Friday, August 25, 2006

Scenes From A Move

After a long few days, we are officially 'moved in' to our new home. We love it. For the first time, we actually have enough space for everything. The kids love the new digs, and are settling into life here without any anxiety or stress. They are too busy enjoying the stairs to notice that they aren't in the old apartment anymore.

The process of unpacking is still ongoing, though we are almost finished with everything other than our basement library. Because of this stellar progress that we have made, we rewarded ourselves with a bit of fun adventure time today. We worked in the morning, but then took the afternoon to drive around and explore our new neighborhood and the surrounding area. We found some beautiful parks along the Mississippi River that we hadn't yet visited. We enjoyed the lovely scenery, and Miss especially enjoyed the freedom of running as fast as she could down the wooded trails. It was so nice to emerge from the piles of boxes and cardboard for a while.

Here are some pictures from the past few days:

Miss looks out the front window in her new room.

Master enjoys his first breakfast in the house.

Miss enjoys a new bear friend, brought by some wonderful women from our church, who also brought us some super-tasty "hotdish" and "Minnesota-Church-Lady-Tradition-Jello" for supper. Oooo . . . . and a pie!
Master *really* likes being able to look out our door to the outside world.
Miss and Daddy at Crosby Farm Park on the Mississippi.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Photos of the Day

The littles engaging in their favorite activities:

Miss playing games on It scares me to see how good she is with a computer. At three.

Master surveying the contents of our fridge. He is fascinated with the food.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Protective Big Sister

Little Miss has grown increasingly protective of her little brother lately. She grows uncomfortable when people get too close or too interested in him when we are out and about. She moves in slowly, and positions herself between Master and the intruding individual . . . giving the stranger her best "hmmmmph!" accompanied by a look that clearly says "Back. Off."

Tonight, after laying a sleeping Master in his crib, I went to Miss's bed for one last tickle/kiss, as I usually do. She smiled, giggled, and then said (in a very stern tone):

"Mommy. *Don't* wake him up."

When we move to our new house, these two will probably not share a room anymore. There are many practical considerations (especially involving naps) that make separating them a good idea.

But . . . . . .

Having them share a room has been so good for both of them. Master clearly feels comforted by the presence of his sister. Miss has had her first real lesson (at the ripe old age of three) in looking out for someone else before herself. Anyone who knows our little girl knows that she *loves* to talk, sing, dance, and make merry. But she doesn't do those things when Master is sleeping in the room with her, even if she is wide awake. Instead, she quietly looks at her books, and reminds others (including her mother) that we are not to wake him up.

It is sweet to see a bond forming, feelings of love and protectiveness stirring between these two little people. Sure, they'll do their share of fighting as the years go by, but they'll learn from those experiences, too. That's why we have families.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Stressed Peanuts

As Mr.'s two days off for the week come to an end, we are one tired little family. We have been packing. And driving. And shopping. And planning. We returned home from a trip to Ikea today completely exhausted. The kids have had *enough* of riding around in the car, only to arrive at a large retail destination and be greeted with the thrill of riding around in a shopping cart.

Master just about lost his mind in the home organization section this morning. My finely-tuned mothering intuition told me that he was thinking, "NOT ONE MORE RUG OR SHELF OR WHATEVER!! I WANT TO GO HOME. I WANT TO PLAY. I CANNOT ENDURE ONE MORE MOMENT OF THIS INSANITY!"

Miss has a bit more tolerance for our errand-running, but her mood was not helped by slipping and taking a header into the booth at McDonald's, where we stopped for an oh-so-disgustingly unhealthy lunch while out this afternoon. Master was screaming as we searched for sustenance. We were desperate. We felt guilty as we watched the littles ingesting unknown carcinogens.

Mr. and I are faring slightly worse than the children. By the time we returned to the apartment, we both had splitting headaches, and had to take turns laying down to recover. If only we were as resilient as the children, who were immediately energized by the sight of home and their toys. Master crawled, cruised, and toddled around the house in utter glee, while Miss continued her latest fascination with the medical profession by giving check-ups and "shots" to all members of the household (with her McDonald's straw serving as the hypodermic needle).

Thank goodness we move in less than one week. Soon, we can at least settle into going crazy in just one location, rather than maintaining two homes simultaneously.

I am ready to get back to normal. Can you tell?

Monday, August 14, 2006

Ice Cream at Lake Minnetonka (and other things we'll miss)

After dinner this evening we headed down to Lake Minnetonka for some ice cream, and a chance to enjoy the *perfect* 75 degree weather. We have come to really enjoy the beauty of this great big lake, and will miss being so close to it when we move into Minneapolis. Sitting there, watching Miss run around next to the lake shore, I began to think of all of the new things that have come into our lives over the course of the past few months.

Lake Minnetonka.

Our apartment complex, with its wooded path and Miss's favorite playground.

Acquaintances we've made in the building, and friendships that have begun with some of the other moms and children we see frequently.

Pannekoeken -- the local chain that serves Dutch-style pancakes, and where the waitress yells "PANNEKOEKEN!!" as she brings the large, sticky breakfast wonder to your table.

Our driving routes -- 394, 100, 62, 169.

Ridgedale library, and its lovely children's section.

Caribou Coffee.

All of these things have become a small part of our lives, and some of them won't be after we move. I feel sorry for our little Peanuts, as they will have to endure yet another transition so soon after we have settled into this apartment. But I am so glad that this will be the last transition they have to go through for *quite* some time. The best part about buying a house is that it will mean permanence for them.

It will be hard to leave behind some of the things to which we've already become attached while living here. It will be exciting to form new attachments in our neighborhood, and to have the security of knowing that we can truly put down roots there.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

How do I make her stay in bed, if I can't keep a straight face?

