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    Archive for May 2009

    Memorable Memorial Day Weekend

    Tuesday, May 26, 2009

    It was a weekend of home improvement projects:

    Benjamin and I repainted his bedroom on Friday from the crazy yellow and nursery murals that I did FOUR years ago to a gray color that allows all of the colors in his room to pop, it looks fabulous! Mike and I also began our bathroom flooring project, but because we were having visitors this weekend we decided to not rip up the toilet just yet. The completion of that project will have to wait until this week.

    ...a weekend of the outdoors:

    Grandpa Bert and Grandma Cindy visited on Saturday and we took a trip out to Oxbow Zoo for animal viewing, a picnic and hiking. The weather started out rainy, but eventually the sun came out and it was a beautiful day. We had a great time exploring in the woods on our very long hike and I played around with my camera a bit to capture some interesting photos.

    ...a weekend of running:

    We found a spot near mile 10 at the Med City Marathon Sunday morning for our annual cheering station. Mike and I stayed up late Saturday night making signs and Benjamin let us bring along some of his musical instruments to make some noise for the runners. The weather was amazing and the runners really seemed to enjoy our enthusiasm! We went to a couple of marathon after-parties throughout the day and then ended the evening with a bonfire in our backyard. We toasted some marshmallows, made s'mores and just relaxed around the fire.

    ...a weekend of baseball:

    Mom gave us a couple of tickets that she had won at work for the Twins on Monday so we decided to travel up to the cities for the game. We dropped Benjamin off with Grandma Chris and Grandpa Ed and we drove out to the Metrodome. The Twins lost to the Red Sox, but we had a blast at the game. Joe Mauer, who was out for the whole game, came in at the bottom of the ninth inning to hit a home run and bring the score up to a loss by only one point. It sure was exciting! Benjamin spent his time meeting Mom and Dad's neighbors at a Memorial Day block party. We drove back to Rochester Monday night and said goodbye to our nice long weekend.

    What a perfect holiday weekend it was!

    This is what summer is about.

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009


    Okay, okay - I get it. Obviously most of you out there call out "Slugbug" when you see a VW Beetle, so I concede. However, I'm going to continue to play "Punchbug" with Benjamin when I see one. Mike is concerned that he's going to come home with a black eye (or eyes) someday from a friend (or friends) when he tries to fight with them over what it should be called. There's nothing wrong with being different, is there? But on the other hand, I will not stand by and let Mike teach him to play "Duck, Duck, Greyduck" because even here in the land-of-crazy-words, kids are beginning to see the light (or lifer Minnesotans are slowly being overrun by transplants from WI, IL and IA) and now more of them are playing "Duck, Duck, Goose."

    Our recent weekend was a pleasant one spent at home for a change. We have been having some really wacky weather here lately though. Saturday morning while Benjamin and Mike were at the Farmer's Market, I was working on one of my landscaping projects in the backyard and it was around 47 degrees with a strong wind. I wore a sweatshirt, light jacket, jeans and my work gloves to keep my hands warm. Yesterday the high here in Rochester reached 94 degrees. Needless to say we were all wearing shorts and t-shirts and LOTS of sunscreen! Benjamin hasn't really adjusted to the up and down temperatures and was very confused when on Saturday he was wearing a jacket and on Monday he could wear shorts.

    We spent much of the weekend hanging out at our house and running errands. We stopped by Lowe's at one point and picked out floor tiles for the new upstairs bathroom floor. We are beginning the installation tonight, I am very excited. I promise to take some before/after photos. Saturday night we were able to get together with our neighbors, who also happened to be at home this weekend, for dinner. We also broke into our favorite summertime traditions finally and ate outside at Whistle Binkies by the Lake where Benjamin could once again play in the sand volleyball courts with his sand toys. We waited all winter to be able to do that again!

    This holiday weekend is a busy one for us. We are really looking forward to the Med City Marathon morning where we have made it a tradition to be out on the streets to cheer for everyone running the races. We are planning to go all out this time because the feedback we got from the runners last year was that we created a great boost for them at just the right point in their races!


    Sunday, May 17, 2009

    It's been a debate in our family all weekend as to exactly what the slang name is for Volkswagen Beetle. Daddy says "Slugbug" and mommy says "Punchbug". Benjamin is on the fence. Please vote on our survey and tell us your opinion.

