Thursday, March 31, 2011

August at 11 Months


WHAT? 11 Months?

I know I sound incredulous every month, but this is getting ridiculous! In less than one month he will be a year old! What's happening to my baby?? Oh he's growing up so fast.
He continues to be the family clown & has recently taking to knocking himself on the head with his fist because he thinks it's hilarious & he looks at us expectantly hoping for a great reaction. We're trying to discourage it, but it is pretty darn cute & funny. He loves to do his little 'chair dance' where he bobs up in down in his high chair, stroller, etc...and he gets great reactions from it! Last week he had the schedulers at my doctor's appointment in stitches. He ate it up. Quite a ham this one.

He still loves playing with the cat toys & kitchen utensils but he also loves to play with whatever Dahlia currently has in her hands. That leads to much screeching (on both of their parts). He's started to enjoy books more - especially books with photos of babies & animals (particularly dogs!). He laughs & points. Very cute.

He IS pointing now (almost constantly) & he 'sort of' signs "more." He's waving, a bit wildly but still, for 'bye bye' & continues to mutter all sorts of mamas, dadas, "dahlias," growls, groans, shrieks, funny breathing sounds, etc. Whatever gets a laugh.
He is probably only an inch away from walking (although, with my kids' history - ie: dahlia walking at 19 months...) it is likely it still won't happen for a while. He is very close to standing on his own, started cruising around furniture & started climbing our stairs! Ay yi yi. Let's just say the gate is now up. I think this one may be a climber....
He still loves going on hikes with his Daddy in the Baby Bjorn but is more often in the backpack these days. On Tuesday Steve had both munchkins in the trailer for a short bike ride around the block. He wasn't totally sold on the idea...but we'll get there. His favorite thing outside is BIRDS. He is fascinated by them.

He continues to be a great eater, often out-eating his sister. He likes just about everything, although not crazy about green veggies. He TOTALLY loves the bath & splashes so much that I usually have to wipe down the entire bathroom. He annoys Dahlia to shrieks (so much shrieking!) with all his splashing when they're in the tub together.

He is such a fun, funny, happy, snuggly, cuddly boy. If only I could get him to sleep longer at night, I would be an over-the-moon happy Mama. I am so excited to see him & Dahlia running around this summer. They're going to have a blast!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Minnesota (N)ice


Greetings from springtime in Duluth.
A short walk on the Lakewalk after brunch yesterday yielded some pretty awesome sights of nature's ice sculptures. The blizzard force winds last week (no snow) made Lake Superior wild with giant waves. The shoreline & trees at the head of the lake took the brunt of it and left us with quite a spectacle.



There were some cute babies out there too...

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sleep

I'm more than ready for August to start sleeping through the night again. It's been a while & I'm never going to get better if I'm up every few hours to deal with a sleepless baby. *sigh*

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The Storm That Wasn't

Well, a lot of hype up in these parts for a storm that (once again) didn't hit us. If I sound dissappointed by this, I am...a little bit. Sure it's nice to not have to deal with yucky snow & ice...but I was longing for so much snow & blizzardy conditions (with everyone safe, naturally) that the whole city would shut down for a day or two and we'd have to stay home with our families, watch movies & make pizzas & play games. Instead the winds were so strong off the big lake, they kept the snow to our south & west.

But since there was no storm there was still pre-school today; Steve didn't have to burn a vacation day; I got to get some things down around the house & take a nap (yay!) & there is absolutely no shoveling or ice melting to do.

All in all, I'm so ready for spring!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Date Night!


Last Saturday, Steve & I went on a date. It's been a while (not counting our jaunt up the North Shore, of course).

Our babysitter, Iris, came over around 4:30- we had about 1/2 hour for the 'transition' & to finish getting ready...which I think was about right. The kids get along with her really well so it was no problem.

First we went out for dinner to Thai Krathong. We've had a gift certificate to there from my birthday in August so that helped the budget. Neither of us was TOTALLY in the mood for Thai & our service was kind of crappy, but it was still nice to eat an uninterrupted meal.

After that we headed to see a production of HAMLET. I had many many friends in this show & it was closing weekend. I'm glad I was able to make it. I had comps from Jason so that made it fit in our budget as well! It was pretty good although LOOOOOONG & a bit boring in spots. Overall I think it was done pretty well. My friends did a good job!

One of the coolest things about it was that it was held at the Masonic Auditorium. I'd never been in there before & it is pretty darn cool! We sat in the balcony & it was filled with these Egyptian paintings. Makes me wonder more & more about the secret society. The ceiling was very high & criss-crossed with oak beams. So beautiful. It was a little short on leg room up there (and I'm short!) but it was still pretty cool.

After the play we headed to Sir Ben's for a couple of beers. We met up with Steve's brother & spent some time just hanging out. It was so fun to BE OUT!! It wasn't a fancy night but I felt so good to socialize & be outside of our house. Most of the time I am so very content to be a homebody...but this was just right!

