Tuesday, December 23, 2014


We made our annual visit to Macy's for "A Day in the Life of an Elf" last week, followed by our 2nd Santa sighting.  Of course, we squeezed in lunch with Daddy, as well :)

Lydia was LOVING it!  Everything she saw would get a "oohhhhhh" while pointing at it.

Henry dropped his letter in the mailbox, and up to the North Pole it went!  He asked me later if Santa would start working on his present that night when he was sleeping?

Once again, Lydia was a fan of Santa!  I think having Henry up there with her was a big help.  She  sure adores that big brother!  Don't they all look like they're having such a deep conversation?!

I added this photo to our Santa frame at home - 2014 - I love this picture!

Monday, December 22, 2014

Santa #1

We had 2 Santa sightings this year.  The first was at Choo Choo Bobs a couple weekends ago.  I didn't know how Lydia would do with Santa this year?  Mrs. Claus just scooped her right up into her lap and she was fine - I was a little shocked, actually.  She just stared and stared at the big man in red :)  Now, she points him out in all of our Christmas books at home!

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

I have a few pics I've been meaning to post lately.  

The kids really do love it when Phil takes out his guitar.  

Wow, playing the guitar together nicely?  

Taking turns is not Lydia's strong suit quite yet, which usually brings tears from at least one child :) 

Lydia is finally taking some steps now!  It's crazy to think that Henry was walking for at least 3 months by this time.  I'm ready for her to start walking now, so I can actually set her down when we go places (Henry's school, outside to play, etc).  

She's such a little music lover.  Everything is an instrument to her.  I took her to a Music Together class last week, just her and I.  She couldn't wipe the grin off her face the whole time we were there.  She was be-bopping to the music and dancing up a storm!  

On Friday mornings, they have "toddler time" at the Sky Zone Trampoline Park, where it's limited to kids ages 5 and under, which is perfect for us!  Check out that hair, it was crazy that day! 

This beauty of a snowman was built before all of our snow melted away these past few days.  Lydia was stuck in one spot like the little kid on "A Christmas Story," can't you tell?!

And finally, look at this handsome little 4-year-old preschooler.  Gosh, I love school pictures.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas spirit

We're in Christmas mode around here!  On Thanksgiving night (speaking of Thanksgiving, I realized I didn't take a single photo that day - oops; we went out to eat with friends - good times), Phil and I started the season off right with watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.  Gosh, that movie is fantastic :)

On December 1st, our little Helper Elf showed up outside the front door, delivered by Santa himself.  This year, he brought a stuffed Helper Elf that the kids can play with.  Henry's been carrying him everywhere he goes!  

Henry's very much into his Advent calendar this year.  This was one of his activities last week, my favorite decoration, a gingerbread house.  

As you can see by the wardrobe change, it took him quite some time to finish it.  I did the icing and he did all the candy - he did a fabulous job!

We've been checking up on Santa's reindeer everyday on the Reindeer Cam.  Santa comes out to feed them a few times a day, and Henry just lights up when that happens!

His letter to Santa is signed, sealed, and we'll be delivering it to Macy's when we go see him this week.  He was wavering between this Hot Wheels car maker and Legos for quite some time, but now it's in writing and the Hot Wheels car maker is the winner.  

Here's my favorite house in our development.  Check out the decor!  Clark Griswold would be proud.  A+ for effort, if you ask me!  Henry asks to go by it all the time.

The last couple weekends, we've been enjoying "Christmas movie and popcorn night" with the kids.  Their stockings had some matching pj's for them a few nights ago.  So cute!
Let the Christmas activities continue!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

What have we been up to around here?

Man, I have been terrible about updating this blog lately, sheesh!  I really don't have a ton to report, I guess.  We took advantage of our mild weather as long as we could with our morning bike rides/walks/jogs. This particular day, Henry stopped abruptly and dropped to the ground, saying, "Mommy, I forgot to do my push-ups this morning."  Apparently he does push-ups every morning, who knew?
Henry is just finishing up another session of swimming lessons, and it's been a bit of a struggle for the poor guy in the water lately.  He's definitely not as fearless as he used to be there.  One day, he all of a sudden said he was "scared of putting his face all the way in, but only in the deep end" and that fear has continued for quite some time now, which is a bummer.  There's even tears sometimes at lessons, which just stinks for him (and for me to have to watch).  He's totally fine if he's in water where he can touch and play around, but get him in the deep water and he panics.  Of course when this started happening, I was Googling "sudden fear of water in little kids" and the only answer I was getting was that it definitely was common and that at this age, they're just getting too smart now, realizing there are consequences if you would go underwater in the deep part and can't touch :(    

 BMO sponsored an event at the Childrens' Museum not too long ago with the Clifford the Big Red Dog exhibit.  Here Henry is with Hubert the BMO Harris lion.  It's so funny how he's always keeping his eyes on these creatures!

