Introducing “Sunflower”: Evelyn Rose

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From Evelyn Rose

This post is horribly overdue, as our precious little girl turned 2 months old today! On June 14th, 2012 (Jason’s birthday!) we welcomed our second daughter to the world, and she is every bit as precious and as beautiful as her big sister Lily!

From 2012Jun14

June 14th was a Thursday, and it was supposed to be my last day at work as I was scheduled to be induced the very next day. I woke up early that morning, and was just feeling a bit “off”, but for most of the morning I was still planning on going in to work, and sending Jason off to work as well. Around 6:30am, I started getting some very light (crampy-feeling) contractions, and just for fun I started to time them. They were all over the board, from 2 minutes apart to 20 minutes apart. I kept getting up and getting ready, but was getting very excited that something may be happening that day, and that I may be able to avoid another induction!

From 2012Jun14

About an hour later, I started to notice that the contractions were becoming more consistent and a little bit stronger. I decided I was definitely not going to work, and told Jason that I had a feeling that if he went in to work that I’d be calling him home at some point. Since it seemed very possible that I was beginning labor, and it was his birthday anyway, he decided it would be best if he stayed home – and I’m glad he did!! Between 7:30-8:30 I was timing the contractions at a pretty consistent 5 minutes apart, so we called my parents to come and pick up Lily.

From 2012Jun14

My Mom arrived, and realized along the way that their car with the car seat in it was currently being driven by my Dad, who was on his way to a golf buddies house and then to Cannon Falls for a day of golf. She called him and asked him to turn around and meet her at our house so she could bring Lily over to their house, and he gladly did! While we were waiting, we also brought out Jason’s birthday gifts and let him open them, anticipating that we wouldn’t be home for a couple of days! Grandma, Grandpa, and Lily left shortly after 9 am, and we put in a call to the hospital to let them know we might be heading in. They told us it sounded like we should come in and get checked out, but there didn’t seem to be a rush so we could take our time. We finished packing our hospital bag, made sure Gibson had enough food and water, and headed out the door.

From 2012Jun14

We arrived at the hospital around 10:30am, and found the entire labor and delivery wing was PACKED. There was a huge thunderstorm outside, and the nurses kept complaining about barometric pressure causing everyone to go into labor. We ended up getting the LAST triage room in the place, and right after we got into the room we got a visit from Dr. Locher who had been my OB when I was pregnant with Lily, and happened to be on call that day!! He remembered us, so he stopped by to say hi and see if we thought we were having a baby that day.. it was nice to see a familiar face! :) The triage nurse came in and hooked me up to a monitor, then asked me about a million questions that she entered into the computer. I remember one of the question she asked was for me to rate my pain on a scale of 1-10, and i said probably a 3, maybe 4.. all the while I was hoping and praying that they wouldn’t end up sending us home for not being in ACTIVE labor just yet! Imagine my surprise when she examined me and announced that I was at a 5-6, fully effaced (“baby is RIGHT there”), with a bulging bag of water!! She said we bought our ticket in and we weren’t going anywhere! It really began to feel real at that moment..

From 2012Jun14

We walked down to our room and got all settled in. The nurse went through a whole folder of information that I didn’t pay one little bit of attention to, then started trying to get an IV put in to begin giving me antibiotics. They had the WORST time with the IV!! They wrapped both of my arms in hot towels (in the middle of JUNE!) to bring the veins to the surface, and between 3 people (2 nurses and a specialist from the IV team) they poked me probably 8 or 9 times trying to find a good vein. I had bruises up and down my arms for WEEKS afterwards (you can still slightly see the worst bruise on my arm 2 months later!). Finally they got the IV started, and the plan was for me to labor on my own until the antibiotics were administered, then they would break my water to speed up delivery. Sounded fine to me, except when the nurse said it would probably take FOUR HOURS to finish the antibiotics!! It was already after noon at that point, and I was ready to see the end of the tunnel – not have 4 hours to go! Luckily, Evelyn agreed. :)

From Evelyn – 6 weeks

Most of the rest of the time during labor I just sat on the glider in the room and tried to rock through the contractions. I was having pretty bad back labor and was pushing my back against the back of the chair every time a contraction hit. When that wasn’t enough, I had Jason or my sister push on my back for me. They were both total rockstars! I couldn’t have done it without their help! Lisa was such a calming force for me, and she always seemed to know exactly the right thing to say! Jason was so supportive, and such a rock, especially when I wasn’t sure that I could do it anymore!! Anyway, I finally decided that the pain was too much and requested an epidural. In the meantime, I decided to go and lay on my side on the bed so that Jason and Lisa would be able to continue to help pushing on my back. I had barely gotten onto the bed when I was hit by two massive back-to-back contractions, and I felt my water break. I told Jason and Lisa, “Um.. I think my water just broke?” and since it was just us in the room, Jason hit the nurse button. A floater nurse came in to check on us since our labor & delivery nurse was on lunch break, and we told her my water broke and I asked if it was too late to have drugs?!? She said, “Oh no, you’ve got plenty of ti-” before I interrupted her and said, “No, I don’t, she’s coming RIGHT NOW!”. The nurse freaked out, pushed the “staff emergency” button to get a Dr in the room, then ran to the bed and caught Evelyn as she made her appearance into the world at 1:30pm exactly. 3 hours after I arrived at the hospital, and a mere 2 minutes after my water broke. :) She was 7lbs 2oz, and 20.5″ long with a full head of dark hair (that is now turning reddish, then blonde – just like Lily’s did!).

