Friday, October 30, 2009

Recycled Costumes = A Hug from Heaven

Of course Marly and Dean were to wear costumes to daycare today. I knew their Costco giraffe and elephant attire were NOT potty training, wear all day friendly... so I dug into my costume box returned from storage at Aunt Carol's. This box contains MANY, MANY items my mom sewed for Brett and I over the years, and various odds and ends. Inside I found the monkey toddler costume, my kindergarten witch cape (hope the cute dress with orange rick rack that went with it turns up), princess dresses in several sizes, our clown costumes and hats, items I wore for high school plays, and the witch dress my mom sewed for a high school dance. Also inside were the capes the kids wore this morning pictured below. I would say these capes (made from those 'buy a yard' pre-printed items from JoAnne fabrics) were probably one of the least elaborate costumes my mom sewed over the years. There are matching pumpkin bags. They were PERFECT for the Twinners today. It feels so good to put them in something Grandma Marlys made. It feels so good to have them in something that was mine and Brett's. It is so good to have a way to physically put this love onto them.

I have decided these capes are a hug from GRANDMA MARLYS in heaven!

My Mom on the run, running late for daycare in the AM as usual, in the purse camara photography isn't nearly as good as what Mark would snap. Sorry!!!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Potty Time UPDATE

Update - Mark and I are pretty happy with our potty time progress with the Twinners. After the first week, we did give up on Dean for several day. Then he rallied. Honostly, he just couldn't take watching his sister get cheers, a sticker for her 'Potty Time' sheet, and ONE M&M or Skittle for her successes on the chair. He caved to the peer pressure. A week ago Tuesday evening he told ME he wanted to go potty too.

Both Marly and Dean have had many dry days at day care, and spend time at daycare and home in underwear only. We have plenty of accidents, and plenty of "half way" incidents, but they are trying and succeeding plenty. Actually, since last week... Dean is kind of putting Marly to shame with his successes.

Dean is very proud of anything that lands in the potty chair! He makes sure to check out the chair everytime Marly gets up from it too. Unfortunately, Dean is showing signs of being a too well trained Pavlov's Dog. In the evening he will work VERY, VERY hard to get a tiny bit of SOMETHING out to get ONE MORE treat. Oh dear!

Marly and Dean pore over the sticker book every time they have a success, picking just the perfect one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Gretchen!

Happy Birthday Gretchen! Last Saturday Dan planned a surprise dinner gathering for her at Bennihani's in Maple Grove with a few close friends. Brett and Rachel were going to take Dean and Marly overnight so Mark and I could attend, but Brett got the CRUD... so Mark stayed home with the kids. The two did stay overnight though, so Mark was ready to start a fire and open a bottle of wine when we returned home.

The best thing about having guests over is you are spurred to try and complete some home projects. We cleared up boxes in our make shift guest bedroom. The downstairs bathroom paint redo is nearly complete. (I will reveal the stripes in another post.)All downstairs doors are now a crisp, fresh white, and are re-hung with the brushed nickel hardware in place, as well as the banister.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall for Five Minutes

These photos were taken on Monday, when the sun came out to shine. God bless all the farmers (and most especially my relatives) trying to get their crops out this wet season!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Fall Fest at the Westwood Nature Center

Last Saturday evening, Nana Chris got us all tickets to the fall festival at the nature center adjacent to their house. We had a lovely evening. Unfortunately, Dr. Nana Chris couldn't join us for the hoopla. She was on call and needed to stay closer to her car.

Photo above is before leaving for the event. We parked at the nearby junior high. Much to the delight of one elephant and one giraffe, we rode a SCHOOL BUS to the nature center.

On Mother Nature's Trail.

Grandpa posing with the Twinners.

Marly got her face painted.

The Thomberg's!

In other weekend news - Mark and I have had TWO Twinner Free nights over the past TWO weekends. Auntie Kelly recently took the kids for an overnight. We called the Lyon's VERY last minute, and met up at Crave in St. Louis Park. It was the Grand Opening, so just for a moment, we might have been quite the hipsters. Crave was just written about in the Star Tribune last Sunday.

Last Friday, Anna and her sister Mary (our neighbor girl's down the street) came and babysat so we could enjoy a Birthday Dinner for Brett at Manny's. Great steak, great drinks, and great people watching.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Potty Time!...or maybe not.

The potty chair has been sitting out between the toilet and tub for ages. Early this summer, we made a brief attempt at training. It lasted less then 12 hours. Kelly was still nannying, and they were NOT READY. After that, I let them sit or try it when they wanted to. I understand potty training is time consuming. I value my time, my kid's time, and how we spend our precious time together. I could see the minutes for potty training were not in our favor.

This Monday we decided to give training an honest go. I felt maybe... maybe. I was also succumbing to peer pressure from MYSELF. Everywhere I went, I felt like someone was talking about training kids younger then my own. Marly and Dean are over 2 1/2. I guess I just needed to be able to say I was trying too. Gretchen asked me if I thought anybody but me cared, or even noticed. I don't think you all are judging me, but what if you are??? There is the 'Anxiety in Andrea' rearing her head. Plus, I also know I would probably go about this or use a different method if I stayed home with them.

