Saturday, November 30, 2013

Down by the River

Chris is here! Well, not here anymore as he has gone on to Rochester, but we had a nice visit. Nice enough to compensate for the no sleep he got last night (baby shenanigans AGAIN), only time will tell. We love ya, Chris! Thanks for hanging out with us.
Doesn't Dave make a great Minnesotan?? The beard, the puffy jacket (in school colors!) and the
beanie,which looks like it came off a Charlie Brown episode. Oh, and that is a chap stick
 in Riley's grip - guess she knew she was getting kisses today :)
 We went for a walk along the beautiful, icy Mississippi River. Nice day for a walk, too - it was 35 today, the warmest it has been all week.
Just passing through on their way south
That kind of excitement is really hard to rein in.
 Chris took a few pictures for us for this year's Christmas card and I have to say, we got quite the selection.
 Which one?! I mean, they are all so good - the human tunnel, Joe's head-butt to my face (my lip only bled for a second) or parental restraining hug on our clearly over it children...little tip - telling your babies that the photographer has candy is only good for one shot. Use it wisely.

After a chili/grilled cheese lunch, Chris left with his Uncle Jack and we hunkered down for a nap. Ah the nap! I have been after a good nap for days! Yesterday I kinda got one, but it did involve Joe hauling a bag of potatoes into our room and using them to outline my "sleeping" self on the bed. When he climbed up on my back with a box of finger paints, I decided it was time to wake up.

But today the babies were so exhausted from our outing and from a lack of sleep in general this week, that the whole family got to sleep at two (albeit with Riley in bed with us) and didn't wake up till five thirty! It was dark outside by the time we got up! Hallelujah! It might make for a later bed time but it was sooo worth it. Makes me think, "Hey, I can do this whole 'winter' thing." Hibernation - that's the ticket. Can I get an amen??

Apparently my feelings about sleep are downright spiritual...

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Thanks and Ice.

Today I am thankful for thrift stores, adventures, family, pizza and this blog to capture sweet, sweet moments with my gang. And now, please enjoy this silly little video of today's outing.

I just love them! They bring more meaning and joy into this old life than anything else ever has. Raising two young kids has it's difficulties, but I feel that the trials have had the effect of making Dave and I even closer. Not that we have it bad. I mean, we have the occasional bug, the tired days and disrupted nights. And we're broke of course but these days, who isn't? Oh you aren't? You are an inspiration to us all.

Anyways, point being, the trials we have faced are minimal compared to, nay, have contributed to the blessings we have received, if that makes sense. I don't see it a lot of the time but looking back, it all works towards our good and I know The Man upstairs is truly looking out for us. What a blessing it is to know that. Thanksgiving is really shining this year.

Now off to bed with me - gotta rest up for all that parade-watching and pie-eating we'll be doing tomorrow! Once after we ate ourselves sick for Thanksgiving, my roommate, Ashley, made us train for a marathon. I'll try to remember that tomorrow and maybe eat more sensibly.

Unless of course someone wants to train with me?? I could use an exercise goal, and diet never was my strong suit.

Oh, one more thing - I am thankful to YOU who read this blog. You are obviously forgiving, kind peoples as you keep coming back to this silly, typo'd blog where I air whatever ideas pop into my head and make up words for little to no reason. Thank you for connecting with me here, for calling or messaging me in encouraging and uplifting ways, or just reading and sending positive thoughts our way.

Love to you!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Tough Love

Upon recently discovering that she can climb out of her crib, Riley Munion has waged a full-scale rebellion against nap time, bed time and my sanity. She and Joseph both haven't had a nap in days and have had severely shortened sleep at night. Sleep deprivation. Aka Public Enemy #1. It has been responsible for more meltdowns than you can shake a stick at, and believe you me, you might just want to. There are no words for my feelings about this loss of naptime. Well there are, but they are mostly four-lettered and unladylike.

Here is the tail end of a tantrum from this morning which erupted after I didn't let her crack all the eggs into the pancakes (tragic, I know).  I decided to let Joe handle it, and film his nurturing ways. Delegation is key, so they say.

She recovered. I think she gets Joe, and he gets her pretty well.

