Tag Archive | fall

Monday Musing


Health; 50% of us have colds.  I am in that 50%

Workout; keeping a decent rate, don’t know what I’ll be up for today though but coughing should count as an ab workout.

Cat; I get requests… yes, Mr Pink is still here, still very cat.

Projects; I’m transforming Halloween costumes into real things 🙂


My post yesterday was a dashed off line I ran downstairs to do between dinner, kids bed, and having people over for a group game we are playing weekly on Sunday.  The day in general was perfect weather and I can’t help but feel that I’m losing half the space in my life very very soon because we won’t be able to be outside anymore.  We finished the gardens; took in any lingering veggies and our massive kale crop and the kids picked and sorted all the herbs.  The house smelled really good with a pound of mint, lavender, lemon balm, basil etc sitting on the table.  We have snow forecast for this coming weekend and I’m glad I got so much done yesterday, and, I’m glad to have spent one more good day outside.

  • I finally have the garage empty and ready for car(s)
  • The gutters are now clean – since our lawn guy was coming today, yesterday was the best day to clean them since I could just throw it all on the grass and he was going to clean it anyway.
  • All the outside toys and playhouse are packed away or ready for snow

I would have been content to keep churning through the chores but Zoe really really really wanted to ride her bike to the Y that is 2mi away.  She has been wanting this for weeks and I told her that it would have to be a day that both parents were able to go because Fiona can’t ride a bike that far so she and I would take the car.  (I also thought they might be too tired to get home again so I wanted a bail out option).  We went to the Y and she not only rode there, she did it at a decent pace and with no fussing AND she wanted to ride home again too.  While we were at the Y I did a workout and then we all did the pool and Zoe was swimming laps with Niamh when I got there.  When we got home I told them to run around the block so they can claim a triathlon day, and so they did.  In my workout I rode the bike and ran, and, I also swam so I had a triathlon day too 🙂

Saturday we actually ended up with an odd day.  We had plans for the day that got changed last minute so we but we figured something out.  The evening plans were thrown together on a whim on Friday and it actually worked out that we had someone to watch the girls (thank you vacation mom!) and friends were free and the Escape Room Groupon we got last year had an available slot for Saturday night so we did that.  It was really fun and we had a great group to do the puzzles.  We finished in 50 minutes and that puts us in the top 10% and we only needed one clue.  We technically didn’t need that clue because we were in the middle of checking our work and would have found our error, but, it did save us a few minutes.  I spend all night dreaming of puzzle room scenarios that would be fun to build, I think I need to send in a few of them to the place just so I get the brain space back!

Today is a ‘regular’ Monday and I’ve done my client work and next on my list is to dig out all the snow pants and real coats to see who fits and who needs.  I also plan on taking a rest, this cold is creeping in and my weekend was fun but not restful.

Oh!  I also still need to plant bulbs.  I decided to wait until someone else found the garden under the leaves to do the planting 🙂  Hopefully there are a few days lefts…


5 day weekend!


all kids; IN SCHOOL

me; doing all the things

weather; making me wish I could be outside


Just when you feel like things are starting to roll in the new schedule and it flips the table.  Last week was actually really nice, the timing was off, but you can’t have it all.

I have the compulsion that when there is a break that I MUST make it memorable and special.  There are just too few opportunities to waste 5 days off on a massive netflix marathon, however, I do have fond memories of just watching TV and movies.  This time I  let them have some binge netflix and I got all the costumes done.  We also went out all over the place and kept busy overall.

On a bigger scale, I feel like I just got this ‘little kid’ thing figured out just in time for them to grow out of it.  For the first time I’m going to skip the un-scary Halloween because it is for ages 5 and under and with Zoe on the ‘other’ side of 5 she tips the scale.  It is a fun event for little little kids and I’m comfortable there but I need to let it go.  Ironically, Fiona didn’t go last year because she was pitching a massive fit.  Anyway, letting go of little little kid things opens the door for the next phase.  This weekend we went to a fun night time parade where all the floats are lit up and semi-spooky.  We brought friends and it was a good time but it was filled with ‘notes for next time’ because we all were clueless as to what to expect.  For future reference, and, if you are looking for real mom tips, here are my notes for the Anoka Light up the Night Parade;

  1. Although people do get there really really early to get spots, we got there an hour early and felt like we were too early.  Next year we will aim to arrive at 6:30.
  2. We stood at basically the middle of the route, not the best plan, all the bands were just finishing a song right before us and in the rest phase as they walked by.  Next year we need to shift up or down.
  3. Bring light up toys!  There were endless vendors selling light up doodads that I seriously didn’t want to pay parade prices for AND we already owned 50% of them at home.
  4. Yes; Costumes on spectators.  We didn’t know… but yes, plenty of costumes.

