Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Like a kid with a new bike

Except, I'm not a kid any more ... not even close enough to pretend.

But I can still love riding my new bike!!! :-)

Shawn and the girls got me a new bike (a Trek hybrid Women Specific Design ... in celedon, who knew they even made bikes the same color as my brides maid dresses) a few weeks ago as a combination Mothers Day, Birthday and Anniversary present ... It was EXACTLY what I wanted ... how did they know. ;-) THANK YOU!

It's been great but I'm getting antsy to ride MORE so I'll be glad to get a trailer for Nessa soon too; otherwise when Shawn's gone (like this week!) I can't really ride at all. :-(

My plan is to ride bike to work a lot but so far it has only happened once so we'll see how that works out. Megan and I have also been riding on some nearby trails together and that has been lots of fun.

Anyone want to go for a bike ride?

Finally posting a couple of Mother's Day photos

So, WAY back when Shawn was out in San Jose last time, I went to my mom's for a wonderful Mother's Day weekend. I received some lovely gifts from my girls too ... but no photos of them which is partly what I was waiting for ... Hmm, maybe some day you'll see me in my apron that Megan helped Grandma make ... until then you can look at the great apron Megan made in school for Grandma Karen.

Here are the girls with my mom on Mothers Day --

Pack, unpack, pack, unpack ....

I feel like adding repeat as needed to that title! Sigh ... the part I don't like about all these little weekend trip ... actually the packing isn't nearly as bad as the unpacking. Shawn is a saint for putting up with my taking sometimes literally weeks to unpack. These days he really can't argue that I'm just going to be packing the darn suitcase again soon (technically sometimes we need to switch to a different one though).

So a few briefs on where we've been and are going

  • We spent much of this last weekend in Northfield -- mostly at Carleton for Shawn's 25th college reunion (Shawn or both of us are likely to post more on this ... wonderful event and yes I really did enjoy meeting everyone) but we also had some nice time with my sister Ellen and her family (THANK YOU for all of the babysitting!)
  • Sunday we headed home just in time for Nessa to take a nap (no, she doesn't just sleep in the van ... in fact NO sleeping in the van this entire weekend! so we were thrilled with the van and the DVD player!) and for us to run some errands, start some clothes washing (OK, so I "unpacked" the dirty clothes bag), and to get reorganized for our next trip.
  • Sunday evening we picked up Megan from her dad's and headed up to my parents home in Cumberland, WI so that Megan can join her cousins in summer school there for the week. We arrived there around 10 p.m. on Sunday (Yes, Shawn spent Father's Day mostly driving).
  • Monday we lingered just long enough for Nessa to be sad that she wasn't joining the rest of the girls at summer school as when they went out the door her lip quivered and the tears rolled down ... so it was time to pack her up in the van, turn on the requested DVD (usually Veggie Tales or Signing Time but there was at least one Thomas and Blues Clues during the weekend) and head home.
  • We stopped for lunch at Moe's Almost World Famous Diner in Osseo and then made it back home to La Crosse in time for -- you guessed it -- Nessa's nap. (On Sunday we stopped at John Hardy's Bar-B-Q in Rochester for lunch).
  • While Nessa napped Shawn and I showered and tried to feel refreshed and ready to go out for Shawn's Birthday -- yes, not only did Shawn spend most of Father's Day driving the van but also a good portion of his Birthday! I still have a few late surprises and am trying to talk him into declaring Oct. 18th his unbirthday so he can have a day not right next to Father's Day. We did however go out for a movie and a nice dinner (Outback). When we got home we put Nessa to bed (her schedule was so off we told the sitter not to put her to bed) and pretty much dropped into bed ourselves.
  • Before bed though Shawn checked on his early morning Tuesday flight to San Jose (see, more packing and unpacking) ... it was cancelled ... of course that just meant more headache for him scheduling flights not that he didn't have to go.
  • Shawn left this afternoon for San Jose and is *scheduled* to return Friday night.
  • Saturday morning we'll drive back up to Cumberland and hopefully spend a nice day on the lake with my family before driving back home. (Megan and I are going to a play at 3 so we won't be lingering in Cumberland on Sunday.)
  • Then, believe it or not, it will be the end of the month. (Well, OK, after another work week.) And we'll again be packing up and this time we'll be heading up to northern MN to visit Shawn's parents. We plan on staying through the 4th of July and then heading home to enjoy a bit of Riverfest.
  • Do not ask us when we plan to get the lawn mowed in the midst of all of this.
  • And yes, we have been LOVING the van on all of these trips (while actually driving not while paying the Kwik Trip bill or thinking about the environment).
Now I need to go unpack ...

