Monday, December 27, 2010

Guess what Rose #1 wished she got for Christmas...

On Christmas night we had a spot of sobbbing at our house. You see, Rose #1 has been wanting a Nineendo DS for a good long while, and so far Santa has not obliged. (Exhibit #1 of why: We didn't see her or her cousin at Christmas dinner at all - they were too busy playing DS.) Her cousin has one, and she really, really wants one.

So we have to think about ways that Rose #1 can earn $100 so she can buy her own Nintendo DS. So far I haven't come up with much. It's hard to earn money when you're 8 years old. She'll just have to content herself with playing her cousin's:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve!

It's Christmas Eve, which means that it's Christmas Pageant day! All the Roses are in the pageant this year!

Rose #2 is a King's Page. She has a very important job as the head purple king's page. She has to carry the train of the purple king. This is a big responsibility. Doesn't she look up to the task?

Rose #3 is a cherub. She has been waiting and waiting to be a cherub, and yesterday she finally got to put on the cherub costume. She is very cherubic.
Here are the king's page and the cherub together. Rose #1 is in the children's choir and doesn't get to wear a costume. We'll get a shot of everyone together tonight at the real live show.

And my niece Beatrice is a green king's page. Isn't it great that she gets to be with her cousins in the pageant this year?

Merry Christmas Eve to everyone! I hope Santa's sleigh lands lightly on your roof tonight and many, many presents show up under your tree.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

So thankful...

Thankful that we have a warm house this morning, when it's -2 and -22 windchill.

Thankful that my oldest baby made it home last night from skiing. Not my best parenting decision ever, to send her to skiing. I honestly did not realize how bad the roads were going to be as the day wore on and we got 15" of snow!

Thankful that my husband's car is a truck, has 4WD and the darn wheels are so high. He made it to the bus dropoff with zero problem last night to pick up our skiier.

Thankful that we had the sense to turn around yesterday midday when we decided (like FOOLS) to go to Macy's to see Santa. Also thankful that we somehow managed to get our minivan unstuck after we got it stuck. It involved me reversing onto Ayd Mill Road (stupid and dangerous) and then pulling over so H could get back in the car. We had our NIECE with us! I had three little girls in the car! I am very thankful we got back home.

Thankful that church is cancelled today. I don't remember the last time that church was actually cancelled due to snow, but I'll tell you that the side streets here in St. Paul are impassable until the plows show up, and our church is on a side street.

Thankful that we did our grocery shopping on Friday night. I'm usually not one of those people who run to the store when there is a storm coming, but I'm glad we did it this time.

Now I've gotta get back to work. I'm speaking this week at a web seminar and I have to finish preparing my remarks. I am thankful for the opportunity to do this speaking gig but of course I'll also be thankful when it's over...

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Snowy Saturday...TODAY... BLIZZARD!!...Update!

This picture doesn't tell the whole story...

It is a veritable blizzard here. We tried to go out with Rose #2 and #3 to see Santa at Macy's and we got completely stuck exiting Ayd Mill Road. So we turned around and barely made it home. It is scary out there - very, very snowy and the driving conditions are awful.

We sent Rose #1 to ski school today, which seemed like a great idea this morning, and as the afternoon wears on seems worse and worse. I'll be much happier when I see her little face coming in the back door. Scary.

Update: Rose #1 is home! A very scary afternoon waiting to confirm she was safe. Thank goodness she got home all 100% fine (and sort of exasperated that I was worried!).

Snowy Saturday...Last Saturday...

Last Saturday it was snowy. So we went sledding!!

Here's Rose #2 and #3 after sledding, all snowy and tired, so they lay down in the snow.

I dragged them home from our neighborhood park in the sled. It was such a gorgeous snowy day, all sunny and beautiful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Roses Sing!

