Monday, June 29, 2009

Photo shoot

Dan and Jessi came over last week while Papa was working late and the girls enjoyed the extra attention. Out came the dress-up clothes (AGAIN......) and on went the bling bling. Julia was cinderella. Mary was Snow White. Julia ran the show. Mary chewed on her crown. Both of them loved being in the spotlight. Oh bother....I can only imagine what they will be like in ten years. I need to stock up on good wine now.

We are not amused.

Even Psymuhn participated in the party. He is dog-erella. He also chewed on his crown.

Uhoh...they've realized that I"m in the living room....I'm in trouble now!
Mary is getting tired. Time for night nighting!
Hello Dan. Thanks for coming over and playing dress-up with us. Next time you get to wear the crown!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Nemo's maiden voyage

Julia has been begging to fly her kite for the last fourteen months. Auntie Annie gave her the kite for her second birthday present....and we always forget to take him out of the package until it's either completely still outside (which doesn't happen very often in Duluth), OR there is abundant thunder and lightning absolute contraindication to kite-flying. Well, Julia tried her hand at flying her Nemo kite last week, and he had an impressive maiden voyage!

Squish and I watched from the sidelines until Nemo decided to take one of his inevitable nose-dives into the gravel. Julia didn't quite grasp the concept of "keep tension on the line" just yet. Maybe that'll be next week's lesson. did the water get all over the front of my shirt!?!?

Friday, June 19, 2009

A father's day tribute

Dear Papa,
I love you because you know how to coo like a pigeon.
Can you bring our Christmas tree back now please?
You are the best papa.
Love, Julia
(This is what was written inside the Father's Day card that Julia brought home from preschool.)

Thursday, June 11, 2009

hats of meat

While searching for images to put into a talk I am giving tomorrow morning, I somehow stumbled onto this insane website. If you have a minute....

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Single Parenting

OK...don't read the title of this and gasp. Mike and I are doing just great.

I have had the privilege of parenting my small children by myself the last two days since Mike took a couple of afternoon/evening shifts at work to help them out. We pass like ships in the night...I work early in the AM and run home mid-afternoon, Mike blows me a kiss as he flies out the door and then it's just the kiddos and I....

In the last three years of child-rearing, I have learned many things. Today I will comment on how I have learned that Mike and I parent our kids in entirely different ways. Let's take Saturday as and example. I had clinic in the AM and wasn't home. Mike spent the morning with the kiddos. They ate cereal in high chairs with bibs on, did nice clean puzzles, and helped their papa fold the laundry. I came home during their nap and Mike headed off to work. When the kids got up from their naps, they were wearing cute tops and skirts (spick and span, mind you.) Mike dresses them up so NICELY! It was beautiful outside and I wanted to take them to a good park and spend a few hours out of the house. Problem: parks are dirty. My kids were so clean. The thought of changing their outfits before we went anywhere crossed my mind.

I must be honest with you: I am becoming afraid to pick out clothes for my kids. When I get dressed for work, I have two choices: black pants or scrubs. I like to keep it simple. I even bought three pairs of the same black pants because I liked them. Dressing the girls is an entirely different endeavor. I think it's about as easy as shopping for car parts. Mike, however, seems to effortlessly dress them each day, and two darling little girls emerge from the bedroom, simply flawlessly put together. When I dress them, I spend forEVER digging through their drawers of neatly stacked tops, searching and searching for something that might match. I can NEVER find a shirt and pants to match. All of the jeans have girly stuff on them! There are multi-colored buttons and ribbons and pink and green plaid. How am I supposed to find a shirt that goes with that?? Plus, all of their summer shirts are so CLEAN and NEW. I am afraid to put new shirts on them (with good reason, see below.)

Well, after stressing about the thought of picking out a new outfit for the kiddos, I made an executive decision to just wing it. I brought the kids to a park without accessible water in it (no mud, right?). We went down to Bayfront Park, where there is an awesome playground and a big field to fly kites. Julia brought her Nemo kite along and had a grand old time flying it while Mary watched and I fetched Nemo when he made bold nosedives into the gravel.

We ate a picnic lunch at the park. I packed peanut butter sandwiches, strawberries, and graham crackers. Sounds innocent, right? Well, if Mike had been taking the kids outside for a picnic, then it would have been. Unfortunately, St. Luke's Pharmacy had their reins on my husband and I was left to feed the children myself. Mary started out eating a graham cracker. I helped Julia get her sandwich out of the baggie and turned around to find Mary with both hands in the strawberry container, a huge grin on her face. She dug her fingers into the strawberries and smushed them into her face. I was incapacitated with laughter, so I didn't get there in time to stop the strawberries from making their imprint on her formerly pristine-clean white shirt. Oh well, I thought...Julia's still clean. oh wait.

