Magic Middle.

Courtney and her cousin, also a middle child, refer to themselves as the magic middles in their family. In this post, I'm talking about the middle of our trip, which certainly claims the title of "Magic Middle" too...

It was SO much fun to spend five days with my mom, my sis, and my grandparents. It actually rained most days- but we still had a blast. Holden was listening to my mom talking about all the food and snacks she had gotten for our visit when she interrupted and said "We should have a party!" And because she was so persistent and didn't let it go- we DID have a party. And it was so much fun. I had such a great week seeing my kids feel so happy- being in their favorite place with their favorite people.

Party pic montage!

She swam in her party hat- and she slept in it too.

Donald Trump combover...about the only thing I care to reference when it comes to that disgusting human being...but that's neither here nor there, right? Ha.

Holden picked a "4" and Davis picked a "7" even though he doesn't turn 7 until November. But together, as 47, it made me laugh.

Sweet snuggles with my girl!

Donuts with nanny and grandpa- she really wore her Snow White pajama gown a good majority of the trip...and then my mom got that old tiara out for her, plus some high heels and she was in heaven.

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When she wasn't wearing her gown- she was wearing this!

Holden was OBSESSED with the sting rays at Sea World's waterpark and DESPERATELY wanted to swim with them. And Nikki and I debated who would be brave enough to go in with her, UNTIL, we saw one of those huge beasts essentially become vertical and wrap it's wings around a woman's legs. And then and there we decided that Holden's dream of swimming with the sting rays would have to come true on another day. With other people.

Davis, on the other hand, was quite literally disgusted. "THESE ARE THE WORST THINGS I EVER SAW!" He said..."WE NEED TO GET OUT OF HERE, THIS PLACE IS TOO CRAZY!" He said.

Night and day, those two. Such a fun time...

Texas, oh Texas.

Historically, I have been known as a homebody. And while I do enjoy traveling more now than I used to, I would still say I like to be home, in my own space, with my routine, feeling comfy and cozy. So, when I say that I wasn't in a huge rush to head home, after 9 days in Texas...that is saying something. We seriously had the best trip. And because I don't feel like I can adequately give it words, I'm just going to post pictures with a couple comments...starting from the end and I will work my way back to the beginning.

We spent the last weekend in Houston with Katie and her family- and I knew it would be great to see her- but I don't think either of us realized how well our kids would get along. At one point, Brayden looked at Katie and said "So this is what it feels like to have a brother...I love it." And both of my kids said multiple times "Mom, I don't ever want to leave my new friends. Can we just stay here?" My heart nearly burst out of my chest.

The four of them: Holden at 4, Brayden at 7, Davis at 6 and Callie at 5.

The boys wrestling- as they did all weekend- and not a single complaint or injury.

Holden was so happy that she and Callie both had princess gowns to wear to bed. How much does Callie look like Katie? It kills me.

I love this pic- Holden's face is pure joy that she is a) getting to have a sleepover and b) it's in an Anna and Elsa bed!

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And then, of course, the next day Holden woke up feeling super sick and we had to take her to a doctor. She had an earache- but I think there had to be something more because she is still at home with a fever even though she has been on antibiotics since Saturday. Poor thing.

Davis being tossed into the air to do a double back flip (??) by Ray.

The three big kids goofing around while we waited for pizza...

The boys wanted to dress the same. I don't know if there is a sweeter kid than Brayden. He is so kind and thoughtful. His smile reminds me so much of his mama. And Callie is all spunk and personality- also a total sweetheart, but a little fire in her too. 

I would be fine if they grew up and decided to fall in love and get married. 

Saturday night- their community pool had an ice cream social...with real ice cream and then at one point they threw all of these adorable floaties in the pool- giant donuts, ice cream cones, huge Smarties candies, and all sorts of things. Holden was in heaven...and the cool water felt good to her fevered skin.

We had so much fun. I was sad for it to end...but I do see some family trips together in our future. And can you believe we didn't get a single pic of Katie and I? It's driving me crazy!!!

 

Just a Kid.

Sometimes you remember that you are just a kid in a grown up body. That's how I feel today. I cannot wait to get the heck outta here and get to Texas to see my friends and family and just have a week of care-free fun. 

I can't wait to see Nikki at the airport, I can't wait to spend the week with her and my mom in Fred. Just hanging out by the pool, hopefully drinking Coronas and eating Starburst. Maybe we will make some margaritas- maybe we will talk about life and love- and maybe we will laugh and play card games or make something cool. Who knows. The world will be our oyster. 

I can't wait to see my grandparents- I always look forward to that. I can't wait for them to see how much Davis and Holden have grown. The beans, of course, cannot wait to get donuts with them.

