Monday, July 28, 2008

SHARE Mommy please!

Disclaimer - My blog is also my way of cataloging and capturing Marly & Dean's history. Some posts may be boring, and simply contain UPDATES for posterity.

Sunday evening, I had my first real experience with Marly & Dean and an issue of jealousy for Mommy. M & D have been known to fight over toys. Dean will take something from Marly and she will SCREAM and stomp her little feet up and down and try and grab it back. Well last night, Marly didn't want to SHARE MOMMY. I have never had this experience before. Neither of my children have ever been clingy. Actually, I had even spent the entire day with Marly sans Dean. We had been to Gretchen's for one of those home party events to sell the latest craze product of the moment (this particular party was for Upper Case Living). Dean and Mark had stayed home. Last evening, Marly wanted to sit on my lap when we were on the floor. We were playing and Dean came over to join us. He sat down on my other knee. Marly looked at him coldly. She was having NONE of THAT. NO BROTHER!!!! MARLY ONLY!

She screeched at him (her best method of wordless communication at 17 months), then she pushed him, then again, then she poked him. Her message was clear! GET OFF MOMMY'S LAP. SHE'S MY MOMMY! Later she pulled his hair. I am embarrassed to report it was mildly entertaining to watch this behavior. Of course I tried to stop her and change her manners. All the while, Mark is like, "What am I... Chopped liver???"

On a development note - Dean can now stack blocks in a tower. He is so proud of himself when he gets them six or seven high. Marly likes to take them off one at a time.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Little Stinker!

I have to share about our POOP incident while Up North.

Dean was taking a nap one afternoon in his Pack n' Play. When he started to cry, I went to check on him. The room smelled terrible, and clearly at least one child needed a diaper change. I went to pick up Dean. For whatever reason, I had not put his shorts on him before putting him down for his nap. Not only where his shorts missing, but his diaper was gone too! It was in the crib. Next to the crib was a chunk of POOP.

Oh Dear! I take Dean to the living room for a diaper change. I notice POOP all over his legs, etc. Hmmm -- we are going to need a bath here. Obviously he had his hands on it. I go back in the kid's room because Marly is beginning to make noise.

Oh Dear! There is another larger chunk of POOP next to her head. I suspect Dean was throwing it at her, missed the first time, but landed it right inside her Pack n' Play in his second shot. She got a bath too for good measure.

Of course Mark gives this whole gaggy, "I am going to throw up!" bit. Whatever dude! It's POOP! He freaks out at baby boogers too. Good Lord!

The photo is of Dean in front of our condo looking very innocent with his best friend Oscar- after his bath. I will refer to Oscar as his best friend (rather then Marly) because Dean didn't throw POOP at Oscar.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Up North

The Thomberg's, Grandpa David and Nana Chris are back from a few days Up North at Tofte/Lutsen. Here is photo recap of our time away.

Dean's favorite activity was feeding Earl and all the other sea gulls in front of our condo at Blue Fin Bay on Lake Superior. One day he started picking the bread off the grass and eating it himself....Hmm - Time for lunch? Well.. the bread was organic, whole grain with no high fructose corn syrup (purchased from Costco)!

Marly's favorite activity was shopping at the Trading Post in Grand Marais. Nana Chris bought her the sunglasses she sported all around town.

The Thomberg's on the beach at Grand Marais. Mark is trying to hide his boot cast behind him.

Marly & Dean throwing rocks with Grandpa. Throwing rocks was a frequent activity at various locations including the traditional Lutsen Resort where we ate dinner on Saturday.

Mom's favorite activity was strolling with Marly, Dean & Daddy (the photographer).

Marly and Dean relaxing outside the New Scenic Cafe ( outside of Duluth on our way home. Mark really wanted to eat at the Angry Trout in Grand Marais, which boasts locally grown produce, etc. We did not get the opportunity. We had an equally good lunch at the Scenic on our way home. Mark had an asparagus and egg sandwich. I had an avocado, bacon, sandwich with jalapeno spread (along with a soothing glass of Pinio Grigio). M & D had Boca nuggets!

We can't wait to go back in the years ahead as the kids are able to enjoy more and more activities.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

What are the Thomberg's up to?

Tuesday I am taking an afternoon of PTO to drop in on new mom Jenny and bring another meal their way.

Wednesday, I also have PTO from work. I am taking Dean to the Dr (ear check post infection). Later I am taking myself to the Dr (wound check). In between and after I will be packing and prepping for a trip to Lutsen.

