Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lake Walking

Another beautiful day (this time, all the way through!) today in Duluth. Time to get the kids to the Lakewalk!

We started at the Rose Garden. Dahlia thought the gazebo looked like the perfect place to perform. She loved to sing & dance in there. It reminds me of princesses so I can only imagine what she thought!

She loved running through the gardens. Loved smelling the roses.

We walked on the lakewalk down to the rock beach where Dahlia loves to throw rocks into the water. We had a snack there & dipped our hands in the lake. August slept through most of it. I'm considering moving his crib outside!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Getting out of the House

The long, cold dark is steadily approaching. While I appreciate the cozy nights, a fire in the fireplace, dark skies which make bedtime easier & thoughts of baking pumpkin, I do dread the cold cold coldness of it all. The isolation that comes with it. The LENGTH of winter.

So, after a bright beautiful morning, followed by dark ominous skies & pouring rain, followed by near 70 degrees & sunny, I decided I had to get out of the house. August was fussy (as per his norm) but he loves to be outside, so into the Baby Bjorn he went & off we went.

This is truly one of my favorite parts about where I live. It quite literally takes me two minutes (less?) to be here:

Monday, September 27, 2010

August - 5 Months Old!

August is 5 months old today. 5 months? What? Where has the time gone? I can tell you where it has not gone....with me sleeping - ha! but enough about that...

He is more & more fascinated by his sister every day. She entertains him all the time. And like Peder & Sarah's kids - Dahlia loves to have the audience! He has conquered rolling from his tummy to back, but has only gone the other way once or twice. He's a champ at tummy time & will actually lay on his tummy with his head up for long stretches (unlike Dahlia). He loves reaching for toys & chewing on everythinh. He enjoys his jumperoo for a while & is getting stronger & stronger every day. His smiles delight me.

He started eating rice cereal last month & loves it! He gobbles that stuff down. Last we started giving him some pears as well. He doesn't like those as much but we'll keep trying. The really bad thing lately is that he won't take a bottle from Steve (or anyone else) without freaking out so....I haven't had any breaks for a while. We're starting to give him a bottle every day just so he can get used to it! Mama needs a break!

I'm hoping that sleep is not too far away...

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Up the Shore

Steve & I always like to try to get up the shore around our anniversary. We often dream of a multi-night getaway from everything (kids, house, mice, house projects, etc) but those don't always happen. This year we drove up for the day & it was spectacular!

We hiked at Oberg Mountain which is a spur trail off the Superior Hiking Trail. It is just a few miles north of Tofte. 2.3 official miles (although my pedometer tracked us for just over 3 miles), it's a rocky & rough trail (in places) with dramatic views of Lake Superior & the surrounding forests. Maple, aspen, everygreen - they're all present & we hit it on the peak weekend. It was stunning. Simply stunning.

The trail was packed with others out enjoying the beautiful fall day & colors. In fact I'm not sure I've ever seen so many people on the trail. It makes me quite happy to see so many out enjoying the beauty of the North Shore. Dahlia & August were constant recipients of comments regarding their cuteness. I could not agree more.

After our hike we went down to the lake (per Dahlia's request) at Cascade State Park - the picnic area is on the lake side & requires a state park permit - which we have so why not? The rocks were large & flat - no rock beach here but the waves were wonderful & the rocks make for the best playground for Dahlia (although make Mama nervous nonetheless).

From there we headed back down Hwy 61 to Grand Superior Lodge - where we got married - to enjoy supper. I had a lovely chicken breast stuffed with apples, brie & craisins (yum) & Steve enjoyed the walleye. Dahlia of course scarfed down her chicken fingers. Those things are like crack for kids! The host asked us if we were staying there & we told him we were returning as we got married there & he gave us a free dessert! Score! We had the creme brulee flight - 3 different creme brulees (vanilla - the best, berry & orange-yuck). It was a lovely meal.

The kids were (mostly) great. A few small outbursts but they did remarkably well for such a long day. Bedtime was a little spazzy for one of our family members (ie: the toddler) but mostly it was okay. Whew!

It was a lovely glimpse of family days in our future. I cannot wait!