And I cannot wait to spend this weekend with my girlfriends. Courtney is picking me up and then all my best gals are getting together by the pool for the afternoon and then we have reservations at one of my favorite old-school Austin places that night. Kirsten is coming from San Antonio, Meredith is coming from Dallas, and then about 6 of my local gal pals will be there. It's going to be so much fun.

AND THEN, Bennett has decided to turn a work trip into a fun trip and he will meet up with us on Friday and will go with us to see Katie and her family in Houston. Can't decide if we will go Friday (that was the plan) or if we should spend a night together in Austin with our co-ed group of friends and go Saturday. Both would be fun...

Anyway- I am like a kid and I can't wait to get out of work and I can't wait to get my nails done tomorrow and pack my stuff and get this party started. :-)

Before I get this party started- we'll go to Holden's Pixie Hollow play and Davis' end of summer family picnic, and then tomorrow night, the boys are going with Nate and his boys to the Twins game...which will allow Holden and I to get ready for the big trip!

EEK! Cannot wait. Smell ya later.

 

 

Month of Fun.

We are having so much fun watching the Olympics. Mainly the swimming. The kids are having so much fun being foot loose and fancy free instead of going to school. And I just realized that they have three weeks of that. How fun for them! This week they are home with Katelyn, next week we are in Texas, and then the last week of summer, Katelyn is keeping them for the week again. This is working out beautifully. I wanted to give them a little break before school kicks in and I didn't even realize that it will happen- until I thought it through today!

It will make the transition back a bit more difficult- but we'll deal with that later.

So Kelley informed me yesterday that Elsa and Holden are so excited that they are both going to be winter fairies in the play this Friday. Which is news to me because Holden is like a steel trap when it comes to what is going on at Theater Camp. Every time I ask her about it- what did they do? did they sing? did they dance? did they act like animals? what was her favorite thing? she responds with commentary about snack time. "Well, I like it because we have snack time and today we had strawberries and gummi bears..." 

So there you go.

And here is a little peek into our mornings. Davis has been coming in around 3 or 4 in the morning pretty regularly- and honestly- though it gets crowded at times- I don't hate it. He is going to grow out of that desire to snuggle up with us so quickly so I think I'll let it ride. And then Holden comes in around 6 because she is awake for the day...and when she comes in, the door is left open for Pico, so this is sort of what 6:30 looks like in our house.

Picture one more adult in there and it's a pretty full bed. :-)

Damn you, Bat!

Have you started watching the 5 part ESPN documentary on OJ Simpson? It is mind-blowingly incredible. There is so much information and cultural context that you get while watching it that I don't know that you could pick up otherwise. Bennett and I have been watching it non-stop.

Friday night, we were sitting on the couch at about 10 pm with all the lights off, watching the third episode, when all of the sudden something flew across our living room, at about eye level.

I FROZE and slowly said "WHAT. THE. FUDGE. WAS. THAT." But I knew deep in my heart what it was. It was a bat. In our house. In Minnesota. So, of course, Bennett jumped up to find a broom, and that is when the chaos ensued. I could only hear it though because I was hiding under a blanket, refusing to come out, until it was gone. I was sweating bullets and Davis was shouting as the bat DIVE BOMBED him throughout our kitchen and living room.

He was shouting at me to help him, as he propped both the front and the back doors open, but I was paralyzed. 

We never did find him and now I live in fear of it landing on my face while I sleep or biting me with his super sharp fangs as I reach to open a blind or a curtain or a cabinet. Davis SWEARS he flew out the door- but I have no confirmation. I have no closure. Its the WORST.

Anyway- that was the big drama of the weekend. I've hardly slept since. 

Aside from that, we had the Schneiders over for dinner Saturday and just hung around on Sunday. Last night we walked six blocks down the street to one of our favorite restaurants and had dinner. It was a beautiful night and I felt very lucky that we can do that in our new neighborhood.

Katelyn is with the kids today- Holden and Elsa have theater camp every day this week and I can't really go to work late and then leave to pick her up at noon each day- so Katelyn has been helping- which allows Holden to go to camp and Davis to stay home or go to the park or pool or whatever. They are both super happy about it. She just sent me these pictures!

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Happy Monday!

Play Dates

The Davises are making moves. Finally. I've been coaching them on social interactions and how to make friends since we got here three years ago, and they both just had their first, completely unprompted play dates this weekend.

Little Davis was invited over to a friend named Liam's house...and Bennett was invited to go golfing with Patrick, Krissy's husband. They were both excited, and it sounds like, from both of their accounts, that they went well. 

Holden and I can rest a little easier tonight. ;-)

The kiddos got haircuts this weekend- and Davis now looks like he is ready to drive a car.

