Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Wormy Returns!

The family that lives in the Big Blue House on the Shores of Lake Superior were stunned on Sunday to find that Wormy had returned. Wormy had enjoyed a long absense from the Big Blue House. However, while gardening, the oldest family member along with the two youngest members found Wormy once again.

"Wormy has changed slightly in the time that he has been away", stated Momma. "Wormy used to be slightly metallic and live on my wrist when he was not being played with. I suspect that this Wormy is an impostor."

However, one of the younger family members insisted that this was in fact, Wormy. Wormy was enjoying a siesta under a garden ornament when he was rudely taken from the soil in which he lives. The young family member was quite gentle with Wormy and insisted upon carrying him every where he went. A quick picture was taken to commemorate the occasion. Plans were made to celebrate all future holidays with Wormy. There was also talk about making a special place for Wormy in the house. The family then decided to put him in a bucket "all his own."

In a surprise move, one family member dumped the bucket into the sandbox where the 2 young members quickly decided to make Wormy safe by piling sand on top of him. A rescue mission was later undertaken by the same 2 alleged troublemakers, however Wormy was not found. Any leads may be sent to the Big Blue House Investigation Unit.

In other news today, a mural was drawn on the sidewalk depicting the life and times of the Big Blue House on the Shores of Lake Superior.
From top to bottom you will see an airplane, the moon, the sun, birds, two princesses (one big sister one little sister princess), a city, a subway complete with 2 princesses riding, a river with 2 princess mermaids and their much smaller parent mermaids. Plans to save the mural forever were crushed Tuesday night during a thunderstorm. No plans have been made for reconstruction.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Playing at the Park

"Daddy, I will be the lifeguard for Lily."

Adam took the girls to the park on Sunday while I went back to Target for the 2nd time looking for a slipcover to fit a loveseat. It's a long long story that involves 2 trips to Walmart, 2 trips to Target (soon to include another), one trip to a furniture store, and lots of me lying on the living room floor trying not to cry about a sofa. All trips were a complete waste of time. However, I did get to go alone which was a huge highlight of my weekend. Doing anything alone these days is somewhat of a treat.

For all of you who commented, don't worry, I'm not going to loose it. I love my family. I just want a little alone time once in awhile. When you cannot go to the bathroom by yourself, shower by yourself or just have a moment of quiet, you start to get a little frustrated. I realized this weekend that somehow my children have figured out that if they increase the decibels enough, Mommy does what they want. I'm not talking about crying or whining, I'm talking about one child (say the oldest) saying over and over again, "Mommy get me a drink, Mommy get me a drink, Mommy get me a drink." In walks the second child who then says, "I have chocolate candy? I have chocolate candy? I have chocolate candy?" Then the phone rings and everyone just starts demanding in a louder voice. You either give in or your voice rises just to be heard. Just typing the scenario makes my blood pressure rise! Forget water boarding, put prisoners of war in a room with a 2 year old and a almost 4 year old. They'll tell you anything you want to know in 5 minutes flat.

Someone please explain to me why the child who has the milk allergy is the one to most crave chocolate? By the way, she goes down this big slide all by herself. :)


Addie loves her new haircut. She even let me put barrettes into it yesterday without screaming. Addie still thinks it's going to hurt when we brush her hair though so we've got that battle to contend with everyday. I'm hoping that we can convince her to comb her own hair to show that it doesn't hurt when you're not running across the room away from Mommy.

Friday, July 18, 2008

I'm Having One of Those Days...

Where I'm having trouble thinking rationally about my family. It's mostly a lack of sleep on my part (and the kids) combined with a really frustrating last 2 weeks.

Lily has been extremely stubborn lately. She wants to do everything herself and more importantly she is bound and determined to be a "big girl." This means she wants to buckle herself into her carseat (even though it takes forever and a day), she wants to get herself dressed (and have executive decisions over what matches and what does not), she wants to wear big girl underwear at all times (even though she doesn't stay dry at naps or overnight), and she wants to eat candy at all hours of the day and night. When something doesn't happen as she wants, she screams, hits and throws a holy fit. On the upside, Lily is almost completely potty trained during the day!!! This just makes her more stubborn about wearing underwear to bed though. There have been several nights in the last couple of weeks that Adam and I have just put her to bed and let her cry it out instead of doing our normal routine. Every time we do this I check on her before going to be myself. Every time she has been buck necked in her crib with all the blankets (and jammies) thrown out onto the floor. We get her dressed and put her back in bed and she sleeps through the night.

