Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Miss' Favorite Gift: A beautifully illustrated version of Rapunzel.

Master's Favorite Gift: $2.00 beach ball to kick around the house. "Baaaaaallllll!"

The Littles' Favorite Christmas Moment: Putting Baby Jesus in the manger on our Advent Calendar. When we announced, after breakfast, that it was time to do this, they both screamed with delight, and Miss ran in circles around the dining room table. Their excitement caught us a little bit off guard, but it made us realize that they really had been anticipating Christ this season (as much as a 3 year old and 18 month old can). Each day, we added a character or object to the nativity scene, and we finally reached *the* moment. The moment when the Baby Jesus came.

Mr. and Mrs.' Favorite Christmas Moment: See above. Kids are the best. They teach us new things every day, and they surprise us moment by moment.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Anticipating Christmas

We have had a great week, anticipating Christmas and enjoying the new sights and sounds of a new environment this year. On Wednesday, we went to the "Holidazzle" parade in Downtown Minneapolis. We positioned ourselves above the parade in the skyway, so that we could take it all in without freezing. Miss was entranced. Master was, uh, less than entranced. But, a good time was had by all, and we enjoyed the hustle and bustle of the city, just a few days before Christmas.

On Thursday, we experienced our first snowfall, which was beautiful and short-lived. The snow is expected to be completely melted by the end of the day tomorrow, ruining any chance of a white Christmas. But, we enjoyed it while it lasted, and know that more will be on the way soon. Here are some pictures of our recent adventures:Miss checks out the parade from the skyway.
Since Master wasn't thrilled with the parade, he took the opportunity to clown around with his hat. He's getting to the point where he knows when he's funny. And he loves it.

We stupidly failed to bring our stroller to the parade, so we had to hoist *heavy* Master all around town. Fun times.
Our bird's eye view.

Miss and her little snowman. The snowman now consists of nothing more than a teeny pile of mushy snow. Miss is sad, and doesn't understand *why* the snow has to melt. Ahh, the disappointments of life.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Learning to Talk

Few things are as heartwarming as listening to your child's first words. Master is using more and more words these days, and we are beginning to get more and more of a glimpse into his little mind.

His favorite word right now is "book." A while ago, Mr. Peanut started the ritual of allowing Master to choose his bedtime reading material. Each night, he carefully selects a favorite from the shelf, looks at me with a big grin, and says "Thiiiis. Thiiiiis booookk." He hands me "Owl Babies" or "Goodnight, Moon", backs himself onto my lap, and settles in for a snuggle and a read. At the conclusion of the book, he squirms from my lap, and heads straight for the bookshelf to make another selection. This process is repeated a few times, until I place him in his crib, with his little hands still wrapped around the last book we read together.

If I fail to remember that he wants to take a book to bed, he adamantly reminds me by pointing at the bookshelf and again declaring, "Thiiiis! Boooookkk!!"

Just a small thing. A tiny part of our day. But such a reason to smile. Hearing our little guy's voice. Beginning to know his favorite things, and getting to share those with him. Amazing.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


From the very beginning, Miss has been a performer. She was a fun first baby, because she would happily learn and display various tricks for our entertainment. She has always been *very* (oh, and I do mean *very*) verbal, and so we could teach her to say and sing funny things at a very early age. Master, on the other hand, does not seem to be as enthralled by applause as our Miss has always been. When I ask him to show me his nose or ears, or to say certain words, he usually looks at me with disdain, as if to say "I do *not* perform on command."

Well, Miss had the opportunity to be in her element earlier this week. All of the children at the Community Bible Study I attend sang in front of all of the moms as part of a Christmas program. Mr. was able to get some time away from work, and we sat side-by-side, laughing, and shaking our heads as we watched our little performer. She was loving every minute of her opportunity to be on stage. Most of the kids in her class stood completely still, not singing, or wandered aimlessly around the stage. Miss, on the other hand, sang her heart out, and did a very sassy, dancing version of the hand motions that went along with the songs. After the performance, she walked down the aisle, passed right by me, and said "Bye, Mommy. You have fun, now."

She has been running around the house with her toy guitar, singing and reliving her moment of glory, ever since we returned from the big performance.

Next year, Master will be up front, as well. Something tells me that he will be looking for me in the audience, and that he will be thinking, "What am I? Nothing but entertainment to you people?!"

Such different personalities, in two equally sweet little monkeys.

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Haircut and A Trip to St. Paul

A tour of our weekend, in pictures:

Master had his first haircut!

He was not thrilled, but survived the experience.

This is the best 'after' picture I could come up with. Don't worry, we did not slip sedatives into that juice box, it just looks that way.

After the haircut, we went to Rice Park in downtown Saint Paul.

Miss enjoyed the statue of famous Saint Paul native, F. Scott Fitzgerald.

