Tuesday, March 19, 2013


Here is what my snowy Monday has looked like, by Instagram.

I started the morning brewing decaf coffee.
I woke Dean by turning on the lights and snapping this photo with flash. He proceeded to turn into a COMPLETE BEAR, and he had every right to. It was a MEAN mommy moment for sure. This is the first day back to school after a week of spring break.
I proceeded on to Marly. She was in our bed because she had a bad dream in the middle of the night. She scurried under the duvet. I coaxed her out and got this.
I really put ALL this stuff on my face in the morning. Cleanse, tone, vitamin C serum, day cream with SPF, primer, concealer, minerial powder foundation. Later I put on blush and eye make up.
I eat one egg almost every single morning. I usually have a slice of bacon, and fruit or vegetables too. This morning I nibbled on some snap peas. I grabbed an apple for a mid-morning snack. The kids had kefir. Dean requested an egg and bacon, but then he never ate it.
 Pulling out of the drive.
 At the bus stop.
Just a  few minutes later, I get on 610, cross the river, get off 610 at the next exit, and head to the office.
Hanging with my co-worker Kenna at the Keurig. This go-round was caffinated.

Our Foundation offices are in an administrative building across the street from the Unity Hospital ED.
Many days I hop over to the cafeteria to grab lunch. Most of the time I get a salad with mixed greens, various vegetables, a few cubes of turkey breast, a tablespoon of sunflower seeds, vinegar, and a smidge of olive oil. Today I opted for my other 'go-to'. A chicken breast with sauteed mushrooms and the vegetable of the day.
Around 5 pm I head home, passing the hospital.
 Then heading back across the river.
After a bite to eat, I crossed over the mighty Mississippi again to take Marly to dance in Fridley. All in all I crossed the river 4 times before bed.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

One More Party

So the Melberg crew likes their family kids birthday parties.
  • The three "S's"
  • Mikayla and Mariah
  • Wilson
  • Marly & Dean
  • Charlie
If a cousin's kid has a birthday, we gather.  
We eat barbecues, or Papa Murphy's Pizza, or grilled burgers. The menu really isn't important. We eat salads that include whip cream, or canned fruit, or vegetables, or taco chips. It doesn't matter. The counter or center island of the kitchen may host baked beans, a pan of bars, coffee and pop or lemonade. 
The kids play in the basement in the winter, and at the lake in the summer. Honostly, I have never checked what the kids are actually up to in the basement. The adults talk and catch up. Which kid? How old? Honestly, it doesn't matter.
Sometimes various family can attend. Sometimes the time and date doesn't work. It doesn't matter.
What matters?
  • Extended family gathering, with each other.
  • The only mandatory piece of  the party puzzle is a photo of the cousins' kids together by the cake or opening gifts.
Wilson, Dean, Marly, Ian and Viv Lyons and me holding Charlie
This is the third family birthday party we have hosted at this house. The menu varies little from year to year - Turkey sandwich meat cooked for 12 hours in the crock pot, a veggie salad, fish eye salad (with whipped, dry pudding mix, and canned fruit cocktail), another crock pot of baked beans, fresh berries sometimes, Costco Kirkland crinkle cut potato chips, pickles and olives, whatever delicious side dish Toot's brings (even though I never ask, but always hope!), and some years a pan of Special K bars from Laura.
Chocolate cake from Jack's Bakery in Brooklyn Park.
What I love most about Marly and Dean's Birthday is the simplistic annual reason to gather some of the Melberg's and some of the Toren's. My mom's side and my Dad's side, enjoying time together.
It isn't the kid, the year, the cake, or the presents that are important. The birthday itself is nothing more than a conduit to preserve the importance of FAMILY.

Thanks to those of you who joined us year.

Monday, March 11, 2013

First Friends Party

This year, we embarked upon the kids first 'friend'  birthday party.
There was talk of Chuckie Cheese (since they see the ad on PBS before Aurthur), bowling (since Dean attended a bowling party), and Pump it Up (yup..Marly was invited here).

