Sunday, July 27, 2014

Not So Fishy

Ava started her twice weekly swimming lessons this past week, so the time has just flown by the last seven days.  When we walked into the lessons on Tuesday night, I wasn't really sure what to wasn't having 20 instructors, that's for sure!  I'm really impressed with how organized these swimming lessons are, especially with so many kids enrolled. 

Ava started out with a group of three other little girls.  Two of the girls proved that they could move on to the next level, so Ava and the other little girl were left with one instructor - pretty good for 45 minutes of swimming time!  Her instructor was very attentive, and even if she resisted doing something, he looked past any drama, and got her to do it anyway.  Hooray!  I'm not going to say she'll ever be a fish in the water, but as long as she learns the basics, then I'll be happy.

On Thursday night, Grandma Karen joined us, and after lessons we went to the Rosemount library and painted some tiles for the community mural.  Both nights were late nights for us, and we were all exhausted at the end of the day.

Friday night we met up with my parents and a group of neighbors at the Midsummer Faire carnival for Leprechaun Days.  The kids had so much fun with the rides, and then we totally pigged out on cheese curds, ice cream, corn dogs, etc.  The only bummer was that kids weren't allowed in the beer garden, so I didn't get to enjoy any adult beverages there, but that's ok.  We ended up heading up to Celts bar in Rosemount, and grabbed more food (WHAT?  How could be still be hungry?!) and I finally had a glass of wine.  G was SUCH a flirt - big smiles to the waitress and (lady) bartender, and he was chattering and squealing very loudly to them.  It was obvious he knew they were paying attention to him!

Riding the train with Sam, Charlie and Fletch

You would have thought this ride (the slowest ride EVER) was the best time in the world - they had a blast calling back and forth to each other!

Flirt alert!!

I've decided Ava's got friends that I don't know about...on Thursday night, as we were heading into swimming lessons, a little girl called out, "Hi Ava!" and we stopped to talk to her and her brother.  Ava wasn't able to tell us who she was, but this girl clearly knew her.  And then on Friday as we were walking to the carnival, a group of little boys called out to her from across the street...another big "Hi Ava!" with lots of waving and shouting.  Turns out our daycare provider was also there, and those were two of her boys.  Glad we were able to solve that mystery, at least!  When we saw them again at the rides, there was a big gathering around the stroller and G had a HUGE smile on his face...I'm thinking he likes being the center of attention, too!

Saturday was a pretty busy day with lots of stuff around the house, and then having my parents over for dinner.  We had invited some of our neighbors (Lisa and Pete) over to watch the fireworks for Leprechaun Days (you can see the show from our side of the street), and then the party quickly grew.  At one point, I counted 23 people in our driveway!  All were neighbors...+ my parents!  We had a bonfire, s'mores, other snacks, and a mission to finish a keg of cider!  We had to shift down a bit to our next door neighbor's driveway to see the fireworks show, and it didn't disappoint!  Even better was that we didn't have to fight traffic to leave any fireworks display - we just walked 20' home!  I think the last people left at 1:30am, so I think we're all going to be a bit tired today.  Except G...he was in bed at his normal time. :)

I'm dropping off G at Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey's house this morning, and then we're heading to see "Shrek: The Musical" at one of the high schools in the area.  It's one of Ava's birthday presents for the year, and should be a good way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

This has been a pretty great weekend - lots of fun, good food, and great times with new friends!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

There's No Place Like Home...

...unless you should be at work/daycare.  Little G was pretty sick this week.  As soon as I walked into the office on Monday, I got a call from our daycare provider that he was running a temp (and no, he wasn't warm when I had dropped him off!)  We tried to send him back to daycare on Wednesday, but at the end of the day, he developed another fever.  So...out of 5 days this week, he was at daycare for 1 day.  Which means that we were splitting our schedules the rest of the week, making sure that he was taken care of.

