Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Read this post. Gerber has made it onto my hate list once again. Why oh why must they put milk in everything?

Movin' On Up

Lily got a painting set from Cousin Tom for Christmas - she is in heaven! Look at that concentration! That's her piece titled, Rainbow.

Lily saw a doctor today. I wanted someone to listen to her lungs and just check her over. She's been coughing since the end of September and it seems worse at night. During the day for the most part she is fine, unless she's running around a lot or going in and out of the cold.

The doc agreed that it is most likely asthma. He put her on an inhaler that she needs to take every night PLUS a over the counter allergy medicine. Some of her coughing and congestion may be due to an unspecified allergy. So, we try them both out and see if it helps. I'm hoping that she'll be able to sleep better at night without all the coughing.

Here's the good news.... Lily is 2 1/2 (really more like 2 3/4) and weighs 28 pounds. This puts her in the 30th percentile!!! Fantastic for a kid who 6 months ago was barely in the 7th percent. Maybe all that Lily-butter that she eats really does have calories in it.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Soup for Santa

No photos today folks, you've got to use your imagination.

Last night as the girls and I were driving home from the grocery store (Yes, I again took my hungry children to the grocery store at 6pm. Will I never learn?) I asked Addie if she would like to leave cookies and milk out for Santa on Christmas Eve. I got a rather noncommittal answer from the back seat.

"Addie, do you think Santa would like cookies and milk (soy of course, I hear Santa is lactose intolerant) when he comes to our house?"

"No, he'd like water." Addie told me.

"Oh, so it should be water and cookies?"

"No. Water and soup and crackers. And toast." She was so confident about the way she said this. Perhaps Santa would like some soup to warm himself up with by the time he gets to our house.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

He's making a list, checkin' it twice, gonna find out who's naughty or nice
Santa Claus is coming to town!
And guess who is so excited she can barely sleep? We turned her crib into a daybed this weekend hoping that it would help Lily sleep in her own bed instead of the "BIG bed" guest bed in her room. It certainly has done the trick so far. Lily loves having her own little nest. She piles on all her animals and her turtle night light, then snuggles up in her blankets.

In case you were wondering where Lily gets the crazy grin from.

We had a little preview of Christmas this last weekend. Grandma and Grandpa came up to give the girls their presents early. Lily loved the artist smock she got, and all the great Play-Doh stuff to go with it.
Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 22, 2008

School Sing a Long

Addie's 4-K classroom had a sing-a-long last week. All the families were invited into the classroom. Since I was just there last week to help the kids make Monkey Bread, most of the kids remembered me. It was so fun to see all the kids in their Santa hats! It was also really nice to meet some of the other parents. I know 2 of them from different things, one was Addie's daycare teacher when she was a baby - and Addie was actually in her wedding! If we choose to go to the public school next year, Addie and this little boy will be in the same class. The other mom I know from work (I cannot remember where she works though), she asked if Addie could come over some day after school for a playdate. It would be her very first playdate without Mommy. Yikes!

The kids sang several songs for us and got to play their instruments. The instruments were definitely the bigger hit. The kids loved the shakers and jingle bells! So much so that they sometimes forgot to sing the words because they were too busy shaking.

Addie says, "Ms. Beth ROCKS!"

The best part of the program? Decorating cookies!! I couldn't believe how much sprinkles and M&M's went on these cookies. Addie decided she needed to make a cookie for herself, one for Daddy because he couldn't make it and one for Lily.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

In Defense of My Homeland

I'm sitting here pondering my next blog entry, wondering if shivering counts as an aerobic activity when I read the comments from my previous post.

Ouch, accused of switching my allegience to a crummy purple and gold bunch of degenerate whiners. Shall we discuss the Love Boat incident? Perhaps not on a blog about my children.

No, my children's coats have nothing to do with the allegiance towards any particular football team. It's really hard to find green coats for girls. Plus, my girly-girls would probably revolt at anything that is not pink or purple. Lily's coat is a hand-me-down from her cousin (one that Addie barely wore) and Addie's happened to be a good sale. I figured the purple wouldn't look as dirty as fast as a light pink would.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Oh the Weather Outside is Frightful....

What does any sane Northwoods family do when they're in the middle of a blizzard?
Bundle up the kids and go play outside of course!!

