Thursday, April 14, 2011


I've been talking about it for about six months and today I finally did it.  I made the appointment, dropped my kids off at a friend's house, and took my tablet PC with a picture of Victoria Beckham to the hairdresser.  Here are the before pictures (pictures and babysitting courtesy of my friend Kelly): 

And after:

I have to say, I'm still hyperventilating a bit.  It's sooo short, but I really do like it. Jane told me that my hair "looked like grandma's now".  Not sure how to take that.

Trip to Michigan Candids

While some of our Michigan adventures were a little more epic, we had lots of time to just visit and relax.  My Mom organized a family dinner at her house on of the nights.  My brother and his girlfriend, sister, grandmother and uncle and his partner all came.  There was an island theme and the food was A-mazing.

The night of the dinner my Uncle Joel and his partner, Michael, gave my kids Easter baskets.

To say that the kids were happy is an understatement.  They loved the treats and toys.  I loved the thoughtfulness of it all.  It was wonderful.

Jane is my snuggler.  Her top request any day is to be "rocked like a baby".  Well, she found a good snuggle buddy in Grandma Kim.

We went to my uncle's salon and Jane and I both got a trim.
This is a picture of my Grandma Sammie (Paige's Great-Grandma) holding Paige while Jane and I were being beautified.

There was lots of time to just sit around.  Paige learned to turn the pages of a book.

I love this picture of Adam and Paige.  He loves Paige and I just happened upon them like this.

We were also able to get a four-generation picture for Paige.  We got one for Jane last year.  I love that my girls will have these.

It was such a wonderful and relaxing trip.  I am already mentally planning our next...

Lake Michigan

Living in Rochester means Lake Ontario is just a few minutes away.  And yet, I have never been to the lake.  Why?  Because it is brown, and ugly.  Why is our Great Lake so yucky and Lake Michigan so freaking beautiful??  We are going to have to make a trip to visit my Mom in the summer time so we can actually go swimming in this beauty!  During our trip this time we had to be satisfied with walking along the docks and beach and admiring the vistas.

Adam really wanted to skip stones on the water.  Unfortunately it was still frozen solid. 

Both Scott and I were constantly terrified that one of the kids would go over the edge and through the ice.

After walking along the beach we stopped at this playground.  It was freezing outside, but the kids didn't mind.

I put Paige in the carrier and bundled her up to keep her warm.  She was belly laughing while I was swinging with her.
Winter time at Lake Michigan was fun despite the frigid temperatures.  Summer time at Lake Michigan sounds pretty good, no?

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Indoor Waterparks

I grew up in the birthplace of the indoor waterpark.  I think they are awesome.  Let me just say, however, that there are a few developments that I could do without.  The buckets of water strategically positioned over stairways and walkways and manned by 11-year-olds?  Those can go.  Luckily it only took one "don't- you-dare-or-death-will-ensue" look from me and the kids didn't dare dump that bucket on me or my 2-year-old (seriously, they are a way to bully people without actually breaking any rules.  I. Hate. Them.).  Moving on. 

We visited an indoor waterpark while in Michigan and within 30 minutes of arriving Adam announced that he'd like to live there.  I forgot to bring our waterproof camera, so my pictures are limited.  Here is a general view of the place and of a few people who should steer clear of string bikinis (I actually think this includes most of the population).

Since I didn't have my waterproof camera all I got were a few pictures of Jane eating her lunch.

I think her demeanor does an adequate job of expressing the general review of the place...



...sweet, sweet Culver's.  Do you live in the Midwest?  Do you have a Culver's?  Yes?  I hate you.  For the uninitiated, Culver's is the home of the Butter Burger and the best custard out there (sorry Rochester, Abbot's just doesn't cut it).  Anytime we are close to a Culver's I have to eat there.  Repeatedly. 

Because I am a good mother and abide the principles of Super Baby Food* (which tells us that it would be best to never introduce our children to chocolate, HA!), I fed my 7-month old chocolate custard.

Yup, definitely my daughter.

*This is actually an AWESOME book if you're making your own baby food.  The author is just a bit...orthodox.

Traverse City Children's Museum

The last time we went to visit my Mom was about a year and a half ago.  Adam was 2 1/2 years old.  Despite his youth and the long time in between visits, he still remembered "the red museum".  The Traverse City Children's Museum is red on the outside and Adam has been talking about it for over a year. It's small.  It is basically one large room sectioned off for the separate exhibits.  The champion of the exhibits is the modular water table.  It has a current going through it.  You can move the walls to manipulate the current.