Paying for a babysitter for 7+ hours though - ay yi yi.....

Friday, March 18, 2011

St. Patrick's Day Feast!



Although our little family is only a smidge Irish (well, apparently Steve's Mom is 1/2 Irish so he'd be a quarter? Is that how it works? Dalhia & August would be an 1/8? + whatever is on my side...?) Anyway...we love to celebrate St. Patrick's Day.


The menu was corned beef & cabbage (of course), potatoes, carrots & Irish soda bread...the bread was "authentic" alright & a bit tough but it tasted pretty good. Maybe I'll get better at making it next year.

Dahlia & I made some decorations & hung up some of her artwork from school. She loved decorating the Shamrocks.

We listened to the Celtic Traditional Pandora station & feasted with Steve's Mom Carolyn & Roger. The kids were *mostly* good & it was a fun evening. I even made some green spritz shamrock cookies.

Oh and there was Bailey's (or 'Merry's' rather) for dessert. Yum!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Big Talker

Ugh-I have so many grand plans. Why can't I make them come to fruition? I can't even keep up with reading SIMPLE ABUNDANCE for crying out loud!

I was going to all sorts of things for CAOK & I haven't managed to do but one or two (which were fairly lame, anyway).

My 11 a month in'11 was supposed to be me making 11 of something each month so I could build up my Etsy inventory & launch a store by early summer. THAT hasn't happened.

The decorations for our St. Patrick's Day party are not yet up (let alone made).

All the million things on my to-do list go undone.

I guess I'm just feeling a bit in a funk today.

Meh.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Gym Time


I took Dahlia to a gymnastics gym last week to burn off some energy. 1 hour of "preschool" time for $3. Totally worth it. They get the RUN of the place. She had so much fun. I was worried that she wouldn't jump right in (ha!) but she did & loved it. We're going tomorrow as we don't have ECFE this week. I can't wait!!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Before & After


Ah what a difference a little cut & color makes!

Friday, March 11, 2011

ECFE Dance


Last Thursday we had our annual ECFE (Early Childhood Family Education) fundraiser which was a dance. It was a "dress up" dance so Dahlia went as a Fairy Princess (duh!) & I decided at the last minute to put together a "gypsy" costume. Steve wasn't feeling well so stayed home, August, Dahlia & Steve's Mom Carolyn had a great time!

I even "won" a Cooking With Kids basket during the raffle.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Short & Blonde

So I'm thinking this:
Or this:


Either one in blonde.

Discuss.

*Appt made - Saturday morning is CHOP TIME!

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

CAOK 2011 (Calculated Acts of Kindness)


One of my favorite blogs, and favorite people, really is AfricanKelli. I've been reading her for years & we've corresponded off line as well. She's a fabulous, generous, inspiring, talented, fun, compassionate individual & I consider her a friend although we've never met. She's also written a darn good book.

Each year for Lent she embarks on what is called CAOK or "Calculated Acts of Kindness." For 40 days she thinks of little ways to brighten people's days. An unexpected note of encouragement, a delightful baked good out of the blue, a package in the mail full of goodies when least expected. It could be anything, really, but she's the master. I was lucky enough to receive one of her CAOK gifts a few years back and it quite literally made my month.

So, what about you? Wanna join in? I'm thinking that its a great time to do something nice for someone. Write someone a letter, make a meal for someone who's stressed & busy & deliver it to them, put together a CD full of fabulous songs that you know would be just right for a certain person. Whatever it is, jump in! The world is too full of random acts of violence, greed, meanness, etc, so why not go against the flow & just do something nice. For the heck of it?

I'm going to. I hope you will too.

Monday, March 07, 2011

Away


Two weeks ago, Steve & I went away. It was heaven.

We originally were going to drive to Minneapolis on Sunday to drop off our kids with my parents...but since the big storm was coming we all decided that traveling on Saturday was a better option. So we packed up & drove down on Saturday. We met my sister & her family & did the swap-a-roo with the kids. I tried really hard not to cry after leaving them, but it didn't work. I'd never been away from August before & all the usual irrational Mama-feelings started coming out: "what if he doesn't remember me when we get back?" "What if he's mad at me & won't come to me?" "What if something happens to him?" Dahlia? She can hold her own, I know this, but my little baby August? You get the idea....Luckily I started to feel better as we pulled into IKEA. Because what makes me feel better than child-free browsing at IKEA?

Again, our original plan was to go up to Bluefin Bay in Tofte on the beautiful shores of Lake Superior on Monday, stay 2 nights, relax, do some skiing, do some reading, eat uninterrupted & drink wine. I had booked a nice suite & was so ready for it. But the more I thought about it, the more it made sense to go up Sunday night & stay for 4 nights! Why not? The resort had a special - stay 4 nights, pay for 3; plus we could still keep our "Romance Package" on ($150 of dinner, breakfasts & champagne for $90) & I called & switched our "Suite" into a one bedroom condo for the same price! It was a rush (for us) to pack but we did & hit the road.

