Sunday, November 27, 2016

Gobble, Gobble!

This has been a really good time off of work.  I checked in a few times on things at work, and while I know I'll be super busy when I get back into the swing of things tomorrow, I'm hoping that overall, things didn't crash and burn while I was out (I'm sure it was all fine!)  If I could find a way to earn a salary and not have to worry about working, that would be really super.  If only...

I had a LONG list of things on my to-do list for while I was out, and I managed to get through 98% of them.  Plus, the house is all decorated for Christmas, I only have 3 presents left to buy for Christmas, and my Christmas cards should be delivered in the next week so I can get those out the door to our family and friends.  I LOVE being so productive!

Having the time off of work meant that I was able to watch G's last soccer class for this session, and I was able to cheer him on while he played and received his certificate and medal.  I'm pretty sure there's nothing more cute than watching a bunch of preschoolers try to play soccer!

G was really excited when I showed up midday on Tuesday!

Looks like he's dancing with the ball...

He shoots, he scores!

We had a lovely holiday with Grandma Deb, Grandpa Whitey and Uncles Tim and Tom. We ate fabulous food, and had a drama-free day.  We are very thankful that we have such good family members nearby with whom we can celebrate the holidays!

Modeling her artwork from school

Yesterday, my parents came over and we decorated the inside/outside for Christmas.  Even G enjoyed putting his ornaments on the lowest branches of the tree.  I love this time of year...nothing better than sitting in front of the tree, with all of the lights off, watching the holiday magic weave it's way through the family.  Now I just need to get to wrapping the gifts!

That magic will be put on a slight hold this morning as G and I are going to tackle getting his hair cut. He promised me he wouldn't freak out during the haircut.  The fact that he acknowledges that he has not enjoyed it in the past makes me think we could be at a turning point for our salon visits...fingers crossed!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Avoiding Procrastination

Last Sunday, I knocked out a big part of the Christmas shopping for this season.  Feels good to get it done!  My mom and I went to the yuuuuuge Canterbury craft show, and enjoyed a fun mom-daughter afternoon.  I'm so glad my parents have moved here - I feel so fortunate that we have the chance to see them so frequently.  Had I never moved thousands of miles away from them after I graduated from high school, I don't think I'd have this profound appreciation for now having them close.  It just took 20+ years to get to this space!

We found this awesome toy bow & arrow set for G for Christmas...he will love it! (And so will Ava, and Scott, and me...!)

Intertwined with the good feelings of being productive (at home and at work), we had a little bit of a negative.  G has been fighting fevers for the last 2 months or so.  He'll have an elevated temp, and then it'll be gone within a few other symptoms.  Finally, we decided that enough is enough...time to take him to the dr to do some additional testing.  They were all ready to perform blood tests and urine tests (although that would have required to have him pee into a bag, and frankly, I can't imagine how this would work with a 3-year old) and then the nurse felt his neck and opted for one last test.  He had strep!  He's been on meds for a few days now and is back to his normal happy/whiny attitude, thank goodness!  We're supposed to watch him closely after the strep is 100% gone, and track any fevers past that point.  I hope that's all it was, but I can't imagine he could have had strep for 2 months and we didn't know?!?  Here's to hoping that's all it was, and there isn't anything more serious lurking below the surface.

Hoping for a Vikes win today!

I'm happy to report that I will finally be taking some time off of work...I haven't had any time off since mid-August, and I desperately need a few days to myself around the house.  G and Ava have school/daycare Mon-Wed next week, so I should be able to get quite a few things done around here.  Love being able to check things off my to-do list!

Yesterday we tackled a few such projects...we finally built the Halloween (yes, I know, it's way overdue) cookie house.  I figured it's more about the experience, and not about the specific holiday.  And while I thought I would be more control-freaky about how the house ended up looking, I realized that as long as I (ok, Scott had to help) got the house assembled, I am perfectly fine with Ava going nuts and decorating it however she sees fit!  She had fun, and that's what matters.  And, now I know that I will probably never buy a kit like this again.  I saw one where the house already came assembled, and all that was to be done was the decorating...I think we can swing that one!

She's holding the ghost she decorated...

Since I don't have much extra time to spare, and I still want to be able to volunteer for Ava's school, I signed up for "at home volunteering projects" and I received my first one on Friday.  I get to cut out approximately 20 snowflakes for a class project.  Let's just say that I am smart enough to know that I can't procrastinate on this one, and am about 1/3 of the way through.  As long as I tackle it a little bit each day, I'll make the Dec 1 deadline. For real, I can't mess this up! :)

Should be a great Sunday to spend with the family, watching the game, and taking it easy!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Five Days Since...

This has been a rough week.  Busy, of course, with work, friends, and family...but there's been an underlying sadness.  I cried myself to sleep on Tuesday night.

On Wednesday morning, I had to explain to my 8-year old daughter why 60.3 million Americans voted for a man who displays behavior that we have been working tirelessly at preventing in our schools.  The look on her face was one of fear and sadness.

I had to explain that out of the four of us in our house, that her father may be the only one who is not negatively impacted, as he is a straight, white, Christian male.  Ava and I?  Well, we're females, and our reproductive rights might fly right out the window.  G?  He's too young to know where he is going to land with everything...all I know at this point is that he's a white male.

This week, I've done a lot of reading, discussing, and thinking.  I don't generally get so heavily invested in politics, but this decision was too big to just shrug my shoulders at and then move on.  I need to find a way to come to terms with this.  These next four years should prove to be interesting.  I think change will come, but I don't think it's going to be what 60.3 million Americans signed up for.

