Still Here!

February 23, 2015

We’re technically four weeks away from Baby Number 3! Everyone is doing great. Mimi is (mostly) enjoying school. It is hard to believe she’ll be six in just over a month! She is so excited to have a baby in the house, and I’m excited for her. Her understanding of Spanish is pretty amazing – the best thing about Kindergarten. Orin is changing so fast as he speeds toward 3 and a half. He’s a funny guy. He’s keeping busy with a new best friend, Emily. Plus he’s been taking a music class and a dance class, which he loves.

A lot of time has passed since I last posted, but we’ve been just sort of filling our time with fun kid activities, chores and house projects, prepping for baby…nothing too major. I’ll post a few pics below that show a bit of what we’ve been up to.

Hooky day! Took the kids to a local Science Center. This was a funny green screen exhibit they had.

Hooky day! Pulled Mimi out of school and took the kids to Aldo Leopold Nature Center. This was a funny green screen exhibit there.

Winter hike

Winter hike

Bouldering!

Bouldering!

She loves climbing trees

She loves climbing trees

Keeping our immune systems boosted with fresh juice over the winter.

Keeping our immune systems boosted with fresh juice over the winter.

Mimi being resourceful, trying to get something on top of the fridge.

Mimi being resourceful, trying to get something on top of the fridge.

Bus ride! I took the kids downtown on the bus to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at the Capitol.

Bus ride! I took the kids downtown on the bus to the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day celebration at the Capitol.

Awww, little man wasn't feeling well and fell asleep on the chair.

Awww, little man wasn’t feeling well and fell asleep on the chair.

Mimi's first basketball game

Mimi’s first basketball game

A well-timed visit from Pops and Gra-Gra while Andy was traveling. Here they are frosting a cake together.

A well-timed visit from Pops and Gra-Gra while Andy was traveling. Here they are frosting a cake together.

35+ weeks!

35+ weeks! Getting (and feeling) large.

Last weekend we took the kids skiing! It was so fun. They each had a lesson while Andy snowboarded and I just watched (grinning ear-to-ear the whole time).

First ski day!

First ski day!

Gearing up with buddies

Gearing up with buddies

Ready to rock

Ready to rock

Look at his form!

Look at his form!

Look at his smile!

Look at his smile!

She's cruising

She’s cruising. It’s really a hill, I promise. It isn’t quite as flat as it looks.

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Our Sweethearts

December 2, 2014

Well, looks like I’m about a month behind here, but look! Halloween pictures!

Fairy and ghost

Fairy and ghost

Ghost having mask issues

Ghost having mask issues

Heading out! They were so excited.

Heading out! They were so excited.

Waiting for neighbor Charley to answer his door

Waiting for neighbor Charley to answer his door

A family friend generously bequeathed us a weekend full of Badger athletics tickets; one afternoon Andy took Mimi to her first basketball game. They had a blast, but she wouldn’t go give Bucky a hug.

Mimi's first Badger basketball game

Mimi’s first Badger basketball game

And here's Orin, just being cute

And here’s Orin, just being cute

This is the belly at about 20 weeks. It's bigger now, at 23 weeks. Just got out my first pair of maternity pants yesterday.

This is the belly at about 20 weeks. It’s bigger now, at 23 weeks. Just got out my first pair of maternity pants yesterday.

Mimi has learned how to play solitaire. Orin helps.

Mimi has learned how to play solitaire. Orin helps.

We brought the sled on a winter hike last weekend.

We brought the sled on a winter hike last weekend.

A little winter love

A little winter love

The kids are both doing well. Mimi is excelling at her spanish in school, and continues to edge toward fluency. She’s really digging in and enjoying the new language challenge, we think. She seems quite proud of her spanish skills and willing to converse in spanish with me when she can.
Orin is as happy as can be, except when he’s not – then WATCH OUT! Whew! Such tantrums this kid can throw. But he, like his sister, is amazing us with his tendency toward literacy. He’s just three now and can write out almost all of his letters, knows almost all of his letter sounds, and even sounds out words by himself and writes them down. It’s pretty cool to watch.

