Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Baby turkey?

A baby turkey is called a poult. Short for poultry??? Terrible name! "Turkeyling" is almost better!!!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

first day of kindergarten

The kids slept in until 7:15 and then rushed around getting ready until we left for the bus stop at 7:50. Logan was soooooo excited about the bus, jumping around and dancing with Kaylin. The bus came around the corner, Logan gave me a last excited hug and the bus blew right past us. Huh. It was definitely the right bus. Well, it comes back past our street so we crossed to the other side and waited a few more minutes. I stepped into the street and flagged it down (I figured Logan had waited long enough to ride!!!) and she stopped. Logan jumped right on before Kaylin and sat down and waved like crazy with a huge smile on his face. I think the bus was the number one thing he was looking forward to about kindergarten.

Gene went to work and I drove over to the school to meet Logan and take him in to his classroom. He was totally thrilled with the bus ride and even got to sit with one of his former preschool friends. I dropped him off at his classroom and he went in with no hesitation. He didn't even look back. School got out at 11:15am today, but I figured it would be less confusing for both the kids and their teachers if I went ahead and sent them to Latchkey. I figured they could eat lunch and play a little and I'd pick them up at 1.

I haven't been able to coax much information from Logan other than he loves "kinnagarten" and he loves latchkey. He got to play outside on both playgrounds and enjoyed the lunch Daddy packed. He played with one of the boys that was on his tee-ball team. That's pretty much all the info I've obtained :) Kaylin was very excited to be back with her friends and very annoyed that I made her go to latchkey when she knew perfectly well I had the day off work. There were only SIX other kids!!!! Yes, I am evil.

We took advantage of the gorgeous afternoon and went hiking at Forest Park Nature Center. We always see turkeys and deer and tons of other woodland critters, but today we got lucky and a cute fawn followed us for a while. It was no more than ten feet away. Pretty cool. We also saw bunches of baby turkeys. I'll have to look up what they're called. Chicks? Turkeylings? Anyway, they were awesome :)

Monday, August 25, 2008

Last day of summer vacation

Today we celebrated the last day of summer vacation. The kids and I stuffed ourselves on pancakes at Ihop. We then stopped at home and picked up Brady-dog and went down to the marina. Brady swam in the disgusting river, Kaylin collected many filthy shells and Logan poked dead fish with sticks. Logan calls it "surgery" and I think he is slightly hopeful that the fish will somehow come back to life. The moment we walked back into the house the kids jumped into the shower to scrub off the nasty.

The kids spent hours playing outside with the neighbors. They made an outdoor mess with Play Doh that Gene felt compelled to clean with the ice scraper from his car, loudly complaining about the existence of Play Doh even outside before he came inside after work. I think he also used the leaf blower on the mess. Uh, it was OUTSIDE. Was it really that big of a deal? Logan and I played frisbee for quite a while and we all enjoyed the beautiful weather. It was a nice, relaxing day off and a good end to a busy summer.

Despite the fact that I spent the first half of summer vacation working my butt off for the zoo inspection, I think the kids had a fantastic summer. They both had swimming lessons, Logan had tee-ball, Kaylin had tons of fun field trips and activities at camp. We went to ball games, St. Louis, Schaumburg, fairs, museums and parks. We rode bikes and got ice cream regularly. The kids spent countless evening and weekend hours playing with the neighbor kids and caught hundreds of lightning bugs. I ran outside (as opposed to at the gym) several days a week and started riding my bike to work on Saturdays. I can't really think of anything I wanted to do that we didn't accomplish. I can't believe it's over...