From Evelyn – 6 weeks

Overall, I think we’ve all been doing a pretty good job adjusting to having a baby in the house again! Evelyn has been a good baby – eats well, sleeps well, and doesn’t cry much without a (fairly) obvious reason. Lily is definitely jealous of the amount of time and attention that Evelyn gets, so she has been a bit defiant and pushing her boundaries, but nothing more than what was expected. These last 2 months have been SO busy! We’ve packed so many visits and activities into this time I sometimes wonder how I ever had time to work in the first place! Now, summer is already winding down (BOO!), Lily starts her new school on the 27th, and I’ll be going back to work the day after labor day. As much as I like my job, I have REALLY enjoyed being home with my girls and I know it will be hard for me to get back into the regular routine! :(

From Evelyn – 6 weeks

It amazes me how quickly the time has gone these last few months, and I keep trying to remind myself to cherish each and every day with my family, and each and every stage my girls go through. Evelyn has already changed so much in these short months.. I thought she looked so much like Jason when she was first born, but every single day I see more and more of a resemblance to Lily at her age, and Lily looks a LOT like me! At 1 month old, Evelyn was still pretty skinny (7 lbs 7 oz), but she really started to chunk up during this past month and has just finally hit the 10 lb mark! I should have her official stats on Friday after her 2 month check-up. :)

Just for comparison, check out Lily’s “Dorothy pout” from her 3-month pictures:

And compare that to Evelyn’s pout just the other day!

From Evelyn Rose

I feel guilty that I haven’t taken the time to blog much, or even to take many ACTUAL photos of Evelyn while she was so small, but I keep telling myself there’s no time like the present! Two weeks ago, I finally took the time to take some actual photos of Evelyn (with my REAL camera, not my phone!), and you can see most of those pics by clicking on one of her 6-week photos posted here. I will try not to go so long between blog entries again!

From Evelyn – 6 weeks

It’s a…

Evelyn, Lily 4 Comments

Please forgive my utter dorkiness in this video, but it’s worth watching to see if Lily is going to have a little brother or a little sister!! :)


birthday, Blog, Evelyn, Lily 3 Comments

From 20111221

New year, new post, new… BABY?!? Yep! Lily is going to be a big sister this June! We are so very excited! Lily has not been shy about letting us know that she would really, strongly prefer a baby SISTER, but neither Jason or I has any preference at all. Probably a good thing, because this baby is trying our patience at finding out if they are a HE or a SHE, just like big sister Lily did! At our 20 week Ultrasound, baby rolled into a ball, pulled its knees into its chest, AND crossed its ankles for good measure. The position of the baby did also prevent the U/S tech from getting all the measurements she needed, so we will be getting a 2nd chance and hoping little peanut decides to cooperate for us this time!

When we tried to explain to Lily why we didn’t know yet if she was having a baby brother or baby sister, we told her how the machine they used to take pictures of the baby in Mommy’s tummy couldn’t get any pictures that showed us if it was a baby girl or baby boy. She simply asked, ‘Well, why can’t they just look and see if the baby has hair or not?!?”. heheh

From 20111213

We had quite a whirlwind ending to 2011, and beginning to 2012 so far as well. First of all I HAVE to mention this absolutely incredible, GORGEOUS winter weather we’ve had this year! I can’t believe that we started JANUARY with no snow on the ground.. and the number of 40-degree days is completely surreal… and FANTASTIC! :) December was an amazing month, too, but it was hard to focus on the weather when there was so much celebrating to do! The month (as always) starts off with a countdown to Lily’s Birthday.

From 20111213

Lily’s birthday this year was just absolutely great! It’s so fun to watch how much MORE excited she gets every year, and how much more she understands about… everything, really! She told us MONTHS in advance that she wanted a birthday party at Skyzone Trampoline Park, and she never really wavered from that. First, however, she did go to school that day where she got to wear a special birthday crown, and be the teacher’s special helper for the day, hand out party favors (bubbles) to her entire class, AND have everyone sing Happy Birthday to her. I think it was the perfect start to the day and got her in the mood to be celebrated! After school, Jason and I picked her up and took her out to a special birthday lunch. Once lunch was finished, we split up and Jason kept running errands while I took Lily on an afternoon of beauty! She just LOVES pretty much anything girlly, so I thought it would be a special treat for us to go to a nail salon and get our nails done together for the very first time.. and I was right! She loved it! After the nail salon, we went next door to the hair salon where Lily got her waist-length hair chopped to just below her shoulders (about 7 inches cut!), and put in 2 neat little braids on the side of her head. She was SUCH a good girl, and seemed so grown up having conversations with the adults in these places. I was very proud of her!

After we were as beautiful as we were going to get, time for the big PARTY to begin! My family met us at Skyzone, and we got Lily, Claire, and Abby (and Jason ;) ) ready to start jumping! It ended up being so nice because her Birthday fell on a Tuesday, and Skyzone opened later in the afternoon, so we ended up getting there within an hour of opening. We had the entire place completely to OURSELVES for probably the first 20-30 minutes, anyway! Perfect! Once Auntie Lisa and Uncle Ryan arrived, they decided it looked like too much fun to sit on the sidelines, so they joined in the jumping, too!

From 20111213

After an hour (when everyone had preemptively burned off their birthday cake), we all left SKyzone and met up at Red Robin burger joint in Plymouth. We all had a nice dinner, shared a delicious “Little Mermaid” cake, and watched Lily open about a billion presents. She was very gracious, and even offered to let her cousins each open one of her presents so they didn’t feel left out. SHe thanked everyone as soon as she opened their present, and almost ALWAYS had the joyful reaction of “This is JUST what I always wanted!!!!”. :)

From 20111221

Very shortly after her birthday came a whirlwind of parties – from a Teddy Bear picnic at her school, to a “mini-recital” holiday party in her dance class. Grandma and Grandpa, Auntie Lisa, and CLaire and Abby were all able to join us in Lily’s dance class for her Holiday party, and it was a fun night! We got to watch Lily (and her class) do some warm-up “circle time” exercises, and perform one ballet and one tap dance for the audience (us!). Lily did a great job, but she did often get distracted by waving to us, smiling at us, or posing for us – that she would forget she was supposed to be DANCING! It will be interesting to see how her recital goes this spring! I will say she definitely does seem to take after me in NEVER remembering what steps come next, so she’s always following someone else and a good half-step or more behind. heheh Oops!

