Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Wich do you think is gowing to be the new baby?

 Nora and Dana are (kind of) patiently awaiting the arrival of their newest cousin! New Bean won't make an appearance until late January, and we have spent countless conversations debating whether Elsa will have a baby sister or baby brother. It was hard to keep track of who thought what, so Dana decided to make a survey.

Wich do you think is gowing to be the new baby?  

Lizzie found the survey to be delightful.

As you can see, I am betting on another girl. I have a couple of theories, but mainly my reasoning is that I have two daughters, my sister has two sons, my cousin has two daughters, and all but one of my closest friends have either two daughters or two sons. Kevin thinks that it's time for another boy, since the last boy in our family arrived 11 years ago, and it's been a steady stream of girls ever since.

Many votes have been added since this photo was taken. At the first ultrasound, New Bean was uncooperative, refusing to reveal anything, including a spine. Haha! At the second ultrasound, the spine was visible and...it's a girl! I think Dana should make another survey about whether she will have a head full of black hair like Elsa did at birth, or if she'll be blond like Nora, or bald! Dana loves when I tell her about how it never occurred to me that my second baby would have anything BUT a head full of white-blond hair, and when Dana emerged with tons and tons of dark hair, I was really confused and absolutely smitten.

In Minnesota in October, the only way to enjoy a book outside is in snow pants.

Did I mention that our major summer project was to build a deck? It is absolutely lovely, and wraps around 2 sides of our house. I have to stain it in the spring yet, and we need to buy patio furniture, but you can see from the photo above that we are already enjoying it immensely.

...And it's back to studying for me. I'm a senior this year and am busy getting my grad school application in order. Wish me luck!

Monday, March 5, 2012

In Like a Lion...

After a long winter with nearly no snow, this is what has happened in the last week:

Anyone up for a nice barbecue?   

Can you tell how they feel about all of the snow?
This was around noon on Saturday. The plow didn't go by for a few more hours.
My angel making a snow angel in the road.
My other angel coming in for dry clothes and hot cocoa.
This was the craziest week! The snow started in the pre-dawn hours on Wednesday, and we all got a snow day due to the blizzard conditions. Yay! It snowed and snowed all day long, and the girls got another snow day on Thursday, though I still had class. We got around a foot of heavy, wet snow, which took Kevin about 3 hours to blow out of the driveway. 

We woke up Saturday morning to find fresh snow on the ground, with more coming down. Over the course of the weekend, we got another 16 or so inches at our house! At least it was light and fluffy this time. Oddly enough, it is supposed to be 40 degrees tomorrow. Funny how the weather is this time of year.

We took advantage of being snowed in by watching the first two Harry Potter movies together, which was pretty awesome. We're hoping to watch part 3 this weekend, but we could do without another storm, thank you. 

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Meet Mathilda...our kitten!

She is five months old, and we adopted her from the local animal shelter about a month ago. Kevin and I had been talking about getting a kitty for a while, and as soon as we met this little girl we knew she was the one. 

The girls had no idea we were even considering a cat, and the day we picked her up, we pulled in the driveway less than five minutes ahead of the school bus. We didn't say anything when the girls walked in-we just played it cool. Tillie was sitting on a chair pushed up to the table, and it took Dana about 5 minutes to spot her. It was kind of like watching a sitcom: she was chatting away, filling us in on her day, and she froze mid-sentence, then tilted her head and asked, "Why is there a cat here?" It was pretty fun to tell her, "Because she lives here." Why, oh why do we not have video of that moment? 

Anyhow, now that she has recovered from a kennel cold and has gotten used to us, she is feisty and fun. She likes to play soccer with an American Girl Doll soccer ball, usually in the middle of the night, and she likes to carry stuff around in her mouth. Last night she brought Nora's gloves upstairs, one at a time. Saturday night I confiscated a Barbie doll from her. We had a blizzard on Wednesday and two snow days, and while the girls were out playing in the snow, she was watching them through the patio door and howling for them. She definitely loves her girls! And she definitely livens up our little house.  

Monday, February 27, 2012

Ice Fishing

Ice houses on Grand Lake.

When you live in Northern Minnesota, you have to find ways to entertain yourself during the long, desolate, torturous winter months. Most of my ways of entertaining myself involve indoor activities: baking, sewing, knitting, playing board games, reading fiction...

Dana pulling a fish up hand over hand.
Dana caught this guy, but we threw him back.

My children, on the other hand, enjoy many outdoor activities, including ice fishing! And, at 34 1/2 years old, having lived in Northern Minnesota for my entire life, I had never once been ice fishing. So a couple weeks ago, my wonderful father in law invited the 4 of us fishing with him in his new cozy, clean ice house. 
Nora got the only "keeper".

 The girls did most of the actual fishing while us grown ups kept them company. Dana was up to her elbows in the minnow bucket at least half the time we were out on the lake. She just pushed the sleeves of her pink floral dress up as far as she could first so they wouldn't get too wet.

Kevin spent a lot of time in the ice house as a kid.

I didn't really know what to expect out of this experience. I was way overdressed. Bev tried to tell me that the ice house is about 65 degrees but I couldn't wrap my head around that. So I had polar fleece leggings on under my jeans and 3 long sleeved shirts under my parka, and I could hardly bend my arms and legs. 

