Archive for April, 2010

tongue twister

Friday, April 30th, 2010

I love my ViVi! It’s not possible that she’s already 8 1/2 months old. Sniff, sniff; her baby time is slipping away much too quickly. I had her in the crib the other day playing while I was sewing (or attempting to, anyway), and I looked over to find Violet nearly standing with assistance from the railing. She’s very close to crawling but is a pro at sitting up and moving herself all over the place via her belly and backwards pushing.

Those eyes could melt anyone’s heart. She is destined to bring about world peace with just a stare.

That tongue! Mike and I have attempted some of her tongue tricks and are left tongue twisted.

Vi has shown a little shyness lately. Mimi did, too, and it tricked everyone into thinking she was this sweet and timid little girl. Boy, did she fool everyone. I wonder if Vi pulling the same wool over everyone’s eyes.

minus a tooth

Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

Through all the chaos of vacations, visits to/from Grandma, sick kids, and catching up I nearly forgot about a big event. Mimi lost her first tooth! It happened the weekend before our big trip to San Diego and completely caught us off guard. Mimi was only 2 months into her 5th year, so we didn’t expect her to be losing teeth quite yet. Her tooth started loosening up about a month before, but Mimi really downplayed it like she does everything else (like her broken tooth that she doesn’t seem to notice). It was during bedtime tooth-brushing when Annie shrieked that Mimi’s tooth was bleeding. Mike noticed that it was only hanging on by a thread, so he was determined to get it out. Mimi was not pleased with this goal, and struggled to get away from Daddy. All it took was one yank, and Daddy had it out. Mimi still wasn’t thrilled and even tried to throw her tooth away. Mimi needed a few minutes of convincing to save her tooth for the Tooth Fairy. She changed her mind when she discovered the next morning what the Tooth Fairy had left for her ($5). Mimi got more excited about her lost tooth once she realized she had something to announce to everyone when she saw them.

The little tooth.

More concern about the blood.

Look at the excitement on that face (not exactly).

Same outfit, different day. Today she’s much more willing to show off her toothless grin.

The new tooth is already demanding a spot in and amongst the baby teeth. (Yes, Mimi holds Sadie pretty much all day; this time is no exception).

little helpers and organ grinder

Monday, April 26th, 2010

As a way to get a few moments to myself yesterday morning to do some yoga I put the girls in charge of feeding Violet her breakfast. To relieve some of the stress of handing over this responsibility I stripped Violet down to the diaper and let the girls have at it. Surprisingly, they got most of the jar of baby food into Vi’s belly, but that doesn’t mean there wasn’t a bit of a mess left over. Being the control freak that I am, I had to keep telling myself that Vi got what she needed and that I also got some solitary time.

Mike had another gun show planned for the day. In order to keep the ladies satisfied he set up a fun day for us all. We met up with the Gearys for lunch at the Organ Piper Music Palace. I can’t begin to describe the experience other than to say that the place is one big Wurlitzer organ that serves pizza. Mike was so excited because he comes from a family of musically inclined folks, but his mother and sister are also talented organists as well. We told them that they both need to come visit one more time just to see this place. The pictures don’t do it justice.

Just a short video to show you some of the bells and whistles involved in a performance (literally).

san diego…when can i go back?

Tuesday, April 20th, 2010

Mike had his annual AAE meeting where he attends 4-5 days of classes, lectures, breakfasts, lunches, etc. This year’s conference took place in San Diego, and I wasn’t missing this opportunity to tag along. Violet was lucky enough to still be nursing and got to travel with us. She continued her well-behaved ways and was the best air traveler imaginable. On the plane ride to SD Violet was only fussy a couple of times, and the trip home was a dream with Violet sleeping nearly every moment from take-off to landing. The boys don’t really get to have that much fun when they go to these conferences because they are supposed to attend the events until around 5 p.m. each day, so it leaves us wives to entertain ourselves everyday. We managed.

Our friends, the Parks, were so kind to offer us a place to stay. Their home was awesomely equipped with all our needs and a pool and hot tub, too.

Christopher really took to Violet and me. He is such a sweet boy. Any chance he could he would hold my hand when we were walking. He’s going to melt all the ladies’ hearts one day.

I don’t know why I’m even posting this picture because I look like I have man arms in it, but I wanted to show proof that I was in San Diego.

On day 2 Janet and I met up with some other old friends from D.C., Jamie and Trang and their kids. Lunch first and then a boat tour. Trang and Brady could only eat lunch with us, so we made sure to get a quick picture with them. I can’t believe how big those boys are now; 3-year-old boys now. The last I saw each of them they were still babies, and I did their newborn shoots (well, I did Christopher’s 8th month shoot). Avery was younger than Annie is now and is presently 7. Time really flies.

