Saturday, May 28, 2011

My Husband Loves Movies

He loves them so much that once in a while he cooks up a plan to watch all of a series of movies in one day.  Like all six of the Star Wars (done it) or all three of the Lord of the Rings extended versions (not yet).  It seems like a marvelous idea but when it's over, the idiots dummies fellas who participate with him are cross-eyed and swear to never watch movies again.  They are sore and cranky and sick from too much movie snacks because we all know you can't watch a movie without enough red vines and chips and Goobers to last a Himalayan expedition.  Today- actually last night and today- they schemed to survive the ultimate Harry Potter viewing.  They watched all seven movies over the span of Friday evening and from 9:30 am until 11:15 pm today.  They work themselves illegally doing this only allowing a ten minute break between movies, one half hour for lunch and one half hour for dinner and Dustin is a relentless coordinator of film times keeping to a strict schedule and posting it well in advance just in case one more person wants to sneak in between shows.  They will know to show up at exactly 3:52 pm to catch whatever movie starts next in case they've seen the prior episodes.  It's insanity at its finest.  I don't attempt to stick around and partake.  I don't love movies THAT much and I love my lower extremities more than their determination of finishing what they said they would.  I don't think I can sit that long.  Most of the time they are bleary eyed and sick of it half way in but damn it if they aren't going to complete the task. 

So where does that leave me?  Well, we haven't done one of these feats in a while so when I said yes to this chore, I forgot that small children are a) not quiet in a house 2) not able to watch these movies and f) not likely to leave Aaron alone especially if he brings Brutus.  I started planning a day long excursion with both kiddos but didn't decide on our destination until midnight on Friday.  Where could we go with questionable weather and stay out for twelve hours?  It had to be a combo of things so we did the errands business in the morning- hair cut, Starbucks run, gas up the car and hit up Northwest Trek AND IKEA for the rest of the day.

Usually any two items from that list is enough to run Breckin and Ella ragged but the whole list?  It was the antithesis of movie day.  I didn't sit down for twelve hours.  Ella sort of did but she was more interested in getting out at each animal habitat and playing in the kids furniture at Ikea so not only did I not sit down, I was lifting her in or out of the stroller five hundred times.  Breckin walked the whole way at Trek and played in the ball pit at Ikea.  Hello exhuasted feet.  Both kids were phenomenally good.  Beyond my expectations.  I think it helped that it was a yes day.  Wanna go back to the wolves?  Sure.  Wanna eat hot dogs for lunch?  Sure.  Wanna visit the scientist research cabin fourteen times?  Ok.  Slow down?  Fine.  Run?  You bet.  Whatever caught their fancy, we did.  Cause we didn't have to be home at any certain time.  We spent six hours at the Trek going back to visit Ella's favorite river otters no less than ten times.  We checked on Breckin's wolves at every opportunity.  We played scientist and lost camper and forest adventurers in the research cabin.  We had ice cream.  Twice.  We had the luckiest tram ride of the day seeing newborn bison, black tailed deer, their babies, trumpeter swans, mountain goats, elk, caribou, moose and their babies, a hummingbird flew through our window, a raccoon, blue heron, and bullfrogs.  Breckin saw a wolverine go poo in it's den.  He listened to the park ranger talk about a Spotted owl and asked intelligent questions like "how old is that owl when is his birthday mine is May 11th?"  and "did you know I've been very good at not touching the stinging nettles?"  and "I think I'm kinda done with this owl which way is it to the wolves?"  He's scientific like that.  I took some pictures but it wasn't worth my arm skills to try to juggle the camera and chase Ella and pull Breckin back from habitat fences.  So the pictures lost the battle.  There are some over there.  They ended about lunch time as did my arm tolerance. 

The kids went to bed at 10:30- parent award of the year, I know- but we don't do days like this very often and I'll consider it a vacation day.  Would they have gone to bed much earlier if we were in a hotel or cabin?  Nope.  And I'm really hopin they sleep past 8:00 and don't mind playing some board games or coloring or watching a movie tomorrow.  My feet could use the break.  Sorry, hon.  Looks like it's more movies.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

My Not-so-little Helper

My brother-in-law, best known as Uncle Jim, is a home inspector.  He came over today to practice some new tricks on our house and do home inspection stuff- I don't pretend to know what he does.  It's not that we needed a home inspection but our place is available for trying his new stuff on....  it's cool.  So, the very insta-second he walks in the door, he gets greeted in his usualy fashion.

