Saturday, April 28, 2012

Metrodome Tour

As you may know, I love rainy days.  We've had a bunch of them lately and I've been taught a new lesson: rainy days with bored kids are not nearly as much fun as they used to be.  Today it was both rainy and cold.  Boo!  We tried to figure out what we could do that was both indoors and not crowded.  I thought that it would be great if we could let the kids run around the Metrodome (yes, I refuse to acknowledge the new name).  A little Google work and I found that they give tours!
So after naps, we hustled the family on down to Gate F and were promptly let inside.  The fee was modest, only $4 a head.  The crowd was also modest, I think there were six other people.  And the guide, who had obviously been doing this for some time.  He was both smart and funny.
We got to see the baseball press box first. 

Then we went down into the interior tunnels and were led onto the field.  I've seen hundreds (thousands?) of games at the dome, been to about twenty and yet I've never been on the field before.  They have something called 'field turf' which is artificial grass heavily seeded with tiny black rubber pellets.  When you see a football bounce on the turf, you notice a kind of splash.  That's the rubber bits.
DF ran a bit on the field and I got to feel the 'baggie' in right field.  I was tempted to jump up against it like I was robbing a hit but I didn't.  Some of Gopher baseball players were getting ready for a game tonight and we could see them stretching and playing catch.

Then we went back up the tunnel and some very kind Gopher coach gave Relia and DF a Big 10 baseball.  They were both thrilled.  Against all odds, neither of them threw the ball away (though DF really tried to!).  While in the tunnel we were told about all of the prep that is done before a monster truck rally.  They bring the dirt in on big dump trucks.  They can't simply open a door and leave it open or the dome would deflate.  So they have a kind of air lock/garage that they use.  Prep for the rally takes about three whole days.
Next we went to the Viking locker room.  Much, much smaller than I'd expected.  The guide explained that the team was only there for the short time before and after the game so they didn't need much room.  He told us that the visitor's locker room was even smaller.
We then went through the football press box and up to a luxury suite.   

If you want a suite for a Viking game it will set you back $5000 - $8000. Of course, they've all been rented out, so there are no openings for the immediate future.  I'll stay at home and watch, thank you very much.  Heck, it would be cheaper to rent out a sports bar!
At the end of the tour we were all handed a piece of the dome roof.  It feels very plastic-y.  Then we got to stand near one of the doors while the guide let some of the air through.  Woosh!
It was totally worth it!

Wind Map

You're going to want to click this link and take a look.  And if you the type that says 'whatever' and doesn't click through, let me explain a little more.  This is a map of all the wind in the continental US, right at this moment.  It's a simple concept, beautifully done.  The effect is hypnotic.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Have a Great Friday

I think this is Heather, on a brae.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Light Posting

Sorry, this week is going to be a light one.  Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beautiful Day

Today was one of those nice days that you pray for in the summer.  Temps in the high 60's/low 70's.  Mostly sunny with a light breeze.  DF and I played in the back yard while Leo slept.  The kids have a new sand box that they're pretty happy with it. 
As I said, a nice day.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Books for Geeks to Read to the Children

Here is an interesting list of books for geeky parents to read aloud to their children.  I won't reproduce the list as it's 67 books long but click on through and take a read through.  I've only read a dozen or so.  Maybe I read more of them when I was younger, but I don't remember.  The ones that I have read are all winners though so I feel free to pass on the rest for recommendations.

Happy Monday

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Morning Fights

DF has entered some strange, new and terrible stage of communication. It seems to manifest mostly in the morning, though there is a notable later in the day piece that I could do without. We have conversations like this:

Me: Do you want toast?
DF: Yes.
Me: Ok, I'll get some toast.
DF: (wailing and despondent) Nooooo toast! Nooooo toast!
Me: Ok. Bagel?
DF: Yes bagel!
Me: Ok, I'll get a bagel.
DF: Yay bagel! (pause) No bagel! Nooooo bagel!

And on and on with every possible breakfast food. And every possible prep method. This is all terribly exhausting.

The afternoon bit has to do with driving. I don't know if Relia inspired this but he likes to sit in the the back seat and criticize every little thing I do, whether it makes sense or not. 'Go! Stop! Too fast!' and so on.
I am soooo tired of being yelled at.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Fields of Gold

I made Relia a new lullaby CD and included this wonderful cover by Eva Cassidy. We get to this song right about the time that I'm counting her to sleep and I can't help but sing along. Absolutely gorgeous.
Cassidy's story is a very sad one. She worked as a musician and died young of melanoma. Some four years after her death she was 'discovered'. A wonderful voice, taken from us too young.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Whoops! - Diaper edition

I didn't realize that I missed posting yesterday. Sorry about that. No really new news here. Still trying to figure things out. Making some progress. We have two kids in diapers again and that's a change. Back when DF was born, Relia was right near the end of wearing them so we had two but not for very long. DF is about nine months younger than she was then, so we could be doing this for a while.
Ok, those last couple of thoughts seem complicated. Let me try that in chart form.