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He wants a full-on mohawk- but this new look is keeping him happy for now.

But he is still my little snuggle buddy.

Busy Week.

Sorry I haven't posted much this week- it's been a busy one for me. And it's been SO NICE to have Bennett home so I could do the many things I needed/wanted to do. I cannot tell you what a difference it is to have help. I know that sounds crazy- but it's just amazing.

So Monday I worked out. Tuesday we had our agency in town from New York so we took them out for drinks and appetizers. Later Tuesday night we had the Neighborhood Night Out at our neighbor's house. Wednesday we had a new doctor's appointment for Davis after work, and then last night I had my team over for book club while Bennett took the kids to dinner and a movie. 

My favorite thing of the week was last night's book club. I have a team of 8 women right now- varying ages, perspectives, backgrounds, but I really adore them all...so I invited (read: made, i'm their boss) them to be a part of at book club and the first one was at my house last night over wine and appetizers.

Separately- I've been wanting to start a thing where a group of women from all different backgrounds get together and talk about great things- but I haven't really figured out how to start or whom to invite- and then you get into this thing where you will hurt this friends feeling if you don't invite them- but you really want to create the right dynamic...

ANYWAY- I realized after book club last night that I might have created the very thing I am after with my team of gals at work. I didn't get any pictures from last night- but to give you an idea- here are a few of the ladies at work.

We had a great time and the next one is at Jackie's- she is in the middle with short hair. She is inviting a financial planner to talk to us about how to get smart on the stock market. !!! I'm so excited. 

National Night Out was fun too- the kids loved it. Especially when the cop showed up with his motorcycle and handcuffs.

Holden just be-bopped around the party like she had known our neighbors for years. I would look over and see her tugging on a lady's shirt, asking her to open her water bottle for her.

Davis spent most of his time stuffing his face with brownies while I wasn't looking- as you can see above.

Anyway- it was a fun and busy week and this weekend we are having Krissy, Patrick and their kids over Saturday night for dinner, and then on Sunday, Davis was invited to his first play date. :-) So that is exciting. I'm happy for him.

Have a good weekend.

TGFH.

We had so much fun with Honey in town. It went so fast, it was unreal. I feel like she was here for five minutes. But they were a GREAT five minutes (actually 3 1/2 days). She got here Thursday night and we were all hungry so I wanted to take her to dinner where we could sit on the patio...but everyone else had that idea, so we had to sit inside. We still had fun.

Holden is like Honey's mini-me while she is around. She wants to do everything like Honey, and everything WITH Honey. Its very sweet. 

Friday, my mom spent the day with the kids while I worked. I didn't take the day off since we're going to Texas for a week in about a week and a half. They had a blast and were beat by the end of the day. Started the day with donuts, then went to the park, then went to the pool, and Honey was so surprised how much they have learned this summer and how well they swim! Davis showed Honey how he could go off the diving board and when he told me about it, he said "And she didn't even have a heart attack, mom!!"

Saturday morning we went to Holden's soccer game- and my mom loved getting to see that...and of course on the way there we stopped for breakfast, and Honey whipped her sprinkles out of her purse and they had sprinkles on the go. Only Honey...

Then we stopped at the Farmer's Market so Honey could enjoy some Minnesota sweet corn and fresh tomatoes. 

Davis dropped a giant canteloupe while browsing, so we have canteloupe for days too! Also that afternoon, my mom watched the kiddos while i went to a workout and perused a few shops on my own. It was so nice!

Then Sunday morning we got up fairly early and had breakfast at French Meadow and then to the Loring Park Art Fair. I wish I had taken pictures at the art fair, but I didn't bring my phone. Guess I was just too busy enjoying myself. But it was lovely and Honey bought me a really great photo that I will hang and share here. I am obsessed with it- you will see why.

That afternoon we went to the pool- and despite the looks on their faces- we all had a blast. It was SO hot, Honey said it was as hot as it is in Texas. So we just HAD to go take a dip in the cool water.

Davis also got to walk through his kindergarten portfolio with her while she was here too. Though he complained she took too long. ;-)

We had so much fun and I was so happy to have her here for the weekend. TGFH! Thank God for Honey!

 

Kids These Days.

When I went to the dentist- it was misery. It was a boring old office, within a drab office building, the carpet was old and brown and the walls were tan. My dentist's name was Dr. Bear- and that was about the only thing I remember liking about him. He always wore one of those tight white jackets with a high neck that made you wonder if it was actually dentistry attire or a straight jacket. And the worst, the very worst, was that he ALWAYS had spit webs in the corner of his mouth. It wasn't clear spit, it was white spit, as if the whole day he somehow hadn't opened his mouth wide enough for it to stretch and break, and like he desperately needed a damn drink of water. 

