Thursday, February 28, 2013

Oh my gosh we've been busy! I'm sorry, I can't seem to find time to write along with everything else. Hopefully I can get it together for today and tomorrow's post. Yesterday was our last day of hockey and I was on the ice with the kids, as promised. It went well!

We had fun skating although I must admit I got bored fast. The kids are still learning which means they are turtles on the ice. I pretty much stood in place for most of the time.

At least Daddy made sure to get a couple cute photos, even if he missed all the times I was skating the kids around the ice and spinning. So much for showing off my skills!

We'll definitely plan to do that again next year, and for the longer session. It really was a great time!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Some truths:

  1. My Valentine display from all our artwork is still up in the entryway. I have no plan to take it down soon. Long live the pink and purple hearts!
  2. Rory has found a new way to get our attention; "What the hell?" "Fuckin'." "Damn it!" I have yet to not react, which I know is what I'm supposed to do, but seriously? IT'S ON PURPOSE!
  3. I realize it's only the end of month two but my resolution to be more selfish, or as I've been calling it, "My year of selfish" has been awesome! Getting out and doing things more often has been an amazing mood lifter and given me so much more patience!
  4. Except for the days when I have plans. My patience than? Completely non-existent. I'm assuming this is pretty normal as I just want to get out of the house and on to my adventure, where ever it may be.
  5. I'm planning to make a sign for my garden this year and it has a swear word in it. Obviously I believe in setting good examples for my children and their tendencies to swear for attention. My motivation? Here. Feel free to run with it yourself, I think it is just perfect and both Dusty and Chris agree.
  6. Rory is signed up for preschool next year and I am giddy...GIDDY I TELL YOU! I'm going to have a couple mornings to myself during the week.
  7. But first, I need to finish out winter. Maybe a few more sledding trips before the snow is gone from the ground? We'll already be returning our ice skates this week which means no more skating this year.
  8. Oh, and soon we'll make hikes at the park again; go and visit our little waterfalls.I cannot wait and may try to sneak in a trip soon as it's been calling to me.
  9. Spring, feel free to come soon. Maybe I'll change out my entryway decorations for you than?

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Hockey night last night! Max is starting to get the glide down. It's still pretty new, but he's getting there!

Rory was up on her feet a lot more and seemed to be having fun showing off her walking skills.

And of course our ham had to find us to make sure we were keeping an eye on him!

Next week, if everything goes as planned, I'll be on the ice with the kids as the last practice is an open skate for the kids and their families. Wish me luck!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Dusty and I took the kids to the Minnesota Science Museum for one last day of family fun. Except, it wasn't so fun. I had caught the kids cold while we were in the Dells, so my energy levels were low. Dusty did not sleep well while we were in the Dells, so his energy levels were low. Max and Rory were used to having a little more independence at the water parks where things were open and we could see them; at the museum where there were exhibits and various other objects obstructing our view, this wasn't allowed yet constantly tested or forgotten. Not our best parenting moments. Of course, we still made the best out of it and I have photos to prove it!

What in the world are they doing?

Oh, just checking themselves out on their news broadcast! (Along with some other random kid and his mom. Hey!)

Daddy showing Max how the gears work. Yes, he even put him on top of the exhibit so he could follow along better.

This ball thing? Probably one of the most popular exhibits there. It was cool to watch the kids and Daddy play with it, but it was a pain waiting for our turns only to feel like we had to rush!

We found these blocks in a small room off of an exhibit and let the kids go to town building for quite some time. We all needed a little time out from the tantrums, crowds and everything else I listed above. Thankfully we were left undisturbed for most of the time they were building.

Yes, this photo makes me giggle every time.

We attempted to build a dinosaur. By attempted, we moved three pieces and the kids were ready to move on. Oh well!

I don't think we'll be going back to the Science Museum again soon. At least not until the kids can read and are able to better appreciate the exhibits, it was just a bit too advanced for them. Which is fine, there are plenty of other museums and zoos we can check out!

Monday, February 18, 2013

The start of my 10th decade of life, I don't really remember what I did but I do know that my parents gave me this beautiful sterling silver bracelet with dangling hearts that I still have to this day. My 20th decade of life I celebrated in Guadalajara, Mexico where I was studying for a semester. There was chocolate cake, flowers, drinking and dancing late into the evening with some great friends. 

For my 30th decade celebration, my family and Katie and Andrew's family took a trip to the Wisconsin Dells!

