Thursday, February 23, 2012

Birthday Brunch at Jax

Last Sunday I got to celebrate my birthday with brunch at Jax Cafe with my family. It happened to be the Mardi Gras brunch.

Which means there was music, and a special Happy Birthday performance too.

Baby Charlie was such a good boy.

Fun gifts.

Family - The best part of the whole thing!

By the way, I am 37.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Valentine's Photo Recap

We started our special morning with birthday cards for me from Marly and Dean! (And a Valentine for Mark.) I planned a special breakfast with blueberry muffins and red strawberries in a red heart dish... and a little suprise something I wrapped up for the kids (a puzzle for Dean and a Hello Kitty for Miss Marly).

Tulips are my FAVORITE! Thank you Mark!

The kids in their Valentine attire with carnations for Ms. Yelena, Ms. Jacki and Ms. Kim at school. The personalized Valentine Cards were already in the front seat of the car so we wouldn't forget them.

Me and my sweet Valentine's before heading to dinner at Lemon Grass restuarant near our home.

Mark got me a beautiful torte from Byerly's too.

As usual, I created many fun opportunities for myself for birthweek. The Saturday before my birthday, my girlfriend Jess and I had a FABULOUS girls night out in St. Paul - cocktails at Kincaids; dinner, wine, coffee and dessert at Pazzaluna; finished off with a night cap at the St. Paul Grill. Truly a fantastic night filled with perfect moments with one of my dearest girlfriends, fantastic food, and spirits to heighten it all.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Happy Valentine's to YOU!

You know darn well we are in the Valentine's spirit at the Thomberg House!

Here's what I have been up to, related to the big day.

A few weeks ago Chris took Rachel and me for a day of pampering with lunch at Lucia's followed by mani/pedi's. While I was in Uptown I ran into Paper Source. I spotted a "crafty" Valentine's kit to make little heart finger puppets. It was pre-assembled and included all materials except the glue, so it should be generally sure fire.

Well... the kit makes 30, and we enjoyed the first 10. Then there was some yelling and impatience, and we completed three more.

We decided we had more than enough paper heart finger puppets, and called it quits. (I didn't have the patience to create one for each kid in Marly and Dean's class.)

The downstairs Charlie Brown tree made a switcheroo from Christmas to Valentine's.

Like past years, I hung my home-made heart garland on the entrance banister and mirrors.

Finally, I ordered custom printable Valentine's off Etsy for Marly and Dean. The buyer supplies the name, etc for the Valentine, and the seller sends you a PDF to print at home. No shipping required.

Hello Kitty for Miss Marly from Etsy seller Creations by Chistine Blackbum
And Dinos for Dean-O from Estsy seller Sassy Photo Creations
Dean asked the seller to make the heart in the blue dinosaur BIGGER.
As always, each seller was easy peasy and fun to work with, e-mailing convo's back and forth to get the perfect finished product. The cards are just darling!

I printed on plain old card stock and got out the paper cutter. They turned out so cute. The kids will be handing them out at school tomorrow with SweetTart suckers. No name writing required, but sure looks kinda fancy! The kids and I will stuff the envelopes tonight.

**Now if were SUPER Mommy (which I most CERTAINLY am not) I would mail them out to my dear friends and dear relatives. DO NOT go to your mailbox. This did NOT occur. (But I love you all just the same!)***

Happy Valentine's All!


I hope you will take the time to share your love and appreciation for all of those that are dear to you.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jazzing it Up - kids bedroom decor weekend projects

So this weekend I did some jazzing.
I suppose on Saturday I might also have made a stop at the NEW Good Will in Champlin when I was out running errands.
See those tubes above? They are a sampling of the shades available of Rub and Buff. I bought them on Amazon after reading about this metallic wax product on one of the blogs I stalk. It is my answer to Minnesotan's inability to spray paint in the off season.
I found this framed, hand crafted, embroidered(?) art at Good Will for $3.99. At first I picked it up for the brassy, metal, bamboo impression frame only. I thought I might "buff" it up, then slap some chalk board paint on the glass for a message board. As I pushed my cart through the aisles, it dawned on me this retro wall decor would look PERFECT in Marly's purple and pink butterfly bedroom. Just hours after arriving home, I had the frame buffed up with 'Silver' and hung in place on her once sparse wall.