Both Mark and I had the day off Monday, so when the kids got up, I told them they were going to try and go on the potty chair. Next I played the 'Elmo Potty Time' video for them, and we ate breakfast. We tried the potty chair again, and they got to pick out underpants to wear. We proceeded to put them on the potty chair to "try" every 20 minutes. They get to pick a sticker and get one jelly bean/M&M for any success (along with a LOT of cheers and praise). We put on Pull Ups and went to run errands. Both Marly and Dean peed on the potty after getting their hair cut AND at Panera where we had lunch! YEAH for the Twinners. Back at home they put on underwear again, and we changed clothes when necessary.

On Tuesday, the Twinners went to day care in Pull Ups. It went okay. Since then, Dean has rebelled. He does NOT want to sit on the potty, he protests wildly, but he does want a sticker when he sees Marly get her "treats". At night, when Marly earns a sticker... Dean will then go sit on the potty for - I kid you NOT - 20 minutes!!! He doesn't want to get off, but he doesn't GO!

So there you have it. Marly is maybe getting it. She even asked to go potty on Thursday morning, but did poop in her bright pink underwear that evening. Dean is on HOLD! We are not parents who are into a fight or battle. I chatted with Daycare Cindy with 20 years experience, and she agreed. We would rather just wait.

The long and the short of it is, there is plenty of laundry to be done.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Brrrrrrrrrrr! Cold

Brrr... Fast forward through fall in one weekend. This is our first fire on Thomberg Family Pizza Night after I returned from Salt Lake.

There were no leaf piles this past weekend... but on Monday when the school kids got off the bus at the corner of our lot, they started a snow man!

Marly and Dean sporting their winter gear!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Return from Salt Lake

Last Tuesday through Friday I was in Salt Lake for our yearly Children's Miracle Network conference. Men and women from the 170 hospitals all over the U.S. gather to share best practices and receive updates and information from our national office. Honestly, the most inspiring part of the event every year is sharing our passion for children with great health needs with our counterparts from other hospitals, and inspiring and energizing each other. Although I enjoy all the representatives, we spent much of our time socializing with the women from the Midwest hospitals. The photo below was taken at our evening banquet and award ceremony on Thursday night. It includes ladies from the Milwaukee Children's Hospital, the University of Iowa Children's Hospital and Sanford Children's in Sioux Falls.
Here is Marly and Dean on Tuesday morning. I dropped them off at daycare, then returned home to catch a cab to the airport.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Suburbia Flocks to Orchards

Trips to area apple orchards are a standard yearly outing for many suburban families. We middle class parents treck 30 - 50 minutes from our homes to pick apples, then eat tasty treats from the orchard barn. We knowingly pay more for those items then we would at the super market... but we find this fair. In actuality, we are purchasing the experience and pre-packaged family fun. Hard working apple orchard owners deserve a decent living too for providing us non-farmers with the chance to act like we are connecting with the food we consume, while providing live music, a petting zoo, face painting and so on... because we all might get bored if there were only apples! Although I am being terribly facetious, we love going to the orchard (and will be visiting a pumpkin patch next weekend)!

Heres' how it works - once we suburbanites arrive at the orchard, mom's and dad's park their crossovers, SUV's and mini vans in the grassy lot, unload our tots, and head to the hay piles, goats and chickens, pumpkins, tractor and pony rides, and of course the apple trees. All the while, our fancy digital cameras are around our neck, ready to capture those quintessential family moments.

Naturally, the apple orchard owners have plenty of staged photo opportunities to meet our blogging and scrape booking needs...

Here are a few more photos for you to enjoy of our day!

Shoot!!! I just realized I neglected to download the one of the Twinner's standing next to the painted plywood sign indicating how tall they were at the orchard in 2009!

Happy Picking in 2009. See you in 2010!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Apple Orchard 2009

The Thomberg's made our annual pilgrimage to the apple orchard on Sunday. This year we went to Apple Jack's outside of Delano. It was cloudy and cool, but we had a great time.

Click HERE to check us out in 2008.

Click HERE to check us out in 2007.

Dean was absolutely GIDDY to ride Patches the Pony!

Marly and Dean were LONG past nap time. They had on their sour faces because they did not want to go home!
**Stay tuned for another orchard post later**

Monday, October 5, 2009

Belating Wedding Loot Bonanza

Finally, six years after we said our "I Do's" much of our wedding loot has found its REAL home. You see, our china, crystal, silverware, and God only knows what else had been in storage at Mark's parent's basement for years. We didn't have room for 12 place settings at the townhome. Then, with the arrival of Marly and Dean, even those possessions I loved (like two Waterford Crystal bowls) got exiled to the basement to clear more space in our cramped quarters.

Saturday Mark cruised up to Lindstrom to clear a few more tubs from his parents house. Here is what we discovered!!! It was like gift opening all over again!

Look at that! Brand new bakeware, china with every serving piece, Lenox silverware, crystal, and more!

Ohhh... those white fizz dott serving platters from Crate and Barrel (near the back). We were wondering if we would still love them!

Umm - Do you think three brand new cake pans is enough for someone who doesn't bake?

Marly found a true prize! One of my old barbies, along with doll clothes, and a dolly baby blanket my mom had made. Next to her feet is the box of Melberg/Nelson family silver.

Perfect! This stained glass hanging was a wedding gift made by my Aunt Bonnie (okay... she is actually my Dad's cousin). It is a replica of the stained glass she made for our windows at our house on the farm. Mark and I are simply delighted with this nearly fogotten treasure. It looks outstanding in our blue kitchen. We absolutely love it (again)!

My continued apologies to my Aunt Carol. We STILL have random items in storage in two of her sheds!!!


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