From 20111225 Christmas

Finally, we got to Christmas! The day before Christmas Eve we traveled down to Lanesboro to visit Grandma Gayle, Grandpa Jim, and Uncle Shawn’s family. Things were a little bit different this year as Grandma Gayle still had to work (bartending at the American Legion), but it ended up working out REALLY well! There is a party/banquet space in the Legion that can be rented out for private parties, etc, so we had the use of that area for the night. We had our own little dance floor area, kitchen, tables, bar, and a huge TV (that we hooked a Wii up to). Gayle set up a large feast in the kitchen area, and frequently came upstairs to visit with all of us, eat with us, etc. Jason used the opportunity behind the bar to mix Lily her very first drink! (Just a kiddie cocktail/shirley temple – don’t worry! ;) It was her first time having pop, though.)

From 20111225 Christmas

Unfortunately, Lily did start to get a bad cold overnight that night, and that seemed to be the beginning of our never-ending string of illnesses throughout the month of January. However, it didn’t seem to bother her much at the time, and she got to wake up on Christmas Eve morning to see/pet/ride PONIES! How much more could a little girl ask for?? She’s really getting pretty good at riding the pony, too! This last trip she was able to make the pony stop, and make her go, all by herself! She’s learning how to use her legs and her voice to give them commands, and “steer” the reigns to show them where to go. After spending the morning at the farm, we had to leave around lunch time to head back to my parents house for Christmas celebration #2!

From 20111225 Christmas

We spent Christmas Eve evening at my parents house, watching 3 little girls tear through an incredible MOUNTAIN of presents! They were all so into it this year, and had so much fun that it was just worth it being able to watch their complete, uninhibited joy. I was very impressed at how well they were being patient and taking turns opening presents, too! We managed to get Lily (and Mommy!) home before they completely passed out, then woke up the next morning to see that Santa had come and brought even MORE presents! We opened those at home with just our small family, then later in the day we went back to Grandma and Grandpa’s house, and ended the celebration with extended family at my Aunt’s house. What a nice, relaxing finish to such a crazy, busy Holiday!

From 20111225 Christmas

Since the Holidays we have had a number of random illnesses (colds, stomach bugs, etc) that just seem to always be present this time of year. It seems as if the days just fly by, getting back into our routines, recovering from being sick, etc, and before you know it – January is already over! I apologize for being so late with this update, and for having absolutely NO pictures from January at all – other than the Ultrasound! Now that our routine is fairly well established again, I’m hoping to get back into my once (or maybe twice?) a month posting routine as well, so there isn’t so much to cover when I finally get to post! I hope the Holidays treated all of you very well, and that 2012 is going to be our best year yet! I can’t wait to see all the exciting things that are yet to come! :)

Long overdue

Blog, Lily No Comments

My apologies! I always seem to miss Halloween updates and now I practically skipped Thanksgiving, too! Plus, my very own sister has posted FOUR blog posts since my last post – how shameful! I am THANKFUL for any of you that are still with me, reading this semi-deserted blog!

From 20111008

Let’s see, since last time.. Lily is still REALLY enjoying school! We even went to conferences for her in October and heard that she is doing really well, and scored a nearly perfect score on the fall/winter/spring assessment they do. She showed them that she knows her letters, what they look like and sound like, can count to 13 without skipping numbers (she actually can count much higher but usually forgets 13 still), can pick out words that rhyme (from a list) and create her own rhymes with other words, etc. The teacher said she is one of the ONLY kids who consistently plays dress-up during free time (what a shock – NOT!), and she also loves art and the Creative Dramatics area. None of this is surprising in the least! :)

From 20111013

At the end of September, Lily also started her very first DANCE CLASS! The class meets once a week for 45 minutes, and covers tap and ballet. So far I think she really likes it, and watching those 3 and 4 year olds dance is just a whole new realm of adorable! The main teacher for the class also happens to be a preschool teacher at Lily’s school, so that works out REALLY well and she is VERY patient and understanding with the kids!

From 20111023

October – I don’t remember MUCH about October other than the fact that the weather was GORGEOUS! We got a ton of our fall outside work done this year, more than we have in any past year! We’ve also been trying to complete a lot of random jobs around our house (some may call it “deferred maintenance”), and get it ready to hopefully sell, or possibly rent out relatively soon.

From 20111112

Then came – HALLOWEEN! Lily was VERY excited about Halloween this year, and had an absolute blast! She picked out her costume (it was technically a Barbie Mariposa costume, but she just calls it “butterfly fairy”, so that’s what we called it, too.), went trick or treating for just over an hour, then came home and handed out candy until she went to bed. We were very lucky this year that Grandma (my Mom) came over to hand out candy for a while so both Jason and I could take Lily trick-or-treating! Lily did a GREAT job, was very polite, and sometimes even asked Jason and I to stay behind on the sidewalk and let her go up to the house herself. The most disappointing part of the night was when Lily tripped on the sidewalk and dropped her bucket, and this older girl (maybe 10 or so??) tried to grab all her candy before we could pick it up. Luckily she backed off when we yelled at her!