Tomorrow my baby will get on the gigantic bus and go to his first day of kindergarten. He's so excited I don't know if he'll sleep tonight. Lunches are packed, supplies are packed and backpacks are ready by the door. Clothes are laid out and the camera battery is fully charged. Kaylin's buzzing with excitement about seeing her friends again. Everything's ready to go except me. I wish summer vacation could go on for another three months. I totally prefer lessons and practices and long days to homework and cold and darkness before I leave work. Hopefully the kids' teachers won't be nutjobs. Hopefully Logan will find kindergarten more interesting and exciting than Kaylin did. Sigh.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

class lists

Kaylin AND Logan's (wooohoooooooo!!!!!) school started a new fee night this year where parents can pay book/registration fees as well as get info about the PTO or buy school t-shirts, etc. Class lists were also posted for the first time and there was a kindergarten orientation. Whoever came up with this idea gets a big cheer! It was incredibly efficient and convenient!

Logan has the same kindergarten teacher Kaylin started with. (They added a 4th K class Kaylin's year and she was moved to a different teacher in October.) We really like this teacher so Gene and I are excited. Logan was thrilled about his new classroom. He got to find his seat and he just sat at his table, taking everything in while I filled out his emergency contact card and his bus and after school information sheet. Mrs. S had a scavenger hunt game for the kids so they'd find different areas of the classroom and then different areas of the school. It was great to have Kaylin along to explain how the lunch line works and where he'd sit for lunch. Logan tried out the bathroom and happily munched on Oreos and peach flavored gummy rings. He can't wait for Tuesday!

Kaylin didn't seem to care one way or another about her 3rd grade teacher. I've never heard of her, but will probably recognize her when I see her. Kaylin was just happy her best friend is in her room again this year. She ran into a couple of classmates whose siblings are also starting K this year so she was happy and excited.

I'm trying to remember if I ever cared what elementary school teacher I got. I absolutely loved riding my bike to Lettie Brown to check the class lists, but I think I was way more concerned about who was in my class than who the teacher was. I guess I didn't really know the higher grade teachers until I was in that grade. It was probably junior high before I knew enough to want Mr. X over Mrs. Y for math.

Friday was Kaylin's final day of daycamp and Logan's final day at Rogy's. Logan seems glad to be finished at Rogy's (because he's excited to start kindergarten) but he can't quite wrap his brain around the fact he won't be going there anymore. He is so confused that he won't be attending their schoolage program. I think the kids talk about "schoolage" like it is the pinnacle of coolness so he was looking forward to graduating to awesomeness. If they didn't charge twice as much as the YMCA latchkey program at the school, I'd possibly consider it :)

Logan brought home a huge pile of stuff. Spare clothes and nap blankets and a whole bunch of artwork. I was skimming through his artwork when I noticed a collage of magazine pictures he cut out and pasted onto a sheet of construction paper. There were several pics of various vehicles, a few animals, a house and a couple of outdoorsy scenes. Pretty consistent with what I'd expect. Other than the picture of Paris Hilton in a dress with the "neckline" at her belly button... That collage went into the Keep Pile :D

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The whole weekend in Schaumburg???

I haven't had an "extra" day off work since my vacation at the beginning of June. The kids love hotels and I love getting out of Peoria, so I took Saturday afternoon and today off work and we went to Schaumburg. We were originally planning to go to Chicago, but when I found out the air and water show was this weekend and that Lincoln Park Zoo was charging $30 to park, we decided to skip the city. Actually, we were still planning to go on Monday, but were having fun in the suburbs so decided Monday morning to skip the city.

We had a nice, relaxing weekend. The kids got to swim as much as they wanted and we did all kinds of fun things without the stress of traffic and crowds. We even bumped into my uncle, aunt and two cousins at the hotel breakfast area on Sunday. Weird that we stayed in the same hotel on the same night! The kids needed all kinds of clothes and supplies for school and we took care of all that and even got some great deals :)