After lunch we ventured on a seal tour. I guess the They Might Be Giants song “Boat of Car” does ring true.

Thankfully, we actually saw seals on the “seal” tour. There was also an awesome view of downtown and other historical landmarks.

On the car portion of the trip I spotted this Cinderella carriage and knew the girls would want to see it (and ride in it).

I also knew they would probably be most impressed with the baby ducks than the seals or any other cool San Diego things I saw.

One night we met up with some friends that we lived near in NC for dinner. Mike couldn’t resist the rickshaw for our ride home.

Here’s the back of our bike rider’s head.

Mike snuck in a nap with Violet on our trip home.

What a big girl who can sit in her own seat with a buckle!

Love this!

outta my way

Monday, April 12th, 2010

A neighbor so kindly donated a baby car to Violet. She was very cute in it and loved every minute of her first ride in her new wheels. This is as close as I get to letting my girls drive on their own.

I let the girls have their turn at pushing Violet around the cul-de-sac.

Blurry picture, but I loved how each girl looked.

spring break indoors

Saturday, April 10th, 2010

This week had been much anticipated with big plans for trips to the zoo, parks, beaches, anything outside. However, Kenosha had something else in mind. Instead we endured chilly, rainy, windy, and even snowy weather almost the entire spring break. As a substitute for the zoo we went to the Kohl Children’s Museum. The kids always enjoy themselves there, so it was worth the dough spent and travel time. We met up with some friends for lunch first and then headed over there. I won’t bore you with tons of pictures from the museum because you’ve seen them twice before, but I did pick out a fun few.

The first pictures I took cracked me up because I caught both girls with their typical “I’m thinking” looks which always make me smile.

Oh, no! Where did Annie go?

The kids loved the life-size pizza.

Annie’s not quite sure about those mushrooms.

There you have it, Mimi’s always got her hands in the till.

And, last but not least, we can’t forget Violet. She was such a good sport all day just hanging out in her buggy and eventually falling asleep.

Even though it turn out to be a great day on Friday we met up with the Johnsons and hung out at the mall because some much needed summer wear had to be purchased for all those pesky kids. There is a merry-go-round at the mall that Julie and I were able to use for bargaining power to get the kids to behave while we shopped. I wish I had pictures, but I had left the camera at home.

meet doris, sadie’s identical twin

Thursday, April 8th, 2010

Some of you may remember Sam the Wondercat that I made for Annie almost exactly one year ago. Sam was actually intended for Mimi, but she immediately gave up custody to Annie and requested a white cat. The book that I used for the kitty patterns had a black w/white kitty and all white kitty, but I decided early on that I would just do the opposite as Sam and make a white kitty with black paws, ears, and cheeks. The pressure has been on me ever since to finish said white kitty. I decided that this past road trip to Minnesota would give me the opportunity to work on this kitty that only had a head and half a body at that point. When I first started the kitty Mimi and I discussed names for her. Mimi drew a blank, so I suggested names such as Betty, Birtha, Gertrude, Nancy, Barbara. None of those pleased Mimi until I randomly spit out the name Doris. That was it! Doris is was to be, if Doris ever came to be. I finally completed Doris yesterday, and now I present her to you.

As you can see, she’s already made quite a home for herself around here.

Mimi was smitten from first sight.

Annie is just glad that she’s now able to get Sadie out of Mimi’s constant grip.

I’ll bet it’s difficult to tell which cat is the real cat.

pt. iii, a minnesota easter

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

For the third and final installment of our Minnesota Easter I’ll review our last day in the land of 10,000 lakes. The previous night the Easter Bunny made a stop by Grandma’s house and left some real goodies and solid evidence of his appearance. See for yourself.

As you can clearly see, Mr. Easter Bunny was quite naughty by leaving his bunny tracks everywhere he went. The girls found tracks in the hallway leading to Mimi’s room, at a closet door, going into Annie’s room but turning around when he realized Annie was still awake, and in the piano room. The tricky bunny left surprises in most of the spots where the tracks were.

The Easter Bunny filled the girls’ buckets and left a new one for Violet. Each big girl got the traditional Peeps, some chocolate bunnies, a couple of peanut butter eggs, pretty nail files, a miniature office set, journal, fancy pen, a pair of socks, some elastic headbands, a bunny lovey, and a new pair of swim goggles.

In Violet’s basket was a set of socks, a set of stacking cups, and a little lamby. Violet is reading the packaging of the socks to make sure there are no components not fit for a 7-month-old.

The girls were quite ecstatic about their new goggles. They are testing them out to make sure they’ll work when underwater. The goggles seem to do their job.

