the homepage of gregory and ann kline

Sunday, June 29, 2008

For Sale!

Our house is officially for sale now. How exciting... and terrifying. It would probably be more exciting if we actually had some houses lined up that we were in love with. Instead, not a clue. I emailed our real estate agent about 4 houses that we wanted to look at last week only to discover that every single one of them was under contract. Hopefully this is a sign that things are moving along with sales at this point and we won't be staring at a for sale sign in our yard for too too long... just long enough for us to find our dream house with an appropriate price tag attached.

Anyone want to buy a house? It is a fabulous place and I really am sad that we will be leaving here. The neighborhood is just awesome. Love the yard. Love the large windows. Love the patio and the front porch. Love all the love in this house. The only downside is that whoever buys this house will have to bring their own love with them because we are taking ours with us.


Friday, June 27, 2008

Favorite Foto Friday

Not sure I will do this every week, but this week I am going to participate in Kiss the Frog's favorite foto Friday. Today's theme is Summer Livin'.

The first picture is Marcus last May in our pool.

And Marcus this summer at the zoo.

The only time we got to spend with Will last summer was visiting him for a week in Guatemala. Here he is last June with Greg.

And Will last week at a playground.


Thursday, June 26, 2008

Boot Camp - Thursday #1

It rained. It was monsoon-like rain. The rain fell down and up at the same time. At one point there were actual dogs and cats falling out of the sky. As if trying to workout with all those domesticated animals running around wasn't distracting enough, I was worried that my exercise mat was just going to float away. I had on my moisture deterrent coat that is quite excellent in its performance. About 15 minutes in and I ditched it. The rain was coming right down through the neck hole. I didn't get too good of a workout partly because I was thinking about the weather more than my muscles. It also turned out that my body was just done with exercise by this point in the week. My mind and body kept having the same conversation.

MIND: Run! Jump! Move!
BODY: Ha ha!! You are HILARIOUS!!


Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stats - 18 Months

I took Will for his 18 month check up today. We couldn't get an appointment with either of his regular doctors for a few weeks and since I knew he was healthy we just made an appointment with whoever was there. I didn't like the woman much. One little issue did come up that we have to keep an eye on for the next week but I am not going to go into that right now.

The current stats are:
weight: 23 lbs 6 oz
height: 32 in
head: 48.24 cm

I don't know what percentile that puts him but if I had to guess I would say it is the one that is perfectly normal and healthy for him. This new doctor of course was convinced that we are starving my child since he has ONLY gained 7 oz in the last 6 weeks. Maybe I should invite her over for dinner sometime so she can see for herself how much he eats. Just to note, Will weighs more at 18 months than Marcus did.


Boot Camp - Wednesday #1

No, I do not plan on doing a review of every day of boot camp. However, I would like to announce that even though we did less running today, I stuck it out and didn't resort to walking even once. In fact, about halfway through the running I realized I was passing people and they weren't even really old people! I didn't even think I was going to die for a single second during the entire workout today, unlike yesterday when I spent just about the whole hour thinking my heart was going to burst at any minute.

My body hurts.


Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Day One of Boot Camp - Do Over

With the boot camp mix up yesterday this was my first real day. Today I was up at 4:55 again, got my hair pulled back and some clothes on and was out the door and on my way around 5:10. This time I was at the correct location. At 5:30 this morning I could be found with a group of about 50 women stretching and warming up for some exercising. Really, why did I decide to do this? In general, it just plain sucked. We did some toning exercises broken up with periods of running around the parking lot for intervals of 1 to 5 minutes at a time. The running part is really what sucked. I am just not a runner. Never was, never will be. Give me a swimming pool or a bicycle and I can show you some endurance. Pounding the pavement with my sneakers, not happening. The first run was 5 minutes. I did manage to run the entire time but by the end of it I was at the back of the group, watching women twice my age skipping along ahead of me. The second run was 3 minutes and I only made it about half of that and settled for a power walk the rest of the time. There was another 3 minute run and another 5 minute run that I decided to just walk. The last run was 1 minute and I was able to hang through that one and actually run. By the end of the hour, my skin was cold, I was sweating profusely, my ears ached, and the muscles in my abdomen and thighs were screaming for mercy. The best part of the whole workout was when it was over. And I don't mean that in a "thank you great power above for allowing me to survive" kind of way. I mean it in the "wow I did it and I feel awesome about it" kind of way. I have every intention to return tomorrow.