I wanted to find something unique, entertaining and affordable. I decided to check out the Bunker Park Stables and inquire about a sleigh ride.

I came home and attempted to convince Mark, Marly and Dean how cool a horse drawn trail ride would be. You see, I wanted to have FUN too. Two weeks later a Living Social Deal for the trail ride popped up, thus sealing the fate of the party.
I steered Marly & Dean away from any particular party 'theme', and encouraged 'color' choices. I purchased pennant clip art from Etsy, and the kids were happy with the simple Publisher invites I created, printed and cut.

  • I included LOTS of details on the invites, including info about coffee and a place for parents to stay on site if they wanted/needed to while their kids enjoyed the party.
I picked up envelopes and Washi tape from Achievers, and the Twinners trotted to school to deliver their invitations to friends.
The big day arrived
  • The RSVP's had been counted (17 kids)
  •  Treat bags (with tags created to match the invites) were assembled with a rock candy sucker from Party Place. Green for boys/Pink for girls.
  • The cupcakes were ordered (green frosting for Dean,/purple for Marly). I gathered little palstic dino's for Dean's toppers, and used Hello Kitty stickers to make Marly's toppers.
  • On our way to the stables, we picked up a coffee 'jo to go' from Caribou for any parents who wanted to hang out in the party room.
The kids showed up at 1:30, permission slips were signed, and the kids hit the trail. Mark and Dan chaperoned the hour long ride, while Gretchen and I set up the party room.
According to Mark, the boys were rather WILD...(thus causing him to wish he had a flask along)!
 ...while the girls politely chitter-chattered and giggled.
 Once the crew returned, there was a bonfire and hot cocoa.
Then we headed inside for lunch. We served individual, pre-packaged PB&J crustless sandwiches from Costco, individual chip bags, 8 oz Izze Soda cans (no sugar added) with cute/cool straws, and the cupcakes. I added colorful plastic table clothes and gave each kid a white paper placement. Colors and markers were strewn about to help entertain the 6 year old set.

  • Go simple and easy with the food.
  • Go with what kids like.
  • Go with individual packages, so you don't need to 'serve' & minimual clean up is required.
  • Costco has great choices, which can look cute with a little creativity in display.
And then it was time to open gifts. Chaos ensued.

  • Have a helper mom/dad for the party.
  • Dan acted as Mark's Wing Man.
  • Gretchen was my helper extraordinaire doing ALL things necessary to keep a party of 17 six year olds on track. Meanwhile, I could be a fun, smiling, good, pleasant hostess to the kids and mom's and dad's alike.
Everyone had a great time.

We wrapped up with Marly and Dean standing on the table and politely thanked all their guests. At this point, all planned activities were complete, and then I realized it was 3:10 pm.

YIKES -  I had been monitoring the time carefully (or so I thought).

There was still 20 minutes before parent pick up was scheduled. We were saved by a day of BEAUTIFUL mild, sunny Minnesota weather. The kids headed back outside and played on the snow mounds. It might have been a favorite part of the day.

Parent's arrived, were greeted, thank you's expressed, treats distributed. Meanwhile, Dan and Gretchen cleaned up the party room and loaded our car...


(and Mark and I wished for a nap, or a drink... or both).

:  )

