Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Birthday Noah!

Just a little shout out to our buddy Noah who turns 2 today! Holy cow.....2!!!!
Happy Halloween!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Start

We had errands to run today at the local Target. Picked up some $1 wrapping paper, $1 tape, and a few other odds and ends. We meandered down the toy aisles and at the end of one aisle was a clearance display. I found 2 Christmas gifts for Katie! Grand total? $4.25. Original price? $21.00. How could I pass them up?

I've pretty much vowed that this year Katie and Will's Christmas gifts are coming from Craigslist...that wonderful online garage sale. I would say that last year we succeeded in doing that, except for a few last minute ideas. This last minute ideas! :) I've already started making lists of things to look for on Craigslist, and hopefully, if I am patient, they will get listed. Speaking of which...I think nows the time to post some of OUR toys to sell too....

P.S. Don't forget to vote in our poll on the right hand side of the page. Some people have said that they don't vote in it because they think it will take them to a different won't!! It's completely set up by me/Katie/whoever! It's good practice for next week.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Pumpkin Carving a la Daddy

Last night John and Katie carved our family pumpkin. I say "John and Katie" carved the pumpkin because they did the bulk of the work. I was busy video taping, taking pictures, and cleaning the seeds. And Will? Well, Will was pretty much scared of the whole process. He would NOT touch anything having to do with the insides of the pumpkin. It was probably for the best...what a MESS it would have been to have him flinging goo from one corner of the kitchen to the other! Next year Deb, next year...

Mr. Happy/Funny Pumpkin

Mr. Surprised Pumpkin (Katie's masterpiece)

Mr. Scary Pumpkin

Katie wanted to have a lot of faces on the pumpkin so she made John do a happy/funny face and a scary face. Then she wanted to draw a face on there as well...and John carved that. Yes, somehow John managed to get 3 faces on one pumpkin. I wish I would have thought of that when I was a kid. My brother-in-law, Wally carved all the pumpkins for us when I was younger. I wish I would have made him do 2-3 faces!

This was right at the beginning of the carving session. Will acted like he wanted to help...then he felt the goo and didn't want to have anything more to do with it!

Our illumination...note the scary face on the wall...the pumpkin's AND Katie's...

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Another day, another party

Will did NOT like having his "cow head" on, but he got used to it. Katie tries to make the best of a screaming brother.

See...all better.

Today after church, the kids and I went to the annual Halloween party at My Gym in Eden Prairie. My Gym is a children's fitness center where Katie took classes til she was 3 and Will has been taking them for a few weeks now.
Will is old enough now to remember where gym class is and he gets excited as soon as we pull into the parking lot. Today they were all dressed up in their costumes. They played some games, sang some songs, and got some play dough. It was a little crazy, but it was free and darn it, I'm gonna do as many free parties as I can! Up next...the grocery store's Halloween Party on Tuesday. :)
Climbing at My Gym

This afternoon I had to go to the library to do some work on their computers. While I was there I noticed their book sale was still going on. The kids and I went to the book sale on Friday. We came away with a bag of children's book and videos for $5.

I LOVE library book sales. Honestly, if you ever get the chance to take a child to a book sale, DO IT! There was Katie thumbing through books and videos - she would come upon one that she liked and meekly would ask if she could get it. "SURE!" How great is it to say that?!! If we are in a store the answer is usually "no." But here, where the average price is $0.25, anything goes. Katie got into it after that and began to find more and more she couldn't live without. Again, it was a nice feeling to allow her to indulge.
Another reason I adore the library sales?? Old books. I absolutely get chills every time I come across an old children's book that I had when I was 3 or 4. This sale was no exception. I found the book "Gus Was A Friendly Ghost." My aunt, Carol, had this book at her house and it was one of my favorites. It was written in 1967, so it's not as if you could run out to Barnes and Noble and pick it up...they don't print it anymore. Yet there it was amongst the worn books. When we got home I pulled it out and remembered bits and pieces of the story Carol would read to me...but what jogged my memory even more were the pictures; the pictures I had stared at for hours when I was little. And now I am reading it to Katie...sometimes life is surreal.

