Thursday, August 30, 2007


Well, the Rug Doctor did help a little... However, the carpet still looks disgusting. I finally convinced Gene that I AM The. Most. Low-Maintenance. Woman. he ever could have married when it comes to material possessions, so when "I" want to spend money on new carpet and living room furniture IT MUST BE TIME to get new stuff! Now the problem is actually shopping for anything that's not sold at WalMart or Target. There just isn't time! Ok, there just isn't desire! I have a 5-day weekend coming up so I will FORCE myself to go to the carpet and furniture stores.

As stated many times before, I am NOT ready for cold weather! I AM ready for a break from all the zillions of spider webs! It seems I can't do ANYTHING at work without walking into webs everywhere I go. I don't mean the occasional sticky strand across my face, I am walking into the huge orbs and spending minutes pulling the stuff out of my hair. And then the next exhibit I go to I do the same thing! I back into webs and walk face-first into them. They are EVERYWHERE! I normally dust the webs in my barns once a week or maybe every few days but for the past two weeks I've had to do them every day. Seriously, what is the deal with these spiders?

Now it's time for an Official Webkinz Update. Webkinz are taking over the Turner household. Kaylin has eight and Logan has five. The mania for the website has died down and Kaylin is spending little time there. She usually logs on once a day to do the gem and charm hunts and play a few short games. It's somewhat educational so I'm definitely not opposed. I spend a few minutes a day playing the daily games with Logan but I'm no longer obsessed and rarely spend much time there. The kids have been playing together with their "real" Webkinz toys so that's a good thing! It's nice to see Logan playing with something other than vehicles or balls. I'm sure they'll come out with new "must-haves" but for now everyone's content with what they have. Oh, and I found a few charms and I think that will be all we need :)

Monday, August 27, 2007

Help me, doctor!

Rug Doctor, that is. I finally came out of my denial and realized that 1. My carpets are NOT going to clean themselves and 2. I am NEVER going to call Stanley Steamer no matter how many coupons I hoard! So yesterday I FINALLY rented a Rug Doctor.

I first went to Kroger. I should have just turned around and left the moment I saw a packed parking lot, four bouncy castle things and Mickey Mouse waving from the entrance, but I was determined to clean my carpet, dagnabit! I hiked 15 miles into the store and nearly bumped into Snow White. I went to the service desk but despite the OPEN sign nobody was there. I waited a few minutes but nobody came. They were probably wandering around the store in a Tigger costume. I scouted around the front of the store and didn't see any Rug Doctor machines anyway, so I left and went home.

I called Menard's to see if they rented carpet cleaning machines. After spending five minutes navigating their automated store directory I talked to a very helpful young man who told me they did NOT rent floor cleaners but he DID list off EVERYTHING Menard's does rent thankyouverymuch! (Ok, maybe I'll SAND my floors rather than shampoo them???)Hmmmmmm... How about the Rug Dr website? Yes, much better! I spent MUCH less time finding out I needed to go to Home Depot. So I went to Home Depot and rented the machine. I also bought the cleaning solution and two bottles of stain remover.

The step-by-step instructions were simple enough and soon I was doctoring my living room rug. My goal was to clean the living room Sunday night, let it dry and then do it again on Monday along with the rest of the house. The floor seemed so wet after I finished I went back to the website for help. Huh. Turns out they have an entire section dedicated to berber (sp?) carpets and how difficult they are to clean and how you CAN'T go over them more than one time or overwetting will occur and old stains trapped in the padding will wick up and the carpet will stink and blah blah blah. Crap! I went over the worst spots about six times and the rest of the floor at least two to three times. Now I learn that I probably released "forgotten stains" and that my carpet may actually look and smell worse than before I started! Soooo, I went back over the carpet for about a half hour using only the suction and then got out a second fan. This morning it's not TOO wet- just a tiny bit damp. I'm honestly considering NOT cleaning the rest of the berber because ONE PASS isn't going to help!!! (Kaylin's room is getting a scrubbing, though!)

