Sunday, September 25, 2016

My Own "Man of Steel"

We've quickly settled back into a normal routine...work, school, homework, seeing friends and family, etc.  This week had some high moments though:  Ava and I went in for our annual eye exams, and she might need to get glasses.  She is SO excited about it...she already has her frames picked out.  I say "might" because the doctor wasn't emphatic about her needing them; he said they might help when she's reading, or looking at the boards in school.  So...we'll see.  Maybe I'll wait for a special where if both she and I can purchases new lenses, there's a price break. 

Also, I went it to get my hair cut on Tuesday night...usually I'm pretty neutral on what we do with it, but this time, I had a plan!  My amazing stylist and I had a chat about short hair, and how it would work for me.  My biggest concern is that I'll look like a boy with short hair.  We ended up doing a super short bob, and I love it!  When I walked in on Tuesday night after getting the haircut, G just looked at me, smiled, pointed, and said, "I like that."  So, if the two-year old gives his approval, it must be good!  Ava told me that I look just like Grandma Karen, which I am taking as a compliment!

Scott and I celebrated our 11th wedding anniversary last night....crazy!  I'm not sure where the time has gone!  The traditional gift for #11 is "steel"...that seems appropriate since Scott is very much like the "man of steel."  We went out for a nice dinner in Edina, and enjoyed some adult conversation (although the last 5 minutes of our drive back home consisted of determining if people try to sell boogers...so...not sure how adult that is!  The best part was Scott trying to voice search on his phone.  He received a lot of hits for the following things for sale:  motors, robots, Burker King, and buggies.  However, when I tried, I got the correct info, right away!  And yes, "boogers for sale" is a REAL - and gross - thing!)

The kids were fabulous (as usual when other people are watching them) for Grandma Karen and Grandpa Doug.  I'm always amazed to hear what perfect little children they are when we aren't around...

Scott picked up these lovely flowers for me...gorgeous!


He also picked up these beautiful chrysanthemums, which we can hopefully keep blooming for a while.


We were going to try to go to an apple orchard today as a family, but it's raining.  It's supposed to clear up by mid-morning, so we'll have to play it by ear.  I have a big site launch tomorrow (2nd one in less than two weeks), so I'm hoping my work-life balance can return to normal in the next week or so.  Just in time for the holiday chaos! :)

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Ren Fest 2016


Hunting season is right around the corner...'tis the time of year where the kids and I get to spend A LOT of quality time together!  Scott headed up north early Friday afternoon, so I needed to be home to meet Ava when she got off of the school bus that day (got to the house the same time she did!)  And I loved seeing little G's excitement when he realized that I was picking him up.  Plus, I had an extra benefit of missing all of the rush hour traffic, and then was able to shut down my work laptop at 5:30pm for a clean stop. 

We had a great dinner of buttered noodles on Friday night, followed up with a bath in the "big bathtub" (the tub in our bathroom.)  Once G started talking about pooping in the tub, Ava ordered him out, and bath time was officially over (note: he did NOT actually poop in the tub.)  We then enjoyed a kids movie on Netflix, and flavored up some popcorn with caramel, ranch, and buffalo spices (separately, of course!)  And everyone slept very, very well that night!

On the flip side, yesterday was quite possibly, the longest day, ever.  In the morning, we kept ourselves occupied around the house, and then around noon, picked up Grandma Karen to head to the Renaissance Festival.  I hadn't been there in years (as in, the last time I went, I wasn't even married yet) and when my co-worker offered to get us in for free, I decided to give it another shot.  At least I was smart enough to know that I couldn't do it on my own!  Overall, we did have a good time, but next time, I think I'd leave the little guy at home  Ava had a good time, and did really well paying attention and listening, but G was...well, a toddler.  There was some beautiful stained glass that I wanted to look at, but at that point, didn't have the energy, or the patience, to deal with a child who didn't really know what he wanted to do. Or, what was making him scream.  Or, if he wanted to sit in the stroller or not.  So, next time, 8 years and up, only!  Overall, it was a gorgeous day, and a fantastic way to spend some quality family time outside.

One highlight was when Grandma Karen and Ava took a potty break.  Ava said she didn't need to go, but I asked her to try anyway.  G and I sat down and enjoyed watching people while they were gone for 5 min.  Fast forward 20 min...and Ava said she needed to go (she didn't actually go the first time.)  Grandma Karen took Ava to the "privy" (again) and I explained to G where they were going.  He just looked at me and said "Again??"  Indeed, my little boy...again!  And we took that time to sit down and watch more people!


Entertaining ourselves during the first potty break




Ava had been asking to go the Culver's that just opened near home, so I decided that we needed a treat. Plus, I had been carrying around a Culver's gift card since before G was born, so it was nice to finally get that spent. After dinner, we needed some quiet time so we settled in to watch another movie.  The neighbors had planned an international food and hot tub party, and as much fun as it sounded, I just didn't have the energy left to leave the house.  I desperately needed some down time after being with people for 12 hours solid.  And, I'm pretty sure that I was sleeping before 10pm!  I do have to give my neighbors props though, when I let the dogs out at 4:45am (downside of them being used to Scott's early morning schedule during the week), the party was still going, as they were still in the hot tub.  I happily went back to bed. :)

The kids are being so good right now.  Ava told me she cleared her schedule to hang out with G all morning.  She was putting together a list of the things they are going to do.  #1 is officially complete (playing kitchen), but I don't think #2 is going so well (playing Barbies...G didn't seem overly interested in that.)  I think we are very blessed that they get along so well.  The five year gap has worked well for us, plus Ava is very maternal towards G, and cuts him a lot of slack.  LOVE those kids!

