Bring It


Two years ago today, we got the keys to our house.

As I sit outside on a breezy May evening, I hear kids running through the yards, laughing, playing hide and seek.  I hear dogs barking.  I see people walking, running.  I see people puttering about in their gardens, moving bags of mulch around on the sidewalk to let people pass, or moving gallon sized plants from space to space like a game of chess, before finally putting it into the ground.

Our neighborhood is bustling with activity.  It is both quiet and alive.

I love it here.

One thing we haven’t really done, is get into a groove with the neighborhood kids.  I can’t just let L & W roam the alley with the other kids their age, and no one seems too keen on just hanging out in our yard, at least not so far.  We are going to try and change that this summer.  Today J invited a neighbor boy his age over to play.  They were in and out of the house, up and down the sidewalk on their scooters, and hanging in the backyard with L & W, for three solid hours.  It felt really good.  It felt like the thing that was missing.

I might have chocolate smeared on every wall of my house, and my kitchen floor might need to be swept for the 5th time today, and my laundry might never be folded, but I will welcome any kids who want to run through my yard, and tromp through my living room, and sit at my kitchen table and play LEGO with my boys.  It’s going to be a very long summer if I don’t.

The Welcome mat is out.  I’m stocking up on freeze-pops.


Christmas Prepper

So, word on the street is that the world is supposed to end tomorrow.

Do people actually believe that?  I’m guessing they are the same people who think we should buy all the guns to keep Big Brother at bay…

At my house, I’m in full on Christmas mode.

The boys have their last day of school today.  Tomorrow we are seeing Santa with all of the cousins.  I made my first Rosettes and Krumkake yesterday and my shopping list for groceries, booze and stocking stuffers is complete.

Now if only I could find my address book so I can get my Christmas cards in the mail I would feel like we are making progress.  (I’m guessing it’s hiding out somewhere with my motivation to wrap gifts and fold clothes!)

This year should be great.  My sister is home from Kansas City!  Mexican Christmas Eve is going to be awesome and no one is breastfeeding this year, so bring on the margaritas!

We are doing Christmas with my Dad over the weekend so there will be no rush to get out the door and to his house on Christmas day which really puts a damper on the Christmas morning festivities.  Nothing like packing up and hauling out to get to the other parents house as soon as brunch is finished to add that extra bit of magic to the holidays in a divorced family.

Since we are talking about it (kind of)- there is nothing easy about getting my kids ready to go anywhere.  I was just thinking about what we could do to make it less crazy and I am at a complete loss.  Usually we are running around re-dressing kids, finding discarded socks and shoes (or pants and training pants) and it’s complete chaos every single time.  There is no getting them dressed and ready ahead of time.  If they have 5 minutes to fidget, you are back where you started.  Something I go through every day- I’m at the point where I just toss their jackets, backpacks and boots into the Care Cab after them because it’s so stressful dressing and re-dressing them over and over in the 20 minute window when their transportation can arrive.

So yeah, I don’t have to deal with that on Christmas morning this year!

We can get up, do stockings, have a leisurely brunch and head out to play in the snow (not me- I will stay in and make cocoa for everyone thankyouverymuch) and have a wonderful dinner to top off the day.

If this Christmas isn’t the best Christmas ever, I’m not sure it’s possible.

Crap.  I just realized I haven’t even begun to think about  plans for when my In-Laws are here over New Years.  Or when I will actually get my house clean.

I think Yogi Dad’s extra days off are going to come in really handy!




I’m THAT Mom! And Other Thoughts on this Lovely Snow Day.

You would think that having grown up in Minnesota, I would know better.

I mean, I worked at Target for 15 years and incurred the wrath of last minute shoppers annually during the first snowfall over the fact that boots, mittens and snowpants were sold out.  I always shook my head and swore that when I had kids, that would never be me.  I mean this *is* Minnesota after all…it’s going to snow eventually, why wait until the last minute?