While Lily has worn me down, Addie has put what could be the final nail in the coffin for me. She has been throwing outrageous fits about getting her hair brushed. I finally lost it this week when Addie spit on me during one of her temper tantrums. After swim lessons on Tuesday I took her to a salon and had her hair cut. They took off somewhere around 10 inches - enough to donate to Locks of Love. Addie feels very good that she gave her hair to a sick little girl that needed it. We've been making a big deal out of how cute her hair looks and how now it doesn't hurt to have it brushed.

Well, this morning it started all over again. Addie (after having gone to bed late, woken up once in the night and being up early) had her emotions very close to the surface today. Everything that could be wrong was. I didn't put her Barbie movie in fast enough. I didn't get her after breakfast snack fast enough. I bought Lily new princess underwear and not Addie. I wanted to wash her hair when she got into the shower. I wanted to brush her hair. Daddy wasn't there to brush her hair. I even tried to get her to brush her own hair, nothing worked. I finally had to hold her down and run the brush through her hair. I feel like a horrible Momma. I know I'm doing the right things and holding firm on what needs to be done, but I feel horrible that I am loosing my temper.

I need a Momma Vacation. A nice little flight to Los Cabos (video link). Lots of sun, surf, quiet and some yummy margaritas. Make that a lot of margaritas. Anyone with me? Or maybe a trip to the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.

**Edited to add: I went for a brisk walk to the Y after dinner tonight, biked for 20 minutes then joined the family in the swimming pool. I am feeling much better, but my idea of a Momma Vacation still stands. Especially if there is a Sugar Daddy out there willing to finance the trip.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Rock Hounds

I know everyone is waiting for the latest pictures of Addie's new haircut, but that will have to wait. I need to blog the weekend photos first.

Grandma and Grandpa Dude came up for the weekend. Grandma hadn't seen the girls since May, so she really missed them. Our plan was to go to the Taste of Greece in Duluth. I was a little worried about the food situation there, but I talked to the priest and a parishioner about it. They assured me that as long as we stayed away from the sauces, feta and the pastries, we would be fine. We got there after a late breakfast on Sunday, hoping that the bazaar part of it would be large enough that we would work up an appetite looking at all the goodies. Unfortunately there wasn't much shopping to be had. There was some dancing though - traditional Greek dances. Addie even got to join in at the very end. She was very excited!

We decided we needed a little exercise, so we took the girls down to the Lakewalk. The girls loved all of the rocks. I didn't realize what little rock hounds we have. The searched for the biggest, bestest rocks they could find. Addie happened to be carrying her little pink purse, so that got filled to the brim with rocks. My pockets and Mom's pockets were also filled with rocks.

Lily mostly just went for quantity over quality. She would pick up handfuls of rocks and sand and just drop them in my hand. She was a little miffed that the sand kept slipping through my fingers. I was very excited that while we were sitting letting the girls sift through the rocks, I found an agate. It's no where near as big as the ones on the link, but very pretty. I always look for agates whenever we're at the lake, but I've never found one as pretty as this. Generally the ones I find are tiny and dull. This one is about the size of a nickel.

By the end, the girls were pretty wiped out. It was nap time and they were hungry. I ended up carrying them for a little bit. We had to keep calling to Addie to catch up. Finally I had her chase one of the horse drawn carriages to ask them where the glass slipper ball was. :) That got her moving! She was pretty disappointed that the people in the carriage didn't know where the ball was. She drowned her disappointment in Old Chicago wings and pizza though!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My Apologies to Ranger Rick

Ranger Rick pointed out that we were missing a few of the scenic shots on the last post. I try not to anger Blogger by adding too many photos per post, but I'll also try to keep my audience (all 3 of you) happy. Here's a photo "down river" of the falls. This is from the scenic overlook. I believe you can see the lake (created by the dam) at the very top of the photo.