This was obviously not Dana's first time. She was a lot more practical with her wardrobe choices, which is funny since she was wearing a dress under her snow pants. 

Now that I know what I was missing, I am pretty excited to go back. I plan to bring my knitting and some treats next time, and I will be smarter about what I wear. I could get used to roughing it in this ice house!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

 After a long, intense semester, I am absolutely thrilled to have almost a month off to recover and enjoy my lovely little family. Hanging in my pajamas and slippers with these two creatures is going to be awesome! 

I have three comments to make about this photo:
1. I am completely amused that the girls still love having matching pajamas. 
2. They opened their slippers on December 24, put them on, and have not taken them off since, except to go outside. I think I need to get myself some cozy Acorn slippers, too!
3. Nora's pajamas are size 10!!! Double digits! I knew size 8 would be too small, and 10 was the next size up. I thought they would be huge but they are a perfect fit. That kind of freaks me out.

In fourth grade, the students at our elementary school learn to knit. Nora is halfway done with a hat that will be felted by her teacher when she is finished. I taught Dana to knit, and she is working on a scarf. Over Thanksgiving break, we spent a couple of evenings in our pajamas knitting and it was incredible. I am looking forward to more of that, and also to a much calmer spring semester, with only 10 credits and my hardest classes behind me. 

I hope your holidays are cozy and relaxing! 

Thursday, July 28, 2011


This is probably the longest-lasting redecorating project in the entire history of redecorating, but it's FINALLY done! Well, an inch from done.

See, Kevin painted the girls' bedroom back in 2003, when Nora was one. The walls were periwinkle and the ceiling was a pale, buttery yellow. It was perfect. Keyword "was". After eight years of abuse from two lovely but energetic little girls and their friends, the walls were in desperate need of some TLC. And I made the fatal mistake of asking Nora and Dana what color they would like their room painted.

Nora could only live with a turquoise bedroom.

Dana couldn't bear the thought of anything other than purple.

After much negotiation, I finally got them to agree to two purple walls and two turquoise walls. Which was AWESOME, until I realized that this meant their bedroom would be turquoise and purple. Turquoise AND purple.

So I went and picked up a bunch of paint chips, and after deliberating for a while, I picked up a couple of sample-sized jars of the top contenders. You know what would have been helpful here? Some "before" photos. The samples were horrid. In fact, when Dana saw the squares painted on the walls, she actually got really upset and asked again and again why I didn't ask her before painting those colors on the walls.

So then a family friend suggested that I find fabric with both purple and turquoise in it and match the paint to it, since the colors would obviously go together already. So I went to the fabric store and got fabric to sew curtains, which I did immediately. And everyone was happy with them. Except I never really got a chance to paint.

This week, the girls have been at day camp, and I decided to just go for it. And the thing is, when I asked if they still wanted purple and turquoise, Nora said she wanted green and Dana agreed. And since green is my favorite color, I wasn't about to argue.

In the end, I took some of the fabric to the paint store and found a hue that was an exact match. It was a bit bright, so the paint store man lightened it half a shade and it was perfect. Still bright, but pretty. This would all be more impressive if I would have taken photos of the walls after Kevin patched all the boo boos but before I actually painted-it looked like a war zone.

I plan to sew a little throw pillow cover for each girl using leftover curtain fabrics. My mom bought them turquoise down comforters last summer, but it's oddly too warm for them in the summer, even this far north. At any rate, while the pillows will look weird with the ballerina quilts, they will be perfect with the turquoise down. Now I just have to pick a color for our bedroom...

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Finally Healthy?

Oh, this has been a looooooong month.

Nora has been sick since the first day of summer vacation, which was 15 days ago.

Within a few days of her starting Amoxicillin, the strep and sinus infection were improving and she was starting to feel a little bit better. By day 8, however, she was getting worse. She would start the day feeling sort of OK, but by afternoon she would start spiraling downward again. All of her original symptoms came back, and the sinus pain was so bad she just laid on the couch and cried. I called the doctor on call at 9:00 one night because she had a temp of 102 and was inconsolable. She called in a prescription for Azythromycin and said that if she wasn't dramatically better in 48 hours, she had to come back in.

At 48 hours, she was laying on the couch crying, and she could feel her head throb with each heartbeat. Children's Advil and a hot pack eased her pain, and I intended to call the clinic in the morning.

And then we all woke up, and I looked at my watch and it was 10am. And Nora was all smiles, with her dimples popping out to say good morning. I don't know what happened overnight, but her fever finally broke and she started to actually get better.

And so we baked a cake! Because feeling better after being sick for 15 days is worth celebrating.

Chocolate on chocolate-that'll make anyone feel better!

And since she was feeling so good, she thought it was a good opportunity to spray all of her hair cobalt blue. I guess that's another way to celebrate.

Nora almost busted a gut laughing at the deep blue color of the bath water after she washed her hair twice.

I myself laughed until it all drained out and I had to get out the Soft Scrub. Then it wasn't quite as funny.

And we completed the celebration by putting on our Halloween pajamas and climbing into bed to snuggle.

Today is the first day in 2 weeks that Nora has felt good, hasn't asked for Advil, and hasn't had a fever. It was pretty phenomenal.

See ya, resistant strep! We won't miss you!