On the bright side, he is doing MUCH better now - when we took him to the doctor, they told us he had a virus, so there's nothing we could really do for him.  On Wed night, his fever went away, and he was back to his happy self on Thursday and Friday (and we didn't have daycare on Friday, but at least he wasn't cranky.)

Ava had her last baton twirling class this week, and she didn't show any interest in being in the parade this weekend, so we didn't pursue that with her.  She's going to start her swimming lessons this coming week, so our nights are going to be spent at a pool for the next several week. At least we don't have to get in the pool with her!

We've had a pretty good weekend so far...library (twice!), Leprechaun Days parade, playing at a new park, How to Train Your Dragon 2 movie with Ava (G spent the night at Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey's house), and today we're going to head to the zoo to meet up with Scott's sister and her kids, and later this afternoon, Ava has a bowling birthday party to head to.  And I made some really good progress on sorting out our office.  Feels really good to be productive - and busy!

One fun fact about the parade...when you sit near the beginning of the parade, it goes much faster, PLUS, everyone is eager to hand things out.  After all of the political groups went by (near the end), Jimmy Johns was next in line.  And they were throwing 3" sandwiches into the crowd!  I don't think I've ever moved that fast to get anything in a parade...and they threw one high enough up the hill that came right to me.  And it was goooood!

We gave Scott a "Craft Beer of the Month" club membership for his birthday earlier this month.  1st batch arrived last week!

Helping Grandpa Doug celebrate #65! Nice use of Ava's past birthday candles, right?

Full of smiles, and love for his puppy!

We sat right at the beginning of the Leprechaun Days parade...pretty good spot!

And then we enjoyed the view on our walk home from the parade.

It's hard to believe it's nearing the end of July.  The winter months seem to drag on, while the summer ones fly by.  At least we're doing what we can to make the most of these warm days!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

All About the Girl

Ava and I have had quite a bit of quality together time this week.  Baton twirling, extra hours at home on Wednesday morning (no daycare, unexpectedly), all day on Friday and Saturday, and then out both Friday and Saturday nights together.  She continues to impress me, and drive me crazy, all at the same time!

On Friday morning, I was recalling how Ava covered up G's ears when the smoke alarm went off for the first time this past fall.  I will never forget coming down the stairs, and catching sight of her, hunched over his swing, her little hands covering his tiny ears.  And she did it all without prompting - she was just worried that it was too loud for him and would scare him.  I reminded her of this, and let her know how special she is, and what a very good big sister she is to Garrett.  I told her we are very lucky to have her in our family, and that we love her so very much.  She looked at me, leaned over to give me a big hug and told me how much she loves me, and that she's so happy that I'm her momma.  It was incredibly sweet, and made my entire morning.  I've filed that away so I can reference it during one of her many exasperating times!

We were supposed to go to the zoo on Friday morning, but it rained a ton, so instead we went to Target.  Wheeee!  Almost the same, right?!  A trip down the toy aisle and a stop at the food court made for a fun adventure!  That night, she and I met up with my friend Emilie, and joined some of her family for pedis/baby shower.  Overall, she did pretty well - and then was rewarded with a trip to McDonalds, where the toy Gods were smiling down at her, and she managed to get two toys in her Happy Meal.  Lucky girl!  It was a late night, though, as we didn't get home until around 11pm.  And she slept hard, which was a good thing because...

...on Saturday, she had a birthday party at a trampoline park.  Lots and lots of jumping for hours, and there weren't any broken bones.  Hooray!  After that, you'd think she would have been a tired little girl, right?  Oh no, she managed to rally enough energy to then spend several hours last night at the neighbors (different neighbors than last week) for a bonfire and s'mores.  All of the kids had so much fun with the s'mores and then playing restaurant...lettuce soup was the special of the evening.  Bleh!  But, it was another late night - we probably got her to bed around 10:30 or so.  I was there much, much was a great night to sit outside by the fire.  Clear skies, and no breeze...just awesome after the downpours earlier in the day!