Despite warning from a friend, we went to the Legoland Discovery Centre in Schaumburg. It just opened at the end of July. There was one ride, a 3-D movie, a room with a Chicago cityscape, a jungle area, a room with about 6-8 superheros and a large area where the kids could build cars and race them down tracks, build buildings on earthquake plates, build general stuff or play on a McDonald's type play area. We got there right at opening so had no waits for any of the "attractions." Oh, I forgot about the extremely lame factory "tour" that showed how the bricks are made. Yawn. The sculptures were great. Everything else was pretty boring. We did everything other than the Lego building play area in under an hour. Gene and Kaylin spent a lot of time building a car and racing it down the various ramps. Logan liked the huge Legos but mostly played at the McDonald's playland. It was fun, but we spent only two hours and paid something like $60 to get in. That was after getting $12 off with a coupon! Even the store wasn't great. The one at Woodfield Mall is significantly better. I guess unless your kids love Legos more than anything, I couldn't recommend this place. If it had cost $20 I would totally have thought it was great. For the price we paid, we did NOT get enough entertainment! The kids liked it, though.

We then went to the Cosley Zoo in Wheaton. It's the only AZA zoo in Illinois I'd never previously visited. What a great little place! It is small, but very nice and clean and fun. They have mostly native species and farm animals. Kaylin loved the duck pond with many different duck species. Logan loved the map. He studied the map the entire trip and let us know what was coming next. He was so focused on the map I'm not sure if he actually looked at any of the animals. Eh, he had a blast :) This place I will highly recommend! It was even FREE!!! Two hours very well spent!

Otherwise, we just went shopping and goofed around. It was very relaxing. We hit parking lot traffic pretty much the moment we exited 355 onto 55. We were stuck for an hour. We listened to the traffic report and learned that had we gone into the city that morning we would have spent an hour and a half getting to the point where we were stuck for an hour. I hate Chicago traffic! Gimme St. Louis or Indy instead!

Monday, August 11, 2008

state fair

I was scheduled for shotgun practice on Sunday. I need practice shooting the gun, but I hate going on my day off at 2pm because it takes forever to drive to and from the firing range so it feels like my whole day off is wasted. I definitely can't plan anything during the afternoon. Anyway, long story short, my practice was cancelled! Wooooohooooooooooo!!!

I found out about the cancellation just before I left work on Saturday and then promptly forgot about it because we went to a birthday party at my grandma's. Short side story- At Grandma's I was playing Superhero with Logan and my cousin's two boys who are 5 and almost 3. I was the bad guy and they captured me to put me in jail. I'd go along with their restraint and follow their orders for a couple minutes and then break away and run until they caught me again. One time after I broke away I was standing still, catching my breath. I was watching the 5-yr-olds but paying no attention to the 2-yr-old because duh, he's 2! Mistake. I saw Little Guy coming at me but didn't care. Mistake. Little Guy took me down! Dunno what his daddy's teaching him, but the kid actually tackled me to the ground! Hilarious! I want another round where I'm paying attention and defending myself. Yeah, he'll probably get me anyway...

I was tired when we left Grandma's and still wasn't thinking about my newly free Sunday. When I woke up Sunday morning I decided we MUST do something as a family on one of the last weekends before school starts. The number one thing "I" wanted to do was go see the baby tigers at St. Louis Zoo. There are five of them but they are only on display a couple hours a day. We'd be lucky to make the trip in time to see them. I then remembered the state fair is this week. Yeah! The kids will love that and I can see lots of animals. We got ready and left.

I found on the fair's website that many businesses around Springfield were selling tickets redeemable for ride armbands. The $22 ticket was good for unlimited rides AND benefitted Children's Miracle Network! We stopped at the Wal-Mart in Lincoln and I wrote a $44 check directly to Children's Miracle Network! The kids got unlimited rides between 10am and 5pm for a donation to a great charity! Cool!

