Monday, April 30, 2007

The all-time best, wickedest, wildest whatever

Last night I sat down to watch nothing on the 300+ channels Comcast provides and was surprised, no not really surprised but more or less resolved to see The Weather Channel has become a lemming.

Every channel nowadays has THE 50 GREATEST or THE ALL-TIME BEST, WICKEDEST, WILDEST WHATEVER. VH1 is a classic example. On any given day of the week they are host to any of the following: 50 Greatest Teen Idols, 50 Greatest Moments in Hip-Hop, or my personal favorite 50 Greatest Women of the Video Era. It is getting a bit ridiculous in my opinion I mean do we really have enough time to sit and watch five hours of anything to learn Whitney Houston is #3 of all Video Mavens? Plus, who comes up with these lists?

Well now The Weather Channel has gone and put together their own list of THE 100 BIGGEST WEATHER MOMENTS hosted by Harry Connick Jr. The Harry Connick Jr. part is definitely the best part of the whole concept, but really was this necessary? I can just imagine the meteorologists scurrying around trying to rank whether (no pun intended) Punxsutawney Phil should be at #89 or #88.

The list is rather confusing upon first glance and then continues to confound when you try to figure out why in the world would The Cotton Bowl (#69) or Hollywood Becomes the Film Capitol (#61) make the list. Huh?

Did I mention The Weather Channel itself made the list of the 100 Lamest Weather Moments? They were #25.

There is no shame.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

I like to moo-ve it

Another little JG find. He has been singing this all day.

Oh wait that wasn't a dream

We went to Kindergarten Roundup yesterday for JG. He is really excited about finally qualifying as a big kid and being able to hang out with his buddies NB and MO at the school. We knew quite a few of the children who will be attending school with JG in the fall, there were even a few surprises mainly JG's nemesis NR from pre-school last year. I didn't see him at first when JG ran over, "Mommy, NR is here. I not want him here, tell him to go home." I told JG that NR was fine and he would need to give it another go at trying to get along with him.

I don't know what really transpired last year, but it has made a lasting impression on little man. He will bring up NR at the strangest moments remembering something not so nice. The only thing I really got from the teachers is NR was in JG's personal space all of the time and he didn't care for it, can't say I would either. The one thing I do remember distinctly about NR was a conversation JG and I had last year driving home from school.

JG: Mommy, last night I dreamed I hit NR.

There was a pause.

JG: Oh wait, that not a dream that happened today.

I guess they got into a tiff over a truck and it went a little south, I mentioned it to JG's teachers and they didn't see anything out of the ordinary happen, so we moved on. Let's just hope history does not repeat itself in Kindergarten, if it does it will help JG brush up on his cooperation skills which should be pretty interesting.

Who would have thunk it?

Just a couple little helpful hints.

If your house is like ours, you have lost most of the marbles for Hungry, Hungry Hippos. I believe most are in the vents or behind the stove, either way Gobstoppers do the trick, plus they are more colorful!

April is a great time to pick up Holiday CDs from the library to add to your iTunes library- everything is on the shelves rather than in November when the only CD to be had is A Merry Christmas with Engelbert Humperdinck.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Grizzly is a BAD WORD

My mom stopped by last night for dinner, she brought along a bear puzzle which turns into a figure for JG. Once the bear was complete she asked JG a question.

Gramma: JG what are you going to name your bear?
JG: I not know.
Gramma: Let's see. Why don't you name him Grizzly?

JG stopped, looked at Gramma with huge eyes.

JG: Oh, Gramma, that's a BAD WORD!

Evidently little man believes Grizzly is a bad word and was shocked his Gramma would use such language at the dinner table.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Taking a bite out of crime one tree at a time

Today I was out in the yard enjoying the beautiful day when my neighbor Kim stopped by. Kim mentioned the neighbors in between her house and ours just discovered an interesting theft that happened sometime this winter.

Evidently someone "stole" one of their really nice pine trees from their fenced in backyard. Kim said our neighbor was out walking in her yard yesterday when she tripped over a stump where her tree once stood. She said they noticed footprints in their backyard before Christmas after returning from a trip, but didn't think much of it until now. I just feel bad none of us neighbors noticed it either, a tree is kind of a big thing, not like a missing sand bucket or a duck planter.

Makes you wonder who would have enough guts to walk into someone's backyard with a saw and cut down their tree? Let's just hope they don't make it a tradition of thieving a tree from the neighbors. Do you think they sit by the fire, admiring the tree and sing, "O Stolen Tannebaum"? Geesh.

