Monday, August 31, 2009

The Hanson's take on Siren, WI

We can't seem to get enough of Wisconsin lately!  A few weeks ago we headed to Black River Falls for a family picnic, and this past weekend we headed up to Siren for the second annual "Hanson Family Getaway."  

A big thank you goes out to the Fratzke's for letting us rent your fabulous lake home again this summer.  It is the perfect little place for us to escape to for a few days.  It isn't too far from the city (so the kids don't go completely nuts in the car), and the setting couldn't be better.  It is so peaceful and beautiful.  

We spent most of four days taking turns entertaining the kids, walking around the lake, playing in the sand, reading, and just enjoying our time re-connecting with nature.  It is so great to just sit and listen to nothing.  I couldn't get over how quiet it is up there!  We are so used to the constant airplane traffic and other noises of the city.  It is so fun to just get away from it all.  

Now ... back to reality.  The laundry is done, the car is cleaned out, and I officially head back to work tomorrow.  I hope everyone enjoyed their summer.  The chilly weather is telling me that Fall is near!

Arik's 37th Birthday - Part 2

For some reason, 2009 was the year of 3 day birthday celebrations for both Arik and I.  For those that are loyal followers - you already saw my post about the Black Sheep pizza and dessert at Cafe Maude.  What I have yet to write about are the additional celebrations that took place on Sunday and Monday (Arik's actual birthday)!  

On Sunday evening, Arik's parents had us over for a BBQ.  Since they were handling all of dinner, I offered to bring the traditional chocolate cake.  It is hard to live up to Diane's perfection of this cake - but I followed the recipe and it came out all right!

As you can see from the pictures, it was a blast.  The kids ate themselves silly with cake and ice cream.  It was a very fun night.  

The next day, Arik and Aaron took the day off to golf in Lake City, MN.  I don't know much about golf, but the pictures looked good, and they said they had a great time.  

It took many years of convincing, but I think I finally have Arik hooked on the whole taking your birthday off from work idea.  Everybody needs a "day of me" every now and then.  Happy Birthday Arik!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Amy's First Haircut

It's official ... we (and by "we" I mean me) finally took Amy in to get her first haircut!  It only took us two years to get enough hair to do it!  The baby mullet is slowly but surely going away.  We just did a little trim, but we got some cute photos and a few snips of wispy blonde hair to prove it.  

Here's the funny thing.  We went to Kids Hair in Edina, and the same woman that gave Matthew his first haircut gave Amy hers.  What are the odds?

If any of you have been to Kids Hair, first of all, you know that they do a great job with kids.  Second, you know that the person who cuts your kid's hair is totally random.  You just show up at your specified time, and whoever is free gets your kid.  I saw the woman across the room, and I wondered if she would finish first because Amy was next on the list.  Sure enough - she did!

I told her I recognized her because we had so many pictures of her!  She just died laughing.  

Enjoy the photos!

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Sunday mornings at the Hanson house generally start off with two things: Mel-O-Glaze and coffee!

Mel-O-Glaze is this great neighborhood donut shop off of the Parkway. I think it has been there forever. The kids love it, and their food is actually safe for Matthew to eat. A double bonus for us!

We left Arik at home this morning, and set off on our adventure for the tasty treats. I let the kids sit inside and eat a few donut holes before we headed off to get the coffee. The Caribou closest to us has a convenient drive through. Amy was dressed ... but nobody else was. It was PJs for Matthew and myself!

Now that everyone is loaded up on sugar ... we are about to get on with the rest of our day. Happy Sunday everyone!

Let the birthday celebration begin ...

Arik's birthday is officially on Monday, but we decided to start celebrating last night. We headed downtown to a new place called The Black Sheep. They specialize in coal fired pizza. Needless to say, it was EXCELLENT! We split a tasty salad, some roasted vegetables, and a meatball and ricotta pizza. Everything was delicious. The place is really small, but well worth the wait for a table!

After dinner we walked around the NE Minneapolis area, and then along Nicollet Mall.

We topped off our evening at Cafe Maude for dessert. You can rarely go wrong with pistachios and chocolate :)

A huge thanks to the Hanson's for watching the gremlins while we ran away for a few hours. What a fun summer night!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Hanson's take on Black River Falls, WI

The whirlwind of August has officially begun. We started off with Amy's birthday, and then this past weekend, we headed to Black River Falls, WI for the 2nd Annual Sherry Family Picnic. For those of you who are new to our family tree - this is Arik's Mom's side of the family.

I don't know if we need to do more road trips or less, based on the behavior of our two small children. They were pretty good at times, but the ride down was pretty much a 2-hour argument between Matthew and myself. That is one strong willed child!

But we did eventually get there, and had a great picnic at the Lunda park. Aaron was in charge of grilling, so everything turned out perfect. There was a ton of great food and great family conversations. We had some minor head injuries with both kids, but they appear to be ok. Poor Amy went running across the pavillion and smacked her head right into a picnic table. Ouch! It looked pretty bad, but she bounced back quickly. Bruises are no stranger to her little forehead!

