Sunday, October 28, 2007

looong weekend

I took yesterday off because I have too much "E-time" and will be accumulating more during the upcoming holidays. I had nothing special planned for my extra day off so I apparently forgot to tell Logan about it. Whoops. He kind of NEEDS to know about "major" changes to his schedule!

Logan woke up early (as usual) Saturday morning and (as usual) found me in the living room reading the paper. He climbed into the chair with me and we cuddled and talked and enjoyed each other's company for a while. He then noticed the time and said "Mom, it's 6:30, you better get ready for work!" (He's very into time and schedule.) I explained that I wasn't working and that I was going to stay home! Yeah!!! Logan got a shocked look on his face, leaped out of the chair and yelled "It's Saturday! You work on Saturday! You're not my friend!!!!" He stormed off for a few minutes to mull over this shocking news. When he returned, he was very happy and excited and climbed back into the chair for more cuddling and talk. Note to self: Start warning Logan several days in advance of our "beecation to Dindywynnafolis!"

Our beloved goldfish "Beth" died this week. I can't remember if we got her when Kaylin was a newborn or when she was one, but we've had her at least six or seven years. She was a really cool goldfish- every time I walked into the room she'd swim around and beg for food. I'll miss her... Logan wants to replace her with a "big tank full of sharks." Hmmmmm. No. I'm thinking there can be no replacement for Beth :)

My running improved slightly this week. I had one day where I ran two (separate) quarter mile stretches without walking. I also had a neat experience running with a deer. I won't pretend to be a deer expert, but I think it was a young buck because he had weenie antlers. There's an empty lot two yards up from us and deer often graze there. Anyway, he was standing at the edge of the lot and when I jogged by he joined me to the end of the street and then turned around with me and joined me back to the lot. He waited and did it again on my next lap. It was awesome! It was also a bit terrifying because I didn't want to be attacked by a deer. We have an ongoing joke at the zoo that if any of us are killed by something embarrassing (emu, cow, monkey) the other keepers will move the body to the tigers so our death will at least appear cool. I guess if I'm killed by a deer while running, throw me under a bus!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

five, not four

We've spent the past year building up "age 5" as the ultimate age to be. Five-year-olds are big kids who sleep in their own beds, brush their own teeth and throw all their sippy cups into the recycling bin. Logan has taken this very seriously. He doesn't have a real concept of time, but in June or July he started prepping for his "change to adulthood" by sleeping in his own bed after sleeping on Kaylin's floor for nearly a year. Logan then started brushing his own teeth after insisting Gene or I do it. (I never understood that one since he insists on doing EVERYTHING else for himself.) Finally, he gave up his beloved sippy cup that I will admit he still occasionally used like a bottle while curled up with his blanket. (We still haven't recycled the sippy cups because the cabinet they're in IS five feet away from the recycling bin!) Anyway, my point is that Logan actually believed all the crap we were spewing about age 5 and made all the changes himself to prepare for his big day.

Logan's big day is actually November 8th, but his birthday party was October 21st. The birthday party where he had a cake with FIVE candles and opened lots of presents to celebrate turning FIVE. Kaylin enjoys tormenting Logan anytime, but the "you're not five yet" button is sure to give her endless pleasure for the next 12 days. Logan asks several times a day "How old am I?" and before I can answer he says "I'm FIVE." I've given up on any contradiction or explanation. Sure thing kiddo, you're as old as you feel :)

Hmmmmm, this whole thing has me thinking... What do SIX-year-olds do? Their own laundry? Gas up the car for mom? Bwa ha ha ha! The possibilities are endless!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

party time

My emu costume was a hit among my coworkers, but I don't think one other person had a clue what I was supposed to be. One woman actually asked if I was a snake. Huh? I didn't look ANYTHING like a snake! Overall, Howl-Zoo-Ween was a good time. I mostly hung out in the gift shop and took change to the people working the front gate when they needed it. I also worked the costume contest, ushering the contestants off stage. Gene took the kids and they had a good time. Each of them brought home at least 3 pounds of candy.

