Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Graco DuoGlide

Our beloved Graco DuoGlide Double Stroller has been feeling lonely lately. She sees little action. She hangs out in the garage, and is dusty. She occasionally gets a push or nudge from the kids while in the garage. She rarely gets ridden in. She didn't come with me to the clinic yesterday. She didn't come on vacation to Hayward. She didn't go to the TaterDaze Parade a few weeks back (the wagon was the ticket). She hasn't seen the inside of Target in eons. Car seat carriers being snapped on is ancient history. She hasn't been hastily and roughly tossed in the back of the Pacifica in the past few months. She is nearly out of commission.

Poor girl... she worked hard and was generally treated poorly, but she kept on rolling. Now that the kids are two - well, they have TWO legs each and they can walk just fine! (Maybe that is the twin mommy in me...not sure). She will most likely get put back into commission for the State Fair (photo above is at the State Fair last year). Time will tell. Currently, when we roll/stroll the neighborhood, we use the wagon. I see her remianing very use full in crowded, expansive outdoor environments, and I promise to call upon her again when needed.

Here are some memorable moments for the DuoGlide...

  • The first time I took her out on my own with Jenny Lyons when the kids were 2-3 weeks old. I couldn't figure out how to fold it up after we used her and had to call Mark on my cell phone.
  • Trader Joes, Gymoboree and Banana Republic at Arbor Lakes in Maple Grove when mom and dad needed fresh air.
  • Restaurants when parenting solo and meeting friends or family, such as meeting Cindy at Ridgedale.
  • Minnehaha creek for the Get in Gear 5K to watch Mark, Jeremy, Rachel and Jesse run. She went on the Light Rail that day.
  • Grand Avenue watching Daddy run the Grand 'Ole Days 5 K.
  • The steamy hot 4th of July Parade in Forest Lake two years ago. The kids slept in you most of the time.
  • Trips to Como and the MN Zoo.
  • Your typical mall trips.
  • Strolls around Lake Calhoun on two Mother's Day's.
  • Many walks around our neighborhood in Blaine.
  • Treks around the Coon Rapids Dam.
  • Two years in a row at the Apple Orchard. Your basket contained our blanket, wine, diaper bag, etc.
  • Doctors appointments when parenting solo.
  • Macy's 8th floor holiday auditorium show two years ago. We left you in the lobby as we winded through the display.
  • The Holidazzle Parade this past winter.

and on, and on, and on. She worked in heat. She worked in bitter cold. She braved rain and crowds. She had no choice.

Thank you Dad and Chris for purchasing this VERY usefull travel system for us as a shower gift. I think she paid for herself.

All good baby products have their time and place, much like my Madela breast pump, who I also fondly blogged about, and is now ancient history...

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Flu

We are praying for a speedy recovery for Kelly and Pat. They have both gotten the flu! Nanny/Auntie Kelly arrived at our house last Friday as usual to watch the kids, and said Pat wasn't feeling well. He became very sick, and by Sunday, Kelly was ill herself. Although it is not confirmed by the only actual test through the MN Health Department (which ONLY occurs if your are admitted to a hospital), if you do get influenza right now, you have contracted the Swine Flu.

So, in the mean time, Mark and I are piece mealing together care for Marly and Dean. Today and yesterday, I went in late and Mark came home early. My Dad was planning to help this morning, but Marly woke with a fever and runny nose. At 6:45 AM I was on the phone with the clinic scheduling line getting both her and Dean (by default) in to see a pediatrician. By 8:30 AM we were done meeting with Dr. Z and were on our way to Walgreen's for Marly's prescription of Tamiflu as a precautionary measure. There is no way to know if Marly really has the flu, but if she does, the prescription will help lessen the symptoms. (She did test negative for Strep.) You need the prescription early on after symptoms, or it will do you no good. Let's look at the positive side of this, when November rolls around and the flu rears it's ugly head (and there is no swine flu vaccine yet), we may already be immune... and if there is a shortage of Tamiflu... well then maybe we won't need it anyway!