It was fantastic. On Sunday night & Monday the lake was soooooo stormy. Huge waves - 10ft? 15ft? 20ft? I dont' know - HUGE were cresting & crashing all night & day. The wind was fierce, but it didn't matter because our living room looked right out on that majesty. I spent many many hours just watching it roll.

On Monday Steve ventured out in the nastiness to ski, I curled up in my chair with the waves & a book. I cooked dinner (crock pot - whohooo!) in the condo on Monday - it was so relaxing. We cracked our complimentary champagne & thoroughly enjoyed it! Tuesday more lounging, napping & some skiing. Happy hour at our condo followed by a fabulous dinner (I had the walleye - delish) at the Bluefin Grille; Wednesday? More napping & reading! Steve skied again but I was feeling luxuriously lazy. Another happy hour at the condo followed by a frozen Sammy's pizza that we brought with us & live music at the Bar.

Thursday we had to get up & get packed quickly as we had to drive back to Duluth, unload our stuff, drive to the Cities to pick up the kids & then BACK to Duluth. Yeah, that day sucked, but our days away were well worth it. Although Dahlia throwing a ridiculous nonsensical tantrum from Hinckley all the way to Duluth wasn't such a great thing.


I loved this resort. I would recommend to anyone - any time of year! They have x-country skis & snowshoes to borrow if you don't have your own; they are minutes away from a beautiful network of x-country ski trails (The Sugarbush Ski Trail System); minutes from Carleton Peak, Oberg Mountain; Lutsen Ski Hills, et al. is a few miles up the road; they have an indoor pool/hot tub & an outdoor pool/hot tub (yes! open all year) which looks out on the lake. There's a great restaurant for dinner with full bar + a little cafe for breakfast & lunch. There's a skating rink, bonfires & sleds to borrow too. Our condo was perfectly situated so we couldn't see any others, which we loved. I would stay there again in a heartbeat, in fact I want to...next year. The staff was incredibly friendly & helpful & everything felt very calm, private & secluded while all the while feeling very much like we were in a 'village.'


Ah, my heart belongs to the North Shore!

My heart also belongs to my kiddos. I was one happy Mama to see those two smiling faces on Thursday afternoon. Even when they were driving us nuts on the drive home, I was happy that we were all together again as a family. (THANK YOU SO MUCH, MOM & DAD FOR WATCHING THE KIDS!!!!!!!)

Friday, March 04, 2011

August at 10 Months


10 MONTHS?! What?

Oh my sweet baby boy....I feel like he is really coming into his own. His personality is budding & blooming right before our eyes. He is (mostly) happy & loves to be the 'clown.' Boy he can really crack us up at dinner...the look he gives us, to make sure we're watching him, is the best. Pure gold. He's fairly patient, but a spark of a temper does ignite now & then - especially when Dahlia's trying to take something away from him, or scold him. He still would prefer to be held, while standing, over anything else...but he does love to crawl. He's getting really fast! He also loves pulling himself up on just about everything but hasn't figured anything out yet beyond that...which I am JUST fine with.



He's still a skinny little peanut. Weighing in at 16lbs 5.5oz this week...sort of falling off the growth chart. I'm trying to give him a bottle anytime I think he *might* take one. He eats mostly table food & apparently that just doesn't have enough calories. He eats a LOT of table food, but still. He often out eats his sister which is funny to me. He is wearing 6-9 month clothes, but a lot of the 6 month pants remain too big at the waist while getting slightly short on the other end. Ah well. Thankfully summer's right around the corner, right? RIGHT?


He loves music & will dance by bobbing up & down to just about anything. He's caught a couple of glimpses of whatever Dahlia's been watching on tv (Sesame Street usually) & is mesmerized. His current favorite toy is a cat toy - a wooden handle with a long stiff wire & a pom pom on the end - whether or not the cat is going for it, it cracks him up. It's been awesome!



Last week while Steve & I were away, he slept all night every night. Amazing! I wrote that in his baby book. And I also think I should've sent him to my parents' house earlier! (Dahlia first slept all night at their house too and I wonder....do they DRUG them? hmmm....). This week has been tough as he has his first full blown nasty cold. He is so miserable all the time that sleeping just doesn't seem an option. Luckily he has been napping very well.



He babbles & 'plays with his voice' quite a lot. He 'says' Mama, Dada, & da---- something which I think means "Dahlia." At least that's what I'm choosing to believe. He will repeat me if I say those words. He also says "bye bye" (sort of) & we're working on waving & signing "more." Mostly he just thinks it's funny.

I can't believe in less than 2 months he'll be a year old! Where on earth has this past year gone?