Other than that madness, I've had some good times with the kids this weekend.  Scott was gone for a 2nd weekend of deer hunting (he got a doe yesterday - nice job!) and Ava was with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey for 24 hours, starting on Friday night.  That gave me and little G a  LOT of quality time together.  We caught up on a bunch of movies (Wreck It Ralph and both Planes movies), read some good books, and had a great time playing and cuddling together.  Ava got home last night, and our house went from being semi-quiet to being really, really loud.  I'm pretty sure she doesn't have an internal volume sensor.

This is from last weekend's Sunday breakfast at IHOP...good times!

My mom came over and helped me with a few things around the house/yard while G was napping yesterday, and this afternoon we're off to a really big craft fair in the west side of the cities.  Scott made it home safely a few minutes ago, so we're going to take the kids to the park so they can burn off some energy. It's a beautiful November day in's almost 50 degrees, sunny, and gorgeous blue skies. Need to enjoy it before the cold and dark days set in...

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Happy Halloween, Threenager!

What a super busy last 216 hours! If you recall, last weekend we had two Halloween parties (FUN and FUN!), two birthday dinners for G (YUMMY and AWESOME!), pumpkin decorating/carving, and also some leaf-diving.  That led into Halloween-day festivities, and then an evening full of Trick-or-Treating around the 'hood.  On Tuesday night, G had his three-year check up (all is well, and apparently he's on the short & fat side of things.  That's a first for either of our kids!  I'm sure he'll lengthen out soon...his weight is 50% percentile, so he's not really fat...) 

On Wednesday night, I went to Ava's school conference...she's doing fabulously!  Her reading level is already beyond where it needs to be at the END of 3rd grade.  She listens in class, focuses on her assignments, and plays very well with the other kids.  I specifically asked if she talks too much in class, and the answer was no, she's actually a bit reserved. Shocker!  Her teacher said that she is so delighted to have her in class.  We are so proud of Ava and how well she is doing in school!

Playing in the leaves

I think G shoved some leaves down her jacket...

In addition to carving, we decorated a few pumpkins.  Ava's is a pretty skeleton, while G's is a multi-eyed monster!


I went with a simple design for G's pumpkin, while Ava created a funny face.  Scott didn't think it was too fun to carve,!

My little firefighter and pretty panda had a great time begging for candy...

This is just Ava's pile...checked out the five full-sized items on the right. One of her friend's parents held back a big candybar, waiting for Ava to come to the door.  WOW!

Enjoying G's birthday dinner with both sets of grandparents and G's godmother, Emilie!

I can't believe he's THREE!!

Cupcake on a stick...why not?!

Ava was so sweet....she pulled $5 out of her piggy bank to give to G for her gift.  Here, she's reading the card to him, and then accepting his thankful squeeze.  LOVE...

G was very precise in opening his was like watching my Grandma...

Thursday night was a late work night for me, and then on Friday, I got a call (at the end of the day) that G had a fever, and he needed to be picked up.  He seemed a little off, but I never measured his temp above 99, so I'm not sure what was going on at daycare.  We took it easy on Friday night, and he ended up sleeping in until after 8am on Saturday.  I packed up the kids and took them to the clinic for their annual flu shot, but since G wasn't feeling 100%, I postponed getting his.  That was a good, as it took THREE adults to get Ava to calm down enough for hers.  She completely psyched herself out and had a panic attack in the office. I tried to explain to her how much worse it is to get the flu, but that common sense didn't sink in.  Oh well. In the end, she got it, but it wasn't pretty!

G had an overnight date on Saturday with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey, and he seemed up to it, so off he went with Grandma Deb at 10am.  They headed to a local craft show, while Ava and I took advantage of the early voting at our city hall.  It was neat to be able to explain the voting process to her, plus, now I don't need to worry about rushing through traffic to make my voice heard on Tuesday night.  Praying for the only positive outcome in this election!  Ava proudly wore the "I voted" sticker (and loudly told people who I voted for)...she then got into a verbal disagreement with a little boy whose parents clearly want the other candidate to win. It's never too early to teach my girl to stand up for herself!

After voting, Ava I checked out a park near city hall, and walked on a beautiful trail in the area. We were having fun enjoying the amazing and warm November sunshine, so it was easy to postpone getting started on our other tasks for the day.  Yesterday afternoon, I did manage to remove all of the summer flowers, and only have two hanging plants and mums left.  They're still blooming, so we might as well enjoy them for another week or so.  I can't believe it's Nov 6, and it's 63 and gorgeous outside!

Yesterday at 3pm, my friend Tina picked us up, and we headed into Wisconsin for a pre-holiday party at our friend's house.  Ava had a great time with the kids at the party, and Tina and I had fun catching up, enjoying the sunshine, eating great food, sitting by the bonfire, and meeting new friends. We didn't get home until 10:30pm, and Ava and I immediately went to bed.  I tried to watch SNL, but didn't even make it through one skit. Lucky was really confused with the time change this morning, but I still managed to sleep in for a bit.

Ava and I were supposed to join a neighbor and friends for a brunch this morning in North Minneapolis, but I decided to cancel and do a mom-daughter breakfast at IHOP instead.  I don't know if I've ever had breakfast out JUST with Ava, so it was a special treat.  We had a great time playing the menu games, and enjoying some delish pancakes.  After that, we decided to hit up a few stores, and I even managed to get a Christmas present purchased for Scott!  I swore Ava to secrecy...hopefully she'll keep her mouth shut. :)  We also bought a jacket for George, our elf, as a "welcome back" gift...he'll be back after Thanksgiving!

We're waiting for Scott to get home (no deer this weekend) so our little family can all be back together again.  Scott's picking up G on his way, and I can't wait to see both of my boys again.

I'm going to work a bit in the yard this afternoon, and catch up on a few things around the house.  It's been such a busy 9 days that I desperately need some down time!