30 July 2010

Summer Time, and The Living Is Easy.

The last forty eight hours have been the kind of serendipitous summer time that I dream about all through January and February.  Perfect temperatures, light wind, sun and a casual, laid-back schedule.  It all started with a lazy afternoon outdoors.  The Little Lady chased bubbles, then we laid out our blankets and read our books.  LL read hers and I read mine.  At one point she looked at me and said, "Your book good mama?"  Seriously, this kid just keeps getting better and better.

The next morning we had an impromptu coffee date with some friends.  We sat out on the patio and chatted while the kids ran around and entertained each other.  Besides that one window licking incident, the coffee was great and the pastries delicious.  After, we walked a few blocks to a new, great park.  Let the kids run off some of the sugar they had just ingested before walking back and heading home.  Then to cap it all off the LL and I went to a BBQ with some old friends of mine and she was just great.  The only kid there and not one tantrum, not one fit, disagreement nor any sass.  I was relieved and my friends were impressed.  The only thing that could have made this all better would have been to have the Mr. around for our fun.

Here's wishing you some serendipitous summer time this weekend!  
What's your idea of a perfect summer day?

28 July 2010

Home for Sale, Cheap


Nap time is usually reserved for a mash up of cleaning, organizing, eating, blogging, surfing the web and trying to relax as much as possible before the Little Lady wakes up.  With our house going on the market tomorrow my house is the cleanest it has ever been.  Literally.  I feel like we're living in a model home.  Kind of like Michael and George Michael Bluth from Arrested Development.  It's equal parts nice and annoying.  Nice having a super clean home and annoying that I have to keep it show ready all.the.time.

The best part of having a show ready house?  I have nothing more to do during nap time than blog, eat and watch Angel.  Because bad TV at nap time is the best way to relax.  Well, maybe just if you're living in a model home.

27 July 2010

Tales of a Two Year Old

Potty training is an exercise of patience, control and humor on the part of the child, the parents and any other innocent bystander that gets caught in the way.  Luckily for us the Little Lady has done quite well for a wee person of her age.  We try to minimize and downplay accidents and have the mantra, "Pee and poop go in the potty.  Pee and poop go in the potty."  (Imagine us swaying back and forth while clapping our hands.  Oh, the kinds of adults our kids reduce us to.)

So the other week a friend of ours came to stay with us and accidentally got some paint on her arm as she was helping me paint our back porch.  The LL was quite concerned and asked if she had an accident and if she was ok and if she needed a bandaid or a kiss to make it feel better.  Our friend replied, no, she was fine and then asked if the LL ever had accidents.

"Yes, I have accidents.  I pee myself."

Spoken in a kind of sad, matter of fact voice.  Like she was discussing the war in Afghanistan or the housing crisis.  She sadly shook her head.  Sometimes I swear this "Little Lady" of ours is actually a very tiny, very  wise old woman.

26 July 2010

A Minnesota Goodbye


Here in Minnesota we have something known as, "The Minnesota Goodbye."  Approximately an hour before you actually leave you announce that you're leaving, proceed to say goodbye to everyone in the room; individually, chat for a few minutes, gather your belongings and then, finally depart.  It's annoying, expected and a hard trap not to fall into.

Parents of toddlers have a similar dance that they play, every time they are about to leave some place; especially if the location is particularly fun.

"Five more minutes Sally, five more minutes and then we're leaving."

The amount of time is really quite arbitrary.  Sally doesn't know what five minutes is and thus it is really up to the parent to decide how much longer they're going to stay.  But without that initial warning all hell can go loose in an instant.

"Two more minutes Sally.  Yes, I know you don't want to leave, but everyone is leaving too."

The parent talks a bit more, gathers the pile of things necessary for a successful outing with a toddler; diaper bag, sippy cup, shoes, and begins their own Minnesota goodbye.  Usually after the inital five minute warning the actual time that has elapsed is closer to twenty minutes.  At least it is if you're me.

"Alright Sally, it's time to go.  Yes, it's hard to leave, but we'll come back again soon."

Cue tantrum.  If you're name is Little Lady this is your favorite course of action.  No amount of prepping, Minnesota goodbye-ing or bribing can stave off this beast.  It kind of makes me wonder:  

Is the sign of a successful outing/play date a tantrum?  If so, are they really worth it?

The answer if yes, of course, a tantrum among friends is much better than a tantrum at home.

23 July 2010

Five Things Friday- Summer Drinks


Hello good peeps!  It's currently 79 degrees in sunny Minneapolis and I think it's high time I shared my favorite summer drinks with you.  Whether you are chilling on a patio, sipping around a campfire or simply sitting in front of your A/C, here are five tasty, cool, refreshing drinks for your  pleasure.  What about you?  What do you imbibe in the summer?