On Thursday, the Thomberg's are delighted to be heading Up North to meet Dad and Chris at Lutsen/Tofte at Bluefin Bay Resort. Yippy - a few days away! As a child, my family went up to Lutsen almost yearly. We were often joined by Barb & Charlie Melberg, Brad, Mark and Tracy. Other years my cousin, Kris Hintze Naab, was recruited to entertain Brett and I. I have this vague memory of her reading those V.C. Andrews books and telling us the creepy story at night in our room downstairs. We dubbed Kris "cousin Inga". Can't quite recall why... something to do with a greater story we created of ourselves. We always stayed in the same town home unit at Caribou Highland. We ate out, we ate in, we hiked, we headed to the Temperance River, the Oberg Loop, Split Rock Lighthouse or Canada, we rode the alpine slide, we trekked to Grand Maria and the Trading Post, we saw bears, etc. It was an expected vacation we enjoyed every year basically.

Anyway, on Thursday morning after I feed and dress the kids, I plan to strap them in their Britax and depart.... by myself (current plan... never know what may change). Gretch has borrowed me her car DVD player for the 'tods'. I am armed with "Baby Einstein". I hope the five hour cruise goes smoothly. Logistically, I am already thinking about how I will go to the bathroom, where to stop to eat something, if I should treat the kids to McD's happy meals or have cut grapes, turkey, and yogurt ready for a lunch, etc.

Mark will depart the MOMENT he is done with his Caribou corporate meeting in the afternoon. Because he has no idea when he will be done, we felt it best I get moving with the kids instead of waiting and waiting. At the moment, he has little control over his schedule at Caribou. I can't wait 'til my gimpy husband gets there too! Dad/Grandpa has already proposed a lunch at Cascade Lodge and an afternoon in Grand Marais. Mark is revved up to take the kids to Ben Franklin! We want to eat at the Angry Trout. Am I dreaming to think maybe Mark and I have a dinner alone in our future, with Dad and Chris watching the 'tods'??? Unfortunately, I think I am the only one actually physically able to hike this year!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Hanging with the H-we's

One of Mark and my favorite relatively stress free weekend activities is to hang out with the Huwe's. We cruise up HWY 10 to Gretch and Dan's house outside of Clear Lake. Door to door it is a few minutes less then an hour away. I quote two year old Miss P H-we, "Mommy, Can you call the Twin's Mommy so they can come play?"

At the H-we's, the Thomberg's have our own special set up in the basement, including a bed for Mark and I, and a pack n' play and crib ready and waiting for M & D. We have no agenda for our time together. We turn our kids loose and hope they will play nice. If it is evening, we feed our kids, while we sip our wine or beer. We put the kids down at 8 pm and hope for quite from the various corners of the house. Next, we eat ourselves. Out of nowhere, Gretchen appears with a delicious, creative and healthy meal. She jokes the recipe is from her Jessica Seinfield's "Deceptively Delicious" cook book, which she refers to as "Deceptively Difficult". Often the adults are in bed before 11 pm. (Hey - We're tired!)

Basically, Mark and I take relief in spending time with our dear friends whose lives are just like ours. We share the same stresses and same joys in our day to day lives with two small children, parenting, jobs, job searches, home life, finances, time management, and etc. I think each of us finds comfort and feels supported in our time together.

This past weekend we gathered on Sunday afternoon....

Mark in his boot cast on the hammock.

The little oasis outside the H-we House.

M, Marly, P and Dean in P's princess bed last winter.

Friday, July 11, 2008

The New Kid on the Block

Jeremy with Vivian.
Thankfully you can't see the big rug burn on Dean's nose too much.
He dove off the bed.
Gimp Daddy could not move fast enough to rescue him.

Last Thursday we headed to Jenny and Jeremy's house in Minneapolis with a crock pot of chicken taco meat, whole wheat tortillas, and the fixings. We were off to introduce Marly and Dean to the New Kid on the Block - 6 day old Vivian Ann Lyons. We wanted to come by with a meal which would provide some left overs too. I especially enjoyed seeing Jenny's mom, LaRayne Betlach, who was staying for the week. I have a special place in my heart for many of my friend's moms. I enjoy watching moms interact with their adult daughters. Many of my friend's moms are very kind to me. I remember when Marly and Dean were about a week old, and LaRayne called me and asked me how breast feeding was going. It was a much appreciated call.

By the way, the Lyon's family is doing well!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

4th of July photos

Full holiday review in prior posting.

Dad and Dean

Uncle Brett and Aunt Rachel are the best!