Mom: Are you ready to be sweet?

Mom: Are you ready to be sweet?
Nessa: No (said rather sweetly actually)
Mom: OK, let me know.

Yes, Nessa is having a problem being sweet this evening (you can thank Love and Logic at http://www.loveandlogic.com/ for our use of "sweet" and the "uh-oh" song). Sigh, I'm mostly disappointed that we're not (yet anyway) getting out for our walk in this nice weather :-( and I'm missing what could be quality time with Nessa ... but on the other hand I'm not loosing my tempter and getting frustrated and I just may get some blogging done if Nessa continues to prefer staying in bed to coming out and "being sweet" (she knows this means being a good listener, not yelling and screaming, etc.).

How sweet it is ...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

And I'm Even Worse...

... not only did I not want to be around the splashing, I didn't really even want to get my hair wet, at least not totally. I guess that makes me a fuddy daddy.

Another sign I'm getting old

We went to the pool last night. It was the first time that all of us went to the pool this year...

I just really don't like all the splashing in my eyes and always look for the calmest spot in the pool (hah, good luck) when Megan wants me to spend time in the deep end with her. Yep, I'm an old fuddy duddy now ... although I do manage to keep my mouth shut and not actually say anything to those kids making all that noise and splashing all that water ... I mean what do they think they're doing splashing and having fun at the swimming pool?!? Sigh.

I did go down the water slides though so that made Megan happy. I did not have a chance to take Nessa down the "yellow slide" (much calmer and MUCh slower than the "blue slide") though because Nessa was only interested in standing at the edge (zero depth pool) and splashing her hands in the fountains there for about the first hour we were there. Eventually she went in deeper but never really settled in to "swimming" (and I was worried she would just run all over and walk right into the deeper water like last year).

And in spite of the hot day, as the sun went down the pool was quite cool (we were there from about 6:15 until closing at 7:45) ... Nessa's lips were blue and she was shivering ... eventually I decided she had had enough and dried her off and put clothes on her ... after she was dry and warm she decided she wanted to go back in the water! Instead Shawn took her to the nearby park for awhile so Megan could swim until the pool closed. :-)

Monday, June 04, 2007

Mother's Day weekend

***I just found this unpublished post saved ... well really it's the beginnings of some thoughts that I added here and there throughout the day back on the Tuesday after Mother's Day ... but what good is it to call my blog "unedited us" if I don't just throw this out there rather than never publishing it? So, enjoy deciphering it! :-)

  • First trip with the van … and yes it was SO worth it. During the trip we not only used the DVD player but we also used the Stow and Go 2nd row feature as Megan wanted to sit in the back with Grandma Sunday when we all went together (another plus is we COULD all go together) and so I put the passenger side 2nd row seat down so it was easier for them to go back there … space was SO nice
  • Had our first boat ride and “lunch on the lake” (always a Megan favorite)
  • Nessa loved touching the fish that Megan caught (over a dozen sunnies) and she even ate some for supper
  • I got some really cool Mother’s Day presents (separate posts w/ photo if possible)
  • Awesome Mothers Day Brunch! …
  • Watching temp go down on the way to Cumberland …

Other quick facts:

  • Nessa slept OK in her little bed on the floor both nights (longer time to get to sleep Sat.); great nap Sat. but Sunday well that was a no go until we put her in the van and backed out of the driveway and then she was sound asleep within minutes
  • Megan did get some sewing time
  • Us girls did movie time as well as Saturday night Grandma, Megan and I watched Happy Feet on Pay per View
  • Nessa LOVED playing outside with Grandma’s toys
  • We got two pontoon rides in
  • Megan got two pedal boat rides in with Grandma and Megan did most of the steering (from what she said)
  • Megan made cookies AND dessert while we were there
  • Megan went on a 4 mile walk with Grandma Sunday after brunch (she’s a little sore today and has a blister too)
  • The van does indeed get better gas mileage on the highways than in town!!! J (first time we’ve had to check this)
  • Nessa went the entire weekend without the need of a “not so sweet chair” J
  • The cats did indeed survive.


