Saturday, September 27, 2008

Visit to Gale Farm

Earlier this week we decided to pay a visit to Gale Farm out in Minnetrista. The farm is part of the Three Rivers Park District--my favorite district--and has a ton of activities for little 'uns for all your HWH followers with kids under 10. We went because we heard you could feed the animals and go on hayrides and such on Saturday mornings.

During our visit, we had the chance to feed chickens...

Pet sheep...

And go on a tractor ride.

We also made a wool bracelet for Matthew, played farm toys and checked out all the machinery (Daddy, what does THIS one do?). The kids had a blast, as you can see from the videos, but Ang and I thought it was one of better weekend trips of late.

The drive from Mpls out to Minnetrista was an added bonus--beautiful fall colors and really, just a very scenic ride. You drive by Excelsior, various fingers of Lake Minnetonka and past many, many multi-million dollar homes. It's really quite unbelievable out west--we just never get the chance to go out that way. Possibly a future home site.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Flat Tire

Well, we had a good run. Several years without having to use the BP Motor Club ... until tonight. Arik blew out a tire on the way home from work. He was stranded on the side of 94 for a couple of hours, but everything is fine. The car has a new tire, and everyone is home safely.

However, in the midst of the chaos tonight, I got some priceless moments with Matthew. We got the call on our way home from daycare that Daddy was going to be late. I had a feeling he would need us to come get him, so I rushed to get dinner on the table for the kids. Matthew was just beside himself wondering about the flat tire. As soon as I told him that a tow truck was coming to help Daddy - his little brain started churning! He probably asked me 50 questions in 10 minutes. He couldn't even eat, he was so excited with the prospect of getting to see a real live tow truck in action.

This is how it went down over grilled ham and cheese sandwiches for dinner:

Matthew: "Mommy, is Daddy's car broken?"
Me: "No, he just needs some air in his tire."
Matthew: "Did his tire fall off his car?"
Me: No honey, he just has a hole in his tire and probably needs a new one. He is ok."
Matthew: Mommy ... do you know what you turn into when all of your tires fall off your car?"
Me: No .... what do you turn into?"
Matthew: "An airplane!"

It just went on and on from there. To his dismay, we didn't get to see the tow truck. By the time we were half way to Arik, the tow truck guys were on their way. We let him handle the rest on his own. We took a short tour of downtown Minneapolis, and headed home. When Arik got back and told Matthew that they put his car up on a big flatbed truck - he couldn't believe it. His little eyes were about as big as saucers! We told him it was kind of like a car transporter. He was so excited. I am sure it will be all he talks about tomorrow. I already feel for his daycare teacher ...

Thursday, September 11, 2008

He wants to be Spiderman?

Since the last post was all about us, I decided that tonight's blog can be about the kids. That's probably what most of you are looking for anyway. So here goes ... This afternoon Arik and I got our daily note from Matthew's teacher. Her comments are generally pretty funny, but today was especially good. They have some new kids in the class, so she decided to ask them all the same questions so they could get to know each other better. Here is the list of questions:

2.How Old
3.Fav. Color
6.Fav. Area to Play
7.Fav. Food
8.What do you want to be when you grow up?

She actually posted the responses from each kid. They were all pretty funny, but Matthew's killed us. This is what he had to say:

1. Matthew
2. Almost 4
3. Pink and Red
4. Blue
5. White
6. Marbles
7. Pizza
8. Spiderman

Oh ... kids ... they do say the darndest things.

Amy's verbal skills aren't that advanced yet, but she sure is trying to say more and more. I think she said "yeah" a couple of times the other day. It was pretty funny. However, I must say that we are having the most fun watching her learn to push Matthew's buttons. After 13 months of him running the show - she is ready to go head to head with him. She is very calculating, and it is hilarious. She waits until the perfect moment and then swoops in to grab his favorite toy, or the middle block in his tower, etc. I know we shouldn't laugh at this, but she knows exactly what she is doing and she is just over a year old! Not only does she grab the one thing she knows would make him nuts, she then holds it out in front of her and runs away laughing. Our sweet little girl is becoming a bit of a stinker! I thought it would be months before Amy could bring Matthew to tears. I guess the time has come ...

Friday, September 5, 2008

The Five Best Days of Summer

A play on the famous Minneapolis Aquatennial campaign, or was it Zommerfest. I can't remember.

Anyway, as the summer winds down, I wanted to recount the top five moments of our summer from both sides of the family:


5-Camping trip with Matthew to Wild River State Park in July. Matthew's first camping trip. Check out previous posts for footage. Uncle Rocco, Aunt Meg, Fred and 'Sargie' on hand for the moment. Little campfire. A few smores. Sleeping under the stars. A trip I'll most likely always remember.

