Monday, May 31, 2010

The Graduate.

Within the past three years my husband has worked two jobs, attended nursing school full time, juggled a rigid homework and clinical schedule, become a first-time parent, and somehow — somehow — managed to take out the garbage and keep the lawn mowed.

And on May 22, he graduated. Or, would have, if he had attended his graduation ceremony. Instead he hosted both of our families for a birthday party and selflessly gave what should of been his day of celebration to our son. He did, however, attend his pinning ceremony, so his parents and I still got to make a little fuss over him.

He deserves a little fuss. Or a lot of fuss. There aren't many guys who could (or would) cram a full-time school schedule into an already full-time work and family schedule...and excel at both.

Congratulations, Nate. We are so proud of you.

Circus monkey.

Since Calvin can't talk and doesn't yet watch tv, I decided to take advantage of what might be the only year I get to choose his birthday party theme. I'm sure from here on out it will be Elmo, Dora, Handy Manny, or some other television character who makes me want to stab myself in the eye, but we'll worry about that when the time comes. This year I got to pick. And I picked circus monkey.

Circus because Calvin's bedroom is loosely circus themed and I love it. And monkey because in my search for circus themed cupcake toppers, I came across The Purple Pug. This woman rocks my face off. Not only does she make incredibly adorable handmade party stuff (so I don't have to), she's super nice and let me place an order with her even though her shop was closed in April and May. And she has the most ridiculously cute circus monkey themed stuff I have ever seen.

So, I ordered a circus monkey centerpiece sign, cupcake toppers, and cupcake wrappers, and took it from there. I had such a fun time finding and putting things together for his party, though I think I showed great restraint...I had to keep reminding myself that Calvin had no idea what was going on. And that we were serving hot dogs. You don't go all out on decorations for a party where the main dish is essentially mystery meat in a tube.

To be honest, though — this party was for me, not him. The first birthday is a milestone for the parents, a sort of graduation from parenting boot camp. But Calvin seemed to enjoy himself plenty. And why not? The kid got a huge stack of gifts, an afternoon with all his friends and family, probably eight pieces of watermelon, and — finally — his first bite of cake.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Petting Zoo at the Farm at the Zoo.

Since Calvin's big birthday bash isn't until next weekend, we decided to take him to the Minnesota Zoo for his birthday. While parts of the zoo were a hit — the aquarium, the bears, and the fuzzy little critters on the Minnesota Trail exhibit — he really loved the petting zoo at the farm exhibit. I think there will be many a state fair trip in our future.

He did not, however, love his birthday cake.

Despite our best efforts (i.e. chasing him around the house with it).

But he did love the one present we let him have — a workbench.

And we loved having an excuse to put Matilda in a party hat.

The day ended on a low note with Calvin puking for a few hours (good thing he turned down the cake, as we would have just ended up wearing it later that night), but we had a really fun day celebrating our little man. Luckily we get a birthday do-over next weekend!

Saturday, May 15, 2010


Happy birthday, darling boy. We could not love you more.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Peanuts and Cracker Jacks.

A text conversation between me, my dad, and occasionally Nate last night:

: At the Sox game! Or as Nate calls it, the Twins game.
Dad: Let me guess, Nate is forcing you to cheer for the home team.
Abby: Yes, he slapped me and told me I had to. The new stadium is beautiful, though.
Nate: I also pushed her down.
Dad: Is it worth the pain? Tell Nate one week with Cal and he will recite "Go Chicago!"
Abby: Nate's crying.
Dad: Like they say, get them when they're small and you've got them forever!
Abby: What would be worse? I pick: A) Twins over Sox B) Vikings over Bears C) Cubs over Sox
Dad: What is wrong with you? No Cubs, no Vikings...
Abby: I don't know, Nate made me ask.
Nate: My wife is quite the storyteller.
Dad: She is her mother's daughter.

Nate and I went to the Twins game last night with my brother-in-law, Mike, and one of his friends. Mike has season tickets, so we jumped at the chance to go to the White Sox/Twins game (gotta keep up the Chicago/Minnesota rivalry in our household). Of course that was before I knew it was going to be 47 degrees and raining in the middle of May (I don't care about Chicago that much). Let's hear it for outdoor baseball in Minnesota! Actually, it was totally fine. Besides having to sit on wet seats, we stayed dry and pretty warm. Baseball should always be outside, even in frigid Minnesota, and the new stadium is gorgeous.

We had good food (hot dogs and polish sausage, yum!), a lot of laughs (quite a few over my total and complete lack of knowledge regarding baseball and/or sports in general), and a great time hanging out together. I can't wait to go to another game! And that means a lot coming from a girl who knows so little about baseball that she was excited to get a free baseball card with a picture of the team manager on it. (Turns out it was actually just a coupon for a free Subway breakfast melt.)

Plus the Sox beat the Twins, so I got to gloat (just a bit). :)

I sent my dad a text at the end of the game:

: Nate's crying again.
Dad: Why? Our Blackhawks are winning!


Monday, May 10, 2010


In a few short weeks he went from tentative first steps to confidently toddling down the sidewalk on his own.

I need a pause button. It's going too fast.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


In honor of my first Mother's Day, I really wanted to blog about life as a new mom, and what the past year has been like for me. But I've been staring at this blank page for like an hour and I've come to the conclusion that I'm just too dang tired to do anything but crawl into my bed and pass out.

Actually, that last statement pretty much sums up my first year as a mom. So I think I'm just gonna hit publish and call this post a success.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Take a look, it's in a book...


I really wish that show was still on tv. Calvin is totally fascinated with books right now, and if he turns out to be anything like his television loving bookworm mama, I think he would enjoy Reading Rainbow. (Side note: a tv show about reading is brilliant. There should be an adult version.)

Hopefully someone will come up with Reading Rainbow II: Return of the Rainbows. Or something otherwise terribly named that isn't half as good as the original but at least gives us children of the 80s who now have children of our own a sense of hope about the literacy of future generations.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

S is for sharing.

And E is for "ew...please don't put that in your mouth!" Which, when it comes to these two, is kind of a waste of breath.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Recipe for the perfect weekend.

Takeout from Holy Land (the sheik's dinner for two, which is more like dinner for 20) + my husband making me cry by giving me four place settings of our wedding china (completing my beloved set) + renting The Blind Side + getting to sleep in until an unprecedented 7:50am + morning trip to the farmer's market as a family + dropping Calvin off for a sleepover at Grandma and Grandpa's house + gift certificate from Nate's parents to our favorite B&B + afternoon matinee of Date Night + incredible dinner at Bar La Grassa + finding out my parents had taken care of the bill for incredible dinner at Bar La Grassa + cheesecake and coffee at Cafe Latte + staying out past 10pm on a Saturday night + sleeping in on Sunday morning + leisurely breakfast and newspaper reading at Bread & Chocolate + picking up our adorable baby from Grandma and Grandpa's + grilling bacon wrapped asparagus and cheese stuffed chicken breasts from Brine's for dinner + eating Nate's homemade strawberry rhubarb crisp + laundry done + kitchen clean + bed at a reasonable time = a very good way to celebrate five years of marriage.
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