Friday, November 13, 2015

Lydia is 2

Oh my, we have a 2-year-old now, wow!  Miss Lydia is my girly, chatty, so stinking smart, fun little girl :) We celebrated early with Grandma & Grandpa Olin at our house with everything PINK!

Then on her actual birthday, we celebrated with Oma & Opa.  It was a cold and rainy day, so all of our plans for being orchard.....pumpkin patch.....park.....those were not going to work that day.  Instead, we stayed inside and played with babies - her favorite!!

Here they all are, her squad: Peanut, Bee, Henry, Vivi, and Baby :)

Here are her stats from Dr. Sakkal's visit:
Length: 33 1/2 inches (35th %ile)
Weight: 25 1/4 pounds (35th %ile)
Head Circumference: 19 inches (70th %ile)

Thursday, November 5, 2015


We start out October with Phil's birthday!  This year on his big day, we attended a gala for North Memorial Hospital.  We headed home as soon as we could, though, to get some sleep for the 10-mile run we were both participating in the next morning!

Nope, Henry did not have a birthday this month, but still took a picture with a giant 5.  Yep, still 5 years old :)

Here we are, after completing the Twin Cities 10 mile with almost 10,000 others out there.  It was such a beautiful morning, about 45 degrees and sunny for the start of the race at 7am.  We treated ourselves to a fantastic Bloody Mary after the race as our reward! 

That night, we went out for Phil's birthday as a family.  We took the kids to Osaka for their first hibachi experience.  Johnny was our chef for the evening, and Lydia still talks about him - "Johnny fire!"  So maybe he freaked out both of the kids right in the beginning with a large poof of fire off of his hot grill - a little warning would have been nice, Johnny :)

In the middle of October, we headed up to Grand Forks for our annual weekend with Old Papa.  Henry said his favorite part of the whole weekend was going outside with Old Papa to feed the squirrels each day - oh, the simple joys in life :)
We happened to stop by the Hyslop pool on UND's campus on Saturday afternoon at the perfect time.  They were just finishing up with a meet, so I got to run into my old diving coach, Brian.  Henry was wearing a MN Gopher t-shirt when we walked in.  Brian quickly covered that up with a North Dakota Diving shirt - looks good on the kid!

We stopped by Scheels to look for any other UND gear, and took a few pics along the way.....the mighty UND hockey goalie.....

.....and the fishermen!

I know that Henry is an early riser in the mornings.  If we're at home, he'll get up and play/color quietly in his room.  So, for this trip, I made sure to put his arts & crafts bag in the room he was sleeping in when he went to bed the first night we got there.  This was the first picture he made in the morning - he didn't know how to spell Old Papa, so he abbreviated with OP - oh my, how cute is that - and he dressed them in exactly what they were wearing the night before!

October also sent us back to Children's Hospital for a hernia repair surgery for Henry.  We were only there for about 5 hours in total.  Everybody that we worked with was amazing, as usual!

After we got home that afternoon, he slept off the medication for the remainder of the day.  The next day, he was feeling much better - good for him - but hard for me to have to keep him contained for the next 1-2 weeks!  He got a new Lego set and a Lego sticker book, which definitely kept his interest for a while.  Thank goodness his restrictions are all through, and he's back to riding his bike and jumping off of park equipment! 

The staff at Children's sent Henry home with a good supply of doctor gear for he and Lydia to play with.  Lydia got a new doctor kit for her birthday, as well, so these two have been very busy giving check-ups and lots of shots!

The last few weeks have really been beautiful around here.  We've been outside a lot!  Henry got a new rake (his prize in a local coloring contest :) and has been busy raking those leaves out there.  He asked for a quarter if he raked the whole yard one day - sweet!

My Auntie Jackie came to visit us last week when Phil was out of town.  We visited the Eveland Family Farm in Andover one afternoon - hay ride, farm animals, corn maze, pumpkin patch, and then we went home with a few squash to cook up.  

Oh yes, the cows on the farm were getting up close and personal for pics too :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2015


Everything about Halloween this year was "fooky" (or spooky) as Lydia says it - the pumpkins, costumes, decorations, you name it!  I took the kids over to a "fooky" trail a few days before to take Halloween pics in their costumes - the referee and the lion :)  He was calling penalties while she was roaring!

Lydia had 4 hand-me-down costumes to choose from this year.  She was a bumble bee when we went to her Storytime class at the library.  She also dressed up as a black cat when we went to another Halloween party.

On Halloween, the weather was definitely warmer than it has been in previous years - no hats and mittens required, yay!  The kids both designed their own pumpkins and Phil carved them out for them - so much fun!  Lydia got a ride in the wagon down the block to trick-or-treat, then she and I headed back home while Henry and Phil went out for a while longer.  Henry got home just as I was turning off our lights because we ran out of candy.  My parents were in town and handed out candy for us while we were out.  We figured we had about 100-125 kids come by!  

Saturday, October 10, 2015


We have had such a beautiful month of September around here.  It started out with a hot Labor Day weekend.  Henry's lady friends, Gwyneth and Olivia, invited us to their pool.  It was Henry's first time swimming the entire day without a life jacket, even jumping off the diving board into 11 feet of water, and swimming to the edge all by himself many times!  I was so impressed!   

Just prior to swimming with his friends at the pool, he had finished up a 2-week swim camp.  Unfortunately, he had a random fever and missed a couple days of it, but overall he made huge improvements in his swimming.  Lydia does love copying everything that brother does :)  

Phil and I went to see Taylor Swift perform at the Xcel.  Wow, the girl knows how to put on a show - it was fantastic!  We went with another couple, and we were the oldest 4 around, that's for sure, ha!

