Archive | June 2016

Another new year to celebrate

Today is my dear husbands birthday.  He is seldom mentioned here because he is a professional with a professional job and other than the status of his beard (and that is public because its on his face) I tend to keep him off the page.

This birthday he wanted to spend the day with us.  He took the day off, we moved Fiona’s daycare day to Friday (and that works out nicely because I will be in NY), I pre did my work for clients I usually do on Wednsdays and we took off!  I started the day by taking the kids out grocery shopping because A. it needed to be done and B. he could sleep in.  We then showered him with gifts.  Shopping for him is not easy because he either just gets the quirky thing he wants, or, he doesn’t want it.  We got him some fancy candy, some mole, a cool breadboard, 4 new t-shirts and a new workout shirt, 2 pints of cherries, a pineapple, a nifty cellphone thing for the car since his new one is too big for the old mount and a fancy fancy bike rack.  He loved them all.

We went to the zoo and hopped around to all the things we like.  The kids were decently behavied and we left before it became a mess.  Key to parenting – know when the goings good!  Instead of zoo icecream we waited to go to the shop in town and its going to just be a double icecream day because I made him an icecream cake too.

Maybe some friends will come over, maybe not, but I think it was a good day filled with kids and perfect weather and no timeline and double icecream.  He will probably never read this because he lives with me so he just talks to me if he wants to know something, but for the record I’m glad to have spent 14480 of your 341640 hours on earth with you.


Ps. and with this, birthday season is finally over, 4 birthdays in a row.

Park time!


nap – why do I even try?

Bathwater – oh so much dirt also mixed with tire filth because what is more fun than playing with the tire mulch on the playground.

workouts – took today off but managed something every day last week.

beard – thanks for asking! After a brief chin appearance last month it is back .

cat – also for a concerned reader – cat is doing ok, he might just last the summer.  Kidneys are on the way out so we can go 1 special bag of food at a time. 


Our stated goal for Mondays this summer are to try and get to 2 parks a day.  This works pretty well for keeping all the kids happy and not so bad for my normal Monday laundry effort.  Laundry is an all day thing anyway with putting in a new load every 1.5h (I do an extra rinse cycle) so I put in a load before I go, another when I get back.


Today we had a little surprise at Goodview park.  Seems like in the year since we went last they added a skate park!  We tried to avoid it for a little while but when friends with dare devil kids arrived there was no stopping them.    The park had nice paved bike trails so we had scooters and trikes in the car, and helmets, and they wanted to stay alllll day.  We are now naming this park Trick-Park.  We had a 1 year old toddling around and a 12 year old really doing tricks, and everything in between with about 10 kids there total. The best part was I saw all the older kids really watching out for the little ones and skidding to a stop or even falling to avoid crashing into a little one.  I’m proud of my girls and I’m happy to have friends raising great kids too.



Fiona donated her helmet to one of the more daring kids.  She is very solid on that tank of a trike.  Germans make things to last.


Park 2 of the day is an old standby, one we actually used to go to nearly every 2 weeks, but the parents got bored of it and so we really didn’t go at all last year.  It is also a site for one of the summer camps for the morning so it is super crowded before noon.  After a 1.5h break at home where they ‘rested’ and I did some computer work and ate a peaceful lunch we headed over to Beltz park and I sent them in and cleaned out the car.  I like the social time at MOMs club meetups but I also like the solo time when I can do the planning for the week (since I don’t have much time like that at home now!).  The kids knew the other kids there from school or girl scouts and 2:30 seems to be the time everyone feels like going out post camp crowd.  I love that I don’t have to help them play, they just play.  This has been years in the making.


#1 and #2 left for jujitsu after I insisted they scrub their hands and feet and they even helped pick up, #3 and I had a quiet night and she went to bed early.  Weekends end up with late bedtimes and by Monday she is just tired so Monday night is a good reset for her.

Countdown to being gone is starting, one of my planning tasks while watching them play was a packing list and it is going to be odd just packing for me.


Share your world week 25

Been a while but I have a little computer time this fine Sunday.  No… I shouldn’t be sewing or cleaning or chasing kids into bed….


Once a week Cee posts a list of questions and would like us to answer.  I love reading hers and other peoples so if you did this exercise too let me know.

