Life as we know it

Our family adventures


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Sculpture garden and horseys

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Since I started the trip blog posts with Sunday, I figured I’d just work backwards and post about Saturday next. Saturday morning the kids were both pretty tired compared to how they were on Friday morning. We went to the sculpture garden first. Allie decided she didn’t want to walk, so I wore Peyton (which he wasn’t too happy about) and Allie rode in the stroller. We had a good time looking around at the sculptures and Allie even perked up to walk around.
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We got some nice family pictures too.
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We had planned to go back to the hotel for Peyton to take a nap, but we ended up driving around a bit longer trying to find a place to eat lunch. We passed the Old Spaghetti Factory and decided to eat there, but we were passing before they were open. Peyton had fallen asleep, so we decided to drive around downtown and see some sites and let Peyton sleep.
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After a yummy meal, we were all renewed for our afternoon adventure: horsey racing at Canterbury Park!

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The kids really loved it, especially Allie. She has been obsessed with horseys for a long time now. The horsey she’s holding in the pictures is Danza, her horsey she got at Build A Bear on Friday. Danza is the horse she picked for the Kentucky Derby. She insisted every horsey was Danza. Her favorite horseys from Saturday though were Gracin Racin and Sophie’s Cupcake. Niether of them won a race. But we did put a few bucks on horseys in the four races we saw and we all had horseys win! We did OK on the bets… just a couple bucks at a time and we made back what we spent. It was a pretty cheap and fun activity to take up a couple hours. It did get a little dicey at times though because Peyton was tired and cranky at times. But overall fun. Canterbury Park is on the list of things do do next time we got to Minneapolis if we go during racing season.

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Going swimming

The most fun of the trip for both kids was swimming. Allie and I swam every day. On Thursday, Friday and Saturday we swam while Peyton was sleeping. Sunday morning we finally got Peyton in the pool and he loved it! Allie got more and more brave in the pool each time. Thursday night she wouldn’t let go of me and by Sunday she was jumping into the deep end (with her water wings! Those things are awesome!). We didn’t swim much last summer… that’s gonna change this summer!
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Vacation recap

I suppose it was vacation, in that I vacated work for a week, but it didn’t always feel like vacation!

We planned a couple months ago a long weekend trip to Minneapolis for the weekend after Mothers Day. I also had the vague idea about taking some time off work to clean the house. So I decided to extend the long weekend to a whole week of vacation and spend three days cleaning the house. I was surprisingly excited about it leading up to the week. I was supposed to get a little more relaxation than I ultimately got, but its OK. I got such a satisfaction in the work I was able to do in the house. Just another sign that I’m getting old, I guess.

It was a mixed bag week. It started on Mothers Day when we had to go buy a present we didn’t want and couldn’t really afford in a new dryer. Our old dryer started making noise a couple months ago. Hindsight is 20/20, if we’d pursued repair at that time we may have avoided the new one. But the noise started getting worse and I realized cracks on the inside were getting worse. The dryer started destroying clothes, stuff got stuck on the jagged parts and ripped holes. When clothes got stuck enough it made the dryer stop. That morning I told Doug we needed to research getting a new one, but I didn’t mean that day! But the one we ordered is on back order… all the ones remotely in our price range were on back order. Its not coming until May 28 so still another week and a half! So I got to add laundromat to my chore list for the week!

I feel very accomplished though. Just see how much I got done!

1. Took Monk to the vet for her overdue yearly exam.
2. Organized kids’ clothes, packed away too small and took out summer and new sizes.
3. Cleaned both bedrooms.
4. Vacuumed all the carpet upstairs.
5. Vacuumed the living room (and discovered ants along the front wall, eww!)
*This was just on Monday!*
6. Removed the yucky area rug from our dining room, cleaned the floor underneath and all the floor in dining room and kitchen.
7. Cleaned out junk from the basement.
8. Had lunch with a good friend.
9. Took a load of recycling and big garbage (including the previously mentioned rug) to be recycled/disposed.
10. Cleaned out the kitchen silverware drawer.
11. Took the car for an oil change, where it was discovered it needed an alignment (one for the hits just keep coming file, we always get unexpected expenses all at once! I guess this is Murphy’s Law?)
12. Cleaned the refrigerator.
*Exhausted yet? That was Tuesaday.*
13. Took the car for alignment since I didn’t have time for that on Tuesday.
14. Did some shopping with a Mother’s Day gift card and also picked up some stuff for the kids.
15. Had lunch with Doug.
16. Went to the laundromat for the first time in about 7 years. The good thing, I guess, was that total time was an hour and a half vs. a day or more to do all the laundry at home.
17. Packed for the trip.
*End Wednesday, on to the fun part of vacation… our trip to Minneapolis.*

Though I will admit, traveling with young kiddos isn’t entirely fun… WHAT?!?! Did I just say that? Yes. Its difficult to keep kids rested and fed well enough for the whole trip to be perfect. It was still an awesome trip, with multiple posts and many pictures to come. Highlights include swimming every day, a trip to the Mall of America, and perhaps everyone’s favorite part, trip to Canterbury Park for the horsey races.

