us, but the only working toilet in the house was the one off their room. (Thanks to the cutest almost two year old who proudly exclaimed "Bye-Bye" as he flushed the large top to the nasal spray down the toilet Saturday morning, warranting a visit from the plumbers and it re-stopped up Sunday!) So a mini vaca it was. We packed up what we could, which wasn't much because all their clothes were in the "exposure zone". The HazMat guy came Monday and cleaned up the spill and thankfully there was none on the carpet. Cuz while we wouldn't have to change it, it would have been safer to do so. I know that's probably overkill, but better safe than sorry with little developing brains, right?

So the last two days have been filled with getting our house back in order. Monday Brian cleaned the room from top to bottom and starting loads of laundry - all the bedding plus any drawers that were open and all the clean loads that were in the splash zone that were waiting to be put away. And I've spent the rest of the time folding and putting all that away. What a pain!

Whoda thunk this would be that big of a deal!?!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Kid Concepts

We have an excellent indoor playground nearby. It is wonderful for both the rainy days and the insanely hot days, when either way you need out of the house but have no desire to go out of the house! We've come a few times before this summer but Austin was pretty small and didn't really get most of the equipment. And he certainly didn't venture to the big kid area.

This time he had so much fun, I could barely keep track of him. He loved the little kid area but before I knew it, he had figured out how to get up in the big hamster trail. Literally before I knew it. I was doing something with McKenna while he was in the ball pit and then suddenly I couldn't find him. Thankfully Rebecca had an eye on him (which is why I love playdates with other moms and dads!!) but shocked me when she pointed to the very top and declared he was up there with one of the dads. I had no idea he could even climb any of the obstacles, let alone wanted to! He was such a brave kid that day. Up to the point that I went in there and pushed encouraged him down a slide that I didn't know was kinda scary until I went down it myself after him! Whoops! Score one for Momma of the Year!

The Little Kid ball pit & obstacle course

His smile in this one kills me! I've never seen him smile like that but it cracks me up every time I see this pic.

Boy, does this kid love to swing! And the swings here are impressive. They hang from at least 20ft ceilings, so the kids get a very long and high ride!

Jack was equally impressed with the swings

Maneuvering in part of the hamster trail

And of course, playing with the train table

Some of Austin's little friends
(Don't worry! "L" didn't get the black eye on the playdate. He went down hard at home!)

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Happy Daddy Day!

Brian is such a wonderful daddy! And both of his children adore him! And we had a fantastic weekend showing him how much we all appreciate him!

I taught Austin how to sign "Happy Father's Day". Well, we call it "Happy Daddy Day" since Austin doesn't really know the word "father". that I'm blogging this, I realize it didn't occur to me to take video of him doing it! Woops. Well, it was cute. You'll just have to take my word for it, I suppose!

Since Brian was leading worship for church on Sunday, we did the bulk of our celebrating Saturday. We went with my parents and Brian's mom to ride the trains at Wilson Park. You can ride these little miniature trains on the 1st Sunday & 3rd Saturday of every month and that just happened to coincide with Father's Day! This was Austin's 3rd experience with trains in June and pretty much cemented his obsession love of choo-choos! He had a blast! And so did we! Such cute little trains. I particularly liked the one with a steam engine. It's neat that they could do that on such a small scale.

In that last pic you can see that Austin was also particularly fond of the donation box. Dang near cleaned Grandma Judy's wallet out, he liked it so much!

That night for dinner we took my parents out for BBQ at a place my mom had read about. It's called Gus's BBQ. It's in Pasadena, which is a bit of a drive, so my Mom and I kept Austin entertained from the backseat. Nani taught him how to do a silly smile - tilting his head and shrugging his shoulders. I think we did that for the whole hour ride!

McKenna & Papa at dinner

We like to try to keep the actual day for just our little family, so Sunday the kids and I took Brian out for lunch at his favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.

Happy Father's Day, Brian! We love you so very much! Thank you for all you do for us!!