On Ice

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It was almost time for winter cabin weekend, so we had to re-up our skate game. I got those beauties above at the end of last winter season. I’d gotten minor frostbite on my toes by wearing figure skates in the cold too long, so I upgraded to some hockey skates.

It’s been a weird winter of melty-to-supercold, so the days of skate-ability have been limited. I made it out three times so far, but the boys hadn’t. So we found them the right sizes and did some marching around the basement for practice.

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When they started racing and chasing while on skates, I figured it was time to move from the carpet to the ice. I gotta say, this is the most effective method of skate-training we’ve tried with them. Before Charlie and I even got on the ice, Henry was halfway across.

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Thanks Minneapolis Parks, for all the ice rinks around!

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This was MLK jr. Day, and it was verrrry cold. So we didn’t stay long, but a great time was had by all. We hit a coffee shop afterward for some well-earned cocoa and treats.

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And then came…the real cold. Friday morning we went to the cabin, and the temperatures, I don’t believe, went above zero. I remember someone at some point looking at the thermometer outside and saying -20.

But did that keep us inside????? No way! Not when there is ice to be on and trails to shovel. Charlie is doing this on skates, which is pretty impressive. He called it The Challenge Course.

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Sticks and a puck came out briefly, but the ice was pretty rough this year.

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Future goalie?

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Derek has been wanting to harness Kona up to give Henry a ride for over a year, so this weekend he made the dream come true.

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She started off strong, and Henry had probably the most exciting 30 seconds of his life!

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Bella was not about to be left behind.

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Little did she know that she would be next. Charlie’s turn!

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She was, however, not so enthusiastic about pulling.

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But with both dogs hooked in and Emma to lead them, Charlie got a good ride in the end

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When they pooped out, I pulled them. When I pooped out, Joe pulled them.

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They better never say we never did anything for them!

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Angel time

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Then the adventure of finding a sled-able spot on the hill

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They enjoyed playing bumper tubes

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Charlie loved the view from the swing. He liked lining up his swing with the sledder to feel like he was zooming with them

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So, with the temperatures as they were, we had to spend most of the time indoors. We made that fun, too, though. Kite string became Lego zipline material, which became an opportunity to limbo to the music!

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I was worse than I thought I would be, but my technique improved with pointers and practice

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Next day…back outdoors! Charlie and I started a story about searching through the ice labyrinth for hidden riddles and clues to lead us to “the treasure.” Henry happily joined in. Here Charlie’s digging for something on the trail

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Expeditioning

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Social hour

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The boys thought Grandpa could pull them up the steep, bumpy and slippery hill on the toboggan. With Colleen’s and my help, they all made it in the end.

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We headed home because we assumed life would go back to normal Monday. But today was a snow day for Charlie. So out came the shovels! They played a game that they were a shoveling service. Did I want to hire them? Heck yes I did!

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When the work was done, it was play time. Charlie chose indoors, Henry chose out.

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It was wonderful to be in the sunshine at temperatures above zero. 8 degrees? I’ll take it.

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Plus, though trips are wonderful…it’s always very good to be home.

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You’re hot, then you’re cold

That’s Minnesota. One minute you’re in a sauna, and the next you’re dumped in snow. We’ve had something like that lately. It’s been alternately freeeeeeeezing and extremely pleasant.

Luckily some of the pleasant landed on the weekend. Coatless walk to Nighthawks!

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Hanging in the backyard, looking at books and drawing with chalk. Feels like so long since we’ve been able to do this.

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On our walk home from lunch, we went through MLK park. It was an ice-and-puddles-and-mud Wonderland!

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Luckily, we had our boots, so we were able to linger and explore for a long time

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Henry spent about an hour on the softball field, because in its small infield, it had a great combo of mud, ice and water.

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He had me tromping around in all of it in various competitions and games

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Charlie loved a sidewalk patch that was completely coated in smooth ice. It was like a mini-rink, and I could tell he had a whooooole story going on up there.

