Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How can you not love this little girl?

As Trent of Swinger's fame would say, "our little baby's all growns up." Our little angel, Amy, turns one on Saturday. She's been walking around the house all week and more teeth are coming through each week (thanks for the 2 am wake-up call Ames). What a wonderful year it's been...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Don't say we never took your picture...

You're all witnesses--we never neglected our second born as many parents are wont to do. True, we probably haven't taken as many pics of Amy as we did of Matthew when he was younger, but we've taken our fair share. For you HWH followers, check out our FlickR photostream for the latest.

Matthew's first camping excursion

What a great weekend! We kicked things off Friday afternoon taking Matthew for his very first camping trip. The group was Matthew, uncle Rocco, auntie Meg, Angela's cousin Fred, Sarge and myself. We trekked up to Wild River, just outside of North Branch and made camp, hiked around down by the St. Croix, stopped to see the pit toilet, made dinner and sat around the campfire and sang Weezer and Tenacious D tunes. Matthew stayed up until 11 pm! 

After a wonderful night sleeping out underneath the stars, we woke up to egg mcmuffins--camping style--courtesy of Sarge and Rocco. Top notch! Then we slowly packed up before heading out around 2 or so. Matthew had a great time and I really enjoyed reconnecting with my camping roots. We're already planning trip #2 later this summer.

Then, Saturday, Julius (Angela's dad) and Julian (Angela's brother) drove up from Peoria to hang out with the family. We missed them Sat. night as we had dinner plans with the Martins at Loring Pasta Bar (which was fantastic--we will be back!), but we ventured out to brunch this morning at Town Talk Diner for a great breakfast with the group. Matthew had "pookies" and we had some great hash, eggs and bloody marys. We capped off the weekend with a trip to our local pool--Amy was walking non-stop around the pool. She's really starting to like the water. We will probably enroll her in swimming lessons this summer and hope to take her to the Eagan or Richfield water park later this summer.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Oh the things kids say...

It's safe to say when you have a three-year-old, you get your fair share of odd, weird and off-the-wall stories. When you visit daycare and there are 10 three-year-olds, each with their own, personal view of the world, you get some REALL odd, weird and off-the-wall stories.

In fact, I remember once I went up to daycare to read stories to the kids, maybe 15 of them. I made the mistake of asking, "what did you all do this morning." Big mistake. All 15 kids launched in to their own personal recollections of their morning, with no regard for volume or if anyone else in the room was talking. Gives you a flavor for the skills and patience levels of daycare providers.

At any rate, below is an EXACT dialogue at Matthew's daycare yesterday. It was sent along to parents as part of our daily update. Two notes of context: Ms. Anne is Matthew's new teacher and the kids are learning about snakes this week (take a wild guess who's idea that was). Enjoy!

Ms. Anne: Once upon a time there were many girls and boys who decided to go for a walk.

Kim: Then the snake was hearing us coming!

Carlene: The snake went into the water and ate some fish and frogs and eggs and he put the egg in it's mouth and then his brothers and sisters all came in the lake. Every snake came in the lake.

Julia: All the snakes came out and the people hide in the tents and then they closed the snapping door so the snakes couldn't come in.

Kate: Then the snakes went back into the lake and found a baby shell and eat them.

Sarah: They went to the lake and found a baby snake and taked it out of the water and taked it home.

Troy: Then the kids were throwing stuff at the snake and the snake bit them.

Logan: The snakes went to bite the whole body and the police went out and took the poison and made medicine.

Nathan: Then the people were running and the snakes were trying to catch up and they ran back to their house and locked the door.

Matthew: The snakes went back to the lake and they did a big jump into the sky and fell down into the lake.

Zachary: Then the snakes crawled away to their own house and the people came out.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

The other Hyland in the Twin Cities

Been wanting for quite a while to explore the Hyland Lake Park Reserve. Wasn't sure exactly what was over there, other than a ski jump and small ski facility, but we were pleasantly surprised to discover a wonderful park including a huge complex of slides, ropes and tubes for Matthew to climb around on. Needless to say, we'll be going back and we're already looking forward to exploring some of the other west-side park systems like Gale Woods Farm and Carver Park Reserve.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Mommy's Birthday

Happy Birthday to me! Although the day started off a little earlier than expected, it sure was fun. Matthew thought 5:30 am was a great time to wake up this morning. After several unsuccessful attempts to get him to go back to sleep, Arik gave up and decided to kick off the birthday celebration in style.

He and Matthew took off to Starbucks, and by 6:00 am, I was drinking a tasty chai latte in bed.

I can't think of a better way to start a morning! To me, chai latte is like happiness in a cup. Throw in a "Happy Birthday" serenade from a 3-year old - and life is good.

I asked Matthew how old he thought I was, and this is what followed:

Matthew: "Four?"
Me: "Nope, I am thirty-three."
Matthew: "Whoa!"
Me: "Do you think you can count that high?"
Matthew: "No!"

Despite my increasing age, I had a wonderful day. I got to pamper myself at the spa this afternoon, spend time with family this evening, and finish my day with a giant piece of chocolate cake. What more could a birthday girl ask for?

Fortunately for me, the birthday celebrations aren't over yet! I am looking forward to a great dinner downtown with Arik tomorrow night, and celebration with the Bonello's on Sunday. It isn't often that I get an entire weekend to celebrate my birthday. I am going to cherish every minute of it. Here's to another fabulous year!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Swimming in the city

We have a number of local city pools close to home--it's one of the small charms of living in the city. Our favorite: Lynhurst, which is spitting distance from Lake Harriet. Last Friday, we decided to pay our first visit to the pool with the kids. It would be Amy's very first swimming pool experience. This particular pool is our favorite because it's generally clean, well kept and usually isn't swarmed with children. It also comes equipped with two fountains--Matthew's favorites.

This visit inspired Matthew and I to visit the Eagan waterpark on Saturday (sorry, no video). Matthew did great--he went on the lazy river and the "purple tube slide" (also known as the slide with the tubes). We also spent a lot of time in the kiddy area on the mini-slide and with the bubblers. He also watched Dad go down a couple of the adult-sized slides. Overall, a great day and Matthew's first official waterpark experience. We're hoping to make it down to the Dells with the kids later this summer/fall.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Life's simple pleasures

For a three-year-old boy who's interests are cords, hoses and sprinklers, it just doesn't get much better than running through a sprinkler and hopping into a pool on a hot summer's day. So, when Grandpa and Grandma offered up the sprinkler yesterday afternoon as part of our belated 4th celebration, I knew it would be right up Matthew's alley. The kid probably could have done it for another hour or so. You can see in the video that he was avoiding the sprinkler--eventually, he did run through it, but it took some convincing and cajoling...