Sunday, August 26, 2007

Justin Timberlake / What Goes Around Live

An Embarrassing New Love

Quick edit - the video came in above this post, so hopefully after reading this, you will see the connection!!

I have a new fascination, adoration, admiration, obsession (whatever you care to call it) with Justin Timberlake and his music. Yes, I officially feel like a teeny-bopper for saying that! I started to like him when he was on SNL over Christmas. His skits were great and hysterical. As for the music, I have heard some of his live performances and I am always impressed when a singer sounds as good live as they do on CD. I have also heard interviews with other musicians who have commented on what a good musician he is. For instance, he doesn't need to take a dozen takes to get a song right.

So, I have been thinking about how much I like his music and I refused to allow myself to openly admit to it because I thought that he got his start with New Kids on the Block. Each time that I thought about NKOB, I kept going back in time to when I was a camp counselor. During one of the summers, I had a slew of 3rd grade girls were absolutely in love with NKOB and that they were all excited to go to their concert later in the summer. It was all that I heard about for a week. Since I was a senior when those girls were 3rd graders, I refused to age myself to that extent. So, yesterday after downloading a few of his songs, I decided to check it out and good news - he isn't from NKOB. Granted, he is from 'N Synch, but at least he isn't from NKOB!

Do any of my girlfriends out there like Justin Timberlake? Kirstin? Susan (your girls probably listen to him!)? Anyone?

I just attempted to link a youtube video of "What Goes Around Comes Around" to my blog. Check it out! (as will I since I have no idea how it will post!)

Okay, time to switch from teeny-bopper to Mom - time to get groceries!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Alexander's Notions on His First Grade Teacher

This year, Alexander will be a Firstie and we have been anxiously awaiting news from the school as to whom his teacher is (Ethan's will be the same since he is in a mixed age program, so we weren't anxiously awaiting to hear who his teacher is).

Well, the teacher announcements came out this week. First, I need to tell you that there was quite a bit of shuffling of teachers from one grade to another due to retirements and other changes. For instance, one of the Kindergarten teachers from last year, Miss Ludgate, has moved up to be a first grade teacher and this is the teacher that Alexander got. What was his response??

"Whew. She's only a Kindergarten teacher, so she doesn't know that much!"

Boy, is he in for a surprise!!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Rainy, Sunday Afternoon

I love rainy (or snowy) Sunday afternoons. Why? Because it forces me to slow down and relax. If you don't want to brave the elements, the errands can wait, the outdoor activities can wait, everything can wait. Well, except for one thing today - birthday parties! Both of the boys are at birthday parties at opposite ends of the southern-side of the Cities. Ethan is in Eden Prairie at the bowling lanes for Austin's party and Alexander is in Eagan at Gleason's Gymnastics for Keegan's party. Where am I? I am sitting in a Caribou in Eagan, enjoying part of a blackberry, white chocolate scone, a cup of dark roast (hmmm...will I sleep tonight?), and enjoying some free wireless. I had grand intentions of getting some reading done for work, but the Subledger Accounting Setup document was putting me to sleep - even with the French Roast coffee pumping through my veins. Accounting is not my strongest point and when the manual is walking through setups and I can't actually log into the application to see what they are talking about equals Yawn City in Low Retention Land. Ugh. So, I gave up and decided to play on line.

What to do this afternoon? a different movie? play a board game? go to the club and swim? It is difficult to decide because I think that I am going to have two very tired boys on my hands this evening. Ethan had another birthday party last night and it was an overnight which means he will be Mr. Grumpy Pants later today. As for Alexander's level of grumpiness, I have only myself to blame. After we dropped off Ethan at his party, I took Alexander to Old Navy to get some more school clothes. He was quite a trooper even though I had him try on about 10 pairs of jeans (I must admit that he looks darling in his painter pant style of jeans!). We then headed to Southdale to catch the movie Under Dog. I told him that after we found out what time it started and bought our tickets that he could choose where we ate. I said that if he wanted to, we could run over to McDonald's. He said, "NO! I want to go to that place with the yummy crab cakes." six year old already has good taste - he wanted to go to PF Chang's! I was really excited because that meant that I could get my favorite Kung Pao Chicken. We purchased our tickets for the 7:05 show and headed upstairs to PF Chang's only to find out that seating was being accepted for 7:15!!! Bummer....Oh well, so we ended up eating in the food court (not EXACTLY the same ambiance as PF Chang's) at Subway. Speaking of ambiance, as we were leaving PF Chang's, we noticed that they hadn't opened the inside "terrace" seating. He asked me why that part wasn't open and I said that I didn't know, but that it could be for dinner that they prefer a certain type of ambiance rather than having people eat on the interior patio. His excellent reply was, "I don't care about ambiance; I just want my crab cakes!" :)