I remember thinking "Of all people to have a gross mouth situation- my dentist?" Blech. I hated going to the dentist. I still do. And I found that I also have anxiety when bringing Davis and Holden to the dentist as I did this very morning. They've been a couple times, but one time Rachel took them and another time Davis took them. So today was my first visit and you can only imagine my surprise at how different their dentist experience was from mine.

First of all, the whole ride there, they kept asking if this was the fun doctor, with the tree house. They have very vivid imaginations so I said something like "I don't know that a DOCTOR would have a TREE house in their office, but that's a fun idea..." 

And then we get there and there is a damn tree house in the front waiting room. And a flat screen TV, and books and animals and art out the ying yang. 

I didn't get a bunch of pictures, but the tree house was so big that I could comfortably get in and hang out. I mean, look at Holden's face. Just wait till she goes to Disney!

So as you can imagine, they don't mind going to the dentist at all. They did great, and they each got to pick out a toy when they left. Holden picked a jump rope and Davis picked a whoopie cushion. 

Okay, this is kind of an awkward picture, but LOOK HOW LONG HER LEGS ARE!!! SHE IS ALL LEGS. WHEN DID THIS HAPPEN? And yes, she got amazing new high tops that she is so proud of. They light up with each step.

 

Oy vey. Kids these days.

 

 

Weekend in Review.

Thursday night, Davis came home from school early with a fever, and he didn't really feel so great all weekend. I'm hoping that some of the vitamins he is taking (for immune system) will start helping, but we're also seeing a new doctor with him this week and plan to talk through everything going on with Davis- from challenges, to meds, to just his general cruddy immune system...though I can't say that is unique to him, Holden has a wimpy immune system too, and really, Nikki and I do too. So anyway, Bennett picked him up from school and Holden and I had a little dinner date. We haven't done that for a while, and she was thrilled.

She LOVES to go to the mall when we have our dates, so I let her pick, and of course she chose Cheesecake Factory. If she ate all her dinner, she could choose a dessert. Of course she ate all of her dinner. Girlfriend loves sweets. And food in general. We were talking the other day about how she has such a keen sense of smell for a little girl. She will say things like "It smells like rain, mommy..." and sure enough- hours later, it will rain. Or she will walk into a room and say "It smells like chocolate with marshmallows on it in here..." and sure enough, something sweet will be cooking somewhere. Anyway. Maybe she will be a chef!

She let me have a couple bites. Just a couple. Then we walked through the mall so I could return a few things. I asked her to smile for a picture while waiting in line somewhere and this is how she posed. She is such a ham.

So that was Thursday night and then Friday night- we typically go out to family dinner together, and we very often go to Barrio. This Friday, we were sending Kirsten pictures, showing her we were excited about her new job. This is what we sent her- us cheers-ing over margaritas!

Saturday, it rained all day. So we went to Home Depot and watched some movies and I got really adventurous and cooked an Indian dish- Chaan Masala. Geez- the smell of Indian spices wafting through your home is unbeatable.

I picked these beautiful purple flowers for two planters on my front step...and they are gorgeous, but man they stink. Salvia. Who knew? I sure didn't...of course Holden noticed right away.

Chaan masala- basically chickpea curry. It was really good- but it would have been better as a side. After about five bites, we were both sort of over it. Same taste over and over and over...but it was fun to cook. 

And then Sunday, Bennett needed to pick up some dress clothes, so we went to the big anniversary sale at Nordstrom. And because the kids were so patient, they got to go on two rides. 

This was the first weekend all summer when we haven't gone to the pool at all. We will have to make up for lost time this weekend. 

Things I'm Into...

I've been trying some new things lately- some more recently than others, some with more clear impacts than others- but I am very excited about these new things so I thought I would share here. 

I'm reading again. Let me share some background. Since about junior high- I've always been a fiction reader. I've always been reading 1-2 books at a time...on top of school books (when I chose to read those...ha). I think around the same time I became a mom, I sort of stopped reading fiction, novels, etc. So that's been about six years of time where I have been reading the news, and short articles, instead of anything long or of significant substance. 

When I think about why- I think it's usually because after work and playing with kids- I have either gone to bed or done something like watch TV, or even just read short articles that don't require as much mental investment.

So anyway- I started a book club for my team at work- and I've been reading that book "Crucial Confrontations". I'm trying to teach these passive midwesterners how to have a healthy conversation even/especially when there will be confrontation.

 

AND, I ordered a book called "Brain Rules" which I'm actually enjoying even more. I ordered it based on a referral from a blog I have been reading about ADHD- but honestly I haven't quite figured out how it has anything to do specifically with ADHD, and that's fine by me because it's just brilliant in general.

