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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I Sit Here and Laugh.

I have a mile-high list of things to do right now. My house is completely silent and what I should be doing is completing things on my list but for some reason I decided I would plug the camera into the computer and load the pictures and videos and now I am sitting here laughing.

Oh well.

These pictures are at Sebastian Joe's ice cream near Lake Harriet in Minneapolis. I really, really love ice cream. I am not ashamed to say that I pretty much eat ice cream every day. I know, someday this will catch up to me, but for now, I love it. If I could I would go to Sebastian Joe's every day because their ice cream is the best stuff ever. If only it wasn't a 20 some mile commute plus the cost of their spendy cones. Oh well, good thing my ice cream palate isn't too picky.


The boys and their cones. Oreo for T and Vanilla for H. This was H's first cone all by himself. I used to have him share mine, but this pregnancy has made me a little selfish and I wanted my cone all to myself. (That, and I don't know how well sharing an ice cream cone with a 2 year old in the thick of the terrible twos would have gone over.)
I love that H is totally digging in here.
You have not truly lived until your child is wearing more ice cream than they have eaten.
M and I eating our favorite flavor, pavarotti.

This video was at the Northeast Minneapolis parade last night. Every time a marching band came by, H would grab his flag and go to town dancing. Of course by the time I got the camera out to film it, his dancing wasn't quite as crazy but this video still makes me laugh. A lot. My favorite part, my chasing him and getting him out of the road. That about sums up the story of my life these days.

video


Monday, June 23, 2008

Deck? Check.

It's official. We have added a 12 x 20 outdoor playroom to our house that H has already taken full advantage of.
I do think that he really thinks this space is for him. Luckily there will be plenty of room for some of his things (his sandbox, the kids picnic table) a long with our things (the grill, a patio set).

While it still needs to be stained, we are thoroughly enjoying it so far.
And there is just something about checking this project off the list that feels really good.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Dating Your Spouse.

One of the best pieces of advice J and I have ever gotten in regards to marriage is to never stop dating your spouse.

We try to plan dates and go out the two of us as often as we can. But sometimes life gets the best of us and weeks go by before we realize we need to plan a date.

It'd been awhile since we'd been able to go out just the two of us but yesterday we were fortunate to secure a last minute babysitter and head out for a late dinner.



We laughed on our way home because while we once may have gone to get dessert or drinks or even to a movie, last night we stopped to do grocery shopping.

You really know you're a grown up when grocery shopping becomes part of your date.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Quality Friday: City Love.

When J and I first got married I said I would never live past Maple Grove, MN. I'd grown up minutes from downtown, gone to college in Chicago and downtown Minneapolis and was absolutely not going to be one of those 'suburban people'.

Fast forward, about thirty home showings, one botched offer on my (at the time) dream house and we moved 12 more miles northwest of my supposed final-destination.

I was the one who eventually found our development and brought J saying yes, this is where I want to live.

For the most part, I don't mind where we live. We have nice neighborhoods and good schools. It is safe for our kids.

But...there are other things that bother me.

The lack of trees for instance. The cookie cutter looks of the homes and neighborhoods. The lack of diversity. How sometimes I feel like living out here our kids are too sheltered.

I'm really a city girl at heart.

My parents made sure that we were exposed to lots of different things, people and cultures. The houses had character and years of history. And it was still safe. In the summer we would play outside and run up and down the cul-de-sac from morning until night.

Sometimes one of the kids will say something or ask a question about something and I realize just how different live out here is. I want them to have rich experiences that teach them about life. Where they know that there is more than just suburban upper middle class Minnesota.

I think that regardless of where you live, it's our job as parents to teach our kids about life. Bringing diversity to them if needed and taking opportunities to take them places where they will see and hear and smell and touch and experience more of life.

Last week when my dad called and asked if I'd be willing to drive him to the airport on Tuesday I realized it would be the perfect time for such an opportunity. Since we would already be that direction, why not park and take the kids on the light rail. (Minnesota's version of a train transit system.) T and M had never been on it and since they love the el in Chicago, I figured it was a safe bet they'd enjoy this.

