Sunday, September 30, 2012

At the Zoo

I took the older Yahoos to the zoo this morning.  The last couple of Sunday mornings have been rough but today went pretty smoothly.  They wanted to go on the outside path and the Grizzly Coast.  We saw otters and sleeping bears.  We saw the little leopard cubs and found the sleeping tiger.  And about half way around the insisted on going to the farm. 
I'm not a huge fan of the farm.  Probably because pigs, cows and chickens really just don't impress me much.  But so be it.  We got to ride in a trailer behind a tractor and that undoubtedly is a big deal for them.  So we saw the farm animals.  Once we were done we had a little wait for the tractor to come back.  They wanted to look at the goats again.  There were little food dispensers and I patiently (and repeatedly) told the Yahoos that I didn't have money to buy food for the goats.  After some time DF decided to check one of the dispensers and two pellets fell out.  Relia picked one up and promptly fed it to a goat.  DF picked up the other and promptly ate it.
He said it tasted good.
We got out without any fights.  We saw a moose and some caribou and another tiger.  Then out to the car and back home for some football.  A very fine morning.  

Friday, September 28, 2012

Have a Great Friday

Relia helped pick this one.  I heartily approve of it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Relia's Boyfriend

Tonight at dinner, Relia casually told us that she got in a little bit of trouble today while sitting next to her boyfriend.  Of course, our ears perked up at the B-word.  We asked about him.  She told us his name but I didn't quite catch it. 
The FP Gal asked if he was a boyfriend because he was a boy and her friend.  She said no, it was because he called her his girlfriend.  Then she said "At first I thought, is there another Aurelia in this school?".  Apparently not. 
I asked her to tell me more about him and she said that he is very nice and a good boyfriend.  He kind of hugs her, but not really.  And he kind of kisses, but not really.  I asked her to show me how he 'not really' kisses her.  She came up and put her cheek up against mine.  Upon further questioning she told us that he did this because Relia asked him to kiss her.
We had a little talk about not kissing the boys at school.  And then a follow up on how you also should not ask the boys to kiss you.  I'm sure it won't be the last time we have this particular conversation...

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Comet News

We may be in for a show late next year. 
About a year from now, Comet C/2012 S1 (ISON) probably will become the brightest comet anyone alive has ever seen. How bright it could get is currently the subject of vigorous discussion among planetary scientists and everyday comet-watchers.
By late summer 2013, observers at dark locations should be able to spot the comet through small telescopes or possibly even binoculars. And sometime in late October or early November, C/2012 S1 should cross the naked-eye visibility threshold. From there, it may reach — or even exceed — the brightness of the Full Moon.

Monday, September 24, 2012


This morning I told DF that his name means 'lucky'.  His response?

DF: I don't seem to be lucky.

Keep in mind that he's not quite two and a half yet.  I asked him why he doesn't think that he's lucky and he said something like 'Ricky is a hole'.  I have no idea what that means and I couldn't get him to clear it up before he lost focus.
I haven't written many posts about the fun things that DF says.  He is a blast to talk to but he doesn't really say memorable things.  It's more about the way he says it.  He constantly surprises us with a very polite 'thank you'.  And sometimes he'll say things like 'yes, you may'.  But so far he isn't quite as quotable as his sister. 
Meanwhile, Leo (from no on LL for 'Little Lion') is also fun to talk with.  He laughs and shakes and giggles.  But, of course, no words yet.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Things I Have Learned from Children's TV Shows

In any group of young friends, there will usually be one (and only one) child/animal that causes trouble.  If the group or town would get rid of that one child/animal they would be safe and problem free.  This child/animal has one or more of the following attributes:
  • Bossy
  • Snotty
  • Reckless
  • Spoiled
  • Stuffed up nose

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Warp Drive?