From 20111030

November has flown by VERY quickly, and it’s hard to believe it’s almost over already! We had a nice Thanksgiving at my Aunty Pat’s house with many Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins (along with immediate family). The saturday after Thanksgiving, Lisa and brought our girls over to Grandma and Grandpa’s house for the annual Christmas cookie baking experience! It was quite chaotic with 3 little girls that were more interested in eating the works in progress, then doing any actual BAKING, but we managed to get everything done somehow! We even tried a few new recipes that we will probably not be bringing back.. including these, which are supposed to be little snowmen heads:

From 20111126

These next few weeks are going to fly by SO quickly! We’re busy trying to prepare for a certain little girl’s 4th birthday in only 2 weeks, followed very quickly by Christmas. I feel like it’s all snuck up on me this year and I am feeling COMPLETELY unprepared.. but only beginning to panic. I hope you can all take some time to enjoy this Holiday season, and avoid my panic attacks by being more prepared than I certainly am this year! :)

School Days

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From 110908 first day of preschool

Once again, Fall is here before we know it. Boo! This fall is more exciting than most years, however as Lily has started her very first year of preschool!! She goes two mornings a week (T/Th) from 9-11:30, and so far she’s loving it! She has 2 teachers (Miss Ashley and Miss Zeenath) and a teacher’s aide (Miss Lori) in the class, and they all seem very nice. After the very first full day of school I was told that the teachers seem quite enamored with Lily already.. understandable, right? ;)

From 110908 first day of preschool

Ever since we told Lily she was going to be going to preschool a few months ago, she has been nothing but excited about it. She was sad on Labor Day that the school was closed because she told me she wanted to go to school MORE than she wanted to be at home or at Jenny’s house (daycare). She wanted to know why Jason and I had to come with her on the welcome day because she wanted to go all by herself! Needless to say, it caught me by complete surprise when she told me the night before she was supposed to go by herself by the first time that she was SCARED! She was so scared that she couldn’t fall asleep. She ended up coming into my room around 10:30 and crawling into bed with me where she finally was able to get some sleep, but it just broke my heart! She had been acting so excited that I never even thought she would be feeling scared or apprehensive at all. It’s amazing the things that they find intimidating at this age, too.. things I wouldn’t even think about anymore. For example, Lily said she was scared because the school has lots of doors and she’s afraid she wouldn’t know where to go. Luckily the day went VERY well and I think she’s back to just being excited! :)

From 110817

About a month ago my sister had plans with some friends, and her husband was going to be out of town, so Jason and I agreed to host a sleepover and watch Claire and Abby overnight. It’s the first time I’ve really spent any extended amount of time with my nieces without Lisa around, and I admit that I was a bit nervous about keeping 3 three-year-olds entertained and out of trouble, but things went much better than I expected. The girls were excited to see each other, and Claire and Abby had been begging to come play at Lily’s house for months, so they were so excited about all the “new” toys that entertainment wasn’t an issue at all. All 3 girls were fairly tired, so they even fell asleep relatively quickly. Lily put on her bossy hat a little bit, and the next day told me that she would like to change the world so that when it’s night time, SHE Is in charge. I have a feeling she was referring to being in charge of her cousins in this case!

From 110820

If you click the link for the album above, you’ll see a number of action shots the girls did for me as I was testing out my new birthday present – a nice flash for my camera! :)

From Instant Upload

Other than that fun and excitement, we did manage to make it out to the Renaissance Festival again this year! We met up with Uncle Greggy, and spent a good 6 hours or so walking around and checking everything out. Lily just LOVES that place! We may have to try to go once more before they close for the year. She rode a bunch of rides this year, made a magic wand, got her face painted, pet a large tortoise, rode a horse, and made a friend. :) It was so cute how quickly she bonded with this little girl standing in line for one of the rides.. they laughed and played together in line, and even stood there holding hands for a long time. It was so much fun to watch! I was somewhat surprised when I found out her little friend was 6 years old, however! I would have guessed she was only a year or so older than Lily.

From Instant Upload

The rest of the month was mainly just spent hanging out together as a family, which has been great! Lily bought a small set of nail polish with her own money, and has had a great time giving herself (and me!) manicures. She’s actually not bad at it! We’ve gone to more parks than I can remember, met our friends The Beaverson’s and my friend Michelle at the Splash Pad, helped my sister with a yard sale, celebrated birthdays, and much, much more. I’ve managed to record a number of “Lilyisms” this month, which I’ll list at the end of this post, but first I thought you’d enjoy this video of what Lily learned from hanging out with Grandma and Grandpa this summer. Enjoy!


Lily: “can I PLEASE have a compass?”
Daddy: “why do you need a compass?”
Lily: “because I’m on the MOON!”

“I’m not tired, I’m just yawning because my mouth is still waking up.”

“I love Earth. If we didn’t live on Earth, I would be very sad.”

Lily put on Jason’s shoe and said, “Hi, I’m Daddy. Can I please have a whiskey sour?”

Lily took a handful of potatoes at dinner, and lifted them up to eye level like she was inspecting them. Then she looked at me and asked, “Is it a good year for potatoes?”.

Lily was singing “hush little baby”, but forgetting what happens when the mockingbird won’t sing. Daddy kept filling in alternate endings (“behind the barn, its neck I will wring”), to which Lily just pointed at him and said, “Daddy.. you’re fired.”

Lily told us she was going to have 2 babies.. a boy and a girl. And she gets to be the Mommy, I get to be the Grandma, and Jason gets to be the “Daddy-Grandpa”. Apparently that’s what he’s called because, according to her, she “hasn’t picked a Daddy yet.”

“I don’t want to clean up, but I will anyway. Wow, I think that’s the first time I’ve listened!”

Spooky Summer

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Ok, so it’s *slightly* later than mid-July. Oops! I swear July must be the absolute FASTEST month of the year! I don’t know where the time has gone.

From cabin 2011

We have been trying to pack our time together with as many “summer-y” things as possible! Our summer daycare arrangement for Lily (2 days/week at Grandma and Grandpa’s, and 3 days/week at Auntie Lisa’s house), has allowed Lily to spend LOTS of time with her cousins this summer, and led to a number of sleepovers at Gma’s and Gpa’s, too! I think she’s having an absolute blast! We’re so lucky to have such awesome family so close, that are willing to pitch in and help us out! :)

From cabin 2011

Of course, Lisa watching Lily at her house doesn’t allow the two of US to hang out, so we’ve made time for that as well! Lisa invited Lily and I to go with her to the opening of Highland Park Aquatic Center in St. Paul (you can read more about it oh her blog ), which was a lot of fun despite the rain! In turn, I invited Lisa and girls to join Lily and I at Crystal Cove Aquatic Center, and help use some of the groupon admissions that I had purchased. All of us had a great time, and are looking forward to doing it again!