Today was Logan's pirate birthday party. We had it a couple weeks early so his cousins could be there. All the kids had pirate hats, eye patches and hooks. Gene made a treasure map and took the kids hunting for treasure. Logan got lots and lots of airplane toys- exactly what he wanted. My mom made an awesome treasure chest cake and I got to eat cheesy Pringles. I don't go as all-out crazy decorating as I did before I worked fulltime, but I put up plenty of pirate stuff. My favorite addition to this year's party was finding an online pirate name generator. I typed in each person's name and it spit out their pirate name. I found some of those "Hello, my name is" stickers at the dollar store so I made a sticker for each person. The names were pretty funny. My three-year-old niece was "No-Eyes Doris" and my brother was "Seal Breath Wade." We all had a good time teasing each other about our pirate names. Logan had a great time, LOVED all his presents and is already talking about what to do for his birthday next year.

On the way home Gene stopped at the gas station for a soda. He came back out to the car laughing his head off. Gene completely forgot he was still wearing his "Hello, my name is Scurvy Gums Syd" sticker. The cashier got quite a laugh from his very strange name tag. He just left her guessing as to why he was sporting such an, uh, interesting name :)

Thursday, October 18, 2007


After deciding I'd work Howl-Zoo-Ween dressed as a zookeeper (y'know, in my regular work uniform) I suddenly got the brilliant idea to make an emu costume. Specifically, Pearl the emu. My coworkers occasionally tease me that I look like Pearl because I have curly hair and Pearl has a similar mass of curly feathers on top of her head. Emus aren't terribly intelligent birds to begin with, but Pearl looks dumber than the average emu because she always carries a leaf in her mouth. The bigger the leaf the better. I call it her security leaf.

Anyway, Aunt Sharon happened to be here Sunday night and I asked her if she had any ideas for an emu costume. She apparently had something she wanted to procrastinate so she offered to help make the costume. We met at Hobby Lobby Monday at 10am and started wandering the aisles, with no definite ideas of what we wanted. We gathered a bunch of stuff and left at 11:30! We ate lunch and then went to WalMart, Salvation Army and Kmart before FINALLY getting home a little after 2:30pm. I was convinced we'd NEVER get the costume finished, but we got workin'.

We sewed the top hoop of a round laundry basket into a big old Salvation Army sweater. (I will always be a little sad that I never got to WASH the sweater...) I then hot glued long strands of raffia (grass skirt stuff) all around the hoop of the sweater while Sharon worked on the emu head. I didn't want ANYTHING covering my face so we put the emu face on a brown ski headband. She attached a beak and eyes. I spray painted my raffia "feathers" (and the sweater) brown, black and gray. We finished right at 5:30 when Gene walked in with the kids. Oh, I forgot... I drilled a tiny hole in the beak and inserted a leaf. Anyway, I couldn't try on the feathery body because it was wet with paint, but the emu head headband is hilarious. I works perfectly with my hair so my curls stick up on top like Pearl's curly head feathers. I love this costume!

Hopefully the Friday forecast will change and it will NOT pour rain and ruin all our hard work!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

ugly furniture

Whew! This week flew by. Despite being together nearly every non-school moment, the kids didn't get pinkeye from the neighbor boy. His sister didn't get it either so maybe it really WAS an "eye allergy." The neighbor kids are mostly over here, but all the kids do go back and forth to both houses regularly. Plus, Gene dumped our kids on the neighbors while he made two trips to take our old chairs to Goodwill yesterday. I was SHOCKED that Goodwill accepted the chairs!

The new furniture came yesterday and it is HUGE. I guess it looked normal in the store next to all the other HUGE furniture. The sofa especially looks gigantic. It looks a zillion times nicer than the old stuff, though! I had to yell at all the kids (ours and neighbor) about climbing/jumping on it. (Sheesh! We put Grandma's hideous davenport in the playroom for that purpose... Leave the new couch alone!!!!!) Oh, and then Gene complained because the new couch is too high for him to comfortably sit on the arm while he eats. WHAT? I don't even think he was kidding. Men!

