Dec 31, 2014

Girls Day Out

12/31/2014 — cori

On Monday Chloe and I got to spend the entire day together doing fun, girly things and crashed at an awesome hotel that night to round out our special time together.  We celebrated all things girly like this wonderful song by Doris Day that got us started on the right foot:

Since we just watched "Elf" (as is our family tradition every Christmas Eve), Buddy's schedule of what to do with his Dad on his first day home was stuck in my head.  I'm not as good as Buddy at writing out my agenda on an Etch-A-Sketch so I played her the clip instead.  This cracks me up every time!

I planned out our whole day:
First we'll make snow angles for 2 hours
Then we'll go ice skating
Then we'll eat a whole roll of Toll House cookie dough as fast as we can
And then, when we're finished, we'll snuggle.

Our day began at the Mall of America.  We shopped till we could no longer walk.  We made our way to a fantastic crepe stand for lunch.  This will definitely be one of our new favorite places.

From there we went to get a manicure; Chloe's first.  I usually do her nails all the time at home, but it was a special treat to sit at her own station and have somebody fuss over her in true grown up fashion.

Next, we headed over to the Double Tree Hotel to check in and hang out for a bit.  It was cold -but sunny.  We can always handle the cold better when it comes with the sun!

Once we surveyed the room, we sat down to read this fun, informative book together about what to expect as you grow up.  It's all in celebration of being a girl.

After that we were starving for dinner, even though it was only 3:30pm.  We headed out to a new pizza place called Mozza Mia.  We had the joint to ourselves.  Our plan was to go ice skating which opened at 4pm and still have a little day-light left to skate in.  Unfortunately, when we got to the outdoor rink, it was closed due to the weather having been so warm.  Crazy, huh?!  Too warm in Minnesota?!  Actually, we had quite a warm spell of above freezing temps for the past 2 weeks, so it was pretty obvious the ice probably wasn't thick enough on the lake to hold us.  I'm super thankful for their protectiveness of our hypothermia, but sad that we didn't get to skate.

That just meant we got more time to check out the pool and hot tub at the hotel.  Also, we didn't have to subject ourselves to sub-zero freezing temps outside as we were trying to ice skate.  Even though it's been pretty warm lately, Monday was definitely not warm.  It was 8 when we were outside with a windchill of -5.  The hot tub was awesome.

We rounded out our evening with a fun game of Square Off and watching tv in bed.  The next morning we hit a fun French bistro for breakfast before heading off to doctors appointments.  What an awesome gift - uninterrupted time with my favorite girl!  I'm the luckiest mom in the whole world!

Dec 19, 2014

An Epic Christmas Fail

12/19/2014 — cori
About a week before Christmas I decided maybe I should try to throw together a quick little Christmas card.  My time leading up to Christmas is slightly busy, to say the least.  I figured a week before Christmas is better than a week after.  I thought about forgoing Christmas cards all together, but then I felt rude.  So I threw together a little card in like literally 5 minutes.

I already knew there was not one acceptable family photo.  Not a one, in a whole, entire year. Pathetic. Not cool.  I have already made a mental note to take more family photos next year and DUFDN photos don't count. All our family and friends across the country do not want to receive a picture of us dressed in costume (even though we rock our costumes).   I could only find one, lone family photo.  In that particular photo my eyes are half squinted shut looking like I am sneering at the camera.  That will never do.  I can't send out a Christmas sneer (even though everyone else looked great).  So that left me looking for pictures of just the three kids together and one of Chuck and I together. Harder than you think.  Try finding a picture of three kids together all looking at the camera at the same time, not trying to push one another over, or making snarky faces, actually doing their hair or not wearing mis-matched outfits or clothes where the colors don't clash.  Hard to do.  This is what I came up with:

Gavin thought it odd that JOY was spelled with a theta symbol, but other than that, everyone approved it.  I had to do black and white because the colors of the photos didn't match the card.  But then, I apparently stopped there when it came to card design.  This is how you whip up a card in 5 minutes people.  Voila!

I ran to Target to pick up my creation, got home and about had a heart attack.  I failed to check all the tiny details of the card such as WHO IT'S FROM.  Notice the name: Love, Jenny and Ella.  WHAT?! How could I not see that?!  Way to go Cori, way to pay attention to details.  What if I sent these out like this?  I would never, ever, ever hear the end of it.  

I was not wasting the $6.90 it cost to print these up so I did what any self-respecting creative type would do and cut off the Love, Jenny and Ella part.  I would have preferred to just mark it out with a big, black Sharpie pen, but hey, I couldn't send out tacky Christmas cards.  I'd rather send out cards that are the size of a teeny, tiny, odd looking post card with no 'love - anyone'.  I decided to hand write our names on the back to cover for that little over sight.  No one will ever know the difference. Right?

When the kids got home I asked them, "So, who wants to be Jenny and who wants to be Ella?"  That elicited multiple blank stares.  I then went on to confess my pathetic Christmas card failure to them. Confession is good.  Laughing at yourself is good.  Sending Christmas cards out with other people's names on them is not good.

Watch out - next year we might just send out a picture of Chuck and Ninja.  Apparently, anything goes around here.   Always check the signature part - just a little something I've learned from life experience.


This occurred on my second batch of Christmas cards which only highlights two more failures on my part, 1) I did this once before and knew you were supposed to change the name part and clearly forgot and 2) I didn't order enough the first go around and had to pay more to add 10 more cards to my collection and a lifetime of embarrassment to my ego.   I had no excuse.  It was pure stupidity, plain and simple.