She enjoyed Shroeder and Lucy even more.

She did not enjoy Santa at all (look at that expression), but was fascinated by him. We got to sit in his chair, because she said, "Um, I don't think so right now," when asked if she wanted to sit on Santa's lap.

She decided to play a trumpet, like the angel, instead.

It was a good weekend. Mr. Peanut is panicked by the lack of snow on the ground this close to Christmas. I would love a white Christmas, but I have a feeling that we will have a chance to see many of them in the years to come. For now, I am enjoying the 30-ish degree temperatures, rather than the normal below-zero's they usually expect this time of year. This Californian needs time for transitioning!

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Things I Never Thought I'd Have to Say

Sweetie. Honey. Please do not rub your fingers on the bottom of your shoes and then lick them. I know they taste salty. There's a lot of salt on the roads right now.

But, please. Please.

Do. Not. Lick. Your. Shoes.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I Am Doomed

No, not because Master is enamored with the Christmas tree. He is actually doing quite a good job of enjoying it without destroying it. He walks up to it, points to it, says, "Biiiiiiig. Nooooooo." And walks away. So far, so good.

Rather, I am doomed because this same little Master has officially learned to turn doorknobs and open doors. This very day, I saw him do this thing five times in a row in his sister's bedroom. He stood at the door, reached up, turned the knob, smiled, and then closed the door in order to repeat the process. He was practicing (I could tell) for future escapes from my attempts to keep him confined in one room or another. He was thinking, "Ah-ha! I've got her now. There is no stopping me. This house is all mine."

Just when those holiday treats are threatening to pack on the pounds, I will have a new reason to exercise. I will be forced to chase a laughing, squealing boy through the house, tackle him with tickles, and smother him with kisses over and over again throughout the day. I suppose that things could be worse. Let the calorie burn begin!

Monday, November 27, 2006

One Very Excited Girl

No sooner were the Thanksgiving leftovers consumed in the Peanut household, than we were dragging down the Christmas decorations from the attic. Mr. and I look forward to Advent every year, and we were eager to have everything in place in order to begin our celebration next weekend. For the first time, this year, we allowed Miss to stay up late in order to trim the tree with us. She was beside herself with excitement. She ooed and ahhhed over every ornament, and dutifully asked if it was made of glass in order to ascertain if she might put it on the tree herself. She helped us place our candles in the windows, and gave advice on where to place other decorations around the house.

She was most excited at the appearance of her very own nativity scene, which she remembered well from last year. She lined up all of the animals, shepherds, wise men, Mary, Joseph, Baby Jesus and the angel, and (of course) began a conversation with them. She then escorted the group to her bedroom, and carefully placed them by her bed, so they could be near her as she slept.

It was great fun to see her excitement, and it was amazing to realize that she has reached the age of being able to help with and really enjoy these activities. She is no longer just a perpetual, living photo opportunity in front of the tree. She knows what Christmas means, and she remembers our family traditions. What a gift this year's time of anticipation will be for all of us, because we have her to remind us of the wonder of it all through this little girl's eyes.

Thursday, November 23, 2006


Overheard today:

Daddy, do you know what I'm thankful for?

What, honey?


We are indeed thankful for our Thanksgiving Day. We had a quiet morning at home, watching the Macy's parade. They quiet was only occasionally interrupted by screams of glee from Miss, who was completely enthralled with the huge balloons *and* the Broadway performances.

Our pastor and his wife kindly hosted us for dinner, and we had a great time. The food was wonderful, and we had some good conversation. I discover more and more that we have in common with them every time we are together. A very nice day, and a very good opportunity for reflection on all of our blessings.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Reason to be Thankful

It suddenly dawned on me today that Thanksgiving is but two days away. I have not had much opportunity to think about the approaching holiday, because of a sick boy who has decided that he cannot live without my physical presence throughout the *entire* day. Yes, little Master has contracted some sort of nasty virus, and will only play for very short periods of time before staggering over to me, crying, and falling head first into my lap. He would not eat a bite of lunch today unless my hand was acting as a resting place for his little cheek. It is oh-so-sweet in many ways, but oh-so-exhausting in others.

Trying to keep the little guy afloat, while also trying to pretend to be "Cinderella's Daddy" (Miss thinks that all of the princesses in her Disney video are dancing with their daddies) is a tricky proposition.

But, now that the house is quiet, I am reminded that even this time is a blessing. Having a little girl who loves to pretend with me, and a little boy who needs my touch and reassurance is surely a brief chapter in life. I regularly read a blog written by a woman with older children. This week she is bemoaning the fact that her boys are grown and will not be home for Thanksgiving this year. It reminds me that I have reason to be thankful in these circumstances. And, I hope that when I am in her shoes, I can remember that I will have reason to be thankful then, as well.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Forgive me for the extended absence . . .

