Monday, October 31, 2011

Now That's What I Call Halloween: Volume I

 Dora the Explorer
 Dora and, er, mullet-sporting tee ball coach

Janet Snakehole, Gypsy Woman, Dora

What's One to Do?

What's a mom to do when she picks her child up from daycare and she can hear from the hallway, "No, no, Lakin, we leave our shirts on here."  Apparently my sweet girl was stripping her shirt off every chance she got this afternoon.  What goes on in her mind?  I wish I knew.

Here are some scenes from around our house lately.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

cheap trick

This video is the ONLY way I can clip Lakin's fingernails or put cute ponies in her hair.  Guilty.

Can you see the glow of the computer screen putting her in a trance?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

A BOO Preview

Thursday evening we met Jess and Kristin and downtown for some spooky fun.   Our public school district was hosting a fundraising event at the Grand Kahler Hotel.  The Kahler is one of Rochester's oldest hotels and it's hallways would put Jack Nicholson's Overlook Hotel to shame.  They're twisty with low ceilings and for real creepy.  There were three levels at the Hunted Hallways.  Since all our babes were under two we only dabbled in the "Hallway of Fun."

This was one of those moments where you, the parent, endure something awful for the sake of your kid.  We waited in line to enter the hall, I was pushing  my stroller (rookie move) because I wasn't sure what to expect and Lakin's a darter.  Tons of small kids were wrangled into a tight, single file line to wait for their tootsie rolls and chance to put the eyeballs into the bucket.  Which at the young age of one and a half, you just don't get standing back and letting the kid dressed as a monkey in front of you play the game.  As we inched through the tiny space, I quickly regretted the fleece jacket combo I'd worn.  The hallways were blazing hot with all the Halloween lights and the traffic jam of people.  My strollers wheels kept getting turned the wrong way and Lakin freaked at the end when she saw the life-size Dalmatian fire dog.  Not to mention someone pooped early on in the hallway.  I prayed it wasn't Lakin and pretended not to smell the fierce odor.  If we'd wanted to escape, it would not have been possible.

So we walked away with about eight tootsie rolls and a memory.  Good times.  Will we go again?  I'm certain of it.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

our chevy sonic adventure

You know me, I'm always up for a freebie.  So, when I heard about the Chevy Sonic Adventure scavenger hunt I was game.  With Chris on call all weekend, I knew I was going to have to go at this challenge with Lakin on board.  I found my partner and together we psyched ourselves up to win a car.

The premise was simple, show up downtown at 11:00 am, ready to move on foot from clue to clue.  Each location had a challenge to complete, some were riddles, others simple mathematical equations- all completely doable with a little effort and thought.  There were 49 locations and two hours to complete as many challenges as possible.  Each challenge had its own point value.  Clues came through your phone via text or the scavenger app.  Thankfully, Jen has an iPhone.  Unfortunately, we lost battery about half way through the race.  No problem though, we parked ourselves in Jen's car, plugged the phone in, and while it charged Jen would feed me locations and I'd run to complete the challenge and report back the answers.  Not ideal, but not bad.

My partner, Jen, was nine months pregnant.  Together, with her baby bump and my twenty-five pound kid riding side saddle in her stroller, we were quite the pair.  If an award would have been given for courage and heart, we would have won it.

Despite an embarrassing amount of trash talk, we did not walk away the proud new owners of a Chevy Sonic.  We are, however, so thankful we made the trek out to compete.  It was a blast and we make a killer team.  All I have to say is, "next year."  Below is the video of the winners.  They took the two finalists and gave them both a set of keys, one worked, the other didn't.  Oh, the suspense!!!

We did decide that if it came down to a dance contest in the end that Jen should be the one competing.  You know, nothing beats a very pregnant woman dancing.  See below for evidence.

Monday, October 17, 2011

throw some glitter, make it rain

And that's just what we did.  Metaphorically speaking.  Since there was no actual glitter present at our pumpkin par-tay.  But if glitter would have been present it would have been raining crazy, shiny glitter.

It was the annual Uro pumpkin carving party at the Shimko family abode.  I'd like to do some comparison shots for you so you can see just how much has changed in the last year.

First, a shot of Bug right before the party last year.
Bugs this year.  T-shirt courtesy my talented mom.
A little more hair. a little less chub, a whole lot more 'tude.  Look at her sitting in that chair A.C. Slater style.  You can't teach that kind of coolness, people.

Chris' pumpkin design from last year.

And this year.  Hint, his is not the Dora one or the cute pumpkin colored with magic marker.  What can I say, the guy bleeds red and yellow.

We had a great time, it's been a sweet tradition here to gather together for the great pumpkin carving.  Here are some more pics from the weekend event.
Erin and Caitlin working on precision, Dora's not going to carve her own face into the front of that pumpkin, now is she?

 Baby Asher, the skunk, was tipping pumpkins and raising a stink.  Not really, he's a mild-mannered little guy.  Lakin was really interested in all things Asher all day.
 Scarlett and her juice box.  Do juice boxes contain liquid magic?  Lakin had her first taste of apple juice and she could. not. get. enough.  I think she personally ripped the straw from three separate boxes after experiencing the bliss of juice.  If only she had the hand/eye coordination to punch that skinny straw in the tiny hole all by herself...
 Pumpkin decorating is serious bid-ness.  Not comfortable with your three year old wielding a knife? Give them a magic marker and let them go to town.  Genius.
 Experienced surgeons at work.  By experienced I mean one year of experience.  Brian and Chris perfect their art.
 My pumpkin.  Whipped this J out free-handed after a hand off of Lakin to Chris.  Took turns actually participating in the party.  Tag team parenting is a must when your kids starts running.  Lakin was busy playing with all the other kids and since she can't be trusted alone. with anything.  one of us was on Bug duty at all times.  The J is for Jaeger.  As in our family name.  It was my "Martha moment."
Pumpkins lined up for judging.  Sweet prizes were given.  Fun was had by all.  Bring it on, Halloween.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


Can you see that small cut above Lakin's left eye?  I wish I could say it was a result of her crazy exploration but unfortunately, I did that.  I was trying to stop a heavy door from falling on her and my finger nail cut her eyelid.  Talk about feeling like a bad mommy.  I guess a small cut was better than a door in the face.  