We got 9" of snow yesterday and winds up to 58 mph. Adam had to go outside to get a jump on the shoveling and snowblowing and the girls needed to blow off a little steam. We quickly found out that the snow pants that Lily used last year are much too short for her. Her other snow pants were at Oma's so she didn't last very long. I took her in to get some wool socks and legwarmers to pull over her snowpants to keep her lower legs warm. By the time we got outside again, Adam and Addie had walked over to our elderly neighbor's house to see how they were faring.
The girls went for a quick sled ride around the yard.

When Adam and Addie got back from visiting the neighbor's, they made a snow cave. Actually, I'm told that it is a snow "castle." They also made a little snowgirl to guard the castle. Addie had a great time playing with Daddy outside.

Unfortunately the temperature has dropped to the negative numbers, so we won't be able to play outside until the weather improves.

Friday, December 12, 2008

C is for Cookie...

"C is for Cookie, that's good enough to eat. Cookie Cookie Cookie starts with C. " I was a big Cookie Monster fan as a kid. As an adult, I've rarely met a cookie that I didn't like. My kids seem to be along the same lines, especially Lily. That girl has a sweet tooth that just won't quit! When it came to cookie baking last weekend at Grandma and Grandpa Dude's she wanted to be involved in all of it. As for Addie, she seems to be more of a Frosting kid.

We made 7 or 8 different types of cookies on Saturday. It was pretty much a marathon day for Auntie, Momma and Grandma. Addie and Lily got to be stirrers, rollers and decorators.

Lily loved decorating the Mint Chocolate Whoopie Pies. It was tough convincing both girls that they couldn't lick their fingers as they went though. Afterwards, I let them lick the butter knives as a treat. (Boy that makes me sound like a horrible mom, licking knives! Next my children will be sword swollowers!)

Cookie Making is hard work!! Let's take a nap.

A chocolate star photo out take.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

He knows if you've been naughty,
he knows if you've been nice.
He knows if you've been bad or good,
so be good for goodness sake.
Despite a lot of hyping, Lily has not bought into the "Santa is a good guy" spiel this year. Oma brought the girls to see Santa last week and Lily was terrified. She cried and reached for Oma. Addie did fantastic, telling Santa that she wanted a Cupcake Maker. (It's a good thing that Momma is on a first name basis with Santa because I'm putting the nix on that one).

Mom, Auntie Rene and I took the girls to a different Santa over the weekend and Lily did better with that. She had to psych herself up a little about the visit. "I not afraid. I a big girl." Although Lily really didn't want to touch Santa (her arm wouldn't even rest on his) she did tell him she wanted paint for Christmas. Addie's sticking to her guns and saying she wants a Cupcake Maker and Peek-a-boo Dolls.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Mother of the Year Award

Apparently I can kiss the Mother of the Year award goodbye. Yesterday Addie slept late (she stayed up too late the night before begging me for "one more story.") when I went into her room to wake her up and get her ready for school, she definitely was not ready to wake up. Adam had worked into the wee hours of the morning, so I needed to get both girls up, get them dressed and get them out the door to Oma's in time for Addie to catch the bus and me to get to work on time.

In the process of getting Addie dressed (imagine a 38 lb wet noodle getting dressed), Addie informed me that she was "going away."

"Oh really, where are you going to?"

"The mountains where I will stay and sleep outside," Addie replied. Apparently the realities of the mountains in December mean nothing to a 4 year old.

"And what will you eat?"

Without skipping a beat, Addie answered, "Oh, you'll bring me my lunch. And my supper."

So basically, I should go away but not too far away. Is this a harbinger of what will happen in 10 years when we go shopping together. "Mom, don't walk next to me, someone will think we're together."

Addie then proceeded to throw herself (fully dressed) onto the couch and cry until I picked her up and carried her to the car. Where Lily then decided that she too needed to cry.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008


Not a deer to be seen in the woods all weekend... but Sunday morning this doe showed up to eat the apples off our neighbor's tree. Hopefully Adam will have some luck this weekend in the woods.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Dear Santa,

Dear Santa,
I've been very good this year. I eat my vegetables and fruit (sometimes the meat, depending on how good it is) and only wander away from the table a few times during the course of a meal.
I've been very nice to my sister (despite what you might have heard). I give her hugs and kisses every time after I pull her hair. I also try very hard to share my toys.