Ok - so today I was at the library again. It was the final day of their sale which means bargain bag time! $3 bag...all the stuff you can fit into it. Today was about adult books. I found some John might read, some I will read, etc. (Mary - I even got a collection of Updike short stories....Shelley - I got my first copy of Anne of Green Gables.) Anyway - I look forward to the next sale and the next book I can collect to relive my childhood.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One thing after another

Today was one of those days where it seems everything got scheduled together. This morning we had Katie's first basketball practice and game. I must say it was pretty entertaining. There are 4 teams of 6-7 kids ages 4-5 years old. They take turns scrimmaging each other on Saturday mornings. Katie is the only girl. :) And I must say she gave it all she had. Were there tears? Of course - she shot the ball and it came back down and bonked her on the head. :( But two other little boys on her team had shed tears already, so it was no big deal.

Here is Katie standing in line waiting for her turn to do some dribbling and shooting drills.

Katie dribbling up court during their "game." Initially, she was dribbling the wrong direction...well, they all were, but soon got it figured out. It was really funny when the other team's coach would shout something out...they would ALL do it. Like for the defense "Hands up!!" shouts the other coach...BOOM, up shoots 18 little hands. Or all the kids yelling "I'm open! I'm open!" Even if they're on the other team. :)

She really did a great job and wants to go it again next weekend...good, we have 6 weeks left! John is even going to help coach for a few sessions too. :)
After lunch we had to make an appearance at Katie's fall family party. The theme this year was Harvest Hoedown. Katie and Will both got some sticker tattoos, got to play in the gym, have a snack and listen to some stories. Katie got to make a, well, something...we're still figuring out what it is. It's a piece of cloth with assorted leaves, pipe cleaners, string, stickers and ribbon glued on it.

Then we headed home for a nap and supper. After a quick bite to eat, Katie and I went to Chanhassen's Halloween party. We opted to leave Will home with Dad because I wasn't sure how crowded it would be. I'm glad I did cuz I would have had to hold him for a LONG time. Next year, Will, next year...

Oh yeah, and somewhere in all this, John managed to mow the lawn, bag up more leaves and discover that "our" grey cat that visited us before is still hangin' around. She came right up to him and wanted some attention.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Falling Leaves

Today I knew was going to be one of the last 'nice' days for a while so I wanted to make sure we got outside to tackle some of those leaves that have managed to coat our front yard. (Of course they are in the backyard too, but lets' be realistic here....I'll be happy to get the front done.) We got Will down for a nap, and Katie took a 20 minute rest while I got started. I had about half the yard raked when I went to go get Katie. She was in leave heaven! At the townhome, the grounds crew always sucked all the leaves up and away before we ever got a chance to play in them. I was able to get 4 bags filled...and still have a heap of a pile in the front yard. Oh yeah, did I mention that 2 of our big trees haven't even started losing their leaves yet?

Bonus - I just noticed in the newspaper that tomorrow is a free recycle program in Chaska...bring in your bags of leaves for free disposal. We'll have to work that in.

Tomorrow Katie goes on a field trip with her class to the Eden Prairie Fire Station. No bus this time - they just have to walk across the parking lot. Obviously, she isn't that excited.
After a quick lunch we are going to try to take advantage of the local library's book sale. It's such an easy way to stock up on some $.10 books for possible stocking stuffers at Christmas time, birthdays, rainy days, etc.

And luckily Saturday is going to be a nice day - Katie has her fist basketball practice/game that morning. After lunch her preschool is having their annual fall harvest party full of games, crafts, snacks, music, etc. And as if that wasn't enough activity for a day we have decided to go to the Chanhassen Halloween party after supper. Believe me...there will be pictures later.
Sunday is going to be our pumpkin carving day. We were going to go to a party at gym class...but with the time change it's going to be....well....let's just get used to one thing at a time.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Meet Gracie

We went back to IA this past weekend to visit the grandparents and other assorted family members. We were greeted at the farm with a new face. This is Gracie....Amazing Gracie. Katie and Will (and John and I) really had fun getting to play with her. It's not often that Katie and Will play with a dog that is smaller than they are. She is a very calm and peaceful dog, part Labrador, part Samoyed.

No matter how little the dog, Katie will always assume this position when confronted. I kept telling her - just stand up!

Katie thought it was SOO funny when she would run and Gracie would chase after her, trying to keep up. Hmmm...just wait 2 months Katie, and I bet Gracie beats you.

