Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Car Classics

While my parents were here, they wanted to treat us to a little ice cream at a nearby Dairy Queen. We were licking our cones outside and noticed a classic Corvette round the corner. Suddenly, Sean remembered that there is a weekly car show in our little town. With my dad here, the man who watches classic car auctions on television for fun, we needed to go!

AND THEN. She drove by. A '55 Chevy convertible. In turquoise. I've never heard my dad make that sound before, one of stunned admiration and adoration. We had to go find that car!

That very morning, my parents had bought Liam and Dash some classic car toys from a garage sale. Perfect timing.

The show was HUGE. Literally hundreds of cars. I don't know why they'd all come to this little town but there they were.
Dad would walk by each one, naming their make and year, explaining if one was fully restored or had some more modern parts. He even pointed out his very first car (sure wish I could remember what it was).

But we never did find that '55 Chevy. Perhaps she was an apparition, a mere specter to draw us towards the show. Whatever she was, I was glad to get a glimpse of her.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A Minnesota Fourth

So what if the Fourth of July was three weeks ago. I have pictures for you now!

It doesn't get very dark up here in Minnesota until very late, the fireworks weren't going to start until 10pm. My parents had come for the weekend and volunteered to stay home with Grey, who would not do so well staying up that late (and unhappily woke up to the noise of fireworks, sorry mom).

We just went to the local show. There were some big inflatables for the kids but just as I let them go play, it was announced that they were closed. And I didn't have any cash for the food venders. So... we just played around by our chairs and had some friends come join us.

Sean captured some spectacular spectacles. Let me show them to you. Seriously, they're so great.





(like an illuminated flower)





(doesn't that look like wheat?)


(grand finale!)


Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Cars and Water Don't Mix

The Friday we were in Branson, Sean finished up his orientation. Having a little free time, he made a quick stop to Home Depot. When he exited Home Depot, it was pouring rain. But it had just started, no big deal.

Wrong. Big Deal.

Just a couple blocks from home, Sean hit a puddle. A big puddle that didn't look like a big puddle. First the transmission went out, then the power. Then water started coming into the car. Unable to get the car moving, he got out (letting in even more water), found some good-hearted neighbors to help push the car out of the intersection onto a side road.

Sean let it dry out over several days but it would never start. Then a notice was put on the car that it needed to be moved. I was back from Branson by then, so we tied the Honda to our SUV's hitch and slowly towed that sucker back home.

Having only one functioning vehicle, Sean took that to work and the rest of us were homebound. We visited a loooot of playgrounds. The Honda sat dead in our driveway. We had to wait until Sean had time to go to the car shop to see if the Honda was salvageable.

When the time finally came, the mechanic got our hopes up, saying just X and Y needed fixing, no problem. Then they fixed X and Y and realized the rest of the alphabet was broken too.

She was a goner. My first car. The car the saw me through high school and college and married life and parenthood, gone.

By chance, the place we took the Honda was a Honda dealership. They were willing to buy the old girl and give us credit toward a new vehicle. Honestly, we got probably about as much as she was worth before the flooding- she was 18 years old, after all.

Soooo... hello minivan!

We were planning on replacing Sean's car soon anyway- the A/C was shot (not so good for a MN summer), the ABS didn't work (not so good for a MN winter). So this just shifted our timeframe. I use the van and Sean has the SUV.

Dash is giving her a nice washing. I love having a van. It's nothing fancy (though it does have heated seats!) but just having the space to move, it's so great. In the SUV, I'd have to go to three different doors to get the kids and I in. Now, I get all the kids in one door and just walk on up to my own seat. So simple.

And now Sean has A/C! He's a happy man. This all ended up pretty happily!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Pogo's Poke

One of the bummer things about this house is that the back porch stairs don't lead to the fenced in backyard, they lead to the driveway. That means if I want to make sure Pogo only stays in the backyard, I have to go out with her, lead her past the fence gate and close her in (and go get her again in a couple minutes). But, well, I have three kids, and sometimes I just can't go out and do that.

Being a dog in a new place, Pogo would take advantage and go explore. I found her several times sniffing around way down the road. One day she was gone a long time- once she came home, she stayed hidden for a while. During bedtime, the kids were petting her and she yelped. I went to see what was up... I found something crusty on her neck. It was dried blood. I looked closer and found a two-inch laceration in her skin! Oh Pogo!

I consulted my on-call physician and Sean said she'd definitely need stitches. Luckily (not) it was after hours so we had to find an Emergency Vet. One was found and off she and I went. They checked her out and told me they'd need a few hours to do the whole procedure. So I left her there and headed back home.

Now, this happened to be the day before we were leaving for Branson. The night my mother was flying in to help me drive the next day. So Sean went to go pick her up from the airport while I did the packing I was planning on doing instead of going to the Doggie ER.

A little after they came back home, I got the call that Pogo was ready to be picked up, so Sean did that for me too.
That pooch was so out of it when she came home. She had been on anesthesia, so it must have still been affecting her. The vet told Sean that the laceration we could see was caused by a three-inch puncture wound! He guessed she ran into a stick. Because it was so deep, they actually put a drainage tube in addition to the eight stitches.

The one good thing about Sean not being able to go to the reunion was that he was there to care for Pogo. Can you imagine me dropping her off to a stranger the next day? So Sean came home from orientation each day to give her love and clean up all the blood droplets that came out of her tube.

Pogo's doing great now, her hair's almost all grown back and there's no sign of lasting damage. The one bonus to all this: Pogo doesn't wander anymore. That was one traumatic and expensive lesson to learn!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Branson: All in the Family

Here we are at the end of our Branson photos. Sean's glad because all these pictures remind him of how lonely he was.

I thought this was so funny, trying to get all the grandkids together, Noah was ready!

Remind me not to do my Mom Hip pointed toward the camera. Yikes. But a nice lookin' family, I must say. Just missing Sean, Brian, and Janisen (who left early for camp). Can't wait until next reunion!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Branson: Mini-Golfing

First time Mini-Golfing! They liked it, though they definitely were more into the little train that drove us to the first hole.

Learning from the expert. I don't think I've ever beaten my dad. Maaaaybe once. But I'm probably imagining it.

Sometimes... you just have to cheat a little.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Branson: On the Porch

So, Grey was not on his best behavior during our week in Branson but Liam and Dash were a little better than usual. They have been on this really mean kick where they fight alllllll the time. But being with all these other kids provided much distraction from that pursuit.

But the mornings... ugh. Liam and Dash were sharing a bed and they would fight over the placement of the pillows, the blankets, their books, everything. And since they wake up so ridiculously early, I'd have to keep them in the room until I could let them loose at a reasonable hour. But I also had to keep them quiet so as not to wake Grey... in was a battle in the mornings. I'll just leave it at that.

To make matters worse, I got the worst crick in my neck that kept me from tilting my head to the left. Or if I did, pain pain pain. Incidentally, I use my neck a whole lot caring for three kids. I just hurt all day for four days. Just thinking about it now makes me want to cry.

But whatever, right? You gotta do what you gotta do to be with your family.

It was fun getting to know Mr. Aedhun. I think he and Grey look alike. Do you think?

But, dude, he did not act like Grey. He was so okay with being on his own. Probably because he was a crawling champ. AND he could get into a sitting position on his own. AND he could pull himself up. He's a go-getter.

And then there's Grey the army crawler. He must have picked up a thing or two from his cousin because they day after we got back home, he pulled himself to standing (at church on a pew). Then a few days later he started knee crawling. Then a few days later he starting sitting himself up. All of which he is now quite proficient. That Aedhun's a great teacher!