Once home, Marly jumped onto her trike for a spin around the drive and then went off to play. Clearly she is not too sick! Mark returned home at lunch and she was laughing and giggling when I left for work, so hopefully she will be just fine.

Knock on wood, the rest of us seem okay... but I am ready to dial the clinic for the Tamiflu at the first sign of any symptoms.

Take care aqll and wishing each of you good health! (and especially to Pat and Kelly)

Monday, July 27, 2009

M.I.A. on Saturday...

Saturday Mark worked in the morning, but was home in time to run errands with us. First stop, 10:15 AM haircuts for Marly and Dean at Kid's Hair in Maple Grove. I was armed with my "buddy cuts" coupon for $5 off. We left with two stylish Twinners, one sporting a neatly trimmed, curly, toddler bob, the other with bangs that no longer hang in his eyes.

Next stop, Gymobree, again armed with coupons - my "Gym Bucks" which would expire on Sunday.

Finally, we were off to Costco (I picked up the current coupon book at customer service) were we regularly drop hundreds of dollars on food, diapers, and household needs. After shopping and paying, we lined up to clear through the first set of doors ready to present our receipt as proof of our purchases. We were just about to clear the second set of doors when Mark said, "Where is Marly???" Oh my GOD! We left her at the check out!!! (She wanted out of the cart while waiting, and had climbed into the back and was standing on our eggs, so I lifted her out and set her down, while Dean stayed safely in his seat.) I anxiously zig zagged my way through the carts lined up to depart, and then darted right and left by customers to get back to the check out. There she was, standing next to a kind Mommy and a kind Costco employee... too scared perhaps even to cry. The employee had Marly by the hand and said, "Is that your Mommy?"... to which she vigorously nodded her head up and down. Poor thing. Stupid Mommy and Daddy!

We loaded up BOTH kids and our purchases and headed for home. Half way home, I looked in the back seat and noticed something else important was M.I.A. - OSCAR! He was in the car at Kid's Hair. Mark remembered Dean dragging him into Gymboree. Sure enough, I called the store. By the looks of poor, worn, loved Oscar, the clerk knew someone would be calling soon. A 6 year old girl had found Oscar. The 6 year was VERY worried the bear would not be reunited with his young owner. I had to go back later that afternoon to retrieve Oscar...

If I can be humerous about this, I least we noticed Marly was missing sooner then we noticed Oscar was.

Oh My... Oh My!

To wrap up the weekend, the next day, the Twinners and I picked up my Dad and we headed to Jan and Sheldon's on Lake Allie for Sawyer's 4th birthday party. Another Sunday with beautiful Minnesota lake weather.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Vacation Post #5 - Vacation Family Value

Growing up, my parents made a priority of a family vacation. I don't recall a year we didn't go SOMEWHERE in the summer. Most often, we headed up to the North Shore and the Lutsen area. Many years, we stayed at the same resort, in the same town home. The resort has changed names three times since we started going. Today it is called Caribou Highland Village.

I recall being young and going to the Alexandria area one year. Sometimes it was our immediate family only. Often we headed off with Barb and Charlie Melberg and the gang, or we took my cousin Kris along. One summer we visited the Dakota's and some cousins there, another summer we went to Gull Lake. My parents made these vacations age appropriate, so that even as teens, we may have initially resented the idea, but surely had a good time. In fact the winter of my senior year, we went to Hawaii.

After my mom died, and Brett and I were in our 20's, my Dad took us to Italy (including Rachel who was Brett's fiance at the time). I know, that is pretty cool and very generous! Obviously he was not letting go of a family vacation. Two summers ago we went to the Iron Range and Biwabick (Brett's pick!). Really, it is my Dad's belief and dedication to family (no matter the change in make up) that comes shining through. THANK GOD my dad still values a family vacation!!!!

Now I have my own children, and have had a WONDERFUL family vacation again. THANK YOU Dad!

What do I remember about family vacations in childhood??? - being together, hiking, doing touristy stuff, dining, driving, simply being together, maybe playing a board game on a rainy day, making choices on our activities together, waking up calm, going to bed tired, swimming, and knowing there was more to come the next day. Anyway who knows me has probably had to listen to too many family vacation stories. Do you see a theme here?

