Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Movin' on up!

Hello friends and family! Today is the big day! We're moving into our new house today! Unfortunately I couldn't get a technician to get our internet service setup at the new house until Monday morning March 2, so I wanted to be sure and get in a quick post to keep all of you up to date!

The movers are scheduled to be at our "old house" at noon to start loading up their truck. John moved *all* the boxes that we'd been keeping in our basement up to the garage to make it easier and faster for the movers to load the truck. I'll be meeting our new landlord sometime after 11:30am this morning to get the keys to the new house and John should be coming home from work by then to make sure he can help the movers (part of the deal for the discount I negotiated).

John took apart Renee's bunk bed last night, and Renee keeps asking questions about the movers and our stuff, can we please set up her big bed right now? (Once we get to the new house Daddy will put your big bad together in your new room!) Where are all our books? (The books are packed up in boxes so we can move them to the new house.) Are the movers going to take me in the truck, too? (No sweetie, Mommy and Daddy will take you tot he new house, you will stay with us.) Mommy can we pack up right now? (Yes sweetie, we'll start packing again as soon as Mommy finishes eating breakfast.)

Tomorrow I'll be cleaning and finishing moving the little things we didn't have enough boxes for, like the sewing machine, and the vacuum cleaner. Friday I'll be meeting the utility company at the new house to have them read the meter, and hopefully get my first delivery of Girl Scout Cookies that I ordered!!

Friday night John's brother Jeremy and their friend Dave will drive out here from Nebraska to stay for the weekend, and his brother Tim will also come down from South Dakota so they can all practice for their wedding gig. John's parents are planning to come out on Sunday, just before the guys all head back home. Monday the storage company will arrive in a big truck with all the nice things we have in storage (I can't wait for my nice big bed!) and we'll get the internet service hooked up. That should be the end of the move! Except of course for unpacking and getting organized, but it will be the end of the moving schedule.

Next week I'll get some pictures uploaded of the new house, and then after that you are all invited to come visit! Also, for those wondering, Renee finally seems to be feeling better again. She threw up Friday, Saturday and Monday, and though she isn't eating much yet, at least she's holding down the food she does eat. I suspect it was a stomache bug after all (not food poisoning), I've heard that's been going around.

The weather today is supposed to be up to round 46 degrees! Perfect for the move! Tomorrow is a 90% chance of snow and back down to the lower 30's. So it looks like our timing is excellent! Now I've got to run out and get Apollo to the paw park and then finish some last minute packing before the movers arrive. Big day!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Just a little news

This morning Renee had tummy trouble. Don't worry, I DIDN'T take pictures! I think she ate some cheese last night that didn't agree with her, but whatever the culprit, she barfed all over the place this morning. Poor little kid! After getting cleaned up, she did eat a huge bowl of oatmeal, but then nothing until a little chicken and rice for dinner tonight. No more barfing, though, so I think she's doing better. She has been a snuggly girl this afternoon, and very mellow, so Mommy has been getting to read into the 3rd book of the Twilight saga: "Eclipse". (Thank you Katy for sending me the whole series, I'm trying to read as slowly as I can to savor the adventure!)

Tonight John is going bowling with some buddies from work, so Renee and I are making a chocolate cake! I know- I'm not sure either if that is such a great idea depending on how her tummy is really doing...but it still seems like a fun way to pass the night without Daddy.

Tomorrow evening we're heading over to Terry, Ann and Emily's house. Terry is a friend of John's from work, and they have been so kind to invite us over for dinner many times since we've moved here last Spring. Renee loves playing with their daughter Emily, and Emily is always so sweet with Renee, even though Emily is 6! We're looking forward to buffalo burgers!

Next week will begin the new round of chaos, we're moving into our larger rental house! Hopefully we'll be getting keys on Wednesday, and moving all the big stuff (furniture and boxes) with the help of a friendly local service company. That should leave us Thursday to clean before our current landlord has the carpets cleaned on Friday. Friday night John's brother Jeremy and their friend Dave will come up for the weekend to do some rehearsing for their upcoming wedding performance in June. On Sunday of next weekend we're looking forward to Grammie and Papa Fischer coming down to see the new house and help us watch the little punk while we finish our move in.