These are some of my favorite photos from the trip. Andrew snapped this photo of Max who insisted that he wanted a lime wedge.

Auntie Katie and Rory going down the tube slide together!

Max and Lyla showing off their moves.

Synchronized sliding by Lyla and Rory.

My Spiderman, leaping from one lily pad to the next!

Rory? Well she just crawled across those lily pads and thought it was the greatest thing ever!

Nora was the cutest thing ever when she'd get into her favorite little corner of the pool and could splash to her hearts content. If you took her anywhere else? She'd start pointing right back to that corner, the silly girl!

Uncle Andrew and Rory testing out the waves in the wave pool.

Max and I got held up by a gigantic cowboy, man was that scary!

It was an extremely fun vacation and an awesome way to celebrate turning 30 years old. Who doesn't want to act like a kid once in a while? Thank you Katie and Andrew for agreeing to this crazy idea, we love you!

Sunday, February 17, 2013

The kids actual Valentine outfits?

Both were garage sale finds which is awesome!

Getting to remind the kids that it was my birthday and then they'd do whatever I'd ask? Awesome! Can't wait for next year!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day, from my heart(s) to yours!

Also, happy 30th birthday to me!

Yes, I was that good looking. Nothing like the 80's bang poof and pre-orthodontics to remind you how much better you look now!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day! Yay! The kids and I have been busy decorating for the season and I had a brilliant idea the other day, finger painting with cookie cutters!

The kids love getting messy so the finger painting portion was a hit.

They would hold down the cookie cutters, or in Rory's case I would, and then paint inside of it.

Once they were done they had their masterpieces!

Yes, I know, you cannot believe what a genius idea that is and you're going to run out and do it too. Your welcome!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Max has been so incredibly adorable with Rory's illness. Every time she's thrown up he's been quick to run up behind her and rub her back. He's also ran to grab the bucket for her when she's said she's needed it, or gotten the small chair we put in front of the toilet. Whenever it's time for Rory's medicine he insists on taking the cup of measured medicine from me and giving it to her himself. He's quick to hold her hand and escort her to wherever it is she needs to go; bathroom, upstairs, downstairs. Seriously you guys? Are your hearts not melting?! So yesterday I finally was able to grab a photo of him playing nurse to her. 

The photo stinks but the reality is that I'm not going to take a photo of my girl being sick, and usually when Max is helping Rory, I'm also busy doing something to help Rory. But in this photo, I had let Max help me check Rory's temperature. While he was taking it I was getting a new movie setup so their attention is on the TV, but I assure you, he still did an excellent job and didn't leave his sister's side until he had to get ready for school. (It was an armpit thermometer check.) 

Now, let's get healthy kiddos, my favorite holiday is just days away!

Monday, February 11, 2013

Max became sick at the end of last week. He and I spent a good chunk of Saturday sitting in our reclining chair. He napped and I read, for over 3 hours. It was really nice to snuggle with him, even if I was sweaty and had to go to the bathroom about 2 hours into our cuddle.

Today? It's Rory's turn to be sick. I'm sure the cuddles will be just as nice but my desire to lay around has drastically decreased since I just did that for a good chunk of the weekend. Hopefully she'll follow in her brother's shoes and it will only last a couple of days!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I was that Mom at hockey yesterday. You know, the one that isn't a spectator but is actually engaging her child from the stands? In my defense, it started out innocently. Dusty thought I put Rory's skates on the wrong feet since she was standing on them weirdly. So I called her over to the glass so I could look.

Once she saw that she could talk to us, she wouldn't leave the glass, even though we continued to tell her to go and skate. Instead, she'd keep falling down next to the boards, stand back up, take a step into the boards and fall again. It really was the same thing over and over again for a while.

Max saw that we were talking to Rory and he too made his way over, although he got distracted by seeing his bus driver who was near us, and never made it all the way over.

He too, got too close to the boards and took a fall. Something about those boards really throws my kids off apparently!

Thankfully, once Max saw us he went back to chasing the hockey stick with a few of the other skaters. He loves this game as they all try to stay on their feet while running/skating as fast as they can! And it distracted Rory enough to turn her around and she went off to skate some more.

Next week? I'll just leave Rory to skate with her inward pointing ankles!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

As promised, Tara has written a nice little account of her full day with the kiddos. Please enjoy the musings of Auntie TaTa!