Yes, it's about time we let you all in on a few things we hear around here.

This morning, Nessa: "Mommy, I want to push your buttons."
Shawn and I looked at each other and immediately broke out in laughter with little jokes about how she already knows how to push mommy's buttons VERY well! Really, what she wanted to do was sit and type at the computer. And when I was willing to let her type for a short time on my lap while I talked to Shawn about the morning that was not sufficient for our independent girl who would only be happy with sitting at the computer chair to push the buttons herself (she never was happy about that this morning).

Sunday, Tami to Shawn: "Little girl dresses always tie in the back."
OK, now that I'm posting this someone will probably show me a little girl dress that has a front tie, but we all know most little girl dresses with those at the waist ties with no purpose other than to look cute when they manage to stay tied, tie in the back of the dress. Oops, we all don't know that. Apparently those of us that were not once little girls do not always know that. :-)

Sunday, Shawn to Tami: " The last time I wanted to know anything about dresses I was trying to get them taken off, not put on."
Nessa was wearing a beautiful blue dress this Sunday (yes, the one in the pics -- a great Memorial Day weekend rummage sale find) and when we were getting into the van to leave I noticed that the little strings/straps that are for hanging up nice dresses on the hanger (do these have a name?) were slipped onto her shoulders ... one had already broken and I mentioned it and Shawn admitted he purposely put arms through there thinking it was somehow part of the sleeve ... then he admitted he still had a few things to learn about dresses and claimed it was because he'd never been worried about getting them put on before ... and I just snipped off those useless little straps that at least on *little girl* dresses just get in the way.

Last week (?) Nessa to Megan: "Excuse me, I would like to be upside down now."
This was in the evening when Nessa was done with supper and had been excused from the table, but Megan was still eating. Nessa walked up to Megan and politely asked to be upside down! Well, except for there not being a "please" it was very polite and a rather complete request. Obviously Nessa loves playing "rough" with her sister and being upside down and tickled. I love hearing them laugh and laugh and laugh together. Seems like every other day I could write a post about my silly girls! This morning Nessa was sharing a muffin with Megan and looked over at her and said, "eat your muffin, silly goose."

I'm sure there have been many more silly and otherwise blog-worthy moments at our home recently, but these are the few I remembered. I'll try to post more of those quick little moments in the future (try being the key word as always!).

And I have no idea why Nessa thought she should lean forward when I was going to take a picture, and yes we've moved into the goofy truly cheesy look when you tell her to "say cheese."

Sunday, June 03, 2007

San Francisco, Day Two

Sunday of my weekend in San Francisco was spent at the Golden Gate Bridge and driving around the Marin Headlands north of the bridge. First we stopped on the south side to take pictures. It was a beautiful sunny day, although again quite windy (I'm told that windy is the norm for San Francisco.):

We then drove across the bridge. Since I wasn't driving, I was able to get a good shot of both towers while on the bridge:

Because the bridge curves a bit on the north end, there is place at the scenic lookout where you can get a picture looking straight down the bridge:

While we were at the scenic look out at the north end of the bridge, we noticed that the fog had come in from the ocean and covered the south end of the bridge. It stayed on the bridge for most of the time that we were driving around the Marin headlands on the north side of the Golden Gate:

While we were driving along the coast in the Marin headlands, we stopped several times either to get pictures or to explore old coastal gun emplacements. (The guns are long gone, but the concrete is all still there, and occasionally there are historic markers.) As we were looping back away from the coast heading back to the highway over the Golden Gate Bridge, we went through some small occupied areas (Army housing, I think, but I'm not sure). At one point we saw two deer, one about 20 feet from a mobile home, and this one about ten feet from the road. It wasn't bothered in the least when we stopped to take a picture:

By the time we were driving back over the bridge, the fog was gone. After we got back across the bridge into San Francisco, we headed up to Lombard St. and drove down the block of "the world's crookedest street." We had originally planned to explore The Presidio area as well, but we were tired and sore, so we headed back to San Jose early and spent the rest of the day relaxing and, in my case, taking ibuprofen. But I'm happy I got to see what I saw, and I look forward to a chance to do it when Tami is with me.

