Monday, February 27, 2012

Children's Museum

The Minnesota Children's Museum is one of our favorite places to go. We've been members since Maisie was about 14 months old. Now Ella loves it, too!

The water tables are usually one of the more popular exhibits, and it can be hard for Ella to get in there. But for whatever reason, the Museum was surprisingly not crowded yesterday. Ella got to play at the water tables to her heart's content!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hanging at the East Lake Library

Maisie begs to go to the "liberry" - she loves to get new books. A girl after our own hearts!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Your daily dose of cute

She's a pretty princess!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Science Museum trip

Yesterday was that most festive of holidays - Presidents' Day! Maisie and I both had the day off, so we all celebrated with a trip to the Science Museum of Minnesota. We wanted to check out their new Real Pirates exhibit, and I figured the girls were probably old enough for an OmniTheater movie. So off we went!

Unfortunately we weren't alone in our idea... there was a huge line! But we braved the crowds and got our tickets.

We had some time before our 11:00 movie so we went through various exhibits. The dinosaurs are always a hit. The girls also really enjoy an exhibit where they get to play with various colored lights. And they were quite taken with this big chair.
I don't remember quite what it was supposed to be illustrating... perspective, maybe? Anyway, big chair!

We saw the OmniTheater movie, which was really good - Under the Sea, narrated by Jim Carrey. It looked at undersea life in and around coral reefs. Lots of footage of cuttlefish, which I quite enjoyed. Maisie enjoyed the whole thing, and Ella fell asleep on my lap with about ten minutes left in the movie. I carried her out and down to the Pirates exhibit!

We had to wait in line again, which Aaron did not enjoy and which Ella slept through. She woke up just in time for us to go in! It was a really well done exhibit - it worked for kids, but didn't gloss over some of the harsher facts of life at that time. Of course, there were some cool artifacts recovered from a shipwreck -
several cannons (including this one), guns, treasure, and jewelery, along with more mundane articles of ship life, like plates, spoons, and tea kettles.

Afterwards everyone was hungry and cranky, so we went to the Cheeky Monkey
for lunch - it was a favorite of mine when I worked in that neighborhood, and I missed it. While we waited for our sandwiches, the girls kept themselves occupied with drawing.
This is Maisie's Jolly Roger. It's flying on bones (scary!) instead of a mast. The skull has a bone beneath it, is wearing a pirate hat, and also has a mustache - so as not to be too scary.

It was a very busy day but a lot of fun!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012


Ella hasn't been sleeping well lately. We aren't sure if it's due to a growth spurt, developmental something-or-other, or just regular kid wackiness. But whatever the cause, it means Aaron & I aren't sleeping well either.

Lucky Aaron and Ella get naps... while I get pictures of sweetly napping Ella.

Unfair! Mama needs a nap!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Ella's self-portrait

Ella drew this picture of herself after she bumped her head. Sad, right? But also - wow! I'm really impressed with her drawing ability.

Monday, February 06, 2012

Laskiainen 2012!

It's a full Laskiainen recap! :)

For those who don't know... Laskiainen is a traditional Finnish festival that is celebrated the first weekend of February every year. It was co-opted by early Christians but predates them, and originally marked the time when Finnish women were supposed to be done with their spinning and begin their weaving for the year. By now the days are getting longer, and it's easier to spin in low light than it is to weave. (Or so I'm told.) How sliding is worked in: Finnish women traditionally wear their hair up in braided buns. You would unbraid your hair and let it fly out behind you when you go sliding; the longer your hair flies out, the better your weaving will go. Or the higher your flax will grow. Or something. Anyway, sliding.

Palo, Minnesota has been celebrating Laskiainen since 1937, and it's one of the nation's oldest ethnic festivals (according to the Laskiainen brochure I picked up this weekend). Here's the view from the top of their sliding hill! They create a HUGE slide with ice, that goes down onto the frozen lake. It's super fast, pretty bumpy, and crazy, crazy fun.

As you can see, you can get pretty far out onto the lake!

(the second pic there is from Sunday, which was much grayer and overcast than Saturday was.)

The trek back up to the top of the hill was pretty intense, and on Saturday we'd have to wait in line to get to the top. The kids amused themselves playing "mountain climbing" while I held the line for us.

After all that climbing, sledding, and hauling around kids... today I am super sore! My back, legs, and arms are all achy and sore. But we had just a ton of fun. I think this is going to become an annual tradition for us, just like it was when I was a kid - and like it was when my mom was a kid, too, and her parents took her to Laskiainen in Palo.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Laskiainen snapshot

Of course the girls had to get their faces painted... :)

Sent from my Windows Phone

Friday, February 03, 2012

Ice skating in Gilbert, MN

Sent from my Windows Phone