From 2011Jun21

We didn’t spend our WHOLE summer in the water, though! We’ve also been to a number of parks (Medicine Lake Park and French park are some of our favorites), taking Lily on bike rides, going on family walks, and just having all sorts of fun together. Lisa and I even took all 3 girls to the New Hope Cinema Grill one night for pizza and the movie Rio (+a bottle of wine for the Mamas – score!).

From 2011Jun21

Of course, no summer would be complete without our annual 4th of July cabin trip! This year was a ton of fun, and the time went so fast! The girls are really getting old enough to enjoy the cabin, spending time with the whole extended family, and all the random activities we do there, and it’s SO much fun to relive some of my OWN childhood memories through their eyes! They were all SO well-behaved the entire week, and seemed to love EVERYTHING we did on any given day! They’re all getting to be really good swimmers (with floaties/water wings on, typically), they all got to sleep together in the same bed every night (so it was a week-long sleepover!), they enjoyed going to the lake, catching frogs with Auntie Lisa and Uncle Ryan, chasing Grandpa around a golf course (or just running up and down the “bunker”), and the FIREWORK show we took them to for the first time this year!

From cabin 2011

One of the cutest memories I have of the cabin this year with the 3 girls, was when we went waking around Red Cedar lake, looking for frogs. Lily was very intent on her search, and sometimes leaned WAY over the side of the dock to peer into the water, which was making me VERY nervous! I told her she couldn’t lean over so far because I didn’t want her to fall in, and tenderhearted little Claire heard me and was SO concerned about Lily’s safety that she grabbed onto the back of Lily’s shirt and hung onto her for dear life. Nevermind that there’s no way Claire’s little 32-lb body would do a single thing to stop Lily from going into the water, she was bound and determined to protect her cousin and it absolutely melted my heart!

From cabin 2011

It may sound like we’ve spent the whole summer with only my side of the family… and it’s true that we certainly have seen my family A LOT this summer – but we’ve also made a few trips to visit with Jason’s family as well! Jason’s Dad has moved since the last time we saw him, and now lives in Wisconsin, only about 1 1/2 hours from the cabin. So, one of the days during the cabin trip Jason and Lily packed up and went to visit him and his wife, Judy. They had a great time, and Lily brought home a little stuffed bear (that she named “Sunny”), while Jason brought home some homemade salsa and garden-fresh radishes. Yum!

From 110716

We also made a trip down to Grandma Gayle’s farm (with the 115 heat index and NO A/C!!) while Jason’s sister Chandra was in town with her husband Aaron, and their daughters Akasha and Aria. They live in Virginia and we haven’t seen them in about 1 1/2 years, so it was great to see everyone again, and see how big all the kids are getting – and watch all the cousins play! We attempted to let all the girls (Akasha, Tali, Aria, Lily, and Eanna) camp out in a tent in the yard, but Lily was a bit scared and ended up coming inside with us before everyone fell asleep. Before that, however, Auntie Shannon read all the girls a story, and they took turns telling “spooky stories” around a flashlight (cheating, I know). Listening to the girls stories was so much fun, and even now Lily is still on a “spooky stories” kick! I’ll post one of her latest spooky stories at the end of this post.

From 110717

It’s so hard to believe that August is just around the corner. Lily is already enrolled for pre-school, which will start in early September, and this coming week I’ll be enrolling her in dance class (tap & ballet) already! In just 2 weeks, her regular daycare provider re-opens and we’ll start getting into our “school-year” routine. I find myself getting a little down at all the early reminders of fall (back to school sales, people talking about football, etc) because I just love these summer days, but I keep reminding myself that there are so many EXCITING things coming up this fall! I’m excited to watch how Lily grows and changes as she enters school and spends time with a whole new group of people. I’m excited to watch her practice being the ballerina she already loves to pretend she is in her dance class, and hopefully find a passion for dance AND make some new friends as well! I know that there will be a number of bittersweet moments coming up, moments where it’s undeniable that she is truly growing up and becoming her own person right before my eyes. So for now, I’m hanging on to my little girl, and enjoying every minute of these late summer days with my little family.

From 110716

And now, without further ado – I present to you Lily’s most recent “spooky story” (not quite verbatim but as close as I could manage!):
There was a monster, a witch, and a ghost. The monster was purple and furry, and really big.. with white teeth and white claws. The witch was mean, and she had a cat. She had green skin and rode a broomstick. The ghost was a mean ghost, not like a human-ghost but a ghost-ghost (think casper, but not so friendly).

The monster, witch, and ghost took the Mommy and Daddy’s child (named Rosie) and hid her in a bag, but then she got out. The hero girl’s name is Blondie – she looks a lot like Lily, and has blonde pigtails. Blondie came along and saw the monster, witch, and ghost being mean and she told them to “STOP!”, but they didn’t listen. Then, she said, “I’m going to trap you!” and she trapped them in a bag.. but they could get out. Then she put them in a maze, but the ghost walked through walls and got out. Then, she put them in a hole, and closed it. The monster was going to open it, but Blondie went to the red wizard and had him make a lock for her, and she locked the hole.

She was going to hide the key under her bed, but then she thought they would find it. So she went way into the forest and buried the key. Then they couldn’t get out. The end.

5 years! (married)

Blog, cabin, vacation, Wedding 3 Comments

(Picture taken on our honeymoon, in Ireland.)

Five years ago today, Jason and I were having the time of our lives at our wedding! It was the (official) start of our lives together, and the start of our family.. and look how much has changed since then!