Just then, I heard a shriek from The Toddler. "MAMA!!!!! There's a BUG and it's COMING for ME!!!"

A teeny tiny ANT had wandered onto our picnic blanket. It was heading for the peanut butter sandwich. One brisk moment later, I saw what I knew had been coming to me all afternoon. Julia lept up from her spot and slipped on her peanut butter sandwich, which left a smear of peanut butter along her leg and clean shorts. She fell onto her strawberry-laden sister, sharing some of the leg/peanut butter with Mary. Mary wrapped her hands around Julia's neck, and my blonde three year old was suddenly a nice shade of strawberry blonde.

Oh dear. If only I had picked a park with a body of water in it...I could have thrown the kids into it. Instead, I let Julia take her shoes and socks off and go play at the playground some more. Who was I kidding? The peanut butter might look kinda cool with playground gravel stuck into it. And Mary was merely saving some strawberry guts for later. In her ears.

We went home later on that evening and I washed the kids up in the kitchen sink. I attempted to put them to bed a little after nine. Mary stayed in her crib. Little did I know that Julia had other ideas.

Since there was frost forcasted for Duluth, I was running around our yard throwing bedsheets, tarps, and tablecloths over my precious flower beds. Every time I looked up from my work, Julia was standing at the door with her nukker and snuggly, a little devious look on her face. When I stormed in and asked her why the heck she was out of bed again, she would stutter and attempt to explain herself out of trouble. I have to hand it to her, she is pretty smart with some of her excuses. At first, it's easy stuff, like "I forgot to brush my teeth" or "Can you help me sit on the potty again?" Later, though, she had to think of more creative excuses. My favorite? "Can I sleep in your bed? I think there's a big scary bus in my bed and it wants to crunch me up." Where does she get this stuff? I tried not to laugh, and I told her it would be OK if she wanted to sleep in my bed until I came inside. I let her go upstairs by herself as I was muddy from my flower beds.

When I came in to get Julia from my bed, I found her sleeping in our a very peculiar way It was so funny that I had to leave the bedroom to get the laughing out. My little girl had somehow managed to curl up using the entire down comforter on herself. There wasn't an inch to spare for anyone else. She also had the bedside fan on high. She was snoring a little and had my feather pillow perfectly positioned on top of her head. I couldn't see her at all. I knew she was in there because I could hear her breathing. How the heck did she do that? And why?

More importantly, why did her mum have to leave the bedroom, overcome with laughter? Yeah, it's funny that she hogged the queen-sized down comforter and that there was a pillow on top of her head....But that's not why I thought it was so hilarious. You see, that's the way *I* sleep, every night. I had no idea that my kid paid attention to those little details. Apparrently, that's just what being a parents is all about.

It's a good thing I washed the peanut butter off of Julia's legs. That down comforter has my name on it.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Happy Birthday, Mary!

Well, I can't believe it's been a year, can you? Our little Squish is ONE. To celebrate her birthday this year, I mowed the lawn. That's what put me into labor last year, so it was only fitting that I mow every year on her birthday. This year, the job seemed a LOT easier....and I managed to mow the whole lawn without needing a gas refill. I guess I was a bit slower last year when I tried to mow the thing while overdue and quite giant...

In honor of Mary's love for all creatures with fur or feathers, we took a very spontaneous trip to the Lake Superior Zoo. Squishy LOVES animals. Every time she hears a dog barking, she does this bouncing up and down thing and laughs...and shouts, "Puppa, Puppa!" Well, we thought the zoo was only fitting. We had to teach her the difference between a "puppa" and a "kangaroo", "polar bear," "monkey," and "goat," among other animals. Julia had a great time, too.

Here's the kangaroo!

Julia made friends with a hideous scary snake sculpture...

They had a little kids park in the zoo. The girls tried out the plastic bumble bee.

Ride em' cowboy!

Our little Mary is almost walking!

Later, Holly and Luke came over and brought some presents.

Mary had about three seconds with each present before Julia "helped" her by opening them up and confiscating them immediately. You can see Julia swooping in for the kill in the picture below.

Hey...can I see my present?
Two exhausted, but happy parents. We had all these grand plans to go to Menards and buy stuff for a piece of furniture we were working on...and the later I would make homemade something for dinnern in honor of Squishy...I was going to find some matching napkins and birthday hats....and blow up wait...find a helium tank and have real balloons!....but instead we ended up cancelling Menards, the hats, and the balloons. And my gourmet dinner? Chicken nuggets and mac and cheese. Julia and Mary's verdict? Yum. The cake? Fan-diggly-tastic.

Here they are, the play by play pics of the first cake. Yup...she had the run of it. And what fun she had!

I think I'll touch it to make sure it's real...
Ooooh! sticky! mmmm.

Come here, mama...lemme grab your nice clean sweater!

Don't bug me...I'm CONCENTRATING.

One satisfied customer...