Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pictures Instead of Words...okay, maybe a few words...

Our kids at Lake Harriet.
Tess really wanted to go to Cabela's for her birthday.

Tess simply loves Cabela's. Can you tell?

Fortunately, DJ and DJ were there to protect us from the wildlife.

Here is Tess attacking her birthday cake.

Post-attack happiness.

After the cake mess was cleaned up I took the kiddos to Bryant Lake. I spent the whole time wishing that I had hair like Olivia's.

Tess spent the whole time wishing she could go back to Cabela's.

The end.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Mary Tyler Moore and The Segway People

Today I braved downtown Minneapolis alone with four children. Is that an oxymoron? Am I a regular moron? Maybe. Is it possible to be alone and yet have four little people climbing all over you, stepping on your feet, whining that they want ice cream, reminding you that they have gastrointestinal requirements, pooping their diapers, dropping things on the sidewalk and then trying to eat them, asking why people are sleeping on the sidewalk, asking why people are playing their saxophones for money, wanting to nurse even though for crying out loud she's almost a year old?! I don't know.

Miraculously, we had fun and I didn't even lose any kids.
We went to this place called the Nicollet Mall. I was in search of a statue of Mary Tyler Moore, because according to The Internet there is one in the exact spot where she threw her hat into the air during the opening credits of her show every week. Evidently, The Internet was right! See? Who can turn the world on with her smile....

After I payed homage to Miss Moore, we walked across the Mississippi River. We used a bridge, of course. The Stone Arch Bridge, a Feat of Civil Engineering, to be exact. It was a long walk. It turns out, the Mississippi is mighty wide. I began to wonder why I thought this would be a good idea for my kids...until I saw The Segway People. Those cunning Segway People, and their avoidance of walking! They reminded me of Wall-E, I don't know why.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Although we are partying our butts off here in the land of 10,000 lakes, there are things that I miss about St. George. I think I feel a list coming on...yep, definitely a list...
  • My family and friends, of course.

  • Mexican food that cannot easily be mistaken for Italian food. Also, Tortillaland tortillas. They do not exist here.
  • Knowing my way to and from Walmart.

  • The dry heat.
Now, I offer my list of Things About Minnesota that are Awesome:

Our apartment. It has many features, such as an elevator, a trash chute that goes right past the wall of our master bedroom, four walls, a ceiling, little shopping carts down in the parking garage for bringing your stuff upstairs, and those toilets that scare you because they fill way up with water before finally flushing. This is the view from our deck, which my kids haven't thrown anything off of. Yet.

Parks. The people of Minnesota know how to do parks. I have never seen so many beautiful, well-maintained parks, most of which surround a lake. Observe.

Giant fruit. The people of Minnesota know how to sculpt humongous fruit. (I chose these pictures specifically because they show my kids running away from me. That is all they do here--run away. Who can blame them? I mean, look at the size of that fruit!)
Giant glass fish sculptures. Giant Macey, who I always call my "Big Fish." (My instructions to Macey as I framed this picture were, "Stick your belly out as far as you can." She thought this was a hilarious idea. Far better than the standard "Cheese!" I'm starting a new trend.)
Sculptures upon which your children can climb and finally stay in one spot for more than three seconds.Wildlife in the form of geese, deer, and Bette Davis. I found a running trail that goes right through the creepy, picturesque forest. On day one I ran past a gaggle of friendly Canadian geese and some goslings. "Hisssssss!" said the geese, while doing Karate Kid impersonations. [Well, technically they are Canadian geese, so what they really said was, "Hissssssss, eh?"] This morning I was trudging along when I came upon a female deer, not even twenty feet away from me. She looked up from where she was nibbling on the grass, gave me this look like, "What?" and then leaped into the forest picturesquely. And then I fell into a stream and Bette Davis came and I thought she was pushing me down into the water with a branch, but it turns out she was trying to help me out of the water because my sister looks just like her long, lost daughter. Oh wait, that wasn't me. That happened in an 80s movie. Sometimes my life feels like an eighties movie. Because it is so awesome.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


We moved to Minneapolis for the summer. We drove here. As it turns out, it takes quite a while to drive to Minnesota, no matter where you start from. Luckily, we saw some awe-inspiring sights along the way. Wyoming inspired some serious awe. As in, "This is awefully flat and deserted!" (To be fair, Wyoming did contain some nifty windmills and trains for Chancho to freak out about.)

Unlike South Dakota, which contained Really Far Away, Non-Photogenic Buffalo. Thusly:
In addition to the Far Way Buffalo, South Dakota is home to this very rare Poser Mountain Goat, who was happy to oblige when we pulled over to take his picture. He even scrambled frantically up the rocks away from us so that we could get his better side. Another thing about South Dakota that is simply awesome is that there are presidential heads carved into the landscape. The thing about Mount Rushmore is that when it's forty degrees (in May) there isn't anything to do except pose for pictures in front of it and buy gift shop trinkets. It's quite an elaborate money-making scheme that our National Park Service has hatched.

Another thing to do at Mount Rushmore (in May) is play in the pile of snow without any regard to whether your parents feel like changing you into dry clothes.At long last we reached the Minnesota state line, where we had our first brush with the frozen, long arm of the Minnesota law. We pulled over to pose in front of this:
...but a policeman pulled up and kindly told us to "get in our cars and leave before [he started] writing tickets." Welcome to Minnesota.
Halfway through Minnesota the guy who was driving our van started falling asleep and so DJ took over for him. I drove the Tahoe. DJ pulled alongside me and rolled the window down (in the rain) to torture his passenger. It didn't work, but we got a kick out of it. And, although it would have been appropriate, this is not where we had our second brush with the law.
Our second encounter with the surly Minnesota police force occurred when I was trying to find my way home from Target in the rain. I was looking at street signs, Tess was screaming in the back seat, and I allegedly drove around a school bus.
"Do you know what you did?" the cop asked in the tone of someone who has just stubbed his toe while simultaneously smelling rotten flatulence. Also, he had a slick military buzz hairdo. "You didn't notice the parked school bus, the stop sign, the kids, and the flashing lights?"
For the record, there was no school bus. The cop pulled me over because he thought I was attractive and when I got sassy with him he had to think on his feet. The infraction earned me a $128 ticket, but at least I got to meet another friendly Minnesoooota local.
Finally, here are some pictures I took at the playground I stumbled upon while looking for vampires in the forest behind our house. The forest was sadly devoid of vampires, but at least the kids had fun.

Monday, May 3, 2010

I don't have any words left in my brain for a title. Sorry.

Macey graduated from kindergarten last week. Witness the excitement. She's thinking, "They keep coming up with new ways to celebrate mediocrity...!"

Macey also celebrated her birthday over the weekend. Once again, witness the excitement:

There's a half-hearted smile!

In case you were wondering, she turned six. Hence the jelly beans. Remember the good old days when I would make fancy cakes with Twizzler rainbows and chocolate splattered Elmos? Look at what college has done to me! I'm ruined. That jelly bean number six took every ounce of creativity that I have.

I apologize for not having any more creativity. It's finals week, folks. On Saturday we're moving to Minnesota for the summer. All of my brain power is devoted to political science, geology, literature, and squeezing eight thousand items into a teesy little storage unit. I'm pretty sure that's a geometry problem.

Wish me luck, everyone. We will need you prayers. Also, if anyone is interested in providing a foster home for four semi-lively houseplants, one enormous LoveSac, or a chest freezer, let me know.

P.S. Three more hours to vote on our uniform and then it's official. It's looking like flip flops and sarcastic shirts.