Thursday, June 29, 2006

Beware E-mails From The In-Laws

I received a forwarded e-mail from my mother-in-law today and was a little surprised. I rarely receive e-mails from her, we usually use the phone for communication, and I don't think any of the e-mails I have received from her have been forwards, they're usually direct messages.

So as I scanned my ten or so new messages and weeded out the spam, I felt a little shocked and almost embarrassed when I saw the subject line of the e-mail: "fwd: Best Positions In Bed." That's not usually a subject line you want to see in an e-mail from your mother-in-law!

Knowing my MIL, I assumed it couldn't be what it sounded like and opened the e-mail. To my great relief, it was a bunch of really cute pictures of dogs and cats sleeping in funny positions.

My world is right again.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Kids Say the Darndest Things

We've had several funny conversations with our kids this past week. Here are two that stand out and still make us giggle.

At dinner one night, Zoe was causing trouble with crying and whining, but not giving us any reason as to why she was behaving ths way. Brendan told her if she didn't stop, she'd go to her room. Well, Brendan carried Zoe upstairs and she stayed there for a few minutes. When enough time elapsed that it was time to get her out, I asked Brendan if he wanted to get her, or if I should go get her. He said it didn't matter. I responded that maybe he should go get her because I didn't want him to look like the bad guy, since he was the one who put her there in the first place.

Emma's response to hearing this: "Daddy doesn't look like a bad guy."

Yesterday I took the kids to Blackberry Farm. It is a historical park with activities for kids, like a train ride, carousel ride, pony rides, and pioneer cabins. While waiting in line for the pony rides, Ian read every sign posted. All of a sudden he turned to me and asked, "Mom, am I over 70 libs?"

I didn't understand what he was talking about until I saw the large sign posted at the entrance to the ride, "No riders over 70 lbs."

Friday, June 23, 2006

Ridiculous Conversations That I Have With My Kids

We were driving to Blackberry Farm today when I mentioned to Ian that it would be the Fourth of July in about two weeks. He loves Independence Day because it means a big parade downtown and a fun patriotic dessert that I whip up. Ian's birthday also happens to be in July and he posed the question, "What if I had been born on the Fourth of July?" I'm sure the thought of going to a parade every year on his birthday thrilled him tremendously.

We then talked about how it might be fun sometimes, but concluded that we would rather have our birthdays on non-major holidays. I then said, "If you were born on the Fourth of July, you'd have been a red, white and blue baby." No response from any of the kids in the van for at least thirty seconds. So I repeat what I said about a red, white and blue baby. Again, no response for about thirty seconds, although Emma seems to be turning her head around and straining to see something out of her window. "Where?" Emma asks.

"No, there is no red, white and blue baby. I said, 'If Ian had been born on the fourth of July, HE would have been a red white and blue baby,'" I tell Emma.

Silence. Then Ian says, "Who is?"

"Never mind," I answer.

Funny Signs

Now that Ian is out of school and I have all three kids home all day everyday for the summer, we've been driving around Aurora a lot more either going to the pool, a class, or some other fun location. In doing all this driving to parts of the city we don't normally frequent, I have seen a few funny (or at least odd) signs.

The first sign was out in front of a large older house. The house looked well-maintained from the outside, and seemed to have some of that charm that houses built before the 1960's often have. The sign in the yard read "For Sale Soon." Not "For Sale," but "For Sale Soon." Why the "soon"? Are they hoping prospective home buyers will wait until they see the actual for sale sign and then make a special appointment to see the house? Will it make buyers who are already looking think, wait, I might like this house even though I've never seen the inside and I should wait until it goes on the market in case it is the house for me? I just don't understand the necessity of a sign like that.

The second sign I saw on my way to Blackberry Farm today. I was driving down Galena Boulevard where there are several offices for lawyers, realtors, and other small businesses. We passed a sign for Liam Dixon, Attorney At Law. Underneath it in very large letters and numbers was a phone number, presumably for anyone needing to contact Liam Dixon, Esq. As the daughter-in-law of a judge and sister-in-law of a lawyer, I need to tread lightly here, but I think they would agree with me that it is lawyers like this that give the rest of them a bad name. His phone number was "1-800-NOT GUILTY." Seriously! It was only a matter of time before some lawyer snatched that number up. Fortunately for me, it is a lawyer that works in my hometown.

Friday, June 16, 2006

More Crucifixion Fixation

My almost seven year old son draws pictures of the crucifixion and discusses breaking bread over dinner. My youngest daughter, Zoe, who is only two, has noticed the crucifix in church and the one right outside her bedroom door. Each night before she goes to bed, Zoe gives Brendan a hug and a kiss in the hallway outside her room before I take her into her room to sing goodnight songs and lay her down in the crib. Lately Zoe's noticed Jesus' physical appearance on the cross in the hallway and will imitate it by putting out her arms, closing her eyes, and making her face as serious as she can. Then she points at the cross and says "Nigh nigh Eee" (Night, Night Jesus.)

As cute as that is, it gets even better. She then lowers her voice and says, "Nigh nigh" back to herself, from Jesus. She's a great sleeper, and wouldn't you be too if Jesus personally said good night to you every night?

The Catholic Education Is Paying Off - Part 2

First my son is drawing crucifixion pictures on the driveway. Tonight eating dinner we further discovered his love of learning about Jesus and His life.