Well, after our yummy meal of Subway subs (yes, Alexander had a ham with Ranch dressing), we headed to the moviesw and decided to splurge on candy: Reese's Pieces and Sours. Under Dog was very cute and fun. There were several lines and scenes that made Alexander laugh and laugh. He also didn't ask even once how much longer the movie had to go. Both of these are signs of an excellent movie for Alexander. Oh, another cute note - he said that if we couldn't see Under Dog, then he wanted to go and see Nancy Drew again. I MUST remember to get Nancy Drew for him for his birthday (or Christmas) if it isn't out yet.

Okay, my battery is running low, I should get some more reading done, and I have rambled long enough. If you are having a rainy Sunday afternoon then I hope that you are able to relax and enjoy it to the fullest!

Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Successful Triathlon - even if it was a bit cold and wet!

Today was the third year that Ethan has participated in the Miracle Kid's Triathlon at Lake Ann in Chanhassen. The triathlon is a non-competitive, fund-raising race with the logo "Kids racing for kids who can't". The Miracle Kid's foundation donates money to families with children with cancer so that the family can do something "fun".

The day started a bit chilly, but not too bad. We were hopeful that the cold and the rain would hold off for the race. Here is Ethan waiting for the line up for the parade to start. At this point, we were all still dry and warm, but it wouldn't last long!
After a long, chilly wait (I didn't include those pictures), it was E's turn to hit the water. I love the way he is rushing into the water (green shorts). Soon after I snapped this picture, he stopped short when he realized how cold he was. After a brief pause, he kept going and finished the swim.

Off to the transition to the bikes! Ethan stood in the pose for a long time with his wet towel wrapped around him and the volunteer from Cargill trying to convince him to put his shirt and shoes on.

After a bit of cajoling from the volunteer, E was ready to go and off he went on his bike!

The second transition to the run was MUCH faster. E was smiling and yelling "Hi, Mom!", so I knew he was in good spirits. Off he went on the run through the woods. Here is his racing down the shoot to the finish line and his medal!
Here is a cold, wet, but proud Mr. Ethan after the race. It was the only picture I was allowed to snap because after this pic, all he could say is "I'm cold! I want to go home!"

You might be wondering what Alexander did while E raced. A could have raced this year, but he decided to wait one more year before starting the tradition. Here is by the lake waiting for the race to start.

Alexander's favorite thing to do during the race is to dig in the sand. Kyle stood over him while he started his little hole so that he could keep him semi-dry in the rain. The hole gradually grew into quite a large hole that impressed several of the other brothers waiting nearby!

Monday, August 06, 2007

My Obsessive Boys

For those of you who know me, I am about to ask a ridiculous question...Where on earth did my boys acquire or learn their obsessive behavior? No, it couldn't have been from me! :)

Over the last two nights, there has been some obsessive Lego building going on. Most of the Legos are at Dad's house , so after having some fun with the very cool dragon set that Ethan got for his birthday, we decided to go on a quest for another Lego kit. The original plan was to have both of the boys agree on one set to purchase - HA! Who was I kidding? Even more frustrating than trying to get them to agree on a single set was finding a set within the price range that I had established before we left. Our goal: to find a Lego set $30 or less with a large number of interchangeable pieces. What that last line means is that there are some really cool Lego sets, but most of the bulk of the sets are taken up by pre-cast items (ie. dump trunk beds) rather than a large number of pieces. So, we search for sets with lots of cool pieces that you can't get in the regular "Creator" set.

