Thursday, March 12, 2015


One of the things that I love most about Minnesota is the change of seasons. We look forward to each one with giddy anticipation. 

Spring brings melting snow and mud. The air has a fresh smell and fifty degrees is t-shirt weather. Fishermen pull their houses off the ice as rivers and lakes start to open up. Winter gear is packed away....but not so far out of reach that you can't get to it when there's a snowstorm at the end of March April. Birds play. Windows are opened to let the fresh air cleanse out the staleness of winter.  Everyone soaks in the much anticipated warmth of the sun. 

When I think of summer, I imagine long lazy days in the grass. For the most part, this is true. The other part tho, is the busy part. Life seems to speed up as people try to get as much done during the three months of warm weather. It's not just work and projects but recreation too. Nights of bonfires and dock sitting. Swimming, hiking, camping, late night games of kick the can...perfecting sunbathing strategies to achieve the best tan in the shortest amount of time...

Somehow, even though summer is fairly short, we always look forward to fall. Sweaters, scarves, boots and fires in the fireplace.
The air turns crisp and clear. Mornings are cold and days can be warm. Walks in the woods through crispy leaves refresh and invigorate. Kids go back to school...routine returns. There are holidays to look forward to and a hope of snow by Thanksgiving. 

Winter. There is a love/hate relationship with winter. Love at the beginning and not so much at the end. The first big snow is amazing. Everything turns white and there is a silence that cannot be explained. Sometimes winter is mild. Sometimes it is most definitely not mild. One thing is true....winter is not for the faint of heart. Negative temperatures and snow that won't quit will cause even the toughest humans to go into hibernation. :) Winter can drag on, and on, and on......which is why we jump for joy when we finally feel....



It has been almost a month since Mamam passed away. It's hard to believe that she's gone. 
I asked Donald how he would describe his grandma and he said, "Unique...Eccentric."
I think that pretty much captures her but she was also beautiful and full of energy. She loved life and even when she was miserably sick, she was positive, happy and kind. She continued to care for others when in fact she was the one who should have been cared for. 
I think she looked forward to the end of her life. Not because she wanted to go, but because she knew that it was just a part of life and life to her was an adventure. She also knew that there was something far better waiting for her on the other side.
She had more adventure in her little toe than most people only dream of. Because of her adventurous life, I think that she was more patient than most. She accepted more than most. She put up with more than most people would. 
Her love for her family was undeniable. 
Something is missing now that she's gone.


 ...We will soon have a kindergartner. How does time fly? One minute you're holding them for the very first time and the next minute you're waving goodbye as the school bus pulls away. 

Minnesota requires that every child is screened before kindergarten. It's called Preschool Screening. I knew that the time of year was coming but since we don't know where she'll be going to school in the fall, I wasn't sure how to go about getting everything done. 
I called the school that I attended to get more information. The weird thing was, almost everyone on the phone directory was there when I went to school! I spoke to the elementary receptionist and she connected me with the school nurse. The same nurse that let me lay on the school bed with tummy ache....the mom of one of my good high school friends. 
It turned out that Preschool Screening was the day before but she was kind enough to set aside time the following week to see Ava. 
Walking into the school with my five year old in tow was like a dream. Time passes so quickly. 
I was excited.
Mrs. D did her knowledge assessment and she passed with flying colors.
The nurse, Mrs. G, did her hearing and sight tests. All was good except there is a chance that she may need glasses in the future. (The Dr. at her latest appointment wasn't too concerned.)
Ava and I stopped for coffee and a treat when we were finished at the school. How is it possible that she'll soon go out into the world and I will trust strangers to teach her...and help her...and protect her...and love her...and see her potential...and have her best interest in their hearts...and see her for the special little soul that she it?
How will I let go? 
She doesn't seem big enough.
Her feet don't even touch the floor.



  • about 25 lbs
  • around 30 inches
  • size 24 month clothes
  • size 5 shoe
  • size 5 diaper
  • 8 teeth
It's hard to believe that my baby will be a year old in one month. I thought it would never happen but looking back, the year went fast. How does that happen? 
He still doesn't sleep through the night. He usually wakes up once in the middle of the night and then again in the early morning. Sometimes he goes back to bed...sometimes he doesn't. Last night he slept all the way through and woke up at about 5:45. He ate and slept till 8. :) 
He pushes his lion around a bit but walking doesn't seem to be a high priority. 
This kid is a tough one to feed. Is he picky? I'm not sure. If you can get the first bite in, then he's more willing to eat. Some of his favorite foods are bananas, strawberries, soup and steel cut oats with fruit.
He doesn't like to have ANY food on his face.
Words are hit and miss...once in awhile he says "uh oh". Once in awhile he says "nah nah". Once in awhile he waves hi and bye....
His big, open mouthed kisses are the best. :)
He nurses 3-4 times a day and always puts himself to sleep. 


 "Daddy! That is not an appropriate thing to say in the store!"

"Daddy, all you talk about is love when Mommy is around." 

Ava was wrestling Oscar away from the dog food. 
"Man! We need to put a force field around this!!"

My heart was sad tonight when I put Ava to bed. 
"Mom, I miss Ann and Naomi and Jasalyn really bad."
"I know you do sweetie.... Maybe you can write them letters tomorrow."
"But Mom, that not enough! I miss them really bad!" 
"Why don't we get some pictures so you can look at them all the time?"
"That will just make it worse. I want to move back. Why does Daddy have to work here?"

"Jaina! Do not selfish or foolish or jealous. Be kind and sweet and generous!"

"Whoa! Hot tamales!!"
"No Mom, it's coldamales!"

 "Mom, I wook crazy in deese pants. Yup, I wook crazy. Maybe when I get your size I can roller skate yike dis!"

Jaina calls Oscar "Gaga" "Baba" and "Poochie"

"Mommy, I'm so cold!"
"That's because you're eating cold cereal."
"No it's because of the earth."

"Oh Jaina! You smell funny!"
"No I don't! I wook radicwus!" (ridiculous) 

"Hey! It's almost Christmasteve!"

"Spoons are not for bums. They're for thoop!" (soup)

"Mom! Oscar is crawling on the fireplace! It is not awesome!"

She fell off her bike.
"That was not silly!"

She asks questions about E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G.
"Where does apples grow? Where do bananas grow? Where do dresses grow? What is chocolate made of?"