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    Archive for April 2011


    Thursday, April 28, 2011

    Familie Schmitt

    The Easter Bunny left our home days ago, but yet we are still finding strands of Easter grass in the strangest places. Somehow the old hare figured out that cousins AJ and John were also staying at the Familie Schmitt house. He (ahem, me) put together and hid baskets full of fun and lots of eggs full of candy and coins.

    John and his Easter basket

    AJ and his Easter basket

    Benjamin examining his magic trick

    Lucy's first Easter basket

    Even babies get baskets around here!

    John finds an egg

    The boys and their baskets

    Sunday was gorgeous and was an uncommon bright spot amidst many dreary and cold spring Minnesota days. It was a treat to be outside to snap some family photos and to hunt for eggs. We also took a walk to a near-by park and around the neighborhood. We walked off the delectable meal Mike made and prepared our stomachs for the Lemon Raspberry cupcakes that I had baked.

    Lemon Raspberry cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

    It was a busy time preparing for the holiday, but seeing the kids love their baskets and have so much fun on their egg hunt made every bit of stress worth it!

    Week Twenty Eight

    Friday, April 22, 2011

    Week 28

    Where are weeks 26 and 27 you ask?
    No idea.

    Soooooo anywayyyyyy - week 28 is here!
    Lucy started solid foods this weekend (as I posted earlier) and she is really enjoying her daily bowl of brown rice cereal. We are all busy preparing for Easter weekend around here. Mike's brother, Joe, and his family are coming for the weekend and then a bunch of the other Schmitts are coming on Sunday for an Easter meal.

    In the past two weeks we've had to repair Mike's car, our furnace and now our garage door has gone kaput. We're looking to replace it next week, but for now we're doin' it old school by manually lifting and closing the door. It is a mostly solid wood door, so it has been a fun way to work in a little strength training everyday! Otherwise all is well and we are hoping for some spring-like weather finally for the holiday weekend.

    AJ is 6!

    Monday, April 18, 2011

    AJ celebrated his sixth birthday this weekend at the Jackson Street Roundhouse, which is home to the Minnesota Transportation Museum. It is a hands-on museum full of old train cars and pretty much anything to do with trains. The birthday party was set up in an old dining car that was full of awesome old details.

    AJ's 6th birthday party

    The kids really loved running all around the place exploring the old trains and all of the buttons and levers they could pull on the exhibits. While exploring an old passenger train, Benjamin found the kitchen and was surprised to find that it was occupied by a creepy chef mannequin that seemed to maybe have had a small accident while chopping some veggies...

    Creepy Chef

    We all took a short ride on a caboose, opened presents and dined on allergen-free cupcakes. It was a very fun time and we were so happy to be able to celebrate with AJ.

    AJ's 6th birthday party

    Yum Yum! (part two)

    Sunday, April 17, 2011

    (Yum Yum! (part one) can be seen here.)

    Today marked a momentous occasion. Lucy had her first solid food. At six months and 2+ weeks old she had her first taste of some yummy organic brown rice cereal.

    The meal tonight

    Before we started in on the messy stuff, she and her big brother posed for a photo in her (once his) highchair.

    Little Sister and Big Brother

    She didn't love the cereal and she didn't hate it. The benefit of being the parents of two children now is that we come to these kinds of experiences with a certain knowledge and experience that we didn't have the first time around. When we tried to feed Benjamin the first time we plopped him down on Mike's lap around mealtime and expected him to take to the new way of eating easily. We were shocked when the experience turned into more of a tearfest than anything worth capturing on film. He was so hungry and so wary of the spoon that he cried and cried and nothing really got down his throat, but rather ended up all over Daddy who was trying to hang onto the squirmer. This time around we made sure that Lucy was happy and mostly fed from her bottle before we even mixed any cereal with formula. The result was a much happier baby.

    Lucy's First Food

    Lucy's First Food

    Lucy's First Food


    Monday, April 11, 2011

    This guy got himself baptized yesterday. It was a lovely day.

    Smiley Albert

    Florida: Day 4-7

    Saturday, April 09, 2011

    Over the weekend we were able to travel to St. Pete Beach to spend some time with my Uncle Mark and Aunt Debbie. Unfortunately, Aunt Debbie has a sore back and was unable to join us outside of their home, but we did our best to keep her company and she even helped out by feeding Lucy.

    Aunt Debbie and Lucy

    The rest of us enjoyed their pool, which is mere steps from their back door. Benjamin had a blast shooting his Great Uncle Mark with squirt guns and swimming with the pool noodles.

    Noodle boy

    In the evening Uncle Mark gave us a tour of his boat slip that is across the street from their house. While we were checking things out we got a glimpse of two dolphins swimming together just a few feet from where we were standing. I wasn't able to get any pictures of them surfacing, but Great Grandma took some time to point them out to Benjamin:

    Great Grandma and Benjamin

    We walked over to the beach side of things and on our way we stopped to make friends with this fella:
    Benjamin and his new ride

    At the beach we played on the shore
    Benjamin enjoying the surf

    and watched a beautiful sunset
    Florida Sunset

    The next day we returned to St. Pete Beach and dragged what seemed like a million bags to a cabana for shade. Lucy stayed under the shade with Uncle Mark while we all took to the water and Benjamin and Great Grandma made sand castles.