I've been looking at the sales and I've decided what it is that I would like you to bring me for Christmas. It's a hard job to look through all the inserts in the Thanksgiving day paper to find just what you want. It takes preserverance and patience. Mommy says I have the first in spades but not so much the second.

I'd like THAT. It's a baby doll with a changing table, cradle and car seat. Please Santa, if you bring it for me I promise I will go to bed without much of a fight every night.

PS- Could you bring something for my big sister too?

Monday, November 24, 2008

Back At It

The Castle Garden

We went back to the Children's Museum this weekend. I should have known it was going to be a rocky day when Addie woke up cranky. However, there was a storyteller at the museum and I thought the girls would really like it. She was a great storyteller, very animated and fun to watch. Lily was enthralled! Addie on the other hand, got a little bored. She wanted to go find all of her friends. Unfortunately, despite the abundance of people under the age of 5 there, Addie didn't know anyone.

So we headed downstairs to check out the museum again. Things went OK in the castle. I did have to stop Addie from taking away a toy that a younger kid was playing with. I got "the Look" from a couple of other moms, so she obviously was being bossy in the kitchen. I probably deserved the look since I was sitting on one of the benches knitting while the girls were playing. It was a centrally located spot and I could see them at all times.

Lily crawling through the tunnel in the tree. See, she's not afraid!

The girls decided to go upstairs to check out the campsite. They had a great time there. Right up until Addie decided that she wanted to go back downstairs, "to look for her friends." Unfortunately because the Children's Museum was so busy, I didn't want the girls on 2 different levels where I couldn't watch both of them at the same time. Unfortunately, it was also lunch time and everyone in my house gets a little cranky when they're hungry. So

Lily practices being a Chicken Farmer.
She loves the chicken puppet at the museum.
Addie completely melted down when I told her that if she wasn't going to stay with Lily and I, then it was time to go home. I had to put her jacket on her while she kicked and screamed and threw the mother of all temper tantrums. It was lovely. It made me feel like I was the worst, meanest, most terrible Mommy in the whole world. But I still made them leave.
Once we got home and everyone was fed and naps were taken, the mood improved dramatically. It improved even more dramatically after the girls were in bed that night. I drank a beer and watched a movie that I would never be able to watch with the girls awake (Monguls) and knitted. Lots of knitting to soothe the Mommy spirit.

Friday, November 21, 2008

It's Here!

I feel like such a grown up! I bought my very first couch this week. It's our first piece of new furniture since we moved into our house and bought a bed 8 years ago.

It's just a nice simple couch. Nothing fancy. Not too flashy. I had to be in this particular furniture store several times over the last few weeks and each time I was drawn to this couch. When the price dropped, I knew it wouldn't last long. Probably the best, most empowering feeling is that I bought it with my own checking account.

It feels good to be an adult!

What I didn't realize when I bought it was how big it would look in our house! It dwarfs the other furniture. In fact, it downright crowds it out. I'm not sure how we're going to rearrange things, but it's clear that something will need to be done.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Be safe, have fun.

This weekend is the opener of Deer Hunting in Wisconsin. It's a state holiday at our house and in many houses near us. In the spirit of the season, I encourage you to read this article.

To anyone who is hunting,

Be Safe. Have Fun. And Bring Home a Big One.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Children's Museum

We finally made it to the local Children's Museum. Our friends have been telling us for a long time that we needed to go. Another friend was having their birthday party there, so we finally went. It was a huge hit with the girls. The main part of the museum is set up as a castle.

There were costumes to try on. (I swear I did not pose Addie like this, she did it all on her own. I have witnesses!)

There was a dragon to wake.
There were horses to shoe, meals to make in the medieval kitchen, and something that we called the Medieval Dance Dance Revolution.

There was a garden to plant and vegetables from. Lily's favorite part was the "Big Tree" - it was a spiral staircase and tunnel hidden within a big tree. She loved going into the tunnel. Every time she would come out saying, "I not scared. It not scary. The big tree not scary." The entire time she was holding a big chicken puppet like it was her lifeline.
Upstairs was a construction zone and a camp site complete with a miniature row boat to fish from. Addie and her friend Hanna disappeared for quite a while. When I found them, they were the only kids at the campsite, happily playing in the rowboat.