Friday, September 24, 2010

This is War

We have mice. Argh. I'm so annoyed. We have two totally useless cats. Aren't they supposed to take care of such issues? I've only seen one mouse (at at time) but I'm sure there're more than one. They haven't found the food yet (knock on wood) but I know they're in the kitchen and have SEEN it now on a couple of occasions (including WHILE I was standing in the kitchen about 10 minutes ago!! Argh!

I *used* to be opposed to setting traps, but this is it. I've had it. We've gotta get rid of these pests!!

The traps are coming out.

(and by coming out I mean we have to go buy some & set them...sounds like a good job for Steve, right?)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

4 years!

Happy Anniversary, my Sweet Stevie!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ruby's Pantry

On my first visit to the WIC office last month they let me know about a new program in Duluth called 'Ruby's Pantry. Its a food share program. You pay $15 and get over $100 in groceries. There are no income guidelines. Everyone is welcome. This was the 2nd time it was offered in Duluth. Last month they had 400 people. This month there were expecting between 700-800.

I decided to check it out.

The road in front of the church was backed waaaay up. I ended up parking quite a ways away & grabbed by empty 'Click-n-Go' stroller (they tell you to bring totes, laundry baskets, boxes, etc.

There was a huge line when I got there & I waited outside (it was chilly!) for probably an hour. It was interesting though to chat with the others in line & find out how they'd heard about it, etc.

Finally moved inside. Paid my $15 & waited. (This is why I have a book with me at all times...). It was probably another 45 minutes or so but I didn't mind.

Once your number (or range of numbers) is called, you head downstairs to get your food. It's in a big room where they have tables set up. You go through the line & take what they're offering (if you like).

I got: a 32oz bag of Trader Joe's Oat Bran, 5 bags (!) of oyster/soup crackers, a HUGE can of canned corn, 12 jars of Earth's Best pears baby food, some random small cartons of milk, half & half, heavy cream & OJ, a huge thing of Golden Plump chicken thighs (frozen) 3 loaves of take & bake French Bakery bread (garlic herb), a gallon sized bag of cooked (frozen) baby red potatoes, 8 ears of corn, a huge bag of yukon gold potatoes (you had the option of potatoes or a bag of onions) & a 25lb (!) bucket of hard boiled eggs. I think that was it.

It was interesting & probably worth it. I should've passed on the eggs because now I'm trying to get rid of 25lbs of eggs. I'll probably check it out again next month if the stars align & the children aren't screaming (as they were last night).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A more productive day...

Today we:

Built many castles, houses, dog houses, garages; had numerous birthday parties, slid down slides & ran in & out of the rain - all with Dahlia's little people - all by 8am.

Colored many a picture in the new Princess color book & the Dora color book.

Dug out lots of tiny pink newborn clothes that I am now going to put in the "giveaway" or "sell" pile in the basement. August is clearly a boy & I'm not going to get away with dressing him in purple cupcake onesies as much as I might like. It makes me a little bit sad....but it is time...*sniff*

Fed & pumped - numerous times.

Went for a walk to the playground. It's only 4 blocks down & 3 over but coming back UP the hill pushing the double stroller qualifies as my workout for today.

Ate lunch & executed a perfect "it's now nap time" "No, REST time, Mama" "Okay, rest time."

Read approximatelly 1 1/2 pages in my book.

Called the bank to inquire about a Fix Up Fund loan for NEW WINDOWS which we are in desperate need of (& we'd like to take advantage of that $1500 tax rebate offered in 2010)

Called Home Depot to inquire about custom fauxwood blinds for our kitchen. They beat Penneys killer price of $128 so now I'm thinking we'll go with Home Depot.

Started balancing my checkbook/paying bills (I'm stalling on that by updating my blog right now).


Two loads of laundry, one load of dishes & an empty dishwasher.

Scooped 3 litter boxes (yes, we have 3 - the vet recommended one per cat + one extra. It's loads of fun....)

I feel so much better when I get a *few* things done.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Freaking Out Thing

So last night I had plans with my friend Julie to go out for some wine & also to go to a preview of a play at the local Playhouse. Cheap date as Tuesdays are half price wine night & the play was free! Whohooo!

Because the last time I left August (for one hour to go to the grocery store) was a disaster because August wouldn't take formula, I pumped for a couple of days to make a stockpile for Tuesday night. I wouldn't let him down this time!

