Monday, March 30, 2009

Mr. 'Bou

On Friday, I purchased my last cup of coffee from my husband at the SLP location of Caribou Coffee.

After less then one year as a store manager at Caribou, Mark has been promoted to the corporate Caribou Coffee store location, beginning this morning at 6 AM. He is excited for the new experience and challenge. This location (connected to the headquarters) is intended to become the company's flagship store. Potential products and marketing concepts will be tested out, under Mark's direction.

I can understand why Mark was invited to apply for the job. Mark lives the Caribou image. When there is a new promotion, Mark is on board, cheering on his staff, hoping for success in each new opportunity. He appreciates and enjoys the company, respects the rules and policies, and appears to thrive at it. It was no surprise to his coffee loving wife that he was selected for the job.

Mr. 'Bou - I am so proud of you!!!!

The most humorous (or ironic) thing about the man I lovingly refer to as "Mr 'Bou" - Mark still doesn't like plain old drip brew coffee (although he can expound upon each kind of bean, and the undertones you can note in the aroma and taste!).

He has learned to enjoy my favorite Caribou indulgence though, a Breve (espresso with steamed half and half)... but he adds a vanilla flavor shot, which makes it taste a bit like a pancake.

*I did take a photo of Mark on Friday morning, but my camera cord to upload is malfuncting!

Friday, March 27, 2009


Marly and Dean are regulars at Adventure Park, the indoor play land near our home. Kelly takes them most weeks. At the park, the area is divided for older kids and toddlers. Once inside, Dean can often be found on the Toddler side of the giant window peering at the activities of his more mature counterparts.

Yesterday, Marly was busy playing, then began to miss her brother's interaction. Once again, rather then climbing and sliding, Dean had his nose pressed against the glass curiously observing the "big kid" side.

From her elevated perch on a tree on the plastic play scape, Marly could suddenly be heard by all shouting at the TOP of her lungs,


I love my Twinners.

(In case you are curious, Mark and I do affectionately refer to our little man as "Dean-o".)

**As a complete and total sidenote - while my kids have enjoyed Adventure Park this winter, I admit the idea of children playing on man made trees seems somewhat ridiculous to me. I climbed real live trees with bark, and no protective ground cushion below. I tell my kids grow, I will be shipping them out to the country to whoever will take them, (while of course taking in the real world in our urban setting too). I experience great angst at the idea of them growing up in a "simulated " and "safe" world adults created for them.

And by the way, back in some small towns, there are still a few "dangerous" playgrounds out there with tall slides a teeter-totter too!**

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Who doesn't love toddler bathtime pictures!

Marly gets how to "lean together" for a picture, but they don't understand smiling in conjuction.

Dean is never as cooperative for photos as Marly....Of course he ran off naked.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


I know, I know... I am very LATE to the party, but I am finally on Facebook. I love to Blog because I can use it as my expressive outlet. All my friends tell me I must be on Facebook, if only to network. I do NOT yet Twitter, and I still don't text, and I can't check e mail on my phone. So there you have it in a nutshell!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Children's Miracle Network Celebration

Last evening I returned from our Children's Miracle Network Celebration at Disney World. Hospital associates like myself join our CMN fundraising sponsors and celebrate the kids served by our children's hospitals. The three day Celebration included a motivational speech from Mary Lou Retton (long time CMN supporter), and music from Collin Raye, Julianne Huogh, and others. The event was hosted by CMN celebrity co-founder John Schnieder. Saturday evening's media awards and dinner was themed "Dukes of Hazard". The Generally Lee was parked in the ballroom and the real live aged Enos joined the fun onstage! As hospital attendees, we also attend meetings and learning sessions during the day.

The true stars of the event are the Champion kids, with representation from Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada our our own 50 states. They have special events to meet the sponsors and are honored on stage. They have other fun activities together, and of course get to enjoy the park.s

My personal hero is our Gillette Champion child. He is a boy who has Cerebral Palsy and has undergone more then 20 surgeries. As I flew home to MN, the Champion Family was on a specially charted Delta flight to Washington, D.C. with the 49 other Champion families. Today the kids are scheduled to meet the President.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

One More Birthday Hooray!