I just need to keep reminding myself that she's only 6, and I think I have really high expectations for her.  Sometimes, I need to relax a little and just let her be a kid.  The last several days with her have reminded me what a great little person she is!  Love that girl with all my heart!

Sunday, July 6, 2014


Happy Fourth of July!  What a great holiday weekend it has been.  We kicked off the weekend with a viewing (or two) of The Lego Movie - Ava already saw it in the theaters, but I really wanted to see it, too, so we rented it for the weekend, and have had "Everything is Awesome!" going through our heads for the last three days.

Scott had to work a little bit on the 4th, but in the evening we headed over to Eagan's carnival and fireworks display.  Ava's a big talker, but when it comes right down to it, she's not a fan of the carnival rides.  She chickened out on going down the big slide (a slide!), and practically had a nervous breakdown when we were riding the Dragon Manor (the smallest roller coaster ever.)  We found a few rides that she liked, and then quickly moved on to the food.  We had root beer floats, cotton candy, popcorn, beer, and then attempted to get cheese curds.  But, after we stood in line for 20 minutes and moved about three feet, I threw in the towel and gave up on cheese curds.  I figure there will be plenty of chances for cheese curds at Leprechaun Days (Rosemount) this month, as well as the State Fair next month.

Cotton candy fingers!

Wishing he had cotton candy fingers!

Ava's brave walk up to the "Fun Slide" - within 5 minutes, we were both walking down those same stairs...

The look on my face sums up my irritation over the failed slide attempt.  So, let's go ride some horses instead.

The dragons didn't go over too well, either.  This was PRE-ride smiles.  Tears and screaming quickly followed once the ride got started.

All good on the bumper cars!

See, bees aren't ALL bad!

After we gave out our last few ride tix, we headed back to the car and got set up for the fireworks show.  I was a little nervous about how G was going to do with his first fireworks, especially with it being so far past his bedtime.  We had him all tucked into his car seat, but around 9:45pm, he was starting to get a little grumpy, so we put him into his seat in the car, left the windows down, and within 10 minutes, he was passed out.  Even when the fireworks started, he opened his eyes briefly, and then went back to sleep.  The rest of us enjoyed the show, and this year's grand finale was really good!  Some years, it's only so-so, but this year was GREAT!  Of course, we packed up super fast and booked out of there as quickly as we could...but we still got caught in firework traffic.  It blows my mind how peoples' common sense evaporates when it comes to exiting a parking lot.  Crazy.

Perfect weather for a show!

On Saturday, I was busy around the house in the morning, took Ava swimming for a few hours in the afternoon, and then ended up going for a walk with a few neighbors around the neighborhood after dinner.  In the meantime, Scott worked incredibly hard and got the 2nd tier of our retaining wall finished.  We (lol, HE) just have a few things left to do, and that project will be done.  Even though the idea of sod is becoming more and more distant (thank you RAIN for making the fields too wet to cut any sod so far this year) at least we are doing what we can.  Next up will be the deck.

Last night, we met up with the neighbors for a bonfire-s'mores-fireworks gathering.  The weather was absolutely perfect, and the company was even better.  At one point, all of the guys disappeared, and we realized they were admiring Scott's handiwork with the retaining wall.  They were gone for quite a while, so I think there was some good male bonding happening.  I eventually found them all in our garage, sharing real-life ghost stories.  It ended up getting really creepy, so when I went to bed, I had way too many scary thoughts flitting through my mind.  Everyone ended up leaving around 2:30am, and our sweet little G (and the dogs!) even slept in this morning - we didn't get out of bed until almost 9am.  Unheard of in this house!

Ava's first sparkler

Turns out that "home" fireworks all pretty much look the same - they really only vary in color! :)

Our neighbors had given us homemade Bloody Mary mix, so we had a little Bloody Mary bar for breakfast this morning.  I'm pretty sure G, Scott, and the dogs are all napping right now...:)  Ava got some new toys this weekend, so she's holed up in her room playing.  So, this time is Dee-time. Woohoo!