I met Julie around 6pm and by 6:45 my phone was ringing & I was receiving frantic texts about August freaking out. He started screaming around 6:07 (not that he was paying attention) & wouldn't stop. I was in the restaurant & couldn't hear so I didn't answer the phone but I knew how it would go.

Once outside I called Steve & heard the mayhem in the background. Part of me just wanted him to figure it out & handle it but the other part of me knows how stressful it is & how non-stop screaming can make you go crazy.

I rushed home (I wasn't too far from the house) & quickly nursed August til he calmed down. He WOULD NOT take a bottle for Steve. He would take a bottle from ME but not from Steve. Great. Steve had called his Mom to come over & she got there when I was there. He wouldn't take a bottle for her either.

Finally he was calm enough & I raced back to the theater (the show was great, by the way!!)...

When I got home Steve, his Mom & his brother were all at our house. August apparently cried & carried on for 90% of the night. Awesome. Apparently (!) we need to teach August that it's okay to be fed by someone else.

I feel bad. I mean, I feel bad that it was a stressful night last night. I feel bad that I missed out on my 'night off,' I feel bad that the nursing is going so well & it's screwing up any chance of me taking a break.

I guess I will continue to pump & we'll start having Steve fed August at least one bottle every evening so he gets used to it. I hope that works.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Sleeping Thing

Oh I feel like I'm back in the same place that I was 2 years ago! The no sleep thing. Ugh. I knew it was coming, I knew it would suck, and I was right!

Dahlia's doing great on sleeping & going to bed (for the most part). We have instituted the timer routine & that works quite well. We say - you have 5 minutes (or whatever) to brush teeth & get jammies on. Then I set the alarm clock on my phone. It goes off in 5 minutes & then we HAVE to move on to the next thing (reading a book). When the snooze goes off in another 7 or 8 minutes, we have to shut off the light...then we saw our prayers, sing some songs & by time it goes off again it's time for the crib. The whole process takes longer than I'd like but right now I'm just happy that there isn't a fight.

August, on the other hand, that kid just doesn't sleep. He 'cat naps' during the day. In the bouncy, stroller, car seat, high chair - but whenever I put him in his crib hoping for a longer nap, it's maybe 20 minutes maximum! At night time he falls asleep after I nurse him pretty good, but has lately been waking up every hour (either to eat or have his nuk replaced) until about 1 or 2am at which point I just cannot take it any more & I bring him in to sleep with me. Then I get pretty horrible, fragmented sleep for the rest of the night as I lay there & nurse him off & on & hope that he will SLEEP! And then he is WIDE WIDE WIDE awake at 6 or 7....and we start all over again. I'm grateful for when Dahlia sleeps until 7.

I know I'm whining about the inevitable but some days it's just so hard. Hard to have any patience. Hard to have any inspiration, any motivation, gumption, what have you. I fantasize about sleeping for ore than 4 hours in a row....I know it's there in the future, I just can't see it yet.

I keep telling Steve that sometime this fall I'm going to go away for the night. To a hotel. By myself. So I can watch cable, knit, read & sleep. But I don't even know when that can happen as August is still eating so often!

Ah well, a girl can dream even if she can't sleep.

Monday, September 06, 2010

Thursday, September 02, 2010

...and a new first

First day of PRESCHOOL! Since Dahlia is now 33 months (what?) she has 'graduated' from her daycare to the next step - Preschool. Hard to believe. I really like the Benedictine Program though so I'm glad she'll be continuing on. This is in a different location, but still pretty close to home. Some of her best buds are already there so that makes the transition easier.

She had her first day yesterday. She was unfazed when I said goodbye & she scampered off to join in storytime before breakfast. I, however, was once again teary. How can your heart stand it? Year after year of stages, accomplishments, growth? I think mine will burst because I could just keep her in my pocket forever. I know this is not how it works. *sigh*

She's only going one day a week for it's all that's in the budget (well, hopefully it's in the budget). I'd like her to go 2 days for a little more consistency but right now I'll take what I can get!

First & Last

Dahlia had her last day at her daycare on Tuesday. Her first "school."

I really loved that place. I had a great feeling from the first moment I looked at it. Of course there were tears when I started dropping her off there (mine, mostly) but over the 14 months that she went there, it was all a really good experience. I really liked the teachers, the special projects they did, the potty training - If there comes a time when August needs to go to a daycare, they'll be first on my list to call!