Thursday, October 28, 2010

the basement project

The Hubby and I have been talking about finishing the basement.
We've been talking about it since we moved in
a year and a half ago.

Hubby has finished the basements of all our previous houses.
He's a do-it-his-self kinda guy.

Paying someone to do something he can do himself would drive him crazy.
Or at least that's what he says.
I've never witnessed it.
He has ALWAYS done everything himself.

But with the amount of time he is working here in Chicago, he hasn't had the time.

And I was getting sick and tired of getting sent to my room.

That's what usually happened when the kids had friends over.
Trying to not be the hovering mom can feel like punishment sometimes.

So we decided to do a "temporary fix".

He painted the floor with that garage floor paint (with sprinkles- just like a party).
He hung painters drop cloths to separate the storage and workshop areas.
Then we unpacked all our old basement furniture and junk.

Notice on the left that Tony has taped a goal on one of the drop cloths.

We bought a used pool table off Craig's List.
and set out the old foosball table.

The only other thing we bought was a used mini fridge from the Hubbies work.
And now we've decided that this might not be so temporary.
It's sure is nice not having to worry about kids wrecking the basement you just spent thousands of dollars finishing.
We've had some experience with that too.
Like when one of them spilt a giant glass of chocolate milk all over the new carpet down stairs and "forget" to tell anyone (but somehow realized it was a good idea to move a chair over the spot to cover it). Then they do nothing about it until we all start to notice this horrible smell coming from the basement.
Anyhoo, everyone has been spending a lot of time down there.
Everyone, except Ace.

Ace still finds the kitty litter box to be full of treats that are too tempting to resist.
To him, this is just an unexplained torture.

Life is so unfair.

Friday, October 15, 2010

my new friends

Everyday I take Ace to the small park behind our house.
Right now it's our favorite place to play Frisbee.

For me, it's my favorite because it's so close.
For Ace, it's because he always has an audience.

He's kind of a show off when it comes to playing Frisbee.

The park is always busy with all kinds of pee-wee soccer, football and lacrosse practices.
And the siblings of all these pint sized athletes like to play on the play ground equipment.
They also like to watch Ace.

The louder they clap, the higher Ace will jump.
Sometimes he likes to catch the Frisbee and then circle the group of kids before he brings it back to me.
Like he's saying "yeah, I'm awesome!"

There are two very cute little girls that are always there.
They have long curly black hair and bright blue eyes.
They are twins.
Taylor and Riley.

Try as I might, I can't tell them apart.
I've spent weeks looking them over, talking with them, trying to find something to distinguish them from each other.
Last night I finally asked them
"Taylor?" I said.
"I'm RILEY!!" she corrected me with a roll of her eyes for the hundredth time.
"Riley, do people have a hard time telling you and Taylor apart?" I asked.
"No body can tell us apart," She said proudly with her cute little lisp. "even my mom and dad can't tell us apart."
"You're mom and dad can't tell you apart?!" I was amazed. I'd never heard of a mom and dad not being able to tell their own twins apart. "So how do they do it?" I asked, hoping for a clue so I could use the information for myself.

Riley started to pull at the collar of her sweatshirt "See. This is how they tell."
I looked closely at her neck "Oh, you have a birth mark or something?"
She looked at me like I was crazy "NO! Pink! I always wear pink and Taylor always wears Blue!" I look over at Taylor who was pulling down her sweatshirt to reveal a blue t shirt underneath.

A little later I asked them both how old they were.
"We're 4." they said. "How old are you?" they innocently asked.

I paused for a moment. This could be funny to let her guess. But the last time I let a 9 year old guess my age she guessed I was 79. That was when I was in my late 20's. Now a days it doesn't seem like it would be as funny anymore.

"Well, I'm 41." I said honestly.
Taylor (or maybe it was Riley) swallowed hard as her eyes got big. "Wow!! That's really old!!" she said with her little lisp that I didn't find so cute anymore.

"Well, not really." I said more for my own sake than hers.
"How old is your mommy?" I was thinking I could put age in a little bit of perspective for them.
"My mommy is 10!" said Taylor.
"Oh really?!" I said trying to hold in my laughter. "And how old did you think I was before I told you?"
"We thought you were 5!" they lisped in unison.

Did I mention how cute they are?

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Hello, My Name is Tori and I'm a Yo Gabba Gabba! addict

I'm waiting...aren't all you other addicts supposed to say "Hello Tori." ?!

Well, okay then.

Actually, I'm not really an addict.
I only watch it when I'm babysitting the twins.
It's not like I watch the show by myself or anything...

I don't!
Stop judging me.

I will admit, the first time I saw the show I thought it was the most awful thing I'd ever seen.
Worse than Barney.

And it scared me a little.
It seemed to have some kind of weird hypnotic powers over the twins.

I remember it all so well....

The twins were around 4 or 5 months old.
They were both crying.
I grabbed the remote to find something to hopefully distract them.
I stop on this program because of the weird name.