On Sunday, Roses #1 and #2 sang in service at church. They are in the Children's Choir. Here's Rose #1 in her brand new white turtleneck:

And Rose #2 smiling so sweet and cute:
Please disregard the girl yawning behind her. I don't know how to crop photos, which is probably as obvious as saying "It's Snowing In Minnesota On The Day Before Thanksgiving" or "Gosh, We Have Eight Loads of Laundry To Fold."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

It's Snowin'

No easing into winter this's November 13 and we have a sudden 6" of snow. Just to show that it could, the City of St. Paul declared a snow emergency. Why do I always feel the need to get out and shovel before the snowstorm is over? We don't know why. But we do know that for sure when we wake up tomorrow morning, the plows will have deposited a crusty 12" ridge of snow at the bottom of the driveway.

But I digress. We invited a neighborhood friend for a snowball fight, which ended up being a snowman build. Here's Rose #3 and her friend rolling the bottom of the third snowman:

And Rose #1, with hair down and wet and stringy in her face. We don't care. She's cute anyway. We're going to keep her:
Rose #2 definitely got into snowman building. She wanted her snowman to reflect her true bodily stature, so she had to roll the middle through quite a bit of snow so it would be tall:

Here's the snowman representing Rose #1:

And the finished Rose #2 and #3. I'll bet you can't guess what we used for hair. I'll give you a hint: we won't be reusing the Halloween spiderweb stuff from Target next year.

A good snow day was had by all. The first snow is so wonderful and exciting - I can't help but wish that the sense of wonder and excitement would persist for the next six month...

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Argh! Missed Yesterday!

But I do have a very good reason. Aunt Brenna and Uncle Eli took the kids for a sleepover (not just our kids - all the kids - all the cousins except Baby Franny) and H and I promptly took ourselves out for dinner to Tanpopo Noodle Shop. Now I don't know if I am just too Midwestern and I have a particular constitution, or if I ate too much, or what, but H and I both felt super sick when we got home.

It didn't stop us from watching Cloverfield, which if anything made me feel sicker. When I had that feeling like I should be closer to the bathroom than further away, I went to bed (approximately 10 steps from the bathroom).


Oh well, the point of Nablopomo is to post as much as you can and not to tear out your own hair if you miss one lousy day.

On an unrelated note, I had a great time teaching Sunday School today. I was nervous - my first time teaching an age group other than preschool - but it went really well. The kids were good sports about an art lesson that involved a color wheel of emotions and a discussion of the U.N. Declaration of Human Rights (this was 3rd and 4th graders - next week I have 1st and 2nd graders!).

Wish I could post twice today to make up for missing yesterday.

Friday, November 5, 2010

When You Get Tired of Posting Pictures of Your Own Kids...

Post one of your niece! Little Miss Franny, sleeping on her Dad's shoulder on Monday night, right before her toast:

Thursday, November 4, 2010

By Thursday Night, We're Just Tired.

Once again we're up late and darn tired. One problem is that I insisted that H read Phantom Tollbooth to Rose #2:

I guess Rose #1 isn't too tired...again wearing the pocket knife and a pair of sunglasses found goodness knows where...I love how the camera flash glints off the sunglasses:

Tonight was school conferences for Rose #2. She is doing really well in first grade. She reads at independent reading time, and she's in second grade math. I am really proud of her. It's been a tough year in school, so far, handling a new school, the loss of Guppy, and transitioning to the demands of first grade. She's handling it well. Good job Rose #2!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Temper Tantrum Tonight

Told ya I'd post some pictures of Rose #3 tonight!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Rocky Evening Experience

Random notes from an evening:

1. I did not buy a pocket knife for my 8-year-old. We had a Halloween party, someone left it, and she picked it up. She is never, ever permitted to bring it to school (as in, would be suspended if she did) and really isn't permitted to actually play with it at home. This reduces her to wearing it around her neck for 5 minutes before bedtime while reading her High School Musical 3 "novel." (We are scraping the bottom of the reading barrel around here. Note to Self: Need to get to library on Saturday morning.)

2. Rose #2 quietly spirited away all the Halloween candy that was left over from trick or treating at our house and incorporated it into her stash. You can see her candy bag on the table in the background. I think she thought I didn't know what she was doing. I remember having similar thoughts - like the grownups just had no idea what I was up to - when I was a kid. But I know, Rose #2. I saw you dump about 50 pieces of Halloween candy into your stash. I'm on to you...