Monday, March 2 is the next big day when the other moving company brings all of our stuff from storage (nice dining room set, favorite matress, outdoor furniture, cello, etc...), plus that's the earliest day we could schedule an installer to arrange internet service for our new house. We'll probably celebrate my birthday a day early on Tuesday since they're leaving Wednessday to go back to SD. No big birthday plans, just enjoy our wonderful, new, more spacious house! And maybe work on a new little sister for Renee. ;)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day!

Today John had a craving for coffee and donuts. So we decided to try and make our very own old fashioned donuts from scratch. Thank goodness John was here to help, I smoked out the house and burned the first bath of donuts very badly. So I passed the hot oil to hubby, who had no problem rubbing it in my face that I'm a lousy cook (very true when it comes to frying!) and took over the last half of the batch. It was a lot of work, though I might try it again, now that I know what I'm doing! The second batch tasted pretty darned good, and with a little help from Betty Crocker and her yummy chocolate frosting, we were in chocolate heaven! A nice little homemade treat for Valentine's Day!

Bribes don't only work on politicians

Here's my recent parenting challenge: I have been trying to convince Renee to go poop on the potty. She is otherwise potty trained, but for some reason she only wants to poop in her diaper. I offered to bake her a cake as soon as she uses the potty for #2, but nothing changed. Finally I got so tired of "trying" that I just stopped worrying about it at all, hoping eventually she would just change her mind. Talking with my sister in law Stephanie last weekend about my situation, she mentioned using M+M's as a reward for one of her kids. Maybe that would work better, like instant gratification...?

Yes, I did bribe my child with candy. We went to the store this week and I let her choose whichever bag of M+M's she wanted, and we talked about them as a reward, that she could eat them as soon as she pooped on the potty. Of course she asked to eat them all the time, breakfast, after nap snack, anytime was a good time for M+M's, but I always said to her: "What does Mom say? Only after you..." And Renee would finish my sentence: "go poop on the potty". The first day she tried desperately to poop on the potty, crying about wanting the M+M's! But it didn't quite work out, so she used the diaper. The next day she tried again, begging to poop on the potty so she could have M+M's...

And it finally worked!! Here is my little queen of the throne!

Essential tools for bribery: easily visable, brightly colored candy. Yummy peanut M+M's!

And the victorious child, with a handful of M+M's! I texted this picture to her daddy that afternoon while he was at work, "Look what Renee did today!" So far we haven't used a diaper in 3 days! The other thing Daddy promised Renee after she went poop on the potty is that Mommy and Daddy would make Renee a baby sister or brother... We'll just have to see about that :)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Jackson's 8th Birthday party (Indianapolis, IN)

Last weekend we took a trip to Indianapolis to spend time with John's brother Chris, his wife Stephanie and their three boys, Jackson, Gavin and Griffen. We arrived Friday afternoon and that weekend the weather was just starting to warm up- not just above freezing, but actually into the 50's! It was bound to be a great trip for that reason alone! It felt SO GOOD to walk outside without wearing thick winter coats, not even gloves or hats!

Saturday morning, Jackson had a "Pinewood Derby" contest with the local Boy Scouts. He and his dad had made a small race car all by themselves and all the scouts got together that morning to race against each other. Jackson's car was Top 5 this year! Saturday night, Steph arranged for a babysitter for the kids while the adults went out for a nice dinner at The Ram in downtown Indianapolis, then we did a driving tour of the city and got to see some of the hospitals where Chris currently works.

Sunday was Jackson's 8th birthday party. It was held at the Hoosier Gymnastics Training Center. What a great place for a birthday party! There was a small "waiting room" that we used to store our shores and coats and enjoy our birthday treats and had small things for the kids to climb and bounce on. The large room of course had all the BIG toys, the spring boards, the balance beams, the rings, the uneven bars. It looked like an Olympic training center! What the kids mostly got to use were the fantastic trampolines! And perhaps best of all was the "foam pit". The kids waited in line and took turns running full speed, then jumping onto a trampoline and spinning a 360 in the air until finally falling into a huge pit filled with large foam cubes! They could also swing from large ropes across the pit (or into it!). There were also two other very large trampolines for super high bouncing, another large rope just for climbing, lots of cushy mats for flopping onto and that was just the free play time!

The man who led the play time also had some organized games, like jumping in the foam pit, flashlight hide and seek, running and rope climbing games. As you can see from the following pictures, the adults had just as much fun as the kids did! Any birthday where all the kids are encouraged to run, play and "exercise" is outstanding! If I lived in Indianapolis, *I* would want to take some classes there!