    Making sand castles with Great Grandma

    For our last day we had planned to visit Clearwater Beach, but during our lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, we realized that Lucy was not feeling well and maybe the beach wasn't the best idea. So we went back to Great Grandma's where Lucy and I hug out inside and everyone else went to the pool. Up until this day Benjamin was too afraid to swim around in the water by himself, but with the help of a friendly lady who lives in Grandma's complex, he finally took the chance and began to swim unassisted (although he was still wearing his water wings). Grandma Chris caught it on video:

    The day we left Florida was rainy and cold, so we were happy that we had a bunch of very nice days of sunshine while we were there. We had an awesome trip and now Benjamin has a new place he'd like to live when he grows up! Hopefully Uncle Mark has an extra room... ;-)

    Florida: Day 3

    Thursday, April 07, 2011

    Better weather and the promise of Greek food brought us to Tarpon Springs on Friday. The town is famous for its Greek sponge diving community. The historic area is basically one long street on the water that is lined with Greek restaurants and souvenir shops. I've been visiting it since I was Benjamin's age. It was fun to share it with him this time around.

    Diver Benjamin

    Tarpon Springs
    (a rare picture of me)

    The shops and restaurants there have deals worked out with each other where you can get a coupon for one place at another and vice versa. We ate at Costas because someone gave us a coupon for free wine/soda/baklava. Mom, Dad and I shared a plate of broiled octopus. It was great to get some fresh(?) seafood.

    Octopus lunch in Tarpon Springs

    Hangin in Tarpon Springs

    The big kids (Dad, Grandma and Benjamin) "dived" into some ice cream after we shopped around a bit. Benjamin experienced tragedy when his scoops took a flying leap off of his cone onto the ground, but the shopkeeper was kind enough to give him some new scoops - this time in a cup.

    Lucy by the pool

    After tiring ourselves out by walking around Tarpon Springs, we decided to head back to Grandma's to swim in her pool. The weather was warm enough, but the water was not. Benjamin had the shivers, which I remember all too well from swimming in the same pool years and years ago. Lucy is much too little to take a swim, so she lounged by the pool in her new swimsuit and sunglasses, making sure to stay out of the sun.

    Bingo Night

    Friday night is bingo night in the clubhouse at Grandma's condo complex and it was her turn to organize the games. She didn't have to call out the numbers though, so she was free to sit with Mom, Benjamin and I. Benjamin had a couple of close calls during a few games, but it wasn't until the very last game that any of us actually won anything. I just happened to be the lucky winner of $7.00 on the last cover-all game. I was very pleased with my big win!

    Florida: Day 1-2

    Wednesday, April 06, 2011

    Our trip began on Tuesday with an excited Momma, Grandma, Grandpa, Baby Lucy and Benjamin at the Minneapolis airport waiting on a delayed flight to Tampa. So we all spent time cooing at this face:
    I'm ready to travel, Momma!

    and reading books.
    Delayed flight reading break
    Benjamin has begun to read like a madman. He finished about 5 chapter books on our trip and was almost never seen without a book in his hand. When I look down the table at a restaurant or have a peek at him in the backseat pouring over a book, my heart swells: my child is a reader. Ain't life grand?!

    The flight eventually proceeded without too much trouble. It was a bit turbulent and with an infant on my lap the bumps were a little more stressful than normal, but both kids were angels on the plane. Unfortunately, our first full day in Florida looked like this:
    Day One: Storms

    But it was brightened a little by these:
    Clearwater Bagels

    And by this:
    To the rescue!
    Dad was trapped in the elevator (ol' unreliable) at Grandma's condo complex and the fire department was called in to rescue him. He was only in there for about 20 minutes, but coupled with the weather forecast for the day (although you will note that although it was stormy, it was 75 degrees!):
    Bad weather on day 1
    ...it was quite an adventurous situation. We decided to venture out despite the rain and possible severe storms to a restaurant just down the street from Grandma's place: The Pierogi Grill. We had amazing European food and spent time browsing in their European Deli, which was full of items we were familiar with from living in Chicago, but that you cannot find here in Minnesota. It was lovely.
    Euro Deli
    After lunch, we even attempted a drive down to the beach, but the rain picked up to a monsoon by the time we got there. Luckily the weather improved greatly for day 3 of our trip...

    Week Twenty Six

    Week 26

    Lucy celebrated her six month birthday and her twenty sixth week while the kids and I were away on our spring break vacation in Florida. I took a non-traditional weekly photo of her (really I just didn't have the chance to do a typical photo shoot) in her beach/pool attire.

    We had a great time on our trip and I will post about it asap...