Last Saturday my Aunt Jan and Sheldon kindly hosted a Melberg birthday party for the Twinners and Mikayla. There were barbeques for lunch, wonderful gifts to open, and poppyseed birthday cake ordered from Bunny Wolf in Hector.

Dean opening his Little People Plane from the Paulson's.

Wilson (down at the bottom) is checking out the potty chair Auntie Rachel and Uncle Brett got for the Twinners. FYI for MIKE - It is TOO SOON to potty train Wilson! We will start with the Twinners down the road when they show more signs of being ready.

Marly with her new horsie from Mike, Laura, and Wilson.

I can't believe Mikayla Paulson is 14. She is MUCH taller then me. She got several Target gift cards to put towards the new IPOD she wants.

Birthday wishes to Laura and Loren as well in the month of March.
Warm wishes to Loren, who is recovering from knee replacement at home.
Thank you Jan and Sheldon for a lovely day!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


I am flying off to Orlando for our Children's Miracle Network Celebration at Disney World on Thursday, returning Sunday. This will be my second year attending the event to honor our CMN sponsors. This year I am most excited about our Champion Child attending to represent the State of Minnesota and Gillette. His name is Brandon, he is 12, and has Cerebral Palsey. I have known him and his family since my third day at work. I truly love this family and am so excited for their adventure. Last Friday, a "kick off" was held for Brandon at his local Walmart. Walmart nationally sponsors the trip for kids from all 50 states. It was a great morning for everyone who attended, including Miss Minnesota, Mary the Mayor, individuals from the Walmart Marketing Office, the Transportation Center and store staff. It was even covered on KARE 11. Brandon's family will enjoy Disney and the Celebration...then the "Champions" from the various hospitals will depart on a specially charted Delta flight for Washington D.C., where they are expected to meet President Obama!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Magical Moments

Yesterday Mark and I and the kids visited the Coon Rapids Dam, a favorite park of ours. The kids have been to the park in utero, in stroller, and on foot. The park spans the Mississippi River, and of course goes over the Coon Rapids Dam. Yesterday we were crossing the dam, one parent to one toddler. Marly and Dean were each revelling in their own discoveries as they toddled along, watching other kids, bikes, dogs and the rushing water below, and feeling the wind on their cheeks. We got to one side, and began to cross back. As we walked, I said to Marly and Dean, "Please take each others hand now..... Now take Mommy's or Daddy's hand...." Both looked up at me and did exactly as I asked. I praised them and clearly they both felt very proud of following my directions as they grinned from ear to ear. We walked along slowly with their short legs setting the pace, being a perfect family unit, if only for a few minutes. Marly and Dean had on matching blue and pink Land's End fleeces. Their little hands happily gripped each others. They would look at each other and giggle. It was one of those times I wish someone else could have captured on camera for us. I have a vivid mental snapshot of our shadows in front of us... the four of us hand in hand. Marly and Dean were peanut butter and jelly, and Mark and were the sliced bread. It was a magical moment.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Generally on track - folo up to an earlier mention...

As a blogger, if I mention something on line, I will attempt to wrap up any hanging lose ends. For example, yes my arm has healed from my recycling accident this past summer, but I do have a terrible scar. If you saw it, you might think I have some "troubles"....

Anyway, in my post about Marly and Dean's two year check up, I mentioned scheduling an appointment to have Early Childhood Intervention come and check their language skills. This morning one teacher and two student teachers from the school district came to access M & D's development. The Twinner's do not yet say two words together. Honostly, Mark and I really were not worried, but the assessment is free, the ladies do a good job of explaining your children's development to you, and the kids enjoy the play time attention.

Anyway, the assessment didn't even take an hour. The teachers also came to our home at 18 months, so this was a follow up visit. Basically, the Twinners are totally on-track in every area, but perhaps slightly delayed in their "expressive language skills." No worries here on our end.

One thing that I continue to worry about is enough sleep. For a while, we attempted to get the kids down by 7:30, but of course the bed time has crept back to 8 pm. I REALLY, REALLY believe healthy sleep and ENOUGH of it will lead to a healthy, happy child, and even a more well behaved child. I read articles regularly to support this. I know when we put the Twinners down at 8, they often socialize with each other. When I do the math, I worry they might get slightly under 10 hours of sleep on too many nights. Studies indicate 11 to 13 hours of sleep are healthy. I am sure if Dean got a little more sleep, he would not be so cranky in the morning. He also sometimes suffers from Night Terrors. Key cause - You got it! Not enough sleep!

