Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm big time procrastinating going to the gym. So lucky you, I've been editing the rest of my pictures from our trip to Wisconsin!

Most of the snaps I took were of our trip to the National Railroad Museum for our Day Out with Thomas the Train.

You can understand the importance of this day, yes?

If you should ever find yourself in Greenbay, Wisconsin with a train enthusiast you really should visit this place.

You're probably wondering how it is that we lucked out and ended up half way across the country at the same time as Thomas the Train. And then I will remind you that very little in this life is due to luck. Earlier this year, I found out that Thomas would be touring the country all summer long. And shortly thereafter I found out that Thomas wasn't going to be anywhere near Boise, Idaho. My options were the middle of nowhere Utah, (Uh, no thanks.) just enough outside of Seattle to be really complicated and inconvenient, and Greenbay, Wisconsin. Just a scenic hours drive from my dad's house in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Perfect!

Ok. Well. Except that I would have to get myself and my 2 kids to Wisconsin all by my lonesome. Admittedly I debated whether or not I could do it for a looong time before I ran it past my dad. When I finally got the nerve to ask him about it I told him that as long as he had a martini waiting for me in the car outside the airport I thought I could do it.

As it turns out, my kids are fantastic travelers. I would take them anywhere. Yay! Now we just need to win the lottery and become the world travelers we always dreamed of.

That's not to say there weren't complications. Well, one very notable complication. For some reason - I'm pretty sure just because he likes to see me freak O.U.T. - Will decided to lick the seats in the Boise and Denver airports. I knew it would end badly. And it did. There was a frantic middle of the night call to housekeeping our first night in the hotel. But fortunately for us the smiling staff at The Inn on Woodlake handles 3 AM hazmat detail with efficiency and good humor.

**I have to take a time out to tell you that Sweet Pea just came in here and played "Jingle Bells" by blowing across the top of an empty wine bottle. Damn, I am an AWESOME mom.

Ok. Where were we? Right. You should click that hotel link up there and check out the rooms. When you stay in Kohler, Wisconsin - yes, that Kohler - your bathroom fixtures are going to be pretty fabulous. We all have shower envy now.

The pictures I posted the other day are from the art museum in Sheboygan. Bompa's friend, Auds, took us there on our first day so that the kids could play in the biggest craft room ever. It was so fun to play and create with them that I never even checked out the exhibit happening in the galleries. But we did check out the bathrooms, and they are works of art in and of themselves. This is the ladies room.

Day 2 was the big Day Out with Thomas. Bompa had our train tickets all ready to go. As we drove to Greenbay the kids had a million questions about Thomas. Would he be as big as a real train? Could they touch him? Would we be able to really ride with Thomas? I had no idea. So, Imagine our excitement as we walked toward the museum grounds and heard a very familiar, "Peeeep Peeeep!"

Just after we stepped inside, Bompa spotted some steam rising above the trees, and before we knew it Thomas was chuffing toward us.

Will stood perfectly still, eyes as big as plates, shaking from head to toe with excitement. I am pretty sure that was the most monumental moment of his little life, to date.

We really did get to ride on Thomas. Our passenger car was named Josephine. She was a real passenger car from the 1950's, and we had a conductor aboard who knew lots of fun facts about Thomas and trains in general. About half way through our 20 minute ride he came down the aisle and punched each of our tickets with a star. Sweet Pea thought that was very cool, a la Polar Express.

I have to tip my hat to the Thomas the Train people. They did a fantastic job with this event. The museum had so much to offer, and the Thomas stuff was the right mix of commercial vs. just plain FUN.

The kids had a great time exploring in old trains and passenger cars:

Looking at the toy trains:

And meeting celebrities:

Sweet Pea even got on stage with the one man band.

It was a really fantastic day!

The rest of our trip was just as wonderful. We went to a Dinosaur movie at the Imax in Milwaukee. And spent some time in the Butterfly Garden at the Milwaukee Public Museum. As it turns out, my kids aren't scared of 2 story Dinos, but butterflies are terrifying.