I guess it's time for new carpet. I hate to do it while the kids are still so young but I imagine they're not going to get any cleaner as they age. Ugh. I will NEVER buy berber again!!!!!!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

What the yo?

Yesterday was really hot and humid. I worked outside all day and was filthy and hot and desperately needed a shower. However, Thursday is Gene's night out so I had to pick up both kids and make them supper and then the neighbor kids came over the moment we pulled into the driveway. I normally would have waited to shower until the neighbor kids went home (or just sent them home) but last night I was too hot to care. I told Kaylin she was in charge (she digs being in charge) and then told Kaylin and Logan they'd be showering as soon as I finished.

I quickly showered and dressed. When I left the bathroom to get Kaylin I got quite a surprise... All four kids were running around the living room naked. I was just shocked. All I could think about was their mom coming to get them right at that moment and finding her kids naked. (How weird would that be?) What possible explanation could I give? I quickly shooed my kids off to the shower and hunted down the neighbor kids' clothes and dressed them while lecturing about how they couldn't get naked at my house because their mom might not like it. LOL. That was seriously the only excuse I could think of! Anyway, I got them dressed moments before their mom came to collect them. Phew!

Oh, did I forget to mention the little boy is still in pull-ups? And that I found a big turd in the middle of my living room floor? Yep, I did. And for those keeping track, yes, that IS the second time he's pooped on my carpet! Good thing my carpet's so crappy (pun intended.)

New subject. Logan LOVES sharks. I was really sick of reading him the same shark book over and over so last time I was at Barnes and Noble I found a "coffee table book" about sharks in the bargain section. I flipped through and it had lots of great pictures. Great, right? Wrong. The first time we read it I discovered a chapter I missed in the store. Shark bite victims. Shark bite victims with disgusting, bloody wounds and missing limbs. What do you think Logan's favorite part of the book is? Yup. He has to point to each victim and announce "He had to go to the hospital." and I HAVE to answer "Yes he did." The other night we drove past Proctor Hospital and Logan said "That's the shark bite hospital." His tone made it perfectly clear that disagreeing or arguing would NOT be tolerated. Anyway, I imagine Proctor treats just as many shark bite wounds as the two bigger hospitals in town!

Kaylin had a great first week of school and loves her new teacher. Her best friend from last year is in her class again and she goes to latchkey with her other best friend. Logan is staying in his same room with his same room teachers. I have no idea how his school determines what room the kids go into but some of his friends moved to different rooms but they all have the same preschool teacher. Logan's happy to still be in Mr. Joe's room.

Monday, August 20, 2007

first day of school

Today is Kaylin's first day of 2nd grade. She was soooooo excited I don't know how she got through the early morning. It was great watching her put on new clothes and lovingly grab her new backpack full of new school supplies. She babbled incessantly about different friends, the bus, recess and lunchtime.

Kaylin's school has two separate buildings and this will be her first year in the "big kid" building. The big kid building has a MUCH better playground and a nicer cafeteria. She will no longer need to cross the street for gym, library or computers. A terribly exciting step up...

Meanwhile, Logan was cuddling with me in the chair, talking about how NEXT YEAR he'll get to go with Kaylin on the bus and go to kindergarten! (His new year of preschool doesn't start until next week when he'll move to a new room and have new room teachers. I'm pretty sure his preschool teacher will be the same as last year.) I'm ready to stop paying for daycare, but I'm not ready for my baby to be a big schoolage kid who likely won't want to cuddle with Mom anymore :(

After Kaylin got on the bus, I went to the grocery store. In the checkout line I ran into a former coworker from the vet's office. I was shocked that she just took her only child to his first year of college and she was shocked that the baby I "just had" while we were working together is now in 2nd grade! Sigh. Time flies!