3. There are no pictures of Rose #3 tonight. You just know you are in big trouble when Rose #3 falls asleep at 6:28 on a kitchen chair. Whoo boy. I couldn't rouse her for dinner or anything, and she stayed asleep until about 8:40 when her daddy was bringing her up for bed, at which point she woke up and totally fell apart. Bad news. Somehow I got her into the shower and got her to eat some princess soup (i.e., spaghettios!) before pouring her sad self back into bed. Pictures of her tomorrow!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Finally I Can Post About The Quilt!!!!!!

After waiting and keeping it a secret for MONTHS or maybe even YEARS, tonight we finally got to give the quilt to baby Frannie and her mom and dad. Guppy welcomed every new baby into the family with a toast at MND and a new quilt. Tonight we did the same and even though Guppy wasn't there it was great to welcome Frannie.

I am very proud of our quilt! My cousin Chris is married to a wonderful woman named Jill, who happens to be a fabulous quilter. Not so very long after Guppy died, I cleaned out her fabric stash with a mind to continue the tradition of making a new quilt for each new baby. I found that Guppy had completed a few quilt squares before she died. The green dog in the center of this quilt is one that she had sewn. I sent it and a collection of complementary fabric to Jill, who sent it back in kits for volunteers to prepare squares.

Here's who sewed: me, Aunt Boo, Aunt Brenna, Aunt Missy, Aunt Tonya, Aunt Charity, Ginny, Katie, Aunt Abby, Polly, and Karen Lanegran. And of course Jill! And Cynthia went through Guppy's fabric and put together sets so we could have a coordinated color scheme.

I know it doesn't make up for Guppy being gone, but I hope this blanket wraps Frannie up nice and warm and lets her know how much we all love her. Welcome to the world Francesca! We love you so, so much!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Don't Watch If You Get At All Seasick

As I was deleting content from my camera tonight, I came across this gem, starring Rose #2...

Visiting Baby Franny

On Wednesday night we went to my sister's house to see the new baby in her natural habitat. We weren't able to get to the hospital - for one thing, they stayed only one night! It was a madhouse the night we were there - I think 5 of my 6 siblings and their families were there to visit the new baby. Here she is with her mama:

And Rose #2 loves to hold a baby, just like I do! Massive recurring fear of mine - my child is holding a newborn and gets tired of holding the baby, so just gets up and baby falls to the floor. I must have told Rose #2 like four times to tell me as soon as she was done holding Franny so I could get the baby before she just stood up. I was sitting right next to her the whole time, too. Luckily baby Franny emerged unscathed!
And here's me holding sweet baby Franny. I love a new baby. I must admit that I am pretty glad I don't have one myself - for one thing, I'm getting way too old. We're set with the three that we have, but oh I love holding a new baby...

We had a fun Halloween - pictures tomorrow for Nablopomo!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I Love Your Voice, Mama

Last night I was putting Rose #3 to bed, reading her a story and telling her how much I love her. She was all snuggled in her bed and looked up at me and said, "I love your voice, Mama."

What a nice thing to hear from my beautiful girl.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Welcome to the World Francesca, Born One More Redeemer!

We are overjoyed to welcome our niece Francesca to the world and our family! Born right on her due date and with a minimum amount of fuss (or so I understand), here's a picture of one more redeemer:

We haven't met her yet - tomorrow - but we're so happy she's here! Congratulations Aunt Heidi and Uncle Jay and Beatrice and Gus!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Guppy's Birthday Party

We started the party on a beautiful fall evening at Guppy's favorite park, Cherokee Park in West St. Paul. Here are various shots from the kids having fun at the playground there (and the only picture of Rose #3 is in the car on the way home, because she was too busy making friends to pose for a picture):

Well, AFTER the park we returned to our house for a delicious pizza dinner, of which there were many, many pictures. Sadly I deleted all of these pictures from my camera BY ACCIDENT after thinking I copied them to my computer's desktop. Rats. You'll never see the pictures, but they were cute. And numerous. We had pizza! And wine! And Halloween-sized candy bars! We had a toast to Guppy and lots of comments about how Guppy would have loved the party. Guppy's BFF came and brought balloons for the kids, which Guppy would also have loved.