And here comes the little guy now, up from his nap!

Orin is Three!

October 30, 2014

“Mama, am I shee?” asks Orin these days. He was really excited to turn three, and now tells me he is a big boy, not a little boy. For his birthday dinner, he requested chicken, oranges, and chocolate cake. Done, done, and done. We had one family over to celebrate with us. It was a really sweet, fun night.

Birthday boy and his buddies

Birthday boy and his buddies

Presents!

Presents!

Cake and presents

Cake and presents

These days, at three, Orin is amazingly sweet, kind, willful, smart, and funny. Once he sets his mind to something, there’s really no deterring him. He talks constantly. He’s taking a weekly ‘dance’ class and he absolutely LOVES it. His favorite thing to do by himself is play with his magnet tiles. He loves to draw. He chooses to draw these sort of intricate shapes, usually circular with many legs coming out. They tend to me him and his sister, or a lion, or maybe a ghost. Orin could read books all day long. He loves to drive his cars around, and haul his baby across the house in his tractor. He’s such a smart one, always figuring out an answer or workaround for little problems, or issues. Just like his sister, his interest and aptitude in literacy has begun early. He knows almost all the letter sounds and can sound out simple words.

We’ve been doing some fun activities with the kids. The UW has a Discovery Center with lots of hands-on science events for kids. We went to one last weekend. The kids had a great time.

CO2 bubbles

Holding CO2 bubbles

Mimi was great at holding them; Orin just tried to grab them and they popped

Mimi was great at holding them; Orin just tried to grab them and they popped

 

Plasma demonstration.

Plasma demonstration.

Here are a few other pictures from recent activities:

Dligent helper

Orin and I made bagels today! He’s an eager helper in the kitchen.

And of course, it is pumpkin time.

Goopy! Mimi loved getting in there, but Orin was really nervous to touch the inside of the pumpkin

Goopy! Mimi loved getting in there, but Orin was really nervous to touch the inside of the pumpkin

Cute kids, cute jack-o-lanterns

Testing out the finished product

My awesome husband is building us a pantry; Orin likes to get out his hammer to "help"

My awesome husband is building us a pantry; Orin likes to get out his hammer to “help”

We're obviously pretty gender-neutral around here! Orin had fun dancing in Mimi's Halloween costume

We’re obviously pretty gender-neutral around here. Orin had fun dancing in Mimi’s Halloween costume

My parents were here last weekend, and Andy put Mimi’s pedals back on her bike (she’d been using at a balance bike). And in front of all of our eyes, she figured out how to ride her bike! It was awesome. She figured it out in about one minute.

In other Mimi news, she seems to be doing pretty well in kindergarten. She tends to be a bit grumpy/worn out at the end of her long days, and often misses Mama. I know she enjoys some of her classes and seeing her friends at school. Her program is 90% in Spanish, and she’s picking up the language like a pro. It’s amazing.

She was so proud!

She was so proud!

And as far as Baby Bean #3, all is well. I’m now 19 weeks. The nausea has FINALLY abated, and I feel pretty good. The bump isn’t too big just yet, but I’m guessing it’ll pop in the next week or so. Luckily my mom helped me stock up on some maternity clothes.

17.5 weeks

17.5 weeks

We’re Still Here!

September 23, 2014

A whole lot of things have happened since I last posted. The weekend before last was the first since June that we had a regular, stay-at-home weekend where we were all home for the entire weekend. Life was pretty busy there for a while. Now school has started and life is still busy, but at least we’re staying put. For the most part.

I’ll post a few photo highlights from our summer escapades.

Second road trip of the summer! Out to Montana for Kimmy's wedding.

Second road trip of the summer! Out to Montana for Kimmy’s wedding.

We drove there in this, camping along the way. The kids were AMAZING travelers.

We drove there in this, camping along the way. The kids were AMAZING travelers.