San Francisco, Day One

As promised, here are some pictures from my two days in San Francisco during my trip to San Jose in May. Saturday was spent being a tourist along the waterfront. I had an ice cream sundae covered with Ghirardelli's hot fudge at the Ghirardelli ice cream shop next to the factory (Thanks, Judy, for the tip!):

I rode a cable car from the waterfront up to the top of the hill and got off at Lombard Street, "The world's crookedest street." I then walked down alongside taking many pictures, including this one from the bottom:

I had fish & chips for lunch on Fisherman's Wharf, and then spent a couple of hours on Pier 39 (an outdoor mall, but with unique shops and many restaurants), including having a snack at the Hard Rock Cafe.

The evening was spent on a tour of Alcatraz island and prison. It was nesting season for the seabirds that gave Alcatraz it's name (Alcatraz is a corruption of the Spanish for "island of the birds"), so they were making nests all over the island. All of those black dots on the cliffs in this picture are birds:

The boat that took us to the island went up one side and around the end of the island before docking, so we got great views of the island, the Golden Gate Bridge, and the San Francisco skyline. Here is the island from the opposite side:

The prison tour was very interesting. You get access to most areas, and there is a guided audio tour with commentary from both former prisoners and former guards. We also got to go around some of the outside areas and take pictures. It was a windy day, and on the San Francisco side of the island I saw something I'd never seen before. Many birds were aloft, facing into the breeze, barely flapping their wings. In essence, they were hovering, just riding the winds for fun. You can tell how still they were from how little blur there is in this picture:

I could have watched the birds for a long time. We also walked right by birds sitting on nests without them being bothered too much--they must be used to people.

Because there were so many people all taking the audio tour at once, I didn't attempt to get a picture of me in one of the cells. But I figured I needed some proof that I'd been there, so here it is:

It was an enjoyable day, but my legs were quite sore from all the walking by the time we got back to the car for the ride back to San Jose.

Memorial Day Weekend

Our Memorial Day weekend was low-key and relaxed, a great family weekend. Megan was at her Dad's turkey hunting, so it was just Tami, Nessa and I. Saturday morning we got up early (not that Tami and I planned to, mind you, but we were outvoted) and went to rummage sales. We got lots of great clothes for Nessa at several different sales. We also discovered that taking Nessa along when she's not in the stroller now has an extra challenge: Nessa likes to remove the stickers from items.

Nessa loves stickers, but has never felt that they're one-time-only items. She will pull them off one thing and put them on something else until there's no more sticky left, and she didn't see why she couldn't do that with the items at the rummage sales. She was good when we told her "No," but it only lasted for the duration of one rummage sale--when we got to the next one we had to start over. At each sale, we asked the sellers if Nessa could take off the stickers from the items we bought. Everyone was happy to let her do it, and that seemed to satisfy Nessa. People were also good about letting Nessa look through books and play with toys to keep her occupied, so it was a fun morning.

On Sunday we went to the biggest and best playground in town for a couple of hours. We had a picnic lunch and Nessa got to play on lots of cool equipment. She mostly went back and forth between the swings and one particular slide, but I got her to try a few other things. Although there were quite a few other kids there, Nessa showed little interest in trying to play with them.

On Monday Tami wanted to put in a few work hours at home, so I took Nessa out to run errands. We went to the pet store, where we made sure to look at the kitties and the fish, and to Best Buy, where Nessa got her very first Thomas the Tank Engine video of her own (instead of borrowed from the library). Daddy is going to have to be careful when he takes Nessa into certain stores, 'cause he's a soft touch. :-) As we were eating our picnic lunch (see It's Nice To Be Appreciated, below) there was another family playing on the equipment. When we were done and I told Nessa it was time to go, she surprised me by saying "Play with the other kids." Unfortunately, right when we got there the others had to go, so we went home for a nap too.

Tami and I also did a few household chores, but mostly we just relaxed and enjoyed some quality family time. It was nice not to travel for once, to just be at home and do fun family things. It was a great breather before our summer schedule gets crazy when school gets done on the 8th.