Saturday, August 31, 2013

Kicking off a long weekend

 Como Pool, Como Zoo, Como Conservatory
The adventurers are off!

Today we ventured to Como Park, which is so much more than a park. The babies had a blast in the pool - we went on the lazy river four times and down the slides and if those kids weren't under 48 inches we could have gone on the zip line too...but we had a fun time.

Joe almost fell asleep on me while I was wrestling him out of his wet trunks and diapers. But a picnic's as good as a nap...says no one. But it kind of was. A few pb and j's and pringles later, we were off to the (free!) conservatory and (free!) zoo, which, is NOT a petting zoo, in case you thought so like I did. That zoo = legit.

Remember our Pooh Bear baby?! Still workin it!

It wasn't the leisurely after-lunch stroll I had anticipated - that place is MASSIVE. And our children are very well-behaved when they are tired. Wait, no they aren't. But they were today - just kind of pleasantly relaxed and let us mosey where ever we pleased.
 The zoo entrance is right next to the conservatory and is rather unassuming but we went to check it out anyways. I was expecting a few rabbits and goats. I was wrong.
Um yes, that is a 10 ft, 1700 lb. polar bear.
And that is a tiger.
 There were also giraffes, gorillas, orangutangs, reindeer (the only deer that both male and female have antlers. How bout that?) seals, lions, and a rather nice aquatic center, rainforest center, and edible garden area. Riley's favorite this time: clownfish. "It's a Nemo! It's a Nemo!"

 There is also a nice little water park and carnival area, and a GORGEOUS carousel ride, which we will save for another day when our babies aren't exhausted.

And it only cost us 16 bucks (the pool)! And one cell-phone screen - mine took a tumble from the stroller and landed flat on its back in the most undramatic way, somehow shattering the top half of the screen! Still works though - I am just carrying it everywhere face up and with extreme caution.

Everyone is napping now which is good because we have to regain some energy so we can party with (drumroll) Patti and Joseph Smith, ladies and gentlemen. They are coming from Texas tomorrow for a visit and we are going to a bluegrass festival with them on Monday. I am ridiculously excited. They are such a fun, lovely couple and also it will be my first bluegrass festival. WHAT TO WEAR???

Additionally, we are making pork barbacoa salads for dinner tomorrow because I have been missing Cafe Rio something awful. If you can't bring the mountain to Mohammed... Seriously - soooooo excited!!

Praying everyone else is having a fun, safe weekend. We miss you!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Riley's Battle Scars

Have I told you we have been doing whatever Riley wants since she got this nice shiner at the playground on Monday? I feel so bad for her!  I am pretty sure she forgot about it a minute after it happened, and has been living life to the fullest all week, but it really is a looker!

This is what our babies are doing RIGHT NOW - at five thirty! I have a feeling it is going to be a late night.

Riley "helped" me make rolls and then hunkered down for a chat with mickey mouse. Just in case I didn't know that she observes every. single. thing I do.

She is a fun su-chef, by the way - every time I added flour to the dough we were kneading, she would stick in a finger and lick it off and say, "Its yummy, Mommy!" and then discreetly spit the flour out in a dish towel. May she flatter me forever!

The rolls were whole wheat and pretty delicious if you care to try. Recipe here.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Working out, baby style

The other day we went for a walk and I got lost for about two hours and we never made it to the park. I was pooped afterwards, but the stroller-riders had to burn some energy somehow so I put on a baby workout video from ZiZi. I found it a little creepy, but Riley loved it!
And tonight, as we watched a dance show on TV:
What a groovy kid!

We did not make it to the state fair this weekend. But we DID make it to the Mall of America, which also has rollercoasters and funnel cakes, but with the bonus of air conditioner and a Nordstrom Rack. Winning!
Later, frozen yogurt at Menchies. Loooooove fro yo bars - they pretend to be healthy but...not the way we do it. There was more candy than yogurt I betcha.

We found another Snoopy! You show me a door, by the way, and I will show you a baby that will knock it - it's her thing lately.
They really are delightful. There was a moment in church today when Joe machine gun spit out a mouthful of trail mix I had been surreptitiously feeding him behind the pew, mostly across my shirt and arms. During the young women's musical number! I almost died trying to hold my laugh down, Dave practically crying next to me. It was ridiculous.

Then I stayed with Riley in nursery, where every time the teacher asked her to do anything, Riley stuck her finger in her nose, an unfortunate nervous tick of sorts I suppose. So basically, the Munions didn't win any awards for charm today. But I kinda like this quirky, slightly-rebellious vibe we have going on. Even when Joe is sneaking tampons out of the bathroom to give to Riley who unwraps them and empties the cartridge so they can slurp their applesauce through them, you can't not appreciate the originality. Hey, keeps me interested!

Dave enters his second week of orientation tomorrow. Two weeks of orientation! And while he is getting oriented, maybe I can orient Riley with the toilet...We are about out of size four diapers and my reading tells me potty training should be done in the summer. Have the stars aligned? I'll let you know.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Getting acquainted

The other evening, whilst I was at the hair parlor for my annual scalping (I like to crop my hair super short about once a year, usually during a heat wave) the stylist asked me how I liked living in St. Paul. And you know, I did not even have to think about it. I love it! I really love this beautiful city with it friendly people, parks and farmers markets all over, and cultural diversity, where everyone cultivates a garden and recycles and believes in random acts of kindness...I got that last part from a lady at the store the other day.

I had taken the babies out to Walmart to get an air conditioner because we were practically baking in our third floor apartment and no one could even take a nap, and I was finally like, "End of summer be darned, we are getting a window unit." We as in, Riley, Joe, and I, because Dave started school this week.

