Keeping Up with Ron, Sara, Jackson and Addie

Friday, January 28, 2011

Addie's Vocab

I hesitate to even write this post as I am sure I will miss gobs of what is already included in her vocabulary.  I am very pleased with her speech and surprised by all she can say so clearly.

She will point to her (and your) eyes, nose, mouth, teeth, ears, tongue, belly, feet, toes, fingers, hair and elbows.

She knows the sounds for frog, duck, cow, dog, cat, bee, snake, lion and we are working hard on wolf.

She's getting around the television characters as well with Pooh, Eeyore, Diego and Cailou being added to the list.

Addie is learning her fruit and vegetables lately, the drawer and cabinet closures in Grandma's kitchen are fruits and vegetables so she's learning them quick.

Clothes:  Shirt, Pants, Hat, Mitten, Shoes, Socks, Button, Zipper.

At Jackson's birthday party she was practicing saying the names of our family members and most of them came out pretty clear, especially Donnie.

Addie often sits down and opens a book (sometimes she gets lucky and it's right-side-up) and begins to "read".  She babbles along as she turns the pages and seems to be very interested in the content of the book.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A family update:

Addie:  I am getting my canine teeth poking through and yesterday was a rough day because of it but today I'm feeling better about it.  I love bringing books to grown-ups so that they can read them to me,  my favorites lately have been Chika Chika Boom Boom, Opposites, Mickey's Shoe, and Who's Laughing. I can get up on the couch without any help and love to climb up to sit next to Jackson, mom hovers over me afraid that I will fall at any moment. 

Here is the update!
Jackson: This week is Winter Carnival week at school.  On Tuesday I wore a stocking hat in class, today my pajamas and tomorrow I have to dress like a snowman!  I hope mom comes up with something good... she was looking for a top hat earlier.  And then on Friday we get to wear our beach clothes!  I am busy playing Playmobil a lot lately, the new camping set I got for my birthday has been a lot of fun.  I'm starting to practice all of my letter writing, since the beginning of school in September we have been doing a letter every week.  Next week we'll be on O... I'm already really good at making Os (they are really just circles). 

Ron: I am working on shop cabinets for my garage workshop so that I have the ultimate shop come Spring.  I set up shop in the living room while Sara was in NY... she wasn't thrilled when she came home so I had to move back to the garage which slows down production (it's been below zero).  I saw Tesla with some friends at Treasure Island Casino last weekend.  I am also getting involved a bit in our city government and will be attending some planning meetings in the near future, I hope to increase my role over the years.

Sara: I am spread relatively thin these days and my immune system is taking a hit.  Work has been incredibly busy and I've been working some evenings and feeling a lot of pressure from my responsibilities.  School is picking up now that the semester is started, I'm also needing to finish early so that I can be done in time for vacation.  I celebrated a birthday in a very low-key and understated way.  My mom came over to make my family tacos and play games, we had a lot of fun!  And now I'm 33: which now means that I need Spanx (I think that's what they are called) to look good in a dress, that the line between my eyes is now permanent, I can only have two beers in one sitting, the dark circles are only getting darker.  And really it's all pretty easy to deal with, I am wiser and have a world full of great people to surround me.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Argghh, a birthday party...

The Pirate Birthday Party in Photos:

The incredible pirate cake that I am so proud of!

My pirates.

Painting treasure boxes.

Pin the eyepatch on the pirate.

Lukie and Jackson.

A pirate puzzle gift.

Ready to learn.

A pirate bathrobe.

Ready? Blow!

Nancy and Tinker help Luke to decorate his treasure box.

The pirate pinata.

The candy is all gone! Party over!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Random thoughts...

  • Today I am a baker, a student, a cleaner, a mom, a friend, a wife, a traveller, an actor, a builder, a daughter, a badmitton champion, a party planner, a teacher, a window washer and a referee.

  • Addie says tickle tickle tickle and it's about the cutest thing in the world.

  • Jackson read Addie his first book the other day. When he finished Ron asked why I was crying.

  • Jackson asked for a pirate birthday cake. When I was telling Ron that I was a little nervous about making the cake. Jackson said it's okay mom I will help you to make the cake, if we do it together it will get done on time.