Here he is, doing his own face painting (well, I assisted with the mustache) at the museum.  He said he was clown when it was all said and done!  

Our first snow storm arrived last week.  I got out the snowblower manual and acquainted myself with it again.  I'm ready!

Now that Lydia is 12 months old, I sometimes skip her morning nap and then she ends up snoozing in the car like this.  Neither of my kids have ever been those that stay sleeping once you take them out of their car seat.  Well, on this particular day, we dropped Henry off at school and trekked over to Trader Joes.  She was sleeping so hard, that I had to get her out of her seat like this, and she slept in my arms for my entire shopping trip.  My bicep was still burning the next day, as she's not exactly a peanut anymore!

We've had a couple afternoons where we've ventured out in the snow to play.  I took this pic after poor Lydia was trying to get out of her sled and fell face first in the snow :(  
Lydia and I have been enjoying our Tuesday morning baby Storytime sessions at the library.  They're all done now for the holiday season, but will be starting back up in January again.  It's amazing how much she's grown and can participate more from the start of our session 2 months ago until now.  Now she's clapping, bouncing, dancing, and having a good ol' time :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Halloween 2014

Halloween - it was a sunny and cold day outside.  We started the afternoon with trick-or-treating at Oma & Opa's house.  Henry managed the doorbell while Lydia pounded on the door - boo!  

They opened all their treats from Oma.  Lydia was testing out her candy with the wrapper on, I guess.

We came home for our annual pumpkin pizza before heading out in the neighborhood.  Every year, we leave our bucket of candy out on the front step while we go to a few neighbors' homes before coming home to hand the rest out.  Well, we sure got tricked this year and all our candy was gone when we got home (along with at least 3 of our neighbors that did the same thing).  Bummer, we were only gone for such a short time and then Henry had nothing to hand out :(  We learned our lessons and won't be doing that again!  
Here they are, the strawberry and the Gopher, all bundled up!  Lydia sure was spoiled by the neighbors and didn't even have to get out of the wagon :)  Henry didn't even ask to eat a single piece of candy when we got home.  One of our sweet neighbors gave him a little LEGO set, so he put that together and then went to bed.  A Happy Halloween, it was!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Halloween preparations

 I think we're ready for the big day.  The pumpkins are decorated and the candy is in the big bin.  Henry's been wanting to do various Halloween projects everyday now for a while.  Let's see, we have a huge skeleton, lots of pumpkins, a black cat, a few fall trees, and today he told me that tomorrow he wants to make a witch's hat and a mask.  Halloween is so fun with little ones :)  This year, Henry is a Gopher football player and Lydia is going as a strawberry (thanks to Greta)!  Henry still isn't really a big candy eater.  He wants to be, but just doesn't like most candy.  Not sure how that's possible?  I love candy!  He loves the game of getting candy, counting it, organizing it, etc, but then it just sits there.  He'd still much rather hand out the candy, which is fine with us!  

We've had a couple Halloween activities to go to already.  This past weekend, Henry was the first lucky preschooler in his class that got to take home Pete the Cat.  He took him everywhere, I took photos, then we made a scrapbook page for him.  Here's Pete and Henry, all ready for the flashlight pumpkin hunt on Friday night.  We also went to Zoo Boo at Como Zoo on Sunday night.  Let the festivities continue!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

