Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Marissa versus the Popcorn

On Marissa's birthday, we went to the Scott County Fair in Jordan, MN. It was a pretty impressive fair, nicely kept up and clean. And unfortunately for them but good for us, somewhat poorly attended the day we went, as it was threatening rain. But we went anyway and the kids had a lot of fun.

Here's a photo of Marissa's biggest challenge of the day: a very large bag of kettle corn. It's longer than her torso. That's all she wanted to eat all day. All offers of other food, cheese curds, hot dogs, etc, were met with an emphatic "no." By the time we left nearly half the popcorn was gone, thanks to Marissa.

She was past her naptime on the way home and cried most of the way home because we finally let Lindsey take the popcorn bag from Marissa. She got herself into such a state that when we got home she threw up while we were trying to get her down for her nap. Nothing like kettle corn throw up. It smelled like an old theatre.

She did finally settle down after that, got a nap in, and was in a better mood after.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Doggie Doo Doo Walk

A couple of evenings ago our family took a little walk around our neighborhood. Our kids were fascinated by a couple of displays of large dog poop. You would think that this would be a common sight, but people are pretty conscientious around us about picking up after their dogs. Since we own a dog that weighs all of 16 lbs, our kids are used to the little piles that they need to watch for in our yard, not the big heaps we saw.

Twice they stopped to study for several minutes a couple of piles. Then later on in our walk we encountered a man walking a boxer breed. A boxer looks similar to a Boston terrier, which is what our dog is, but weighs about 50 lbs more. They have the same shortened nose and build, but a lot taller and more muscular. One of their other traits is their bobbed tail, which leaves their behind...well, exposed.

The man and dog walked by us and Lindsey watched it as it went on its way. And then she commented, "That dog had a big hole."

"A big....what, honey?" I asked.

"A big hole in his butt. I betcha he could make those big poops we saw."

Enough said.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Marissa's Present of training skates

Marissa had a good birthday, for just turning three! She had a party on Saturday with some of her friends from KinderCare. Then on Sunday, her actual birthday, she awoke to a load of gifts from her family to open, including one from her Grandpa and Meme Floria.

One of the gifts that I bought her was a pair of training roller skates. She's more adventerous than Lindsey in whole, and I thought that she would like to try roller skating. Much to my surprise it was the least favorite gift and Lindsey gravitated to them.

So near the end of the day as Marissa was getting ready for bed, I told Lindsey that she could try Marissa's skates on outside.

She was clad in knee pads, elbow pads and I held both her hands the entire way. She was slipping and sliding all over, but by the time we were getting finished up she was starting to actually skate one food at a time. I would stop each foot by putting mine in front of her, but she was getting the groove of it.

Then she stopped for a moment to pick her nose, which promptly began to bleed. I went in to get her a kleenex and by the time I came back out she had several drips of blood down her shirt. So we got the skates off and got her inside to clean her up.

Of course, she comes inside with a bloody nose and Wayne assumed she fell and bonked her nose.

But she's the only kid I know who can get a bloody nose from picking her nose while roller skating.

Cake Wrecks

In honor of Marissa's 3rd birthday today (Happy Birthday!), I thought I'd direct you to a newly discovered site that I am thoroughly enjoying: Cake Wrecks.

Click on the link above or newly added to My Favorite Places.

I thought of my friend Renee when I came across this site. She and her sister both took cake decorating classes this past year, with some good and bad results. These are some good ones!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Car for Sale

Slight water damage, was bright red but was chlorine bleached to bright orange. Real cheap, good deal. Call 800-DUMB-BLONDE.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Reading Recommendation

I am nearly done reading "The Grapes of Wrath." What an incredible read. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for a new book.

I do NOT, however, recommend reading it during a downturn in the economy, or, as I like to think of it, a recession, which we what we are in right now. It isn't a very big leap from where we are today to where the characters in this book end up. At least, it doesn't seem that way in my imagination...

The storyteller

Anyone who knows my dad knows that he revels in and inspires to be a great storyteller. Which, for the most part, he is.

Here he is telling a little ditty about my Grandpa Tom, his former father-in-law. I'm glad I was able to capture my Grandma's reaction, too.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