Dec 18, 2014

Dinner Talk

12/18/2014 — cori

You never know what it's going to be, but you know it's going to be something interesting.  Here's the progression of tonight's convo:

Me:  So guys, what's everyone's thankfuls?

We all proceed with our thankfuls.  Then the obvious question..."Where's Dad?"

Me:  He's at a late work meeting. He gets to eat Mexican food in an expensive restaurant while we get to eat pancakes for dinner.

Gavin:  I hope these pancakes don't have globs in them.

Bennett:  I hope they don't have pockets of baking soda.

Chloe:  I hope they're cooked all the way through like Daddy's.

Me:  It may come as a surprise to you that I made perfect pancakes this time.  No globs or pockets of flour.

Everyone excitedly ate the fare I offered and even acknowledged that it didn't suck.  I'm obviously not known for my breakfast food making.  That's Chuck's department.  And since he was noticeably absent today, the task fell to me.  The conversation just progressed downhill rapidly from here.

Bennett:  So, I have my math test tomorrow.

Gavin:  What are you studying?

Bennett: Probability.

Gavin:  Give me a problem.

The problem was given and he excitedly answered it.  Then he turned it around on the rest of us.

Gavin:  Mom, here's a probability problem for you.  Say you have this bookshelf and you can only put seven books on it, right.  How many different ways can you order the books?

Me:  I don't like probability.

Gavin:  But you do like books, right? So, how many different ways can you order the books?

I didn't have enough time to draw the problem out cuz that's just how my brain works...I have to see it - on paper.  So, I threw out what I thought was a reasonable sounding answer: 49 different ways.

Gavin:  Wrong.  See you have 7 different slots, once you have the first book in the first slot, now you have 6 different options left and then 5 and so forth, right?  So, the answer is 7 factorial which comes out to 5,040 different ways to arrange the books on a shelf. (He says this like he's talking about the weather outside - like it's obvious).

Me:  hmmmm

Bennett:  Mom...say you have two books, how many ways can you arrange them on a shelf?

Me:  Bennett, that's the kind of problem I like!

Why must I be cursed to answer math word problems at dinner my entire life?!  Why can't a mother eat in peace without math entering into the conversation just once?!

Dec 6, 2014


12/06/2014 — cori

Chuck has been out of town all week, meaning...he's been out of the loop.  Our household is spinning many plates at the same time as are many household's with this age of children.  It's just par for the course.  If you step away from the spinning plates, for even a second, the dynamic changes drastically. Chuck stepped away.

Once he got back last night he thought he could jump right back in and take up where he left off.  In theory that's great; doesn't work in reality.  We started the morning by having to drop off Gavin for a Mock Trial event at 7:30 and pick up Chloe from a sleep over at 9am.  I also had to head to the grocery store while it and I were still slightly sane.  The grocery store becomes a mad house on the weekends and I didn't have time to get everything during the week.  My goal was to get there before 9am.  So Chuck offered to pick up Chloe so I could get an early start and keep my sanity in tact for the rest of the weekend.

This is us at our best.  We're a great team.  Seems straight forward, right?  There should be no story here.  Ahhh....but it wouldn't be us if there wasn't.

Chuck heads over to Katie's house.  He spends a good 15 minutes small talking with her parents while waiting for Chloe to come downstairs.  She never comes.  The mom makes a mention about how nice it will be for the girls to get together soon.  Chuck puts two and two together and realizes his mistake.  OMG!!!  How embarrassing!

He just randomly showed up at some friends' house to shoot the breeze for no reason at all...which is how it looked from their point of view.  They had just woken up.  Awkward.

He then calls me at the store to ask me how to get to Apen's house, the other friend who she spent the night with.  He avoids mentioning his mistake.  I thought that was a little odd.  It was later than when he said he'd pick her up.  I just thought he got a late start.   Once I get home I hear of  The Great Pick Up Fiasco. cannot walk away from the plates.  This parenting business is very tricky.  It's hard to know where your kids are at all times.  I've heard of an app you that allows you to write a list on your phone and share it between two people.  Too bad there's not an app for the list in my brain that keeps all those plates spinning.

Dec 3, 2014

Giving Thanks

12/03/2014 — cori
I wish you could sing, "It's the most wonderful time...of the year" during Thanksgiving because I think it is true.  Another one has come and gone yet again.  This year was the first time we all got to meet Logan, John and Karen's first baby.  To say we were excited was an understatement.  He was pretty much the center of everything.  Here's the breakdown in picture form:

This is the little guy that stole our hearts over Thanksgiving

We all enjoyed an (edible) Thanksgiving feast together.
This picture is a recreation while at Mom & Dad's house
(we forgot to take one on the actual day of thanks).

Chloe held Logan

 Our super competitive Thanksgiving Day Bean Bag Toss.
We had to abandon our annual football game because of frigid temps.
I think it reached 7 on Thanksgiving Day.  Outdoor sports were not an option.

 Gavin held Logan

We walked through the skyways in downtown Minneapolis.
Chloe learned how to maneuver a stroller with a baby. 

Bennett held Logan
Temps soared up to 30 degrees, so we made the most of it and went sledding

"I'm going to die!"

"Look Mom, no hands!"

Chloe fed Logan every chance she got (she got many chances)

We visited a winery
And of course we played games.  Many games.
Our old stand-by is always Guesstures.  

We thought Aunt Karen liked Chloe....but now I'm not sure
since she appears to be holding her at gunpoint.

And of course, Chuck howling at the moon.
Always a good way to end a blog.

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