Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Maisie was really excited on Christmas morning - Santa brought her a sled!

We have a little hill in our backyard that had a fresh coat of snow on it, so we bundled up and headed right out there! Maisie didn't want to go down the hill by herself, so I rode with her.

Unfortunately, it was pretty cold, so the snow was really powdery. It would've been great for skiing, but it wasn't too great for sledding. We went down the hill okay, but as soon as we hit the bottom of the hill, we sank right in to the snow.

Maisie and I both fell out of the sled into the snow! I thought it was pretty funny, but Maisie wasn't too amused.

She needed some hugs and reassurance before she was willing to get back on the sled! But she did, and she enjoyed it, briefly. It was pretty cold out. We were probably only out there for about 15 minutes.

When we went inside, we had some hot chocolate. And she really enjoyed that!

Saturday, December 27, 2008

A Christmas surprise

Hi all! We've been so busy celebrating over here that we haven't had time to update. Maisie's had so many Christmases, I think she thinks we're celebrating Hannukah. We started with Aaron's family celebration in Iowa, continued with my family on Christmas Eve, and wrapped it up at home on Christmas day. Of course, we're going to holiday parties today and tomorrow too, so the celebrations just continue.

One of Maisie's favorite gifts has been a Play-Do set from Auntie Laura and Dylan that came with pieces she could use to punch out letters and numbers. When we were playing with it, I wrote a message to Aaron.

Ha ha! Just kidding! That's not really how I told him.

Really, though, if all goes well Maisie will be a big sister this summer! I am 14 weeks pregnant today, and so far everything looks good. Our due date is June 27, though we'll be scheduling a C section, so actual baby arrival will probably be a week or so beforehand. We don't yet know the sex, but we're definitely planning on finding out.

We've started talking to Maisie about being a big sister. I'm not showing (too much) yet, though, so it's pretty abstract. She seems sort of enthusiastic when we talk about it, but I'm not sure how much she really understands. I think we're all in for some big changes this summer!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Crafty interlude 2

Poor Maisie is sick with a tummy bug! You don't want to see pictures of that. So instead, some recent crochet projects.

My friend Sarah and I decided to crochet scarves for the Special Olympics this year - they are trying to get enough handmade scarves to give one to each athlete and person traveling with the athlete.

They specified the yarn to use, but aside from that it's up to you... knit/crochet, any size/pattern, just as long as it's handmade.

These were my contributions! The last one with the flowers looks better on than it does spread out on the back of the couch.

We sent the scarves off yesterday, with congrats and good luck wishes to the athletes.

Recently my friend Bethany (Trixie's mama) gave me a huge box of yarn odds & ends that were her mother's. She thought I might like them for little crocheted projects and toys.

I used a bunch of the yarns, and made Trixie a Socktopus! I got the idea from a knit pattern I saw recently. I don't knit, so I just had to fake it, but I am pretty happy with the result. It was very cute!

Think healthy thoughts for us, and hopefully we'll have some cute new Maisie pics for you soon!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

A visit to Santa

On Saturday, we braved the crowds at the Mall of America to go visit Santa (and get some Christmas shopping done).

Maisie got all dressed up in her Christmas dress, and off we went. We'd been talking up Santa for a while, figuring it might freak her out a little bit. So we told her all about how nice he is, and will ask what she wants for Christmas.

(She has Christmas and birthdays kind of confused right now - I think it's the presents thing. So when you ask her anything about Christmas, she usually says "Two!!")

We waited in line and pointed out all the little kids sitting on Santa's lap. She started to get excited, but then when it was our turn - no dice. She wouldn't let me put her down - I couldn't have peeled her off my neck for love or money. So we ended up with an unexpected family picture! I'll try to scan it at work tomorrow so I can share it here. It turned out pretty well, considering that neither Aaron nor I planned on having our picture taken that day. We're not nearly as dressed up as Maisie.

After that whole thing, we all needed some lunch.

We went to the Rainforest Cafe, which Maisie appreciates because of all the fishtanks, and the huge animatronic gorillas. We were seated next to the rainy part of the rainforest, which she thought was pretty cool, as you can see.

After lunch and a bit of shopping, it was time to head for home.

We were walking back through the Nickelodeon-themed amusement park, when who (or what?) did we see but Uniqua from Backyardigans! Maisie loves, loves, loves that show, and Uniqua in particular. Maisie ran up at first, but when Uniqua tried to say hi, she got scared. I really thought it was going to be the Santa situation all over again.

