15 March 2010

The Long Winter

The long winter is nearing its end. So I haven't blogged in a while -- big deal.

My broken foot healed, we celebrated a fun Halloween with friends in St. Michael, a nice Thanksgiving, and four Christmas celebrations. Christmas Eve we had a big snowstorm but still made it to the Children's Mass. Grandma B. postponed (not canceled!) our family celebration on Christmas Day, but most of us got together the day after. We gathered in Wisconsin for New Year's and Toad stayed up to see the ball drop.

The rest of winter has been filled with snowpants and boots, soccer clinics (which Toad hates and has turned him against soccer completely!) and entertaining. Both kids have been doing very well in school. We hosted another successful Super Bowl party (on a much smaller scale this year), and last week I hosted Book Club with a Tudor-inspired feast for the month's selection, The Other Boleyn Girl. Toad was thrilled with the Olympics and we spent a lot of time watching together. He also set up speed-skating and skiing courses in the living room. Birdy and I have been doing lots of baking and crafts. She loves to draw and color.

Next up: Spring. The dirty snow is melting, leaving mushy, sopping mud puddles behind. Every year at this time I wish for a bigger mud room!

Birdy turns three on Sunday and we're having a fabulous Fancy Nancy extravaganza to celebrate!

My little rock stars

29 October 2009

A Fabulous Fall

The Broken Foot has put a slight damper on our fall festivities.

About 10 days after my fall, I returned to the doctor because of the extreme pain I was experiencing. Turns out, I sprained my foot in addition to breaking it in two places. It's the chicken vs. the egg -- not sure if I sprained it when I fell (more likely) or if I sprained it sometime after.

Life goes on and we're still adjusting to this new, slower pace. Except the pace hasn't slowed much. I am still a mom, and there are still two cute little padawans who need my help. We've had some rough days and we've had some terrific days. There will be no trip to the Pumpkin Patch this year, and the kids will be trick-or-treating with friends in a different neighborhood so I don't have to give out candy. The house is a mess, but somehow the laundry gets done and the groceries magically appear in the pantry.

We were lucky enough to still be able to enjoy our annual North Shore vacation, even with my bad foot. Grandma and Grandpa A. watched the kids last weekend while Hammer Guy and I visited Duluth, Two Harbors, and Grand Marais. The weather was so-so: rain and snow in Duluth on Friday and Sunday, but Saturday was an absolutely gorgeous day, so beautiful that we made an unplanned trip to Grand Marais. We went to Betsy Bowen's studio and purchased another chickadee woodcut print, the third in our collection. Grand Marais was definitely the highlight of the trip.

We're looking forward to the weekend and lots of Halloween fun!

Hammer Guy at Fitger's Brewhouse, with a growler of XXX ESB

At Fitger's Brewhouse, after enjoying a Pub Style Wild Rice Burger & onion rings


One of my favorite bookstores, Drury Lane Books in Grand Marais

Betsy Bowen's Studio, Grand Marais

Our Chickadee Collection

30 September 2009

The Speed of Life

Has it really been eight months since I last posted? That is so indicative of how the chaos of life has increased. There are many things to report, of course: Birdy and Toad both celebrated birthdays, Toad started soccer, Birdy started Montessori three months before Toad left it for bigger and better things: first grade at the elementary school.

There are too many events to recall here, so I will move forward with a brief update on the family:

Hammer Guy was officially promoted in April and is officially stressed out. Work became less stressful for me with a change in leadership and I am fortunate to be able to work from home on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I love what I do and I love the company. Finding quality child care can be so nerve-wracking for parents and it's wonderful to be able to alleviate some of the worry and concern for our families.

Toad is a voracious reader and Lego-builder and of course is still obsessed with Star Wars. He's in that new generation of Star Wars fans -- on movie nights I constantly joke with him that I want to watch Episode V but his hero is Anakin Skywalker, so he would much rather watch Episode I or II (we have not let him watch Episode III yet) or the new animated Clone Wars movie or series. He enjoys soccer but I wouldn't call him an athlete. He has also recently joined Cub Scouts (Hammer Guy is the assistant den leader) and we're thinking about tae kwon do.

Birdy, little Birdy, is such a big girl now. She loves going to preschool at the Montessori and is thriving there just as Toad did. She, too, loves books. Some of her current favorites are Pinkalicious, Fancy Nancy, and the Sleepy Little Alphabet. She loves to build with "big Legos," play kitchen and stroll around the living room with her babies.

The kids have a new little cousin to love: Cousin Frog's sister was born on August 31 -- and needs a blog name! I will have to look through the Frog and Toad books to find the perfect name for the sweet little babe!

And the latest incident: somehow I managed to break my right foot. I'm sure I could find some posts from March of 2006 about a broken left foot! This time it's my driving foot, which presents some new challenges, but at least I am able to work from home.

Here is a smattering of (somewhat) recent photos:

Toad's first day of first grade

Memorial Day Weekend, Duluth

Toad checks out the Death Star pinata

A somewhat grumpy Birdy and the Abby Cadabby cake

25 January 2009

Visitors from CA

Yesterday the family got together at our house for lunch with Jason and Micah, who were visiting for a few days from sunny and much warmer California. Even though we'd had a January Thaw previously in the week, the temperatures took a nose dive just in time for their visit.

Toad loved seeing his godfather. Uncle Mike made some hot hot chili. A good time was had by all and the house survived. We've got another big party next weekend, so hopefully we can maintain this week and not have too much cleaning to do before the Super Bowl.

One more week... Hammer Guy is frantically finishing a few things up before the carpet install on Friday... and then the basement will be finished! Hurray!

17 January 2009


Toad and I spent last Sunday at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. It was Target Family Day -- Sun and Moon. Toad and "Grandma Shirley" -- a very nice lady who inspired Toad with her depiction of the Sun -- got along well. He also made a very cool headdress.

The work week was long and stressful for both me and Hammer Guy, and we're very glad it's the weekend! Today I was able to meet the UMD Ladies at the Mall of America for our annual lunch and afternoon of shopping. It was absolutely wonderful to see them and catch up. Even Baby A came along and was very well behaved! Highlights of the day included visits to the American Girl store (sigh! I can't wait until Birdy is old enough to choose her American Girl!), Hanna Andersson's spring sale and clearance event, DSW, and the Lego store. We had ice cream at the tail end of the visit, as we always do.

Tomorrow we plan to enjoy some football and relaxing here at home. Update on the basement: it's almost finished! It should be ready for tours during our Super Bowl party!