DF born - Relia 2 years, 8 months.
Leo born - DF 1 year, 11 months.

However, we're probably four years or so from being done with diapers. Night time pull-ups, sure, but not the daily diaper changes. So we have that to look forward to.
Yesterday I was changing Leo when he decided to fountain a bit. I wasn't prepared and finally just held the new diaper in the stream. He quit and I started fumbling for another new diaper. The waterworks started again. More panic from me which was repeated when he fired away fora third time.
This only happened with DF once so I'm not used to playing defense so fast. But I'm learning and he has given me great incentive to do it right!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

At Home

We're trying to figure out the new dynamic here at home. That includes figuring out how the older kids can relate to Leo. They want to be all over him, which obviously won't work. We set up a little protective pen where we can put his rocker. It gives him some protection. They can still see him but they can't rock him wildly while he is trying to sleep.
We also hit Target today. Had to use two shopping carts. Did you know that they no longer recommend putting the car seat in the upper carrier? I didn't either. Anyway, we'll figure it out.
And then comes the car. Getting three kids in is at least twice as hard as two. Especially since one of those seats requires one of us (me) to climb in the back to buckle Relia.
All of these little details. We'll get them, of course. But it's all a learning process.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Back Home

The FP Gal and Leo are home now. Relia and DF are both fascinated by him. She wants to hold him. DF wants to poke his face. I think DF thinks Leo is the most interesting doll ever.

Anyway, we're all very tired. At some point I'll write about the delivery but not yet.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Birth Announcment!

Leo was born last night at 1253a. He came in weighing 9lbs, 6 oz and looks great. The FP Gal is doing great too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Marking Time

We're in such a strange quantum state here. Every day we plan as if it might be The Day. But it isn't. And at some point each day we decided that it will be at least one more day. Today we talked about this about 11a. Because babies come at night, right?

This morning we went to the Wild Rumpus. For those who don't know, this is a children's bookstore in south Minneapolis. It's a very clever place. It has several animals like cats, birds, chinchilla and at least one chicken. The kids loved it. Relia was especially taken by the bathroom. The mirror behind the sink looks normal until you turn off the light at which time it is revealed to be a fish tank! As I said, very clever.
Then it was off to a BK with a play area so that the kids could run around. Well, climb around. DF climbed and climbed like a champ. Only after he'd done the full round a couple of times, did we realize that the intended age frame was 4-10. Whoops!
Anyway . . . it was an ok day.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Five Days Past

We're starting to get deeply past the due date. We've been in this range before, with Relia. One big difference is that it's hard to explain how this works to the kids. Today at Target, DF stopped us near the baby stuff to point out a crib. He rather emphatically said, "baby bed!". I asked him if he knew that a baby was coming to live with us and he didn't. I told him there is a baby in mommy's tummy and I don't think he believed that either. He's in for some learnin' . . .

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


DF finished his popsicle:

DF: More popsicle!
Me: You need another one, buddy?
DF: Yes! More!
FP Gal: Say please.
DF: (pause while looking at me) Say please daddy!
Me: (chuckles) Ok, please can I give you another popsicle?
DF: Yes!

Sunday, April 08, 2012


We didn't have all that eventful of a day. We took the kids over to the FP Gal's folks for lunch. They've added a very nice porch and subtracted a kitchen so (. . . doing the math) we had some food from the grill. All very pleasant.
There was chasing of children, of course. DF had some blueberry pie and then lost a battle with his glass of water. Relia decided that she didn't like chicken or vegetables or really anything else as long as there were chips available. C'est la vie.

No reall progress on the baby front.

Late in the afternoon I played catch with the kids. Relia is gettin an arm on her. She still needs to work on her control. And to try not to jump while catching. But she's coming around. DF has learned how to spike his football. He wants to do more but that's all for now.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Due Date

As of today, we have reached the due date. You may recall that with Relia we sailed right on past this date. She came some four months later. With DF it was somewhat different. Almost two years ago it was. We reached his due date and we were both in for another long haul. Then late at night the FP Gal started having back pains and, long story short, we went in and had him.
Today? Well, the FP Gal just doesn't seem like she's ready yet. It's nearly 9p while I write this so while technically there is still time, I'm not going to bet on it. At least if the New Baby is going to come today, we will need a bit of a rush on it.
While the baby could come at any moment, there is a real deadline on this. At some point we would induce. That doesn't seem as daunting as at did the first time around.

I don't remember who I've mentioned this too, but, message to family members, I've agreed this time to call all of you personally before I post things in various social media venues.