I guess as a mommy or a daddy, there is always something to worry about.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Gal Pals get out for a night on the town - 30 something style!

Last Saturday a fun group of Gal Pals gathered for a long over due Urban Summit. It was a much needed girls night out for each woman who attended. On Sunday and Monday, there was a flurry of VM's, Texts, and e mails exchanged about what a delight the evening was. We gathered at our old stomping ground, Sweeney's in St. Paul, for drinks anytime after 4 pm, then moved on to dinner reservations at Salut on Grand Ave. Just to clearly demonstrate our age and place in life, everyone at the table enjoyed the restaurant's "Cheap Red Wine" in bottles, ordered menu items similar in price, then split desert. We ended up dividing the bill equally, which is quite a switch from our "twenty somethings" which usually required a calculator. Another big change - the night wrapped up at 10 pm.

My evening wasn't over yet though. I crossed the river and headed to Hotel W and the Prohibition Bar, on the 27th floor. My cousin Brad and LeAnne were in town enjoying a night away, and I met them along with Brett and Rachel for a drink before heading home.

Laughter with the beautiful women I love.

Hey Wake Up!

Hey! Big Guy!
What do you say!
It's a brand new day!...
(Sandra Boynton)

It's cold out but bright!
Wishing you all a very good Wednesday and Happy Hump Day!

This morning after Mark left for work, I fell back to sleep...until 7:10 AM! Although I ran late, I enjoyed my morning. Most mornings, Dean and/or Marly wake up and come to their door. Often though, Dean then spends a good 20 minutes on the floor just inside the door of the nursery with his head down and his butt up whining and wailing, before he wants to come out. If you try and push him out of the way to come in and comfort him, he rudely attempts to slam the door on you. Today, once Dean got his "CRANKIES" out, he brought me "Hey! Wake Up!". He was only patient enough to listen to half the book, but I was glad to recite a few pages of fun with one child on each knee. FYI - Marly does not have any "CRANKIES" in the morning. As you might imagine, she has learned to avoid Dean.

Once I was out the door, I made a commuter detour to Caribou Coffee. My medium drip roast light brew (with extra cream) was handed to me at the drive through with an "I love you!" from my husband! Those three little words (on top of the hot cup of liquid gold) added to an already BRIGHT day.

Monday, March 9, 2009

A Perfectly Good Sunday

As I got ready for work this morning and looked around my home, I realized yesterday was a perfectly good Sunday. It was a comfortable day with simple pleasures. The unfortunate part is that I didn't take note of this YESTERDAY.

Sunday we got up and eventually headed out the door to church. We were a few minutes late, but we still were not the last to enter the sanctuary. We got home and I set to work changing the sheets. This turned into a wild rumpass for the whole family, with lots of giggles and jumping. Mark left to run errands and I fed the kids lunch. Heated up leftovers - easy breezy. Soon it was nap time next. The kids were down like a charm. Mark returned and there was even a few minutes of rest for both of us. Next Mark headed to the library, and I walked the kids down to the playground. Dean and Marly loved their winter swing and slide time. More giggles and smiles. After that, Mark made one of my favorite pasta meals, and the kids liked it too. Next it was bath time. Marly and Dean discovered a new way to get a greater amount of water outside the tub in a faster fashion. More giggles and I was soaked. Bedtime went quickly and then I was on to cleaning up the kitchen. I was exhausted, but I managed to get the rugs vacuumed, laundry folded and mostly put away, a meatloaf prepped for the oven for Monday, and to see enough of Desperate Housewives and Brothers & Sisters to follow the story line.

Although mundane, this was a great Sunday all around! But, where was my mind and emotions as I finished my day and prepared for bed myself? Instead of relishing the delight twin toddler's bring to Mark's and my life, I allowed myself to experience anxiety, anger and fear. I was thinking about things in the future I cannot control and mistakes of the past I cannot change. Instead of seeing the world through Marly and Dean's shining, happy eyes, I clung to more negative thoughts. I did indeed note the giggles and find great gratification throughout the day, yet as evening wrapped up while alone with my husband, my mind was in a much more unpleasant place.