Next I parused through the thrifted frame stash I keep in the garage and found one for this Twins print I purchased for Mark from a Minnesota artist for Christmas. You can find Helen Schroeders work on Etsy at Linden Leaf Designs. The wooden frame got a rub of 'Ebony' and found its way to a shelf in Dean's room (even though it was Mark's gift). It pairs perfectly with the baseball Dean 'caught' at the game with his daddy this past 4th of July weekend.

(In case you are wondering, the corn in the jar on the left is from our trip home to the farm this past fall.)
On Sunday, between eating Velveeta chili cheese dip and too many TGIFriday frozen appetizers while watching Super Bowl commercials, I moved on to Modge Podge and scrap book paper.
Last summer I bought cardboard letters from JoAnne Fabrics for Dean's room and spray painted them navy blue. I never really liked the way they looked, so the letters just sat on his ledge for months. This weekend I was finally inspired and love the end result. Dean is NOT as excited about the finished product as I am, but he'll live with it. Like the letters, I had bought the paper months ago at Archiver's for his blue and green dino decor. I wasn't exactly sure how I would use it at the time.
Seriously, I was on a roll and it was barely half time, so I put a coat of Martha Stewart craft paint on this wooden shelf, also purchased at Good Will this past weekend.

After months of bare walls in the kid's rooms, we are now rolling! By Monday morning I had ordered Dean two custom sized 5X7 realistic dinosaur photos from this Etsy shop. I will dig up two more thrify frames to buff!

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Babysitting Charlie

Saturday we got the pleasure of babysitting Charlie. Mark got ONE of two Pack n' Plays out of the garage in anticipation for the big visit. It took him about ten minutes to pop it into place. In the good 'ole days he could have that baby standing in under two minutes... Anyway Charlie's parents brought him over around 6 pm. Almost immediately he started to laugh at Dean. We also gave him a spin in the Exer-saucer, which was sent home with him the next day.

Rachel and Brett set off to their party, and we took some photos (and goofed off).

You can see he was really excited about the pictures. Look at that handsome BIG boy!

(I am referencing Baby Charlie, not my own cutie kiddo.)

Next Charlie watched some TV with Mark. Charlie spent most of the night smiling and coo-ing... although you can't tell in the picture above.

Then we changed Charlie's diaper and he had a good old time playing with his toes.

After that he had his second bottle since his arrival, then alerted us he was ready for bed.

MAN is this kid EASILY. The only hang up was when I woke him to feed him the last bottle of the night around 10:30, then changed his diaper again. I forgot to do the quick cover and a jammie change was required. The footy sleeper and Halo sleep sack got a quick spin in the washer.

The Twinner's are nearly five. I guess I was a little rusty....

Brett and Rachel spent the night. We were glad to have everyone and enjoyed our weekend.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Swimming Lessons

After nearly a year away from organized community sports activities (gasp!) Marly and Dean are back at swimming lessons.

Two summers ago, the kids did Community Ed tiny tots soccor. That fall they did a round of swimming lessons at the YMCA, then did another round right away. The bitter cold of winter hit, and we took a break from the water, and tried gymnastics through Community Ed. That was met with hit and miss enthusiasism.

Spring came, and along with it the Community Ed brochure. I admit I selfishly just didn't want to run to the park after work . We decided to take the summer off. Mark and I spend most evening in the yard with our kids, and we decided to simply enjoy our kids at our home. Midway through summer, Dean realized he might be missing some action. One day he said, "Mom, are we going to do soccor again???"

Me, "Um no... we didn't sign up for soccor this summer.." I was surprised he remembered.

Dean, "Okay... how about swimming lessons?"

Me, "Well, we will do that again in the fall."

Dean, "Gymastics then.?"
...Okay, okay, I get it!

Then fall came, and I neglected to get on line and sign up. Dean and Marly finally started swimming lessons through Community Ed two weeks ago.

Just to prove what an outstanding parent I clearly am, I forgot their towels at home by the door the first week!


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