Here's Orin, showing off his writing skills.

Here’s Orin, showing off his writing skills. This kid is smart.

We stopped at the Badlands in South Dakota.

We stopped at the Badlands in South Dakota.

My parents met us at our destination and took care of the kids a lot for us. We stayed at Chico Hot Springs, where Mimi took her first horse ride.

My parents met us at our destination and took care of the kids a lot for us. We stayed at Chico Hot Springs, where Mimi took her first horse ride.

The wedding itself was gorgeous and so much fun. But for some reason I felt terrible the whole time. It was a mystery until Mitchell, SD.

We stopped at the Mitchell Corn Palace on the way home. Oh yeah, in Mitchell we also found out that Baby Bean #3 is on the way.

We stopped at the Mitchell Corn Palace on the way home, and apparently did some stretching. Oh yeah, in Mitchell we also found out that Baby Bean #3 is on the way.

A few days after the MT trip, the kids and I headed up to Stillwater to stay with my parents for two weeks. Mimi attended a half-day camp at a farm school near their house. I went to the same one when I was small.

A few days after the MT trip, the kids and I headed up to Stillwater to stay with my parents for two weeks. Mimi attended a half-day camp at a farm school near their house. I went to the same one when I was small.

We had some great cousin time during our stay.

We had some great cousin time during our stay.

Goofing around

Goofing around

Waiting for the bridge to lift in downtown Stillwater

Waiting for the bridge to lift in downtown Stillwater

After our Stillwater sojourn, we had one free and open week before school started. We did some fun stuff, like a bus ride downtown to the Capitol for a picnic.

After our Stillwater sojourn, we had one free and open week before school started. We did some fun stuff, like a bus ride downtown to the Capitol for a picnic.

And then it happened! My tiny peanut became a school-kid.

And then it happened! My tiny peanut became a school-kid.

What goofballs

What goofballs

That about sums up the last few months. Much more has happened, but these were certainly the big ones. Stay tuned, I’ll try to remember to put up a belly photo soon! Not much to see yet; baby is due in March so I’m only about 14 weeks along. All is well so far with this pregnancy (except the terrible morning sickness – well, all day sickness actually).

“Home” Again

June 8, 2014

One benefit that comes from moving around a lot is that we have many places that feel like home to us. Though when we travel, we often get momentarily confused about where our actual home is.

Last week we drove ‘home’ to Connecticut and visited our dear friends there. We also sneaked away, kid-less, to New York City for a night (two for Andy) to attend a wedding. The wedding took place in Central Park and the reception was aboard a yacht and toured the Hudson River. It was so amazing.

The time in Middletown was amazing. It was so good to be back in the midst of our group of friends. The kids had such a great time. Orin had a bit of a rough spell at the beginning with some sort of a fever/sore throat/rash illness, but that hardly impacted his fun.

Orin and sweet Clare, born about 6 months before him. This girl is darling.

Orin and sweet Clare, born about 6 months before him. This girl is darling.

It did my heart good to get to see all these little kids that I’d spent so much time with when we lived there. And meet TWO new ones that were born after I left.

We stayed with our friends and spent a lot of time hanging out in their backyard. Here's Mimi's latest trick!

We stayed with our friends and spent a lot of time hanging out in their backyard. See Mimi’s latest trick?

Another friend hosted a reunion party for all of us, and they have a pool. And unheated pool. These boys were brave.

Another friend hosted a reunion party for all of us, and they have a pool. And unheated pool. These boys were brave. Aren’t they cute?

The party kids. Doesn't it look like a fun group?

The party kids. Doesn’t it look like a fun group?

Some of the parents. Miss these people. Photo by Mims.

Some of the parents. Miss these people. Photo by Mims.

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Adjusting their starting positions

While the daddies went mountain biking, the mamas and kiddos went to a kids race event. They had 1/4, 1/2, and 1 mile events. Orin did the 1/4 mile and Mimi did the 1/2 mile. The bummer was that someone fell right in front of Mimi right away, so she tripped and was not too excited to finish the race. But she did it, with Mamas help. Andy got Orin going by playing tag, but their race time was really hindered by the playing-with-rocks stop. Needless to say our kids did not take home any trophies.