I’m taking a short vacation from blogging for the Anniversary and 4th of July celebrations, but we will be back in mid-July with a full report on the cabin! Enjoy the holiday!

May Daze

Lily No Comments

Wow, these months are really starting to fly by now! You can tell summer is just around the corner!

We’ve been keeping busy at the Woyak household. Lily finished her “Water Tots” swimming lessons at the Courage Center, and did a great job! I really like the Courage Center, and like the lessons we’ve taken there in the past, but things have changed a lot this year. They had 4 (FOUR!) cancellations out of 10 classes due to “incidents” in the pool that required closing it down for cleaning. Plus the facilities are looking worn, shower stalls kept breaking, etc. I did speak with someone about the problems we had, but only got a free “family swim” pass and an $18 refund. Regardless, Lily did enjoy the lessons and she learned to be in the water without Mommy and Daddy and stopped crying for us after the 2nd or 3rd week! So, that makes it all worth it, right there.

I had a fabulous Mother’s Day this month. Lily, Jason, and I spent the day at my parents house with my family where the boys did most of the cooking! Lily and Jason also made me breakfast in bed that morning and gave me a very sweet card. :) While we were there we also played a game of Wii Bowling, and Grandma taught Lily how to use the Wii controller. She really caught on, and ended up bowling a 130!! She was so cute every time she knocked a bunch of pins down she would turn and look at us with this totally AMAZED look on her face, then literally jump up and down screaming. It was really, really adorable!

You probably remember from my last post that Lily was having some hearing issues from some back-to-back ear infections. We finally cleared out all the infections and brought her back to the doctor for a follow-up hearing test. She passed the test with flying colors, so as the doctor said, now you know “she’s just ignoring us”. LOL! They did also mention that her tonsils are fairly large, so that’s something we’ll want to keep an eye on.

Towards the end of the month, we did have a little scare with a tornado that touched down far too close for comfort. It was Sunday the 22nd, and Lily had JUST fallen asleep for her nap and I was laying down as well (Jason was grocery shopping). Suddenly the power went out and the sirens went off, which woke me up. I looked on my phone to see if there was truly a threat near us (or if I could let Lily sleep), and saw that it had touched down in St. Louis Park and was heading towards Minneapolis.

Just then I looked outside and saw this CRAZY wind pick up out of nowhere and it felt like my whole house slightly vibrated..I flew into Lily’s room and woke her up, and we ran down into the basement. Honestly we were probably too late in getting to the basement, as I think that crazy wind was when it touched down only about 6-8 blocks away in North Minneapolis, but we were definitely better safe than sorry! Lily was pretty scared to be woken up and down in the basement, so I think this is going to be a rough Severe Weather season.. plus I think I’m a little more freaked out than normal because I saw first-hand all the damage in Minneapolis, that was so incredibly CLOSE to my home! We were really VERY lucky this time.

On a happier note.. Lily has been huge into ballet and ballerinas lately. Every book she checks out from the library is typically about ballerinas, and she LOVES to dance around the living room. I was thinking of enrolling her in tumbling classes next fall, but now I might be leaning more towards getting her right into dance.. though what I’d REALLY love is to find one class that does a little bit of dance AND tumbling!

One rainy weekend day (we’ve had no shortage of those!) we finally made our way to Sky Zone trampoline park in Plymouth. Lily had a BLAST! Basically you pay for the amount of time you want to jump (in half-hour increments), and they have various different “courts”, or sections of trampolines. One court is just for kids (5 and under) and that’s where Lily spent most of her time. There’s also a main court for everybody, a dodgeball court, and a “foam pit” court where you bounce down a row of trampolines and jump or flip into a pit of foam blocks at the end. Very, very fun and someone there said you can burn 1,000 calories an hour jumping on those trampolines. I believe it! Lily wanted to go back later that same day, which just wasn’t possible.. but we will definitely keep it in mind for a future rainy day!

Finally, this past weekend we went down to Grandma Gayle and Grandpa Jim’s farm!! Lily got to pet and ride the ponies, chase a few dogs, and even pet and hold NEWBORN KITTIES! It was completely little-girl heaven. Lily loved every minute of it, and is really starting to look comfortable on horseback! She can’t wait to go back, and luckily I think we’ll have to chance to visit again soon – likely in mid-July when Auntie Chandra and her family are in town!

Other than all that excitement, Lily is really doing amazing. She is such an incredibly sweet and intelligent girl! It really seems as if she’s grown up so much over the last 3 months or so, and sometimes I just sit and watch her in amazement. She is starting to learn how to read and sound out words.. just tonight she sounded out and read about 80% of “Hop on Pop” to me! She still remembers just about EVERYTHING that’s ever happened to her.. EVER. She asked me the other day the name of the dinosaur with the long neck, and I had no idea. She asked if it was Tyrannosaurus Rex and I said no, that’s one of the only ones I DO know.. it has short arms. Then I asked if it could be a brontosaurus? She said no. Then she said, “wait! I know! It’s a break… brachiosaurus!”. I said, “no, I don’t think that’s a real dinosaur”, and she just looked at me like I was crazy and insisted that it was. So I looked it up to prove her wrong.. only to find out she was completely RIGHT! I didn’t expect to be completely schooled by my child at only age 3.. I thought I had at least another 3-4 years for that, but GEEZ!

****EDITED TO ADD**** It looks like picasaweb has changed, so my pictures don’t link to their albums anymore? I’ll have to look into that, but for now here are the links to the photo albums featured in this post!
Sky Zone pics

Farm pics

Memorial Day pics

Lily, twins 1 Comment

It seems so strange that April is almost over ALREADY, yet when I look back at everything that happened this month, I can’t believe it’s only been ONE MONTH. This is a month that I am definitely ready to put behind me.

