Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowy fun

The blizzard wasn't our only snow this month. In fact, this has been the snowiest December on record for the Twin Cities! As of the 21st we had received over 38" of snow. The usual snowfall for an entire winter is only 42"!

But don't worry, we don't let something like snow keep us inside.

After all, we are Minnesotans! And you know what they say... there's no such thing as bad weather - just bad clothing!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


As you may have heard, we got a bit of snow last weekend... 16.5", to be exact, in Minneapolis! Combine that with high winds and below-zero temperatures, and it's a full-on blizzard. Minneapolis is on its second consecutive snow emergency, and both Minneapolis and St. Paul public schools are on their second snow day.

Because of the frigid temps, we don't have any pictures of the girls playing in the snow. Also, it's way too deep for them! The drifts are chest-high on Maisie, and well over Ella's head. But I thought I'd share some pictures so those of you elsewhere can see what we're dealing with.

For perspective, here's a picture of Ella in our front yard in October. See the sign in the background?

Here's how it looks today:

Remember the climber in our backyard?

Here it is, mid-day Saturday, even before all the snow had fallen.

You probably heard that the Metrodome collapsed from the snow... I don't have a "before" picture, but here's my "after," taken with my cell phone on my way to work today. I labeled it because it's hard to see what isn't there.

Happily, not my car.

But unfortunately, this is my office.

Hmmmm... perhaps storm windows would've been a good idea.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Maisie's 4th birthday

Maisie was a lucky girl: she had two birthday parties this year!

On her actual birthday, we had a party at Auntie Laura, Dan, and Dylan's house. It was pretty low-key, with just Grammy Liisa joining us. We ordered pizza, opened presents, and ate cake. She got several Barbie dolls, a Hello Kitty purse, and a musical princess ballerina dress from her Grandma Jo, which she immediately had to wear.

Grammy Liisa made an amazing cake:

which Maisie LOVED!

Then, of course, we had a pinata. Even Ella took a swing at it:

It's hard to see because the picture is blurry, but trust me: that baby is holding, and swinging, a HUGE stick.

Maisie's birthday fell on a weekday. So on the following Saturday, we had a party with her school friends at Adventure Peak at Edinborough, an indoor play park. We also invited our friends Emi and Liza, who joined us and enjoyed the cupcakes.

Of course, Emi wasn't the only kid who loved the cupcakes...

Ella did some damage to hers, too!

Everyone had fun playing, and Maisie had a great day with her friends.

We're so happy with our sweet, silly, funny, loving, smart, and all-around wonderful Maisie! The past four years with her have been a joy. We can't wait to see what the future holds for her!

Wednesday, November 03, 2010


Just 4 short years ago today, Maisie looked like this...

Look how far we've come!

At 4, Maisie is a smart, funny, confident, loving girl. She loves dancing and singing, drawing, coloring, and painting. She has a silly sense of humor and loves to tell jokes. She has an active, curious mind and is always asking questions. She is sweet and affectionate, and always gives hugs and kisses to her friends and family. She loves school, and is learning to read and write. We can't wait to see what the future holds for her!

Happy birthday Maisie!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Practicing for Halloween

First of all - nearly a month between posts! I have to apologize. We lost our camera for the longest time, but just found it again, so we should be back to our regularly semi-scheduled posts.

Okay. Yesterday we were sitting around when my sister called and asked, "Does Maisie want to go trick-or-treating with me and Dylan?" Are beans green??? Of course she wants to! Fortunately she was already wearing a costume - a ballerina tutu, 'cause that's what she wears at home most of the time. So we pulled some tights on her, found her pumpkin bucket, and off she went!

Dylan was dressed as Darth Vader - no mask for the picture, though.

They went up and down Grand Avenue in St. Paul for an annual event called Boo Bash, sponsored by the Grand Avenue Business Association. The local businesses hand out treats, and there were various activities such as pony rides, face painting, and a costume contest.

A great time was had by all! Thanks Auntie Laura for inviting Maisie along!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


Without Maisie to chase her around all day, Ella has had to find alternative ways to get out and run around. We take a lot of walks, and even though the weather has started its all too familiar rolling slide back into fall, the sidewalks and boulevards are still lined with flowers. Ella is delighted. She points out each new batch as she sees them. "Flower!" Also every rock, which she calls a "gah!" I say, "rrrooooccckkk" and she says "gah" and hits it and goes to look for more.

Our walks take a while.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Farmer's Market

Last Saturday, Maisie, Aaron, Gramma Liisa, and Dylan went bowling at the Bryant-Lake Bowl. Ellie and I thought about going too, but decided that perhaps a tightly crowded restaurant/bowling alley/cabaret theater isn't the best place to take an antsy toddler with more mobility than sense. So instead, she and I decided to go to the Midtown Farmer's Market.