You know this whole thing got me to thinking about the very funny book my friend Karen and I have been reading called I Love Everybody (and Other Atrocious Lies): True Tales of a Loudmouth Girl . It could be much worse, in the book the author has her carport stolen. A carport would be way more obvious than a 7 foot pine tree, but then again a pine tree is a pretty big thing.

Maybe we should all sign up for the Neighborhood Watch and join McGruff the crime dog. I read the home and neighborhood safety page, but there is nothing on there about protecting your conifers.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Watch out Pheasant Run here we come

The home office I have decided we need to spend more time together, therefore we have signed up for a couples golf league on Friday evenings.

DLS is a good golfer now that he has learned to control his angry side and not throw clubs. I am a so-so golfer wanting to learn, but I do not take golfing direction well from my significant other.

We also let one another know exactly what we think of our spouse's golf game, sometimes rather loudly and at the wrong time. I tend to voice my suggestions for the home office's game typically during his backswing, let me tell you that is NOT the right time to do that.

Oh yeah, did I forget to mention we are both fiercely competitive and hate to lose?

Sounds like the perfect recipe for some good quality time as a couple, right?

As my father used to say to my sister and me before we tried something he knew was going to be an interesting public outing, "Let's just hope you two don't make complete asses out of yourselves in front of everyone in town."

Oh, I wish I could tell

We Schmidts took the boat out for the first time. Let's just say things didn't go quite as planned and when we got into the truck to go home the first thing out of DLS was, "None of this goes in the blog."

All I can say is nothing went quite as bad as these boating debacles by Bill Dance.




Friday, April 20, 2007

Should have paid a little more attention

JG has lost his Game Cube for eight days thanks to a little prison break he and his friends pulled off. They decided it would be a good idea to climb the fence and explore the big wide world. In order to stress the seriousness we took away his "favoritest" toy ever. One positive is that JG has re-discovered many of his other toys.

He has played quite a bit with these remote hot-rod cars he has been racing around the house. One of the cars even has music and sayings like, "Burn rubber boys" and then the car screeches away. I need to pay more attention to what the toy is saying and in turn teaching our impressionable young son - you will see why.

The other day I went to the doctor and JG went along, he has all of the women in the office wrapped around his finger. He just bats the long eyelashes on his huge brown eyes and they are sunk - it actually quite funny. After my appointment we were walking out the door, the women said, "Goodbye JG see you next time."

JG turned, waved and said just like he heard his hod-rod car driver say, "See ya, suckers!"

Thursday, April 19, 2007

If I ever make it on to Jeopardy, I sure hope New Hampshire isn't a category

This morning as AE was running out the door for the bus, she stopped and yelled:

"HEY MOM, DO YOU KNOW ANY LITTLE KNOWN FACTS ABOUT THE STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE OFF THE BACK OF YOUR HEAD I CAN SHARE WITH MY CLASS?"

I realized in the abyss of useless knowledge I do have in my noggin I know absolutely NOTHING about New Hampshire, except that the capital is Concord.

Sadly the only thing I could think of was The Hotel New Hampshire by John Irving which I read when I was 14, however nothing in that book is appropriate for AE to share with her 3rd grade class. It was also a made into a horrible movie starring Jodie Foster, Rob Lowe and Nastassja Kinski running around in a bear costume, I would recommend NOT putting that title on your Netflix queues.

I also let AE know the idiom is "off the top of your head" not the back.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Darth Scooter

JG is loving this today.

1-888-BKT-OCHM

Please call DLS at 1-888-BKT-OCHM if you would like to go for a spin around the lake, he would be more than happy to accommodate. He WILL be using the "boat he had to have" every free moment, makes you wonder if he will achieve his pre-boat goal of 40 rounds of golf this summer.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

So proud

When we arrived home from vacation there was an envelope from AE's school district among the piles of magazines and bills. I opened the envelope fully expecting to find information about a District 279 fundraiser. Instead the letter began with, "To the Family of AE: Congratulations! AE has been selected to be the recipient of an Educational Shareholder Award at the District 279 Foundation annual Investment in Youth event." I couldn't comprehend the letter at first and had to stop and re-read the first sentence again. There was a corresponding essay:

AE is a 3rd grader at Weaver Lake Elementary. In her 3rd grade classroom there are several children with Autism whom she has taken under her wing. Last year she asked her mother to request a classroom with students from the Connect program. Some of the things AE has done to help these students are she sits by them during instruction time and walks them through the directions, she helps them fill out their assignment notebooks, and includes them in different peer interactions. She is an outstanding Weaver Lake student; she is respectful, responsible and is a great peer model.