"Uncle Jim, did you bring any tools?"  Not hi, or hey there, or what's new?  Just a small six year old wondering if the Uncle who knows how to make rockets out of tin pie plates and fruit cans and jumping jacks happens to have any tools or tool boxes on him.  Everyone needs an uncle like that.  And, today, he did have some tools.  Done.  Breckin was hot glued to Uncle Jim's side pocket for the rest of the day. 

Breckin was "helping" me get the front closet cleaned out and moved around so Uncle Jim could have access to the crawl space and "helped" me move Daddy's lumber out of the way so Uncle Jim would be able to get to the electrical panel in the garage.  He knew the fun that was coming.  After a quick badgering of trying in vain to get Uncle Jim to come see his new dragon castle or play legos or watch this neat trick or check out that ninja move- none of which worked- Breckin was content to follow Uncle Jim asking no less than 5,472 times if it was time to go under the house.  Uncle Jim is solid.  He did not waiver once and always answered "no, it wasn't time to go under the house" until Breckin gave up and stopped asking.  Only then would it be time. 

I went to put Ella down for a nap about fifteen minutes into the home inspection when Breckin comes tearing upstairs like a man on a mission.  He informs me that he is getting dressed for the day- a Batman Lego tshirt and backwards black tear-away pants- and runs back downstairs in time for me to see him put on his shoes and jacket and head outside to follow Uncle Jim around looking for working outlets, stuff under the roof, and whatever else a home inspector does.  I never did hear Breckin stop talking to Jim but uncles are very good at nodding, responding with an occasional uh-huh, and going about their business as usual.  He followed Uncle Jim all the way around the house in the pouring rain- who knows what went on out there- and they both came in to finish the job. 

Daddy came home then, and it was just in time.  It was time to go under the house.  Uncle Jim let Breckin use his extra special, small, super bright flashlight since our lantern needed eight D batteries and we were fresh out.  We lifted the hatch- a small square of carpeted floor that all but disappears in the front closet.  It's only small enough to barely fit one person at a time and Uncle Jim went first.  Daddy lowered Breckin down with strict orders to stay with Jim.  I don't know how it went.  I had to run some errands.  But Breckin has been waiting for the day to go under the house since we moved in.  I hope Uncle Jim found everything he needed and got some good inspection practice.  One thing I do know is he is fully prepared for any home inspection where children are home.  No one can compare to this guy when it comes to concentrating under pressure.....

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Would you rather?

Would you rather go bananas for one day or spread birthday celebrations out over several days?  Would you rather damn near kill your child with excitement in one 24 hour period or string it out and lengthen the anticipation over several weekends?  Is it time to just give up all nutso parties and invite three friends from school over for dinner and a slumber party?  I think so.  I keep going through this debate and it's hard because 1) he has friends from school and friends from the hood and family from everywhere and we want to include them all and B) Dustin and I enjoy having people over for dinner and games and we will take any excuse to do so.  But I think I slayed my son.  He is so pooped from Saturday's nonsense of bouncy house party, TBall picture day, TBall game, and evening BBQ and hanging out session that I need someone to remind me of this next May.  So I don't do it again.  I had a great time and took a lot of easy roads so I don't feel stressed out but he is worn the heck out. 

It doesn't help that we went to Great Wolf Lodge for four days in the same week as this insanity.  What?  It was super cheap cause it was mid-week and a good time to go schedule-wise.  We had a ball.  There were no rules and if someone wanted to go to the water slides, we went.  If we wanted to eat, we ate.  If we wanted to walk up and down five flights of stairs millions of times to complete quests and slay the dragon, we did.  We slept in.  7:30.  We stayed up late.  8:30.  I spent four hours in the kiddie pool and bought a real deal film waterproof camera spontaneously cause my kids are too damn cute in the water.  Ella is not actually a small child, she is a fish.  I could not get her out of the water.  She woke up three times in the middle of the night wanting to check on her slides and new best friend- snakey- a ten foot, red, floating snake in the middle of the big pool. 

Are we done?  Hell no.  Tomorrow is the actual birthday and Saturday both kids are in their cousin's wedding.  Maybe we can breath on Sunday.  Or maybe we will be in padded rooms.  Eating cupcakes.