Category Archives: Family

Duluth!

We actually went to Duluth a month ago but I have the time now to write about it so here we are.

I will also say that while we were up there, it would have been nice if it was sunny for more than four hours on Monday, but the overcast and stormy weather made for some great snaps!

It was so fun to go on this trip because (1) it was the first vacation my in-laws have taken with the kids and (2) the art in Critter’s room is based off of Duluth so now we actually talk about the ships and how the ships and the bridge talk and all of it.

We stayed in our cousins’ home on the shore of Lake Superior and that was such a blessing it is impossible to overstate. There were three bedrooms and a finished attic which meant the kids did not have to share a room nor did we have to share a room with one of the kids. So everyone slept well. And it was beach house cozy.

We saw ships.

We practiced what the ships would do before vacation by watching a few come in on this harbor cam.

Critter got to run laps around the lighthouse and splash in puddles.

During the four sunny hours I went paddle boarding for the first time.

We also arranged for Critter to go on his first-ever train ride and we visited the aquarium which was a first for all of us.

Critter really got a kick out of all of the touching pools.

While the boys were on the train, my mother-in-law, Glitter and I visited the Karpeles Manuscript Library.

We finally got to visit Bent Paddle’s taproom and we had a feast from Northern Waters Smokehaus for my birthday dinner.

It was a great trip.

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Survival Mode

Working title: I am really too tired to be assembling a string of coherent thoughts right now but whatever I am going to put this on the internet forever anyway.

Marcus was on a business trip this week and he comes home today and I am (surprise!) tired. This is week two of a three week long thing (for lack of a better scientific term) in which I am the primary parent, which is fine but HEY THE END IS IN SIGHT.

I will also take a brief moment to complain that I have had the tiniest, most obnoxious cold that has made me extra draggy and most offensive is that it is a summer cold. It can be gone now please.

My sister-in-law and my Dad have saved my life by being bedtime helpers and taking Critter to T-Ball and bringing dinner (though I also actioned a survival egg bake for the week so I wouldn’t have to cook).

Also life saving, my whole mom tribe, keeping our lives full of playdates and adventures to get us out of the house. Oddly, the most touching act of the whole week was when we were at an early evening pool party (yes feel free to ask the question how do you even go to a pool party alone with a toddler and an eight month old and a chlorine allergy) and one of the dads in attendance offered to take Critter swimming if he wanted to get in.

We have experienced every combination of sleep this week: Glitter wakes up at 5:20 AM, Critter wakes up first – Glitter wakes up second, and today’s latest iteration, it is 6:30 AM and the children are still asleep. We have also had Glitter sleeps through the whole night, Glitter wakes up once and Glitter wakes up twice (last night! so fun!). It is impossible to overstate how much I am looking forward to the day where Glitter sleeps through the night all of the time and has a consistent morning wake-up time.

There is no moral to this story, mostly just that however your week is going, I’m in the trenches with you.

Up North at the Cabin (with two!)

Critter’s daycare was closed this week and it was my turn to take time off from work (Marcus and I try to share time-off between holidays and sicknesses) so we packed up the kids and headed up north to join the rest of my family.

A brief summary: Glitter HATED the pack and play and we are deep into the eight month sleep regression so I mostly did not do a lot of sleeping (God bless my Mom for helping me to get afternoon naps in because I needed them). Critter is now an expert at riding on the pontoon and is probably turning into a human sprinkle because between donuts and ice cream he ate ALL of them.

We caught some fish.

Uncle Billy leveled up his Uncle-ing game.

We saw where the beavers live. We learned about moss. We walked in the “forest” (on a paved path with tall trees).

We played outside a lot. Since we were having such a heat wave in the cities, even a five degree temperature change was WELCOME.

I will also say that vacationing with kids is WORK y’all. Marcus went home after the first night so it is safe to say that once our merry little band (all of us in serious need of a bath) gets home, I will need some time to myself to recover.

That isn’t to say that we didn’t have a wonderful time. It is so special to bring the littles to the exact same place I have been coming since I was their age.

MN Lake Life (tiny tots edition)

Memorial Day weekend hey.

We went to Bellecour + Wayzata Beach on Saturday and Sunday. God it is just so good to be back into this weekend routine again. Once the farmers’ markets get a little more energetic (…July?) we’ll do that one morning/weekend. Also we have been having an incredible May heat wave (hello, 90s) so going to a beach at 7:30 AM was the only logical response. Truly.

Today we are headed up to the cabin. Critter’s daycare is closed this week, so I will be Up North with the kids, Marcus (for one night) and Billy and Mom until Thursday.

People heading west on the Oregon Trail probably packed less than we have. I will also note that in the old times I used to have a well stocked toiletry kit because we were going to the cabin tons in the summer or traveling every few months throughout the remainder of the year. Today as I was packing, I realized that the last time I used my toiletry kit is when I was in the hospital birthing Glitter and then I threw a bunch of stuff away.

Marcus asked me if I had any particular goals for this cabin trip. I was like uh…everyone sleeps reasonably well? We ride on the boat at least one time? In some ways this trip seems easier than the ones we have taken over the past two summers and in other ways I want to run around the house screaming HELP US GOD WE ARE TAKING TWO KIDS ON “VACATION” WHAT HAS GOTTEN INTO US.