I sat down and began to cry. I used to ask AE who she played with at recess and she would often answer "nobody". DLS and I discussed whether we should be worried and finally brought up our perceived anti-social behavior at a conference. Her teacher Mrs. R told us AE was busy every day at recess helping with BB and another little boy TB, she was so helpful and kind to them. She also said AE warmed her heart with her good deeds towards others. We asked AE why she told us she wasn't playing with anyone and her explanation was, "Mom I am not playing with anyone, but helping BB and TB." Our child is very literal.

AE doesn't really understand what all the fuss is about, she was just doing what she wanted and what she thought was the right thing do. How can you ask for anything more?

The wonderful thing about Google, is Google's a wonderful thing

Last night I was putzing around on iTunes and somehow got to the B-52's. Everyone remembers them and their Love Shack, but I clicked on Rock Lobster listened to the 30 second snipet and was reminded of a good friend from so long ago in a land far, far away called Wyoming. So on a whim I went to Google and typed in her name and was pleasantly surprised to find her doing what she always wanted to do.

When we were eleven this friend was interested in archeology and subsequently became obsessed with George Armstrong Custer (GAC) and the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Odd interest for an eleven year old girl, but soon all of us in our little group were talking about George and his untimely demise. My friend was quite the artist and would draw pictures of GAC on our notebooks, notes etc.

We continued our friendship through Junior High and into High School and were still close when I moved before our junior year. She had a fantastic, dry sense of humor and we would find humor in the most inane items: pink flamingos, her dog Tootsie - anything.

I have often wondered whatever became of her and now I know. I sent her an email last night and was so happy to see a response in my inbox this morning. She is living in Baltimore and is working for the National Park Service doing archeology and historic preservation. How cool is that? She has been on this path for 26 years and is doing what she loves each and every day.

A few months ago I wrote a blog about favorite songs and mentioned a little tune by the Violent Femmes, driving around with my friends and having a great time. This person is one of those friends who would sing along in the '66 Belvedere.

I was happy to read in her email, "I have fond memories of riding around with you listening to the Violent Femmes and the Dead Milkmen, so I'm glad to know you are happy and well."

I am so glad I have been able to connect with her, hopefully we will continue the dialogue in the years to come. So my friends maybe today is the day to Google someone and throw out a line - you never know what might come back.

Monday, April 16, 2007

So glad I am not the only one

Click to see larger version.

Plankton would be proud

The kids have named the boat The Chum Bucket. Don't know if the home office is too thrilled with the name, but I think it is hillarious.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Where do I begin?

The home office has been in the market for a boat the past few months. I cannot tell you how much time and printer toner he has spent looking for just the right one. Last month he made the declaration he may wait another year to buy "our" boat because he had missed out on a couple of SeaRays he really wanted. So, I thought the boat was a moot point - until today.

I couldn't for the life of me figure out why he was so amiable about me going to estate sales with my mom and aunt. He even suggested I go and "have fun". After sixteen plus years I should have had a clue something was amiss. When I asked him what he and the kids were going to do while I was away I was told they were going to run to the hardware store.

When I drove up to the house this afternoon there was a white Suburban much like ours out in front of our house with a boat behind it. I thought to myself, wonder who is here? Then it hit me, you know when you get that sinking feeling deep down in your gut, I think that is our truck. I backed up and looked and sure enough it was our licence plate on the white Suburban. Why did our truck have a boat attached to it?

Oh, that would be because it is "our" boat. DLS is so lucky our neighbor Dave and his kids decided to stop over with cookies right about the time I could finally put together a complete sentence.

The boat will be fun, I can sit and read while he drags the kids around the lake. I am just wondering if he would be as understanding if I went out and bought a '65 Mustang like I have always wanted when I told him I was going to the hardware store?

Technology rules

After a week of complete and utter isolation the PC is back home. The power supply went kaput, but it is kicking again thanks to the Geek Squad. Welcome home old friend we have missed you so... First item on the agenda will be to back up all pictures and genealogy information. I did lose some sleep thinking we had lost all the pictures of the kids for the past five years. Huge lesson.