We went to a Family Fly with my dad's remote conrol airplane club that was really neat. The kids got to see some serious toys, including at $12,000 remote control jet! We also ate lots of brats. Which is just what you do in Wisconsin.

Oh, and the other thing you do in Wisconsin is yell, "Hi Girls!" out the window whenever you see a field full of cows. We are trying to incorporate that here in Idaho, but somehow it just isn't the same.

Quite a bit of our down time was spent at Miss Audrey's house playing with her kitties, Nina and Lulu. Lulu is a little shy, but Nina and Will posed for the camera.

And Bompa's cat, Maxwell Paddington, posed for the camera too. Maxi makes Garfield look like a Jenny Craig success story.

It was a really fantastic week. We would love to have Bompa closer to us. But now that we know how to get to Wisconsin, we'll be sure to make that a more regular visit.

Go Packers!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I really and trully do feel bad about my little blog being so neglected as of late. I do. And there has been so much fun stuff going on too. School is out. Kindergarten is over. We've already been to Las Vegas and Wisconsin, had a weeks worth of golf lessons, had a visit from my nephew, spent a day at the pool, caught bugs, eaten popsicles, watched the fireworks stands going up...

It's been madness! Today things are starting to calm down a little. But we had to take advantage of that and clean our rooms. All of us. (But Sweet Pea's was by FAR the messiest!)

Tomorrow I've got a little gardening to do. And then I'm going to get going on getting that etsy site up and running.

(If you don't know what etsy is, please go get your credit card and click HERE immediately. You may think now that you won't need your credit card, but I bet you will find a treasure and be running for it. So save yourself the trouble and just go get it now.)

Anyway, I will be here soon with tales to tell. In the meantime, here are a couple of pictures of my adorable babies at the John Michael Kohler Arts Center in Sheboygan, Wisconsin.


Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day to all the fantastic dads I know.


Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Having only ever owned dogs. And having always been a little mystified and, ok…slightly terrified of cats, I was inclined to believe the popular theory that cats are the smarter of the two popular pets.

No longer.

Crazier? Sure. Fuzzier? Yeah, definitely. But smarter. No freakin’ way.

I’d like to submit the following as evidence:

Yesterday at approximately 3:30 p.m. our new kitty, Oreo went outside. He’s been exploring the back yard with a little bit of supervision ever since he got here. And he always comes back in the house after a few minutes. I am certain that he feels like the King of this castle. And after doing a formal inspection of his grounds he checks back in to make sure the servants are preparing for his next whim. But yesterday he didn’t come back in right away.

I went outside and called for him. I could hear him, but I couldn’t see him. And he didn’t come running like he usually does for me. We had gymnastics to go to. So even though I am reluctant to leave him outside while we are gone – we live near a semi busy street – we did just that. Sweet Pea was beside herself.

About half way through gymnastics I had this brain flash that the kitten was probably stuck in a tree. So I sent the kids home with grandma and ran back to our house at about 6:30 p.m. to see if I could find him. When I walked into our backyard it was pretty obvious that I was right. There was a squirrel so outraged about the intrusion that he was actually making a quacking sound at my poor kitten. Oreo was about 25 feet up in a pine tree, meowing and generally looking miserable and embarrassed about his predicament. My estimate is that he’d been there at least 2 and a half hours.

It took me about 15 minutes to coax him out of the tree. At first it didn’t look like he was going to budge, and all I could think was that you probably can’t really call a fireman to handle that kind of emergency these days, can you? Then it looked like he might fall and I wondered about the truth of the 9 lives thing. But finally he got down low enough to jump into my arms. Where he immediately snuggled up in gratitude.

So I put him down on the ground. And guess what the little turd did?

Yup. Fast as lightening, right back up in the tree.

Even the birds were taunting him at that point.

I left. But in his defense, when I got home he was out of the tree.

Stupid cat.


P.S. Oreo just jumped up into my lap, looked at the computer screen and then bit my thumb. Maybe he is smarter than I think? Well. The dog can’t read. But she’s never been stuck in the same tree twice.