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Saturday night, we went to Night Trains at the Twin Cities Model Railway Museum. The boys absolutely love it

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A lot of pretty magical moments

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And pointing

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Some of the tables are pretty high, so a shoulder seat helped

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The Lego table had a whole setup representing the St Paul Winter Carnival, which was definitely my favorite display of the night

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It’s been good to get back into normal routine, though biting wind and low temperatures has made the walk to preschool less pleasant than usual. I got to be a trash lady in Charlie’s cafeteria, helping the kids sort things into recyclables, organics, and trash. I didn’t know about an hour and a half by trash cans, but honestly I had such fun! The kids were great, and I ended up with helpers without ever asking. It’s going to be my new Tuesday thing while Henry’s at school.

 

Fresh

As always, my birthday falls right after the start of a new year. I’ve never been much for resolutions, but I definitely enjoy the fresh feeling of a new year, new age, new semester, etc. etc. I like to remember the first foods I eat, just for fun. This year: champagne and banana walnut mini-muffins. Seems like a good start, I’d say!

This year, however, I did come up with something of a resolution. I’m a big follower of the “treat yo self” idea. In a lot of ways, I am super good to me. I prioritize me time and social time in my week. I wear what I love to wear. I stay active, do yoga several times a week, and read a lot of great books. I also allow myself lots of sweets. And that’s where I’m treating myself, but not treating myself so very well. I don’t keep track of what I eat or do anything like counting calories, and I don’t plan to. I have good, healthy food habits. Except sugar. I eat a lot of straight-up candy, desserts, and whathaveyou. It’s something I constantly say I need to get better at, but then I never do.

So why not now?! This year, I get one treat a day. That includes all the aforementioned things as well as snacks like popcorn and drinks like soda, beer, cocktails, and sweetened coffee drinks. For the first little while, I’ll be photographing what I choose for the day to help me keep track of what choices I make and to fully acknowledge and appreciate the treat, so as to get full enjoyment from it.

My birthday was on a work day, so I went out the weekend before (on my brother’s birthday, actually) and pretended it was mine, too. I went to Mia (Minnesota Institute of Art) and hit the special exhibition, Egypt’s Sunken Cities.

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Then I enjoyed some time reading at Lakes & Legends Brewery before the boys and I met up for Black Sheep Pizza.

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Later, I hit a yoga session where I had my sweets epiphany. That night, while I thought about it, I ate some apple pie while drinking a beer. haha!

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So on the first, I thought through my ideas. By the time I came up with it, I had already had a Mexican Mocha and some dark chocolate cake…so I guess I picked those!

I thought it would be harder to make it through my birthday without treats, but it’s a lot easier to stick to something when you’ve established a plan and rules. So I made it all day, easy peasy. That night, Joe and I watched the Gilmore Girls episode, Rory’s Birthday Parties, while we enjoyed this wonderful stout gifted to me by Bret and Leslie.

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Yesterday and today were the same things: Ice cream cake!!!!! My favorite.
Thank you, Novaks!!!!

Tonight I enjoyed it while watching Sabrina the Teenage Witch. Yes, the Melissa Joan Hart one. I’m super into it.

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Alright, enough about that. I won’t keep posting those, I promise. But I wanted to publicly establish that intention, because I’m much more likely to stick to something people know about.

So, speaking of ‘sticking to…’ check out what’s sticking to Henry’s face. We got him mustaches for Christmas, and they’ve gotten a lot of wear so far. It’s amazing.

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While Charlie’s been busy constructing Lego gadgets and vehicles from Christmas, Henry’s been creating and experimenting with all kinds of things.

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Today I made him a house for his critters from some cardboard packaging, and he immediately got busy setting it up and decorating it.

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He had a whole story about how the critters hadn’t decorated for Christmas, but luckily Santa was willing to do it for them. (Gee, I wonder where he got that from?) Then he pretended to be Santa, and decked the halls with stickers and Sharpie.

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The boys have also been able to go to some kid yoga gatherings at my studio.

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They really seemed to have fun, and were excited to go back a second time.

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So it’s been a great start to the year. Normal life starts back up (i.e.: winter break is over) on Monday. I’m ready, but this week has been really great. I’ve loved waking up late, hearing the boys play together all day, staying in jammies til…sometimes bedtime…and just having the freedom to do whatever. But routine is good for everyone, and I know the boys will be happy to get back to school.