Monday, August 30, 2010


School may be starting all over the country, but summer isn't over yet. To the pool!

Nova dove right in (of course!) but Gus had a last minute, toddler related, change of heart.

I think it went something like, "Nooo!!! I don't waaaaaaant to swim!! Noooo! It's too cooooooold!!!"

Nova was having fun, though. And who can resist a smile like that?

Finally, Gus changed his mind and got in the pool. It's not so cold once you put your head under!

Saturday, August 28, 2010


Look who's getting so big!

Miss Nova is 14 months old, and is a world of trouble. She walks, she climbs, she throws caution to the wind!

She's mostly given up her affection for food, showing many signs of pickiness. Apparently eating with Gus has it's consequences.

She loves her big brother (and all his favorite toys), and is delighted to follow him everywhere. She gives kisses and hugs - with back patting - and likes to wiggle when you ask her to "dance." She sings and hums along with music, and is constantly pulling records off the shelf and asking for them to be played.

She made her first sign language sign this week, and can now ask for "more" with aplomb. She delights in new people and new things, and loves going on morning adventures with her Poppa. Nova's adoration for animals is remarkable (considering that ours won't go near her), but friends' dogs let her give all the pats she wants, and if she's lucky they'll sit still long enough for her to get a good hug in.

Nova surprises us with both her stubbornness and her joy. When she's not getting new molars, she rises in the morning with a smile on her face and keeps going all day like the Energizer bunny. She's absolutely unique, and her personality is emerging more and more. She is a goofy, happy, loving little girl, and we thinks she's pretty special.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


Dave and I have a system worked out where one of us gets to sleep in almost every day. When the kids rise at the crack of dawn, one of us gets up and feeds them breakfast, and the other gets to go back to sleep (until 8. Which never in my life would have been sleeping in, but my definition has now changed).

This way, when the kids get up at 4:30 or 5:00 you can grumble, but you know that the next day is your sleep in day and it all balances in the end. The schedule gets thrown off from time to time, but it's been working for at least 8 months. We may not be sleeping through the night, but every other day one of us gets an extra two hours.

All that's to say this: some mornings are really fun. If they've managed to sleep to 6:30, they're a ton of fun to spend time with in the morning. Usually no hitting, whining, or crying - just playing and being good. Once the sun comes up, the coffee is made, and the kids have been fed, they're really well behaved for that two hours.

Maybe the best part of the day. Except for those days when they get up at 4....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010


The Como Zoo polar bears have been on vacation while their home was redesigned this past year. The polar bears used to be one of our favorite exhibits (back before we had kids) so we've been eagerly awaiting their return.

Unfortunately, so has everyone else in the twin cities. On our trip to see the polar bears this summer, we didn't realize that they keep the bears behind the scenes for the first half hour the zoo is open. Our attempt to get their early and beat the crowd didn't exactly work.

Come to think of it, plans like that never really work. We milled around and got to see some of the other animals. I did get the kids to sit on the baby giraffe sculpture, which I've always found sort of terrifying. They didn't seem to mind too much, though they don't look thrilled in the photo.

Finally enough folks cleared out that we could get a good look at the bears.

We'll have to visit them again this winter, when there's fewer zoo visitors and the bears are more interested in playing in the snow.

Sunday, August 22, 2010


The garden has gotten a little out of control. Maybe it's the crazy weather we've been having, or maybe it's like this every August. Either way, right now there are a lot of tomatoes.

Starting a few years back, Dave chose the Siberian tomato variety from the Friend's School Plant Sale. It's a unique little tomato, producing in just under 7 weeks tomatoes that are a little smaller than a baseball, perfect for canning and making into sauce. We've grown the same variety each year, with others on the side.

This year we've got a high yield from some little yellow plums and yellow pears. They made a delicious pizza sauce last week and tasted a little squash-y.

This week, we've been able to fill the sink with tomatoes on a daily basis, and they literally fall out of the fridge when you open it. Each night the kids go to sleep to the smell of tomatoes boiling in the kitchen, and so far Dave has put up at least 15 pints of sauce.

There's tomatoes in the freezer, and this week we're eating chili, tomato soup, pasta with tomato sauce and pizza.

Of course, every time it seems like we're making progress - we only need to step out the back door:

There's plenty more where that came from!

Friday, August 20, 2010


So simple, so delicious.

Boil water and salt, add 1/2 pound dried fettuccine. Cook until tender, 10 - 12 minutes.

In a large skillet over medium heat, melt 4 tablespoons of butter*

Drain the pasta and add it to the skillet along with
1/2 cup cream
1/2 cup fresh parmesean
salt & pepper

Stir over low heat until the pasta is coated in deliciousness. Eat immediately. Or serve to the baby:

*Never, ever admit to using this much butter. And somebody wipe that buttery baby's face.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


This summer we decided to stop driving. We still own a car, but it's non functioning, and can't leave the neighborhood (or if it does, you can count on it stalling in the middle of the highway. Not safe!)

Since we live in a great neighborhood in Minneapolis, and because we're fortunate to own a business 10 blocks from our home, we've done just fine without a car so far. Dave and I have long had bikes that can transport us around town, but with two kids in tow, things have become more complicated.

Enter, the SIDECAR!

Sidecar bikes are not terribly common, though they're becoming more so. We see a handful around our neighborhood and the west bank, but for the most part most folks have never heard of or seen a sidecar bike.

Dave's friend Molly traded this frame to Dave. It didn't look like much, and I was skeptical at first. He immediately set about restoring the frame, adding the missing parts, painting, and making a plywood floor for the car. The kids, of course, helped a ton.

In just under a week, the sidecar was mostly complete. Dave took Gus with him on the first ride.

Since that day in July, this bike has become our primary vehicle. It hauls groceries, records, the kids, and the dog, though not all at once. The kids love riding on this bike, and we've gone together to the lakes, to the library, and just tooling around town.

For the kids, it's like being in a parade every day. People stop their cars, point and shout "Wow! Great bike!" Folks walking by stop and stare, saying it's unlike anything they've ever seen. They know us at the hardware store, and along Lake Street, it's become something of a fixture. It still needs a little work (we're going to add canvas sides for safety) and you need to plan ahead for long trips since it tops out around 10 or 12 miles per hour, but this bike has become the new family sedan for us. And it seats four!

Monday, August 9, 2010


Sorry, folks. We've been busy!

Running the shop:

Learning to walk:

Competing in a triathlon:


and redesigning this blog!

You'll be noticing some ongoing changes around two little monsters. We're going to try to make this space more of a blog about our life and what we do with our time, instead of just daily photos of the kids. In fact, you may even seen a photo or two of the pupper! We're happy with the changes and hope you are too. Enjoy!