Thursday, October 31, 2013

11 years: BOAT-iversary and Vikings

This summer Brett and I celebrated 11 years.  I haven’t forgotten even though it is 4 months since we celebrated on the boat.  We had a BOAT-iversary!  On the date of our anniversary we went to Prior Lake with Izzy, Izzy’s 2 friends, and the Robinets.  There wasn’t a better place to be on that beautiful sunny day and excellent company!

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We didn’t settle with one celebration.  We decided to go to a pre-season Vikings game with a little downtown fun.  I can’t even remember who won, but pretty sure it didn’t matter.

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Brett, often times I drive to work and think about how I should write you an email that day about how much I appreciate you.  Then I get caught up in emails and phone calls.  The moment is lost until the following day when I am headed down 35E and again have the same urge again to say, “I really love you.”  I am not proud of the fact that I so often forget to tell you how much you mean to me.  My sister taught me that when the van is loaded with the kids to look back to be reminded I have so much to be thankful for…they are mine!  I think I need to start looking to my left as well.  You are an amazing husband and partner.  Thank you for staying on my left!  Love you more than coffee in the morning!  Your hot wife, MJ

Friday, October 25, 2013

Back to School, Welcome Nanny Ashley

School started in September.  Kids headed to the YPreschool for 3 days a week.  At the Y, the preschool class is 3, 4, and 5 year olds combined.  That means all 4 munchkins are together.  I was a little hesitant at this idea at first, but getting to know the teachers from last year I felt confident that they could handle our crew.  The worst thing that she complains about is how “handsy” they are.  I was reassured that this behavior is normal for siblings, but it is not common that 4 siblings attend a preschool together and have the opportunity to annoy another grown up with their signs of affection also known as being handsy.  DSC_4181

Welcome Nanny Ashley!  Our past nannies have good friends and they have shared the wealth!  Ashely is a friend of Nanny Marit’s and joined the team for the school year.  Ashley is the reason that every M, W, F the kids end up at preschool in one piece.  Ashley is a pre-med student with a full schedule.  We are just a small piece of her active days. 

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Thanks for putting up with us even when the kids didn’t wake up with listening ears.

Miss Katherine, our amazing teacher!

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See they are always goofing around!DSC_4173

Date Night

We still get out…sometimes.

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A little UFC and fun makes my man happy!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

2013 Vikings Game Outing

Another year of purple and gold!  We know we suck, but that can’t stop us from tailgating!!

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Because everyone wishes they could tailgate in a minivan.IMG_20131013_091553IMG_20131013_092131_978IMG_20131013_105216_568

I am feeling a new tradition (minus the hand) with this last picture.  Mike, next year we will make sure you get in the whole picture.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Built In Best Friend

Sure, having 2 sets of twins presents its challenges from time to time.  For example, Target’s carts only have 3 seats to buckle kids into, so no one can judge me when you see my 4th kid standing unsafely in the basket.  I was left no choice!  Or when 3 bathrooms in our house is not enough and I’m left with one kid standing in a puddle of pee in the hallway.

I still feel like the benefit of 4 kids so close together have outweighed the challenges.  I don’t do play dates.  I am a play date!  Taking 4 kids out of the house is a tornado of events and usually results in me yelling, “take your socks off your hands and put them on your feet, stop crying and just ask for help, your shoes are on backwards, everyone is still waiting for you, get your coat on and stop goofing around, I don’t know where your blankie flowers is just find a hat, we can get a snack later, leave the rescue bot here so you don’t lose it, I understand that you don’t want to go anywhere but we are going.”  If you want to hang out sometimes it is easier for you to come to my house.

This fall was amazing at PairSquared Paradise.  The kids loved hanging out in the backyard and playing in the dirt piles.  These kids love hanging out together!