  • Addie is spoiling us with her bed time routine. It's so great. We can tell her to say goodnight, she toddles over to mom or dad and then to Jackson for hugs and kisses. Then she heads for the stairs. We put her in her crib, still with her nuk, cover her up and close the door. Are you kidding me? This is so sweet!!

  • Last night we tried without the nuk. She cried as soon as I shut the door. With an easy routine like that who in their right mind would mess with it?!? I walked back in and gave her the nuk.

  • We are going to a kindergarten open house next week. And here it begins...

  • School has started up again. I was really enjoying my evenings to watch movies, play games and play video games with my husband. It's sad to have to do homework again most nights. I'm in two classes this term, Interpersonal Communication and Public Speaking. They are both online. Public Speaking online? How does that work? It's pretty cool actually and involves a lot of YouTube.

  • It's cold and I'm so tired of staying indoors with kids! Bring on summer!
  • Wednesday, January 19, 2011

    I love NY in January... How about you?

    I had an opportunity to be a bit spontaneous and head out on a New York City adventure with a friend this last weekend. Darcie is going to get her Masters degree in an online program from Rutgers, in New Jersey. She had to attend an in-person orientation and decided to jet over to "the city" for a weekend of fun. And why not join her?

    I arrived in New York on Friday early afternoon and spent the day wandering around Times Square all by myself, took a tour of Radio City Music Hall, walked by Carnegie Hall and Carnegie Deli, had a cupcake at The Magnolia Bakery and ate a pretzel down the streets of NY.

    Friday evening I met Darcie at Penn Station where she came in on the train from New Jersey. We got the best recommendation for our concierge for a small Italian restaurant up the street and had the most wonderful lobster ravioli. Next it was off to Don't Tell Mama a cabaret bar for the locals! We sang Billy Joel and Elton John while sipping our $16 drinks (a two drink minimum)next to two ladies from New Jersey! To end the night we had dessert at B.B. Kings -- NY Cheesecake -- over some blues.

    The next morning we headed off to view Van Gogh's Starry Night, works by Monet, Dali, Kahlo, Warhol, Picasso, Pollack -- all so amazing to see the brush strokes in Waterlilies and objects held on by all the pain in a Jackson Pollack! I brought home a Jackson Pollack book, called "Action Jackson" for the boy, he loved it.

    Then we walked 5th avenue and passed by all the high-end shops on our way to FAO Schwarz. Jackson had asked me to take pictures of everything that I saw that "was cool" so of course I had to take a picture of the giant toy soldier made of all jelly beans inside the store. I purchased teddy bears for the kids and then we were on our way to Rockefeller Center, where we witnessed a beautiful marriage proposal.

    Next up was a bus tour through the city to get us by all the rest of the sites and keep our poor legs from falling off. We got off at the 9/11 memorial site for an emotional stop to see the memorials and the current construction. We found another bus to finish off the tour and get us back to our hotel in time for our very first Broadway production!

    We had dinner at a wonderful seafood place, Blue Fin in the W Times Square hotel before taking in The Addams family with Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane. We spent a small fortunate on the tickets but the seats were so worth it, in the orchestra level about 12 rows back. After leaving the fabulous and hilarious production we came upon the gates surrounding the stage door exit and decided to stick around... we were able to see and get autographs of the entire cast including Bebe Neuwirth! She stopped to chat and sign autographs, it was awesome. Nathan Lane makes his exit elsewhere apparently.

    And the next morning it was time to head home. I was thrilled to see the kids and my legs felt like jello for the next two days!

    Thursday, January 13, 2011

    Happy Birthday

    Isn't this how it's supposed to be on your birthday? Surrounded by balloons and ice cream!

    Taken at Red Robin (Jackson's birthday dinner of choice)

    Happy 4th Birthday

    My baby boy is four today! I can't believe how fast he's grown and how smart and sweet the boy is.