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

We used up our Groupon for Lily’s tumbling class at The Little Gym and had to decide if we wanted to pay to continue taking lessons for the rest of the semester (until mid-June). I really did like a LOT of the things they did in those classes, but I was torn because their tuition is SO expensive. The deciding factor for me was Lily herself – she didn’t really seem to WANT to keep going, and I didn’t want to pay all that money just to fight with her every Saturday and drag her to class!! I think she did like the stuff she was doing in class as she always seemed to have fun once she was there, but she seems to hate giving up any of her weekend “Mommy and Daddy” time. Since we stopped going, she has mentioned the class a few times and seems to miss it a little, so I still think I’m going to pursue enrolling her in a tumbling or dance class in the fall – probably something a bit more in our budget!

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

Our weather so far this “spring” has really sucked.. but we did manage to have a FEW nice days sprinkled in here and there. During one of those days we brought out the little bike Lily was given for Christmas, and took her for her first bike ride! We rode across the alley and over to the hospital park, then spent some time riding on the trails in the park before letting her stop riding to play. She loved it!! She looked so adorable riding that bike all by herself. :) She begged to go out for another bike ride the next day, so we took her out again.. unfortunately those were some of the last night days we’ve had so we haven’t been out riding much more than that, but it’s high on our summer agenda for sure! I also think it’ll be a good tie-in for really stressing SAFETY with her, and you’ll soon know why this has become a huge concern for us.

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

This is the part of this post that I have truly been dreading. It’s still hard to write about, or even think about. On Monday the 18th I called the Doctor’s office to make Lily an appointment. Her numerous colds over the last few months have led to at least 3 or 4 ear infections back-to-back, and it appeared as if it was starting to affect her hearing. Her appointment was in the afternoon, so I dropped her off at Daycare like normal and told Jen (Daycare woman) that I would come pick her up at 12:30 to go to the doctor. That morning, Jen took the kids for a walk to the park. They were walking along the sidewalk, and Lily ran ahead of Jen (pushing the stroller of smaller kids) as she LOVES to do. Up ahead, Jen saw a woman starting to QUICKLY back out of her driveway without looking, and saw Lily heading straight into the path of this woman’s car. Jen called out for Lily to STOP, but Lily kept going without even hesitating. Jen knew that Lily’s hearing had been pretty poor and was afraid that Lily couldn’t hear her, so she started SCREAMING at Lily to stop and running towards her, but Lily ignored her and kept running. Incredibly, there was a city (or garbage? not clear on the details) truck sitting on that street at that exact moment, and the driver was watching the whole situation. He thought VERY quickly and LEANED on his horn to make a super, super loud noise. Lily heard the noise and stopped in her tracks, and the woman in the car whipped RIGHT BY HER, less than 2 feet away. Jen went running up to the man with tears streaming down her face and gave him an enormous hug and told him he saved Lily’s life. She later called the city to let them know what had happened, and what an incredible thing this driver had done, and she got to talk to him a little more. It gives me the chills and makes me borderline nauseous to hear that the driver (Larry) was NOT even supposed to be working that day, but he decided at the last minute to cover the shift for someone else. I am so, so, SO incredibly grateful to him for what he did – and terrified beyond words to imagine what may have happened if he wasn’t there, or didn’t do what he did. I feel like I honestly can’t convey the seriousness of this whole situation, or how I really feel.. almost like I have to make myself emotionally detached in order to even write about it. I didn’t sleep most of that whole night because I couldn’t get the vision of Lily nearly being hit out of my head, and I have shed countless tears over it since then, but I am SO THANKFUL and feel so blessed that she is ok!! Trust me, discussions about safety and the dangers of cars have become a very common thing in our house these days. It’s so frustrating to try and make a 3yo understand that kind of danger.

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

Ok, scary stuff is over. I knew I had to document it as it was a major event for us, but it’s still difficult. Whew! Other (less important) fun we’ve been having includes a broken dishwasher (I think it’s mostly fixed now), a broken bathtub drain (we had to go bathe at my parent’s house!), a family of mice moving into our house and being slaughtered by our cat (yuck). I’m struggling with just not feeling very happy in our house these days, and we know we want to move before Lily starts school, but I’d love to move up that timeline a bit! It’s just hard in this market right now. We’re concentrating on de-cluttering our house currently and trying to finish up outstanding projects so our house might be ready to put on the market in another year or two. Meanwhile, my addiction to has returned with a vengeance!

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

We did make a SUPER quick trip to the zoo this month to see the “Farm Babies” with Auntie Lisa, Uncle Greggy, Claire and Abby. It was fun but I wish we had been able to make it back again over the course of the month! Oh well, even though Farm Babies is done, we’ll have to make a number of trips out to the zoo over the course of this spring and summer. :) While we were hanging out with Claire and Abby we also had a super-fun SLEEPOVER! All 3 girls are finally getting the hang of sleeping in the same room (sometimes the same bed!) so it feels more like a true sleepover. I’m sure Auntie Lisa and I will have a plan a few more of these as well over the course of the next few months!! :)


That brings me to something that isn’t entirely Lily-related, but still important! Lily’s Daddy (Jason) has a band called Kether, and he has been practicing once a week and working very hard at their music for over a year. All of his hard work paid off on the 22nd as their band was able to perform their first live show at Ground Zero! Lily had a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa’s that night so I could go watch the show as well, and it was a very fun time! Jason and his band mates did a GREAT job and there were a lot of people there to see them (some of our friends even came in from Winona!), and they got a lot of good feedback.