So we went and found parking at Fort Snelling and walked over to the station.

Buying our tickets.

The tickets for the lightrail are 'on your honor' but an officer can check at any time and if you don't have one the fine is $180. T and M both clenched their tickets tightly waiting for someone to come around and check but no one checked either of the times we rode.

On the train.
"Train ride. Train ride. Train ride." He kept repeating.
I promised the kids that once we made it downtown we'd find somewhere to get a treat. I was thinking something like ice cream but as soon as they saw this 'CandyLand' it was all over.

I, of course, got my own treat at Starbucks. (No caffeine, thank you very much.)


We did a little more exploring downtown before we headed to the new Minneapolis library. If you haven't been here yet, GO. It is not only an incredible building architecturally but it is fun as well.

The children's department can be summed up in one word: AMAZING.

After our busy afternoon we met L for some Brueggers before we hopped on the train (during rush hour) to head back to our car and head home.

I loved our day in the city, and the kids did too. I am so thankful that they are open to experiences, that they are open to people, open to differences. I loved hearing their questions and ideas about things. It confirmed to me that, yes indeed, we need more of this.

This Quality Friday, I am thankful for the diverse upbringing I was able to have and excited and inspired to try to instill the same ideas and values into these lives we're working on raising.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Busy.

Busy is typically one of the first words people use to describe H.

And busy he is.

From the day we brought him home from the hospital two years ago he has completely joined in the craziness we have going on around here. My grandma T was often amazed that we would bring H just about anywhere with us. To baseball, to soccer, to preschool graduation. To church, to restaurants, to outdoor festivals. By the time he was three months old he'd already flown a handful of times and had spent more time in his carrier or stroller than anywhere else.

It was no surprise that when he started moving, he really started moving. From scooting, to crawling, to walking and now full out running. He is always on the go.

My mom used to give me a hard time and said that I caused this little one to be so busy because I never sat still when I was pregnant with him. For a long time I laughed this off but then I realized there was probably some truth to this theory. I vowed that the next pregnancy I would do nothing for nine long months so perhaps I would have a child that just likes to sit and relax. Well needless to say, so far my plan has been thwarted.

Due to this child:
This child who decides that he would rather sleep in swim trunks than pajama pants and that even though we own a Kitchen Aid mixer would like to hand mix the cookie dough.Who wastes no time getting full of mud and makes sure that I get more exercise than M and friends at soccer practice. (Just imagine me chasing a two year old on and off a soccer field for 60 minutes straight.)

Climbs atop the counters every opportunity he gets.
Apparently he wants nothing to do with this sitting and relaxing business. And honestly, I think he has hopes for another busy body just like him, because sitting and relaxing, that's not a part of his plan these days.

100% Busy Boy.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Fathers Day Weekend.

We spent Fathers Day weekend with my two favorite dads at my Aunt MK's cabin in Luck, WI. As usual we had a wonderful weekend and I am especially thankful for the dad that I was blessed to be born with and also the great dad that I am married to. I couldn't imagine anyone better playing either of their roles. I love you both very, very much!

Here are some of the pictures and highlights from our weekend. (Unfortunately no poker night pictures! The kids just LOVE playing poker in the evenings at the cabin.)
My water baby.


Chilly entrance into the lake. They warmed up and before we knew it they were flying off the Fun Island.
First catch of the weekend.

Quickly followed by this one.
H's first fish.
My sisters friend Olivia, me, dad and my sister.
Aunt MK and dad.



Finally, here are some pictures compliments of Miss M of me and my growing belly. I don't think I'm really that big but M was so kind to tell me that "the camera doesn't lie."

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Someday.

Someday I will walk across my kitchen floor and not step on a single crumb or find anything sticky spilt.

Someday I won't hear bickering down the hallway and instead the evenings will be quiet.