The Falls. I was told that every few years or so, someone decides to try "shooting the falls." Invariably they end up with a helicopter ride to St. Paul for emergency medical treatment. It does seem like it would be a fun attempt, but the falls are much steeper than they appear here.
This is a photo of the steps leading up to the scenic overlook. This is the middle section only. Have I mentioned it was a lot of steps? Because it was A LOT of steps. :)

Lily enjoyed some special Daddy time while Addie napped and Momma knitted. Lily apparently wasn't too interested in anything in the Nature Center other than the toys they keep there.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Calves Are Killing Me

The Start of Our Journey - Walking Back from the Dam

It's not so much the speed of the hike (we were walking at preschooler speed), nor was it the length (not really all that far) , rather it was the grade of the hike and the heat that was a killer. We decided to take the girls to Willow River State Park (that link has a fantastic view of the falls) last weekend. This is the park that Adam was a Park Ranger at while we were first dating. He showed me around the park a little and told a few stories. We checked out the dam and walked on top of it (big hit with the girls).

Then we decided to make the trek down to the falls and to a scenic overlook above the falls. I knew when we were headed down the very steep hill that we would be in trouble on the way back. However, Adam assured me it wasn't very far. The girls did great, they both walked the entire way down. Lily and I even saw a doe hiding in the woods. I was really impressed that Lily could see it and by how quiet she was while watching the deer.

We crossed the bridge overlooking the falls and came to a very very large staircase. Someone told Adam that there could be as many as 250 steps to the top. Addie climbed them all by herself and Lily climbed most of them (I carried her for the last 3 landings).

The view from the top was amazing! You could see the falls in one direction and the river in the other. Beautiful!! The girls had a little snack at the deck at the top and Adam and I took a minute to catch our breath.

Then we headed back down the stairs (each carrying one child) and across the bridge. Addie decided she wanted to walk all the way back, however she kept stopping to scratch A's in the dirt or wander off the path. It was pretty clear that she was exhausted and just couldn't keep going at any pace. So Adam picked her up and I picked up Lily. We were off up the hill.

This picture really doesn't do justice to the grade of the hill since it was at the very end. However, by the time we made it back to the car, we were both dragging. We drove the girls back to Stillwater and put them to bed. 3 hours later we opened the bedroom door to encourage them to wake up! I think we wiped them out! It was a fantastic way to spend the day and we really should do this more often.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

The Kid is a Fish

I swear Addie is part fish! This is the 3rd week of swimming lessons. On Tuesday her friend Eric's mom picked Addie up and took her to swimming lessons so I didn't have to stand around explaining to Lily for 45 minutes why she couldn't wade into the water. When Lily and I got to the Y to join Addie for the Open Swim portion of the night, the lifeguard who taught Eric and Addie's class was talking to Eric's mom.

I thought for sure that the kids had gotten into trouble. It's pretty common that Addie will talk to the lifeguard (she invited them all to her birthday party in August!!), she'll splash Eric, she'll ruffle his hair, she'll poke at him and giggle... I guess they had to be separated for a bit. Instead, the lifeguard said that Addie and Eric are doing such a good job that they didn't need as many layers on their swim belt. Plus, neither child should be in the Skippers class the next time around - we should go ahead and enroll her in the Advanced Skippers. Seriously? This kid has had 5 lessons and you're telling me she needs to go to the next level up? At this rate she's going to beat her Daddy in being the youngest councilor on the beach at Tomahawk!

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Splish Splash!

The girls woke up from their nap on Sunday to a hot sunny afternoon. We filled up the pool with shockingly cold (I swear it comes right from the bottom of Lake Superior) water. The girls had a blast!

Adam would pretend to throw a beanbag into the water (don't know why!) and the girls would slide down the slide to catch it.

There was much splashing of Daddy! Adam worked hard all day helping me with laying down pavers (so our back porch looks much nicer) and he mowed the grass earlier - he deserved a break! He was out there "supervising" the pool while I made dinner for everyone. Now after hearing about this story, we don't dare let the girls play outside in the pool alone. I've always been paranoid about pools with kids, but this makes me even more so.

Lily turned blue from the super cold water!