    Mother's Day in May?!?

    Tuesday, May 12, 2009

    Who decided that Mother's Day should be in May?!? Because that was pretty cruel considering (at least in the Midwest) the weather can still reach almost freezing temperatures at this time of year. I cannot remember a Mother's Day in recent years that has provided Moms with good weather and this weekend was no different.

    Saturday morning was pleasant, in that it was sunny, but it was chilly. Benjamin and I once again were stationed at a water stop for the weekly marathon training run. This time we had our table along the Douglas Trail in the actual town of Douglas. It had rained Friday night so the ground was quite wet and the parking lot where we were stationed was just gravel, so it was a muddy mess. I didn't even let Benjamin get out of the car because I knew he'd just be tracking in some horrible mess when he got back into the car. So he kept busy by playing in the trunk, watching some movies and making faces at the runners out of the back window. It wasn't cold-cold, but chilly enough to invade your bones where you just can't warm up. After Mike finished his run and we got back home for some lunch, we drove up to see Jen, John and AJ for the afternoon. Benjamin had a great time playing with his cousins and it was good to see the boys.

    Later that evening Jen and I left to head out for our Girls Night with Jennifer and Katie. We had reservations at Barrio Tequila Bar, which is a newer restaurant in Minneapolis. We were taking a chance on trying somewhere so new to us, but it actually was named one of the best new restaurants of the year, so we were pretty sure it wouldn't disappoint -- and it did not. The food was very tasty and so were the drinks.

    We tend to order lots of small plates when we go out together so we can all try more menu items, which we did again. The guacamole was to die for and everyone really liked the Black Bean Chicken Tostada. The kids, Mike, Joe and Dan all grilled and hung out at the house while we were enjoying our meal.

    We left the house early Sunday morning to meet up with my Mom and Dad for a Mother's Day brunch. Before we left, my Godson John, gave me a Snuggie for my Mother's Day gift. It is so awesome!

    Our brunch was at Birch's in Long Lake, which is just a hop, skip and jump from Mom and Dad's house. We were all so impressed with this restaurant. First of all, though it is small, it is very classy and beautiful on the inside. The menu is full of very unique and fresh items and so it was very hard for everyone to decide on what to order. They presented all Moms with free Mimosas or Bloody Marys in honor of the holiday, which was a real treat! The food was amazing. We were all extremely impressed with the quality and taste of the food. I highly recommend this place! After brunch we stopped by a local garden center, which was full of beautiful flowers and plants. Then we just happened to drive past the Noerenberg Memorial Gardens, so we stopped for a short walk around.

    Unfortunately not much was blooming in the gardens yet, but it will for sure be a great place to stop again as summer gets closer and the flowers come out. I took the opportunity to play around with my camera and ended up getting some great shots of everyone. Benjamin especially liked the "stage" area (really just a little gazebo-type thing) where he conducted his "band" (Mike, Mom and Dad). After playing around there for a while we went back to Mom and Dad's for a little bit and then the three of us headed out on our own adventure.

    I wanted to spend as much time outside on Mother's Day as I could and even though the weather was a little on the chilly side, I decided that we should go to Minnehaha Falls. Benjamin loved looking at the waterfall and was so good about hiking down to it and back up again. We love doing those kinds of things with him, he's so into exploring, just like us! After our short hike, we plopped ourselves at a table at the Sea Salt Eatery for some beverages. We had originally planned to have a late lunch/early dinner there, but they really only serve seafood, so there was nothing on the menu for Benjamin. They had my favorite beer on tap: Summit Hefeweizen, so I was a happy Momma! Unfortunately, I left my camera in the car, so there are no pictures of the falls or anything from our afternoon. However, we definitely plan on coming back sometime this summer when the weather is nicer and I will not forget again!

    I am pretty sure this was my favorite Mother's Day so far! What a great day and a wonderful weekend.

    Mother's Day

    Monday, May 11, 2009

    I had a wonderful Mother's Day this Sunday and spent much of it enjoying this adorable little man. More to come.

    Family Fun Night and our PBS Kids adventures

    Wednesday, May 06, 2009

    Phew! What a day yesterday was!! Mike and I hosted a table for the Rochester Track Club at Family Fun Night, which is an event sponsored by Rochester's Childcare Resource and Referral and is open to all families with young children.