Sadly, I got completely caught up in the fact that it’s been so unseasonably warm and snow-free (And CW doesn’t like to wear his jacket, ever, let alone any real cold weather gear.) that I hadn’t even dug out our boots to see if they fit any of the little feet that reside in our house (I knew we needed two pairs of snowpants; coats and mittens were covered).  Of course when I finally ventured down to the basement to find boots yesterday morning, I found three pairs of boots- all size 7.

All three pairs of toddler feet in this house are at least a size 9.  Nothing like an impromptu purchase of boots that will probably be worn a total of 5 times before the season is over.  I’m not going to lie- I went for the cheapest boots I could find, the boys are not fans of being out in the snow and when they are out, they don’t keep on hats or mittens so we usually head in after a short stint, cold feet are the least of my worries.

But, the lack of snowpants and boots didn’t stop us from heading out today!

We bundled them up the best we could and attempted a snowman in the back yard (J kindly knocked it down) and then we took a mini trip around the block in the sleds.  I say “mini” because we cut through the alley when they started getting restless and bailing out every few feet.

The best part of the sled ride was when we stopped at the neighbors around the corner where some kids were busy building a snowman and some snow animals (pig, cow, etc.).  When L saw their snowman (complete with carrot nose, black Top Hat and buttons) he jumped out of his sled and said “Hi Frosty!”.

Seriously the cutest thing ever.  I’m pretty sure he was expecting that 4 foot pile of snow to start dancing right there on the spot.  If one of the girls had been named Karen he would have probably passed out from awe.

It was a fun morning and I am so glad we were all home to enjoy winter storm Caesar together as a family!

Here’s a fun fact: Did you know The Weather Channel started naming winter storms in November?  How fun is that?!  It’s nothing official, The National Weather Service isn’t recognizing this and it seems to be a marketing ploy on the part of TWC, but I’ll take it!  Why should Tropical Storms have all the fun?

Anyways, back when I worked (and when we didn’t have a driveway) snow days were consumed with waiting for a Snow Emergency to be called so we could make sure we were properly parked or waiting for snowplows to come through so we could move our cars.  Today we (and by “we”, I mean Yogi Dad) did a fair amount of shoveling, but it was a far cry from the chaos of an overnight snowstorm during the work week when drive times (or entire work days) are threatened by the driving conditions.

Because I stay home it doesn’t affect me at all and I can honestly say I don’t miss it!

I did have to skip the drive up to my Mom’s because they were threatening blizzard like conditions and low visibility tonight when I would be driving home and I simply didn’t want to mess with that.  We rescheduled our cookie baking plans for Wednesday night which will work out just fine.

I did learn something that made me laugh out loud tonight!  All my life (well, from 7th- 12th grade anyway) I would watch the morning news on snowy days waiting for my school (Buffalo-Hanover-Montrose) to scroll across the screen as a cancelled school, and it rarely ever did.  But, almost every time “Buffalo Lake-Hector” would come across and my hopes would be dashed.  I swear they got every single snowy day off and it was like a slap in the face to see that “Buffalo” and have it not be us.  I’m pretty sure we even asked our mom on a few occasions if she was absolutely sure we weren’t part of that school district.  I mean Buffalo Lake was *in* Buffalo…right?  Well, today on Facebook I found out that pretty much everyone else I went to school with had the same reaction growing up… Buffalo Lake-Hector, messing with BHS students on snow days since 1985!

All in all, it was a pretty good day to watch the flakes fall.  And there were lots and lots of them, pretty sure we have at least 7 inches out there, nice dense, wet snow.  good for snowballs and snow man building.  Lack of boots and snowpants aside, I am totally ready for winter to start.  I like a white Christmas, as cliche as it sounds.  We have had our fair share of bone dry, brown Christmases in the past few years and I will take a snow shrouded one over that anytime.  It’s just so much more festive and fun!

Do you love Minnesota winters as much as I do?




Copyright @ Minnesota Mom 2012