I was back at the house at about 6:55 and Greg was running out the door for work as soon as I arrived. I don't know how I did it but by 7:17 I was showered, dressed (in a t-shirt and shorts), and my hair was done (as long as you consider mostly dried and pulled into a pony tail as "done"). I made breakfast for me and two kids and got them up. We all ate. I put away a big basket of laundry and got some makeup on. I got the kids dressed and got their teeth and hair brushed and turned on some cartoons. I sent Cara an IM and she suggested that we come over to play. About 10 minutes later we were off to her house, arriving around 9:30. (Who ever said that having kids meant you couldn't be spontaneous?) We got back around noon, ate some lunch, read some stories, and I tucked two tired kids into bed. Then I tucked myself into bed too. A woman can only be a super mom for so long!


Monday, June 23, 2008


I have all these things I want to blog about but no time to really make them each into their own personal entry so here it is.

- Our house is going on the market this week. Our real estate guy (that is his official title) is coming over later this week to take photos and get everything squared away. This means that our house has to be in tip top shape in just a few days. We bought a bunch of flowers to make things look all pretty. (My mom asked me where I put the flowers. I told her, "Lots of places. I thought about putting them all in one place but I thought that might look a little cluttered and smash the flowers.") Greg spent all day Saturday getting the yard fixed up, placing lots of mulch and fixing some little things. I spent all day Saturday with the kids, totally miserable because my back decided it was a good time to have lots of spasms. The pain was so bad that I popped a Vicodin. I had about 3.5 blissful hours where my back still hurt but I really could care less about anything!

- Friday was the last day of a highchair being used in our house until further notice. I got Will a booster seat so he can sit at the table with the rest of us. Marcus has the same seat and still needs to sit on a phone book as well so until we get a phone book for Will to sit on, he will be using the tray that comes with the booster seat. Will cried when I took the highchair down to the storage room in our basement.

- Will has determined that the best way to express any sort of displeasure towards a person is to hit them. I express my displeasure towards this behavior by placing him directly in timeout. On average he goes to timeout about once an hour for hitting.

- Greg went to visit his Pap on Sunday. Pap's health is failing and although Pap wasn't up for seeing two rambunctious toddlers, it was great that Greg got to visit. Greg took some video footage of the kids for Pap to see and I was told Pap enjoyed that.

- While Greg was visiting Pap on Sunday, I decided to take the kids and the pooch for a walk down to the neighborhood park. First we had to get out the door. As we were headed out, Will threw a temper tantrum for about 10 minutes while Marcus and I ignored him and played with some toys. Finally we were out the door. We started out having a great time at the park. We were the only ones there and had free reign of the slides and swings so we slid and swung. Then Will decided that to throw another temper tantrum while sitting at the bottom of one of the slides. Since there was no one else there, I just let him go and Marcus and I went about our business playing on another slide and doing some more swinging. After 15 minutes straight of screaming, Will finally decided to rejoin the fun. Then Marcus was not pleased with my request to take turns so he hit me. (Marcus went through a hitting phase that ended months ago but I guess he is taking hitting lessons from his little brother now.) Marcus sat in timeout for the last couple of minutes at the park. The trip was obviously a grand success. That was sarcasm in case you missed it.

- Marcus is working on learning his colors. He is starting to get the concept that things are different colors and knows the names of several colors now. For the past week everything has been yellow. The week before that, he declared everything he saw as green.

