Monday, August 31, 2015

Writing and Working Out, and Writing About Working Out

Well, this feels a little awkward... But I guess it's also awkward that I've hardly mentioned here an exercise routine has become part of my daily life for the better part of the past year.  So, Krinkeland is not the only blog I write:!A-Beginners-Perspective/c12bz/55e43fe10cf28ffc7eecd412

Friday, August 28, 2015

Deck Lunch

Madeline asked to take her lunch on the deck, as she often does. I love to sit and eat outdoors, so maybe she inherited the tendency from me. On the other hand, Todd highly dislikes eating outside. He doesn't like the sun... He doesn't like the wind... He doesn't like the bugs. We tend not to dine outdoors as a family, mostly because I don't want to hear the whining.

Yes, during the day, in the summer, when everyone is getting their different dishes at different times, the kids kind of eat where they want. Maddy was wise to take her lunch out to the picnic table on a nice day like today. I was getting the other kids' lunches together when she called back inside, "Why doesn't anyone ever want to eat out here with me?"

Someone does.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Blooms & Bricks

We had a glorious day at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum with the cousins and Grandma-- squeezing in all the fun before school starts again! Today's highlights were some really cool, nature-inspired Lego creations. The lowlight was the crowd... I guess we weren't the only ones with a great idea for today.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More Than You Wanted to Know

Son is rummaging in the pantry for chips.
"Ben, quit looking for chips. You don't need chips. You just made yourself a little pizza. If you are still hungry, have a piece of fruit."
"I don't want to eat fruit. Fruit makes me poop."
"So? That's good-- you're supposed to poop every day."
"Yeah, but not like with fruit. Fruit makes me poop RAMBUNCTIOUSLY."

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Messages from Beyond

On this cool, rainy day, while recovering from a weekend away, and with all the children occupied with their various activities, I am sitting at the computer doing "fun" stuff like returning emails and phone calls, setting up school schedules, making appointments, and the like.  I needed to get some information for one call off of our home voice mail, and decided, in the process, to delete the 30 saved voice mail messages.  I am usually pretty good about deleting and responding to messages immediately, so I am not even sure how 30 built up, but, when I began listening, I discovered some were two years old and most were of absolutely no consequence.


I got into a string of messages from the same Charter Communications customer service representative, and listening gave me a funny idea for a snarky post.  You see, Tyler was calling in regards to our initial communication about difficulties we were having with our bundled home phone service.  He obviously had to leave multiple messages-- which we never received-- BECAUSE OUR PHONE SERVICE WAS NOT WORKING.  Nice try, Tyler.  Next time, think that one through.

Yet, I barely got through all the Charter messages when I heard a winded, but jovial, voice that began, "Hi to the Krinke family!  This is Grandpa and Grandma R. calling to say THANK YOU for the beautiful valentines..."  I took my time, carefully listening to the menu options and looking at the phone's keypad when I pressed the precious key to save that message from our beloved whose voice we will not hear again.  The very next message was more mumbly and began, "Uh... hi... Andrea... this is Ardy..."  Again, save, save, save, SAVE!  Messages from beyond, to bring our departed fathers into this day.

Sometimes, grief strikes when we least expect it.

I asked our oldest daughter the other day why she often calls Grandma's cell phone first, even when it's usually easier to reach her at home.  She chuckled and told me, "I don't want to risk it."  Yes, I am learning with teenagers it is best to just wait these things out...  Sure enough, after a few minutes Amanda confessed, "I don't like to call the house because the voice mail says, "You have reached the home of Harlan and Connie..." and, when I hear that, I get sad.

We know life goes on.  We know these dear men fought as hard as they could.  We knew we did everything we were able to help them.  We still get sad.

I may play the voice mail messages for the others in Krinkeland-- if they want to hear them.  The only other one I saved was from Todd on a business trip: "Hi, family, good night... I love you... (sigh) I wanted to talk to you and to hear about your day, but no one is answering the phone.  (sigh) Mom is not answering her phone.  Amanda is not answering her phone.  No one is answering this phone. (sigh)  I love you all.  Good night!"

I don't purposely NOT answer... but I'm going to work on answering the phone.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Good Night!

"All right, it's 9:00. Time for bed!"
"Mom, can I please just stay up till 10:00?"
"Noooo, sir. You have had a long, full day. It's time to sleep."
"I know, Mom. You're right. I'm exhausted. I NEED sleep!"


Monday, August 10, 2015

Bemoaning Motherhood

"Mom, I don't want to be a girl."
"Mom, I don't want to be a girl-- I want to be a boy."

I was bound to hear this sooner or later, right? First, the Kardashians; now, Krinkeland. But this one... My little one... Our sweet, girly doll... I sighed. I was ready. I wasn't particularly interested in engaging in a gender discussion with a six-year-old, but, what the hey?

"I don't want to be a girl because I don't want to be a mom."
"Well, just because you're a girl doesn't necessarily mean you will someday become a mother. But you're a bit young to decide this. You may change your mind. Let's just wait and see how your life pans out. For the record, what's so bad about being a mom?"
"It's hard."
"Yeah? You mean, I don't make it look
"No. You work all the time."
"You have to clean and take care of us and do everything for us, and then, when we have to go to Costco, we whine and we say we just love Daddy."

Nailed it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Perfect Night

It has been a crazy-busy day, just shuttling the kids from one activity to the next to the next. Around supper time, when things should have been winding down, we had one more adventure awaiting us, and it has turned out to be a wonderful end to the day. Sometimes, the simple things are the best things.

Amanda and Elisabeth wanted to attend a teen writers' workshop, held at the library branch in the next town. What parent wouldn't be OK with that? Sure, we'd already had a really full day, but this was an event that catered to their intense interests, the opportunity was both educational and creative, plus-- it was free.

I drove the girls and got them settled in their class. Since we were already 10 miles from home and it was exactly dinner time and no one was at home cooking it, and the girls were in an unfamiliar situation without me, it didn't make much sense to me to drive back home during the two-hour session and then return to retrieve them. So, Benjamin, Madeline and I grabbed the elements of a picnic and headed over to the main, city park. It was the right call.

The weather was divine-- a perfect summer night. Two teams were warming up for a big baseball matchup. A band was playing live music. The kids cheered at the sight of a nice, big playground they had yet to conquer. Except for Todd's absence (on a business trip) I don't know what more we could want.

Life is cool.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Easy Rider

After yesterday's post, I had had enough! So, today, we loaded the bike and helmet and child into the car and drove to a large, nearby parking lot. She cried. She wailed. She gnashed her teeth. Finally, she just took off:

Like that, Madeline was gone. She seriously called to me over her shoulder, "Mom, this feels like a whole new world!" Ridiculous.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Music of the Road

I am out on a bike ride with the two Littles. Since one thinks he is Mario Andretti and the other thinks she will "NEVER ride a two-wheeler because I don't have that good of balance-- and neither does the bike," I am trying to stay positioned in the middle, between one who is way ahead and the other who is waaay behind. I slowed even more because I could no longer hear the rumble-rumble of her plastic Big Wheel wheels. Already on the trip, Baby Girl had announced she'd lost a shoe, and decided to just leave it on the sidewalk, about three blocks back. Meanwhile, the Boy had taken a turn into a trail and gotten out of sight; I was fairly certain he was now a Child of the Corn. As I was waiting for the Low Rider to catch up, I heard singing-- loud singing. Girl was belting it out to the neighborhood residents and everyone we passed on the road:

"When you're riding down the road and you drop a messy load, Diarrhea! Pbbbt! Pbbbt! Diarrhea!"