Clearly there is a theme here. Books that will help you: TAKE NO SHIT and SURVIVE/KICK ASS at work and in life. Which should tell you a little something about where my head is. HA! So anyway- I'm very excited about reading again and I'm still unpacking why I've shifted from fiction to non-fiction. I almost have zero interest in fiction- which is SO WEIRD for me. When I think about why, I'm sort of like "There is so much real stuff to learn about out there- I don't have time for this fake stuff right now..." 

I'm also VERY into Orange Theory. Which is a new type of gym that has been rolling out across the US- essentially it's group circuit training- but what is unique about it is that you wear a heart rate monitor and it syncs to a giant screen on the wall, showing your heart rate and where you are from a color perspective. So, for example, when you are warming up, you are in the grey zone, and then as your heart rate goes up, you move from grey to blue to green to orange to red. And the "Orange Theory" is that you want to spend at least 12-15 minutes in the orange zone to create optimal burn- in the session and after.

Really- I like it because:
- It's as tough a work out as I did with Ahmad- first time I've worked out like that since we moved
- It's circuit training- so not matter how much you think you're about to die- you also know that that section is bound to be over soon
- the music is loud and great and you feel like you're at a club
- there are all types of people there- at all levels of fitness- because you're really just watching the screen for your numbers, and competing against yourself
- it's right down my street
- my friend Kelley turned me on to it- so we go together, which is what makes me get up and go at 7:30 every sunday morning. also, i got carrie, in austin, turned on to it so we are always texting each other notes and encouragement about it.

So anyway- I like orange theory- I'm really enjoying it and I'm feeling changes to my bod, even though the scale isn't showing them quite yet. 

So, reading about Brain Rules has made me aware of so many other things- sleep, food, exercise, etc actually impact the way you age and your performance...and while I know this isn't news, the way he writes about it so factually and practically, has really changed my perspective on my daily decisions. SO, between this book and the blog about ADHD, I've also gotten into vitamins and a few supplements. Nothing crazy- just making sure we're all taking daily vitamins, fish oil, and a few things specific to Davis and ADHD. So we'll see if we notice any changes.

Travel! I'm also very into travel. I think it's a few things- 1) not wanting to feel stuck in Minnesota all the time- the months get long come winter, 2) feeling like it's a good way to substantiate and reward ourselves for how hard we work and 3) wanting to give Davis and Holden great opportunities and a strong world view.

So, we're planning and saving so we can do some fun stuff this fall, winter and spring. The kids' schools close for two days in October- so we are thinking about going to Disney. August and September will be VERY hairy for us work-wise, so it will be nice to have a few days to relax and have fun together. Then in December, we were invited to a wedding in Savannah- and I'm just dying to go to Savannah and especially for a wedding. It's the best way to try new cities- a well planned, well done wedding, which I know this one will be. It's black tie and I'm sure we will have so much fun. Not just because they will plan a fabulous weekend, but also because it's Courtney's little brother, so we will get to spend the weekend in Savannah with Courtney and B! And Nikki is going to keep the kids, so they will be in hog heaven.

And I simply cannot wait to go to Texas for a week in a couple weeks. I so need a break and I cannot wait to see my friends and family. Of special note is the fact that the kids and I are going to Houston the last weekend of our visit- to see Katie and her family! I haven't seen my college best friend now in three years- since I've been here and she has been in Singapore. So that will be sooo fun!

So lots of new fun things going on- I'm feeling refreshed and like I'm growing and changing and that always feels good. :-)

 

 

 

We LOVE Corn.

It's almost time for Minnesota corn- but in the meantime, we've been enjoying the tasty (but clearly far inferior) corn from other states. Holden can eat two ears on her own. She loves it as much as I do. 

Summer in the Cities.

I don't need to belabor the point that summer in the twin cities is just gorgeous. Instead, I will simply show you some pictures I took this past weekend- of things blooming at our house- and Ellie's little girl's birthday party. Only in Minnesota is fishing a key part of a three year old party.

I didn't plant any of these beautiful things- we just inherited great landscaping. BUT, I did recently have the whole backyard groomed because it was starting to look like a wild jungle...and it does look lovely if I do say so myself.

These beautiful "wild" flowers are growing right in front of my front window. I don't have hydrangeas at this house- but I have a lot of other beautiful flowers. I like the colors on these a lot and they sort of remind me of Texas.

My girlfriend Ellie's backyard. It's amazing. They just moved and this is pretty far out- but people love a good lake out here and will commute just to have one in their backyard. I'd rather just have a friend with a great lake in their backyard. :-)

View of the back yard and the party...

Of course Holden wanted to get in...

Davis decided to fish instead- and caught about 8 sunnies. He was so excited to catch them but sad to throw them back in because he thought we would cook them for dinner. :-)

Hustling.