How many languages do  you speak?  Really just English.  American English to be exact.  I can speak enough Spanish to get along in Mexico but I’m not brokering any business deals with stakes greater than dinner or grocery shopping.  I speak enough Russin to ask people in Russia if they speak English, or, “is this your ____ ” (noun, I know maybe 30).  I can actually understand more of these two languages then I can make words come out of my mouth but saying I’m bilingual would really be pushing it.  I can also say hello and thank you and a few little phrases in Chinese and Japanese – yeah business travel!

What are some words that just make you smile? I can’t think of any right now that are just happy words but it reminds me of the “eeee” sound theory.  Words that have a prominent eee sound make your face smile like ‘cheese’.  It was one of the considerations of my kids names; Neeve (phonetic, it’s really spelled Niamh), ZoE, and FEEona (also phonetic).  Even when I’m not calling their name in abject joy, there is a smile on my face.

If you were the original architect of one existing building, which building would you select? So many awesome buildings out there but I think I would go with one of the great churches.  One that has meaning to where the sun hits for the different dates.

Would you rather have telepathy or telekinesis?  (Telepathy is the communication using your brain waves, telekinesis is channeling the energy onto physical objects to cause substantial, observable physical changes.) Hard choice – I think telepathy.


Where is my relaxing time?


Weather – I don’t want to jinx this really perfect streak

Bathwater – dirt dirt – why do they like muddy feet?

Nap – I tried today, I was beat, I believe I slept in 7min increments between requests for about an hour.

Workout – Todays workout shorted courtesy of plumbing issues! So fun.


Next week I have almost nothing on the calendar except for a SOLO trip to NY on Thursday night (returning Sunday) and Lars has a birthday next week too so we need to celebrate but  no every day kid activities.  This week was nuts, as bad as last week.  We had something every single day and every single night.  My vow to not rush and shout “we are late!” is out the window (but I renew my attempt every morning).

The Y near by has been like an attractive nuisance.  We don’t quite have it figured out yet but Shoreview took time to dial in too.  It is just so close that the kids want to go every day and that is seriously cutting into the ‘lazy time’.  Oh well, I’m glad to not have lazy kids!  All my extra time is going into sewing still, I think I’ve finally gotten a pattern I like that fits Niamh, she is just really muscular, there is a 3in difference in her back and front.  I know in the next 5 years that ratio will change but I’m used to the other way – kid muscle is crazy.

Yesterday we crammed in a date night.  Literally, we sat down and told the waiter that we had an hour and 15 to be done.  They made it!  That restaurant disserves its own post but in case I never get to it check out The Cork in Anoka, they change their menu weekly and use only seasonal and fresh ingredients.  The most awesome feature is the chef menu, we got 6 tasting courses and each one was fantastic.  The surprise element was just as good as the actual food and I only made it to course 3 before I needed boxes.  The waiter there was a hoot, he knew his stuff but also made it feel like he was a buddy was cooking  up something just for you.  I highly recommend it for anyone in the area, I know we will go again if for no other reason then to get a slice of cake to see who is better; the chef or his grandma who makes the cake….


I’m looking forward to the weekend because we don’t have major plans.  We decided not to go to SD for an event so maybe I’ll get time to take a breath.

Lyme disease


weather – again with the perfect, why am I inside?

workout – they are mini, but I’m getting them where I can.  

bathwater – sunblock and bug spray scented.  and no, swimming does not count as a bath child that will remain nameless.


I’m sure you have heard of red car syndrome.  Think about red cars and then nearly every one you see will suddenly be red.  Just hearing about something once makes you prone to note future times more BUT I swear, lyme is just jumping up in my life suddenly.

*** As far as I know none of my kids or my husband or myself has it** this is for info and public service purposes!

Lets roll back to 1987 or 1988.  I was 7 or 8, I was a girl scout and general active kid and one day I started telling my mom my knees hurt.  I know how she feels, 45x a day a kid tells me something about something that may or may not have any basis in reality.  She told me that I was growing.  Lucky for me actually, at my cousins christening party my knee swelled up to the size of a softball and there was no reason for it so to the Dr for me.  Double lucky for me the doctor, who actually was awesome in many ways, had just read about a weird new thing and how about we test for Lymes while we test for a dozen other terrible things.  Guess what!  Lymes!  I had Lymes disease before it was cool 😉  before they really had a good idea about treatment so they just tossed the kitchen sink at me and I was not allowed to put weight on the joint and I took a ton of antibiotics.  There are plenty of things from when I was 8 that I don’t ever need to remember -but lymes made an impression.