I had a very busy week at work, as one of my projects has officially launched, so I was able to breathe for about two seconds.  But, I have another one launching in a week, so will have another busy upcoming week.  And THEN, I hope I can go back to normal work hours.

Over the summer, the tree (up north) where Scott's deer stand is, was blown over by a storm. He went up this weekend, expecting the worst (completely ruined) but it sounds like that while the tree was blown over, there was minimal damage to the stand.  Awesome!  I think he was pretty happy about that.  It sounded like he was having a great time this weekend, hanging out with his best friend Dan, and his family.  But, we will all be very happy when he's back home!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

School is Cool

It's official, we have a 3rd grader!  Tuesday was Ava's first day back at school, and it was a good one.  Her teacher seems to be very organized, responsive, and great with the kids...perfect!  Even better, she no longer has snack time at school.  I know this seems like a small thing, but for the last three years I had to remember to pack a snack for school every single day...and some days, my memory failed me.  But, it's confirmed, snack is a thing of the past! (Welcome to the real world, sweetie...)

She still wants to be a baker...I need to find a kid's baking class for her!


I picked up a few sweet treats to celebrate the special day back. (If she was a professional baker, she could have made these instead!)


And some flowers for my girl


G starts soccer this week at daycare, so I'm super excited to hear how that goes.  Since it happens during the day, I won't be able to watch on a regular basis, but I do think that we can come to watch a few little "games" throughout the session. 

I worked a lot this past week, so I haven't been home as much as I normally would be...but this too shall pass.  I have a project launch on Tuesday, and then I should be able to scale back a bit (but not too much more - my next launch is in just two weeks!)  I'm already looking forward to October! 

We have so many fun things planned for the upcoming weekends with family, friends, and neighbors.  I tend to forget that back to school time also means that we're heading into the holiday season...and craziness!  Both kids already know what they want to be for Halloween, so now we need to get out and secure those costumes.  I bought some pumpkin decorating kits for both kids, so now we just need to wait for the pumpkins to be ready!

Side note: Ava is REALLY into Minecraft.  Now, when I think of Minecraft, I think of zombies and swords, and stuff like that.  BUT, my girly girl managed to turn it into something else...she proudly informed that she built a "take-and-go-buffet" where the villagers can get food. She's going to have quite the variety of food for them....potatoes, cooked "goodies", baked goods (cookies, cakes, etc.)  This, in addition to the bookstore that she had made previously.  I love it!  She doesn't see zombies too often, and she doesn't really seem to be concerned about it.  I think I should introduce her to the SIMs...she'd probably have a blast with that!  (She just informed me that's she's going home in Minecraft...she's had a long day.  LOL)  ((Even better...she just spawned some villagers, and told me that the kid villagers are annoying, and that she needs to get rid of them!)

This still makes me laugh...Grandma Karen helped G fix a Lego, but didn't realize she had put her head on upside down.  As G was walking away, he turned around, looked at us, and said, "It's upside down..." he might have looked a little confused, too.  We quickly corrected the situation, but not before having a good laugh about it!


We very rarely let the dogs into bed with us, but yesterday, Scott tucked Lucky under the covers.  She stayed there for at least half an hour, before mean ol' me moved her so I could make the bed.   She looked so comfy!


Today is supposed to be gorgeous...it's sunny, no clouds, with a light breeze.  I am looking forward to a wonderful day at home, with the family, and no set plans!  Happy Day!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

The Countdown

It's official...the summer is over. Ava completed her last week of Summer Power (this week, they went to the Crayola Experience at the MOA, and also took a boat ride down the Mississippi...awesome!) to celebrate their final week. She made a new friend that goes to another school, and she remembered to get her phone number.  I know that doesn't sounds like a big deal, but after worrying for years that she didn't have any good friends, I'm finally able to begin putting that concern to rest. (She does have many friends, I think I was just paranoid.)

We also dropped off her school supplies at the open house this past week. We were able to see her classroom, where she sits, and who the other kids are in her class. She was SO excited when she saw her friend/neighbor Cece is in the class with her. I think third grade is going to be a fantastic year!

G also had a change in teachers this past week...and with the change comes different organization in the classroom. My little guy finally has his own cubby! It sounds like a weird thing to be happy about, but we spent many months trying to force his tiny bag into a cubby that was stuffed with other things from another little kid. He's now flying solo this week, which makes me, his bag, and his blankie very happy.

We also did a fun homework project for him...a cute All About Me sheet. Did you know that his favorite color is red? Neither did I! (Maybe it's because I was holding the red crayon when I asked him the question, though...hm...)  He also enjoys mac and cheese (shock!) and throwing/catching/kicking balls. Wait, wait, wait...Scott made me reorder that one on the sheet. He told me that we shouldn't say that G likes kicking balls...lol.

We both had super busy weeks at work, but we managed to fit in getting our windows (exterior) washed, plus we got a new ISP on Friday...I love our new service! The tech needs to come back to adjust a few things, and then we're set! We have finally been able to enjoy streaming video on our TV this weekend without any buffering issues. Awesome!

Last night, we headed out to Smashburger for dinner and then came back for a quiet bonfire. A few neighbors stopped over for a bit, and the kids got totally hopped up on s'mores. Once we had our fill of their shenanigans, we decided it was time for them (the kids) to head to bed. And then Scott and I enjoyed some peace and quiet on a lovely fall evening. We had fun picking out constellations and debating if we were seeing satellites or planes flying high in the sky.

I told Scott we were definitely not going to be thirsty this weekend (this is the full size fridge in the garage!)


The perfect fire for making s'mores with the kiddos


Scott's smoking some meat all day long today, and we're going to enjoy a nice family dinner this evening. Right now, G and I are snuggling in bed, watching some Lalaloopsy.  Seems like a great way to start a lovely Sunday!