Another word of wisdom if your LCD TV continues to flash "Temperature is too high" please check the back fans and ensure all filters are clean. Learn from the Schmidts this is a warning and may cause your television to overheat, die a slow, green death and cost $1,200 to fix. DLS is pleased because he was able to purchase a plasma HDTV last night, plus it does not have any filters to plug up! Bonus.

JG's first comment when he saw the new TV working. "Wait it not working. Where is the temperature too high?"

Friday, April 13, 2007

Tangerine dream

My mother goes through food fascinations where she is completely gung ho about a certain food for a period of time. In the past year she has obsessed about olives, popcorn, Werther's candies, back to olives, and now tangerines. Mom has now introduced little man to tangerines, it is so bad that when my mother arrives JG asks her, "Gramma we have our tangerines now?"

I on the other hand am not a big tangerine fan, they are simply too much work to bother with. There is the peeling, the seeds, the rind, the stickiness etc. I am not about fuss, if I want to eat it must be with the least amount of fuss. Why not pick up an apple? Apples are easy: wash and eat. My kids orange consumption has been primarily of the little mandarin kind thanks to Geisha.

So last night mom was over and she prepared JG's tangerine just like the pampered little guy likes it. He must have really enjoyed it because when he went to bed he asked if he could have a tangerine for breakfast, in my moment of weakness I agreed, "Yes, you may have a tangerine for breakfast."

I awoke this morning at 7:03 a.m. to very cold hands on my face and a little voice whispering, "It's time for a tangerine." I got up, grabbed the tangerine from the fridge and got out our handy dandy citrus peeler from Pampered Chef.

JG: Mommy don't use that. Gramma uses a sharp knife.
Mommy: I am going to use this, it should be fine.
JG: OK but that isn't how Gramma does it.

I peeled the tangerine and put into his favorite Darth Vader bowl. He picked up a section.

JG: Mommy, you didn't take the seeds out. Gramma always takes the seeds out so I don't choke. Because if I swallowed one I could choke and you know you can die if you choke.
Mommy: Honey, can't you spit the seeds out?
JG: No, that's not how Gramma does it. Maybe if I not choke on the seed I not want to grow a tangerine in my tummy if I swallow it.

I thought back to the fiasco to when he accidentally ate the sticker from the apple and decided I didn't want him examining his end product for the next week so took back the bowl and removed each and every blasted seed.

I returned the bowl to my son who immediately examined the tangerine.

JG: Mommy, you didn't cut it up. Gramma cuts it up for me into little pieces.

So, I cut it up the best I could with a semi-sharp knife and returned it for a third try.

JG: Mommy, you didn't take the string (orange rind) off it.
Mommy: It's ok you won't choke on that or grow a tangerine in your tummy from rind.

JG looked a me and said, "Mommy, I not eat it. I will wait for Gramma to come over to make me one the way I like it."

Sigh.

The dog ended up getting on the table after I left for some "alone time" and ate the tangerine. I don't think she liked the way I prepared it either because she threw it up at the top of the stairs.

You know, it would have been easier to clean up if I hadn't cut it into small, seedless sections.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Did someone say Jumanji?

AE and I were watching a very disappointing American Idol last night when Phil Stacey came on. Phil began singing and AE stated, "I don't like watching him when he sings, he is kinda scary." I agreed and told her to close her eyes and listen - it would make it better.

AE sat with her eyes closed and listened to Phil. She finally said, "You know, if you imagine he looks like John Mayer then it isn't that bad."

While we are on the topic of American Idol we were laughing the other night on our flight back from Mexico, by chance my second cousin ended up on the same flight and we were talking. I asked his wife if she had heard who had been voted off last week and John jumped in the conversation, "You know, that Jumanji has got to go. He's awful." We let John know his name was Sanjaya, not Jumanji.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

I wonder if I am supposed to be somewhere right now?

This being without the PC stinks mostly because the Schmidt family calendar was on the computer and I cannot remember where we are supposed to be and when. Example: JG almost missed swimming lessons this a.m. at Foss because I was SURE it was at 10:30 versus 10:00. You do not miss swimming lessons at Foss they cost too much. Little man was screaming to me as we were running (yes, I can run now!!!!) across the parking lot, "Run like the wind Bullseye Mommy!"

I am going to run over and get the part for the PC from one Best Buy and take it to another Best Buy. Hopefully I will get an update on when our HP friend will be able to come home. I cannot believe how lost I am without the computer. I have found myself just wandering in the house feeling like I have misplaced something. How sad is that? One good thing is the DVR is down to 11% am completely caught up on Antiques Roadshow and October Road.