We went to Chicagoland for the last weekend before school started. I had to work a half day on Saturday so we drove to Schaumburg to spend the night and then went to Brookfield Zoo to touch stingrays on Sunday. The big plan was for Gene to take the kids swimming at the hotel while I shopped at the Lands' End outlet store and went to IKEA for Logan's new bed. I had good luck at Lands' End, but IKEA stopped carrying the bed we wanted! AAAHHHHHHHHH! This was the PERFECT size low loft bed! It was also $400 less than other similar beds we've looked at. Bummer.

It poured rain and was pretty chilly on Sunday. We all had umbrellas, but Logan HATED when the rain was heavy and whined a lot about being cold. (I thought the weather was GREAT after working in the blazing hot sun for the past few weeks.) We did get to touch the stingrays and see all the indoor exhibits. We saw a cute baby polar bear and got to see how much the baby giraffe has grown since our last visit. Logan loved the gorillas this trip. He usually only cares about the sea creatures. It turned out to be an ok trip despite the weather. It wasn't an "awesome weekend" but I don't regret going.

Monday, August 13, 2007

rainbow bend

So the dreaded day finally arrived and I took the kids to the public pool. I flashed my park district ID and we got special PD employee wristbands and free admission. The kids headed immediately to the shallow stairs area of the regular pool where they jumped off the side about 12 zillion times before I even had a chance to get into the pool. We'd been there all of 15 minutes when Logan pulled himself over the side and puked massively all over the pool deck. The manager came running up and was VERY happy it was not IN the pool and immediately hosed and sanitized the area with TWO GALLONS of bleach.

I KNEW Logan wasn't actually sick-just drank too much pool water- so we kind of hid out for a couple of minutes and then went to play in the kiddie waterpark pool for a while. Then the kids were ready for the big slides. This was Logan's first time on the big slides. This was my first time on the big slides since high school. I remember when these slides opened and it was a HUGE deal! I remember getting a wristband that was good for X number of slides and they'd punch your band every time you went down. The lines were huge and the slides were soooo fast and fun. Were these REALLY the same slides??? I mean, yeah, I weigh a LOT more than back in the day, but even the kids weren't going that fast! It was just a cool, pleasant ride down a long sliding board on a hot day. After the fifth time I was sooooo bored I insisted we go play in the sand area for a while. Logan was bummed because he LOVED the slides! (I did let him go again later.) Kaylin went off the diving board several times until that pool was closed for an hour because somebody puked IN it. Fortunately NOT one of MY kids!!!

We spent almost 3 hours at the pool and left exhausted and starving. It turned out to be a really good time. Not something I'd want to do every weekend, but next summer I'll consider going more often. Hopefully by next year Logan will be old enough to NOT drink the water!

Friday, August 10, 2007


I was flipping through my alumni magazine last night and skimmed through the "alumni news" to see if my niece's birth was listed. I then realized that duh, she was only born a couple weeks ago and the deadline for this issue was probably May. Anyway, I guess I was thinking about getting to see her next week when they're home visiting because I had one crazy dream...

I walked into my parents' house and was extremely impressed that Mollie was on the floor holding her own bottle. Then she started rolling over and over around the room and got up on her hands and knees and crawled toward me. I was already shocked that this tiny baby was so mobile, but then she started speaking to me, using phrases like "quality establishment" and other huge words (at least for a newborn.) When I expressed my surprise to my sister-in-law she casually said "Oh yeah, she never stops moving and never shuts up." My amazement woke me up :)

Today is Kaylin's last day of Camp Zone. Next week she'll go to the Y daycamp and then school starts! Seriously, HOW can summer be almost over??? I'm getting a little tired of working in the extreme heat but I'll gladly take it over the cold. I also prefer pulling weeds to raking leaves. (Except this week I spent an entire day pulling weeds behind the tiger exhibit and ended up with poison ivy all over my arms and legs despite repeated scrubbings.) I don't want to trade in my shorts for Carhartt's and multiple pairs of socks! Ok, enough whining for today.

Monday, August 6, 2007

mini road trip

Kaylin begged all week to go to the pool this Sunday because her daycamp counsellor refused to let her go off the diving boards during their weekly pool trip. The thought of battling the throngs of people at the public pool on a very hot Sunday afternoon was less than appealing. I would rather have worked. I quickly devised an alternate plan...