To say I was a little anxious about watching two children under the age of 5 by myself for a weekend is an understatement.  There’s a reason my Mom hasn’t gotten those grandchildren she wants from me; I’m not single mom material. But, when Ashley mentioned that Dusty wanted to go ice fishing the same weekend that she was going to be out of town for her girl’s weekend I figured that it was about time that I offered to babysit, especially since Dusty has been such a team player with the random projects I have been doing in my apartment,

The original plan was that Dusty would be gone all weekend ice fishing, which is why I had Ashley inform Cecil that he was not allowed to disappear. Like I told you already, I’m not single mom material… he even agreed to help after he warned me that he planned on being drunk, but hey, beggars can’t be choosers. As long as he was physically present and did not cause either child bodily harm I was more than happy to consider it a win. Friday comes and due to the weather Dusty ended up deciding to stay in town and only fish on Saturday. Worked for me…and apparently worked for Cecil since upon realizing Dusty was going to be near-ish he decided to never return after leaving for a side job at 7:30am on Saturday. Teammate tap out.

Now for the babysitting adventures: Saturday morning at 5:30am I wake up to a mini person walking in circles in the living room next to my couch bed.  I must be dreaming right?  I ignore it and it miraculously goes away only to return minutes later with a sister.

“Max, did you wake Rory up?”

“No….She woke herself up.”

“Mmmhmm. It’s way too early. Go back upstairs.” This solution wasn't much better since their bedroom/play room was directly above me.

At 7 I hear Dusty moving around and come to terms with adult wake up time. Is it too early for a Mountain Dew?

The rest of our morning went pretty flawlessly thanks to Dusty making breakfast before leaving and the miracle that is BluRay of course.

(***Ashley's note..Do you love how Rory's fake smile likes almost exactly like TaTa's real smile?!***)

Ashley had sent me the information for a Birthday Party their gym was having from 10-12 so at 9:45 I informed the kids they needed to get changed so we could get going.  Max ran upstairs excited with the promise of having his face painted. Rory? “Noooooooooo! Ta-Ta. WINGA TURTLES ARE ON!” After trying to coax her through mini melt down #1 and order her to move faster than a handicapped turtle, at 10:15 Rory finally has her boots and coat on and we’re ready to go.

Imagine my surprise upon entering the center and realizing that my niece and nephew are local celebrities. The following exchange happened at least 3 times in the first 10 minutes:

“Oh HI MAX AND RORY! Who’s with you today?!”


For the record the look you’d imagine would be on their face after hearing two children call me “Tata” is exactly the look I received.

So the kids get their faces painted by some 12 year old girls with questionable art ability, but hey, the kids are happy which means I’m happy (AND doped up on caffeine considering I've already downed a Mountain Dew and it’s not yet 11am). 

Our next stop would have been the clown making balloon animals, but the line was ridiculously long so instead we got them each a bag of popcorn and hit up the art table and then headed to the gym for the bouncy house.  Max was acting kind of skittish around all the kids and didn't want to go into the bouncy house. Rory jumped right in the bouncy house screaming “WEEEEEEEEEEE!” At one point she was even cornered by some little boy and although I didn't hear what she said I saw the token Rory finger wave and knew she was taking care of business.  That’s my girl.

Max eventually played some games and joined in on the bouncy house. Melt down 2 happened when Max tried to walk out of the gym without me.  While he obviously knew his way around (He seriously has a better sense of direction than I ever will. While I can’t even remember which street to turn on, to get to the house my Grandma has lived in my entire life, at 4 years old Max was giving me directions through New Richmond to get to the gym!) So while it was clear Max wasn't going to get lost, I had no idea where things were and didn't really want him out of my sight. Especially with that many people around.  So when I told him he couldn't leave he sat down on the floor and threw mini melt down #2. Luckily it was pretty contained and after realizing I wasn't paying attention he got up and calmed down enough to tell me he wanted a balloon animal. Fine with me so I handed them their popcorn which they started slamming into their mouths so hard you’d think they were Gollum and we headed back to the clown only to realize they were not doing balloon animals anymore… On top of it being my fault we didn't wait in line for the balloon animals Rory had won a sucker at one of the games, but when she went into the bouncy house instead of holding it the whole time I just ate it.  So here I am, the aunt that ate Rory’s sucker and made Max miss out on balloon animals. There was really only one thing for me to do: Bring them to the store and buy them suckers and balloons, duh.