Race medal!

Race medal!

Our drives out and back were amazing. We were pretty worried about how the kids (namely, Orin) would do. Our fears came to naught. We actually had fun! And no DVDs! They did so well that instead of doing it in two days on the way home, we just drove the whole way (17 hours) in one day.

More Orin and Clare

More Orin and Clare

Another group shot

Another group shot

Mimi and Lena had such a blast. They were like sisters and both were sad to leave each other.

Mimi and Lena had a blast together.

It was so sad to leave everyone. We drove away thinking maybe we ought to move back. Our friends are so wonderful there and we are so lucky to have met them all. That being said though, we sure were happy to get home to our dear Madison!

We’re gearing up for summer now that we’re home. The gardens (we have expanded to three this year) are starting to do their thing, the bikes are all tuned-up, the suncreen is close at hand, and our summer calendar is just bursting with fun things. Mimi’s school is done next week and we’re all pumped up for a summer of fun. Today was no exception – a family bike ride to the Capitol farmer’s market, picnic, tennis, and backyard play.

Let’s Go Outside!

May 13, 2014

Here we are, mid-May already. We’ve spent a lot of our time outside lately, either working in the backyard or playing. Orin’s hair is already bleaching out a bit from the sun. Wonder how light it’ll get this year?

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Orin soaking up some history at Wisconsin’s first Territorial Capitol

The above picture is from a little outing we took a few weekends ago. We went for a hike, chatted with some locals and discovered we were near the first Capitol buildings of the Wisconsin Territory. So we had to go check it out. And we discovered a geo-cache, which was kind of cool.

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Hiking in the sunshine

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Adding our names to the geocache logbook

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Hiking

Our summer schedule is filling up quickly with lots of fun things. Trips, camping, concerts, swim lessons, to name a few. We’ve spent a lot of time in our yard already this spring. Andy built a deck, we prepared three garden beds, and reseeded almost our entire backyard. Warm weather, we are READY.

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Backyard tilled, top-soiled, ready for seed and cover. Rain garden ready for planting.

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Ready to play

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Orin helping Daddy measure the deck boards

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Backyard seeded and covered, rain garden planted!

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Deck!

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Our neighbors continue to rock; Bill gave the kids his seashell collection. They were thrilled, and we did some still-life drawings 🙂

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Cutie posing at a Japanese restaurant lunch after a hike

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Small weekday hike with Mama. We found cranes, red-winged blackbirds, lots of moss, ducks, violets, mushrooms…

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Searching for the cranes, ducks, frogs

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Orin in a friend’s amaaaaazing tree house.

I plan on spending as much time outside this summer as much as possible. We’re off to a good start. The next big thing for us is a road trip to visit our friends in Connecticut and attend a wedding in New York City. We’re excited to be there, but not so excited for the drive.

The kids are great. Mimi is really excited because she got a scooter today. She’s got a few weeks of school left, and I think it will be quite a shock to her to not get to play every day once school is out. She spent all last week working on ‘top secret’ projects at school, and surprised me with a picture, a pretty handmade necklace, and a few other Mother’s Day sweet things. She’s such a love, and was so excited to have these darling surprises for me. Orin continues to be an adorable handful. This guy is willful and smart. No tricking him into doing what he doesn’t want to do. He’s especially enjoyed being able to run around outside, play tag, pedal his tricycle, and run.

And that’s all for now!

My Sweet Big Girl

April 2, 2014

She’s FIVE!

Her second-annual sushi birthday lunch

Her second-annual sushi birthday lunch

Mimi had a very busy and fun birthday. She had a birthday play date Monday with her best friend Katherine, then Tuesday another birthday play date with best friend Anabel. Directly following that, Daddy came home and we went out for a sushi lunch as a family. Then Andy ad Orin went home and I got to go to school for the afternoon with Mimi. It was really fun to see what she does every day. Then home from school and a quick visit from some friends. Then another friend came over for dinner, and we added two neighbors to the group for cake and presents.