A Morning Skate

This morning, while the girls were amused by Sunday morning cartoons, I went down to Lake Harriet for a little Rollerblading excursion.
I drove down there (yes, I drove; the hills are too steep for me to skate), and began preparing to go skating: doing some leg stretches, getting my water bottle out, putting on my skates and finally my iPod. But it seemed sacriligious to turn that iPod on, it was so beautiful out and the sounds so content. What a shame to drown them out with music that I can listen to at anytime.
If you are one to read my dad's blog(s) (see links to the left), you'll know that he enjoys his morning walks around his property and writes picturesque descriptions of his walk. I have different sights and sounds in the area that I live, but I thought I would share some of my impressions from this morning's skate.
I took in the sounds and sights of:
  • A family enjoying breakfast on their patio at their home across from the lake. Laughter, calls for more coffee, and the opening and closing of a screen door as more coffee is fetched.
  • An elderly gentleman dressed in his Sunday morning church clothes with a camera bag over his shoulder. As I passed him, he was crouching down and taking a photo of some wildlife by the lake.
  • An elderly Asian woman wearing a safari-like hat, briskly clipping along on her morning constitution. She was slightly hunched over but clearly in good health as she passed two young ladies on the walking path. She walked with such purpose she stood out from those around her.
  • A young couple walking with their newborn in a stroller, both with coffee in hand, gazing at their sleeping baby as they walked in silence. I can still feel the exhaustion yet happiness that they were probably experiencing.
  • A dad with a double stroller, toddler in front and baby in a carrier on his chest. I imagine the mom sitting at home, enjoying a quiet morning with the paper and coffee while takes the kids out for a stroll.
  • The jingle of leashes as dogs of all shapes and sizes are being walked. At one area there is a "dog beach," and three dogs were frolicking in the water, happy barks resounding over the water.

On my second loop around the lake, I finally began getting tired and turned on my iPod for inspiration. But what a grand inspiration the first loop was!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Child Sexual Offender Caught

This morning on the radio I heard about a child sexual offender who was recently arrested in Michigan. He had been arrested at a home where he had thought he would be meeting a 14-year-old girl for sex.

He showed up for the meeting with the teenager wearing a shirt that said "World's Greatest Dad."

I feel for his kids.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Michigan Vacation Photos

You can see by the above photo why I kept calling Lake Superior an ocean, right? It was so unbelievably gorgeous, and I couldn't believe how still a lake that large could be. Yet even just an average wind sent up long rollers to the shore, crashing so loudly you had to yell to talk over it. What an incredible lake.
This photo of the sunset was taken at 10:30 at night, driving back to our cabin after a day out at Dana Lake with family. Yes, 10:30 pm. It's amazing the difference being just a little further north and on the western edge of the Eastern time zone can make to the length of your day.

As mentioned previously, it was a wonderful vacation, despite a shaky start with a rough ride north. We ran into some severe thunderstorms with, you guessed it, hail. Marissa hid her head under her blankie at one point because of the noise, and we had to pull over to the side of the road. It rained the whole first day, but after that we had beautiful weather.
We rented a cabin right on Lake Superior -- we could follow a little stone path out the back and came out of the woods at the beach. It was our own private beach practically, with nothing but cabins in the area and no one out.

We spent lots of time in Munising seeing family, my Grandma Dolaskie, widowed now for two years, and my Aunt Carol and Uncle Chap, Uncle Tom and Aunt Anne, a multitude of dear and wonderful cousins and, of course, my dad, sister and brother-in-law.
I'll share other little stories here and there as I think of them. Thanks to everyone for their hospitality and for helping us have such a fun Fourth of July!

The Long Way Home

Okay, so it wasn't the long way home, it was the long way to go strawberry picking.

As noted previously, earlier in the year we attempted to go strawberry picking only to have the place be closed when we got there. So after our long vacation we decided to try once again since the season was exceptionally late this year and we normally would've already missed our window of opportunity.

I picked out a place in Hastings, MN, called the number and confirmed their hours and that they were indeed still picking strawberries. So mid-morning on Saturday, July 12th, we set out.

The expected route:

  1. 35W north to 94East
  2. 94 East to County Rd 15
  3. south to 90th St in Hastings
  4. East on 90th Street and follow signs.

Expected travel time: 45 mins.

The actual route:
  1. Almost got on 35W north, but it was closed for re-paving. Due to one way streets could not re-route to other options to get on to 35W beyond the closure.
  2. Got on Portland Ave South to hit alternate route of 494 -- stuck in crawling traffic as it was handling re-routed traffic from 60th Street, which was also closed.
  3. Finally got to 494 east. Slow but still moving.
  4. Got on 35E north to hit 94 East through St Paul. Lanes went down to 1 lane, so traffic was crawling.
  5. Got off on Shepard Rd to bypass through downtown St Paul. Shepard Rd closed 2 miles after exiting onto it.
  6. Re-routed through downtown St. Paul, had to hear yelling from the back seat as we passed the Children's Museum but didn't stop.
  7. Finally get out on 94 East.
  8. Had to stop for much requested water and pit stop. Took Ruth St exit off of 94, only to find that we could not re-enter 94 EAST from Ruth St, we could only go back WEST. Took 94 west to the next exit, go off and turned back around.
  9. Took the remainder of the route there and finally arrived.
Actual travel time: 2 hours

Actual strawberry picking time: 45 mins, including the 5 min. tractor ride to and from the field.

Years taken from life due to travel experience: 2

Monday, July 07, 2008

Our Michigan Vacation

Could we have had a better time??? I think not.

More later, but we spent a week in the Upper Peninsula (U.P. for you non-Michiganer's) spending time on Lake Superior, visiting family, and taking in a small town 4th of July parade.

Could we have had more fun?

Only if the kids had slept better at night. But it was a ball regardless.

More later, but here's a tidbit.