Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Ain't no party like a Liz Lemon party, cuz a Liz Lemon party is MANDATORY.

Hi there,

We are still here, hanging in there. Overall things are going well! One big thing that happened is we picked a church. I think that'll go a loooooong way to feeling settled and also for actually BEING settled. Yay!

I've noticed that by the time Thursday rolls around, everyone in the family is just kind of DONE. We've had preschool, we've had dinner wars all week, we are just ready for some fun. So I've instituted Thursday Family Fun Night.

Week 1, we made a fort with the couch, some sheets and some duct tape, drew up a movie poster, made homemade pizza, and watched Tale of Despereaux. It was a blast. Kind of hard to find a G movie the whole family will like, but I think we pulled it off.

Week 2 was a bit of a cop out, as we pretty much just went swimming in the pool downstairs in our building. BUT it illustrates the power of presentation. We bought some of those noisemakers that you blow into and the little paper rolls out and in (I still don't know how to add pics from the internet. Well, at least you aren't paying for this read, right?) and "surprised" papa when he got home from work. And we called it a pool party. It's the little things, people.

This week I found my inspiration at TJ Maxx while Claire and I were killing time before picking up Ava from preschool. I noticed some cupcake liners and remembered that Ava had requested to make muffins the other day. Cupcake decorating party! It should be messy, messy fun. Let me know if you have any good ideas for Thursday Family Fun Night, week 4!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Little handprints

 We put wall art up! We aren't done yet, but it made me feel more settled in, as I knew it would. Looking at this picture, I think we should put up the rest of the hoops. I was kinda thinking that we shouldn't bother putting up all our wall art since we're only probably going to be here for a year, but maybe I need to rethink that. ANYway, just a little snapshot of our our dining room (we have a dining room! Okay, okay, it's an eat-in.)

So, the nature of apartment living is dealing with a lot of builder grade fixtures, but this little area of this house makes me smile. The trim and fixtures don't bother me as much as I thought they might. It may not be to my taste, but it serves our family well, and it's only 12 months. (Actually, 10 1/2 now). Our hallway has closets on either side all the way down and they are covered with mirrors. So, I've just determined that there are going to be fingerprints on them pretty much all the time. My mom tells a story about my dad's mom, who passed away when I was about 6. She said that after we would visit my grandparents, my grandma wouldn't clean our little handprints off of the mirror because they reminded her of us. Little handprints don't stay little for very long, so I'm just going to treasure them while I can. :0)

Sunday, September 23, 2012


Let's talk about fall, people. Or autumn. Autumn is such a nice word. Autumn always reminds me of college. I went to college in Maine, where autumn is just breathtaking. The colors, the crisp air. Ahhh.

We went back to Wausau this weekend to work around the house and visit friends. We didn't end up doing a whole lot of work, as the lawn didn't need mowing or raking, but we did some spackling and touch up painting. Our realtor did an open house on Saturday, and 3 or 4 groups went through, which was actually more than I expected. We saw a bunch of friends which was great, as we had to pack up and move so fast that we didn't get to visit everyone we wanted to. Good weekend.

We drove back this morning so we wouldn't miss a week of finding a church. It was so beautiful. The fall colors, the red barns. I was just taking it all in, wishing I had a steaming mug of tea in my hands, Thinking about college days and being thankful for my family. I don't want to miss out on my favorite season because I am transitioning. SO. I am determined to get out this week and enjoy it to the fullest. Not in a "must pin all the fall things!" way, but just chasing the beauty. I have my doubts that it's going to be as pretty here as it is in Maine or Wausau, (we were joking about how nice it was to see "free range" trees this weekend as opposed to the manicured ones we see here) but that's okay.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Deep Breath.


It's getting a little easier. I had a couple of play dates, a nature class, and a preschool co-op meeting scheduled this week, so we have kept pretty busy. That has helped. It's no substitute for being settled, but it feels like a start.

I'm really excited about the preschool. It's a co-op that a friend got me plugged into where the moms take turns teaching. It's really organized with a curriculum and policies in place, and it's been going on for a few years now. I think it'll be really good. It's only once a week, which is great too. I'll be teaching or helping once a month.

The nature class was great--it was through the Three Rivers Park system. They did an excellent job. It was a puppet show, a couple of sensory games outside and then we walked down to the Mississippi River. Ava loved it. We stayed after and looked at the exhibits for about an hour too. It was a long drive, but I'm looking forward to taking in some other classes hopefully at the center in Bloomington.

On another note, I've been surprised at the amount of interest I've had in my childbirth classes. I know there are a lot of teachers here so I didn't expect much, but I think I'll actually be able to start a class soon! Like, with students in it. Maybe even more than one couple. Crazy!

So anyway, things are looking up a bit. Fewer breakdowns.