4-My 77 on Amy's birthday. In a season full of disgusting bad golf, this was my shining day of glory. My only sub-80 round all year, which I really can't believe I'm celebrating. In any event, any sub-80 round at the Dunes is worth celebrating. And I had Amy karma on my side all day.

3-Golf trip to WI. Played 90 holes over three days in June with RJ, Aaron and Half-Man. Our second day we played 36 holes in about five hours. Capped off with 18 at the great Turtleback in Rice Lake. We may not go back (WI townie golf isn't all it's cracked up to be), but it was fun while it lasted.

2-Our day at the Fair. Last year was Matthew's first Fair experience, but this was our first family Fair experience as the girls joined the action. Both kids did marvelously well as we went down the slide, sky ride and hit the kiddie farm. We only stayed for four hours, but we packed a lot into those four hours.

1-Cherish the Cabin. Spent three days at a cabin in No WI with my parents and brother. Yeah, Amy was up half the night screaming at the top of her lungs, and she pretty much kept the whole family up, but we had a blast. Matthew and Amy played down by the beach and just loved being outside all day. We even spent a day at the Siren beach. Ate like champs, too. The final night topped off with a steak dinner fit for kings. We're hoping it becomes a Hanson family tradition.


5-Wine tasting in Cannon Falls with Rob and Molly. Outside of college football games, I don't think I have had many opportunities in my adult life to get drunk in the middle of the day. The bartender was quite generous with his pours, and we got to taste 10 wines for $3.00! The added bonus for my husband was that he got to hear me say, "ooh, this one is grapier than the last one" a few times. Come on, that's funny!

4-Very few 90 degree days. For those that know me well, heat is not my thing. I seek out shade and air conditioning whenever possible. We have a neighbor, Kate, that spends most of her time gardening and moving plants around in her yard. It has been a running joke since we moved in that we rarely see each other during the summer. For most people, that happens during the winter. I think she was tired of me by the time August rolled around! I was out and about all the time!

3-Saturday morning walks with the kids. We accidentally stumbled upon a Saturday morning tradition while Arik was off golfing or getting coffee at Caribou. There isn't a lot to do at 7:30 in the morning when your kids are going a thousand miles an hour, so I usually buckled them into the stroller and started walking. Most days we were gone for over an hour. We got to explore the Minnehaha Creek, Lake Nokomis, and the beautiful neighborhood that we live in. Matthew usually talked the entire time we were gone. While one could easily find that annoying, it was usually pretty entertaining. His view of the world is like no other. Amy loves to be outside as much as Matthew does, and would generally kick her feet and say "woof woof" at the doggies.

2-Healthy kids! With the exception of Amy's recent battle with a double ear infection and some wheezing - the kids have been healthy almost all summer. It has been great. No broken bones, no stitches ... life is good.

1- Friends. One of our New Years resolutions for 2008 was to get together with friends more often. I feel like we really did that this summer. I had fun meeting Anne and Leah for walks or coffee. We got to do the wine tasting with Rob and Molly. We got to meet Rebecca and Patrick's new baby AND go out to dinner with them. Arik invited a co-worker and her family to come over for a BBQ one night. And we got to see the Studdifords on several occasions around the neighborhood.

Here's hoping the summer of 2009 was as fun as 2008.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Our day at the Fair

I've been to the MN State Fair many times in my 36 years, but never with my two kids. And I have to say, it was a big success. No crying. No meltdowns. Both kids were as good as can be expected. All told, we didn't stay all that long--about three-and-a-half hours. But, we packed a lot into that time.

We started out by hitting the Giant Slide--a staple of any Fair trip.

We then made a beeline for Machinery Hill and the Little Farms Hands exhibit. At this relatively new exhibit, your kids wear an apron and do many of the chores you'd do on any farm--gather corn, ride the tractor, garden, feed the livestock and pick produce. You even get to "shop" at the end, thanks to Cub Foods, so we picked up a little cup of Cheerios, which was a big hit. Then, we made our way back and stopped off to listen to a drum act, which we thought Matthew would really like. We then grabbed a Pronto Pup and moved along to the Gondola ride, which would take us to the west side of the fairgrounds.

Once we hopped off, we promptly scooted over to grab some Sweet Martha's cookies and milk--mmm...good! Then, Angela grabbed an ear of corn and we made a pit stop at the arcade so we could play some skeeball and take the annual State Fair photo in the photo booth. We capped off our day by visiting the DNR building and watching the fish, grabbing a pretzel and a root beer and heading for our bus ride back to the care.

Sure, we have many more things we want to see and eat next year, but for the first year at the Fair, not bad. Not bad at all.