Honestly, I don’t know.

Putting my feet up.

Honestly I just want to write right now so I can remember this feeling.

This weekend, for the first time since Critter was born, the holidays were…nice. Like, they were not easy and I spent a decent part of the Saturday and Sunday mornings feeling rushed, like I was doing a terrible job of paying attention to my family, and like I was scrambling just to keep up.

But when all was said and done, as soon as we were sitting down with our family at our Passover Seders and Easter Celebrations, everything came together. We got to relax. The children were festive. They survived the dreaded sleep ritual of going to bed at one place, getting transferred to the car to go home and being put back to bed in their cribs at home. To Glitter’s credit, she even slept through the night both nights after all of these shenanigans.

My brother came into town, which was wonderful. Hilariously the Easter Bunny brought Critter a wallet. He has been coveting Marcus’ and now he has his own complete with his own monies ($2)! He loves to carry it around and open and close it and God two year olds are just hysterical.

This is the dream, right?

To close out the weekend, a bizarre spirit of productivity took hold of me. I purged a garbage bag worth of old clothes from my closet, I cleaned the master bathroom, folded my laundry, re-did my pedicure, did a workout video, dealt with a bag of blankets and bedding that had been sitting at the end of our bed SINCE WE MOVED IN JULY.

I don’t know either. It all made sense at the time and while I was doing each of these things it was like time stopped or something so I just went with it.

Now, I’ve taken a moment to put my feet up.

Snow Days and Some Other Things

Just consider the photo above a reminder that camouflage SPANX leggings have improved my life in every way since I obtained them. And with that, back to our regularly scheduled programming.

This is the winter where I wish my children were just a little bit older so that they could really PLAY in the snow that has been dumped on us since January. Generally it has not been problematic except for the storm we got a few weeks ago where the entire state shut down at noon, and the storm that started building on Sunday night leading schools to cancel on Monday. Subsequently there was No Snow until late afternoon which meant a delayed start today for kids because you know, it was still snowing. I know our littles are not yet in actual school but daycare was cancelled on Monday and ECFE was cancelled today so we are just REALLY off of our schedule.

I will not complain about the chance to spend more time with the littles but based on the number of time outs I had to give Critter this AM (he was throwing toys, this is an automatic time out, now you know more about my parenting style), he would really like to be back with his little friends and observing some semblance of a normal routine tomorrow.

Otherwise, some other thoughts and updates I cannot organize into a full post for whatever reason.

I am still exercising at least three times per week. I’ve done a better job in the last two weeks of organizing my evenings so that on workout nights I don’t also have to fold laundry or mend clothing (okay so I actually did that tonight AND I walked but there was no choice). This allows me some post-workout time to just sit down and unwind.

I’ve also found that doing one AM workout on the weekend makes it so much easier for me to fit in two more workouts throughout the week without having to stress.

Exhibit A: Barre Class on Sunday morning. I have seven more classes to work through in the next two months before they expire and once I have used them all, I’ll try to decide what, exactly, I see happening this spring/summer. Like, maybe a walk by myself in the morning? Maybe more classes? The weekend AM workouts are just as much about having some time all to myself as much as they are about…the fitness.

This is a hair tie.

I received a four pack of them at a favorite things party and was SUPER suspicious. Those elastic-y no dent hair ties do not hold my hair up and they leave a dent. These? Hold my hair up (like, all day with kids) AND THEY DON’T LEAVE A DENT. RUN, DO NOT WALK PEOPLE.

And with that, my very early Cool Mom bedtime calls.

The Holiday Card I Didn’t Send This Year

Well, to be honest, we have yet to ever send a holiday card.  This was not going to be the year I started in on this tradition even though our mailbox has been stuffed with gorgeous cards and little life updates from friends and family everywhere.  Nor was I able to hang them all up because we are still a household in transition, with most of it Not Decorated, which is fine, but I simply don’t have a place to put them at the moment.

If I were to have sent a card, it would have gone something like this.

Hello dearest friends and family,

If you were with us right now, you would be marveling at the constant stream of cars driving down (and parking on) our street to watch the Christmas light show that of course, our house is a part of.  Yes we knew about this before we wrote the offer for the house, no we were not thinking about how many party buses and limousines would be cruising down our street between 5:00 PM – 10:00 PM each night in the month of December, most certainly we were not thinking about how this light show would be covered by most a number of area news outlets.  It is really something to behold.

This year, Critter turned one, Glitter was born, we sold our townhouse, moved in with my parents, and then moved into our “forever home” exactly two months prior to Glitter’s arrival.  Marcus got a new job.  I kept my same job.

Our card is a letter and not a picture because honestly, I don’t think there is a picture of the four of us in existence, though we are planning to remedy this in late January.  It’s good to have goals.

Who can know what will come in 2018?  Actually we do!  We plan to have one frisky toddler, one teething baby (but seriously when will the teething end?), and still no pets.  We hope to each return to one hobby of the many that have fallen by the wayside since having children.  We plan to survive exactly one trip to the cabin with our children and take exactly one trip without them.  We’re looking forward to it already.

Wishing you and yours a blessed 2018,

Marcus and Kat