We also went to another event sponsored by Kris Lindahl RealEstate, the Great Pumpkin Give away.  The man may have my next real-estate purchase because he is definitely successful.  The event itself was crowded and  I heard from a mom  I know from preschool that this year was incredibly more popular than other years.  There were long lines for all the things, but, it was all actually free so hard to complain.  Again, notes for next year because while we did have fun, we could totally optimize;

  1. Get there later.  We arrived about 30min from the start and it was packed.  I was worried that there would be about 100 pumpkins and we would miss it but there were thousands.
  2. Dress more warmly than you think.  It was a nice fall day at my house, sweater weather, but the event was a giant open field and the wind was cold.  I’m glad we had gear in the car but there were whines from the peanut gallery.
  3. Not a costume event.  Nobody laughed or pointed, but, we were in the minority and it made the bouncy houses etc harder.

The take away for me about these events, and the week in general, that I want to highlight for myself is that the kids are OK with a more lax schedule finally.  Fiona was unwinding when lunch was 3 hours later than normal but in general we did ok.  Kids ate when food was given, and, asked for food when they were hungry and when they had a giant late lunch they were all ok with a really small dinner.  They are getting to be like real people!  Not infants who need precise feeding schedules or food on demand.  I’m always going to carry emergency granola but I don’t actually need to plan around meals and naps anymore.


Again, what day is it?

Yesterday we had our first kid sleepover here that counted.  By count I mean it was not for babysitting reason, it was not a family member, and, no additional adults were here.  I know it sounds silly to fret over the 1 single extra child when 3 weeks ago we had 7 extra kids in the house, but, this was a school friend.  I don’t know the parents and I remembered as we were getting in the car from picking her up to ask about allergies but I suppose we are both just generally laid back parents because she didn’t ask any of the crazy questions I’ve seen listed on “Are they ready for a sleepover, and, are you aware of all the things that can go wrong?” articles (I should probably not read those…)  and I didn’t offer any answers in advance.

However, that really was not the point… point was when I posted on facebook that they were all giggles the first replay was “on a Thursday night?”.  You know, I had almost no idea what day of the week it was.  My days and nights are now just ordered by activities and yesterday was a ‘free evening’ for the kids and I  (Lars had guys night out).  So yes, once again, I have no idea what day it is.

The sleepover was a big success.  We kept it simple with a 5:30 start and her mom collected her about 10am.  A little time outside where they did the leaf pile thing (fall bucket list!) and then dinner and a game and stayed up ‘late’ with a movie and the entire bag of cheese doodles (that was only 1/4 full but getting the BAG is a big deal here).  I think the friend had a good time too, she was all smiles.  They went to sleep no issues and I don’t even think they are too short on sleep today.img_0629

Today we filled in the gaps of the day with a few events and right now I have my mothers helper here so I can get some work done.  Originally she was supposed to come on Wednsday, day 1 of this break, but we rescheduled for today because I had a feeling I would be in need of the help more today.  I had vague hope of getting all sorts of house projects done but instead we did more of the fall fun things.


We did our annual trip to our favorite pumpkin farm, and, as usual, the pictures are locked on my good camera.  We rode bikes to the park and had lazy breakfasts and epic games of My Little Pony that cover an acre of space.  I enticed them into shopping by promising them halloween shirts and little did I know that they just really don’t sell them in their size.  There are a few ‘boy’ ones (and by boy I mean gross) and plenty of adult ones…. Maybe my kids are odd to want halloween shirts because there can’t just be this big a market miss.  I ended up buying plain shirts and getting creative with some lace so now we have shirts that should work for a year or two.  img_0640

This weekend we have a variety of halloween activities on the menu and just one week before the real event.   I need to get going on the final touches on costumes~

Ok I must get on to other things while I have someone entertaining the kids.


ps.  If you are wondering the scary things I’ve read/been warned by police speakers about sleepovers;

  • Older brothers
  • Do the parents drink or smoke?
  • Are there guns in the house?
  • what TV might they watch?
  • how much supervision?

These are mostly just questions that you have your level of comfort and you assume the other parents are on the same page, but, you really don’t know what their level is.  The older brother thing is the #1, the local police say that 90% of the s@x offenders list is from things that happened between a boy and his younger sisters friends. …   For the record, no boys in the house, no smoking, 1 beer max (could drive to the hospital if needed), no guns, TV all Pg or G and medium supervision/I can hear what they are doing if not see.

This weekend made up for last weekend


nap – no sleeping but there is a resting girl

beard – it is not getting compliments, I fear it is here for a while

cat – still alive and getting checked out next week.  Kudos to Aminavast.

House – starting to look good every day, making progress on the black hole corners


This is going to be a bit of a brag, and, a very picture heavy post, but, I am super proud of my girls.  For the past few years, I’ve done the 5k at their school and they were my cheering section.  This year I was actually thinking about skipping (see my list of injury from last weekend) but Tuesday Niamh and Zoe were very excited to sign up and both promised they would run with me.  So I paid the fees and signed them up and crossed my fingers.

Both girls ran!  We started in the front of the group and stayed pretty consistent.  We passed people even.  At mile 1 we had a 9min pace and that was about where Zoe asked just how long this run would be.  There is no way to really describe a distance to a kid, they just have to experience it.  I was very confident that they could both do a mile, it was the second and third that were a question.



waiting on the 8am start line


Mile 2 we still stuck together.  I downloaded some music the night before and played it out loud for the run since setting them up with music and headphones was just not going to work.  I got ‘kids bob’ so I knew it was unoffensive and I think the others generally around us also enjoyed it. Toward the second half of the second mile, Zoe needed some walking breaks so Niamh took off with the gym teacher who was at our pace for a while.  Niamh finished in 32 minutes and 59 seconds!  She said she only walked a tiny bit and that has to be true because 33min is good even for an adult!



running girls!