This morning as I put away the last of the clean laundry and started another load, I realize I have surely slipped out of the Gratitude Groove. Yesterday was filled with blessings. I will pray to God that he guides me today. I will also pray that I allow myself to live the joy in each passing moment.

As I write all of this, I suspect many of my emotions will resonate with other 30 something mom's out there trying their darnedest to get it mostly right in the world. I am sure I am not alone in my thoughts on a Sunday night, and I acknowledge and give thanks for my gifts.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Two Year Check Up

Kelly and I took the Twinners to their two year check up with our favorite pediatrician, Dr. W-N, yesterday afternoon. I was so excited to see her. Dr W-N now has 8 month old twins of her own. She was on bed rest or leave since the kiddos 15 and 18 month appointments... so it has been a long time. "Dr. Elisse" has taken care of Marly and Dean since their first doctor's visit on a Sunday, on their 6th day of life. When we left the hospital on Friday after their birth, the hospital pediatrician made us schedule a Sunday appointment for a weight check at the urgent care clinic. We lucked out, as the pediatrician assigned to Urgent Care that day was her. She was on my radar as our clinic pediatrician pick upon recommendations from my Mother's of Multiples club.

I recall a visit early on where she said, "I don't know why, but I have a lot of twins in my practice." I said, "I know why, the local M.O.M's Club talks you up." Anyway, Dr W-N confessed she was also excited to see us on Tuesday. She claims we are one of her favorite twin families, which is quiet on honor I think.

Marly and Dean are fine. Both again weigh in the same at almost, but not quite, 27 pounds. Once again, Dean is over two inches longer then Marly. (Deaner is quite the skinny boy). Both have good growth chart curves. We'll just let the percentages go. I will say Dean has a really small head though! Kelly and I filled out the Autism assessment, which had no red flags, despite that fact that Dean enjoys stacking dish towels happily for probably an hour on many days, meticulously flattening each corner.

I was worried they don't eat enough (despite their steady growth). Dr W-N confirmed something I already knew deep down... I probably let them drink too much milk. Naturally, at two years we will now be switching to 2% as well. She did suggest I have the Early Childhood Assessment Team from the county come out and follow up to a visit I requested when Marly and Dean were 18 month. They do not put two words together yet.

Anyway, Dr. W-N wrapped up the appointment by asking a twin mommy question of her own - Did I have a double stroller and which one? Somehow this woman has managed her twins and a 3 year old with NO Duo-glide or snap-n-go for the carriers. My goodness! How would I have managed without my Duo-glide?!For newer readers, you can check out my blog on their 15 month appointment where I mention my beloved Duo-glide.

As we departed and exited past her office, I also alerted her when her duo need shoes, Stride Right has a 10% twins discount.

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Twinners are Two!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MARLY & DEAN!!! Friday night we had our usual "Thomberg Family Pizza Night" with the addition of Sesame Street decorations, cupcakes and gifts from mom and dad!

Marly leaning in to hug Dean...

Mom and Dad enjoyed our own special birthday time with the Twinners on the actual big day. We gave them a small Playmobile farm set and truck and a new Veggie Tales video.

Continued Birthday Festivities on Saturday

Saturday I cooked up a crock pot of chicken taco meat and made cupcakes. The H-we's and Lyon's came over for some adult and kid fun! Marly started out the night with TWO bows and ponies!

Candles for whoever wants to blow!

Dean is a cool cat in his sunglasses. Inside the gift bags are squeeker shoes from P and M.

Sunday with The Thompson's

Sunday I made a pan of lasagna and we headed up to Wyoming for a Thompson family birthday lunch hosted at Auntie Kelly's new home.

We made good use of the hats and Elmo decor all weekend.

Marly likes sweets better then Dean. She will also eat her cake and ice cream with her hands, while Dean doesn't like it when his little mits are sticky and prefers a fork or a spoon or both.

The hoopla continues later this month when we will celebrate with the Melberg's.


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