We didn't match all of our goals, but we did find a high volume set for Ethan. It is a 6 in 1 set where you can make lots of different items, but not all at the same time. Does he elect to start with one of the easier, smaller airplanes or boats? Absolutely not! His choice was to make the airplane that used ALL of the pieces. It took two nights for him to complete (yes, he would have stayed up all night last night if I had let him) and the end result is gorgeous:
Ethan post-bath and his completed airplane
Another view of Ethan's airplane

Alexander had a very difficult time agreeing with Ethan's choices. We finally opted for a smaller set for him since the airplane set was less than I had alloted for this purchase. He opted for the catapult! He did a great job and methodically followed the instructions. He had nearly convinced himself that he would never be able to do it on his own, but after some encouragement from both Ethan and me, he did it. I don't think I helped him at all. Well, I guess I did help in a way - he likes the punch down on the catapult at full force (of course) to make the Lego "boulder" fly as far as possible. The result is that the entire catapult comes apart and we have to find the pieces on the floor. The Lego piece search work is the only assistance that I have given to him!

Alexander and his catapult with the good guys and the bad guys!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

The Wisdom of A Continues

While on the Ripshaw Rollercoaster at The Park at MOA (the amusement park previously known as Camp Snoopy) with Alexander, he expounded in his great excitement the following pronouncements in quick succession:
"This is so much fun!"
"This is so much fun!"
"Good Times!!!"
"Good Times!!!"

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Reasons to Listen to Your Children

It was a busy Saturday for Ethan, Alexander, and me with lots of errands of both the fun and weekly duty kinds. We started our morning at Home Depot for the monthly Kids' Workshop event. As we were walking across the parking lot, Alexander started to complain that his stomach hurt. At this point, you might say or suggest, that we should have headed home immediately since I had a sick child. My response to that piece of advice is that you need to know Alexander. The tummy ache excuse is used when he is hungry, bored, tired, nervous about a new situation, or sincerely has a tummy ache. So, I encouraged him to try to make it through the Kids' Workshop event and then see how he was doing. He made it through the event and the only mishap was that we had to ask for extra nails since we bent so many while assembling his toolbox.

Our next stop was to JC Penney's for some jeans, shirts, and backpacks for school. They were having a sale of buy 1 get 1 for $1!!! I couldn't pass that up when it came to jeans! So, even through A's complaints we forged our way forward. We even made a pit stop at the bathroom in order to rule out the need to go potty as the reason for the tummy pains.

The shopping event was plagued with complaints (can you blame them?) and whines about tummy aches, but overall it was a good experience for all of us. Good experience may not be the correct word, but it was definitely less stressful than last year. Both boys were big enough this year to allow for me to leave them in the dressing room with a pile of jeans to try on, I would leave to get more things, and then assess the clothing they tried on. It made our time go quickly and we were able to find 2 pairs of jeans, a shirt, nice roller backpacks (at 50% off!!), and swim trunks on clearance in under an hour.

On to our chosen lunch place - Chipotle. Alexander devoured his quesadilla and chips. I thought for sure that hunger and bored were the original sources of the tummy.

Next, on to Eden Prairie Target for a baby gift before heading to Karis' baby shower at Nancy's house. A was so excited to get cake. He ate fruit, he helped carry gifts, and then he enjoyed his cake. On our way home, I decided to squeeze in one more errand (yes, I am obsessive about completing my lists) to go to Cub to get things we needed to make sloppy joes for dinner and other things we needed.

At this point, A was really complaining about his tummy and not wanting to walk down the isles. We would leave him sitting on empty spots on the shelf or on cases of pop while we shopped down one isle. While was checking out, he sat in one of the bagging areas and looked miserable. I was just focused on finishing and getting home him.

Well, we didn't make it very far after loading up the grocery cart...we were heading out the doors with A in front of us...and yes, he blew chunks all over the exit. Ughh.....I really need to learn to be less obsessive and listen to my children!!

On a side note because I know Grandma will be worried, A is doing fine. He came home, curled up in bed and slept for 2 hours. He has since bounced back and woke up hungry (in typical Littlest fashion). He ate a little dinner, but I wouldn't let him eat too much until we see how everything digests. Poor little man. Glad that he is feeling better!