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

Finally, I sent in the registration forms to enroll Lily in PRE-SCHOOL for next fall!! I can’t believe she’s getting that big, but apparently it was just in time as she is suddenly trying to start reading?!?!? She has always loved words, but lately she has been obsessed with sounding things out, knows how to spell about a dozen words and has sounded out and READ a few short words to us, which just blows my mind. The other night at dinner she read the word HOUSE on a piece of paper, then proceeded to look around and found words that she could sound out, spell, and WRITE DOWN! She saw a lamp, sounded it out and wrote down L-A-M-P. Then she saw a leaf, sounded it out and wrote down L-E-F (pretty close!)… I think my jaw literally dropped. This evening while walking back to our car from the Children’s Museum she pointed at a sign and read “BUS STOP”. I am immensely proud of her, but at the same time I am SO NOT READY for her to be reading things already!

From 20110402 Lily Bike Ride

Down with the sickness

Lily No Comments

From 20110313

This winter has been rough. Long and cold with TONS of snow, and at least one of us has been sick almost non-stop since Christmas. Not that this is much different from any other year (see but I’m still sick of it, nonetheless.

From 20110313

Pretty much ever since Lily’s first birthday, people have been warning me about age 3. “Forget the terrible twos, it’s three you have to worry about!” Now, having all of 3 months under our belts, I completely understand where these warnings were coming from! There are times I want to throw my OWN tantrums, to cover my ears and scream and pretend I can’t hear the whining, the lack of respect, the outright DEMANDS my child is making of me. There are times I want to just use the “because I said so”, “because I’m the boss”, and “why NOT?” fallbacks, because trying to satiate a three-year-olds curiosity can be utterly exhausting.

From 20110313

But, as much as I may eat these words over the next 9 months, I think 3 sometimes gets a bad rap. Like most things tend to do in life, they manage to balance themselves out. For all the tears and frustrations, there are just as powerful moments of wonder and amazement. To realize that your child is GROWING UP, forming their OWN thoughts and opinions and meanwhile they still have the ability (and the desire!) to share their view of the world with you – what an incredible, amazing gift.

From 20110313

I haven’t been very good at keeping up with all the “Lily-isms” she’s been saying lately, but rest assured that she says SOMETHING humorous/witty/amazing almost every single day. ;) Probably my recent favorite was when she decided that she’s going to open a restaurant called “The Ugly Baker”, and its specialty will be potato sauce. I’m not completely sure what potato sauce is, or how to make it, but those are just the little details. :)

From 20110313

Since the last update, and in between illnesses, we have kept fairly busy! Lily attended a free “trial” class of tumbling at The Little Gym, and I found a Groupon for 4 more sessions for a reasonable amount. So far she’s had 3 of the 5 classes, and I think she really likes it! The Groupon came at the perfect time since we’d already been visiting a few tumbling classes as I’m trying to decide where to enroll her for classes next fall – and if she should do tumbling or dance. I don’t think we’ll be doing The Little Gym full time, even though I like a lot of what they do – it’s just SO expensive!

From 20110313

Along with tumbling classes, Lily has also begun her 2nd round of swimming lessons – and it’s her FIRST round of being in the water without Mommy or Daddy! I’ll admit, I was a bit nervous about this at first, but they are actually VERY safe, and have usually had at least 2, sometimes 3 teachers for the small class of 6 kids, as well as the normal lifeguard on duty. Last night Lily stepped off the bench they were standing on, and started to go under, and before the water even hit her eye level one of the teachers had grabbed her arm and pulled her back up. She didn’t even cry!

From 20110313

In both of these activities, it has been so interesting to watch her interact with other adult “authority figures”, and her peers without us standing there holding her hand and/or coaxing her to do something or talk. What has surprised me the most is that Lily really seems to be struggling with some separation anxiety and spent the first couple of lessons for both Tumbling and Swimming CRYING because we weren’t right there with her. For Tumbling, Jason and I had to spend the first couple of classes sitting on the floor IN the Gym instead of behind the windows with the other parents.. but in both cases, as soon as the class really gets going she quickly becomes an active participant and “forgets” that we’re not right there with her. Last week in Tumbling she even reached out and grabbed another girls hand… and held it next to her without letting go, so that part we need to work on a little bit. Then she proudly told us after class, “I had fun.. and I even made a friend!” Too bad she never remembers to ask her “friends” for their NAME. heh

From 20110313

Speaking of friends – Lily is now up to 4 imaginary friends. Her naming technique could use a little work, but at least they’ve been consistent for the last year or so! Her friends are: Lily Woyak Pee-Pee, Lily Woyak Poo-Poo, Choo Choo Doo-Doo, and Allah. LWPP and LWPP2 make an appearance the most, and honestly have nothing to do with any bathroom behavior. Choo Choo Doo-Doo apparently has brown skin, and is sometimes her husband… (we’ve heard the story of their wedding a number of times already), though one time he was her baby, along with the other 3.

From 20110313

We’ve spent some time recently with cousins Claire and Abby, including a recent sleepover, a shared Tumbling class, and Disney Princess on Ice! I think it’s safe to say that Claire and Abby still rank among some of Lily’s favorite people IN THE WORLD! ;) We’re looking forward to seeing them again tomorrow!

From 20110313

Other than those exciting adventures, Lily has most of Grandma and Grandpa’s phone number memorized and LOVES to dial them and call them BY HERSELF. Luckily Grandma and Grandpa love talking with her, too! She even called Auntie Lisa and left her a “get well soon” message while she wasn’t feeling good. Along the same lines, Lily has gotten REALLY good at using a computer mouse now, and is able to sit at the computer and place Purble Place,, and which she LOVES! :) She got hooked on from our phones (kid mode app), and still loves to access it through the touchscreen but there’s some slightly different content on the computer so it’s nice she can do that, too.

From Eliza's Bday Party

I’m excited for the weather to get warmer and for us to really get outside again, as I’m sure “outside play” with Lily will be much different this year than it was even last year! I’m pretty confident she’ll rediscover her love of the park(s), and think we’ll try to do a lot more bike riding this summer as well, since she now has a small bike with training wheels. Whatever the summer brings, I’m excited to share it with my adorable little 3yo girl, watch her grow and learn, and share the adventure with her.

From 20110313

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