But with some help from Aaron, Maisie pulled it together enough to say hi and get a high five from Uniqua. She talked about that the whole way home - we could hear her in the back seat, quietly saying "Nika. Me! Five! Dada Nika five!"

It was really sweet.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Aaron and I are really excited about Christmas this year, because Maisie is finally old enough to start understanding what's going on. She's not quite there yet, but she got the hang of birthdays really quickly, so I think she'll catch on fast.

She loves to see the beautiful lights outside when we're driving, and was thrilled when we said we could have actual lights! on a tree! in our house!!

She had a lot of fun helping us decorate the tree, and trying to keep the cats from knocking down the low-hanging ornaments that she put on. She didn't really understand that our Christmas stockings are decorative, not functional, but she'll figure that one out soon enough!

She also got to have her first encounter of the year with Santa! She, Dylan, my friend Brian and I went to the zoo, where we were surprised to see Santa. Dylan didn't want to say hi, but Maisie was intrigued by the gifts he was offering.

She was not interested in hanging around so I could get a picture, though! Oh well, thanks Santa for trying.

Friday, December 05, 2008

This one's for Max

Maisie and I took this picture on our last trip to the Minnesota Zoo, just for her cousin Max.

It's a wolverine, of course!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving! (belatedly)

Once again I have to apologize for the length of time between posts! This time, though, I can't blame illness - I dropped and broke our camera chasing Maisie around Underwater Adventures, the aquarium at the Mall of America. So as a result, I have no pictures to share of our lovely Thanksgiving, which included a trip to Iowa to meet baby Maya. But if someone has some and can email them to me (hint hint Clare!) then I'd be happy to share them here.

But we went shopping the day after Thanksgiving and picked up a lovely new camera at Best Buy. (We also got the extended insurance plan that covers accidental damage, say for instance if it were dropped.) So I do have pictures from our trip to the Minnesota Zoo today!

One of the highlights, for Maisie, of a trip to the zoo is always sitting on this giant metal tortoise. It can be hard to get her off the metal tortoise to go see the actual, real animals sometimes!

You may notice that Maisie has another orange hat on! She got this pumpkin hat as a birthday present from her grandma Jo, who made it for her. Since it's too cold out for her other orange hat, she's now taken to this one as her constant headwear. She gets lots of compliments on it!

After walking around for a while, we sat by the gibbons' enclosure and had a snack. I learned today that one of the differences between monkeys and apes is that monkeys have tails, whereas apes do not. So there is a fun animal science fact for you!

We ended our zoo day at Discovery Bay, which houses the aquatic animals. There's a giant aquarium with all kinds of interesting fish (and sharks!), a tidal touch pool that Maisie loves to splash in, and a dolphin tank. Maisie enjoyed watching the dolphins swim around.

Normally there are dolphin shows, but one of the dolphins turned up pregnant, so all shows are cancelled until some time after she gives birth. But in the meantime, we still like to watch them swim around and play together.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sorry no posts for over a week, but poor Maisie's been dealing with an ear infection (and we've been dealing with poor Maisie!).

She was home from daycare Monday through Thursday last week, and got to see her pediatrician twice before she recovered enough to go back to school on Friday. So while we had some cute photo-worthy moments, like discovering the magic of Play-Doh on Tuesday, we also had lots of tears and complaining, which does not make for cute pictures.

Fortunately for all of us, the antibiotics her doctor prescribed worked their magic, and we're all back to our normal routines!

Lately Maisie has been very big on "helping." Sometimes she's really helpful, like when we're picking up toys and putting them away. Other times she's less helpful, like when I'm, say, vacuuming. When I'm in the kitchen, she always brings in a chair and wants to help with whatever I'm doing.

Today she wanted to help wash dishes! I ran some warm, soapy water, put in some spoons, bowls, and plastic cups, and gave her a sponge. She really went to town! She poured water into the cups with the spoons, and then poured it from cup to cup and back into the sink. She was incredibly focused and working really hard! It was very cute. The soapy water got everywhere, of course, but now the counters and floors are really clean!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Birthday party!

It's about a week late, but here's the recap of Maisie's 2nd birthday party! Photos are courtesy of our friend Patrick, who is Trixie's daddy and a great photographer. Thanks Patrick!

Everyone had a blast! (I'm pretty sure, anyway!) I know Maisie did, and I did too.

We had the party at the Children's Museum. It was pretty small - just immediate family plus a few friends with similarly-aged kids.