After lunch and another mini meltdown about how we couldn't eat anymore popcorn right now (or should I call it “my precious”) we got on our snow stuff on (by “our”, I mean they put on theirs and I borrowed a combination of winter things from Dusty and Cecil) and went outside to play which quickly turned into a sledding party. 

The only real tantrum happened after sledding when Max insisted I walk down the hill and get his sled when he was standing right next to it, because he didn't want to bring it in.  Sorry kid, not happening. So Rory and I went inside to make our hot cocoa. Well 5 minutes later I’m starting to get anxious that he’s not inside yet and look out the window to see him still freaking out. I put on my stuff, trudge outside, and tell him that the cocoas almost ready.


“I am definitely not going to get the sled. It’s right there next to you and I am all the way over here.”

More freak-out.

“When you’re ready to bring the sled inside I’ll have the cocoa ready.”

A couple minutes later my ploy pays off and I hear him “crying” in the garage.  He then goes into his room and when he realizes I’m not following him starts following me around the kitchen freaking out yet snarling at me when I try to talk to him.

“Maxwell, I don’t know what you’re so upset about sweetheart. You have to use your words and tell me so I can understand.”

Clearly at this point he doesn't even remember why he was so upset so he grasps at the first thing he can think of, “I want popppppcorrrnnnnnnn.”  At this point I’m seriously willing to bet the popcorn is covered in crack. Luckily he’s cried himself out and agrees to cocoa with marshmallows.  

While I’m dealing with him, Rory was busy dropping a bomb in the bathroom.


After confirming with Max that mommy does actually still help Rory wipe I go into the bathroom and she is presenting her bare butt to me like a baboon.

After the length I was able to hold my breath I’m pretty sure I missed my calling as a synchronized swimmer.
The rest of the afternoon went pretty smoothly. We even went to Auntie and Taylor’s to eat pizza so I could curl Auntie’s hair for a party she was going to.  Within seconds of getting in the car they were both knocked out cold.

Revived with the pizza and gummy worms from Auntie their energy levels returned on the way back home and while I’m explaining to Max that GG John is in a wooden box buried under the ground and that’s why no animals can dig his body out and eat it. (Seriously, not sure why Ashley even thinks these questions are that hard to answer!) Rory is singing some elaborate song about being a musical girl who likes to sing and will never stop because her sister wants her to.

At this point the day was a success and I’m exhausted. Not only have I been up for forever, but I've pretty much been a one woman show all day, so when the kids go to bed with no problem I’m beyond excited almost as excited as I was to relinquish parenting duties to Dusty on Sunday and take a nap.

Total meltdowns: 4
Total Mountain Dews consumed: 4
I’d say my ratio was pretty good, no?


Obviously I love this. Especially when you get to the sled tantrum and Tara is saying the exact words I would be saying to the kids. And the fact that I didn't have to explain what a casket was? Priceless! Thank you again TaTa for watching the kids for us!

If you haven't checked out her blog, you should, Dusty and I both make appearances there as we're her primary help with her new DIY apartment decorating. She also writes occasionally for The St. Paul Examiner, where she actually is paid to share her words. (It's a measly amount but the more people who read her articles, the more she gets.) Consider signing up to get an email when she writes an article, I promise she's just as funny there!

(OK, enough of the sister promotions, we just love our TaTa!)

Monday, February 4, 2013

My college girlfriends and I enjoyed a weekend together up at the lake. Lisa brought these Red Solo Cups up for us to use for the weekend. They are actually a hard plastic and reusable even though they look like the cheap disposable kind.

Even though the weather was cold, we did make it out to town to walk along the shops and to also visit the winery for a wine tasting! (Please note the lady in the background photobombing our picture. I am impressed!)

And of course, we had to stop at a local bar and get another photo of us doing the shotski! I mean, it is definitely something worth bragging about later.

It was a nice weekend without kids and spouses, with far too many games, and not nearly enough hours together. Of course, I think that is how most girls' weekends end up.

Stay tuned, Tara agreed to do a guest post for me on her exciting adventures of taking care of the kids for the majority of the weekend. It's sure to be funny!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Some stories to share, because it's been a while since I've done one of these. To be honest, I get a bit confused as to what I have shared and what I haven't shared, so if something is repeated, I'm sorry!

Story #1
Dusty woke up to Rory crying and screaming at midnight one evening. Daddy headed up the stairs as Rory was screaming, "I'm done!" and crying because apparently she got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom. She still needs help with cleaning up after a #2. She'll yell, "I'm done" and we know we need to go wipe. So this night, she apparently got up and went to the bathroom and had been yelling for us while we'd been sleeping. When Daddy got to the bathroom she was very upset that she'd been yelling and "no one was coming!" Poor girl, what a confusing concept for her!