Guppy, we sure do miss you. Rest in peace.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A Birthday Song

Tonight Rose #2 wrote a birthday song for her Guppy, who would have turned 68 tomorrow:

The lyrics are:

You are my Guppy
And you no (know) you are
You make me happy
Evere (every) step I take
You never no (know) dere (dear)
How much I love you
Please doet (don't) take my Guppy away
Oh please doet (don't) take away.

And here's the lyricist, who's looking pretty chipper for a sad topic.

Tomorrow night we're going to have a pizza dinner at Guppy's favorite pizza spot, and try to remember and celebrate her in a way that she would have loved - all her family together, eating good food, having fun (and crying a bit too).

Rest in peace, Guppy. I wish you were here. I would have found the best present ever for you. We sure do miss you a lot.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

I'll Bet You Didn't Know There Is a Planet Apollo

Rose #1's first home project of the year was to design and build her own planet! We channeled the spirit of Guppy and decided we would make it from papier mache.

Although you might expect to find a picture of the planet on this website, you would be disappointed. I didn't take any pictures of the planet. I can tell you that she named it Planet Apollo, because there is a lot of music on the planet and Apollo is the Greek god of music.

Maybe you would expect to see a great picture of Rose #1 at her school event, the Planetary Expo, which she worked hard to prepare for. She made a travel brochure, a travel ticket, two solar system booklets, and testimonials from past "visitors" to Planet Apollo.

All you get is one picture of Rose #1, not even looking at the camera.

(In her defense, she had to pay attention to the "customers" that came to her booth at the Travel Expo.)

Here's a picture of a friend that Rose #1 has known since the infant room at daycare, explaining his planet to Rose #1's grandfather:

I mostly stayed out of the way and watched Rose #1 explain her planet and visit the planets of her friends. It is a very nice and vibrant 3rd grade community at Rose #1's school.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

How the Day Ends When You Are Age Four And Tired

After 30 minutes of deductive reasoning homework, which was not mine but rather Rose #2's (in FIRST GRADE, people. I don't think I learned deductive reasoning until like last week.), Rose #3 completely gave up the ghost. She fetched herself a living room pillow and made herself a makeshift bed at the kitchen table:

Here's the shot from across the room, so it can all just seem even more pathetic. Poor Rose #3. She is a very, very tired girl by about 7:45. I can't ever seem to get them ready for bed much before 8:30. So she did it her very own self.
I have to confess that we spent some of tonight watching the news about the miners in Chile. I was riveted by the countdown of the number of rescued miners and the number of miners stll underground. They were truly fortunate to make it out alive. Thank goodness.

Monday, October 11, 2010

They Play Games!

The Roses have gotten old enough to play board and card games. All By Themselves!

They have a (thrift store) Monopoly set, after a trip to a cabin this summer where there were two Monopoly games. Yesterday H and I were sitting eating our breakfast when I heard a scream from the basement: "You took my money! Give it back!"

Weary of having to broker endless fights, I wearily went to the top of the stairs. "Guys, don't take people's money! It's not nice! That's THEIR money, not yours."

Beat. Beat. Beat. Then, Rose #1 said: "Mom, we're playing Monopoly." Just the right touch of exasperation.

They also play Uno. Obsessively. Repeatedly. Notably, once, in church (the lady behind us was very offended - she got up and moved. Really, people. It's a UNITARIAN church. A little Uno won't kill you. And I say this as a lifelong Unitarian.). I sort of really hate Uno. It takes forever. The person who wins, gloats. The person who loses, screams and flings the cards everywhere. (Even me.)

The latest is War. They play War anywhere, anytime. They don't even need a full deck of cards. I did catch Rose #2 trying to stack her hand with aces - aces are high in War (DUH). Right now they are playing War at the foot of my bed. I love it that they can amuse themselves.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Happy Twelfth Anniversary to Me

And my husband. We've had three children, two houses, several cars, several trips, one graduate degree (almost two - go honey!) and lots of wonderful times in the last 12. Here's hoping for 12 more, and then 12 after that, and then maybe even 12 after that.