Thursday, March 7, 2013

6 years old

On Wednesday 2-27-2013 the Twinners turned 6.
The day started with breakfast donuts with candles, and pictures.
Then is was off to the bus stop like usual.
  • At 6 the Twinners' sleep in the upstairs guest bedroom in a queen bed together, because they prefer it over their seperate rooms downstairs.
  • At 6 Marly still has her yellow and green crocheted blankets from Toots.
  • The blankets are not fairing well.
  • At 6 Dean still loves Oscar.
  • There are TWO Oscars now. Fat Oscar and Flat Oscar (the original Oscar lost, then found in the woods at the H-- House!)
  • At 6, mom or dad drop you off and pick you up from the bus stop each day.
  • At 6, Dean takes karate in Champlin and Marly takes dance in Fridley.
  • At 6, you play very well together, and often do your own thing when at home together.
  • At 6, Marly sometimes likes to play alone in her bedroom, coloring or etc. with the door closed.
  • At 6, Dean's pirate ships seem to be his most played with toys.
  • At 6, Marly's favorite doll is Emma.
  • At 6, they go to Kindergarten all day, every day with Mrs. Loveridge.
  • At 6, Marly gets a little extra help with reading.
  • At 6, Dean whines a bit more then Marly.
  • At 6, the other mothers who volunteer tell me Marly and Dean are very good kids.
  • At 6, Marly is particular about her closes. She prefers to "blend in". She doesn't like anything that will set her apart in a crowd, is too bright, too dark, too ruffley, or too sparkly.
  • At 6, Marly RARELY lets me put pony tails or braids in her hair,  but I do curl it each morning.
  • At 6, Dean needs his hair cut regularly to stay styl'n! (most often at a Great Clips these days.
  • At 6, Marly keeps her hair LONG, because she thinks no one will recognize her if it is cut.

  • At 6, Marly is more shy then Dean.
  • At 6, Dean generally dislikes Sunday school.
  • At 6, they both like your usual kid foods, like mac' n cheese and McDonald's Happy Meals.
  • At 6, Dean  likes blue and green, dinosaurs and Angry Birds on the Ipad.
  • At 6, Marly likes pink and purple and LOVES Hello Kitty.
  • At 6, Marly already requests flowers for her Birthday.
  • At 6, Dean is VERY competitive, and loves to play board games.
  • At 6, Dean may throw a tantrum if he loses. Marly couldn't care less.
After School, we joined up with the Thompson Family for dinner at Bonfire's in Blaine. Dean ordered the chicken kids meal and Marly ordered the cheese burger meal. Marly ALWAYS orders the cheeseburger. The kids had chocolate milk. They always have chocolate milk at restuarants.


Here you are the day AFTER your birthday for your 6 year well child visit with Dr. Whitehill. Yes, Dean is still at LEAST two inches taller then Ms. Marly. Marly had a wart froze off her foot during the visit. Dean REFUSED to have his wart frozen, became very upset, and cried a lot. Marly tried to console her brother, who was MOST upset after the Dr. left and he realized he didnot do something Marly did. Marly had issues with her hearing, but most likely this is only because she was at the clinic for an ear infection on Monday. The Twinners are generally healthy kids.
Happy Birthday Marly and Dean!

Monday, March 4, 2013

A 60th Surprise

For more than a few months, someone MIGHT have been planting the seed she would enjoy a SURPRISE 60th birthday, so about two months back, the planning began for the SURPRISE that occured at least two weeks back.

A wee bit late, but here is a pictorial review of the BIG EVENT!

 Rachel researched venues and secured the Bayview Events Center on Lake Minnetonka.

Tiny Print invites were ordered and mailed, e mails were sent, calls were made.

Guests were alerted.

...and the Guest of Honor was none the wiser.
Custom decor was ordered and printed from Etsy.

Flowers were arranged.

...and the Guest of Honor was none the wiser.

A menu was created.

Buttercream cake was choosen.

...and the Guest of Honor was none the wiser.

A fake ploy to lure Chris to the party was created.

...and the Guest of Honor was none the wiser.

The guests arrived.

They waited in anticipation.

...and the Guest of Honor was none the wiser.
Naturally, this was a CHAMPAGNE BRUNCH.

....because the Guest of Honor is WISE and she loves Champagne.

....because the party planners (Rachel and Me on behalf of my Dad) are NOT as WISE as the Guest of Honor, but the party planners were smart enough to know this was a Surprise Birthday MUST!

 There was an omelet station, a brunch buffet, mimosas, and bloody mary's.
 There were toasts and words of love, gratitude and affection for the Guest of Honor.
 There was the Guest of Honor's only brother Bob, from Chicago.

  There was the  Guest of Honor's sons - Kevin and Eric.
 There was emotion.
There were candles to blow out.
 There were so many special people.

There were grand little people and a pregnant Rachel.

 We love you and hope you had a wonderful SURPRISE Birthday!


Related Posts with Thumbnails