Time has somehow gotten away from me over the past few weeks, and blogging has gone by the wayside. I will be attempting to rededicate myself to regular posting. In the meanwhile, here is a summary of our recent activities:

Election day came and went. Master expresses his happiness about the end of the campaigning.
The last of the leaves have fallen. We now await snow.
We had one 70 degree day. Master decided to play some ball.
Grandma and Papa visited from California. Miss was filled with glee.
We went to the Minnesota Children's Museum with Grandma & Papa. Miss got to be a part of fine art.

Master enjoyed seeing the sights.
Miss enjoyed, most of all, taking the stage and making her own music video.
Master continued to be his normal, cuddly self.
Miss shared her first carousel ride with Master. He enjoyed it quite a lot, as did his sister.

All in all, we have had a lovely few weeks, and we are now excitedly anticipating Thanksgiving, Christmas, and a trip to California in January. So much awaits us.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A Princess, A Chicken & 30 Degrees

Our first Twin Cities Halloween was fun and *cold.* We went to a church festival, Miss had a blast playing games and participating in "Trunk or Treat" in the parking lot. Master was still feeling under the weather, and was somewhat less than thrilled with his chicken costume. He enjoyed the sights and sounds of the festival, though, and was mighty cute.

Monday, October 30, 2006

What We've Been Doing . . .

The home of the Peanuts is not an abode of peace this evening, dear reader.

No. Rather, it is a den of germs. The sounds of snorting, sneezing, coughing, and hacking fill the air. Restless sleep plagues us all, as we toss and turn in a futile attempt to find a position that will allow our clogged sinuses to inhale much-needed oxygen.

I am coughing and battling a wicked-sore throat.

Mr. has begun to sound like Darth Vader, in both the wheezing and deep-voiced senses.

Miss has roused me each of the past few nights by declaring: "Mommy, *sniff, sniff*, I am not feeling very well, because I have coughs, and I need some MORE MEDICINE!"

Master. Oh, poor little Master. He is the worst off of us all. Fever. Nose running profusely. Coughing from deep in the chest. Eyes watering. Looking like he's been hit over the head with a mallet. So very pathetic. He is spending a lot of his time on my lap during the day, and with his head rested on my shoulder as I comfort him at night.

Have I mentioned that this results in very little sleep for us all?

This may lead you to ask why I am writing this at 11:15PM, when I could be in bed.

Because of Mt. Laundry, which must be climbed this evening, whether or not we are sick. In fact, the mountain is a little bit higher than usual this evening because of all of the spilled Benadryl and other unmentionable fluids that have been spewed around our house this week.

I wish that I could say, "Stop, please. I'd like to get off," when times like this come. But, I can't. None of us can. And so, we keep on pushing forward, and soon this seemingly never-ending icky time will come to an end. It will be forgotten within a few days, I'm sure.

I will find, once again, that I am always more than willing to complain when any of us are sick, and that I am not nearly so quick to be thankful when we are well.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Best Husband Ever

Blueberry Muffin:

STUD MUFFIN:Today Mr. P has proven himself to be the best husband *ever*.

I have not gotten much sleep over the past few nights (for various reasons having to do with the littles). This morning, without any prompting from yours truly, Mr. offered to 1) help with the housework, 2) take both children grocery shopping so that I could lounge about, and 3) take care of the entire bedtime routine / juggling act tonight.

He is currently handling task #3 by talking Miss through her nightly concerns about the Rainforest Cafe (darn that darn place).

I think I'll go watch the World Series with my husband. He's the best, and I am so blessed to have him around.


Monday, October 23, 2006

More Award-Winning Parenting . . .

After our stellar parenting choice involving dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (see below) a week or so ago, I thought that my mommy batting average could only improve. Wrong.

First, I had the bright idea of showing this video to Miss. We received it as a gift over a year ago, and it remained in the shrink wrap until a few days ago. I decided to take it out for our viewing pleasure, and we have heard *nothing* but princess-talk ever since. She is now thoroughly obsessed with Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, Belle, and every other female Disney character that you can name. They are all showcased in this tea party extravaganza, which came with an enclosed subscription offer for "Disney Princess" magazine. Ugh.

Second, I was called on the carpet for a blatant attempt at bribery. Miss decided yesterday that she was ready to try sleeping through the night without wearing a pull-up. Though she has been completely potty-trained for over a year now, Miss has yet to get the nighttime "control" down pat. And so, doubtful that she would succeed last night, I told her that we would go to Toys-R-Us and pick out a new toy if she woke up with a dry bed.