It was a thrilling Easter, and all the girls enjoyed every minute of it especially their new loveys.

While waiting for the parents to pack up to go home the girls tried out their new journals while the bunnies watched.

Grandma and the girls had so much fun together over the weekend. The were all very sad to say their final good-byes. However, the good news is that Grandma will be visiting next week while Mom, Dad, and Violet venture off to San Diego.

Thanks for tuning in for the third and final installment of our 2010 Minnesota Easter adventures. If you haven’t already, you can read up on our 1st and 2nd segments.

pt. ii of a minnesota easter

Tuesday, April 6th, 2010

Today we’ll discuss the many events of this past Saturday. The annual Easter brunch and egg hunt went off without a hitch at Grandma’s home. Sara, Jake, and Dave all arrived with their families, and it was a full house. Jake and Dave each contributed yummy dishes for the meal such as poached eggs and hash and pork tenderloin. We are so spoiled to have chefs in the family.

Each family brought candy/toy-filled eggs to contribute to the hunt. Needless to say, each kid ended up with overflowing buckets of eggs. Anut Sara knew the older kids were kind of feeling too old to play along with the hunt, so she got them each one, large, silver egg that they had to find in very difficult hiding spots. She filled them with more age-appropriate things like a Target gift card and candy.

On with the picture show.

Mike started out the festivities with his annual wearing of the pineapple hat.

The adults wait around the food like hungry wolves (me included). Who can’t resist a feast of poached eggs and hash, pork tenderloin, bacon, fruit, cardamom bread, scrambled eggs, and hot cross buns?

After the celebration meal the kids were ready for the egg hunt. The big kids were in charge of filling and hiding the eggs. They did a wonderful job.

Here’s Maya thinking about where to search next.

Owen can’t decide if he wants to keep finding eggs or start digging into the eggs he already has.

Annie got pretty greedy and was trying with all her might to balance as many eggs on top of her already overflowing basket.

Mimi was very focused on finding eggs so much so that she would not smile at me for even a second.

The girls were so excited to see what was inside the eggs. They ended up with a LOT of candy and other fun stuff like jewelry, stickers, and shrinky-dink figurines.

Violet was just glad to be held by Grandma during the egg hunt.

I wanted to get a nice family picture since the girls were all dressed up in their Matilda Jane clothing. I also had on some MJ apparel.

We hope everyone had a lovely Easter! Check back tomorrow for another post about you guessed it Easter. I’ll be analyzing the pros and cons of Easter basketdom.

a minnesota easter, pt. i

Monday, April 5th, 2010

It’s no secret that we were in Minnesota this past weekend to spend Easter with Grandma MN and the many aunts, uncles, and cousins. Oh, how the girls love to see their cousins. We arrived on Thursday evening around bedtime and ventured back home on Sunday without any traffic or weather events slowing us down. I have much to post in the way of events and pictures, so I’m going to break up the reports into 3 parts. On with part 1.

On Friday I had the pleasure of spending the day and evening with Anut Sara crafting and chatting and eating many sweet treats. It was decided ahead of time that we’d repeat our holiday-themed crafting session where we bring a craft for each person to make. This time we did Easter crafts, and both Sara and I had eggs on the brain. We had a lot of fun, and I hope we can do this again over and over and over. Such a good time!

Sara’s projects included candlesticks, wooden eggs, and lots of paint.

Here’s Sara painting polka dots on one of those wooden eggs.

My project comprised of tons o’ ribbon, lollipop sticks, floral tape, oasis, excelsior, and a bucket.

Violet got to play with Cheerios. She experimented with wearing them, choking on them, and spitting them out. Eating them was not on the agenda.

Jim, Sara’s husband and my brother-in-law, was a good sport about my presence and stayed out of our way most of the night. I think he was just happy he could hog the t.v. and watch rock concerts.

And the results. I actually forgot to snap a picture of Sara’s craft that night, so the second picture is showing the crafts being used as a centerpiece for our Easter brunch the next morning. The first picture is of Sara’s eggs in a bucket. Notice that her ribbon-wrapped eggs are much better wrapped than mine.

Meanwhile, Daddy and Grandma kept the big girls. They went to the Arboretum and dyed Easter eggs. Later that night Daddy and the girls met up with Jake, Steph, Dylan, and Maya to see How to Train Your Dragon at the Excelsior Dock.

At the Arboretum.

Dying eggs. Look how bright and vibrant they turned out.

As you can see it was a busy day for everyone. So much so that Grandma and Mimi were completely spent by the end of the day.

Stayed tuned for part ii tomorrow where I post about our Easter brunch and egg hunt.