Gene has been wanting a headboard for our bed for a long time. He likes to sit up in bed with his laptop while he watches tv, but the wall is cold and hard and the bed pushes away from the wall. Fine, whatever, go buy a headboard. I suggested he try a used furniture store near our house. He went- and came home with not only a headboard, but a "new" lamp table and lamp for the living room as well.

As everyone who knows me knows, I am prone to laughing at inappropriate times. I burst into laughter and then had fits of giggles every time I saw the table and lamp for the next several days. The table is a giant cube of ugly, dark wood. The table is also a cabinet (!) and the cabinet doors are (um) priceless. The doors have four cathedral type "windows" that are backed with wicker. Then, right in the middle of each window is a faux brass flower with a faux brass loop pull in front of it. The table is ugly. And then there's the lamp... The lamp has a round brass-colored base and stem. The stem is surrounded by four intertwined oak pieces. Totally 80s. For some reason the lamp reminds me of the "lovers" statue my brother Ben and I stole out of some neighbor's garbage when we were kids. Anyway, the lamp also had it's original GIGANTIC shade. I replaced the shade and it looks slightly better. Since I'm not prone to furniture shopping, the table and lamp will probably be around for a while. After that, feel free to claim them for your half-finished basement or your child's first apartment.

New subject. I am TERRIBLE at running! I've done four 1 1/2-2 mile run/walks each week for the past two weeks and am barely increasing the time I spend running. It probably doesn't help that I keep trying to run on my street that is all up or downhill. (Our house is in the middle and kind of at the peak.) I'm not going to quit, but it's a good thing I started training a YEAR before the next Zoo Run Run because I'm going to need it! At this point actually running a 5K seems impossible. Oh well, at least I'm getting some exercise.

Well, I better go work on Halloween costumes. With 50 billion pirate costumes priced under $20 I decided to MAKE Logan's. I also need to come up with something for ME to wear to work Howl-Zoo-Ween this weekend. Ugh. I'm totally uninspired! I panicked at my lack of time and gave in and bought Kaylin a "beautiful" purple witch costume last night. Wheeeeeeeeeeee!

Monday, October 8, 2007


We took the kids to Tanner's Orchard yesterday. They spent ages playing in (and on) the straw bale maze and in the rest of the playground. They went on pony rides and rode the barrel train. We checked out the farm animals and the pumpkins. We drank cider and ate apple donuts. I bought my annual turtle brownie (mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.)

It was the usual Tanner's experience with one fabulous new addition... Make your own snow cones!!!!!! This was my childhood dream- getting a large cup of shaved ice and adding as much syrup as I wanted! They had 8 or 10 flavors of syrup. It was awesome! Kaylin tried a little bit (actually a lot) of each flavor but I couldn't bring myself to combine sour apple, grape and rootbeer. Yuck. I started out with cherry and when I sucked all the syrup out of the ice I refilled with root beer. Delicious! And perfect for an insanely hot (90+) October day.

The neighbors finally moved in yesterday. I have a bad feeling about how much time our kids will spend together :) There was no school today and the kids were running around playing at 8am. Little Boy showed up this morning with pinkeye so I have no doubt my kids will get it. They ALWAYS get pinkeye! Otherwise, everyone played well and nobody made any major messes. Not a bad day off.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Coolest thing ever

My mom's complaining that I'm not posting enough, but I've had a really good (and thus boring) week. Work was great, the kids were great, the neighbor kids didn't poop on our new carpet... A good week! One of my favorite zoo animals, a very old binturong named Yoda, is doing well after minor surgery. We got new floors and drains in the emu and swan houses that should make cleaning much easier. The kids played well together and didn't wake me up ONE TIME this week. I started run/walking 2 miles every other day, doing a core strengthening DVD on the off days. Are you asleep yet?

If not, I'll tell you about the coolest thing I've ever seen. Today I was heading to the Aussie exhibit after my morning break when I spotted a ~3 inch praying mantis on a trellis. A female cardinal swooped down and knocked it to the ground. The mantis started madly waving its arms, trying to scare off the bird. I never realized that cardinals have facial expressions, but the bird tilted its head and looked at the mantis with an "Are you serious?" expression before plucking it into its beak and flying off. It totally made my day! Cardinals are my new favorite birds.