After cake and snacks, I took the girls to Cub Foods for groceries. I swear they ate half a bag of grapes (along with the free apple) and then tormented each other through half the store. Yes, my kids were the ones screaming at dinner time on Sunday night in Cub Foods. I hope you weren't there at the same time as us. The girls both fell asleep in the car on the way home and pretty much crashed on the couch afterwards.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Lights Out

We had a power outage this week. We had just gotten home from swimming when the power went out. The girls were unsure about whether or not this was a good thing. Adam thought it was great, he decided this was going to be the official start to Pioneer Night at our house.

(Pioneer Night is Adam's idea of how to save on electricity. We turn off all the appliances, lights and junk for one night a month. That night we use candles and cook out on the grill. We can play board games or read or tell stories, anything that doesn't take electricity.)
Addie, The Dramatic One, decided that she was afraid of the dark. She really didn't think too highly of Pioneer Night.

Gather 'round the candlefire girls and we'll tell you a story. In order to distract the girls, Adam started telling the girls about the Great Pumpkin that lives in the mountains. The story featured two girls (a big sister and a leedle sister) and their mommy and daddy. The family went up into the woods and set up camp on the edge of a pumpkin field. The Mommy made a delicious dinner of pumpkin soup, pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin pie. The girls then cuddle up in their sleeping bags and go to sleep. During the night, the Great Pumpkin comes to the family and shares his secrets for growing big pumpkins. He gives the girls seeds which they bring home and plant. The girls are then able to share pumpkins with everyone they know.

Lily is on the edge of her seat listening to the story.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Daddy Jobs

In our house, there are certain jobs that are "Daddy Jobs" and certain jobs that are "Mommy Jobs." Anything not specified is a shared responsibility and can be done by anyone in the household. Mommy is in charge of cooking, most any thing to do with the computer and is definitely the chief purchasing officer for the household. Daddy is in charge of fixing things and carving pumpkins.
It's not that I don't like carving pumpkins, it's just that it's not my favorite activity. I either try to do damage control (putting down newspapers, cleaning the pumpkin guts that get flung everywhere, cleaning off hands and faces, etc.) or I just try to get out of the way. Adam loves pumpkin carving.
Lily loves pumpkin carving. She likes separating out the guts from the pumpkin seeds. She was the best little seed picker I have ever seen. She wasn't fast, but she was accurate. There is such determination on her face!

Addie is very proud of her littlest pumpkin. This is one that was grown in our own garden (One of 4). Addie got to draw out her pumpkin face with magic marker this year for Daddy to carve. She also tried giving inspiration to me as I half-heartedly carved ears out using a carving tool. We tried to make a pretty sparkly pumpkin with jewels in it, but I was having trouble getting the jewels to stick.

Adam finished up with the girls that night, then came back for more the next morning. He carved a "fairy" pumpkin complete with flowers and one little fairy.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

What a Long Strange Week

Is the week over yet?

First, I had a sales crisis at work. I sold something, was told I couldn't sell that the way it was done and since the business didn't have the budget to do a larger number of inserts, lost the sale. Then I was told I could sell it that way after all. It's my largest sale at this company so far.

Then, the election. Will it have ramifications for Adam's job? Probably. Will it have ramifications for mine? Most definitely. I'm quietly freaking out.

I also modelled in my first ad this week. I was walking out of the office when 2 of our artists asked me to put on some ski clothes. I was in a suit at the time and I questioned whether they really wanted me to be wearing ski clothes with a button down shirt. "Oh, no problem. Everything will be cropped out except the featured clothes." So my disembodied legs and body are in an ad.

And now, I get a call from my Dad saying that someone at my alma mater wants to use an essay that I wrote in 1998 in an online publication. I have no idea what this essay was about other than it was a pedigogical essay. It's very weird. It's an essay that I wrote as part of a class to become a tutor in the tutoring center. I'm fairly certain that it was a benign essay, but I'd sure like to read it before I give my permission for them to publish it. I'll throw up a link if I decide to have it published.