They are good little buddies. Have you heard that the way siblings treat each other transfers to how they treat their spouses (according to Dr. Radcliffe - free parenting podcasts here )? Hopefully Joe has a little more finesse when he has a spouse. Can't go around pulling your wife up by her hair.

Well, the rest of the day was filled with all kinds of diversion activities. We got some good turkey art out of it!

But I was pretty frazzled and ready for reinforcements by the time Dave got home. While I was wrapping up our calzones, I noticed how quiet it had gotten, and turned to see this:

And that is how Dave pacified the rebel alliance - towing them back and forth through the house till dinner was ready. Props to him and his intuitive thinking.

There was a slightly tearful dinner, a quick bath and then the babies crashed at six thirty. Aaaaaaand deep breaths.Tomorrow will go better. Never mind that the temperature with windchill tomorrow will be freaking negative ten degrees! We will have to incorporate some hot cocoa into it, that's all. And who know, maybe the babies will want to nap under the covers all day. One can always dream!

A dream is a wish your heart makes...

And to all a good night.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sibling Rovery

Like "Rivalry" and "Love" together? See what I did there? Ha! The title only loosely applies to content today - I just like the word.

And now....

The time was two o clock. The babies were down for their naps. Or so I thought.

Now we know: Riley can escape her crib. As well as rig a makeshift ladder to get into Joe's bed.

I think Joe just wanted to sleep but couldn't help but be pleased that his fun-loving best bud in the world wanted to play with him. She looooves him! But let the guy sleep already! I transferred her back to her crib and the second time it stuck, so hopefully it was a one off? We shall see.

Dave is still at school. Almost ten on a Friday night! So here I sit, among stacks of folded laundry (not to brag, but sometimes, I fold stuff). I've watched some Netflix (Sherlock!) and eaten a big batch of popcorn and a milkshake, in bed, all by myself - feels like prom night as a freshman all over again. This whole MBA thing, has been something of a challenge to be honest but lookie here - almost a quarter done! And I'm lucky to have these two nutters to spend my days with. A few pictures from our week:

Diving for wishes.
Zoo. I wish I knew his thoughts - he was hanging here for at least five minutes. Probably just, "Dem is some big fish."

He feels VERY strongly about the gator shoes and the zebra hat.
Strolling through the conservatory, hand in hand.
They sure are sweet. 90% of the time... And I get to thinking we are ready for another one...80% of the time. But shoot, I'm running out of counter space.

What happens while mom gets ready in the mornings.
Good thing we will be in VA next month for the birth of Danny and Jenny's new daughter. Maybe it can tide me over a few more months if I can get a little cuddle and a whiff of that new baby smell. I told Dave we would make a fortune if we could bottle that smell. His response: "You want to bottle amniotic fluid?" Sigh. Dave can be sooo pragmatic sometimes.

But I miss his face. Which by the way, is bearding itself this month and I have to say, Matt Lauer and Al Roker ain't got nothing on Dave when it comes to beard-growing. That guy's beard is fuuuine. Ok I think I've done enough here for one night. Sleepy time! Nighty Nighty! Buggy tight! I might need more adult interaction in my life!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Saturday spills and the tail end of fall.

The wind is whistling in the trees outside our window, it is three thirty but feels like six, and I have just taught the babies how to properly saturate peanut butter cookies in their milk, which will keep them busy for five minutes. Feels like a good time for a silly post.
Saying goodbye to fall: the wind knocked all the leaves down, ready or not.
Yesterday I dozed off for a few minutes watching a movie with Riley and woke up to a gallon of milk being poured over my chest. She was aiming for a glass she had balanced on my stomach. After I bounded off the couch, milk dripping from my bath robe, Riley innocently pointed at the now tipped over glass with a residue of milk left in it and said, "I did it!"

She also says, "dinosaurus."

Joe, Joe falls over a lot. Dave calls it, "the pitter patter of little faces," it happens so often. Maybe this is because he is incredibly busy, trotting all over the house to put buttons in the heater, phones in the toilet, or crayons to the wall. He loves to stay active, and if Riley is watching TV instead of playing with him, he will just switch the thing off, stick his finger to his mouth and say, "Uh-oh!" as he turns to see her reaction.