At least JG seems to be embracing the library. He is playing on the kids' computers right now and has selected many titles to take home. The one he is most excited about?, Funder (Thunder) and Lightning.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Another reason I love the library

Well, the Schmidt's PC will be down for at least 3-5 more days, the Geek at Geek Squad seemed to think it was the power supply. Unfortunately they do not have any power supply whatchamadinkies in stock at our local store, so I offered to run to another store and pick one up in order to expedite the process. I will be making a trip to the hood later today to purchase said power supply, oh the things I will do for connection to the outside world...

On a positive note, during this downtime I remembered our friendly Hennepin County Library has oodles of computers with the Internet so I can have some interaction and check in on my blog friends. I was able to come in and fix a horrible spelling error from my last blog which bothered me all last night. I put another "m" in commission and am feeling much better now.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Out of commission

Our computer is down and out for the moment, don't have any idea what is wrong, but will be making a trip to visit the Geek Squad in the a.m.

What am I going to do with all this computer free time? Oh yeah, I can clean the house.

Clásico

JG and AE got into a spat over the TV upon our return from México.

AE: I want to watch this, don't change the channel. Mom, JG is going to change the channel.
Mom: JG don't change the channel, AE is watching that.
JG: I want to watch SpongeBob. This movie is dumb.
Mom: Well, it doesn't matter AE had the TV first.

JG turned to AE and uttered the worst thing he could think of before he retreated.

JG: Yeah, well I wish your dumb movie was in Spanish.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Introducing Izzy

This morning my aunt called at 11:30 a.m. and started the conversation with, "I am about to do something really crazy." I answered with, "What are you going to buy now?" The answer was a Goldendoodle. So off we went the whole famn damily to Mankato to pick up Shirley's new addition. The entire task was completed by 3:30 p.m. Not bad if I say so myself.

She is just a doll and is named Isabelle or is it Isabella? Or is it Isaboo? Either way my aunt is going to call her Izzy. She was Sophie for about an hour, but after we got to know this feisty little girl Izzy seemed to fit. JG wanted to name her Fruit, but that suggestion did not garner any votes from the rest of the car to his disappointment.

So here she is.... little Izzy, the fifth (and hopefully final) dog in our motley crew. She joins Rudy Toot Toot, Mimi LaRue, Jack-Jack Attack and Justin (Timberlake).

Scmidth and Wineski

We are back from our little adventure and we had a marvelous time. We went with our good friends and neighbors the Wisnewskis. Our kids got along great, not one fight amongst the four of them. There were no tiffs amongst the grown-ups either! It makes it easier when you bring along playmates for the kids, JG absolutely idolizes the Wisnewski's son MC and their daughter EM thinks the world of AE.

We spent most of the time around the pool and on the beach from sunup to sundown, the kids were exhausted each night and all of us were in bed asleep by 9:00 which is a rarity for the Schmidts, especially me. The resort we stayed at was nice, perfect for the kids with a daily program called "Kids Paradise" that they went to for a few hours each day. They especially enjoyed "Loco Hora" (Crazy Hour).

Overall the all-inclusive route was the way to go with the kids, they ate all the hamburgers, french fries and Pina Coladas they could stand. For the adults we were able to go to at least one sit down meal each day and avoid the lines, the buffet was reminiscent of the cruise experience from last April with my girlfriends from college, it was totally a cruise ship on land. The title of this blog "Scmidth and Wineski" is what we were collectively called each night at dinner for the majority of our trip, guess something was lost in the translation of Schmidt and Wisnewski.

We managed one day trip to Xel-Ha a waterpark south of Cancun about 1 1/2 hours. We had a great time snorkling, tubing down the lazy river and AE and DLS managed to jump off a few cliffs. JG so wanted to go, but "mean mom" said no.

It was good to get home to our king sized bed, drinking water that doesn't come in the bottle, and not having sand stuck everywhere you don't want sand to be. We will go to Mexico again, hopefully sooner than later.

JG was instistent I put a picture of a bird in the blog. He really liked the parrots a "super lot". So here is the parrot JG ticked off by screaming "HEY YOU BIRD" at him. JG scared the crap out of me and at least three others as well, one woman I am pretty sure swore at us in Spanish. Lucky he didn't lose an ear or something. Now that would be an interesting blog. "We went to Mexico and our son was attacked by a huge parrot..."