Davis has been asking us for weeks to help him with a lemonade stand- and while I love the idea in general- our street is pretty slow so I was having a hard time figuring out where we could have this stand. Then it dawned on me: Holden's soccer game. 

So last week, while I was in LA, I asked Bennett to get the stuff and prep lemonade for the morning game Saturday. I was picturing him getting an orange cooler with a spout, some red solo cups, and some Country Time Lemonade. I forgot who I was dealing with. I got home late Friday night, and I woke up to Davis and Bennett making lemonade...and as you will see in the pictures, it became quite the production. They used my glass jars, Bennett insisted on a yellow tablecloth to go with the theme, they made a sign, and they cut individual lemon slices to put on each and every cup. 

As we got set up, I tried to tell Davis that it didn't matter how many he sold, that some people may want lemonade and some may not, and that's okay. I was secretly worried he would sell 2 cups. On the flip side, his dad looked at him at one point and said "See all these people, Davis? They ALL have money. You just have to convince them...to give their money...to you."

His eyes were wide. And then for the next hour, he ran across the four different fields, pitching his business. It went something like "Hi, I'm Davis. I'm selling lemonade for 50 cents a glass- would you like some? I'll bring it to you!" He worked every individual on every field. And by the end of the hour, he sold out of lemonade. 60 cups. $30. He was so proud. It was the very best thing to watch- and I think he learned a lot.

We then explained to him that we had been his angel investors. We had paid for the lemonade, the cups, the lemons, etc. and that THIS time, we were happy to chip in. But next time, now that he was $30 rich, he needed to fund the supplies. So we suggested he put $5 aside so he could do it again and make more money. He was hesitant at first- but got on board, gave us his $5 and then went and spent the other $25 on a new game at Best Buy. He worked hard and we were so proud.

We were tired after all that work in the heat- it's actually been Texas HOT here this week and honestly, we've gotten wimpy up here so it feels even hotter. So that afternoon we went to the pool for a while and then Saturday night, I wanted Davis to see Wayzata, so we all went for a nice dinner at 6 Smith, where I went the weekend before with Kelley and Jenny. It was a bit gray by then so we actually got a table outside right away, which was awesome. 

Then we walked around and had ice cream after dinner. It was a really fun, and different night out together. (Also, look at Davis' belly sticking out under that shirt! It makes me so happy. Finally putting some meat on his bones.)

More tomorrow!

Good Friends.

Bennett was gone Tuesday through Sunday this past week- he had work and then extended his trip to see his brother in Maine- so I had another weekend home with the kids. And that's getting old, I'm not going to lie...I very often feel like a single parent...but that is not the point of THIS post. The point of this post is that the weekend caused me to really reflect on some things- mainly that I have now been here three years- and that I am really blessed to have such good friends here. 

Maybe because they realize how often I am by myself, or maybe just because they were home rather than at their lake house this weekend- but Sarah and Nate made it their business to make sure I felt like I had plans and friends this weekend. They invited us to the horse races Friday night- we didn't make it because I was so beat from a workout I had done after work- and Davis got in a little bit of trouble at school...then Saturday I met Nate and the kids at the pool (Sarah was out of town for the day) and then Sunday night, they had us over for dinner. 

On top of that, Saturday night I had dinner with Kelly and Jenny (Elsa's mom and her little sister) in Wayzata, and then Kelly and Elsa met us for a movie Sunday morning. How nice is that little weekend? It made me feel like a million bucks, honestly. I'm super thankful for the friends I have made here. It makes me think of my mom and the friends she still has from South Dakota- these midwest people- hard to get to know, but when you do...they are some good people. 

So anyway- let me tell you more about our girls night out Saturday. We went to Wayzata, which is on one side of Lake Minnetonka. And apparently it's where the SUPER wealthy people live. And it is GORGEOUS. And I only feel bad that I haven't taken more people out there when they have come to visit. There is a cute little main street, right along the water, with shops and restaurants, and we ate at the cutest little place right on the water. We had such a good time and finished with drinks on the rooftop bar. It was the best little night out- they are so fun.

And here are some pictures from this weekend that flew by like just a moment.

Holden played soccer again on Saturday. I use the word "played" loosely- she sort of meandered around the field, chatting, looking around, picking flowers. But she stayed on the field the whole time- so I feel like we are making progress. And she says she LOVES soccer and tells everyone that she scored six goals and won the game. Hmm.

Mid-game flower delivery. So sweet. Both Davis and Holden are constantly picking flowers for me. I am very lucky! Not helping her team very much, but it means a lot to me. :-)

Meanwhile, Davis has found a friend that is usually there during the games, and this week he brought his German long swords and they had a great time dueling while the soccer game played on. At one point, Davis came to watch with me, and he looked at me and said "Why isn't Holden trying to get the ball?" Good question, Davis. Good question.