Story #2 & #3
As I've mentioned before, the kids have made up their own siblings. Max, when he wants to share a story, or a tall tale if you will, starts telling us about how his brother did something unbelievable. His brother is strong enough to lift our house up, he's super old, he's five years old, he's caught 100 fish, he's ate mussels, he had cake for breakfast, and numerous other funny little tidbits that have come to Max's imaginative mind.

Rory's older sister is usually named Annie and while Rory doesn't make up many stories about her she's still a big part of Rory's play. She isn't really an imaginary friend but when Rory talks about what she's done that day, her sister will also have done it with her. Rory and Max also love to play family and Rory will try really hard to get Max to let her have two girls, so there are sisters. While Annie is her usual name choice, she's also been called Falley, Kacey, Nyla and many other names Rory can think of. We hear about their siblings numerous times throughout the day, they've become family in a way, which I do find ironic.

Story #4
The kids are still playing together really nicely and as I mentioned above their favorite game to play is family. Literally. They will play cars but it's called "car family" and there are parents, a brother and a sister, and any other family they think up. This also goes for "duck family" in the bath, "horse family" with the My Little Ponies, "monkey family" with their stuffed get the idea, everything is family right now. It's adorable and so fun to watch.

Story #5
Max came home from school with a fishing pole and a paper fish. He quickly made more fish and has been playing this game a lot. We had to make Rory a pole too of course. My kids and their desire to fish still makes me smile, their Daddy has claim to them too I guess!

Story #6
Rory was rubbing Max's head and he was just sitting there, when I asked her what she was doing she showed me how she was scratching his head and neck. How cute is that, she was giving him a massage! Have I mentioned how well they are playing together?!

Story #7 & #8
I know I've already talked about the tough questions Max has been asking lately regarding death, life and God. We're still struggling to answer these questions and my library is getting a shake down as I try to find books to help with their curiosity while also assisting me in explaining some of these difficult concepts. I have two small stories to share still. The first, has Max asking Daddy questions about death; Daddy told Max that Daddy was going to die when he was old and Max started crying, hard, for a good five minutes he went from inconsolable sobs to the choking breathing as he tried to settle down. His only understandable sentence? "I don't want you to die when you're super old!" It was heartbreaking yet the very truth of how we all feel. The second story I promise is much more funny.

Max has taken a much stronger interest in babies being made in bellies. He continues to ask if God is going to make another baby in my belly and I keep telling him that God hears my prayers and knows that I do not want any more kids. So one evening Max asked Daddy if Max could have a baby made in his belly when he got big. When we told him no, Max then asked Daddy if he could have a baby made in his belly. At this point we're all giggling, Daddy and I at how cute this question is, and the kids are laughing because Mommy and Daddy are.

Story #9 (and the final one)
We go to the gym a few times a week and Rory and Max have made friends with the many kids there. Every time we go Rory will get so excited when she sees certain friends and will announce loudly "My boyfriend is in there!" Of course, it's even better when she follows that up with, "And my girlfriend is too!"

OK, I think this is long enough and should cover most of the stories I've been meaning to share over the last couple months. Hopefully it brought a few smiles to your face!

Friday, February 1, 2013

The kids have been taking photos with my camera. After looking through at least 100 photos I picked out 4 to show you, two from each kid. (I figured you didn't want to see the 15 photos of the ceiling that were all taken in a row!)

First up we have Max and his two photos. Rory was making silly faces for him to take a photo of.

And this shot makes my heart swell. He setup the dog before he took the photo. That's right, my boy is staging his photos. He's after my own heart!

Rory had lots of fun taking photos of toys, lots and lots of toys, and almost all of them are blurry as she moves the camera while pushing the button to take the photo. So imagine my surprise that her people photos are not blurry! Max and his crazy poses.

Mommy, trying to look interested but really she'd just like to crawl back into bed. (Did I mention Max has been waking up earlier and earlier this week, that day he was up at 4:50am? I caught him in his room with the lights on, playing on Rory's bed trying to wake her up!)

Hopefully this weekend will lead to some better sleep for the kids, I know Auntie TaTa and Uncle Cecil would appreciate it as they will be in charge this weekend. As for me? I'm sleeping in!