- Speaking of yellow things, one of Marcus's new words is "lemonade". He doesn't pronounce the "l" sound right though making this such a cute word. I serve him lemonade and generally talk about lemonade often just to hear him say the word.

- Will has been working on using spoons and forks to eat. This is really frustrating... to me. For a while there he would just sit at the table and play with his utensils and not eat a thing. I would eventually take the spoon or fork away which would lead to a freak out. He is finally starting to use his utensils more for actual eating than for playing which is making both of us happier.

- Will made this fabulous piece of art yesterday. It is called, "We Hate the Elephant". As you can see, the monkey, bird, hippo, giraffe, and lion are all living harmoniously under the happy little cloud and rainbow. It is almost as if they are saying to the elephant, "You are not one of us." Thankfully the elephant is quite secure in who she is and doesn't need to be part of the group to wear a smile on her face.

- Today was the first day of my fitness boot camp. I was up at 4:55 this morning and at the park by 5:25. There were five other women there, but no trainer. Hmm... Eventually we all left. I got in contact with the trainer later today. The boot camp location had changed and he had sent out an email. It seems as though he didn't have correct email addresses for some of us. The good news is that I am getting reimbursed for today's class and my poor back got one more day to heal before having to function at full capacity. The bad news is that I am completely exhausted today and I didn't even exercise for an hour this morning. No clue how I am going to survive four weeks of this. Why did I think that this boot camp thing was a good idea?

- Went grocery shopping today, just me and the two boys. It was the first time I took them alone to do a week's worth of shopping. I am thinking it would have turned out much better had there been a two child seater cart available. I almost turned around and left but decided to suck it up. Will sat in the seat and Marcus sat in the basket and I piled groceries on top of him. I put the eggs and bread under the basket because I didn't think they would survive otherwise. When I got to the last aisle in the store I spotted a woman using one of the two seater carts. She had child with her who was not in the cart, walking and old enough to be very capable of walking through the store and not removing things from shelves. She had another boy with her who was probably about 10 years old, sitting on the handle of the cart with a leg in each of the two seats. And there I was with my tomatoes and chicken and boxes of crackers stacked on top of my children because I was without a two seater cart. I was well behaved though and didn't make any snide comments when I passed her about how nice it must be to have one of those special carts when she obviously didn't even need one. I didn't even make a snide remark about how if her child would happen to fall off of his perilous perch on the handle of the cart I would have to laugh and talk about how it was simply natural selection at work. Yes, I realize this is heartless and mean but come on people, don't let your kids be stupid.

- A fellow knitter friend, Saffron, is grieving the loss of a family member. Please keep her and her family in your thoughts.

- Happy Birthday to the pooch!! My little puppy dog turned a very young 10 years old today.

- I have had heartburn for the past several days. I am thinking it is probably stress related. No idea what I could be stressed about... (That was sarcasm again in case you missed it.)


Sunday, June 22, 2008

When I Grow Up

Sometimes I like to play "When I Grow Up" and try to figure out exactly what I am going to be when I grow up. I still haven't figured it out yet. Fortunately I haven't grown up, nor plan to, so I get to play this game for awhile. Not surprisingly, I play this game with the future of my children as well.

As for Marcus, when he grows up I have decided that interior decorating is in store. He loves to rearrange furntiture. On Friday he decided that these chairs looked better with his little table than the chairs that came with it.

Still not satisfied, he tried the chairs like this:

Not quite the look that he was after so yet another arrangement.

Hmm... maybe the chairs would look better on the other side of the kitchen...

Had to try right in the middle of the kitchen too.

Still not quite right. Although with this configuration Marcus finally seemed like he was making progress.

At last! Marcus got the furniture just how he wanted it. He shouted out, "All done!" Then he eyed up what he had accomplished and declared, "Choo choo!!"

It is still yet to be decided what Will is going to grow up to be. I think it will somehow involve his fondness of throwing stuffed animals up into the air repeatedly. Perhaps a frog juggler in the circus?


Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Your Friendly Neighborhood Crazy Lady

It was quite the wet weekend here in Western Pennsylvania. We had some pretty incredible thunderstorms roll through with lots of rain, wind, and lightening. What do people do when they are faced with such a weekend ahead of them? I don't know. I am not people. I am just your friendly neighborhood crazy lady. Friendly neighborhood crazy ladies look at a weather forecast like that and decide to go camping. With two toddlers. A big dog. And a tent.

When I originally looked at the forecast there was just a chance of a thunderstorm on Saturday. That all changed but Greg and I had dedicated the better part of this week's free time to getting all packed up and ready to go and I wasn't about to change our plans, come hell or high water, literally. Shortly after Greg got home from work on Friday we headed off to Raccoon State Park, about an hour drive from here. I was a little anxious about how the kids would be without their toys and cartoons for a couple of days. Just before we headed out the door Will fell in some dirt. He was completely unharmed but when he looked at the dirt on his hands he had a complete and total freak out. I got myself prepared for a long weekend.

Things started out great on Friday evening. We arrived at our site and started setting things up. The boys were great. I brought a few toys with us but mostly they were just so fascinated with rocks and sticks and dirt that they could care less about toys. They didn't wander out of our campsite and even sat back to relax for about 2 seconds.

Greg did most of the work to get the tent set up while I unpacked some other things. Marcus and Will chipped in a hand at getting the sleeping bags unrolled.

Greg and I have an air mattress and the kids were sleeping on these "instant beds" that I had picked up at Target. Greg (and the pooch) got to work at getting everything inflated and I took the kids to a nearby store where we always get our firewood. Only problem was, the store doesn't carry firewood anymore. We had brought a little bit with us so we knew we would be fine for the night, but it was still frustrating knowing that a firewood hunt would need to be included in the weekend plans. While we were gone, Greg had about as much luck getting our air mattress inflated as I did with the firewood. There was air in there but the thing was still quite squishy. We were all starved by then and didn't have a chance to really think about it because it was time to cook.

I was really worried about having that open fire with two little toddlers running around. From the minute we got there, we kept the kids away from the fire pit and told them over and over it was hot. It still required a very watchful eye. Oh, and we did some childproofing too. See, crossing the big branches puts you into the ring of fire and in BIG TROUBLE.

At last the hot dogs were cooked and we were all stuffing our faces.

We had just finished up our dinner when the sky started to open up. We did the best we could at getting things put away and we herded the kids and the dog into the tent. What an insane storm! The wind was blowing and the tent was flickering with constant flashes of lightening. Our tent was under some trees but the trees did very little to shield the rain. The rain hitting the tarp that we had put over our tent was so loud that we couldn't even talk. Will got a little scared at first but after a few minutes of holding and telling him it was just loud he was fine. The kids were actually having a complete blast rolling around on the air mattresses that they barely even noticed the storm.

Our kids usually go to bed around 8 o'clock but it was a semi-vacation and I think we were still eating dinner at that point. It wasn't until around 10:30 that the storm had settled down enough for it to be quiet enough to sleep. We got the kids into their instant beds and turned out the light. Will was having none of it. There was nothing we could do either. The poor kid was SOOOO tired. Maybe co-sleeping could have helped but with a partially inflated air mattress and a tent that had to be about a million degrees, it was neither safe or desirable. So we all lay there and listened to him cry for quite awhile until he finally fell asleep. Marcus slept like a rock, despite the fact that he rolled off his little bed a couple times. Will escaped from his little bed a few times and Greg had to get him out of one of the corners of the tent and return him. Greg and I were pretty much completely uncomfortable, being eaten up by the squishy air mattress. Good times.

Saturday was a nice rainy day. There were periods of time when it wasn't raining and other times when the rain was light enough that we didn't get too wet as long as we were under trees. We were quite a little walk from the bathrooms and I got in a habit of getting the kids to walk all the way there with me anytime I had to go or even to brush our teeth in an attempt to wear them out. Plus, the kids really liked the freedom of getting to walk through the campground on their own two feet. (Will particularly enjoyed all the people he got to say hi to.)