At the park. Characters. Holden now poses that way for almost every picture. Power pose.

At the pool. Have I told you that Davis now goes off the high dive alone? He is becoming a great little swimmer.

Kelley on the left, Jenny on the right. Jenny kept the kids for us while we were in New Orleans in March.

Pool time with Paige at the Ohme's. She is getting so big- Holden kept saying "She's talking, mommy. She's talking!"

I wish summer would never end. :-)

Logjam.

I got a little backed up over here, and now I still have some pictures from July 4th weekend. So let me get through those and then post some new stuff from THIS weekend.

Wonder what Davis is so excited about? Nikki and Honey sent them these cute little boxes with science learning projects called Koala Crates. Davis' was all about gravity and building a pendulum you could then paint with...

Mid-build he realized his tooth was loose- so what did he and Bennett do? Pulled it out with pliers! CRAZY PEOPLE!

So he has two bottom teeth missing- and I haven't seen anything coming in- so I'm hoping there are big teeth in there, planning to come up.

And here is the final project! After we finished the project, Holden was still napping, so D and I took a walk down to the creek together. Kid never slows down.

Then when Holden woke up, I showed her the little crate she received. Hers was all about camping and she built a campfire and a little bear backpack. It was so easy and so fun. We played like we were having a camp out and she used it all afternoon. THANK YOU NIKKI AND HONEY!

This was our campfire- even Pico came to visit. At least until the hamster in the pink robe started telling ghost stories...

Let Freedom Ring!

You know, July 4th is my favorite holiday in the midwest, hands down. Everyone is so spirited, the grass is so green, the breeze is so fresh, and most people take off a full week to celebrate. So we always look forward to it, and this weekend did not disappoint. It went a little different than planned, but all in all, we had a great time. 

Friday after work we went to the pool for a quick swim, then Saturday morning Davis had a friend named Theo over. They had a great time together- so hopefully they will invite him over next. Saturday evening, Davis and I went to dinner, and then to a hidden speak easy in uptown Minneapolis with some friends- Carmen and Derrick. Sunday afternoon I took Holden and Elsa to the pool while Davis and Davis worked on the gazebo (I think Bennett is regretting ever starting that project) and then Monday morning we went to the parade. We were supposed to go to a friend's house Monday afternoon, but Davis wasn't feeling so hot, so we just hung around at home.

I feel like this is a snapshot to their future- looks like a sorority girl pic. Ha.

Look at this sweet boy- he didn't even give me a hard time when I asked him to wear this button down. Kid is growing up. He is so sweet and handsome. Poor guy left in the middle of the parade beacuse his stomach was hurting. :-(

Elsa's parents throw a pre-parade party every year and this year we sat with all those friends during the parade which was fun too! I love this pic- they look like a little Gap ad. :-)

We were bored of hanging around inside later that day (it was pretty hot and again, D felt bad) so we got in the car and drove to Wisconsin to buy some fireworks. It was a gorgeous drive! So much corn- knee high by the 4th of July!

It was an awesome weekend and Davis was home and that was really great. He's been gone so much lately- and I don't see it letting up. He left last night and won't be home until Sunday. :-( But anyway- we had a great time and I hope you enjoyed the 4th too!

 

Life in Pictures...

Few words, many pictures today...

I got this picture from Katelyn one day while I was at work- every once in a while she comes to keep them during a "school" day so they can just have some sense of laid back summer fun. As you can see in this picture- Holden is having no problem with that. She is screaming "YEAAAAHHHH!" in this picture.

Also from Katelyn- Davis climbing a tree at the park. I love this pic.

Hanging with Katelyn and Davis, down by the creek near our house. Awesome outfit.

In the car- looking like trouble. She asked me to take this picture becuase she was making her face "look cool" during her favorite song. Lord give us strength. 

Pool and pretzels on Sunday. 

Sporty Spice.

We had a really fun weekend- Friday night we met the Ohmes at the pool and swam until about 7:30 and then we went to their house for pizza. The kids had a blast- they have so much fun together. 

And then on Saturday, Holden had her first soccer game. She was feeling so proud of herself and insisted on borrowing one of Davis' "Jordan Spieth" shirts so she could feel sporty. Luckily (or unfortunately- depends how you look at it) the shirt he loaned her is the same color as their team shirt so she made 3 different wardrobe changes during the game.