And while I'm at it: Dave! Dave slips our little Sunbeam class jelly beans during the Primary Program practice as bribery to behave nicely, unbeknownst the the impressed choir director. And when they whisper to him that they don't know the words to the songs, he whispers back, "Neither do I, just keep saying 'watermelon'." It works ok - at least their lips are moving!

This is where we go when we want to pretend we are in the country. The ally behind our house.
 And Heidi! Yeah I ain't telling you anything. She is super normal - you'd be bored.

Now if you'd excuse me, I've got to find tiny little mugs so the babies can drink their hot chocolate properly.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Wherein Don Visits and Halloween is Had

 Ah me. We had such a blast last week! It is hard to recover from those times - we kind of sit around and tap our fingers like, "What now?" and eat handfuls of candy in denial that the party is over. And Riley and Joe wonder where their fun, baby-tossing, sweetie-giving Grandpa has gone...Welp, Better get blogging.

As you can see, there was a joyful reunion. Don came to see us! Well, also to research at the University. He arrived Halloween night and Riley and Joe were ecstatic. Shouting and dashing around like you never saw! We ate a quick dinner and then layered snowsuits and costumes on the kiddies before heading out to trick or treat the neighbors. Our friend across the hall and her little guy joined us and we were quite the party, charging from door to door, the tails of our little cow, puppy and dragon wagging behind.

All decked out and ready to relieve some strangers of their candy.
Riley decided to "your welcome" everyone instead of thank them, and Joe's "trick or treat" was actually "geek a geek" and also halfway through he decided he needed to be carried reclined in Don's arms, pumpkin bucket clutched in his little hands and resting on his belly. So there is room for improvement there, but it was SO much fun!

Our neighborhood is a great one for Halloween - lots of bonfires and people out on their lawn chairs and GOOD candy - we didn't get one single pack of fake cigarettes! Do they make those anymore? Probably not...I can't imagine those things could be marketed for children nowadays...good riddance. Anyways, the candy was excellent.

Munion Family Halloween Picture, 2013
Sooo tired! 
And yet insisted on carrying his bucket to the very end.

And that was that - a most satisfying Halloween. We really milk the family-ness of holidays now we have kids around. We take them to the pumpkin patch, make the popcorn balls, carve the pumpkins, go to parties, and trick or treat. Having Grandpa Don around was icing on the cake. You really get to missing family, well, when you move away from them, but especially during holidays, birthdays - happy occasions you want to share with them.

I can't believe I once told Dave it would be cool to strike out somewhere on our own, move somewhere we didn't have family. I guess I thought it would be adventurous. Having now struck out on our own (no baseball pun intended), well it has been a time out to appreciate our loved ones we don't get to see so much. Family is everything.

 New plan: buy an RV and follow family around wherever they go. Split the year between TX, VA and UT. It could work...maybe. Or I could just accept that distance from loved ones is a part of life. Heaven, that is where you never have to say goodbye to them, right? I wonder if Heaven is anything like I imagine? You certainly don't want heavenly families annoyed with each other because they are together all the time...

Lets move on. 

Friday, we went to Costco and Don got us a bunch of food storage. We now have enough cookie cigars (called Piroiulines) to last us all winter (of course they won't last all winter). And we had dinner at Pad Thai on Grand and it was delicious. Say "delicious" like Riley when she eats a vitamin here: you will be glad you did.

Saturday we traveled to Rochester to see Grandie and Pop. We lived with them for a few weeks before we found our home sweet home and they are altogether lovely of course and we had a nice visit. They fed us and loaded us up with candy (cause we needed that:) and pecans and drove us around the yard in the tractor. Don and Dave made themselves handy, winterizing the house under Pop's supervision. That is, he was meant to just supervise now he is on oxygen, but you can't keep a good man down and Pop is accustomed to always grabbing the heavy end, as he puts it.

Sunday we went to church, and the ward we are in now just so happens to be the same one Don and Suzette went to when they first got married. The Maung ward also meets in our building and they were service missionaries in the primary just after Chris was born. So a lot of people were delighted to see Don, "The boy that married the Zollinger girl," I overheard one old guy say. Don is rather memorable. In the best way.

Well, Grandpa Don left that afternoon and we were very very sorry to see him go, but he and Chris are coming back in a few months so that will be good. Till then, a little song to remember you by:

We love you, Don!