Old Papa was visiting over Labor Day weekend.  As always, he is so sweet with the kiddos.  Lydia always plays hard-to-get at first, but then warms up!   Here she is, getting help with her hot pink shoes, and only Old Papa could help her :) 

Phil and I went to the Gopher football home opener with our friends, Todd & Laura, a few weeks ago.  Good times, even though the Gophers took the loss that night.  

We've gone on a few outings with friends this month.  Here was a trip to Como Zoo with our neighbor, Blake!

Sonja and I celebrated her birthday together with a Sunday Funday at Target Field.  They put on a yoga class out on the grass in the morning for us, and then we came back in the afternoon to watch the Twins game.  We sat in the Budweiser Roof Deck and caught the Vikings game on tv, as well!

We went on campus to watch the Gopher Homecoming Parade with our neighbors, who are also fellow alumni with Phil.  Here are Troy, Henry, Lydia, and Blake.  Once Lydia had a handful of suckers from the parade, she sat on the curb and proceeded to open every single one of them, eating the red/pink ones and tossing all the rest of them :)

Oh my, when the cheerleaders came over to her during the parade, she was in love!  

Phil took Henry to the Homecoming football game the following day - they even went down there early to tailgate before the game - Henry said he got to eat a brownie and Doritos, what a good time he had!  It was a hot and sunny one out there for the boys.  Who would have thought I would have needed to sunscreen Henry up in the middle of September?!?

Thursday, September 17, 2015

MN State Fair

I do love the MN State Fair!  I look forward to it every year at the end of the summer.  Unfortunately, our weather did not cooperate this year on the day that we decided to go.  We had a short amount of time with sunshine and no rain, so we made the best of it :) 

Here are my little Gopher hockey players, all suited up!

Sweet Martha's Cookies are definitely a MUST at the fair.  We stood in the rain and chowed these babies down before heading home for the morning!

The BIG slide was closed down because of the rain, bummer.  He's still all smiles though :) 

Henry got one ride in before the rain started and they had to shut them down - he chose Monster Trucks, of course!

My favorite thing to do at the fair - Little Farm Hands :)  

They fed the chickens, gathered eggs, picked apples, planted vegetable seeds, and milked a cow!

Gotta drive that tractor around the farm :)

Lydia made it - taller than 2 chickens this year, yay!

The Alphabet Forest - another of my favorites at the fair.  There are so many "letter" themed activities  in this area for the kids to do.  

Here we are, on the bus back to our car, sad that we had to leave early because of the rain.  Lydia almost has that pouty face going with us :)

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

back to school

This year, Henry will be completing his final round of Pre-K before heading off to Kindergarten next year.  We switched him to a new school, just to change it up a little bit, as he's had the same teacher (who we loved, so it was very hard to leave her) the previous 2 years. 
Here he was, with all his school supplies the week before he started.  He probably pulled everything out of the bag 10 different times to admire it, then organized it just how he liked it back in the bag each time :)

September 9th, 2015 - off to Northside Christian School for Pre-K

Monday, September 14, 2015


In early August, we spent the weekend with good friends at their cabin in SoDak.  
Gwyneth is 4, Henry is 5, and Olivia is 6, so these three just play so well together.  Sometimes the girls fight over who Henry's "best friend" is between the two of them :)  He's learning at an early age that it's hard to please ALL the ladies, ha! 

It was a beautiful weekend.  The kids literally did not come inside from 9am until it was dinner time - boat rides, tubing, fishing, swimming, jet-ski rides - it was a great time!

Not a single fish was caught :(

Then there's Lydia and Reese, little BFFs, they're 1 month apart :)

Just like at the Dells, Henry and Olivia probably jumped off this dock about 400 times a day!

National Night Out is always the first week in August.  Here's the crew on our block.  Lydia was baby #31 (she's the youngest on the block), and since she was born I think we've had about 8 more kids move in.  

Oh my, Henry has sure gotten good use out of his car this summer.  He knows a clean car is a happy car :)

One night when Phil was gone, I gave them free rein to make a pizza as they wish.  They did it all, I just handed them the toppings - they spread the dough, sauced it up, dumped one big pile of cheese in the middle, and then loaded it with pepperoni :)

One Sunday night, we went to Running Aces for family night with a few of our neighborhood friends.  We placed our bets on the harness horse racing, the kids got their faces painted, we had dinner, and also did a little trout fishing (we came home empty handed there).

In late August, one of my bestest friends and roommate from college, Teri Ann, got married to a nice guy named Jamie in New Smyrna Beach, FL.  It was a HOT one in FL in the summer, wow!  Molly and I left our husbands at home for the long weekend - it was girls only!  It was so much fun to see all these ladies for a few days - it's been way too long!  Here we were at the house Jamie grew up in the night before the wedding - a beautiful view of the water. 

Here's Molly and I before the ceremony started. 

I gotta get a photo every time at the Children's Museum!  Look at their faces, checking themselves out in the mirror, ha!

We have had such nice days to play at the park in the afternoons around here!  Let's hope they continue for another month :) 

We made our annual trip to the Tamarack Nature Center (and crossed another item off our summer bucket list).  What a great place for kids to just explore the land - they can dig in the sand, play in the water, climb on the rocks, build a fort with sticks, water and weed the gardens - it's great!

When you really want to play hard in the dirt, just tuck your dress into you "unnies," right?!  The girl thought that every item of clothing that went over your feet were your "unnies" :)  In this case, her "unnies" were simply her cute little bloomers under her dress!