Will had a tiny fever yesterday as we started for home, but he's feeling more like himself today. Just that darn runny nose...

We came home to find Betty the fish still alive...thank goodness. We went over to the neighbors after lunch to thank them for feeding her. I'm happy we have a fish...I don't think I could do a dog or cat just yet...let's get Will potty trained first.

I spose the next time we head south to IA will be for Thanksgiving. Hopefully, Will is sleeping better by then...(yeah, right...)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Will's 15 month checkup

Today we went in to the dr. for Will's 15 month checkup. He weighed in at just over 24 pounds (55th %) and he was 32 inches long ( 70th %). Basically he has grown an inch and gained a pound in the last 3 months. I think Katie grew more than an inch in the last 3 months....

He did great for his shots - they were no big deal to him. His doctor and I brainstormed a few ideas about how to get him to sleep better at night, but when he looked at Will's teeth, the dr. figured that they were probably causing some discomfort at night. She rarely sees all 4 18 month molars coming at the same time...which Will's are. And each have 4 points that have to break through the skin and until they are all through, it can be painful. So we'll take our time a bit more and work on really getting the sleep thing down in the 2 weeks or so. Just in time for the clocks to turn back...and that'll screw us up again. :) It really makes us realize how spoiled we were with Katie and what a great sleeper she was and still is.
There is no more school the rest of the week here in MN. We had a neighbor girl come over this afternoon so she could meet Betty, the fish. Turns out today was her 12th birthday! She has agreed to feed Betty for Katie while we are in IA for the long weekend. If we were just going to be gone for 2 days I think we could skip the feeding, but 3 days may just be too much, so we asked her to do it.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Kluesner pictures

Now that our friends, Drew and Heather Kluesner have made it home safely, (and updated their blog), you can see more cute pictures of Kate and Will playing with Alicia! Just click here to go to their blog!

Monday, October 13, 2008

A visit to the fire station

Yesterday the kids and I went to the local fire station for their annual open house. We got to ride around town in a real fire truck, Katie got to spray a hose, and have her picture taken with Sparky, the fire dog. They are talking about fire safety in school to since it is fire prevention week/month/whatever. We got a sheet to fill out showing that we had discussed it at home - and we decided to have our own "fire drill" tomorrow because it's too wet today. :) I am having flashbacks to my kindergarten/1st grade days when we discussed fire safety - about the same time of the year. After my first fire drill I came home and decided that I would not sleep upstairs anymore for fear of being caught in a fire. So for about 2 years I slept on the couch, clutching my dog. It didn't really help that my brother had promised me that in the event of a fire - he would not help me get out. Brothers can be jerks. :) So far, Katie sees our fire drill as a positive, exciting event.

John went with us to church yesterday as well because Katie sang up front for the first time. Her and her singing class (about 7 kids) sang (quietly) Oleanna and Jesus Loves Me. It was adorable and she was SO proud. In addition to the kids' music they celebrated with traditional Norwegian and Swedish music, instruments and FOOD. I got to eat some sunbackles, krumkake and of course lefse. They had rosettes too, but I thought I would make a pretty big mess with those. I hope I didn't slaughter the spelling there - the computer doesn't like norwegian food.

This is a short week for Katie - no school on Wednesday or Thursday. So we will be heading to Iowa to visit family. For right now, it's looking like we will leave on Thursday. Have a good week - stay dry! (It's raining here all day...)

I took pictures of Katie singing in church, but they didn't turn out the best. So, instead, I thought I would share a picture that seems make people smile. Katie was pouting and Will was trying to make her laugh. :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

And I almost forgot...

I was going to add this to the last post and forgot...
Katie had a new play date last week with another classmate. She spent 3 hours with her friend Ben at his home. She was in class with Ben last year, so they know each other pretty well and are good friends. I dropped Katie off to play - yep that's right - I didn't have to attend this 'date!' It was great to have an extra morning to run errands with only 1 child.
Ben has a little brother Drew who is about 5 months older than Will, and completely adorable. Katie loved their house and when it came time to leave I literally dragged her screaming to the car - very embarrassing. We promised to play with Ben again at our house. That seemed to make her feel better, but she REALLY liked Ben's house because they had an inflatable castle to jump in in their basement. :) The only thing her and Will were unsure about was the dog. They love dogs - if they are on the other side of a glass door (like the ones we see outside)...or if they are being held across the room...or if they are so well trained that they don't move when told to sit (like our friends' dog, Stanley).
Anyway, Ben's dog was named Jackson and was an 8 year old Boxer. (Very cute!) I guess I should add that Katie and Will now will put up with older dogs. This dog was sweet and barely moved...unless it was to lick Will's hand.