Marly in the sand at Lake Kandi

Cousin Laura and Wilson Melberg

On the beach at Barb and Charlie's Cabin

Picnic at a park near our home on Sunday.
Nothing fancy - just a rotisserie chicken, Triscuts, water, fruit and Daddy's camera.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Andrea's Adventure to the ER

Mark is a regular with emergency medical visits for stitches, back problems, or his latest - the broken foot. Although I am a klutz, gawky, and usually have many bruises, I have never had an accident requiring an ER visit until last night. I was taking out the garbage (gimpy hubby is unable to do so) and needed to sort the recycling. As I was putting a bag of cans into the recycle bin, I felt a tug against my forearm. I looked down and saw blood, and something that wasn't my skin. I opted NOT to look again, stepped into the kitchen, and simply stated, "Mark I need to go to the ER for stitches." Mark took one look, and also opted NOT to look again. He wrapped it in a towel and pulled my arm farther above my head. We waited for my dad to arrive to sit with the sound asleep 'tods.' I caught a few minutes of the "Bachelorette" while waiting. I couldn't stop giggling. I called Gretchen, and still couldn't stop laughing. She's like, "Why are you laughing???? You need to go to the ER???? I don't get it?????"

We arrived at Mercy at 9:45 PM. After looking at my wound, the nurse "fast tracked" me. I opted NOT to look at my wound until AFTER it was stitched up, but every health care professional commented, "Oh.. you did a doozy!" One nurse told me I should make my husband take out the trash. I pointed out he was the gimp in the boot cast. Anyway, the Dr stitched me up and discovered I had nicked the tendon. I can move all my fingers just fine, but I will be making an appointment with an orthopedic specialist for next week. (Mark has his follow up foot appointment with his orthopediac specialist on Wednesday). We arrived home just before midnight. I think we are prefered clients at Allina now.

I am at work as usual this morning. My wrist has white gauze wrapped around it. It isn't really painful. I do have antibiotics because of the depth of the wound. I do not know the number of stitches. Unfortunately, I did not get the laundry put away last night. I did not get the thank you notes I wanted to send written last night. I didn't get much sleep. Oh well! I guess the world will continue to turn even if our clean laundry is pilled on the bedroom chair. Mark and I are quite a pair! Thank God M & D remain injury free. I PRAY this remains true. With two, I fear one of the pair is constantly just out of my stitched up arms reach and teetering on the edge of danger and disaster.

Hey, maybe this gets me out of cooking dinner tonight...

Monday, July 7, 2008

4th of July Highs and Lows

I have been trying to figure out how to properly express what our 4th of July holiday was like with toddler twins - 'the tods.' I have decided the best method will be to highlight the Highs and Lows. I hope you get a sense of the various emotions involved, and the history is properly captured for Marly & Dean.

HIGH POINT - At 1 AM on the 4th I got a phone call I had been expecting for hours. Jenny was at the hosptial and checked in to deliver her baby. I was in my car in minutes and on my way to join her and Jeremy at Methodist for the labor and delivery of their first child. I am so honored they were willing to have me there to support them at this life changing event. I did a LOT of counting to ten slowly as Jenny pushed and Vivian Lyons entered the world at 9:02 AM.

LOW POINT - After Mark returned at noon on Friday from working at Caribou, we piled into the already packed Pacifica to head to Barb and Charlie's beautiful cabin on Kandi three hours west. I think Dean started pitching a fit about an hour into the ride. By the time we got to the small town of Kandiyohi, Mark and I were ready to leave Dean by the side of the road in his ultra safe, cushy Britax car seat. Mark was thinking he could use a shot. Mark doesn't drink a whole lot anymore. Applesauce pacified Dean and Marly in the last few miles.

HIGH POINT - I have the greatest relatives and family ever! Seriously! Barb and Charlie open up their cabin to us. Their own grown children give up their rooms for us at the lake. Relatives young and old help Mark and I with Marly & Dean. Auntie Rachel always graciously and eloquently steps in with out a word to help me with every aspect of Marly and Dean's care. My cousins help to keep Marly and Dean out of harms way, fed, and entertained. THANK YOU TO ALL OF YOU!

HIGH POINT - Those rice crispy bars with carmel that Laura made.

HIGH POINT - Watching the next generation of 5 Melberg boys play (Matt & Brad's kids). I am being VERY serious when I say I fear for their parents when they reach their teen years. Good God almighty...there's a new 'Cousins Crew' in town.

HIGH POINT - Brad puts on an awesome fire works display from the end of the dock. I am sure he is a hero in the eyes of his children. I am impressed. I bet the neighbors were too! I check on the 'tods' in their Pack n' Plays upstairs. They sleep through all the noise. Yippy!