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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Soccer: I thought it was a good idea

I started with such high hopes to watch my cute boys run on the field and kick a ball around.  I thought they would love it, especially Bennett.  The first practice started typical and was exciting especially because Dade was there.  Once we started playing it all went down hill.  Not my proudest parenting moment….I could barely contain myself after leaving the first practice early because the boys refused to participate.  Was it really possible to be frustrated with 4 year olds because they didn’t want to play soccer?  What was wrong with me or maybe why did I sign them up? 

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We spent the next several practices convincing them to go and play with their friends.  We tried bribing them with fruit snacks (hey, it worked for potty training) and then moved onto bigger items like Rescue Bot toys.  Ethan caught on.  He noted how the previous week Bennett got to open Bumble Bee because he played and that meant Ethan also got to play with the new toy.  So the following week at practice, Ethan goofed around A LOT.  On the walk back to the van Ethan turned to me and said, “Mommy did Bennett play good so that he can have the new rescue bot?’'  That stinker. 

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I handed off the soccer responsibility to Brett.  His personality was better equipped to handle our goof offs.  The coaches did a great job given the pure chaos of 4 year olds playing soccer.  They often times would put the boys on separate scrimmaging teams but shortly after the play was off the boys would run across fields to tackle the other brother.  We only sent Bennett to several of the games/practices alone in hopes that he would play and not just clown around with Ethan.  At the last game of the season they gave medals to the kids.  The coach proudly said “Great job Playing!” to all the kid until he got to Ethan and Bennett.  Coach said, “Thanks Ethan and Bennett for coming to all the games.  Great job always showing up.  Did you have fun?”  At this point Ethan loudly replies, “Noooooooo!”  Maybe next year or maybe we will try tee ball.

All of these proud soccer mom moments brought to you by PairSquared Mom.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Summer Recap

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We have 4 kids and we managed to play:

Not like we used to play, but we enjoyed activities that we used to do in a tamer fashion.  I’m sure it is of no surprise to readers that Brett and I enjoy a cold beer and a happening party.  So this summer we changed it up a bit…for example, we had a bedtime instead of staying up till the next morning, we danced and sang to LeapFrog instead of cutting it up on the dance floor, we counted heads instead of what beer we were on.  You get the picture!  Don’t worry we took plenty of time to ourselves and enjoyed!

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It turned out to be a good decision:

I will admit to all of you that I was not interested in resurrecting the Natique from Dad’s sawmill storage.  It didn’t seem realistic with how little the kids were.  When it came up all I could think about was the past times that the boat quit working and we were stranded in the middle of lakes or on the river (Loudy/Robinets remember that one).  The idea of being stuck in the middle of the lake with 4 crying children was not my idea of a good time and would have been a beating to our marriage because of course this would be situation that it was “his” fault.  We compromised and Brett assured me that he would solicit professional help to make sure the boat was more reliable instead of him tinkering around with it for hours in the garage.  I didn’t grow up with water sports but was only introduced after I met Brett.  I didn’t even consider that we would put our 3 and 4 year olds behind the boat.  I didn’t even want them in the boat.  The girls went from ducking in the tubes to standing. 

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I have safely returned the boat to Lanesboro for another winter storage.  See you next year good friend.

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Playground in our backyard:

Now we don’t have to hear screaming every time we go past a playground and the kids want to jump out of the moving car.  They know that they can go home to play on their own swing set.  This thing has been through a few families and we might be the last owner.  With a few updated accessories it turned out pretty good.  Thanks Kelly and Paul.

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Water was essential:

Lakes, rivers, sprinklers, pools….you name it and we got wet.  Our swimsuit collection increased from 1 swimsuit a kid to 3 plus water shirts that non gender specific.  I learned that 2 pieces were a must when potty training (thanks Elsa Scott) and you really save on sun screen more you cover their bodies.  Anxiety level went down this year after we convinced (threatened) the kids that they had to wear life jackets if they want to get in the water.  Counting heads from a lounger on the side of the pool was achieved!

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High activity level equals pooped kids:

Vacations, beach days, backyard camp fires, visiting family, family visiting us, yard work, sports camps, power pre-school, etc.  The question isn’t what did you do this summer, it is what didn’t you do this summer!