Here is what our week long family vacation was NOT about - mowing the lawn, folding laundry, going off to work, worrying about a schedule, worrying about or planning social activities, and on and on and on.

That is the point - on vacation, you get AWAY. You are free of many household responsibilities. You FOCUS ON FAMILY. There is FUN to be had, memories to be made, and stories to then tell! I loved our childhood family vacation(although I remember in elementary feeling car sick every year on the ride to Duluth). I love my family vacations NOW! I absolutely know Marly and Dean already love family vacations. It was so evident every leisurely morning when they woke up in our cabin in Hawyard, with Daddy and Mommy ready to start their day and spend it all together.

This photo is at the cabin check out as we departed on Friday. I can't wait until next year. If you have a family, please consider the value and importance of a true vacation if at all possible. You can't get the time back and you won't regret it! It is not so much about the destination (both Rome and Hibbing provided many memories), as it is the time you spend together. As you may conclude, I am very emotional about this, and am not sure how to convey this successfully, but I will say I sure am lucky!!!

Marly and Dean eating Smarty suckers from the little resort shop. I had fogetton how good those were!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Vacation Post #4 - Marly and Dean

Naughty Uncle Brett taught the kids to throw rocks in the lake... at ducks!!! When Brett was little, he use to get in trouble for this exact activity on our family vacations - so naturally Brett needed to pass on his evil childhood shenanigans to the younger generation. Here is Dean, talking his rock throwing seriously. At the time, no ducks were present. Please note, no animals were injured on this trip.

Here is Marly, just being Marly...

Monday, July 20, 2009

Vacation Post #3 - Rainy Day Cabin Activities

Chilly days can still be fun on vacation...

Playing with the parking garage toy Nana Chris got the kids in town.

Rachel doing the dishes after breakfast.

Brett working on the computer (or maybe checking the weather?). Oh how things have changed. Dad, Brett, and Rachel all did some actual work or checked their e mail while away. There were three computers in the cabin.

Nap time for Papa.

Who says it is too cold to play with pails and shovels and sand?

In the evening, we got take out from the Original Famous Dave's on site at our resort/lodge. Another night we headed to the Dun Rovin supper club on the Chippewa Flowage. At all the Wisconsin bars and restaurants we dined in, the kids enjoyed the stuffed deer, animals, and fish mounted on the walls.

Vacation Post #2 - Tourist Activities

With the lake UN-friendly weather, we had plenty of time for the tourist activities in Hayward. Here we are at the giant Muskie on Tuesday!

Wednesday afternoon the rain stopped, so we visited the Wilderness Walk petting zoo. It was a hit with Marly and Dean...and even Brett! I liked the peacocks best. Marly and Dean are still doing their "rarrr" tiger imitation days later.

More food please Auntie Rachel.

For Mr. Bou... we are pretending this is a Caribou. Really it is a European Red Deer.

Rachel and Dean in jail at the Wilderness Walk.

The Thomberg's

Vacation Post #1 - Sunny Days!

We are back from a wonderful family vacation at the Grand Pines Lodge on Round Lake in Hayward, Wisconsin. The Thomberg's arrived Sunday just after the noon hour and enjoyed a glorious afternoon of sun and several pontoon rides. Brett and Rachel arrived a short time later. The sun held out through Monday as well, and after that, it is another story for another post!

Beginning to unwind and relax.

Rachel brought the Twinners new cups the kids loved.

The blow up turtle didn't get as much action as we had hoped...

Brett getting more of a tan in his SPF 0

Pork Chops for supper

Wrapping up the evening with a bubble bath.

Stay tuned for more vacation posts to come. Monday we spent the day on Brett's boat. Everyone (besides Marly and Dean), took a turn or attempt at water skiing. Brett went barefooting. There are NO photos. We didn't bring the camera since we thought we had days of boat time ahead! Unfortunately, Brett's boat didn't see the water for the rest of the trip.

In case you are wondering Dad and Chris arrived Monday evening for a steak supper on the grill.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Summer Vacation

Sunday we will be heading to the Grand Pines Lodge in Hayward, Wisconsin for a family vacation! We will be meeting Brett and Rachel there at Cabin #1... with Dad and Chris joining us on site at the resort late Monday.