Daddy is off work this weekend so we did some extended PJ time yesterday morning.  This is Lakin's favorite spot in the house, besides behind the toilet but we are really discouraging that one these days.  It's a tiny corner in our kitchen.  She was taking a short break from running from one end of the house to another.  

I'm missing bowls, Tupperware, and cooking utensils.  The above picture is my explanation.  Where do these items go to die?  Only Lakin knows, and she's not telling.

She's a snuggler.  Big hugs and kisses are given freely around here and lately her affection has turned to her soft toys.  All you have to do is encourage her to "love the baby" and she wraps her arms around that thing for dear life and hugs with all her might.  It's sweet but when a real baby is involved, there might be a bit too much love, and little blockage of airflow.  Something to work on, or through, I guess.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

randomly thinking

I miss teaching.  I miss my corner of the world (it was a mobile trailer corner, but it was perfect, nonetheless) where I could reign supreme.   I miss encouraging young minds to think for themselves and to dream big.  I miss reading juicy young adult literature and having meaningful conversations with my students as they sorted through some of the more complicated issues of life.

I don't know if I'll ever get to be queen of a classroom again.  I don't know if I want to.  But I do miss it.

I am fortunate to get to do this with my own children someday.  For now, we will read Whose Baby Am I? for the umpteenth time and work on pointing to our belly buttons and mouths.  We all start somewhere, right?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

weekend update with sara j

As promised, I wanted to give you a run down of our fabulous and fun weekend in Columbia.  Like I mentioned, we visited our friends, Polly and Austin, and were in town so Chris could be an usher for his friend, Dave, from medical school.  

Dave gave his ushers the dress code a few months in advance but Chris, with his hectic schedule, started thinking about it about a week before we left- such a boy thing to do.  He needed a black suit and bow tie for the affair, neither of which did he own.  So Thursday night, the evening before we left, he went to borrow a suit from a friend.  The suit turned into a tuxedo jacket, one that was a little too large for him, and suddenly became the topic of conversation for every available moment leading up to the wedding.  

Despite looking like a Chippendale's dancer, no one noticed, cared, commented on the fact that Chris' jacket was satin lined and appeared a little out of sorts.  To Chris' relief and wardrobe insecurity, some serious crisis was averted.  

I also had a bit of wardrobe malfunction.  By malfunction I mean the top I intended to wear to the wedding was also part of my rehearsal ensemble (travel light, right?) and I may or may not have dribbled chocolate custard down the front of it while eating ice cream in the dark.  Guilty.  Guilty. Guilty.  Since chocolate custard is fatal to a white blouse, I was stuck with a skirt and no top which is higly inappropriate for a wedding- or so I hear.  So, I did what any fashion forward, quick thinking girl would do; I threw together something with what I had left over.  Hello skirt and blue tee, you look nice.  

At least Lakin looked sharp at the rehearsal.  Someone needed to represent for this family.  

 Lakin practiced her robot moves at the Conner's.  Not really, I think this was an action shot of her chasing Sophie around the living room.  Sophie is a just-the-right-size dog for Lakin.  She loved her kisses and wanted to be near her whenever possible.  Sophie was a good sport.  Adelyn's a lucky girl.
 Here's Lakin and Riley.  They had never met before this moment but they shared a sort of kindred bond.  Their first five minutes together was a long, drawn out hug.  The following day, Riley's mom told me to watch out for some pink eye that might be in our future.  Luckily, Lakin has super human immunity so despite their love fest, she came our unscathed.  Gotta love little kid germs.
 While Chris practiced the art of ushering folks down the aisle, Lakin ran around like a wild woman.   She would just go up to different guests and strike up a nonsense conversation with them.  Everyone was amused, despite the fact that they had no idea what she was trying to say.  Too bad she's a shy one.
 This is where I began to covet my friend, Ashley's, boots.  They were just as beautiful in person as they were on pintrest.  Definitely worth their own picture.
 Ashley is bumping a baby boy in there.  She's due in March.  First kid.  Isn't she stinking cute as a preggo?
 Lakin's social hour.  
 What's a visit to Columbia without Shakespeare's pizza?  Sad, that's what.  We met my folks at Shakespeare's Saturday.  Lake is now a fan of pepper jack and pepperoni pizza.
 Ladies, he's taken. My husband the usher/milkman/Chippendale's dancer.
 Our prom pic.  Some observations: my legs have not seen the light of day for a while, holy white skin. The blue tee doesn't look too bad after all.  My hair was large and in charge.
 Here's the beautiful altar.  Gorgeous ceremony next to the lake.
 Chris and the groom, David.  They were friends in undergrad and medical school.  David now lives in Lexington and is a plastics resident.
 Riley ready to be a flower girl.
 The two flower girls did a bang up job making it down the aisle.  Mom was waiting to greet them.  These girls outlasted Chris and I on the dance floor.  PARTY animals.
 David and Megan Atashroo
Final shot of the night.  Beautiful October evening.

So thankful for a weekend away with the family.  My parents took care of Lakin for us during the wedding because she likes them a whole lot and she's a bit of party pooper once the clock strikes 7pm.  Thanks mom and dad for making the trip to watch the little girl.