Old friends/New friends

Katie got to have a new little sister for a day. On Friday, college friends, Drew and Heather Kluesner, and their daughter, Alicia, from IL came to visit. We went through Underwater Adventures at the Mall of America and then came back to the house for pizza and play.

Drew and I were both math majors at Clarke...probably wouldn't have gotten through without each other....well, at least it made it more fun. We reminisced about late night study sessions at Perkins where the coffee rocked and the ash trays were emptied. Good times. :)

This was the first time we were meeting their 2 year old daughter, Alicia, although I feel like I know her already from their blog. Her and Katie hit it off right away. They had a good time holding hands and playing at the mall. Of course what visit is complete without a trip to they each made a stuffed friend too. (Well, Will just watched.)

Then we all came back to the house and ate supper, played with toys, screamed, etc. :) After about 20 hugs (not kidding) the girls were ready to say good-bye. Alicia is SUCH a sweetie, and was a perfect little girl - I really would have kept her here! When Katie woke up this morning, all she could talk about was Alicia. It was a great visit!

Katie and Alicia getting 'stuffed.'

Time to dance!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Sunny Wednesday

So Katie is at school this morning and Will is taking a nap. That was my plan for my 2 hour window of time today. I had hoped to begin my workout regime today, but alas I wasted my time washing dishes, folding clothes, putting away clothes, making beds, and typing a blog entry. I have a workout tape from the mid 80's - the original "Buns of Steel." If nothing else, it's good for a laugh. But it's also filled with simple exercises that make you feel the burn. A while ago Katie and I had discussed the picture that was on the tape cover. It's an odd looking picture of someone's rear, intending to look good, but really doesn't - looks mis-shaped. Anyway Katie claimed that she didn't want her bottom to look like that. I agreed, I wouldn't either. But I still think I should do something. Since I have been nursing Will I honestly could eat anything I wanted and still manage to see the numbers falling on the scale. It was a great feeling. I had no muscle tone, but still... :) Now that Will is growing into toddler-hood and cutting back on how much he needs from me, I don't really see the numbers going in the right direction, and am feeling just ho-hum in general. Time for some scheduled activity.

Katie has a new favorite song thanks to John. :) I guess they sang it at bedtime last night, and this morning she made him go down to the basement to try to find it on CD. He didn't find it so she ended up singing along to a You Tube recording of it. Of course it's that children's classic, "Squeeze box" by The Who. I'm sure that was the next song they were going to teach at preschool anyway. :)

Monday, October 6, 2008

John William!!!!

There's no use crying over spilled milk, or in this case spilled pancake mix. I was getting Katie's shoes on and came back around the corner to find this mess. Thankfully we were running a few minutes ahead of schedule and I was able to get him changed in time to go to school. Ugh. What a start to our day.

I've been tagged!

Ok, so I was 'tagged' in another friend's blog...I will reveal my secrets now...

1) 4 Places I go over and over: 1.various grocery stores...(one has good bulk items, one has great sushi, and the other has great sales), 2. Katie's preschool, 3. La Leche League meetings, 4. the kids' gym class.

2) 4 People who email me regularly: 1. 1-2 friends, 2. family, 3. facebook telling me one of my family or friends sent me a message, 4. junk

3) 4 of my favorite places to eat: 1. Happy Joe's...can't get enough of it. 2. Any Chinese restaurant...even better if it's a buffet, 3. Restaurant's like Baker's Square that offer free meals for kids certain days, 4. at home - it's cheaper and easier with kids.

4) 4 places I would rather be: 1. Key West, FL, 2. any place in the Caribbean, 3. still sleeping, 4. at a gym working out

5) 4 people I tag: hmmm...well, Shelley is the only one I know personally with a blog, but I will also mention John, Jamie, Janet and Sarah.

