Saturday, May 30, 2009

Friday, May 29, 2009

Another installment from Spencerland

A snippet from the car earlier today:

Cal: Mom, why didn't the cars next to us move when it was a green light?
Me: Each car has to look at the light directly in front of it. Those cars are turning. Their light was still red, ours was green.
Cal: Because Green means Go!
Me: Yup.
Cal: And Red means Stop!
Me: Yup
Cal: And Yellow means slooooow down.
Me: Yup
Spencer: And Purple means Dance...

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

One week

Apparently that is how long it takes baby robins to fly from the nest.

Too bad I was working all week and missed the whole thing....

Oh well. So, for future reference, if you are wanting a rich learning experience for your kids after a nest of robins hatch, you have one week to soak it in. Who knew those little alien babies would grow up so fast. Sunrise.... sunset....

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

One hours peace

Today was my day off after a really brutal Memorial Weekend at the ER. We are talking every room full, 20-30 in the waiting room, people arriving with fingertips in baggies, elderly men with tractors rolling over on them... We are now understaffed in the radiology and lab departments because of the layoffs... doesn't really make things work like a well-oiled machine. 

So, today, after running, swimming and biking in the last 24 hours (you gotta get 'em in there where you can), I decided to go hog wild. It was momma's day to get a massage. I earned it, damn it!

It was a total spur-o'-the-moment kind of thing. I walked past a place with a huge "$40 one hour massage!" sign in the window. You know, I'll put up with anything resembling a massage for $40. As long as bad-touch isn't involved, it sounds like a great bargain. As I filled out the paperwork, with the heated bag of dried corn on my neck, I made the decision to turn off the cell phone. No point in having it on when I'm not going to answer it anyway.

The massage was, in a word, fabulous. This woman had hands of steel, and though it actually was a little painful at times, I feel like I can move my back in ways I haven't moved in months. 

No good deed will go unpunished.

The minute I turn my phone back on, it rings. As I start to talk to Omar, I can hear the phone buzzing with the 3 texts that are now raining down from the text purgatory they have been stuck in for the last hour. Leo has a fever. He has had a fever for about, uhm.... an hour. The daycare is apparently eagerly awaiting someone's arrival, and Omar can't go because the transformer outside the brewery has exploded and is on fire.

I am not making this up.

When I pick up little man, he is sitting in a pack-and-play jail so as to not infect the other kids. Half and hour later, the big three are picked up by my poor feverish mother-in-law who is hosting a birthday part for the boys' cousin despite looking like h-e-double-hockey-sticks. Apparently my father-in-law is looking even worse. The fridge repair man arrived to then spend 2 hours staring at the ice-maker while all my frozen foods thawed. 

I may never get a massage again...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

What have I become...

There are many things I swore I would never do in this life. And here I am, doing them. Not only doing them, but ENJOYING doing them. These are the moments when our mother's look at us, grin, gently nod their heads and think to themselves, "yes, yes... this is how life works, my child..." These are the things my own children will mock self-righteously in 15 years as examples of how I am "The Man." A few examples...

1) I own a minivan - And you know what? It is a damn fine car. Very very useful when toting groceries, dogs, children, bikes, and kegs (ah, to be a Surly Ansari...)
2) I live in a suburb - I can still get to First Ave or any other downtown destination faster than any of my 'city' friends, but my address is not Minneapolis. I'm trying to remember why this was so important.
3) As of last week, I am officially a Soccer Mom - Again, why was this such a bad thing? Max is exercising, LOVING it, and I get to set in the sun reading a book. Why such anathema for such a lovely thing...

But this last one really sent me. Maybe it's because I now fold my clothes IN the laundry room where there is a counter that is brightly lit by fluorescent bulbs (instead of on the couch in a dark basement watching TV at the same time), but as I found buddies for the 38994636 socks in our house, I actually thought to myself "Wow, these whites are so dinghy" 

4) I have dinghy whites.

When did I become the lady from the Tide commercial? Wait, I USE Tide! I guess I am now some lady from a Clorox commercial! An Ajax commercial! AAAAAaaaaaaagh!!!

I guess it's time to go buy some lovely heals and a skirt to dust in. Maybe a nice pin-curl hairdo. Where is that recipe for cherry Jell-o with cream cheese balls and walnuts (I actually could get that one from my mom, no joking...)? Excuse me while I go make my husband a highball...

I need to get back to the hospital... Someone, please, have a heart attack. Let me focus on that instead of my whites... I've clearly had too many days off in a row.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This is a tradition that goes back 38 years....

Cal and Spence






Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Spencer way

Today, Spencer headed off to daycare with his shirt on backwards. This was a nice compliment to his backwards shorts.