I definitely looked like one of those people on infomercials whose life is sooo hard, dragging a double stroller with one hand and pushing a cart with a heavy air conditioner in front of me through the aisles, sweating like a pig, when we were rescued by Patty, an older lady who helped us across the parking lot. She apologized for the weather, assured me it would break tomorrow (it did) and hoped she would run into us again soon. It is unlikely, as there are over 3,000,000 people in the twin cities. But for a well-populated area, St. Paul does a good job on maintaining a small-town feel.

We really miss UT, or TX and VA, for that matter - it is really hard to be far away from some of your favorite people and the places that you have called home. They are irreplaceable, but there are new friends to be made. We happened upon the other baby in our building yesterday, on his way to the park with his mother and she invited us to join them. Gabriel and Riley walked hand in hand the entire way to the park - I was so impressed with their friend-making skills!

So we are getting there. Whoa, you are still reading this? Ok, have some pictures then:

Stuff I Like About St. Paul:

One of a thousand community mini-libraries situated about the city.
Streets wide enough to have a forest/running trail through the median.
Lots of Peanut characters around here. Riley gets more excited than Joe, but then she has seen the movies more than he.
Our drive back to the city after church (our ward is in Little Canada, which has more pubs than any other "Little" country I have seen).
Raucous homecomings when Dave returns from school.
Farmers Market! Never had so many local, fresh veggies in my fridge before. What the heck do you do with impulse-bought eggplant?
 Dave gets off early today so we are going to go shopping, and maybe the fair. I am torn - $40+ for a people-watching, fried food, 4-H experience? Everyone says we gotta go, but...I'm thinking how much pizza we can buy for $40. Priorities, ya know?

Heidi, out.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Brought to you by Dave's Phone, for the heck of it.

Shuffling around in Grandma's shoes.
We found this old picture at Grandma's and enjoyed the family resemblance. That's Uncle Bian in the middle.
Icecream at Flapdoodles. mmm....


She asked Dave to take off her shirt and he asked her if she wanted to take a bath but she said no. She had something else in mind, apparently.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Anniversary with my love(s)

In the interests of wearing the children out so they could have an early bedtime, we went to Minnehaha Falls State Park (After Ikea, where dreams come true) and had a very nice family ramble along the river. Riley, or Ed, as she introduced herself, made some new friends and played in the dirt and Joe did his best to keep up.


By the time we got home they were yawning, so I threw together some easy dinner for them, then baths and bed before seven thirty. Success! Dave went out to get deep-dish pizza from Green Mill (soooo delicious) while I lit the candles, turned on some music, got out the fancy glasses and dolled myself up, and then we had the perfect evening.

After dinner, we watched Barefoot in the Park and ate the most decadent dessert I know, chocolate pot de creme (with a nice crumbled pastry crust, due to a whole, 'first crust over-baked, second crust got pulled off the table and trampled by babies so I just smashed it back into the pan' situation). It was romantic and special and with no frequent checking for texts from the babysitter. It was perfect.

 Gosh I love that man.
Thanks for getting corny with me, Dave!

Monday, August 12, 2013

3! The years have exceded the number of our children! Whoop, whoop!

Three years ago today, I was scouring our little apartment so that on the morrow, married life could commence in pristine, spotless bliss (yeah, I have issues).

Was that the worst start to an anniversary post ever or what?

Moving on.

Today, three years later, I sit amidst cardboard boxes still waiting to be unpacked, the melodious tones of a toddler resisting bedtime in the background, and I can't believe it has been three years - too much has happened! And let me tell you - it has NOT been spotless. Adventures are NOT spotless. But if you are with the right person, of course, messy can still be blissful.

And let me tell you - Dave is the one to have on an adventure. He is cool under pressure and can find a Seven Eleven in any city, blindfolded. But more importantly, my partner in crime is in the thick of things with me. He chooses me and I choose him in lots of little ways every day. Like when someone lets someone else sleep in even though both someones are tired. Or when one spends hours fixing the car to save on the mechanic work, but will pour money down the drain on fresh flowers to surprise and delight the other. Or when both find themselves alone together in the hallway and break for a little dip kiss. These things - they have filled up three years to bursting.

I love Dave. Best decision I ever made: Dave.

Here's to many more years of messy! *clink*


(By the way, anniversary plan for tomorrow involves frozen burritos by candle light and Nacho Libre. Hey, don't judge! It will be wildly romantic. Maybe we will have some toast after ;) 

Sunday, August 11, 2013

St. Paul, You Fancy, Huh.

We took an after-dinner walk in Castle Town today - Dave's name for this fancy neighborhood in St. Paul. I have been itching to get down there to gawk at all the amazing homes and the St. Paul Cathedral. Of course, I forgot about that when Riley and Joe kept being cute and requiring my picture-taking attention.

I've about given up on strollers completely.

And now, here are some mansions.
Ivy does well here, obviously. And I loooove ivy! In fact, as I sit here all sticky with humidity I think, at least it gives us good ivy. Still, I will be taking a cold shower before bed.

The gorgeous St. Paul Cathedral: the bells were ringing and calling people to mass, which makes for a lovely Sunday walk!

Then we had to turn around because this was happening.

I expect there will be many more adventures as we get to know our new city. St. Paul has character, I can already tell. If she were a person, she might be a half-swede Catholic wearing a snoopy watch (Charles Shultz was born here and they do love those Peanut characters. Seriously. There are statues everywhere.)

Our ward is pretty cool too. The bishop snagged us right after Sacrament meeting for an interview. I think we won't be long without callings, which is good - it will be nice to get involved and make some friends. I sat next to a fabulous lady in Relief Society who owns a chocolate shop called, "Mademoiselle Miel (honey, in French)" and she specializes in honey bonbons. I think we will be bff's.