We all had cake and ice cream. The kiddos had juice, and most of the grownups went to the coffee shop conveniently located in the gift shop of the museum. That's some good planning, there!

After cake and ice cream, and running around with the other kids, Maisie opened her presents (with some help from me and Dylan).

Maisie got a lot of great presents from our generous friends and family! She really loves them all, especially her toys that she can "cook" with, her Mr. Potato Head (with friends), and her new "wodot" (robot). You all are so thoughtful! We could tell a lot of thought went into choosing her gifts.

After opening presents, we went upstairs and played in the museum. They have a great new exhibit all about balls! There's a special area for littler kids where they can explore how different size balls bounce on different surfaces. It's kind of crazy, but they had a blast.

This picture really only hints at the lunacy of that room.

Afterwards, everyone went home and had naps. At least, that's what we did, and I can only assume others did the same!

Thanks for helping us celebrate Maisie's birthday!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Election day!

Yesterday we all went to vote, first thing in the morning. We had to wait about 45 minutes in line, which nobody really enjoyed, but Maisie was remarkably patient. (I think the cookies they had at our polling place helped!)

Aaron (and Maisie) got to the front of the line, and got to vote, before I did.

But we all did get to vote, even if it took a little longer than we thought it would, and we were so happy with the results!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Happy Halloween!

As you may know, Halloween is probably my favorite holiday. I had high hopes of passing this love of all things Halloween on to Maisie. But unfortunately, it turns out she has been afraid of all her costumes. Last year she refused to wear the shark costume we got her. This year I went for something less objectively scary, but no luck: she said her panda costume was too scary, and totally refused it.

She partially relented after seeing her daycare friends dressed up, and after I explained that trick or treating requires a costume. She agreed to wear the hat, but not the rest of the costume. So, this is Maisie semi-dressed up as a panda.

She also insisted on carrying her "I'm voting for kids!" fan.

Skeptical as she was about costumes, Maisie got the hang of trick or treating really quickly. We didn't hit too many houses, just a few friends in the neighborhood, but she enjoyed it a lot. She was really good about saying "TREAT!!" and even said thank you after she got her candy. Then she had Kit Kats for dinner, and cried the next morning when we said she had to eat cereal, not Whoppers, for breakfast.

At least Halloween only comes once a year!

P.S. Can you believe Maisie turns 2 on Monday?? It's absolutely nuts to me, that she's been with us for so long! It seems like only yesterday that we were staying up all night with her, watching endless reruns of Lou Dobbs and Larry King on CNN and wishing she would sleep for four hours straight. But at the same time, I can hardly remember life without her. What did I do with all my free time??

Thursday, October 30, 2008

mustache party!

My sister had a work event last night, so Dylan came over to our house for a while. We aren't going to see him for Halloween tomorrow, so we gave him his special Halloween present early: temporary tattoo mustaches!

He was really excited about them, and we had to put one on him right away before his mom get to our house. She was really surprised to see her little boy with a mustache!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Weekend projects

We had a fun, crafty weekend this weekend!

It's almost Halloween, so I decided that we needed a jack o' lantern. On Saturday morning Maisie and I hit the farmer's market while Aaron slept in, and we picked out a couple of pumpkins. (Maisie also requested, and I got her, a cookie. What kind? "Giant!")

We brought it home and carved it open. Maisie was fascinated by the insides, and enjoyed playing with them!

She thought it needed a silly face, so that's what it got. I think she's pretty happy with the way it turned out!

We also roasted the seeds, which she tried and did not care for. Aaron and I enjoyed them, though. And it turns out the squirrels are enjoying the jack o'lantern, so it's a good thing we got a second pumpkin. We'll carve that one up later this week!

On Sunday, we had planned on going trick-or-treating at the Como Zoo. Unfortunately, it was really cold out - a high of 40 degrees, with high wind gusts, and even snow flurries! So the outside event was off, and we made cookies instead.

As you know, Maisie really enjoys playing 'cooking,' and I figured she's big enough to start helping me actually cook! I put the dry ingredients in a big bowl and gave her a spoon to mix them all up. Then she used the measuring cup to put them into my bowl, which had the eggs, butter, vanilla, and sugar! There was a fair amount of flour that got everywhere, but she got most of it into the bowl. I mixed it up, and then we spooned it onto the pan together.

The cookies turned out great, and she was so proud that we made them together! It was a very fun chilly day activity.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Yard Work Sunday

Last year, you may remember, I wrote that we hoped that Maisie would be able to help us rake this fall.