Let me first just say that Saturday was the HOTTEST day I think we have ever experienced in Minnesota. It was about 95 and so incredibly muggy. And I guess the kids are really not used to that- so Holden was really concerned about her sweat level. She came walking out of the game about 15 different times, to let me know that she was too sweaty...she either needed to change her shirt or she wanted to sit out. So, she spent about half the game holding the coaches hand. :-/ I'm hoping next week will be better when it's not as hot.

Before the game...

Taking a break...

She looks so big to me here- it kills me.

Over it. Look at those flushed cheeks. I'm hoping she gives it another go next week- it's so fun to watch. Hope you had a good weekend too.

 

The Truth About ADHD.

My grandparents grew up never even hearing about ADD or ADHD. My mom probably didn't hear much of it either. I began hearing about it in high school, and through college, when people would quip "Oh gosh, I just get so distracted, I have ADD, hahahahahaha." And that's what my experience has been until having Davis. People in my generation talk non-stop about it like it's this quirky cute thing and I have found that artists and creative types even wear that label as a badge of honor...like "I'm not boring- my mind is just wandering on to more interesting things."

OR, in my early days of being a parent, you would hear so much media and press about the world over-diagnosing their kids with ADD/ADHD and how it's purely a product of an over-stimulated society, driven by technology and multi-screen experiences. 

And then I had my own kid with ADHD. And I feel like the whole thing is largely misunderstood. I go back and forth between telling myself "You're so lucky your kids are healthy and there aren't any major issues" and that is certainly true, but I also hear my inner voice occasionally saying "Shit Sam. This is hard. I don't know if this is what it is like for most families and parents."

And let me first say that Davis is a joy. He is kind and tender and smart and creative. And he wants to please others and be kind. Honestly, if he didn't have ADHD, I don't believe he would ever get in trouble. He does not WANT to get in trouble. Holden, if we're honest, is the one who loves trouble. But Davis is constantly in trouble- or if he's not in trouble- it's because you are constantly monitoring him in the way you would with a toddler. And I realize more and more, that that is because of his ADHD. Lately, I feel like I am realizing, or maybe simply acknowledging, what a real thing this is and how hard it is for Davis, and honestly, how hard it is for us.

It is mentally exhausting. And I don't want to bitch, but honestly, it is. I realized how difficult, when Bennett was golfing for 8 hours the other weekend, because I reached a point where I just felt miserable. Like I couldn't handle being alone with my kids for another minute more- like I had reached my breaking point- and I thought "This isn't healthy..." and "This isn't how I want it to be..." and of course I felt so guilty for feeling that way. So, I asked myself why I felt that way, and I realized that it's because there is nothing relaxed about most of our unplanned time together. Unplanned time is difficult with Davis. Weekends can be very hard work. Harder than my job, more trying than Davis' job, and I mean, our jobs are pretty damn demanding.

If you can imagine, all day every day, having to repeat everything you say at least 5 times, to get the most simple task done (like putting on shoes) or if you can imagine having every comment or plan you make being challenged, 100 times from start to finish, you get a glimpse of what our days are like.

Imagine knowing that when there is silence, for even a moment, something is being broken, wrecked, misused, misplaced, etc. and you might have a slight understanding of how impossible it is to ever relax.

Anticipating the fight that comes with each meal, knowing that there is no easy or enjoyable food-related situation unless it's peanut butter and jelly or chicken nuggets. And the judgment and guilt that comes with that.

Picture promising things, small things, and repeating yourself 10 times per promise to make sure he feels comfortable with whatever it is that is tripping him up- "Yes Davis, I will tell the people at the airport that the darts you have are rubber and are not dangerous?" "Do you promise?" "Yes I promise." "But do you promise, mom?" "Yes, I said I promise Davis." "So you're sure you will tell them that?" "Yes I'm sure." "Because I'm trusting you...okay mom?" "Yes Davis. Okay. I will tell them."

Or if you can imagine watching someone who loves his sister so much, continue to break her things, push her impulsively, make poor choices, while hearing your daughter cry about how mean he is to her- you know the heartache of knowing how frustrating it is for your daughter and how misunderstood your son must be, every other place he goes. He adores her. These aren't things he WANTS to do.

The feeling of getting together with new friends is overwhelming. The thought of explaining everything to new teachers, or camp leaders, or babysitters, is riddled with anxiety. 

And then when you lose your mind with it and you think "JUST STOP ACTING THIS WAY!" and you hear your six year old sob about how he doesn't want to do those things, he just doesn't know how to NOT, you also know the heartache and the guilt that comes with feeling frustrated with him at all. 

And then. You get over yourself. And you imagine being him.

My mom asked how Davis was the other day- and honestly all things considered- things are going okay. But I'm starting to realize our okay is not normal. Our okay requires a lot of work. And it's tiring. And some days it feels like that work just never ends. And that...that is the truth (to me) about ADHD.