Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Kind of a doctor

We were driving to preschool this morning and Elliot saw a garbage truck driver as we were getting on the highway.
"Mommy, look, a garbage man -- he's a community helper, you know."
"Yes, he is."
"You are a community helper, too."
"I am?"
"You're kind of a doctor."
"I am?  Wha ...?  No, Elliot, I am not a doctor."
"Yes, you are Mommy.  You raise money for kids with cancer."
"I do do that."
"So you are a doctor.  You make them feel better."
"I'm not really a --"
"Yes, you are.  You are kind of a doctor."

If I am a doctor, why doesn't my bank account show it?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Swimming with the sharks ... I mean, watching the sharks swim

We scored some free passes to Underwater Adventures and decided to take advantage on a typical Minnesota muggy Sunday ... Definitely not worth paying $20 a piece (ticket value), but VERY cool for free!

Watching the snapping turtle ... Dustin is such a science geek; he would be so happy hanging out here all day, just him, the reptiles and the fish.  Elliot and I moved a little too fast for him.

 Libbi was more interested in her sticker it seemed ...

Elliot and Sharky, with Libbi watching from afar ... even painted sharks are scary, I guess.

This is just a cool pic, but clearly I wasn't understanding that the flash was not a good idea in an underground tunnel GLASS aquarium.

Not many places you can go where a 7 ft. sawfish swims over your head.

Or sharks ...

Or giant stingrays ... COOL!

Elliot loved these fish because there were like a hundred "Nemos".

"Mom, look a seahorse!"
"Do I see that horse?"
"What horse?"
"No, Mom!  SEAHORSE!!!"
"I don't see a horse."
Ha ha ha ha ha ha ... Sometimes it is too easy.

If we cannot be in the AC to get away from the muggyness, we must get WET!

Libbi was rockin' the ruffles and polka dots at North Mississippi Regional Park.

Sometimes I just want bottle up this sweetness and curiosity and save it for later!

Elliot and Trey, yet another child of another previous daycare provider. :) (Shawna)  We had a great time with the kids on Saturday and held out the weather.  The boys got along great the first 3 hours ... then, we ALL needed a nap.

Mr. July enjoying Sprinkler Day at preschool.  Again, why can't I bottle this up and save it.  I want him to be 4 forever.

Elliot and his best friend and worst enemy (depending on the day), Brennan.  This was obviously a best friend day.  How cute!  Brennan came up to me and said, "You know what, Jackie, I like you."

Ah, to be 4 again, and be thrilled at a sprinkler spraying straight up in your face.  Good times!


It had been 6 months since Libbi and Baby Gavin were together, so you can imagine how thrilled she was to have a lunch date on Friday.  After canceling multiple times due to Gavin being sick, Libbi being sick and, oh yeah, I had MONO for 6 weeks ... we finally were all together again.  Libbi was so excited to see him that she actually climbed right up into the car and didn't want to get out.  (But Libbi, we are at YUM!  We must go inside!)

For those of you who don't know about Gavin, you should read the blog alongside this post in my reading list, titled "Haiti's Given Son." Rachel (Libbi's previous caregiver) is an excellent writer and provides some of the most ADORABLE photos I have ever seen.  I know we are all biased about our own cute kids, but you cannot deny this baby's magic.

Gavin, here giving a big ole' smooch to his new sister Nadia, has been through more in his short life than most people could ever imagine.  Our friends Rachel and Jason rescued Gavin following the earthquake in Haiti, after he had an emergency colostomy and was transported to the U.S.  They came to find, shortly after his arrival, that the colostomy was only one of this sweet baby's issues.  They also discovered a tethered spine, ill-functioning heart, only one functioning kidney, and he is deaf, among other things.  However ... you look at this baby, and he is just the most content little cupcake.  But all of these ailments (and then scheduled surgeries) made it too difficult for Rachel to continue watching Libbi, and we had to part ways.  A VERY sad day for the Family Stone indeed, but a fresh start for little Gavin.  Six months later, colostomy-free, and cute as a button, we FINALLY got to reunite!