one year old

Lydia is one!  It feels weird to say that when people ask how old she is....."she's 1", say what?!  She's still speed crawling all over the house, standing and cruising around everything at her level, and is just starting to stand on her own for a short amount of time.  Favorite toy - I'd say stacking toys, strainers in the kitchen, and board books.  She'll quickly flip through every board book she can find, quite the little speed reader!  She does have a favorite book right now - Baby, Boo!  Talking - lots of babbling, I might hear a mama, mommy, dada, all done (or something like it :).  Loves to screech in the car, just like her brother used to do.  LOVES the song "5 Little Monkeys" and any song by One Direction (yes, she's a groupie already).  The girl can dance!  Doesn't really want to sign for me yet - she has her version of signing "water" and "all done," and I think she's doing "more" now, as well, though not consistent.  Still, very smiley, showing off her mouth full of chompers (12 of them, I believe).  Sleep is good at night, 12 hours, no problem; but not my good napper during the day like her brother!  Some days will take two good naps and other days not so much.  Meat (any and all kinds) and Cheerios are still her favorite foods.  Continues to go in spurts with what she likes and dislikes.  She doesn't like cheese; I thought all kids loved cheese!  I finished up my breastmilk from the freezer right around her 1st birthday, perfect timing.  Now she's on to whole milk.  
Here are her stats from Dr. Sakkal's visit.....
Length: 28.5 inches (30th %ile)
Weight: 18 pounds, 13 ounces (20th %ile)
Head Circumference: 18 inches (70th %ile)
The doctor visit was a rough one this time.  She's terrified of getting her height and weight measured, and from then on was sad-crying until the screaming came out for the 4 shots she had to get :(

Now, onto the big birthday bash!  Well, of course, I had to do a Cheerios theme for my little Cheerios lover!  

She wanted nothing to do with her cake.  We think she got a little scared of the flame on her candle, and therefore didn't want to to touch the cake associated with that mean candle.  I even tried putting frosting in her mouth, and she spit it out.  Oh well!  She wanted the breakfast sausage that Daddy was grilling for the brunch we were having :)

These two had fun with the Cheerio themed projects I had ready for them.  They're both big fans of a good "project," that's for sure!

Lydia & Grandma 

She was such a dainty little present-opener, very carefully tearing off the paper.  Thank goodness she had such a great helper, big brother, to assist her.  

Henry (4 yrs), Lydia (1 yr), Gabriel (1 yr), Greta (4 yrs)

We had a very nice day outside, so we had to get out for a family pic :)

Friday, October 17, 2014


We've been filling our weekends with outdoor activities, taking advantage of the last few nice ones before the snow starts flying!  The leaves are absolutely beautiful around here this past week!  Henry has been riding bike everyday this week in short sleeves, can't beat that in the middle of October :)

I like this place - the Eveland Family Farm.  It's got everything you need - farm animals, pumpkins, a kiddie corn maze, and hay rides.  I like to stock up on squash from there, as well!

Last weekend, we met some friends in Stillwater to check out Aamodt's Apple Farm.  We've never been to this one before.  It was ok.  Honestly, I'm a bigger fan of our usual apple spot - the Pine Tree Apple Orchard.  Henry liked running through the hay bale maze.  His buddies, Jack & Joe, commented more than once "how fast of a runner Henry was."  I do agree, the boy is fast.....not always coordinated.....but fast!

Lydia was obsessed with the goats.  She did not want to leave them alone.  She just stood there and watched, pointed, grunted at them.  When we were sitting at a picnic table having a snack, she was longing to get back to her goats, so Phil had to bring her over there again.  Goat lover, who knew?!

Thursday, October 16, 2014


Last month, Philip had a meeting out in San Fran, so I tagged along and we made a weekend of it, along with a couple of friends!  It was the longest amount of time that we'd both been away, together, from the kids (thank you again, Oma & Opa).  We had fabulous sushi one night, did the wine scene in Napa for a day, and then saw all that San Francisco had to offer, as well.  Here are a few pics from the trip.....

Our favorite stop on our trip around Napa - Aonair.  It was a recommendation that we had received from some friends.  I had made an appointment to visit with the winemaker himself, as he does not do public tours or tastings.  It was the four of us and the winemaker's father (he was busy doing winemaking stuff, I'm sure), just sitting out on their patio, tasting some fantastic wine.  Seriously, the best wine I'd ever had.  It was like Christmas morning when the FedEx man pulled up last week with the wine that we had ordered!

The Sea Lions at Pier 39 were fun to watch.  Hundreds of them hang out here, barking all day long!

Here's Alcatraz.  Phil wanted to go on the evening tour one night.  Who knew that they sold out months in advance?!  That would have been a little too creepy for my liking.

Domaine Carneros - another stop on our wine trip.  It was a great way to end our day in Napa, enjoying plenty of sparkling wine!