It was like a magic baby switch.
Suddenly, they were silent.
Mesmerized in fact.

They still are.

Every time I turn it on they stop and watch every minute.
And I can't figure out why.
At first I started watching it with them to find out what grabbed their attention.

I compared it to other kids shows.
I thought maybe it was the music or the bright colors flashing here and there.
But lots of other shows are colorful and filled with music.
And the twins could care less.

Maybe it's the weird creatures.
Even if you haven't seen the show you've probably seen them without realizing it.
Muno (the big red guy with one eye) for example, was featured in a Superbowl commercial for the Kia Sorrento "How do you like me now?" playing in the background. (love the sock monkey get a "MOM" tattoo sewn on his arm!)

I've given up on trying to figure out why kids love it.
Now I just enjoy watching it with them.
Well most of it anyways, some of it I still consider weird.

I'm a huge Alternative Music fan and I'm guessing that the writers must love Alternative Music too because they have featured some of great bands on the show.

I love seeing who they get to come on and the cute songs they sing.
All with a little "life lesson" of some kind.

Some bands that I've seen...
Jimmy Eat World...."enjoying a beautiful day with my best friend"
The Shins..."sometimes you win, sometimes you's okay to try again"
MGMT...."look around is everywhere"
The Roots...."love and appreciate your family"
Ting Tings..."Happy Birthday song for Brobee"
The Salteens...."I'm so happy"
I'm from Barcelona...."just because it's different, doesn't mean it's scary...try new things"
Hot Hot Heat..."time to go outdoors...enjoy the sand btwn our toes, smell the flowers, see the trees, play in the garden hose".

and some groups I've never heard of until I saw them on Yo Gabba Gabba (who knew I'd find new alt music to listen to by watching a kids show!)

here's a couple.
Chromeo...."wash your hands"
The Mates of States..."no one likes to be left out...everyone offers something new"

There there is a Live Yo Gabba Gabba show touring around. They have had some groups that I hope will show up on the show sometime soon (Dinosaur Jr. and Cold Wars Kids to name a couple).

They also have a growing number of celebrities who make appearances on the show.

Jack McBrayer and Paul Scheer make recurring appearances doing knock knock jokes
Jack Black (a total must see episode...just to see him in a DJ Lance Rock orange outfit!!)
Amy Sedaris as the tooth fairy (although a mighty scary tooth fairy, if I must say!!)
Elijah Wood (teaching us a dancy dance)
Sean Kingston (also teaching a dancy dance)
Rhys Darby (from Flight of the Concords-a show I'll always LOVE) instructing us on how to pretend to be a robot!

And one of my favorite parts of the show with Mark Motherbaugh (The co founder of Devo). He does a recurring art segment that's very cute (and weird).

Check it out.
I won't tell anyone you did.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Pete's Promise

Yes, this a new post about Perennial Pete. If you are new around here and want to read more about Pete then just type the word "Pete" into the search over on the right side of my blog and you can read all about our adventures.

A couple weeks ago, Ace rang his "go outside bell" before my alarm went off.
The Hubby elbowed me awake.
He mumbled "Ace is ringing the bell"
and I automatically stumble out of bed.

There are two reasons The Hubby can get away with this.
One, because I don't hear anything when I sleep so he has to elbow me
and two, because I'm too confused when I first wake up to argue "it's you're turn".

Anyhoo, I noticed the sun was just beginning to rise when I opened the front door for Ace.
The sky was a pretty hue of oranges.
I was appreciating this through my one open eye and with my forehead plastered to the little window next to my front door while I waited for Ace to do his doo-doo.

As he trotted back up the sidewalk towards me, I opened the front door
that's when I heard it.
It was a rooster crowing.

Ace walked past me while I shook the sleepiness out of my head.
I was sure I must be hearing things.
I waited a few minutes but didn't hear anything else.

Figuring I was just sleepy or maybe loosing my mind, I went back to bed.

A couple of days later the same scene played out.
Bell, elbow, muttering, stumbling, doo-doo, door, rooster crowing.
But this time that old rooster crowed a few more times.
And I smiled.
It's always a good thing when you realize you're not crazy.

So later that day as I was driving out of the neighborhood, I looked over at Pete's property.
And there it was, just as Pete had threatened or promised or prophesied.

A chicken coop.
And a bunch of chickens running around his yard.

It's not a giant chicken coop (like the neighbor said he planned to build) and his property is fenced so I don't see anything wrong with some chickens.

I will admit, I'm a little scared of chickens.
The Hubby and I have friends, who used to have chickens.
This couple told us some stories of their crazy and aggressive rooster.
They were even afraid of their rooster who would chase them around (even on the lawn mower).

So I blame Dave and Juliane for my fear of chickens. :)

So imagine my surprise the other day when I found chickens wandering down the road towards my house.
Thank goodness I was in my car.
With the twins.
Because I had to resist the urge to run them over.
I didn't want to scar the twins.
And make them afraid of chickens for the rest of their lives.

And besides, I'm kinda enjoying that rooster crowing every morning.