And once we got past Libbi trying to feed him oversized grapes, we had so much fun!

Libbi was SO HAPPY to have her playdate Nadia with her again!  Two peas in a pod - like no time had passed.  I didn't even find a problem with the fact that they were chasing each other around the restaurant ... do you think the other restaurant patrons did?  Ha!  I don't care!

We also snuck in as many kisses as we could ...

 And hugs!  I ♥ this baby!

One last squeeze of the giraffe and we're out!  Get well, Gavin ... we love you!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Dad, Christian says I play like a girl!"

Looking at the picture above, of Elliot jumping the wall at Target Field (okay Dustin is holding him, but still!) it is hard to believe that anyone could question Elliot's athletic ability -- the kid has talent ... however, I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that Elliot may just be that kid ... the whiny tattletale that draws in, like fear-smelling dogs, the boys who need to show everyone who's boss.  In this case, Christian.

"Elliot, do YOU think you play like a girl?" (Coach Dustin/Dad)
"No." (Elliot)
"Then don't listen to Christian." (Coach Dustin/Dad)
"Okay." (Elliot)

The thing is that Elliot actually WILL have athletic abilities ... I can see it already.  The problem is that:
a) he is going to be the youngest in his class when he starts kindergarten
b) he doesn't stop talking, which for many of you is endearing, but for some kids is quite annoying
c) he tells people when he is bothered, which just makes them want to bother him even more

c) is the case with Christian, who is, aside from a foot taller than Elliot, just hell-bent on bothering him.  Glove on the head, pushing, taunting ... and they are on the same team.  WTF?!

Now, because I do not want to be that mom, the mom that gets involved and constantly comes to the aid of her child by yelling at other people's children, I choose to sit on the sidelines, with smoke fuming out of my ears, trying to be distracted by Libbi (#1 fan)

and hoping, just hoping, that he toughens up sooner than later.  If not, grade school could be much harder than he thinks.  The good thing is that he's got a few things on his side:  he's smart, he's funny, he's cute, and he's got great eyelashes.

It also helps that Dustin is the coach, and while he won't interfere (like I want him to!), at least he can keep the boys and girls under control this summer.  Here are some pics of Coach Dad in action ...

Look at that encouragement!

And he gives one-on-one direction to all the players ... even the girls.  His biggest accomplishment in week #2 was remembering everyone's names.  Way to go, Coach.

But here's the player that we really care about.  Elliot looks sad here for some reason, but he was pumped every time he got to bat.  I think he just didn't want Dad's help.

Nice work Elliot!  I hope you hit Christian smack in the middle of his forehead.

More action shots.

And then no action whatsoever, because, oh wait, this is PRESCHOOL T-BALL.  The guy behind him was one of Dustin's "not helpful" assistants for the week. Good thing Dustin actually knows how to coach.

And here are the fans, trying to be cheerful for just 5 more minutes.  I think Dustin asked if it was 8:00 yet about 3 times.

I am hopeful that Elliot will develop into a serious t-ball talent to be reckoned with, but if anything, he is a super-cute Twins fan, and that will do for now.

THEN ...

Thursday night we move into the epitomy of preschool soccer, displayed in this highlight reel:

Soccer flock #1 - Elliot gets schooled

Soccer flock #2 - Elliot goes wrong direction

Soccer flock #3 - Elliot goes in the net

Soccer is going to take a little more work.  He's got the energy, he's got the pace, he's got the shin guards ... I just don't think he really understands the game, which could be a problem.  Clearly that is everyone's problem, aside from the 16 year-olds they played in their first game.  I think the score was 20-1.  And that 1 was kind of an accident.  Again, thank God he's cute, right?

"Strategizing" with the coach.  The kid on the right, Truman, is watching a butterfly or something.

Practicing with Fiona.  Looks like a pro!

Cheerful, right before he got kneed in the thigh.  Shake it off, Elliot.  Shake it off.

