Sunday, July 19, 2015

Closer, But Not Really

Last weekend, we went out of town to visit our good friends, the Winfields, who used to live south of the cities.  Recently, they moved west of the cities, and even though the mileage is shorter, we have to drive through many small towns, which means the speed limit is constantly changing.  So, while they're physically closer, it still takes us over an hour to get there.  Maybe one of these days we'll be able to start up our Wednesday night dinners again with them! :)

Regardless of the distance, we always have a great time when we're with them...and the kids got along pretty well.  The only time they kids started fighting was when it was late, and Ava and Isabel couldn't agree on where to put their feet in the bed they were sharing.  Easy to resolve!  We noticed both Ava and Isabel are getting to that sassy stage where there's a lot more attitude and exclusivity.  We had to remind them to include the younger kids while they were playing, not to exclude the boys, etc...

But, really it was a blast!  Even better is that our other friends, the Nelsons, showed up (they live maybe 20 min away from Darren and Tiff now), so it was a full house, with lots of catching up to do.  Even G did pretty well...he tried to keep up with the older kids, but honestly, as long as he had some type of ball to play with, he was a happy camper.  Over the last week, he's learned the fast trick to sliding down the stairs to get to the bottom - I blame the older kids for teaching him that! ;)

On our way!

They have an amazing view from their deck...their property is over an acre, and if you look closely, you can see the lake poking through the trees to the right of the light colored house.  And there is such beautiful landscaping at their new house...they found and purchased a winner with this property!!

Ava and Evy burning off some energy


G and I started a "Toddler and Me" class two weeks ago, so this past Wednesday was our 2nd night.  He has done pretty well each time (no biting, decent sharing, limited crying) but as soon as 7pm comes around, he hits his wall.  He's fascinated by the kid-sized sink they have in the room (takes place at an awesome new facility: Dakota Valley Learning Center) and it's hard to pry him away.  The teachers finally told me that we could leave around 7 if he was just done for the night...but we stuck it out.  I just had to distract him from the sink!

I'm having a good time watching the other kids, seeing where G is at in his development, and learning what we can do to encourage his learning.  You'd think this is old hat for us, but since we're not experiencing the "first time newness", it allows us to focus on what we can do differently than what we did with Ava.  The biggest thing that I'm trying to do is not say NO as much, but try to direct or offer an alternative.  He still doesn't like it, but it's not as negative. 

On Friday, Ava, G and I headed over to our old neighbor's new house (still in Rosemount) to have a, but total chaos!  12 kids and 4!  The house is beautiful, and it was good to catch up with this group of friends.  Once we got home, though, it was time for a break...G went down for a nap, Ava went to her room to play for a bit, and I hung out on the deck with a new cooking magazine.  Totally relaxing, and a great way to spend a Friday off of work.

Did I mention we also ate breakfast out on the deck that morning?

Friday night we had severe storms, and we're debating bringing down another tree in the's a 30' cottonwood, and you can move the whole tree at the base.  The ground opened up about an inch, and it's leaning at a 40 degree angle into the neighbor's yard.  We think the next big windstorm will bring the whole thing down.  Our neighbor's boulevard tree snapped in half, but it was a sick tree, so not surprising it didn't make it. We didn't lose power, like many people in the cities, so I'm thankful for that.

And then there was Saturday.  The busiest day of the summer, so far.  5 birthday parties, 1 Norwex party, and 1 evening out with neighbors.  Ava skipped two of the birthday parties, and went to the one for her classmate.  When I dropped her off for the party (at a Lifetime) I had G with me.  The area was right next to the gym, where kids were playing basketball.  G had a meltdown when he realized we were leaving and he wasn't getting to play b-ball with the older kids. He threw a little ball at me while I was shutting his car door, he was so mad!  Hello Terrible Twos - you're a bit early! 

We have a round, metal decoration on our wall in the hallway, and it must look like a basketball hoop to G.  Yesterday, he kept trying to throw a ball up at it, like he was trying to make a basket.  Guess what we're going to buy for him...the Little Tykes basketball hoop setup.  He's going to love it!

Anyway, Ava had a great time at the party, I had a good time ordering Norwex (if I only had more time to clean...) and then the kids stayed with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey, and Scott and I headed out for dinner with the neighbors and their friends.  We enjoyed good drinks, food, and company at I Nonni (Italian) just south of St Paul.  By a crazy twist of fate, we ended up having a private dinner in their wine cellar, which was a unique (and fun) experience.  It was great to get out, adults only, and meet new people...the conversation flowed well, and I couldn't have asked for a better way to spend the evening.  We were both so tired that we opted to come home, instead of going to the comedy club with the group, or go to another bar for drinks.  Good choice, as we were both sleeping by 10:30!

Enjoying an Amalfitini!

Saturday was also Grandpa Doug's birthday, so we're wishing him a happy start to his new year!!!  We managed to get in a quick chat to see how he was going to spend his special day.  All I know is that it involved eating an egg. :)

Today will be another busy day, getting ready for the week ahead.  But, for now, it's been a peaceful morning...just me, my coffee, and the laptop.  Scott's already out working on a truck, the dogs are snoozing, and the only outside noise is the neighbor working on his fence.  Works for me!

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