Monday, November 03, 2008

On Halloween Night

When one Fairy meets

One Princess to go trick or treating,

There are two Trick or Treaters in the dark on Halloween night.

When two trick or treaters meet one tall Prince, there are three trick or treaters in the dark on Halloween night.

When three trick or treaters meet one Mummy, there are four trick or treaters with sugar rushes in the dark on Halloween night.

The girls came away with quite a haul of candy even though we only went to houses on our block. A good time was had by all.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Part Human, Part Fish

The itty bitty mini Volcano slide.

Addie has informed me that she is a mermaid. "I'm part human and part fish. I'm a mermaid." After spending several days in the Dells, I believe it! Adam and his parents took the girls down to Wisconsin Dells last Friday night. I joined them on Sunday after a fun scrapbooking weekend. When I got there the girls had spent a good part of every day at a waterpark with their cousins.

That didn't stop them from wanting more!

Addie near the Wave Pool

On Monday morning both girls woke up asking if they could go to the pool. We headed back over in the afternoon and the girls had a blast. They played on the mini slides, rode jet skis (pretend ones) that shot water out (Daddy makes the best target!!) and played in the wave pool.

The waterpark was huge. It had 4 big rooms, each with different themes and things to do. We didn't really go down any of the big slides, although Adam did take Addie down the (semi) Lazy River. Every so often we would have to let Lily dangle her toes in the family hot tub because her lips would start turning blue. The family hot tub is meant for children older than 6, but I figured just having Lily's feet in the water wouldn't raise her temperature too high.

Lily's Cold Face - "I Cold. Brrr...."

Everyone had a great time, but it's nice to be home.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Bad Momma, No Pictures

I am a bad Momma. I'm sure some day my children will be in therapy because of it. However, hopefully they will go to a therapist who is a mother herself. That therapist will say something to the effect of, "But aren't there some nice things your mother did for you?" My children will then tell about the time that their mother hosted a Halloween costume party for 9 children, 5 moms and 1 dad (2 dads if you count the dad that showed up late).

Even though there is no photographic evidence, we had a wild time last night at our house. All the usual suspects were there, Elmo (2 of them!), Snuffleufagus, Spiderman, The Little Mermaid (2 of them!), Snow White, and Mariposa were all there. There was also a cow that was missing her costume. The kids, as usual, all played great together. It was that happy fun chaos where the moms all chip in to watch everyone else's kids at the same time that they are catching up with each other's lives.

The only part I regret is that I didn't get a group photo that would someday be in the graduation slideshow.

Monday, October 20, 2008

You Know You're Tired When...

As an adult, there are days when I would give almost anything to nap. I feel like I live for my coffee in the morning. But when you're little it seems like you'll do anything to fight off sleep. Addie plays harder than ever when she's tired. She'll start running around, spinning circles and basically get all crazy. Lily on the other hand will lay down but will thrash and twist and turn trying to find the right spot. Then, her fingers find their way up to her eyes where she'll press on her eyes or pull the lids down. Anything to keep from falling asleep. Each girl has to have their special thing to snuggle with. Lily needs her "Ellfant" and "bott" while Addie needs Strawberry Shortcake (and sometimes her new Curious George puppy.) If they don't have their particular routine, bedtime is difficult.

When sleep comes, it comes hard and fast to these two.

How tired do you have to be to sleep with your head bent like that?

Friday, October 17, 2008

Into the Woods

We had a busy day on Sunday. We started off going to the Homeplace to work on a tree stand for Dad. Addie and Lily were interested in everything in the woods, including something I suspected at the time was poison ivy. When your child picks up a leaf and immediately says, "my fingers are itchy," you really start to get paranoid! The girls had a great time looking around in the woods though.

After the Homeplace, we went to Grandma and Grandpa Nelson's house for lunch. My Grandma is a fantastic cook and she out did herself on this one. Two of my great-aunts were also there, one was visiting from Colorado so it was great to see her. The girls were very entertaining, Addie told Louise and Dony all about school.

After lunch we headed to the spot where Adam always hunts to drop off apples for the deer. Despite it being after nap time and both girls being exhausted, they had to walk with us to check out the stands.

Lily insisted on climbing over that log all by herself! She told me, "I a big girl, I do it myself."