Mile 3 was hard on Zoe, but, she kept going.  I think she was bored as much as anything.  The weather was perfect, we sang and skipped and I helped her run the majority of mile 3 and we finished in 36min.  I could have gone faster alone, but, I was very happy to run with my kids.  Lars and stroller Fiona finished 1st of the walking group so everyone had a good start to the day.

Saturday started early with that 5k and continued strong.  Lars went to workout and the kids wanted to ride bikes. They rode around the block for nearly 2 hours straight. They now officially have the hang of bike riding.  I was quite tempted to take everyone to the pool so we could have a triathalon, but, we already had plans to go apple picking.


We went picking at our favorite local orchard.  I like that its free to get in, the hay ride is inexpensive, the store is not overly tempting, and the apples are awesome.  It is also very ‘no fuss’ and really only has a few extras but it makes a perfect afternoon.  We brought friends with us so for this particular outing, we outnumbered the kids 2:1.

Apple picking was not the end of the day.  We had a games night planned so the kids got dinner and then too much tv and we had a bunch of friends over.  By 9pm I was yawning but I powered through!



please note my giant table extension that I made this week.


Sunday we were lazy for the morning but we had plans to meet up with an old friend who moved south of the cities.  We met at a midway point at the Mississippi river dam park and it is a wonderful place for kids with bikes.  There was a good ride across the river and down and around to a park with plenty of picnic areas.  The kids had not seen each other for almost 3 years and they were shy to start but by the end, there was “love yous!” and hugs for all.



8 years and still friends!


We called the day a little bit early because everyone was having a good time but it looked like we were coming up to the end of good behavior.  I love when we make the right call because 10 min out of the park it started pouring, and, all 3 kids were asleep in the car.  Since we happened to be by our mecca of a fabric store we stopped in and procured fabric for 3 Halloween costumes BUT I can’t officially talk about them until after tomorrow because that is my sisters birthday, and that is the rule.


So busy, so fun, so outside and athletic and just a good weekend.  In between things we ate and cleaned and got some things done for each activity but in general it was a recharging energizing weekend.


Fall fun


Weather – awesome, this is why we live here

School – everyone still likes it

Cat – getting a check up next week

Workouts – need to get better, I’m hopeful

Schedule – full throttle already


I don’t know how long it will take me to get used to my new schedule but right now I’m filling every moment with things that have been patiently waiting their turn forever.  I estimate I have a year worth of projects in and around the house and that isn’t even counting walls I want to paint or demo (or both!).  This week the focus was on getting some of the computer things done so all day today and most of Monday I plugged away at reports and writeups and reviews and research and I think most of Friday I’ll be here too.  I did at least book tickets to Hawaii to see my sister, that only took me 6 months to actually do.  I also got all my Pennsic task list done so that is in the books.

On the flip side, now that I have some day time, I actually have more time for the kids when they get home.  This is augmented by the new awesome homework policy (that is NO HOMEWORK!) so over the past few afternoons, we have tackled the bike situation.  Niamh was so dependent on her training wheels that she was actually bending the frame of her bike because she was torquing it so oddly riding sideways.  We should have made this happen years ago but she was not overly interested in biking and we always just had other things to do.  I just took them away.  I also lowered her seat and told her to pretend it was a sit on scooter so she could just learn how to balance.  I also figured that I should not make the same mistake twice so I also took away Zoe’s training wheels and told her the same thing.  Both actually got into it and since we live on a road with a slight hill it was easy enough to get the balance trick.

The only problem with ignoring petals is that they don’t go away.  I know there are fancy balance bikes but I was not investing anything but time in this project.  So, because of frequent whacks with the petals to the shins, both girls choose to put their feet on them.  What do you know, 2 days of half an hour or so of walking with them and they got it.  Niamh is mad Zoe did it, but, Niamh is actually getting better 10x faster and Zoe is about where a 6-year-old should be.  She needs to learn about breaks, not just going up on a lawn but on the plus side, all those years of jujitsu falling down is not a big deal for her.

I remember bikes being a giant part of my childhood and I hope they have the same positive experience too.  I’m also glad that I could teach them something that didn’t come naturally to either one…  Zoe asked today if we could ride bikes this afternoon and I’m happy to say yes and I’m happy that she asked.


Oh, and this maniac on 3 wheels is now teasing them both that she can ride circles around them.  She can actually, for now, but not for long!


Word count of the novel so far; 4715

I’m not out of words yet, I am short on time!  Wednesdays are so productive in some ways but never long enough.

Yesterday was a perfect fall day full of sun and outside time and decently behaved kids.  Today is gloomy and gray and its just harder to get excited on a gray day.

Time to get back to the list of things that do not require my typing and I will leave you with this picture of our adventure yesterday.IMG_7118