    They ask that all exhibitors provide some kind of activity or giveaway for the kids, so we did a long jump competition, which was pretty popular. I'd say about 50-70 kids did the jump. We gave out prizes for the top 3-8 jumpers in half hour increments. Benjamin was with us at the event and he even helped show the kids how to do the jump. However, we were inconveniently located just across the aisle from a certain group in town that has a person in a large kangaroo costume as their mascot. He is deathly afraid of costumed characters so between the kangaroo across the aisle and the panda bear performing with the Teddy Bear band next to us, he was doomed. He spent a lot of time hiding under the table.

    At the beginning of the event we had a celebrity visit our table!

    "Miss Rosa" from PBS kids - if you have children, you probably know who she is - stopped by our table, tried to talk to Benjamin (who was scared of her as well) and even tried out our long jump! She is adorable! Mike had to leave early to go to his triathlon clinic, so Benjamin and I manned the table alone for the last hour. More and more kids tried out the jump and we gave out medals. It was a lot of work, but a really fun experience. We are already talking about what we are going to do differently next year!

    Dose of relaxation

    Monday, May 04, 2009

    Mike and I escaped to a bed and breakfast this weekend to celebrate our seventh wedding anniversary. We stayed at the Escape by the Lake B&B in Hudson, Wisconsin.

    We knew it wasn't a standard bed and breakfast before arriving, but were a little dismayed to see exactly how different it was. For starters, the guest rooms were not separated from the innkeeper's quarters, so upon entering the home, you walk through their living spaces to enter your room. Also, the room which we picked (The Garden View Room) had a sliding glass door that led out into a sun room, which we were not told was shared by the other guests. It was a little awkward. But the room itself was very very nice and the whirlpool tub was a treat! The breakfast was delicious and the views of the lake were stunning. We had so much fun wandering around Hudson and just spending time together. We had dinner on Saturday night at San Pedro Cafe where we had delicious food. On Sunday after our breakfast, we check out of the B&B and drove out to the Willow River State Park where we did about a 3 mile hike to and from the waterfall there.

    It was a gorgeous day and gave us an opportunity to play around with my camera a bit. I still haven't figured out how to photograph waterfalls, but we tried. After working up an appetite hiking, we went back into town for a casual lunch at Barker's. On our way back to Mom and Dad's, we also stopped off at a favorite of ours, Town Hall Brewery, which unfortunately like the rest of this state, follows Puritan-like liquor laws that include not selling alcohol on Sundays. We have a growler to take one of their draft brews home, but just like liquor stores in this place, they don't fill them on the Lord's day. Argh. So we just had a pint...or two, instead.

    Mom and Dad, who had Benjamin all weekend, were relaxing out on their deck overlooking the lake when we arrived. Apparently spending time with an almost four year old is tiring for them!?!? Anyway, they were pooped. We all were. We ate dinner, watched some tv and headed off to bed. The three of us headed back to Rochester early Monday morning.

    Our actual anniversary is today. Mike is at work and I spent most of the day blowing out and sucking up leaves in the yard. I also re-mulched the landscaping in the front of the house, but didn't buy enough so will have to make another trip back to the store. Isn't that how it always goes??

    Never a dull moment

    Friday, May 01, 2009

    People have warned me about having a little boy...little did I know!

    Today at his preschool, Benjamin decided to go the extra mile with the "GOO" they created. His teachers suspect that when they told the kids to "NOT try putting it in their hair," Benjamin heard "PUT IT IN YOUR HAIR." The result:

    When his teacher called me she actually said, "In all my years of teaching preschool, I have never seen anything like this!" That did not prepare me for what I saw when I picked him up. In the photos it looks wet and drippy, but it was actually more solid and completely stuck to his hair. The only choice we had was to take him to a salon and have them wash it out or cut it out, whichever worked. Lucky for him, washing it out came with very successful results and his hair was saved. He was very brave and good during the washing, which he said was very painful. The salon was wonderful and totally saved me the possibility of having him hate me for the rest of his life!

    The end result: a smiling, happy almost 4 year old with a new haircut. PHEW!

    Facial gashings at weddings, falling off piers, goo covered scalp...WHAT IS NEXT?!?