The result:

A Doctor's Kit from Toys-R-Us, complete with white coat and various doctoring tools. On the bright side, we heard much less talk about the princesses today, and she no longer has to use the i-pod headphones for her 'stepascope'. On the not-so-bright side, we each had several 'zaminations' throughout the day. At least we know that we are in good health.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Loving the Fall

We continue to enjoy the Minnesota Fall. We have been taking crunchy walks through fallen leaves, with the littles tucked into their double stroller and covered with a blanket. We rake *a lot* (in fact, I have sore hands tonight from this activity), but we make the chore a family event. Miss has her own little rake, and Master is content to examine the leaves carefully, and toddle around the yard.

Yes, it has been quite cool, but it is wonderful to come inside, and to enjoy homemade chili and cornbread. Or pumpkin muffins. Or cups of tea.

After our walk yesterday afternoon, Miss declared, "OK, it is now time to go inside and get warm and snug."

We all agreed. And snug we were.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Our Little Tenderheart

Five minutes ago, Miss came tip-toeing down the basement stairs, calling "mommy? mommy??"

"What are you doing out of bed?" I asked, smiling at this little girl in her fuzzy, footed pajamas.

"Well, Mommy, I need you to take me back to bed, and pray with me about that scary restaurant."

Ah, the scary restaurant. One week ago, Mr. and I had the unfortunate idea of taking the children to the Rainforest Cafe in the nearby Mall of America. If you have dined at this establishment, you know that it offers so-so food in a jungle-themed setting. Gorillas descend from the ceiling and dance at appointed times, and the sound effects of thunderstorms punctuate your meal. There are many colorful and bright decorations meant to attract children, including aquariums scattered throughout the dining room, and there is even a man who roves from table to table fashioning balloon animals.

We should have know that this was not the place for Miss. When she was but a year old we took her to the same chain at Downtown Disney in California, and she was thoroughly horrified by the experience. She was shaking and crying and had to be removed from the premises immediately.

Now, at the ripe old age of 3 and a half, we thought that perhaps she would enjoy it. We happened upon it as we walked through the mall, and asked her if she wanted to go in. She thought it looked like fun, and so we decided to give it a try.

Bad decision.

All was well at first, and we placed our dinner order. Miss looked at the aquarium, Master took it all in stride, and Mr. and I had a discussion about how we would rather *die* than have the job of our safari-guide / waiter.

Then, the gorillas began to dance.

It was all over. Miss was in my lap, crying and holding onto me for dear life. She has had bad dreams ever since.

Miss has a very tender heart, and we are beginning to realize that this aspect of her character will not be changing drastically anytime soon. And so, we will work to protect her. We help her hide her eyes when we pass by a store with frightening Halloween costumes on display. We fast forward through Veggie Tales songs that make her uncomfortable.

And we most definitely will not EVER be going to the Rainforest Cafe again.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Best Birthday Presents of All . . .

. . . are these people:

And having conversations like this one:

Me: Sweetie, your class at Bible Study is called the 'Little Lambs,' and brother's class is called
the 'Caterpillars.' Isn't that cute?

Miss: Awww, that is so cute! What is your class called? The cows??

Me: Uh, no.


Happy Birthday to me.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Back Home, Back to Blogging

As I stood in the reception hall following my Grandpa's funeral, I found myself smiling and laughing. I was perusing a poster board covered with photographs of Grandpa. Some were pictures of him as a young man with curly hair and a big smile. Others were showed him as a young father, standing proudly with his four children in their front yard. The one picture that encapsulated how I will always remember him showed my Grandpa conducting our family in a round of "Happy Birthday" at someone-or-another's birthday party. I will always remember being a little girl at those parties. I was always so excited to go to my grandparents' house, because my grandparents were so wonderful at being grandparents. They cared about their grandchildren genuinely. They always listened to us, talked to us, and made us feel important and valued. As we grew, they came to all of the important events in our lives, and were at most of the not-so-important ones as well.

After my Grandma passed away, and my Grandpa met and married Mary, they continued to show that same love and concern for all of their grandchildren and great grandchildren. Grandpa was a loyal reader of this blog, and always told me how much he enjoyed it. He loved to know what was happening in our daily lives and in the lives of our children (his great-grandchildren). I hope that I can give my little Peanuts, and all of the people in my life the same gift that my Grandpa gave me. The gift of feeling loved, of knowing that you are important to someone. He never made me feel as though I was bothering him by talking on and on. Which I did. Often.

Instead, he listened. I know that he *really* listened, because he remembered.

I will always remember him.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Fall in Minnesota

Here are some pictures from our afternoon at the apple orchard / pumpkin patch. Fall is very much upon us here, and the littles *greatly* enjoyed this outing.

Running through the fields
Mr. and the Littles explore the orchard
Master enjoys the view.
Miss checks out the honey crisps.
Hmmm . . . which one shall we choose?

Master and Mommy

Fun in the Haystack
"Dad, I can handle this tractor . . . let's go to the big one."
Loving the BIG Tractor