LOW, LOW POINT - Dean begins to cry around 1 AM. He cries off and on for hours and hours and hours. He and Daddy watch the dawn move across the lake from the hammock at 5 AM. Dean may never be invited back! The 'tods' did NOT take an afternoon nap, and I let them eat all the junk food they wanted. At home we eat very healthy, so I let them indulge in all the holiday treats when we are out. This was a bad move. I do not think the cheese puffs set well with Dean's digestive system.

LOW POINT - Saturday morning I am NOT a happy camper. I am mentally and physically exhausted. Two nights with no sleep have passed. Honestly, I have had 4th of July HANG OVERS more pleasant then this. Generally, I felt more spent then if I had been out with the Cousin's Crew, drank too much vodka at Little Melvin's, and then been out too late trying to wrangle Mike back into the car after Spicer closes down for the night! Dean was about as enjoyable as Mike was at 3 AM in years gone by on the 4th of July! Hmmm....

HIGH POINT - Saturday morning Marly, Dean and Daddy took a nap. Jessie, Bobby and Sophie Hawkinson stroll up to visit. Seeing parents of infants and toddlers is a delight and a highlight for everyone (even if you have some of your own). I could see the joy on their faces as they chatted about their beautiful one year old daughter who was blissfully asleep in her stroller. Hopefully the same joy was on my face as I talked about Marly & Dean, while Dean played with a ball, and I urged him NOT to wake little Sophie.

Mark and I knew a trip to the cabin would be an undertaking. I knew we would not have "fun" by the technical definition of the word like our younger years. We are realistc. We are lucky too. Our relatives have a GREAT cabin... and we know (3rd person here) Andrea simply cannot stand to be away from her family when she knows they are gathering. She might cry....really! To be a part of traditions (like the lake), to be a part in the play of the known is a chosen way to live life. (That being said, next year we may choose a Thompson tradition to pursue, who knows...)

But seriously folks - Babies and toddlers grow up too fast. We can't push 'pause' on our kids. If you've got one (or two) it is fun to share them, their innocence, their triumphs, and tears with others (especially at holidays). Actually, I think it almost a duty to share them. It is their looks, their expressions, their unsteady movements in those first two years of life as they discover each thing new. It is so precious and miraculous...and then gone before you know it.

Mid-afternoon on Saturday, Mark and I have had enough though, and it showed. We slowly begin to pack up all the gear, clean up Marly & Dean, and dress them in fresh coordinating attire. It is time to head home. We are gracious of the WONDERFUL hospitality given to us, but it is time... (THANK YOU BARB!)

HIGH POINT - We load Marly & Dean into the air conditioned car and stop at the other Melberg Cabin to greet that crew and say good-bye to Grandpa David and Nana Chris. The 'tods' quickly fall asleep in the car as we pull away. Mark and I stop at the DQ in Cokato for a treat. We don't even have to share with Marly & Dean. They are still sound asleep.

LOW POINT - We get Marly & Dean home in the early evening Saturday, unload the car, feed the kids, etc. Dean screams through the duration of his bath.

HIGH POINT - At 8 PM, Marly & Dean have already been in bed for a while. Mark suggests we leave the house in its completely disasterous state, and I actually agree. We lay in bed and pop in the movie "The Kite Runner." I am too tired to read the subtitles. I think I am asleep by 8:17 PM!

So there you have it - Our holiday with the 'tods' in a nutshell. I am not sure if there were more Highs or Lows.... Best not to count. Best to end with saying we are BLESSED! (okay - I counted... More Highs then Lows!)

Pictures to follow in a post later this week.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Rueber-Nelson-Melberg Family Reunion

Last Sunday we attended a family reunion at the home and pool of Susan (Rueber) Krumrey in Buffalo Lake. The event was also hosted by her sister Sarah Kramer. I think all of the attendees were thankful these two sisters kindly planned and provided such a wonderful gathering for us. It was a good day!

Group photo of the Melberg Clan

Marly in the pool for the first time.

Dean chill'n in Auntie Rachel's sunglasses.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

My Dean-O Pie & Angel-Girl Marly

Babes have long since been busy walk'n but not much a talk'n at 16 month!
Also said "bye-bye" to pacifiers in May.
Mean Mommy just took them away one day.
The first time Mean Mommy tried, Sympathetic Daddy snuck them back in.
One week later - it stuck, since Mean Mommy hid the paci's from Sympathetic Daddy.
I keep finding the darn things tucked away in cupboards and drawers.
Turns out Sympathetic Daddy had his own secret stash!


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