Jane was soaked from head to toe and I had to use the hand dryer in the bathroom (twice!) to make her clothes wearable again.

Adam loved playing with the walls and then sending boats down the river to see what changed.  He really is our little science nerd.

I wonder here he gets that from...

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Where are We Going?"

"Grandma's House!"  Don't know Dora?  Then I guess you can't appreciate that Jane recited this phrase repeatedly during our 9 hour drive (13 hours total travel time).  Lucky for us there was a children's museum in Ontario, just about halfway.  We have a membership at our local museum and this one was reciprocal.  Free = Awesome.

It was no Strong Museum, but it met my kids' needs just fine.  There were dinosaur costumes,
and rockets,
and a space exhibit,
and a snowmobile (only in Canada, right?)

and a slide.  Thank goodness there was a slide.
We left our house in Rochester at 8am and arrived at my Mom's around 9pm.  Let the festivities begin!

4. Four!

Let me just do that annoying-disbelieving-mother-thing and say that my baby is four.  Four is one year from five which is kindergarten!  I am not ready.  I am NOT ready.

Okay, now that I have that off my chest.  We celebrated Adam's 4th birthday in March.  There were balloons,

and a tower of cookies (for the kid who doesn't like cake or frosting, weird I know),

and presents ripped open with glee,

and, finally, a trip to Jump Club.  He had to choose 4 friends.  It wasn't easy for me to let him make this decision on his own since his friends are the children of my friends.

He was one happy boy.  Here is what he's been doing:
-Wearing his glasses willingly and consistently
-Patching his eye only 2 hours a day (down from 6) because he is now 20/30 instead of 20/50 (yay!)
-Wearing underpants to bed at night with no accidents
-Keeping us all safe and in line by reminding us regularly of the rules in any given situation
-Buckling his own seat belt (can I get a hallelujah?)
-Turning into a nerd (and I honestly and truly could not be happier about this) with his request for magnifying glasses for his birthday.

We love our boy and the ways he makes us laugh daily.

6 Months

Okay, so she's actually 7 months now.  But this picture was taken when she was six months!  Are you so proud of me for doing her six month cake?  I have missed all of her others.  Anyway, our baby turned half a year in March.  

Here's what she's doing:
-Weighing in at over 20lbs
-Eating solids (finally)
-Sleeping 8-12 hours at a stretch (finally)
-Sitting up
-Spitting up (still)
-Not rolling over (anyone else's children completely skip this milestone?)
-Laughing (those awesome belly laughs)
-Babbling (lots of "dada", no "mama", video will be forthcoming)
-Traveling internationally (That's right, we drove through Canada on our way to visit my Mom in MI, jealous?)
-Coming into her own sweet little personality
-Making us all fall in love with her a little bit more everyday.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

What Exactly is Going to Happen?

I'm going to throw a hypothetical out here and see what you wise and wonderful people have to say about it.  What exactly is the big deal with leaving your kids in the car?  Let me start by saying, that I know some stupid parents have actually killed their kids by leaving them unattended on a too-hot day.  But, that kind of irresponsibility aside, what's the big deal?

If my children are buckled in their carseats, the weather is temperate and my car is off with the doors locked, what catastrophe is going to befall them while I run into the bank or the post office?  Are they going to get kidnapped?  Is someone going to break my windows, unbuckle my kids, and run off with them in the five minutes I'm gone?  All without raising any eyebrows?  If that's the case, I guess I should keep them away from the windows at home as well.  Are they going to spontaneously combust?  Go blind?  Lose a limb?

I just fail to see the harm.  A friend of mine from high school wrote this in her status on Facebook:

"So we went out to eat for lunch and when we were walking out there was a car next to us that was on and a baby inside, no parents in site (sic). I stood there and watched and the mother came over check on the baby and went back to sit down to eat....without the baby.  My husband went to talk to him knowing the guy was Military and told him he wasn't leaving until they left or got the baby out of the car. Then the manager called the cops. WHO DOES THAT??????"

There were tons of comments like, "You saved that baby's life!" and "I hope they go to jail!"  Not one person stuck up for the parents and said, "The baby was probably sleeping and, if the car was locked, no harm done."  

So, educate me friends.  Apart from the media hype about babies dying in cars, what is the big deal?  Why can't I, as an intelligent and responsible parent (don't question this, just go with it), evaluate a situation and say, "My children are safe."  Why is it anyone else's business?  Why do people stake out other people's cars and call the cops?  

I welcome your comments.  I think.  I'm actually a little afraid.