I made strawberry soup, Chicken Kiev, broccoli, and sour cream biscuits for dinner. Ian devoured the soup, enjoyed his chicken, passed on the broccoli, and eyed the sour cream biscuits suspiciously. As I usually make muffins or rolls with a meal for a bread component, my kids aren't used to the unusal shape of a drop biscuit with it's browned peaks and funny lumpy shape. After watching his Dad and I, and even his little sister eat one, he decided to give one of the biscuits a try. He picked one up and noticed that it was quite large. Handing it to me, Ian asked me "Can you break this for me?" As I picked up my knife to cut it in the middle, he said, "Break it like Jesus broke bread. Jesus didn't have a knife."

Tuition dollars at work!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

A Trip To The Museum

I never mentioned that we sold our house last week! At least, it's under contract. The buyers had their home inspection today of our home, which meant we (the kids and I) had to get out of the house. Since the inspection began at 9:00, I chose the DuPage Children's Museum as our destination because the kids love it, we have a membership that we paid for so we might as well use it, and it opens at 9:00.

We arrived and Ian and Zoe immediately headed for the mirrored rooms while Emma ran off to the wall of straws that you push your hand into and it leaves the impression of your hand. After moving on they all discovered the room with the multicolored lights and twirling disco ball. After running into the room, they quickly realized that by standing on a certain line in the room, they could make music play. This caused a flurry of jumping and dancing on and off the line to make the music play.

What I love about the Children's Museum is that it is always changing. The same beloved exhibits are always there, but they often add new twists to the exhibits, or new exhibits entirely. Today we found a color wall that allowed you to change the colors and patterns on the wall by turning various knobs. Ian managed to make stripes, then spots, then an all white screen. Really neat!

There is a shadow room that captures your shadow for about 30 seconds for you to look at that we had a lot of fun in by raising our arms or our legs before the flash went off. At one point all four of us had our arms and legs spread, and after the flash exploded, I had a really amazing feeling about how neat it was to be experiencing this with my kids, all together.

On the second floor of the museum is an everchanging special exhibit. At one time it was model trains, which I took Ian to during the height of his train mania and we spent at least an hour up there watching the trains. Today it was an exhibit about Japan and Japanese animation. There was a whole part about Hayao Miyazaki and his films. The girls took off their shoes and pretended to have tea in a Japanese room while Ian and I found a stop action animation area where we made our own short movies. We both agreed on our way home that making our own little movies wasa our favorite part of the museum.

I think my favorite experience of the day, though, was with Zoe. She LOVES puzzles right now and I found a table that had some rubber puzzles on top. I sat down with her to help her with the puzzles and as she brought up a piece of the puzzle for some help, I would say, "Hmmmmm, where does this go?" A few pieces later and Zoe was saying, "Hmmmmmm" every time she looked for where the piece of the puzzle went. I hadn't even realized I was doing it until I heard Zoe do it. I tried to find as many puzzles on that table to do with her just so I could hear her say, "Hmmmmmmm" over and over again.

It was a great morning out, now hopefully the inspection news will also be good.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Funny Emma Quote of the Day

While waiting for Ian to receive his blue belt in karate, we watched as other students received their various colored belts as they advanced rank. One of the boy's names was Ariel, and when Emma heard Sensie Jackie call out his name her ears immediately perked up. Excitedly, she leaned over to me and said, "That's just like the Little Mermaid, except he's black, and he's a boy."

Friday, June 09, 2006

Survival Of The Fittest

Emma, my almost four year old, has developed a curious phobia of going upstairs alone. I would understand if it was just at night or when it is dark, but she is afraid first thing in the morning, when the sun is shining bright and the birds are chirping through the open windows. Almost every morning she requests me to fetch something for her, a toy, a book, her clothes. I usually tell her to get it herself, after which she cajoles and whines and asks me to pleeeeease go up and get whatever item is of such dire importance that it needs to be gotten right now. I usually stand firm, which leads to Emma trying to figure out a way to get her prize possession of the moment without actually going up the stairs by herself.

This morning was no exception. Emma just had to have her Fancy Cat, her stuffed cat that we recently made at Build-A-Bear Workshop courtesy of Christmas giftcards from her Aunt Elizabeth and Uncle Patrick. When I told her no, that she could get it, she decided that if Zoe, her two year old sister would accompany her, she could get Fancy Cat herself. So, after several times of asking Zoe to go upstairs with her, Emma retreived Fancy Cat with little sister in tow. I'm not really sure what protection Zoe would bring Emma, I think she'd probably just push Zoe at whatever monster was lurking upstairs and hope that by the time it was finished eating her baby sister, she'd be safe back downstairs with her mom and brother.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Pool Cuties!

These are pictures I took of my kids today playing in the "pool" in our backyard. They had a great time simply splashing the water around, sliding down the little built in slide and eating Superman popsicles in the backyard. Zoe loves the water in a pool and happily gets wet from head to toe. Emma spent much of her time pretending to be a mermaid by posing with her legs together to one side and leaning her head to the other side. I think she has been strongly influenced by the Barbie Mermaidia book I bought her at the book fair at Ian's school. Ian tried to make the biggest waves he could by sliding down the little slide with his knees together. He also enjoyed lounging in a green innertube. I just enjoyed the warm weather, sipped on an iced coffee and snapped loads of pictures!