Wednesday, September 18, 2013

From the Mouths of Babes - Babysitters and Chopsticks

My kids (all kids) say the funniest things.  I often wish I always had a notebook open on the kitchen counter to jot down the funny things my kids say so I can remember them.  Here are a couple of doozies from yesterday:

1)  Any mom who lets their kids watch Sprout or Nickelodeon (who, me?  Let me kids watch TV?  NEVER!!! - and I accept your Oscar nomination for best supporting sarcasm role...) knows that every commercial break it seems as if Care.com is advertised.  They are cute little commercials with cute little kids talking about the great babysitters and caregivers their parents can find on the website.  (As a side note, I used Care.com three years ago when we still lived in St. Paul and found one of the best babysitters ever!  It's a great site.)

Let me explain that it has been a pretty hectic time in our house.  My husband is in trial (let me stress in trial and not on trial, thank God) and I have been a little extremely tired/cranky/on edge by the end of the night because I have had the kids all to myself 24/7 the past few weeks and, as much as I love 'em, I need a break.

So, after one of the commercials aired last night, my First Grader comes into the kitchen and says, "Mom, can you PLEASE look up Care.com?  I REALLY want a babysitter!!!"  

Talk about putting your woe-is-me-bad-mommy-mood in check.

2)  Since my husband hasn't been home for dinner in a few weeks, our evening meal is all too kid-friendly.  Fish sticks, crackers and hummus, spaghetti.  Last night my First Grader wanted leftover cold, plain spaghetti noodles for a snack.  No sauce.  No cheese.  Okay, whatever.  At this point I didn't care as long she wasn't complaining.  (At least she ate an apple with it.)  In any event, she wanted her "kids chopsticks" to eat the noodles with.  (They are cute plastic chopsticks connected with an animal cutout at the top to hold them together.)  So I gave them to her.  And then my youngest, who was eating cashews and raisins, wanted chopsticks too.  And then my darling cashew-loving four-year-old boy came into the kitchen and shouted loudly, over and over...

"Mom, I need chopsticks for my nuts!  I need chopsticks for my nuts!"  

Thursday, September 12, 2013

First Day of School

Both older kids had great first days of school last week.  Alison started First Grade and loves her teacher, her classes and new (and old) friends.  She is doing fantastic and I'm so proud of her!

The requisite in-front-of-the-house-with-sign first day of school picture: (and no, that's not a school uniform -  just a super cute outfit she found at Sears)...


A very rare picture of all five of us that morning (with two of us still in pajamas...at least it wasn't me):


 And a giant cookie for a special surprise after-school snack:


Christopher began his second year of preschool two days later.  He is now going four afternoons a week which is working out really well for us so far.  He hasn't napped for over a year now so he might as well be in school during his little sister's afternoon nap time.  Christopher is attending "kindergarten connection" preschool for 4 and 5-year-olds the year before kindergarten.  It is also located at Alison's school (and where Chris will be going to kindergarten) so it is a great situation all-around.  He really loves it!


(ignore my reflection in the door - I'm obviously not an expert photographer - and focus on that adorable and excited little boy!)

I'm so proud of my kiddos and we're all looking forward to a great year!


Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Summer 2013 Recap

Warning: this is an incredibly long post filled with many pictures of incredibly cute children.  Readers beware.

Apparently I took an unplanned vacation from blogging this summer.  School started last week.  My little girl Alison is a first grader and my son Christopher is now going to preschool FOUR afternoons a week this year.  Kate, my littlest, will be turning TWO YEARS OLD in a couple of weeks.  Goodness time truly does fly by.

We had a fun, lazy, and fairly uneventful summer.  I had planned on many picnics at the park and trips to the pool, but in hindsight we really didn't do too much.  Lots of trips to the park (at least once a day, sometimes two).  Lots of playtime in the front yard and garage (with only a few playtimes in our beautiful backyard because the mosquitos were incredibly bad this year).

Not too many trips to the pool because, as it turns out according to my two oldest kids, the pool isn't that much fun without their dad.  Go figure.  But I bought a little cheapo pool at Target that was an absolute hit each three times they used it...before it popped a hole and leaked.







We had a fun trip to Valleyfair, our local amusement park.  My four-year-old year son is OBSESSED with rides.  We had a very fun day and even little one-year-old Kate hung in there for nearly five hours.  No pictures from that day, but we made some great memories.

The kids and I also spent a great day at the Minnesota Zoo.  Sea otters, bears and monkeys...oh my!






The kids and I made a few trips to visit my parents at their farm where the kids had lots of fun riding four-wheeler with two of their older cousins and trying to herd the farm cats.







The kids and I also made it to the Mall of America to ride some rides (again, Christopher's favorite activity) and also so Christopher could meet his current obsession - the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.  It was my first time bringing the three kids to the MOA for rides by myself and it worked out great.  They were all so good and we had a blast!  (My oldest Alison is absent from the character pictures because she has a HUGE fear of "dress up people.")








And we wrapped things up with a beautiful late-afternoon trip to the beach (which was supposed to be a season's-end trip to the pool but it closed two minutes after we got there because some kid had diarrhea in the pool.  Don't get me started on that rant - but I'll sum it up with: I get it, accidents happen.  But Moms, I beg you...PLEASE put reliable swim diapers on your kids at the pool and PLEASE don't bring them if you know they have sick tummies.  It's no fun for anyone.  The pool was closed for over 24 hours because of that kid's mess.  'Nuff said.)  Anyway, here are pictures of our glorious late-afternoon-turned-to-sunset-thank-goodness-it-was-diarrhea-free trip to the beach:






Really, a great summer.