One of the things I enjoy about moving is getting to know the quirks of a community or region. For instance, I have lived in two different places where they call a water fountain a water bubbler. Well, one place (Wisconsin) called it a bubbler. In one place they called it a "bubblah" (Maine). One quirk about Edina is that there are a lot of places to get plastic surgery. In fact, I was going to write a whole post on this entitled "A Coupon for me to Poop on", but I know I'll forget to, so I might as well do it now. While perusing the coupons we got in the mail one day I came across one for a plastic surgery clinic. There were some pretty standard ones, face lift, tummy tuck, etc. But the last one was for something called a "vaginal rejuvination" or something like that. Wow. I mean, wow. We are not in Kansas anymore.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

How it's going

Just going to be honest here--the move kinda stinks right now. I kinda hate it. I have a daughter who is missing her friends, and I have no power to change that. I panicked and almost signed her up for preschool, but am rethinking that right now. She hasn't found neighbor kids that she clicks with.  I don't really love living in the city, even though I am enjoying how walkable our apartment is. We aren't really settled into our new place with our stuff put away, and it'll be that way until we can get rid of some stuff. Both of the girls have had digestive issues on top of Claire having a tough time with her new teeth. All of this adds up to make me kind of a basket case.

We went to my parents' lake place for Labor Day weekend and it was nice to get away from everything for a couple of days. I always have to temper my expectation that it'll be relaxing and once I do that I have a pretty good time. But we are back, and I'm just trying to truck along. Do the next thing, right?

Monday, August 27, 2012

We're Here!

We arrived at our new place in Edina, MN last Wednesday. We pretty much unpacked the truck and crashed, so tired of having this deadline looming over us. Moving is the WORST. But we had a ton of help, and we are glad to finally be here. We didn't get to see the place before we moved--my awesome sister in law scoped it out for us. I was relieved to see that it is in a safe neighborhood, and it's really nice too. I mean, the apartment is relatively basic, but we are loving the indoor pool we splurged on. We figured as long as we are going to spend over $900/mo on rent, we might as well spend a little more and get a pool and a fitness center, etc.

Today is Pete's first day of work, and I think we're all happy to have some "normalcy" around here. In fact, I had a great time grocery shopping at Aldi the other day, because that's where we shop at home and it felt kind of familiar. I took the girls to a park today and that felt good too.

I never thought I'd live in a place where my corner grocery store was a Whole Foods. We live near a major retail area and it. is. fancy. Restoration Hardware (where, by the way, you can buy a sofa for five figures), West Elm, Pottery Barn, and the Container Store are all within walking distance, just to name a few. So much temptation! I thought Ikea would be my only problem. It's a very strange place to live. Pete went to Whole Foods in search of Pepsi the other day. He came home with a two liter of natural sugar cane root beer that he paid over 2 dollars for.

My other first impression is that it's really good to live in a building where I'm pretty sure we are an ethnic minority. I love hearing all sorts of different languages on a daily basis. It'll be great for the girls too.

 Speaking of which, they are doing pretty well. Growing used to sharing a room. Claire is getting a couple of teeth that are really giving her trouble, and all of a sudden she is blowing out of her diapers left and right. Also, I am monitoring her wet diapers because I'm not totally convinced that she is getting enough milk and I'm considering supplementing with formula. And if you know me well, that's a huge decision. She didn't gain weight between her 6 mo. and 9 mo. appointment, and I feed her every 1-3 hours (3-5 hours at night). The same thing happened with Ava, and Ava ended up losing weight between 9 and 12 mo.

Ava has been asking to go home periodically, but seems to be coming around to this being our new home. Actually she refers to our Wausau house as "the blue house" (it's yellow). But she loves pushing the button for the elevator and she loves the pool.

There. Update.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Whole Moving Thing

We have about 2.5 weeks until the big move. I think. Because we don't have anywhere to live yet! (mild freak out). We are planning to rent for a year so we can get settled, figure out if this is what we want, find a great house, and save up for a down payment. And sell our current house. I think God has definitely used this house to prepare me for apartment living. Actually almost all the apartments I've seen has higher square footage than our house, has a dishwasher *swoon* and a bathtub. Did I mention that my 3 year old still takes baths in an infant bathtub? Good thing she is in the 3rd percentile, no? And since having Claire, my desire to be crafty and diy-y has really diminished. I have time for that later, but right now I have 2 precious little girls to concentrate on. I am not crafty by nature, so it takes a lot of effort and time and I'd rather spend it on them. And not having to do maintenance on an old house for a year? Sign me up (and by that I mean sign US up. Mr. Wonderful is not crazy about home maintenance.) Especially after all the projects we're doing getting our house on the market. Not to mention all the money we've spent.

But we're making good progress. Our realtor comes today to list it as well as the carpet installer. Roofing this weekend. My sweet friend is watching the girls today so I can work. We have so much support.

It all kinda hit me a couple of days after Mr. Wonderful got the job offer. We were actually at my parent's house for a family wedding. My parents are kind of in the same boat right now, except they sold their house already and are closing on the 31st. I had to say goodbye to their house for the last time when we left--so many changes all at once. An uncertain future. But I'm so thankful I have a God who holds it!

Anywhooo, Ava is up. It's showtime!