Matthew saved his head injury for later in the day. He was watching Kade and Jett do some fishing when he slipped off of the rock and smashed his little head too. That bruise may last a while. Poor kid. It was a bad one. The good thing about picnics is that there is never a shortage of ice packs!

Lunda Park has a great little water park inside it. We spent some time playing in the zero entry pool and going down waterslides. The kids had a blast.

The added bonus in Black River Falls, is that the Holiday Inn has a little kiddie pool and waterslide too. That led to even more fun (and more exhaustion) later on in the evening, and this morning before we left.

Matthew also remembered (from a YEAR AGO), that this was the hotel that served Fruit Loops. This is not a cereal that we buy at our house, so he was sure to inhale 4 bowls of it before breakfast was done. What a weirdo!

We had a couple of battles on the way home, but for the most part, the kids were pretty good. They were really tired, and after some lunch took great naps in their own beds. Enjoy the photos. Until next year Black River Falls ...

Friday, August 14, 2009

Potty Training

It is fun to start posting conversations between myself and Amy. For so long, my only source of funny banter was Matthew - that is no longer the case. Amy is proving to be quite the character on her own.

She has been working hard on potty training at daycare. I learned the hard way with Matthew to leave it to the experts :) She is doing so well that I even bought her some Pull Ups this week at Target. She is so proud of them, and tells anyone who will listen that is a, "BIG girl!"

So here comes the funny conversation. Every night I have her sit on the potty before she gets ready for bed (or whenever she asks). Tonight was no different. It was a bath night, so I had her get undressed in her room, and then she took off running for the bathroom. I lagged behind because I was putting her dirty clothes in the laundry basket .. and picking up a couple of other things ... when it suddenly got really quiet. This is what followed:

Me: "Amy ... where are you?"
Amy: "Amy baf"
Me: "Are you in the bathroom?"
Amy: "Yeah!"
Me: "What are you doing?"
Amy: "Amy potty on a floor"
Me: "What? Really?" (as I go running down the hall!)
Amy: "Yup!"

And she did. There it was ... a nice shiny puddle on the bathroom floor. She pointed at it and proudly said, "Amy potty on a floor."

Excellent. So ... it might be a while until we are ready for the big girl underwear she got for her birthday - but we'll keep trying!

We had a little talk about where we go potty. I think she gets it. Let's hope that next time the potty goes in the toilet! Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Children's Museum

One of the best gifts you can give young families is a membership to the Minnesota Children's Museum.  It is the gift that keeps on giving all year long!  I took the kids there this morning while Arik was golfing.  

Here are a few photos from our day.  There was hardly anyone there, so we go to spend a lot of time in the new "circle" exhibit, crawl through the ant tunnels, play in the water (well, Amy had more fun playing with the hand dryers as evidenced by the pictures), do some pretend grocery shopping, and even make it though story time.  

I had some tired and hungry kids by the time we left!

Tim & Michaela Get Married

Ok, it is official, I am taking over the blog.  That's right, Arik may have started it .... but clearly I will be the strong finisher.  He is too busy with all of his work-related blogs ... so the family news will be coming from me.

For my first post in a long time, I thought I would share a couple of photos and funny stories from my cousin Tim's wedding this past weekend.  Matthew was the ring bearer.  As you can see from the photos, he was quite the handsome guy.  

Going into the big event, we thought that he and the flower girl were 50% at best for walking down the aisle without assistance.  They became fast friends in the last 20 minutes before the ceremony, and were able to walk down all by themselves!  It was great.  They did such an awesome job.  

Funny Story #1:  
The good and bad part of being a parent of a small child in a wedding is that you get to sit very close to the front.  That works well for letting your child come sit with you during the ceremony ... but not so well for the groom's parents who are trying to enjoy their son's special day right in front of you.  My apologies again for Matthew's blurted out comments, and goldfish spilling all over the wood floor in the middle of the vows.  Oops.  I gave him something to eat so he would stop talking.  I didn't know he would spill it 10 seconds later.  Live and learn I guess.  

Funny Story #2:
Although this one came first chronologically, I didn't hear about it until after the ceremony, so I will post it here.  Apparently as the kids were getting ready to walk down the aisle, Matthew leaned over to Ella (flower girl) and said, "Hey ... do you wanna go split a jelly sandwich?"  That's right ... pick up lines are flowing at age 4.  I don't even know what to say about that.  Should I be proud?  Should I be frightened?

Funny Story #3:
I am pretty sure Matthew is more in love with Michaela than Tim is.  He was smitten by her the moment he saw her in her gorgeous gown.  From the minute we sat down to dinner, he wanted to know when he was going to get to dance with her.  Apparently dancing with his mother was nowhere near as exciting.  
After the obligatory first few dances were done, Matthew got his wish.  He got to dance with Michaela.  She gave him a kiss on the cheek when they were done dancing, and afterwards, Matthew looked up at me with this happy dazed look and said, "Mommy ... now I am married to Michaela!"
I just died laughing.  He wanted it to be true so bad!  Sorry Tim, Matthew has his first crush on your wife.  

Enjoy the photos!