And the kids grew up so much over the summer.

And now...

My drawers filled with new school supplies have been emptied.  (First day of school pics coming soon!) New school clothes are washed and ready to be worn when we receive some cooler fall weather.  

I have my typical mommy list of things I'd like to do.  We need to start eating better - way too much pizza, Jimmy John's and Taco Bell this summer (like I said, it was a LAZY summer for everyone, even mom in the kitchen.)

I need to clean out some closets and pantry drawers.

And I want to start exercising again.  But let's not get too crazy.  Maybe I'll stick to a pantry drawer for now.

Good-bye Summer...Hello Fall.  Hello new beginnings.  Excited kiddos.  And praise to God for a wonderful, fun, lazy summer.

This post is linked to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Good-bye Kindergarten, Hello Summer and First Grade!

Where did the last nine months go???  

My oldest daughter Alison finished up kindergarten last Wednesday.  She is now a First Grader.  Gulp.  That's big time stuff.  I totally remember First Grade.  I remember where my desk was in my homeroom.  I remember when the kid next to me left his crayons sitting on top the heat vent and they melted everywhere.  I remember that the water fountain was right outside my homeroom door.

Alison will remember this stuff too and that just boggles my mind.  She's a big kid now.  She learned so much this past year.  All-day kindergarten was a fantastic experience for her.  She entered kindergarten a shy little girl who wrote the letter "s" backwards and left knowing how to count to 200, writing her entire name correctly and whizzing through math problems like nobody's business.  God bless you, Teachers!  You do a great job!

And look how much she's grown up!
September 6, 2012:


June 5, 2013:



Alison is an awesome kid.  I love her so much.  Great job Ali-Pants!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

A $75 bird's nest

Seriously, why didn't I take a picture of this?

I got a bike this spring.  And a new helmet.  (A $75 helmet, I might add.  You'll see why this is important in a bit.)  I went on a couple of bike rides with my family a few weeks ago.  (and it was a few weeks ago because it has pretty much been raining non-stop here since.)  It was the first time I rode a bike since college.  (I'd like to say that was six years ago, but in all honesty it was 17 years.)

So it had been a few weeks since I took my new beloved light blue bike out for a spin.  It looked cute, though, sitting up on its hoist in the garage with my cute new red helmet hanging from the handlebar.

And then one day I noticed a lot of bird poop in our garage.

And a day or two later I found a robin flying around our garage.  I quickly shooed her out.

And then the following day, I noticed a couple of little stringy things hanging from my bike helmet.  What?

Upon closer inspection, I saw it.  A bunch of straw in my helmet.

My husband came home from work and lowered my bike down from its hoist and, sure enough, there it was.

(This is where the picture would come in handy.)

The most perfect little bird's nest with two beautiful little robin eggs in it.  Inside of my helmet.  My $75 helmet.  Which was now covered in bird poop in addition to a cute little nest.

We (and by "we", I mean my husband) climbed a tall ladder and hung the helmet from a sheltered tree on the side of our house where we thought maybe the mama bird would return to our nest.  I wish I could say this story has a fun happy ending and the mama returned to her nest, but she didn't.  So out went the bird's nest.  Along with my poop-covered helmet.  (Sorry, but no amount of Lysol and bleach would have me put a formerly poop-covered bird's nest home back on my head.)  And for two days, we received the Crazy Neighbor award in our neighborhood for being the family with a bike helmet hanging from their tree.

My awesome husband spent an entire afternoon cleaning everything in our garage that had been "hit" by the mama bird.  And power-washing the garage floor.  And scrubbing down my bike which, needless to say, is back up on its hoist sans helmet.

Another reason not to exercise anytime soon.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Only in Minnesota

So I haven't been posting for a while because, believe it or not, life is busy with a 6-year-old, 4-year-old and one-year-old.  Who knew?!

This will be brief.  I told this to my mom on the phone yesterday and she said that if I ever get back to blogging, that I should post this.  So here it is.

Only in Minnesota can I watch snowflakes pile up in my backyard while scratching a mosquito bite on my leg.

An explanation for those that live somewhere (i.e. a normal weather state) other than the great state of Minnesota:

It was 81 glorious degrees this past weekend.  I got mosquito bites while outside with my family, watching my oldest child (that's my 38-year-old husband) race a new remote-control speedboat across my neighbor's pond.

And then two days later, it was 31 degrees and snowflakes were flying.

Really.

My kids wore flip-flops on Sunday and snow boots on Tuesday.

Only in Minnesota.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Down for the count...again.

Remember a couple of weeks ago how we all had the flu in our house?  It felt like it lasted forever.  Well, after just a few short hours of everyone feeling better at the same time, my husband got a stomach bug and my oldest daughter came down with another cold.  Followed by her getting pink eye.  Followed by me getting a cold.  Which turned into a sinus infection that I still have.  Followed by my one-year-old now having a bad cold, ear infection and pink eye.

Boy, do we need Spring to arrive.  I need to open some windows and get some fresh air.  My house is a Petri dish.  (Thanks Kindergarten!)

Just when I tell myself that it is the middle of March and Spring is almost here, I look out the window this morning and see another inch of snow (on top of the 11 inches we got last week, which was on top of the 8 we already had on the ground).  And the weather forecast says to expect two more rounds of snow throughout the weekend.

Looks like I'll be waiting a bit longer to air out this Petri dish...