Well, not only did Maisie help us with yard work this weekend - Dylan did too!

Many hands make light work, even when some of the hands are pretty little! We were able to finish up most of the raking pretty quickly, so we could just to play outside and enjoy one of the last beautiful fall days. (Since then, it's getting down to freezing overnight... brr!)

We played with Dylan's cool frisbee, until it went into the neighbor's yard. Oops!

Then we kicked a ball around the yard, dug in the dirt, and of course, colored with our sidewalk chalk.

Dylan was a great helper, and we all had a lot of fun!

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Hey, sorry again for the delay between posts! I do try to keep the blog updated twice weekly but last week was crazy at work... I'll try to keep up this week!

Maisie's hair has been getting out of control. We've been trying to keep up with her bangs, but have been doing only a fair to middling job of it. Plus, the rest of her hair was just crazy. So yesterday, she had her first Real Salon Haircut! I was going to take pictures, but the process kind of freaked her out so she sat in my lap for the cut. But, here are some pictures of the end result.

Our stylist, Brianna (I took Maisie to the same person I see), really cleaned up Maisie's bangs. They're a lot more even now, a little higher above her eyebrows, and go a little further past her eyes than I had been cutting them. I was concerned about giving her Jim Carrey-Dumb and Dumber hair! But as you can see, Brianna really avoided that.

She kept the length on Maisie's hair, but gave it some more layers so the ends curl up more than they had been

Brianna also gave Maisie her first sucker. It was butterscotch, and Maisie really enjoyed it.

Big picture of the final result. Aaron doesn't love the bangs, but at this point her hair is still so baby-fine that it doesn't really have a part. Brianna thinks her hair will start to develop a more adult texture in the next 6-12 months, and then we'll be able to lose the bangs and find the part. But until then, Maisie will be rocking the bangs.

By the way, it took a while to get such good pictures of her hair! Here's a sample of the outtakes of our session, just so you know what I was up against, trying to document this first haircut for posterity.

Friday, October 10, 2008

In the absence of Maisie pictures...

It's been crazy busy at work (me) and school (Aaron), so we haven't had much time to take cute new pictures of Maisie. So instead, I'll show you my brand new CAR!

(Brand new is actually inaccurate - it's a 2006 Scion xB that's new to me, as of two weeks ago.)

Now that Aaron's in school, we've been struggling with just having a single car. It worked really well when we worked the same hours and our offices were within a mile of each other. But now he's running between work and school, and has classes late at night and early in the morning. So, we decided to bite the bullet and get a new car.

I was originally planning on something sensible like a Corolla or a Camry, but once I got behind the wheel of the X Box, I was in love!

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Not so neat

Yesterday Maisie and I did some pumpkin painting at home.

We picked up some mini pumpkins and went to town! It was a lot of fun.

I'm especially posting this to quiet those crazy rumors that Maisie is somehow a neater than average child! She loves to paint, but not just the act of painting. She squishes it in her fingers, mixes the colors together to see what happens, and even tries to taste it. (usually she's unsuccessful, but I couldn't swear that she's never eaten paint. Which is why nontoxic is so important!!)

So as I'm sure you can imagine, the little amount of paint on her shirt here is only the beginning. Later, she hugged her pumpkin!

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Pizza Tuesdays

On Tuesdays and Thursdays, Aaron has a late class. Thursdays we have dinner with my mom at her place, but Tuesdays Maisie and I have a pizza date. We hit the uptown Pizza Luce, where we each get a slice and a beverage. They usually have cute kids' cups with straws, but today they were out. We improvised, and Maisie had her milk in a to-go coffee cup.

Forgive the lousy pics, these were all taken with my cell phone as I had no idea how cute dinner was going to be!

Anyway, the coffee cup was a great idea, so thanks Pizza Luce server! She did a really good job and hardly spilled at all. Plus, it made me laugh to see her drinking out of her coffee cup like she was drinking a big old latte.

I don't know if most of you know this, but Maisie LOVES pizza.

As you can see, she shoves the pizza in with two hands!

She'll eat pizza any day, and any time... occasionally when we ask her what she wants for breakfast, she'll say "pizza!" What would you like to drink, Maisie? "Pizza!" Um, how about some juice? We don't drink pizza. Although she has had cold pizza for breakfast, at 22 months... that's a milestone for the baby book.

Our Pizza Luce dinner is always finished off with ice cream for Maisie.

I know, I know, we had that discussion: Ice cream is not a finger food! Please use your spoon! It took some reminding, but she eventually used her spoon and ate about every last drop of ice cream.


Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Festival

Yesterday my mom and I took Maisie and Dylan to a Fall Festival at one of the local garden centers. We started off with donuts, of course!

Don't the best mornings all start with donuts?

Here, Maisie is standing in front of a hay bale maze. She and Dylan had a lot of fun running around inside of it. After they found their way out, Dylan and Gramma went into a haunted house. It was a little too scary for Maisie, so she didn't go. But Dylan had so much fun that we went back about five times!

After that, we did pumpkin painting.

Maisie really enjoyed painting her pumpkin, using all the colors with her fingers as well as with her brush. I think Dylan described her pumpkin well when he said "Maisie's pumpkin looks like a party!"

What a creative (and apt) description!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Happy birthday, Daddy!

Maisie's daddy's birthday is today! Happy birthday Aaron!

I often hear about how much Maisie looks like me. So in honor of Aaron's birthday, I thought I'd post some pictures from this weekend that show just how much like him she is. She may get looks from me, but her personality is 100% Aaron.

This is just one example, but one rainy Saturday afternoon, the thing to do at our house was coloring. As you can see, Maisie and Aaron were both working hard on their projects!

We all take coloring very seriously... normally Maisie is quite the ham in front of the camera. But she was so intent on her coloring that she didn't even notice me snapping pics!

That's some focus, there!

But it isn't just her love of coloring that she gets from Aaron. They really share a silly, goofy sense of humor. While she comes to me for cuddles and hugs and quiet time, when Maisie wants to play and be loud and silly, she is 100% about her daddy!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Maisie's first concert

Today was the Target Children's Book Festival! The lineup featured the voices of the Wonder Pets, Lisa Loeb, and best of all, They Might Be Giants! We were so excited.

Unfortunately, it rained all day long, and TMBG had to cancel - apparently rain + electric guitars/instruments = no outdoor concert. It was a real bummer for me.

Maisie and Dylan, however, still had a reasonably good time. We did get to see the people who voice the Wonder Pets perform, which was pretty neat. (It's three middle-school aged girls! Who knew??) Lisa Loeb was signing autographs when we got there; I didn't have anything for her to sign, but it was still cool to see her. And of course, as with any good Minnesota festival, there was kettle corn.

Maisie really enjoyed her first kettle corn, as you can probably tell!

After the Wonder Pets, we went and played on this ginormous play structure until it got too rainy out. Maisie and I got a lot of compliments on her shirt! Here's a closer look:

Pretty cute, eh?

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Happy birthday to Mama!

Monday Sept 8 is my birthday! As an early gift, Aaron gave me the afternoon off and took Maisie to the children's museum, where she apparently enjoyed... um, something.

Yes, the Republicans have gone and downtown St. Paul is accessible again, and not a moment too soon. Although we stayed away from both the convention and the associated protests, it got pretty scary at times and we have some friends who got caught up in it. We're glad it's over, for many reasons.

This afternoon, I enjoyed sitting on the couch, watching football and crocheting. I didn't take any pictures, though, so you'll have to take my word for it. Thanks Aaron!

We also want to say a big fat CONGRATULATIONS!! to Aaron L. and his new FIANCEE Nicole! We are all so happy for you guys, and can't wait to meet Nicole. Much love!

Also, Aaron L., happy belated birthday... all, his birthday is exactly one week before mine, and I always forget until MY birthday, when I think "oh darn, I missed Aaron's birthday again!" Oops.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Avoiding the RNC

So the Republicans are in town this week. We're doing our best to stay out of their way, and this weekend was so far, so good!

Yesterday my mom and I took Maisie to a nearby park. There was supposed to be a big festival there, but we couldn't find it... bummer! We did find some fun things to play on, though. so it all worked out in the end.

The big news for us was that this weekend, Maisie moved from her crib into a Big Girl Bed!

Yay big girl beds! It feels like a big change, but she seems ready. She slept in the big bed while we were in California, and did really well, so we made the change.

She really likes it, and wouldn't you? Doesn't it look like fun? I certainly think so, and am now considering getting a fun tent like that for our bed too. She's fallen out a few times, but it seems like that's par for the course, and overall she's doing really well with the change.

Last pic is Maisie modeling a hat I made this weekend for my mom:

Of course I made her a hat too, but she couldn't be less interested in it - she only wants to wear the hat I made for Gramma. Oh well!

Finally, this post comes with lots of get-well-soon wishes for Grandma Jo. Feel better soon! We love you!!