Now, it should be noted that he also puts his underwear on backwards every single day. I explained to him "Spence, if you wear them backwards you will get a snuggy." To which he replies "I like snuggies."

To each his own.

To really cap the Spence-Look, he chose black knee-high spiderman socks, then put his shoes on the wrong feet.

He really is a thing of beauty. I can't wait for the inevitable 16-year-old comments of "Mom, why did you let me out of the hosue like that!?!? I looked like an idiot!" Yes... yes you did... and I love every minute.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Training day #3

Does anyone know where my swim cap or goggles are?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

No more excuses

Am I about to become pregnant.... no
Am I pregnant... no
Am I nursing... no
Am I about to move to a new house... no

I guess I am plum out of reasons that I can't start training for a Tri. The last time I moved with any speed was crossing the finish line of the LifeTime Tri 2 summers ago. No Goal = slug.

So, it's official. I am signed up (as of ~45 seconds ago) for the Chisago Lake Sprint triathlon on July 26th.

The best part was when I logged on to, the little free program that tells you what to do each day in order to be ready.... When I entered the event and the date, it told me to start training on March 23rd.

Oh well. Better late than never. Time to go run....

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Happy Mother's Day

This one is from Mr. Surly and the boys. This Mother's Day got off to a littlle rough start, a barfing Calvin and a working Mrs. Surly is not that much fun. We made a little video yesterday to say Happy Mother's Day to Becca. Thanks for being a great Mom and keeping the fun going around the Surly homestead. Oh yeah, and making food for the boys.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Good vibes comin

In the last week, I found out 2 of my dearest friends from ye ol' college days are coming to town. My man Chris Kottom (and his lovely wife and 2 kids) will be arriving at the end of the month. Kottom is the guy that I *really* got to know in the steam tunnels under the Carleton College campus. We had the fabulous job of removing any unused pipe, wiring or cable from the underground labyrinth beneath the dorms. This involved a saws-all, a hard hat, and a lot of grime.

Now, this was back in the day when I felt I had something to prove as a chyck. Back when I was a womyn with a Y, and don't you forget it! Enter this burly corn fed Minnesota boy. Oh, sister, I felt like I had to haul it like She-ra. How completely misguided I was. Kottom was more than happy to let me knock my socks off, and didn't think any more or less of me for it. He kept doing his thing, certainly giggling internally at this completely insane gal with some weird chip on her shoulder. By the end of the summer, we took turns napping in the tunnel after long nights at the Rueb, given we could always see if the boss-man was a'comin. Ah, those were the days. Few people can crack me up the way Kottom can. He is one of kind.

The friendship started in those tunnels is still one that fits me like a comfy old sweatshirt, despite the fact that he lives in the Czech republic and I see him only every few years. He emailed me the other day to confirm both the trip and the fact they will be staying with us... I can't wait.

Then, my schedule for this summer came out, confirming I have Labor Day weekend off. That was the final step in launching a cabin weekend with Mark, Kristen and their 2 girls. I can still vividly recall breaking down and weeping in the Burton stairway after saying goodbye to Mark after graduation. We were so close our Senior year that I couldn't imagine he wouldn't be there every day after that. Then, he goes out and finds this equally whip-smart smart-crackin' wife that I adore (please see Motherload to your left). We last convened 2 years ago, and the idea of more tomfoolery at the cabin fills me with a giddy joy. The fact that the 3rd amigo, Gary, may also join in, is almost enough to set me skipping.

There is something about the friendships forged in college that stands alone. We went through so many ups and downs over the years. Sure, much of it was high drama... but to this day, I would walk through fire for all of these guys.

What a great summer.

Friday, May 8, 2009

And.... we're back.

Ah, to have high-speed wireless again! That was a tough 5 days there. Without my iPhone, I think I might have curled up in a ball in the corner and rocked.

I'm better now.

Now, let me perseverate about the million & one things we love about our new house.

1) Our new yard with 1.5 acres of frog-filled woods

2) Our new carpet and paint (Thank you, honey)


3) Our new 3 season porch (furniture on order!)

4) Our new play structure, big enough for all 14 of the neighborhood gang to attack at once last night. We love you all, by the way!

5) And, of course, the signs the kids found in the woods behind the house (in case you can't read the one on the left, it says "What's so wrong, it's just a bong"). Nice.

We are also on Robin Watch! The kids found this in their play structure:

This last shot was taken right before I sat my keester down to type this out. We will keep you posted. I hope we don't have to have another educational moment, a-la-marijuana signs, if something unlucky happens to these 4 little robin babies... "Well, kids, you see, death is part of life...." Ugh...