An interesting post (well, interesting to me) about the possibility of a warp drive propulsion system for star ships.  Now, I'm not anywhere schooled enough in the sciences and maths needed to judge if this is concrete or not.  I'll leave it to smarter folks to poke holes in it.
But I will note this.  The recent history of transportation is the history of people saying that 'this' can't be done and then smart people going out and doing 'this'.  Heavier than air flight was impossible.  Breaking the sound barrier was impossible.  Going to the moon was impossible.  From what I understand, when the car was invented there was some concern that people couldn't survive driving faster than 45 mph or so. 
'Impossible' is not the way to bet long term.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Happy Monday

It was very cool here this morning, though not as wonderfully foggy as this picture shows.  The kids got a little lesson on how to dress warmly for Minnesota September mornings.  With any luck I won't have as much trouble convincing them to wear heavier clothes tomorrow. 
When I first looked at this picture, it seemed a little ominous but then I quickly changed my mind.  The gate, while chained, is still open.  And the path is obscured by fog, which is one of my favorites.  If I saw that and had time to explore, I absolutely would do so.
We could use more fog here in Minnesota.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Relia's Picks

This may become a running feature.  We'll see.

She picked the Bills because she thinks I like 'speed and races'.
She picked the Browns because that's the color the FP Gal's hair.
She picked the Vikings because she knows that I like them.
She picked the Dolphins because they are smooth.
The Cardinals because of Grandma D.
The Bucs because she wants to see the pirate ship.
The Eagles because she's been to the eagle center.
The Saints because they sound cool.  Like water cool.
The Jaguars because they run, run, run, run.
The Redskins because red is her favorite color.
The Cowboys because she wants to be a cowgirl when she grows up.
The Steelers cause Grandpa used to drive a jet.
The Titans because her tights are tight.
The Lions because 'lions are how you draw an egg'.  (I think she thought I meant 'line'.)
The Falcons because she likes falcons.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Wakey Wakey

I just went up to check on DF.  He'd been upstairs in his crib for several hours, ostensibly sleeping.  I'd been up about twenty minutes ago and listened but heard nothing.  This time I went ahead and opened the door.  He was laying on his back, eyes open and sipping water from a bottle.  He looked at me quietly said, "Shhhh, I'm sleeping". 
Oh, buddy, may you ever 'sleep' so quietly!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Potty Training

DF has expressed some interest in potty training.  He's still pretty young and we're not sure that he's serious. But we're willing to work with him, you betcha!  Anyway, on Sunday he decided it was time to sit on the potty.  The FP Gal took him into the bathroom and sat with him as he used the training potty.  She kept telling him that he needed to, um, tuck himself as he sat.  He totally didn't get it.  Long story short, he didn't really need to go.
As she came out of the bathroom she told me that at some point I would need to do some demonstrating for him.  I agreed but kind of dreaded it.  You see, I'm very private about the bathroom.  Not sure why and I'm not apologizing but the door remains firmly shut when I'm tending to business.  But yes, I would need to demonstrate for him.  Fair enough.
That led to this conversation yesterday afternoon.  I walked into the bathroom in the afternoon.  Only the boys and I were home.  I stopped and thought for a moment and then called to DF.

Me: Um, do you want to watch daddy go potty?
DF: (maybe thinking this was the strangest question ever)  No.

I resumed my normal routine.  I told the FP Gal about it and she said I didn't really approach it the right way.  I'm pretty sure that's true.
Man, this parenting thing keeps you on your toes.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Happy Monday

Our leaves are a'starting to turn!