I was planning on picking up apples for making applesauce, so I made sure she was wearing the apple hat her Grandma Jo made. I also wanted tomatoes for canning. But Ella was enamored of these beautiful winter squash called Sunset...

So we had to get one of those first.

We did stop by the awesome local apple orchard table and bought a whole lot of apples, which Ella also got excited about.

Maybe it's just that she really likes applesauce!

After we got over our joy about the apples and squash, we were able to listen to the Danish folk music that was being played, which Ella also really enjoyed.

It was a chilly morning, but very fun.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

First day of school!

Today was Maisie's first day of her 2nd year at her Montessori preschool.

For comparison - look how much bigger she is than last year!

I can't believe how much she's grown!

Speaking of growing up... Ella is now 14 months old, and becoming a fully formed person. She walks, climbs, and runs, has fantastic receptive language skills, and can communicate! She is very clear about her likes (milk, being read to, balls, Gramma Liisa, the cats, Maisie) and dislikes (diaper changes, bedtime).

She loves to go to the children's museum, and play with water...

and to play in the outdoor sandbox!

As you can see, she has beautiful curly hair, big blue eyes, and an infectious grin.

We are so fortunate to have such wonderful, beautiful girls!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

State Fair

Last Saturday, Maisie and I hit the State Fair. It was crazy, and fun, and crazy fun. We saw all kinds of animals, rode the rides, ate delicious junk food, danced to African drummers, and basically had an awesome time. I didn't take as many pictures as I should've, but these will give you a good idea. Enjoy!

We didn't take pictures on the giant slide or on the tilt a whirl, but I think you get the idea. All in all, it was a great day!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Hectically Happy

The last couple weeks it has been uncomfortably hot and humid. This hasn't stopped the girls from racing from one place to another, with any downtime whatsoever requiring copious amounts of Dora the Explorer (Ella adores Dora, but is terrified of Swiper), graham crackers and a record number of baths (for them, I'm trying to cultivate an exotic aroma and don't want to ruin it with unknown variables like water).

To beat the heat they go to the Children's Museum 2-3 times a week or play and swim at the playground...

...or go the zoo (Maisie at the Bird Show and Ella in the Den of Angry Goats).

There was also a bbq with a bounce house and swimming pool, probably Maisie's favorite event altogether, this summer.

God I'm worn out.

Thursday, August 12, 2010


I really love this picture.

This is Aaron's and Maisie's feet, at Grandma Liisa's house. I love that Maisie and her daddy are clearly so close, that their feet are right on top of each other's.

I also love that you can see Maisie's webbed second and third toes. That's something that she - and Ella - got from my side of the family. My maternal grandfather, as well as both my mom's brothers, had or have the webbed toes. It's so cool - this recessive trait that both my girls have (Maisie on both feet, Ella on one) that links them back to my grandfather and beyond.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Free Time

The weather hasn't been ferocious, but it's definitely been warm. We've been nipping at 90 degrees for a couple of weeks, so we've been going to the pool a lot, as well as various air-conditioned venues (Children's Museum, MN Zoo).

Water wheels and gizmos at the Children's Museum.

Playing in the pool at the park (or princess paddling in purple pants)

Both Maisie and Ella tamely submit to their daily sun-blocking, although Ella starts giggling and squirming away once I start lotioning her nose and cheeks.

Maisie after the costume parade at Highland Fest.
"I didn't place daddy! I didn't get a place!" regarding her participation ribbon. I told her to beat up the first place kid and take his ribbon and prize candy. What? She gets the ribbon, I get the candy.
"There he is, sweetie! Get him! Get HIM!"

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

For the 4th of July, Maisie and I decided to go see the fireworks at Powderhorn Park, since it's just a few blocks from home. Unfortunately... we had a looooong wait for it to get dark!

We had some time to kill, so Maisie got her first Sno Cone.

It was orange...

as you can tell!

After that treat, we wandered around a bit, and found a group giving away native perennials for people to plant in their yards/gardens. Maisie chose a black-eyed susan.

Still no fireworks! We were starting to get bored...

so I bought Maisie a light-up sword to play with. It reminded me of her cousin Max, because I think it looks like a Star Wars light saber. Here she is, making her 'scary bad guy' face.

At this point she was starting to get bored AND tired, so she took to sitting in the stroller and just pointing the thing at people.

Finally - finally! - it was time for fireworks!

And the whole thing was totally worth it.

Thursday, July 01, 2010

Ella's 1st Birthday

Here are some highlights from Ella's 1st birthday.

We had the party over at auntie Laura's.

There were water balloons (not pictured) and the sprinkler!

And a pinata.

And of course CAKE!

Overall, a really good day. Happy birthday, Ellie!