Steph made a scrumptious strawberry cake, as requested by Jackson, and after almost two hours of play time we finally settled down for cake and ice cream! We all needed naps after that! Oh, I forgot that after the birthday party, while playing outside, I was dodging ice balls being thrown by the neighborhood kids and accidentally knocked Gavin's loose tooth right out of his mouth! We searched all over the street looking for it, but we never found it! A bloody grin with a missing front tooth sure made Gavin look tough! What a fun day!

We were so excited to finally visit Chris and Steph and the boys, and I'm glad we got to go out to Indianapolis before they move to South Dakota this summer!

The trainer helping Renee jump off the little trampoline into the foam pit.

Jackson doing a 360 into the foam pit!

Gavin is literally flying through the air!!

Chris doing a summersault off the trampoline onto the big soft mat!

Gavin gave John a "thumbs up" while jumping off the trampoline.

John enjoying being a kid again!

Nice height on that jump!

Wow, Chris can almost do the splits!

"Happy birthday dear Jackson, Happy birthday to you!"

Renee loved swinging from the bar and flopping on the mat.

I love Griffen's hair while he jumps on the trampoline in "shark infested waters"!

Monday, February 9, 2009

More good news!

I know, you really want more pictures, and I've got a TON of good ones to share from our FABULOUS weekend visiting John's brother Chris, his wife, Steph and their 3 boys in Indianapolis, IN this past weekend! We celebrated Jackson's 8th birthday, and all I can tell you about it right now is that it was BY FAR the BEST birthday party I have ever been to (so much fun for adults AND kids)!! But I've got to finish downloading all the pictures and videos from our cameras. SO before I get to that, I've got another announcement:

We're moving! We've had a great time in our tiny little home for the past 10 months, but we found a cute little house close by that will give us a little more breathing room, and a lot more storage space! Most importantly it has 2 bathrooms instead of only one! You know how important that is during potty training! We're hoping to get into our new rental house by the 1st of March, or maybe a little sooner. SO you can imagine that the end of February and the beginning of March will be pretty busy for us, moving again! Anyone want to donate a little slave labor in exchange for free food and beer?? And yes, I promise more pictures soon!!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Wii Fit

For those of you who don't know, the Wii Fit is a relatively new game for the Nintendo Wii, and instead of using a traditional controller, or even the usual motion sensitive Wii controller and nunchuck, there is a sensitive "balance board" which the participant stands on and the board records how well you keep your balance. Wii Fit has lots of different things to do, like Yoga, Strength Training and other fun Balance Games like Downhill Skiing and acting like a penguin trying to catch fish. It's very fun! John uses the Wii Fit just about every day and Kelly and Renee get to it every once in a while. Renee will usually mimic Daddy while he's working out on the Wii Fit and her favorite activity with the Wii Fit is the running in place exercise.

So last night Renee said "It's my turn Daddy!" and Daddy got everything setup for Renee to do a little bit of the yoga she had been watching Daddy do earlier. The first pose you see here is called the Half Moon posture. The idea is to maintain your balance so that the red dot stays withing the yellow circle on the screen.

First Renee tried it with Daddy's help, then she did it all by herself.

Notice the red dot is still not in the yellow circle yet...

And here is Renee's score after completing the left and right side of the Half Moon posture: 0 points!! The game traces your movements while you hold the yoga pose, that is the squiggly red line on the left and right side of the screen. The Wii trainer told Renee, "You're a little shakey".

Now for the Warrior Pose, first on the right side. As you can see, for this pose you only put one foot on the Balance Board at a time.

Now on the left side. Look she even remembered to point her fingers!

Now she's focusing on keeping enough weight on her front leg. Nice bend in that front leg! It's just so adorable to see her try! So natural and still so sweet when your little one wants to do everything that you do! Even though it is "technically" a video game, I think this still qualifies as setting a good example for her!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Free at last!

Normally, I like to keep chun-beeks focused on fun family happenings, which is why any of you would read this blog anyhow -if you want bad news there are plenty of other places to look. So although I've been posting a little less frequently lately I've kept the topic on the usual silly antics of the kid and the dog, etc. However, due to the enormous joy that we are experiencing right now, I feel compelled to announce that today, Monday February 2, 2009 we offically closed on the sale of our house in Washington! Please join us in our celebration, raise a glass and take a toast with us, "Free at last, free at last, thank god almighty we're free at last!"