  1. Moscow Mule:  I had this for the first time at the beginning of summer and it is just about perfect.  Ginger beer (not ginger ale), vodka and lime come together to form the most refreshing drink you can have on a patio.  Sweet, spicy, with a nice little kick.
  2. Surly's Cynic Ale:  A light colored ale with a nice kick at the end.  I could drink pints and pints of this brew.  It's the ideal beer for a back yard BBQ.
  3. Arnold Palmer:  Part tart lemonade, part sweet iced tea.  Love this combination in the summer time, especially in the afternoons!  Nothing like a little caffeine kick to get you through the rest of a muggy day.
  4. Starbucks Iced Coffee with Milk:  Not Caribou, not Dunn Bros or the coffee house down the block.  For my every other coffee needs I'll go there, but iced coffee?  This is my favorite, my drink of choice in the summer mornings.  These remind me of sitting on the patio in China; grading papers and watching the world go by.  
  5. San Pellegrino Limonata:  Hands down my favorite soda (well, except for Diet Coke...)  Effervescent, tart, bubbly and to me, it tastes just like summer.  The Mr.'s work carries it in their communal fridge and I often ask him to swipe me one on the way home from work.  Delicious.  

Happy weekend everyone!

21 July 2010

Question

I took the Little Lady to her first ballgame today.  It was a blast and she outdid her two year old self and sat/walked around/was tantrum free all the way through the middle of the eighth inning.  Seriously, I know adults that can't do that.  One of the reasons (I think) that she was so well behaved is that I fed her for almost three hours straight.  I pulled out all of those "special treats" that I usually reserve for bribes, long car rides or special occasions.  You know, like fruit snacks, cookies, cotton candy, ice cream cones.  All in one sitting.

So it got me thinking.

When I go out, whether it's a fun night out with my girls, a date with the Mr. or simply treating myself to something nice I tend to feel justified in "splurging" a little bit.  Mostly calorically.  I'll have that piece of dessert.  I'll order the deep fried asparagus (because it's still vegetables!).  Or a latte and a cookie.  Completely unnecessary, but it's a treat, so it's ok, right?

I started thinking that maybe I was approaching this treat business all wrong and I was just setting the LL up for a lifetime of special treats and eating out of boredom.  I know I'm quite good at it, so it's no surprise to me that I'm showing LL the way too.  I get why I do it, it's far easier to let me kid eat that extra pouch of snacks than to try to distract, entertain or simply interact with her in the way she needs at the time.  But, from here on out, I'm going to try to feed less and interact more.  Perhaps I can save her future hips a few pounds and give her another way to address boredom.

So my question to you is:  

Am I  teaching bad habits by filling the LL up with treats?
Or am I simply teaching her that it is ok to treat yourself once in a while?

Discuss.

20 July 2010

Tales of a Two Year Old


Apparently getting your house ready to put on the market it time consuming and stressful.  Who knew?  The last two weeks of afternoons have been spent tidying, cleaning, organizing and then reorganizing.  The house was looking in tip-top shape; and then we had house guests.  I'm hoping to return it to it's former glory in the next twenty-four hours.  Wish me luck.

I thought I would start a new little series I'm calling, "Tales of a Two Year Old" in which I highlight the hilarious, ridiculous and often adorable/infuriating aspects of the Little Lady.  We'll start off with this amusing little story.

Up until this week we could not, for the life of us, get the LL to count past the number three.  It was always one, two, three, two...  Then all of a sudden it was one, two, three, four, five, six, seven!  Huzzah!  What I say does sink into that cute little head of hers!  So the Mr. still hadn't heard this new found skill, so I was prepping her one morning.  And this is what she said.  One, two, three, four, five, fuck.  

Oh, fuck.

I wonder where she learned that from?  Needless to say I was completely unaware how much was sinking in that little head of hers.  It's time to break out the Swear Jar, or the bar of soap or whatever ineffective strategies my parents tried.  Apparently, neither worked very well.

09 July 2010

Five Things Friday- Post Vacay Edition


I just spent the last six days at a cabin in the northern part of Minnesota, on a lake, with my in-laws.  I'm not really sure what end is up, what food I have in my fridge or where dinner is coming from.  Also, on a side note, why does my house always smell a little funky after being gone a few days?  Does it always smell that way?  But I digress.  Here is my Five Things Friday list for this week, a look at five things that are perfectly acceptable to do on vacation; but are not advisable for the other weeks in your year.  Happy Friday everyone!

  1. Opening a beer anytime before noon.  Generally not advisable if you work outside the home, or if you are the primary caregiver to a small child.  After noon; 12:00 and one second, however, are all acceptable times to crack one open, if you want my opinion.
  2. Wearing your swimsuit from sunrise to sunset.  I would say that most days I would find it a little bit ranky to be wearing your suit all day, but there is something deliciously vacationingy about eating breakfast and dinner in a swim suit.
  3. Your only thoughts are, "When do we eat again?"  Really, for me, there is nothing better than vacation eating.  Splurging, just a little bit, on the foods that you don't normally eat or take the time to make.  Like this trifle, or these almonds, or eating all of your meals grilled.  Yum.
  4. Forgetting what day it is.  No really, I had to think about it for about five minutes until I realized I could do a Five Things Friday post today.  I had no idea where I was in my week.  Ah, isn't that the best feeling?  Forget about asking me what the date is!
  5. Magazines!  I hardly have the time most days/weeks to read magazines and thus have stopped all my subscriptions.  However, whenever I fly or am vacationing I indulge and buy a few 'zines.  Man, I love vacation!
What kinds of things do you do on vacation?

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