Ahh, the never-ending upheaval regarding naptime continues in the Peanut household. Today, Miss decided (of her own volition) to take a nap. She slept for about 90 minutes, woke up refreshed, and had a lovely, fuss-free afternoon.

As I write this entry, it is 9:50 PM, Central Standard Time. I have just ushered Miss back into her bedroom for the umpteenth time since tucking her in at 8:00 PM. She first came gazing into the living room a few minutes after I put her down, while I was nursing Master. She sauntered over towards us, thumb firmly planted in her mouth. She stood there for a second, popped the thumb out, and then said (as if she was delivering earth-shattering news):

"He (master) has little bears on his p-jammies!"

"Yep. He sure does. (Trying not to laugh) Go to bed."

This is her little way. She does not cry, scream, or fight the instruction to go back to bed. She just comes out, takes a look, delivers tidings of great importance like those noted above, and walks back to the bedroom. We hear about the fact that she is going to Mr. Lunt's house tomorrow. Or, we hear about Stanley (her stuffed dog) being a disobedient little boy. Or -- best of all -- we hear, "Guys . . . . *sigh* I just really love you guys."

It is difficult to avoid laughing. I try. I really do.

These visits are becoming less and less frequent, because they only occur when she has taken a nap. She usually skips the nap these days, and passes out the moment her head hits the pillow. Of course, on those nights, she comes to visit us in our room at approximately 3:00 AM. I find it much easier not to laugh at that hour.

Someday, she will go to bed, sleep all night, and will even want to sleep in sometimes. I hope. But I'm sure that, when that happens, I'll miss these nighttime visits a little bit. It's always nice to have a reason to laugh. Even if I have to hold in the laughter until her little blonde head has disappeared down the hall.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Happy News

There is joy and relief in the Peanut household. The good ol' digital camera appeared to have breathed it's last yesterday, but miraculously recovered today (I turned it on. No response. I walked away. I picked it up later. It was working).

We take *so* many pictures. It is a bit obscene. When the camera wasn't working yesterday, I didn't quite know what to do with myself.

Order has now been restored to the universe. I can go on packing, assured that I will be able to record the rest of the littles' summer enjoyment, and share that enjoyment with you.

In other happy news, I located a missing butter knife *and* a bag of PopSecret Popcorn in a suitcase as I was packing for our move. How either of these items ended up in one of our suitcases, I do not know. Nor do I care to speculate. I shall just go and enjoy some popcorny goodness while I read my book and wait for Mr. to come home.

PopSecret can't go bad, can it?

I'll let you know tomorrow.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

It's August, and I'm Nervous . . .

No, not nervous about the mortgage payments, the arrangement of furniture, or the stairs down which Master may plummet.

Rather, I am getting more and more worried about our lack of preparedness for the cold months ahead. I don't know what brought on this concern. Perhaps it is the 'Back to School' advertisements, or the aisles and aisles of pee-chees and protractors at Target. But I'm suddenly realizing that Fall will soon be upon us, and the littles have *no* cold-weather clothes. I have a few things for myself . . . but really not enough to make it through the winter.

Our new home is near Lake Nokomis. We drove by this beautiful lake this evening, and admired the lush, green grass and beautiful leafy trees along its shoreline.

Here is a picture of the Lake Nokomis area in the wintertime:

I am seriously considering purchasing a coat that looks like this:

Yes, we lived in Chicago for three years, but I have the distinct feeling that I'll be spending a lot more of my time outdoors this winter, due to the enthusiasm of a certain three year old for snowballs and snowmen.

I guess I'd better get shopping. Consignment shops of the Twin Cities, here come the Peanuts.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Miscellaneous Notes

*Just finished reading:

My review: Quite good. Worth reading.

*Check out my new table:

One of my absolute must-haves for the new house was a *big* table. This one fits the bill -- seven feet long, with plenty of room for the Peanuts and any guests to eat in comfort (unless we're hosting Thanksgiving for the extended family). And, to put the icing on my cake, it was purchased on super-cheap clearance. Now we'll just have to find some chairs . . . .

*I unfortunately do not have a picture of this (though I do have video), but Miss has lately been making us laugh by practicing her preaching skills around the house. Now that she sits with us in church and listens to the sermon, she loves to reenact the event at home. One stack of moving boxes has been converted into her pulpit, and we are hearing all sorts of instruction about various ideas she strings together from what she hears in church and things we have read in her Bible. Pretty darn funny.

Monday, August 07, 2006


After a couple of eventful weeks, the Peanut household is *not* getting back into the normal rhythm of life. Rather, we are completely involved in preparing for our move . . . which will take place on August 23rd. It is, shall we say, interesting to attempt packing with the littles running hither and thither . . . but we are somehow propelled by the thought that we will not be doing this again for QUITE some time. Now that we know where we will be for years to come (hopefully), we are eager to settle in to our little house and become comfortable there.

We look back on the past few weeks with full hearts. We had a lovely visit from Grandma G, who babysat numerous times so that we could complete all of the last minute details on our home purchase. The littles especially enjoyed all of the love and attention she gave while she was with us.

We are also so thankful for the visit of Grandma and Papa T. They rose above and beyond the call of duty by driving out from California, painting our new basement for us, doing various other projects at our new home, driving me all around the Twin Cities metropolitan area so that I could shop for furniture bargains, and hoisting said (heavy) bargains into the back of their truck. Their visit was packed with activity, but we don't know what we would have done without their help. In the midst of it all, the littles were able to enjoy some good Grandma and Papa time.

Though we are so far away from so many family members and friends, we continue to feel the warmth of their love and support as we commence this new (somewhat frightening) endeavor of home ownership.