Someday J and I will sleep as late as we want and then wake up and look at each other and say, "What should we do today?"

Someday I won't stub my toes walking into cars or stepping on blocks left out on the floor.

Someday there won't be handprints all over my windows and names written in the dust on my car.

Someday H's little arms will not reach around my neck and wrap his fingers within the strands of my hair.

Someday I will be able to make a dozen cookies or a tray of bars and it will last more than two days.

Someday I won't stumble over bodies and blankets that sometimes find their way to my bedroom floor at night.

Someday I will really have to start eating like a grown up.

Someday our fridge won't go through three gallons of milk in a week and instead the shelves will someday look quite barren.

Someday I will no longer have a swelling abdomen or flutters of movement within me.

Someday I will take a shower and I will take my dear, sweet time. I will not have to worry about any children and no one will open the door to tell me 'so and so' is on the phone.

Someday there will be no crayon marks on the table, the walls and the floor to be cleaned off.

Someday the phone will ring and instead of every possible catastrophe happening in the five minutes I am on the phone, the house will remain silent.

But today...

My house is a lived in home with crumbs on the floor and toys not always put away.

There is bickering about who did what or perhaps who looked out who's window and new crayon marks appearing daily.

My car might as well be a walking billboard for where T and M live because it typically always has one of their names written on it.

Each time the phone rings someone is crying and someone else is asking me a question. Usually about some sort of snack.

My belly is growing and not just because of the ice cream I've been eating lately.

The mornings come much too quickly, usually because of our human alarm clock, H.

So today, while I certainly look forward to all the somedays, I'm working on enjoying each and every piece of today. Because I know that someday, when my well rested self walks through my clean, sparkly, quiet, peaceful house, I will miss the days of yesterday.

Here's to today and all the somedays that will be here soon enough.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Soccer Star.

We also have a soccer star in our family. M really loves it and gets very excited about games. (Her first one is tomorrow!)


Go M!
My favorite part about watching her at soccer is the amount of times she looks over to make sure we're watching her every move.

And here is M with friend, Kristina.

I love the special little friendship these two share. They became friends the summer before preschool thanks to the carpool phone list. I called about having the girls meet before school started so that the transition to preschool would be a little easier. The rest is history. Each Tuesday before preschool we'd pick M's friend up and sometimes they'd even have a playdate after class. They've been on the same soccer team for three years now and as I type this they are giggling in my living room.

Our Monday and Wednesday nights are now booked solid for awhile. With J and I running different directions and trying to split up H duty (though it's pretty hard to split up when J's supposed to be helping coach baseball). When someone mentioned at M's practice last night that in two summers H will also be old enough to play soccer I just about fell out of my chair.

I've since decided we'll cross the bridge of figuring out how that's going to work out when the time comes.

Monday, June 9, 2008

The Best Compliment.

Last Tuesday was not only my last day at school but it marked the fact that I am now officially unemployed for the first time in a very long time. (Since high school?)

No odd jobs or even random retail things in the wings. (Can you even believe it?)

While I'm certainly content with life at home right now and doing some freelance writing it is certainly strange to know I have no current employer.

As I was chatting with my dad on the phone the other night, I mentioned my newfound realization and he paid me (and mothers everywhere) one of the best compliments;

"You're never unemployed when you're a mother."

How true is that.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Baseball Star.

T really is the baseball star in this family and for the last several weeks we've been spending just about every Monday and Wednesday at his games.

I have a love/hate relationship with the sport. I do love going and watching T play. But at the same time since J is helping coach again this year I spend a fair amount of time chasing after my very busy two year old. He tends to really enjoy running out onto the field during games which is really fun for me.
Doesn't he look so old?
He has always been good at ball. But it has been fun to watch him grow and change and develop at the sport.
Pitching remains one of his strengths and something he loves too.
Having kids in sports is a lot of work for the parents at this age but I think it is so worth it. T takes so much away from the experience and even though the nights are busy and life is crazy for awhile (just wait until M's soccer starts AHH!) we love it.