We can't wait and are excited for time away to enjoy family, a lake, boating, etc. I am excited to give some devoted attention to the Twinners, with no cares or concerns to vacuum, fold laundry, mow the lawn, etc.

In case you are wondering, the location is Brett's pick this year. He wanted to bring his boat and do some skiing.

In the mean time, I am feeling the usual stress and anxiety to check things off the long list I haven't yet had time to write -- get groceries, prep food, pack for the kids, pack for myself, pack the food, get the lake gear in order, and so on

... and of course there are many projects to wrap up at work, including a golf tournament tomorrow afternoon in Mankato that will spill into the evening. Oh My!

Monday, July 6, 2009

4th of July Weekend

Here we go.. our 4th of July recap.

Friday - we stuck near home, and Mark worked part of the day. That evening we spent Thomberg Family Pizza Night at Sammy Perelli's Pizza Place near our home. Mark and I enjoyed our pizza on their patio and the kids ran around the deserted tables.

Saturday - We loaded up the Pacifica and headed west for Kandi to Barb and Charlie's cabin. The kids enjoyed the water. I loved being the mommy who got to spend time catching, and catching, and catching as the kids jumped off the dock.

Cousin Eric, Ethan and Wilson Melberg at Kandi.

With the new season comes the next size up in life jackets. Anyone want to buy pink or blue in the up to 30lbs size? (Only worn three times).

Water time.

LeAnn Melberg, Andrea, Marly and Dean.

After supper and round two in the water at Kandi... we dried off and headed to Jan's on Lake Allie for fire works (and lots and lots of desert too). As we arrived, Michelle (pictured above) whisked the kids off for their first golf cart ride of many over the weekend. The Twinners and their cousins enjoyed sparklers too(with very close supervision of course).

Watching fireworks was the latest my kids have ever been up on purpose! Above is Wilson and Laura. Not pictured are Jason Walter and family, who headed back to Iowa the next day. They had been at a resort with Carol and Loren for a week.

Silly Mark and Me!

The Twinners - changed into PJ's and sporting Auntie Jan's silly Buddy Holly commemorative glasses before we headed to bed over at Mike and Laura's. Thanks for giving us a place to crash.

Sunday - We headed back to Lake Allie for dinner at noon at Jan and Sheldon's. We enjoyed boat rides and time with family. It was great to watch Sutton, Saxton and Sawyer (only 4!) ski around the lake. We headed for home with two cranky Twinners in the afternoon. Once they got in the car, the two spent most of the ride home giggling and jibber jabbering with each other. I thought they would crash... but oh no.. back in suburbia they hit the water again in their kiddy pool. They finished up the day by shelling their own fresh peas on the deck. The peas are from my cousin's field and picked just the day before by Mike and Wil.

Yum!!!! I can share.

Lately they like to sit TOGETHER in chairs meant for one...

For me, the 4th of July holiday is all about family. As we headed back to our own home at the end of the weekend, the emotion I felt most was LOVED. That is to be treasured always, even more than the sunshine we were fortunate enough to experience.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Have a GREAT weekend!

Whatever your plans are for the 4th of July... Have a GREAT holiday! The Thomberg's will be heading to Kandi and enjoying a day at the lake, and seeing family through the weekend. My dad will be home from France on Saturday as well. Not sure what the plan is, but he alerted us before he left he would be keen to see the Twinners ASAP once he got over the jet lag. For photos from the holiday last year - CLICK HERE

In the mean time, Mark has been driving my Dad's car, and we will have to return it. It is no fun to put bad news on a blog, so I have not yet posted I was in an accident last Friday. I am completely okay (as is the other driver) but my car is in the repair shop. It is safe to say my Dad's car is pretty fancy-smancy and Mark is getting very spoiled! I am terrified to drive it, but I know Mark doesn't want to give it back!

Oh - and a very special 4th of July FIRST birthday SHOUT OUT to our Godchild - Miss Vivian Lyons. Happy Birthday honey pie!


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