Sunday, September 09, 2012

Why I'm Optimistic About the Vikings

The Vikings were dreadful last year and most football experts think they'll be dreadful again.  But I'm actually kind of optimistic.  And no, this isn't a knee jerk homer reaction, or at least not just a homer reaction.  Last year I thought that the Vikes would be bad.  I thought it was wrong to act like their competitive window was still open.  I probably wouldn't have guessed 3-13 bad, but I wasn't surprised by it.
This year is different though and I wouldn't be surprised if they go at least 8-8.  In fact, with luck, I think they could be in the playoff chase.  What's changed?
The 2011 Vikings were abysmal in close games.  They finished 2-9 in games decided by less than a touchdown.  (This represents bad luck more than it does bad play.  Teams that are much better or worse than .500 in close games almost always bounce back toward the median in the next couple of years.)  If the Vikes had gone 5-6 in close games last year they would have been 5-11.  If they had been a very lucky team, they could have been 10-6.
They suffered huge injuries in the secondary last year and sure enough, that was by far their worst unit.  If they can have their preferred players on the field more, they should play better.
Their offensive line will be better this year.  This has been a problem for some time and the 2011 line was the worst of the bunch.  Not only should it be better, it should lead to better QB play.  There is plenty of reason to think that Ponder will be much better this year.  NFL quarterbacks often show huge improvement from their first to their second season.  And we shouldn't forget that he had a short off season last year.
The 2012 Vikings start off with a soft schedule.  They first face a couple of teams that were pretty bad last year.  The Colts and Jaguars only won seven combined games in 2011.  There is every reason to believe that the Vikings are at least on par with the two of them, if not better.

I don't really know how the Vikings will do but they should be better than last year. 

Saturday, September 08, 2012

Football Picks

These are Relia's football picks for tomorrow, along with the reason for each pick.
  • Colts, because she likes horses.
  • Eagles, because she has been to the Eagle center.
  • Lions, for Leo, he is her brave lion.
  • Titans, because she likes tights.
  • Falcons, because she like falcons.
  • Jaguars, because she sort of likes 'J's'.
  • Redskins, because she likes red.
  • Jets, because Grampa used to fly a plane.
  • Dolphins, because she loves dolphins.  They are "so cute".
  • 49ers, because 49 is her favorite number.
  • Cardinals, because Grandma D loves cardinals.
  • Steelers, because she loves steel.
  • Bengals, because daddy likes tigers.
  • Chargers, because likes it when Grandpa charges her phone.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Daily Schedule

Awake at 7a - this depends almost soley on Relia. If she stays in her room until her light goes on, then 7a it is.  If she wakes up early and decides to wander around, well, then it starts early.  (She thinks she is super sneaky but really no one is ninja quiet on a century old wooden staircase.)
Downstairs with Relia and DF - this depends on whether or not he is also awake.  He usually wakes up when she does.  See note about lack of sneakiness in previous.  Usually, but not always, Leo is still asleep and is left upstairs.
Breakfast for the two oldest - Well, first there is the argument about what to have and then a seperate argument on how to have it ("no, I want the toast cold!").  To feed two children one must make 26 seperate trips from kitchen to dining room. 
Breakfast for me - About the time they finish eating, I shamelessly turn on the TV and let that babysit them while I eat. 
Preparation - around 830a I start getting stuff ready for the day.  I warm Leo's first bottle.  I make Relia's lunch for school.  She loves to help with this. 
Feed Leo - this is right about 845a or so.  As soon as I sit down and start him with the bottle the older kids run crazy, get into pointless fights and cause general mayhem. 
Put on shoes - right about 9a, I start getting Relia and DF into shoes (and soon coats!) so that we can walk down to the bus.  Leo goes into the pack and play. 
Down to the bus - this is a short walk, only about half a block away.  We arrive early, in part because I hate to be late.  If we were to miss this bus, I'd still have time to get her to school on time in the car, but that would be a huge pain.  So...we're early.
After the bus - We wave goodbye and then DF and I go home.  We get packed up and ready to go and we're horribly early.  Come winter, we'll need this time but we don't yet.  Today I burned some of that off by simply driving us to daycare by the longest practical route that I could. 
Drop off the boys - and then, blessedly, I have the place to myself for a few hours. 

Monday, September 03, 2012

Football Pools

If you haven't signed up yet for the Yahoo football pools (and you want to do so), please remember that the first (actual real) football game is Wednesday night.  Leave a comment if you need instructions and links.

Have a Great Monday

Saturday, September 01, 2012

Back to Normalcy

This week saw Relia start kindergarten, and that means that we're back to normal here.  Ever since Leo arrived 'way back in April, we've mostly been at home.  The FP Gal has been off from work and the kids have been home with us.  Now everyone has daycare or school.  (Well, almost everyone.) 
I am soooooo happy to be back on a normal schedule.