    Sad Face
    Happy Face
    Mad Face

    And the four year old interview:

    What's your favorite color: Blue
    What's your favorite food: Spaghetti with no sauce
    What's your favorite tv show: Space Jackson and Lunar
    What's your favorite book: Big Smelly Bear
    What's your favorite thing to do: Snuggle with mom and watch a tv show
    Where is your favorite place to go: The zoo
    What's your favorite toy: Buzz Lightyear
    What do you like to play with: Playmobile
    What's your favorite restaurant: Red Robin
    What do you like to learn about: Dinosaurs
    What do you want to be when you grow up: Firefighter and an Astronaut
    Who is your favorite friend: Addie
    What's your favorite thing to do at school: eat snack
    What don't you like to eat: Pizza
    What's your favorite snack: chocolate chip cookies
    What's your favorite season: Fall, I like jumping in the leaves
    Where would you like to go on vacation: New York
    What's your favorite holiday: Halloween
    Who is your favorite super hero: Spider Man and Batman
    If you could change your name what would it be: super-hero Jackson

    Tuesday, January 11, 2011

    Science Museum

    I've been working a lot lately.  There is some shifting going on at work and for an interim period I have added A Prairie Home Companion and The Splendid Table to my portfolio in addition to my regular job.  It's been hectic.

    On Monday it was time for a break.  I took part of the day off to spend it with Ron and the kids.  We went to the Science Museum of MN.  I had no idea that the Science Museum on Mondays is set up to entertain preschoolers... how perfect for us.  I asked Jackson what he thought of the idea and he loved the thought  seeing Dinosaur fossils, I didn't have to ask him twice to get his coat and shoes on.  He was ready as soon as Dad pulled so we could hop in the car and go off for an adventure.

    When Jackson found out that the Science Museum was in St. Paul, he wanted to see Mom's work, so we drove on by.  He is proud to know that his mom works in St. Paul. 

    At the museum there were puppet shows and short little plays that encouraged audience participation. Jackson walked like an animal, went to southeast Asia and Africa looking for monkeys and learned about mass, force and inertia in conjunction with sports activities.  When asked what his favorite sport was, Jackson said soccer.  Good to know.  We are pretty much a baseball family and I was surprised to hear him say soccer (he's never played).  So, soccer it is.

    Addie got out and about and toured the museum for a bit but had most fun eating chocolate chip cookies in the food court area for sure! She was a trooper and enjoyed all there was to see and watched closely during all of the shows. We'll be back soon for a Monday at the museum.

    Monday, January 10, 2011

    Happy New Year

    I've been slacking a bit on blogging.  I'm on break from school and really busy at work these days so I'm not on the computer much after work hours looking for excuses to keep me from doing homework.  Instead I've been spending the time with my wonderful family.

    This New Year's eve we spent the time celebrating with friends.  Emily, Jerry, Russ and Heather all came over with their kids.  The kids had a blast playing together and watching movies and this year once the littlest ones were sleeping, the grown-ups actually all spent an hour in one room together talking! It's only been four yars since something like that has been able to happen. We rang in the New Year when the kids had had enough, around 10:30... but they thought it was midnight, and that's what mattered! (Jackson's eczema was really acting up this night, we nicknamed him "The Joker".

    Happy New Year!

    Friday, January 7, 2011

    A Birthday at Osaka

    My dad and Cathy took Jackson out to dinner at Osaka tonight to celebrate his birthday. He brought his own chopsticks and was so excited to have "Chinese rice". He thinks that soy sauce is called Chinese and I can't convince him otherwise. He was excited about his Playmobil firetruck from Grandpa and Cathy.

    Tuesday, January 4, 2011

    My boy is at the RED table...

    Kids are moving up and moving around at Jackson's school.  Some kids from his classroom have moved up to the Pre-K room, including Joe who "is always in the time-out chair" according to Jackson.  When I asked Jackson if new kids joined his room from another class he said that he thought they would.

    Jackson's class is set up so that there are three tables divided by ages.  The green table houses the youngest of the preschoolers, the blue and then the red for the older preschoolers.  Jackson started out at the blue table and has become fast friends with Hugh is blue-table-neighbor.

    This weekend when we talked about new kids joining I ask if he would switch tables. He told me that he would then move up to the RED table, he said with a sparkle in his eye and then clarified with "I'm just guessing". 

    Today when we went to school he headed toward the blue table when his teacher pointed to the RED table and told him he had a new spot.  Jackson looked back at me, proud as the prettiest peacock and smiled.  He headed over to the red table to find where his new spot was located, so proud to be sitting at the table with the oldest preschoolers!  I'm so proud of my boy, I can't stand it!