I ran my plan by Gene about 8:30am and we were on the road by 9. We drove 1 1/2 hours to the zoo in the Quad Cities. They have an amazing pond exhibit with zillions of koi fish, as well as ducks, geese and swans. The kids and I spent ages feeding them pellets. The fish were so thick it looked like you could walk across the water on them. The geese and swans ate out of our hands. As a zookeeper I normally don't get much of a thrill out of feeding zoo animals, but this pond area was a blast! We then headed to the lorikeet exhibit where I paid a buck for a cup of food. We must have been some of the first visitors of the day because I immediately had at least a dozen birds perched all over my arms, shoulders and backpack. Kaylin and Logan got a huge kick out of seeing Mom covered with birds. It was really hot and all the big cats had access to their buildings and would only come outside for a few seconds at a time. I was a little bummed because the big cats (lions, tigers, leopards, jaguars and cougars) were the main reason I wanted to go to this zoo and I only got to see them because I spent so much time waiting. The kids enjoyed the train ride and the carousel but were pooped out from the heat and ready to leave after a couple of hours. It's a fairly small zoo so we had seen everything in that time anyway.

We then headed to downtown Moline to the John Deere Pavillion. Logan was in heaven climbing all over several huge tractors and pretending to drive them. They have a large store with play tables with all kinds of toy tractors and construction vehicles. The kids (especially Logan) could have played for hours. We bought Logan a small set of construction vehicles (that included a Gator like I drive at work!) and moved on.

Kaylin wanted to go to Iowa so we hopped on the highway and drove two minutes across the Mississippi and stopped to shop and eat in Bettendorf. Kaylin's on a major search for Webkinz Charms so we went to a Hallmark. No charms, but she got a Lil'kinz hippo and was very happy. We ate at (ooooh) Taco Bell and headed home. It turned out to be a really fun day. I usually plan everything to the extreme so I was surprised how well my spur of the moment plan turned out. Now I have a full week before I have to take the kids to the pool on the last weekend it's open and the weekend before school starts. I'm sure it won't be crowded at all, lol.

Friday, August 3, 2007


Yesterday was the kids' last swimming lesson of the summer. On the last day they get to play on the slides and in the kiddie waterpark area. Kaylin actually jumped off the diving board three times and swam to the side by herself. Logan went down the "scary" long enclosed tube slide he claimed he would NEVER go on. I'm bummed that just as they are both really catching on in their age groups lessons are over until next summer. I'm still in shock that summer's winding down so quickly. School starts in 17 days!

Flipping the calendar to August must automatically turn on the walkingstick phobia switch in my brain. Wooooooooooo. I know they're out there. I've been perfectly fine all summer, pulling zillions of weed and vines, working outside without a care. Now that it's August I'm getting jumpy and starting to look for them. Yesterday at work I went to plug in a light in the tortoise barn. A stray piece of hay behind the outlet box made me jump back and whack my head on a ceiling crossbar. Later in the day a small twig in the zebra stall drain made me jump. I pretty much think EVERYTHING that's twig size is a walkingstick! I MUST get over this!

Webkinz is an evil addiction. Do NOT buy them for your children or YOU WILL get hooked! They just upgraded their website and added a new charm hunt game. You now can buy Webkinz charm bracelets in real stores. The charms include a code that can be entered at the website. One code will get you into the new game. EIGHT codes will give you full game privileges. If you collect ALL the charms (probably 17,000 or so...) you win Kinzcash and other virtual prizes. Do you know how badly "I" want to buy these stupid charms???? You might be thinking "Well, at least Kaylin will love the charm bracelet so not a complete waste." True. BUT the codes can only be used once. Therefore I will need to buy enough charms to power both Kaylin's and my (uh, I mean Logan's) accounts! Hopefully the charms will be ridiculously expensive since my cheapness WILL override my Webkinz addiction :)