Friday I saw the headline on the news that my office building had been closed Friday because of a fire. Later stories said it would be closed until further notice. Well then I got a call from my boss Saturday evening that a group of us were assigned to the Madison call center and my last day of vacation Monday was canceled. My department had six people working today and I was lucky enough to be one of them. The full crew will be working tomorrow in two different locations. Its sounding like we won’t be back into our building for awhile… a week or more. That’s going to be tough to deal with because the work station I was at today was not good for my skeletal system.

So instead of heading to the laundromat today, doing a few more small chores and finally getting to relax… I was back at work. Bright side I suppose is that I’ve saved a vacation day. Not-so-bright side was that I had to do the laundry at 8 p.m. Sunday night, which at least wasn’t crowded, and Doug is doing some quick grocery shopping tonight.

And that was vacation. In summary:
– I didn’t relax much. I did sit for about 25 minutes with a cup of coffee Monday morning after getting back from the vet. That was the only real relaxation.
– Most of the cleaning I did is STILL clean! And it was awesome to come home to a clean house after traveling.
– I was going to add a fourth running day to my week starting last week… didn’t happen. I did, however, make myself get up to run on the hotel treadmill Sunday morning. Bonus, it was actually a good hotel treadmill.
– We finally got Peyton in the pool on Sunday morning and it was sooooo fun, for him and us! He has the most adorable swim trunks and I’m glad I bought him some that he actually used! I bought him a pair last summer for our vacation and he never wore them.
– We’re gonna wait a year or two before taking the kids on vacation again…. or at least a couple months. Every time traveling with a baby is different as they grow. We’ll probably manage to forget the fun we had last time and convince ourselves to travel again soon.
– At least I’m a valuable enough employee that I was made to cancel my last day of vacation instead of having one of my colleagues who was scheduled to work come in.
– Oh, I also didn’t sleep in AT ALL. We’re a one-car family at the moment and since my errand list was long, I had to drive the kids to daycare and Doug to work each day and pick them up at the end. In Minneapolis a combo of uncomfortable bed and early rising kiddos meant Mama only slept til 6:30. Even on Mothers Day I didn’t sleep in. I think the latest I managed to sleep was 7.

And now to work on uploading pictures. I know I’ve been so great and posting lately… its not likely to get much better this week because I’m not surfing the Internet much at work when I’m in someone else’s office. I will try my best though because I’ve got some good stuff to share!


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Zoo day

Saturday was a beautiful day and we decided to take advantage by heading to the zoo. We love the zoo!
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We’ve never taken a picture with this lion statue before. Precious!
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And the real lion was out too!
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The kids enjoyed seeing the monkeys. The chimps were really active, enought that Peyton saw and was amused by them!
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Allie’s a lot smaller than the primates.
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We love taking pictures with these penguins. We’ve taken one of Allie every year.
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Allie saw this board and wanted to take a “Roar!” picture.
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We all did.
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All of us, except Peyts. I should have taken him out for more pictures! Next time.
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This was a rare time when we actually saw the tiger. In fact, after taking this picture, he got up and was walking around and spraying water… he was probably the most active we’ve ever seen him.
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Allie really wanted to see the giraffes. I’m not sure what the deal is with that fence. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t there last year and it takes away from the view.
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Allie loves the zoo.
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It was fun to see Peyton discover the zoo too.
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I love that we have this zoo in our back yard. Its small and its free. We can just decide to go and its not a huge production. We can get through it quick and if we don’t get through everything, we can just see it next time.
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After the zoo we went to Michael’s Frozen Custard for a treat. Peyton liked the ice cream a lot better this time, but he still liked the spoon even more.
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Allie was a big fan too. She had her dish and also several tastes of Mama’s and Dada’s sundaes.
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Playing catch up

Pictures from the last week or so, most recent first…

Peyton’s been very interested in feeding himself. Its hard to coordinate it though, his desire to feed himself while also making sure some of the food ends up in his stomach.
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We’ve been very into going to the park lately. We went both Saturday and Sunday last weekend. On Sunday the kids enjoyed having the swings next to each other! Unfortunately at the end of this park visit, Allie fell off her swing. 😦 She was fine though.
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From our Saturday outing, going backwards, playground…
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I suggested Allie help Peyton go down the slide and she wanted to do it over and over and over. I love that she wants to play with him.
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I’m going backwards here. Before going to the playground on Saturday, we went downtown to walk…
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… and more importantly, get ice cream!
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Peyton was NOT a fan of ice cream. He was, however, a big fan of the pink spoon. He held onto it all the way back to the car. And every time we got in the car for a couple days he reached for the spoon. It eventually fell out of the car and onto the street. Luckily he didn’t know.
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Saturday morning Peyton slept until 7, which is always the goal for the weekend! Allie did not wake up when Peyton did, so I grabbed him and we went downstairs. Peyton started playing with Elmo, so I turned him on. Oh my gosh, it was the COOLEST THING ON EARTH for Mr. Peyts… for about five minutes, at least. Priceless.
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His shirts says, “here comes trouble”… ain’t that the truth!
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Last week Allie started going to a preschool at one of the local high schools, run by students in the class. Allie was so excited to start using her backpack!
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Last, but not least, Peyton LOVES Allie’s soccer ball. That’s another thing that was in the car for awhile when we took it to the park and Peyton would not let go of it!
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