After breakfast we headed out to locate some more firewood. I was driving since it is MY car and I took a little detour. I figured if we have the big rugged SUV, we better use it! I did a little exploring through some of the back roads of the campground, splashing through puddles and snagging a couple tree branches on the roof rack. Eventually I did stop at a place to discover they sold firewood there. Even better was the fact that this firewood was cheaper and closer to us than the place we usually would buy it.

When we got back to our campsite, we decided to see how the kids would like our back carriers. Marcus has been in his carrier a few times but Will hasn't been in his. Marcus was so excited when we got them out of the car that he wanted in right away. This of course meant that Will was super excited too and couldn't wait to see what this contraption was all about. I am not even sure we needed to actually walk anywhere. They were so content just hanging out in the carriers!

But we did walk. We just went for a short little stroll around the campground.

At last it was lunchtime.

The kids got their first taste of mountain pies and actually really enjoyed them! The pooch looked on in envy.

Normally Marcus and Will take naps after lunch but I was being a mean mommy. They weren't acting overly tired and I also figured that the less they napped, the better they would sleep at night. Besides, I just didn't have it in me to try to fight with Will to take a nap. He isn't a fan of naps in the comfort of his own bed so I knew that napping in the discomfort of a hot tent would not be appealing. Instead of napping, the kids ran around the campsite.

I just love this look Marcus has on his face.

I told Marcus to go over by the trees so I could take his picture and he went over and struck up this pose for me.

I need to lighten this picture up but Will was off exploring the woods and looking so cute.

All good things must come to and end. The rain started to pick up so we headed to the tent to hang out and draw on our magna-doodles.

The pooch was not the least bit pleased with the lack of hiking and swimming that had occurred thus far.

There was a break in the clouds so we decided to head out for a little hike. Somewhere in the 20 feet between the tent and the car, it started pouring down rain again. We just jumped in the car and drove, not sure where we were even going. About 50 feet into the drive Will was fast asleep in his car seat. About another 200 feet later, Marcus had joined him in dreamland. Greg and I stopped at an ice cream vending machine because it is always important to do really cool things while your kids are napping so they miss out on them. We drove around for about 45 minutes, checking out other areas of the campground and eventually ending up at a farmer's market. We left the pooch in the car for a few minutes so we could check out the market and take a walk through the greenhouse. Greg noted that the humidity in the greenhouse was far more bearable than the humidity outside.

There was actually a spot of sun in the sky so we decided to go for a hike. The pooch couldn't be more grateful.

That was until about a mile into the hike and we heard thunder again. We decided we better turn around right then just in case. It never really rained too hard again after that but we didn't want to take the chance and be stuck out in the woods when another big storm hit.

We went back to the campground and took turns getting showered. Greg and I each took a kid with us to shower in hopes to rinse a little bit of the grime off of them too. Then it was back to eating again. I think the whole family agreed that we should start having smores as a side dish with our dinners more often.

After dinner I walked the kids all the way down to the bathroom with me. My hair was still soaked from the shower so I decided to try to dry it with the hand dryers in the bathroom. Will thought the hand dryer was HILARIOUS!! I kept turning one dryer on for the kids to enjoy while I used the other one to dry my hair. But all good things must come to an end. And more often than not, when you are having a really good time, something is bound to just jump out right in front of you and ruin it.

Surprisingly, he cried for less than a minute over that bonk to the eye. When we got back to the campsite he just wanted to show off his shiner.

The full effect didn't show up until the next day and now he has this nice scabby bruised mark by his eye.