Mimi is amazing. I can’t get enough of her. She’s so sweet, and kind, and fun, and smart. It’s interesting watching/guiding this transition to being a ‘big girl.’ Her favorite thing is reading. She plows through piles upon piles of books. I think she gets swept up in the stories.

We’ve just about made it to the other side of winter, and boy are we happy. The three of us have been able to spend more time outside which makes everyone feel better and have more energy.

Here are a few pictures from our latest activities.

My little bakers

My little bakers

Before temps started rising, we explored an igloo built out on Lake Monona.

Before temps started rising, we explored an igloo built out on Lake Monona.

A bit worse for the wear after a few sunny days

A bit worse for the wear after a few sunny days (the igloo, not the kids)

The kids were nervous and not pleased about trucking across the lake that day (it was cold and really hard to walk on the ice) but once they hit the igloo, they were all about it.

The kids were nervous and not pleased about trekking across the slippery lake that chilly day (especially Orin, who could barely stay on his feet) but once they hit the igloo, they were all about it.

Best buds

Best buds

Tackle!

Tackle!

The kids have been honing their wrestling skills lately, to hilarious results. They like to lay flat, tummy-to-tummy, hold on to each other, and roll. Mimi’s a bit taller but they are pretty much of a size so we don’t have to worry about one or the other getting hurt. They have a good time.

Orin has been funny lately. He’s talking so much and asking lots of questions. I love the things that come out of his mouth, aside from the screaming fits and the NOOOOOOOs. He’s kind of got it out for his sister, too, but I guess that is normal. But he makes up for his undesirable behaviors in cuteness. He asked my friend to read him a joke book that Mimi got for her birthday, and they sat down and my friend reads the first joke: “Where do you keep your jokes?” Orin replies: “In my mouth.” Except he pronounces it ‘moush.’ Also adorable is that he’s just about potty-trained. And he’s sleeping really well, which is amazing. Andy and I are actually getting (mostly) full nights sleep for the first time in about five (five and a half for me) years.

Love

Love

Love love

Love

Stamps with his sister

Stamps with his sister. It looks like he stamped himself in the eye or something but I promise, that didn’t happen

Happy spring, friends.

Procrastination

February 16, 2014

I really should be working right now, but instead I think I’ll post a few pictures. Winter illness finally hit our house last week and the week before, so the kids (and Mama) have had a rough go of it lately. We’re ready for spring around here, that’s for sure.

In January we prevailed upon my parents for some babysitting duties and scored a weekend visit.

Snuggly

Snuggly

Plaid

Plaid buddies

Orin is ridiculously cute right now. He’s just goofy, and funny. He talks a lot and says really funny things. Smart things, too. Things you wouldn’t think he’d notice, but he does.

What a goofball

Nice pants, goofball

Mimi has been amazing me left and right. She’s so helpful and kind with Orin. She stands up for him if one of her friends isn’t being nice to him, or even if Mama or Daddy are being too harsh with him. Mimi is literally PLOWING through library chapter books. She’s also learning Spanish now, with a preschool Spanish class once a week. She’s doing great and learning quickly.

Sister-of-the-Year

Sister-of-the-Year

We’ve had a few chances to get out on the ice in the last few weeks. Mimi on skates, Orin in boots.

Brrrrr

Brrrrr

We're TRYING to make the best of winter

We’re TRYING to make the best of winter

And to give Andy and I a boost, the kids helped us make it through a couple day juice fast.

Cute juicing helpers

Cute juicing helpers

 

Still Here!

January 15, 2014

I thought for sure I’d take a ton of photos during our Christmas holidays. I didn’t do that, but I have a few to share from the last few weeks.

We’ve been having some great times outside in the snow. We’re looking forward to getting Mimi on skis this winter at some point. She’s been skating and cross-country skiing a bit. Orin prefers to sled.