Elliot's first experience with "good game" ... He didn't quite get it, but at least he was saying it to somebody!

Again, biggest fan ever!

After a rough game, one must definitely shave and reflect on the competition.  Next, he'll be drinking a cold one and watching the game tape.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Big Boy Bunkin', Beach Bummin', Slip Slidin' Weekend

Our uneventful weekend became pretty eventful with me and Elliot in charge.  We are going to be busy or gone nearly every weekend of the summer (I have asked Dustin to request like 100 days off), so this was going to be the relaxing weekend leading into the chaos.  But Elliot and I can't help ourselves when it comes to planning the perfect weekend.

First, major shift in toddler status for young Elliot.  After 2 years with the big boy bed, we officially flipped it (literally) into a bunk-style bed.  All of a sudden, I thought, "look at all the space he has" which translates unfortuantely for Dustin to "we need to hit up some more garage sales!"  He has done well every night so far and hasn't fallen out yet.

Although, his exact words, when he got up there were, "Guys, I am not sure how I feel about this."  Keep in mind, he is an entire 4 ft. off the ground.

For funsies, I thought I would show Dustin's latest creation ... Autobot Headquarters.

Seriously, there is no messing around with this thing.  It even has a door with hinges.

Saturday, we ventured to Lake Calhoun, and we enjoyed lots of sunshine and no gang activity.  No pictures here because we had a hard time keeping the kids in the same place.  And, Dustin and I prefer to avoid pictures of us in swimsuits most days.  Unfortunately, like most holiday weekends, Dustin had to work, so we cut the beach break short and headed back home.  Vanessa came over Saturday night and tried to make me drink two bottles of wine, but I refused.  It was nice to spend some quality time with her and know that she is happy.  I had a dream about confronting her ex that was non-eventful even though in my dream I really let him have it ... Since Dustin and I are on this homemade salsa kick lately, I have this idea of thinly slicing 3 or 4 jalepenos and then rubbing my fingers (with gloves on) in them and sticking them in his eyes.  Personally, I think this is genius, but who knows.  He certainly deserves it.  And, according to Elliot, "he should be in the 'whosegow', which is Spanish for 'jail'."  "Whosegow" is a word that my mom made up, and I am not sure where the Spanish part came in, but I think it is kind of clever.

Sunday, we actually went to church and then mostly hung inside during the rainout.  Lots of popcorn, lots of movies ... it was my choice this week (we take turns between the 3 of us) and I chose The Muppets Take Manhattan.  Excellent movie, I forgot how much I loved it as a kid.  How can you not love the rats using butter as ice skates on a frying pan?

Today however, was gorgeous and I wish Dustin could have been with us.  We started out with the intention of getting Elliot's hair cut (big babtism weekend comin' up), but they were closed, so instead, we went to Target and got a slip n' slide (among other things, necessary and unnecessary).  I never had one of these growing up, and now I think I know why ... this thing would have driven my dad crazy with his perfectly perfect, OCD-ish manicured lawn.

Elliot took to it like I took to sliding bases in high school.  Run really fast and fall down.

So, he opted to sit in the chairs and play with his "Monster Blaster."  Watch out all of you visiting next weekend, this WILL be coming to the pool.

Libbi liked the slip n' slide but was more interested in the chips n' salsa.

We could buy stock in Tostitos the way she plows through this stuff.

She was incredibly helpful, however, with the watering of the flowers ...

When the water actually made it to the flowers.

We captured bugs, blew bubbles, captured more bugs ...

And captured more bugs.  We even ended the night with grilled salmon, sweet corn, homemade salsa (there it is again) and went to Dairy Queen for dessert.

However, this was my favorite moment of the day ...

We were playing Go Fish (p.s. I can always win because he lays all of his cards out), and Elliot throws his arms behind his head and says, "Hey Mommy ... Daddy sits like this, you know.  And I want to be just like my daddy."  For the love of everything sweet ...