Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Last weekend was again very very busy, with lots of fun adventures. We celebrated Ella's third birthday on Saturday with lots of friends and family, and had a great time! That's going to get its own post at some point in the not-too-distant future. I wanted to get a quick recap up of our Sunday adventure, though - the girls and I went to the Pride parade!

We joined my college friend and neighbor Jo, her wife Jen, their two boys Tristan and Eamon, Jo's friend whose name I forgot (oops!), and his little girl Estella. First of all... thanks Jo for scoping out a great spot to watch the parade! The kids pulled up some curb and we were on the shady side of the street the entire time, which was especially fantastic, considering that we were there for nearly three hours.

Here's Ella, Maisie, Estella, and Tristan being a total ham. Eamon was in a stroller next to Ella and I couldn't quite get him in the picture.

There was a huge Carleton contingent at the parade, of course! A woman wearing a Carleton Pride button ended up standing next to us, classmate Erin Keyes (with her partner Liberty and their adorable little girl Ivy) were in the parade on a pro-marriage float, and Carleton had an official group marching in the parade too. But Macalester wasn't left out...

 those bagpipes are really something. And that mascot's adorable. Go Mac!

The kids had a ton of fun at the parade, admiring the "pretty ladies" (drag queens) and scooping up all the candy, necklaces, and other little items being thrown from the floats. Halfway through the parade, the girls looked like this:

By the end of the parade, they were covered in stickers, full of candy, and Ella was completely exhausted. She asked me to carry her to our bus stop, and fell asleep in my arms before we even got a half a block. She slept through the bus ride, and only woke up when we got off and I handed her to Aaron, who met us at the bus stop. It was exhausting... but so fun! The girls really love parades and festivals. We're looking forward to more on the 4th!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Time to eat the donuts.

We had grand plans to take the girls camping this weekend, but the weather interfered. Who knew that Minnesota had a monsoon season? Anyway, we basically spent the weekend inside, and now it's Monday morning and I'm tired and just not feeling inspired by any of my pictures to write a really thoughtful post.

So instead, here are pictures of Ella eating a sticky donut and ice cream, and giving you monster teeth.

Friday, June 15, 2012


Last weekend we went to the Children's Museum. It was beautiful outside, so we went with the explicit goal of playing on the rooftop art park... which we did, and it was fun. But this isn't a post about painting on the rocks with water...

and it isn't a post about how the girls climbed in the "treehouse," Maisie helping Ella, until they both got to the very top.


This is a post about negotiations.

The girls love the Children's Museum, so it can be hard to get them out of there. But it was close to lunchtime, and Ella's naptime, so we had to go. Maisie was doing chalk drawings when I told her, "two minutes!" She asked "How about five minutes?" I said, well, okay... then she drew this:

And then I said, well, if you can write eight minutes (even if it's spelled "8 minits"), you can have that extra time to stay and play. :)

But since then, she's gotten really interested in writing numbers. She can count past 100 and is going to be able to write them soon too. I might have to amend my "if you can write it you can have it" policy!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Unidentified flora

Botany time! What is this tree?
It's growing near our garage. It's been there for a few years; this is the first that it's had fruit. It has smooth bark, no thorns or anything like that, and the trunk is still relatively small in diameter. The canopy is pretty big already though. Aaron thinks it's a mulberry tree... is that right? What do you think? (looking especially hard at you, Gramma Jo!)

Monday, June 11, 2012

Stick 'em up!

I didn't listen, and got well and truly squirted... those girls might be little and cute, but don't be fooled. They're little Annie Oakleys with squirt guns.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Grand Old Day

We had another busy weekend, which was highlighted by a visit from Uncle Jered, Aunt Shauna, and cousins Max and Riley, who were in town for a mini-vacation from Iowa. It was great to see them! They stayed at a hotel near the Mall of America. So we all had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (a.k.a. the "jungle restaurant") on Friday night, went through the aquarium and played at Lego Land on Saturday morning/afternoon, and then Aaron and the girls had pizza with them and played at the hotel pool (which was more like a water park!) on Saturday evening. I will direct you to their blog, because Shauna has a VERY nice camera, and is already posting a bunch of pictures that are much nicer than anything I can take with my phone. :)

It was great to see you guys... and hopefully we'll see you in August too!

So my weekend recap will be limited to Sunday, which was Grand Old Day. This is an annual event, a street fair in St. Paul along Grand Avenue. It's really the first of the big summer festivals, and is (to me, anyway) much more of a kickoff to summer than May Day or Memorial Day is.

We of course got there bright and early for a number of reasons. For one, that's just how we roll, and it was incredibly easy to find parking. But mainly because there's an 8K race at 7:45 a.m., and Auntie Laura and Dylan were rollerblading it! This was Dylan's first full race, and we HAD to be there to cheer him on!

The course is a down-and-back, and we actually missed them on their first half. But we were right there to cheer on their way back! Dylan looked good, which was particularly impressive given that we were right at the top of a fairly big hill! It was so cool.

After the race, we decided to stick around and wait for the parade, which didn't start for another 90 minutes. That gave us plenty of time to wander around. We went to the grocery store and picked up some breakfast, since the mini-donut booths weren't open yet. Then we went up and down the street checking out the booths and vendors that were set up. This included the MN Wild booth, that had a plinko game. Everyone got a prize. Ella won a hockey card; Maisie won some hockey tape.

This is basically a cloth tape that's used to wrap hockey sticks. She was really excited about it... she kept going, "I have my VERY OWN TAPE!"

We were sitting in the "sports zone," so the girls also had Minnesota Rollergirls tattoos and stickers, and beads from the Timberwolves' cheerleaders. We were really near a booth that had Goldy Gopher, the U of MN Gophers mascot, running around. Ella kept saying, "Mama! Look at that big beaver!!!" I kept saying, nooooo, it's a gopher... but apparently she's way more familiar with beavers than with gophers. They were fascinated by Goldy but he also kind of freaked them out, so we kept our distance from that booth.

Finally - FINALLY! - it was time for the parade! We liked all the princesses, the gymnasts, the firefighters, the girl scouts, and the pirates. We did NOT like the Vulcan Krewe - again, too scary. But we mostly liked anyone who threw candy!

This picture is just a small fraction of what was collected. By the end of the parade, we had as much candy to bring home as the girls usually collect at Halloween! And that doesn't even count all the Tootsie Rolls and Starbursts they ate while we were there.

We didn't stick around after the parade - by then it was 11:30, so really close to naptime. But it was very fun, and a good kickoff to the summer festivals!

Friday, June 01, 2012

First day/last day

Remember this tiny girl?

That was her first day of school at Sunny Hollow. She'd just barely made the age cutoff to start, at not-quite-three years old. She was a little nervous, but couldn't have been more nervous than I was. I remember her running right down the hall without even saying goodbye to me. There was a parents coffee in the garden that morning, and I sat and cried and cuddled Ella, who was all of two months old. I couldn't believe my little Maisie was so grown up!

Just look at her (and Ella!) now, on the morning of her last day at Sunny Hollow:

 As excited as we are that she'll be starting kindergarten in the fall, I'm still feeling very weepy about the fact that, once again, my little Maisie is so grown up. But apparently that's what parenting is: a series of milestones where you shake your head and wonder how they ever got so big, even while you're loving the person they've become, and can't wait to see what comes next.