I knew the kids were mainly interested in rides, rides, rides. I was mainly interested in animals. Gene didn't care about animals and kindly agreed to stay with the kids so I could check out the animals. It was soooo fun to wander through the swine, sheep, cattle and horse barns BY MYSELF with no one whining about going back to the rides :) I caught a little bit of the draught horse mare/foal show which was adorable. Meanwhile, the kids went on tons of rides and ran through the many funhouses over and over. We met up for lunch and then took in a couple of the wild animal shows. There was a show with tigers immediately followed by a separate show with a young male lion and two liger cubs. This family's lion and tiger "accidentally" got together. Uh huh. I'm sure the "accidental" mating had NOTHING to do with ligers being made ridiculously popular by the Napolean Dynamite movie! I came "this close" to having my pic taken with one of the liger cubs (just to show off for my zoo friends) but decided against it :)

We stayed at the rides until the armbands expired at 5 and then Kaylin went on one of those bungee trampoline things. She had a blast jumping high and flipping. We took the kids to the FFA farm animal petting area and they got to pet baby ducks (Kaylin's favorite.) We left just before 6pm. It was a long day, but everyone had fun. Gene was shocked when I requested we stop at Cracker Barrel on the way home. I usually can't stand the place, but wanted to sit and be served and NOT eat fast food. It turned out to be a good thing. We got to relax and unwind. I still think the food is less than mediocre. (How can a place like Cracker Barrel have such AWFUL biscuits and corn muffins??? McDonald's has better biscuits!!!)

We got home about 8:30pm. Bwa ha ha ha. Too late for the neighbor kids. I think it was my first Sunday of the summer without neighbor kids :D Well, we did wave to the little girl standing in her doorway on our way out. See ya!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

the difference between boys and girls

This morning Logan was eating a bowl of Cheerios (dry, with milk on the side- just like Grandma.) He grabbed one and said "I'm gonna rub this Cheerio on my hair." And he did. He then looked at it and said "Now I'm gonna fart on it." And he at least pretended to. Then he popped it in his mouth and ate it. Ummmmmmmmmmm.....

Monday, August 4, 2008

if you lick it, it hurts

Yeeee hawwww! Summer activities are over! We made it through the second session of swimming lessons without any vomiting. It will be WONDERFUL to not have to sit by the pool tonight. It is sooooo nice to just come home after work. The kids love it too. Next year we will only sign up for one session of swimming lessons! (Pounding that into my brain...) I'm hoping both kids will agree to karate again this fall since it's only one night a week.

We've been riding bikes a lot this week. I finally rode both to and from work on Saturday. I'm going to try to ride Saturdays from now on. Logan wants to ride up and down the street every evening, all the time. The kid is a speed demon. He rides so fast on his tiny kiddie bike I actually have to TRY to keep up with him. The neighbors all comment on how fast he is. If he ever falls he will probably lose many teeth. Shudder.

Buying school supplies was always one of my favorite things to do. Going to Ben Franklin and picking out a new pink eraser and brand new crayons was awesome! My mom was a major cheapskate and would rarely allow me to buy all the cool folders and notebooks so I had to use my own money. It was totally worth it! I decided that if "I" ever had kids I would not be so MEAN and that I'd allow them to get the supplies they wanted. School supply shopping with Kaylin is a blast. She loves to pick through the folders and find the perfect ones. She loves to sharpen the entire box of 20 pencils and make name labels for all her stuff. Choosing a new lunchbox is the thrill of her existence.

This year I was soooo excited about adding Logan to our fun. Too bad he could not possibly care less :) Usually he feeds off Kaylin's excitement, but not over school supplies. I mean, he was not interested AT ALL. He glanced at the lunchboxes and spent about half a second deciding between Batman and Spiderman. (Batman) I then practically forced him to choose two folders. He groaned and dragged himself over and grabbed the front Batman folder- didn't even CARE about looking at the other choices and then refused to pick a second folder. He wanted ME to do it. Sigh. (Oooh, Doug, Trapper Keepers are back!! If I could have thought of ANY reason I could use one I would have gotten one for myself.)

The other night Logan fell and scraped his knee. It was bloody and awful and must have hurt because he was actually crying. I got him cleaned up and put on a bunch of Neosporin and a big Band-aid. About an hour later I caught him messing with the Band-aid and asked if it still hurt. His reply? "Only when I lick it." EEEWWWWWWWWW!!!!!! You're eating half a tube of Neosporin!!!! Should I call poison control? Eh, it didn't make him sick. But still, YUCK!!!!