Will's energy was pretty much gone. Marcus and I took a walk with the pooch around the campground to try to drain Marcus of any remaining energy that he might have left in him. It was 7:15 and I was tucking both very tired kids into their sleeping bags. Will did his best to pretend that he was not up for sleeping but less than 10 minutes later he was laying face down with his butt up in the air, fast asleep. Greg and I hung out by the fire some more, played some cards, ate some more smores. Eventually the lack of sleep that we had from the night before was taking its toll and we were ready to hit the air mattress too. We were able to get the air mattress inflated a little better making night number 2 even more restful.

Sunday we got up for a Happy Father's Day! After breakfast and tearing down the tent, we decided to try for a hike again. The pooch was off and running! I really was quite impressed with her energy level. My little furbaby will be 10 years old here in a week but she was acting like quite the puppy.

I've done a fair amount of hiking in my day but everything is different with kids. I used to hike for miles with 40-50 lbs on my back and never really think twice about it. Sunday I was hiking with about 35 lbs on my back and it was exhausting! During those hiking/backpacking trips that I remember, I do not recall having a pack that was constantly shifting its weight, yelled in my ear, kicked my butt, and poked me in the neck. I think that might have had something to do with the extra energy this hike took. At least Greg was the one stuck with the backpack that kept repeating, "Oh no!" every time we passed a tree that had fallen over.

At last we reached our destination. We hadn't even gotten the kids off our back before the pooch was diving into the water. The kids were great about staying out of the water and just observing the swimming skills of their big sister.

Even when we are all dirty and tired, we are still quite cute.

About 150 feet out from shore we could see a log apparently floating in the water. Our retriever dog spotted it too and once again seemed to forget that she is considered a senior dog now. There were some guys fishing on the other side of the lake and as the pooch started trying to drag this log in, they started shouting and cheering and snapping photos of her. She must have worked for over 10 minutes at getting this thing, turning and pulling and losing her grip and going back at it. I kept watching thinking that I was going to have to dive in and save my poor exhausted dog.

I thought the log was maybe 4 feet or so in length, although it was hard to see since one end was always under water. Once she got it to the shore, the pooch's fan club from across the lake let out a big cheer for her. Greg had to lend a hand at getting it out.

Then he had to lend two hands. Look at the size of this thing my dog pulled drug across the lake!

Greg said the thing must have weighed over a hundred pounds, being all water logged. He estimated that it was at least 15 feet long. I guess that is just the kind of thing your friendly neighborhood crazy dog does.

All good things must come to and end. Despite the weather, I still had a great trip. Greg... well, not so sure what he thought of it. We hiked back to the car and I forgot about all the weight I was carrying on my back and remembered just how much I love hiking. It was great to just have a weekend without all the distractions of life and just be. It was back to the car, back on the road, and headed back home where everything (and everyone) needed bathed and aired out.

Hmm... wonder if we can do it again next weekend!


Mr. Rogers

A couple of puppets on Mr. Rogers adopted a little baby on today's show! I'm so excited for them!!


Thursday, June 12, 2008


Not a bit of problem with Marcus sleeping in his new bed. He stayed put all night and apparently was so comfortable, that he was still fast asleep when I went in this morning, with his butt up in the air. Of course by the time I got my camera he moved.

Nap time today went well too. Once again I had to wake him up. Not quite sure what will happen once he stops being so tired and wakes up early. For now he seems quite content to just hang out in his bed but I am sure it won't be long until he realizes that he really can get out of bed whenever he wants to.

In other news, my parents surprised us with a present today. They bought us a house! I am not making this up! How insanely incredible is this?? It isn't anything too fancy, more of a quaint little cottage. It was one of those pre-fab deals where you get all the pieces and just have to assemble it. Nothing my dad and I couldn't handle. We worked out in the heat, sat back with a couple of cold Cokes, and then we let the kids check the place out.

Marcus immediately got on the phone and started inviting his friends over to check it out. Unfortunately all the lines were jammed and he couldn't get through.

Will did some breaking in of the doorbell.

At last they felt all settled in and sat down in the kitchen for a cool drink and a little chat.