Monthly Archives: August 2019

32.

This morning, Glitter woke up with a crusty left eye and a shiny new prescription for pink eye. School is already closed for the week so two cheers for least impactful sickness ever! After learning that I was now 32, Critter busied himself with counting the number of years until I am 36, which is the same age as Dad.

I was really excited when I learned that I could use my free Caribou drink at any point during the next week and not just on my actual birthday. I drank a Pumpkin Spice Latte with an extra shot of espresso this morning care of Starbucks.

Birthdays are different now.

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Duluth!!

Second annual family vacation with my in-laws! Tradition alert!!!

Duluth is great for little kids. The drive from Minneapolis is 2.5 hours and as long as you have the right clothes, there is lots to do outside. We love being outside! Once again we were very literally blessed to be able to stay in our cousins’ beach home on Lake Superior. With littles this age, being able to put everyone to bed in their own bedroom on vacation makes vacation SO MUCH NICER. Someday they (or we) will all be able to share room(s) but that time is not now.

We spent about two weeks preparing for the trip – watching ship videos, talking about what we would do and what we would see. By the time departure day came, Critter was so excited when he came downstairs that he brought his pillow and blanket with him to be sure that they got packed in the car.

Sunday was sunny, Monday was rainy and the kids soaked through three (!!!) pairs of shoes. We had a lot of fun outside running, splashing, and just hanging out. The kids got to feed seagulls for the first time and naturally one of them tried to eat the bread before giving it to the bird. They were also delighted by throwing rocks into Lake Superior.

We made it a point to watch the ships. We saw the American Courage, Roger Blough, James R. Barker, and American Century (unpictured).

We took a harbor tour on the Vista boat which kids enjoyed to varying degrees. It was rainy. We were not deterred. There were only 20 people on the boat that afternoon so it was sort of like a semi-private tour.

We visited the aquarium and the kids’ favorite part was the water table. That was fully one hour of our visit.

When we left, both of them needed completely new (read: DRY) outfits. I will remember this for next time.

I went paddle boarding for the third time ever.

We brought this pile of delight from Northern Waters Smokehaus to Vikre Distillery for an early birthday dinner care of my in-laws.

And then it was time to go home! We had such a wonderful time but it is time to sleep in our own beds again.

P.S. If you want to track the boat schedule so you can catch them arriving and departing like we do, click here.

Some Things

Right now we’re on our annual family vacay in Duluth so let’s catch-up, shall we?

  • After cleaning more clothes out of my closet, I ordered a clean-out bag from ThredUp (yes that is a referral code – we each get $10 if you use it and you are a first time shopper!!!) to send some things in to them. I have purchased three things from them before (a new with tags Calvin Klein dress, a Lilly Pulitzer scarf, and a pencil skirt) and been really happy with the quality so I would recommend it to anyone.
  • I had my annual physical last week and completed my HPV vaccine series. I got the first two when I was ~19 and failed to get the third shot. Since the CDC now provides guidance for adults up to age 45 to receive the vaccine, it was important to me to do that. PSA everyone.
  • I have been on a hunt to get some new yoga pants and lounge shorts. After ordering a lot of yoga pants and a lot of shorts and returning a number of both because of a series of fit issues, I settled on these 90 Degree by Reflex yoga pants (spoiler alert they use the same material as Lulu) and these Under Armour shorts (neither are affiliate links!!!).
  • About a month ago I started using natural deodorant. Not because I think regular deodorant is hurting us but because I felt like my Secret wasn’t working well anymore and I love a trend!!! Also Target had minis in their little sample sized beauty boutique! I tried Native first – it gave me a terrible rash. I switched to Schmidt’s Sensitive Jasmine Tea and no rash. The first two weeks were very stinky, I even tried a recommended clay mask (mostly to address the rash) which is a whole different story. Now I am not stinky!!! Would tell others to try if they’re interested.
  • Functionally speaking, I have taken the summer off of TV to make sure I am outside as much as possible. It has been a great choice, would recommend to anyone, will repeat next year. That said, I just watched my first episode of Southern Charm for the season and !!!!

On Family Dinner

All of our friends and family know that at dinner time, the kids have eaten at 5:00/5:15, while we have made a separate meal of adult food for us to enjoy at 7:30 when they are asleep.

This has been a source of marital happiness and sanity for the last 3.5 years, one last normal holdover from our pre-kid life.

We always swore we would start eating dinner with our kids, sort of around this age but here we were, still eating dinner together. In peace.

Last Wednesday, being the cool mom that I am, I was delighted to introduce mini corndogs to the children.

What actually happened: Critter ate one bite, chewed it for five minutes, cried. Glitter peeled the batter off of all of her corndogs, ate two tiny bites of two hot dogs, cried.

Me: If everyone is going to cry about what they are eating, we may as well eat as a family and try new things!!!

So without further adieu, we started family dinner on Thursday evening.

The children can eat what is served or a peanut butter sandwich. Of the things I have served so far, they have enjoyed variations on gyros, feta cheese (calling that out specifically because they were both eating it directly from the container!!!), grilled curry chicken, coconut rice, kale slaw, elote, peanut noodles. Of four meals eaten together we have made a total of three peanut butter sandwiches.

We also learned that Glitter knows how to use toddler chopsticks.

Logistically, cooking for the family and eating by 5:15- 5:30 each night is a new challenge we are all learning our way through. For me, how to actually cook to that timing, for the children, how to entertain themselves while I am cooking!

If you have any favorite kid-friendly/family favorite recipes, please share in the comments!

What I’ve Been Reading

A brief recap of what I have read recently.

Waking Up White by Debby Irving

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

Decolonizing Wealth by Edgar Villanueva

The Wars of the Roses: The Fall of the Plantagenets and the Rise of the Tudors by Dan Jones

Rules of Civility by Amor Towles

Virgil Wander by Leif Enger

Some of My Best Friends are Black by Tanner Colby

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Watermelons!

No, seriously.

This week’s garden update is brought to you by the three watermelon plants that have sprouted NINE watermelons as of the current count. I say current, because there are flowering vines where we may yet see more watermelons. I am just going to be honest, I thought three plants equalled three watermelons. Incorrect.

This week, we ate our parsley in pizza beans and tabbouleh, our kale in pizza beans and caesar salad, our green beans as…green beans. Apparently the more frequently you pick your beans the more they produce so we are…doing that?

I am getting more and more serious about starting to compost next year. I should probably do a little more research so that I am clear on what that actually means.

What A Weekend!

I went to brunch and attended my first Fringe Festival play.

We hosted some of our ECFE friends for a BBQ. It rained, naturally. I want to say this is the third BBQ we have hosted this summer and we always have so much fun.

We went to the Carver County Fair for the first time. It is the PERFECT size for littles, but still has all of the fair things we love (animal barns, dairy bar, lots of tractors). Kids under 6 are free. I already wrote it on our calendar for next summer.

We got to go to Gregor Farm (pictured above) for our weekly produce haul and to visit their chickens. The owners are SO nice and the kids are always so excited to go.

Happy Monday!