I love you H!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Goodbye, Old Rusty

15 years ago, in my salad days (when I was green in judgment), I bought a 1995 Saturn SL1. Thanks to my husband, it was a manual transmission. I did not know how to drive a manual transmission at the time I purchased the car, so my husband had to teach me. He was not my husband at the time. He still is today. If I hadn't mastered driving the stick shift, I'm not sure he would be.

Last night, we sold the car. We put an ad on craiglist on Sunday night, and sold the car by Tuesday. Just like that, a piece of history - gone.

I have lots of memories from that car (don't worry, they're all G-rated):

I remember driving Rose #1 over to her Guppy's in that car, singing a dumb song I made up (We're gonna go see your Guppy, your Guppy, your Guppy, we're gonna go see Guppy, right away. Your Guppy really loves you, she loves you, she loves you, Guppy really loves you, very much.)

I remember driving to Cincinnati, OH with my brother and sister to see our grandfather in that car.

I remember driving that car from our house in Como to law school on exam nights, and then after exams were over, to the McDonald's drive through for french fries.

Last night after we got back from the DMV from transferring the title, Rose #1 looked at me, and said, "I'm going to miss Old Rusty."

(It was a Saturn, made mostly out of plastic, but it was a little rusty in spots. I'm going to miss Old Rusty too.)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Around the House

Rose #2 wants her own digital camera. I haven't actually priced digital cameras in awhile, but I think they are outside our child gift budget. So I haven't yet purchased one for her. Every now and then I let her use my camera, and tonight I sat down to delete the 91 photos she shot. I couldn't stand to let them all go, though...

My mother made a chair for each one of her grandchildren for their first birthday. Here are two of ours, carefully lined up by Rose #1 and Rose #2 in front of their messy closet. After someone close to you dies, one of the hardest things is all the "firsts" that you experience without them. My sister Heidi is expecting a baby in the next few weeks. I have been focused on how excited I am to welcome a new niece or nephew, and just in the past few days started thinking about how sad it is that my mom will never know this grandbaby. (She did know that this grandbaby was coming though, thankfully. Heidi knew in time to tell her before she died.)

But this grandbaby won't ever get a first birthday chair from Guppy. Maybe we should add that to our list of things we take over. Anyway, here are ours:

Rose #1 and #2 on the night of the photos were playing an elaborate game with their stuffed animals. Now, maybe all of you have kids who engage in spontaneous creative play all the time. You just can't turn around without bumping into a new world they created, or sometimes you can't find them because they are so engaged in their imagination-fueled world. Well, that ain't us. It is a rare night that the kids are engaged in almost anything besides 1) squabbling; 2) begging for snacks; 3) following me from room to room (yes, including the bathroom) or 4) doing anything they can to get out of a) showering, b) brushing their teeth or c) laying out tomorrow's clothes. When I get creative play, you're darn right I want to remember it! In that vein, here is Mr. Lion in his school portrait. The school being the Roses' School for Stuffed Animals.

The Roses enjoy photographing each other as well. Here's Rose #1 looking very chipper. She's only sans one tooth at this time, and I dare say that the front top two more than make up for the one that's missing. Holy rabbit teeth, Bat Man!

Rose #2's photographic interests extend to self-portraiture as well. I love her smiley eyes and her almost-grown-in front teeth:

And if this shot doesn't totally portray Rose #3, I don't know what does. The item she's holding? A MASCARA WAND, people. She's wearing her new dress and holding her mascara wand. (It's clear mascara, though.)

I do not know why my children found it necessary to take a photo of a basket of dirty laundry (and the wadded up kleenex on the floor behind it), but they did. Really, it sums everything up, doesn't it?

Note to self: Self, don't give camera to unattended children for extended periods.
Self: Even if it keeps them occupied for 30-45 minutes?
Note to self: Well, if it keeps them occupied for THAT long, I guess it's OK.