Friday, April 06, 2012

Good Friday

Our readings this month were something of a happy accident. Last month we got Caesar on the Ides of March, and this time we get the book of Matthew. The only other match that I can see for the rest of the year comes in November, when we have the Constitution of the United States along with a big election.

Anyway, I hope that everyone has a very good Holy weekend!

(Update: Whoops! I meant for this to go over on the Great Readings Blog. Still, I wish everyone well here too.)

White Sox 2012

The White Sox season starts today - and I'm torn. Part of me is excited. It is baseball after all. But another part of me is a bit disappointed. I'll miss Ozzie and Buehrle. The identity of the team has changed, and that might be for the best, but I'm more cautious than anything else.
Last year they were sometimes a very bad team and sometimes ok. This year I expect more of the same. But I'm emotionally preparing myself for them to be a bad team. It wouldn't surprise me if they are firmly in fourth place for most of the season.
Maybe I'll be wrong. I hope so! I hope for turnaround seasons and sudden growth from young players. Maybe Sale will be a surprise Cy Young candidate. Maybe Ventura will be a great manager.
But that's not the way I'd bet.

Have a Great Friday

Wednesday, April 04, 2012


DF has proved himself to be a very good singer. Not tunes so much yet (though he has the gist!) but even before he turns two, he is good with the words. Yesterday in the car I told the FP Gal that I'd caught him singing Happy Birthday to himself. I turned and sang him the first phrase and he did the second. Then he asked me to sing so I did. I didn't know who to dedicate the song to so I waited there to see what he'd say. It went like this:

Me: Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you. Happy birthday dear . . . (pause)
DF: (pause) Cake!
Together: Happy birthday to you!

He doesn't know all of the traditions but he knows to ask for cake. Tonight in the tub we started doing the ABC song. He doesn't have it all down but he nailed the end. He got the 'W, X, Y, Z, now I (mumble), next time won't you sing with me!'

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

Finally, the Names

I worked hard to convince the FP Gal that we're ready to share the names and she finally has allowed it. I hope you like them. We worked on the boys name for ever!

Celeste Elizabeth:

Italian feminine form of Caelestis.
Late Latin name which meant "of the sky, heavenly".

From Ελισαβετ (Elisabet), the Greek form of the Hebrew name אֱלִישֶׁבַע ('Elisheva') meaning "my God is an oath" or perhaps "my God is abundance". The Hebrew form appears in the Old Testament where Elisheba is the wife of Aaron, while the Greek form appears in the New Testament where Elizabeth is the mother of John the Baptist.

I'm pretty sure this name came to one of us while reading The Story of Babar, The Little Elephant to Aurelia. Once it was said out loud, it was the name. Just like I did with with Relia, I have moments where I think it sounds too fancy, but we still both love it. Elizabeth is for Aunt Liz. I knew I wanted to honor her because she is one of the more awesome ladies I've ever known.

Leonardo Xavier:

Originates from the Old High German, Leonhard containing the prefix levon ("lion") and the suffix hardu ("brave" or "hardy"). The name has come to mean "lion strength", "lion-strong", or "lion-hearted". It may also be from the Latin Leo ("lion"). Leonard was the name of a Saint in the Middle Ages period, known as the patron saint of prisoners.

Derived from the Basque place name Etxaberri meaning "the new house". This was the surname of the Jesuit priest Saint Francis Xavier (1506-1552). He was a missionary to India, Japan, China,
and other areas in East Asia, and he is the patron saint of the Orient
and missionaries. His surname has since been adopted as a given name in
his honour, chiefly among Catholics.

My goodness we have struggled with a boy name again ths time. Why do we have such trouble in this area?

On Pi Day, March 14th (3.14), my math teacher office mates joked that if baby came that day we'd be obligated to give it a really math-y name. We ladies came up with a few ideas like, Pascal, Fibonacci, and Euclid. After sharing my day with FP and a bit of googling, Leonardo came up, and kept coming up. So it turns out he indeed will have a pretty math-y name. We'll be calling him Leo.

Xavier was settled on after a long list of middle name contenders. It is just a combo we like, and of course, we like the letter X in our boys names.

All this work, and half of it will certainly be for naught. If it is a boy, I'm going to have to run out and purchase this immediately.

Monday, April 02, 2012


How have we fallen behind in technology like this???

(via Instapundit)

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Not Today

No, this isn't about the New Baby. This is DF's new catch phrase: Not Today. We have no idea where it came from but he's using it all the time. And almost every time it's hilarious. Our son has perfect comedic timing.

Earlier today we were trying to figure out if it was warm enough outside to go out and play. Relia said that it was and DF piped right up with a Not Today! The FP Gal quickly said, "And now with the opposing view . . ." Which led to a discussion of a point/counterpoint weather program. (I love this idea and would tune in regularly.)