Fast forward to today.  2 people I know really well are finally getting diagnoses of lymes and another is going to talk to her Dr because it fits the symptoms of ignoring it for years.

That is the thing, joint pain and swelling in a kid will be looked at.  Joint pain and swelling in an adult will be explained away.  The bulls eye rash isn’t always there and after a while, it just festers in your system and will hang out causing problems for years and years.  The disease is fairly contained to the upper midwest and the north east of the US but if you went there and got out of your car at any point, consider the possibility that unless you fell playing basketball yesterday – that chronic swelling is maybe not caused by you just being old.  Worth a check at least.


So that is my public service announcement because all 3 people in my life right now had to ask their doctor about it. Leaving it alone will make it way worse and now its in your mind so you are more likely to think about it when a friend who just got back from camping is griping that their joints hurt and isn’t getting old so annoying….


Week 2 of summer

Weather – 75 and perfect!   We had a storm blow through and take all the sticky away

Kids – getting better with the new way

Naps – Ha!

Workouts – better because the Y is open and they love it.


Last week felt more busy than a normal week, so much for lazy summer, maybe we will get some lazy in August?  The big deal of the week ended up being the yard sale that we participated in.  I put a few things in, odd baby things and an old Xbox and 3 dozen games – enough to make it worth the trip to the group sale but nowhere near enough to host my own.  The woman hostessing is also super pregnant so I did NOT want her stuck doing a 3 day sale solo so I made it clear to all the ladies that we needed to be there with her and luckily the 3 others that had major amounts of things volunteered right away so I was putting myself down for a couple hours a day just to be helpful.  No big deal really.

However… Niamh really really wanted to run the charity bake sale that I was making cupcakes for and pestered me into going for 6 hours or more all 3 days!  It was actually really fun to hang out with the group and the kids played and we sold stuff and Niamh and the older kids sold $300 of stuff all to go to the church food shelf.  She did not let anyone walk past without politely asking what they would like to buy to help benefit the food shelf.  It’s hard to resist a sweet kid, but, the best part was when someone would hardcore bargain over a $1.50 item in the sale and then drop $2 on the bake sale.  More than one person just donated their change but plenty were happy for a cold bottle of water or juice or ice pop not to mention cupcakes and cookies galore.  Good lesson for the kids on marketplace and charity plus kept them busy while we chatted.


After 3 days using all our unplanned time at a yard sale and a pretty full Monday, I spent half the weekend getting all the things done I normally do during the days.  I also took the first bite of the whale and started my sewing for Pennsic.  Last year I got off easy because the kids fit most everything but this year between growing and working out Niamh does not fit much anymore.  I also need some new things since it has been years since I did any of my stuff but I won’t be naked if I don’t make more so Niamh is a priority.  Happy to report I can still bang out a nice 15th-century dress in 2 hours – not included in that time though is pulling out the machines and finding the fabric and clearing the tables etc…

Oh!  and it was also Fathers day!  Lars celebrated by working until 4am and then sleeping until 11.  He did get to take a really nice long bike ride and we all went to the Y and he played in the pool with the girls while I worked out.  Niamh and Zoe passed the swim test with flying colors and have the run of the pool area, and, I don’t need to be within arms reach!  So nice a system… they really can swim and it isn’t that large a place but being able to let them go and just sitting near Fiona makes it a very easy plan for an afternoon.

This week is the week where Fiona has a camp every morning and Niamh and Zoe continue tennis.  We did the meal planning again together and we have something every single night but the weekend is plans free (ie. do all the stuff at home).  We are working on getting a routine but summers are just not all about routines.  Something about being light out until 9pm makes you want to be outside far too long and remembering dinner is still hard so bed times are harder still 🙂


Ok, this was all written and semi edited in the time of one tv show and now they want me.  I should also keep sewing and maybe clean and I told the kids if they finished the daily list we could go to the Y so we will see if that happens.  Hope you all had good weekends too!