6) 4 TV shows I watch: The Office, The Daily Show, The View (Yes, when I can.), gosh...there aren't many others...John's discovered my closet obsession with EARLY Beverly Hills 90210...:) But I also like to watch Jon & Kate plus 8...that is until my voice starts to take on the nagging shrill quality that Kate's has. Then I better turn it off.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Apple Orchard

On Friday Katie, Will and I went to an apple orchard about 6 miles from our house. It was beautiful! The leaves were changing, it was bright sunny blue skies and no wind. The apple orchard was just the perfect size. I found out it's a family run business located right outside their front door. We enjoyed a wagon ride that took us out to pick apples, Katie fed a couple goats, we saw rabbits, and I finally got to enjoy a cup of hot apple cider.

Katie and Will picked 4-5 apples. (Yes, even Will was grabbin' 'em off the tree.) Thanks to Grandma Mary we didn't really need any more. She had bought us 2 bags the weekend before! However I DID receive an easy apple crisp recipe that we tried out last night, and it was very yummy.

Earlier that day we had gone to Will's gym class. I do have pictures, but Katie was much too busy to take many. Another little boy showed up because he didn't have school and He and Katie colored and drew pictures together for the entire hour. When they were about 18 months they were in gym class together. (If any of you remember us talking about Carter...) It was nice to see him again.

Other than that our weekend is pretty calm. The Obama sign has been re-erected across the street. I got Katie to settle on a Bumblebee Halloween costume. All is well.

Katie would pick 'em...

Will would eat 'em. (Till he started choking...we don't let him do that anymore.)

Oh yes, we also bought a pumpkin. There were so many great ones to choose from! A carving project for John in a few weeks.

Will was very interested in the hay.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Political Storm

It seems to be everywhere you look, so why not here too. It's no secret that I am a supporter of Obama/Biden. After the entertaining debate last night I feel even more secure in that decision. Sarah Palin's voice, fake smile and boring cliches are like nails on a chalkboard. We seem to be living in a McCain neighborhood - every house that has a sign in it's yard is a McCain sign...all but 2. After Tuesday night it was all but 1.
Our neighbors across the street erected a nice Obama sign a few weeks ago right by the flower bed in their front yard. I was relieved to see it. On Wednesday after I had picked Katie up from school and was pulling into our driveway I noticed that it wasn't there. I got a chance to talk to them yesterday and ask what happened. Turns out someone took it. They think it was some homecoming high school pranksters that not only possibly took their sign, but also toilet papered 2 houses on our street. Our neighbors have more signs ordered through the area DFL, but aren't sure when they are going to arrive.

On a brighter note, Katie doesn't have school today. Will still has his gym class, so Katie is going to accompany us to that. We'll see how that goes...she won't be able to play today since it's a class for 14-24 month olds. I told her that she could take pictures of Will's class, so if any of them turn out I'll share them with you this weekend.
Then, since it's supposed to be a sunny afternoon with no wind, we will try the apple orchard.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Busy weekend

We had nice busy weekend to finish out the month of September. John's mom visited us for a few days, and the kids had some quality grandma time. :) Saturday we all went to the MN Landscape Arboretum. It was not too crowded for a Saturday, and we had a great lunch and a nice walk looking at all the flowers. Will's favorite was probably the fountains scattered throughout the grounds. Katie's favorite was probably the fall pumpkin decorations. On Sunday we let John have some uninterrupted football time while the rest of us went to the local library for an hour or so. We love visitors and it was great to have Grandma Mary here for 4 days. Katie, of course, was sad when it was time to say good-bye, but she understood that Uncle Jim probably missed his mommy too - so she had to go make sure he was ok. :)

On a different note - wow I can't believe it's October 1st already!! Where the heck did last month go? As I turned over the calendar this morning it hit me that today is our friend Karlie's 3rd birthday!!! So HAPPY BIRTHDAY KARLIE! (Daughter of Laurel and Casey Hagensick) Katie is planning on making a card this afternoon - so hopefully we'll get it mailed so it isn't TOO late.

This is a short school week for Katie. She doesn't have school on Friday due to teacher conferences. I think we'll try to get to an apple orchard before it gets too cold. We have one nearby that offers free wagon rides and a petting zoo. I think I can brave the cold for that. :) (Yes, I think 55 degrees and below is cold.)