Our first snowman of the season

Our first snowman of the season

I know. I want to eat him up, too.

I know. I want to eat him up, too.

With a side of her.

With a side of her.

We opened our family gifts a bit early and spent about a week in Stillwater and Menomonie with our families.

Mimi holding one of her Christmas presents. Yes, it is tape. She asked for tape. Did you see her Christmas list?

Mimi holding one of her Christmas presents. Yes, it is tape. She asked for tape. Did you see her Christmas list?

Here it is. Adorable, right?

Here it is. Adorable, right?

We got to spend time with Tooie this Christmas! She braved the winter weather and came up to see us here in the frozen tundra. I dumbly didn’t get a great picture of her and all the littles.

Tooie and her great-grands, exploring the NOOK.

Tooie and her great-grands, exploring the NOOK.

We had a great time with both our families and were happy to return home to Madison. And then the cold weather set in and we were stuck inside for a few days. We got creative. And had some jammie days.

Finger-painting away our cabin fever

Finger-painting away our cabin fever

The kids are both completely adorable. Orin is talking more and more (and more, and more, and more….) and it is just amazing and funny. He’s a creative little guy. For instance he made up a game all by himself with no sister input called “Gobble Gobble” wherein he pushes a hair clip through the tines of a hairbrush. Then he says “I finished!” So silly. Any sounds he has trouble saying come out as “h” sounds. He looks outside when it snows and says “HO!” and is always excited to see the “ho-cow” (snowplow) come down the street. He learned how to spell his name, but can’t quite pronounce it yet. He says “o-YUN.” He moved himself into a big kid bed about a month ago, and it is working out well. He tends to ramble around their room a while before falling asleep, but it usually is OK since Mimi tends to fall asleep quickly.

Mimi is doing well. Four going on fourteen. She loves school and continues to amaze us with her sharp mind and reading skills. She’s generally so helpful, patient, and kind with her brother. They’ve been playing together like such good friends. We’ve developed a fun little ‘secret’ saying (DO NOT tell her I told you!) when Orin is being a little um, shall we say – spirited. We whisper to each other: “Oh that two year-old” and she loves it. She’s very very excited because this weekend Gra-gra and Pops are coming down to visit and babysit. She’s helping me plan out a small birthday party for her grandma. Party time!

Catching Up

December 15, 2013

Life has been full in the last month or so! Here is a bit of what we’ve been up to.

We had a really nice Thanksgiving with Andy’s family at his sister’s lovely house. Then we spent one day with my parents, and finished that day with a trip to the downtown Minneapolis nighttime Holidazzle parade. The kids were appropriately dazzled. I don’t think either of them have seen a parade ever (at least that they can remember).

Bundled with Daddy

Bundled with Daddy

Taking it all in

Taking it all in

Best seat in the house

Best seat in the house

And now that winter is upon us, we do a lot of this:

Loving the snow

Loving the snow

 

Snuggly warm

Snuggly warm Orin

The kids have been having a good time in the snow. Orin at two years old is so much bigger than Mimi was at two years old that he is able to maneuver in the snow much better than she was at that age, which is nice. They both love sledding. Mimi has already been out on her (borrowed) cross-country skis. The girl is ready for downhill this year!

Mimi is loving her 4K school program. She is so smart, and such a sweetheart. Her favorite thing is reading, I think. Orin is doing well. He’s talking a lot now, and trying to put together sentences. Two year-olds are soooooo CUTE. Not so cute when he throws his little fits, but he makes up for it pretty quickly.

Sometimes we make crowns

Sometimes we make crowns

We did just a little bit of Christmas-prepping with a small tree this year and a few decorations out. The kids were excited to bring a tree home, but Mimi was sure that we were supposed to put it outside with lights on. She came around after I got the ornaments out and we started decorating.

Oh, NOW I get it

Oh, NOW I get it

I’ll try to take lots of Christmas holiday pictures and post them after the holiday.